31 January 2017

Prophets of Doom: Trump Version

My words, someone else's Photoshop skills. Go on, click it!

I don't usually post other people's words directly, but this is too fucking important not to repeat. Click the graphic to read the whole article. Trust me, you need to see this coming before it hits you.
"I’m reading this as “1933 playbook continues on schedule, pace slightly higher than last time: something between maybe 1.2x and 2x, but without the possibility of a major land war to show up on the horizon.” For foreign-born Muslims and Latinos who are undocumented, related to someone undocumented, or who might be confused for undocumented, I’d say that the red flag is up, and it’s time to consider exit strategies with a 6-month window. US-born Muslims, Latinos who have more stability inside the country, and Jews have a somewhat longer time horizon available, but I’d start quietly thinking about options for when things change. Advice for the black and trans communities is simpler, because everyone already knows it: Organize! The advantage there is in numbers and shared strength, and in community. That’s also good advice for all of the other groups: even if you’re thinking about your exit strategy, you have very good reason to make common cause, and for everyone to work and pull together. That’s the thing that has a chance of preventing all of this, and of saving the most lives when that fails."

Second verse, worse than the first.

I took off down the road, went out to do some work
But all my tools were busted, so I nearly lost my shirt
The client got pissed off, and started acting like a jerk
If things don't change direction soon somebody's gettin' hurt

30 January 2017

Bad lyrics

I woke up much too early, on the shitty side of bed
Too much pain and suff'ring going on inside my head
Tried to read the morning paper, but all I see is red
Things don't change direction soon, I fear we'll all be dead

Keep it.

I woke up this morning shortly after midnight; laid in bed, awake, until after 3:30, thinking about all the insanity, worrying about when the people I worked for last year are going to pay me so I can pay my taxes this year, wanting to stop living in this shitty world, but still tied to enough people I care about not to leave, yet.

I live in a community that prides itself on its "traditional family values" and Christianity, but these people voted for the Nazis in the White House. They would kill Muslims if they thought they could get away with it. Gays and Mexicans too. They'd kill unbelievers like me too. It all disgusts me. I've never fit in, and now I'm beginning to be glad I never did, in spite of the pain ostracism causes. If this is the kind of world your Christian values create, keep it. I'd rather burn in Hell.

29 January 2017

The art of Fred Ellis.

I came across these "cartoons" while looking for words and imagery to devour the other night.  The artist was an American named Fred Ellis

Fred Ellis was born in 1885, in Chicago.  He worked at a number of different jobs as a young man, and participated in the 1905 Chicago packinghouse strikes. 

He saved $100, over three years, and enrolled himself at the Chicago Institute of Fine Arts, which lasted all of about two months.

At this point, Fred became a sign painter, specializing in large outdoor signs, and worked for twenty-one years at this trade.

In 1919, while working for the General Outdoor Advertising Company, Ellis slipped and fell five stories from a scaffold.  Miraculously, he survived, breaking a mere thirty-two bones when he bounced off the asphalt below. 

Recovery began with six weeks in a hospital, followed by two years during which he was forced to use crutches and/or a cane. 

During this period, Ellis became familiar with a weekly magazine called The New Majority.  The publisher reprinted artwork by such leading radical artists of the day as Art Young and Boardman Robinson, so the injured sign painter began submitting his art to The New Majority.

Ellis drew extensively for the Communist movement from 1923 onward, contributing material to The Daily Worker, The Liberator, The Labor Herald, and other publications. From 1930 to 1936, Fred lived in Berlin and Moscow, where he worked for Pravda, Izvestiya, and the Moscow Daily News.  In 1936 he returned to The Daily Worker and began teaching at the American Artists School, retiring in 1955, ten years before his death.

28 January 2017

A reaction toward proto-feminism?


Everyday revolution.

Our world revolves once 
every twenty-four hours, 
a new revolution every day. 
Every day, a revolution.
A new revolution every day.
Everyday revolution.

Revolutionary!

May every revolution you witness
be as revolutionary as you
need it to be.

May every revolution we witness
be as revolutionary as our children
need us to be.

The legend of the pregnant Easter donkey.

Since no one has asked, I thought I'd go ahead and explain a bit about the pregnant Easter donkey, and how she got that way.

April was called Eosturmonath ("Easter-month") because in pagan times the month was dedicated to Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. When Christianity infected northern Europe and England, Easter was co-opted by the blood cult of Jesus.

Painted eggs are part of the Iranian holiday tradition surrounding the beginning of the Persian new year, celebrated on the day of the astronomical Northward equinox.  The ancient Zoroastrian tradition has existed for at least 2,500 years and continues to this day.

So, what the fuck does that have to do with a donkey, right? I'm glad you asked.

The donkey, or ass, is a member of the horse family, Equidae. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African wild ass, E. africanus,, and was probably first domesticated in Egypt or Mesopotamia.

Donkeys have been used as a working stock for at least 5,000 years.  Most of the more than forty million donkeys in the world today are used principally as draught or pack animals in underdeveloped nations, often by those living at or below subsistence levels.

A male donkey, or ass, is called a jack, a female a jenny.   Jack donkeys are often bred with female horses to produce mules; the biological "reciprocal" of a mule, from a stallion and jenny, is called a hinny.  Donkeys typically gestate for about twelve months, though the period can vary from ten to fourteen months, and usually results in a single foal.

None of which has a damned thing to do with Easter or eggs, other than perhaps the possibility that  by Easter we might all wish we had a donkey or two, perhaps a few egg-laying hens of some kind, or even some toilet paper, vodka, or pain killers for barter if the Republican Death Squads in Congress, and the out of control Toddler in the Oval Office aren't brought to heel soon.

Remember the Challenger Seven.


After Blake

Petrified against infinity, the watchman forsook his ancient
mansion; driven out in dismal torment and bended down,
sought solace in the harlot's false virginity.

The Trump of doom wraps itself in the harlot's womb, until
charity become injury; generosity a science by which men
grow rich, and empires rise and fall, and rise again.

The villain preaches abstinence, consumed by devilish hands;
dignitary of a demon soul, trapped in finite revolutions, sentenced
to an uncertain future on this, our Alcatraz.

Awaken, thunders of the deep, lovers of wild rebellion, let us
laugh at war, and take refuge from our oppressors and
revel in this finite wall of flesh.

Man became a transgressor of gods.  No more let us follow;
no more obedience pay.  Empires of blasphemy rise from
bright ruins, and God, the tyrant, died.

Morning comes, the starry night decays, the watchmen
leave their stations.  My lover lingers, the Earth trembles
beneath, howling across centuries long unraveled,

A ray of darkness glittering along the time-space continuum,
dancing the spiral of infinity.

27 January 2017

Employment questions from a 1950s federal application.


It's not the regulations, Stupid.

'Corporate America' makes everything more difficult and more expensive for everyone.  Layer upon layer of tape - red and many other hues - to fight our way through; time wasted on asinine procedures that create jobs for people otherwise unqualified to wipe asses in a daycare center; not to mention legalese ad infinitum.  A simple one hour service call to a local facility requires two hours of professional gymnastics in the back office just to authorise the project.

This is why you can't have nice things.

25 January 2017

International solidarity, now more important than ever.


I cannot believe that I am living in this world.

When I was in middle (junior high) school we had a music teacher whose family had obviously been through, and was deeply affected by, the Holocaust. I witnessed her broken down in tears almost daily for three years, all because some heartless, cloven-hooved redneck kids heard about her "triggers" and could always be counted on to come running,  push her buttons, and make the old lady cry.  All for a cheap, ugly laugh.

