Gangs of Rome. Greens and Blues and Reds. Sports and Politics

As Rome transitioned from the Republic to the Empire, the politics could be ruthless. Factions were polarized on everything from tax policy to sports teams. While every one thinks of the gladiatorial expositions as the epitome of Roman sports but the real action was the chariot races. Think NASCAR on tow wheels and all four horses out in front. The races were classed by teams and the teams were called by color.

Those who followed Anthony, or Pompe Magus, or Crassis would claim that color and cheer those racers. The drivers were minor celebrities who commanded their own following. This ran right down to the street gangs. Pick a color and stick to it. If you keep up you get called for the real fun. Rioting. If Crassis put out the word, he could command a riot in just a couple hours and shut down that part of the city.

Is your political opponent going out to speak? I hope he brought his boys because our guys might show up and have their own say. Gangs blocking Senators from entering the Forum was a serious problem. Worse, it became accepted.

Over running the Forum with your gangs was not done. Some lines can not be crossed. A very non-metaphorical Rubicon. Every hand would turn against anyone so foolish and irresponsible.

It seems Mr Trump tried to cross that river but now finds himself mired in the muddy middle with the current washing away everything he brought with him. I will have no sympathy for those still clinging to his colors.

“… and you can tell Crassis that the next time he tries to run his charioteers in to the forum, they will not meet the City Guard waving clubs. Equestriat will bring steel to ensure there will not be any further demonstrations.”


I have long advocated for weapons training as part of our education core. Your rating would be on an ID card, like a driver’s license. Make sure everybody qualifies (terms and conditions may apply) and carries personal insurance. You must carry basic liability to carry in public. Concealed is the the next step up and requires another test. Automatic weapons are still restricted as to where you can carry them and that test is real hard. Unlimited are for qualified, active duty personnel.

But all this whining and foot dragging has led us to the point where WE will do what is needed. It will be swift and sweeping. Some of the whiners will do stupid things. 98% of us will be just fine. And the next time you’re at the range some body is sure to opine about the Liberals Gun Grab. Bang

Indians, Tea, and Taxes

It wasn’t about Tea, per se. Nor was it really about taxes. There was this giant sitting astride the colonies. The Royal West Indies Company had a Royal Charter. They did not have to pay the taxes everyone else had to pay. Their tea was cheaper. Oh, and the thing about only one shipment per year. So, yeah you can buy bulk tea. At retail, just like every one else. Kind of hard to make much profit with an independent business.

There were shipments to New York, Charleston, and Boston. The colonies responded with mass protests and would not let the tea be unloaded. In New York and Charleston riots were so bad the English captains gave up and sailed home. They sailed with all that tea because it was too value to risk the mob getting it. The Governor of Massachusetts was not going to put up with an unruly mob. He announced that the Army was going to keep order while that crews unloaded the tea. Operations would start bright and early, if anyone wanted to watch.

There is only one firsthand account of what happened during that night. Written thirty five after the incident by a man who had been a lad of seventeen, but tall for his age. It is absolutely accurate in every part. Even this account keeps a few secrets. Not proper names are used and the word “Mason” did not appear even once.

More importantly, this was the first time all the colonies acted together. This was the moment the separate colonies began to form a union.

I’m sorry, you were talking about how BLM is a problem. Please, go on.

Better Conspiracies

I have heard them all. My favorite remains LBJs last interview. The text I read quoted Lyndon as telling Walter that Jimmy was our last freely chosen president. The next ones would all be “selected” by infusions of corporate money into early, local races and primaries.

The menu will be pre fixe. All they are serving is fascism.

Sure “They” have read 1984. But they also read Brave New World. Both of these works are very new to the program. The game is the same as ever. How to take over the world. All them kings and all them priests, told the rest of us that They were in charge and we had to do what They say. To be honest, if the people in charge were even halfway competent, times were good. WE built communities, cities, and nations. Even if some one else was in charge, WE got to live in prosperous times. In practice results were a little uneven. In crisis, the Guiding Hand often slipped. WE have always known that we could do it all ourselves. That is the great experiment of The United States.

The railroads set the stage. America Bund, Business coup, Smedley Butler, Ike’s Farewell, Kennedy’s Smash Intelligence speech, Powell Memo, October Surprise, Project for a New American Century, Yuppie Riot, and now there only remains one problem. Voting.

