Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Messaging

The media is totally unsure how to deal with the Occupy Wall Street protests. Because their coverage of the Arab uprisings was so lame (al Jazeera just killed them) the mainstream media is trying to come up with a narrative that's flexible. CNN showed a sign that says : Capitalism Doesn't Work and then interviewed a gal using a computer with that condescending question about complicity with"the system". ( as if anti-capitalists have to live in caves and eat grubs to be "consistent".)

Even Amy Goodman, in good liberal fashion, decides to use Michael Moore as a spokesman for the action and he is happy to grab some limelight. (he is pretty clueless and inarticulate in my opinion). Chris Hedges did a better job in terms of critique but, like Tahrir Square or the Indignatos of Spain or the Israeli youth camped out now, there IS a problem with analysis and demands. Wisconsin was also a perfect example of organic, spontaneous organizing that failed to light a spark.

I understand the notion of "not taking power" but like a dog chasing a car there is the problem of what happens when you catch it? I know there are great discussions going on all the time in all these places and I'm sure lots of it centers around the question of reform or revolution? Ad Busters does a pretty good job articulating anti-capitalism and at some point someone will have to grab a reporters microphone and lay it out all nice and clear for them.

There was a great BBC interview of a trader explaining the way Markets work and his lack of moral-ethical concern for losers seemed to upset folks so much they accused him of being a Yes Man. In other words, no one knows what is real now (thanks in part to their work) which is a new phase of the Spectacle. Is Rick Perry a Yes Man? Thom Friedman? Flat Earth Boy was on Tavis Smiley saying Indeed He Was a Capitalist but "government needs to tame the brutal nature" of capitalism".

Meanwhile the stock market rockets up and down and Bibi makes Obama do another clown dance.Never a dull moment.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Election Time

It always comes down to this for Democrats. Bitch and moan, hold your nose and choose the lesser of two evils so you can get back to bitching and moaning. Like a prostate exam, it only takes a few minutes. There's a great piece in Harpers on Mormon economics. They hate taxes but tithe 10%.

I just realized that Rick Perry is Fes Parker, the actor who portrayed Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett, who I think died at the Alamo! Like Ronald Reagan, the imagery is far more important than any words they might try to speak.
So the liberal/progressives start the painful rationalizing and writing checks to campaigns because, hey, what else is there? Here is a perfect example from a thread over at Truthout:

YES, CROOKS AND LIARS in both parties....But Given the choices I'll stick with the few progressives in the democratic party. Is there any differance between the two? YES!!!

Take the new Trade Agreements with Columbia,Panama and Korea, (ALL BAD in my opinion) BUT with the Dems, At least the workers who will lose their jobs due to these treaties will be compensated!!!!! this may not be enough of a differance for ELITISTS... but If I am one of those workers it's better than NOTHING!
Which is what the Republicans will give them!

The Workers Will Be Compensated. Despite the ELITISTS. Holy shit.All too typical. California nurses could show this person the meaning of dignity, defying the scabrous SEIU and going on strike in a double-dip. Speaking of scabrous, did Netanhyahooo really think anybody was impressed with his punk ass performance the other night? He can clear a house quicker than Don Rickles. I fear Obama has a boot-licking fetish and Putin owns many pairs.

And I'm actually impressed by these freshman House conservatives, drawing yet another line in the sand and fuck the markets. So wonderfully naive, they believe they were elected to represent their constituents and, by God, that's what they are doing. What radicals could never achieve, exposing the State/Capital nexus and undermining the global system, they are doing unintentionally with that born-again fervor. It's a beautiful thing. I don't have to do a thing but watch them demonstrate that capitalism doesn't work. Compare that principled stand (pay as you go) with these pussy corporate liberals who just write bad checks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jews Jump Ship

It being nearly impossible to out-bootlick Republicans, the Democrats are watching yet another constituency bail. Netanyahu awards a Cheshire smile to his fawning Millenialist brethren and the world squirms. Will Turkey still be our friend?

Meanwhile Troy Davis is murdered by "Democracy"; after all, "polls show a majority of Americans support the death penalty". The People have spoken! But if the People are blindfolded, how would they know if Lady Justice has removed hers?

The other "peace talks" (Afghanistan) run into a bit of a snag as the negotiators are blown to bits and Hillary turns to Bill for advice. Another typhoon roils Japan's Central Bank and Markets remain jittery. Is Italy Too Big To Fail?

And Sarah Palin comes out swinging against "corporate capitalism", joining John Nichols and progressives everywhere. What they want is a return to good old Small Business Entrepreneurial Free Enterprise like back when Father Knew Best and Opie was not a movie director. You know, the good old days! Would the Jewish lobby support a return to small banks and the gold standard?

Stay tuned for answers to these and even weirder questions.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dinner With the Gov

I had occasion to break bread with Montana's governor Brian Schweitzer last Thursday night. He and his entourage visited the lodge I work at for a day of fishing and so I got to see the supreme politician at work, up close and personal. I was introduced to him during "happy hour" as a member of the IWW- which took him aback- but only momentarily. It gave him the perfect opening to expound on his full fledged support of the public service union and how he provided them with "a much needed win". I just nodded in exchange for prime rib.

