CITI bank -- at least they're staying true to their principles: greed and arrogance

The only requirement I would place on CITI in the bailout --

If nothing else, make them stop running those incredibly obnoxious "We're so fucking wonderful" TV commercials:

"That's why we work around the world, that's why we work around the CLOCK."

Unless they change them to say

"The world never sleeps, and our overwhelming greed and shocking incompetence never sleeps, that's why we go to congress to beg, even though we sneer at government and disdain any steps taken to make us behave responsibly them the rest of the time..."

And then maybe we'll stop thinking about how there should be a federal death penalty for destroying so many lives without concern.

(OK, OK -- no death penalty, just 20 years to life and do it as hard time in Pelican Bay, or maybe Lompoc or Terminal Island -- the kind of place they call a "Gladiator school" and where they hand you a wooden stick and a trash can lid when you come in and you make your rep in the yard -- because you know what hard charger tough guys those Wall Street types are always bragging about being.)



In the aftermath of California's attempt to make legal the denial of people's rights ...

I offer this observation made by Herman Melville in his magnum opus, Moby Dick -- the fictionalized re-telling of the story of the sinking of the Nantucket whaling ship Essex,* attacked and destroyed by a sperm whale off the west coast of South America, the survivors following the "Custom of the Sea"** and eating their shipmates' dead bodies, drawing lots to determine who would next be killed for food. Very few people realize the fact that Melville had a fine sense of humor, although it gets lost among the detailed descriptions of killing and rendering the great whales. It's much more evident in his novel The Confidence Man: His Masquerade, the main character being usually interpreted as Melville's view of The Creator (the book takes place on April 1, 1857 and was Melville's tenth and last book, abandoning writing for lecturing).

"As Queequeg's Ramadan, or Fasting and Humiliation, was to continue all day, I did not choose to disturb him till towards night-fall; for I cherish the greatest respect towards everybody's religious obligations, never mind how comical, and could not find it in my heart to undervalue even a congregation of ants worshipping a toad-stool; or those other creatures in certain parts of our earth, who with a degree of footmanism quite unprecedented in other planets, bow down before the torso of a deceased landed proprietor merely on account of the inordinate possessions yet owned and rented in his name.

"I say, we good Presbyterian Christians should be charitable in these things, and not fancy ourselves so vastly superior to other mortals, pagans and what not, because of their half-crazy conceits on these subjects. There was Queequeg, now, certainly entertaining the most absurd notions about Yojo and his Ramadan;- but what of that? Queequeg thought he knew what he was about, I suppose; he seemed to be content; and there let him rest. All our arguing with him would not avail; let him be, I say: and Heaven have mercy on us all- Presbyterians and Pagans alike- for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending."


* The original tale was told in a book titled Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex written by the surviving first mate, Owen Chase. It was out of print for many years, but reprinted as Shipwreck of the Whaleship Essex.

A more modern (i.e., readable) version was written by contemporary historical author, Nathaniel Philbrick, under the title In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. In addition to being told in contemporary language, Mr. Philbrick has been able to put the event into historical context.



What's Ayman al Zawahiri's problem?

Well, first of all, if you recall, back in early August of this year, our news sources claimed our death squads killed him. Later, of course, that was seen to be only wishful thinking on our part.

Second, he's pissed off and jealous -- the real professionals have known for a long time that Osama ben Ladn was pretty much just a symbolic leader (and a useful money funnel from the Saudis), but that Zawahiri -- former leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad -- was the real brains, the only one who could could have put the 9-11 attack together.

So then Obama goes and tells everyone that Ben Ladn was the REAL leader and that we were going after him, with no mention of the rabid little fucker Joe Pesci lookalike at all. ("What am I?" he asked, "Chopped goat meat?")

Third -- well, to American white guys, they're all darkies, but in the real world, Arabs do NOT like Negroid Africans -- not only were most of the perpetrators of the Black African slave trade Arabs*, but it's still not a very happy relationship -- look at the genocide in Darfur -- the northern African Arabs are systematically killing off the black Africans.

