March 31, 2011

Money Doesn't Talk, It Swears

Greed is a fat demon with a small mouth and whatever you feed it is never enough.

- Janwillem van de Wetering

Money doesn't talk, it swears

-Bob Dylan

As the cancer that is looter capitalism continues to devour America in order to perpetuate it's necessity to show continuous growth as we now enter the final monopoly stages it would be wise to realize that none of this were to have happened had our society not glorified the rich, condemned the poor and become damned by greed and lack of compassion. The zero sum game that is big time American capitalism (which is not to be confused with free enterprise) the decades of pillage and conquer abroad not nearly enough to feed the insatiable rapacious monster which is fueled by pure greed has come home to roost. I am often reminded of that old Stephen King story Survivor Type where the dude is marooned on a barren and deserted island with nothing but a gargantuan amount of heroin and has to amputate parts of his body to eat in order to survive. This is the late stage of capitalism, the one that those foul devils Karl Marx and Vlad Lenin as well as every influential thinker with any common sense warned about. This is the continuation of the vaunted ownership society....they own your ass!

Forget the mass hallucination that was George W. Bush's ownership society, the miraculous run up in home prices where the average shmoe could dream of becoming a real live real estate kingpin like the noxious Donald Trump by flipping houses just like the big boys. With the glorious magic of ever increasing property values Americans could just take out huge home equity lines of credit and live beyond their wildest means, filling their McMansions with shit that they couldn't afford using money that they didn't have, all of which debt was then being packaged off into derivitives, what the exalted high priest of the temple of American mammon Warren Buffett aka the Oracle of Omaha once himself called financial weapons of mass destruction. The big banks couldn't lend money fast enough, with shoddier standards or any foresight of what might happen were the party to stop, largely because the loans were being pureed and repackaged into mortgage backed paper (more like toilet paper) that was immediately sold to investors while the con artists who created it were also using credit default swaps to bet against it. The pigs were gorging themselves in an unprecedented orgy of greed, corporations were getting fat while using the relatively new practice of offshoring to divest themselves of jobs for Americans in favor of lower paid workers in India and other locales and manufacturing was being systematically dismantled in favor of using plants in China. All of it was great until the waning days of the Bush administration when the shit hit the fan and the whole thing blew up.

While phony conservative pundits foist off the blame for the economic collapse on the usual bogeyman black people for taking out loans that they couldn't afford to pay back, a fake narrative that the racist white trash teabaggers gobbled up like frosted bullshit biscuits it was just another big lie. It would be far more accurate to point the finger at the pasty white social climbers who turned into wheeler dealers as they churned housing, taking out risky loans (which the Wall Street temples of avarice pumped out with full knowledge of their toxicity) to plunk down on skyrocketing properties which they briefly held before selling to the next schmuck. It was only a matter of time until the music stopped and a good many of the greedy bitches and bastards were left without chairs, any sane person could see that it wasn't real. Then there were the TV addled dopes, the Boobus Americanus who actually bought their dream homes, mini-mansions in exurbia with polished marble countertops, more rooms that they needed and had to be furnished by maxing out the plastic and the two and three car garages in which they could park their SUVs. It was of course a massive disaster waiting to happen and when it all came crashing down former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson (also former CEO of Goldman Sachs) went on bended knee to Congress to get a one of those nice taxpayer funded bailouts for all of his criminal buddies on Wall Street. Then came TARP (interesting acronym for something used to cover up a massive swindle) which both Bush and Obama signed off on and in layman's terms dry-fucked millions of Americans in the ass so that the banksters could continue to get their bonuses and the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street could keep spinning. Matt Taibbi has done a great job of muckraking journalism on the gross plunder and pillage that Wall Street, especially Goldman Sachs (or as I refer to them, the Great Satan) engaged in for Rolling Stone magazine. Taibbi's work is must reading for those seeking to understand how viciously the anal rape of America by the big banks has been, see The Great American Bubble Machine or the book Griftopia for his writing on the crime of the century. 

For awhile though it actually looked like there could be systemic change, had Obama had any balls he would have ordered the nationalization of the big banks, the liquidation of all derivatives and appointed a Wall Street crime czar with endless resources, subpoena power and a mandate to thoroughly cleanse the system. Back in early 2009 the financial racketeers were on the ropes, AIG executives were besieged by protesters at their homes, CNBC con-artist Jim "Mad Money" Cramer was being publicly pilloried and left-gatekeeper Bill Maher went on HBO and suggested that hanging two randomly picked bankers by the big board at the New York Stock Exchange with their balls in their mouth would set a good example. Then something happened, the tide turned in favor of the big banking racketeers who had bamboozled Americans by the millions to buy their yachts, only in America could something this obscene happen, a land where cunning hatchetman CEO's are treated as gods and decades of incessant propaganda have effectively brainwashed a population that while incapable of understanding the most basic concepts of incremental losing into actually thinking that one day they too can be rich!

The bankster pushback actually started with CNBC's greasy little pimp Rick Santelli went off on camera in the much hyped rant on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange that effectively co-opted the former libertarian tea party movement and brought it under Republican/Koch Brothers control. That would have serious implications later on with the mass counterattack by big business as they had in the blink of an eye with a big assist from FOX an army of angry, ignorant, racist fatties to mobilize as brownshirts against any sort of serious reform efforts. It has always amazed me (but not really) how so many could be so easily duped into action against their own economic self-interests, in a historical sense the Tea Party (just a rebranding of the die hard haters of the GOP base post-Bush) is on the side of the British Monarchy although rich in irony it is far beyond their comprehension. The next step of the bankster's Battle of the Bulge was the 'leaked' internal memo by Citi's Vikram 'the bandit' Pandit that things really aren't that bad after all which put a floor on the stock market plunge. Then came the 60 Minutes appearance of Ben Bernanke, Obama's re-appointed Bush holdover Fed Chairman that there were marvelous "GREEN SHOOTS" of an economic recovery already popping up, Bernanke's jacking off of the public was followed by Tim Geithner's obviously rigged stress tests of the banks. Lost in all of the hype and propaganda was another critical part of the effort to deceive the sheep into lining up for another shearing at the Wall Street casino tables, the Financial Standards Accounting Board (FASB) quietly changed the mark-to-market rules so that the worthless toilet paper mortgage backed securities could now be valued at whatever the pit bosses desired. The hustle had been pulled off, soon the media was focusing on the staged Tea Party bund rallies against Obamacare (really a massive giveaway to the insurance parasites) and Bernanke was crowned as Time's Man of the Year (now changed to person of the year thanks to the political correctness Nazis).The greedheads got bailed out, the taxpayers got the shaft and the looting spree was back on. To borrow a great analogy from gadfly Webster Tarpley (which I paraphrase) in reference to the bailout - when Dracula is sucking the blood out of a victim the thing to do is to pull him off and drive a stake through his heart but the Obama administration is trying to save the victim by giving Dracula a blood transfusion and hoping that it would flow back into the victim or something along those lines, I don't have the exact wording.

