Monday, March 31, 2008

September Song

I have been seeing Jamie Lee Curtis on TV lately. She has this commercial for laxative yogurt. You know, she's an old woman now. What a fuckin' downer. She's at least a few years younger than me. More likely, it's several.

I have no idea why but I still feel pretty good most of the time. I don't have anything I go to the doctor for. If I get a good nights sleep and take several hundred milligrams of ibuprofen, with my tea and toast, before a nice hot shower, I can go through the day feeling not too much worse than I did in my 20's. I haven't won any healthy lifestyle prizes over the years and the people in my family aren't known for sprightliness during old age. I have no illusion that I'm experiencing anything more than a kind of belated late middle age "Indian Summer". The hard frost and cold winds are commin', baby. It's just a matter of time and not much of that, I suspect.

I'm not going to try and take care of myself better. It's too late for that and I was never any good at it in the first place. I'm not going to save my money for when I get old. I know I'll be old soon but I hope I won't be old very long. I don't think I will. There is a lot that will be catching up to me, probably more than I can carry.

As it is, I feel good, damn good. The days seem to go quicker than they did but I enjoy them more than ever. I'm in no rush to go but I seem to be moving along faster than ever.

Super Street People.

There is a population in my town that I call "Super Street People". These are people, most often solitary, who live in old camper trucks or recreational vehicles. While it is true that they are "homeless", in the sense that they have no fixed address, their vehicles provide shelter and at least the basic amenities of domestic life. My area is a good one for these types. We have eight miles of public beach, with lots of toilets and outdoor showers. Yearly parking passes can be purchased at reasonable rates. There are lots of places around town where a person can park overnight, as long as you don't park in the same place too often.

This population ranges in age from early middle age to elderly. Many have chronic health problems and not a few have gross mental defects. Most of them seem to be pretty good drivers. You don't see them involved at intersection pileups. They are a lot less intrusive than conventional street people. They tend to spend a good deal of the time actually inside their vehicles, like hermit crabs. They do not sprawl across benches or lawns in public spaces. They usually do not shit in doorways. They do not ask passers by for money. I have never minded sharing my community with these poor souls. It has always seemed to me a not so bad way to live.

I think most of these people will be gone soon. The main costs involved in this lifestyle are food and fuel. These two categories are inflating at 40-50% a year. I think most of the car dwellers are on fairly fixed incomes. I think this Summer will be their swan song. Bummer. I hope they all have some other option lined up that does not involve shitting in doorways.

Six by Nine

The hostilities between the Iraqi government and the Sadrist, Mehdi Army have ceased. Intermediaries for the government went to Iran and brokered an end to the fighting by offering Moctada al-Sadr generous terms. Compliance with these terms was guaranteed by Iran, owed allegiance by both parties. It was a nine point plan, released to the public on Sunday, that ended the fighting. You can bet there were concessions and accommodations that were not made public.

Sadr City is quiet. The curfew will be lifted in the morning. In Basra, the work of pumping and shipping the oil continues as trading floors around the World breath a sigh of relief. This whole thing only took six days from start to finish. Important conflicts can occur, in the Middle East, in six days.

The rockets and the mortar rounds keep falling on the Green Zone. Day and night. The Americans believe that Moctada doesn't have total control of his people and they are acting independently. Bullshit. Nothing happens independently in the Middle East.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dead Man Walking

Moctada al-Sadr has issued a nine point plan for a truce between the Mehdi Army and the Iraqi government. Hundreds of his fighters are dead, hundreds more captured. Besieged Sadrist areas are running out of food, water and fuel. Thousands of civilians are probably dead or injured. American ground troops, while always active in other areas of partisan conflict, around the country and in the Capital, have now entered the fight in Basra, at the behest of a failed Iraqi Prime Minister turned General, threatening to turn an already bloody fight into genocide. Here in America, the spin has started between those portraying this as an opportunity for a face saving retreat, by the Maliki government or a humiliating military defeat, of the Mehdi forces. How this is viewed, may have implications for the political campaigns now underway, leading up to the November elections.

In Iraq, the situation is viewed differently. Maliki is seen as the head of a Shiite government, who has enlisted the aid of the infidel occupiers, to liquidate those forces belonging to the largest and most popular Shiite political group in the nation. It is not possible to over estimate the negative effect, that this will have on his future effectiveness, as the leader of the Iraqi Parliament.

Moctada, in the safety of an Iranian monastery, is seen as a humanitarian religious leader, trying to bring to an end to bloody, needless, inter sectarian strife.

None of these things may be actually true. In fact, it is very likely that they are not. Maliki may, in fact, be the Iraqi leader best equipped to both deal with the American occupiers and lead his country into a democratic future and out of the Pan Islamic National Socialism that has gripped most of the Middle East since the days of Gamel Abdul Nasser. None of that matters now. Maliki will no longer have any legitimacy with any of the Shiite community. The Islamic community is pragmatic, if nothing else. They would not necessarily condemn fratricide, if it is a political necessity but if you will sell out one brother to the infidel, you will sell out another. The solidarity of the Islamic community, against the forces of the infidel, during time of invasion, is more important than anything else. Anything else. Even the Sunnis are frightened and disgusted by Maliki's actions. He's done. He could probably move to America and find a college teaching job. If he has any ambitions beyond that, he might as well just shoot himself in the head. The alternatives are likely to be a lot more painful, for himself, his loved ones and any close associates, during this episode.

Moctada al-Sadr, on the other hand, has no real desire to see an end to the violence, at this time. It is important only that he be seen as trying to stop the bloodshed, by the Americans, that is rapidly leading to national insurrection. Such a revolution is, after all, his goal. He does not care how many of his people die. There are plenty of them and the birth rate is more than adequate, to make the loss, of any number of them, insignificant. I don't think he cares one way or another, whether the Maliki government accepts his nine point plan or not. I do think, that if he had a choice, he'd like to see the fight go on. If a truce between the Mehdis and governmental forces is re-established, I think it will not last long. The real victory for al-Sadr is he has shown himself to be a true hero of the Islamic cause and a compassionate father to his people and has exposed his adversary as dependent, on the infidel Americans, for the authority to govern and not the support of the Islamic people of Iraq.

Moctada al-Sadr, if he lives, will be the leader of Iraq. If he dies, he will be the martyred hero that turns the face of the Iraqis against the Great Shaitan forever.

God help them now.

