Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Santa Claus Delusion

Bill Moyers is right on here regarding the recent Mitchell Report on Steroids in Professional Baseball...

But suppose our national pasttime has become our national pathology? Ours is a society on steroids, and we're as blind as baseball's owners were a decade ago.  

In our drugged state, we cheer the winners in the game of wealth, the billionaires who benefit from a skewed financial system -- the losers, we kick down the stairs. We open fire hoses of cash into our political system in the name of "free speech." Television stations that refuse to cover government make fortunes selling political bromides over public airwaves. Pornography passing as advertising assaults our senses, seduces our children, and pollutes our culture. Partisan propaganda gets pumped up as news. We feed on the flamboyance of celebrities. And we actually take seriously the Elmer Gantrys who use the Christian Gospel as a guidebook to an Iowa caucus or a battle plan for the Middle East.  In the face of a scandalous health care system, failing schools, and a fraudulent endless war, we are as docile as tattered scarecrows in a field of rotten tomatoes.

Mr. Moyers, I couldn't have said it better myself.  But a larger, unanswered question remains: How did we get here?

I blame JESUS! 

Not the gospel of Christ.  Even if Jesus Christ didn't write it, the Bible ranks among humanity's greatest works of social science and topical poetry.  The sermon on the mount; The book of Ecclesiastes;  Love your neighbor as yourselfDo unto others as you would have them do unto youLet he who is without sin cast the first stone.  These define a cultural and intellectual framework for sustaining a wise human society in a struggle against mindless complexity, crowding and a dissipated natural world.

No.  I don't really blame Jesus.  I blame belief.  Because I have reached the rational conclusion that blind faith, Christian, Muslim or otherwise, is no answer.  Rather it is, as Heidegger and Nietzsche concluded as long ago as 1890, a human dilemma, limiting progress and threatening our planet. 

Even if Jesus Christ were alive somewhere and was coming back someday to judge us all, what difference should it make in daily life?  In politics?  In energy policy?  Only a blind, fool believer could argue voting for George Bush because he, most of America and the Muslim world, irrationally hold to artifacts of religious culture?  Who but a believer, professing adherence to the tenets of Jesus Christ, votes to render 1/3 of his paycheck to Dick Cheney, et al -- to reduce the taxes of billionaires?  When Jesus talks to George Bush, does he tell him how many lives a barrel of oil is worth?  Does the Bible contain such calculus?  Apparently it does, if you're a believer!  Because that is exactly what believers have voted for.

Believers voted to make college education so unaffordable that the only choice for their families is to send their children, not to college, but to Iraq, to fight and die to create a U.S. oil protectorate; to sustain America's status-quo dependence on imported fossil-fuel; and to benefit already too-powerful corporations at the expense of future generations.  Yes, only a believer could risk her child coming home a headless body in a flag-draped coffin, to keep gasoline under three dollars per gallon.

On one side we have Peace, Democracy, Language, Knowledge, Truth, Love, Justice and Progress and on the other we have ancient myths and metaphors like heaven.  Who doesn't make the obvious, logical choice for the benefit of one and all?  Apparently -- Believers!

Recently, Ron Paul quoted Sinclair Lewis in response to a Christmas campaign ad for Mike Huckabee, softly equating Belief and Fascism.  I too see the connection.  Faith means yielding to power and denying one's own potential.  Faith is the search for some mythical vision of Christ in the ether when we should be seeking him in the mirror.  When Jesus said "I am the way the truth and the light and no man comes to the father but through me..." I refuse to accept he meant through Christ.  Rather I have concluded rationally, in the context of human achievement, amid the struggle of human achievers like Christ, that he meant as Christ.

In other words, we are our saviors.  And we can all be saved.  But only when we think and choose to save each other.  Thus it is not important when, how or what happens when one dies, but rather how one lives; in what one lives for, against or in spite of. 

Thus belief is not a basis for human salvation but rather salvation's antithesis. 

And that is how we got here.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

God, Save America. Rapture Bush Now!

Congratulations America!  The Surge is working!  America's $2 Trillion (conservative estimates) Iraq war is finally working: No Peace.  No coalition government.  U.S. military deaths nearing 4000.  Iraqi civilian deaths as high as 650,000.  Iraqi refugees numbering perhaps 2,000,000.  Army broken.  Navy broke.  Air Force training to become the infantry.

I mean, how much more victory can we take?

  • Oil nearing $100/barrel.
  • Dollar trading below the Canadian Looney and by next year might be worth less than 100 yen.
  • Home values falling rapidly toward 2002 (maybe 2000, maybe -- who knows?) levels.
  • Our Navy can't dock in Hong Kong Harbor.
  • Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Vladimir Putin, Xia Bin, et al. -- publicly taunt and openly challenge our dry-drunk, drug-addled, drooling-imbecile President.
  • Mercantilist U.S. Arab allies (whose oil fields and shipping lanes we sacrifice blood and treasure to defend)  openly jawbone no longer denominating oil in USD -- at least when they're not buying up major interests in the US banking system (every smart pusher knows you keep even the most hopeless addict alive -- until don't need him).
  • Rove quit and Cheney, the remaining brains behind the operation, can't leave the White House grounds without jumper cables for his pacemaker.

Yes, I've experienced enough success under the Bush administration to last a lifetime!  Any more and America's next generation (already learning Mandarin in record numbers) should prepare for careers shoveling shit on a Chinese dung heap, where Health Care consists of picking your open sores with broken shards of pottery.

Yes, I love the smell of the Bush Presidency in the morning, it smells like "I Told you so..."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Science Fiction

I don't read Science Fiction or watch its films much any more.

