Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Not So "Man Box"

While snowed in in NYC, I saw a post on Facebook pointing me to a Ted Talks video entitled "Why Men act out against women" by Anthony Porter. Eye rolls ensued because it's usually a bad sign when an article or video has the title "Why men do such and such negative thing". This is mostly because the title itself implies that within the article contains the answer for all men which will probably be untrue and likely contain a lot of gross generalizations supported by anecdotes that are interpreted in a manner that supports the presenters point. The video did not fail in this regard. I don't know if the video bothered me as much as the number of women on FB who reposted the video with nary a commentary as to what may be wrong with it. Some of these same people, had the subject been race, would have been far more critical of the subject, showing once again the blind spot that exists when the subject is kicking the heterosexual, masculine, male.

Anthony Porter has an organization called "A Call to Men" in which he states:

What is a good man?
A good man is a man who believes a woman should be respected. A good man would not assault a woman. A good man believe in equality for women? A good man honors the women in his life. A good man, for all practical purposes, is a nice guy, We believe this to be the majority of men.



So for Mr. Porter a "good man" is defined entirely by his "niceness" particularly in respect to women? Really? Can you imagine a Feminist/womanist accepting a definition of "good womanhood" that was so focused on her actions and behaviors towards men? I can't. Matter of fact, most of the "highly independent" women I know both in person and on various social sites, define themselves as good women regardless of or in spite of men. But keep this in mind because the next major issue is what Mr. Porter calls "The Man Box".

The Man Box is a set of rules that according to Mr. Porter, all men, good and bad ascribe to which allows for violence against women.
"The Man Box" consists of the following:

*Don't cry or openly express emotions with the exception of anger
*Do not show weakness or fear
*Demonstrate power/control especially over women
*Aggression Dominance
*Protector
*Do not be "like a woman"
*Heterosexual
*Do not be "like a gay man"
*Tough-Athletic-Strength-Courage
*Makes decisions-Does not need help
*Views women as property/objects



Lets tackle this "box"
On item one we see a great falsehood. First of all there are many emotions: sadness, fear, happiness, satisfaction, calm, anger, amusement. Men express these emotions many times, sometimes all in the same day and sometimes multiple times in a single day. Even within a relationship it is simply untrue that men do not show any emotion other than anger. Anyone who says they have not seen a man express any emotion other than anger is straight lying. Anger gets peoples attention because of it's proximity to violent behavior.

Incredible-Hulk-Bixby
You wouldn't like me when I'm angry


What men do not show [frequently] is weakness and fear (collectively vulnerability). Why? Well guess what? Human males are mammals. Across the mammalian world, males compete with each other for status. Often with bouts of violence. Males also have to fight off predators to protect his territory. Therefore it is to the advantage of the male to project dominance even when fearful in order to survive. Why exactly are we having a discussion on stuff that is long known biological behavior for most if not all mammalian males? Secondly, why are we attempting to change it?

The next three items should also be grouped together with item one. Power is simply the ability to determine outcome(s). In order to determine outcome then one must be aggressive, one must protect what one has and most importantly one must be in control of oneself, including one's emotions. Hence we see the reason why the expression of "negative" emotions, those that relinquishes power or makes ones power vulnerable, are made to be under control by a "real" man. Again across the mammalian species the male is the aggressor. You want to see a passive male, see a male that is lacking in testosterone or has low status. Again I must ask why this is supposed to be a negative? There is a phenomenon called "sublimation" usually used in reference to the redirection of sexual urges, usually by men, into other endeavors. "negative" emotions in many well socialized males is sublimated into "positive" actions such as redoubling efforts to succeed at what they failed at. etc. Therefore a blanket statement about not wanting to seem weak or afraid as a negative thing is very problematic.

The sixth item, "Do not be "like a woman" is self explanatory. Why should a man want to "be like a woman"? Why is this negative? Why would any man who respects manhood and womanhood even suggest that "do not be like a woman" is negative? And why would he imply that such a statement devalues womanhood when it does not?

