Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 – Voices In My Head

Sarah Palin

When I consider Sarah Palin (and the Tea Party she exemplifies) in a way she might even favor politically, I hear myself saying “It’s OK, dude.  A majority of Americans can’t or won’t contend with complexity on every level simultaneously.  That modernity well succeeds day to day is itself a kind of proof for a White God.  So go with it!  Play along, but play to win.  It’s the American Way – as long as you’re so much richer than the guy next door, no pox can ever befall your house!”

It’s a game I imagine many “Sarah, Barracuda” types playing in full throat without a hint of humility, apology or guilt.  Only there’s a fundamental resource problem inherent in a “Greed Is Good” world view, as wars and crises begin to outstrip its successes and expose its delusions.

My final thought about Sarah Palin is that her attractive and arguably charming persona, like Reagan before her, evokes the tired (and on some level uniquely White/Christian) cliché that one’s perceived virtue is correlated to the number of people that might enjoy fucking you.  The “success” of Sarah Palin explains why a too-white, now morbidly obese nation of former lifeguards (and wannabe’s) is getting its capitalist clock cleaned by nations of engineers like China and Germany.


Adele Stan of Alternet wrote “When the going gets tough, the tough make art.”  That’s what I think when I listen to K’NAAN sing or speak about his/Somalia/Africa’s daily life.  K’NAAN’s is the voice of a continent (maybe a planet) once abandoned after throwing off the colonial yoke of whites that raped it nightly yet made the trains run on time the next day.  It’s a song for tomorrow, germinated in the tears of lingering losses.

David Grossman

Learning to live with yourself can’t be easy if you’re a “leftist” Israeli.  But hearing and reading Grossman’s prose in its context of inconsolable personal and historical loss,  is refuge for rationalists in a world insane – at least by Einstein’s definition of repeating mistakes while magically expecting different results.  Grossman makes it impossible to ignore that love not politics or economics remains the greatest human evolutionary force.


In summary, congratulations, we’re one year older!  This is definitely not the Age of Aquarius.  Blame no one but yourself.  If you want to be a better person, get a dog, watch and learn.  Helena’s Giant remains Sleeping at the edge of the valley outside my window.  And I remain weird, but more defensive about it than ever.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Paraphrasing a wonderful haiku from…

Depression is the guardrail in a world with perfect GPS but no roadmap.

Monday, November 15, 2010

… And Take Over They Will!

I love Paul Krugman.  He was onto "W the Shrub" from day one, from before day one.   And for this they gave him a Nobel prize.  But I was compelled to rip his column today via "comments" as follows:

Come on Paul!  Let's get real here!  Aren't you (more than a little bit) ignoring the reality that economics is a "social" science as much as a physical/mathematical one?  Thus, what to do about the fact that so many in the world (not just Americans, but as regards "America") today view the future from essentially (as I always have) an anarchist’s perspective (don't trust anyone, least of all someone saying "I'm the great big American and I'm in charge")?

Can't you at least acknowledge that most of us around the world see deficit reduction (but not lower taxes for the rich; I can't see that at all) as necessary under the United States’ present dilemma (spending $3 for every $2 taken in) -- if only as a (necessary) means to restore trust?

I mean, how do you expect people to again "invest" in a system they have increasingly diminishing confidence in.  Surely at least some austerity (suffering or no -- undoubtedly there will be some) could go a long way to restoring said confidence in said "system?"

Yes.  The Fed can make it easier for people to spend money, but it can't make them spend it.  And when the Fed/govt simply spends it for them (in such challenging times as these) they'll just resent and retrench even more and trust even less -- to the point of "Tea Parties"...

So yes, Professor Krugman, as mostly always, you are (technically) correct.  The Liquidationists are united -- but you forgot the "... and taking over" part.  Because taking over is exactly what they're doing.  And frankly you're not really helping by appearing so dogmatic!  In short, this country can't go from Keynes to Friedman and back to Keynes in a mere 30 years.  It just can't!  SOMETHING has to give.  And that something is the National Debt.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Difference

Don't watch Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer" prior to resuming your liberal rabble rousing TV fare.  Or you might be visited by disquieting thoughts regarding the difference between "entertainment" and "change."

Jesus might have walked on water and turned it into wine, but when push came to shove, he rendered unto Caesar just like the rest of us.  Whereas it's conceivable Osama Bin Laden is one day cited for bringing an Empire down.  Right or wrong.  There is a very real difference.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

American Pathology

When I am a millionaire,
Then I won’t even have to care.
Derivatives and arbitrage.
I'll slide, then duck and dodge.
When I am a millionaire...

When I am a millionaire, 
The poor will stop and stare.
They’ll ask “What do you do?”
And I’ll say “What is that to you?”
When I am a millionaire...

When I am a millionaire,
I’ll impregnate a nubile, young au pair.
Then set up a foundation.
A perpetual surname nation.
When I am a millionaire...

When I am a millionaire,
John Galt will be my doctrinaire.
And the whole world may go to hell,
But I’ll live very well.
When I am a millionaire...

When I am a millionaire,
Pollutants will hang heavy in the air.
But when this planet’s finally dead,
We’ll terraform Mars instead.
When I am a millionaire...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

You’re Probably an American IF…

  • You enjoy stomping on someone’s skull at a political rally.
  • You’re poor -- because there really is no American “middle class”; because “American Dream” is just false advertising designed to make you feel selfish and entitled – so you vote billionaire David Koch’s Republican, anti-human agenda anyway.
  • You’re rich, but refuse to fund the basic, modern needs of the society that raised, educated and today sustains you as “too big to fail.”
  • You’re over 65, white, obese, gun-owning and attend Tea Party rallies, holding signs denouncing “big government” – all the while cashing Social Security and Medicare checks from your government.
  • You’ve given up, essentially abdicated “grown up” responsibility, and don’t even vote at all!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

At Least I Didn’t Breed!

I am 48 years old and the last three years have forced me to conclude that Americans are too stupid, narcissistic and lazy to participate in anything more than abject decline/collapse from here.

In short, I have officially given up on America.  I don’t want to be a part of it any more.  Today my only honest desire is to a.) prepare for decline and eventual/unexpected collapse and/or b.) emigrate -- to e.g. New Zealand, Australia, Canada, etc.

I don’t know that I will actually emigrate, because I hold mortgages on three homes in MT that I probably cannot sell and won’t try renting from afar.  Two of the homes have become increasingly difficult to rent here under the Great Recession.  Unlike most profligate, idiot Americans, we do have some money set aside -- and Federal SSA and the State of MT pay my wife a small monthly retirement -- for the time being – until the inevitable pension defaults and “entitlement reforms” begin, when those promises too will be broken.  I still have a “good” job -- in the defense/aerospace industry – which I frankly just resent most of the time.  In short, every American “promise” I accepted at face value has proven to be a lie – an advertisement to induce participation in this corrupt and dehumanizing system of little more than endless economic, military and intellectual exploitation.

