A small business owner -- retail -- says an extraordinarily telling thing

She was talking about why her business -- along with others -- was suffering.

It's been said before, but it just occurred to me to consider what it means in terms of who we have become (especially as a society which thinks nothing of naming the sports stadia of our favorite teams for products like beer or electronic componnents):

"People aren't shopping as sport anymore."



Truthout is becoming an annoying bore

Melvin Goodman seems to think his remarkably undistinguished career in government qualifies him to throw feces like an angry ape at Robert Gates screaming that HE'S NOT a diplomat, even though Gates never claimed he was.

The short version, the Japanese decided they couldn't afford to refuel American warships or position their military forces concerning China.

Well, that's their right, isn't it? Their country. Their economy. Their decision.

But Melvin Goodman thinks it's outrageous that Gates got angry, even though he may have been thinking about how many US Dollars we throw into their economy by maintaining 134 military bases on their island.

So fine -- let's consider our own economy -- close the bases and let Japan pay for their own security. Give the extra to the Sea Shepherds.

For the first time in my life, I'm getting a sense of why the "blame the Lefties first" people call people like Goodman the "blame America first" people.

With friends on the left like Goodman, who needs enemies on the right?


Defense Secretary Gates Is Not a Diplomat
Wednesday 28 October 2009

by: Melvin A. Goodman, t r u t h o u t |

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates has played the "ugly American" in Tokyo, cast in a role he should not be given. This performance speaks to the need for a demilitarized national security policy. It is the role of the secretary of state to conduct delicate overseas missions. Japan is experiencing extreme economic pressures, and the new Japanese government is preparing to withdraw from its commitment to refuel Western warships in the Indian Ocean and to become less active in positioning military forces against China. While in Japan, Gates demonstrated his anger and impatience with the Japanese, declining invitations to dine with Japanese Defense Ministry officials and to attend a welcome ceremony at the Defense Ministry.

Gates's petty behavior...

Japan will no longer automatically perform as America's "aircraft carrier" in the Pacific. The United States currently occupies 134 military bases and facilities on land in Japan that is greater in size than Tokyo, representing an "occupation" footprint...

...Gates, throughout his 30-year government career, has never been known for tact or politesse. He is certainly no diplomat...

... The president needs a "new thinker" who can develop strategies for reducing the US military presence in Germany, Japan and South Korea, which we cannot afford and don't require at current levels, and for more diplomatic and non-military solutions for outstanding problems in an era of significant resource


As I said above -- "fuck 'em.

Let's close the bases, bring our military home and let the Sons of Heaven defend their own island.



Little Joey Liebermann, an old-fashioned fellow ...

Why do I say that?

He's almost single-handedly resurrected the mytho-image of the greedy, vicious, money-grubbing Jew that had been in disfavor since the end of the Third Reich.

And as non greedy, non-money-grubbing Jew, I resent his very existence as a perverted mutant waste of human protoplasm that also makes people look at me as if I were part of it. (To be clear, there are the  International Jewish Bankers and the International Jewish Conspiracy. One is about getting rich, rich, rich -- the other, the one in which I work -- is the anarchic communistic chaos-inciting side where we stay poor but have more fun. I do NOT like people assuming I'm actually making money at this labor of love.

Back to Joey -- why is he going to help filibuster health care reform if it includes anything resembling "Public Option?"

Well, for starters, he isn't even running for re-election in 2010 but has already shaken-down the following people for the following amounts:
 Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has accepted, on behalf of his campaign committee and Leadership PAC, at least $1,144,604 from health care related industries for the 2010 election, one in which he's not even running:

* $469,644 from the Insurance Industry
* $369,370 from Health Professionals
* $305,590 from Pharmaceuticals/Health Products

And even though an overwhelming number of Connecticut residents (68%) are in favor of public option, little Joey is against it..
Well maybe because the huge amount of stock he and Hadassah own in companies such as Aetna went skyrocketing the day he announced he would shoot down any attempt to serve the voters of his state by supporting what they want.

In other words, he got a huge payoff for being a sonofabitch.