Item seven, 'Heterosexual"? And? As with the above, If a male wants to behave as a woman, which he should be free to do, why should heterosexual males accept him as a "man" that they are? Notice I break out "male" from "man". Male is a genetic construct. It merely indicates that an individual has a x-y chromosome pair. a "man" is a socialized, mature male. Even in societies that accepted homosexuals, those males were not considered men.

Item eight "Tough-Athletic-Courage": Is this fellow saying that boys ought to be told it's OK to be shook? Really? It's one thing to acknowledge that one gets scared. It's an entirely different thing to imply that stressing courage in a maturing male is somehow negative and problematic. In my opinion it's even worse coming from a descendant of Africans, many of whom have infamous initiation rites in which bravery and courage is specifically trained for. How does Mr. Porter think our ancestors survived the middle passage, if they did not face their fear? How does Mr. Porter think our African Ancestors in various countries got the guts to stand up to well armed militaries and other uprisings?

In non-racial terms, if we go back to the biology of it all, males of the species are generally the bigger (muscular), faster, etc. than the female. We can thank Testosterone for that as well. So again I have to ask, like a broken record, why is this fellow implying that such a thing is bad?

The ninth item is probably one that many women have talked with their girlfriends about.

Girl, we were going around in circles and he refused to stop and ask for directions...


Shoot, I've done it. You know what? Deal with it. Really. That's that independent spirit and there's nothing wrong with it. While there are those who will take such things to extremes, generally speaking women need to let this one go. One of the things men generally get great satisfaction from is figuring something out. It goes back to the disassembled toys, radios, etc. that we left in our wakes as children.

And we come to item 10: "Views women as objects/property" Really? Of course what Mr. Porter means, and indeed what he says in the video, is "Sex object". Again this is common currency of the "thought police" wing of the feminist movement. How dare a straight man see a woman and think "I'd hit that." Forget the whole known biology thing. No, lets forget the fact that human males are in fact "always ready to go" in the strict biological sense in that we produce millions of sperm a day and barring psychological or biological issues can "get it up" at any time. Never mind that for roughly 28 days out of the month a female can have intercourse (and some do manage many of those days). No never mind all of that biology. Never mind that upon sexual maturity, males will involuntarily (as in not trained) think about sex multiple times a day.

In terms of viewing women as property let's keep it real. This society treats boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives as property of the involved parties. Is not the term "That's my man" or "That's my girl" (And it is usually girl regardless of age) a statement of ownership? Isn't monogamy based in the objectification and propertization of another human? He or she cannot have sex with another person because that person's genetalia are "mine" and for "my use only". If we really wanted to get at the point of "property/objectification" we would encourage people to say things such as "I'm married to so and so" or "I am with so and so" which would connote our voluntary and revokable attachment to another person rather than ownership with is implied by the "My man", "My wife", kinds of statements. I suppose that doesn't fit into the present line of thinking present in this video.

In summary we see that this presentation purports that everything masculine about men, that which generally differentiates sexually mature males from sexually mature females is "bad". If males would act less male then everything would be "OK". Mind you, after giving this list of negatives, Mr Porter claims that "There are many wonderful things about being a man." failing to mention any of them. Not even the "can pee standing up." I dunno, I would have liked to hear what is so wonderful about being a man. Seeing as there are so many thing Perhaps Ted Talks will invite the brother back to give that presentation.
And this is really a part of the deeper problem. In almost every case in which I have had these discussions I have asked the people involved to define a "man" and most often the question cannot be answered. If people cannot even agree on what a "man" is. How can a "good" or "bad" man be determined?

Mr. Porter continues his presentation with a discussion of his two children. His daughter, he says, could come to him crying and looking for comfort and he would comfort her (like a man should) and let her know that "Daddy's got you." You'll note that his statement has the implication that he is "tough" and "strong" and therefore can "protect" his daughter from harm. Indeed he invokes some of the "Man Box" items which he has just told us were "bad".

