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January 10, 2011 - January 3, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011


InstapunkStupidnami

Tsupidnami.

One definition of 'stupid' is 'dyslexic logic.' A tidal wave
intended to create the earthquake that causes it. Weak.

"BANDE DE ZOUAVES" (SEE COMMENTS). Bad enough that we have another pointless mass murder by an obvious lunatic. Worse that the so-called intelligentsia immediately presume to make sense of it as an expression of the politics of their own political enemies. A senseless act cannot be forced to make sense because some species of rationality is applied to it after the fact. The irony is that the most highly educated liberals would agree with this statement wholeheartedly if the context were different. For example, if I were discussing the Creationist interpretation of the Big Bang, they would be cheering me on and congratulating me for my sagacity and impeccable logic.

But we're not talking about the Big Bang. We're talking about the bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang in Tucson, Arizona. Which can be retroactively imbued with all kinds of sense even though the perpetrator -- who, thanks to MySpace, is abundantly on record with his 'writings' -- has never expressed a sensible thought in his short, ignorant, drug-addled life. He's simply a living, breathing oxymoron, with the emphasis on moron.

Ironically, that's where the emphasis should usually be placed when this term is applicable. Except in the hands of (a handful of truly talented) poets, an oxymoron is an impossible contradiction: an illiterate who rails about the illiteracy of others, a fan of Mein Kampf who lists the Communist Manifesto as one of his favorite books, a sadly unformed -- even stillborn -- mind that fears the societal dangers of mind control. This isn't poetry or a metaphorical indictment of a nation that quarrels sharply about sharp differences in political philosophy. It's insanity.

The poetic resonances aren't attributable to the event itself or its perpetrator. They're attributable to the phony wave of meanings imposed afterwards in order to justify (or somehow leverage) what came before. And the operative literary term isn't oxymoron but irony. Of which there are almost too many instances to count. The sudden rush to condemn military metaphors in politics because a military reject who doesn't know enough about language to discern the difference between 'grammar' and 'diction' picks up a gun and shoots 20 of his fellow citizens indiscriminately. The equally sudden rush by Democrats (the people's party, don't forget) to constrain freedom of political speech because a high-school dropout incapable of articulate speech of any kind resorted, in his frustration, to gunfire instead. The instantaneous equation between this deviant advocate of incoherent, atheistic anarchy and the predominantly Christian Palin/Tea Party/Constitutionalist faction in American politics which has just demonstrated the most effective use of grass-roots free speech in the New Media yet seen in an electoral campaign.

I could go on. But you get the picture. Any conversation which employs an act of insanity as a basis for political analysis, criticism, or reform is itself insane. And I fault everyone in the MSM, specifically including Fox News, for even giving such conversations house room. There's a term in the law known as "fruit of the poisoned tree." In courts it means that inferences drawn from illegitimate sources are impermissible as bases for argument.

Every word you hear about the Tucson shootings that somehow indicts or questions the rest of us is the fruit of a poisoned tree. Unless you personally happen to be a psychotic high-school dropout with a history of irrational/violent eruptions in public places, a grandiloquent MySpace page that begs for unearned attention, an obscure prejudice against Jews and all mind-control-oriented governments that are neither Nazi nor Communist, and own a gun with a big enough magazine to shoot 20 people at random.

In that case, you should probably pay attention.

Me? I'm just waiting for the ultimately impotent Stupid Wave to subside. And praying for the people who were shot and their families. They're the ones who deserve our thoughts, empathy, and other higher human faculties right now.



No comment about the above. I just thought of it today (actually, truthfully, last week) and can't (couldn't) get it out of my head or my dreams. The sound quality isn't good, so I'm just gleaming the original stream to a mind we know is still fighting hard to come back to us. Come back from the snow and cold. No matter how beckoning the beyond might be. We pray...

Amen.




Friday, January 07, 2011


Zouaves & Other
Mixed Metaphors



POOEY. Ever heard about the first Union casualty of the Civil War? He was a New York Zouave, like the ones pictured above.

Elmer Ellsworth was a hero in the North even before the first shots of the Civil War. Born in Saratoga Springs, NY, Ellsworth moved to Chicago to study law. It was here that Ellsworth was introduced to the Zouaves - colorful military units outfitted in pantalooned uniforms based on those worn by French colonial troops in Algeria.


Pomp and Puffinstance

Ellsworth formed his own Zouave unit and molded it into a crack drill team.

