Life in the Land of Make Believe (Living in La-La Land)

platos revenge

Plato’s Revenge

aristotles orchestra

Aristotle’s Orchestra

Fuzzy thinking, indeed, folks!  Our own Heretick will help us sort the wheat from the chaff. And, his art will inspire, where his words can only point. -kC

by the Heretick

The essence of art lies in generating the willing suspension of disbelief in the viewers, and/or participants; this being so, American culture, indeed the world, has this pretty much down pat, Rembrandt has nothing on our modern spin-meisters and cultural trend-setters.. Examples are so abundant, and denial is so ingrained into our culture, that one hardly knows where to start; it is, as they say, a target rich environment.

Please observe one nugget of popular wisdom, the “Observer effect”, just about everybody’s favorite, and easy enough to find, after all it’s everywhere at once.This is the theory which “refers to changes that the act of observation will make on a phenomenon being observed.” When the average person on the street hears this they think, cool, so i can just change the world by sitting back and watching, or something to that effect. Really, just ask someone walking down the street, even if they’ve heard of it, they have no idea.

And again, not to rain on anybody’s parade, how can we even draw any conclusions about anything moving at or near the speed of light? Really? Much less manipulate it, except to make bombs, or ” to ensure the secrecy of information transfer.”, theoretically, of course. Never mind that we have never directly observed any wave/particle, except maybe a glimpse as it careened off into space after being smashed to tiny bits by a 10 gillion gigawatt atom smasher, or rather the trace of it’s passage. You know what? Probably being accelerated to near light speed and running into a brick wall, would affect my behavior, maybe “observing” anything by exposing it to powerful magnetic fields, flinging it into the sun, whatever, i take it all back, not the point anyway. The particulars and niceties are left out when some charlatan wants to sell some tomfoolery to the general public, something like, say, “Change we can believe in”.

Or………perhaps your humble scribe has not reached a high enough vibrational level, the chakras are not aligned just so….. Oh, I know, it’s “The Secret”, Ms. Winfrey’s favorite book, that must be it. This kind of fuzzy thinking leads to more unfortunate consequences than whether a shop attendant wants to show someone a $35,000 purse. It leads to people really, really, believing in things that just aren’t there. Once i have unfurled my brand new “Quantum mind” why, I’ll just manifest my own little Heretickal Universe, and yeah, I’m a movie producer. Yeah, that’s it, and I’m married to Julia Roberts. The same old gimcrackery dressed up in a shiny scientific theory, but it’s the same old trash preachers preach to the rubes on every continent. Interesting word “manifest”, just bring it into being, or make it up more likely, out of thin air, it’s your brand new Manifest Destiny. So much power, so many planets to terraform, how you gonna keep ’em down on the farm? Be offended, laugh, cry, this is what they’re selling out there, it’s the common currency. Just let the universe come to you, open your mind, kick it up a couple hertz and we’ll all be rich! I’m telling ya!

Then we have yours truly’s favorite pet peeve, corporate person-hood, and the Supreme Court decision in Santa Clara County vs. The Southern Pacific Railroad dating to around 1889 (I shan’t cite it, it’s Wiki’d). the Santa Clara case was about taxes, it was an obiter dictum, and was written by the court clerk, who just happened to be a former railroad lawyer. Will wonders never cease? This case conferred upon artificial legal entities essentially human rights, at least this is what it has evolved into, and it is this writer’s opinion that corporate citizenship is the main driver of the hijacking of any sort of self-government here in these United States. Please allow me to elucidate.

Many people are rightly concerned about lobbyists, political payoffs, think-tanks, and here a few years ago, the infamous Citizen’s United decision where corps. were held to have free speech rights and could not be denied the full protection of the law under the 14th Amendment. Just as an aside, does it not seem terribly obscene that an amendment to the US Constitution which was passed to guarantee the civil rights of freed slaves has been used in this fashion? That the Equal Protection Clause has been subverted to allow creatures of the state to corrupt and undermine the democratic processes of that very same state? The owners of property already have rights as citizens, why should their property have rights as citizens? Like i said, Life in the Land of Make Believe; this situation has been going on for a 100 plus years, but it’s never talked about, much less some of the effects which may go unnoticed or unremarked upon. This is not theoretical, we have pretend persons buying our political system, and our politicians, unfortunately the real world effects are not pretend but all too real.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, there’s bills to pay, with what passes for currency in these here United States, them Fiat Dollars. Now that’s quite a trick also, The Fed does what? Where? and sells What to Who? and then it’s money? Right? And they can issue as much as they want? I want this job, doesn’t everybody? But then supposing you did have this job? Wouldn’t everybody want to take it away from you? Probably have to have a lotta firepower to protect all that loot. And they do. Not to sound like some kind of conspiracy theorist, one of those right-wingers, one of those kooks. Never mind that people from both right and left object to this arrangement, they’re on the fringe, no gravitas, not serious people. But what the hell, it’s all make believe anyway. Artificial citizens, paper citizens, synthetic financial instruments, and people trading futures, sounds good, can I trade in my life? Or is it already spoken for? National debt? Fuhgeddaboudit, no worries, doesn’t matter, just ask Professor Krugman, he would know better than me or you, why, he has a Doctorate. And if we run into a little trouble, the Fed can just flip a few bonds, Treasury can just fire up the presses, and, Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Common citizen get’s screwed! Owners of tangible assets make out like bandits!!! Badge? I don’t need no stinkin’ badge! Dorothy, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, the signpost up ahead, “La-La Land.”

