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Messages - Eddie

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Gwynne drops the ball when Rogan asks him why  there is no public land in modern Texas.  The answer to that question is simple and  I have to think his focus is pretty narrow.

The public land was given away to the railroad builders for building track. One section of land for one mile of track. It went on until the last section was gone.

Privatize the Profits, Socialize the Losses.  The Mantra of Capitalism.

Since all Texas land was public from the beginning until let's say the 16th century, isn't it more appropriate to ask why is there any private land in Texas? RE gives the answer.

RE gives AN answer. One you obviously agree with. Great. Who the fuck cares?  I do not.

Why is there any private land anywhere? Because we have property laws that are backed up with courts and men with deadly weapons. You can disagree with them but you aren't likely to change any of that. You can wait for all that stuff to collapse under its own weight, and maybe it will. Probably not in my lifetime.

I bought my land. I have mortgages and make I payments with money I earn by going to work. RE doesn't like that either. He thinks I get paid too much. Fuck RE.

I know RE. I consider him a friend. I don't happen to share his silly politics though, or his romantic notions. I'm nobody's sycophant.

But I have land. Maybe that's good and maybe that''s bad...but it IS. I'm not going to argue on the internet with some guy I don't even know over the kind of silly shit that doesn't matter to me.

 I wish Texas had more public land.....but some idiot politicians gave it away long before I was born. That was MY point.

What's your beef about it?  Nobody gave you any land? Somebody took the land that is your birthright? The world isn't fair? One percenters got all the land?

We should understand that humans cannot really possess the earth?

Maybe we should be more like the spiritually enlightened native cultures on which we acted out a horrible genocide?  Maybe we should feel guilt for that genocide, even though it happened long before any of us were born?

Maybe the government should own all the land and we should each contribute according to our abilities and receive according to our needs?

Jesus Fuckin' Christ.

After western civilization collapses maybe all the land will once again be available to socialist-leaning suburbanites from Long Island who want to sue their psychiatrists.

But I wouldn't count on that.

Comanches liked to kill guys like you slowly and watch them scream. Scalp them alive .Flay their skin  Burn them with hot irons. It's documented. No dispute. They were fierce savage hunter-gatherers who took no adult male prisoners and few male prisoners at all. They killed the men and and the babies, and stole the women and girls and if they were tough enough to adjust to their ways, they could become assimilated.

Yes, in some ways it was a more egalitarian society than ours. But it was a tribal culture. Dunbars Law applies.

Gwynne drops the ball when Rogan asks him why  there is no public land in modern Texas.  The answer to that question is simple and  I have to think his focus is pretty narrow.

The public land was given away to the railroad builders for building track. One section of land for one mile of track. It went on until the last section was gone.

I have to read this thing I like about Joe Rogan is that he reads. What the author here (S.C. Gwynne) talks about is exactly what I've said on this forum  previously about the dynamics about the American West ( including  Texas) that tend be misunderstood by ignorant modern people who get their information from questionable sources.

I got much of this same story from a book that is possibly my favorite Texas book. Goodbye To A the late John Graves, written over 50 years ago.

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Surly Newz / Re: Who They Are...
« on: December 10, 2019, 05:38:59 AM »
I had medical appts yesterday (eye exam and heart CT) and so I spent a lot of time listening to the hearings on the car radio.

Democrats: "Overwhelming evidence presented that Trump committed several impeachable crimes."

Republicans: " Let's make it about anything but what happened."

One gets the distinct feeling that the GOP is not terribly bound to honor the US Constitution they claim to care so much about. Not when it might result in a shift of power.

Goldman was unshakable. They didn't put a glove on hm.

I expect it will go to the Senate and they will vote the party line to sweep it right under the rug. Not sure how that impacts the election,

The Democrats continue to meet my expectations.....which are that they can only nominate their worst possible candidate. Their fake platform of special rights for special people owns them now and they're getting even more entrenched.

I actually could vote for Michael Bloomberg....not that I like him personally...but he will get no traction with the party and I doubt he could win anyway. The whispers of a Hillary run cannot be ignored.

