Sunday, November 19, 2017

You, Too? Prob'ly, 'Twarn't Me...



I'm an old man, now, a "disabled veteran" of the soi-disant "Sexual Revolution." "My friends are gone and my hair is gray, and I ache in the places where I used to play," reported the late poet Leonard Cohen, in the 80s.
I was not an unattractive fellow in my youth and I had some severtal occasion to engage in juvenile, youthful, sexual teasing with a fair number of young women in the 60s and 70s. As honestly as I can recall, I have only ever forced my attentions on one girl who said "no."
I was mebbe 17 or 18. I did not rape the girl, but I think I tried to. She didn't report it. I am sad to recall it. With that exception, I do believe I never inserted any part or member of my anatomy where it was not being warmly welcomed by my partner(s).
My "jobs" almost never gave me power. I was never anybody's boss. I had sex with willing co-workers when I could, but there no rank/power issues at those levels.  I flirted with bar-maids and took some home, or they took me. I only paid a prostitute once, in Dusseldorf, auf den Altenstadt, in 1966...I was pretty catholic in my taste in sexual adventures: If you wanted me, I wanted you. It worked for me.
 I can recall only one occasion when I was ever obviously presented the opportunity possibly to extort sexual favors from a visible, obvious power differential: When I was a professor and a pretty, female student offered me sex in my office if I'd give her a C, so she wouldn't be expelled from her sorority. I refused as gracefully as ever possible.
I have known other members of the professoriate who didn't or wouldn't have...It didn't seem worth the risk, to me.
As a geezer, I AM an encorrigible pedant, and might easily be accused of the offense of unnecessary or excessive man-splaining.
I also have a loud voice and a commanding presence.
I don't suffer fools of any gender.
Sue me.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Short Piss-tory of "Trickle-Down"

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Copied whole from Wikipedia, which I support with a small, annual donation:
There are those who believe that if you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon it.
Humorist Will Rogers jokingly advised in a column in 1932:[11]
This election was lost four and six years ago, not this year. They [Republicans] didn’t start thinking of the old common fellow till just as they started out on the election tour. The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover was an engineer. He knew that water trickles down. Put it uphill and let it go and it will reach the driest little spot. But he didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellows hands. They saved the big banks, but the little ones went up the flue.
(Subequently) Will Rogers referred to the theory that cutting taxes for higher earners and businesses was a "trickle down" policy, a term that has stuck over the years.[12]
Presidential speech writer Samuel Rosenman wrote of
the philosophy that had prevailed in Washington since 1921, that the object of government was to provide prosperity for those who lived and worked at the top of the economic pyramid, in the belief that prosperity would trickle down to the bottom of the heap and benefit all.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary notes that the first known use of trickle-down as an adjective meaning "relating to or working on the principle of trickle-down theory" was in 1944,[13] while the first known use of trickle-down theory was in 1954.[14]
After leaving the Presidency, Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat, alleged "Republicans [...] simply don't know how to manage the economy. They're so busy operating the trickle-down theory, giving the richest corporations the biggest break, that the whole thing goes to hell in a handbasket."[15]
Speaking on the Senate floor in 1992, Sen. Hank Brown (R-Colorado) said, "Mr. President, the trickle-down theory attributed to the Republican Party has never been articulated by President Reagan and has never been articulated by President Bush and has never been advocated by either one of them. One might argue whether trickle down makes any sense or not. To attribute to people who have advocated the opposite in policies is not only inaccurate but poisons the debate on public issues."[16]
The economist John Kenneth Galbraith noted that "trickle-down economics" had been tried before in the United States in the 1890s under the name "horse and sparrow theory." He wrote,
"Mr. David Stockman has said that supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy—what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: 'If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.'"
Galbraith claimed that the horse and sparrow theory was partly to blame for the Panic of 1896.[18] In the 1992 presidential election, Independent candidate Ross Perot called trickle-down economics "political voodoo."[19] In the same election during a presidential town hall debate, Bill Clinton said,
"What I want you to understand is the national debt is not the only cause of [declining economic conditions in America]. It is because America has not invested in its people. It is because we have not grown. It is because we’ve had 12 years of trickle-down economics. We’ve gone from first to twelfth in the world in wages. We’ve had four years where we’ve produced no private-sector jobs. Most people are working harder for less money than they were making 10 years ago."[20]
In New Zealand, Labour Party MP Damien O'Connor has, in the Labour Party campaign launch video for the 2011 general election, called trickle-down economics "the rich pissing on the poor".[21]
A 2012 study by the Tax Justice Network indicates that wealth of the super-rich does not trickle down to improve the economy, but tends to be amassed and sheltered in tax havens with a negative effect on the tax bases of the home economy.[9]
In 2013, Pope Francis referred to trickle-down theories (plural) in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium with the statement (No.54)
"Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system."[22]
A 2015 paper by researchers for the International Monetary Fund argues that there is no trickle-down effect as the rich get richer:
[I]f the income share of the top 20 percent (the rich) increases, then GDP growth actually declines over the medium term, suggesting that the benefits do not trickle down. In contrast, an increase in the income share of the bottom 20 percent (the poor) is associated with higher GDP growth.[6]
A 2015 report on policy by economist Pavlina R. Tcherneva described the failings of increasing economic gains of the rich without commensurate participation by the working and middle classes, referring to the problematic policies as, "Reagan-style trickle-down economics," and "a trickle-down, financial-sector-driven policy regime."[7]
In 2016 US presidential candidates debate, Hillary Clinton accused Donald Trump of supporting the "most extreme" version of trickle-down economics with his tax plan, calling it "trumped-up trickle-down" as a pun on his name.[23]
SOURCE
wiki/Trickle-down_economics

