Friday, July 30, 2010

Message to a Carbuncle

You are not useless Andrew. You are, at one and the same time, better than, exactly equal to, and worse than useless. Many may wonder what genuinely useful societal function you perform, Andrew. None is overtly or remotely apparent, save one.

A carbuncle is useful only insofar as it indicates infection. Once you know that, the pain is just fucking annoying.

And that is you, Andrew Breibart. You are merely the swollen angry abscess telling society that something is wrong in the American body politic. You are symptomatic of a cynical and hidebound political infection. So, for that you are somewhat useful. But, not really.

We already knew that the country had a deeply-seated racial, politically cynical infection. Big time. Which means that you, Andrew Breitbart, are pretty much useless.

Except, you're not. You're worse than useless. You hurt. In a quite specific place. Curing that underlying infection, which gives rise to painful carbuncles such as yourself, is not on everyone's political agenda. And there you are, throbbing away as the underlying infection senses election season.

Rightly, it is your angry bloated self and your worse than useless, divisive poisonous ilk who foist your, and their, schismatic, race baiting lies upon society, whom society ought to have cast to the dour tent cities of Los Angeles, and Chicago, and St. Louis, or to have doomed to wander shattered, aimless, homeless roads, while unfortunate yahoo mishap abandons you to an anonymous, rat infested, shit strewn ditch, bleeding, fading, ... where until, finally, a blessed Mother Nature and her precious earth judiciously rend asunder your corrupted agglomeration of molecules, and employ them in genuinely useful enterprise.

But no. As we know, and in direct abeyance of the corporeal efficiencies of sweet Mother Nature, this just society has been held back by a connivance, a connivance of power and money. It is that openly growing societal infection by which worse than useless sores like you, Andrew, are not hence rendered into more useful enterprise.

Too often, good people wind up in grim and dire societal straits, people who believed that honest work and doing right was the way to make it. The "system," as they call it. Saps, as you surely see them. These are some of the folks living in cars, and tents, while an infected political calculus churns out racist bile, and raises to high red anger and mild celebrity, you, Andrew Breibart. There you are. Looking fat and angry and sassy. Doing quite well, it would seem. You're on television, and people are talking about you. Well taken care of. No just tent in sight.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

gulou yin yang

There's a big ol' woe is Chinese "progress" story over there at NYT. An historic shantytown neighbourhood is due to be Disneyfied, right along with their schoolchildren. Off the bat, a natural bifurcation of opinion takes place, one y'always gotta laugh at.

This bifurcation of story perspective branches the views of various academics, sociologists, historians, and other sniffy liberals who don't live in Gulou, from those of the people who actually live in Gulou -- have done so for a long time -- and who express themselves thusly,
“Tear the whole place down,” said Zhou Meihua, 72, who shares a 200-square-foot pair of rooms with three generations of family members. “If we get enough compensation, we’ll happily move out.”
While the liberal elite, who most assuredly do not live in Gulou, yowl,
"Oh, no! Save the quaint shantytown of Gulou! How quaint it must be to live in a shambles! We must save the small people in their precious small place."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Megrahi Redux

Once upon a time, The Megrahi Exodus was imagined:
The release of "convicted" Lockerbie bomber, and former Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset Akli al-Megrahi was presaged by an "annual gathering of influential people."

Britain's Lord Mandelson met Libyan president Colonel Muamar Gaddafi's grandson at the "Rothschild villa in Corfu" prior to the release from Scottish prison of Libyan intelligence officer and convicted criminal by a Dutch court under Scottish law in the 1988 Lockerbie Scotland case, the above-mentioned al-Megrahi. ...

More UK-Libyan trade deals are to follow. The US, too, is in on the action, as is France, Canada, and Russia. Indeed, the UK was lagging badly and needed to catch up. Oil, oil infrastructure, commercial construction, military hardware, ...
Well, how 'bout these apples?
A group of U.S. lawmakers have called for an investigation into whether BP may have played a role in lobbying for the release of Abdelbaset al Megrahi to secure an oil contract with the Libyan government.

"Reports have surfaced indicating that a 2007 oil agreement may have influenced the U.K. and Scottish governments' positions concerning Mr. Megrahi's release in 2009," wrote Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey in a letter to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Monday.

"The families of the victims of Pan Am flight 103 deserve to know whether justice took a back seat to commercial interests in this case," Lautenberg said.

BP, which plans to begin offshore drilling in Libya in the coming months, touted the 2007 oil agreement as "the single biggest exploration financial commitment an international energy company has ever made to Libya," according to the company's website.

The troubled oil giant stands to earn as much as $20 billion from the deal, ....
Yeah, quite a shocker.

Monday, July 12, 2010

a kick in the chuff with a frozen Boot.

