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Monthly Archives: November 2009

Norman Rockwell

Nothing is more American than Thanksgiving (except the Fourth of July and Superbowl Day and….),  and so on the last Thursday of November, families gather, ruminate over the last year, share a turkey or something similarly grand, and mostly forget.   They forget where their blessings came from, and how.  They forget that the Indians who gave the pilgrims the wherewithal to survive were shortly thereafter exterminated.  They forget that the wealth they extracted from the earth was at the outset done with slave labor.  They forget that the current wealth was accrued by an economic imperialism, carefully masked, that raped large parts of the world so the riches came to America while those far away were left in poverty.  And they forget how this largesse was made then, and how it is made now.

In another few days it seems our President, elected on a mandate for “change you can believe in ™” is going to give a speech to the nation after his dithering deliberate compromised brave thoughtful rigorous contemplative exhaustive thoroughgoing cowardly indecisive middling or whichever of a slurry of other descriptive addendums will be used to taint the writer’s viewpoint, and will let us know what he, and therefore “we” have decided to do about the Afghan situation.    My bet is that the decision will be dictated by that old American axiom, Money Talks and Bullshit Walks, and that money, located in our perverse manner (though in keeping with collapsing empires) is here:

This pentagram is located some some 7000 miles from Afghanistan;  it is claimed that this structure was attacked by forces emanating from Afghanistan on Sept. 11, 2001.   Being honest we must underline the “claimed” as much of the evidence as to the alleged attack is at best dubious, and at worst, points towards conspiratorial falsification on the part of American authorities, as did the behavior of the Bush administration regarding the WTC attack.

So, citing the customary “national interest,” it seems President Obama – obeying the dictates of the military-industrial complex which appears to determine United States foreign policy, largely in the interests of major corporations which happen to make weapons, run the media, and are hand-in-glove with Wall Street – will likely order another 10 or 20 or 30 thousand more US troops be dispatched to Afghanistan.  There they will do as the US military does normally, despite the purported new policies outlined by General McChrystal – the fount of honesty who orchestrated the fraud surrounding All-American football hero Pat Tillman’s death – who admonishes that we must be conscious and considerate of our host Afghani’s, lest we fail to win their hearts and minds to our cause, which naturally is also theirs, so the mantra goes.



GI’s in an Afghan village

So for the moment the numbers will escalate, more visits to Dover will be needed, hand-written notes to young soldiers who have committed suicide – stressed by bearing too much war too long in numbers too small and selected by poverty mostly – will be solicited of the White House.  And American soldiers, out to do good in the name of democracy and freedom and the good old Red White and Blue, will do what they always do, as any warriors do.  They will do as they did in Falluja, and as they have done where ever they go, wielding America’s superior fire-power, the most advanced weapons known to man, and they will lay waste to whatever is before them.  All in our name.  For which we give Thanksgiving.

Our former President serving up a Thanksgiving meal to soldiers in Iraq

Naturally, in the United States of America, being the world’s greatest democracy, we all voted recently and chose this policy, even if polls suggest most Americans would prefer some other course, and the man elected President carried the basic slogan “Change You Can Believe In ™”.   Well, hell, it was just a PR thing, a campaign slogan, and nobody actually expects….

Just as America, being America, naturally has the best health care system in the world, and anyone wanting to fundamentally change it is crazed, or Commie, or Socialist, and should go live and suffer the disgraceful health-care systems of France, Denmark….

For these things those who pray do so in America today to give profound thanks that we’re Number 1.  You bet.




Christian McKay

This week two new films are out. One by Rick Linklater, on Orson Welles, or something like that. By title Me and Orson Welles, nicely reviewed by A.O. Scott in the NY Times.  I took a look at the trailer, along with the PR shot in the Times, and my eyes glazed over.  First the lighting, which seems a disease of industrial production, a fraudulent haze that falls on pristine never-used clothes direct from the costume department, from wherein actors, each hair neatly combed into place just before the take, utter, mutter or bark their supposedly witty written lines.  OK, so after seeing the trailer I am more or less sure not to go see the film, and instead ponder how the insidious disease overtakes a weird “indie” director like Rick (whom I met long long ago, an admirer of my own Last Chants for a Slow Dance).  I’ve liked some of the films of his I managed to see – Slacker (except for its flippant film-school ending), Waking Life, Fast Food Nation (sort of), and I didn’t like Scanner Darkly.  A glance at his IMDb shows a long list of films, many on the stove.  One busy guy.   Clearly I haven’t managed to see most his films, and certainly not those that seem to have landed him squarely on a quasi-commercial map.  As an American filmmaker he’s interesting in that he seems to go off and do what he wants, while staying close enough to the Hwd money to land it, plus the necessary actors.   Though playing with Welles in any manner seems like tempting fate.

Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee in “The Road.”

And then, after some long pauses and rumors swirling about the industry regarding “problems,” arrives, just in time for the joyous Christmas season, The Road, based on the grim book by Cormac McCarthy.  In this case I read the book, which was compellingly obsessive, if rather repetitious, and had a near “happy ending” that betrayed everything that had preceded it.   Again, I read the NYTimes review, took a look at the trailer, as well as a little video yack by the director wherein he blathers about researching how things would look, and they worked really really hard to make a convincing end-of-the-world.   Well, excuse me, but bollocks.  A look at the above production still shows that the people who make these films haven’t a clue what dirt, grime, poverty or desperation really look and feel like.   The trailer showed more of the same – again the fraudulent clothes out of costumes, theatrically gritted up but nothing like what a pair of pants worn a week on a farm look like, much less the endless months McCarthy’s book depicts.  And ditto for the burnt out cars, wrecked towns, and the glowingly lit skin of our protagonists.  Fake fake fake.   Orson was right, F is for Fake, and somehow the film business infects nearly anyone who goes near it with the same debility.   So much so that they can fulminate on the hard work to make things look just right when the end result is they look totally wrong. Welcome to tinsel-mind.   Indeed, it is the dream factory, and even the bad dreams come dressed in fraudulence.

But then 99% of their audience wouldn’t know dirt themselves, so these computer generated devastation-scapes and set-department things have all the compelling reality of, well, TV, or Disneyland.  And isn’t that reality?

Grit by Hwd

“Art” work by Susan Dessel

The official terrorists

The other day, I responded to another NY Times column, entitled A Return to American Justice.  This was about AG Eric Holder’s decision to try 5 of the alleged 9/11 conspirators in New York City, and to commence closing Guantanamo.  What I wrote wasn’t printed.  What was printed was mostly shrieking right-wing cant – of Holder being a traitor, Obama being a traitor or even not being a real American and being a Trojan horse of Islamism, etc.  Along with those were a share of reasoned responses, both pro and con as to bringing the alleged perpetrators of that crime to New York, and to try them under American law.   Those welcoming this move as a return to “law and order” (that good old Republican mantra of yore) were a distinct minority.   But, by and large the tone was heated and angry, the most rabid being scarcely literate, with those taking the “librul” Times to task for supporting this move in their editorial and showing the Times was a traitorous rag of the left.

What I wrote – sorry I lost it – was that justice would begin only when a meaningful investigation of 9/11 was made by a panel of non-Beltway insiders or others high-up in our ruling elite.  A truly independent investigation which would hear engineers and scientists who would explain how the WTC buildings were structured, and how they fell.  Which would explain why WTC Building 7, marginally damaged by flying debris, collapsed into its own foot-print, as if a demolition company had brought it down.  Which would explain why the busiest, most-heavily defended airspace in the US was left unguarded while the Air Force was doing a war game that very day, far to the north, a war-game involving civilian aircraft being used for terrorist attack!   It is said that Vice President Richard Cheney was overseeing this exercise.  And the myriad other highly suspicious elements that conjoined to make 9/11 and then trigger the political actions that followed – actions which have proven disastrous for the country but profitable for some.

Facade of Deutsches Bank Building directly opposite WTC South, which with this damage, did not fall

I was concise in describing this, and said justice for the alleged and much tortured terrorists could only be found when this investigation exposed the complete facts and evidence of that day, and drew some kind of meaningful conclusions, rather than the absurd white-wash of the original investigation – one which the Bush administration did not want at all, stone-walled,  and then evaded testimony under oath when one was forced upon them.  I wrote that until something is done along this line, justice in America is an oxymoron.

But we already knew that.

Red Cloud

A friend of mine from Portland, Mark Eifert, wrote me yesterday, and passed along this story:

A few weeks ago on a bright sunny day a Navajo Indian 
came up to me and after a brief conversation said, 
"Look into the sun and you will see my ancestors".
I did for a moment and looked away. 
He said louder, 
"Look at the sun can you see my ancestors!" 
I stared at the sun long enough for my eyes to water,
then he said "hurts doesn't it".