The hearings have reminded me how much Texas has suffered from the gerrymandering. We have the same kind of fools in congress we only used to have int he state legislature.

More circus. Less bread. Welcome to Collapse American Style. Your newest reality TV sensation. Coming soon to Netflix.

Medicine & Health / Re: Magic mushrooms in a nasal spray
« on: December 09, 2019, 07:31:37 PM »
I saw this movie last night. Pretty damn good. A little heavy on the special effects but Paul Stamets is an amazing guy.

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What I'd like to know is.....

Eddie, has anyone croaked in your office  :icon_scratch:

No but I have had a couple patients have severe seizures. It happened in a cluster, same year, after 20 plus years of no issues at all. I was afraid one of them would die.I had her on the monitor and her heart rate  are was well over 250/bpm.

I work in the operating room too, as you probably remember. I have seen many serious emergencies with kids under general anesthesia, but all of them were handled with great expertise by the docs I work with. My favorite anesthesiologist was a woman.....very gifted and cool under pressure. She got cancer a few years back and slipped away while I wasn't paying attention. I miss her.

I had one kid who died a few days after I did some very minor work on him in the hospital. He was in foster care, so an autopsy was mandatory. The forensic pathologist was never able to determine the cause of death. AFAIK, there will never be a way for me to know whether me putting the kid to sleep to fix his teeth had anything to do with it.

We are required to have a defibrillator now, but I've never had to use mine, Hope I never do.

The typical dental office death is a random heart attack of an older person who has it while getting routine work. That isn't usually anyone's fault.

Pediatric dentists (I am one) as a group.....have killed lots of healthy kids by mismanaging sedations in the office without the right staff training, doctor training, proper protocol, etc. It still happens.

You have to understand though, that pediatric dentists are under a lot of pressure to provide this kind of treatment. Medicaid, for instance, will not pay for general anesthesia in the hospital unless you have tried to do it in office with sedation first and had a "failed sedation". This is extremely stupid policy. and it's all about money.

That you blame nosocomial infections on your doctor? I don't think that one holds any water.

The one clear takeaway is to stay out of hospitals if at all possible. It's NOT the docs: hospitals are where the germs are. I have had several major surgeries and consider myself extremely fortunate to not pick up a case of MRSA for my trouble. Maybe that's because surgical theaters are probably the most rigorously sanitized?

Everyone wants someone to blame. But as Eddie points out, death is eventually 100% fatal. Or as the ZH droids have it, channeling Chuck Palahniuk, “On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”

On this portion of the dispute here, just WHY is it that we have a problem like MRSA?

For those of you do not know, that acronym MRSA means "Multiply Resistant Stafflococus Aurelia".  That's a particular type of bacteria that is very common, and in the old days easily treatable with common antibiotics.

It is not so now.  WHY?  Well, because dumb ass doctors over-prescribe the drugs, and the bacteria have evolved to adapt to that.  I have an absolutely ENORMOUS supply of antibiotics.  You know why?  Because dumb ass doctors give me prescriptions for hundreds of these pills to take 4 times a day, when if I take 1 or 2  a day it does the trick to knock down the infection and then my immune system takes over the work and POOF I am OK again.

Doctors in general are subservient to the pharmaceutical industry and the insurance industry to make their outrageously inflated incomes.  They are the low level criminals in a very large racket.


I can't argue with the general thrust of this, because it's true. However.....I do think of it in much the same way I think about Peak Oil.  Nobody knew we'd end up here. Antibiotics were invented a few years before we were born. Lots of good.. Lots of unintended consequences.

As a provider, I can tell you a couple of things.

One is that patients DEMAND antibiotics...and that is  part of it,

Second thing is that antibiotics are still a magic bullet for surgeons that still usually works, in spite of the academic pressure to not prescribe them.

Just had to chime in with a useless opinion.
After professionally dealing with WC insurance carriers for 10 years. I think that the problem is Insurance itself. The amount the insurance industry rakes off of everything medical is obscene. I think Charles Hugh Smith's recent post on this subject hit some of the nails on the head.
Socialized medicine is the answer. Both Canada and Europe (except UK) seem to have universal healthcare without the impoverishment of the people using it. Sadly doctors don't get to be multi-millionaires in that system but I thought most people went to med school to do good :icon_scratch:
Oh, and I think we should nationalize Big Pharma!!

