It’s hard to know where to start with all this. For disclosure, I’m a cryptocurrency skeptic because I’m a Trotskyist, which means I’ve read Capital (1867), so I understand where money comes from. In short, money in any currency is the congealed value of human labor. Labor that produces any use value commodity is the source of money’s value. Gold has historically been a store of currency value because it is coveted & useful. The key to this Marxist idea in terms of crypto-currency is “use value.” Bitcoin & any other non-fungible token (NFT), which I will refer to generically as “crypto,” has no use value.

Money is now globalized to the point where Ponzi schemes like crypto-currency can gain a following with libertarian ideologists, followed by a massive boost of liquidity injection from venture capital (VC) in the early days of quantitative easing (QE). After the 2007-08 sub-prime mortgage collapse, venture capital was looking for new industries to invest in (loot), with billion$ in hot money from the US Federal Reserve being handed to them at near-zero percent interest. And if it fails, there’s always another US taxpayer bailout approved by Congress with strong bi-partisan support…

This 2008 economic crash spread to all the big banks, who were all insolvent with massive amounts of bankrupt home loans that were essentially worthless. The housing boom had ended, and industries were wiped-out. These job losses meant that tens of millions of Americans lost their homes because they couldn’t pay the mortgage.

There were no bail-outs for the working people. In the wake of this economic tsunami, BlackRock, etc, scooped-up all the apartment rentals, which today means rising rents for workers & families, due to corporate’s never-ending lust for profits. It was this post-2008 era of hedge fund/bank bailouts & QE that spawned bitcoin.

As discussed, federally-backed bailouts went 99+% to the rich, and their ideological inclination was to invest in nothing productive, because that always leads to increased labor costs which the ruling class abhors as a rule. Crypto promised massive returns with very little labor cost, everything is “mined” by offshore computers, this will free mankind financially, etc… That was the pitch and VC went for it.

Crypto-currency became a scam whose time had come. It’s complex math & computer programming on the internet, so old people (politicians) are at a loss. It’s been heavily promoted on all social media platforms since its inception, and it rules the dark web. It technically slants towards the millennials, and thus has created an ideology around such vague concepts as youth & freedom. It needed this to justify it’s existence. All scams do. SBF has now acknowledged that FTX’s “effective altruism” is woke capitalist BS.

To those who never believed and were highly critical early on, the Mt Gox theft (February 2014) was all the proof anyone ever needed to see what crypto is. Mt Gox was the original crypto exchange, set-up & controlled by its creator(s). It collapsed & vanished overnight with everyone’s bitcoin. It was a major bummer for the crypto fanatics, but no worries as an industry, VC was still with them. The stolen crypto from the 2014 Mt Gox theft still remains unsolved & unexplained.

Crypto fanatics claim blockchain protects them by keeping a perpetually untampered digital record of every crypto transaction. The lesson of Mt Gox is that if you don’t have the keys & access to the core code, with extensive knowledge of computer coding, then it’s not really your crypto. It’s only your crypto until the master key-holder vanishes it forever. Blockchain technology can be digitally shredded with a few key strokes if it’s written into the core code. Do you get to see all the core computer code (and know how to read it?) before you click ‘buy’ on bitcoin or any other NFT? If no, then how do you know?

These questions will instill fear, uncertainty & doubt (FUD) which the crypto community ideologically opposes. Anyone who asks questions which instill FUD are queried with hostility, first as to their industry & technical knowledge, and if/when that fails, these libertarian fanatics commence with personal attacks & calls for censorship. The crypto fanatics have basically invested their lives in this worthless industry that is 100% fake. There are many parallels here to MAGA Trump supporters, and also to CIA/woke Democrats in their fanaticism to false & unjust causes.

This 3-hour video is my favorite new movie. The best part is the hosts didn’t even realize they were making a crypto industry classic until about 40 minutes in! The drama strikes and it’s a fascinating portrait of disbelief & denialism. The guest star, then-FTX employee Zane Tackett, spends the first 40 minutes introducing himself as a computer engineer for FTX who has little-to-no inside access.

Zane has just lost an estimated 60-80% of his life savings, which he had invested in FTX. He had been flying back from Portugal as the news of FTX crashing hit the internet. Upon getting back to America, he invested another $750,000 on the FTX exchange in support of the company he worked for & believed in. Zane’s been trying to help angry customers recover their funds, out of altruism, but also to possibly recover his funds. No luck yet, but Zane remains committed to his work. He’s most frustrated about no information from Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) & the rest of FTX’s elite inner circle. Nothing on Twitter or Slack…

Then, around 40 minutes into the podcast which up to this point is nothing more than self-grieving industry babble, one of the hosts jumps in with an industry tweet that $383M in crypto has just been liquidated from FTX’s exchanges, of which there are many around the world, when they are supposedly ‘frozen’ in bankruptcy court!

For background, the Biden administration and the puppet government in the Bahamas, where FTX’s headquarters was located, have been fighting a legal battle for jurisdiction. This disagreement apparently went some ways towards resolution during this live-streamed movie. My guess is Bahamian government officials “persuaded” SBF & Co. to pay them off, presently, or else they risked getting shot in the head and hacked up with machetes and left in a ditch, which is known to happen to those who double-cross these people in that part of the world. This murky, murky online theft while in Bahamian police custody was the beginning of what is known in US legal terms as the “extradition process.”

SBF & Co. prefer being tried in Delaware, where they have powerful allies in the Democratic Party, whom he has paid-off repeatedly. This has the potential to be a Jeffery Epstein type scandal, in that everyone with money is implicated and the ruling class needs to do everything they can to maintain silence and not inform the public. That explains why the list of over one million FTX creditors hasn’t been released.