Definitely target rich, such as the latest terror alert, was there a threat? Or was it fear of reprisals for a planned series of strikes? And who are the bad guys again? Did we strike to neutralize a threat? Or, did we evacuate pre-emptively because of expected blow-back? Why all the secrecy? But why are actual events such as this even discussed in these terms? There is supposed to be a supreme law of the land, it’s called The Constitution of the United States (some people swear to uphold it), anyone not following it is technically in violation of this document, right? In the real world? Oh, right, silly me, we’re living in The Land of Make Believe. Been over across the ocean for decades overthrowing governments? Been fomenting a coup here? There? Funding freedom fighters under the table? No problem, hell, we’ll just act like it never happened, that’s the ticket. Doesn’t matter, we have an Attorney Generals opinion, anybody objects, well then they might just become a “person of interest”, not a suspect mind you, just an interesting person. Evidence? we’ll just make it up, after all, it’s La-La Land. The US, and other countries, really want to do away with context, the history to disappear, they want to treat every situation as if it has no relation to anything else in the whole wide world, to separate cause from effect.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I think you catch my drift, fuzzy thinking leads to fuzzy results. Might want to check the depth of that water before you dive right in. Is it any wonder people literally get away with murder? Is it any wonder that issues such as global warming, resource depletion, and social justice get short shrift or are buried under a mountain of obfuscation and rationalization? We all have our favorite theories, things we wish were true, it’s just that most of our conceits affect only us and don’t create an entire Land of Make Believe.

101 Responses to Life in the Land of Make Believe (Living in La-La Land)

  1. Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

    This delta, he thought: This Delta. This land which man has deswamped and denuded and derivered in two generations so that white men can own plantations and commute every night to Memphis and black men own plantations and ride in jim crow cars to Chicago to live in millionaires’ mansions on Lakeshore Drive, where white men rent farms and live like niggers and niggers crop on shares and live like animals, where cotton is planted and grows man-tall in the very cracks of the sidewalks, and ursury and mortgage and bankcruptcy and measureless wealth, Chinese and African and Aryan and Jew, all breed and spawn together until no man has time to say which is which nor cares…. No wonder the ruined woods I used to know don’t cry for retribution! He thought: The people who have destroyed it will accomplish its revenge.

    — William Faulkner (Go Down, Moses)

    I like the way he put it and I think it applies as well to a ruined planet. Faulkner also wrote, the past is never dead, it isn’t even past. Ain’t it the truth? The past is not only not dead, it’s all there is. The so called present is a figment of human imagination, just like corporate personhood. The present is not a time. It is our name for the continuous process of collapsing probable futures into the concrete past from which the probabilities are spawned.

    A clearly demonstarted flaw in what we who art so overflowing with hubris proclaim to be our civilization is revealed in that singular self-interested act by a court clerk of rewriting a majority opinion of the SCOTUS. The hideous monster spawned from said action is as we all know rampaging across the globe. Fouling everything it touches and incidentally wreaking Faulknerian revenge on behalf of the ruined planet. Reminding us yet again to be careful what we wish for.

    • the Heretick says:

      love that Faulkner quote, and i really love your own “the continuous process of collapsing probable futures into the concrete past from which the probabilities are spawned”. free verse.

    • Malthus says:

      “The present is not a time. It is our name for the continuous process of collapsing probable futures into the concrete past from which the probabilities are spawned.” That’s it in a nutshell, or to put it another way, “There are no failures in life.”

  2. GF Sutton says:

    I’m feeling very cynical Heretick.
    It’s not your fault.
    I made the wrong choice a few years ago:
    I chose the red pill. You too I see. Reality sucks.

    In the East and in the West
    It was clearer than crystal
    To the lords of Capital
    In their wealth and prosperity
    That their triumph had ushered in
    The end of History
    That things were settled forever

    It was the year of Our Dollar
    Two thousand aught hundred and thirteen
    Sinister revelations were conceded to Empire
    Constitution now smoke ascending from Bonfire
    It was the End of Times, It was the Beginning of Times

    • the Heretick says:

      you guys are too much, true poetry. Year of Our Dollar, you’re killing me. i love it.
      forever and ever, amen.

  3. Disaffected says:

    The Heretick rides again!!!

    Re: the fuzzy thinking. It’s only fuzzy on our part, as sold to us from corporate USA headquarters. It’s all perfectly clear to the corporate heads who designed it. And it’s proceeding nicely right on schedule. Better ramp up your personal walking fitness program now to get ready! The UAVs are armed and hovering overhead as we speak!

    And remember, you’re not just being paranoid if they’re actually out to get you!

    • the Heretick says:

      what i was saying to the kids last night. there aren’t many accidents in this situation, the powers that be have scads of experts to analyze the next move on the chess board.

      • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

        If you guys are right, something amazing must have happened in the past few years. During more than 40 years working for a variety of corporations, I almost never saw any exec heeding the advice of ‘experts’. They usually avoided them like the plague. TPTB in my day were generally unusually fixated on their own mostly crackpot theories about the world. They weren’t on top because of omniscience or careful planning. They had pockets full of little cards that said ‘pass go and collect a huge bonus’ on one side, on the other side it said ‘get out of jail free’ and what more could anyone ask for.

        I consider it a measure of just how well this works that almost all my former employers are defunct. I swear it couldn’t have been my fault. Of course, that was their story too. When it falls apart TPTB collect their final bonus and leave behind a smoking crater. This is how the world slides down the chute.

