Foto by tgw, New York City, November 2010
Say Goodbye to The Captain...Captain Beefheart just left the mortal coil. Finally his ashtray heart gave out.
Say Goodbye to Bob Feller, one of the greatest baseball pitchers of all time who easily could have won 400 games had he not joined the U.S. Navy in World War II and spent three years putting his life on the line in the South Pacific--those three years were in terms of his age the years most pitchers hit their peak. Still he came back from the service and pitched the Cleveland Indians (his team for life) into American League prominence from 1948 on into the 50s when Cleveland had some of the finest teams in baseball with an awesome pitching staff headed up by Bob Feller--said to have thrown the fastest ball ever--this before the days of speed guns.
Bob Feller, 92, American baseball player (Cleveland Indians), member of Baseball Hall of Fame, leukemia
You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.
I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they killed, there would be no more wars.
I miss Abbie Hoffman. He died in a converted turkey coop in New Hope, Pennsylvania, as Bruce Freed, a fugitive from justice, after taking 150 phenobarbital pills. He had recently been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. Abbie lived a FREE life. He was a psychology major at Brandeis where he studied with Abraham Maslow, the Humanitarian Psychologist.
Classic economic theory, based as it is on an inadequate theory of human motivation, could be revolutionized by accepting the reality of higher human needs, including the impulse to self actualization and the love for the highest values.
Finding good players is easy. Getting them to play as a team is another story.
We currently are having a bi-polar moment in the USA. Like we were enthusiastically excited after we swept Obama into the White Man's House with great expectations only to begin to have doubts about that "hopeful" enthusiasm with his first actions as president. Some of us had doubts before he was elected, but we were called spoilsports and too cynical for our own good.
My doubts about Obama (especially his being touted as a centrist liberal) for me really began after I saw him meeting with departing (faux)president Bush in the White Man's House as he was moving out and afterwards saying he found George W. Bush a likable fellow--saw nothing wrong with the man's ideals--especially the way he handled the War on the Afghanistan people. That signaled an "Uh-oh" in the cynical side of my brain. Bush right-on on Afghanistan? Afghanistan, where we've left hundreds of thousands of innocent Afghanistans dead, Afghanistans who now collectively feel their moms, dads, brothers, sisters, babies were murdered by this uninvited, invading-with-the-intent-to-occupy, foreign military force, an invasion ordered by a U.S. Commander in Chief, Georgie Porgie "A.W.O.L." Bush. This Commander in Chief a man, remember, who when Governor of Texas (see the Existentialist Cowboy's latest post on how G.W. and Rick Perry have ruined Texas) wrecked the education system, took the state into debt, and allowed 157 executions on Huntsville Prison's Death Row, one only one a few women to have ever been executed by the State of Texas. Little G.W., through both his birth family and his step-family in Saudi-Arabia, had direct connections to the US oil giants who have nurtured plans to put an oil and gas pipeline through the middle of Afghanistan. This idea has been well known by us clear thinkers since way back in the Clinton era (actually since the fall of the Soviet Union when those ex-Soviet states (especially those in Central Asia that had oil) were opened up to the worst of Capitalists, the Mafioso kind). This is an oil pipeline propositioned originally by oil company executive hotshot and Unka Dick Cheney/Hoover Institute-protege Condo-Leasing Rice along with the U.S. oil companies's man in Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai (where have I heard that name before?), both at the time working for a U.S. oil giant. So this little pipsqueak faux-president, G.W. Bush invaded with intentions of occupying the sovereign nation of Afghanistan on the pretense of capturing Osama bin Laden. At that time ironically Osama's brother, Prince Bandar bin Laden, was still considered a Bush Family member (Prince Bandar Bush). Georgie Porgie, our faux president, almost immediately after he was interrupted from reading My Pet Goat to a bunch of Florida elementary school kids (was this a payback to his brother, Jeb, who stole him the 2000 election?) was just darn sure Osama bin Laden (Bush) was the mastermind behind the Saudi-Arabian box-cutter-wielding hijackers preemptive attack on our sacred soil using American-based carrier airliners to miraculously bring down the twin towers of New York City's World Trade Center (a white elephant all its sordid life) and even further miraculously also bringing down several other unconnected WTC buildings (like buildings 5 & 7) and in the process wrecking our economy (nobody relates that miraculous military attack on 9/11 to any of our current fiscal problems). Then only 2 years later, Bush Baby, after bogging us down in Afghanistan for over a year and without a captured bin Laden, suddenly up and says to a question about bin Laden asked him by a journalist in one of G.W.'s dumbass press conferences that he was no longer interested in bin Laden and couldn't give a shit where he was or what he was doing. Then later, this failed oilman-baseball-team-owner ex-worthless President's worthless son near the end of his second stolen term in office washed his hands clean of the Afghan War by declaring it no longer a US war. NOW, he up and said, it was a NATO war. He turned the war over to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces (staffed by an overwhelming majority of US armed forces--like say 150,000)--NATO being an obsolete WWII organization that should have been shut down and forgotten in the 1950s.
