Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

I biked the mile to the bus stop this morning, twenty degrees outside and a thirty mile-an-hour headwind, blowing snow, at six am, to discover that this post-Thanksgiving Day Friday, Black Friday, is considered a Metro Transit holiday. No bus waiting. Hmm. At first I imagined, I would bike the five miles to big bank, which I can do, even under the conditions, comfortably enough. I imagined sitting down at my computer station, firing off an email to my immediate management and the temp people, informing them precisely what I had done and what I think about that. Except for much of the journey would be on the shoulder of a four lane 55mph speed limit everybody driving 60, it snowed and rained last night, the roads are slippery, and a bike helmet, which I couldn't find this morning anyway in a very symbolic Hmmmm, isn't going to protect me from a 2000+ lbs projectile moving at six or eight times the speed I am, bearing down on me from behind. By the time I got half way home, which is on the way to big bank from the bus station, I was like, that's fucking crazy. No WAY am I biking that, and no way am I putting someone else out, on a day that just about everybody thinks is a holiday (judging by the lack of automobile traffic as I write this), so I can go and FORECLOSE ON HOUSES FOR UBER_BANK_LEVIATHAN-KRAKEN. LOL.

So I got home, and called the automated overseer computer lady at big bank, and spoke the words, "William Duncan, Kodi {manager}, 7am MONDAY," in reference to the time I would be returning to work. I left a voicemail with my contact at the temp agency, and sent an email to the top two managers in my department. It's a liberty, what I've done, relative to my station. Still, I don't expect any push back. If I even hear about it, I'll be surprised, though it is strictly speaking, grounds for me to be dis-invited, to work for big bank.

It's not like I'm going shopping. Nor am I going to sit around smoke pot get drunk chow left-over Thanksgiving dinner watch Tee-Vee. It's not even very comfortable in my house, when it's this cold, with the wind blowing hard. Mostly, aside from drinking coffee writing blog posts researching, I will be working, insulating the house, which is a drafty sieve. Lots of work to do, here. Might get a buzz on too, eventually. ;)

If I lose the job, which is a possibility, I'll just tell the temp agency, listen, if big bank doesn't take me back, I'll write an op-ed in the straightest, most conventional clear easy to understand language I can muster, for one of the local MSM newsprint outlets, about the arrangement as it stands, in its full absurdity. I mean really, there are people expected to work the second shift starting at 3:30 pm, Monday, Christmas Eve Day, FORECLOSING ON HOUSES! Maybe they want to, but it's also like a threat of economic dissolution otherwise, and really when you are a "butt's in seats in the morgue, or the meat-house," a day off is also one less day of pay, when we are making about $7 LESS than the average American wage. Which is kind a of low grade terror, this sort of economic hegemony exercised with such ruthless, numerical logic. Which then calls into question the whole War on Terror, when, if you dare not participate in the making of dollars in the imperial way prescribed, you are fucked. Get with the fucking program?

It's not like I'm a weak performer, either. My numbers are solid, in their metric. 100% accuracy, in my last review. There is a threshold one must reach, in sheer numbers, before one is eligible for overtime, which I crossed some time ago, though I have not partaken of the so-called fruit (nor have I striven to do more, necessarily.) They can fire me, but if they do, I'm going to do what I can to return the favor. ;)

Meanwhile, the bulk of America shops. I was at my sister's yesterday, consuming tee-vee programming. Whether it was that or the industrial food she fed me, I can't say was the cause of my ill stomach. It was more like soul sadness, in the presence of such grotesqurie', as was splashed across my cerebral cortex, with such cynical abandon. In my last post, I said I am not a "moral" man. Do not mistake that for moral relativity, which Americans display with monstrous pride. On one Newz program, a woman was interviewed about her attack plan, shopping today. She advocated teamwork, with everyone with a plan of operation, "otherwise you won't get everything you need." She bought seven flat-screen tv's Black Friday 2011, most of which remain in the boxes. She was presented as an ideal of normality by the network, which she is, in America. We scoff at the savages, those responsible in the past for human sacrifice to placate the gods. By how many orders of magnitude worse, all those who have died that we might be free to shop - what is being done to the earth, to fulfill our "needs"?

