Wednesday, July 12, 2017
A genie appears in front of an Englishman , a French man and a Russian and offers each of them a wish. The Englishman asks for a cottage, the Frenchman desires a vineyard, the Russian points to his neighbor in the nearby field: "My neighbor has a goat and I don't," he complains. "Kill my neighbor's goat!"
That is the attitude of the Russian diaspora in the US. From Dmitri Orlov to The Saker, there is a decided undercurrent of resentment and disdain for their adopted country, and their writings perfectly reflect the attitude expressed in the adage above. Their own country is a ramshackled ruin and they are bound and determined to undermine the American hegemony that is currently bestriding the globe dressed in army fatigues and boasting an arrogant exceptionalism that rankles. So they smugly attack the very values that allow them to simply adopt a country whose leaders they express nothing but contempt and disdain for. Much as their most famous writer, Nabaokov, did before them, they defect and detest the West even as it gives them refuge. They attack not only their own country (as Nabokov did from Paris with his support for the White Russians and his fellow aristocratic emigres, most of whom held the same contempt for the suffering Russian peasants as for the French Bourgeoisie, as neither group measured up to their Divinely-sanctioned standards) but the one that took them in as well.
No one knows how to arrest the decline of the Russian economy that sanctions has initiated, and the oil price collapse kicked into high gear. Even after the demise of the Soviet Union, a political system that transformed an agrarian nation into a World Superpower, the Russians can't transform their economy into a modern one despite being, now, as it was during the Soviet era, the world's largest energy producer. That's quite an accomplishment. The US had, during the same period, gone from the world's energy supplier to the world's energy hog, sucking in 2/3's of the oil it needed to run its economy by the turn of the century. And in the 90's the hated Clinton's were in the White House and the economy was growing faster with them at the helm than the Russian economy has ... oh, I don't know, EVER.
The Putin era more resembles the Gorbachev era than Russophiles would like to admit. GNP is going down even as inflation is heating up, and next year threatens to be even worse. Putin may be a hero to his followers for his scorn of any rights for perverts and his support for the thugs that brutalize them, but he wins no Nobel Prize for economics. One could easily use the same phrase for him that was thrown at Gorbachev: "If it ain't broke, it soon will be."
But, lacking the ability to reform his own economy, he has take the Russian proverb about the genie to heart and decided that it is the US economy that, "If it ain't broke, it soon will be", as the method of killing his neighbor's goat, and to do so he has the unconditional support of the US Russian ex-pat community, many of whom are well-versed in the mysteries of the Deep Web and Cyber Security, and know well enough how to break through most defenses, as visitors to the Sochi Olympics discovered soon enough, most of their laptops having been compromised before they even had time to make the journey from the airport to their hotel rooms.
With the latest exposure of the email trail of the youngest of the DT's, that is, Jr., we see the mechanism the Russkies used so that they didn't in fact have to hack the DNC's server. They instead pulled the same ruse on someone in Hillary's campaign, some low functionary, someone much easier to bait, being trusting liberal and all, than a Republican, with a trap baited with dirt they claimed they had on Trump. We already know this. That dossier finally landed, or was placed by the FBI, in McCain's hands, and it is a badly made video of the President in a Moscow hotel room with prostitutes peeing on the bed, or some such nonsense. SPWANG! the trap is sprung and the DNC e-mails that were leaked, were in fact not from a Russian hack, (why use a method that leaves fingerprints when the far more lucrative tool of blackmail can get someone else to do it for you?) but from, just as they claim, someone inside the DNC itself. The small part they like to forgo mentioning is that that someone had been similarly compromised in much the same way we are now seeing they compromised Jr.
But this is just too much for primetime. Only Samantha Bee and The Daily Show have made sly references to this material, but it is what was used to blackmail a DNC staffer to release the e-mails to Wiki-Leaks where it was immediate pounced on by the waiting Russian emigre writers who gleefully romped around the web in an orgy of Hillary bashing that was reminiscent of the vitriol of the GOP during her attempt to get support for her Healthcare Bill during her husband's term in office. There was nothing subtle about their desire to put Trump in the White House, not because he would make a better President, but because he would be an easier mark for Russian influence peddling.
These writers are like Greta Garbo's Ninotchka, appalled by the licentiousness of the west, they are determined to stamp their own TRUE and NOBLE Russian imprimatur onto them, despite the fact that it is this very licentiousness that is the font of the West's vitality they so envy yet wish to see coming crashing down around our ears by convincing the polity, (Trump's inauguration address about America in carnage, and much of his campaign rhetoric, I couldn't help but notice, could've been lifted, not right out of Breitbart, but right from a Saker, or Dmitri Orlov blog posting) that the US is crumbling around our ears and we need an Authoritative figure (never authoritarian, they are quite clear about the HUGE difference between the two, and this distinction was used by Trump ... what other person in the West would be so apprised of this semantic as to make sure to use the Russian PC version?) like Putin, to save us from our own folly.
But lacking money to buy elections, they use slyness and subterfuge to implement, as the Saker put it, "this plan is to polarize society as much as possible to create civil strife so as to exploit the real systemic and structural problems of a completely dysfunctional society and discredited and illegitimate political order." Sound familiar? Maybe like a description of Putin's Russia? Or the old Soviet Union? Because Authoritarian systems produce functionaries, writers can stand aside and criticize, which is why they find success in the West, they can do what they do best without ending up in prison, so they tear down the very system that allows them to do that. They are not capitalists, which is why I've always been drawn to their writing, and cannot transform themselves into commercial entrepreneurs, managers, or even small-business men. The Soviet Union left an array of characters that lacked not only the skills, but the temperament and liberality necessary to manage the enterprises essential to a market economy. It did, however, enable them to hone bureaucratic skills, albeit not those needed for even civil service, but (and Trump's inductees to the halls of power are an exact mirror image of them) those based on personal relationships and the corruption of serving their own interests rather than their leaders' or the people's.
Thus, as in the Soviet Union, the Trump appointees, by their own admission and their bosses directives, benefit from the posts they occupy, (such as Scott Pruitt of the EPA), not for their productivity, in fact, quite the opposite, they are rewarded for their lack thereof. The best example, of course, being the ex-governor of Texas and mental defective, the Dick, Perry who was named Energy Secretary: made head of the department he promised to abolish if he were elected President, by the man who he told, on the national stage, he was going to abolish it. You can't get much more in-your-face and fuck you corrupt than that.
But despite this, and despite yesterday's marathon coverage of Jr's e-mail, not a whisper came out of Chris Matthews or Chris Hayes, Lawrence O'Donnell, Brian Williams, or MS.NBC herself, Rachel Madcow, about the extensive writings of this community running right up to the election and its similarity to the Trump's campaign rhetoric and modus operandi. It wAs as though the Donald was well-acquainted with these sites, (Via his acolyte, Steve Bannon, no doubt, as Drumph doesn't read), yet the Hillary campaign was moronically unaware of them ... at least so it would seem, because no mention was made during all those hours of coverage, that after the brouhaha'd G20 Putin/Trump meeting they had a conference during which "other issues" were discussed, one of them mentioned being the "adoption policy", which the reporter described as code for "Sanctions"(Russia basically disallowed US citizens from adopting Russian children in retaliation). So when the Kremlin lawyer Veselnitskaya maintains that she “wanted to talk about adoption policy", what she's really saying is that she offering her help with the expectation that in return Trump would lift the US sanctions. It wasn't her fault that the person she held up such a tempting tidbit in front of was too stupid to know that adoption policy and sanctions were connected at the hip.
This is the same scheme that the Reagan/Bush ticket used so successfully to ensure their own victory by negotiating with the Iranians to sell them arms if they kept the hostages until after the election, thereby keeping "conservation is the moral equivalent of War" Carter from serving a second term and resulting in the Reagan "rip those solar panels off the White House roof" victory, ironically, as it turns out, thereby assuring the implosion of the Soviet Union. The Deep State that the White House now deigns to disdain being intimately involved in carrying out both the arms for hostages deals and the deconstruction of the USSR.
Fake News, Deep State, and many other phrases picked up and used by the Trump administration, makes it sounds more closely aligned with RT than FOX, and not only before but since his election. Being a Russophile, I was in constant contact with all the subtly Russian views for years before this election, and their racist anti-black attitude could not be more aligned with the current administration's. They even had an effigy of Obama with a fuckin' banana in Red Square, fer Crissakes, something you'd never see in the West outside of an English soccer match. This leaves in my mind absolutely no doubt that there is at least an intellectual bond between Russian interests and parties in the White House, and it would be fairly naive to assume that the feckless reckless Apprentice is completely unaware of this, to say the least. But it will be interesting, if not nerve-wracking to continue to watch Donald duck this one.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 3:56 PM
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
|Killer Clown Fills Souter's Space.|
Will it be duly marked that The Donald's last act on this globe of sin was to retch lies? A curious legacy for the man who bragged he'd drain the swamp only to become its most notorious cayman. Not a surprising legacy for the most sedulous of the Birthers, the most obscene of the "Climate change is a hoax" pretenders, albeit the most successful. His quarry being bayou bound gators dragging their knuckles on the ground like so many Homo neandertalensis. For four decades he has enrapt them with coo and bellow, up and down the rust belt of what's still naively referred to as the Republick. Wherever the dispossessed gathered and the bilge of reactionary venom pooled and festered, and Baptist pastors sang the hymns of the sanctified to men who were weary and heavily laden with intractable debt, their wives as full of bile and boredom and as fecund as the shad, there the indefatigable Donald set up his traps and spread his bait.
