Monday, December 3, 2012

The Brickbat of Surreality, Dec 3, 2013:

Here's some cheery news!

Dims in the Senate are divided over whether and how much to fuck us poor serfs and peons over. Some--the moderates--think only a little is necessary; others, the conservatives--think a LOT is called for.

Interestingly, nobody, least of ALL Sir Barry, the Capitulator, thinks they shouldn't fuck us at all.  

Learned Helplessness
 Why do the Masters of the Universe bother to fuck around with the little people in such trivial ways, like slashing the safety net and opposing universal health care? It seems counter-intuitive. It seems you'd want a happy, healthy workforce. But your intuition would steer you wrong.

Because it is in their interest to have insecure, ill-paid, desperate workers toiling in fear of losing their jobs.

Gutting the safety net has the entirely advantageous consequences (to the Owners) of driving us proles more deeply into the debt of the oligarchs and bosses. Without a safety net of ANY kind, the "people" will be back in the situations of vassalhood, being UTTERLY dependent on the "mercy" of the master. The feudal power of life and death will once AGAIN be theirs by right.

The Owners of the country do NOT want their proles, serfs and vassals to enjoyl ANY security.

Therefore, universal health care (e.g.) is anathema, because control over access to health care gives the Owners tremendous leverage over the workers.

If the workers feel insecure, they won't organize,or resist, or oppose management other ways, for fear of retaliation and loss of jobs. An insecure work-force can be far more easily bullied into accepting reductions and limitations. Therefore ANYTHING the Owners can do to stimulate fear, unease, or insecurity is GOOD for them. A FRIGHTENED or INSECURE worker is a docile, malleable, exploitable worker.

Toothless Avatars
Almost every week the Office of soi disant "socialist" Senator Bernie Sanders issues another broadside against the capitalist, consumerist corpoRatocracy. Last week it was his "progressive deficit reduction plan." Bernie's role is mainly theatrical, keeping in mind that the whole thing is civic kabuki. He's a stock character. The Owners keep Bernie and his ilk (Kucenich, hitherto; Grayson, etc.) around to blunt criticisms that the body is a lock-step, rubber-stamp for the best interests of  the Owners, Oners, and Oiligarchs.

"How can you claim we're all dancing to the same tune, that all our opinions are the same?" they ask, with an innocent shrug.. "Look at Bernie Sanders. John McCain. They're mavericks!"

But this is a species of the now familiar refrain: "With a Black man in the White House, how can you say Murka's still a racist culture?" argument.

Read my lips!

Oil, that is.

Once it's out of the ground, and in the global, commercial stream, there's really no way of knowing who it belongs (or belonged) to. So oil from the tar sands in Alberta, transported down a pipeline across the exact middle of the USofA for refinement and/or transshipment to China or India or Europe is exactly the same as any other oil. It's all part of a huge, sloshing pool of international oil. It is, literally, the lifeblood of the world economy. Without it, everything stops, within about a week.

Why does ANYONE think that there is ANYTHING more important than OIL?

Corollarily, why does ANYONE think ANYONE will do ANYTHING to interrupt the production, dsitribution, and sales of OIL?

The pipeline is a done deal, one way or another.

As is fracking,and deep-water drilling.

NOTHING will stop/prevent the further degradation of the life-world as long as it runs on hydrocarbons.

 The whole fucking mammalian life-spher e is in danger, but if it gets in the way of getting more hydro-carbon/petro chemicals, NOBODY gives a shit!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Brickbat: Enough With Iceland, Already!

Woody wishez folkz would stop flogging that poor, Icelandic pony and trotting out the utterly anomalous, irrelevant, irreproducible phenomenon they call the "Icelandic miracle" as if it bore the faintest relevance to ANY other place on earth other than ICELAND itself.
Yes, Iceland's "people" spoke and the State listened. Bankers wer jailed. Banks were closed. Parliament acted.
But consider:
There is one member of the Icelandic parliament for every 4500 citizens (and they're probably a relative). Your kids play together. You see 'em in church. As their representative, the MP probably DOES know the names of most of her/his constituents.
In the US, there is one member of Congress for every 750 THOUSAND citizens.
In order for a USer citizen to have an influence on their Representative comparable with the an Icelander, there would have to be around SIX THOUSAND members of Congress, instead of 435.
It's a matter of scale.
Everything about Iceland is about 1/1000 the USer scale: Population, land mass, economy, you name it.
So such comparisons are spurious, at best.

What Woody wonderz is: WHY is John Kerry the "ONLY OTHER PERSON" (other than Susan Rice) "in the conversation" about a replacement for departing Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton? ?  ?
There simply cannot be only two suitable candidates, can there? That's the Presidential myth, but I'd never thought it extended into the level of appointments, too.
Who else, you ask?
Say, I betcha Bill Richardson'd do it, I betcha. A Party that would put Madeleine Albright in the job cant have THAT many scruples.
Here's a list of six OTHER plausible (ceteris paribus), confirmable candidates, including Al Gore and Colin Powell, whose nominations would NOT occasion a Senate vacancy.

Does the Universe Have a "Purpose?" No!

Neil deGrasse Tyson once again gently, but thoroughly and efficiently dismantles the drooling fools of "faith."

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As The Cookie Crumbles: The Ghosts of Greenwood

What was the first US city to undergo an attack from the air?

No, not NYC, 2001. And it wasn't Honolulu, 1941, either.

No, it occurred during what was probably the worst, bloodiest, deadliest and most destructive "race" riot in American history occurred in 1921: in the "Black" neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma, called Greenwood. The Governor of Oklahoma ordered military aircraft to attack the Greenwood district of Tulsa with incendiary bombs and sniper fire on Sunday, June 1, 1921, to suppress a "Negro Rebellion."

I taught in Oklahoma in the mid-90s, and learned of it while I was living there. Very few people, either INSIDE or OUTSIDE the Sooner State were conscious of it then---or STILL, I suspect. I was reminded of it when, by a twist of coincidence, this poster was floating around on Facebook the other day.

The "Greenwood District" of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was the home of  THE most prosperous community of Black Americans anywhere in the country, then or possibly EVER. It was affluent, with nice homes, prosperous businesses, growing families, and good prospects.. It was known as "the Black Wall Street."

It was totally obliterated--razed to the ground--in just about 16 hours, between the afternoon of May 31, 1921, and noon the next day, June 1st, by white rioters who, with the support and material assistance of the Oklahoma State government, proclaimed they were suppressing a "Black Rebellion" which stemmed from black residents reactions to a lynching. Driven by careless, hate-filled, racist editorials in the city's white press, thousands of whites marauded all over Greenwood, killing, burning and raping black citizens across a 50-block, urban area. On Sunday morning, at the height of the violence, the Governor sent military aircraft over the district, and the planes dropped incendiary bombs, and snipers fired on residents below..

An estimated 5-10,000 white Tulsans rioted, on (as usual) flimsy pretexts--mainly, that a black "boy" had assaulted a white damsel in an elevator ion an office building. Whites lynched the alleged offender, and when the black community objected, forcefully, the mob then turned on the envied, successful black people. In less than a day, the Greenwood district of Tulsa, the wealthiest black American community in the whole country, simply ceased to exist.

The era immediately after the end of WW I was one fraught with racial conflagrations, in the South (Longview, TX), the North (Chicago, Duluth, MN,  and Omaha, 1919) as well as in the border states such as Oklahoma. Anti-black, racial violence was not an unusual problem; it was, indeed, commonplace at the time..

What made Greenwood "worse" than many was that the Black people resisted; hence the extent of the damage, death and destruction probably were amplified.

There were a pretty fair number of WW I veterans among the population, and when the calls for lynchings started, these men armed themselves and put on their old uniforms and stood up...

Which further enraged and infuriated the already rabid white rabble-rousers.

