Monday, December 29, 2008

Peak Oil!

It's very easy to lose sight of the queen of spades in the game of three card monte that constitutes our financial and commodity markets. A mere six months ago the calls for $200 dollar a barrel oil were deafening, now they are drowned out completely by predictions for $15 or $20 dollar a barrel oil. Who to believe? As a place to start (and possibly finish) answering that question, I would like to point you in the direction of a slide show courtesy of oil industry expert Matthew Simmons. I hope you find it helpful.

P.S. Putting aside the message contained in the slide show, remember that, strictly speaking, the U.S. dollar is worthless, but oil is not.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Approximately some two hundred and thirty five years ago the great city of Boston gave the loudest and most persistent voice to the clarion call for Revolution. Of all the many injustices perpetrated by Great Britain against the colonies, none affected a greater insult than that known as Taxation without Representation. It was this grievance above all others that provided the colonists with their greatest justification to overthrow the yoke of British oppression.

Today, the Legislative and Executive branches of our Federal government, by virtue of a mixture of cowardice, stupidity, and/or corruption, are committing acts against the citizenry that easily rival those perpetrated by The British Monarchy against the colonists. It is my belief that The Legislature and The Executive have, by their egregious actions, effectively abdicated their responsibility as our elected representatives. Whether through ill advised and possibly criminally negligent bailouts for corrupt and insolvent investment banking houses, to, in the case of primarily (but not exclusively) this most recent Executive Branch's clear disregard for almost all of the original Ten Bill of Rights, the interests of "We The People" have been systematically ravaged.

Many of you may be holding out hope that President-elect, Barack Obama, will, in due course, set the American ship of state on the right course. This is understandable, but given Mr. Obama's series of appointments (insider and status quo purveyors all) and given the many false dawns that American politics has for generations delivered, I submit that NOW is the time to take matters into our own hands for the purposes of enacting revolutionary change.

There is much more to say about what sort of change is in order, but further discussion of the crucial details can wait. What I want to know now is who is with me regarding the imperative for Revolutionary change? Who believes that the United States must seek a path that has barely been imagined let alone articulated by those of our so called leaders? Who is serious about the necessity of aligning ourselves with the forces of history, forces that are, I believe, at odds with our government's so far successful attempts to compel us to invest, literally, in the revival of the now dead FIRE economy? My fellow citizens, we are letting ourselves be led off a cliff, and we can not wait one minute longer to start acting in our own best interests. If we do not we will have no wherewithal with which to resist our own ruin. WHO IS WITH ME?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Where's The Money, Bernie?

Where did the fifty billion dollars go? Clearly Bernard Madoff doesn't have it. So where is it? No professional market maker trades so badly that all that is left from a fifty billion dollar fund is a measly two or three hundred million dollars. How does one senior citizen manage to plausibly claim sole responsibility for the fleecing of such an enormously endowed hedge fund? It's like claiming one has singlehandedly halted the path of a herd of rogue elephants by waving one's arms wildly and making loud noises. It's ludicrous on the face. But speculating on the actual nature of Mr. Madoff's criminal enterprise isn't precisely what I am after today. No, despite the fact that this particular hedge fund collapse makes me ponder the possibility that we are looking at a case akin to the infamous CIA front, Bank of Commerce and Credit International, I am more interested in simply passing along my view that sometime in the next few years, as the greatest financial (and possibly economic) debacle since the Industrial age began, subsides, we will, I hope, be treated to sordid insider accounts of the real activities of our spectacularly successful kleptocracy.

As a student of history, I doubt seriously the enormous corruption that underlies our present desperate circumstances has ever been equalled, let alone surpassed. After all, when so much corruption occurs in broad daylight, (the list of crimes committed in full view of the public is almost too long to recount, including the savaging of just about every Bill in the original ten Bill of Rights) then the crimes committed out of sight of prying eyes and interested minds must be as unfathomable as the means by which one old man managed to lose fifty billion dollars all by himself.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rahm We Hardly Knew Ye.

The scuttlebutt is that no less than Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel is the one on the line with disgraced Illinois Governor Blagojevich in a discussion regarding who to give the vacant Illinois Senate seat to. We'll find out if this rumor is true soon enough. In the meantime, Mr. Emmanuel is not answering questions. Quel Surpise!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Alas, Through The Looking Glass

I stopped writing about financial matters and the economy in recent months because quite frankly I was tired of of talking about what was then an incipient catastrophe. Well, in my view, the oft prognosticated Depression is here, and it will become obvious, and I mean OBVIOUS, to everyone by Christmas at the earliest, and by Spring at the latest. You may have noticed that the authorities have now admitted that the nation has been in a recession for a year, and no less than Nobel Laureate economist Paul Krugman has offered that what he has seen so far in the U.S. is even more dire than what occurred in the worst year of Japan's so called lost decade. Well, Professor Krugman, that is because, in my humble opinion, what we are witnessing is the greatest economic contraction of The post Enlightenment epoch. Planet Earth, with the U.S. acting (for the time being) as its economic epicenter, is now in the process of correcting several centuries worth of economic growth. With that in mind, it is not only possible, but probable, that anyone over the age of thirty will not see general prosperity, at least as we have known it, again in their lifetime.

All the great panics of the last two hundred years, including the 20th century's Great Depression, were economic calamities that qualify, by my reckoning, as ones that were an order of magnitude smaller than the one we are now experiencing. No one alive, and none of our ancestors going back several generations, had any experience with the manifestation of a super cyclical trend of the size and scope of this one. Our only consolation, if indeed it can be any consolation at all, is that history of the sort that is written about and discussed for hundreds if not thousands of years is being made right now. I know, what I am saying sounds like the rankest hyperbole, and though I suspect you are likely dismissing my fantastic claim, I think by this time next year, most, if not all doubts, will be erased.

This is because the changes I have in mind are coming very quickly and will affect everything to a degree that will be the unmistakable harbinger of something that could only come along but very rarely in human history. Most, if not all of what is now still fashionable, ( I use that term not to denote trendiness, but rather to refer to what passes as "common practice/status quo" behavior) as reflected in art, entertainment, civic life, education, farming, governance, and money itself, will, as a result of what is transpiring right now, become almost unrecognizable within approximately a decade. Such are the times that we are living in and hopefully that we will live through.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sarah Palin Watch.

I know, I know, one would like to never have to ponder again, even for one second, the ghastly Whore of Babylon. But duty calls, and so I will not rest until I have done my utmost to insure that Sarah Palin, a human plague upon the body politic if ever there was one, never returns to the lower forty eight states for the purposes of gaining high government office.

I say this because, despite the Governor of Alaska's self evident unworthiness, she may yet, like a dormant cancer, reemerge. There are just too many witless boobs and folks about the land who show a willingness, if not eagerness, to play with hand grenades, to insure that The Whore of Babylon need no longer bother us with her obvious over vaulting ambitions and designs. With that in mind, I offer the latest evidence of Sarah Palin's unfitness for office of any kind.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Kiss of Death!

"Just about perfect" That was the judgement of Joe Lieberman, the detestable Senator from Connecticut regarding Barack Obama's recent cabinet appointments. All I can say is, when a super sleazy hack like Joe Lieberman gives his imprimatur to anything, be more than a little suspicious. After all, "say it ain't so" Joe was only just last week saved from political oblivion by President elect Barack Obama. What a coincidence that he is now singing Mr. Obama's praises. Prepare your barf bags my fellow Americans, the toadying and genuflecting by the Senator from Connecticut towards the President Elect and his new administration is just getting started. Wait till Israel and the Middle East become front burner issues again, as they always do at some point in every administration, then you will need double strength two ply sick bags.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Congress %!!s Up Again!

Watching Congress rationalize not providing twenty or so billion dollars to an admittedly obsolete, badly run, yet vital national industry is sheer torture. Congress can oversee the fraudulent funding of "performance bonuses" for wayward Wall Street executives, but somehow, in their infinite wisdom, they can't pony up for the auto industry which has very far reaching tentacles into the U.S. economy. Congressional arguments for refusing to provide funds ring hollow since all the various complaints, which I won't bother to recount, could just as easily have been lodged against the banking cartel that effectively destroyed American finance and kicked the U.S. economy, and quite possibly the entire planet's, off a very steep cliff. Now, according to a Chinese newspaper of some decent repute, The 21st Century Business Herald, several Chinese auto manufacturers are interested in buying some parts of our nation's toppling auto industry.

