Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Life At Versailles, In Sum: the Final Round

Well. Wasn't that refreshing?

Himself and The Other One seemed to really get into it for once. The Other One looked to me to be pale and sweaty and even a bit blotchy under the intensity of the teevee lights and the penetrating gaze of Himself. The Other One even seemed to be "out of his depth" as they say on the all-important topic of Foreign Policy, unable to dent the rather gory record of the President of the United States even while bringing up a string of disasters and failures of this or that importance "on his watch."

"Commander-in-Chief" was the oft-repeated phrase, and as far as I could tell, Wromley (h/t Crowley) didn't really want that bit of Presidential Prerogative. This Killing of Brown People that Obama seems to relish these days appeared to make Wromley somewhat queasy. In a sense that's a good thing I guess. Presidents -- at least the way we are expected to regard them -- should not really be into the slaughter game. It hasn't been a celebrated characteristic in White House residents since TR, and he was always careful to make it clear that he "deplored" the slaughter he was (of course) forced to engage in (particularly in the Philippines)  and he loudly condemned the troops who went too far in their extermination of the Natives so as to secure that piece of American Empire.

Much of the "debate" -- which was closer to a real debate on substantive issues than previous forays -- focused on domestic issues and policies, particularly with regard to the economy, rather than foreign affairs. Good enough. There's not much to be said about America's foreign policy that isn't a factor of the rotten economy for the masses. Obama pointed out time and again that Romney would simply reinstate the same economic policies that crashed the economy under the Busheviks (true), but what he didn't say was that the Obama economic policies are almost identical. There has been very little positive change under Obama, and everybody knows it. As a rule, most of Romney's main criticisms of Obama economic policies are spot on: the economy is "sputtering," unemployment and underemployment is way -- way -- too high, ordinary people are struggling while the government lavishes money and favors on the rich, and so on. These things are not accidents, they are policy. And the Obama Administration proposes to "stay the course," essentially making no changes in the policies that are causing so much misery for the millions.

Meanwhile, Romney's prescription borders on insanity: he would return to the Bushevik Era free-for-all, crony-capitalist loot-fest, only now with the targets being Social Security and Medicare and whatever else is left of the social safety net and piddly middle class wealth, and he would call it a Good Thing.

Obama would do the same only with a few more controls on the looting and who gets first dibs.

Hm. Some choice there.

The "First Dibs" issue is basically all that the candidates are contesting. Their policies -- both foreign and domestic -- are all but identical in every important way (which is the way our political/governmental system is designed to operate in any case). The choice before the voters is not between policies, it is between personalities, styles, and who among the Highest of the Mighty has First Dibs on government and the benefits flowing therefrom.

It's not "tribal," it's inner-tribal. In other words, the political class is all the same tribe. The struggle, to the extent there is one, is between factions within the political class itself, and between factions of the Overclass that owns and controls the political class. But they are all, every single one, of the same tribe.

They are all denizens of Versailles. They all live in the bubble of a palace culture; and their realm is not that of the People.

For them, holding the keys to the Throne and the Treasury for the benefit of themselves and their friends is what it is all about; "First Dibs." The People don't factor in, or if they do, it is as an afterthought. Or sometimes, very rarely, because they are restless and throwing things.

At the on stage meet and greet after the "debate" the fact that these candidates were on the same side was made manifest what with all the Hale Fellow Well Met backslapping, hugs and handshakes. Even Tagg and the President had a good guffaw over something or other (Gee, I wonder what?) and the plethora of Romney children and grandchildren practically mobbed Obama ("Gee, can you be Our Dad?")

As for The Winner? I would give it to Obama because he didn't look like he was going to faint.

But who will win the election -- at this point -- I have no idea. The Rs have been diligently setting up their plans to steal the election outright if need be. Ds have done little or nothing about it, so even if Obama has a strong plurality at the polls, it won't necessarily lead to victory. I wouldn't be surprised if we had another Election 2000 situation, something that our Overlords seem to relish.

