Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bubbles, Corporate Oligarchs, Their Shills & The Guardian of Forever -OR- Rainy Fall Day Musings

**Updated 9:40PM 6/21/2014: See below.**

A rainy fall day in Central Park -- yes, Central Park -- New York.

Some of autumn images in this entry (though not the one above) are taken from this article in Huffington Post a few days ago.


Today is a chilly, showery, breezy Saturday autumnal afternoon on this first day of October in the Year of Our Lord 2011 here in Washington, D.C., a.k.a., Capital of the Late Stage American Empire.

A beautiful fall day in Camden, Maine (date unknown).


Yes, I refer to it as the Capital of the Empire ...

... where EVERY DAY it is the Business of Government to encourage the inflation of casino capitalism's many, many bubbles while simultaneously, if paradoxically, further strengthening, empowering, and enriching the oligarchical and "rentier" overclass with their deflationary depression economics.

Oh, yes, and then there is the matter of our multi-trillion dollar, awesomely destructive "garrisoned" in every quarter of the globe (see quote except below) and existing to secure the Empire's overclass.

In short, it's a rainy day here in "DeeCee Town", and in Isaac Asimovian brief, it's Robots Bubbles and Empire.

Meanwhile, the population is as dumb and distracted as ever, but whatever.

I guess that's how it goes here and in most countries -- and, besides, the parts are often greater than the sum.

This is just how the anthropomorphic "Judeo-Christian", pro-Capitalist, Republican-Voting Father Figure God's Reality works, and we love Him for it. Or, more likely, He never existed at all and we're just all alone and create our own solipsistic meaning.

To quote the late foul-mouthed comedian Sam Kinison, LOVE YA!

Perhaps this is why America's cartoonish patriotism and its Know Nothing tradition (today embodied in the GOP Teabaggers) do so well: They create an insular, fundamentalist reality that has no connection to the larger Universe, and they seem quite happy in their forever angry way inside of it.

Click on above image (which I've posted before) for a larger version.


Pure autumnal splendor near Stowe, Vermont.


Turning to the weather, it's only about 52F right now, so it feels quite lovely. Actually, I'm in my wee apartment with the fan and window a/c on (as I typically do unless it is actually cold). I think I'm going to go back to bed for a while.

I have to finish two more compliance case recommendation reports by "COB" Monday. I am nearly done one for North Dakota but the South Carolina one I have not yet started.


Florida Crystals -OR- Big Sugar Speaks

The Florida peninsula as seen from low Earth orbit (probably from the Space Shuttle).

As you (may) know, I am supposed to leave on Tuesday for my planned / scheduled 8-day, 2-part Florida trip.

On final approach to Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB) looking down on Daytona Beach and farther north along the Florida Atlantic coast, 5:46PM, Sept. 4, 2010. 

The Daytona Beach Pier is visible in the image. The Atlantic Intracoastal (not "INTER-coastal") Waterway is visible as well at left, here in the form of the Halifax River.

Without going into a lot of details -- primarily involving my not-open-for-discussion decision to avoid staying at my dad's place with his half-his-age live-in girlfriend (well, live-in when she's not in jail or with her other boyfriends) and her 12 year old daughter ...

... there on the north side of nowhere on a remote stretch of the Florida Atlantic coast Flagler Beach -- I have arranged to spend my time instead in a nice hotel at a very reasonable rate (which I got after finding as a discount on and then calling the place and getting it for a slightly higher cost) in Daytona Beach.

Actually, I was only able to get three of the four nights. I'm hoping something opens up in it for the 4th night (Oct. 7th). It is in the Daytona Beach Regency.

The Daytona Beach Pier on a bright, mild winter's day at very low tide looking south down an endless shore line, Jan. 10, 2009.


The second part of the trip involves a train ride from Deland down to Deerfield Beach, where I am to meet Gary and stay for another several days before returning via Fort Lauderdale (FLL) back to D.C.

My dad is resigned to this state of affairs, but it is not open to discussion.I've dealt with this craziness all my life and I'm not going to deal with it next week.


The beach, a life guard station, and the Atlantic Ocean in Deerfield Beach, Fla., as taken with my previous REALLY crummy cellphone camera, 12:50PM, June 8, 2009.

I was working for that Japanese turkey farm in Bethesda at the time and the evil female slave-driver of a boss tried to ruin this trip with her weird, incessant demands.


Back to the Nelly Present ...

Last night, I went with Gary to Nellie's and then Jamie ended up coming over for about 45 minutes around 4AM.

This fellow always reminds me of Mr. Sirius. Same mannerisms and motions. This was at Nellie's last night at 12:50AM, Oct. 1, 2011.

**Updated 9:40PM 6/21/2014: Content removed**


Political Commentary: Imperial Decline

I would like to link to a wonderful column by a journalist named Pepe Escobar that appeared on the TomDispatch site and was reposted on Salon. It is entitled "The Collapse of Neoliberal Capitalism" by journalist, author, and Asia Times columnist Pepe Escobar. I wanted to post a lengthy excerpt of it here but I simply lack a sufficient number of images to break up the text and make it look interesting.

Rather, I will just post my favorite paragraph from the piece (the "shopper" refers to a developing country looking for a  national development model to follow):

"Or let's say our shopper looks to the United States, that country still being, after all, the world's number one economy, its dollar still the world's reserve currency, and its military still number one in destructive power and still garrisoning much of the globe. That would indeed seem impressive, if it weren't for the fact that Washington is visibly on the decline, oscillating wildly between a lame populism and a stale orthodoxy, and shilling for casino capitalism on a side street in its spare time." -- Ha ha -- "It's a giant power enveloped in political and economic paralysis for all the world to see, and no less visibly incapable of coming up with an exit strategy."

