Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Email Box

I went to El Paso, Texas, today to lay out a plan to do something big: fix America's broken immigration system.
Washington won't act unless you lead.

I don’t want to be mean to the president or anything but this is a bunch of shit. This is the usual clichés. I know how to write, OK? – and I am NOT going to take this seriously. There are three parts to this exercise in rhetoric: doing something big; immigration as an issue; and a standard activist ploy—a bit about the public getting into it and leading Washington, which is such a big cliché in itself --- I am left quite speechless and astonished. Astonished at bullshit, that is.

Gibberish of Barack O. Come on. No one takes this seriously. So what is it?
Well b.s., I mean it's such total crap. You can just hear it:

I went to El Paso, Texas, [comma unecessary] today to lay out a plan to do something big: fix America's broken immigration system.

It's an issue that affects you, whether you live in a border town like El Paso or not [there's your comma, guys, after the "o"?]. Our immigration system reflects how we define ourselves as Americans -- who we are, who we will be -- and continued inaction poses serious costs for everyone.

Those costs are human, felt by millions of people here and abroad who endure years of separation or deferred dreams -- and millions more hardworking families whose wages are depressed when employers wrongly exploit a cheap source of labor. That's why immigration reform is also an economic imperative -- an essential step needed to strengthen our middle class, create new industries and new jobs, and make sure America remains competitive in the global economy.

(JS) it’s diabolical! In the immediately preceding paragraph, note the first sentence. It is just a liberal "trope": we care about all these persons’ sufferings (hey, I do too, dude). The next sentence ties liberalism in with economics, bit it appears to be done merely in a crass, rhetorical way. I don't see any real economic ideas there. This is gibberish. It's just a lot of posturing. It's empty. He tries to draw it out, to put certain daggers in certain demons' hearts. He wants to save the public from the first swamp merely to lead the public into a second swamp, and there they will get lost as well, as well as ever. It is Mr. O himself who is lost in a swamp. I feel like he is an embarrassment to his children. There is no reality to this. What is he doing? Isn't this "politics as usual"?
     This country is so completely built on lies. All you ever see is this kind of thing.
     So, thanks for the email, Mr. President. It tells the whole story about who you are. Bravely leading us into a swamp, with garbled rhetoric. Fooled again.

"Make it a double --- no, a triple!!!"

In nature we are surrounded by neutrality. One cannot say it is positive or negative. There are no advertising pitches; no billboard by the waterfall. In capitalism, we are surrounded by stupid stuff. I mean come on. There are a lot of stupid advertisements, on the radio. Public taste might determine which songs are hits. Consumer preference certainly does account for the success of R.E.M. or Nirvana. But no one voted for the goddamn billboards or other scams thrown at us by narrow-minded businessman (make that plural). After every one or two songs, we hear from the true mediocrities of the world. That amounts to being surrounded by the negative. I don't want a bite of candy, then a bite of cow dung or garbage or moldy orange rind, every other bite. I would settle for neutral.
But the city is not neutral It's polluted (here you insert a link to Pollution/City, the post for May 25th: but I am unable to make it link properly)
So are the airwaves.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Peter Drucker asks, "has the West lost its taste for Capitalism," [http://thedx.org/2011/05/land-labor-bleh/] but I think the issue is that of what capitalism means for different sorts of person at different places and times. What did capitalism mean for a poor peron trying to survive two hundred years ago? What does it mean for a third-generation white-collar worker who reads Peter F. Drucker? These are very different type persons.

Our "capitalism" is about luxury living; but that is not what capitalism was for a just-starting out office worker in 1920

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Something grimy and endless about Chicago ...Streets of dirt extending in all directions
...The streets are streets of dirt, or wooden slats above mud ...Dirty streets extending in all directions. Some are like Milwaukee Ave., diagonals. These diagonals are appended into an otherwise unrelenting grid; this is to keep you from going insane, from boredom. From the suburban edge, which is about 8000 West inward, neighborhoods follow upon one another hardly distinguishable until the first Starbucks appears at exactly 3400 W. Go east now on, over a bridge. You are on Irving Park. Soon ...Finally ...the intrepid traveler reaches a terminus at the lake. He is exhausted, rents an apartment in a skyscraper; lays his head down and goes to sleep.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Work


The blog cited above writes:

It is a sign of the world in which we live that the word “crisis” should appear so often in the introduction to Dominic Barton’s well-argued critique of capitalism. But what we have experienced over recent years is not, in my view, so much a crisis of capitalism as a crisis of ethics

My blog (Jacksgreatblog) now:

So the question can become: What is the connection between capitalism and ethics?

