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“Never attribute to malice…

…that which can adequately be explained by stupidity”

– Robert Hanlon

For those who are curious, I haven’t been posting much because I’ve been living in interesting times, in the Chinese sense of the term.  I’d love to be a passive observer, sort of an anthropologist, watching fault lines develop and empires rise and fall.  There’s a book to be written about this period of time when the Ozymandius we call the American Dream started to crumble. Fortunately, there will be plenty of documentation for the future author to sift through. Oh, well, it’s very hard to reverse the bad decisions of 2008 when the king makers deceived the general public.  Who could have guessed that Obama would be the guy most likely to reintroduce feudalism?

Um, actually, I think we might have been on to that.  But whatchagonnado?  We’re just a bunch of uneducated working class menopausal sino-peruvian lesbians.  (Sorry, myiq)

Anyway, I thought I’d weigh in on topics I haven’t been following closely because we are all entitled to our own uninformed opinion.

Elena Kagan: All I need to know about Kagan is that Obama is appointing her.  Perhaps this is unfair guilt by association but as I’ve said before, “nothing good grows from a bad seed”.  Obama’s meteoric rise to fame and glory had some notable unpleasant features and starred some very bad actors giving him scads of money and encouraging party officials to reshape the rules to favor a predetermined outcome regardless of the voters’ sentiments.  That was a bad sign of things to come and our concerns were largely born out.  If you want to see what this has done to the party as a whole, you need look no further than BTD’s post from yesterday and the exchange in the comments that followed where several people straighten out his ass.  The Democrats really don’t know what to think about much of anything anymore.  That’s what you get when you opt for political expedience over guiding principles.

Anyway, about Kagan, I would hope that Al Franken questions her about stuff related to commerce and business and labor relationships and finance and pensions and whether investment brokers have an obligation to tell their clients what they’re really up to and free speech and net neutrality and stuff like that.  The abortion ship has sailed.  Roe never meant equality, ladies.  Let it go.  Work on getting real equality.  If the USSC wanted to outlaw abortion today, it has the votes to do it and that’s not going to change with Kagan’s vote.  If it remains the law of the land, it’s only because both parties find it politically expedient, except now we know that the Democrats are hyprocrites.  Let this be a warning to young Democratic women.  Never join a club that has less than 34% women.  If Democrats want my vote back, they’d be wise to implement a quota system in their party membership guaranteeing no less than 34% women running for office.  Scandanavian political parties have a quota system and they have some of the highest living standards and gender equality statistics in the world. But we can save an argument in favor of gender equality in the political parties for another post.  Let’s just say it’s past due and there are very good arguments in favor of it.

Facebook: As many of you may have discovered, I am not a facebook addict.  Send me an invite and I’m likely to ignore it.  I like friends as much as the next person and believe me, it’s not personal.  But I just don’t like the idea of facebook, it’s kludgy interface or the pressure to join it.  In my humble opinion, I feel it has the potential to become the tool to use for social engineering.  Imagine an army of Obot marketers and political psychologists getting their tentacles into facebook through some back room deal with facebook’s founder. The very thought gives me chills.   It would be like the Big Orange Cheeto on crystal meth.  Before you knew it, half the country could be convinced that social security is a commie plot and Democrats have always been against it.  I love to connect with people but prefer my GD independence.  If I wanted peer pressure, I could attend a DFA event.  Not really my thing.  I know some of you don’t see the harm in it and that’s ok.  But that’s how consensus reality works.  You get subsumed into the culture of a thing and before you know it, your perception has changed.  And when your reality is shaped by another entity, how are you going to be sure you’re making up your own mind?

I’ve been following some of the controversy around facebook privacy settings.  This Week in Google, had a very good discussion around the facebook issue and the potential dangers.  (the facebook discussion starts about 1/3 of the way through the podcast)  Also, Al Franken has instructions if you want to disentangle yourself from facebook.  Your choice.

Or it *should* be.