Along with killings, beatings and other brutalities, thousands of innocent blacks--American citizens, just to refresh the memory--were rounded up and warehoused for DAYS in filthy, toxic, primitive conditions.. Nobody has anything like an accurate count of the blacks killed. There is a lingering rumor of a mass grave in the vicinity. Locals estimated as many as 300 black Tulsans were murdered by the mobs. The Army had bodies hauled away in freight cars, according to contemporary sources. The "official" death toll is 36: 26 blacks and 10 whites. The District, and Tulsa's black community, too, never fully recovered.

The event lay pretty much dormant in the memories of the majority population for almost 80 years, until near the end of the 20th Century, America's most eminent black historian, John Hope Franklin--whose family had been made homeless by those riots, began to agitate for justice. A Commission was established in 2000, which returned its findings, along with recommendations for reparations.

The report recommended actions for substantial restitution; in order of priority:
  1. Direct payment of reparations to survivors of the 1921 Tulsa race riot;
  2. Direct payment of reparations to descendants of the survivors of the Tulsa race riot;
  3. A scholarship fund available to students affected by the Tulsa race riot;
  4. Establishment of an economic development enterprise zone in the historic area of the Greenwood district; and
  5. A memorial for the reburial of the remains of the victims of the Tulsa race riot.[25]
The Tulsa Reparations Coalition, sponsored by the Center for Racial Justice, Inc., was formed on April 7, 2001 to obtain restitution for the damages suffered by Tulsa's Black community, as recommended by the Oklahoma Commission. In June 2001, the Oklahoma state legislature passed the "1921 Tulsa Race Riot Reconciliation Act." While falling short of the Commission's recommendations (ZERO in reparations, i.e.), it provided for the following bandaids:
  • More than 300 college scholarships for descendants of Greenwood residents;
  • Creation of a memorial to those who died in the riot, which was dedicated on October 27, 2010; and
  • Economic development in Greenwood.
In 2010, and again in 2102, the John Hope Franklin Tulsa-Greenwood Race Riot Claims Accountability Act..." was introduced in the US Congress, but no legislative action has been taken, and the ghosts of Greenwood, who were unjustly vilified and blamed in the aftermath of riots of which they were the unquestionable victims--and their descendants, are still awaiting some semblance 'restorative' justice more than 90 years later.

 I taught at a very large university in Oklahoma between 1994 and 2000. I was in teacher education. During that period, I met only ONE native Okie who admitted to having ANY knowledge of the events in Tulsa in 1921. He was a high school history teacher, he said his grand-father had been part of the riots, and he got a reprimand from his principal for trying to teach about it. The reprimand was for using "unauthorized curricular materials."

What we really have here is a "project" for Denzell Washiongton and/or  Morgan Freeman!
A blockbuster of historical significance and a love story--a kind of black, land-locked Titanic" with a social message: "Greenwood, under siege!" A sort of WW II Jewish ghetto resistance romance movie, drenched in anticipatory pathos, but not set in Warsaw or Prague.

Only reveal at the END, while the district burns, and the heroes perish, that it's Oklahoma, 1921 and the attackers are ALL "good, All-American, whites."

Bibliography: (Wikipedia has a dry, didactic account of the events which is all the more powerful for being monochromatically understated.)
Ellsworth, Scott Death in a Promised Land: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1982). 
Franklin, John Hope, and Scott Ellsworth, eds., The Tulsa Race Riot: A Scientific, Historical and Legal Analysis (Oklahoma City: Tulsa Race Riot Commission, 2000). 
Gates, Eddie Faye  They Came Searching: How Blacks Sought the Promised Land in Tulsa (Austin, Tex.: Eakin Press, 1997). 
Gill, Loren L. "The Tulsa Race Riot" (M.A. thesis, University of Tulsa, 1946). 
Hower, Robert N., "Angels of Mercy": The American Red Cross and the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot (Tulsa, Okla.: Homestead Press, 1993).
Johnson, Hannibal B., Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District (1998)
Parrish, Mary E. Jones , Events of the Tulsa Disaster (Tulsa, Okla.: Out on a Limb Publishing, 1998).

Friday, November 9, 2012

When I Saw THis Ad, I KNEW Barry Was Home-Free

 Have you seen the ads for the new Guinness "Black" lager: "Once black, never go back!

Swear to fucking christ!

Remember when the Chimperor was the candidate, ads fir Busch beer were ubiquitous (and now you don't see 'em ANYWHERE anymore?). I wonder if this is not a new electoral bell-weather?

That notwithstanding, I am still sure in my "hoh" that they need Obomber's notable "shamwow" qualities a while longer, since there is still a strong, lingerig stench of the Chimperor Bush around.

It's gonna take the Great Austerity (coming soon to a neighborhood/city/state near you) to remove the filthy reek and wreckage of the Crash fo 07-08 from the noses of the people and the press.... And they want that smiling, friendlier guy to first, sell it, and then second, to bear the blame for it.

By the way:

The folks in the greatest distress about the possibility of a Mormon president comes from the traditional cults whose own sacred structures of figment and fabrication are NOT far from those of the Latter Day variety, upon ANY kind of 'objective' analysis.

Rules scribed onto lost golden dinnerware from the Planet Kolob don't actually look THAT strange when viewed beside chatty, smoldering shrubberies and satanic serpent-savants.

That is to say: they both appear equally improbable and abhorent to the rational mind. But Mormonism's more recent genesis casts the ancient superstitions into a harsher relief; it reveals its own, but also THEIR own, made-up qualities.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mister Deity: The New Testament--Class Warfare?

I remarked at the Mr. Deity YouTube site: "The Obama-getics are tedious. Stick with the evisceration of the X-tards, please. That's your strong suit.

And DON'T worry about Myth Rmoney. He's toast; in fact, he's inedible, since he's covered in Sand-y..."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dawn Patrol

"Aspens," by Christine Gomez. Aspens are a variety of poplar, a soft-wood, relatively fast-growing, shallow-rooted tree which prefers to grow in altitudes over 6000 feet. They are the first trees to return to fire-damaged forests and flourish until the evergreens--pine, juniper, etc--are reestablished. Their long, supple trunks, and their golden leaves in Autumn make them incredibly photogenic.

Photo: Rochy Mountain Autmn Foliage, Sangre de Cristo Division, by Kent Hansen, Santa Fe.

The (fucking) balloons will be up again today, but Budreaux and I will not be out to challenge them, as he is still limping (though not as badly, today) from a strain in his left hind leg that he incurred YESTERDAY morning trying to impress and then drive off a huge, blue balloon with a blue flame motif which seemed to descend on top of us, as we were returning from our daily stroll along the acequia. He's resting today.

 Today, too, the workers arrive to begin wrapping mi poquita "casita y perrero" in a two-inch layer of foam, after which there will be a new layer of stucco applied, which I should not then have to concern myself about for at LEAST 15 years (aka, the rest of my life). This should provide my dwelling with an additional bunch of R-value insulation, of which it probably has no more than what protection a concrete block provides, which is just about nothing. It's an OLD house, built cheaply in the '50s. There appears to be ZERO insulation in the walls. Along with the foot of new fiberglass I pumped into the "attic," this summer, I'm hoping this makes the place a LITTLE warmer when them chilly winds take to blowing in the hard winter months to come...

 Have a great week!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hot Air

The balloons are back. 

Yesterday was supposed to be the first day, so I'm not sure, but I think the weather got in the way of the Fiest-ivities, yesterday morning. At least, there were no balloons aloft when I walked Budreaux, and he's amazingly sensitive to 'em. 

This morning there were dozens up, so I guess the mass ascent went off okay. It was semi-cloudy/overcast and a bit breezy, in the pre-dawn, but the sun dispersed off the worst of it...