That is what keeps the masses in line. WE get to vote. That is the progressive standard, clean elections. It is how we judge other countries. The Conservative standard is to restrict the franchise. They have been forced to hire expensive lawyers to gloss over the fact. It gets harder to do every time WE go around. WE will be heard. If people were to get too much control of the franchise, they are still able to throw things off. Obama was a product of Acorn. Acorn was smashed within two years with the willing compliance of Democrats whose names are not forgotten. WE just started organizing all over again. The problem remains. What to do about the vote.

Get the people to give it up. One of the things Kennedy was trying to stop was overthrowing governments. American spooks are the best at radicalization, destabelising, and overthrowing even historically solid governments. The Slavic destabilization. El Salvador. The United States Capitol.

Why the hell not. Resource extraction is globalized and any resistance is mowed over with jingoism and an occasional riot. The new frontier is how far you can push your populations without destroying your consumer base.


The American Way

Everybody’s Irish in America.

St Patric’s Day is a uniquely American holiday. A Catholic Feast Day to honor a Roman who brought Christianity to Ireland. In America is is a celebration of Irish history, The Struggles against England, and lots of drinking. For one day, everybody in America gets to be Irish.

This could be our Way.

For Cinco de Mayo, every body gets to be Mexican. Chinese New Year! Everybody gets a little forgiveness on Yom Kippur. Would not hurt you to skip a couple of meals for Ramadan and donate the price of that burger to charity. What if everybody in America was Black for K’wanza?

Let’s celebrate each other.

All Holidays Matter!

I Don’t Believe It

Robert Anton Wilson said, “I don’t believe in any thing. I understand the evidence.” I dislike using the word as a lazy description of a sophisticated process. Science uses models to predict events. It predicts the sun will come up in the morning and my room mate will snore. “My model predicts” seems to roll off my tongue smoothly. Without the lazy “believe” in the way you make clear statements. Not “I believe we should …”, just a clean “We should” or even a gentle “I think” will make you address things more better, double plus good, trust me. My models predict good results with even moderate applications. See how easy that is?

Learning From History

King Conan

Once he had secured his crown, he did not just recline to enjoy his victory as was his habit so many times in the past. Conan had served under a great many kings and didn’t think much of most of them. He quickly drove out the bandits that had taken up in the hinterlands. Incursions from other, more averous kingdoms were repulsed firmly enough that no one tried it twice. Though he never took a Queen, he never segregated his concubines and was active in raising his children. His sons grew strong and tall like their father and he gave them more and more responsibility in the kingdom. Finally, he stepped down and handed his crown to his son for he was ready and there was no reason Conan had to do all the heavy lifting. Still, he remained closely involved. He would spend months traveling from village to town to city, meeting with leaders of trade and various officials, many times over a mid day feast. And thus was born the legend of

Conan the Rotarian!

What Could Go Wrong?

On the bright side

Yes, Biden is the Senator from DuPont. But as the most conservative Democrat he is that much easier for orphaned Republicans to swallow. Sure, to us he’s barely to the left of Mitt Romney, but to these simple conservatives he’s the return of the Soviet Union. Now, faced with the threatened return of the Religious Reich, they can be comfortable that at least Biden won’t be an idiot.

Meanwhile, the actual left is waiting in the wings. There is no complacency this time. Every move Biden makes will be screened as closely by his allies as by his enemies. Yes, we want to jog his elbow to the left, and do that on a daily basis. The scolding voice of Mom Tifa will be like the whispering breezes in his ears.

Plus we get all these poor conservatives in a place where they might finally understand the arithmetic of the Dreadful Equations. Oh, what fun.

See? It’s not all bad.

Neo-Conservatism As An Insurgent Force

Conservatives Suck

Conservatives are the ruin of America. Everything they touch seems to come apart. Famous brand names and iconic vistas are only valued as long as they produce obscene profits. Just an honest profit isn’t good enough. It must be obscene or they will kill it and sell the pieces at a loss.

Conservatives do not support the Troops. Conservatives support War. Twenty VA funding bills sit on Moscow Mitch’s desk. Veterans Choice Act and Suicide Prevention and Jobs Training gather dust. To conservatives, it is just a waste of money that could go into their pockets. If there is value, Conservatives need to have some of it. Bombs are the perfect profit producer. It takes skilled labor and the finest raw materials and is used once leaving no residual value. It turns into pure profit and must be immediately replaced. Just ask George Orwell.