I’ve got a lot of things to say but limited time these days.  But as I watch events around me, I continue to be surprised, but not at all astonished, at the level of incompetence and pointless ambition of the people who we have entrusted to run things.  I can’t imagine why BTD wouldn’t want Bill Clinton back at times like these.  Nor can I understand why the Democrats would slit their throats and destroy the country rather than do the right thing.  If there’s an enthusiasm gap with voters, they brought it on themselves through what I hope is just stupidity. So, to them and all the other clueless who are cannibalizing each other these days, um, have a nice day.

65 Responses

  1. Kagan is a cipher the same way Obama was, so it’s logical to assume she serves the same purpose: a tool of the tool.
    Thanks for the facebook privacy links. As it happens one of my local tabloids put this issue on its front covers. The rest are here
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/tabloidsobama-cuts-nys-terror-funds-wars-polls-spills/

  2. How do you hit the nail on the head squarely every time? Bravo!!! Never said better. Too bad the results will be so awful.

  3. I had to let go of the prosperity part of the American Dream for myself due to health issues and just generally not being that good at earning money. However, I still have a hard time letting go of the democracy part of the American Dream. I can hold fast to my ideals without a two car garage, but I do need support from the citizenry to believe that we can bring this ideal closer to reality. When Bush was elected by the majority for his second term, I began to lose faith in the citizenry. When fear overcomes reason and goodwill, it doesn’t look so good for democracy or any other basis for our civil society.

    I found Wiki’s entry on the American Dream to be enlightening. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Dream

    • I am with you. I don’t think I’ll ever let go of the democracy part, reality be damned. I’ll keep voting – knowing the reality. I’ll keep hoping that it means something – silly me.

    • That description of the American Dream is very enlightening. Thanks for the link purplefinn. I’ve never been good at making money either, and I’m OK with being poor. But I don’t think I want to be a serf or a slave. I’ll fight to the death before I succomb to that fate.

      Talking about the “American Dream” also reminds me of Hunter Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It may be time to reread it.

      • I haven’t read it so I looked that up on wiki too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear_and_Loathing_in_Las_Vegas

        At story’s start, Duke claims their adventure shall be a “gross, physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country”, an idea soon cooled when the excess and fear settle in them………….. Throughout Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the protagonists go out of their way to degrade, abuse, and destroy symbols of American consumerism and excess, while Las Vegas symbolizes the coarse ugliness of mainstream American culture.

        (snip)

        In Rolling Stone magazine, Mikal Gilmore wrote that the novel “peers into the best and worst mysteries of the American heart” and that Thompson “sought to understand how the American dream had turned a gun on itself”. Gilmore believes that “the fear and loathing Thompson was writing about — a dread of both interior demons and the psychic landscape of the nation around him — wasn’t merely his own; he was also giving voice to the mind-set of a generation that had held high ideals and was now crashing hard against the walls of American reality”

  4. RD, your warning of Facebook (I haven’t joined it either) reminds me that Joseph Cannon used to warn us that it was a CIA front to gather info on everybody.

    • I canceled my account. In my humble opinion, FACEBOOK is a pick up cyber tool where it doesn’t matter if people are married and where some regular people go FISHING for personal information.

      I also, don’t like the fact that they grab your e-mail list some how and inform you, you know X and Y and would you like to connect!?!

    • I don’t know if I’d go that far. I figure the CIA already has all the info on us that it can eat. Wave hi to all the spooks!
      No, I’m thinking more along the lines of the Facebook like buttons that are popping up on websites so you can *recommend* sites to your friends. See where I’m going with this? Were you at DailyKos during the Great Recommended List Hostage Crisis of 2008?
      Yeah, sit and chew on that thought for awhile.

