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Posts from Mann, Kalamazoo

Mann, KalamazooMann, Kalamazoo
Mann, Kalamazoo

A better terse description of the symbiosis between human-held power to stockpile and redistribute wealth, as equating with a "right" to enslave may not exist in the English tongue. However, even thin understanding of Ms. Rand's writings and philosophy leaves little doubt that she had much grasp or respect for the concept that labor IS capital. Instead, Rand largely grants the corporate sector - the INITIAL acquisitors of great labor-based wealth PRIOR to formal taxation - the right to keep and/or distribute great riches at any sundry board of directors' or majority stockholder's discretion, simply because they're positioned, often by birthright only, to do so.

Endless exploitation, revilement as "budget busting," end-of-life consumers of "entitlements" and eternal war are part and parcel of the payoff for labor. That means just about all of us, even those accepting Rand's interpretations without compromise. After all, bondholders must and will be paid: see Flint, MI.

Mann, Kalamazoo

In the 1800s perhaps. These days in 'civilized' nations, men are a whole lot more herd than "passionate resolvers." Especially when it comes to carrying their "desires into execution without" orders, er, "intermediaries." Any attempt to do that nowadays is met with NAKED FORCE. Witness 'Occupy Wall St.', among a myriad of others.

One star for the memory of self-actuated men.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Zero stars, though not because Ms. Rand was in any way wrong about the INTENT of the Constitution.

Zero because of the way its clear language and freedom-insuring intentions have been perverted by terrible laws like the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act, laws subsequently upheld by politically beholden, old, white male judges. Laws that have metamorphosed into a militarized police state and surveillance state nightmare.

It's an extant, quickly metastasizing nightmare where U.S. cops killed three times as many people in March, 2015, than have died at the hands of British police since 1900.

All of it widely propagated and granted cover under the banner lie of "keeping Americans safe."

Zero stars most of all because of selfie-obsessed Americans unable - nay - refusing to see and face what they've lost.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Aside from General Washington's failed admonition to remain "constantly awake," is the way his warning about "excessive partiality" toward foreign governments has morphed into a joke, seeming nonsense propelled by constant expeditions going far beyond mere employment of the second "arts of influence."

D.C.'s current toolbox for 'exporting democracy' features bribery, destabilization campaigns aimed at fomenting citizen revolt against targeted governments, arming the worst kinds of "allies," 'black' CIA prisons, torture, daily drone assassinations, air strikes and ultimately invasion (preemptive war) when all else fails.

That's the reality, one apparently beyond the grasp of most Americans regardless of economic class or otherwise suitable demographic - because "excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike for another" is consistently, successfully mass-marketed by compromised media.

That much is unmistakably revealed by the months-long litany of propaganda and lies supporting D.C.'s current hegemonic thrust into Ukraine - outright BS that's left thermonuclear suicide on humanity's menu once again.

Damn fool neocons, still in supreme control of policy via acquiescence of BOTH political parties, are playing Russian roulette with everybody's marbles. Obama has been cast by Fate in Ukraine as the degenerate gambler, wagering wildly and desperately on the Bear's historic turf, in the Bear's personal casino - because of unsustainable, bankrupt U.S. pursuit of empire on behalf of capitalist exploiters.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Great quote ... but would somebody please inform Von Mises' ghost that "freedom from the state" is an idea that really never gained traction in the U.S.?

Or anywhere else, for that matter.

Riches Rule, unaccountable to anything but itself, is the oldest political truism extant.

Durham: A Constitutional Convention is a great idea, in theory. But how would reconvening the Convention circumvent the inevitability of 'Riches Rule?'

The first one sure didn't. It just set aside a foreign Power's claim to domestic wealth and threw in a meaningless, Dr. Feelgood Bill of Rights for ordinary citizen-suckers to place their faith in - seriously misplaced faith at that.

Mann, Kalamazoo

A person of great (however amusingly useless) insight once opined something along these lines: "Instead of judging public policy by its politically stated INTENTIONS, a responsible legislature would do well to consider the RESULTS of its policies and previously enacted laws first."

Deep consideration lent prior to the next fiscal year's funding, I'd add.

Unfortunately, that kind of basic sense is anything but a priority in Washington or any other U.S. capitol - the reason being the inevitable unveiling of the majority of politicians as the ignorant (or paid-off) collection of well-coifed misfits (or worse) they truly are. Responsibility for bad policy becomes too easily fixed, worse, the authors become instantly ACCOUNTABLE.

