That Air Thing Again, And Again

NOT MUCH TO REPORT this side of more music, more music, more music. Some Maximum Rock & Roll cuts from the late 1980s "Not So Quiet on the Western Front". Some decent music, some decent politics. The radicalized Far Left's wail against Ronald Reagan however seems pale today, as we wade into the heated pool of history.

Dissatisfaction with the limited opportunities afforded today's youth in a corporate culture hell bent on exporting American jobs across the globe in the hunt for cheaper labor is one thing, but the vicious anti-Americanism we now see everywhere was just coming of age in the 1980s, and shows itself in all its thunder in the hardcore punk bands making the underground music circuit click and hiss. Separating the wheat from the chaff in this cozy corner of rock music's sniveling subculture can be difficult, but is a task worth the effort.

Once Radio Scenewash has been fully realized, we shall be able toundertake a closer look into the politics of these bands and their music. Stay tuned.

Since no one has staked a commercial claim on the air in my lungs, and noting the work of the butterfly on Julius Caesar’s last gasp, I hereby claim ownership of the oxygen on this planet, plant my invisible flag, and extend my grasp to the perennial rays of the sun.
I have been a registered as an Independent most of my adult life. Let me state for the record in case someone is having trouble comprehending my criticism that American democracy and capitalism are the best things going in this sad vicious world. In fact, let me be clear: I believe American capitalism to be the purest form of communism ever practiced on the world stage. But if the runaway thieveries and market consolidations by these castle-building moguls (from rock stars to athletes to talking head bean counters) of every dominant stripe are not reeled in, the regis of European-style socialism will continue to look better and better to those minions who can't muster a say or a stake in the present system. After all, to have a system based on the apotheosis of grandiose winners, there must be lots of penny ante losers. In the pages of his recent book—The Crisis of Global Capitalism—noted Wall Street Wunderkind George Soros has clearly seen the writing on the wall, and this book was released just BEFORE the recent Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing, and similar scandals hit the fan.

The antics of the hard to crispy LEFT and the hard to steely RIGHT continue to amaze me. Neither side speaks anything close to the whole truth, and neither brigade recognizes the grains of truth the opposing army brings to the battlefield. I heard recently, a pundit from the crowd of usual suspects remark on the "mushy middle" which decides this nation's national elections. This insulting characterization of the "cautious, thinking independent" is typical of the demagogues on both boilerplated shanks of the political spectrum.

ross perot

Ross Perot

My involvement with the 1992 Ross Perot presidential campaign did little to convince me that third parties for their own sake are the answer. In Perot's DC office operating in full bloom was politics as usual. At some point as it became evident that Perot was not going to win but was too embattled with conspiracy theories aimed at his family, all but an annointed handful were "locked out" of the offices, literally. Meetings were held to determine why, but the core players suddenly would have nothing to do with the grass roots folks.

Now that California has possibly supplanted Florida as the laughingstock of American politics, there is once again increasing chatter fearful of the possible emergence of a viable third party and equal player on the American political landscape. Some even sense a growing taste for the broader appeal of the parlimentarian system many other nations prefer in their own experiments with democracy But any political groupies who value their own voice should distance themselves from this misplaced anti-Americanism that flows eagerly off the tongues of many safely sheltered within the elite classes with all their pretty ribbons and bows, posturing leathers and torn cotton tees.

With this nation and much of the West now in the hair-trigger scopes of religious and anti-religious fanatics alike, blood-thirsty agitators and aspiring titans who would like nothing better than to disrupt, conquer, and rule this country with an iron fist unlike anything this nation has ever seen, including the eighteenth century Redcoats, these idealist lefties need to refine and clarify their stances, and thereby earn its mantle as the outcast prophet crying in the wilderness.

The RIGHT needs to reread and practice the light revealed in its own holy books, the US Constitution and the Bible of their forefathers. The radical middle needs to get its individual heads out of its collective ass, stand up for what it believes, or else indeed be considered "mushy" and unworthy of its gift of superior but understated intelligence. Blaming today on yesterday won't get us very far tomorrow.

Okay, here's a gamer. Since no one has staked a commercial claim on the air in my lungs, and noting the work of the butterfly on Julius Caesar's last gasp, I hereby claim ownership of the oxygen on this planet, plant my invisible flag, and extend my grasp to the perennial rays of the sun. Therefore, ALL HUMANITY, must now pay tribute to my nifty little corner on the market, validated by this capitalist system I embrace with muted reservations. Any refusal to do so will result in charges of conspiracy to commit unrepentant communist acts and/or criminal intent to steal and utilize for purposes beyond the scope of fair use those raw materials and products associated with human breathing and sight, the sustenance of all life, not to mention those vital rays of redemption all subsequent intellectual composition requires.