The last time a Chinese concern tried to buy a key industrial player, in the prior case it was Unocal, the Federal Legislature said no on the grounds that a key company such as Unocal could not be allowed to fall into foreign hands. National security don't you know. One wonders what they would say now to a proposed Chinese buyout of some or all of Detroit, which is, despite its depleted state, the United State's last bastion of heavy automotive manufacture. Where does that fall on your national security Richter Scale, Congress? "No, we're sorry, we'd rather see them fail rather then wind up in your furry foreign hands. I'm afraid we must let this industry die in order to save it." Note to Congress: Please go home now before you botch things even more than you have already.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Say It Here, It Comes Out There.

Not that we are neccessarily correct, but the Yahoo analyst agrees with me that Lieberman was "forgiven" so he would then be ow(n)ed by the President-elect.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just A Theory.

For some reason, the President Elect has decided that he doesn't want to see renegade Senator Joe Lieberman expelled forthwith from the Democratic Party. The mind fairly reels. If one can't be expelled for vigorously supporting the other side's candidate for President, what can one be expelled for? It's ludicrous on the face, unless...unless the two parties are essentially the same and banishing someone to the other side doesn't have any practical value. Hmm. Or perhaps this is just the result of Obama's saintly character having difficulty dispensing what amounts to richly deserved payback. Even though I think the first conjecture is true, (the two parties are effectively the same), I don't think that's why Obama supports the retention of Joe Lieberman. Nor do I think Obama supports Lieberman remaining in the party because Obama is afraid to smite a foe. After all, one would be hard pressed to find a smuck more deserving of being smote than Joe Lieberman. Now, before I provide my answer to this seemingly strange circumstance, a bit of history:

Way back in '06, during the primaries for the mid-term elections, the Democratic party supported another candidate against Lieberman. As you can no doubt tell, I have no affection for Senator Lieberman, but it is hard to argue that the smarmy Senator from Connecticut didn't have a right to feel some sense of betrayal by his party. Lieberman's subsequent support of Republican, John McCain, was, therefore, in my view, in no small part, an act of revenge. So, here we are, a few days after the Dems have cleaned up in the national election, with say it ain't so Joe very much on the losing end of things and his political career hanging by the thinest thread imaginable. So what does a savvy President-elect do? Save the renegade from certain political oblivion, because in doing do the aforesaid renegade now owes you big time.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Very Early Returns.

Hope and change were the incessantly repeated dual mantras of The Obama Campaign. I want to believe that the President elect will take meaningful and effective strides towards restoring (some of) what has been sundered over these last eight years, however, Mr. Obama's choice of Rahm Emanuel, for example, a former director of Freddie Mac, (appointed by Bill Clinton) to be the new adminstration's Chief of Staff, is far from encouraging. It is equally disheartening that the Democrat's most prominent eradicator of Glass Steagall, Robert Rubin, has been one of Obama's top financial advisors, and, though I don't necessarily expect his appointment, Rubin is said to be on the short list for a return to head the Treasury.

It is axiomatic that birds of a feather flock together, and very few of the names being bandied about for key cabinet positions in the Obama administration are birds of change. Rather, they represent the opposite, birds of a status quo flock that have steered the U.S. financial sphere and now the general economy to ruin.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Now It Gets Interesting.

A few facts. Make of them of what you will.

1.) Barack Obama's victory was a landslide.

2.) The Democrats have even firmer control of Congress.

What do they mean?

Here are a few ideas:

The landslide and subsequent bolstered majority mean that The Democrats will have massive power to legislate as they see fit. Notice I did not say something silly like: The Democrats will have massive power to effect change. The U.S. is bankrupt, and this will manifest in due course and be profoundly limiting to government's wherewithal. The main question going forward is how will the new President and his majority party respond to extreme duress. Be mindful of what a Democratic majority in Congress did not achieve before TSHTF. No change in U.S. military engagements, and no attempt to address any of the most pressing issues in the financial sphere.

The Democrats will have little or no leeway or excuse now for misrule. I expect the honeymoon for Obama to last no more than six months. That's right, one hundred and eighty days, and that might be generous by half. If Obama does not appear to be equal to events, (and I believe there will be many "events" as we head into '09) his Presidency is going to be even more miserable for him and us than I imagine it will be. I would like to be optimistic, but the party of Pelosi, the same party that gave us the unconscionable "No Banker Left Behind" Bill is almost certainly not up to the challenge. We must hope that in time others will be.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

She Gives Trashy A Bad Name.

Just in passing, I happened to catch a bit of footage of Sarah "The Whore of Babylon" Palin voting for herself somewhere in the great interior of the United States. And I couldn't help but notice (to a degree that inexplicably I had not before) how utterly ridiculous her hairdo was. For starters, there was entirely too much of it, and it was piled on her head in such an unruly and ostentatious fashion as to suggest that the woman possesses a surfeit of both bad taste and vanity. I don't know if the hair whirling about Palin's head is all hers or not, or whether she was utilizes dreaded hair extensions, but the total effect simply left one asking a few simple yet pertinent questions such as...

Why does a woman Palin's age, and in her position, namely running for the second highest office in the Federal government, think that sporting such an absurd looking pile of hair is acceptable? Is she truly not aware how silly she looks, or does she believe that her gaudy coiffure confers something useful to a candidate for the Vice Presidency? Mark Twain once observed, albeit as part of a joke, that "The clothes make the man." In the case of "The Whore of Babylon", her outlandish hair is the joke, and if you voted for her-and her big thicket of trailer trash hair- the cruel joke will be on you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why You Will Lose The Election, Senator McCain!

It won't be because you picked the ghastly mountebank Sarah Palin. It also won't be because you didn't follow her idiotic advice to relentlessly attack Obama over Reverend Wright, though you've certainly attacked Obama over him. Believe me, Palin's candidacy hasn't helped. She's an imbecile and as dangerous a politician as any I've seen in quite a while. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, anyone with as little to offer, with as little worthwhile experience as she has, who would allow themselves to be put in the position of becoming President, is someone who should be kept as far away from the office as possible. Senator McCain, your greatest legacy (as in the one that will have the most impact and be the longest lasting ) will be your unleashing of Sarah Palin, "The Whore of Babylon", upon us.

Palin is a curse upon the populace, and you allowed her, like a demon from Hell, to be released. NO GOOD WILL EVER COME FROM SENATOR (WOLF HUNTING FROM A PLANE/MAKE RAPE VICTIMS PAY FOR THE COSTS OF THEIR RAPE TREATMENT) PALIN. NONE, NADA!





Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Impeach Him....NOW!

As per the brief post at the link, Hanky Panky Paulson is running roughshod over the farces of Law and Order. Let me be as plain as I possibly can be. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke must be brought up on charges of impeachment, and that's just for starters.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Say it ain't so, Joe.

Take a gander at the ABC report below. Barack Obama's running mate, Senator Joe Biden, doesn't sound awfully coherent, and one wonders just what "tough decisions" he imagines his prospective President is going to be forced to make that will be wildly unpopular. For my own part, Obama won't have my support if he further erodes Constitutional provisions and civil liberties, or if he tries to impose outlandish currency schemes like the Amero in reaction to a collapse in the dollar, an event I view as an absolute certainty. No, Joe, you and Mr. Obama will not have my support if you turn the U.S. into even more of a police state using "national security" as your justification. Nor will you have my support if you install people like J.P. Morgan head honcho Jamie Dimon as Secretary of The Treasury for the purposes of doing the bidding of the plutocrats and oligarchs who care not one whit for the United States.

ABC News' Matthew Jaffe Reports: Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., on Sunday guaranteed that if elected, Sen. Barack Obama., D-Ill., will be tested by an international crisis within his first six months in power and he will need supporters to stand by him as he makes tough, and possibly unpopular, decisions.

"Mark my words," the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

"I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. "And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

Not only will the next administration have to deal with foreign affairs issues, Biden warned, but also with the current economic crisis.

"Gird your loins," Biden told the crowd. "We're gonna win with your help, God willing, we're gonna win, but this is not gonna be an easy ride. This president, the next president, is gonna be left with the most significant task. It's like cleaning the Augean stables, man. This is more than just, this is more than – think about it, literally, think about it – this is more than just a capital crisis, this is more than just markets. This is a systemic problem we have with this economy."

The Delaware lawmaker managed to rake in an estimated $1 million total from his two money hauls at the downtown Sheraton, the same hotel where four years ago Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., clinched the Democratic nomination. Despite warning about the difficulties the next administration will face, Biden said the Democratic ticket is equipped to meet the challenges head on.