Thus, at some point in the near future I intend hopefully to “retire”, drop out and decouple from “the grid.”  From there I anticipate increasingly walling off our home from the street/world, astutely guarding our income and assets (as self-insurance, because – obvious reasons -- we can’t trust anyone to do that for us) and awaiting death, hopefully merciful, death.

The die is cast.  The lie is over.  Why pretend otherwise?  The best that any American citizen can do from here is “fake it” in terms of humanity.  But there is no way to be human in America.  Frankly, I see now there probably never was.

At least I didn’t breed!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How Bad is the U.S. Economy?

Thanks Bobbie Lefler Carmaack for forwarding this.  You made my day!

The economy is so bad that...

  • Exxon-Mobil was forced to lay off 25 Senators.
  • The Treasure Island casino in Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates.
  • I bought a toaster and my free gift was Citibank Corp.
  • Mitt Romney has downsized to one wife.
  • A picture is worth just 200 words.
  • Banks are mailing pre-declined credit cards.
  • Wives are actually having sex with their husbands because they can no longer afford batteries or gasoline.
  • To reduce costs, CEO’s are playing miniature golf.
  • Angelina Jolie adopted a child -- from America.
  • Motel Six isn’t leaving the light on anymore.
  • NYC renamed “Wall Street” “Wal-Mart” Street.
  • When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now share a room.
And, finally...
  • I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, foreclosures, wars, jobs, savings, Social Security, pensions and my 401K that I called the Suicide Hotline.  When I told the call center in Pakistan  I was suicidal,  they became excited and asked if I knew how to drive a truck...
To which I replied, "Hell YES!  I could use the money!”

Friday, October 01, 2010

Half-Assed Moralist Musing #8,975,624,312

Capitalism has no place for a middle class.  The last 50 "golden years" in this country was an accident of both war and nature.

Thus the (frankly ignorant) "middle class" was never more than a legislated "taking" from the capitalist financed, technocrat led cabal gradually dissipating an otherwise perfectly balanced, perpetually life sustaining planet.

Marx was right – You’d have to kill them all first to really "change" anything.

But Orwell was right too, the winners would -- immediately -- become "them."

Thus, total human annihilation is the only objective answer.  And if there is a God, Heaven, etc. – then death is obviously worthy of anticipation.  Otherwise, human existence is simply narcissism -- striving, earnest, mostly well intentioned -- but narcissism all the same.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The System of Todd


  • When capitalism works it is arguably the best system economically.
  • When capitalism fails (as now and for at least 30 years) it is easily the worst system economically.
  • Meanwhile, capitalism has always been the worst system morally.

Thus, I cannot rationally understand how it is that capitalism, especially the current corporatist, crony capitalism (typified by Wall Street and Washington) is somehow the culmination of societal systems – i.e. how it is that humankind could have democratically chosen this system, in rational terms, over time?

I think the truth is that: capitalism is essentially so evil, it chose us.  And humans are so stupid/lazy, we let it.

In practice, I argue that, because the first casualty of capitalism is always community, humankind has today been gradually stripped of its larger (and far more important to individual and collective happiness) communal interests in favor of hyper-individualism (The Century of Self).  In my view, only perversions, such as hyper-individualism, can explain the relatively recent (100 years) historical success of capitalism.  A more humanist perspective, on the other hand, imagines another system, based primarily on the principle of a global commons and organized around true democracy and the simple moral and communal principles inherent in major religions and by objective, human centered, philosophy.

Mission Statement

I don’t believe in corporatization.  It is by definition too hierarchical and “trickle-down.”  It should be impossible/illegal to be too rich and/or too powerful.  Being so only benefits the individual and those having capital/connections to ride his/her coattails directly.  Therefore, hyper-individualism should be a crime.  Why?  Because it produces only/primarily the following effects in the broad (10K years) experience of human history:

  • Impedes progress: nothing ever gets truly better; not for long.
  • Accelerates collapse: whereby all/most beneficial systems (e.g. transport infrastructure) eventually falls apart.
  • Destroys community.
  • Precludes individual (and therefore collective) happiness.
  • It redounds (for vast majority – i.e. 97%) to simply working, groveling, debt, stress, humiliation, exploitation, etc., while the other 1-3% earn/inherit/luck-into 50-75% of the Earth’s “wealth.”


  • I don’t believe in private property.  But I can tolerate it – as a reward for ambition -- if said ambition is combined equally with high moral integrity.  Anyone deemed by a “jury of his peers” to have profited unfairly (immorally) from others or from the “commons” is immediately stripped of all holdings/wealth and must “start over” – as at birth (read on) – with but one original Earth “share.”
  • I don’t believe in printed money (fiat currency).  But I can tolerate it generally in lieu of having to transport gold, salt, water, housing, land, etc. for purposes of financial endeavors and/or exchanges.
  • I believe in technology, but not the mass production thereof, unless by robots (never by people).  Mass production typically requires human slaves (e.g. Chinese assembly line workers) to be profitable.  This is immoral and should therefore be illegal (see above).
  • I believe in the “global commons” – i.e. that each and every human on this planet is “entitled” at birth with one equal ‘share” of Earth ownership (wealth – in whatever form is agreed upon at the time of birth) – i.e. is entitled to 1/<current population> portion of Earth wealth/capacity.   No more.   No less.  This share cannot be transferred or inherited.  It expires at death.  Additional wealth can be accumulated (but the 1 share can never be lost) by the most talented and meritorious individuals in the human society, but only during their lives, not after.  Accumulated “shares” can never be transferred (except back to the commons).  Upon each individual’s death, his/her original and/or accumulated “shares” return to the global commons.
  • I believe in true democracy.  All decisions must abide by the one-person-one-vote principal.  No form of “representative” democracy shall be permitted under any circumstances.
  • All other rules, codes, jobs, hierarchies, etc. -- that comply with the above – are hereby permitted.  Non compliance, by decision of a democratic majority, on the part of any other system/organization will result in immediate dissolution thereof with any/all remaining assets returned to the global commons.

Friday, July 30, 2010

I, Revolution

On the surface, Piggy's Intifada appears complete.

Despite a near total collapse of the international monetary system less than two years ago, multi-national, multi-billion Q2 corporate profits resurge on sales to “developing” nations.  Goldman Sachs in celebration.

President Logo is giving a speech.  He is thin, ethnic and physically beautiful -- an amalgam for an amalgamated nation.  But even physical beauty cannot mask total commitment to The Will To Power.

Congress was in full session earlier today, doing its Constitutional duty – robbing the poor to make the rich richer.

Inside Arizona communities built from plastic and Styrofoam, and seated in “scooter chairs,” unhappily “retired” boomers scream at their televisions with all the rage their pendulous waistlines can muster.  The rambling soliloquies blame "alien invaders" to “their country” where today fully one in twenty are employed without residency papers.  But it’s an invasion their tax dollars, diseased consumption patterns and corporatist voting records subsidized for more than a quarter century.  And now they can no longer contain the fear.  For apartheid is no longer “Whites Only”  but rather “Wealthy Only.”   Tomorrow they will be suspending tea bags from the rims of cowboy hats made in China and strapping on weapons.