Those same kids, I might add, are now all grown up and middle-aged. Many are now grandparents.  More than a few warm a church pew every time the doors swing open or a bell rings, in almost Pavlovian fashion.  I guess it's true, what one of my childhood friends once told me in response to the question, "how come so many old people are so hot to go to church all the time?" When the dick stops working, a lot of men suddenly find the need to find God. I don't know if it's because they fucked over so many women when old Woody still stood tall, or because they genuinely fear mortality.  Either way, it's fucking silly.

Anyway, back to the resurgence of Naziism in the world, here in the 21st century.  There are actual human beings out there DEFENDING ADOLPH FUCKING HITLER today, and openly hoping Donald Trump will, "do a better job" of wiping out the undesirables among us, according to these fascist loving bigots.

Fucking Hitler!!!

My grandparents and yours fought that bastard. Millions of people died fighting that murderer, more died at his hand!  Maybe it is time to leave.

I shoulda been buying houses.

I used to think I own a small business, but I'm really just a subcontractor; a one-man band playing a very unique set of instruments that few know how to "play" and fewer still own.  I still very much work for 'the Man'.

Tax wise, self-employment is a pretty shitty deal.  Don't get me wrong, it beats the Hell out of wage slavery by miles, but if I had it to do over again... I might have tried a few other things.

Think about this:  If I go out and earn $30k in taxable income this year, come tax time next year, I have to pay whatever the going rate in my income tax bracket is, plus I have to pay 15.3% self-employment tax, off the top.

Like I said, my little traveling sideshow gig is better than wage slavery, but there are even easier ways to make a living, if you get started early enough.  For instance, I could have been a real estate investor.

Apparently, to be a 'real estate professional' one need not even become a licensed realtor.  Properly managed, income from real estate investments can require little or no social security/self employment taxes because most of the income is treated as long term capital gains.  For relatively poor married couples, it appears to me that the current long term capital gains tax rate for incomes between $18k and about $75k is 0%. Yes, I said zero percent.

Self-employment taxes do not apply to long term capital investment gains.  Rental income carries the mortgage, taxes, and upkeep until time to sell.

23 January 2017

Now is the time to be unreasonable and hysterical.

I was reading something this morning, an article about living with an autocrat, which is a fancy word for an asshole like Trump.  They listed a number of rules for surviving the coming wave of idiocy we're going to be swimming in.
Rule #4: Be outraged. If you follow Rule #1 and believe what the autocrat-elect is saying, you will not be surprised. But in the face of the impulse to normalize, it is essential to maintain one’s capacity for shock. This will lead people to call you unreasonable and hysterical, and to accuse you of overreacting. It is no fun to be the only hysterical person in the room. Prepare yourself.
See, that's funny, because I've been that guy for thirty or forty years.  I'm good at it.  I've been seeing things before others see them; warning people about climate change, back when we called it global warming and the greenhouse effect; pointing out the fascist elements in both dominant American political parties; calling out even "good Democrats" for their pro-corporate, pro-Wall Street, anti-labor policies, and getting ignored forever.

Yeah, I know the part of contrarian well.  I know how to be the screaming lunatic nobody listens to.

Bring it!

21 January 2017

Welcome to Trumpland.

First they came for the Muslims, but I'm not Muslim, why should I care?
Then they came for the Mexicans. My neighbor's girlfriend was a Mexican, but he'll find a new girlfriend soon, right?
When they evicted all the gays last year, it was hard to watch my friends and family members move away, but I'm sure they'll be happier in the new colony, among their own kind, right?
Lucky I gave up smoking pot when I did. When the DEA swept the neighborhood last month, my neighbor tested positive. They shot him on the spot. I hope his life insurance covered that?
I heard there was going to be a lottery for empty houses next month. I'm gonna try to get that old atheist's place down the road. Hope it's not possessed.
Welcome to Trumpland.

Paranoid?

Yesterday a former coworker from The Old Company called me up. He's now running an office for Master Contractor employed by Ma Bell's latest southern incarnation. They install the cables that make all this internet and telephone stuff work.