Most small investors usually pay brokers to invest for them. It’s these brokers who invested heavily in crypto who have a liquidity crunch. This is going to require another massive taxpayer bailout, in order to maintain this fictional economy. We are at a point politically where that’s no longer becoming such a feasible option. There simply isn’t enough money available to cover all these big investor losses, and with inflation the way it is, electronically printing more money only makes things worse. It’s actually the root of the problem. On top of this, people are starting to ask uncomfortable questions…

Back to the movie, it took a few minutes for the hosts to piece together what was happening, and how this was happening, and who (most-likely) was doing it. Watch this segment completely and you will understand what happened. Of course, this event has been described in the fake media as a “hack,” but as the hosts point out, it’s much more likely to have been an inside job as you need to be in control of the keys & core code to do this type of theft. Also, multi-signature technology was used to drain the FTX accounts, which points to an inside job. Apparently, outside hackers never use multi-sig. I did not know that.

During this period of piecing together what’s going on, our guest hero Zane Tackett repeatedly excuses himself to “hop on a call,” none of which are answered or returned. As recently as a few days prior, Zane Tackett had been to SBF’s resort compound in the Bahamas, needing special email permission to gain entry, due to heightened security in the wake of the FTX bankruptcy scandal breaking. A siege mentality had ensued at corporate HQ.

Zane Tackett describes a meeting with SBF that clearly indicated him being blown-off by the boss, even though Zane has trouble admitting it to himself. Clearly SBF was planning something else with his inner circle, and Zane Tackett was told nothing at their meeting. That’s an objective account of Zane Tackett’s last meeting with SBF before this podcast movie was made, which coincides with what we know as of this publication.

Before signing-off the podcast, after almost half-an-hour of apocalyptic bad news, Zane Tackett re-calculates his total losses at 85%. From a Marxist perspective, he lost all his money the moment he invested in crypto, and he still has what he paid for. He paid real money for digits and he still owns those digits.


Hurricane Ian floods Sanford, FL

The very beginning of this video is Sanford Landing, where I lived for about four years. I kept telling my neighbors during my daily wild bird feedings, “The mallards & muscovies will eventually take their habitat back. Irma taught us that.” People would look at me funny for that, among other things I said & did.

Here it is now, over a week after Ian roared through Florida. Lake Monroe has crested and the water ain’t goin’ nowhere soon, especially with all that concrete & asphalt the City laid down. Sure hope it don’t rain again soon… Sanford Landing is paradise, until it becomes a flood zone. I’ve told people that before too.

There are very few apartment rentals in Sanford, FL that aren’t near Lake Monroe, so Ian qualifies as a city planning disaster. These “planners” make very little sense from an environmental standpoint. They’re mostly Republicans, so they’re proud of that. Everything the ruling bureaucracy does only makes things worse, especially when there’s a superstorm event, which is now happening every 5 years or so.

I recollect, and then ask, “How are those steel gates around the Sanford City Hall building working for you now? What about all those cyprus tress, sagos, and other natural habitat you ripped out, so you could pour concrete/asphalt, sod, and plant palm trees & oak saplings that die along the Riverwalk?”

Insecurity & irrationality drives capitalist bureaucracy spending. Sanford posts their itemized city spending outside the doors to City Hall regularly, and I’ve read it out loud to passers-by, many times. It’s always the same contractors getting paid. Maybe that’s why they felt they needed the steel gates.

Central Florida is traditionally considered the ‘safe’ part of the state from hurricanes. South Florida & the Panhandle historically get the most severe hurricane hits. Global warming has changed all that. We need to take coordinated action globally, and soon, otherwise Florida will be uninhabitable by mid-century.

Lake Monroe finally crested late Sunday (October 9), at just under 9 feet– above sea level. Lake Monroe is the source of the St John’s waterway which winds its way north until it empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Jacksonville. This “Nile of the West” has been an integral part of commerce, agriculture, fishing, transportation, etc, since Florida became inhabited by humans. It’s management is of vital concern to everyone in the area & beyond.

Hurricane Ian proves that this gross mismanagement of the St. John’s Riverway system can no longer be tolerated, as it is too precious & delicate a resource. Working people in these disaster zones need to take a good look around, and understand the bigger picture and how it’s affecting them. These can no longer be called “natural disasters.” These are human-made disasters.

For instance, blowing-up the Nord Stream pipeline (image above) in the US/NATO infested Baltic Sea, most likely by underwater military drone(s), initiated the single largest global warming emission event in human history. The world knows that Joe Biden is responsible for this crime against humanity & our planet, and he must be held accountable to prevent a nuclear apocalypse.

These are the thoughts I think to myself when I’m on a concrete slab surrounded water. Maybe you have electricity, maybe you don’t. I hope the lift station doesn’t fail. Being surrounded by gators, moccasins, etc, is bad enough, but sewage backing-up means move out now. We’re next to the Regional Hospital & treatment plant, so I don’t think the elites would let that happen, but you can never be sure….

There are parts of Seminole County that are dealing with this now. Residents can’t get back to their homes as these are currently toxic environmental sites. By the time they get back, nothing will be left. It’s just one of those things no one can explain…

At Sanford Landing, the surrounding moisture wicks through the concrete, into the floor & walls. Bugs, spiders, etc, get active, looking for dry ground in your walls & beyond. “Who thought it was a good idea to build apartments here? Who are they…?” These are my deep thoughts in such a spot. I feel for those who remain.


Fractured Fairy Tales: The Democratic Party

Once upon a time a real novelist wrote 1984, giving humanity an Orwellian view of post-WW2 politics. By the time 1984 arrived in our Gregorian calendar, the Democratic Party had completely collapsed, with Mondale/Ferraro winning only 13 electoral votes (Minnesota & DC); to 525 for Republican incumbents Reagan/Bush. No one ever mentioned Walter Mondale or Geraldine Ferraro again.