Millions of points of despair

And it hurts America that it is still not allowed to have an intelligent, believable, factual explanation of what happened on Sept 11, 2001.  And that America’s newspaper of record would be part of the suppression.   Though not really surprising.

PS: new post up on PaginasparaClarinha

According to our friends the economists, things are looking up.  After all, only 502,000 Americans, newly unemployed, and looking for work, signed up for unemployment benefits this past month. This is 8,000 less than the bean counters had anticipated, so it must be things are getting better. Less less is better than more less, so say the economists.   Keep on a smiling face.

warhol 100 dollar billsWarhol’s 200 1 dollar bills, knocked down happily by Sotheby’s for $43.7 million

As if to celebrate this uptick in the nation’s fiscal fortunes, someone just paid up 43.7 million dollars for a silkscreen print of 200 $1 bills, signed by Andy Warhol.   If the 200  dollar bills were convertible to actual money, then the “work of art” would be worth two hundred bucks.  I’d say the buyer got shorted by a mere 43.698 million.  But “art” is weird, and this piece of canvas with an easily replicable image of  two hundred one buck bills arranged in a ho-hum grid,  is mystically worth 43 mil because someone a bit dead now, who certainly knew how to play the celebrity world of the 1960’s like a violin, purportedly signed “Andy Warhol” on it.  This is decadence writ large and on silkscreen.

bidding on warholBuyers at Sotheby’s when the low 6 million bid was immediately doubled

Back then, as the world slipped from the seemingly somnambulent 1950’s, the center of gravity of the world’s political, financial and cultural realms seemed to shift to America, and in the latter two instances, to the Big Apple, though Swinging London shared a bit of the spotlight with the Fab Four, Jagger and Twiggy, et al.

beatles

So the fabled 60’s, which for many of my older friends glows in the light of nostalgia, began.  JFK, the Beatles, Dylan, hippies and abstract art and then pop.  Things were popping indeed, and the media hyped it all.   But in hindsight the glamor of those times looks a bit shabby, tawdry and provincial.  Of course then  it seemed different – a swirl of energy and activity which seemed to leap across the globe, ignited by waves of film, new arts, literature and theater, political voices, all clamoring for space.

warhol marilyn

monroe suicideMarilyn, who committed suicide in 1962,  whose lover…

jfk shot

jfk autopsy2

lee-harvey-oswald-1

warhol2jackies1963

By 1963 the decade was already traumatized, and while there was an avalanche of good stuff to come, the poisoning had already begun.  All you need is love, love, love, except….

malcom xMalcolm X, 1963

che_guevara_deadChe, 1967

king riots

king riots louisvilleLouisville Kentucky, 1968, after Martin Luther King’s Assassination

WK.0103.Getty.081968

My_Lai_massacre

hoffman arrested chicagoAbbie Hoffman arrested in Chicago, August 1968

vietscar

moon-footprint-jpg

man on moon1969

nm_richard_nixon_inauguration_090116_ssh

WOODSTOCK_MAIN D5S 02 02 0409 30/6X20 REDWoodstock, 1969

altamontAltamont, 1969

And what began with a grid of dollar bills and Warholian aesthetics sort of ends with one.  Jumping ahead a bit in the time-track of history we note that Abbie Hoffman subsequently committed suicide, Nixon withdrew from office rather than face certain conviction in impeachment hearings, and other players in these stories evaporated from the planet.   As the decade drew to a close, I was living in Ben Lomond, California, and was invited to go to Altamont and I passed.  I never have liked large groups and mass gatherings and their inherent hysteria.  No “out to the ball park” for me, thanks.  So I missed one of my generation’s milestone events, the one that brought down the curtain on the 1960’s, and foreshadowed the darker world to come.  As if those ten years hadn’t been dark enough.  But strangely they seem remembered by many as a jolt of light, even if they were anything but.

kent-state-u--may-4--1970crpdKent State, May 1970

kent state SlainStudentsComposite-4

Today, instead of Warhol we have Jeff Koons:

koon anc cicciolina

jeff koons1

In the last decade or perhaps a bit more, there’s been a kind of retro-style among young people, perhaps a reflection of post-modernism in which it seems regurgitating bits and pieces of the past, out of context, has become a fashion.  So while we’ve been “at war” now since 2001, in Iraq and Afghanistan, there have been no riots on the streets, no broad and clamoring anti-war movement, and most of the social shifting seems to have happened on the internet.  Twitter, baby.

