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Thursday, November 6th, 2008
10:44 am - To the evil forces of fear, loathing, hate, ignorance, and HYPOCRISY behind Proposition 8


  Proposition 8 Challenged
It would not be an "amendment" to the constitution, it would be a vicious DELETION & RE-WRITING of the basic principles of equality enshrined in our constitution.

The forces of fear, loathing, and ignorance cannot simply pick the latest group they hate, and then put that group's human rights up for majority vote.

We have seen where that road leads before; now we cannot sit idly by while evil leads us down that road to hell again. NEVER AGAIN.

“If the voters approved an initiative that took the right to free speech away from women, but not from men, everyone would agree that such a measure conflicts with the basic ideals of equality enshrined in our constitution. Proposition 8 suffers from the same flaw. That’s too big a change in the principles of our constitution to be made just by a bare majority of voters.”


"The California Constitution makes clear that a major change in the roles played by the different branches of government cannot be made by a simple majority vote through the initiative process, but at the very least must first go through the state legislature. Changes to the underlying principles of the constitution must be approved by two-thirds of both houses of the legislature before going to voters. That didn't happen with Proposition 8, and that's why it's invalid.

This would not be the first time the court has struck down an improper voter initiative. In 1990, the court struck down an initiative that would have improperly attempted to strip the state's courts of their role as independent interpreters of the constitution.

“If the voters approved an initiative that took the right to free speech away from women, but not from men, everyone would agree that such a measure conflicts with the basic ideals of equality enshrined in our constitution,” says Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Jenny Pizer. “Proposition 8 suffers from the same flaw. That’s too big a change in the principles of our constitution to be made just by a bare majority of voters.”"

“The magnitude here is that you are effectively rendering equal protection a nullity if a simple majority can so easily carve an exception into it. Equal protection is supposed to prevent the targeting and subjugation of a minority group by a simple majority vote.”

  Prop 8 Facing Uphill Legal Challenges  

"...The key argument challenging the legality of the measure is that the proposition was so sweeping that it effectively represented a revision of the Constitution, not a simple amendment, as voters were told.

The state high court twice before has struck down ballot measures as illegal constitutional revisions... [F]ormer California Supreme Court Justice Joseph Grodin... a Prop 8 opponent, said he believes the challenge has legal merit.

...Jennifer Pizer, a staff lawyer for Lambda Legal, told The [Los Angeles] Times that the initiative met the test of a revision because it had far-reaching magnitude.

"The magnitude here is that you are effectively rendering equal protection a nullity if a simple majority can so easily carve an exception into it," she told The Times. "Equal protection is supposed to prevent the targeting and subjugation of a minority group by a simple majority vote," which is all that Prop 8 required.

The measure Tuesday received 52.5 percent of the vote, compared to 47.5 percent opposed."

WHO IS NEXT? Who is the next "group to hate" that the forces of evil will target? Are they going to put the human rights of Jews up for a majority vote? How about the human rights of other religious, or ethnic, or racial minority groups? Are their human rights going to be tested at the ballot box now too? Are YOU next? Can you only sleep in peace if you're a blonde Mormon or a far-right religious extremist? But this is America in the 21st century, not World War II Germany. WE DON'T DO THAT HERE.




You may have tricked 52.5% of California voters,


If you were serious about "saving marriage," you wouldn't be funded by POLYGAMIST MORMONS, and you would do something to help people STAY MARRIED. Our divorce rate in California has been sky-high since AT LEAST THE 1970's, so why didn't you try to make straight/hetero divorce more difficult, or try to ban Las Vegas style drive-thru marriages, or create laws seriously addressing adultery or spousal abuse? I'll tell you WHY, because you DON'T GIVE A FLYING F-CK ABOUT "SAVING MARRIAGE." What you DO care about is HURTING PEOPLE, DESTROYING MARRIAGES, AND ROBBING PEOPLE OF THEIR FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS WHILE YOU SPIT ON THEIR HUMAN DIGNITY.

