Wednesday, November 6, 2013

SAR #13310

How long before we'll need the the next herd of scapegoats?

Alternating Current: The administration says there is no alternative to letting NSA continue to collect everything on everybody everywhere all the time. What about not collecting anything at all, ever. What good has all this eavesdropping done? They claim fifty-four one 'terrorist plot' thwarted. Well, one. Mayhbe. Is it in any way cost effective?

Long/Shortly: Q: Why will Big Pharma keep breaking the law? A: Profits. 
Short And Sour: The Transatlantic Trade Deal is an all-out assault on democracy. It also manages a substantial attack on the idea that citizens should have a say in what happens to them. Details, if you care.

Party On! Every Democratic candidate for federal office next year should be asked: How much should we expand Social Security? Put the other guys on the defensive, make them justify their compulsion to impoverish the elderly. It's smart politics. More importantly, it's the right thing to do.

Scare-Mongers: Scientists say that the Pacific Ocean is heating up faster than at any time in the past 10,000 years. So? What has the Pacific done for me lately?

Who Is This Guy & How Did He Get Elected? Pope Francis has asked Catholic bishops to come up with ways the Church can increase pastoral care for the new realities of family life “from the widespread practice of cohabitation... to same-sex unions.

Take A Note: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: ‘”Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine, probably in one of my drunken stupors.” Pass it on to your defense attorney.

The Beatings Will Continue: The executive arm of the EU says that economic growth will remain miserable and unemployment will stay high for years. Which is the same as saying that austerity is not working, but they are not allowed to say that. Also unmentioned and unmentionable is the basic unworkability of the euro and that eventually – after years of can kicking – the euro experiment will fail, bringing back the social and economic problems withing and between member states.

Layer Cake: As The Recovery TM continues [sic] median wages in the US reached the lowest level since 1998 in constant dollars. You are not being left behind, you are in the great majority. The few, on the other hand, the very few, those at the top, saw their wages soar. More than half of all Americans made less than $27,519 last year. 
Porn O'Graph: Move along, nothing to be seen here.

The Parting Shot:


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re the NSA's hoovering up all of everybody's info - let's not forget that corporations are another principal participant in the Total Awareness Society - The Circle, a satirical novel by Dave Eggers, is reviewed by Margaret Atwood in the latest New York Review of Books

Atwood writes:

The Circle takes its name most immediately from a fictional West Coast social media corporation that has subsumed all earlier iterations such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. It traces the rise and rise within this company of its female protagonist, Maebelline, a name that closely resembles that of a brand of mascara, thus hinting at masks and acting. (Names matter in The Circle because they matter both to its author and to its characters, some of whom go so far as to pick out new ones for themselves from the Internet.) Maebelline is commonly called “Mae,” and this nickname is then expanded by a coworker who’s bringing Mae up to speed on her Circle duties. She’s opened a “Zing” account for Mae—zinging being an amalgamation of tweeting, texting, and pinging.

“I made up a name for you,” says Gina.

“MaeDay. Like the war holiday. Isn’t that cool?”

Mae wasn’t so sure about the name, and couldn’t remember a holiday by that name.

Clever Mr. Eggers. There is no real war holiday called MaeDay, but “Mayday”—from the French m’aidez—is a venerable distress signal. May Day was once a pagan springtime celebration, but was adopted in the nineteenth century as a workers’ holiday. It was then appropriated for military parades during Stalinism, a period noted for its hyperactive secret police, and satirized in Orwell’s 1984, a work that is echoed more than once in The Circle."

I wrote to the NYRB:

I slightly disagree with Ms. Atwood on a point that may seem minor, but might have momentous consequences if seen in context. May Day IS, in fact, a Real War Holiday – it commemorates a once-notorious battle between labor and capital – a battle whose current obscurity shows who is winning that war. Useful search terms include “International Workers Day” or “Haymarket Affair in Chicago.”

Nevertheless, one could plausibly claim that the victory of the military industrial congressional financial corporate media complex - the MICFiC - is not yet final. The people, if united, might yet rise from defeat. To speak in twentieth-century terms, they need consciousness-raising. Like Margaret Atwood's own writing, let's hope this book of Dave Eggers may be not just entertaining, and thought-provoking, but enlightening - maybe even a Menippean Brave New Web World.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Yes. Marvellous contribution Mistah Charlie. " it commemorates a once-notorious battle between labor and capital – a battle whose current obscurity shows who is winning that war."

May 1st was (and greatly still is in much of the world) International Labor Day. The US 'Labor Day' is in September specifically in order to divorce the US worker from his compatriots in the rest of the world, especially those commies who thought labor was capital's equal.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Also: Egger's novel is available for Kindle for about $7 bucks.

TulsaTime said...

Well, we will alwys have a plethora of scapegoats here in the great land of us vs them. We gots them illegal allienz, an them goddless libruls, and lefties, vegans, single parents, gays n preverts, lawyers, faceless govt functionarries, uppity minoritees, demokrats, the un, commies, and china