In 1980, Democratic incumbent President Jimmy Carter was routed by Ronald Reagan & George H.W. Bush, sweeping anti-working class conservatism into the 1980’s. Ronald Reagan began as a Hollywood B-movie actor (mostly westerns), who is clichéd & tiresome in every performance– and there were far too many. No one watches his movies anymore, and very few ever did in the first place.

Anti-communism was Democratic President Harry Truman’s post-war doctrine, a pivot from FDR’s alliance with the Soviet Union. Containment became rollback, and Ronald Reagan & John Wayne were the Hollywood faces of this ideology. Actors suspected of socialism were blacklisted by Hollywood & the music industry in NY, LA & Nashville. If you wanted back in, you had to go to both their mansions and kiss their rings while pleading for mercy. It wasn’t pretty for those who did. Many talented blacklisted actors left Hollywood, or committed suicide. It was an ideological war back then, and it remains that way today. Inane performers write silly songs longing for these good old days to return…

In the 1980’s, Paul Voelker and the Federal Reserve were in step with Reagan/Bush, jacking up interest rates to 20% and bankrupting huge swathes of American industry. They were “fighting inflation” they claimed. Farmers lost their farms, auto plants shut down in Detroit/Flint, steel manufacturing left Pittsburgh & the Ohio valley, etc. This was a capitalist era of de-industrialization by exploiting modern globalization to pit one nations’ work force against another in a race to the bottom in terms of wages & working conditions.

By the 1980’s, China’s super-cheap & ultra-exploited work force in capitalist-allowed zones produced record profits for auto manufacturers, electronics, the fashion industry, etc. For example, a small shoe company Nike, became an industry giant and made a fortune off the toils of Chinese workers when Air Jordan took off.

Capitalist rule was consolidated during & after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. Chinese workers were (still are) organized under a brutal Maoist bureaucracy (mirroring Stalinism) which super-exploits the vast majority who must work. The corporate mantra is: US workers need to catch up to the Chinese to be more ‘competitive’. Jeff Bezos & Elon Musk have been working on this, and are hailed as entrepreneurs & visionaries in the fake press.

Reagan/Bush triumphing in November 1980, mirrored Margret Thatcher becoming the UK Prime Minister in May 1979. In this era of modern globalization, where technology had advanced to the point where computers were beginning to become mainstream, global production & distribution made a qualitative leap. By the mid-1980’s, computers were being introduced in schools, universities, public libraries, etc. This replaced typewriters, card catalogs, cash registers, paper appointment books, etc.

The modem was being introduced, meaning a user had to attach a touch-tone phone’s receiver & microphone ends to suction cups in order to send & receive data. It was slow & unreliable. A few years later, Microsoft’s Windows95, AOL, and the Mac came into existence. The information superhighway & Napster succumbed to iTunes, MySpace & Fakebook. It all started with Pong, Star Wars & Space Invaders.

China’s ruling bureaucracy reunited with capitalism when Richard Nixon formally recognized them as a nation at the UN. Before this, the official US policy on China since 1949 had been that China didn’t exist. This denial of the elephant in the room was part of the ruling establishment’s virulent anti-communist campaign.

In popular music, the Weavers were blacklisted because Pete Seeger was a socialist. Red Scare anti-communist campaigns, red-baiting of anti-war protesters, blacklisting artists, HUAC, etc, were tenets of good government in Washington, New York, Hollywood & Langley back in the day. Nothing’s really changed with those institutions, who maintain their 20th-century backwardness into the 21st century. Today, American politics is a two-sided bitcoin with Democrats/Republicans. When they flip it in cyberspace, it’s heads they win, tails you lose.

Richard Nixon’s China recognition strategy outflanked the liberal hippies, and got him easily re-elected in 1972. It should be noted that this is when the DSA came into modern existence, organizing around Michael Harrington, a supporter of US imperialism. Despite all the so-called ‘left-wing’ hype, populist Democrat George McGovern never had a chance– Electoral College results: Nixon 520, McGovern 17 (Massachusetts & DC). For the record, Rolling Stone magazine was all-in on the McGovern 1972 campaign. In fact, it established the publication as a major cultural & political influencer, a status it maintains up to the present.

In 1972, Hunter Thompson wrote whacked-out essays for Rolling Stone that were presented as “Gonzo counter-culture” in the mainstream. DSA supporters would pontificate on them from the fake left. Jan Wenner, Dave Marsh, Robert Fricke, etc, never had talent, but they became rock stars in their own minds. In reality they were/are misinformation influencers. Rolling Stone magazine is still a major industry player, even though no one reads it anymore. They control the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, by deciding who gets in, and when. Once your act has that union card, it’s cha-ching when you tour. Every music act covets that.

Rolling Stone magazine’s coverage of the George McGovern presidential campaign influenced a generation of writers, actors, musicians, etc, in the same way William Burroughs, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, etc, influenced the beatnik/psychedelic generation before them. Rolling Stone was the first monthly publication dedicated to recognizing artistry in popular rock music & such, and in that sense it was progressive. It had sexy images, and it’s critical reviews were (are?) considered classic rock gospel. To dispute them critically & publicly is considered heresy within the industry.

Music & television became forever degraded when American Idol (2002-2016) became the industry Death Star. This is American entertainment after the stolen election of 2000, and post-9/11– the era of ‘war on terror’ propaganda. The Masked Singer is perhaps the nadir culmination of all this. Oh look– it’s Sarah Palin… it’s Rudy Giuliani… it’s Adolph Hitler! Who knew they could be so foppish & lovable in costume?