Smart bombs, hell fire missiles, artillery barrages, snipers, armored fighting vehicles, helicopter gunships and the ravages of a C-130 gunship, one of the most terrifying weapons ever devised, having failed to provide adequate support for the Iraqi Army's assault on the city of Basra, American ground troops, spear headed by special forces death squads entered the city yesterday and began their grim work.

It will soon all be over but for the digging of the graves.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

One Toke Over the Line

I'm no Middle East expert. I'm no big fan of Iran. I have no idea what the American "mission" in Iraq is. I don't believe it has anything to do with 9/11 or al-Qaeda. I did not understand why we invaded Iraq and our military actions in that country have been increasingly incomprehensible to me, ever since. I know many think that Bush and Cheney have been making the right decisions during the wars of the last six years. They seem like deranged and depraved mad men to me.

Following Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki's lead into the siege of Basra to confront the Mehdi Army, seems like the most deranged and depraved act yet. Coalition forces have buttoned up a city of 1.5 million people. No food, no water, no sanitation, no electricity, inadequate facilities for the treatment of the sick, injured and wounded. Prime Minister Maliki claims to have now brought in 55,000 men. The Americans have provided additional snipers and armored units. So far the British and Americans have sortied helicopters, jets and a C-130 gunship into Basra. The coalition claims few if any civilians have been harmed. The Sadrists claim hundreds killed and thousands injured. No reliable figures have been released. International relief agencies have not been allowed in the city. There is no press on the scene. There will be a reliable body count at some point. The real story of what is happening there will emerge. It's too big of a city and too many people are watching for that not to be the case.

Fighting has broken out in cities all over Southern Iraq. Each of these cities will have their own body count. The Shiite areas of Baghdad may be worse than Basra. There are more Sadrist sympathizers there than anyplace else in Iraq. The butchers bill there will be enormous.

I think this has already gone on too long and too far for Maliki to win any kind of decisive victory. He is going to have to negotiate some kind of settlement. It will be a while before that happens. I'm not sure who he would have to negotiate it with. The Iranians, the Fadhila, the Mehdis, even the Sunnis, all want a truce. Maliki claims he is only targeting thugs, gangs and criminals and nobody involved is claiming that mantle.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Streetwalkers in Baghdad

Daily, since the invasion of the open city of Basra, by Nouri al-Maliki, at the head of the Iraqi Army, thousands march in protest, in the streets of Baghdad. There is and has been, a complete curfew in effect. The police and coalition troops that patrol the streets don't stop them. They do not pay attention to the frequent checkpoints or the armed guards that man them. There is a square surrounding a shrine in the heart of the shattered slum that is Sadr City. It is here they gather.

Read the words spoken by Mazen al-Saadi one of the many speakers to address the crowd.

"After Saddam's infidel regime collapsed, many parties pretending to be in the opposition and speaking in the name of the poor and oppressed climbed to the top of our shoulders. After they had achieved their goals, they became as mere slaves and puppets in the hands of the occupiers."

These guys don't sound very happy. We probably should have left there a long time ago and it's clearly not going to make the situation better, no matter how long we stay.

Throw Out the Deadline, Some One is Surging Away

We have an early, ominous indication of how Nouri al-Maliki's personally commanded, American supported, 30,000 man strong, Iraqi Army campaign to clean the Mehdi Army out of Basra is progressing. At the onset of his original attack on Basra, he gave the Mehdi fighters an ultimatum. Within 72 hours they must turn themselves in to the authorities, surrender their weapons and ammunition and sign an agreement that they would cease all opposition to governmental authorities, once and for all. He did not rule out the temporary detainment of some of the fighters but did say an amnesty would follow.

With less than a day to go before the deadline expires, he seems to have changed his conditions, a little. He has extended the deadline until April 8. What's that, fifteen days total? Pretty leisurely deadline. He has also added that he will pay each soldier, substantially, for weapons surrendered. Did someone mention paying off Iraqis? David Petreaus must be close at hand. What? It's always worked before. No mention was made, in the article I read, about anybody signing anything. I'm sure they just forgot that part.

Sounds to me like he's got them on the run. That's probably why he's giving them extra time to bring in the guns. Poor Devils!

Carry Me Back To Old Penury

The dollar fell 2.1% against the euro, so far this week and will likely drop some more this morning. If it keeps up like this, by the end of the year, a dollar will be worth almost exactly, nothing.

The dollar has become the currency of choice for the carry trade. When you factor in inflation, banks actually pay you to borrow money here. Take the money and buy foreign bonds from a country with a strong currency. New Zealand bonds are paying 8% plus and it's a very stable economy. Double your profits. Double your fun. What can you lose? Only money that's not worth anything anyway.


The Mehdi Army is the militia arm of the Sadrist movement in Iraq. The Sadrists are a Shiia political movement appealing to the young, the poor, the religiously fundamental and those who hate America. They pretty much have something for everyone. The leader of this movement is Moctada al-Sadr, a virulently anti-American, young holy man. The movement is named not after him but his father, the most revered Shiite martyr in modern times. The Sadrists and their leader are friendly with Iran but no more so than Nouri al-Maliki and his Badrist allies or any of the Iraqi Shiite political groups. The Sadrists are the largest political organization in Iraq and enjoy wide political support. It was they, who enabled Maliki to become Prime Minister before withdrawing their support and turning their back on participation in the legislature, a year ago. Local elections are coming up in Iraq. Without the support of the Sadrists, Maliki's coalition would end up wielding no real power outside of the governmental complex in Baghdad.

Maliki, a man with no military experience and widely despised as an American tool, among the populace, has taken personal command of the Iraqi Army and is moving against the Mehdi Army in it's Southern stronghold city of Basra. Basra has been a Zona Libre since the British unilaterally pulled out last Summer. He will have to do this on his own. If the Americans intervene in his aid, destroying property and inflicting casualties, anti-American sentiment in Iraq and the Middle East will become even higher than the alarming levels where it currently resides. If American forces take casualties, Bush loses his tepid and ever weakening claims, at home, that the much vaunted quarter trillion dollar and counting "surge", has been a good move. Maliki has the advantage in manpower, training, weapons and logistics. The Americans will provide him with air support, intelligence, and whatever else they can , short of actually sending in troops to fight.

