Archive for March, 2008

Ayn Rand Graffiti Fight

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

So, someone left the following message on the bathroom wall of a business I frequent, one whose bathrooms basically encourage graffiti-ing:

“Ayn Rand is God”.

I responded with:
“Ayn Rand is selfish and a Jerk.”

To which some ignorant person wrote:
“And no one likes him.”

Which was followed by a small scrawling of:

And the original person reprised with:
“Obviously I like HER. And also obviously, you are an idiot.”

Later, the following showed up:

— among Fascists.

— and Ayn Rand does not believe in love.

It seems, though, that the original person boxed in the “Ayn Rand Rules”, suggesting that the “Love is all you will ever have” was written by someone else, and the “Ayn Rand Rules” person wanted that to be known.  Just as I had to scrawl a little comment to distance myself from the “him” reference.

College Basketball Recap

Friday, March 21st, 2008

A real heart-breaker.

So the Portland State Vikings were down to The (23 point) Spread by one point, 85 to 61.  Kansas had the ball, with one second separating the shot clock and the game clock, meaning in all probibility, the Vikings would have one last shot to beat The Spread.   Kansas shot and missed with seven second left, and Portland State rushed down the court.  A Spread-beating buzzer-beating 3 point shot was aimed, and…

It rimmed off.  Portland State lost to the Spread by one point.  Almost beat it.  But almost is only good in horseshoes.

Oh well.  There’s always next year.  Next Year the Portland State University Vikings will make the Tournament, and goshdarnedit, they will BEAT THE SPREAD!

Some Reading Material

Friday, March 21st, 2008

So, have you read the 19 posts on the blog “The X Spot” regarding “Bormann’s Ghost”, as strung together here?

Conspiracy theories of the sort posted on February 25 are tricky affairs — start with two unexplained “huh?”s from two different areas, likely never explainable, and see if they fit.  Which is why I have to think long and hard about the post of February 25, and a comment made later on by this blogger in the March 7 comments qualifies this post — whatever happened with that one, we do at least have the connections with neo-Nazis, and indeed that seems to have been the global role Mr. Marcus had played in the past few decades (re, for instance the NY Times article from 1991 I posted in the comments here a few days ago).  It is an interesting arena to think about, and as he states, what other possibilities are there?

Maybe I’ll post some more things here … later…

A Historical View of our Nation’s History, in Historic Context

Friday, March 21st, 2008

A bit of a post-script:

I listened to some of your friend and mine, Michael Savage, on the radio trotting out a piece of writing from Booker T Washington — asking us all to move on and attacking those negroes who continue on with their grievances, and the race hustlers who make a career out of negro anger.  (To paraphrase, contemporanious terms used regarding Booker T Washington.)

I sort of view these shots from Booker T Washington as being attacks on WEB Du Bois, but that is as much an over simplification and a personification of various strains of argument we have had for all of our nation’s history.  The problem with Washington’s line of thought, of course, is that at this time attitudes toward blacks from the white populace was actually moving backward, which makes Washington’s demand to acknowledge improvements for black Americans a little queasy.

In this context, WEB Du Bois radicalized, his anger sharpening, and he lost much goodwill he previously had toward Booker T Washington.  Just around the corner, Marcus Garvey would walk into the picture, founding the organization now lead by Louis Farrahkhan, and challenge Du Bois from a completely different perspective.  Surely there are antecedents to Garvey’s Black Nationalism (even within the popular nineteenth century idea that the solution to the “Peculiar Institution” was to ship all the slaves back to Africa), but this is roughly the spiritual grandfather of your Jeremiah Wright.

