The greatest Danger to Rome is the greatest danger now.

•February 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment

One of the most common themes of the debate on the fate of the United States is the Toynbeesque conversation about the similarities between the twilight of Rome and the current state of conflict within the USA.gaius-julius-caesar-sieze-power-quote

I’ve seen and heard these comparisons made in the press, in various well read blogs and even, god forbid on NPR. Most of the commentary strikes me as poorly informed, cartoonish misunderstanding of both Rome and the current political environment.

A good example of this is Pascal Gobry’s commentary on his blog. It’s full of poor sophistry where he exchanges the terms “Democracy” and “Constitutional Republic” as if they are the same. This is a common misconception brought on by the decades old campaign by globalists to educate the masses. In the past thirty years the unified main stream media has between on the drum of lies telling everyone we “live in Democracy” , we “Live in a Democracy”, oh look this or that is “a threat to our Democracy”. In fact the United States Government is a constitutional Republic and this form of government is in many ways the opposite of a democracy.

Gobry confuses these terms clearly and, as a result, clouds his arguments with half truths and misdirection.  In his blog he states “America is a Constitutional Republic” and a few sentences later continues by saying “This democracy we live in….”as if both were true. They are not. The American Constitution guarantees the people of the United States a Constitutional Republic.

Now I will concede that the American Liberal political class and the press have for the past 50 years pushed relentlessly for America to be converted into a democracy. They’ve done this openly, they’ve done this with no shame and without, apparently, ever considering the ethical repercussions and dangers presented by their potential success. The salient point is they haven’t succeeded in many important ways. So… Mr. Gobry, no we do not live in a democracy. You may wish this was so but saying its so doesn’t make it true.

This cloudy logic permeates his further writing about Caesar and Rome. He talks of Roman senators, the Gracchi brothers, periods of peace and periods of conflict in Ancient Rome and seems to scramble it all up in an effort to buttress his main point that we have elected a populist (Trump) like Caesar and as a result must have some reforms a la the Gracchi Brothers.  He states “In a true democracy, demagogues will win over the people with fatuous promises and showy acrobatics, and accrue enough power to destroy the very democracy that is the source of their power…….The reason why they believed this was because that’s exactly what happened with Rome.”

Well sorry Mr. Gobry, you need to reread your Gibbon as well as Toynbee and all the other brilliant historians that have labored to help us understand Ancient Rome. Ancient Rome was never a democracy. Further the rise of Caesar was largely THE END of internal power struggles amongst the most powerful factions of the Roman Elite. Also, I’ll note that Caesar’s assumption of absolute power was not a “coup” but was part of a Roman tradition and the power was given him by the Roman Senate.

Now I’ll leave the sad attempt by Mr. Gobry and move on to what I believe we might glean from Roman history and how it might illuminate our current political situation. Yes, there are some clear parallels between Rome’s slide into tyranny and America’s loss of its way.

Caesar’s dictatorship was the result of a long period of internal fighting and conflict within the Republic. This included legal chicanery, open and covert power plays and civil war. Caesar’s dictatorship wasn’t the first attempt to grab it all. That honor goes to Sulla a generation before Caesar’s time period. Its interesting to note that Sulla’s power grab was made possible by his opponent’s reforms of the military. This opens the door for Sulla to ingratiate himself with Rome’s legions and turn these legions against Rome.

The history of Rome shows that the greatest danger for the Republic lies within. Foreign enemies had little or no power to threaten Rome from the end of the 2nd Punic War until the third century AD. (146 BC until 299 AD a remarkable period of 445 years… America’s 241 year tenure isn’t quite so impressive)

For Rome the real danger came from within, from power hungry politicians and generals that tasted power and control and would stop at nothing to regain power. This is our danger. This is the true threat to the United States.

The founding fathers knew this and this is why they set up the counter balanced powers of the three branches of government. It was this knowledge that seemed to motivate Washington to be so vocal in laying down the scepter after two terms and to publicly call for the peaceful transition of power. ( He was also quite vocal about the danger of Alliances but I’ll leave that for another blog) When Washington willingly left the presidency he made leaving the capital a political choice with strong overtones of protecting the republic from scheming and machinations.

