Believing what you are told can be harmful to your health and the well-being of others. This year has given voice to a few widely held dark beliefs that threaten everyone, and that includes all sentient fellow travelers.
Ignorance is still equated with strength, multi-multi-multi-trillion dollar industries must maintain market share and stockholder confidence. Chanting JobsJobsJobs convinces many to do unspeakable things. Why tell us about the index of Dow and Jones 24 times a day?
The occasional North Korean escapes the country. The occasional cow escapes a death camp. Let us express amusement at the hapless cow wandering on a local highway as its tale spreads onto social media, only to disappear in the morning drone.
Google parses data and presents common search terms: a mix of auto-correct and auto-suggest. I just typed in “jimmy carter”:
Then I typed in “george w bush”:
net worth? National Enquiring minds want to know. Unless that worth is not monetary value. Speaking of net worth, I also read that Michael Pence would like to be a Vice-President like Dick Cheney.
The conundrum of the curmudgeon: pessimism and honesty are not mutually exclusive positions. Feel-good news about humane factory farms is not news. We are witnessing the disappearance of journalism, I am much afraid to report.
While we are yet upon a theme of curmudgeons and conundrums, allow me to recommend Ambrose Bierce. There are yet a few months remaining in the fell year 2016, so consider the Bierce definition of PATRIOTISM,
In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.
Let me suggest that Dick Cheney take the net worth award, W take the quotes award. Period. Full Stop.
What gives with this “net worth” fascination?
Google provides no suggestions for ‘dick cheney gross worth’
However, the clarity of Carter’s insight, restraint and persistence lifts my spirit. His quiet presence as a defender of minority views and marginalized peoples makes him my role model. Search the internet for guinea worm to discover the name of its mortal enemy. Here is a small hint: it’s not the rabbit.
I like to imagine an alternate history where a Carter second term sends Reagan back where he always belonged: Hollywood. Privatizing everything does not advance the common good. But it may often advance the common bad.
Carter learns from his mistakes. Negotiation is a better for genuine peace, why do countless Presidents select “war without end Amen.”
Carter did not drop a single literal bomb on any political opponent. The Camp David Accords accorded hope for the ever bedeviling slaughter in Israel-Palestine/Palestine-Israel.
500,000 nails sealed the coffin memorialized by an imagined headstone: Oslo Accords of 1993: Epic Fail. RIP
I also imagine an alternate history where Gore actually occupies the office he legitimately won.
And I voted for McGovern in 1972.
Ignorance and arrogance is a combination that echoes with brute force this very curious year. Unfortunately, both are proudly celebrated. Doubly unfortunate for the entire planet: the sad celebration of ignorance occurs in an election year.
The topic least considered is the topic most important, global warming or climate change? Your choice.
What actions would HRC or DJT take on climate change? And answer came there none. It’s not a convenient time to…uh…next question please.
BTW, I am running on the Vegan ticket. For write-in ballots I suggest
Bill Ziegler (the one on billziegler1947.com). Readers are welcome to apply for cabinet positions in the event that I receive the most electoral votes.
Ironically, in 1912 the climate researcher Alfred Wegener proposed a theory of continental drift, positing that different large landmasses of the Earth almost fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. That they appeared to move. He was correct, but off by two orders of magnitude in the speed of plate movement. GPS tracks it automatically and continually now.
Sadly a very influential paleontologist name George Gaylord Simpson vehemently fought against Wegener.
When I first began studies in Geography at the University of Cincinnati in 1965 (in the day of slide rules).Wegener was mentioned for his climate work, but the professors at that time roundly dismissed any realistic notion that the Americas ever met Eur-Africa. Tectonic plates. The thought had a romantic and fanciful value, but no evidence supported it.
In 1976 Exxon received the results of a study they launched on the global impact of increasing dependence upon fossil fuels. Exxon risked eventually losing claim to “We’re Number 1” (USAUSAUSA) on the Fortune 500. Ignoring evidence is an enormously profitable enterprise.
