Tuesday, May 03, 2016

The Voting Delusion

This November, I heartily encourage all Americans to exercise their civic duty by going to the polls and voting for one of the dignified Presidential candidates that have amazed us this election cycle with their wisdom and compassion... not!

Unfortunately, this is not a laughing matter. A large segment of the U.S. population is now very aware of the fact that our political and economic systems have become totally corrupt. And yet these knowledgeable people still cling to the delusion that this tragic state of affairs can be changed by voting.

Every once in a while I gently attempt to discuss this topic in “polite company.” It is astonishing how ferociously these “polite” people defend the myth of the ballot box. And so I will try to disabuse these well-meaning citizens from this idealistic concept, which has been relentlessly programmed into us since grammar school. I assure you that I received the same brainwashing, and I once believed in the power and nobility of casting ballots. And indeed, voting probably did “make a difference” at one time.

But the world of power politics has changed drastically. I contend that voting is not just meaningless in our present situation, but that it is actually harmful. That is a pretty bold and provocative statement, but I will now do my best to defend this contrarian belief. I will attempt to do so in a concise but comprehensive manner.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

150-Strong: A Pathway to a Different Future – Serialisation Part 3

“The more laws and commands there are,
the more thieves and robbers there will be.” Lao Tzu
150-STRONG

Information leaked in the Panama Papers about the use of tax havens certainly supports this statement! Under the cover of the law thieves and robbers have been maintaining their privilege and ultra-wealth by being tricky. Many of them are leaders – politicians, monarchs and business executives. “I have done nothing illegal,” they say as their souls disappear a little further into a fog. And from the germ of their example a cancer grows.

Rules work best when they are kept to a minimum.

This I have seen illustrated in the context of the business I am involved in. We are a construction company employing approximately 150 people, a mix from all walks of life – old friends, relatives of workers who needed a job, qualified recruits who fitted the mold, troubled youth recommended by the courts as worthy of a second chance, odd bods and colorful characters who fell into each others' orbits. Some are very skilled and others developing.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Help the world learn about #bureaucraticinsanity

The types of stories reported in Sean Kerrigan's book Bureaucratic Insanity are extremely common, in schools, government and in workplaces. Every week another story emerges in the media of someone being railroaded by the insane bureaucrats that infest the system. But that's just the media; if they reported every such story, they would have no time left over for anything else. And so most people continue to delude themselves that this is all business as usual, nothing special, certainly nothing utterly insane going on.

But it is in your power to change that: if you tweet out the hashtag

#bureaucraticinsanity 

along with a short summary of any event you experience, witness or become aware of that has an element of "bureaucratic insanity" in it, that would drive traffic to the term, and to Sean's book. And then more people will learn what's happened to their country, and what's about to happen to them. For my part, I promise to follow the hashtag, sort through the tweets and publish Best of Bureaucratic Insanity compilations on this very blog.

Rest assured, this problem is a serious, widespread, medical issue, but no men in white suits will rush to your rescue, subdue insane American bureaucrats, put them in restraints and haul them off to the funny farm. No, you will have to deal with them yourselves—before they deal with you! And the first step in doing so is to find out who they are and what damage they are causing.

Here's a video clip from RT's show Redacted Tonight, where Lee Camp talks about grandparents imprisoned for failing to return to the county public library a Dr. Seuss book they took out for a grandchild and other such events that have come to typify contemporary America.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bureaucratic Insanity is Yours to Enjoy

Bureaucratic Insanity

I am happy to announce the release of a new title from Club Orlov Press:

by
Sean J. Kerrigan


In contemporary United States a child can be charged with battery for throwing a piece of candy at a schoolfriend. Students can be placed in solitary confinement for cutting class. Adults aren’t much better off: in 2011 the Supreme Court decided in 2011 that anyone the police arrest, even for an offense as minor as an unpaid traffic ticket, can be strip-searched. These acts of official violence are just the tip of the iceberg in our society.

The number of rules and laws to which Americans, mostly unbeknownst to them, are subject, is hilariously excessive. But what makes this comedy unbearable is that these rules and laws are often enforced with an overabundance of self-righteous venom. Increasingly, contemporary American bureaucrats—be they police, teachers or government officials—are obsessed with following strict rules and mercilessly punishing all those who fail to comply (unless they are very rich or politically connected).