When his son comes to him crying he gets on him and gets him to "suck it up." Asking him "Why you cryin'? Hold your head up". "explain to me what's wrong" etc. It is Mr. Porter's contention that his treatment of his son was unfair. I disagree. Mr. Porter was in fact imparting to his son what men are expected to do (as discussed above). What we should ask Mr. Porter is this: Why did you not treat your daughter as you did your son? Is Mr. Porter of the opinion that girls (and women) cannot be expected to master their emotions? to "suck it up"?

You'll note that he says:

"Out of my own frustration with my role and responsibility of building him up as a man, to fit into these guidelines and these structures that are defining this man box..."


Excuse me? Frustration? Frustration with your role and responsibility as a father? I dare say that if a man is unprepared and not enthusiastic about his role and responsibility of socializing a boy into a man, then he ought not embark on the endeavor.

He says he said to his son:

Go to your room. Sit down. Get yourself together. And come back and talk to me when you can talk to me...like a man


Mr. Porter wants us to think that this is bad. Shame on him. Whenever any of us are faced with obstacles that cause us to feel fear, frustration and pain, The steps he described are EXACTLY what we should be doing. We should go to "our own space" and "collect ourselves" which means that we are activating the logical and impulse control areas of the brain to overcome the emotive and instinctive parts of our brains and once we do that tackle the problem from a logical point of view. This, my friends, is parenting. In other words Mr. Porter wants to extend the concept of external dependency to his son. That is sad.

Another example he gives is the 12 year old football player:

I asked him: "How would you feel, if in front of all the players the coach told you you were playing like a girl?"...The boy said to me 'it would destroy me' and I said to myself: God! If it would destroy him to be called a girl what are we then teaching him about girls?"


Well aside from teenage exaggerations, lets take this at face value. Firstly the question was if the coach said he played like a girl not that he was a girl. Important difference. If you take a look at your average 12 year old girl in gym class, you could easily picture what such a statement looks like and how devastating a critique of a player, particularly for a football player that would be. The reflection is not on girls as entities but rather girls as in average behavior. He doesn't have to be "taught" anything about "girls". For the example given all he has to do is observe them in his daily life. Does that mean that there are no girls who can play football well? Of course not. But on average? Let's be real. We know exactly what it meant

In Mr. Porter's next example he discusses "Big Johnny" the older boy in his neighborhood who he looked up to. Johnny took to raping the neighborhood mentally challenged girl (she was legally incapable of consent) and invited Mr. Porter and his other friends to "have a go". Porter relates his anxiety of having to face an offer of sex (which he felt he could not refuse) the possibility of rape (which he did not commit) and knowing that his friends were going to rape this girl. He posits this as a part of the "man box" issue. The problem with this example is that it was not a "man box" issue as much as it was a parenting issue. Mr. Porter was in a situation not unlike what I discussed in my post entitled "A Perfect Storm of Pathologies" Where I wrote:

Firstly we have the group of males involved. By the reports there were adult males of undetermined age and boys of various age. So the first thing we have to ask is why are "grown men" leading "immature" males to have sex with a person known to be mentally disabled? If I were the 'hood type I would ask "where they do that at?"


Same question applies here. Not only that but where were the parental rules about entering the homes of other people without permission? Had that rule been in effect Mr. Porter would not have found himself in the situation because parental rules, which exist to compensate for the lack of judgment of children, would have been a deterrent to getting in the situation. Lastly on this point, I do not accept putting criminal behavior in the so-called "man box". criminal behavior, such as rape, ought to be clearly marked in some other box.

In any case the presentation gets even worse. Mr. Porter then engages in group blame of the type that if the topic was, say, race, he would have been booed off stage. That assumes that he would have even made it on stage. Mr. Porter present a slide that purports to show the following:

The Collective Socialization of Men

Less Value
+
Property
+
Objectification

=violence against women


So he flat out states that all men are socialized to believe that women are of lesser value then them though he has no provable examples of it. All men see women as property. A claim that cannot be founded at all. And all men objectify women another unprovable assertion the error of which is compounded by the biological issues of heterosexuality and how males are wired "from the factory". Just because it is likely that a man will view a woman as a potential sex partner it does not mean that he only sees her in that manner. While this chart may be accurate for criminal males who rape, kill, verbally and physically harass women, this entire slide is false on it's face. To compound the error Mr. Porter closes with the following:

We as men, Good men, the large majority of men, we operate in the foundation of this whole collective socialization. We kinda see ourselves as separate, but we're very much a part of it.


