Friday, January 30, 2009

Steal Big!!

In a previous post I talked about the oil bubble from last summer, created by speculators that drove the per-barrel price of oil up over 100%. Now comes the rather unsurprising news that Exxon-Mobil shattered it's previous record for annual profits posted by a US company.
Here's my conspiracy theory: speculators, working for Exxon-Mobil, deliberately drove the price of oil up, so that Exxon-Mobil could sell the oil they had purchased earlier at a lower price at the new inflated price.
Sure, it may be a stretch, but it fits right in to the continuing corporate criminal culture. A criminal president and vice president not being prosecuted for their crimes,Bernie Madoff under "arrest" in his $7 million apartment, it just proves that the larger the crime, the less likely you'll serve any time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hopefully Next Time, I'll Know Better (But I Doubt It)

I'll admit I've been suffering from a bit of buyer's remorse lately as someone who voted for Barack Obama. Sure, I went into the booth not expecting much out of him as a candidate, and realizing that the promise of change was just another gimmick, like compassionate conservatism, or any other campaign sloganeering.
And I developed even more disappointment as his cabinet took shape. I was never thrilled with Hillary Clinton, and putting her in charge of the state department-not a very good idea at all. Change means discarding the same players who have been soiling the political playing field for so long in favor of new and fresher points of view.
And, alas, my fears have been confirmed with the announcement of the joint effort by Secretary Clinton and Israeli war criminal Tzipi Livnijoining forces to stop Iran's enrichment of uranium, which as signers of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has every right to develop and we have no right to stop. So, once again, we're back at no change from the Bush administration position of selective enforcement of treaties, as Iran has not been found to be using it's uranium enrichment program to develop nuclear weapons.
So while western sources say Iran is running out of uranium to enrich, Iran announces it has found new uranium deposits right in it's own country.
The only change coming out of Washington DC following the pageantry and glory of this past week's inauguration celebration is the change in the grain of the veneer of lies our government has foisted upon us. Republicans, who suggested treason behind any attempt to rope in the war mongering Bush administration, now criticize Obama's air strikes against Pakistan. It's a dog and pony show where the results have already been decided, the only thing left is a show for the television watchers who want to feel good about our government, right before the whole system comes crashing down in a heap. Everybody switch position now, the other team is up to bat.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tumbling Dominoes

Yesterday was Whacking Day in the building where I work. No, the employees there didn't drive all the snakes into a circle and beat them to death with clubs, it was another day of corporate downsizing, another step in the spiral to the upcoming economic meltdown heading your way.
I felt bad for these people, many of them I have become close to in the years I have been working here, a some of them came to our place of business, eyes red rimmed from crying at the prospect of having to look for a job in Michigan where unemployment lines stretch out into the cold winter air. And having been in the job market myself recently, with over 10% of the state population unemployed,as well as more heading for unemployment rolls finding a new job isn't going to be easy.
They tell us right now that the US is in a recession, but we were in a recession a year ago, now we are at the start of a new depression.
The economic dominoes have been tumbling for some time now. It all began when Congress passed NAFTA, and now some of the companies that lobbied for it's passage are now lobbying congress for taxpayer money to bail their asses out. Pumping more dollars into the economy is a futile effort, although I do respect the new president's efforts, as opposed to the treasonous bastards at Fox News, who wish that Americans continue to suffer at the hands of the corpocracy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

What's In A Name?

