You know, Carol King wrote this. What the hell, ehh...
The oddest things make you get all philosophic...which I suppose is why philosophers and those of us who are kinda, sorta like that, the modern Philosophe's or Philosopotasters (if you're not sure what that means, ask Crispin) lead such odd lives. Anyway, I saw a piece in American Songwriter this morning and it got me thinking about, of all things, rock and roll as Apollo's chariot, so to speak. The fact that a truly great rock and roll band has to be able to cover other people's stuff exceptionally well while finding their own way. And, some people you might not expect to have any patience with anyone can handle spoiled prima donnas better than most. But, mainly the fact that lots of us had our lives and sanity saved by rock and roll...
Full piece at the Defeatists. Lots of music. Maybe even some good thinking. Maybe not. Figure it out. Since Typepad has a problem with comments at the Defeatists for some reason, feel free to post here or just email me at [email protected]
speaking of the practice of calling anyone you disagree with a terrorist, harry reid calls bundy and the 'militias' that have rallied in his support 'domestic terrorists'. on morning joe this morning, mike barnicle waved around a dictionary, defined 'terrorism' and asserted flatly that reid was perfectly right. barnicle was obviously wrong, even by the inadequate definition he quoted. no one is a terrorist without committing any actual acts of violence, no matter how you cut it. 'they're resisting our government', said barnicle, showing exactly who he is, the goddamn commie. no wait! he's a fascist. he's a monphysite, i tell you, a blanquist, a witch. anyway only an embezzler or a jacobin quotes webster's dictionary in defense of his monstrous positions, like osama with the koran.
this phenomenon of using 'terrorist' completely indiscriminately to mean whomever you don't like is self-consuming: the word is meaningless in these doinks' mouths, and all they are trying to do is manipulate their followers, if any, into a rage. i hear that in dc, people are tossing the term around in marital spats. i'm sure bundy calls reid a terrorist too. we need higher standards both of terrorism and of meaningfulness. if i were a terrorist - and i'm sure i am by barnicle's or reid's or assad's standards etc - i'd be getting pissed off. geez y'all count anyone as a terrorist these days! christ i had to earn that shit by blowing people to smithereens; now all you have to do is wave the wrong sign or get tased. what is the world coming to? we used to have standards.
philosophy really has produced some of the most monstrous egos in human history. i often point to the prefaces of the german idealists: here is what humanity has been waiting for since it awoke to consciousness; here is the culmination of our species. or nietzsche: "why i am a destiny". one of the most charming things about g.e. moore is his extreme, astonishing humility.
here are some bits of his autobiographical sketch, written for the "library of living philosophers" volume on his work (1942). (the llp exists still; it has produced great volumes on, e.g. rorty and danto under randy auxier's editorship.)
"I do not know that Russell owed to me anything except mistakes."
On his early paper "The Nature of Judgement": "I am sure the article must have been full of confusions."
On a revision of Principia Ethica: "Of course, even with all this alteration, there still remained an immense deal that was wrong with it; but I did not see that clearly at the time, though I constantly felt vaguely dissatisfied."
"When I got to know [Wittgenstein], I soon came to feel that he was much cleverer at philosophy than I was, and not only cleverer, but more profound, and with a much better insight into the sort of inquiry which was really important and best worth pursuing, and into the best method of pursuing such inquiries. . . . [The Tractatus] is a book which I admired and do admire extremely. There is of course a good deal in it which I am not able to understand."
Of his student F.P. Ramsey: "I felt distinctly nervous in lecturing before him: I was afraid he would see some gross absurdity in things which I said, of which I was quite unconscious."
believe it or not, i think it is partly things like this (which i think are honest expressions of his own self-assessment), and moore's whole anti-genius persona, that have led him to be underestimated. in particular moore has been one of many people who have been blown away by wittgenstein's super-genius performance, and moore's reputation has suffered partly by comparison to wittgenstein. and though moore should have had a much higher opinion of his own work, it is so sweet that he did not.
editing through entanglements i keep noticing that its presiding spirit in some ways is g.e. moore. perhaps hoping to pitch a piece of literary journalism to someone, i've been reading moore's writings, the bios, and so on. in my opinion he compares extremely well with his associates russell and wittgenstein, but he has been fading in reputation for decades, i think. for one thing, in 1939 moore proved once and for all in a way that no one can possibly doubt, that the external world exists. quite the little accomplishment! the famous proof: "here is a hand, and here is another".
whatever our assessment of moore's proof, we ought to be astonished that someone feels the need to argue for the existence of 'a world outside the mind' or the existence of 'things to be met with in space' in 1939. here's one way of narrating 'modern thought' or the run-up to and then the enlightenment: the works of figures such descartes, locke, leibniz, hume, kant are connected with science or are attempting to give underpinnings for the new secular and and empirical approach that is at the center of western culture even now. but i think basically modern philosophy is pitted against modern science, and i think that by and large this history, and then nineteenth-century idealism - fichte, hegel, schelling, schopenhauer, etc - , and then the positivists, hermenauts, narrativists, deconstructionsits, phenomenologists, etc. is profoundly anti-scientific and also a miserable dead end.
seriously, descartes starts the thing off by doubting the existence of the world and moore polishes it off by proving the existence of the world. throughout, the existence of the world is a problem. hume proves that it cannot be proven, then kant spends thousands of pages of tortured deduction proving it after all, except that the world he proves isn't external to the mind at all, but constructed by it (i'll give kant this, though, if he proves anything, he does prove that there are things to be met with in space; sadly space is internal to the mind). and the whole tradition, more or less, is led down this dark alley to its doom by the notion that we only directly perceive our own images, representations, ideas, impressions, sense data, and so on. seriously, they staked hundreds of years of extreme ingenuity on this perfectly doubtable dogma, or rather this very obvious mistake. that is because they were actually fighting a rearguard action for mind and spirit and spiritual reality and against the material world.
if the idea that we only perceive our own ideas and the external world might not exist at all, or might be mind or something, ever helped anyone do any actual science, that would be very surprising. really, as galileo gazes through his telescope, he needs to report what he sees, not discharge the hypothesis that he might be dreaming. the planet jupiter is a representation in our consciousness, it is an idea, or a congeries of ideas, and so on: that has nothing to do with science and if scientists ever took it seriously as some sort of issue, science would never have happened at all. some mistakes persist for centuries, son, and some blunders are merely blunders.
moore was trained by idealists (mctaggart, e.g.) and he spent a career not merely refuting them, but ridiculing them, with real gentleness, but with brilliant wit. but so subtle was this wit often that people missed the jokes - some of which take many pages to unfold - entirely. here is an example: in principia ethica he spends a long time arguing as against kant, that it matters "just a bit" whether or not beautiful things exist in the world, or rather just in the mind (or 'sensible manifold' etc). he works at it paragraph after paragraph, admitting that of course this matter of whether anything beaiutiful exists in the world is a trivial matter compared to what's happening in immanuel kant's head, but still it does matter in a teensy way. he is very good-naturedly poking kant and us in the ribs. but 'here is a hand' encapsulates the whole thing beautifully: it is hilarious, and moore thinks it is really absurd and great that he has to prove the existence of the external world against his own professors and colleagues. it is both a perfectly rigorous and decisive proof and a perfect parody of the whole idea of a proof, in particular of something that no one ever doubted for a moment.
nice job by the pulitzer committee on the snowden stories, though nothing could be more obvious. meanwhile, if cnn has ever won pulitzers, i'd rescind them immediately, or maybe they can establish a pulitzer prize for stupid, cnn's by acclamation. the lead with jake tapper goes with the national lead: anti-semitic murders in kc. so far, so good. international lead: again on day 14 million, nothing is happening on flight 370. after that we'll get to the extreme international crisis unfolding right at this moment at the ukraine. if there are any people who regard themselves as journalists involved in such decisions, they should start calling themselves something else; i have some suggestions on that. whatever is happening in their editorial meetings suggests that whoever is making the decisions needs immediately to find another line of work - fast food, maybe.
update: and at 5, wolf blitzer is all: dramatic developments in three big stories! then they lead with this: 370's co-pilot's cell phone was on a half hour after the plane disappeared from radar. wolf knows better, and should simply refuse to read the garbage that anti-journalists are putting up on his prompter. al jazeera america is the only news-gathering operation currently available on dish network.
more and more, i'm grooving on the way governments use the word 'terroriist'. e.g. the government of the ukraine, such as it is, is calling their largely hypothetical actions against russian separatists 'anti-terror operations'. oh, bashar assad is another who calls any disagreement with himself terrorism. i assume vlad putin is calling the gov of ukraine terrorists; he calls everyone a terrorist. i get the propaganda value, i suppose, though surely that is fading fast as the word loses all meaning, in the manner of words in the mouths of government officials from time immemorial. what they are showing, however, is that they regard any disagreement with themselves as terrifying, the little pussies.
immigration seems to be coming up again, as jeb bush - who is running for president - tries to frame it as a campaign issue. now, one line that people always come up with is 'it's unrealistic to deport 10 million people'. well, i'll tell you what, the obama admin has deported 2 million, so i wouldn't assume that they or their successors couldn't or wouldn't deport millions more, or indeed, say, the whole population of the lower 48. meanwhile almost half a million people are being held in what we should certainly call concentration camps. these camps, in the time-honored tradition, are filed with people of a particular ethnicity. meanwhile obama's up on stage quoting king, etc. it's a real inspiration.
i have given up on, or aged beyond, this romantic love thing, and i have placed a moratorium on sex with other people. the whole sex/love conflagration had for me its ecstatic moments, and its decades of pain, rage, obsession. i wasn't good for the women i was with (jamie, rachael, judith, marion, from when i was 15 to 50) and they weren't good for me. i have seen it work out ok; i just haven't seen it work out ok for me. indeed, with the (possible) exception of the deaths of people i loved, it has been by far the source of the greatest pain in my life. i often mutated into an asshole that i myself despised. i was both jealous or controlling and actually betrayed, sometimes for years on end both ways round. i helped produce beautiful children, but you know romantic love is not strictly necessary for reproduction, and my reproductive years are over. anyway, at 55, i am less driven pillar-to-post by sexual desire, which was always to me necessarily connected to romantic love. (i've tried semi-casual sex over the last few years, because there were no other real possibilities, but to me it just seems wrong, not for you necessarily, but for me.) it has been a great relief to me just to give up and chill, despite the fact that i still experience a hole where the love of a good woman should, in my unreality, be. i'm gonna try fill that with asphalt.
no, this is not a plea for a date!
relentless tributes by all great americans to lyndon baines johnson. well, i do remember when he was president. voting rights are good. now, there were some little drawbacks: e.g. hundreds of thousands of people killed in vietnam; oh all the regions defoliated with agent orange, the napalmed villages, the utterly indiscriminate bombing, the constant lies lies lies about what was happening, indeed the big lie to get us in in the first place. how many black guys killed or wounded in a war fought for no discernible reason, which ended in complete defeat? maybe he should have fought for the voting rights of corpses.
re-reading through peter kropotkin and the history of anarchist theory generally, i conclude again that he is a very impressive person and a very wide-ranging intellectual, as well as the best theorist that anarchism has produced, by quite a ways. one excellent set of moments in modern science and anarchism, is where he gently but definitely points out that the claims of various political theorists - especially those influenced by hegel - to science, are ridiculous. he has a go at the 'dialectical method', for example, which many people took seriously and took to be scientific. well, he is puncturing the pretensions not only of marx, but of proudhon, for instance. all you have to say is that the thing is not driven by observation or experiment: it is a purely a priori conceptual structure into which data are jammed. or fourier, or comte: that their views constitute science is their most characteristic assertion, but lord knows what they can possibly mean by 'science': they certainly do not mean that their results are based on systematic empirical observation that is open to whatever is actual. when they foretell the future, and it happens to be the future they want, they call that science (marx is the very most extreme case of this). when their opponents disagree, they just respond that you can't argue with science. it's quite disingenuous or self-deceived, and it is certainly ridiculous.
