8.23.2016

Thinking about...give me a bit

Been thinking about the nature of the elites.  Things are starting to gel.  Maybe tomorrow.

The key, I think is to stop thinking of them as organized,

8.22.2016

Arnold


Bacon makes me happy.

But pigs are really great critters.  Arnold Ziffel was a completely understandable phenomenon.  Pigs are very smart, actually have great personalities, and can provide a great service in ridding a household of compost and providing garden fertilizer.

Pigs have been an important part of the human ecology for millennia. 

In my dotage, I hope to have a small place with a pig or two and some chickens and rabbits and a nice quarter acre garden.

I will care for the pigs and appreciate their company.

But I will turn them into bacon.

And I will be grateful.

8.19.2016

Toasty Friday

Summertime and I am holed up trying to keep my body temp at a reasonable level.

Up early in the AM....open up the place and put the fan in the door to blow in as much coolness as I can during the 45 minutes of my morning ablutions.  Since it 66 F. outside.  the place gets pretty reasonable pretty fast.  Then the place gets buttoned up;  windows closed, shades down, the place is a flipping cave.

Then off to my air conditioned office for the day.  Being a pampered bureaucrat is its own reward.  Pay sucks though.

When I get home, the place is still in the 70's and twenty or so degrees cooler than outside.  Hide in the cave until the sun goes down.

A summer life explained

8.18.2016

The uppity

The anger out there has been documented.   The poor folks got it, the rich folks don't get it.
That is the way the cookie always crumbles.

The question now is, just how bad do the poor folks have it?  Right now I would guess that it isn't bad enough for anything to come of it anytime soon.   What will it take to give the anger some traction?

There is a lot there to work with.  With the election going the way it appears to be going, there is going to be a lot more grist for that particular mill in the near future.   It seems to me that we are going to continue down this tired path for a while yet, carving a percentage or two off of the protected  elite list and pissing down more pain on the "lowers".

Now keep an eye out for someone who is as slippery and as salesman-like as the Donald to start his rise.   He will tap into to the same angry crowd that Trump taps into, but will do so with a plan and an organization, not just an oversized ego.  This to-be-established successor will attack the privileges of the elite and will be attacked by the elite's media poodles for the temerity of challenging their economic droit de seigneur.

So the bet here is this.  I see Trumpussy garnering around forty percent this election if things keep going the way that they are (1).  That is approximately the percentage of the angry folks.  The media will tout the win as a "landslide" for the bitch.  She will continue the screwing and will add to the totals of the angry over the next four years.  Then should the reasonably intelligent and crafty successor to Donald arise and begin his work, then things could get interesting.
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(1)  There is the off-chance that Trumpussy is playing a crafty game of rope-a-dope and will come out in the very near future with an effective and competent game plan.  I wouldn't hold my breath

8.17.2016

Hmm

For it is certain that the less a man is acquainted with the sweets of life, the less reason he has to be afraid of death
The Military Institutions of the Romans (De Re Militari) 
By Flavius Vegetius Renatus

Over at Sic Semper Tyrannis, there was a discussion about the draft and how it should be re-implemented and how it would fix a lot of things.   At first I began by agreeing with the sentiments, then I worked my way down to my current state of being ambivalent leaning slightly toward the idea.

At this point in our country's history, I am not certain that the draft would fulfill the role that the folks here posit.  First, the rot in the society is pretty damn deep, and this reflects on the quality of the personnel that are available for a draft.  So instead of citizens being called up for duty, you get a mishmash of capabilities and intentions.  Some of them are good, some of them are bad.

My Army experience was at the changeover from a draftee army to the VOLAR.  Sitting in barracks at Fort Jackson and Fort Polk with the mishmash of folks that period engendered, I started to realize that folks is folks by the time they hit draft age.  Spent time with them in such places as Benning and Bragg and Sam Houston made me change my mind, but then I started to realize that the folks in these places were the elite, they came in with the attitude that made for a good soldier/citizen, the Army just put a shine on it.  The truth of the matter is that the Army didn't fix anyone, just like it didn't fix me.  Sure I came out of it with some Army customs imprinted indelibly on my brain, but it didn't make me a better citizen or a better person.  It did make me a pretty fair soldier.   I think it was then that I realized only the soul matters.

All of the folks that I knew in the Army seemed to go through the same trajectory of life as the folks who stayed home.  Same number of criminals, same number of flim-flam men, same number of just-plain folk.  The army didn't appear to change anything long-term from the person they were to the person they became.

As for the hypothesized impact of the draft on the populace, I would propose that the war protests during the Vietnam Era were the result of a free and active press.  The current gaggle of neutered fops that hang  breathlessly off every Pentagon briefing would give no such coverage.  Their corporate masters simply would not allow it.   No press coverage, no mass protest, no policy change.

