Archive | November, 2014

Chairman Mao’s “Hero Mothers” / and

26 Nov

The Ruling Party is “Crazy as a S- -thouse Rat”

Mao Zedong was victorious over Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek in China’s civil war. Chairman Mao soon issued a dictat with few rivals for ambitious nation building and ultimate folly. His myopic vision pictured a revival of the Middle kingdom to world class status. To Mao, a much greater population count was the path to this goal.

The word went out starting in 1949 that every Chinese woman birthing four or more offspring would hereby be known as “hero mother” and be awarded favor and privilege. Fecundity erupted and the population of China zoomed from 540 million to 940 million in thirty feverish years.

Then Mao died.

His successors surveyed the teeming hordes resultant and searched frantically for a safe and sane antidote to all this burgeoning fruitfulness. Two were found. One safe, if draconian; the other appeared sane and progressive but would teeter on the brink of the draconian several decades later. The world knows of the “one child” policy but little about its pedigree and the fact that only Han Chinese were subject to it. Non-Han minorities were exempt. A safe enough notion, all in all; perhaps a tad too drastic.

The progressive “free market” policy, was the sane solution that would eventually result, among other astounding happenings, in acres of the Middle Kingdom being paved over with four lane highways. This was in order to accommodate the over one million cars being produced each month. As default, world leadership in “Happy Motoring” thanks to Great Wall Motors and other motor car manufacturers. Alas, China came late to the world’s gala and we know how some of us binge to catch up.

The ruling Party elite, slightly heady from the binge themselves, were careful to not allow the circus atmosphere to undermine the seat of power. Five year plan followed five year plan, fixedly. Until… The fate of China is unknown but perhaps not unknowable. It has made a heroic leap forward in the global rush to potential disaster. Coming from well behind it has made conspicuous consumption of commodities and energy its first choice from Column A on the world menu. From Column B it has chosen global amnesia i.e., ignoring at everyone’s peril the lessons of recent history. These cynical choices have kept the regime in power long past its expiration date.

Amazingly, this historical coup which gave China such a large share of the world’s treasure was done without firing a shot; except, of course, at the occasional regime protester. We, in the great I.O.U.S.A., on the other hand, shoot each other pell-mell then scout abroad for likely Africans or Middle-Easterners to use for target practice.

Every nation can choose it’s own comfort level. Apparently in China the Party has chosen to include some toxicity in the mix. It’s okay to choose that city residents will need surgical masks to ward off particulate matter being inhaled. It’s okay to choose to allow smog so dense on the six lane highways motorists cannot see two car lengths ahead. It’s okay if spring floods bring rivers full of diseased pig carcasses down from the interior.

It’s okay to become the worlds most prolific consumer of cement and structural steel to build empty cities with empty roads leading to them. What’s not okay is for the Party elites to ignore the impact of their billion plus, car obsessed constituents being indulged and encouraged in every excess. Ignoring the rising peril all about, they enable this folly in order to retain power.

Just two sets of numbers should have been to the Chinese leadership a clanging tocsin to change policy right now at all cost. World population at present is seven billion and growing which translates into the Planet being asked to provide roughly ten and one half billion meals every day. Thanks for your help, Chairman Mao.

Worse yet. One billion: the number of motor vehicles on the world’s roads. That was in 2010 and the number which must be accommodated and kept in fuel is expected to reach two billion by 2020. Thanks Party elites for preserving your power ahead of the welfare of humanity.

I toyed with “crazy as a loon”, nah. How about “mad as a hatter”? Nope. “Nutty as a fruitcake”. No go. I’ve decided that decades of craven power politics have brought the Party elite to where nothing less than “crazy as a shithouse rat” is applicable.
fous furieux


Islamic State Abuilding

22 Nov

The group called variously ISIS or ISIL refer to themselves as the Islamic State and now appear serious about nation building. One method chosen to flesh out such an endeavor is an old ploy, Biblical even; steal some females. This action may appall modern observers but it reaches far back in history. Recall the Old Testament nation building effort that included smiting the Philistines and carrying off 32,00 virgins as booty (not a pun). As an instant and cheap tribal increase, that ancient device remains effective.

