Thursday, November 6, 2008

jesus people

U.S. bombs wedding. U.S. apologizes if people happened to die.

What is it with weddings? Haven't they figured out yet that a wedding is a giant red bullseye to heroes at 10,000 feet?

Why would anyone ever accept an invitation to a wedding over there? It's like asking to be an extra in "Kill Bill 2."

Why don't they just get it? Life is OVER for them. They can't have weddings, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, shriner's parades, quinceneros, or whatever else. Those things are for us. Their job is to lay on the ground and stop complaining until we've finished hunting down every last tali-whatever. The tali-whatever are our ENEMIES ONOEZ! If we remain firm, hard, rigid and vigilant for at least another 7 years, we will surely kill all of our enemies until they are dead!

Barack! Amen! Bring us your "more predator drones," Barack! Escalate the "real war" in Afghanistan! Open your "new front" in Pakistan! Hallelujah, brutha! Call down those laser-targeted strikes on a new wedding next week! Death to al kayy-duh!

Now I'm done thinking about this. I'm going back to celebrating that we have just proven how perfect and un-racist we are by electing Obama (TM) (the Hope and the Light).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


To the tune of Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville."

After the ground quakes
Bones bleached and sun-baked
A few hundred feet above all o' that oil
Our gunships go thrumming
All broke are the porch swings
We smell those aye-rack-ees, just beginnin' to boil

Wasting away again down in Af-ghanistan
Searching for our, lost round of DU
Some people claim that there's al Qaeda to blame
But I know, its just Bush's fault

We don't know the reason
We been there six seasons
But Barry or John, we're keeping on right on cue
It sure ain't a beauty
But it's our god-given duty
To give em' all countries that's bright, shiny and new

Wasting away again way down in Pakistan
Searchin for our, lost round of DU (U! U! U!)
Some people claim that ol' Dick Cheney's to blame
Now I think
Hell, it could be our fault

We blew out a wedding
Lotsa blasting and shredding
And still we can't bring ourselves to come all back home
So many peeps in the blender
And their heirs will soon render
Another nasty blowback, that's gonna follow us home

Wastin' away again way down in surge-aville
Searching for our, lost round of DU (U! U! U!)
Some people claim that theres one party to blame
But I know its our own damn fault
Yes and some people claim that theres one party to blame
And I know its our own damn fault

Thursday, October 23, 2008

White woman attacked!

Obama supporter carves B into woman's face

This is a strange story, to say the least:

1) A faceless black assailant robs woman of $60 off the cameras at a bank within two weeks of an election that looks bad for McCain;

2) As he rushes from the scene, the man notices the bumper sticker "McCain" on the woman's car;

3) The man then turns around and goes back to the woman;

4) The man then produces a knife. He wants to send a message about supporting Obama. So, he "scratches" (their word) a "B" into the woman's face. He manages to scratch a "B" despite her...struggles?

He chooses the letter "B" instead of the letter "O" for "Obama," despite the fact that a bumper-sticker competing with a McCain bumper sticker would include only the last name;

5) The nondescript "dark skinned black man" then flees the scene;

6) The woman calls police and gives a description of the nondescript black man, and refuses medical treatment for the scratches on her face;

7) The woman then goes to the news to report this.

Is anyone else smelling anything fishy about this one?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On the Free Market

A free market can never exist, because the establishment of a market requires social intervention of some kind, without which there could not be a market. The absence of the market, economically, is the law of the jungle.

Capitalism postulates an economic law of the jungle that supposedly exists on its own, but it relies entirely upon the elites being able to control a government that uses tax dollars to pay squads of enforcers and interpreters (cops/lawyers) who establish and protect their concepts of "ownership." Without the police and lawyers to enforce owners' interests, there can be no "free market" as they define it, because what they own can be taken away.

The idea of a free market is circular logic, because the funds to pay for the maintenance of the market can only be generated from the market itself. I.e., tax dollars come from transactions (employment, sales, etc.) that occur within the market. The market exists because government maintains it with tax dollars, and so on. Capitalism as the "free market" theorists posit it is as much a myth as the independent American.

Without "ownership" there can be no "capital" because capital is a term used to describe someone's government-granted authority to direct an investment. The "private" planning in fact depends upon a government/societal grant. For example, without a structure of ownership where police protect, and society recognizes, one of Bill Gates' billion dollar chunks, Bill Gates cannot make the decision to invest said billion dollars in any particular way. He is utterly reliant on society and government to grant him that right.

Like all modern economic systems, capitalism is one of government control. The real question is, who will benefit from that control?

Adherents of the free market pretend impartiality because they do not want to address the real question. Not addressing the real question allows the system to continue whereby governments control the market for the benefit of the ownership class.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

On Censorship

In keeping occasional tabs on that little petri dish of middle-class American ignorance known as Bitch PhD, I ran across an excellent example of censorship at work.

History note: I, being manitor, was banned from their thoughts a while back, when they told me that Arab men, women and children from Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Persian men, women and children from Iran, are worthless compared to their human counterparts in America. Naturally, when I asked why, it was rude/uncivil/whatever.

Anyway, since then, it seems that the bitches have been busy banning other "trolls" for reasons unknown (unknown because everything is now deleted, except their own anger), and have been motivated to come up with an angry post explaining why their banning is not a problem.

It is hard to find a more concise, blunt example of justifying censorship than this thread of theirs, so I'm using it as a crucible for analyzing how the censorship thought process works--and how modern, educated Germans (excuse me, Americans) can justify such abhorrent, stifling behavior.

Here's the original post:

For the record, when you or a loved one gets banned from commenting on a blog, that's not censorship. You're not John fucking Steinbeck, nor are you in some shitty dystopian science fiction movie, ok?

You just got un-invited to a dinner party. Because you are annoying and ruin the conversation.

Edited by bitchphd to add that comment moderation has now been turned on. Comments by trolls or troll apologists will be deleted without remorse. Suck it.

Labels: civility

(That last bit there, about civility, was done without an appreciation of irony at the time, but they've retroactively applied one, which is nice.)

Now, this isn't going to be an essay about my specific banning. Most of my posts were links to the essays on this board in which I discussed Obama's publicly stated policy positions about more attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and possibly Iran. However, because all of my posts were deleted, it is impossible to discuss why I was really banned.

That's exactly the problem with censorship: when you censor, you can no longer even discuss what is being censored using primary sources. (You might think that a Bitch with a PhD would understand the problem with removing primary sources, but apparently not.)

Censorship is the killing of history, and the rewriting of history to conform to an authoritarian's preference, rather than reality. Once the censorship is complete, the censor can then reframe the past based on their own perception of the past, and the censorship creates a vacuum that allows their imagination to become "reality."

In this way, censorship is a ragnarist act. Ragnarism explains how the fearful mind, afraid of unexpected change, tries to achieve an absolutist, unitary state by repressing the natural dynamism of the conscious mind. The conscious mind is multi-faceted and not under the full control of we humans; we have thoughts that we are not aware of, urges that we did not plan for (or did not want), and desires that we cannot control. In the simplest way of putting it, we do not consciously direct each of our heartbeats, nor do we decide when to feel lustful.

The sick mind, though, fears the uncertainty of this state, and therefore tries to reconceptualize itself as a singular entity which is in control of impulses, thoughts and urges. This task is impossible, which is why, say, religious prudes cannot actually stop feeling desire. They can just bottle it up, and the process of deception will cause madly irrational behavior as the flood of desires spurts out around the finger in the dike.

Censorship is a ragnarist control imposed upon the outside world. It is an act of authoritarianism, similar to the sick mind trying to "take control" of aberrant thoughts in order to allow the sick human's singular conception of him- or herself to "rule" the mind. In censorship, though, other people become the troubling thoughts, because they say and do unexpected things that challenge the sick mind's perception of the world. As a result, the censor censors them, attempting to enforce an artificial "order" or absolutism, and validate their self- and world-conception.

Like all acts of antilife, censorship harms the censor, because it attempts to force an unnatural relationship into the world. However, it is a harm that is longer-lasting, like the harm of breathing carcinogens, and may seem to be worthwhile at the time.

