Holy Hell Storm and Its Meaning
We are having one holy hell hell of a rainstorm over Manhattan as I type this; I mean pouring rain; Baghdad bomb-explosion-like thunder; lightning so fierce in its flash it momentarily blinds you; I watch it out my windows and it's awesome. The irony: all the while they continue working at a construction site just over southwest of me, big noisy shovel-machines digging up the fetid Manhattan earth, digging down 5 floors in order to put a huge parking garage under the huge 2000-room hotel that is going up there over the next year. Those paying the high rents for the high-floors and the high room rates for the rooms with views are getting a great look at old Ma Nature and her force of real terrorists this morning--look what her forces did to the City of New Orleans? Killed many more people than died in the Saudi-Arabians's successful hijacking of big, huge, jet airliners using only boxcutters and their bad breath to take over planes that had hundreds of passengers who sat frozen in obedient fear as these idiot Saudi wildmen pulled off what, if you look at it objectively, has to be one of the most miraculous feats in the history of man hating man. Our "Home Land" security (that's a British term from WWII--oh God how US white people love Mother England) couldn't protect us from 14 Saudis with boxcutters, how the hell are they going to protect us should we suffer a real, honest-to-god, military attack on New York City (the target for all these so-called Al Queda terrorists)? Or if this Ma Nature decided to terrorize New York City hurling one of her massive, globally warmed-type, hurricane daughters like Katrina at it?
But a military attack from say Iceland--all of the men and women who are supposed to defend our borders are wasting away in a phony war against totally innocent of any evil-doing against the USA Iraq and against the totally innocent of any evil-doing against the USA Afghanistan--damn, now I'm like a growling idiot, the moon is giving me orders to go for the throat...to hell with it...here:
How to End the War in Iraq
1. Impeach Bush and his whole administration. Throw the rascals out; put them in Guantanamo and let 'em clean the shithouses down there for the rest of their fetid lives.
2. Call a truce in Iraq. Immediately call for a summit meeting with all Iraqis and turn control of their country back over to them; also with assurances that their oil belongs to the people of Iraq and not to the American and British oil moguls who caused this war to happen in the first place.
3. Next decree that all profits made off the War in Iraq should be used to reconstruct Iraq--Exxon-Mobil, Halliburton, Wal-Mart, etc., you know the companies (and by the bye, add Duke Energy to your War Stocks Portfolio (as recommended by The Daily Growler stock experts)) that made the most off the war--tax 'em all, dig? Charge 'em all a war-profits tax. (Does anyone recall why Exxon and Mobil merged; weren't they claiming they were going broke independently? And wasn't General Motors and Ford just recently said to be going under? Why do you think the stock market almost hit 14,000 yesterday--it dropped 50 points today--just going up and down, all the brokerage houses making those wonderful "going and coming" bucks--buyer's fee; seller's fee; same as in auctions, and, yes, folks, that's all the stock market is, a bourse where stocks are auctioned off daily to the highest bidders.)
4. Then pull all US troops immediately out of Iraq. Leave the Green Zone as a memorial to the people of Iraq--let them make an amusement park out of it--they deserve a little amusement after decades of horrible deprivations, devastations, denigrations, and deaths--think of it, first Bill "Converted Hillbilly Boy" Clinton imposed that embargo against them--so vicious and inhumane it was that 300,000 infant children died during birth or shortly after birth in Iraq during those years, the highest infant death rate in the world--yet these people still survived. They had already survived a decade-long war with Iran, a war of horrible death tolls and material waste on both sides. Then they had to endure Bill "Daddy Warbucks" Clinton's daily bombings--US planes constantly blasting away at the no-fly zone; and this after the great Commander and Chief G.W.H. "Pappy" Bush had led his Desert Storm forces to the U.S.'s first war victory since WWII (I'm sorry, I forgot about Ronnie Raygun's successful defeat of "Comyounism" on the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada--his object to successfully murder the duly elected president of the island on which Cuban construction workers were building Grenada an airport--yep, I forgot, Ronnie won that war--I think he killed, oh hell, what was it, a piddling amount of innocent Grenadians--ah, who the hell cares, that's ancient history now).
