Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Usury Crisis: Two Must See News Segments

Usury (noun) The practice of lending money and charging the borrower interest, especially at an exorbitant or illegally high rate.

Yes, we used to have laws against those kinds of practices. To understand the enormous political shifts taking place you really need to get back to a roots word like usury. It's really just another way of saying that someone was conned by a financial transaction the complexity of which was too much for them to fully grasp.

In truth, and I've said it before, the whole monetary system is a con of exactly that kind - a con that is too complex for most people to fully understand. This failure to understand the financial landscape also means that people are equally unable to meaningfully manage their own positions in relation to their surroundings. They just don't get it and our financial institutions don't want them to understand it too well anyway.

No one's going to bail you out of a financial crisis. Hell, they are trying to make a proper bankruptcy damned near impossible for an individual. But if you are a corporation or another kind of favored business, then no problem - you might not only get your bankruptcy but even a bail out that makes a bankruptcy unnecessary.

Welcome to the financial crisis of 2008!

Is your name Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae? Then we don't care how much you screwed up, we have taxpayer money for you. Do you find the cushion comfortable enough? We got taxpayer monies on tap! You keep risking it and we'll keep bailing you out...

This makes people in Japan, China, England and all over Europe very happy.

And Obama will not save you. He's too busy contemplating the "moral hazard" represented by the people that accepted the loans instead of scrutinizing the overweening greed on the part of the lenders that made the loans in the first place. Obama is willing to bail out the corporations but not you lowly individuals - nope, not gonna happen. You see, those corporations and financial institutions pay him to cover their asses but you aren't worth shit to Obama.

Bill Moyers Journal: Mortgage Mess, William Greider, Justice and the American Dream

Democracy Now: Naomi Klein Reexamines “The Shock Doctrine”

Friday, July 18, 2008

Do your fucking job, you silly cunt!

Pelosi: Bush 'a total failure'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Bush "a total failure" on Thursday, among the California Democrat's harshest assessments to date of the president.

"God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States -- a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject," Pelosi told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an exclusive interview.


But Pelosi's comments come as a new Gallup poll registers the lowest level of congressional approval among Americans in the polling organization's 30-year history of conducting that survey.


What explains the arrogance of this woman?

I am pretty sure I voted her and her god-damned party in so that they would get us out of these wars and impeach the motherfucking Prez. But she declared both of those fundamental moves off the table. I am quite sure that the Dems thought they could delay dealing with Bush so that it would more significantly affect the outcome of the next major election cycle. Put another way, they traded more American blood for political advantages.

I will now vote for anyone but Pelosi, because I have to vote against someone with the ability to make such a ghastly ethical trade-off. And let's be clear, she put her own political party and personal motives above doing her congressional duties and impeaching a Prez who is almost certainly guilty of several felonious federal offenses.

I can only hope that the plan is to go after Bush after the next election, once he no longer has executive privileges protecting him. I do want this one Prez to end up behind bars with his pals.

But I won't hold my breath.

Already the next Prez apparent, cocksucking Obama, has it in mind to keep these wars going - maybe going bigger in Afghanistan. What a dolt! Already he appears to be another puppet for big oil and the military industrial complex. I might as well vote McCain - at least McCain is honest about his overweening greed and his transparent desire to follow in the footsteps of Bush.

What a world, what a world...!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Disinformation and the Economy

There's a lot of near panic out there. People are acting as if the sky is actually going to fall.

Here's some good news: the sky will not fall.

And when they sky doesn't fall what you will discover is that life goes on. People will work, eat, shelter themselves, etc. Not much will change. The U.S. dollar doesn't really mean anything - in fact it has no intrinsic value whatever beyond the paper it is printed upon. The dollars you so wish you had more of aren't actual wealth - they are the mere signifiers of wealth. And as fewer people carry actual paper currency and tend to carry plastic credit cards instead, what you really have is a situation where 1s and 0s in a computational machine are the signifiers pointing at nothing.

