Friday, April 27, 2012


  1. We the People timidly suggest that the freedom of speech shall not be infringed. But we are willing to submit to “free speech zones” or to just shut up if there’s a risk of offending someone, especially if that person is religious. We also timidly suggest that we have the freedom to hold any religious belief we want to as long as it doesn’t conflict with that of the dominant religious sect.
  2. We the People timidly suggest that we have the right to bear arms, but we promise only to use them on black or brown people…or hippies, freaks, gays and other “radicals.”
  3. We the People timidly suggest that Corporate Feudal State forces cannot station themselves in the people’s homes…unless they really want to.
  4. We the People timidly suggest that arrests, searches and seizures shall not be conducted by Corporate Feudal State agencies without evidence and authority from the people…unless they really want to. We the People trust you.
  5. We the People timidly suggest that persons can only be found guilty of a crime when evidence is presented to a jury of one’s peers…or if the person has been tortured into confession…or if the Corporate Feudal State wishes to avoid the inconvenience of “due” process.
  6. We the People timidly suggest that “due” process should be conducted swiftly and fairly unless, of course, the Corporate Feudal State doesn’t want to.
  7. We the People timidly suggest that a trial by jury is in order in civil cases unless the case in question involves an employer, banking institution or multinational conglomerate.
  8. We the People timidly suggest that fines, bails and punishments should be proportionate to the crime…unless, of course, the Corporate Feudal State feels otherwise.
  9. We the People timidly suggest that there may be other suggestions we would like to make at some future time because we forgot to include them here. But we readily acknowledge that these are merely suggestions subject to the momentary whim of the Corporate Feudal State.
  10. We the People timidly suggest that our state and local Corporate Feudal States cannot violate the suggestions listed herein unless they really want to.        

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Is Kony 2012 a propaganda campaign for our next oil war?

Joseph Kony
As Mark Twain once observed, a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on. And the truth about Kony 2012 is slowly getting its boots on. Invisible Children founder Jason Russell has even admitted that the campaign was about evangelizing and not saving children. But could it be about oil too?

James Arnold of Tullow says there are 700m barrels of proven reserves on the Ugandan side. With likely additions from further exploration, he believes, the figure could eventually reach billions of barrels. Some speculate that, Congo included, the entire Albertine basin may yield even more than Sudan’s 6 billion barrels of proven reserves.

President Obama has already sent at least 100 combat troops to Uganda, supposedly to "capture or kill" LRA leader Joseph Kony, despite the fact that Kony isn't even in Uganda. So if Joseph Kony isn't even in Uganda, what are the US troops doing there?

It's probably also worth noting that nearby South Sudan also has large oil reserves, which could be why President Obama has given the region so much attention lately.

Obama appointed not just one but two special ambassadors to shuttle between the Khartoum government of Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the southern administration, rebels in the province of Darfur and the numerous other interested parties; he attended a special meeting on Sudan at the United Nations, thereby attracting many other world leaders, and delivered a strong speech. He dispatched Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) to lay out a detailed “road map” for Bashir’s regime: If it would allow the south to go peacefully, it could earn a release from sanctions, debt relief and diplomatic recognition from the United States.

Moreover, our sudden interest in central Africa could also be inspired by a desire to edge China out of the region. China has been spending billions of dollars in Uganda and neighboring countries in its effort to expand its sources of oil, especially now that Libya is out of their reach.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In case of choking on faux progressive rhetoric...

Tip: Mark Gisleson

Monday, March 05, 2012


...hi-ho the dairy-o, a blegging I will go...
Cover Art for Brummagem's debut album, "4:20."

[Bleg: a portmanteau of "blog" and "beg"]

So desperate for cash was I that I decided to cast about for anything I could do to raise a little moneh. Then I re-discovered BANDCAMP, a site where musicians (I hope you don't mind that I'm using the term broadly) can upload and sell their songs, which is what I have done -- well, the upload part, anyway.

Behold! My new album, "4:20," which consists of 11 songs, each 4:20 in length. And they can be yours for the low, low price of $5. That's over 47 minutes of music for just $5. Or you can purchase the songs individually for a buck apiece.
"4:20," the debut release from BRUMMAGEM

I ain't-a-claiming this album is the next WHO'S NEXT or anything, but there might be at least one song that you will enjoy or at least be able to tolerate, and for $5, how can you go wrong? I only need to sell a few of these bad boys to raise enough cash to put minutes on my cell phone, which is my immediate concern. So if you're a fan of random noises that sound vaguely like music, not to mention supporting the telecommunications industry, please consider purchasing the latest album by BRUMMAGEM, "4:20."

