The Sham Concern of Our Zillionaires

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, The Corporate Bund, WhiteManistan at 2:36 pm by George Smith

It’s a commonly seen antic in our Culture of Lickspittle: Zillionaires who grab headlines or design new public images around a feigned concern for the middle class and inequality that’s the toast of Davos and Aspen.

From TIME magazine, an essay on how said zillionaires are allegedly expressing concern for the environment they’ve greased. In this case it’s Goldman Sachs CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, his quote simultaneously hilarious and intelligence-insulting:

“In defining the problem of inequality … Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein told CBS This Morning that inequality is ‘destabilizing’ and ‘responsible for the divisions in the country. The divisions could get wider. If you can’t legislate, you can’t deal with problems. If you can’t deal with problems, you can’t drive growth and you can’t drive the success of the country. It’s a very big issue and something that has to be dealt with.’ ”

From one of the architects of the crash and Great Recession.

Is Lloyd Blankfein suggesting he might open his nice pool for free community swims and stop the “burgling of pubic treasure” (Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, 2013) his firm is known for?

Of course, when reading the advice from swells, one always finds a suggested solution. In America, you must always have an allegedly constructive suggestion, even if it’s nothing of the sort. In this instance, it is something that could, according to a pearl-clutching expert, reverse inequality.

For TIME, the writer, a professor from Rutgers, Joseph Blasi, explains:

Moreover, in 2011 almost 90% of all capital gains and all capital income, such as dividends and interest, went to the top 20% of the population. One possible avenue is to apply to the middle class at large the approaches that the rich and powerful apply to themselves. Most of their income is from having a share of ownership and profits in businesses. In order to give middle class workers access to these types of capital income, we must dramatically expand the tax incentives for businesses of every size to offer shares of ownership to all of their employees. This ownership can come in the form of grants of restricted stock, stock options, ESOPS (Employee Stock Ownership Plans) and profit sharing …

Of course, the jargon, ESOP, means nothing to Americans. Just like the name Lloyd Blankfein.

The billionaire corporate predator toad known as Sam Zell used an ESOP to buy Tribune, the company that owned the Los Angeles Times newspaper. It was a maneuver in which Zell was able to use an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) to divert Tribune’s non-union employee 401(k) matching funds to workers into the buy, leaving him without holding much of the bag. Tribune and the Times were saddled with a substantial debt load, 13 billion.

And that’s the wisdom of our betters. More flim-flam.

You’ll want to immediately go to SoundCloud and listen to another teaser, Let’s Lynch Lloyd Blankfein, from Loud Folk Live, the soon to be released no-hit of electrical digital socialist commie beat music, by the Dick Destiny Band. Performed in Dyna-Rock-Action ™ as you’ve never heard it before, live from the First Church of American Greed and Mammon in beautiful downtown Pasadena just off Rte. 66, where you get your kicks.

It is here. Run run run.

And while you’re there, feel free to give a listen to the other fun ditties.

Consider, you must keep your mind busy and strong with something after you’ve been tossed away. Not having had a single opportunity or offer to do anything in over a year (except work for Mechanical Turk — tried that), these are the kinds of things one gets involved in.

In such circumstances one finds you no longer care about a lot of things. Like corporate America being pillaged by Chinese hackers. As you are severed from the economy, you lose your acquaintances, any small network you may have had, and any illusion that you might have once been good for something.

So, like, rock and roll! And occasionally house-sitting for cats.


The wisdom of this was never questioned

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, War On Terror, WhiteManistan at 12:09 pm by George Smith

From the NYT, yesterday (no link):

All these programs began or were expanded in response to the Sept. 11 attacks, when the authorities in Washington declared that local police departments were on the front lines of a global war on terrorism. Terrorism is exceedingly rare, however, and the equipment and money far outpaced the threat.

“You couldn’t say that back then with as much certainty as you can say that now, though,” said Frank J. Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University. After Sept. 11, few people asked whether the police would use the equipment against protesters, Mr. Cilluffo said. “By and large, I don’t recall an outcry of any sort historically along these lines.”

