Monday, December 19, 2016


Republicans have turned North Carolina into a laboratory for subverting democracy.
(Ari Berman at The

(Ari Berman at Democracy

The U.S. is a strong supporter of democracy overseas... when it's good for American business interests. When the will of a people supports their own interests and not U.S. companies, a coup and a brutal dictator usually solves the democracy problem. Since crushing democracy has worked so well for so long in our foreign policy, it has become standard operating procedure at home. 

U.S.A Inc. is not much of a democracy, even that rag The Washington Post knows about it.

(The Washington Post)


(Chris Hedges at

In the new year we should all resolve to respond to doublethink with a double take. When facing conflicts within your own mind consider alternatives outside your comfort zone. Don't always reinforce your biases. Our strings are being pulled, decide whether you're Pinocchio or real boys and girls.

Monday, December 12, 2016

(The Real video)

( video)

I read Open Veins of Latin America, by Eduardo Galeano, but I guess Obama didn't.

Greg Maybury provides a sometimes amusing take on the legacy of Fidel Castro and the idiocy of U.S. foreign policy:
The Werewolves Who Hated Castro
( article)

Friday, December 9, 2016


Science fiction can be fun as well as thought provoking. Consider poker on the Enterprise D. 

On one side of the table you have Troi: whose job on board is to read minds, Data: a walking talking supercomputer with perfect recall who cannot help but count cards, and Geordi: who sees with a visor in wavelengths well beyond human norms. I'm guessing the pigments on each card appear to him as if they were printed on glass. He can see micro-fissures in a faulty bulkhead for goodness sake. When Jargon La Forge receives the full spectrum of data absorbed through his visual implants he not only knows what you are holding, but can see the next card in the deck.

On the other side of the table you have what passes for normal people in the 24th Century, people willing to play poker with freaks that clearly have advantages. And what are they playing for, anyway? I thought money was a quaint idea abandoned by these enlightened cosmic travelers.

And here's some interesting musings on the future of the human race by an SF fan.

( interview)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Fellow Humans!

In my folly or naiveté I joined the Planetary Society on or very near the moment of its inception in 1980. I'm pretty sure a t-shirt is on its way to me as a thank you for my recent membership renewal.

Perhaps I stuck with them all these years because I enjoyed the letters I used to get from Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov, which concluded with their very own signature stamp! And now I get regular e-mails from Bill Nye The Science Guy! I feel we are becoming good and close friends. Or it's because I respect the brilliant minds who devote themselves to exploration and achieving extraordinary feats of advanced scientific discovery, keeping a dream alive that intelligence isn't only a means to more quickly and efficiently destroy ourselves.

Anyhoop, the latest Planetary Post video is a Reading from The Book of Sagan, and I think it provides some valuable perspective.

p.s. The Wisdom of Tap

(movie clip)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

(The Real video & transcript - Part 1)

Chris Hedges and Sheldon Wolin discuss history and politics and the forces that shaped our nation. This eight-part interview is well worth watching, it is both entertaining and enlightening.

CHRIS HEDGES, PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING JOURNALIST: Hi. I'm Chris Hedges. And we are here in Salem, Oregon, interviewing Dr. Sheldon Wolin, who taught politics for many years at Berkeley and, later, Princeton. He is the author of several seminal works on political philosophy, including Politics and Vision and Democracy Inc.. And we are going to be asking him today about the state of American democracy, political participation, and what he calls inverted totalitarianism. So let's begin with this concept of inverted totalitarianism, which has antecedents. And in your great work Politics and Vision, you reach back all the way to the Greeks, up through the present age, to talk about the evolution of political philosophy. What do you mean by it?

SHELDON WOLIN, PROF. POLITICS EMERITUS, PRINCETON: Well, I mean by it that in the inverted idea, it's the idea that democracy has been, in effect, turned upside down. It's supposed to be a government by the people and for the people and all the rest of the sort of rhetoric we're used to, but it's become now so patently an organized form of government dominated by groups which are only vaguely, if at all, responsible or even responsive to popular needs and popular demands. But at the same time, it retains a kind of pattern of democracy, because we still have elections, they're still relatively free in any conventional sense. We have a relatively free media. But what's missing from it is a kind of crucial continuous opposition which has a coherent position, and is not just saying, no, no, no but has got an alternative, and above all has got an ongoing critique of what's wrong and what needs to be remedied.