Some may call that a conflict of interest. I call that taking a bribe. Maybe setting up his retirement fund for when the Connecticut voters tar and feather him and ride him and Hadassah out of town on a rail. But not on the Sabbath, because he's "an orthodox Jew." (The fact that he has no beard and etc etc etc doesn't seem to bother anyone. Orthodox Jew? He's a fucking Mormon if he's anything.)

We always knew he was a sonofabitch, but didn't realize how handsomely it was paying.

And that's not the whole of it -- there are 4,517 Insurance Companies in Connecticut, and they ALL make money as if they were printing it in their basements.

And each exec and employee can contribute up to $2400 to the candidate they (or their bosses) choose.

If you look up the words: "Greedy sleazy, vicious, signifying sonofabitch" in a dictionary, you'll see a photo of little Joey Lieberman, winner of the 2009 "Biggest waste of human protoplasm" Award.



If not for Alex Smith, Sunday would have been a TOTAL nightmare...

What an ominous beginning to the day ---

There was ex-President War Criminal 41 looking spaced, disoriented, and totally senile, as if those 100,000 Iraqis his boys buried alive were all rising up and pointing zombie fingers at him.

And standing next to him was his smarmy, sleazy, skeezy idiot bastard boy, ex-President War Criminal 43 smirking like an idiot with a hard-on. **

Couldn't have had a worse omen for the 49ers. 

And the Houston Texans (now THERE's a clever name) played solid killer football and kicked ass. For 30 minutes.

But then the QB who didn't have film for them that Texans to study came in and kicked ass in return. 

The only thing that kept their W was that time ran out. (And they can keep that OTHER "W.")

Bad enough to get beat on the road, but to have the two most hideously corrupt and vicious former presidents introduce the game was adding insult to the coming injury.

Maybe, in the interests of national health, Monkey Boy and Doddering Dad will confine themselves to only appearing at their paid seminars speeches.

Limit the suffering to those who are dumb enough to pay these assholes to  hear them babble on.  


** A friend contacted me to point out that, apparently, The War Crime Industry is a family business. At least 3 generations of monsters -- 41, 43, and gramps, too, who sold bonds for Hitler, and didn't even stop funneling money into the Third Reich after we were at war with Germany and their money was paying for bullets to kill US servicemen, and kept doing it for 10 more months, after which congress took him aside and said: "You know this really doesn't look too good." (Because they were too rich to bust. Why? Do you think our elected representatives kissing the ass of the ruling class is a new thing?)



Joan Walsh of reminds us of things we seem to prefer to forget about the liberal press

When Tim Russert mocked Bill Clinton -- in song

I was amazed when our second-rate media mavens canonized Tim Russert for not being as bad as Wolf Blitzer, et al, i.e.,  that Russert was someone who actually studied the people he was interviewing and even -- sometimes -- listed to their answers to his questions, even once in a while coming up with a genuine followup, even if that followup was as weak as his popcorn fart of a first question ---

I admit he was sometimes dogged in pursuit of an answer to a question -- that aggression being a trait other journalists deemed to be the most important quality to have, a virtue above all others, regardless of results --  but Russert used a smiling hammer when the situation often really called for a scalpel, and anyone who knew the history of the craft, from H. L. Mencken to Helen Thomas and a few in between should have known that - but Russert was of the generation where journalism was to be what HE was -- applauding flibbertyjibbit poseurs like Tom Wolfe because they dress as niftily as Broadway pimps --  instead of working to live up to what the profession demanded. 

Oh Russert got answers, but they were always ones that were obvious and grudgingly given up even though the interviewee knew those questions were coming and had answers ready. 

Compare that to the historic moment when Helen Thomas stood up at a Nixon press conference and asked the president if he'd considered being IMPEACHED.  And as she said that word, Nixon took a stumbling step backward as if he'd just been kicked in the stomach. He wasn't prepared for THAT one.

Interestingly, the only one I can think of who studies his subjects as thoroughly as he should and gets the answers he wants -- instead of smiling with an "at least I tried, Dad" excuse -- is little Bob Costas. Although Rachel Maddow is showing definite signs of living up to that same high standard, and maybe she can maintain it for years to come.

Most important in this article -- and apparently Taylor Branch's book -- is the historical documentation of the behavior of the pack of "liberal" blood-crazed frenzied weasels who joyfully swarmed the president and bit off and chewed on totally irrelevant pieces of human-frailty while studiously ignoring those of the people who attacked him. (And I apologize to actual weasels for denigrating their species by using them as a symbol of the press.)