This is the intersection at which I do my work; my insights are unique. Hopefully my ideas show up to some degree on this blog. And also if you get really interested there is another blog I did previously. The previous try --- jacksilvermaneconomicsblog.blogspot.com


...Pollution City
The city is a polluted environs. It is a pervasive surrounding that one has around one. This is a quality. This is a quality of air. The quality is: polluted. This is an environmental quality, like a cloud, an environs.

We can go to a health food bar or juice bar, that is true. One does not cancel out the other. You are drinking a healthy juice drink let us say but even so your skin has to be touching same city of outward pollutedness. (Skin city???) This is the outward pervasive surrounding. The city is a polluted environs. This is what the air is. While you are putting spirulina or wheat grass inside yourself, your skin is feeling the air, touches the outsides, the environs of city.

Your insides might be getting some thing good, wet, yeah. No doubt, but you are in city; it's all happening in pollution and in the dirty atmosphere. Pollution is comprehensive. Pollution is dirt, a quality, and it is surrounding you. All dirty air. All the air is dirty. And the air is touching you. And you drink wheat grass juice on the inside.

But you are in the city and you cannot hide.

It's all happening within the great city — a city of pollution

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Persons with missing back teeth Often swallow too soon

Adventures this morning:

The regurgitated morsel of peach meat slid up out of the place at the back of my throat where it had been sequestered, temporarily, for another go 'round in the taste chamber. Delicious.

It was like a second chance. I also like the chance to write about it but not as much

We should all call our mouths the "Chamber of Taste." Sounds like: Edgar Allen Poe. Maybe if we all learned to go around talking like in a gothic novel....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


"Too busy to live" is the name of the latest article in "O" (the Oprah) magazine (Sept., 2008). She'll give you advice and pointers about life.

What is life? The world doesn't make any sense but Oprah will tell you how to make it. The articles have something of "euphemism" about them.

Mostly, it's about "the rules of the game."

The real name of the game is "we'll go and make all the other magazines go out of business."

There's all kinds of stuff in "O" magazine.

It really isn't all that bad.
I am not saying it is a bad magazine but most of the things in the magazine satisfy the need to play a game of life, not how to become a real person. Oprah's magazine is for "the consumer" --- not a person.

An article is for "world's fastest" "fitness plan." Asks: "Got ten minutes?" What it does not ask is the question about why someone would not have more than ten minutes.

First we shall admit that the American people are a bunch of boobs
Then, we shall attend to the clients' chest massage. Gently rubbing in circles, ...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Second Post for May 14th, 2011

For something to have power means no more than to say that it functions.

A homosexual or effeminate homo fairy does have power. He has the power to arrange flowers. A bird -- even a small sparrow -- has power to fly.

But if by a person's having power we mean raw physical strength or brute force, then we may also try to cripple our adversary's ability to speak, or his freedom of thought, or of expression.

N.Y.T. - Anthony Shadid - May 10th

Note the date here. May 10th is not after May 13th, but before. Read the other one, which is out of sequence, as the most recent of the two and you will see that there is a question at the bottom which the later post is in answer of. Or, just REVERSE the order and read in opposite chronologic style (which actually makes sense).
His name is Makhlouf, and the N. Y. Times uses the word "tycoon," in referring to the man. Here's the entirety of a copied-by-me section of the article, written rather oddly, particularly in the way the word "suggested" is used to illustrate the writer's opinion rather than Mr. Makhlouf's. It is from a recent edition of the Times.
Troubled by the greatest threat to its four decades of rule, the ruling family, he suggested, has conflated its survival with the existence of the minority sect that views the protests not as legitimate demands for change but rather as the seeds of civil war.