But somewhere, vibrating like a saxophone in the hands of Charlie Parker, a keyboard burns with the passion of its genius “weirdo” commander’s latest manifesto.

Somewhere, perhaps in Detroit, a batch of genetically unmodified seeds is germinating in the dirt of urban renewal under a non-profit, co-op wind power generator.

Somewhere in Montana, a corrupt lying millionaire real estate developer politician’s smoke and mirrors  “listening” tour has garnered few takers.

The year is 2010.  In a nation once proudly proclaimed “America,” but now a “For Lease” strip mall shadow of its former self, a million writers foment deep proletariat discontent through reality-based blogs while as many as 60 million millennials both imagine and adapt to Life After Collapse.

Welcome to the New Normal.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Come on little gamma ray…

Peasants have been suffering in one way or another in a world of fear for 10K years.

I too am a peasant, but one not stupid/deluded enough to create another unhappy, exploitable copy of myself. And if I somehow accidentally did, would (I hope) never be stupid enough to fantasize that somehow the future (magically) works out for it.

In other words, until we STOP paying attention and start thinking (and acting) for ourselves, the Glenn Becks (Ronald Reagans and Barack Obamas) of the world remain cultural deities and we remain serfs dutifully insuring their power over us under an inherently corrupt hierarchy we politely oblige.  In short, they clearly at this point underestimate us, but that’s no excuse for our overestimating them.

Thus, the only solution to stopping Glenn Beck (status quo) is arguably intelligent anarchism.  For example, (unpalatable but)  imagine a world where every Glenn Beck hater simultaneously self immolated.  The "system" presided over by Fox News et al (for want of fixers and sufferers and exploitees) would soon collapse and there would be no more Glenn Becks.   Absent that, let's all raise a toast to masturbating in the wind!  Hear Hear!

As Beck (Hansen) sings (just now spooled across the iTunes DJ playlist) "Come on little gamma ray..."

That (lyrical intention) remains my prayer for today: Come on, Mr. Sun, please explode this instant and clean up the one (as far as we know) tumor of delusion in an otherwise perfect (perfectly indifferent) universe.  Even Don Draper knows the truth – and he’s not even real.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mid-life Crisis – as facebook message

I've been pretty lucky.   Married well.  90s tech boom helped.  Real estate too.  No children = $$ in the bank.

Which brings me to the RAGE -- it arises against all forms of hypocrisy.  If you knew me then but don't remember, I was an introspective (depressed?) kid in High School -- a doper (mostly marijuana) that listened to a lot of "punk" rock -- Elvis Costello, The Clash, Richard Hell (I implore you to read the lyrics to Blank Generation), etc.   As a reasonably creative person, I worship art that is simultaneously: intellectual and/or edgy/disturbing (cuts both ways) and/or ultimately idealistic/classic.

In the 80s I went to college late and became a Reagan Republican. I "drank the Kool Aid."  I was always (German, Calvinist) "fiscally conservative" anyway.  And, again, Reagan’s "rich get richer" "trickle-down" bullshit actually, sort of, worked for me.  I “succeeded” -- certainly more than I'd ever imagined as a kid.

Then one day, in the third year of the first Bush2 term, I took a fresh look around my town (after moving back to MT/Helena) and realized it wasn't working for most -- and really not even for me... Yes, I was a "millionaire" – but in a world where only "billionaires" mattered.  "They" had raised the bar again!  And I realized, for work-a-day people (on CNBC they call us "consumers"), by design, there is no winning!  Not really.  Statistically, winning under this system exhibits roughly the same probability as being struck by lightning (I'm exaggerating, but it's an appropriate analogy).  And we can't all be struck by lightning now can we?  So why support a Reagan-inspired  socio-economic system that only rewards lightning strikes -- and worse – perpetually rewards the heirs of those struck literally centuries ago?

So now (middle age, I hope) I'm a Marxist/anarchist/populist punk, again.  And I vow never to go back to being an “I’ve got mine; Go fuck yourself!” Reagan/Bush/Cheney Republican again.

Conversely, if you've never seen the movie "Five Easy Pieces," I highly recommend it.  Allegorically, that angry-young-man perspective alternates as thesis/antithesis in my life.  In other words, LIFE is very, very complicated...  But I don't want to always be that guy – giving up on everything – distrusting and attacking every commonly accepted social value (as I sometimes do).

Jesus wanted  a better, fairer world.  And in theory, sentient beings should be able to escape Darwin’s Petri dish Natural Selection, Nietzsche's Will To Power and Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand -- even if doing so doesn’t reward Calvinists like me (as a son of my father).  In other words, the human race should somehow equate to more than jobs, money and consumption!  That and there exists today an obvious imperative to realign the system around physical/resource reality.  In short, it’s too easy to get lost (billions of un/under-employed), stranded (me) by success or consumed (Earth) by market-based capitalism.  Surely we can fix , or at least improve upon, it?  Surely there exists a hybrid (top-down; bottom-up) strategy redounding to greater shared opportunity that reaches beyond property/capital hegemony  (e.g. global commons).

Psychiatry states that "male outlook" mostly improves around age 50 – and even a lifelong cynic occasionally hopes…

Monday, June 28, 2010

Paul Krugman Finally Embraces Human Folly?

I agree absolutely with Princeton University Economist, Paul Krugman, except on the cause of and solution for the collapse and inevitable (your children) “long depression.”

Krugman (as Nobel awarded defender of the Status Quo) cannot publicly embrace reality (but I suspect secretly acknowledges it).

  • Fiscal profligacy and crony capitalism (banks, energy and technology companies) became so egregious in the "Reagan inspired" dimwit optimism era (1980-2007) as to essentially undermine the modern capitalist system.  Broken systems don't fix themselves.  They generally remain broken until the “world” changes -- catch 22.
  • Invariably, the status quo (herd) eventually (finally) does the right thing, policy-wise, unfortunately at the worst possible time – nature of the beast.

In short, I’m sure Mr. Krugman (secretly) knows there is no "policy fix" to prevent/ameliorate capitalist economic depression (declining GDP), in “classical” economic terms.  Only time and real social change (working off/defaulting on excess debt, reducing consumption, population, etc. resulting from previous dimwit optimism) can fix this current, post-crash “malaise” (see Jimmy Carter).

The only other remotely conceivable “fix” involves discovering some (more out than input) new energy/technology that instantaneously renders every human on the planet some portion “richer” (under the criteria of our present, regressive, hierarchical, all-too-human capitalism that progressives have been trying 400 years to replace or improve with no real progress).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Profit is a Life or Death Issue

I don't believe in religion or any metaphysical cosmology.  I believe only in evolution, in constant and unending mental and physical adaption.

