Archive for August, 2007

petty crimes one approves of

Friday, August 31st, 2007

I’m a day late and a dollar short with this, because it is somewhat frivulous, but…

Nolan Cunningham.

Years ago, just a month or so into moving into Portland, I watched a small group of scamper away from the very same fountain.  They had done the same little stunt, poured soap into the fountain.  I walked away, and walked back.  When I came back, what I saw was a whole mass of peoples having fun, tossing bubbles around, making bubble sculptures, enjoying the scenic beauty of the overflowing bubbles.

I do not know the cost benefit analysis in terms of what it takes to simply drain the fountain and re-stock, so I cannot quite say how much this is worthwhile.  I hazard to guess it is worth it.  The fountain is dormant for about half the year anyways.
Which brings the odd statement about “shaming” the young man who did this.  I scratch my head at that one.  Now that we know his name and face, and as he does his community service, I suggest giving him a verbal pat on the back, a thumbs up.  One might also suggest how to avoid the security camera for the next time, if he should so choose to do so again.

Sorry, city government of Portland.  You lose in your game of “shame”.

earliest days

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

From the Winter 85-86 “Spartacist”, propaganda rag for a long running Trotskyite organization…

An illustrative example of a cult is the Lynn Marcus organization in the U.S., which is today a virulently reactionary outfit which seeks to function as a think tank for the far right wing of the bourgeoisie.  In the mid-60s, the Marcus group, the Labor Committee, was a leftist group active in the New Left mileu.  We ran into them a lot at Columbia University, and when they suggested a debate between our groups on Marxist economics, we agreed readily.  We sent our most highly qualified comrade, Joseph Seymour, as our debater:  the Marcusites were mortally insulted because we hadn’t sent our “leader”.  But just because someone is elected head of a party does not mean he is thereafter the ultimate fount of all knowledge and authority in every field of human endevour.  In ordinary organizations, there are dozens of comrades who have more knowledge and expertise in particular fields relevant to the Marxist movement.  But not in Marcus’ organization.  And not in Healy’s either.

I have read “The Conceputal History of the Labor Committees”, found [surely at the laroucheplanet website by now], in tandem with various news articles from 1968 concerning the Columbia University student strike.  The history of “Lynn Marcus” was that he rolled out of various Trotskyite circles into the student New Left at Columbia University, and according to him from behind the scenes lead the strike, splintered as he was within SDS between what he aptly called “Action Faction” and “Praxis Axis”.  From there, he rolled that humble beginning on… and on… and on through its metamorphoses to what we have right now — everything becoming insane in the period of 1973 to 1974 when the cult of Personality solidified.  The game I have with old news articles is to find any particular resonance in which you can say Larouche and the earliest imprints of the Labor Committee.  It is somewhat difficult to spot, even if one can plug in certain names — Tony Papert.  Out of school class sessions for an alternate education, all the rage as the students struck a blow against the Establishment in the late 1960s, somewhat craftily copied in a sick parody in today’s cult in “Larouche cadre schools”.

BTW… the Student Strikers were actually referred to as “The 68ers… and a bit of a step down from events in French Universitys  Columbia being the largest one in the United States.  Which is the point of reference for the attack on the “68ers”, … whom “Lyn Marcus” claimed to have lead in the first place.

But the “Marcus” group was the sane group in that mileu of SDS.  In many ways.  I imagine him as one of any number of “third choices” of where one finds themselves when looking around SDS.  One is fooling yourself if one does not see that Cult of Personality being forced as Lynn Marcus holds his lectures and places himself in the middle of some historic events — and the photograph of the bow-tie wearing man holding forth at a lecturn to a full auditorium sits there.  But, at that time, the events he tossed himself into were reasonably plausible.  (Did he spark the Columbia student strikes?  Probably not him, but some of his followers played some role in that one.)  “Action Faction” devolved into The Weathermen terrorist group, for gawd’s sake, and much of the other grouping burned out on drugs.

As it were, the earliest group joined “The Labor Committees”.  Note the name.  Which is a far cry, in terms of what it is you think you are joining, from today’s “Larouche Youth Movement”.  Crucial difference in names, crucial difference in political focus.   One can at least plausibly see themselves working on the edges of Labor politics (as all Marxist organizations tend to see themselved doing), as regards to what is the final burst of members in a cult who haven’t much excuse there — the very name tells them they are working for the aggrandizement of a lunatic.

So what happened?  Any outer motives clouded out as Lyn, always a self-aggrandizement sort, weaved his way further and further into his self-importance, today making no pretense of purpose — I think the idea at the moment being that a college student learns a whole lot of new names, and Larouche’s minions float Larouche as just one more new name.  It doesn’t work too much, but for the past few years it’s worked well enough for his purposes, ie: a small group wholly committed persons joining him in his Fantasy.

