Saturday, November 03, 2012

Atheist-skeptic fanatics: Just another variant of Hofferian True Believerism

I wasn't exactly bowled over by revelations of obnoxoius and virulent sexism among male atheist-skeptic zealots. These people subscribe to a world view every bit as rigid, intolerant, and often hateful as any fundamentalist religionist, so it's not exactly a surprise that both these kinds of Hofferian True Believer would have misogynistic (and by extension homophobic) bigotry in common. Another common trait of True Believers is their pathetic inability to look in the mirror, ever.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wow. And ouch.



"If liberals are so fucking smart, then how come they lose so goddamn always?"

I'm not saying I'm absolutely committed to being a nonvoter, but if I do choose to vote for Democrats in a given election, I refuse to emotionally invest in it in any way, I refuse to give them any money whatsoever, and I'm just not going to talk about it or even read websites and blogs that prop up the codependent-doormat Democratic Party faith. That misbegotten phase of my life is now finished.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Systematic vote-rigging in the USA

If this is true, and it very well could be, I don't really expect the Democratic Party to do anything about it. After all, they just sat on their hands and played dumb when the election-rigging was obvious in the 2004 presidential election. If there is any solution to the problems this country faces, it is sheer foolishness to think that voting will solve them. The United States of America is now a civil-libertarian constitutional republic in name only. Never mind the fact that the Democratic Party is utterly devoted to upholding the status quo in all its dysfunctional inglory. As if this weren't enough, movement-conservative Republican reactionaries would take away the right to vote from anybody whose net worth falls below a certain level.

And let us not forget the fact the Democratic National Committee was all too happy to let the Wisconsin recall effort wither on the proverbial vine.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

An exchange with the Archdruid

In my initial comment on John Michael Greer's most recent post, I expressed some frustration with those who cling to supporting the Democratic Party despite its long history, among other vexatious habits, of bringing a rubber dagger to a sword-fight in how it deals with political contests. This was JMG's reply:

"a rubber dagger to a sword fight" is a nice crisp description. The problem with the Dems these days, as I see it, is that the DNC gets more money when they lose than when they win -- Dubya was a financial godsend to them -- and since they don't have, as the GOP does, an agenda to push -- that's why every Democratic president since 1980 has simply copied whatever the last successful GOP president did -- the temptation to throw elections, and profit from the flood of panicked donations from supporters, is very strong.


My response:

As it happens, I have a classic example of what you are describing. On the eve of Election 2004, I was as fired up as any Dem, so much so that I gave $50 to a telephone-fundraiser for John Kerry who contacted me. About two years or so later, I found out that Kerry had a slush-fund of leftover donations he obtained for the 2004 campaign he had never actually spent, which meant that he was holding onto they money I had given him that he had deceptively procured in order to further his own future political ambitions. And of course, in the Election of 2004, the Republicans blatantly and openly stole the election in Ohio (and probably Florida again as well), and the Democrats once again responded by sitting on their hands and playing dumb!

There is also the relentless torrent of political spam I get in my e-mail inbox in which the Democratic Party and its operative and front-groups try to parlay every single little thing that happens (including the recent embarassing defeat in Wisconsin's recall election) into a donation. {SIGH!} Sometimes I feel like I'm living in an episode of one of those comedy cartoon-shows such as "The Simpsons" or "Family Guy".


JMG's response:

bingo. Most people I know who support the Dems have had identical experiences in recent years.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bone-us post-recall stuff

Chris Hedges writing at Adbusters.org pretty well sums up why I am done with the politics industry in this country.

Steve from Virginia provides some much-needed collapse-blogger perspective on the Wisconsin recall defeat.

And here's a repost of Mark Ames's updated version of his famous missive about spite-voters, which goes a long way towards explaining why the recall failed and why the left in this country will always live in a civics-class "La-La Land" about the social and political realities of our society.

So why again am I such a terrible person for not wanting to support the Obama Administration unconditionally to the bitter end?

Speaking of which, The Archdruid John Michael Greer more than redeems himself in my eyes with what could be viewed as food for thought for Democratic (as well as Republican) Party Kool-Aid drinkers.