My sister said she had been made to feel guilty for doing damage to the "environment", because she had ordered some product on-line, instead of in a store. The rationale, that those things ordered online travel more miles, than they would if they were housed in a centralized retail box. I laughed and asked her how long she thought 7 billion people could continue buying the resources of the earth transformed into consumer product to be thrown away as garbage, esp. when we are adding 200,000 people a day, globally? I didn't ask, but I'm guessing, she bought the turkey at Sam's Club, and most everything else for dinner besides. She gets it, the madness of it, she just can't imagine any other way, or won't. 

I recognize too, the slippery slope I am on, justifying my work at big bank at all, in any way. Perhaps after Black Friday 2012, I will no longer have to. 

This is what my lightning bug niece and I did Thanksgiving. It's hard to see her wings, but they are there. The bike, a gift from RE, head Admin at the Doomstead Diner

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Last winter, living without a working furnace or income, I was ready to fix up this house and sell it. I was going to sell it, and go to dance in the wheat fields of England, to call down a sign, or call out the ones who do it. From there, to the Big Island of Hawaii, to walk around it, up to Dec 21. From there, wherever, perhaps deep in the amazon, in search of Ayahuasca and Strophoria cubensis.

Spring came, and I fell in love with the garden again, and I planted fruit trees. I started the work on the house, which went well up to a point, when I lost any energy for it, after a series of arguments with my father, who shares the mortgage on the house, and has been paying on it the last four years. I walked away from the house, longtime readers, and readers of my books, will recall, during the fall of 2008. I was hardly aware of the financial collapse, as I was in love, and recovering from Lyme disease. I lived with that woman and her kids, in Northern California and Wisconsin, the following two years, when we broke off the relationship and I returned to this house, which had been unoccupied all that time. That is when I started this blog, and expanded the garden. By mid-summer this year, it was clear to me that the house was not saleable to anyone but a speculator at a house-flipper price in a depressed market; and the garden had become like an enchanted place.

I couldn't go another winter without taking on the mortgage payment, and the Halloween store I managed in the fall of 2010 and 2011, had been sold to a buyer out-of-state, so I had to go looking for a job, which I haven't had, a nine-to-five or simulacrum, in four years, other than the Halloween store. I applied for about thirty jobs, went to one interview that didn't go well, skipped a dead-end one. The third interview, I almost skipped; which turned out to be serendipitous, and I am not one to ignore serendipity. They were vague, and somewhat cagey about the job, it being a high-class temp agency, but I would be working for a big bank, which I knew would make my father happy, and I could get there by bus after a one mile bike ride, in about 50 minutes after leaving my house. Not owning a car, and not wanting one, that was a positive (some people at big bank bus two hours each way.) It occurred to me though, the evening after the interview, restless in bed, that I might have been hired to foreclose on houses.

There was a three week gap between the time I was hired, and the start date. During that time, every single person I talked to about my concern, to a one, said, "it's a job." Not one person shared my concern, and while some of the people I spoke with are conventional, the majority are not. I was surprised. But then I am dubious about the vast majority of jobs. No one seemed very perturbed by the fact that I would be making less than I had been by the hour, working for my friend Organic Bob moving dirt around and landscaping, less than half I was making at that corporate job I had at the Behemoth in 2008, and only 25% what I was making during the housing boom, remodeling houses.

The DREAM JOB I had been angling for, I failed to be interviewed for, despite that I had a friend advocating for me inside. This, I chalk up to the fact that I failed to pursue the Masters and Doctorate I was being pushed to pursue by my Teachers, back in 2000, but I saw that I would be a fifth-tier Doctor with $150,000 in debt at 40, and besides, I felt the call of the wild. Too wild now, for a scholastic job writing and editing articles about solutions to environmental problems, evidently. So I took the one job I was offered, at big bank.

My concern was confirmed as accurate, day one, within ninety minutes. The trainer said the loans we would be working on were in default, that no one was living in those houses, that we would not be foreclosing on people. I liked him, and still do, but I suspected then and suspect now there is no reason to believe at all, that there aren't people in the houses on the loans we are foreclosing on. For myself, since then, every weekday but Veteran's Day, I awoke at five am to foreclose on houses for eight hours, to return home just under twelve hours later. The work has since proven to be more like prison work, than any job I've had, and I've worked in a foundry, and on 0-180 degree Fahrenheit flat roofs, roofing. My work now is to audit hundreds of on-line mortgage documents each day, most for loans that should never have been issued.