On good days, two or three (four? five? I lose count) hundred of them will float about for a couple of hours in the early morn. There is something antic about the bright dots of color floating about in the sky like ampoules of various elements and minerals in a vast Da Vinci thermometer over the city and the plains around. The mountains to the east provide predictable currents, called the "Albuquerque Box."

Something there is in canine ontology that doesn't react well to the huge, floating, roaring shapes. Where I live, they are overhead almost every day during the Fiesta. They drive the local dogs crazy. Every year there are dozens of dog-escapes from yards which contain the animals quite well any other time. Not all end well, as you might imagine.

My pal the Gypsy Vet says it's cuz their hearing is sooo much more acute than ours, the noise of the burners is distressing to 'em. But even when they're just drifting by, not only Budreaux, but ALL the local dogs go ape-shit.

There were bags all over the valley today. Low-level breezes down the Rio Grande Valley waft the craft easily along at heights from 100 to 1000 feet. We're in the drift-zone. There's usually a lot of balloon traffic over the house this week. 

Budreaux is limping; he strained something in his left hind leg today, I think, challenging one bearing blue flame designs on the envelope, which descended to around 200 feet above us.

Dogs hate the fucking things. I cannot say I don't sympathize.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

On Oldie from TDSWJS: Science Is True Weather You Think So Or Not...

I think I've discovered a new Sin:
Adoltery. Defined as "being openly, and avoidably, STOOOOOPIT!"
Examples abound. Here's a good one: Like the guy at the YoiuTube site said:
"Frankly, I'm not buying all this "science" hullabaloo. If something is true, it's just plain true. You should leave it at that. You shouldn't have to go through all these comprehensive tests and reviews to "make sure" and "scientifically evaluate the claims." I mean, if we did THAT, I bet we'd discover TONS of things that we thought were true actually aren't true. I don't want to live in a world where I'm wrong. Who's with me?"

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Eat Me!

Via my erudite colloquist, Santa Fe's and Las Vegas, NM's, most eloquent sarcast and talented filker, Jim Terr, the man in this "compelling" image is a cannibalistic, Hindu monk.

Jim wrote--and it sounds convincing, but you gotta also remember that he's also expert in "word games" (the one in which you invent meanings for real words--Izzat called "Wordsworth?"), so this COULD be entirely the production of his fevered imagination:
"Aghori: Human-Flesh Eating Monks The Aghori or Aghora are a Hindu sect believed to have split off from the Kapalika order (which dates from 1000 AD) in the fourteenth century AD. Mans. Because they believe that Shiva created everything they consider nothing to be bad. For this reason they engage in a variety of sexual practices (for example they perform a secret Tantric ritual involving sex with a lower caste, menstruating woman during which the Aghori becomes Shiva and his partner Shiva’s female energy), they drink alcohol, take drugs, and eat meat. Nothing is considered taboo. But the thing that makes their ancient traditions bizarre is that they are also practicing cannibals and their temples are cremation grounds.
He claims he just cut and pasted from the net; you decide...Me? If true, it seems to me to illustrate something I've long believed: "There's nothing of which humans are capable which at some time or another has NOT been both a sacrament and a sin."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Apologies? Not Quite...

This earnest and intense message appeared the other day, on Fuckerberg's Folly, and in reply I wrote:
Awwwwww. Isn't that sweet? (Or is it? Actually, depending on your reading, that line "Sorry People of IslaM' sounds kind of ironic and dismissive.)
A pretty, blonde girl explains it all...and that ALWAYS makes EVERYTHING all right!
Muslims, mostly--like the rest of us--are simple folk.
When their countries are occupied, USer/christian drones are dropping bombs and missiles on 'em, their friends, relatives, children and elders are slaughtered , and they are vilified in media and the pulpit, and even assaulted just for BEING "Muslim" in the west, they might be excused if they're confused about what "real" 'America' and/or "real" 'christianity' DOES represent and/or intend...

It would confuse me, too; maybe enough for me to reply violently...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Curiosity Lands On Mars

This is riveting. I couldn't look away.
Working frame-by-frame, it took me four weeks to produce this video. It was a painstaking labor of love. You can support my efforts with a donation or a message of support. Ultra-resolution, smooth-motion, detail-enhanced, color-corrected, interpolated from the original 4 frames per second to 30 frames per second. This video plays real-time at the speed that Curiosity descended to the surface of Mars on August 6, 2012. Share this video with your friends. I think it's wonderful that everyone on Earth has a chance to see this amazing footage from Mars :) Produced by Bard Canning.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Watts Up?

I'm 66. I started using cannabis recreationally, on a regular basis (every day, when I had it), since I got out of the Service (USAF) and went back to university in 1968. I still do (I just did!)...

 I met Alan Watts once; it was the fall of '70. Spent a week-end in a literature/philosophy retreat as part of a seminar, my first year on my first Masters (which I never completed), at which he was the featured guest.

Fot the class, we'd read Psychotherapy, East & West, and The Book (On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are). The gathering was held at someone's house, a sprawling place along the River, by the bosque, in the near North Valley. There were about a dozen or so of us, perhaps 15: faculty, students, and locals with connections with the profs or the hosts. It was informal, but serious, long-lasting, but good-natured discussions ensued.

This was the height of the '60s: Meals were prepared, cooperatively; everybody pitched in, washed dishes, emptied ashtrays, rebuilt the fire, whatever.  We students had sleeping bags and crashed wherever, whenever.

 The conversations occurred amid a gentle swirl of foods, snacks, wine, beer, and weed, over a Friday night, and all day (and night) Saturday, and then all day Sunday. I now wish, of course, that I'd had the ability to record those sessions.

Watts had to catch a plane Sunday evening, and I drove him to the airport. Upon delivering him, he shook my hand and remarked: "You're a remarkably clever young man." Which I took and still take, as a compliment.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dog Day

This is utterly brilliant! I do not know what agency does VW's ads, but they're fuuking GENIUSES!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Give the Devil His Due..

Hola, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, hippies and straights around the world! This is your ol' pal, "Dr. Woody," John Konopak, citizen journalist in Albuquerque, rising today to bring you a World-Wide Hippies/Citizen Journalists Exchange "Citizen's Alert," in which we'll give the devil his due.
I really, really hate to do it, but on a purely technical level, ya gotta hand it to the likes of Hannity, and Limbaugh and O'Reilly and the rest of that feculent crew.

Yes, they're reeking scumbags of racism, fascism, and elitism. What they do is egregious, transparent fear-mongering, and race-baiting, done with a straight face. They stoke the fears of the timorous, and ratify the prejudices of the bigoted, And they're "good" at it...

They specialize in the "Big Lie," and they're "GOOD" liars --like Ted Bundy was a "good" (successful) serial killer.

And now the whole GOPhux Party apparently is taking the campaign for President, to an even higher level of conscious, in-your-fucking-face mendacity.

For students of propaganda, this truly is an epochal development: the nuvo fascisti of the USer Right have actually IMPROVED on a proven, reliable propaganda tactic called the Big Lie. The Nazis appropriated it, wholesale, from the work of "vanguard intellectual" Edward Bernays, Freud's favorite (American) nephew. Bernays coined the phrase, and described the practice, of "the Big Lie,"
...though it was Josef Goebbels who perfected it...,
and now the Rovian GOPhux are rewriting it. (Aside: If Goebbels had had the cabloids and the 24-hour news cycle,  würden wir alle deutschen jetzt sprechen...aber dass einer ganz anderer Gedichte ist.).

You know the premise for the BIG LIE: It's assumed that everybody lies, pretty much all the time, but people are usually too afraid of social stigma to tell big lies. So, Bernays reasoned, people can be brought to believe a really big, really egregious lie--because they'd be afraid to lie that grandly--and that lie, repeated often enough, by ostensibly "credible" sources will eventually (sooner than later) become "true" in the public's mind.