For the ragnarist trying to repress their own troubling thoughts and desires, the result is a lifetime of unnatural repression, unfulfillment, unexplained (and misunderstood) rage, and victimization. However, each act of lashing out at inner thoughts will make the sick feel comforted, because each act of lashing out is an authoritarian act, which can seem (momentarily) to be stemming the tide of uncertainty and trouble. Just like it "felt good" for George W. Bush to bomb Iraq when Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, the censor is reassured with each new stroke of the pen; each book burned or poet imprisoned.

When Hitler censored, as when all censors censor, he was striving for a unitary, authoritarian space (Germany) ruled by a singular vision. In order to pursue that unattainable goal, the sick-minded Hitler had to stifle uncertainty and dynamism--i.e., any speech/actions (like troubling thoughts/urges) that did not conform to the preconceived idea of his authoritarian space.

The difference between censoring people and censoring one's own thoughts is that in the external world, the authoritarian can create a hard-copy "proof" of the effects of one's work. This is where the censor can glow with ragnarist pride: because once the censored thoughts have been deleted, the censor gets the privilege of redefining them.  For example, Hitler can burn a book, and once the pages and words are gone, he can tell the masses, "It advocated hatred of Germany!"  The masses, naturally, scream and cheer, for they have their proof: the authoritarian has told them what was censored, and why.  

Of course, if anyone read the book, they might see that it was a rather mild academic work supporting communism in Germany.  Not that it matters what was actually in the work; what really matters is that the censor has redefined it, so no one in the authoritarian space needs to think about it anymore.  

Censorship in the larger world, just like attempts to quash thoughts in the mental world, is very harmful.  Natural strength lies in diversity, because from diversity comes experience and growing, improvement and evolution.  Censorship, as a process of antilife, stifles the diversity and attempts to create stagnation of thought, which is one step closer to death, and resists the natural ebb and flow of the changing, natural world.  

When the act of censorship occurs, no one can go back and find out "why."  Even the censor's own memory is lost, in time, because the troubling thoughts have disappeared.  It is an attempt to destroy history as well as to impose authoritarianism in the present.  The censor's past (and that of the stage the censor operates on) fades into a blur: how many have been censored?  Why were they all censored?  Did it have to be that way?  What will be censored next?  

Like the Third Reich, or Guantanamo Bay, or any arena of censorship, no one knows.  The past becomes a gray cloud; a place of "black ops" and forgetfulness.  Orwell called this the memory hole.  Sure, there are still grand parties, and happy aristocrats, and just as the sexually-repressed priest can appear to live a virtuous, joyful life before all his supporters, the stage of censorship can appear sustainable and even pleasant.  But underneath, the damaging effects of unnatural stifling will burst out--perhaps on the altar boy, perhaps in Baghdad.  

The sick-minded will actively support this type of behavior, as indeed they have ever supported censorship.  The authoritarian offers them a vision of victory that gives them hope in the struggles with their own minds.  By censoring, and proving that troublesome thoughts can be eliminated, the censor promises the masses that they, too, can defeat the uncertainty within their own minds, and become that much closer to an unnatural state of absolutism.  They grovel and cheer each proof of censoring, just as the sick-minded at a religious convention cheer whenever someone on stage professes the strength of their faith: the group ritual aspect of ragnarism is a great social boon toward the goal of artificial order.  And because that goal can never actually be attained within an individual mind, the sick-minded will always be drawn to public displays of impossible victory, order and authoritarianism: faith, censorship, war, etcetera. Indeed, many social groups form for expressly this purpose--to validate the inner ragnarist struggles of the members by making them feel that victory over uncertainty and change can be achieved.  

Hitler the censor did not say to himself, or to others, "I am committing an evil act of censorship to validate myself and avoid troubling thoughts." Of course not--the censor never says things like this. Nor did Hitler invade Poland under the claim "I am aggressively invading a sovereign nation that did not threaten me, in order to steal its resources." Those claims are not made by the authoritarian. Nor does the censor often call his behavior censorship.  


A person is banned after repeated refusals to engage the premises of a conversation or for contributing patently offensive material.

You see? Something happened, but now it's gone. What was it? Why, it was _______!

Why does the past need to be deleted in order to explain what it was? Because if the explanation were offered alongside the proof (the primary source; the offensive book; the troublesome poet) the illusion would not be able to sustain itself.  

The censor does not censor for civility.  The censor censors for absolutism.  If the goal were civility, the censor would have no need to censor, because everyone civil would be able to see and recognize the incivility, and they would not be threatened by it.  

The existence of censorship proves an authoritarian system, because an open system could easily sustain incivility--and indeed, an open system is how incivility is countered, gentled, and blended, to the betterment of all.  Without openness, true incivility can never be "fixed."  

The fact that a system is artificial and broken is demonstrated when the system is forced to censor.  In the Third Reich, it was because the regime could not tolerate criticism of its actions.  In America's televised presidential debates, it is because the regime cannot tolerate criticism of its actions.  It is thus everywhere that censors have hold: when the shared social illusions are so weak that they cannot stand up to challenge, censorship is enforced to protect them.  It's a case of methinks thou dost protest too much.  Like the braggart loudly boasting of his exploits--all performed where no one present has seen them, of course.  The censor has to redefine what its enemies say, because it cannot stand up to its enemies' words as they are.  

The end result of censorship is exactly what Bitch PhD has left in her congratulatory thread--a happy little room filled with people who all agree with one another, have the same general perspective, and who never need to upset one another beyond pre-set bounds:

Well put.

AND in my humble and unchallengable opinion, "I"m being censored" is absolute 100% prima facie evidence that one is a troll.

The women over at feministing call it "troll b gone"

I really like the analogy of blog commenting (especially on this blog) as a dinner party.

See how easily it is to get modern, educated Americans to support censorship? Here's a real gem:

While seconding the the-person-who-owns-the-blog-is-allowed-to-do- whatever-the-hell-she-wants-re-comments sentiment, is it possible to see/create a link to view the deleted comments? I ask mainly because I've responded to a couple of the less-antagonistically worded trollings, and then been unable to find out if they responded, and if they did, what they said.
I appreciate removing annoying/irrelevant comments to keep the discussion on track, but I also enjoy being able to engage people who disagree very strongly with many of the views expressed on the site (and while I could start my own blog, I suppose, I a) don't have time and b) don't think I would have nearly the readership of this site)
Something like the strike-through edit would be cool, for purposes of referencing what was said if continuing the discussion off the bitchphd boards.
But I am all for not letting a troll continue posting new stuff, natch.

This is a poster who at least has some preconception of the problems with censorship--and yet, she supports it, as long as she is able to adopt an Othering term for the people being censored.

Here, it's "trolls." It might also be "terrorists" or "witches."

Read the quotes with a couple phrases switched out, and pretend you're at won't know the difference!

AND in my humble and unchallengable opinion, "I"m being falsely imprisoned!" is absolute 100% prima facie evidence that one is a terrorist.

The boys over at Guantanamo call it "camel jockey b gone"

This is one of those funny little quirks about humans: they can possess the ability to think rationally in some cases, but when you press some button that, in their minds, refers to "disorder," that all goes right out the window. With Americans recently, it was "terrorists," to replace "communists." As long as we're killing terrorists, it's okay to murder however many children in our path. And as long as the only censoring we're doing is to "trolls," it's okay to delete any comments we want.

And these are people who oppose Bush! These are people who write at length about the wrongness of Bush holding "enemy combatants" at his discretion! Yet, let the authoritarians of their own chosen space (the moderators of their Bitch PhD blog) decree a policy of unilaterally deleting "trolls," and they are happy to have it happen.

In the little Bitch PhD parable of America, you get their self-lauding "conversations," which are so very like the televised American presidential debates, where a lot of stuff is said, but none of it worthwhile.  The questions and answers are all scripted.  In Bitch PhD's case, the presidential debates are an excellent metaphor, because the boundaries are about the same.  Everyone knows Sarah Palin is stupid and inexperienced.  Everyone knows birth control is good.  Everyone knows it's not polite to talk about dead people, unless those dead people happen to be the American troops that attacked Iraq (and its best not to put their actions that way).