I now see that Orwell was right.  There is no shining technological future -- only a Fascist dystopia where equality is when three corporations control production instead of just one.  The State, The Corporation, Washington and Wall Street -- it's all the same to Big Brother -- keep believing; keep consuming; don't pay much attention otherwise.

But my problem is that when I was a kid The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, Arthur C. Clarke and John Kennedy said I'd be soaring in space ships powered by gravity drives by now.

Unfortunately, Exxon-Mobil, GM, Toyota, et al. envision harnessing the internal combustion engine for another century or so: a cannon (cylinder), a projectile (piston), and a lubricated crankshaft to repeat the explosion without tearing the machine apart -- not especially sophisticated technology.  And we still can't recycle the waste economically.

So a sustainable human future remains Science Fiction -- i.e. virtual, flickering like the latest fad -- "green" advertising for the same old planet destroying stuff -- across my plasma screen.  This latest surge to convince me to buy a car that represents not much improvement over the truck I drive today -- that my Grandfather purchased in 1960 -- reminds me of the final, beautiful vignettes played in euthanasia facilities in the 1973 film Soylent Green.  Believe me, I wish there was "nothing but blue skies" coming out of those smokestacks.  Unfortunately I am burdened by the knowledge that imagination and reality are not synonymous; that there is dichotomy between nothingness and being.

But it seems as long as there remains some surviving bit of Nature to distill and to burn, that prevailing economic forces will perpetuate the status quo.  One reason seems to be that accepted supply-side economic theory, espoused by Keynes and later Friedman, is based on what I call Easter Island syndrome: as long as there is one tree standing that can be cut down, wealth remains to be created.  Obviously this view is insane.  But insanity rules the day.

So why imagine a future?  Future, like imagination, is unborn -- and it's arguable that we already outnumber both.  Dream abortion is my answer.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Griz-Cat...

You win GRIZ!

Take a victory lap around the trailer park in your $45K diesel pickup with your $43K loan at 10.1%.  Just make sure the payment isn’t late – Hillary isn’t about to let you put our bond funds at risk.  And your titles won’t trade highly in debtors’ prison.

There are games and then there are games.  And at the end of the day I may be smart enough to be unhappy, and to feel only hatred because of it, but you will always be the guy with UofM Grizzly tail lights on a pickup that you’ll never, ever live to own.  Jeffrey Dahmer could drill a hole in my brain then pee in that hole and I would still know when I’ve been had!  And that is more than I can say for you: Grizzly; Believer; Breeder; American!

So Best Wishes, George Bush, YOU are the Champion of the World!

Long live the Champ!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hillary INC.

Hillary is so smooth that I've slipped and fallen in blind, drunken acquiescence to inevitability.

Hillary is the corporate advertising that makes Fascism better than Free Will.

Hillary is the hydrogenated, corn syrup, bleached white flour paste the Devil spoon fed me for breakfast.

Hillary is the poster child for the Radio Head lyric ambition makes you look pretty ugly!

But I am out of ideas now and beside myself with drink and hate.  Thus I can merely recite the lyric of the greatest pop song in human history.

God save the queen.  Her fascist regime...
It made you a moron.  Potential H bomb.
God save the queen.  She ain't no human being!
And there is no future in England's dreaming.
Don't be told what you want.  Don't be told what you need.
There's no future.  No future.  No future for you!
God save the queen.  We mean it man (God save window leen).
We love our queen God saves (God save... human beings).

God save the queen, because tourists have money!
And our figurehead is not what she seems.
God save history.  God save the masquerade.
Oh lord God have mercy.  All crimes are paid.
When there's no future, how can there be sin.
We're the flowers in the dustbin.
We're the poison in your human machine.
We're the future -- your future!
God save the queen.  We mean it man.
There is no future in England's dreaming.
No future for you.  No future for me.
NO FUTURE!  NO FUTURE!

NO FUTURE FOR YOU!

The Sewer

George Bush makes the Devil look clean.

George Bush is the most vile, putrid, pile of puke that has ever congealed in the White House.

George Bush makes me want to gut people out on the side of the highway.  To cut people up and pee on them as they lay drowning in their own blood, like a Blackwater Stallion!

George Bush is evil incarnate.  In the way that the evil is incarnate.  In the way that America is an evil, rotting empire that would kill anyone, any time, anywhere to preserve its Fascist ideals of hegemony, Capitalist exploitation and eternal consumption.

George Bush is The Sewer and The Sewer is America.  And only a dead, jaundiced, Alzheimer's diseased country like America could elect George Bush twice.

For this crime there can never be forgiveness.

God Damn America!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It's not clever if it looks clever...

Today's title is a quote from George Will on This Week.  And though he was using it to describe Hillary Clinton's double-speak during the most recent Democratic party debate, it strikes me as an apt summation of the neocon agenda -- that it has proven so very not clever.

For example, even if one could somehow imagine democratic passage of the Iraq Oil Law -- essentially granting 30 year ownership of Iraq oil fields to multinational corporations -- a fraud that blatant guarantees a backlash resulting in ever higher oil prices -- even if Iraqis are so exhausted by civil war as to choose oil protectorate status under perpetual U.S. occupation.

As usual, the only benefactors of such preposterous schemes are the friends of Bush and Cheney.  And though the neocon agenda is cloaked in a veneer of bumper sticker slogans like "death tax", "fair tax " and "production sharing agreement" (PSA), an unprecedented 75 percent of Americans recently polled want a new direction in U.S. policy.

