Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Sunday, May 26, 2013

How things have changed

I'm a bit disappointed with Professor Peter Dale Scott, who has, in the past, written so brilliantly on the JFK assassination and on what he calls "deep politics." (That phrase usually refers to spook stuff.) He's not a "controlled demolition" conspiracy theorist, but he is unafraid to speak to that audience. I can't say I like the dubious crowd he now runs with, and I'm ticked off at his poor choice of companionship.

That said, the preface to his book The Road to 9/11 contains a profound passage, one worth quoting here. This observation nothing to do with the attack on the World Trade Center and everything to do
In 1961, when I came to teach at the University of California for one year, there were no tuition fees, and almost anyone who qualified could afford a university education. I remember teaching a student who after seven years in the coal mines was using his savings to put himself through law school. As late as 1970, 31 percent of the California state budget went to higher education and 4 percent to prisons. In 2005, however, these expenditure shares were on the order of 12 percent and 20 percent, respectively. In other words, the state's priorities have shifted from higher education to prisons. Or take housing. In 1961, with two years' salary as a beginning lecturer, I could have bought a house in Berkeley. Today, however, an entering lecturer might have to pay twenty years' salary to afford the same house.
The standard frog-in-boiling-water metaphor applies here. The fire making the water boil is, of course, libertarianism. Slowly, slowly, each and every year, the flames have grown and the heat has intensified, as we've inched ever closer to Ayn Rand's utopia and FDR's nightmare.

That's my problem with the conspiracy buffs that Scott, sadly, now counts among his associates. Most conspiracy fans are of the Alex Jonesian persuasion, which means that most of them are libertarians of one school or another. In other words, these people want to turn up that frog-killing fire until it reaches a solar-surface intensity. You can't voice the complaint that Scott makes here and then count among your pals the kind of people who insist on making things worse.

Speaking of Alex Jones... Rachel Maddow recently offered a few words of criticism, and AJ responded with a thug's wit:
Alex Jones responded to Rachel Maddow‘s skewering of his special tornado-weather-machine-conspiracy theory on his radio show Friday by saying she looks like a man.

After noting that the media was out to get him by hounding people he went to high school with, Jones said, “Or they could just do what Mr. Maddow does, I mean Janet Reno—Janet Napolitano! I get them all confused.” Jones pounded the desk in mock-frustration. “Pat from Saturday Night Live? No, no...Ron Maddow?”

“Nothing wrong with it, I mean, he’s a handsome guy.”
That's another thing that has changed since the 1960s. When I was a boy, a barbarian like Alex Jones would never have gained such a large audience.

I'm not sure he has "pals" per se. He does his own thing - always has - and is mightily prolific. If the left or the right will have him on the radio, tv, conference, or whatever, he obliges. Most of his time is spent in libraries and archives, as his output attests to.

Quite the thought provoking quote though. If it don't piss you off, nothing will.
He loves the attention so just ignore him. Most of those who like alternative news have long ago lost interest in his conspiratainment and especially his buffoonery. Infotainment on tv, conspiratainment on the nets. More and more are seeing through it. The infotainers on tv are the only ones who seem to take him seriously - cause they see competition.

If the infotainers on network tv would have a man such as Peter Dale Scott on, then we'd all be better off, and he wouldn't have to settle for the conspiratainers.
When you and I were boys, barbarians like Jones would've never been given a mic.
You can't voice the complaint that Scott makes here and then count among your pals the kind of people who insist on making things worse.

As the man said, "ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν·"

I trust you'll remember that the next time you rush to the defense of the Droner in Chief.
Once the edifice of coincidence theory and/or 'official explanation' (which leans toward incompetence or 'failure (of imagination) to connect the dots' or bureaucratic impediments to data sharing) is shattered-- or if not shattered, displays noticeable chinks in that armoring-- what is left is conspiracy theory.

Not that all CTs will be accepted-- most will not, for many various reasons. (Cf: the truthers themselves for their heated disagreements.)

But if one has passed through the CW and coincidence theory to find or strongly suspect planning and plotters, whomever or whichever ideas one chooses to associate with on that side, it is the CT side.

PDS went there long ago, with unusual probity and scholarship for that oeuvre. That's what the deep state theory is-- a postulated hidden storyline for many historical events-- and in particular, a hypothesized enduring and very active political/economic structure power group hidden below any obvious conventional storyline.

AJ had his precursors, most notably Father Coughlin (whom I missed). I grew up watching Joe Pyne, and I've been aware of Limbaugh for some 25 years.


XI, my stance is simple. Thanks to the antics of AJ and his comrades-in-crazy, those (relatively few) conspiracy theories which may have a factual basis look foolish. Speaking as someone who has taken a semi-serious interest in the JFK assassination for the last three-or-so decades (off and on), I would say that Jones' rantings have done more harm to the truth than Bill O'Reilly or Vince Bugliosi could ever hope to do.
Prop, when have I ever defended Obama's drone policy?
How does the establishment of an all-powerful police state and spending 20% of the California state budget on prisons relate to libertarianism? I don't think that word means what you think it means.
cracker, it is true that the better libertarians, to their credit, do not favor the drug war, which is a huge factor in the burgeoning prison population. To that extent, you are correct. But it is nevertheless the case that libertarians traditionally argue that the state has a right only to enforce laws (although they want those laws to be fewer) and to defend the country militarily (although now they want to privatize even that). In other words, the state may protect the property of the propertied but may not educate those who have no other chance at higher education.

So the numbers cited by Scott do describe a libertarian trajectory.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is 

powered by Blogger. 

Isn't yours?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic