Saturday, January 30, 2016

1/29/16 (a letter to the LA Times) The new West LA VA campus plan for construction of more than 1200 permanent housing units for traumatized veterans and more than 700 short-term units for homeless veterans is heartwarming, inspiring, and the right thing to do. However, special attention must be paid to the 20 year give-away lease of the north 20 acres to The Brentwood School. The Brentwood School has been paying a mere $300,000/annum for this priceless land in the heart of Brentwood since 1999. It has carpeted the acreage, which was sacredly deeded in 1888 for the sole use of veterans, with over 15 million dollars in lavish sports facilities, including a magnificent pool, a soccer field, tennis courts, and more. And it has built a high fence between the remaining acres of the West LA VA and its sports facilities, complete with a gate with formidable lock to insure that none of the veterans enjoy the facilities on the land which was sacredly deeded for their sole use. Only the children of The Brentwood School, whose parents are millionaire, or even billionaire, developers, bankers, studio heads, movie stars, and politicians, may use these magnificent facilities. Moreover, the fantastically cheap $300,000/annum lease represents a massive discount to this private school for the rich, which savings it has annually passed on in the form of cheaper tuition for the hyper-wealthy parents of its students. The Brentwood School is, not surprisingly, appealing the 2013 federal court decision which termed its lease an abuse of VA discretion. What worries me is that the wealthy and politically powerful parents and alumni of The Brentwood School will, in the shadows, twist the court's decision and cut a special deal for themselves which will allow them to extend their sweetheart lease. No doubt The Brentwood School administrators, having made a massive capital investment in this leased land sacredly deeded to veterans, already considers the land their own simply because it built a multi-million dollar swimming pool there, simply because it has successfully locked out the veterans from the use of their own, the veterans', land for almost 20 years. If the school manages to tip Blind Justice's scales and extend the lease in anything like its present form, it will be an outrage, not least because almost none of the parents, students, and alumni (with names like Schwarzenegger and Wasserman) of this fantastically privileged private school ever have served or will serve in defense of the nation themselves. I'd also like to contrast The Brentwood School's behavior with that of UCLA, which leases a much smaller parcel of West LA VA land for its Jackie Robinson Stadium. First of all, UCLA is a public university owned by and open to all California citizens, not a private school affordable primarily to the super rich. Second, the baseball stadium has always been open to and integrated into the life of the VA. If veterans care to sit in the bleachers and watch a game, they're perfectly free to do so. UCLA does NOT not lock and never has locked the veterans out of their own land. In fact, the lively games played on that field enrich the lives of local veterans. On January 28, 2016, UCLA reached an agreement with the VA in which it would continue to use the stadium for baseball games, but at five times the discounted rent it had been paying. This is a just resolution for UCLA and the VA. It raises the question of what can be a just resolution for The Brentwood School and the VA. The Brentwood School's officials claim they are committed to allowing the veterans to share the lavish sports facilities with the millionaires' children. But what kind of limited sharing will this be? And will The Brentwood School pay, in a new lease, the many million$ per year that these 20 acres would be worth in the open market? Or will the school's politically powerful plutocratic friends, pulling strings at the highest national level, exact another sweetheart deal from the VA?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Together: Not just in NY, but in echoes heard around the world

These occupations are taking place in MANY cities. Moreover, millions of people who aren't physically attending are still paying HEED to them.....despite the best efforts of the financier-controlled media and governments to diminish, patronize, and suppress them....

Speaking of paying heed to distant and imagined messages, am reading A Mapmaker's Dream, in which a monk in Venice, Italy, circa 1550, attempts to imagine and map the world based on fragmentary reports from various travelers. "A man staggers along the Via Dolorosa every time he sets out to create a thing of beauty." The prose is powerful, poetic, and evocative.

"I am my world," says Wittgenstein. And he also says, "Do not mistake the territory for the map."

The monk is constantly torn by his own inability to leave Venice, by his own struggle to fill in the blanks left by what his travelers' reports hint at or fail to he is also torn by the possibilities and limitations of his own feverish imagination..... Of course I can identify with this. So can almost anyone troubled by inertia, paralysis, imagination, and the apprehension of the dimmest possibilities of a cosmos knowable and unknowable in its complexities and wonders.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Gertrude Stein: the ugly truth

Click here: Gertrude Stein's "Missing" Vichy Years | Truthout

Wow. A Franco supporter, too. Ugly indeed. I'll never think of her the same way again. No wonder she was able to hold on to her art.

Manhattan? Or Moneytown?

Click here: NYPD 'White Shirts' Take On Enforcer Role

Bring on the dogs and firehoses! Where're Sheriffs Jim Clark and Bull Connor when billionaire Bloomberg needs 'em to clear the streets for his fellow billionaires? God forbid anything slow the pace of present and future swindles.....or even raise questions about them.

Selma, Alabama, has come to Wall Street! Of course, this time the suppression will be packaged more carefully. The brains behind the White Shirts are nothing if not media savvy. And doing it right in the financial capital will set a good example for suppressors in all the other cities.....

It's official. Manhattan must change its name to Moneytown. The transformation is complete at last!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Help: thumbs up

SO much better'n I was expecting. Many wonderful performances in it, black and white. And painful truths, too. I was expecting it to be another p.c. melodrammer of the era & place, and sure, it has some of that in it, but it's more precisely observed than that, and more moving. It's a powerful rebuttal to Gone with the Wind, not as self-congratulatory as something like In the Heat of the Night...

Viola Davis has that line late in the movie about finally expressing how felt to be her, the truth of her life. That's what that movie is about: people finding the courage, putting their very lives on the line, to express the painful and often shameful truths of their lives. ...Despite or because of all the obstacles laid in their way. It'll be in line for a number of Oscars....for actors, for writing, maybe Tom Newman's music, maybe the direction... Loved the exterior shots of those incredible Jackson, MS, mansions, too. Davis will get a nomination at the least. Director Tate obviously has a visceral feel for the place.

Emma Stone is very good. At first I thought: Lindsay Lohan has come through her addictions looking WAY better than I expected.....but it's Emma. Ron Howard's daughter Bryce has a big part, she's passable but one-dimensional. Other actresses could have done something more interesting with the role. Please don't nominate her for nuthin'.... Most of the male actors are ciphers, placeholders...

I was sitting behind three old black people from the South, and boy did they love it. They were INVOLVED....sang along with the songs, answered back at the screen...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Joel Klein Promises to "Investigate" His Very Generous Boss, Rupert M

Click here: Joel Klein, Ex-Schools Chief, Leads Internal News Corp. Inquiry -

The Times reporter seems to find it curiouser and curiouser that Joel Klein, a so-called Democrat and man of probity, would take on the job of in-house investigation of the through-the-looking-glass-world of his employer, Rupert Murdoch.

Actually, Mr. Klein was recently a notorious unionbuster (teachers' unions) appointed by a Republican mayor to bring NY teachers to heel.. And in any case, no man of integrity would accept an executive job, as Klein did last year, from a lie-mongering spider like Rupert Murdoch. The in-house "investigation" of Murdoch conducted by Klein and Lord Grabiner can only be an ugly joke. Another joke: the protests by both men that they would not take the job on if they thought it would be a whitewash. It can only be a whitewash, and this story, which is an opinion piece posing as an objective story, is a whitewash, too.

We finally get down to something real in this story when we learn that Klein's exec compensation package from Rupert is upwards of $4.5 million/annum. What some shills, er, ah, men of integrity, will do and say for a buck! I guess Klein feels his $34,000 pension (earned while spending 8 years attacking teachers' pensions!) for being Chancellor of NY Schools ain't nearly enough to pay for the life to which he would like to become accustomed.

Contradicting and compromising himself for the almighty dollar has never worried Klein before. Though he happily accepts his own defined benefit pension, here's what he had to say about defined benefit pensions when he was Chancellor of NY Schools: "Alas," he added, "the same kind of pensions are now hollowing out public education." And alas, Mr. Klein, your compensation package from Mr. Murdoch has hollowed out the last shreds of your reputation for integrity.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Osama and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

‎'Osama And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day': Michael Bay To Direct Children's Book Adaptation. Summer blocktastrophe coming soon to your mallplex.

GOP Confirms Death of Osama.

GOP Confirms the Death of Osama. Group vows to be 'a curse chasing the Americans and their agents.'

Friday, March 25, 2011

40 Virgins here, 72 more in Paradise

Click here: AMAZONS : Five Gaddafi's lipsticked virgins Bodyguards - Muammar Qadaffi - Zimbio

Revolutionary nuns sworn never to fuck. But can they bake a cherry pie? You can't make this shit up. Do they have to submit to weekly virginity checks by the royal gynecologists, or does the Beloved Leader take them on trust? Some of the darker grrrls look like African mercenaries from nations south of Libya. You may have read that many of the male soldiers still loyal to Mallomar Quackdaffy were originally boy soldiers, some as young as 12, from black African nations. It gets crazier and crazier. One of his own air force pilots apparently turned his jet around and kamikazied into a Quackdaffy palace, blowing up one of his many sons.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I love the smell of roast Repiglican in the morning

This morning it's raining the way The Richest 1% pisses on the head of John Q. Public: maliciously, viciously, avariciously, gleefully, unremittingly.

You know, I really didn't start out hating these hypocritical avaricious lying mofo's and teabaggers and hate-jocks. But they've pushed me and pushed me until I loathe them with a pure white incandescence that burns with the power of ten billion suns.......

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Grinch That Is Stealing Social Security

The cruelest joke of the season has got be calling The Cat Food Commission, led by Utah's ex- Senator Alan "Attila the Mormon" Grinchkin, bipartisan.

