Fiddling While the Good Ole USA Crackles Down Into Ashes
Ever notice how jungle growth takes over abandoned ruins or once-great civilizations, whether ancient or modern? Like I watched Tavis Smiley (where'd he come from, by the way?) touring the wiped out areas of New Orleans and as his bus tooled along through the Lower 9th Ward and out around Lake Ponchartrain I noticed how jungly lush the landscape was. Lush wild grasses and vines and small-tree and shrub overgrowth, wild nature growing up and over the ruins still sitting in ruin from the results of Katrina (actually, the results of the Army Corps of Engineers's poorly built, maintained, and managed levees breaking--if those levees had been built right in the first place.... But there are so many "in the first places" all over the place; all over the nation).
Amy Goodman's Democracy Now was broadcasting from Las Vegas yesterday (Thursday, July 22) morning and started off the program by announcing that Nevada's unemployment situation had just passed Michigan's unemployment situation in the race for the first state to totally go out of business--Nevada's unemployment rate is now 14.9%. Yes, a notch higher than Michigan's. Also, Nevada has replaced Michigan as the state with the most home and business foreclosures in the nation (report today reports home sales are down and foreclosures are up and yet our stock market is zooming back up into the 10,000s on some reports of some of these corporations we bailed out turning in huge quarterly profits [plus the We-the-People-insulting projection that all employees at Goldman-Sachs are in line for $500,000 bonuses this year-end/how insulting is that? AIG employees, poor bastards, will only get $400,000 bonuses--and the poor slobs at J.P. Morgan are only gonna get $250,000--that's every employee, folks]--yes, the world of billionaires has never had it better). Nevada's whole reason for existence is due to gold and silver mining and wild-west prospectors. And as the gold and silver miners got rich, they'd traipse into the little tent city of Las Vegas for some stiff drinking and some stiff whoring and some serious gambling. It took the Mafia to see the potential of Las Vegas during and after WWII, after the building of the Boulder Dam (now called the Hoover Dam--or is it vice versa?) grew the population of that desert watering hole into the 10s of thousands...and soon a mob goombah on his way to do some whacking in L.A. just happened to stop in Vegas for a look see and liked it so much he stayed--and the mob, most of 'em out of Chicago, turned Las Vegas into Lost Wages.
Nevada's whole economy is based on human monkey's believing in miracles (the miracle of gold and the miracle of "breaking the bank" (how ironic that our banks just broke us). Superstitious about numbers and odds and systems, those who believe in miracles flock to Vegas in order to experience a wild adventure based on a chance for the GOOD, the Lucky, to BEAT the BAD, the HOUSE, the DEVIL--all based on miracles and not facts. Nobody has ever beaten the house in modern times. The house can beat itself. Check out Donald Trump's casinos going bankrupt ever so often in order to bail the Donald out of huge debts his too-gaudy casinos bring to his overall inherited wealth pool. And let me put in a snide remark here, Donald Trump is a fucking phony. Most of these cheesy billionaires are phonies. Sometimes the illegal immigrant labor they use in their homes and businesses and on their yachts and at their spas and mansions and beauty contests actually have more cash than they do--you see, illegal immigrant laborers always have pockets full of cash, or mattresses stashed with cash since they don't have bank accounts--or they wear money belts--but they always have cash.
My 2nd and now long-gone wife was a woman who rich men loved, not in terms of sexual lusts, but in terms of her being able to miraculously keep their affairs (money, political, shadinesses, crooked ventures, etc.) under control. She was so practical she was bottom-line perfect in her advice and actions. When she and I arrived in New York City she carried a letter of introduction with her from the millionaire whose affairs she managed in New Mexico to his New York City pal, a Lebanese-American man, who had access to the treasury of the royal family of Saudi-Arabia and who on paper was worth close to a billion bucks; in fact, soon after my wife took over his affairs, he got into building jet fuel refineries with the countries he built them in putting up most of the cost of building them. He was soon building so many refineries he started buying on time payments his own fleet of tankers. At the top of her game with this man, my wife soon found herself (and I was involved in this, too) a VP and major stockholder in an old-brand California oil company that is still involved in the news today--they are big deep-water drillers in the Gulf of Mexico, by golly. This young woman, not even 30 yet, ended up owning around $200,000 worth of stock in that company. When we divorced, her lawyer struck my name off all her holdings--married we filed a joint return and kept joint bank and savings accounts--and there was also some stock in an Australian offshore drilling company we had bought jointly. I didn't protest at our divorce. "Give her everything, god-dammit, I don't want a damn thing from her; I don't need her." One brave dumbass lad speaking because when my wife died, her estate panned out in the millions.