For years, much of the equipment has gone unnoticed. But as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have drawn down, police departments have been receiving 30-ton, mine-resistant trucks from the military.

An MRAP in Salinas, CA. Note armored machine gun cupola, an absolute must on America’s streets.

From the Daily Mail, last year

A California police department has received a 37,000 armored truck that was once used in military training exercises.

The Salinas Police Department took ownership of the hulking tank-like vehicle on December 17 and parked it in front of the town’s Rotunda for public viewing.

The $650,000 truck has caused quite a stir in the town, with many residents questioning why a military armored vehicle would be needed in civilian situations.

“In a press release, Police chief Kelly McMillin said the department was in desperate need of a replacement for the 1986 Ford money carrier officers used as a rescue vehicle,” it continues.

Look at this picture, and all the pictures of MRAP armored fighting vehicles in small town America, here at Google, and you begin to see the nature of the problem. Everyone likes showing off their panzer.

Look closer at the collections of armored fighting vehicle photos and where they are archived. You’ll also notice a character trait: People get hard over the pictures of heavy military gear.

While the stocking of American police departments with MRAP AFVs is now big news (it’s also worth noting one was not in Ferguson), there has never been any well-publicized outcry in the mainstream on the matter.

Anything for fighting the bad guys and keeping us safe from terrorism. Search and destroy.

On the small town of Dundee, MI, population 4000:

Participating in the exercise was the Dundee Police Department’s armored vehicle called MRAP, or Mines Resistance Ambush Protected. Operated by Chief David Uhl and Sgt. David Kottke, the vehicle became part of Dundee’s force about nine months ago.

The 22-ton former military vehicle, which has a value of about $850,000, came to the department at no cost. Chief Uhl said it provides security for police officers in dangerous situations and is available to any police agency in Monroe County.

“It was an opportunity of a lifetime to get a vehicle like this for Monroe County,” the chief said.

And this link shows a rough collection of counties which were given MRAP AFVs by the Dept. of Defense, situations where it was thought they would better serve a collection of small towns.

While viewing, always keep in mind that no terrorist groups actually had armored fighting forces. Until Iraq, where we have now bombed an MRAP seized from the American-trained Iraqi military by ISIS:

U.S. warplanes on combat patrols over northern Iraq increasingly are hitting U.S.-made armored vehicles captured by Islamic militants from the fleeing Iraqi army.

In the latest airstrikes Thursday, the U.S. Central Command said that a mix of fighters and armed drones destroyed one of the heavily-armored Mine Resistant-Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles that were a mainstay of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The MRAP was targeted after the warplanes destroyed two other armored vehicles northeast of the Kurdish capital of Irbil that were being used by fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to fire on positions held by the Kurdish peshmerga forces, the Central Command said in a statement.

The MRAP had a use. Now it doesn’t. It would be fair to describe the Dept. of Defense’s giveaways of them in the continental US as a program that’s a potentially menacing nuisance, but more commonly of little or no social benefit to anyone.

It would be an interesting exercise to find out who, at DoD, thought that providing these things to small and medium-sized town police forces was a capital idea. Did they write a white paper on it?

There should be no optimism, despite all the current press, that there will be changes.


National militarization

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, War On Terror, WhiteManistan at 6:19 pm by George Smith

Racism and over-militarized police forces have combined in Ferguson to produce another uniquely American disaster. The result: A domestic unrest that could easily be duplicated in other cities around the country.

A black American civilian community, justifiably outraged and angry over the killing of one of its own by police was set upon by a thug military-style pacification operation that escalated into a social calamity, literally a crisis of democracy, over a populace’s right to assemble and protest.

In this blog I’ve occasionally touched upon the militarization of America’s police. The war on terror accelerated it, with the Dept. of Homeland Security giveaways of free money (called grants) combining with the Pentagon’s 1033 program to recycle military gear into local police forces so even the smallest town police forces could have access to heavy armaments and armored fighting vehicles.