That said, my own (Aquarius) horoscope (Helena's Queen City News) has been scarily accurate and applicable recently…

This week: I'm all for recycling, composting and carpooling. Anything you and I can do to reduce our carbon footprint is brilliant..."

But I also agree with Chris Hedges [uncanny to quote my latest truth Messiah], who says...

“The reason the ecosystem is dying is not because we still have a dryer in our basement. It is because corporations look at every thing, from human beings to the natural environment, [only] as exploitable commodities... because consumption [not as a means but as an end] is the engine of corporate profits.”

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Will You Still Enjoy Your Road Trips?

IF the billionaire clowns can't cap the well...
IF it oozes for two decades (until the oil seam finally runs empty)...
IF The Gulf of Mexico becomes The Dead Sea of America...
Will you still enjoy your road trips?

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Beyond Awful
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Too Pig To Succeed

In 2008, history proved that only plutocrats (e.g. Goldman Sachs, Exxon, AIG, etc.) benefit from Shock Doctrine, Reagan inspired, deregulation, whereas larger society benefits more under common sense, socially oriented philosophy and policy.

For example, contrast America's last 30 years with the same period in Germany, a generally impeccably State managed economy, that today exhibits lower unemployment and poverty (even after unification) than the U.S.

Such “quality of life” comparisons seem clearly to indicate that generally a "regulated utility" model for capitalism -- while occasionally restricting peak (A K A "boom and bust") growth -- in the long run yields more stable, shared, democratic progress and prosperity, as exemplified by the U.S. “baby boom” following World War II (and prior to 1974) when labor and social justice movements were far stronger.  (Not coincidentally, that era seemingly represents the “golden age” prevalent in the films of Michael Moore.)

Thus America should learn from recent political mistakes and never again substitute charisma and popularity (Reagan, Bush, Palin) for intelligence and common sense, because "market only" Republican philosophy has today robbed us of essential, but very fragile, human ideals like conscience, morality and sanctity.

As humans, we owe ourselves MORE than slavery to market economics.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Welcome to the Boomtown

David+David (1986)

Ms. Cristina drives a 944
And satisfaction oozes from her pores
She keeps rings on her fingers
Marble on her floor
Cocaine on her dresser
Bars on her doors

She keeps her back against the wall
She keeps her back against the wall

So I say
I say welcome, welcome to the boomtown
Pick a habit
We got plenty to go around
Welcome, welcome to the boomtown
All that money makes such a succulent sound
Welcome to the boomtown

Handsome Kevin got a little off track
Took a year off of college
And he never went back
Now he smokes too much
He's got a permanent hack
Deals dope out of Denny's
Keeps a table in the back

He always listens to the ground
Always listens to the ground

So I say
I say welcome, welcome to the boomtown
Pick a habit
We got plenty to go around
Welcome, welcome to the boomtown
All that money makes such a succulent sound
Welcome to the boomtown

Well the ambulance arrived too late
I guess she didn't want to wait

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Weed King

Wiping my anus, washing my face and brushing my teeth are such "burdensome" tasks -- I think I'll exhibit a "freedom body" as well as a "freedom lawn!"

Duh!  Oh!  That's right.  A "freedom body" quickly becomes diseased and short-lived.  But a "freedom lawn" -- well that's only a burden to the neighbors (as apparently Mr. Wright lacks a gardener’s conscience).

But -- in spring/summer at least -- I suspect he is dubbed KING ASS of his neighborhood.

As one who suffers beside such a neighbor, I implore readers: PLEASE DON’T BE THIS GUY! If you don't want to tend your grass lawn then, by all means, take it out and replace it with something requiring less maintenance (e.g. xeri/landscaping) -- but something equally aesthetically appealing and socially acceptable (as maintained blue/bermuda grass).  Meanwhile, you're ruining your own neighborhood -- for your neighbors – and that just makes you a SELFISH, INCONSIDERATE, DISRESPECTFUL ASS!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

America is as America does, Momma

“The Democrats and their liberal apologists are so oblivious to the profound personal and economic despair sweeping through this country that they think offering unemployed people the right to keep their unemployed children on their nonexistent health care policies is a step forward. They think that passing a jobs bill that will give tax credits to corporations is a rational response to an unemployment rate that is, in real terms, close to 20 percent. They think that making ordinary [working] Americans, one in eight of whom depends on food stamps to eat, fork over trillions in taxpayer dollars to pay for the crimes of Wall Street and [for corporate enriching] war[s] is acceptable. They think that the refusal to save the estimated 2.4 million people who will be forced out of their homes by foreclosure this year is justified by the bloodless language of fiscal austerity. The message is clear. Laws do not apply to the power elite.”

No question about it.  It’s socialism for the rich and capitalism for everyone else.

So…  Is America headed for Sarah Palin inspired domestic terrorism and violence?

Has America effectively become a ginned up, Glenn Beck, drooling idiot fake theocracy, where Fox “News” corporate propagandists repeat words like “freedom” and “God” over and again – because it keeps old, white, diabetic fools (on or soon to qualify for Medicare and Social Security) confused and agitated between Big Gulps of Coca Cola and handfuls of Super Sized Doritos?

The answer is YES – America is arguably already a (soft corporate) fascist state.  But the class pyramid -- thieving plutocrats at the top and uneducated, Jesus-loving, working-class morons at the bottom -- is collapsing far too fast, pan-caking like an accordion with the air squeezed out.

Thus, moving to New Zealand is the best that I (a member of the ever shrinking liberal technocrat working class) can think to do.

In other words, presumably there are less ruined countries for a successful, law abiding, middle class citizen than this one.  And if so then I must find one soon, before the crowds of poor, broken, gun toting Forrest Gumps explode in violence against anyone within reach (me) as the One Percent – the Washington/Wall Street pigs that Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama legislated to steal America from working Americans -- chuckles behind the relative safety of tax cuts, bailouts, locked gates and security garrisons.

America is as America does, Momma.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Open Letter to NY Times and Jodi Kantor

Dear Ms. Kantor,

I cannot hold this.  But I cannot comment on your (Elizabeth Warren) article – online comments are now closed.  I am literally beside myself...

Please, Ms. Kantor, I implore you, please do all that you can to help America understand that Elizabeth Warren should be the next POTUS.

This collapse (and concomitant "Socialism for the rich; capitalism for everyone else" robbery) CRIES OUT for a new (more humane gender) FDR!  For a HEALER for these sick and troubled times!

Surely it is within the capacity of the NY Times to garner some small (but meaningful) role in helping this sick, corrupted and utterly disheartened nation understand its basic needs -- for redemption, for trust, for matriarchal love (less greed) -- for renewed confidence in this (perhaps one day) open, democratic "system" and its all-too-human leaders -- again.

Thank you.
Todd Ryder

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Case for Expatriation

There is estimated 8.5 Trillion invest-able held by private U.S. citizens.  That alone could essentially finance the presently accumulated U.S. national debt – i.e. the $12 Trillion accumulated national debt can be largely financed internally -- by U.S. citizens only.