The entire three hour interview is available on Youtube.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Presidential Polls Were Off the Mark Because of Voter Suppression
(Interview with Greg Palast - Real video )

Greg has been reporting on election fraud for a very long time. Check it out.

And then you may wish to reflect on other U.S. political tragedies.

Reflections on US Political Tragedies
(David Marks - Consortium

(CBS This Morning - Youtube video)

"Sincerity - if you can fake that, you've got it made."
- George Burns

I've posted an odd mashup this morning. Burns's quip sadly doesn't apply to Bernie Sanders. Bernie seems sincere to me, real to me, if he's faking it he is doing a very good job. Unfortunately, sincerity doesn't have the clout it had in George's day. All Bernie got was shade.

Hold on. I think Burns is saying that genuine sincerity is useless, only the sincerity of con artists pays off. Cue Trump! Although, if you are as openly insincere as The Donald does that in some way equate to a bizarre form of sincerity? Perhaps I'm dancing on the head of a pinhead.

I think Sander's performed well on CBS This Morning, and because I usually avoid such things I was shocked yet again at the shallowness of the wretched spokes models. Sycophants does not begin to describe the jokes that purport to be journalists these days. 

"But but but Mr Sanders, we have this memo from Hillary, how can it not be the truth." Sigh.


Noam is still around and is still a brilliant guy. Funny how long that interview was despite the paucity of questions.

The possibility of a rise of "friendly fascism" came up in the discussion. I think it has been with us a very long time.

Monday, November 14, 2016

(On Contact with Chris Hedges | video)

Chris Hedges and Michael Smith clearly express issues of concern and succinctly sum up the cluster fuck that defines us, the U.S., and our doomed planet.

I noticed they blame Liberals for Trump, a trend among many critics, omninously some of the most brilliant. Why is there a trend to blame Liberals for the failures of Conservative ideology? Perhaps this blame is not what it seems. A definition that accurately describes Left and Right, Liberal and Conservative, across a spectrum of beliefs, biases, knowledge, and intelligence seems to me an impossibility.

Is the failure of what passes for a Modern Liberal Left, a very shallow and dim reflection of the genuine and rigorous Left of the past, fairly called a Liberal failure? Watered down Liberals litter the airwaves, blithering on the boob tube as much as can be allowed or tolerated by the media moguls. These do not represent the architects of change that fought the factories during the Industrial Revolution, that went on strike when the Robber Barons treated them like slaves, winning rights for workers after many were shot down like mad dogs. Professional Liberals on air or in office today suck up to the Robber Barons and get sweet treats for being lap dogs.

The genuine Left became increasingly marginalized over time, and continues to struggle for an identity, using labels like Progressive and Socialist. These labels sadly generate more libel than solidarity. Genuine Liberals can be found on the fringes, in books, on some rare independent media sites, KPFA radio, talking amongst themselves or yes, yelling in the street. Genuine Liberals can be found in movements like Occupy, Black Lives Matter, or the valiant Standing Rock protesters. But when Liberals become troublesome they are crushed by our increasingly oppressive and militarized surveillance state, the Big Brother bought by billionaires and implemented by both Democrats and Republicans. Right Malcolm?

Leading Democrats do not represent the traditional Left, they are not Liberal based on historic standards. They will at times co-opt icons of the Left, invoking actors of substance like Martin Luther King, Jr., only to turn them into toothless brand names. The new Left is Right. Similarly Republicans have morphed into Frankenstein's Monster, a creation of extreme conservatism that is running amok. It's hard for me to blame Liberals for not preventing Trump, but it is easy to see that Democrats played a significant role in getting him elected by reneging on their social contract. Trump appealed to some folks who used to vote Democrat, as well as those who have always bought into conservative rhetoric. No doubt many Trump supporters think Reagan was great, not a Hollywood actor unfit to lead, an empty smiley-face playing frontman to despotic sociopaths.

Imperial expansion, big business, and class suppression are as American as apple pie. But Reagan took it up a notch, he helped usher in a new era of class warfare, and Trump was a beneficiary. When Democrats turned their backs on the poor and middle classes, and fought for war instead of peace, they lost not only their supposed credibility, but the basis for the support of their base.