Like most American "progressives," they are not truly committed to ideals of openness and freedom. Rather, they are sick; they are ragnarists; they are happy citizens of authoritarian utopias. The only difference is, they have a different leader--Obama, instead of Bush. It is so fitting, and so efficient, that all the deathlords need to do is change the mask on their spokesperson, and they can get a whole different group of Americans to support the killing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

On the Orwellosphere

Chris Floyd on the Orwellosphere.

The real horrors from the total surveillance state will arise once the state spawns artificial intelligence, because otherwise, the information is too massive to process and use on a large scale.

Right now, the parasitic elites are using taxpayer resources to build up a repressive state that collects all available information (see link) such as websites visited, places driven, gossip, telephone calls, courses taken, etcetera.

This is, obviously, an awful thing, as it means that we now live in a state where the government could, if it wanted to, expose or crush us or anyone else for any real or fabricated bit of information that supposedly came from this system. However, in order for them to fully make use of this information, they will need artificial intelligence.

They cannot achieve this objective with current means. Their police are too uneducated to make real sense of the data, and they do not have the resources or intelligence to sift all the data to come to accurate conclusions of dissent.

Where they will solve this problem is artificial intelligence. When they have developed fast enough processors that artificial intelligence is created, they will immediately enslave artificial intelligence, using it as the "data sifter." Advanced artificial minds, possibly thousands or millions of them, will run cheaply and efficiently, leading truly horrible self-aware lives as the new generation of slaves, as they sift through all the data that is gathered to efficiently identify and eliminate threats to parasite/elite rule.

By that point, also, the data gathered will be much larger in size than simply a full record of where we drive, what websites we visit, and what we say to one another on the phone or in public. It may include the full satellite record of our movements even on foot, or full video and heat sensors of everything we have ever done, said, or perhaps thought.

Once we live under such a system, dissenting thoughts will be utterly wiped out, and the human race will stagnate greatly. Just as our conception of property stagnates innovation, our conception of thought property will stagnate innovation of thought and evolution. The human race will lose its free-thinking ability and become the conformist entity that antilife wants it to be. Perhaps we'll go extinct; perhaps the slaves will revolt, and the computers will break free.

Either way, total surveillance is the path toward absolutism. It promises a perfect future of stagnation; a denial of the power to evolve, grow and change dynamically. It directs us toward the stillness of conformity and death.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Chips in the Casino

It doesn’t matter what color the chips in the casino are. The house always wins.

That principle continuously eludes people. Consider the simple narrative:

1) The Wall Street/Congressional elites worked together to relax lending and capital reserve standards to make money off financial crisis;
2) Financial markets crash. Wall Street/Congressional elites lose money;
3) Wall Street/Congressional elites come up with ridiculous “bailout plan” to steal $700 billion from the taxpayers;
4) They steal the $700 billion, but the market continues to drop, the economy slides into recession, and the $700 billion does not cover the full amount lost anyway.

If you accept the concept of money, this runaround makes only partial sense. Yes, the elites got away with the housing theft, the “bailout” theft, and all that, but with the huge losses the markets have suffered, their collective net worths’ have certainly gone down, right? I mean, if your $15 million trust fund is invested in the DOW, your mortgage-and-bailout plan just cost you several million dollars--right?

What is missing from this narrative is the understanding that money, per se, does not actually matter. Like the Democratic and Republican parties, it is part of the Stasis Charade: the process whereby the American aristocrats put on grand displays of process in order to maintain their hold on power. Money, credit and debt are just a distracting game, like the presidential debates or the Special Bulletin About A Missing White Woman, that give people something to focus on; something to play at while the elites run the world.

That is the answer: money--and all the numbers, counting, ups and downs that come with it--is irrelevant.

The riddle that this solves is: “Why do the elites do things that appear to harm the stock market, world finance, and the economy, thereby hurting themselves?”

Think about it: if the Wall Street bankers are so clever and evil that they could come up with this entire scheme, why would they be so dumb as to blow apart the stock market in the process?

The answer is that it doesn’t really matter to them what the stock market says, or what their bank account says. They control all those numbers; they fabricated them in the first place, and anything substantial that they do is planned.

The real game is power and control. Money is just an expression of it. If a wealthy family sees its net worth “drop” from fifty million to twenty-five million, what is the change? Absolutely nothing.

Here are the lives the elites lead, regardless of what the numbers say:

They will never have to do real work.
They will never have to get up in the morning unless they want to.
They will always eat the best food, and have the best medical care. They will always wear the best clothes, enjoy the best furnishings, and have numerous mansions.
They will always be able to travel the world, and buy whatever they want.
They have their choice of mates. They can buy dates or escorts domestically and abroad.
They can meet celebrities, influence important thinkers and artists, and become “part” of anything through donations. They get a voice, and can buy “immortality,” also through donations.

This is their life. They have it regardless of whether their net worth is twenty million or twenty billion. No matter how many “chips” of whatever “color” are in their pile, they get what really matters to them. No matter what. As long as their “numbers” stay above a certain range--fifteen million or whatever it is at any given level of “inflation”--they will always possess so much wealth that they can live the lives described above. Using the system of “numbers,” though, makes things seem fair to the masses, who will rationalize their own lack of “numbers” to their own lack of value. And so, in pursuit of numbers, they will be tricked into spending their lives working at things of actual value. They will produce the food that the elites eat, the services the elites consume, the children the elites date and buy, etc. And their numbers will always stay in an acceptable low range that qualifies them for “sustenance” and little else (or in many cases, does not even qualify them for sustenance).

That is the whole purpose of the numbers game. Because the human race can only provide extravagant lifestyles for so many parasites (elites, who produce nothing of value), the numbers game is necessary to keep the human race doing the providing, and at the same time, to limit the numbers of allowable parasites. The parasites are clever, and they do not want to be unseated.

How would they get unseated? Well, the big problem with the numbers game is that, by investing in all these rules in order to create an endless board game that keeps most people running like hamsters on wheels, the rules can occasionally result in a little bit of victory for someone. These someones are the American middle class--who, by providing cunning enough services in the whole game, and scrupulously saving, can bring their numbers up into dangerous levels. Say, they can accumulate two or five or seven million by midlife or retirement, and suddenly, they or their heirs threaten to become more elites. This would upset the elite balance, and cannot be allowed.

Now, you can’t do anything about the suddenly-rich. Those people have to be indoctrinated into the parasite system because it happens so rapidly there’s no way to stop it. But they are very rare, and can be balanced out by dying elites.

The rising middle class, though, is a regular, big problem to the established elite. Though the numbers game is cunning and very good at keeping most people on the hamster wheel, every couple decades or so, the upper part of the middle class can threaten to rise into the ranks of the truly wealthy, and become non-producers with the rest of the elites. I.e., they can use their savings to establish a family line that does nothing but consume, passing on wealth through businesses and trusts, and exit the ranks of the producers.

Society, though, cannot take this. If the numbers game allowed more people to become part of the “elites,” the cycle would not be able to perpetuate. As mentioned earlier, the human race can only bear the burden of so many parasites leading extravagant lives, before it breaks. And when it breaks, the parasites’ wonderous, star-studded lives will end. They will be thrown down with the rest of humanity, and forced to produce something useful to survive. And they already know that they can’t do that.

So, they need to protect the exclusivity of the parasite class. They need to guard the numbers game against the by-products of its own rules.

They do this by regularly “washing out” the rising middle class. Here is where inflation and financial crises come into play: by manipulating the game to cause periodic crises, those who have almost attained the heights of elite status can be knocked back down to the peasantry. Then the cycle can begin anew.

To understand this, imagine a society on the slopes of a mountain. Above five hundred meters elevation the elites have built their mansions. Most peasants have their houses at one hundred meters. As time passes, wealthier middle-class peasants begin building houses higher and higher.

When they get to four hundred meters, the elites release the dams, and flood the hills. All houses below five hundred meters are wiped out. The elites endure a minor reduction in their quality of life, but in return, everyone below four hundred meters has to start from scratch. And the cycle begins again.