now kropotkin appeals to science too, but he was actually a distinguished geographer and naturalist. his own deployments of science - for example in the utter refutation of social darwinism/hobbesian justifications of state power in mutual aid - have their own difficulties, or their own slippage between the descriptive and the normative - but they have something to do with actual science, and he has thought long and hard about what that actually means.
we live in an era of renewed scientism, conducted on an extremely primitive level: the left accuses the right of not believing what science says. or any disagreement with the latest study, contradicting the last one and the next one, is savaged as irrationality. man if you look at the history of science and then believe whatever 'science' 'says' right now, you really have failed at basic induction. and the idea of 'what science says' - as though science was a person with a voice - is a mere appeal to the authority of scripture and a mysterious priesthood. and of course people are still claiming the mantle of science for whatever politics they want, or making it equivalent to the political program of the democratic party or something. if you disagree with al gore's plans for a world regulatory regime, you don't accept 'science'. or a candidate for office might actually be asked whether he 'believes in science', for pity's sake. science is something with a definite set of assertions and values that you accept or reject, quite like - or more than merely like - a religion.
the first thing to say about science - actual science - is that it is open to criticism: critically, independently assessing the results of science is science. if you have to accept whatever psychologists or brain boys or string theorists say on pain of being irrational = heretical, then science is impossible. the people who beat this drum are killing what they purport to love. and if people are interpreting scientific results as entailing their own pre-existing political positions: well, you should regard everything else they say with extreme scepticism. it's definitely not going to be actual science that tells you what to do or who to vote for or what policies to prefer, so if someone is saying that it does, they've got nothing to do with science except as its betrayers.
marx, giving his positive program in the manifesto:
1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.
it is pure totalitarianism, the very model for the forced collectivization of ag, etc etc. here, in short, is the formula for achieving equality: introduce the most extreme assymmetries of power, the most excruciating hierarchies, that the world has ever known. here's the formula for liberation: extreme oppression. it's scientific!
i think what is most disgusting about marxist communism and related developments is the idea that thinking independently, or for example listening to the deliverances of your own conscience, is the merest bourgeois individualism and must be crushed. well, any power-mad ideologue or self-deluded fanatic might recommend that you believe all and only what he tells you. individual conscience is indeed a a barrier to collective action, such as genocide. but what is really amazing is that millions of actually bourgeois people, and maybe a few others, decided that made sense and tried to destroy their own independence of thought, and overcome all conscientious individual qualms. it was like they performed lobotomies on themselves, using steak knives from down at the rustler. it's a mindless endorsement of mindlessness. even if it wasn't in the service of a farrago of jive, that is a formula for astounding doltishness, profound evil, and non-stop mass murder for no reason at all.
that the left in the 20th century, apparently in the pursuit of justice or equality, descended into horrendous totalitarianism, resulting in the suffering-unto-death of millions of persons, is not, i assert, a forgivable or an understandable mistake. endorsement of marxist communism or state socialism was just an obvious endorsement of tyranny, oppression, exploitation, and mindless propaganda. advocacy of twentieth-century communism constituted advocacy precisely of inequality and injustice of the most extreme and explicit imaginable variety. it's no more forgivable than endorsing, let's say, the annihilation of the jews or chattel slavery. and i will say this: the left is still utterly dominated by statism, and it's no more decent or plausible or egalitarian than it ever was.
dude, you did not have to wait for stalin's show trials - though if you persisted after that you were explicitly endorsing a monstrous politics in a way that you couldn't possibly hide from yourself or anyone else. the point was incredibly obvious to common sense, but also all sorts of people were warning you about it, including a whole nother strand of the left. they warned about it 1840, 1900, 1919 (emma goldman on the soviet union, e.g.), and at all points between. marxists kicked the ass of anarchists, but definitely not because the marxists were making even vague sense, and certainly not because their inspiring vision of the future wasn't a nightmare of stupid pain.