      • I had to tell my friend who sells aunt mary on FB to erase his headline, which used to say, “I don’t smoke anymore, but if you need any I’m the N**gga to call. So I had to go up to him in school and be like, “Johnny, you really need to take that off of there. The popo can track websites like facebook, you don’t know how freaky that can get, what with the patriot act, the fuzz are all over it.”
        He changed it the next day. All of the drug dealers I’ve been friends with have been very cautious. They have code speak on the phone and it’s all really weird, they have go-to guys and stuff. I guess it is kind of scary. Sometimes even I’m squeamish about what I post on my wall.

        • Not that we condone illegal activities.
          Of course, the minute it’s legal, there’s going to be one he’ll of a party here but until then our urine is so clean you could drink it.
          If you’re into that sort of thing.

          • My urine is clean too, it’s just some of my friends who behave badly.
            Either way, it’s still kind of scary. The government shouldn’t be able to spy on someone’s conversation because they are suspected of something.

      • I was on facebook a long time ago because FDL used it to network so I was out there when it was young, and like AOL and the www, it’s gotten intolerable since it’s gone to the masses. I also had a small presence on Myspace but got tired of all the middle aged men trolling. I finally got to completely leave myspace when my youngest stopped updating there.

        I have mentioned this before, but my primary reason for being on Facebook is that every kid is on it actively; including my youngest. I don’t care if the CIA stalks her along with me, but believe me, I can keep track of her activities by what pictures her friends upload and link better than any thing else. Any parent of a teen NEEDS to be on facebook these days actively monitoring the kids’ pages.

        • Um, yeah that’s a good call Daki. Kids get up to a lot on the interwebs.
          I have a facebook because I wouldn’t have a social life without social networking. I know that sounds stupid, but it’s true. It’s how I keep track of everything and everyone and yes, I admit to being addicted.
          I had a myspace back when it was popular but I didn’t like it. Now it’s pretty much a hook up site.

        • I think you and others are missing the point about Facebook. The danger is not in the privacy settings as much as the social engineering aspect.
          You now have hundreds of millions of people in Facebook and like buttons popping up on a lot of sites. Remember we came to the Internet because regular media was untrustworthy? Remember we told people to seek out online sources of information? Well, the rest of the world is following us early adapters online but they are ending up in facebook which is rapidly evolving into a giant version of DailyKos.
          That’s a huge problem. Facebook can promote your site if you are well liked and put you on mute if you aren’t. And right now, each one of us in the lefty blogosphere should be asking, well liked by who? Or whom? Who is going to be buying the terminals and the operators who will be liking and recommending and muting?
          Ok, I hate to be a Cassandra about this but it’s probably already in the works.

          • Well, all the conflucians are rather doomed to be cassandras, it seems.

            I agree with your scenario for FB — I bet it is already being used to generate “buzz” in marketing products, and since politics is all about brands and marketing now, it is very logical. Lemmings.

          • Hhhhhhhmmmmm, I suppose I get what you’re saying and you probably have a good point, RD. But then with that logic doesn’t everything run the risk of being taken over by outside interests? What about wordpress? It serves us pretty well now but what if, say an outside source buys it and changes it? I mean, a good amount of people read this blog and I’m still a little weirded out about what happened to Puma and websites like Hillbuzz. It’s almost like nothing is sacred anymore. First they come for kos… then they come for Puma… then they come for facebook…

          • I ignore the buttons the same way I ignore tv commercials and ads on all the other blogger’s websites. I switched my privacy settings so they don’t share with other sites now. I don’t do much other than post the occasional status and blog posts I find because most of my friends out there are either PUMA or FDL. Then, I get pictures of the girls who will post them there but not send them to their old mom!!!

          • Yes, votermom, you are quite right. “Social media” has been used in advertising for some time now. It’s part of any good branding campaign.

    • It’s all a CIA front, if they’re still working. Facebook doesn’t come close to the information Google already has about us.

      • Ayup, and we are such quiet little wimmin folk. 😉

      • not only is it all a CIA front, but if they really want your ass, they will make shit up…so what does it matter what they know? The military tribunals at Gitmo are about not having to bother with gathering actual info…
        But imo, something as big as Face-book has become , must be CIA… or they aren’t doing their job. If it isn’t CIA, they can walk in and take it over, any time they wish. But as I say , if they want you, they will make stuff up. It almost doesn’t matter what you actual do.