In the summer of 1860, Ellsworth and his Zouaves toured the North performing precision drills before awed audiences in 20 cities. At the end of the summer, Ellsworth joined Abraham Lincoln's law practice in Springfield, IL as a law clerk. Impressed with his hard-working, enthusiastic clerk, Lincoln invited Ellsworth to join his campaign for president. Following his victory, Lincoln asked Ellsworth to join him in Washington.

As tensions between the North and South states intensified, Ellsworth moved to New York City. He formed a Zouave unit made up of volunteers from among the city's firemen - the New York Fire Zouaves - and became its colonel.

May 1861 found Ellsworth and his Zouaves stationed in Washington, DC. On the 23rd of that month the Virginia legislature voted to secede from the Union. Before the sun rose the next morning, Ellsworth, anxious to see some action, led his Zouaves across the Potomac River as part of an eleven-regiment Union invasion of Virginia. Ellsworth's objective was to secure the port of Alexandria.

The Zouave's landing at Alexandria was uncontested, and they quickly spread through the town securing important targets such as the telegraph office and rail station. As Ellsworth led his men through the streets his eye caught sight of a Confederate flag waving from the top of the Marshall House Inn. Followed by four of his men, Ellsworth rushed into the building, ran up its stairs and cut down the offensive symbol. Descending the stairs, Ellsworth was confronted by the inn's proprietor, James W. Jackson, armed with a double-barrel shotgun. Firing at point-blank range, the inn keeper ended the life of the twenty-four-year-old and conferred upon him the distinction of being the first Union officer killed in the war. Almost instantaneously, Jackson was cut down by Ellsworth's men.

There are short, spectacular wars and long, dark, punishing wars. They both tend to begin the same way, with fanfare, lofty rhetoric, and grandiose symbolic gestures. Today, nobody remembers that there were Union troops who wore red pantaloons. Just as nobody remembers that the first battle of Manassas was treated as a picnic outing by Washington, DC, social elites who camped on a hillside to watch the ceremonial showdown between north and south, with plovers' eggs and fine wine as accoutrements. The subsequent rout of Union troops may have been the first indication to those elites that the unfolding war would be less strutting and cheers than stinking charnel house.

I was not inspired by the idea of reading the Constitution on the floor of the new congress. I understood the sentiment, but sentiment is, well, sentiment, not strategy. For me it highlighted the quandary of the new Republican majority: how do you transform a mix of hardened survivalist politicians and idealistic Tea Partiers into an effective political force?

Where all the mixed metaphors come into play. The remaining Democrats in the House of Representatives are clever, experienced politicians. Combat-proven veterans. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, chewing nails and plotting ambushes. The Republicans are a Pro-Am crowd. (Think of Pros vs Joes.) The Tea Partiers are definitely the Zouaves of the early days of the Civil War, all puffed up with pride in their red-white-and-blue pantaloons. They may be accomplished at constitutional drilling, but they're lambs to the slaughter in congressional trench warfare unless they learn very damn fast that their mission can't be accomplished with a few symbolic votes and an air of intransigent patriotic virtue.

There's still no sign of a Republican Ulysses Grant, let alone a Lincoln, and the best we can hope for right now is that John Boehner is, gulp, George McClellan, the general famous for refusing to fight who nevertheless succeeded in creating the modern, disciplined, professional military his country would need to win a very very long and very very very bloody war.

The Tea Party members of congress aren't going to roll back the Obama offensive on liberty any more than the Zouaves won an easy early victory in the War between the States. We will see plenty of them become quick casualties of the infantry slugfests in Washington.

Importantly, though, we can't lose heart. There will be many letdowns, defeats, and even some disasters to come. A Gettysburg may make us doubt our own will to continue. But we have to remember -- even those of us from the South -- that Sherman did march to the sea, Grant did take Richmond, and Lincoln did free the slaves. Preserving the union is not easy, and we will all be or know casualties before the war is won.

P.S. A quick thank you to 'DorkvsMaximvs,' whose quick response gently corrected an IP brain fart I wouldn't want to get in the way of the post. I'll document my error in a day or so.




