Sunday, August 31, 2008

Twin Cities Skunk Hole

About a third of delegates to the RNC this year are millionaires. Most are at least far more affluent than the average American. I bet the same is true of the delegates to last weeks DNC in Denver. The real difference is the solidarity among the staunchest and most active supporters of the RNC.

The Republicans at the core of the Party today are strong, determined and unashamed. The Global War on Terror is falling apart, exposed as a sham. The American economy is crumbling, with huge trade imbalances continuing even though we are the largest debtor nation in the history of the World. American society is changing rapidly and radically away from the Wonder bread and baloney sandwich era, with church on Sunday and a social structure where people knew their places. Still, they have no regrets. They do not blame their leaders. They do not blame themselves. They made the decisions they thought they should. They tried as hard as they could. They spared no expense. Sometimes things just don't work out.

When you're beat, winning isn't important anymore. You want to keep your head up. Stay in the game. Learn from your mistakes and start over again. No point in a victory celebration though. That would be the same as advertising defeat. There have been victories enough in the past and plenty of celebrations. There will be more in the future. Now is not the time.

The festivities at the RNC have been cancelled this year. The attendance will be sparse. The candidates don't matter. It will be the most important convention in a generation. They will see who is with them. They will reaffirm what they are all about. They can begin to plan for the future and correct past mistakes. Identifying the scapegoats for sacrifice, organizing the thugs in a beer hall, printing fliers and building bombs in a basement after midnight, you've got to start at the beginning. The first steps are the most important.

Sandpoint Blank

John McCain is a lot smarter than 43 but that just means he is not a retard. His policy positions are a lot more reasoned but that just means he's not a fascist. He graduated from Annapolis, albeit 4th from the bottom of his class. Both his father and grandfather were 4 star shitheads and he spent 6 years in a North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp. This is pretty much the gold standard for a naval aviation officer of his generation and still they kicked him to the curb. You have to conclude that he must have had some pretty severe deficits, career-wise. As a politician, he has been exceedingly corrupt and totally insincere, a toady to the wealthy and their lobbiests. This means he has finally found his niche.

What can you say about a guy like this running for President? Well, we've had worse. Usually.

He picked his running mate this week. You've got to admit, she's a Duesy.

The fundo fascists embraced Sarah Palin, the Governess of Alaska wholeheartedly, from the first minute. They're not usually big feminists, so I really wasn't prepared to like her much. So far, even though I would never vote for a McCain/Anybody ticket, unless I knew the melanoma was back big, black and metastatic, she doesn't seem all that bad.

She's probably the smartest Republican on a national ticket since Nixon. Her degree of mental stability may be above normal. We haven't seen that, since Ike.

She was born in Sandpoint, Idaho but when she was born, everyone there was not a member of an Adamic Aryan Militia. That means we should probably watch her pretty close but she may not be a skinhead mama awaiting the post apocalyptic ascendancy of the White Race.

In high school, she was an aggressive player on and the prayer leader of, the girls basketball team. At my high school, that would have made her a lesbian. Kinky. She has a degree from the University of Idaho and didn't major in Home Economics. She participated in beauty contests and trained for a career as a television news reader, for a woman in conservative politics, this elevates her to the status of intellectual.

Her domestic life seems to be exemplary. She remains married to and has five children with her high school sweetheart. Good for her. Her husband is a native Alaskan, works part time as commercial fisherman and part time in the oil fields. He is ruggedly handsome, plays a good game of hockey and regularly wins long distance snow mobile races. This is roughly the Alaskan equivalent of being Michael Jordan. Neither she, her husband nor any of their children are hopeless alcoholics or habitual solvent sniffers. This is so rare, even among the most refined of Alaskan Society, as to be almost without precedent. There is a rumor going around that her youngest son is really the child of her daughter. Do they really think to use this against her? If true, I can't think of a more selfless, loving, generous act, of a mother for her daughter. If it wasn't for Snuffy McCain, I might vote for her on that basis alone.

The Anchorage area, where she lives, is becoming pretty suburban but is not far removed from the recent pioneering past. She might have some attitudes about conservation, pollution, mineral extraction and ecological preservation that seem pretty loose to those in the lower 48 but they're mainstream for Alaska. Likewise her attitudes on social issues. They probably aren't quite ready for Gay marriage up there but I understand they provide full rights and benefits for domestic partnership. She makes a point of being "pro life" but I haven't ever seen a quote where she says she wants to outlaw abortion. Her statements seem to be made as personal beliefs. Who cannot respect that? Alaska is a very diverse society, perhaps not in the same way as some other parts of the country but individual rights and personal philosophies are highly prized there and the population goes heavily armed, more or less all the time. If you want to live long in Alaska, you'd best tread lightly on the personal prerogatives of others. That's the main component of "Right to Life", in Alaska.

The political process, where ever it takes place, usually ends up bringing a certain amount of control and conformity to those governed. It's not easy being a politician in Alaska. The rules are different there. The opportunities for politicians to steal from the federal government and the kickbacks from corporate exploiters are huge but the citizens demand that the proceeds be divided up and shared out to each. That must be devastating for the politicians. I hope Sarah can hit the ground running, the learning curve in a national campaign, sharing the ticket with someone like John McCain, will be parabolic.

Whether or not she is able to benefit the campaign of John McCain is yet to be seen. While to do so would not be difficult, if she does not, it will certainly not reflect badly on her abilities. It's late to be entering the game and the team for which she has been picked is lacking in strength, skill, style and advantage.

One last thing. A lot is being made about her not having enough experience to be Vice President. Total bullshit. Anyone with any experience should be disqualified from holding public office. Professional politicians have brought our country to ruin and our population to discord. In a democracy, those issues which cannot be decided by plebiscite should be debated by legislative bodies, the members of which, are decided by the drawing of lots. I'm sure you'd get the occasional pain in the ass but nothing like we have now.

After God Flushes the Gulf, It's Always Polite to Light A Match

Gustav is expected to attain category 5 status Sunday, then head in, feet wet onto the Gulf coast, possibly at New Orleans. After Katrina, the Corps of Engineers offered its honest assessment, that it was probably not possible to stabilize the city against further large storms and that such storms were inevitable. Their opinion was backed up by almost everyone, in both the meteorological and engineering communities.

I've written about the Bush administration's response, at some length. I won't bore you with it again, except to remind you that just last week, Cheetah was boasting about the 125 billion in Federal funds he had funneled into the area, to rebuild. Don't worry, the money wasn't wasted. Most has gone directly into the pockets of his rich developer friends and they wouldn't spend it on anything as wasteful as rebuilding New Orleans.

What's going on in the Mississippi Delta shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Sea levels are rising. This is especially apparent in delta regions, when tidal surges and runoff from torrential rains combine to cause flooding, during tropical cyclone storms. These delta regions will deteriorate into groups of ever smaller, low lying islands, eventually vanishing completely, becoming part of the river's outlet, through the continental shelf. We have seen this process begin not only on the Mississippi but also in Bangladesh and Burma's Irrawaddy, both of which are also doomed. Bush doesn't believe in any of this stuff. Why would he? He believes the Earth is flat, six thousand years old and that cocaine is brought down by Angels from God, in white robes and given to country club bathroom attendants, on weekend afternoons, who then sell it to him. It's OK, for his purposes, these things and many others, just as improbable, all are functionally true.