Now two years after the Santelli dog and pony show, the Citi memo and GREEN SHOOTS the economy is still a disaster, the dollar is in freefall, Bernanke has the printing presses set on ramming speed and there are widespread flareups of unrest largely thanks to food prices sent into the stratosphere by pigs who speculate in commodities. Look for matters to only get worse too, it's now obvious that the Japanese government has been lying about the massive humanitarian catastrophe thanks to TEPCO's Fukashima radioactive meltdown which I strongly suspect is motivated by the need to keep the global derivatives casino open for business and there is austerity coming to America along with a failed political system that has neither the will nor the desire to treat the rapidly metastasizing capitalist cancer. Food prices are about to explode her in Der Heimat thanks to gas prices well on the way to 4 bucks a gallon and yet another ruinous and expensive war. As Hunter S. Thompson once wrote: "In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely".

Advertising signs they con
You into thinking you’re the one
That can do what’s never been done
That can win what’s never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you

-Bob Dylan

A good while back at my local grocery store I noticed that there was a big sign with red letters taped to the front of the service desk that emphatically stated: WE NO LONGER ACCEPT ROLLED CHANGE. It was more than a bit sad to think that things were so bad with rising costs and declining incomes that people were having to pay for food using scavenged rolls of pennies but some enterprising genius was going around down here in the diseased penis of America formally known as Florida putting in these machines that converted such coinage to an easy to use debit card – for a fee of course. When I first saw this new phenomenon the big economic collapse of 2008 was still in the future, there was still much hot air in the housing bubble, the cruel practice of ruthless real estate developers buying up trailer parks and then kicking retirees off of them was in full swing as was the conversion of shitbox apartments to 120,000 + per unit condos. The retirees, a good many of the likely stunned at the sucker punch given that they had played by the rules all of their lives but now found themselves homeless and today quite possibly without their pensions as the looting spree escalates were early victims in the enormous fleecing of the past five years. Now, wherever these old folks may be and that is presuming that they are still alive the coming threats to Medicare and Social Security are just over the horizon. The politically connected criminals on Wall Street need the money to gamble with, the new wave of Koch Brothers backed fascist governors such as Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Rick Snyder and John Kasich have taken the class war to the next level and there are more wars coming, you can count on that.

There will be no help for anybody but the pigs at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase coming from the Obama administration, face it people, the only change that the Pope of Hope really ever stood for was left cover for the gargantuan redistribution of wealth upwards. Obama is quite obviously even worse than Bush as the wars continue and mount in number (under the malarkey guise of humanitarian interventions), the torture never stops, the constitution continues to be disemboweled and the airports are filled with dooling thugs in TSA uniforms with the full blessing of the U.S. government to feel up pre-pubescent little boys and girls. Hell, Bush never could have gotten away with that one and when it comes to economic relief, Le Enfant Terrible did actually send people checks for $600. I always got a sardonic little kick out of the silly liberals who only made excuses for Obama (and still do) in that he was the chess master, or Michael Jordan just studying the opposing team's defense and ready to explode at any moment into a whirling dervish of athletic daredeviltry as he broke down the formidable defense of the Bad Boys for the championship hardware. The truth, and it is as dark as the proverbial black steer's tookus on a moonless prairie night is that Obama is the chessmaster, it's checkmate for the working class and he is just like Michael Jordan, a greedy, amoral, selfish multimillionaire prick who once commented "Republicans buy sneakers too" rather than doing the right thing in using his global celebrity to promote progressive social change.For some reason Jordan's famous quote conjures up one of Obama's, the one where he proclaimed that if Americans were being denied their right to collectively bargain that he would put on his own pair of comfortable shoes and join them on the picket lines. This alas like so many other things (wars,closing Gitmo, renegotiating trade pacts etc) was just more of the same bullshit about hope and change marketed by Wall Street's soon to be new bagman at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

People,at least those with jobs, are having to dig deeper these days, much deeper now that oil prices are setting records, food prices are spiking although the masses of asses don't really get it yet because of the latest bit of trickery in hiding food costs in smaller containers and overinflated bags and the dollar is dropping like a bag of shit dropped from a tall building. Of course the official government line is that inflation is not a problem but most lies are of course comprised of half-truths mixed with outright lies and and one of the great lies is that core inflation doesn’t include either food or energy costs, it's right up there with capitalism and democracy being interchangable.There is no real argument that can be made that financial sector hasn't been gamed to the point of collapse by the economic chicanery of the same sort of scoundrels who George Washington once referred to as a “squadron of corrupt paper dealers" and Frankin D. Roosevelt called out the same unscrupulous bandits as “economic royalists”. There are of course other more profane things we can call them the pack of greed-headed traitors who sold out America for chump change like unscrupulous slumlords bleeding a depressed property before dumping it to find more suckers to leech off of but it was America’s delusional worship of such rapacious, monstrous psychopaths that allowed the grand fucking to occur.

For every fucker there must be at least one fuckee and in a country in which the idolization of money and wealth for the sake of the worship of false gods as Donald Trump, J.R. Ewing Jack Welch there is no shortage of either. With the rise of Reagan and the rolling out of that shining gold plated calf Americans lined up to suck it’s poisonous cock, maxing out the credit cards, being sucked into debt slavery by a sham system set up for that express purpose and by withdrawing into self-contained atmospheres of toxic greed and covetousness while ignoring those things that really and truly matter in order to pursue that cheap television electronic crack high of the pursuit of the mythical American dream. The greatest bait and switch in American history was that period after the Powell Memorandum laid out the game plan for the Reagan juggernaut that would destroy the unions, gut the regulatory agencies for fun and profit and produce a mutant generation that now believed that the path to success and prosperity came courtesy of the lottery and grotesquely insidious scams like winning it big on Who Wants to be A Millionaire or getting the chance to lick Donald Trump's balls for a shot at the big time in The Apprentice rather than the unspoken traditional pact of loyalty and hard work between employee and employer mapped out a path to prosperity and created a middle class that was the envy of the world and made dreams possible of a unique national destiny to change the world for the better. Then the festering nest of fascist vipers that has always existed in this country hijacked that dream and turned it into a nightmare.