Addressing climate change could have begun 40 years ago. Veganism may be the only option available. It’s also great for your personal health. Just expounding.
Unfortunately (very unfortunately) a tectonic shift in political execution began in 1980.
There is great symbolism in the release of hostages during Reagan’s inaugural address. Allow blame to flow to the Carter Administration, rigorously and self-righteously deny any hint of a deal in Nicaragua. Proceed with an order to remove Carter’s solar panels from the White House roof. The Project for the New American Century raised a toast to the death of the 70’s. I call it mourning in America.
Slave-level labor keeps inflation in check. Fill in the blank, Made in …..
Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger are both still alive, still active and still war criminals. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.
Meanwhile Jimmy Carter hopes that the Guinea Worm will die before he does. Google guinea + worm for details.
A question raised in January 2016 by the Party of the Grand Olds: Who will be our next Reagan? That month a friend of mine predicted the total collapse of the Republican Party. In the same month that friend asked my son about his estimation of the number of racists in the United States, he answered 35%. DJT’s hardcore.
January was already a WTF year by February. Lisa joins those explaining zombies in popular culture as a response to the impending doom dropped into their collective laps by preceding generations. As one of them. I can only agree.
At least Jerry Rubin did not live to witness the folly of equating a growing wealth-management portfolio with a revolution. RIP stock portfolios.
Details at 11:00.
Thanks for reading.
I am just another person who has not yet read Moby Dick, but it’s still on my list.
Watching reality TV resembles a Philip K. Dick dystopia, it keeps getting closer to its total eclipse of reality.
Name a television show broadcast in the timeframe 1969 to the present. I probably have not seen it. I did not watch the white Bronco, nor the endlessly falling towers. Wait a generation, then tune in to the Simpson impact and the meaning behind those Twins.
So here is my advice for any unsuspecting reader: ignore top news stories. Innumerable conjectures extrapolate scant evidence into innumerable dead-ends. Wild-ass propaganda flourishes as every opportunity for a story blossoms, petals drop and the wind takes them all.
Study themes completely unrelated to the:
…major news story we are now following. We will continue to track this story as information becomes available. Stay tuned to WWTF for complete coverage of (FILL IN THE BLANK), our top news story.”
Thus creating an urge or crave to keep listening, keep watching, keep supporting our sponsors. The band drones on.
One afternoon in 1971 I was discussing George Orwell with Dr. William R. Siddall, then head of the Geography Dept. at Kansas State. He had not read Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” but I piqued his interest with my personal gleaning. It became required reading for the entire staff.
Reread the good stuff with an open, but not gaping, mind.
When I graduated Bill Siddall suggested that I read widely. So I did. A solid memory.
Goethe suggested that Western Civilization might have taken its direction upon a Homeric turn rather than a Christian model. Daniel Mendelsohn wrote “Englishing the Iliad” for the New Yorker. I took a plunge.
“The decline of the West” by Hans Günther:
Goethe had a premonition of this decline of the West: even in October 1801 he remarked in conversation with the Countess von Egloffstein, that spiritual emptiness and lack of character were spreading — as if he had foreseen what today characterises the most celebrated literature of the Free West. It may be that Goethe had even foreseen, in the distant future, the coming of an age in which writers would make great profits by the portrayal of sex and crime for the masses.”
Alternate history, geography, language, sentients…
I now return you to your normally scheduled program, in progress.
Thanks for reading.
Here I elaborate on a poem by Peter Schreiner: “Earth.” Its text, contained in the graphic below, is available on Schreiner’s web-site Crows Head Soup. A state of being viewed with the vegan in mind. Awareness replaces normalcy, the gentle side of being aware is naturally repelled by flesh, fur and bone when known as resources, nourishment, craving. Normality is the unquestioning exploitation of fellow sentient beings alive today on this planet. 99% “living” in factory-fresh farms.
Borrowing a favorite phrase from a seldom followed play of T.S. Eliot, The Family Reunion. A Greek chorus explains the characters contained on the theater stage.