Woah there. We so called "good men" (still undefined without dependencies on how we relate to women) see all women as less than us and as our property. Sure. Mind you this is quite different than the male privilege issue where males get benefits by simply being males, regardless of intent. This fellow purports to tell us what all men are thinking and how we all see and relate to women. Can you imaging Ted Talks allowing a person to stand up and say that every single white person is racist, sees black people as inherently less than them? Would the TED audience give such a speaker a standing ovation? If such a presentation has been given, please do point it out to me.

In closing I suggest that the viewer of this video or any other presentation in which men or women make wildly generalized statements about straight masculine males be taken with many grains of salt. Many of these people are motivated by their own discomfort with being a man or woman. Their own relatively low social status. Their guilt over behavior they engaged in that harmed another woman or simply as a means of getting in good with women. It is not unlike many people who engage in race talk.




Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Who Seh Colonialism Done?

It is not even uncommon for investors to arrive on land that was supposedly empty. In Mozambique, one investment company discovered an entire village with its own post office on what had been described as vacant land, said Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations food rapporteur.


NY Times

Thursday, December 16, 2010

WikiLeaks and Empire

"Palpatine is the Sith Lord we've been looking for."

Near the end of the third installment of the Star Wars trilogy, Master Windu comes to the realization that emperor Palpatine was in fact the Dark Lord they had been seeking. That he was sitting under their noses the entire time while they could sense all kinds of "suffering" millions of miles away is a question for another time. The Jedi council was so invested in the idea of the senate being so incorruptible that they couldn't conceive that it was being undermined and that the "defenders of freedom" were being betrayed.

So it is with the reactions of those in power today in the US. WikiLeaks has exposed the dark lord for what it is and the organization, like the Jedi who posed an "existential" risk to the new Galactic Empire, must be wiped out. An "order 66" if you may.

It was reported that the justice [sic] department was looking to impanel a grand jury to see if they could charge Assange with espionage. You would think that such "defenders of the constitution" which specifically protects the "press", wouldn't do such a thing.

Forget for a minute that Assange didn't spy on anyone. Forget for a minute that as an Australian citizen cries of treason make no sense. Unless of course you believe in American empire in which case everyone owes the US some sort of allegiance. No the biggest issue here is the blatant assault on the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

The First Amendment states that congress shall make no law "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Let me touch on thee items separately:

It is pretty important to see that speech and press are specifically noted in different clauses. This is important. The founders could have easily said that you, the individual have the right to free speech, but that the press could be restricted. If you think about it, individual speech is amplified and made stronger by the press. The press is a mechanism whereby speech is duplicated and therefore disseminable in it's true form (as opposed to paraphrased) to any number of people.

Recall that in Europe it was the printing press that allowed the Bible to be had in any home where it could be read and interpreted by persons other than the established church leadership. This eroded the power of the clergy and lead to the rise of Protestantism. To this day, modern Christianity has arguments about who has interpreted the Bible correctly all thanks to the fact that every and anyone could read it for themselves and make up their own minds as to what it says and means.The US founders were well aware of the power of the ability to disseminate speech, which is why I believe they made sure to specify it in the amendment.

The internet is beyond a doubt the modern printing press. The usual prohibitive costs of physically printing a book, pamphlet or flyer, do not exist. Therefore the ability to disseminate "speech" is easier than ever before. That increased ability does not imply somehow it is less "press".

The First Amendment also specifically states that the citizen is protected from any law that would abridge their ability to petition the government.

That should also mean that laws created to deal with one set of crimes ( such as espionage) ought not be used to abridge the freedom of press which is exactly what the current proposed federal espionage charges are for. As is being discovered, the still not filed rape charges are but a pretense to hold Assange for a show trial. In which the government will attempt to say that Assange had essentially directed Pvt. manning to get and transmit the information, rather than Pvt. manning seeking a " press" to use to expose the information that he believed represented illegal behavior by the government.

