Saturday, February 27, 2010

MSM All in On The Dark Side Part 2

Perhaps some of you are familiar with the recent story regarding the Orca at SeaWorld that drowned one of its handlers. The mainstream media had something of a field day with this, but, true to form, reportage-if that's how one wants to describe the mainstream media's product- of the event lacked the necessary context with which to fully take the measure of the unfortunate situation. Rather, those of us who pay attention to the offerings of the MSM, for whatever reason, were instead treated to this event occurred in a vacuum palaver, where the handler's demise was portrayed as something of a one off, freak accident. That was, regrettably, not the case.

However, not providing essential context, or key information on stories of all shapes and sizes, is de rigeur for the MSM, and is not, in and of itself, noteworthy. The question for this blogger is the following: is the long standing, marked, tendency by MSM to "miss the story" to put it politely, more pronounced than at previous times?

Here one has to rely on conjecture. I have a formulation that goes something like this:

The national scene, politically, economically, and socially, has deteriorated over the last few years such that government now operates, for all intents and purposes, almost entirely as a facilitator of corporate pillage by the remaining remnants of the nation's so called FIRE economy. Presently, despite a de-acceleration in, for example, unemployment, our hemorrhaging national economy is still swelling the ranks of those without jobs. To be reductive, for the sake of brevity, the increasing number of the restless many (as opposed to the ever more prosperous few) are beginning to express their growing dismay and discomfort in myriad ways including random acts of violence (see the recent suicide bombing of a building housing IRS offices in Austin, Texas) and/or nascent political organization such as the tea party movement.

However, in the case of random acts of violence, except in humble blogs such as this one, and local media outlets, where neighborhood mayhem can not be swept under the rug as easily as it can be by the national media, there is scant coverage of the growing discontent and dissent.

That is my premise. In short, if the premise is correct the answer to the question posed is a resounding yes. If, indeed, there is more misery, broadly defined, then the assumed inadequacies of the MSM must be even more resounding. Among other effects of this perverse condition, expect to see cognitive dissonance, which already exists for this citizen, continue to increase as a result of the growing disconnect between what is actually happening across the nation and what is not being reported with respect to our rapidly deteriorating circumstances here in the real world.

I view this development as unavoidable since the MSM's purpose, or more precisely, its imperative, is to distract, confuse, and otherwise obfuscate events that are at odds with the fantastic narrative our nation's handlers seek to enshroud us in. The American poet, author, and musician, Gil Scott-Heron may be most famous for his observation that, "The revolution will not be televised." Increasingly, my view is that there will likely be no revolution, at least of the sort I presume Mr. Scott-Heron envisioned. But rest assured, that with respect to any sort of meaningful change, let alone radical change, here in Freedom's Land, Mr. Scott-Heron was spot on with respect to the role of the mainstream media.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Haiku Of The Week

Eternal Flame

Having consumed all
The Fire economy
Seeks yet more kindling

MSM All In To The Dark Side

The lack of coverage by mainstream media outlets of the suicide bombing of an IRS building in Austin is, in the opinion of this blogger, more than a little noteworthy. There are far far too many examples to reckon with, but suffice it to say that, in the main, mainstream media in the U.S. presents an even more whitewashed, sanitized, and unreal version of the world we live in than ever before.

The absence of coverage of what was arguably the first suicide bombing by a U.S. citizen on American soil, as well as the absence of coverage, or, at best, meager coverage of, less fantastic, but equally, if not more important, stories, is a story in itself. I will have more to say on this dismaying matter in future, but I felt the need to at least touch on it now.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Gigue is Coming to an End.

Yesterday, after the closing bell on Wall Street, The Federal Reserve announced they will raise the discount rate by a quarter of a percentage point. By itself, an increase in this lending mechanism, especially in an environment where bailouts and Quantitative Easing have been a fixture of the landscape, is essentially an empty gesture. However, given the government's enormous funding requirements, and assuming that The Federal Reserve believes an economic recovery is in progress, one could reasonably surmise, however counter-intuitive it may seem, that yesterday's tepid discount rate hike by The Federal Reserve is just a harbinger of a series of liquidity draining operations to come.