If Simon Cowell disapproves, you’re out forever. That is the modern incarnation of a music industry gatekeeper. Industry power players must look good on TV. This is where the mafia goombas who control the music business need pretty faces & squeaky-clean front men. It’s kinda been like ever since MTV came along.

To illustrate how censorship works in the online age, “Atheist Psalm” is now labeled ‘explicit’ by all the streaming services even though there are no swears in it. It used to be one swear got you banned, then they relaxed that so the Steve Miller Band’s “Jet Airliner” can be played on classic rock radio without having to be patched with funky kicks. Now you’re allowed a swear or two, if it isn’t too explicit [?!]. Multiple swears are explicit. Got that? It’s “Pay To Play” it’s always been that way, so “Obvious.” Indie artists can’t compete in the capitalist market with the industry’s “Millennial Whoop” machine.

Getting back to our political fairy tale, those in Generation X have been bombarded all their lives with state propaganda which declares the Democratic Party is progressive in its liberalism and pro-worker in its unionism. In turn, there is nothing to the political left of the Greens & DSA. Of course, the trade unions from the AFL-CIO, to the UAW, Teamsters, AFT, etc, are entirely staffed with corporate-oriented bureaucrats, backed by organized crime, and infiltrated by agents of the state, who sell out the rank-and-file. This enforced arrangement ensures those who faithfully pay their dues every paycheck always get fucked.

In this information age, where the internet can change everything in a hurry, the ruling classes of all nations, and the US most acutely, are preparing for all-out war on their working populations. Police and paramilitary groups such as the MAGA’s who stormed the Capitol building on January 6, 2021 are Nazi shock troops charged with terrorizing workers and keeping them in line. The Coronavirus War has raised fascism as the bourgeois political order of the day to be carried out. The rest is just hot air and only adds to global warming, misinformation & the criminal conspiracy against the international working class & youth.

Perhaps the biggest myth is to promote the Democrats in November as the only practical political solution to oppose fascism. The Democrats have been funding & supporting MAGA Republicans in their primaries, calculating they’ll be easier to defeat in November. This strategy of betraying the will (& donations) of ordinary Democrat voters, to give a microphone & platform to right-wing filth, is contemptible. That is their response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade. No consideration is given to promoting left-wing policies within the Democratic Party. That is a fiction Joe Biden is having a difficult time maintaining.

For instance, a wildcat railroad workers strike could really mess up the Democrats in the midterms. Democrats funding pro-Trump candidates in Republican primaries is a warning to workers– don’t trust the Democrats! Workers must be vigilant and organize rank-and-file committees to take control of their workplaces. Once the Democrats lose the illusion of union control, all they have for a political base are a bunch of useless upper-middle class philistines & bureaucrats. A wildcat railroad strike could kill the Democrats and they know it. That would end their fairy tale.


Fractured Fairy Tales: Camelot

Once upon a time there was a handsome young prince who was destined to become president. His father was a rum runner during Prohibition– made a fortune. This was parlayed into American royalty, and Papa Joe (September 6, 1888 – November 18, 1969) had many children, including our presidential prince. This young prince had the requisite credentials– he was a war hero from a rich family & dashing. Every young princess swooned and he never lost an election.

One day he entered an infested jungle and contracted a venereal disease from which he was never cured. But this presidential prince still married well and had many extra-marital affairs. The number of girls/women he infected was prolific, for sure.

This presidential prince fucked like he politicked: kinda all over the place with unhealthy consequences. Yet he’s considered a liberal pioneer. The prince president assigned his hot-headed brother to be his Attorney General, and together they promised to take on the mafia. This rubbed the Black Hand the wrong way, since they had partnered with Papa Joe during Prohibition. The epigones of Al Capone had also won JFK the presidential election in 1960 by pulling the machinery in Chicago his way, and thus stealing the presidency from Richard Nixon. “Never again,” said Tricky Dick.

These intrepid princes were both virulent anti-communists, but J. Edgar Hoover still didn’t trust them, so JFK & RFK were fighting a multi-front war against powerful figures in the ruling establishment during their administration. To the US military/intelligence apparatus, being anything less than 100% pro-war on Vietnam is another red line not to be crossed. This must be clearly understood, because it can NEVER be stated to the public.

The myth of Camelot begins in earnest with the cover-up of the Bay of Pigs Invasion (Apr 17, 1961 – Apr 20, 1961), JFK’s first real foray into international politics as president. This was a CIA-backed fiasco invasion attempt that went wrong from the start, and ended ignominiously for all its participants.

On the ground it was CIA handlers leading a few hundred fanatics in an ill-planned invasion of Cuba with intent to kill Castro and take power. Boots on the ground were militant right-wing Cuban exiles, anti-communist mercenaries, etc, a veritable cornucopia of reactionary adventurers.  As with every right ring coup attempt, from the Bay of Pigs Invasion to Donald Trump’s coup attempt on 1/6/21, there is much dirt that remains secret & hidden from the public. It’s classified: murky murky.

When things went from bad-to-worse, the prince president & his hot-headed Attorney General brother abandoned the Bay of Pigs adventure. After the capture of the entire invading hoard, they pointed their fingers as US intelligence. This notorious embarrassment & betrayal infuriated the CIA, which is something a president should never do. Neither of these pampered & temperamental princes respected the Black Hand, which is a fatal error.

The second test of JFK’s political mettle was the Cuban Missile Crisis (Oct 16, 1962 – Oct 28, 1962). The crisis began when US intelligence learned (too late) that the Soviet Union had installed missile launch pads in Cuba. It was considered a political & military disaster.