That's a phrase my dad used to say. Ever had a kick in the chuff with a frozen boot? Doesn't sound like much fun. Confronted with some seemingly unpleasant task, yowls of imagined future pain would emanate, ensuing protests along the lines of "geesuzaitchkeeriste, I'd rather have ..." Like that. Purely literal, but in a metaphorical way. Really, whose got a freakin' frozen boot, fercrissakes? And what does that even mean? Is it filled with ice? What? Anyway, geesuz! I'm wandering off again. Fuck. Okay. Next.

Well, there are other kinds of chuffs and frozen boots out there, it turns out. The Pentagon has some, boots that is. Or rather, General David Petreaus, commander CENTCOM, has one; his own personal media boot to kick chuffs of people who doubt his Israeli bona-fides. Lyrically, Petraeus' poli-mil-media boot actually is named ... Boot! Bloody marvelous.

Lookin' like Positioning Petraeus has been, hmm, what word seems to fit here? ahh, ... slavishly employing Extra Old Stock neocon Max Boot to light up 'em media fires with tales of Petraeus affinity for and enduring love of Israel. Boot complies ably, so well, in fact, that Peraeus takes those Bootyized media directives and sends them out to variously annoying anti-war agitators -- look at this brilliant argument for killing more, more, more!!! or for why I am so great. It is written down. And written down by Max Boot, to boot!

So that means something, right? 'cause Max Boot writes the Petraeus agenda in Commentary. So it is written, and so it shall be.

Of course, we are talking about a war-mongering, hang-em high, neocon jackass (I think I could have just left that at 'neocon'), and their record of "so it shall be" ain't so great.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bernanke Panky

Readin' over Bloomberg way about how the Fed bought up all the shit that everyone knew was shit and said was shit, but which Bernanke's Federal Reserve said was all "investment-grade" shit. Which was shit.

Check out some of the Great Big Shit Pile the Federal Reserve bought from banks, and thence told the American public that they were not only going to get repaid but would make a small profit! Woo hoo! This'll be great! Who could possibly complain about a "bailout" if you were going make a profit? Ahh, those precious Wall Street wizards really were on our side.

Except, it was all a load of shit from the Great Big Shit Pile, the same shit pile everyone knew was a shit pile, a big one, and that the banks were desperately trying to keep covered with leaves, straw, and denial, lest anyone feint, or riot, at the sight and smell of it; Maiden Lane LLC , the American taxpayer-owned, once $28.8 billion "asset" closet, is now worth a whopping $27 billion and shrinking fast:
The so-called assets included collateralized debt obligations and mortgage-backed bonds with names like HG-Coll Ltd. 2007-1A that were so distressed, more than $40 million already had been reduced to less than investment-grade by the time the central bankers testified. The government also became the owner of $16 billion of credit-default swaps, and taxpayers wound up guaranteeing high-yield, high-risk junk bonds.

Maiden Lane ... was created to hold the assets the central bank acquired to facilitate JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s purchase of Bear Stearns.

When Bernanke and Geithner testified in April 2008, $42 million of the CDO securities the Fed would eventually buy had been downgraded to junk, data compiled by Bloomberg show. By the time the central bank funded its $28.8 billion loan to Maiden Lane 12 weeks later, about $172 million of such securities the Fed purchased were rated below investment grade

More than 88 percent of Maiden Lane’s CDO bonds and 78 percent of its non-agency residential mortgage-backed debt are now speculative grade ...

Maiden Lane also contains commercial real-estate loans and other mortgage debt.
American tax payers own commercial real estate paper! That's great news!

Federal Reserve Chair, Ben Bernanke, "received a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ..." Never has a "piled high and deep" attribute been more assiduously assigned to so appropriate a person as Ben Bernanke. I'm thinkin' MIT ought to stick to programmable mechanical robots, stop spitting out programmable economic ones.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

independence day

how ironic it surely is, that Senators of the US Congress decided to abjure their responsibilities to American citizens by denying an unemployment benefit extension so that they could all fuck off for their long, long Fourth of July weekend.

oil and hurricanes, together at last ...

One thing I haven't seen anyone mention is the potential of the rather strong albedo effects of the oil producing a knock-on warming of the Gulf of Mexico. It was already looking hottish earlier in the year, and now surface temperatures are hitting 30C.

The oil can only make this hotter, fuel for stronger hurricanes, which will wreck even greater havoc with "clean up," containment, and relief drilling, which in turn ensure that even more oil is shat into the sea, helping warm up things even more. Oh, yes, and let's do keep burning globs of the stuff on the surface. That'll help, too. Tremendous. Another gw positive feedback loop, with both horrific short and long term consequences.

The oil helps the hurricane get strong by trapping gobs of heat energy for the system. The hurricane helps the oil keep that go-juice flowing by fucking up all efforts to stop and contain the oil. And it will all come to a literal head midst hurricane, as Cat. 5 winds and pounding oily waves conjoin midair, like whales, and blow their wad in a finely aerated mist of moist, oily, toxic sludge all over everything.

This looks like the start of a beautiful friendship.