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August 30, 2012


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Your ten points are spot on; however I would add two more for an even dozen:
11. Social experiments to find causes and cures to the very serious environmental and economic challenges we face are unethical, and likely impossible. Yet the relentless assault against indigenous and traditional peoples -- the only "natural" laboratory to study these issues -- increases daily, from the high Arctic to Amazonia. The situation is precisely analogous to the heedless habitat destruction.
12. The fundamental rights of women and men regarding their own bodies are being co-opted on a scale never before seen. Further, persecution of the LBGT community by religious fundamentalism -- of all varieties -- has only increased, even as members of that community increasingly step forward to acknowledge their identity.
Thank you, Jon, for an insightful analysis. I'll do what I can to circulate this piece as widely as I can.

You are the anti-Hulk... I like you when you get angry.

Talton 2016!

Secession is an attractive idea. Just leave enough time for those stranded in the red zone to relocate into the blue zone.

It is amazing how the right wing media is able to plant chips in its viewers, displacing their reasoning and observation skills with vapid slogans.

Ryan made stunning misrepresentations in his convention speech and yet the audience does not hold him to a standard of honesty.

A Romney victory will stand for the proposition that fact based decision making by the electorate is a thing of the past.

I think secession is a horrible idea; but then I am stubborn and think that in time things get will improve. It wasn't too long ago that minorities and whites couldn't eat together in the South or attend "white" universities.

Pearce lost his attempt at reelection, Sinema won, Quayle is toast (though Schweikert isn't a real centrist), and Tea Party candidates were dumped. I'm calling an Arpaio loss Nov. 3. Just like the predictions that Pearce would be recalled and Stanton would easily win the Mayoral race were correct.

Secession is a worthy goal. The country is too diverse to be fairly governed. The US War Machine has murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the past 70 years and will continue its murderous rampage unless the tax base is reduced and the machine truly reverts to defense concerns.

Secession is a worthy goal. The country is too diverse to be fairly governed. The US War Machine has murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the past 70 years and will continue its murderous rampage unless the tax base is reduced and the machine truly reverts to defense concerns.

The US War Machine's mistakes can't all be blamed on "red states"; that is something the entire nation has to deal with. Trying to slough that off via succession is a cop-out.

The the blame lies in the excessive funding of the US War Machine which is facilitated by a distant government and broad tax base to fund the atrocities committed by the US.

And it will take a concerted effort by the entire country to reign in defense spending. Even after a hypothetical secession, the military legacy belongs to us all. Just like the atrocities committed in the name of the U.S.A. throughout history. People are too quick to dump responsibility which is what has gotten us in this situation. I point to the abysmal voting record in this country (EVERYWHERE) as the main culprit.

Texans Bush and Johnson both escalated situations causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of totally innocent civilians. Please Texas, exercise your illusory right to leave the US. Take your red neck fellow states with you.

I thought that most of what you wrote was exceptionally well said. Three exceptions:

(1) "The starting salary of a public school teacher should be $150,000, more in poorer schools."

That's quite generous. Really too generous. Even the NEA is only advocating a nationwide starting salary of $40,000 for K-12 teachers.


(2) "In other words, we need to make peaceful secession possible."

Terrible idea. Consider what you've written about suburbia draining off the assets of central cities. Now imagine what happens if secessionary conservative states eliminate all but the most basic public spending and eliminate all property, income, and capital gains taxes. The poor and working class are driven out into the remaining (non-seceded) states where they add to the existing funding burden, while professionals and entrepreneurs and others create a brain drain by rushing to live in the new (mostly White) Randian paradise where the poor can't be seen (because they can't afford to live there anymore) and taxes are low because there is virtually no civic sector, and privatization has replaced taxes with fees (for essential services) thus giving the illusion of choice.

(3) "It's time to stop allowing Israel and the American Israeli lobby to pull us around by the nose."

I don't think this is the case. Israel would like us to attack Iran for it, to eliminate Iran's nascent nuclear program. They also want us to give an explicit green light for them to take military action against Iran. Instead, President Obama has urged patience while the sanctions work (and they ARE beginning to affect Iran most bitingly).

Under President Romney things would be quite different, not because he can be lead by the nose but because he already wants to go there. Defense spending as a form of camouflaged stimulus spending goes back to Ronald Reagan and before. Any excuse to pump that up allows Romney to spend like a liberal while avoiding the label.

Also, I don't see Israel as responsible for American foreign policy in Iraq or Afghanistan, or America's stance toward Iran, or much of anything in American domestic or foreign policy. Perhaps I'm just ignorant on the topic.