But you polygamist in-bred Mormon hypocrites picked the wrong fight. Watch-out you religious fanatics and evil extremists.




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Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
4:47 pm - Life After Capitalism


  Life After Capitalism
David C. Korten (November 1998)
  "Under global capitalism the world is ruled by a global financial casino staffed by faceless bankers, money managers, and hedge fund speculators who operate with a herd mentality that sends exchange rates and stock prices into wild gyrations unrelated to any underlying economic reality. With reckless abandon they make and break national economies, buy and sell corporations, and hire and fire corporate CEOs (the heads of corporations) -- holding the most powerful politicians and corporate managers hostage to the speculators interests. When their bets pay off they claim the winnings as their own. When they lose, they run to governments and public institutions to make up their losses with cries that the financial skies will fall if they are forced to suffer the market's discipline."  


  "...capitalism's relationship to democracy and to the market economy is much the same as the relationship of a cancer to the body whose life energies it expropriates. Cancer is a pathology that occurs when otherwise healthy cells forget that they are part of the body and begin to pursue their own unlimited growth without regard to the consequences for the whole. The growth of the cancerous cells deprives the healthy cells of nourishment and ultimately kills both the body and itself. Capitalism is doing much the same to the societies that it infests."  


  "Another way of characterizing our situation is that we find ourselves unwitting participants in an epic contest between money and life for the soul of humanity. And it comes down to a fairly literal choice as to which we value more -- our money or our lives. And as you suggested, in many ways it is fundamentally a spiritual issue as much as a political issue."  



  "The very vocabulary of finance and economics is a world of double-speak that obscures such essential distinctions. For example, we use the terms money, capital, assets, and wealth interchangeably, leaving us with no simple means to express the difference between money -- a simple number -- and real wealth -- which includes such things as trees, food, our labor, fertile land, buildings, machinery, technology -- even love and friendship -- things that sustain our lives and increase our productive output. It leaves us prone to the potentially fatal error of assuming that when we are making money we are necessarily creating wealth."  

  "Similarly, we politely use the term investor when we speak of the speculators whose gambling destabilizes global financial markets. Indeed we favor them with tax breaks and special protections. Language makes a difference. If we called them by their real names: speculators, gamblers, and thieves, they would be subjects of public outrage -- as they appropriately should be."  


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Sunday, October 12th, 2008
12:28 pm - Sarah Palin witchdoctor "exorcism;" "believers" to "infiltrate" banking, government, education
You need to understand, when it comes to Sarah Palin: She has been a member of an EXTREMIST group of FANATICS for over 20 years. These people do not just believe in the "end times." These people believe that it is their duty to actually CAUSE the world to end. And if she becomes vice-president, she will LITERALLY be 1 HEART-BEAT AWAY FROM CAUSING NUCLEAR ANNIHILATION. It sounds CRAZY, it seems RIDICULOUS. It IS hard to believe. But this is the state of America today, this is how absurd, how perverse, how pathetic, and how dangerous things have become. Your gut reaction upon facing this, your psychological defense mechanism, will be to turn away, to go into denial, to shrink back into apathy... but is nuclear obliteration really the way you want your life, and all life on Earth (not just human life), to end?

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STOP following capitalism down its dead-end road.

You are MORE than a consumer.
You are MORE than a wage-slave.

A job does NOT define you.
A car is NOT a reflection of who you are.
Clothes do NOT make you.
Diamonds are NOT "best friends."

Your value does NOT depend on how much money you have.







  International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director (October 11, 2008)

"Intensifying solvency concerns about a number of the largest US-based and European financial institutions have pushed the global financial system to the brink of systemic meltdown."