He knows every country town in the South and West and can crowd even the most remote of them to suffocation simply by snapping his moral majority whip. The city dwellers, for the most part transiently bemused by him during the campaign, at the first stiff breeze saw right through the lack of substance of his thinly disguised buncombe and have now vowed to Resist! him.
But despite the leftist gallery's jeering at him at every opportunity, of which he provides a banquet's worth with a regularity atwitter with possibility, out where the grass grows high but is never smoked except during a prairie fire (the number of which his policies promise to provide a growing number), the horned cattle dream away the lazy afternoons while men still fear the powers and overreach of Washington politics and it is out there, aswirl in dust storms between the desiccating corn rows, that will hold up the old pussy-grabber's puissance till the end.
There was no need to send out the Bush beaters to drive in his game, the opposition did a sterling job of that. The news that he was giving a rally was enough. For miles the RV dust would choke the highways and fill the Walmart parking lots. And when at the end of the day, he rose to the podium of a packed stadium to discharge his Message there would be such breathless attention, such a rapt and enchanted ecstasy, such a sweet hurrah of hosannas, one would think his resounding Jericho trumpet would crumble his cherished Wall before it was even built.
There is something peculiarly fitting that the avatar of urbane elitism should garner his acolytes from one-horse towns in Midwest pastures. The man feels at home in such simple pseudo-Christian environs. He likes people who swat freely and are not debauched by the refinements of the toilette. The man who kowtows to Wall Street is happy to make his political progress, up and down the country's Main Streets it has raped, surrounded by gaping primates from the upland valley of the Cumberland pass, adorned with either his baseball cap worn like a Michael Moore doppelgänger, or his bald head adorned with a frisson of hairspray and peroxide as meticulously scaffolded as a pre-Raphaelite fresco undergoing delicate restoration. Thus accoutered and on display is obviously what makes him happy. He likes doing the Clinton (Bill, not Hillary, never Hillary) of prattling on to the tune of cocks crowing on a dunghill while he slides down the heavy, greasy victuals of the farmhouse kitchen. He prefers country lawyers to their urban litigious-happy counterparts and country pastors, all Red country people, really. He likes country sounds and country smells, a stranger though he is to their labor-intensive, sweat-producing regimens.
I suspect that this liking is sincere - perhaps the only sincere thing about the Donald. His nose shows no sign of disdain when a yokel in faded overalls and yellowing tanktop accosts him in a crowd, seeking to hear him rant one more reason why he will "Lock Her Up" if elected. The simian gabble of the cross-roads is not gabble to him, but the wisdom of an occult and superior sort. In the presence of city folks, he is palpably uneasy. Their reasoning, I suspect, annoys him, and he seems suspicious of their overly delicate manners. He knows that all the while they are not-so-secretly laughing at him - if not at his crackpot pronouncements, at his outrageous, unkeepable promises. But the hayseeds never laugh at him. To them he is not the huntsman but the prophet, and toward that end, as he gradually reveals his boredom with mundane politics and his penchant for the stealth approach to geopolitical rapaciousness, the profit he plans stands in startling relief against the prophet they sought.
But, that matters not a whit, as the unbesmirched legacy of GW, the greatest calamity to befall the Republic testifies, and whose his ascendancy into the Bible-belt's firmament has remained sacrosanct. But what of more urban regions? I believe there's an abundance of evidence that there his image is of a far less flattering sort. He has lived too long, and descended too deeply into the mud wrestling of his early TV fame to be taken seriously thereafter by fully literate people, even of the kind that write Texas schoolbooks. There'd been a scattering of sweet words for his inauguration and his manly attempts to "act Presidential" by firing missiles into mayhem. But the act is all-too-quickly exposed as being exactly that, an act, the minute he is alone with his phone, just a tweet away from ruining his lawyers' day. The best verdict the most unbiased editorial writer can dredge up, save in the humorless South, is to the general effect that his imbecilities should be excused by his earnestness - that under his clowning, as under that of a juggler who drops a ball twice before succeeding to dazzle the crowd with his legerdemain, there lies the zeal of a steadfast soul.
But this is apology, not praise; exactly the same thing could be said for his disastrous Republican predecessor. But the truth is that even The Donald's sincerity is exposed as self-serving grandiosity when it is subject to what, in other fields, would be called definitive criticism. Was he sincere when he shouted at rallies that Obama was a Kenyan, or when he admitted that he was, of course, a true American. Is he sincere when he rants that Climate Change is a hoax, or when he appoints the CEO of the company with ready-made plans for drilling in an ice-free Arctic to be Secretary of State? Does he mean it when he says, "You can just grab their pussies ... you can do anything", or when he calls an ex-President a rapist for doing far less than that? Does he mean it when he says "America First", or when he cries crocodile tears over the death of a dozen foreigners but supports the NRA's revulsion for any restraints on the proliferation of the weaponry that kills thousands of our own American children? And is he sincere when he condemns what he calls Obama's military involvement in foreign wars, or when he demonstrates himself to be a tinpot Dictator, escalating tensions and increasing deployment in every theater where our Armed Forces are at risk?
This talk of sincerity, I confess, fatigues me. If The Donald is sincere, so was his previous incarnation, P.T. Barnum. The word is disgraced and degraded by such use. The Donald is, in fact, as the defunct Trump University illustrates, a charlatan, a mountebank, a zany with no sense of dignity. His career has brought him into contact with the most successful men of his time; he prefers the company of rustic ignoramuses. It is hard to believe, when you behold him strutting the stage at his rallies, that he has traveled, that he has been received in civilized societies, that he is a holder of fine estates. He seems, in the milieu of his stadium rallies, only a poor clod like those around him, deluded by childish theology, full of an almost pathological hatred of learning, of all human aspirations (outside the mindless accumulation of money), of all beauty, of all fine and noble things: in short he seems to have nothing that differentiates him from the Muslim Terrorists that he so masterfully stokes the fear of in his gullible guppy-like admirers.
He more personifies the peasant come home to the barnyard. When you imagine a gentleman, you imagine everything that he is not. What has animated him from end to end of his grotesque career is simply ambition - the ambition of a common criminal to get his hands on the collar of his jailer, or, failing that, to get his thumb into their eyes. He was born an heir apparent, and, freed from the tyranny of need burdening his fellow travelers, used his abundance of leisure hours to develop his roaring voice and snorting persona to perform his one-trick-pony act of inflaming half-wits. His whole career has been devoted to raising up those half-wits against their betters, the better that he himself might shine. That is why what moves him, at bottom, is simply the hatred of the city dwellers who have laughed at him so long as they did so publicly at the White House Correspondents' dinner.
He lusts for revenge on all of them. He yearns to lead the anthropoid rabble against them, to punish them for their dismissal of him by, using the same ploy as the Muslims he so derides, attacking the very vitals of our civilization. But he goes beyond the bounds of any religious fanaticism, however inordinate. When he begins denouncing the notion that man is a mammal, that the overabundance of CO2 in the atmosphere has any human origin, even some Republicans are agape, at least in private. When he extols the virtue of Putin, salivating at the monetary gains he has been promised, even while Putin bombs the soldiers of whom he is the Commander-in-Chief, he is so careless of appearances, so disdainful of anyone thinking they can put any restraints on his behavior, that he writhes and twists like a trout on a cruel hook as he tosses about in a fury of malignancy, bawling against the very elements of sense and decency like a man frantic - there arise snickers among the masses, just not yet loud enough to drown out the hosannas.
And it is on this hook that it looks like The Donald will commit his sewercide. He swaggered across the rustic stage planning his rule, but he seems destined to stagger off it to the jeers and catcalls of his deluded flock; little more than a character in a third-rate farce, witless and in poor taste. It was apparent to everyone who watched him mumbling the oath of office that his best days lay behind him. Even he returns to them in regular appearances as a caricature of himself, as he continues to do what he does best: deriding the achievements and smearing the characters of others. But that only magnifies the fact that he is now, for all his pumped-up fury, definitely an old man, and this is no country for old men. Especially ones beginning to display, as he does, a vague unpleasant manginess in his appearance; he now seems somehow dirty, though a close-up camera shot shows him to be as carefully shaved, as meticulously coiffed, as thoroughly pancaked as any other actor, while still clad in immaculate, expensive, elitist suits, his hair, despite the most strenuous attempts of professional hairdressers and the most assiduous application of salon product, has disappeared from his chrome-dome pate and must be swooped up from behind his ears in ever-more intricate wisps-of-will, as expensively perfumed as a Courtesan's, its swirling strands delicately held aloft at stratospheric heights, the sham of the man ensconced on his head in the form of the sham of this toupee, albeit one woven from his own dwindling mane. The resonance, though, has deserted his voice; what was during the campaign a bugle blast is now become reedy and quavering, even as his face has become hard and while the malicious animal magnetism still radiates like heat from a stove, firing his eyes into blazing points of hatred, glittering like occult and sinister gems. To come under their gaze is like coming under fire.
Thus he continues his fight, thirsting savagely for blood. All sense departed from him, snapping right and left like a dog with rabies, he descends into demagoguery so dreadful that his very own cabinet and phalanx of lawyers blush. His only yearning seems to be to keep his yokels heated up - to lead his forlorn mob of imbeciles and deplorables against a foe among whose ranks any sane person would know he should be numbered. There he stands, in the glare of the world, uttering nonsense a child of eight would laugh at (until the child realized the world he would be thereby left would be roasted like a marshmallow on a spit).