If nothing else, it's a simple pocket book issue.  Oil traded under $40/barrel when the Supreme Court voted and gave Bush the Presidency in 2001.  Today it trades at $96.  These charts illustrate that Bush's popularity is inversely correlated with the price of gasoline in the U.S. 

Finally, prices for publicly traded shares of alternative energy companies have skyrocketed this year -- an indication that investors believe that governments as well as consumers may be poised for a green revolution.

So even if John Mclaughlin can muster an argument that the Iraq War debacle could somehow morph into brilliant U.S. economic policy on the part of Bush-Cheney and a 30 year supply of $1 gasoline, his panel's response was obvious and predictable -- laughter.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

On Government and Democracy...

Democracy versus corporations... hmm ... seems obvious to me it's time to choose more balance.  In 1960 the ratio of CEO to average employee pay was 24:1.  In 2005 it was 262:1.  Today it is even higher.

In short, government without Democracy is Fascism.

But Democracy without government is anarchy.

And the goal, it seems to me, is to strike a balance that most (ideally all) of us (and our planet) can sustain...  And it seems obvious that today no such balance exists.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

... for the President's amusement!

Friday, Pete Stark, a brave (certainly for a U.S. politician) atheist, channeled the voice of God during the S-Chip debate in the House.

Friday, on the October 19th anniversary of the crash of 87, US stock markets challenged the absurd notion held by President Bush, Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke and the strategists at Goldman Sachs (er... I mean the Federal Reserve) -- that having the U.S. dollar worth less than the paper it's printed on -- is good for America.  It isn't.  But it's fine for those of us with the capital and the wherewithal to invest in something else -- fast.  Unfortunately, most Americans don't have that option and therefore are stuck with the inflation, recession, layoffs and lesser standards of living that have and will continue to redound from Bush's incompetent profligacy.

Me?  Personally I was double short and earned about $5000, a nice bookend to the $6000 I earned being long when Bernanke lowered rates last month -- a move many analysts and traders refer to as the Bernanke Put.

So while I should be defending and voting for these people -- I don't.  And while the mathematical majority of American citizens should be rioting to forcibly dis-empower them -- they don't.

Thus I'm sure, if the President's sub-average brain is capable of discerning irony, and of being amused by it, that he is certainly amused!  (If not, perhaps Dick Cheney would please explain the joke to him.)

I on the other hand seem to be developing digestive problems worrying that America's next Revolution will be less like its first and more like that of the French.  

And I sense that, among the relatively "well off" in this country, I am not alone in my anxiety.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Fair Tax Fallacy

This is my response to a New York Times editorial by Cornell Professor Robert H. Frank regarding a National consumption tax.

Professor Frank:

Consumption is “discretionary” only for the wealthy -- who already save much/most of their income anyway.  Thus while one might argue that a tax on consumption perhaps ultimately incentivizes this country's non-savers to finally save, most U.S. citizens simply can’t afford to -- not without draconian reductions in living standards. 

Also because 2/3 of the U.S. economy is based solely on the consumption of the "lower" classes, of which I am a proud member, if households from the 75th percentile and below did actually start saving substantially in this country, the effect would be one of drastic deflation -- and we all know just how little the Fed desires deflation – which I would argue is its de facto “bogey-man” – not inflation as it claims.

So, NO, your Wall Street (and Walton family) Fair Tax fantasy, titillatingly pornographic as it must be for your ilk, simply won’t do!  And the U.S. will continue its progressive income tax AND (finally) remove caps on SSA and Medicare taxes.  To paraphrase John Edwards, “there is no reason that a hedge fund manager earning $150M per year should not pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on every dollar of income, instead of exempting all of it above $89K.”  This alone saves Social Security and goes a long way to saving Medicare -- even before Federalizing health care under a single-payer system (Medicare for all) and/or regulating health care profits and/or simply legislating health care (not to mention energy production) as a not-for-profit segment of our economy.  To paraphrase Michael Moore, "Should your Fire Department turn a profit?  Should it make decisions regarding which houses to save, based on its quarterly bottom line?  NO!  Then why does your hospital?"  There is arguably little/nothing discretionary about good luck, bad luck or bad health -- and any civilized society eventually realizes this.

Fair is fair but your “fair tax” is simply not.  If our country is in trouble financially, and who could argue that it is not, then your friends on Wall Street must share in the burden of paying down our debts -- instead of encouraging more and devaluing our currency in the process, with the Federal Reserve as enabler.  Furthermore, the truly wealthy must fairly contribute to funding solutions to catastrophic social ills-- like poverty, insurmountable health care costs and prison overcrowding from Reagan/Bush's positively Kafka-esque War on Drugs.  These problems have largely been solved by other, less rich and arguably less innovative nations over the last 30-50 years.  And it is time that we solve them here.

So, while your trickle-down, social Darwinist rhetoric and policies floated for a time in this country, you Laissez-faire worshippers of Ayn Rand's religion of Capitalist Cleptocracy, hiding as you have behind Jesus and social conservativism, to win elections, have finally “screwed your pooch” by twice electing the stupidest President of any government in human history. 

This has finally undone you!  And I welcome the next two decades -- witnessing Populism’s just revenge!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Giuliani

He’s got Clinton’s dick, Bush’s shameless idiot swagger, and Cheney’s bubbly Darth Vader personality!

He will LOSE by at least 15% -- unless the Imbecile Party sends Osama another payment and a set of plans REAL soon.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

King Hillary!

What a tour d’ force on Sunday -- 5 shows/interviews...  5 sticks!  10’s across the board!

