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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Magic Wand

The President has stated that there is no magic wand which he might wave to force back the price of fuel. Unfortunately, he is mistaken. He seems to have forgotten that he himself established the existence of such a magic wand. When did this President abandon the ways of magical thinking? He used to think magically. What else could you call his actions: talking to some sort of deity about launching a war, looking into the souls of Russians? Pure magic. The old magical wand he used to believe in was: Invade a Middle Eastern country and oil will be cheap! The War will pay for itself and supply will be assured for the future.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Clockwork Campaign

Hilary, when asked about Iran's nuclear ambitions, threatened to obliterate Iran, which is another way of saying "wipe it off the map." Since she is in the middle of a political campaign and she has not, as far as I know, hitherto expressed other equally repulsive genocidal views, we may write it down as a campaign quirk. However, it shows that Ms. Clinton knows what really works with Americans: a genocidal threat, such as "bomb them back to the stone age". There are some that will say that we always are about to "bomb them back to the stone age!", but after a chill out period, cooler heads always prevail. This does not take a lot of history into account, however. The Iraq War did not experience much input from those "cool" heads at all. The majority of the input was from raving geeks like Wolfowitz, or locker room bullies and cryptos like Limbaugh. (note: a "crypto" is still in the broom closet.) When the shooter opens fire at students walking on the Quad, we keep acting as if we cannot fathom what is going on. It is a sign that our view of reality is phoney: a stretch of boredom punctuated by gunshots and intermittent excitement. Reality is always exciting. If we saw the Real World, we would be excited. We only see the Real World when some poor crazed individual can't stand it anymore and rushes out to get a gun to stir things up. Similarly, the USA cannot feel properly alive and vibrant and full of the "rockets' red glare" unless it senses itself doing a bit of map wiping or acting as a stone age drover.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ius Primae Noctis And Ius Primi Mane

We were talking about the ius primae noctis the other day, just to pass the time, I suppose. In case you have missed this mediaeval tidbit, this ius is a right which the lord of the manor claimed and it supposedly gave him the right to go to bed with any new wife on the manor on the first night of her marriage. Hence, the name right of the first night.

As time wore on, and wear it does when you are talking about such things as ius primae noctis, a veritable high speed sander wearing down the highs and lows of the woodwork of real conversation, talk took a buffoonish turn. The interesting ius, if such a ius primum inter iures pares were to exist, would be the ius primi mane, or the right of the first morning. This is the right to wake up from a lordly drunken stupor the next morning ( and it has to be a drunken revelry the night before, else, whence the expression "drunk as a lord"? ) and be set immediately to sobriety's rights by looking over at the lady snoring next to him.
I do not believe there was a latin word for coyote, so we have gone quite far enough with this. I do not know why I think its funny to mix learning and bar jokes. Perhaps I fancy myself to be Catullus.

Playing Cards

An episode playing cards.
Me: Do you have,no. any......peace in our time?
Vice President: (sneering sarcastically) GO FISH !

Fulsom Chickens

"I see those chickens comin',
They're coming 'round the bend!
And I ain't seen the sunshine
since I don't know when.
I' waitin' for them chickens,
they're comin' home to roost!"

The Supreme Court: Scalia

''if ever the Supreme Court came to be composed of rash or corrupt men, the confederation would be threatened by anarchy or civil war.'' de Tocqueville Read an excellent account of how a partisan court disgraced itself and our country by foisting the first unelected President in history upon us, leading the way for War and Discord and Disruption. The Existentialist Cowboy on Judge Scalia Friday, April 25, 2008 The Man Who Stuck Us With Bush On the Case of Bush v. Gore: The New York Times Posner v. Dershowitz A GREAT CASE THAT MADE NO LAW:A Review of Alan Dershowitz's Book on Bush v. Gore By STANLEY I. KUTLER My view of Justice Scalia, he sits below on the left, scarfing down the ill-gotten bread of his crooked, just like Nostradamus, we shall prophesy........

Ayants grande faim, ils vont manger leurs paroles
(starving, they will eat their words)

Friday, April 25, 2008

White Folks

John McCain, who does not know the difference between a Sunni and a Shi'a, knows that Hamas wants Barack Obama elected president and has stated so. In this, it is good to see white John McCain coming to the aid of white Hilary Clinton. White folks got to stick together. White folks...

Heroes Against Tyrrany

I have enormous respect for the dock workers in Durban, South Africa, who refused to unlade the Chinese ship carrying arms bound for Zimbabwe.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

From The Pulpit

I am ready to give some quaint advice to the parishioners: (I was meditating on this picture above and admired the irony of juxtaposing the store named "Foodland" and its empty parking lot of crumbling asphalt. When you get past its tawdry commonplace nature, its takes on a tragic note of a once great civilization brought low to dusky death.) Everything - every propensity, every action, every type of behavior - which has led us to the present state of affairs must be abandoned.

We cannot have an Earth that sustains life, if the living beings choose not to sustain Earth. Simply put in terms of the Consumerism Paradigm of our lives, the Wal-Mart system wherein goods of poor quality are produced in sweatshops to sell in the USA in order to undercut the inflationary pressures of a profligate way of life must be abandoned, now!
Every step of the way must be moral: from the extraction of resources to the manufacture to the shipment of goods to the point of sale and to the end use of goods, everything must follow a morality wherein all beings are not merely logical variables within an economic theory. The individual consumer must be an individual conscious and moral being and they must be distinct enough that they are themselves responsible morally for what they do. Thus, they must be aware of the moral dimensions which exist in the economy: the destruction of our jobs, the sweatshops abroad, the tainted goods... Everything.

This is not a ridiculous notion. People are vastly informed about things, some of little value, some of great value. The thing we should never forget is the present War: all the intelligence was there.......IF we had but chosen to spend 1/2 hour per day reading real news from real news sources and from impartial sources, we would not have allowed this atrocity. Those who deem themselves our masters do not wish us to pay attention to what they do, therefore they say that we should not bother because all the intelligence was wrong, anyway. They say we should look the other way and go shopping at the mall. Moral things are difficult and pipe dreams and impractical schemes only to those who love their immorality. This is the Economics of fully developed Individuals.