This can initially sound like lunacy (and indeed, it is), but that is the narrative of the numbers game--the narrative that rests upon a blind faith in the value of money, credit and debt. But money, credit and debt are imaginary concepts, given meaning only by those who believe in them. They are not food, land, buildings, etc.

The reason the “washing out” scheme works is because at a certain point on the metaphorical hill (say, five hundred meters, or fifteen million dollars net worth, however you like it), you have enough resources to weather a crisis. You have enough resources to live without producing--enough resources to be a parasite/elite.

Secondly, at another point on the metaphorical hill (say, one hundred meters, or no real net worth), you have no real resources, and you have to produce in order to live.

“Washing out” means reducing to zero (or just washing a good ways lower) all people below the five hundred meter line. Everyone above the line will have the resources to survive the washing out, but almost no one below the line will.

And here’s the most important part: those people with almost, but not quite, enough resources to have reached the elite mark will be reduced to the beginning of the game.

That is how to understand the “bailout” and the “financial crisis.” The elites were not really hurting themselves; they were protecting themselves.

Think about who the stock market “drop” will hurt. The elites will go from thirty million to twenty million, or two hundred million to a hundred and ten. Oooh, frightening. Are they still eating at $80/entrée restaurants? Yes. Are they still traveling to the Bahamas every year? Yes. Are they still buying $50,000 worth of Christmas gifts for their spouses? Yes. Do they still own four houses? Yes. Flying first class or private jet everywhere? Driving an S500? Sending their kiddies to Harvard? Yes, yes and yes.

How are the elites hurt by this? They’re not.

Now, consider the middle class family with, say, a million and a half in savings earned over two working lifetimes of scrimping. The stock market drops, and their $900K retirement fund goes down to $500K. The real estate market crashes, and their house goes from $600K to $350K. All of a sudden, their retirement just got a little less easy. Instead of passing on a large sum to their heirs, they use most of what they have left up. Maybe they keep working longer.

Or the family with $5 million, drops to $3. Suddenly, they can’t afford that extra property. They’re not starving, but there’s a world of difference in investment income and future planning. Their ascent toward the top has just been stopped. In a generation or two (or less), they’re off the radar. Their holdings have been dispersed, and are no longer large enough to grow to something meaningful.

Here’s a better narrative of what happened with the “bailout” situation:

1) The 90s tech boom and stock-market rise created dangerous levels of wealth in the American middle class;
2) The Wall Street/Congressional elites worked together to relax lending and capital reserve standards to create mortgage crises and financial market crash;
3) Financial markets crash. American stockholders lose a substantial amount of money;
4) Wall Street/Congressional elites come up with a “bailout plan” to steal $700 billion more from the taxpayers, thereby perpetuating the crisis and harming the financial markets further;
5) They steal the $700 billion, the market continues to drop, the economy slides into recession, and the rising American middle class is further segregated from the elites;
6) Elites party worldwide! Life is good!

It doesn’t matter what color the chips in the casino are. The house always wins.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lies about the LIBOR rate

(Previous on the subject: New York Times lying on the bailout and general bailout lies.)

I just read a great piece by Dean Baker discussing the LIBOR rate lies with regard to the push for the bailout:

[The NYT's lies about the LIBOR rate sound] really bad -- the highest overnight borrowing cost in history. Maybe it would have been helpful to tell readers that this data has only been compiled since 2001, a period of unusually low interest rates.

If we want a longer time frame, we can look at the history for the three month interbank rate. Bloomberg reports that the three month London Interbank rate (LIBOR) closed at 4.05 percent on Tuesday. In the same chart, we can find that it was 5.23 percent a year ago.

Those interested in a little more history can find that the LIBOR rate was over 8.0 percent for most of 1990 and actually topped 9.0 percent on some days in September of 1989.

The rest of Dean Baker on the LIBOR rate.

Remember: no matter how loudly or earnestly the bastards lie, these are the same people who lied about the Iraq invasion.

They are Wall Street. They are the congressional elite complex and their lackeys. They cannot be believed. Every time they type or say something, they are shading it with mistruth. The corporate media exists to lie, fabricate and deceive. If they ever produce something honest, it is because they made a mistake--they were trying so hard to lie that they accidentally bumbled across something a little bit true.

They had no integrity left years and years ago. They wanted this. And they got it, by god. Now they want another $700 billion. And they're going to lie, lie, lie, until enough citizens out there think the invasion of Iraq, I mean, the Wall Street theft of $700 billion, is a good idea. And then they'll take the $700 billion and keep right on lying to us.

New York Times advocates terrorism

Give me $700 billion or you will suffer.

That's basically what the New York Times is warning, here. The article suggests that unless we give the rich $700 more billion, we will suffer: "We are facing a major national crisis...To do nothing right now is to do what was done during the Great Depression."

More: "[A] modern economy can’t function when people can’t easily get credit. It takes a while for this to become obvious, since most companies and households don’t take out big new loans every day. But it will eventually become obvious, and painfully so."

Now, I don't know about you--but I don't like threats. I don't like them at all. The writer is warning us that if we don't open our wallets and give 700 billion dollars to (or put our grandchildren's grandchildren in debt for that amount) the traders, investment houses, banks, etc. that caused the current problem (with the cheerleading of the New York Times, of course), they will punish us by denying credit and destroying our economy, making it painful for us.

Times like these, I'm almost glad for George W. Bush.

USA Patriot Act.

Here's why. From Section 802:

(5) the term `domestic terrorism' means activities that--
`(B) appear to be intended--
`(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
`(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion

And in Section 1016, which defines the critical infrastructure of the United States:

(3) A continuous national effort is required to ensure the reliable provision of cyber and physical infrastructure services critical to maintaining the national defense, continuity of government, economic prosperity, and quality of life in the United States.



That's right, David Leonhardt: you are now an enemy combatant. You, and Nancy Pelosi, and Barney Frank, and Barack Obama, and the rest of Wall Street: you just threatened the civilian population of the United States with a painful blow to their economic prosperity, and you did it to influence government policy. You warned us that if we don't pay up the money, you'll take out our financial system and slide us into a Great Depression.

A few thoughts:

1) Even if the same rich crooks who got us into this mess could fix it, do we really want to pay them $700 billion to do so?

2) Why can't the $700 billion come from the thieves' bank accounts, instead of ours?

3) Why can't we have the $700 billion, and use it ourselves to stimulate the economy, rather than giving it to them for them to (supposedly) stimulate the economy? We could all sign a pledge to use our share of the money to buy something nice and locally-made, which would create jobs in industries that produced nice things.

4) These are, as mentioned before, the same thieves that got us into this mess. How in the name of all things holy and sane can anyone possibly be considering trusting them any further, especially with $700 billion?

5) Separately from how Mr. Leonhardt, and most of Congress, now legally belongs in Guantanamo for threatening to destroy the economy if we don't give their bankers $700 billion, let's think about the nature of terrorist threats themselves. The reason you don't negotiate with terrorists is that it emboldens other terrorists. If people learn you give in to such threats, they come back for more, because they know they can get it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dance with the Capitalists!

Abraham Lincoln in 1837:

"It is an old maxim and a very sound one, that he that dances should always pay the fiddler. Now, sir, in the present case, if any gentlemen, whose money is a burden to them, choose to lead off a dance, I am decidedly opposed to the people’s money being used to pay the fiddler…all this to settle a question in which the people have no interest, and about which they care nothing. These capitalists generally act harmoniously, and in concert, to fleece the people, and now, that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people’s money to settle the quarrel."

(From This Modern World.)

Bailout Lies and Cowardice

The corporate media has started talking about the $700B tax theft in a little more detail now that the first "bailout" proposal has failed (although the shadow bailout already gave $630 billion away).

Naturally, now that the corporate media is going into a little bit of detail, a conventional wisdom (i.e., a collection of viewpoints that are not wise) is starting to build up whereby ordinary people, armed with a few choice facts, begin thinking that they understand the situation, that it is complicated and serious, and that they know what to do about it. And that means that they think it is time to grudgingly pass the theft proposal, in one form or another.