Having had the experience of dealing with decent not-for-profit single payer with Medicaid in this state for a number of years before Rick Perry sold out to Big Insurance and gutted a decent functional program.....I can tel lyou that it was MUCH better than the penny-ante bullshit we have with "managed care".

Bring it on.If I could get back what we had ten years ago, I'd work until I was 90.

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

While I won't argue that plenty of medical mistakes happen, you have to consider that many of the people who die from them are quite sick in the first place, and that 100% of medical patients eventually die of something.

So it isn't a reasonable takeaway here to assume that the best way to stay alive is to completely avoid medical treatment.

 Although I do generally try hard to stay out of hospitals, speaking personally.

While in hospital prior to your visit due to acute anemia (it took 3 units of blood and 3 days of feeding me vitamins to get my blood chemistry back in order), I contracted an infection in my legs which caused me to have to back in for that to be treated.  I didn't die from it obviously, but I wasn't feeling too good those days if you recall.

My current Cripple Helper was born with a deformed hip joint and got a hip replacement in her teens.  She contracted MRSA in hospital and the hip replacement had to be done oer again.  She didn't die either, but spent months on her back.

In both cases also, we both still receive a steady stream of bills from these doctors and hospitals, and she gets harassing phone calls as well.  When called she tells the she can't pay and never will be able to pay, so just stop calling please.  They keep calling anyhow.  She makes $13/hour.  The doctors make $300K a year.

What is wrong with this picture?


That you blame nosocomial infections on your doctor? I don't think that one holds any water.

That doctors get paid better than cripple helpers? Cripple helpers don't expect to get doctor pay. You pay her, right? Give her a raise?

 I personally am providing free room and board for a hospice worker, who happens to be my wife's good friend of more than 30 years. I'm not without empathy or caring for underpaid healthcare workers...but as an employer, my payroll is my biggest expense, and it goes up every year. I'm between a rock and hard place.

I won't argue in favor of bill collectors. It's a business niche , like the HOA business, dominated by extreme assholes. I just now had a mortgage company robo call me because my payment that is less than week late hasn't been paid yet.

Fuck 'em.

Geopolitics / Re: 🌎 The Short Road: Democracy to Fascism
« on: December 06, 2019, 11:36:44 AM »

The Short Road: Democracy to Fascism
By Larry Romanoff
Global Research, November 30, 2019
Region: USA
Theme: History

Fascism is a political ideology fundamentally authoritarian in character, with a strong nationalism and an essentially belligerent militaristic outlook. Fascism carries primarily a corporate perspective as opposed to a socialist view, directed to satisfying the needs, values and objectives of finance and corporations, organising both the economy and the political system according to this agenda.

A fascist government actively suppresses any objection to its ideology and typically will crush any movement which opposes it. In keeping with their belligerent nature, fascist governments generally view violence and war as stimulants to national spirit and vitality.

Being politically Right-Wing, they maintain their position through firm control or compliance of the media, and most often engage in a vast array of lies and deception. These governments tend to be bigoted, if not racist, invariably require “enemies” to achieve public solidarity, and are often supremacist or at least ‘exceptional’ in their self-assessment. They either believe, or pretend to believe, that they have a license on truth. Large military budgets, the creation and demonisation of fictitious enemies to propagate fear and maintain population control, are all typical characteristics of a fascist regime, as is massive public surveillance.

