Monthly Archives: April 2011

The White Rose

I will not go into the deeper aspects of the symbol chosen, but I will focus on one thing that is indisputably true ABOUT that symbol.

The symbol of the mystical path in the West has always been the White Rose. In the East, it is the Lotus Blossom, which are, in their construction, remarkably similar.

Among the many meanings is the only one I’ll use as our metaphor: as you peel back the flower, petal by petal, you reveal an inner layer, which is a new “world” — but IT IS STILL THE SAME WORLD. Continue reading

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You Don’t Have to be a Racist to be a Bigot (Although it Helps)

Sister Toldjah — whose totally non-racist blog title surely presages what is to come from our blonde-haired, blue-eyed Southern Antebellum — has just responded to CBS correspondent Lara Logan’s sexual assault in Tahrir Square in Cairo during the Egyptian Revolution:

One of the many faces of bigotry

Lara Logan: “For an extended period of time, they raped me with their hands”
Posted by: S[ister] T[oldjah] on April 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm
The CBS News correspondent, who was viciously sexually assaulted back in February, spoke to the New York Times about her horrific ordeal:

Thence follows a righteous chunk of said column. And then this: Continue reading

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If The Invisible Hand of the Market Bitch-Slapped You and You Didn’t Want to Hear It, Would It Make a Sound?

Longest title ever. Seriously, what is this guy smoking:

« back to Bill Kelly’s Truth Squad

“Atlas Shrugged” box office success stuns liberal Hollywood
Thursday, April 21, 2011 – Bill Kelly’s Truth Squad
by William Kelly CHICAGO, April 29, 2011 —

By current Hollywood standards, it is a movie that should never have been made. Imagine this story pitch to progressive movie execs: “we have a female heroine, genius entrepreneurs disappearing, and a government conspiring to control its people and their creations. In short, a powerfully persuasive anti-government message.”

Not exactly “Iron Man 3” is it?

Yet, despite (or because of) Hollywood’s best efforts to keep the movie down, “Atlas” is racking up dollar signs at the box office. With a hearty $5640 per theater in its opening weekend, “Atlas Shrugged,” based on the influential Ayn Rand best-seller, has left Hollywood insiders dumbstruck to explain its success.

The Hollywood Reporter has reported that the film will expand its release from 299 theaters to 425 this weekend and to 1,000 by the end of the month. What is the explanation? Rand Power. [...]

All right. That’s from Thursday. Let’s see what Monday hath wrought. The Chicago Tribune: Continue reading

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Sai Baba Dies on Easter Morning

You probably don’t know who Sai Baba was. Well,  rest consoled that most Indians have no notion who Billy Graham or Jerry Falwell were, either.

Sai Baba

But Sai Baba was a force in India, and his passing this morning leaves the nation in considerable shock. His spiritual “school” was economically powerful and well-connected within the Indian political world.

Nation mourns Sai Baba’s death, Manmohan Singh calls him iconic figure
Published: Sunday, Apr 24, 2011, 19:44 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

… Governors, film personalties and top sports figures also hailed Sai Baba, saying he was an inspiration for many.

Expressing “deep and profound sadness” over Baba’s death, the prime minister said he was a spiritual leader who inspired millions to lead a moral and meaningful life even as they followed the religion of their choice….

And, in a different story, PTI News agency in New Delhi reports: Continue reading

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Ayn Nation, Under God

[Note: This is "The Ravening Beast That Threatens U.S., part iii".  Part i. and part ii. here and here, respectively.]

Atlas Shugs-style libertarianism is a perversion of democracy in precisely the same manner that apocalypse Christianity is a perversion of Christian practice going back to Day One. The Catholic Church, rightly, considers “end times” theology a heresy.

Ayn Life to Live

Why? I can’t quote the Church fathers and  I don’t actually care what they have to say. The perversion of apocalypse “end times” Christianity (which is only about a century or so old)  is that you live your life constantly expecting the end, when all the non-believers (e.g. NOT you) get their comeuppance. Therefore, you live without planning for what might happen if He doesn’t come back tomorrow, and your life is, in many ways, wasted.*

[* A notion that is clearly refuted by implication in Matthew 24:36. Compare with the concept of stewardship, or the Eastern notion of “dharma”.

[The danger of  the "we know" approach to "end times" leads to people standing on rooftops in white robes, having sold or given away all their earthly possessions, as happened on October 22, 1844. But beliefs are stubborn things, and the members of that cult that still exist call themselves "Seventh Day Adventists."]