We are now reaping reaping the whirlwind for a quarter century of disastrously corrupt and fundamentally flawed economic philosophy rot from the demonic little gnome Milton Friedman and the amphetamine jacked goddess of greed Ayn Rand that rode in on Reagan's coattails, or maybe it was the opposite but make no mistake, the average American will be the one left holding the proverbial flaming bag of dogshit while the looters have finished strip-mining the land and will laugh all the way to their offshore tax shelters and foreign banks. Americans have been indoctrinated to blame themselves for their lack of wealth and to view the poor as lazy lepers and the wealthy as superior human beings.

Howard W. Campbell Jr. from Kurt Vonnegut’s classic Slaughterhouse Five:

America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American journalist Kin Hubbard “It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.” It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand glued to a lollipop stick and flying fom the cash register.

Americans, like human beings everywhere believe that many things are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and therefore those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleanic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.

When elevating the moneychangers to revered figures Americans have bought the disinformation funded by the plutocrats decades long spending spree on think tank 'experts', news manipulation and balls out bribery of public officials to rig the game for the rich. In a decomposing corpse of a once vibrant economy it is only natural that the biggest maggots eat the best. Donald Trump is a shining example, more visible than the rank and file crooks and robbers who don't happen to be household names like Lloyd Blankfein, Dick Fuld, Ken Lewis and Jamie Dimon the mouthiest multi-millionaire in America is the one who is king. For all of his millions one would figure that a pathologically vain egomaniac like 'The Donald' could at least afford a decent rug to put on his head, so much for the beautiful rich. And now Trump is ready to make a presidential bid in 2012, he is already invoking the Birther bullshit to appeal to the peckerwoods and if he has any serious political sense soon will start dropping his g's to appeal to the dumber than dogshit red state fascists. He will need someone with clout for V.P. though, likely the moonbat Michelle Bachman who can mobilize brigades of the fucked over by the system but too ignorant to blame it on anyone but the niggers and A-rabs of teabaggers. Sarah Palin has for the most part been kicked to the curb like yesterday's garbage after her idiotic "blood libel" response to the Tuscon shooting where she portrayed herself as the real victim, not Congresswoman Gibson, a federal judge and a handful of others including a nine-year old girl who were murdered. Just imagine President Trump, Vice President Bachmann now that would be something for it would once and forever strip the veil of legitimacy from the gangster fascist state that is America and it's population of fear-filled, overfed and undereducated nitwits, it would be there for the entire world to see.

I often reference the work of Chris Hedges, a man who I feel is the moral beacon of these heinous times. His latest piece, The Collapse of Globalization truly sums up the hopeless mess that is America in terminal decline and I excerpt the following below::

We are seduced by this childish happy talk. Who wants to hear that we are advancing not toward a paradise of happy consumption and personal prosperity but a disaster? Who wants to confront a future in which the rapacious and greedy appetites of our global elite, who have failed to protect the planet, threaten to produce widespread anarchy, famine, environmental catastrophe, nuclear terrorism and wars for diminishing resources? Who wants to shatter the myth that the human race is evolving morally, that it can continue its giddy plundering of non-renewable resources and its profligate levels of consumption, that capitalist expansion is eternal and will never cease?

Dying civilizations often prefer hope, even absurd hope, to truth. It makes life easier to bear. It lets them turn away from the hard choices ahead to bask in a comforting certitude that God or science or the market will be their salvation. This is why these apologists for globalism continue to find a following. And their systems of propaganda have built a vast, global Potemkin village to entertain us. The tens of millions of impoverished Americans, whose lives and struggles rarely make it onto television, are invisible. So are most of the world’s billions of poor, crowded into fetid slums. We do not see those who die from drinking contaminated water or being unable to afford medical care. We do not see those being foreclosed from their homes. We do not see the children who go to bed hungry. We busy ourselves with the absurd. We invest our emotional life in reality shows that celebrate excess, hedonism and wealth. We are tempted by the opulent life enjoyed by the American oligarchy, 1 percent of whom control more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

The celebrities and reality television stars whose foibles we know intimately live indolent, self-centered lives in sprawling mansions or exclusive Manhattan apartments. They parade their sculpted and surgically enhanced bodies before us in designer clothes. They devote their lives to self-promotion and personal advancement, consumption, parties and the making of money. They celebrate the cult of the self. And when they have meltdowns we watch with gruesome fascination. This empty existence is the one we are taught to admire and emulate. This is the life, we are told, we can all have. The perversion of values has created a landscape where corporate management by sleazy figures like Donald Trump is confused with leadership and where the ability to accumulate vast sums of money is confused with intelligence. And when we do glimpse the poor or working class on our screens, they are ridiculed and taunted. They are objects of contempt, whether on “The Jerry Springer Show” or “Jersey Shore.”

The incessant chasing after status, personal advancement and wealth has plunged most of the country into unmanageable debt. Families, whose real wages have dropped over the past three decades, live in oversized houses financed by mortgages they often cannot repay. They seek identity through products. They occupy their leisure time in malls buying things they do not need. Those of working age spend their weekdays in little cubicles, if they still have steady jobs, under the heels of corporations that have disempowered American workers and taken control of the state and can lay them off on a whim. It is a desperate scramble. No one wants to be left behind.

Where are the role models? Our history has been scrubbed and sanitized by the economic royalists and the fascists to eliminate any mention of true heroes of the working class and of a real democratic society. The vast majority of those compliant little consumers that have for too long been churned out by a starved for funds and battered into submission school public school system that has been turned into a nationwide network of drone factories (one of the only things that we mass produce in America anymore) have never heard of those who sacrificed for those things that came to be taken to granted to the point where they are now being taken away.

Where is there any mention given of Eugene Debs or of Joe Hill or of Saul Alinsky or of Mother Jones? What about General Smedley D . Butler who called out the blood barters with his tract War Is A Racket and his exposure of the Business Plot where wealthy traitors schemed about a coup against FDR? What is taught about Huey Long? I mean other than the widely accepted narrative of a power mad, corrupt tyrant instead of the man who scared the living shit out of the elitist establishment with his "Share Our Wealth" program that made the New Deal look like Reaganomics. Long stood up to entrenched interests and the moral rottenness of looter capitalism, he built roads, bridges, hospitals and schools as well as provided free textbooks and he even dared to take on the almighty Rockefellers and Standard Oil. Long railed against institutionalized corruption with his “every man a king” type of populism and he was making dangerous noises about running for president. The ending of the Huey Long story is all too predictable and familiar: he was of course assassinated.

