- Don't feed the bears they say!
- But I'll feed that bear anyway.
- He's nice and sweet, and looks like a giant puppy.
- Surely he'll appreciate food from this yuppy.
- Don't feed on the humans they say!
- But look at that fool walking my way.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
- Bears don't need no stinking poles,
- they stick their paw inside wet holes,
- and catch a fish with claws and paw,
- and immediately chuck it in their maw.
- "You humans, you stand there all silly and slow,
- while the fish steal your bait and laugh and dance.
- And you wear silly hats and swipe at gnats.
- Just to get away from your wives and their spats."
- "You think we are dumb,
- but we have class and nerve
- and can catch a fish no matter how it swerves.
- We eat well and love the smell,
- until you humans turn our rivers to hell."
PS: Thanks to Jerry E. Williams for telling me Lyle Stories my imagination can segue off.
- Lyle the lumbering bear,
- gave me quite a scare.
- I'd taken my pole to the lake.
- And was fishing for my dinner stake,
- when Lyle comes out of the woods intent
- On getting a meal from me for free.
- I didn't mind if he caught some fish,
- But I was afraid I might be his dish.
- So I abandoned my pole,
- and I ran for the house.
- While lyle casually inspected my gear
- and ate my lunch.
- I didn't mind too much,
- I had my pepper spray,
- ready to shoot him
- and I still have my skin.
- Along the mountain came the hunter,
- gunning for ole Lyle.
- He had his gun loaded and was so intent
- on acquiring a new winter coat.
- That as he walked along the path,
- he hummed a song in his throat and smiled.
- Ole lyle, he heard the hunter a mile away,
- and thought to himself, "That hunter seems pretty gay."
- "I Think I'll creep up behind him, and make his day."
- The Hunter, he was intent, on getting himself a winter coat.
- He walked through the woods, for hours and hours
- Through pine needle filled galleys, and leafy Bowers,
- The aspens swayed as he heard a sound,
- and then he turned around.
- Ole lyle, he'd heard the hunter a mile away,
- and that poor hunter, never had a chance.
- And as the fall progressed he danced around,
- in his newly tanned suede coat.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
The Libertarians had an idea to "save" Detroit. They wanted to turn Belle Island into a modern "Galt's Gulch". The New York Times reported [http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/08/opinion/detroit-sinks-with-belle-isle.html?_r=0]:
Belle Isle was recently at the center of a different moneymaking scheme. A group of wealthy libertarians suggested that private investors buy the island from the city for the nice, round, Dr. Evil-ish sum of $1 billion and transform it into an independent, self-governing territory. With the price for citizenship set at $300,000, the Commonwealth of Belle Isle would exist as a sort of free-market paradise; within 30 years, the group’s Web site predicted, the island would be known as the “ ‘Midwest Tiger,’ rivaling Singapore as an economic miracle.” One can order from that Web site a novella about this future Belle Isle, which describes the commonwealth’s low taxes, minimal government, even its own currency (called — seriously — “the Rand”). [A]
And of course it would be a tax-haven for millionaires and billionaires who could run their empires in the USA from it, while looting the whole country and blaming Government. A real life Galt's Gulch! Subsidized by the taxpayers as a even a billion dollars is nothing for a team of billionaires seeking to avoid taxes. And this is no joke, the New York Times article continues:
The book — a preview of its opening chapter has the hero landing on the rooftop helipad of the commonwealth’s 57-story Four Seasons hotel — makes the entire scheme very easy to mock as Objectivist fan fiction. But it’s not entirely a joke: private foundations and deep-pocketed members of the local business elite exercise an outsize influence in a city as broke as Detroit, providing financing for everything from a much-needed light-rail line to the ambitious Detroit Future City plan, which would entirely remap the city.[B]
That objectivists are self-mocking never occurs to objectivists. They are too busy being selfish to pay attention to the self-parody and ruinous behavior.