Still, the job has been a blessing in some ways. I'm paying the mortgage again, and I'm able to put money into the house, and the various projects around the garden I've long imagined, but had no resources or means to bring into being. The job may be set up like prison work, but there are no petty tyrants, none I have to deal with anyway. In fact, the people I work for directly are very reasonable, and the people I work with are like most people, mostly good. I've been able to listen to about 200 hours of old Terence Mckenna recordings. The job has also been a strong lesson in how wrong the housing bubble was for America, and how much fault does rest in average Americans, taking out loans that could only be paid off if the economy were to grow by 5%+ every year for the next several decades, and maybe not even then, with the systematic downward thrust of average wages, and decreasing good-paying jobs, climate change, resource constraints, et al. That, and a clear picture of how un-enlightened big bank is, as if the work I do is fit for humans. We are called "butts in seats, in the meat locker, or the morgue," I hear, trickling down from above. That may not sound like a blessing, those last two lines, but ever have I tried to pull back the veil of the ruling paradigm. :)

Not everyone is enamored of my work there. This is what one reader had to say, on the thread dedicated to this blog, in the Doomstead Diner, for members of the forum:

"Sorry, but IMHO working for one of the four big wall street banks is one of the most morally degrading things you can do at this time. Helping them instead of working to put them out of business? Being complicit with them is being complicit with what is wrong at the core. Anything but that. What is this called, " cognitive dissonance"? What is the use of saying or doing anything if you are going to do that?"

Another had this to say:
"you're a dime-a-dozen sellout but you're a first-rate poser. you're a stain on this place."

My role at big bank is one rung on a ladder as long as a DNA strand, though unlike DNA, those at each rung are largely ignorant of every other. It is a perfectly bureaucratic structure, big bank, though it ostensibly be a "private" business. It should also be said, big bank isn't "private", as it is sustained by free money from the Federal Reserve, which is socializing loses and privatizing the gains, at least until they destroy the dollar. The structure exists as it does, to provide plausible deny-ability for it's employees, giving them only the most scant responsibility for what is going on - just like every hierarchical Institution everywhere. Were we ever in contact with the actual "borrowers" whose loans we audit, the system wouldn't work, because that would be humanizing the work. As is, it is almost devoid, the process, of anything even resembling "humanity." And as you might imagine, most people working there show a singular lack of awareness about any of the deeper realities I try to elucidate in this blog.

Which, speaking of a lack of humanity, would the commenter's quoted above, feel free to walk into my department and declare such things before the throng? Of the 70+ people working in my department, about 20% are white. Predominant are people of African and Asian origin, first or second generation, and African-Americans. I am struck by the number of pictures of young children on computer screen-savers and backgrounds. Is it merely my knowledge that makes me a hypocrite, a sell-out and first rate poser? If so, what are these others, in their work-a-day ignorance in service to their families, in their culpability to the American dream made possible by vile imperialism?

When I was working as a manager of a Halloween store, I commented at length in this blog, and in my second book, on cheap Chinese crap, and the un-sustainability of crass American consumerism. When I was asked if I wanted to work in a Halloween store, by an old college friend, I said without hesitation, "fuck no!" At the time, I had just returned to Minneapolis, after Wisconsin, I had $80 and no job prospects of any kind. Immediately after that, I thought, he just offered me a job, I haven't seen him in five years, and I've been waiting for a sign. Working there, aside from being fun, and exhausting, made me not one whit more enamored of consumerism, not one whit less honest about what I think about it's prospects. Indeed, I have come to think of consumerism as a death-cult.

I am not a "moral" man. "Morality", such as it's practitioners hold forth righteously upon, is generally a construct over-laid reality, per-suppossing  humans are inherently evil otherwise, or mere animals who would immediately proceed to consume each other, without said righteous tight asses lording over us. Whereas, I believe humans to a one, are profound, divine, innately good beings, inherently corrupted by degrees, by the cultural paradigms, morals, ideologies, dogmas, pollutants, programs and pogroms, designed to control life, for the benefit of the few at the expense of ALL. Not being a "moral" man, I am not restrained by absolutist rigidity, which both commenters above show in spades, IMHO, even though theirs is a minority opinion culturally, about things generally. Nuance, being a thing of truer understanding.