And what of Hellen Keller? The little girl who overcame blindness and deafness and whose struggles with her handicaps are taught to American children as an example of how to overcome adversity as they are indoctrinated to the lies of a society that demands sacrifice and backbreaking work from the lesser classes as unquestioning slaves to the whims of the modern pharaohs on Wall Street. She has been sanitized, turned into a Horatio Alger version of the little engine that could while her later life as a social activist goes ignored. Hellen Keller would grow up to be a champion of women’s suffrage, she would join the Industrial Workers of the World and to help to found the American Civil Liberties Union. She was a socialist who dared to speak out against the power base and their exploitation and for that sin her life has been through revisionist history turned into a perverse fairy tale and yet another myth to bolster the system that would make slaves of us all. The little engine that could was very quickly uncoupled from the rest of the train once the narrative switched tracks from one of inspirational value to one of social justice.

And there are others, there are many others who risked all to end child labor, to fight for equality and the forty-hour work week and unemployment protection and workers rights, workplace safety and a right to basic human decency but they go largely unheard of. A good and easy to read book about the working class American labor movements that I recommend is Sharon Smith’s Subterranean Fire because let’s face it, it is a hell of a rock that has to be rolled up that hill and education is necessary in order for the  deprogramming to occur. Official history is always written by the victors rather than the vanquished and because most of lying is through omission the banishment of American progressives from our history is a calculated and cynical effort to distort and distract until the final goal of a massive redistribution of wealth upwards and offshore has been completed and the country has been bankrupted and beggared by the economic royalists. Then the looters will either retreat behind the walls of their gated communities, hire private security firms for protection from the unwashed masses or flee this goddamned husk of a once great economic power altogether, their loyalty has always been to green and gold rather than red, white and blue.

With the American elevation of greed to a virtue and pigs like Trump and his ilk given adulation and honor instead of the shunning that they would receive by a sane society it is evident that the situation that we currently find ourselves in is in fact a prolonged, self-inflicted suicide.

Just my two cents


March 25, 2011

Dancing With The Corpses

“If you're losing your soul and you know it, then you've still got a soul left to lose”

-Charles Bukowski

Kirstie Alley glided across the dance floor, shaking her stuff, her gracefulness belied her girth and made her the early favorite to become the new avatar of all that is right in America, Dancing With the Stars is finally back. ABC, learning a lesson after last season’s near fiasco when waves of Teabagger activists stormed the online polls and nearly voted Bristol Palin America’s as favorite dancing queen, potentially alienating millions of non-Sarah Palin worshippers. The redultant big ratings turd that would have been floated in the punchbowl had the less talented teenage birther of bastards been allowed to steal the title. Opting for a lineup of less politically divisive ‘stars’ this time around DWTS gave Americans just the sort of sweet, sweet spike of mental morphine delivered digitally through the electronic crackpipe. The two-minute hate directed at whore-mongering cokehead Charlie Sheen has abetted for at least the time being, Obama’s new war and the nuclear travesty in Japan stealing most of the airplay. Americans love this stuff, it’s one hell of a distraction, I am waiting for some savvy entrepreneur to contract out to the oligarchy and start manufacturing giant balloons of Sheen’s head to fill with helium and fly in front of gas station price signs. Such is life on the big star spangled lemming farm , where the inhabitants graze away placidly in front of their big screen living room gods while awaiting the big culling of the herd. 

Ordinary Americans you see can't be bothered with the reality of the corporate wars waged under the big lie of spreading democracy and taking the fight to those who hate us for our freedoms and way of life. Truth is that we really aren't as free as advertised (just take a good look around someday) nor is U.S. democracy any other thing than what H.L. Mencken once remarked as that "every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods". Democracy in Der Heimat today is voting on American Idol and Dancing With the Stars, the real elections are nothing other than a Hobson's choice between two compromised, corrupted and amoral charlatans who were chosen precisely because of these traits by the oligarchy. Elections in American you see are a win-win situation for the pigs that run the system, given a false sense of legitimacy by a naive, childlike belief that change can still be realized at the ballot box/electronic voting machine when the entire democratic process is an illusion in itself. Sure there are the standard cultural populist issues that pollute the ballot and ensure that the most enormously stupid and hateful among us show up in sufficient numbers so as to make it a good show but when it all comes down to it there is no substantial difference between America's two rotten and irredeemably debased and venal political parties. There is really no substantive differences in the policies of the state itself no matter which party 'wins' control over the spoils system, the corporate giveaways only accelerate, impoverishing millions in the process, the police state continues to metastasize as the cancer on a once much more free society that it is and most importantly of all ...the wars continue. Not that Americans want to hear about them rather than the standard idiotic jingoist hogwash smothered in patriotic bullshit, there are dancing and talent contests to watch, ballgames to enjoy and the daily Vulcan style mind meld with their beloved telescreens to continue uninterrupted by any sort of reality lest their exoskeleton of denial be punctured. 

Death Came From The Skies: In Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel Slaughterhouse Five the author uses the books of a fictional science fiction writer named Kilgore Trout to insert social commentary into his overall story. One of ‘Trout’s’ tales addressed the strange contradictions of a society that will accept with open arms one who kills civilians with state sanction during wartime while ostracizing one for silly, superficial reasons:

This, too, was the title of a book by Trout, The Gutless Wonder. It was about a robot who had bad breath, who became popular after his halitosis was cured. But what made the story remarkable, since it was written in 1932, was that it predicted the widespread use of burning jellied gasoline on human beings. It was dropped on them from airplanes. Robots did the dropping. They had no conscience, and no circuits which would allow them to imagine what was happening to the people on the ground.

Trout's leading robot looked like a human being, and could talk and dance and so on, and go out with girls. And nobody held it against him that he dropped jellied gasoline on people. But they found his halitosis unforgivable. And then he cleared that up, and he was welcomed to the human race.

