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.