Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Arizona Secession

The State of Arizona is for all intents and purposes shutting down, and is in the slow motion process of seceding from the Union. This has been clear to me as I've traveled across the state numerous times over the last few years. In previous posts, I've noted that the Interstate 40 rest stops are closed, most of the state parks are closed, and the state is motivated to sell its state buildings to raise cash. In addition, Arizona recently passed an open concealed carry gun law that essentially removes any restriction on the acquisition and open carrying of concealed firearms anywhere in the state under any circumstances without a permit.

All that, followed by the recent "Show Your Papers or Go To Jail" law -- which ultimately may never go into force, but we'll see -- is a form of defiance that comes naturally to some Arizonans, but which flies in the face of a developing national conscience and consensus about some basic principles of living together in a civilized society.

Arizona dissents.

Says, "Fuck you." The State Motto.

The point here is that the old (white) farts that have proliferated there don't want to pay taxes, don't think they should have to, don't want to follow rules imposed on them, and they are refusing to conform to the developing basic rules of American society. They are declaring their Independence from a society, and ultimately from a country, they loathe and despise, and they are in essence defying anyone to do anything about it.

The precipitating cause is the Endless Recession that Arizonans have no easier way of escaping than anyone else, but perhaps the model is that Cranky Old "Get Off My Lawn" Man, Sen. McCain. Who does nothing much but crab, complain, fuss, and preen on the TeeVee whenever he gets the chance.

Texas Governor Rick Perry has been flirting with the Secessionists since the election of that Colored Man to the Presidency. Of course many other Southerners like to toy with Secessionist hoo-hah; it's what they do. It's who they are. But what's going on in Arizona, while as White Supremacist as anything in Dixie, is not from that same animus. Instead, Arizonans are acting on their Old West cussedness. It's their animosity toward being told what to do, or being prevented from doing what they want. Cf: Old Man McCain.

They continue on this route, Arizona will indeed secede. Set itself up as an independent republic (of some sort). The Devil take the hindmost.

Contrast with New Mexico next door, where the Neo-Liberal government of Bill Richardson and the Democrats (Dems all the way down) has decided to "stay the course" as it were, by taxing the poor. Smart. Some budget cuts, program tweaking, hours reduced, etc. But most everything is still open, the Welcome mat is still out, and things are going on pretty much the way they always have, only now shoppers are paying a sales tax on food and cigarettes cost $7 a pack and so on.

The point being to raise the cost of living for those least able to afford it, and to do everything possible to ensure the continued comfort and convenience for the rich.

A Del Webb community has just opened in Bernalillo. The first and so far only in New Mexico. Arizona is creeping into New Mexico, and I wonder if the locals have any idea....

Russia Today Explains It All For You

This video of a rather lengthy discussion on Russia Today TV about "Soviet Amerika" might be illuminating to anyone who questions the notion that the United States is an Empire, behaving as an Imperial Power, and is falling into many of the same traps and hazards Empires of the past have been prey to, most tellingly, the former Soviet Union.

One of the main problems with maintaining the Founders' vision of their new republic -- and one of the main reasons it has failed -- is the matter of scale. The United States is simply too big, and constantly strives to become much bigger (either literally or by proxy), to maintain the kind of rugged quasi-libertarian republic the Founders set in motion. The Imperial idea was there at the beginning, of course, given that the Rebellion, the Revolution, was an act of liberation from the British Empire. But not -- at all -- for the purpose of ending Imperial ambition. Instead, it was to take control of the Imperial impulse in this hemisphere at any rate from the hands of the British and to conduct the Imperial enterprise the way the men of substance who precipitated and engaged in the Revolution desired.

But you can't really have an Empire that's close to the People except as tyranny. The Republican ideal and Imperial tyranny are simply incompatible. What do you do?

Initially, Americans tried to resolve the incompatibility by expansion -- which in time included, of course, the genocide and extreme resource exploitation, extraordinary levels of immigration, numerous wars of aggression and conquest and so on that characterize America's expansionary period. It also included a devastating Civil War.

I've commented in the past about the telling irony of the Gold Rush. Arguably, America was a Libertarian Paradise, say from 1800-1850, and yet, when gold was discovered in the newly conquered territory of California, hundreds of thousands of Americans packed up and left their Paradise -- at immense expense and risk to life and limb -- and headed out to California, where many of them simply died, if they made it at all.

