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April 28, 2011

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Someone will look back on the Patriot Act and say, "Of Course".

Idiotstanbul

The Birther buffoonery shows a couple of things. One is that political elites can no longer check underground enthusiasms, at least on the right. Another is the increasing certitude of ignorance. The less you know, the more certain you are about complex and ambiguous reality. The phenomenon extends beyond a crude vulgarian like Trump. Palin, another reality-show veteran, freakishly puffs herself up as an authority about whatever she tweets. Does it bother her that she doesn't really know anything? Hardly. That's actually the bona fides of her authenticity. She don't need no book learnin' to tell the difference between right and wrong!

The crisis of authority is a sure sign that decadence and sclerosis afflict our empire. Around 30 years ago, a group of academics emerged that lamented the average citizen's elevation of self over ordinary social mores. Their godfather was Reinhold Niebuhr and they laid the intellectual foundations for Neoconservatism. Michael Novak in The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism warned of liberal utopianism that only family life could defend against. Probably the most famous volume was Christopher Lasch's The Culture of Narcissism that critiqued just about everything. E.D. Hirsch made a point about the necessity of cultural literacy and how its lack has undermined social cohesion. The interesting aspect about these Cassandras was how easily the right adopted its tone of grievance. Liberals ruined everything! Yet here we are in 2011 and our culture warriors are not simply smirking archly, they're sloshing around themselves in the same pig slop.

Some days I'm depressed and other days mad, but criticism doesn't imply that I'm right. I'm no better than my neighbor who wants to make "capitalism" the official doctrine of the U.S. We're all marooned in this nation that boldly dominated the globe for decades before collapsing into a screaming match about who's to blame for everything. It's sad and funny, which is life itself. We're running out of string and we know it.

Soleri,( “running out of string”) if you buy into the string theory, we are all in this together like a big bunch of rubber bands all going different directions. My hope is that the extreme left and right Harpers of the world break loose from the rubber ball and spin off into space. However if Talton’s right, by 2042, science genius’s like Aubrey de Grey will have achieved Singularity. Consequently folks like Phxsunfan may have a chance to live forever in a colossal city of minds. Oh yes, the great mental galaxies of thought. Somewhere I think Clarke and Asimov wrote about that many years ago. The birthers will be flogging the Obama citizenship issue a 100 years from now in some remote log cabin in Idaho with some Nazi’s and John Birchers while planning for the next war. A few weeks ago I received info on where Obama was “really” born. I forgot about it until Obama brought it up the other day. I passed it off today for further research.

What's the net effect of having a 3 way split in the body of registered voters? We relate to the conventional sort of LIBERALS and CONSERVATIVES, but there are so many derivatives that complicate garden variety strategizing. So are we thinking in stereo while the electorate has become poly-phonic?

soleri,
Niebuhr would turn in his grave if he saw how his ideas were co-opted and perverted. Being a protestant minister he was very much against elevating any human idea over all others, against utopianism and rigid ideology. But the irony of history has struck again - the empire is waning (Niebuhr foresaw it) and Obama is the impotent executor. Why he doesn't simply let the Birthers marinate in their stew is beyond me. Politically, it'd be a net win for him.

To lighten your mood, have you seen "It felt like a kiss" by Adam Curtis? A somewhat crazy and inventive examination of the postwar US up to the tipping point.

http://www.archive.org/details/AdamCurtis-ItFeltLikeAKiss

Awinter thx for it felt like a Kiss.

Poly-phonic voting?The oldest surviving piece of six-part music is the English rota
Sumer is icumen in (c. 1240).

AWinter,

"To lighten my mood" ??

Jeez, are you kidding me? After seeing my American life played back before my eyes like that, I'm glad I don't have a loaded gun, a strong rope or a sharp object near this computer.

It's an outstanding film, but thank God I don't have Dr. Kevorkian's phone number.

AWinter, that video reminded me of Robert Anton Wilson's oeuvre. We compulsively search for patterns because the randomness of events cannot merely be an "accident". We virtually require an overarching explanation if just to give ourselves the illusion of control. It's what we all do and it makes for great stories and conversations. Still, looking back to 1960s' America, it's not inappropriate to see how paranoia will midwife congruence in the actual world. We are, almost literally, lost in a hall of mirrors. The pathos of Richard Nixon's panic smile suggests what's really at stake. The poker-playing tight-ass senses control slipping away as the peasant king Khrushchev barrels his way through photo-ops and stagy debates. Nixon's buttoned-down rage is the shadow side of our good luck and undeserved fortune.