When my first child was born, his mother and I were looking for the perfect name for him. In the daily local paper, it listed not only births, but the names that the parents had inflicted on them. There were lots of Brandons and Dylans (Beverly Hills 90210 being very popular at the time) as well as Connors, Rumers and other various permutations of names inspired by America's celebrity worship. I even saw, I swear, a Wyatt Earp Cowznofski.
But that's part of the joy of being a parent; deciding what label you wish to define your child by. There were a lot of girl's names, for instance, that were more befitting a stripper or a princess than say, a doctor or lawyer. One of the great things about living in a free society is you can name your child whatever you choose, no matter how ridiculous, because when the child grows up, they end up defining the name themselves.
(We ended up naming him Wilbur, after my maternal grandfather, and took a lot of grief for it from my sister, who named her child after a character on a television show. And now, rather than be some weirdo, he is a smart, handsome and cool kid who plays guitar in his school's jazz band)
Is giving your child a name a cause for child abuse? What if you were to name your child Adolf Hitler? Well, officials in New Jersey have removed a child named Adolf Hitler Campbell from the custody of his parents. Officials won't say what the reasons were young Adolf, or his sisters Lynn Aryan Nation Campbell, 1, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie were removed from their parents, and if they have been abusive,(honestly, they'd have to be on some kind of drug to name their kids what they did) well then more power to them for protecting the children. But if they have removed them as many have speculated because of the children's unfortunate names, then they have over stepped their bounds. In America, people have the right to be stupid. It's not like his friends are going to call him by his full name, most likely, they'd shorten it to Dolph, like one of the bullies from The Simpson's, but if he doesn't really like it, he can go the route of one Zowie Bowie, and change it when he gets older.(And really, he may want to change it, because it would look pretty stupid when he has to fill out a job application)Just look at our new president, his middle name is Hussein, for cryin' out loud!
Now, I know some people may disagree with me, and that's another good thing about America, people are allowed to have differing viewpoints. And still it could have been worse-he could have named him George Bush Campbell

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Final Lie(s)

Fellow citizens: For eight years, it has been my honor to serve as your president. The job he did was not honorable at allThe first decade of this new century has been a period of consequence -- a time set apart.

Tonight, with a thankful heart, I have asked for a final opportunity to share some thoughts on the journey we have traveled together and the future of our nation. Really, just one more vain attempt to rub some of that tarnish off my legacy

Five days from now, the world will witness the vitality of American democracy. In a tradition dating back to our founding, the presidency will pass to a successor chosen by you, the American people. Standing on the steps of the Capitol will be a man whose story reflects the enduring promise of our land. The enduring promise that if one person fucks up the country so bad, people will vote for anybody they see as the complete opposite to incompetent cronyism

This is a moment of hope and pride for our whole nation. And I join all Americans in offering best wishes to President-elect Obama, his wife Michelle, and their two beautiful girls.Whose names I can't remember

Tonight I am filled with gratitude -- to Vice President [Dick]Cheney for never offering to take me pheasant hunting and members of the administration the ones who won't be writing tell-all books distancing themselves from this administration so they may have a career while I'm clearing brush off my ranch in Crawford; to Laura, who brought joy to this house and love to my life; to our wonderful daughters, Barbara and Jenna; to my parents, whose examples have provided strength for a lifetime.

And above all, I thank the American people for the trust you have given me. I'm just sorry it was so misplaced I thank you for the prayers that have lifted my spirits. Taking for granted they weren't prayers for my immediate removal from office And I thank you for the countless acts of courage, generosity, and grace that I have witnessed these past eight years. None of them coming from anyone in this administration, our immediate families, or anyone within the Republican party

This evening, my thoughts return to the first night I addressed you from this house -- September 11, 2001. Once more, I'll try to convince you my biggest failure was really a triumph

That morning, terrorists took nearly 3,000 lives in the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor. I remember standing in the rubble of the World Trade Center three days later, surrounded by rescuers who had been working around the clock.

I remember talking to brave souls who charged through smoke-filled corridors at the Pentagon and to husbands and wives whose loved ones became heroes aboard Flight 93.

I remember Arlene Howard, who gave me her fallen son's police shield as a reminder of all that was lost. And I still carry his badge. Because when I'm not pretending to be a cowboy, I like to pretend I'm a policeman

As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our nation. Much like the one I received on August 6, 2001, only now I didn't ignore them And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe.

Over the past seven years, a new Department of Homeland Security has been created. The military, the intelligence community, and the FBI have been transformed. Into fascist organizations intent on spying on millions of Americans

Our nation is equipped with new tools to monitor the terrorists' movements, as well as violate the privacy of every American citizen freeze their finances and break up their plots But enough about Bernie Madoff. And with strong allies at our side, we have taken the fight to the terrorists and those who support them. Not really, but would you believe the people who live in the same part of the planet from whence said terrorists came?