The Jewish Problem, for example. And "Killer" weed....or God....

So, in one sense, at least, on national TV this week, in Tampa, at the RNC, there is history in the making:  the GOPhux are reaching BEYOND the one,"Big Lie." into the politics of total dissimulation and falsehood.

They've decided that they'll simply lie about EVERY-fucking-THING.

There is no misrepresentation, misinformation, or misstatement that is beneath them.

Apparently on the theory that 1) no one from the MSM/CorpoRat/SCUM "press" will challenge Rmoney or the Mini-Me-Ryan on "national television" and 2) that nothing that is NOT on national television is "real," the GOPhux apparently are going "all in" on a what amounts to a bluff. They got rags, but they're just gonna lie. About everything, and about anything, any and all the time, and dare the CorpoRat "press" to call 'em on it. One o f the most interesting exercises today (Thursday) in the wake of Shitstorm Ryan last night was to watch the SCUM "press" scramble for euphemisms to conceal the act of lying...

And it's fuuking GENIUS.

The issue with the Big Lie, of course, izzat if you get caught in it, and called on it, and revealed and the whole strategy collapses. Your opponent can tag you with the label, and it can stick.

But if you lie about EVERY-fucking-THING, as the GOPhjux--notably Paul Ryan, Wednesday night, but also the bloated, bilious bloviator Chris Christie, on Tuesday night--showed when  everybody just flat lied their asses off, about EVERYTHING, with virtually every breath, you leave your opponent with almost nothing to say.

Because, even though the lies exist, if you--as an opponent--call them on ALL their lies--if you ACCUSE them, no matter HOW validly--of lying about EVERY-fucking-THING, then it's YOUR accusations which look paranoid, hyperbolic, exaggerated, overblown, no matter the truth of them.

All lies, all the time. So many that you cannot tell 'em from the truth, because there is no truth spoken. If someone challenges one lie, or only a few, even if they are shown to be lies, it leaves the impression that the unchallenged lies are true.

It's fucking BRILLIANT! And if you've always wondered what it would be like if the rulers dropped all pretenses and ran things strictly for their own benefit and interest, this is how it would look.

Y'all c'mon down to the beach, we'll all swap lies...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Storm Surge

Hurricane Andrew took part of the roof off my/our house in Baton Rouge, and damaged just about every building in the neighborhood, more than 100 miles from where the storm came ashore.

We had winds OVER 90 mph for about a quarter of an hour in, I repeat, BATON ROUGE.

Interesting sidelight:

 In the aftermath, all the men in the neighborhood, on our street, got together spontaneously, shared tools and equipment, and we all worked together to make everybody else's house as well as our wwn secure against the elements. We shared tarps and plywood and nails and labor, about a dozen of us, all of whom had some experience or skill in construction--not unusual in the South, even in bourgeois neighborhoods.

The storm passed over us in the morning, pretty early, though it was light. We lost about 1/3 of the shingles and a couple of sheets of plywood at our place. Nobody had a LOT of damage, but everybody had SOME.  We had all the houses on our street buttoned up by sunset.

 Before the storm, I suppose we had known each other on sight, but there was no sense of "neighborhood" about "Riverbend" that was discernible. We all pitched in for that one day, but as far as I know, most of them/us never said another word to one another for the next three years, anyway. We moved in '94.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Those Were The Days...

My very good (former) wife, Bonnie, and me, at my parents' place in Nambe, probably in around August, 1984, on our way from Santa Barbara to Baton Rouge; she, to start her career as a professor, me to start grad school in journalism. You'll note the surfer's tan and long muscles? The dogs: In Bonnie's arms, my lil ol' rat terrier, Widget; then from the left, my parents' dogs Hubert, Peggy, and Quincy. All have since left for the Bridge (parents included). Bonnie and I were (amicably) divorced last month.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Boy & His Dog

This image was made by one Robert Scot, a "Friend" from Facebook who stopped in Albuquerque to visit, and was showing off his nifty new Nikon. Thanks, Robert.
It wasn't until I saw this shot that it finally dawned on me that I am becoming a balding, aging, sorta stout, middle-aged man.

Vivan! Los San Patricios!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Who taught you to drive a car? How old were you? Do you remember the car?

Why I ask is, some friends of mine are at p[resent enduring the terrors and traumas of adolescent mobility expansion, with its attendant dangers and temptations. And teaching their off-spring to drive.

My dad taught me to drive, on a three-day, cross-country jaunt from Cleveland, Ohio to Santa Fe, NM, in the dead of winter, 1960-61. I was going on 15 (and large for my age).

He needed me to spell him at the wheel. We had a regimen: He drove two hours, I drove an hour, all the way, about 1800 miles, I reckon. It mostly WASN'T divided, limited-access roadway in those days. Though there were turnpikes: Ohio had one and Kansas, too, now that I think about it. On the Kansas Pike, iirc, the speed-limit was 80 or 85.
It was: Eggs, bacon, potatoes, juice and coffee for breakfast; burger and fries for lunch. Someplace where Pop could get a beer, with dinner. We saw "Psycho" the night we were in Lawrence, Ks, on old Route 66. Terrified me. Scary to return to a motel room after that, even with your dad...

But I "learned" to drive: To look around me, and be aware, and pay attention, and keep your eyes moving, from mirror to gauges, to speedo, to left and to right and start over again.

It taught me a lot. I was behind the wheel a lot of highway miles, of course. Passing trucks and other slow-moving traffic on two-lane roads in an under-powered car (the '57 VW convertible had no more than 36 hp) is an acquired skill; but I drove through cities, too--St Louis is one I remember, prominently, and the Chain of Rocks Bridge--if they fell inside my hour...and we stopped pretty much wherever we were to change when the time was up. Dad liked a bit of structure; he'd skippered a destroyer in the war. So he was scrupulous: If it fell on your watch...

What I think now about it was it gave me a chance to really get in touch with the whole car/road/traffic thing in a real context. It was cool: we were in a '57 VW convertible, which would do 65 reliably as long as it was flat, and get 35 mpg...Both of us more or less chain-smoking Camels, swilling coffee and cokes, and constantly spinning the dial trying to find ANY music on an AM radio. The wing-windows blowing cold air in to dispel the smoke, the VW heater inadequately cooking away at our feet.

Not much daunted me after that in terms of automotive navigation. When I was 16, of course, I got my license. When I made rank, in Germany, in '66, I bought a car immediately, and my first jaunt was to Paris. It was crazy, but not really that different cruising the Plaza, nose-to-tail with every OTHER car in Santa Fe on Friday night; just more cars. Oh, and street cars; not many of them in northern New Mexico.

But still, Espanola was like dodge-'em cars in the '60s, with drive-in liquor stores on just about every corner. I was seasoned by the time I landed in Europe...Paris didn't cause me to break a sweat. Neither did Frankfurt, or Munich or Amsterdam, all places I drove to from the Kaserne at Zweibruchen, where I was stationed.

This year, it's been 50 years since I got my first driver's license, and I've worn the treads off scores of sets of tires. And I can still, sometimes, especially on the brink of a long journey, get that feeling like it's just me and Pop, and 1500 miles to Santa Fe.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WOTM: Sinners in the Hands of a Sadist-God

Brian Keith Dalton -- The Master, and Mr. Deity -- is a lapsed Mormon with one of the shrewdest and most incisive anti- and irreligious wits since ol' Joe Smith started talking to the Angels... No, really. A wicked imagination! This is a stitch: Allegory and Blasphemy as terms of ART.

The Celestial North Korea!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pets For Vets: Every Day's Homecoming When There's A Dog Waiting For you

I found this video profoundly moving.
 Charles saw and did things that were and probably still are unthinkable to "civilized men."