As for me having a "truer" understanding, I have also come to believe, that not a one of us on earth has anything like a "true" understanding, of what this life is really all about, though there are no shortage of people who claim to, be they hiding behind a gun, or bizness or gov or Religion or ideology or money or plain ol' vitriol. Here is some of my response, on the Diner.
I guestimate that of all the loans I've seen, about 80% of them were loans in excess of $300,000. I wade through the wreckage of greed mostly. How do I justify it? I am trying to do right by my house, which I like to say I bought twelve minutes before the market collapsed, and I'm still around really only because my niece and nephew live only a mile away. My entire life top to bottom is paradox, and you are free to make of me any kind of villain you like.  

IMHO, I am exactly where I need to be, to accomplish the things I imagine. Think of it as an alchemical transmutation, wading through the economic wreckage as I am, reporting on my experience, to bring beauty and love into being?  ;) You might have some faith in me. I'm not asking much.  :icon_sunny: 
I would be a hypocrite if I did not document publicly, the things I do, and what I think about that, for free. I have two books available for free on my website, Also a novel I was working on until I was offered my current employment. I've written in my blog and one of my books, about planting marijuana on Federal, State and County land, here in the Twin Cities. I aim to live and write with integrity. I am the peace pirate Sir Vis, in service to the Goddess, former manager of the coolest Halloween store in the Midwest, who now finds himself under a mortgage ostensibly owned by the same big bank he now astoundingly finds himself working for, wading through the wreckage of the housing market. Meanwhile, learning skills that will be useful when big bank and the others like them fall. Which they will, as inevitably as the sun will rise tomorrow. Probably not tonight, but soon, very likely.

What possesses you to play the role
[the commenter of the second comment listed] you do here, I don't know. We share a great deal, in our view of the world. You are on the right track about something though. Now is not a time for fearfulness. Terence Mckenna said, when asked what to do in the face of teotwawki, "flood the world with ART." Which is what I think about my writing, my garden, the things I build, and my life generally. And why I keep telling myself to follow through with the plan I see, to put together a band. Because what could be more important at the end of the world, than a joyful sound? 

Thus I make no claims about the "morality" of what I do. Indeed, as to the actual work at big bank, there is nothing particularly honorable, interesting, or empowering about it. It is merely where I find myself, at this time, making the best of it, not to waste the opportunity.

And you, dear readers, are free to trust me, or make whatever judgement you like, however harsh. Though I don't recommend harsh moral rigidity as a way of being. Rather, I would have you embrace the mystery, of this very curious life, joyously, wherever you find yourself.



Sunday, November 11, 2012

Work, Life, Contemplation and Change

Winter arrives tonight here in Minnesota, in a hard way. Temperatures are expected to fall throughout the day, below freezing, with temperatures remaining below freezing through tomorrow, as low as 18 degrees. That will be a test of how well my oil filled electric radiators heat the house. I have two, one in the kitchen and another in the bathroom, heating the bedroom also, which is less than half the house. My furnace is broken and I have neither the money nor the inclination to fix it. I would certainly like to rip out all those forced-air steel vents in the basement, I've hit my head on a hundred times. I could buy a nice woodstove from a friend for $200, and install it myself for about $250-300, but the stove is not catalytic, which means it isn't designed to burn off most of the particulate, which is not a solution in the city; also as I do not have access to a wood lot. Though I could arrange with a tree trimming crew, to have more than enough wood dropped in my driveway, for free. A catalytic wood heater connected to a radiant water system which I would rarely use because the house itself would be solar radiant, would be ideal.

Back into the 40's and 50's next week, so no worries. Heating half the house with two oil heaters, cost about $40 last month. If I tried to heat the whole house, which is in mid-repair and a heat sieve, it would cost me $200+.  Assuming winter comes, even the climate being uncertain. My neighbor across the alley, a good Christian who I have never known to question authority in any meaningful way, remarked to me about it yesterday, unprovoked, in evident concern, while I was working on my new driveway. Much of the aggressiveness I have endured from the city, the last several years, about my garden, I suspect has arisen from complaints from him. The lack of attention I have received from the city in the last year, has coincided with his evolution in thinking about my garden, in part as a direct result of his awareness of radical changes in weather patterns. He is a hunter, fisherman and gardener.