Larry Craig Part 3, and I should wrap it up about here

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

In answer to the question of what the difference between David Vitter’s solicitation of prostitution and Larry Craig’s proposition of bathroom sex is such that Republicans call for the ouster of the latter — as well strip of committee assignments, sort of the signal that they would like him to leave , and plan an Ethics Committee investigation, as though there could possibly be anything to investigate– and move along quickly for the former…

Well, there is the simple electoral calculation that Idaho has a Republican governor and Louisiana has a Democratic governor, their temporary appointees thus falling accordingly.  Then there is the electoral calculations of “THE GAY”, even as the broad swath of Americans are falling into the line that Dan Savage laid down which is us heterosexuals are shifting our attitudes from “Wow, those Gays are weird” to “Wow, those closeted Gays are weird.”

There is the simple matter that Larry Craig violated the second half of the old “whatever consenting adults choose to do in the privacy of [fill in the blank]”, which our dear friend David Vitter avoided by simply laying down money at a brothel.  And Larry Craig’s pay scale is such that he could do better than a public restroom.  (But maybe the money is in quickie-hotels — 15 minutes, top, across the street from airports.)

The one chink in the armor is the issue of hypocrisy, and there it is a little tricky to measure various levels.  David Vitter’s raison d etre fell into line behind “Family Values”.  Larry Craig’s raison d etre did/ does not.  Which is not to say that their voting records do not match up, and beyond which Craig, like Vitter came out strongly for the Impeachment of Bill Clinton.  In the rules I have seen for political “Gay outing”, which lays the hypocrisy angle as the highest reason, Craig falls from the “Ted Haggard” standard to a level just below — perhaps half a level, in consideration of his absolute insistence that he is not one of “The Gay” which stretches back over two decades.

Political repercussions of the downfall of an Idaho politico

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

It does not take too long for me to wonder about the electoral implications in a story such as Larry Craig’s.  I admit the same with regards to David Vitter’s situation (electoral implications: it puts him in a safer spot in his re-election bid in 2010).  I admit the same with the scandal-ridden Ted Stevens in Alaska.  (I suppose an open-seat may be popping up, one which the Republicans would have to blow).  And the same with the death of a Senator in Wyoming.  (The Republican state Congress gave the Democratic governor a choice of three Republicans to slide in, and he should probably win the rest of the term in 2008.)  On the other side of the ledger, the Republicans have had to play some tricky cards with Tim Johnson’s medical problems in South Dakota — Johnson having been one of the few opportunities for a Republican pick-up that that party had.
So, in terms of the Donkey versus Elephant game, we have one more muddle in a strangely muddled Senate election cycle.  The muddle is an odd one, which is a group of Senate seats you cannot quite fathom whether a Democrat can actually win or not.  (There isn’t such a muddle on the Republican end of the spectrum, who are looking at a long night in November of 2008.)  Larry Craig probably thinks he can get himself nominated for another term of in the Senate, but he will probably realize the error of this thought soon enough.  The problem with Idaho is that by some fluke of nature, the Republicans just might be crazy enough to nominate themselves Bill Sali, narrow victor of a House seat in 2006 — narrowed from what would have generally been a “safe seat” as various “respected” Idaho Republicans disowned him.  His most notable moment in his service as US House member is this little comment:

We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now, Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Those are changes — and they are not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

Idaho is not without a large group of religious minorities.  Granted, Mormons consider themselves Christians, even if most denominations don’t consider Mormons so — as Mitt Romney is finding out.

The best we can say is that if the Republicans select the “sane choice”, they keep a seat in Idaho.  If the Club for Growth spits out Sali, they still might just end up winning somewhat easily, off of the coat-tails of a Republican presidential candidate and off of a fair amount of over-inflated “liberal bashing” — see Oklahoma in 2004 with Tom Coburn for the model.  Or they might lose, which would bring up the interesting observation that:

Nothing best symbolizes a low point for the Republican party than a statewide defeat in Idaho.

The Larry Craig Story

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

I suppose we can back to the halycon days of 2006, when a Gay Activist outed Larry Craig.  And we can flash forward to 2007 when, in the wake of Larry Flynt and whomever it was that exposed Mr. Vitter of soliciting prostitutes — with Flynt moving full blast on his sources, unsaid and under his breath (as well a brief flash from Bill Maher on Larry King, scrubbed off of youtube) — I could swear I could read Larry Craig’s name beneath the lines.
Craig denied the charge of his gayness.  As he still does today.  And, indeed, people who have homosexual sex in public restrooms tend not to consider themselves gay.

Rumours are always true, except when they aren’t.

There is either an upside or a downside to the Larry Craig case.  I now know more about the intricacies of how one propositions for public toilet sex than I did before.  I would have to figure that such a routine as that which Craig performed exists, but now I know, roughly, what it is.

bullet points

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

I.  Yeah, why in the world would he have “some beef” with that guy?

II.  “I have seen the letter and it expresses ‘tremendous sympathy’ for Jeremiah’s family. That is the first expression of condolence from the institute since my son died.