Notice the 2 pronged attack on SS. The allegedly bipartisan Cat Food Commission (spokesman Alan Simpson is about as bi-partisan as Mussolini and has a long history of hating SS) proposes cuts in SS payments ("we have to destroy it to save it"), and the Repigs extend Bush's tax cut giveaway to the super rich, a one-two punch which knocks a trillion dollar hole in future budgets and sets up more SS "reform" which will consist in eviscerating and "privatizing" SS so that pension $ can be flooded into the market, setting up more opportunities for the barely taxed billionaire Wall St. swindlers to raid the savings of working people and rape the social net. It's too too painfully obvious and wicked, but the corporate media, in service to its billionaire owners, won't question it. On the contrary, the talking heads sell the crime to the lobotomized public, lubing the reaming of the rubes.What a criminal class America's upper class has become.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The 7 Sure Signs of Teacher Burnout

A Japanese teacher apologized for asking his seven-year-old students during a math lesson, "There are 18 kids. If we kill three per day,how many days will it take?"

Using dead kids in arithmetic problems----One of the 7 sure signs of 2nd grade teacher burn out.

The others, in no special order:

1) Not allowing 7 year olds bathroom breaks between 8 AM and 4 PM.
2) Making them keep their snow galoshes on all day
3) Stealing their lunch money
4) Feeding them to the classroom's pet python
5) Locking them in the classroom over the Xmas holiday
6) Conducting mock funerals for them in the classroom.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

L'Affaire Sherrod: No vills in Vilsack's sack.

The Secretary of Agriculture obviously has no vills in his sack. Does ANYone in the White House? Boys & girls, if you've got 'em, now's the time to show 'em.

As for the National Association for the Capitulation to Fox Network, what a falling off there has been since the days when the NAACP had a spine. If the organization can fall any lower than this, I don't want to know about it. President Jealous of the NAACP ought to be jealous, or at least envious......of anyone with the guts to stand up to liars, racists, and slanderers.
He sure as hell ain't among 'em.

Friday, April 23, 2010

RIP:The Upstart Crow Will Shakescene & Miguel C

The Upstart Crow Will Shakescene and Miguel Cervantes, father of both the modern novel and Don Quijote, the knight of the mournful countenance, supposedly died on this date, April 23, in 1616:

Will Shakescene allegedly died 4/23/1616, same day, some say, as Miguel Cervantes:
".... Soule of the Age !
The applause ! delight ! the wonder of our Stage !
My Shakespeare, rise; I will not lodge thee byChaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lye
A little further, to make thee a roome :
Thou art a Moniment, without a tombe,
And art alive still, while thy Booke doth live,
And we have wits to read, and praise to give....
....He was not of an age, but for all time !
And all the Muses still were in their prime,
When like Apollo he came forth to warme
Our eares, or like a Mercury to charme !
Nature her selfe was proud of his designes,
And joy'd to weare the dressing of his lines !
Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit,
As, since, she will vouchsafe no other Wit...." -----so writes his bud, Ben Jonson

This person whom you see here, with an oval visage, chestnut hair, smooth open forehead, lively eyes, a hooked but well-proportioned nose, and silvery beard that twenty years ago was golden, large moustaches, a small mouth, teeth not much to speak of, for he has but six, in bad condition and worse placed, no two of them corresponding to each other, a figure midway between the two extremes, neither tall nor short, a vivid complexion, rather fair than dark, somewhat stooped in the shoulders, and not very lightfooted: this, I say, is the author of Galatea, Don Quixote de la Mancha, The Journey to Parnassus, which he wrote in imitation of Cesare Caporali Perusino, and other works which are current among the public, and perhaps without the author's name. He is commonly called MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA." ---Cervantes describes himself

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Elin's Taking Her Stockholm Syndrome Back to Stockholm

That's all. That's my joke for the day. The rest of the day stretches behind me like a vast wasteland. Like Cleveland, but without Lebron. Now where's my wetnurse?

Monday, April 12, 2010

RE-regging seems a distant dream

Congress, owned by the big banks, corporations, and plutocrats, de-regged (thanks tons, Phil Gramm, and your conjugal partner in crime, Martha Gramm) Wall Street and, eventually,unleashed the financial collapse. But we aren't RE-regging because Congress is still pimped out to K-street. We need financial regulations with teeth, but we also need Congressmen with balls, and we won't have many of them without campaign finance reform. Meanwhile, the monstrous new decision of the Roberts Corp, er, ah, I mean Court, has opened the floodgates to massive new corporate campaign funding/bribes. Roberts is doing all he can to serve his corporate masters and subvert the Constitution, shunting governance away from individual voters and even more securely into the hands of Big Money. By the way, even small banks are no guarantee of ending financial mischief. Georgia's small banks got their state into especially deep doodoo with voodoo real estate loans. See Paul Krugman's column, 4/11/10, New York Times, for more on this.

Speaking of toothless regulations and no-balled Congressmen, why is no one prosecuting Chris Cox, ex Repig Cali Congressman and the disgraced former Chairman of the SEC? The man openly disregarded mountains of data warning him of the coming bank collapses. "Heckuva of a job, Coxie!" Can't he be charged with dereliction of duty, or being party to a gigantic financial swindle, or being a fox in a hen house, or SOMEthing, sputter sputter?!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Deficit=George's Tax Cuts for Rich + George's Wars

Click here: Deficit Fascinates Media—Its Causes, Not So Much

Largest cause of deficit is Bush's tax cut(s) for the rich. Next largest: his war(s). Yet the media & pols rant on about Social Security and Medicare.

And how much of the current tax bill is being paid by regressive federal witholding taxes (Social Security & Medicare) which are shunted directly into the general fund? Meanwhile, the top 25 hedge funders averaging 1 billion in 2009 pay 15%, far less than single mother waitresses!!!!!!!

The injustice, and the lies, are too criminal for words.

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Extra! April 2010Deficit Fascinates Media—Its Causes, Not So MuchBush tax cuts seldom mentioned as source of red inkBy Janine Jackson
The role of George W. Bush’s tax cuts in the current federal deficit is tremendous. Their role in corporate media’s current round of deficit obsession, however, is tenuous at best. Sometimes acknowledged in editorials or op-eds, the cuts generally only make it into news reports as assertions from the White House or Democrats, rather than established and relevant economic fact. Elite papers lately issue near daily alarms on the deficit—“gargantuan,” “unprecedented,” “unimaginable a few years ago.” Virtually all accounts speak portentously of the costs of benefit programs like Social Security, often described as “the main causes for expanding federal spending and deficits” (Washington Post, 3/1/10) or “the major factor behind projections of unsustainably high deficits” (New York Times, 1/26/10)—and sometimes, dismayingly, as “goodies” (New York Times, 2/7/10). But even the most discerning reader might not suspect that, as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains (2/17/10), “just two policies dating from the Bush administration—tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...will account for almost $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019,” impacts that “easily dwarf the stimulus and financial rescues.” A December 14, 2009 piece in the Washington Post identified the current brouhaha as a strategy of “Republicans seeking to make growing federal deficits a focal point of the 2010 elections.” That awareness is missing from most Post reporting on the subject, which still has room for such things as Alan Simpson’s lament (2/17/10): “How did we get to a point in America where you get to a certain age in life, regardless of net worth or income, and you’re ‘entitled’? The word itself is killing us.” When mention of Bush-era contributions to the present deficit occurs, it’s most often in comments from presumably interested parties like Obama (Washington Post, 2/2/10) or White House budget director Peter Orszag (Washington Post, 2/1/10). Meanwhile, references to the need to curtail the White House’s “lavish aspirations” (Washington Post, 1/26/10) or “the massive federal entitlement programs—including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security—that threaten to drive the nation’s debt to levels not seen since World War II” (Washington Post, 1/20/10) are in the reporter’s own voice. The New York Times is aware that a debate on the deficit that omits mention of Bush’s cuts is disingenuous, as editorials like “The Truth About the Deficit” (2/7/10) attest. This knowledge remains hermetically sealed in the paper’s editorial department, however, and MIA where it might be useful—for instance, following a statement about how “a deficit at $1.6 trillion” is a strong reason why “leading Republicans …argued that Mr. Obama could hardly claim credit for improvements in the economy” (New York Times, 2/18/10). A January 27 Times piece ended with the phrase, “considering much of the nation’s debt is the result of spending and tax cuts during the years up to 2007 when Republicans controlled both the White House and Congress.” To date, no articles have begun that way.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Donnie G's WP: Afflicting the afflicted, comforting the comfortable

Click here: FAIR Blog » Blog Archive » Washington Post and Afghan War Critics

Can anyone remember the last time the Wash. Post was an advocate for the people and the truth rather than for the government and its self-serving prevarications? ---Oh yeah, almost 40 years ago, Watergate, when publisher "Donnie" Graham's mother Katherine ran the paper and stood up to Nixon. Somebody needs to remind "Donnie" that good journalists "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." The Donnie-run Post invariably afflicts the afflicted and comforts the comfortable.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Homeland Security: Protecting its own ass first & last

Homeland Security is imposing all kinda outlandish new "safety measures" *(no pillows on laps, nobody gets to pee, except on himself, in the last hour of the flight)...........all just a cover for their own incompetence: the real error was letting this Nigerian fly even though his father had warned security months before that his son had become a Muslim extremist. Jesus.

The fucking federals keep making the SAME mistakes (invading Afghanistan after invading Iraq, scarcely any new banking regulation after the banking catastrophe, Bush ignored 9/11 intelligence, Napolitano's stooges do the same re the Nigerian) over and over and over. Are they stupider than they are corrupt, or more corrupt than they are stupid?

*these pointless security measures aren't so much to protect Americans as to show the sheeple who's their daddy: Big Brother. "We can shine a flashlight up your butt anytime we want. We can tell you when and where to piss or NOT. We are in charge of the vertical. We are in charge of the horizontal. You're just Spam in a can." And notice that it was the passengers themselves that saved themselves from the bomber, not all the hundreds of billions spent on self-important Homeland Security bureaucrats.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Ft Hood: How many guns is enough?