Friday, June 08, 2012

The Hysteric Wisconsin Recall Erection

Where to begin, where to begin? Well, I'll start with geography. When I look at the map of Wisconsin for this election and consider the counties that went "blue" and also ones that went "red" (back when I was a young, BTW, red was used for Democrats and blue for Republicans, perhaps owing to the fact that the Cold War was still going) where the race was fairly close, I see that the central and northern sections of the state are pretty much a red state, including Green Bay, a pretty major city. The major "blue" islands in this are La Crosse, Eau Claire (Walker won in EC County, but it was very close), and my hometown of Stevens Point, which may surprise the casual observer seeing as how Stevens Point is rather smaller than those first two cities I just listed. Stevens Point probably is the Midwest's "bluest" small town. So I guess it really shouldn't come as much of a shock that Yours Truly is from there. That really makes me feel badly about all the mean things I ever said about the place just because I was picked on so much when I was a teenager there so many years ago. After all, it could have been so much worse, couldn't it?

Predictably, the only counties where Barrett "kicked ass" the way Walker did in so many northerly counties including Brown County (where Green Bay is located) were Dane County, where Madison is located, and also Milwaukee County. If one were to extract the metropolitan areas of Milwaukee, Madison, Kenosha, and Racine, Walker's margin of victory would have been rather greater, which essentially makes this a rebuke of blue-state, urban, southerly Wisconsin by red-state, rural, northerly Wisconsin. Walker won Racine County, but that's mostly because the county west of State Highway 36 has more in common socially and politically with neighboring Walworth County. That also brings up the fact that even "blue" southern Wisconsin has a very serious "red patch" between Madison and Milwaukee. The major city of Waukesha is the exemplar of these conservative strongholds. Waukesha County, by the way, is the third most populous county in the state after Milwaukee and Dane.

Next, the unions. They fucked up. Again. They supported a political hack named Kathleen Falk with four million dollars that Tom Barrett's seriously underfunded campaign war-chest could have used. However, I don't know how much of that extra four million Barrett actually could have used, because Wisconsin campaign law gives the incumbent in a recall election more spending-leeway than the challenger in terms of financing. There was no way Falk was going to win the primary, and even more no way she was going to win the general recall election. There was no real grassroots support for her outside of union activists either. And they did this because Falk promised to be their lapdog to the extent of refusing to sign any budget that didn't reinstate public-worker collective-bargaining rights. That would have made her the left-wing equivalent of Scott Walker, holding the state's ability to operate hostage to forcing through a partisan political agenda. Unions will only continue to lose ground if they think they can get away pissing off what few friends they have remaining. I still think what John Michael Greer said about unions being as corrupt and narcissistic as the corporations was a ridiculous hyper-generalization. But the unions' behavior here, as well as the existence of too many corrupt union organizations, shows that there are just enough grains of truth in his statement to make unions a disappointment to those who support them. Other collapse bloggers I read who are pretty reality-based are also pessimistic about the notion of unions offering any constructive solutions to the problems society will face in this new century.

Last and absolutely least is the damn pathetic-loser Democratic Party itself and why I am finally done with it, even to the point of conceding the field to the despicable Republicans. Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee were going to write off the Wisconsin recall and only kicked in a million dollars at the last minute because their Wisconsin adherents shamed them into it. Even so, Walker was still able to vastly outspend Barrett. Still, the Republican National Committee put their full might behind Walker, and the DNC gave the most tepid support it possibly could. Also, even though Barrett is a good man who would have made a fine governor, he was a less-than-ideal candidate for a crucial election such as this, and it's sad that this was the best that the Democratic Party of Wisconsin could do.

But that wasn't entirely what finalized my decision to be done with the politics industry in this country. What really did it was the codependent-doormat Democratic Party Kool-Aid drinkers who have made the question of whether or not supporting the Democrats is a worthwhile endeavor, into an entirely nonfalsifiable hypothesis. What is downright knee-slapping hilarious is that so many of these same people are such braying-jackass know-it-all atheist-skeptic fanatics, the very crowd who supposedly rejects the very notion of nonfalsifiable hypotheses! (See Reddit.com for an illustration of to what specifically I am referring.) The level of cognitive dissonance the Democratic Party loyalists have had to indulge in order to hold on to that loyalty as the party increasingly abandons liberal values and priorities, is truly something else. It really goes to show that human beings really do have a built-in need to believe in something, even if that something never does anything other than give its believers black eyes and broken noses in the form of sorely disappointed expectations.