People like Dan Gilbert, the owner of Quicken Loans and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Mike Ilitch, a founder of Little Caesars pizza, have been snatching up shuttered skyscrapers and prewar office buildings — since December Mr. Gilbert has bought at least five buildings and, reputedly, an entire downtown city block — as if they’re Monopoly properties.[C]
So we see how "Atlas Shruggged" really plays out. I always thought it incredible that someone could run a railroad and run it into the ground, and blame government. But all that is really happening is that the owners of a business are transferring once productive money to new vistas -- like Galt's Gulch Belle Island -- so that they can keep it all. Objectivism is about incredible reckless selfishness, and whether the avatar is the founder of Little Ceasars, or the junkyard capitalist who wrecked KMart, put it in and out of bankruptcy, bought Sears and other companies; and then wrecked the whole shebang -- the outcome is the same.
- Further reading:
- Lou D’Ambrosio's "Sinking Ship": http://www.forbes.com/sites/lauraheller/2012/02/29/analyst-on-sears-like-a-sinking-ship/"
- How Objectivism killed Sears: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3046444/posts?page=84
- Papantonio: Detroit -- The New Billionaire Utopia http://ow.ly/ni4It
Saturday, July 20, 2013
- Humans are fallible.
- Humans are subject to desires.
- Our perception of causality is flawed.
- And so we fall into corrupt mires.
- That really is no excuse.
- If people would wake up.
- They'd see all around.
- A world needlessly corrupt.
- Doing the right thing is hard.
- But not ever impossible to do.
- There are guidelines and boundaries.
- If we'd just learn to see through.
- If we'd just learn to be,
- If we'd just learn to respect.
- We'd follow those boundaries.
- where-ever we intersect.
- And we can walk hand and hand,
- and climb sharing ropes.
- We can reach all our goals.
- and share all our hopes.
Christopher H. Holte
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Misha Sees the Rabbit
Misha sees the rabbit, and she bends down so low, and pulls the leash so hard, I know, she really wants to go. We've been through this before, I'm trying to teach her right. We walk up to the rabbit, who is looking me in the eye, and I swear that rabbit is laughing and saying mentally: "Why don't you just give it a try." And Misha she is real quiet, tense, intent on the Rabbit. But she doesn't seem to get the message, that the rabbit is looking at her. I bring her up about ten feet away, and then she jumps and runs, I try to stop her and my leash breaks away from its bonds on her collar. Three hundred feet around bushes, and bounding down the hollow, into a thicket, and out the other side, around a building, and completely out of sight. All in a couple of seconds, and I shout out loud; "Misha! Come back here." She ignores my call. I finally catch up to her, panting and stuck, The leash wrapped firmly around a tree trunk. The Rabbit I can see in a thicket nearby, Is looking at me, and laughing real hard. Oh "Waskally Rabbit" I say as I laugh, And Misha, bless her heart is already hunting a squirrel.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Right and wrong always matter. The result of wrong is oppression, repression, corruption, depression, dysfunction and finally failure. The failure contributes to anger and scapegoating. As long as we scapegoat and lie, the cycle will go on.
Wrong in government is tyranny, which John Locke rightly defined as:
"199. As usurpation is the exercise of power which another hath a right to, so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which nobody can have a right to; and this is making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private, separate advantage. When the governor, however entitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule, and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion."
Sunday, July 14, 2013
In our current corrupt setting, the fourth branch of the Government has proved to be, not the press, but organizations like the "American Legislative Exchange Council"; ALEC. ALEC is so powerful that legislators take it's legislative recommendations verbatum to the floor of their governing bodies. Bill Moyers refers to the situation as "The United State of ALEC" -- with little exaggeration. And it is allowing wealthy people from around the country to conspire to pass corrupt legislation and work together to get that legislation passed. Because it meets in secret, is not transparent, and results in such nasty laws. Folks want people to leave it. I think that national bodies meeting about important national issues should be part of democracy. I just think that everything such bodies do should be above the table and transparent, and that they should not be theaters for combinations and conspiracy. Unfortunately, most of what ALEC does is not exactly secret. The same abolitionist/prohibitionist and racist laws get passed across the country based on ALEC recommendations.