In contrast to the studied and deeply thoughtful actions of our republic’s first half dozen Presidents we now have a political class that are aping the actions of much less reputable  characters of political history. For example Obama has pointedly refused to leave Washington at the end of his term. It was only two weeks before he was publicly pitching his viewpoint about President Trump’s action. This is a stunning contrast to two centuries of stoney silence from ex Presidents out of respect for the office and tacit acceptance of the difficulties of ruling over a fractious, baying beast of a nation. These are the actions that stoke factionalism and dissent.

Another example of the darker side of power politics is the constant use of the language and terms of monarchy to promote political families. The two most egregious examples being the Kennedys and the Bushes. The Kennedys have maintained a full time public relations firm to promote the family’s political fortunes and to mythologize their story. This is now becoming pro forma for the powerful families of the political elite rather than being a rarity. The rise of “Royal” families in America is a grave danger to our Constitutional Republic and signals a hidden struggle  amongst the Elite Political class to define who has the absolute right to rule solely based upon their birthright.

Further Hillary Clinton refuses to concede the election, as is traditional, with a respectful concession speech. Instead she appears the next day, draped in royal purple and states, “This isn’t over.”

When the Elite shed tradition its certainly an indicator of coming change. It’s also a warning sign of coming trouble, of conflict, of violence to gain ones ends.  So dear Reader if we choose to look towards Rome for guidance look at the turmoil and violence that was visited upon their population as the powerful families and factions pushed their supporters towards violence.
©BILLICAN MEDIA 2017

Dildo gets hit with Politician

•February 6, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Wonderful news broke this morning. A New Zealand Politician (pronounced “scumbag”) collided with a Rubber Phallus. I feel compassion for the phallus. It’s now permanently contaminated and, as a result, will have a lonely life in a police evidence locker. There is a slim chance that the cops, unable to resist a tacky joke, will convert it into a device for sexually harassing other cops. We can only hope.

The real point of this story is that anger is rising amongst the everyday people. They know we are getting the shaft and they’ve had enough. I predict 2016 will be the year of the flaming monkey. Oh, wait a minute, that’s not a prediction its Chinese Mystical Astrology. People much wiser than me have already pointed the Flaming Monkey thing out. The interesting thing is that this year is considered a great year to rise up and overthrow things, like the International Football FIFA villains or the Vatican or, perhaps, the incredibly corrupt and grasping cabal that has co opted the USA.

I’ve been tilting at these windmills since the early 90’s. My role and voice is not the important point. The real development is my viewpoint that the Globalists need a good drubbing has moved from being a lonely fringe opinion to being a central premise for a large number of people. That is new, quite new.

These kind of social movements take decades to grow and mature. When they reach fruition they are unstoppable waves. Take heart the numbers are now stacking up on our side. Its only a matter of time, and by that I mean months, before we shall have a chance to take on the Fed or the UN Kleptocrats or the Banks. One rubber plaything is an embarrassment for the ruling classes. Ten thousand is an avalanche……..

 

Copyright Billican Media. 2016

Riot Games Support and the How To of insulting one’s customers

•December 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Recently my son Ian has spent a good portion of his personal time playing an online fantasy game called League of Legends. Ian is ten. A few days before Thanksgiving he was suddenly unable to access his account. He’s a kid so he cried. Periodically the tears have come back. He’s miserable and unhappy in a ten year old kind of way. He feels betrayed and is slowly getting angry at the company that put out the game.

Until this happened he probably never thought about the fact that there was a company with hundreds of people that worked hard to create a world where he could run around with a giant medieval hammer and gleefully crush hobgoblins or become an anorexic dragon with a flaming staff and then team up with a huckster with a magic deck of cards. He, like most kids, has an abundance of energy and remarkable focus.  He has turned that focus to this online world of fantasy. Now, suddenly, he has a real world problem trying to gain access to his primary form of escape.