What say you, Wall-P, about this analysis?

"Hmm. Looks like the Dow is up now and my portfolio grew at 2.4% in the third quarter. Therefore, the thesis is wrong. I have to take this call from a a client. Eh. Eh. Eh-eh-eh."


Political Commentary: America's Ongoing Healthy Dialogue on Race

Also, I highly recommend Gene Lyons' wonderful take-down (in a larger column) of that silly and self-defeating piece that Melissa Harris-Perry wrote whereby to oppose Barack Obama's policies and approach represents "the triumph of a more subtle form of racism." Repeat: It's "the triumph of a more subtle form of racism."

You got that?

"MHP" herself -- a fill-in for Rachel Maddow on her show and a vintage college "academic" who really does nothing all day -- has written some rather vicious things about others, including Cornell West when he very plausibly said Obama was a puppet of corporate oligarchs. MHP is an Obama worshiper.

My favorite line about decrying as "racism" anyone who disagrees with Obama and this obsession with race in general:

"It's useful for intimidating tenure committees staffed by Ph.D.s trained to find racist symbols in the passing clouds. Otherwise, Harris-Perry’s becoming a left-wing Michele Bachmann, an attractive woman seeking fame and fortune by saying silly things on cable TV."

As for that "tenure committees" line, I'm thinking of a few jackass Froot Loopy professors from St. Mary's College of Maryland, where I spent two ghastly years back in the early 1990s (and likely today as well).

Lyons' piece appeared in Salon, and Salon being Salon, its white liberal guilt went into overdrive and it posted a profanity-laced, sputteringly incoherent reply from 32-year old black (sorry, "Black") comedian named Elon James White who hosts a website called This Week In Blackness.

Suffice it to say, this episode captures America's racial "dialogue" -- and why no body in their right mind wants to have it.

Beyond that, though, it's funny interesting how comedians today are our "analysts" -- from Rush Limbaugh to Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert to even this clown. It says something profound about our historical era. 

One way of viewing it is that the "Very Serious People" (as the great Paul Krugman calls them) -- such as the current and 1990s former members of The Washington Post Editorial Board, all Imperial Court Scribes -- are so stale and (to adapt what the late Mort Downing Jr. used to say about liberals) pro-corporate pablum-puking that no one can even abide their "analyses" except in their D.C. think tank (though that's what they are paid to spout).

I refer to the likes of Ben Wittes (with whom I had several email exchanges over the last 15 years), Sebastian Mallaby (a Tory pseudo-intellectual who moved to America years ago and has been making the world safe for corporate oligarchy here), and the utterly useless Fred Hiatt.

"Hi, I'm Ben Wittes and my legal theory is based on the twin pillars of Monica's Dress and Unchecked Oligarchy. I became a WaHoPo Editorial Writer at 27 and after pleasing the D.C. Power Elite, I'm now a Very Important and Serious Scholar at the Brookings Institution."

UPDATED 9:40PM 6/21/2014: Content added / adjusted:

For starters, that first picture of Benjamin "Benji" Wittes must have been taken 20 years ago. The one directly above is a more recent picture of him: Behold The legal special needs man-child of the Washington Consensus.

In addition, Benji's real intellectual heft is used not so much for the advancement of general corporate oligarchy but rather in the name of the ever-metastasizing "Age of Terror" military / industrial / surveillance state. Benji has a special niche in defending the use of drone strikes on Whever-i-stan that invariably "collaterally" take out wedding parties. Furthermore, it takes a special kind of person to view Guantanamo Bay as a "model facility" that should be kept open forever. Wittes is what happens when you live inside the Washington Consensus Bubble.

End of update.

Oh, and then there is the bad-tempered "Mother Marcus" who uses her pundit powers for the forces of corporate oligarchy and -- like all those associated with The Washington Post (news and opinion sides) -- is beholden to false and outright immoral "Views Differ on Shape of the Earth" balance (to quote Paul Krugman). 

Here is Ruth "Mother" Marcus, Postie Editorial Writer and intellectual fishwife. She must have just shaven before this picture was taken.


A cloudy late autumn splendid day in the Great Smoky Mountains along the North Carolina - Tennessee border.


Fiery autumn hues dominate the forested folded countryside near West Bolton, Vermont.


Chanel No. 5 Extraordinaire

So last night surfing through YouTube, I found this (grainy but still overall good quality) clip of a magical Chanel No. 5 commercial from the early 1980s. It features trains and planes, the Transamerica Pyramid Building in San Francisco, and the song "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" by the Ink Spots, not to mention sultry urbanity.

Just watch it and enjoy.


Wrapping up this entry ...

I need to go to Union Station at some point today or tomorrow to get my train ticket. This is for the Deland-to-Deerfield Beach train ride I am taking while in Florida from the first to second parts of my trip.

A Sun bedazzled autumn day over an oddly dull looking ancient wrinkled landscape in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia about 90 miles west southwest of Washington, D.C.


The Guardian Of Forever ...

OK, that's about all for now. Given the work I have to do by Monday, I probably won't have time to post much by way of entries.

I may not have a chance to post again after this weekend until I return. If not, it is conceivable I won't update this until Oct. 13th. And should I NEVER return ...

... then let The Guardian of Forever (from Star Trek Original Series episode "The City on the Edge of Forever") watch over my blog.


1 comment:

Mark Erickson said...

Hey, I took your photo of Wittes to use on my blog. I too have had email correspondence with Wittes, but just over the last year or so. Here's my now-public exchange with him over Marty Lederman and the secret kill-order for Awlaki.