Unless one is properly licensed to use these rather valuable properties of oxygen and sunlight, its is forbidden to engage in any activity which requires them. In short, I own you, you silly humans, rich or poor, cute or ugly, beast or priest. Pay up my darlings, or forever be branded as thieves and liars, subject to the whims of MY judicial system.

Feingold Challenges Jeffrey Immelt On New Position


GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt and President Barack Obama

We actually applaud this surprising move by former Wisconsin Democratic senator Russ Feingold (recall that Feingold was swept out of office last year in a tsunami of Tea Party expression). Just in case you're keeping score, here's the opening shot in the corporate corruption wing of the Obama School of Economic Whatevers:


IT'S EVERYTHING THAT'S WRONG with corporate power today: News broke last week that General Electric, America’s largest corporation, made $14,200,000,000 in profits last year and paid $0 in taxes—that’s right, zero dollars in taxes. At the same time, C.E.O. Jeffrey Immelt saw his compensation double. Now I hear that GE is expected to ask 15,000 of their unionized workers to make major concessions in wages and benefits.

But what really adds insult to injury is the prestigious and influential position Jeffrey Immelt holds as chair of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. That’s wrong. Someone like Immelt, who has helped his company evade taxes on its huge profits—and is now looking to workers to take major pay cuts after his compensation was doubled—should not lead the administration’s effort to create jobs.

We cannot stand by and watch while we are led down this road. Mr. Immelt must step down from the president’s jobs panel—and if he won’t, President Obama needs to ask for his resignation.

Help us build public pressure on GE’s Jeffrey Immelt to step down or President Obama to get his resignation from the jobs council: Sign our petition at today!

Jeffrey Immelt is a crook and a thief. There are many like him, but for now, we are criticizing this one. He and the president seem to have a lot in common, and appear to be the best of buds.
How can someone like Immelt be given the responsibility of heading a jobs creation task force when his company has been creating more jobs overseas while reducing its American workforce? And under Immelt’s direction, GE spends hundreds of millions of dollars hiring lawyers and lobbyists to evade taxes. All of this at a time when Fox News and the right wing are demonizing public workers, like teachers, as the cause of our economic problems.

It’s time for policymakers to stop coddling corporate interests, and get to work creating jobs and wealth for Main Street. We shouldn’t reward wealthy CEOs and Wall Street for behavior that undermines the nation’s economy.

Be a part of this meaningful fight. Help us tell President Obama that if GE isn’t paying taxes or treating workers well, Immelt Must Go!

President Obama has been talking about how we must “win the future,” and I agree with him in that goal. Jeffrey Immelt is not the person for that job.

Thanks for uniting as a progressive,

Russ Feingold
Progressives United

Feingold, despite his generally far leftist stance on most issues, this time is right on the mark. Serenedipity. Sort of like when far leftist Dennis Kucinich and libertarian Ron Paul find themselves arguing for the same crucial point in the House. As aggressive constitutionalists, we usually find Mr. Feingold's progressive recipe for success instinctively less than desirable, having no faith in Big Government to look after my own best interests, for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health, but when it comes to the wildly dishonest, greed-gorged antics of corporate raiders who loot the land and its people without conscience, I have no choice but to drop my shoulders just enough to service my own burden and to join the call for immediate corrective measures. We call for simple and plain considerations. This just looks bad.

Jeffrey Immelt is a crook and a thief. There are many like him, but for now, we are criticizing this one. He and the president seem to have a lot in common, and appear to be the best of buds.

This nation, however, struggling against a global economic bully called the deficit, might stand a fighting chance to recover from what ails us if both men retired to their next roles as men of leisure, formerly of a certain public prestige. But since it is easier to dismiss Mr. Immelt from his awkward position right now, dismissal is exactly what should be done.

Just look at the numbers.

The Snarling Tiger in Chinese Stripes

It seems I don't often agree with Pat Buchanan these days, but his wide-eyed American protectionism has always been a favorite position of mine, and here Buchanan builds the argument that China is everything we thought it would grow to be—a snarling tiger. It is truly time for America to withdraw from this global dance, and concentrate on national defense and self-reliance once again.


Shanghai, China

In my own art I have often pointed out that China is the new super power. Too many people just laugh, and talk about cheap imports. But let's examine a few glaring facts. Among its billions, the Chinese are a huge intelligent population who are recognized internationally as having great work ethic, and a competitor's cache of natural resourses. See Amy Chua's The World On Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability. Look what the Communists have acccomplished while we capitalists have sat on our fat rear ends and gone to the mall to spend money we did not have, and have become a paper and entertainment society. Now the Chinese are flexing their bulging muscles. We are flat broke and the savvy bankers in Beijing are our longest creditors. America must wise up.