        Marlena’s point about Slavs being free to blame Stalin for everything that goes wrong is well founded. He was the first CEO of the corporate soviet state and in typical fashion screwed everything up. Then got his state funeral and Kremlin crypt. The same applies to Hitler, except his state funeral was a private petrol fueled pyre in the Chancellory courtyard. Despite all the effort to paint them as aberrant, I tend to think of them as fairly typical CEO’s. And here we are, freed at last to blame our current corporate lameos for everything gone wrong. Hallelujah!

        • Disaffected says:

          Hmm… dictators as CEOs. Yep, if the shoe fits.

          As to CEOs and expert thinking; especially after getting my MBA and realizing what a sham it all was, I realized that the adult business world operates pretty much exactly as it did back on the playground and in High School. The elite rise to the top in all the usual ways: nepotism, cronyism, grandstanding, backstabbing, alliances made and often immediately reneged on, lying, cheating, stealing, and eventually even murder if need be. Nothing very academic or expert in any of that. Just takes a strong streak of ruthlessness and the ability to quickly and accurately triangulate outcomes based on social interactions where everyone is holding their cards close to the vest on the fly. Needless, the MBA curriculum didn’t mention any of that. Unfortunately, that was all you really needed to know if you wanted to consider yourself a “Master of Business Administration”.

        • Disaffected says:

          Consensus over at NakCap appears to be that yesterday’s NasDaq shut down was driven by a major market player, likely Goldman Sucks, in the interests of suspending unfavorable trades on their part. Sounds plausible. And the empire and its illusion of transparency and fairness stumbles on…

          • the Heretick says:

            merely the grinding of the grist, the smart money (of which i have none) would get themselves to an isolated college town, say, Missoula, MT, hundreds, thousands of miles away from major population centers, work on your Masters, that is if you have your Doctorate (which i don’t) since i’m a couple of degrees shy……………………..
            get say, a teaching job, (which i can’t), although a certain Doctor i know says, if you can take the teachers test and pass it? but then i love arithmetic, and hate algebra, yes,that danged old Roman Arch.
            preferably with an ocean or a mountain range in between, an excellent jump off point if things were to get rally ‘hairy’ as Ripper would say.
            but then a college town would tend to attract the more intelligent? or would that be intelligenceist?

            • the Heretick says:

              as you can see i meant to say, Bachelors, if i just lived in a college town, i wouldn’t make these mistakes…………………

        • the Heretick says:

          yeah, but, well, that’s not really what i’m talking about, there are Defense Dept. studies, i would think that at the tippy-top, the Rand Corp. (are they still in business?) would have people just as creepy as some CIA programmer from the Bourne trilogy. from some think-tank, given free reign to imagine whatever power-mad fantasies come to mind, future planning. could be beets……………..
          those types of people, “them”, and here we go again…………………………………………..

          • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:


            Creepy “they” might well be, fantasists too. Maybe crazy even, but so what? The world is full of that kind. Let’s just try to keep in mind that their track record sucks. What I’ve been trying to say here is that we’re not boned because of mysterious masterminds. We’re boned because we have let the world be run by muddled m*th*rf**king manchildren and a few muddled womanchildren. Every beast in the forest and savanna should be laughing at us. Because that seems to be the best we can do.


            • Disaffected says:

              Beats? Beat poets, etc.

            • Disaffected says:

              What I’ve been trying to say here is that we’re not boned because of mysterious masterminds. We’re boned because we have let the world be run by muddled m*th*rf**king manchildren and a few muddled womanchildren.

              Could be. But I doubt we ever get to actually observe the guys who are REALLY running things. They’re a level or two above the Lloyd Blankfeins, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffetts of the world even. Might or might not have as much money in personal terms, but they exert a whole lot more power. And I doubt they’re quite so muddled.

              • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

                I think it extremely improbable, but I’ll have to admit that a certain part of me would prefer having our extinction be the result of a brilliant devilish plan rather than just a big fucking dumbass blunder. Where is Doctor Strangelove when we need him?

                • Disaffected says:

                  Don’t forget the whole “messianic vision” thing. Religion ain’t just a distraction for these guys like it is for the masses, they actually believe in the return of Jesus and his divine 1000 year rule, presumably with them as his executors. Now that part’s definitely> muddled.

            • kulturcritic says:

              Remember the goofy, evil king in Shrek!

              • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

                Well, since you ask no. Shrek is one of the bullets I managed to dodge. I’m more of a Wallace and Gromit kind of guy.

            • the Heretick says:

              a movie reference from “Look Who’s Talking”, “could be beets, could be peaches, who knows? just cause it’s free don’t mean it’s no good!”
              meant to convey a sort of resignation and ridicule at the same time.

      • GF Sutton says:

        Wow Heretick!
        You said a lot:

        The owners of property already have rights as citizens, why should their property have rights as citizens?

        • Disaffected says:

          Short answer: because the owners of property, who not coincidentally are the same ones who also MAKE the laws, SAY that they do. Self-perpetuating systems, and all that. Think of it as just another form of nepotism. But pretty clever of them nonetheless.

        • the Heretick says:

          thanks, that is about the size of it though. honestly, i figured this out for myself, don’t remember exactly how, don’t remember exactly when. i am not the only person to figure this out, here’s another.

          Mr. Hartmann has a much better understanding than I, but then he has the resources.
          anyhow, i really don’t think there is a much more important issue, but i don’t know if it will ever be changed. what is discouraging is how little traction it gets from the liberal left, you would think they would be all over this.
          im not sure if abolishing corporate personhood would completely do away with k street, but it just might.

          • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

            The finest government money can buy has been continuously for sale since before the District of Corruption was even established. It would still be for sale even if corporations were abolished. Because it seems to matter to them and they own the gov, personhood seems unlikely to be revoked as long as their government stands.

          • Disaffected says:

            Why? Because the liberal left makes every bit as much money off the current system as the conservative right, in many cases more. Owning the government has always been the robber baron dream, and now they’ve done it.

            • the Heretick says:

              well, i wasn’t going to come right out and say it, but yes, it does seem as if the left is willing to leave the status-quo in place. wealthy corps. endow college chairs, they give grants to NGO’s.
              please believe me, i am not parroting a right wing talking point, but is not poverty big business? get a grant to study it, etc. etc.
              we know the causes of poverty, number one on the list is corp. profits.

        • kulturcritic says:

          GF Sutton, excuse me for intervening, but it seems to me that all citizens are already PROPERTY of the STATE (just ask Snowden); so it follows that if all citizens are “property”, then all properties are, de jure, citizens, with the accompanying rights.

          • GF Sutton says:

            Hi Sandy.

            The phrase:

            The owners of property already have rights as citizens,
            why should their property have rights as citizens?

            was from Heretick’s essay at the top,
            which I thought showed the obsurdity
            in the “Capital United” decision of SCOTUS.
            I refuse their Orwellian term.

            Apparently, they own property which has rights to own us.

            Yes, since big parts of our income goes to government to bomb people and other nefarious BS, we are at least partially owned by that part of the global vampire squid. And interest on conjured money in the commercial banking sector sucks value out of the labor of an indebted business, so the banks own a big piece of us there. If I build a cabin on “my” land my taxes go up which means I merely rent that which I built at my own cost, for which I paid taxes on the materials. So we’re drones. They’re farming us. Democracy was just another method of farming humans, when skilled humans WERE needed. If a cow produces plenty milk in a tiny stall, a tiny stall it will have. If the cow were more productive with a little more space or a little more autonomy, then the cow would get some space, but not as a right, just a business practice. So rights are actually temporary privileges, as George Carlin said, he cracks me up. The privileges are granted IF profits are increased thereby. And when not, they are gone, and so are we perhaps.

            But what the HELL?
            LIfe is good and
            I’ve given up giving a crap!
            I just wanna ride this baby down.

            Not really, but saying that felt good!

            Workers of the World Incorporate!
            Use the “Capital United” decision against them.
            Just a thought.

            • GF Sutton says:

              I didn’t intend for all of that to be bold, sorry,
              just Heretick’s sentence which I feel hacks the gonads off of any imagined credibility SCOTUS conjures in their wet dreams of avarice.

              • Disaffected says:

                In the end, the law is what they say it is, no more no less. Totally capricious, arbitrary, and more often than not malicious to boot. High school student council all over again on a grander scale with enforcement privileges.

            • the Heretick says:

              thanks again, i did note you said to Sandy, but what the hell. yup GF, you’re thinking along the same lines as i do sometimes. you pay a house off, and then if you don’t have the cash when the taxman cometh………..
              even though i have been of the Red persuasion most of my life, i have attended a few Libertarian meetings.
              the only answer i have is the repeal of corp. personhood, what’s funny (sort of), is that free market people should be against corp. personhood as it seems to be a violation of free market principles (sort of a govt. granted monopoly), and leftists should be against it for the same reason.
              as for lobbing bombs, i don’t get must traction when i go on other boards and speak out against our latest Syrian adventure. like DA says, the two wings of the corp. party in this country are fine as long as they can get their i-pods, or galaxy 9’000’s, whatever it is they buy, i wouldn’t know.

              • Disaffected says:

                Resistance is futile HT! The empire is a self-aware conscious leviathan now. The singularity may have already taken place. Even the pols are mere (albeit willing) spectators at this point.

                • the Heretick says:

                  know what? it is refreshing that somebody gets it. it occurred to me awhile back that having artificial entities (corps.) who have their own physical infrastructure (roads, bridges, RR’s, computers, fiber optics, etc.) is tantamount to being taken over by AI.
                  far-fetched, yes, but that’s what i do, outside the box, inside the box.
                  this is where i got my exoskeleton imagery. it gets to the point where the species becomes so dependent that it becomes as you say, self aware (or not), doesn’t matter, it’s totally symbiotic.
                  must be the Kurzwell, nevertheless, not so sure we should go any further down the road of the Synthetic Society.
                  wouldn’t be prudent.
                  not crunchy.
                  doesn’t taste like wild hickory nuts.
                  are wild hickory nuts edible?
                  is there such an animal?

            • kulturcritic says:

              I always enjoy your comments GF Sutton… they leave me with a smile on my face and a spring in my step…

              • GF says:

                Oh, man you sprung my springs:
                I’m so happy
                I’m spilling my guts!

                Thanks Sandy.
                My steps are on firmer ground with the help of you and all here at this magical place.
                Be safe all and enjoy!

                The Republic’s on a pyre,
                A funeral progresses.
                As thieves run the mint
                General Welfare regresses.

                Whom should we hire
                To put out the fire
                When men wear the dresses
                And each is a liar?

                Now it’s come down to
                A dire situation
                And doubt hangs over
                The fate of our nation.

        • Disaffected says:

          We need to move this one back over here margin-wise.

          • Disaffected says:

            As an upcoming post of mine will speculate, the “Almighty” would likely be laughing his/hers/its ass off at us and our primitive notions if he/she/it could. But that’s a story for another post and a comment for another thread.