Whether Joe Lieberman and others like it or not, WikiLeaks is a "press" just like this blog you're reading. The "press" mentioned in the First Amendment does not just cover "big" and so called "credentialed" organizations such as the NY Times and Washington Post. These outfits did not exist at the time of the founding. No, the freedom of press applied not only to "newspapers" but also to pamphlets, leaflets and books written with pseudonyms. In other words WikiLeaks is just as much "press" as anyone else and to treat it any differently because it is not a paper press or deemed "credible" by those in the halls of power is a bare faced violation of the First Amendment. That also means that the publishers are also afforded those protections.

At the worst, Pvt. Manning who actually contracted with the military, who forwarded the material to WikiLeaks is the one who ought to face any kind of disciplinary action. This assumes that he is not covered under whistleblower laws which this author believes he is.

What is also laid bare here is the extent to which corporations are quite willing to be agents of the state. We saw this under the Bush regime where they "requested" and were granted access to telco data and hardware despite not having the legal authority to do so. I wrote about this in my American Big Man seriesThere I warned that the blatant violation of the 4th amendment by the Bush regime would pose a clear danger to the rest of the constitutional guarantees [sic]. Furthermore; that private corporations "trusted" by the public to safeguard the privacy of their varied private data from the government has been shown that such a trust is misplaced. There is a clearly a need for the courts and the congress to codify the owner-steward relationship between the public and organizations such as Google and Amazon.

It should be quite disturbing that MasterCard, Visa and Paypal decided to disregard their customer's right to give funds to a legal entity that does not appear on any state terror list and deny WikiLeaks access to fund the public freely gave. These organizations hid behind "terms of service" in order to hide the fact that they acted as an arm of the US government without so much as a court order. These corporations who pay members of congress to lower their taxes and reduce regulations and generally "get government off our backs" apparently had no problem being government shills. But those of us who have been paying attention already knew the deal.

After 9-11 a common refrain heard was "they hate us for our freedoms." of course the "they" were " those muslims" over there. But The reality is that the people who most "hate our freedoms" are sitting in various levels of government.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Friedman Goes White Supremcist

Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.


-White Man's Burden

Thomas Friedman goes and gives us a 2010 serving of the White Man's Burden:

When Britain went into decline as the globe’s stabilizing power, America was right there, ready to pick up the role. Even with all our imperfections and mistakes, the world has been a better place for it. If America goes weak, though, and cannot project power the way it has, your kids won’t just grow up in a different America. They will grow up in a different world. You will not like who picks up the pieces.


Uh-huh.

Britain was succeeded by America, Britain's child born of the same White Supremacist ideology found in the Rudyard Kipling poem. In actuality Freidman is warning the alarm of the fall of White Global Supremacy AKA the White Supremacy System and Culture. Under said system we should all be shook by the idea that such a system will cease to exist right? "You will not like who picks up the pieces." Translation: those people from the East are coming! This is not unlike the "wolves" political advertisement that ran during Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.

China has put on a sound and light show these past few weeks that underscored just how much its rising economic clout can be used to warp the U.S.-led international order when it so chooses. I am talking specifically about the lengths to which China went to not only reject the Nobel Peace Prize given to one of its citizens — Liu Xiaobo, a democracy advocate who is serving an 11-year sentence in China for “subversion of state power” — but to intimidate China’s trading partners from even sending representatives to attend the Nobel award ceremony at Oslo’s City Hall.


Oh noes! The Chinese may thwart the power of the mighty white man (tm). How does one miss the "US lead international order" commentary? Just how blind do you have to be to not see the White Supremacist ideology taking a sun bath in that cesspool of a statement? If we have learned from Wikileaks it is that this "international order" is one made on bribes and outright threats. I suppose Friedman is down with that.

And about this prisoner. How does Friedman even discuss the political prisoners in China when the US leads the world in imprisoning its citizens? How does he even move his fingers to type this nonsense when we have political prisoners right here in the US? We have people in prison who have simply said stuff the government doesn't like? What about the political prisoners from the Black Freedom Struggle? Explain that one.


