Sunday, October 03, 2010

Fall Out

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned

--The Second Coming
, William Butler Yeats

He [Okonkwo] had a slight stammer

and whenever he was angry

and could not get his words out quickly enough,

he would use his fists

--Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe


The center is not holding in America, and this bodes ill for a liberal democratic society.

Democracy prospers with a robust center.
That median is the strength of any healthy social philosophy. The U.S. has lost it's play of liberal versus conservative views. In the bargain, we have become a reactionary society ruled by sound bytes which stamp out rational thought.

Looking at the center in a military manner, the center in both offense and defense is usually the center of axis, and is weighted for success. In today's political arena, this center strong concept has been dismantled.

The recent tempest over the proposed
Koran burning at a small Central Florida church is instructive. That it became an issue at all could be blamed on the Dog days of Summer, but there is something more. The real issue here is not Freedom of Speech but that the fringes are controlling the center.

People like Reverend Wright, Glenn Beck, and Pastor Terry Jones
have shifted the battlefield away from any logical array of forces or ideology. Of course, we have the constitutional right to burn a Koran - this right exists beyond the bounds of a Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) and does not hinge upon the disapproval of any men, whether named Obama or Osama bin Laden.

The point is that burning a Koran should be a lunatic fringe activity, but at some level Ranger intuits that this is not a fringe act but rather an expression of frustration and helplessness which ha shifted our outlook and turned the former spectrum of thought into a fringe. What is something like a Tea Party if not a
bacchanalia of discontent?

The religious Right has moved from fringe to mainstream in just one election and the Tea Party and Palin & Co. are the institutionalization of this fringe.
It is possible to view the Obama presidency and its leadership as another fringe phenomenon, which in turn vitalizes its opposite. It seems everyday centrist citizens are marginalized and manipulated by these radicalized oppositions.

Minus a strong centrist position, the bonds of the U.S. will not hold.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"bacchanalia of discontent?"

Perfect. That's what it is.

I met one of these fervent Tea Party members a little while ago. Turned out he was also a religious nut; one of those churches where they work themselves up into an hysteria and roll on the deck and such.

Since he is a member of a Masonic Lodge in the same district as mine and I had offered to help him out - through that venue - with a little matter (before I was aware of his politics, etc), I spent more time with the man and his cohorts that I would have under other circumstances.

It was an educational experience. These people are organized and the glue that holds it together is paranoia. Paranoia runs the spectrum from gummint black helicopters snatching them in the middle of the night to Jesus doing basically the same in the middle of the day.

And they don't want to pay taxes for anything; say again - ANYTHING.

In short, they are a subculture in the truest sense. Worse they are not content to live peacefully admist the larger cultural context. Rather, they are overtly hostile to the mainstream. The hostility is of the jihadist genre; though I did not hear anything to suggest plans for revolutionary violence as - at least at this point - they leave that to god.

I was shocked at how many of this mindset live in my area.

Meanwhile, the center is too busy living the bourgiose two family income dream to be vocal. I think the center is still the majority, by far. they are just distracted by every day life.


Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 2:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah avedis, they're the problem.

Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 5:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Who is the paranoid one? You go on and on about these people, yet you admit you haven't heard anything about revolutionary violence from them? You are shocked that they don't want to pay taxes...FOR ANYTHING??!! Oh the horror!! They must be sickos if they don't want to give their hard earned $$$ to the gunverment. Think of all the good that other people could be doing with their money.

And they aren't content to live peacefully in the "larger cultural context" of MUST SEE TV, McDonalds and ESPN Sportscenter? OMG! If there's some utopian "larger cultural context" that I'm missing, then please clue me in.

Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 9:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon, I read this blog on a regular basis and - excepting maybe opinions regarding full automatic fire capability and scopes on rifles and Israeli involvement in US foreign policy - I tend to agree with most everything JIm and Lisa have to say. I am not a mainstream kind of guy myself and I can find plenty to bitch about in the mainstream.

That being said, I am, ultimately, pretty much of a live and live attitude. You know......like everyone pursuing their hapiness as is their inalienable right......I am not seeking to overthrow and impose my non-mainstream will on anyone; as the tea partiers are.

I am not one who believes or hopes that the end of times is upon us; as these religio-politico tea partiers I met seem to do.

My sprituality (which I won't go into), when I stay on the path, tends to bring me peace and happiness (or at least balance in rough times). What I saw among the people I described more resembled the effects of being hopped up on methamphetamine. I didn't see any peace or hapiness. I saw random emotionally charged discontent being focussed via the media on religion and politics.

So yeah, when compared to my outlook, in my opinion, tea partiers of the genre I met, are pretty paranoid.

As for paying taxes, I work as hard as anyone to make a buck, but I don't mind contributing to the public good; you know things like healthcare and income for the elderly and even the young who are truly in need (think divorces single mothers, orphans, etc). I also like decent roads and bridges and even a strong military and benefits for those who have served in it. I could go on, of course, but the scholarly arguments on this topic are numerous and easy to locate and don't need to be reproduced here. Yes, we could do a better job of collecting and allocating taxes. No system is perfect. We should work to improve the one we have. Still, I think that even with the problems inherent and manifesting in our re-allocation scheme it is better than no scheme at all.

