Archive for December, 2008

A terrifying picture of an imaginary world that will never come

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Call me crazy, but even if I assume the great disintegration of the United States is about to occur, I don’t think this map is ever going to come to fruition. 

The flaws are pretty evident.  Why does Canada want all of that?  Wouldn’t the European Union have to change its name?  Doesn’t Mexico have its own problems — and if we’re going to go with the theory of us having a somewhat amorphous boundary — ala Illegal Immigration, why wouldn’t Southern California go to Mexico or “Mexican Influence”?

 Well, the good news is that China isn’t likely to be able to control a large mass of land off its mainland, and free of commitment to the United States, Cascadia can fight for its Independence.

I think this Russian professor basically shoved masses of states every which way to nearest power sources, with no fundamental understanding of various dynamics.  Even on the terms of a Fever Dream, this fails.  And to think, this made the headline of Drudge a couple weeks back.

What about that one on Alberta?

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Today’s Oregonian feature on incoming mayor Sam Adams, who is a homosexual, has Adams discussing not wanting to be known as a “gay mayor” but “a mayor who happens to be gay”, a standard matter for these types of things.  He does make one statement that I take issue with:

“There is no gay pothole and no straight pothole. They’re just potholes.”

I beg to differ.  I have known plenty of gay potholes.  Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

Solving the turmoil in the Middle East

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

The giddy debate over whether to refer to Barack Obama as “The One” or “That One” is shifting as hard reality sets in.  The Middle East — Israel and Palestine — just went “Boom” again.  It’s depressing and it’s senseless.  We We didnt start the fire.  It was always burning since the worlds been turning.  No we didnt light it, but we tried to fight it — sometimes.  All your life is Time Magazine.  I read it too.  What does it mean?

We’ve been here before.  And if you close your eyes, you can write the editorials that you’re reading and hearing because you’ve read them and heard them before.  Some of them are good, some of them are bad.  And I don’t ever want to read the comments sections below the fold of news items posted on the Internet for this topic — Abandon Hope all ye Enter there.

I thought long and hard about how to propel us out of the never ending recriminations battle, how to bring peace and tranquility to this perpetual hot-spot, how to get that echo sound that is happening right now to stop from whatever cave Usama Bin Laden supposedly resides in, and I think I figured it out.  So I have written a somewhat complicated 15 point plan spelled out in meticulous detail.  It’s not easy, but it’s just flexible enough to absorb the inevitable set-backs.  I wrote it down in a 500 page book-let and it will be available for sale in the Bookstore of your mind any day now.  I’m sure it will help matters.

Th Bo Gritz Youth Movement

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Quick!  Bo Gritz!  Dead or Alive?
… Apparently alive.  But the most prominent item on the front of his website is activism on behalf of Terri Schiavo, and surprisingly enough I see I mentioned him on this blog at the time.
After that, the previous item in mainstream press is way back to 1998 when People Magazine printed a blurb about his botched suicide attempt.  I would think that the life travails of Bo Gritz would fall outside the editorial purview of People Magazine, but then I guess I would be wrong.

I mention Bo Gritz as his name popped up in the comments section of this Cracked article on “Craziest Presidential Candidates” — “Craziest Presidential Candidates” — a list I didn’t post here even if it fits my focus on Lyndon Larouche as I found the whole thing rather pedestrian.  I must note that Cracked, like Christian Science Monitor and like the Weekly World News — has euphemistically shifted to a “web based strategy” — ie:  stopped printing.  Interestingly, the Lyndon Larouche organization was ahead of this trend when they axed 21st Century Science and Technology, so those guys are trailblazers after all.

A comment in the wikipedia discussion of Bo Gritz:  I remember a virtual media blackout of Gritz during the 1992 Presidental race.  Which is the bane of all the third party candidates for president — that there media black-out — in Gritz’s case, the difficulty of taking seriously a presidential bid aimed at the Survivalist / Milita movement which made a detour to negotiate with Randy Weaver in his stand-off with the government at Ruby Ridge..  Well, leaving aside the odd mention of a figure not listed by Cracked, I can turn to a figure that was listed by Cracked, and the comments he inspired.  To the man mentioned in the article itself and his proported “stand-off”, I think dzieger’s post is off, maybe:

dzieger

My wife and I used to stay at a Bed & Breakfast in Purcelville, VA in ahouse previously owned by Larouche’s organization. When the current owners were rennovating the property, they found a floor plan that labeled each room’s function. Of the approximately 15 rooms, around 10 were labeled “gun storage.”

