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Truth To Power

the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must

Archive for November, 2010

What a fool believes

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names
Chinese proverb

Everybody has one, at least. The bellicose friend who is the personification of Moynihan’s Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts dictum. You can attempt a discussion, but it’s an exercise in frustration as they rebut anything you say with a pithy St. Ronnie quote. If you’re lucky you can salvage the friendship by sticking to discussions of something trivial such as football, but in today’s hyper-connected, social networked world, generally you end up with their ignorance billboarded in your face every time you log on, until finally you snap and delete them from your life.

fool don’t see…Tryin’ hard to recreate
What had yet to be created

The greatest accomplishment of the conservative movement is the creation of an alternate reality. It is what drives everything else they do. In this world tax cuts raise revenue, god-less heathens are fighting a war on Christmas, and homos want to bugger their kids. They listen to the skillfully presented propaganda of Wall Street and the military and steadfastly defend borrowing money to pay to millionaires while their own kids don’t have health care coverage, they champion the intelligence of Palin and the honor of Bush. And they watch crap like this, and take it seriously:

Fox News hosts pretend birther author’s novel is non-fiction

So opaque are their blinders that they gobble up anything that supports their paranoiac vision of the world- even if its from the Onion. Even when its been debunked around the globe.

But what a fool believes he sees
No wise man has the power to reason away

Religion was created as an attempt by a terrified people to make order of a world they couldn’t understand or control. If a flood washed away the village, then it was the wrath of an angry god. When the crops don’t come in as expected, then next year we’ll kill a goat as an offering. Completely illogical, and utterly indefensible.

And you’d no more save that goat by reasoned debate than you will win an argument with a true believer- because deep down, they know what you’re saying is true, and they hate you for it.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
Thomas Jefferson

I recently lost a friend under these very circumstances. He was a “hoo-ah!” yarping supporter of our illegal wars – but had marched against Vietnam when it was his time to serve. He hasn’t earned enough money since I’ve known him to pay taxes (that’s his wife’s job, I guess), but he’ll argue the Laffer curve until you want to slap him. He sat on his hands during the reign of Bush the Tyrant, but elect a democrat and suddenly he cares about bailouts and civil liberties, when Obama is simply Bush on steroids. He lives in a Wonderland of lies without the incredulity of Alice. He lives literally on the ruined shores of the Gulf of Mexico, but its “crazed environmentalists who hate capitalism” that dumped all that oil in the water, not a greedy multinational corporation. He lives in a state gutted by big money Ponzi schemes but our current economic disaster can be traced to riff-raff getting home loans from ACORN. He considers the treasonous outing of Valerie Plame to be a “non issue” but wants the Wikileaks guy to hang.

What seems to be
Is always better than nothing

Deep down my former friend knows that what he believes is nonsense. But to admit it would mean facing truths about a world that scares and frustrates him- a world that operates not on mythology but on facts, not on the faith of Fox but the voice of millions who live with their eyes- and minds- open. And every time I would argue with him, I stepped foot into Wonderland.

It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.
Alice in Wonderland

Embrace reality. Foist off fantasy. Be here now, as the Buddhists say. I’ll miss my friend. I hope his delusions can sustain him.

Because they are killing the rest of us.

Picasso stash found

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Picasso’s electrician reveals artist’s ‘treasure trove’

A retired electrician in southern France who worked for Pablo Picasso says he has hundreds of previously unknown works by the artist.

The treasure trove of 271 pieces includes lithographs, cubist paintings, notebooks and a watercolour and is said to be worth about 60m euros (£50.6m).

Pierre Le Guennec, 71, reportedly says Picasso gave him the works as gifts.

But the estate’s administrators have filed a case for alleged illegal receipt of the works of art.

How he got the stuff sounds fishy, but the discovery of unseen works from the master is good news.

Now this is encouraging news: Youth abandoning church

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Are We Becoming an Atheist Nation? 3 Reasons Young People Are Abandoning Religion

Chances are that if you are in your 20s or 30s, you are not hanging around a church.

Polling is now a highly sophisticated industry, and religious organizations are being fed some irrefutable numbers about what is happening among their constituents.

In a single generation, the Christian church dropout rate has increased fivefold. The Barna Group, a leading research organization focusing on the intersection of faith and culture, says 80 percent of the young people raised in a church will be “disengaged” before they are 30.

In the past 20 years, the number of American people who say they have no religion has doubled and has now reached 15 percent. Those numbers are concentrated in the under-30 population. The polling data continues to show that a dramatic exit is taking place from American Christian churches.

The sooner our planet evolves past its anti-choice, anti-thought “belief” system, the better off we’ll be. Harsh? Imagine, as John said, no heaven, but rephrase it.

Imagine that tonight, as they sleep, all memories, feelings, beliefs, experiences and teachings of religion were wiped clean from peoples minds. What do you think that would lead to…world-wide chaos…or calm?

Irish say eat the rich

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Default! Say the people

A SUBSTANTIAL majority of the Irish people wants the State to default on debts to bondholders in the country’s stricken banks, according to a Sunday Independent/Quantum Research poll.