Him: I have a job for you if you're not too busy.
Me: Okay, I'll meet you there in the morning.

He sent me a nice construction print, like I used to get to play with all the time, and almost miss. Their job entailed installing cable from a utility pole at an intersection, bringing it under the road and parallel to another road into a small industrial park, and then crossing a wide asphalt parking lot to serve an industrial client. Looked pretty straight forward.
My job is to find and mark underground utilities so that people doing this sort of work can do so safely, without injury, property damage, or service interruption.  I own my own tools, provide my own insurance, pay my own taxes; I am self-employed.
In the US we have a national one-call system, 811, that people can call to get most utilities marked free of charge, paid for by the utility companies that own the lines, or their contractors.  I was that contracted employee for eighteen years; so was my former coworker.  At one time he was my immediate supervisor, despite the fact that I had twice his experience (thus are the peculiarities of American late-stage capitalism). 
We worked under a contract with Bell.  We all learned to despise Bell, because Bell often seemed to go out of its way to make our job impossible, and as contractors, we had none of the protections afforded employees of Bell through their union, the Communication Workers of America.  In fact, many of those Bell employees viewed us as little better than scabs, since we were doing work that used to be part of their job and its security.
Master Contractor, my friend's new employer, owns and maintains a fleet of vehicles and technicians equipped to do the job I do.  Many other utilities to be found on the proposed project site are covered by 811 contract services, so why, I asked myself, do they need me in the picture?
I went to the meeting this morning and discovered the wrinkle. There are several buildings in the industrial park, all served by a central, metered, electrical substation. All the secondaries are privately owned and maintained (not owned by Big Power, as is more typical), and therefore would not be covered by 811 services after all.
Usually, at this point, I would dive into the job and start working, but this is Bell I'm dealing with, and I know how shit rolls off that mountain.

Me: When do you have to have this installed?
Him: Next Wednesday, we've already pushed it back two days.

I looked around at the wet ground, the wet waist deep weeds all around the substation, and then, at the top of the hill, I spotted the crew coming around the corner, ready to begin installing the cable, right now, today.

Me: I'm sorry, I don't think I can take this.
Him, visibly deflating: I can get you some help.

Me, silently: You have the tools and ability to find this stuff as well as I can. You only need me for a sacrifice should something go wrong. 
Me, aloud:  Sorry, I'm not in this thing for kind of liability or stress.

Drops mic, drives away.

20 January 2017

Still waiting for an apology that's never coming.

On February 05, 2016, at 8:46am, I wrote the following on Facebook.  It has been slightly edited for clarity.  I re-post it here, today, the day we inaugurate the most unqualified fascist puppet to ever occupy the White House.  America is dead, and I tried to warn you.

"For months now I have been bombarded daily by friends, regardless of which Democratic candidate they support, who seem hell bent on forcing every other registered Democrat they know to "pledge to support the nominee" in November.  This has, from day one, irritated the shit out of me, and I think I've finally found the words to articulate why this behavior bothers me so much.

"I am an active, registered, dues paying member of the Democratic Party, way down here at the county level.  My wife is a precinct co-chair, and we both sit on several committees.  What candidate I will be voting for in the general election, if you know me at all, should go without saying, and it is insulting to me that any self-proclaimed liberal person should feel the need to force a public pledge of fealty from me or any other activist Democrat.

"I want what I believe is best for my country, my state, and my community, today and tomorrow.  I am a liberal, progressive, democratic socialist of the most fervent Marxist variety, but I am also a practical idealist, a mortgagee, and a business owner.  I find the policies and the ideas that drive the Republican Party today to be utterly reprehensible, and often based on ignorance and lies.  They must not be allowed to further their nefarious fascist agenda.

