the road to hell
Chris Rea


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

the fire next time

....we continue to send urban sprawl into our fire-dependent ecosystems with the expectation that firefighters will risk their lives to defend each new McMansion, and an insurance system that spreads costs across all homeowners will promptly replace whatever is lost.
This is the deadly conceit behind mainstream environmental politics in California: you say fire, I say climate change, and we both ignore the financial and real-estate juggernaut that drives the suburbanisation of our increasingly inflammable wildlands. Land use patterns in California have long been insane but, with negligible opposition, they reproduce themselves like a flesh-eating virus.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

dumbed down to death

“Down with intelligence! Long live death!”
-- José Millán Astray, Spanish General under Franco

If I now feel compelled to evoke the words Millán Astray used eighty-one years ago in Salamanca, it is because they have gained a bizarre relevance in today’s America. The resurgence of nationalism in our time has not yet reached the homicidal extremes it did when Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco misruled their lands, but the United States still faces an assault on rational discourse, scientific knowledge, and objective truth. And this war on intelligence, too, despite the edulcorated pieties that come from those who carry it out, will lead to many deaths.

-- Ariel Dorfman


Monday, October 16, 2017

Stage Four Breakdown- pornography, gun violence and social death

"The society and its institutions are no longer comprehensible and are increasingly out of control. Social consensus and a shared sense of social purpose have all but vanished. … Leaders govern virtually without support. The regulatory apparatus … [is] unable to cope with the overwhelming complexity, the loss of social legitimacy. … The situation has become intolerable and untenable. The need for fundamental change is inescapable.”

-- Duane Elgin

A trip to my local grocery store reveals a magazine rack with dozens of covers showing beautiful models selling a lifestyle that requires what the advertisers manufacture and market. Also on the rack are a half-dozen very slick magazines selling gun culture. There’s no other way to describe it; you never see a critical or analytic article. The photography is eye-catching and slick, the models manly and masculine — except for the hotties holding machine guns, a much loved image. There’s a strong focus on the latest versions of the now classic AR-15. The “look” of these magazines can be described only as gun porn. Instead of luscious, naked women spread across a centerfold, the usual cultural understanding of “pornography,” in these magazines its images of lethal weapons that trigger the erotic charge.

-- John Grant


Saturday, October 14, 2017

psycho killer

please rise!

It’s as if a moral and cultural bomb has been detonated now that this guy tweets and says things not allowed in school. I have youth in my ‘behavior room’ saying stuff right from the president’s mouth. These words and statements we do not allow children to say in school. Racist and sexist and anti-disabilities things, we don’t tolerate but the president is spouting off these horrendous statements. I’ve already got my hands full with young people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities that put them in the behavioral and defiance categories. With Trump, my caseload of high school youth spouting off hate and racist comments is skyrocketing. 
– social worker/counselor at a very big high school near Portland, Oregon

a very fine line

But I’m telling you, that I know it’s a very fine line, and lots of crazy luck, that divided my path from Paddock’s
-- Greg Palast, journalist and film maker

Friday, October 13, 2017

southern brain

The human brain can hold 10 times more memories than previously believed, according to a new study. The key to its amazing ability lies in synapses, the neural connections responsible for storing memories. Researchers from the Salk Institute found that each synapse can hold about 4.7 bits of information. This means that the human brain has a capacity of one petabyte, or 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. This is equivalent to approximately 20 million four-drawer filing cabinets filled with text.

Or, in the case of Bubba and Jerlene's brain capacity at the NASCAR track, the equivalent to every NASCAR driver that ever drove- their car number, color, sponsor decals, engine specs, tire specs; their number of wins/losses, lifetime standings, wrecks/with fire, wrecks/fatal; their pit crews/pit crew wives/who is sleeping with whom; their marriages/divorces/kids; their personality/media ranking/how many times they slept with the media; their bitter enemies/number of fight/deaths; their clothing/hat style; their preferred brand of chew; a detailed and comprehensive knowledge of NASCAR rules and regulations; detailed and comprehensive knowledge of every NASCAR track/parking lot/infield/location of all food and beer venues nationwide.......

man, I can feel my brain expanding right now
-- db desgnr

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

what war?

The greatest contribution Vietnam is making-right or wrong is beside the point-is that it is developing an ability in the United States to fight a limited war, to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire.

-- Robert McNamara

Consider, if you will, these two indisputable facts.  First, the United States is today more or less permanently engaged in hostilities in not one faraway place, but at least seven.  Second, the vast majority of the American people could not care less.

Like traffic jams or robocalls, war has fallen into the category of things that Americans may not welcome, but have learned to live with.  In twenty-first-century America, war is not that big a deal.

Yes, we set down our beers long enough to applaud those in uniform and boo those who decline to participate in mandatory rituals of patriotism.  What we don’t do is demand anything remotely approximating actual accountability.

-- Andrew Bacevich


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

American shooter

Las Vegas, the crass and sterile US landscape on stilts and steroids, retails in empty sensation. Dominion of night where coruscating lights have scoured away the stars. Perpetual, meretricious come-ons. City of towering, shlock temples wherein what the US holds sacred is worshipped: legal larceny, the deification of empty sensation, and the transubstantiation of everything it touches, flesh and material, into fodder for exploitation. Kitsch über Alles. A 24/7 neon pentecost of mammon. 
A wilderness of the collective mind howling with hungry ghosts. Vengeful spirits…inundate the air of the US cult of death. The imprecatory prayers of millions of slaughtered Indians ride the western winds and are funnelled into the void of vapidity that is Las Vegas. 
A man, eaten hollow by alienation, his soul rancid with displaced rage, stands on a hotel balcony. The heft of his firearm is the only thing that feels tangible in his hollowness and amid the weightless sheen of the architecture of the city below. 
The life of an Iraqi, Libyan, Yemenian, Syrian, Palestinian et al. translates into nothing in the US American system of value. “The only thing those people understand is brutality. When we rain down death….that is the fate they demand.” 
The shooter’s mind roils. He acts as he has been conditioned to act. Now, he has achieved the power and control he has been denied. He is a military empire of one. His birthright as a US American has been fulfilled. God bless the USA. 
-- Phil Rockstroh