Monday, September 28, 2009

Living in New York City, at a Constant Ground Zero

Foto by tgw, NYC, 2008.

To Forget or Not Forget?
I heard a shocking statement on a PBS literary-type program a few days back. I wasn't watching just listening when I heard the narrator say, "She is said to be currently the greatest writer in the English language...." Then I heard this woman talking and the first thing she said was that she was a Christian. Whooooaaa, saith I. Who is this woman? I thought I caught her name. I caught it as Marianne...I'm not sure, with a last name like Robinson. She teaches at the University of Iowa. How could it be that I an avid reader am not aware of the person who is currently the greatest writer in the English language? [Here she is; I found her on Google, where else. Google must have profiles on every one of us. But here she is, "the greatest writer of prose alive today," according to a London Times article on her I read online; here's an excerpt:

In 1980, Marilynne Robinson published a novel, Housekeeping. It was critically praised, won awards and was filmed by Bill Forsyth. A substantial new novelist had arrived. But she didn’t publish another novel for 24 years. Instead, she wrote a nonfiction book on British nuclear policy and issued a collection of essays. Then, finally, in 2004 she published another novel, Gilead, about a church minister in Gilead, Iowa: more critical acclaim, more awards. And now, only four years later, she has written Home. It is the story of Gilead through different eyes. “In a way,” Robinson says, “the book is about yearning, you know. It’s as if we have some sort of very, very primordial notion. But, in fact, home is the place people leave, but the word is only implied in the sense that either you regret it or you will return to it. It’s a sort of pole.”

Again, I feel sort of left out not knowing who the greatest writer in the English language today is. I remember getting a copy of Bridges of Madison County at the time it came out as it was being trumpeted by the literary world as one of the greatest books ever written. I couldn't get through 3 pages of it before I threw it in the garbage--and I don't throw good books in the garbage. That's why I'd be very afraid to read this woman's greatest English-language writing--what if I find it's garbage, too?]

My ignorance at not ever having heard of this woman could be because I am totally ignorant to what is being called "great writing" today. Yes, I go on wood s lot as much as possible and, yes, I am introduced by MW to all kinds of contemporary writing, world writing, and I try sometimes to read it, but given my growing (growling) and wizening sarcasm about what's advertised to be "the best" or "the greatest" the older I get, like most old fogies, I start belittling these "modern" efforts at great writing with "Oh yeah, you think you can write as well as Toni Morrison (her novel Jazz is truly some of the greatest writing in English I've read in many a moon)?"

These new precious writers: their words seem to tumble back upon themselves as though being pushed onto the page by a bulldozer of a writer, someone following architectural plans to the nth degree. However, the fact that the world's greatest writer in English loves her beer, independence, and eccentricities, makes me curious about her--and might even subject me to trying to devour one of her novels. I, like Norman Mailer and my brother, am not a good novelist. I can't conscentrate on a plot for years at a time; that's why I'm not a good chess player; my concentration is on a bouncing ball that is bouncing across the lyrics and fitting them to the melody of a continuing present tense song--I write one-paragraph novels, maybe as many as 5 novels in one spell of writing. Do I think I'm the greatest writer in the English language? Yes, I probably do, just like any writer who confidently is self-assured he or she is a writer by instinct, by calling, by drive, by performance. I write words which I hope coagulate onto a page into some kind of narrative sense. I consider myself a troubadour and troubadours have to keep travelin' on, coming up with new performances in every byway or big city they appear in.

And speaking of language and writing and language and usage and language and its many eccentricities, niceties, and vulgarities: this morning I was very surprised upon reading yesterday's post where my old pal L Hat commented on the death of William Safire (as LHat said, the name was really Safir; William added the "e" for pronunciation clarity--to put some fire in that fir). In this post, L Hat, a fair man if I ever met one, gave his history of badmouthing Safire for years until he edited a new edition from the Oxford folks of Safire's Political Dictionary and actually had personal contact with the man. Soon, LHat says, they were conversing over the phone as Bill and Steve and even talking about getting together for a beer here in New York City should LHat ever get the nerve up and the gumption up to travel down from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to the Apple, something he has not been in the habit of doing since he moved to that faraway close-by state of cranberries, Kennedys, child-molesting priests, semipublic-option healthcare, and formerly the book-banning capital of the USA (home of Little, Brown and the Atlantic Monthly). L Hat ended the post sort of half-ass in love with old Bill, certainly coming upon a whole new perspective of the man than he once had, though not excusing what he never liked about Mister Bill's linguistic machinations.

I am sorry to say that if I've ever read one of Safire's language columns in the NYTimes I have totally forgotten it--like I say, if I ever did read one. I, like LHat, used to read the NYTimes faithfully daily--and most certainly every late Saturday night (around 9 or 9:30), it was a tradition here with NYC upwardly mobile fame-aspiring go-getters (hey, I got my first job here out of the NYTimes Classified), I would run out to my local newstand (they aren't around my neighborhood anymore) and get the Sunday NYTimes fresh off the presses and just flung off the back of one of those distinctive NYTimes delivery trucks (trucks whose design hadn't changed since the 1930s). You know, you'd come up to the newsstand and the guys would just be putting the Times Sunday Edition out in huge raggedy stacks on the sidewalk everywhere, soon to be gone if you weren't there practically at the same time as the NYTimes delivery truck. Sunday morning breakfasts in NYC were incomplete without the NYTimes being there among the coffee, Parks sausages, slices of scrapple, eggs, toast, and tomato juice (Snappy Tom was my favorite breakfast kick-off juice). All of my wives were into the Sunday Times, too. It really did represent the New York lifestyle we yokels had all moved to NYC from the hinterlands and distant byways to make our own, too [how's that sentence for great English language writing?].

However, I don't remember just exactly when it was, the 70s I'm pretty sure, but one day I got my Sunday morning NYTimes and I turned immediately to the Arts & Leisure section. I was still sort of artsy-fartsy in those days--a musician by night, an editor by day, hobnobbing with the culturally pure in my free time--so I dedicatedly checked the NYTimes Arts & Leisure section right off the bat every Sunday morning. This day when I turned to that section, I was flabbergasted by the front-page feature article. Lo and behold, right there on the front page of that holy section of the NYTimes was a Hollywood-type-canned pulp-puff piece on some trendy new-age hip movie star--an interview with this movie star, a chick whose name I have forgotten, an interview staging stupid questions to this actress bimbo and getting back hyperbolic rather school-girl answers to those questions--all about how tough acting is and Hollywood is but how great and marvelous all Hollywood directors are and how absolutely wonderful the script is and though it wore her out, working on this film was the greatest experience in her life--a long article packed full of that sort of blah-blah-blah crap. I have since college loved dating and living with actresses but I never really thought of them as anything special--troopers mainly--dedicated to their eagerness to be seen and heard and appreciated and "fanned" with applause and "Bravas!" I saw them as totally empty flower vases in which producers and directors put characters modeled on the latest hybrid roses or orchids in those vases--an oogah-like analogy, I know, but that's how I saw actresses. Most of them I dated were little special girls, little princesses, pretty, yes, breathtakingly beautiful in the case of one actress I drooled over and who ditched me and went on to have a fairly successful stage career. They were little mirror-dwellers thirsty and hungry for the lights, the stage, the attention, the glamor, the intense efforts they put into designing themselves, eager for the chance at a leisure life few of us ever get an opportunity at. Acting, to me, is a natural state (OK, I feel that way about everything). We are born actors. Our characters start developing the minute we pop out of our mom's loving or hating womb and our "oval of vision" spots the monkey-looking faces all looking down into our faces and sending us all sorts of goofy symbols to translate and spewing all kinds of mouthings we don't understand and have to translate into meanings, like goo-goo-ing and gah-gahing and coochie-cooing over us. But that's another load of bullshit for another delivery time.

I couldn't believe the NYTimes was stooping to the cesspool lowness of Hollywood PR pieces. This article was disturbing because I'd never seen that kind of article in the Arts & Leisure section ever before. I think their Hollywood puff writer at the time was Ellen Willis--could that be true? Now, I met Ellen Willis one time at Max's Kansas City--and when I start writing about those times I get to thinking how Max's Kansas City is now forgotten except by the oldest punkers and rockers, all of whom from then are now old fogies. I was goo-goo eyed over Miss Willis. She was just my kind of babe, cute, sashshaying, bouncy, so confident in her acting as a writer-critic, so amusing in her observations and quips, though too smart for her own good--you know the type. Her taste in music and her approach to that music's creational aspects were across a broad highway on the far other side of my musical world. Yes, I did hit on her; she was sexually juicy to me--but immediately upon my approach and opening dialog, my manhood wilted. I knew right off the bat that if Ellen Willis and I became a couple we would clash like bickering blowhards date or whatnot over music, writing, desires--we were clashing already during my hitting on her. In those days I put rock and punk down as nothing more than antiparental-generation noise. Ellen saw it as "American music arising to new levels." I'm sorry to say, though I did approach her, took her hand, and batted my salacious eyes over her, telling her as I did how fucking fine she looked to me, she, too, knew we were incompatible and that was it. I never had another chance to see her again; I never saw her again; in fact, I paid so little attention to her after that night in Max's KC, Ellen left the coil in 2006 and I was totally unaware of it until I looked her up in Wikipedia researching for this post. I was shocked by learning of her death like L Hat was shocked to find Bill Safire had died yesterday morning.
Ellen Willis--now come on, folks, man or woman, that's a cute alluring woman in any generational sense. Imagine my coming face-to-face with that face at Max's Kansas City, with certainly several belts of Murphy's Irish Whiskey under me belt--probably the Velvet Underground was playing that night--I've forgotten. I was too cute in those days, too, and the minute I saw her my charm went into overdrive. I shoved Robert Christgau, Dave Marsh, and those Village Voice creeps out of the way...but, alas, Ellen and I ended up two ships passing in the night with only an "Ahoy, permission to come aboard" from me and a "Permission to come aboard denied" from her.

Anyway, as a result of this Hollywood puff piece on the front page of the NYTimes Arts & Leisure section and the intrusive full-page buttered-up Hollywood PR ads that began clogging the arteries at the heart of that section's matter, I wrote one of my brilliant protest letters to the section's editor--Seymore or Sidney or something--I've forgotten his name. In that protest letter I said, if they continued to allow such crap on the front page of the Arts & Leisure section, I'd never look at another NYTimes the rest of my life.

My first Macintosh computer introduced me to the Internet. My first Mac was a Quadra 610--forgotten now? How about Centrises? So after I got a Mac and was able to get on the Internet, yes, the first thing I did on arriving at work was go on the Internet and go to the NYTimes site and read the headlines--sometimes I would read an article if it appealed to me, but mostly I only read the headlines. Soon I even stopped doing that. Soon I stopped going on the Times site altogether. Today, I haven't seen a NYTimes either in person at a newstand or on the Internet in perhaps 5 years for sure. [I quit reading the NYTimes and the NYTimes Review of Books, too, in spite of my brother having pieces in the ROB several times a year in those 1990s days. There was a guy at where I worked then who always clipped my brother's pieces out when they were in the ROB and brought them to me at work. He knew more about my brother than I did for awhile there. I remember one time he came and started talking about how he had just read a NYTimes ROB's piece by Larry McMurtry in which McMurtry had put my brother down as an old fogie in terms of the literary avant garde, of which McMurtry considered himself one and my brother not one.]

I remember William Safire as Tricky Dick Nixon's speechwriter. I despised everything Nixon, including William Safire. And for that Nixon-hating reason, too, I did not give Safire the time of day after he became a NYTimes columnist. In my day, the on-air or on-line language wit was Edwin R. Newman. How many language watchers remember him?

