Archive for March, 2012

EVOLUTION SIGNS; YES, WAY

March 30, 2012
[DON’T FORGET TO CLICK PIX FOR MORE ]
OH, SPONGEBOB!

Jellyfish are eating all [sic] the other marine life, destroying human fishing resources, and creating dead spots around the world, which are growing in alarming number and speed. Irish experience doesn’t bode well for American Pacific Coast salmon. As this author says, Damn.
OH, SPONGEBOB!

DE-VOLUTION:

Some examples of why the human race has probably evolved as far as possible.  These are actual instruction labels on consumer goods:

On Sears hairdryer:  Do not use while sleeping.

On a bag of Fritos:  You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.

On a bar of Dial soap:  Directions: Use like regular soap.

On some Swanson frozen dinners:  Serving suggestion: Defrost.

On a hotel provided shower cap in a box:  Fits one head.

On Tesco’s Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom of the box):  Do not turn upside down.

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding:  Product will be hot after heating.

On packaging for a Rowenta iron:  Do not iron clothes on body.

On Boot’s Children’s cough medicine:  Do not drive car or operate machinery.  (We could reduce construction accidents if we kept 5 year olds off fork lifts.)

On Nytol sleep aid:  Warning: May cause drowsiness.

On a Korean kitchen knife:  Warning: Keep out of children.

On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights:  For indoor or outdoor use only.

On a Japanese food processor:  Not to be used for the other use.

On Sainsbury’s peanuts:  Warning: Contains nuts.

On an American Airlines packet of nuts:  Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts.

On a Swedish chainsaw:  Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals.

On a child’s Superman costume:  Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.

STRAINED EVOLUTION:

Some questions I should have asked about King Kong.

1.      Why did the natives build a door so big that Kong could walk right through it?

2.      Why did the natives bother with the wall at all since Kong lived high on a cliff in a cave, and spent his last few moments scaling the Empire State Building?  He could hop that wall in a beat.

3.      Fay Ray was obviously not the first maiden tied to the posts.  The post assembly was a regular fixture – little stone step-up, solid uprights (didn’t tip over when Kong pulled her off the ropes; didn’t pull her arms out of the sockets, either; how did that go down?) – and the natives were goofing up one of their own maidens before they spotted Fay.  Ergo, what did Kong do with all the previous sacrifices?  This was a Giant Gorilla Feeding Station from Eddie Bauer? Did he eat them and not eat Fay because she was a  blonde?  Pheromones?  Not fun.

4.      That wall wouldn’t keep pterodactyls out either.  Those dudes would swoop down and snatch a native snack every so often, don’t you think?

5.     What the heck happened to all of the other giant gorillas? Where did they go? Where were Kong’s mom and dad? In Son of Kong, we of course discover that Kong had a son, but we never see Mrs. Kong. Mrs. Kong is never even mentioned. The gang goes, “Hey, there’s a baby Kong!” And they are off like the Scooby Gang, chasing Mr. Jensen the asocial gardener from the old condemned Henshaw Mansion.

6.      At the end, Robert Armstrong stares at Kong’s gigantic corpse and says, “’Twas Beauty killed the beast.”  Why didn’t someone point out that he was the s.o.b. who captured Kong and brought him back to ravage New York City?  Oh sure, in the sequel, Armstrong got sued for all the damages and cleanup, but he never did any jail time for bringing to town a huge rampaging ape that killed a lot of people .  Go figure.  He must have been working for Goldman Sachs.

7.    Why did they remake it with JACK BLACK? Why?

So, that’s what I should have asked about King Kong.

Eve of Extinction

EVER SINCE TIME BEGAN:

Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God‘s omnipotence did not extend to God’s kids. After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve.

And the first thing he said was: “Don’t.”

“Don’t what?” Adam replied.

“Don’t eat the forbidden fruit,” God said.

“Forbidden fruit? We got forbidden fruit? Hey, Eve…we got forbidden fruit!”

“No way!”

“Yes way!”

“Don’t eat that fruit!” said God.

“Why?”

“Because I am your Father and I said so!” said God (wondering why he hadn’t stopped after making the elephants).  A few minutes later God saw his kids having an apple break and was angry.