On the American frontier indigenous tribes replaced losses and increased the band strength by carrying off settler women and girls. One indication of intent for true nation building is the reported insistence that the captives convert to Islam; no infidels welcomed to the nation. On your knees Yadizi scum; rise up daughters of the New Caliphate. Now put on those sacks.

Until now the forces of freedom and democracy were content to simply bomb them insensible but on November 14, 2014, that all changed. ISIS, ISIL, whatever your name: you’re in for it now. Big time.
On that date the Islamic State announced it would issue its own currency subject to Sharia banking law which demands, no interest banking!

They are now officially dead in the water. They will become ashtrays like Libya and Iraq and as Syria will be as soon as the banker surrogates get around to it. War with other nations all you want, kill, main and pillage to your heart’s content but cross international bankers at your own risk!

Be advised!

America: Latter Day ‘Kurgans’/Scourge from the West

18 Nov

The middle of the 20th century witnessed the onset of repeated military incursions into Southeast Asia and into the Fertile Crescent, which with the Levant, is considered an ancient home of civilization. Rapacious American ‘Kurgans’ commenced the destruction of several sovereign nations. These semi-nomadic throngs, known for chronic wanderlust, had failed to ever reach a true civilization and referred to their primitive meme as, our ‘American way of life’.

Without a grounding culture, but heavily armed with modern weapons, they swarmed with impunity over defenseless citizenry and destroyed or damaged precious artifacts and traditions in their path. These boorish minions had only contempt for the different cultures being trampled upon. They sought tribute in the form of valuable energy deposits and/or in imposition of political and financial belief systems upon their victims.

The areas visited by these predators had been targeted often in the remote past by other remorseless invaders. Seven thousand years ago the horizon was silhouetted with armed men on horseback which surely panicked the bucolic, largely horticulturist, residents. The appearance of these heavily armed visitors from the steppes of Asia, called ‘Kurgans’ by cultural anthropologists, began a lengthy series of incursions into the regions. Invasions also came in waves to the land called Canaan from a fanatical, warring people from the southern deserts.

Waves of such plunderers plagued these regions for thousands of years. When the Greek and Roman eras arrived the peaceful pursuits which formerly constituted civilized communities had long been abandoned. Those early invaders were diverse but had commonality in male dominance and warlike tendencies as have their modern counterparts, the Latter Day American ‘Kurgans’.


Is America Capable of a Renaissance?/ or

16 Nov

Is Enlightenment Missing in our DNA?

The whirlpool of change that gripped most of Europe post Renaissance created a violent eddy which threw off sundry minions to the wilderness of the American colonies. Groups unable or unwilling to live within increasingly more religiously intolerant, more dogmatic cultures, opted instead for transport to the wilds.

Legions of these dispossessed martyrs to their beliefs found succor and peril among the various indigenous tribes in the new world. From the English Separatist Church pilgrims in New England; the Calvinist Huguenots all along the coast, Quakers and Amish through the middle colonies, plus scattered Puritans, Lutherans etc.,it goes on.

A legacy of intolerance came across the sea with most of these groups aping the very experiences they were fleeing. Witch hunts in 1650 were echoed again in 1950 with more of the same intent; routing out of dissent and apostasy. America became a fertile arena for bizarre sects featuring plural marriage, celibacy, co-opted psychoanalysis or witnessing and proselytizing. Many communities flourished, for the most part briefly, during outbursts of religious fervor called ‘awakenings’ or in times like the 1960s, of social strife. Today eight out of ten Americans still say they believe in angels.

Americans began to think seriously with Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth century but we gave it up and the meme died young. Since that era fifteen or sixteen decades of philosophical dark ages have been endured. Generations of charismatics, behaviorists, pragmatists and tinkers with serious thought have appeared and faded out. Jung and Freud sailed here together a hundred years ago with bad news for us yokels about the Nation’s soul and sailed away with even more misgivings. Jung waxed at length about the ‘American Complex’ that defied proscription. It defies still.