Topic Response
Healthcare "universal coverage"
Political corruption "public campaign financing"
Iraq war "George Bush's War... no more funding"
Terrorism "law enforcement"

In short, as above, she hit nearly ALL my buttons -- using all the correct phrases.  Then it got even better.  On This Week (Stephanopolous -- most liberal of the big 3) she repeatedly referred to Republicans as the “Just Say No party…” this (coupled with Marr’s recent reference to husband Bill expressing approval for legalization in his memoir) is clear code IMO.  I mean, she may as well have said “George, I’ve scheduled a press conference for today at 4:20…”

Suffice it to say: I’m now solidly DOWN with Hillary Clinton!  She has essentially co-opted the Edwards’ agenda – and he and Kucinich were heretofore my only choice intellectually, with Obama being my moral choice (given there is no Native American candidate).  Her only miss was energy – nothing asked/said there, but that’s an obvious issue/response – even for the Jesus Built My Hotrod, imbecile Party.

Prediction: She will eviscerate Giuliani in the debates. 

As happened somewhat already last November, I look forward to jettisoning a bit more of the cynicism/nihilism that took hold following President Imbecile’s re-election in 2004.  It could again be a truly bright and shining day in America -- now that Michael Moore and I are setting the agenda.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I AM WALL STREET AND BERNANKE IS MY WHORE!

Picking up where Bubble-Boy Alan Greenspan left off, Ben Bernanke bent over for our Money Club yesterday.  Like the psychiatrist on the Sopranos, Ben shows there is no excess nor abomination that isn't deserving of therapy -- as long as you can afford the rates.

Our message is clear...

No Doc.  No Down.  No Limit.  Game on!

Eat Meat.  Lick Lead. Drink Oil. Dump Out. Burn This Planet!

As our hero Ayn Rand teaches: Society and Economy are merely systems to insure unending exploitation.  The rich exploit the poor.  The strong exploit the weak.  The smart exploit the stupid -- and the numbers ONLY GET BIGGER!

I made a LOT of money yesterday and I make no apology.  Greed is Good!  When dollars don't work, I buy euros.  Because prudence isn't profitable, I buy consumption.  If choosing life can't make me rich, then I'll buy DEATH -- shiny, lead-coated death!

It's MY board.  And when I am LOSING it's time to change the rules!

Inflation doesn't exist.  The dollar is toilet paper.  The Sky Is On Fire.  Burn This Planet!

Ben says GO!

Friday, September 07, 2007

TAKE THIS HOUSE AND SHOVE IT!

Take this house and shove it!  I'm living here for free.

Your oil poisoned the earth; your war killed my kid; and now your LIBOR's fucking with me!

You told me Jesus loved you, but now, finally it's the truth I see...

So you can take this house and SHOVE IT!  Me -- and my guns -- are living here for free!

RECESSION

Suggested Wikipedia entry: George Walker Bush - WAR; IMBECILE; BUBBLE; PIG; RECESSION.  KING MIDAS IN REVERSE!

Bush legacy complete!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Open Letter to the Editor of adbusters

I wrote this in response to an editorial question proffered in adbusters #72.  The question was: should adbusters run its [anti] ads in the New York Times -- or in more (Left) sympathetic magazines, like Mother Jones, et al.

And my advice is that there is little benefit preaching to the converted -- but that in trying to reach a broader audience, the Left must offer cogent solutions in addition to or instead of mere shock therapy - e.g.

  1. Public (only) funding of elections.  There is nothing wrong with Democracy – just it’s being for sale to the highest bidder.
  2. Public (only) health care – Michael Moore’s analogy (“Should your FIRE DEPARTMENT turn a profit?”) is a good one!
  3. Local and Populist instead of  national, global and corporate.
  4. Open Source software and other products.  There is nothing wrong with technology – just hegemony.

In short, we that understand the brokenness (though many of us have profited and become comfortable as a result of it) must somehow begin to demonstrate the viability of a new and well-intentioned anarchism.  An anarchism that builds on the emerging, implicit knowledge in each of us (not just the reflective) that every huge, centralized, top-down construct we have been taught to believe in -- is crumbling today before our very eyes – either imploding to insanity like the Church and Iraq or frantically spinning out of control, beyond self-regulation, like our biosphere.

To this end, adbusters’ Dow (up) Earth (down) chart from issue #72 exemplifies the “shock and awe” of the collapse – But, again, what is the extreme Left’s answer?

In my opinion, it is that the world outside each of our front doors is our world – that in moral and ethical terms our world is far smaller and less forgiving than we have been led to believe;  that the day-to-day realties of our world do not substantiate illusions of surplus and progress perpetuated by our media and ingrained in our culture.  And if we are not happy, we must realize that it is not because we have the wrong shoes, sex partners or income.  It is, as adbusters proffers, because our culture has lost its touchstones and today has no semblance of, or even words to describe -- authenticity.  It is because the materialist, arbitrage-dependent economies of the West have abstracted being and therefore made it nothingness.  And this unholy merging of the two poles of human existence -- into the least stable one -- has broken our moral compass.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Quai des brumes

I just watched Port of Shadows, a 1938 French cinematic masterpiece, on TCM...

  "The high artifice of Port of Shadows, meanwhile, might best be understood if the movie is considered as a kind of song: a boy, a girl, surging love, lurking death."  And the noir and the character of the "sadistic weakling," dilettante gangster -- played by Pierre Brasseur [who wins in the end] -- inspired me to write a poem about George W. Bush...

 

Shrub

Wealth and Inheritance.  In you, it is synonymous with corruption, rot and decay.