But, on the recommendation of my pal L Hat, I do hereby raise a glass of ale to old Bill Safir's memory--a glass of Ballantine Ale (everybody called it "Ballantine's Ale") would be the appropriate toasting libation except there ain't none anymore.
So we hoist a glass of Ballantine Ale to Mr. William Safir(e) in corporating with L Hat's tribute. Don't you love that opening tag on that ad: "Curl your hand around a frosty glass of pleasure...." That's all I desire to do sometimes, 'tis true.
President Obama Declares Himself a Reagan Capitalist
In case you haven't noticed there was a G-20 bullshit meeting going on for the past week in Pittsburgh. The G20 has been progressively growing from first a G4, to a G6, to a G8, to a G20, and next we assume a Gee Whiz! Yes, 20 of the top Capitalist nations of the world--including former Communist Russia, Communist China, Brazil, Argentina, and India, et. al.--were meeting at President Obama's invitation to come to agreements on the world's environmental problems...and, er-ah, oh yes, do something about the world's financial situation, like pleading with corporations to stop giving out outrageous bonuses--SUCH BULLSHIT!

In actuality, this meeting came to not one logical conclusion or agreed-upon-method of bringing about environmental control or stopping corporations from stealing our money and then giving it to themselves in the form of colossal bonuses--bonuses they say are necessary in order to keep our financial institutions running on the high levels of criminality they are currently running on.

Thousands of protesters, of course, piled into the streets of Pittsburgh, shouting slogans and phrases of courage, and, of course, confronting the friendly, kind, courteous Pittsburgh Police Department--there to protect the citizens of Pittsburgh--oh, I forgot--er-ah, the cops weren't their to protect the citizens of Pittsburgh--oh no, they were there to bust the heads and asses of the citizens of Pittsburgh. They were there to enforce the new "laws" forbidding Americans the right of protest! They were there to guard and protect...well you know who.

When President Obama was interviewed after this meeting and asked what he thought of the protesters, he called them rabblerousers! Yep, he called them "rabblerousers who are against Free Trade Capitalism!" Aha! I've been telling everybody, friends and foes, all along that President Obama is a fucking Reagan Voodoo Economics freak! He's a fucking free-trade-ite. He's the fucking same as Slick Willie Clinton. And just like Slick Willie, our president is also a Dumbocrat Right Winger! THAT'S IT: Obama is a Dumbocrat Right Winger. He's a Dumbocrat G.W. Bush! [At a Ray Kelly press conference yesterday--Ray Kelly is the NYC Police Commissioner--a little Shanty Irish cop--there's tons of 'em on the NYC police force--at which he was assuring us once again that We the People of New York City were once again centered as targets in the sights of al-Queda mad bombers--like this Zazi dude, an Afghanistan-American, he and the FBI had nabbed. And standing behind old alertist Ray Kelly was, of all people, except then I realized President Obama had appointed him to work in Homeland Security, Uncle Joe LIEberman, the renegade Dumbocrat who turned tail and went to the Repugnican Convention where he sang the praises of John "Vietnam Nutjob and Captured Combatant" McCain--and then when old Joe was losing his ass to his Dumbocrat opponent, became an Independent and ran against the Dumbocrat and won over him by gleaning all the mad-hatter and grumbling Repugnican crossover votes. Did the Dumbos punish Joe? Hell no. In fact, they gloated over him and richly rewarded him--just as they are now gloating over and richly rewarding turncoat Repugnican, the creator of the single-shooter theory in the Kennedy Assassination, the former DA, Arlen Specter.]

I hate saying bad things about our president. I really do. I heard him talking very nicely and intelligently about his White mother the other night, praising her for being a woman who fought for equality around the world, equality based on cooperative efforts fueled by progressive ideas. He was talking very frankly and passionately about his mother's work but then he revealed that his emphasis in talking about her was on the fact that she in her progressive efforts had joined with Capitalist entities like the Ford Foundation to achieve her successes. Remember, she worked for Timothy Geithner's
father who was head of the Ford Foundation in Indonesia--also remember, Timmy's mother's father was once head of the Ford Motor Company.

Obama's agenda on just about everything is dependent upon cooperation with corporations, leaving them unleashed and able to do just about anything they want, including stealing every penny out of our Treasury, with impunity. It's so serious that now if we start reproaching this man we are called racists, nutjobs, death-panel promoters, and possibly considered enemy combatants. This president promised us change, but instead of change he's handing us the same old song and dance, the same old bullshit line that we have to cooperate with the corporate-free-trade world and compromise away our majority party rights in order to appease his heroes, the Wall Street investors and shareholders, those who own US (the US) lock, stock, and barrel. We as protesters of Obama's right-centrist ways get called antiCapitalists, which means we are "Socialists," "Lefties," "Commies," "Reds," "Atheists," "Child Abusers," and, hell, probably even "Terrorists."

As a Free-Trade Capitalist (a Clintonista Capitalist)(a deregulation Capitalist)(a Harvard Law School Capitalist), President Obama feels like our only hope is Capitalism. If it fails, we all go down with the ship--except not all of us will go down with the ship. The 1% who own the ship with all of us on board won't even get wet if the ship sinks; they'll be safe on high and dry land when the world's economies come tsunami-crashing down around us and smash our ship of state to smithereens. The ship owners will be high and dry on their private island estates or private mountain-top estates, or ensconced in their bunkers or high up in their well-guarded penthouse retreats.

Obama's living the good life now. He's getting to fly off at will to any place in the world he feels like going in his own private air force; he's eating full meals at groaning tables bent under the weight of the finest foods his private chefs can create; he's tooled around all over the world in custom-built to his design Cadillac SUVs. Obama's now in a position to be a player in the Globalization effort of Corporations to rule the world. To put into effect that New World Order that G.W. Bush and his puppetmaster, Unka Dick Cheney, screwed up. President Obama is movin' on up and knocking at the front door of the Power Elite's private club. He's a real player now. He's a ruler now. He's in what he's always dreamed of as the real world now. We are at his mercy. Prepare for some coming months and years of Lord Chaos at his meanest.

I have been giving out this same railing ever since I seriously started listening to Obama's grand and intriguing speeches--like that first one he gave in the Denver Broncos football stadium--named after Adolph Coors one of the most rightwing assholes to ever become a rich asshole--a man who was so hated he disappeared without a trace out into a Colorado wilderness--something mysterious like that. Obama's speeches were glorious and his "Yes, We Can" was wildly cheered by a mixed chorus of Americans--and yet, to me, those speeches were hollow. They were the same as the speeches he made this past week at the UN and later at the G20 meeting. Like the speeches William Safire wrote for Tricky Dick Nixon.

Here's a speech old Bill Safir wrote for Nixon (that was never delivered):
Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind's most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man's search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.

Safire's Memo To Haldeman
This speech is from
At the end of the speech there is a link where old Bill himself tells you about this speech.
We're in for Some Tough Times
I'm a writer. I can lose myself in fantasies when the Chaotic times turn us into a full-fledged National Socialist government--that's short for Nazi, folks, a situation observers like myself have been forecasting for years: since the days of Eisenhower and especially since Eisenhower's "Military Industrial Complex" speech. Here's a link to the speech: NOTE: this link may not be working.

While the SS troops are hauling away the Blacks, Latinos, Jews, Muslims, Gays, Lesbians, Gypsies, Socialists, Nihilists, Anarchists, Atheists, et al., I'll think of myself as a B. Traven-type, going underground, starting an underground press, becoming a writer-protester-anarchist-action-figure, burying my philosophy in inciting stories of revolution and dare. I'll become a rebelling writer with my computer more powerful in my hands than an AKA in the hands of an ill-trained NYPD rookie cop who only has at best a high-school education and who has been indoctrinated with the USA attitude of "kill or be killed," the reason G.W. Bush gave for invading and trying to occupy two sovereign nations that had not done one fucking thing to the citizens of the USA--yet the poor souls of Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan are currently paying heavily in terms of their nations being destroyed and their citizens killed--1500 Afghanistanis have died this year--almost 4 times more than were killed last year. The number of US troop casualties is now at its highest ever in Afghanistan.

President Obama is now considering a request from G.W. Bush's handpicked War Generals, Betrayus and McCrystalmeth, for, at first they said they needed maybe 22,000 more boys and girls for canon fodder over there, though now their need is up to 50,000 troops. President Obama is considering their request. 61% of Americans recently polled by ABCNews said they wanted us out of Afghanistan--that the War was getting monotonous--we are war weary--and so are our troops--but not the men who rule us, those who avoid military service at all cost--one of our own presidents having gone AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard in order to avoid having to go to 'Nam--and look at all of our VietNam-serving politicians now, McCain and Kerry especially, nutjobs galore, lost among the stars they never saw shining brightly over our invasion and attempted occupation of VietNam. I just read recently where the global climate changes going on (which our Corporations deny are happening) are eroding the VietNam coastline so viciously old shorelines are disappearing into the sea and new shorelines are forming some right up into the centers of village. (Not so, say our Corporations, our masters.)

So, I'll hide out in the Internet underground when the SS comes looking for me (getting as lost in virtuality the same as Bin Ladin has been lost in some Pakistani virtual jungle) to measure my nose or give me a loyalty test--and certainly ask for my papers. Maybe I'll become a virtual character. A Kilroy. I remember Kilroy, do you?

for The Daily Growler

Friday, September 25, 2009

Living in New York City Under Constant Threats of Terror

Foto by tgw, nyc, 2008

Why'd They Bring the Al-Queda Terrorist to New York City?

I watched tonight as with great pomp and circumstance every commercial teevee station had exclusive stories on this Muslim dude, Zazi, from Colorado (hey, he favors Osama bin Laudin, could it be he's one of that evil bastard's bastard sons?). First they show videos of this Zazi going into a couple of beauty salon supply stores, wholesale outlets I would assume, and buying 32 oz. jugs of hydrogen peroxide. Yep, that's right, just plain old peroxide. Every household has a bottle in their medicine cabinet (is that what they're still called?)--I've got a bottle right now in my bathroom. Since I was a little kid I remember the peroxide bottle in the bathroom. And I remember the sting of peroxide as it was poured over my many wounds. I've gargled with peroxide. And I heard my mother and her gossipy friends talking about "oh, she's a peroxide blonde," meaning the color of her hair was phony--that she had combed hydrogen peroxide into her hair and bleached it blonde--there was a term "bleached blondes," too. These terms were especially attached to certain "blonde" movie stars. "Hussies," my mother called them, too. [Of course today (Saturday) they are now admitted they never found any of those hydrogen peroxide bottles in Zazi's possession. His apartment was clean. They found nothing incriminating in his apartment. His lawyer sez they've got nothing on this guy--and that's probably true, but he'll be convicted anyway--President Obama has proven he can stop terrorists in their tracks same as G.W. Bush and Unka Dick Cheney did when they were the top dogs.]

