Archive for May, 2007

Is that a Jewish Dukakis?

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

I guess I am obligated to link to this.   You already saw that, didn’t you?  If not, you should have.

I never understood Joseph Lieberman’s 2004 declaration of “Electibility”, even if I take a giant leap of faith and buy into Lieberman’s noxious frame of reference on being a “Centrist” on the issues, supposedly “where the American people are”.  Beyond the issues, you have a real “Alpha” versus “Beta” problem.  Lieberman?  Beta.

more peering into and making sense of the mechanics of a political cult

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Okay, so Ken Kronberg is dead. The in-house printing companies of Larouche Inc. is bankrupt — or liquidated. Larouche claims their demise as an effect of Baby-boomer mismanagement, slyly referencing any minute sparks of independence… they pooh-poohed his prediction of the economic collapse unleashed by the bursting of the Tech Bubble, apparently. This works as a good message for the modern Larouche Youth Movement “leaders” in that bizarre generational dichotomy Larouche has set up.

with the LaRouche org’s destruction of WorldComp and PMR, they are in quite a pickle in terms of where to print, especially because using a non-LaRouche printer means having to pay.
In the past year, the following LaRouche publications have croaked: New Federalist, 21st Century Science & Technology (now “online” but really dead), and Fidelio (partly for money, partly because Kronberg, who edited it, just stopped doing it last year).
Hanging on by a thread are EIR magazine and occasional pamphlets, pretty much printing LaRouche ramblings at webcasts.
However, the reduced runs of publications and the loss of many of the publications doesn’t mattermuch, because the LYM couldn’t get the stuff out anyhow.


Now it will be interesting to see how ole Lindy gets his stuff printed. How long can they pay an outside printer to do what they refused to pay Kronberg to do? How long will an outside printer print, if he doesn’t get paid?
Note that in recent years, the organization lost New Federalist (Kronberg finally stopped mailing it, and then stopped printing it, because he couldn’t get paid); 21st Century mag (now in some online avatar of no clout); Fidelio (Kronberg stopped putting it out, and since he was the only one who worked on it, that was that); etc.
Apparently the EIR runs have been cut drastically since Kronberg’s death, too. So what are the yutes going to wave around while they sing Jesu, Meine Freude on street corners? How on earth will they get contacts if they don’t have any literature to put on the card tables?

I wonder how much importance any profit margin of those ridiculous “card-table shrine” pamphlets. They strike me as loss leaders, those damned $5 suggested donation I find it impossible to imagine anyone shelling out. They are always ALWAYS unloaded in bulk at the end of the Larouchies’ excursion. (Here, Here, and Here, when I get a moment or run into it.) It looks like a Recruitment Show, and if money comes pouring in it’s off of larger donations when the Larouchites get the conduct information of the curious or interested and pester them to death for money later on. I suppose the Larouche book-keeping enterprise could pretty well squelch the payment to the Printing Component of the whole Enterprise to Zero, screwing Ken Kronberg as it did, which I guess would only mean that the LYMers will have to shake the unfortunates who leave their phone numbers for more money still.
I can’t tell if the absence of anything other than those shoddier and shoddier pamphlet-ings are essential to the running of the Cult. Those pamphlets are indelibly important — you have to wave something around, even if you’re actually physically selling a mere fraction of your stock. Beyond that… I am of two minds. Notice here in this silly LYM presentation the reference to — I’d have to watch it again to know for sure — either 20th Century Science and Technology or Fidelio as the “Third best selling journal” in its genre. If they disappear into the ether, one artifice of the Intellectual Potemkin Village that Larouche Inc has set up falls aside… can you continue to make that claim if everything is peering from, at best, Online? Are there other artifices of this type that will just have to take its place? The Robert Beltran Acting School, I suppose. And those brilliant discussions on the… um… Larouche — Riemann Method. (As “sancho” put it, sounds rather like the Curly-Dalai Lama method.)
EIR is indexed online in Google News, the positive and negative sides of Google News in their broad reach of including material. There is a sort of throw-away reference in one of those Larouche internal memos to the effect of how the Baby-boomers let lay the online side of the enterprise, which almost seems like a rationalization for their forced entry of… bulking up their online presence in, what I have noticed, they are pumping out garbage at a rather frenetic clip.