 Here, in it's entirety, is one of the most corruscating works of poetry ever inscribed:
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
 From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.
Randall Jarrell
The word is that Charles is ailing. Reports claim he would like this video to go viral. I'll try to help. Won't you?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Top 100 Rock'n'Roll "Hooks" of All Time

I got almost all of the first 60...after that, I was not grooving... In order: 1 Mr. Sandman - Chet Atkins 2 Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash 3 Words of Love - Buddy Holly 4 Johnny B Goode - Chuck Berry 5 Rumble - Link Wray 6 Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran 7 Pipeline - The Chantays 8 Miserlou - Dick Dale 9 Wipeout - Surfaris 10 Daytripper - The Beatles 11 Can't Explain - The Who 12 Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones 13 Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix 14 Black Magic Woman - Santana 15 Helter Skelter - The Beatles 16 Oh Well - Fleetwood Mac 17 Crossroads - Cream 18 Communication Breakdown - Led Zeppelin 19 Paranoid - Black Sabbath 20 Fortunate Sun - Creedence Clearwater Revival 21 Funk 49 - James Gang 22 Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin 23 Bitch - Rolling Stones 24 Layla - Derek and the Dominos 25 School's Out - Alice Cooper 26 Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple 27 Money - Pink Floyd 28 Jessica - Allman Brothers 29 La Grange - ZZ Top 30 20th Century Boy - T. Rex 31 Scarlet Begonias - Grateful Dead 32 Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd 33 Walk This Way - Aerosmith 34 Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen 35 Stranglehold - Ted Nugent 36 Boys Are Back in Town - Thin Lizzy 37 Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult 38 Carry on My Wayward Son - Kansas 39 Blitzkreig Bop - The Ramones 40 Barracuda - Heart 41 Runnin' with the Devil - Van Halen 42 Sultans of Swing - Dire Straits 43 Message in a Bottle - The Police 44 Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black) - Neil Young 45 Back in Black - AC/DC 46 Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne 47 Spirit of Radio - Rush 48 Pride and Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughan 49 Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes 50 Holy Diver - Dio 51 Beat It - Michael Jackson 52 Hot For Teacher - Van Halen 53 What Difference Does It Make - The Smiths 54 Glory Days - Bruce Springsteen 55 Money For Nothing - Dire Straits 56 You Give Love a Bad Name - Bon Jovi 57 The One I Love - REM 58 Where the Streets Have No Name - U2 59 Welcome to the Jungle - Guns N' Roses 60 Sweet Child 'O Mine - Guns N' Roses 61 Girls, Girls, Girls - Motley Crue 62 Cult of Personality -Living Colour 63 Kickstart My Heart - Motley Crue 64 Running Down a Dream - Tom Petty 65 Pictures of Matchstick Men - Camper Van Beethoven 66 Thunderstruck - AC/DC 67 Twice as Hard - Black Crowes 68 Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson 69 Enter Sandman - Metallica 70 Man in the Box - Alice in Chains 71 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana 72 Give it Away - Red Hot Chili Peppers 73 Even Flow - Pearl Jam 74 Outshined - Soundgarden 75 Killing in the Name - Rage Against the Machine 76 Sex Type Thing - Stone Temple Pilots 77 Are You Gonna Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz 78 Welcome to Paradise - Green Day 79 Possum Kingdom - Toadies 80 Say it Ain't So - Weezer 81 Zero - Smashing Pumpkins 82 Monkey Wrench - Foo Fighters 83 Sex and Candy - Marcy Playground 84 Smooth - Santana 85 Scar Tissue - Red Hot Chili Peppers 86 Short Skirt, Long Jacket - Cake 87 Turn a Square - The Shins 88 Seven Nation Army - White Stripes 89 Hysteria - Muse 90 I Believe in a Thing Called Love - The Darkness 91 Blood and Thunder - Mastadon 92 Are You Gonna Be My Girl - Jet 93 Reptilia - The Strokes 94 Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand 95 Float On - Modest Mouse 96 Blue Orchid - White Stripes 97 Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day 98 Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs 99 I Got Mine - Black Keys 100 Cruel - St. Vincent

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Tale of Two Images

Images matter. If the Reagan regime taught us anything else, it cemented the "image" into the political DNA of the polis for all time. With that in mind, consider the following,which ran through Facebook today like bad fish.

Woody visibly cringes when he sees this kind of shit. Not because Oprah herself ever said such a thing, but because of the triumphalist pose it proposes.

Someone on Fbook suggested it was a joke. The Ol' Semiologer, Dr. Woody, sez: So what? There is NOTHING about it to suggest that it is in the least ironic. It is perfectly consonant with the triumphalist rhetoric that comouflages a notable lack of substance. Cuz it just ain't true! No how, no way.

If this is meant to allegorically suggest that, like the lucky guests at a particular Oprah shooting, we've just been endowed with the health and wellness equivalent of a new car, or something. it's just not true. We've struck it nothing like rich, nor even just lucky.

 And it's not true on the literal level. Everyone does NOT "get healthcare." Eventually, 90-95% of the population will be able to purchase probably expensive, probably limited, probably insufficient health care INSURANCE, someday.

In a couple of years, if everything goes well. Probably.

If yer lucky...

Now please examine this image:

Coal miners fire handmade rockets during a clash with the Spanish national riot police inside "Pozo Soton" coal mine in El Entrego, near Oviedo, northern Spain, July 4, 2012. The coal miners are protesting against the government's proposal to decrease funding for coal production. (foto:REUTERS/Eloy Alonso)
This image and the drama it illustrates encapsulates, perfectly, the universal dilemma of formulating a social policy to respond to climate change, in a fucking nutshell. Here it is, in baby steps:
"We" need ever-more energy. But irreplaceable carbon fuels exacerbate ecological and climatological crises
Burning coal is just about the worst way, from an environmentally responsible perspective, to make usable energy.
But these coal miners' jobs and livelihoods (and probably their macho egos, too), and their union's strength and influence, too, all depend on the continued use of this destructive substance in ways which continue to damage the entire ecosphere.
And yet the workers must fight to DEFEND the exploitation, the immediate and long-term consequences of which ultimately fall the hardest on them and their families.
This is another of those pesky "immanent contradictions of Capital" about which Marx and Engels were incessantly "on," about 150 years ago.

BTW: Didja know that the Communist Manifesto is the SECOND most reproduced book in the world? Yup, it is.

Home, Sweet Home

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Drilling the Arctic: Are You Fucking SHITTING ME?

*"The full scope of the offshore-leasing program in the Arctic for 2012-17 will not be released for another several days, but U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made it clear that the U.S. plans to expand the march of drilling rigs into the Arctic after Shell's initial exploratory drilling program this summer. Salazar said that program is likely to win final federal approvals soon."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

No More Civics. Too Subversive!

One morning in 1970, after a night of orgiastic excess with Kissinger, involving mutual masturbation, Barbie-dolls, and sloe-gin fizzes, Richard Nixon peered bleerily out into the Washington, DC, dawn and beheld several hundred thousand, pissed-off, middle-class, WHITE kids protesting his wars and other policies.

Sobbing, he fell into Kissinger's embrace; slurring his words, The President of the United States drunkenly proclaimed and swore that NO future president would EVER have to face that situation again.

And he and the 'education' bureaucracy began to disassemble the public schools that very day. The first thing to go: Civics.