  Capitalism Without Rules
James Keye (October 11th, 2008)

"The appeal of capitalism exists largely in its making acceptable the concentration of wealth and in its religion-like faith in a common, generally negative human attribute as a positive guiding principle: human greed. Capitalism is a social and economic design that gives great freedom to the most greedy. Greed and wealth concentration are intellectually supported under the argument that the invisible hand of greed will design the best possible distribution of wealth based on the most efficient use of resources. And it denies that humans have the power, or should have the power, to control wealth and resources.

This ‘leave it to the market’ argument overtly suggests that we should not trust other people to control the process of wealth distribution while hiding the fact that the very most acquisitive and ruthless of us are doing exactly that under the cover of ‘the market.’ Trillions of dollars of wealth have been taken by the tax and credit system over the last 8 years (and for many years before) and “redistributed” to the economic elite, a polite term for the greedy sociopaths at the core of these economic actions. This is being done primarily with war, the healthcare (sic) system and the credit system.

The “bailout” of Wall Street is not a bailout at all. Embezzling is slow. To get big bucks in a hurry requires a robbery and a robbery requires the hold-up note. All the planning can be done in secret, but with a robbery there comes the moment when intentions must be made clear: “Fill this bag. I have a gun in my pocket.” We have just been through such a moment, with the note written in all capitalism, so most people missed its true meaning.

“Fill this bag. If you don’t your lives will be ruined and children’s lives will be ruined.” In capitalism the note reads: “The Market has been damaged by excessive attempts of foolish people to regulate it and so trillions of dollars must be given to the managers who are guided by the True Invisible Hand to save us from a great depression, social unrest and civil war.”

What this boils down to is that
capitalism, as an economic process, seeks to remove the rules that guide economic behavior, and as economic capitalism melds into political capitalism, what ever form of governance was in place is replaced with fascism."



  Financial Tsunami: The End of the World as We Knew It
F. William Engdahl (October 1, 2008)

"The Great Depression in Germany in 1931 began with a seemingly minor event—the collapse of a bank in Vienna, Creditanstalt, that May. ...

Today, in 2008, some 77 years later, a German Finance Minister stands before the Bundestag announcing the end of that American Century. Today the German government encourages a fusion of Dresdner with Commerzbank. Today Deutsche Bank, which some years ago acquired Bankers Trust in New York in a merger wave, appears to be in a stronger position than its American counterparts as Wall Street investment banks, some more than 150 years old as the venerable Lehman Bros., simply vanish in a matter of days. The American financial Superpower crumbles before our eyes."



  Beyond Capitalism to Post-Capitalism: Conceiving a Better Model of Wealth Acquisition to Supersede Capitalism
Peter Baofu (June 30, 2005); Author link 2

"Contrary to conventional wisdom about capitalism, the pervasive norm to acquire wealth and the zealous mission to fight poverty have their double sides often unsaid, in that there is no wealth without poverty, just as there is no poverty without wealth, such that more wealth also creates more poverty.

Consider, for instance, America, which is regarded by many as the “wealthiest” country on Earth at the turn of the 21st century. Yet, this “wealthiest” country on Earth is also the most hated one around the world, as a soul-searching question after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks is, Why do they hate us so?

Isn't it paradoxical, Dr. Baofu asks, that this enormous accumulation of wealth ends up creating more hatred and violence around the world, instead of contributing to a more prosperous, humane one? Is there something fundamentally wrong in this seductive idea of wealth acquisition in capitalism?

The wealth paradox disappears, as Dr. Baofu goes to great length to explain, if it is understood that
a civilization which prides itself on acquiring wealth as the central focus of life meaning is too inadequate to fulfill fully the domains of life on material, relational and spiritual concerns. It is so, since capitalism, as a historical contingency to fight the material impoverishment of pre-modernity, overdoes itself as a historical solution to the problem of poverty and will not last, to be superseded by what Dr. Baofu originally proposed as its successor, “post-capitalism.”"


  Why is Capitalism Failing Us?
Doug Page (June 14th, 2008)

"Capitalism as it existed in the days of Adam Smith no longer exists in the Twenty First Century. Capitalism has mutated so as to cause the merger of corporate power with state power so that we now have corporate state capitalism whose powers are exercised solely to benefit of the global elite at the expense and starvation of the rest of us."