When the account locked up I went online with him and dutifully filled out a trouble ticket. Yup that’s the system, we’ve all come to loath it, fill in some info on an standard form and submit it to god knows where and wait for a response.  This is what the web has brought us – ” you’ve got an issue with our company?!!  Well take an anonymous number and when we feel like paying attention to you WE WILL CONTACT YOU!”  First, of course, give us every damn piece of info we require ’cause if you don’t we will just ignore you forever.

My son and I have waited for ten days for Riot Games to find the time to reply to us. I looked for a phone number and luckily found one on a user forum. Why would a company with 28 million registered users lower itself to having a phone number on its website? That would require them to pay some small kernel of attention to its customers when its convienent to the customers.  This has what the web has brought us. Gone are the days when  businesses were required to to actually SPEAK to their customers.  No, no, that is a major hassle. The customer might be unhappy or critical, they might want us to help them when they actually feel a pressing need for help. “Press three to continue to be ignored.”

I should mention that I work in Sales. I work professionally in providing service and products to a large customer base.  Whenever I visit my customers (yes I actually go and see them) I always find a way to mention that when you call the company that I work for a human answers the phone. Every time. Of course we could fire the two people that have spent twenty years answering the phones for the company and it would save some payroll dollars. We could install a phone tree that distills human concerns down to nine easily ignored questions. If we did this it would be ignoring the fact that calling a phone number and making contact with an intelligent person that knows how to begin the process of addressing our customer’s needs within thirty seconds is in the best interests of the customers. They need answers and information quickly and having a qualified person to talk to is the quickest most efficient system  for the customer.  The opposite system would be to force them to take their time to wade through a phone tree or a trouble ticket system or a sales lead form thereby saving our staff’s valuable time AT THE EXPENSE OF THE CUSTOMER’S TIME.

So Ian and I wait patiently for Riot Games to descend from the clouds and take one of their precious moments to recognize that one of their paying customers has a problem. While we wait Ian is forced to enjoy Riot Games competitor’s products, games that he had never taken the time to check out. I on the other hand have spent some time trying to find a phone number for Riot Games , call Riot Games (Oh no sir, our support teams don’t even have phones to talk to the gamers!) and write a blog to complain that the current generation of web companies have chosen profit as their God and see their customer base as a herd of sheep to be fleeced in the most efficient manner possible.

Copyright 2015 Billiken Media

WAMC, Chartog and NPR

•January 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I had the great misfortune to listen to an interview on WAMC this afternoon.  For those of you outside of the Hudson Valley, or of a political persuasion other than proudly left of left WAMC is a NPR station that apparently is wholly owned and operated by a clown named Alan Chartock. Wait that’s not exactly true. It, like most NPR stations is owned by an educational institution, in this case SUNY.  Alan Chartock just acts like he owns it and he certainly does lord over it as his personal fiefdom complete with a  160K sinecure.chatock1

This afternoon Chartock was interviewing John Stanmeyer a national geographic photographer and Berkshire’s resident.  Stanmeyer seemed like and interesting gentleman, world traveler, photographer, gallery owner. Chartock ignoring any other obvious angles for interviewing him decided to blaze new ground. He grilled him about how much he gets paid!, Yes you read that correctly. He spent a good portion of his time trying to get his guest on a radio interview to tell him how much he makes and to use Chartock’s unspeakably rude phrase “how he had come to be so affluent”.  Now, please don’t be misguided by Chartock’s behavior. This isn’t a one time thing or an aberration. Chartock regularly grills his guests about their sources of income and gross pay because, to quote him again “he’s curious about these things”. Al Chartock has taken envy to new heights as he monopolizes WAMC’s airwaves. Like most narcissists Al is blissfully self obsessed, he has appointed himself executive producer or every show on WAMC (I suspect he gets to draw a fee while doing nothing),  and converted AMC’s call in program Vox Pop into his personal medical consultation by having an endless series of medical specialists as guests who he interviews seemingly with no guidance other than his own fears about his failing health.