“If there is no stability here, there’s no way there will be stability in Israel,” he said in an interview Monday that lasted more than three hours. “No way, and nobody can guarantee what will happen after, God forbid, anything happens to this regime.”

Asked if it was a warning or a threat, Mr. Makhlouf demurred. “I didn’t say war,” he said. “What I’m saying is don’t let us suffer, don’t put a lot of pressure on the president, don’t push Syria to do anything it is not happy to do.”

His words cast into the starkest terms a sentiment the government has sought to cultivate — us or chaos — and it underlined the tactics of a ruling elite that has manipulated the ups and downs of a tumultuous region to sustain an overriding goal: its own survival.

I would also like to point to two more pieces of the article. The article mentions:

"a vast conglomerate with a portfolio of $2 billion", and, how an

"old alliance of Sunni Muslim merchants and officers from Mr. Makhlouf’s Alawite clan" has given way to:

"descendants of those officers benefiting from lucrative deals made possible by reforms that have dismantled the public sector."

The two quotations give some idea of what "capitalism" means under circumstances where it is not a home-grown system but a transplant.

As for the main bit I wanted to discuss with my readers, it brings to mind the most basic cliches of absolutism resting as if in some primordial niche of the mind. But the idea is always there. There is always this idea, resting in the background of the liberal system of tolerance of differences, and of the liberal mind, that conveys the very (and very necessary, at least in concept) opposite type of system, a system where a ruling group has absolute power.
So what to do? What do you do?
I'll sleep on it and, if I can find a computer to use I'll get back at it in the morning (or even if I cannot , but in that case, you won't hear about it).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Firday, May 13, 2011

This should follow instead of precede the post that it is chronologically next. I am not sure how it happened...seems a kind of mishap occured...
Well, I have not thought much about Syria’s self-appointed/anointed TYRANT (which I do believe is the correct scholarly term for he who is a totalitarian) dictator, and I have given even less thought to the "investor" cousin who handles Syrian “capitalism,” but I did talk to the legal system of North Brunswick, N.J. over phone.

Obviously the basic problem with dealing with this type of thing over the phone is that they cannot tell whether you are black or not. Using all of my dialogic skills I did have a civilized conversation with my fellow denizen or citizen; and, (yea!) we arrived at the solution of HER sending ME an “affidavit.” I made the mistake of asking her what an “affidavit” was. (I also asked her to send me a copy of the statute. She said that's OK, because "the judge knows..." What a legal mind!) Anyway, she seemed to prefer that I show up in court. OK, but I should like to offer your honor that, as a traveler, you know, I am all over the country or something and I should just get it over with. Globalization and all that, you know?

Now as for President Bashar. You sit down with him and you explain to him what he has to do. That’s my solution; of course you need a few other nations backing you up. You tell him your group represents the civilized world; he does not. Besides he’s a tyrant, right? But I am sure that in addition you need to really be active in helping the Syrian people set up a democracy, and the stetting up of a democracy ain't so easy, you know. But I wonder if we across the pond here indeed ever knew anything about all this inna first place, so --- the question for “next time” is this.

Where did our democracy or reasonable approximation thereof come from? Was it some kind of learned expansion of the Western mind? Is so, why do we seem to understand the principles of democracy less and less each year? If it was not ideals and scholarly knowledge and yearning for freedom that created our relative success and democracy – what then? Where would American or U. S. “freedom/democracy/liberty” have come from exactly? Do NOT forget to tune in next time! (assuming I remember to show up for our date)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cultural Cohesion

Here on this blog I have already made in the past some references to what it is that holds a nation or culture together. This subject has already been brought up. I cannot find the post, but there is some enquiry going on lately, into what brings about the element of cohesion in a society, of how you get a country, and of what is the element that gives a group cultural cohesion, and so forth. Cohesion is, in fact, one meaning of "culture." A capitalistic society ALSO requires cohesion, although it is ambiguously defined in that case.

What is a particular country supposed to be? I as myself: "What kind of country am I living in?" I wonder about this. I know we do not have a leader.

Now as for the other guys, the "Republican" (or nit-wit) side, they are not going to let Obama get away with "it". well, that's great. With "what"? --- I've no idea.