Reagan's fabricated image has reached mythic proportions, he is basically Trump's political grandfather. Generations of voters denied perspective by a pervasive and persuasive propaganda machine are angry and confused because the fantasy they were sold is falling apart. In a bizarre metaphoric twist Trump is propaganda's fallout, his reign will be The Bomb. 

When asked about my immediate reaction to Trump's election, I honestly respond that I felt the least impact of all the elections in my lifetime. I didn't react in horror, because it seemed so plausible, almost inevitable. I was ready. I felt worse when Reagan and W were elected, because it seemed so crazy to me. I have come to a better understanding of our dysfunctional and corrupt political system. This is what our media-driven fog of shit has caused. The electorate is an angry mob who keeps lynching themselves instead of the real assholes. Trump is another jolt in a train wreck that has been happening for decades. Our nation under Trump is another day on the Doomsday Express, but his creepy clown car is filled with too many monsters, the wreck may be close to an end. The End.

The calm I felt following Trump's election is most certainly becoming a profound and disheartening dread.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


Using manufactured hysteria following 9/11 Congress began an insidious expansion of Executive Branch powers. Add that to the very long list of horribleness resulting from the fanciful Pogrom Against Bad People begun under W.

 Trump now has more power than any one man has ever had, or should have.


Only one voice of reason among our "representatives" following 9/11. I find it amusing when I hear things like, "well, everyone agreed, was afraid, believed the intelligence, etc." Many on the left, in the streets, and on progressive websites knew the military response to 9/11 was bullshit and only served the Military Industrial Complex, and all those who profit from it. I remember being against a military response even in Afghanistan. Without knowing anything specific I knew 9/11 was a crime, not an act of war. And even in 2003 it was obvious Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

'We were ignored': anti-war protesters remember the Iraq war marches

The voices for reason after 9/11 were not simply marginalized, but demonized outright. The very sad thing is there are still so many who don't acknowledge or refuse to see how right the dissenters were then, and now.

Hear how right she was.

(Youtube video)

Read this and weep.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Robert Parry's take on our current debacle.

John Nichols' take on our current debacle.
(The Nation)

(Democracy video)

(Democracy video)

I fear conservative control of our government more than Trump, himself. Funny how our broken democracy puts Republicans in charge even when they lose (Why Republicans Lost the Vote But Kept the House). Both W and Trump lost the popular vote. 

A blind faith in god, guns and greed are dooming us all. Conservative thinking empowers the destructive plutocracy. They legislate based on twisted notions they purport pleases a sky fairy. They argue that giving to the rich will help the poor. They protect polluters and condemn conservationists. Conservative idiocy seems inexhaustible and is ultimately suicidal. Seeking endless growth instead of sustainability is insane behavior in a finite system. Conspicuous consumption is a virulent disease conservatives cherish, and it is literally killing life around the globe. They think they are going to Heaven, but they're only making a Hell on Earth.

Obama and the Clintons spoke out against conservative thinking, while doing little to thwart it. The same moneyed interests called their shots. The same criminals who got rich on Republican malfeasance cashed in on Democratic collusion. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Media whores covered Trump 24/7 then wondered why people paid attention to him. They also helped the DNC foist a loser on the electorate, contributing to Bernie's demise. I'm among those who thought Bernie had a better chance against Trump than Hillary. The Main Stream Media and our political elites are both out of touch, pushing disinformation defines the disservice of the former, self-serving serves as a definition of the latter.

I've been ready for a Trump presidency for a long time. Considering the depths to which our political discourse has sunk, he is the obvious result. 

Trump is merely another nail, perhaps gold-plated, in the coffin of the U.S. Empire. An empire whose death is as inevitable as it is justified.

To be honest, it's Pence that truly frightens me. He's another Cheney, an evil bastard lurking behind a buffoon.

I don't feel much like accentuating the positive, but Ralph gave it a try.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Nine Ways the U.S. Voting System Is Rigged But Not Against Donald Trump

Why would a single person attempt to influence an election by casting an extra vote? Not only would that not affect election numbers, it is a serious crime. It is a risk without benefit. But if you can "make policy" that does affect election numbers, and are never held accountable, then that sounds like a crime worthy of perpetrating. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Like Putty In Your Hands

Old fossils like me invariably calcify, our minds and hearts harden. The ridiculous notions that inform our consciousness crystalize and turn to stone, like once wonderful Play-Doh becoming Play-D'oh. Sadly, we flip our lids then forget to put them back on.