  Rejoice: The Impending Collapse of Global Capitalism?
Bill Hansen (October 01, 2008)

"Hang on to your hats, boys and girls, we might be in for one helluva ride.

Nearly two decades ago, in the aftermath of the much deserved implosion of Leninist communism in the then Soviet Bloc, there was nearly universal celebration in the West. We had won the Cold war: ideologically, economically and militarily. Hurrah!!!

The American philosopher, Francis Fukuyama, penned a triumphalist essay in the neo-con journal, The National Interest. He entitled it “The End of History”. The essay was later turned into a book and Fukuyama was hailed as the post-communist philosopher of the future for his encomium to liberal democracy and free market capitalism. The essence of Fukuyama’s argument was that the end of the Soviet Union marked the end of any plausible challenges or alternatives to the hegemony and moral superiority of free market capitalism and liberal democracy. THERE WERE NO CONCEIVABLE HISTORICAL ALTERNATIVES. We had arrived at the end of history.

History’s aftermath hasn’t lasted all that long. Long before Fukuyama, a far more prescient observer of the history of political economy asked the question:
“What is the modern state, but the executive committee of the bourgeoisie?” As one watches modern capitalism cooperate with the modern state in extricating capitalism from its own excesses, one is reminded as to how extraordinarily correct Karl Marx was…and remains."


  Could Globalization Fail?
Thomas Palley, YaleGlobal (April 13, 2006)

"Business has a private incentive to escape the system to countries with lower costs. Yet, it still needs mass consumption. The system needs a solid middle class, but is also driven to hollow out that middle class. This contradiction has been papered over by consumer borrowing provided by deregulated financial markets and a 25-year asset price boom. The problem is that such borrowing risks prove unsustainable if incomes are hollowed out, and that could stop the economic merry-go-round. If that stoppage produces an economic crash, globalization may crash, too."


  Today's Capitalism Has Run Its Course
Bashir Goth, PostGlobal (October 7, 2008)

"...it is vital that the current capitalism system should change course. Instead of propping up the pillars of an aging system, the world should come up with radical economic reforms based on holistic views and diversified structures instead of the current orthodox uniformity. ...The current man-made financial crisis heralds a new age for the capitalist system; it [signifies] a precipice of a great change. And it must be clear to all by now that any system that doesn't value the economic welfare of every individual and not only the wealthy few will be doomed to the same destiny."


  International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director (October 11, 2008)

"Intensifying solvency concerns about a number of the largest US-based and European financial institutions have pushed the global financial system to the brink of systemic meltdown."





current mood: contemplative

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Monday, September 24th, 2007
6:43 am - Internal Collapse

We here in metropolitan Los Angeles live in a filthy and overcrowded city.  Of course, there are small pockets of beauty and order, but don't let these fool you: even then, filth, pollution, and squalor are only a short walk away.

By and large, the number one problem is overcrowding.  We simply have too many people living and working in too small an area.  From this basic fact of overcrowding stem virtually all the other ills that choke our city, our streets, our lungs, and even our minds.

And so I am confused.  I am very confused.

This morning I went out for a walk, very, very early.  Originally I'd intended to walk in a nearby park, but I couldn't find parking -- yes, there were plenty of free spaces along the curb, but every single spot around the park's entire perimeter was marked with some sort of parking prohibition (another symptom of the overcrowding here). 

Frustrated, I drove home and decided I would just go for a walk around my immediate neighborhood.  I don't know why, but this seemed somehow vaguely strange to me.

My walk, to my great surprise, turned out be beautiful -- for the most part.  At that early hour, cars and people hadn't yet taken to the streets en mass.  In that pre-dawn darkness, the air remained crisp and not yet completely choked with petrochemical reactions catalyzed by the sun.  Interesting and nearly forgotten scents -- a variety of flowers, dewy leaves, eucalyptus trees, moist grass, wet construction wood, saw dust, damp bricks -- wafted all around. 