So this Muslim dude, Zazi, lets himself be photographed buying hydrogen peroxide--I know he's Muslim, by the way, from his profile--the high cheekbones, that rather-Jewish (Semite) nose, the full black beard, the too big head, wearing the out-of-date sweater and a pair of what look like what we used to call Dickies (that was the brand name of nerd pants back in my day). You can also assume he Feds have had their eye on this goofball for many moons. You know they have several of these goofballs spotted all around the country, watching their every move. For that reason I kept wondering, if they were suspicious of this guy several months ago, why didn't they bust his ass then? Can't they do that under G.W. Bush's War on Terror rules? They can tag him an enemy combatant and ship his ass off to Guantanamo where they can waterboard him into spilling the beans on his "obviously" many al Queda cell buddies in the USA. I'm being facetious, but they did that to the Shoe Bomber--they threw him in a Navy slammer and brainbeat him for 4 solid years with the cruelest punishment known to man--isolation in darkness (cell windows blackened out), with no bed, no bedding, only the concrete floor; not allowed to sleep, not allowed to rest, blasting rock & roll into his cell with special speakers the Navy electronics people came up with, speakers that blasted loud rock & roll in a direct way into his cell 24/7. They literally turned this poor bastard into a zombie and still they have nothing really substantial on the dude. Now I'm seeing they've discovered a stupid, lonely, attention-seeking White boy who they say tried to blow up the Springfield, Illinois, court house--and listen to this, he tried to blow up the court house with explosives sold to him by FBI undercover dudes. You see these explosives were duds. Wow, that's scary when the people who are supposed to be protecting you are going around selling explosives to intice nutjob copycat kids into commiting acts of terror. This White guy, he's taken a Muslim name, says he's an admirer of the US Taliban dude, John Walker Lindh (hey, his middle name's the same as Pappy Bush's), another lonely, attention-seeking (a love-me-daddy case--same thing with Michael Jackson) who the CIA shut the fuck up fast once they'd beat the shit out of him and then put the fear of the CIA vengeful god in his head. They shut him up just like they shut up that hero woman soldier early in the Iraq War--remember her?--rescued by the Marines from a Iraqi hospital? Turned out it was all staged by the CIA and the Gyrenes. So there are plenty of questions relating to these sudden outbursts of discoveries of terrorists all over the country at once it seems. I vaguely recall other terrorists our brave FBI agents nabbed--like the Black guys who were going to blow up Kennedy Airport or some such shit. Seems like one was a Haitian dude who worked for an airline. Or how about the 5 or 6 terrorists in Florida (Black guys) a few years back? How about the Buffalo bunch? How about the Canadians who were going to blow up Ottawa?

It is insane how fucking frightened we are of these so-called al-Queda operatives--these goofballs, these attention-seeking sociopaths--and that's what these guys are: Sociopaths. We have tons of 'em all over the country. They hate any kind of authority and most of them have either broken-home situations or rough-times situations at home with one or both of their parents or they are spoiled little rich brats like Osama and G.W. Bush and that ilk. In retrospect, G.W. Bush's handling of this whole 9/11 thing was totally wrong. It has left us now exceedingly vulnerable to attacks or attempts at attacks from within and without. Al-Queda seems stronger today and more invincible than it was when Bin Ladin was training them at his Afghanistan training facility--a series of scrubby tents set up on a stretch of desert with 20 or so dudes wearing black hoods making out like they're killing Americans. I mean, come on, we've got 150,000 men in Iraq and who knows how many in Afghanistan, at least 50,000, and with this huge a force of professional soldiers we have been unable to break al-Queda's back. How many troops can al-Queda have? Certainly not 100s of thousands. The cocky bastards leading us today went AWOL during the Vietnam War, turned their back on it, and now they've gotten us into an even worse mess and have for the first time in US history put our nation in jeopardy for a truly well-0rganized attack that will wreak havoc with my hometown--always it's New York City that faces the brunt of these agitated dudes's vengeance.

Taking My Mind Off the Bullshit (or can I?)
I was up in the fabby plexoglas-walled open-air offices of The Daily Growler a couple a'days ago and got fascinated over one of our IT geniuses trying to delete for good this Chinese porn-peddler who's successfully hacked his way into Google's blogosphere and appears regularly every morning in our comments section. We translated the comment and it has to do with underage Thai girls who are willing to do anything a real man wants and they have some videos for sale that prove it. As I was watching Chou-Chou deal with this Chinese guy (we can't stop him and neither can Google) I was very pleased to see a comment from thewomantrumpetplayer about her valiant effort in trying to protest the human predators who crave the killing and gutting and skinning out of gray wolves up in our sparsely populated Rocky Mountain states, like Wyoming (Unka Dick's carpetbag home state), Montana (the home of Max "Pay or You Die" Baucus), Idaho (a northwest Cracker state--home of a large contingency of White Racist Militants (not classified as terrorists by Homeland Security)--and Boise at one time had the worst Chinese food I'd ever eaten until I got to Clovis, New Mexico, a few weeks later).

I wonder if these human predators eat wolf meat--wolf steaks--or maybe after a day of heavy wolf killing, gutting, and skinning out, they eat the raw wolf hearts for virility? I mean, come on, human beings are as savage as wolves! Wolves don't kill humans--they run like hell when they see a human slogging toward them all dolled out with AKAs with laser spotter beams on them--I mean wolves aren't dumb. They know you're coming toward them with intentions of killing them.

One time in Jamaica, while I was staying in Ocho Rios with my old piano-playing friend from my hometown, I had an affair with this Jamaican girl who cleaned my apartment every day and who was so charming and bouncingly energetically beautiful and erect like most young Jamaican girls all seem to be she thrilled me to the bone. Just hanging with her, listening to her sing-song voice, and watching her smooth-as-glass and enticing body movements gave me multiple thrills (I was just divorced and free to cavort around some before I cornered another innocent thing and talked her into marrying me). And this Jamaican girl lived up above Ocho Rios in the mountains and one day she told me to get showered and cleaned up that she was taking me up to her parents's farm where they were going to kill a pig and then have a big feast that night--drinking 151 rum, eating barbecued pork and jerked pork and cerviche and Scotch bonnet peppers and drinking more 151 rum and then dancing the night away--with the hope of the night ending with us wrapped in the throes of fornication down by some waterfall in the moonlight.

We got to her farm and there was already a big crowd in her front yard, all ganged around this huge tree, an old tree with one old sturdy branch jutting straight out over the gathering's heads. A little band was playing up on the farmhouse porch. There was a table just off the porch filled with jugs of rum and bottles of Coca Cola and several jugs of homemade rum. Also on the table was a pile of the most beautiful ganga I've ne'er seen since--all cleaned and specially cut up and ready to be rolled into spliffs. My girl's sister was rolling the spliffs and soon she stuck a big one in my hand and the next thing I know, I was feeling no pain, as giddy and carefree as a newborn pup. I'm slugging down the rum, and I'm mooning all over the Jamaican girls all running around in their skimpy dresses, their exquisitely slim and contoured bodies...oh, Jesus, this isn't the way I wanted this to go.

Soon there was a stirring among the big gathering as a fishtail Cadillac pulled up next to the yard and out came this dude, a little old dude, wearing a stingy-brim topper and a fine black suit with a red-floral-wild tie, wearing sunglasses and carrying a couple of strong ropes and a leather satchel. The band played a fanfare and the crowd quieted down as this little man went about what he was hired to do: kill the pig we were going to feast on later.

The pen of pigs I had already seen. It was behind the house, down in a little valley just 50 yards or so away from that old tree with that protruding python-sized limb that hung straight out strong from its trunk.

First the little man slung one of his ropes up over that python-sized limb. He fixed a slip knot in it and then pulled it down tight in a knot around that limb's girth. He then took his other rope and made a lasso out of it. He turned to my girl's father and nodded and the two of them headed off down to the pig pen.

I had walked out to the pig pen with my girl earlier. There were about 7 healthy pigs in the pen. And they were spry and jolly as hell, snorting and oinking and burrowing in the mud and their own filth. But the minute--and here's my point about the wolves understand what a human being coming toward them with an AKA pointed at them--the minute these pigs saw that little man coming with that lasso they quieted down and stood firm in their tracks. As the girl's father opened the gate to the pigpen and the little man began to twirl his lasso over his head, those pigs started squealing (screaming) bloody murder--and they ran--and they cried mercy, but the little dude was the pro and he soon had a prime porker lassoed and was hauling his heavyweight ass back up the slight incline back up to that hanging tree--and that pig pleaded with that little dude all the way up the hill and he dug his trotters into the ground with resistance--but to no avail. Soon that pig was hoisted up by his hind legs belly up on that python limb, hanging him head down and throat exposed. In the batting of an eye, that little dude produced a shiny silver knife from his leather satchel and with the same flashing speed he slashed that pig's throat--SWOOSH--and Jesus X. Christ the blood spurted from that pig's throat like a fire hose shooting out a lunging of water. Quick as another batting of an eye, the little dude took his flashing knife and split that pig's gut wide open and with a slushing sound those guts and innards and organs dropped into a large gutbucket giving off a large puff of steam as they spilled into that big bucket.

Then the fun really began when the carcass was finally scrubbed down, dehaired, and well groomed. Then a huge iron spitz was shoved up that pig's ass and coming out his mouth and soon he was spitzed up right and taken out behind the house to a big pit in the ground and soon that porker was sizzling away as a young girl turned the spitz, the pig's fats oozing down into that wood fire that had soon settled down into a huge pile of sizzling hot coals.

Watching that pig get his throat cut and then watching him gutted overruled whatever sexual fantasies I had that night. Besides, before it was over, I was so drunk I ended up down near the pig pen with a woman I had no idea who she was. Then I passed out for good or bad. I woke up the next morning back in my apartment in Ocho Rios with my girlfriend in bed with me. I have no memory of how I got back to that apartment and my girlfriend wouldn't tell me and never talked about the incident again with me--and we continued our affair for several more weeks, though I was never invited back to her parents's place.

So I can just see these human predators up in those Rocky Mountain wilds gutting wolves and eating their hearts raw. Native Americans killed wolves but with great respect. Using their fine fur for winter garb and in return for the wolf's sacrifice they turned him into a spirit god.

In the meantime, this wolf here in New York City is once again being frightened to death by Homeland Security, the FBI, the NYPD--I mean, these birds are all over Manhattan tonight (Friday night). Zazi is being held at the Manhattan Federal Prison--oh yeah, we have one. But I'm still wondering, why did they bring him to the very place he was supposedly intending blowing up--they said Zazi was intending to blow up either some of our buses or a subway station a la London style. Why would you risk a terrorist attack on downtown Manhattan by imprisoning this guy here if he really is an al-Queda instigator!

I'm sorry, but I see politics written all over this. I mean we're having a mayor's race here at the moment. And soon we're going to have a very controversial governor's race.

Mayor Billionaire Bloomberg is already calling his Black opponent a liar, a dumbass, a promoter of crime in our schools--his opponent, Bill Thompson, once ran the school system and our billionaire mayor says when he ran it kids were passed automatically in spite of their low test scores (test scores are very big with Bloomberg), plus there was high crime in the schools then--UNTIL Mayor Bloomberg took the schools over, hired a businessman as his dickboy over the system, and made it especially tough for lower income and Black and Latino kids to score high enough on these tests--tests that prove nothing--nothing. Let me tell you how rude and crude and egomaniacal this asshole mayor is. This sorry son of a bitch went to a U2 concert in New Jersey in his fucking private helicopter, landing it in the fucking parking lot, and scaring the holy hell out of a whole bunch people attending the concert thinking his helicopter was an al-Queda gunboat coming to blow their asses away--I mean, afterall, they'd been alerted all day to the fact that Zazi and the Queens Iman were going to plant backpack bombs somewhere on our transportation system, our luxury hotels, and our sports complexes. The nerve of that bastard. This private helicopter of his they say sits gassed up with the motor running 24/7 ready to whisk this little asshole off to the safety of one of his private island estates in case there really is an al-Queda cell active in New York City and any day we New Yorkers could be blown to smithereens by hydrogen peroxide bombs in backpacks.