The situation is actually worse once you take into account our system of fractional reserve banking where banks effectively invent dollar entries in their computers for dollars that don't actually exist in a ratio of something like 1:10. For every one real paper dollar a bank can claim to have constructive control over it can lend out ten that are created by the mere act of lending out the money. This is a radically simplified description of what is written in Title 12 of the Federal Code. But again, the main point is this: dollars have no real intrinsic value and the whole economy is mainly a matter of faith in a system perpetuating the economic myth of perceived value.

Sleight of hand economics: now you see it and now you don't.

So if the economy is in the toilet, it's really more a crisis of faith than anything else. Do you believe the economy is tanking and cannot recover; or, do you believe that the economy is rough right now but will recover and become far more robust in the near future? Decisions, decisions...

Smart money says the economy will recover and our economic cycle of bubbles and busts will continue on its merry way.

Smart money also says that you do generally the opposite of what the media tells you. The owners of mass media have a message for you - the lowly consumer - and it runs usually exactly the opposite of what the media owners - and economic puppet-masters - are going to do. When they say the economy is bad what they really means is that they want you to panic and to sell low so that they can buy low. When they tell you the economy is in a boom cycle what they really mean is that they want you to buy high so that they can sell high.

This is really no different than people that try to spike the buying and selling of stocks by deseminating rumors that favor the way they want the sheep to move. The sheep move one way and the rumor-mongers move another way.

If you have the means, find the bottom in your favorite market and buy in bigtime. The move up is coming soon.

Innumeracy Among the Piraha

"MIT-led team finds language without numbers"

The team, led by MIT professor of brain and cognitive sciences Edward Gibson, found that members of the Piraha tribe in remote northwestern Brazil use language to express relative quantities such as "some" and "more," but not precise numbers.


One other discovery of the project is that the Piraha can perform exact matching tasks as long as there is no memory component to them, but once there is a memory component, they approximate their matches. This suggests that language is a cognitive technology that aids humans in memory tasks.


"The only truly alien planet is Earth." - J.G. Ballard

No Question: It *IS* Torture and Torture is a War Crime

"Countdown: War Crimes Prosecutions Possible" [VIDEO]


"Top Bush aides pushed for Guantánamo torture"

He added: "Haynes, Feith, Yoo, Bybee, Gonzalez and - at the apex - Addington, should never travel outside the US, except perhaps to Saudi Arabia and Israel. They broke the law; they violated their professional ethical code. In future, some government may build the case necessary to prosecute them in a foreign court, or in an international court."


"Worries About War Crimes Heat up in the White House"

On those larger issues, the evidence is in, merely awaiting adjudication. Mr. Bush's 2005 proclamation that "we do not torture" was long ago revealed as a lie. Antonio Taguba, the retired major general who investigated detainee abuse for the Army, concluded that "there is no longer any doubt" that "war crimes were committed." Ms. Mayer uncovered another damning verdict: Red Cross investigators flatly told the C.I.A. last year that America was practicing torture and vulnerable to war-crimes charges.


The thugs in the White House don't seem to get it: waterboarding *IS* torture and torture is a war crime. All that's left now is to see if this or any congress we shall see soon has the balls to make a prosecution stick.

The White House administration has done its best to create confusion on the supposed question of whether waterboarding is torture: if it is not torture, then it's not illegal nor a war crime; if it is torture, then it's illegal and war crime - we'll ask our attorneys! There is no question of law to be decided here, there is no doubt that waterboarding is torture and a war crime. Ask the Red Cross, they might know.

The only people asking those idiotic questions and doing all of the hemming and hawing over this bullshit are our own elected officials in D.C. Apparently, they can't do their jobs and defend the U.S. Constitution nor defend us before the international community from being thought of as the people that suborned torture.

Congress's failure to act makes us all into war criminals!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Revolving Door of K Street

The Revolving Door of K Street


In case you didn't realize how some of this bullshit works...

Obama on FISA = Same Old Shit

When push came to shove, Obama caved to corporate pressure. What explains such a move on his part? It's simple: we "the people" aren't his true constituency - he just wants our votes. His true constituency is corporate America.

I cannot respect anyone that favors the needs of juristic persons over the Constitutionally protected rights of natural persons.

I think we are in for some major political battles over who owns this country: corporations or individuals. I know which side of this equation most career politicians fall under.