In the wake of the recall debacle, I fully expect the Democratic Party Kool-Aid drinkers to trot out the same old tired and shopworn high-minded justifications that will only result in further frustration and fruitless expectations. When exactly did kidding yourself ad infinitum, as opposed to facing reality, become a mark of courage and intelligence? If I could send a message back in time to myself as a nineteen-year-old boy (and believe me, I was a boy, as opposed to a man, in a huge and major way), it would be this: "Don't even fucking bother. Your high-minded political endeavors and aspirations will always and without exception be frustrated and disappointed as the society in which you live terminally deteriorates. This deterioration is not only because of the dysfunctional nature of the society itself, but also because of the extraordinary pressures bearing down upon it in the form of encroaching energy-and-resource scarcity. And every time you emotionally invest in that useless politics crap, it will in one way or another drag your spirit down into the muck. And in your woefully developmentally-arrested state, your focus really needs to be becoming a spiritual adult, which will take everything you've got, considering how little help for that sort of thing there is in society."

I may not be able to send any such messages back in time, but I can heed the message now. That is why I will no longer even be paying attention to Democratic-Party-oriented blogs, podcasts, and whatever else. If other people want to continue to invest themselves in such things, that's really no skin off my nose considering that whatever is going to happen is simply going to happen regardless of any political agitation from the left. That these people so often need to excoriate those who have realized what I have realized tends to demonstrate that they know deep down inside that we are mostly right. Nonetheless, stooping to deliberately antagonize those who still favor the blue, blue Kool-Aid only makes you even more ridiculously codependent than they are. Instead, one should do what one believes one must do while just letting them do what it is they feel they must do. It's not rocket-science, folks.

The coming of the sort of plutocratic-fundamentalist dictatorship that Scott Walker's victory represents makes societal collapse-scenarios worse rather than better, but given human nature in these situations, it is certainly not entirely unexpected. Anyway, given that anyone with a real voice in the political process is thoroughly dedicated to the insane proposition of pursuing infinite growth on a finite planet, I guess there was really no way any of this was going to end well, was there? All you can do is just accept reality and strive to put your own spiritual house in order as best you can.

Anything else there is to be said about the hysteric Wisconsin recall (I done made teh funnee!) is more than adequately done by these further postmortems to which I will now link:

"How Walker Really Won Wisconsin" by Jeffrey Sommers writing at Counterpunch.org. I particularly like this one because it really echoes what I said about why the recall might fail. That really only goes to show that the more right you are, the more shit you'll get for it.

"How The Wisconsin Solidarity Movement Failed" by Matthew Rothschild writing at the online edition of Madison's free alternative weekly The Isthmus. (Anybody remember, "If it's Thursday, Isthmus be Madison"? Mildly clever, even though it didn't really make any semantic sense. I miss Madison.)

Bone-us article: Incumbent Governor Scott Walker's doctored employment numbers were a complete fabrication.

And for no other reason except to be wildly inappropriate, here's another picture of Charlie McDermott in his boxer shorts:

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Hot guy of the week

A new feature now that I'm going to be somewhat tweaking the emphasis of this blog.

[To the tune of "Pop Goes The Weasel"]

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
All the King's horses and all the King's men,
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

In a way, it's just as well. I have neglected my spiritual life so very badly since I started caring about this politics horseshit again. Well, no more.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Recall election today

I'm so afraid that today will be the day my beloved home state does a "Humpty-Dumpty" on my heart. :-(

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Recall update

My mother recently informed me that the Democratic National Committee finally came through on the Wisconsin recall race by ponying up a million dollars to match the million Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett already has in his meager war-chest. Walker has raised $25 million, so I think the DNC should have coughed up at least two million so that Barrett would have about ten percent of what Walker has. (Yes, I have made what for me is a substantial contribution.) The fact that the DNC had to be shamed into contributing this relatively paltry sum makes it very easy for me to place at least some of the blame on them if we lose this crucial battle. In a way, that will be good, because then I can cut politics and the Democratic Party out of my life and just focus on making my peace with the Spirit. I think a lot of us will be meeting our maker sooner rather than later, so that really seems like the most constructive thing to be doing right now. This will be especially true if the USA becomes the plutocratic police-state from which the Democratic Party is extremely unlikely to save us. Kidding ourselves about such things will not help us achieve the spiritual balance we will need to deal with what's coming down the road.