Jon Talton is the wisest man I know. The 2nd is a woman who has always maintained that the pendulum usually swings toward the middle. AZ might be good current example. Arpaio is on the ropes, Pearce's foes have almost enough signatures for a recall, Andy Thomas is toast and John Kavanagh didn't win House Speaker. Add this to Bruja's recent vetoes and the momentum seems to be changing, yes?

Morecleanair:

You are too kind. I'm just a small-town boy from Phoenix.

I fear your wise friend is wrong. The pendulum theory worked while the great liberal consensus, and even its fumes, was in adherence. Thus Nixon's famous, "run to the right in the primaries, then run to the center in the general." Nixon, let us not forget, funded the Great Society, proposed government health care and created the EPA. Eisenhower kept in place the social policies of FDR and Truman. A rightward pushback in the later 1930s, and FDR's court over-reach, kept the New Deal from bringing true social democracy. Likewise, union overreach and business anger led to Taft-Hartley (although Sen. Taft later worried it went to far in limiting unions, but died soon after). The Democrats controlled Congress for decades and never repealed Taft-Hartley. These are but examples of a great American center that once existed, for good and ill, but mostly for good.

It started to come apart with the liberal crackup over Vietnam, the 1968 Democratic convention, a weak President Carter and smug congressional bosses. Reagan began its destruction, although personally he was not what we would now consider a right-wing crackpot. He was a pragmatic governor. His hero was FDR. Were it not for the enfeeblement of the liberals and the rise of the well-funded corporate/theocratic right, Reagan might have represented another adjustment of the pendulum.

Now we have an entirely different country: more ignorant, less real journalism, fewer checks and balances, with an ascendant and extreme right. So the right may over-reach sometimes, but the pendulum merely swings "back" to a "center" that in 1960 both parties would have considered far right. And across America, the extremism keeps growing, not just in the Tea Party but enshrined in the courts.

In Arizona, Brewer may be playing the role of Jane Hull or Saint Janet in restraining the worst of the Kooks, but it's hardly moving Arizona to a center, or even reality.

Humans if left to their own would lean towards evil rather than good.

Humans if left to their own would lean towards lazy rather than self-motivated.

Knowledge, good knowledge takes work.

If as a society, you don't push good knowledge, the ability to think and reason, to move those brain molecules from a state of inactivity to motion, then the brain will take the easy, evil way out and watch FOX news.

As of today, my FOX news watching friends all say the birth certificate was photo shopped by the CIA.

Your Honor,I rest my case.

**********

So when I ask them, "why didn't the CIA plant WMD's around Iraq to help us feel better about the war"?

All I get back is a blank look with dialated pupils, sweaty brows, clinched fists, swivel necks looking for an exit.............and in the end total silence.

I really hate stupid people.

( : - (

"hoping to stop the birther 'silliness.'"

More likely, pumping the Republican Party-crippling Trump card.

Richard Evans wrote a great trilogy on the rise and administration of Hitler and Third Reich. I was always wondering how such a wonderful people(I have been there twice) could be seduced by Hitler. It actually started 20 years earlier when neither the left or the right cared enough about their republic to preserve it. Like the majority of Americans today, listening 24 hours a day to the cynics on both sides, they are convinced the government is not worth saving. Hopefully, we will pull back from this abyss before we choose a dictator to save us from our fears.

dictator, savior, tyrant, I think them nuts out their have something like Military Junta in mind. A general from the Christian right, a major from Fox news, a colonel-Rush on viagra, a captain from a large civilian security company, back from Iraq and just waiting to kill,a lieutenant from the John Birch society, and Sergeant's and down from the big gun club. And a CEO of finance, The birther with the funny hair do acting as John Galt.

Cal, there's an excellent version of Sumer is Icumen In on Richard Thompson's 1,000 Years of Popular Music.

Not for me to debate with Jon over the "pendulum" theory of moderation vs. extremism; however it seems that Brewers vetoes and other legislative defeats have saved AZ from the FULL KOOK. My Republican friends are generally in the "enough is enough" mode vis a vis the loonier bills and their authors. The oozy, oily John Kavanagh is no longer seen as the oracle from Noo Yawk!

So OK, we won't get back all the way to the center, but we won't drive off the cliff to Kookistan either. That's some sort of relief.