This is going to be very interesting to watch. If Maliki is successful in suppressing the Sadrists, it doesn't guarantee anything. It could still turn out very badly and probably will do nothing to change the loathing that virtually all Iraqis and indeed, the entire Middle Eastern Community, feel for him. If he loses, his government will fall. The Sunnis would like that. It would give them another opportunity to secure meaningful participation. How the Iranians feel about it is any one's guess. So far, Bush is lauding this move by Maliki as proof that the Iraqi Government is taking hold and beginning to take control of their own internal security but virtually every utterance the poor bastard has ever made has been horribly wrong.

It's too early yet to tell how this is going to come out. However it does, it will be very telling. As a testament to how important this will be, the fundo-fascist sites aren't even mentioning, much less analyzing it. When that happens, you know the pee is running down their, skinny, hairless little legs.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ya get in trouble Paulie, just yell, Hey Rube!

Henry Paulson came on the TV this morning. You know, the Secretary of the Treasury. Henry Paulson, of the Park Avenue Paulsons. The Palm Peach Paulsons. The Barrington Hills Paulsons. Who went to Princeton and Harvard Business School. Who, over the course of his career, worked his way up, from very near the top, to the top, at investment banker Goldman Sachs.

Anyway, Henry was pissed at the idea that Americans would walk away from mortgages that they could afford to pay, simply because said mortgages, had all turned ass over tea kettle. Damn speculators, he called them, in disgust.

Well ya know. Fair enough, I guess. But he didn't say a damn thing about guys like Big Tony the Tan Mozillo, over at CountryWide, who'd give a jumbo loan to a road kill possum, as long as it had a post Office box and he gets his 3% off the top. He didn't say nothing about his buddies over at Goldman, who take the crap loans that Big Tony shovels over to them and claim to be able to perform some kind of Rumplestiltskinian magic on 'em, converting them into triple A rated, gilt edged, derivatives.

I have a hard time believing that the countrie's economic problems were caused because some Guatemalan room cleaner, down at the Marriott, was a little too eager to get her slice of the American Dream and won't make good when the dream goes South.

What the hell is a speculator, anyway? I thought it was one of those shoe horn lookin' things doctors use to look up twats.

Is That A Graven Image You Got There?

Religion never took with me. I don't know why, it just never did. I decided, a couple of generations ago, that I was a primitive animist. I venerate that force, which inspires purposeful movement, animation. It is what differentiates a living being from a lump of dead flesh. It's not just about life. It's what makes the brooks babble, the surf roll in, the Sun rise and set and vulcanism erupt. It's not like I worship a Sun God, or frolic with woodland spirits on Midsummer's Eve, or long to toss sacrificial virgins into erupting caldera. I'm just really glad everything in the Universe, including me, doesn't hang around in permanent stasis. I know it's not much. It's the best I can do.

I don't look down on people with religion. They're OK. I feel no need to convert anybody else to primitive animism. If it's just me and a few grub eating aborigines in the various armpits and assholes of the World, who come by it naturally, good. I think people should be free to believe anything they want. They can make up any Gods, commandments and mythologies they can think of. If they're too stupid to do that, they can adopt or adapt somebody else's religion. They can band together or live alone as hermits in caves.

While I believe in freedom of religion, I believe in freedom from religion as well. I believe I am supported in this by the founding fathers and the Constitution of the United States, as put down specifically, in the Bill of Rights. Religion must not be mandated, recognized with preference, nor it's dogma be used as a basis for the law of the land. I should be free from the harassment of the religious. If it was up to me, it would be illegal for evangelizers to accost me on the street or on my doorstep, offering me tracts, attempting to expose me to their deity, or engage me in prayer and song. I might be willing to tolerate an exception, if the offers included sex or barbecue but I am a weak vessel.

Some people believe that because we have freedom of religion in this country, that all religions are welcome here. I don't think that's true. Those who would use coercive measures to influence people religiously, who believe so strongly in the primacy of their religion that they can not peaceably abide with others, or those whose practice of religion negatively impacts on the lives of others or on society, should get the heave ho.

As far as I can determine, there is no specific religious group, that I know of, who should be deported, in mass. There are some, from most of them, who qualify. I don't know where we'd send them though. If there was anyplace that wanted them, they'd probably already be there.

It's Very Sad

The Democratic candidates for President, an old white woman an a young multi-ethnic man, are being unusually hard on each other, this primary season. Good. Let's get it all out there. It probably will become even more painful, embarrassing and awkward than it already has been. So be it. Let everyone know what they are getting, when they finally pull the lever in November, then let the buyer beware.

The next President is going to have to deal with a Middle East War out of control, an economy on life support, pupils fixed and dilated, aging baby boomers, whose retirement savings have been inflated into oblivion and a health care system closing it's doors to the majority of us. It isn't a question of fixing the problems, it's a question of how much more they can fuck things up. The next President will be a Democrat, of that I am sure. I'm just not sure it makes any difference.

The voter turnout this primary season has been huge. Hillary and Barack both have more popular votes than John McCain. It is predicted that the turnout for the general election in November will be the largest in history. I believe it. It will be big. It will also be eight years too late.

Scores of Republican incumbents in Congress are declining to run again for the next term. State governors and legislators as well. They don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. The country is reeling after eight years of the almost surreal levels of stupidity, ineptitude and arrogance shown at every turn by the Republican controlled government. I don't believe that the record turnout predicted is waiting to support the Bush administration and ask for more of the same and neither do the Republican party leaders. They know they are going to be beat and beat bad. They also know there is a good chance that the country is headed into the worst ordeal since the great depression. They want no part of it. I'm not sure the leadership of the new, Democratically controlled Congress wants any part of it either.

There used to be a fundo fascist slogan and bumper sticker that went, "America, Love it or Leave It". I fully expect that many among the affluent class, here in America, will take the opportunity, soon, to do just that. In a sense, many of them already have. Their holdings have gone overseas, their money is denominated in foreign currencies, deposited in Swiss banks. You can't blame them. It's the smart move. They were always smart. In a sense, it is a relief for them to be going. It is a relief, that their man George Bush, will no longer be President. They will no longer have to pretend they care what happens to this country. Hey, no hard feelings. I'd go if I could but I just don't have that kind of scratch.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How Stupid are People, Really?

There is a lot of talk that the actions of Benny B, over at the Fed, in subsidizing the take over of Bear Sterns By J P Morgan and providing the Wall Street banks with virtually unlimited access to capital, has broken the back of the current economic crisis. Since this happened, the mood has lightened. Commodities have sold off. The Market has advanced from its lows. The feeling is that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

There really are no limits, stupidity-wise.