It is drolly ironic, that the third anniversary of Katrina and the Republican National Convention are coinciding with the advent of the next big storm to hit the Delta. The few still planning on attending the Convention, are grasping at straws, trying to save themselves, which is exactly what the few still left in New Orleans, next week, may be doing. McStain is considering postponing the Convention but will it really be better to have it after the storm has wreaked its havoc, than during? Another idea that he has, is to deliver his acceptance speech inside the storm zone, to demonstrate his courage and resolve. Now there is a fine idea.

Personally, I hope the storm misses New Orleans and hits a less developed and low lying area of the Gulf Coast. I hope the Republican National Convention goes well. I hope the Angels bring down an especially fine bag of dope to George Bush's restroom attendant this weekend. The Republicans can use all the good luck they can get and Bush can use all the good dope.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Didn't Even Notice Hillary Was Bleeding, Long Live The Queen

The pundits are saying that the third day of the Democratic convention was anti climactic. I don't know what they are talking about. I thought it was one of the greatest exhibitions of political knife fighting I have ever witnessed.

Hillary Clinton, in return for her promise of unqualified support for Barak Obama, extracted a promise from the DNC that her name would be placed in nomination for the Presidency and that a roll call vote would follow. She would then be able to show the convention and the World, how close she had come to a primary victory, especially with Florida and Michigan voting all their delegates.

Her hopes were dashed. It quickly became apparent that Nancy Pelosi had stacked the deck against her. One by one the States voted with most of Clinton's delegates having been suborned by their State's party leaders into casting their votes for Obama. The party leaders of California, with the largest block of votes committed to Clinton holding solidarity, simply passed, rather than give Hillary their votes. Hillary had to quickly maneuver to halt the vote and personally call for acceptance of Obama into candidacy by acclamation. From the Cheshire cat grins on the faces of every major elected official in the State of New York, who surrounded her, as she was personally made to call for this acclamation, in the midst of her home delegation, on the convention floor and the same big grin on the face of Nancy Pelosi, who summarily took over the podium during the event, it was evident things had gone exactly as they had planned, from the beginning.

Hillary Clinton likes to think she is tough, when in truth, she simply has no regard for others or respect for the political process. People are fooled by Nancy Pelosi's brittle seeming affect. It wasn't a case of people commenting how natural Hillary looked at her funeral, they didn't even know she was dead, until it was time to lower her into the cold ground of a pauper's grave. Nancy kept smiling and daintily tossed in the first handful of dirt . You got to love and admire a politician with that kind of a skill set. I hope her tenure as Speaker of the House is long but either way, it will be colorful. She has a style all her own.

It was a good day today.

Who's on First. I'm Skeptical at Home.

American equity markets have been losers for the last year. They haven't lost that much though. All the major averages are still following trend lines, established when modern markets exploded into the 1973 mega bull. That bull is still in place. There have been times when markets did much better than the overall trend and some heart stopping corrections but for thirty five years the trend has been strongly and profitably up, without exception. Investors who bought and held made money. A lot of money. Warren Buffett money. As long as they picked stocks that weren't total dogs.

Markets are now poised to test the support offered by the long term trend, as they have in 1981, 1987 and as recently as 2002. This support should begin to move the markets strongly higher, as they have since the beginning of the mega bull. If the markets do not move higher, the support will soon be noticeably breached, due to the rising trend line. If this happens, the markets can suffer profound, long term stagnation but more likely first, deep reversal.

I'm not a technical analyst. There are guys that do that for a living and they understand all the nuances. There are also limits to what technical analysis of past trends can tell you about the future. Markets will do what they will do.

The thing that concerns me is that markets have not experienced a sharp, swift "crash", that stabilized and began a process of bottoming and recovery, that has been the pattern for the last thirty five years, when the mega trend was challenged. We have, for the last year been in a period of slow, stagnating deterioration, with lower highs and lower lows. Additionally, there are no emerging sectors of the economy that promise to offer future increased employment and economic revitalization. The economy is being buoyed only by huge deficit spending, on the part of the Federal government. Much, if not most, of this spending continues to quickly cycle out of the country via the negative trade balance, leaving the country continually short of operating expenses. Many, including some highly placed economic experts, now apparently believe that uncontrolled deficit spending, increases in the money supply and the corresponding debt it creates, can go on indefinitely. They believe that since the US Dollar is the major currency of international exchange in the World, our economy is too big to fail. They believe that printing money, can substitute for a real GDP and the rest of the World will go along. They may be right.

I'm skeptical.

Requiem For Some Heavyweights Or Maybe They're Just Big Sacks Of Shit

The Clintons are doing an especially nice job of pretending that they like Barak. Why wouldn't they? They always do a nice job of pretending they like each other. Nobody believes that either.

After the convention, unless there is something in it for them and I don't believe there is, you won't see them on the campaign trail again this cycle. It's true that the DNC has been very, very good to a certain little family from Arkansas. Bill wouldn't have made that one hundred million since he left office without them. Hillary's Senate seat was a total gift. Chelsea got to go to Stanford and has a bright future ahead of her. These things are all in the past. It's now a case of what have you done for me lately. I don't see Barak as being that generous towards them, do you?

Bill's days of being the elder statesman of the Party are over. Hillary won't be back in four or eight years, no matter who is the next President. She's never going to be let into the Senate leadership. She will get some good committee appointments but not chairmanships. She may well become the Bella Abzug of her generation. WHOPPEE! Or maybe not. Bella was smart, as well as ruthless and mean.

Chelsea seems like a nice young woman. I wish her luck. Truly.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Democratic Convention Violence Report - Half Way Point

The Democratic Party Convention is half over. As far as I can tell, there have been a few small groups of organized anti war protesters arrested in Denver but not near the Convention venue, for supposedly blocking pedestrian traffic. The only violence occurred on the part of the arresting officers, who outnumbered the protesters by a factor of several times and used tear gas and pepper spray on them. The local cops got 50 million from the Feds to pay for heightened security during the convention. They aren't going to give any of it back. They have to have something to show for their efforts and only four days to come up with it. What a waste of money.

Camera men with Michelle Malkin and a Truther radio personality I've never heard of, named Alex Jones, belly bumped each other pugnaciously outside the Denver Mint yesterday. There was apparently a protest of some sort going on there but nobody was paying any attention to that. I saw some video of it on one of the Fundo sites. It looked like a couple of long haired members of the crowd pushed them apart and broke it up, probably while under the influence of the devil weed. No tear gas, pepper spray or arrests there, at least on the video I saw. I really admire Michelle. That whole, spunky, Subic City bargirl, LBFM take, on crusading Republican womanhood she does, is really a refreshing new twist on the genre. Whoever is paying her fine is getting his moneys worth. I frequently am inspired to leave witty comments on her site but she never enables new commenters. Probably just as well. Ann Coulter's cruel, Nazi dominatrix shtick, pales in comparison.

The Secret Service foiled a possible assassination attempt on Barak Obama, arresting three young, white racist men with high powered rifles and methamphetamine in their possession. I doubt these guys are actually on the payroll of the RNC, probably just kindred spirits. I doubt they were ever really much of a threat but you could have said the same for several young men in the past, who had some success.

Randall Terry and a small group of his supporters insisted on being arrested, during a sit down strike and will spend the night in jail, after refusing to pay a token bail. Once again, no tear gas or pepper spray needed. Good Luck Randall! Sing a chorus of "We Shall Overcome" for me. Don't allow your dreams for the preborn to be stillborn.