Eliminating the cap on social security taxes would essentially render SSA solvent indefinitely – without benefit cuts.  Possibly retirement age might also have to rise for those presently 40 - 50 and under.  If all else fails, SSA could be “means tested” (whereby those with incomes exceeding $250K receive less/none SSA; for “the rich” SSA simply becomes additional taxation that should have been paid all along post-Reagan).

Thus, the very idea (Fox News) that 35% of the U.S. economy (businesses/assets) owned by the top 10% is not substantial enough to finance the “welfare state” – so desperately needed to retain political, financial and economic stability in the U.S. – the very idea that this wealth is “off limits” to the vast majority of hard working Americans that built these empires for the moneyed aristocracy -- is absurd – and not only absurd but increasingly dangerous and destabilizing (for us, for average working Americans).

In short, the “slow motion coups” (dramatically increased wealth transfer to top 2-5%) against working people in America, post-Reagan, has undermined whatever social and economic fabric held the U.S. together for 200 years.  And unless the welfare state is expanded and better funded AND/OR wages rise substantially at all levels but the uppermost quintile of the U.S. population, then violence and possibly civil war are inevitable in the U.S. in the long run.

Already (in wake of Obama’s health care reform bill) threats of violence and real violence (e.g. Tea Party, egged-on by Fox News in the form of Glenn Beck et al) have begun.  It seems obvious to me, at this pace, that America will one day (I cannot however say/know when) collapse and/or descend to an imbecilic theocracy (as it in many ways already has) – e.g. like Iran/Afghanistan (but through some form of sick perturbation of the Gospels of Jesus Christ instead of the Koran as occurred in Muslim/Middle Eastern countries).

This is why I am trying to figure out a way to emigrate from the U.S.-- to New Zealand or perhaps Canada/Australia/Europe?  Because I have emotionally and intellectually abandoned hope and optimism here and for the United States of America.  I realize now I have never truly “believed” in what has happened here (though I have at various times in my life been confused, desperate or unhappy enough to engage in various forms of USA beliefs/delusions).  But mostly I have always implicitly/explicitly questioned the validity of my country’s systems of intellectual and social conformity and economic mass exploitation.

I realize now that, like a congenital birth defect, it was my misfortune to be born here rather than a moderate, stable, fair and peace-loving country.  But my birth accident does not have to be my death sentence.  There is no law or rule that says I must die here under an increasingly uneducated feudalistic theocracy that crushes the soul and steals human potential from the majority of its citizens for the exclusive and excessive financial and political gain of a tiny (percentage) moneyed aristocracy that is unwilling or incapable of bestowing truth, kindness, fairness or justice to the hard working citizen majority.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Stiff the Chinese! Yeah… That’ll fix it!

Does anyone in this country ever just stop and try to somehow validate Uncle Ronnie's system of ever-larger numbers?

I must admit that I do...

So, now, the latest "plan" under the "system" -- is to stiff the Chinese for about half (via yuan/remnibi appreciation) of what we owe them ($2.4 TRILLION).

I mean, how fucking SICK is that?!  Well, anyway, I think it's sick.  And frankly I hope it fails -- even if it means WW3 -- even if it means USA loses WW3!

After all, the Chinese lent and USA borrowed.

After all, didn’t all those compliant Chinese junk makers earning $0.50/hour essentially fuck USA fair and square?  Don’t they call that “capitalism” on Wall Street (at least when it works;  when it fails I believe they call it “too big to fail”)!

So we can’t just very well pay China half what we owe?  Can we?  Didn’t U.S. firms mostly put up all those factories?  Isn’t that how/why Wall Street made so very much for so very few over the last decade?

At any rate, this seems yet another reason for emigrating from USA, for trying to get out of the way of its cheating, hypocrite schemes, for watching the inevitable collapse (maybe war) from hopefully another shore if possible...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Dogshit Tragedy of Helena Montana

Why do people let their giant dogs shit a fine public space like Helena’s Le Grand Cannon trail into ruin?
Why must I suffer nausea just passing through it to higher, less defiled, trails?
Elinor Ostrom says it isn’t always this way with shared (public) ground – that a productive “commons” is possible.  But I don’t think I can believe it any more…

I worry that Montana/America’s decline is too complete.  Its education too flawed.  I suspect that meaningful “cooperation” leading to improved life quality is no longer possible.

From my vantage, the war is over.  Society lost!  And Ronald Reagan’s Ayn Rand / Wall Street inspired “the rich must inherit the earth” gospel of unregulated individualism, greed and insanity has won!

As such, Montana/America can no longer afford civility.  Civility is the privilege of a society that functions well for the majority.  This is no longer true in Montana/America.

That is why I am planning to flee from social decline for the remainder of my life; to leave Helena and my beloved Montana (if I can sell-out or rent my property out) for another place/country.  Not every place could be this uncivil, this (perpetually Red State voting) poor, this mis-educated and nausea inducing -- could it?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ayn Rand’s Republican naiveté

I agree with this statement regarding the philosophy of Ayn Rand (emphasis added; from Brooklyn Mike’s comment to Douthat; referenced above): "The fallacy of Rand's philosophy lies in the belief that people will always act in their own rational self interest. People will, of course, always act in their own best [selfish] interest... people almost never act rationally when attempting to do so. Once you realize that she relies exclusively on their ability to do so, you soon see how incredible naive she was..."

Here, Mike exposes the basic flaw in the Republican gospel – that "the superior must be allowed to inherit the earth" (which I admit swayed me for almost two decades).

Now, Rand’s core tenets are undone, exposed as merely fallacial, pseudo-intellectual naiveté.

Undone because Rand chose, for rhetorical purposes, to ignore (or otherwise obscure) that history demonstrates individuals are seldom noble or rational.  That such traits are far more commonly demonstrated through culture, through collective and not individual acts!

While I may not believe in God, I do know my Bible.  And like most sustaining artifacts of culture, there is truth in its words.  One example: "where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am also"  which says to me that without plurality, without beneficent culture, without a shared stake in a mutually rewarding outcome, that individualism is more apt to descend to animalism than ascend to God.

History is replete with examples (save arguably one): Alexander, the Caesars, Hitler, traders at AIG -- none (rationally) content with half of everything!  Each sacrificing the world in a vain, irrational swipe to take it all!

Thus, unregulated hedonism – a k a Rand’s “rational self interest” – is conceivably little more than a twisted intellectual’s mask for insanity and invariably its demonstrated end.  Mao, Marx and Jesus knew this.  And now, before it's too late, Republicans must somehow see it too.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Constitution FUBAR. Game Over!

Why is America so FUBAR?  One big reason (read Howard Zinn) is because the U.S. Bill of Rights is arguably the most successful "PR" campaign of all time.  The BoR was created by a wealthy, land baron aristocracy that refused to pay (King George) taxes. The BoR was created to assuage (and confuse) citizens with glorious words (akin to the gospels/Bible) in the face of a very real travesty of political "economy" -- The U.S. Constitution.