          • Disaffected says:

            today’s news

            See there. Mix a little nano/bio-tech in there and grow the in brain micro-processor organically while you’re at it. Slam, bam, thank you ma’am, you’ve got a fully wired human linked into the fucking hive! Better Walk Hard! over there HT, or you or yours might be one of the Feral Weeds they come recruitin’!

  4. Thing is, that in Santa Clara the court ruled unanimously AGAINST “corporate personhood” of any kind. It was the head notes, written by said clerk that say the opposite. So i guess head notes trump actual decisions, yes? Or are the PTB terrified that unraveling all the erroneous decisions citing the head notes over the deades would totally destroy the false edifice of “corporate personhood”? As Bush the Elder has said “If the people ever find out what we have been dong to them, they will be hanging us from the nearest lamppost”

    • the Heretick says:

      we have been living under a false assumption for over a hundred years. this decision involved a legitimate govt. organization against private capital and capital won. the railroads started us on our current trajectory, they allowed mass exploitation, if this decision had gone the other way maybe govt. entities would have stayed smaller and more local, dunno.

      • But the decision DID go the other way, it was the corrupt clerk who wrote the lieing head notes to the decision.

        • headnote n. the summary of the key legal points determined by an appeals court, which appears just above each decision in published reports of cases. Headnotes are useful for a quick scan of the judgment, but they are the editor’s remarks and not the court’s.

          • The Reporter of Decisions for the United States Supreme Court also prepares a syllabus for Supreme Court decisions, when feasible, at the time an opinion is issued. The syllabus summarizes the points of law addressed in each case, but does not constitute a part of the opinion and does not constitute binding authority.

            • the Heretick says:

              i’ve been out. you probably know more than i do, sounds like it. hey, i just notice what is going on around me, if i serve any purpose it is to bring subjects up, if what i write means something to you, then that’s all to the good, makes my day.

              • Most people believe Santa Clara RR derision says the exact opposite of what it does say, so you are not alone 🙂

                • the Heretick says:

                  whatever it says, the mis-interpretation has become settled law and corps. are running wild. maybe when things start breaking down we will self-organize into smaller groups, the smaller the better; depending on if we survive at all. the legacy of slavery and jim crow has given the US a bent toward central authority where the Federal govt. has become the final arbiter of all things, so ok, a good thing in some cases, a bad thing in others.
                  all this being said, corps. have a vested interest in keeping things large, gives them customers, keeps society dependent on their products, it maintains their monopoly.
                  i sometimes wonder if i am still too focused on the political side of things, wasting my time thinking about issues that will never be fixed, beating a dead horse as they say. not that beating a live horse is a really good thing.

      • Disaffected says:

        This is true. The railroads provided the initial transportation infrastructure from which all else followed. The automobile and the airplane were just refinements. Guess that’s why Kunstler advocates turning the clock back to railroads, although it’s hard for me to imagine that if we did it would stop there, even momentarily. People in the US are just NOT going to accept being herded onto trains in mass numbers again, even if we could muster the political and economic resolve to rebuild the infrastructure, other than possibly as a one way trip to some future final solution.

        • kulturcritic says:

          But the railroads only made it possible to transport excess supplies. Agriculture gave us the excesses of cities; like wagon trains contributed to empire

        • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

          Before there were railroad barons, the Transportation Industrial Agricultural Real Estate Legislative Complex prospered on canals and toll roads. The railroaders stood on their shoulders in a manner of speaking. Some good history on the Erie Canal at the link below.

          • Disaffected says:

            Yeah, I guess our little run at empire was pretty much inevitable once we made the Atlantic crossing and started fucking everything up in sight. Fortunately for everything else, our little run at collapse is now pretty much guaranteed too. Property rights and all that. Too bad the natives didn’t have any.

  5. Disaffected says:

    Looks like another war looms on the horizon, and not a moment too soon, what with all the hubbub over the Fed Chair replacement and all that.

    Don’t know what cruise missile go for these days (I wonder if we get a sweet package deal down at WarMart?), but someone’s no doubt gonna profit nicely from the coming festivities.

    • the Heretick says:

      the usual suspects have been trolling about the airwaves discussing what should be done. PBS, NBC, all of them. nary a word has been said about Congressional approval and/or a Declaration of War, it’s all left up to the Emperor’s discretion.

      • Disaffected says:

        The White House take in general (an upscale “Fuck you very much”) :

        We request that Obama be impeached for the following reasons.
        The Short Answer is No, but Keep Reading
        By The White House

        Believe it are not, petitions like the one you signed are one of the reasons we think We the People is such a valuable tool. There are few resources that do more to help us engage directly with people about the issues that matter to them — especially people who disagree with us.

        So let us use this opportunity to set the record straight:

        President Obama didn’t declare a war in Libya — and the limited military mission he did order was in keeping with decades of historic precedent.

        The Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — and they upheld the law.

        The President has deep respect and appreciation for the Constitution — he studied it in law school, he taught students about its principles as a professor, and as a lawmaker and now as President, he’s carried out its precepts.

        And let’s be clear, many of those who have been called “czars” have in fact been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as prescribed by federal law, and others hold policy jobs that have existed in Administrations stretching back decades.

        So the short answer is that we won’t be calling for the President’s impeachment — and given the fact that you made your appeal to the White House itself, we doubt you were holding your breath waiting for our support.

        Here’s the important thing, though. Even though this request isn’t going to happen, we want you to walk away from this process with knowledge that we’re doing our best to listen — even to our harshest critics.

        The key is that we can disagree without being disagreeable. That’s the kind of public dialogue Americans deserve.

