The writing is on the wall. In 2016, the House lost 9 more Republican seats and the Senate saw female presence increase to 20 seats. Seniority, upon which power has traditionally rested, is on the way out. So, this is their last chance to make mischief and express their displeasure with an electorate that sent a numbskull to the White House.
“Après moi le déluge” is not necessarily an expression of disinterest. Rather, it is just as likely a matter of intent. “As I depart, I’ll leave a mess behind.” That’s probably what the Unjust Steward in the biblical parable, anticipating revenge, said to himself.
The other day, we participated in a reciew session, sponsored by the UGA seagrant program, to assess the community’s preparations and response to Hurricane Matthew. Our puddy was the only male person willing to participate in the exercise. For that matter, we had to sort of invite ourselves because the incitation to participate was issued to Brunswick residents and we, of course, are residents of St. Simons Island and our newesr properties aren’t in the city either. Continue reading →
The ruling elites, whose word used to be law, have been fighting for their privilege ever since the civil rights revolution threatened to enable the people to govern, just as the Constitution proposed. Universal suffrage, freedom of information, public access to the halls of legislatures all threaten the hegemony of the ruling class. Nominating technocrats as surrogates has not worked. Neither has reducing elected public officials to rubber stamps. The people persist in making their interests known. Consumerism has not deterred them. The ruling elites relying on currency as a lever of control has also backfired. The citizenry has responded by setting up a gigantic shadow economy ($2 trillion a year at last counting) which managed to mitigate the crash of 2008 into a mere recession. Not many banksters went to jail, but over 500 bank failures put a significant crimp in their ranks AND prompted effective regulation. Most recently, somebody has invented the term “cognitive elites,” as if cognition were some sort of negative. Which it is, if the ambition is to be born into the ruling class. Of which, by the way, the Dude is a prime example. If he hadn’t inherited a bundle, along with the retinue that handles it for him, he’d be living under a bridge. Making money the signal of rank was effective, as long as money was relatively scarce. Now the myth of scarcity is imploding. The shield of money and the law behind which the ruling elites have been operating is in the process of being rent.
What a goodly number of our public servants do not understand is that when they accept an official position, they surrender the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. There is no right to privacy when it comes to a person’s official duties and obligations. This is an issue that has been a challenge ever since the FOIA was passed. Closed Congressional hearings to cover up malfeasance were a compromise to protect the bureaucracy. Continue reading →
Call and response, the ritual of religion, in a secular situation.
It is, apparently, the mode of the Con to have people identify themselves and pledge support for the “leader.” “Personal responsibility” means that the individual responds (appropriately) when called upon. I’ve never been to an AA meeting but suspect it is the same. This ritual goes one step beyond calling the roll in a classroom to establish the teacher’s control. The response is effectively a sign of subordination. The language is indicative: “leader” “honor” “blessing” “deserving”
The cult of personality can only be properly understood when one recognizes that the essence of the cult is coercion. People are “honored” and “blessed” and “deserving” for subordinating themselves to the “leader.” Ass-kissing isn’t about the ass; it’s about sublimating the disgust occasioned by the act. The psychological process is similar to, but not as extreme as, a mobster’s initiation.
There is no interaction with the material world in the cult. No practical achievement of any kind. The meritocracy is not about action; never mind affirmative action. The meritocracy is about subordination and the result of subordination is the leader. Every individual is dispensable. In the cult of individualism, the individual person does not count. I suppose that’s ironic, but the Cons do not get irony.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy makes a practice of delivering lectures on the U.S. Constitution and one of his conclusions is that, ultimately, citizens enforce the law. But, how do they do that? Continue reading →
The Dude is an instinct-driven person. What that means is that he does not examine his reactions and question their appropriateness. We all have instincts, some strong and some weak. The question here is what triggered Comey’s gut reaction to make him reduce the first interaction with the dude to a memorandum? What prompted an after-action report or interrogation summary? Continue reading →
I’m not sure confusing verbiage was the norm before Nixon/Agnew, but in my book the deliberate obfuscation started with “nattering nabobs of negativism.” Agnew supposedly applied the phrase to the press for reporting bad things about him and then, somehow, the political party that spawned him turned into the very essence of negativity itself. Continue reading →