Thursday, January 06, 2011


System Consciousness

The Ghost in the Machine

WAY BACK WHEN.  I was going to write today about the Republican legislative calendar and the need for patience. I've been slow getting off the mark in the new year, and I don't mind admitting that it's largely because of the topic of my first 2011 post. I found the experience described there and lightly responded to unutterably depressing. I didn't contend with my friend because I recognize impenetrable armor when I see it. For gifted people to be wrapped in such armor makes me come close to despair. Which is why my frail resolve to write about politics was torpedoed by an interesting late comment on that post:

J. W. Helkenberg  2011-01-05 10:40:00
 
Micro: It could be an altogether different reality than anyone has imagined is beginning to take hold, where concepts such as waste, inefficiency and small-mindedness are to be replaced with automation, total information awareness and, of course, total-mindedness. This would imply that no boomer, indeed no human being whatsoever, is in charge of any aspect of our daily lives at all, rather the illusion of personal responsibility is just that, an illusion, and rather than working toward small personal goals, we are being pulled toward an inevitable climax over which no person exercises any control whatsoever. This is not to say that the appearance of incontrovertible evidence regarding human involvement in health care can be denied, it is just to say that whether it is accepted or denied is of no consequence to the inescapable arrival of a system over which no human exercises any authority. I look at the continuing expansion of the federal bureaucracy as evidence that soon the system will be so overwrought with specialized rules and regulations that it will be more complex than many organisms. This trend cannot continue indefinitely simply due to the restrictions placed upon physical memory, which is to say that human minds are just memory devices that instantiate a particular rule, when it is deemed necessary by the government, which in this case is the only sentient life on Earth.

Macro: It would seem that the continuous erosion of the abductive logical faculties humans have relied upon for the formation of hypothesis is steadily making the scenario related above more and more plausible, the conclusion being that humans are to become little more than cells in an organism we can loosely define as a corporate-state. This then would lead me to conclude that any sentiments contrary to the formation of the conscious corporate-state would be bad. Possibly very very bad. Apoptosis aside, the corporate-state might deem a systematic elimination of those cells that are "rogue" to be a necessary step in the ongoing process of health care reform.

And nothing is worth dying for, especially if you are already immortal.  [boldface added]

The term "conscious corporate state" is what snagged my attention. Shortly before I left corporate consulting in the early 1990s, I had become convinced that the 'corporate change processes' I was hired to facilitate were being defeated not by human resistance but by a kind of organizational consciousness nobody could contend with because they couldn't even detect its existence. Even though all of us have encountered it directly in every corporate conference room where nominal allies suddenly sell out every important principle without ever acknowledging, even to themselves, what have they done. I wasnt't thinking of it in terms of groupthink or moral cowardice and selfishness. I was thinking of it as an active consciousness made of the pieces it owned of thousands of human brains or, if you will, organizational brain cells.

I even wrote about it in somewhat guarded terms, nearly fifteen years ago. Here's what I said in July 1997:

Movies came up. Patrick and I share an interest in bad action movies of both the 'A' and 'B' varieties. While I was giving in to the temptation to see Under Siege II again, he was falling victim once more to Executive Decision Andrew hadn't seen it, so we recapped the plot for him. In the telling, it's almost the same as Under Siege II -- a secret U.S. military technology falls into the hands of terrorists, threatening the passengers on a train/plane as well as the residents of Washington, DC. What to do? Send in Steven Seagal to kill the terrorists, rescue the passengers, and, if there's time, DC too. The only thing different about Executive Decision is the twist about killing off Seagal before he can save the day, which means that bookish Kurt Russell has to do it -- ve-e-e-ery slowly -- with the help of a brave and beautiful flight attendant. There's a Marx Brothers quality about the piece, with Russell constantly popping up inside cupboards and service panels and elevators to ask one more dangerous favor of the flight attendant before the heavily armed commandos can make their appearance.

After a good laugh about the special effects in Seagal's death scene, we returned to a subject Patrick and I have discussed many times before -- "the possibility that there is a collective meaning to the clicheed plots used in bad popular entertainment. I once read a theory -- "I wish I could remember whose -- "that popular culture becomes a kind of underground railroad for archetypal themes that are being ignored or censored by highbrow culture. Such themes may appear in a badly degenerated form, but at the least their most rudimentary essence is being preserved for the day when the official culture rediscovers their value. This made enormous sense to me, and I started watching bad movies in a new way, almost in aggregate, as if they were unconsciously designed pieces of a puzzle that could indeed be fitted together into a coherent picture.
For example, the Under Siege/Executive Decision plot can be read as a cartoonish treatment of two themes that are being ignored by intellectual culture. First, there is the implicit awareness that the U.S. government is a runaway leviathan, with no one fully in charge or capable of controlling its appetite for predation. The terrorists are themselves a by-product of that predation, having been servants or victims of it or both. Whatever ambiguities may be present in terms of our expected response have generally to do with these villains. At times they could be proxies for us, tough and ruthless enough to break the eggs for a wickedly delicious omelet we dare not order from the menu. At others they seem more like the face behind the mask of power, the unabashed willingness to use the high-tech killer toys that must have sponsored their creation in the first place. In either case, they display a knife-edged decisiveness which mocks the gassy committee response of a government that makes easy choices hard because it must pretend to care equally about everyone and everything.