And I've asked why. Why would they do that if they already lived in Paradise? While there was gold to be found, to be sure, the individual Argonaut was in no position to find much of it, and certainly was not going to hold on to it if he did. Most of these Argonauts knew that when they set out, or if they didn't know it, they came to understand it on the trek. If they survived the trip, they were generally impoverished, famished, and worn out by the time they got to California, and many were so disappointed by what they found, and so filled with foreboding and loathing they promptly died.

Few of the survivors ever made more than the meanest living in California, and such living as they were able to make required the constant replenishment of the population with newcomers. That's been the basis of California's "prosperity" all along. Attract a constant stream of immigrants, and by this means, some of those who arrived earlier are able to "prosper" by exploiting the newcomers. If that fails, as it does from time to time, bar the door.

Speeded up and in microcosm, that's the story of the United States.

But what happens when that endeavor reaches the end? The net has to be cast farther and farther afield, and the Empire has to grow either physically or by proxy outside the boundaries of the territory already claimed and settled.

But that sets in motion instabilities that can easily lead to collapse.

The Rugged Yeoman of yore cannot individually seize some foreign land and rule and prosper as potentate -- and still preserve anything of the Republican ideal of the Founders.

The Rugged Yeoman becomes a Tyrant. His Republic becomes an Empire. The scale of the endeavor metastasizes.

Our friends in Russia have tried to approach the problem from the reverse direction, going from Empire to Republic, and in doing so, have somewhat reduced the scale of their political enterprise by spinning off many of the "Republics" that once constituted the Soviet Union and before that, the Russian Empire. Yet they still face the tyranny of their own Oligarchs and their republican political efforts are primitive at best. It sort of works -- and doesn't. The urge to Empire is still very strong within Russia today.

On the other hand, the United States has formed a political and economic axis with the United Kingdom, at least at the elite levels, which is practically a unity. The dissolved British Empire is being revivified through the Power and agency of the United States, with a specific concentration on those areas of the globe where the British failed to impose their benevolent rule: Iraq, the Yemen, Somalia, the Sudan, Iran, Afghanistan and so forth. All of these were failed British colonial outposts or failed clients of the British Empire when time was. Their continued assertion of independence is being directly challenged by American (primarily) military might and technology, with Israel's annoyance and tag-along in the Middle-East.

And the comment from observers abroad is that this is absurd and self-destructive. Don't do it! And yet it is being done. Without let or hindrance. Those who have been down this path before go unheard and unheralded.

Study and consider.

As always, the question remains, What do you do about it?

The always upbeat and cheery Chris Floyd (heh) provides plenty of additional cogency. I can only take him in small doses, but he's right you know. His buddy Arthur Silber (also right, you know) I can't take at all.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What Have We Learned?

We've learned from the WikiLeaks video of the slaughter of some dozen Iraqis from above that what we see is routine. That is how the Glorious War On Terror is conducted, that is how is has consistently been conducted for years upon years, that is the daily reality the Wogs face and have been facing since well before the Glory of our Expeditions Abroad was brought into focus by the public opening of the various fronts in our perpetual wars of aggression.

To the Wogs on the ground -- remember, they have no airplanes, no helicopters, no drones with which to defend themselves from the ceaseless slaughter -- the exterminations from above are entirely random, arbitrary, cruel, and extremely brutal. The Killers almost always take out entirely innocent civilian targets, who have no idea they are targets, but the survivors learn that any Wog at any time can -- and quite likely will -- become a target for the Killers From Above. Perhaps they are lucky that their faith provides a fatalist outlook on events so they if by random "luck" of the draw they are slaughtered by the Killers, they will accept their Fate with almost as much equanimity as their Killers deliver it.

We've learned that the military lies, constantly, and that lying is Doctrine,; even when they tell the truth, they are lying. They lie about everything, and they lie all the time. It is their way. It is who they are. It is the world in which they live; it is all a lie, a constant lie, and they want, nay demand, that we, civilian observers of their slaughters and their lies, believe their lies, or at the very least set aside our disbelief long enough for them to get on with their job. Which is the killing of Wogs.