        President Obama has said time and time again that neither party has a monopoly on good ideas. And he’s repeatedly asked that all Americans — those who agree with him, as well as those who don’t — do their part to get involved with their democracy.

        That’s why the White House has created a host of new tools and channels to help concerned citizens hear from us, and more importantly, to help President Obama hear directly from you. And the fact you signed this petition means you’ve already found at least one of them.

        • the Heretick says:

          the issue of war and peace is one i keep coming back to. our military is the tip of the spear, the tool to keep the globalization agenda on track. war creates nothing, it just destroys that which it has taken energy to build, war also consumes a lot of energy.
          the other thing is that war is visible, if it bleeds it leads, if progress could ever be made on one front, a sort of chipping away at the monolith of the MIC, it could lead to progress on other fronts.
          take the issue of Corporate personhood, if this 800 pound gorilla could ever be wrestled down to the ground it could mark a sea change in our politics, because it’s all political.
          limiting the scope of corporate activities could also lead to decentralization, to smaller more effective government.
          overseas adventures provide grist for the propaganda mill, they serve to get our minds off of what is happening on the home front, but we know all of this.
          i question many of my long held assumptions all the time. JHK has the fantasy of downsizing and going more local, i’m wondering if he is right. the sheer size and concentration of power of nation-states lends itself to abuse, probably the closer we can inch to smaller units of organization the better off we will be. this is in agreement with Sandy’s theme of tribal and/or clannish arrangements. if McPherson and others assessment of catastrophic collapse proves true then it doesn’t matter anyway.
          if JMG and JHK are correct then we will be forced into more local arrangements.

          looking at the news it is pretty apparent we are in the beginning stages of collapse, this is not an academic subject, we are living the nightmare. to be specific, people are breaking down into groups, maybe by race, maybe by locality; tribes, which is not a bad word. the Scots lived in clans, the Germans lived in tribes, same with Amerindians, Africans, just about everyone everywhere before modern times, the more things change……………….

        • Disaffected says:

          That was an actual White House response, by the way.

          • the Heretick says:

            that was not, can’t be, are you serious?
            gotta love it,
            “President Obama didn’t declare a war in Libya — and the limited military mission he did order was in keeping with decades of historic precedent.”
            this can’t be real, is whoever wrote this so ignorant of the law?
            that the POTUS can declare war?
            an unpaid intern?
            is this person college educated?
            i learned more by the 5th grade.
            that anyone could so blithely spout this stuff, the “decades of historic precedent.” are exactly the problem. jesus f. christ.
            and this is a “progessive” president? well, old TR was also………………..
            if this is an actual reply/ then you and Phlog are correct, bunch of friggin morons.

            say it isn’t so. this is who’s in charge of all the various types of missiles, battleships, etc? a person like this is even on the staff? drips with a certain hubris doesn’t it?
            makes a certain Heretick wish there was a god.

          • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

            And I must say it is a model of bureaucratic nonsense. Nothing though compared to the nonsense of concerned citizens imagining that Kaiser Barry would dutifully respond to their petition by trotting over to Capitol Hill and beseeching Boehner and Reid to snatch away his laurel crown and stretch it around the swelled head of Joey of the House of Biden. We’re further gone than I had imagined. Lily was spot on, it’s impossible to keep up.

      • Disaffected says:

        Almost football season again too. Ain’t NUTHIN’ goes better together than football and war. Throw in some Budweiser too and you’ve got the holy trifecta!

        • the Heretick says:

          yeah well, the Raiders will probably still suck, and if you are going to root for a team you may as well root for the team which fully embraces the ethos of the game. personal foul, unnecessary roughness, the kind of upfront mayhem we can all relate to, like it or love it, it’s the American Way.

        • Disaffected says:

          High school football on ESPN tonight. Looks for all the world JUST like college. Can professional PeeWee football, complete with sixth graders who shave (hell, HAVE KIDS), be far behind?

  6. Disaffected says:

    Nothing like a little Ozz to set things straight:

    • the Heretick says:

      yes, indeed, the ozman, does seem to attract the best players, greatest respect for the rest of Sabbath, way underrated musicians, of a way underrated band, but, w/o ozzy? not the same, it’s that macho power chord rock, gotta love it.

      • Disaffected says:

        Ozzy’s rapidly advancing dementia gives the rest of us geriatrics something positive to compare to, as in, yeah, I’m slipping bad, but look at how much worse Ozzy is, and he’s still out there doing it!

      • Disaffected says:

        Your video is said not to exist HT. Fuck! I guess that just calls for another!

  7. Disaffected says:

    So, since it seems to be a slow night out there, let’s engage in a little bit of amateur corporate musical video analysis shall we? Seether was a band that I thought had at least some modest promise back around 2000’ish. They were from South Africa, and seemed to offer a welcome change of pace to the typical formulaic American shit at the time. Yeah, they were already decidedly contrived and market driven, but at least they were different:

    A few years later, lead singer Shawn Morgan had become an item with American singer/diva Amy Lee, and predictably began the band’s flame out with this (albeit still quite good [the physical references to Ozzy, in particular, are undeniable]) began:

    Which led to this in 2007:

    And worse yet, THIS in 2011:

    Yeah, I realize much of that last video is meant to be a parody(?), but in the end, you have to wonder just who is being parodied, and that’s NEVER a good thing.

    Safe to say, Seether and Shawn Morgan have sold their souls to the industry just like this guy (Remember Cinderella?):

    • the Heretick says:

      you seem to like more trad rock. listen to this, i think it owes a bit to metal.
      i’ve posted this before.