I once sent a Maureen Dowd column I particularly liked to Dick Lupoff who grudginly admitted it was pretty good -- for a change -- but that he did not like or trust her --- and I didn't understand why he felt that way -- but apparently his memory was better than mine (or maybe I just had never been able to read her "look at me" columns all the way through in previous years) --

Anyway, a good article by's Joan Walsh that makes quite a few good historical points, most of which are rarely if ever recognized -- -


When Tim Russert mocked Bill Clinton -- in song

A behind-the-scenes anecdote from 2000 helps explain how the cynical media got everything wrong about the Clintons 

  Joan Walsh
Oct. 24, 2009 |

After a week of traveling, I finally finished "The Clinton Tapes," Taylor Branch's book of interviews with Bill Clinton. So better late than never, I hope, I'm going to wrap up my experiment with the blog-review. Tell me if it worked in comments, below.

I had a nagging question about whether I should write about the book again, though, and it wasn't laziness; it's that most everything I found remarkable in the second half of the book closely matched my first two blog posts. But that's a story in itself. "The Clinton Tapes" makes clear that from start to finish, President Clinton was besieged by a vicious just-say-no GOP abetted by the perversely, inexplicably, cruelly anti-Clinton leaders of the so-called liberal media -- from the New York Times' lame crusades against Whitewater and Chinese donors and Wen Ho Lee, to the integrity-free "opinion" journalism by Maureen Dowd and, sadly, Frank Rich, to a whole host of other liberal media characters who couldn't shake their feeling that Clinton was a fraud, a poseur, a hillbilly, a cynic. Their trashy eight-year oeuvre will likely go down in history as the most spectacularly malevolent and misguided White House coverage ever -- and politically costly, since it also encompassed Vice President Al Gore and probably made George W. Bush president in 2000.

But I did find a nugget from the second half of the book that perfectly captures the whole poisonous, deluded, clubby Beltway mentality of the mainstream media circa 2000. It stars the late Tim Russert.

Branch recounts being the lone Clinton defender on one of the last "Meet the Press" shows of Clinton's term, when all the other guests were still obsessed with the president's sex life. It was bad enough on camera, but during commercial breaks Russert and his friends gossiped about alleged new Clinton girlfriends and sang the 2000 one-hit wonder "Who let the dogs out?" tapping their pencil along to the woof-woof chorus. (I don't believe in hell, but I think Russert spent some time in a way station in Purgatory being grilled on his poor political judgment during the Clinton-Gore years, before being welcomed to heaven by a God more forgiving than the Beltway mediocrities who sat in judgment on Clinton.)

It's always seemed to me no accident that the mainstream media began to lose its market share, its revenues and its respect in those years, when they slighted an embattled president's worthy if controversial initiatives on Middle East peace, Bosnia, welfare reform, making work pay and building a U.S. social democracy, in favor of gossip about his character, his marriage, his taste in women and even the distinguishing characteristics of the presidential penis.

Against this historical backdrop of childish media snickering, the sharp, accomplished Branch comes off as a naif and even a rube in some of his stories, consistently flummoxed by the enmity among Washington media players, some of them his friends, as they savaged Clinton beyond proportion. He writes, bewildered, about a spate of vicious headlines at the end of 1996: The Times' Abe Rosenthal accused the Clintons of "giving militant Islam its first beachhead in Bosnia," while Maureen Dowd dubbed Clinton the trivia-obsessed "President Pothole" and the "Limbo President," sinking ever lower. For good measure she added: "We pretty much know the Clintons did something wrong in Whitewater," when in fact, 12 years later, we know no such thing. Wen Ho Lee at least got an apology from the Times; the Clintons are still waiting. (Clark Hoyt, is it too late to take that factual error up with Dowd?)