anyway, i'm prompted to return to these points by rereading kropotkin's modern science and anarchism as i gear up to teach it. this is 1901, but anarchists had already been saying this for sixty years. proudhon attacked the state communism of weitling and others in 1840 on precisely these grounds. kropotkin:
The opinions of the anarchists concerning the form which the remuneration of labor may take in a society freed from the yoke of capital and the State still remain divided. To begin with, all are agreed in repudiating the new form of the wage system which would be established if the State becamne the owner of all the land, the mines, the factories, the railways, and so on, and the great manager of agriculture and all industries. If these powers were added to those which the State already possesses (taxes, defence of the territory, subsidized religions, etc.), we should create a new tyranny even more terrible than the old one.
marx endorsed placing all these powers in the hands of the state, and added, for example, banking, education, and communications (see the end of the commie manifesto). it's just the most obviously disastrous formula in human moral history, and people even of the left with some shred of decency knew that when it was being articulated. you hardly even have to state the refutation: the thing just sits there, being palpably ridiculous and straight-up evil. and honestly, anyone who ever endorsed it was or is a dolt or a slave or a very bad person or some combination. i am going to include in that assessment benjamin and adorno, for example, or zizek, say, or hardt and negri. no the grotesque basic failure of heart and intellect is not mitigated by burying the whole thing under various new layers of mumbo-jumbo. the shit has just got to be over.
dilute versions of that thing are all the left has, even now. they could have gone another way, but they weren't good enough as human beings or not independent enough as thinkers to draw the most obvious conclusions; in some cases they expressed their devotion even as they were dying at the hands of the totalitarianism they wanted. the mistake is so obvious, the position so implausible, that embracing it - i would have said if i didn't know differently - is just not possible. there is no explanation, excuse, reationalization that makes this forgivable.
so people of vague leftist leanings just think that that whole side of the spectrum means well, has a basic commitment to justice or equality or progress that makes it all understandable or something. racial suprematists, or terrorist jihadis, or for that matter laissez-faire capitalists, have exactly the same excuse: well, they mean well, if you listen to themselves. if you forgive some of these people on the grounds of their stated intentions - even while their actual procedures lead to utter disaster precisely for the values they themselves purport to hold, and even though that is the only thing that could possibly be rationally expected - you should forgive them all.
now, when i say the position is 'unforgivable', i do not mean that we should execute zizek or negri, or lob them into a new gulag, or place them at the forced-labor farm, or censor their works, or have the secret police blackmail their families to expose their misdeeds, desperately as they're begging for it. but we should definitely take it as a reflection on their intellect, sincerity, or decency. disqualify anything they say that has any political bearing on anything.
when democrats talk about income inequality, all they want is political hierarchy. when republicans talk about individual rights, all they want is economic hierarchy. neither party's ideology is compatible with even a vaguely sincere egalitarianism.
Ever since I heard the news from Fort Hood, I've been pissed off at the media and public response. Obviously, this was the work of a terrorist...two terrorists...no, it's the Army. Another crazed killer running amuck...well, no.
If you don't know shit and still talk and anybody listens, you're both fools. In this case, there are a few things we're starting to learn, and a lot we're still deducing, inducing and plain old guessing about. I spent most of my life with and around soldiers, and I have a few insights.
But, bottom line this is no different except for the clothes and location than any other act of workplace violence. As we learn more, it will tell us a lot about a lot of things, but less about the Army and more about stress, pain, and problems facing the poor, dispossessed and hopeless than we think.And, it's sad. And happens everyday, all over the country and in this case, somebody killed folks. Others punch wall, throw pencils or cups, scream, or hit someone. I think it's worth considering.