This is in part because one of the lessons learned from the Vietnam war by our powers-that-be is that the citizenry don’t really have much stomach for it and its costs, albeit they like the pay-off from our imperial domain.   So there is no draft, and instead a sliver of the populace, primarily those most economically deprived, “volunteer” for service, and are kept as best possible out of sight.  Meantime the media, now wholly owned and controlled by the corporations benefiting from war-as-policy, make sure the news covers as little as possible – unless in a rah rah embedded instant victory roll, as in the early days of the so-called Iraq war – and absolutely as little as possible of the real mayhem, carnage, etc. which accompanies war.   The dead and wounded are returned in silence and we pretend war is as sterile and surgical as our Predator strikes, which are anything but.  Collateral damage from on high is the policy.  Preferably the corporate media hype distractions, like Michael Jackson’s departure,  rather than mention the unhappy process of war at all.

Further, rather than raise taxes to pay for the Iraq war, a slick used-car sales spiel from its promoters assured one and all it would cost almost nothing and that would all be paid for by the country we invaded and decimated by charging them for it in oil.  This was going to be a freebie war, with everything covered with a nearly infinite Warhol of printed trillions of dollars, and everyone was told to do their patriotic duty and just go shopping.  And they did.  The mall became the social hang-out, shopping became the raison d’etre for being.  The politicians were happy, as were the banks, who punish those who don’t run up credit card negatives and their charges.

Today, as Wall Street once again thumps its chest and talks of renewed profit-making (thanks to umpteen trillion unaccountable dollars printed up and pumped into it by the Feds) but the rest of the country lies flat on its back, with 20%  un- and “under” employment (a real figure is more likely around 30%), mortgage defaults continue along, and no jobs are visible on the horizon, the political anger rises.  Perhaps in some new manner we’ll see something of the 60’s again, slowly burbling up from the suppressed and ripped off populace.   Or perhaps in a 1984 manner, the masses will slumber on, drugged legally and illegally, their anger managed with pharmaceuticals and psywar run by the Department of Defense.

electric_chair

electric chair2

[For more on the 60's see this blog: Chicago, '68]

guns galoreShop that sold the guns that killed at Ft Hood, Killeen, Texas

In the last months I’ve been replying somewhat regularly to the spaces in the NY Times that allow for a reader response, beyond Letters to the Editors, which I’ve also tried to no avail.  Part of this is to wedge a little voice into the cacophony of the news and try to, perhaps, leaven the often shrill and ideologically loaded comment with a little intelligence. This past week I replied to two different things, and found one published, and the other not.

The first was to one item on the Fort Hood, Texas, killings, at the column, Homefires, to which I wrote the following which was published:

In the responses there recur certain themes. One is “prayers for the families,” etc.

Prayer does nothing beyond comfort the person praying with the delusion that they are doing something meaningful for someone or thing outside one’s self. Beyond a self-balm, prayer is meaningless.

Another theme is “the innocent” soldiers who were present. There is no innocence in being a soldier. Soldiers are trained to be killers, and sent out to do this job by their political masters, often for venal or evil reasons. America’s military is usually used to advance US business interests.

Another is the “heroic” soldier as opposed to the “cowardly” killer. Contrary to the politically useful myth that soldiers are a country’s “best” the brutal reality is that in our virtually privatized military, soldiers are a mix of those drawn to the pleasures of violence; those driven there by the cultural envelope in which they live; those driven there by economic necessity – the job of last resort.

It appears Mr Hasan, perceived as an outsider before he entered, did so to certify his being “inside,” an American. Once in the military he found himself again an outsider, subject to the prejudices of a system that among other things is highly “Christianized,” and in a way a caricature of all the prejudices of America in general.

Then there are the various snide comments about “the religion of peace” – Islam. I am sure those using this mode of attack are likely to say they themselves are Christian and hence they are the real religion of peace, albeit one that has left a vast trail of corpses where ever it has gone.

Until America ceases to be a self-deluded bastion of militarism, these things, like 9/11, will continue to occur, and doubtless Americans will continue to be puzzled why their world is so out of whack with the self-perception of themselves as the good guys, the white hats.

America remains politically and culturally infantile.