Vonnegut was actually present at Dresden on the night that allied bombers laid waste to the ‘Florence of the Elbe’, a historic city as well as a non-military target with little or no air defense system that was packed with refugees and prisoners and was targeted by bombers that incinerated over one hundred thousand civilians. Vonnegut spoke of seeing the boiled bodies of schoolgirls floating in a water tower through his character Billy Pilgrim and also of being forced to dig through the wreckage in the aftermath to find "corpse mines" and described the odor of the bodies:

“They didn’t smell bad at first…but then the bodies rotted and liquefied, and the stink was like roses and mustard gas”

He also spoke of a character, another soldier who died of the dry heaves from having to go down into a corpse mine and being overcome by the stench:

“He tore himself to pieces, throwing up and throwing up”

Dresden doesn’t get much mention when it comes to the history of the 'good war', neither does the decimation of the Japanese homeland by the fire-bombing of civilian areas. Before Fat Man and Little Boy were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima the land of the rising sun had been brought to it's knees by a long-running series of B-29 incendiary bombings led by General Curtis LeMay a ruthless efficiency obsessed madman with the nickname of "Bombs Away LeMay". LeMay led a withering series of bombings on 64 Japanese cities with the worst being the flaming hell from the skies unleashed on Tokyo on March 9-10, 1945 when nearly one hundred thousand human beings were incinerated. So intense was that bombing that according to one writer, Nicholas Von Hoffman, that the heat “boiled the water in lakes and ponds, cooking those who fled to safety there like human lobsters”. LeMay once said that "killing Japanese didn't bother me very much at that time... I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal". The murderous actions of the U.S. government against the non-caucasian enemy du jour in any of our great imperialist wars and conflicts including Barack Obama's humanitarian bombardment of Libya as well as the financial windfall that the destruction of lives and infrastructure reap for the moneychangers and blood barters rarely if ever intrude on the consciousness of the masses of asses who couldn't be bothered with the slaughter that is carried out on their taxpayer dime. Kilgore Trout’s’ The Gutless Wonder is a perfect metaphor for the apathetic and dumbed-down  philistines who allow for the murder of innocents to take place in their name as long as the reality doesn’t intrude upon their futile pursuit of happiness. I know people who regularly flock to local air shows when they take place every year to marvel at the military planes, drool over the displays of armaments, eat, drink and be merry with that one big disconnect from reality ensuring their pleasure. Aerial bombardment and cruise missiles are not only extraordinarily expensive but also representative of the sanitized killing and innate gutlessness of modern drone warfare where airstrikes can be launched from a distance in the comfort of air conditioned command centers by men with video screens and joysticks. Roger Waters accurately described it as the Bravery of Being out of Range:

In something more contemporary than World War II atrocities one needs only to read Chris Hedges' latest gut-wrenching essay The Body Baggers of Iraq. In the piece, Hedges who is the preeminent moral voice in this feculent cadaver of a republic pulls back the red, white and blue bunting on the blessed glory of war that is revered by armchair patriots. He details the story of Jess Goodell, a worker in the Marine Corps Mortuary Affairs unit whose job was to "collect and catalog" the corpses and possessions of those poor, fucked-over "heroes" who paid the ultimate price so that Americans could remain free to be decadent, slothful, timorous, self-obsessed nitwits whose only Earthly purpose is to be ready to bare their jugulars whenever the monsters that are the corporate vampire class are ready to feed. The piece is not for anyone possessing either a weak stomach nor an animal instinct to remain in denial about the glamorous and noble nature of war that they have been sold through movies and television. War is a vile, stinking morass of human misery, blood, vomit, dead babies, shattered lives and those who have gotten obscenely wealthy and powerful in turning the filth, fury and soul-sucking degradation into just more revenue flows that they use to gamble in the markets on more defense stocks that feed the demon that can never be full enough of the gore and gold upon which it feeds. To once again quote the late, great Hunter S. Thompson.."All political power comes from the barrel of either guns, pussy, or opium pipes, and people seem to like it that way." It has worked wonders for the psychotics who run this place now and while that precious nugget of real truth is an even bigger bout of skull-fuckery that is best left to the hard core truth-seekers and cynics...

But I digress....

The Body Baggers of Iraq is just awesome in it's sustained intensity and you will never see anything even remotely resembling something like this in even the most 'liberal' bastions of the corporate propaganda system that serves as the media here in Fortress USA. I excerpt the following from that piece:

The unit processed about half a dozen suicides. The suicide notes, she said, almost always cited hazing. Women, she said, were constantly harassed, especially sexually, but it often did not match the systematic punishment and humiliation meted out to men who were deemed to be inadequate Marines. She said that Marines who were overweight or unable to do the physical training were subjected to withering verbal and physical abuse. They were called “fat nasties” and “shit bags.” The harassed Marines would be assigned to other individual Marines and become their slaves. They would be sent on punishing runs in which many of them vomited. They would be forced to bear-crawl—walk on all fours—the length of a football field and back. This would be followed by sets of monkey fuckers—bending down, grabbing the ankles, crouching down like a baseball catcher and then standing up again—followed by a series of other exercises that went on until the Marines collapsed.

“They make these Marines do what they call ‘bitch’ work,” Goodell said. “They are assigned to be someone else’s ‘bitch’ for the day. We had a guy in our platoon, not in Iraq but in California, and he was overweight. He was on remedial PT, which meant he went to extra physical training. When he came to work he was rotated. One day he was with this corporal or this sergeant. One day he was sent to me. I had him for an hour. I remember sending him outside and making him carry things. It was very common for them to dig a hole and fill it back up with sand or carry sand bags up to the top of a hill and then carry them down again.”

The unit was sent to collect the bodies of the Marines who killed themselves, usually by putting rifles under their chins and pulling the trigger.

“We had a Marine who was in a port-a-john when he blew his face off,” she said. “We had another Marine who shot himself through the neck. Often they would do it in the corner of a bunker or an abandoned building. We had a couple that did it in port-a-johns. We had to go in and peel and pull off chunks of flesh and brain tissue that had sprayed the walls. Those were the most frustrating bodies to get. On those bodies we were also on cleanup crew. It was gross. We sent the suicide notes home with the bodies.”


“One of the first convoys we went to was one where the Army had been traveling over a bridge and an IED had exploded,” she said. “It had literally shot a seven-ton truck over the side and down into a ravine. Marines were already going down into the ravine. We were just getting out of our vehicles. We were putting on our gloves and putting coverings over our boots. I was with a Marine named Pineda. I was coming around the Humvee and there was a spot on the ground that was a circle. I looked at it and thought something must have exploded here or near here. I went over to look at it. I looked in and saw a boot. Then I noticed the boot had a foot in it. I almost lost my lunch.”

“In the seven-ton truck the [body of the] assistant driver, who was in the passenger seat, was trapped in the vehicle,” she said. “All of his body was in the vehicle. We had to crawl in there to get it out. It was charred. Pineda and I pulled the burnt upper torso from the truck. Then we removed a leg. Some of the remains had to be scooped up by putting out hands together as though we were cupping water. That was very common. A lot of the deaths were from IEDs or explosions. You might have an upper torso but you need to scoop the rest of the remains into a body bag. It was very common to have body bags that when you picked them up they would sink in the middle because they were filled with flesh. The contents did not resemble a human body.”

The members of the mortuary unit were shunned by the other Marines. The stench of dead flesh clung to their uniforms, hair, skin and fingers. Two members of the mortuary unit began to disintegrate psychologically. One began to take a box of Nyquil tablets every day and drink large quantities of cold medicine. He was eventually medevaced out of Iraq.