Consider the name of this blog and what it means.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bill Moyers Journal: Big Oil and Iraq

There was a time some years ago when I was attacked for being unpatriotic for opposing the Iraq War which I insisted was an exchange of American blood for oil. In the current political climate one hesitates to use the phrase "the chickens have come home to roost" but it is certainly very appropriate in this particular case.

Watch or read Bill Moyers lay down the law on this topic, his commentary is deeply insightful and does much to set the record straight on the issue of the Iraq War and what exactly so many have given so much to accomplish:


Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Things are more like they are now than they have ever been." - Gerald R. Ford

Yes, Mr. President, yes they are...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Olbermann on Obama's FISA Fuckup

"Olbermann Scolds Obama Over FISA, but Offers the Senator Ways to Redeem Himself"


I like most of the opinions held and given voice by Olbermann. The guy says some really great stuff from time to time. If he has a political opinion with which I would disagree I haven't heard it yet, but there is this one thing...

He seems to think that if the Democrats win a landslide election that everything will somehow "auto-magically" get better for the USA. As if the Dems weren't up to their eyeballs in corporate funding and favors that must be paid back. As if Obama wasn't basically just politics as usual. Etc.

Olbermann is certainly anti-GOP and I can't disagree with that at all. But I am far more lukewarm on the Dems than is Olbermann. Olbermann comes across as fairly enthusiastic about the Dems while simultaneously kicking them in the balls anyway.

Personally, I just don't trust any political party really. And that's the point Olbermann was making by referencing George Washington.

So why the enthusiasm, Keith? Just kick them in the balls and be done with it.

Torture, the American way...

"Believe Me, It’s Torture"


Yup, that's Christopher Hitchens being tortured. I don't always agree with the guy but he's spot on with this one.

That this hideous act is happening in our names makes me want to spell American with a lower case "a" at the front. The shame of suborning torture should never be forgotten. The fact that we are most likely doing this to dozens of people merely because they fit some ridiculous federally established profile for a terrorist is equally shameful - in other words, they are all innocent and yet we do not believe them. Instead, we are torturing them and holding them captive.

What it means to be the U.S.A. is quickly being watered down into oblivion. And it's not a simulation, it's real.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The surest sign that gasoline will become cheaper soon!

"Service Lets Drivers Lock In Gasoline Prices"

A recently introduced service called allows drivers to fill up their tanks sometime in the future but at current prices, using a debit-like card which banks gallons rather than dollars.
The risk to the consumer is if price of gasoline in the future becomes cheaper rather than more expensive. But if members are dissatisfied, they can drop out of the program and receive a lesser of the current price or what they paid as a refund.


There it is. The "tell" of the market speculators.

Most people simply call it greed.

Chemical Shamanism: What was known all along...

"Study finds long benefit in illegal mushroom drug"

Scientists reported Tuesday that when they surveyed volunteers 14 months after they took the drug, most said they were still feeling and behaving better because of the experience.

Two-thirds of them also said the drug had produced one of the five most spiritually significant experiences they'd ever had.

The drug, psilocybin, is found in so-called "magic mushrooms." It's illegal, but it has been used in religious ceremonies for centuries.


I can confirm these findings. I'd say any significantly strong hallucinogen is going to provide the same possible benefits.

But I caution eager users...

You don't want to rush out and drop acid or whatever. It's certainly not for everyone. It can be an emotionally devastating experience and can actually amplify some negative emotions and result in what is sometimes called a "bad trip." In the right frame of mind a hallucinogen can become a powerful tool of personal spiritual enlightenment - your own party line to the divine with no pretender mediating between you and the purity of first hand experience. If you take enough of something - and here is where I recommend at least double dosages of mushrooms, acid, or DMT - hallucinogens can become the locomotive to the land of the machine elves. My machine elves looked like tiny color dots with arms and legs that seemed to be the engineers behind the movement of all things - the ultimate puppet masters of reality! I laughed, I cried, and stopped wondering why. At the end of all things I realized that nothing mattered and that we might as well make the best of things. The most useful revelation was that human culture was FULL of the most outrageous conceits and that most of us really need to get over ourselves.

Find your own machine elves!