The Pentagong Show

The Pentagong Show
United State of Terror: Is Drone War Fair?

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Gang Green is Setting In.


I admit it ... I'm addicted. But not to opioids, synthetic or otherwise. I'm not more fiend, nor a wild fenfen, I don't stick pins in my trauma doll or smack my heroine. No, what I'm addicted to is crosswords puzzles. But buying a Crossword puzzle book somehow takes the fun out of it, so I rely on our local rag's, The San Francisco Examiner, reprints of the best: The New York Times puzzle, edited by Will Shortz, with credit given to the actual creators of the puzzles via tiny print beneath the grid (Shouldn't it be the other way around?  Shortz edits ALL the puzzles, whereas the creators change daily and are the actual, ya know, Creators of the puzzles ... but such is power: it knows nothing of fairness or justice which must be imposed by a higher power).

And sometimes, even in something as inconsequential as a crossword, you uncover that which they most try to avoid: controversy. Or perhaps I make it up myself. But since a crossword puzzle is at its heart, a study of language, syntax, punctuation and grammar, it often can be illuminating as to how the meaning of certain phrases can, with a mere shift in emphasis, be completely changed, enabling  you to perceive how malleable language really is. I believe there is currently a movie in general release called, You Get Me, a title that, taken as it is meant to be taken, means that you understand what drives me, but if, should you pronounce it, You get ME, instead of, You GET me, changes "you" from the the protagonist to the booby prize.

The clue that got me in the puzzle I'm referring to was, "Stop wasting energy, say". The correct answer to which was, "Go Green".

Seriously?

Even in a crossword puzzle, can anyone actually say that with a straight face?

Can it be possible - even conceivable - that they  have confused us with that gang of backward children they've been playing tricks on - that they have the same contempt for us that  they have for them?

In the past decade I have lived in books, immersed myself in online essays and blogs, existing on data and compilations of statistics on energy resources as a Trappist monk lives in his faith. I have no other world, no other life. So I’m nobody’s fool in regards to energy usage – least of all Will Shortz'.

So when I read even a line of, not just nonsense, but deliberately repeated snippets of propaganda regurgitated as grist for the crossword mill, my hackles are raised, my sense of Truth insulted, my enjoyment of a treasured pastime sullied by the use of a crossword puzzle as a device for gladdening the heart with what is palpably, even tragically, not true.


Only the rich Nations' citizens can afford motorized personal transport. 

A million new units /year is not exactly an indicator that going green will stop energy waste. No reduction in that number of units is even contemplated, (Au contraire) only the energy source that powers them is at issue, the usage of which rarely amounts, over their entire lifespan, to the amount of energy consumed in their production.

The first so-called Green Revolution was the answer to Malthusians. Using the new miracle of fossil-fueled agriculture to mechanize both the planting and harvesting processes, and supply nitrogen fertilizer, it stripped the prairies of their stabilizing topsoil and plant growth and thereby created the Dustbowl. To bring about their Green Revolution, they used so much DDT and other poisons on crops that it required a Silent Spring to snap down on its rampant use and careless application; it created, and to this day continues to enlarge, various dead zones in the oceans with the runoff of those expensively derived fertilizers into waters once rich with life, but soon enough emptied of any vestige of it but a rank growth of slime and muck; it destroyed agricultural regimes that fed populations for centuries, replacing them with unsustainable practices that more resembled a methamphetamine high than any sane activity ventured into for the purpose of improving man's lot.

But it fed a lot more people with a lot fewer of them needed to produce the bounty of fossil-fueled growth of grains that fed not only the humans, but stuffed their many animals. Pasteurland that once were fed and nourished by animals' urine and manure were plowed under and planted with grain to more efficiently feed and herd them, again, without the messy necessity of humans to pay. Agriculture was thus transformed to suit the needs of the machines, the living beings, for whom the entire enterprise was originally engineered to feed, completely left out of the equation except as  consumers.

The second time the misnomer of a Green Revolution was invoked was more recent. It came to the fore during GW Bush's first term, when the concept of corn-based Ethanol was being sold to a gullible public as a means of making America "Energy Independent" (A lie right from the start: Energy Independence was not only not its intention, it  never had a glimmer of possibility of being achievable). But to the science-addled Left, none of that mattered, what was important was that the young could easily be persuaded of the "rightness" (the left is besotted by the need to be in the right) of the drive toward energy independence from foreign sources of oil, itself a goal of dubious value, and one completely at odds with the same population's enthusiastic embrace of globalization.

This resulted in even more prairie being plowed under to grow unneeded grain to power SUV's. Because, at the same time as the "green" solution was being touted, the real reason behind it, the doubling in the tonnage that the average drivers were dimwittedly dragging around with them occurred, such that its weight burgeoned to more than three tons. Whose zooming who when you have to haul three tons of glass and metal around with you to pick up an 85 pound child from school, never mind a quart of milk from the grocery store?

To accomplish this Green revolution, a coal-fired power plant, needed to process all that grain into ethanol, was constructed and put on line for every single week of the Bush Presidency - from 2000 to 2008. A growth rate that saw the number of coal-fired plants increase by fully a third, from barely a thousand to more than 1450. Blowing mountaintops off Appalachian peaks, sloughing off slag and mounding it in heaps on the sides of rivers that eventually collapsed into them, digging mines so fast and furious they didn't bother much about safety, resulting in collapsing mines with miners trapped inside, as King Coal was crowned anew; its demand driven by the very Green revolution that pretended it was, well, green. Guess that's why it's called a revolution: what goes 'round comes 'round.

