Readers who’ve been with me for a while might remember my long digression on “The Great War” some years ago here:

We’re now approaching the 100-year anniversary of the beginning of that war.  As with any such round number coming around, there might be quite a few essays about it circulating soon.  Let’s see if I can get a jump on them.

The U.S. made a pretty big deal last year about the 150-year anniversary of Gettysburg, and I guess that’s to be expected.  Europe and the Commonwealth can be expected to make a much bigger deal about the Great War than Mercans will.  It’s a more relevant
thing to them, for some fairly obvious reasons.  So maybe I’m filling a little gap here, just for my friends, pointing out this watershed in Western history.

FreeTradeThe basics are covered in that earlier digression, but let’s expand a little.  In fact, let’s just jump over a few centuries.

The early eighteenth century had a great war in which the question to be decided was:  “Will France control western Europe?”

The early nineteenth century had a great series of wars over the question:  “Will France or Britain dominate the western hemisphere?

The early twentieth century had The Great War,  a contest over “What state, or alliance, will control most of the world?”  As it developed, the question became, “Will Europe survive this at all?”  Those questions were so big they required a whole additional war twenty years later.


ozymandiassmallIn the early twenty-first century, the questions are:  “Will the planet be habitable a century from now?” and “Does anyone in our government have any shame left at all?”

So, as I sit here looking at my grandfather’s dogtag from WWI, let’s just think of the world then and now, and see where it leads us. Continue reading

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I want to be very clear about this.  The title above is NOT an insulting rhetorical question.  I really want to know what you’re thinking.  It’s easy to comment anonymously here.

sombodyexplainittomesmallPlease explain some things to me.  I’m just taking wild guesses at what some activists are thinking when they send me communications.  You’re my comrades.  My tribe.  I want to help, but I have to understand you first.

Haven’t heard much from most of you in the last month or so.  Yes, I understand, “We need to ACT NOW TO SAVE THE WORLD FROM TOTAL DEVASTATION”, but not during the holidays, right?  The biggest exception is big national orgs that want me to send money during the “holiday season”.  I don’t know why they think people have money to spare during that time, but these are people who are always asking for money anyway.  I won’t try to understand.

Anyway, here are some questions, and the reality I perceive that prompts them.

Continue reading

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Further rant on propaganda: getting personal

Before reading this, you might want to look at my recent attempts at Green Party propaganda here:
I showed them to the Greens on my list and they had little to say.  Maybe non-Greens can give me some nice hostile reactions just to break up my day.

I’ll continue on that ever-recurring question:  “How the hell do we convince more people to register and vote Green, not to mention take an active part in Party affairs?”

There’s a common theme that I’ve caught myself at in those graphics I made.  We often use the “domestic abuse” theme when talking about Dem activists who keep going back to their abuser no matter how many promises are broken, crudely illustrated thus:

greenhitsmecat2and the bits I’ve put together on that page are often of the “We toldja so” or “You made a bad choice” variety. Continue reading

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Living in the Uncanny Valley

I sit here overlooking the alley as I write, and for the last half-hour there has been a steady “clop, clop, clop, clop” as someone carries things from garage to dumpster, and goes back for another load.  Think about that.  What kind of shoe makes a “clop, clop, clop”?  Someone is wearing WHITE PUMPS to clean out her garage.

I shouldn’t really say “her”, though.  I don’t know whether these beings have gender in their original form.  This is the point in the movie where a space alien living among us, or some android, cylon, or whatever, trying to pass for human, gives itself away with some glaring mistake in mimicking human behavior. Continue reading

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(See Launch of the Carnada for how I’m using this word.)

dejavusmallThe Edward Snowden affair gives us a chance to review some “talking point” canards that get dragged out by the usual talking heads whenever questions of government surveillance and whistleblowers come up.  I call them “trolling points”, since their only purpose is to distract us from what matters.

After that, I hope to review what all this means in practical terms.

Trolling point #1:

“What’s the big deal about privacy?  What do you have to hide?”

If anyone seriously wants to ask this question, I expect you to send me photos of both sides of all your credit cards, and all the user ids and passwords that you use to log into everything, including your bank accounts. Oh, and your address, when you’re likely to be out of the house, and a catalog of all your more valuable property there.  I’ll post it here for all the world to see. Continue reading

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Chris Hedges’ Empty Chair Speech

Some good-quality videos of Green Party stuff are becoming available, and this recent one is something to hear, if you have the time:

So you have a choice.  You can take an hour to watch the video and then read my critique, or read my rant, with all the second-hand info about what’s in the video, and then watch it to see whether I’m full of it.

Let’s start with the fact that Chris Hedges obviously knows a lot, and has done some very good things, notably a good lawsuit against the feds, and much verbal defense of the Occupy movement in the media.  He’s visited a lot of places, and interviewed lotsa remarkable people, of which he doesn’t fail to remind us in his talk.  Such namedropping gets more frequent toward the end of the talk, as you’ll see.

Large parts of his talk are very worth hearing, for anyone who might not yet be quite aware of the authoritarian kleptocracy we live under and its shock-and-awe-inspiring power.  It’s when he tries to tell Greens what to do…. Continue reading

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Fair Warning:  The following is about the ups & downs of “third” parties in California.  If that’s not your thing, click over to my Link Collection for general education and entertainment.  I’m always adding stuff there.

My alert readers (both of them) will recall one of the evil effects of Prop 14:  that it eliminates one of two ways for a small political party to keep its access to the ballot.  We now, effectively, have only one:  to maintain a number of registrants above 1% of the number of voters that voted in the last gubernatorial election.  That’s currently a number a touch above 100,000.

Green registration in California, at last report, was about 113,000 and has been slowly dropping for the last few years.  This is a cause for concern.  To some people, it might seem to be a “Drop everything!  There is NO OTHER PARTY BUSINESS!” concern.  I’ll try to put it in perspective, for any noobs out there.  Vets are welcome to comment on anything I’m missing here, of course.

The last thing I would try to discourage anyone from is hitting the street to get some new Greens registered.  No organizing or authorization of any kind is required, just a person with some time.  There’s no need for Greens to even talk to each other about this much.  They just have to do it.  I’ve written about this before.

BushObamawarending It also might help to hit up
any friends you have who thought it was so all-frakking-important to vote for Obama or Kucinich or whatever in long-ago primaries to COME HOME, ALREADY and register in the only way that sends a message with your registration.

I would, however, question any panic reaction.  10-15% isn’t what I’d call a comfortable margin, but it’s not dangling off a cliff with the villain stomping on your hands, either.

To give you a broad overview, here’s a table of Green registration in California, Continue reading

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