And, as during the campaign, his foes seem to be, alas, not very alarmed, insisting still that the whole tragedy is instead a comedy. Even Hillary, who knows better, yields to the prevailing spirit, claiming the US is energy independent in order to disguise the Climate Change Denial of the elitist jet-setters who burn up everything the miners she deplores dig up as quickly as it sees the light of day. But as the too-artful Hillary leads him on, he will trump her act, because she still has no alternative to offer to quell the rampant combustion of everything in sight to an ash heap. So The Donald will continue to rant against it, to rail for America First, to bellow in his cracked voice to "Lock Her Up!", as he prepares us for the final slaughter.
He came into life a spoiled bundle of petulance and entitlement, and became a knight in spineless amour, discarding like used tissue women he periodically grows weary of, but he will leave it a disgraced and discredited mountebank. A President without precedence, a politician who pulled his own party's platform right out from under himself and replaced it with a stage to strut upon, on which:
He allows no other players:
They have their exits, he's stolen their entrances;
But one man in his time plays many parts:
He's the whining school-boy, full of strange oaths
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel.
Seeking the bubble reputation
In fair round belly
With eyes severe
Full of his part.
A walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then his herd's no more: his tale,
Believed by only idiots, full of sound and fury,
When all it signified was nothing.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 2:41 PM
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
|"I'll do a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."|
On the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court said that former George W. Bush officials cannot be held liable for the abuse and detention of a group of Muslim, South Asian, and Arab non-citizens swept up in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Trump decided to strut the golden-hued tornado delicately configured to obscure his bald-headed hypocrisy across the world stage and make it very clear to anyone harboring any illusions of his intentions of upholding international norms that the only promise he intends to keep is the one he made to make America Grate Again, and Again and Again, as he decried North Korea's shameful treatment of an American citizen even while the SCOTUS made it clear that the same treatment, when dished out by the US, is not only perfectly acceptable, but legal.
This decision provides constitutional immunity for all of the high-level officials who were responsible for gross abuses in the aftermath of September 11. Not to a lone individual who decided it would be a good idea to travel to the most arbitrarily-ruled dictatorial regime in the world and antagonize its government by ripping a stupid poster off the wall. But a cadre of foreigners who were in the wrong place when the US decided to "Round up the usual Suspects" and, using extraordinary rendition and black sites to avoid international opprobrium and oversight, twisted and contorted US law to enable them to be brutally tortured by Mubarak's thugs and other CIA-sponsored regimes well-versed in the art of breaking humans on the rack.
And we are not talking about Abu-Graib, or the subsequent discoveries of US use of illegal interrogations, after the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. These were forays in to sovereign nations that the US decided were responsible for the atrocity committed in NYC and the nation's capital. Actions that were undertaken before any war was declared, actions against the Taliban regime that the same administration had invited into the Bush White House a mere 6 months earlier and gifted with millions and millions of US taxpayers dollars.
The inflammatory nature of the Presidents intentions is encased in his rhetoric:
“There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life,” President Trump said in a statement.
He is either a child, or he is in the prime of life: he can't be both. If he is a child, it is the parents who are responsible for sending him (a child hasn't the capacity to travel on its own reconnaissance) into a country fraught with danger for anyone, but especially a US citizen.
His "fate deepens my Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency."
Unless, of course, per the US Supreme Court, such tragedies are perpetuated at the hands of his regime, who are free to use torture, a method of persuasion he enthusiastically endorses, telling his adoring crowds, "We have to beat the savages", as they roar their approval. He subsequently put in an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation", where, referring to a War in which thousands of America's own, as well as hundreds of thousands of others, have been maimed, killed, and tortured, as a "game", he bragged that,
"We have to play the game the way they're playing the game."
Like its Monday night football.
"I think we've become very weak and ineffective. I think that's why we're not beating ISIS. It's that mentality," he goes on to say, extending the argument that torturing people is a sign of strength, resorting to brutality isn't something one does as a last resort, but as a stated policy to prove how Strong and Effective we are.
No. Korea agrees with every word he says. So how can he intone that,
"The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime".
When what he really has said, is that we Respect it; it's the only language we understand, it shows that the No. Korean regime is Strong and Effective. The regime uses such brutality to enforce the law, lest its enemies, according to our President, "think they are a little bit on the weak side."
Throughout his campaign the POTUS bragged to cheering crowds that, should he be elected, he would broaden the laws so our armed forces could torture more frequently and more brutally, promising to enable them to do a "hell of a lot worse" than waterboarding, and that he would engage our military in "going after terrorists' families."
His State Department “strongly warns” U.S. citizens not to travel to North Korea, noting that going there puts them at risk of arrest and long-term detention in accordance with what North Korea calls “wartime law.” But they operate under Wartime Law, not by their choice, but because they were included by the Bush and Trump Administrations as sponsors of terrorism, a member of the "Axis of Evil ", despite having no affiliation with any of the other two named states of Iraq and Iran that it is supposedly composed of. And we are engaged in a never-ending, self-proclaimed Global War on Terror, against these Axis powers. One which, per the Supreme Court's decision yesterday, "frees high officials to make the decisions necessary to protect the Nation in times of great peril". So "Wartime Law" is exactly what we now and, as we know, forever into the future, is the footing WE have placed the US on, and therefore those enemies we have decided compose this Axis of Evil A stance we ave maintained for pretty much this entire century. So we are always living in times of great peril, which conveniently frees our own government to behave in the very manner which we condemn others for acting. Apparently even others who are forced to implement Wartime Law, not because they choose to, but because we chose to include them in an Axis of Evil to which they didn't belong. How could they? No such Axis ever existed except by the whim of American policy.
We are the sole Super Power, we lead the World, we are its self-appointed Policeman. So when the world's Police State acts in an arbitrary manner, ignoring the very Rule of Law it has set itself up as the defender of, and its leader gets elected by swaggering around the nation vociferously foaming at the mouth to foment support for ever more draconian methods be added to our already aggressive policy of War on Everything All The Time, it makes it that much easier for other countries to stop laughing at us behind our back and start doing it right to our face.
Fred Warmbier denounced what he called the “pariah” regime that brutalized his son.
But as our warplanes fly over the skies of yet another sovereign nation at which we're not at war and shoot down their own aircraft and bomb its innocent civilians who did nothing to any of us, it is hard to see how his despair can be empathized with by anyone outside the soon-to-be-walled in borders of the country that is seen as a pariah state by an ever-growing list of countries, an alarming number of which are ostensibly our allies, while our president brags to the world that we intend to always put America first.
These contradictions, however, are part and parcel of the man who can claim that, "We have to rebuild our military" and then, in the very same speech, state that "The power of weaponry is the single biggest problem that we have today in the world". Which is the same thing as admitting that the US, via it's obsession with the Full Spectrum Domination it wields via the power of its weaponry, to be "the single biggest problem that we have today in the world". That would in turn make its leader, whose only foreign policy achievements thus far has been to exacerbate tensions everywhere he travels, and to use the power of weaponry to fire missiles into Syria solely to bolster his sagging approval ratings, and then instigate, as the only implementation of his promise to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure, an additional $52billion to expand the infrastructure of weaponry in the US, while penning deals with Sadist Arabia for hundreds of billions in additional weaponry, to be the single biggest problem that we have today in the world.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 12:22 PM
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
|Burning Man: You're Fired!|
In South Korea, the rate of cancer among women working at chip manufacturing plants is double that of the population, a fact known by its government when those plants were moved there, that being the reason they were moved there in the first place, a la Larry Summers' contention that a nation should export a good that it can produce more cheaply than other nations in exchange for goods it finds more costly to produce. If that "good" is carcinogenic, that only increases the economic benefits of dumping a load of toxic waste in said country, as it profits the more "advanced" country, whose workers have wrested healthcare coverage from their employers, who have responded by making health insurance, in less than a generation, even more prohibitively expensive than healthcare itself was, so the savings from that alone, not to mention the cheap wages and even cheaper tax liability, makes the cost of relocation worthwhile. If the industry kills off your own country's employees, well, they were still better off, until they got cancer, than before. Or, at least someone, usually the government officials that welcomed the polluting industry in, is.
Meanwhile in Russia, Putin maintains that the public needs "to respect people’s religious feelings", even as he condones the religious-inspired attacks against those of a different sexual orientation than his own. Of all the groups in the world that have not only no respect for other people's feelings, but that condemn them out of hand, there are none so vociferous nor more vicious, than those with "religious feelings". They respect only their own "religious feelings" and would, as the history of Europe, the middle east, or anywhere else where secularism is squelched, exterminate or enslave all heretics, apostates, infidels, or whatever other name they wish to label unbelievers of their own brand of supernaturalist code of Dominance and Superiority, which is basically what all religious belief ever amounts to, despite their ritualized lies about the "Prince of Peace". Although it has not been commented on anywhere in our Free Press since the attack on secularism began during the Bush regime, every nation the US has seen fit to turn in to a failed state in the MENA: Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, had all been secular states, and are all now in the throes of hate-fueled spasms of disintegration inspired by "religious feelings", a process started by the then-President Bush of the US who claimed that, "God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'."
We are still hemorrhaging men, money and mojo from the mayhem mushrooming from this madness. But not Belchtel. Not Lockheedless, nor Fluor the cuckoo's nest, Dyncorpse or Halliburden. All of them are still flowing with milk and money from bid-free contracts that siphon trillions of taxpayer dollars onto their balance sheets and into their profit margins and well-heeled investors' portfolios, all while worshiping at the altar of Free Market Enterprise as they fleece the same government in Washington they so excoriate to fatten the stretch marks on their bottom lines .