Soon enough Brazil adopted the green solution and started burning up their rainforests to plant sugarcane to propel their own growing thirst for hydrocarbon-fueled transport, followed by Indonesia, where even more rainforests, the lungs of the planet, went up in smoke, pumping CO2 into an atmosphere already besotted with it from industrial activities, to grow palm trees to fuel Germany's and the EU 's "Green" fuel of Biodiesel that poisons urban atmospheres so much with micro-particulates, that VW, and many of the other darlings of the European hi-priced automobile manufactory, devised means by which they could fool governments into sanctioning these Multinational Corporations' deployment of weapons of mass destruction in all their cities, enabling them to reap in profits while choking their citizens on diesel fumes (thank god it was "Green"!) and carcinogens. Yet you will  hear nothing about how ironic it is  that the company Adolf Hitler championed, and named after the Volk, is busily gassing innocent civilians, only this time selling them their own little portable gas chambers, with the added insult of charging them for both the gas chamber and the poison gas. Hey, who cares? It creates jobs. Heil Hitler!

And now yet again we're being raked over the coals we ourselves set on fire by the belief that "Going Green" means we stop wasting energy, when exactly the opposite has been proven to be true time and time again; a fact you can prove to yourself by examining your own attitude toward so-called green energy: it's free, right? Carbon neutral. Who has to worry about energy consumption when it's green energy generated with the use of "Clean" fuels? An appellation the cognoscenti know is ridiculous when applied to coal, but unquestioningly swallow whole when it refers to solar or wind.

But, battery and other forms of energy storage aside, for every wind-powered plant built there is a fossil-fueled plant necessary to power it when the wind isn't blowing or the sun don't shine, and the amount of energy consumed therefore becomes of tantamount importance. And this, actual energy consumption, despite all the hurrahs in regards to the increased output of green energy, has risen at a faster clip than the growth in renewable energy. So that, as it is thus far turning out, the more renewable energy produced, the faster fossil fuels are consumed. This is counter-intuitive at first, until one considers that there has been no push to conserve, no drive to use less energy, and even as every last dollar is leveraged to the hilt, the leveraging of energy use, such that the more energy an economy consumes, the greater its economic output, is plummeting. That's the reason, btw that the social planning of the OECD countries is falling into a black hole: the growth in the use of energy has become completely unmoored from economic productivity as it is burned more and more to power  Game consoles, wall-sized TV's, refrigerators the size of closets, and everything Internet, which means tons of AC, the  most energy-intensive user of electricity.  Enormous amounts of fuel set aflame to cool down electronic switches and transistorized server farms. And one of the reasons for that escalating consumption is the very real misunderstanding, and consciously propagated fallacy, that Going Green means you stop wasting energy. But you don't. The belief that you have Gone Green has the exact opposite effect: it convinces people who should know better that they have the license to waste energy, because they've been led to believe, and want to believe, that it is no longer harmful to do so.

That sentence from earlier in this essay, when I asked if they are confusing us with those backward children they play dirty tricks on? That's from All About Eve. At the beginning of the movie, Eve asks Gary Merrill's character, as he's leaving to shoot a movie in Hollywood, if he isn't going to miss the theater. "The Theater", he exclaims sarcastically, and goes on to deliver a diatribe against the reverence with which New Yorkers hold "The Theater", at the end of which Eve meekly remonstrates, "I only asked a simple question".

I feel something of the same could be said about this reaction to a simple crossword clue, or, more to the point, the answer to that clue. Big deal, right? But that's how propaganda works. By subtly suggesting that something is simply accepted knowledge, and if you think otherwise, you're just politically incorrect, or simply too dense. But this wasn't in a mere puzzle book. It was in the pages of the NYT, and  edited, with top billing, by Will Shortz, the most famous name in crosswords ever. Both the publication and its editors, whether of the op-ed pages or its crosswords, should be held to a higher standard than a random fifty cent puzzle book. We are currently, though few seem to realize it, in the midst of a Corporate crime wave the likes of which have never been seen. VW is just the one that got caught. The Madoff in the coal mine. The most famous example, although the public largely remains ignorant of the enormity of their crime, of the Enronification of entire economies that globalization represents.

But we are fighting for our lives here, and we neither need nor appreciate the NYT spilling what our illustrious president would bellow as Fake News across its pages, even if that lie happens to be buried in a grid and needs to be teased out by solving the puzzle in which it's encased. The Corporate malfeasance that VW gave us a rare glimpse into also had to be teased out and solved by subterfuge before the Bosses found out and had the investigators stopped ... by whatever means necessary.  Things are buried for a purpose, and that purpose is rarely either aesthetic or accidental. And it seemed to me that allowing this purposely-construed misrepresentation to go unchallenged contributes to the poisonous atmosphere spreading through the body politic in much the same sinister way that gangrene seeps into the bloodstream from a festering wound that's simply ignored, and the result f that poisoning are already manifesting themselves while we continue to pretend that Capitalism, the engine that is pumping the poison into our bloodstream, will somehow (nobody even pretends to know quite how) provide the antidote.

But Capitalism is often described, even by its most ardent avatars, as economic Warfare.

And War, like the fires ravaging California, lives only for itself.






Monday, December 11, 2017

Climate and its Derangements: Head-fake Noose.


The American Way of Life is NOT Negotiable.

Like the military, the economy is now a bigger threat to us than the exigencies it was set up to protect us from in the first place. Because the "us" here in the good ole US is not us at all, but "them". And all they care about, as the number of homeless filling the streets and living in their cars steadily increases, are the employment numbers that belie the growing desperation; the rising housing values, that leave employed people nowhere to live but on the streets; the excessive Stock Market valuations, buoyed by tax bonanzas and an "independent" FED without which the traded companies' balance sheets could never justify those valuations; and all in the name of a Free Market that's been rigged (they may be called Equity Markets, but there's nothing equitable about them) and a Democracy that's been cynically usurped, buoyed up on the hydrogen fumes of a Financial system so riddled with corruption it needs but a spark to ignite a firestorm of economic destruction from the tinderbox of derivatives that has been construed for the sole purpose to hide their very real flammability. The ensuing conflagration will engulf the global economy yet again as it sets ablaze a bonfire of asset destruction that will incinerate without distinction the valuable assets along with the junk. 