If you ever have the good fortune to drive through the Hudson Valley take a few minutes and tune in WAMC on the left side of the dial. The odds are good that you will hear Al’s tremulous bleating at almost any hour of the day or night. The station is a personal beacon of Chartock’s ego. He is the morning political commentor. He is the afternoon talk show host. He is the drive time political commentator. He reads the pleas for funding. (to cover his ridiculous salary). He phones in to ensure the on air conversation starts never strays away from his sadly predictable political agenda. To make this frighteningly two dimensional character’s tenure as the mouthpiece for government funded radio even more interesting is the wave of rumors that have surfaced on blogs about Chartock’s sexual harrasment of an employee that happens to be married to another employee.  It’s just rumor folks and the rumor say that a settlement (pronounced “payoff”) was worked out to silence an o so typical scandal for a devoutly liberal organization.  I’ve listened to AMC for years and spent so many hours being educated in AL Chartock’s personality that I feel I could predict this fool’s next sentence. The idea of him harrassing his staff not only fits it fits like a condom.

So Happy New Year to WAMC and the cult of Al Chartock a man whose face was made for radio……………..

Copyright 2014 Brad Morrison

Christmas 2013

•December 25, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Here is my Christmas post from years past

What follows is a note I left under a friend’s Christmas tree last year.

————————————————————–   ———-hi—————–

I am Santa Claus! I am tracked by Norad. I keep a stable of ungulates that fly with no help from Laplanders or scientists. I repeat, I am Santa Claus!! I like fat chicks and ordering around little people. It’s a constant battle between those little fuckers and me. I enslave them, they retaliate by being Merry. I kick their lazy little asses and pray that next year the pop trend in China will be the “Pet Boulder”. They get back at me by learning to giggle the complete Peter, Paul and Mary catalog in four part harmony.

I am magic. I walk through walls and soar across the sky. My bathroom habits are abysmal. I’ve got a fuckin’ list and believe you me, you are on it. I’m convinced you are very, very bad unless of course that’s what you want and then I know you are good and I will not give your “special friend” that riding crop you’ve wanted her to wield all these years. It’s hard to believe but I am a mean drunk and hilarious when stoned. I’ m rarely drunk and perpetually stoned despite the fact that Marijuana is not indiginous to the North Pole and everyone knows that there is no weed delivery if you don’t live in Brooklyn or below 14th St. . Does this surprise you? I am, after all, Santa Claus.  Do you really believe that one of this job’s requirements is sobriety? For God’s sake Eggnog is an everyday breakfast drink in my house!

Don’t ever question my existence because I am Santa Claus. I am who I am because I am the sum of millions of tiny thoughts and actions common to every adult. A passing smile at an excited child, a knowing glance that passes between two mothers, a gentle white lie told with complete sincerity are all clues that prove that I live. So as you tiptoe across a room to hide a gift for a loved one or quietly take note of a friend’s comment about a desired object realize that in that moment YOU are Santa Claus.  So that’s it friends we are all Santa Claus so remember don’t give those  nasty little munchkins a break ’cause if they don’ t do the work where the hell will we all be?

Signed

Are you an idiot? You haven’t figured it out by now? DO I HAVE TO ACTUALLY WRITE IT OUT.OK HERE GOES FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT ARE HARD OF THINKING!!S…A…N…T…A..Merry Christmas!

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Copyright Brad Morrison/ BillikenMedia 2012/2011/2010/2009

Bill Clinton’s arrogance and Led Zeppelin’s Moral Acendency

•May 7, 2013 • 3 Comments

I’ll start by mentioning that I saw Led Zeppelin at Madison Square garden for two of the three nights during the Song Remains the same. Oh la, ain’t I cool. They were good, almost great. John Paul Jones and John Bonham were the voice of the Norse Gods. Page was in top form and Plant couldn’t hit the high notes. Those shows were Led Zeppelin in their prime. What most of the later generations of music fans don’t seem to understand is that Led Zeppelin was just another band. They were not the Beatles. They were not the beginning and end of rock. I have seen hundreds of rock shows. Led Zeppelin was just another band, in fact, they stole every song they recorded.