In terms of the evolution of Larouchism, it occurs to me that, starting out, Larouche first surrounded himself with College Graduate Students. He has reached lower and lower, to the point where… apparently admist his group are high school drop outs, and I somehow managed to miscommunicate my bafflement at this on the FACTNet board.
On the youth, there are a couple of considerations that indicate how LaRouche has perfected his technique.
When I and my age cohort joined, we were either college grads or in college or perhaps in grad school. We held jobs. In other words, we were independent, or could form an independent thought, and had to test those thoughts and our performance at work and/or in school.
We supported ourselves. We were able to buy clothes and food and books, and pay rent.
We were THE SAME AGE then, when we were doing all these “grown-up” things, that the yutes are today.
Now, this eroded over time, particularly in regions, where people’s rent and medical bills, etc., began to be paid for them, so that they were infantilized and rendered dependent. When I was a member, however, we called this becoming lumpenized–that is, some part of us still recognized that it was a Bad Thing to live 6 to an apartment, eat all our meals together, live off what we made at field deployments, etc., share our cars (and have them destroyed in the field).
Today, what we used to criticize as lumpenization is held up as the ultimate politico-monastic existence.
That is the crux of the operation: Keeping the LYMers in communalist dorms, feeding them from communalist pots, paying all their bills for them, imprisons them psychologically and financially. They are absorbed into The Family.
The vestiges of independence that we older people retained is one reason LaRouche hates the Baby Boomers and their immediate successors so much. For those older members, no matter what LaRouche does, he can’t impress them the way he can impress the LYM.
Also note that a couple of years LaRouche stopped the process of National Conferences in the U.S.–conferences attended by the old members as well as the young. Now in their place they hold LYM retreats, off in the mountains someplace in isolation.
There are NO conferences for older members–where someone might get up and say what he or she thought. And now the old members are taught by the LYM–very rarely is the LYM taught by old members. There are just a handful of old members “cleared” to teach–Jeff Steinberg, Harley Schlanger, Phil Rubenstein, Bruce Director, Michelle Steinberg, come to mind.

The question, one I would want to throw to Freakonomics : how do you classify a LYMer? Are they expenses? Initial Investments, which will turn into profit on a later date? PRODUCTS??? The set up has been built for them. How much of the enterprise does it cost to pull them up?
Oh, mercy me. I never thought I would ever end up looking at as much insight on the internal mechanics of Lyndon Freaking Larouche, but there you go. Now you too, oh long time blog reader of mine, have the same murky pleasure. And I have no goddamned clue what you could possibly use with this information, except to give a slight pause the next time you see that Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” episode with Homer shouting “Oh My God! Lyndon Larouche was Right!”

I exchanged about three emails with Avi Klein of the Washington Monthly (who I can mention because he gave his name on the FACTNet board). It was, as I posted before, largely a deferral and acknowledgment that I know nothing, a couple of email addresses for contact information he may or may not have found helpful, and just for the sake of it — I made a quick test to see that he had enough minimal background knowledge to avoid a string of references to the Queen of England in whatever article she was working on (and, for the life of me, I can’t quite tell what direction he is taking it in — it looks like one of two directions). I don’t think I am out of school to refer to one statement he made:

A good book about the movement itself has yet to be written.

The frightening thing is I am staring at an oral history, although it probably gets weaker depending on which end of the strand it lies on — plenty from the NCLC days, not as of yet a whole lot first hand from ex-LYM members, as that little innovation is a bit too recent and, for the most part, any “ex” members would, almost by definition, not have fully indoctrinated themselves.

Laura Mallory versus Witchcraft

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Laura Mallory, a mother of four children, tried to get the popular Harry Potter books banned from Gwinnett County school libraries in Georgia. She argued that the fiction series is an attempt to indoctrinate children in witchcraft, and she claims she still wants the best-selling books removed and may take her case to federal court.

Etc Etc.

Actually, what I think the most annoying thing about Laura Mallory, and the Laura Mallorys of the world, is that her crusade, against these forces of Witchcraft, end up rationalizing the inclusion of Harry Potter on those phony annual National Library Associations’ “Banned Book Week” lists, which are list compilations of books that have been challenged… somewhere or other. By people like Laura Mallory. Never mind that there is no place in these United States that you cannot find yourself a copy of any of the Harry Potter books, and just about any public library that stocks popular fiction.
There is a gimmick there, which is that elementary school teachers can hook a child into
reading a book by saying that it was censored… somewhere or other. Other than that, we celebrate the “Captain Underpants” series through the “Banned Book Week” list. Although to be honest, I almost want to ban those ones, just as I want to become a warlock to spite Laura Mallory.

Did I ever mention how I checked out the first Harry Potter book from the library, read the first forty pages or thereabouts, shrugged in indifference, and then returned it to the library? Ah well.

Waiting for that Fred Thompson / Tom Coburn ticket.