It is high time to resist the path of apathy and instead concentrate on rebuilding and fortifying this country with all the cures we still have available to us. The nations Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia must band together to defend themselves. The same goes for Israel and Europe. Many of these are wealthy countries and can pay for their own defenses with more than a wink and a nod in some cases and a terse whingeing sound among others. We can supply their arsenal, or not, given that it seems all we make here now are weapons of war. The Middle East must be allowed to implode or to gather into the wild beast we strongly suspect it to be now, despite its Trojan horse posture as the harbingers of peace.

Here's one fellow's plan. It is time we put a substantial general revenue tariff of on most foreign goods. With that money we can end Social Security for the under 40 crowd. Give them all their money that they paid in by issuing to them 5% government retirement bonds. They would not have to pay FICA taxes and would get an immediiate pay increase of about 15%. Social Security will never be there for them. Americans need money to raise their kids and save for retirement. They are being held back by the wasteful spending on wars and other dead-end programs. We must slash the fat and rebuild this country.

How do all those lockstep Republican votes for Most Favored Nation status for Beijing, ushering her into the World Trade Organization and looking the other way as China dumped into our markets, thieved our technology and carted off our factories look today?

NIf the Chinese ever want to get their money back, they can buy American goods and invest here in the Good Ole USA, their greatest concentration of customers in returning the favor Richard Nixon brought to them. The same is true of all our creditors. Sadly many of our elites have sold us out to interests of foreign countries. These observations are not xenophobic when the fate of nation hangs in the balance of trade deficits and currency fixing.

Many have already heard the call we at the Project put out in the 1990s, crying out in the wilderness for the resurgence of what we then called The Radical Middle. Now, we take no direct credit for the ascendency of this movement, but we certainly find that we were not alone in our concerns that America had badly veered off her destined course. It is time to renew this nation. We have tremendous natural resourses and talented citizens. If we can once again promote good leadership and work hard we can get this country back. That is a big, big if.

HUBRIS WILL DO IT EVERY TIME. The Chinese have just made a serious strategic blunder. They dropped the mask and showed their scowling face to Asia, exposing how the Middle Kingdom intends to deal with smaller powers, now that she is the largest military and economic force in Asia and second largest on earth.

A fortnight ago, a Chinese trawler rammed a Japanese patrol boat in the Senkaku Islands administered by Japan but also claimed by China. Tokyo released the ship and crew, but held the captain. His immediate return was demanded by Beijing. Japan refused. China instantly escalated the minor incident into a major confrontation, threatening a cut off of Japan's supply of "rare-earth" materials, essential to the production of missiles, batteries and computers. Through predatory trading, China had killed its U.S. competitor in rare-earth materials, establishing almost a global monopoly. The world depends on China.

China has repeatedly warned the United States to keep its warships, especially carriers, out of the 100-mile-wide Taiwan Strait. On the mainland opposite, Beijing has planted 1,000 missiles to convince Taipei of the futility and cost of declaring independence.

Japan capitulated and released the captain. Now Beijing has decided to rub Japan's nose in her humiliation by demanding a full apology and compensation. Suddenly, the world sees, no longer as through a glass darkly, the China that has emerged from a quarter century of American indulgence, patronage and tutelage since Tiananmen Square. The Chinese tiger is all grown up, and it's not cuddly anymore.

And with Beijing's threat to use its monopoly of rare-earth materials to bend nations to its will, how does the Milton Friedmanite free-trade ideology of the Republican Party, which fed Beijing $2 trillion in trade surpluses at America's expense over two decades, look now? How do all those lockstep Republican votes for Most Favored Nation status for Beijing, ushering her into the World Trade Organization and looking the other way as China dumped into our markets, thieved our technology and carted off our factories look today?

The self-sufficient republic that could stand alone in the world is more dependent than Japan on China for rare-earth elements vital to our industries, for the necessities of our daily life, and for the loans to finance our massive trade and budget deficits. How does the interdependence of nations in a global economy look now, compared to the independence American patriots from Alexander Hamilton to Calvin Coolidge guaranteed to us, that enabled us to win World War II in Europe and the Pacific in less than four years? Yet China's bullying of Japan is beneficial, for it may wake us up to the world as it is, as it has been, and ever shall be. Consider [the following].