The finding that 57 per cent favour and 43 per cent oppose default reflects a growing view among policymakers and opinion formers that the State simply cannot support the debt burden it has taken on.

Yeah, lets see how that works out. The bankers will always get paid, every time.

Ok, everybody behave for a week…

Friday, November 19th, 2010

It’s “Goodbye Cruel World!” and “Hello, High Desert!” next week at TTP…so behave yourself- Yoshi, you’re in charge.

Might be a good time to pour a nice glass of grain alcohol and dive into the collected works, eh?

rf

So, if you’re near the Rockin’ Frog, come on by…bring firewood!

USA! USA! USA…is a banana republic.

Friday, November 19th, 2010

I’m appalled by our growing wealth gaps because in my travels I see what happens in dysfunctional countries where the rich just don’t care about those below the decks. The result is nations without a social fabric or sense of national unity. Huge concentrations of wealth corrode the soul of any nation.

And then I see members of Congress in my own country who argue that it would be financially reckless to extend unemployment benefits during a terrible recession, yet they insist on granting $370,000 tax breaks to the richest Americans. I don’t know if that makes us a banana republic or a hedge fund republic, but it’s not healthy in any republic.

Hey AZ, how’s the hatin’ workin’ for ya?

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Not so well:

Boycott Over Arizona Immigrant Law Cost $141 Million, Study Says

A business boycott of Arizona over its immigration law may have cost the state’s economy as much as $141 million, a Washington-based policy group estimated.

Convention bookings for July and August fell 35 percent from a year earlier, cutting lodging revenue by $45 million, the Center for American Progress said in a report today. Lost spending on food, beverages, entertainment, local transportation and retail goods brought the total cost to $141 million, the report said.

Not to mention that the people who did show up, won’t have anyone to wait on them, since the state ran them all off. Now, the underlying cause of this immigration policy has little to do with “illegal aliens” filling the state, but rather filling the jails.

Yup. Follow the money.

We’re all gonna die, and someone is gonna profit from it.

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

No ‘enhanced’ pat-downs for kids, TSA says

Children going through airport security will no longer be subject to the aggressive pat-downs that have riled some passengers and will instead face less-intrusive hand searches from screeners, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday.

“After a thorough risk assessment and after hearing concerns from parents, we made the decision that a modified pat-down would be used for children 12 years old and under who require extra screening,” TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee said in a statement.

The TSA last month began “enhanced” pat-downs on passengers who decline to enter body scanners that create graphic images of people under their clothes and are viewed in a private room by screeners. Some passengers complained the pat-downs were intrusive, while others have protested the body scanners as a privacy invasion.

The TSA decision to ease screening for children came as the agency was sued Tuesday by two airline pilots seeking to block the use of body scanners and enhanced pat-downs. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., by Michael Roberts, an ExpressJet Airlines pilot who created a minor stir last month when he refused to undergo a body scan and a pat-down at Memphis International Airport, where he was trying to board a flight to his base in Houston. The other plaintiff is Continental Airlines first officer Ann Poe.

The larger issue behind this notion that we must submit to “unreasonable search and seizure” in order to fly home to see Grandma at Thanksgiving is not what the TSA is doing, but rather, what they are NOT doing. Which is examining cargo. Now, I’m inclined to think the entire Yemen episode was bullshit, but the notion that something could be brought into the country hidden in freight destined for your local Wal Mart is certainly plausible.

But folks like Wal Mart don’t give a shit. Enhanced security costs money, takes time, and reduces the profits of any company receiving goods from abroad, which is of course nearly all of them, since our “free market” took the short cash and sold our manufacturing base for pennies on the dollar.

Same folks who collapsed the world economy, and got the US taxpayers to pay for the experience. Same folks who imported millions of tons of poisoned products from China because they were cheaper to sell at the Dollar Store. Same folks who spent nearly 90 million dollars assuring that health care reform would never happen. Same folks who get fatter while millions sit idle. Same folks who are going to steal your money from Social Security while stopping the income cap from being removed.

There is no free market in this country. There is only socialism for the rich. And because capitalism has sucked the very marrow from our bones, unimpeded, we all suffer. And pretty soon somebody is gonna die while we fret about TSA goons diddling children and saving scans of hot chicks. Our national security and our outdated notions of a free market are simply two acts in the ultimately fatal kabuki that is our nation.

Now online! The collected works of Mannormyth

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Finally got around to creating a website for all my writings over the years, check it out here.

Got stuff going back to the 90s, book reviews that have never been online, and maybe an unpublished fiction work coming up.

Good: NOLA pulls the plug on spying on residents

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Mayor Mitch Landrieu wants to dump city’s crime cameras

In seven years, New Orleans’ crime camera program has yielded six indictments: three for crimes caught on video and three for bribes and kickbacks a vendor is accused of paying a former city official to sell the cameras to City Hall.

Given that ignominious track record and the millions the city has paid for a camera network that rarely worked, Mayor Mitch Landrieu unceremoniously pulled the plug on the project Thursday.

Amazing that a government program was stopped because it didn’t work. I thought that was beside the point?