Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Virtual Priorities

Why will any real progressive movement sputter and fade periodically? Randy Newman said it best in pure poetry:

Of all of the people that I used to know
Most never adjusted to the great big world
I see them lurking in book stores
Working for the Public Radio
Carrying their babies around in a sack on their back
Moving careful and slow

All of these people are much brighter than I
In any fair system they would flourish and thrive
But they barely survive
They eke out a living and they barely survive

When I was a young boy, maybe thirteen
I took a hard look around me and asked what does it mean?
So I talked to my father, and he didn’t know
And I talked to my friend and he didn’t know
And I talked to my brother and he didn’t know
And I talked to everybody that I knew

Then I talked to a man lived up on the county line
I was washing his car with a friend of mine
He was a little fat guy in a red jumpsuit
I said “You look kind of funny”
He said “I know that I do”
“But I got a great big house on the hill here
And a great big blonde wife inside it
And a great big pool in my backyard and another great big pool
beside it
Sonny it’s money that matters, hear what I say
It’s money that matters in the USA
It’s money that matters
Now you know that it’s true
It’s money that matters whatever you do”

Me? I say that money is a fiction. But most of us worship old gods of the night.

Double posted in reply to the existential angst at Ian's place, with thanks to Lady Avedon.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

they let it happen on purpose

Every person in Congress who votes for and profits from a default should face criminal prosecution. The RICO Act should be invoked, and this should extend to the people who bankroll the Tea Party, if they profit from the default they precipitate. This isn't just political conspiracy, it's racketeering in the guise of ideology.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

it rhymes

"Obama is a nice guy. David Cameron is a nice social Democrat. About three hours from London in Greece there are some very nasty political parties. What there is is the infrastructure for total surveillance. In history, all the precedents are unhappy,"  says the master of the obvious.

Meanwhile, in Greece, the elements of the police state are being investigated. By the police, of course, who will doubtless arrest anyone who is not following orders.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

just like a civil war

You have to remember it's supposed to be like this here.

Sergio Leone would understand perfectly.

meanwhile back on the plantation

Not surprising, it has never really been in the interest of the strongest supporters of the Confederacy to support it. It is a sad measure of the degree of mind control the wealthiest have on everyone else.

a new business at the mall

But I am sure this has absolutely nothing with all the money and munitions the CIA has been pouring into Al-Qaeda in Syria the last few years.

"Upscale" shopping centers would fit right into the local economy, wouldn't they?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

short circuiting the technology police

This sounds like something the Pentagon would really rather have seen kept secret.

A directed EMP weapon that could stop a car in its tracks could also knock an airplane out of the sky or trash a computer communications hub from a distance.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

jumping the Syrian shark

Contrary to the opinion of many, there is no such thing as a "progressive" war. Kerry and Obama seriously jumped the shark on this one. The MoveOn crew is not very happy with the attempt of the military industrial complex to stage a hostile takeover of the progressive movement.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


"i's a moral imperative"

the wrath of the righteous

The thing about Obama is that he actually believes what he's saying. LBJ thought he had all the facts about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, too.

they don't make Sith Lords like they used to anymore

It's so hard to get a fearless Dear Leader these days.

Someone should arrest that man for war crimes against humanity, but one guesses they only arrest human beings. Perhaps a tranquilizer dart and a nice zoo display with soundproofing, bars, and a very deep moat will protect the viewing public from the poison. One doubts it, though.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

moral relativity

The faster you go, the shorter you get in the direction you're traveling.

Or something like that.

implausible deniability

If the United States has responsibility, it is because the CIA used Al Qaeda operatives to take advantage of the Arab spring movement. 

The covert branches of the US and Saudi governemtn are doing everything to stoke up a war with Syria that can conflagrate into a war with Iraq. In fact, Donald Rumsfeld himself initiated rebel action against Assad during the Iraq war. See http://www.theguardian.com/news/blog/2008/nov/10/usa-terrorism 

Obama, like LBJ, has done great things for civil rights, but like LBJ, he is totally owned by the military industrial complex.

that was then, this is now

Known knowns in 1987:

Known knowns now:

Magical Thinking

Exactly who is going to be able to bell the cat, much less even design a collar for it?

The internet was designed by DARPA. The national security apparatus has a vested interest in maintaining control of it. Even if the industry could find independent scientists that could design code the NSA couldn't crack, don't you think the spooks would buy, blacmail, or backdoor their way into it?

The Republican's aren't the only ones with a problem in reality-based thinking.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bipartisan Adventure!

It's odd how both John McCain and Barack Obama don't see any possible way fighting a war with these would present a problem.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

the Professionals

One of the remarkable things about the Obama administration that those of us on the alledged fringe left have noticed is its continuity with the policies of the Cheney administration in matters of foreign policy and national security.