“Our cammies would be stained with blood or with brains,” she said. “When you scoop up the meat it often would get on the cuffs of our shirts. You could smell it, even after you took off your gloves. We weren’t washing our cammies everyday. Your cuff comes to your face when you eat. Physically we were stained with remains. We had a constant smell like rotten meat, which I guess is what it was since often the bodies had been in the sun and the heat for a long time. The flesh had gone bad. The skin on a body in the hot sun slides off. The skin detaches itself from the layer beneath and slides around on itself.”


Her unit once had to recover two Marines who had drowned in a lake. It appeared one had leapt in to save the other. The bodies, which were recovered after a couple of days by Navy divers, were grotesquely swollen. One of the Marines was so bloated and misshapened that the body was difficult to carry on a litter.

“His neck was as wide as his bloated head, and his stomach jutted out like a barrel,” she writes in the book. “His testicles were the size of cantaloupes. His face was white and puffy and thick. Not fat, but thick. It was unreal. He looked like a movie prop, with thick, gray, waxy skin and the thick purple lips. We couldn’t stop looking at these bodies because they were so out of proportion and so disfigured and because, still, they looked like us.”

It was hardest to look into the faces of the dead. She and the other members of the mortuary unit swiftly covered the faces when they worked on the bodies. They avoided looking at the eyes of the corpses.

Once, the unit had to process seven Marines killed in an explosion. Seven or eight body bags were delivered to the bunker.

“We had clean body bags set up so we could sort the flesh,” she said. “Sometimes things come in with nametags. Or sometimes one is Hispanic and you could tell who was Hispanic and who was the white guy. We tried separating flesh. It was ridiculous. We would open a body bag and there was nothing but vaporized flesh. There were not four hands or a whole leg in a bag. We tried to distribute the mush evenly throughout the bags. We were trying to do the best we could sorting it out. We had the last body bag come in. We opened up the body bag and it was filled with the heads. I looked at four before looking away. Not only did we have to look at them, we had to pick them up and figure out who it belonged to. The eyes were looking back at us. We got used to a lot of it. But the heads worked the other way. They affected us more strongly as time passed. We saw on the heads the expressions of fright and horror. It made us wonder what we were doing here.”

She processed one Marine whose face was twisted at the moment of death by rage. The face of this Marine began to haunt her.

“I had this feeling that something awful had occurred,” she said. “The way he had come in and stiffened he had this look to his face that made my stomach curl. It looked angry. Often expressions on bodies would look fearful and hurt. The faces looked as though they had received death. But this face looked like he had given death.”

She and the other members of the unit became convinced they could feel and hear the souls of the dead Marines they had processed and housed in their reefers.

The pernicious nature of war not only destroys flesh and buildings, it destroys lives of those who survive and then must cope with the horrific and immoral acts that their government has ordered them to participate in. Those with a conscience like Goodell are haunted by the experience and are able to channel it into some sort of action that is redemptive, such as speaking out with the truth. Others, take for example Army Specialist Jeremy Morelock of Wasila, Alaska (how ironic) and the "Kill Team" who was just sentenced to 24 years in prison for his murdering for fun of Afghan civilians. While Morelock becomes the example and the sacrificial lamb for the ongoing carnage in America's wars. How many other Jeremy Morelocks are not going to be brought up on charges and will return home one day, trained killers with sociopathic personality disorders and who will be absorbed into the police state apparatus as law enforcement personnel? Food for thought isn't it?

Outback's Shameless Corporate War Profiteering

To borrow from the Marine Corps vernacular referenced in the Hedges' piece one could accurately peg the majority of Americans as "shit bags", "fat nasties", "money fuckers" and "slaves" so worthless and pathetic they have been during the rise of the fascist state. More of the lemmings here in God's chosen land of plenty pour our their emotions in acts of lunacy like mourning the death of multi-millionaire movie stars like Elizabeth Taylor, a woman who lived the good life and through her the inhabitants of idiot nation lived vicariously, just as they do when it comes to all of the false idols that they sanctimoniously deify while the wallow in the shame, cowardice and willful ignorance that passes for their pitiful little lives. I remember back in the days after the prior vainglorious Emperor George W. Bush unleashed the full fury of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex on Saddam Hussein's Iraq back in 2003, at that time gas was still cheap, the grand fraud of the Wall Street housing bubble was years from reaching critical mass and piggish and still traumatized by the 'terrorist' attacks on 9/11 were braying for blood. The roads were filled with mega-sizes SUV's and goddammit if there wasn't one of those idiotic fucking yellow ribbon magnets on the ass end of each one. It was futile trying to convince the average American dumbass that their over-consumption of the precious black gold was what our heroic military 'heroes' were being sent into the meat-grinder to kill, be maimed for life or die for. Back in that day those who dared to question were shouted down as "traitors", "terrorist-appeasers", "enemies of the state" and the worst of all pejoratives..."unpatriotic" back when it was scary to dissent against Bush's maniac crusades for neocon doctrine. Those were disturbing times for those of us who were only starting to come to the realization (as with me) that it was all bullshit, before the early internet insurgents....after years of relative 'peace' it was a total war of civilizations. Eventually though the truth became to seep out, the internet gave many of us a place to organize and educate ourselves and the always greed-crazed corporate carnivores latched onto the wars as another marketing tool. 

The wars have not only not been televised to Americans but are now shamelessly used by corporations who equate patriotic fervor with profits. The participation of national restaurant chains like Outback Steakhouse in Operation Homefront are cynically used to sell steaks and blooming onions to blooming idiots (I wonder how that meat would taste if Chris Hedges' piece were slipped into the menus), Wal-Marts are festooned in the red-white and blue despite an inventory of poorly constructed garbage made in China and "support the troops" has become a guaranteed money maker to lure consumers. The worst offenders of course is FOX and nothing is more indicative of their cheerleading for murder than the NFL coverage, take for example the use of Veterans Day weekend in 2009 to promote the 'patriotism' of the foreign pig Rupert Murdoch. FOX's pregame show was held on a set in Afghanistan (see Militarist Masturbation) where ex jocks and grinning shit salesmen like Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw immersed the FOX brand in the sort of glorification of the war machine that would do Leni Riefenstahl proud. There is no important football game that doesn't feature a tax dollar wasting flyover and this year's Super Bowl in Jerry Jone's gauche Texas temple of avarice was vomit inducing so soaked in red-meat flag waving and war worshipping hyperbole was it. It goes over real well with those who in the true modern American way love to park their fat asses on their couches in front of their big screen televisions and cheer for others to die just as long as they don't have to do the fighting.