Because that distinction, between real value and trumped-up trash, has been malignantly configured to make the difference between the two indecipherable. Using the totally bonkers concept of hiding risk from investors in order to use the hard-earned sweat of the indebted multitude to pay for the bad bets of the well-placed, bad debts that are still dragging on the economy from the last crackup,  A similar concept was in full view, though  unreported, as the claims of the rich after the climate-related storms of the Atlantic, were paid, their property secured, all while the bulk of the insurance Companies' premiums are paid for by the families living in bungalows and trailers, whose premiums will rise to pay for the nose-bleed valuation on the property of the rich: Communism redux. Collectivism: they collect, but rarely pay those not well-placed. The Corzine Mentality of running a fine-tuned machine of asset allocation whose underlying mechanism is designed to enrich the House at the expense of its clients (MF Global collapsed into bankruptcy in 2011 and lost more than $1 billion of its customers' money).  Run out of money? No problemo. Just ransack your clients' accounts: whatdya think they're there for, 'cause they're theirs'? There there. There's no their there, just Ours. 

Much like in Our Boarding House, there's a lot of Hoople goin' on:

Hoople: Lazy character preferring to work as little as possible,
 "earning" money on the side running every scam going.

And now that's all the economy is anymore, with the head scammer, whose morphology bears not a little resemblance to the overstuffed corpulence of the Major, is feeding his family reams of insider information to enable them to run every scam going while he does what he does best: distracts the hoi polloi and our embedded media with his outlandish buffoonery.

Meanwhile back in reality, the repercussions from heating up the atmosphere are indeed non-negotiable:


Dr. Jeff Masters' Wunderground Weather site reports on a fierce storm that brought over 50 foot seas and wind gusts in excess of 90 mph to Alaska's Aleutian Island ...

Bombogenesis: An atmospheric pressure drop of 24 millibars in 24 hours .
This storm dropped 55 millibars in 24 hours.


Meanwhile Robert Fanney, aka Scribbler, reports that hurricane force wind gusts are blowing off the West Coast of Greenland and predicts that  temperatures there will likely hit record ranges of up to 54 degrees Fahrenheit above average in the next few days.

And then there's Sam Carana of Arctic News fame informing us that on the other side of the Arctic Ocean a freshwater lid, formed from all the melting icewater floating atop the heavier, saltier, ocean water, has resulted in warmer water since Heat can't escape through the freshwater dome, (but solar radiation can penetrate deep into the salt water beneath), as is evident from the huge anomalies at the locations near Svalbard, where temperatures were 13.19°C or 23.77°F higher than normal. While:

Venezuela Poised to Become the First Country to Lose All of Its Glaciers to Climate Change

Climate scientists believe Antarctica may have hit a tipping point (and that's just the tip of the iceberg).

But the intelligence of even our brightest is no match for the rampant stupidity of militant capitalism:

Mahindra will open the area's first new vehicle assembly factory in 25 years (Not 25 years from now, but the 1'st one in 25 years ... ain't English grand? It's the Gracie Allen of languages), building off-road vehicles. Oh, but they'll be electric (Not!).

EVs will simply send CO2 emissions upstream. (Simply? That's actually was the original point of making them, to extend the life of the most environmentally destructive form of transportation imaginable, Automobiles, by pseudo-convincing the almost half of the globe's population that lives in Mega cities that it's OK, 'cause it doesn't affect them anymore). But like ethanol, it merely makes them feel better while actually accelerating Climate Derangement.

Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, describes the present moment as the “first time really in history with any major conflict that we have borrowed rather than ask people to contribute to the national defense directly, and the result is we’ve got this huge fiscal drag … that we’re not really accounting for or factoring into deliberations about fiscal policy as well as military policy.”

Total military costs racked up since that day in 2001 (can you guess which one?) are now $5.6 trillion. That includes not only Pentagon expenses, but also the State Department, Homeland Security, veterans’ health care… and $534 billion in interest costs arising from those expenses. What it doesn't include are the DOE, a large part of whose budget goes to nuclear matters, or the EPA, whose responsible fro the cleanup of so-called Super sites, many of which were involved in the Federal Government's uranium enrichment programs.

Both the United States and Britain have been making more money with arms sales to Saudi Arabia in recent years than ever before. Human rights critics fear that Saudi Arabia has not only bought their weapons but their acceptance for its policies

American car buyers are borrowing like never before—and missing plenty of payments, too.

Stock markets have grown to a total value of nearly one-and-a-half times GDP in the US

Financialisation and globalisation have become the most overt manifestations of neoliberalism in today’s world.

Because of the above, the IEA Sees U.S. Shale Surge as Biggest Oil and Gas Boom in History, meaning that the aftermath will be the biggest BUST in history.

Trump’s vow to “drain the swamp” was just one more empty promise as he adds to the muck with military contractors in key Pentagon jobs and other industry lobbyists at regulatory posts, says Jonathan Marshall. Big surprise, that.

 Exxon has "global expertise in extra-long laterals—including a 39,000 footer in Russia," WoodMac says.That's via a partnership with Rosneft, inked while our Secretary of State was its CEO. As can be gleaned from his performance while in the job, it is the only reason he was appointed Secretary of State. But Luckily, it had nothing whatsoever to do with his Rolodex of Russian contacts.