Don't be fooled. If the DNC hadn't been shamed into stepping up to the plate, the amount they would have contributed up until now would have been mere chump-change. If we recall Scott Walker and flip the state senate, I will gladly admit that I've been a big doomy silly-billy. But considering how close that the polls show this race to be (and given the Republican track-record of successfully stealing close elections), I don't think it's at all inappropriate to get ready to face some grim and harsh realities.\

Update: The current composition of the state senate doesn't really matter very much. The districts were recently gerrymandered in Republican favor by Walker and his legislative enablers, so come the next regular election in November, the state senate will almost certainly re-flip Walker-Republican.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Confession and analysis I

Inevitably, the question arises of how it came to be that I developed this tendency to become so mired in my own angry, unhappy thoughts and feelings despite having metaphysically known better than that for at least fifteen years. Usually when I do self-analysis such as this, I take a two-sided-coin approach. One side is my own personal side, the other side is the influence of society.

My own personal issue in this regard would appear to be a problem I have observed to be endemic to homosexual men. (I don't really like the word "gay" because I detest the whole subculture quite intensely.) This problem is a tendency to just wallow for the sake of wallowing in some very nasty, negative, garbagey emotional stuff that just leads nowhere. It's all too easy to point to a dizzy queen at the gay bar who is living a life of rampant promiscuity, substance-abuse, and vicious social games as the cardinal example of this, but this post isn't about those dizzy queens, it's about me. I think if there is anything it is imperative for a young homosexual man to learn to avoid falling into the trap into which I have fallen, it's that you need to recognize the symptoms of such wallowing and train yourself to snap out of it. Some of these symptoms in my own case have been feeling sorry for myself, getting stuck in a pattern of thinking of myself as a perpetual victim, boiling over with bitter resentment over every disappointment and setback, and letting all these things shape every aspect of how I view my life. This problem got so very deep-rooted that it took me all these years to start making real progress in digging this toxic tree out of the yard of my existential life, the roots were just so thick, so deep, and so wide-ranging. It probably also didn't help that I have a tendency to get lazy and complacent about myself to the extent that I just let personal baggage pile up continuously, when I what I need to be doing is treating it as bags of garbage that need to be taken out to the curb before they stink up the whole damn house.

Society's contribution has been in the influences to which I believe I have been exposed. Positive influences that might have taught me mature, broad-minded, enobling attitudes and behaviors have been very few and far between. Instead, that of which I had rather more was influences that taught me self-centered, small-minded, willfully ignorant attitudes and behaviors. This is not to say that there weren't good influences sprinkled in here and there. What precious little there was should really be called precious because that's what may have saved me from becoming a permanent hopeless embarassment to my Higher Soul. But that it's no surprise that there was so little and that I was poisoned so badly by the negative influences really makes a sad statement about where we are as a society. And this quite frankly has a lot to do with why my own "doomerism" can often get as lugubrious as it does. It also didn't help that middle-class American society filled my mind with priorities and expectations that just ended up being part of that mountain of garbage-bags in the house that needed to be taken out to the curb.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

What I don't understand

If a liberal Democrat working for a high-profile Democratic Party politician were ever formally charged with embezzling funds intended for veterans and their families in addition to sexual enticement of a minor, you would be hearing about it from reactionary hate-radio, Faux News, and movement conservatives running down the street screaming about it so much, you would be positively sick of it. But when Republicans who work for Scott Walker do these things, we hear nary a peep about it from anybody, with the possible exception of a handful of bloggers.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wisconsin recall

So Tom Barrett finally got bizzee and declared his candidacy a month before the early-May primary and soundly defeated that popinjay Kathleen Falk. I voted for Barrett in this primary, obviously. But some people are kind of freaked that the votes for Walker in the primary (Walker had a long-shot libertarian-Republican from Madison running against him) somewhat surpassed the total of votes cast for Democratic candidates. I wouldn't read too terribly much into that. We already know that Walker has a substantial and motivated movement-conservative base, and the recallistas probably figured Barrett would win the primary and they were going to vote for whoever was chosen to run against Walker anyhow.