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Dia-Illogics


"Hello Washington? I would like people to stop being shot, and maybe from shooting ME. Can we have tighter gun regulations, or something? Anything?"

Washington: "No, this is a mental health issue."
"Oh, Ok. Can we have access to mental health care?"
Washington: No, health care is a privilege, not a right.
"OK. Can we raise the minimum wage so I can have the ability to buy health care?"
Washington: No. LABOR is the greatest business expense. Minimal wages are necessary to stabilize business, discipline the workforce and stimulate the economy.
"Ok, can I have a tax break that cuts my taxes so I'll have more money to buy health insurance?"
Washington: No, we need to give all the tax breaks to the top that will trickle down so they'll provide jobs that you'll earn money at, which will then pay for their tax breaks.
"Ok. Can we have a public option to at least make health insurance companies compete and lower the cost of care?
Washington: No, that's "Socialism," which is bad and anti-American.
"Ok. Well then what DO my taxes buy for me?"
Washington: Here's some thoughts and prayers.
(Ed. Note: I copied much of the text from a facebook post, edited and enhanced it.)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Holy Daze of Obligation

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Today, Nov. 1, in the Roman Catholic ecclesiatical calendar, is "All Souls' Day," the antithesis of "Hallowe'en," the night before, when the unquiet dead are said to move about.
"All Saints' Day" celebrates the quiescent, honored departed, who gained Heaven on the first try.. There are literally uncounted/ uncountable THOUSANDS of them, many martyred, all of whom come in for hagiographic attention on All Souls' Day.
It's also the anniversary of the first time, of many, I was ever sent home from school.
In Cleveland, OH, in the suburbs of which I grew up in the '50s, to act as a counterpoise to all the "Hallowe'en" mischief, children in Roman Catholic/parochial schools were encouraged to attend school on Nov. 1 costumed as either their favorite, or their namesake, "Saint." In my case, there are LOTS of "Saints John": Chrysostom; Damascene, Revelator, the Baptist, etc. There are literally scores of 'em. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_John)
But my "patron Saint" was/is "John, the Baptist," who was martyred by being decapitated at the whim of the Babylonian whore, Salome. So, that year ('55? 56?), my father--who had a mordant sense of humor to go along with an agnostic sensibility--decided to send me to school as St. John, the Baptist's HEAD.
To prepare the illusion, he made a platter from a large, aluminum pie baking dish, by cutting out a hole in it for my head, slipped it around my neck (after dulling the edges), wrapped the rest of me in a "blood-stained" sheet, and off I went.
And back I came.
With a harsh note from the parish priest about blasphemy.
My school desisted from that "All Souls'" practice, thereafter.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Aooh-Aaaoohh-ROOOOO! Skool-Daze for the Kono-Pack

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It is both mildly astonishing as well as seriously gratifying to witness the change that's come over Mr. Smokes since Mz.Tasha has joined the pack almost three weeks ago. It is the difference between his former lethargic, indolent disinterest to his present state of interested  activity and engagement. And it happened virtually overnight!
It's good to have a gal around the house.