NOBODY who attended public school after 1975 got any decent grounding in civics. Cuz if people understand the institutions, they can USE 'em. Us hippies showed 'em that (sorry 'bout dat...); we'd learned the system, in school, and worked it. We lost, ultimately, but we put the fear of the WEED in 'em.
No generation since has posed anything LIKE that kind of a threat to embedded power.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kino, Menos Grande

I felt quite an unexpected tug when I saw this old foto on an "Old Santa Fe" page I frequent. The El Paseo theater featured prominently here was one of two, large(ish), first (sorta)-run theaters smack in the heart of what could pass for "down-town Santa Fe, circa 1960. The other theater, the ornate, '30s, rococco "movie palace, the Lensic, has been maintained and restored and is now the gem-like setting for a HUGE number of high-brow/elegant, or "edgy" cultural 'events. It's a semi-bizarre space, with balconies where when I was a teen, and you didn't have a car, you went when you wanted to have a quiet place to grope your date in the smoky darkness. The balconies are still there, in regular, though perhaps less steamy or productive, use.

The "El Paseo" is long gone, with the space having undergone innumerable transformations, in the intervening 50 years. When we moved back to New Mexico in 1960, my dad managed a business on San Francisco Street, between where both the Lensic and the El Paseo stood (there was also a smaller, Spanish-language theater, also on San Francisco, on the other side of the street; como se llama? The Alley, maybe?). In real space, the Lensic would be to the left of the features in the top foto, about 60 yards, or less, in a south-westerly direction, across Burro Alley.

The Lensic had "loge" seats, on the first floor, under the balcony, with wider, better upholstered seats and ash-trays built into the arms. Everybody smoked, in 1960. The El Paseo didn't have a balcony; the seats rose in steady ranks from what would have been the "orchestra" if there had been an "orchestra." You flicked ashes and crushed out butts on the floor.

The space NEXT to the El Paseo, on the left side of the top foto, was the "NEW CANTON CAFE." Next to the New Canton stood the Candy Kitchen--which also sold cheap, paperback, crime and western novels, which I read assiduously and which I shared with my Dad, Jack, who managed Dendahl's Linen Shop from 1961-65 (or there abouts), and which stood cheek-by-jowl with the aforesaid literary/confectionary dispensary...Many days I'd buy a John D. MacDonald (or Edward S. Aarons, or Shell Scott, or Matt Helm) book, after school--they were maybe 50 cents--and go into the New Canton, and sit in a back booth with a cup of coffee and a pack of Camels, and read and smoke--or go hang out at Zook's Pharmacy--til he closed the shop, and we drove back to Nambe.

Where we'd have uneasy, family dinners, with my attitude being the usual source of the dis-ease. I was attending school, but had more or less stopped participating, except notionally--I was in a school play, the lead, actually, in spring '63. Then, said meals awkwardly concluded, I gratefully fled BACK to Santa Fe, where I "spun platters" on the only (at the time) "rock-n-roll" radio program in town, until midnight, Monday-Friday.

After which I would customarily decamp to the Senate Lounge, which seldom was too obstructionist about identification, and would drink beer and dance with the local girls--shop girls, secretaries, file clerks in State Govt; or with the hookers who were occasionally in town to service the legislators when the Lege was meeting, until closing time. Al Hurricane and the Night Rockers was effectively the House Band, along with Louis Shelton & the Shel-Tones. I was 17...Then I'd roll back OUT to Nambe for a couple of hours shut-eye, before getting up to join Pop on his way to town in the morning.

Good times...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Post Polio Syndrome: Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

According to the family legend, my mother was having morning coffee and cigarettes with our slightly older neighbors, Annette and Louie Friedman, near the end of the school year, in 1954, when I was eight, when Louie, an internist with the Cleveland Clinic, interrupted the kaffee-klatsch, and demanded my mother bring me to him. I had been playing outside with other kids. I was brought into the house, examined, an peremptorily sent to bed, where I stayed for large parts of the next two-and-a-half years. Louie, our gruff, cigar-smoking, T-bird-driving next door neighbor, had spotted anomalies in my movements that he diagnosed, at a distance of at least 50 feet, as symptomatic of poliomyletis.

The NEXT year the Salk vaccine was released. The year I was diagnosed (with what turned out to be the "non-paralytic" variety), there were 66 THOUSAND new cases reported in the USofA, alone. The year after the release of the vaccine, there were fewer than three thousand, and the numbers have fallen ever since. It hasn't been eliminated, but polio now is very rare. And it is kept that way by vaccinations.

One unexpected consequence of the disease has emerged and endured:  a neuromuscular disorder called post-polio syndrome (PPS), marked by the recurrence of motor symptoms some 10 – 40 years after recovery from a polio infection.

Y'all may know I've been experiencing considerable pain and discomfort in the mere and simple acts of standing and walking. My mobility has been increasingly--and in retrospect, significantly--impaired. I have been attributing it to sciatica, and I do have that condition. But that, I think, oughtn't account for the really generalized physical discomfort in my lower limbs--below my waist--which I experience upon returning home from a barely one-mile excursion walking Budreaux, the Pink-nosed Pit Bull; with, I should say, momentary pauses where a seat o f some kind is available. The pauses or no more than a minute, and they help, but I cannot forego them.

So, as a "survivor"--dear fucking hell, how I loathe what that word has come to betoken--of polio, I am wondering if I'm not experiencing the recrudescence of the malady late in life. (Sh)It happens. Specifically, shit like this:
Pain. The patient experiences burning, cramping, aching, or a "tired" feeling in the neck, back, legs, and arms and may develop spasms from the overuse of muscles.6 Having fought a debilitating disease, polio survivors are used to pushing themselves. For instance, a patient who can't lift her arm will use her shoulder instead; contracting the shoulder muscles on a regular basis can lead to pain and spasms.
Weakness and fatigue. About 75% of PPS patients report mental and physical fatigue and new muscle weakness.8 While the pathophysiology of the fatigue isn't clear, weakness is associated with atrophy of the muscles that were involved during the polio infection. This may contribute to fatigue when functions such as breathing, walking, and swallowing are compromised. Sometimes, muscles that appeared to be unaffected by the poliovirus may also develop this new progressive weakness. These muscles had subclinical involvement at the time of the acute poliomyelitis.9
Memory problems. Difficulty with word-finding is a common symptom of post-polio fatigue. The memory lapse is thought to be caused by a decreased level of dopamine that's been found in polio survivors' brains and affected by physical and emotional stress.10
Breathing problems. Difficulty breathing, hypoventilation, and hypercapnia are common. Early signs of respiratory dysfunction include headaches, fatigue, nightmares, restless sleep, difficulty sleeping while supine, poor concentration, anxiety, inability to speak loudly, breathlessness, and frequent respiratory infections.6
Sleep disturbances. Sleep apnea is common in PPS patients and may be caused by weakened musculature or brain dysfunction.  Patients may be kept up at night by such movement disorders as generalized random myoclonus—twitching and contraction of various muscles—or restless legs syndrome. The movement interrupts the REM cycle of sleep, causing poor sleep patterns and daytime fatigue. Many patients aren't aware of such movement until it's documented during a sleep study.
Impaired swallowing. Swallowing difficulty, or dysphagia, is common in polio survivors who had bulbar involvement—weakening of muscles innervated by cranial nerves—when first infected. Dysphagia puts patients at risk for aspiration. Early signs of swallowing difficulty are coughing, choking, and frequent clearing of the throat.
Cold intolerance. Polio survivors may find that their limbs become more sensitive to pain when it's cold. Many have reported that their feet have always been cold to the touch, with the problem worsening as they age.
During infection, the poliovirus may have attacked the sympathetic motor nerves in the spinal cord, as well as other areas of the brain that regulate peripheral vasoconstriction. Because the capillaries do not contract, warm blood flows to the surface of the skin, resulting in excessive loss of heat and cooling of the limbs, sometimes causing severe shivering. The skin may become pale and cyanotic. Impaired vasoconstriction increases the risk of postural hypotension, especially if the patient takes vasodilators.
Urinary problems. These include retention, incomplete emptying of the bladder, incontinence, nocturia, and hesitancy. They may occur because the pelvic floor and bladder detrusor muscles have been paralyzed by the poliovirus.2,9
Emotional stress. When polio survivors realize they're losing muscle strength and function, they understandably become fearful and even depressed. The resurfacing of symptoms can cause painful memories, and patients are likely to have difficulty accepting and adjusting to this unexpected recurrence.2,9
Of the nine classes of symptoms, I believe I exhibit at least six: Pain, weakness/fatigue, breathing problems, sleep disturbances, impaired swallowing, and emotional stress. I almost never pass a night without awakening to urinate.