So the voice of Michael Savage cried out that this was 40 years after the Civil War, and still nothing has changed a century later.  He ends the monolouge by suggesting that Booker T Washington is a man not known in the black community, which is a lie — and how many elementary schools in predominantly and historically black areas are named after Washington? — or at least an untruth.  He is widely dismissed as something of an “Uncle Tom”, and that tends to be how he is slotted in our Universities.  I respect that train of thought, though quite confidentally have a high regard for the man, limitations allowed — inbedded in cringing as the most right wing of prominent right wing talk show hosts find him desirable as an example.  He will pop up in Black politicians’ lists of historical heroes, which can be viewed as either a cynical message that they are the “Right Type of African American” and won’t suddenly demand reparations, but then I give your Condelleza Rices more credit — a conservative black will find a great deal to recommend out of a conservative black leader, and pull yourself up by the boot-straps even as everyone is pushing your face down toward your boot-straps.

Reverend Wright and Obama’s Problem

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

I was reading through a book, Running on race : racial politics in presidential campaigns, 1960-2000 by Jeremy D. Mayer.  Parcing through the racial dimensions of various campaigns, from the splitting and double-backing of your Kennedy through and on, I end up thinking that Jesse Jackson’s 1984 campaign strikes me as particularly loathsome, and this aspect of Clinton’s 1992 campaign served some low points, in the manner that he innoculated himself from any possible Willie Horton effect.

But that is in the past.  Flash forward to Obama’s speech yesterday in handling the problem of his pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  In the past month, John McCain has been scoping out the various nutty right-wing evangelical Christian pastors, notably one John Hagee, and “Whore of Babylon” to you too.  In electoral terms, I found myself biting my tongue with this one, knowing that behind door number one for Obama, from out of Obama’s identity politics searching youth to assert his essential blackness, was Reverend Wright and this church.  Not without his merits, but also not without its dark corridors, somewhere lurking beside your Louis Farrahkan.

The problem here is that in a contest of religious and cultural nutcasery in the public scope, Obama is going to lose on this score.  The racial edge is too strong — I go back to the several seconds of b-roll where two burly black men pop into view — the “Amen!” chior throwing their hands down, which to clarify the meaning of that post, this image, whatever words Wright is saying muted, in itself is strikingly innocuous even if it is scary looking to white America and even as the media seems to want to burnish it into the public’s retina– and we have somehow come as a nation to accept the constellation around Pat Robertson into mainstream electoral politics.  Besides which, Obama has a sustained relation with Wright; McCain just wants a bunch of symbolic huggings.

I admit to being cynical and jaded with regard to Obama and his speechifying, thinking too often there’s just no there there.  So with that in mind, I was prepared for Obama’s poetic eloquence with yesterday’s speech, expecting to fall into my cynicism, and…

… It was just about the finest product of any politician in this century.  This, I guess, is that famed eloquence everyone talks so much about in service of Substance, the parsing out of the fissures of our nation’s racial discombobulation.

So I liked it.  I thought it answered the question.  But I am not necessarily John Q Public.  How did it play in Peyoria?  My pundit game of guaging mass opinion fails me on this one.  And I don’t think John Q Public can necessarily provide an answer.  This morning, I saw some AP poll results asking various ethnic groups if they had a “favorable” or “unfavorable” opinion of other ethnic groups, and I had to shake my head — what a completely and utterly useless and unanswerable poll.  The poll answers is going to be that 4 percent view another ethnic group unfavorably — but this matter does not work that way.  A better guage, for Obama’s problem, goes along the lines of what percentage of voters believe he is Muslim.

I can only suggest that this speech played better in Peyoria than any other tact Obama may have gone with — whether with political cynicism or with his whole heart.  I note the ripples from the National Review’s “Corner”, where your bloggers have shifted out the one positive review admist a whole mass of kvetching — too much victim politics, where’s the forth-right condemnation and disassociation of Wright, etc.?  The problem is that Wright sits there, undeniably, and there is not extracting him from the historical record of Obama’s life.

Overall I will say this did Obama better than Mitt Romney’s Mormon speech did him.  Not saying I can calibrate the political slidings here, but this will end up being judged an act of brilliance based on the simple fact that he will likely be the nominee and likely the next President, and that is how these things are judged.

not quite my alma mater…

Monday, March 17th, 2008


Woo hoo!  This should be great.  I suppose.

