Thursday, June 16, 2011

Greek Salad

It fascinates me that while Greece's possible insolvency rocks world financial markets, the unspoken consensus is that the Greek people simply have to accept these austerity measures, and to not do so is childish and selfish.

Why should they?

The Greek pensioners didn't cause the financial crisis. They didn't get leveraged 30 to 1 or make side bets with AIG that simple arithmetic told a child they couldn't pay off.

Default, Greece. Let the rotten, swinish banks go down holding your worthless pieces of paper. It may ruin the world economy, cause me to lose my job and starve to death. But frankly? It would be satisfying to watch bankers suffer for once.

Then again, who am I kidding? Bankers never suffer. They'll just get bailed out, while more austerity from us will be needed to balance the books. Again.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Security Theater

Senator Ron Wyden tells us that the government is doing things, behind the scenes, that threaten our liberty, while engaging in the security theater that the Patriot Act represents.

But on our network television screens? Families with 19 kids.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Matrix

Dan Carlin released his 200th Common Sense show relatively recently, and it's the usual clear headed look at the world, sad as it is, that we have.

Remember the movie "The Matrix"? The good one, not the terrible ones. Remember how the human beings are being kept in stasis, their energy used to feed the machines in the real world?

More than ever, I'm convinced that's where we are headed. Don't ask any questions. Just sit down, shut up, watch Dancing With The Stars, and consume. Just consume. Feed the beast- the corporations that own your government, that now control your rights, that own everything and everyone. Just consume. Buy what they're selling, and don't question the system.

Religion? Peace? Love? Never mind all that. Just fucking consume.

And if you ask too many inappropriate questions? We lock people up who do that.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Na Ginga

Newt Gingrich, a man who is on his third wife, expects us to take him seriously as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States?


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Math is Hard

Speaker of the House John Boehner, who apparently had no problem voting for spending as long as the President was white, is the latest member of the Republican Party to come out publicly wringing his hands over government spending. One wonders if Mr. Boehner would be as concerned about extreme budget makeovers if he were negotiating with President McCain.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cui Bono?

From the blog "Brilliant at Breakfast?":

"Such is the legacy of Osama Bin Laden: His enemy nation is on its knees, wracked by debt and declining standards of living and corporate greed and inequality. A nation whose citizens jump at the mere mention of Al Qaeda to the point that we have become willing to give up all of our privacy just to be able to believe, however falsely, that it won't happen again. A nation in which a Congressman can call McCarthyesque hearings demanding that people who are members of the religion Bin Laden professed to practice to somehow "prove" their loyalty to this country. A nation in which a President whose name is associated with Islam is hounded about what constitutes a valid birth certificate by people with no knowledge of legal documentation.

The demonstration in the street show that while George W. Bush wasn't "all that concerned" with Osama Bin Laden, Americans clearly were. We may be uncomfortable with the precedent of assassination (which may at some point in the future be used indiscriminately by another George Bush trying to prove his manhood to his father), and this does not mean the end of Al Qaeda or even of terrorism coming from the Middle East (as opposed to the terrorism brewing in our own heartland). But if we do not take time out from the celebrations and look at what we have allowed Osama Bin Laden to do to our country, not a decade ago, but in the decade since, then we deserve to continue our slow slog into oblivion."

Precisely. As we natter on about Trump's hair and how mean the lefty media is, the real war is long since over. Osama made us wicked, and mean, and heartless. He made us waste blood and treasure chasing phantoms. You could argue he showed us for what we are. Or you could argue he changed us. I think a third thing: he made us show our wickedness plain- revealing the dark obscene heart of the American Dream. For all the flag waving and all the dumbshows, this country was founded by rich men who didn't feel like they should have to give their money away in taxes. 'Twas ever thus. Maybe the elite really are just like the founders- rich, and intending to stay that way.

We're fucked. Everything is going to get worse, and worse, and exponentially worse. I hope the wealthy enjoy it behind the walls of their gated communities, because we're dying out here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Gotten

The US media is currently doing backflips over the killing of Osama Bin Laden. While ordinarily opposed to state sanctioned murder, Osama was on my "Yeah, but" shortlist for reasonable exceptions to that policy. However vulnerable and isolated he may have been, a world without OBL is a better world by almost any definition.

Like a baseball manager, the president of the United States gets too much credit when things go well, and too much blame when they do not. I was watching standup comedy last night when the news broke, which came to me via a alert from the Huffington Post that the President was about to address the nation. I knew this had to be pretty big- the only news I can remember breaking on a weekend like that was Princess Diana's death and Saddam Hussein's capture. The only news big enough that I could think of was the capture or death of Bin Laden, which, of course, it was. Right wing partisans are trying to minimize the impact, of course, lest any credit accrue to Obama, and left wingers are striving to paint anyone not doing handsprings at the news as un-American.

It strikes me that this could have, and should have, happened much sooner. And it would have if we had not diverted assets away to attack Iraq.