The entire US political establishment had turned anti-Cuba since Fidel Castro came to power during the Cuban Revolution of 1959, in which US-puppet Fulgencio Batista was ousted. Since then the goal of US imperialism has been regime change in Cuba.

Missile capabilities in Cuba would be comparable the the US arming the Ukraine against Russia. Such a close threat could never be allowed by either side. In 1962, the prince president & his hot-headed brother needed to show strength, and these philistines responded in full force, since they knew nothing else and their authority (manhood) was being questioned.

They loudly demanded the Soviet Union remove all missile capabilities in Cuba, and US warships were dispatched to intercept any Soviet ships & planes trying to reach Cuba. The president threatened nuclear war, and human civilization was brought to the brink for the first time in its existence. The political term ‘nuclear brinkmanship’ had been coined. Today, as routine, we get nuclear war public serviced announcements from identity politics obsessed Democrats, and this is called “progressive.”

Fortunately in October 1962, cooler heads prevailed and a tenuous peace was negotiated. The Russians abandoned their missile pads in Cuba, while the US abandoned more-capable missile sites in Eastern Europe. The Cuban take-down was allowed to be known publicly, but the European take-down by the US wasn’t, so by manipulation of information flow, the myth of Camelot was born. The prince president was declared a hero and his subjects cheered triumphantly.

Of course myths never last, and Camelot was shattered by the bullets of assassins in November 1963, and again in June 1968. Chappaquiddick (July 1969) was their Waterloo. The Warren Commission and other myths were produced to cover-up these fatalities, criminal conduct & violent attacks on American democracy. Since Camelot, it’s become harder & harder for people to live happily ever after.


Bird feeding 101

Bird feeders are monopolized by dominant birds. You minimize this by keeping your feeder full. Refill your feeder in the evening when the sun is going down and there’s still daylight, but the birds are all nested. You know this because you don’t see any birds, or hear any chirping.

When you place a bird feeder near a nest(s), those birds will consider that feeder theirs. But if there is always more-than-enough, they will share with other species & neighbors. Of course, bigger birds will find any feeder & help themselves.

People debate the question of a glass being half-full or half-empty, but birds don’t. Birds always consider the feeder “half empty” when it gets down to the midpoint. That’s when the dominators get MUCH more protective of their food stash.

Plastic bird feeders, like the one shown above, trap moisture which causes the seed to dissolve & clump at the bottom. If you are mobile & busy, a $40 hangable screen feeder is ideal just about anywhere.

I prefer the model with a tension pin to hold the cap tight. If you hang it on a good hook, you will get little-to-no spillage even in high winds. Furthermore, rodents can’t lift the lid off a screen feeder when it is tension-pinned. A squirrel is a rat with a bushy tail. With that said, I’m with Milton Waddams in Office Space (1999), I like the squirrels.

Anyways, if you hang & maintain a screen feeder in a good spot it will attract sparrows, cardinals, and any other seed-eating species for miles around. A “good spot ” is somewhere you can comfortably view it from inside, and easily access it to refill. If you dump the seed, the squirrels will get it all. Bird feeding is easier than pet ownership, while keeping you connected with animals & nature.

I recommend a ‘songbird blend’ as feed, available at Walmart, etc. This gets you more variety, which is the name-of-the-game in bird watching. You’ll even get an occasional hummingbird who is curious & hopeful, attracted by all the bird activity. Bigger birds come by and pick out the stuff they don’t want, to get to the stuff they DO want, which leads to a frenzy of sparrows on the ground where all the discarded seed falls. I like the birds.


Nuances of the Milwaukee Brewers dumping Josh Hader

David Stearns dealt ace lefty closer Josh Hader to the Padres for a demoted closer, two fringy prospects, and a pitcher they DFA’ed 2 days later. They did this because ownership didn’t want to pay Josh Hader’s final arbitration raise this winter. It’s a chicken shit move, I agree.

The key to this deal (and it’s a long-shot) for the Brewers is LHP prospect Robert Gasser who posted a 4.18 ERA across 18 starts at High-A Fort Wayne this season. Lefty reliever Taylor Rogers isn’t close to Josh Hader, and OF Esteury Ruiz is a bench guy with no pop. RHP Dinelson Lamet needed Tommy John surgery after 2020, but refused and went with platelet rich plasma [quack] treatment instead. It failed probably costing him his MLB career.

“Dinelson [Lamet] has a good arm and was included in the trade to help balance out the deal,” said David Stearns. “As subsequent transactions played out, the roster fit became a little tougher. We are hopeful we will be able to keep him in our system.”

So why did the Brewers trade Josh Hader, only to DFA a guy in that deal two days later?  The answer is that Padres GM AJ Preller made David Stearns take Dinelson Lamet because he wanted to dump him. The GM rule is: if someone dumps to you, you get to dump (something less) back. When someone dumps the best closer in baseball, and you get to dump an arbitration expensive pitcher who has been derailed by injuries, that’s quite a nice gift.

This was a shameless dump by Brewers ownership, comparable to when the Rays dealt ace LHP David Price to the Tigers in 2014. That move deflated the team & killed their season. Rays GM Andrew Friedman left for the Dodgers after that season, and Joe Maddon went to the Cubs. The Mets have been after David Stearns for awhile and this deal may finally convince him to leave. He didn’t want to make it.

It’s the RF Christian Yelich extension ($26M per thru 2028, then $6.5M buyout) that hamstrings them. The Brewers made the same mistake with RF Ryan Braun and didn’t learn. That’s the truth Brewers front office & ownership can’t tell you.