The Iraqi government has used the success of the "Surge" to consolidate its position

I doubt most Americans know who Moqtada al-Sadr is. They may have heard the term Mehdi Army but are unaware of its make up or objectives.

They probably will figure it out pretty soon.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Muscle Mac

My wife has been a computer maven for more than two decades. She purchased one of the earliest Apples and was very active in testing new educational software for companies that developed them. She also has become a good computer mechanic. Many people would donate old computers that no longer worked and she would fix them and give them to needy students or use them in her own or other teachers classrooms.

When I started cruising the internet, a couple years ago, I used an old Apple G-3 AV unit. It was a very powerful machine, in its day but very outdated. It was incapable of loading many very extensive websites and was very slow. Next I got a G-4. It has been very adequate for my purposes. Still a little slow and you don't want to surf too far from your starting point, or you could crash. These machines had the advantage of being absolutely free. I don't like to pay for anything, if I don't have to.

Now that Apple has gone to quad core Intel processors and has joined the speed wars, early G-5s are rapidly becoming obsolete. I just picked one up locally, on Craigs List, for a few hundred dollars. Even with it's paltry 1.6 GHz single processor, it should be several times faster than my G-4. It will support up to 4 GB of RAM, 4 times my current amount. It can also utilize a much faster wireless connection and has infinitely more connectability. Over the next few days, my wife will clean up this beauty, wipe the hard drive and install the applications I use. The hard drive sounds a little funny, it may need to be replaced.

Once it gets on line, I should be surfin' in style.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It Matters Not What The Road To Hell Is Paved With, Only That It Is Paved, As We Leave This Wretched Place

The destruction of our currency is well underway. It is not a process that can be undone or even halted. It may be for the best. Or debts, personal, corporate and societal are huge. We cannot realistically hope to ever pay them off in dollars that are worth anything. As for the dollars and instruments of indebtedness held now, by foreign hands, there is only one place that they may be redeemed for any value at all and that is right here in America.

The money and bonds that have gushed out of this country will now gush back in. They will be used to purchase our failing corporations, our broken financial institutions, the very land itself. They aren't good bargains and the prices will be horribly inflated but the money can't be used anywhere else, for anything else, except to wipe your ass. All this money will provide the liquidity we need to get the economy going again. It won't be our economy anymore but a job is a job. It's better than nothing.

It may be that Ben Bernanke will be venerated for saving the American Economy by deliberately destroying the value of the dollar. Did he do it on purpose or was he just lucky? I expect it was the former. It is maniacly brilliant. If it works, it will probably be worth every broken dream.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fool Me Once

The VISA IPO is the same as if all the major mortgage originators, a couple of years ago, had separated the sub prime business out of their companies and offered investors a chance to take it over and participate directly in one of the greatest money making schemes of all time.

These guys don't let any grass grow under their feet.

Who's Next?

The markets have been open only a few minutes and already the DOW Industrials are up over 200 points. The scumbags are giddy in anticipation of further rate cuts by the Fed and sated from their cannibalistic gorging on Bear Stearns yesterday. They'll suck some money into the market this week, run the market up 4 or 5 percent, then sell short and leave the suckers with empty pockets.

Who wants to guess the next iconic American corporation to go toes up? A smart guess would be one of the big financials and it probably will be one of them. I'm going to go out on a limb and say General Motors. The cars they produce are total crap. They hardly sell any retail and they wouldn't make much money on them even if they did. Their employee and retiree obligations are astronomical and they are deeply indebted, with billions coming due yearly. GMAC took a flier on mortgage backed investment vehicles a few years ago and those chickens are coming home to roost. Most of their executives are the six toed, inbred grandchildren of the guys that ran the company in it's hayday. Ford is exactly the same way but occasionally they come out with a vehicle that isn't totally obsolete before it hits the showroom floor, although the build quality is only competitive if gauged against GM. Chrysler will continue on as a middleman selling rebranded Asian flivvers under their own name. Do they even have any factories any more? Probably but not in this country.

The Dollar is Down by the Zuider Zee

Amsterdam may be the most international city in the World. You can buy or sell anything there. Not the US Dollar. Not anymore.

The value of the dollar is plummeting so fast, that shops and stalls that routinely exchange money or accept dollars in payment for goods or services, have ceased to do so. Too often, by the time the proprietors get to the bank, the value of the dollar has decreased so much, that they have lost the profitability of the transaction.

We are well and truly fucked, my friend but you're not going to get fucked in Amsterdam, not paying in US dollars, not anymore!

Are those his ears, or handgrips?

Benny B. is going to lower interest rates later today. Big time.

Wall Street loves it and why not? Look how well it's worked so far.

Oh, Ba-by!

The sound of one Humpty cracking

The neocons were incorrect. Saddam didn't have weapons of mass destruction. He posed no threat to the United States. He didn't harbor, train or support terrorists.

The neocons were wrong. The Iraqis do not see us as liberators. The war did not pay for itself. It has not been short and easy.

The neocons do not believe in democracy, anywhere. Most Iraqis want America to leave Iraq, now. Most Americans want us to leave Iraq, now.

Better call Tel Aviv, ask what they want us to do.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hey Joe, Where You Goin' with that Gun In Your Hand?

The Supreme Court will be hearing a District of Columbia gun control case. It is currently illegal to possess a functioning firearm within the District. You would think, that by this time, there would be a pretty firm interpretation laid down by the Courts, as to the rights of citizens to possess guns. You would be wrong. This issue has been left largely to State and local authority. The wording in the Bill of rights is ambiguous as to whether individuals even have the right to own firearms, outside of membership in a militia. It doesn't define whether the militia would or would not need to be government sanctioned or authorized.

Given the current make up of the Supreme Court and the stance of the Bush Administration on gun control, it is unlikely that the Federal District's current statute will stand. Unless the Court is very clear, on exactly what is allowed in relation to the possession of firearms, this will open the door to many gun regulation cases, to be decided in the future. The NRA and other gun enthusiast groups have been waiting seventy years for a case like this, to get their foot in the door. The fact that the Supremes agreed to hear a case like this tells you something about the caliber of it's current leadership. I thought John Roberts was a pretty smart guy, until now.

Eventually they will have to address the issue of carry, caliber, hand gun vs long gun and the ownership of ordinance currently available only to the military and law enforcement. A slippery slope indeed.