I will close with this excerpt from the classic antiwar book by Dalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His Gun:

You can always hear the people who are willing to sacrifice somebody else’s life. They’re plenty loud and they talk all the time. You can find them in churches and schools and newspapers and legislatures and congress. That’s their business. They sound wonderful. Death before dishonor. This ground sanctified by blood. These men who died so gloriously. They shall not have died in vain. Our noble dead.


But what do the dead say?

Did anybody ever come back from the dead any single one of the millions who got killed did any one of them ever come back and say by god I’m glad I’m dead because death is always better than dishonor? Did they say I’m glad I died to make the world safe for democracy? Did they say that I like death better than losing liberty? Did any of them ever say it’s good to think I got my guts blown out for the honor of my country? Did any of them ever say look at me I’m dead but I died for decency and that’s better than being alive? Did any of them ever say here I am I’ve been rotting for two years in a foreign grave but it’s wonderful to die for your native land? Did any of them say hurray I died for womanhood and I’m happy see how I sing even though my mouth is choked with worms?

Nobody but the dead know whether all these things people talk about are worth dying for or not. And the dead can’t talk. So the words about noble deaths and sacred blood and honor and such are all put into dead lips by grave robbers and fakes who have no right to speak for the dead. If a man says death before dishonor he is either a fool or a liar because he doesn’t know what death is. He isn’t able to judge. He only knows about living. He doesn’t know anything about dying. If he is a fool and believes in death before dishonor let him go ahead and die.

So it goes...

March 02, 2011

All Hail General Petraeus!

That the great American General David Petraeus is an five-star bullshit artist comes as so real revelation to those of us who have been watching him operate for years. The SURGE was the most successful piece of propaganda in modern American history, turning a brutal and costly sucking-black hole of blood and chaos in Iraq into a golden-hued triumph and then gone flickering into the recesses of the collective American mindset as they turned their channels. The SURGE was so brilliant that Helicopter Ben Bernanke used a similar strategy in pimping a devastated economy, ruined by degenerate Wall Street gamblers and on permanant taxpayer life-support into the near miraculous GREEN SHOOTS of recovery. Well, nearly two years after Chairman Ben's vaunted 60 Minutes infomercial the economy is still in ruins, inflation is skyrocketing and food costs driven into the proverbial stratosphere are rapidly destabilizing the globe. So when I read the recent Rolling Stone piece by Michael Hastings entitled King David's War I was not one bit fazed when it was revealed that the man on the white horse was utilizing propaganda and perception management to keep his war in Afghanistan in it's rightful place in the line at for funding priorities. Only in America could a country that is unravelling as quickly as this one is, infrastructure crumbling, jobs fleeing to cheap labor Meccas, a failed political system and a crusing debt to China could such ruinous wars of choice continue to drain the nation's coffers.

Despite the legend erected around him by Republican syscophants like the McCain-Lieberman-Graham three-headed monster and his own oversized ego and crackerjack public relations team Petraeus has always been less miracle worker than he is a product. The high water mark for King David came in early 2009 when he goose-stepped out to the middle of the NFL logo in full dress regalia to flip the coin at Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa. A national television audience, a massive display of militarism with the thundering flyover barely drowning out the roar of the crowd for the American Caesar (or General James Mattoon Scott) and the loving adoration of a nation braying for the blood of brown skinned Muslim devils reveled in the near orgasmic release of energy of that moment. Petraeus was also riding high after the SURGE PR campaign that convinced millions that their hero had finally won the Iraq war and brought some degree of revenge for that damned Saddam Hussein's support of the 9/11 'terrorist' attacks. Petraeus was in another of those cheap, warmed over versions of real American history honored like the second coming of Eisenhower, a welcome comparison for a man with long-term political aspirations. Only a few years ago, he had been dissed in an ugly public manner by his former boss Admiral William Fallon as an "ass-kissing little chickenshit". Fallon of course paid the price for his candor, being sent packing by the Bushreich high-command, the final straw being an interview that he did for Esquire magazine back in 2008.

The legend of General Petraeus continued to grow in stature with the successful SURGE that has been touted by every self-interested politically connected asshole in order to present the illusion of not being defeated in Iraq because as Christ knows, America WINS wars. Or at least America WINS wars when the war effort isn't being undermined at home by a liberal fifth column, a Commie liberal media and dope-smoking draft dodgers, long-haired stinky hippies and black militants rioting on the nation's cities, so the myth goes. The war machine DID learn one hugely important lesson from the Vietnam debacle and that it was imperative that the perception of the public had to be managed in order to gin up support for future imperialist ventures. With the reinstatement of the draft being political suicide in that it would immediately result in a mass antiwar movement when hundreds of thousands could be plucked from their living room sofas and transported into a real live war zone and therefore being out of the question the public had to be convinced to support or even better forget about ongoing military occupations to plunder on behalf of corporations. Reagan hit paydirt with the Blitzkrieg of global military power Grenada, Poppy Bush kicked ass on former CIA asset and big time narcotics trafficker Manuel Noriega and the first Gulf War was a spectacular masterpiece of stage managed propaganda brought into the living rooms of millions courtesy of CNN. Add to that a decade of high profile ass-whupping propaganda films such as Rambo, the Chuck Norris Missing in Action series and other sordid lesser movie franchises that re-fought the Vietnam war and the seeds had been planted, the bitter taste of defeat washed from our mouths.

Then of course came the granddaddy of them all, the lynchpin upon which the reset button could be hit on the entire society and justify an Orwellian future of never ending wars - 9/11. Before the bodies had even been pulled from the wreckage of the World Trade Center the Bush-Cheney junta was already plotting the new world order as exemplified by The Project For The New American Century or PNAC.  The alleged 'terrorist' attacks" (attacks pulled off with something like a super military style precision that would seem to be beyond that which a bunch of guys in caves could hope to pull off) would launch the expansion of the U.S. global empire. Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney played off of Junior Bush's Oedipal complex to goad him into invading Iraq to finish the old man's job. First though, there would have to be the strike against the land where the supposed 9/11 materminds had plotted the attacks from and were presiding over a network of terror camps (note the stock footage of the masked men and the monkey bars) from - Afghanistan. Never mind that Afghanistan is historically famous for having chewed up empires like the Brits and the Soviets, we Americans would never repeat the mistakes taught by history and get bogged down in a brutal and primitive quagmire. A quagmire that nearly ten years later would require the genius of the brilliant General Petraeus to save us from but more on that in a little while. With Afghanistan attacked first and the public's blood boiling after the 9/11 attacks, the USA PATRIOT Act rammed through Congress like shit through the proverbial goose and any influential road blocks being eliminated when the anthrax letters started being received by key members of the Democratic party Senate leadership and news anchors the game was on.