One notable achievement of the early twentieth century emanating from that holy of holies, the great state of New Jersey, pious Princeton to be precise, was fundamentalism. Spawned in Princeton Theological Seminary to confront Darwinism and liberal Protestantism, it winged the globe in mere decades and then stooped low to become a universal blight. The toll in ruined lives and families, population displacement and deaths resulting humbles the worst of the dark ages.

Centuries of science and enlightenment are now at risk of demotion. In the view of such a stalwart thinker as Noam Chomsky,” We must bear in mind that the US is a very fundamentalist society, perhaps more than any other society in the world – even more fundamentalist than Saudi Arabia or the Taliban. That’s very surprising.”


Creationism and Biblical literalism have swept the Nation and threaten public education. Theme parks and museums vie with the secular establishment and revisit older orthodoxies long since considered passe. Never have our mores allowed us very far past the Jeffersonian quest for happiness; never indeed, to pleasure as an sanctioned goal. Much of modern life seems to require a laughtrack for prompting and a music soundtrack for authenticity.

What is not surprising in light of history is our conduct in the world since arriving at a position of prominence. Nothing in the past had prepared the Nation to act in an enlightened, humanistic manor when dreams of empire, wealth or power were at issue. We consistently treat the rest of humanity as chattel, inferiors or subject to our strategic whims.

America has long since become a debtor nation and except for our favored currency position would be treated with contempt by others. Several of these others, most of whom are more solvent by far, have had enough of our privilege being thrust upon them. Plans are afoot to rival the US dollar in large portions of the globe. If we lose our fiscal advantage the consequences will be dire and immediate.

Nothing less than an almost total reversal of our positions and attitudes is necessary to recover even an iota of the good stuff of which we are potentially capable. We must recognize the critical need for a Renaissance in America. The historical Renaissance that swept Europe was a plea to credit this life with meaning and pleasure and forsake deferring so much to a possible life beyond. The most radical, and possibly most difficult, start to a new paradigm for America would be equal partnership between men and women. Anything less is no Renaissance for us.



9 Nov

The very existence of this phenomenon renders almost all homegrown ideologies and their worldwide projections moot and suspect. First of all: our lauded American exceptionalism. It may exist but not in the way many pundits and lately, the President see it.
Several crucial factors contribute to this form of Americentrism and our inability to thus far export it.

Firstly. Our geographical siting, namely Western hemisphere, immunizes us at present from the specter of population explosion facing other parts of the globe. This entire hemisphere is, compared to other regions with chronic overcrowding, not at current risk. This privileged position, however, never seem to be considered when pursuing policies abroad which contribute to burgeoning populations elsewhere. Export of ‘green revolutions’ and market growth financial incentives compound existing tendencies to famine and displacement.

Secondly. The disdain becoming increasing apparent among the American young for “Happy Motoring’ could doom our pervasive car culture but has arrived too late to effect the frenzy now seizing other regions. China stands way out in front on this. Car culture is the way there, as it once was here, to enable the regime to prosper and hold sway.

Lastly. The present circumstance of the dollar’s exceptionalism, among all others currencies, enables the US if not the rest of the hemisphere, a grace period before we too lose to rising tides and dire entropic decay. The tocsin has clanged from several quarters that our advantage may be temporary and replaced by skeptical others with sounder treasuries.

Those positives? having been stated, what then renders most of our actions and pronouncements abroad doubly moot? Consider that since the beginning, the Nation’s pitchman have had to sell the radical concepts the founders had promulgated to convince a skeptical yeoman citizenry that all was well.

Today this propaganda effort of two centuries has left us with a voice that only convinces the already convinced and falls flat elsewhere. Alas, it is the only soliloquy we know or understand and so we shout louder and pound the airways incessantly.

The resultant projection of the America voice abroad is hollow for some, a cause of deep suspicion for many and a call to arms for others. Unfortunately, despite our patent claim on uniqueness we seem unable to collect any royalty from the multitudes abroad and may have to learn to live within our means at home.