Maybe the bomb throwers will come out tomorrow. One can only hope.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Long John Silvers Seafood Shoppe

When I was in the Navy, most of my friends were E-5 and below. All of them were on their first enlistment. Anybody that had re-uped or extended was, by definition, a lifer, and while I might socialize with them, would never take them into my confidence. Sailors that have so little time in grade and service make almost no money. The married guys, with children, made a lot more than I. That's the way the Nav works. Still, compared to non sailors, they made nothing. Their families suffered.

I'm not trying to pretend these guys were any kind of martyrs. These were young guys. They smoked. They spent a lot of time and money on drugs, liquor, gambling and women. The wife either worked or made do with what was left after her husband's vices were paid for and not many of them worked. It was the middle late Seventies, times were tough for everybody and especially for junior enlisted in the Navy and their families.

Even as tight as money was, most guys felt like a jerk, if they didn't take the family out to dinner, off base, at least every month or two. They couldn't afford a "real" restaurant, even IHOP gets pricey, when you're feeding four or five. A burger place wasn't "really" going out to eat. One of the places they ended up going to a lot was Long John Silvers Seafood. It was cheap. It wasn't burgers or pizza. It was always real popular with the Navy crowd.

Sometimes I like to go to Long John Silvers, even today. I don't think they have built many new ones recently or remodeled the old ones. They look, operate and have the same menu that they always did. They're beat up and shopworn but that's OK. The food is amazingly greasy. It's guaranteed to give you the shits. It always was. I don't care.

I can go in there and for under five bucks get a basket meal with fish, chips, fritters and a drink. They let you pump all the tarter sauce, cocktail sauce and ketchup you want, into little paper containers. They have Malt vinegar. I usually go alone, my wife doesn't like it. I guess she ate at better places in the seventies. No nostalgia there for her. As long as I don't sit near a window, where I might see my reflection, I can pretend it's 1976 and I'm 25 again, with endless possibilities ahead of me. I hope they don't remodel the one near my house. It wouldn't be the same.

I always ring the little ship's bell a couple times on the way out, in appreciation of the experience. Maybe they think it's for the food. Naw!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Your Political Science Lesson For Today

People don't understand the classical definitions of the four different types of people, politically, in any human society. Let's have a quickie refresher, so that you can determine which one you are. You may be surprised!

1) Radicals want rapid fundamental change, by whatever means necessary. These guys are usually having bad lives. They are discriminated against. They are excluded from the main stream of the life of their society. Their families are often not getting enough to eat. Oh, remember those dirty, long haired guys in the sixties? They weren't really radicals. Remember the Black Panthers? They were. Lenin and Trotsky were radicals. Stalin was not.

2)Liberals think that society has been changing for the better and want to see more of the same type of changes occur. These people are doing better than they used to be and look forward to doing better yet. America is an innately liberal society. Most people living in America are very liberal. They don't see this because they often are most interested in the changes occurring in a specific area of society, that benefit them, different or even contradictory to changes that other, also liberal groups are interested in. Evangelical Christians are among of the most liberal of groups, much more than secular humanists, who really may not want much change at all.

3)Conservatives want things to stay the same. This group is composed differently than most people think. The largest group of conservative in America today are union members with good pay, comprehensive benefits and strong collective bargaining. Public employees are members of this category and probably the most conservative segment of American society. The police and military are doubly conservative because they both enforce the status quo for a living and depend upon it for their own continuity of life. Small business people who buy existing franchises or who did not build up their business themselves also fit here. Entrepreneurs do not. The truly idle rich, who are too lazy or stupid to use their capital to profit from changing conditions fall in to this group but it's a very small percentage. Not even Paris Hilton or George Bush would fit in here.

4) Reactionaries want to return to a supposedly better time in the past. It's difficult to give examples of true reactionaries. Hypothetically, anyone who's situation used to be better and who would like to return to that time, would qualify. I guess one could argue that fundamentalist Mormon groups that practice polygamy and are extremely patriarchal would qualify. Old time silent movie stars, who hoped that talkies were only a passing fancy were reactionary. Where reactionary thought is concerned, it's difficult to tell where political philosophy ends and psychosis begins.

It's Not Really A Stain, It's More Like A Black Hole

John McCain has said before, repeatedly and will say again, that Barak Obama doesn't have what it takes to be president. Not the courage. Not the patriotism. Not the judgement. Not the experience. Not the support of "real" Americans. The only thing he's never claimed, is that he lacks the intelligence. Heh.

McCain's family roots are in the agrarian society of the old South. His father's father's father's father owned a large plantation in Mississippi, worked by scores of African chattel, bred like dogs and worked like mules, to enrich the white land owners. Beaten, chained and starved if they disobeyed. In other parts of the South, if a slave couldn't be broken, they were sold on down the river. In Mississippi, there was no further on down the river. The slaves there broke or they died.

I had a friend in the Navy, from Raleigh, North Carolina. His father told him, "Always remember, we're not from here. You're a Mississippi nigger. You're the toughest, strongest, smartest kind of man ever born. Whatever they do to you, they can never kill you, because if they could've they would've."

My friend said it proud and believed every word.

McCain says he never knew about his families past. It's a lie. The plantation was owned by his relatives until 1958, slaves replaced by only marginally better off sharecroppers. He visited, if not frequently, enough to understand.

After the Civil War, the Men of the McCain family found employment as Naval officers. If they lacked a certain degree of intelligence, they made up for it in resolution, determination and an understanding of the effectiveness of iron hard discipline, which they no doubt exercised on the poor wretches before the mast with the same cruel zeal that they had previously meted out to their human property in the fields of the Delta. It is not surprising that the McCain men rose to the highest echelon of the officer corps of the United States Navy.

Like his forebears, John McCain grew up small, mean and not burdened by any excess of intelligence or sensitivity. Unlike them, he had nothing but contempt for authority and idolized the punk hero movie stars of his youth, first Marlon Brando, then James Dean. He identified with the overt stubborn rebelliousness of the characters they portrayed. The quest for human contact and redemption in subtext, was simply beyond his ken. He was contemptuous of all organized social settings. School was no exception. He started out poorly and did not improve with time. There was no favorite subject to ignite the flame of learning and scholarship in his runty little breast. He did find a passion in life and early, carousal. While he engaged in the drinking that was part of the ritual, that wasn't the main attraction. It was the opportunity to travel about the countryside, sneering, taunting and intimidating those he met, that rang his bell. It was an opportunity to demonstrate to his companions of the moment, how he could make up for a lack of intelligence and manners with brutish pugnacity.

This behavior continued all through his youth right up to his graduation from Annapolis, where he had been admitted as an unwanted but unavoidable legacy and graduated at the very bottom of his class. There is no doubt he would have been tossed out or even sent to the fleet as an unrated sailor, if it hadn't been for his lineage.

Much has been made of John McCain's Naval career. There isn't really much to it. He was a bad pilot. The only auspicious act he ever engaged in was to be shot down, severely injured, while crashing his plane into a lake in Hanoi and not managing to die. The entire legend of the man revolves around his experiences for six years as a prisoner of war and his decision not to accept repatriation early, when offered, due to his fathers high rank. You have to give credit where it is due. That was the one honorable act of his entire life.

Upon his return to freedom, he resumed his old ways. The Navy promoted him as if he had advanced normally during the six years of his captivity, something that almost certainly would not have happened otherwise. They gave him one last bump in grade after that and showed him the door. He spurned his wife and family, then married the daughter of a wealthy benefactor. He has lived apart from his second wife for all of the quarter century of their marriage. She wisely keeps the purse strings and thus the balance of power, closely held in her own hands.

