Sex, Death and Coffee - Archives
Joan Baez, Alan Ball, Leonard Bernstein, Tracy Chapman...really, do I need to go on?
Back in WWII, the Navy would set up bases on Pacific Islands that had never seen planes, radios, etc. From their limited exposure, they believed the technology was "magic" and that the radio must be a hotline to the gods. These huge "birds" would bring all kinds of supplies, food and tools, leave, and then bring back more. After the war, the Navy left the bases but the islanders remained.
What happened next should be a lesson for us all about our species. Somewhere along the way, they decided that this was all the work of the God, John Frum. They set up fake airplanes, made of wood, to lure the "birds" back. They built runways, and control towers, all believing it was these fetishes that drew the supply planes back. They set up fake radios, where a Priest or Priestess would make up nonsense talk that sounded like radio static, and it was believed they were talking to the "gods."
If we just build the "birds" and radios, the birds will come back and bring us all food and tools, was their thinking. The most bizarre thing is that this did not happen on just one island, but several - and none of them communicating with each other. IN other words, this spontaneously arose from similar encounters. And for some reason, the name "John Frum" kept popping up.
Fast forward to 1980. Reagan is elected, and regulations are dumped as fast as possible. Tax cuts for the rich, and the complete dismantling of all of our Social safety nets. This goes on for 30 years, not skipping a beat under Democratic Administrations as well as Republican ones. Essentially it's a cash grab, but there is money to be made carrying the 1%'s suitcases filled with cash.
Now, the 1% has closed up shop. There are no jobs moving their money. The system has collapsed, just like every economist from Ricardo to Marx predicted.
But the Tea Party, and pretty much all of America, wants the return of the financial John Frum.
"If we just cut taxes for the rich, the jobs might come back," they say. And their understanding of the mechanisms of the economy and finance is about as crude as the islanders.
Instead of learning the technology behind the ebbs and flows, they simply rely on the fetishes of Unrestricted Capitalism. Tax cuts, de-regulation, military spending, and so on.
So f'ing tragic...
One question: Insulin Shock Therapy????
First - take three teabags of Coca tea, and brew with 8 oz of water
Let seep 5 minutes, then remove teabags
Then take .5 oz of tequila/mezcal, and spalsh it over ice
Then take the tea, and slowly pour it on ice. After it is ice cold, add 4 oz of Squirt or Grapefruit Soda.
Mix well and enjoy!
This was said back in the 90's, when another bright young star of the Democratic Party became president. There was hope all over the land and that mean old punkrocker had to harsh everyone's mellow.
Turns out, he was right. Some people are deluded into thinking their vote counts, and some people are deluded into thinking the candidates that claim to represent them do in fact, represent them.
Since Citizen's United and the recent 'kill the class action' ruling it's clear what they think of us. It's clear that we have no voice. No future Democratic or Republican rock star is going to save us all. In fact, chances are they will work against us.
But like God in Fight Club, that's ok - we don't need them.
Everyone in America needs to realize that they are the arms, legs and body of corporate America. And if those arms and legs suddenly stop walking, or stop keeping the Corproate entity alive, it dies. Usually in minutes, rather than hours.
Yes, what we need to do is have a Gerneral Strike. It needs to be massive. It needs to be executed quickly. It needs to put companies out of business. It needs to make Corporate America reel and think it's dying. It needs to make the X-level realize they cannot live without us. It must shock them so much to their core, that it will scare them away from seeking revenge.
The problem with most strikes are that even if they are organized enough, and solidarity happens - management knows the employees who strike will finish their work eventually. They know that no worker wants to sacrifice his professional reputation. They also know they can find scabs to work cheaply and effectively. We need to eliminate both.
We need to roll back all but vital services during that strike. Absolutely nothing should be sold, bought or traded. Absolutely no units must move. This is how you cripple capitalism.
And for the scabs? If a company hires scabs, we need to strike at their homes. We need to stop their cars from getting them to work. If a general strike is pulled of sucessfully, there will be no infrastructure that day to get scabs from a to b. But we must be willing to physically prevent them from de-clawing the general strike.
For the strike to work, it must be at least a week. Fear must set into the corporate mind. The rich should hemorage money.
The companies should stop doing anything. Everything from McDonalds burgers to insurance should simply stop.
Now, organizing this won't be easy - and I'd be a fool if I were to say I could pull it off.
But right now we only have one gun and one bullet - and the general strike is that bullet.
I am somewhere in the US. Not a real city but one that always exists in my dreams. One where its just as real to you at the time, as any existing city would be when awake. The town uncovers itself every night, with a new neighborhood here, a new forest here, a new highway there. Sometimes I return to these places. For some reason, the places I most often return to are the hotels. But not this time.
I am driving on a multi-lane highway. I see the city below, as in LA highways. There are other cars around me, and I am driving at a good speed.
I take an exit, and find the road going up, at such an angle that you can't make out the downside. Suddenly I notice there is no downside. The road just goes out, unfinished. Applying the brakes at this point would be useless, I'm going up and over that broken highway. I am about to die.
Then, the channel changes, and I'm in a different part of town, different people, not in a car.
I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating. Again and again, if I have to. Alex Chilton died because we in the United States do not have Universal Health Care.
On March 17, 2010, 59 year old Alex Chilton died of a heart attack.
The day before he was mowing his lawn and felt a sharp chest pain. Not having health insurance, he blew it off. Unlike many rock stars, Alex was not rich. He toured occasionally, but mainly loved his life in New Orleans. He had put his heart and soul into the city, doing what he could when Katrina struck, and playing a series of benefit concerts afterwards.