      • Disaffected says:

        As I recall, Lance Armstrong was a Linkin Park guy. Not bad, but I don’t really explore that stuff much anymore. My hard rock days are mostly just memories now. I remember “Ozzmosis’ in particular because 1.) It really was memorably good (for among other reasons, Ozzy was making a genuine run at drying out at the time), and 2.) I was in Korea in the USAF at the time, which was memorable in and of itself.

    • Disaffected says:

      Actually, check that. The last TWO of Seether’s videos could only be seen as unintentional self parody, at least in hindsight. QUITE embarrassing, I would think. But I guess the money eases the pain a bit.

  8. Disaffected says:

    Best Fred on Everything column I’ve read recently here:

    Martial Prowess. For those who haven’t read or have only briefly perused his ramblings, Fred is the “real deal,” as in as “old school” as the school gets these days. A veteran Vietnam era war correspondent, beat reporter, and all around curmudgeon and iconoclast, Fred is guaranteed to leave you with you a fresh perspective every time you read him, whether you love him or hate him.


    The great Chinese strategist Fred Tzu once said, “Never use a broadsword to fight a swarm of pissed-off hornets.” Exactly. You have to understand the enemy. Otherwise you are in trouble and can´t understand why. If you are a behind-the-times sort of dinosaur, the rats are going to eat your eggs. If you are an American infantry battalion, sneaky little guys behind rocks are gonna blow hell out of your up-armored Humvee with the revolving IR heads. Trust me.

    You have to understand the enemy. Another classic military mind, the Prussian genius Carl von Fredwitz, said, “Let the other dumb sumbitch spend hisself into the dirt, and then tear his throat out, or just buy him.” It´s what China is doing. Americans make war, and the Chinese make money. We spend wildly on an outdated military that couldn´t beat a tin drum if it was smoking Gunter´s best grass.


    See, PJ, the American military is like a dentist trying to drill teeth with a petroleum platform. It´s the wrong tool. Multibillion dollar ratpacks of hugely expensive fighter planes are splendid fun, and say “Varoooooom!” Good stuff, that. They really are the best in the world, and nothing can stay in the sky with them.

    Ah, but they are fighters with nothing to fight. The Pentagon’s problem is Ahmet the Wiley Wog who hides behind a rock with his RPG and keeps blowing up trucks full of GIs. Ahmet isn´t too flashy. He doesn´t have a conformal phased-array radar and isn´t supersonic. But he has clanking brass balls and wads of determination Oops.

    And that´s the story of our whole military shebang: gaudy but mostly irrelevant. North Korea does something that upsets Washington´s digestion, so we send the aircraft carriers. These float fiercely offshore, doing nothing, because there is nothing they can do. They either (a) attack, risking all-out war on the Peninsula, not a particularly bright idea since Pyongyang has all the artillery in the world within range of Seoul, or (b) float in puzzlement and circles while North Korea ignores them. See? Wrong tool. Washington hasn´t figured this out, so it always sends the bathtub toys.

    Good stuff!

    • the Heretick says:

      oh yes, i don’t know who got me back to reading him, probably you.
      since Bageant is gone, Fred is the best for redneck humor and understanding, somewhat in the tradition of Will Rogers.
      what he is saying is true, really, what are these numbskulls thinking, that they can quell a restive world and keep the Chinese products flowing ad infinitum? the last paragraph says it all.
      ” The days when the US could afford high wages and fun wars and a vast military all at once, them days is over. Oh. Ver. The jobs went to Asia and Mexico, unemployment runs way high, everybody is on food stamps or welfare, the standard of living falls, infrastructure rots, everybody is getting edgy and hates everybody else, and the military budget grows like kudzu on a Georgia road-cut.”
      these dumbf*cks, getting just that bit bitter here, the population is getting more violent by the day, and they have nothing but pretty words.
      i read some of the pabulum our Peace Prize President mouthed today, made me feel real sick it did; everybody knows what our country needs, for jobs to come back from overseas.
      people such as myself right on this blog have outlined the problem and the solution, but these people are to base to do a d*mn thing about it.

      like i said, just that little bit upset this nochy. hope i didn’t get too “edgy”.

  9. Disaffected says:

    More Ozzy in top form from 1995’s Ozzmosis. An apparent reference to Aleister Crowley, whom Oz is sometimes/often associated with, the song just makes sense on a more basic level to me. It’s currently on my short Repeat Play list in the car and at work and I’ve yet to hear a complaint, so I guess it’s working at least somewhat on a broader basis too. Is this Russian verbiage upfront?

  10. Q. Shtik says:

    Fred is a scumbag racist through and through. The crowd he attracts and nurtures is a vile, disgusting one. How can you link to him with no shame? Actually, he’s a bigot of many stripes, not just a racist. If you’re attracted to him and his message, you’re transparently cliché….an anachronism.

    • the Heretick says:

      indeed. but then that hate ain’t hard to find is it? i’m half inclined to believe it, hard not to about them blue eyed devils, yours truly
      specially down where i work, yours truly of course, being brown eyed.

      you can go from one-side to the other, from the JDL and B’nai B’rith to Stormfront and The Aryan Nations, the SPLC, Jared Taylor, and Qunell X. it’s a veritable smorgasbord of vile bile, Fred Reed being pretty mild to my mind.
      now if you want the dirt, the web site of anyone of these organizations (tax free i’m sure) they’re more than happy to dish it, you could spend a lifetime learning how wrong something or the “other” is, about someone or the “other”.

      i figure everybody’s just that little bit selfish, that little bit is natural, it’s only when people have something to fight about that things can get ugly. of course that means a certain energy expenditure, perhaps in the future we won’t have such a surfeit, let’s look on the bright side.