After each massacre, NRA fanatics say the shootings can be stopped if EVERYONE is armed. Here is a base which has one of the heaviest concentrations of arms in the world, including individual soldiers carrying pistols and assault rifles. But that didn't stop this shooting. So much for another specious NRA argument.
Hasan, a Palestinian & Muslim, was openly dreading being sent to the Middle East and had posted curiously positive statements about suicide bombers on his blog. What's more, the FBI was aware of this. Why didn't investigators target this guy as a potential danger? They sure seem to have a lot of blindspots, big and small. Remember when the John Ashcroft-led FBI ignored field agents' (in Minneapolis & Phoenix) warnings about suspicious terrorists' activities prior to 9/11? Sounds like the FBI is WAY overdue for an overhaul.
The Pentagon has been hyperstressing a small pool of troops, sending them into combat cycles 4, 5, and even 6 times. Hasan, a shrink, was soaking up their stress, hearing their PTSD horror stories, all day, every day.....for years. It's no accident he went on a rampage in the very building where troops are processed in from, and out to, the horror. Of course, with this huge base on lockdown, the Army, the gov't, and a compliant media will do what they can to feed the public their version of the massacre, a version which will ignore and launder the root sources of the stress and the failure to be cognizant of that stress in individuals such as Hasan and his patients.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Giving Gravity an Asswhuppin'

Just a word about about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' "Pick Yourself Up" number from Swingtime.. Put your DVD on quadruple fastforward to zip and skip through the klunky early scenes if you can't bear them....they scarcely matter. It's all about the dance, the lyrics, the music. Imagine the audience, in the depths (1936) of the Depression watching this. It's set up by Fred, already broke, pretending he can't dance......and doing it so well he gets dance instructor Ginger fired. So now they both have nothing...but each other, and their flying feet...and they go back on the floor and suddenly catch fire and win Ginger back her job and then some. Perhaps the best moment among countless wonderful moves is when they casually hurdle the little fence that pens them in. Because there's no fencing these two in any longer. Now that they're transformed, limits are laughable, mere opportunities to show their magical stuff. Plenty of the original watchers, back in 1936, were out of a job or knew all too well what it was like to be down with no hope on the horizon. So imagine the effect the lyrics must have had on them: Nothing's impossible I have found,For when my chin is on the ground,I pick myself up,Dust myself off,Start All over again.

Don't lose your confidence if you slip,Be grateful for a pleasant trip,And pick yourself up,Dust yourself off,Start all over again.

Fred and Ginger are flying, they're giving gravity an asswhuppin', they're suddenly brilliant, they're geniuses, they can do no wrong, Fred has gone from being a klutz to did it happen? Who cares? It happened! They're Americans, aren't they? And isn't everyone an American, in the sense that there's always hope, always the chance to turn things around? No matter how crazy that may seem? No matter how low and hard they fall, they can pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and start all over again! And this time the world will be wonderful, and they'll be wonderful... And imagine yourself, unemployed and despairing, in the depths of the Depression, with no reason for hope, sitting in the dark in that theater, listening to those lyrics, watching those dancing demigods. How many millions of people, in the U.S. and all over the globe, walked out of the theaters with their crushed hearts lightened, with hope, with a sense of the future, with an renewed confidence? Those movie houses were places of worship, sacred temples, admission two bits, when moments like that happened. And their gospel was lyrics like these from Dorothy Fields: Will you remember the famous men,Who had to fall to rise again?So take a deep breath,Pick yourself up,Dust yourself off,Start all over again.Because there is greatness in all of us, and we find it when things seem darkest, lowest, most hopeless. And the amazing thing is that you, now, perhaps discouraged by the latest financial collapse, and whatever reversals you and your family and community and society have suffered, can still watch that wonderful number, take in those beautiful swirling bodies, that startlingly spontaneous, surprising, sparkling choreography, listen to the resilient, inspiring, lyrics, and feel not only a connection to the brave Americans of an earlier era, but feel that courage pour into your own, dented, heart. Go out and rent it today and see if I'm wrong. And finally, a word about Ginger. When the music stopped playing, when she stopped flying, when she was merely acting, she could look a bit pie-faced and pugnosed, one might even notice her platinum dye job. But when she was in motion, spinning, her gown in one hand, scissoring those perfect legs, that flawless back, that exquisitely trim waist, she was the most beautiful woman in the world, an angel, an goddess who briefly dropped in to show us mere mortals how it was done, what it looked like. She was everybody's muse. Don't take my word for it----take a look and listen for yourself. Now that's what you call a pick-me-up.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Safire, don't let the door to hell smack your ass on the way in

It's damning that the hallowed NY Times gave a vital sounding board to an amoral PR man for ghouls like Nixon, Agnew, Sharon, & Cheney. "Nattering nabobs of negativism" was a fun turn of Safirean phraseology, but remember, Saire made it in the service of Spiro A, a completely corrupt conman, bribe-taker, liar, and felon. Safire also flakked for the discredited final years of the Viet War, including Nixon's invasion of Cambodia, and defended the indefensible as his massa', the Constitution-raping Nixon, went down the tubes. 30 years later, Bill was still up to his rotten tricks, selling the disastrous, lie-based, invasion of Iraq to the American public. There must be a special place in hell for men who use their verbal virtuosity to sell lies, violence, and economic & social injustice to their readers. William Buckley will be there to greet his glib homey.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Pirate of Montana

Click here: RJ Eskow: Top Five Reasons the Baucus Bill Is Really, Really Bad

I am the very model of a modern Blue Dog Democrat
I strike a balance midway between Wall Street and the corporate
I know what Trojan Horses are, am one from nose to cuticle
and in 2003 passed prescription reform
for my many friends pharmaceutical.
From Helena to Washington, I'll always do what should be done,
Because you see as Senator I am and always will be one
Who takes my many millions from
the capitalist insurance scum
I am not talking through my hat
when I reassure you that
I am the very model of a modern Blue Dog Democrat

I do all that I can
to screw the common man
as you can see
and hand his hard won wages back
to the masters who have purchased me
I know who I take millions from
my campaign fund's a mighty sum
and now's the time for paypack
to my buds the big insurance scum.

I know who I take millions from, and who I am beholding to
and that's why I do all I do
to give the working man a screw.
Rest easy in the knowledge that
I am a slick & wicked cat
I am the very model of a modern Blue Dog Democrat

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Y-Gens' commitment to literature

Click here: Literary tattoos - fashion or a whim?

I must learn to love the fool in me - the one who feels too much, talks to much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laught and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool.”
from Love me, love my fool: Thoughts from a psychoanalyst’s notebook by Theodore Isaac Rubin.

Dat's a lotta shit to have to laser away later. How about using henna?

Here're a couple more they might want to sear into their flesh: "2X2 equals 5 also has its charm" or "suffering is the root of all consciousness" The Underground Man-----Dostoyesky

Baudelaire's "Always be drunk" monologue

Two from Lear: "I am a man more sinned against than sinning" and "That way madness lies"

And the beginning of Moby Fish: "Call me Fishmeal."

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Loser-ana, a helluva state

Click here: t r u t h o u t But Here's the Funny Part

Below quoted from William Rivers Pitt:

Voinovich's accusation drew a stern rebuke from fellow Republican Sen. David Vitter (R-Louisiana), who said, "I'm on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values. There are a lot of us from the South who hold those values, which I think the party is supposed to be about. We strayed from them in the past few years, and that's why we performed so badly in the national elections." Not content to leave it at that, Vitter went on to label Voinovich a "wishy-washy" moderate.
But here's the funny part. Senator Vitter's heartfelt defense of core GOP values left out the part about how he is a known, publicly confirmed consorter with prostitutes, and admitted in 2007 to committing a "serious sin," the nature of which, one must assume, had nothing to do with failing to keep holy the Sabbath. The last word on this one belongs to Louisiana Democratic Party spokesman Kevin Franck, who replied to inquiries by Talking Points Memo with the following email message: "Last time I checked, you don't find core Southern values in the places David Vitter has been found. If David Vitter can lead his party back to their conservative values, maybe Larry Craig can give them tips on bathroom etiquette and Mark Sanford can recommend a really good restaurant in Buenos Aires."

Which inspired me to write the following :
"Looziana Looziana, a helluva state
you go to a cathouse to find you a mate
you got you a pol his name is Vitter
leaves his wife at home as the babysitter
he preaches Family Values north and south
cuz he talks outta both
sides of his mouth.
Looziana Looziana, a helluva state!"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Years in the Second White House