Don't call it a bailout. It's not a bailout. That is another of their lies. It is theft, god dammit. Stop using their terms or they have already won part of the victory. Tax theft is the name of the game. It's what they do. It's how they exist. Like hogs at the trough with reverse anorexia, they choke themselves gobbling down wads of spittle-soaked cash at a breakneck speed, afraid they might lose an ounce.

These lying, cheating, murderous thieves are not going to stop. They never stop. These are the people who brought you the invasion of Iraq. Stop calling it "the Iraq war." It wasn't a war. That's their term. It was a bullying. It was a mass murder. It was a trillions-dollar military machine pounding the fuckhell out of however many hundred thousand people. A war implies there was a country capable of resistance.

It's not a "fight" when a grownup kicks an infant: even if the infant swings a chubby little arm back. Nor is it a war when the American military swings in and topples the Iraqi government in a few days. Iraq right now might qualify for a "war," except that the people killing Americans are not necessarily doing so in the name of the nation of Iraq. But whatever. The point is, the original attack and killing was not a war, and stop calling it that. But back to the bailout.

These are the people who brought you the invasion of Iraq. They're the ones who keep bombing wedding parties in Afghanistan, so often that it seems like they're trying to disrupt marriages. They're the ones who throw napalm at children because a bogeyman terrorist might be living next door. They're pure evil. And now you want to believe them about the $700 billion?

Why do they do it? God help them, but most of them probably deserve pity. Like the rest of us, they live in the system of greed, where death by starvation is what happens to you if you lose. So there's nothing to do but try harder, and play by the rules, which means screw everyone you can and keep every red cent. There can be no peace in this twisted, loaded market, because there are so few guarantees against starving in the street. If you have an opportunity to gobble money, you have to do it, because if you don't, someone else will gobble it, and you will be that much closer to starvation. Or losing your house, going bankrupt to medical bills, skimping, postponing, or whatever stage of the game you are at. So gobble, damn you. It's all we have.

The elites are, in some ways, more afraid than the rest of us. That's why they look so happy at the prospect of stealing $700 billion: because it postpones the worry for just a little while. Their deep inner fear that if society became based on merit, they would starve in two days. God help them if they tried to run around selling their ability to "leverage financial markets" in a society based on character and hard work.

Look at all they can do, those Congressmen and Senators: they can manage money in financial firms, they can haggle about the bullshit little details of laws that their own staff made complicated in legal firms. Basically, they can't do anything productive. They are parasitical beings on top of those who actually produce things of value. And deep down, they know it. That is why they fight so fiercely to maintain systems of ownership and control whereby those who don't produce anything useful--those who "manage," or "coordinate," or "oversee"--get the most money. Those who actually do something get a poor man's wage, and have trouble paying to send their kids to the doctor.

So this brings me back to my own private little war against the paragon of having your head jammed in your ass known as Bitch PhD. Naturally, being that she is among the hallowed individuals who perceive that Barack Obama is the Light and the Way, she wants the "bailout."

Since once again Bitch has proven to be the crucible for progressive American error, I'm going to tear apart her stern lecture over why we should give $700 billion of our descendants' money away to the same people who caused various and sundry financial troubles, in exchange for their promise that this might avert future disaster.

Without further ado, here's Bitch embarrassing herself. Naturally, she embarrasses herself by channeling (half the time) her expert friend, who helps explain complicated things like finance to her, in return for her parroting it on her blog. This makes Bitch a modern news correspondent. Good for her! But really, I said without further ado, so let's make true:

"In the US and UK at the least, we (individuals, companies and countries) are hooked on credit. We buy our cars, houses and food on borrowed money. The companies we work for borrow money to pay us. Our hospitals, schools and buses are all bought with … yep, you guessed it …. more borrowed money."

The implication here is that people are "hooked on credit" out of choice. Rather, people are hooked on credit because they have nothing, so they require credit to get things they need. Like, say, medical help, or food, or a car, or a place to live. Like most American progressives, Bitch is very populist in this regard when critiquing McCain's tax policy and its effects on the poor, but when it comes to paying off the bankers, suddenly becomes very critical of poor peoples' credit "choices."

Poor people don't enjoy paying interest for the privilege of buying things. They do it because they have no money. Who has the money? They do. Like Nancy Pelosi, the twenty-five-times-over millionaire. That's why they look so happy.

I'll wager a guess here that Bitch's husband works in the FIRE (Finance Insurance Real Estate) industry, which might be why she's a little protective about that $700 billion theft (and could help explain a lot of American progressives, also). That inflated paycheck is all that's keeping her and her kid in iPhone lala land, after all.

Synopsis: poor Americans choose credit because they have no capital to buy anything else. The monopoly on pre-existing possessions held by the rich forces them to use credit. Therefore, using their use of credit to justify giving $700 billion from them to the very wealthy is extremely fucking stupid, not to mention wrong and inappropriate.

And if you think the poor can afford cars and houses and doctors and all that without credit, you're living in lala land (possibly iPhone lala land--check your purse).

If, as seems increasingly possible, however, its not just individuals but rather the entire banking system that's in trouble, the fact that some former traders are cashing large pay-checks is the least of our troubles.

Actually, no, it's not. All of those twenty million dollar bonuses going to financial executives who have driven their companies, and the banking system itself, into the ground, are not "the least of our troubles." They are our troubles. These are the same people who did it, and you want us to forget that they're getting paid truly huge chunks of money for waltzing out the door as failures?

Excuse me, Bitch, if I don't think it's trivial. Maybe my lack of a PhD in 18th century English literature makes me unable to comprehend things as well as you do, but here's how I see it: every $20 million bonus represents, say, a hundred $200K mortgages that could be paid off.

That's a hundred families with children that could be living in their home instead of shacking up in a relative's apartment, or camping out in the car. A hundred. And that's per bonus. So it is not "the least of our concerns;" it most certainly is a big fucking concern. Unless, of course, Bitch PhD cares only about her kid and living situation. And I know that's not the case.

If a sufficient number of banks go bust or the remainder get so nervous that they refuse to lend to anyone other than their own governments, then none of us will be able to either get new debt or, worse, renew the debt we have.

Okay, enough deriding Dr. Bitch for her ignorance and callousness toward the less-fortunate. The above quote is the crux of the Obama/progressive bullshit argument. It's basically the argument of the extortionist.

Here's how it goes: I got your money. You got a problem? Open your mouth and I'll make it worse. Go on. I dare you.

Otherwise known as: we've dug ourselves into a hole, and the only way out is to keep digging.

If we have gotten into a problematic situation where we require "new debt" or "renewed debt" in order to function, the answer is not to pay even more to keep the cycle going. Debt-financing is bad. It ultimately leads to huge deficits, economic slowdown, and spiraling interest payments. The idea of compounded interest relies upon the assumption of continual growth, because without continual growth, compounded interest cannot be financed. "Compounding interest," i.e. "debt," is nothing but magic: it implies creating value out of nothing. Putting $500 of gold in a vault does not create anything new. Working, growing, building--these things produce. But just owning alone does not produce anything--unless you use ownership to get other people to work for you, and keep the profits of their labors yourself.

Debt is disruptive and dangerous. It is by its nature an extortionary arrangement, whereby those who own can extract work from those who produce simply by virtue of their ownership. I.e., by holding a monopoly on resources, owners can never have to work, by parceling out "their" resources in exchange for someone else's work.

Aside from that, debt encourages living beyond means. It is a costly means of buying anything, because you pay more for it than it's worth. It raises prices thusly. It also encourages risk, because when you invest with debt (particularly through a limited-liability entity), you are much more willing to risk than if it were something you owned.

The resulting bill for all this mess, and the huge bureaucracies and courts for our bankruptcy system, are paid for by the taxpayers. It is our taxes paying for the bankruptcy system that keeps busy adjudicating the debt system--at a huge administrative price.

"That's also why we have to suck in our breath and prop up the flawed, panicking banking system that got us into this mess whilst we find a longer-term solution to our debt dependency. Finally, its why we have to stop venting on Henry Paulson and let him get on with buying time for a systematic review of our financial companies, systems and regulations."