Again, in my opinion, anyone who doesn't want to contribute to the public good is probably just a hypocritical, clannish, bigotted and, more fundementally, greedy person.


Monday, October 4, 2010 at 5:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


It's my contention that most reasonable citizens would favor/allow tax increases IF they were equitable AND were actually used for our health and welfare.
There's too much of a disconnect now. The fringes are ruling our policy and those folks are called congress critters.

I like the t party people feel that representative govt is NOT WORKING, but unlike them i don't have any solutions.

I'm happy just to ask questions.
Thanks for writing.


Monday, October 4, 2010 at 10:40:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Small addition to J's comment:

Though he says he has no solutions, in fact he mentions one: More equable distribution of taxes, actually applied to our health and welfare instead of to bloated government functionaries.

It is a pity that those more likely to approve taxes would probably allow them to be fed into the bowels of the labyrinthine government distribution system, providing life-support to a hamstrung process.

Pity that the only two methods most people see as viable are the Objectivist Do-For-Yourself-Alone system (and make the system benefit you and yours) or the Government-Bloat system.

Monday, October 4, 2010 at 10:53:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Agreed. There has to be a happy medium.

Where do we start cutting? Just how much is bloat?


I don't know. I don't have the answers, but it seems to me that if you are going to get all radical and makes plans to take over the gov't because you're sure you have a better idea of how to run things;then you should be able to answer these questions in detail.

Otherwise it meet the new boss....


Monday, October 4, 2010 at 11:54:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


I think when J. assumes his new post @ OMB he'll unveil his New Plan.

Monday, October 4, 2010 at 1:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Juan Moment said...

The funny thing about right-wingers is that they refuse to see themselves as such. As someone wrote on another blog, the very nature of conservatism demands that they claim to be squarely in the middle of all and any issues. Put yourself in the rights’ shoes.. it is a very particular and scary frame of mind... when everything is always about you.

Monday, October 4, 2010 at 8:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

IMHO narcissism rules both sides of the political spectrum, which is why we gravitate to charismatic leaders.
And what is 43 & 44 if not narcissism personified?
Both extremes are equally open to your criticism. IMO.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 11:08:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

PS, usu charismatic leaders are also extreme narcissists, but recently everybody seems to fill that bill in US politics.
Have we become a NATION OF NARCISM, AND TWITTER ETC .. points to that conclusion.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 11:34:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Brooklyn Red Leg said...


You know, I find it incredibly disheartening to be an actual Tea Partier and yet have the MSM claim it knows what my beliefs are (and those I know). The Tea Partiers I know are all Ron Paul people and we are quite incensed at the fact that the MSM has constantly misconstrued not only our beliefs, whom we consider our candidates but also when our 'movement' began.

The modern 'Tea Party' began on December 16, 2007 and was a reaction against George W. Bush! The NeoCons-in-Sheep's-Clothing (TeoCons) followers of Sarah Palin claim the movement started (and are constantly backed up by the MSM) with Rick Santelli in February of 2009. This is not only false, its monstrously so!

To whit, what the Tea Partiers I know believe is:

- Really cut taxes and cut Federal Spending (starting with the $500 billion given to the DoD to maintain our ridiculous overseas empire)
- Fully audit The Federal Reserve and move towards abolishing it completely and the immoral fiat money Ponzi scheme. Even better would be to repudiate the false debt 'owed' to The Federal Reserve.
- End all forms of Corporate Welfare (Keynesian Corporatism 101)
- Balance the budget
- Repeal PATRIOT ACT I & II, Real ID, end all warrant-less wiretapping, close Gitmo, end Extraordinary Rendition and restore the 4th & 5th Amendment
- Bring home our troops from overseas and end all our military involvements abroad.
- End the fraudulent War on Drugs and pardon the hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug offenders currently rotting in prison for non-crimes.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

As a personal aside, PLEASE, for the love of Ogg (God, Buddha or whatever) STOP believing the lie that DEMOCRACY is ANYTHING other than a monstrous tyranny! Its 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. Its not freedom and it sure as hell is the quickest way to enslavement whether through direct government control or Corporatism. Democracy is what says 'Mob rules, no matter what' and causes people to spout nonsense that 'the will of the majority'. It was the will of the majority that saw over 100 million souls lost to The Century of Warfare (whether from being gassed, shot, starved, shoved in ovens or simply bombed out of existence). The 'majority' see absolutely nothing wrong with bombing brown people in some third world country because 'its the will of the majority'. Democracy is the ENEMY that can only be slain by LIBERTY. Do not confuse or conflate the two as they are not even remotely alike.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 12:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BRL, that is a party I could attend and not feel too out of place.

I does seem that you've been taken over by a nuttier strain. More's the pity.


Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 5:55:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

avedis, LOL

Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 1:10:00 AM GMT-5  

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