One night my wife came home from a big strategy meeting at her office with the Lebanese and his henchmen--he was opening a new refinery in Newfoundland and he was bent on chartering the QEII in order to party-hearty up the North Atlantic to Newfoundland with that great liner packed with his kind of celebrities (Nixon was president and Spiro Agnew was VP and this guy was a former member of the OSS (Office of Secret Service in WWII) so you can imagine the politicos and rightwing shakers and movers that were being invited on this junket. This great ship's decks were gonna be swarming with smarmy Middle-Eastern sheiks, Jordanian diplomats, the Saudi royals, world oil company executives (at a banquet he gave in D.C. one year, I sat at the table with the CEO of Gulf Oil, by the guy's wife, who, as my parallel-line theory would have it, was from a little town just north of my hometown--and then it turns out the CEO was from the same place--they'd met in high school--and so we hit it off famously--why, hell, they even invited me and my wife to come visit them in Houston any time we were in the vicinity)--and my wife eventually arranged with the help of--guess who?...if you guessed British Petroleum, you're correct, sir, or madam, the QEII booked and the guests all accounted for and the project started to gallop fastly along where without her, it would have probably never happened. Yep, when BP came on board this refinery project, they got Cunard to give up the QEII for a week--so then the big bucks were being thrown this dude's way now from London as well as Riyadh--and there was my wife smack-dab in the middle of this world-fuck-up group of the world's richest men plotting constantly on how to get richer and richer and richer--and when she got home that night, she was pissed. She threw her brief case with a disgusted-minded pitch onto the couch and said, "I need a fucking drink," and we were into Planter's Punches since our New Orleans days, so I made a pitcher of Planter's Punches and she took a shower and then came out and she said, "Those sons'a bitches." "What's wrong, toots?" "Those motherfuckers...I mean you know who was there, the world's richest man, right...and J.S. was there on the phone with one of the Faisals...and that sorry C___ was there--do you know Nixon's considering him as head of the SEC! Do you believe that?" "Boy, you're really wound up tight, toots." "So J.S. showing off orders dinner from Chris Cellas, steaks for everybody...and extra steak fries and burgundy and desert, and then the dinner shows up all carted and served on silver service with real silverware and the fucking bill comes to $550. Do you know not one of those world's richest men had enough cash to cover that. Do you know who had to pay the bill?" "You, right?" "Me. Yes. I had cash in the office safe." She stewed. I plied her with more Planter's Punch. "I am so sick of working for these Paper Cowboys." And that was her term for them. Which meant, they were cattle-herding cowboys on paper but nothing but back-40 fencemenders when it came to cash.
Scared Shitless of Teabaggers, President Obama Shafts a Black Woman; But Then So, Too, Does the NAACP. Meet Shirley Sherrock;
Shirley Miller was born in 1948 in Baker County, Georgia, Georgia to Grace and Hosie Miller. In 1965, when she was just 17 years old, her father, a deacon at the local Baptist Church, was shot to death by a white farmer, reportedly over a dispute about a few cows. No charges were returned against the shooter by an all-white grand jury. This was a turning point in her life and led her to feel that she should stay in the South to bring about change. During the same year, she and several other African Americans decided to to register to vote. However, the county sheriff blocked their registration and she says that he pushed her husband-to-be down the stairs. As a result of that incident, they obtained a restraining order against the sheriff, thus allowing them to register. Sherrod studied in Fort Valley State University, which was then a college. She would later study sociology at the Albany State University in Georgia while working for civil rights with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She then studied in Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where earned her master's degree in community development. She would later return to Georgia to help the Department of Agriculture in Georgia "to help minority farmers keep their land." After finishing her education, Sherrod went to Lee County, Georgia, where she co-founded a black communal farm project known as New Communities Inc., which was modeled on kibbutzim in Israel. The 6,000-acre project was opposed by white farmers, who accused participants of being communists. A drought in the 1970's ultimately led to the project to be shut down in 1985.