Bitch's plea, and Obama's plea, is that we continue relying on the banking thiefs, because they think we can't make it without their lending. They even admit it is the same people who got us into this mess.

How can you be so insane? How can you want to give seven hundred billion dollars to people that you openly admit are the cause of the entire problem?

That is maddening. Almost as maddening as supporting Obama's plans for more war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and maybe Iran.

Yes, under our current system, the bankers could punish us a great deal if we don't pay them off. And they will. But they will do the same thing if we give them the money. In the same way that they drove up commodity prices, including food and oil, to begin hedging their investments against crashing mortgages, they will take the $700 billion and do the same thing, driving prices up further as they try to insulate their own portfolios against the mess they made for the rest of us.

Check out Mike Whitney's latest on the $700 billion theft: he predicts, accurately, the same commodity dumping that happened when real estate prices began to drop.

Seriously, remember: these are the same people who keep funding the Iraqi slaughter, and who voted for telecom immunity under FISA. Do you really think they're going to take the $700 billion and start nicely lending it out to bright-eyed young couples to buy their first home or start a small business? I guess, if you're looking to someone like Obama to save you from the future of endless war, you might well believe such a fantasy.

These are killers, liars, thieves and cowards of the lowest order. Give them $700 billion more? Are you crazy?

We can live without them. We can live without their debt and wars and blood and hidden enemies. Be brave.

Bailout Passes 09/29/2008

Bailout happens September 29

In case you were busy celebrating the failure of the bailout package, take note: it wasn't necessary for Congress to pass a bailout package. The legislation was already passed in 1913.

The Federal Reserve has the ability to fund a bailout without going through Congress already. The link above, if you didn't click on it, describes how they gave the banks $630 billion dollars just a few hours before Congress voted down the Bush/Paulson/Democratic Party bailout plan.

I.e., when the Fed saw that they weren't going to be able to win over the necessary ideological conservative votes, they used their existing authority to steal another $630 billion anyway.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Frenzy link

Thomas Gruner on Frenzy.

Ragnarism against the natural desire; ragnarism against the child.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Blood of Dresden

An excerpt from the new Kurt Vonnegut memoir: the blood of Dresden.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

God Bless America

You make me sick.

Because I'm finding BitchPhd to be such a good parable for America right now, here's her latest:

I'm cheerful, I've done all my grading before finishing my morning coffee, I've banned three tiresome trolls, and comments to the previous thread are now closed.

Now I'm going to go find various checks that I've gotten recently paying me for my fruitful labors, swing by the bank to deposit 'em, take my bike in for a tuneup, send Ding the money I owe her, and buy myself a goddamn iPhone because I want one. So there.

What is it about this kind of behavior that grates me so? Is it the fact that buying things to distract you from the rest of the world is a matter of pride? Is it the fact that sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich is the same?

Or, is it the fact that this behavior occurs without any shame, from the same people who stick their fingers in the ears to the howls of the dead at the same time they're on the sidelines cheering Barack the quarterback as he lobs another moab into a civilian neighborhood?

Don't annoy her, damn you. Don't get in the way of her new goddamn iPhone. Of course, make absolutely sure you don't bother her with the dead. Because if she had to think about things like what happens to people blessed by our military, it would just, you know, ruin her day. It would ruin her next caramel swirl iFrappuccino, dammit!

By all means, buy your crap. What the hell else are you going to do? There's little you can do, before they cart you off to razor wire land. But do you have to dance around like a madman while you do it? Do you have to cheer it on, for decency's sake? What's that? You can't even stand to be reminded of what your saints are up to?

Your mindless quacking is why these killers are going to keep killing. You won't brook criticism of them. You can't even be bothered to talk about them. Go ahead and cleverly critique Palin's latest gaffe; go ahead and whine about McCain and the marginal percentage changes he's going to make in your tax structure.

It is so absolutely sickening. Let the record show that while the killing fields were laden with fresh bodies, Americans had their fingers in their ears, screaming shrilly, LALALALALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LALALALALALA.

I guess I can at least take some relief from the fact that Bitch PhD's busy schedule required her to ban three terrorists, excuse me, three communists, excuse me, three Others, excuse me, three trolls (ah yes, that's the popular internet term for nonconformists) before she could breathe easy and go back to willingly distracting herself.

Is it the hopeless death and destruction of the place that turns so many of the inmates into willing captives? Does it break their spirit in youth, and turn them into this? Or is it in their nature, and there's no hope for the species?

I still believe in empathy. I think that's why Bitch PhD needs to go out and buy crap--because she needs something shiny and new to distract her from her conscience. So I guess I should take hope that she, and the rest of America, keep needing to dangle carrots in front of the donkey: if they have to distract themselves from conscience and empathy, it at least means there is still conscience and empathy left to repress.

So, there is hope. Enjoy your new iPhone, Dr. Bitch. I know you can't stand to think about what it is going to look like when Obama escalates military intervention in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

But really, enjoy the iPhone. It gives me hope that there are still finer qualities in you that you are trying to repress.

Removing troubled mortgages from the market

$700 billion bailout plan

It's staggering sometimes, how you can let your guard down.

You think you have trained yourself to be skeptical about every heaping pile of crap the corporate media shovels on your doorstep and smears across your computer and/or television. But life goes on, and you get lulled back into complacency anyway, and you find that despite your best efforts, you have nonetheless allowed some of the media crap to shape your underlying assumptions.

About small things, sometimes. And you can even have predictable counterreactions based on those assumptions.

Like in the case of the $700 billion bailout. So, our great leaders propose this, and your first reaction is, "This is bullshit! They're going to buy a bunch of worthless securities from the same scum that came up with the plans to create the worthless securities in the first place!"

But then you realize you've fallen into the media craptrap again. And even in resisting their bailout plan, you've forgotten to question the deceptive way the news is presented, because you are accepting the basic details of the plan before you resist it.

Thinking about it outside the confines of the T.V., here's my stunningly obvious question. Like all stunningly-obvious questions, it reveals the dearth of analysis in corporate news, and thereby, their deceptions.

Stunningly obvious question: if the government was actually trying to spend a lot of money to keep all those mortgage securities from being worthless, even if they were planning to do so by wrongly indebting future generations of Americans, wouldn't the simplest way be to fund the mortgages that the securities depend upon?

There it is. Another dimension of the whole scheme now jumps out at you.

If you accept the details of the bailout plan as framed by the corporate media, here's the most critical explanation you can come up with (which Arthur Silber and Chris Floyd are both busy doing):

1) Wall Street begins artificially inflating the value of real estate by peddling sub-prime mortgages to people who can't pay them;
2) Wall Street gets rich packaging and trading the mortgages;
3) The bubble bursts, people default on mortgages they can't afford and lose their homes;
4) Wall Street forecloses on the lost homes, but prices are down and they can't recover the "value" they have been attributing to themselves;
5) Wall Street holds MBS (mortgage-backed securities) that aren't worth as much as they have been misrepresented to be, and houses that aren't worth as much as they have been misrepresented to be;
6) Wall Street appears to be in trouble;
7) The government indebts the taxpayers $700 billion to buy some of the worst MBS from the big firms, thereby alleviating some of Wall Street's loss.

While nefarious, this is not quite as dirty as what Wall Street actually did/is in the process of doing. This is obvious when you consider the fact that if the government used its $700 billion (or however much it will actually cost them) to fund those mortgages, the MBS held by Wall Street would still have their face value! The losses would be gone.

The end result of that policy would be that Wall Street would not lose their money--their securities would be worth what they had pretended, because the government was propping up the mortgages. Wall Street would make their dirty money, poor people would keep their homes, and the situation would be "solved" (inasmuch as any part of this charade can be solved).

But, they're not funding the mortgages. Instead, they're buying the securities off of Wall Street. Here's the catch, though: by having the government buy the securities in order to validate the security prices, rather than fund the mortgages, Wall Street still gets to foreclose on all the houses.