Thank you.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Charles

America's Darwin problem is only one component of America's science problem. As Kenneth Miller notes:

Significant numbers of Americans have come to regard the scientific enterprise as a special interest group that rejects mainstream American values and is not worthy of the public trust. Governor Rick Perry of Texas spoke to this view when he claimed that "There are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data" to their own benefit. Why? Perry was clear about this. It's personal greed. Scientists cheat "so that they will have dollars rolling in to their projects."

Unfortunately, Governor Perry is right, just not in the way his remarks imply. Scientific data is indeed being manipulated, but it is almost always done in the service of some financial interest. Andrew Wakefield, for instance, the widely discredited originator of the vaccine-autism canard, had his own treatment racket in mind when he concocted the bogus link between autism and the MMR vaccine. And pain researcher Scott Reuben faked dozens of studies to keep research grants from Pfizer rolling in. FDA "fast-tracking," agri-pharma profits and Americans' piss-poor science education have combined to create a perfect storm of scientific mistrust, which is what is at the heart of our rejection of Darwinism. If we hope to catch up with the rest of the developed world, let alone surpass it, we must take the profit motive out of science.
And when data falsification isn't the culprit, peer bullying is. A PR firm called The Bivings Group formed an army of sock puppets to impugn the reputation of a UC Berkely researcher named Ignacio Chapella who had published a paper showing that GM corn had cross-pollinated with conventional corn.
And when PBS programs FRONTLINE and NOVA teamed up to address the issue of GMOs in a program titled "Harvest of Fear," they were forced to post the following caution regarding their online opinion tally:
In late May 2004, thanks in part to the vigilance of several outside readers who phoned in, we discovered that some person or persons had tampered with this feature's tally. Specifically, on May 16-17, 1,540,016 "Yes" votes and 33,641 "No" votes were cast via just four IP addresses. (Prior to May 16, a total of roughly 124,000 votes of any kind had been cast since the feature launched in April 2001.)

Deeming the credibility of the tally to have been compromised, we made this page unavailable for several days while we decided how best to address this problem. In the end, we threw out these suspicious votes and recalculated the remaining response numbers and percentages. Then we did a more thorough scouring of votes from before May 2004.

It appears that a lesser degree of multiple voting has been going on for some time, so we have decided to temporarily remove the final vote and tallying options from this feature until we can put a more secure system in place. The feature itself remains unchanged, and we encourage you to challenge your stance on GM foods by reading it. We apologize for any inconvenience, and we appreciate your readership.—The Editors

The upshot is that Americans' rejection of Darwinism and distrust of climate data and of science in general is the result of decades of educational dumbing down and the intentional scientific misconduct of researchers starving for grant money, which, increasingly, comes from corporations and not government subsidies.

And GMO defenders like David Tribe and Pamela Ronald, among others, have cleverly manipulated this phenomenon in order to portray suspicion of corporate greed as scientific ignorance, so that if you question Monsanto's or Syngenta's motives regarding the promotion of genetically modified crops, or if you make note of the many instances of pharmaceutical research fraud, you are lumped in with global warming and evolution deniers.

I kind of feel the same way towards the agri-petro-pharma-chemical complex as I do towards President Obama. On the one hand, I am forced to defend the president against imbeciles who think he's a Kenyan Marxist with a fake birth certificate, but on the other hand, I'm forced to point out to his legion of defenders that he's a neoliberal stooge of the corporate feudal state. Similarly, I find myself reluctantly defending the agri-petro-pharma-chemical complex against attacks from the likes of Jenny McCarthy who think vaccines cause autism or Sean Hannity, who thinks global warming is a hoax, but on the other hand, I feel compelled to expose Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Golden Rice as the scams that they are.

Somehow, we've got to find a way to restore integrity to the scientific community, and at the same time, we must remove the barriers of intimidation that prevent public schools from imparting scientific knowledge. Until we accomplish these two goals, we will slip further and further into a new Dark Age.