But it wasn't just the Times: Branch also lays out Washington Post embarrassments; an Op-Ed by Andrew Sullivan headlined "The Clintons: Not a Flicker of Moral Life"; a declaration by liberal book critic Jonathan Yardley -- a friend and neighbor of Branch's -- that he wouldn't vote for Clinton in 1996 because he was a "buffoon" with a monstrous fault "at the core of his being ... He is a man who does not believe in anything." One of my favorite sections of the book features Hillary Clinton sitting in her kitchen explaining why, no, thank you, she is never going to invite the vicious Sally Quinn into her house -- and why should she, given Quinn's multiple treacherous, class-based takedowns of the Clintons as neighbors, leaders, parents, Americans? (The scenes Branch catches of Hillary in the kitchen -- not baking cookies, but having a glass of wine, helping Chelsea with homework and savaging their enemies with intelligence are among my favorite in this book.) You find yourself wishing and hoping Branch could find some Washington pooh-bahs who'd realize they'd been played by the Republicans. Nope. None at all.

A few other things are painful. The Clinton-Gore fight much referenced in coverage of the book is hard to read; on some level, they were both right. I've had this argument with liberal anti-Clinton friends, reporters and pollsters, who say Gore was perceptibly politically hurt by anti-Clinton animus among independents. On the other hand, my gut always told me he'd lose if he couldn't run on the Clinton-Gore economic resurgence. I still think Gore could have found a lot of ways, humorous or angry, to distance himself from the president's mistakes -- and Clinton expected him to, and didn't care if he did. But choosing Joe Lieberman and running like an anti-Clinton change candidate was a huge error.

Clinton also had George W. Bush's number from the beginning -- that the snarly scion was mean, arrogant, incurious, devoted to budget-busting tax cuts and greater state secrecy. Clinton fumed at the way the GOP, abetted by the media, worked the refs when it came to "dirty politics" all throughout the 2000 campaign. If Gore or his surrogates brought up, say, Dick Cheney's überconservative past, or Bush's inexperience in foreign affairs, they'd be trashed as practicing "old politics" and "politics as usual" and the typical partisan gridlock that Bush was committed (falsely) to transcending. So genuine policy differences and scandalous omissions and commissions in both Republicans' backgrounds went mostly unexamined, because at the Republicans' behest, the media decided that to focus on such issues was just backward-looking and gauche and so … 1998.

It's painful to read those last months in 2000, as the Supreme Court makes Bush president, to Clinton's anger but not surprise, and Clinton cleans out his bookshelves. I do think Branch is a little easy on the self-pitying president when it comes to some of the pardons, including Marc Rich. But he reminds us how many anti-Clinton lies the media swallowed whole, in a great final orgy of anti-Clintonism, especially the vandal scandal that wasn't (Salon debunked it quickly).

I enjoyed the book, even though I think it got bogged down in its commitment to chronology, and depicting what Clinton talked about and thought was important. I'd have loved to read a book Branch organized by the topics he thought were most important, chronologically or not. We dip into too many topics -- Bosnia, Russia, terror, the economy, Clinton's relationships with global leaders, sometimes for no more than a sentence. It captures the sweep of what a president faces, but it was also, sometimes, tedious.

But I appreciated Branch's honestly about his friendship with Clinton, his struggles to balance being an uncritical sounding board with a friend wanting to give advice (and a political junkie wanting to influence history!). I found his explanation of his different roles endearing; others may find it distracting.

I really liked him for staying close to his original point: Clinton was a man Branch was cynical about, an old friend turned politician whom Branch came to like more upon reacquaintance, a political operator who turned out to have more passion and integrity than many journalists or authors or activists or others who believe they've stayed "clean." As someone who's criticized Bill Clinton often but who always comes back to a position of (even grudging) respect, I found integrity in Branch's full-throated defense of Clinton; it's so rare and maybe long overdue. I still think the book will need the next Taylor Branch to pore over it like a historian, not a partisan or a friend, and help us get more clarity on this talented, ambitious, well-meaning, flawed, persecuted, paranoid merely mortal man. The most compelling story Branch captures is the way the media let us down.


"The biggest business in America is not steel, automobiles, or television. It is the manufacture, refinement and distribution of anxiety ... Logically extended, this process can only terminate in a mass nervous breakdown or in a collective condition of resentment..."
             Eric Severeid (Quoted in Organ Magazine, 1971)

"How is the world ruled  and how do wars start?
  Diplomats tell lies to journalists and then believe what they read."
                    Karl Kraus 1874 - 1936



Don't call them whores

Politicians, I mean.