But you see what this is. Remember one of Bush's brags on leaving office--besides his being proud of his actions in Iraq--was that there hadn't been anymore terrorist attacks on the USA since 9/11. And as soon as Obama took office, Unka Dick started running around warning us if we stopped waterboarding these Muslim assholes they'd reattack us for sure.

Perhaps this Zazi bullshit is proving President Obama can also protect us from al-Queda terrorists--preventing this hydrogen peroxide bomb attack just as the President and half the leaders of the world were in town clogging up our streets for a (worthless, ineffective) UN Security meeting. I mean, come on, that Iranian nutjob president was in town and that Libyan self-proclaimed god was staying out at the Donald's Bedford Hills estate. [God, I hate Donald Trump. He's as dull and as phony as that tacky 50s White rocker hairdo he sports. He and Martha Steward amaze me. Bland, narrowminded, self-agrandizing people who are so phony--even Michael Jackson was more real to me than Donald Trump.]

Sorry. But I think rather than a gray wolf massacre, how about us thinning out some of these fucking billionaires and taking back some of the wealth they've stolen from us and our forebears for the whole history of this White Man's nation?

Now we have some overweight, sloppy-looking military types carrying automatic weapons in our subways again--police presence everywhere. I mean, the mayor could announce at any minute he's stopping the election and keeping office as dictator and what could we do about it?

It's Nazi time in Dreamland. We are all drugged up and swayed by waving flags and flag lapel pins and putting wreaths on soldiers's graves and praising soldiers who've returned with no legs but who are running in marathons now on those metal feet that look like automobile brake shoes--praising soldiers, waving the bloody shirt, being scared shitless every morning when we wake up and get the news that al-Queda may be hiding under our beds with a backpack containing a hydrogen peroxide bomb. We the People have been lulled into thinking we are divinely protected from military style attacks. European cities got used to it--I mean look how many times Europe has been destroyed by wars or had their cities bombed flat to the ground. Or hell, look how many invasions and occupations the poor Iraqis and Afghanistanis have had to endure for almost their entire time as trying to be independent nations. No one has ever successfully conquered Afghanistan--and if they did, not for very long. The Russians warned us of this when our CIA-backed Osama Bin Ladin gang, the Mujaheddin, and the Taliban all joined hands to drive the Russkies out of town.

Obama at the same time is using this al-Queda scare to escalate his war in Afghanistan, the new righteous war. General Betrayus and General McCrystalmeth are asking for more and more and more troops--more canon fodder--more men and women to be sacrificed in an effort to weed out what amounts to only a few hundred actually who are openly classified as al Queda--yes, folks, al-Queda, if it isn't an invention of the CIA, is not a large group of people--they are not large enough to be called an army. The Taliban, yes, they have an army--they were once in control of Afghanistan so they have much larger forces than al-Queda. Besides, Al-Queda is made up not of Afghanistans but rather well-heeled and educated Saudi-Arabians, Jordanians, Dubaiites, etc. It's easy now for al-Queda to recruit young Muslim wild boys now all stirred up and looking for favors from Allah--looking for those 100,000 virgins awaiting them on high after they've blown away 3,000 filthy heathen savage secular Americans! Then why Spainards? Then why Londoners? Then why Nigerians? I'm confused--and I'm a sharply fine-tuned empiricist, too.

In the meantime, the real estate developments are going on without a hitch here in Manhattan. Slowly but surely buildings are still popping up like wild mushrooms on steroids. The trendy new party hotels are springing up all over town--they call them boutique hotels. Ohhhh-gaaah. And these boutique hotels all sport these party bars. One boutique hotel club owner brags about how he only invites 200 of New York City's trendiest people to his party bar--they are the only ones who can get in his club. That's what's going on in the leisure class world--these trendy bars packed every night with these twentyish people all young and restless and wild and devil-may-care as they blow hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on overpriced, overtaxed booze and dance up-and-down pogo-style--Oh, didn't I mention that most these kids are White?

So the rich, those who have, are having a ball. They're all super rich and they give their worthless spoiled brat kids credit cards and SUVs and body guards and maids. While the whole world is sinking deeper and deeper into Chaos, they party on! They are better than the average bears, don't you see?

for The Daily Growler

A The Daily Growler Sports Bulletin From Our Own Sports Hero marvelousmarvbackbiter
I watched the Yankees clobber the Boston Red Sox last night--on teevee; I won't go to that stadium--that's not the House that Ruth Built--that's a reproduction Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are an awesome hitting team. Their pitching is mediocre like the pitching everywhere in both leagues. Sabathia's their best pitcher but he's unreliable. Jabo Chamberlain pitched last night against Boston's young star Jon Lester. Jabo pitched good for 3 innings then they hit a home run off of him and started getting on base. Boston closed the gap in the 7th, but then the Yankee hitters went wild and the Yanks ended up winners and now only 2 games away from clinching the American League East title. Boston is terribly beat up though they have played better ball than the Yankees over the past week or so. The Yankees were on a 5 out of 6 game losing streak until last night. Now they are 6 1/2 games ahead of Boston.

Like I said, the Yankees are awesome hitters this year. Jeter, who I've always said is the best player in baseball, is hitting .334; even Johnny Damon is hitting .285 with over 20 home runs. The Yankees have scored more runs than any other team in baseball and they are the best team in the majors right now.

On the other side of the fence, the New York Mets--forget them. They are 24 games out of first place. They look like the '62 Mets, the original Mets. Big mistake getting rid of Willie Randolph--now I think they know that.

The best team in the National League right now is the LA Dodgers under Joe Torre. They are 5 games up on the Colorado Rockies. They are headed for the playoffs for the second year in a row. Whether they can make it all the way to the World Series is up in the air, but, oh, what a glorious series that would be for me: the Yankees and the Dodgers! That's a game I'm dreaming of. Whether it'll happen...hey, the Yankees are beatable--and Minnesota is playing almost perfect baseball at the moment--they've won 9 out of their last 10, something like that--only 3 games behind Detroit. It's gonna be fun--I'll watch the playoff series--I will root for the Yankees. It's hard for me to root for the fucking Dodgers but with Joe Torre there and Manny there, I've gotta root for them. Dammit, I've got to see the Yankees and Dodgers in the series. My fingers are crossed.

for The Daily Growler

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Living in New York City During the Fall of Capitalism

Foto by tgw, "the new over the old," NYC, 2009
Michael Moore and Capitalism
My problem with Michael Moore? He's kind'a brightly dumb. You know what I mean?

Michael Moore was very revealing this a.m. (Thurs. Sept. 24) on Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now" (I never understood whether Amy meant "Democracy--NOW!"--as a demand or "Democracy Now"--NOW in the present tense). Revealing in the sense that he admits he's just a dumb jerky filmmaker who thinks like he knows how to entertain people with a camera and his ability to take what the camera films and turn it into a documentational type of make-you-realize (wake you up) movie.

He admits he's not an economist and doesn't understand terms like derivatives and sub-prime mortgages (and I'm thinking, neither do most economists). He admits he has no alternative to Capitalism nor is he favoring one economic system over another. His motive for his latest film, besides fun and profits, "Capitalism, a Love Story," is meant to show We the People that 1% of all of us owns almost 100% of our capital/wealth and how that 1% of us not only owns our wealth but they own our government (our politicians) and, hell, they own US, too!

Then Michael Moore made a revelation that I had never thought of in terms of his motives in making his disruptive documovies. Moore when asked why in his movie he had no alternatives to Capitalism revealed that he was a Catholic and had grown up in the Church, attending Catholic schools, and loyal to the doctrines of the Catholic Church. He said he certainly had some problems with the Church itself but not with its doctrines--"its moral doctrines" its definitions of good and evil according to the teachings of Jesus.

Moore then went on to say he tried to portray Jesus in "Capitalism, a Love Story" as a Capitalist using scenes of Jesus speaking from Franco Zeffirelli's "Jesus of Nazareth" movie to show Jesus the Capitalist (with one of Moore's actor's voice dubbed in putting words in Zeffirelli's Jesus's mouth) teaching Capitalism.

Moore says whatever system replaces Capitalism should be based on the basic principles he feels Jesus taught through a bunch of questions (Jesus was Jewish, right? Questions? What did you expect?) he asked in terms of whether you or I can get into heaven or not, the basic questions being 1) When you saw a starving person did you feed him? 2)When you saw a person in dire need did you help him? 3) When you saw a person suffering from a disease or accident did you try and help him regain his health or did you comfort him in his time of pain and suffering?

So Moore is a Catholic. There is Socialism in the Catholic Doctrine. Dorothy Day was a Catholic Socialist. Hell, Jacques Maritain was a Catholic Existentialist. When in my early life I was a social worker in the juvenile delinquency business, it was hard as hell to get help from the state, parish, or Federal welfare systems in terms of psychological or psychiatric evaluations or in terms of family counseling and family aid, though it was easy to get this help from Catholic Charities or through the Catholic Church social services workers.

So Michael Moore is a big dumb jerky filmmaker born and raised and still living in a country suburb of the city of Flint, Michigan (hometown of our own thedailygrowlerhousepianist), a nice little Catholic boy, his daddy a country doctor, his wife from the same source--his parents living through the Great Depression--and that's where Michael Moore's sense of values comes from, the Socialist side of the Catholic Church, the principled side of the Catholic Church that does believe in the Jesus adage of "the only commandment now, after my dying on the god-damn cross did away with you Jewish brothers and sisters having to follow those Mosaic Ten Commandments and do all that messy animal sacrificing and shit, is 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.'" And that's a hard principle (commandment) to follow especially when you live in a Capitalist society that teaches rugged individualism as the principle path of success (pull yourself up by your bootstraps). Rugged individualism means that you treat your neighbor as competition.

This Capitalist road to success is unfair. No it's not democratic. Yes it is enslaving. Rather than frugality, Capitalism teaches RISK. Without RISK you have no CHANCE at the accumulation of wealth, which is your goal, more wealth, more power. Some say opportunity knocks but once, but true Capitalists believe it knocks every morning when you wake up and knocks all day long. YOU must figure out when it's knocking loudest and you must know just when to open that door to opportunity at just the right time.

Reagan economists (the Milton Friedman U of Chicago crowd--the home of Leo Strauss the father of the Neo-Cons and the New World Order) believed that the 1% who own nearly all of our wealth are compassionate people who do not need government regulations to make them be responsible citizens or government taxes on them at the highest rates (We the People used to tax the rich at 50% compared to the average 25% that the workingclass has taken directly out of their earnings) to make them socially and culturally responsible citizens. From whence comes the trickle-down theory, the theory George H.W. "Pappy" Bush called Voodoo Economics.

Capitalism is a form of Voodoo. It is. Its constant beating drums lure you into its dreamworld. In that dreamworld, you have a chance at magical success--as long as you keep your mind on the beatings of those drums (think about the role of drums on the slave ships) and stay in this dreamstate, you have a CHANCE at becoming POWERFUL! And Pappy Bush was right; yes, the trickle-down theory is via favor, favor gained through believing strongly in the voodoo--the voodoo of lotteries, scratch offs, gambling casinos, bingo games, coupon collecting, playing the commodities market or playing at being a day trader where at any minute of any day your $5,000 investment will be worth a million bucks! Getting-rich-quick is always the prize...which is all Capitalism is: a chance to get rich quick. Like Mayor Mike Bloomberg! Like Rudi Guiliani. Like Judith Regan. Like Howard Stern. Like Michael Moore.

