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!