How many more headlines will it take to inform us that America is by no means an egalitarian democracy?  That instead, America is a monied aristocracy controlled by three indefensibly elite bodies, mostly comprised of wealthy elites: 1.) Congress ("legislative"),  2.) Supreme Court ("judicial") and  3.) President ("executive").

Then you throw in unrestricted financial/corporate “person-hood" (unlimited corporate "speech" recently strengthened by John Roberts' Supreme Court) and it's – GAME OVER -- for the American people!

Finally I see now that it has always been this way and probably always will be…

I mean, so, big deal!?  Sixty years ago, this country won a World War (industrial/technological capacity funded through debt and the deep, blood sacrifice of 600K Americans).

But, in its aftermath, what did the survivors get?  A fifty year (on the "credit card"; mostly fake we now know) consumption orgy (er… I mean “baby boom").   The same rich families got richer (minus a few new converts here and there) and the same poor got poorer.  In the end, even as the rhythm seemingly changes, the song remains the same.

But the show's over folks!  And in my view (like any reasonably successful – not by choice mind you, capitalist) it’s time to figure out how to move on – e.g. emigrate to a country with a parliamentary system where compromise and community (not greed, selfishness, showmanship and ultimately abject failure) are core, protected, well-funded values in the larger society.  Taxes, it seems clear now, are not always bad!

I would prefer to remain English speaking if possible (e.g. New Zealand, Australia, maybe Canada).

The other alternative is of course the EU (e.g. Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, France).

But no doubt the closer one gets to the "Chinese Miracle" (probably a bubble too) arguably so much the better.  Thus, again, New Zealand and Australia vault to top of the list.

Now (emigration) THAT is my idea of a bailout!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Why Am I So Angry? A Manifesto.

Who could hate capitalism?

When 10% of the U.S. population owns >70% of the capital.
When 1% of the world population owns >50% of the capital.

Translation: Capitalism = FAILURE.

Capitalism ends in collapse, insanity, violence or (at best) chaos – e.g. 2000, 2008 – these were but two years when capitalism’s bubbles burst.  And in 2008, the world as we know it almost ended.  In 2008 there were literally closed door sessions where the U.S. government considered imposing martial law.  But then capitalism got yet another bailout.

In the wake of the objective failure of capitalism, we must imagine another way:

  1. Anti-capitalism.  Anti-profit.  Anti-growth.  E.g. a regulated, utility model, where everyone gets a job and no one gets rich.  Where, if “riches” are allowed, a 100% inheritance tax redistributes at death.  Where there are no caps/limits on taxes – if you earn $2 billion a year, you pay tax on $2B/year – no caps, exemptions, no “long term capital gains” rate – it’s all income and its all taxed progressively, based on the wealth of the taxpayer.
  2. Government is (basically) good!  Government is the best (and only) guarantor of a middle class and of sustained employment in the history of mankind.
  3. A system of Global Commons, where every person on earth, at birth is entitled to an equal share of the world’s “wealth.”  No more.  But never less.  Any wealth accumulated during life returns to the Global Commons upon death.   No patent.  No proprietary advantage.  There should be no “protection,” guarantee or “title” (like inheritance) to profit.

Take a moment to simply and objectively consider basic reality: Medicare, Social Security, Housing, the Stock Market, the Corporate Debt Market, Sovereign Debt (Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, UK, United States), the International Banking cabal, Defense spending, Health Care spending… many/most/all of these bubbles will EXPLODE sometime in the next five to thirty years (if the world is that lucky).

The simple fact is the failed system (of capitalism and private property) is collapsing before our eyes – under the very weight of insane bubbles and unjust deficits.  The truth is that capitalism no longer (if it ever did) provides objective wealth to anyone (except perhaps the billionaires that write its rules).

The fact is the exploitive, Greenspan (classical economics) model of DEBT=GROWTH that created an “illusion of prosperity” for 50 years, inflating one bubble while running up catastrophic, insolvent, time-bomb deficits has FAILED! 

The fact is the decline of American capitalism began in 1974 (peak oil) and its collapse was assured with the $28 TRILLION “bailout” in 2008, when its true nature became obvious: socialism for the rich and capitalism (picking up the tab) for the rest of us.

The fact is that all capitalism offers the world today is under-employment and over-deficits: fiscal deficits, energy deficits, health care deficits, food deficits, environment deficits, water deficits, oxygen deficits and sanity deficits.

Who among us isn’t sick to our guts of it?

What percentage would today choose mutual destruction over this miserable, fake, lying, sham, hypocrisy of an economy?  Over an economy that is more religion and lies than math?  Over America the Hideous: “America, America, it’s just a fucking dream, that won’t come true, for me or you, from sea to shining sea!” 

Meanwhile, as total, final collapse nears, I must prepare: must carry a gun everywhere; must obtain a concealed weapon permit, just to walk my dog around the fucking block, to drive my brand new car from one town to the next on the interstate; must carry a gun to defend against violence; and if not violence then against theft; if not against theft then vandalism; if not against vandalism then to lash out (in my final, dying seconds) against the insane, mindless, traffic and capitalist-robot-debt-people-drivers threatening every single day of my miserable life. 

This is my life now.  These are my daily attacks and slights: vandalism, law suits, perjured testimony, attacks and collisions at the end of my driveway, near-hit-and-run misses walking my dog…

Yes.  This has been my “reward” under capitalism.

And when I told my mom last Thanksgiving I was seriously considering purchasing a gun… imagine my amazement when she said “We are considering that too!”

So excuse me if I’m really very pissed off about this!  Excuse me if I cannot help but imagine less horrible economic realities that might not destroy my soul and my humanity as this one has.

Excuse me if I know implicitly that very soon there will be too many burst bubbles and catastrophic deficits for this failing system to withstand, to paper over – not with $28 TRILLION or $100 TRILLION.  This system barely withstood (and will never recover from) 2008.  Anyone with two eyes, two ears and a brain between them can see this is just the beginning!

So that is why I am so angry!  I played by the stupid fucking rules for 48 years.  I believed every lie.  I saved half a million dollars in cash and my wife and I own another half million, conservatively in real estate.  In forty-eight years I never lost one miserable, fucking nickel – not in the market collapses – not ever!  Yes.  I got pretty fucking good at the sick game called capitalism.  But in 2008 I realized it was all a lie.  I realized the USA is just the USSR, with a better PR firm.  That our system, like any based on evil, greed, exploitation and theft is nothing more than a glorified Ponzi scheme.  That Bernie Madoff is no different from the President of the United States of America or the president of Exxon Mobile.  That we “capitalists” are all just “salesmen” – for lies, hypocrisy and theft.