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

150 Strong: A Pathway to a Different Future – Serialisation Part 2

[Update: Since none of you got the right answer, here is a hint.

Q: What is the major reconciling force that governs our system of politics and economics today?

A: The profit motive.

Please make a mental note.]

When we find ourselves in need of a miracle there is a simple formula that can be applied: “Don’t panic, take stock, and do the next logical thing.” If we apply this formula, hold our course and maintain a positive outlook, the white knight of providence may intercede on our behalf.

That is not to say that the relationship between action and consequence can be avoided. There is no magic wand for the absolution of a life of feckless excess. In the case of our collective consumption binge, we have brought about the sixth mass-extinction event (to add to the previous ones, which are evident in the Earth’s geologic record), we have created a shambolic financial system of gross imbalance, and we have allowed our culture to degrade so far that a figure as flawed as that of Donald Trump has been allowed to become a credible candidate for the position of the world’s supposedly most powerful person. It would be a long way back to some semblance of a reasonable equilibrium.

But we should not give up hope. If we work through our collective karma, we might find that there is the potential for regeneration.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

QUIDNON: Mast Tablernacles Rethought

Sometimes delays are helpful because they allow more time for examination, and for rethinking parts of the design. And so it was with the tabernacle design. My initial plan was to use a joint that transferred all of the tension and compression loads into sheer loads on two large bolts, which I called “Jesus bots,” after the “Jesus nuts” that hold helicopter rotors in place. But then Alan, who is designing a boat similar to QUIDNON—a houseboat that sails, but for inland waterways—pointed out that my design would require extremely high precision in the way the components are fitted, or they would start to move and flex under load, and fail. Alan has lots of experience in aerospace engineering, and a keen appreciation for structural elements. What he proposed was two flanges bolted together, connected by a hinge on one side. This approach is very standard: look at your average streetlight, and that's how it's mounted. It is so standard that it doesn't require any interesting structural analysis: one can simply look it up and plug in the numbers. Since the bolts that hold the two flanges together are subjected only to tension loads, they don't need to be fitted precisely, and the math for sizing them is simple.

More...

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

150 Strong: A Pathway to a Different Future – Serialisation

Creative capitalism, ethical capitalism, altruistic capitalism, natural capitalism, green capitalism, distributed and democratic capitalism. Capitalism 2.0?

Capitalism comes with a potpourri of sweet-scented prefixes, all of which presume that there is something wrong with capitalism per se. There are some other prefixes we commonly hear—crony capitalism and unbridled capitalism—that suggest that we aren’t doing it right.

Perhaps it is Goldilocks capitalism we need? Not too mean, with just the right amount of good will and charity, a measured dose of state regulation, a safety net – not too big and not too small, and the rest left to the free market?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Always Attack the Wrong Country

Chor Boogie
There are numerous tactics available to those who aim to make problems worse while pretending to solve them, but misdirection is always a favorite. The reason to want to make problems worse is that problems are profitable—for someone. And the reason to pretend to be solving them is that causing problems, then making them worse, makes those who profit from them look bad.

In the international arena, this type of misdirection tends to take on a farcical aspect. The ones profiting from the world's problems are the members of the US foreign policy and military establishments, the defense contractors and the politicians around the world, and especially in the EU, who have been bought off by them. Their tactic of misdirection is conditioned by a certain quirk of the American public, which is that it doesn't concern itself too much with the rest of the world. The average member of the American public has no idea where various countries are, can't tell Sweden from Switzerland, thinks that Iran is full of Arabs and can't distinguish any of the countries that end in -stan. And so a handy trick has evolved, which amounts to the following dictum: “Always attack the wrong country.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Color Counterrevolution Cometh

Alex Podesta
Had Sun Tsu co-authored a treatise on the art of sports with Capt. Obvious, a quote from that seminal work would probably read as follows:
If your team keeps playing an offensive game and keeps losing, eventually it will end up playing a defensive game, and will lose that too.
Stands to reason, doesn't it? The team I have in mind is the neocon-infested Washington régime, which is by now almost universally hated, both within the US and outside of its borders, and the offensive game is the game that has been played by the Color Revolution Syndicate, with George Soros writing the checks and calling the shots. Having lost ground around the world, it is now turning its attention to trying to hold on to its home turf, which is the US.