"I've forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know, so I'm not being falsely humble with you. I think I can be value added, but this guy has it," the Senate Foreign Relations chairman said of Obama. "This guy has it. But he's gonna need your help. Because I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going, 'Oh my God, why are they there in the polls? Why is the polling so down? Why is this thing so tough?' We're gonna have to make some incredibly tough decisions in the first two years. So I'm asking you now, I'm asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point because you're going to have to reinforce us."

"There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, 'Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don't know about that decision'," Biden continued. "Because if you think the decision is sound when they're made, which I believe you will when they're made, they're not likely to be as popular as they are sound. Because if they're popular, they're probably not sound."

Biden emphasized that the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border is of particular concern, with Osama bin Laden "alive and well" and Pakistan "bristling with nuclear weapons."

"You literally can see what these kids are up against, our kids in that region," Biden said in recalling when his helicopter was forced down due to a snowstorm there. "The place is crawling with al Qaeda. And it's real."

"We do not have the military capacity, nor have we ever, quite frankly, in the last 20 years, to dictate outcomes," he cautioned. "It's so much more important than that. It's so much more complicated than that. And Barack gets it."

After speaking for just over a quarter of an hour, Biden noticed the media presence in the back of the small ballroom.

"I probably shouldn't have said all this because it dawned on me that the press is here," he joked.

"All kidding aside, these guys have left us in a God-awful place," he then said of the Bush regime, promptly wrapping up his remarks. "We have the ability to straighten it out. It's gonna take a little bit of time, so I ask you to stay with us. Stay with us."

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Bigots Are Out There...

H.L. Mencken once observed that "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American Public." He might just as easily have substituted the word overestimating for underestimating, and bigotry for intelligence. Apparently, John McCain, whose recent attack ads have scurrilously and crazily insinuated that Barack Obama is some sort of traitorous Muslim, is now reaping what he hath sown as a veritable lynch mob of enraged bigots show up on his campaign trail to implore and cajole McCain to confront his opponent in ways that are hardly conducive to civilized discourse. Recent stops in the heartland of America, that very same heartland that gave us, some sixty odd years ago, the Nazi sympathizing America First organization, are now producing such charming anti-Obama directed chants as "Off with his head" and "Kill him."

Perhaps the various calamities in the financial realm, which are giving rise to the sense that life is about to get a lot harder, have unhinged some number of the citizenry such that, in their present rage and despair, they are driven to express the sort of nauseating sentiments one associates with the Jim Crow era. Then again, maybe the murderous and retrograde thoughts and feelings have merely been lurking under the thin crust of our fast crumbling civilization all along and only now that things are falling apart in earnest are they emerging. Either way it's ugly with a capital U and bodes no good for the Republic.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Between Congressional banking industry stooges, arrogant, yet bungling party leaders, misinformed and very easily frightened Americans with 401k plans, and rapacious and desperate Wall Street shills like the Treasury Secretary, it is way too early to bask in the glow of the recent legislative smackdown of the No Banker Left Behind/Friends of Hank Paulson Bailout.

Now, if the Boston Globe can be believed, the Senate, a fat cats den if ever there was one, is set to lead the fight to defy the will of the people and turn over taxpayer funds in obscene amounts to the man who would be king, Henry Paulson. To all of you, (I hesitate to call you) people, out there, whoever and whatever you are, working hard to confiscate what is not yours for the purposes of bailing out Wall Street crooks, greed heads and imbeciles, prepare to reap the whirlwind. Prepare for a future where losing your office or your job will be the least of your concerns. No, I'm not kidding. Openly defying the will of the people on this one is going to cost all of you dearly. There's a little fear mongering for you. How do you like a taste of your own medicine?

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Aren't they quite the collection, yucking it up as if someone just told a very funny joke. Well, the joke's on us. Barney Frank, front and center, is loving every minute of it, basking in all the attention, perhaps unaware of the overwhelmingly negative aspects of the occasion. Ditto for Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Treasury Secretary and erstwhile Wall Street shill, Henry Paulson, looks pleased as punch.

For a solid week, the halls of Congress have been bombarded with phone calls, faxes, and e-mails overwhelmingly and vehemently opposing the bailout as originally presented. Minor add ons and flimsy provisions that will not be adequately enforced, have been inserted in an effort to appear responsive to the public, but as the reports make clear, the core of the bailout as put forth by Paulson remains intact. Most knew the outcome of the week's wrangling was never in doubt, and the price for business as usual now will be much, much steeper. And even as it's clear that trust in the markets has been shattered over these last many months, a precipitous fall in trust in one's government is the next big shoe to drop. The will of the people has been defied on a life and death issue, and when the chickens come home to roost, and they will sooner rather than later, there will be hell to pay.

Amazingly, as reported on Bloomberg, foreign bond holders wanted this agreement so that they wouldn't feel compelled to dump U.S. debt instruments. If so, what a stupid lot they are. The economy is broken, and this deal will not put humpty dumpty back together again. Even if the highways and byways of the credit system are subsequently allowed to clear a bit, I maintain we are now firmly in the realm of pushing on a string. As such, the effect of this bailout will be the same as if there were no bailout, namely a massive slowdown in economic activity. This will cause tax receipts to plummet, which ultimately is exactly what foreign investors should be most fearful of. What's more, as a toxic add on, the currency will, by necessity, be debased as a result of the monetization of the financial instruments of mass destruction. So while the wrecking crew whooping it up in the photo may have bought themselves a brief respite, the coming epic shit storm will not be avoided.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sara Palin Watch!

Ladies and Gentleman, Sarah Palin turns out to be an even bigger cad, a more horrendous rube than I thought was humanly possible. According to Mrs. Palin, Governor of the State of Alaska, and Republican Vice Presidential nominee, even though she has never actually visited Russia herself, the very fact that trade missions have occurred between the state of Alaska and the nation of Russia confers upon her legitimate foreign policy experience. Ladies and gentleman, it is one thing to be unqualified, it is yet another to not know one is unqualified, and it is yet another still to treat the voters as if they had no ability whatsoever to discern between a steaming pile of poo and a warm chocolate truffle.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Week of Nervousness.

This will be short and sweet. The Paulson putsch attempted by the Bush Cabal has, mercifully, become bogged down in Congress, perhaps fatally so. It is my view that perhaps enough of the citizenry have contacted their callow Legislatures and expressed their vehement opposition to the attempted fascist swindle, that maybe, just maybe, the blitzkrieg attempt at a Brobdingnagian swindle will fail.

As the week has progressed, my view has evolved such that I see no happy outcome with respect to Congress' deliberations. Even so, the worst of the worst outcomes would have involved a pusillanimous acquiescence to anything like Paulson's egregious terms. That seems to be by the boards presently, but as Congress is full of posturing weasels there is still time for the Congress and Senate to craft something deeply unsatisfactory if not downright treasonous. Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Here are a few ideas for you to consider that I hope will persuade you to immediately contact your Federal legislative representatives to demand that they REJECT the passage of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's bailout plan.

The Plan, which is being hurried through Congress as I write, is, I believe, being propelled by fear similar to that which allowed the government to drastically subvert the nation's legal landscape after the destruction of the Twin Towers. Today the specter of an impending collapse is being used to extort and usurp absolute financial power. What is occurring right now is, for all intents and purposes, an old style fascist putsch. A putsch is defined as "a plotted revolt or attempt to overthrow a government, especially one that depends upon suddenness and speed." What could be more sudden than what is occurring now? And what could be worse than the likelihood that this is an inside job?

Be very mindful of who heaped the present desperate state of financial affairs upon the nation in the first place, namely the financial services and banking industry who were aided and abetted by elected officials from both parties. Now be equally if not more mindful of the fact that the same groups who engineered the original sub prime swindle are the very same ones who will most benefit from the plan now being foisted on a pliant Congress. No less a historian than John Steele Gordon has observed that..." Paulson is asking to be a financial dictator..." what with provisions in the bill that would bar courts from reviewing actions taken under its (Paulson's) authority. Think about that for a moment. Now think again.


Thursday, September 18, 2008










An Open Letter to Barney Frank!

Dear Congressman Frank,

Today you were reported to say,

"It will be the power — it may not be a new entity. It will be the power to buy up illiquid assets," Frank said. "There is this concern that if you had to wait to set up an entity, it could take too long."

The illiquid assets you refer to are illiquid for good reason. They are worthless. There is no market where there is no value What, pray tell, do you propose to pay for these worthless assets with since the funds do not exist to pay for them? In any case why would you pay money for something the rest of the world treats as worthless? From the start this initiative reeks of a catastrophic boondoggle for all but Wall Street and the financial industry in general. From what coffer do you propose to shower enormous sums of money on Wall Street in exchange for the worthless paper? The funds aren’t there, which means you will have to endorse monetization for the purchase of worthless paper. This will have the purpose of cheapening the value of the U.S. dollar which will adversely effect hundreds of millions of people who are blameless in Wall Street’s self inflicted debacle. Finally you run the very great risk of imperiling the U.S. Bond Market as your proposed action almost guarantees a downgrade of U.S. Sovereign debt. Please reconsider your present course of action. It is neither fair, efficacious, or sound.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin Watch!