oops! back now. headline:
maybe i should have explained some of the reasons why i like the robbery-and-parachute/d.b. cooper scenario for flight 370 (still do). well they turned the plane intentionally, and i think they cut communications right at the intersection between malaysian and vietnamese airspace. maybe the pilot was simulating extremely precise routing back over the peninsula in order to make a jump, though obviously such a thing can't be non-life-threatening. surely if it was terrorism we'd have heard something from a perpetrating group or even a posthumous message from the terrorist: if that's the point, you want people to know who did it. a hijacking is a super-theatrical event; this wan't that. so we're down to mechanical failure and this robbery notion, and i think the latter does better with the bizarre flight plan, weird communication darkness, etc. admittedly they all seem unlikely. so then i'd wonder if there was some valuable item that was regularly transported on this flight, so that the pilot might know it in advance, or suspect that the thing was sponsored by someone who knew well in advance that this item would be on board. right so why am i writing this? dunno really.
“Clapper lied in the name of security, Snowden told the truth in the name of privacy,” Paul said, adding that the intelligence director “should be tried for perjury" (ruth marcus this morning). it is, i say, astonishing and encouraging that such a person is a united states senator. and again, i predict a scandal around him in the next few weeks, lobbed to fox by clapper &co. he is saying this about people who have all his communications for the last decade. guts, son. if he and everyone around him is clean, which would make them very unusual humans, then i'd worry about debilitating illness or extremely non-foul-play death. or they'll send squads of agency hookers with webcams, etc., for they have sworn a scared oath to protect the american people!
back to my rummaging among lp's, in revival on a new turntable. i was a completist on the stones through the 90s; i bought everything. i really love the early albums. actually i really...like the early beatles albums too; it's only later that they slipped into mind-numbing hooha. in the comparison, the beatles circa, say '64, are a much more competent band, but the stones had an incomparable energy.
jagger isn't a great soul singer, like don covay or whomever it may be, but there's something amazingly present and compelling about his voice and approach: it cuts through the recording quality: quite the little knife. the recordings have an immediacy that sounds great from here, especialy on vinyl, enhanced by their particular kind of quasi-competent roughness. the boys were punks in the then-contemporary acceptation of the term, and it would also not be wrong to think of their first few records as proto-punk in the later meaning of 'punk'.
despite the gigantic hugeness of the stones, these recordings are a bit lost; they've been re-processed and selected on greatest hits packages (starting with hot rocks) so many times that the overall effect and many great songs have been kind of misplaced.
england's newest hitmakers: the rolling stones is quite barely-competent, which has its charms, but also does not quite make it. so let's start with 12x5 (1964). it's covers of r&b, r 'n r, and soul songs, with three originals ("good times, bad times", "grown up wrong", and "congradulations", which really is mis-spelled on the album cover). those aren't the best moments, though they hold up relatively well. jagger's limitations show as he struggles through "under the boardwalk", for example. it leads off with chuck berry's "around and around", which the stones used as an early signature. the guitars show exactly how you get from the 50s to "satisfaction", and the remarkable liveness of jagger is matched by the super-presence of richard's rhythm guitar. jagger plays a fair amount of harp on the album, and plays it fairly well, again with ineffable compelling presence.
up and down, but also a coherent suite and sound, lost when one listens to selected cuts on mp3's. the two cuts that get picked out for play most often are "time is on my side" (by jerry ragavoy; the stones heard it in the irma thomas version) and the bobby womack thing "it's all over now". the former is one of my favorite moments in the history of recorded music.
the rolling stones, now! (1964) is the first album of any sort i really really loved (though i was introduced to it later, being 7 when it was released, by my bro jim). i think they hit a perfect point here: they'd cleaned up a bit and gotten more competent as performers and writers, but they had not lost the slighly shambolic quality that signified reality and distinguished them from the cutesiness of the beatles. i still have jim's copy: disintegrating cover and a massively scumbled up surface. i think it's one of the best ten albums of the rock era (and i'm going to make sticky fingers #1). oh man the covers kill: "down home girl", e.g., or "mona" (the bo diddley tune). but now, just a few months later, it's the originals that really lay waste to the terrain, and they stack up extremely well to the jerry butler and the solomon burke. "heart of stone" and "surprise, surprise", for example, could be soul classics if we counted white folks as soul artists then.