Power.  In you, it becomes boorish, stupid and flaccid swagger -- as ineffectual as the liberation of Iraq -- or FEMA after a hurricane.

Politics. Wall StreetWashingtonW.  They're all the same thing now.  And I hate myself for not having the courage to violence, to fight instead of merely clamoring, like most everyone else, like an abandoned, spotted dog -- for the discarded, trickle-down scraps from your banquet.

Jesus Christ.  If he is your savior, then surely THERE IS NO GOD!

Life.  A world where you are President of the United States twice is a pointless and sadistic moral and intellectual torture.  Mr. President, to me you represent the whole of humanity reaching for the lowest possible rung on the ladder, holding on tight, and being satisfied with it.

Death.  Open the Seventh Seal and pour out the abyss, for I am ready now.  Just let me live long enough to see the end of it.  Bang?  Whimper?   I could care less.  Because there is no denying that the cancer has metastasized.  Shrub, I pray only that, with you, our end has finally begun!

Friday, June 29, 2007

The world breaks everyone...

and afterward many are strong in the broken places.

But those that will not break it kills.

It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.

If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.

Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929
US author & journalist (1899 - 1961)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Daddy/America

Happy Father's Day Dad/America!

But as ever I am compelled by unseen forces to remind you that, while exploited illegals were waxing your car, scrubbing your toilets, harvesting your crops and raising your children -- so you could maintain or exceed your father's standard of living -- your country changed -- one helluva lot...

While you were consuming 200% of the calories per day that your body requires, obsessing over the cultural relevance of the Sopranos finale and voting for a weaker democracy, just like Uncle Ronnie told you (as did I in 1979, nearing graduation from Laurel High School, with unemployment at 14%)  -- something has been lost...

And that something is any pretense of Fairness and any semblance of Democracy.

Has your government gotten smaller? 

Have your wages risen commensurately with your costs for housing, health care, fuel and food?

Do you believe America is on the right track?

So what do you want to do about it?  Who shall we blame?  And more importantly, who shall we murder this time:  the Aborignes? (oops, too late)  Saddam Hussein? (check)  Iran?  North Korea?  12 Million Mexicans?

Well, if my circle of "friends and family" yield any insight, as far as I can tell, "Not Much" answers the former question and "Anyone But Me" the latter!

Why so much apathy, America?  Surely it is someone's fault.  And why, when I articulate your same (but unrecognized) anarchistic impulse, do you blame me; label me a hypocrite; and suggest therapy and mood-regulating pharmaceuticals? 

Because  I am a socialist, anarchist.  Because I advocate sweeping and total social, political and economic change even as you have settled into mere corrosive cynicism.  Because I am thoughtful enough to at least recognize my systematic exploitation (both ways) even as you deny or eroticize your own.  Because, America, we are an entire nation of cliched consumers, pouring round after round of increasingly synthetic and unreliable (my 40GB Ipod recently froze) purchases into the collective void of our human souls -- until the money is gone, the credit cards are canceled and the HELOC payments are unmanageable.

But then I'm just crazy.  And you are perhaps one of the lucky ones -- Recipient of a future inheritance?  -- A child of a Collectively-Bargained America that didn't practice economic fascism, failing its vast majority -- an America better than any economy or country in human history; An America before Wal Mart's goods were assembled in China, Vietnam or the Mariana Islands by children earning 25 cents an hour (if they're paid at all) -- so Americans can afford them as our real wages stagnate and our dollar collapses under the weight of Wall Street's LBO Private Equity printing and borrowing machine;  An America where CEO wages were merely 100 not 1000 times those of workers;  An America that didn't spew shill like "Democracy" and "Liberation" and "Homeland Security" or paste-up bumper stickers like "War On Terror" -- when its real motivations are low-royalty oil rights and permanent military bases in Iraq and a perpetual, legally-exploitable, immigrant underclass -- all to support Wall Street and Washington's rotting notions of Empire.

If so, then, well, congratulations!  You may now continue gritting your teeth and holding your breath while smiling your best Hillary Clinton smile -- hoping that Baby Boom money holds out one more generation -- that the dollar and Medicaid don't completely collapse -- that the terrorists our own hegemony has spawned don't get the bomb -- and most importantly, that you get your hands on your share.

This dream you share with your children...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The End of The Road

I know where the end of road is...

But I have no intention of telling you because there is a fox den there, and there are fully six healthy pups, not more than ten minutes from my home.

My favorite pup, Henry (that's my Pomeranian) and I have dubbed "Curious George."  And I hope he makes it in this world -- because he (like we) seems fascinated by things worth being fascinated by -- that is by living things that mean no harm to any other living thing and seek only to understand and to love beauty, self-regulation, and adaptability - i.e. nature - i.e. existence itself.

Which brings me to Capitalism - i.e. to me and to you.

Capitalism is morally evil, because it is fundamentally a lie. Capitalism presupposes that capital is evenly distributed - i.e. that each human participant in the system possesses an equal chance to "succeed" and that each "succeeds" on his/her merits. But that is simply not the case. If it were the case, what argument would there be for "inheritance" of capital and property?  In other words, what need would there be for George (the Retard/Shrub) Bush to "inherit" the Presidency of the United States of America -- TWICE.

You see, we live in a rigid class system, even as we pledge allegiance to classlessness. In other words, I have little Capital.  And you have little Capital.  And a very small number of people have and control all of the rest -- which is substantial -- and the transfer is selective -- which is to say it will never be yours or mine.  No fucking way!