The fans aren’t fooled. David Stearns had been asked by the Yankees, etc, for years about Josh Hader, and he always refused them by putting an exorbitant price tag on his elite, cost-controlled closer. Then Stearns gives Hader to the Padres when no one expects it. What explains that?

When David Stearns was told by team owner Mark Attanasio to trade Josh Hader, he must have realized that this was going to be his end in Milwaukee. David Stearns knew all the consequences, it’s his job to know. Viewed as his last trade deadline as Brewers GM, Stearns made sure the Yankees didn’t get Hader. It was the best he could do. This was a payroll dump to an organization Stearns could tolerate. I believe the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Cardinals & Dodgers were considered intolerable, meaning Brewers fans would never forgive him.

As mentioned, the Mets are interested in David Stearns, and have been for some time. Therefore he couldn’t trade Hader to them, as it could be construed as a conflict of interest down the line by MLB. Stearns had to trade Hader to a team he wasn’t going to potentially interview for this winter. Those were his interests in a deal he didn’t want to make. Knowing all this makes this murky deal much more understandable.

Ownership didn’t care about the return, so it’s the team & fans that lose. It’s yet another reason I’m against private ownership, because roughly 99.9% of Brewers fans hate this deal. The entire team hates the deal. After this season, David Stearns will be allowed to talk to other teams and he will get snatched up by one that has the payroll to win a World Series. The Brewers window to win, which opened in 2018, has now been closed by ownership.


The significance of Roger Waters

Roger Waters commemorated the fall of the Berlin Wall in July 1990, and used it to promote his music. The destruction of the Soviet Union (1989-91) and collapse of the Eastern Bloc was a reactionary event in world history. Any Trotskyist will tell you that. It was a degenerated workers’ state falling back into capitalism because the Bolshevik revolution had been strangled & betrayed by the Stalinist bureaucracy.

Since 1992, NATO has expanded some 800 miles eastwards up to Russia’s border, finally provoking Putin’s reactionary (but politically understandable) invasion of the Ukraine. Roger Waters is surely better than these modern musical clowns he publicly cites, and his support of Julian Assange proves it. But there are flaws in his overall politics, combined with monetary incentives, which tie him to the rotting corpse of capitalism.

The question wasn’t whether the fall of the Berlin Wall was a good/bad thing. All such walls are inherently bad. The historical question was: Who did the pushing and upon whose heads did the rubble fall? The standard-of-living for the vast populations in every former Eastern Bloc nation has declined, wars have flared up & never stopped, all while a corrupt billionaire class has been created which embraces neo-Nazi ideology with funding from the CIA/Pentagon complex.

Roger Waters got upset that the latest teen flavor was interviewed before him in Toronto. But the truth is Roger Waters isn’t significant to 16-24 year olds, and that’s the only demographic that matters in music. Waters doesn’t speak to them convincingly. If he was significantly influential with his anti-war message, he would have been cancelled like all the rest.

He’s allow to exist & go on because kids don’t care about him. It’s all “I, me, mine…” in that notorious interview, which tells you it’s more about promotion than anything else. Pink Floyd was never a political band, they were artistic stoners who hit the jackpot. Then punk/post-punk showed the world how stale they were, and they’ve been dinosaurs since.

Pink Floyd is a staple of classic rock, whose playlists were ossified by mafia programmers in the early 1980’s to the benefit of Roger Waters. He never objected that well-deserving artists such as the Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart, the Stooges, Modern Lovers, Sex Pistols, Wire, etc, never get played on classic rock stations, even though their music is of their era. Why is that?

As a middle-aged man, I can definitively say that I am sick & tired of hearing Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Boston, etc, over & over forever on rock stations. There HAS to be more to music than that, and in fact there is MUCH, MUCH more. All you need to do is turn off that boring classic rock you’ve gotten so comfortable with and try something new & different. It’s actually the music industry you’re listening to when you dial in the classic rock format. You’re feeding Clear Channel & EMI, who have an unlimited supply… of bullshit. Here’s the 2003 re-issue cover of Roger Waters Live in Berlin.

It’s capitalism you’re feeding. The music industry needs you to forever tune into their stale stuff, and they surely DON’T want you seeking an alternative. That’s why Husker Du & Sonic Youth were called “alternative” in the 1980’s and still are today. Never to be heard on programmed XM Satellite radio. Either you love the music or you don’t. To those who do, I’m with you.

Roger Waters has the right to be heard, and he has been. The rest of us have the right to criticize him because we bought his records a long time ago and have listened to them. I like Pink Floyd as a group. I like the fact that David Gilmour took care of Syd Barrett (as best he could) after he left the band. I didn’t like Roger Waters suing Pink Floyd after he left the band, over their name. He lost that one because he was selfish & wrong. Today, I view Roger Waters as selfish, but at least on the correct side politically– for now. We’ll see how things go. We’ll see if anyone cares.

For over 40 years now, punk rockers have considered Pink Floyd irrelevant. They were a decent band who made a few great records back in the day, then slowly disintegrated. Pink Floyd was often a Rogers Waters’ studio project more than anything else, and that’s why he finally went solo. For better or worse, that’s how I see this band and the creative force behind it. Over & Out


Elon Musk drops Twitter bid / Pussy Riot launches NFT

This is now a bizarre situation, where up to 3 months ago Elon Musk had pledged to buy Twitter and then fire the entire board of directors upon takeover. Tensions flared, tweets were exchanged, etc; but a stock-price agreement was reached sometime in April/May and it was big news.

The crypto crash has changed the landscape for Musk, who is now looking for an exit, with Twitter’s board, shareholders, etc, demanding he complete the agreed-upon deal. It’s a bit surreal, and it’s already ending up in court.