Locally, I wrote about it in 2012 when the South Pasadena police force got a used Peacekeeper, made by arms manufacturer, Textron, from the Burbank police force which was upgrading to a Lenco BearCat, courtesy of DHS. In the war on terror years, the latter vehicle has been the buy of choice for police departments receiving DHS money. The taxpayer has been very very good to Lenco.

From the blog:

Wha? Even local shires with no significant history of violent crime or threat try to get into the act. The Los Angeles Times informs today that South Pasadena, generally known for its population of swells, tree-lined streets and swank/genteel bungalow homes has acquired an urban combat vehicle for one dollar, sold off by Burbank, which is trading up on homeland security bucks …

[The LA Times]: “Last week the city took delivery of a vehicle known as a Peacekeeper, paying Burbank $1 for the privilege. Burbank originally received the Peacekeeper as surplus from the U.S. Air Force …”The Peacekeeper saw no action during its Burbank years …

“Burbank decided to sell the armored vehicle after it obtained a new BearCat SWAT vehicle in February 2009 through a $275,000 Homeland Security Department grant.”

South Pasadena’s AFV.

Pasadena, like Burbank, has a Lenco BearCat. And, if you live in a city or even if not, you can probably find an armored fighting vehicle in a local police force near you merely by searching Google images. One feature of the militarization of American policing is the wealth of pictures showing it. In modern America, everyone loves to show off their new AFVs.

The net national affect has been intimidation. Intimidation inevitably leads to fear, anger and resistance, sometimes violent. It is a relationship, a vicious cycle, the country, from the top to the bottom, has never learned from.

From Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, military intimidation, overwhelming force and pacification always failed. And in Ferguson (or potentially other cities) it again blew up in our faces. Everyone in local government, from St. Louis, to the governor, made the wrong decisions, repeatedly, and greatly afflicted the black people of Ferguson.

And now it’s another, in a long and repeating history, of national disgraces.

Articles noting this have been published for some time. But like everything else, they have never changed the trajectory of events. More armaments are always better. It’s a dangerous world, “the bad guys” are everywhere, including people you believe to be normal citizens. And the most convenient way to deal with them is to use an armored force, courtesy of US military or DHS giving.

From the Detroit News in 2011:

Warren, Southfield and Washtenaw County each received an armored vehicle after Lt. Darcy Leutzinger, commander of the Warren Police Department’s special response team, got approval for a $1.6 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security to buy the vehicles.

Each four-wheel-drive vehicle holds up to 25 people and protects its occupants from artillery and gas attacks, Leutzinger said. All three are used frequently in Macomb, Oakland and Washtenaw counties, for situations such as hostage standoffs and drug house raids, he said.

A police armored personnel carrier in Ann Arbor.

From NBC News, a couple years ago:

America’s most in-demand police vehicle is a 10-officer 16,000-pound armored tank that takes bullets like Superman and drives 80 mph. The federal government buys dozens each year for local police departments. Do America’s local police need tanks?

Every day, America produces a fresh batch of barricaded gunmen, some of whom want to lure police into a shootout. Roughly 50 police officers are killed every year, most in shootings, and many during arrests or ambushes.

Which is where the Lenco BearCat G3 rolls in.

Other criminal justice experts have questioned whether police need minitanks, saying they’re often used for mundane tasks such as serving warrants, and create a sense of police as military soldiers rather than neighbors. They also contend that BearCats and other SWAT machinery do little to prevent violent crimes, which have fallen steadily for a decade.

“It’s all an illusion,” said Jim Fisher, a former professor of criminal justice at Edinboro University and author of a book on SWAT teams. “The fact your police department just bought an armored vehicle does not make you safer. It’s going to make you poorer, because your taxes will go up to pay for training and maintenance.” In light of today’s budget-strapped environments, we, too, wonder whether the federal government should be paying for small counties and towns to have tanks to use against their citizens.

Ferguson has made everyone rush to publish pieces on police militarization, framed by the awful pictures from Missouri.

Has it gone too far? Obviously. But the New York Times, for instance, must assemble a panel of six experts to argue the “Yeses” and “Nos” in a couple paragraphs for its blogs.

“Should law enforcement agencies receive surplus military property for everyday policing in cities and neighborhoods?” asks the newspaper.