"If the Democratic Party chooses Hillary Clinton as our nominee I will be disappointed, yet again.  I sincerely believe that we stand a better chance of losing the general election with Clinton at the top of our ticket because she simply does not inspire the kind of fervor and zeal that Sanders inspires, especially in left-leaning independent voters.  Choose Sanders and we get all those votes that Clinton will not ever attract.  Choose Clinton and they will all stay home.

"I know these words don't win me any friends among those in the Clinton camp and those stubbornly stuck in old patterns of thinking, but my position will remain: choose Clinton at our peril, choose Sanders for the win."

I was right then, I am still right today, but not a God damned one of my so-called friends has had the nerve, much less the decency, to come to me and say, "Hey man, I was wrong. We lost. You nailed it."

I don't care so much about the acknowledgement as I care about the fact that maybe next time you hard-headed motherfuckers will shut up and listen, or at least try to see things from my perspective.

19 January 2017

Help, I'm covered in dog vomit.

My dog got sick today.

I was out on a job about 45 minutes away, working inside a major welfare queen, I mean, retail giant's distribution terminal, with traffic all around for much of the morning.  When I got ready to process the client's credit card and grabbed my phone I discovered a half a dozen missed calls, four voicemails, a Facebook message; all from my wife, and a text message from her father to "call home rite now".

I thought someone had died!

Turned out my dog, who had taken a healthy dump in my self-hating, Trump-humping gay neighbor's driveway this morning - by chance, not intent - had lain down on the porch a bit and crapped himself. Not normal behaviour.

By the time I got home he was behaving a bit better, but it was a short-lived rebound and soon he had barfed up about a half pound of well digested... something.

Wife, who could stand, and has stood in a pool of blood all day, when it couldn't be avoided, can't stand the sight of vomit or snot, but she somehow managed to get the majority of Dog's regurgitation out of the house before bailing, leaving the rest of the clean-up to me.

I cleaned the remainder of the vomit off the furniture and took the towel outdoors to shake out the larger particles. Out of habit and, obviously, without thinking, I was suddenly overcome with the desire to snap the towel. That, I can assure you, was a mistake I'll not soon forget.

When you snap a wet towel, it creates a wave that ends with a very percussive something-or-other, releasing 90% (it seems) of the fine particulates and liquids trapped in said towel.  The end result is and was not pleasant, as I was literally covered in a light coating of fine canine vomit.

We ended up taking Dog to the vet, who is running blood tests and medicated said hound.  He is quite floppy at the... wait a minute...

Aw, man, he did it again.   I gotta go.

18 January 2017

Ancient wisdom.

I don't always get my advice on living from ancient books, but when I do, you can bet it's not gonna be the Goat-Herder's Guide to the Galaxy.

17 January 2017

I don't want no gubmint kontrol'n mah hethcar!

I've had it with these idiot dickwipes worried about government controlling access to their medical care.

Seriously?  Y'all still harping on that?  

You do realize that unless you're on Medicaid, Medicare, or independently wealthy, a for-profit corporation designed not to deliver quality health care and produce healthy people, but purely to extract profits from the misery of sick people controls what healthcare you receive, right?  

No, you're really that stupid?  Are you brain damaged? Dropped at birth? Product of inbreeding?

I don't suppose you have a clue as to how utterly fucking stupid and childish this attitude not only makes you look, but by association, makes us all look that way to the rest of the world? 

Please, just sit the fuck down and shut up. Go back to selling illegal pills or smoking meth or blowing cocks or whatever you do between unemployment checks. The grown ups have work to do.

16 January 2017

I no longer trust American journalism.

I've had it. That shitstorm that blew up, and is still brewing, about Trump, the Russians, and the election, and all the finger pointing over "fake" news, was the last straw.  I've known for decades that all mainstream media is biased toward the perspective of those who own it: billionaires.

The only thing a free press guarantees is that we get some rich asshole's opinion, whether it bears ant resemblance to reality or not. Everyone has an agenda, that's a given, but now most American media, and that of many other places on the planet, is owned by a handful of oligarchs, the likes of which make Donald J. Trump look like a street urchin.  He who controls the press writes the agenda.