Off, probably.  Forward to dzieger’s next sentences, and we see how Larouche can get any space anywhere at all.
And honestly, would any of these psychos have been any worse than what we’ve had for the last 8 years?
The answer, of course, is yes.  To see how Larouche would run the national government, see how he runs his organization.  Basically as   A Totalitarian State, with our military being rolled into Great Britain. *

Posted on 11/4/2008 7:01:07 AM

 redjimmy
As for LaRouche and the ultimate crime of ‘Capital H, Holocaust denial(tm)’…well he has plenty of genuinely nutty conspiracy theories. No need to bring out the politically incorrect stuff to condemn him. After all, you won’t be jailed for questioning the moon landings, but don’t mess with the magical 6 million figure or you may find yourself being extradited to Germany. “5,999,999? Oy Vey! Seize him!”

Seems like a weird concern for someone to have.  But then again, so does the fight to get “balance” between “the pro-Larouche fanatics” and the “anti-Larouche fanatics” in the wikipedia article on the Larouche Youth Movement, the concern of “leatherstocking” (have you taken the leatherstocking challenge?) and Macwhirr.  Neither of whom are followers of Larouche, mind you, just… for some strange reason… concerned that the wikipedia article represents the relentlessly covered Larouche coverage on the LYM as much as the sparodic coverage elsewhere.  Because that’s a common concern for Mr. Joe Sixpack.

What this article lacks is a factual report of the WLYM’s activities and a viewpoints. It is dominated by the point of view of other groups that oppose the WLYM. Also, it is difficult for genuinely anti-establishment groups like the WLYM to get honest press coverage, because the press represents the establishment and the establishment will defend its interests through blackouts and scandal-mongering. For a straightforward account of the groups activities and goals, you would have to go to the group itself, where you will get an account that cannot be challenged. […]  It’s not a question of telling readers what the organization thinks of itself. It is a political organization, and is worthy of note because it has a substantial following, and it has a following because people agree with its goals and principles.

“Substantial following”.  Well, you know, for an article like this one the one way to circumvent the — um — “Media Blackout” (snicker) is to roll through blog commentary of impressions on meeting with them.

By “opposing groups” I don’t mean the mainstream media, by which I assume you mean the Washington Post. The other sources are mostly either college papers or activist/journalists like LaRouche himself. It is the activist/journalists that I was mainly referring to, such as Avi Klein, who comes from the neoconservative movement.

Well, this guy has read the directive “talking points” from out of Larouche-ville, though he failed to mention the “Mossad” connection — or is that just understood with this particular usage from this particular use for the phrase “neoconservative movement”?  Avi Klein recently had a short piece about Max Baucus published in the Washington Monthly — I don’t think Avi Klein deserves a fate of being referenced perpetually as having written a focus on Larouche — so, perhaps, Max Baucus critic Avi Klein.  That’ll change google dynamics!

One last note in the realm of wikipedia — in the discussions for larouche himself, we have a statement

As an American i feel compelled to add the word fringe so that people from other countries know where this guy stands in mainstream culture. I was tempted to use the word obscure rather than fringe, but he did attract a moderate amount of attention at one time. He is to politics what Fred Phelps is to religion. Paliku (talk) 20:48, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

How presumptuous of you to think that because you read the mighty American press you know more about LaRouche than people from other countries. We’re not talking Britney Spears here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 170.215.90.216 (talk) 15:11, 28 December 2008 (UTC)You got that right.  People know who Britney Spears is.

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* Recent statement:  “Where do you put your troops?,” LaRouche asked in conclusion. “On whose border do you do it? You set them up on the British border! The British drug lords’ border! And, keep the pressure going in that direction.”

Curiously enough, this piece of interview with larouche defending his Guilty Verdict and Prison sentence showed up.   Why would it turn up at this particular junction?

 

the renewed flap Barack the Magic lesser of two evils N-word

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Question the first:  Will sending the Paul Shanklin “Barack the Magic Negro” song sway the Republican Party to, counter-intuitively, embrace Chip Saltman for the position as RNC Chairman?