The person with the most sense is from the ACLU, Kara Dansky, who has written an extensive report on the matter.

She notes another obvious feature of what has transpired:

We also found — perhaps not surprisingly, given the appalling way in which the war on drugs has targeted communities of color — that people of color were more likely than whites to be impacted by paramilitary raids. More often than not, these violent raids are conducted to serve warrants in search of drugs, disproportionately affecting people of color, despite the fact that whites and people of color use drugs at roughly the same rates.

Near the end of the selection, a former policeman, Eugene O’Donnell, makes a truly appalling suggestion, one as a result of the belief that more military technology in the hands of the police actually cuts risk:

The one truly indispensable military technology the police should hurry into service is reliable nonlethal weaponry – like the Pentagon’s so-called pain ray.

This picture, one of the US military’s “pain rays,” known as the Active Denial System, says everything you need to know.

Yes, this would be just the thing to deploy into American cities to let the community know its safety comes first.

For this blog and other places I used to write about the pain ray, originally called “The Sheriff.”

It took over a decade to develop and was a magnet for a large assortment of ninny tech journalists and cheerleaders who would, in turn, write breathless comment on its greatness after being shot by it in a US military staged dog-and-pony show.

The ADS was deployed to Afghanistan and never used. Some intelligent military leaders recognized it would have been a relations nightmare, playing into the hands of the Taliban.

It’s use would do nothing but horrify and incense the population that was its target. It’s a good example of expensive, impractical technology for torturing, remember, non-lethally.

One can only imagine how much worse it would make things.

What is the answer to increasing militarization? In this country, there isn’t one.

We learn nothing. The country is virtually incapable of change. Sure, today there is the promised Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act, something to “end the free transfers of certain aggressive military equipment to local law enforcement …”

In a month, it will be gone.


Korff case closed

Posted in Ricin Kooks, War On Terror at 2:09 pm by George Smith

Rosary peas — the source of abrin. Number of fatalities from abrin poisoning in the last decade: zero.

Jesse Korff, a nineteen-year old from LaBelle, Florida, today pleaded guilty to a murder conspiracy involving abrin and ricin and the smuggling of those poisons. He stands to be sentenced to life in prison.

From this blog, in February:

A 19-year-old boy in south Florida is set to be imprisoned, possibly for life, as the result of a federal investigation of the Black Market Reloaded website, a replacement for the infamous Silk Road, where there were “numerous offerings for the sale of illegal and harmful goods, including but not limited to biological agents, toxins, firearms, ammunition, explosives, controlled substances, counterfeit goods and fraudulent documents,” according to an FBI document …

Jesse Korff of Labelle, Florida, was arrested by agents of the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations when he delivered two vials of liquid containing a small but detectable amount of the poison abrin to them. It was the final part of a transaction started on the Black Market Reloaded site when one of the undercover men contacted Korff, inquired about buying the poison and advanced him 1.608 Bitcoin for it.

Like the Silk Road, Black Market Reloaded was hosted on the encrypted Tor network where many people seem to still believe federal agents cannot get at them. Black Market Reloaded was subsequently taken down and the sting shows that Homeland Security and the FBI are well into operations aimed at keeping similar websites and Bitcoin markets for crime under heavy surveillance.

In an FBI press release on the matter today, Korff was also linked to a British case noted in this blog around the same time:

A banker accused of trying to kill her magistrate mother at their Stratford home by lacing her Diet Coke with a poison more deadly than ricin is to stand trial in July after appearing at Southwark Crown Court today where she was further remanded in custody.

Kuntal Patel,36, is alledged to have plotted to kill Meena Patel,54, using abrin – a rare poison extracted from the seeds of a Peruvian plant.

She was arrested by counter terrrorism officers at the £450,000 home they share in Park Road earlier this month after US homeland security is believed to have tipped off Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command about a website based in the US which specialised in selling lethal toxins.

She is not facing terrorist charges, but is accused of attempted murder between December 10 2013 and January 26.