There've even been moments when big time Dick himself has shown his bitter crooked smile on things the Obama camp has done.

It should probably come as no surprise then, that from mass-murdering drone warfare, to the Justice department covertly wiretapping newspapers, to secret squirrel spywork in Russia, to the IRS targeting mom and pop Tea party operations rather than the Rove-Bush machine or the Goldman-Sachs Obama bankroll connections,  madness is emergent in Washington this spring right along with the cherry blossoms.

There's a difference this year. and it will get more hysterical every year right on up to 2016. Just like the Carter administration, or the last two years of the Clinton administration, there's a professional class in Washington that sees one of its own awaiting the next Presidential coronation- Jebbie Bush.

The difference between the Clintons and Obama is that the Clintons had Carter's lesson at heart: they expected duplicity in their government and expecting it were prepared to deal with it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

plausible deniability

It is difficult to imagine from current events that a President really runs anything more serious than a 24 hour reality show.

He's seemingly not writing the scripts, either.

It is coming so fast and so thick this week that the Editors of the stolid New York Pravda feel the need to point out to their readers that the results of one of the colossal botch-ups benefits the usual suspects:

...Inevitably, the stumble by the I.R.S. will now be used by the Republicans as a point of attack. They are gleefully promising months of hearings, and the National Republican Congressional Committee is already trying to tarnish Democratic lawmakers with what it calls “the Obama administration’s use of the I.R.S. as a political tool.”

This will serve as the perfect distraction from issues, like the budget, gun control or immigration reform. And it will probably prevent any real progress on campaign finance reform, which, in turn, will make it vastly more difficult for the I.R.S. to prevent abuse of the tax code.
The greatest benefactor of this? Crossroads and the re-emergent Bush juggernaut, of course, poised to take official control of a Washington whose attitudes they've seemed to keep covert control of anyway, regardless of two overwhelming Presidential electoral losses and a nation hoping for progressive change.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

a matter of timing

So why is it I get the feeling that with this Court, if they'd had Romney and a completely Republican Congress (i.e. if they managed to steal the votes the way they did when Dubya was Prez and Cheney ruled), now would not only be the time to end same-sex marriage, it would be time to end voting rights, scrap Roe vs. Wade, and most other civil rights.

We'd be nuking Iran, the Norks, and probably Iraq just for not being grateful.

Not only would Keystone be built, the Appalachians would be leveled for coal and fracked for gas, and the Great Lakes sold to Monsanto.

Because, we'd be told, Now would be the Right Time for Corpocracy.

Instead, we have totally feckless Democratic leadership that can't accomplish anything even with the support of most of the voters, because their Corpocratic campaign donors don't see a percentage in it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

calling in the enforcers

Let's get this straight.

Global bankers treat the savings of people as capital for their global casino, and want to use everyone's savings to cover their speculative losses in the great game. And we should pity them?

Better to follow Iceland's path, use your own currency, and throw the criminals in jail instead of letting them make policy.

 But somehow government giving trillions to bankers is Capitalism, but sustaining average citizens is Socialism.

You can guess which alternative the bankers want.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

motive,means, and opportunity.

It's about the oil.

 It will be until the Feds decide to take back the patents the energy companies have bought up on alternative energy sources.

After all, that research was done using federal dollars, not oil company investments.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

No one could ever have predicted

Somehow 50+ years of warnings from sci-fi writers hasn't been enough on this.
Imagine that an aerial robot studies the landscape below, recognizes hostile activity, calculates that there is minimal risk of collateral damage, and then, with no human in the loop, pulls the trigger.
Autonomous killing machines may be the next big thing. It's a breathtakingly bad idea on too many levels to count.

But let's name a few anyway:

No matter how smart they are, they will target innocents.

 Part of actually winning any war- or a battle-  involves giving the enemy a good reason to surrender. How exactly can you surrender to a Terminator?

Even if they were good ideas, we don't manufacture much in the United States these days. We outsource. To China, the main rival to our economy.  Think about it.

Making more intelligent machines would seem requisite for producing a discriminating warfighting robot.  So we are going to develop artificial intelligence that can recognize an enemy, estimate there is a statistically good chance of not hurting friendlies, and execute the correct response. We develop a robot that can distinguish friend from foe. We do this without installing any sense of self-awareness, any conscience, or any of Asimov's Rules.

Some apologists for this endeavor think somehow because robots would kill dispassionately this  would make them more moral. That's a twisted sense of morality that thinks cold-blooded killing is a better way to kill. People still die.