Over to the right, at the top of the page you're currently reading you'll find a list of news sources, most of which are from outside the United States. Some are state funded; several are independent US based newcomers with, so far, decent track records for in-depth, objective reporting from a human perspective.  Some of it is propaganda, but that shit will always be with us, as long as we cling to capitalism.

Yours for the Revolution.

14 January 2017

First, they came for the immigrants.

If you voted for Trump, you are okay with racists, homophobes, and other bigots occupying terrible power, and no friend of mine.

You voted for a man who says it's okay for people to assault women and other minorities whenever they feel like it. What happens when it's your wife? Daughter? Sister? Mother?

First they came for the immigrants...

12 January 2017

Welcome to the machine.

Bernays and Powell are laughing in their graves,
while Orwell bangs his head bloody.

The job is done, the deal sealed: end stage disease.

Huxley?

He's still riding that last rainbow-tinted wave he went
out on, blind eyes staring into the setting sun.

And here we find ourselves, at the cliff on the
edge of an abyss we cannot fathom.

11 January 2017

All you elitists need to shut the fuck up.

Maybe I saw it coming from so far out because I'm neither an elitist liberal, nor a rural elitist.

I have spent more than half my life working outside, usually in a highway right-of-way, or a utility easement behind your house (and that damned fence you stuck in the middle of my office).  I've worked in pouring rain for hours after my clothes were soaked completely through. I've worked beside men submerged up to their necks in water during in an ice storm.  I've been dog bitten, shot at, threatened with arrest or assault, or both. I've been stung or bitten by almost every bug and bee species in the state, and had snakes, venomous and not fall out of utility boxes and trees on me more than once.  And I've seen bodies pulled from work pits, charred beyond recognition from fires caused by broken pipelines, and crushed in ditch collapse incidents when safety regulations were ignored.

Maybe that's how I knew that we could not win, why enough of a nation rejected a candidate with a perfect resume to allow an incompetent fascist oligarch access to the highest seat in our government.

Read this piece, ESPECIALLY if you might fit the profile of an urban or coastal "liberal elite" or some variation on said theme.  Odds are, if you have a college degree, live in a two income family, and /or are considered a professional, you fit the profile.

I know these people, I live and work beside them.  If you and I can't reach them, we need to find a new method of communication or rethink the message.  I am a liberal, I am a redneck.  My office is outside, in the elements, all the time.  I don't sleep in, and I'm not stupid.  Neither are many of the people who voted for Trump:  they're just bigots.