As I watch my ancient acquaintances watch their stories on the idiot box, listening to answers on Jeopardy, seldom knowing or bothering to ask the questions, I realize it was not always so. I dimly recall awakening each day without the pain and stiffness of early onset rigor mortis. We oldsters were once youngsters. When you're young your box of rocks is filled with Silly Putty. Your gray matter has some flex to it.

Sure young monkeys also watch their boob tubes and listen to answers proclaimed by pontificators, but some of them ask questions and flex their putty. That's not something to worry about, it's healthy, and if it makes fogies uptight, tough titties.

When I was a kid I remember pressing Silly Putty onto the newspaper, capturing the text and pictures with that weird stuff, then bending and stretching it to see how it could be changed and manipulated. Distorting the news is a game that never gets old, it just gets harder to distinguish the paper from the putty. 

And speaking of ridiculous old fossils: Washington is filled with statues, larger than life men and women who appear impressive on the outside, but who are hollow on the inside. I hope young voters question the status quo and start providing their own answers. 

Rock the vote don't vote for rocks.

Sincerely, Grandpa 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

(The Real

The short film about the Kochs isn't just about climate change denial, it is a tiny glimpse into how corrupt our government has become.

Here's more:

Leading Senate Proponents of Spying and War Get Election Boost From “Libertarian” Koch Brothers

Republican Kelly Ayotte Lost Millions of Dollars by Defying Koch Brothers on Climate Change

If our elected officials were held accountable by the people that elected them, the moneyed special interests would be throwing their money away. The sad news is corruption works because the electorate is duped.


Sometimes the comments at Consortiumnews are as good as the articles.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

(Ralph Nader)

I enjoy reading and listening to Ralph Nader. He communicates clearly and succinctly, and I have never regretted voting for him when he ran for president.

Unless you are among the financial elite supporting the corporate stooges on the right is ludicrous. You're a cow handing the butcher a knife. Of course if you think the answer is voting for a Democrat, you're just sucking up to the butcher's wife. She seems nice, but she spends her day sharpening knives. 

Resist the oligarchy.

Monday, October 31, 2016


Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward solving it. Not enough Americans have reached that stage. I'm thankful Chris is around to provide some much needed counseling.

(YouTube video)

Comedians and musicians used to provide social commentary, now they have to do that AND do the work journalist have abandoned.

This morning I pull a pleasant interview out of my talking grab bag.

Sunday, October 30, 2016


The president of the United States of America is often called the Leader of the Free World, some argue the most powerful person on the planet. Do you really think the powerful elite would not rig the system? Would the wealthy and powerful quietly acquiesce to the will of ordinary people? The notion is ridiculous. Some say, "the Fix is in," but it is more like millions of fixes are in, and as the ironic phrase implies these fixes are designed to break the machine, not repair it.

Here are some tips of the icebergs:


(At Truthout, originally published by Rolling Stone)

(Movie Trailer on Vimeo)
by Scott McLarty (Green Party media coordinator)

When we refuse to support the puppets presented to us by the plutocratic duopoly, we force them to accept alternatives. Folks that stand in line, holding their noses, intending to vote for the candidate they hate the least are domesticated stock being herded to their slaughter, unfortunately stampeding the rest of us with them. They perpetuate a system that ignores the common good.

Lobbies with deep pockets pay for the legislation that suits them (e.g. ALEC Exposed). Our government is led by shills, virtually all of our major Senators and Congressmen deserve to be ousted in disgrace. The U.S. Constitution proscribes bribery, government officials guilty of accepting bribes are supposed to lose their positions of power.

ARTICLE II Section 4
The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

In an amazing bending of reality our leaders have managed to make bribery disappear into a fantasy realm. It no longer exists. Although bribery is the very life blood of those odious talking heads occupying the Capitol Building, finding anyone guilty of accepting bribes is like trying to capture a unicorn.

Some like Trump because they believe he isn't beholden to corporate interests. I had a friend tell me that just the other day. Even if you want to believe that, how can anyone not see that HE IS A CORPORATE INTEREST. He'll ignore the interests of other corporations while screwing the American public to suit his personal corporate interests. We consistently put foxes in charge of our hen houses, but lately we embrace wolves that don't even bother to put on their sheep's clothing.

Friday, October 28, 2016

An excellent summary of the sham that is PBS/NPR was posted to yesterday. 