Under Socialism celebrity and stardom are based on community service, humanitarian service, spreading the wealth around equally (true democracy). In other words, We the People should own our common ground. Which means We the People through our government own the wealth of the nation. We the People own the oil, the gas, the cattle ranges, the parks, the plazas, the land on which we build our houses or our businesses. Read Henry George's great book Progress and Poverty. In it George explains the meaning of a commonwealth and all about being able to lease land from We the People (the single-tax theory) as long as we IMPROVE that land and don't rent it and let it lie fallow or unimproved. The things we put on that land we are leasing from the commonwealth are called Capital improvements--that's your capital. Money is not Capital. Money is merely a method of exchange. Therefore, money is not wealth. Read George's book--it's too much for me to dwell on right now.

I don't think it's possible that we'll ever have Socialism in this country. We are trained from kindergarten on in Capitalism. We have a history of respecting and making legends of our most ruthless Capitalists, from George Washington (an aristocrat plantation owner, slaveholder, and military man--plus he was a WHITE man) on down the line right on up to our first Black (he's half-Black/half-White remember) president. Obama is a died-in-the-wool, Hah-vard-trained Capitalist. He was trained at Hah-vard in corporate law. Corporate law is Capitalism law. Obama knows that if he pushed for Socialist solutions to societal problems Sarah Palen running with Tom DeLay could win the next presidential election.

The Christians, and guess what, the Muslims, too, call Socialism "secular humanism." Capitalism is very religious. Capitalism depends on a GOD for its divine blessing. A Capitalist Christian will tell you, yes, it's almost impossible for a rich man to enter heaven UNLESS...aha, and here's the Christian-Capitalist spin: this rich man gives a four-cornered portion of his wealth--in the Christian bible this is based on the production of wealth based on agrarian land holdings--like if a man owns 3000 hectres of land on which he is growing wheat or barley, the the Christian-Judaic God demands he take all the profits he makes off four corner hectres of his land down to his local priest and hand it over to God. Owning land is very important to Christian Capitalists. The USA was based on White male landholders ruling us. Aristocrats. Our Constitution was written by an aristocrat landholder and slaveholder, a redheaded White man who had the hots for those young Black slave girls who walked around half-naked down in his slave quarters, which he could easily spy on using one of his telescopes. Though the slave girls were half naked showed old Tom Jefferson was frugal with his slaves's clothing expenditures, though his own clothing was the finest made by tailors in London and Paris where Jefferson was for long periods of time--being an ambassador, an ambassadorship being one of the payoffs for being a good Capitalist and conspicuous consumer (Jefferson collected rare books and rare wines and his collection of silverware was large enough that a contribution of his silverware and that of George Washington was the source of our first silver coins, the silver dollars, halves, and quarters of 1794 (on which Liberty (a woman) was depicted with long flowing hair--therefore our first silver coins are known as "Flowing Hair" coins--Liberty meaning the freedom to be as wealthy a son of a bitch as you can get--true Liberty meaning you've wealth enough to do as you please in your pursuit of YOUR individual happiness, which we all know means "if you're happy, you gotta be rich."

Of course, there's National Socialism...oh, but that's right, we already have that. That's what Corporate Socialism is. The Corporations own our wealth...and NOW they do. The Corporations own us all lock, stock, and barrel.

Henry George said the following: “What has destroyed every previous civilization has been the tendency to the unequal distribution of wealth and power.” Amen to that Brother George. Check out Gibbons's great book: Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

The Following Is the Afterword to Henry George's Progress & Poverty by his granddaughter, Agnes George DeMille (yep, Cecil B. DeMille's niece):

Who Was Henry George?

by Agnes George deMille

A HUNDRED YEARS AGO a young unknown printer in San Francisco wrote a book he called Progress and Poverty. He wrote after his daily working hours, in the only leisure open to him for writing. He had no real training in political economy. Indeed he had stopped schooling in the seventh grade in his native Philadelphia, and shipped before the mast as a cabin boy, making a complete voyage around the world. Three years later, he was halfway through a second voyage as able seaman when he left the ship in San Francisco and went to work as a journeyman printer. After that he took whatever honest job came to hand. All he knew of economics were the basic rules of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and other economists, and the new philosophies of Herbert Spencer and John Stuart Mill, much of which he gleaned from reading in public libraries and from his own painstakingly amassed library. Marx was yet to be translated into English.

George was endowed for his job. He was curious and he was alertly attentive to all that went on around him. He had that rarest of all attributes in the scholar and historian that gift without which all education is useless. He had mother wit. He read what he needed to read, and he understood what he read. And he was fortunate; he lived and worked in a rapidly developing society. George had the unique opportunity of studying the formation of a civilization -- the change of an encampment into a thriving metropolis. He saw a city of tents and mud change into a fine town of paved streets and decent housing, with tramways and buses. And as he saw the beginning of wealth, he noted the first appearance of pauperism. He saw degradation forming as he saw the advent of leisure and affluence, and he felt compelled to discover why they arose concurrently.

The result of his inquiry, Progress and Poverty, is written simply, but so beautifully that it has been compared to the very greatest works of the English language. But George was totally unknown, and so no one would print his book. He and his friends, also printers, set the type themselves and ran off an author's edition which eventually found its way into the hands of a New York publisher, D. Appleton & Co. An English edition soon followed which aroused enormous interest. Alfred Russel Wallace, the English scientist and writer, pronounced it "the most remarkable and important book of the present century." It was not long before George was known internationally.

During his lifetime, he became the third most famous man in the United States, only surpassed in public acclaim by Thomas Edison and Mark Twain. George was translated into almost every language that knew print, and some of the greatest, most influential thinkers of his time paid tribute. Leo Tolstoy's appreciation stressed the logic of George's exposition: "The chief weapon against the teaching of Henry George was that which is always used against irrefutable and self-evident truths. This method, which is still being applied in relation to George, was that of hushing up .... People do not argue with the teaching of George, they simply do not know it." John Dewey fervently stressed the originality of George's work, stating that, "Henry George is one of a small number of definitely original social philosophers that the world has produced," and "It would require less than the fingers of the two hands to enumerate those who, from Plato down, rank with Henry George among the world's social philosophers." And Bernard Shaw, in a letter to my mother, Anna George, years later wrote, "Your father found me a literary dilettante and militant rationalist in religion, and a barren rascal at that. By turning my mind to economics he made a man of me...."

Inevitably he was reviled as well as idolized. The men who believed in what he advocated called themselves disciples, and they were in fact nothing less: working to the death, proclaiming, advocating, haranguing, and proselytizing the idea. But it was not implemented by blood, as was communism, and so was not forced on people's attention. Shortly after George's death, it dropped out of the political field. Once a badge of honor, the title, "Single Taxer," came into general disuse. Except in Australia and New Zealand, Taiwan and Hong Kong and scattered cities around the world, his plan of social action has been neglected while those of Marx, Keynes, Galbraith and Friedman have won great attention, and Marx's has been given partial implementation, for a time, at least, in large areas of the globe.

But nothing that has been tried satisfies. We, the people, are locked in a death grapple and nothing our leaders offer, or are willing to offer, mitigates our troubles. George said, "The people must think because the people alone can act."

We have reached the deplorable circumstance where in large measure a very powerful few are in possession of the earth's resources, the land and its riches and all the franchises and other privileges that yield a return. These positions are maintained virtually without taxation; they are immune to the demands made on others. The very poor, who have nothing, are the object of compulsory charity. And the rest -- the workers, the middle-class, the backbone of the country -- are made to support the lot by their labor.

We are taxed at every point of our lives, on everything we earn, on everything we save, on much that we inherit, on much that we buy at every stage of the manufacture and on the final purchase. The taxes are punishing, crippling, demoralizing. Also they are, to a great extent, unnecessary.

But our system, in which state and federal taxes are interlocked, is deeply entrenched and hard to correct. Moreover, it survives because it is based on bewilderment; it is maintained in a manner so bizarre and intricate that it is impossible for the ordinary citizen to know what he owes his government except with highly paid help. We support a large section of our government (the Internal Revenue Service) to prove that we are breaking our own laws. And we support a large profession (tax lawyers) to protect us from our own employees. College courses are given to explain the tax forms which would otherwise be quite unintelligible.

All this is galling and destructive, but it is still, in a measure, superficial. The great sinister fact, the one that we must live with, is that we are yielding up sovereignty. The nation is no longer comprised of the thirteen original states, nor of the thirty-seven younger sister states, but of the real powers: the cartels, the corporations. Owning the bulk of our productive resources, they are the issue of that concentration of ownership that George saw evolving, and warned against.

These multinationals are not American any more. Transcending nations, they serve not their country's interests, but their own. They manipulate our tax policies to help themselves. They determine our statecraft. They are autonomous. They do not need to coin money or raise armies. They use ours.
And in opposition rise up the great labor unions. In the meantime, the bureaucracy, both federal and local, supported by the deadly opposing factions, legislate themselves mounting power never originally intended for our government and exert a ubiquitous influence which can be, and often is, corrupt.

I do not wish to be misunderstood as falling into the trap of the socialists and communists who condemn all privately owned business, all factories, all machinery and organizations for producing wealth. There is nothing wrong with private corporations owning the means of producing wealth. Georgists believe in private enterprise, and in its virtues and incentives to produce at maximum efficiency. It is the insidious linking together of special privilege, the unjust outright private ownership of natural or public resources, monopolies, franchises, that produce unfair domination and autocracy.

The means of producing wealth differ at the root: some is thieved from the people and some is honestly earned. George differentiated; Marx did not. The consequences of our failure to discern lie at the heart of our trouble.

This clown civilization is ours. We chose this of our own free will, in our own free democracy, with all the means to legislate intelligently readily at hand. We chose this because it suited a few people to have us do so. They counted on our mental indolence and we freely and obediently conformed. We chose not to think.
Henry George was a lucid voice, direct and bold, that pointed out basic truths, that cut through the confusion which developed like rot. Each age has known such diseases and each age has gone down for lack of understanding. It is not valid to say that our times are more complex than ages past and therefore the solution must be more complex. The problems are, on the whole, the same. The fact that we now have electricity and computers does not in any way controvert the fact that we can succumb to the injustices that toppled Rome.

To avert such a calamity, to eliminate involuntary poverty and unemployment, and to enable each individual to attain his maximum potential, George wrote his extraordinary treatise a hundred years ago. His ideas stand: he who makes should have; he who saves should enjoy; what the community produces belongs to the community for communal uses; and God's earth, all of it, is the right of the people who inhabit the earth. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, "The earth belongs in usufruct to the living."

This is simple and this is unanswerable. The ramifications may not be simple but they do not alter the fundamental logic.

There never has been a time in our history when we have needed so sorely to hear good sense, to learn to define terms exactly, to draw reasonable conclusions. As George said, "The truth that I have tried to make clear will not find easy acceptance. If that could be, it would have been accepted long ago. If that could be, it would never have been obscured."

We are on the brink. It is possible to have another Dark Ages. But in George there is a voice of hope.

Agnes George de Mille
New York, January, 1979

Agnes George de Mille was the granddaughter of Henry George. Famous in her own right as a choreographer and the founder of the Agnes de Mille Heritage Dance Theater, she received the Handel Medallion, New York's highest award for achievement in the arts. She was the author of thirteen books.

