Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Developing Tragedy

Eighty-four years ago today the Stock Market crashed…and I was born. I’m not sure it crashed just before I was born or just after I was born. What I do know is that the connection between the two events is totally irrelevant. Similarly, when I was born the market was at its all-time low, today it is at an all-time high, but again, that is completely irrelevant. I suspect that much of what seems to concern us at the moment, unemployment, abortion, Obamacare, immigration, spying, the coming elections, Benghazi, the budget, and so on, although they would appear to be of great importance, are basically irrelevant  to the two linked unfolding human tragedies that are about to occur.

The first of these is global warming that will, if no immediate actions are taken, result in a human tragedy of monumental proportions. Taking such actions are, unfortunately, intimately linked to the second tragedy, slowly developing as we fritter away our time dealing with the myriad “problems” that are, by design in most cases, distracting us from the worst tragedy of all that is about to overtake us…Corporate Fascism.

Mussolini wrote on fascism when conditions were much simpler than they are at the present time. His view sees the development of fascism as a merger of two distinct and strong “powers,” the power of the state and the power of corporations. I think he was unaware of the possibility that the power of the state (nation) could actually be usurped by international corporations with unlimited resources, corporations that did not exist with so much power during Mussolini’s time. But this is what seems to be happening now as we argue needlessly about abortion, Benghazi, Hillary, and which Republican nitwit will front the Republican Party, none of which will ultimately matter in a world controlled by a few massive corporations and billionaires (not unrelated interests).

It seems to me the evidence for this takeover is clear. We bemoan, for example, the relative demise of the U.S., losing our power over others and falling behind in most vital respects, with rampant unemployment, inefficient medical care, failing schools, loss of manufacturing , and etc., etc. Why, in the “most powerful nation on earth,” should this be happening? I submit it is because nations, including ours, are becoming irrelevant in the modern “globalization” context. Powerful nations are a threat to the International Corporations that are increasingly more powerful, with budgets that dwarf those of most nations. From their point of view, nations exist only to compete to provide the least  expensive work force and the least expensive resources that enable the corporations to flourish. In this scheme of things the U.S. is no different than any other nation.

Of course the U.S. remains a “world power,” even the most powerful one on earth, but this is true only because it is controlled by corporations that are primarily only interested in using its military and intelligence agencies to insure their global hegemony. It is only militarily that the U.S. remains powerful, and it is only the Pentagon budgets that are considered important enough to continue to be funded and overfunded year after year. We now have a “volunteer” military, essentially a mercenary force. While it is true this force ostensibly represents our “national interests,” and performs very efficiently and even “patriotically,” on the orders of our government, our government is controlled by international corporate interests. Thus our military power is little more than a private corporate force that does not necessarily have to do with “national” interests. What national interests, as opposed to corporate interests, were served by invading Iraq (where their oil fields were hypothetically divided before the attack), what national interests would be served by attacking Iran (to benefit Israel and protect our Middle East hegemony), by staying in Afghanistan (with their apparently many as yet untapped natural resources). And who will benefit from our current boast that we will surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia in producing oil and gas? And who will benefit from a gigantic pipeline carrying dirty oil from Canada to be sold on the international market? All of this, in turn, is due to the fact that our nation is now controlled by an elaborate military/industrial/political complex that is the mainstay of our increasingly militarized nation, a nation that now exists only on the basis of the continuing wars necessary to keep it going and generate corporate profits through the exploitation of others. The tragedy here is not only that this system reduces nations in importance vis-à-vis corporations, but, more importantly, reduces humans to the level of peasants and serfs, no more than nuts and bolts, basically dehumanized, with no more rights and privileges than any other commodities on the marketplace. Labor, no matter how technologically sophisticated, is bought and sold no matter where it is found. If it doesn’t exist in the U.S. it can be found elsewhere. “Buy American might be an interesting slogan but it has no meaning in international competition.

Social Security, Medicare, minimum wages, unemployment insurance, food stamps, vacations, a forty hour work week, were not gifts presented to us by the generosity of corporations and they are now relentlessly trying to do away with all of them.