But, as the recently released documents on US involvement in the overthrow of the Mossadegh government and installation of Iran's Shah's Shank and Henchmen illustrates, the repercussions from government decisions that destroy other nations' governments can then be used to persuade the country that destroyed that economy and thus turned a state into our enemy for our Corporations' fun and profit, can still be used to persuade us that that country, and not he American Corporations that profited so handsomely from its disintegration, is our enemy. We still believe that CEO's and Chairmen of the Boards that conspire with our government officials to piratise public services as they Flee enterprise like it's nobody's business, as they bribe and collude their way to capital formation of which the only point is self-aggrandizement, have our interests at heart, and the enemies of the people are only those outside its borders. Even as they ratchet up the misery index decade after decade with all the sangfroid of a scientist calibrating how much he can turn up the heat under the cauldron of hot water into which he's throw a frog .
And with this cavalcade of horrors visited upon us by those we elect to represent our interests as the backdrop, the SCROTUM has ruled that there can be no accountability for officials' role "in ordering racial and religious profiling and abuse in detention, in violation of the detainees' rights under the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments insofar as national-security policy is concerned."
But since the only continuity in government policy is that we are always at War, National Security policy is always concerned, so as per this ruling, the Constitution is null and void until such time as said war is won, which, even the SCROTUM isn't so far in the bag as not to know, is never.
So, together with Trump supporters who have been vociferously deriding the"Deep State", the only thing now left standing between us and completely arbitrary rule, the SCROTUM has ruled that courts should not interfere with sensitive functions of the Executive Branch, leaving the citizenry defenseless to the whims of our ersatz chief executive. This goes a step beyond the Imperial Presidency; it is as if they were colluding with the idea of rushin' it to the position of Tsar. So it appears that the SCROTUM has finally gone nuts, as this decision stinks about as much as one would expect, arising as it does from an organ of state pendulously swinging between a dick and an ass.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 12:08 PM
Thursday, June 15, 2017
|The DT's: "We should just stay there and take the oil!"|
As Our Cheerless Leader continues to spew more carbon pollution than the exhaust pipe of a 1950's Diesel bus, and Rachel Madcow continues her boring chomping-at-the-bit coverage of an exposé that couldn't be more blasé, MSNBC is now officially the fulmination station, supplanting Fox as the most biased Breaking Noise Program. And at least Fox tries to be entertaining, whereas the Madcow is all-self-righteous and Supercilious all-the-time. Her contempt for her own audience is always on display with her, "I Really, really, really, (as though two "really"s in a row weren't at least one more than enough) believe" condescension, as though her audience was composed of twelve-year-old girls. She completely eschews any coverage that could actually parse the news of the day, to cover a bug-a-boo ad nauseum. I wondered who her audience could possibly be, and got my answer the other night.
As I sat in a friend's living room with one of the Harry Potter movies playing in the background, his roommate came home and inquired about the Comfychair hearings, so we told him the earth-shattering news that the Bozo in the white house was, surprise surprise, a lying clown. He harrumphed and cast a disapproving look at our TV fare and went to his room where the monotonous drone of the Madcow could soon be heard. It counldn't've been five minutes later when I passed his room and heard the sounds of snoring emanating therefrom. "Yeah", I thought, "Exactly."
And maybe a cup of Hannahtea isn't your beverage of choice, but at least he's somewhat aware he's not actually a journalist. But the Madcow really thinks she's doing cut-rate journalism with her night after endless night of beating the same dread dross about Russia and their interference or non-interference in the election. If she hadn't been so busy being an unprofessional journalist with her unwavering support of a wavering candidate all during the election, perhaps she would have done some research and noted the vile venomous attacks against her candidate and the Rah-Rah support of Drumph that was on many sites that weren't Russian per se, but were in fact largely from the Russian emigré community, such as The Saker, who was featured quite often on Yves Smith's Naked Capitalism site. She would have been less surprised at the results had she known how viciously the Hillaried was being pilloried.
Not to propagate a Rachel slur, but Ms. Madcow is far more interested in having the limelight shine on her as the current embodiment of Woodward and Bernstein all rolled into one than in exposing the dark secrets of in-coutnry collusion and conspiracies with the Kock brother's, oil companies, via his appointment of T-Rex, and other Drumph Empire shenanigans. Because despite the Oedipal-like blindness to the fact, the current White House is cut from the same cloth as the Bush White House before it. Its unabashed plan is to use the power of the culprit, so to speak, to enrich the Drumphamily. With Jared Kushner sitting at the center feeding insider information to Ivankakahead who has dinner with Drumph Enterprise owners who just happen to be her brothers. Divesting your interest in an enterprise to your sons is not divestment at all, it's a setup for collusion so that you all get fabulously wealthy by manipulating the prices of commodities such as oil, and greasing the wheels on activities such as arms trades while your insider-trading relatives do all the stuffing of the family mattresses and laundering of all the bribes and proceeds and sequestering of funds in whatever the modern substitute for Washington's Rigg(d) Bank currently happens to be (which a journalist would know, and subsequently, one would hope, report). They don't call it family values for nothing.
Now all that isn't to say that the influence of the Russian State was negligible in the last election. However, it's well known that it was Mrs Clinton's husband's electoral campaign that the go-ahead was given to include Poland in a NATO expansion. And that the reason for that was Wisconsin's Polish vote which they were afraid of losing. This is pandering to a select few and granting them a concession that broke the country's word to Russia that the dissolution of the Soviet Union would not result in any expansion of NATO. So the current desire that Russia would have for wanting to effect the election is a direct result of her husband's allowing the needs of another country to override the needs of the United States of America, of which he was President at the time.
Her husband was subsequently impeached, not for that, however, but for obstruction of justice because he wouldn't admit he got a blowjob from a harlot. But it was all theater. No one ever expected it would result in removal of Clinton from office, and no one expects that the current investigation, no matter what it's findings, will result in Drumph's removal either. It is, instead, what he would call "Showboating", and he would be right. It is providing a distraction to the very real damage he is doing not only to this country, but, as his withdrawal from the Paris Accords demonstrates, the world.
Yet, like his predecessor GW, he comes into office, despite all the bluster about keeping his promises (because everyone knows how serious a serial bankrupt is about keeping his word), with but one real mandate, which he is busily setting the stage for fulfilling: To get the price of oil to rise, and to get it to rise, in all appearances, from "Free Market Forces", forces, as Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney demonstrated so successfully, that can be manipulated via the geopolitical machinations of the administration and its allies to enable the Sadist Arabians and other GCC countries to fulfill their fiduciary obligations and increasingly burdensome interest payments on the bonds issued to cover present expenses with future profits, profits which must come from oil and which at current prices is what's necessitating all that borrowing in the first place, having assumed the obligations at an assumed dollar per barrel approximately double that at which they currently sit.
This implies the current administration's adoption of the same dynamic as the GW administration's of persuading citizens their future is rosy, in order to get them to buy on credit the big-ticket, fuel-guzzling SUV's to whisk them out to their suburban McMansions, while manipulating a rise in price of the very fuel needed to get them there for the simple expedient of enriching themselves. Because the faster the Saudis drained Ghawar, the better able they were to afford the expensive US arms the Bush regime's cronies were peddling. Capitalists are fond of thinking of themselves as inventive, but it is just part of their mythology. Nothing succeeds like success, and, there being no extra profits derived for originality, the OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) rule applies: follow along an already well-proven path to riches; that strategy is always favored over a more creative, and therefore intrinsically more risky, endeavor (Hence, Iran and No. Korea, are bad, but we're in bed with the Decapitation and medieval-minded flogging nation of Sadist Arabia).
That is the reason for the Koch brothers' support of The Don in the first place, he is beholden to no political entity, only to commercial and corporate interests that go hand-in-hand with his own. There is however a fly in the ointment as pointed out by Wolf Blitzer's article, at Wolf Street, Wall Street Wakes Up to Carmageddon, in which he points out:
"Already last year, there were big signs that the boom cycle was beginning to spiral down. Yet, Morgan Stanley’s version of the downturn still cannot shake its optimism entirely. It had been projecting 18.3 million vehicle sales in 2017. That would have meant a 4.2% increase from last year’s 17.55 million total sales. (What were they thinking?!) Now that sales have fallen for five months in a row, and that the goal of 18.3 million vehicle sales has moved ludicrously out of reach even under wildly optimistic scenarios, Morgan Stanley flipped to projecting a 2% decrease, to 17.3 million vehicles."
But the situation a la the consumer was fairly dire when GW took office as well. It took sitting back and ignoring all the warnings that a national catastrophe was about to take place coupled with the Federal government's active participation in the largest racketeering scheme since John Law to pull the economy out of its doldrums by convincing the public to "pull out" the equity in their homes and use it to buy boats, a car, home improvements that were completely non-enterprising so that the only way the increase in the mortgage payment could be paid was to sell off the only valuable asset most people owned. And the ensuing feeding frenzy in dicey financial instruments peddled as AAA, and well, you know the rest of the scheme all too well, or you should, as we're still paying the costs.
So another bankrupt Republican President, (Yes, GW was a bankrupt as well. As they use to say about his Oil company, Hawken Oil, "Every time Bush drills another empty hole, the Saudis fill it with cash"). But instead of using the PNAC as his guide to power, Drumph seems to prefer as his blueprint for the “New Middle East" Ralph Peters’ 2006 “Blood Borders wherein he states:
"the Gulf eventually undergoes a geopolitical re-engineering just like “Syraq”, Turkey, and the Balkans are slated to do as well. All in all, the fracturing of the region into a myriad of internationally recognized and de-facto statelets is expected to facilitate the prolongation of American hegemony in the broad interconnected space that the late Brzezinski described as the “Eurasian Balkans,” while simultaneously creating major complications for its Russian and especially Chinese rivals’ access to this geostrategic pivot space at the heart of Afro-Eurasia."
