Word Cloud Resized


Whenever a small group hungers for power over a larger group, the weapons they use are the same:  Terror and Guile.

The larger the target area in geography, the greater the population, the more Guile must be the weapon of choice.  Rhetoric and Dogma are smoke-screens of Guile – rarely, the lust for power drives a Power Seeker mad – but overwhelmingly Power Seekers have no belief in the politics or religion they espouse, and will revise or jettison a set of beliefs that fails to get them what they want.

Items high on any successful Power Seeker’s check list:  Control of the Media and of Education. Freedom of the Press is not merely an ideal of democracy, it is a primary requirement. Enslaved peoples are always denied education – they are trained, not taught – a most important distinction.

But once a person can read, they have in their hands a great weapon in the struggle to become or remain Free.

All of the Arts are acts of rebellion. They kindle self-awareness and curiosity.  Power-Seekers rightly distrust the Arts. They stop Arts programs in schools, cut government subsidies to the Arts, they forbid music and dancing, they destroy or subvert cultural treasures, but they spend fortunes to own Art, or they steal it outright. If they own it, they believe they control it.

The Guile of the Power Seekers can be undermined by Ridicule. It is hard to control people who see through your propaganda. The Emperor Has No Clothes. Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain. A ridiculous enemy is much less frightening, which diminishes their power. Continue reading

Posted in Art, Education, Poetry, Society, Word Cloud | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

By Grabthar’s hamster, will no one rid us of this troublesome publicity?

By ann summers (née Puffball Petrovsky)

There’s no such thing as a bad persecution for Ted Cruz. As much as one may try any publicity whether organized PR or not, it may have long-lasting intended and unintended consequences. Apparently the Rowan County (KY) Clerk was jailed and not fined because of the potential of crowdsourcing to pay a financial penalty for not doing her job. And like being plucked from so many Schwab’s Drugstore counters like Lana Turner, or John McCain’s 2008 “Hail Mary” choice of VP, makeovers and speaking engagements might result because of the curse of all PR is good PR. Will Kim Davis have her Lester Maddox Cain-raisin moment in the sun.

After the movie Borat made relentless fun of the nation of Kazakhstan, Hotels.com reported a 300% increase in requests for information about the country, and a wine described as “redolent of stinky socks” by a prominent website saw its sales increase by 5%.

Five of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ deputy clerks have said they are willing to issue marriage licenses. Judge David Bunning said that would purge the contempt charge against Davis.


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Posted in Celebrity, Christianity, Conservatives, Constitutional Law, Courts, Democracy | Tagged | 11 Comments

Scott Walker favors a complete Canadian Border wall, what could it look like and would ex-Stasi get H-1B visas

By ann summers

Scott Walker has supported the idea of a complete Canadian Border wall reminiscent of East Germany, so what could it look like and are the Koch Brothers willing to pay for it or would gastarbeiten or braceros be needed? Would we all sniff a nativist line of the Great Wall of Koch, knowing that “The U.S.-Canada boundary is the longest international border in the world at 8,891 kilometres.” OTOH it could be sub-contracted to the Saudis who are also worried about their northern border with Iraq.

click on image to enlarge

Walker was asked Sunday morning on NBC’s Meet the Press whether he wanted to build a wall on the northern border, too. Walker said some people in New Hampshire have asked the campaign about the topic.


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Posted in Campaign Finance, Capitalism, Conservatives, Countries, Democracy | Tagged | 7 Comments

The Triumph of the Nanny-State: Lock-down those classrooms or I’ll hit you with my heroic lunch-box

By ann summers

A Second Grader in Widefield, CO, was subjected to investigation and evaluation after he responded to an assignment as to what he saw in the clouds by drawing a gun. (2014)

Equipping teachers with firearms is simply not enough, the banking theory of education, like any McDuck money-bin needs to protect k-12 human capital from dangerous thoughts and even worse images because media effects on (pollo) loco parentis.

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Posted in American History, Animation, Art, Capitalism, Celebrity, Civil Liberties, Conservatives, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Democracy, Education | Tagged | 8 Comments


by Nona Blyth CloudWord Cloud Resized

Anonymous is an Afghan woman.

I write blogs for different groups, and sometimes research for one turns into material for another. In this case, a news story found for a “War on Women” diary:

Love, Poetry and War: the Afghan Women Risking All for Verse
Sahira Sharif, Founder of Mirman Baheer,
Afghanistan’s largest women’s literary society
will be speaking at International Poetry Festival in London this year


so intrigued me, I bought a book mentioned in the article.

The landays of the women of the Pashtun, a tribal people living in the borderlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan, are two-line poems. This ancient oral art form is meant to be chanted or sung, often while beating a hand drum. It is almost exclusively an art made by women.

The poets stay anonymous, so they are free to say whatever they think or feel.

I Am the Beggar of the World bkcoverWhen the Taliban tried to ban music in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, they included landays. In some places, bans against them remain in force, but the landays have never stopped.

Eliza Griswold is a journalist who is also a poet, and she has covered the war in Afghanistan with photographer Seamus Murphy. They’ve combined her English translations of the landays she collected, sometimes in risky situations, and his striking black-and-white photographs in a book called I Am the Beggar of the World.

The impetus for the book was the suicide of a teen-aged girl, connected to the Mirman Baheer poetry society by listening to radio broadcasts of poetry, and calling in on their poetry hotline. When her brothers discovered her writing poetry, they beat her badly. Her father destroyed her notebook. She was already at risk because her family had forbidden her long-arranged marriage to her cousin when his father died and he could no longer pay the volver, the bride price. Heart-broken and defiant, she set herself on fire, and died in the hospital shortly after a final call to the poetry hotline. Her poems died with her.

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Posted in Afghanistan, Poetry, Word Cloud | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

What is a Democratic Socialist?

Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders

Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders

One of the running conversations here that carried over from that other place is between me, Bron and the other participants here trying to explain to him what socialism, and in particular democratic socialism, means. It is a fun interaction in no small part because Bron has some really hilarious definitions he works from and can be obstinate as a chunk of granite, but that is itself no small part of why we love him so. However, democratic socialism is not what most people think. The word “socialism” itself has become so value-loaded and demonized in American culture since the days of the Cold War that unless you have a legal and/or political science background, few know what it is and falsely equate it to communism or fascism. While it is neither of those forms, the mistake is easy enough to make as both of those dismal forms have varying degrees of managed economies and a managed economy is a salient feature of all forms of socialism. Not all forms of socialism are created equal either. Some are just as destructive as communism or fascism or laissez-faire capitalism albeit for differing reasons. Democratic socialism is its own creature, a creature with a successful track record in some very robust Western nations. The really important part of the term is “democratic”. The economy of a democratic socialist country is managed to the benefit of the demos – the people. As in all of them and not just those throwing the most money at candidates or legal fictions pretending to be real people doing the same.

Let’s hear what the latest candidate “accused” of that nasty ol’ socialism, Sen. Bernie Sanders, has to say about it. Speaking to Ezra Klein at Vox, the Presidential candidate gave his definition. To wit, he said the following . . .

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Posted in 2016 Election, Political Science, Socialism | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Question of the Week: August 24, 2015

According to AP:

“Ferguson Municipal Court Judge Donald McCullin issued an order on Monday that attempts to address some of the damage caused by St. Louis County’s practice of issuing arrest warrants and harsh penalties for minor violations, a revenue-driven approach the Department of Justice criticized in a March report. ”

This is a highly unusual action by the judiciary to remedy systemic abuses by law enforcement.

Posted in Polls, Question of the Week | 18 Comments