It's been at least twenty years since I've fired a gun. I was a terrible shot even then. I don't think I've magically improved. The gun control laws here in California are only marginally less strict than in D.C. I have no ideological opposition to the private ownership of firearms. I also believe that as long as they aren't concealed, you should be able to carry them on your person. I also believe you should be able to possess anything comparable to whatever law enforcement or the military possesses. It's only fair and equitable.

Saturday nights downtown could get pretty lively, in the future.

It's funny. I didn't even like Jimmy Hendrix in the Sixties. I didn't get him at all. I love his music now. More and more.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Bush Administration has solved the Mortgage Crisis

JP Morgan agreed to buy Bear Sterns for 236 million dollars on Sunday. This is 2 dollars a share. Not long ago, it was worth 160 Dollars a share. When the market closed Friday it was at $30. It's a no brainer for JP Morgan because the US Government is essentially guaranteeing Sterns losses. They will redeem these losses in T-Bills. The Fed also lowered the cost of borrowing money another 25 basis points, to 3%. This tells foreign holders of US Treasuries, that they are worthless. It tells the American people, that their dollars, are worthless. Asian markets all lost a few percent of their value again on Monday. Dollars declined against foreign currencies this morning, as well. Bear Sterns owns some very valuable Real Estate. In the end, this will prove to be the best part of the deal for Morgan.

If you are upside down on your mortgage, this is good news. If you can hang on a little longer, your real property will be worth virtually any amount of money, as money becomes just so much paper.

Forget gold. Forget commodities. Buy small rental houses and multiple unit dwellings for as little down as possible. Relax, it's not the end of the World, just the end of the World as we know it. And I feel fine.

It's going to be fun watching the US Markets open in the morning. Many Corporations have extensive assets. These assets have intrinsic worth. This may make them attractive buys. The outlook for profitability may be poor for these same companies, which makes them a sell. The markets are not going to go up or down, as much as begin, very slowly and tortuously, to turn themselves, inside out.

This situation at Bear Stearns is really sad. Imagine how sad you would be if you owned a lot of Bear Stearns stock. Somebody owns it and I would guess some people own a lot of it.

No Two Men Could Be More Different

Cringing, bizroid freepies are whining that President Bush is being wrongly compared to Herbert Hoover. I've never heard anyone make that comparison. Herbert Hoover was a gentleman, intelligent and highly educated. He was sober, insightful and spent a life devoted to public service. He was a formal man, well mannered, reserved and admired around the World.

When he left office, he lived quietly on for several decades, devoting himself to scholarly pursuits.

High Times, Livin' Low-Weekend

I made hash with my loss leader corned beef tonight. Pretty damned good. I just rough chopped an onion, some potatoes and corned beef and dumped them into the big saute pan. I added some olive oil, basil, black pepper, garlic powder, a little salt and a generous splash of Noc mam, to give it some complexity of flavor, covered the pan and let it sit over low heat until the potatoes were cooked through. Then I uncovered it long enough to cook off all the moisture. To finish it, I turned up the heat, got it sizzling and flipped it a few times till every thing was brown. I like to put in some chopped bell pepper and peeled seeded tomato at the end but the old lady doesn't like that and I was already pushing it with her by putting in the black pepper and Noc mam. Should have put a fried egg on top. That corned beef is on sale 'til Wednesday morning. I may buy more.

I got some novelty bread items, off the day old rack, at Ralphs. I got cherry/chocolate bread, cranberry/walnut and raisin/walnut. In the morning, I'll make french toast for breakfast. It'll be better than anything you can get at IHOP. Little cinnamon. Little nutmeg. Maybe cardamon. We could even have bacon, all we want. Oh Ba-by! You make my coronary arteries spasm with desire! I never worry about buying too much cheap bread, my wife feeds it to the ducks at the park.

Then we'll read the newspaper.

It's cold. It's supposed to rain tonight.

Will the excitement never end?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

We are now engaged in a great Civil Clusterfuck

The Neocons are intelligent, principled men. They love their country and are willing to do anything to preserve it. Unfortunately, that country is Israel. The fiscal conservatives just want to be allowed to make money as they see fit, with no interference from government. They are. They have. The rest of us are broke and deeply in debt. Those interested in a strong national defense have seen the military battered and broken in an inexplicable, unilateral war, won in a week, unfinished in five years. It will be a long time before the military is rebuilt. The money, the men and the honor necessary are gone. Those who think Jesus is the answer to our problems in this country, aren't listening to the questions the people are asking. The question is and has always been, how do we all live here together, with mutual respect, regardless of creed, color or religion?

People are saying a political sea change is coming in this country. That may be but it's not coming now and it's not the kind of change anyone is expecting. Now, the country is deeply divided. Each side convinced of the righteousness of it's cause. It's complicated. There are many sides, each with a cause. A sea change is coming but not until the enmity has resolved itself. It will resolve itself and the country will move on united. Unless the country tears itself apart.

A lot of people are going to be looking for their fifteen minutes of fame, at nine hundred rounds a minute. I'm just going to take a walk on the beach. Smile, wave and say hello to the people I meet.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Why Hillary is a Dumb Shit

Hillary can still be President but she only has one chance. She can't win enough votes to come out ahead in either the delegate count or popular vote. She can't sway enough super delegate support to win the nomination as long as Barack is ahead by both those measures. She has made it this far though. She's still raising donation money. There is no compelling reason to drop out.

Hillary is one of the most closely scrutinized figures in American political history. Barack is an almost completely unknown quantity. Something could come out between now and June and Barack could completely self destruct. Sex, money, ideology, religion, it could be anything and it doesn't have to be that major. Should this scenario play out, Hillary steps forward, accepts the nomination, saves the party and waltzes into the White House. Game over.

The beauty of this for Hillary is she doesn't have to do anything, in fact, the less the better. Couple a stump stops a day. Visit a few churches. Wave to the crowds and smile. Show a little noblesse oblige. The reticent but distinguished elder stateswoman. That's the ticket.

Instead, she's down on the killing floor, up to her unattractively thick ankles, in the mud, blood, shit and piss, going at it hammer and tongs with a guy thats got age, strength, speed and reach on her. It's absolutely the worst thing she could be doing. If Barack does get the nomination and the Presidency, he becomes the de facto leader of the Democratic Party. If his feelings are too hurt, Hillary can kiss any hope of ever achieving a Senate leadership position good bye. Why risk it if there is absolutely no point.