Now, I have no recourse but to attack this failure, its delusion and stupidity, relentlessly and without end, hoping against hope that others reason will yield to truth.  (But, when I’m honest with myself, I know that most already know the truth.  And just can’t or won’t admit it.  Can’t abandon the sad, sick, pathetic “Dream” America has become).

And it only makes me angrier.

So bring on the WAR.  I am ready now.  Young versus old.  Liberal versus conservative.  Mother versus son.  I am ready now.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I am a zombie. And I live in petro-land.

Shopping for no apparent reason. Moved by Adam Smith's Invisible Hand.

We worship soul-less, invincible Profit.  Humanity is its whore.

Our liturgy is just three verses: MORE; MORE; and MORE.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Only and idiot would assume the Internet could be anything other than totalitarian and deflationary

Networks are Orwellian.  It is their very nature.  So whine all you want, Chris Hedges, but it’s not going to change anything…

Everything proprietary (Microsoft, Oracle, patent-law, copyright-law, etc.) – essentially all specialization and arbitrage deriving from specialization -- is history!

In the end, the network is the computer.  The network is the society (but maybe not democracy – i.e. as Hedges says, a {milder}, capitalistic totalitarianism with Marxist, anti-property, anti-proprietary tendencies).

This is because, quite simply, the network has proven far more efficient than (self-centered, biologically deterministic) human beings ever could.

Thus, commoditization through digitization is undeniable and inevitable.  And frankly, that’s a good thing for the enduring sustainability of this planet.

I mean, isn’t it obvious that deflation (zero/negative growth, as Hedges himself acknowledges, if not advocates) is the only force that can successfully (finally) regulate runaway human population and resource consumption?  And if you didn’t “get this” 20 years ago (as I did), well, then it’s not my fault if today you find yourself a bit out of the loop.

But, again, this/our Orwellian future is not all that bleak IMO – and not nearly as Orwellian (“a boot stomping on a face forever…”) as he imagined it – again, something of a hybrid between (capitalist, proprietary) totalitarianism and (net neutral, egalitarian, copy-left) Marxism.

So… adapt or fail!  The choice is yours.

But I for one rejoice that, finally, Darwinian consequences have emerged to punish humanity’s obvious (individualistic) stupidity.  Viva La Darwin!

Growth for growth’s sake is the ideology of the cancer cell” –Edward Abbey

Friday, February 12, 2010

God is neither Pro-Life nor Pro-Growth

On "Pro Life" Superbowl commercials (and candidates)...

Do you really think the "God" that watched 6M Jews go into ovens, the bombings of Hiroshima and Dresden, the fall of Saigon, the rape of Iraq, et al gives a flying fuck if you breed?

Is it God or is it "Them" (your lenders) that want you breeding -- to increase/sustain your (family) level of consumption?

Answer:  It's Them (Washington and Wall Street)!

Because if you reduce your rate of consumption by 5-10% per year, this world becomes a very different place.  And don't think They don't know it.  And they have no answers (means to profit) from Peak Oil, Peak Food, Peak Environment, Peak Sanity – i.e. Peak Everything.

But reality is that Zero/Negative growth is the only (survive/sustain) solution now.   But it's the last fact They want you to know -- because it breaks all of their inflation = growth = profit = jobs(maybe) models.

REP. HENRY WAXMAN: You found a flaw [ea] in the reality...

ALAN GREENSPAN: Flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works, so to speak.

REP. HENRY WAXMAN: In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working?

ALAN GREENSPAN: That is -- precisely. No, that's precisely the reason I was shocked, because I had been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My President Uses Big Words…

Like ideologue and Bolshevik.  And I’m in Love again.

Whereas They (and their white, Christian, selfish, diabetic, old and dying constituency) couldn’t so much as carry his jock strap.

Maybe the world isn’t quite as hopeless as I thought.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Houston, we have a problem…

A great analogy for our (America/Earth) current predicament was presented on Bill Moyer’s Journal on PBS last Friday by Scott Bittle and Jean Johnson.  Their analogy was to use the movie (and real life event) Apollo 13.  (The “Houston, we have a problem!” movie.)

Metaphorically, the argument is that, today, our “ship” (country/earth) is adrift in space, venting gas, in obviously desperate straits with no way to accomplish its original (overly optimistic?) “mission.”

So we have a choice: either we  a.) get the ship safely home (by switching modes/models in favor of survivability/sustainability) OR  b.) fail ugly/screaming (Mad Max and Soylent Green were cited as likely/possible futures under our current failed energy policy – A K A Peak Oil).

Bittle and Johnson describe the issue in essentially Manichean terms – i.e. there is no possible “completion” of the “mission” because its “success” (as originally and unrealistically defined by our falsely optimistic White, Christian cultural/economic traditions) is today eliminated from consideration.

Like all participants in an addiction recovery program, we must admit we are at/near bottom;  that our (reasonably primitive, fossil fuel powered, technology/economy and its individualistic and self-aggrandizing goals) has failed and is leading to outright catastrophe.

Now, like those NASA engineers, we must cooperate to get our “capsule” home (to survival and sustainability), we must empty the “box” (containing only the materials onboard our capsule – no God; no false optimism) and repurpose ourselves toward an evolved definition of “success.”  We must admit that either the whole capsule gets “home” with all of us safely onboard – or we all fail (decline and perish) equally.

Apollo 13 is a fabulous analogy.  And while Bittle and Johnson use it only as a metaphor for Peak Oil, as an engineer, I see it as analogous to nearly every “modern” human/living resource problem: economy, energy, food, water...

Bittle and Johnson cite Cuba as an example of our inevitable peak oil future.  In the late 1980s when the Soviet “empire” essentially collapsed, Cuba was crippled economically when the USSR stopped subsidizing its consumption (as one day China et al will stop subsidizing America’s debt-based consumption).  But Cuba survived, politically and economically, despite little/no outside help (e.g. no Haitian-style “aid”) from the corporatist West.  Cuba has been embargoed for decades by wealthy nations, the IMF, World Bank, etc.  But it survives.  And so can America -- as soon as its abandons its failed consumer (debt) dependent, corporate led and Washington enabled capitalism for the poor (e.g. high unemployment and zero return on cash savings) and socialism for the rich (e.g. insufficient upper income/inheritance taxation and “too big to fail” bailouts).

Friday, January 22, 2010

Corporate Republican Nazi Fascists Win: Free Speech now officially FOR SALE!

Has the American Republican corporate Whore of Babylon spread her legs for the last time?

Aren't you glad you voted Republican (Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Samuel Alito) you obese, uneducated, diabetic, Wal-Mart, breeding fools?

Now the only hope for working Americans  is that the parasites (corporations) finally kill the host (rule of law).  That, as principles like justice and democracy lay dying in our streets, profit too becomes a casualty of the corporate led Armageddon wrought by Republican court appointees.

But will corporate sponsored history remember this day?

"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haiti and the Domino Theory of Caribbean and Latin American Trust Fund Capitalist “Democracies”

Haiti is a failure because America’s (trust fund capitalist democratic) model is a failure – for every nation but ours – or those, like ours, possessing vast natural resources (wealth) and relatively small human populations.