Obama caved in like a pussy to the doctored speech that Shirley made about a White farmer coming to her Black self and applying for Federal assistance in keeping his farm from falling into the hands of the banks and eventually Archer Midland Daniels and the Monsanto Round-up seed squads. Mrs. Sherrock in this speech that at first embarrassed President Obama related how her father, a farmer, had been murdered by White farmers in an argument over some cows--and that the White farmers were acquitted by an all-White jury, blah, blah, blah. Then a rightwing Murdoch-supported prime asshole, Andrew Breitbart, ran the doctored speech on YouTube via his blog--he had doctored this speech in a way it convinced President Obama and the NAACP that the speech was a racist speech in which she laughed in the face of the White farmer who came to her for help. Turns out, yes, that's how she introduced the subject of her speech, by telling of how White farmers murdered her father and then one dared to come to her asking her to save his farm. But, that's not how she ended the speech. She ended the speech by saying she had to put the fact that her father had been murdered by White farmers behind her and realize that now farmers, White or Black, are in the same desperate boat, desperately in need of Federal help in saving their farms. Turns out, Mrs. Sherrock had actually worked with this White farmer and had saved his farm. The irony of it all is, this White farmer came to Mrs. Sherrock's side in this affair and as a result Obama and the NAACP hearing the real speech had to come out with their hats in their hands and their heads humbly bowed and ask for Mrs. Sherrock's forgiveness, apologizing to her for forcing her to resign her post. And the way they did that is eccentrically weird, too--coming alongside her car as she was going to work and forcing her to pull over so they could tell her she had to resign, blah, blah, blah. Now these ninnies who kowtow in fear before these pissant Teabagger goons are offering Mrs. Sherrock not her original job back, Obama's got somebody else doing that now (is he a White guy?), but a related job. Mrs. Sherrock surely isn't going to take the job--and surely she's going to go one-on-one with Obama over his views on race and racism--I heard her say she was wanting that to happen before she made any decision on working for the Agriculture Department again.
Obama is a god-damn ninny--but so are all his Dumbocrat asshole-buddies like Rich Bitch Nancy Pelosi (no balls at all) or the Las Vegas Senate Majority Leader who is currently having to dig deep into his flush campaign coffers (old Harry will take money from any damn corporate cesspool of corrupt money--as will most of our Congresspeople) in order to fight off a Teabagger woman opponent in the upcoming Nevada Senate election.
Check out the members of We the People's Congress who are pocketing nice life-changing lump-sums of dirty oil campaign money as they say, "Fuck You--Oil Rules Me" to their constituencies--I mean, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas (one of the poorest states in the Union)--and look at the nice bundle she's taking to her bank, some of which I'll guarantee you old Blanche is banking offshore:
|Lincoln, Blanche (D-AR)||$329,650|
|Vitter, David (R-LA)||$250,100|
|Murkowski, Lisa (R-AK)||$216,726|
|Boren, Dan (D-OK)||$152,450|
|Bennett, Robert F (R-UT)||$141,800|
|Blunt, Roy (R-MO)||$139,200|
|Cornyn, John (R-TX)||$137,325|
|Specter, Arlen (D-PA)||$129,900|
|Edwards, Chet (D-TX)||$127,130|
|Conaway, Mike (R-TX)||$117,950|
|Barton, Joe (R-TX)||$110,620|
|Coburn, Tom (R-OK)||$108,750|
|Dorgan, Byron L (D-ND)||$93,950|
|Thune, John (R-SD)||$93,040|
|Tiahrt, Todd (R-KS)||$86,800|
|DeMint, James W (R-SC)||$84,951|
|Boustany, Charles W Jr (R-LA)||$83,600|
|Cantor, Eric (R-VA)||$82,450|
|Burr, Richard (R-NC)||$81,700|
|Ross, Mike (D-AR)||$78,450|
And hey, how 'bout old Mike Ross of the Great Poor State of Arkansas (not too high up in the population statistics either) has dirty oil money stains on his hands--don't worry, he'll take some more, wouldn't you?