Time and again, we heard the defenders of the Killers claim that the killing was justified because an RPG and AK-47s were found among the crushed and burned and separated remains of the Wogs who were exterminated from above that day. Indeed, from the video evidence, it appears that at least a couple of the Wogs are carrying rifles, but there is no sign of RPG weapons, despite the hysteric calling of the troops that they "see" one. No they don't, they see two cameras which they hysterically misidentify as RPGs and which misidentification they then use to justify opening fire on the Wogs. The rifles seen in the video are never aimed or used in any sort of threatening manner; they appear to be entirely defensive weapons. But weapons just the same.

But the RPG "presence" is the justification for the slaughter, not the rifles, and there is no RPG. No RPG is found. What is found are mangled and destroyed camera lenses which the hysterical declare to be "RPGs" and so it is still being reported that an RPG "round" was found among the dead and mutilated remains, because it is the central lie of the whole episode. The Killers must have this central lie believed.

We've learned that the Killers are hysterics, and they are terrified of Wogs, absolutely petrified with fear of Wogs and Woggery, and their sole response to their fear and their hysteria is to kill, kill, kill! The Killers appear to be so drugged up they can't tell what it is they see on their monitors, so they call it whatever they need to call it to justify the slaughter they are about to conduct, regardless of any reality outside their hysterical fear of the Wogs and what they will do. And we've learned that they will be backed up by their superiors, all the way up to the Pentagon and the White House without reservation.

We've learned that Our Rulers have no shame at this conduct. We've learned that our troops have no shame at this conduct. We've learned that Americans are almost entirely desensitized to this conduct -- or actively cheer it on. We've learned, or we should have learned, that Power, naked, raw and and cruel, is what this so-called War is about, and the application of Killing Power, arbitrary, random, and cruel, is how it is conducted.

Now that we know this, what shall we do? It is the endless conundrum. What shall we do?

There are those who defend the Killers because they're "just doing their jobs," and they should not be held to account for what they do. I've never understood or agreed with that viewpoint, because in fact, they are responsible for what they do, and they cross the line on their own volition. They can say no. There may be consequences for doing so, of course, but there are consequences (eventually) for the slaughters they conduct as well.

That does not relieve their officers and commanders all the way up to the Pentagon and the White House of their responsibility, but it is up to those on the ground and in the air over the so-called "battle zone" to say NO, loud and clear, and refuse to fire, refuse to believe a camera lens is an RPG, refuse to become hysterical killers for... what?

As much as we want to think that it was the protests at home that ultimately ended the Vietnam War, it was just as much the fact that the troops were refusing to continue killing gooks wildly to no discernible object, and that they were even killing their officers rather than continue the insane slaughter of the gooks.

Until the troops in our expeditionary forces take the initiative and refuse to continue the slaughter, it will go on. It is the first step. The command will, eventually, follow. They will have no choice.

The military is nowhere close to that point yet. And as Dan Froomkin points out, absolutely no one in Congress is the least interested in exploring the basis for what is shown in the WikiLeaks video. None. Not at all.

We learned a long time ago that Our Rulers do not listen to what those on the "Left" have to say about anything. It is not in their interests to bother with what the "Left" has to say. They are, on the other hand, more than happy to fret and worry right along with whatever the Rightists and other hysterics have to say, fearful always of what the Rightists might do. Which is one reason why the "Left" is ignored: they have demonstrated time and again they will do nothing, whatever, that Our Rulers need to pay attention to if they don't get their way. Whereas we know the Rightists love to kill people and blow shit up and are heavily funded by Rightist economic interests to hold that threat constantly over the Government and Our Rulers. So they often do get much more than a hearing, they get action to satisfy their demands.

Surprising how that still works, but it does.

The only thing we can be certain of is that the world of Our Rulers and their expeditionary forces is entirely divorced from that of the rest of us, and that we, The People, as it were, have more and more in common with the suffering (and often slaughtered) masses in the rest of the world than we have with those who rule us and seek ever greater levels of control over us.

Provided we learn the lesson of our global commonality with one another -- and our utter alienation from those who rule us -- we will have a way forward. Until then, the path is backwards.

Will we learn that lesson?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

There's Been a Change

Since the passage of what's still called the Healthcare (even though it is really Health Insurance) Reform, Obama's status among the Powers That Be has risen dramatically. Oh, the groundlings are still fussing the way they do, but as far as those who acknowledge and wield Power, Obama is now confirmed as The Good Emperor he was put in place to be.

He has done The Impossible.