(It became easy to understand why a morning walk might be such a delight for super-olfactory powered canines.)

I also found surprising the order all around me -- the neatly trimmed and artfully shaped bushes, the meticulously manicured lawns, carefully painted walls, archways, doors, windowsills -- precise landscaping and artistic architecture.  Everything well-maintained, everything interesting -- whether big or small, opulent or understated -- everything charming in its own way.

So why are we so unhappy?

That isn't a rhetorical question.  I'm serious.  Why are so many of us unhappy?  Why are millions of us miserable?  Why are millions upon millions of us seeking escape in psychiatric medications, illegal drugs, and/or alcohol?

Everything LOOKS so picture perfect, at least on the outside.  Why are so many of us miserable?

Why has the teen suicide rate shot-up through-the-roof?  Why does the ridiculously high divorce rate make marriage seem like a joke or a bad gamble?  Why are most of us just sitting back passively while the middle-class disappears, and our society becomes further divided into a tiny privileged class versus a huge underclass abandoned to fight for the leftover crumbs?

We have an exploding autism epidemic, yet still no real answers as to what's causing it.  We're importing food for ourselves, for our pets, and things for our kids that are "enriched" with poisons -- bought from and made by peasants in other countries who've just discovered their fever for get-rich-quick no-holds-barred every-devil-for-himself style capitalism.  The American "citizen" is encouraged to be "productive," and above all, consume, consume, consume.  Meanwhile our infrastructure rots, our bridges are collapsing, levies have burst, highways and roads slowly crumble.  Our elderly have been made promises that our current medical and social security systems cannot keep.  Fifty million Americans -- 50,000,000 people -- live without health insurance.  Fewer and fewer can afford a college education.  And for all we know, the harm done to the environment has gone past the point-of-no-return.  The list can go on and on, and on, and on, full of examples, but the long and the short of it is: Our society is crumbling.

One day -- not so many years ago -- the world awoke to discover that the former Soviet Union, once a feared global superpower, had collapsed from within.  The overwhelming majority of government and academic experts in the United States did not see the disintegration coming.

History is repeating itself, this time right here at home.

Our society is crumbling. 

One day, very soon, we will awaken to find our society has crumbled.

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Friday, September 21st, 2007
7:29 am - Open letter to obnoxiously loud neighbor
G-d, you bitch banshee hyena from hell.  For the sake of fuck, please tell me: have you experienced a psychotic break this morning?  You've been laughing like an escaped lunatic since 6:30 a.m. today.

It sounds like you're hosting some sort of medieval banquet, hosting pirates and coked out Beverly Hills Persian chicks.  What the fuck is going on?

Have some g-d damned decency please, and SHUT THE FUCK UP.

It's too g-d damned early for this.

I wouldn't find your obnoxiously loud morning antics even half so disturbing if they weren't punctuated by randomly issued snippets of high decibel conversational phrases and assorted onomatopoeia.

You sound SCARY.

Please, please, please, shut up you freak, and tell your friend(s) or whomever you have over to shut the fuck up too.

Carry on your freaky-scary psycho conversation punctuated by demented-sounding laughter... just do so MORE QUIETLY.

Save that kind of shit for late nights... FUCK.

It's barely 7:35 a.m. now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You bitch!!!

current mood: freaked-out

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4:57 am - Joseph Schumpeter on the demise of capitalism
An excerpt from Wikipedia's entry on Joseph Schumpeter, that glows with personal and political truth.