In 1995 the Italian Scholar Umberto Eco produced a paper titled ‘Eternal Fascism’ (1) in which he examined the characteristics of fascist regimes. In 2003, Laurence W. Britt did an excellent and scholarly work in dissecting and categorising past fascist regimes (2), in which he revealed common threads that linked all of them in “patterns of national behavior and abuse of power”. He wrote that “Even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi, (which is) not a revelation … but useful … to shed needed light on current circumstances.” I am including here a composite of edited extracts from these two papers with additional commentary of my own. Significant statements by these two authors are in quotation marks. This is a list of the characteristics of fascist states, taken from Britt’s original article:

Early Warning Signs of Fascism

    Powerful and continuing nationalism
    Supremacy of the military
    Obsession with national security
    Obsession with crime and punishment
    Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
    Disdain for human rights
    Corporate power is protected while labor power is suppressed
    Controlled mass media
    Rampant cronyism and corruption
    Intertwined religion and government
    Fraudulent elections
    Disdain for intellectuals and the arts
    Rampant Sexism

If we examine the US on these categories, we find an almost perfect match. Certainly the US has the most strident nationalism of all nations today, with the hysteria of patriotism and flag-worship unabated and even increasing, with the delusional theory of American Exceptionalism as virulent as ever.

There is no question about military supremacy, with the US spending almost twice as much on its military as the rest of the world combined and being by an order of magnitude the world’s largest arms manufacturer and dealer. Obama once stated flatly that for the US to remain ‘peaceful and prosperous’ it needed the world’s largest and most powerful military to maintain an overwhelming military supremacy. Obsession with issues of national security is so common in the US today they have become objects of ridicule. Every manner of information is withheld, every manner of lie is told, every manner of crime is committed, all with the excuse of ‘national security’. Britt noted that a national security apparatus was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints, with its actions always justified under the rubric of protecting “national security”, and that questioning these oppressive activities is now often portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

All the fascist regimes have an obsession with crime and punishment, Britt stating that most “maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations” – a perfect description of America today, including the ‘unchecked power and rampant abuse’ by the police. He also noted that in all these fascist states, ‘normal’ crime and political crime were almost interchangeable, “often merged into trumped-up criminal charges … used against political opponents of the regime”. These characteristics of crime, punishment and incarceration are all fields in which America leads the world by a wide margin today as we have already seen.

In terms of enemies being needed for solidarity and to maintain “a unifying cause”, the US is also the outstanding world leader, creating real and fictitious enemies not only for itself, but doing a rather good job in creating animosities throughout the world. In fact, a signature feature of the US is its worldwide propagation of regional unrest, as we see in Asia today, and with interference in the Ukraine, Russia, China, and dozens of other countries. Creating political chaos and large military risks is a common fascist trait, which is partly why military supremacy is necessary, black and white America attempting to partition the world into ideological factions, often in preparation for war.

For some decades, the US milked the Cold War for all it was worth, casting the Soviet Union as a bitter enemy and creating animosity where none would have existed. With the fall of the USSR, the US turned immediately to other nations, never really forgetting Russia, and then created its 9-11 ‘Pearl Harbor Moment’ that would permit it to have a permanent enemy in the person of ‘terrorism’, a war that will never be won since the US creates all the terrorist events to prolong it. It has the added advantage of demonising all the world’s Muslims while equating all Arabs with terrorists. Enough enemies here for a lifetime of fascism.

A fundamental practice of a fascist or pre-fascist government is demonisation of ‘the others’, outsiders who are the enemy.

For the people, these (usually imaginary) enemies provide not only an essential cornerstone of the fascist state but an essential adhesive for their fabricated national identity. Being thus united against a common other, fascism becomes deeply racist by definition and in practice. This demonisation of selected enemies is so intense that pacifism or a lack of belligerence equate to treason, due to sympathising with the enemy or, in today’s US lexicon, “giving aid and comfort to the enemy”. In the world of fascism, disagreement is treason. George Bush and Dick Cheney: “If you aren’t with us, you’re against us”. US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles: “There are only two kinds of people in the world: Christians who believe in capitalism, and the other kind.”
The Global Rise of Fascism: Capitalism End Game?

In his study of these regimes, Britt wrote that “the most significant common thread” among them was this demonisation of other peoples as enemies of the state, “to divert attention, to shift blame, and to channel frustration into controlled directions”. He claimed that their methods of choice – propaganda and misinformation – were usually effective. Britt noted that “Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly”, which is precisely what happens today in the US, where increasingly it occurs that challengers of the system are labeled as terrorists, even to the extent of those operating food banks being classified as ‘food terrorists’.