Of more concern is that most polls show the race to be a virtual dead-heat, and one recent poll has even shown Walker to be ahead by five percentage points. And about a third of all union-members and their families actually support Walker. I attribute that to the animus movement-conservatism has created against public employees supposedly living high on the proverbial hog on the taxpayer dime. Wisconsin is dead last in job creation for 2011, and a major scandal implicating Walker during his term as Milwaukee County Executive is brewing. There is also the bill Walker signed into law undermining pay-equality for women. And how about that video of Walker telling a billionaire donor that he was planning on using a "divide and conquer" strategy in order to turn Wisconsin into a Mississippi-style "right to work" state? And despite all this, the race is nonetheless in this dead-heat. So what is the lesson here?

The lesson is one taught by Adolf Hitler that our owning class has very seriously taken to heart, and it is simply that Proppaganda Works. It can be brazen, unvarnished proppaganda, but it will still work if it is sufficiently loud and pervasive. The far-right corporate money to which Walker has access is no match for the paltry sums mustered by Tom Barrett and his supporters. And it isn't just the proppaganda associated with this particular recall election. More than three decades of blaring, strident movement-conservative proppaganda, whose latter-day manifestations are reactionary hate-radio and Fox News, have laid the groundwork for the horror now unfolding in Wisconsin. But if you live in Wisconsin and you're reading this and you're not one of the bad guys or one of those silly people seduced by that "both sides are equally bad in the same way" nonsense, please vote regardless.

But if I were a completely dispassionate political analyst on a flying-saucer observing the situation in Wisconsin from space, I would have to call the recall election for Walker. And that's because in order to defeat an incumbent Republican official with a substantial and motivated popular base, there has to be a clear and obvious majority (at least consistently 55% or more in polling) against them. We just don't have that. And even if it's a 51/49 victory for the Democrats (not guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination) we all know damn well what always happens. Republicans brazenly and openly steal the election using some sort of shenanigans, and the Democratic Party heirarchy just sits on its hands and plays dumb. Extrapolating future trends based on what has happened in the recent past is a useful guide for predicting the behavior of both dysfunctional individuals and dysfunctional societies. Having been a rather predictable dysfunctional individual for quite a while, I should know!

Friday, March 09, 2012

I would have at least filled the dead airtime by singing an old Motley Crue song

Forty-six advertisers and counting have so far dropped Rush Limbaugh's radio show in the wake of his misogynistic comments about Sandra Fluke.

The Archdruid Report: America: Origins of an Empire

The Archdruid Report: America: Origins of an Empire: To understand the decline and approaching fall of the American empire, it’s necessary to understand how that empire came into being. That’s...

Here's my comment in response on JMG's blog:

The "Frontier" subculture and its fierce independence may be the reason why the homosexual freedom movement ("gay lib" in the lingo of the late Seventies/ early Eighties) got its start in the unlikely locale of the hyper-religious USA. In the most remote of the frontier-outposts, available women were often few and far between, so it became common for men to form homosexual relationships with one another. The story-template of the movie Brokeback Mountain goes much further back than many people entirely realize. Of course, the fierce personal independence fostered by these environments made these men not at all predisposed to think of these relationships as something of which they should be ashamed, even if they didn't necessarily publicize them.

If this was fairly common, then it was something that likely to be fairly well-known, even if the social conventions of the era made frontier male homosexuality something about which people only spoke in whispers in the New England and southern Tidewater subcultures. The result of all this was both the peculiar American disdain for male homosexuality and the quest to legitimize homosexual attractions and relationships. In my personal opinion, it's a crying shame that the homosexual subculture that emerged from "gay lib" turned into its own form of conformity and repression. But all that you have taught your readers about social, political, and philosophical history over the past few years leads me to think that such bitter ironies are far from uncommon.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

The Archdruid Report: The Trajectory of Empires

The Archdruid Report: The Trajectory of Empires: The structure of empire anatomized in last week’s post is a source of considerable strength for any imperial nation that manages to get it i...