John McCain found success in Congress. He has gained power and respect without having to show either accomplishment or accountability. He has managed this by always being available and amenable to the wealthy and influential that need a voice and a vote under the Capital dome. He has had mentors, allies and patrons in plenty, during his life. If he has had even one real friend and confidant, I have yet to hear of them.

This is John McCain. The man who would be President of the United States of America.

Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Obama Needs The Guy That Can Make 'Em Squeal Like A Pig, Not The Guy With A Pretty Mouth

All the Networks are confirming that Barak Obama has chosen Joseph Biden of Delaware to be his running mate. Good luck with that one, Barak. Biden has been in the Senate since Obama was a little boy and is one of the lions of the Senate. Is he prepared to play Gabby Hayes to Obama's John Wayne? Cuz that's the only way this thing is gonna work. This is not a match made in Heaven. Or maybe it's a brilliant move. What do I know? Only time will tell.

If Barak really wanted to go that deep, he maybe should have tapped Bobby Byrd from West Virgina. Talk about balancing the ticket. Byrd is about a hundred and fifty years old, an old Kluxxer and a common conception of his constituents in West Virginia is that they all have six toes, squint and play the banjo like the little boy from Deliverance. Some think that the only reason he is still a Democrat, is that most West Virginians are on welfare, now that the mines are shut down. Many go to church on Sunday, roll around on the floor, talk in tongues and handle venomous serpents. Byrd can deliver the "values" voters that the Republicans now control and Barak needs to win.

There was some talk that he would pick Chet Edwards, a Congressman from Waco, Texas. That would have been good. Keep the ticket young. Help him in the Southwest. He could have gone with Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico. Still young enough, Southwestern, Hispanic. Even better. There was Katherine Sebilious, Governor of Kansas. Once again, age appropriate. Good geographics and demographics. Might assuage some of Hilliary's harridans in a concession to the angry, older female vote. A fella could go on and on.

The bottom line is, that you don't invite people out to the first hunt of the season and then trot out the same old dog. Obama can still win this race but it seems like he's going out of the way to stack the deck against himself. Biden is a fine man. Intelligent, intellectual, experienced and on the right side of every issue. He is everything that Republican candidates pretend to be and never are. The problem is, that every one of his partisans is already going to vote for Obama. In that respect, even Hilliary would have been a better choice. Biden could be suited to the role of the seasoned, silent power behind the throne, a la Dick Cheney. I'm pretty sure that's not what Obama is seeking. The choice of a Vice President can bring you many things. I wonder what it is that Obama thinks Biden will bring him. Maybe he has a good reason for choosing him. Maybe he'll tell us.


The fundo fascist, Fox News Network can't let go of the fact that several of the Chinese Olympic contestants are almost certainly underage. You really can't argue with them. Some of the contestants were clearly closer to twelve than the mandated sixteen year old requirement. TV ratings for this Olympics are certainly going to get a bump from the pedo viewership. Some of the events, gymnastics and diving for sure, one should be careful about recording or storing on a hard drive, for fear of the authorities getting ahold of them and bringing charges.

I think, instead of seeking to disqualify the offending participants, we repeat the Beijing Olympics again next year. They've already built all the facilities necessary, so it wouldn't cost much. Maybe next time, they could convince people to come. We will still let them use the little kids. We will not stoop to the exploitation of innocent children. Instead we will scour our sporting community for the most androgen amped, pituitarily enhanced, methamphetamine fueled, transgendered behemoths we can find and pack our teams full of them. Blood testing will be dispensed with for these, second games. Women's beach volleyball will become a full contact sport.

I predict the medal count will be satisfyingly different.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's All About Change And That's Not A good Thing

The party conventions loom but the campaigns are already well underway. The Republicans worry that radical terrorists will disrupt their Twin Cities gathering. The city of Denver has converted a downtown warehouse into a booking and holding center in anticipation of Democratic angst. Oh please. The conventions, both of them, will be snorers. Neither candidate has any business running for President. The best you can say for them is that they were the least crippled specimen born in a bad litter.

The United States is a great country but it has lost its way. It and it's government are heading for a fall. Everybody knows it. You can feel it. In the wind. In the streets. Around the dinner table. Everybody has an opinion about what's going to happen but nobody knows. They only know that what we do now, isn't going to matter. People go to work. They come home. They spend time with their families. These aren't good times but people know, instinctively, that these are the best times we are likely to have. Maybe for a long time to come.

I'm not talkin' the Four Horseman here. The apocalypse is not at hand. You probably don't need the guns, ammo and emergency food supplies you have down in the basement. On the other hand, if it makes you sleep better at night, it couldn't hurt.

The government, politicians, elections? If I thought any of that mattered, I'd probably care more.

I'm just waiting. Just like everybody else.

Wake me when the curtain comes up and the show starts.

High Times

Teenagers drink. A lot. Whenever they can. As much as they can get. It's not a new phenomena. It's always been the case. I'm sure it's more common than in the past but it's a matter of degree rather than a real change in the social dynamic.

A hundred presidents of colleges and universities around the country have petitioned Congress to repeal legislation that forces States to impose a 21 year old drinking age or lose Federal highway funds.

The interesting thing about this is,the underage drinkers don't give a shit whether drinking is illegal or not. They can get all the liquor they want. They can drink it whenever and wherever they want. They don't bear their parents, elders or society any grudge about it. For them, it's just part of being young. It's the way things are, the way they've always been and will be. They do not find the prohibition punitive or restrictive. It's not like the kids would ever be able to drink in public anyway, that's illegal for everyone. They don't yearn to drink in bars or night clubs, most of them don't have the money for that. Besides, none of their friends or contemporaries are in those places. They find their own places to party. It's not that hard. It's more exclusive. It's more fun.

Ironically, the academic leaders want to lower the drinking age, so that they can better start a dialog with students, that they already know consume large quantities of alcohol with impunity. They actually want to work on the problem. Parents, police, churches and other figures of authority, gave up on the situation decades ago.

Underage drinking teaches young people that the rules don't really mean shit and that most of them are not reality based. The sooner they learn that, the better.

Drink up, kids!

Cheap Energy

The United States has what, 300 million people? They consume about 25 barrels of oil apiece, per year. The majority of the World's population live in Southern and Eastern Asia. This area is currently undergoing rapid economic and industrial development. They consume much more oil than they did a decade ago but still only a little more than 1 barrel a year, per person. It is likely that the energy requirements of Asia will at least double, in the next few years. They will still be using minuscule amounts per capita, compared with the developed West. The increase in the cumulative demand will be a different story.

Americans may have cut their oil usage by a percent or two, in the last several months, as the price of oil has impacted on their pocket books. They may continue to find ways to use less energy and utilize alternative sources. This would be a good thing. It's not going to affect the price of oil in the free market, in the long term.

Currently, all commodity prices are in correction and going lower. This is due to the unwinding of long positions, that tied up commodities during the recent inflationary commodities Bull Market. Now, speculators are going the other way and shorting the commodities. This is bringing prices rapidly down and releasing commodities for consumption. The availability of commodities, in excess of immediate demand, at lower prices, spurs even more drastic price reductions and continues to enrich market movers. It does not herald a new, long term era of cheap, plentiful food, fuel and industrial raw materials, which are the building blocks of human society.