No reasonable person can claim today that the US has any concern for human rights, certainly not any outside the continental US, and increasingly less within its borders. Except for Israel, the US has by far the worst record of human rights violations during the past several hundred years, far outstripping anything attributed to people like Stalin or Hitler, or even the Japanese. It is, after all, the US that built and still maintains the largest network of torture prisons and ships in the history of the world, even though the US media have removed this topic from the publishing list.

In terms of media control, the US government covers this not by ownership or direct censorship but by a cabal of closely-interwoven interests working on the same precise agenda, almost totally eliminating any necessity for overt acts.

Corruption and cronyism are as alive and virulent in American government today as they have ever been in any society at any time in recent history. The lobbies alone, working with the secret government, are more than sufficient evidence of this, with corruption increasing noticeably each year. Americans may quarrel with the point of an integration of religion and government but, while religion is theoretically separated from the state, it is joined at the hip in practice.

We have George Bush telling us God told him to invade and destroy Iraq, Obama telling us Christ’s redemption of him provides him with solace on a daily basis, and a long list of other nonsense indicating that evangelical hysteria is never far removed from the government, even if only to mislead an ignorant population. Britt noted that religion and the ruling elite were tied together in some way.

    “The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the ‘godless’.”

Fraudulent elections are more overtly creeping into the American electoral system every year. We had George Bush’s brother removing more than 50,000 persons from the voter lists in Florida, all of whom were legitimate voters, and sufficient to provide an election victory. Even then, when votes were finally counted accurately, Bush was proven to have lost the election, but the consequences could not be reversed. As well, the new digital voting machines have been condemned even by those who designed them, as wide open to electoral fraud and manipulation to the extent of changing the outcome of every vote. Moreover, it is openly admitted that even without manipulation, an accurate count is not physically possible. But the government continues to roll out these systems, one would have to assume for their manipulation potential.

It is widely recognised the US has been dumbing-down education for decades, starving the educational systems of funds, using increasingly unqualified part-time and adjunct teachers and professors, increasing tuition costs to the point where education will soon be unaffordable. We don’t need an education to see that the only possible result is an increasingly uneducated and ignorant population. In his study, Britt noted that “intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed.” This forms a perfect description of the situation today in the US, certainly on the crushing of dissent. I have no observation to make on the arts, but the US appears to qualify solidly on every point in the above list, and I see no reason for Americans or indeed anyone else to take comfort in this. Is the US a fascist state? How do we avoid answering in the affirmative?

To people of a country like the US, who are deprived of a clear national identity, fascism creates one by stoking the fires of a false nationalism though propagandising the pathologically false conviction that “the world’s greatest privilege is to be born or to live in this country”, that every citizen “belongs to the best people in the world”, all of whom are, by definition, “good”. US President Calvin Coolidge:

    “To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race”.

Michael Hirsh used the same jingoistic nonsense to justify American cannibalisation of the world by stating that American global domination was “the greatest gift the world has received in … possibly all of recorded history.” Britt noted the powerful propagation and displays of nationalistic expression,

    “From the prominent displays of flags and ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism.”

To underscore the above, Global Research published an article in March of 2015 titled “The End of Canada in Ten Steps: A Conversation with Naomi Wolf” (3), in which it was noted that she studied “the way open societies were crushed from within by authoritarian elements”, such as those existing in all Right-Wing countries today, and claimed there was “a ‘blueprint’ followed by all dictatorial rulers composed of ten steps” as follows:

    Invoke an external and internal threat
    Establish secret prisons
    Develop a paramilitary force
    Surveil ordinary citizens
    Infiltrate citizen groups
    Arbitrarily detain and release citizens
    Target key individuals
    Restrict the press
    Cast criticism as “espionage” and dissent as “treason”
    Subvert the rule of law

Global Research finally noted that “In her 2007 book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, Naomi Wolf not only described this formula for fascism, she outlined how these repressive measures are in evidence in modern day America.”