Of course Obama promised he'd get us out of both wars during his hyperbole-chocked campaign speeches--getting us first out of Iraq immediately followed by Afghanistan a few months down the line. So what does he do when he gets into office? Why he extends his time line on when we're getting out of Iraq (and please don't tell me we are out of Iraq now) to a couple of years and not only doesn't he even think about ending the Afghanistan War, he suddenly says we ain't shutting that war down after all, and instead, he's gonna make it an even bigger war; in fact, he said, he's not only not going to shut down the Afghanistan War, he's going to send MORE troops to Afghanistan and make it an even bigger war than Bush could come up with--and remember now, neither president is interested in bin Laden anymore (though the CIA still gets billions of bucks for its bin-Laden-hunt-down-and-assassinate special forces unit that is perpetually funded in the CIA's unaccounted-for budget).
Then Obama throws a bucket of shit in our faces when he decides to carry this obnoxious and murderous Afghanistan War over into Pakistan (like Nixon trying to take the Vietnam War into Cambodia to keep it going--Nixon, too, excused his invasion of Cambodia on the grounds the Cong were using Cambodia to bring military supplies into Vietnam) to the point where it's now referred to as the Afghan-Paki War--and is also now referred to as "Obama's War," a title Obama has not denounced.
That's when the mental depression started setting in for progressives and liberals and where the maniac rightwingers who were depressed after losing to a Black Man began to pound their breasts in a gesture of extreme macho excitement over perhaps being able to put this dichty Black man in his place while at the same time bringing a vengeance down on Liberals, Hunanitarians, Senior Citizens, Poor People in General as they soak We the People dry...shit, it's too confusing to write seriously about. Like Abbie Hoffman, founder with Jerry Rubin of the Youth International Party--the Yippies--who ran a Pig for president, you have to keep your wits about you when you are a clear thinker by talking about such depressing and inevitably destructive comings in a humorous way--and Abbie could be so god-damn funny sometimes with his quips and scenarios. When I first moved to New York City, Abbie was a regular guest on radio station WBAI's late night show that radio personality Steve Post hosted. This was during BAI's glory years--when they as a radio station were actively involved in national and local politics and economics and sociology--when it really was a pacifist radio station. You can see Abbie's style-effect on entertainment personalities the likes of the Ramones, Paul Krassner, George Carlin, and later Howard Stern, who even imaged himself after Abbie--and Joey Ramone.
My solution to our bi-polar disorder is not 150 phenobarbital tablets, but rather a need to relax and start all over again--like have another Continental Congress or something, but this time, let the American Indians lead the sessions and let the members with the highest values from each culture work on writing the new Constitution. "Members with the highest values." That's Abraham Maslow's meaning in the above quote. There are positive values; yet, we only hear our oppositional sides pouring over the negative values. "The Democrats are spending us into chaos." "The Republicans are scary and ooooh, we have to be careful with them or we'll lose our one-billion-dollar-rich campaign coffers we'll need to run Obama or Mrs. Clinton in the 2012 election; an election we must be careful...." The Honest Liars (the Teabaggers and ultraConservatives--the revolutionaries, as Paul Krugman calls them) versus the Dishonest Liars (right now President Obama and the corporate clowns in whose asses he has chosen to bury his nose--even as I type this--he is meeting with big shots from the Top 10 corporations behind closed White Man's House doors). The "honest" liars are those who agree with the idiot goon Republican politician in New Jersey recently trashing Obama's wanting to extend unemployment insurance for 13 weeks for the 10-to-20% of We the People who are out of work or another 50% who are currently losing their jobs at any moment of every day. This goon's reason for trashing the unemployed: in his goony dunderheaded way, he felt extending unemployment benefits was conducive to giving these lazy bastards a free ride for a year--because you see, with extended unemployment "benefits" (13 weeks in this new Tax-Break (for) Bill(ionaires)), these lazy bastards (and to Republicans, and this can be proven historically, all American workers of the workingclass kind are lazy good for nothings) will be tempted to just sit around idling away time instead of going out and finding another job immediately. Oh boy. Yes, you're unemployed for the past 26 weeks. You've been looking for a job but there aren't any--not