The practice also remains in place because once a program is funded, debate is already finished and the 'roots' of it are set in near-perpetuity - even when the policy is as horribly bad as "just say no-zero tolerance," "U.S. Pre-emptive Warfare Doctrine" or fission-based nuclear power generation ... every bit of it hideously expensive on multiple levels.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Whatta hoot! Scalia speaks of an ideal, not a truism. As the 'decisions' he's joined and authored clearly indicate, 'Nino' should have continued his spoken thought thus: "The overriding distinction defining American freedom and privilege is found in the heft of a (white) citizen's wallet: the heavier the wallet the greater the privilege conferred by law. Have you never heard of 'Citizens v. United?'"

Mann, Kalamazoo

@Archer: I never said perception was reality - however much it IS to one deceived. Henry Kissinger acknowledged that much when he said, "It's not a matter of what is true that counts but a matter of what is perceived to be true." A master propagandist, it's a concept he and the neocons have long used to great advantage.

Huxley wrote, "The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human."

As demonstrated by the juxtaposition of 'horrible' ISIS beheadings and 'acceptable' Pentagon drone murders, that awful "purpose" is wielded successfully over and over in America - without us ever seeming to recognize our own murderous flaws.

Instead we adhere to a lying construct our politicians and media repeatedly intone: the US is the world's "indispensable" nation, her people the world's "exceptional" inhabitants.

The rest of the world, especially our targeted nations, sees things quite differently - as they bloody well should.

One had best be very, very careful indeed about which, no, WHOSE ideas and exhortations they're prepared to die for. A martyr's fiery motivations are invariably taught by an authority figure, not constructed through experience and critical investigation.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Upon first reading Ginsburg's words my reaction was much the same as Arlington, Va's appear: incredulity -- though the shock was accompanied by substantial curiosity about the context in which they were spoken. Investigating that context was fruitful.

Reproducing the seemingly offensive portion of the interview, Media Matters informs that "conservative media," identifying the usual TV blowhards, distorted her intended meaning. They write: "In fact, in the interview, Ginsburg was attributing that sentiment to others."

The extended quotation provides for a decent Media Matters case, though not a completely compelling one. Call it 'reasonable doubt.'

In filling out her line of thinking, there's a certain ease about the way her words flow, lending, perhaps, a revealing glimpse into her heart. It's certain she's given the topic great thought - though the odor of elitism remains present.

Zero stars to the lib-tree for using this quote. Like the bloviators, their apparent intention is fanning conflict, not civilized discourse.

Mann, Kalamazoo

"Truth cannot be affected by opinions; it cannot be changed ..."

Perhaps not, but REALITY is altered by opinions sculpted with lies all the time. Is that not at least as meaningful as what Ingersoll is getting at?

The SIGNIFICANCE of truth, especially those 'truths' uncritically accepted by a nation, changes conspicuously when perceptions are based in opinions skillfully manipulated by deceit.

An example of this can be found in these up-to-the-minute, All-American "truths": ISIS routinely beheads their victims. "Ooh bad, very bad - Dark Ages-type barbarism bad. They're bloody savages."

Conversely, practically every day we see Pentagon killers ensconced at a base near Las Vegas sneaking up on their victims with drones, blowing them and whoever else may be in their presence - routinely infants - all to Kingdom Come. "Hurray! We're winning with technology! Give the drone operator (video game player) an Air Medal!"

To the victims and those mourning them what the hell is the difference and which is worse? After all, dead is dead - the coldest truth of all.

By the way, beheading leaves a much 'cleaner' murder scene than a drone attack does - what with gallons of blood and sundry body parts blown all over the place.

High technology does NOT diminish barbarity or the will to kill. And it most certainly does not absolve the guilty of their crimes.

That, my friends, is the truth.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Beyond being forced by the established financial/currency model to support the business and profits of the predominating multinational corporate state, can anybody detail how the democratic socialist nations of Western Europe and Scandinavia employ unseen, unreported, non-protested "restraint and servitude" on a Continental scale? Counterpoint, by John Steinbeck: "Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."

Mann, Kalamazoo

Even without knowing the context in which these words were spoken or written, Burger's yearning for the expediency of the guillotine seems evident. Such is an unfortunate attitude shared by too many of the Ruling Class. Ordinary prisoners in the world's #1 prison state are treated like animals because that's exactly what the rulers consider them to be. How ironic that theirs is the instinctual response of an animal, a vicious one at that, effectively cloaked by an empty guise of "justice."