Nobody was more surprised than I when I got a call from the White House asking if I wanted to work for the President. For one thing, I hadn’t submitted an application.
“How did you get my name and phone number?” I said.
“The President has his sources.”
“What would I be doing?”
“Hanging out in the Second White House, or Caddyshack.” Turns out there’s a SECOND White House on the White House grounds. It’s painted with special invisible paint so you can’t see it on Google’s satellite photos. But if you could see it, you’d see it was white and cute. “The job description is ‘hanging out.’?” I asked.
“Yes, you hang out like a NORAD pilot or a fireman, waiting to scramble your jets, You know: Where’s the fire?! You’ll be awaiting the President’s summons. It may come often or never. Probably never, as the President is a very busy man.”
“Who are you?”
“You don’t need to know my real name. I used to be a dancer. I was trained at Sarah Lawrence in their dance department, as was the White House Chief of Staff, Rahv Emmanuel. You can call me Tiny Dancer. That’s what the Secret Service calls me.”
“What should I call Rahv Emmanuel?”
“He’s Angry Dancer. But he’s even busier, and maybe more important, than the President. So it’s unlikely you’ll ever have the honor of speaking directly to him.”
“Let me get this straight: I’m more likely to speak directly to the President than I am to Angry Dancer?”
“That’s right.”
“Can I read or watch TV or listen to talking books while I’m awaiting the President’s summons?”
“Of course. Or you can exercise. The Caddyshack has a full gym. People on the 2nd White House staff tend to get into phenomenal shape. For one thing, the President has a whole basketball team in there, just waiting to play pickup games.”
“There’s a basketball court in the Caddyshack?”
“You betcha. Glass backboards and hardwood floors. It’s NBA quality.”
“Wow. Will I get to use it?”
“Yes, so long as the President isn’t on it. We don’t want you interfering with his games.”
“Maybe I could join the pickup games.”
“Nope. We know your game. You’re too old and rusty and out of shape. You’d embarrass yourself out there, and Barry doesn’t want anybody doing that. Not even Dick Cheney. Those guys don’t kid around. Remember, the Big Kahuna played varsity hoops for Occidental.”
“Big Kahuna?”
“That’s the President’s Secret Service handle.”
“No it isn’t. It’s Renegade.”
“He has more than one. For the purposes of the Caddyshack, it’s Big Kahuna.”
“What would I be doing besides waiting around for his summons?”
“Keeping him company, hanging out with him. He heard you were a good guy.”
“He heard right. I am. What will I be paid?”
“Twice what you’re making now.”
“That’s still not much.”
“But think about it. You’ll be on the White House staff. Some day you’ll be able to publish your memoirs. That’ll be at least a six figure deal. And medical and dental are superb for White House employees.”
“Will you help me find housing?”
“The White House has already lined up a cute little brick two-storey just across the Potomac in Arlington for you. It’s in a very good school district.”
“I don’t have any kids.”
“We know. But your value on the dating market will go WAY up once you join the staff. Some divorcee with kids may well latch onto to you, if only for your medical benefits.”
“How can I say no?”
“You can’t. Nobody dares say no.”
* * * *
The first few days at the Second White House were paradise. Alternating between the treadmill and the basketball court and the uneven parallel bars, I started to get into the best shape I’ve been in in 20 years. My basketball game started to come around. I played more and more minutes with the President’s squad as my waist trimmed down. But nobody asked me to join in when The Big Kahuna dropped by for a game, as he did 3 or 4 times a week. And he never spoke to me, either. That kinda hurt. But I reminded myself I hadn’t been hired to play hoops with him in the first place.

I found myself wishing I knew exactly which part of my personality the President had heard about. I mean, I can be charming, but I’m not the most sociable guy in the world. Did he like it that I was well read? Maybe that was it. He had majored in English and I was an English professor. But I taught at a community college and he had his pick of the most prestigious professors in the world. It didn’t quite make sense. What part of myself, I wondered, should I be developing and preparing so I could be the best pal I could for him when I finally got my summons? I phoned Tiny Dancer and asked.
“Don’t bother to do homework for your summons,” she said. “Just hang loose. You’ve already spent a lifetime preparing to be Barry’s homey.”
“I have?!”
“Believe it,” she said, and hung up.
So I went back to hanging out. There were some artisanal gardeners who liked to watch Animal Planet when they weren’t working in Michelle’s organic garden, but I couldn’t get with that. It seemed wrong, somehow, to watch TV while I was drawing down government money. I joined the Second White House’s yoga classes. Sometimes I’d attend two or three a day. Jasmine, a tall skinny Aussie, one of the teachers, warned me against this, saying I might end up with Yoga toe, or downward dog back, or one of a hundred other over-use ailments which afflict yoga addicts. So I backed off to one 90 minute class a day. By this time my waist was down from 40 inches to 34, where it hadn’t been since the first Bush Administration. And there was a lovely girl who always seemed to have her mat near mine. I figured I didn’t have a chance with her. Women that young and pretty always had at least one boyfriend. They didn’t need banged up middleaged white guys almost old enough to be their fathers.
But she was very sweet to me. She probably found me safe and unthreatening, like a stuffed panda. Turns out she wasn’t exactly sure why she had been hired, either. “I’ve got a graduate degree in Medieval Art History from Yale. I wrote my thesis on Flemish tapestries.”
“Maybe Michelle eventually plans to buy some Flemish tapestries for the White House.”
“I thought about that. And immediately dismissed the thought. They would clash with everything else in the place. They’re very un-American. Anyhow, Michelle keeps her backup people in the Third White House, with the exception of the gardeners, of course.”
“There’s a Third White House?”
“Yes, it’s painted with invisible paint, too. But if you could see it, you’d see it was painted very brightly in green, black, and red.”
“Wow. That doesn’t sound good.”
“It has trim in the national colors of Trinidad-Tobago.”
“Which are?”
“I dunno. We can google up the colors up if you like. I heard they clash with the black liberation colors of the roof and walls. But who knows? As I say, nobody’s actually SEEN the place because it’s invisible.”
“That’s probably a good thing. Can you imagine what Sean Hannity would say if he had pictures of the Third White House? Why, the color scheme alone might be enough to return the GOP to power.” I looked into Suzi’s eyes. They were deep violet, like the young Liz Taylor’s before hers got all bloodshot. I realized I was falling in love with her. I was about to say something when she jumped in with: “Don’t say it. I know what you want to say and we’ll both regret it if you do. I already have a boyfriend. An age appropriate boyfriend with a solid income and a bright future. He’s a stallion in bed. And I’ve got a couple lovers on the side, as well. One’s a rockstar. The other’s a rapper. The only reason I’m even talking to you is because we share the strange, exalted, private world of this Second White House. We’re around each other every day, and I feel very comfortable with you, like I would with a golden retriever or a basement barcalounger.”
“Wow,” I said. “You really cut to the chase.”
“Men come on to me all the time. I’ve had a lot of practice drawing boundaries. If I didn’t, my life would be impossible.”
“Maybe you’re around here because you’re so pretty and appealing and refined. Maybe your presence helps the general morale in the Caddyshack.”
“That thought has occurred to me, as well. But I’m so bright and hardworking there surely has to be more for me than just being a high class USO girl.” Her eyes welled up with tears. I dared to give her a comforting hug. She didn’t wriggle out of my grasp. “I’m only letting you do this because I feel safe with you. You’re like a eunuch. You can never hope to have sex with me, even though I’ve already told you I’m unfaithful to my studly boyfriend with a couple other men. And by the way, I’m skilled in the tantric arts.”
All I could say was “Damn.” Just then my phone rang. I had a little red mobile phone which had only one purpose: taking summons from the White House. “This is Tiny Dancer,” the voice said, “Big Kahuna wants to go for a burger at Five Friends. Are you ready to rumble?”
“Yes I am,” I said, and she hung up. “I have to go get a burger with Barry,” I told Suzi. She looked at me with such admiration that I was almost sure that she might, eventually, be willing to sleep with me after all. I started wondering if I could keep up with her youthful, tireless body and her tantric skills. The answer was clear: hell no. I hoped she would forgive an old man his inadequacies. No doubt her expectations would be low. And there was always Cyalis. Still, for her, accustomed as she was to tussles with rough boiz, it might be more like going to bed with a plush. A very large plush.
Just then the President, with a full retinue of Secret Servicemen and press, appeared. As soon as we shook hands, I felt as if we had been best pals for years. “You ready to rumble, Panda Daddy?” he grinned. Panda Daddy, as you might have guessed, was my Second White House Secret Service handle.
I sat in the backseat of Big Kahuna’s limo, between him and Motormouth, the Vice President. We whizzed through the streets, sirens shrieking.
“You’re probably wondering why you’re my burger buddy,” said Barry. I shook my head no. “I just had an instinct about you as soon as Angry Dancer showed me your file.” I had a file. Double wow. I mean, I always knew I must have a file. Everybody at the White Houses has a file. But now I was wondering if they knew about that bust in Panama City. Of course they did. And somehow it was all right.
The burgers were fantastic. Everything tastes better when you’re in the presence of the Big Kahuna. We talked about David Foster Wallace’s suicide. “A great loss,” said the President, biting into a juicy cheeseburger. “You’ve got time to read Wallace?!” I said. “I can’t wait to read his last novel. The one they’re going to publish posthumously.” I just shook my head. Was there NOTHING this paragon couldn’t do, couldn’t find time to enjoy?
“Did you enjoy Joe Turner’s Come and Gone?” I asked as I squeezed catsup on our shared fries. “You like salt on your fries?”
“What are Freedom Fries without salt?” he grinned. “Yeah, the play was great. Roger Robinson, the lead, is amazing. He got a Tony for the performance, you know.”
“So I hear.”
“You gotta go!”
“Well, it’s hard to tear myself away from the Caddyshack.”
“Yup, you’ve always got to hang close to the Shack. Suzi makes it a little easier to pass the time, eh?”
“The whole job is a joy, Mr. President.” We munched away. Katie Couric approached me with a mike. “Who are you?” she said. “Nobody, really,” I grinned. I hoped my teeth weren’t covered with half chewed fries. “Just an old pal of Barry’s.” Vice President Motormouth started to say something but the Big Kahuna shushed him. I noticed nobody had bought him burgers and fries. He had nothing, so I offered him a few of ours. The President shook his finger no. “Biden’s on a diet. Don’t let him beg any of this off you. If you feed him, you may harm him.” Biden gave me a very sad look, as if he were a prisoner behind bars with a life sentence. I tried to look back sympathetically, but he was kinda creepy and I quickly looked away.
On the ride back to the White Houses I was again seated between Barry and Biden. This time Biden was so downcast he didn’t even TRY to talk. I felt incredibly close to the Big Kahuna, as if we were twins who had been separated at birth. I started to think about hoops, about how much fun it would be to join him on the court. He gave me a cool look, as if he were reading my thoughts. “Don’t even go there,” he said. “You still don’t have the game. You’d be an embarrassment.” Damn, that word again. “You’d get in the way. I used to play college ball.”
“You haven’t seen my hook. I’ve been working on a mini-skyhook.”
“I heard about your skyhooklet. It’s not ready.” He got on a phone and started to talk to Bernanke about the bank bailout. Just like that he was a million miles away. I feared I had blown it. How could I have been such an ass……just when things were better than perfect?!
I was almost as downcast as Biden when I returned to the Caddyshack. “Things didn’t go so well?” said Suzi. “You not a beefeater?”
“The burgers were super,” I said. “Best ever. But he frosted over when I asked about joining the b-ball game.”
“Uh oh,” she said. “You may be out of a job, old man.” Suddenly Suzi, too, was almost a million miles away. She was looking at me with whole new eyes, as if I would soon be gone. In a snap I had become just another tiresome old man. The horrible thing was, I loved her and wanted her more than ever. She drifted away from me, clearly wanted to put distance between us, and I didn’t see her again until the next day’s yoga class.
“You’re still here,” she grinned. On the other side of the yoga studio, a couple gardeners, livid with mat rage, were coming to blows. “That’s the trouble with yoga,” she said. “Everybody’s got to get in on the fun.” It was a joy to share a joke with her. I didn’t delude myself that I still had a chance with her, but at least she didn’t seem a million miles away. I was back to being her eunuch friend.
“So you think maybe I won’t be fired after all?”
“The jury’s out,” she said. “For sure you’re on probation.”
“I’m going to keep working on my game and keep my big yap shut. I understand my place, if there’s still to be one, in this universe.” Suzi gave me a gorgeous grin. I realized that she had been hired by Angry Dancer expressly to keep ME company. She realized it in the same instant. If I was ever fired, she would be, too. She was utterly dependent on me.
“As you go, so go I,” she said. Her eyes were incredibly large and luminous. I could see tiny gold flecks in her violet pupils. I knew it was going to be a wonderful eight years indeed.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Senator Lezzie Graham: Ass of the Year