I believe we dove off the Cliff when we allowed the white Lemming migration to invade the Southwest and California. Now the Lemming gringo population at 100 years later is making a big deal of the Mexican migration. Migration is about economics. Utah and particularly Arizona are complicated by the current Mexiphobia of current white supremacists and predominately fundamental LDS legislators in the Arizona legislature. LDS teachings since Joe Smith have held that white is good and anything less than white is evil. Hence huge Salt Lake City computer genealogy data storage and LDS owned genealogy companies to help you find all those dead relatives that can still be saved through prayer (which Jews take considerable exception too). And when J Edgar Hoover decided to hire them squeaky clean white Mormon guys, guess what positions quickly became dominated by these stay off the dirty street detail folks
Janet Brewer’s people (Think Grant Woods) know that they have to show some control over the legislature or they will start losing some of the 21 percent that is not LDS but votes hard right most of the time. (Like Joe’s Sun City, Posse). So I am with Jon the pendulum is still stuck at the high noon shoot out in kooksville and they aint done with Janet yet. Some of this might have not happen had not another (Blood Italian conservative democrat) Janet sold her soul to the Temple in Salt Lake. I would hope that liberals would despise her more than the hapless Obama.

Nevertheless, this is the first time since St. Janet departed that the whackadoodles seem to be losing their luster. Whatever is going down certainly illustrates the evils of over-reach . . . with a pinch of hubris and a dash of denial. Prediction: the media and investigative folks aren't done with these sorry folks yet.

Welcome to the dawn of homo furoris.

Obama was pumping his Trump card again yesterday. The higher and longer Trump rises in the public eye, the higher Obama's chances at reelection.

Soleri, While Obama and Trump play three wall soft glove handball no one’s got their back. Consequently Trump is about to get stabbed by someone like McCain and Obama is wasting valuable court time playing on the wrong court with an idiot. How about Obama working on an energy policy and a strong suit environmental policy and getting the Gates, Buffet and their buddies to spend their charity money on population control? For Cleanair I’ll give you the New Times and even the Republic have stepped up to the plate and just maybe Arpaio will not run again for Sheriff but given his political war chest I would look for him to endorse someone like Senator Russell Pearce’s, son that is a MCSO deputy for Sheriff in the next election. The turning point for Joe came when he arrested Mike Lacey and his editor. Reminds me of a police chief I was the administrative assistant for in the eighties who wanted to take on the New Times. I convinced him it was a really bad idea and ignore was a better policy. Well what’s next Jon?

(With respect for Kevin's first two rules concerning the Jon Talton fan club, which is that it is not to be mentioned, we met yesterday and adopted rules three and four. They are: 3. Rules one and two are null and void when the country is at war. 4. We changed the name of the group to Jon Talton's Latter Day Saints and Sinners. We are now tax exempt and have a club membership at Costco)


Attendance: At the time of the meeting, I would estimate 40 to 45 persons were in the restaurant. The actual number of persons attending the meeting has been classified "Top Secret" by Homeland inSecurity.

During the open mic portion of the meeting, subjects ranged from Kafka to rattlesnakes to gila monsters to Arpaio to jogging to Jon to phxSunsfan to beer.

The food and drink was outstanding. The conversation and company, even more so.

The photo essay at the establishment of the bombing of Don Bolles is chilling and well done.

For those of you who attended, "Happy trails to you, until we meet again".

Cal, I don't think Trump can be stabbed in the back since he's not representing anything or anybody other than his own brand. And what he's done to that brand is tarnish it to the point that it's now decidedly downscale. What was he thinking? Probably the simplest answer is that he wasn't. He's an egomaniac with a promiscuous need for attention and the cachet of a slimeball.

Obama won't do anything that risks alienating the powerful. This seems to be the lesson of his presidency. What it means is that he's given up on a core political principle that you always tend to your base. Obama has abandoned his and now hopes to win with independents. Good luck with that. Maybe Republicans will nominate some crazy like Michele Bachmann but it's far liklier to be Mitt Romney. And in that case, Obama's chances will only be as good as the price of gas. If it's high (a good bet), Romney wins.

Azrebel, it was a pleasure meeting you and Electricdog. As conspiracies go, ours is less about any coherent philosophies and more about talking outside the conversational channels of the mass media. That's as pleasureable as it is rare. And let's thank Cal for thinking there was something to this motley crew that might find common ground outside the refuge of this blog.

I am a motley commoner and your welcome.

Killing Kids,
Gaddafi’s grandkids or not is wrong.

Being an old farm boy and a once upon a time a cop and an air force medic I don’t have a queasy stomach when it comes to death. But I would like you experts out there to explain when it comes to killing how is Obama different than Bush.

Bush was too dumb to know better.
Obama knows better and does it anyway.

That confirms my thoughts. I can forgive a mentally deficient person.

The double secret meeting was a pleasure to attend! I enjoyed meeting all of you and having a pleasant time and conversation.

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