Yet each day, we pledge allegiance to that (corporate) flag, believing that because we can go to a gym, go to a restaurant or a bar, stream a song or a porno, that we are somehow "free."

In other words, "Capitalism" is the process whereby those who control capital and the ability to manufacture it have led us to confuse "masturbation" with "freedom."

We have two choices:
1. Violence -- and I do not advocate this. After all, Homeland Security would place me in chains and send me to Guantanamo.
2. Withholding -i.e. to STRIKE.  And this is the route I favor.  As Marx said, we, the workers -- we, the exploited -- we, the "believers" -- must rise up, stop believing, stop masturbating and withhold our capital - i.e our labor.

Because without our labor, the Capitalists are nothing.  And the Death Star, the sewer of exploitation, that we call modern life, would implode -- Colony Collapse Disorder.  And not doing this is how we have failed ourselves and every subsequent generation like ourselves.

So let us walk to the end of each of our roads.  Let us dream of tomorrow.  For the children's sake, let us sacrifice today by suppressing the masturbatory impulse broadcast 24x7 into our homes.  And let us begin anew.  Like the fox and her pups, it is a new day.  It is a new year.   It is anew.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Core Things


I just watched Don’t Come Knocking.

Definitely not one of Sam Shepard’s best, but notably, most of it was filmed in picturesque Butte, MT.

And it got me thinking about played-out mining towns, like Butte (and Helena) and about America. You see, it’s only when the ore is played out and the bankers and robber barrons have stolen the “treasure” that you find out what the core of a town, or a country, really is.

What’s left? What’s worth saving? Worth staying for? Going on for, day after day?



People?
History?
Pretty skies?
Beautiful light?
Meadowlarks chirping from perches on telephone poles?

Probably it’s for all of these. But not for what they are but rather for what they are not. And what they are not is fake.

Money is fake. It’s an illusion. It’s a game adults play using colored strips of paper.

But birds
and streams
and blades of grass are the core of this earth.

And whatever we are; whatever complexity we contrive; whatever delusions we drown intellect in; we are still made of core things.

All else is but a stain on this truth.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Predator Needed

Today I wish to restate a compelling book discussion witnessed on McLaughlin One-on-One this morning, aptly titled for Memorial Day, Sands of Empire.

Like it's title, the book appears antithetical to the jingoistic, I'm With Stupid, bumper-sticker (War On Terror) tripe otherwise fouling media this long weekend.

Essentially, author Robert Merry's argument is:
  • That history is cyclical; Empires come and go; and they wax and they wane.

  • That the assumption on the part of the West that Cold War victory represents the End of History is a very, very dangerous fallacy.

  • That the founders of U.S. democracy believed human nature is immutable, and therefore the role of society, and specifically government, should be more to regulate and less to encourage, the Will To Power.

  • That the idea that human nature is mutable - i.e. that society can do more than regulate - that it can perfect the human - is a largely French/Marxist ideal devolving from the canon of French philosophy in the persons of Diderot, Voltaire, Rousseau et al.

  • That simply and inevitably, the U.S. is destined to fail as an empire for vainly trying to play God on this planet.

And it just struck me how perfectly Merry's assertions encapsulate the failure of U.S./Western government, social and economic systems to affect real change in Iraq, Darfur and the Balkans as well as government's inability to cope with natural disasters for which billions of dollars are annually spent exactly to prepare for.

And this compels me to interject my own moral and philosphical conclusions:
  • Winning is not synonymous with moral or intellectual superiority. In fact, given human nature, it seems very likely that cheating is involved. And this is why I so vehemently despise capitalism. Unregulated capitalism is simply the decriminalization of the Will To Power. It is no more meritocratic, as its devotees espouse, than Marxism or any other economic philosophy. If capitalism was synonymous with meritocracy, then why isn't our ruling class comprised of Mensa-types with extreme physical/athletic prowess? When in reality, it seems to me that our ruling class is comprised largely of the most ambitious, malleable, attractive and sometimes least ethical members of our species.

  • The solution that makes the largest number of people richest or fattest is not the best solution for all living things. Witness U.S. energy policy. Witness the electric commuter car. I rest my case.

  • The more powerful a human or human organization becomes, the more ripe it is for corruption, stupidity, lethargy and arrogance. This is equally true for individuals, governments or corporations. In short, absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is therefore insane to foster systems that encourage hegemony. From Microsoft Windows to U.S. Defense spending, the only logical answers to hegemony are innovation (e.g. Linux), pluralism (e.g. Bill of Rights) and revolution (e.g terrorism).

  • Fully one in five people will simply do whatever they are told by whomever they perceive as an authoritative personality. From the Holocaust to the War on Terror, humanity owes it to humanity to prevent and to offset the inevitable damage wrought by this all-too-human impulse to intellectual retardation.
And so this Memorial Day, I promise to remember to look first and foremost to myself for answers; to espouse and to pursue the anarchistic decentralization (e.g. Internet) of all human organizational schemes - i.e. to something far beyond representative democracy and more closely resembling evolutionary biology; to think harder and to question more, especially in areas where I exhibit a modicum of control.

The rest I will leave to the followers.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Too stupid to know the difference...

In case you didn't know, China is working to not need the U.S. market. I have said this many times in the past, but you may have forgotten. The U.S. is old, fat and top-heavy -- not young dynamic and willing to adapt or sacrifice any more... I repeat this mantra over and over -- which you are probably aware.

