Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

The rotten fruit of a surveillance state

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

This piece on the Coen Brothers’ Burn After Reading in context of the Petraeus scandal is fun. I’m somewhat ambivalent as to how that mess should play out. Yes, public officials deserve personal lives that can be potentially just as messy and complicated as anyone else, but some freaks and monsters are wriggling out of the rot that make the Clinton-Lewinski scandal seem quaint.

I’m inclined to say let everyone involved burn, if only to scare the shit out of lawmakers who pass overreaching surveillance laws, thinking it only applies to evil spies, political enemies, and little people who don’t matter.

Good old Mother Jones has the best coverage as to how this silliness is unfolding.

Miracle on St. Claude Avenue

Friday, June 29th, 2012

American Zombie does great work investigating corruption. It’s shameful that the work he throws himself into is pretty much ignored by mainstream media. He and Lucy Bustamante found a wealth of evidence of fraud on the part of State Representative Lucas Leonard. He found 23 semi-fictitious non-profit organizations registered to Leonard Lucas and Audrey Walker dating to 2010. Lucy Busatamante found that 7 organizations based all at one address on St. Claude, allegedly helping the neighborhood. One neighbor recalled some turkeys given away one year, but that’s about it.

This is outside my normal area of interest, but it’s painful to see work like this go unrecognized when the Times-Picayune (which wasn’t even bothering to cover what he covers in the first place) has been completely gutted.

He feels like a glass shrimp in a pink panty

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

The only Republican presidential candidate who openly professes to accepting that evolution and global warming are proven facts also declares himself a Captain Beefheart fan. Jon Huntsman, please don’t drop out of the race. I have no intention of voting for a Republican candidate, but i’m liking the cut of your jib.

Update: wait a minute…. Huntsman, you devilish panderer! REO Speedwagon and Styx too?! I’m wounded, sir. How dare you reach out to Beefheart fans!

Mexican agitprop

Friday, April 15th, 2011
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Via Bruce Sterling. Hell, this has been freaking me out a little and i’m fairly used to this stuff. From these .

Eddy Grant/Lech Walesa Interview

Monday, April 12th, 2010
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Palin as one of the anointed

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

It very much surprised me to see that a lot of commenters on the Awl think that Maud Newton is essentially creating a leftist version of nonsensical Obama/Wright controversy in her piece about Sarah Palin and fundamentalist. No, she really isn’t.

I don’t know what goes on in Palin’s head, but the language that she uses is very similar to the lunatic, apocalypse-obsessed evangelicals that I’ve been dealing with for the past twenty years, first as a friend and ally to a group that was singled out to be persecuted by these bastards in a small Southern town, and then selling them their books from 1998 to 2010.1 It absolutely terrifies me to shelve in the Faithpoint category, as some zealot invariably singles me out to share some revelation about the imminent End Times. Yes, they’re almost always stalwart Palin fans these days. She does speak their language and is speaking to them. Making the connection between Palin and these people is fair.

Maud Newton has mentioned for years on her blog about how she grew up in this environment. She recognizes this better than most.

  1. There have been interruptions in service. []

an explanation for the dearth of political posts in past year or so

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Awhile back, I became so disgusted with politics that I stopped following most domestic policy altogether. My RSS feed folder “politics” has been completely unread in months. Nope, I don’t regret working for the Obama campaign one bit, as the last thing we needed was the chance of President Palin. I don’t regret siding with Obama against Hillary either, as another Clinton era was an awful thought. No more dynasties. However, I’ve been unimpressed with Obama. He’s eloquent, he’s smart… but he ain’t getting shit done. It was easy to rail against the Bush administration, because it was against most everything I believe in. Going off on the Obama administration in his first year would have been fair, but the right wing has been so vociferous, so… unhinged… that i chose to keep my mouth shut altogether and mind my own business.

The passage of this health form bill? It’s theater. From what I know about it, there is little in it that I want. It’s essentially toothless. It’s baffled me to see a lot of friends of mine are now cheering, saying thing like, “We won! We won! Suck it, Republicans!” Ah….  no…. The Saints winning the Superbowl meant a hell of a lot more to me, and i don’t give a damn about sports. Yes, it’s some sort of victory over the Republicans, but there isn’t much reform going on here. It’s just as silly as rooting for a professional sports team.

I check my RSS feeds this morning, just to see if there is as much cheerleading going on there, and i’m a little relieved to see that I’m not the only one unimpressed. As Atrios states, “It isn’t what we voted for.”

So it’s back to the garden for me.

it’s all going according to plan

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Just ran across this link to a blog post on Obsidian Wings about the destruction of the civil infrastructure of Colorado Springs (via Warren Ellis.) Yeah, Colorado Springs, home of the New Life Church, previously headed by Ted Haggard. Harper’s doesn’t have the article online anymore, but there are a few fragments in an an old post on OQ, focusing more on the delusions about supernatural forces. Obsidian Wings correctly points out that Colorado Spring’s disintegration is a direct result of the tax-phobic policies pushed by the Club for Growth. However, it’s unlikely that Colorado Springs will go the way of Detroit, plowing up to a quarter of the city, converting it to farmland. I don’t know how the New Life Church is faring these days, but i predict that it, or another megachurch just like it, will step in to take over some fo the now missing services.

It boggles my mind that these people will refuse to pass a referendum for taxes that support social services, but will gladly fork over tons of money for tithes to provide some of those same services…. probably more favorably to people who believe the same things as themselves.

The Club for Growth wants the U.S. divided up into small theocratic fiefdoms. Collapse of publicly-funded infrastructure is not a failure of their plan. It’s a major feature.

4’33”

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
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The Distance From The Moon—Italo Calvino

Sunday, June 14th, 2009
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