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Life-changing events

There's this TV show called "The Middle" where the teenage character Axl Heck has an school-assignment where he has to write an essay on an event or situation that was "life-changing" for him. Of course, it turned out that Axl was so shallow that he had to copy virtually verbatim an essay his much smarter younger brother did on another subject entirely.

Axl Heck in his boxers, the main reason I watch "The Middle".

While I am not similarly afflicted with such shallowness, the obstacle that comes to mind for writing such an essay about myself is rather sheer pathos. The life-changing event that comes to mind for me is a poignant symbol of what an utter dribble-glass my social life as an adult has been to date. This event was being forced to realize at the end of attending college that the venal little fools of the "PC" college-campus scene were never really my friends and that they weren't going to effect any sort of change upon our troubled society.

The reason I threw in my social lot with those little cretins in the first place is because my fantasies of what my life would be in college turned out to be, well, nothing more than mere fantasies. So I did what a lot of ignorant young losers with no imagination did and associated with other ignorant young losers with no imagination. But such people are often very neurotic and turn their coats upon one another at the drop of a hat. Any hat. Of course, I eventually found myself at the receiving end of such treatment.

I can look back at it now and recognize that it was spiritually necessary for me to be separated from that whole dysfunctional, constricting scene. After all, I had the potential to be something better than that, even if I wasn't that much of an improvement over those people in my current form of the time. But what was life-changing was not so much the social dissociation from the denizens of the PC scene as it was the disillusionment with myself. I was forced to realize that everything I imagined myself to be was just more fantasy-notions I had cooked up in the kitchen of my ego-imagination. When those notions were dispelled, I found out there really wasn't very much of substance holding together and coordinating the disparate pieces of myself. One of the reasons I became insulin-resistant and then diabetic relatively early on was because there was nothing left for me except staying trapped in isolation in a spiritually and physically unhealthy life.

So if you would have any insight into why I can be so casually pessimistic in my evaluation of society's and humanity's future, this is should provide you with some. I have done myself disservices by kidding myself with codependent fantasy-notions that the real world would never facilitate or validate, so much so that I have developed something of an allergy to doing that. Having been such a huge loser has made me averse to loserish non-solutions to society's problems. When I look back at my own life and see how some consistent honesty with myself would have benefitted my personal development, I can't help but want to look at the world in which I live, as well as myself at this time in my life, with the same sort of point-blank honesty.

The challenge in that is refrain from losing your mind upon conceiving just how fucked up everything else is. And that necessarily must start with ceasing to cultivate more codependent nonsense. My honesty forces me to realize that I failed to apply myself consistently to that project in the closing years of the previous decade. So that means it behooves me in the opening years of this new decade to make this a priority.

There were other things too besides what I'm relating in this one little blog-post. But to what it all boils down is that things might have been different for me had I refrained from looking at the world around me through such thick gauze of fantasy-notions. It logically follows that I just don't want to indulge that error anymore.

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Archdruid Report: The Myth of the Machine

This is the previous week's post from "The Archdruid Report".

The Archdruid Report: The Myth of the Machine: The strategy discussed in last week’s post—that of walking away from energy-intensive lifestyles before the waning of the age of abundant e...

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Archdruid Report: The Recovery of the Human

I've decided to make a habit of republishing those blogposts of John Michael Greer AKA "The Archdruid" that really resonate with me. Most of them do.

The Archdruid Report: The Recovery of the Human: The myth of the machine, the theme of last week’s Archdruid Report post, has implications that go well beyond the usual terms of discussion...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

This crap again

Is it fair to say that Democrats are every bit as bad as Republicans? No, of course it isn't, but that isn't the question. It never was. All the initiatives that make society worse come from Republicans. That much is clear. The real question is, are the Democrats an adequate and effective counterweight against Republican outrages, or does their ineptitude and lack of real conviction on its leadership levels cause them to play an enabling role? I really think you have to be drinking some pretty heavy-duty Kool-Aid not to realize that "B" is the correct answer.