ALEC was responsible for:
- the dissemination of Voter Purge and ID laws: http://www.politicususa.com/2012/06/07/dirty-red-state-secret-alec-gop-voter-purge.html a few years ago.
- And it is the host for the exchange of laws from the Anti Abortion crowd (through Americans United for Life") to legislators around the country,
- protectiong monsanto: labeling environmentalists as terrorists
This prompted one person to send a letter to the Justice Department asking for a RICO investigation:
RICO Acts have been requested before with relationship to ALEC, and there are some provisions of the Hobbes act, or laws against anti-trust that could apply to ALEC meetings I believe, and I wish that the Fed would investigate them, though I doubt they will. ALEC is too convenient to both parties. As a target of hate for the Democrats and a tool for the Right. Actually investigating criminal conduct? I'm not cynical but I am realistic.
ALEC is also a symptom of an empty Governing Niche
But that is not what interests me. It is what such a powerful legislative advisory body means to the country. It's not a body that has representation from all the stakeholders, or the "Choice" crowd could also originate their ideas there. To me the problem isn't just that they do so much bad, but that they are filling a niche in governing process that needs to be filled in a corrupt way. I'm not sure that my ideas of corruption have any but constitutional remedies, but when an organization and its related system are badly constituted that automatically opens the door to other, more prosaic forms of corruption that can be reached with legal remedies.
Where is the democratic equivalent to ALEC? We have groups that serve similar roles, though not financed on the roundings from billionaires accounts, but there is no formal "advisory legislative" role that makes sense in the country. And that gap not only allows in organizations like ALEC, but it enables a committee of doctors from medicaid to set procedure billings, enables 2000 professional lobbyists to write international Trade law for their companies, all with no input from all stakeholders and with corrupt results. Process corruption seems harder to see than outright overt corruption. The problem with ALEC is that we make legislation freezing out stakeholders even when we don't have them meeting at giant conventions where they are wined and dined with caviar and good food. Our system suffers from too little representation (republican ideology) and too little democracy (participation). And we can combat that if we see ALEC as a symptom and not just an enemy.
There is a lot more to find and write about. But that is enough for now. It makes a good jumping off ground. If you want more on this follow Bill Moyers and some of the URLs I supplied.
I'm really not too surprised (a little surprised and disappointed) that the Jury found Zimmerman not-guilty of murder (of at least Manslaughter) after Zimmerman confessed to hunting down and murdering Trayvon Martin. The defense did a good job of putting Trayvon on trial and the standard is "beyond a reasonable doubt", and so letting the defense make up a bogus theory about Trayvon attacking Zimmerman worked for them. Stand your ground was designed to legalize murder if the murderer is a white man who can establish he "reasonably believed" he was the one who was being attacked. And that was the premise of local authorities from the beginning. Trayvon was guilty of eating skittles and walking while black and wearing a hoodie in the rain. Wrong place wrong time. Summary:
- One: the standard was "beyond a reasonable doubt."
- Never mind that the man confessed to murdering him.
- Two: The defense lawyer was allowed to put Trayvon on trial and play on racist fears.
- Three: The prosecutor was unwilling to even challenge directly Zimmerman's lies about being attacked.
Good news is that this also was a Federal Crime (at least until the Gang of 5 Corrupt Judges get hold of it) and so
- Once the Feds investigate this perp they'll see that:
- Zimmerman violated Trayvon's civil rights
- and probably Federal Hate crime laws;
- and the local authorities did too by trying to cover up the crime.
And of Course, as always there is a larger issue lost in the mix here. One reason for the very lousy handling of Zimmerman's open and shut case is that Zimmerman's dad is a very powerful person who used to be a judge in Virginia. That side of "extrajudicial lawlessness" by our own authorities and their kin folks is a form of corruption, not just "how things are." Zimmerman's case should have been handled the same as anyone elses, but we seem to have one law for the powerful and wealthy, and another for everyone else. That should outrage at least 90% of us.