What a Dumb Shit.

As Cold as the Clay

The U S Army is taking recruits up to 42 years of age and has drastically reduced it's educational and aptitude test requirements for initial enlistment. If you actually have a skill they can use, they will give you a waiver regardless of age. Policies like this have not been in place since the darkest days of World War II. Even with these radically relaxed policies, the Government finds it necessary to employ hundreds of thousands of civilian contractors to supplement the Armed Forces personnel in the theater. Increasing numbers of non volunteer career Navy and Air Force personnel from both enlisted and officer ranks are being ordered to Iraq to serve in support roles, in rotations of ever increasing lengths. Davey Petreaus, a General more adept at killing off his competition than the enemy, says he may be unable to rotate the troops out of the theater as planned, when the "Surge" winds down next Summer. Though he adamantly denies it, the math suggests that the already extended combat tours of fifteen months duration will have to be extended once again and the twelve month out of theater rotation, will have to be shortened. In a very short while, the fifth year and four thousandth KIA of the Iraq War will be recorded as historical fact.

The bullet headed Neocon tools, over at Roger Simon's Politico, are slyly suggesting that the tide in Iraq has turned and that support for the War is increasing, as real progress is being made in Iraq. Let me be so bold as to ask, where is this support? What progress has been made?

The government in Iraq is not functional and cannot remain in power without the American presence. It exercises no authority over large areas of the country and larger segments of the population. The Iraqi civil defense forces and police are creatures of warring tribal strongmen. Only huge monthly monetary tribute to these tribal chieftains, keeps the situation from deteriorating into civil war and ethnic cleansing. No efforts are being made, at any level, to reconcile the antagonistic factions. No one in the Iraqi government or the American occupation even talks about it anymore.

On the home front, the voices of war are strangely silent. High ranking military leaders willing to speak positively of our efforts in Iraq have vanished. War news has disappeared from television news coverage and local newspapers. Where are the voices of support from the local bourgeoisie? Where are the returning veterans being honored at half time ceremonies, back at their local high schools? Where are the new crop of young men, clamoring to join the fray so bravely fought by their recent classmates? Where are the local politicians beating the drums of a pro war platform up on the band stand at the Forth of July picnic? Where are the war bond drives? Where are the young girls at the USO canteens?

Does the sniveling little coward, Roger Simon, stop at the local bus station, with his family, on the way home from Temple on Saturday afternoon and take a lonely soldier in rumpled pinks, duffel slung, newly awarded combat infantry badge glinting on his chest, home for dinner. Gee, I must have missed that mention in the archives of fucking Politico.

Apathy and resignation is not the same as support. A decrease in casualties is not the same as progress. Iraq is not Vietnam. At least with Vietnam, people cared. One way or another.

And Jesus drove the Timechangers from the Temple

I probably have a hundred clocks, or things with clocks in them. Twice a year I have to reset them all. It's weeks before I get to them all and even then, I've missed some. It doesn't really "Save" any daylight. It's just a pain in the ass.

Time zones and the international dateline are stupid too. Everybody should use military time and it should be the same time and same date everywhere in the World. Who cares whether you have lunch at 0600 or 1200, as long as it's the middle of the day and you're hungry.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Decoupling, I don't think so.

The value of the American dollar is in free fall. This is not a situation that is likely to be reversed, or even moderated any time soon. Because the Fed will continue to cut interest rates and the Treasury to print money, it will more likely accelerate.

All other things being equal, foreign stock markets should be skyrocketing in value, from our perspective, to reflect the increased valuation of the underlying assets, when expressed in American dollars. What's more, American stock markets should be increasing in value very rapidly, reflecting the worthlessness of our money, as opposed to the real worth of the asset base that stock certificates represent. Neither one of these things are true. Nearly all World markets are sinking in proportion to the decline in the dollar. American indexes are plunging in spite of the dollar's decline.

Foreign money may be holding up better than ours but the pessimism that is infecting investor confidence in this country is affecting the confidence of foreign investors as well.

The question you have to ask yourself, before investing in the hot commodities market is this. Since the price of commodities is driven directly by increased demand and since foreign investors are clearly worried about economic slowdowns abroad, as well as domestically and since commodity prices are historically the most volatile of investments, adversely affected by decreases in productivity, is an already hyper inflated commodities market where you want to park your money? Maybe not.

Jesus, I wish to God I knew what I was doing. My idea of a good investment has always been to bury my money in coffee cans in the backyard.

The Rules of this Blog-Commenting Policy

I have had comments left on other sites deleted. I have had comments edited to a completely different meaning. I have had comments garbled so that they seemed to be the ramblings of a drooling idiot. Usually this is accompanied by being banned from making further comments on that site. The people that do this are cowards. And scumbags. Freedom of expression on the internet is sacred. Like a shithouse wall.

I have the distinction of being banned from some of the most respected sites on the internet. They are not worthy of my attendance. If you have banned me, you are a coward. And scumbag.

I use my own blog to air my thoughts. I do not claim they are especially worthy, well thought out or profound. I do not claim they are free of profanity, personal attack, prejudice or stupidity. I do not claim anything I write to be the revealed truth or that even I believe it. I make no demand for such in regard to the comments left here.

Do not be offended if I don't respond to your comments. I appreciate them, whatever their tenor. It is just that I am often lazy, as well as profane, prejudiced and stupid.

I edit only spam of the most obvious, mass distributed sort. If it is in the least interesting, I leave even that. Other than this, have at it.

Thank you all for coming by.

I Paid $3.87 a Gallon

I use premium gas in my little motor scooter. It makes a big difference and it doesn't burn much. This is the most I've ever paid for gasoline. I know people that burn 8-10 gallons a day, just on their commute and another 20 gallons a week driving around for other purposes. These are not people with big incomes and gas prices have nowhere to go but up. Buying a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle will help in the long run. In the meantime, you have to unload your old gas guzzler at a loss and incur the expense of a new, more economical vehicle. In multi income family units this may have to be done times two or three.

Two hundred dollars a week for gasoline, budgeted every week, must be a reality that many people are facing. unnecessary driving and additional cars for non working members of the family must surely be a thing of the past.