There's no love lost between them - hasn't been for hundreds of years.

It's as if Zawahiri looks at Malcolm X the way the Republicans look at Joe Lieberman -- a kiss ass who they can trust, at least in post-mortem memory, even if he was Negro.

Funny -- none of the people who idolize Malcolm X seem to ever mention his epiphany at Mecca, the understanding that he found gave meaning to his entire life, the change of heart he had, turning away from violent interaction and toward harmonious tactics, a turn that led to the violent end of his life as the Honorable Elijah Muhammed and Minister Farrakhan could no longer trust him to be a rabid dog on behalf of the nation of Islam.

But Zawahiri has as much trouble believing that Obama is a Christian, and NOT a muslim -- just as disbelieving as any right-wing American Christ enthusiast.

Goes to show how people believe what they want to believe. Or as Upton Sinclair put it:

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something
when his salary depends on not understanding it."

His salary, or his status.

Come on -- doesn't it make you feel better to realize that Zawahiri is just as insecure and neurotic as, say, Newt Gingrich or Pat Robertson. Doesn't it?


* Except for Amistad. Remember, the black African wrongly traded as a slave who brought suit and won his freedom. Remember the movie? Of course the part Stephen Spielberg left out of the movie was that, after he won his freedom, Amistad went back to Africa and became a slave trader himself. (That's the kind of fact that fucks up that fantasy world Speilberg wants us to believe, doesn't it?)



What a surprise -- Little Joey was contrite

But then why should his demeanor change just because he was caught choosing the wrong side -- he spent the last 4 years on his belly, crawling through his own slime to kiss the asses of George W Bush, John McCain, and others ... so now he's crawling back because the whores he bet on finished last?

It's something like Benedict Arnold telling the Continental Army "Hey, it was just a bit of a lark, fellows."

(W may be a thug and a drunken monster, but AT LEAST he valued loyalty as an important virtue.)

So as to Little Joey -- Fuck him and fuck all the Democratic Senators he rode back in on. I doubt I'll ever feel good about voting Republican, but I sure as hell can join in with all the rest of the leftward folk who have been betrayed by the gutless nutless wonders of the Democratic Senate and carry on the job Barack Obama started, cleaning out the rot and stink of what used to be the Democratic party, saving the few who had/have some standards and replacing every last one of the rest with some folk who have a bit of integrity.

In California that means waving goodbye to Senators Boxer and Feinstein (and I really admired Senator Boxer) But doing it with a secret ballot, who knows how anyone voted?

Jeezus, you people betray everything we thought you stood for and then make the betrayal perfect by refusing to even take responsibility for your decision.

Got news for you - YOU ARE NOT THE CEO's of the US Government -- you are OUR employees and you're bloody well fired -- surely, out of 30+ million people, we can find a couple of candidates whose shelf life, unlike that of those poor wastes of human protoplasm, hasn't expired.

I wondered how long it would take until our joy at the election turned to nausea... 2 weeks.


Why does Joe Lieberman remind me of J.R.R. Tolkien's Trilogy?

Well not the whole trilogy, but one character in particular --


And this was in my mind even before he came out as a turncoat...

Here's some of the description given in Wikipedia:

"Gríma, called (the) Wormtongue ... Gríma serves as an archetypal flatterer, liar, and manipulator. (The name 'Gríma' derives from the Icelandic word meaning "a mask".)"

---and it goes on:

"Tolkien describes him as "a wizened figure of a man, with a pale wise face, and heavy lidded eyes", with a "long pale tongue"...