The more sane question is something along the lines of:  What does it say about the state of anything, such as the Republican Party, that that is even a question.  For what it is worth, I think the answer to the first question is “no” — the key figures of Republican Party are stating that this is, at the very least, rather impolitic, and in the race to bring the Republican Party out of its current doldrums in a country that just elected its first black president, it’s probably not a good first step.  The answer to the second question lies in the same manner of the prominent Republican radio talk show host excusing himself (as he did in May of 2007, and as I see commenters doing so now) because it was picked up by a LA Times editorial (and further from an old phrase for a racial literary device) and supposedly therefor exposes liberal hypocrisy, because if that editorial writer can use it in that context… why…

This satire is not too far off,  see here.

Anyway, to the original point:  You’ll probably have to figure that problem out before the absolving power of the items on this list kick in.

further into the story,

Monday, December 29th, 2008

It was really impossible to keep that invasion of vermin a secret very long . . . The whole field was alive, even on the surface . . . The rot was spreading . . . we weeded, uprooted, hoed more and more, it didn’t do a bit of good . . . In the end the news got around . . . The hicks came snooping . . . They dug up our potatoes to see for themselves . . . They sent samples of our produce to the prefect . . . with a police report on our strange goings-on . . . They even sent whole basketfuls, completely chock-full of grubs, to Paris, to the Museum Director . . . It was getting to be big news . . . Horrible rumors started up . . . we were the criminal originators of a brand-new agricultural pestilence . . . an unprecedented garden blight! . . .

By the effect of intensive waves, of malignant “inductions,” by the diabolical instrumentality of a thousand wire networks, we had corrupted the earth . . . stirred up the jimni of the grubs . . . in the innocent bosom of nature . . . There, in Bleme-le-Petit, we had given birth to a special race of absolutely vicious, unbelievably corrosive maggots, which attacked every kind of seed, every conceivable plant and root . . . trees!  harvests!  the peasants’ houses!  the very structure of the land!  even dairy products!  sparing absolutely nothing! . . . Corrupting, sucking, dissolving . . . encrusting the plowshares . . . absorbing digesting stone, flint as well as beans!  demolishing everything in their path!  on the surface, under the ground!  Corpses and potatoes alike!  Everything without exception!  And thriving, mind you, in midwinter! . . . Drawing strength from the bitter cold . . . propagating in swarms, in vast myriads! . . . more and more insatiable . . . crossing mountains!  plains!  valleys! . . . with the speed of electricity! . . . thanks to the waves generated by our machines! . . . Soon the whole district around Bleme would be one enormous field of rot! . . . a noisome bog! . . . an immense sewer of maggots! . . . a seism of swarming grubs! . . . Then it would be the turn of Persant! . . . and then of Saligons! . . . Such was the outlook . . . It will still too soon to predict how and when it would all end! . . . whether it would ever be possible to circumscribe the disaster! . . . Only the anylses would show . . . It might perfectly well spread to all the roots in France . . . consume the whole countryside . . . until our national soil in its entirety was nothing but stones . . . Our maggots might well make the whole of Europe unfit for cultivation . . . one big desert of rot! . . . Well, if that happened, believe you me, they’d talk about the Great Bleme-le-Petit down through the ages . . . the way we nowadays talk about the ones in the Bible . . .

furthered from this

Jonah Goldberg cannot find meaning

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

Jonah Goldberg, in an editorial published in the editorial pages of the various newspapers which published it, and on the National Review website, penned an article on the intellectual exercise craze of the day — attempting to sort out the items of popular culture which define the Bush Era.  Or, this Bush Decade, kind of, which is about to end, kind of.

The generic “Cult of the Presidency” is at work with these definitions, as well a bit of …

Likewise, the 1980s and 1990s felt like real decades, whether you hated them or not. Reagan and Bill Clinton, through force of personality alone, helped give the ’80s and ’90s a coherence.
But it doesn’t feel like we can say the same thing about George W. Bush’s oughts, in no small part because Bush showed neither the interest nor the ability to dominate the culture.