“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism -- ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.... Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.” 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Me and Kati (6)

Well, Kati, we finally got rid of those two burn piles. Watching them burn, and especially watching the smoke rise and slowly disappear, inspired me to enjoy that (perhaps) uniquely human experience, “wonder.” I began to wonder where the smoke went. Now I wonder if you ever wonder. I know you are only a cat, but I also know I often see you sitting apparently lost in thought, quite unlike either Midnight or Spencer, who wander incessantly in search of adventure. You Kati, are my (almost) constant companion and the only one I can talk to (you are a really good listener), and you stay here close to home.

I more or less understand where the smoke comes from, formerly living trees and bushes, now dead and burning. Only two things result from this process, ashes and smoke. The ashes lie there in full view, but the smoke rises and drifts away eventually disappearing entirely. But does it truly disappear? Perhaps it just becomes invisible but still exists in some form out there in the atmosphere.

This question led me (inevitably?) to the question of mortality, or, more precisely, immortality. As I do not believe in what most people think of as “souls,” I don’t believe souls hover around  influencing the living one way or another. On the other hand it does seem to me that when a person dies his or her influence does remain for some time, perhaps even forever in some cases (Shakespeare, for example). This is so because of the millions of interactions one has had with others throughout one’s lifetime, interactions that were experienced by others and therefore incorporated in one way or another into their lives. I wonder, for example, how I might have influenced the many hundreds (more like thousands) of students I had over the course of some thirty years. Likewise, the influences I must have had with friends and acquaintances, in some cases more intense relationships than others, but present nonetheless. Then, of course, there are the material things one might have left behind, poems, books, personal stories, works of art, and so on. What one has done during his or her lifetime lives on in some sense after their death. Perhaps there might come a time when their influence, having been basically invisible in this way for a time, does completely disappear. Quite likely some individuals remain invisibly influential longer than others. One does, no doubt, hope their influences on others have been more positive than negative (in sum total, at least).

Kati, you are such a great listener, never interrupting, arguing, heckling, just lying there quietly on my lap, content just to “be.” You know Kati, when a person dies it’s basically no different than when any other living thing dies, except when it comes to the disposal of the corpse.  Humans have devised all sorts of ingenious ways to deal with dead bodies: they can be buried in the ground, thrown in the water, left exposed to nature, mummified, smoked, eaten, and cremated. And you see, Kati, when a person is cremated it’s just like the burn piles, there remain a few ashes but the “essence,” so to speak, goes up in the smoke, becomes invisible, but still exists out there in some form along with the essences of all who of have died previously. I guess in this very limited sense we might say that we do, indeed, eventually join our loved ones.

Here is one of my favorite poems:

    “Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he long'd to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

I love the sentiment but I confess the thought of a grave I find terrifying. I cannot imagine being confined in a dark box buried underground (no matter how comfortable or elegant the box).  I quite definitely want to go wherever it is the smoke goes.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Homo Insaneiensis

Ho um, just another day in the life of homo Insaneiensis, a species so highly evolved technologically they have lost the ability to survive without it, and, more importantly, have also lost the ability to reason, govern themselves, and manage the tiny planet that supports them. They inhabit mostly the northern climes and have reached their highest development on the North American continent.  

We now know that in spite of all the lies we were told by BP, the oil spilled into the Gulf has produced an environmental disaster far more grave and (probably permanently) destructive than imagined (except for a few who realized from the beginning what a disaster was in the making). Of course the damage done by the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska still persists, a huge spill in the Dakotas recently went unreported for ten days, and oil spills of various kinds , many serious, happen with regularity. You might think a responsible species would have learned from these disasters, but apparently homo insaneiensis have not. They are still drilling deep water wells and are about to build an enormous pipeline to move dangerous oil from Canada to Texas so it can be sold on the world market and the Koch brothers can reap many billions in profits. It appears there is little advantage, if any, for the U.S., and the possibility of enormous damage when the pipeline bursts here and there as it inevitably will. It is possible for the species to wean itself from petroleum based energy but it requires effort, intelligence, and will, qualities no longer found among homo Insaneiensis.

