Sunday, March 30, 2008

God Damn America!

God Damn Hatred!

God Damn Evil!

God Damn religious, racial, ethnic and economic Hegemony!

God Damn War!

God Damn economic Exploitation and Poverty!

And God Damn America whenever it overtly chooses or tacitly accepts Inhumanity or Immorality!

Amen!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Rape and the Murder of Iraq

Is not over yet...  At least not until the oil has been pumped!

Further down the road, Ries said Iraq will sign production-sharing agreements to develop areas not currently producing.
"That is the likely course for the upstream industry in Iraq," Ries said, pointing to Syria and Indonesia as examples of countries that utilize PSAs to garner investment. He said "all parties, with a few exceptions of parties that are not in government," back PSAs.

Iraq's oil workers and civil society groups, as well as members of Parliament, have come out against PSAs, fearing Iraqis won't get their fair share. Some MPs have said they'd be OK with PSAs in certain situations, but not all, and only if the percentage for companies is low enough.

The PSA is a favorite of international oil companies, reimbursing it for expenses and guaranteeing it a percentage cut of oil for usually decades-long deals. It's compensation for the risk of exploring and coming up empty, say the companies, which can add the reserves when Wall Street looks at its books. But Iraq is not like Syria or Indonesia. It holds the world's third-largest reserves despite being vastly underexplored. Those in search have higher percentage of finds than in other countries, and what they get is usually highest quality, thus less expensive to produce, transport and refine.

 

But I suspect that when the fake Empire that is the United States of America finally succumbs to its awful truth -- there will be screaming!

http://www.bergmanorama.com/films/virgin_spring.htm

As Cowie notes, Bergman almost never referred to this film in his autobiographies, considering it a minor achievement even as it went on to win the foreign-language Oscar in 1961. But, if we were to perhaps read The Virgin Spring 'against the grain' and put it to our own purposes, we might reconceptualize its struggle between paganism and Christianity for our own times. Töre kills the heathens out of misplaced revenge, repents, and is forgiven. If we find this conclusion every bit as aesthetically and spiritually unsatisfactory as Bergman himself appears to have found it, this can only reflect on our palpable need for a complex, untidy, and far less Manichean social discourse.

 

I will engage in less Manichean social discourse if they will.  Until then, my only weapon is my pen...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Nappy Headed Candidate

PSST!!!  Barak Obama is a Muslim, terrorist, uppity Nigger!

Since when aren't progressives used to being called Communists, Terrorist Sympathizers, and Atheist, Secular Humanists -- simply because we hold deeply rooted, objectively legitimate criticisms of America, it's history, which includes both Slavery and Genocide, and its often exploitative and always Morally Hazardous Capitalist economic system?

Thus I find the current charges against Barak Obama, or more correctly, against his apparently angry Black preacher, in a phrase, all too Politics Incorporated!

Unfortunately, I am compelled to first digress, to remind that it’s not fair to have it both ways.  If America cannot tolerate Don Imus' tasteless racist jokes or Geraldine Ferraro's "ridiculous, wrong headed" political analysis, then it cannot tolerate Race Anger either, legitimate though it may be.  Thus Barak Obama has just been de-legitimized as a Presidential candidate -- for even risking listening to such a sermon.

This is the surreal state of Political Correctness in America, where if you so much as challenge the corporate, focus-group, think-thank sludge broadcast 24x7x365 over every channel and Internet connection, then there is obviously something wrong with you!  If you think the War On Drugs is as absurd as the War On Terror, or that the rules on Wall Street favor the biggest firms and the largest accounts, and attempt to actually do something about it, as Elliot Spitzer did, then rest assured, you will be wire tapped -- and if any enforceable transgression is found, severely punished -- unless you are lucky enough to be Client1 through Client8 or Client10 through Client[N] -- and the opposing political party's administration has no witch hunt pending against you...

For the record, I am not endorsing prostitution.  Though one can argue I think that, on the scale of human transgressions, in light of basic human genetic determinism, it is relatively harmless within a larger social context in a progressive society.