III.  Say, whatever happened to the BAE Scandal?  Wasn’t that a “world changing event” — changing the world scene in “fundamental ways”, the supposed cause of much grief in Loudon (and the reason to offer psychiatric services)?

IV.  i am very much surprised that the kremlinologists here gathered have not yet mentioned a recent development in the larouche organization, one that may be most significant…those of you familiar with my posts may recall that i regularly monitor the audio file postings on the lym site, and over the last 2 or 3 weeks i am seeing helga promoted as never before…beginning with her august 11th appearance on the larouche show, she is represented half a dozen times: a speech before a cadre school on the 12th; an interview with jeff rense on the 13th; a speech to the ecuadoran lym on the 17th; a speech to a detroit cadre school on the 18th; and an appearance on the butch valdez show out of the phillipines on the 26th…

all of this, mind you, solo, without lyn…in the same time frame no other member has appeared more than once in the audio files, and lyn, not at all…a situation without precedent over the last 3 or 4 years that i’ve been paying close attention to the group…

and, of course, perhaps even more significant than helga’s sudden omnipresence is the absence of lyn..not one posting since august 4th, when he addressed an la cadre school…

incidentally, there are TWO postings from helga on that date, speaking before the mexican lym, one in english, the other in spanish…

so what is going on here?…is lyn sick?…are we witnessing a new leader, clawing her way to the top?…or is lyn simply pre-positioning helga to be the face of the movement when the other helga, hillary clinton, takes center stage? 
The answer is blowing in the wind.

V.  Makes sense. 

rock and roll part 2

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Callback to “Family Security Matters” and “Julius Caesar Option”…

so many problems in that article. First, Caesar did not conquer gaul by simple massacre, he did it through careful and astute application of force and by playing the various political heads in gaul against each other. Also, he successfully sold the notion that it is better to be a subordinate in a roman hegemony than a free and independent subject of the traditional gallic tribal system. Caesar did not empty gaul of gauls and fill it with romans.

the rest of that article…nuking iraqis into submission, filling iraq with americans, Bush as president for life…how can any of it be taken seriously?

I don’t see it happening…but given the magnitude of ‘hidden crimes’ committed by various Bush II admin folk and those associated with them, I have no difficulty envisioning certain of those people wishing it could happen – because otherwise they are looking at legal nightmares and/or possible extended imprisonment.

As to nuking Iraq…from what I’ve read, and according to a couple of Iraq vets I’ve talked to, there is a ‘strong minority’ of US troops there who would probably find that option acceptable.

Bit I remember from the week after Bush I lost his re-election bid: when it became certain that the election was lost, the shredding machines fired up in the DOJ(?) building. Normally, they ran only a couple times a week. This time, though, they were going nonstop, 24/7 for most of two weeks – something that was remarked as ‘unprecedented’. So…what was so critical that it could not pass into the hands of the next adminstration?

Maybe this was part of it…

… there used to be a sort of ‘informal reference library’ at the whitehouse, started in the Carter Adminstration. When Reagan took over, the Carter bunch simply said ‘here it is, you’ll need it’. Same thing when Bush I’s bunch took over from Reagans bunch. When Clintons crew arrived, though…there was nothing there but empty shelves

Even if you could find enough Americans willing to live in a pre or post nuked Iraq, surrounded by the neighbors it would still have, how that could “boost American prestiege (sic)” is beyond me. Our temporary presence (and the permanent one by Israelis) sure hasn’t worked.

Caesar’s problem with Gaul came about because the Gauls would not honor their contracts; Rome would conquer some one of these smaller tribal collections and sign the customary Roman “we done kicked hell out of you so now you sign a contract with Rome to that effect”. After five times (or thereabouts) of beating one of the tribal groups, “Big Julie” finally had enough of this particular group and cut off their left arms (at the left wrist position and as Caesar explained that while this rendered them incapable of going to war with anyone because they could not hold a shield as a defense, it did not interfere with them working at their trade. These “no left handed ex soldiers were forced to march with one Legion or the other to whatever battlefield chosen as an object lesson to anyone else who dared resist Rome.

BTW Julius was bald as a cue-ball but his troops still called him Caesar. in Latin, Caesar translates out (I’m told) as “a fine head of hair”.

rejoinder to 12-29-05

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

I take a lot of offense to this that you blame people who are different than you for a NATUAL DISASTER…who the hell do you think you are?

So asks a “Jacob Kalski” to an age-old post of mine, regarding the great Tsunami, which went:

I think the abortionists, the feminists, the gays, the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle… all of them who have tried to secularize South-east Asia — I point the finger in their face and say: “You helped this happen.”

I suppose it would have been better to blame the “abortionists, the feminists, the gays, the lesbians”… in this case the ACLU for the Minnesota bridge collapse — which was, indeed, not a NATURAL DISASTER, Kaliski’s main sticking point?.

But Pat Robertson is dead, so why would I have bothered?