What's going on with the recall election against Scott Walker is a very instructive example. Thousand of volunteers collected twice the number of signatures necessary to make the recall happen, and this despite assaults and threats from the pig-ignorant racists and rednecks who support Scott Walker. So how is the Democratic Party hierarchy rewarding this display of political faith and dedication? With about the level of feckless ineptitude political observers have come to expect from them.

Right now the Democrats don't really have the strong political figure necessary to oppose Scott Walker. So of course, the Democrats are gearing up for what I call a "clown-car" primary. This refers to a primary election so cluttered with inferior candidates that it becomes difficult for a strong candidate to emerge in the lead. In a recall election such as this, a clown-car primary makes the challengers waste time, manpower, and resources on this process, while the incumbent side is able to focus on gearing up to fight the challenge.

I'm not exactly impressed with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, either. With Governor Jim Doyle stepping down, it was he who ran against Scott Walker for the governor's seat in November 2010. It was close enough that it was obvious that the only reason Walker won was because it was a fear-and-discontent-driven wave-election. And President Obama bears at least some responsibility for that by 1) ramming unpopular healthcare "reform" down the country's throat [seriously, making everybody buy health insurance from private industry at rates to be determined by that industry; how is that not going to be a disaster?] and 2) filling his administration with the same old Wall Street crony capitalists who got us into the mess in which we no find ourselves, thus ensuring that nothing changes and none of those fat-cats will face any consequences. Polls also indicate that Barrett is as close to a popular leadership-figure as we're going to get. But right now Barrett is dithering about a rematch election because he might not be able to focus on being re-elected Mayor of Milwaukee if he does that. For fuck's sake, we need real leaders right now, not careerist-politicians who are more concerned with their own perquisites and position than what a crucial moment such as this demands.

And if the Scott Walker Republicans win this election by totally lying, cheating, and stealing just like you can consistently count on them to do, what might you expect from the Democrats in that situation? You can be pretty sure they would sit on their hands and play dumb just like they did on the national level in both 2000 and 2004. I would seriously love nothing more than to be proven wrong on this one, but I have found that in the sphere of human events (especially in a very dysfunctional situation), there are few more effective ways to predict the future than to extrapolate based on the relatively recent past. Those who do otherwise are generally motivated by a strong desire to deceive themselves.

Don't get me wrong. I will still go to the polls and vote for whoever the candidate opposing Scott Walker is, even if I have to hold my nose. (Former Congressman David Obey is the only prospective candidate for whom I can see myself having to do said holding. He's an asshole, basically.) Expecting a perfect candidate is certainly a good way to set oneself up for disappointment, especially when we're talking about the Democrats. But I have to be honest that what I'm seeing going on right now is every bit as dismaying as it is unsurprising.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Why the recall against Scott Walker could fail

This is basically a comment I made on a blog-entry well worth reading, Waking Up And Walking Away by John Michael Greer, AKA "The Archdruid".

My comment:

As long as I've brought up the subject of Governor Scott Walker, your post this week made me realize some things about the groundswell of popular opinion against him here in Wisconsin. About a year ago when the massive demonstrations against his anti-union policies were occuring in Madison, it was really good to see so many people caring about those issues. But I couldn't help but wonder why they were caring now and not thirty, twenty, or even ten years ago.

And the answer is that Walker's moves against public employees are an assault on the middle class, whereas in the past, the policy-assaults were mostly on the laboring class. And this probably explains the puzzling number of white working-class people who support Scott Walker. On a level these people likely don't even entirely recognize, they are probably thinking, "You middle-class liberals didn't care when people like me were having our lives ground into sausage by those rich people!" I like to think that I cared at least at little, but I have pretty much been a rather marginalized and isolated person ever since being forced to realize that the denizens of the college "PC" scene weren't really my friends.


Here is JMG's response:

Mister R., bingo! When the blue collar jobs were the ones being thrown under the bus, the middle class was babbling horseradish about the wonderful new globalized economy, and how everybody (meaning, of course, everybody in their class) would prosper in it. Now it's the turn of the middle class to go under the bus, and the survivors of the old working class are not impressed by the screams of outrage.