Funny thing, though, is that if you go back to 1995 and 1996 and 1997, you’ll find published opinions stating that Bill Clinton has not forced his dominance on the decade as have such figures as Ronald Reagan, that there is no “Clinton Decade”.  Maybe the Clinton Decade didn’t begin until the Monica Lewinsky Scandal, and it ended soon thereafter.  It appears we have granted Clinton the Seinfeld “Presidency about Nothing” honor, extolling the trifles and tribulations of the turbulent world.  And Darrell Hammond has defeated Phil Hartman for the SNL impersonation of Clinton.  The policies of the president himself?  I don’t know — he did some good things, he did some bad things, he sought to privatize Social Security but we like to pretend he didn’t, the dot-com bubble burst at the beginning of Bush’s administration and was sort of immediately floated into a housing boom — none of this matters or it all matters very little in assessing the “Clinton Decade” and the “Force of Personality” “Clinton imposed” on the “1990s Clinton Decade”.

Bush?  The entire nation has been trying to forget about for the past two years.  Which leads the pop culture equation to this line a little off:

Neither the pro-Bush nor anti-Bush segments of society seemed to control the commanding heights of the popular culture. After 9/11, the Bushian forces seemed to dominate — freedom fries, 24, the Dixie Chicks’ implosion — but that didn’t last long. And, with the exception of a brief counter-Bush surge led by the lefty blogosphere, Jon Stewart and the re-imagined coffeehouse rock version of the Dixie Chicks, the battle for decade dominance has been between a fizzle and a deadlock.The war on terrorism doesn’t define young peoples’ lives, but neither does Bush-hatred. Virtually all of the antiwar or anti-Bush screeds put out by Hollywood over the last year, including Oliver Stone’s latest doggerel, have bombed.

Few people want to watch a movie about George W Bush.  The anti-Bush screeds peeter out because we are all anti-Bush to the point where we are all post-Bush — there is no culture and (quasi)counter culture to be pushing up against.  And he forgot Green Day’s “American Idiot”.  Or, for that matter, to list something besides 24 as pro-Bush pop culture emphemia.

 Goldberg ends with an existential question.:

The interesting question is whether Obama can — with the aid of his accomplices — impose a meaning on our age, or whether the age of meaning itself is over.

Only by requiring all federal buildings to carry that one piece of iconography (you know what I’m referring to), banners hanging over every bridge and every building — Dear Leader Kim Jong Il style.  Otherwise, we’ll just have to shift meaning out of a pile of a series of Economic Stimulus bills in order to fill our empty little lives.

The New Old Economy

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

Kugler is president and co-owner of Distribution Video Audio Inc., a company that pulls in annual revenue of $20 million with a proud nickel-and-dime approach to fading and faded pop culture. Whether it’s unwanted “Speed Racer” ball caps, unsold Danielle Steel novels or unappreciated David Hasselhoff albums, Kugler’s company pays pennies and sells for dimes. If the firm had a motto, it would be “Buy low, sell low.”“It’s true, one man’s trash is another man’s gold,” Kugler said. “But we are not the graveyard. I’m like a heart surgeon — we keep things alive longer. Or maybe we’re more like the convalescence home right before the graveyard.”

The last major Hollywood movie to be released on VHS was “A History of Violence” in 2006. By that point major retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart were already well on their way to evicting all the VHS tapes from their shelves so the valuable real estate could go to the sleeker and smaller DVDs and, in more recent seasons, the latest upstart, Blu-ray discs. Kugler ended up buying back as much VHS inventory as he could from retailers, distributors and studios; he then sold more than 4 million VHS videotapes over the last two years.

Those tapes went to bargain-basement chains such as Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Family Dollar, and Kugler’s network of mom-and-pop clients and regional outlets, such as the Gabriel Bros. Stores in West Virginia or the Five Below chain in Pennsylvania. If you bought a Clint Eastwood movie at the Flying J Truck Stop in Saginaw, Mich., or a “Care Bears” tape at one of the H.E. Butts Grocery stores in Texas, Kugler’s company probably put it there. He also sells to public libraries, military bases and cruise ships, although those clients now all pretty much want DVDs.

Kugler estimates that 2 million tapes are still sitting on shelves of his clients’ stores across the country, but they are the last analog soldiers in the lost battle against the digital invasion. “I’m not sure a lot of people are going to miss VHS,” he said, “but it’s been good to us.”

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“Thinker102″:  Over the past few years, I have watched a number of businesses offering shiny new merchandise in this area go under or endure real hard times. I have also seen a number of what I think of as ‘junk shops’ appear, places that offer old stuff at sort of low prices, and/or offer very very cheap new merchandise. I suspect these ‘junk shops’ might be the wave of the future…along, maybe with shops that can fully or mostly repair said ‘junk’.
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