Unfortunately, the story of a U.S. economic recovery is a fiction, and plummeting tax receipts across the board are the single best piece of evidence that exists arguing that point. But that may not be the playbook the monetary authorities are using. And so, later this year, be on guard for the Federal Reserve to deliver the coup de grace, both to itself, and, more importantly, the U.S. economy, when it concludes making its biggest blunder (of many blunders it has made over the last quarter century) by reacting to an economic recovery that does not exist.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bye Bayh

Forgive me for crowing, but I say it here, and, eventually, it comes out there. Pay particular attention to Senator Bayh's comments about the role of campaigning in government "dysfunction." In general, the term dysfunction is one I don't care for as it tends to (as it has done here) obfuscate matters. Everything functions. It's just a question of how. In the case of government, it functions, as we have discussed here time and time again, as the principal enabler and ombudsman for the proprietors of what is left of the U.S. FIRE economy, and for the Rasputin like military industrial complex of Eisenhower's, by now, hoary and famous adumbration.

In the days and weeks to come, (more like hours and days to come) it will be alternately amusing and sickening to see and hear politicians from both sides of the aisle fall all over themselves applauding, when they are not parroting, Senator Bayh's comments. But the counterfeit posturing will almost certainly be the beginning and end of the legislature's response to Senator Bayh's irrefutable observations on the state of The House and The Senate. Here's hoping "We The People" do exactly as the outgoing Senator suggests, and vote out all incumbents, only supporting those who are behind most, if not all, of the following nostrums.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Farces of Law and Order

The rule of law has broken down in the United States. From the implementation and then ex post facto rationalization of, for example, rendition and torture of those deemed to be hostile foreign non combatants, to the wide array of criminal machinations aided and abetted by officialdom in the financial sphere, (machinations that, upon being discovered as such, have gone with almost no indictments or censure of any kind) the astonishing lack of adherence to legal strictures is hard to overestimate both in its scope and meaning.

This lawlessness, essentially fascistic in nature, is one path to, not just a loss of confidence in government, but ultimately to a critical erosion in the people's (increasingly shaky) belief in government's very legitimacy. I expect that in the United States the latter condition will manifest more strongly in time, even though the vast majority of citizens (and non citizens alike) are generally too ignorant and/or distracted to notice or respond appropriately to the transformation of their nominal Democracy to one that really doesn't even bother to pretend that it is no longer a Constitutional Republic.

In the meantime, we must stand by and watch as governments in the west desperately try to maintain their various social, economic, and political constructs from utterly disintegrating. They will all fail, mostly because the very basis for their creations are unsustainable. It doesn't help matters going forward that more borrowed money is being thrown at sinkholes created by unserviceable debt, but that is the only palatable response for a western political class which, first and foremost, enacts most or all of its counterproductive and desperate measures as a means to save itself.

So, Greece, and presumably, in time, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Portugal (and who else?) will be extended more credit/debt deals, and the process of extend and pretend will persist until such time as it can't. At least in Europe one doesn't get the sense that, however misguided and parlous the condition of the E. U., that the rule of law, however watered down or provisional it may be in practice, has not been completely eviscerated.

After all, no leader in Europe would dare, whatever they might believe privately, to have opined that bonuses paid to CEOs of gangster finance companies such as Goldman Sachs, or J.P. Morgan, were simply the well deserved spoils of savvy businessmen.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Spot the Disconnect.

Click here to read the entire piece from which the redacted paragraph below comes.

5. President Palin?
At one point on Saturday, some disgruntled
Tennessee tea-party activists held a press conference to complain about the cost of attending the event ($549 per person), which they say excluded many supporters. But when asked whether they begrudged Sarah Palin her reported $100,000 speaking fee, they blanched. "Of course not. I love Sarah Palin, we - I think it's safe to say we - all love Sarah Palin," said one of those complaining about ticket prices that presumably helped to pay for her keynote speech. A gushing love of Palin was, in fact, a major point of consensus at the convention. And she loved them right back. "America is ready for another revolution!" she enthused as the audience popped to their feet for the first of many ovations.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sarah Palin: Whore of Babylon Watch.