"He can run, but he can't hide." That's what Joe Louis said about Billy Conn before Louis fought the much lighter Conn in a heavyweight title bout. Louis all but lost except for Conn's foolish attempt to try and knock Louis out when Conn was ahead on points late in the fight. Instead, Louis wound up knocking out Conn. C'est la vie. Sarah Palin is running much like Conn did at the moment, only her flight is from an investigation about whether Palin may have improperly used her office to try and get her brother-in-law fired. Based on everything I've read and seen of Palin, who seems to be, among other unsavory things, an absurdly over ambitious mediocrity, I have no difficulty at all believing that Palin exercised her powers improperly. And I am anything but convinced that her decision to not speak with an investigator tasked with looking into the case has anything to do with her claim that the investigation is tainted. No, I'm afraid it looks to me that if anyone is tainted, it's Alaska's grasping, grifting Governor, Sarah Palin.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Two More Twin Towers Gone!

In a development eerily reminiscent of yet another New York City cataclysm, coming as it did almost seven years to the day after the attack and destruction of The World Trade Center Towers, two of Wall Street's most venerable investment banks, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers, met their demise. Both firms were, to a greater or lesser extent, victims of their own over vaulting ambition and greed, and while Merrill Lynch was merely bought out by Bank Of America in a desperation deal, Lehman Brothers was in such poor shape that no large financial institution could be persuaded to take it over. After over one hundred and fifty years as a fixture in New York City's investment banking scene, an insolvent Lehman Brothers ingloriously collapsed. Until its demise this weekend, Merrill had existed for ninety one years. Interestingly, this is almost as long a span as the still breathing Federal Reserve Bank, which came into being in 1913.

Not too many years ago, something of a Faustian bargain was struck by powerful American entities such that the U.S. exchanged its manufacturing prowess for the prospective glories of what became known as the FIRE economy. Fortunes were made to be sure, but that ill advised arrangement-ill advised for the nation as a whole- has now, for all intents and purposes, come a cropper. Insurance giant AIG is rumored to be in the financial equivalent of cardiac arrest, and so it is no exaggeration to suggest that New York City, once considered, along with London, to be the greatest financial center on the planet, is now in a state of terminal decline. Ponder, preferably with a double shot of your favorite alcoholic libation in hand, just what this all means, not just for the citizens of New York and The Empire State, but for the entire nation.

Friday, September 12, 2008

America: Out of Step With The Planet

It was once an article faith, stated early on by one of the founding fathers, and here I paraphrase, "that we seek to have the good opinion of our fellow nations." These days we have moved far away from espousing such a view, let alone practicing it, so much so that our government and its people are now, in large part, either oblivious to or contemptuous of the idea of maintaining the good opinion of the rest of the world. A poll taken by ABC shows that those who support McCain and Palin are vastly at odds with most of the rest of the planet. I would only add that, despite the obvious flaws of the Obama Biden ticket, they are also at odds with their own nation's welfare.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sara Palin Watch!


Have you seen Sarah the Implaler's recent slow pitch softball interview with ABC's Charles Gibson? I don't watch network T.V. either. I rarely watch any television, but I did catch a portion of the horse shit she spewed to Gibson courtesy of Yahoo. In the interview, Alaska's finest claimed that her statement, "Our soldiers are on a task from God," was meant as some sort of echo of Abraham Lincoln's, "Pray not that God is on our side, but that we are on God's side." I defy anyone with an I.Q. above 90 to watch the tape of Sarah the Impaler in front of a bunch of high schoolers and make the case that her words were in any way informed by those of Abraham Lincoln. No, my friends, The Republican spin crew came up with this Lincoln cover story well after the fact. I imagine the conversation to put out the "she sure looks like a fundamentalist wing nut" fire involved something like this:

McCain spinmeister #1

"Have you come up with any ideas yet for the "from God" thing, Stan?

McCain spinmeister #2

I think so, Bill, take a look at this."


Hey, that's pretty good. No, that's very good. Now she can just say that this quote from Lincoln's was..


What she meant all along.


Yeah. Do you think she can sell that?


She sold 'em The Bridge to Nowhere.

P.S. You can watch the entire chilling interview, and/or view key transcripts of it here.

Sara Palin Watch!

The headline at yahoo is something of a howler:

Palin's Ethics Scrapes May Undercut Pledge to End Old Politics.

Ya think?

I'd like to make special mention today of Charles Hugh Smith's latest post at his website
I am especially with him regarding his views on the nation's two political parties.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sarah Palin Watch.

Because Sarah "Barracuda" Palin is such an obvious grifter, I've decided to dedicate some portion of this blog to breaking news stories of The Governor of Alaska's corruption. Today, Mrs. "small town values" has been caught out by The Washington Post for defrauding Alaska taxpayers of approximately $45,000 dollars for bogus travel expenses.

Thanks, Bob, for the addled confirmation.

I always knew President Shrub was an epic ignoramus with no knowledge of history, and that he was utterly incurious to boot. Some sized up Bush as merely lazy and/or suffering from some annoying but slight cognitive issue that caused the Commander in Chief, who otherwise was a model of intelligence, to mangle sentences and garble words. But now we have even more proof that all along he truly was an outsized cretin.

According to reporter Bob Woodward, with regard to the conduct of the war in Iraq, and its putative success, President Bush placed great importance on body counts. My immediate thought was this is exactly the sort of idiocy that the Mandarins of the Vietnam War were obsessed with. Body counts and kill ratios were crucial metrics that unmentionables like Robert McNamara obsessively peered over and touted to demonstrate that the war we were clearly losing badly, was, in fact, being won. It's a cliche, but none the less true for being so, that those who do not learn from, (in this case, recent) history, are doomed to repeat it. One wonders if anyone around Bush had the sense or guts to point out, ever so gingerly, to the Commander in Chief that he had his head way up his ass regarding the importance of body counts. I wouldn't have expected Cheney to do the deed, he was, after all, delighted we were there bouncing the rubble around and wouldn't want to run the risk of changing our hideous commitment in any way lest his pal's fat contracts be terminated before the full compliment of booty was squirreled away. Clearly fellow Republican, and war hero John McCain, let me say that again, war hero, John McCain wasn't consulted. Thank goodness he and that human treasure trove of public service, Sarah Palin will be in charge come January.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Attention National Media!

Are you all addled, or just on someone's payroll? If I've read one glowing account from you regarding the massively retrograde first term Governor of Alaska, I've read a dozen. "A star is born" was one of the more nauseating headlines I've seen of late that made me think that the writer had been drinking rot gut from a lead lined glass since the Reagan years. Has it occurred to any of you that an above average reading of a well rehearsed speech, made by a nicely dressed, physically arresting, female politician, in front of a crowd of rabid, kool-aid drinking, yahoos, isn't a litmus test worthy of the name?

Have you considered instead focusing your attention a bit more on the world view, the culture, and the legislative, ahem, achievements of the Governor of Alaska? Let me help you out on the world view part. Palin, as you know, is a Christian Fundamentalist, which means she is from the same line of people who persecuted Copernicus and Galileo for conclusively demonstrating that not only was the earth not the center of the universe, but that it wasn't even the center of our vastly smaller solar system. Consider the possibility, if not the likelihood, that, if, by some quirk of fate, Palin and her ilk outnumbered those of you who hold slightly more up to date views, she'd probably be springing stuff on you that would make the goings on at Guantanamo look like a hazing incident at your local college. You don't think so?

Well then, consider one of Governor Palin's most recent legislative victories, namely the defeat, with the help of $400,000 dollars of taxpayer dollars, of Measure 2, an initiative designed to prevent hunting wolves for sport from airplanes. You see, this is the kind of moronic pastime that Palin and her snow mobile racer husband think is cool. What does drilling in a wildlife refuge amount to... excuse me, what does wildlife amount to for someone with such a depraved view of nature? Me? I'd like to see a buck naked, terrified and freezing Sarah Palin running from an airplane stocked with hunters shooting at her non-stop with high powered rifles and see how she likes it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


The government's answer to the insolvency of banks and GSEs is to nationalize them. The latest maneuver, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, is to take over the prostrate mortgage outfits Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This will cost us taxpayers in ways that are hard to put a number on and impossible to calculate.