Henry George wrote: "So long as the increased wealth that progress brings goes to building great fortunes and increasing luxury, progress is not real. When the contrast between the haves and have-nots grows ever sharper, progress cannot be permanent. To educate people condemned to poverty only makes them restless. To base a state with glaring social inequalities on political institutions where people are supposed to be equal is to stand a pyramid on its head. Eventually, it will fall." [From the Introduction to Progress & Poverty.] [I, bye the bye, have a Degree in Applied Economics from the Henry George School.]
Henry George


for The Daily Growler

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Living in New York City Under Terrorist Threats

Foto by tgw, the penn central building, nyc 2009

They're Shootin' Wolves Out in the Rockies--Too Many Wolves Scare the Children

Yep, human beings out in the Rockies, Wyoming, Montana, backward sparsely human populated areas that once were wilderness paradises have given predator human beings, those males who still crave wild red meat, human permission, against the will of the wolves, I'm sure, and I should know due to my close relationship to wolves, to massacre as many as 1,000 gray wolves in an area around Yellowstone Park. "There are just too many wolves in the area," a game-thinning-out expert explained, "that's all there is to it. Besides the American hunter deserves a shot at baggin' one of these savage beasts. There's nothin' more invigoratin', unless it's Viagra, than for a pack of human men, hungry for some wild meat, to traipse comfortably--maybe in helicopters to hunt protected species--hey, guys, wouldn't a helicopter bald eagle hunt be awesome! Hey, it's Unka Dick Cheney, a real god-damn man. Get your special wolf-hunting rifle ready, Unka Dick. One of our redskin dickboys will hoist your old bony ass up on his broad savage shoulders and carry you out to the wolf massacrin' site. Besides the Cattlemen's Association says our patriotic rich-boy cattlemen are losing too many cattle to these savage wolves--you know the cattle they're runnin' on that wilderness range our greatest president ever, Mr. George Washington Bush, said it was OK to do--but, hellfire, still these patriotic ranchers (raising our steaks for us, boyz) are paying the Feds a outrageous penny an acre for it. Anyway, boyz, let's go get us some wolf pelts--one will look nice in front of the fireplace in your hunter's den with all your trophy heads--or, hellfire, think about a mounted gray wolf's head added to your head collection. Hooo-boy how jealous are your hunter-friend neighbors gonna be of you? I might just watch my back if I were you lucky wolf-hunter lottery winners. Good killin', boyz, let's go get some savage wolf ass."

Hey, why not conscript all these wolf hunters and ship them off to Afghanistan. Let 'em hunt al-Queda and Taliban wolves in sheep's clothing--or Pakistan women and children in their regular dress (a clever al-Queda disguise). Blackwater'll hire 'em.

Here in New York City, we have a mayor's race in progress and soon we'll have a governor's race. ALERT: Rudi "Rude Boy" Guiliani is raring his dull-eyed dummy-looking mug up and throwing his used rubbers into the governor's race ring since he considers himself a natural to beat an N-worder candidate, meaning Governor David Patterson, a Black man who President Obama is so ashamed of he's cold-shouldering his brother in favor of Massuh Mario Cuomo, Jr, Andrew Cuomo, who's filled whatever political slot his daddy's political privilege has gotten him and the Dumbocrats think of Daddy Mario as a winner....but you know the story, don't you?

So suddenly, according to our crack(pot) Homeland Security doublespeakers, the God-damn Muslim iman bastards are threatening to kill White New Yorkers again. Yes, our mayor and our fiercely patriotic police commissioner, Homeland Security, and the FBI are standing guard over us (they have to since all the New York State National Guard are over in Iraq or Afghanistan. The mayor's already taken advantage of this latest terrorist threat on NYC and has even changed his campaign ads to include protecting us from terrorists now among the other things he's claiming he's done for New York City, er-ah, I'm sorry, I mean what he's done for New York City's Middle Class. He's even talking in his slick ads now about how he's helping New York City's, and I quote the mayor, "hard-working middle-class students"--I kid you not, that's what his ad says. New York City's hard-working middle-class students. Just who the hell are these people? Would "hardworking middle-class students" include kindergarten students? Hebrew school students? Or does he literally mean middle-class students who are having to work to pay their way through college (I assume). This mayor first of all never defines what he means specifically when he talks about a Middle-Class New Yorker. Nor does he ever refer to how he's actually helping hard-working midde-class students or exactly how many jobs compared to jobs being lost this billionaire mayor has replaced or salvaged. He never goes beyond just stating he's done this or that.

This current terrorist alert--President Obama did away with the color alerts--it turns out is the result of the Feds arresting some terrorist-favoring Pakistani-American in Colorado who they say lied to them about something; therefore he must be plotting to blow up White Americans--and especially blow up people who live in New York City. But this latest al-Queda plot also involves an Islamic iman here in New York City. The FBI aren't saying much. They're tight-lipped and secretive. But our police commissioner, as crooked a little Irish cop prick as there is, is coming out with new scary information every hour or so. He comes out with his serious patriotic face on, with his brow furrowed as first he warned us that al-Queda was planning to blow up a part of the New York City transportation system--now second, today, he's saying people had better be wary of Muslim- or Islamic-looking men lingering around the lobbies or hallways of NYC luxury hotels and our sports complexes. Old patriotic Ray Kelly says he means business here in New York City and he's going to be going about this city upturning stones and looking for those al-Queda cell members who are said to be carrying crudely written-in-crayons plans for making "a bomb"--and believe it or not that's all they'll say, "crude handwritten plans for making a bomb," though that's not the charges brought against these Muslim bastards--nope, they're accused of lying to the FBI, which I didn't know was a crime, though they say it is under the Patriot Act (thank you, Bill Clinton). The enemy they're alerting us to is definitely, they are saying, al-Queda; they mention it by name. I haven't heard it tagged a threat from one of those vague terms like "Islamic militants," or "Taliban agents," or "Muslim extremists," or them saying these al-Queda bomb-plot planners are definitely a branch of the Osama Bin Laden Secret Al-Queda Secret, Hidden, Secluded Center for Al-Quedan Secret Efforts to Secretly Kill Americans located somewhere deep in the impenetrable and jungles of an extremely hidden-away part of Pakistan.

In the meantime, in the big middle of this big al-Queda plan to blow up the New York City subway system, our luxury hotels, and our sports complexes, President Obama dares to come to town to give another speech. This time at the General Assembly of the United Nations. Hell, Israel's kindly old humane leader Benny Net-in-Yahoo's in town, too, along with the not-freely-elected faux president of Palestine who's here, too. And coming in later today is Iran's newly fraudulently elected president,
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Evidently our president isn't worried about al-Queda attacks on our luxury hotels since he's housing himself in the Presidential Suite at the Waldorf, a suite during Bill Clinton's time in office it was later revealed We the People of the USA were paying $25,000-a-night for Bill and his staff of asslicking cronies to shack there.

I'm not at all scared of a terrorist attack myself. I even went out this morning and bought my coffee from my Muslim friend, a young Afghanistan-American who proudly wears his teeshirts declaring him to be a "Proud Afghanistan-American" published under the crossed Afghanistan and USA flags. He had such high hopes in President Obama. Now he's not so hopeful. When I mentioned the newest terrorist threat this morning, he just shook his head and didn't comment.

I'm going to quit bashing President Obama. I'm beginning to give him credit for being an understanding man. But I also see him as a confused man. And anybody would be confused once you got a firsthand look at just how fucked up G.W. Bush left this country.

I watched the Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants football game last night from rich-Arkansas-hick and former football player, Jerry Jones's new conspicuously overexpensed "pride and joy" Cowboys Stadium, which he trumpets about how it cost him out of his pocket hundreds of millions of bucks. And there was old nutgrinding Jerry inviting all his close friends and asshole former jock buddies into his luxury box that is at field level in this new monumental stadium. I watched as this Arkie hick sat in his luxury box on a throne-like seat like a Caesar watching his privately owned enslaved gladiators perform for his thrill, pleasure, and profit. Jerry got rich the same way George Herbert W. "Pappy" Bush got "almost rich"--since Pappy was actually a business failure--by taking an Arkansas Jones Family oil and gas leasing business and having phenomenal luck with it, getting filthy rich enough to move over to Dallas and buy the Cowboys from a guy named Bum Bright.

So I was watching this royal opening of Jerry Jone's Old Plantation House-style football stadium and it was a damn good game--tightly played--the Cowboys dominating the Giants but making too many errors in the domination, the score going back and forth, the game going right up until the last 4 seconds, the score 31-30 Dallas, and the Giants sent in their FG kicker and he kicked a field goal and the Gi'nts won the game 33-31. And though I'm not a Giants fan, boy howdy was I glad to see them ruin old Arky Jerry's party.

What the hell pissed you off about Jerry Jones and his new Imperial-looking stadium? you may ask. And I reply, because during this game, though most of the time the fill-in camera boyz were ordered to keep a camera on Jerry Jones sitting like Caesar in his luxury box and be ready at any moment for a direction to shoot old Jerry, especially during one of his hooray moments when the Cowboys were early kicking the Giants's asses. During one shooting of Jerry, the on-Jerry-focused camera slipped down to the right of his holiness and, son of a bitch, there he was, having a ball, looking chipper, looking in fine spirits (Jack Daniel's probably), looking better than I've seen him since he bowed out of office. Yes, it was Georgie Porgie himself, G.W. Bush. And sitting with our ex-faux president was that big blubbery gobby fat man who's surely going to have a massive coronary any day now, John Madden. Both putting on a good ol' boy show for luxury box audience, joshing back and forth, and grinning like Cheshire cats or possums eating their own shit, take your pick. Our ex-faux president, a lying-dog, spoiled-rich-boy criminal, is living the good life. Nothing but the luxury-box best for this worthless-piece-of-shit man whose policies and idiocies put this country in the worst debt ever in the history of the world--he put us into debt to the Chinese Communist, to boot! This man who bold-faced lied us into two unwinable and world-disastrous wars. This man who took away more freedoms from us with his war on terror than Billy Jeff Clinton did with the original Patriot Act. This man who couldn't account for what happened to something like 4 trillion dollars out of the Treasury right after he first was illegally put into office by the Supreme(ly dumb) Court. "Whuuu, it jes' disappeared. What the hell am I 'spose to do about it?" The man who wiped his ass with the citizens of New Orleans who were left in dire and unprotected straits after the worst hurricane in Gulf of Mexico history since the one that hit Galveston, Texas, in 1901, almost totally destroyed this unique American city. This is the man who kept on reading My Pet Goat to a bunch of Florida fifth graders during a photo-op while this country was under a foreign military attacks on the City of New York and Washington, District of Corruption.

And yes it is these Elite Yahoos like Jerry Jones and his worthless pals who own us just like they own those millionaire football players they train and crack-the-whip over and drug up so they'll perform all-out for these spoiled-brat rich pricks like trained circus animals every weekend in these big new mostly We-the-People-paid-for glorious state-of-the-art sports-complex-arenas.

for The Daily Growler

Explanation From Robert Reich, Former Labor Secretary, on Why the Stock Market Is Heading Toward 10,000 When We're All Heading Toward the Poor House? An Easy Explanation From Reich's Article in the Huffingandpuffing Post (it's not blown a house down yet):

Even more curious, how can the Dow be so far up when every business and Wall Street executive I come across tells me government is crushing the economy with its huge deficits, and its supposed "takeover" of health care, autos, housing, energy, and finance? Their anguished cries of "socialism" are almost drowning out all their cheering over the surging Dow.

The explanation is simple. The great consumer retreat from the market is being offset by government's advance into the market. Consumer debt is way down from its peak in 2006; government debt is way up. Consumer spending is down, government spending is up. Why have new housing starts begun? Because the Fed is buying up Fannie and Freddie's paper, and government-owned Fannie and Freddie are now just about the only mortgage games remaining in play.