I'm rambling. I mean there are just too many idiots ruling over me, taking away my rights, taking away my privacy, nosing into my records, hacking into my computer and checking every god-damn silly site I ever went on, even if only for a second or even if accidentally--I mean, damn, how can people stay so calm when all fingers are pointing at them and hinting that they are probably guilty of something--which, by God, could mean to our mean administrators that they certainly could be an Al Queda cell members?
Al Queda Turns Out to Be Con-Ed the Utilities Giant
Here's a bunch of unsubstantiated bullshit reporting I heard on the news tonight--by the bye, we had a huge explosion right in the very bull's-eye heart of Manhattan this afternoon at rush hour--a Con-Ed (the "Con" part of the name fits 'em to a T) steam pipe, a 24 inch giant, blew up on 41st between Lexington and Third Avenue--right behind the old Bowery Bank Cathedral (one of the most magnificent architectural interiors there is in the world; yet now it's a high-class keiko-muckity muck corporate party room called Cipriani's--after the famous bar in Venice that Hemingway loved writing about and I think Cipriani was an American--oh, I'm stepping out on one of those strange-fruit tree limbs like I did in the post where I said Billie Holiday wrote "Strange Fruit"--I know Harry's Bar was Hem's favorite bar in Venice--and wasn't Harry, Harry Cipriani? There's a Harry's Bar in the Helmsley Hotel that used to be the Villard Mansion and then it was the home of Random House Publishing until Harry Helmsley bought it, built a tacky Plexiglas and concrete hotel in the air space above it and then he gave it to Leona to run and she ran it with an iron fist--and that Harry's Bar was named after Harry Helmsley, though I'm sure she stole the name from Harry's Bar in Venice).
I mean suit and tie dudes were running like it was 9/11 all over again--and women were running so scared they ran out of their shoes and dropped their purses and papers and shit to run--one person was killed and 20-something were injured--and it was a magnificent blast and then a swooshing up of boiling steam and mud and the filthy brownish steam nuclear-bombed up high up into a towering-over-skyscrapers mushroom head. Filthy hot water was erupting out of the street to bubble up and froth ten feet in the air--and then finally all was settled and the truth came out: a Con-Ed steam pipe that was 100 years old gave up the ghost and blew sky high--our little billionaire mayor was there doing his defending of Con-Ed, one of the worst utilities company in the world--their infrastructures crisscross under the streets of Manhattan--Con-Ed is master over that layer just under the surface of Manhattan streets--all under those streets run Con-Ed's electrical power lines, their gas lines, and their steam lines--and to still have a huge steam pipe in operation that is 100 years old--isn't that a sign of bad management and bad management of resources (Manhattan has the highest utilities rates in the whole world) and inept double-checking of that myriad of pipes, high-voltage cables, telephone wires, steam pipes (and oh when you walk through that steam coming up out of Con-Ed's steam vents--it is ancient foul--ooohh, it smells rancid like dead human flesh), huge valves and valve heads, and gas pipes, etc. Can you imagine what it was like in 2003 when Con-Ed blew out all of its local circuits all because of a grid foul up by the British company that runs our East Coast and Mid-American electrical grid--that which feeds electrical power around the country? No electricity for one and one half days--no water, no telephone, no air-conditioner, no fans--and the temperature in the 90s! One of the worst nights of my life. Yet, ironically, nothing like what happens nightly in Baghdad, where the temps go into the 100s during mid-day.