We were also systematically lied to about the recent Fukushima melt down which we now know is a disaster far greater even than Three Mile and Chernoble. In fact, just how bad it may prove to be is still unknown and it will eventually pour massive quantities of radioactive poisons into the ocean. Contaminated fish are already reported being harvested off our West Coast. In spite of the unbelievable disaster still in the making from Fukushima we continue to run our nuclear plants even though we know many are unsound and could easily malfunction. There are still those who argue such plants are safe and would like to build even more (happily they are proving to be too expensive and more may not be constructed).  The mystery is why would anyone in their right mind want to continue using nuclear energy (or even petroleum, for that matter) knowing what we now know? But of course homo insaneniensis, by definition, are not in their right minds (or so I have concluded from many years of membership within the species).

There is also the problem of global warming, the greatest threat ever to face homo insaneiensis. Some 97% of all scientists agree that global warming is not only happening but is quite definitely linked to human activity. But little of note is being done to solve this problem, importantly due to some who refuse to believe scientific evidence and say that, just as “only God can make a tree,” so only God can determine the weather, science schmience. Of course those powerful entities most responsible for creating the problem are making so much short term profit they are unwilling to face reality and actively resist any remedial action. And as they now control our government they easily get their way.

Along the way homo insaneiensis have lost the ability to govern themselves. This accelerated degeneration began with Saint Ronnie the Moron, an ex President, who uttered the most mindless and infamous phrase that inspired it all:  “Government is not the solution, government is the problem.” This absolutely absurd pronouncement by perhaps the most typical member of the species fell on the ears of some other willing-to –believe-anything-morons and our degradation began in earnest. It continues as our by now increasingly dysfunctional government fails to manage even the simplest of our many challenges. In short, under years of our vaunted “Capitalism” we have devolved from being “civilized” to being “savages,” having bypassed the intermediate stage of “barbarism” entirely on the way down, in favor of returning more quickly to the “law of the jungle,” cannibalizing each other, sacrificing the many (including women and children) to reward the very few with wealth so obscene it cannot be adequately described. Karl Marx may well have been wrong about communism but he was surely right about capitalism.

I was stopped on the street of our little town today by a woman I recognized but do not really know. She informed me in all seriousness (and confidence) that very soon the banks would regulate how much money we could deposit or withdraw in any given period of time. They were doing this, she said with genuine conviction, “because the government is preparing to announce bankruptcy.” Sigh!

Sunday, October 20, 2013


 noun \si-ˈdi-shən\
: the crime of saying, writing, or doing something that encourages people to disobey their government
Full Definition of SEDITION
:  incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority.
I gather this definition of sedition is merely a joke, or at the very least is a “crime” that is never prosecuted. What could possibly more seditious than Ted Cruz’s attack on Obamacare and the credit rating of the United States? In fact, what could be more seditious than McConnell’s plan to make President Obama a one term President, and the apparent agreement of all Republicans to refuse to cooperate on anything that Obama wanted to do?
I don’t know if there actually are laws against sedition (I assume there must be). Not that it would matter much as laws have been so routinely ignored and broken, especially since Bush/Cheney, they don’t seem to matter much anymore. I find it impossible to believe that a minority of Congresspersons can willfully and deliberately close down our government, irreparably harming millions of innocent citizens, and go completely unpunished. I mean, really, you can go to jail for stealing a loaf of bread or a six pack of beer, but you can substantially harm millions of your fellow citizens and go completely unpunished? Does this make any sense to anyone?
I guess I lack the depth of intellect to understand how such things can be. And I also lack the patience to deal with such criminality. As far as I am concerned Ted Cruz and his more ardent dittoheads should be arrested, jailed, and tried for sedition, if not blackmail, extortion, and perhaps even treason.
I think our system (of government) began to break down in earnest in 2000 when the Republican “Brown Shirts” descended on Florida, pounding on doors and yelling in order to stop the vote count. They should have been immediately arrested and charged with sedition or something of that nature and instructed that such behavior is not to be tolerated in a (presumably) democratic society. Then Bush/Cheney, who actually did not win the election, shoved all laws aside and did whatever they wished, contrary to the wishes of the American public and almost all other nations of the world. Attacking Iraq was clearly a war crime, torturing also, war profiteering, killing civilians, and so on all followed as the new Republican Mafia (the Brafia) came into its maturity. As they have never been held accountable for their “Nightmare years” it is not surprising their party has followed in their tradition of lawlessness and crime.
Actually, I believe it was during the Clinton years when the Republican Party slowly began to morph into a genuine criminal conspiracy rather than an ordinary political party. Although they failed to impeach Clinton they succeeded in keeping him from doing whatever it was he might have done to improve our country. It must have been also during this time that our elected officials decided that what the public desired was basically irrelevant to what they deemed important (getting re-elected, fundraising, following their corporate masters, etc.). They have followed this strategy religiously ever since, pretty successfully keeping President Obama from doing anything at all to improve the lot of ordinary citizens, creating jobs, improving education, infrastructure, and so on. Their (basically treasonous) behavior has harmed our nation in the eyes of the world, and has started us on an increasingly downward spiral. I guess they will not be content until they succeed in closing our government down.
I do not have much hope for our future. If democrats could take back the House it might help at least a bit, perhaps we could then shrink Grover Norquist and his absurd anti-government groupies enough to drown them in a bathtub and return to actual governing. Personally, I think things are so ridiculous at the moment they are unworthy of attention, hence I no longer pay much attention to the “news,” nor am I motivated to blog (as you may have noticed).