At dinner the conversation turned to the nations debt woes and the military-industrial complex which compels us into unnecessary and expensive war. All good, liberal sentiments expressed with moral rectitude. I didn't ask the Gov what Americans would do for employment without wars or the threat of wars. I wasn't invited to ask hard questions. Talk ranged from dog breeds to forest fires, the ineptitude of Republicans and arguments against Herman Cain's flat tax.

We never got to the environment, unfortunately, because Brian (I'm now on a first name basis) is the King of Coal and supports the XL pipeline carrying Tar sands Crude through Montana. Butte is a mining town and the locals, especially the unions, love their resource extraction. Local Democratic politicians have to love it too.

I did admire the Gov's courageous stance in favor of single-payer health care and he is a charismatic and charming actor. Larger than life and totally full of himself, he could crush Ron Paul or Romney or Palin in a debate. Watch for him in 2016. Maybe I can be the Presidential Fishing guide!

Monday, September 05, 2011

County Fair

County fair, county fair, country feelin in the air, lot's of guns everywhere!

You can't help but notice the different emphasis. Go to the Democrats booth and they have cookies and lemonaid. Go to the Republican's and you are looking at The Judge (a stainless over under pistol with 410 shotgun on top, 45 cal under) and a Strategic Defence Weapon with laser, strobe, ten shot clip and other great attachments. A somewhat more muscular approach. You could win them both in the raffle ( Please God, let me win! RIP Kurt Vonnegut again)

So which Party is best suited to protect us from the Rabble pouring across our borders, the Terrorists from afar who hate our Freedom or the Commies within trying to undermine our Way Of Life? I did another shift at the Human Rights booth and debated the Constitutional scholar wanna-bees. Typical exchange. scholar: "I want freedom from ,not freedom to."
me: " Should citizens be free from want?"
scholar: walks away.

Or this one. scholar : "Do we have to equalize people down if they are special?"
me: "Equanimity means equal political power within democratic society. We are all equivalent in the social contract."
scholar : walks away.

The funny thing is ,I'm not crazy about "human rights" discourse and believe it will "wither away" along with the authoritarian State when we get rid of Market exchange.My colleagues are too busy fighting the Right Wing to pay attention to any of that.

There is a revival of Hate Jane Fonda bumper stickers around lately. Talk about a spectacular case of celebrity demonization! Another colleague, who claims he was an elite sniper in Nam, also claims he "came within twenty minutes of getting a shot at Jane Fonda." He says there was bounty out on her head and that he shot Viet Cong generals in the head at a thousand yards. Thing is, he will tell anyone about his near-murder knowing they will approve and be duly impressed.

The local Labor Council had a march on Friday they called A-Wake for the Working Class. The double entendre acknowledges the theoretical tension over class ( a good and necessary thing) but also a positive message of consciousness raising as the key to worker power.( I remain sceptical). The problem is one I have gone over before; the workers, now starved for jobs, are eager to build the Tar sands pipeline which will kill their children.(indirectly). With Capital on strike, the workers become scabs, crossing any and all picket lines in solidarity with their masters. Wisconsin was the perfect example. Trumpka says they will not "automatically give money to Democrats." They won't put it toward radical change either.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Well Intentioned Not Enough

It's not just McKibben I come down on, all these progressives are leading us to a dead end at a time when we can't afford to be sidetracked. Tony Judt,(whose son Daniel has picked up the mantle) David Corn, Bill Moyers, our own George Oshenski, etc.etc..they all cling to the dream of capitalist social democracy despite all the evidence pointing towards it's demise.

This willfull blindness was perfectly demonstrated by Robert Kennedy Jr.in an interview with Tavis Smiley. As good a liberal environmentalist as there is, he is currently focused on mountain top removal coal extraction in W.Virginia and easily trotted out the familiar ills: regulatory capture, corruption, lack of transparency,yada yada. Big Bad Corporations, Big Bad Supreme Court, Big Bad Wall Street and lobbyists and... you know the litany; "corporations take over democracy/government" (as if they were the same thing!) "everything becomes a commodity", "media dependent on corporate money", wealth goes straight to Wall Street".

Much of this standard liberal protest is built around a revised historical account where a Trust Busting Teddy Roosevelt along with "courageous journalists" took our country back from the Trusts and Franklin created a new spirit of solidarity with the New Deal. Whatever. Even if that did happen it ain't happenin now folks.

Kennedy saves the ultimate cop-out for the end when he explains how " the domination of business by government is communism, the domination of government by business is fascism...our job is to walk that narrow trail in between and hold big business at bay with the right hand and big government at bay with the left..this narrow middle trail which is free market capitalism and democracy."

This is why these "progressives" are so dangerous, in their way more so than ideologues of the right. When push comes to shove they will side with the Market, Private Property, inherited wealth and the Constitution which guarantees all that "Freedom".

I, on the other had, swore allegiance over and over again to a "Republic.. with Liberty and Justice for all." Ain't seen that one yet and until we face the impossibility of democracy under late capitalism we won't.