        • Nah, I think it’s just natural selection. Facebook has the right phenotype to make it an easy entry to the internet for the uninitiated. Even my mother has a facebook page and she knows how to use it. The problem is that Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t seem to have a shut off switch. He keeps ceding more and more privacy stuff while infiltrating more and more sites. It’s like a virus that’s reaching pandemic levels. With 500000000 users, he’s got a lot of power. He could do real damage with all that information or he could let someone else use it. You know, allow bad actors to bend public opinion, turn up the volume for one group, turn on mute for others. Zuckerberg apparently doesn’t have a conscience one way or the other.

    • heh

      They should just petition kroger to give them my kroger card info.

      The only reason I see to use facebook is coupons and freebies. I sure as heck haven’t “friended” anyone online otherwise including my own spouse. 🙂

      • I signed up to spy on my younger son. I did it years ago when he was in his early 20s. Suddenly last year a lot of old friends from school and from the south Florida theater community appeared and now I do use it to communicate with them.

  5. Unfortunately, at my age and in my position and with my build, I can only make money if I get naked and dance on a pole. But I don’t care! I still get to try to salvage the American Dream, so I’m not giving up on it. It’s mine, all mine! Call me a silly idealist, or just call me an idiot, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
    I hope things are going well for you, RD. Fabulous post. I also hope Franken grills Kagan, especially on executive privilege issues. I have a post about this that I’m putting up in a couple of hours.

  6. Isis, if you can make money dancing naked, do it! I would if I was young and pretty. I was gonna say it sounds like easy money but dancin is hard!

    • ….
      *cough*
      Ahem… well, let’s just say that I know from personal experience that it is in fact very hard. Especially lap dances. You have no idea how dumb men like strippers to be. And since I’m not naturally dumb, I have to channel my three and two year old nieces so I can sound like I have a single digit IQ when I walk up to the nearest loser. “Hi! I’m [insert that evening’s stage name]! You’re cute! Want a dance?”

      • Smart enough to know how to act dumb – you are smart (but I knew that)! I look forward to the time when your writing pays the bills. Until then, all is fodder for your art.

      • anyone young and pretty who is doing that work should be able to find a higher class of club to dance at, where they do not permit any physical contact. You also make more money at those places and it is less traumatic when you are 40 and your children find out they did that for money, back in the day.

    • Since when is “young and pretty” a requirement for sex work?

      • Depends on the sex work.

      • yeah, old and toothless seems to be more the trend.

      • Well, I’m prettier than a lot of the other dancers, which is why they all hate me. Girls can be so mean 😦

        • Please don’t take offense. I wasn’t referring to you LI. I was referring to Glenn’s comment.

          Sex work is a rough business and it usually shows, yet men persist in perpetuating the stereotype of the young, beautiful sex worker. I grow weary of the lie.

          • It’s okay, I know you weren’t referring to me. When my Aunt found out that I sometimes strip on the side, she said it worried her because she felt like
            I was a dolphin swimming in a tank of sharks. I just try to act like it’s no big deal.
            And since men are stupid enough to believe the strippers after their wallets actually really like me it doesn’t surprise me that they might believe dancers look like that in real life. Long term strippers have breast implants and spray on tans because their skin is all ready fried from tanning booths and they need something to cover up the cellulite. No woman actually looks like a stripper. I don’t, I’m just lucky I’m top heavy and I have a narrow waist. It means there likely will never have to be price tags hanging from my from my boobs.

          • *really like them*

  7. The American Dream of equal opportunity. Well, one cannot deny that DC has finally achieved that — the people of Main Street now have equal LACK of opportunity.
    And the CEOs and banksters and Wall Street and K Street all have equal access to bail outs.
    If that’s not fair I don’t know what is.