20military.span.600US troops in Afghanistan

Then, in response to another column on the same topic, Room for Debate, I wrote the following, which was not published:

So long as the United States continues its post-WW2 pursuit of world domination in the interest of corporate wealth, now morphed into a lethal combination of military-corporate-media collusion to this aim, the US will continue to live in constant stress, however much political efforts are made to dampen it. For example, we have virtually privatized the military, eliminating the draft as a matter of social friction; thus the stress of actual military service is shunted onto a very narrow minority of primarily economically deprived persons.

But the cumulative stress of our attempt at maintaining an economic empire enforced with military power seeps into our society every day, whether in the form of ever more invasive governmental control over daily life, or the strident shrieking of fear-mongerers, be they governmental or corporate (Bush>Cheney>Limbaugh>Beck et al) or simply the devastation inflicted on people as they lose their jobs, homes, and sense of life as they are sacrificed by this corporate zombie our society has produced.

Lacking a profound and deep shift in our values, in which we relinquish our imagined right to the world’s wealth and to “guiding” others to our imagined enlightened way of living, there is no reason to think the stress lines of today will not multiply and amplify until we collapse in a fractured catastrophe of our own making.

I find myself wondering what was so threatening in the last one that was so different from the other?  Perhaps the shift from particulars to a more general view?  I find it puzzling.

And here’s a letter to the editor which, of course, was not printed:

America – the United States of America – long ago ceased knowing how to speak to itself, how to be honest with itself, and the consequence is a poisoned politics reflecting the myriad profound problems which infect us.  While I am sympathetic to Obama’s attempts to grapple with this, it seems clear he is, whether consciously or not, a captive of the corporate powers and military-industrial interests which essentially control the economy and political processes in this country.  His effects are ameliorative and not real “change,”  as reflective in the saving of Wall Street at the cost of Main Street, to speak in the willfully limited and cliched language of politics. DOJ rulings on secrecy, etc. all show clearly the hands which govern the game; it is the corporate military state apparatus which is pulling all the strings.   Any attempt to genuinely alter this would doubtless result in some inexplicable one-bullet theory death, or modern buildings collapsing as if by magic (or planned demolition) left unmentioned in official white(wash) papers.

italia judge sentencing CIA

Meanwhile, in Italy, the courts there sentenced a number of American CIA agents to prison (in abstentia) for the kidnapping of a Muslim cleric off the streets of Milan.   President Obama regretted this.  And those involved, now perhaps confined in their vacations to US places of pleasure, were quoted in the following:

In June, Il Giornale, a newspaper owned by the brother of Mr. Berlusconi, published an interview that it said it had conducted via Skype with Mr. Lady, the former C.I.A. base chief in Milan, whose whereabouts are unknown. In the interview, he said of Abu Omar’s abduction: “Of course it was an illegal operation. But that’s our job. We’re at war against terrorism.”

Milan CIA station chief Robert Seldon Lady, who was given the harshest sentence of eight years in prison, was quoted in the Il Giornale newspaper in June 2009 as saying: ‘I am not guilty. I am only responsible for following an order I received from my superiors. It was not a criminal act. It was a state affair.'”

DIEGO GARCIA BASEDiego Garcia, one of America’s numerous black sites for military and intelligence ops

US_military_bases_in_the_world_2007 invertedUS Military around the world, 700+ known bases

In the same pages the new “conservative” opinionator, Ross Douthat, waxes lyrically about the end of history, how American Market Capitalism has triumphed, and all is hunky-dory except that we like having a looming threat so we’re unhappy about our “victory”:

Twenty years later, we still haven’t come to terms with the scope of our deliverance. Francis Fukuyama famously described the post-Communist era as “the end of history.” By this, he didn’t mean the end of events — wars and famines, financial panics and terrorist bombings. He meant the disappearance of any enduring, existential threat to liberal democracy and free-market capitalism.

This thesis has been much contested, but it holds up remarkably well. Even 9/11 didn’t undo the work of ’89. Osama bin Laden is no Hitler, and Islamism isn’t in the same league as the last century’s totalitarianisms. Marxism and fascism seduced the West’s elite; Islamic radicalism seduces men like the Fort Hood shooter. Our enemies resort to terrorism because they’re weak, and because we’re so astonishingly strong.