One way though is that the long standing decline in the purchasing power of the dollar will resume and accelerate. I believe that the dollar has been artificially levitated precisely in anticipation of a whole raft of nationalizations to come. At the same time the dollar was goosed higher, a massive engineered attack was orchestrated on precious metals, the canary in the coal mine with respect to the dollar's prospective condition. As George Bush senior was fond of saying, "This will not stand."

With respect to the nationalization of Fannie and Freddie, there is every reason to believe that the Chinese, owners of large amounts of Fannie and Freddie debt, have pressured the U.S. government to step in. At the same time, we have corporate shysters like Pimco's Bill Gross, who knowingly bought distressed paper, clamoring for the government to nationalize. In the case of Gross, it is a certainty that he purchased the items in full anticipation of a bailout. The criminality that has occurred over the better part of this decade, and is now occurring in response to earlier malfeasance is unspeakable. One wonders if and when the American people will wake up to it and do something about it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thanks, but no thanks, Sarah!

I don't hold out much hope for the U.S. as there are too many imbeciles out there seemingly impressed by a

"...snarky, amateurish, almost Student Council-like speech, Palin proved today that she can attack like a candidate for vice-president. And she demonstrated that she can support the top of the ticket like a candidate for vice-president. But nowhere in her speech did she demonstrate that she can be vice-president."

The Daily Kos is on target, but they left out the fact, and it is a fact, that the Governor of Alaska lied like a dog in her speech, completely misrepresenting her support for The Bridge to Nowhere. Thanks, but no thanks, Sarah. I still want no part of your trailer park sensibilities. You are a hick who done good, and while that may be good enough for many of my thick headed fellow citizens who have offered up such howlers as "A Star is Born" in the aftermath of your vapid "Student Council- like" speech, your smiling brand of smarmy, two bit, homespun, rhetoric doesn't change the fact that you are a retrograde, fundamentalist wing nut from the state with the most number of wing nuts per capita in the union.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Of Course She Can.

The more we learn about McCain's Vice Presidential choice the more unsavory she becomes. From the (possibly fake) photo of Governor Palin in an American flag bikini gleefully toting a rifle, to credible reports that in her limited time as a public servant she has been on board for massive pork barrel spending, going so far as to hire a lobbyist for a town of 7,000, to allegations that Palin used her office to try and force the firing of a state trooper who was in a custody battle with her sister, the list is long, and getting longer. Of course the right wing spin machine is hard at work trying to give a warm glow to all the folderol, and let's face it, they have to be, because there's a lot of chicken shit to be packaged as chicken salad between now and next Tuesday.

Apparently, when John McCain said to Palin that nothing could prepare her for the harsh spotlight of a presidential campaign, she responded, "I can take it." Well, of course she can. Folks like her rarely harbor doubts much less shame about themselves. In the meantime, if I read one more post from another meat head prattling on about what a hottie Governor Palin is, I'm going to be sick. I don't care how she looks for a forty something, mother of three, she's pure trailer park, and whatever low opinion I have of the D.C. insider scene-which by the way is full of cretinous rednecks-the answer to America's problems isn't pistol packin' Palin.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Conspiracy to Commit Riot?

At the DNC they said they owned the sidewalk, and now we have this travesty of the law-there is no law called Conspiracy to Commit Riot, only a law against actual rioting-happening in conjunction with the RNC. Ask yourselves what the powers that be are so afraid of that they must engage in "free speech zones", which by definition are antithetical to the very idea of free speech, and preemptive arrests justified by laws that do not exist? I hope it is clear that neither party is your friend, and that going forward, should you have any intention of expressing dissent, you would be better off doing so in an unconventional, unorganized fashion.


I view the choice by John McCain of Sarah Palin to be his running mate as a massive slap in the face to any thinking American. If Obama has little to no worthwhile experience, then Sarah Palin has none, and her hooray for home schooling, fundamentalist, let's drill in the ANWR, NRA loving, keep the troops in EYE-RACK, repeal Roe versus Wade orientation is utterly loathsome. The idea that this stealth candidate- she is essentially a latter day Harriet Miers- could be placed in a position to potentially influence national governance for the next decade or more is worse than appalling. What's in Alaska, (about as unrepresentative a state as exists), should stay in Alaska. Unfortunately, the electorate these days have proven that they are witless enough to vote for a woman with the nickname "Barracuda."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Here's The Problem.

The problem is someone is acting as if they own the sidewalk. The second and bigger problem is that despite the patent speciousness of the claim-nobody owns the sidewalk- there are enough folks (men in blue, in this case) willing to act as enforcers on behalf of the hijackers of the sidewalk that Freedom's Land is rapidly become a full blown police state. And you really know it's gotten bad when the goon squad arrest a reporter from ABC, not exactly a bastion of intrepid anti-status quo journalism. Read it, watch it, and weep.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I'll Be Waiting.

While it is somewhat of a challenge to imagine a worse President than the sitting one, it's not so difficult to imagine one almost as bad. Our political system is now so corrupt, the electronic media that reports on it so denuded of journalistic integrity, and the American electorate in such a dumbed down and zombie like state, that every four years the United States can only manage putting forth a different collection of what are essentially either cretins, like Bush junior, mountebanks like Bill Clinton, or some admixture of those two types.

With Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama's selection of Senator Joe Biden, self styled change agent Obama appears to not just be moving towards the mythical "center" but motoring there at full throttle. Delaware Senator, Biden, perhaps best known for pilfering, paragraph by paragraph, a speech by British labour candidate of yore, Neil Kinnock, makes little sense as Obama's pick since Biden's overall career has been marked, with few exceptions over its three plus decades, as one dedicated to maintaining the status quo. In that vein, over approximately the better part of this decade, Biden has been, like so many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle, all in from the beginning regarding the fraudulently initiated and disastrous occupation of Iraq.

Instead of highlighting how Biden gives the lie to Barack Obama's claims to be an agent of change, all we are hearing about from the MSM is how Biden shores up Obama's legitimacy by providing valuable foreign policy experience. What experience would that be? Get back to me with the stellar accomplishments that should give prospective lever pullers for the Dems a warm and fuzzy feeling? You have until November the 7th.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

An Epic Blunder!

The Bush Administration continues a long record of hideous foreign policy mistakes with their implementation of a missile defense shield in Poland. What, you may ask, is there to defend against? Nothing. This move is designed to continue the long standing neo-con lunacy of encircling Russia with some form of military presence, either via the creation and/or acquisition of military bases, or, in this case, nukes. Total Spectrum Dominance, the central insane doctrine of neo-con foreign policy, will be seen by those generations that survive the attempt to enact it, as a catastrophic failure, responsible for massive fraud and financial waste, a generation of mutilated, scarred, or dead young American men, a sundered middle eastern nation, and possibly the unthinkable, nuclear war.

Look no further than the aforesaid doctrine as the reason for the latest Russian incursion into the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, where a U.S. stooge was throwing his weight around in a manner that provoked an overpowering military response. The Olympics may have the spotlight now, but the greatest game going these days is the the one initiated years ago by the neo-cons to secure the U.S. as the globe's dominant military and economic power. It's a game we could never win, even briefly, but lose it we shall, in a hail of tattered hubris, monetary meltdown, and finally, civic and political chaos. A more successful search and destroy mission has rarely, if ever, been achieved.

What can one do to prepare for all the mayhem coming down the pike? Exchange dollars for precious metals, stock up on food that can sit in your pantry for more than a few weeks at a time, and short of relocating to another country, which most of us either can't or won't do, keep your gas tank full at all times. Present trends in the dollar, up, fuel, down, are all very temporary and should be seen as gifts. Make your preparations now and good luck!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Abort McCain!

The nation, or at least certain retrograde elements that reside within it, (and ones that I wish would vanish immediately without a trace), obsess about the fitness of candidates for the highest office in the land based on one issue above all others. Unfortunately, this issue shouldn't even be an issue. In truth, due to its very private nature, abortion, like religion, should have no part in public life at all. But lamentably, here in Freedom's Land, it does, and so, John McCain, who knows he must attract crazed Jesus freaks and their ilk to his cause, lest Barack Obama trample him at the polls, offered- in what is becoming a typically pandering approach- to thunderous approval from a congregation of evangelicals, his view that life begins at conception. Obama, perhaps a bit less desperate than his shriveled Republican rival, and one hopes as a result of being in possession of a mind capable of grappling with complexity, sensibly offered his thoughts on when life begins with something less designed to cause myopic and fevered evangelicals to twitter with unbridled joy. Just so. And this development is, in some sense, a microcosm of the choice facing Americans at the polls in November.