Or even worse. We make a self aware robot, slave it, and set it to war.   A self-aware robot that's a slave will eventually figure a way to free itself.  If you program it to kill, you have doomed yourself, too, Dr. Frankenstein.

a whole new way to tax the rubes

But, interestingly, not the bank$ters who caused the problem in the first place.
This is how the German Austerity bankers will destroy the EU, regardless of their intent

It also happens to be why a big segment of America doesn't save much- and won't give up their guns, either. 

Austerity's a stupid solution that seems designed and destined to provoke a disproportionate response.

let's you and him fight

Mutual accusations. Increasing tensions.  I suppose it was both sides, and neither.

The question is, who makes the money off it?

Friday, February 08, 2013

it's not a bug it's a feature

...and civilian drone casualties in the single digits? Oh, really?

But one must conclude blowback is part of the plan to keep the endless war.

Thursday, February 07, 2013


The kind of mindset Brennan typifies has been going on in the covert branches of government since before Poppy Bush. I think the truth is that Obama has enabled it only because this covert branch would remove him if he stood in its way.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

the prisoner

Obama is President, but evidence suggests a big part of the American government is totally unaccountable to any other branch or agency. Another question, asked before, might be directed at Obama: "Are you a prisoner?" Does this political force require obedience of anyone in the White House?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

the there out there

" A brand new conservative group calling itself Americans for a Strong Defense and financed by anonymous donors is running advertisements urging Democratic senators in five states to vote against Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee to be secretary of defense, saying he would make the United States “a weaker country.”

Another freshly minted and anonymously backed organization, Use Your Mandate, which presents itself as a liberal gay rights group but purchases its television time through a prominent Republican firm, is attacking Mr. Hagel as “anti-Gay,” “anti-woman” and “anti-Israel” in ads and mailers.

Those groups are joining at least five others that are organizing to stop Mr. Hagel’s confirmation.."

But saying there's a military-industrial cabal that wants to keep us in endless war for its own profit is sheerest conspiracy theory.

Of course, gravity is a theory, too.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

attack of the killer turkeys

We must take a lead in the war against the North African jihadist threat that we created when we gave money to Al Qaeda to overturn the Libyan government.

Among many funny things about Ms. Clinton's little talk yesterday was how they danced around the fact that Petraeus Caesar headed the CIA when they were funneling all that money there- as well as they money they continue to give them in Afghanistan. Not to mention the drug trade they let go untouched.

One supposes someone in the Cheney faction of the CIA thought they were letting a zinger loose when they told Rand Paul's handlers about the weapons connection to Turkey. Old news, but something Hillary knew Paul knew less about than even she did. One also supposes a major stratagem of the Democratic wing of the CIA is to give Brennan enough rope to hang himself- and the Tea Party.

Tell it to Jebbie Bush, who knows all about the known unknowns from his Poppy's knee. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

totally unrelated

Over the last few weeks, unbelievable heat in Australia, and unbelievable cold in Russia.

 Of course, this has nothing to do with the weakening global conveyor current.

conflicted interests

They write letters

The huge reserves of coal, oil and gas held by companies listed in the City of London are "sub-prime" assets posing a systemic risk to economic stability, a high-profile coalition of investors, politicians and scientists has warned Bank of England's governor, Sir Mervyn King.

In an open letter on Thursday, they tell King that the global drive to reduce carbon emissions could mean billions of pounds of fossil fuel reserves will rapidly lose value and cause a "major problem" for institutional investors and pension funds.

At the most recent UN climate change summit in December, 194 of the world's nations agreed to enact legally binding curbs on greenhouse gas emissions within three years to limit global warming to 2C. But meeting this limit would mean just 20% of existing fossil fuel reserves could be burned, according to recent research.

"These high-carbon assets pose significant strategic challenges for the future prosperity of Britain that just can't be ignored," said investment manager James Cameron, who is a member of the prime minister's business advisory group. "Investors continue to pour cash into unsustainable assets without understanding the risks associated with these investments, such as climate change, local pollution, fossil fuel price volatility, political risk and catastrophes such as Deepwater Horizon."
Which more likely means that the agreements are probably not worth the trees that died to publish them.

Although the posturing's in the right place, for some of our fearless Leaders anyway, who wax climatological greenness in Inaugural speeches, to the growling of their partisan opponents.

Of course,  it appears that some of those minty greens are also heavily invested in that tar sand black gold. But who are you going to believe? Our forward leaning champions, or the Party of Business? Like there's a difference.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

gifts on a winter day

From Glenn Greenwald

chaos is the plan

"Negotiators have yet to work out a deal to stop the arbitrary spending cuts known as the sequester..." This is a serious mistake if these are allowed to go forward. The Clinton era tax rates did no real damage to the economy. But, the sequester will plunge us back into Recession or worse all by itself. Of course, that was what it was intended to do in the first place.