Whiffenpoof Nation/ or

7 Nov

How we poor lambs lost our way

We’re poor little lambs
Who have lost our way,

We’re little black sheep
Who have gone astray
…The Whiffenpoof Song…Yale
It had to have begun in the cold war fifties when we were so busy getting ahead. Upward mobile Levittown dwelling interstate highway paving boosters, all. But what about them? Over there. Who hated us and wished us harm. Big time harm. Did the word go out from on high to keep us scared enough to go back to a permanent war, now called defense, footing? Did the flock become a tad feisty, a bit less sheepish, kinda, maybe, wolfish for a while?

Or did these fears then begin to internalize and prompt the bomb shelters, spy hunts, loyalty pledges and a creeping edginess? An attack of the nerves perhaps; writ national? Was that when we began to project our anxiety outward; blaming others for our own fears? Gradually the demonization and hostility towards so many others came home to settle in on us. Had we, then, lost our way?
Baa, Baa,Baa.

It’s difficult to recall exactly when our noble flock became so anxious and flighty; now almost at stampede level. We entered the fifties fresh from victory in the Pacific over the hated foe. (Our staunch partner now.) Spirits soared and confidence reigned. Cars got finned, babies boomed and rock rolled. Alas, we little black sheep went far astray in Korea. Ditto Vietnam. Then, totally lost, off to Grenada.Iraq.Iraq.Libya.Yemen.Somalia.Syria et al.
Baa, Baa, Baa.

Bunch of nasty guys steal and crash planes into our important stuff and we go to war with everybody. Years later we’re all in such a state that someone with a nasty germ in Texas brings near panic to Maine. Videos of nasty guys in black masks and long knives six thousand miles away cause our throats to clench in terror. Any threat to the status quo causes great fear and outbursts of nastiness among our national leaders. Have we, nervous ruminants, at long last neutered our few remaining sheep dogs and left ourselves prey to the wolves in our psyches?

A Year of Cosmic Unimportance

5 Nov

As the holidays near and 2014 rapidly slinks into history; three issues of cosmic unimportance will be our legacy for the year. Although we face the most dire, probably unsolvable mess we have ever been in, the year was devoted to these circus acts:
Gay Marriage
Midterm Elections
Legal Pot
big big pot
All were brilliant choices to distract and confuse the deck-hands while the Pentagon and Corporate admirals continue to run the ship. But we ‘seen’ our duty and got ‘er done!

Among the major problems not seriously addressed in 2014 are these little gems:
Feeding 7 billion ++ people
Fuel for 2 billion cars by 2020
Hip boots for the rising tides

The areas of China south of the Yangtse River, plus IndoChina and the islands of Oceana together, have one billion inhabitants and the seas are rising. Standing room, hip boots and rice rations on order? Yes sir, coming up, not.

Back in 2010 the world’s motor vehicle count, not including off-road and construction types, hit one billion.
Four years later we are well on our way to the two billion (1/2 being cars) projected for 2020.
Our 2014 answer to fuel conservation for this fuel hungry future: lower gas prices. Yeah!

Projected circus acts for 2015:
Election Hangovers
Pot taxes
Gay Divorce

Jiffy Quiz……

Use the following statements as the basis for your answers. Notice the point values assigned to the
individual answers.

Statement One;
It is predicted that 2020 is the year the two billionth motor vehicle hits the road. Currently well over one billion motor vehicles are in use. Fuel, where not rationed then, will likely be extremely expensive and elusive.

Statement Two:
The seven million, and growing, population of the planet consume over ten billion meals per day, every day. Worldwide droughts and weather upheavals threaten the food supply. Shortage of food imperils the lives of multitudes.

With these statements in mind choose your answers.

1. No one voluntarily gives up the car and motorized transport comes to a complete halt, forever.
True/False…. Correct answer value 33 1/3%

2. Developed world says ‘not our problem’. Third world tries hard to reverse population growth but the numbers are too vast to alter sufficiently in timely fashion. Starvation and chaos are experienced worldwide.
True/ False…. Correct answer value 33 1/3%

3. Somebody will think of something in nick of time and my family will not become extinct.
True/False…. Correct answer value 33 1/3%


1. True
2. True
3. False

Your score ———- .

Less than 100% is failing grade.