Um.  See, they scheduled it first so that we can just get it all over with.  I mean, Kansas’s 50 point victory over Portland State.

I was indeed rooting for PSU to get that number 16 seed, because, you see, they were going to get thumped no matter what, so we might as well have it so that if by some weird happenstance they win, it should mean something.  And it doesn’t really mean anything for a 15 seed to beat a 2 or a 14 seed to beat a 3, because such things have happened a time or a handful of times.

So, here we are, a college basketball team that attracted a grand total of 4 thousand fans to the Conference Championship game at the Rose Garden, ie: No one cares much.But riding on the bus the day before the Big Sky Tournament, I overheard a conversation between two college students.  Seems a friend is coming in from out of town.  It’s Spring Break at this friend’s college, and they don’t have sports at her college, so it’d be fun to watch, um, the Portland State University Vikings basketball team.  I had a bit of cognitive dissonance with the concept — if you want to see college athletics, you attend a game in Eugene or Corvallis.  As a student, I did attend a couple of Vikings basketball games, but that was only because they were handing out free pizza.
But, you see, somebody somewhere does give a flying riff.

Anyway.  Go Vikings.  They should be down by 20 points five minutes in the game, but you never know, do you?  Except, yeah, you kind of do know.

… Meanwhile, from within the ORG

Monday, March 17th, 2008

To counteract revinire’s love-affair with posting Larouche’s latest screed about this Year’s Economic Meltdown (annual tradition since 1958) — which I may just edit down to a handy link to clear the clutter–, I offer this up, my own cut and paste job, whereabouts obvious. (Mind you, I can’t say that the immediate economic outlook is terribly good.  But the reality is that there are always economic insecurities, even in relatively good times, for demagogues of various stripes, such as a cult leader here or there, to exploit.)

But, enter Eaglebreak: ……………..


You will recall that a few days ago, I posted the Jeff Steinberg Saturday morning National Office riff that appeared in the Morning Briefing of Sunday, March 9, and you will recall that somewhere in that dense thicket, there was the standard Lyn-attacks-the-Baby-Boomers followed by the announcement that “LYM Editorial” and “LYM Warroom” would be moved closer to The Residence (as Lyn sometimes likes to call it) at Windy Hill, to get the LYMers away from the influence of Boomer members.

What appears below is the followup, in the Morning Briefing of March, where Lyndon lays out his “thinking” on this policy, and in passing lets the NEC have it.

The briefing writers that day were William F. Wertz and David Cherry.

Morning Briefing
Monday, March 10, 2008

by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
March 9, 2008

Since nearly every NEC member but Gerry Rose and I, and also relevant others [there are only six NEC members left, so if you count the “relevant others,” who else is there?], have been tied up with time-consuming personal or similar distractions from their managerial responsibilities in the Leesburg National Center, and since, also, the Jersey region [duck, Dennis, here it comes again] and some other places are not reacting to the real-world crisis engulfing the actual world in which we are actually living, it was urgent that I intervene to make a declaration of a moratorium on such negligent behavior.

We have just recently taken an action, on my personal initiative and responsibility, which has served as a contribution to the possibility of preventing our immediately imperilled nation from plunging immediately, this current month so far [eh?], into an (sic) calculably (sic) impossible existential situation. The behavior, especially of the relevant boomers, in the national office, the Jersey office, and elsewhere, is that of people who are fleeing from the immediate reality of the situation presented though them as the threat to our nation and also to ourselves. People who seem to be fleeing from a manageable, if threatening situation, into a personal niche in which the prospect for their personal future is hopeless under the kind of stubborn indifference to leadership responsibilities which I have assessed in the circle around me this past week or so. [Why were they fleeing again?]
As August 15, 1971 had approached [don’t you just love his verb tenses?], I was operating on a now memorable long-range forecast, stated first at the beginning of the 1960s, in which I had warned, repeatedly, over a decade, that unless certain changes in current economic-policy-shaping trends were corrected, the U.S. economy would enter a crisis-phase during some part of the second half of the 1960s, and the threat of a breakdown of the present world monetary system by near the close of that decade. This warning was spread in and around our political association and its activities during the interval 1966-1971; my standing long-range forecast was fully confirmed, contrary to the outlook expressed by every known relevant other economist on July 15-16 (sic), 1971.