even at the local Walmart. Suddenly it's Christmas and your unemployment insurance is coming to an end. The last check comes. And Congress is hung up over whether to give these poor bastards a government-backed extension of unemployment insurance payments for 13 weeks. In the meantime, sitting with no job and no unemployment insurance and bankers traipsing around your property all day taking photographs and foreclosure predators ringing your doorbell and driving slowly by you house 24/7--and here's this New Jersey Republican asshole politician calling you a lazy good for nothing bastard who should have a job by now. You catch my drift I'm sure. This Republican asshole who as a politician has a job making over $130,000-a-year, with the finest healthcare benefits in the world and with a salary for life for just serving one term in Congress perhaps--and here's this asshole holding up an extension of unemployment payments with one of those famous Republican smirky attitudes--it's that Bush-approved "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps" (and under their breath they say, "Whether you've got boots or not") way of personal achievement--you know follow in his footsteps to success. (I add in sarcastic apology that "These lazy bastards" were not this New Jersey nutjob's words: his words were "these people," though those of us who read "honest" liar code words, "these people" usually means Blacks and Latinos...and, yes, the lowest of the poorest Whites, who by the way, are going to see their taxes go UP and stay UP after January 1st, 2011. And that's why this goon was not going to vote for an extension of unemployment insurance. But you see, the goon is lying, but it's "honest" lying because in this fool's "heart" he knows he's right. He knows these are the people who used to line our welfare roles back when the Democrats were taking us toward a Socialist agenda.
I recall as a kid back during WWII hearing this same rhetoric used by the Republicans (Taft-Rockefeller-Standard-Oil Republicans) against President Franklin Roosevelt's National Recovery Act and Works Project Administration set up in order to give jobs to the Great Depression's (a depression caused by Republican rich-boy economics--Hoovernomics) unemployed. And I hazard to say one of the reasons Obama is looking like a Republican asskisser is he's trying to avoid being tagged a New Deal Democrat, the Democrats who the Republican truly hate. These are the same "liberal spending" "Keynesian" Democrats who whipped their asses royally in the 1932 election that swept Democrat FDR into office; then Harry S. Truman shocked their racist asses in 1948 by squeaking one by tough-guy, former DA of NYC, Tom Dewey. Then came the 1964 election when Lyndon Johnson kicked slimy Barry Goldwater's ignorant ass a 100 times around the block in the largest mandate vote in the history of presidential elections up to that time. They are also, don't forget, revenging the Democrats's treatment of Richard "I Am Not a Crook" Nixon after that crook got caught breaking into Dumbcratic headquarters in the District of Corruption (of course Tricky Dick deny, deny, denied any knowledge of this break in--but then John Dean testified that hell yes the Tricky One knew about it; hell, he'd even approved the idea). And all of this bullshit led to the boring Wategate hearings that eventually led to Nixon being impeached, except he resigned in a fit of overdramatic melodrama before Congress voted on it to then be "forgiven" by the never-elected President Gerald Ford, the man, remember, who Lyndon Johnson said was so dumb he couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time. The Republicans tried in revenge for Nixon's disgrace to impeach Bill "Casanova" Clinton, at which they failed, though don't worry, it's a revenge they will now try and impose on President Obama. Obama knows this. He's got Dirty Dick Morris around still advising him--anybody remember Dirty Dick?
Obama's in political shit now up to his sinking chin--watch his victory speeches--his head is held high and he's determinedly proud--now watch his speeches--he's hulking, hunched, with begging continuance, and head fallen so obviously--just as his hair greys further every day he's in office. All our presidents turn grey in office, with the exception of Ronald "Raygun" Reagan whose hair actually got henna-dyed redder the longer he stayed in office, even after he became an Alzheimer's poster boy his second term in office when Nancy Reagan and Jeanne Dixon the phony soothsayer were running the government.
It is such a damn shame about how Obama turned out. Such a farcical moment in our history that is so serious...I mean, come on, like Abbie, you gotta turn this into a comedy act--and we progressives have had our brilliant comics--Mort Sahl, Abbie, Dick Gregory, George Carlin. The trouble is, these comics are so brilliant a lot of their humor goes right over the dumbass populaces's heads.