This actually confers upon him something close to god-like status.

No one thought he could really do it, let alone his many cranky critics on the right and the left.

And yet as it has happened, the Government over which he presides is falling further and further into the void as far as the public is concerned, with a recent Pew poll showing as many as 80% distrusting Government as an institution.

Yes. Well.

That's what happens when the Government as an Institution has become such a wretched mess, partly by design, partly through neglect, and partly as a consequence of simple inertia. We've had thirty years, an entire generation, of deliberate political design to hamstring, cripple and eventually destroy the Government as an Institution intended to serve the People. And when it comes to poor people, the destructive design has been going on much longer. The very proposition of Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" produced a reactionary response, and an immediate and long-lasting effort to thwart and destroy it commenced.

But in other ways the institutional systems of Government have been critically neglected for most of the past 30 years, and their neglect has led them to neglect their core functions and duties. This is how, in part, the economy has been allowed to go through repeated bubbles and crashes. The mechanics of regulation have simply been neglected -- to the point that they don't function any more. The Bubble and Bust economy is the result. "Nothing can be done about it." Of course "something" can be done, "something" could have been done about it all along, but it wasn't due to the culture of neglect that pervaded the institutions of Government that might have intervened.

So it has been in many spheres, from finance and banking through infrastructure, to education and -- indeed -- health care. Neglect, greed, kleptocracy, incompetence, all have run rampant.

In Government, once a policy course is set, it runs by inertia, continuing blindly regardless of its purpose or utility. Thus neglect provides its own inertial direction forward. Right onto the rocks, if such there be.

That, too, can be part of design.

Obama came into the frayed and deteriorated Government "from out of nowhere" and set about making The Change.

It's not the Change many people seem to have expected from him, in that he has preserved nearly all the attributes of the Bushevik Imperial and Expansionist State -- which so many of us objected to and still do. But then, he was fairly clear that he would do this when in office, and institutional inertia would tend to preserve it in any case. Say what you will about the Imperial State the Busheviks put in place, it was and is a functioning as opposed to a fractured and faltering Governmental direction. It was/is "something."

He also made clear he was a Corporatist, dyed in the wool, and would, so far as he could, promote Corporate interest. So let it be written, so let it be done.

But Corporate interest in the aggregate is not necessarily what many of us think it is. The Healthcare, for example, is a specifically Corporate Interest -- and institutional interest -- measure designed to clarify and begin to stabilize a sector that has long been wildly out of control, thanks to neglect. (A neglect that I would say was deliberate after Clinton's HCR measure went down in flames.) Whether it will work or not, I don't know, but that's the obvious intent.

That's a huge Change. And it is fully in the interests of the corporations and institutions which will be most affected, so much so that some of them are actually implementing portions of the reform early. This is what they wanted.

Militarily, there are at least signs that the direction is changing, but the inertia of the military institutions and the purposes and causes of Empire set for them won't allow much Change in the short term. They are still in a cruel-killer mode that likely will not be altered until and unless Imperial objectives change significantly.

And what exactly is the purpose and objective of the Empire? I've asked this question numerous times over the last ten or fifteen years, and if there is an answer at all, it is typically based on economics, resource acquisition, and furthering some sort of amorphous Greater Good. For Us. Not them.

But from the way the Empire is being imposed, it seems the purpose of it, ultimately, is nothing more, really, than Power. To Be and to Command. Resistance is not only Futile, it is Stupid. Submit. Now. And never rise again.

This seems to be the overriding doctrine and policy of the Empire -- domestically and abroad, though the imposition of it abroad is far more brutal and cruel.

It is a re-ordering of the nation and the world -- as big a Change as could be imagined -- ultimately for the purpose of re-ordering. For its own sake, in other words.

I've often said that Obama's reign is the Neo-Liberal phase of the two-phase system under which we are ruled, whereas the Bush-Cheney grotesquerie was the Neo-Conservative phase. There is no genuine two-party system, no genuine democracy at the national level, and no genuine representation by our electeds, either. The Constitution is essentially a relic of a bygone Republic that never really worked all that well anyway, and the future, which seemed so chaotic and impossible when the Busheviks were in charge, is now coming into focus.

Change we can believe in? We haven't seen that yet, and the Pew poll shows that the People don't believe it yet.