We can produce the food we need and the raw materials to fuel economic growth but to do it we need energy. Petroleum is and will remain, at least for the foreseeable future, the most important energy source in the World. The majority of the World's petroleum deposits are old sources in declining production, supplemented by lesser, newer finds in ever more difficult and expensive to exploit locations. There has not been a major new source of petroleum discovered, anywhere in the World, in the last 30 years.

We may solve our problem of cheap energy requirements. The answer may be out there but if it is, nobody has found it yet.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Bulimpics

I've been watching some of the Olympics but not too much. Maybe I'm just old and cynical. I like the idea of young, strong, healthy athletes, from all over the World, gathering together every four years to compete against each other. It seems like it's become perverted by the process though.

It is clear that many of those competing have not been allowed to have normal childhoods. Many, if not most, have spent much of their young lives training virtually nonstop, on six and seven day a week schedules, for years on end, often secluded away from family and friends, with only their trainers and fellow athletes as companions. Huge amounts of money must be expended on this training. Every possible performance enhancing accoutrement is utilized. Many have undoubtedly taken growth and strength enhancing drugs and weaned off just long enough to test negative before competition. Many are nursing injury and impairment that will hinder them in the future or even shorten their lives and possibly long term psychological damage as well. This point was slammed home to me during a past Olympics, when I saw a young man in his mid twenties, with the protruding brow ridge, splayed teeth, huge muscles and insulin dependent diabetes, of a long term, chronic steroid abuser win multiple medals. This young man is the scion of one of the richest families in America. What could he possibly have to gain from this regime, that will certainly leave him crippled, stupid and in an early grave.

China has spent an astronomical amount of money to prepare for and promote these games. Money that could be better spent improving the lives of her citizens. The corporate and commercial sponsorship of the Olympics has reached obscene levels. For all of this, not very many people went to these games. Even with the clever camera work by the television technicians, it is apparent that many of the events are sparsely attended, at best and mostly by locals who were enticed by cheap or even free tickets.

On the positive side, the fierce nationalistic jingoism that characterized the games through the Cold War era, seems to have subsided, at least somewhat.

I do not belittle the efforts or achievements of these young athletes. I hope that the participation in these games enriches their lives. I hope that they are rewarded financially by all of the commercialization and hype. The money is going to flow anyway and I can think of no more worthy recipients than the athletes who participated.

For me, I would rather watch a sand lot baseball game on a Spring evening at a public park. I would rather see a coed touch football game on the lawn of a college dormitory after a long day of classes on a Fall afternoon. I would rather watch kids vault into a swimming hole, from a rope tree swing, on a Summer day. I'd even rather watch a bunch of drunken Canuks beating each other senseless with hockey sticks on a frozen pond in February. The Olympics have become professional sports. Professional sports are a venue for gamblers and shills, not athletes. People that watch professional sports are suckers , not spectators.

Bell Burger

Fast food is crap. Almost without exception, you can whip up the same thing at home in a few minutes, twice as good at a quarter of the cost. Once they stop offering it on every corner though, it becomes an iconic memory of the cherished past.

Taco Bell used to be a model of efficiency, where bulk food commodities were prepared on site into a few different and delicious food items, offered to the public at reasonable prices that still allowed for generous profit margins.

Huge bags of pintos and blocks of lard were pressure cooked into frijoles in huge vats. Hamburger was browned and seasoned in large rectangular pans. Lettuce, onions and cheese were shredded and loaded into two gallon bags. They were all then stored in the reefer until needed. Corn tortillas were deep fried until crispy and racked up by the hundreds above the steam table.

For a few bucks you could feed a large family.

Taco Bell has changed ownership many times since the '60s. The menu has become bloated and expensive, some of the locations even sell pizza. The food is shitty. I don't go there. Still, it was the comfort food of my youth.

I used to like everything there. They would gladly customize your food items however you would like, for a little extra money. Long before meat or combination burritos were offered on the menu, you could ask for them. Green sauce , red sauce, hot sauce? No problem. One of my favorites got wiped off the menu at least 20 years ago.

The Bell Burger was a Calexican specialty that Taco Bell did very well. A hamburger bun was dressed with a little red sauce. On a bed of lettuce was placed a generous scoop of seasoned taco meat, then a little onion and cheese. They were really good. They cost $0.19, so if you were hungry, you could have two or three. Some old time, independent taco stands still offer a taco burger. The problem with most of them is, they are over stuffed, greasy, and too moist. Too often after the first bite, the remaining sandwich turns into a decomposing amorphous mass. Kind of defeats the whole concept of a taco sandwich. They also cost about six bucks per. Serious junk food money, for an exploding sandwich.

I miss Bell Burgers. If they still had the old menu at Taco Bell and they were pumping out food items at say, $0.79 each, there would still be a Taco Bell on every corner and they would still be making a fortune. As it is, there is one across the street from a high school in my neighborhood, with an open campus. At lunch, you see maybe four or five kids there at a time, tops. At least they probably get quick service.

Look for the old Taco Bell stands in your neighborhood. They are easy to recognize by the distinctive adobe shack design. Most are converted to independent fast food joints and due to the good locations, prosper. It's fun to see the different uses they put to the signature fire pit in the front. One I pass by is a Bahn Mi stand with a Buddah statue in the pit, offerings of fruit and Flowers at its feet. Another is a Hawaiian Barbecue with a koi pond, complete with lotus blossomed Lilly pads and a little tinkling clam shell fountain.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Disciples of God or Deification of Man?

Through the years, there have been many that claim to bring the truth of God to man. I don't know how timeless the messages they have revealed may be but the institutions built upon these revelations are anything but. The charismatic figures of American evangelism generate huge followings and great wealth and with these, build huge institutions in their image and what they believe to be the image of God.

You don't even need to look back into history to examine the rotting corpses of the organizations built up by William Jennings Bryant, Billy Sunday, Aimee Semple McPherson and other legends of American JesuYahoo, to see how lasting the truth is. Look at the Thomas Road Baptist Church, only a few months after the death of the Great Man. Check out the Oral Roberts Organization, even as Oral still lives and breathes, at least nominally. Billy Graham, the most revered American evangelical leader of modern times, left the pulpit only recently and already the organization is in rapid decline.

Likewise the Crystal Cathedral, Christian Broadcasting Network, and Trinity Broadcasting Network all are falling into ruin as the founders age along with their messages. It doesn't take powers of prophesy to see the future of currently ascendant religious organizations, whether they are seeking to preserve traditional values, like Focus on the Family or embrace the contemporary, like Rick Warren's Saddleback Church of the purpose driven life.

Why do Americans flock to the banners of cults that embrace the vision and message of men whose ideas will not likely even outlive them? We all have the capacity to see our own vision and hear our own message. The comfort of company on the road to a false salvation isn't worth missing out on the opportunity to have your own personal relationship with God. What God says to you is more important and more valid than anything you hear he's said to anyone else.

Embrace the God that speaks to you, secure in the knowledge that he is also speaking to every one of the billions here on Earth with you. Recognize that you are an imperfect being and you may get the specifics wrong and that your own vanity and greed may distort the message. It will still be more valid than anything you will get from anyone else. Seek to recognize and applaud God's good influence on others, rather than seeking to correct others who you perceive are getting it wrong. Exhorting others to righteousness is, in the end, the greatest sin of all. It is the sin of pride, that your own personal righteousness is the same as that of God. We each have our own lives to live and it is a daunting task. With the help of your God, work on your own life. That's enough for anyone to do.