The good intentions of individuals within the government -- and even within the military -- are represented, but these are shown to be impotent under the weight of the obese monstrosity the government has become. Note that this is not a liberal view -- it expressly undermines the notion that serious problems can be solved politically by caring legislators. When elected politicians make an appearance, they are depicted as selfish, stupid, and hypocritical fools who are themselves destined to become victims -- the U.S. Senator on the plane in Executive Decision gets killed trying to make personal political hay out of the hijacking.

Overlaid on this theme is the archetype of the hero, which has been banished from serious literature for most of this century. He is preserved in the movies as a caricature -- racing from one impossibly dangerous situation to another with near-miraculous impunity. Almost invariably he is depicted as a loner, a rule breaker, a man natively at odds with authority. The caption seems to be that we need exactly this kind of hero, although the odds against his success are incredibly long.

There are, of course, endless variations of this particular plot combination -- the Rambo movies add the image of the hero as a specifically targeted victim of the U.S. leviathan, although he nevertheless saves the day -- a comic book Christ figure. John Carpenter's Snake Plisskin flicks, Escape from New York and Escape from L.A., cloak the same basic formula in confused political innuendo but offer the same image of the persecuted hero who must be induced to rescue a mindlessly authoritarian political system. In fact, Escape from L.A. ends with Snake Plisskin pulling the plug on all of technological civilization, upping the ante to a level worthy of the Una-Bomber. The Die Hard movies downplay the complicity of the leviathan in the crisis being addressed, but go out of their way to depict the bullying impotence of federal law enforcement organizations and, to a lesser degree, their state and municipal counterparts.

Scores of cheaper, slapped-together movies that make their appearance on late-night cable also give us this same story again and again and again. One could argue that the David and Goliath theme obviously makes for a good story, but the appeal to the American public may very well include the subliminal awareness that there is something fundamentally true about the premise which does not quite come across in the analyses offered by journalists, pundits, and politicians.

Is this plot significant or meaningful? Hard to tell, I grant, but contrast it with the westerns of a generation or two ago. The hero is present -- still a loner and a rule breaker -- but even he is grateful when the cavalry arrives, and when the government makes mistakes and causes problems in an old western, it is still not presented as any kind of impersonal intractable ogre.

There's another stereotypical movie plot that I believe may be groping toward a concealed and very real problem in the American culture. This is the 'Cyborg' theme, which has been worked and reworked in probably hundreds of different ways--ranging from such critically acclaimed efforts as Blade Runner, RoboCop, and Terminator to junky ripoffs like The Demolitionist (female RoboCop), American Cyborg, Johnny Mnemonic, and, most recently, Screamers. What's interesting to me about these is that they have been interpreted by critics as addressing a deep-seated human fear. I suspect, however, that the fear being addressed goes considerably deeper than the one usually cited.

The standard explanation is that we're afraid of the advances in genetics and computer technology which may one day soon blur the line between human being and machine. Thus, we are given the plight of RoboCop, a human being turned into a microprocessor-controlled cyborg by a ruthlessly exploitative corporation. Can his humanity survive the deliberate technological attempt to destroy it? In much the same vein, we are given Johnny Mnemonic, most of whose memory has been erased to permit his brain to be used as a mass storage device for computer data. Can he regain his life and his humanity even as he saves the rest of mankind from the paralyzing AIDS-reminiscent disease caused by overexposure to information technology? In much the same vein. we are given the near-perfect 'replicants' of Blade Runner, who inspire pathos with their desire to be human even though they are artificially created pieces of organic machinery. What will be the difference in the future between humanity and technology? Interestingly, there is also a later release of Blade Runner, captioned 'the director's cut,' in which the hero, a professional killer of replicants, is shown to be--quite possibly--a replicant himself.