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Fred Thompson has initiated that famed Exploratory Commission to decide whether or not to form an Exploratory Commission on whether to run for the Presidency.  I understand one of the calendar restraint Fred Thompson has concerns contractual obligations with Law and Order.  It seems a faulty concern, a contract that one can walk away with on good terms with the Producers of the show.  But whatever, I wouldn’t think it profits Fred Thompson much to actively run for president for a bunch more months.  I do wonder if it might not profit the nation of the United States if the eventual political party nominees coming out of 2008 didn’t start running for president in the first half of 2007, setting an example for the way things will work out.  I kind of want many conventional wisdom edicts to explode in this election cycle’s Process.  For example — wouldn’t it be great if there was still a muddled nomination victory coming out of that famed log-jam of the first week of February — for both parties, naturally?
In other presidential testing of the water news, Tom Coburn is considering running for a presidency.  I don’t really have anything original to add that you cannot find if you look up his name at technorati and consult the bloggers’ comments.  Oklahoma has two nut-job Republican Senators, making it the most obnoxious Senate congregation in the nation.  In Tom Coburn’s case, he will be looking out at and working on issues that you never knew existed.  Who else but Tom Coburn will be solving this problem:

“Lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in Southeast Oklahoma that they’ll only let one girl go to the bathroom. Now think about it.” 

Southeast Oklahoma, he said in his 2004 Senate campaign.  He has the ability to identify the hot areas of rampant Lesbianism, one of them in the schools of Southeast Oklahoma.  I would not think of Southeast Oklahoma as a hot-area for Lesbianism, but I suppose there are enclaves everywhere and in places you would not expect.  Perhaps Tom Coburn can team up with the creators of the various “Queer Yellow Pages” to better market to these untapped arenas.

Actually he doesn’t need to even be President to do that, and I do think that would benefit our capitalist system in offering better target marketing opportunities to our nations’ businesses.  So, what is the basis of electing Tom Coburn to the presidency?  The simple narcissism that underlines everybody’s presidency, I suppose.

“My mosquito; my libido”. Not particularly poetic.

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

I watched “The Year that Punk Broke”, a travelouge and concert video filmed by Sonic Youth of a 1991 European Summer tour which included Nirvana and a host of bands you remember kind of — Dinosaur Jr and any number of others.  I probably should not have, but I had my reasons.
Courtney Love made me cringe.

I made a sudden realization that I don’t especially like Nirvana.  Aside from their great panoply of hits, Cobain is just sort of atonal and obnoxious.  Whenever I have put Nevermind into the cd player, I’ve always programmed it to play about 6 of the tracks, which means that I think Nevermind is a great half of an album.
Depending on who you ask, either Nirvana or Pearl Jam is the one that is mentioned as having “changed everything”, shifted the grounds of rock music.  And one or the other tends to be named.  Indeed, it was a great affect:  one variety of corporate rock aping something slightly more authentic was replaced by a better brand of corporate rock aping something slightly more authentic.  Some good things were invariably lost in the changeover, but on the whole, we don’t miss the Warrants of the world much.

But I am left with a realization, years after the fact.  Turn on the radio, focus closely on the new artists of the “00”s.  Who sounds like Nirvana anymore?  The “Seattle Scene” faded away, Sub-Pop went bankrupt, Grunge is Dead.  Which leaves me with the question of what does everyone sound like anyways.  What album or band from the 1990s ended with the ultimate lasting influence Nirvana is said to have.

I don’t think Green Day’s brand of Mall Punk can be said to rule the roost.  Or that third generation ska of No Doubt and various watered down but inoffensively and joyful tuneful such that I heard on Top 40 radio in the late 1990s.

Actually everyone sounds something like Weezer.  Forget Nirvana.  Weezer changed the entire landscape of rock and roll.  Nothing was ever the same after Weezer came on the scene.  Come to think of it, I don’t remember where I was when I first saw that “Sounds Like Teen Spirit” video of that demented pep assembly.  I do remember first seeing the Weezer dance with the Fonze.

National Journal ranks the presidential candidates with a random formula

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Granted, this is a little old, but there is something telling about this National Journal Presidential horse-race rankings page.

Which is that it is completely wrong.

And wrong based on a sort of beltway-insider assumption of how that famed second debate worked out, and the dominate narrative the beltway-insider media took out and ran with.