The epithet is thrown because these men and women who spout high-minded ideals and endless justifications ultimately will do pretty much anything the person waving money tells them to do -- no matter how sleazy or corrupt.

But they don't call real whores "working girls" for nothing.

"Working girls" generally do NOT spout high-minded ideals to justify their careers.(Unless some journalist or anthropologist is paying for their time and asking the usual questions like "Why do you do this?")

People like to play a game in which a semantic homonym substitutes for actual meaning (or thought), and make a quip like: "Both screw people for money." (Ha-ha...the subject of the emotional development of politicians being almost as mature and sophisticated as that of a 9-year-old is a topic for another rant.)

Except that the word "screw," as applied to a politician is used in the sense of "fuck over" or "harm." When a whore screws someone for money, it involves giving that person some momentary pleasure and satisfaction.

There's a reason why, of course, that a parent is horrified when a child -- male or female -- decides being a whore -- or a politician --is his or her career choice.

And again, there's a difference.

Real whores are selling THEIR OWN asses to satisfy somone's eroto-fantasy, and parents who are not sexual hysterics fear for the real and devastating psychological and physical harm that most likely WILL be done to their child over years of being handled harshly and without care as well as the psychological and physical harm that society will cause, spitting epithets and saliva at the whore for whatever sexo-pathological fears their little minds conjure up.

On the other hand, congressional whores are selling OUR ASSES to satisfy the greed fantasies of the people who give them what they so charmingly call "campaign contributions." (The cardinal sin, in Washington, they say, is Telling the truth." Can't call them what they really are* -- bribes) And no parent wants to see the child become a soulless monster that lies and distorts reality until it's totally unrecognizable, ALMOST ALWAYS as part of the process of hurting, robbing, diminishing the people who voted for them. Regardless of which party they join.

Of course there are diseases passed along in both instances.

This situation was described in that same homonym as penned by Richard Rush and Lawrence Marcus in Richard Rush's amazing screen adaptation of Paul Brodeur's wonderful novel, THE STUNTMAN.

The director, Eli Cross (Peter O'Toole), is challenging his writer, Sam (Allen Goorwitz), to see the underlying reality he's filming, that reality being what he calls "the disease" carried by Vietnam veteran, Lucky (Steve Railsback).

Finally, Eli tells Sam that the disease is called paranoia.
And Sam quips:
"Is that a social disease like the clap?"
"Yes. You get both from screwing your fellow man."

But once again, the disease unintentionally passed along by the hard-working pleasure-monger -- unlike that passed along by politicians -- is often curable.

I always remember a 1971 quote made by a whore in an article in The Organ**

"We're not selling anything that doesn't belong to us -- and there isn't a politician or businessman who can make that same statement."

Actually, being totally without scruples or conscience, the businessmen and politicians probably can -- and would -- make that same statement, but it would be, like most of what they say, a shameless self-serving lie.

The late Howard Luck Gossage made a comment about a local San Francisco asshole so impressed with himself that anyone could spot him as a politician from 50 yards away. It seems to be applicable today, some 30+ years later, even more so, and to almost all of the politicians around:

"That man is trying to work his way up to being a horse's ass...
        but he hasn't got what it takes."


 *"Any man who calls things by their rightful name will surely be hanged."
John Wilmot, 2d Earl of Rochester
(April 1, 1647 – July 26, 1680)

**The Organ Reader, a 300+ page collection of almost everything every printed in the 9 legendary issues of The Organ magazine, has been published by Ramble House and is available from them, or Lulu.



Alan Greenspan and Dick Cheney -- The Odd Couple

Two old farts, both past-it, desperately trying to insist they're NOT irrelevant, crying out in the wilderness that they're not just tired old pieces of shit cast off because they weren't useful any more (the way THEY cast off anyone no longer useful to them)---

Both of them are trying to do the "mouth is quicker than the mind" trick of spewing piles of horseshit onto our memories in hopes that we won't recall what it was they actually DID when they had the power. Kind of like the Repugnants all insisting they HAVE a great Health Care Plan, but, uhh, ahh, ummm, just didn't get around to proposing it when they had the House, the Senate, the White House and the majority of tame justices on the Supreme court. Or forgetting that W was president for 8 years ("Who? W who? George W Bush?")