At that latter juncture, I uttered a report which forecast that the mid-August action of the Nixon Administration now threatened the U.S.A. and more with a takeover by fascism as the meaning of that term “fascism” had been established by the record of the Mussolini and Hitler governments. The same type of threat of fascism, is threatening, as from fascist Felix Rohatyn, to take over the Democratic Party and other relevant institutions.

During the ten years beginning with that forecast of August 30 (sic), 1971, the U.S. economy was wrecked, first, chiefly, by the monetary policies of the Nixon Administration and, secondly, by the thorough wrecking of the internal structure of the U.S. economy, by the Trilateral Commission, under President Carter, during 1977-1981. The crisis of October 1987 which I had forecast in June and later to occur in approximately October, happened exactly as I had forecast, expressed in a stock-market crash of 1929 characteristics and magnitude [nope].

Shortly after that, the collapse of the Soviet system, which I had forecast, in February 1983 as likely for “about five years ahead” [he didn’t forecast any such thing], happened. That general forecast from 1983 had been supplemented, in a forecast from Berlin, on October 12, 1988, stating that the world was on the verge of a general collapse of the Soviet economic system which was to be expected to begin its eruption in Poland during the period immediately ahead.

My presentation of the “Triple Curve” forecast [not a forecast] as the galion-figure of the launching of my 1996 campaign for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination, has now been borne out fully, in the present hyperinflationary world crisis, in the terms I forewarned, not only for the U.S.A., but for the world at large. The inflationary breakdown-crisis of the trans-Atlantic segment of the world’s present monetary-financial system has so far evolved exactly as I had forewarned.

Also notable, is the fact that the current U.S. Presidential-nominations campaign has followed exactly the guidelines (sic) I had specified.

On these, and related accounts, our association is a most remarkable success in its avowed mission. Unfortunately, alien influences seizing the gutter of the “Baby Boomer” section of the membership of our association, have tended more and more to act as professional losers, but [but?] have done so in explicit hostility to those policies of mine which have been at the center of all those stated and related successes, in the choices of outlook and methods which I have defined for our association.

Nancy Spannaus should produce that record, immediately. [Ouch.]

Now, when the fate of this nation depends upon the factor my leading role represents, why are so many among the leaders of the association fleeing from their executive responsibilities? I do understand the motive for that foolish behavior among us; but that is no excuse for failing to impel the nominal leaders of this association to get back on the job, raising the funds needed to meet the obligations of our association, not only what they might perceive as their own [swipe at various NEC members who are trying to cope with difficult personal and family situations]. Some veterans among us ought to be ashamed of themselves, if that sense of shame prompts them to remedy the reckless behavior seen over, especially, the course of recent months.

Our role in service to this nation, and its future, is now of crucial importance to not only our republic, but other parts of the world. This is a situation tantamount to war [isn’t it always?]; no personal considerations are moral [the biggest of the Big Lies], if they represent flight from duty on front-line matters of the association itself on this account. Large issues must not be neglected for the sake of the pettiness expressed by some small minds in Leesburg and other locations which I could name.

[Notice he signed it twice? Now that’s narcissism.]


Two things occur to me.

1. The NEC is “failing” Lyn because now even they find themselves compelled to take care of personal matters—parents, relatives, deaths and illness, old age—and so can’t dance attendance on Lyn the way they did in those faraway days of their youth. That’s why he thunders against “personal considerations”—they’re deserting him for moral obligations he cannot begin to understand.
2. Moving the LYM out of Leesburg nearer to Windy Hill might just be the beginning of the Kool-Aid phase. If I were a LYM member, I’d want to think long and hard about that.

Or maybe it’s the oldsters who will be invited to get out of the way. Lyn makes Richard Lamm look like a teddy bear. And he makes King Lear look like Solon.