I can't speak for anyone else but if you try and impose your vision of God on me, I'll hurt you.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

McCain's VP Choice

McCain is so fucked up. The speculation is, he's considering a pro-life running mate. That would be the kiss of death with the Fundos and he needs them bad. Same thing if he picks a pro Gay rights VP. Same thing if he picks an African American. He needs the racist vote, even more than he needs the Christers and to a large extent, they are the same thing.

If he was serious about winning, he would pick a Hispanic Catholic, with strongly traditional values, someone like Mel Martinez. An even better choice would be a Hispanic woman, say Linda Chavez. It doesn't matter whether they have the experience or political gravitas normally associated with the choice. It doesn't even matter if the person is currently a Democrat. There is a local Congresswoman named Loretta Sanchez, in my county. She would be a natural. She would jump at the chance. She would switch affiliation in a second and quickly disavow any unfortunate socially liberal stands she previously has espoused. Both parties gave up running candidates with real credentials long ago. If he did that, he would win with a landslide. He won't do it because he is afraid of the immigration issue.

That's a mistake. It's a dead issue. Hispanics are here to stay. They work hard. They are naturally conservative, politically. They appreciate a stable, safe society. They don't really mind if it's not particularly democratic. They don't mind if the rich get richer. They don't mind if it's a police state. Best of all, they are Christian and a large number are even observant, unlike most Americans that identify as Christians. Moving the Hispanic vote into their party, should be the number one priority of the Republicans. It would guarantee them political ascendancy for generations to come.

The smart Republicans already know this is true. The problem is that the majority of their coalition are black dirt ignorant, ethnocentric racist, sexist, scum. These people function at the intellectual level of lemmings and changes in the party line must be carefully crafted over time, to conform with the ridiculous world view mythology that has already been built up to incorporate God, country, sacred motherhood, family values, support of unilateral military aggression at any cost and the absolute person hood of the potentially fertilizable human ova. Hitler sold the Japanese as allies to his people as "Yellow Aryans". The Republicans could do the same with Hispanics. Perhaps they could present them as, "like Texans, only smarter, cleaner and willing to work for a living."

Friday, August 15, 2008

How Can We Lower Taxes When They Don't Even Pay Any

I pay a lot of taxes. At least I think so. Federal income taxes are just under 30%. State income taxes are just under 10%. There are also a lot of payroll deductions for unemployment insurance and workman's compensation, that I am never elegible for. Sales tax is over 8% here and probably going higher. I'm not even sure how high gas tax is but it is the highest in the country. I pay property tax on my house. That's about $3,000 a year.

I would guess by the time all the dust settles every year, my wife and I pay at least 50% of our income in taxes and get damn little back.

I'm not all that upset about it. It's always been that way. What pisses me off is the way major US corporations whine, cry and demand lower tax rates. Corporations get huge perks back from the government. Energy, mining and forest product companies get leases virtually for free. Agriculture gets subsidies and cheap irrigation. Ranchers get government grazing rights. The financial industries get huge government backstop funding. Every major industry gets major concessions from the government concerning taxation.

It turns out that 2/3 of all American Corporations pay no taxes whatsoever and the rest pay damn little. As one financial analyst on Wall Street said, "Corporations have a fiduciary duty to their share holders to maximize profits in all the ways that they can." This includes paying off politicians to pass laws favorable to corporations, their operating expenses and tax burden. It's not a Republican/Democrat issue. They all sell out. Republicans just know how to put together a more attractive package and get more money. Democrats can more easily be bought for a good meal, a gram of cocaine and a friendly whore, whereas they are just preliminaries for Republicans. We aren't even giving better breaks to smaller, expanding corporations that might provide increased hiring opportunities in years to come. It is the biggest, mature, profitable sectors of Corporate America that pays the least in taxes and is more likely to get subsidies.

For the most part these companies pollute as much as they can get away with. They fight collective bargaining on the part of their employees and don't give a shit about heath hazards or dangerous workplace conditions. They bully and ride roughshod over the people who inhabit the areas where they are active.

It's been 28 years since Corporate America had any active oversight whatsoever. Bush has watched, smiling, as they ass raped the American people. Neither McCain or Obama plans to change a damn thing.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fundo Fascists Murder Again

Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney was gunned down this morning at Party Headquarters in Little Rock. The shooter was apprehended, after being himself shot by police.

Authorities aren't releasing any information on the suspect. Let me do a little prophesying. This guy will turn out to be a divorced, unemployed, white male, perhaps a veteran, in his late 40s or 50s. He will be a homophobe but insecure about his own sexuality. He will be politically conservative. He listens to Rush Limbaugh every day. He watches Bill O'Rielly on Fox News. A small library of conservative, hate literature will be found in his small but tidy apartment. He will have a history of domestic violence and stalking of women but never challenges authority or those he is intimidated by. Many who know him will say he is a real nice guy. He will have a chronic history of job loss, due to his inability to get along with people of diverse backgrounds. He will turn out to be a big fan of Chuck Norris and Steven Segal.

The conservative talking assholes are going to once again deny that they advocate murder and hate crime violence in the furtherance of their cause. They will, once again, be lying. Every foul tactic that they employ to sway the mind of America is based in fear, terrorism and ultimately, violence and death for any who don't go along. They encourage disciples to threaten, intimidate, punish and perpetrate violence and death on those who do not follow the creed. They are foul, treasonous scum who pervert the values that they pretend to venerate and the religion that they pretend to believe in.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

So What's The Point Of This Edwards Thing ?

Them fundo funksters seem to be obsessed with John Edwards extra marital proclivities. I guess because of the sympathetic image he projected during the primary race, with his dying wife Elisabeth active in the campaign, even while visibly deteriorating from terminal cancer. I don't know what mileage they get out of the mistress and prospective love child at this point. The guy's political best used by date, is long past.

Politicians are all starved for love and attention. It's the nature of the beast. Like all of us, they tend to take what they can get, where they can get it. It's not a Republican or Democrat thing. It's not even a male specific thing. We all got needs.

I guess there were a few recent Presidents that toed the line. I never heard anything about Gerald Ford. Jimmy Carter famously lusted in his heart but who doesn't. I don't think Harry Truman was much of a philanderer but I bet he wanted to be. We know FDR had a mistress and Ike as well. JFK was fixated at the adolescent stage and loved the turbulent excitement of one night stands. I'm sure LBJ wasn't above the odd commercial sexual transaction. Some Presidents were pretty kinky. Nixon used to spend weekends relaxing with his friend "BeBe" Rebozo down on Key Biscayne. It's known that BeBe liked little boys. The two of them were supposed to be fishing down there in the Keys but for what. It was commonly known, by those in the '40s Hollywood party scene, that Jane Wyman divorced Ronald Reagan when she caught him having oral sex with one of his co-stars. The co-star is most often identified as Errol Flynn. We all know about Bill Clinton and we all know it didn't start or stop with Monica Lewinsky. There are a lot of rumors about 41 floating around and if any of them are true he was a pretty wild guy, in his day. I don't even want to get into Sonny Boy. Anyone that reads this blog knows what I think of him.

Of the two current candidates for President, we know that John McCain has been a life long serial philanderer and has lived largely separate from his current wife, who was at one time one of his serial philandrees, for the entire duration of their marriage. We don't know about Barack but he's a good looking and personable young man and I'm sure he has needs and admirers.

Why pick on Edwards? He's old news. Totally over.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Case Against Deflation

The case for deflation hinges on the decrease in the amount of money. Money can only theoretically be destroyed in two ways and neither involves the actual destruction of money.