Mann, Kalamazoo

An excellent observation, one inevitably leading to thoughts about other practical aspects of Power and freedom. For police power (imprisonment and dispossession) is the most basic and intrusive of all state powers. Such authority is always ripe for abuse, corruption that survives only when it's tolerated at the next level of authority, thence upwards.

Roland's thought holds particularly negative connotations for the U.S., Planet Earth's premier police, surveillance and prison state.

On the other hand, according to the White House and its Press(titute) Corps, all can be made well by sending our celebrated war machine, er, DEFENSE apparatus to Ukraine. After all, those damn Russkies have got a real nerve ... putting their bloody country so close to all those military bases of ours.

Obama = Bush. Both they and their respective Parties are practicing now-firmly established, neoconservative expansionist (Imperial) policy via pre-emptive warfare and endless FBI-CIA destabilizing operations, on at least five Continents.

Pursuit of global hegemony has also meant the end of seriously organized domestic dissent, the personal freedom simply to be left alone and the ultimate, inevitable exclusion of certain entitled Persons from the Rule of Law.

In case one hasn't noticed, cops are increasingly, violently running amok everywhere in the U.S., with near total-impunity.

Consider the Tsarnaev witness, Ibragim Todashev, shot six times by a Special Agent, once in the head, six hours into his 3rd formal FBI interrogation. An apparent execution, his death would appear to constitute manslaughter at least.

Todashev's killing was recently ruled "justifiable" by the Miami-Dade D.A. In an awake society that would constitute grounds for an instant recall election and replacement of an apparently tainted D.A.

Unfortunately the precise opposite is the general reality: Todashev's is anything but an isolated case. The killer cop almost always walks.

Isn't it 'curious' that out of all the crime statistics kept in America's endless supply of security-state computer memory, one statistic that ISN'T kept is how many people die annually at the hands of police?

Roland's is more than a quote. It's a truism.

"A-mer-ika, A-mer-ika ... God's Face has turned from thee ...
No lamp of Light, no Bill of Rights ...
corrupt from sea to sea."

Mann, Kalamazoo

"Stupid rules are meant to be broken." Col. Sherman T. Potter

Mann, Kalamazoo

Hmmm, "treason" the man reportedly says: a CAPITAL offense. Maybe in a perfect world, huh Daryl?

We're in a war all right, an endless war against ignorant, supremely self-important authoritarians, people functionally blind to anything beyond their own necessarily limited perceptions, convictions and compulsions. Often they seek and attain political office, as Gates himself indicates. The worst are driven by overpowering narcissism that works to elevate the 'worth' of their personal moral convictions to a status far beyond the community's. Upon empowerment they routinely ruin not just single lives but the lives of families and whole neighborhoods as well, at huge monetary and social expense. Their success encourages legions more exactly like themselves to seek power and personal status as well.

The U.S. Constitution was handed down by true moral giants, in large part to protect ordinary citizens from authority figures. Its fate was to be circumvented, poisoned and ultimately destroyed by the likes of Gates, Anslinger and especially Judge John Foster Symes (do you hear me, 'Nino' Scalia) ... and phalanxes of similar souls committed to the idea that compelling everyone to live and think exactly like themselves will surely make the world a safe, happy place.

Sheesh, just giving thought to what must make these folk tick makes me want to "blast."

Mann, Kalamazoo

We shall shortly come to witness whether this quote is essential prophecy or common gas. For in the U.S., Justice Clark's prescription for destruction is exactly what we have: essentially lawless government as viewed in light of its own charter - otherwise known as the U.S. Constitution.

It's a situation that prevails because of national failure to recognize the extent of D.C.'s lawlessness. America instead consumes the endless disinformation and propaganda - the emptiest description of things as proffered by TV - as profoundest reality.

It's not.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Here the president infers that unambiguously clear human rights, as established and prescribed by Bill of Rights, really exist only for their photo-op usefulness, for pushing the myth of "American exceptionalism" - or some other form of self-congratulatory hooey - all ostensibly founded in our hallowed, if increasingly nebulous 'freedoms.' Otherwise, "It's just a gah-damned piece of paper", as the U.S. Constitution was so eloquently defined by G.W. Bush, previous defiler of the Bill of Rights, common war criminal and betrayer of Holy Oath. What a pity extant reality reveals both of these tyrants, these little men, as being precisely correct!