Rahmstorf said there are currently about 600 billion remaining tons of carbon dioxide that can be emitted (The idiotically-monikored "carbon budget") if the world is to have a good chance of keeping warming considerably below 2 degrees Celsius (If it's already more than .8 degrees, the most conservative estimate of how much increase we've already meausred, how can it ever be "considerably below" 2 degrees?) and with some 40 billion tons of emissions each year, that leaves just 15 years.

“If we start to ramp down emissions from now on we can stretch this budget to last us about 30 years,” he said. “With every year that we wait we will have to stop using fossil energy even earlier.”

The amount of global warming as a product of CO2's increased concentration in the atmosphere is the model that global climate scientists use in their calculations. Nowhere in those formulas is the excess heat from burning billions of bbl's of oil a year, combined with that released from Natgas, only the solar radiation from above, not the solar radiation from below, which also can't radiate out into space because  of the increased density of the gaseous blanket with which we are suffocating ourselves.

The so-called "Carbon budget" assumes somehow that all the heat generated by using renewables (all energy generation anywhere in the known universe produces waste heat in the process) can escape into space. This seems to indicate that the so-called "Carbon budget" is a misnomer, because, what the article, what NO article written about the increase in CO2 cares to mention, is that during the same year that the failure to reach "Peak Carbon" occurred, the amount of energy generated by the so-called renewables is far larger than it's ever been and represents a far greater percentage mix of the ever-growing use of fossil fuels which, by the way, far from making the human experience on the planet easier and life more enjoyable, is starting to have precisely the opposite effect, wreaking havoc all over the globe, and dooming the children that the human race, which is hell-bent on reproducing at an astronomical rate, to early death.

Any other human endeavor, that doesn't advocate the constant multiplication of offspring, from Art to Science, is disdained, ridiculed, and in many States, punished by ostracism or death: Reproduce or be killed. Whereas the world itself is telling us, Reproduce and be killed. We are no more intelligent than bacteria in a petri dish. At least the bacteria are having their exogenous energy piped into them by an entity over which they have no control; we, however, are both the agents and subjects of our own experiment of stoked population growth, everybody watching with bated breath to see how the resultant inability of our own economic system to support such rabid multiplication of such an energy-intensive species will crash and burn.

Emissions are forecast to reach around 37 billion tons of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning and industrial activity in 2017, said the group, which published the results in the journal Environmental Research Letters and more detailed findings in Earth System Science Data Discussions.

“If we want to ensure that emissions remain flat we have to put policies in place . . . and the second step is to start to drive emissions down.” (While relying on auto sales, arms deals and tourism as drivers of the Globalized economy: all of which depend on technologies that produce emissions as a result of energy-intensive activities). It's like saying we have to keep dead zones from spreading while slathering more and more nitrogen-based fertilizer on industrial-sized croplands that drain into the Mississippi and hence the Gulf of Mexico. In both cases, it ain't gonna (because it can't) happen.

The number one contributor, by far, to this difference in projected temperature change to observed? The atmosphere. This "blanket-like” effect of the gases in our atmosphere was first discovered nearly two centuries ago by Joseph Fourier and worked out in detail by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. Each of the gases present has some amount of absorptive effects in the infrared portion of the spectrum, which is the portion where Earth re-radiates most of its energy. Nitrogen and oxygen, which comprise the bulk of the atmosphere, are terrible absorbers, but good ones include water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and carbon dioxide. Capitalists are able to simply exhaust all of those gasses into the atmosphere at no cost ... to them. And, under the Law, that's all that matters ... to them. When we add (or take away: the oxygen atoms bound up in CO2 molecules represent that many fewer oxygen molecules available to support life) more of those gases to our planet’s atmosphere, it’s like thickening the blanket that the planet wears. This, too, was worked out by Arrhenius over 100 years ago.

But because fossil fuels, if the theory that names them that is correct, are essentially solar energy conserved in the form of hydrocarbons, somewhat akin to a battery, are always used to provide energy for another process besides heat, the conversion creates, on earth as everywhere else in the universe, waste heat. So as we stuff our metaphorical down comforter with more and more feathers in the form of CO2 we are turning the heat up on the electric blanket we have placed underneath it: whether it's fossil fuels, solar panels, windfarms, hydro or nuclear, we are converting one form of energy into another in order to do what we laughingly refer to as "useful work", a term that used to actually mean something. But is supplying tons of AC to a server farm in order to "mine" bitcoins to be playthings of the rich, doing useful work? Because one thing we know they ARE doing is using valuable resources, burning irreplaceable fuel, spewing CO2 and other pollutants into the atmosphere, as their"mining" is undermining all the attempts to slow down the accelerating exhaustion of CO2 into the air. All at no cost to them, and invisible to you and me, and that isn't even taking into consideration the heat. No one in any calculations I've seen (and they may be out there, or I may have missed it in the equations), takes into account the enormous production of waste heat produced by burning (which is itself an indicator of our blindness ... NatGas, Oil, Coal, all must be burned to get them to do the work we want them to, yet no one thought to consider the waste heat they produce? Just the CO2?) But if solar heat can't be reflected back into space because of the CO2 blanket we're suffocating ourselves under, how can the waste heat from energy conversion get through it?

This question is crucial, because, there's been so many hoorays and so much enthusiasm over the enormous increase in Renewables that are now being used to generate electricity, that no one has bothered to look at the use of fossil fuels, which one would hope would show a concomitant decline: they aren't. Their use is steadily increasing. And not only are they increasing they are, as of last year, increasing at a faster rate than the 1.5% at which they had been increasing before the use of alternatives to fossil fuels were even considered.