The Republicans at this moment are not yet the majority in the House. The Dumbocrats are still the majority in both Houses. Why is Obama making compromise with these assholes now when he has the majority? After January 12th, the Repubs will be the majority in the House--then forget compromises--these bastards are going after We the People with a vengeance. First of all they are going to start blaming the deficit not on themselves but on Obama. They are going to start cutting like mad not where they could cut and easily fix the deficit--but NO, they aren't cutting in those places. The biggest budgets in government spending are the MILITARY, HOMELAND SECURITY, FOREIGN AID, MEDICARE, and SOCIAL SECURITY. Now, you figure it out. Where are they going to cut? Damn right if you said Medicare and Social Security--oh yes. Social Security is a huge pool of monies that workers pay into through the 6% FICA taxes--which means the worker is buying into the Social Security system--and your SS payments are based on the amount you earned in your lifetime and the payments you made--I think the best you can make on SS is $1100-a-month; most Americans, especially women, don't get the top-level money but rather say $800-a-month or $900-a-month. Even at $1100-a-month, that's only $13, 200-a-year. Tell me who can live on $13,000-a-year and I'll show you a financial genius who should be an economic advisor to President Obama. Even retired couples where both are getting SS are only making tops $26,000-a-year--which is according to our government the border line of poverty. The SS pool was supposedly a pool unto itself, a self-perpetuating pool of money--the government holding securely our own paid-into retirement plans. It's a genius plan really, as is our Medicare plan, a plan used by many other countries much more successfully than we use it. (I just read where big pharmaceuticals have bilked We the People through fraud of billions of dollars (in Medicare fraud and fraud in Bush's hard-sell Plan D drug-payment part of Part B Medicare and fraud through doctors, who are notorious anyway of bilking Medicare for billions a year).)
Remember the corporate world is Republican. The Military Industrial Complex's ex-general overseers are all Republicans. John Stockwell said he was a staunch Republican at first. His being a Republican was the reason he became a gung-ho soldier in the first place and definitely the reason he proudly joined the CIA when they recruited him. And, yes, the CIA does keep track of every soldier in the US armed forces, checking them out as potential agents--I myself upon discharge from the U.S. Army was contacted by the CIA Kansas City office and offered a job as an Economics evaluator, which meant I would sit all day reading newspapers and searching them for local economics items like county pig production or local grain prices or local crop problems or cost-of-living indexes for all the towns and cities in a certain area.
Rudy Giuliani is a Republican. He alone would keep me from ever becoming a Republican. Billionaire Mayor of New York City (he wants to rename it Bloomberg City) Mike Bloomberg is wishy-washy, he's been a Democrat before, but now he's a Republican, though, he's so fucking rich he can be anything he wants to be--he'll pose as an Independent when he makes his own run for President in 2012. Alan "Hardheaded Old Fogey Asshole" Simpson is a Republican. Oh yeah, the billionaire politicians (the K(r)o(t)ch Brothers, Tom De Lay, Mitt Romney, the Rockefellers, for instance) are Republicans. Wall Streeters are all Republicans. Your bank president is a Republican. I worked at an advertising firm that promoted Republican candidates--the company's "Vision," too, was packed with Republican ideals. "Hard work gains the greatest rewards." "Loyalty to the company is premier" (why whistleblowers are considered stoolies rather than revolutionaries).
So, it's gonna be a hard rain that's gonna fall on We the People of the USA. A rain that's gonna leave all avenues of escape so muddy we may be struck in a rut of a large measure of the blue-willie-doldrums (the Heebie-Jeebies) these fast-coming fast-passing years in this country. Mostly we'll be depressed, but there'll be moments of great expectations--"OH NO," as Mr. Bill used to say.
By the way, the Democrats caved in to the Republican assholes on the tax break issue last night--by a 60% majority vote, which means some Dumbocrats had to cross the aisle. There was debate but nobody listened to the reasonable aspects of what debate there was.
I wonder what kind of comic relief will be offered us clear thinkers when We the People of the USA elect Sarah Palin (put "Palin" in SpellCheck and you get "plain" as your first choice for change) our first woman president? Oh boy, I can't wait. "OH NO," as Mr. Bill used to say.
for The Daily Growler
To Be Remembered, By the Way, the Unidentifiable Characters Who Keep This Open-Air-Thinking Blog Going:
Managing editor: Austin Highchew
Reporters: Walter Crackpipe, Senior Reporter; Frannie Silverstein/Zoey Silverstein, Reporters; Mr. Ed out of Cantankerous, editorial editor; Helen Highman-Klein-LaCloos, poetry editor; Elmer Snowedin, The Daily Growler poet laureate; Barabbas Munn-Dayne, The Daily Growler Jots & Tittles Man; marvelousmarvbackbiter, Sports Reporter; Mr. Met, a sometime contributor; Donkey Hote (the late great Fred Rogers), mascot.
One Down and Out of Our Lives: Richard Holbrooke Has Died. "Adios, Dick, enjoy the hell out of Hell."