The myth that media has a left wing bias is one of the most effective and disastrous con jobs ever perpetrated. "News" creates its own realities, which partly explains why so many of us seem to live in different ones. Seek alternatives to main stream media and consider your sources.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


For years, but especially since 9/11, fear has been expertly used to coerce us into giving up our civil liberties. Fear fed by media propaganda has enabled the Military and Intelligence Industrial Complex to rake in trillions, gladly donated tax money used to convert our baseless fears into real ones.

The trillions we spend to kill innocent people around the world creates hate that wasn't there to begin with, or justifies already existing hate. But we keep spending and spending. And the powerful fat cats who benefit indirectly from military intervention, or directly as addicts to that cash flow, do not want it to stop. We literally pay billions to blow things up and then pay more billions to put them back together, before blowing them up again. Just ask Dick Cheney, but water board him first. Or read The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

What happens if the populace ever stops being afraid? 

Well, we've already paid for a solution to that problem.

The surveillance state we finance spies on us, and if they think you are not on their team, they have equipped and trained goons to shut you up. I mean, what else are you gonna do with half of the public money donated by a cowering super power?

The Dark State hates pacifists. Here's just one example from Baltimore, MD: Spying Uncovered. Years ago The Baltimore Sun ran a story about undercover officers spying on peace activists. Imagine someone wishing to slow down the largest and most expensive killing machine in human history?

An award winning documentary shines a light on our emerging police state. Check out the following article, the official website, or go see it.

(The Intercept)

If they really hated us for our freedom, shouldn’t it just be like a mild dislike now?

Do Not Resist

If the general populace ever decides to seize the power they pretend to give us, it will get ugly. No matter how bad you think things are they're undoubtably worse.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


This is a very interesting example of what goes on at the Public BS News Hour. 

(Matt Orfalea - YouTube)

Another example of Jill dodging the shit storm:

(The Humanist Report)

Monday, August 29, 2016


Endless war: on one side we have common sense and sensibility, on the other a trillion dollar cash cow with the best propaganda money can buy. In the short term money wins, in the long term everybody loses.

Natylie Baldwin's article makes a cogent argument against militarism. Unfortunately in order for a rational approach to foreign policy to take hold in the U.S., we as a nation have to take responsibility for vast and numerous acts of treason, torture, and crimes against humanity, for starters. 

Rhetoric, even impassioned rhetoric, might make eyes roll, but probably not heads, unless we're very lucky.

(Consortium News)

"In war, truth is the first casualty."

Thursday, August 25, 2016

(The Fiscal Times)

So much money flows into The Pentagon that it can lose $6.5 trillion dollars in a year and virtually no one blinks an eye.

I regularly hear the question, "how can America afford
social programs?"

A better question is, "how do we afford our Military
Industrial Complex?"

Other matters of interest:

(Consortium News)


Friday, August 19, 2016

Consider how many hours of media coverage the RNC and DNC are accustomed to, then compare that to time spent on alternative voices, independent thinkers or honest journalists. Big Money has bought the media, which provides democratic theater it calls election coverage. The MSM maintains a charade that keeps corporate puppets in office, and the populace enslaved. Third parties are marginalized by design and the debates are rigged because the Duopoly would crumble if it had to survive on its merits. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016


"The U.S. foreign policy establishment and its mainstream media operate with a pervasive set of hypocritical standards that justify war crimes — or what might be called a “normalization of deviance,” writes Nicolas J S Davies."

An excellent essay to read on your way to doomsday.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


Democrats should abandon their party if it no longer represents them. Convincing staunch supporters is a sticky wicket, so maybe an attractive graphic will help.

I awoke this morning with an idea: Delta-Vote:


"Voting for life" means supporting peace instead of war, advocating for environmental and health issues, and fighting for social justice. "Voting for life" also means sticking with it and not dropping out because the system is corrupt.

How corrupt could the Green Party be, it's broke?

My conservative friends lament the rise of modern youth (they dread millennials). I lament what has gone before and hope this generation sticks it to the establishment.

For their own good millennials need to clean house...
both houses :)

I'm Talking Bag and I support this message.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Chris Hedges and Green Party candidate Jill Stein diagnose the problems plaguing US politics, highlighting the dysfunction of a two-party system dominated by corporate interests.


We need more folks in government like Arn.