Sunday, October 07, 2012

Bloggy thoughts

To anyone stopping by for the first time, Hello, and welcome.

I write about a lot of different things that interest me; my posts on national politics come from a viewpoint that's likely more leftward in orientation than that of many blogs you already read. If you're familiar with Northern Europe's successful social democracies, and you believe, as I do, as Albert Einstein did, that under the current system in the States:

There is no provision that all those able and willing to work will always be in a position to find employment; an “army of unemployed” almost always exists. The worker is constantly in fear of losing his job. Since unemployed and poorly paid workers do not provide a profitable market, the production of consumers’ goods is restricted, and great hardship is the consequence. Technological progress frequently results in more unemployment rather than in an easing of the burden of work for all. The profit motive, in conjunction with competition among capitalists, is responsible for an instability in the accumulation and utilization of capital which leads to increasingly severe depressions. Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals which I mentioned before.

This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.

I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.

...or if, at the very least, you are interested in reading the thoughts and observations of someone whose worldview is thus--even as you may disagree with all or part of it--you'll appreciate at least some of what I write, and I'm glad you're here.

I sometimes swear. I rail against all manifestations of dishonesty, cruelty, fascist creep, police state drift, and institutional sociopathy. I adore Frank Zappa and think he was an American genius, one who received--and still receives--far too little acclaim in his own country.

All that said, if reading things here causes your eyes to bulge and your mouth to froth, you should probably go elsewhere. There are lots and lots of other blogs out there, and you can even start your own.

I don't accept any advertising and I derive no revenue from this blog whatsoever. It is, in short, a pastime. Other than notifying friends on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus that I've posted something new, I don't consciously drive traffic here; if my observations or ideas have that result, it is certainly not by design--as I said, I don't work for anyone but myself, and I do not make any money from this blog. If the pageviews for any one day total ten or ten thousand, it makes no difference to me, financially or even in terms of puffing up my chronically undersized ego.

Where it does make a difference, though, is in my comment sections and the amount of vitriol that fills my in-box. I suppose I am just one of those people who, despite often disagreeing vehemently with something a right-wing blogger has written, has never felt the urge to name-call in comments, or, worse, to send hateful, sexist, threatening, and even obscene e-mails to someone. Someone I've never even met. I cannot, for the life of me, wrap my head around that mindset. (Good grief, what is wrong with some people?)

That's why I've been tweaking the comments policy a bit this weekend. Obviously, accepting comments from anonymous people is out of the question, now and forever. Yikes.  Even having Open ID registration has its bugs and, of course, it does nothing to constrain people from name-calling under whatever pseudonym they've chosen at that moment, for that comment.  I turned off comments altogether this weekend because I am visiting my injured mother as she recovers from an accident that left her with a broken arm and leg: I have neither the time nor the inclination to deal with rude, nasty people who come here unbidden to beat up on the girl.

As I am wont to say, Fuck that noise.

Anyway, I've decided to try having comments open, but with moderation in place. I'd love to hear what you have to say, but for the love of crumb-cake, please play nice.  I'll approve and publish comments on a regular basis. Unless they are exceedingly mean-spirited, trollish, sexist, racist, or generally unacceptable.

And I get to decide what's mean-spirited, trollish, sexist, racist, and generally unacceptable.

I support free speech. Of course.  That said, this is not a government entity and therefore the First Amendment does not guarantee that you can say anything you want here and not realize any consequences for your words, including but not limited to having them altogether censored.  So don't even bother with that argument. I am, as I keep saying, a private, single-person, non-advertisement-accepting, non-revenue-generating blog that's been around since 2006.

One that's written by a human being, believe it or not.

Thank you.



  1. Good for you. Most bloggers with a strong viewpoint seem to encounter abusive trolls from time to time, although women apparently get targeted worse.

    And no, it's not a First Amendment issue. Your blog is your space. As I always put it, freedom of expression means I have the right to put a political bumper sticker on my car. It doesn't mean I have the right to put that same bumper sticker on your car, not unless you choose to let me.

    By the way, I put up a link to your "did Romney cheat" post at Crooks & Liars this morning. That story needs to get out there.

    1. Thank you, Infidel753. I appreciate the C&L link because yes, it's something that should be out there with all the other wrongdoing. I think another blogger said it best: it's like scuffing the ball versus shooting up steroids or HGH: bringing in notes is cheating, but as far as wrongdoing goes, Romney's done a lot worse.

      I saw it as an important character issue. Others disagree, saying that even if it turned out to be true (and I maintain it is), it doesn't much matter anyway. And furthermore, it looks like sour-grapes. Hey, I think POTUS had a bad debate, no question about it. He was not on his game, not at all. I also think Romney cheated (but since I wasn't there, a few feet from the podium, I can't prove that.) Both things can be true!

      I've been reading about the "Gish Gallop" debate technique Romney used: it's where someone talks super-fast and spews so much bullshit in a short time-frame, his opponent cannot possibly respond to all of it, and winds up looking inept as he tries to address even one of the talking points. Interesting. I think it used to be called the Kitchen Sink attack. Kind of pathetic, really.

  2. Thank you for your Romney cheating and Ryan's foot in mouth posts. I had to share all of them on Facebook!

    Keep up your independent liberal blogging; thank you for opening up the comments section; and thank you for the litbrit blog!

    Best wishes

    1. Thanks, igloo. I appreciate the moral support. Things have certainly been...interesting lately!

  3. Deborah, I stumbled across your blog for the first time by accident, I had hit the 'next blog' button on my blog to see what happened. I read the first line of 'bloggy thoughts', evidently a relevant first line for me, so I was intrigued and carried on. Finally I was really glad to have read an honest and interesting article, and although I am no writer (I do a blog of art and a bit of writing) through this frank article you have inspired me out of a writers/artist dry patch, so much so that now I am motivated this weekend to add some new entries into my own blog and bring it up to date, so I thank you for your inspiration and wish you future success with your blog, hoping you keep your original voice and others our inspired from it like me. With thanks Michael