Say you have a family income of $60,000. That is supposed to be "middle class". If you have a good tax guy, in California, you might get your State and Federal income tax bill down to $12,000 a year. If you pay another $8,000 for gasoline, you are now down to $40,000 a year. There are no apartments anywhere in my area, of any kind, available for $1,000 a month but say you found one. Now you are down to $28,000 a year. Your car itself, is going to be a big expense. Almost nobody buys them for cash and you have to have collision and liability insurance. There are maintenance costs involved. If you can keep your car costs to $6,ooo a year you are a thrifty individual, very thrifty. You are going to have a cell phone, cable and internet access. Don't forget your light bill. Say another $4,000 a year in expenses. That's $18,000 left for you and all you've got so far is a place to live and a car to drive.

You have a lot of decisions to make concerning your $18,000 dollars. If you're older, you might want to consider health insurance. If you are younger, you might want to remember that you occasionally enjoy sex and mind altering substances and that these things involve monetary expenditure. You've been looking at that new laptop and a big screen TV would be nice. Everybody needs a vacation, even if it's just a long weekend skiing or at the beach. It's almost Easter, time for that new Spring wardrobe. Remember to put away some money for retirement every month, you're not getting any younger. Starbuck's really is a necessity, ya know. Don't forget to eat, MacDonalds has a great new selection of dollar menu items.

You've worked hard to get where you are. Welcome to the middle class. Next month gas will be $4 a gallon.

No. Just most of it.

You need to think back to late 2000. Before Bush was President. Before 9/11.

There were not the racial, economic and religious divides in the country that there are today. The stock market was going steadily up. Oil was below $25 a barrel. The price of consumer staples was stable. You could buy a cheap loaf of bread or a pound of hamburger for 89 cents. Housing prices were not jumping 20 or 30% a year. We were not at war.

Today we are at war. We are a deeply divided society. We have had two stock market crashes. Our currency is debased and the cost of commodities goods and services is skyrocketing. Millions are losing their jobs, their homes, their lives as they know them. America is becoming a different place and not a better place.

Is Bush responsible for all this? No. Just most of it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Unrestricted Lifestyles

Wall Street hates Elliott Spitzer. He prosecuted a lot of corporate fat cats. Sometimes whoring was involved but usually it had to do with the abuse of corporate funds.

CNBC is all over Elliott today. They are whining that the rich and powerful live such unrestricted lifestyles and don't have to justify their behavior to anyone. I guess this is as opposed to the rest of us, who have to behave ourselves all the time or face the censure of our peers.

One thing for sure. None of these CNBC commentators ever hung out at the Horse and Cow in Vallejo during the mid to late 70s.

Geraldine and Hillary are so Right On

Every one knows Barack Obama wouldn't even be in this race if he wasn't a black male. Black men have it so easy in our society. Especially in that warm, fuzzy 18 to 44 demographic, when most of them are convicted felons and either on parole or in prison.

How can a person stop themselves from wanting him as the next President?

When will we stop discriminating against millionaire white women?

Sometimes the inequities in American society sicken me!

St Paddy's Day Commin' Up

At one time, I probably had every Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem album ever made. I used to like to go to Irish bars. Often they had live music. When I was at Sub School, in New London, there was an Inn out in the country that had sea shanty bands every Wednesday night. Me and a buddy would go there, he brought his guitar along. We would get right up on the stage and sing along. I'm not sure the band liked us doing that but they never kicked us out. I'm not that big a fan of Irish music anymore. I probably don't drink enough. I still listen to some girl Celtic singers. Cathy Ryan and Connie Dover, who are American and Kate Rusby an English woman are a few of them. Their music is pretty but not very rollicking.

I hear Irish Catholics are being cautioned not to celebrate St Patrick's Day this year because it's close to Easter and during Lent. I don't think that will stop anybody.

I bought a corned beef. It's a big seasonal sale item and pretty cheap. Most people boil them. I like to roast them low and slow, smothered in onions. That way the fat melts into the meat and not into the cooking liquid. Sometimes I make it with cabbage but mostly I like it for sandwiches and hash. One big corned beef a year, when it's cheap, is usually enough.

Corned beef is not a traditional Irish food. They learned to eat it from the Hebes in New York. It was cheaper and leaner than the salt pork they were used to. St Patrick wasn't really Irish. He was an English slave. I'm pretty sure there were never any serpents in Ireland. There were a fair number of amphibians but they're not too menacing.

Erin go bragh.


I've known guys with good incomes and great families, really nice guys, that gamble away every penny they get ahold of. I know guys that drink themselves into a coma at least a couple times a week. I know guys that eat until they look like Jabba the Hut. I expect it has to do with experiences early on that become compulsions later in life.

As a young adult, I was poor. I rarely had a good job. I developed the habit of spending only a small fraction of what I made, knowing things would likely be worse at some point in the future and I would need the money. It doesn't matter that I haven't had money problems for over twenty years. I'm still a miser. People recognize this trait in me and deem it inappropriate, they are probably right. It doesn't matter to me. Hoarding money brings me satisfaction. So I continue to do it.

Elliot Spitzer apparently likes to have sex with prostitutes. I've known guys like that too. He probably will never stop. He has the money to indulge himself. His wife is, at the very least, resigned to it. Otherwise they would not still be married.

Will this destroy his political career? Almost certainly. Does it make him a bad person? Man, we're all bad people.

Tough luck, Elliott.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Time to Move?

The value of my house is plummeting. Rents are still pretty high in my area. I could make money renting it out. Then, if I ever wanted to move back to SoCal, in my little beachy community, I could.

I have money I'm not doing anything with. There are many places that homes are cheap now. I can work anywhere and make good money by the standards of the community. Devils Lake, North Dakota is my wife's home town. It is a beautiful, rural county seat that hasn't changed since the 1920s. For $150,000 I can get the nicest house in town or something cozy on the lake shore. It's cold in the winter and 90 miles from a university town/cultural center. There is no crime what so ever. Tree lined streets, big lake, National wildlife preserve, everyone knows everyone. Wow!

I had a Navy buddy from Erie,PA. It's on the lake shore between Cleveland and Niagara Falls. Beautiful town. Transportation hub. Demographics mostly white. They're giving houses away.

Compared to most places, Nevada has very low taxes. They built a lot of houses in Las Vegas over the last 30 years. Many of them are now for sale cheap. You can get really cheap plane tickets from Vegas to almost anywhere in the World. Go down to the Strip. See a show. Gorge on cheap buffet.

Where would you consider moving to?