So --- these are our factions? Right and Left? How exciting and novel.
I would prefer it if we would agree on just what each of these things, called R and L, each stand for. They are two strands of thought: Right and left: What are they?
It's a "feeling."
Other than that, I do not know. What is needed then is therapy. So, I'd like to offer we need a therapist for "right/left." Those guys need one. What they need is a therapist, because you "feel" Left. And one "feels" Right. They seem to be quite sure of their feelings, you know?

There are no more crazy people left; they are all accounted for. If our intellectuals, our college men, our business leadership deserved their platforms or pallenquins I think they should be able to explain.
"Can you give that feeling a word?" asks the political therapist. Two words? Can we go for these words,? the therapist wants to know.

What I did read though is that when President O. has a problem, he holes up in the library with a book, about what the predecesors did.

But I think better for him to have a primal scream.

We don't need a bookish president, as such; and intelligence and reason are good things,but perhaps not quite enough.

What we need is a unified national policy, with all citizens on board, and a definition of who we are as a society. This is threatening to a lot af lasseiz-faire rich people, but it is not fascism or dictatorship to have a common theme for a culture or a nation. It' a quest for cohesion.

It's All The Same

Except for loyalists and government fighters, the people of Libya have "demonstrated," as we like to say. In fact, what they have demonstrated is opposition to a tyrannical leader. The government fell right away in most cities and it has already been replaced in the Eastern region of Libya. That is a pretty dad-burned fast revolution. It took basically no time. Gaddafi has basically no support, does he?

Their grievance is that they are ruled by a tyrant. That's a pretty basic grievance. A tyrant is a tyrant. (Certain details could be supplied as well and supplying such details would entail the explanation that tyrants do not cooperate much; they rule alone, or maybe they have a few partners). The population -- except for the tyrant -- and his army -- is more or less united. This is actually rather amazing and interesting. Or, maybe it has something to do with Libya's tribalism or tribal past.

Ghaddafi, his two sons, and a few partners would appear to this writer to be like a little sicko tyrant family -- with those partners we have mentioned just above. Sicko, sicko, but where is Michael Moore when we need him?

There is so little support for them --- whole cities, and, apparently, the Eastern portion of the country, fell into the hands of other than government forces and rather quick as I said. The fall of these regions occured right after the demonstrations themselves. That's a pretty fast revolution but we really don't want to know about it or the media does not really tell us.

I guess our news media does not have an easy time of it. This lack of information about the real details, or what I call the "why" questions of middle eastern revolutions is my theme today, simply because this is what I am noticing, and I have been thinking (sometimes rather fruitlessly) on Libya a lot. Also because I emailed State (dept.) to intervene, and I am not totally certain that I did the right thing there. What I get ...or think I get ...is that the news media for example MSNBC and CNN, who have the fastest channel to our minds of anyone in the whole world, are not saying anything about the "why" parts --- like "why" they (the Libyans) should have gone and made these decisions to protest, then to back it up with guns. These news media have the responsibility of informing us, or of being the sort of first line of information and of defense in the social system, but it is difficult for the press to agitate of prosteletize. Advocating a particular point of view is not the point here, so they have got to provide something, so it seems to become a sort of entertainment. (They need to fill up the screen 24/7 with a sort of entertainment.) One question is: what do they report on, in that case? Various parts of the freedom battle become the news, the "stories." One example of something they will certainly cover is battles that may occur. This strikes me as if it were a fight in an arena, a Roman one. Or maybe (in a more media-savvy sense) it is a battle between cheesecake and crackers (Test: Which is healthier?).

I can appreciate that it is not the media's job to give us any of these other facts --- although these would be interesting. Some of these "other" facts would be interesting though. I have heard nothing, so apparently I do not get to hear this stuff. Not on the cable news networks --- all I seem to have found time to watch as I'm too busy pontificating on this blog and writing my upcoming economics pamphlet --- although I do not think that I should give in to the desire to say that this is the media's fault.