channels were seriously considering all morning and afternoon long--you know, that gut feeling Michael Then the mayor assures us that this wasn't a terrorist attack--that one that all the teeveeChertoff had about Al Queda amassing its massive army for a major attack on the US of A--these pompous little communications majors who are pulling down big six-figure salaries even if they're wiping the anchor peoples's asses between headline readings and seriously talking about how Homeland Security is saying Al Queda is regrouping in those so-called "tribal" areas of Pakistan (a military dictatorship with huge nuclear weapon capabilities who are supposed to be our Al-Queda-hatin' buddies)--I mean, come on, they kept showing that same old grainy badly video-ed silent clip of Osama Bin Laden--it looks like he's wearing a papal robe and giving the finger blessing with his long, spider-leg-looking fingers--I mean it's the pits of a video--and I heard one government stooge say it could have been filmed even before 9/11; yet, we're suppose to believe he's back and he's walking around (where's his dialysis machine?) commanding his massive armed forces to attack the USA again--make us heretical dogs pay for Pappy Bush's talking his Saudi Arabian Royal Family pals into letting him mass US troops in Saudi Arabia in order to attack Iraq (an Islamic nation) and stop Saddam from invading Kuwait, which he was doing and which Pappy Bush had told him through old Rummy Rumsfeld (remember him?)--remember the photo of Rummy shaking hands with Saddam?--that it was OK with Pappy and his New World Order--sure go ahead and read my lips and attack Kuwait--"As long as you don't throw babies out of incubators, now, Saddam; we just won't stand for that."
So Osama's back--one reporter said with such serious unreferenced grace that "a spokesperson for Homeland Security said today that someone was overheard saying that a high source somewhere had leaked that Osama Bin Laden had now repaired and reenforced his communications network with more bells and whistles and he was back up and actively recruiting again." This same spokesperson said there is no real evidence of this though it was rumored around Homeland Security that their 'gut feeling' about this coming massive attack was feeling more and more like the right feeling every day Michael Chertoff wakes up, shits, showers, has his first martini, and then heads for the office.
Chertoff's gut feeling has now become administration policy.
Poor old New Yorkers. Today at 5:55 pm a few hundred thousand of them thought sure enough that gut feeling old horsey-set Chertoff had after that fifth martini must have been the truth--hell, one fleeing middle-management dude swore he saw Bin Laden's image coming up out of that Con-Ed rotten, 100-year-old, never-repaired-or-reenforced, steam pipe as it blew.
Now they are saying that this explosion probably contained some asbestos--hell, remember, all that asbestos they used to insulate those steam pipes oh that hundred years ago?--oh no, it would be too expensive to force the multibillion-dollar-a-year utility to clean the asbestos out of its ancient and rotting system.
Poor Manhattanites--we never know from moment to moment what's coming next--Saudi Al Quedans or Con-Ed Al Quedans.
Went to see Sicko finally, with thedailygrowlerhousepianist&choirdirector -- then afterwards we retired to discuss the movie over Irish whiskeys at my favorite Irish pub.
Moore is a great filmmaker--he doesn't overwhelm you with cameras--and I like that you sense he's only using one camera throughout this whole movie--but dammit, the movie makes you think--it's low-keyed, it's quiet, Moore speaks kind'a silently in this one, and yes, Michael Moore is in it but he's one of the characters in the film and not really the filmmaker and he and all these poor American slobs who have had their lives devastated by this corrupt healthcare system we have in this country--and the corrupt politicians--and that includes Hillary Clinton--who kowtow to these HMOs and these big pharmaceutical companies in return for big-buck contributions and high-falutin', rootin' tootin' parties with plenty of booze, drugs, and naked babes--Congress has sold us out, folks; that's the story.
Good movie. Especially great scene with these Americans living in Paris. Holy calf heads, Paris looks good; and, by god, Moore makes France sound like paradise; they're number one in national healthcare in all the world. The USA is 33rd, one step above Slovenia. [One irony I caught in this movie was the USA being 33rd and Slovenia being 34th--but I noticed Cuba was 35th; yet, later when Moore goes to Cuba with his little force of 4 9/11 clean-up workers (the two dudes were firemen and one woman was a trained emergency medical person and the other woman I forget now what she did, but all these people were suffering from some illness due to their work at Ground Zero--the emergency woman the worst with a horrible respiratory problems--and one of the firemen said he couldn't sleep laying down or he would suffocate himself so he sleeps sitting upright in a chair) and in Cuba Moore finds out that perhaps the Cuban healthcare system is much better ranked than 35th--and certainly far ahead of the USA. Even the Cubans have longer lifespans than Amuricans; in spite of the embargo we've had against throughout most of Fidel's long reign. Cubans are also more literate than us; didja know that?]
There is free healthcare in Great Britain and France--absolutely free.