I’m not sure which happy planet Ross lives on, perhaps the same one as his stockbroker, but his imagined placid world of consumerism and fluid money, and all the world’s problems solved doesn’t seem to be the same one I live on.  As if to underline the schism between those-with-money and those not, today’s Times announced a market leap of some 200+ Dow-Jones points, now levitating a goodly bit above the mystical 10K level.  Why?  Because the dollar has weakened sharply, scrivened the Times.

“A lot of it is sentiment-driven and there the dollar is getting a vote of no confidence,” Mr. Dolan said. “The massive borrowing by the U.S. government is undermining confidence in the longer-term outlook for the dollar.”

While the faltering dollar will make imports more expensive for American consumers, it will also make American exports more competitive overseas.

The hitch in this line is that America doesn’t make things to export much anymore.  Uh, except weapons, and food (also used as a weapon), and entertainments.  But then the people in Wall Street, like their money, are transnational and fluid, and if Americans don’t have houses, jobs, or things like that, no skin off their backs.  In fact, in some nice tidy theoretical manner, “it’s all good.”   Some have theorized that a trembling middle-class on the skids are – as statistics prove – in their desperation willing to work more for less, have no unions, and basically surrender everything to their corporate masters in the interests of attempting to maintain their sliding downward life-styles.  Nice submissive worker ants.

roland emmerich filmRoland Emmerich’s fable for America, only cost half a billion to cheer us up with ….

enpassant

claude levi strauss

At the ripe age of 100, Claude Levi Strauss, has moved along.  Famed intellectual, academic anthropologist, he influenced a generation and more with his writing and allegedly changed the European White Man’s vision of those others, not European, White, Man or Rich.  I am not so sure it wasn’t really a brand change operation in which the fundamentals remained.

levi strauss

Head-Measurer_of_Tremearne_(side_view)

In America, where each new violent assault upon our peace of mind brings new waves of either introspection or blame-gaming, the press is busy now masticating away on many bones:

ft hood 2

The killings at Fort Hood have ignited the predictable knee-jerk right-wing impulse to lock up, or better yet kill, everyone with any vague Middle-Eastern name, look or quality that could be tacked on an Islamic person; the same people likely don’t know that most the world’s Muslims don’t even live there, but in South East Asia:  Jakarta, you’re next up on the hate list.  I’m surprised though they’re not taking out the present reason-for-anger on psychiatrists.

ft hood 3America’s finest on patrol at Ft Hood

The same event has brought forward a flush of navel-gazing “oh my, why us?” with lots of prayers aimed at victims and their families, and words of “innocents slaughtered” and “America’s finest” murmured by one and all, and Presidential  condolences given in grave words about the “horrific outburst of violence ” –  the usual verbiage  with which we drape our tiny little minority (these days) of “warriors” who bravely go out to defend Uncle Sam’s domain.  The trouble is all this rhetorical garbage simply isn’t true:  the military is not made up of America’s finest, but mostly of a combination of America’s most economically deprived, and usually also educationally deprived and most easily victimized by the military’s offer of a snazzy uniform, “respect,” glory and a paycheck with medical care attached.  Some deal!  Nor are military people innocent in any way – they are well-trained killers, armed with American technology’s most lethal weapons, sent, usually with overwhelmingly lopsided force, to wreak mayhem on peasants in some third world place possessing some resource or another deemed useful by their corporate masters.  That most of the pawns in this game don’t know or realize this demonstrates only how well the masters have honed their game.  Most of the President’s lamented “horrific violence” is in fact inflicted by the US Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy, who generally compete to see who can do the most.

McChrystal in Afghanistan - where's WallyGeneral McChrystal in Afghanistan, planning a new Disneyland along with Wally.

Magic_Kingdom_castle

Lake_Lucerne,_Orlando,_FLLake Lucerne, Orlando, Florida

Over in Orlando, home of one Disneyland, another disgruntled soul made a minor blip on the American killing list, a day later.   Tomorrow will be another, reported or not.