Actually, if the truth were known, I feel almost foolishly helpless. I couldn't run 100 feet. I used to sprint the 100-yard dash (around 12 sec, circa 1964). I used to surf, but I doubt now I could tread water very long. I know the old saying: The older I get, the better I used to be... but this is fucking ridiculous. I can barely STAND for more than half-an-hour without pretty severe discomfort, approaching pain, afflicting my legs and hips. I can walk about a quarter of a mile, and then I have to rest. I have to walk much more slowly when I do proceed, than even a couple of years ago.

I had stents put in an artery in the heart in '06. I take statins (a pretty high dose) to control cholesterol, and I know that statins are linked to increased incidences of myalgia. So there is ambiguation. It may be there is a not-so-subtle interplay of the two pathologies. Nobody lives forever; but I'd just as soon not be THIS hobbled for the rest of what's left. So I am going to ask my Primary guy about it when I see 'em next month.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers' Day

ABOVE: My Mother and Father, on the occasion of my Father's retirement, circa 1986/87. I do not think EITHER of them had quit cigarettes by then. Both died, mainly, from complications from tobacco smoking: Mother in 2000, Dad in 2001; she was 78, he, 82.
I was born on my mother's 25th birthday. In retrospect, I think she was not very interested in being a "mother" in my youth; one felt she had bigger fish to fry, and that she was frustrated by it; though she got better at it with my subsequent siblings. One thing I learned: You're never too old to become an orphan.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Once, Upon A Certain Day In May

In which Y'r Int'r'g'l'ct'c Ethn'gr'ph'r interprets the recurrence of the mostly hollow genuflections toward the never-resolved events of that day and that week; time will tell, it seems that week was a pivotal one in the counter-cultural movement. I should note that about a dozen students were injured that morning at UNM, most with bayonets; no Guardsmen reported any injuries. Besides, Haymarket is just sooooo Gilded Age. nest paw?
Last Friday was the anniversary of that bloody day in 1970 when the Ohio National guard opened fire on a gathering of protesting students at a small, obsure state school in Ohio called Kent State University, killing four and wounding a half-dozen more, with random fire from more than 100 yards from the demonstrations. The Guardsmen were NEVER under ANY direct, imminent threat of danger to justify opening fire. No one got close enough. No one was ever punished or even held accountable for the murders at Kent State that day.

(On Friday, May 8, 1970, just four days after the bloody events at Kent State University, and with the campuses of America often literally aflame with turmoil for which they were ill-prepared understand, much less quell, the New Mexico National Guard retook the UNM Campus from the hippies.)

In Albuquerque, at UNM, the warm, spring weather, the impending end of school, and the deadly events of the previous week had stoked temperatures to a feverish fervor.  UNM already was an 'activist' campus: students had occupied both the President's office and the Student Union Building. Really "Occpied 'em." Took 'em the fuck over. Moved in. Lived and slept (etc., as you may imagine at leisure) in 'em.
Meanwhile, all spring long the he local, pro-war/anti-hippie, daily rag which had been fulminating against the campus radicals. They raised the stakes, demanding the city or the State 'restore order' on campus. A big demonstration against the war, and in solidarity with the dead kids at Kent State was announced for Friday, the Eighth.

That day, coincidentally of course, the Governor and the Lt. Gov. were BOTH out of State, and the NEXT in the chain of command, a little, power-mad, martinette who ran the State Police--5'5" or so with a complex about it--called out the National Guard.

About 11 am, the Guardsmen, from Socorro, not Albuquerque, dismounted their trucks, fixed their bayonets and began to advanced down the broad, bricked causeway from Central Avenue toward the Union in line abreast.

VVAW members were deloyed aas marshals, maintaining distance, but we got pushed back into the front line of the crowd. Then there was there was a flurry of activity, and suddenly a kid near me was writhing on the ground, blood spurting feet in the air. He'd got bayonetted in the upper leg, and his femoral artery had been cut.

 Another VVAW guy and I got a tourniquet on the kid's leg, and then made a chair with our arms to carry him to the Aid tent (there were ALWAYS aid tents, in those times). He was going into shock.

As we got out of the crush of the demonstration, we encountered a few ranks of Albuquerque's best burghers arrayed  behind a fence watching the hippies get their asses kicked, and cheering. They cursed us and spat on us. The kid had to be hospitalized, but suffered no lasting physical injury.

I cannot answer for the psychiological consequences, but my esteem for the "average American" never recovered.

But note, hippies: Every year, on this date, the Oligarchs haul out the images from that event to remind us that, yes, they will kill ya, if you piss 'em off enough, even if you're white.
Nack to Hippy Central, Winstone...

Monday, May 7, 2012

RIP Ernest Callenbach.

He left us with his own eulogy, not for himself, but for us.
[This document was found on the computer of Ecotopia author Ernest Callenbach (1929-2012) after his death.]
To all brothers and sisters who hold the dream in their hearts of a future world in which humans and all other beings live in harmony and mutual support -- a world of sustainability, stability, and confidence. A world something like the one I described, so long ago, in Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging.
As I survey my life, which is coming near its end, I want to set down a few thoughts that might be useful to those coming after. It will soon be time for me to give back to Gaia the nutrients that I have used during a long, busy, and happy life. I am not bitter or resentful at the approaching end; I have been one of the extraordinarily lucky ones. So it behooves me here to gather together some thoughts and attitudes that may prove useful in the dark times we are facing: a century or more of exceedingly difficult times.
How will those who survive manage it? What can we teach our friends, our children, our communities? Although we may not be capable of changing history, how can we equip ourselves to survive it?
I contemplate these questions in the full consciousness of my own mortality. Being offered an actual number of likely months to live, even though the estimate is uncertain, mightily focuses the mind. On personal things, of course, on loved ones and even loved things, but also on the Big Picture.
But let us begin with last things first, for a change. The analysis will come later, for those who wish it.
I strenuously recommend you read the rest of this essay. His was a strong, fresh mind, always, even if his "Ecotopia" got pretty harsh reviews on style.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Is Neil deGrasse Tyson An Atheist? He Says Not.

Epistemologically, I'm skeptical and agnostic: You gotta PROVE it! But politically, I'm an atheist.

I dislike doing so, but I must take issue w/NdGT about the necessity/utility of "atheism." He comes at it from a "scientist's" pov. A "God" conflict isn't about knowledge and ignorance as "Science" is (or at least like scientists like to pretend)... It is about raw power: Whoever talks to God gets the best hookers and the purest blow.

Atheism is necessary as a counter-discourse to rampant, autocratic theistically-inspired "faith" in the conduct of public life and affairs. Theism --in particular, monotheism-- aggressively colonizes its environment, proselytizing. They won't leave you alone. That's why Rousseau would have excluded them.

So, because theists impose their particular prejudices in the form of morality via the influence of their "religions" on and in the State, atheism is necessary as a political position. Especially in a (howsoever nominally) secular state.

And, "C'mon, Neil! Last time I looked, the PGA doesn't have a Navy or collect taxes or dispense justice. That's way too specious a tack to take."