“Didn’t I tell you not to eat that fruit?” God asked.

“Uh huh,” Adam and Eve replied.

“Then why did you do it?”

“I dunno” Eve answered.

“She started it!” Adam said.

“Did not!”

“Did too!”

“DID NOT!”

Having had it with the two of them, God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own.  Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.  If God had trouble handling children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?

Advice for the day:

If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: Take two and keep away from children.

INDIVIDUAL SELF-ESTEEM:

“If I knock him out, his’ory wi’ be made!” — Evander Holyfield, boxer, television interview.

“I’m a people person.  I love people!” — Ibid, same interview, one minute later.

Advertisements

FOOD WINS IF DEMOCRACY RULES

March 20, 2012

HOME RULE – RULED HOME

Home rule means “we, the people,” can participate broadly in the government decision-making that affects our lives.  We call this democracy.  However, Aristotle pointed out that you can’t have extremes of rich and poor and seriously talk about democracy.  He favored reducing poverty over reducing democracy.

It’s extremely unlikely that what are now called “inevitable results of the market” would ever be tolerated in a truly democratic society.  One can take Aristotle’s path and make sure that almost everyone has “moderate and sufficient property” – in other words, “middle-class.”  Or, you can take Madison’s path and limit the functioning of democracy.

Noam Chomsky writes “the big transnationals want to reduce freedom by undermining the democratic functioning of the states in which they’re based, while at the same time ensuring the government will be powerful enough to protect and support them.  That’s the essence of ‘really existing market theory.'”

Alexis de Tocqueville admired the relative equality he thought he saw in American society.  He exaggerated it considerably, but pointed out quite explicitly that if a “permanent inequality of conditions” ever developed, that would be the death of democracy.  He called our “manufacturing aristocracy” “one of the harshest in history.”  He said if it ever got power, we’d be in deep trouble.

It’s ridiculous to talk about freedom in a society dominated by huge corporations.  What kind of freedom is there inside a corporation?  They’re totalitarian institutions – you take orders from above and maybe give them to people below you.  There’s about as much freedom as under Stalinism.

When enormous, private, tyrannical institutions are granted the same rights as – or more rights than – human beings, freedom becomes something of a joke.  Only the limited public authority that still exists guarantees whatever rights workers have. The solution isn’t to undermine freedom and democracy – it’s to undermine the private tyrannies.

Chomsky writes, “If people become aware of constructive alternatives, along with even the beginnings of mechanisms to realize those alternatives, positive change could have a lot of support.  The current tendencies, many of which are pretty harmful, don’t seem to be all that substantial, and there’s nothing inevitable about them.  That doesn’t mean constructive change will happen, but the opportunity for it is definitely there.”

Citizen involvement exists to capitalize on those opportunities growing from citizen interest in participating in the events and decision-making that affects their lives.  Most citizens want to make a positive contribution to a democratic, informed, genuinely open and truly free society.

How much should the public pay to encourage citizen involvement in government?  It should pay more than it presently pays for prisons and prison guards.  Presently, there is one guard for every three prisoners.  In contrast, there is one teacher for every thirty students in our public schools (in Portland, Oregon).  If we invested in progressive community building, instead of in oppressive reaction, we would be safer, saner and kinder as a society, with fewer problems.

Without citizen involvement at each stage of decision-making, community is disorganized and personality dependent.  The issue for governments is often not budget savings, but power.  Citizen involvement is under concerted assault by special interests and those who respond to them because it is effective, not because it is weak.  Citizen involvement deserves to be supported by any and all citizens who do not have fortunes and lobbyists to work for them.

Citizen involvement is one of the only real counterbalances to the growth and development industry in existence. The pattern, described here is clear: real citizen involvement is under present and concerted assault.  Neighborhood, community-based citizen activists should decide and act on these important issues quickly.  Hopefully, they will oppose orchestrated public process and demand top priority for genuine citizen involvement.

While the rich and powerful may not like dealing with real citizen involvement, it’s still, technically, the people’s government.