UPDATE: As the Guardian reports, the ignorati have launched a fresh assault on science
In a disturbing trend, anti-evolution campaigners are combining with climate change deniers to undermine public education.
The Heartland Institute – which has received funding in the past from oil companies and is a leading source of climate science skepticism – also lobbies strongly for school vouchers and other forms of "school transformation" that are broadly aimed at undermining the current public school system. The Discovery Institute – a leading voice for intelligent design – has indicated its support of exactly the same "school reform" initiatives.
If you can't shut down the science, the new science-deniers appear to be saying, you should shut down the schools. It would be a shame if they succeeded in replacing the teaching of science with indoctrination. It would be worse if they were to close the public school house doors altogether.

Well, we're fucked.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Rank-and-file Democrats have no principles.

New poll confirms what I've always suspected.

The poll shows that 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats — and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats — support keeping Guantanamo Bay open, even though it emerged as a symbol of the post-Sept. 11 national security policies of President George W. Bush, which many liberals bitterly opposed.

More here. And here.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Controlled Demolition

Saturday, September 10, 2011

THE LONE NUTS ~or ~ How Insane Radicals Keep Helping the Right Wing

Once upon a time, a lone nut assassinated a somewhat liberal president without any assistance from anyone. Then, a few years later, a different lone nut assassinated a prominent liberal black leader without any assistance from anyone. Then, a few months after that, yet another lone nut assassinated the even more liberal brother of the somewhat liberal president who had been assassinated a few years earlier. Yes, that's right. Inexplicably, not one, not two, but three lone nuts emerged from the recesses of society to take out only liberal leaders, all over the course of about five years.
Time passed.
Then one day, 19 lone nuts hijacked some jetliners and flew them into some prominent buildings they felt symbolized the belief system that was keeping them down, except for one plane, which crashed harmlessly due to the heroic actions of its passengers. Two of the buildings that had been hit by the airliners, plus one building that hadn’t been hit, collapsed just like those controlled demolitions you see all the time on TeeVee. However, despite the fact that fire had never before (and has never since) caused a skyscraper to collapse, that was precisely the explanation offered repeatedly by trusted authorities. A shocked and saddened nation accepted this explanation with the same alacrity with which they accepted their leaders’ proposed response to the assault, which was to invade and occupy two nations that had nothing to do with the attack, but which, coincidentally, had lots of oil and/or natural gas.
Again, the lone nuts had altered the course of history without any assistance from anyone.
Gradually, with the assistance of Very Smart People and despite the efforts of of a few malcontents, the shocked and saddened nation resigned itself to the knowledge that we would always have lone nuts and that they would always coincidentally help achieve the aims of right-wing ideologues and multinational corporations.
The end.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stop watching sports. Go outside and play Frisbee or something.

Several years ago, when I was working in a right-wing office environment in Minne-fucking-Crapolis, there was a hockey riot on the University of Minnesota campus in nearby St. Paul. Naturally, the mostly racist, conservative sports enthusiasts who infested my workplace became convinced that the riot had been perpetrated by inner city anti-establishment ruffians and not the nice, lily-white U of M students who populate hockey games. There were two subsequent hockey riots the following hockey season, one in Madison, Wisconsin and another in Mankato, Minnesota. Several investigations were conducted by various entities, all of which determined that the culprits were indeed U of M students and hockey fans and that the mythical inner city ruffians played no role in the violence, which included turning over cars and damaging public and private property.

Now, Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu is making the same ridiculously baseless assertion. “… our city was vulnerable to a number of young men and women, disguised as Canucks fans, who were actually criminals and anarchists,” he said, proudly displaying a fragment of a skull mask as proof.

I can kind of forgive or at least understand this line of reasoning from the sheltered, exurban bigots in my former workplace, but I would expect a presumably trained professional like Chu to see through this obvious canard. If Vancouver is truly a “world class city” as Mayor Gregor Robertson recently asserted, perhaps it should hire a police chief that isn’t as poorly informed and devoid of basic reasoning skills as my former co-workers.

The sporting world has long since abandoned the sportsmanship and camaraderie that are supposed to be athletics’ defining characteristics and has instead embraced a culture of cheaters, bullies and cry babies. From the hard-Right franchise owners who, hypocritically, can’t seem to keep their mouths off the public teat, to the over-indulged steroid junkies they employ, to the perpetually scandalized International Olympic Committee and FIFA and the Tour de France and the NCAA, etc., etc., sports is infested from top to bottom with humanity’s darkest elements.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Want Eno's Synthesizer