      • Q. Shtik says:

        Interesting. You link to, and mention, Nation of Islam in a negative light and yet you link to, and mention, Reed in a positive light. I consider both to be equally racist, and would mention neither in a positive light, although you must admit, the race Fred champions (as if there is such a thing as scientifically valid race) has had the upper hand for quite a while and still does.

        Reed is a facilitator of factionalization with his racist tripe, just as Nation of Islam is. Who wins with factionalization? Answer: NOT US (The Little People). Solidarity through, across and with diversity is the answer. There’s a way to maintain true, organic (not the contrived and fabricated liberal notion of diversity which is merely thinly disguised branding to sell yet more useless shit) diversity and to achieve solidarity against exploitation through, across and with diversity. But first we have to stop the hate. That starts with each of us and builds. Linking to Fred Reed and mentioning him in a positive light is contrary to stopping the hate, and in fact only facilitates our further factionalization.

        • Disaffected says:

          Linking to Fred Reed and mentioning him in a positive light is contrary to stopping the hate, and in fact only facilitates our further factionalization.

          Well, first of all, that’s just plain bullshit right there. Fred’s a stiff drink to be sure, but if I was inclined to disagree with him, as even I am from time to time, then I’d just step right up and offer a reasoned critique. Sandy’s not one to block comments, whatever the view, in my experience. Fred Reed is hardly a media blockbuster out there overwhelming the liberal blogosphere with his “hateful” commentary.

          And second of all, perhaps you should just READ Fred Reed a few times to understand rather than to refute where he’s coming from. I must admit, sometimes he shocks me as well, but more often than not I find myself agreeing with him in whole or in part after reading his whole piece and pausing to reflect. Especially when I consider his age group and the life experiences they had. You’ve got to remember (especially you young pups), oldsters like Fred don’t accept as a given that the world as it currently is EVER HAD to be that way in the first place, NOR, that is necessarily HAS TO REMAIN that way EITHER. Youngsters these days, on the other hand, tend to accept such things as a given.

          As to factionalization, I think Fred attacks even that as well, if admittedly, from a slightly WASP-centric POV. But hardly a cardinal sin that, all in all, IMO. Mostly, I think Fred is a little bit conflicted from time to time, as we all our, by our current circumstances. I mean really now, if we were all to tell the God’s honest truth, the solution to our current predicament is for the entire first, second, and much of the third world – every last one of us – to commit suicide right now, and arrange beforehand for the remaining gen pop to dispose of our corpses in an environmentally sound way. Not that that’s ever going to happen of course, but such is the magnitude of our current problem. But even THAT wouldn’t undo all the terrible shit we’ve already done and irrevocable future events we’ve set in motion, which of course, almost NO ONE wants to talk about. Understandably so.

    • Disaffected says:

      Looks like the cat dragged the Squishy one in again. FUCKING CAT! Fred is what he is. And I think his main point is that he, and the people who think like him, ARE anachronisms, which most of think is a GOOD thing. Yes he’s dangerously and perhaps even subversively non-PC, but I think the points he makes about the races not mixing well are demonstrably true, as uncomfortable as they may be, which of course makes Q’Shtiks (is that anything like an F’Stick?) of all stripes VERY uncomfortable. Thank GOD most of aren’t Q’Shtiks! But when I read Fred’s resume and consider his life experiences, I’m inclined to give the man a VERY WIDE degree of latitude. Besides that, he’s put his money where his mouth is and moved to an honest to god third world country (as opposed to moving America with him) and seems to be doing quite well.

      • the Heretick says:

        well, i just had to put my two cents in. once again, we have the problem with universal ideals, they’re universal. there are plenty of people like me who grew up at the tail end of segregation, who idolize people like MLK, who aren’t any too happy about the way things have turned out. i read X’s biography (written by Alex Haley), Soul on Ice, lotsa those radical books, doesn’t mean I agree or disagree with everything anybody says.

        problem is when you start enforcing opinions someone has to be the enforcer.
        more and more i see the inherent contradictions in any group above a certain size.

        we are suspicious of anybody who wants to be separate, for whatever reason, the highest ideal seems to be conformity, group cohesion, but to what end? so we can all be good little consumers? so whatever power structure is in place at any given time can have someone to boss around?

        Fred Reed is very careful with his language, i have never found a pejorative term in his writings, he does say a lot of things no one wants to hear, but maybe should hear.

        as for great African-Americans? here’s one right here.
        this guy was all over French intensive gardening before hardly anyone else had thought about it.

        everybody else gets all the headlines, but Whatley affected more people thru his articles in Mother Earth News (back when it was a real magazine and not supermarket trash) than we will ever know.

  11. the Heretick says:

    what i think is you just need a shot of down home music, find out who’s really boss

    and yes, he played on all that stuff, it’s the point.


  12. michelle says:

    hey extreme thought get in a station wagon and try it apology to the state supreme court and get into the strange to invisible leader. it comes to a grip if you try education first and know why and believe in revenge. I got accepted to class in the future. totally comes alive and quickly comes apart to just try and keep growing bigger if you get it. in a order or a plac ein this world is my stopper and life science goes on and natural science in notetaking. things can only get better if you don’t mess up social theme and get psycology and make the most out of life. invisible to try. love and best wishes michelle

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