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Prez. Shamwow COULD Reschedule Cannabis WITHOUT Congressional Approval

It's true. All Pres. Useless-as-Teats-On-A-Barack could simply order his Attorney General to re-schedule cannabis OFF the list of dangerous, addictive drugs. It wouldn't require ANY Congressional action. Yep: There's be a firestorm of protest. But what's the worst that could happen?
As many of you have heard by now, Jimmy Kimmel called Obama out on marijuana at the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner last night. Kimmel asked, “What is with the marijuana crackdown? Seriously, what is the concern? We will deplete the nation’s Funyun supply? Pot smokers vote too. Sometimes a week after the election, but they vote. 
Kimmel’s comments were funny, and of course it’s always good to see celebs bringing attention to the movement, but what happened off stage is tremendous news for the medical marijuana movement.
Last Thursday, I reported on Obama’s response to a question during a Rolling Stone interview on why his administration is cracking down on medical marijuana. Here is what he said: “I can’t nullify congressional law. I can’t ask the Justice Department to say, ‘Ignore completely a federal law that’s on the books.’ What I can say is, ‘Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage.’ As a consequence, there haven’t been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes.”
The Huffington Post reported a comment by Attorney General Holder that everyone who supports medical marijuana needs to hear: “Attorney General Eric Holder was a guest of The Huffington Post at the correspondents’ dinner. Before it began, a HuffPost reporter noted to Holder that Obama’s reference to “congressional law” was misleading because the executive branch could simply remove marijuana from its “schedule one” designation, thereby recognizing its medical use. ”That’s right,” Holder said.
After Kimmel’s speech, a Holder deputy told HuffPost that there was no coordinated war on medical marijuana, but that some individual clinics were breaking both state and federal laws.” Did I read that correctly? Did our Attorney General admit that Obama could stop the war raging over medical marijuana at any moment, and that Obama’s comments to the contrary in Rolling Stone were misleading? Folks, the time is now to demand that President Obama immediately direct Attorney General Eric Holder to reclassify cannabis, or that Attorney General Holder do it himself as the Controlled Substance Act allows.
All of the excuses about the FDA, Congress, and the Institute of Medicine are smokescreens. Obama or Holder could end the war on medical marijuana at any moment. We’re talking about an action that over 70 percent of Americans support. What are you two waiting for? Just push the button already. AG Holder: roll yourself a fatty, walk into the Oval Office, light that sucker, pass it to Obama and ask him,”Are you in?”
Here is an excerpt from Section 811 of The Controlled Substance Act where the Attorney General’s authority to reclassify or remove drugs under the CSA is defined:
Section 811. Authority and Criteria for Classification of Substances (a) Rules and regulations of Attorney General; hearing The Attorney General shall apply the provisions of this subchapter to the controlled substances listed in the schedules established by section 812 of this title and to any other drug or other substance added to such schedules under this subchapter.
Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e) of this section, the Attorney General may by rule– (1) add to such a schedule or transfer between such schedules any drug or other substance if he– (A) finds that such drug or other substance has a potential for abuse, and (B) makes with respect to such drug or other substance the findings prescribed by [[Page 381]] subsection (b) of section 812 of this title for the schedule in which such drug is to be placed; or (2) remove any drug or other substance from the schedules if he finds that the drug or other substance does not meet the requirements for inclusion in any schedule.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

 Yesterday, 4/20, was my birthday, the 50th anniversary of my 16th birthday when, with the accomplishment of the drivers' license, I started my life-long relationship with cars and the women the cars permitted me to meet and date. 
That summer, I got my first "paycheck/tax-paying" job as a an apprentice set builder and stage hand at the Santa Fe Opera, which looked like this (below) in those days.
My Facebook wall was gratifyingly busy with greetings and good wishes. It was "happifying" to read so many, and so apparently fond. That was the highlight of the day--along with breakfast at the Flying Star: embiggening! Thanks, Mark!

To review: Birthday: 4/20, @ 4:20 (am; Family surname that translates to the local equivalent of 'cannabis." On top of that, I was conceived within two weeks and 120 miles--more or less--of the first atomic bomb experiment in the desert at Trinity site, while Daddy was home on leave in Santa Fe. The "Atomic Zygote" at 66! Kismet, hippies. How could it have been otherwise? Thanks for helping with the fun this past year!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Levon Left Today.

This is a recording from the LAST concert as "Ronnie & The Hawks."
Levon Helm felt to me to be a true, authentic, man of the people, and the soul of a gentleman.
The third member of that iconic ensemble, The Band, to prematurely "hang up their rock'n'roll shoes."
The Band is/was/will be, all in all, my absolute FAVORITE rock'n'roll ensemble ever. Their combination of influences, references, and the plasticity with which they wer able to wrap a plethora of styles around fascinating, evocative lyrics is mesmerizing, and their sublties are disguised behind bombastically entertaining arrangements. The only real discussion is for second, third, etc...
This is a good piece about their early days when it was Dylan and "the band."
If there's a Rock'n'Roll heaven, you know they've got a hell of a Band...

Levon Left Us Today.

Eadweard Muybridge: "Weardly" beautiful, nest paw?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lipstick on a Pig?

The Top Ten?
Some of it's bullshit, some not. But it's a pretty fucking low bar for almost 4 years in power....
But whatever of it is actually true, it happened at the PRICE of your civil liberties--NDAA, and the executive order permitting him to kill Americans without judicial warrant, for example.
It happened over the bodies of thousands of drone-slaughtered civilians in Centaral Asia.
It happened over the bones of clean-air regulations which were killed to satisfy industry pressure.
It happened in the gun-smoke of military escalations in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and Libya.
It happened over the corpses of the large marine life in the Gulf of Mexico which are still perishing from the petroleum and corexit dissolved in the water.
It happened while the O'bots were supporting strip-searches.
It happened while he was amping UP the calls for conflict with Iran.
And it neglects other facts:
Like Wall Street "reform" is a joke (that got Chris Dodd a really spiffy job);
Like the stimulus was too small to achieve much.
Like the auto industry "turn-around" was accomplished by fucking UNION workers.
The fuel efficiency standards don't go into effect until 2020.
The Student Loan "reform" benefits for-profit "colleges" more than students.
If he's "begun" closing the dirties powerplants (evidence?), he's also authorized the first new nukes in a generation.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Net Loser?

O'bots, cover yer eyes, cuz you ainta gonna like this:

In 2010, Dims lost 675 State legislative seats to corn-holers, tea-baggers, and other GOPhascisti, which tripped the balance of power in 20 or more states.

Since just about ALL the "successful" GOPhux elected in 2010--all 675 of 'em--basically ran AGAINST "America's First Black President," it is at least logically consistent, and not false to fact, to argue that, to the extent that local Dims would be MORE enlightened--or less troglodytic--than the GOPhascisti who replaced them, instead of being a beacon for progressives and progressivity, Obama-qua-President actually has been a net liability to the cause of liberalism, tolerance, and justice.

Just sayin...Funny thing, innit?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mailing It In: "Romney for President, I guess."

Jon Stewart "unzips" the glad flurries of resignation among GOPhux for a Romney candidacy.

They didn't want it in 2008. Palin told you that, loud and clear.
It's the same message this year, only from the TOP of the ticket, in case you're not so quick on the uptake.
That's right: The Big Money wants the Black man in the White House. He's VERY good for them, here and now, and for another four years--after which I doubt that there will ever again be another "Democrat" elected President...

OH! SNAP! And don't miss Al Madrigal's take-down of the Tucson School Board's most fucking OBNOXIOUS member, last name (wait-for-it) "Hicks." No, really

Monday, April 2, 2012

Images of Reason (and Its Opposites) Rally

Jesus showed up, riding a dinosaur.

The rain didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits. Click HERE for "The 36 Best Signs" from the rally.

On the next-best day of your life, you won't be THIS COOL!

Advice for the Aspiring Change Agent

When I was teaching teachers, and they were cautious about introducing "subversive" ideas to their students, I would advise them just to do it, but:

You must KNOW what you are doing!

Because it is ALWAYS easier to beg forgiveness than it is to get permission!