Monday, October 31, 2011

Cold And Dark

I'm one of the lucky New England bastards without power (since Saturday afternoon).

National Grid's outage status map has refined their estimate to November 3...
It feels like camping without choosing to camp.

The Road

There is something odd (and bleak) about seeing all your stuff—the objects in your life and your home—rendered useless by the electrical grid.

UPDATED: November 2...I have power!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Reverse the corporate coup d'├ętat

Charlie Rose set aside his centrist bullshit—and his scotch—long enough to talk to Amy Goodman and Chris Hedges about #OccupyWallStreet.

Part 1

Part 2

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What It Is Ain't Exactly Clear (cont.)

#OccupyOakland gets gassed and flash bombed.
From this account, it sounds as if the local media is in collusion with the police actions.



As the media's "dirty fucking hippie" rhetoric declined, and the coverage began to highlight how the national narrative changed from "the deficit will kill us all" to "let's talk about unemployment and income inequality," powerful people started freaking out.

So now, in addition to the media's ready-made "protesters are dirty vandals who poop in parks " narrative, they also have "the protesters are violent anarchists who make the police deploy flash bombs and tear gas."

Here we go...buckle up.

Update: Boston's morning news has at least 3 separate stories about sanitation problems at #Occupy locations and a couple of vandalism reports...I think the new scripts arrived.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Memento Mori

Memento Mori  "Remember you will die."
Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples

An allegorical and symbolic approach to the philosophical theme (Hellenistic origin) of the transience of life and the imminence of death ("memento mori") which, by eliminating the disparities of social class and wealth, restores equilibrium to the vagaries of fate. The upper part of the composition shows a level with a plumb-line, an instrument used by workmen to check the level of buildings. The axis of the plumb bob is death (the skull), while below it is a butterfly (the soul) balanced on a wheel (Fortune). Beneath the arms of the level, which are opposed and perfectly balanced, are the symbols of poverty to the right (the knapsack, the beggar’s stick and the cloak) and the symbols of wealth to the left (the sceptre, purple and the crown).

Occupy Pompei

Friday, October 21, 2011

Night of the Hunter

I imagine Charles Laughton and James Agee had fun crafting this seriously creepy film.

It drips with malice, both for and from Robert Mitchum's character. Initially, his hatred and anger simmer just beneath a grifter's facade—that is until he's denied or exposed. But what's always disturbed me about Mitchum's portrayal of Harry Powell is that it's so stylized (and repugnant), it often reads as dark humor (maybe just me).


Later in the film, when Harry Powell, silhouetted by a pre-dawn sky, sings Leaning On The Everlasting Arms, I am absolutely terrified.


Great film.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Matt Taibbi
Anyway, the hysterical responses from the Rushes of the world are just more signs that these protests are working. I never thought I’d see it, but some of the dukes and earls high up in America’s Great Tower of Bullshit are starting to blink a little bit. They seem genuinely freaked out that OWS doesn’t have leaders or a single set of demands, which in addition to being very encouraging is quite funny.

This may be true. There seems to be frustration that the OWS movement hasn't been lured into the co-option trap that America uses to defuse a genuine grassroots threat to its power, or capitalism in general.

It may seem counter-intuitive to maintain a large and leaderless movement, but it does make it more difficult to flog a specific target in the media—think Cindy Sheehan, Jesse Jackson—isolate and smear the "leader" and ignore the movement all together.

You smell like bacon to us

William Powhida

His blog.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not That It Matters, But...

With 9.1% unemployment, debt should never prevent this government from flooding the economy with nearly interest free money.

The real issue is the rhetoric about debt—real debt (and who created it) is and was always a lie.

What It Is Ain't Exactly Clear

Matt Taibbi

What nobody is comfortable with is a movement in which virtually the entire spectrum of middle class and poor Americans is on the same page, railing against incestuous political and financial corruption on Wall Street and in Washington. The reality is that Occupy Wall Street and the millions of middle Americans who make up the Tea Party are natural allies and should be on the same page about most of the key issues, and that's a story our media won't want to or know how to handle.
                                       .               .               .

They're going to try to identify fake leaders, draw phony battle lines, and then herd everybody back into the same left-right cage matches of old. Whenever that happens, we just have to remember not to fall for the trap. When someone says this or that person speaks for OWS, don't believe it.

Taibbi makes a good point.

The sheer power that will be exerted against OWS by the moneyed and political class will only be enhanced by the media's resistance to framing this movement in a different way. The left vs right script is already written—the media is too co-opted (and lazy) to write another one.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday (Night) Soundtrack

Herbie Hancock Chameleon (part 1)

Herbie Hancock Chameleon (part 2)

One of the records I had to sneak on to the turntable at house parties in 1974.

This Is What Large Protest Movements Do

They get people thinking again.

If we hadn't deregulated banks and markets, we wouldn't be facing the kind of disaster that we've seen over the last three years. If we hadn't drastically reduced tax rates for the wealthy, we wouldn't have seen pension funds dry up and middle class wages stagnate. If we hadn't given corporations more and more political clout, we wouldn't be where we are—in a broken system that serves them, not us.