Smoky's whole attitude and demeanor has changed. He's more active, more interested, more familiar, more seeking of attention, even affection. He has now begun to disengage from his lair in the library, where he took up residence when he moved in about 10 mos. ago. He sometimes follows me from the library to the office.He prowls the house both day and night (as much as his weary, worn hind-legs will let him; believe me, I sympathize), and even spends time outside in the sun. At periods during the day, he'll come over to the edge of my office-space and plop down for a nap or a thoughtful bone-chew. And this occurs both because and inspite of the fact that Mz. Tasha is napping or noodling on a mat three feet away.
At night, he's learned if he comes to my bedroom door and shakes the collar-bell he wears, I'll get up and let him out. But he's a pragmatist in such matters: if 1) the door's open, or 2) I'll get up, he'll resist for a moment the call of nature. But if the door's not open, and/or If I don't let him out, hell, it's not HIS fault. He's not the one with the thumbs.

He's also more interested in receiving attention from me: he's got a prominent, sagital crest, which he's learning he enjoys having rubbed, along with those perennial favorites, the chest and the base of the tail. He enjoys spinal palpations, too, right along the bony ol' ribs--ribs which have regained some, but not a lot, of flesh. With serious arthritis, it's important that he not get heavy.
It's all changes I could not have foreseen, although it is very heartening and satisfying and was always to be wished for. Tasha is is just what the Dr. ordered: a bright, lively, funny, active, friendly, loving dog-sprite, energetic, affectionate and attentive. They haven't exactly played, yet. But I sense it's coming.
She's teaching him to "dog"; she's a natural instructor and he's a pupil whose interest is growing daily. He emerges from his den and wants to join the proceedings.
I am beginning to think I may even see Smoky wag his tail.

I spend my time tending to their needs: It really is plenty to live for...

Monday, October 16, 2017

#GuiltyasCharged


Re: Abuse of power.
This was going around on F-Book:

Me, too.
If all the people who have been sexually harassed or assaulted (and can participate without risking additional physical or emotional harm to themselves) wrote "Me too" as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.Please copy/paste.
I was trying to figure out how to discuss it. 
As a White male born in 1946 to semi-affluent parents, in Chicago, I was a natural-born asswhole. I've been a part of the problem, though not actively for many years. I was imbued with both racial and gendered perquisites from birth, tho' such privilege was so ubiquitous as to be all-but-invisible from the inside, as water to a fish. 
As such, I cannot imagine that I did NOT, somewhere, almost inevitably, inflict injury or injustice on someone, either on my own behalf or at the behest of others. But I was never in any position to "extort" physical "favors."  I cannot recall any instances when I inflicted any suffering that was not also related to changing conditions in romantic/intimate interests or relations...It may be that that's because I never had any power to abuse, though I hope not.
There was one time: the only time I was ever in a position to have possibly committed conscious abuses of such meager power as I had was during my tenure in the Academy. I was aware of colleagues who apparently were not immune to or scrupulous about the exploitative possibilities of their power and abused it. In my whole career, I had only one occasion when such temptation could have eventuated. I'm proud to say, I acquitted myself therewith, with both honor and humor. 
So, to the question: how can men say #MeToo?
Own your past, admit it, and let your admission be apology, too:
"#Guilty-as-Charged!"
(...But I got better...)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Duck and ...PEEK!


My ENTIRE childhood was spent in the shadow of the threat of nuclear annihilation and global destruction. It's of interest, even amusing, now to regard and recall the efforts that were made to "normalize" the trauma.
"Hey, kids! Yer gonna get vaporized.!!! YAY !!! Here's a cute, little, animated jingle about it! YAY!!!!!"
It's a modern wonder and a tribute to anti-psychotic drugs that more people born after 1946 but before 1970 haven't gone all "Mandalay Bay!"