When moral individuals are in the market, the market cannot be explained solely in terms of market dynamics; there is an extra dimension which defies analysis. The so-called Individuals of classical economic thought are rather similar to George W. Bush. Here is a man who has the most prestigious and powerful job on Earth. Many of his fellow countrymen are in great economic stress. They are beset every day with bad news and rising prices. They don't really know what to expect.
What sign of sympathy comes from the President? None. He talks about matters that interest himself and I suppose some group of Republicans somewhere, but when he speaks, he evinces no interest in our well being, merely a desire to justify himself. He shows no deep desire that we thrive, just a desire that he may escape from office before the house of cards falls down. He is a perfect example of a thwarted human being, scarce half made up. Economic man of classical economic theory is scarcely one-quarter made up.

The men and women of the future - if there is to be a future- must retrieve the other half of the lives of conscious beings made in the image of God: the moral dimension. Which Morality, you ask? There are so many. Which is the one which is right? God made conscious beings in His image. Therefore, the Morality which is God's is that which liberates mankind...for God is free and He is not constrained.
The Morality of God is not a well-manicured lawn with strictly regulated gardens of flowers; it is a glorious carpet of millions of different prairie flowers growing from horizon to horizon, as far as the eye can see, each with perfect freedom within its neighborhood, each growing unfettered yet according to the laws of emergent growing things ...... and where the cramped eye of classical economy and the pinched view of the rigidly doctrinal see chaos, I see the strength of diversity.
The Diverse Universe grows in perfect freedom, perfectly observing the laws and customs of its time and place and nature. It is not a false freedom, as is that proclaimed by master to slave, or by autocrat to serf, but a perfect liberation which is intuited within all our quiet meditations.
Freedom proclaimed by words and pictures is only a shadow of freedom. It is a crude attempt to portray the unportrayable.
Freedom can only be lived.
The Morality of which I speak is just the next step of mankind, the one which we have resisted so far, the one proclaimed by all the great religions and to which we have turned a blind eye. It is nothing new.
Only our liberating obedience will be new.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Picture For Today

A Picture:

Now the thousand words........

Well, I'm waiting......

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Game Of The Future: What If...

What If ...?: the future we threw war parties and war cakewalks based on lies, delusions, and the state of our testosterone? And, on waking from this madness, we decided what the heck and kept right at it? That would indeed be a bleak futuristic society.

Rules for What If ...?:

come up with some believable tripe, such as a complete incompetent fool will be elected President of the USA, write it down in the form " the future_____"

End by saying that would be a bleak future, bleak futuristic society, or truly an Orwellian dystopia, or some other nonsense.

Enough Is Enough

Please do NOT read the latest articles by the Mogambo Guru about our idiot governments and central banks and financial systems. It will only sadden you.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Gooseing The Economy

As unflattering and tasteless as that title is, I have to thank my Title purveyor for sending it along. It is all I could have dreamed. I have the presentiment that the action of the Federal Reserve in throwing all its resources into shoring up the financial sector and "gooseing" the economy...... (hopefully not giving it a "wedgie", nor a "swirlie", nor a "wet willy", nor a "twister" in the process.) rather like the situation in the original Star Trek in which Scotty "gooses" the dilithium crystals or what not and all available might and main thrusts the Enterprise forward to some blazing sun, only to suddenly veer off at the last moment, and thereby achieving some sort of critical hoodia or mogambo sufficient to reverse the flow of time and thrust them back into the past......or forward to the future......depending on the needs of the Writers, the only gods of such universes. When the garage door coil spring of Bernanke's stimulus is compressed to some critical point, what will ensue when it bursts forth unrestrained and the pendulum swings in another direction and with a vengeance... or, as some Russians would have it, according to fugitive peace, like a certain anatomical area on skis!

The Joy Of Text

I must learn the intricacies of text messaging. According to news articles coming out of Detroit, once you start texting, all manner of pleasures will come to you. The mayor of Detroit apparently is mixed up in a texting-love-perjury festival which defies description. I do know this much: once you learn the joy of text, all sorts of gingery lubricities will follow!

What If? : The Game Of The Future

O.K. I'll go first. What If ...?: ...the future society had opinion writers and commentators who wrote all their articles and essays in one, single first draft and never wrote a second draft? ...the future was essentially a "first draft" society?

That would indeed be a future fit for Rotwang! what if...?

Music: The Nechamah Girls

Israeli band. I listen to someone new. I do not offer opinions on music. I am musically impaired. However, the hair is something else...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Debates And HuffPost

Would someone please get the US Media out of the business of holding debates? I think a group of middle school kids would be much more able to ask interesting and pertinent questions, as well as being humorous....much more. As I pointed out recently about the inability to express oneself properly, the present age is not very good at analyzing things deeply and forcing them into those words which are the proper form for their meaning. For example, I have read the Huffington Post( I call it the HuffPost...or even HuffPo ) for years. I am no longer able to read it without (1) feeling embarrassed, and (2) shaking my head in amazement. Let us be quite clear here: Writers of the present age write articles and that employ language and expressions that, if we were to write to them using the same language, would find our letters excised from their site for improper behavior. Another example of Homo Politicus!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Our Lives In The Bush Of Ghosts: 9

Retail gasoline, diesel prices set records Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:39pm EDT WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The average price U.S. drivers paid for gasoline climbed to a new high of $3.39 a gallon after rising 5.7 cents over the last week, the federal Energy Information Administration said on Monday... While this is going on, The best Mr. Bush can do is obsess about a deal with the great trading nation of Colombia. Resign Now!

Jack Torrance In The White House

I say, do you think the White House will have to be exorcised after the present crowd leaves office and goes to inhabit some Gadarene swine?