Reinforcing this 'fear of technology' theme is the strain of movies inspired by Terminator, in which the cyborg is decidedly more powerful and predatory than any human being. The standard plot shows the pathetic inadequacy of flesh and blood beings burdened by conscience and other baggage when the creature after them is exquisitely designed and programmed to eradicate them. Hints of this are also to be found in the movies already cited. Johnny Mnemonic features a Terminator-like religious(?) cyborg, and the hero of Blade Runner is really no match for the replicant 'superman' played by Rutger Hauer. Completing the circle, Terminator II offers us a killer cyborg acquiring humanity in the process of protecting a 12-year-old human boy.

And so, the reviewers would have it, we're afraid of the possibility of corporate abuses of technology that will become dangerous to us both physically and mentally. They'll create artificial beings to control us, and they'll replace pieces of our bodies to the point where our original identity may be imperiled. It's an interpretation that's plausible enough, as far as it goes. But what if it doesn't go far enough?

Yes, there's an obvious entertainment value in science fiction and its designer-future images. And, yes, people may find sufficient appeal in the prospect of some 2lst century cyborg threat to make hits of such fare. But these movies are just as popular as the Under Siege/Executive Decision genre, which suggests to me that there may be a much more immediate fear embedded in them that hasn't been brought to light.

Movies personify abstractions. They have to because film is a visual medium. The villainous CEO stands in for the anonymous greed of Corporate America. The conniving, amoral CIA executive stands in for the vast, intrusive intelligence bureaucracy. And so on. Why is it therefore the case that the title characters of Terminator, RoboCop, and Johnny Mnemonic must be taken literally, as specific human-machine combinations that could be implemented to our detriment? What if they are also stand-ins?

I believe they are. What's more, I believe that computer technology is also functioning in these movies as a kind of stand-in. The fear being recorded in these movies is a genuine and well-founded fear of essentially the same leviathan depicted in the Under Siege/ Executive Decision genre. The cyborgs are a way of putting a face on the vast faceless system which presses harder on us every day. In Terminator, we are given the nightmare vision of a war between technology--i.e., the system--and humanity, which we humans can win only by turning back the clock and undoing what has already been done. In other words, the war is well underway and we are losing it.

In RoboCop and Johnny Mnemonic, we're given symbolic representations of what we are becoming, nominal human beings who have been invaded, incorporated into an inhuman scheme that is turning us into robots. At some deep level, we feel that this is already happening and that we may already have lost our souls to it. Hence the odd circumstance of two Blade Runners--the first giving us a human being in conflict with an impenetrable power structure that annihilates its own creations, the second revealing that the human being was lost before he even realized there was a conflict.

There's an additional possibility in here. What if these movies, with their cinematic requirement to personify every abstraction, have accidentally captured the deepest fear of all? That this vast overarching system has acquired its own consciousness and knows full well what it is doing. That we are being deliberately transformed, by an authentically superhuman power, into automaton slaves of the system. That the Terminator is here and is stalking us.

Yes, I know. It's all idiotic. Couldn't be. We talked about it anyway, and then I went home. [boldface added]

Idiotic. So I'm posting this and then I'm going home for the night. Tomorrow is supposed to be another day.




Tuesday, January 04, 2011


Illuminating Anomaly
< br>
The real story. They hate women. The Nanny State is pure guilt.

FAITH. I told you I got streaming Netflix as an early Christmas present. Mrs. CP thought it would inspire me somehow. What do women know? As it turns out, everything. Why I haven't been paying much attention to domestic political developments. I've been too busy watching British TV shows on Netflix. They do have the best shows by far. As of this moment, I'm surfeited with the superiority of such series as Touch of Frost, Wire in the Blood, Waking the Dead, and a truly landmark trilogy called Red Riding. The writing is extraordinary, the acting superb. And unlike the old BBC, the production values range from competitive with American shows to cinematic.

All of which leaves me in a quandary. You have a nation that is clearly imploding on itself, day by day and month by month, yet its dramatic output remains the best in the world by far. Their writers are better. Their actors are better. And not by just a little. They're a lot better than we are. The tempting answer is the old Greek-Roman thing -- the Greeks were cultured while the Romans were, uh, er, dominant somehow. But I have a different theory in this case. One that might actually shed some light rather than muddy the waters.

Some of you aren't going to like this theory. Bear with me. I'm not arguing politics. I'm pursuing human nature. I think what we're looking at is the biggest disconnect ever between the soul of a people and its contemporary cultural assumptions. The result is absolutely stupendous irony that is nevertheless revealing and potentially healing, if people weren't so determined to be blind.

