Saturday, May 26, 2012

Almost Friends

Dogs and cats living together; the crazy little dog just wants to been friend:

Unfortunately the cat is too proud to play.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day Come Early

As promised to some:






Where were you?

I did not know

that the pope had a butler; let alone a leaky one. I guess that this is just one more example of no man is a hero to his valet.

A Prophet in His Own Land and All That

I linked to the speech in the post immediately below; but here is the whole thing.

Of course he had just recently oked the Bay of Pigs.

The Real Road to Surfdom

While we are on the subject, over to Crooked Timber there are a series of posts on Hayek's idiotic idea that authoritarianism grows out of either socialist central planning or the welfare state. The discussion there is if Hayek did, in fact, make such an idiotic claim -- he did.

What baffles me is that right now we are watching not just here in the good Ol' US of A, long may she be united and free, as result of the militarization of state and society the not gradual but rather rapid expansion of a surveillance state, an increasingly powerful  executive, the erosion of citizens protection from arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, plus and also the repeal of the prohibition of using propaganda on American Citizens.

This is not unexpected. From the reign of that dangerous radical DDE, sensible people have known that in addition to America's authoritarians coming flag wrapped and cross bearing, they will enter swords drawn and insisting on the need to  fight those bastards over there while cleaning house over here.

Which is to say, we are half-way to "serfdom" precisely because those granted the privilege of steering the ship of state have decided that the nation and the wider world do not want economic equality and effective, functional democracy but rather permanent war, an increasingly power plutocracy and, for good measure, a state that monitors women's healthcare while seeking out internal enemies.

Enjoy the holiday.

Post Human

One aspect of the world as currently constituted is that machine labor in factories has replaced human and this is making it ever harder to find decently paid work. It is also the case that the US military has embraced the productivity fetish and is constantly trying to use ever more machines to replace humans. There are two obvious advantages for the military.

The first is that with smaller number of actual people involved while a majority of Americans oppose the various freedom bombing forays into the wider world, the direct impact, in terms of honored dead, grows ever smaller.  The second advantage is that at some point in the future war can be waged without people, which is perfectly consistent with the neoliberal project of creating a world designed to protect plutocrats from the rest of us.

The other day I posted this video:

The other day, via War is Boring, came this video of a half-way measure:

  Most of us remember, either from the unintentionally -- I assume -- campy movie or the deeply perverse Heinlein book, the dystopic future where men and women in suits of similar nature fought for earth and the right to vote. It is odd, isn't, how it all the promises of a future made pacific and equitable through the use of technology are proven time and again to be false while the the actual critiques of the policies that led to this neoliberal, neocon nightmare are proven right.

Memories, Memorials, and Poppies

For years now I have been buying a poppy on or around Memorial Day attaching it to the bike and removing one year later. For me, it is a symbol of the First World War in all its murderous fatuousness, silly stupid slaughter, and pointlessness and, consequently, a nearly perfect example of the misrule of the 1%, whether old school aristos or new  model plutocrats.

In that spirit some musical to contemplate the unnecessary misery imposed on most of us by a thoughtless, heedless, and  feckless minority:

Enjoy your weekend before the forces of reaction take it away.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Accidental Zen

Recently I overheard someone explaining relative states of foreign language skill,  which arose, the explanation ran, because
she only knows what she has  been taught while I only know what I have learned.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Some People Say

that a little knowledge is a dangerous think.  I say being stupid is a dangerous thing. As an example:
A group of fraternity brothers from Lousiana [sic] Tech University burning their textbooks in celebration of the end of the school year are believed by local authorities to have caused a fire that burned down their fraternity house.
I am confident that one or another of these frat boys will grow up to the next columnist for the NYT.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Slipppery Slopes

There is an article in the current The New Yorker on the unpunished murder and rape of lesbian, gay men, and the rest, one assumes, of South Africa's LGBT citizens. This is an actual, as opposed to hypothetical, slippery slope argument. Narrow-minded bigots who assume that their sexual orientation and aesthetic judgements are normative have been beating the drum of need if not necessity of excluding gay men and women as well as the rest of the LGBT community from the community of citizens. These bigoted wretches are a danger to us all.

In the US right now there are maniaca insisting on the creation of LGBT concentration camps because they are hate filled nut jobs. I would argue that Obama has nailed his colors to the mast and it is now time for Romney and the rest of the Right to insist that they will not participate in a campaign designed to "improve" by "corrective rape, " which is the South African term for assaulting and murdering lesbians, reparative therapy, or the extirpation our fellow citizens because of the wholly legitimate objects of their sexual or aesthetic desires.

To say nothing of an equally strident repudiation of neoliberal capitalism and then we can have nice things.