10 January 2017

Life is too short to wait for the proletariat uprising

So, this story, and many others like it, circulates on social media regularly, followed by a heartfelt admonition not to judge others hastily -- if at all, as if not judging at all is ever wise unless you're choosing which Cd to play in the car on the way home from wherever -- and yaddah, yaddah, on and on, copy, paste, chain letter, blah, blah blah...
“My boss drove a luxury car everyday and it was my duty to greet him and to open the gates for him, as I worked as a watchman in his villa. But he never responded back to my greetings.
One day he saw me opening the garbage bags outside the villa in search for any leftover food. But, as usual he never even looked at me, it was like as if he never saw anything!
The very next day I saw a paper bag at the same place, but it was clean and the food inside was covered well. It was fresh and good food like someone had just brought it from the supermarket. I didn't bother as to where it came from, I just took the paper bag and I was so happy about it.
Every day I found this paper bag at the same place with fresh vegetables and all that we needed for home. This became my daily routine. I was eating and sharing this food with my wife and kids. I was wondering who this fool could be?! To forget his paper bag full of fresh food everyday.
One day there was a big problem in the villa and I was told that my boss has died. There were too many guests coming to the villa that day and I didn't get any food that day, so I thought that one of the guests must have taken it. But the same thing happened the 2nd day, the 3rd day and the 4th day.
It went on like this for a few weeks and I found it difficult to provide food for my family, so I decided to ask the wife of my boss for a raise in my salary or else I would quit my job as a watchman.
After I told her, she was shocked, and asked me, how come you never complained about your salary for the last 2 years? And why is this salary not enough for you now? I gave her so many excuses but she was never convinced!
Finally in the end, I decided to tell her the truth, I told her the entire story of the bag of groceries, and as to how it was my daily provision. She then asked me as to when this stopped? I told her after the death of her husband. And then I realized that I stopped seeing the paper bag immediately after the death of my boss.
Why didn't I ever think of this before? That it was my boss who was providing this for me? I guess it was because I never thought that a person who never replied to my greetings could ever be this generous!
His wife started to cry and I told her to please stop crying and that I'm really sorry that I asked for a raise, I didn't know that it was your husband who was providing me with the meals, I’ll remain as a watchman and be happy to provide my service.
His wife told me, I'm crying because I've finally found the 7th person my husband was giving this bag full of food. I knew my husband was giving 7 people everyday, I had already found the 6 people, and all these days I was searching for the 7th person. And today I found out.
From that day onwards, I started to receive the bag full of food again, but this time his son was bringing it to my house and giving it to my hand. But whenever I thanked him, he never replied! Just like his dad!
One day, I told him THANK YOU in a very loud voice! He replied back to me to please not be offended when he doesn't reply, because he has a hearing problem, just like his dad!”
Isn't that just precious and heart-rending?

Anything to keep the rich guy from being expected to pay his employees a decent wage, right?

I cannot believe the mental contortions and deformities most people put themselves through to justify the thing that creates all poverty: capitalism.

Someone in the original poster's comment thread said, 'working for food is slavery'. Indeed it is.

Locking up the food is the first step in controlling a population, whether a family, a village, or a nation-state.  We are all working for food, and we are all, even the oligarchs, beholden to this system of exploitation, no matter our place on the scale of poverty and wealth.

It's a beautiful story, with a well intended moral: take care of each other, but why is the rich man's charity praised instead of his greed being shamed?

Sorry for the buzzkill, but life's too short to wait for the proletariat uprising.

09 January 2017

What is the meaning of this?

Words mean things, but often, our government and media use foreign words that mean one thing, and twist them into something insidious, terrifying even.
For instance, take the word Kremlin. According to the consensus at Wikipedia, "the Kremlin, is a fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River to the south, Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square to the east, and the Alexander Garden to the west. It is the best known of the kremlins (Russian citadels) and includes five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. Also within this complex is the Grand Kremlin Palace. The complex serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation."
So, in reality, the Kremlin is the Russian version of the White House, with a fort! In short, when the media refers to "the Kremlin" what they really mean, currently, is Mr. Putin. Are they afraid to say directly, such and so behaviour was done by Vladimir Putin?
It's like the way they treat Islamic people. Instead of saying we bombed a school, they say we bombed a madrasa. Means the same thing, but saying madrasa lets dumb, unthinking Americans off the hook for supporting the killing of schoolchildren.
Or the word, Allah. It simply means God, in the Arabic language. The same language that gave us our numbering system and many of our earliest scientific discoveries came from Arabic or Islamic people.
It's important to know what words actually mean, rather than allowing others to frame a meaning for us to assume. We all know what happens when we assume.

08 January 2017

The Republican Party is in bed with Vladimir Putin.

Fake news rules our time. One look at the last election makes that abundantly clear. The Republican Party rode to victory this year on the coattails - when they weren't safely gerrymandered into office - of a charlatan; a conman of the highest order, mostly because a bunch of voters believed a bunch of lies about emails and Benghazi. I even know of school teachers who voted for the third-party candidate who wants to shut down public education, because... Benghazi.
Trump is compromised, among his many other fatal-to-our-world flaws, by his relationships with Russians, and it is likely that Russian tampering fed some of the hysteria that kept just enough people from doing the right thing last November.
Going forward, it is the duty of every democracy loving American to take every opportunity to tie the Republican Party, top to bottom, to the Russians and the treasonous collusion that that party may have known about and looked the other way, or even participated in, because winning and staying in power is everything to these people. They don't give a damn about being right, being on the right side of history, human rights, or anything but their own unbridled greed and thirst for power.
The Republicans are in bed with the Russians, I don't care what the facts may say otherwise.