Everyone ... called him "Wormtongue," for his malicious words were like that of a serpent... Gandalf repeatedly compares his (words) to a snake:

'"The wise speak only of what they know, Gríma son of Galmod. A witless worm have you become. Therefore be silent, and keep your forked tongue behind your teeth. I have not passed through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a serving-man till the lightning falls."
---That last sentence should have been what another formerly brave fellow -- John McCain -- might have said if he, in turn, had not abandoned his ideals and principles for the ambitious pursuit of power.

"See, Théoden, here is a snake! To slay it would be just. But it was not always as it now is. Once it was a man, and it did you service in its fashion."

That was always the sad thing about what Joey has become, that once he was brave and a devoted participant in the struggle for civil rights... but, like the comparable character in the trilogy -- Gollum -- his love for the precious destroyed his humanity.

In the Peter Jackson movies, Grima was played by Brad Dourif, who presented him perfectly as the covert, traitorous, craven bit of detritus still pretending to be an actual man...

---And the Democratic senators actually invited him back into the fold. Incomprehensibly corrupt and, like that of Grima, done for purely personal power rather than prinicples. (The Democrats needed their principles and integrity a lot more than they needed a 60-vote majority. Too bad.)



Lieberman's status -- a thorny issue, indeed

Gee -- it's really complex, really a lot of things to consider.

For example -- if we look at it one way, what we see is this:

He's a fucking turncoat -- a traitor to the people who gave him a career -- and unlike McCain or the Korean vets who finally cracked under years of torture, Lieberman did it for personal gain.

However, let's be fair and look at it another way:

He's a fucking turncoat and acted as a traitor for his own personal gain.

He makes me think of Mark Twain's quote (approximately):

"If you bring a dog in from the cold
and feed it and give it a home, he won't bite you
-- that's the principal difference between a dog and a man."

(Or, in Lieberman's case, a half-man.)

Even aside from his rabid turning against the people who'd given him a place in American government because he saw a chance to make himself more important -- that pissant little prick should NEVER have been given a chairmanship of anything as critical as the Homeland Security Committee.

Maybe some committee dealing with chicken farming....

Maybe he has to show the Democrats he can kiss Senator Reid's ass with as much fervor and slurping delight as he did for Monkey Boy.



I know it's almost a month old, but it's still funny and ...

... I'm not a politician seeking cooperation and collaboration, so I don't actually have to forget what a subhuman sonofabitch John McCain was willing to become in his desperate attempt to exorcise his surrender ghosts by becoming president... what a cynical gynophobe he was to appoint Lady Viagra as his running mate as a scrotal tickle to all the old Repugnicans who couldn't get it up any for the Free market and someone who was once declared a war hero ...

Evolution of man?



Sarah Palin is whining about people taking her comments out of context?

Is she brain-damaged?
Suffering from premature dementia?

She doesn't remember that her entire campaign consisted (mostly) of saying:

"Senator Obama says.... (fill in the snippet of a sentence taken out of context to make it something other than what was said) ...and that's not what America needs."

(Of course, she and McCain learned the hard way that one of the out-of-context sentence snippets -- "spread the wealth" -- actually sounded like a pretty good thing to the American public.)

Is she too stupid to know that's what she was doing?

Or too tender to deal with the cynical reality of changing the meaning of something that was said when it's done to her? (Although to be fair to those reporters, it may not be done intentionally where she's concerned. It may be the best a reporter can do trying to figure out what the hell she's talking about.)

Or too cynical herself to care if people remember or not?

The Republican base liked her because she was tough and brash and didn't appear to be any smarter than they were. They don't really ever like it when a new hero is whining and complaining about the way she's being treated.

It's called: "She can dish it out but she can't take it."

Personally, I think the fact that she's destroying her chances for 2012 is fine, although a lot of people I like are already hoping she's the candidate running against President Obama in 2012.



About the Proposition 8 Initiative to take rights away from same sex couples...

... their desperate ads ask:

"Same sex marriages. What does it mean to our religion?"

Well, honestly, I don't give a flying fuck about your religion, and according to the U.S. Constitution, no one else is obliged to, nor do you have any right to pass laws or eliminate the rights of one group of people or another based on it.