Anyway, I'm tired--so go see Sicko--especially if you're getting near retirement age.
A Little Personal Note
I have a great old drummer pal who also worked with me for what seems like half a century but wasn't because this man is not that old in both the management consulting (the new name for accounting firms) industry and the pharmaceutical advertising business--at least 20 years easy I've known this man--and he gave up his drums to work hard and raise a family and have a good life with his wife, which he did, and he does have a good job and so did his wife and their life was sailin' along fine--having a great daughter--a house, car, dog, whatever, the American Dream life for sure--
A few years ago tragedy hit this man when he was crossing a street in Queens going to his bus stop and an old lady in a little car hit him, threw him up over the hood, and rammed his head through that car's windshield. He wasn't killed first of all and he was lucky the way the old lady hit him, but it left him wobbly--he's in physical therapy still--but he's been back working for over a year now.
He married a young woman artist--I think he met at an art showing--but anyway, she gave up her art and went to work--all for the daughter and the family--and they were a fine family. This man and his wife soon began to resemble each other--I swear. But a few months ago it was discovered that she had an ovarian tumor--they thought it benign but it wasn't, so they operated on her and the operation was a success and she recuperated enough that a week or so back she felt well enough, the doctor said they got the tumor and the cancer, blah, blah, blah, doctor talk, and she went back to work and everything was rosy. Two days on the job and she discovered she had breast cancer. Wow. I'd'a been whipped and slunk off like a beaten dog with all the traumatic shit this poor man and now his wife have had to face. So again they've caught it early and it looks good--she is going to have to have the mastectomy--but they caught it "perfectly" early and the prognosis is good--but you know I don't trust doctors--and then after seeing Sicko tonight.
Moore asks the question in this movie as to why the United States has high rates of cancer and heart disease?--why our life expectancy is below every major nation that has a national healthcare plan?--like France, in spite of smoking cigarettes as though there would be no more one day, and drinking wine like water, and staying up all night and making love a la Casanova and Lola Montez--and still, the French live longer than we Amuricans.
I tire. And I just heard George W. "Mommywhipped" Bush, our never honestly elected "president," say that he was gonna veto a bill that would give 30 billion bucks to CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Plan, a government help agency that gives health insurance to children of poor folks who can't afford HMO overpriced care--one HMO CEO makes a salary of 2 million bucks a year! Who the hell among us are worth that much money? CEOs who run companies straight into the ground in this country get rewarded with big-buck payouts and shit. These a F-ups that if a regular worker committed them they would be fired on the spot.
Bush in saying he would veto this bill if it passed because, and I paraphrase this idiot, he says a national health insurance is wrong, it causes delay in treatment, it causes long waiting lines, and it causes a reduction in services and the buying of hi-tech equipment--how come the disease rates all around have gone up since the invention of all this hi-tech equipment--I mean we know X-ray technology can cause cancer--sorry, I get off on these tangents. And by the bye, Michael Moore proves beyond a doubt that national healthcare plans don't cause delays in surgery, long lines, full waiting rooms of people waiting for days to see a doctor, nor a reduction in services and hi-tech equipment. Britain has had national healthcare since 1948--it works fine, and it's all free--yep, even surgery is free. British healthcare doctors get rewarded if they cure diseases or prevent them--like they get a bonus if they help a patient quit smoking. Wow! Hey, Bush, you bastard, you and you're whole family get the best healthcare policy there is, guaranteed by We the People's money--and you and your Pappy get healthcare for life--and ex-Presidents seem to live forever no matter their lifestyle--like being big boozers, fornicaters, partiers, hunters, fishermen--what a life! This also goes for every member of Congress whenever they served or no matter how long they served, they get benefits for life!
When I went for my first job I was offered Blue Cross health insurance, a life insurance policy, and a share in the county credit department--you know I could borrow money for a car--which I did--these were called "incentives" in those days--offered by employers in order to attract the best and brightest. I mean, you wouldn't take a job unless it offered you health insurance. My dad and mother had a Blue Cross policy all of their lives--and son of bitch they lived a better life than I'm ever gonna be able to live now.
for The Daily Growler