I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
August 22, 2013 - 12:07 p.m.
I have totally forgotten what I wanted to write about today. Let's see if something comes to me. I don't want to do another study. I'll save the where I discover the musicians I have CDS of for another time.
I was feeling a lot less anxious yesterday. I talked to Carey online and Coco on the phone and that helped a lot I also figured out some things about my new phone. The contacts had not been synched with my Google account which is the single best thing about having a Google phone. I don't know why that didn't happen after I logged into Google. That was one of the things that the sales clerk could not help me with when setting up the phone. She didn't know what logging into Google meant.
My sole expedition of the say was to go shopping and eat dinner. I went back to the Hog Pit for chicken fried steak. That's a new favorite and not too expensive for a big meal. The food is great. What isn't great is the sound level. It's loud. These poor people at the next table. They were sitting their quietly eating their dinner and someone they know came over and talked loudly and non-stop to them while standing hovering over the table. I said poor people because they didn't look at him and didn't say a world They just looked at their food as if he wasn't there. They looked like they were trying very hard to ignore him and he didn't pick that up. Then he saw someone he knew at another table across the room. So did he go over and say hello? No, Mr. I Have to Be the Center of Attention, that's his real name, shouted at the top of his lungs to her across the room. He then walked out of my sight but I could still hear him over the din. Then the music started and made it even louder. At that point I had to cover my ears. If I go back again when it's crowded I will bring earplugs. It's nice when there aren't that many people around.
I then went to Fairway and was disappointed that my guy wasn't at the bulk coffee section. I restocked on the coffee he recommended to me It's very good. I went to see if they had U-Bet in and this is what I found.
They just had the blasphemous non chocolate flavors and the unspeakable sugar free. Why is there a conspiracy to keep me from U-Bet? I know that LORi is behind this. EVIL!
I also stopped at Trader Joe's which is nearby, both in Chelsea there's a closer TJ's but I wanted to go to Fairway too. My treat from there was the dark chocolate covered marshmallows.
I just read a piece puncturing another myth about the Affordable Care Act and that reminded me of what I wanted to write about. This can't be written when I have anxiety as there's a good chance I'll catch some flak for it.
There is a very useful concept with a terrible name, Useful Idiot. It's a term that was allegedly coined by Lenin to describe the leftists in the West that supported the Soviet Communists. From what I read there's no evidence that he actually used the phrase and that it was a fabrication of the their conservative critics. But the thing is they existed, defenders of rights and freedom that were fooled into supporting a totalitarian regime. The group included some personal heroes of mine, H.G,. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Paul Robeson, Woody Guthrie, and yes, Pete Seeger. They were so driven by their desire for social and economic justice that they believed the Communists were the way to achieve them and were blinded to their enormities.
They were not idiots, these are brilliant people I admire, but their core beliefs let them be mislead by the propaganda of ruthless people that did not in fact share their agenda. So what to call them? Well meaning dupes? Better but not there. I'm going to now use ideals marks. They are marks in the sense of a victim of a con.
Today ideal marks are for the most part on the right. The conmen are not a nation like the Soviet Union but wealthy men (there are women too but for the most part they are men) out to protect their economic interests. They are what allow policies that benefit only a small fraction of the people to be viable political alternatives in a democracy. The oligarchs have targeted three groups to make the right wing alliance, bigots, Evangelicals, and libertarians.
In 1968 Nixon beat Humphrey in a close election with George Wallace and his racist agenda taking much of the south. In 1972 Nixon targeted the racists and called it his "Southern Strategy." Of course it didn't just work in the south and Nixon won in a landslide in 1972. McGovern got roughly as many votes as Humphrey but all the Wallace votes went to Nixon. The democrats that switched became the "Reagan Democrats." I always think of Archie Bunker as the archetype, an uneducated working class male that feels that he's being left behind economically and culturally and needs someone to blame to make sense of it all. So he's manipulated into believing economic positions that are against his interests because they are coming from people he trusts because they cater to his prejudices. The people doing the manipulating might not even share them. Look at all the Republican operatives that later came out as gay.
The appeal to the evangelicals is similar. They tell them "We share your values. We'll protect you against the godless liberals." They create scares like saying that the government will try and confiscate bibles. Yes they actually did that. They introduce the idea that same sex marriage is an attack on traditional marriage. They get people scared and then the people will accept what they say on economics, what the powers that be really care about. They got people believing that only laisez faire capitalism is Christian.
Finally there are the libertarians. The Koch brothers doublethink tanks have always had a strong libertarian bend. They might lure them in with talk about individual rights but you don't see the Republicans doing that when they are in power do you? What they do is direct that fear of government against social programs. They make giving people basic health care a form of tyranny. Public schools are for brain washing. It's really about cutting things the rich don't want to pay taxes to pay for but that isn't how they put it.
There really is no equivalent today on the left because there's no one to finance it. It takes a lot of money and manpower. The Soviets could do it but who now? There are many misguided liberals believing in things for the wrong reasons but it isn't organized. Their ideals aren't being taken advantage of they are just blinding them at random.
I have nothing on my personal agenda today. Maybe I can get some things done. At least I can learn to use my phone.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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