Click here: Jon Stewart Hammers Lindsey Graham For Hypocrisy In The Sotomayor Hearings (VIDEO)

Should be required viewing for every American. Thank heavens for Jon Stewart.

Do the Repigs really think they're gaining by re-re-relocking up the sexist/racist base? Subtract all the women, all the non-whites, all the sane, all the non-lobotomos, and all the non-sexist non-racist white men, and where do they have a majority outside of Inner Dumbfuckistan? Or am I being naive?

I know, I know, this strategy has worked for them like gangbusters for 40 years, so why quit now.

Sure puts in sharp relief what it takes to please a GOP Senator: Alito, Scaglia, Roberts, Thomas....what a line up.....of lying, sexist, racist, corporate-facist tools.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Palin Resigns to Become President of the New CSA?

She quotes MacArthur: "We are not retreating but advancing in another direction"?! Didn't she mean: "We are not advancing but retreating in another direction"? You can't parody this stuff. Well, whichever way she meant it, it oughta be the motto of the Grand New Partay.
She's been utterly discredited in the eyes of 80% (90%?) of Americans since her buffoonish turn as VP candidate. And she's obviously fleeing a scandal in Alaska. So what, pray tell, is she hoping to be elected President OF? South Carolina? That state is crazy enough for her, but won't have a presidential vacancy*.......until it secedes again. Maybe THAT's the plan!

*heck, if Gov. Lovebug stays his present course, the state won't even have a gubernatorial vacancy for years.....

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Draft Dodger Dick Runs Amok (again)

Cheney TAKES BACK what he (and almost no one else, at this point) has been saying for 8 years about a connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda?!!! What is he doing? Trying to sound rational after a lifetime of insanity? He's always calculating, but what is THIS calculation? Is this how he sounds when he's running scared? He's so public, so un-embunkered, these days. "Wild stuff," as Johnny Carson would say. His handlers need to get him back in his cage.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Lutz's Last Stand

Click here: Robert Lutz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bob Lutz: Responsible for product development at GM during the Bush Admin.

Testosterone loaded ex Navy pilot. Was on Letterman show the other night, and is clearly still immensely pleased with himself. Meanwhile, his company, once the greatest in the world, has gone bankrupt and has 1/10th the employees it had in the 1970's.

He says global warming is a crock of shit. He championed the Hummer (sold to a Chinese firm in a fire sale this week) at GM, was a driving force behind the deathcar gashog Explorer at Ford. Yet somehow, this 76 year old fossil held onto his job until 1 Apr 2009. And of course, there are more masters of disaster in the GM lineup where this blunderer came from. Wow. What does it take to get an exec fired in Detroit?

The magnitude of their failure is perhaps unparalleled in the history of capitalism. Oh, that's right, we just had a multi-trillion dollar booboo on Wall Street. So let's amend that to: .....unparalleled in the history of manufacturing.
Am sputtering and repeating myself, I know, but the proof is in the performance: GM execs, including Bob Lutz, are responsible for the greatest disaster in the history of industry----the bankruptcy and near total collapse of General Motors, once the greatest industrial firm in the world. The mighty colossus is now roadkill. GM once produced 10% of the nation's entire industrial output. Yesterday it was drummed out of the Dow Jones lineup. Saying Hummer-booster Bob Lutz and his fellow dinosaurs are good auto execs is like saying Custer was a good general. How did these fossils, and their hapless predecessors, hold onto their jobs as long as they did? Their longevity says terrible things about the blind, deaf, smug, inbred culture of The Motor City. The only thing they've succeeded in doing is driving the American automobile industry straight into the ground.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Frankly, my dear, they don't give a flying fuck

Click here: t r u t h o u t "They Frankly Own the Place"

Sen. Dick Durbin is scarily correct. These billion dollar swindlers have a great thing going. They can use their taxpayer-bailout money to pay off legislators so the legislators will protect them from regulation and punishment, which is to say, from the taxpayers they have defrauded. The same legislators can also be counted on to pass more laws which will allow the financiers to continue legally robbing the public. Now THAT'S the perfect crime! What a glorious bliss loop! These criminals are the height of respectability in a money-based society and government where possession (of great gobs of ill-got gold) is 9/10ths of the law.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

regarding the recent ethics charges against Governor Sarah Pailin

Sarah sucketh.
She sucketh in Wasilla, she sucketh in Alaska,
She sucketh sasparilla in downtown Athabaska.
She sucketh Juneau, she sucketh Chicago,
She sucketh wherever she do go and don't go.
She sucketh whatever she do know and don't know.
She sucketh with wind dat do blow and don't blow.
She sucketh the short, she sucketh the tall.
She sucketh in spring, she sucketh in fall.
She sucketh seashells, she sucketh the shore.
She sucketh now and forevermore.
She sucketh the left, she sucketh the right.
She sucketh always and with all her might.
She sucketh in dark, she sucketh in light,
She sucketh when loose, she sucketh when tight.
She sucketh in church, she sucketh at home
She sucketh in crowds, she sucketh alone.
She sucketh the north, she sucketh the south,
She sucketh east and west, she sucketh with her mouth.
She sucketh when she shoots, she sucketh when she fires,
She sucketh in cahoots, with all them other liars.
She sucketh when she's cold, she sucketh when she's hot.
She sucketh when she is, she sucketh when she's not.
She sucketh jizz and she sucketh snot.
She sucketh the privileged, she sucketh the masses,
She sucketh the upper and the lower middleclasses.
She sucketh with her hair, she sucketh with her glasses,
She sucketh like a moose at men who make passes.
She sucketh the rich, she sucketh the poor,
She sucketh now and forevermore.
She sucketh eggs, she sucketh green ham.
She sucketh whenever and wherever she yam.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Kick 'em to the curb

Click here: SEIU Huge News about Bank of America: Tell Your Friends, Family, and Coworkers Bank of America shareholders have stripped arrogant/swindling Ken Lewis of his chairmanship.

Sweeeeeet. His thieving ass is halfway out the window. But he's still CEO! So kick him the rest of the way to the curb.

Bastards like Kenny Boy II thought they were above the law. Hell, with their paid off Congressmen they were MAKING the legalize their looting.

Kenny Boy II is not the only crooked banker/swindler/shitstain that needs laundering. What, for example, is slimy Anthony Mozilo (who looted Countrywide Insurance) doing outside a jail cell?

And speaking of shitstains that need cleaning up: By what insane standard can torture-memo toady Jay Bybee ( still be considered fit to be a federals appeals judge with a lifetime appointment?! Now that the political wind has shifted, even he himself has recently made statements trying to disown and distance himself from his own 2002 torture memo. Obviously he's an integrity-free zone, a lie-yer like Alberto Gonzalez, who was ready to do or say whatever his Bush/Cheney masters wanted him to say, and the law be damned! And by what repulsively corrupt standard can John Yoo, another torture-memo toady, be considered a worthy professor of law at U of Cal, Berkeley?

Is there a way to embarrass Bybee and Yoo out of their sinecures? I notice that Yoo has already hied himself to hyper-conservative Chapman College to get away from the criticism at Berkeley, but he still holds his post at Berkeley. Is there anything short of impeachment which can prompt the disgraced Bybee to step down from his judgeship? He's an embarrassment to the judiciary, but if he wrote that memo, he's probably shameless and immune to personal guilt and shame. In any case, the spot light must remained trained on this maggot. He's obviously much more comfortably working in the dark.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Poppa's got a brand new teabag or: Through a CRT screen darkly

The Wizards of Ooze

Why do Teabaggers not gag on their bags? Why aren't they in on the gag of their bags? Because they are the obedient servants of symbols and billionaires they do not understand. Murdoch's mouthpieces rearrange the symbols, and the hydrophobic Faux News audience rabidly salivates accordingly.

We humans seem intent on blotting out Mother Nature and replacing her with CRT screens. Clouds of pollutants, the effluents of the artificial matrix, block the very sun and stars. It's only on megapixaled screens that people think they can see clearly. No wonder authenticity grows scarce, as experience, process, or product..... People have contact with signifiers instead of the referents, the things referred to. It's a semiotic (what the fuck does that word MEAN?), symbolic, semaphoric, world. And the moneymen seize the high ground, which is, in this case, the power to interpret, or rather misinterpret, the symbols. It's way past mistaking the map for the territory. Where it's at is purposely MISinterpreting the map, the semaphores, for fun and profit. For the territory itself, the thing itself, is cruelly and/or casually blotted and forgot.