I saw on the news last night that John Ashcroft appeared to be the only member of the administration that thought it grossly improper to have senior officials discussing torture at meetings in the White House. Will the White House be like The Overlook? Will it look like Kubrick's The Shining? Will the staff see ghostly things? Will there be a Room 242 that is off-limits to all? And Llolyd!!!

The bartender. I'm sure Lloyd has been around a lot in the past 8 years. "Your money's no good here, Mr. Bush. Compliments of the management", said Lloyd. "White man's burden, Lloyd! White man's burden!", said George, pushing the money back into his wallet.

AND what about GRADY ??!!

"Mr. Bush; the Democratic Party is trying to bring an outsider into this situation. They are trying to bring in a n-----r chef .
You must take care of them, Mr. Bush. The management wonders if you can handle it?"


"White man's burden, Grady. White man's burden!"

Monday, April 14, 2008


Even though the people at Blogger and Google cringe when I say it, this is a "blogspot" website. And even though this will never be a Blog of Note, I have received a trans-temporal mark of cinematic approval:
O.K., UFA !

Haggee Watch

The New Age "Christian" pastor Hagge has made a donation towards his various Tribulation goals: U.S. evangelist pledges $6 million in contributions to Israel By The Associated Press American evangelist John Hagee on Sunday announced donations of $6 million to a number of Israeli causes and declared that Israel must remain in control of all of Jerusalem... Control of Jerusalem is a concept central to Haggee-ism, a New Age type of religious doctrine that purports to know the mind of God and, furthermore, attempts to bend the divine to the will of one man: Haggee himself.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Reverend Mr. Beebe And The BBC

If people ask me whence I got some tidbit of news, I respond "The Reverend Mr. Beebe". This drives She-who-must-be-obeyed crazy. She says no wonder people cross over to the other side of the street when they spot me sauntering towards them. They are afraid I shall speak and say that type of thing. I suppose she is right. However, the provenance of the expression is: I read the BBC every morning as my first read. Anything else comes after the BBC. I fondly refer to the BBC as The Beeb I like the actor Simon Callow (who doesn't?) and he was in Merchant/Ivory's A Room With A View, playing the Reverend Mr. Beebe. (Need I add that Beebe sounds the same as Beeb?) So, it just all makes sense to me. Firsly, it establishes a bond of friendship between similarly minded individuals (bloody few), and causes hearty laughter (and funny looks). Anyway, I like it. It takes the humdrum of the everyday and creates Icons and Symbols and new connections which lift it at least to the level of Opera Buffa, if not something more. Having said opera buffa, I should now add a reference to Gianni Schicchi, but even I know that would be over the top. PS. However, "O mio babino caro" comes from Gianni and was in Room.

Studying Violence

The manner in which scientists study the link between violent images and consequent violent activity in American society is rather like: Studying a group of people for 2 hours per day, during which time the members of the study group each smokes 2 cigarettes. After 1 year, we issue our findings on the effects of tobacco on longevity. What we have neglected is that each member of the study group smokes two packs a day outside the study group, has done so for 30 years, and will continue doing so for as long as they live. They also have high cholesterol diets, love trans fats, and avoid exercise. The picture is incomplete, uninformed, and truncated.