For every dollar that the US Treasury creates it must create a corresponding debt instrument. To decrease the monetary supply, the Treasury must pay off and retire the bonds it has already issued, issue new bonds and not spend the money it receives in return for them or not spend and hold in reserve, tax revenues that it takes in. When do you think any of these things is likely to happen? That is the "good" money scenario. The "bad" money scenario is that the bonds already issued, must default and be written off the books of the agency, corporation or foreign government which holds them. The flaw in this system, is that the US Treasury unilaterally controls, with the rubber stamp of Congressional approval, the amount of new debt and therefore money, created.

The reason for the current euphoria in and strength of the US Dollar market, has to do with the US Treasury's decision to prop up the failing US monetary system, by printing even more money and thereby creating even more debt. The US Treasury is not allowing irredeemable debt to fail but to be kept on the books of the institutions that hold them and allowing these institutions to use those debts as collateral to borrow even more money, from the government, which these institutions then use to pay off their obligations and stay afloat. They do this, of course, by issuing even more debt. The rest of the World is blackmailed into accepting this debt, because not to do so, would result in the collapse of the US Dollar. In return for this debt, they surrender US trade deficit dollars, which they know to be, in fact, worthless. This is nothing but a huge Ponzi scheme which results in the creation of huge new amounts of government debt that it has no chance of ever being able to redeem, except through the creation of even more money and its accompanying debt. It allows a continuing outflow of money into the economy, long after all meaningful wealth held by the American public has been exhausted. The government funnels this "funny money" into the economy by means of huge spending appropriations, for which they receive little or nothing in return. They even go so far as to send stimulus checks directly to each citizen. This is the ultimate in "free" money, bread and circuses, if you will.

I know that this sounds convoluted and stupid and that is exactly what it is. In order to keep this Ponzi scheme going, the US must convince the rest of the World to keep huge amounts of American Debt in "cold storage" and to accept as a reward for this, a postponement of the day of reckoning, for the American monetary system, when free markets determine the real value of the Dollar. What a depressing thought. Everybody goes along, because they hope they can get out with a better deal than the other suckers, before reality comes crashing down, just like in any Ponzi scheme.

As this situation progresses, the participants who stand to lose the most, will become more and more anxious. Eventually, they will start to panic and try to unload their American debt holdings, even at deep discounts. The end will ensue shortly thereafter.

Georgia On My Mind

What is it that is going on in Georgia along the coast of the Black Sea? I'm certainly no expert. It would seem that two semi-autonomous regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazan, would like to be more autonomous. This desire leads them to be played as pawns in a larger political game between Russia and Georgia. It isn't the first time. What will happen to these fine people? The lives of pawns are cheap. Many of them will die. There were never many of these proud, tribal people. When this episode is over there will be fewer, they will be no freer than they were before and probably less.

It's nice to think that everybody gets a break sometime but it's just not true. These people are screwed. They have been for thousands of years. They will be until the last one of them is dead, scapegoated in the wars of other, larger powers.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Fever Dreams of Plenty

A month ago, oil was at its highest price, ever. Today the conventional wisdom is that the commodity boom is over and oil is on the way back to $60 a barrel. Even at $60 a barrel, there will be windfall profits for the oil producers with established fields, with cheap extraction and transportation. Unfortunately, to supply the World with all the oil it needs, a significant amount of production will have to come from sources that are not low cost. Shale, sands, deep water, Arctic, small deposits in remote locations, high tech stripping of existing, depleted fields and the demand for oil will increase, not decrease, in coming years. Will the oil companies and cartels subsidize the high cost sources with the low, in order to supply the World with a mid priced product, in the amount that is sufficient to its needs?

Get fuckin' real. A barrel of oil is a barrel of oil and costs the same, no matter where it comes from or how much it cost to extract.

Wheat and corn are high volume crops that the World depends on. They are also high tech. They require fertilizer, pesticides, cultivation and increasingly, genetically modified seed, that must be purchased yearly from the big biotech cartels. If prices for the major food grains stay low, farmers will switch to less cost intensive crops, safflower, rape seed and sunflower but it is wheat and corn that the World hungers for. Will food grain prices stay low.

Get fuckin' real. People will pay what they must to eat.

If Third World economies are going to grow, thereby providing jobs and sustenance for their growing populations, they need to continue to industrialize. They need metals, rare and common, in huge quantities. Most of the easily mined metals are already above ground. Getting the rest will require lots of energy. The World's population is nearing 7 billion, most of them live in the Third World. Do you think they're just going to starve themselves to death, while trying to return to a mode of existence that the populations of their countries have outgrown?

Get fuckin' real. People, all people will do what they must to survive.

The Western World is sick and in its fever dream, it believes that keeping its economy afloat on the sea of a constantly expanding money supply and artificially forcing prices lower will allow it to return to it's days of ease and empire .

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Two Wheels Good, Four Wheels Bad

As the Fundo Fascist's dreams of an enduring Islamic Terrorist Bogeyman fade away, like the star and crescent into the pale light of dawn, they reach farther and farther into the realm of improbability, for domestic threats with which to whip up support for the dictatorship of the Baptocatholic Zionist coalition, that they wish to inflict upon our hapless nation.

More and more they target, if not exactly benign, certainly less than fearsome opponents and try to imbue them, in the eyes of the public, with an animosity that is overstated and a threat that just isn't there. Blood thirsty abortionists, stalking the streets for preborn innocents, to rip from their mother's wombs. Deranged global warming proponents, seeking to force us back into a hunter gatherer society, sheltered in solar cell roofed mud huts, situated squalidly in the midst of malignant wind farms. Maniacal animal rights activists, slaughtering white coated cosmetic testers and setting loose slavering hordes of squirmy, tail wagging puppies and soft, fluffy bunnies. Little old ladies in pink T-shirts, menacing our armed forces recruiters and the flower of our youth, who yearn to defend the nation. The list goes on and on. My personal favorite, Cossack like hordes of Lycra clad bicyclists, led by their bandit prince, "Lance" Armstrong, hugely tumescent from injections of ungodly androgens, mounted on their alloy framed, ten speeds of death, blocking traffic lanes and entrapping helpless soccer moms, plucking them from their stalled SUVs, making off with the poor dears and their rolley polley broods, to be defiled cruelly and sold in the swarming slave markets, that spring up each Summer, along the route of the fabled Tour de France.

What a fuckin' riot.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Who's a Liar ?

In a nutshell, what Ron Susskind says in his new book is that Bush/Cheney had George Tenet's CIA forge a document that purported to show Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. This document was then leaked to newspapers in London and used as a basis for the American invasion. He further states that MI6 and Tony Blair knew the contents of the document to be untrue.

It is pointless to argue the validity of what Susskind has written. Those dim witted stalwarts that still support the war, will say he lies. Those who have come to despise GWB and his unilateral foreign wars of aggression, don't need to be convinced of such a thing. Susskind's revelations simply validate already held assumptions, that Bush/Cheney lies at every turn.

The Bush administration, CIA and George Tenet are all busy issuing angry and outraged denials and vilifying Susskind. Tony and MI6 are saying nothing. Once again, doesn't prove a thing, except that even in corruption and decline the British have more class than GWB, even in his own imagination, even on his best day.

Justice Prevails

I see that Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's sometime driver, was convicted by a military tribunal at Guantanamo, Cuba, of providing material support for terrorism. What a great victory for the Bush administration, in their Global War on Islamofascist Violence. After seven years, they finally tortured the truth out of him. This is, they say, no different than what was accomplished at the Nuremberg trials, after World War II.