Rudy Giuliani is placed neatly at number one, because “thrown a softball by Ron Paul, Guiliani hit a grand slam”.  Okay.  Noteworthy is that the rest of the entry on Giuliani dresses him down on how he’s not showing up terribly well in the polls for those first two states of Iowa and New Hampshire.  Actually his poll numbers have slid greatly.  Not that that is the final arbiter of these things, but seriously now, despite what some articles of late that have appeared in the New Republic and the Weekly Standard, the Republican Party’s politics have not gotten away from those cultural issues of Abortion and the like.  And it appears that Rudy’s choice to run full frontal forward as Pro-Choice, and really that would be what I myself would advise him to do — has pulled him down in the polls.  Thus his “grand slam” cannot possibly be a grand slam.  He “wins”, and he falters downward.

Mitt Romney is now supposedly the front runner.  Whoopie Kayack.  It is the conventional belt-way wisdom now, and this arbiter of conventional belt-way wisdom failed to lead the pace on that bit of conventional belt-way wisdom, leaving him at #3.  So the National Journal failed in their task of pegging these horse races.  Incidentally, surely we can all agree at this point that John McCain is #3, and perhaps even… #4.
My final note deriding this National Journal horse-race pegging concerns Ron Paul, left with that derisive note “Please quit emailing us.”  I don’t particularly care that the National Journal stuck him last — they can do what they want to.  It is questionable to immediately leave him behind Tommy Thompson and Jim Gilmore as a matter of course, which seems to be what the National Journal has decided to do.  But I do have to wonder — why the down arrow?  Certainly Ron Paul raised his profile somewhat with that debate.  Certainly he gained supporters.

If you flick over to the Democratic page, you see a bit of the same dynamic.  The positions for the Democrat seem to be in freeze-frame, but… why does it posit that John Edwards had a “difficult month”?  He leads the polls in Iowa.  I think I would go ahead and leave Chris Dodd there at #5, for the strange reasons that the National Journal have provided — and despite that “zero support in Iowa” incongruence which goes against everything that the National Journal seems to stand for.  But we see that beltway insider bias working with both Dodd and Biden up above Kucinich, and even at this point goddamned Mike Gravel.  It is all entirely arbitrary, but I can tell you who Kucinich’s supporters are and I cannot tell you who Dodd’s or Biden’s supporters are.  (Well, Dodd has Ned Lamont, but beyond that… ?)

… High school aged???

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Riding the bus, I had two thread topics running in my mind that I had intended on posting.  They are both momentarily steam-rolled away.
Headphones on, I was listening to Mike Malloy, formerly of Air America and formerly of something else before that, now with “NOVA M” radio and generally scheduled on radio stations that broadcast Air America programming.  It is a rebroadcast of a show run earlier in the year, one I probably never heard before.  It’s one of his “Youth Nights” programs, where he screens in and only has conversations with people between the ages of 13 and 17.  And so I hear a 13 year old call in about…

Her chat with a Lyndon Larouche supporter, generally hawking the new anti-Gore line, which had her a bit confused as it was next to the “Impeach Cheney” line.

None of which would be particularly noteworthy, and I would pass on it, except for the insanity that the “Lyndon Larouche supporter” was… 15.  And a High School drop out.  Because Larouche is the real education we need to save the world.

Fascinatingly, the 13 year old swerved through a discussion with the 15 year old high school drop-out LYMer, and, as she described it, the LYMer couldn’t really answer her questions on various political questions, up to and including what the heck Larouche’s program was, exactly.  The 13 year old spotted bullshit when she saw it.
Mike Malloy run through a lecture to the effect that one should be weary of people who advance a person — themselves — over any political goal.  And ended the call by saying that people who have acted as Larouche does, with the idea that He and He Alone Has all the Answers and Nobody else does — end up killing millions of people with that short jump to “And if you don’t fall in line with what I Know, then –“  Practical lessons on Larouche, Malloy informed the 13 year old caller that he served time in prison because of Credit Card fraud, stealing money.
And we jump to a commercial break. And I am left flabergasted on one matter.

High School drop out?  Huh???
I had intended on setting aside a couple quips from and concerning FACTNet postings for another day, and Hey!  Look!  A new thread!, but there is something I think is off — or missing the point — about the discussions on Larouche’s financing.  Actual Accounting ledgers of Expenses and Revenues are beside the point, in the paranoid view of the world, you have to be making credit advances to be discarded when you gain control.

Adolf Hitler.  Tax Dodger.  Do you see how that works?
It’s all very non-linear, if you will.

Here’s my rhetorical question: Is a new LYMer an expense or an asset?

As an aside, I did a quick google search for “Mike Malloy” and “Larouche”.  If I am to believe the buzzards that swarmed around “Accuracy In the Media” and propagated out into the Internet, Mike Malloy — always dancing with conspiracy theories — was fired from Air America after having on a Larouchian guest, Webster Tarpley.  But it rings of spurious speculation.