A Good Fit

I know a young lady who is job hunting, just as so many are these days. She lives in Michigan, a state which has been in a depression for 3 years or so. The rest of the country is getting ready to join them. Anyway, she is trained in the law, and thus has many years schooling. She recently received a response from a law firm. They declined to ask her to join them. These things happen. But it was the way they worded it that struck me: "We don't think it is a good fit." I realize that using the language to express oneself is a difficult art. However, people that have gone to school for as many years as professional people do really ought to be able to use the old mother tongue with a bit more facility than evidenced in the above reply. I said as much to She-who-must-be-obeyed. She snorted with contempt. She saw absolutely nothing wrong with expressing possible employment in terms of joinery or the craft of wood working. Nor I, I responded. These are good and fine crafts. But the expression is slang at present. It is a lazy way to express oneself. I was about to add that I thought that the "fit" being talked about was not that of a dovetail tenon, but I thought better of it. She said that it was not slang. I sense that she herself must use it when speaking with her coven of friends. No, I said. It is slang. Professional people, having been schooled so much, should be able to express themselves in a manner that is not redolent of the street corner. (I may point out that we are often at loggerheads on Mother English. I remember once denouncing the business use of : we are in receipt of your letter... To her it was de jure. I, however, said that simply stating "we have received your letter" seems to work on all 12 cylinders. I see no reason to philosophize some esoteric state of being; i.e., the state of Being-in-Receipt, when it comes to talking about getting the mail! It sounds as if they had Martin Heidegger doing their correspondence!) To my mind, a good fit is perfectly good for a quick no thought response, but this grading barely comes up the the level of grade-school graffitti. Do not get the idea that when I say slang, I mean the bold, startling innovative use of language in urban or any other areas. Recall that I embraced Rap music in 1984 - a time when the main music store on the east side of Detroit had exactly 15 tapes total of Rap for sale. I mean "fit" is (1) slang, (2) lazy - a knee-jerk response like "hot enuff for ya?" AND the point which I detest the most is # 2, the laziness. (For example, when Chuck Berry says "When I was motivatin' over the hill", it is language of the genius-type. When someone says "it is a good fit", yawns abound.) If the professionals are lazy and sluggish with language, then why must it amaze us when Johnny can't read, write, or - in the words of AT&T - show the minimum ability to do the rudimentary tasks companies need? She-who-must-be-obeyed would have none of this. She anathematized me, saying I was just like my brother; the brother with jail time she meant, not the other one who has thus far profited by his crimes. Later that day... She was doing a crossword puzzle and asked me in which country Shiraz was located. I said the word sounded Iranian. She had written in "Irani"; I suggested "Farsi", but "Irani" seemed to work. Within 5 minutes there was a news report about a bomb explosion in a southern city in Iran. I grumbled that they were being so miserly of information that they could not tell us the name of the city, so I went to the Internet and hooked up to the Beeb ( my fanciful name for the BBC) The city where the mosque was bombed was Shiraz! The above is true, but sadly has little to do with the rest of the story. You may feel free to regard it as a sub-plot. The point being is that we were in the State of Being-TV-Watchers ( in good business-ese) and had the pixels glowing. There was a show on Animal Planet during which 2 new-age-animal-whisperer-rescuer- types went to the homes of people who were in serious state of being-pet-less, or simply without a pet and in need of same. ( I shall refer to the animal-whisperer-rescuer types as animal maieutics or "midwives" after this, since their job is to "midwive"-in the strict Socratric sense- a true coming together of pet and person. I also had no idea how hard it would be to express this tripe. Whew. Perhaps I should call them "matchmakers" instead.) So the petless tell their sad, sad story. The matchmakers commiserate. The pets-midwives decide to bring some of the four-legged types around, in order that the petless might try them out, so to speak. The petless seem to be strangely unable to go out and scour the countryside for pets. They seem to have developed a form of agoraphobia which renders them unable to exit the domicile to go in search of the cute and the cuddly. So this whole process of matchmaking goes on. There should be some sounds from Fiddler On The Roof, but there aren't. There is no "Matchmaker, Matchmaker, make me a match!" anywhere in ken. The various bundles of joy are scrutinized to a fare-thee-well and, as is to be expected, most are consigned back to the pound or the foyer to the abbatoir or the glue factory or whatever. Finally there comes the magical moment which is the whole rationale for such a show. The petless fall for a cute pup and are petless no longer. The matchmakers smile slyly to each other, secure in the knowledge that the 3 Maria Theresa gold thalers that was the agreed upon fee has been earned and would be credited to their account in Goray, south of Cracow. Every cliche, old saw, tired maxim, and hackneyed phrase has been used by this time. They have described their old pet. They have wondered how any other could replace them. They thought they could never love again. The rent-a-pets brought around did not move their souls. There was no soul-mate, pet wise, as yet. At the very climax ( and I do mean climax ) of joy, when music from "Hits From The Classics" is reverberating, the woman of the petless couple, that woman who is suddenly petless no longer and has discovered that she can love again, said: "It's a great fit!" To her credit, She-who-must-etc. broke out into laughter, repeating the phrase as it it were a Frank Capra film title: "It's A Great...Fit". And no more was said about it.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Bush and Cheney, in their bizarre attempt at "good cop-bad cop", went hat in hand to Saudi Arabia to beg for more oil. Bush went as a mindless buffoon, the good cop; rather like Gunther Toody of "Car 54, Where Are You?" He got nowhere, so the tough one, Cheney had to go and talk tough.Big rough, tough Cheney, who when told that the majority of Americans opposed the Iraq War, said "So?" Cheney was the bad cop, the tough guy. Well, Cheney got his come-uppance. His appeals or threats were laughably ignored. It probably went something like this: Cheney: Hi, kingy. We need more oil...or else. King: So???? The great USA. How much have these two cost us? Read it for yourself: Opec cuts output despite west’s pleas By Carola Hoyos and Javier Blas in London Published: April 12 2008 02:52 Last updated: April 12 2008 02:52 The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has quietly begun to reduce its oil production despite calls from the US and Europe for the group to pump more so that prices fall. Output from the core countries of the 13-member cartel last month fell to 27.3m barrels a day, down from the 27.6m b/d they produced in February and 27.8m b/d in January, the International Energy Agency, the western countries’ watchdog, said on Friday in its monthly report. Production from Saudi Arabia, Opec’s largest member, dropped marginally from January and was the same as February at 9.2m b/d...

Resignation Now!

I Feel For John Conyers

When I lived in Michigan, I lived within the Congressional District which John Conyers represented. As I recall the matter, his old district was gerrymandered and it came to incorporate more white voters than before. Now whether this was a Republican move to try to secure his defeat or not, I do not recall, but knowing the Repubes (sic), it was quite possible. Of course, I voted for John Conyers. He was and is a great representative of the people. He is experienced, erudite, well-spoken, and a man of impeccable manners. Later, my daughter interned for him and Newt Ginrich was just down the hall at the time. She always speaks highly of John Conyers. If pressured, she will also speak highly of Newt Gingrich. His wife, however, is currently on the Detroit city council and is making a fool of herself. Go to the Detroit Free Press or Detroit News and hear or watch her. Monica Conyers.

Calling All Nitwits

"It's time to level the playing field," Bush said Monday. Well said; from a nitwit to all the other nitwits. "Level the playing field", as if he meant those old ball parks where the home team's right field was flat and the visitors' was hilly??!! Or the football field where the home team's goal was 5 yards closer than the visitors'??!! Or the bumpy basketball courts? Come to think of it, I played on bumpy basketball courts. "Level the playing field" means "If you turn your back on me, you have no one to blame but yourself."

2008 Graffitti Bowl

My god-daughter, who plays ULTIMATE FRISBEE, implied that I could not devise a more perfect sport than UF. So I did. With the help of Zoloft and Cymbalta and my three nephews, we came up with ULTIMATE GRAFFITTI. The sport is essentially to draw or spray graffitti in a spinning, tilting bowl. Someone suggested that the spray propellant be DMT or some other Schedule One'r ( Schedule I), but then the government would crack down on the orders of the Drug Czar. Here is the site of 2008's Graffitti Bowl to be held in Uqbar, good old FW-ville...right near the landfill:

Airlines And The War On Distransportation

Cute show these days.
American Airlines suddenly recalls that it had oodles of maintenance to do. The FAA suddenly remembered, too, only after some whistle-blowers told all.
Very cozy.

Instead of congressional investigations, how about a show trial. Or how about one of those Guantanamo trials for the airlines and the FAA?