This shouldn't surprise anyone, as there has been neither discussion nor expression of any necessity to conserve our use of energy. Contrarily, via fracking in the US the oversupply of a fuel detrimental to the entire planet is not only accelerating, it is doing so with the use of government funding, tax breaks and depletion allowances that flail taxpayers so as to  force upon them the burden of costs that ratepayers and shareholders should be, but aren't, shouldering. Once again Capitalism does what it does best: funnels profits to criminals thereby creating more criminals in the process, as others see the easy gains to be "won"' by climbing aboard the gravy train of Government guarantee. Despite the self-serving volumes written to the contrary, at its heart, Capitalism is Criminality gone Wild.

The only thing, despite the Kyoto protocols and other misguided attempts to reduce our fuel burning, that changed that 1.5% yearly climb in the combustion of everything we can dig up into smoke, was the GW recession. And that's the only thing that'll stop it now. That is the obvious plan. Just as watching the trading in the Stock Market of certain securities prior to the 9/11 attack alerted observant speculators that something was afoot, the current build up in stock prices is just as foreboding, as the reasons for it are exactly the same: Knowing what's about to happen, you get it while the gettin's good. And then step out out of the way right before the debacle becomes manifest to the rest of us, leaving all those ships that rose with the rising tides to flounder in the stormy seas of rigged markets and FED-induced business cycles, the cyclical nature of which is denied the better to keep a trusting public without even a lifeboat to climb into or a life-vest to don. Because that 's what being "fully invested" amounts to.

You see, if you really believe the fact that the planet we're on is getting warmer, and that the reason for said warming is the amount of CO2 being generated, then there is no escaping the fact that the population that you would logically target to redress that situation would be the middle classes of the OECD countries, and, more specifically, the middle class of the USA, which, even compared to its lifestyle-equivalent fellow members of this select club of Nations, burns up an outsize proportion of energy, and yet whose exports, to pay for that usage, have always, for decades, been in the negative ... by billions of dollars.

 Yet the whole thrust of Capitalism, the supposed strength upon which is rests and provides the resiliency its ardent supporters claim it has, is based on the proper allocation of resources. An allocation based on a practice called accounting, which practice has been purposely debased. This much was spent on this or that and produced this, that and the other thing, production of which would halt should it be proved unprofitable. Yet decade after decade the US economy has, by the only metric that the most UBER capitalist nation on the world allows:  profitability, has been shown to be not only wanting, but sorely so, disastrously so, as the US has been building up, simultaneously, a National debt so onerous that, as these underlying dynamics of the economy illustrate, surpasses the ability of the debtor to ever repay. Debt is now the largest export that the US economy has, and it is the one that the reign of the Trump of Doom will make toxic. And toxic debt leads to crippling interest rates: that's why it's called junk, no one would want it except for its nosebleed interest rate is so alluring that those who know how collect it during the boon then slough off the securities once it's too dangerous (by, (as in the case of the toxic MBS and CDO's), getting the FED to buy it by the truckload, as one example of how the well-heeled take but never give) get to skim the cream and leave the bad debt for the rest of us to bear. And then call it Reform. (Seen Trading Places? Debt is just another commodity, like OJ in the film, to be manipulated so the suckers buy it just as its price has peaked).

But, having no resources, the dispossessed can't pay, and the bankrupt country must distract the world from that fact. Which is why the Distractor-in-Chief is doing such a bang-up job. Our orangutan Zero fiddles about, while our 'ome burns. No one notices that the drop in real value of real estate turned into a pile of ash loses, no matter how much insurance you've paid,  not only its appraised value, but its value for generating the very coin need to justify the outre debt assumed via leverage in the first place, but what the debt was using for leverage has been burned (or flooded) right out from under it. At some point this continuing destruction of the very infrastructure needed to produce the wealth to pay for, not only what is being completely destroyed, but the debts written off that can no longer be serviced, will, as it always does, reach a Lehman's moment, and the country's pr machine will no longer be able to hide that the Climate is a far stronger PR machine, as unmitigated disasters equivalent to what's happened to Puerto Rico soon enough demonstrate Nature's far greater ability to destroy wealth at a rate much faster than we can create, not just wealth, but the very facilities necessary to create it.

That is the point of The Donald's Disaster Capitalism. Creation of the only thing he's capable of producing: Chaos. For it is in that environment that he flourishes, and from which he plans to extract his billionaire-sized bounty, which even at that size doesn't come close to what his billionaire ego knows he, all while his putting on heirs (onto the federal payroll), deserves. What in heaven's name would lead anyone to believe that he intends to do otherwise?







Leading by (bad) Example.

Barren to Baron: I'm the President, See son?
Well, not anymore.

  E-clips: An Unfortunate Memento of the Total Eclipse: Eye Damage

https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-unfortunate-memento-of-the-total-eclipse-eye-damage-1512666000

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Trump trumpery, Trump trumpery, Trump trump-eree.


Hornswoggler-'n-Cheat.


Trump trumpery, Trump trumpery
Trump Trump-eree!
The tweets of The Donald are pure trumpery.
Trump trumpery, Trump trumpery
Trump Trumper-oos!
His friends in the business still call it, "Fake News"
'Cause that, say their sponsors, drives Ad Revenues.
  
Now, as the ladder of life 'as been strung
You might think a President is on the top rung
But Trump spends 'is time stirrin' ashes and smoke
Distracting the world with his conjurer's cloak.

Trump trumpery, Trump trumpery
Trump Trump-eree!
The tweets of The Donald are pure trumpery 
Trump trumpery, Trump trumpery
Trump Trumper-oo!
Your luck will run out if 'e shakes 'ands with you.

With tweets meant to bristle, deride, and distract  
Devoid of all grace or diplomacy and tact.
Prefers spewing trash that's both bitter and cruel
Rebroadcasts on Twitter the Words of a Fool.
Tho' arrogant and wealthy, he's not very bright
'e Keeps things in shadow that should see the light:
Both demon and conman, he's driven by Spite!