In the 2004 Presidential campaign in which President Obama promised us change--"Yes, We Can"--nutjob John "Captured by the Enemy" McCain let over 2 million bucks in dirty oil money slide greasily into his spare offshore bank account (of course, we have no proof that these two-faced clowns take some cream off the top of these big-buck contributions--but you wanna bet us they don't?); and our great President of Change, President Obama, unfortunately accepted the second-most dirty oil bucks, over $800,000 to help pay for the most bucks ever spent in the history of running for President of the USA. I truly hope Mr. and Mrs. Obama and the daughters palmed a few million of the billion bucks his campaign took in. And, why lookee here, next in line for dirty oil bucks in her run for the presidency was Sugar Sweet Hillary Clinton.
And Speaking of Hillary Clinton
She's currently stirring up trouble in Asia. How about the US Army and the South Korean Army--they lost us the Korean War those two--holding WAR GAMES in the South China Sea with the intentions of taunting the North Koreans into some kind of aggressive response so we can justify invading and occuping, finally, them (and thanks to Unka Dick Cheney and good ole Donald Rumsfeld and a Swedish Nuclear Co., North Korea does have weapons of mass destruction)--and Hillary's over there now justifying We the People's intentions of invading and occupying any country we are afraid of--and We the People are pissing-in-our-military-fatigues afraid of the North Koreans--I mean, why aren't they docile and submissive like the South Koreans?
But listen to this: Hillary and her State Department gang are requesting from Congress their own private army! What?, you're asking. Wait a minute, there's a reason Hillary needs her own army. You see, yesterday there was a rocket attack on our beloved Green Zone (home of the world's largest embassy) and three of Triple Canopy's private-army soldiers were killed--listen to this, two were Ugandans and one was Peruvian. Triple Canopy, you see, like Blackwater, hire their troops out of South American and African countries--though they are leaning more towards hiring Africans now rather than Peruvians--Africans work for cheaper wages, some for like $450-a-month, like the two Triple Canopy Ugandans killed in this rocket attack on the Green Zone. So here's the deal. You see, when We the People pull our troops out of Iraq (yeah sure), it's gonna leave the world's largest embassy without an army private or otherwise to guard it (to the tune of billions of dollars a year). And who's legally responsible for guarding our embassies? Why, son of a bitch, it's Hillary's State Department. So Hillary's asking Congress for a fleet of armored vehicles (we hope some Bradleys because their profits go into the pockets of the Bush Family Empire), even some airplanes, and lots of expensive surveillance and security equipment. I say implode the fucking Green Zone and get completely out of Iraq. OK, we could maybe rent a floor in the Saddam Hussein Hilton for our embassy there--or how about taking one of those FEMA trailers over there and using it as our embassy?
Oh what a life Hillary is living. World traveler; vaunted mother of Chelsea whose coming wedding is one of the truly patriotic American events of the new century; longsuffering wife of Bill "I Did Not Have Sex With That Woman" Clinton, now the head of a ton of big-time world conferencing organizations and several nonprofit funds--when you get rich, you immediately start a fund or a foundation--good way to beat paying taxes and reaping a nice salary off being head of each fund and foundation. You go, Slick Willie.
And in further clown news, Congress just voted down a bill that would have stopped We the People from subsidizing big oil companies--like British Petroleum. Twenty Dumbocrats voted against this bill, including John "Is That a Bottle of Ketchup in My Pants?" Kerry.
And, by the bye, in case you hadn't noticed, that little bitty oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is still pissing 200,000 barrels of oil a day into the now oily Gulf of Mexico. Our Gulf ports are going to look like the Niger Delta before long--the Niger Delta where children light cigarettes by gas flares and all drink good ole thirst-quenching oily water and they bath in oily water and they eat foods grown in oil patches. Yeah, Gulf Coasters, Nigeria is coming to Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
Wow, ain't life grand?
for The Daily Growler