First inking contracts to sell each of the statelets you've prodded into military action a plethora of high-tech weaponry and intelligence services, like Bush senior's weapons sales to Iran, via Israel, during the Reagan administration while feeding Iraq's Saddam classified information as to where that weaponry was most likely to be deployed.
But at the heart of the duplicity of The Fiefdumb and Drumph Core is the Exxon/Rosneft pact to drill in the nownotso permafrosted Siberia and out into the once icelocked Arctic even as the Alice in Wonderland claim of "Climate Change is a hoax" is maintained. However, it is only because of the rapidly accelerating effects of the very Climate changes he denies that provides the slightest possibility of realizing the Siberian and Arctic drilling envisioned and being invested in by Secretary of State's Handinthe Tillerson's Company, Exxon. You know, the one with the deal inked with a Russian Company. One, which, like Lukoil, is one of THE Russian companies. Rosneft has more government connections and is much more closely aligned with government interests than even, well, EXXON! (Although even Lukoil can't get one of its CEO's appointed as Secretary of State, that level of corruption is only possible in a PetroState that has promised its citizens a level of exogenous energy-enabled living it can't possibly deliver).
The path forward for this administration is one easily foreseen, as it is the one that promises the most enrichment to those least in need of it, displaying at the highest level of finance what The Conscience of a Dribble calls The Paradox of Thrift, which maintains that should each individual do what's best for themselves and save as much as they can of their hard-earned income against a rainy day, it would be bad for the overall economy which, if everybody follows this pecuniary path, would be starved of the demand necessary to provide that same job that pays wages high enough above your everyday expenses for necessities, to leave enough excess to allow for anything even approaching the concept of "disposable" income (hey, just throw that shit away, man, there's always more where that come from. Don't matter WHAT you but, just THAT you buy).
By the Rich bulldozing their groaning piles of corruption-enabled hoards into offshore havens from the hordes they whored themselves to rob blind, they set the economy up for the future Credit Crunch, as they are effectuating the same dynamic as The Paradox of Thrift, except, instead of taking the money out of the consumer economy, they remove it from the economy in toto. Because it goes not into any domestic bank (hence the term offshore). So, unlike the savings of the thrifty which is usually the target of disparagement when the phrase Paradox of Thrift is used, the robbing of the National Economy of Trillions a year from nefarious activities by a population turns the economy into an albatross from their cash's flight: while in seemingly effortless flight it glides along like a thing of beauty, once brought to the ground, it is hard-pressed, overburdened by the very disproportionate thing that gives it superiority in flight, wings, in the case of the albatross, debt, in the case of an economic system, leaves it floundering helplessly when it is abruptly brought back to earth, increasing its difficulty in getting off the ground again. But this is never commented upon. Yet its negative consequences are regularly visited upon us by collapse.
Which the FED knows, too:
When people and businesses increase their saving, economic theory goes, they reduce investment and increase savings. If everyone does this, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that will pull down the velocity of money, and the economy with it. But because economists are basically apologists for the Rich, they never mention that engineering the financial system so that it increases the hoards of those who only want to pile up mountains of cash to hand over to their heirs who have done da nada, zero, nothing, to earn it, has the same effect. It slows the velocity of money by decreasing the amount of cash in circulation.
But because we have enshrined "family values" into our psyche as sacrosanct, the fact that this behavior causes a vast sea of humanity to have nothing is immaterial (literally). By succumbing to the siren song that only your offspring matter, you give over the running of the economy to families who are far more powerful than yours and who agree with you: except it's only their children that matter; like your income, your children are disposable, a dynamic you signed onto when you decided your offspring are more important than the neighbors'. And the Rich's children shouldn't have to work like your's must. They should be able to live in Crystal Palaces, waited on hand and foot, and come of age to have a fortune handed to them to create bankrupt companies that then suck money from the rest of the economic system, as our last two Republican Presidents, the same ones who lecture the public about self-sufficiency and bootstraps, did. That's what bankrupts do. They further enrich themselves by convincing others they know what to do with their money, and then, their personal fortune stashed behind the laws of incorporation that protect it from the consequences of their defalcations, fail spectacularly, burning not only their investors' cash, but the taxpayers' as well, as they avoid future taxation by deducting "their" losses (even though it was other peoples' money they lost), from their own tax liability, necessitating that you and the rest of us schmucks make up the difference, meanwhile castigating the very government that covered their losses as a "swamp", into which they slither to hide the slime clinging to their own reptilian carcass.
That's what tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, withdrawal from the Paris accords, etc, are all designed to do: Concentrate an ever larger share of money into even fewer hands, thereby precipitating a collapse, as it always does, a well-known fact among economists (because the fewer hands such vast wealth is concentrated in, the more their spending (or lack thereof) habits, not the spending habits of the hoi pollio, which increasingly becomes a non-issue, since those dollars become dwarfed by the gargantuan holdings of the Aridstockracy's hoards) and government and business planners, who allocate their own, and their clients', funds to weather these inevitable financial storms leave everyone else with nothing but a lean-to that'll blow down in the first gale.
And it is these dynamics that real journalists would be investigating and warning us about: where are the dollars going, what's being prepared for the fall the entire economy is being set up to take, why is the FED once again, as in 2007, raising interest rates in the teeth of falling monetary velocity? You know the answer. You've seen this picture before. Having set the trap in the years prior to 2007, when "The Maestro" himself (he didn't get that name for nothing) was mocking people who didn't take out Adjustable Rate Mortgages, then setting out on a series of rate hikes that would trap them in their only asset while it was hemorrhaging value, even as their payments were being ratcheted up by the very entity that encouraged them to structure their finaces that way, as their wages were stagnating because of the faltering economy that was stalled by that same process of raising interest rates (look it up, that's why the FED raises rates, to slowdown a too-robust economy): purposely creating the financial equivalent of nuclear ARMs. Thereby, the "independent" Fed set the stage to enrich its Chairman and his cronies while throwing the rest of the public to the wolves of Wall St.
The Froth Estate could easily have saved millions of US citizens millions of dollars, their homes, their very lives, had they been reporting on what was going on in the economy pre-2007, as Mike Shedlock, Doug Noland, Yves Smith, Wolf Richter, and so many other on-line analysts were doing ... literally dozens (yet if the lying Fed Chairman at the time, Benron Bernanke, is to be believed (Lol), even with a board that rakes in millions of taxpayer dollars to pay their bloated salaries, they never once bothered to think it might apear a tad unseemly if it were discovered that their lazy over-paid sinecured asses never bothered to scope out a sight called Naked Capitalism, never had the intellectual curiosity to wonder what a sight entitled Zerohedge, might have to say; yet it was those sites that DID see it coming, they were the "nobodies" Benron was referring to). But they weren't/aren't reporting on this. They didn't/don't care. Although the economy is now headed on the same trajectory, with the Fed once again raising rates in the teeth of falling velocity engendered by a purposely engineered concentration of the money supply into the hands of a cadre of charlatans who are, once again, in full view of everyone, setting themselves up on Easy St while preparing for another Slaughter of the Innocents because their Field of Dreams is the Make a Killing Field on which they shamelessly swagger, where they, the entitled ones, the insider traders, the crony capitalists, having installed their avatar in the position to ensure they will never be held responsible for the misery they inflict, maul the finances of the entire country, the entire globe, for no other reason than sport.
But Ms.NBC won't be talking about any of this. Because Revenue Dollars from advertising, not professional journalism, is what drives the networks. This is what Rumsfeld called a known unknown. Everybody knows it (although I doubt that this is what he had in mind when he used that phrase) but nobody knows they know it. Most are easily reminded, since the evidence of the fact is blared into their faces on a nightly basis, but they do in fact need to be reminded. All news shows are Corporate news shows, paid for, owned, censored, and therefore reflecting the opinions of, Corporations; which may align with your own (LOL), but probably don't.
Just as they need to be reminded, but never are, au contraire, that, to the world, the USA looks much like California looks like to the rest of the USA. To whit? California and its tall watt governor, Solar Ray, like to fancy themselves the epitome of progress, futurity and political correctness, yet all those myriad industries, from agriculture to Google, that they hold up to the sunlight, are fueled by its largest: the Fossil Fuel industry. Unknown to most of its citizens (which fact alone is evidence of the horrendous job Corporate media does of keeping the public informed of even the most basic, yet vital, foundation of their livelihood), California is second only to Texas in its production of fossil fuels. It is the most car-addled and automaton'd state in the union, its exploitation of cheap immigrant labor unsurpassed, despite its cherished vision of itself as green and clean, it is quite Brown and Dirty under the hood.
Similarly, the USA, for all its protestations that it needs to cut down on fossil fuel use, is one of only three Carbon Nations in the World: Saudi Arabia, Russia and The USA. The Carbon Nations are all characterized by their complete dependency on Oil, its discovery, extraction, refining, transport, and combustion. Yet the Nation that has done the most to spread the Gospel according to Carbonation from one side of its mouth is the same one that denies the inevitable climate change it causes from the other.