Today’s headlines has the humiliating news that ex President (thank the lord for that) Bill Clinton attempting to step in to use his “influence” to pressure Led Zeppelin to reunite to play a benefit to aid the victims of hurricane Sandy.  The band said no. I imagine, and I have a strong reality based imagination, that the band laughed themselves silly. Bill Clinton is not cool. He has never been cool. Well, he may have been considered cool by legions of nerds and mainstream Americans that are, in themselves, not in any way cool. Bill Clinton isn’t cool. His supporters aren’t cool and in many ways Led Zeppelin is no longer cool.

The more interesting point is Bill Clinton’s inability to accept that the proper thing for an ex President to do is fade into the background. Since he is a rampant narcissist he naturally assumes that in addition to exporting all the jobs in America, bringing peace to the middle east and finally making Serbs and Croats love each other he will remake Rock history. It needs to be said, Bill Clinton is a putz. He has never been cool, he never will be cool and his taste in music is just one of the many confirmations of this fact. Unfortunately, being a NARCICIST he suffers from a complete inability to be self reflective.  Now we, the American people, are going to suffer as we watch him continue to cheapen the real perception of the American Presidency.  The mystique and tangible respect of the position of the President of the Republic of America is the product of 216 years of work by American Presidents.  Sadly a man with as little substance as Bill Clinton will pour part of this important faith and respect down the drain in an effort to prove to himself that he is still the center of the universe.

There is no question that politician are, as a class, narcissists. But there is ego and there is narcissism. They are not the same thing.  Bill Clinton’s flaws run deep, frighteningly deep. One of the great unanswered questions of recent political history is why Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial was conducted in secrecy. What dreadful things was the Senate hiding from us? The question, when viewed against one of the most scandal plagued administrations ever to control the White House. The possible answers are all bad, really truly, bad in ways that effect history.  It appears that this man, this ex President, will never willingly leave the stage. His flaws compel him to the limelight and the damage he is doing to America’s respect is real and tangible.  Perhaps America needs to consider a banishment amendment to the constitution…..

©Brad Morrison 2013/Billiken Media

I am Santa Claus….2013

•December 21, 2012 • Leave a Comment

What follows is a note I left under a friend’s Christmas tree last year.

————————————————————–   ———-hi—————–

I am Santa Claus! I am tracked by Norad. I keep a stable of ungulates that fly with no help from Laplanders or scientists. I repeat, I am Santa Claus!! I like fat chicks and ordering around little people. It’s a constant battle between those little fuckers and me. I enslave them, they retaliate by being Merry. I kick their lazy little asses and pray that next year the pop trend in China will be the “Pet Boulder”. They get back at me by learning to giggle the complete Peter, Paul and Mary catalog in four part harmony.

I am magic. I walk through walls and soar across the sky. My bathroom habits are abysmal. I’ve got a fuckin’ list and believe you me, you are on it. I’m convinced you are very, very bad unless of course that’s what you want and then I know you are good and I will not give your “special friend” that riding crop you’ve wanted her to wield all these years. It’s hard to believe but I am a mean drunk and hilarious when stoned. I’ m rarely drunk and perpetually stoned despite the fact that Marijuana is not indiginous to the North Pole and everyone knows that there is no weed delivery if you don’t live in Brooklyn or below 14th St. . Does this surprise you? I am, after all, Santa Claus.  Do you really believe that one of this job’s requirements is sobriety? For God’s sake Eggnog is an everyday breakfast drink in my house!

Don’t ever question my existence because I am Santa Claus. I am who I am because I am the sum of millions of tiny thoughts and actions common to every adult. A passing smile at an excited child, a knowing glance that passes between two mothers, a gentle white lie told with complete sincerity are all clues that prove that I live. So as you tiptoe across a room to hide a gift for a loved one or quietly take note of a friend’s comment about a desired object realize that in that moment YOU are Santa Claus.  So that’s it friends we are all Santa Claus so remember don’t give those  nasty little munchkins a break ’cause if they don’ t do the work where the hell will we all be?

Signed

Are you an idiot? You haven’t figured it out by now? DO I HAVE TO ACTUALLY WRITE IT OUT.OK HERE GOES FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT ARE HARD OF THINKING!!S…A…N…T…A..Merry Christmas!

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Copyright Brad Morrison/ BillikenMedia 2012/2011/2010/2009