And when China no longer needs the U.S. market, it will float (revalue in dollars) the yuan -- and you will need $100 to fill your SUV tank and $10 to buy a loaf of bread. Unemployment will be 20% as domestic consumption crashes -- but that still won't stop the inflation due to the need to continuously beg China, Japan, et al to finance the $70T U.S. debt (when Social Security and Medicare costs really kick in over the next 40 years).

But, on its present course: the U.S. just sucks the oil pipe dry (imports) and then tries to finagle over-priced, high-end, business deals (exports) -- because the U.S. is now so stupid it thinks no one else on this planet knows how to count money.

So the U.S. is doomed!

But as usual Todd has the solution... (Note I use the word War repeatedly to describe it -- the American Retard likes that word.)

  1. Stop sucking on the oil pipe -- WAC: War Against Consumption.

  2. Convert to renewable fuels that do not send $1T per year to our competitors and (worse) stated enemies -- WAFF: War Against Fossil Fuel.

  3. Sell our new wonderful, sustainable way of life to the rest of the planet -- something it might actually want to buy. WFSP: War For Sustainable Planet.


In summary, the U.S. should be the arbiter of the world's salvation, not the harbinger of its destruction. Of course, this will never happen, because the average American is just too stupid to see it even as simply as I have just explained it.

That is all.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Nappy Headed Ho's

I'm afraid I have to agree with Bill Maher when he posits: "When was the last time this country accomplished something really great?"

  • Atom split: 1942

  • Victory over Axis powers (WWII): 1948

  • Polio vaccine: 1957

  • Internet: 1961

  • Lunar landing: 1969

  • Personal computer: 1973

  • Linux: Oh wait, Torvalds is from Finland...


Frankly, the only major human accomplishment more recent than the first 10 years of my childhood (I'm 45), that I can remember, is mapping the human genome.

And I'm not really sure that mapping the genome is even a positive because, in the end, it seems like basically a giant technological, scientific leap for Insurance Companies. In other words, very soon your premium will be determined by your DNA, but I doubt very much if your treatment will - unless of course you are very, very rich!

So in the end, I am forced to conclude that RICH represents the most significant human achievement of the last 40 years: the absurdly, ridiculously, insanely, ingloriously rich. Yes, the Party of More, the Hedge Fund Party, the One-In-One-Thousand (at best) Party hasn't been this powerful, this much in-charge, since the signing of the Magna Carta. And if you doubt me, then ask yourself: How else could George Walker Bush get elected President of the United States twice?

But meanwhile...

  • Humankind has consumed more natural resources since 1948 than all of prior human history.

  • The average working American has less than $25K saved for retirement. But current estimates place the required amount at twelve times current annual income. So if you're earning $2000/year, then you're ready.

  • For those of us with money we must invest (see above), obsession with the trade has become so insidious that I recently saw a serious discussion on CNBC linking market activity to sun spots.

  • Corporate advertising dollars have become so powerful that Don Imus, an old, rich, white male with a long-running talk radio gig, was fired for using the phrase "nappy-headed 'ho" in a joke (albeit one in very poor taste).

  • Two other old, rich, white men, the U.S. President and Vice-President, literally lied (WMD, Mushroom Cloud, Al Queda, Liberators, Democracy, Stay the Course...) the U.S. into a war of choice in Iraq that has killed as many as half a million, jailed a hundred thousand, tortured thousands more, broken U.S. defensive capability, and contributed to bankrupting government. Yet they continue to preside, with complete impunity, apparently by simply denying culpability.


So I ask: Rutgers University Women's Basketball Team? WTF? We all deserve an apology in my opinion - from ourselves!

Unfortunately, this is how it would read: "Uh, we're very sorry, but we just can't pull ourselves away from the Praise Channel long enough to fix anything, anymore. Sure 5% of the planet's population produces 45% of its waste, but that's just the way it is. Sure we're Old, Fat, Stupid and Jesus-loving, but we're not in charge any more. The Hedge Funds are. So this is as good as it's ever going to get. And, if we can just somehow manage another 20-40 sort-of OK years - without our streets becoming Baghdad - or New Orleans after Katrina - until the retirement funds are empty and the arteries hopelessly clogged. Well, that's our highest human aspiration. Streaming porno and fraternity pranks on YouTube - our answer to Martin Luther King's dream. Priceless!"

But, God Damn It! I'm an American and I have a very short attention span. The Sky may be on Fire, but it's a slow burn. Why wait for Armageddon? Why not just send Iran a couple of warheads? We did it for Israel, India, Pakistan... Look how well that's turned out. We're sending our stated enemies $1 Trillion each year in oil payments. Why not just speed up the inevitable? Yes, the sooner Iran gets The Bomb, the better, in my opinion. Because watching the sky burn, rust grow and arteries choke is like watching Ronald Reagan lecture on economics;  Like watching Dick Cheney rattle his saber with his stomach hanging over the podium and his pacemaker on overdrive;  Like watching George W. Bush holding his autographed copy of "The Pet Goat" - it's just not my idea of a future!

So face it: black, white, yellow or brown;  kinky, straight or bald;  we're all a bunch of Nappy Headed Ho's!  And I really think it's time that we admit it.  Imus, himself, once recovered from major, downward addictions.  Finally admitting that this is our bottom might just be our first step up.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Parody Central

If you’re as old as me (1962) then you may remember fondly those adorable Woody Allen films from the 1970’s, where the obscurely clever, loveable, less-than normally endowed mensch held his own against the too-perfect, master-race types surrounding him.