The part I remember best was in 3rd grade, when the sirens shrieked, scrambling under our desks and huddling there with text-books tented over our heads, and me checking out Connie Burke's panties, which the floor-crouch so thoughtfully revealed as she huddled under her desk in her plaid, uniform-skirt in the row in front of me.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Fred Harvey's Indian Detours crew, Santa Fe, @1926-27

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Somewhere in that group is my petite, little grandmother, all 5'1", 110 lbs of her. She was a courier, which was what the tour guides were called.
The faces are far too vague ansd distant to recognize her.
Harvey organized the Indian Detours in 1925. Up against the slump of business caused by the increasing popularity of automobile, and airplane travel, the Harvey Company began developing the idea of “Indian Detours” at their Southwest hotel locations, from the Grand Canyon to Santa Fe. The specialized tours by car were to divert passengers from the train for 1 to 3 days and drive them through the “wilderness panoramas” of Northern New Mexico to Indian ruin sites, and living pueblos. 
 Cars were bought, and drivers and couriers were educated by field trips and up to four months of in-depth study on the area.
In May, 1926, the Indian Detours officially began. My grannie, Farona Wendling (nee Geiser) was among them. In '28, she met the dude whom she'd marry. The rest is (family) history.

What I cannot figure out is what the artillery piece is doing on the roof of the Palace of the Governors, on the Plaza, in Santa Fe?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Verisimilirude, circa 2005.

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Say Hello, Tasha!

 . TASHA .
A Development:
I have a new foster dog.
 She's a former Rez dog named Tasha, and she's a tri-pod. She's about four-six years old, about 40 lbs, probably had never been in a house before today. She's been in a shelter since being rescued and restored to health.
She was rescued in Gallup, where she'd been she'd been shot, which caused the eventual amputation of her right-front leg. Angela and Dawn said she still has bullet fragments in her remaining, "healthy" leg. She has a charming manner. She's a smiler...and they tell me she's a snuggler.  

She and Mr. Smokes are doing dog-bonding things. They seem to have agreed to co-exist, even after only about a 45-minute introductory period, with the folks from NMDOG present at the introduction. I've already noticed a distinct improvement in his demeanor. He's stepping lighter, and he is more interested. Indeed, her's actually up and roaming around the house. either she in his wake or he in hers. 
 She's settled in onto the day-bed, in the corner of the gallery-room where there's window on two sides; where Budreaux usta repose and regard the passing parade, and where his ashes reside.

So the Kono-pak is growing again.
AH-Rooooooo
!

SEE YA AT THE BEACH!

A Visitor

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There was a lost roadrunner in my house yesterday, a juvenile male.

He probably came in the back door which I leave open, daytime, for the convenience of Mr. Smokes.
I heard him, rather than saw him at first: he'd realized his mistake and was on the front window-sill, trying frantically to get out through the front window glass.
Brandishing a straw broom, I managed to herd him into a corner, where I trapped him, gently, with the broom head, and reached from behind to gently secure his feet and wings in my hand. I then removed the broom and carried my now-unresisting guest to the front door. There I released him, none the worse for the adventure, save the few feathers he shed as I released him at the door, whence he scooted under a near-by cactus.
He never uttered a chirp or cry through the whole proceeding. I was exhausted.
The foto is for illustrative purposes/verisimilitude.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Other Side of the Tracks

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.....The D&RGW "Chili Line"* departs Santa Fe, heading for parts north-ward, including Taos Junction, circa 1930s.** The last train left Santa Fe in the late 30s, and all the track in the right-of-way was torn up by the 50s.
.....What remains of the valiant engines which toiled the narrow-gauge grades and curves to negotiate New Mexico's formidable mountains, valleys, and plateaux and bring commerce to a hungry land, from the late 19th Century, is a stretch of about 100 miles between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO, now called the "Cumbres & Toltec Line" (58 mi.) and the line from Durango, CO to Silverton, CO, up the Animas Canyon (about 40 mi.).
.....The trestle pictured here was emblematic of "the tracks" of which there was an "other" side. My father drove a "hack" in Santa when he was a teen-ager, in the 30s. He recounted to me almost 50 years ago, when too I was driving a "hack" in Santa, that in his day, Santa Fe's small" red-light district was located under and a little to the west of the railroad trestle in the foto, which spanned the Santa Fe river near the intersection of what is now Guadalupe St. and the Alameda.
.....Cabbies delivered their 'johns' to the ladies' cribs, directly under the shadow of the Santuario de Guadalupe, along Agua Fria and Alto Streets, south of the tracks. The 'girls' would tip the drivers for delivering their "johns" to the door, but not directly. Drivers wore numbered buttons on their caps which identified them. The "girls" would send tips to the dispatcher (at La Fonda garage), who would distribute them (after taking a cut) according to the drivers' button number.
.....
If there were a red-light district in Santa, when I was hackin', in the early 70s,  I didn't know--and nobody ever asked me--where it was. Pop never said whether any of them tipped "in kind."