Afghanistan has gone from a nation where the Taliban harbored al Qaeda and stoned women in the streets to a young democracy that is fighting terror and encouraging girls to go to school. Except in the parts still under the rule of the Taliban

Iraq has gone from a brutal dictatorship and a sworn enemy of America to an Arab democracy at the heart of the Middle East and a friend of the United States. There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions. But there can be little debate about the results. Mainly because I refuse to see the truth as it may pierce my protective bubble and reveal me to myself as the biggest jackass ever to inhabit the Oval Office

America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil Just don't mention that it had gone that long under Bill Clinton as well. This is a tribute to those who toil day and night to keep us safe -- law enforcement officers, intelligence analysts, homeland security and diplomatic personnel, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.

Our nation is blessed to have citizens who volunteer to defend us in this time of danger. I have cherished meeting these selfless patriots and their families. But have as of yet to have visited any family of servicemen killed in my wars America owes you a debt of gratitude. But I cut your veteran benefits anyways

And to all our men and women in uniform listening tonight: There has been no higher honor than serving as your commander in chief. When not dressing up like a cowboy, or pretending to be a policeman, being a soldier is next on the listThe battles waged by our troops are part of a broader struggle between two dramatically different systems. Under one, a small band of fanatics demands total obedience to an oppressive ideology, condemns women to subservience, and marks unbelievers for murder. And the other is the Democratic Party

The other system is based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God and that liberty and justice light the path to peace. This is the belief that gave birth to our nation. We instead chose to install puppet regimes who bend to the will of the US corpocracy And in the long run, advancing this belief is the only practical way to protect our citizens.

When people live in freedom, they do not willingly choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror. That's why I had to commit to vote fraud in Florida in 2000, and in Ohio in 2004 When people have hope in the future, they will not cede their lives to violence and extremism. Which is why we decided to destroy the economy So around the world, America is promoting human liberty, human rights, and human dignity. Except in Gaza, where we are celebrating slaughter, mayhem and brutal repression

We are standing with dissidents and young democracies, providing AIDS medicine to bring dying patients back to life, and sparing mothers and babies from malaria. And this great republic born alone in liberty is leading the world toward a new age when freedom belongs to all nations. Once again, with the exception of the Palestinians

For eight years, we have also strived to expand opportunity and hope here at home. because when you've made things as shitty as we have, hope is all people have Across our country, students are rising to meet higher standards in public schools. Or turning to crystal meth

A new Medicare prescription drug benefit is bringing peace of mind to seniors and the disabled And bringing untold wealth to Big Pharma. Every taxpayer pays lower income taxes. The addicted and suffering are finding new hope through faith-based programs. Giving them a new addiction

Vulnerable human life is better protected. Once again, except in Gaza Funding for our veterans has nearly doubled. America's air, water, and lands are measurably cleaner. And the Federal bench includes wiseguy new members like Justice Sam Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts.

When challenges to our prosperity emerged, we rose to meet them. Facing the prospect of a financial collapse, we took decisive measures to safeguard our economy. By ensuring that our rich banker friends could still live like kings on the backs of the remaining middle class

These are very tough times for hardworking families, but the toll would be far worse if we had not acted. All Americans are in this together. But only the working class will really suffer And together, with determination and hard work, we will restore our economy to the path of growth.Hell, we'll grow it right out of here!

We will show the world once again the resilience of America's free enterprise system. By bailing out major corporations with taxpayer's money Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks.One time when I wanted to play policeman, I couldn't find my badge There are things I would do differently if given the chance. I would have never had asked for pretzels, as an example Yet I have always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. Or at least the top one percent of our country I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right. Well, I would have if I had a conscience

You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made. But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions. The decades ahead will bring more hard choices for our country, and there are some guiding principles that should shape our course.

While our nation is safer than it was seven years ago,Once again, I remind you of my greatest failure as a way of turning it into my moment of glory the gravest threat to our people remains another terrorist attack. Or a Sarah Palin presidency Our enemies are patient and determined to strike again.

America did nothing to seek or deserve this conflict. Well, we did, but I'll never admit it But we have been given solemn responsibilities, and we must meet them. We must resist complacency. We must keep our resolve. And we must never let down our guard.