Phonier than a roll of wooden nickels, more destructive than a toxic waste spill, less sophisticated or knowledgeable then your average middle school student, Sarah Palin, aka The Whore of Babylon, addressed adoring throngs at the Tea Party convocation in Nashville with these stirring words, "This movement is about the people." Well, no, actually it's about a group of approximately six hundred people who had the wherewithal, if not the good judgement, to dole out in excess of five hundred dollars each to attend a convention that included, as a key part of the festivities, a speech by The Whore of Bablyon herself, who was paid a princely six figure sum to appear.

Thanks, again, John McCain, for opening up Pandora's Box and unleashing one of the worst scourges upon the political landscape anyone has ever had the displeasure of experiencing. It will be your lasting legacy.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Have Just a Few Questions?

The headline of the CNN news report says something different than that which is contained in the report at the link. So, forgive me if I'm just a bit puzzled regarding assertions by our nation's intelligence chiefs that a domestic terror attempt, (which is it, an attack, or an attempt, and how, precisely, are those terms defined?) presumably launched by foreign enemies, is certain to occur in the coming (unspecified number of) months.

And pardon me if I can't help but wonder how the aforesaid chiefs would compare their present certainty regarding imminent terrorism with the unshakable conviction held by the second Bush Administration that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction? Weapons, I might add, that were never found in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of that country.

My Two Cents

The following is my slightly edited comment to a post made at the Attempter site.

The brainwashing you describe has all the tell tale signs of the hoary handiwork of Edward Bernays and Walter Lippman. In the meantime, the nation is, as you suggest, chock full of folks who appear to be experiencing a sort of kinder, gentler form of The Stockholm Syndrome. How else do we explain the fact that the entire Federal Government has not yet come under full scale assault, or, alternatively, that large segments of the populace have not simply "gone off grid" "opted out", etc. etc? It best explains why the vast majority of voters continually ping pong back and forth between those ultimate actors of the good cop bad cop routine, the Democrats and Republicans.

What we have here, sir, is evidence of a well cultivated, deeply ingrained, and pernicious neurosis, and/or repetition compulsion. The citizenry, in the main, simply can not even imagine, let alone fathom, another way. And so, collectively, we lurch toward a point where, by hook or by crook, another (almost certainly unpleasant) outcome will ineluctably manifest, as a result of the massive abuses perpetrated by the system's operators, and by our collective lack of an appropriate response to said abuses. Perhaps, as per the latest news from the NY Times, about upside down mortgage holders finally deciding to get out from under, the ice damn in which the national mindset is trapped is beginning to thaw. Can Spring really be just six weeks away?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On The Prospects For Revolution: Part 2

What is complexity? For the purpose of this discussion let's define complexity as a condition where many layers or moving parts exist in an intricate relationship. One thing we should take away from the start as integral to complexity- please forgive me for attempting to reduce something that is, by definition, not reducible- is that complexity is antithetical to the image of the proverbial frustrated television viewer correcting a poor picture by slamming his or her fist down on a malfunctioning T.V. set. In fact, it is in the vexing nature of complexity and complex systems that demonstrations of brute force like the aforesaid rarely, if ever, deliver desired results.

What, you may ask, does this have to do with the prospects for revolution in the U.S.A.? Well, as was strongly suggested in the first installment, the United States is just too diverse (i.e. complex) a society, possessed of too many moving parts, to experience a successful revolution, at least in the quaint, time honored, Enlightenment period manner. What worked reasonably well some two and a half centuries ago simply will not yield a similarly beneficent outcome.

In fact, what would more likely ensue would be the opposite of what transpired in the late eighteenth century. Our civilization, rather than finding itself transformed for the better, would, instead, find itself fractured and exhausted, if not wholly decimated. After all, who, except ourselves, would we be revolting against this time? Recall that the one and only instance this nation found itself at severe odds with itself, roughly a century and a half ago, it barely managed- at the cost of many hundreds of thousands of lives, the destruction of entire cities, and various other sorts of appalling devastation- to avert permanent dissolution.

If progress can be measured by anything, perhaps it is best measured by a sense that, over time, sometimes in increments of a few years, at others times in periods taking many generations, the bar is raised regarding what passes for minimally acceptable conditions of existence. In that sense, inhabitants of our present civilization, in the main, have substantially higher standards with respect to quality of life, and possess greater expectations for their future, than did our revolutionary forefathers. That is simultaneously our good fortune and our dilemma when confronting the question of revolution.