* Corrected, thanks to Milton Coombs.
** Corrected, thanks to George Pomonis.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Post-Eclipse Eye Test

This should appear to you as a clear, blue page, unless you looked directly at the eclipse, last week:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

All Fall Down


In the matter of the Confederate statuary:
Bring 'em down!
The graven images of Confederate traitors belong in museums, in contexts in which their deeds may be remembered and properly interpreted. There's a "dramatic/heroic," mounted statue of NB Forrest, the founder of the KKK in a park in Memphis, ffs. Forrest's troops committed the atrocity at Ft. Pillow, where Rebs executed captured Black Union troops.
The citizens of Memphis owe NOTHING to Forrest. Such as they do NOT belong in places of civic honor, on pedestals in public parks and memorials. As the chart below exhibits, MOST of them appeared during periods of racial unrest: either Jim Crow or Civil Rights. Their purposes were transparent: to glorify the "Lost Cause" and--no less importantly--to remind Blacks that tho the slavers had "lost" the war, Blacks were STILL a vulnerable minority, "sponsored" by "Women's" groups who tried to preserve the mythology.
Nor should we forget that they statuary also served to further intimidate and oppress Black citizens of the South. It was a constant, public reminder of their vulnerability, their weakness, their minority. They might as well have put up statues to the overseers and slavers, themselves.

The statuary should be decapitated, the heads kept in museum galleries, and the rest of the statues melted down.
Or, gathered from all 1500 sites where such atrocities now stand, and deposited, like an artificial reef, near Ft. Sumter in Charleston harbor. 
The actual bodies of the traitors, of course, SHOULD have ended up adorning gibbets at every trailhead and junction between Memphis and Mobile, from Atlanta to Austin.I read that there were over 1500 monuments to the Confederacy scattered around the South.
They should be leveled and razed. And, if memories of the Confederacy are to be preserved, it should be in the context of "holocaust" museums, not phony fucking "Gone With The Wind" romanticism.
If the Confederacy is to be preserved, it should be in "holocaust" museums which represent the WHOLE, BRUTAL, INHUMAN CONTEXT of what they "Celebrate."

Friday, July 14, 2017

Las Nubes de Nambe

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The view here is titled "Las Nubes de Nambe," by John Vigil. I know the view intimately. It was made along the highway that is/was the northern boundary of the old adobe house where my family lived for 40 years. I sent it to my sibs. My sister, Cary, in Los Alamos, wrote the following, in reply to my query "Look familiar?"
"Indeed! I see my barrancas behind Web and Margaret's wall off our hill. and the triangle on the Jemez. "Yesterday we went to SF, we walked around downtown and the sky to the east was purple, there was a cool pre-rain breeze coming down from the mountains, the clouds were big and looming behind the bright blue sky, there was water in the river and the smell of the cottonwoods and olives was mixed into a divine perfume.
"On the way home it rained. ..no it poured. As we crossed over the bridge at Pojoaque toward Los Alamos we saw the Tesuque river was flooding. It was soooooo great. We stayed on the highway and all the way to El Rancho the arroyos were running.
"We got off the road and went to the El Rancho bridge. It's made of concrete and reinforced now so it doesn't wash out..... and you get to stand on the bridge's sidewalk and watch the flood.... ! OH! it was terrific! That muddy mixed smell of juniper and pinon needles, cottonwood, leaves, sticks, dead cows and a yellow basketball. "Marvelous! "Then we crossed the river and drove up the river road to the Monks driveway and crept out the water's edge and put the car in reverse and sat and smelled the smells for a few minutes. We drove back to the bridge, crossed over again, and turned east. ,"WELL, by this time the arroyos next to the road were flooded. We splashed through 1 shallow arroyo to continue our journey... yes we evaluated the situation before entering. We were stopped by the water at the Jaconita road intersection with the river and had to turn around.
"IT WAS GREAT!!! It felt JUST like it used to."
Summer storms were magical in the older days. I've seen whole cars swept along like milk cartons in the muddy churn of a flash-flood, 250 yards south of where that foto was made.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Pop Quiz: Compare & Contrast. You Have One Hour...