So the next day his heart went into full attack. He was rushed to the hospital and died. If he had insurance or health care, he could have gone to the hospital to check it out, and would have been rushed into emergency surgery.
Alex Chilton always had an underground following. If you only paid attention to pop culture, you might know him as the songwriter who wrote, and with his band Big Star, recorded "In The Street," which eventually became the theme song for 'That 70's Show.'
Which brings us to today. Right now, the Republicans want less people to have health care. They want the market to decide who gets to live and who gets to die. Talk about death panels - leaving it to the market is literally making everyone roll dice for their lives.
An acolyte of Ayn Rand would say he deserved to die, because he wasn't rich.
Right now, there are literally thousands of Alex Chiltons out there. Americans who might get that warning sign that their heart might stop at any moment. And they can't have it checked out. I've been uninsured before - and it's scary. Every single threat to your health has to be downplayed, and you have to ask yourself "could this be serious? Do I have the money for the ER?"
And ER visits aren't cheap. Granted, if you had health care, you could have gone to your doctor and just paid the $70-100 for an office visit. But if you are uninsured, you do not have a Doctor. The only time you go to see one is if you are in the ER.
We need Medicare for all. Other countries have it, countries far poorer than ours. Even Cuba, a dictatorship, has universal health care.
Someone should introduce the "Alex Chilton Bill" - Medicare for ALL.
RIP El Goodo...
Look, I know we've had our kerfuffles. We were in to apathy, while you guys were into sympathy, but then we one-upped you and did the empathy thing. Ah the times, the laughs.
I make no secret that we were your first 'product'
When you guys became our teachers, our instructors, our mentors - we became your students, acolytes, your padwans
Some of us even got to be your children
Anyway, we've been in our 30s-40s lately, and you were at this point in the 80s
Yeah, we hated Reagan too - and I always wondered how Jimmy Carter, a nuclear-scientist-cum-President lost that one
But what I really need to know, what we all need to know - is now what?
Seizing the means of production has not been the problem - its what to do with those means once acquired
I know you guys are about to retire and play anything but golf (at least I hope) - and we'll be looked at as some kind of elder (does the idea of Henry Rollins as an elder strike you as ironic? Yeah, me too)
So now what?
I am no economist. John Maynard Keynes was.
The paradox of thrift (or paradox of saving) is a paradox of economics, popularized by John Maynard Keynes, though it had been stated as early as 1714 in The Fable of the Bees, and similar sentiments date to antiquity. The paradox states that if everyone tries to save more money during times of recession, then aggregate demand will fall and will in turn lower total savings in the population because of the decrease in consumption and economic growth. The paradox is, narrowly speaking, that total savings may fall even when individual savings attempt to rise, and, broadly speaking, that increases in savings may be harmful to an economy.<4> Both the narrow and broad claims are paradoxical within the assumption underlying the fallacy of composition, namely that what is true of the parts must be true of the whole. The narrow claim transparently contradicts this assumption, and the broad one does so by implication, because while individual thrift is generally averred to be good for the economy, the paradox of thrift holds that collective thrift may be bad for the economy.
The paradox of thrift is a central component of Keynesian economics, and has formed part of mainstream economics since the late 1940s, though it is criticized on a number of grounds.
Basically, austerity programs will fail
Do not buy into the Right's insane paranoia of deficit spending
America is not broke
A long while back I was good friends with some German volunteers whom I worked with in the Peace Corps
They were great people and were fairly liberal
Once we got into an argument tho, over the USA being a war-monger. At the time I was still coming off that Clinton-high. "Don't...stop...thinking about tomorrow..." and what not. So naturally I defended my country with the same kinds of hollow arguments I'm seeing here: "Sadaam Hussein is a brutal dictator...we're spreading Democracy...etc"
You see at that time, we were engaged in a 'war lite' with Iraq. And Somalia hadn't turned out too well.
But now I'm thinking they were right, and I was wrong
America IS a war-monger country. Think about it: We've had a war going on consistently since Pearl Harbor was bombed (and yes, I can back this up) Defense has taken the lion's share of our budget (and continues to grow) Defense Contractors have way more influence over our political system than any other business, labor union or Mr. Moneybags.
And if there is one thing the USA is known for, its our war. We kill indiscriminately. We have removed the killer from the killed so far that we can destroy a whole city right from an AC building in DC.
And it seems every single misadventure we've been in has always had atrocities on our hands, whether Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam or even Korea.
So yes - we are the greatest at something. Not our government, not our food, not our people and not even our businesses. We're #1 at killing people. And we're #1 at denial.
David Bowie was spot on back in 71 with this line, wasn't he?
The earth is a bitch
We've finished our news
Homo sapiens have outgrown their use
"I've been here since 1983 and we've all hat that experience - wow there's a mountain there!"
This is hands down the best assessment of it all
I think this is a bloody brilliant album
Give it a listen
"Voice of Reason"
That is HRC in a nutshell. She is that voice that says the truth, not consistently (god - no politician says the truth consistently. Go look up "Politician" in a dictonary!) but enough to matter
Get her talking long enough, and reason will eminate from her mouth.
This is a rare quality in politicians.
That is why I am glad she is Sec of State.
I was for Obama in the primary. Yeah, he had it to be president. Being president isn't always about details - often its about the big picture.
Secretary of State, however, is about the small things
And HRC has that, how can I saym "ATTENTION TO DETAIL."
It is that which I do not have, and wish I did
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