Sudden Solitude in a Crowded Desert
The concept became a byline for me one day while listening to the audio for this play. I was on the back porch, it was the late 90’s. Days of very early social media connected my life with others by a 1200 baud modem. Three States and a river. OH IN KY.
Very few Google searches yield much information on the Unix box located in a small room at the local phone company, TriState Online.
This link takes you to the full text at archive.org. You can search for “sudden solitude” there.
Sudden Solitude played into a concept in that poem “Earth.” The mashup that occurs when you imagine the inexplicable in everyday life. Things unquestioned in a polite society proud of its dominion. All matters familiar, ordinary and comforting (comfort food) in a moment of unexpected insight. A spinning coin flipped skyward that reveals the unanticipated: solitude/crowded.
Privileged consumer of all things animal from marrow to fur, then quite suddenly you become a witness, then a consumer of no thing animal.
Cognitive dissonance sets in when you identify enlightenment from the vegan point of view. At this point I fervently hope that readers remaining to read this far are not already convicted vegans. Dismissal out of hand is something you must expect when promoting marginal epiphanies. billziegler1947 is a tribute to the music of the crickets, I’m actually proud of that tribute.
My comment on “Earth”:
“Secular lands” evokes imposed national borders for me. Each sentient being I meet opens a complex but complete universe contained in one transient body: distinct personages/animalages. Borders are as much cage bars as they are expressions of nationality, but they are all arbitrary. Anyway that’s my reader reaction. Hope it makes sense to readers of these words.
It feels good to revive Sudden Solitude in a Crowded Desert, a thread to weave into the discussion here.
Thanks for reading.
I now report back on my favorite human rights attorney (bar none), Stanley Cohen. I am here to put his name forward. A good place to start is his blog: Caged but Undaunted. Chris Hedges interviewed Stanley on RT last month and it’s posted at On Contact.
So what’s new? Attica lives, written 4 days ago, is. Here we have a retrospective from 2016 on the prison riot of 1971. This Friday, September 9, marks the 45th anniversary of the rebellion. Long penetrating read. Five stars.
Possession of a human soul is the resource Stanley uses to represent super marginalized people (like Palestinians) trapped by powers that still be. His clients are people who speak truth to power, I recommend that muchly.
The IRS is still a go-to place in the federal government for expedient rulings requested by other arms of the federal government. Their long arm searched for secreted funds but found nothing. That did not stop them from incarcerating Mr. Cohen in the Canaan PA prison-industrial facilities while they continued their search. By the way, they still haven’t found anything on him.
No one touches the thief with multiple billion dollar caches and über high-level positions. Think large in this environment and expect things to come your way, such as the Presidency.
The idea was to silence him. Instead they gave Stanley Cohen insight into the inside. His witness is invaluable for all of us out there who believe that justice is not deferrable in a human society.
To paraphrase Joe Friday “Just none of the facts ma’am, just none of the facts.”
Thanks for reading.
Majority rule is an expedient way to exercise authority over the unwanted and to marginalize unpopular ethnic groups, such as Native Palestinians in Palestine.
That guy on the $20 bill made the South safe for democracy. Somewhere in Jacksonian Democracy lies a lesson, one learned by 10,000 despots: if undesirables are out of the picture, they are not a problem. Future generations can safely and comfortably observe “mistakes were made.”
After the Trail of Tears, America was made safe for slaveholders again. Cherokees are for westerns or in teepees next to a Stuckeys. Have you heard this one: “I’m 1/24th Cherokee.” Really?
America was great I hear. But them Indians got it made now, every tribe has a casino. Sad to say, they’re fat and lazy and coddled by Washington. Things never change, I guess. Wink. Nod.
Grocery stores near reservations are food deserts. If a vehicle becomes available a real supermarket is only 70 miles away. While you are 70 miles away from home you can stock up on health care services and relax a while at the local casino. Chill with your fellow ingrates.
Native Americans are number one in death by police.(The Counted: 2016) among all ethnic groups.
The Guardian compiles this database, but for some reason such information is not collected in the US.