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Differences that make a difference:
One is a work of political art, 'signed' by Griffin's face. There is no threat implied or real. The other(s--and there are hundreds of them) is political terrorism, unsigned, anonymous, threatening. 

A correspondent put it well: "The lynching image calls up real racist violence that has happened to African Americans. Trump's severed head is merely harsh satire. Totally different. There was never a pattern of hundreds of white billionaire beheadings that I am aware of. Kathy's art was ballsy. The Obama lynching cowardly. You notice the perps didnt put their name on it and post a selfie with it. 100% different." 
Yup!
Yer ol' perfesser admires hell out of Griffin's stunt; it was pure political satire, street theater. There was no threat, no menace. Our oligarchs don't get decapitated. 
And Griffin put her face and name on it...unlike the hundreds and thousands of skulking cowards who produced defamatory images and memes of Obama and Michelle, but never were around when the fotos were taken.
The attacks on Obama always also were assaults against the whole of Black culture. They harkened back to lynchings and a climate of terror. They were racist reminders of the power structure that could--and WOULD--do nothing to prevent or sanction them. Swinging down v. (Griffin) Swinging UP! 

Get over it. 
HOAP!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Where Were You, May 4, 1970?

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Today, May 4, is infamously the anniversary of that bloody day in 1970 when the Ohio National guard opened fire on a gathering of protesting students at a small, obscure 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. No one was ever punished or even held accountable for the murders.
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.
May 4, 1970: I had just turned 24, was a student/veteran activist at UNM...There was a lot of tension on campuses that Spring, and UNM was seething, too.
The week before had come the announcements of the Cambodian incursion/invasion. USer body counts were in the hundreds every week and had been for several YEARS. The draft lottery loomed. Then the four students at Kent State were murdered, and several others were wounded, in a public demonstration by the RMNixon regime that their tolerance had been breached.
Events at UNM escalated, that week, too.
There were multiple demonstrations. The cops had come out once or twice. There were altercations near the campus. The President's Office was besieged, and students took over the Student Union Building. Classes were suspended. 
On Friday that week, May, 8, the NM National Guard got orders to "retake" the UNM campus from "radicals." They fixed bayonets and cleared the Plaza. Their rifles were unloaded, but the bayonets were unsheathed.
A dozen students were bayoneted that day, May 8, in and around the UNM Student Union Building Plaza. You could smell the blood. I was standing near one kid WHEN he was stabbed in the leg and his femoral artery was nicked. Another vet and I got a tourniquet on it and evac'ed him to an aid tent over by Johnson Gym--past ranks of Burque's "good burghers" who had come out to watch the fuckin' dirty hippies get their asses kicked, cursed and spat at us...Some radio station spread the news, as I recall.
My esteem for 'average Americans' did not survive that encounter and subsequent events of the almost 50 intervening years have not restored it.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The White/WHITE Trash Summit




I was mildly chided today of the FBook by some for referring to ElDouche's guests Shown above) at that "pop culture" day at the WHITE House yestiddy as "white trash."
It was, it was said, a slur on poor, whites.
I demurred.
Turd Nugget, Caribou Barbie and that daintily mustachioed twatwaffle, "Kid Krock," are pretty much the epitome of the term "trash," regardless of pigmentation:" (though none of them is poor) tasteless, gauche, vicious, thoughtless, self-absorbed, small-minded, petty and vain.
And all are unself-consciously WHITE! They are regarded--even hailed--by their admirers as paragons of "whiteness."
"Trash" is what "trash" does.
If the foo shits! It fits the people who it describes, here, to a tee.
What ELSE would you call their widely-publicized, semiotically "fraught' mugging under the former First Lady's portrait?
They were mooning her, though (thankfully) without baring their ugly asses. The gilded filigree, notwithstanding, ElDouche's cut from the same trashy cloth
Remember El Chimperor Boosh carelessly tossing his used chewing gum into a Renaissance vase when he visited the Hermitage, in St. Petersburg. I suppose I could refer to 'em a parvenus and philistines, but neither they not their trashy admirers would understand.
Cash can't buy "class," can't hide "trash."