Mann, Kalamazoo

Hmm, much more likely: the thing found during such a search is a suitably edited, personally acceptable facsimile thereof.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Interesting that Adams insists a "foundation of human reason" is required as a fundamental for something that cannot possibly exist without blind faith, absent reason. Even if his words are accepted at face value, the only consistent feature of "religious freedom" has proven to be the license it grants one dogma's adherents to make war on a differing dogma's adherents.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Reality precludes a higher rating. Burke's is a worthy observation from a long departed past. Truth embodied in his thought may indeed be evident, but the importance of the Fourth Estate as cited in the quote has little actual presence in the current mass-media paradigm.

Except for irreplaceable gems like Sy Hersh, the publicly suspicious Press Corps of yore is now mostly gone from D.C., replaced by primped, stylized, earnestly assiduous TV stenographer-interviewers, talented script-readers. Mainstream reporting on policy and economics is pure propaganda in large measure, well supported by lies of omission and naked disinformation.

When it comes to the world's two foremost working journalists, one is in Russia, in exile and in great danger from resident U.S. "Embassy Officials", aka CIA jackals.

The other just completed his 3rd year of house arrest in a London Embassy. He's in grave danger too, should he ever set foot outside the Ecuadoran door.

English authorities have even threatened to storm the Embassy and arrest Julian Assange, in complete defiance of international law and national sovereignty.

Then there's the West's last genuine NEWSpaper publisher, The Guardian's Alan Rusbridger. He's being actively threatened with charges of treason, also by the British government, for publishing Edward Snowden's revelations.

Snowden, of course, informed the world that George Orwell's 1984 was really just government-secret-police-surveillance-chump-change ... at least when compared to the scared, run amok Power Structure's satellite-video-phone-computer-drone-informant-based network is.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Maximus, it remains unchanged that one man's terrorist is another man's Freedom Fighter.

Consider the 'terrorist' Founders of the USA. England's King and Courts condemned them as traitors, common criminals sentenced to die. Surely the King and his courtrooms were 'legitimate', but were the sentences just?

Or was it the traitorous Rebellion and its leadership that was justified?

If possessed of human flaws, as we all are, Mandela was and remains a moral, incredibly strong and courageous representation of humanity's potential. What he accomplished was nothing less than redeeming the future of millions of native Africans, precluding for them the same fate previously imposed on American Indians ... by European foreigners. He did what was necessary in order for millions of Human Beings to exist under civilized conditions minimally concomitant to modern life.

Nor did he ever deny responsibility for his own acts of excess, either, acts against murderously enforced social/legal exclusion. Upon ascension to power the ANC impanelled a historic, singularly successful 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission'.

Imagine making the entire Pentagon-CIA-NSA-FBI's record public! That will be a great day! Dark creatures hate the light, which is exactly why whistleblowers are imprisoned and murdered in the West these days.

Mandela brought light to South Africa, creative, blazing light. May his be an always-remembered example for the oppressed and exploited everywhere.

Mann, Kalamazoo

"People must learn to hate..." You were a giant born into a world of small-minded, small-hearted, violent men, Nelson. Thank you for your sterling example and your seemingly endless courage. Bless you on your definitive journey. Humanity will miss you.

Mann, Kalamazoo

Four stars only because of Chandler's use of "rotten." I don't believe the American people as a whole are rotten, only misled, and that quite intentionally so. The rot is at the top, in the core of U.S. practice of policy and law. Calgary: Laws, never more so than now, are indeed for ordinary folk, not for the empowered elite or the contemporary praetorian guard - meaning all forms of law enforcement. Paying close heed to the extant Federal debt and annual trillion-dollar deficits, along with another trillion annually in Fed "Quantitative Easing", makes it plain who the truly grand, truly successful thieves are. Furthermore, when one considers the numbers of (mostly non-Caucasian) foreign dead resulting from consecutive decades of U.S. military expeditions spanning the globe, it's easy to see who the best killers are. Since killing all those foreigners in true businesslike fashion requires all that debt and continuing deficit, "law" becomes necessary to keep the likes of you and I in line ... so we can be continuously, expeditiously fleeced. And god forbid you imbibe something non-alcoholic or ingest something non-BigPharma in nature, seeking temporary exit from slavery...

Mann, Kalamazoo

Attributed to Lincoln: "Prohibition goes beyond
the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control
a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes." Heck, government isn't even bound by the rules constituting its foundation, let alone by reason.'

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