Why are health care stocks booming? Because the government is about to expand coverage to tens of millions more Americans, and the White House has assured Big Pharma and health insurers that their profits will soar. Why are auto sales up? Because the cash-for-clunkers program has been subsidizing new car sales. Why is the financial sector surging? Because the Fed is keeping interest rates near zero, and the rest of the government is still guaranteeing any bank too big to fail will be bailed out. Why are federal contractors doing so well? Because the stimulus has kicked in.

In other words, the Dow is up despite the biggest consumer retreat from the market since the Great Depression because of the very thing so many executives are complaining about, which is government's expansion. And regardless of what you call it -- Keynesianism, socialism, or just pragmatism -- it's doing wonders for business, especially big business and Wall Street. Consumer spending is falling back to 60 to 65 percent of the economy, as government spending expands to fill the gap.

From the Huffington Post, Sept. 23rd, 2009

A The Daily Growler Stock Tip: Healthcare Insurance stocks--they're gonna take off, folks. Check out some bank stocks, too; and like Warren Buffett advises, check out medical supply co. stocks. You, too, can make a quick million or two should you risk your life savings, your house, your dog, your car, your future earnings.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

All Along the Watchtower--What's Goin' On Out There?

Foto by tgw, nyc, 2009

"Nothin' From Nothin' Leaves Nothin'"
First view from austinhighchew "from the reality high chair":
Get ready to send all your old gold in for cash. Get ready to send your new SUV you just bought in the "cash for clunker" scheme back when you get your first payment notice from GMAC or Get ready, if you still own a home, to get a call from your friendly banker telling you your mortgage payments will be going up a little more than you were first led to believe. And worst of all get ready for that unexpected heart attack or unexpected need of a liver transplant or for the kindly old doctors at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America to tell you they are shipping you on a gurney out to the back loading dock where you'll await the Volga boatman under the care of a little nun of mercy because your healthcare providers will say, "Sorry, your cancer was caused by a precondition so we can't cover you." ", my bill from this Indian-from-India surgeon who cut my lymph nodes out and half of my jaw out and who pulled all my teeth and shot me full of fluorides alone is $300,, and, Jesus, here's a $2,000 charge from an anaesthesiologist, and, Jesus, a $25,000 charge for X-rays from an X-ray technician named Mario who is with the De Lay Medical X-Ray-Double-Charging Laboratory (unaffiliated with your hospital, your HMO, and your healthcare provider), or, Jesus, this pharmaceutical bill from the hospital, Jesus, it's $30,000 for drugs...Jesus, how am I going to pay this?" "You might be better off dead, don't you think? Heh-heh-heh-heh. Anyway, now my next question, When will you pay your bill, please? Or do we have to file criminal charges against you?"

Yes, folks, get ready to tighten your belts around your formerly overweighted waists. Get ready to start getting in line for Food Stamps, which when the Repugs gain control of the House again will be done away with, along with unemployment insurance, Medicare, and Social Security.

As soon as the Repugs regain control of the House one of the first things they're gonna try is to privatize Social Security. It's the last big pool of money that they are in debt to--where do you think a lot of this bailout money came from? It was borrowed against the Social Security pool. A pool that is now floating full of IOUs from We the People. The Repugs when they privatize Social Security will force people on Social Security to invest their Social Security monies (monies We the People have had taken out of our earnings all of our working lives) in government-guaranteed-t0-Wall Street investment schemes. In other words, you will be forced to invest your money in the stock market whether you want to or not. This will be a boon for companies like Fidelity who already hold in their coffers millions upon millions of pension monies, retirement monies, 401K monies...I mean can you imagine the power the Corporate World (the New World Order) will have over us when they gain total control over our government and its divisions. The Repugnicans when they take the House back over will extend the working life of each of us. Billy Jeff Clinton extended it to 70; the Repugs will extend it to 75.

Do you see the so many contradictions in the sarcastic predictions I made in the above paragraphs. And these are serious predictions, but would you have believed back in January of 2009 that in September of 2009, just 9 short months from January, that these sarcastic predictions could be the truth about where we're headed.

President Obama has now gone shield-speech crazy. This week alone he made 4 or so major speeches, with another in New York City coming up before the UN, and then today (Sunday) he was all over commercial teevee, on "Eat the Press," on the George Steppin'inhisownshitopolis's DisneyWorld talk show on ABC (the American Broadcasting for Children), singing his constant song, "It's not racism in most cases, though, yes, it is racism in some cases, I know that...but...." Always that "but" shielding him.

The stock market this week went nuts after President Obama's "Praise of Wall Street" speech. I mean his PR gave Wall Street that extra shot it needed to get its Power Elite investors playing the option market full blast or playing the put and call game with great turnover magnificence. Why millions of shares traded "hands" on the market this past week and dammit if the roller coaster ride didn't carry the Wall Street Gravy Train up to 9,700! The Yahoos in the commercial presses and teevee channels are jumping with joy hollering, "The recession's over, no thanks to President Obama, but thanks to our glorious Wall Street leaders, our glorious real presidents...our dictators." And We the People soon must fall on our knees and worship the Wall Street gods--and what a bunch of oppressive gods they are, too, folks.

Thanks to good ole Max Baucus, the pitiful politician from the tiny state of Montana, a state that has more celebrity landholders than any other state in the union--Ted Turner is the largest landholder in Montana--Euro-Trash Private Equity nouveau-riche are coming to Montana and buying whole mountains--and Montana was once the most beautiful home to a most peaceful Native American society--and Montana was once a beautiful natural monument to the magnificent beauty of this our Mother Earth--but now Montana is where the celebs, like David Letterman, have their faux ranches, and there are wild game hunting clubs, and gun clubs, and snowmobile destruction, and I'll bet there are even some White militias active in them thar hills of old Montana now, too.

So this petty politician from the low-populated state of Montana (can Native Americans vote in Montana elections?), Max Baucus, has sold We the People (and very few of us does he really represent) down the River Styx in a leaky rowboat on this Public-Option National Healthcare that we were promised by President Obama when he was running his PR-political-bulldozer over Johnny Boy "I Needed Outside Sex" Edwards and his public-option healthcare and First-Lady Hillary Clinton's old-worn-out same-ole corporate national health insurance scheme she was peddling as first lady.

So thanks to Max Baucus and the woman from the health insurance industry who wrote this National Healthcare Bill, the Bill good ole Max is presenting to Congress next session, We the People are now going to be forced to buy healthcare insurance from the very scoundrel-riddled, inhumane, all-for-profits industry that has caused our desperate need for a Public-Option National Healthcare in the first place. "Hey, come on," these criminals bellyache, "We have to make profits off your health because we have shareholders to keep alive before we can even think of keeping you alive. In fact, if you sick people would all just go ahead and die and leave us to make our profits off the healthy (they still have to carry health insurance, hah-hah) and the hypochondriacs and the seniors (by ripping off the easily-ripped-off Medicare and reeling out AARP-industry schemes to lure in the last of the old folks's savings). Hey, automobile insurance is mandatory. And just like your automobile insurance goes up the more wrecks you have, so's your mandatory healthcare insurance going to go up every time you visit a doctor or God help you should you need major surgery. Just like on your automobile insurance you are rewarded for safe driving, we in the healthcare industry will reward you for staying healthy and not using your health insurance by not raising your rates that much every year or every time you need a flu shot. As far as we're concerned, the sick should die off and leave only the healthy--those who don't need insurance and never use it and thereby should be favored by our shareholders and our well-paid, raise-and-bonus-expecting CEOs."

Max "Montana" Baucus, by the way, don't forget, is the largest recipient of Healthcare Industry contributions in Congress (Hillary's up there close to Max, too, don't forget). Max has gleaned thousands of dollars of over-the-table industry contributions and god-knows how many thousands of under-the-table gifts and bucks and deals he's made for doing his duty to his masters, now our masters, the Corporations. Welcome to the Corporate State.

President Obama said today on one of his talk-show adventures that no, fining people for not having health insurance wasn't a devious way to put a burdening tax on poor people (the fines will average $3800-a-year. This fine will be collected by the IRS at tax time--so if you are already in debt to the IRS then Katie lower the boom, you may be headed for prison, pal--just because you couldn't afford to buy that mandatory healthcare that our President seems to think is so much better than any kind of public-option package). Oh no, the President said, it's not a tax at all, it's just the fair way to do it since people who don't buy health insurance use our emergency facilities (isn't that what emergency facilities are for?) at a burden to folks who have industry health insurance and are satisfied. Then our president spiels out that tale of "you see if we were starting from scratch then, yes, I would back single-payer, but since we already have a healthcare insurance system in place...blah, blah, blah." He then quickly started assuring people who already have healthcare insurance (from their jobs we are left to assume) that they were satisfied with (who that is he never says) that this bill would not affect them in the least bit--and if their rates go up, they'll gladly dig deeper into their cash-lined pockets to pay a little more for the best of care there is in the world. Hey, according to our Power Elite way of thinking, when you pay more for something that's because it's better than anybody else can afford. "You pay for what you get" is one of their adages. It's very complicated and Obama doesn't clear it up; in fact, he makes it more confusing when he explains it.

I am sorry to say this, but President Obama is over his head in trying to appease both sides of this very corrupt aisle he's been given charge of by a change-expecting American people (and that includes the people of South America, too). Both sides of this aisle are corrupted by the Corporations, and even President Obama himself is obligated to them since they paid for most of his largest-ever-costing presidential campaign--a campaign run by ex-Clintonistas and PR'd by high-rolling corporate lobbyist and lawyer types. Like we've always said, we don't think President Obama is dumb to any of this shit that's going on. He's not a nincompoop; he's a bright thinker; he's able to grasp exactly his situation. It frustrates him, you know it does. What's his wife telling him, I wonder? What does she hear from him that we don't? I'm sure it's probably more along the way I'm thinking than it is the way he's trying to portray himself as thinking behind the shields of these many speeches and interviews he's rather fanatically hiding behind.

The truth is and this is hard for progressives (what I call true liberals) to understand this nation is a WHITE nation. Its wealth is owned lock, stock, and barrel by a homegrown bunch of White boys, most of whom have inherited their wealth and power, most of whom have crooked connections in their backgrounds if you check them out closely enough, most of whom know each other, know each other's families, know each other from going to the same Ivy League colleges or from going to the same New England snazzy prep schools (recently WHITE only--Yale, Harvard, Princeton, etc., late in integrating, late in admitting women, being exclusive men's schools until what the 1980s?).

An interesting irony with regards to Tiger Woods, absolutely now the world's greatest golfer--screw Jack Nicklaus: Up until Tiger turned pro, most of the golf courses on which he has now made a fortune were closed to Black members, especially the Augusta National Golf Club who only changed their NO NEGROES policy right before Tiger turned pro in order to get him to play at the Master's--his first time at the Master's he broke several of the old White boy records including the lowest rounds ever and winning it eventually by the widest margin ever. I can remember when, and this was back in the 60s, all the caddies on the pro tour were Black men. Lee Trevino's famous caddy was a Black man. Now most of the caddies at these clubs are Black until the Pro Tour comes to town when all the caddies are hired by the players now and since most of the players are White, most of the caddies are White. I did not spy one Black caddy on the pro tour this year; not one. And there's only one Black golfer playing on tour at the moment.

While the rich get richer, how are you doing? Me, I'm living on a shoestring, as the old Great Depression survivors used to say. I've heard my father talk about how if it hadn't have been for potatoes my family would have starved to death--and my family was very middle-class, which in those days meant my family owned a successful local business, in my family's case it was the soda-pop bottling business--Pop's Perfect Cola and Sunbeam orange drink were their two big brands. Pop's Perfect Cola was later bought by Dad's Root Beer out of Chicago, which made my dad sort of rich but not really. He still remembered when he was living on a shoestring and that made him frugal--and rich in a practical way. But then a lot more Americans were practical in those days.