THE CRISIS IN AMERICAN SELF-GOVERNMENT

Americans are searching for ways to effectively influence their government and many have turned away from traditional means of involvement to construct new ones, or to destroy old ones.  Local government has to deal with the consequences of these changes, and it is important to understand why this is happening and to know that this has been going on for a long time.   These are generational strategists, representing corporate and elitist interests, yes, a new aristocracy – would-be.

THIRD PARTIES

While Bush and Gore were running for President, millions of Americans, including 100,000 Oregonians, voted for new political parties.  Many, such as the Green Party, are grassroots-based, membership-run, and progressive, and hope to be nationally competitive alternatives to the Republicans and Democrats.  Their long-term goal is a far more inclusive system of American politics, egalitarian in distribution of opportunity and reward, and centrally based in ordinary citizen organizations than the existing system.  Such reform requires a third party, electorally threatening to the other two, as a practical prerequisite for reform.  That’s why they are building them.

To be successful, a new party must be low-key, anti-heroic, long play, and position itself as a “different kind of third party” able to make the climb.  A successful third party must also:

  • Build a value-centered organization, competing less on personalities than on an alternative vision of American governance, as Nader attempted.
  • Avoid wasted votes by running where they can win, as Jesse Ventura did.
  • Offer a programmatic vision reducible to no single special interest, constituency, or the simple sum of such groups, as both Nader and Perot did.
  • Compliment its election work with “non-electoral” work – issue campaigns, political education and membership training – to advance democratic politics.
  • Promote a style that recognizes that winning for principles requires competence and verve as well as conviction.

Personal questions are posed by a new party membership: How does this add up for me?  Do I value democracy?  Do I think the argument for reform is right?  If so, am I prepared to act upon it?  If not, just how do I suppose American party politics will ever substantially improve?  Third parties remind us that there are alternatives and more inclusive solutions.  By this gauge, third parties don’t waste or spoil votes, they inform, change and strengthen them.

LOCAL CIVICS

Most Americans admit that we need government.  But American government is troubled.  We may blame bureaucrats and politicians, or recognize that government is overwhelmed by social problems.  We may want everyone to rally to help fix it, but many citizens are moving away from their institutions, and some deny any responsibility. How do we rebuild government and community relationships?  Ten ways that work:

1.  Set out to fix your neighborhood, your community, or the county – not the “system.”

2.  If you don’t beat city hall the first time, try again using a new idea.

3.  Think of new solutions, not new rules.

4.  Make sure you provide a setting in which it is comfortable for others to offer new ideas.

5.  Be out front rather than left or right.  Don’t worry about political labels.

6.  Remember that the weak should not be blamed for trouble caused by the strong.

7.  Don’t expect anything different to happen if you do the same thing over and over again.

8.  Think laterally. Imagine the solution you want, and then figure out how to get there.

9.  Make a couple of mistakes, and then learn from them.

10.  Use your experts, not theirs.  If you can’t find an expert, become one yourself.

“History ain’t ‘Sesame Street, writes Sam Smith. “It doesn’t always break our way.  On the other hand, intelligent citizens have caused social and political change by seeking out their own facts and developing their own solutions.”

INDEPENDENCE DAY Tom Paine wrote, “We have it in our power to begin the world over.” It’s important to pass this message to each new generation.  Students themselves suggest.

1.  Teach politics differently.  “We need to learn and practice how to understand issues, hold political discussions, and make decisions with others.”

2.  Help students to discover that politics can create change.  “We need to see that our elders care, and to see examples of citizens working together to make a difference.”

3.  Educate students about the roots of democracy.  “We seem to have little sense of what lies at the core of democratic politics.”

4.  Watch what we “say” about politics.  “If the message being received is that politics is irrelevant, so much for any future participation in the political process.”

5.  Challenge students to take up politics.  “Students care about the world, but to ignite their interest, they must believe that the political process can in fact create change.”

The best place for students to learn local civics is the local neighborhood association.  Get involved and include your kids.  Our democracy depends upon all of us.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eighteen years in professional local government Citizen Involvement activities.

1989 – 2002:  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Office of Citizen Involvement, Multnomah County, OR, (ret.) a chartered, independent county office, reporting to a citizen volunteer policy board, advocating for and facilitating timely citizen participation in government policy development.  Worked with all levels of local, state and national government, and grassroots organizations.