But what if is a game for suckers. The question isn't where we went wrong, it's what we do about it.

The occupy movement is a withdrawal of consent. It's not a war on capitalism. It's an acknowledgement that we are doing capitalism badly, and in a way that does not serve to help real people in their real lives. To repair the system will require government to step up and take action.

From here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Home Front

I've reached my apartment's capacity for plant space.

Now the challenge is to keep them healthy with the 6 hours of daylight granted to New England in the winter.

Saturday BLR

I love these things.

Momma gets a what, what...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday BLR

Ancient History, Bygones, Whatever...

Tax Cuts for the Wealthiest
5% of Americans
Cost the U.S. Treasury $11.6 million
every hour of every day

That would be the Bush Tax Cuts enacted in 2001 to steal the budget surpluses created during the Clinton Administration.

From here

If you want to watch one of those depressing counters where the numbers exceed your lifetime earnings by the tens of thousands...go ahead.

It Could Be Worse

Sarah Vowell and They Might Be Giants

The Partly Cloudy Patriot.

Occupy Wall Street/Update

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at

They think Brookfield Properties and the cops have postponed the cleaning (and clearing) of Zuccotti Park/Freedom Plaza.

We'll see.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Don't Be A Dick...

This is what Republicans hear when the real Elizabeth Warren speaks.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Not The Tea Party? Well, In That Case...

...let's talk about Dancing With The Stars.
Tom Tomorrow

Which Explains Rand Paul's Use Of The Term "Paris Mob."

Paul Krugman sensibly writes:
The way to understand all of this is to realize that it’s part of a broader syndrome, in which wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.
                                .          .           .

This special treatment can’t bear close scrutiny — and therefore, as they see it, there must be no close scrutiny. Anyone who points out the obvious, no matter how calmly and moderately, must be demonized and driven from the stage. In fact, the more reasonable and moderate a critic sounds, the more urgently he or she must be demonized, hence the frantic sliming of Elizabeth Warren.

An Objectivist Whiner whines about Occupy Wall Street protesters and President Obama.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Poor Sarah

I've been ignoring her.

Currently her followers are trying to come to grips with the reality of her non-candidacy—they're also trying to process just how they were duped by this sleazy grifter.

I'm sure they'll conclude that it's Obama's fault.


I drove up to Vermont yesterday...beautiful weather up here.

Hancock, VT

There is evidence of the double storms of Irene and Lee. Roads were passable, but under construction.

The water coming off the mountains was moving at such a high velocity that it cut new channels through roads and entire towns.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Why Are Those Drum Beating Hippies Making Such A Fuss?

Mother Jones

Hint: those are per quarter profits.
But give 'em a break, the bonuses are murder.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Time Travel

There are songs that throw one back to the past with all of its banality—and grandeur.

Go to 1979—Louisville, KY—I'm working at a Ford truck plant as a non-union plant/grounds cleaner. My primary responsibilities were to mop the workers break room, walk the 15 acre parking lot to pick up ether cans, nuts, bolts and other essential parts that regularly dropped off the newly assembled trucks—and most importantly, try not to piss off the unionized line workers—tall order.

(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding

Oliver's Army

So, it's 7:15 AM, hot, hazy, and humid, I'm quite possibly hungover, real poor, trying to decide whether to go back to school or continue making just enough money to pay the rent on a shitty house I'm sharing with 3 friends, all of whom were similarly gambling on the bottom dropping out of their lousy jobs, forcing them back to their parents, or worse.

Good times.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Lindsey Graham


Lindsey Graham's thoughts on Rick Perry and the "Niggerhead" thing.
"Rick Perry is not a racist," Graham said, saying the Texas governor is the victim of an "intimidation” campaign. "You know if you’re a southern white guy, this is part of your life," Graham complained.

from here

Update with audio:

You know, its the casual racists who have it the hardest.

Occupy Wall Street

A good list.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Monday Soundtrack

Arthur Lee Everybody's Gotta Live

Sad, True, Funny

It's the economy... and the fucking indifference, stupid.

Both of these things will drive the 2012 election(s).

Currently the process is drowning in rhetoric designed to mask indifference to the middle class and the unemployed.
The party that figures this out will win—let's hope it isn't the Republicans.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

The Coarsening

Three families have abandoned elderly relatives at Lexington shelter

This is what stressed/strapped Americans do with their older animals—grandma and grandpa too.

Austerity Rules!

NYPD Plaza 09/30

A decent crowd.
Because the protesters have no permits for microphones or sound systems to project a speaker's voice, they use what is termed the "people's mic"—the speaker says 4 or 5 words of a speech that is then repeated in unison by the protesters in front—individual speaker, crowd repeats, individual speaker, crowd repeats, and so on.

I like this. It also keeps the speeches short and to the point.

There were no arrests at this gathering—or pepper spraying.

Saturday Soundtrack

I can't believe this is from 1978.
I was "taking some classes" and working at a gas station.

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