Monday, October 14, 2013


I am not a lawyer, nor a judge, nor an authority on laws, or even necessarily well informed about such things. But I am pretty sure there are laws against sedition, sabotage, blackmail, extortion, treason, hate crimes, the abuse of free speech (falsely yelling fire), threatening or attacking the President, slander, and most probably even about being a public nuisance. There do not seem to be laws against being an idiot in public or lying, probably for good reason as they would no doubt be violated by most everyone.

If, indeed, there are laws against sedition, etc., one might well wonder why they are not being enforced. There would seem to be little doubt that a minority of citizens, both within government and without, are actively engaged in one or more of such transgressions. In fact they openly boast about such activities and they seem to grow more and more bold with each passing day. The latest disgraceful behavior has them marching on the White House, insulting (slandering?) the President, waving a confederate flag, and so on. This demonstration was led by Ted (McCarthy) Cruz, mouthing his usual completely ridiculous nonsense, backed up by a few genuine crazies, and also featuring Sarah (the fishwife) Palin. Palin, I think, should be an obvious candidate for public nuisance number one, she holds no office, is not likely to ever hold another public office, is basically a no-brainer with a big mouth, and, except for a tragic mistake by John McCain, would still be basically a failed nobody governor of Alaska. I guess she might get some credit for stretching her 15 minutes of fame into an eternity of media attention (why she is still a media darling is a mystery to me). If it is true, as claimed by some, that Ted Cruz does not intend to run for Senate again, and is merely trying to use his current celebrity to catapult himself into the White House, he is obviously wasting his and everyone else’s time. I suspect his chances of ever being President are about the same as mine, and even less than winning the lottery.

So why do we continue to put up with these obvious quasi-treasonous crazies that are doing great damage to our country and potentially even to the world at large? Why should they not be charged with, at the very least being a public nuisance, fined and placed in media Siberia where they belong? Frankly, I do not know. Perhaps it is best to just ignore them, although the media refuses to do so, clinging to their every word and appearance as if they actually have anything of note to say. I guess it is easier to concentrate on them than actually pursue any real news, pursuing real news costs money and takes some effort. Thank goodness we now have Al Jazeera.

We no longer have a functioning government. Even the current negotiations going on in Washington have little or nothing to do with actually governing the nation, they mostly are arguments about who is going to get the most “spoil.” With Congressional approval basically in single digits they continue to ignore the will of the people (who might as well not exist at all) and just continue to bicker about which side is going to “win.” I am pretty sure we are now the laughing stock of the world, having exposed ourselves as unable to govern ourselves, let alone teach others the “joys” and benefits of democracy. No longer the “shining beacon on the hill,” we have become the fading embers of what was once a roaring fire, a whimpering memory of what once was and what might have been, a lost cause. And what is worse, we have no one else to blame, we brought it all on ourselves.  

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Shutdown and Revolution

We pride ourselves with the notion “That it can’t happen here,” a revolution that is. That could well turn out to be a completely false and naïve belief. What do you think might happen, for example, if we have an extended shutdown and refuse to raise the debt limit? As we already have millions living in or on the edge of poverty, others working for starvation wages, most of the wealth in the hands of a very few individuals and powerful corporations, extremely unsettling conditions of government, and unrest growing daily, an extended shutdown may very well provide the one spark that could bring about a genuine and serious revolution.