In a world where the citizenry is unplugged from.......the world.....and plugged into the virtual world, no wonder individuals lose the power to think for themselves and turn to the Wizard of Oozes, the video hucksters, on their screens to be told how to think, what to think. But when these obedient ditto-heads, these Teabaggers, gather in person, in the flesh, to Teabag each other, the gatherings are absurd and monstrous, like conventions of half-men half-beasts on the Island of Doctor Moreau. "Are we not men?" "Well, no, you don't quite look or sound like men. More like walking, half-kiltered, sound bites run amok. Walking talking krazy quilts of angry expostulations. Quoters and misquoters of tangled fulminations originally spouted by cynical hucksters like Billy O, Sean H, Rush L, Michelle M." Here, at the Teabag Parties, language comes to die, for it is no longer rooted in the world, and so must wither and starve. All that's real is the anger, confusion, hostility, frustration, of the tantruming Teabaggers themselves, their pouting mouths stuffed with Rupert Murdoch's old, greedy, balls.

As for me, I think I'll take a hike in the hills this morning, just to see if there still IS a world out there, an alternative world, an allegedly real world, beyond my screen.....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Nation of Cover Bands

I think there was more room in Manhattan, and in the country, for eccentrics when this photo (photo of Capote snapped by Warhol in the 60's was snapped than is the case today.

We had whole GENERATIONS of eccentrics in times past. Admittedly there were legions of wouldbe eccentrics (who were actually new forms of conformists) as well. But it was less expensive to live back then, and fewer of the psychological, social, geographic, and aesthetic niches had been established and filled in. It was still possible to be a pioneer.......or at least a one-off.

Most of the seemingly "originals" today come off, really, as content-free imitators, imposters, poseurs.

Think of what it takes to get into college these days. Children create "brands" or identities for themselves from an incredibly early age. They and their parents make sure they attend the right schools (rarely public), participate in the right organized sports, the eye-catching extra curricular activities, etc. Who dares to simply be and do and learn? One eye is always on pleasing authority, whether that authority is a college admissions office, a community of peers, a corporate personnel officer, or even a prospective mate.

Now it is not uncommon for 6 year olds to design and plan their looks, their lay out their outfits, piece by piece, before going to school. This sort of behavior at such an early age was unimaginable a few decades ago. After WWII a distinction was drawn between two schools of acting: the method, as exemplified and personified by Brando, which worked on characterization from the inside-out, and the longstanding theatrical outside-in mode exemplified by Olivier. The first was more instinctive and visceral, the second more conscious and calculated. Of course the method involved a great deal of conscious thought as well, but one needed only to look at its best exemplars to see the power lent to a characterization which had the luxury of discovering itself, surprising itself. The same can be said of Pollock's action painting from the same period. The painting itself was a by-product of the process, the action of creation, which was a discovery, a risk, a gamble, and a zen dance. The artist valued the possibility inherent in the act of creation infinitely more than he/she valued the art itself or the effect the art might have on viewers or the rewards, social/material/sexual/psychological, which might be gained by pleasing others (buyers, curators, critics, fans) with one's work.

The very act of being has been hollowed out. It doesn't flow spontaneously from the inside out. It's not a discovery. The self has become a calculation, a thousand calculations, made by a human rat in a vastly complex social, sexual, and intellectual maze. But wasn't it always so? Yes. But moreso now than ever. There is more pressure now to live a life which is tailored to impress and mollify others. And so we have a society consisting entirely of pretence: citizens pretending to be whatever they need to be to impress others, but the others they are trying to impress are equally hollow and lost. Think of the ongoing financial collapse: was the nation actually producing MORE of something prior to the collapse, was there more of something of VALUE? Or was most of the alleged increased value merely a reshuffling of finances, a prestidigitation of derivatives, a gigantic con or confidence game invented to swindle real value from rubes not sharp enough, or cynical enough, to see through the swindlers' deceptions? And was the nation fundamentally hollowed out, dressing to impress......even BEFORE the collapse?

In centuries and decades past immigrants came to America to seek material prosperity and social mobility, just as they do now. But perhaps most of all they came here to be FREE of the expectations and traps of the old worlds. Here there was ROOM. Room to discover, to surprise oneself, to grow in startling and unexpected ways.

And we who were born here viewed this freedom to improvise one's life as a birthright, a precious legacy. We were a nation of eccentrics, or rugged eccentrics, or so we viewed ourselves, even as we knuckled under, crushed and strangled by an increasingly heavy web of expectations from employers, educators, drill instructors, coaches, spouses, co-workers, peers, fashionistas, and neighbors.

What's the hottest show on TV these days? American Idol. Wouldbe stars, narcissists who may or may not be talented but who are always convinced they are talented, sally forth to impress a woeful panel of alleged experts. The experts are patent idiots, curmudgeons, even drunks, yet they, and the studio audience, and the hungry "artists" themselves, endow them with an absurd power and respect. They are wizards of oz, opening or shutting the stargate. Like St. Peter, or the director of admissions at Harvard, or the personnel director at Goldman Sachs, they control the gates of paradise.

And the audience identifies with the desperately degrading and degraded hunger to please which is all too painfully obvious in every singer. These musicians are not Billy Hollidays or Bob Dylans, whose process of discovery transcended the desire to please audiences, judges, fans. The contestants on American Idol are, by definition, smaller than the process and the authority figures and the fans which validate them.

One could argue that amateur hour/ talent search shows preceded American Idol and Star Search by many many decades on TV and radio. Arthur Godfrey, for example, had one in the early 1950's. But those early amateur hours had modest dimensions. They were small, slightly absurd, entrance ramps into the larger world of self-expression. They had the air of smalltown vaudeville about them.

American Idol is not only national in scope, it's international. And the seething crowds waiting to turn thumbs up or thumbs down are like the desperate Roman mobs jampacked into the Colisseum, thirsting for a circuslike spectacle. And if it's one in which blood is spilled (in the form, on American Idol, of eviscerated egos), then let the blood and bowels pour in torrents off the stage. The defeated contestants don't permit themselves a shred of dignity in defeat, but fall apart utterly, weeping, sobbing, their tripes spilling over the stage as Simon eviscerates them. None seem to have a sense of worth separate from the validation of the judges, none can imagine a life of worth separate from winning the contest. At least the ancient Christians fed to the lions had an apprehension of life, even an eternal one, separate from winning and losing, living and dying, eating and being eaten, in the arena. In the arena of the Faux Network, it's not a single Caesar who holds the power of life and death, paradise and perdition, but a triumvirate of imbeciles/montebanks.

Nothing is real about the process: not the talent, not the performances (which are always derivative and sentimental in the extreme), not the judges, not even the reactions of the audience. Everyone is lost and hollow and posturing and floundering after a grain of authenticity and real value in a laughably fraudulent sea. No wonder the show is so popular. What could be a more exact expression of the ongoing American experience, refined and crystallized and fired right back at the audience?

This audience is laughably far from a collection of free-thinking individuals in a republic. It's a desperate, empty, ill-defined mob clamoring for bread and circuses........and a vicarious experience of a corrupt imperium. Call it the Empire of Music if you like. This Empire has been rotting from the inside out for decades. The very market for music, even hollowed out, meaningless, derivative, music, has been devastated by the Internet.

So what is the paradise to which the winners of American Idol gain admission? CD sales are in the toilet. Presumably a handful of Justin Guarinis can make millions for a few years from live performances and album sales immediately after their big wins on American Idol before sucking back into the blackhole of nobody-ness from whence they came. But what is the shelf life of a completely derivative contest winner who has no identity of his/her own separate from that of the contest itself?

How long will it take them to land on the "where are they now" ash heap, or perhaps, if they're lucky, in a reality show with Dennis Rodman, Danny Bonaduce, and Andrew Dice Clay?

It's hard to imagine them on the nostalgia circuit a couple decades hence because these singers have no music or musical identities of their own. Every note they sing is already a reference to past music and singers. There is no there there. One wonders: can the same now be said of the entire country and its inhabitants? Have we become a gigantic cover band, referring back to a time and place when there was, allegedly, real value, real words and notes to be sung, and real expression and discovery?

Obviously nothing of value can be expressed or discovered within the context of Rupert Murdoch's contests. If we still have a chance to make real discoveries, express something meaningful, experience something of value, it's going to have to be outside all the contests, the swindling, lying, billionaires' contests. But who in America has the stones to live a life outside the markets, the popularity polls, the corporate rat mazes? Do the more recent generations think that the contests ARE the self, the self the contests? And when the contests themselves collapse, what will the contestants have left to say or sing?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Who's still listening to Rush's bullshit?!

The Pornography of Hate, The Banality of Imbecility, The Futility of Credulity, The Audacity of Mendacity

Rush, Hannity, Billy O, & Beck have a constituency of hate that overlaps nicely with the NRA gun crowd. They want the freedom to hear and talk hate-spew about the other: other races, other genders, other religions, other nationalities. This also includes the freedom to ignore the facts, the freedom to forget who wrecked the country over the last couple decades, and the freedom not to connect the dotted lines between the exploitative rich and their own depleted wallets, the freedom to feel sorry for themselves, and the freedom not to take responsibility for the consequences of their own hateful ignorance. This trippple XXX rated hard core lunatic fringe, which fancies itself the real America, constitutes about 18% of the population. It needs to hear the same lies repeated in the spin machine, day after day, because they are unsupported by the facts and so have very short shelf lives unless they are repeatedly, frequently, recycled......