Just as Bush had all his cronies lined up to profit from the destruction he planned to wreak in Iraq: Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater, Parsons, Fluor, Shaw, Bechtel, CH2M Hill; Trump Enterprises, which is to a far greater extent an All in the Family Affair, is similarly being preened to vacuum up the fallout from the disaster that is Drumph.
The press, specifically MS. NBC, should be, like Naomi Klein, preparing us for the shocks the fulfillment of Borderwall Jackshit's campaign promises guarantees to inflict on both the US economy and its citizenry instead of continuing the same undeniably uninteresting unfair and unbalanced all-Drumph-all-the-time programming that has continued for more than a year now, in complete denial to this day of their reliance for ad revenues on the very man that bears the name they use to generate those capital inflows ... and, not coincidentally, their salaries.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 1:31 PM
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
|The Bay at five o'clock.|
A violet stretch of water, along which ferry boats go by with a fringe of white foam at their bows, beneath a pink sky in which on one side there rises the Ferry Building and its iconic clock, on the other the beauty of the Bay Bridge, split in two by Treasure Island and silhouetted in a shadowy blue of fantastic fairy-tale buildings.
Never has San Francisco, in the shrill screech of the Cable Cars this evening, in the tangle of the sparking overhead trolley wires, in the busy bustle of the people, in the brutal jostlings of the Muni commuters, struck me so forcibly as the capital of a land of madness, inhabited by lunatics.
And never had the San Francisco of my youth nor the San Francisco of my maturity seemed as poverty-stricken as the San Francisco of this evening: never have so many women's pleading eyes asked me for a meal, never have so many men's weary voices begged for a buck.
The juxtaposition of those with position next to those whose supine position is an imposition on the delicate sensibilities of the well-heeled toward those down at the heel, as the too-high heeled clickety clack past those they look down upon, blithely unaware as they teeter along on their shoe-stilts that they look more like well-paid strumpets than the high-class dames they fancy themselves to be, shrieks as loud and jangles the nerves as much as a trolley scraping its iron wheel against the rail that keeps it from following the straight-line trajectory its forward momentum would otherwise compel it to follow.
Consequently all day today, hope and despair succeeded each other in my brain, volatizing like medicinal drops in a glass of water.
The fact of the matter is that tonight I am sick of the City. It turns your life upside down, it distracts you from your work, and it upsets you to no useful purpose. No wonder the 21'st Century, following hard on a century of Creepy stories we told ourselves, has given way to imaginings of mysticism and, once desire for material goods has been sated, anti-materialism and the decrying of the cold cruel world. And it may indeed be cold at times, but it is never cruel, which requires intent. It is, at most, indifferent. The only source of cruelty on this beautiful spinning sphere racing in circles through eternal night is mankind, which, although, unlike the world, is endowed with the capacity to be cruel, and is anything but kind, only parading as such when convenient for the purpose of ostentation in order to gain some perceived advantage therefrom.
So from Twin Peaks heights of pleasure we fall back into Hayes Valley depths of boredom. We are badly organized and easily tired. One week of effort leaves us dissolute for three months, so we end up spiritually sick and physically weary, dead to desire and filled with a vague, ineffable, infinite sadness. Our minds and bodies have morning-after sickness of an indescribable greyness, everything filtered through a heavy fog that chills everything beneath its icy blanket and leaves life seeming as flat as fizzled beer. After a little ardor and enthusiasm, an immense satiety comes over and overcomes us. Nothing but ashes left to us of the fruit we have squeezed. We despair of ever feeling desire again, suffering from a moral indigestion brought on by debauchery. Everything stinks in our hearts and we are cured for a longtime to come of any inclination to lead an active life. Sated and surfeited with things physical, we come away from work as if we were whore-mongers so besotted from debauchery, we only see those massage parlors after overamped sleepless nights as if they were so many museums of anatomical specimens.
That night it seemed that my fellow San Franciscans carried around with them the bitterness that goes with virginity and indolence, along with the added impression that they could be cured by neither pregnancy nor work. Strolling through the Civic Center Plaza, the opera goers were starting to throng, easily identifiable by their standard gowns, their mobil attitudes; an imperial aura placing a gulf around them, their love of Art worn on their sleeves, a cotton chevron, a crystal shell necklace. They get more excited by works of art than actual artists do, because their excitement, not being for them the result of hard introspection, bursts outward, overheats their conversation as they go red in the face defending their favorite opus. They think that they are accomplishing something by shouting 'Bravo!', at the tops of their lungs and jumping to their feet applauding a performance.
But shouting accolades does nothing to clarify the nature of their experience, and they remain unaware of it. Yet untapped, it overflows even into their calmest conversations, makes them make grand gestures, and grimace and toss their heads as they expound on their love of art. These weak-willed, sterile art-lovers are almost touching, resembling as they do those early wrong Wright machines which could barely get off the ground but which so well reflected, not the secret of flight, which had yet to be discerned, but the ardent desire to fly. And indeed, since they are incapable of edification from the truly nourishing elements in art, they are in constant need of artistic pleasures, regurgitating bulimics who are never satisfied. So they go to concert after concert, gallery after gallery, applauding the same works, believing that by being there they are fulfilling a duty, an obligation, in the way that other people feel a duty to attend board meetings or funerals.
And with them they bring money. Lots of it. Piles and piles of well-laundered cash. All around our besotted town its reek is everywhere, its footprint stomping out any remnant of originality, mysticism, or the creativity that has made it a haven for the hapless. The misbegotten, the homeless that line its wide sidewalks muffled in filthy blankets and surrounded by empty syringes, snarkily remarked on for spoiling the City that threw them out of their humble abodes as they razed SRO's to make room for the hideous condos now lining once-quaint and homey streets, the grace of the City despoiled, its grandeur bartered away to build monstrosities to house the influx of their Superiors who demand cultural amenities to while away their empty hours upon hours with satiation the easier to forget their self-inflicted emaciation.
One more victim of an homogenizing globalization that churns anything remotely individual into a pasteurized pulp of conformity dotted with the same brands, the same architecture, the same mediocrity of spirit. Yet San Francisco still whores itself as a tourist destination, even while simultaneously destroying everything that made it such in the first place. So many displaced have left this place with no sense of place. The Golden Gate Bride and Coit Tower glitter on postcards from the edge of the continent but are all that remain of a once-bustling business hub that now manufactures nothing but monstrous highrises teetering as unsurely on their sand-filled foundations as prostitiutes on 5-inch heels; a sanctuary city that stands firm in its well-publicized resolve to abet the refugees from other land while tossing its own unfortunates into the gutter. The rest of us scrabbling to hang on are just prisoners in disguise.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 12:32 PM
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
What are you Fighting For?
As though lying in bleak and beautiful fields of snow, we lay buried. We are like ghosts ourselves. The consequences of Shelling and Strafing over our enemy-of-the day's heads with impunity in Stealth aircraft like invaders from outer space has come home and uprooted us like fir trees. Our masks of needles and leaves has been stripped off us by constant war. Spiritually we are as torn and disfigured as foliage after a drone strike. We are incapable of thinking anything beyond shells, detonations, explosions, black thoughts, blood, death. Lately those black thoughts have come to represent the ravages unending war has wrought in our young souls. Only a sheer hoarfrost veneer of toughness and danger and the fresh snow of silence conceals our wounds, till the last of us fall in the frost, piece by piece of us breaking off, we've already become shadows of our former selves.
We wanted to forget the past, letting it crumble to pieces like the shards from the Berlin Wall, and bury it, yet we couldn't. We instead started rootling about in it once more, and freighted the urns of our dreams with the inescapable reality of what we have seen and done.
An Iron Curtain of frost has settled back in, as though a polar wind were blowing down from the stars. The white moon glows more harshly down from the whirl of the clouds. Our hands and feet become alternately benumbed and prickly. We suffer from a self-induced persecution mania. Surrounded by invented enemies, we pass through these years, taking leave of our senses as we descend into the maelstrom of madness. In the midst of paranoia and mistrust we live, having turned the commonplace on its head. We've learned to hate our time and to embrace our wars. And within we still cherish the idea that no sacrifice is futile, so as not to fall into the despair of the soldier in an exposed, hopeless, hostile position.
But the narcissistic obsession with our own greatness is nothing but dementia. With little more than scraps of cloth, man stands between unfettered forces, a cipher, a weapon, an obedient body, servant to the machine, that is in turn the slave to the fuel that powers it. Whether we are courageous or trembling, bold or cowardly, grimly prepared or frantic, nothing weighs so much as the fact that none of us goes voluntarily. Like the machines whose cold steel and opaque glass we admire in fetishistic obeisance, we are driven; piloted to a destination we would not on our own have chosen. Only occasionally, on the brink of madness, is there the heroic sacrifice of an individual who has lost belief in his own life.
We have become automatons, dulled beings, vegetating in cubicles and corner offices like soldiers in trenches and bunkers, wasting our time without hope, bragging, swearing, smoking, worrying, enduring, obeying, cowering; dehumanized caricatures simultaneously bewailing our imprisonment while bragging about our freedom as we hype our senses to an overwrought tautness with meth and crack, level our emotional schizophrenia with Prozac and Zoloft, or escape into endless reverie with Oxycontin and black heroin.
It is very rare for any humanity to show itself in war. Even, maybe especially, this endless bloodletting cynically propagandized as a war to maintain the Peace. So compassion is taken as weakness, even treason, and probed like a wound until it bleeds. Until it hurts. And then festers. A wound that must be cauterized to form a scab over our heart. Until war strikes us as a necessity, as divine commandment, a cosmic happening, purposing the completion and annihilation of the individual. We never learn, blinded as we are by flurries of propaganda, accusations of Fake News, blizzards of hatespeech, and squalls of Nationalistic furor, that war is meant for neither gods nor men, or that only ignorance can start an avalanche that will engulf everything. No victory, no conquest justifies a single death; a man starved, a child abandoned, a woman raped and left frozen, lacerated.