Trump trumpery, Trump trumpery
Trump Trump-eree!
He's hornswoggled Congress, the press, you and me
Behind his huge ass lurks the whole GOP
Them wot's singin', "Trump trumpery, Trump trumper-oo!"
He'll ruin more lives than Bush-one or Bush-Two!



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Lord's Preyer.

These men are predators: That's what we like about them.
Their job is to turn human beings into pink mist.
They are not bombing enemy soldiers, they are bombing civilians.
Reaction of US citizens to the Shock and Awe they inflict?
Unquestioned support of  hyper-macho male-dominated Militancy.
More than a decade of constant War
has done nothing to subvert our Christian Nation's
belief that there is no problem we can't solve via assassination and murder.


O Lord Our God,
You who are the source of all Power,
Whose rays illuminate the whole world,
illuminate also my heart
So that it can do Your work:

help us
To tear our Enemies 
To bloody shreds with our shells; 

help us
To cover their smiling fields
with the pale forms
of their Patriotic dead;

help us
To drown the thunder 
of the bombs
with the shrieks 
of their wounded
writhing in pain;

help us
To lay waste
their humble homes
with a hurricane of fire. 

All this we do to Honor You, 
Our lord and our God.

But Please, Please, don't ever subject me to a man's unwanted advances.

MEN, Eh?

Amen.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The blEnd of History


If President Obama's a Kenyan, why didn't change his name to hide the fact?
 Drumph's a German, and he DID change his name to hide it.

But he signals the Right people as to what his true nature is:

By sporting a melange of hairspray and spit meticulously
sculpted into the shape of a WW2 German Helmet.



Though he really seems to like playing golf, 
He loves it more when we call him, "Adolf".
Highlighting a psychotic need to be
The world's number 1 Celebrity,
Though no West Point Gent.

His name means more Ad Revenues
For the media circus we still call "News",
As venom, bile and nasty prompts 
Oozes from his Washington swamp
Like Ointment.

To fill his cabinet, he eschewed the best,
Choosing generals with loaded chests.
Preferring metal formed into a shield
To earning mettle in the Field
Of Appointment.

Like a boll Weevil
His cushy digs belie his Evil, 
 Exhaling a snakelike Hiss
Spawning a miasma of Avarice,
That spreads Disappointment.

That damned ill-natured baneful vice
Claims austerity for you is Nice,
While Luxury keeps a million Poor,
Pride assures they won't restore
What's been Looted.

 Envy itself, and Vanity
 are now ministers of every industry.
Their darlings, Folly and Fickleness
force diet furnishings and dress
To be uprooted.

Hence what was just fine for a time,
 In half a year becomes a crime;
As he struck down all Obama's laws,
For arbitrary ones all full of flaws,
Everyone disputed.

How vain is mortal Happiness
But how to learn the bounds of 
Bliss.
Or that perfection on the ground 
is not only crazy, but (more profound), 
To humankind, unsuited.

Yet every one who lacks success, 
With angry shouts demands redress.
Cursing politicians, Armies, Navy Fleets,
Yet letting Banks be run by Cheats,
Who should've been uprooted.

Sweeping in a Princley Store 
from conning Middle Class and Poor,
For nothing less can thrive,
Than Lawyers in an honest Hive,
With a Free Press, accoutered.

Imprison some, set others free,
Justice is a rarity,
Her presence since no more requires, 
With all her train and Pomp's retired,
All transmuted.

Even Clergy serve themselves, you see
Work not for souls, but their own prosperity.
Whether Jim and Tammy or the swaggering Saggart, 
That Con Man and Braggart,
Divinely Uninspired.

How long it'll take is anyone's guess
'Til he makes the Secret Service his own SS,
His will to power has one intent,
Destroy work done by a better President, 
Less self-interest-mired.

All while claiming it's Democracy
while ignoring all but his constituency;
But those outside the Party called "Tea",
Comprises the vast Majority,
Who kneel during an anthem that's War-inspired,
Yet would gladly stand to shout,
"You're Fired!"




Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Shock and Awe: It Meant Terrorize when the Bush Administration used it, and it Still Does.


Unsavory facts:

Smith & Wesson parent American Outdoor Brands Corp.’s stock AOBC, +3.21% jumped 3.0% in afternoon trade. Volume topped 3.7 million shares, compared with the full-day average over the past 30 days of 2.1 million shares.

Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. shares RGR, +3.48%  climbed 2.7

Commentator in  one of the leading newspapers:

"By the way, if a shooting is not carried out for political aims, it is a mass murder, not an act of terrorism". As though any planned and executed mass murder is not an act of terrorism.

Ever since the corrosive introduction by the Bush adminstration of the terrorist organisations's mentality that, "You're either with us or you're against us" (The Rallying Cry for Europe's erstwhile terrorist organisation known as the Red Brigade), the media has adopted the above logic system where it defines two scenarios as either/or when they are far more obviously 'and'. This is no error, this is a strategy, a method of framing the debate in the most ridiculous manner in order that it be grist for the pundit mill and generate more ad revenue for the 'News' organisations.

However, every computer in the world uses microchips, all of which use the underlying mathematics of Boolean algebra whereby a signal is actuated by whether or not a digital signal that can only represent either a "1" or a "0"goes high via an "And" or an "Or" gate, dependent on whether the condition met is "anded" or "or'd".

The logic is very simple as there are only four outcomes per logical operation:

0 and 0 = 0
0 and 1 = 0
1 and 0 = 0
1 and 1 = 1

0 or 0 = 0
0 or 1 = 1
1 or 0 = 1
1 or 1 = 1

Silicone chips based on this logic is how our entire world now operates.