Friday, March 27, 2009

Partying Like It's 1999: Wall Street's Willing Slaves

Why is it that the only time Congress can find bipartisan support for anything is when it sells out the interests of and safeguards for the American public? And the people with common sense, who have learned the lessons of history are always the over cautious naysayers? Yet, when it all goes to shit, the greedy architects of the house of cards insist no one saw it coming or could have predicted it?

A few choice quotes:

''Today Congress voted to update the rules that have governed financial services since the Great Depression and replace them with a system for the 21st century,'' Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers said. ''This historic legislation will better enable American companies to compete in the new economy.''

''The concerns that we will have a meltdown like 1929 are dramatically overblown,'' said Senator Bob Kerrey, Democrat of Nebraska.

''Scores of banks failed in the Great Depression as a result of unsound banking practices, and their failure only deepened the crisis,'' Mr. Wellstone said. ''Glass-Steagall was intended to protect our financial system by insulating commercial banking from other forms of risk. It was one of several stabilizers designed to keep a similar tragedy from recurring. Now Congress is about to repeal that economic stabilizer without putting any comparable safeguard in its place.''

''I think we will look back in 10 years' time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930's is true in 2010,'' said Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota. ''I wasn't around during the 1930's or the debate over Glass-Steagall. But I was here in the early 1980's when it was decided to allow the expansion of savings and loans. We have now decided in the name of modernization to forget the lessons of the past, of safety and of soundness.''

One Republican Senator, Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, voted against the legislation. He was joined by seven Democrats: Barbara Boxer of California, Richard H. Bryan of Nevada, Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland, Mr. Dorgan and Mr. Wellstone.

In the House, 155 Democrats and 207 Republicans voted for the measure, while 51 Democrats, 5 Republicans and 1 independent opposed it. Fifteen members did not vote.

Wow. I STILL miss Wellstone. No wonder Congress overwhelmingly did away with Glass-Steagall. It was merely obeying the will of its prime constituents/employers/owners: Big Money.

"There is no distinctively American native criminal class...except Congress." ---Mark Twain

"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of congress; but I repeat myself." MT

"We have the best Congress money can buy. " --Will Rogers

"There is good news from Washington today. Congress is deadlocked and can't act." --WR
"With Congress, every time they make a joke it's a law, and every time they make a law it's a joke. " --WR

"Talk is cheap - except when Congress does it. " Cullen Hightower

"You need to know that a member of Congress who refuses to allow the minimum wage to come up for a vote made more money during last year's one-month government shutdown than a minimum wage worker makes in an entire year. " ---William Jefferson Clinton

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Poor, Poor, Pitiful Jake

Click here: A Response to AIG’s Jake DeSantis - Victim, Philanthropist, Media Critic, Quitter :

There are readily accessible online profiles of Dudley Do-right which list him as a derivatives expert. So how innocent could he be, and could he have been over the past several years, of his own corporate team’s hijinx? He's being, to put very kindly, disingenuous. I'm sure he didn't donate to charity any of his massive bonuses from recent PREVIOUS years, bonuses which were doubtless bloated by AIG's ill-gotten gains trafficking in derivatives.

Thanks, Wrecking Ball, for reminding us about poor selfless Jakie-boy’s MILLION DOLLAR BONUS he was promised along with his $1/annum. And I’d love to know how many millions he’s been paid, cumulatively, over the past many years while working for a diseased corporation which has helped wipe out trillions in middle class savings and may yet help tumble the globe into a major depression.

What do you bet this guy never served in the military, never did any low-paid (Vista, Peace Corps, teaching, whatever)public service, and climbed on the “financial services” gravy boat just as soon as he could and has sailed on it ever since, only scuttling off it now that the heat is on. He’s been wildly over rewarded for his work, he’s in the richest 1/10 of 1/10 of 1% of Americans, and now he’s having a pity party for his poor put-upon righteous self. Wow.

No doubt there will dozens of screeds ripping the creepily self-pitying, grotesquely self-righteous, laughably clueless, obscenely self-entitled, Mr. De Santis in the NYT and elsewhere in the next day or two….. He just doesn’t get it. Why should he? He’s been a boy in a bubble his whole professional life, his avaricious delusions reinforced by his fellow bubble-boys on The Street.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wall Street Meets the Poet's Corner

Wall Street Meets the Poet's Corner

I enjoy getting bills.
Lets me know at least
SOMEbody cares.
I forgot to pay my Chase minimum
Service charge last month
And my APR has climbed from 4.99%
To 29.99%?
Thanks for reaching out,

We’re fighting on three fronts
And need warm bodies
So badly I’ve been re-drafted
And will be sent to a combat zone,
Though I’m 60?
Good to hear from you,
Uncle Sammy.
I was wondering
How you were doing.

My rent has been increased
By 70% per month
And if I don’t comply
Including paying a retroactive
Increase for LAST month
I’ll be evicted?
Thanks for notifying me
Insanely avaricious landlord
Hiding behind
a real estate management corp.
You’re a true friend.

It’s true I’ve never met my friends
In the flesh.
But I feel we have a spiritual connection
Which transcends physical,
If not postal, reality.

And my friendships have solid
Foundations based on money,
Which I must regularly pay
To demonstrate my commitment
To my friendlike substances.

And don’t say
My friends
Could care less
Whether I live or die.
Of course they care.
They need my money
And/or my body
And they’re not ashamed
To say so.
Who else can say that?
Maybe they’re not really human.
Maybe they’re just bloodsucking
Private and/or governmental entities.
Still, they seem passionate
About me.
If I don’t do what they want
They’re going to do something
Really awful to me.
They care enough
To threaten me
To suck my blood
Maybe even to kill me.
And isn’t that what
love is all about?
I’m not alone in the universe
So long as one flea
Is biting me,
One worm is devouring my entrails,
One last buzzard
Is pecking out my eyes.
It’s when I’m
And my friends
Start to search
For another host,
Another carcass
To pick clean
That I’ll really start
To worry.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Economic Forbodings of an Everyman

I've wondered and joked, darkly, for years about our economy, whose manufacturing base was clearly shrinking and being outsourced even as the nation's alleged GNP ballooned upward. I could also see, years ago, that the easy credit was sustaining our hyper-speculative mortgage bubble (and the GOP's highly touted "ownership society"). This took no brains, just open eyes and ears. There was an ever-expanding hollowness to the economy, and the real wonder was that the bubble kept swelling up as long as it did BEFORE it exploded. And it was clear there was an intimate connection between the 360 degree deregulation (of everything from the SEC to the IRS to the EPA to the FDA) and the gigantic United States of Ponzi Schemes which we have become. Greed, cynicism, blindness, inhumanity, and injustice took precedence before moderation, idealism, clear & farsightedness, humanity, and justice. The uncollateralized securities, the uninvestigated Ponzi schemes, the grotesque bonuses awarded to bloodsucking executive failures, the untaxed billions snatched by hedgefund managers, the still-hidden and untaxed profits of offshore holding companies, these are but the objective, outward expression of a subjective, inward, rot.

The financial regulators (even if they ARE given their teeth back) are scarcely smart enough to keep up with whatever the next level of financial "innovation" or subversion will be.

But if there is a WILL to regulate and make just, there will be a way. The will has clearly been absent in the White House and the Congress for many long yars.

In the end, even the most diabolically ingenious cons look like more of the same old shenanigans, and transparent, if only we will open our eyes to see them. And by the way, when will we admit we see all that offshore stuff which is so supposedly hidden?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Because you can never be TOO selfish

The NYT spent the day with Blagojevich and paints an interesting portrait of a man who was clearly shocked and saddened by the turn of events but remained defiant. "We should have been more selfish, not selfless," he said. "It sounds probably perverse for me to say that based on what some people are saying about me. But it's true. My family, we didn't take advantage of all these things that people do."

Blago is the patron saint and poster boy for crooked pols everywhere. Like Bush and Cheney, his inability to admit ANYthing is pathological.

By the way, whoremaster Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana has climbed atop his soapbox again, decrying Obama's attempt to clean up the 8 year orgy. Which begs the question: who the hell lives and VOTES in Louisiana?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Dept. of Thieving Worthless Avaricious Bastardos

And now, from DETWAB, the Dept. of Thieving Worthless Avaricious Bastards:

I was just reading that collapsing, federally-funded AIG paid out $1 billion in "retention" bonuses to its employees, using bailout taxpayer $. Retention pay at a time when these financial geniuses are being fired like capguns? Now THAT's chutzpah! In yo' face, TARP!

Also, Thain,* ex CEO of Merrill Lynch, rushed to pay out $4 billion in Xmas bonuses to his company clowns just days before BofA bought collapsing Merrill Lynch. Both the bonuses & the BofA buyout were made possible by bailout taxpayer $. Bastardo Hijo de Puta Hijo de Putamadre Hijo de Perra Lewis, the CEO of BoA, pretends he has no responsibility in the matter. Actually, you can be sure that Lewis knew what Thain was doing and let him do it so his acquisition of Merrill Lynch could go through. In other words, they colluded.

And Master of the Universe Lewis, what a brilliant move that was, acquiring a company with untold billions in toxic assets. Now you've completely devastated the share value of BoA. Give the man a golden parachute!

And don't get me started on imploded Lehman Bros. CEO Fuld, who sold his $13.5 mill mansion to his wifey for a generous $100 last November to keep his assets away from the creditors he FUCKED. I guess he figured he was giving the dough to somebody he regularly fucked anyway, so what's the difference? Oh wait, he'd have to sell the house to his MISTRESS for that to be true, verdad?

I hear 5 of these TWABS have offed themselves so far (including the French aristocrat who was a shill for Bernie Madoff and the German billionaire who flung himself in front of a train in Der Vaterland). I say these are the 5 most honorable thieves in the creepycrawlycollapsing Financial World, so far. But I look forward to others owning up to their shame and cleansing the Earth of their slimy selves by blowing themselves away with speeding bullets, leaping off tall buildings in a single squishy bound, and/or failing to outrun powerful locomotives.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How can ANY working person vote Repig?