All War wants is itself.
Yet we will never come to understand that it is our willingness that has gotten us here. How easily we humans come around to the prospect of surviving in inhumanity and, like Brian Williams, fall in love with the intoxication and beauty of destruction, praise the shards of our own destinies, adore carrion, delight in carnage, revel in soulless illusions of superiority while cowering behind the shield the invincibility of a nuclear umbrella provides. And we gave it our yes long ago and have never looked back or questioned that assent.
But we didn't. You must be mistaken.
We are mere playthings of history and probabilities.
Well then, who are we?
What are we?
Besides a spiritually ravaged sum of blood, guts, and bones.
Our comradeship, always derided, is now torn to shreds by invading waves of radio and microwaves causing electronic distractions to replace personal interactions but erode love's traction, causing emotional contraction as companionship morphs into putrefaction. Face-to-face looks usurped by Facebook, an electronic scrapbook housed in a Cloud of easily vaporized mist, more like a Fecebook, as electronic miscommunications reduce us to an army of dung beetles scurrying over the mental excrement of mankind to glean a scrap of meaning, a glimmer of hope, a sliver of humanity to cling to.
Is it then any wonder that out humor is born out of sadism, gallows humor indulged in like jugs of Gallo's wine? Satire, obscenity, sarcasm and spite, rage fueled by an incessant bellowing of bile; like a Weekend with Bernie, we play pranks on corpses in fits of stir-craziness wherefrom sprout occasional blooms of wit like a seed sprouting in the middle of a pile of manure.
Philosophy, ethics, and thought have been replaced with the rockhard nugget of the drive for self-preservation. Even as selfishness gets derided, we find it to be the only thing we have because we don't matter to anything else. It's as if we don't belong here, the only UFO's are of our own invention, the only aliens on the planet, ourselves. And so each soul builds wall after wall around itself to conceal itself from the din of history. Like sleepwalkers passing over the mystical bridge of life, we hear all around us the grandeur of the Götterdämmerung of the West as Russia and other Asians have broken through, driven by the belief the Valhalla we've lost is theirs to gain.
Without the iron curtain the future stood in front of us like a raw block of marble. At first there was nothing but fear and foreboding. We stared at the rubble left in the wake of the wall's destruction and gazed into the expanse of no-man's land and felt the nearness of danger and pain like light seared onto a roll of film, a spectral shadow of dread forever trembling in a shimmering refulgence. But the years of darkness were just beginning. We are become beggars who have left behind the wreckage of our youth, crashed and burned alongside the freedom, love, mind, pleasure, and worthwhile work we traded for the hypnotic allure of carnage. We are now required to subject ourselves to the will of the age, but our destiny began in a tale of duress, patience and death. We can not escape the law, there is a breach in our unfinished sense of the world, and like a dream, the march into the other and the unknown has begun, and, having chosen our destiny, now believe its denouement in destructive annihilation inevitable, and have thrown open wide the gates that lead to our destruction, thereby assuring the very outcome we most fear, leaving little wonder that all our paths end in night.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 11:00 AM
Thursday, May 25, 2017
|Strange Love: Never Miss Hitor Missile gives good Warhead.|
Various writers on the interwebs have speculated that there is now no escape from mankind's rush to extinction because Climate Change has not only been allowed to go too far, but been prodded poked stoked and nudged into going too far by callous Capitalists and dick-headed dictators, the mentality of both being exactly the same. The only difference is that Capitalists exist in countries where the government has some power to control them, whereas a dictatorship doesn't, but they both have the same personality drive to dominate those who get in their way (The difference between Henry Ford and Mussolini better reflected their external circumstances than their internal drives), neither one being too circumspect over the means of doing so.
But the hawkers of Climate Despair have been rebuked by those who insist there is still hope for a remedy to our onrushing catastrophe if we can only act in time, such pronouncements being then in turn spurned by accusations delivered as a screed for rejecting the Creed of Imminent Extinction, since, it being the future we're talking about, no one can be right until such time as it won't matter. So as we accelerate our streak toward a collective NDE (Near Death Experience) referred to as NTE (Near-Term Extinction), perhaps there are some things we can point at that, had we considered them or reacted to them differently, we may have changed what now looks like an inevitable outcome.
1) From Greed to Götterdämmerung. The catalyst that catapults the Gods to their Twilight in Wagner's Lord of the Ring Cycle is the same as that which impels humanity towards its own ... such was Wagner's genius. Like the theft of stolen goods Wotan uses to pay the ransom he has himself necessitated by promising the builders of Valhalla Freja, trading away love, beauty and fertility for vast empty halls of grandeur. Casting aside that which makes them truly great for the trappings of power to stoke envy: Style for Substance, Hollywood for Holy Writ, Wall St for Main St. The only person who can keep the gods from growing old is sold as payment for empty Vanity. The parallel to Capitalism's promises of everything for nothing couldn't be starker. But like Wotan, when it cannot deliver it substitutes for it empty promises of a future it can't afford, unless it ransacks the accumulated savings of the innocents: The Rhine Maiden's gold. Capitalism uses promises of future benefits: Pensions, healthcare, education, which it also has neither the intention nor wherewithal to deliver, unless it can contrive to steal the means from someone else. Banking on the fact that by the time it need to fulfill its obligation, those to whom its made those promises will either be too old and weak to fight for what they were promised but robbed of, or, thanks to governments being more beholden to the Corporations that bribe its officials than to the pubic that voted for it, reneges and leaves us in the situation where a failed Presidential Candidate can write a book calling for a Revolution, mining discontent and inciting violence, not because it will improve the lives of his constituents (Revolution in Syria, Libya, and Egypt have delivered nothing but failed states, military dictatorship, and entire cities turned into piles of rubble with no hope of there being anything left in the future with which to rebuild, causing floods of refugees to pour over national boundaries and spread destabilization and mayhem in their desperation and consequent thirst for revenge) but because it gives a doddering old fool coin with which to buy his own brand of populism (and boost his own form of Grift You book sales) he is hailed as a sort of folk hero.
Wotan also creates a Hero. Which brings us to the Side "B" of greed:
2) Militarization. Greed needs armed forces to protect the hoards it amasses from the hordes whose labor created its wealth. The level of manufacture, dissemination and deployment of Weapons of mass destruction, all of which are Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction, by Nations now unable to deliver even a modicum of the promised benefits of Cowboy Capitalism to its citizens, is now the main source of international exchange. Because manufacturing the goods that said population need for their everyday existence has been off-shored to places where the destruction of the very air they breathe and the consequent debilitation and death that that necessarily entails, is the least of that government's concerns, leaves the Arms industry with its astounding profits greased by bribing corrupt officials to spend their country's treasure on prestigious arms instead of the education of their citizens. Arms sales have become the main preoccupation and source of coin and corruption in the rich countries even more than in those it exploits. Like Black Gold, the Devil's Excrement, becoming Merchants of Death taints everyone it touches, leaving a slimy film of despondency and despair in its wake. This unites the world in its desire to uplift itself by spreading promises of immortality that lies in another, better world ... Look!, there, right over the horizon, lies your afterlife. And thus we slither into the realm of the Children of the Con:
3) Religion. Jews, Christians, and Moslems are the main purveyors of violent murderous rampages in the name of a deity, but even the so-called peaceful Buddhists and Hindus are not innocent from the crime of provoking religious-stoked murder. It is the easiest kind to incite, because its perpetrators always cloak themselves in the garb of avatars, they're merely agents delivering their own god's Wrath; washing the blood of their victims off in the Holy Waters of Faith. A faith that always endorses:
4) Family Values. A sentiment everyone finds difficulty in finding fault with, even as we have a known rascist history in Europe, especially, but in every other continent as well, of royal families murdering their own children, brethren or parents for the sake of power, money or prestige. And these are not the peasant classes they so disdainfully look down their long aquiline aristocratic noses at, these are the Royals, the Divine Right of Kings' bloodline, claiming therewith as the one and only reason for their right to rule. Supposed god-appointed monsters who see their subjects, who their position puts them in moral obligation to protect, as cannon fodder to secure, not the nation, but the royal family's privileges and prerogatives. This corruption then seeps into even Presidential politics as crony-Capitalism gives protection to those who could care less about their country, and put the protection and illegal enrichment of their own form of courtiers above that of the nation they have sworn to serve and protect. All of theses are supported and made even more intractable by:
5) Mechanization. Every year since the beginning of the millennium the US has sold close to 17 million vehicles per annum, more than a quarter of a billion ICE machines, with the worldwide total more than double that amount. Resulting in more than a billion cars plying the roads of the world, dwarfing in their collective CO2 output, the pollution the industry that produces them creates, yet allowing those that push their pedal to the metal a feeling of complete irresponsibility for their part in poisoning the world and turning it into a hothouse. The mechanization of all human activity has resulted in the outcome we have arrived at now, where the lives of more people are dedicated to the maintenance, manufacture and preservation of machines than to people. There is nary a howl as loud as the current one against Obamacare while it underwrites contracts to produce billions and billions for industry, yet would prefer to render nary a nickel for healthcare, and housing is only for the rich (condo fees alone are more onerous, as a percentage of net earnings, than a mortgage for a home was a mere generation ago ... and they only go up, whereas a mortgage is eventually paid off), while education is to be gained only by hocking the future.
