Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tablespoons of Blue Lentils

  • Mark McKinney is 54 today, two months and two days older than me. One of the funniest, saddest, wisest skits I've ever seen.
  • Good lord, he's wearing the same glasses I have in the interview at the end. 
  • I hearby pledge to watch the interviews at the end of KITH skits as they now exist on youtube via Nerdest whenever I need to squelch the urge to bleggalgaze.
  • Good news: if you want to comment you no longer have to decipher the spam-catcher. Bad news, I've enabled comment moderation. Regulars can guess why.
  • Opaque zones of empire.
  • Triskelions.
  • The costs of maintaining a Triskelion lifestyle are rising at the same time Triskelions enforce austerity on the peasants and increase surveillance on peasant dissent. Coincidence?
  • Between the SCOTUS decision yesterday and the Snowden Incident's likely crescendo towards some noisy resolution this is going to be an especially cordial week between Obama supporters and Obama's critics from the Left. During the election cycle I fervently wished often here that John Roberts would walk in front of a bus on such a date that Obama would need name in the weeks of the conventions/Labor Day weekend both a Chief Justice and, if it wasn't the same person but a sitting Justice (and which would he choose in that case), a new Justice. The strongest argument (and the most dearly held) for Obama according to the Obama supporters I read or directly interacted with was who would name the replacements for retiring Justices between January 2013 to January 2017. Wouldn't it be great, I said, if Obama was forced to show his hand if he had to name a swing judge, one that would tip the Court left in 5-4s, while his political career is in the balance both with his voting base and with his Corporate sponsors?
  • Still, it's never to late for John Roberts to walk in front of a bus.
  • Because I am genuinely curious who Obama would pick.
  • I'm guessing for easy legacy's sake - because I don't think Obama would nominate the swing-vote Justice you think you voted for Obama for - Obama hopes he only need replace Liberal justices during his second term.
  • But say Obama need replace Roberts or Scalia or Alito or Kennedy or Thomas: if Obama named who you think you voted for Obama for, and Obama fought for that nominee's Senate ratification, spent the real political capital it would take for that person who you think you voted for Obama for, I wouldn't, for instance, dismiss as rank lies and false promises everything that Obama said in his climate speech yesterday.
  • Today in self-incrimination.
  • Your Fucking Washington Post pens a love letter to "top Democratic NSA defender" Dianne Feinstein, fails to mention her husband a war profiteer.


Gerald Stern

Of all sixty of us I am the only one who went
to the four corners though I don't say it
out of pride but more like a type of regret,
and I did it because there was no one I truly believed
in though once when I climbed the hill in Skye
and arrived at the rough tables I saw the only other
elder who was a vegetarian--in Scotland--
and visited Orwell and rode a small motorcycle
to get from place to place; and I immediately
stopped eating fish and meat and lived on soups;
and we wrote each other in the middle and late fifties
though one day I got a letter from his daughter
that he had died in an accident; he was
I'm sure of it, an angel who flew in midair
with one eternal gospel to proclaim
to those inhabiting the earth and every nation;
and now that I go through my papers every day
I search and search for his letters but to my shame
I have even forgotten his name, that messenger
who came to me with tablespoons of blue lentils.



  1. Link thanks, and there was something else but I forgot what it was thanks a lot heat so PRAISE ALLAH.

  2. I'd be happy to play your Supreme's guessing game (and I think you couldn't be more wrong about his preferences) but you have to tell me who he would be replacing. Because they aren't interchangeable.

  3. What you said about R*b#R+$. Code, of course, for teh benefit of our N$@ overlord over seers.

    Go United! Good luck in the Cup!

    Thx for linkylove. You have one coming your way in one of the next 2 installments.

    What? so now I'm being screened? What is this? TSA @ Dulles?

  4. SCOTUS whiffs on Postbellum amendments again.

    I'd like to drive that bus.

    Hello, NSA. Just kidding.

  5. re it's all pretty much hopeless, anyway

    maybe, maybe not -

    Uncle Sam as Zombie - a metaphor for the Republic's state of health

    Dead? Catatonic? Just resting? Pining for the fjords, like the parrot in the Monty Python sketch?

    I suggest the American Republic is zombified, in a metaphorical sense of the literal truth of the horror movie cliche. The superstition about zombies is that they are dead, and returned to a kind of life in death by magic. The truth (and I am relying on the accounts of Canadian ethnobotanist Wade Davis for this) is that they have been intentionally poisoned in such a way that they appear dead, and after the "corpse" is buried the folk psychopharmacologist (a.k.a. "witch doctor") revives and enslaves them. Their state of mind after zombification no doubt depends not only on the drug regimen they have received, but their pre-existing beliefs about what has happened to them.

    "The Republic", of course, is not a biopsychosocial system that can literally be given mind-altering drugs. It is a kind of abstraction for collective social behavior, and the art, science, and business of the manipulation of collective beliefs has many ardent practitioners these days (even, in a sense, those of us who blog).

    I ask you to join me in a thought experiment. Let's imagine that there might be some way for Uncle Sam, now lying in his grave, to return to life - not just a half-life of working for his (and our) oppressors, the military-industrial-congressional-financial-corporate media complex.

    How could that be done? What would it take for the Republic to become unzombified? What are the "antidotes" for the "brain poison"? If "ideas" and "feelings" are what have poisoned us, are there other "ideas" and "feelings" that can restore us to health? Some say there is hope - structures of oppression built by people can be dismantled by other people.

    Or maybe Kurt Vonnegut was right in the pessimism he expressed in his last years - there is no way in hell that the U.S. will EVER become a humane and reasonable nation.

    May the Creative Forces of the Universe have mercy on our souls, if any.

  6. Well I never got an answer on the court. I'll play courtfilling any time.

    That said, for those who like to wallow in the presumed superiority of their cynicism, let me remind you that after Mr. Bork was turned down his slot was replaced by Mr. Kennedy. Take a microsecond to imagine a court with both Mr. Bork and Mr. Scalia and think about how decisions would be different.

    It's about the court, folks, like it or not.

    1. Sorry, I hadn't had a chance. Say Roberts, so not only would Obama need replace one of the Conservatives he'd also need name a Chief Justice, whether the nominee or one of the sitting Justices.

      I'm curious what Obama would do if he had to replace Alito or Scalia or Roberts or Thomas (I take your point about Kennedy). I don't see any of them retiring until after next POTUS, so barring illness or bus, we may never know.

      Though in it's own way maybe the more fascinating scenario, (and more likely, yes?) is Kennedy retiring.