So, too, the “MEEE” libertarianism, where your entire focus throughout each and every day  is on where you’re NOT free to do whatever you please. It eats at you. It angers you. You say, how did the evil government steal my right to freely cross the nation with their freeways and their right of way laws? And why do I have to wear a motorcycle helmet? You’re not my mommy, you’re a NANNY STATE! Continue reading

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The Ravening Beast That Threatens U.S. (part ii.)

Even though I call her “The Princess of Moosylvania,” my friend Tengrain at Mock, Paper, Scissors is undoubtedly closer to the mark, when he calls her “Mooselini.” Paid for by … gee, who? Il Mooché showed up via private jet in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday for the obligatory Koch/Tea “tax day” protest. This was not cognitive dissonance. No, along with Andrew Notsobright Bart, it was a gathering of cognitive dissidents — as in they protest cognition. Here’s what Mooselini had to say, in part, via Politico:

“We didn’t elect you just to rearrange the deck chairs on a sinking Titanic,” Palin said during a rally in front of the Wisconsin statehouse in Madison. “What we need from you, GOP, is to fight.” Pointing to the national champion University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team, Palin said the GOP could learn from its resolve and “needs to learn how to fight like a girl.” [emphasis added]

The Commerce of the Prairies

Which is the perfect segué into this, the second installment. Because it’s all about what it actually means to “fight like a girl,” and not like a selfish, self-centered “Me-ist” John Galt wannabe. Or, like Mooselini, a sexually (and philosophically) twisted Ayn Rand heroine. (Or is that “heroin”?) Note in the Politico article, whose name is splashed across the podium and in the signage (and who paid for the buses and, undoubtedly the private jet for the Princess to travel from far Moosylvania) the Koch-controlled “Americans for Prosperity.”) Only a heartless cad would make a ridiculous pun about Mooselini being a “Koch-sucker” or a “Koch whore.” We will not go there. We leave that to the kerfluffers of the Snarking Blogosmear™ to puff themselves up in faux-outrage. Instead …

In our last thrilling installment, entitled, perhaps unsurprisingly, “The Ravening Beast That Threatens U.S. (part i.),” we talked about the fact that capitalism thrives under virtually any form of government you care to mention, except sharing. We failed to mention that capitalism can even exist WITHOUT government, although it becomes a government in and of itself: witness Chicago in the 1930s, or the “drug wars” that are destroying the governments of Mexico and half a dozen more Central and South American countries. Capitalism doesn’t NEED government. Just ask the Pirates of the Caribbean. (Although, ironically, the pirates were quite democratic in some matters.) And that led to …

  • The Cash
Hundred Dollar Ben

We learned what GRAB is: our present system of  Generalized Rational Acquisition and Barter. How a generation traded real money for magic money and ended up broke. And how a few men who’d bought and sold magic money ended with all the real cash. Which led us to … Continue reading

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Welcome to Tax Hell

The promised sequel (part ii of “The Ravening Beast That Threatens U.S. (part i.)“) is delayed.

It’s done and all. It’s just delayed.

Foolish me thought I’d have a moment’s spare time between tax returns to add artwork and some late breaking tweaks. Nope.

Welcome to tax hell. See you on the other side.

Courage.

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The Same Old Treason in Dolby Surround

I have to grasp this moment of history, as a duty, if nothing else. Thus, Part ii. is delayed until after midnight.

“Lincoln at Peace”

Today is April 14, and 146 years ago today, five days after Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox courthouse, Booth assassinated Lincoln:

The assassination of President of the United States Abraham Lincoln took place on April 14, 1865, as the American Civil War was drawing to a close, just five days after the surrender of the commanding general of the Army of Northern Virginia, Robert E. Lee, and his battered Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant. Lincoln was the first American president to be assassinated,[1] though an unsuccessful attempt had been made on Andrew Jackson in 1835. [Wikipedia]

But what’s important is that Robert Redford has decided to make a buck of the national tragedy, and, following in the venerable tradition of making only Civil War movies that lionize the South and the Lost Cause that goes back to “Birth of a Nation” and “Gone With the Wind,” somehow, the Lincoln assassination is about a poor woman, a Southern sympathizer — a traitor, in other words — and her mistreatment following the assassination of Lincoln, the attempted assassination of Vice President Johnson (the assassin jumped onto his carriage but then chickened out) and the maiming and near-murder of Secretary of State William Seward in his own home, in his own bed. Continue reading

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A Taste of Tomorrow’s Column

Part ii. of The Ravening Beast That Threatens U.S. (part i.) [April 7] is on tap for tomorrow. But here’s a taste.