Steve Novick versus Jeff Merkley, take 2, and some issues.

Monday, March 17th, 2008

#1: “Oregon isn’t all that blue”.  Speaking of Feingold, neither is Wisconsin.

#2:  I hate the word “Progressive”, but it is something I just have to learn to live with.

#3:  A red flag went up recently.  A reference to Jeff Merkley as being “well, he is what he is — Jeff Merkley” — “Someone who will not excite anyone”.  Which reminds me of several Democratic Presidential nominees.  In terms of a Senate bid, I suspect this would work well in an open election, but against a reasonably entrenched well financed incumbent, a challenger somehow needs to break down that barrier and garner an emotional response.  It is one liability that off-sets Novick as being to the “Hard Left”.  Though, maybe just barely…

#4:  Mind you, Peter Defazio was a better bet.  As was John Kitzhaber.  After that, things are a little dicey, methinks.

#5:  Speaking of Kitzhaber…

#6:  The DSCC — credit them and fault them accordingly.  Clearly a tapping of Bob Casey, Jr — against the desires of any number of liber– er — Progressive Interest groups was wise in taking down Santorum in Pennsylvania.  For that matter, the same with Harold Ford, Jr in Tennessee — pegged forever as the magical Democrat #51, who ultimately lost.  But then there’s Montana, where they tapped a “John Morrison”, figuring his DLC centrist credentials would sway this red state.  Squinting at the primary from afar, I could sware that I saw no way Morrison could win, and I could see how Tester, preferable to probably your tastes as well mine, might.

#7: I suppose it won’t do my “Democratic Party Unity” card to suggest that I had a secret desire to see Ford lose in 2006, though through the entire Summer I hoped Jim Webb in Virginia would supplant Ford for the elusive “Democrat #51″, and that if I were in Nebraska in 2008 and Bob Kerrey had been slated for the Democratic side, I would vote for the Republican (never mind he is the Democrats’ best shot in deepest Republican state).  The last one is made easier by the numerics of the Senate — Democrats will add some seats in the next election, and probably fall below the magical mark of 60.

#8:  Ralph Nader.  So, what was your opinion of the man circa 1998, and if it was somewhat negative, could you have stomached a positive opinion? And is it okay to be ambivalent about a Dick Morris lead Bill Clinton, circa 1996?

If I may suggest something regarding Al Gore. (Deep breath). So, his poll numbers were sagging and clearly behind W. throughout the first half of 2000, somewhat sputtering along. At the convention he settled in and focused his campaign, and thus was born “The People Versus the Powerful”. With this as his focus, his poll numbers stabilized and the race reached the “dead heat” stasis it was from there on to the election. The post-convention bounce was not illusionary. This campaign theme seems clearly formed in large part to handle the threat to his left, meaning Nader forced Gore to his focus point.

Granted, after that, Nader was the Spoiler everyone remembers him as. Until he reappeared in 2004, at which point he sent a quick shock through the Democrats’ spines, but turned out irrelevant. As he iss now. Though, frankly, he was only a spoiler in Florida (clear on the eve of the election) and New Hampshire (only obvious in retrospect). Nader voters in every other state are free from blame from saving us from, um…

The 2008 presidential campaign of Joseph Lieberman.

#8A: Historical corrolary: Hencry Wallace’s campaign aided the 1948 election of Harry S Truman. This is not a precise match, as part of Wallace’s aiding came through good old fashioned red-baiting of an easily
baited (backed by the Soviet Union, after all) Wallace, but the political campaign Truman’s advisor forged for him was to forge him to a specific liberal positioning to run against the platitudous Dewey, a firm position necessary to get through to the electorate, the coordinates determined in large part from his left plank in Wallace.

#9: Election Campaign logic tends to amuse me. A primary contest can present a candidate who is said to be dividing the Party’s base. Never mind that Steve Novick was there first.

#10: Wait a week and I may well argure for Jeff Merkley. Or Charity Nebbie, for that matter. Candy Neville.