But America is no progressive society! America is a self-righteous, hypocritical, corporate oligarchy, where challenging or offensive words like pricks and pussies and poverty and homelessness and taxes and regulation are simply not tolerated.  America is self reliant, except when it comes to oil importation or Wall Street bailouts.  America is pure -- as pure as the fake, squeaky clean, White plastic Jesus behind the pulpit of virtually every tax-exempt church within its borders.  Fat.  Stupid.  Happy.  That's how Government Incorporated wants us.  So far so good.

But then someone even a tiny bit different comes along -- a political candidate that stands out, literally, amid the older, Whiter and more cynical landscape -- a candidate that, simply through the pigment of his skin and the hope and politically all-too-rare intelligence of his rhetoric, challenges Politics Inc.  He is Black.  Can you imagine that -- America with a pretty Black man out front?  Right up there in front of Jesus' American flag and everything!  Red, White, Blue -- and Black.  That's just asking too much I guess.  A sold-out, old, White lady that can drop her g's when necessary to win a primary in Ohio -- workin[g], fixin[g], manipulatin[g] -- a woman with the Washington and Wall Street connections we're all taught to aspire to -- she's just fine with the Corporation.  But an uppity Black?!  Round up the camera trucks, boys.  Let's get to work undoing the Democratic process!

I wish I could live in a country that could learn to tolerate it all: Don Imus' and Geraldine Ferraro's stupid racism, harmless drugs like marijuana, essentially victim-less crimes like prostitution, even the justifiable but angry denouncements of a Black preacher.  In fact I believe there's a word in the English language for tolerating essentially harmless diversity -- pluralism.

I think we can all use a reminder that words, powerful as they are, are not lynch mobs or daggers or bombs or hunger or cancer; That legalized marijuana won't hurt anyone except excessive users and maybe their loved ones; That prostitution is the oldest profession on record -- and seems unlikely to disappear -- unless we do; That a planet without racism -- forward, reverse or otherwise -- is a more perfect world, but one that I or anyone reading this I fear is unlikely to behold.

But I am naive enough to hope for mere improvement.  To live to see progressives, be they Democrats, Republicans, Socialists or Anarchists -- whatever silly brands we organize behind -- admit that individually and perhaps collectively we all basically want the same things: MORE life, MORE liberty and GREATER pursuit of happiness -- but in a rational and sustainable world that holds these truths self evident for every living thing, including future generations. 

But Government Incorporated, government of, by and for corporations, mass producing a focus-group society that rejects all unmarketable forms of expression and behavior, be they subversive, angry, challenging or even legitimately dissent-ful, yields none of the above.  Orwell was right.  We are cattle now, plodding our way to the killing floor, unless of course a forklift is required. 

Friday, March 14, 2008

The SOVIET UNION of AMERICA!

The headline is a misnomer folks.  Big media does it that way to obscure the truth – remember "Sadam has WMD and ties to 911..."

The real headline should be...

TAXPAYERS TO COVER BEAR STEARNS LOSSES WITH JP MORGAN AS CONDUIT TO LIQUIDATION SALE!

That's what the fucking headline should be.

And the point of my blog's title is: What's the effective difference between the life of the average U.S. worker and that of the average worker in Ronald Reagan's Evil Empire, the former Soviet Union?

  • Perpetual, undemocratic minority rule (only in the U.S. we have two political parties for sale)
  • Gulags -- Guantanamo
  • The largest prison population in human history
  • Legalized torture
  • Legalized surveillance
  • Secret police -- Homeland Security

Sorry, folks, but I'm just not seeing a big difference here?  OK.  For the time being, I can still shoot my mouth (keyboard) off.  If only that made any fucking difference?!

So wake up people!  We are living in the Soviet Union of America!  And it’s collapsing just like the original.