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Sunday, December 12, 2010

When Taxes are Low

ABC World News is reporting that NYC will institute a charge for when you are involved in an accident which the fire department responds to. The charges are set to begin at $400 for a simple non-fire accident and rise to $500 if your car is on fire and someone is hurt. Mayor Bloomberg says that it is the only way to fund the various emergency services.

Only.

Just like his Republican counterparts in congress, Bloomberg gives "the ultimatum": Either we charge or we close firehouses. Just say no to the richest paying more in order to keep these things afloat. That is asking too much.

This revelation, which has been going on in other states, is exactly why there ought to be strict opposition to the tax 'cut' approved of by Obama and Republicans. Taxes pay for these services. But it is yet another clear example of the shift of the tax burden onto the poor(er) via fines and fees. What happens if you get into an accident and can't pay? Perhaps your license will be revoked. Perhaps the state will garnish your wages, assuming you're actually receiving those.

So never mind people. Government is not supposed to look out for the common good. Nope, it's clearly government is for those who can afford it or get paid off of it. If you are so fortunate to be on the receiving end of this bill ( which I'm sure some enterprising insurance company will provide coverage for...for a fee), remember that you are helping to stimulate the economy.


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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

What We Do With Hostage Takers

Last night "Angry Obama" made an appearance and scolded Democrats who have been crying foul over his capitulation to the Republicans over the Bush tax cuts. What caught my attention was his "hostage" analogy:

I think it's tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers, unless the hostages get harmed. Then people will question that strategy. In this case the hostage was the American people, and I was not willing to see them get harmed.


There is so much being said here such as, is this his Afghanistan policy? It's a fair question. However; most importantly is that if this Democratic president had any backbone, this comment, particularly about the American people being held hostage, would have been what he would have said after vowing to not sign a single piece of legislation that allows the Bush tax cuts to be continued for the "rich".

But the problem with this analogy is that we know that hostage taking ( legally kidnapping) is a criminal act. It is an act of coercion in which one party threatens the life of the captor in order to gain something that is not rightfully theirs. I'm not saying that the Republians (and some Democrats) are acting illegally, but if that's the analogy why capitulate to those you compare to criminals?

Hostage takers use this act only when they think it has a good chance of working. The hostage taker must believe that which they hold is of enough importance to a third party that the third party will do what the hostage taker wants.

During negotiations, the hostage taker may be "convinced" to make slight concessions such as freeing a hostage or two, but they do not EVER make concessions on their primary objective.

NEVER.

The proper hostage taker like any skilled negotiator knows what their objectives are and what they are willing to concede on in order to obtain that objective.

In this case the hostage takers represent the financed class (some of whom are not even citizens, but who's registered entities are subject to taxation). The finance interests in the US do not care about the hostages except for how they may be used for capital. They care about their long term interests: less taxes and access to government coffers.
They will gladly allow the unemployed to receive benefits because those benefits go directly to them on the form of debt payments. Seriously, unemployment benefits go to food, rent / mortgages and other non-discretionary expenditures.

Not only did the big money people get an extension of the Bush tax cuts, they got a reduction in the estate tax as well. They reduced payroll taxes as well, meaning that a country currently "at war" will be seeing less income to pay for it. I don't suppose that the defense contractors will be reducing their prices to the government to reflect this. Back to the hostage scenario though.

Obama is correct that negotiators will do what they can to prevent hostages being harmed. Problem is that in this case the hostages are already being harmed. It's not like they are employed. It's not as if the jobs they have lost are being replaced with new ones in the same sectors and paying an equivalent or ballpark wage. No, the hostages have been held for quite some time and no one bothered to notice. Their jobs were going overseas, they were being downsized, In just my short life I have seen TV's stop being manufactured in the US. i've watched most if not all computer manufacturing go offshore. I've seen the importation of quasi-slave labor from south of the border. All of these things have had an adverse effect on those hostage Americans.