Today’s FBI release does not mention Kuntal Patel by name but it is quite obviously the same case, an arrest stemming from Homeland Security and the FBI’s investigation of the Black Market Reloaded website:

In December 2013 Korff provided a quantity of abrin to a purchaser in London who claimed she intended to kill her mother. After the purchaser’s receipt and administration of the initial dose, which she claimed was ineffective, Korff agreed to provide a second quantity of the toxin in order to assist the purchaser in the implementation of the murder plot.

Before Korff had an opportunity to smuggle the second dose of abrin to the London purchaser, a federal undercover agent contacted Korff through BMR and negotiated the sale of two liquid doses of abrin. Korff told the buyer about his delivery methods—concealing vials in a carved-out and re-melted candle—and discussed how much abrin was needed to kill a person of a particular weight and how best to administer the toxin. Korff also assured the buyer that a victim’s death would appear to be similar to a bad case of the flu.

Following Korff’s arrest, FBI agents searched Korff’s property over three days and recovered several computers, castor beans, rosary peas, capsules, vials, jars, syringes, filters, respirators and other items commonly utilized in the manufacture, production, sale, packaging, and shipping of toxins and chemical substances. Among the items recovered was a liquid dose of abrin that Korff had intended to ship to the London purchaser.

Nineteen year olds can’t make weapons of mass destruction. They can, however, use old literature published by the American neo-Nazi and survivalist violent right in the Eighties to make powders and liquids containing some small amount, to be identified by federal laboratories, of the poisons ricin and abrin.

These recipes now exist in digital form. And through technological progress the products from them can be marketed on black internet sites. In much the same way the original poison recipes were distributed world-wide on underground hacker bulletin board systems in the Nineties.

Another summary of that world, along with original notice of the arrest, is included here at Jesse Korff and the legacy of The Poisoner’s Handbook.

Images for castor plants and crab’s eye — the latter being the source of abrin, are here and here, respectively.

Both can be found in Florida.


What’s new in the laboratories of clickbait today?

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 11:45 am by George Smith

Buzzfeed gets 50 million to make smartphones even more like mini- color televisions with scrolling and lots of advertising and trivial short-form listicles or lifestyle dogshit:

Another major piece of the funding announcement includes the foundation of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, an ambitious, L.A.-based operation to be headed by online video pioneer Ze Frank. Though The New York Times reported that Frank has plans to produce news video, Smith says neither of them is sure what the best use case is for news video on the web. “I think we’re interested in doing news video when there are stories that are best told as video. But both Ze and I don’t think that most news should be video or most video should be news,” says Smith, who cites Vice’s video reporting from Syria as the kind of reporting that is well served by the format.

It’s also unclear when BuzzFeed would be ready to produce feature-length films, though it was announced earlier today that Michael Shamberg, producer of Spinal Tap and Pulp Fiction, was joining the BuzzFeed Motion Pictures team.

They “don’t think that most news should be video or most video should be news.” That’s real hard-earned wisdom.

And, how about that hiring of “a producer of Spinal Tap [sic]“? Real cutting edge. For 1985. You know, back when people still bought vinyl records. Which is what the fellows in the movie were trying, unsuccessfully, to get people to do with their, ah, record called Smell the Glove.

And if that isn’t enough, they’ll be hard at work using the cash infusion to better optimize content specifically for the Culture of Lickspittle:

“We spend a ton of time thinking about why people share things and what kinds of things will they share. The same stories are very widely shared on Facebook and Twitter and email.” .

When we share shit why do we share it on the places made out of sharing? It’s a boon to journalism.

Top stuff on Buzzfeed, a passing glance…

11 Things You Learn When You Watch All 5 “Step Up” Movies In A Row

1. You never knew a day could be so great.

The 17 Funniest “Jeopardy!” Fails Of All Time

Including when “donkey punch” made it onto America’s favorite family game show.

What Type Of Shark Are You?

Yes, they’ll sure be doing news with that money.


Whatever happened to Kennedy?

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Fiat money fear and loathers at 12:08 pm by George Smith

Whatever happened to Kennedy, the MTV host (VJ), not the president)?