Vietnam and its protest leading to the closure of the war was a one-off.

No, the concept that the draft would change things is tempting, and things might have been different had the draft remained extant, but the box is open.  Can't stuff all the problems back in.
“This "sir, yes sir" business, which would probably sound like horseshit to any civilian in his right mind, makes sense to Shaftoe and to the officers in a deep and important way. Like a lot of others, Shaftoe had trouble with military etiquette at first. He soaked up quite a bit of it growing up in a military family, but living the life was a different matter. 
Having now experienced all the phases of military existence except for the terminal ones (violent death, court-martial, retirement), he has come to understand the culture for what it is: a system of etiquette within which it becomes possible for groups of men to live together for years, travel to the ends of the earth, and do all kinds of incredibly weird shit without killing each other or completely losing their minds in the process. 
The extreme formality with which he addresses these officers carries an important subtext: your problem, sir, is deciding what you want me to do, and my problem, sir, is doing it. My gung-ho posture says that once you give the order I'm not going to bother you with any of the details--and your half of the bargain is you had better stay on your side of the line, sir, and not bother me with any of the chickenshit politics that you have to deal with for a living. The implied responsibility placed upon the officer's shoulders by the subordinate's unhesitating willingness to follow orders is a withering burden to any officer with half a brain, and Shaftoe has more than once seen seasoned noncoms reduce green lieutenants to quivering blobs simply by standing before them and agreeing, cheerfully, to carry out their orders.”  
― Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

8.16.2016

Plowin' the field

OK  here is an uncomfortable thought.

My generation (The Boomers) have had is easy in relative terms.  Never been so many having so much.  Oh sure, you can trot out statistics about wealth disparities, unemployment, and other such twaddle, but we have had it great.

Truth is, we took too much out of the pie and didn't leave enough for those following us.

So, when you look at Social Security; why shouldn't we take a hard look at it.  Some of the folks don't need it.  Some don't deserve it.  Some folks can keep-a-working.

If everyone runs in and starts grabbing their piece, the fund (already bankrupt by any rational accounting) will dwindle even faster.  Yes, I know, we paid the money in.  But every single one of us plans to take more out than we put in.

That is always a recipe for disaster.  Third rail my ass, it was a bone thrown to the poor during the depression to keep them from rioting.

8.15.2016

Riven

Whoever wins this abomination of an election, a significant minority of Americans will view the result as further proof of “rigged” and irredeemably corrupt political system dominated by two deeply amoral organizations.  Rather than reconciling the country and allowing us to move forward, this election will add to the chasms separating the two Americas.

We aren't going into a second American revolution or civil war any time soon.  But we will proceed apace in the direction we are heading.  The wealth will become increasingly concentrated as the financial sector sucks the life out of the economy.  The middle/professional bourgeoisie will be shrunk further as the hard core elite continue to winnow the lower edge of this most threatened class.

Now, I can already hear the cries of disagreement.  "Certainly you must mean that the working class is the most threatened".  Nope, they have already been screwed.  There is no threat there, the action has been taken and implemented.

So, the next while (I am guessing 5-8 years) will be a steady and slow degradation of the lower reaches of what passes for a professional/working class.  They will begin to see that they are the next on the chopping block and will begin to make common cause with the already screwed working class to strike back at the corporate/financial elite.

So, what I thought would happen will happen, it will just happen when it decides to, not when my predictions say it will happen.

8.10.2016

Where is it?

I've lost the thread of what is happening.  It seems to be a jumbled mess with no one knowing what to do and where to go.  The number and complexity of problems facing us seem to be insurmountable.

Good luck to all...I think we are going to need it.

8.09.2016

Birds of a Feather

Richard Armitage, Henry Paulson, Brent Scowcroft.

They have all endorsed Hilly.

Condoleezza Rice, James Baker, George Shultz and Henry Kissinger.  I'll make a bet right here and now that these asshats will back her too.

Look...the folks who brought us to this sad, sad point will likely all back Hilly.

There you go.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it

8.08.2016

Next

I have written off this election.  We're fucked either way.

You can spend hours trying to figure out what got us here, but where we sit is that we are a country making a choice between the worst two candidates ever to grace the center ring of this quadrennial circus.  Neither major party candidate is worth a bucket of warm spit.

In a nutshell, no matter who wins, we are going to have a clown in place for the next four years, with an idiot running the Administrative branch for the next four years. The odds of the country actually improving will be minimal, the chance that things will either not improve or get worse is increased.

So, what comes in two years when the next election is held?  Who will take over the house and how? What happens in four years when someone competent captures the anger of the Trumpeteers?  What happens when the Democratic party continues spitting on the poor, who will rise out of that?

Look, we are fresh out of problems here in the US.  All we have left is predicaments.

What happens next?