China now claims all the Paracel and Spratly islands in the South China Sea, though Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Brunei border that sea. To reinforce her claim, a Chinese fighter jet crashed a U.S EP-3 surveillance plane 80 miles off Hainan Island in 2001. Not until Secretary of State Colin Powell apologized twice did China agree to release the American crew.

China's claim to the Senkakus (the Diaoyu Islands to the Chinese) was emphasized last week. While these are largely volcanic rocks rather than habitable islands, ownership would give a nation a powerful claim to all the oil, gas and minerals in the East China Sea. China has repeatedly warned the United States to keep its warships, especially carriers, out of the 100-mile-wide Taiwan Strait. On the mainland opposite, Beijing has planted 1,000 missiles to convince Taipei of the futility and cost of declaring independence.

Read the full article.

The Emerging Radical Center


The Radical Center

Well, don't say I didn't fire a few warning shots over the bow some ten years ago when I first mentioned the emerging radical centrism of my own mind. Because I did. And with relish do I recall the haughty eye rolls every time I suggested that both the greedy Right and the mendacious Left in this country were foolish if not downright evil, and were ripe for subversion if not outright doomed.

Here is the siren call from a new blog I found today called Partizane that seems to address the fledgling aims of a fresh perspective I had articulated back in the convivial era of the original Team Sworgsters, those four or five international cohorts gathered under the cautious helm of the Scenewash Project just long enough to witness the obvious notion (although we called it the sworg swill) that personal orbit is always more compelling than some flailing intellectual discourse executed for false flags and flagging bravado, before we too sputtered and disbanded, each to our own kind in an uncommon burst of common sense.

We can only hope that this recent mass defection from the undemocratic Obamanation continues past this election cycle and doesn't burn itself out like so many other energies of similar striping. Here's a taste of the current upheaval:

MAYBE WE'VE BEEN HAD. I mean it. Maybe for the last X years we've been drinking kool-aid. Maybe, just maybe we've been listening to the wrong people. We all know the world is upside down. We're living in a Vonnegut novel that ends before it starts, where left is right and right is left. Up is down and down is up. A fantasy world where Democrats follow a Rovian Rasputin and Republicans follow a Truthsayer. Well here's something else to think about.

We just had our first Tweety Awards and gave a deserving Maureen Dowd the honor of being the first. Think for a minute about all our nominees and the nominees we'll be tearing apart next week. Tweety, Markos, Dowd, Cafferty, Jeralyn, Sally Quinn, Andrew Sullivan, Campbell Brown. A few others were suggested but the point is find me a winger in the list. Find me a Fox news commentator. Find an O'Reilly, Gibson, Novak, Kristol or Will.

Sexism, Misogyny, whatever you call it seems to be coming from the left not the right.

I had the thought that maybe they've been preparing to do battle with Hillary for the last few years and intentionally dropped sexism from their commentary. But I don't really think so.

What I saw Wednesday night was a Republican party that does what successful republican business people do. They may fight change but know when to quit, accept change, embrace it then move on. Highly successful businesses, when they see game changing technology coming, buy it and embrace it while their competition gets rolled over. The Boston Globe, purchased by the New York Times, was an early big investor in the Web because they follow the theory that it's better to be the one putting your old ways out of business than to let other people do it to you.

Read it all.

I Pledge Always


I Pledge Always

To remember radical centrism and salute the fair ideals and correlated principals for which I stand. With little to lose and little to win, I pledge always that I may salute or I may ignore the charms and chaos of the crowd I can no longer hope to fathom. I cannot bow before these bold "true believers" trapped in some mosh pit of competing shadows and elbows, clinging to pure idealism while denying the obvious. We are born alone. We eat and we drink alone. Execute our talents alone. And just as fate has decreed, we die alone. From cradle to grave we rock and we roll. Dust to dust, we burn out or we rust. Mismanaging the dream with great fear. But listen my friends, take heed dear foes, despite these longings for sound joy and satisfaction, despite my own terrific hunger to share and be shared, I have no stomach for group therapy.

All I want now is my forty acres of canvas and the next intrepid word from the poet...

Admitting it's time to paint quietly the love I seem to have swapped for the shifting voices of fatigue, I fall mute. Soon all will be swept away. Suddenly—the world we knew—an unbelievable world of comfort, freedom and dignity will crumble beyond repair. And those who have kept us blind...

Ah, those who have kept us blind. Their infamy will be relentless. As they parrot "pretty sounding nothings" they can never imagine how little their "good intentions" and their "compassion" will matter against their lies, evasions and cowardice in subtle alignment with declared enemies who would slice our thin throats and steal our thick histories.

May the spirit of Billy Mitchell rise up against them!