The one thing America could do is take a more principled stand regarding illegal settlements and toward a Palestinian peace treaty and state recognition, that would rob most of Israel's hostile Arab neighbors of their biggest cudgel. (It would also rob Israeli conservative politicians of THEIR biggest cudgel.)


"...lead by the nose" should read "...led by the nose".

"Barry, for all his flaws and culpability in creating this mob, would lob one into the men's room of the party of Hard Truths."

Naw. We're talking about the guy who ran a states rights campaign in '64 and voted against the Civil Rights Act. But he might drop a deuce in the urinal over a few of the current Republican Party's social policy positions.

Again .... Brilliant.
What's even worse is that the 4th Estate seems to be running away from the duty to point out the lies (or what they refer to politely as "mistruths").
It does no good ........ "their minds are made up, don't confuse 'em with facts."
We are so F *****d.

The Republican Party hasn't even made any "hard choices" regarding the national debt.

You can't reduce federal debt until federal budgets are running a surplus. A quarter-century into the Ryan budget and the country is still running deficits. That's assuming that his unspecified tax cuts ever come to pass. Even Republican cheerleading websites admit this:

"The CBO projects that the federal budget would only be balanced in 28 years (by 2040). In addition, there are also questions on the specific details of the plan’s proposed cuts, which was not incorporated into Ryan’s Path to Prosperity."


Finally, the Republicans have nominated Romney, not Ryan. Ryan's budget won't even get a hearing unless Romney kicks off while in office and Ryan takes over.

I don't know why the media hasn't jumped on this. If both the "liberal" administration of Obama and fiscal conservatives like Paul Ryan don't even consider the possibility of balanced budgets for decades to come, it says something about fundamentals in the economy and in demographics, that aren't being explained and aren't being explicitly addressed by any candidate.

Why do conservatives get a free pass to pretend to make "hard choices" and spout off about how big of a problem federal debt is, if they don't have a plan to accomplish what they claim are their policy objectives?

P.S. Sorry, "republican-candidates.org" is not a Republican cheerleading site. It's non-partisan. I was misled by the name.

"Days of Destruction, Dayd of Revolt"

Days not Dayd.

phxsunfan left u a note on previous blog


Mike Lofgren served 16 years on the Republican staff of the House and Senate Budget Committees. He has just published The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted.

quite an article calvinator.

did u mean Kelvinator?

While we are waiting for the Russians a little something before I go to sleep.

A concerned white republican friend of my recently asked if I "had a Country"?
my response follows>

The Hard Truth of living and learning for 72 years.

Naw, I was born in the country (on a farm no doctor) but I quit countries along time ago. I just don't have the patience for counties, states and countries. I am pretty busy just thinking about the planet earth. We can draw lines in the sand and build fences but it does not stop the killing fields. Of course the positive side to killing (for the planet) it keeps the population down. If you believe in a theocratic proselytizing white supremacist society all you had to do was watch the RNC convention. All those white pasty and sweaty obese folks were enough to make me puke. Of course voting is almost a non issue for me as I will not vote for a politician that espouses a belief in organized religion.Don't know if you have seen Burt Lancaster in Elmer Gantry but I watch that movie once a year (Xmas time) to remind me of my child hood and the robbing, thieving, sexual predators of anything that stood still by religious types particularly the tent traveling evangelists that came to small town America.

Greed has become the new religion and it is best practiced by people that package and sell empty worthless paper. And this country does not need MORE JOBS it needs LESS PEOPLE. And a lot more road less wilderness. There were 4 Million or so Indians and 4 Million buffalo in American when the Europeans arrived with their commodity possessing ways. We even passed a law that made it illegal for Indians to hunt and fish for food. We managed to kill off all about 400,000 Indians and all but about 1000 buffalo. I favor a Hunter gathering society return to the planet as opposed to living in our on shit, called CITIES.

So I guess most white Americans are going to vote for a Amway guy with lots of hair gel that thinks the environment sucks and its OK to just keep raping the landscape and that having five kids is not a crime. I had one child and I don't believe that horseshit that by having lots of kids and wives U get a bigger slice of heaven and become a god like god.
Have fun at the voting booth voting for no one as there really isn't any "real" people on the ticket.

Maybe I will write my dog in for president but she is dead. Is that a crime?

Good nite and ............

Thanks for the link, cal. For those who don't recall, Mike Lofgren left the reservation last year, with some salvos reminiscent of what we imagine Barry G. would echo: Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult.