Well, she’s a right winger with a show on Fox and kicks off the first few paragraphs of an NYT magazine feature on how Ayn Randism has arrived. Libertarianism is the new grunge rock for young voters. Rand Paul, Kennedy says, is Pearl Jam, Ted Cruz, the Stone Temple Pilots.

The piece isn’t meant as satire. But that’s how it reads.

Kennedy’s show on Fox Business Network, “The Independents,” is allegedly non-partisan reads the piece, all because it bashes Republicans, too, and has Matt Welch as a co-host, from Reason magazine, a kind of private clubhouse publication masquerading as deep thought for the political movement.

The article has some great stuff:

“I saw Kennedy onstage in a hotel ballroom … gyrating to the soundtrack of Flashdance and hollering into a microphone, ‘Are you hungry for more liberty?’ She was the M.C. for the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s annual dinner … The C.E.I. is a 30-year-old organization that routinely sues federal agencies … [including Obamacare].”

The article reinforces the impression that libertarians are just snobbish more well-spoken Republicans who refuse to admit it, aren’t hung up on recreational use of drugs and are sort of OK with gay marriage. Even the last doesn’t really apply entirely to the piece. Neither Rand Paul or Ted Cruz are down with it.

Another unintentionally hilarious quote:

“Nick Gillespie is to libertarianism what Lou Reed is to rock ‘n’ roll, the quintessence of its outlaw spirit. He is 50, a former writer for teen and heavy-metal magazines, habitually garbed in black from head to toe, wry and mournful in expression, a tormented romantic who quotes Jack Kerouac. For the past 20 years, Gillespie has been a writer, editor and intellectual godfather for Reason…”

Not much of a recommendation for a magazine or its editors now, is it?

A decent read, it’s here.

Libertarianism isn’t taking over. When people actually come face to face with what it means in this country, they generally go the other way as fast as possible.

Libertarianism, as espoused by a few American politicians and Silicon Valley tycoons, means destroying all the functions of government so they can replace it with their constructs for shoddy private sector services provided at high cost. So they can get more of the pie while taking it from everyone else.

Tim Draper and his Six Californias initiative is the most recent classic example, discussed here. It’s now widely recognized as a ploy to make “Silicon Valley” a state so the tech plutocrats aren’t encumbered by the rest of us. In the process, it would create six new states, two of which, the northern tip and the central valley, would be among the poorest in the country.

Which, rather than being about creating liberty and better government, is an asshole of an idea.

Paul Krugman has spent a bit on his blog commenting, with some humor, on the Times magazine article, including his definition of libertarianism:

In other words, libertarianism is a crusade against problems we don’t have, or at least not to the extent the libertarians want to imagine. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the case of monetary policy, where many libertarians are determined to stop the Fed from irresponsible money-printing — which is not, in fact, something it’s doing.

The Six Californias initiative is like that, too. Tim Draper’s insistence that California is ungovernable because it is too big is, indeed, a crusade against a problem that doesn’t exist.

California is now very governable and moving forward. The reason is simple. State demographics finally eliminated the Republican Party as a blocking force in the state legislature.


Loud Folk Live for Thursday

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Rock 'n' Roll, The Corporate Bund at 3:32 pm by George Smith

Fresh from the First Church of USA!USA! and Mammon in Pasadena, off Colorado, the famous Route 66: Rich Man’s Burden! As you’ve never heard it before!

Recorded live in between times fruitlessly searching and hoping for work in the Corporate Bund.

Today’s timely message liner notes from the Federal Reserve:

New data from the Federal Reserve highlight how many Americans continue to struggle financially more than five years after the end of the Great Recession.

As of September 2013, when the central bank conducted the poll, a quarter of families said they were “just getting by,” while an additional 13 percent were struggling to make ends meet.

Asked to compare their current financial situation with how they were faring five years ago, as the housing crash was wreaking havoc on the economy, 34 percent of respondents said they were doing “somewhat or much worse” than in 2008. The same percentage reported essentially treading water, while 30 percent said they were doing better.

“Given that respondents were being asked to compare their incomes to 2008, when the United States was in the depths of the financial crisis, the fact that over two-thirds of respondents reported being the same or worse off financially highlights the uneven nature of the recovery.”