1984 – 1989:  CITIZEN PARTICIPATION COORDINATOR, Office of Neighborhood Associations, City of Portland, OR.  Fiscal and contracts officer, citizen budget advisory committee coordinator, neighborhood needs manager.]

ORGANIZED IRRESPONSIBILITY reprise

March 11, 2012
Just say, “For God’s sake, no, no, NO!”

Political corruption is one aspect of a more general immorality. If we want to tackle it, we have to understand how it works.

Sober, personal virtues of honesty, willpower, honor, and high-mindedness have given way to “the most important single factor, the effective personality,” which “commands attention by charm,” and “radiates self-confidence.” Sarah Palin is a prime example of the phenomenon. Personal relations – image, in short – have become part of public relations, a sacrifice of self-hood on a personality market, to the sole end of individual success in the corporate way of life. As in Palin’s case, the individual does not have to have a positive, or even coherent agenda. They sell themselves as stars.

In the corporate era, economic relations are impersonal – and executives feel little personal responsibility (witness NAFTA, GATT and the WTO). Within the corporate worlds of business, war making and politics, the private conscience is attenuated and immorality is institutionalized. Many of the problems of white-collar crime and of relaxed public morality, of high-priced vice and fading personal integrity, are problems of this structural immorality. Its acceptance is an essential feature of our mass society.

In economic and political institutions the corporate rich now wield enormous power, but they have never had to win the moral consent of those over whom they hold this power. The general immorality, the general weakening of older values, and the organization of irresponsibility have not involved public crisis; they result from creeping indifference and a silent hollowing out.

The images of the powerful that prevail are of the elite as celebrities. They share it with the frivolous or sultry creatures of the world of celebrity, which is a dazzling blind of their true power.

Two things are needed in a democracy: articulate and knowledgeable publics, and political leaders who, if not men of reason, are at least reasonably responsible to such knowledgeable publics as exist. Such a public and such leaders – either of power or of knowledge – do not now prevail, and knowledge does not now have democratic relevance in America.

The lack of knowledge as an experience among the elite ties in with the malign tendency of the expert, not only as fact but also as legitimization. The trend has been abdication of debate and the collapse of opposition under the easy slogan of bipartisanship. Public relations displace reasoned argument; manipulation and undebated decisions of power replace democratic authority.

Status, no longer rooted in local communities, follows the big hierarchies. Status follows big money, even if it has a touch of the gangster. Status follows power, even if it be without background. Below, in the mass society, old moral and traditional barriers to status break down and Americans look to standards of excellence above them, to model themselves and judge self-esteem.

Those in the higher circles are not truly representative; their high position is not a result of moral virtue. They sit in the seats of the high and the mighty selected and formed by the means of power, the sources of wealth, and the mechanics of celebrity. They are not shaped by nationally responsible parties that debate openly and clearly the issues this nation now so unintelligently confronts. They are not held in check by a plurality of voluntary associations, which connect debating publics with the pinnacles of decision. Commanders of power unequaled in history, they have succeeded within the American system of organized irresponsibility.

In a 1997 poll, 76% of Americans distrusted government at all levels. To any pollster, 24% approval spells big trouble. We experience its outfall, in part, as an accelerated and often irrational growth of nimbyism as people rebuff and turn away from an apparently indifferent and insensitive leadership. They seek other solutions. It’s also obvious that if leaders consistently fail to effectively engage a true majority of citizens in solving community problems, but defer almost exclusively to any exclusive group, they do not promote community, representational or democratically participative government. In the absence of genuine community building and true citizen involvement, the solution to an expanding, disaffected underclass may only be more police officers, more prison construction and tougher sentencing.

University of Wisconsin law professor Joel Rogers says, “Public opinion in the United States is conventionally mapped on a liberal-conservative axis understood to run from government do-gooders without values on one end to free marketeering rich people without hearts at the other end. Most people in America place themselves in the middle. They don’t find either end particularly attractive. Today, the fight isn’t really between liberals and conservatives but between the workers/consumers/citizens who actually want the economy to reflect our values and those who want to keep things the way they are with a few irresponsible corporations running the country for their own benefit. In that fight we can win. It’s our country. Let’s run it for the people.”