But --- what kinds of facts would these be if we/I had them? These facts would involve why a whole country except, natch, the army, ha ha ha, is in some kind of uprising or revolt or civil war (none of the terms seem to match --- I recently saw the later being used, probably by the geniuses at the N. Y. T.). This is interesting to me, but apparently not the job of the press? OK; I concede. But, as a result, I do not really understand the nature of a single actual grievance the Egyptians OR the freaking Libyans!!! (Except of course the tyrant thing which I seem to get.)

OK, maybe we should ask ourselves why we are not interested in these things. (I know I'm rambling but the first version of this blogpost sucked/I'm stuck) And to say, with a straight face, that America believes in democracy would imply that these people knowns as "The People" are not hearing about the mid-East from the press at all, but getting these facts, which I really do not think is the case, based on the world that I myself seem to live in. I already conceded that the press has little rather than much to do with democracy. So who has responsibility for democracy? The people, I suppose. But then --- they would get such information.

Our press is self-righteous about some kind of concept involving democracy, or the democratic process --- anyway, there is some concept involving freedom-democracy. Yes, of course; but, why so incapable of articulating? Who is supposed to articulate it? It really says something about us as Americans and the sort of paralysis we are in now.

I want the explanation of what is going on or of just why the Libyans are doing such dangerous things. Revolution is dangerous obviously; why are they are doing what they are doing? No one in the press is discussing it but it isn't their job. Maybe reporting on reasons for revolution, when the revolution is in some other country, is not so easy as I thought at first, before I extensively revised this blogpost. Well, that is how you learn..........
But even if it is not the press's job, I think that part of the problematic here is that they don't know the answers to these questions anyways, because they do not get this revolution stuff, the U. S. being such a damn calm place, except for the motorcycle gangs. If this kind of thing what you want, though Ghaddafi's daughter has offered something. Really. This comes in the way of the New York Times interview a few days back where she said, more or less that "they just like fighting". That itself is a better explanation than we get from our own lords of information. It is something at least.

If you were born and live in the mideast, you do not want to be caught not criticizing the Americans. But shouldn't Americans be able to criticize themselves?

The truth is that there are -- there must be -- interesting facts. But the press does not want to get into this, or they do not, or they do not know how, or they shouldn't anyways, or they do not want to know how. (So many good options here, I didn't want to edit any of them out.)

Anyway, it is all over (not THEIR, but) our head(s). In summary the U. S. press do not want to tell the American people about anything like why the Libyans are fighting or what their problem or their grievances are. I don't know why they do not because I can't figure it out.

Are we basically afraid to know about our own selves, too?
I think we are!
Who were the ruled and rulers of Europe, for example, before capitalism? Well, we have some books about the royal court and such but I don't know anything about regular people persons. What we do not have are books about the ordinary persons, and whether they were free or not. ("Peoples'" histories? They tend to be a little specialized to the Leftie trend.)

We are in the dark about it.
They lived and breathed, I suppose.
But they didn't have Snickers or M&Ms.

The pattern from the old to the new or from the far-away country to ours, seems like, maybe, it's the same old story always. The rulers, and now the press, in our age, who are more or less the same class/kind, do not want or are not capable of informing anyone about the Libyans' actual reasons for revolt. That would mean telling us about what commoners think, and that is verboten, always. They cannot even conceive of such a task. But how hypocritical is that --- to then turn around and call the United States a democracy?

This part of the Libya story is what I am saying one does not receive on the T. V. news as far as I see news being provided to me by my ruling class. Thanks a lot, guys. Our mainstream press is paralyzed: unable to come to a consensus.
What are they, comatose? I do not think there is an excuse. The Press Men would rather not inform themselves or anyone else about it --- the reasons for revolt, opinions amongst the populace, or the true nature of a revolution even should one happen.
What we know as democratic Americans is that a new kind of M&Ms is out; that's not democracy. And, we know the new Snickers commercials, which are on the airwaves (right after the news of the Roman gladiator fight in Libya). And we know that a new flavor of Doritos is there. Yes. We can put our greedy fingers on our "choice." Because "choice" is, after all, our ideology. How narrow can a national ideology be? --- before it goes to sleep? --- and, before we become Libya? And that is, after all, the point and the ultimate reason why all this matters. At that juncture, of course, it is too late. That is why am trying to discuss some of these points in the open --- I hope there is no objection.