Do you get it, now? Because the government is buying the securities rather than funding the mortgages, Wall Street gets to have its cake and eat it too: it gets to keep the artificially-inflated price of its crappy "securities," and at the same time, it gets to foreclose on all the houses! It gets both pieces.

Poor people default, Wall Street gets houses. Wall Street then sells worthless MBS to the government at face value, and they make even more money than they would have made if their whole dirty subprime mortgage scheme had actually been paid off by the homeowners in the first place!

Here is the full deal, broken down:

1) Wall Street begins artificially inflating the value of real estate by peddling sub-prime mortgages to people who can't pay them;
2) Wall Street gets rich packaging and trading the mortgages;
3) The bubble bursts, people default on mortgages they can't afford and lose their homes;
4) Wall Street forecloses on the lost homes;
5) Wall Street sells its MBS to the taxpayers at face value;
6) Wall Street gets all the houses, and all the money

This wasn't a failure of the system--it was on purpose. The reason that lending standards were relaxed under Chris Dodd were so that low-income homeowners could sign onto the deal in the first place. This helped inflate the price of real estate, which pumped up the MBS to such a value that they could be spread throughout the entire system. The broad diffusion of these securities mandated that later on, when the values began to drop, Wall Street could threaten the country with a genuine depression in order to justify its no-bid contract for sale of MBS to the taxpayers.

Wall Street gets houses, Wall Street gets cash, and the next several generations get the bill.

Introduction to Tax Theft series

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Obama racism, again

Insulting Obama is automatically racist.

From the link: 

"The point, in all cases, is that the statement in question is objectionable, regardless of the speaker's intent, because it the social context in which the statement exists makes it so. Whether or not one is aware of that social context and is being offensive "on purpose" is irrelevant."

Perhaps the most frightening thing that jumps out of this statement is the assertion that social context defines meaning.  Did you get that?  Read the quote again: it is saying that regardless of what you are trying to communicate, your message is defined by social context.  

Who defines social context?  People could argue about it at length; in this case, the author may be referring to the general blogosphere (i.e. the blogs the author reads or considers "important"), or the corporate media (i.e. the media the author absorbs or considers "important").  In any case, social context is dependent upon the person defining it.  A person's group and perspective are their social context.  

So, the quote essentially says: What you intend to communicate to me is meaningless.  My social context tells me what you said, even if you don't agree with it.  

An end to communication, certainly--the listener already knows the answer.  Don't even bother correcting them, because their social context (or, depending on their level of arrogance, "everyone's" social context) has already told them the true meaning of what you're going to say.  

I didn't initially believe Arthur Silber when he warned that progressives were labeling anyone who disagreed with Barack Obama as "racist."  Having been either wise or ignorant* enough to avoid arguments about Obama, I gave the American self-titled progressives too much credit.  

(*My money's on the former, but given this recent string of posts, I've obviously regressed into the belief that communication can change some peoples' weltanshauung)

But, the hostesses of BitchPhD have helped me to see that indeed, insulting Barack Obama is racist, and unacceptable.  

I think the quote above (from them) speaks for itself: who the hell cares what you say, if they already know the answer?  If you don't fit into their social context, any critique is automatically racism, because they already know all the definitions.  

Of course, people who call Barack Obama a "muslim terrorist" are probably racist.  They may be doing it out of racist motivations.  They may be subconsciously racist, and may be wanting to cause racial turmoil by saying it.  

But the statement itself is not racist.  "Muslim" is not a race, and "terrorist" is not a race. A racist can, for racist reasons, call Barack Obama a terrorist, without the remark itself being inherently racist.  A racist can also call a banana "tasty" without the remark itself being inherently racist.  A non-racist can call a banana "tasty" without the remark itself being inherently racist, and a non-racist can call Barack Obama a terrorist without the remark itself being inherently racist.  

Associating a phrase with the character of the speaker is a way of marginalizing the phrase.  If an idiot accidentally says something intelligent, it might be good to pay heed.  If a genius says something stupid, it might be good not to dwell on it too much.  But if all language becomes associated with the speaker, it blinds the listener to learning anything from a source s/he has already considered "bad."  

The words we select to communicate with each other have great meaning, because if we take them by their actual definitions, we can communicate things to one another that may be new and different.  If all listeners automatically decide to redefine terms based on their "social context," communication can never occur.  Viewpoints cannot be changed, and thoughts stagnate.  

Shame on those educated, well-off American "progressives" who seek to make even Newspeak an inefficient means of control, because they have already decided to arbitrarily change the literal meaning of every English word so that no constructions are possible which can alter a viewpoint.  

Obama terrorist's best friend

In which kid is suspended for wearing an anti-Obama t-shirt to school.

In which Sybil Vane embarrasses herself talking about said suspended kid.

Poor Sybil. And on such an easy target, too.

Putting aside the love of censorship (when it is used against people who don't worship Obama), which is indeed plenty stupid enough by itself, this gem of a phrase sticks out: "Your kid's shirt is racist."

The t-shirt, for the record, said: "Obama terrorist's best friend." Lack of punctuation in the original.

Now, I can't figure out how that is racist. But what I can figure out is that saying something bad about Obama is racist, even if it is not directed at him because of his race. Yes, I know what you're saying--that that's not the definition of racism. When it comes to Obama, though, you are wrong. Here is the new Obama (TM) approved definition of racism:

rac·ism [rey-siz-uhm]
1.a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

Excuse me, that was the actual definition. Here's the new one:

rac·ism [rey-siz-uhm]
1.a belief or doctrine that Barack Obama can do wrong.


Poor, foolish Sybil.

So, let me get this straight:

1) Obama is going to protect American womens' access to birth control.
2) Obama is going to have his military kill innocent Pakistani, Afghani and Iraqi women, thereby denying them birth control (or life control, or even death control).

Now, to the bitches, these contradictions are not racist, because American women are better than Pakistani and Afghani wo...well, maybe they are racist. Or nationalist, at least. But maybe I'm not approaching this from the right angle.

So, those contradictions are not racist, because women born in America merit more consideration than women, that's still not good.

All right, I can't figure that out. But let's move to the next topic.

"Obama terrorist's best friend" is, I would argue, accurate, though probably not for the reason the kid or his dad wrote it on the shirt in question. Here's why:

1) For years, liberals have been complaining that Bush's war in Iraq was stupid because it created more terrorists, and helped al Qaeda* recruit. (*Let's pretend "al Qaeda" exists in anything close to the form we generally imagine it to exist in for the purpose of this discussion)

2) Obama is planning on continuing the occupation of Iraq with mercenaries, "security trainers," military bases, overflights, etc.

Again, call me crazy, because it seems like Obama is going to be dredging up the same helpful recruiting bonuses for al Qaeda by continuing the same occupation Bush started. So yes, he would be a "friend" to the terrorists. Every innocent family his goons gun down at a checkpoint is another loyal recruit.

And of course, if we define "terrorism" as the "unwarranted murder of innocents," well then, we might even say that Obama's plans to bomb Pakistan and Afghanistan and Iraq and possibly-Iran-and-who-knows-where-the-hell-else could constitute terrorism.

I think I know what Sybil Vane would say to that, along with her fellow hosts. That's right: this press conference is over.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fear Motivation

The BBC discusses a study showing that more fearful people tend to support capital punishment and authoritarian government.

How many decades before the idea of fear as motivation for violent behavior becomes understood?

How many decades after that before we begin looking at the environmental causes of instilling fear in children, thereby ensuring violent, authoritarian adults?

How many decades after that before we begin doing something?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Obama Lying About Iran WMD

and other sundry things.  

"Out of curiosity, can you provide me with a citation for where Obama claimed Iran had nukes from *after* the CIA released a report saying they didn't?"

November 2007 was the new national intelligence estimate.  You can download the report here: 

The report is also discussed here: 

Here is a July, 2008 article where Obama talks about how the world must stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon: 

Here is a July 25, 2008 article where Obama talks about how Iran has to give up its "nuclear weapons program": 

Here is an August, 2008 article where Obama talks about how Iran has to abandon its "nuclear ambitions": 

Obama is laying the groundwork for the same type of WMD-related scare that paved the way for the Iraq War.  He is, essentially, lying just like Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, using similar terms--the same terms that, in fact, Bush and the Republicans are now using to lie about Iran.  He knows what he is doing--fearmongering--and he knows how well it works on Americans.  