and then out of our heads, and again the cover/original mix. and we can leave it there, because now they crystallize into what they became: the very definition of rock: "satisfaction". still they're working directly and with complete comprehension in the black american tradition, as on blow-away construals of "that's how strong my love is" (the great o.v. wright) or "play with fire".
msnbc's approach this morning: breaking news! day 14! the search for 370 continues...ps after a half hour we'll get to 'russia masses troops on its western border'. they've turned cnn into the southern indian ocean: an infinite expanse of nothingness, with some little bits of debris. it's a devastating indictment of their editorial meetings.
one thing about a hierarchical organization based on coercion, incorporating an ethic of obedience, such as a military: it's a rape factory, more or less by definition. if people didn't want other people to be raped - or indeed to rape &/v be raped themselves - they wouldn't tolerate this sort of organization.
I published this piece yesterday over at Veterans Today and at The Defeatists. While I get more readers at Veterans Today, the software doesn't allow for music to be openly displayed which means the pieces lose some integrity; more than that, a lot of the comments I get there are really out to lunch.
My last post about Paul Ryan the Gombeen Man got a lot of interesting responses...and then the Irish guy made it all about him and was upset because I didn't get it that the IRA bombing campaigns were bad for Ireland. He also blamed the Famine on the Catholic Church and the dumb Irish peasants who had too many babies causing the land to be exhausted. Politely told him to feck off, as they say, and tell the folks in Connemara or in any pub in Dublin about his great theories...anyway, this is about the Crimea.
I've been searching for a metaphor, and the one that historical orientation past, present, future might go a long way toward explaining the disconnect between the Russian Federation and the rest of the world...In struggling for my own metaphor, I had thought that Barrack Obama is a digital guy dealing with a digital universe and Putin, the Tea Party, and so on analog guys dealing with reality as an analog creation. TMind over matter, you don't mind, it don't matter. In Putin world, what we can do doesn't matter because he doesn't care. Frankly, the cited article in The Guardian really added so clarity and the KAL cartoon also made a big difference.
little sumpin for your ears.
while everyone is speculating, i'll pitch in on flight 370: it's a d.b. cooper scenario, baby. enrich and ditch, then let the plane fly on into mysterious immortality. so i'd wonder if there was something extremely valuable on that plane, and look for them hopping out as they came back over the peninsula. now as to whether you can jump out of a 777: dunno!
so apparently rand is going to remark this evening that it is not clear who is running the government of the united states. it is a united states senator, hinting at the awful truth: intelligence coup. the brennan-feinstein conflagration is where this pinches immediately on the senate. got a little prediction for you, though. in the next few weeks, some sort of scandal will bloom around rand paul. if it does, here is the likeliest etiology: leaked by intelligence sources through several insulating layers to rachel maddow or chris hayes. they're going to want msnbc doing to him what it did to christie: day after day of relentless coverage. or honestly, fox is almost as hostile, and that's where you'd want to destroy him for the republican nomination. they will want him to understand who did it, so they will convey their own responsibility one way or another.
me (and other folks) on al-jazeera, talking about anarchism. i like the panel.
first tweet: "people could never govern themselves." think about whether a statist conclusion follows from that.
so here's an argument that one might hear at some point from putin, which i feel even angela merkel might receive with a certain sympathy: the greatest threat of totalitarianism, everywhere in the world, is presented by the government of the united states. the government of the united states is engaged in a new imperialism on a new terrain. these are capacities that should be interpreted by everyone, starting with the citizens of the united states, as presenting an extreme threat: i want you to really think about the access to power that this world-wide surveillance/control provides. any country in the world can and should represent this thing as an invasion of sovereignty. the blackmail possibilities alone - on ceo's, political leaders (including the domestic congress and supreme court), military people - are crushing. they have all the passwords, hence access to infrastructure systems, missile systems, everyone's accounts, etc. in this light, that putin has sheltered snowden makes him plausibly a brave fighter for freedom in the face of an emerging world totalitarian state. this is, putting mildly, ironic.