My new driveway is made of antique Purrington pavers, 9 lbs each, originally, likely, paving stones for a road, here in Minneapolis, which were removed at some point to my sisters driveway, before it was hers. She has never parked on the driveway, which she has only ever used to grow soil on, by neglect. You couldn't see them; there was an inch of soil and weeds covering them. I asked her if I could buy them; she gave them to me. I stacked them up, rented a truck and paid my friend Jamie, a musician who lives in a rundown trailer you couldn't move if you wanted to, $80, to help me transport the 5 tons. He only wanted $40. I bought him a snack and dinner too. I'll have six cubic yards of class five crushed limestone dropped on my sisters driveway this week. She can grow weeds on that just as well. My father is furious, but he hasn't been proud of anything I've done, since I was MVP of my high school baseball team. Except that time I shot that eight point buck. He doesn't know either that I've painted my upper body green, put on faux animal pants, and danced with those horns publicly. Perhaps he will reconsider about the pavers, when he sees the driveway, the patio, and the front sidewalk to the street.

 The white pine table for the patio, three feet across.

Otherwise, since I started the work on the hoop house, greenhouse, with the white pine dropped in my driveway and the work on the driveway and patio, more of my neighbors have stopped by and spoken with me in a friendly way than ever before. :)

My father is happy to have me working at big bank. I am happy too, insofar as the work I've been doing here at the house would not have happened, if not for that job. I am also astounded, at how many people in the department I work in, are eager for overtime. It is the debt they hold, I suppose. I value my time more than money. The department head, in advocating for people to work overtime so that it would not have to be imposed, said approximately, "What are you going to do otherwise? I'm just going to go home and sit in front of the television," and many and maybe most nodded in agreement. No one seems much perturbed that we are foreclosing on houses.

I sit in my awkward corner at big bank, dancing sometimes to the global sounds on my iPod, wanting to sing, most days listening to Terence Mckenna on youtube, contemplating TEOTWAWKI. The election was encouraging to me, insofar as I was anticipating a potential hard Right turn. When you write things like the Benghazi incident is likely related to covert CIA operations having to do with Syria and al Qaida, and that Broadwell is CIA if I ever saw one, and not a bad way at all to excuse yourself from the drug money gorged, para-military, al Qaida affiliated cesspool the CIA has become, General; well, I have the sense that the GOP LOVES government when it comes to cracking down on alternative media, mindful as I am that the Obama administration has been ruthless in regard to whisleblowers, among many other things. I hadn't anticipated a repudiation of the Republican message, with the election, such as that message has become. (The reader might be advised to not take my prognostications TOO seriously.)

Thinking such things about the world as I do, I tend to keep to myself at big bank. The work encourages it. Besides, I'm a minority white guy, and bald besides. And I'm shy. People don't engage me much either. I'd much prefer to wear a hat and bandana, but that is against the rules. It get's cold where I sit, and it would soften the bald nearing middle-age white guy thing. I intended to wear the orange afro and the wacky jacket, Halloween, but when I woke that day it barely occurred to me, and I couldn't have cared less at the time, really. Though I did puff before I left the house, and closed my eyes and let go into the music on the bus. Peace pirate, Sir Vis, yet.

TEOTWAWKI. Terence Mckenna was much responsible for the mythology around Dec 21, 2012, having come to the conclusion through work with the Chinese I Ching, and a mathematical computer program he devised, that the end of time would occur that day, coming to this conclusion separate from any knowledge of the Mayan prediction. He wavered on his prediction, suggesting it could mean anything, from the destruction of the entire planet; the transformation of the entire universe; transforming ourselves somehow technologically, such that we would expand into hyperspace; to the invention of time travel; to his death merely, and we could all laugh that we believed him. Like Moses he would not see the promised land, as he died in 2000, from a deadly tumor in his brain, in the frontal cortex associated with the "third" eye. A curious end, for a mystic, particularly one so loved. In a cruel irony, his entire collection of rare books and manuscripts, and personal notes, were lost in a fire. The organization entrusted with them, Esalen, had seen fit to store them in an otherwise unoccupied office, off-site, next to a Quiznos, where the fire started - seven years after his death. 

It's interesting to me, how little I hear anymore about the Dec 21, 2012 Apocalypse meme. I had expected it to be more prominent a part of the dialogue, but it is not much at all, after all the hubub years ago. This, even as uncertainty has ramped up exponentially, with the economy, the fiscal cliff, Sandy, Benghazi, Syria, Iran, $100 barrels of oil, Fukushima, drought in the crop lands, and clear evidence for anyone who is conscious of the weather that a cycle has been broken. Even the most sanguine supporter of all things AMERICA, believes CHANGE is upon us, though notions of the how and the why are as diverse as there are people.