We cannot make minor process changes, but must deal with the value system, which powers our economic engine to the divorce of all other concerns. Social Darwinism supposedly died after striking U.S. Steel workers were murdered by union-busting toughs while Andrew Carnegie played golf in Scotland. Carnegie turned a blind eye to what his managers were doing at the Homestead Mines. It seemed good business to lower labor costs. It got out of hand. Carnegie learned that individual action, even when the most rational and best for the individual, may be a terrible disaster for other individuals.

Our national debate has become timid. The tyranny of experts disguises our true best interest.  So what can one do about all this? Here’s a starter list:

–  Stick up for your rights – your own integrity matters more than loyalty to a negative cause.

– Stimulate sympathy – there are social and political reasons for what we do. The social reasons create the greatest measure of self-identification and response.

– Speak only from fact – listen, especially when you don’t agree.

– Use a variety of sources of information; try to understand the other view.

– Act. Do something positive everyday.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves.”

There are legitimate and good reasons why we must participate in our own governance. We either use our rights, or we lose them.

John Legry, (paraphrase: C. Wright Mills, Joel Rogers, and others).

RELATED: STUPIDOLOGY: a Serious Subject

BED-TIME FOR BONZO: RONALD REAGAN WRECKED US

Reagan Puppet. He brought Mourning to America.

PASSION of the CHESTER BESTOS

March 1, 2012

For the edification of the KKKRISTIAN CHILD PORN PUSHERS,pay attention:

AYN RAND wrote: “I am against God. I don’t approve of religion. It is a sign of a psychological weakness … I regard it as evil.”

JESUS CHRIST (supposedly) said: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:25.

Dear KKKristians, Repuglicons and Tea Bag Partiers: Please choose one, otherwise you’re doing it wrong.

Attn: KKKRISTIAN CHILD PORN PUSHERS: Remember the GOLDEN RULE? Do you recall what it was? Do you ever practice it?

Sound Advice for all of the above:

RUN LIKE HELL
Award-winning photographer David Slater had his camera hijacked by a crested black macaque in Indonesia, which took its own picture.

Well, the KKKRISTIAN CHILD PORN PUSHERS are back at it. What set them off is an edit of what set them off before: MY STORY BEGINS reprise

KKKRISTIAN CHILD PORN PUSHERS sent mountains of child porn spam (cowardly anonymous attacks from behind virtual firewalls by fundamentalist “kkkristians” as our friend Richard Halasz of Stand Up Comedy Inc. calls them). This nest of vipers slams child porn to intimidate.  No one should use child pornography for any reason. These fundamentalist child pornography-pushers are helping the pornographers. They have no claim to moral high ground. Child porn ought to be a fast track to their god’s Abyss.  Never know it by their fixation on weird incestuous and vicious stuff – definitely not normal, not normal at all. What dark corner do these true believers inhabit?

We thought they’d actually had a moral revelation, perhaps learning from the scolding we gave them in .  They ceased  to spam child porn and began spamming spurious advertising spam – still by the boatload, no less annoying, but at least they went up from child porn to grand larceny and fraud. It was slightly less offensive, and far more tolerable than outright prostitution of the truly innocent. See:

However, they returned again because we rattled their rattlesnake cage and disturbed  digestion of their latest field mouse. Honestly, these bozos must have the mental capacities of simple livestock. The best way to stay superstitious and ignorant is to be born (or reborn) into and rededicated to it throughout life. It surpasses all human communication to reason with essentially childlike creatures who holler dirty words and throw rocks in response to intelligent argument. They stand self-revealed as dirty-minded morons, sub-human filth-spewing apes – not the nice kind like Chester Bestos.

Note: Have to laugh: they’re sending a double portion of garbage – smut and scams combined in an “international frenzy of outrage.” They have no sense of proportion and no hope of ever scaring us with their wicked wicked corrupting ways. What juvenile meat heads. As Joan Rivers so aptly phrases it, “Oh, grow up!” LOL.