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N. Korean moohla

With the release of the Assange files, the swoon of the Irish economy, the faint of the Portuguese and the tremors of the Spanish, it seems our little Korean woulda coulda shoulda war has been whisked off the front pages.  A few days ago the American navy was huffing and puffing in exercises in the Yellow Sea and today’s news has it doing major exercises with the Japanese military in (take your pick) the East Sea or the Sea of Japan.  Korea is no longer the hot news, even if the Korean military has some hot babes doing the can-can in uniform.

N Korean hot babes

Back state-side it appears other things are hot items to keep the populace up in arms, from Congressional rumbles about keeping the good old Bush tax cuts for zillionaires, with Obama looking to make a deal: unemployment compensation payments extended in trade for a massive give-away to the richest.   Some deal – maybe 10 billion to help the busted hang on another 6 months in trade for 700 billion to America’s wealthiest.  The kind of deal which Mr Obama seems to favor:  1 for me, 10 for you.   Increasingly, Obama’s real political inclinations are getting as clear as, uh, a TSA security scan.

Hot Americans being held up by the TSA T & A examiner

Among items in the WikiLeaks release are some indicating that the Obama administration, ever looking forward and never backward, had a hand in suppressing Spanish Judge Garzon’s initial steps to indict Bush and friends for war crimes.  Of course in his latest book, Mr Bush, dis-invited from visiting London, proudly bragged about ordering just those war crimes.  One supposes he’d happily pose for the TSA scanner, just to show-off his great manhood.

Obama claims to be a Constitutional lawyer, and a keen reader of old Abraham Lincoln, though one has to wonder just which Constitution and what of Lincoln he’s read.

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the Country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed.”
–Abraham Lincoln

Ain’t it a crying shame?

And the won, wobbling with the news, has moved back to 1130 per Uncle Sam’s Greenback, headed it would seem back in the line toward parity, while the almighty buck begins to buckle under to the blunt realities of our dysfunctional national union.

Unemployment office, San Diego, California



  1. This government doles out insults to the populace like M&M’s, and we take it, mostly, because, well, what choice do we have? Where else can we turn, and what else can we do? We need that job, because we need those benefits, and oh, yeah, I gotta mortgage. Other cultures hit the streets in massive protest, but not here. I think our size as a nation mitigates against us organizing with any purpose. Or, maybe, we’re just cowed. Self-satisfied, mostly content (with the help of anti-depressants), still believing in our God-given specialness, as our ever-widening asses spread out on the sofa.

    But look at that last photo, particularly those white guys. No doubt, they did everything right: got a college degree, rose every morning at the alarm clock’s shrill summons, to go off to a job they didn’t necessarily love (but, hey, you’re a man, goddamnit,and an American, and this is what you must do!), where they figured they would ride it out until retirement comes. Living the American Dream. Look at them now: not at all happy. Stunned, even, at the predicament they now find themselves in. Middle-aged now, how difficult will it be for them to get themselves placed somewhere, anywhere, again? Their cages have been rattled, hard.

    Do we get it yet, the absurdity of continuing to support one or the other of our governing parties: the Far Right Business Party and The Near Right Business Party. These past two years have exposed the fleecing of this economy by the hyper-wealthy percentile. No one has an excuse any longer to pretend that it is otherwise. That we all have a shot, that everything breaks even in America, or some such nonsense. We are all so deeply screwed.

    • Perhaps it was long foresight, or perhaps it was just an adolescent rebellion, but I opted out of “the system” as much as I could, when I was 17 or so. I’d had 17 years of the military life (father a lifer), and I think that showed me enough to figure out something, even at that tender age. I can’t really say (now/yet) what it cost to opt out, or how it was managed, but it meant gearing life completely differently than the fellows up there in the unemployment office. I never was employed until 3 years ago. And my “job” now is a kind of joke, but one I kind of bet on way back when. Collecting my pension while doing very little hard work though the work I do now required a lot of hard unpaid work to know how to do with ease. Anyway for 64 years paid no SS, wanted no unemployment safety net nor future SS paybacks, had no med insurance, no American Dream house, etc. A very different choice than those fellows above made. In my case it was deliberate and conscious – I honestly, 30 or 40 years ago, felt like the SS, and the whole structure was bogus and wouldn’t be around when supposedly I needed it. Insurance is a scam. The stock market is a ponzi scheme. “The good life” is a treadmill of debt imprisonment. I told my friends who all thought I was an extreme nut. Now I am a fount of wisdom it seems.

      The American Dream isn’t meant to make you happy, it’s meant to make you a desperate consumer, a tiny cog in the Magical Free Market mechanism, a little blip of a stat in corporate figures. Happiness, if you can have it, comes from doing what you want to do within the constraints reality imposes on you. For most people figuring out what you want to do is figured out for you, and the rest of life is a delusionary prison: 9-5 (these days more if you have a job); safety and security via insurance, etc. for which you have to keep the 9-5, a circular treadmill promising some kind of freedom over the rainbow. Just like religion promises a better life later if you are just submissive now. Of course current plans in US and Europe are to push retirement age up so that tid-bit of hobbling old-age “freedom” is ever just around the corner….

  2. Hi Jon, actually to set the record straight — the film festival wanted to set your press conference right in the middle of the timing of the workshop that you were doing at the SRFI (the film institute). That’s why we asked them to either change it or cancel it. Finally they agreed to change the timing so that we could end your workshop a little earlier, so we could both complete the workshop without having to cancel part of the program and have the press conference. I think that worked out well on both ends, no? Otherwise, we would have had a shorter program, which, if I read your comment earlier, you would not have liked, since you were already complaining about the short duration of the program.

    Also yours truly, the Consulate Man, or assistant to the “Cultural Attache” did not go as your “minder” to the press conference. We went there for two reasons: #1 to get credit for having sponsored your presence at the film festival (with US government funds;) as a sponsor normally does; and #2 because the film festival asked us specifically to be there. Why didn’t you mention to me that you felt uncomfortable with me being there? Honestly, while I enjoyed being at the press conference, I really didn’t need to be there — I thought it would have been rude not to show up. If I had not come, would you have interpreted that as the American Center having “dissed” you or opposed to your political views? 😉

    If you remember correctly, the press conference asked me to make some comments. If you remember I noted quite clearly, that “when Jon speaks, he speaks for himself and what you get is what you get.”

    Frankly, given our interaction prior to the workshop and during the workshop and festival, I am surprised that you would engage with me in one fashion and then afterward, write about me in a very different fashion, in effect using me for your own ends without even acknowleging me as a real person but only as a tool of the US government. I find it quite ironic that such an intelligent, creative person like yourself who attempts to get people to get in touch with their own creativity and express themselves artistically in the end denies the very individuality of a fellow human being.

  3. “Obama has nuanced himself to irrelevance” – superb comment in today’s Times, among your many astute comments, which I always look forward to reading.

    The placement of these pieces of art tells the whole story masterfully. Thank you!

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