    Oh, you mean giving Main Street and equal footing with Wall Street and K Street. Don’t be ridiculous. DC’s job is to serve the people – serve them up on a platter to Big Money to be sliced, diced, and completely consumed.

  8. “Teh American Dream”

    In the words of Alice Cooper:

    Welcome to my nightmare.

  9. Another nail on the head post. This uneducated working class menopausal sino-peruvian lesbian salutes you.

    So many of the jobs which a lot of people hoped would allow them to live a version of the dream are gone and never coming back. The latest economic disaster only sped it up incredibly.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/business/economy/13obsolete.html?hp

    Dummies like we have in power now will never get the country off this downward slide.

  10. Given the discussion of Facebook here today, you all might find this article of interest…

    Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/facebook-rogue/#ixzz0niscF7RN

  11. “Breaking” news
    http://www.correntewire.com/bullet_head

    General Seh Daeng, a leader of the Red Shirt protestors, was being interviewed by a reporter when he was shot in the head. (sniper?)
    The Red Shirts have been a non-violent populist movement composed mainly of farmers; this is a really dire cracking down of the government.

  12. Jonathan Pryce

    • Ah Laura you may have those carton spirals in your eyes, but you aren’t as dumb as your husband!

      Wahoo!

    • Another reason to support 30 percent female representation.

      • Exactly. But let’s aim for 60%, just to be sure.

        • Deal.

        • Since I have learned Laura Bush is for gay marriage and supports Roe V Wade, I am thinking of starting a Draft Laura for Senate movement. We could use a few social liberals there to push back against our socially conservative President.

    • to tell the truth I am not sure that Dubya doesn’t personally support both things too.
      Howard Dean tells a story about meeting Bush at a governors convention and saying something about the religious conservatives in TX who had been giving bush hell. Bush responded that he “hates those people”.

  13. BB, Laura Bush is a librarian so she’s alot smarter than most people in the room. Imagine having to keep in the background and listen to Poppy Bush with Jeb, Neil and George all talking and hearing nothing come out of their mouths but crap.

    • It seems to me obvious that her comments on the economy are a criticism of Bush, not Obama. She knows as well as anyone that you don’t fix a mess like this one in 16 months.

    • Dick Morris is so damned bitter, It is amazing that he has held on to it for this long. All I can imagine is that he was always a train wreck and it took Bill Clinton a long time to figure it out.

  14. Fantastic rant. Agree on FB; the risk/benefit analysis is not reassuring.

  15. I’m not the sitting on the sidelines type either. I’ve taken my energy and am using it towards ensuring people who I know are able to understand what is and isn’t being done on their behalf. I may not have a political home right now but I’ll be darned if I’ll sit quietly and allow the clueless 60% who believe in party loyalty over ideals to continue to decimate tthings without a fight.

  16. LOL – that link to BTD and the comments was priceless. One would have thought it was an open thread. BTD has bored me for so long now. He is like a dog with a bone. He blogs for weeks on end on one or two topics, and if it has a hispanic element, that chip on his shoulder gets huge and there’s no way to knock it off.

    TL needs to drop the Left from its title and change to TalkBIG …. that site is a bunch of people with a superiority complex. Not one of them is nearly as smart as they think they sound. Snippets of thoughts and cheesey sarcastic insults.

  17. OMG, this song is at the very top of my favorite list at the moment! I like to think of my stupid boss when I hear it, and the fact that I’m about to have the pleasure of telling her where she can shove it.

  18. Good to read you again. And to Dakini, I wish you the best down there in the oily mess. It all just seems very unreal at this point — all of it.
    I hope they can stop it very soon, Dakini.

    RD you are so right on the social gig you described. I was looking at Twitter and a Palin one flashed by as a sort of joke about how the animals were fouling up the oil. It’s not even funny, you know? Not at all.

    None of it is. Dakini, our state is going under too — just differently. Given what the gov is doing in the news today.
    Scary for all, oil or massive cuts to things. One wonders what this will lead to.

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