At the same time, we must continue to engage the world with confidence and clear purpose. In the face of threats from abroad, it can be tempting to seek comfort by turning inward. But we must reject isolationism and its companion, protectionism. protecting people can never be as good as keeping them in constant fear

Retreating behind our borders would only invite danger. In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home depend on the expansion of liberty abroad. If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led.

As we address these challenges -- and others we cannot foresee tonight -- America must maintain our moral clarity. I have often spoken to you about good and evil. This has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise. Of course, my idea of good includes mass genocide and senseless slaughter

Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, except, once again, in Palestine everywhere. Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right.Ditto This nation must continue to speak out for justice and truth.Ditto We must always be willing to act in their defense and to advance the cause of peace. Okay, from now on, when I say peace justice protecting the innocent and all that other crap, be advised it doesn't apply to the people in Gaza

President Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past." I once said some thing about putting food on your family, what was I on?As I leave the house he occupied two centuries ago, I share that optimism. America is a young country, full of vitality, constantly growing and renewing itself. And even in the toughest times, we lift our eyes to the broad horizon ahead.

I have confidence in the promise of America because I know the character of our people.

This is a nation that inspires immigrants to risk everything for the dream of freedom. This is a nation where citizens show calm in times of danger and compassion in the face of suffering. And still manage to go shopping We see examples of America's character all around us.

And Laura and I have invited some of them to join us in the White House this evening. We see America's character in Dr. Tony Recasner, a principal who opened a new charter school from the ruins of Hurricane Katrina. We see it in Julio Medina, a former inmate who leads a faith-based program to help prisoners returning to society.

We see it in Staff Sgt. Aubrey McDade, who charged into an ambush in Iraq and rescued three of his fellow Marines. We see America's character in Bill Krissoff, a surgeon from California. His son Nathan, a Marine, gave his life in Iraq.

When I met Dr. Krissoff and his family, he delivered some surprising news: He told me he wanted to join the Navy Medical Corps in honor of his son. This good man was 60 years old -- 18 years above the age limit.

But his petition for a waiver was granted, and for the past year he has trained in battlefield medicine. Lt. Commander Krissoff could not be here tonight, because he will soon deploy to Iraq, where he will help save America's wounded warriors and uphold the legacy of his fallen son. In citizens like these, we see the best of our country -- resilient and hopeful, caring and strong.

These virtues give me an unshakable faith in America. We have faced danger and trial, and there is more ahead.

But with the courage of our people and confidence in our ideals, this great nation will never tire ... never falter ... and never fail. because I can never be elected to this office again It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your president. There have been good days and tough days.

But every day I have been inspired by the greatness of our country and uplifted by the goodness of our people. I have been blessed to represent this Nation we love. And I will always be honored to carry a title that means more to me than any other: citizen of the United States of America.

And so, my fellow Americans, for the final time: Good night. May God bless this house and our next President. And may God bless you and our wonderful country.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Yes, There Was An Oil Bubble

Back in May of last year, with four dollar a gallon gas prices staring us in the face, I asked the question, "Is There A Gas Bubble?" Well, now I have the answer. Yes, there was a gas bubble, and it was caused, in part, by corporate criminals at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Greenberger, who wanted more regulation while he was at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, not less, says it all happened when Enron was the seventh largest corporation in the United States. "This was when Enron was riding high. And what Enron wanted, Enron got."

Asked why they wanted a deregulated market in oil futures, Greenberger said, "Because they wanted to establish their own little energy futures exchange through computerized trading. They knew that if they could get this trading engine established without the controls that had been placed on speculators, they would have the ability to drive the price of energy products in any way they wanted to take it."

"When Enron failed, we learned that Enron, and its conspirators who used their trading engine, were able to drive the price of electricity up, some say, by as much as 300 percent on the West Coast," he added.

"Is the same thing going on right now in the oil business?" Kroft asked.

"Every Enron trader, who knew how to do these manipulations, became the most valuable employee on Wall Street," Greenberger said.

But some of them may now be looking for work. The oil bubble began to deflate early last fall when Congress threatened new regulations and federal agencies announced they were beginning major investigations. It finally popped with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the near collapse of AIG, who were both heavily invested in the oil markets. With hedge funds and investment houses facing margin calls, the speculators headed for the exits.

