The Pentagong Show

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

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.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hypocrisy in Action: Filling Many a Cold Bier.

"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 President's 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.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

SCROTUM: Supreme Court Reservoir of Thoroughly Useless Magistrates.

Burning Man: You're Fired!
In London (you may have heard) a highrise encased in flammable cladding to make it look nicer, while foregoing the installation of sprinklers in order to save money, lit up like a Tiki-Torch, toasting its inhabitants like marshmallows, there being, decades after The Towering Inferno was made, even as high-rise after highrise goes up around the globe, no plan, no known method, of either getting panicked people out nor firefighters in, to the top stories of such edifices. A world in which we regularly fire rockets not only at each other but into space, has simply never bothered to devise, or even consider, any means of rescuing apartment dwellers from the upper stories of a blazing skyscraper, because we secretly savor the spectacle of people throwing themselves in desperation from flaming buildings too big to scale and billowing with smoke.

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.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thought Bubbles of Carbon Nation: There Won't be a Green Piece Left.

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.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

San Francisco Bay Beef.

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.