Nice riposte to your conservative friend. I completely forgot about Elmer Gantry - the last time I saw it was as a child and it definitely deserves a new screening.

I've often thought Elmer Gantry was the darker version of The Music Man.

Harold Wilson and Elmer Gantry are both con men that appear to perform miracles while "ramming the fear of god" into the resident virgin.

Another classic about demagoguery from the same era, starring Andy Griffith: A Face in the Crowd.

" If you believe in a theocratic proselytizing white supremacist society all you had to do was watch the RNC convention. All those white pasty and sweaty obese folks were enough to make me puke." Cal

Yes, and it was obvious on the third night that the camera person on PBS went out of her way to deliver shots with people of color. Like all good camera work, distortions can be made, but the overhead shots told the real story of the WHITE RIGHT party.

PBS also went out of its way to kow tow to the stupidity of the Republican Party and the lies of Virginia racist redneck McConnell. No doubt the white right has effectively put pressure on PBS to embrace their utter deceit and stupidity.

jmav, it dont matter. Romney and Ryan will slit the throats of PBS funding.
And maybe make it illegal to have a "public" radio and TV outlet

Petro wrote:

"For those who don't recall, Mike Lofgren left the reservation last year, with some salvos reminiscent of what we imagine Barry G. would echo: Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult"

Call me a stick in the mud, but I just don't agree with the hagiography of Goldwater. Sure, he later spoke out in favor of abortion rights and gay rights and against religion in politics. He also defended tough regulation to stop polluters. OK.

But when he said things like "the radical right has ruined our party" he was referring to Pat Robertson, Jerry Faldwell and the radical religious right, in the context of gay rights and other social issues such as abortion. Here's his own op-ed from the Washington Post:


Goldwater rejected the New Deal and all that followed from it. He fought tooth and nail against labor unions and "welfare", organizing with the Conservative Coalition (a coalition of Republicans and conservative Democrats) in opposition to the New Deal Coalition. He stood against everything that enlarged the middle-class and improved the lot of the working class. He even voted against the censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1954. He was a "states' rights" nut.

His social liberalism stemmed from his libertarianism, not from political progressivism. Libertarians are some of the most socially liberal individuals you'll ever encounter. But in most respects, he was as reactionary as they come. Here he is in his own words, on the two parties:

"One of the great attributes of our American two party system has always been the reflected differences in principle. As a general rule one party has emphasized individual liberty and the other has favored the extension of government power. . .I’ve always stood for government that is limited and balanced and against the ever increasing concentrations of authority in Washington. I’ve always stood for individual responsibility and against regimentation. I believe we must now make a choice in this land and not continue drifting endlessly down and down for a time when all of us, our lives, our property, our hopes, and even our prayers will become just cogs in a vast government machine."


There is nothing here that is inconsistent with current rhetoric from the Romney camp. Goldwater even voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as an unconstitutional encroachment of federal power. Of course, the "extension of government power" was not only completely consistent with "individual liberty" in that case, but specifically necessary for it to flourish. Barry would have none of it!

Arizona liberals must really be desperate to invoke Barry Goldwater.

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

I'm smoking what your rolling there, Emil, but I will oblige: "Stick in the mud!"

Seriously though - within their straw-man framing of the opposition (that collective responsibility is equivalent to favoring "the extension of government power" - the libertarian mind-set being congenitally unable to understand that "government" is quite simply the only voice that people have, outside of the dog-eat-dog Darwinism of the profit imperative), I respect the intellectual honesty of conservative analysis, Barry-style.

And libertarianism is an adolescent philosophy, so I can't be particularly angry with them. In contrast with the cynicism of the contemporary two-faced Straussian GOP ideals - inseparable from political aspiration (hey, and that's not a bad benchmark for identifying morally bankrupt "idealism"!) - Goldwater was refreshing.

Arizona liberals must really be desperate to invoke Barry Goldwater.
Ah... you've noticed! :)

So the Republicans are the party version of "The sheriff who couldn't shoot straight". (They keep shooting themselves in the foot)

And the Democrats are "Barney Fife".

It's going to be one sad shoot out at the OK corral.

"cal Lash" wrote:

"This country does not need MORE JOBS it needs LESS PEOPLE."


Even if we could wave a magic wand and instantly eliminate all new births in the United States, starting today, there are currently about 12.8 million officially unemployed Americans, 41 percent of whom have been out of work for more than six months. There is another 8.2 million who work part-time because they are forced to by the economy, some of whom have inadequate weekly income as a result. There are another 2.5 million (including discouraged job seekers) who aren't counted as unemployed because they didn't look in the last four weeks.