So where am I going with this? Well, around the time of the ’74 oil embargo, Americans began witnessing a progression in our art, in our zeitgeist – from Wagnerian drama, from iconic, blond-haired, blue-eyed, master-race heroes, to the ironic anti-hero, who sort-of wins, mostly in spite of himself. It was out with Burt Lancaster and Lawrence Olivier and in with Woody and Jack Nicholson. Watch Five Easy Pieces if you question my logic.

But look out your window today. The roads are disintegrating, the bridges are rusting, debt levels and every measure of social and economic justice has never been more off balance. “Keep Montana Green” said the discarded half of the mud-flap by the side of the road, near the walking trail, lined by giant piles of dog shit and empty, plastic water bottles… Today the anxiety, fear and hatred seem more palpable. Like Iraq and Katrina, if it isn’t completely broken in America today, it’s fucking close enough!

So can we turn to our leaders, to our President of less than average intelligence and stuttering, halting, dry-drunk speech? No! King Midas in Reverse isn’t going to fix it. He’ll only make it worse, certainly in democratic terms. And it only took six years for a majority (71%) of us to figure this out. But then, for a nation founded on the extermination of one race and the enslavement of another, I guess that’s about par for the course.

So again we turn to our artists, to the purveyors of new culture. And by virtually any objective measure, even irony is dead and we’re full-on into parody. We’re no longer anti-establishment – we’re anti-everything – so you just can’t shit on something hard or fast enough. The Daily Show, Real Time, YouTube, American Idol, The Colbert Report, Best Week Ever, Countdown, PBS: it’s all very much the same lately – “there’s nothing to believe in; there is no hope; please allow us to demonstrate…” Is it any wonder then that in America’s cities today, murder is once again becoming the new black?

And what of our future leaders? Let’s review our dubious field. First we have Droopy, the sad, tired, old neo-clown. War just can’t go far enough fast enough for Droopy and he has the scars to prove it. Then there’s The Transvestite, our law and order candidate who was lucky enough to preside over the devastation of 911. But don’t forget that he relocated the NY Port Authority to the WTC after it was bombed once already in 1993, and seems somehow determined to screw (then marry) his way into the annals of American political history. Finally, lest we forget, we have the matron of compromise who’s too proud to apologize. If Republicans are The Pigs, then she’s Miss Piggy-Lite. Who else could promote change without changing and peace through war?

So who would I vote for? I’ll vote for Obama if I get the chance, but Hugo Chavez would be my first choice. My second is probably Leonard Peltier or Nelson Mandela. After all, could victims of U.S. and South African apartheid possibly fare worse than the so-called anointed? I think not. To paraphrase Rilke through Patti Smith “Those who have suffered understand suffering and thereby extend their hand…”

So in the end, I’ve turned to myself. I’m a political anarchist with a day job in the military-industrial-complex, trying to teach it GPL software. But I’m working my way out, believe me. The IRA balance is $400K, and if the meter hits $650K, I’m a tuned-in, turned-on, dropped-out, off-the-grid, vegetable farming, meat eschewing, hippie, anarchist, with a 3 story stone house that functions quite well as a lookout tower. My own power. My own water. My own rules. Give me liberty or give me death. After 6 Million years, this monkey caught its reflection in the mirror and chuckled, ala John, Bill, Stephen and Keith. Next stop anarchy!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Vampire Age

This is the Vampire Age.

And what do I mean by that?

I mean that ours is a world where 70% of the human population cannot read and a small percentage of the human remainder retains control, through force, technology and ideology.

For fifty years, the United States has worshipped at the altar of the diseased I've got mine... gospel, preached by likes of Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, Bill O'Reilly and George Walker Bush.  And now we must finally ask ourselves, to what glorious end?   Vain-glorious.

Today, women younger than I inject botulism toxin into their faces to hide wrinkles;  flabby, flatulent men use Viagra to attain erections to mount younger, trophy wives;  and we clamor for stem cells to renew our aging, gradually failing organs.

Today, clean water is the new oil and we position our portfolios accordingly.

But I rest assured in the knowledge that our enemies, whom we exploit and kill by proxy, with indiscrimination are far younger, stronger, harder and more radicalized than we.  That one day these noble savages will drive stakes through our coronary bypasses.  That this all-too-human sewer, this Baby Boom, where joy and love and hope are replaced by consumption will end.  Must end.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Hey, Droopy, the sad, tired, old neo-clown...

What about NO CONFIDENCE don't you understand?

Did anyone see Droopy, the Sad, Tired, Old, Neo-clown (John McCain) on Meet The Press this morning?

Well I did. And the only option that occurred to me at this point is that our legislative branch must pass a binding resolution that Bush, Cheney and McCain must die -- natural causes is fine -- I'm no murderer.  Clearly that is the only answer realistically at this point to represent the will of the vast majority of the American people and of the human race.

The other choice is incarceration.  I know I'm oversimplifying, but the Enron/WorldCom analogy seems quite appropriate here:  the stock is ZERO, the coffers are BANKRUPT and the only thing left, for the decadent and corrupt clowns that did it to us, seems to be jail or death. After all, it worked for Bernie Ebbers and Ken Lay... I don't have to watch them on TV any more!

To loosely paraphrase Ted Kennedy, this [Iraq] policy of denial, built on a foundation of failure and lies, must end!  IMO, no cost is too high and no penalty is too severe.  Such is the extent of the fiasco.

Finally, IMO, anyone that cannot understand at this point in human history that Islamic Jihad is simply the hideous, but unifying, mask behind which the hopelessly desperate, but otherwise noble, forces raging against imperialism on this planet is: a.) irrational or b.) insane.

In short, this road leads to anarchy. And so, it seems, anarchy it shall be.