Imagine, if you will, with conditions as they presently are, with Congressional popularity already in single digits, confidence in government at  an all time low, what might happen when millions more suddenly no longer get their Social Security checks, Medicare and Medicaid, banks are forced to close, savings disappear, and the 99% are hungry and with little or no hope. I venture to say those obscene billion dollar fortunes in the hands of so few will quickly disappear as they are confiscated by the starving masses for the public good. Corporate largesse will likewise quickly fade from memory as a world-wide depression sets in and people can no longer afford to coddle our military/industrial/political complex in the style to which they have become accustomed. Those multiple mansions owned by the Romneys and the McCains, and many others, the lush second and third homes, vacant most of the time, will likely be taken over by the homeless, hopeless, and the abandoned. Scenes from Dr. Zhivago will be multiplied a thousand fold, the obscenely wealthy will be spat upon if not tried as enemies of the people.

And remember, if such a scene were to occur in the U.S. it will not be a bunch of peasants using pitchforks, with some three hundred million or more guns in the hands of those who know how to use them it will be far more serious. And while it is true the government will have tanks and planes and drones and nuclear bombs they will be no more effective against the revolutionaries here than they have proven to be against the Afghans and the Vietnamese. If we cannot control gun violence now what will it be like when “comes the revolution?”

And don’t think those who will be responsible for the shutdown will escape accountability. As they apparently cannot be removed by the democratic process, when that process ceases to function as it already is, all bets are off. “Throw the rascals out” will seem benign when the real blood bath begins. It won’t be merely the few morons who bring about this disaster but also those cowards who stood by and allowed it to happen, fearful of retribution for actually doing their jobs. And once the revolution is in progress I would not like to be a Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, Glenn Beck, Malkin, Coulter, or others of that ilk, those outside of government who stimulated and encouraged the hatred and the shutdown, won’t it be great to see them in handcuffs, dragged off to the slammer where useless haters belong, wasting away in Slammerville without a mike to mouth their idiotic nonsense into? A long term shutdown might be worth it just for that alone.
I do not like to contemplate what might happen in the event of an extended shutdown and a failure to pay our debts. But I fear that our longstanding claim that “It can’t happen here” may prove to be merely a shibboleth, as empty of meaning as any other of the vast array of “Lies my father told me.” It perhaps might be true if we had a truly democratic society, but when democracy fails, as ours surely is, there is no telling what might happen. Let us hope that the nitwits we nitwits have elected to serve their corporate masters will not succeed in destroying us all in their greed and apparent eagerness for “the end times.” 

This is all pure speculation on my part, of course, but imagine for yourself what might happen when there is suddenly no government, no government checks for anything, no health care, no safety net, no law but that of the jungle.

 Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Words Fail

Now that Republicans have elevated dishonesty, hypocrisy, idiocy, and cowardice to previously unknown heights I fear our normal vocabulary is no longer sufficient to describe it all. For example, this morning I heard an interview on the radio during which one Republican (I did not catch his name) actually said. when complaining about Obama, “Our system is not designed for one party to refuse to negotiate.” That is, of course, true. But is he aware that for the past five years his own party has deliberately refused to negotiate with Obama, has refused to participate in governing our country, has announced their intention to defy the President of the United States at every opportunity, to destroy him, his legacy, and his administration? This is hypocrisy on such a grand scale it cannot be considered mere hypocrisy. But we have no word for such colossal hypocrisy. We can describe it perhaps as super-colossal hypocrisy, but only because of the absence of a word that promotes hypocrisy to a much higher level. Of course it is possible that he is simply unaware of what his own party has been doing for the past few years, but if so, he is super–colossally ignorant of reality, or he is, in fact , just super-colossally and deliberately hypocritical.

Similarly, the Republicans are now in the process of reducing reality to a level of nincompoopery never before seen. Many of them are arguing that if our government fails to pay its legally acquired bills that is really not a problem. This is carrying nincompoopery to the realm of the super-colossal, or idiocy to the level of the super-colossal, or stupidity into the realm of the unbelievably unbelievable. It is not entirely clear if their beliefs are merely the result of colossal stupidity or a deliberate strategy to destroy our government as their billionaire backers seem to want. In any case we now have assembled the largest group of super-colossal imbeciles ever assembled under one roof.