Wait, don’t you mean Capitalists? Nope, there is a difference. Not all Capitalists are Conservative. All Conservatives are Capitalists. Capitalism is just the theory that trade should be unrestricted or the markets will be distorted and not fair to those conducting trade. Instead it is used as an excuse to remove any and all protections from the game and made it a moral justification for graft and abuse. Conservatives hide behind and distort Capitalism much as their predecessors used The Mother Church to cover graft and abuse. Not that there is any religious corruption today or surely a mature and devout faith would quickly purge itself of such horrors once brought to light. Right?

Conservatives are not all gutless cowards. There are a bunch of Chickenhawks who love the glory and pageant of war but could never serve themselves. The trick is making brave people support authoritarian programs. Actual veterans are often called upon by Conservatives to “Preserve Our Way Of Life”. Single issue voters are given a program that restricts the rights of other Americans but satisfies their little hobby horse and they don’t care about the attendant graft. Environmental degradation isn’t even real to them. So what if the weather is crazy and may drive the world to war? It is a small price to pay for their right to suppress other peoples rights. Many otherwise smart people think that if they can set the planet on fire, Jesus will take them to heaven and then they won’t have to die. Don’t believe me? Ask Bob Altemyer.

This betrayal and subversion of America’s heroes makes me angry. It makes me more than just a little pissed off and disgusted. I makes me angry. These folk should be the envy and ideal of every child in the world. Instead, WE have become thugs for an empire feared and hated in our own back yard. Don’t believe me? Ask Smedley Butler.

Most religions are against homosexuality. Science shows that most warm blooded animals and birds exhibit a form of homosexuality and it provides quantifiable benefits to those species. Religions demand that their diverse beliefs be encoded into law. They claim that to allow something that occurs in every other warm blooded species on the planet, to be recognized in their fellow humans, would cause them irreparable harm. It would harm their children and it would damage their ability to pursue their chosen delusions. Real, demonstrable facts that would support their position are abjured as attacks on their faith. It would violate rules for Bronze Age Judean Nomads that they insist must be applied to Twenty First Century Multi-Racial Americans. The books they all love can’t tell you where the sun goes at night yet they want to use it to explain socio-biology and determine an individuals access to civil rights. Who would give such anti-freedom, science denigrating nutjobs any credence, much less power? Conservatives would, in exchange for access to Americas resources.

By modern Conservative theory, nothing is more important than profit. The very idea of participation in a community violates this core principle. Holding faith with the workers who create all value is an antiquated myth with no place in business today. The only sin is to be caught. “Punishable By Fine” translates as “For Princes Only”. Every step is examined in terms of absolute values. Every form of life, plant, animal, and human, is quantified by it’s value. If you don’t create a sufficient level of value to be worth the effort to steal, you may be diverting resources from something that can make someone money. That just can not be allowed under Modern Capitalism. Don’t believe me? Ask the United Auto Workers.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Conservative. To throw a huge temper tantrum to get one’s way in the face of overwhelming contrasting opinion and then turn to act in an opposite manner under identical but reversed circumstances is the special trademark of the Conservative. To claim to be oblivious of facts that have entire populations of citizens literally howling in the streets while still claiming both moral purity and superior intelligence takes a very special kind of dishonestly. To pretent to be confused by the Anti War Movement or the Ecology Movement is a fine sport. Pretend to be as clueless and uninformed as a five year old child to waste the time and energy of someone. The current parade of Conservative judges being rubber stamped after building up a back log of 8 years of refusing any confirmations at all should be the subplot of a bad spy movie. Instead the current leadership of the American Conservative party is proud of this accomplishment and unabashed in saying that demanding things go their way when out of power was a tactic that means nothing because Conservatives now have power and can do as they please. No shed of interest in a community. No shred of pretence to co-governance. Holding just enough Naked Power to enable the pursuit of more Naked Power is the core principle of Conservatism.

Fear is the smell of Conservatism. Every Conservative believes with their very breath that if given power, Liberals would be as bad as they are or worse. It is given, by Conservatives, that Women would treat Men the way that Men have always treated Women. I like to define Homophobia as the fear a Gay May will treat you like you treat Women. Conservatives are fearful of becoming a minority in this country precisely because of how they have treated minorities.

The idea that showing compassion to a stranger for no better reason than being able to do it seems a sinister plot to … um, wait, I have it here, …let’s see … improve standard of living and life expectancy? That’s our sinister plot? Oh, we’re going to make people smarter, too. Yeah, that is a threat to Patriarchies and Hierarchies in general.