There are about 2.4 million deaths per year in the United States. Most of those deaths involve diseases affecting, and fatal to, the elderly and the very young, neither of whom are working (some exceptions for the elderly, but mostly retired). Their deaths would not open up jobs slots. So, it would take decades for enough job slots to open to employ those currently unemployed, underemployed, and on the margins, if jobs were frozen at current levels.

Meanwhile, it takes money to rent or buy shelter, food, medical care, insurance, transportation, heating and cooling, telephone service, and other things that are usually provided by income from full-time employment.

So, the country DOES need MORE JOBS, unless you're proposing, like Marie Antoinette, to "let them eat cake".

Furthermore, there are no policies that would reduce births to zero, as well as reducing immigration to zero, even if federal officials were crazy enough to consider this a desirable policy outcome. Even in a police state like China with an official one-child per family policy and unfettered powers of enforcement, China's population grows about half a percent annually, which is comparable to the United States' annual population growth of 0.84 percent per year.


Here's some of what Calvin wrote in a letter to Mayor Stanton:

"I have been around Phoenix since 1950 and remember when it was a nice TOWN. A town where the tallest building was The Hotel Westward Ho and most houses were one story. If I was in charge Arizona would become a Federal wilderness."

Cal's idea of a "nice" city is a town of about 100,000 consisting of single-story, low-density ranch housing. There's nothing wrong with that, but instead of misanthropic rants against full employment or cranky letters to elected officials saying what he would do if he were Godzilla, why doesn't he simply MOVE to a smallish town with similar features and no plans for expansion? There are plenty of such towns, frozen in time, scattered throughout Arizona.

Petro wrote:

"I respect the intellectual honesty of conservative analysis, Barry-style."

Yeah, he was a straight-shooter with an eloquent prose style that came "from the heart" and not from some hired public relations service.

As long as we're discussing hard choices:

"cal Lash" wrote

"(The Obama) administration has done little to address the illegal use of prescribed drugs, a larger problem in the US than illegal drugs."

Well, I don't know what the Obama administration has or hasn't done to address the problem of illegal use of legal drugs.

What puzzles me is how someone like Calvin (who seems to be a libertarian Republican) can advocate the legalization of narcotics yet complain about the (alleged) failure of the Obama administration to crack down on abuse of prescription drugs.

I've said it before: Population is a symptom, an effect - not a cause. Addressing it directly is tilting at windmills - which is good because addressing it directly brings up way too many moral dilemmas.

Population adjusts itself to resources... or, more accurately, to how we allocate our resources. That's less of a moral dilemma, if we are keeping an eye out for future generations.

Whine, whine, whine. Go occupy.

What ever happened to diversity of tactics, Occupant? Hmmm?

There's some edumicatin' goin' on 'round these parts.

Re the NYT link on the Front Page showing that most jobs added since the recession are low wage: did anyone see the Lumina Foundation (Georgetown University) report recently reported on, that shows most jobs added since the recovery require a bachelor's degree or higher, with "some college or AA degree" being second, and "high school or less" actually losing jobs in the recovery?

I'd like to see this sorted out.

Out of online time.

Perhaps employers, faced with such a buffet of potential employees, are upping their criteria for even low-wage jobs?

Bingo Petro.

Friend of the family is a recent graduate of the ASU SChool of Sustainability. After a year of looking he is sustainably employed as a part time life guard at a Peoria City pool.

Wow, Reb... are there any more openings? I think my resume qualifies me to skim leaves...

Need a job,
try financial fraud. The conviction rate is about 2 percent.
Slightly higher than the conviction rate for murder in Juarez. Where they are working on the population issue.

"What ever happened to diversity of tactics, Occupant? Hmmm?"

You're sittin' on the fat side of the teeter-totter . . . and the damn thing won't budge.

"Friend of the family is a recent graduate of the ASU SChool of Sustainability. After a year of looking he is sustainably employed as a part time life guard at a Peoria City pool."

It's good that potential employers recognize that any graduate of an oxymoron is probably not a good candidate for a job. ASU is the antithesis of sustainability.

Petro wrote:

"Perhaps employers, faced with such a buffet of potential employees, are upping their criteria for even low-wage jobs?"

Looks like you're right.

I took a look at the Lumina Foundation report that said most jobs created since the recession have gone to those with some college or better, with net losses for those with high-school or less, and two things stood out:

p. 26 "TABLE 9: Low-education occupations had larger net gains in the recovery, while a few of the high-education occupations reported net job losses."