DJT is not a reader, but profound ignorance is no barrier to enormous wealth or monstrous feats of racism. Just a casual side note.
Ethnic cleansing silences voices of dissent.
Israel expelled 700,000 native Palestinians in 1948. Today the growth of settlements in the West Bank make population distribution look a lot like reservations in the formerly unoccupied American West.
I just read an article in TimesWarp, a site that reports biased coverage in the New York Times of human rights violations in occupied Palestine. But never ever mention Palestine.
Whitewashing Israeli War Crimes: the NYT Turns its Back on Survivors and Critics. It refers to bias on the part of Isabel Kershner in her New York Times article. It’s actually a pretty good textbook example of the fallacy of the middle ground. I think it is more than significant that her son is in the Israeli Army.
David Brooks may be the best known reporter for the Times. He is über well respected and considered a moderate and thoughtful writer. The guy has street cred. From his profile:
— David Brooks became an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times in September 2003. His column appears every Tuesday and Friday. He is currently a commentator on “PBS NewsHour,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
He also has a son in the Israeli army. Do you think it might influence his reporting, well of course not. Why even bring it up?
Stories about Palestine are sanitized to remove any hint of a voice from a land destroyed in 1948 (The Nakba) and then further occupied in 1967 (The Naksa). It is still occupied as I write this. I was 8 months old on the day of Nakba (May 14, 1948), 19 years old on the day of Naksa (June 5, 1967).
Misinformation on Palestine has run rampant 24/7 for the last 24,943 days.
Journalists are rare and they seem to have left the building.
OK, let’s see how CAMERA.org views the New York Times. Here we have a monstrous and monstrously sized billboard below.
CAMERA is an acronym for The “Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.” OK I’m dumbstruck by their understanding of Joseph Goebbels and Newspeak.
The NYT provides absolutely no reporting from within the occupied territories. Not good news if you are a reader of The Gray Lady, newspaper of record.
Last February Mondoweiss printed a parody of the New York Times that contained “all the news we didn’t print.”
CAMERA explains the inaccuracies in the Mondoweiss parody. OK I’m dumbstruck again.
My humble gratitude to visitors identified on my WordPress analytics page as located in the “Palestinian Territories.” However, when I float an arrow cursor to find out where it is the names Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan pop up. Hey, where in the world is Palestine?
For freedom from misinformation know your sources.What about corporately sponsored media? …coming soon.
Thanks for reading.
This morning I tried to find the right word for the large-scale destruction of animals by humans and for humans. Universal rights ignores the innocent elephant in the room: animal rights.
A couple centuries ago there were more passenger pigeons than there are chickens in the slaughter-house chain today. The last passenger pigeon (Martha by name) is preserved and on display at the Cincinnati Zoo, the final victim of zoocide. They were edible, guns were available. So were bison. Hey, mistakes are made. No, specious arguments are made.
When multi-trillion dollar production is at stake you direct attention to a splendid table (I cite the website because of its rather more conventional approach toward food). Comfortable and cozy, but too complicit for me as a vegan. Marginal movements like veganism irritate meat eaters. Just saying.
I haven’t heard about pink slime lately, the stuff that nano technology makes available. Let us capture each molecule and direct it to a consumer. Hey, don’t mention pink slime in polite company. We are nice people.
The enormity of sentient suffering is as great as the consumer demand for the ultimate insatiable decadence. There are no articles on animal trafficking via slaughter house in the NYT Magazine this week.
Climate change may just be the only thing that jolts homo sapiens to attention. We are a species intelligent enough to discover the existence of six extermination events in the history of the planet, but arrogant enough to shrug at the prospect of another.
How comparable are extinction events? Even the possibility of an errant asteroid does not direct attention to preventive measures. We’re too busy feeding military, prison and industrial-slaughter=complex obsessions.
By the way, vegan diets are healthy, inexpensive and planet-friendly. But as trolls are ever ready to counter: they are cruel to plants. Specious arguments never end.
Recommended website: Crows Head Soup
Thanks for reading.