  • Until our votes actually count (e.g. Iraq)...
  • Until each of us establishes a solvent, independent household capable of fending off political tyranny and economic exploitation...
  • Until the fascist Moral Hazard that is Wall Street is either held accountable for its crimes -- or simply allowed to collapse under the Free Market weight of its own stupidity and greed...

Then all of the bailouts, Five Year Plans and useless Shrub speeches ("... let the market work... [Until it doesn't.  Then the taxpayers will just have to bail Wall Street out again!]) before the Economic Club of New York won't matter one goddamn bit!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Feel Good Capitalism

Word to readers: you should probably understand that much of my negativity regarding America, and Capitalism in general, ultimately flows I think from investment portfolio losses. 

I mean if this was 1999 again and I was making $22K a day on a mere $180K portfolio, then undoubtedly the world of my blogs might very well be more of a bright and shining place.  Then again, perhaps I'm not that shallow.  But I know that, for most of us, with more money and more success, our real world tolerates stupid acts and stupid people much more easily -- without them seeming quite so stupid. 

So I guess that’s the real upside to Capitalism, if you think about it.  At its best, Capitalism makes doing the wrong thing for decades, even centuries, (e.g. oil, pollution and murder) just feel so damn good!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Corruption

Corruption is the greatest threat to our Democracy.

The corruption of National history, written by winners, mostly to justify or obscure victory through exploitation.

The corruption of corporate-sponsored National identity that portrays diverse nations as jingoistic family units rather than complex, multi-ethnic and diverse societies -- that can only truly thrive through openness and tolerance for diversity.

The corruption of wealth and power, concentrated in too few hands.

The corruption of hegemony over creativity.

The corruption of propaganda over truth.

The corruption of economics that assumes infinite resources and finite intelligence.

The corruption that animal nature represents the only model for hierarchical human civilization.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Military Man

Blast Damages Times Square Recruiting Station

"Would people truly justify a bombing just because they are critical of foreign policy? What does this have to do with Hillary or Obama? And for crying out loud -- a right wing conspiracy theory? No wonder our country is struggling." -- anonymous Military Man

And it was the only recruiting station in the country without a bathroom.” -- Paul von Zielbauer, New York Times

But who needs to piss when you’re going to die soon anyway -- for a barrel of oil.

They hate us for our freedom” -- George W. Bush, President of the United States of America

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Empire or Democracy?

I maintain two blogs and they reflect twin poles in my existence:  toddryder.com and moneyscraper.com.

But a single, common thread, which I fear some readers miss, runs behind my political and investing anecdotes (OK rants) centering mostly on my anguish regarding the competition and the discomfiting, cynical calculation to which I am daily compelled to keep from falling behind in America.  That thread is my basic premise that America’s social contracts have been weakened, damaged, or just plain broken since Ronald Reagan, whom I endorsed at age 17 in my High School newspaper.

For example:

  • If you work you will not be poor.
  • If you live by the rules you’ll get ahead by them.
  • If you aspire and commit to something – an education, a marriage, a job, a firm, an honorable way of life – then America can and will provide something commensurate to your efforts in return.

Those contracts were implicit in the political and social order of my Father’s America.

But the angry, bigoted, Social Darwinist, politics that emerged with and after Ronald Reagan – which claimed that our social bargains were holding us back, that our rules were antiquated and should never apply to our ruling class, and that the only moral thing is victory has indisputably undermined America, its economy and Democracy.

Welcome to the New World Order, where taxes are bad; war is good; and profit at any cost is all that matters.

And as our roads and bridges rot, as our school houses crumble, as the best jobs proffered by Washington and Wall Street have nothing to do with educating our children or strengthening our communities, as our prison populations and defense budgets exceed those of every other nation on Earth, we find ourselves asking How did we get here?  And will electing Obama, Clinton or McCain make any difference?  No!  They can’t and they won’t -- until we stop twiddling the knobs on Ronald Reagan’s sick, sad, illusory notion of American Empire -- and start rebuilding the people and the promises -- the populist core -- that is the heart of our precious American Democracy.