In short, I really wish that someone would write “An Economist’s History of the United States.”  Then, like Zinn’s masterpiece, which exposes US labor hypocrisy, American economic hypocrisy could be exposed for what it is – not a divine, deserved, economic reward for God’s Chosen People, but simply good, old fashioned luck.  In short, listening to self-descriptions of American economic superiority is equivalent to a trust-fund baby (Donald Trump or George W. Bush for example) describing its economic acumen on a TV show right before it says “you’re fired…”  In other words, if Haiti could simply awaken to find milk and honey (resources) dripping down its leg -- as our White, religious extremist forefathers obviously did on this continent -- then it too could become an “American economic miracle!”

Thus, Haiti, like much of Latin America  (until recently)  remains a “welfare queen” state – arguably because (former?) resource rich nations like the US obviously like/need it that way strategically.  Because God Forbid Haiti awakens one day and realizes, as did Castro’s Cuba or Somoza’s Nicaragua, that it’s one thing being poor and eating dirt sandwiches, but quite another being poor, eating dirt sandwiches and remaining forever a de facto “welfare colony of the Americas”, complete with corrupt government and self-limiting culture, sustained only by the (borrowed from Deng Xiaoping’s China) economic largesse of an arrogant, obese, Trust-Fund-Baby-in-decline “empire.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

America: not just a job, but an adventure…

My latest "sales pitch" (for my anarchist/socialist politics)

America (since it loves war anyway) should be run more like the military (As a vet I know whereof I speak.):

  1. No one gets rich.
  2. Everyone gets a reasonable job to do.
  3. Everyone has honor and commitment to the cause/team - not to failed Goldman Sachs, Harvard MBA, elitist Pig, "trickle-down" capitalism (gospel of legalized theft) Uncle Ronnie brought “down from the mountain” in 1980 and which all but elites have suffered under ever since.   (Excepting perhaps 90’s commercialization of the Internet - which btw actually exacerbated the problems for our democracy by rendering undereducated/non-technocrats obsolete in the US.)

In short, I hate to tell you this, but we’re (obviously) in a fuck-load of trouble.  And the only thing that might get us out is fusion (creating atoms and molecules – i.e. more energy out than in – the classical “perpetual motion” machine pipe dream).  And frankly I don’t think I’m going to live to see that.  Do you?

If not, then shouldn’t we seriously be rethinking Wall Street-Washington-corporate capitalism?  Hunkering down.  Rethinking what it means to be human.  Raising efficiency by an order of magnitude.  Socializing “too big to fail” profits (not just losses)…

Friday, January 08, 2010

Mice and Men

Trickle Down or Deficit Up are merely competing, but equally doomed schools, failing through inability to adapt.

One needn't express metaphysics to match The Great Authors to see that a (human-centered, biological) world blindly obfuscating itself from genetic absolutes — from real consequences for the stupidest and the wickedest — is destined to fail repeatedly and perhaps one day abjectly.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

“The Dude” Manifesto

A recent New York Times article and reader comments centered on the validity of academically studying Joel and Ethan Coen’s film: The Big Lebowski.

Is the film culturally relevant and therefore worthy of rigorous analysis?  Unequivocally the answer is yes, merely based on two facts: a.) rarified (cult) following built steadily from an unassuming release in 1998 and b.) brilliantly subversive, iconic characters.

Examples of the film’s unequivocal Popularity

Four (there are more…) culturally significant Archetypes from the film

1.) “The Dude,” Zen, Survivor of corporate monopoly capitalism

The Dude is no “slacker prince.”  He is much, much more.  He is a triumphant survivor in the face of capitalism and its relentless, media-driven dogma proselytizing corporate servitude through work, debt and consumption.  In the words of the gospel of Jesus Christ, The Dude is in the world but not of it.  In the words of The Stranger (narrator) character in the film, “The Dude abides” – no matter what, who or how – he survives, like me, like you, like us – intermittently victim, survivor, Philosopher King , bowler, pothead, American.  But unlike most of us, The Dude rarely sacrifices humility or humanity despite living in a dehumanizing world where pet dogs exhibit greater honesty and awareness than most people.

2.) Maude Lebowski as Artist

Maude’s artist archetype is insufficiently realized in the film (to serve brevity and continuity in the story) but remains obvious and therefore recognizable.  Thus, as “artist” archetypes I shift focus to the Coen brothers themselves.  The Coens’ art is a legitimate means to challenge the hypocrisy of the status quo.  But is it effective?  Does it change anything?  So far, no good!  Perhaps that’s why Joel and Ethan poke so much dark-hearted fun at themselves, their religion and their countrymen.  Theirs is comparatively high art – serving as both entertainment and therapy.

3.) “Walter” the Pragmatist

Walter’s angry, but religiously compliant.  Like America, he’s basically lucky – but it’s mostly only made him fat and lazy.  He knows there’s more to life, but doesn’t know how to get it.  His talent has been wasted generating a series of base hits rather than risk swinging for home runs.  As such, he’s steeped in a kind of hopelessness and self-resentment.  So, like Glenn Beck (or me), he judges mercilessly and self-righteously.  He’s very good at it too.  The pragmatist prefers brutal honesty, but will occasionally lie if it serves the “right” (his) cause.  If pressed (as by Bunny’s Nihilists) he can attack or defend -- mostly harmlessly – unless you’re silly enough to fall for rhetoric over substance.  Unfortunately, we Americans mostly are.

4.) Jeffrey “The Big Lebowski” and the Fraud of capitalist “achievement”

In 80 years, the capitalist fraud archetype has never been as obviously manifest in American life as now, in the wake of Lehman Brothers’ spectacular September 2008 collapse and subsequent Wall Street bailout by Congress and the Federal Reserve.

As I write this, the bone marrow of every working American (and at least the next two generations) both masks and protects the apocalyptic incompetence and profligacy of Wall Street and Washington – a simultaneously epic and tragic poem consisting of some 30 TRILLION verses.

Inheritance, whereby the moneyed aristocracy transfers its title (wealth) to subsequent, mostly jejune, generations is nothing short of a crime against humanity.  Like Wall Street and Washington, the Coens’ Mr. Jeffrey Lebowski neither earns nor deserves his wealth or princely mansion.  Like too many American “leaders” he gets it the old fashioned way: through inheritance or simply cheating – embezzling from his wife’s charitable foundation in the same way Wall Street embezzled billions in 2009 bonuses from average working Americans.

America is past due for a modern day Magna Carta between working people, the idle, trust-fund rich and greedy-by-nature corporations.  Rarely has this need been more obviously or desperately portrayed than the simpering, pathetic, lame, yet self-aggrandizing Coen Brothers’ character, Jeffrey “The Big Lebowski.”  A man that, all things being equal, couldn’t so much as carry The Dude’s jock strap.