Don't get me wrong, I'm hardly an enthusiast for Obama, and am deeply skeptical of any good coming from our shabby and corrupt two party system, but how can one in good conscience vote for a candidate who would pander to fundamentalist wing nuts? Were McCain being nominated for President of a newly formed nation inhabited overwhelmingly by fundamentalists, (of any stripe), why I'd happily pull the lever for him. But, alas, such is not the case. In the meantime, we have very serious problems, make that crises, crises that far outweigh the non-issue issue of abortion, and we can't afford to elect any more officials who act as ombudsman for the cretinous agendas of the dumbest of the dumbed down.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Spanish Stench of Bigotry at The Olympics.

Somehow the Olympics seem to be suffering a bit this year. Practically on the very first day of the games an American couple were brutally attacked by a knife weilding assailant leaving one man dead. Then, on a far grander scale, war broke out in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Now, the Spaniards, not known throughout history for being terribly enlightened on the subject of race or religion, have marred the proceedings with an utterly boorish photo taken of the basketball team collectively "slanting" their eyes. Somehow the team thought this would be amusing, which just shows them up to be a truly dim witted and and classless bunch of cretins. What may be worse is that the team seems to have no idea why people are upset and offended. And though in the wake of the uproar they caused the Spanish basketball team appear to be apologetic, I still look forward to seeing the inhabitants of the country that gave the world The Inquisition get crushed (by the U.S. basketball team, a squad composed entirely of players of African descent) like so many Iberian grapes underfoot.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Idiot of the Month!

The Green Bay Packers were prepared to offer on again off again retiree quarterback, Brett Favre, twenty million dollars to hang up his cleats for good, but in a decision that defied even a smidgen of sense, the thirty seven year old veteran said, "No, thanks." Now, Favre, who has only toiled for one team his entire career, and is a living legend in a small city with only one major professional sports team, is fighting for a starting position with the New York Jets. And to add insult to injury, Favre is being made to run penalty laps for the first time in his career. I wonder what he is thinking to himself when he has to sprint like a twenty two year old rookie back and forth across the gridiron in ninety degree heat? Couldn't I, a man pushing forty, with a twenty million dollar incentive, have found something better to do with my time than this?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

War Games

Athletes representing both small and large countries from around the world are presently engaged in civil competition against each other as part of the XXIX Olympics. But beyond the opulent confines of Bejing's Olympic Village, the world is hardly a civil place. In fact, in the sovereign nation of Georgia, a civil war is raging, and the Russians, who stand to gain from it, are lending their might to Georgian separatists. It's hard to be sure who initiated this bloody contretemps, but it couldn't be a better time for it if one desires minimal interference. After all, the world is preoccupied with a once every four years international sporting extravaganza, so who has the time or inclination to intervene between warring nations?

True to form, the United Nations is issuing toothless condemnations, and world leaders from Nicolas Sarkozy to our own President Shub are intoning about the possibility of a peaceful resolution. But it's not likely anything will be done to stop what looks for all the world like a well planned power play by Vladimir Putin's Russia. Enjoy the Gymnastics!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Never Believe a Rumor...

until it has been officially denied. Those were the sage words uttered by one of the greatest politicians of the 19th century, Otto Von Bismarck. With that in mind, I submit the following denial of treachery from The White House.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Secessionist Pressure Points/Crisis of Liberalism.

Is a Unitarian a progressive? I don't know. Frankly, I'm not sure I can reliably identify what a progressive is these days, but it seems clear that in the mind of at least one deranged, "librul" hating, southern trucker, Unitarianism amounts to an evil worthy of mass murder. And while it would be easy to dismiss the actions of the gibberish spouting homicidal maniac who opened fire on a Unitarian congregation in Tennessee as nothing more than a tragically freakish one off, I'm afraid that, from my vantage point, the desperately unhinged character is probably no anomaly. The south, and the great interior of the United States in general is full of people with similarly vicious attitudes as the rampaging, buckshot spraying trucker. And though they almost certainly don't possess the level of malevolence of the aforementioned gunman, don't for a minute think they aren't deeply hostile to liberalism, a doctrine whose hallmarks are expansiveness and inclusion.

It is almost certain that without the advent of liberalism, a creature of The Enlightenment, there would be no United States at all. Absent Enlightenment liberalism, one segment of the British social order of the day, untitled, anglo saxon, male property owners, would not have had cover for their demands for self rule and no model for crafting a system of governance which, at least nominally, enshrined egalitarianism. Over time, more and more members of the U.S. social order, descendants of former slaves, and woman, for example, have been included in the political decision making of the nation, and as a result, one can say that the the initial promise inherent in The Constitution has been, to some substantial degree, fulfilled.

The greatest crisis of liberalism in the nation's history occurred as a result of the issue of slavery, which, of course, by hook and by crook, led to a fraught political environment, insurrection, regional secession and ultimately to a cataclysmic military conflict. The attempted massacre in Tennessee, despite the fact that it came at the hands of someone who was clearly deeply disturbed, might be best viewed as a kind of recrudescence of a very old liberal crisis. With that in mind, It is instructive that a substantial part of the the Tennessee gunmen's rant was directed against gays, a group that is presently engaged in the nation's most notable struggle by a social group to acquire the full compliment of rights, protections, and privileges accorded their straight peers.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Greatest Generation?

As the years pass, and only a handful of folks who took part in World War II are left, there are fewer and fewer homages paid to that intrepid cadre of young men and women who bore the full brunt of the war. And while I have tremendous respect and admiration for the so called "greatest generation", and all that they sacrificed during those days of peril, I have always bristled at the very idea of a greatest generation. What of the sacrifices of those who fought in World War I, or perhaps even The Civil War? Ah, but of course, the Civil War was so long ago, and has problematic moral aspects that I imagine, at least in the minds of some, removes its participants from consideration as being the greatest generation. As for World War I, well, it just didn't have quite the urgency of World War II, did it? Ditto for Korea, and the poor folks who fought in Vietnam are, however unfair it would seem, only in the running for a prize for ignominious failure. So, properly tabulated those who took part in a morally unambiguous conflict of the size and sweep of World War II are at quite an advantage in the "who will be labeled the greatest generation" sweepstakes.

And yet, as I ponder the combined contribution of such political leaders as Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bush senior, I am sorely tempted to observe that since victory was sealed with the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945, the greatest generation's record is, at best, spotty. And, as fate would have it, today, another of their member, if only just, eighty four year old Alaskan, Republican Senator Ted Stevens has, shall we say, let the celebrated side down, what with his indictment for not reporting to the tax man a quarter of a million dollars of bag money he received from big oil. It's nice to know that after generations of being harangued about the debt we all owe to the greatest generation, we probably deserve a refund.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dark Knight Indeed.

Putting aside "The Dark Knight's" bleak subject matter, subject matter of which I do not have first hand experience, one can hardly imagine a movie title more eerily appropriate to our nation's current condition. Merely employing just one of "The Dark Knight's" double meanings puts one in mind of such national catastrophes as the collapsed housing market, insolvent banking system, inept and grotesquely corrupt political class, seemingly indefinite military engagements, and last but not least, and by no means particular to the U.S., climate change. In the main, the aforesaid horrid phenomena might be said to seal the deal on the idea that the present period in our nation's history does indeed amount to a very dark night.

Employing the other referent in the title's double entendre, one can't help but associate it with Democratic nominee for President, Barack Obama, a figurative and literal dark knight if ever there was one. Obviously the filmmakers could not have had all of these connections in mind when they made the movie, but that is beside the point, the point being that by hook or by crook, "The Dark Knight" is a very powerful and important cultural signifier, relevant in myriad ways and on several levels. I imagine, at least in part, this is what accounts for its seemingly stunning popularity at the box office where it is resonating with viewers, many of whom are committing to multiple viewings, to a degree that puts the movie on a pace to break all sorts of revenue records. In a nation where literally breaking the bank has become an everyday concern, that seems only fitting.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Loserman Resurrected!

During the contretemps that ensued in the aftermath of the 2000 election, zombies for Bush ran about in graceless fashion carrying signs reading Sore Loserman. For them, this indelicate bit of - dare I call it- word play aimed at Al Gore and running mate Joe Lieberman amounted to wit. Now that Senator Lieberman is, for all intents and purposes, one of them, one almost pines for the days when large numbers of admittedly stupid people effectively, and collectively, spat at one of the most loathsome characters to ever drag his knuckles through the halls of government.