The problem would be that if a prosecutor claimed that American did not do some unspecified maintenace at some unspecified time, but this malfeasance is known to be true because some unspecified guy said it was, American - knowing in its heart what it had done- would probably not insist on facing its accuser and would say yeah, that's probably true.

So. How does the Present Day Actual U.S.A (PDA USA - pronounced "PDA!... (pause) ...USA!") handle such situations? I would expect these things:

1) The creation of a Department of Homeland Transportation, whose size would dwarf any previous departments,

2) The appointment of a Transportation Czar to oversee the new transport empire.,

 3) Declare a War on Transportation Problems....hmmm, not catchy enough. Transportation Bottlenecks? No. How about a War on Dis-Transportation? or Distransportation, meaning that which do not transport.
OK. Declare a War on Distransportation,

 4) Continue to ignore rail transportation, the most fuel efficient of them all,

5) Make speeches on the importance of Biofuels and how they are better than food. Using our own patented temporal chopper and blender time machine, we may see the outcome of the first study authorized by the new Transportation Department: Transport of the Future:
Sea Land Trolley


Making Fun Of Religion

A number of wags and wits have a good laugh at religion's sake. Penn of Penn and Teller comes to mind, the Dawkins' boy, and that thoroughly bad seed, Sam Harris. I never make fun of God. For one, He has all the good writers. I could not compete. Again, His sense of irony is rather universal and overwhleming. I mean, could I imagine waiting a billion years or so, give or take an eon, to let the punch line develop like some enormous reversal of fortune after the Cenozoic Age? No, I could not. I need laughs now. Lastly, his puns and double entendres are sort of obscure and require a bit of universal knowledge.

The World's Ugliest McMansion 1

Ugliest McMansion Contest Guidelines:
1. how many columns does it have?
2. are those the cheapie windows? ( the mullions are strips of celluloid or whatever.)
3. is it sufficiently large that the inhabitants will not be able to clean it?
4. is it too big for its location? does it overwhelm the environment?
5. does it make the neighboring hitherto undescript ranch houses from the 50s and 60s look like bloody works of art?
6. does it effectively destroy a goodly number of sightlines?
7. does it resembling a badly designed mausoleum, or a columbarium gone bad?
8. does it resemble back lot sets for Gone With The Wind?
9. does it look like the Temple of Dagon? could it be used for a Conan the Barbarian movie?
10. when you see it, do words like "preposterous" and "arrogant" and "hybris" come to mind?

this week's:

The Discreet Reverse Darwinism Of The Bureaucracy

Plum Island Animal Disease Center Building 257

"Reverse Darwinism" suggests a survival of the stupidest or most incompetent. I think there may be a corollary to this law, something along the lines of reverse darwinism leading to enormous and unwieldy bureaucracies along the lines of Homeland Security.

Homeland Security...such a typical American response: let's pretend that if we smoosh a whole bunch of agencies together that we shall (1) achieve enormous economies of scale, and (2) communications miraculously will occur between the new areas of this mega- department, and (3) it will be vastly more efficient...neglecting the fact that we have not yet defined what "efficiency" is for the behemoth.

I call this attitude "Czarism". It is another expression of the desire for "czars": drugs czars to head the War on Drugs, for one example. Czarism is an off-shoot of Manhattan-Project-itis, which is the attitude that if one suspends free markets and throws a lot of money at something, good results are guaranteed. Of course, from where this guarantee comes is not defined. Anyway here goes: Assuming one has a foot-and-mouth disease ( disease of cattle) laboratory, is it safer to have it located in (1) an isolated island? or (2) on the mainland in proximity to other cattle?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

OpenOffice Logo

I suppose I shall hear from the Esquires at OpenOffice to cease and desist in my display of their logo on the right. When I started to use OpenOffice, I offered to do what I could in writing and promoting their product. They ask one on their site whether one could be of help. Mutual scratching of the backs. No one ever contacted me. So, I shall promote them in this way. If they order me to cease and desist, I shall fight it all the way to the Supreme Court!


Globalization will have disappeared by the end of my life. The food crisis which is coming and which will meld with the energy crisis which will conjoin with a confidence crisis, will serve to cause the pendulum to swing back to more protected markets.
Globalization was a embarking on unknown territory. It was a large change, and , thus, a cause of anxiety. Thus far, the political leaders who followed the innovators have been dismal people with no vision for their countries as a whole. They were only able to muster the piggish glee of unruly children who are dumped miraculously into a chocolate factory, and who then hire the rest of us at starvation wages to endure the stomach aches that are consequent to their gluttony.
Take George Bush. He is abnormally obtuse and has nothing to offer the vast majority of people he leads. When there is a crisis on Wall Street, it is George to the rescue. However, let some of the lesser breed loose a few millions houses here or there, or not have enough to buy proper and nourishing food for their families, it's the same old dance about the Free Market!  

"I am the very model of a modern free economy, even though I speak and act as if I'd had lobotomy!"
Consider that financial problems at present stemmed from an unprecedented creation of money by various financial instruments; consider that this would have created an enormous Inflation, BUT....... did not because we had had the forethought to counterbalance this by the destruction of the manufacturing base in the USA. This destruction of the manufacturing base opened the door to imports. Since imported products were cheaper, the cheaper products offset the Inflationary pressure of the insane things Wall Street was doing. Inflation is hitting India and Asia, however, particularly in food and energy. Prices are beginning to go up. Once the imports rise in price to the USA, the lid on inflation will blow off like a 4th of July rocket. Of course, the Fed will have lowered interest, you figure out the rest of the scenario. 30years from now, the only people talking about Globalization will be the inhabitants of Hell.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Id Of The Internet

My new passtime is coming up with a random word, putting it into Google and seeing what images are drummed up from the Internet's Unconscious, it's Id, if you will.

(Remember that the Krel were slaughtered by the monsters from the Id. See Forbidden Planet anent that business. However, remember also that saints as well as devils come from the Id. So there.)