So when you hear a reporter say that, "If a shooting is not carried out for political aims, it is a mass murder, not an act of terrorism", framing the phrase in such a way as to make it sound as if the two were mutually exclusive, it is for a political purpose that he/she does so, ie the phrasing itself reveals the political aim of the News organisation making the statement.

Just as the most rabid of the NRA supporters maintain their Second amendment rights even as they rage against the swamp of Washington, the very center of power that they use to justify their unassailable right to bear the arms they turn against it, the twisted logic of maintaining that the  mass murder of civilians is not a political act is the most nonsensical twisted reasoning outside of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Defining the 2'nd amendment as the justification for unlimited possession and portability of enough armamentaria to mow down an entire plaza full of people IS a political act, one with political aims, as stated by the very people who support the right of any individual, no matter how loony, to unrestricted access to engines of deadly force. It encourages and legalizes mayhem by disgruntled individuals and endangers that, some would say diminishing, part of the population that isn't mentally deranged.

But that is secondary to gun enthusiasts. To them, it is the right to fight the Federal Government via armed revolt that is their most cherished fundamental (some would say simply mental) right. You can hear it at any gun show or talk radio, or NRA meeting. The exact entity that they rely on to maintain their privilege of hoarding and transporting weapons of mass destruction is the self same body that they amass their weaponry to protect themselves against.That's not just twisted logic, that's insanity.

As both Trump and Hillary supporters choose to forget: This collective self-delusion saw the United States make the greatest strategic blunder in its history, one that many theorize could well have sounded the death knell of the empire: the invasion of  Iraq. And the purported reason was the possession of weapons of mass destruction in an arena in which they were surrounded by other nations, namely Iran and Syria, both of whom were bombed for no reason whatsoever by the only State in the region that actually DOES possess WMD's: Israel, the nation that bombed both Syria and Iraq with no justification other than that they wanted to defend themselves against another signatory to the non-proliferation treaty, Israel, that developed nuclear weapons anyway and the entire world was silent about for decades ... it is still not ranked as a nuclear power despite the fact that even school children know it possesses them.

Likewise, on the home front, the current White House Supremacist, in order to justify his unconstitutional segregation of people from one religion as terrorists, has down played this assault as not being a Terrorist attack, despite the fact that it was a Terrorist rampage by a White Christian on a population he decided deserved to be murdered.

And the NRA believes this is his, and mine, and your right. The state of Iraq, we all decided has no right to even possess a nuclear reactor, which is what Israel decide to bomb in both Iraq and in Syria, with a complete blackout of any protests against these pre-emptive strikes, yet maintain that lone crazed individuals have every right to arm themselves to the teeth despite absolutely no threat to their personal wellbeing, and yet this abominable, revolting mass murder is no reason to take any material steps to change gun laws, reevaluate safety standards, increase access to mental health care, or even have a national conversation about how mass shootings could be avoided in the future, instead we will continue to maintain that madmen abroad such as Kimmie-the -Pooh, can't.


So leaders of States that have been overtly threatened by American regimes, by including them in an "Axis of Evil" as though they were involved in a conspiracy with the other two countries, as you would expect from an association as closely connected as any of its members would be when it's described as being in an Axis with two other countries; their defensive postures, if nothing else, closely aligned. Because the Axis that name was designed to call to mind was obviously that of the Axis powers of WW2, wherein an attack on one was an attack on all. So then, by including No. Korea in this fantasized Axis, the Neo-cons actually made No. Korea a legitimate target of a US regime's military onslaught, and now, as the ballistic bellicosity bellowed by our Commander-in-Chief blasted to the world, is subject to extermiNation by nuclear blitzkrieg.

And for what? For the temerity of thinking they have the right to deploy Weapons of Mass Destruction any American citizen feels they are entitled to, despite no threat from the federal government against which they harbor such an intense fear of, the thought of not having guns to mow down federal agents with is considered an abridgement of their rights so fundamental, so frightening, that they will risk their own lives, and those of their children, to procure and stash weapons of mass destruction under their beds. Yet a State that has been involuntarily harnessed to two powers thousands of miles away that are under constant threat of renewed military assault from the most over-the-top deployer, purveyor and USER of WMD on a scale not even approached by any other nation in the World, is menaced by the same President who believes any whackjob, as long as he is of European extraction, has the privilege of indulging any evil-minded militaristic fantasies of mayhem he so desires.

Such a policy, as the Strumpet himself, has proclaimed, is Evil. It is pure Evil.

So sad.













Monday, September 11, 2017

Autopilots save Florida's Car Fleet and the Economy.

US Capitalism and the End of History:  CarNations belooming Everywhere.

As I watched the long line of auto's snaking out of Florida last week, I was railing at the TV, how this most modern of nations, can't even figure out how to make the highway into a oneway direction so as to not only facilitate escape  but, perhaps as a nod to the fact that it might be a horrible idea to mandate exhausting additional tons of CO2 into an atmosphere already besotted with it, they, Lo and Behold!, did exactly that. The next morning I saw this photo and rejoiced. All is not lost! We don't have to continue to televise to the rest of the world how incompetent, feckless and clueless we've become as a nation.

Then the next day, I saw the storm downgraded, the threat to life exaggerated, and a sneaking suspicion started creeping into my consciousness. Why would Governor Scott, a known liar and creep, who cares nothing about the lives of his constituents, only growth growth and more growth, telling all State employees that should they even mention Climate Change the only thing that'll change is their employment status, all of as sudden show such alarm over their possible demise, when his entire career has hell-bent been on hastening it, destroying their children's chance for any kind of a future in the process?

Because, although I thought it was a great, albeit obvious, idea to rejigger the highway into a one-way street, many writers/commentators from other countries were asking, "Where are the  trains?" Why are you evacuating like this, with, in most of those vehicles pictured above, one driver per carbon-spewing conveyance?