The American Revolution and the Libyan revolution are similar, I'll suggest. As I briefly alluded above, everything is much the same with between elites and peoples, the new and old, or the near and the far away. we are not Libya but the U. S. and Libya both have elites. They both have ordinary persons too, and they both struggle towards some kind of democracy or representation for actual persons. In both cases, the population directly revolted, or some of them, and the rest did not oppose it, not strongly enough to matter at any rate. In each case, a war occurs then. This war is to rout the government, the loyalists, the soldiers, the mercenaries, the Indians --- those who were either paid by or still morally/actively support for some accursed reason that rotten old system formerly known as Prince. I don't know which side I should be on as a comedian. I wonder which side did the jesters fight on?

A tyrant is a tyrant; people don't like it. Much literature about these people illustrates the truth that the tyrant often does not understand why people don't like him. ("After all, when I dropped my WMD programs the Americans were quite friendly --- and, I surmise, loyal --- or so they appeared...) I think that what the populations of Syria and Libya want is basically finitude for tyrants, and good for them, right? Cooper Anderson well knows it --- it is a no-brainer.

As said, a tyrant is a tyrant; and persons don't like it. Who likes a tyrant? Nobody. So why is this a big mystery to the U.S. press? That is what I dannot figure out, but at any rate what I see is real popular opinion in support of a new Libyan regime. It is there.
Do you have any interest in democracy at all? Libya has a chance to outdo us and make their revolution, a better one than the American. Are we jealous or something? Right.

They are an isolated country; and they owe us nothing and will do as they please. They even have their own banking system free from Citi-Corp. They could create a new kind of freer system --- maybe one of the freest, most dynamic states in the world, which would be good.

But it is not our job, nor NATO's, to bomb or kill anyone. Our role exists, and it is easy to establish: protect life. It is not our job to create the Libyan's revolution for them.

Our American elite, ossifying in place, can no longer conceive of the need for such a thing as freedom, nor can they express the idea except as some kind of general statement, like a trope, or literary flourish.
They do not feel the need for it, any more than Ghaddafi does. They have their high-falutin' careers. They literally cannot wrap their minds around others' love for freedom -- the Libyans' for example. It is just a cliche' to these newspapermen --- I suppose so.

In all likelihood the nature of the American Revolution was like the Bolshevik revolution, in that it was not a mass movement, which is to say in terms of activism or politics. Nor was it a mass movement later on, after the change of regime, but rather the revolution itself was a movement of intellectuals. The English fell, as we know, and when that happens a tiny elite forms. And it is a new one. A new group of rulers takes over, including (this in the American case) businessmen. We see money coming into play. Popular participation in politics does not look very strong here. Considering, however, that "the People" had no activist or political role, this leaves a question.

My question is this. Why has the idea of "the People", and their freedom, continued to be so important? Because we need our myths? Is that the nature of culture and ideology? But myth, and traditional life, are not the same things. Let's parse the difference here.

It is that actual living life (as opposed to living large) can be contrasted with myth and literature, the later being more like the ideological culture and not the living culture. So you have a living culture, a literature, and an ideology. The former is neither political, nor is it activist. It is just life. Nations are ruled by rulers --- ruling classes. Democracy is a trope, a cliche'. In actual fact, the people do not participate so much. We call ourselves a democracy, but what does that actually prove, if we continue to make no progress at all towards the goal of actualizing that?

Good luck with your new regime, Libyan people.

And: the U. S. should not try to do it for them (nor install our own kind of ruler or our puppet, which one suspects is a possibility, or was, at any rate, done in the past).

Keith My Car

I am displaying a Keith Richards picture in my car, a photo by a New York Times photographer. Perhaps, or maybe, from his book. It is on display in my car. Kind of frivolous. But I can judge it better, after a lot of viewing that I do myself, and now I see that it really is a good photograph. 'Cuz I saw it enough times... It's a work of art maybe. It's been there a month. So, it must be a photographic work of art. I know I have good taste...

So, I found out by accident this is a really good photograph. Sometimes things happen by accident. America happened this way. Now we've got to take stock of what we have. No more accidents. No more "letting the market decide." We have to use our brains instead.