A case in point. American TV shows love the premise of unresolved sexual tension between a male and female lead. In American hands, the result is invariably irritating and strained to the point of making intelligent viewers want to vomit. (You Bones and Warehouse 13 fans know who you are...You're morons.) The Brits can get away with it. For two reasons. First, their idea of a TV series is a lot shorter than American producers insist on. And, second, everyone in Britain is actually severely repressed, regardless of deep-down sexual preference. And they're all impotent or frigid. Nobody in Britain has had sex in a generation. But they think about sex a lot. Artificial insemination is the national pastime. Along with Manchester United soccer.

When you watch enough Brit TV shows, you realize that emotionally, every female is actually male, with tits she'll show you (desultorily) if you ask. It's just that the women are dumber somehow. Because the U.K. is the single most masculine culture on earth. Why their writing is better than everyone else's, for example. But when you watch their dramas, it turns out that all the women are really men. And increasingly, all the authority figures are women who are, uh, men. Which is why their female dramatic characters are still interesting even when they're not beauties and why there are still always parts for Helen Mirren and all the other non-beautiful, naturally aging female actors who get the best parts in even Hollywood movies.

Except that Britain is dying. Day by day and month by month. How comes it? This is how. The Brits have become the ultimate nanny state because they hate their own masculinity and are looking for women who are no longer women to save them.

Ya know, they never were women. All Brit women turn into men as they age. Even Mrs. Peel. Their voices get deeper, they get more frank and technical about sex. Their increasing sophistication about life and the tea lines in their faces makes you dread the possibility of accidentally seeing their breasts. It might hurt somehow, that contrast between stern authoritarian face and smooth bosom. Some of them were never women in the first place. Just Brits with vaginas. "Cheerio. Saddle up. Afterwards we can trim the hedge."

Something about empire. Something about Rome. About now, the Brits are trying to save themselves from what they believe is excessive masculinity. Hence, the nanny state. I'm thinking the problem is exactly the reverse. A nation without women. And therefore no blood, fertility, or reason for living. Fitzgerald said something about "making love to dry loins." How many hundreds of years can one nation survive on such a diet?

In the meantime, the rest of us get great writing, and the women actors get to be all the man they always wanted to be.




Monday, January 03, 2011


We'll see, won't we?

Funny. I could have sworn there were instant videos of Pelosi being sworn in.

WILLIE.5.6-6.7. Over the holidays I had an old and valued friend explain why he contravened the Churchillian maxim that if you're not liberal when you're young, you have no heart, and if you're not conservative when you're old, you have no brain. He's followed the exact opposite route. For example, he's foursquare behind ObamaCare, based on an agonizing personal experience with impotent healthcare bureaucracy he compares unfavorably to what he's seen in Europe.

I didn't debate the subject with him. He's allowed his views. And I like and respect him. He also knows a lot about politics -- the sheer awfulness and tawdriness of it.

I'm not going to debate him backhandedly here, either, since I held my fire in our phone conversation. What I will do is offer two observations, one micro and one macro, I'd like everyone to think about as we embark on a new year.

Micro. It's impossible not to encounter the ridiculous waste, stupidity, and small-mindedness that characterizes every even fairly large organization in which we work or otherwise participate. Every corporate employee finds himself wishing for a deus ex machina who can descend from on high with clear judgment and a fair view of what is right and what is wrong. My observation? The bigger the organization, the less likely that clear judgment will ever occur. The greater the size, scope, and scale of the intervening authority, the more waste and absurdity we are likely to see. Truth is, all the ugly wasted effort we all encounter in the private sector is a marvel of efficiency compared to what government does. Inefficiency in the private sector is dealt with by financial death. Frequently ugly, to be sure, but sure. In the government sector it's dealt with by increasing the budget.

Macro. The people in charge, despite the Obama gloss, are still the Baby Boomers. And guess what? They've spent their whole lives looking for easy answers and now they're, well, exhausted. In every possible way. They've explored every nook and cranny of existence and they just don't believe in people anymore, because the people they know best are, TA DA, Baby Boomers. Who don't believe in anything. Because they've believed in everything you can possibly imagine except themselves. Who they always knew were never any damn good.

I'm not dissing my friend. I feel it myself.

What you're fighting as you try to save our nation. Fight well. And fight hard. We're the worst of all possible enemies. Better educated than you and completely filled with darkness.




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