Random word 1


a picture of Petra in a very nice Italian web Magazine. Petra and something...Petra e...i...pagliacci, maybe.

McCain's Navy

Captain Binghamton is off in New Caledonia for a few days. If I vote for McCain, then there would be only 99 and 3/4 years left in the Iraq War.

Music: Taking Back Sunday

I have decided to try each week to listen to at least one band I have not listened to before. Today I listened to "Set Phasers On Stun" by Taking Back Sunday.

I suppose that this would be the correct spot into which one should insert some sort of blathering judgement about them. However, I am not interested in evaluating music. It is what it is.

The Most Recent Post From Mogambo

The government genie flips a coin
By The Mogambo Guru  

Junior Mogambo Ranger (JMR) Gary S sent me the chart of "30-Day Gold Lease Rates" from, which definitely shows that the one-month gold lease rate was less than zero. He asks, "The lease rates on 30-day gold and silver are negative?!?! What does that mean? Are banks paying other banks to lease gold? Are banks so desperate to raise cash that they are giving away gold??? Am I using too many question marks?" As for the questions of punctuation, the answer is no, as multiple question marks indicate the appropriate level of complete freaking befuddlement at such a bizarre statistic; leasing gold at less than zero percent interest! ...

Indeed. Why cannot we entice the local banks to pay us interest to borrow from them?


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Shopping Cart Screaming Man

I wrote the other day about the black man who stood on the corner of Howard and 32nd with his shopping cart, screaming his rage against the world. I remember driving to visit my brother, who lived in the neighborhood at the time. This was the year of the electronic tether, but that is another story. However, I will say that I have gained the unenviable reputation of being "in the know" or "au courant" or "up to snuff" about all manner of society's unsavory characters. When someone's being on a tether is in the news, people say to me, "...but you know all about that!" Well, not all about it, certainly. I wasn't the one tethered, for one thing. But I stood next to some one who was cruelly thrown into the undiscriminating maw of the criminal justice system, if that is what you mean. And that is close enough. If you transgress the law, you really do deliver yourself into the hands of the demons here. Charles Dicken's London and Oscar Wilde's gaol have nothing on the horror of the USA penal system, guaranteed to drive your awareness of inferiority deeply within you, like one of Khan's earwigs seeking Chekhov's soul, and to engender a smoldering rage, or your money back. Anyway, I was driving and I hear something. Is it a fire truck or EMS? No. Not quite the right frequency. What is it, then? As I turned onto 32nd, I saw Luther standing on the street margin, shopping cart held firmly in his rather huge hands, and yelling. I could not tell what he was yelling about, but he sounded pissed. When I got to my brother's, I asked him what the guy was yelling about. "Oh, you mean Luther? Nothin'. He just turns up some days and yells." "You've got to be kidding." "No. No one knows why the heck he's pissed off. Maybe...existential despair." I nodded sagely. Existential despair is so much more acute than mere despair. "Does he live around here?" "Nah. Not real near." "Why doesn't he yell around his own house?" "He does. Scott knows a guy who lives by him. He says he always screaming at the top of his lungs." I pondered further. "I don't suppose there is anyplace to care for people like that?" "Like what? Screamers? Nah. There's no place. The psych help you get, they wouldn't let Luther in the front door. Couldn't do anything anyway." "No. I suppose not. Medicate him, maybe?" He glanced out the window at the black stele down the street. "No one cares...he hasn't attacked anyone...yet." It turns out my brother would have dreams about Luther finding a means of expression other than his voice, dreams of him coming in the house at night and whooping him. I suppose I understand why he'd have dreams like that. I wonder whom Luther will be voting for? I suppose the candidate that will deliver the goods.

Who? Me? Racist?

It surprises me that I come across people who think themselves not to be racist. I mean, how does one escape being tainted in the USA? A long time ago, a young black man with whom I was working asked me whether the owner of the company was racist. I said sure. He's American, isn't he. He's a racist like you and me. It's in the air. It's in everything around us, subtle and not so subtle, from cradle to grave. He thought about it and nodded his head yes. We are all that way. However, much as we would like to pluck out the offending thing, we cannot root out our long history of upbringing. We have to carry it around with us as if it were our mark of Cain.

John Dugard And The UN Human Rights Council

John Dugard is an independent investigator on Israel-Palestine for the UN Human Rights Council. I believe he was appointed as such in 2001. You probably have not heard of him. He is a SOuth African national and worked as a civil rights lawyer during the period of apartheid. UN expert calls Palestinian terrorism 'inevitable consequence' of Israeli occupation John Dugard, the UN human rights envoy for the Palestinian Territories, told the BBC the US, EU, UN and Russia were failing to protect the Palestinians. Standards of human rights in the Palestinian territories have fallen to intolerable new levels, says a UN expert on the Mid-East conflict. John Dugard said Israel was largely to blame for turning Gaza into "a prison" and "throwing away the key". These articles will get you started on his opinions. I do not mean that I endorse his opinions. I do, however, realize the importance of seeing the side of the matter which does not get exposure. Personally, once I realized how much our society hides from our view, not only in this matter but in others as well, I could never trust it thereafter. My opinion has not changed, either.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Too Late, The Plexippus

danaus plexippus
I have decided to always be bright and cheery in my posts from now on. Thus, I shall speak of monarch butterflies. What could be finer? Habitat Destruction May Wipe Out Monarch Butterfly Migration ScienceDaily (Apr. 5, 2008) — Intense deforestation in Mexico could ruin one of North America’s most celebrated natural wonders ... This is not quite as bright and cheery as one would have hoped for for one's premier bright and cheery article, but it has its good points. It is rather chummy from the illegal loggers' point of view. High price of wood, not enough enforcement, too many people needing cellulose based items... All these things have been going on all my life: enormous population growth, not enough resources to go around the various economic traps which control resources, ignorance, greed, and a few more, but you get the idea. Rock on!