Schumpeter and capitalism's demise

Schumpeter's most popular book in English is probably Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. This book opens with a treatment of Karl Marx. On the surface level, this piece seems to support socialism. Schumpeter's reasoning was that an overt defense of capitalism would prompt the book only to be read by those who already supported capitalism. Therefore, he believed that he must masquerade as a supporter of socialism to entice the young socialist to read his work. In the end, he hoped to awaken self-recognition in the reader to the flaws of socialism. [2] Schumpeter is sympathetic to Marx's conclusion that capitalism will collapse, although Schumpeter concludes capitalism will be replaced by socialism for non-Marxist reasons. It is in this book that Schumpeter characterized capitalism with the famous phrase "creative destruction", in which the old ways of doing things are endogenously destroyed and replaced by the new.

Schumpeter thinks that the success of capitalism will lead to a form of corporatism and a fostering of values that are hostile to capitalism, especially among intellectuals. The intellectual and social climate needed to allow entrepreneurship to thrive will not exist in advanced capitalism; it will be replaced by socialism in some form. There will not be a revolution, but merely a trend in parliaments to elect social democratic parties of one stripe or another. He argued that capitalism will collapse from within as democratic majorities vote for the creation of a welfare state and place restrictions upon entrepreneurship that will burden and destroy the capitalist structure. Schumpeter emphasizes that he is analyzing trends, not engaging in political advocacy. Some contend that John Kenneth Galbraith was influenced in his The New Industrial State by Schumpeter's views on corporations. In Schumpeter's vision, the class of intellectuals also contributes to the demise. The term intellectuals denotes here people who are able to express opinions on societal matters they are not directly responsible for. They can stand up for the interests of strata, that they themselves do not belong to. It is a great advantage of capitalism, that more and more people can acquire (higher) education, compared with pre-Capitalist eras, when education was a privilege of the few. The jobs of executive personnel are limited, however, and discontent rises with unemployment. The intellectuals are able to organise protest among the population and, naturally, develop critical ideas.

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Thursday, September 20th, 2007
11:17 pm - "The Grey Zone" (film)
Yes, it's a film about the Holocaust.

It's a very emotional topic, but rather than relinquish any power to that emotionality, I'm going to keep this short and straightforward.

In essence, there is nothing "grey" about this subject.

One of the legacies of the Third Reich... of the Shoah... is that humanity can never be trusted.  Institutions cannot be trusted, particularly military and government institutions.  Their power must be checked and re-checked, and re-checked some more.

Humanity is essentially amoral, stupid, and monstrous.  That is humanity's default state. Therefore, vast, powerful, and numerous safeguards must be put and kept in place in order to prevent humanity from lapsing into its default state.

By default, human beings are disgusting and barbaric, and must be trained and controlled in order to prevent that repugnant and destructive nature from expressing itself.

There is a latent sociopath in nearly everyone.

G-d does not figure into this topic.

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Wednesday, September 12th, 2007
12:52 am - Awesome...
I've heard about this developing technology before, I didn't realize that Israel was/is the incubator.  Where do I sign?

Israel's Brainsway stimulates a magnetic remedy for depression
By Nicky Blackburn   February 19, 2006

Approximately 18.8 million American adults suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability in the United States. Yet only about half the patients who take common medical treatments like antidepressant drugs actually see a therapeutic effect. Moreover, they suffer a broad range of undesirable side effects including weight gain, sexual dysfunction and even suicidal behavior.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has a far higher success rate, with some 80% of patients responding positively. ECT, however, is a highly invasive treatment involving general anesthesia, with many serious side effects ranging from dizziness and headaches to temporary or even permanent memory impairment.

Now an Israeli company, Brainsway, has developed a new non-invasive deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatment that it claims can effectively treat depression without any of the negative side effects of drugs or ECT. The treatment, which Brainsway's founders believe could revolutionize the whole psychiatric care market, does not require anesthetic. Instead, users describe the experience as a gentle shaking or tickling of the scalp. "A bit like a massage," Dr. Abraham Zangen, one of the inventors of the device, told ISRAEL21c.

current mood: hopeful

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12:32 am - Economics quick note
Just making a quick note for myself about some things I heard recently that I want to explore later... super-capitalism... the other interview.

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