There is one other item pertaining to fascism in America that contains elements of all characteristics we’ve discussed, one which Hollywood and the media have taken great pains to develop though the ground was already very fertile indeed, and this category is heroes and super-heroes. The US has always glorified war and war heroes, describing American cannon-fodder as “sons of freedom giving their lives for democracy”, when they were simply massacring impoverished civilians to enrich the bankers. Eco noted that “In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Fascist ideology heroism is the norm”, with the fascist hero impatient to die, but who, in his impatience, “more frequently sends other people to death”.

This black and white religious proto-fascism which has perhaps always existed in America was the seedbed for the worship of heroes and winners. Americans, in their desperate jingoistic desire to be “good” and to “win”, and in a bid to prove their overwhelming moral superiority, turned from reality to fiction and gave us Superman, Batman, Spiderman and Captain America. All are Christian proto-fascists engaged in fictional battles of good against evil, with the Americans living vicariously through these imaginary beings, sharing in their awesome power and moral righteousness, and whose costumes inevitably bear labels saying “Made in America”. And indeed we cannot watch an American movie without encountering this irritating white supremacist ideology. Think of movies like Avatar or Independence Day; their entire purpose is to fuel this ideological jingoism and make all viewers “proud to be American”. But it’s all a fiction. The real American heroes are not Superman or Spiderman but Curtis LeMay, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan and Madeline Albright, all criminally-insane psychopathic killers.

It is interesting that a fascist government, with its instinctive hatred of socialism, propagates “fascist socialism” which nurtures and feeds corporations while normal socialism nurtures the general population. What we might call “corporate socialism”, which is what exists today in the US, is a fairly precise definition of fascism.

Tax benefits that favor the rich either primarily or exclusively, a high income inequality, the dismantling of any social safety net, different laws for the rich and powerful than for the poor, corporate immunity for crimes, a lack of corporate regulation and oversight, are all typical characteristics. Britt noted that “Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The US government and elites, except for one brief historical period, have always strived to destroy labor to protect the profits of big business. In Britt’s study, “the poor formed an underclass, (and) being poor was considered akin to a vice.” And in which nation today have color and poverty been criminalised? The world’s largest fascist state – America.

He also noted rampant cronyism and corruption between the political and corporate elites and stated that “With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.” Corruption and cronyism are as alive and virulent in American government today as they have ever been in any society at any time in recent history. The lobbies alone, working with the secret government, are more than sufficient evidence of this, with corruption increasing noticeably each year. Similarly, no reasonable person can question any longer the suppression of labor and the protection and enhancement of corporate power in America. We have already covered in detail the trashing of the social contract, the destruction of labor protections and the evisceration of the middle class. No further evidence is necessary.

There is another alarming category that evidences even more strongly the threats to civil society from the authoritarian and fascist police-state mentality that is increasingly permeating all of the US, this involving trivial civil disputes that should in no case involve the police. In July of 2014, a Minneapolis man was ejected from a Southwest Airlines flight with his two children for questioning why he was qualified for priority boarding but his two children were not. He posted a Tweet that said, “Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy”. Southwest Airlines’ gate attendants saw the tweet, ejected Watson and his children from the flight, informing him he now qualified as a “safety threat”, threatening to have him arrested unless he immediately deleted his post.

In the US today, kindergarten teachers regularly call the police to arrest children who misbehave. A Chinese woman tourist in New Hampshire was tasered and assaulted by police when a clerk at an Apple store complained she wanted to buy two phones. In another case, a father in New Hampshire attended a parent-school meeting to protest the classroom use of sexually-explicit reading material provided to his teen-age daughter. When the man exceeded the arbitrary maximum of two minutes speaking time, the principal called the police and had the man arrested. In each case, no ‘law’ was violated so the police used generic charges of “causing a public disturbance” or some other such nuisance charge.

These false charges may well be dismissed by a court but still present a serious violation of civil rights and a gross exaggeration of the ability of individuals to create their own laws and of the police to enforce them. In the Southwest Airlines case above, had the man refused to delete his negative post, the agent would certainly have called the police who, cast from the same authoritarian mold, would have automatically arrested and charged him, probably with ‘Twitter Terrorism’. The man would likely have escaped in the end, but it would have been a long and expensive climb out from the bottom of that hole. In the case of the Apple store, the female customer was physically knocked to the ground and tasered by police immediately on their arrival. In neither case did the police make even minimal attempts to ascertain the facts. In fact, the only salient “fact” was that of a civilian challenging any kind of authority, even the kind that is so weak as to be invisible. No civilian has any practical defense against an airline agent or shop clerk who testifies that he “caused a public disturbance”, nor against police charges for having done so. The only immunity comes from wealth or political power.