Republicans have also raised dishonesty to previously unknown levels. Politicians have always lied, but this approach to governing came into its heyday during the Bush/Cheney administration when telling the truth about anything at all was apparently considered taboo. This practice continues as those who lie know the media, controlled by their corporate masters, will never challenge them no matter how outrageous the lies. And so they tell super-colossal lies about Obamacare, about  Obama himself, about his birth certificate, nationality, religious affiliations, and “radical” political philosophy. It is not always easy to tell if they do this because they are so colossaly and abysmally ignorant, because they are hyper-colossal-racists,  or because they are rewarded for lying by their “minders.” They are relentless in their super-colossal attacks on everything Obama does, what his wife does, and of course they are super-colossally hypocritical about his vacations, golfing, and what-have-you.

When it comes to cowardice there is no precedent for the levels of it in the current Republican Party. They allow their party to be controlled by a small minority of super-colossally ignorant boobs with no real desire to accomplish anything other than the destruction of “government,” that  they were told by that super-colossal boob, Saint Ronnie the Moron, was their “enemy.” They are, by and large, “know-nothings” who have elevated know-nothingness to the status of political anarchy without understanding the meaning of that term. Republicans who claim to be more traditional, more moderate, more political responsible, cowardly stand by and allow these colossal morons to take over their party, fearful, I guess, that they might do something useful to save our nation from the clutches of Tea Party insanity (or lose their cushy jobs).

I find it difficult to believe that people can be punished for spitting on the street, urinating in public, possessing small amounts of a weed, stealing bread, driving without a license, and other such relatively minor infractions, but people who deliberately shut down our government, causing untold misery and harm to millions, perhaps even to the world-wide economy, cannot be arrested and charged with something, like perhaps treason, extortion, blackmail, racketeering, or even being public nuisances. It’s a strange world in which we live, I think we may need an entirely new vocabulary to deal with it. 

Treason doth never prosper, what's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Me and Kati (5)

Well, Kati, our house guest from Tucson left on schedule. I think she might have stayed another day or two if you hadn’t  brought in the live bat which frightened her something terrible. True, the bat couldn’t fly, but it was still alive and still pathetically flapping its wings. Why can’t you leave your victims, dead and alive, outside, like Spencer and Midnight?

Our government is still shut down. It looks like it may be shut down for some time to come. The House took Sunday off, poor guys/gals, work so hard doing nothing but fund raising and causing more trouble. Maybe it’s better they took the day off as they don’t do as much damage when they are not in session. There are too many loonies there, Kati, absolutely bonkers representatives that just don’t believe in government.
Speaking of such things Kati, I’ve been thinking a lot about government. These “wackos” seem to believe we don’t need government at all, a belief so fundamentally demented it must have come from Saint Ronnie the Moron himself.  Not only that, insofar as they seem to believe government should do nothing whatsoever to help its citizens, if government does do something, like Social Security, Medicare, or whatever, they believe it is socialism. In their peculiar view of government I guess it is socialism. I wonder why they think governments evolved in the first place?  I’m quite certain that did not come about in order for a very few at the top to grow obscenely wealthy at the expense of the vast majority. It seems obvious to me that governments at all levels supposedly sprang into being in order to serve those they represented, at least they did in the beginning and for quite a long time after that. Somewhere along the line, for one reason or another some few began to get away with most of the wealth, either as Kings or dictators, or supposedly divine beings. Nowadays, Kati, we don’t have Kings, nor do we technically have dictators, and our leaders could not possibly be regarded as divine. But we do have the few greedy ones at the top with most of the wealth which they use to create even more wealth for themselves while demanding to take away even more from those who have far less. This is a result of a strange belief in capitalism, an economic system that allows such greed to flourish if not carefully monitored. The less it is regulated the worse it becomes until you finally reach the point we are at now, with those on top obscenely and disgustingly rich while those on the bottom are increasingly poor. This doesn’t matter to you, I know, Kati, as you are just a cat. However, try to imagine what it would be like if you killed all the birds and bats and squirrels and mice and didn’t allow any other cats to have any of them.  I know you can’t do this (and probably wouldn’t even consider it if you did think about it), cats may be killers but they aren’t greedy, and if you tried to do it the other cats would kill you (and you would deserve it). And I am sure you are completely unaware of the fact there are people who are unable to feed themselves let alone feed you. Of course you could probably survive anyway as cats have for so many thousands of years. Humans are not always so well equipped for survival, which is why they live in societies in the first place, societies that exist to help people help others, primitive socialists I guess, concerned about the well-being of others, a far cry from capitalism, basically the law of the jungle.