New Lamps for Old

The Fed is going to trade banks, government bonds for mortgage backed securities. Banks have been selling these mortgage backed securities at deep discounts to pay off their obligations. This would eventually lead to insolvency and bankruptcy for these banks. This will allow them to continue operations as their shareholders unload the stock. It doesn't save the bank in the end but it bales out the stockholders.

It is the government left holding the bag of losses. Ultimately, this means it is the taxpayers who bale out the shareholders of our major financial institutions. It is they who pay to keep the investor class solvent.

I feel something trickling down. It definitely isn't prosperity.

The Reddog Report.

The LA Times published an article this morning about a new study released by UCLA. This study makes the case that there will be no recession. Their thesis is, that the economy will drastically slow. Unemployment will double from current levels. Wages will remain stagnant. Current high rates of home foreclosures will continue. Retail sales, including durable goods, will remain flat. The construction and building materials industries will continue to suffer. They say that the total economy will continue to expand, albeit at very slow rates, through this year. An interesting aspect of their projection, is that they don't see any dramatic recovery, at the end of this non recession. The factors that are currently holding the economy down are likely to remain in place, indefinitely.

We have a capitalist society here. A no growth situation, for any length of time, is one of deterioration. Our model is based on expansion and growth. Increased unemployment puts an increased demand for social services on the government. Stagnant wages and home loss drastically decrease the ability of government to collect revenues. Any extended period of economic slowdown, especially if aggravated by a weak dollar and runaway inflation, is a recipe for disaster.

The American economy, in most sectors, has been increasingly non productive, for the last twenty years. We have been relying on bubble economics to buoy us up. I have been wondering where the next bubble is going to come from. The answer is here.

The government is going to be running up steep deficits to bail out the economy. They will print money and issue bonds to finance this. To do this, they will need rapidly increasing revenues in the future, to service the accumulating debt. There is no likelyhood that this will be the case, none. This is classic bubble economics.

Unbelieveable. Our government has become a ponzi scheme.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Fundofascists Got This One Right

Here in Kalifornia, the State is making it more difficult for home schoolers. They are requiring that home schooling parents get licensed and prove that they are following required curriculum. This is a really bad idea.

Free public education is a good idea. Bad free public education is not. Unless you live in an Asian or Jewish neighborhood, academics at your local school are likely to be shitty. Unless you live in an upscale neighborhood, the public schools are likely to be dangerous. Wherever you live, there will be sex and drugs in the schools. Some districts offer magnet facilities, with stricter controls and better academics but the demand exceeds the supply and your child may not get in.

Schools shouldn't be babysitting services. Parents who let their kids run wild in school are the negligent ones. Schools should not be traumatizing war zones, for kids there to learn. For most kids, school is a joke.

If parents think they can do a better job than the schools and are willing to accept the responsibility, they probably can. The schools are upset because they only receive funding for the children that attend. Tough shit. You want more kids to attend, make the schools better.

Bad kids shouldn't be allowed to ruin good schools. Good kids shouldn't be forced to attend bad schools.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A New Stimulus Package

Davey P says he can "feel" al-Qaeda returning to Northern Iraq, even though the surge is working. The translation of this is that the money he has been using to bribe the Sunni tribal warriors that make up "al-Qaeda in Iraq" has run out and in any case, their price has gone up.

I feel another 60 billion dollar defense supplemental spending bill coming on. Bush can't have the war flaring up again before he exits the scene and certainly not before the November elections.

A better solution would be to bring all the Iraqis here and board them out with families having trouble paying their mortgages and paying off their credit cards. Then Haliburton and Blackwater could divide the country into oil leases for bidding out and permanent American military bases. This is the kind of stimulus package that the American people want and need.

Eenie, meenie, miney, moe

It should be an exciting Presidential race. Hillary and Barack will continue to duke it out for months to come. This will give the American people a chance to examine some of their most deeply held prejudices, which is always a good thing. Barack is a man of color. He has family ties both to a turbulent area of East Africa and Islamic South Asia. He has political ties to Chicago, the most politically corrupt city in America. Hillary, while a fairly mundane lefty machine politician, is a lesbian, not very deeply in the closet and is trailing a philandering, not quite ex-husband. The more we examine our knee jerk reaction to differences in race, sex and religion, the more enlightened we become.

John McCain has problems of his own. He has to sell his vision of a kinder, gentler Middle Eastern War. He has to reconcile the electorate to a deteriorating economy. He has to bring together a winning coalition, in a rapidly polarizing political environment. I just saw him accepting the endorsement of the President, with the boy himself, on the White House lawn. That's going to be a big problem, as well. The President's support is going to be a two edged sword. McCain shares many of President Bushes weaknesses. He is not intellectually gifted and has only a rudimentary understanding of most important issues. He is deeply enamored of the power and money elite in this country. To his credit, he truly seeks to do the right thing, no matter how flawed a vessel he may be. One hopes that age and ill health have caused him to cease the boozing and serial philandering that have been his life long predilections.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Your Road, My Road.

There are nearing seven billion of us sharing the planet now. All of us eating, drinking, shitting, pissing, copulating and carrying on with our lives. Living as large as our personal resources allow. Not as soon as those culture of life cocksuckers would like but soon enough, certainly within the lifespan of most of those alive today, there will be fourteen billion.

It would be nice to believe that all of us could live in balance with the natural world. Save the whales and the rain forests, icecaps, pristine oceans, giant redwoods and every little monarch butterfly. What do you suppose the chances are of that? I think we passed that tipping point a hundred and fifty years ago, maybe more. Sure, if we all scaled back to minimal lifestyles, shared everything out, only about half of us reproducing and then only one child, for five or six generations, then things might be salvageable. The entire world would have to get on board with the plan. No problem.

We're humans. That means we don't live in pastoral balance with nature. We build things. We change things. We kill things. We have a shit load of progeny. It's the way we are. It's what we do. Technology and exploitation may not be the solution to all our problems but that's the path we've chosen. There is no going back.

What does this mean for us? It means we do whatever we must. Open up the gates to cheap labor. Open up the mines and smelters. Divert the flow of rivers to generate power and irrigate the barren wastes. If we produce too much CO2, so be it. let's modify algae to convert it back to oxygen and carbon and burn the carbon again. We need a lot of stuff. We're only going to get it by plundering the earth. A nice balanced ecology would be nice but there's no free lunch.

Welcome aboard, shipmate! Get to work. You want babbling brooks and alpine meadows, buy the video.