AAA Orlando Fla

orlando killing

Meanwhile, out Far East, Disney and China have announced that a massive new Disneyland will be built near Shanghai at a cost of 3 billion dollars.  Perhaps the corporate masters at Disney will ship over a boatload of American coolies to do the low-labor that Chinese no longer see fit to do.  It’d be a job….

disneyslide9disneyland model

In order to accommodate local tastes, Disney assures that some elements will be changed to fit the cultural setting.

disney in china

As in Disney’s concession (after losing money there) to allowing the drinking of alcohol at Disneyland, Paris, in order supposedly to accommodate the region’s culture, the real reason for any concessions from Disney’s morality is that good old All-American one, the bottom line: to maximize profits, a goal for which any supposed corporate morality can be bent like warm rubber, as has been shown by many other American companies in their dealings with China, as well as any other unsavory place.

wall street reflection

Meanwhile, back on Wall Street, the wild ride of the last year continues, with the DOW Jones having leaped from its year long swoon down to 7,000 to back above 10,000 a week or so ago, where upon the talking heads of the corporate propaganda ministries of ABNBCBSCNNFOX pontificated, along with high-up economic honchos private and public, that The Great Recession was over.  The following days economic data wasn’t so obliging, and having broken the alleged psychological barrier of the 10K numerological religion, the market nose-dived 200 points and more.  However, then new applications for unemployment figures came in and mere half million Americans had requested aid for their new status as unemployed, on which good tidings, the market jumped ecstatically back over the mystical 10K barrier, making at least Wall Street merry in preparation for Christmas.   But a few days later the government announced another 150,000 job losses, taking the official national unemployment figure to 10.2 percent, the worst official figure in 25 years.  The market has waffled on this news for the moment.  Curiously then the mainstream press decided to make the well-known ugly little secret that official figures aren’t exactly reflective of reality or accurate, and fessed up that the real figure was more in the realm of 17.5%.  Which, naturally means the real real figure is considerably higher.

Broader Measure of Unemployment Stands at 17.5%

By DAVID LEONHARDT of the NY Times

The official jobless rate excludes millions of people who have given up looking for work and part-time workers who want to be working full time.

bucking bronco vegas

And today, wandering in off the mystical eathers of the internet, I got my very own private personal message from none other than Mr Timothy Geithner, former employee of Goldman Sachs, presently residing (I suppose) in Washington DC where he serves as Secretary of the Treasury for President Obama.  That I should get such a missive from the Secretary was amazing to me.   To say that it is the deepest of honors would be understating the matter.  I would do virtually anything for this man.

I am Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the United States National Treasury.‏
From: Mr.Timothy Geithner (f.notification@btinternet.com)
Sent: Sat 11/07/09 4:22 AM
To:
Good day to you, I am Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the United
States National
Treasury.President Barack Obama nominated me to be the 75th secretary of the
treasury on January 20th, 2009. I am the president's leading policy
adviser on a
broad range of domestic and international economic issues.I have spent most of
my career at the U.S. Treasury, which I joined in 1988 after having
worked three
years in the private sector for Kissinger Associates.

Before going to the IMF, I Geithner was undersecretary for
international affairs at the Treasury Department under then-
Secretary Lawrence Summers.I played a major role in the
Treasury's efforts to contain the Asian financial crisis in
1997 and 1998. A biography, furnished by the New York Fed,
highlights my management responsibilities. I am the director
of the Policy Development and Review Department at the IMF,
which has a staff of 180 people.

As a Treasury official, I Geithner participated in a number
of international negotiations, including agreement on
international banking standards known as the Basel accord,
and an agreement that created the IMF's expanded emergency
reserve fund.I am married and has two children to my Name,
also received my bachelor's degree in government and Asian
studies from Dartmouth College and a master's degree in
economics and East Asian studies from Johns Hopkins
University. Kindly visit the website below to view my
personal profile.

Website: www.treas.gov/organization/bios/geithner-e.shtml

The United Nations have given me due instructions, alongside
with the World Bank to wire the sum of $10Million US Dollars
Only into your Bank Account in a Legal way.

For this reason I have contacted you.  Below is the
Required Documents:

1: United Nations Stop Order Document
2: World Bank Clearance Certificate
3: Proof of Ownership Certificate.

These three documents are needed before i can proceed with
the transfer of the total fund into your Nominated bank account.
The United States Department of Justice, can help you secure
this needed documents,I will furnish with the contact detail
of whom to contact, so that this transaction can be completed
without delay.

In the meantime, I want you to re-Confirm the following
details to me for your case file processing.

Legal First and Last Name:
Complete Residential Address & Age
Direct Telephone No & Fax
Legal Occupation and Position
Address of Occupation

Please get back to me as soon as possible.

Thanks and God Bless you.

Mr. Timothy Geithner
Executive Secretary United States
Treasury Department Main Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20220

Hot damn !  Now I must stop so I can, as a duty-bound American citizen, do as my Secretary of Treasury has asked.

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