On the other hand, many have come to the conclusion that it will be a run-away Obama victory, that Romney will be thoroughly trounced, and that this has all been carefully planned for a very long time. What we see is just the Show; what's going on behind the scenes is what matters, and the result is to be a resounding Obama victory. He, after all, institutes Republican policies far better than Republicans ever did.

We'll see.

Meanwhile, an inside look at the Secret Rituals of the Mormon Temple is making the rounds. I watched the hour and twenty minute full version the the internet, embedded and linked below, because I'm into science fiction sometimes, and the whole thing seemed like it was straight out of a 1950's science fiction movie. Which makes me wonder how many science fiction authors and movie-makers were/are Mormons either current or ex. Anyway, it's an interesting -- if somewhat creepy -- diversion. Some of those who have watched it or the shorter version have claimed that "all religions" are creepy like this. Well could be, but this is on a whole nother plane.



  1. Last week, something happened that really shocked me, Che. And I keep thinking I've heard it all. Turns out that Dr. Jill Stein and her running-mate tried to approach the debate site with the idea of asking to participate. They are representing the Green Party, which has been around since '91 and they are on the ballots in most states. The cops stopped them before they could even get to the sidewalk, so they sat on the street. This mild act of peaceful protest got them immediately arrested and whisked off to a detention warehouse.

    They were ZIP-TIED TO CHAIRS FOR EIGHT HOURS. No phone calls to their attorney. Later that night they were released onto a random street, where they wandered around until they found someone who would let them use a cell phone to call someone to pick them up. (No-one would tell their staff when they were going to be released or even where they were, so there was no-one to meet them when they were released.)

    Here's a creepy little detail - upon release, the cops told them that "their car was ready to pick them up". Since no-one had known where or when to pick them up, the women were leery. Turns out "their car" was some Secret Service vehicle ready to take them...who knows where? They refused to get into that car and instead walked off on their own. (Thank God.)

    I cannot get over the idea that a presidential candidate was treated this way. In America. Held in a warehouse and shackled to a chair for 8 hours. For daring to ask to be allowed in the debate.


    Two excerpts from different articles:

    "You may have noticed that the Green Party presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, was absent from the “town hall” presidential debate at Hofstra University the other night. That’s because she was shackled to a chair in a nearby New York police facility, along with her running mate, Green Party vice president nominee Cheri Honkala. Their crime: attempting to get to the debate so Stein could participate in it. [...]"

    "Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala are now free from police custody after eight hours handcuffed to a metal chair in a remote police warehouse on Long Island. The Green Party presidential and vice-presidential candidates were arrested earlier today as they attempted to enter the grounds of today’s presidential debate organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).[...]
    "Stein and Honkala were eventually released into the cold at 10:30pm. Police provided no advance notice of the release to campaign lawyers and staff, and did not allow the two candidates to make any phone calls.[...]"

  2. I had seen that they were arrested -- a ridiculous over-reaction by police -- but I hadn't heard about their detention.

    It's appalling on its face and should not be happening in these United States, but as we know all too well, what shouldn't be has become the commonplace.

    We are trained to endure or accept it.

    There should be much more stink than there is over this and many other police excesses in this country, but there isn't.

    People are trained. And they are afraid.

  3. Did Harry Reid's Mormonism ever concern you over the years?

  4. Re: Mormons and Mormonism and me...

    "Some of my best friends are Mormons..." and it's been that way most of my life. I actually have a great deal of respect if not admiration for Mormon community and social services and so on. This is the real strength of the Mormon faith in my view, always has been.

    As for the Temple hoo-hah, I really don't care a bit about it; it is their business, and if they want to engage in science fiction rituals, it's fine with me. I prefer the comfort of the Latin Mass and the recitation of the Holy Rosary.

    As for Harry Reid, he's a politician who doesn't claim to be part of the Mormon hierarchy, and he doesn't let the hierarchy tell him how to do his politics; Romney is part of the hierarchy of the Mormon church as a bishop and a stake president -- he claims to be in close touch with the Twelve as well, though he isn't, he says, on their spiritual level himself. He claims his faith guides his politics. Harry doesn't.

    So, no, Reid's Mormonism doesn't concern me any more than most other politicians' religion does.