Sunday, April 06, 2008


I use OpenOffice. Produced by Sun Microsystems, the same people who produce Java, it is a group of programs for Office productivity. There is an OpenOffice Writer, a Spreadsheet program, etc. all of which is free. You may save work in a number of formats, one of which is Microsoft Office formats for the various types of documents. It works well for me. When I downloaded the programs, I was asked to contribute in some way to the OpenOffice project. So I volunteered. Never having been contacted, I decided to do it on my own. This post is my first marketing adventure for OpenOffice.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

House Burning Party?

Back in the heady days when it was thought the housing bubble would never break, I often wondered what coming generations would do with all those houses, most of which were poorly built and hideously designed.

I mean, the standard houses built during the boom were subject to exponential greed on the part of the developers; i.e., the more money they made, the more they needed to make. They were subject to a lack of thoroughly trained contracting professionals, because so many units were being built that kids were in charge of most of them. Now as house prices plummet, what shall we do with the excessive inventory of unsold houses. Don't forget that there is a good chance that 60% or more of this inventory is total crap.

An article in Reuters:

 Foreclosures come to McMansion country 
These houses are sometimes nicknamed "McMansions," disparaging both their extravagance and their look of mass production -- like hamburgers from a McDonald's restaurant. Between 1990 and 2005, the county's population tripled to 272,000. Many of those moving here relied on risky, high-interest loans to buy the house of their dreams.

This tells us all we need: junk design, fast growth, in debt up to one's the old TV commerical from not so long ago put it. I live in a newer development. Often the material is crap. The design is crap. The workmanship is often crap. This was not just a housing bubble...this was a crap bubble. Well, we as a society have always took pride in our anti-Amishness; we are up-to-date and charging right ahead on all 12 cylinders while they drive horses and buggies. They also get our spill-over gun crimes when our society cannot absorb anymore at times. They have barn raisings. Let's have house burnings! Apart from the Insurance companies, a reduction in inventories will be all for the better. Besides, those poorly built, jerry-rigged boxes set on lots denuded of trees will not last all that long if there is no one to maintain them. Think about it.

Darfur house burning


Friday, April 04, 2008

Hello, Lenin!

Why not?

I mean, we took a socialized approach to the financial markets in the matter of Bear Stearns. Personally, I never much cared about markets, free or not free; I thought free markets were good because of the emergent behavior to which they gave rise. I do not consider emergent behavior to be an "invisible hand" that miraculously guides markets.
Market behavior emerges from the chaos of individual conscious economic beings...for Good or Bad. So when things get dicey, we diverge from total freedom. So we do the same for medicine. It is too late to use the term "socialized medicine" as some sort of shibboleth to separate free marketers from socialists. We are all in the same boat.

We have faced the myths we created of our sacrosanct "free markets", and we blew them away. Only the mentally inept could not face up to this now. Socialized, socialized,'s not too hard to say anymore.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

My Trip To Port Desespoir

Today I shall be popping up to Port Desespoir to visit the elderly parents and what not. I suppose my mother will want me to take my brother shopping. He usually does not want to go shopping. I have called him up numerous times and he has said things like, "Nah. I got a few hot dogs n' buns here. I'll be set for awhile." Of course, none of this explains why he goes through money so quickly. As I have said before, he does not smoke, but he has a myriad of friends who do so, and these johnnies have a habit of nipping by his apartment on the days I am to visit...and ducking out, or into the broomcloset just as I arrive at his threshhold. When I spy the ash tray, I may speculate whether the mound of cinders indicates that the tray is half empty or half full, but stacked with butts it most definitely is. It is not that I go about town preaching the smokeless Gospel- I mean, we are having the Olympics in smoky old Beijing this year, so some CO is just what the doctor ordered-but he did loose part of his lung last year. The situation with alcohol is very similar. When I visit and we go to the bar to have a cup of tea, I do notice that one of his friends, in a jolly moood, seems to have sprinkled him with beer, or beer-like by-products which leave him with a distinct odor of the hops and a florid face. We duck into the bar for the tea, because he says his place is a mess. I then say, "How many beds do you have?" Now this question is a bit more apt than it appears at first. His place is on the second-floor of an old building. It is up a good number of steps, a good design for those of partial lungs, and it is not all that large. If one stands upon the threshold, one could fill the teapot for tea, gather the bedclothes for laundry, and reach over and grab a kleenex for the road. Small, but charming in an antique manner. Even the doves which light upon the ledges seem quaintly old; heritage birds, one might say. They all seem to be exactly what a bird should be, say, if birds were needed in the "Our Gang" movies, standing around like "mugs" or tough guys, whistling or cooing at the broads like "swabbies" from World War II. Into this miniature set from "The Glass Menagerie" one day last year I visited and counted a second bed. It was hard to miss it, sitting in the middle of the front room/breakfast nook/dining area, stretching from wall to wall. It lay before the TV and reflected the baleful videodrome light from the screen across the ripples of threadbare blankets and worn and ripped afghans. "You have another bed?" I said, trying to make conversation. "Yes. I found it on the street. Someone had thrown it out, and there it was. Free" Free, indeed. A previously owned bed. Just the thing everyone hopes to finds abroad on the city streets early garbage day morn. "The tattoo guy helped me with the box spring." The tattoo guy is the tattoo guy who runs a tattoo parlor on the first floor of the building...the tattoo guy. When first I learned of the tattoo guy, my mother informed me that he was related to someone we had known in some other capacity and thought highly of. She said something, and fortunately my memory of it has let its mortgage on my brain lapse, but it was something about tattoo guys and maybe they don't all just hang around louche bars...or maybe they do. I forget. Anyway, although what she said was intended to be praise, it also contained a number of mythic stereotypes of the most appalling nature dealing with good old tattoo guys and muscle beach tabloids of the 1950s. I could have said something, but did not. The Tattoo Guy Lobby in Port Desespoir has seen fit not to retain my services to represent them, and they may do their own talking. I am serious. This is a substantial interest group in the city. In Port Desespoir I have come across travellers and sailors from all the seven seas and the world's ports, Lascars with eye-patches and small, dexterous Sri Lankans and heathen Chinee, and they have all told me with amazement and admiration that they have never in their peregrinations ever come across a city with as many tattoo parlors as Port Desespoir! Scouts' honor. So the tattoo guy helps him, not only with the mattress but with the box spring. The sight of them moving that up the 30 stairs must have been not for the faint of heart. "I like to watch TV lying in bed.", he said. "Couldn't you have moved the mattress from the bedroom," I motioned towards the cubby-hole which functions as a dormitory, "...and put it out here?" "Then I wouldn't have anywhere to sleep." This was all in August of "aught 7" and it is a new year. Upon interrogation, I determined that he still had the superfluous bed as of March 1 "aught 8". Hmmmm. I am sure it will be a lot easier going down the steps than it was going up. I probably shall not need the help of tattoo guy, nor part-time bartender guy, nor garbage dumpster scavenger guy. However, were I to feel particularly frustrated at sending the bed back down to whence it came, I could use that enormous black guy my brother used to have nightgmares about: stand-on-the-corner-of Howard-and-32d-with-shopping-cart-and-yell-at-the-top-of-your-voice-for-no-particular-reason guy!