Click here: Bailout Recipients Hosted Call To Defeat Key Labor Bill

The real face of Kapital. Where is the "mainstream" press coverage of this?

"Bank of America is now not only getting bailout money. They are lending their name to participate in a campaign to stop workers from having a majority sign up [provision]," said Stephen Lerner, Director of the Private Equity Project at SEIU. "The biggest corporations who have created the problem are, at the very time, asking us to bail them out and then using that money to stop workers from improving their lives."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Seen: Sad Sack in a lunchroom

There was an old blowhard in the lunchroom where I just ate who was yapping on about how generous the rich are and how they should get big taxcuts. Finally I just told him he was "so full of it it's sad" and left him in his own toxicity.

He clearly wasn't rich. Just a miserable old pensioner. What the fuck is wrong with these fools who defend the rich? I know they're ditto heads, sucking up those radio lies all day, but why do they vote against their own wallets? So fucking sick. They're out of their heads.

Also, he pretends to be smiley. But he's eaten up with hate. And there are 10's of millions like him. Nothing in Bush's 8 years of 360 degree failure, not even the stock market collapse, has given them a clue. How the rich must love these chumps.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pope Benedict Reinstates Anti-Semitic Bishop

Click here: Pope Reinstates Four Excommunicated Bishops -

German Pope Benedict....Arnold (and former Hitler Jugend) shows his true colors. He evidently sees his job as making the church safe for anti-Semites. Notice that reinstated "Bishop" Williamson, the Holocaust denier, feels most comfortable in a seminary in ARGENTINA. Yikes!

This is the same Pope who has provided cover for clerics like Cardinal Mahoney of LA, who has, in turn, provided cover for child-molesting priests. So the church protects anti-Semites and pederasts and still has the stones to call itself CHRISTian?! Jesus H. Christ.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thain Fired AFTER He Makes Off with Our Tax Billions

Click here: Opinion:Thain's Undoing Was Thinking He's Worth It Opinion Financial Articles & Investing News

I'd like to know what Thain's personal take was in this heist. Did he get a multi-million dollar commission for arranging the sale to BofA, for example? He's been booted out in disgrace after a year in office, his once-great company is in ruins and devoured by BofA, yet I'll bet his golden parachute is $10's of millions if not MORE. Every sentence which compliments Thain should end with the phrase: "for a lying fucking thief and swindler."

As in: "He's a brilliant executive.......for a lying fucking thief & swindler."

Notice that overrated egotistical bastard, greedhead, and self-promoter Jack Welch is also getting a reassessment, now that the big financial subsidiaries that propped up GE's 1990's growth (and his bloated options) are going bust. Remember when he and Alan Greenspan were being sold to us by the worshipful media as the twin emblems of the Brave New Greedocracy/Kleptocracy/Ponziocracy?

The prime motivator for most of these guys is egotism/avarice (who gets the most chips), so why should we be surprised their "success" means short term personal success for them and their cronies and eventual evisceration for the companies they're "leading"?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chief Justice Roberts Shows His Freudian Slop

I think Roberts fucking up the swearing in was a Freudian slip. Maybe it wasn't even unconscious. He hates it that Obama will appoint guys who will wreck his wretched corporate suckup majority on the so-called court. Court of Fascisti Cronies. Guys like Alito and Scalia (sp?) would have warmed the cockles of Mussolini's blackshirted heart, just as they please Cheney's nuke-powered pump. OK, so Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd all but died on 1/20..........couldn't Cheney at LEAST have had his 5th attack on the reviewing stand? Or is #5 the real reason he was in a wheel chair? I mean, who the fuck seriously believes that bastard was moving his own boxes?! Scut work like that is done by his personal slave pukka boys, who have been secretly chained in his bunker for the past 8 years, along with certain missing neighborhood children and unlucky greased goats. His favorites were spirited out under cover of midnight darkness to his new DC mansion's dungeon/catacomb. The extras, humans & goats alike, were ground into sausage and are being served to unwitting diners in the Senate commissary.

Monday, January 19, 2009

8 things I learned in 8 years of the Bush nightmare

Following was penned by my buddy, the brilliant jazz guitarist Phil Lewis.

Eight Things I Learned in Eight Years of George W. Bush’s Presidency:

1. Anyone can become president – and I mean anyone. Even the most undistinguished, insipid, vapid, angry troll of a man can become president if he is born into the right family.
2. At least half the US population is far stupider and angrier than I had ever imagined.
3. No one is above the law – except the president, vice president, the cabinet, etc., right on down to just above Scooter Libby.
4. Truth is irrelevant, what matters is perception.
5. What we have been funding as the “Dept of Defense” is in fact the president’s (and vice president’s) personal arsenal -- even the National Guard is available to fight the president’s proxy wars and petty disputes. (Who woulda thunk?)
6. So-called “free market economics” is merely a ruse for funneling more wealth to the wealthy. (This I had previously suspected.)
7. Congress is as spineless as it is corrupt.
8. The national news media is in actuality the personal PR agency of the president.

And just for good measure…
9. A new word for torture (“enhanced interrogation techniques”).

Lady Caroline Accepts Her Title

When I was kid, I was told that America was different from Europe because we didn't have a peerage. If that's so, then why do we have a House of Lords (and Ladies)? And the other choices for that apparently inherited seat* were Cuomo and Chelsea? From OTHER dynasties?! Well, at least Lady Caroline will feel comfortable with her $100 million Uncle Ted, Lord Jay Rockefeller, Count Kohl, Admiral of the Beer Distributorships McCain, Baron of the Brothels Vitter, the two oil suckups from Oklahoma, Jillionaire John Kerry, Diane "Money Bags" Feinstein, Chuck "What Can I Do for Wall Street" Schumer, and all the other Senatorial swells who allegedly represent the common man.

Below are some more Senate Silver Bags. Sorry the figures are 5 years old (2003) and some jillionaires have stepped down (Edwards, for example, and Frist, thank God) to be replaced by others (Countess Hillary Clinton, Obama, $7 million, but at least he and Edwards are self-made money bags). The estimates below are absurdly low. Anyhow, you DO get the idea, dontcha? Kerry is married to hundreds of millions. Edwards fortune is over $30 mill, Ted K has $100 mill, easy, and so on.

So is America's government a plutocracy, or an aristocracy of inherited privilege, or...? Just don't try to tell me it's a democracy, please. We field hands gots to depend on de massas' noblesse oblige 'lessen we gets sold down de river....

Senate millionaires:
John Kerry, D-Massachusetts: $163,626,399Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin: $111,015,016John Rockefeller, D -West Virginia: $81,648,018Jon Corzine, D-New Jersey: $71,035,025Dianne Feinstein, D-California: $26,377,109Peter Fitzgerald, R-Illinois: $26,132,013Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey $17,789,018Bill Frist, R-Tennessee: $15,108,042John Edwards, D-North Carolina: $12,844,029Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts: $9,905,009Jeff Bingaman, D-New Mexico: $7,981,015Bob Graham, D-Florida: $7,691,052Richard Shelby, R-Alabama: $7,085,012Gordon Smith, R-Oregon: $6,429,011Lincoln Chafee, R-Rhode Island: $6,296,010Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska: $6,267,028Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee: $4,823,018Mike DeWine, R-Ohio: $4,308,093Mark Dayton, D-Minnesota: $3,974,037Ben Campbell, R-Colorado: $3,165,007Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska: $2,963,013Olympia Snowe, R-Maine: $2,955,037James Talent, R-Missouri: $2,843,031Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania: $2,045,016Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire: $1,916,026John McCain, R-Arizona: $1,838,010James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma: $1,570,043John Warner, R-Virginia: $1,545,039Kay Bailey Hutchison, R - Texas: $1,513,046Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky: $1,511,017Harry Reid, D-Nevada: $1,500,040Sam Brownback, R-Kansas: $1,491,018Thomas Carper, D-Delaware: $1,482,017Ted Stevens, R-Alaska: $1,417,013Maria Cantwell, D-Washington: $1,264,999Barbara Boxer, D-California: $1,172,003Orrin Hatch, R-Utah: $1,086,023Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana: $1,080,014Bill Nelson, D-Florida: $1,073,014Charles Grassley, R-Iowa: $1,016,024

*so why do they even BOTHER with elections? Oh, I know. So the chumps, I mean, citizens, will think THEY had something to do with picking these swells. That way, they, I mean we, are less likely to revolt and overturn the honeypot. Funny joke, eh? And it's on us. And yes, there IS a solution. Don't make Senatorial and Congressional and Presidential elections so dependent on campaign funds. But do you think we can count on these folks to reform THEMSELVES? On the plus side, Obama made a real connection to the common man in the last election and small $ contributions over the Internet were critical to his success. So maybe I should stop being so cynical on the day before the very hopeful beginning of his administration. If one near-miracle can happen, maybe we're in store for more.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sully seems......UNsullied

Click here: A Pilot Becomes a Hero Years in the Making -

Go Sully, go Sully, go Sully, go! Sully seems......UNsullied. Named best pilot in his class at AFA. Glider training from an early age. Devoted to his vocation, flying, since boyhood. Respected by his peers and neighbors for his sterling character, cool head, and self possession. Supremely well prepared for this moment. Thirty plus years of experience, but still has the reflexes to correctly decide and then execute in nanoseconds. This amazing intersection of challenge and capacity, mixed with good fortune, transformed a potential disaster into a eyepopping deliverance & triumph. Why, it's almost enough to restore your faith in homo sapiens in general and Americans in particular.

As the article says, what a contrast between this guy's selfless professionalism, courage, and concern for others and the obscene self-seeking and profit-taking/swindling on Wall Street, or in the Bush Administration, for that matter. Makes a beautiful and hopeful overture to the inauguration.