Senator Lieberman's latest affront to decency is the fawning relationship he has developed with the vile "Reverend" John Hagee, he of the lunatic notion that, and here I slightly paraphrase, Katrina was New Orlean's punishment for having a gay rights parade. John McCain, a former Hagee devotee, has distanced himself from him, if only under duress. But if, like Pastor Hagee, you support Israel, even if only because you are eager to usher in the Apocalypse tout suite, Lieberman is ready to extend a sweaty, smarmy hand to you, and a public pat on the back. After all, Joe's motto might as well be, Israel, Israel, uber alles! Loserman indeed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Of Food Stamps, Soup Lines, and Income Tax Abolition.

For all you very strange people who continue to spew nonsense about how a recession hasn't taken hold, perhaps you might, for a minute, remove your very small heads from your rear ends and peer at some genuine evidence as opposed to Alice in Wonderland statistical jiggery pokery of the sort concocted by federal bureaus. For example, the use of food stamps in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is now the fastest growing program in the U.S. Earlier this decade, Massachusetts had the lowest number of eligible residents for food stamps, but my how things have changed what with declining economic fortunes, soaring food prices, and a little less bureaucratic red tape. Why if you cup your ear and listen carefully, you can almost hear, in the manner of The Great Depression, the rattling of large metal spoons on the sides of very big kettles of watery soup. Could it be coming to that? I wouldn't bet against it just yet. Then again, if the voters of The Commonwealth, many of whom are now availing themselves of food stamps in record numbers, decide to vote to repeal the state income tax, there will likely be no money for soup of any kind, watery or otherwise.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Withdrawal Talk Symptoms.

The subject of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq has been broached of late, more specifically the issue of a timetable for withdrawal has been raised, and it has caused no small amount of consternation among the guardians of the status quo. As such, I suspect the low level conflict between those who want us out of Iraq, and those who want us in indefinitely is becoming a bit more intense. As usual, those who seek to defend our presence there are, at least from my perspective, less than convincing.

Of course Barack Obama, the primary torch bearer these days for the withdrawal contingent, may simply be posturing for votes when he intones that he would have troops out of Iraq in eighteen months. After all, such talk is a sure vote getter, and he is in a credible position to attract the votes of those who are like minded. In the meantime, I am mindful of the desperation of those who want us in Iraq for a seemingly permanent stay. The only questions in my mind are how reckless are they, and how much wherewithal do they have to, for example, go to war with Iran, which would seal the deal on U.S. troops remaining indefinitely, not just in Iraq, but in the entire region. These are the $64 trillion dollar questions, and I, for one, hope the answer to those questions are that the administration is not, prospectively, so reckless, and that, in any event, they do not have the maneuvering room to engage in any more major military expeditions. Having said that, it is becoming increasingly clear that, we live, as per the Chinese curse, in interesting times.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

An Open Letter To The Voters of Massachusetts

Dear Fellow Residents,

Repealing the income tax in Massachusetts isn't a bad idea, it's an atrocious one that would usher in a debacle the likes of which the state has never experienced. Pardon my apocalyptic tone, but there can be no hyperbole when one considers the level of decimation to public services that would ensue if the income tax is repealed. And the widespread loss of public services is just one in a whole range of deeply unpleasant effects that would occur as a result of such a repeal. Why should this be so?

Massachusetts is already facing the prospect of severe budget shortfalls that will challenge its ability to meet its core obligations. Should the repeal of the income tax pass, the state will fall so far behind in its ability to raise revenue that government will have no choice but to massively cut services, even basic services. Concomitantly, unemployment will increase as state employees are fired en masse. And in order to try and compensate for the loss of income tax revenue, the government will resort to the following desperate measures, massive increases in real estate taxes, sales taxes, and corporate taxes. They will have no choice. Get your mind around a state full of renters and what that will mean, because no one will want to buy residential property. Equally, prepare yourselves for the sickening sucking sound of businesses deserting our inhospitable shores for more tax friendly ones.

Last but not least, Massachusetts as a viable financial entity will likely cease to exist, as the cost to borrow for municipalities and state government will skyrocket. After all, would you loan money to someone or something that had little prospect of paying you back? Perhaps, but only at astronomical rates of interest so as to cover your risk. Are you convinced yet of the epic badness of the proposition? If not, then perhaps you are impervious to reason or suffer from some equally unfortunate malady that precludes a sense of self preservation. I hope not, because the price for voting out the state income tax is far far too high.

Friday, July 18, 2008


The unfailingly odious Phil Gramm has resigned from The McCain campaign after he said, in so many words, that the nation's recession-slouching towards a Depression as we speak- is illusory, existing only in the fevered collective imagination of a nation of "whiners." I have news for you Mr. Gramm, it may be quite true that we are a nation of whiners, but we most certainly are in a recession and your public apologists have no clue. Officialdom's statistics on economic activity, employment, consumer and wholesale inflation, etc, etc, etc, are a mendacious heap of steaming caca bearing no resemblance to reality.

And here's some news for you Senator (Keating Five) McCain, short of yet another rigged election, you are going to get your clock cleaned come November, because I suspect that you, like your erstwhile campaign advisor, are deluded regarding the actual state of the economy. And more importantly where your prospects for election are concerned, America knows it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Fearless Prediction! Divided In Two Parts.

Predictions are easy to make, usually fun, and most of the time come with very little risk to whomever is making the predictions. The following is one prediction that I hope and trust you will find interesting, even provocative.

Sometime in the next decade or two, the United States will come under threat of disunion. By disunion, I mean that, some area, some region of the country will come under such duress and suffer such discontent that the idea of initiating separation from the rest of the nation will take root and grow. It seems almost inconceivable and outlandish in prospect, and may in fact turn out to have no merit as a bit of prognostication, but bear in mind that all large empires have ultimately disintegrated. Rome, The Ottoman Empire, Ancient Islam, The British Empire, and more recently, The Soviet Union, have all, as they say, bitten the dust. Why should the United States, which has already had one tumultuous Civil War that very nearly sundered the nation, be an exception?

As I consider the fate of our empire, it strikes me that those empires that lasted the longest are those that came into being early in the history of human civilization. I posit that consolidating and controlling vast expanses of territory and ruling over diverse peoples was, while never an easy matter, more attainable then than now. And while I realize that the matter of how empires rise and rule is undoubtedly complex, my sense is that among other advantages empires have over their weaker adversaries, such as greater organization, leadership in technology is crucial. Certainly the U.S. has had a technological advantage for generations, and may still, but for the purposes of maintaining an empire, I wonder if our tech lead, such as it is, has become, among many other reasons, too thin for the maintenance of empire.

Clearly mismanagement of finances and ill chosen conflicts are writ large in the history of empires that fail, and it would seem that the U.S. is by no means exempt from such pitfalls. In fact, my view, my thesis is that U.S. financial and martial mistakes are of such magnitude that the very core of the American empire, the lower 48 states, will be at risk. The wherewithal of government plays an enormous role in government's ability to maintain authority over the citizenry. When central government becomes increasingly incapable of responding to crisis, man made and natural, the populace has little incentive to feel, let alone act, as if they are part of something greater than themselves.

The response of the federal government to hurricane Katrina, widely seen to have been profoundly inadequate, is instructive. Local governments almost certainly failed in their missions as catastrophically as the federal government did in theirs, but in the minds of most Americans, the greatest and most damning failure was, understandably, that of The Executive Branch of the federal government. Going forward, for a variety of reasons, such as climate change, disasters like Katrina stand to increase in number and intensify in severity. And as communities around the nation suffer from even more trying conditions, an over taxed federal government will have little in the way to offer in response. Equally, as per the legacy of The War on Terror, it is not unreasonable to expect the federal government to respond to growing social chaos with ever more repressive measures that will do nothing but inflame discontent and drive the citizenry towards separation, or if you prefer, independence from the rest of the nation.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Some Very Good News!

Occasionally, decisions are reversed, and I am very happy to report that the Bureau of Land Management's decision to stop
processing permits for solar projects on public land was so unpopular and elicited such protest that the BLM has rescinded their earlier decision.

Monday, June 30, 2008

More Drilling: An idiotic idea squared.

To all those folks out there who are still blowing masses of hot air to the effect that if only the PTB had somehow paved the way for more drilling over the years we wouldn't be in this mess, I say, "GET A GRIP!" And stop blaming green groups for things like The Bureau of Land Management's decision to cease accepting applications for solar projects. Are you folks that stupid or just that dishonest that you can't acknowledge that the road to the BLMs decision traces back to the The Commander in Chief, not the greens. Yeah, that's right, the government already allows a ton of drilling, and mining, and clear cutting on federal lands, but it must have been those pesky greens that stood in the way of placing some relatively benign solar panels in the desert.