In history class, I must have dozed though the part where they convicted Hitler's colonotherapist, Eva Braun's cabana boy, Mussolini's podiatrist and Goering's cosmetic stylist, of crimes against humanity.

My Bad.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


You don't have to be some kind of Indian scout to read the signs on Wall Street today. Crude oil is plummeting and taking the precious metals with it. The base metals have been falling for a few months now and are extending their losses. Agricultural commodities have also been falling since the Third World food shortages last Spring and continue to do so. The equities markets are up today but have given up 2-3 years of price gains in the last year and most companies are either losing profitability or already in the red. Residential real estate continues to plummet, with no buyers looking and no loans available as thousands of houses go into foreclosure monthly. Commercial real estate is not much better and deteriorating. Unemployment is rising with no sign that new employment opportunities are even on the horizon. GM and Ford are demanding that the Federal government give them 25 billion dollars to retool their plants even as they lay off most of their remaining employees. Big players on Wall Street are demanding a short term interest rate cut to 1%. The only real growth sectors are the vulture funds that are buying up failed assets at pennies on the dollar and will sift though them over the coming months and years separating the wheat from the chaff.

Every indication that we are seeing is screaming the onset of deflation. Cash will be King. Prices of goods and services will fall. A depression like 1929 is brewing.

Do you believe this? I don't either. Something else entirely is going to happen.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Why all the Hatred and Gratuitous Obscenity?

Lefty web sites can be informative but let's face it, most of what you see on political blogs, left or right is derivative at best. It isn't very often that you find original thought or primary reportage. I try for originality of thought but really, I'm not all that bright and since I don't much go anywhere, my capacity for primary reportage is limited to my little corner of suburbia. Oh well, we all do what we can.

Lefty culture in America has been in decline since the '60s. Its adherrents have aged badly and sunk into impotency. There is still plenty of blame and outrage but precious little naked hatred couched in gratuitous obscenity, which has always been one of the Left's proudest traditions. The fundo fascists and neocon bulletheads have no problem with naked hatred and obscenity is an integral part of their core being.

Soon after starting this blog, I decided that there needed to be more balance on the left side of the blogosphere, requiring that I go easy on the pain and outrage and ramp up the obscenity laced hatred. Besides that, it lowers my blood pressure and really makes me feel good. Since I have almost no regular readers and the average visit is in the low, single digit second range, that's an important consideration.

Enjoy the blog!

Skulking Racist Rat Bastards

Last Friday at a John McCain rally in Panama City Florida, a senior reporter from the Tallahassee Democrat, standing with a group of other local media reporters was singled out by McCain's security detail and removed from the event. The reporter in question was not being loud or aggressive. He was not dressed funny. He had valid credentials. He had not asked anyone any questions at all. He was just standing there, with a group of other local reporters. He wasn't asked to move. He wasn't questioned. He wasn't told why he was being ejected. He was simply given a public and very intimidating "Bum's Rush" by Secret Service agents assigned to McCain's security detail.

There was one thing different about Stephen Price, the reporter in question. He was the only African American reporter in the room.

After the incident, McCain's campaign had no comment, except to state that the area where Price was standing was designated for national and not local press. They were unable to say why the other local reporters, that Price was with, were allowed to remain, unmolested.

Is McCain a fucking racist? Damn Right! And his campaign. And the Republican Party. And the Bush administration, Hank Paulson dominated, Secret Service branch of the Treasury Department. Cowardly, cock sucking, Jim Crow promoting cross burners, every last God Damned one of them.

There's Your Answer. But....

When an economy contracts, people stop spending money. Goods and services that people normally consume then go unused and prices eventually go down to a level at which people are enticed to continue consumption. As prices come down, the value of money is effectively increased. This is deflation.

If the government decides to fight a contracting economy by adding to the amount of money in circulation, that is called inflation. Governments do this by spending more on government services than they take in on tax and other revenues. Loaning out money at interest rates that are less than the lowest estimates of current inflation also is a way that the government can add large amounts of new money to the economy. More money circulating means people have more money to spend on goods and services and prices go up. They hope that the increase in monetary supply will stimulate the economy and it will expand by more than can be explained simply by the addition of more money into the economy.

There is no mystery as to what is happening in the economy today or for the last fifty years. There has been continuing, substantial, inflation. The government would like to say that this is not true, especially now that the American economy has reached a crisis point on so many fronts, mortgage defaults, bank failures, energy availability, budget deficits, disintegration of the manufacturing sector, international trade imbalances, rising unemployment and decreasing real income to name a few.

You only have to ask yourself, "Is my dollar worth more or less?"

There's your answer.

Remember, inflation is not always a totally bad thing. If the government adds enough money to the economy so that people can easily pay off their mortgages, banks will stop failing and the prices of houses will start to appreciate. Likewise, if they continue to add money to the economy, the debt that the American government owes becomes immaterial. If this happens though, several other systemic problems will arise. These problems may be worse than the original ones.

New Lamps For Old

When times get tough, people grasp at straws and want to believe in simplistic fairytale fixes to problems that took a long time forming and for which there are no easy answers.

For months now, I have been hearing on the street and reading in the tabloid press, references to an emerging technology that would allow the generation of power using water as fuel. Sometimes I hear it as a modification of the internal combustion engine, sometimes as a fuel cell technology. In each case, the motor vehicle is billed as the primary beneficiary of this technology. Everybody desperately wants to be able to drive as much as they want, at little or no cost. If such a process were possible, it would transform all aspects of life on the planet and shift the balance of World trade and power. Ocean vessels could use the medium upon which they travel for fuel. Anyplace a well could be dug or that has a natural source of water, would have an unlimited source of power for human industry and habitation.

I have yet to read anything that would lead me to believe that the generation of power using water as some type of "fuel" would be possible. It would be nice if some cheap, easy and non polluting alternative to the use of fossil fuels was available to us at this point. Popular excitement would be warranted if it was. I'm not saying such a thing would be impossible. What I do think is that if such a thing were on the horizon, or even being researched, there would be articles in all the mainstream print and video media and there are not.

Now we get to the part of the post where I show how stupid I am. As far as I know water, H2O, is a simple oxidized compound. Energy has already been released, when the hydrogen and oxygen were bonded together. To break the hydrogen and oxygen apart would cost energy. If we came up with a way to use a readily available free source of power, like sunlight, to break the chemical bonds of stable compounds and initiate a relatively complex series of chemical reactions that release large amounts of useful energy, that might solve our energy problems. It would be nothing less than the technological equivalent of photosynthesis and the Kreb's cycle combined. I don't think that solar energy technology is anywhere near that stage.

I try not to scoff and act the curmudgeon when being told, again, that next year we can all buy cars that run on water but it's hard.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Don't Worry! The FDIC Has Got It Covered.

Another small bank, this one in Florida, was announced to be dissolved by the FDIC. Once again, they waited until Friday, after the stock markets closed, to make the news public. This is a small bank, with assets of a little more than a quarter billion dollars. The FDIC was able to sell off about sixty million of assets. It is left holding 200 million in questionable assets that are not currently marketable. It will make good most of the deposits.

This is better than I thought. Last week there were two banks and a much greater loss involved. I thought there might be several this Friday and a much bigger drain on the FDIC's pool of reserves.

Even at this reduced rate of failure, the FDIC's money will not last long. It's OK though, the printing presses at the Treasury stand ready to take up the slack. What deficit? Wood pulp, linen, green ink, we got plenty of money!