There are countless similar cases which all have in common an implicit assumption that anyone, even in a position of minimal authority such as a KFC clerk, has the power to dictate imaginary rules that obtain the force of law with the police and which, if challenged, will result in arrest. Individual private citizens, as least those lacking obvious wealth or power, are increasingly relegated to the social trash bin. Incidents such as these may appear individually trivial and unconnected, but they are not trivial in bulk and are indications of a frightening authoritarianism infecting all of America, part of the widespread rush to fascism occurring in all politically Right-Wing nations, especially in the US. That this should be such a common experience is a frightening and almost terrifying development, where one now fears to enter any dispute with even the most minor employee or clerk, in almost any context, and regardless of the justification.

When common citizens are afraid to challenge the most trivial injustices in civil society, when the people as individuals have been moved to the bottom of the priority list, when even store clerks have effective arrest authority, this is authoritarian fascism – a classic definition of a de facto fascist police state. In the US today there are so many similar examples where this, the most fundamental of civil rights – the right to voice complaint – has been converted to a criminal act. Those instances involved mostly the police badly exceeding their authority, but this category involves mere civilians with no actual invested civil authority of any kind, and yet in each case legal authority being presumed and exercised entirely at the whim of these same persons. While Americans please themselves by accusing China of being authoritarian, it is in fact the US that is both authoritarian and fascist. China is today a very human civil society compared to Transformed America.


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Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at:


(1) Umberto Eco: “Eternal Fascism

(2) The 14 Characteristics of Fascism, by Lawrence Britt


We pretty much went fascist around 1948.

There needs to be a more accurate story with a title something like:

 " The Short Road From Predictable Controlled Fascism Masquerading as Democracy,  To Batshit Crazy No Limits Fascism".

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

While I won't argue that plenty of medical mistakes happen, you have to consider that many of the people who die from them are quite sick in the first place, and that 100% of medical patients eventually die of something.

So it isn't a reasonable takeaway here to assume that the best way to stay alive is to completely avoid medical treatment.

 Although I do generally try hard to stay out of hospitals, speaking personally.

« on: December 06, 2019, 11:13:15 AM »

Dante Mantovani, the head of Brazil's National Arts Foundation, released a video on his YouTube page in which he connected rock music to the "abortion industry" and Satanism, CNN reported.

The video, titled "What is the relationship between the Beatles and Adorno?" begins with a popular conspiracy theory: that neo-Marxist philosopher Theodore Adorno was the creative force behind the British pop band, writing all of their songs as part of a plan to destroy Western values.

hat theory was floated in September by Olavo de Carvalho, a political mentor to Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro. De Carvalho is a controversial figure in Brazilian politics, a right-wing firebrand known for outrageous public statements like claiming Pepsi uses stem cells from aborted fetuses to sweeten their beverages.

It is unsurprising that Bolsonaro would appoint Mantovani to head the foundation, as he shares his obsession with traditionalism and conservative values. In the video, Mantovani characterizes the rise of modern popular music as a deliberate attempt by Communists to weaken the moral fiber of the United States and the rest of the free world.

"Rock music leads to drugs, which leads to sex, which leads to abortions. At the same time, the abortion industry feeds into something much more serious which is Satanism," Mantovani said.

This was not the first time that Mantovani had addressed modern music on his YouTube channel. In 2018, he uploaded a video entitled "Is Rock Music?" where he criticized the use of "guttural sounds" and "a very frantic pace."

Oddly enough, Mantovani made two exceptions in the entire canon of rock music, saying that Brazilian hard rock band Angra and metal pioneers Metallica were acceptable to listen to "when you're feeling tired."

Since his appointment to the foundation, Mantovani has deleted his social media profiles but preserved his YouTube account, which has over 8,000 subscribers. In another video on the channel, he accused the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) of being a "propaganda machine in favor of pedophilia."