Play it loud and sing out!

The Bill for HateSpeechin’ Comes Due

Posted in Ted Nugent, WhiteManistan at 10:22 am by George Smith

WhiteManistan’s Minister of Rock & Racism

Today at Rock NYC Live and Recorded, I once again dip into my long lost career as a music journalist in a summary of Ted Nugent’s racist summer catastrophe.


Nugent has two businesses, one in music and one in being a pundit and opinion-maker for the extreme political right wing, the Tea Party, the old angry white party (aka the GOP), the people who do not accept the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s presidency. The latter, a group that for six years with two to go, has erupted in a racist fury over the man in the White House who they believe hates them (Nugent spouts this regularly on tour), is a tyrant and is destroying the fantasy America of their golden youth and early middle years …

The old American paranoid style courses through Nugent on a daily basis. He believes groups of subhuman punk unpatriotic Americans who are inspired by old or dead radicals virtually nobody has heard of except fans of Glenn Beck are destroying the country and, as a part of that plot, trying to get him, too.

I recommend it. But, of course, I would.

Reaffirming every observation in that essay, Ted Nugent plows on in today’s column and in other news around the web. He can’t help himself and it would be a pitiable sight if … well, if he wasn’t such an obviously 24/7 hatemonger.

Excerpted from the wires:

Nugent wrote, “WE ARE ON OUR JET NOW HEADING FOR TOLEDO RIBFEST JAM AFTER AN INSANE INCREDIBLE OUT OF BODY ULTRAROCKOUT at the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis SD! Simply astonishing gig! 4 stinkyass unclean dipshit protestors that admitted they hate me AND ALL WHITE PEOPLE THAT STOLE THEIR LAND BULLSHIT!! See, it aint me they hate, they hate all Americans that produce & live the American Dream. Simply insane!”

Nugent made other inflammatory comments in the discussion thread on his Facebook post. One fan wrote that “Maybe the natives shoulda had better weapons …” to which Nugent responded, “less peyote less whoopin & hollerin.”

Thumbs down to the undue attention given to rocker/right-wing screamer Ted Nugent at the Big Horn Basin TEA Party picnic.

Nugent was treated like a demi-god at the event, as scores of people leaned in to hear his every word, many of those harsh and others profane. That’s in keeping with his long-established style …

[And] he has also spewed out some of the most hateful and plain idiotic comments about politics that it has been our displeasure to hear. Yet somehow, he is hailed as a hero by the far right.

We wrote a pair of stories about Nugent and published pro- and anti-Nugent columns. He is news, we realize, but we strove to offer a balanced view of the man and his career.

Seeing Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso basically ignored on Saturday, along with other current and hopeful officials, while Boy and Cub Scouts posed for photos with Nugent and others were drawn to the celebrity in their midst, said a lot about what we value as a nation.

And it wasn’t good.

Ted Nugent at WND

But in this day and age of dishonest journalism, nothing is quite as hateful as the accusation of racism, which much of the leftist media are guilty of over and over and over again …

When a person is incapable of civil dialogue or respectful debate, they always hide behind the race card.

But when the president of the United States evidences pure racism based on color of skin instead of content of character, as he did in the Trayvon Martin debacle, our First Amendment abusing media are silent. Not a peep.

Nugent wrecked the promotion of his first new album in seven years and had his summer tour overturned by media attention that eclipsed it for what he couldn’t stop saying. His poisonous ideology could no longer be brushed off as vigorous differences in political opinion.

Nugent’s apoplectic rage over Barack Obama, his regular insistence that more than half the country is an infestation of cockroaches, that non-white people are to be regularly mocked, that anyone who doesn’t agree with this is a stinky hippie, a communist, subhuman, an America hater or unclean vermin, is not an outlying thing.

It’s the id of WhiteManistan.

“Unclean vermin” in “American Communist Party regalia,” according to Ted Nugent, protesting his show in Montclair, NJ, this summer. We observe the astonishing magnitude of his pathology.