Jack Torrance and Tibet

From the writing of Jack Torrance: ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY. ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All repression and no freedom makes Tibet a dull place.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Shape Of Things To Come

In the state of Michigan, there already is an extreme recession, and there has been one for at least a year. It has not yet begun the out of control spiral into a depression, but that is because they wait for the rest of the country to catch up to them. In March, auto sales were down 19% from last year; no hope here. In Michigan, you will see the hopeless future of much of the USA, if you care to look. The phenomenon of the loss of manufacturing is quite real and economists talk about it: ... Fed economist Thomas Laubach, a recognized inflation targeting advocate, estimates in a paper that every additional $100 million increase in projected Federal annual fiscal budget deficit adds one quarter percentage point to the yield on 10-year Treasury bonds, albeit that this estimate has been rendered inoperative since the 1990s by dollar hegemony through which the US trade deficit is used to finance the US capital account surplus, reducing the impact of US fiscal deficits on long-term dollar interest rates. Global wage arbitrage also kept US inflation uncharacteristically low, albeit at a price of hollowing out the US manufacturing core. Henry C. Liu, Road to Hyperinflation is paved with Market Accommodating Monetary Policy A "hollowing out" of the US manufacturing core. Let that sink in. The future of the USA shown above is bleak. Inflation was kept in control by the strong US dollar and its preponderance. By this means, there was a minimization of the inflationary effect of the (huge) Federal deficits. The impact of the deficits should have been to emphatically drive up long-term dollar interest rates, but this was reduced substantially by the dollar hegemony. The inflation was also kept low by "global wage arbitration" = "ship jobs overseas", thus "hollowing out" = "destroy" the US manufacturing core. Well, now the dollar is weak. It now longer has the leadership ("hegemony") it once had. What now? Anyone who buys anything knows inflation is much higher than the government says it is, for starts. It is always a bad sign when a government of craven dimwits cooks the books and the statistics. The Dow Jones Industrial went up 400 points yesterday. Wow! Is that a good sign, or what? It is the 3rd time in 2008 that it has moved 400 points or more in a day. Even so, the DWIJ is lower than it was at January 1. I do not believe this type of volatility is a good sign. It means nothing to us. It is traders making money; it does not reflect anything else. During the housing bubble, or before that, during the bubble, the stock market showed only exuberance, not any reasonable and balanced judgements that such bubbles were unsustainable. The markets are in such volatility that any message they send is one of feverish activity, not rational invetsment decision. Colin Powell's group on education released its findings yesterday. It comes as no surprise that Detroit has a high school graduation rate of 24.9%. I wrote here recently that it was 25%, and when I wrote that, I remember thinking that it could not be true, and I had best check that figure. We are creating the most dismal future imaginable. We are creating a class of citizens who will be cut off from all the fruits of society. And just as the Roman Empire had to provide free corn for food and free circuses for entertainment, so shall we have to provide for this class. Do not kid yourself into thinking this obligation may somehow be ducked. It cannot. We cannot have this disparity! We cannot allow this inequity to persist! Our entire society depends upon a citizenry of educated people able to make decisions regarding their futures. If we do not have a populace sufficiently educated to make their own decisions, we shall have a society where the government will infringe our rights, where the government will employ torture, where the government will tell us to go shopping at the mall while they do important things. We shall have the full blown blossom of a government of Absolutist Capitalism, combining the worst aspects of Socialism with those of Capitalism. The time is short.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

At Least He Is Consistent

Moqtada asSadr proclaimed an extension to his 6 month truce on February 22, 2008. Since the previous truce was taken as a sign of peaceful intentions, this one was also. Anyone who wanted confrontation and negative news for the Bush Administration, leading up to the April visit of General Petraeus to Congress, would be very much disappointed. Or would they? There is remarkable devotion to doing the stupid thing in the present administration. Or, if not the stupid thing, then the most horrendous thing. Take your pick. Cheney and the Bush Administration, as well as General Petraeus, interpreted the truce as a sign of weakness within the Mehdi Army. Soon there was planning with alMaliki to tweak the little ayatollah's beard. It did not work. The army asSadr was training while it was on the truce. Refurbishing, retraining, it almost smoked the new Iraqi Army under alMaliki, necessitating US air strikes to shore up the almost capable, but not nearly victorious, new Iraqi army. So we have Iran brokering the peace and the Mehdi army showing the world that just like Hizbollah, reports of their demise were premature. Now Petraeus goes to the April hearings with another Bush Cheney miscalculation under his belt.