A parody book, not for real, not for sale

Meantime go back and read part i. There will be a short quiz at the end, which counts not at all towards your final grade.

Courage.

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Welcome Back to the Civil War

It’s like we never left!

My original SUVCW membership card

But we have returned by a circuitous route to the same issues (minus, perhaps, slavery) and the same twistings of rhetoric, the same hatred of the enemy, the slanders, the stubborn refusal to accept facts in the face of ideologies.  Here’s a piece I wrote in anticipation of this moment a year ago, and, sadly, it has not dated, nor become irrelevant.

But first, this shortened version of a newspaper article in the Richmond, Virginia paper, the antique version of the partisan madness of the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page. You need to remember that, ultimately, the North prevailed over the South as the Allies prevailed over the Axis and as Rome prevailed over Carthage: in terms of sheer production output. The Carthaginians were far superior sailors to the Romans, but the Romans defeated them by the sheer numbers of ships they could put in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

The Carthaginians could sink three ships for every ship they lost … and still lose. So, too, in the end, the North crushed the South by sheer output of war materièl. (This is not to discount the brilliance of the Western War, while the historical attention has always been selfishly focused on the East coast: the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac faced off for almost exactly four years over seventy miles of north-south territory, the bloodiest stalemate in our history.)

From Richmond’s Daily Dispatch, on April 8, 1861 [emphasis, as always, added. Good luck Mr. Phelps]:

Continue reading

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Deep In the H(e)art of Taxes

It’s that time of year. I didn’t really expect a lot of response when I originally posted this on January 11, 2011. Now, as the airwaves are filled with the same silly stories that the same silly people trot out every silly year, it’s timely, and I present it for your consideration, slightly altered and emended:

NOTE:  Spent all day Tuesday [January 11, 2011] at an update on changes to Federal and Oregon tax law for 2011.

This is going to be very short — because I know how much you just love reading hours and hours of tax code and court decisions — but there are two concepts that I’ve not mentioned before, which I leave the reader to ruminate on.

1. “Fairness” in taxation.

Continue reading

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Today in Civil War History, Robert E. Lee Retires

Wikipedia: April 9, 1865 – American Civil WarRobert E. Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia (26,765 troops) to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, effectively ending the war.

The post from last year (slightly updated):

One hundred and forty-six years ago today, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, bringing the Civil War virtually to its end.

Lee Surrenders to Grant, 9 April 1865

Continue reading

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Saturday Interlude

You’ll notice that the “CR” (continuing resolution) cliffhanger of last night’s episode of  “Clueless Kabuki Theatre” only funds the government through April 15 (and takes troop pay off the table so that criticism can’t be thrown at this week’s Teatard grandstanding).

What you may not know is that THIS year’s tax deadline is Monday, April 18.

I have not noticed that anyone in the media or blogosphere has drawn the connection between a nice hissy fit “shutdown” fight on tax weekend with the Tea Party’s favorite protest date, TAX DAY.

I’m sure that this is all completely coincidental and that no one in the Tea Party realized that they had an opportunity to shut down the gum’mint during the most intensive three days of Tax Season.

In the immortal words of “Bones” McCoy on Star Trek (TOS) as written by Theodore Sturgeon: In a pig’s eye.

[Part ii. of  "The Ravening Beast That Threatens U.S. (part i.)" will appear presently.]

Courage.

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The State of Denmark and the State of Wisconsin

In a nationally-watched, nationally funded showdown over a formerly obscure election in which only the Wisconsin Club for Growth was pouring outside mystery cash into, suddenly, as the recount begins, with the margin only a couple of hundred votes, a world-shaking event completely explodes the tension of the recount …

The County Clerk of the suburban Milwaukee county of Waukesha “discovers” enough votes to give the Club for Growth’s candidate a 7500+ vote edge, just over the legal required mandatory recall. Mirabile dictu! Voila!  Cheese-Whiz!

And the initial media response is to give the County Clerk a pass*, because she seems (to use the words of the New York Times’ headline: “Vote-Counting Error In Wisconsin Points to Incompetence, Not Conspiracy“) less than Machaivellian. I guess if you’re incompetent you can’t be evil? Or, that evil would never clothe itself in incompetence? Or that when something looks too good to be true, it almost always is? Continue reading

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