Who knows Kati, how and when the current shutdown may end. More importantly, how long will it be before the multitudes, the so-called 99%, will simply refuse to accept their increasingly lowly positions in the scheme of things. There are many signs now we may be approaching this revolution (or whatever you might call it). Unions seem to be more active, and even the non-unionized are striking for better wages. More and more citizens are protesting more “wars” that benefit only the wealthy and corporations who depend on endless wars to fatten their portfolios, protests of various kinds are becoming more and more common as citizens are becoming more and more fed up with government by and for the wealthy. Maybe some significant changes will occur if we don’t first blow ourselves up, die of radiation, or drown in our own filth. So, my darling Kati, keep a stiff upper lip, throw out you chest, be proud to be a cat, and hope you will never become as stupid, short-sighted, and awful as a human.
Cleveland Amory

Thursday, October 03, 2013

A Nation of Laws?

I guess the only thing more ridiculous than our constant prattling about our “Exceptionalism” is our oft repeated claim that we are a “Nation of Laws.” The only thing accomplished  by such claims is to prove our exceptional arrogance and stupidity. I guess the claim about laws is true in the sense that we do have some codified laws, but we apparently are not very conscientious about enforcing them and seem to lack them in other areas of importance. Furthermore, laws in the United States seem to be applied differently depending upon who ignores them and who does not. For example, do laws always apply to Congress?
If you order a meal in a restaurant, consume it, and then refuse to pay for it, you are apt to end up in jail. But if Congress spends money on something and then refuses to pay for it, what happens? Actually we don’t know because Congress has always, in the end, however kicking and screaming, eventually agreed to pay their bills (as they probably will do again). But what would happen if this time they refused? Would those leading the refusal go to jail? Very doubtful, probably the worst that would happen to them is they might not be re-elected when the next election comes around, but even that cannot be depended upon.
One might think that surely there must be laws against shutting down the government, but apparently there are not. Or if there is they are obviously being ignored. It would seem that there certainly ought to be a law against shutting down the government, and those responsible for doing so and thus harming millions of their fellow citizens should have to be held accountable. I suspect there is no law about this because no one from the Founding Fathers up until recently ever assumed such a thing would happen, that a few politicians would shut down the government because of their personal obsessions or ideological beliefs. Of course there are laws against extortion and blackmail but they don’t seem to be considered worthy of attention. Similarly, we have laws against hate crimes. As there seems to be no real explanation for why some want to do away with “Obamacare,” other than it is called that, and Obama is our first Black President, perhaps this, too, might be considered a hate crime.
Of course when we have known war criminals still walking our streets boasting of their crimes, that involved not only constitutional violations but also international law, and they have never been held accountable, perhaps that sets a precedent for other such crimes as are still going on at the present. Then there are also the known crimes of Wall Street, blatant violations of law that do not get punished. Indeed, we seem to have evolved a mutual agreement between Wall Street and Government such that if they egregiously violate the law and make huge illegal profits they simply pay a relatively modest fine and stay out of jail.
It is also the case that, although Obamacare is the law, there are those who are trying to kill it by defunding it or by any other means they can. They are, in short, violating the law. None of them will go to jail for doing so. There are states that are blatantly violating laws respecting voting rights, they, too, will not end up in jail. Still others violate abortion rights, but unless they actually kill an abortion provider they rarely if ever end up in jail.
Israel violates international law with such regularity it has apparently just become “just the way it is.” The U.S. supports these flagrantly illegal acts no matter how terrible or illegal, and this situation goes on year after year with nothing done about it. And we, the U.S., violate international law with such regularity there might as well not even be international laws.
I find our claims of exceptionalism and being a nation of laws absolutely hilarious in their dishonesty and hypocrisy. They go hand-in-hand with our absurd claim to be “spreading democracy around the world.” The situation has gone so far by now that no one even expects us to follow the law, we have become, along with Israel, rogue states, the greatest threats to peace and prosperity that currently exist.