Terence imagined much more of a spiralling effect than we have seen. He imagined a kind of exponential condensing of Time, at which end-point we would emerge into a kind of psychedelic hyper-dimensional awareness. The kind of technological progress he imagined though doesn't seem to have come to pass; more it seems to me, we are seeing the global industrial machine grinding to a halt, and many of our techno-dreams with it, because of oil constraints, weather, population growth and too much debt. I don't think Terence was wrong, necessarily, and his psychedelic research and reporting on it has been invaluable to me, to sort things out; I just think maybe his psychedelic dimensional travels caused him to underestimate the staying power of the material universe, maybe.

I do however believe the Mayans were about dead on with their long count calender, which 5,126 year cycle happens to coincide with the rise of the written Word, the Logos transcribed; and the rise of agriculture about 5,126 year before that. Those two, ag and the written word, are without peer in their effect on Homo sapien. The Logos written, the Word, leading to a paradigm of control, which now seems to be both aggravated in it's desire, and slipping out of possible.

Notice that the definition of apocalypse is a lifting of the veil. What veil? The veil of authority. Consider the Catholic Church, or the Boy Scouts, or Lance Armstrong, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street and the Federal Government. The stories these entities and institutions, and everything relating to them, have rested upon, are everywhere revealed to be a fraud. A fraud for what purpose? A fraud to control resources, to control nature, to maintain power and influence, to maintain BAU. A fraud feeding at the foundation of everything life depends on.

I intuit we are closing in on some kind of bifurcation point, after which normal will be turned upside down, metaphorically. What that is going to look like, I have all kinds of ideas. Anything from a comet strike, to a solar wiping-out of the global electrical grid, to a collapse of the global financial markets, to a series of nuclear strikes, to an organic or inorganic destruction of a series of off-shore oil wells, to the collapse of the Saudi royal family, to mass starvation, and on and on and on, unto a widespread collapse in belief in the current paradigm.

The Mayans don't have the corner on cycles though. There is also the 26,000 year cycle of the rotation of the axis, the cycle of precession of the equinox. We are now in the Aeon of the zodiacal house of Pisces, the fish, associated by some with Christos. It will be another 200 years before the cycle of Aquarius, the water bearer, begins. Which I take to mean it will be another 200 years before a true healing of the waters will begin. With all the nuclear and poisons and off-shore oil wells around, how polluted we allow the waters to become remains to be seen. Perhaps enough, that there will be no human to witness the healing of the waters.

My hope is, though, the thing ultimately revealed, is that Homo sapien is a vastly more profound being than any control freak has ever lead us to believe. And the Sun and Gaia would not have spent billions of years bringing us into being in order to let us perish of our control issues.    

Cycles upon cycles upon cycles of time. Change eternal. To illutrate, my black-cap raspberry vines, sans leaves:




Tuesday, November 6, 2012

On the Eve of the 2012 Election

Today, America elects a President. You're a fool if you think there won't be cheating on both sides. If you want to know about the integrity of our political system, look to Lance Armstrong. He didn't want to win seven consecutive Tour d' France titles, more than the American political machine wishes to maintain global hegemony. Juiced on cash and crude, prepared to treat Americans like it would any people in any country.

The Dems have a long history of cheating, but in this election my expectation is of preeminent Republican malfeasance. Not so much with the traditional Dem, mob-like stuffing of ballot boxes, but more like tinkering with the process, and maybe slowing the process. Do you expect to see liberals intimidating suburban moms? How about Tea Partiers and various paid operatives stirring up trouble in Latino and black neighborhoods? Remember too, people have been voting for awhile. Every day a vote sits around, that's one more day for somebody to do what people will do.

Which is mostly, treat the electoral process, the nuts and bolts at the local level, with integrity. It is run remarkably well, for a thing primarily volunteer. Really, as corrupt as the Republican and Democratic Machine is, I don't worry about cheating changing the course of this election. The political, financial, corporate, military machine that is Amerika, will continue to do what it was created to do, achieve global hegemony, regardless this election. Which is to say, the presidential vote in this election will do nothing to alter the course of empirical overshoot, and the general trend toward total State surveillance. The only thing that will prevent that, is collapse, or some kind of awakening, the American people seem ill-equpped and certainly not well enough informed to make.