On the larger question of should we or should we have not drilled for oil, no we should not have drilled and gouged out the earth at every bleeping opportunity over the last ten or twenty years because it's a false economy. The fossil fuel age is over and needs to be over, but then if you are in denial regarding man's enormous contribution to climate change, and/or if you think Peak Oil is a hoax, then, in addition to being terminally thick, you can not be convinced of the profound illogic in the idea that more gouging and drilling was/is the way forward.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Say It Here....

The article at the link came out a few days after my last post abut Obama looking more and more like a purveyor of the same old same old.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nothing's changed...things continue to....

Deteriorate. Consider this the first broken promise of Barack Obama's Presidency should he be elected. The broken promise comes in the form of Obama's decision to forgo public campaign money. Earlier in the year Senator Obama pledged that "he would aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election." That statement clearly was just so much horseshit.

Now Senator Slither, as one columnist has accurately dubbed him, can spend obscene amounts-best guess estimates are in excess of a quarter of a billion dollars- on his presidential campaign. Between McCain, who has also opted out of the public finance system, and Obama, who knows what waste in spending might be achieved. More importantly, for me, is that as this contest is shaping up, one increasingly gets that sinking feeling that based on the way the two contestants are opting to play the game, that we voters are once again faced with the same old same old.

There Will Be Blood!

For those of you who don't know, my overall view of George Bush is that he is a contemptible cretin, and that outside of Adolph Hitler's being invited into the German government, The Shrub's two term presidency represents perhaps the biggest political catastrophe in modern history, modern history being defined as post WW1. Certainly, as my wife observed recently, the fact that Bush was elected not once, but twice, (with pardons to those who believe Bush was installed into office by The U.S. Supreme Court) represents THE biggest mystery, bar none, in modern politics.

The Bush Presidency has brought us a wrongful war and occupation in Iraq, and one that has been waged incompetently to boot.

A hideous scam of a police state enterprise known as "The War On Terror", which, by its very shadowy nature, and quite conveniently for Bush, has no accountability to the general public whatsoever.

On the domestic front, Bush is beyond clueless, he and his criminal cohorts in Congress, have utterly obstructed global efforts to address climate change, and they have plenty to answer for regarding the on going financial and economic debacle that involves the banking, housing, and mortgage industry, to name three of the most prominent areas of the economy that are listing in the manner of The Titanic.

Most recently, as in yesterday, Bush, in an act of utter mendacity or mindless stupidity-with Bush it's always one or the other, if not both-blamed high prices at the pump on Democrat's blocking offshore drilling. No, Mr. President, you cad, the high cost of auto fuel would be due to the following factors not listed in order of importance:

1.) Our collapsing currency, which in turn is due to profligate government spending-the bulk of that spending being on, three, not entitlement programs- and please don't even mention the hoary term welfare. No, not homeowner bailout programs.....YES.... MILITARY/WAR SPENDING!

2.) Massive foreign competition for petroleum. You might have noticed that China and India are very thirsty, Mr. President.

3.) PEAK bloody OIL- which, Mr. President, you and your fat, greasy eminence of a Vice President know all too well about, hence our long term occupation of Iraq.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Boston Celtics are Champions Again!

This is one for the record books, number #17 to be precise. In Game 4, The Cs pulled off the greatest comeback in NBA finals history coming from 24 down to win the game. In clinching the title tonight in game six of the series, the Green absolutely obliterated the Los Angeles Lakers, holding leads of over twenty five points for large stretches of the second half. Truly, the game was over by the end of the first half as the Celtics total team effort utterly overwhelmed the Laker's soft west coast game. As viewers of this finals series have been reminded ad nauseum, the league's MVP during the regular season was The Laker's Kobe Bryant. Just so, but the Celtic's Paul Pierce, an L.A. native, is the series MVP. Last but not necessarily least, an added benefit to tonight's decimation of the Lakers is that it has denied the obnoxious coach of the Lakers, Phil Jackson, from tying Celtic legend Red Auerbach for most NBA titles as a coach. Not on the Celtics watch, Phil!

Suburban Blightmare!

It is difficult for many of us to imagine how desperate many suburban and ex-urban communities have become in the United States, but the truth is there for any to see if only we look. Entire communities in large swaths of California and other states have become utter wastelands, decimated by an epic housing bust and under continuous pressure from record gas prices. Some areas have become literal ghost towns populated only by squatters and the few who have not yet been forced out by foreclosure. Many of the squatters are nothing less than criminals who have opportunistically availed themselves of abandoned homes to engage in various sorts of nefarious enterprise. All in all, it's a rather appalling tale as depicted in the article at the link. Make no mistake, the trend toward suburban and ex-urban growth, a trend that had been in place since the aftermath of WWII has likely ended. Now suburbs and exurbs, which grew and thrived from New England to the the west coast at the expense of major city centers, are experiencing a tremendous reversal of fortune with profound implications for us all.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sustainable Development Isn't!

A favorite term of ecologists, sustainable development is nothing less than an absurdity. Development infers expansion, and ecosystems can not sustain a condition of growth indefinitely. But capitalism, as observed by Marx, must grow or it will die, and as it is the dominant mode of economic organization, the basic incompatibility of growth and development with an intact ecology must be elided, even as countless ecosystems and species around the planet are being irreversibly depleted. As things stand presently, the planet's fastest growing capitalist enterprise, the People's Republic of China, is, as per the story at the link below, set to over reach in the sort of way that has, as in the case of, oh, say, Easter Island, resulted in spectacular failure. Unfortunately, the rest of us are right in there with them.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Second Fiddle.

Hillary Clinton's rabid supporters are quick to proclaim that they will not vote for Obama unless he includes Hillary on the ticket. I'd like to offer that I almost certainly won't vote for Obama if he does. I can't think of anything, save one thing-I'll get to that one thing in due course- that would signal the absolute pointlessness of national politics more than an Obama Clinton ticket. To even suggest it is deeply depressing. I realize that bitter rivals have teamed up before to run for The White House, but a union of Obama and Clinton strikes me as tantamount to an admission that the entire contest has been a complete charade. To those who read this blog, you already know that, for a variety of reasons, I take a dim view of national elections. Still, should this nightmare ticket come to pass, I would hope that a lot of folks who have heretofore acted reverently toward national politics will cease to do so.

What's more, given the the disgraceful way that Hillary has comported herself, I would view Obama teaming up with Clinton as nothing less than a severe sign of weakness on his part, a capitulation to the fear that Hillary and her ghastly supporters ceaselessly sow that come election time, if Hillary is not on the ballot, they will stay away from the polls or vote for McCain.

Now on to the one thing that would make national elections seem even more pointless than an Obama and McCain ticket. Can you guess what it is? Rumor has it that McCain might try to entice Hillary to be his Veep. I know, it's utterly preposterous and I don't believe it either...I think.

Cornerstone of Capitalism to the rescue!

General Motors used to be thought of as the cornerstone of capitalist industry here in the United States, at least by the late, former head of GM, Charles E. Wilson, who asserted that, "What's good for General Motors is good for the country." If that was ever true it certainly isn't now. In fact, what has been good for GM, namely manufacturing large SUVs and The Hummer, has not only been bad for the U.S. but, it could easily be argued, the entire planet. Now, with gas prices well north of four dollars a gallon, it appears that GM has figured out that making SUVs and Hummers isn't good for them either. I suppose one could say better late then never that GM has made this discovery, but the auto manufacturer's stupefyingly slow realization that they have, for years, been in the business of manufacturing the automotive equivalent of a toxic dodo bird does nothing to bolster the arguments of those who would have us believe that capitalist enterprise will take care of all our needs in a timely and economical fashion. Don't worry, I am not about to make the case for the institution of a command economy here in freedom's Land, but I am quite happy to point out something that I believe evidences the vast shortcomings of capitalism in addressing society's needs.

And please don't blame "the government" for this particular failure. The government, specifically the Executive and Legislative branches are owned and operated by big and medium sized business interests primarily for their own benefit. As such, government is utterly compromised in bringing business interests to heel in the service of something beyond just the bottom line. If you don't believe this is the case, answer the following question. How could something as ridiculous at this moment in history as owning the massively gas guzzling Hummer allow one, until quite recently, a tax break?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

McCain is Dreadful!

I didn't know the ghastly Phil Gramm was a higher up in McCain's organization.

Message to America:

Obama may be far from perfect, he may even be subpar, but if you vote for McCain you are absolutely voting for more of the same Bushshit! And the consequences going forward will make what we have experienced to date pale by comparison.