So, even the Lumina Foundation report admits that most jobs created since the recession are in low-education occupations (which are generally low-wage, these days).

p.27 Figure 14: "Half of the job gains in the recovery in the low-education occupations went to individuals with some college or an Associate’s degree"

In fact, 58 percent went to those with some college or an associate degree or to those with a bachelor's degree or better. Only 42 percent of "low-education" jobs went to those with a high-school diploma or less.

Note also (Figure 14) that the net loss in jobs since the recession for those with a high-school diploma or less, results from layoffs/attrition of low-education workers in the "middle education" occupational class: in other words, before the recession lots of "low-education" workers were doing "middle-education" jobs (probably because they were cheaper), and now those employers are hiring lots of college educated applicants (probably because they can now get them for the same wages they were paying low-education workers).


Newspaper accounts made it sound like the lesson was that the new economy is producing lots of jobs REQUIRING higher education and that those with a college degree are doing better BECAUSE of this.

In fact, the real story is that most new jobs are in low-wage, low-education occupations, but because it's a hirer's market with lots of desperate applicants, employers are hiring overqualified applicants in greater numbers than before the recession, as well as hiring properly qualified applicants in middle-education positions that they previously staffed with talented low-education workers to save money.

All the more reason to go to primary sources. Newspapers are a great place to look for information leads but frequently do a poor job accurately characterizing the facts.

Here's the NELP study cited by the New York Times story:


You're sittin' on the fat side of the teeter-totter . . . and the damn thing won't budge.
Turn thy gaze one-percent-wards. Internecine bickering amongst the ninety-niners is counterproductive.

"Internecine bickering amongst the ninety-niners is counterproductive."

Alright, Trotsky. :)

Please define your, "bickering". Otherwise, you're wrong.


Looks like god is har

found a dime underneath my pillow this morning.

I realize that you would respect my efforts more if I blogged on a sidewalk using chalk, but I yam what I yam, and contribute in whatever small ways that I am able.

Some of us are out of our comfort zone in crowds, and would appreciate your indulgence.

I'm for more internecine bickering. Lenin had it right with his party-splitting, only he didn't take it far enough.

I've created my own party, the Me Party. Among the articles of the new Constitution:

Article II As a party of one I am both dictator and democrat.

Article IV Nincompoops cannot form an opposition party, because they are nincompoops.

(Of course, in Article IV I had in mind Lenin's treatment of the Cadet party, and by "cannot" I mean "are not legally/morally entitled to".)

Nincompoops think (as-if) that I'm joking. I can assure you that I am not. The rest of the new Constitution, as it currently stands:

Article I Crush nincompoops!

Article III Crush nincompoops!

(This might seem redundant, but you have to bring them back to first principles before they wander too far from the foundations.)

Article V Science is bunk.

(I really believe this. Of course, by "science" I mean what nincompoops call science. There is a kind of super-science or meta-science (yet to be discovered -- but I am to be the Newton of this new Science and I stand on the shoulders of pygmies) that is natural (where "nature" is not) and scientific (where "science" is not).)

Article VI I will not be restricted by bureaucracy.

(This might seem redundant in a party of one; after all, I propose the laws, second them (or not) and sign or veto them, as I see fit. Still, one must not become hidebound even by self-created quasi-parliamentary or other rigid procedures.)

Articles VII, VIII and IX are as yet to be filled. I did pass Article VIII once upon a time, but subsequently repealed it.

Article X Crush nincompoops!

(To gather up the threads...)

Whining about challenges to your whining and stasis changes nothing.

A "Swift" retort from Emil. :)

Funny, Occupant, I had resisted the urge to make the easy point that you are here, yourself, "whining", I not being inclined towards the cheap shot. But there you go again...

In any case - you're drifting towards personal attack here, so I think I'll drop out of our little conversation. As a parting gift, I'll only note in passing that you have zero information about my personal growth, or devolution, or position on the ladders material or spiritual, and it is highly presumptuous to pull up "stasis" as an apt characterization of my life or my contribution to Life. Get a few more years under your belt.

To no one in particular (ahem):

Effective action requires contemplation. A contemplation that cannot be short-circuited, lest one becomes like the fool who tries to still the waters by patting down the ripples. To point out one barrier, relevant here, for early initiates - who may have stumbled upon something actually useful to pursue - is to resist the utter myopia of thinking that unless one is doing exactly what they are doing, one cannot possibly be moving things in the favored direction.

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