Though we are now ruled by the White Power Elite, that doesn't mean White folks in general can settled down and reap the rewards of the New World Order. Oh no, the White Power Elite can't tolerate impoverished people no matter their race. If you're poor to the Power Elite, you're merely a rumor down in the streets below their Cloud 9 residences and offices--and they can't tell what color you are up there. Poor Whites either pull themselves up by their bootstraps or else they become enslaved by the New World Order plantation system same as poor anybodies, though, of course, Blacks and Latinos are "hated" by the Power Elite no matter their wealth--like Ron Williams, a Black CEO, even though he is head of Aetna Insurance and makes 22 million bucks a year, can't just walk in the front door of the ALL WHITE Power Elite private clubs and smoke-filled backrooms without an invite--else, Ron has to go to the back door like the other servants.

Did you know one of the best paying jobs in New York City is being a private chauffeur? Did you know doormen in the really exclusively White hi-rise luxury buildings can make $100,000-a-year in tips? Not all doormen now, don't get me wrong. Some doormen are non-union illegal immigrants. But not in the big luxury hi-rise closed-community living spaces--like New York City's Battery Park City or the new huge and ugly Trump City on our now-clogged-with-hi-rise-condos-and-hotels Midtown East Side.

The Power Elite do need servants. They need body guards galore. They need lots of maids and butlers and houseboys and cooks and secretaries and social directors. They need chauffeurs and pilots and sailors and captains. They need someone to keep their oxfords shined up. They need someone to make sure their Armani suit collections are kept clean and arranged for the boss's butler to lay out the proper suit and shirt and tie each morning while the boss is having his champagne breakfast out in the penthouse garden. Yes, landscapers and gardeners are needed by these people, too. Who knows, they may even hire servants to wipe their asses.

There are good jobs to be had catering to the needs of the rich. They will hire illegal immigrants to take care of their broods as nannies and mammy-replacements. They don't hire many Blacks as servants because Blacks want wages far and above even the outrageous-to-the-rich minimum pay the illegal immigrants fight each other over.

Yep, folks, get ready to have to work for the rich--oh, that's right, most of us have done that all our lives, haven't we?

for The Daily Growler Watchtower Edition
Foto by tgw, nyc, 2009

Watch Your Back
Second View from the crusty old pen of Walter Crackpipe, our The Daily Growler old fossil reporter and ultrasnide columnist:
There was a recent bullshit terrorist attack on private homes in Queens, New York, ending up in Denver, Colorado, where this morning it was announced the FBI had arrested a man who admitted to al-Queda training in weapons of mass production in Pakistan. They arrested him and some Queens, New York, Muslims--oh sure, they're all Muslims, so relax, they're not coming after you yet. The charges? Oh they'll probably be of the bent-on-meaning-to-kill some Americans (White Americans) kind or that they had plans on a paper sack to blow up some of our precious skyscraper towers of world domination, though, of course there's nothing to prove these charges.

New York City's billionaire mayor, who's already spent 44 million dollars running for an illegal third-term as mayor of NYC, has already adjusted his lying ads to include how he's protected us from terror since the NYPD and the FBI announced last week they had invaded in the early-morning hours several private homes in Queens, New York!

Oh how humane of this little rich-prick bastard who trust me cares not one iota in Hell about whether NYC is attacked by terrorists or not as long as his private jet is fueled up and running 24/7 ready to whisk the mayor away from danger to the safety of one of his many "island" estates all over the Caribbean, especially in the Bahamas where the mayor likes to invest in the off-shore real estate market. In fact, in this mayor's privileged way of thinking, he hopes there is another terrorist attack.

The man running against this worthless piece-of-shit mayor is Bill Thompson, a Black man. Bloomberg can just totally ignore this guy like he does most Black people. His gang of cronies is currently going after poor old Black Congressman Charlie Rangel as Bloomberg and his developer pals have their eyes on the White-izing of Harlem--take Harlem back from the intruding Blacks--especially during this moment in New York City where we're currently giving praise to the contribution of the Dutch to the culture and history of New York City, which was named New Amsterdam when the Dutch tricked bagged the Native Americans who owned Manhattan Island out of this valuable piece of property for some trinkets and a mirror our White history likes to brag (how easily the savage injuns were duped by the wily Dutch (of course early slavetraders and colonizers--New Amsterdam and New York built by Black slaves from Wall Street up to Peter Stuyvesant's farm--but which was quickly renamed New York when the British besieged the Dutch by posting their naval ships in New Amsterdam Harbor with their canons aimed toward Wall Street and giving an edict to old one-legged Peter Stuyvesant, "Give up or be bombarded." Peter, a successful Manhattan farmer and politician, a practical Dutchman, said, "Heave-ho the British Jack up the flagpole, me wooden-shoe-wearin' mateys, New York it is now."

Does this rather unknown Black man, Bill Thompson, have any chance in Hell of beating Bloomberg? Hell no. It's that simple. For every Bloomberg-blasting ad Bill Thompson runs, no matter how accurate his ad is, Bloomie's gonna spend another 10 million and run more and more superslick ads claiming Bloomie loves New York City like its his own property--he doesn't ever say he loves New Yorkers! But he loves this city.

He does cater to the Middle-Class New Yorker, whoever the hell that is. The mayor never specifies just who is the Middle-Class New Yorker, though in his rent guidelines he specifies that a New Yorker who is Middle-Class had better make $80,000-a-year with family or $50,000 if solo or you can't rent an apartment in the New-World-Order New York City. The mayor even in his ads says the Middle-Class New Yorker to him is the New Yorker making at least $115,000-a-year. That means if a Middle-Class New Yorker, say with an entry-level job in let's say in the pharmaceutical drug industry as a biochemist, making a guaranteed $80,000-a-year with a sign-up bonus of $100,000, then, say, you marry one of the biochemist babes you work with, suddenly you are, according to Mayor Billionaire Bloomberg, a Middle-Class New Yorker couple making a combined $160,000-a-year with your $200,000 sign-up bonuses either in a savings account or invested in a stock portfolio. There ya go, folks, if you and your better half or vice versa, make $160,000-a-year entry-level, with $200,000 to invest during your first year of your career, then, folks, you are in the New York City Middle-Class. Drink up. If you're a Middle-Class New Yorker, you can afford the next round of $7-a-bottle Budweisers (now a Dutch-Brasil-brewed "American Lager"). Oh, but wait, that promising young model you're dating (man or woman) drinks only Hennessey 5-Star at $15 a shot! No problem for you if you're a member of the illusional New York City Middle-Class.

And, yes, folks, there are a whole host of New Yorkers making Middle-Class incomes according to a billionaire's definition of Middle-Class. And there are millions of mostly youngish New Yorkers who fit that category. On the other hand, there are more millions making less than $60,000-a-year, and though you can afford to pay $2,000-a-month for your one-room apartment and still have $30,000 to live on, you ain't Middle-Class to the Power Elite, you're a loser, working at a job you may soon lose due to a downsizing move, or due to a merger in which your services are no longer needed, or perhaps your job can be outsourced to Singapore or India, or perhaps your company is fixing to uproot itself and move to Mexico or better yet Communist China.

I was reading the old Extentialist Cowboy a few posts back and he was joshingly telling everybody that if they wanted a good job they should all move to Communist China--where starting at the bottom you'll do better than your chances of surviving over here at the minimum wage.

We all need mojo bones these days to survive the oppression of John the Conjure Root.

If you want a truth about Black people most White Americans have no idea of, you watch a speech by Fannie Lou Hamer sometimes. Especially a speech she gave after the White Deep South Cracker Police had chained her down to a table and had a couple of Black male prisoners beat her to a pulp with blackjacks (black leather pliable tubes filled with lead for affect) while three White Cracker Lawmen held guns on them saying you either beat this "nigger 'oman" or "You all, boys, know what we'll do to you and those big long black snakes you all got along with those golfball-sized testicles you got swingin' in them thar nigger prison pants you wearin' thanks to the White man." So these two Black men beat the living shit out of Fannie Lou Hamer--with the Cracker White Lawmen humiliating her in front of these weakened Black brothers by lifting her dress up over her head and then molesting her with the hands.

And you listen to Fannie Lou Hamer tell you the truth about Black people and how they handle White racists! President Obama, I'll bet you, has heard or read Fannie Lou Hamer's speeches. Certainly his wife knows all about Fannie Lou Hamer!

And what happened to Fannie Lou Hamer? She died of breast cancer. And why was Fannie Lou Hamer allowed to just go ahead and die of breast cancer? Why because Blacks couldn't get health insurance in those White-ruled law-and-order days in Mississippi God-damn. She didn't have health insurance, so, she was allowed to suffer through it and eventually die.

This is the New World Order/Neo-Con National Healthcare soon to be FORCED on us all. The best way to avoid having to use our healthcare system is to avoid it. Learn to treat yourself. Teach yourself through the Internet how to be a doctor or a nurse. How to diagnose your own body's symptoms; then research how to successfully treat your diagnosed problems. The best and most sure way to avoid our healthcare system is to stay well. Learn to PREVENT disease first and then you don't have to CURE it later. In truth, there really are no CURES available for diseases except the old folk remedies--some of which have always worked. Like the old cold treatments--the asphidity bag for bronchial problems, or the mustard plaster for chest colds and coughing, or gargling with hot water with lemon juice and salt in it for sore throats or coughing or laryngitis. We all should study to become shaman or roots doctors.

Here's a post about a roots woman back in old Kaintuck mountains:

One New York City politician running for the City Council from a mostly Black neighborhood states that his community has formed a Community Credit Association, a community bank, that is providing help in overcoming foreclosures and also is offering healthcare aid by opening a community free clinic where people can get preliminary examinations and blood tests and diagnostics and free dental care, too. That, of course, is the way to put these healthcare criminals out of business. You'll never put them out of business through single-payer healthcare or a workable and cost-effective Medicare-based healthcare system; the big healthcare Power Elite will never allow that--and they have the religious rightwingers, the teabaggers and Swift Boaters, and the Deep South Repug racists solidly on their political side.

This is the only way to beat Wall Street, too. Start community banks. Or union banks. Or government-worker banks. Banks that cater to a community's needs and not inventing schemes to pilfer your land, your home, your capital, your savings....

In the meantime, don't believe a word you hear out of any politician. It's campaign time all over the USA. During campaign time the people are the least important. During campaign time the voters are the least important. Nope, come campaign time, only contributions are important and the people who contribute these contributions are the privileged among us. And come campaign time, a whole order of new promises is coming on line--all lies and waiting disasters, but, hey, its campaign time all over the US so don't look for anything progressive coming down the line anytime soon. More taxes; higher consumer prices; higher mortgages; higher credit card interest; higher costs for the wars; and much much higher executive salaries and bonuses; and guaranteed higher healthcare premium costs--that's what you can surely count on in the coming days and months and year--an Election Year, a year of hype and mentioning God's name, and telling us all we have to tighten our belts and get some new bootstraps or as far as your government's concerned, you'd best pass on into some future illusion and get the fuck off this chaotic planet.

"Chaos is a'comin'" thegrowlingwolf was warning us a year are so ago. Now that Chaos is here, the only hope we have is knowledge and access to knowledge and faith in ourselves as self-providers--we are either our best friends or we are our greatest enemies.

for The Daily Growler Watchtower Edition

Fannie Lou Hamer's Speech at the 1968 Democratic Convention