There were no shortages last year (certainly not a shortage of greedy bastards ready to rip off Americans), nor was there a dramatic rise in demand or consumption. And the irony is, when these bastards went under because they could no longer reach into our wallets because the government was threatening regulation, Wall Street panicked and the Congress caved into their demands for more of our money. John McCain even suspended his campaign to help the crooks help themselves to more of our money. Nice.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Your Tax Dollars At Work

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 8 (IPS) - The devastating Israeli firepower, unleashed largely on Palestinian civilians in Gaza during two weeks of fighting, is the product of advanced U.S. military technology.

The U.S. weapons systems used by the Israelis -- including F-16 fighter planes, Apache helicopters, tactical missiles and a wide array of munitions -- have been provided by Washington mostly as outright military grants.

The administration of President George W. Bush alone has provided over 21 billion dollars in U.S. security assistance over the last eight years, including 19 billion dollars in direct military aid as freebies.

"Israel's intervention in the Gaza Strip has been fueled largely by U.S. supplied weapons paid for with U.S. tax dollars," says a background briefing released Thursday by the Arms and Security Initiative of the New York-based New America Foundation.

Everyday you go to work, the government takes a chunk of what you earn, and sends it to Israel in the form of aid, or military equipment. The harder you work, the more money you make, the more you are contributing to the slaughter of Palestinians, Christian and Muslim alike, because white phosphorous does not look for a cross or a crescent, it just burns the skin to the bone. Smart bombs are not intelligent enough to ascertain whether they are hitting a school or a bunker.
You think that this being a democracy, if you were appalled you might try to reach your congressperson and try to force an end to the senseless slaughter of human beings being funded out of your pocket. But this is no democracy. What we have a military-industrial corpocracy. Your role in it is to keep making dollars for the government to spend on weapons to send to Israel to test out on Palestinians.
You are as trapped as the people of Gaza, virtual slaves to a machine that only kills for them, while doing nothing for you except insuring the enmity of people who are not afraid to die because their life is shit now anyway.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

They Went To School To Be This Smart

Displaying some of that fine business acumen that forced them to go begging hat-in-hand before Congress for a slice of taxpayers dough, GM unveiled a new Cadillac at the Detroit Auto Show. I'm sure it's what most of what Wall Street will be spending their financial bailout on.
This highlights the out-of-touchedness of GM CEOs: while the country is in a depression, and many Americans have turned to shoplifting,they trot out a vehicle that even most people who can still afford to drive (what with oil prices sure to climb on the heels of the holocaust in Palestine) can't afford to buy.
There was a time when I supported bailing out US automakers, but as much as I would hate to see tens of thousands of autoworkers out of work, I cannot on the other hand see a continuation of a system that rewards such managerial incompetence.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Predictions For 2009

This is the time of year when postulant people post predictions pertaining to the approaching period. Giving that most of them have as much foresight as a nearsighted mole, I thought I'd weigh in with a few predictions of my own:
1. Sometime after January 21, someone on the right will criticize Barack Obama for lack of an exit strategy in Iraq.
2. No matter who Israel provokes with it's attacks, John Bolton will use it as an excuse to attack Iran.
3."Joe The Plumber's" book will be going for free with a venti mocha latte at Barnes & Noble by Christmas 2009, while Joe himself will get his own show on Fox News.
4.When 200000 stores shut down this year, right wingers will blame it high taxes and not the offshoring of high paying manufacturing jobs.
5.Regardless of quality, The Watchmen movie, if it ever gets released, will be a huge hit. If it's good, fanboys will see it five times because it's just so awesome, and if it stinks fanboys will only see it five times, to find minor details to criticize and quibble over.
6. Dick Cheney will never stand trial for his war crimes, treason, or any of the other crimes he directed while Vice-President.
7.Republicans will continue to make racist remarks concerning Barack Obama, and then plead ignorance when decent human beings demonstrate outrage.
8.Laura Bush will divorce George, then die in a mysterious car accident.
9.Gas prices will inexplicably rise to $3.00 a gallon by summer, then fall back down to $2.00 a gallon by Autumn.
10.In spite of government bailouts, the top three automakers will still fail, as there will be no one left employed who can afford their product anymore.

Any fool can make predictions, so use the comments space to leave your predictions, if you please.