But if some clever dick ever figures out that something most certainly can be done about the appalling unemployment levels, the uncertainty levels, and the atrocious burdens of household debt -- all of which the Experts claim are long-term, structural, and that "nothing can be done about them" -- the Change will crystalize. A more or less permanent direction (and strange, almost Chinese, stability) will be achieved.

Those who are making the most fuss right now seem farther and farther out of step with the course of events. The fuss itself is devolving into entertainment. That's perhaps where it needs to be, and where it will need to stay. Which is not to say that the Changes we are subject to are what we want or what we need.

It is more a case that the Future has been taken out of our hands.

Bow down. Rejoice.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On Killing the Enemies of America

The recent release of an Apache helicopter gunner video by WikiLeaks has caused something of a stir. There have been previous similar video releases, though they are usually reversed contrast as in night-camera or otherwise made to seem more video game like and less... real.

This latest one has caused something of a stir because it is very graphic, brutal, hideous, and grotesque. In it, a number of Iraqi men are seen to assemble, to go about some sort of business, to chat with one another, chat on their cell phones, and they are seen to be blasted by Apache cannon-fire, many killed, some wounded -- and then killed -- and those who come to pick up the wounded are also blasted and killed. Turns out there were some children in the van that came to attend the wounded, and the children were gravely wounded in the fire from the Apache gunship. Their father was killed.

This video is getting some attention in the mainstream -- not a lot, but some -- because two of the Iraqis killed were employees of Reuters news service, and Reuters had been trying to get the gunner's video for years through the appropriate channels at the Pentagon. The incident happened in 2007 during the Surge. The other dead and wounded Iraqis have been generally ignored by the mainstream media. No surprise there. The general random extermination of Brown People Over There has not mattered to the powers that be at the mediaplexes since it was determined by the Pentagon that there would be no count nor accounting of dead and wounded Brown People in the Glorious War On Terror (in Perpetuity.) It would not be the job of the Pentagon to concern itself with their dead and injured. Period. So our media has followed suit.

There's been some sense that this incident must be an anomaly of some sort, because surely Our Forces do not randomly exterminate people Over There like this. And I say "randomly" because the video shows men on the street with cameras and with (possibly) a few weapons going about their business in a dangerous neighborhood where there had been some conflict recently. The men are fully in the open, they are not showing the slightest hostile intent, nor are they in any way menacing or conducting military or "terrorist" operations of any kind that can be determined from Above. Nevertheless, those who will kill them are heard discussing the men's weaponry and hostile intent as if it were real and they were not making it up on the spot.

And this goes on all the time. It has from the beginning of the Iraq invasion.

The presumption has been, from the beginning, that any Iraqi male is by definition Enemy, and any armed or thought to be armed Iraqi is subject to summary execution from Above (or from the ground if that is more convenient.) Anyone in the way, too bad.

And that's what happens here.

It's been going on just like this from the outset of hostilities. And if reports of pre-invasion actions over Iraq bear any truth, and I suspect they do, it was going on just like this for years before the invasion itself.

To the Iraqis, this is random murder, random slaughter. Anyone could be targeted and taken out at any time, for no reason at all that the Iraqis can determine. It is purely arbitrary from their point of view, not unlike the fictional situation faced by Earthlings in H. G. Wells' "War of the Worlds."

In that work, Wells was positing a parallel situation between the experiences of Londoners subjected to the invasion of Martians, and Natives in foreign lands subjected at the time he wrote (1898) and being subjected to random and incomprehensible arbitrary extermination by their New Overlords.

This is how Imperialism was imposed in those days, and we can see from videos like this that this is how this is the way Imperialism is imposed today.

The point is to target and kill randomly so as to make it impossible (so it is assumed) for the Natives to respond coherently. It will drive them to despair, and in despair they will welcome their new masters and submit to their commands. It worked in the Old Days, more or less, and it is supposed to work now.

Just look at Iraq now!

It would appear that those who are doing the targeting and killing really have no clue what they are doing. They are also imagining things about their targets (such as their weaponry and their intent) that has no earthly basis in what's visible to them from Above. They're simply making it up and convincing one another of the "truth" of their fantasies. It comes across as similar to a drug induced illusion that is not in any way real, but they are convinced that what they "see" is the Truth.