YouTube has been a popular platform for the Brazilian right-wing to disseminate their ideas. President Bolsonaro joined the platform in 2009 and has accumulated millions of subscribers as he continues to upload videos to the channel.

Metallica did not respond to a request for comment.

No print magazine has fallen further than Newsweek.

I'm sure the Catholic grannies in Brazil eat this shit up, too. Reminds me of Nancy Reagan.

Thank God Almighty Metallica is exempt.



Surly Newz / Re: Snapping the Spine of Uncle Cracker
« on: December 05, 2019, 01:17:28 PM »
I always thought Hell's Angels was an underrated book....but it's been so long since I read it, I only remember that I enjoyed it and that Hunter's takeaways made sense to me at the a 20-something hippie student.

(Last night the movie Alice's Restaurant came up on my Utube feed and I watched the beginning...which includes the young Arlo getting the shit beat out of him for the crime of having long hair....things sure have changed in some ways, but not so much in others.)

This piece hits it on the head.

I would point out that if the Hell's Angels weren't really all that racist back then ......maybe it was because the book was written before Affirmative Action even came into full existence. ( iI wasn't even fully implemented until September of 1965). The deplorables have more racial  resentment now....that part changed the playing field for them even more..... and they lost again.

In 1965-66 Hunter lived in the Haight at 318 Parnassus Avenue. It's still a rental...looks like it recently rented for around $3500/.month, according to Zillow.

I'm not sure if that is for the whole house. Probably not. Maybe for one of 3 units? That sounds right,

I recently met Michael Phillips, who was the guy who invented Mastercard,,,,and a guy who was part of the Whole Earth Catalog scene (they put him in charge of giving away the huge money the catalog unexpectedly made.) I had coffee with him in San Francisco.....when I went back to Harbin recently. Turns out his brother is a retired dentist in San Francisco. All he does is upgrade rental units he bought way back when.....he's on the city planning commission.

Michael wrote The Seven Laws of Money, when I was in high school. It's like Ram Dass's book. It's sold millions and all profits go to charity. Did I get him to sign a first edition? Bet your ass I did.

Doomsteading / Re: C5 Walks into a Diner...
« on: December 04, 2019, 03:33:19 PM »
Ugh... This northern boy would melt... The cost of living index was a fun find for the day. Compared to El salvador I would say cost of living is cheaper here compared to El salvador. Food and rent wise. Lots of extra costs here of course, much higher taxes, transportation. I can't imagine doing the Ex pat thing. I hope all is well and Mr and Mrs C5 are doing one of their extended work/cations as they have before. Building things on the fringe is burn out kind of work I get it... I will be doing that myself soonish. We have now closed on a new piece of property. About 1 hour south of here but more remote mostly. 5.5 acres of fields, 3 acres of garden clearing, the rest of the 24 acres wooded... Starting from scratch but better financed this time and hopefully wiser.

Ill see your beach bum music and raise you some hill billy

<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>

NIcely done. Glad to hear about your new place.
I think that song appeals to anyone who has tried livestock regardless of species.

I grew up with cows. Lots of experience with cows and most other livestock. Never had sheep though.No sheep where I grew up. We did have goats and fowl.

Doomsteading / Re: C5 Walks into a Diner...
« on: December 04, 2019, 10:48:37 AM »
Ugh... This northern boy would melt... The cost of living index was a fun find for the day. Compared to El salvador I would say cost of living is cheaper here compared to El salvador. Food and rent wise. Lots of extra costs here of course, much higher taxes, transportation. I can't imagine doing the Ex pat thing. I hope all is well and Mr and Mrs C5 are doing one of their extended work/cations as they have before. Building things on the fringe is burn out kind of work I get it... I will be doing that myself soonish. We have now closed on a new piece of property. About 1 hour south of here but more remote mostly. 5.5 acres of fields, 3 acres of garden clearing, the rest of the 24 acres wooded... Starting from scratch but better financed this time and hopefully wiser.

Ill see your beach bum music and raise you some hill billy

<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>

NIcely done. Glad to hear about your new place.

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