Views of the future from the Culture of Lickspittle

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 2:41 pm by George Smith

Pew Research has a report about the future of artificial intelligence, robotics and what it means for employment. Naturally, they have a lot of quotes from people in the tech industry, famous pioneers and others who merely qualify as cheerleaders.

What they all have in common is that they’re in the haves, many in the 1 percent. Everything’s going to be pretty good, according to them. But they no longer really live in the US. They’re in that place Tim Draper wants to turn into another state, Silicon Valley.

I have a suggestion.

Why stop at statehood? National secession, followed by technology that hoists the place into orbit, say halfway between the Earth and the Moon, like that science-fiction movie with Jodie Foster in it that didn’t do so well.

Excerpted, that which passes itself off as gnomic:

Amy Webb, CEO of strategy firm Webbmedia Group, wrote, “There is a general concern that the robots are taking over. I disagree that our emerging technologies will permanently displace most of the workforce, though I’d argue that jobs will shift into other sectors. Now more than ever, an army of talented coders is needed to help our technology advance. But we will still need folks to do packaging, assembly, sales, and outreach. The collar of the future is a hoodie.”

Fred Baker, Internet pioneer, longtime leader in the IETF and Cisco Systems Fellow, responded, “My observation of advances in automation has been that they change jobs, but they don’t reduce them. A car that can guide itself on a striped street has more difficulty with an unstriped street, for example, and any automated system can handle events that it is designed for, but not events (such as a child chasing a ball into a street) for which it is not designed. Yes, I expect a lot of change. I don’t think the human race can retire en masse by 2025.”

[Yes, Mechanical Turk provides hundreds of thousands of jobs that pay cents. Most of which you are not qualified for, anyway. It's a future of digitally fused automation and human work that is indeed wonderful.]

Justin Reich, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, said, “Robots and AI will increasingly replace routine kinds of work—even the complex routines performed by artisans, factory workers, lawyers, and accountants. There will be a labor market in the service sector for non-routine tasks that can be performed interchangeably by just about anyone—and these will not pay a living wage—and there will be some new opportunities created for complex non-routine work, but the gains at this top of the labor market will not be offset by losses in the middle and gains of terrible jobs at the bottom. I’m not sure that jobs will disappear altogether, though that seems possible, but the jobs that are left will be lower paying and less secure than those that exist now. The middle is moving to the bottom.”

It’s long, mostly depressing reading. To repeat: One of the hallmarks of the Culture of Lickspittle is that only the people at the top have the glibness and wisdom to tell everyone else how the future will be bright while most of the rest get the shaft. In one paragraph bites.

Not as good as “Greeting my friends, we are all interested in the future because that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives,” by Ed Wood. But close.

The Republic of WhiteManistan’s Navy

Posted in WhiteManistan at 1:24 pm by George Smith

Public safety guaranteed by armored machine gun posts.

Yeah, militarize everything:

MISSION, Tex. — Along the Rio Grande here, the suspected smugglers trying to slip into the United States have certainly noticed their adversaries on the water: burly commandos in black-and-white boats mounted with .30-caliber machine guns and bulletproof shields. The patches on the officers’ camouflage fatigues identify them not as federal Border Patrol agents but as another breed of law enforcement entirely.

Texas game wardens.

A team of them — whose routine duties include investigating fishing tournament cheaters and making arrests for B.U.I., or boating under the influence — patrol the Rio Grande, pulling smuggling suspects from the river and dodging rocks thrown from the Mexican side …

Mr. Perry’s border operations have a military-style tone in their tactics and equipment, with football-themed names like Operation Linebacker and Operation Strong Safety. Texas has paid millions of dollars to a private military contractor founded by retired the Army general John N. Abrams to help develop its border-security strategies. Before his 2007 National Guard deployment, known as Operation Wrangler, Mr. Perry said the troops would be forming “12 armed security platoons.”

The story notes the other border states, mine, New Mexico and Arizona spend nowhere near what Texas does on “militarizing” the border. With a pastiche of forces cobbled together to be a state regiment with naval, land and air surveillance capability.

Would make a great American post card to the rest of the world.

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