Friday, April 14, 2017

Digging the Dirt in Chimayo

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On what is called "Good Friday" (an idea fraught with irony, given the context), there occurs hereabouts an annual event of considerable, sociological and anthropological interest: The pilgrimage to Chimayo.
The faithful believe that miracles occur at a little church, located in an isolated, back-country, rural village in the mountains north of Santa Fe. The Santuario de Chimayo is reputed to be a 'holy' place of miraculous, healing powers, though I have never heard of any godly or saintly apparitions.
It has become a "Good Friday" tradition in northern New Mexico for the plebe to reassert their faith with an Easter-week pilgrimage to the site. Upwards of 20,000 pilgrims per year trek the roads to Chimayo, many walking a score of miles or more, sometimes bare-foot, some carrying crosses, 
to expiate their own sins and those of loved ones who might still be trying to placate "God" for a place in "Heaven." (I personally have no desire to "see" Heaven. It'd be redundant, since I got to spend four years in Santa Barbara.) After a rash of violent attacks and a murder, about 15 years ago, the State Police and sheriffs from two counties now patrol the route.

People have been making pilgrimages there, a la Lourdes, etc, for a couple of centuries, to receive a dram or two of the earth from the floor of the chapel. I believe the pilgrims ingest the soil (a form of spiritual pica?); I don't know.
The numbers of pilgrims to the site has been large enough that, left alone, the faithful would long since have excavated a substantial pit in the floor of the capilla. So regularly, the keepers of the Sanctuary retreat to a "secret spot" some ways away from the site, and return with fresh dirt for the pilgrims.

My family walked it one year from our place in Nambe. I was NOT 'transported."
I think the arch-diocese of Santa Fe oversees it all...but I'm not sure about that.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Can Flynn Revelations Topple ElDouche?



Some are speculating that Doodah Flynn will sell-out ElDouche to escape prosecution, and that this will bring down the regime. Personally, I don't believe it. Wouldn't be "prudent."
As Pal Kevin Hayden noted today:
""Hearing that a retired US military general with conspiratorial delusions and poor ethical instincts is offering to testify in exchange for immunity sounds like Golllum bargaining for his precious with Bilbo.
"Deliver Donald Trump? Color me skeptical.
"Instead he'll testify that the Rothschilds control everything, that fluoridated water causes communism, that chemtrails are caused by vaccinations and Jesus is returning for Easter and he FUCKING HATES EGGS!""
--But even if the Congress should find the stones and have the temerity to try to remove elDouche, he's got STILL got over 62 MILLION "hole cards": elDouche has more that 62 MILLION-plus, ignorant, aggrieved, angry, well-ARMED "get-outta-jail-free" cards--voters--who are just waiting for an excuse to open fire and get rid of "US." When Prez LowBarry was elected in 08, there were an estimated 200 million guns in the hands of private citizens. That number swelled to 325 million since. Who do ya think bought the majority of those 125 million guns? Not blue voters, I'm bettin'.
Plus, the number of militia groups has swelled from 29 in 2008 to over 1400 today, and is still growing.
Also, "red states" are repealing all forms of gun laws. NH just elected its first republican gov in 10 years. What's the first bill he signed into law? A total repeal of all gun licensing, including concealed carry. Anyone from any state can carry now. They're the 12th state to do it and 8 more red states have similar legislation pending.
And don't count on the US military to intervene. Ya gotta recall that many in the military won't turn their guns on righturd civilians (though libruls and POC are another matter). The "troops" voted overwhelmingly for Trump, 71%. Military convoys have even been seen flying Trump flags on their trucks.

There's almost 100 million gun owners in this country, with a 4 million man active military. They had a hard time with 100,000 man insurgency in Iraq, which is less than ONE-HUNDREDTH the size of the USofA.
I fear, my friendz, that--barring a "stroke" of good fortune--we're stuck with this motherfukkker, elDouche.