The constitution only says you have the right to believe whatever Invisible-Buddy-in-the-sky bullshit you want -- YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE ANYONE ELSE LIVE ACCORDING TO the voices you hear.

So yeah, go and whine about how much nasty prejudice there is against Christians in this country.

You never seem to understand -- it's like John McCain's heroism -- he doesn't actually seem to understand the basic reality about his captors -- he had been shooting and strafing and dropping napalm and killing their friends and families and they were pissed off...

Similarly, the only antipathy I see against those of you who claim to have a monopoly on the word and concept of "CHRISTIAN" is reaction against the kind of grief you give anyone who might have his or her own spiritual Pole Star to guide on, one which is not the same as yours.

You might want to think about this comment from Oscar Wilde, although if it makes you think too much, you'll probably dismiss it as coming from a homosexual man and therefore not anything you need to consider:

"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live.
It is asking others to live as one wishes to live."

-- Wilde

So may I say, with all due respect -- keep your fucking religious beliefs to yourself and do not try to pass laws to make us live under the rules of the same terror that defines your life.



The not-so-hard-to-understand paradox of Sarah Palin's rocket-rising negatives -- a clue: Remember Bert and Harry Piel? No? Read on.

"But," says people like Pat Buchanan, one of the few political analysts who describes political dynamics clearly and WITHOUT SPIN (Chuck Todd being the only other one regularly in mainstream media, also on MSNBC. There is also the infrequent but welcome sight of Hotline's John Mercurio showing up from time to time, although he is enjoyably frequent on C-SPAN's Washington Journal)

"But," says Pat Buchanan, his voice rising around an octave"it doesn't make sense -- McCain wouldn't even be in contention without her... SHE was the one who put him ahead of Obama... it was just the economic collapse... why did her negatives rise so fast?"

Indeed, they rose faster than the intractable hard-on all those Republicans have for her.

I really enjoy Pat Buchanan because he is a perceptive AND objective political analyst, but he is one of those Republicans who seem to be suffering from what the Viagra commercials warn about and for which they urge the person to seek medical care immediately, that being "An erection lasting more than four hours."

Even more urgent for anyone suffering from an erection for Sarah Palin lasting more than four months.

But Mr Buchanan is not alone and raises a good question along with many other people who -- like her or not -- wonder why she could come out of the gate so fine and fast and be limping behind the pack in such a short time.

Well, if you are of a certain age and from somewhere within 100 or so miles of New York City, you might remember the TV commercials for Piel's Beer featuring the voices of Bob & Ray* as Bert and Harry Piel.

Wildly popular advertising campaign but sales of Piels Beer went up for a bit and then dropped as fast as a turd falling off the Chrysler building.

During the years in which I did time in large ad agencies, I heard it over and over and over -- "Those clever campaigns don't work -- look at the Piels Brothers spots."

The problem was, everyone loved the Piels Brothers commercials, but unfortunately, it moved people to go out and buy some of their beer. And that was the problem -- it tasted like dishwater and the more people who bought it, the more people there were to say "Forget it" to their friends.

The commercials stopped for a while and when they resumed and were welcomed back by the public, the first commercials said two things:

1) "We're back!" and

2) "We've changed the beer!"

That seems to be the story with Sarah Palin -- crowds turn out as thundering screaming herds** to see and hear her, and after each 'rock star' performance, her negatives go up again.

The phenomenon was best summed up in a poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti as the disappointing outcome of a somewhat similar situation -- hooking up at a bar with a fine fine hottie all smiles and willing who comes home with you and:

"And in the morning
you discover she has bad teeth
and really hates poetry."

Even worse when you meet her friends.


*Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding -- and yes, Chris Elliot is Bob's son.

** Uncomfortably reminiscent of the Anti-Goldstein Hate-fests in 1984.


eXTReMe Tracker