On May 14, 2022 this author published Crypto Crash on this site, in which the following was written:

Everyone in the crypto industry now knows Elon Musk is the Bitcoin whale. That explains why he just backed-out of buying Twitter for $43B, after planning its takeover for months and putting it into motion. His supposed $240B is mostly a giant asset bubble, built on fictitious capital in the form of crypto currency. The rest of Elon Musk’s wealth is stolen from super-exploited workers. With what he owes to banks, he’s probably bankrupt when the crypto market implodes.

Nearly two months later, nothing needs to be changed or added to that analysis. Just follow the drop of bitcoin in mid-May, and then again in mid-June 2022 on Coindesk, as shown in the screenshot above. This is exactly when Elon Musk started waffling on buying Twitter. Spam bots, etc, are merely his pretext to back out of a deal he can’t afford, because he’s actually broke. The Fed raising interest rates has burst the crypto bubble. All his money is fake.

Speaking of fake, Pussy Riot has launched their own non-fungible token (NFT) following their ‘Matriarchy Now’ publicity stunt (pic above) in Austin, TX which coincided with a big crypto convention held in town that week. Pussy Riot’s playbook is this: Unfurl a meaningless banner in a prominent public place such as a capitol building. Make sure you photograph/film the event, or else no one will notice/care. Photos add ‘proof’ that you are an ‘activist,’ which has currency in crypto & the fake left.

Pussy Riot has had extensive coverage on all this (& more) in the NYT, Guardian, Pitchfork, American Songwriter, etc, and still no real buzz on the street. It’s a mystery to the liberal Democrats why Pussy Riot is so ignored. Maybe it’s because they’ve been outed as agents of imperialism. That cuts into the hip credentials Pussy Riot have been trying to establish for themselves.

Here is Pussy Riot’s latest video, which is part of their first [!!] mix-tape. If you see & hear K-pop production, hustling NFT’s, then you’ve got it. Make sure you check out Pussy Riot’s fake YouTube comments from their bots. It’s a slick & well-financed operation, no question.

While Google lists Pussy Riot as a ‘musical group’ it’s worth mentioning that they still don’t have an album release. Many of us are still wondering who wrote their songs, including “Punk Prayer,” etc?

It remains all-so-vague with Pussy Riot, but they are prolific according to Wikipedia, etc. Pussy Riot is hard to figure out for a reason, as they keep changing & shape-shifting with help from the black hand. The agents-of-imperialism known as Pussy Riot are now calling themselves a “protest collective,” and that’s their latest.



Political guide to being an artist

Music is personal and everyone does it for their own reasons. Everyone who has tried knows that. This essay is to concisely explain my reasons, which are mostly misunderstood. I started like everyone else because I love music and wanted to do my own thing. At first the goal was to be a rock star. I eventually learned that wasn’t possible, so I outgrew the idea and became something more. I became an artist with socialist consciousness.

In the history of popular music, this has only been tried a few times, and it has always been met with virulent hostility & blacklisting from the entertainment industry & ruling establishment. The surrealists led by French writer André Breton were the earliest 20th century example of art & socialist politics meeting (through Trotsky), and their movement was deeply influential, though it was finally overwhelmed by fascism across Europe in the 1930’s. The surrealist movement deserves careful study today in terms of content, revolutionary potential, and its inherent limitations.

Mexican painter Diego Rivera, whose frescoes & murals dazzled the art world in the 1930’s, flirted with Trotsky, but eventually retreated to his mansion as World War II broke out in Europe.

Post-war art has been kept under the thumb of anti-communism, ever since President Truman laid out US Cold War policy, which has continued up to this day. Cold War policy can be summed up as: Russia is the evil enemy, and Marxism is never to be tolerated. If you were an advocate for civil rights (women, blacks, immigrants) & anti-war in this era, then you were branded as a godless communist that must be expunged from the Earth [!].

Popular folk music group, the Weavers, whose best known song was “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine” were blacklisted because leading member Pete Seeger was a socialist. The Weavers had a “clean” playlist for live performance, but it didn’t matter to the anti-communists in 1950. The original Weavers disbanded in their prime by the summer of 1952, due to no gigs. They revived themselves a few years later with their famous Carnegie Hall performance, recorded Christmas Eve 1954, but not released by Vanguard Records until April, 1957.

* As a footnote. these irrational hysterics & witch hunts were brought back to life by today’s anti-communists with the Black Lives Matter & MeToo campaigns in the 2010’s. Their goal (as always) is to artificially divide the working masses through identity politics. No serious discussion of class inequality & imperialism is allowed with anti-communists. That’s when they get hostile & violent.

Bob Dylan’s working class appeal in his early to mid-1960’s era made people take sides on issues like racism, class society, the Vietnam War, etc. Fans & the establishment turned on him when he electrified (which magnified his message), to the point where he finally had to retreat & hide away.

On July 29th, 1966, a month after his final classic-period masterpiece Blonde On Blonde was released, Bob Dylan crashed his motorcycle near Woodstock, New York. He used this (relatively minor) accident as a pretext to remove himself from the political discussion in the mainstream. He did this to save his life. At this point, Vietnam was becoming out in-the-open & overwhelmingly polarizing. Bob Dylan risked being killed like Malcolm X, as he was the white equivalent at the time with his songs. MLK, and Democrat for President, Bobby Kennedy were gunned down in 1968, just to give you an idea of the times.

I don’t blame Bob Dylan for doing what he did to save his life, and neither should you. There was no organized political party on the left that he could have joined to protect himself and his political convictions. In revolutionary terms, Bob Dylan was too far ahead of his time. He had to retreat back into capitalism to carry on.