"Superstorm"* Sandy I think has the potential to weaken New York in a way that 9/11 could not. There are now estimates into the hundreds of thousands, people who have been made homeless. Living so close to the sea, I think we can safely assume most of them had jobs, which they are presumably no longer doing, which is lost economic activity. It seems clear to me the estimates of the cost are grossly under-estimated. They reflect a gross estimate of rebuilding as it was. Every time I look at pics, I think, who thought it was a good idea to build all those houses on a fucking sand bar? Shall we talk about a gross misapplication of resources? I think if I were God and I heard Right-wing "Conservatives" yammering on about the great hand of God that is the Market, I'd be pissed. Any market that builds houses on a sand bar on the ocean or a river, has it's head up its ass. Or rather, it is run by scoundrels. But don't-ya-know, it's gay peoples fault?

Good God the Whole Country needs to get STONED; And of course I mean, smoke pot, not throw rocks at each other.

Really, Benghazi? At this point, when there are men of think-tank level influence speaking openly about killing Americans to incite Americans to war against Iran, because they know the MSM won't report it, which they haven't, it is impossible to say anymore whether or not that attack in Libya was somehow facilitated directly or indirectly by the CIA, not when we know al Qaida practically is the Syria Free Army funded by America, directly or indirectly. That's during an Obama Admin, BTW, and your an idiot or worse if you think a Repub Admin isn't MORE likely of it. LOL. Notice, the only country where we are engaged, the mainstream media isn't whore enough to associate with al Qaida? An American ambassador died by ambush and they don't say it was al Qaida! After 9/11, it was like 24 hours. Ad infini-dumb-dumb/ad nauseum for a fucking decade.

The great tragedy of this election for me, is the failure of Americans to recognize, that growth, as our economy has come to depend on it, is at an end. And that is having profound ramifications, and we are pointing our fingers at everything but reality. We are not having an adult conversation about what seven billion people adding 80 Billion people every year, MEANS on a finite planet. GOOD GOD, how infantile the message, lower taxes to generate growth/tax the rich. What has the message given us? Sandy! Billionaire Hedge Fund managers who don't pay taxes, indistinguishability between Treasury/FED/Wall Street, a grotesquely inflated people physically and economically dependent on a grotesquely inflated State, a hundred million yearly prescriptions for anti-depressants, kids drugged with pharmaceuticals by their parents and people in jail and disenfranchised for smoking the flower of the most useful plant on the planet.

It's likely to be a contested election, one way or the other. How contested depends on many other factors, not least the progress on the east coast. That nor-easter portends ill. It might be a thing for the nation to rally around beforehand, but it's almost election day as I write this, and I assume the storm will have begun to hit by then. Consider the rest of November, a languishing relief effort in the east as the nation rages about a contested election. I admit I hesitate to imagine a republican controlled Congress and the presidency (much because the so-called Republicans are controlled by maniacs,) though I console myself that the party would probably be faced with the choice of preventing the 2014 election from happening, and being destroyed politically as a Party forever, but of course that is not really a choice. More, it looks like a Dem Senate, Repub Congress and maybe, eventually, a Repub Prez. Or Obama. Which means more gridlock, as we muddle our way along the seemingly spiral path of industrial dissolution.

(It's useful I think, to think about the spiral, when faced with the anxiety inevitable, contemplating TEOTWAWKI. The square, rigid world we have built won't withstand THAT spiral. Best to think about flow.)

Who am I voting for? Mostly I'm voting against my state Minnesota tending toward control, against the marriage and ID-Voter red herrings. For Prez, I'm going to vote for Jill Stein. Partly because I don't expect the office of the President will ever be inflicted upon her, but mostly because she was arrested bringing sustenance, treats and attention to the sitters, protecting the earth and the land, preventing the dozing of the Keystone II pipeline right-of-way that isn't yet supposedly a done deal.

Because this election should be about a choice. And really that isn't so much about a choice, as a conversation, about the fact that any further thrust of the current economic paradigm, of the kind of progress we have grown accustomed to, depends on destroying much of what remains of the vitality of the earth and the biosphere, and only seems to feed the attitude of CONTROL.

* If Spiral Theory is correct, then one might expect to think of Sandy as a pale precursor of what is to be come, climate-wise.