And the answer is to be found on the balance sheets of re-insurance companies such as Swiss RE, and other re-insurance companies, a type of insurance company, most Americans have never even heard of.

Insurance is  dicey business, and, as we saw from AIG and other companies that sold Credit default insurance, the fastest way to become successful in it is to devise a new scam to reap in billion of "insureds" premiums, while paying da nada out in damages. That is basically the entire philosophy of the re-insurance business. Regular insurance companies, such as All-State, let's say, extend more coverage and increase their liabilities and exposure to loss to a greater degree than their capacity to pay out claims should a catastrophic event, such as a supposedly "thousand-year-hurricane" (that's a long storm!) actually occur.

So what they do is sell it to a re-insurance company, such as banks used to set up off-balance sheet entities into which to dump their ugliest "assets", thus making their own balance sheets look less alarming to investors. Re-insurance is the SIV's (Special Investment Vehicles ... how soon we forget) architecture of the banking scam relocated and buried in the insurance industry, because, if nothing else, the financial crisis should have taught us that  insurance and banking are connected at the hip, one doesn't exist without the other ... think FDIC as just the most obvious example, as it was the one that saved any of your money that was in a bank account during the financial crisis, but that which, should (well, When, really, but we won't go there right now) a similar crisis of that magnitude materialize today, would be unable to cover its enormous liability. Think Iceland. Even the US, with its economy that's the envy of the world, has liabilities on the books of such a magnitude that they dwarf the ability of the economy to pay them back even should there be no financial crisis. Everybody knows this, which is why everybody in the financial industry has lost all mooring to reality. Risk? What's that? Give me yield or give me death!

And what has this to do with Governor Scott and the Great Clearing?

Let's ask Swiss Re Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Christian Mumenthaler, speaking to the Scott on the phone the morning before he called for mass evacuation, reminding him that, "I feel very confident that you will step up to the occasion.”



The occasion he was referring to was the execution of the plan to migrate, not the people, who were secondary, the loss of life from a hurricane , even one packing 185 mph winds on an exposed island, such as Barbuda, are surprisingly minimal. The staggering loss to the installed base of automobiles however, was not. It would most likely cause the same type of concatenating failure of financial institutions that Reinsurers have insured against but which, much like AIG did for Credit Default Swaps, have no means to pay for yet another such large destructive, costly ravaging of the US auto fleet. Especially while the railroad tracks leading to Houston are clogged with railcars groaning  under the weight of tons and tons of SUV's being shipped in (you don't expect Texans to buy sedans, now, do you? Harvey had nothing to do with Climate Change. "The American Way of Life is not Negotiable" ... and, as Irma is showing us once again, they are right, just not in the way they think they are).



This is the calamity Swiss RE wanted to, at all costs (to You), avoid.

To do so, they enlisted the help of Florida's Climate-Change Denying governor to "warn" people that if they didn't get out their lives would be forfeit. The State of Florida lacked the resources, the capability , and the will to keep them safe. They must get in their cars, and save them. The implication being that he meant save themselves, but what he actually meant was save the vast, unpaid-for fleet of millions and millions of assets the bank would not be able to repossess for non-payment, because they would be nothing more than costly trash to be hauled away to the dump, at great expanse to Them. Mass evacuation switches the onus of cost, and puts all of it onto you.

As the cars first trickle back in, then begin to flow in like a river in spate, a steaming streaming river of metal and glass , flooding back in to continue the process of besotting the atmosphere with a deluge of CO2, while all the while insisting that we lil ole puny humans couldn't possibly change the atmosphere. Qui, Moi?

As the autopilots fumed their way to Freedom, loss estimates  moved away from the $100 billion range cited by some and are now moving down to below the $50 billion threshold.

Thank you Floridians for the stalwart soldiers of unpaid labor that you proved to be. You saved the Florida economy, your own vehicles, and insured that the financial elite would be able to maintain their position as avatars of growth for a while longer. But you'll get no thanks. You will, however get to drive to work in an intact, mold-free vehicle. Spewing out your exhaust into the faces of your fellow citizens and the pristine-seeming air around you, as though you have the perfect right to. Which you do, of course. It's what we call Freedom!

And, deny it as you might, rest assured that the next time, and there will be a next time, you mightn't escape unscathed from the damage you've done exercising your right to keep the American way of life non-negotiable, no matter what the cost ... to anyone ... even yourself ... even for your offspring that you pretend to love as you destroy their world, teaching them how they too, can wreak mayhem, simply by sitting on their asses and pushing a pedal to the metal, in the bargain.








Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Mine Heir: While running my affairs, Can't you say 'Covert'?



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.











Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Dead Mencken Dance: Trump's Chumps Slump.



  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 Neanderthals: "Trump's Chumps", as Bannon likes to refer to them (in private of course). 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 gather and the bilge of reactionary venom pools and festers, and Baptist pastors sing the hymns of the sanctified to men 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 sets up his traps and spreads 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  the old pussy-grabber's puissance will hold up 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 as well as 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 trumped-up 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 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 Arctic made ice-free by Climate Change 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 while supporting the NRA's revulsion for any restraints on the proliferation of the weaponry that each and every year kills thousands of 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 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 these gullible gatherings of Trump's Chumps.

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 when President Obama made him the butt of his jokes 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 Nazi's are evil, 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 chumps, 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 rust-belt 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 when he returns to them in his regular appearances it is 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, is disappearing 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. Although 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, so that to come under their gaze is like coming under fire, the line of fire is becoming obscured, his friendly fire proving t be worse  than enemy fire, coming as it does, from one promising  he "has their back" only to riddle it with bullets.

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 an empty stage to strut upon, on which:

He allows no other players:
They have their exits, but 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, was full of sound and fury,
Yet all it signified was nothing.