On that note, it's of some interest that Rummy had a grand scheme to create a small force of rugged killers, who would be drugged up to maintain their constant readiness and ability to kill without question and in so far as possible under their own initiative. It looks from this video to be that's what we've got in the air over our various hostile locations around the world. No rational person seeing what the video shows would reach the conclusions about the armaments and intentions of the Iraqis on the ground that these killers from Above do. Their actions are brutal, but their beliefs are unreal.

As I say, this has been going on, relentlessly, in all our theaters of endless war for a very long time now. It is the way our Imperial Operations are conducted.

The killers declare some threat to exist, request permission to exterminate, and do it.

And our leaders continue to wonder why the Natives hate us.

WikiLeaks says they will release more such video anon. Eventually, perhaps, Americans will come to understand that this is the way their Empire is established and they will turn away from it in disgust, but I actually doubt it. Previous experience shows that Americans have no problem at all with randomly exterminating brown people who are in the way. None.

And of course, no matter what happens, the military will lie about it and their lies will be routinely disseminated without question by nearly all the English speaking mass media. It is what they do.

The 39 minute full version:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

On the Violence. Or the threats thereof...

Much is being made... well, some at any rate... over the violence attending the passage of the HCR (now dubbed "Health Insurance Reform" or HIR) legislation what with all the symbolism of Kristallnacht and such that went with the broken glass and yowling of the mobs.

Comes now the warnings about and the round up of some of the fringier and flakier of the lunatics on the right, those who claim the right of insurrection starting with the officers of the law.

The way this is being played out is interesting. It seems that Our Rulers are singling out certain elements on the right for close scrutiny and they are taking out certain very marginal players, and they seem to be doing it as a signal to the TeaBaggers and their sponsors that if they step out of line the man'll come and take them away.

But the line, for those on the right, seems to be set at "Pretty Much Anything Goes."

They can carry on as wildly as they like, including breaking windows, so long as... no one gets hurt? Is that the game? All good clean fun, eh?

Blowing off steam, as Rush would say. Actually, the other day -- probably yesterday -- he was going full bore against Obama, claiming Obama started it! Obama said mean things against el Rushbo, mean, mean, mean! It was quite a performance...

Ah. Key: this is all Performance. I'm sure there are folks out there eager wage something come April 19, and who knows, they might just do it.

But there is another level to all of this. Back in the day, it was critically important for Our Rulers to discredit and marginalize and co-opt the lefty insurgency, and they did so with a wide range of tactics, from the "Free Speech Zones" to the Marches in Place. And anybody who got out of line was bludgeoned, gassed, or hauled off to the pokey. Remnant Communists organized some of the biggest protest marches the nation, nay the world, had ever seen, and they were studiously ignored by the Ruling Class. Through these means and others, relentlessly and piteously applied, the Left -- so called -- became so marginalized it all but disappeared, replaced by an ersatz-left that is almost indistinguishable from Reaganism. Clever ploy, eh? The point is, it worked. There is no "Left" left in this country. And there is little or no possibility of one arising -- or re-arising -- any time soon.

Now to apply the same proven tactics to the right.

The TeaBaggers are getting lots of attention from the Republican rump party and from the media, but they come across as reactionary and insolent and deeply confused about the simplest things. There's justifiable anger of course among the People, and the TeaBaggers collect and diffuse the anger. Nobody knows what they're fighting against or fighting for, they're just fighting for the hell of it. Or something like that. The more these people are seen, the more they -- and their childish anger -- are marginalized. The more they are featured, the less their message resonates.

Ultimately Our Rulers become the Wise and Witty, Warm and Wonderful realists who are Doing the Best They Can for All of Us, and those on the Left and those on the Right can just sit down, shut up, and listen to their betters.

The Rightists have been denying there was any violence, at least that there was any violence committed by them. The bricks and the epithets either didn't happen at all or if they did, they were the product of "Leftist" provocateurs. Maybe they were, who knows? But I think the Rightists understand better what is going on than those on the so-called Left, because they've practiced these very same tactics for many years. Successfully.

Now they see they themselves being targeted. And they are worried.


Meanwhile, the Ruling Class continues on its merry way, looting, murdering, pillaging and plundering with abandon, and no one's the wiser.

Have you read Matt Taibbi's piece, or gone over to Chris Floyd's for something dismal lately? Well, there you are. We're not really making any progress at all.

Ah, but it's Spring!

A Flower:

Friday, April 2, 2010