In the jazz realm, Sun Ra (pic above) stands as the shining star of revolution, with a catalog & body-of-work too vast to discuss here. His avant garde piano/electric keyboard/synthesizer style, backed by his Arkestra, seems to have come from another planet, which he claimed it did. Everything he did, from Saturn Records, to how he recorded & marketed himself, while holding his Arkestra together for 40+ years until his death (and then beyond), deserves careful study.

Sun Ra approached music as a conscious objector to WWII. He lived with, then ran afoul of the Black Panthers, a point ‘Afro-futurist’ racialists avoid. Sun Ra created his myth, to protect himself, and it worked. He died naturally in 1993, and never had to change his message.

If you are not a myth, whose reality are you?
If you are not a myth, whose reality are you?
If you are not a reality, whose myth are you?

— Sun Ra

Let the verse cited above roll around in your head for awhile, while contemplating deeply. I love Sun Ra, but I don’t want to be a myth, I’m a reality, so the question eventually became for me, as Ric Size: How do I become a revolutionary artist without having to retreat politically or descend into mysticism?

First, you must educate yourself in all spheres. You can’t be fooled by the bullshit, old & new, and you can’t rely any anyone else to tell you the truth. You must discover it for yourself & always keep it close. You must know yourself completely.

But beyond that you need help. No one is an island, and eventually everyone dies. You need to affiliate yourself with an organization that represents your political values and will survive into posterity. By the time I became serious about being an artist in the late 2000’s, such a political entity had come into existence– the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS).

The WSWS has had an Arts section from the start, at the insistence of Arts editor David Walsh. As I understand the discussions which took place back in 1998, (and I wasn’t present), it was David Walsh who insisted on the inclusion of an ‘Arts’ section as essential, and he had to convince David North & Nick Beams (among others)– and finally did. It was a far-sighted inclusion which deserves socialist merit, because it is art that sparks revolutions by defining it to the masses through songs, film, literature, paintings, etc. You can’t separate art & revolution.

Let me finish on musical artists with socialist consciousness by pointing out that there is revolution in the reggae music of Bob Marley & the Wailers, Scratch Perry, etc. Same with P-funk, punk & post-punk. Same with Fela Kuti’s Afro-beat. Same with Eno, Fripp, Byrne…

I affiliate myself with the ICFI, the Trotskyist party of international socialism. By doing this, I never have to walk anything back. My art isn’t perfect, and there is no such thing anyways. All it’s meant to do is inspire & educate. As a revolutionary artist, you light a candle so others can follow. Whatever comes after is left up to others, as it should be.

All an artist can do is continue to work. The critics & naysayers will always be there. You can’t have fans, without having haters. The idea is to love your fans and always be true to them, while appropriately dealing with the haters. It’s serious work, so make sure you find good help & trusting allies.

I’ve written a lot about baseball analytics on this site and for good reason. There is a truth in the numbers, that is often hidden through only observing. MLB is such a long season, and the subtle differences between good teams & the best team, are often too slight to see with the naked eye. If you can see them, it helps to have numbers to back up what you are scouting.

It’s like this with art & politics. Art is creative freeflow, where politics can be studied scientifically using orthodox Marxism, known as Trotskyism. To make sure your art stays true to the truth, you need Trotskyism (the WSWS) as a political guide. Once you are fundamentally sound (politically speaking), a dialectical change will occur, and then you will be able to write anthems that appeal to kids & the masses with a revolutionary spirit.


Roe v Wade overturned by right-wing packed US Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court’s reactionary overturning of Roe v Wade has nothing to do with democracy. Wealthy women will still get abortions. This is an elitist attack on the rights of working people. On the ground, these elitist policies are carried out by anti-abortion fanatics who throw the Bible in everyone’s face, but don’t (refuse to) understand the fundamental democratic concept known as separation of church and state. These right-wing bigots never read Thomas Jefferson seriously, so they only quote him badly.

These right-wing terrorists call themselves “pro-life” by condoning harassment & murder of doctors (& staff) who perform public-service abortions at community health clinics. They proclaim to care so much about a fetus, but clearly DON’T care about anyone (except themselves) after they are born. Their hateful message gets amplified endlessly in the fake media from all sides. When it all falls apart, and no one believes them anymore, the far-right proclaims they are being “terrorized” by working people who are getting in-their-faces about all their malfeasance & criminality. This is only lies/flak, and a precursor to more violence the right-wing is secretly planning.

A woman has the right to control her body. That’s a Constitutional right. Anything else is bigotry & fascism disguised as “morality.” This watershed far-right ruling has been anticipated for months, after it was leaked to the public and met with mass disdain. It inevitably happened today because their is no backbone for this fight within the Democratic Party leadership. The US Supreme Court has been packed with Bush (HW & W) and Trump appointees. They get to stay for life, and in this political climate are virtually unimpeachable.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Witness everything we have learned (so far) from the 1/6 House Select Committee hearings concerning Ginny Thomas, and then her husband Clarence for not recusing himself in cases where his wife is implicated. These are reactionaries & phonies who only care about their ends, and will use any means to get themselves there. I say We the People need to overturn the US Supreme Court.

This marks a qualitative shift in the US two-party system. Grassroots liberals have been abandoned by Democratic Party leadership. Neither Bernie Sanders, nor AOC, did anything to stop the US Supreme Court from enacting its reactionary agenda. What will happen to this critical constituency in the eyes of the ruling class? This splits the Democratic party, just like Trump split the Republicans on 1/6/21. New political entities are being established. It’s now ‘Trump supporters vs. all his political opponents’ in official politics. Basically, Joe Biden has merged the Democratic Party into what’s left of the traditionally conservative Republican constituency. “Team normal vs team crazy” is how they spin it in the fake media. Joe Biden’s mantra is, “We must have unity with the fascists.”