The clown-car primary for which the strategically-incompetent Democrats are currently gearing up may be one reason the recall election might fail to oust Governor Scott Walker from office. But the main reason it could fail is that bitter, alienated working-class people could well turn out in droves to make sure that the ultimate fate of middle-class liberals gets tossed into the wood-chipper the way the fate of their class was tossed into the wood-chipper all those years ago. And it's not entirely undeserved, either.

I remember the Eighties and the Nineties, and the tacit subtext of socio-economic discussions amongst middle-class liberals back then was that laboring-class folk are not among The People Who Matter in the new exegesis of the age. And that has a lot to do with why so many working-class men tune in to right-wing talk-radio to hear Rush Limbaugh stroke their mad-on about upper-middle-class liberals. And why does one suppose that Republican wave-elections such as 2010 and 1994 are such tidal waves, whereas Democratic wave-elections such as 2006 and 2008 are more like municipal-swimming-pool-on-a-windy-day waves? There is an invisible class of dispossessed caucasians in this country who are the children of the rural underclass, and it is because these people feel so forgotten about that they can be counted on to put Republicans in office out of ignorance and spite when they bother to vote.

Without a doubt, putting Republicans in office will cause their lot to deteriorate more quickly. But their lot has been getting worse for so long with nobody really seeming to care that much that they figure it will get worse no matter what, so why not speed it up a bit in order to stick to the assholes who let them down? It's not a very rational line of thinking to be sure, but human nature just ain't rational. Never has been, never will be.

I guess that has a lot to do with my decision to just "let it all go and let it all die" if Scott Walker's tenure in the governor's mansion survives the recall. Sometimes you have to accept the fact that whatever is going to happen is simply going to happen and have peace over it.

For more insight into this phenomenon, here's a reworked version of Exiled.com editor and writer Mark Ames's classic Spite The Vote.

See also Chris Hedges on the death of the liberal class.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA and PIPA

I urge the very tiny handful of people who might see this blog today to contact their Federal representative and Senators about these very fucked-up pieces of Internet-targeted legislation that are currently pending in Congress.

The Wisconsin recall effort

Recall organizers say they have more than one million signatures against Scott Walker.

State Dem Chair Mike Tate said the party would oppose any efforts by the Government Accountability Board to unnecessarily delay certifying an election. He also suggested the agency should certify an election once it counts the 540,208 valid signatures needed and could then finish going through the rest later.

“We clearly believe there is no challenge, legal or otherwise, that would prevent the recalls from going forward,” Tate said.

Tate said the party did not have exact numbers because signatures continued to roll in this morning. But he said in addition to the more than 1 million against Walker, recall organizers had more than 845,000 against Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, more than 21,000 against state Sen. Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls, more than 21,000 against state Sen. Pam Galloway of Wausau and more than 24,000 against Van Wanggaard of Racine.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A band I would have loved back in the day had I known of them



The drummer is smokin' hot. Or was, as that hard-rocker lifestyle may have taken its toll on him all these years later!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Evolving philosophy of life (A rewrite of something earlier I decided to scrub)

My fundamental premise remains that we live in a shit-encrusted write-off of a society. But if other people want to codependently cling to false hope about it, one should just let them do that and not get all hot and bothered or need to act out about it. For one thing, if other people are being codependent, you're not going to disabuse them of that because a cardinal characteristic of codependency is clinging to something that doesn't really work with a white-knuckled death-grip. For another thing, if you feel you should be giving other people attitude because they are supposedly being codependent, then it is you who is being codependent, and that is that codependency you need to be trying to change. You need to be taking care of your own business and not using what other people are being, doing, or having as an excuse to behave foolishly. This really should be "no-duh" stuff, but if you live in a society that does its level-best to drive you insane every day, then you need to make a point of reminding yourself of "no-duh" stuff such as this every day.

Besides, if whatever is going to happen is going to happen regardless of what we do, then why get all worked up over things that are not your concern or that you certainly can't change? Your priority needs to be working on your own spiritual life in such a situation. As I've said before, there is no thought more truly despairing than believing that your life lacks all meaning if you can't change situations or people in the dysfunctional society in which you live.