So this is not actually a case of the hostages being kept from harm. The hostages have already been beaten and the hostage takers are threatening to shoot one or two. At some point it is determined that there is no negotiating with the hostage takers and a hard entry is done. Yes there are casualties, but it is understood that since the hostage takers don't intend to let any of the hostages live, the hard entry may save some of them and at the very least serve as an example to others that contemplate such actions in the future.

This was a hostage situation that the Republicans were going to lose. It may not have been a pretty fight and it may have have required a level of showmanship reserved for WWE, but it was winnable. But of course you gotta be willing to fight and scolding your supposed biggest supporters is not fighting.

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Joke's on You

And so last night I heard that the president was willing to cave on [yet another] campaign promise and extend the tax cuts enacted by President Bush. The reason for this being that the Republicans would not allow anything such as an extension on unemployment benefits to be voted on, much less approved, until this matter was settled. By settled, the Republicans meant "extended for the rich".

So the joke's on you. If there was ever a moment that so crystalized the fact that the Republicans are deeper in the pockets of the rich than our other corporate entity the DNC it is this particular nasty turn of events. There's always this talk about so called "class warfare" trotted out whenever someone mentions that those who aren't rich ought to tax the rich. It's a clear case of red baiting, but it still gets plenty of play in the traditional media. Still though, the rich manage to tax the poor with impunity. You know what they call that? "stimulating the economy."

The kicker of this "economic stimulation" that has been going on has been a net 0% economic growth over the last decade. Don't look all surprised. This has been reported by every news outlet there is. All the deregulation, non-regulation, non-oversight oversight and tax benefits extended to the rich has resulted in the highest, and thought by some to be the new normal, unemployment rate in current US history. So since that horse has already been ridden and has proven to be a loser with 3 bad legs, why is it still allowed to run in the race?

As if to add more comedy to this situation, it is being reported that various investment houses and banks are considering paying out bonuses early so that their employees would not have to pay higher taxes next year. The NY Times reporting that some executives don't want to "upset their employees" by leaving them exposed to such taxes. You would think that people living in the [formerly] richest country on the planet where they do not have to walk around with body guards and change their routes to work and home in order to avoid kidnappings or in "radio frequency free" mobile zones to avoid remote detonated bombs would appreciate sending ol' Sam his cut. You know, a "Thanks for the hook up dude."

You would think.

In a non-bizarro world the public holdup of unemployment benefits, needed precisely because of the actions of the catered to, rich, in order to give those same rich people more tax breaks, by the Republicans would make the party cease to exist in the next election. I would think there would be "random acts of violence" directed at such "leaders". Not that I'm calling for such acts but I would understand.

Bringing us back to Obama. This particularly public and nasty cave in, is an example par excellence of why young voters get completely turned off by voting and political participation in general. Tell that "change voter" who was all high on promises why they ought to be so hype about voting again?

Furthermore; if this is the best that the Democrats can do now, while they have majority in both houses, what the hell is going to happen next session? All this talk about needing 60 votes to avoid a filibuster. Look, make them stand up and do it. Let 'em shut down everything like they did in 1995. They seem to have fond memories of that.

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Egyptians were first...

Now with regard to mere human matters, the accounts which they gave, and in which all agreed, were the following. The Egyptians, they said, were the first to discover the solar year, and to portion out its course into twelve parts. They obtained this knowledge from the stars. (To my mind they contrive their year much more cleverly than the Greeks, for these last every other year intercalate a whole month, but the Egyptians, dividing the year into twelve months of thirty days each, add every year a space of five days besides, whereby the circuit of the seasons is made to return with uniformity.) The Egyptians, they went on to affirm, first brought into use the names of the twelve gods, which the Greeks adopted from them; and first erected altars, images, and temples to the gods; and also first engraved upon stone the figures of animals. In most of these cases they proved to me that what they said was true. And they told me that the first man who ruled over Egypt was Min, and that in his time all Egypt, except the Thebaic canton, was a marsh, none of the land below Lake Moeris then showing itself above the surface of the water. This is a distance of seven days' sail from the sea up the river.


Herodotus