But finally, I've decided that these assholes don't deserve the attention they get. We have to fight them, at least partly, by contrasting their small, shallow and fearful behavior with the kind of behavior we'd like to see. We have to be the change we want to see. We have to be bigger then them. They can go into that hole to hell they dig. I'm thinking of Walt Whitman. I'm thinking of Bette Midler.
Meanwhile, we all should sign NAACP's petition asking the Justice Department to investigate:
- Justice Department:
- Further Reading:
- But this is what I'd rather listen to:
Saturday, July 13, 2013
While we are entranced with "fearless leader" fascism and people like Mussolini, or Hitler, an examination of fascism around the world finds that visionary leaders like them are rare, and most Fascist movements have not been the genius of a single person, even when a single person gets credit for them. Franco was the general who prosecuted the coup and civil war that established Fascism in Spain, but he wasn't even its ideological founder. Pinochet was simply first among a cabal. The leader of Portugal's fascism movement was selected as an economist who promised to fix Portugal's economy. Fascism loves it's fearless leaders and tries to find them, but if they don't perform as expected they do get dumped. The politicians and military strategists are really like Dogs on a leash. Juan Peron was dumped by his own founders when he crossed path with the wealthy and Catholic Church. Mussolini was dumped by his own followers, put back in power by Hitler, and eventually hung upside down from a Fence. Fascism is not kind to fearless leaders who don't live up to those holding their leash. When Juan Peron's second wife tried to continue ruling Argentina after coming to power from his enthusiastic backers -- when those backers saw she was not following orders they staged a coup.
Argentina's reign of terror was managed by three drunken military leaders from the Navy, Army and Air Force. They militarized the police, tried to capture and kill anyone who was a socialist. And since they were using Ayn Rand's definition of socialism as equal democracy, and Hayeks premise that any socialism (including social democracy) inevitably leads to left wing fascism, they went to war with most of the urban population. They sent teams of soldiers around the country in Ford Falcons snatching people, torturing and secretly trying them, and then dumping their bodies in the Ocean (or other still not found places), and all on the motto "you must have been guilty of something."
Fascism is usually about defeating socialism and reestablishing order, so it is often as "bottom up" in it's implementation as any other movement. Just the bottom is usually the land-lords, business leaders, and military officers. It's also advertized based on nationalism. So it's entirely possible for fascist states to go to war with each other. When Hitler started his "unification" program targeting his home state of Austria, the Austrians resisted. They had a dictator named Dolfuss who was an admirer of Mussolini, not Hitler. The little guy was trying to get control of Austria by imposing martial law on workers, killing Union leaders, and breaking Unions. His economic advisor was Von Mises and the two were close enough so that when Dolfuss sent his wife to refuge with Mussolini, Von Mises sought a chair in Switzerland. Dolfuss tangled with the Nazis and they sent an assassination team to kill him. But before that they threatened Austria and Mussolini backed his little friend Dolfuss. Mussolini threatened to go to war with Hitler. A lot of folks would have liked this. But Mussolini met with Hitler and liked that little guy better than the other little guy. He withdrew support for Dolfuss, looked the other way, and Dolfuss was assassinated by a team of Nazis in broad daylight. Von Mises went to Switzerland and then on to the US; and pretended to be anti-Fascist the rest of his career. Fascists can and do go to war with each other.
Argentina was like an enthusiastic dog during the Reagan program to repress socialism in the Americas. They sent teachers to El Salvador to teach the Salvadoreans (as if they needed teaching) how to "collect intelligence" through torture more efficiently. They were backed by Reagan and Thatcher in the whole operation Condor and anti-"Communism" effort. The Vatican backed them, while pretending to be pissed that they were killing over-enthusiastic monks and nuns. The Vatican had it's war on Vatican II and "liberation theology" and it made a grand alliance between nominally warring parties.
But then the Argentines attacked the Falklands. Fascists can go to war with each other, and this is because they always are serving oligarchs. Fascism has always been elitist, and if the fascist parties elevate leaders to be "new oligarchs" they do so serving the old oligarchs or the "old oligarchs" yank their leash.