6) Democratization. A form of tyranny that promises its adherents freedoms it never quite defines, but seems to have become the single most polluting engine fomenting climate change. The more Democracies in any part of the world, the more pollution and the larger demands from its citizens for more benefits that promise even more pollution. Living in a democracy is great. And you can see why by looking at the Korean peninsula from the space station. The more democratic So. Korea is lit up like every other democratic country in the world while No. Korea looks as though it's in a blackout. The former Soviet Union, Cuba, most African States, eschew democracy and all contributed to the carbon pollution that is our death knell to a far less degree than any democracy. The end of the Soviet Union was the beginning of the ramp up in the amount of carbon being spewed into the atmosphere: it was like the firing of a pistol at the start of a race, because, in actuality, that's what it was. Since then there has been, and continues to be, a pell-mell scramble to dig up and burn up every last fossil fuel on the planet. Asia has been populated by civilizations of humans as far back as prehistory, and it still groans under a wealth of natural resources. The United States, in existence for a mere two and a half centuries, has burnt through an entire continent of riches and now stalks the globe like a marauding Hun, devising new Visions of Empires of Evil as excuses for its rampages when in fact it is only a tarp to disguise that is is really simply using Military ascendancy and domination to abet its search for the necessary resources to keeps its economic engine from sputtering out. In which effort it is abetted by:
7) Computerization. Like many of the items in this list, computerization started out as a phenomenon of startling innovation that was hailed as an enhancement to human creativity, but was rapidly monetized into a nightmare of hardware-software battle for ascendancy that put the concept of planned obsolescence into overdrive. That is why you never hear the term anymore, but it sits at the heart of the computer industry, and has since its inception as embodied in Intel's Grove's maxim that processing speed would double every 18 months, turning it into a mantra , and enabling the inevitability of your purchasing power's decline. The most obvious way of doing this was by the Clinton administration's inclusion of the concept of heuristics in its calculation of the CPI. What this particularly nasty bit of legerdemain does is count that doubling of processing power as a reason for a new computer's increase in price, so that the increase couldn't be attributed to inflation, because the increase was not for purchasing the same product, but for a new, improved product. However, as you may have noticed, that faster processor speed is quickly eclipsed by larger software programs no longer so efficiently designed, and now in hostage to the security programs that eat up more cycles of your CPU than any of the Apps you actually purchased the equipment to run. Soon enough the new improved processor is so bogged down with overhead, it is running slower than the one you replaced it with , so you have to buy the next generation and the cycle starts anew. Militarily this has enabled:
8) Mobilization. Never have so many troops been in so many countries for so long a time as they have since the Neo-con imposition of the Pax Americanus as they usurped the power of the executive office to unroll their project of Full Spectrum Domination of the rest of the world to fulfill the puerile fantasies of a rabid group of modern conquistadors in their Project for the New American Century (PNAC). In little more than a year they managed to change the world perception of the United States from one of a modern progressive State to one that's a pariah to its neighbors and allies, trusted by none, and respected only through fear of the unpredictable use it might next deploy its vast insatiable War Machine for. Sucking down more oil reserves than the entire country of Sweden, it also manages to spew out more polluting gases than most countries and leave in its wake a trail of radioactive depleted uranium like an invisible mine field that, instead of exploding people to pieces like the millions of mines left in Laos, spews atomic-sized particles that rip through innocent civilians' tissue and internal organs. Unlike Corporate offices, the civilian sector's version of mobilization, military deployment, as Chalmers Johnson's Empire series illustrates, is far less subject to the host country's rules. Using SOFA's (Status of Forces "Agreements" (Yeah right, like Okinawa had a choice)), the US can override host country's laws and trample any environmental concerns with the usual attitude such men have for anything as sissified as caring about any other living creature. The military is like an ATV, it may not be its intention to mow down any thing that gets in its way, but it is equipped to do so and won't hesitate to, and in most cases does so without even a second thought: it's immaterial, not even something worth taking into consideration. And because might makes right, it partners with:
9) Monopolization. Of all the reasons for the intensification of the concentration of power in the hands of fewer and fewer people, the role of Computerization is all but ignored, but it is in fact the chief enabler. Whole floors of office building were emptied out of middle management, factory floors cleared of laborers blamed on robotics lie empty because of the role that computerization and the miniaturization of it components enabled. Robotics and computerization, in other words, are inextricably linked. And both are the servants of monopolists in their drive to concentrate power in their owns hands and drive competition out by dominating their markets, not for the betterment of their customers but the destruction of other enterprises that might put a restraint on their ability to raise prices and dictate terms. As the declining quality of products on Walmart's shelves and the increasingly fraudulent use of Goldman Sach's customers' account money demonstrates, the sole purpose of monopolization is to accrue more and more power to abuse your customers while leaving them with no ability to redress the wrongs you heap onto their head. They have no choice, as the competition has been destroyed.
10) Monetization. Theft, really. It entails the extraction of everything of value and turning it into a marketable commodity. That vein of coal running through the hillside has to be exploited to make it profitable and to create the jobs necessary to enhance the financial position of the region from which it's taken. But, especially in the current environment of Cowboy Capitalism, monetization always entails rapacious disregard for the environment and enshrines in the position of power the very people who should be barred from it. And once monetization is started, like a bribe to a politician, the power dynamic quickly changes such that the political entity has ceded its sovereignty to the marauding exploitation of the developers. It always extracts the value before the first shovelful of soil is excavated, though, and to do this they use:
11) Amortization. Amortization is the paying off of debt with a fixed repayment schedule in regular installments over a period of time, for example with a mortgage or a car loan. It also refers to the spreading out of capital expenses for intangible assets over a specific duration (usually over the asset's useful life) for accounting and tax purposes. It allows banks to fund the purchase of a house at terrifyingly low interest rates while sloughing off the risk to the taxpayer via the current scheme of selling them to the GSE's. They can take the money and run, but tshould things go south, it leaves many of their victims in financial straits and generally increases the rate of:
12) Incarceration. There are more inmates in America's prisons than there are citizens in several of the countries to which we give large amounts of dollars, amounts that are the subject of protest from various groups, yet which amounts are completely dwarfed by the level of expenditure needed to feed, clothe, guard, and care for its burgeoning population of miscreants . While hardworking citizens have problems getting heatlhcare, prisons, such as California's San Quentin, boast of their own State-of-the-Art hospitals. Hospitals that are built with money taken from those same hard-working citizens who can't afford it for their own children or parents, yet must pay for it for the murderers and hardened criminals languishing behind bars. The level of this vast growing sea of wasted humanity is rising faster than that of the oceans we obsess so much about, and it is a contributor to that rise because of the enormous allocation of resources needed to sustain it. The economy needs to generate billions and billions of dollars to make their upkeep possible. And because the militarization of civilian life means that arguing for the education or job-training or any other ameliorative attitude toward prisoners gets ridiculed as being soft on crime, few prisoners are capable of contributing to society even once released. So, unlike the way an investment in a hospital patient or college student can be argued to make such investment worthwhile, prisons are just economic rat holes into which billions are poured down, with the most likely outcome being a bite in the ass. And all these reasons are exacerbated by the huge and growing problem of:
13) Overpopulation. Which is intimately, although you'd never know it, entwined with sexuality. Billions of people are forced into a heterosexual existence that they have no choice of entertaining any alternative to, and encouraged into creating billions more human beings to push out and destroy all other vestiges of life. You might hate homos, disdain same-sex relationships, prefer murder to sodomy, as all the religions of the world teach you to do, but if the result of drug-addled wild sex brings an early death to those who engage in it, that is a far more desirable outcome than forcing them in to a life in a world whose human population threatens to overwhelm and push into extinction the very biodiversity on which its own survival depends. With the Moral Majority's claim from the eighties that homosexuality is "Unnatural" completely discredited for the nonsense it is, the counter argument that people are born that way has also become completely counter productive, and should be shelved as well. Any perusal of the more erotic of the on-line sex and porn sites and tumblr listings demonstrates the fluidity of sexual activity and that the ability of the human species to make long, caring, committed relationships with members of the same sex (or even short, casual, intense ones) and the more than obvious preference that even heterosexuals exhibit for members of their own sex in most realms other than sexual congress, should inform us that insisting on maintaining the prevailing attitude of heterosexual reproduction and attraction and the child-producing couple as the only acceptable form of adult relationship, we not only put a lie to the Freedom the very people who deny people that choice have emblazoned on their sweatshirts and baseball caps, we produce a bounty of unwanted births, force an unmerited parenthood onto people who would never qualify for the job if it were a position in the most lax of companies, and contribute to the above item, #12, incarceration. Instead, in most of the world, they incarcerate and torture them, as in Chechnya, bully and beat them up, as in Russia and re-educate them to live the "right" way, in places like China, and continue to exile them and force them into hiding in most of the rest of Asia, as well as Africa, where American missionaries feel free to travel to and show them how write laws that put them to death. All while overpopulation gets more and more intractable, and all for the sole reason that it is found to be morally repugnant, whereas nation after nation and religion after religion revels in murder and destroying lives while standing on that moral high ground they've stationed themselves on from which they can more easily kick the rest of humanity in the face. Even as they despoil the planet their enforced heterosexuality is peopling with their children they claim to love. What kind of morality is that?
So that is my list. It could be longer, I'm sure it should be shorter, but as it will change nothing, I will change nothing on it. (Well, at least not until tomorrow).
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 4:47 PM