Monday, March 27, 2017

The NEW "Pledge": RESIST

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I pledge resistance to the Trump, to the GOPhukkks who abet him, and to the destruction on which they planned: One Boardroom, under "God," with tyranny and submission for all.

Better than the Available Alternatives

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In the aftermath of all the ACA drama last week--carefully staged to create maximum distraction, we prolly need to recall: Yes, ACA's imperfect.
But it's MORE perfect than that which it replaced--which was NOTHING!
Yes, it was a sop to the Ins Cos. Of course it was. This is Murka.
Health ins. profits fund about half of ALL corpoRat speculative investments and ventures.
That's GOVT-sized money. PrezLowbarry was vetted by the Owners; he was reliable. He produced. Did anyone really ever expect otherwise?
But ACA also covered people who weren't covered, and could have gone much further, done more than that if the obstructionists like Sen Yertle hadn't interfered. I suppose it injured some. I suspect it helped more.
You gotta realize:
The USofA, will not engage universal, single-payer, health-care for its populace for as long the WHITE consciously racial/racist majority sentiment prevails and is pandered to successfully by the GOPhux.
Race is at the base here, as it is of every cultural aporia in this country since the beginning.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Skin and Bones




Woody'z mentioned that I have lost a bunch of weight (between 40-50 lb, depending on when you start counting).
Down from snug 40" waist pants this time last year, to comfy 36s today.
Folx have asked me how I did it.
Here's my recipe; YMMV:
For a major thing, I abjured all/any additional 'sugar' on anything. If it had/has sugar in it, there's nothing I can do; but if not, I don't add any. Sugar, honey, none of it. That took off the first 20 or so lb.
Then I ceased consuming alcohol, too (on Thanksgiving), since it turns directly into sugar..
That accounted for the last 20 or so.
FIRST, though, I consciously subdued my appetite.
When I quit smoking, in '94--via hypnotherapy, after 40 years--I learned a valuable trick: The therapist told me, anytime I felt the desire for a cigaret, I should rub a coin in my pocket between thumb and forefinger. and say, to myself: "I don't want, and surely don't NEED that fucking thing!" a couple of times and the desire passed.
I adapted the same strategy (sans hypnosis) to appetite.
It seems to have worked, because since my birthdaqy last year, I've dropped from about 235 lbs to around 190 lbs, and feel sooo much better.
N.B: The last time I lost significant weight I was nursing my parents towards their final rest, and I attributed it to depression. I think, in this case, at least the last 20 lb went via the same stimulus: depression, but now at the demise of my country.

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.
Enjoy!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

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



Via John Cole's deathless "Balloon Juice:"
https://www.balloon-juice.com/2012/02/05/they-fucking-hate-you/

"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.
You.
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

Race/Superstructure



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.
Correspondent:
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.
Me:
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.
NOTHING LESS.
Which is what's happening now.
And it will have been irreversibly transformed inside the two years until the next possible elections... RIP, USA!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Blank Checks Out of Balance?



A Friend, obviously upset, wrote:
 "WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO OUR SUPPOSED SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES? WE DESPERATELY NEED SOMEONE TO BE CHECKING AND BALANCING!!!!"
This happened:
The ballyhooed "US System of Checks & Balances" has always been a hollow shell. It was never any stronger than the people upholding it. It has ALWAYS been possible to get around them. It has just needed a group/Party willing to destroy the 'democratic republic" for partisan purpose to have sufficiently few scruples to bring it off.
Enter: The GOPhux.
The visible  erosion began with Raygoon's infamous Nine Deadly Words: "I'm from the Govt and I'm here to help."
The actual coup began in the '30s, against FDR, with Prescott Bush and the Business coup buddies.
It went underground when WW II began, but re-emerged as/with the Birchers, Allen Dulles, and the Hunt Brothers, in the '50s. 

The 60s saw the first overt acts, with the multiple assassinations. JFK, MLK, RFK, Malcom...
Nixon's troubles interfered with plans inna '70s, but the Powell Memo (1971) was preserved and revivified by the Raygoons, and it STILL governs most GOPhux political strategy.
It's been a long, now nearly successful process, and most of those who've tried to report on it are pilloried and villified and told we're exaggerating.