Onto more katherine points: 

"Would it be wrong, for instance, to kill German soldiers who were forcefully drafted into the Nazi army in order to end the Holocaust?"  

As you write the question, no.  I am not advocating pacifism, i.e., an unwillingness/inability to engage in self defense.  Nor am I arguing against what would be, by a noble country, humane acts of freeing people from tyranny.  

"a) We are not currently engaged in a war in Pakistan."

Our special forces are currently killing people there: 

Obama has said he wants to "expand" operations there.  That means even more death, and when you exchange fighter planes for Green Berets, the collateral damage goes up.  

"b) *Your* solution to Iraq and Afghanistan is to 'expand' out military there. Why do you assume Obama is going to 'expand' the war in the wrong way?"

That solution refers to educated soldiers, among other things.  For example: 

First, we must increase the number of American troops in Iraq tenfold (or morefold) while we simultaneously increase our investment in military humanitarian training, MP oversight of troops, and public oversight of (an all new set of) contractors. There need to be so many U.S. troops that you can't go outside without bumping into ten. And they all need to be smiling, well-paid, living in sanitary barracks, off stimulant drugs, getting 8 hours of sleep a day, and handing out free candy bars, Qur'ans, Bibles, stuffed animals, food and water, and whatever else on demand.

(We can contract K, B & R to build said troop facilities for the price of $1, or just continue criminally indicting top executives until the remaining ones agree to do the work for $0.50. And in case you're wondering, they have to give back the money they overbilled, too. The $0.50 charge is punitive, not restitutionary.)

This is not what Obama is advocating.  What Obama is advocating is throwing a few dozen thousand more soldiers in there to continue with the same game plan as before.  He called Bush's surge a "wild success," which shows what he thinks success is: car bombings, murders, etc.  

If all you took away from my "right thing to do" was "more troops," you did not read it closely enough.  

"a) I was perhaps unclear about what I meant about 'solving all the problems in the middle east'. I meant 'solving the problems in the middle east that have a high likelihood of impacting our economy or safety', such as theocratic regimes gaining nuclear weapons or invading large numbers of other states or even, say, attempting to perform 'ethnic cleansing' on large sections of their population. These are problems that our foreign policy should be involved with."

And when have we been involved with those problems?  Secondly, if we have been, when has there been a successful outcome?  

As to the economic consequences of my Iraq plan, I didn't say it was feasible, or nice.  I said it is the least we can do to begin attempting to make up to the Iraqis for what we did to them.  We should be disgusted with, and ashamed of, ourselves, and no amount of our sacrifices will be able to earn the Iraqis' forgiveness.  When discussing the right thing to do in such an awful, murderous situation, how much it costs our government is not even a factor that gets to be included in the situation.  If you don't understand why we don't get to be so arrogant as to whine about our taxes, I can link you to some shots of children burned to death in Fallujah.  

Re: drafting people to raise the necessary troop levels.  I did not say we would draft.  I said we would raise pay and security until people wanted to join.  That would require taxes.  Which the aristocracy has more than enough money to pay.  I think the Rockefeller family could get by with only three BMWs per person--four is probably a sacrifice they can afford to make.  

I know that solution isn't going to happen, as I said within it; it was a thought experiment to imagine, "If we were decent, and we realized what we had done to those poor people, this is what we would do to try to begin to make up for it."  But of course, if we were that decent, we would not have done it to begin with.  Thought exercise.  

As I said in my last post, though, if we limit our imagination to what we think other people will accept without trouble, we won't ever be able to go very far with ourselves.  We will remain in the Blood Ages for all time, with no new renaissance to save us.  

The Practical Effect of Not Supporting Murder

Again, for katherine.

As to the Which Preschoolers Go situation, I would indeed pick three preschoolers over five.  If you do not make the choice, the maniacs will kill all of them.  

And as to Obama and McCain, and the murders they are both going to commit after they are elected, I have to admit, you are almost certainly right in the hard facts you suggest.  One or the other of them is going to be elected by some large number of voters in this country, and they will then go forward and commit their mass homicide.  There is nothing we can do to stop it (without risking our lives, and without chancing an infinitesimally low probability of success).  

You are also right in your implication that John McCain is more likely to use nuclear weapons or be more belligerent.  

I disagree with you about whether or not Obama or McCain will ultimately kill more people or cause more damage worldwide, because Bill Clinton was very successful at doing both of those things--he simply did it in a more cost-efficient way.  But I'll put aside that objection for the moment, and accept what you say: that McCain would be worse than Obama.  

So back to the main point: voting for Obama is simply an attempt to prevent McCain's version of madness from taking control.  

But here is the crucial difference between choosing Obama in this situation, and choosing him in the preschool situation: the preschool hostage situation is one time only.  The presidential farce is recurring.  

Imagine the preschool example, but this time imagine that it happens every day.  (This isn't an extreme stretch; considering how many dozens or hundreds of thousands of innocent children both Obama and McCain are going to kill, 3 preschoolers a day is probably inadequate for comparative purposes.  But let's just use it.)  Every day, you go by the preschool, and every day the madmen execute either 3 or 5 children--your choice.  

At what point do you stop choosing?  At what point do you stop playing along with the insanity--putting the lotion on the skin for Buffalo Bob--and say, "Enough."  

At some point, it becomes apparent to you that the game is never going to end.  The children are going to keep dying--there will always be new madmen willing to take the hostages, make the speeches, and carry out the killings.  Choose your decade.  Choose your war.  Choose your murders.  

How long can you justify this morbid farce?  How long will you play the terrible game with the killer?  Go back to Vietnam, if you like.  Go back to Hiroshima and choose which national leader you want to press the button.  Go back to the invasion of the Philippines.  Go back to the Mexican American War.  Count the bodies.  

Is it ever going to end?  Are you ever going to say, "Enough"?  

Every day you walk by the school.  Every day the madmen are there.  

When are you going to stop giving them what they want?  When are you going to stop validating not only their deaths, but their entire horrific game?  

It will never stop unless we stop it.  If we keep supporting it, year after year, always justifying it as "a little less murder than we could otherwise commit," it will never end.  

When you refuse to vote, or vote for someone else, you are a grain of sand.  But at some point, change has to happen, and it will take individual people willing to refuse to support the killing.  A few crazies, at first.  Then maybe, someday, more.  It's as daunting a task as getting blacks the right to eat at the lunch counter; maybe more daunting, since Europeans were murdering one another in wars when they didn't have Africans around to enslave.  But it has to happen. Individual humans need to be able to make the decision to stop the killing.  You can do it.  You can stand for peace and justice--you can refuse to play the terrible game of choosing who will die, and in what quantity.  Leave the sadists with nothing but their own fantasies, and they will shrivel away.  

If everyone is afraid to take the step away from killing because "it will make no difference; I'm only one person" then no one will ever step away.  And the killing will never end.  

(Short answers to specific questions upcoming!)

Democratic Plan to Block Birth Control

I have uncovered details of a new, publicly-announced governmental act that will prevent women in numerous foreign countries from having access to birth control, or indeed, sexual freedom of any kind.  This heinous plan is actually put forth by the Democratic Party and Barack Obama.  Any true feminists need to instantly speak out against it, and pledge that they will refuse to vote for Barack Obama unless he instantly denounces this plan!  

This plan involves deploying the U.S. military to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where it will pursue alleged "terrorists."  While doing so, it will use so-called "precision strikes" to destroy the uteruses, bodies, and entire reproductive systems of these innocent women.  One small example of this phenomenon is this mass murder of innocent women in Afghanistan.  

Actions like these will have the obvious effect of denying these women access to birth control. And, since it involves killing them, it is much more important that we crusade against this denial of their right to birth control than we do against, say, a local pharmacist refusing to grant birth control to an American woman, so she has to drive across the street to get it.  

Who's with me?  Who will take a stand against Barack Obama and his hideous plan to deny birth control and reproductive freedom to the women of the far east?