07 January 2017

I don't want a stock option, I want a stake.

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are touted as a way toward more egalitarian and democratic workplaces.  In reality most of the companies that undergo such a change in structure are not run by the employees. The more common reality is that most ESOPs are really an excuse for management to say things like, "what's good for the company is good for you too," as they lay you off some day; kind of like how Wall Street and your 401k plan are tied up together.

In an ESOP, employees are awarded stock in the company, in exchange for reduced wages, benefits, or perhaps to prevent unionization. The workers still have no actual say in how the day-to-day operations are managed or the proceeds of their labor divided. It's still capitalism, and certainly not socialism.

In a truly worker owned business enterprise, each worker plays two roles: whatever operational function they serve, and owner. Owners get a say in how things are to be done, how policy and procedures are set, who is accountable for what jobs, and most importantly, how the profits will be used after the bills are paid.  There are many possibilities.

Socialism is not ownership by the state, as the Russians and others tried and failed. Socialism is ownership of the means of production by those who produce, the workers.  We expect to have a voice n how our lives are run in every other aspect, so why don't we demand, and accept nothing less, than democracy in the workplace an a more just an fair economy.

Nothing to lose but our chains

Until the working class overcomes petty, artificial division and bigotry, we will remain divided and enslaved.

No race but the human race.
No class but the working class.

Yours for the revolution

04 January 2017

Can't get no worse.

Those were the words of my father-in-law, at my kitchen table a few minutes ago.  He's a Republican, thinks Trump is the Messiah come again or something.  And so he said something about looking forward to inauguration day.

I said, "Yeah, it'll be great watching the world turn inside out over the next few months,"  because I doubt it's gonna be long before Trumpy fucks up and either gets the boot or something more permanent.

To which padre-in-law says, "Can't get no worse," and something about things being "niggerized" over the last few years.

By then, my wife and I, sitting opposite each other on either side of him, are both gathering thoughts to respond, and almost simultaneously say, "don't use that word in my house."

Then I said, "Well, for starters they plan to repeal our healthcare plan...," which led to a back and forth about where the ACA came from - The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank - which he was having none of.  He's recently become aware, and watches Fox News incessantly.

At that point, mama-in-law motions to Pops that it's time to go, and as we're rising, my wife mentions something about the GOP plan to scrap or otherwise sabotage Social Security.

Shit went downhill from there.

Parents.  Can't teach 'em anything.

Better

Today was better than yesterday.

I didn't try to think about getting sober.

My friend Coz came back from the nearly dead.

It is truly a happy new year.

Fuck this shit, I'm out.

For now...

02 January 2017

One long glorious fuck up.

Story of my fucking life.  Eighteen more months and the insurance pays no matter how it looks.

Keep fucking with me universe, come at me bitch.

01 January 2017

When I was a kid...

...lots of things happened.

Some good, some bad, nothing too terrible in the immediate sense.

I turned out both highly evolved and terribly fucked up.

I have lived for more than half a century, though it doesn't seem like a day more than six months passed between events I know happened a decade or more apart.

I have no wisdom to impart, though I'm certain I attained enlightenment long ago.

Enlightenment only means awake, and I'm definitely awake.

I used to fear I would sleep my life away, when I was a teenager many years ago.  Now I wish  could sleep past 4 a.m., or stay awake past 10 p.m.

When I was a kid I doubted the world or I would make it thirty years, now I'm certain neither has that much left to burn.