And I'm linking them together even though Greenspan is saying things to support much of president Obama's agenda (of which I personally approve) while Cheney is attacking everything the president does or says -- really, in essence, saying HE could do it better, even though he couldn't do anything but fuck up America -- economically, politically, militarily, internationally, etc -- when he had the power -- spouting his venomous filth while hiding behind the First Amendment in order to practice his new career -- SEDITION.

Doesn't matter WHICH ONE is in favor of WHAT -- what matters is neither of them did anything more or better or different than they did and now they're trying to insist they did (you know, the moving finger writes and having writ moves on, and, as the bible says, neither press conference nor political rally can ever change it or wash away the blood).

As for Cheney -- I still believe that his agenda (and that of Monkey Boy, his sock puppet) was to manifest the idea set forth by Grover Norforms -- that which characterized the administrations of Reagan and Bush I, i.e, bankrupt the country so as to be able to smile ruefully and say with the very slimiest of faux sincerity: "I wish we COULD help you who are dying and starving and being made homeless, but we just don't have enough money to do that."

To which Cheney and Bush II added: "And in order to set the stage for the next act of the eternal Republican majority, we're going to fuck things up so bad that NO Democrats can ever fix them." If THAT was their agenda, then they were REMARKABLY successful, and will go down in history as two of the great grotesque monsters. (Interesting how people like always assume that everyone is not real bright, probably because the only people they know -- other than the ones who bought and paid for them -- are the deficient ones -- those who are intellectually OR morally OR ethically OR something elsely lacking -- who are willing to hang out with them.)

So, Alan, Dick -- just take your karmic medicine -- meet the dead and the destroyed in your dreams every night and deal with them. ("What do you see when you turn out the lights? Don't tell me -- we all know it's yours.")

Really -- it would be wiser for your to zip it, boys -- it's not to your benefit to remind us that we let SOME of the monsters escape unindicted.



Obama and the Olympics -- and everything else

The other day, when talking heads who take themselves oh so seriously were opining on the president going to Copenhagen to plump for the 2016 Olympics being in Chicago, and going on, filling their 24 hour news cycle with such as: "Why would he decide to go there now when he'd said before that he couldn't spare the time?"

And one of the panel, a person who, if not actually living in a state of reality, at least has a passing "Hi" and "Howdy" relationship with reality when they pass on the street.

In so many words, this person said:

He's getting criticized for going and if Chicago doesn't get it, the Republicans will be delighted, since their total agenda is pointing at Obama and screaming "He stinks!"
And if he DOESN'T go, and Chicago doesn't get the Olympics, the GOP will be delighted to point at him and scream like the pod people "He dropped the ball. He should have gone and taken care of it."

This attitude applies to everything else the President does or does not do and what the Repugnicans have to say about it.

Hillary Clinton's comment about the vitriolic hatred of her husband, the former president, is also applicable to President Obama (And why not? They're the same people who spent 8 years trying to prevent that Democratic President from accomplishing anything the people of America might enjoy or appreciate):

"If he walked on water, they'd be saying he's a loser who doesn't know how to swim."

Th optimist in me wants to believe that, at a certain point, the Republicans will actually start to act like people who are primarily concerned with the betterment of the country instead of acting like the bloodsucking swarm of insects they've become, mindlessly vampirizing the warm-blooded creature they envy and hate with the intent of draining every drop of life from him.

But probably not.

At one time the Repubs were thoughtful people who acted on the belief that the people were best off when the economy was strong and the government didn't make it impossible to run a small business.
The Dems, on the other hand believed in doing it from the other direction, i.e., the economy was strong when the people had their basic needs protected, and those basics of life were not the toys of greed-mad assholes.

Not these days.

They've become the living embodiment of Aldous Huxley's mental and moral deficients depicted in Brave New World who yammered and chanted:

"We're deltas and we're the best."

If only there were a cliff toward which we could point these lockstep lemmings and wish them: "Have a nice trip."

And then invite the old-fashioned kind of Republicans they drove out of the party back in where they might act like grownups. I actually know some people who ARE that kind of Republicans.

But that's even more the fantasy of an unrealistic optimist.


eXTReMe Tracker