The ramping up of the apocalyptic rhetoric leading up to the attack on Iraq was like a loundening drumbeat of the tom tom's at some sort of bizarre island ritual where the natives get jacked up on some sort of magical hallucinogenic concoction and then go and slaughter animals as tribute to their gods. In our case, here in the new American HOMELAND our god was and always has been war. The entire country went through some sort of strange and inexplicable phase of indoctrination by propaganda and intimidation by the now common denunciations of "traitor", "unpatriotic" and "terrorist sympathizer" to tamp down the opposition to phase two of the American conquest of the Middle East and Eurasia. When the deal was done, Colin Powell's lies at the United Nations enshrined as truth and Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction ready to be loosed upon our preciously innocent American children while they slumbered in their comfortable beds the order was given and the Baghdad lit up like the Fourth of July with a sustained Shock And Awe display of  U.S. taxpayer dollars. And of course it was all on television....and the lemmings ate it up as usual.

Fast forward to early 2011, Iraq has largely  been relegated to the memory hole with much thanks to the miraculous SURGE. George W. Bush's wars have become Barack Obama's wars and the situation in Afghanistan, while predictably forgotten by most Americans and erased from the corporate media in favor of the latest Charlie Sheen update is continuing to deteriorate. This even after King David Petraeus found himself plucked from his posh post at CENTCOM in Tampa and sent off to work his magic in the land where empires go do die. When Rolling Stone published an article that portrayed General Stanley McChrystal, the four star clown then running the Afghan circus in a very nasty light of insubordination and disrespect it was the final straw for even the jelly-spined Obama who summoned him to Washington and 'accepted his retirement'. The article, The Runaway General was written by Michael Hastings who won the coveted Polk Award for his efforts. King David's War is his followup and can't have made the great man Petraeus very happy, unconfirmed anonymous reports allege that the puckering of his asshole could be heard all the way from Kandahar. The piece brilliantly lays out the levels to which Petraeus will plumb in order to cynically ensure that his media polished halo continue to glow. The great general, acting on behalf of Boobus Americanus to preserve our precious way of life cajoles, bribes, threatens, grandstands and allies himself with bloodthirsty, illiterate murderous, drug trafficking thugs like Col. Abdul Razzik to keep the war effort going. If the U.S. is relying on a guy Razzik, a real nasty piece of work by anyone's standards to 'win' the war then it is further evidence of the damnation of America's soul. Not that it troubles King David, who the Hastings piece brilliantly sums up in this statement:

A better nickname for Petraeus might be the Godfather: He is relying on a network of warlords and drug runners that he himself once called a "criminal syndicate".

I suppose that Petraeus, like Colonel Kurtz was winning the war 'his way', and another Hastings piece that is actually succeeding in finally putting a weed up the asses of the right people, again for Rolling Stone and entitled Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators may be the one that seals the deal for Petraeus. Of course the general with a true idea on the value of propaganda, P.R. and other little white lies, half-truths and prevarications has ordered an investigation, it will predictably be about as credible as Tony Soprano and Silvio Dante doing an internal audit of the Bada Bing Club blooks. Could it be that General Petraeus is about to reap the whirlwind of his own bullshit? With the Rolling Stone articles pissing on his presidential parade after it was already seriously damaged by Obama's exile of Petraeus to Afghanistan. The King David piece speaks of tensions between Gen P. and Obama who allegedly felt had been bent over (what a surprise) and butt-fucked by the Pentagon and it's agents in escalating the conflict which according to unnamed sources were becoming increasingly wary about a potential Petraeus 2012 bid and were seeing him " a general on his white horse", according to an unnamed senior U.S. military official. With his medal bedrecked showboating for the media Petraeus would have been a big hit with the right-wingers who are now desperately in search of a new champion since the political career of Sarah Palin went down in a blaze of idiocy, violent rhetoric and the televised murder of animals that proved too much for even cable TV diehards to take. The GOP is now, at least being exposed as the pack of sleazy, opportunistic jackals primarily interested in wresting control of the lead position at the golden trough shorn of their most visible leader Palin. The glue that keeps the nutjobs, war freaks, Raptureheads, nationalists, Birthers and brokedick peckerwood Jesus freak base together has been a charismatic cult leader and let's face it, Newt Gingrich is not that man (the Birchers HATE him) and Michelle Bachmann is just a more deranged version of Palin and an embarassment. The exposure of Petraeus as a pathological and cynical con artist is a devastating blow to the Republican party as a whole and to the rest of America in that it practically ensures a second term of Obama's Bush Lite.

Hasting's first article displays the arrogance of King David when he is quoted as telling his spokesman that the White House was "fucking with the wrong guy". Then came the McChrystal debacle and the assignment of Petraeus to what might as well have been the Aleutians. When Obama summoned the recalcitrant Stanley McChrystal back to D.C. and then in an unexpected whirlwind turn of events accepted his "resignation" it sent shockwaves through the administration's war council. So sudden had the shitcanning been and so contrary to the positive lobbying on his behalf despite his obvious disregard for civilian authority that the perpetually conniving Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bush appointee Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen were not expecting Obama's decision. Even more surprising was the annoitment of the great General Petraeus, his superior to replace him because as stated in the piece, "If Petraeus can't do it, the thinking went, then no one can - and no one back home could blame Obama for losing with Petraeus in charge." It was a political master stroke for Obama, at once hanging the war that the neocons and Petraeus had so long propagandized in favor of like a millstone around his neck and taking out his most potentially dangerous political opponent at once. It is one of those extremely rare instances when the mythical Obama as the cool and collected mastermind, like Michael Jordan just sizing up the opposition before systematically thrusting the dagger through their hearts and shredding the defense like so much Reagan surplus cheese actually can be seen and the O-Bots and apologists momentarily vindicated. Then of course Obama continues to do what he does best, cut deals with fascists, redistribute wealth upwards to his Wall Street  benefactors, screw the poor and push through increasingly obscene violations of civil liberties that Bush never could have dreamed of getting away with.

Now that Petraeus, up to his ass in alligators in the Afghan swamp and resorting to cutting deals with thugs and murderers like Razzik as well as turning a blind eye on the drug trade is desperate, he is a four star rat on a treadmill and history is cranking up the speed. So despearate is Petraeus now that his subordinates are unbelievably running psy ops campaigns on Senators, not that this isn't routine procedure but that it is felt that blood thirsty death junkies like John McCain and Joe Lieberman have to actually be conned into supporting more murder in the name of the almighty American empire. The wheels are coming off now, Petraeus's talking points are sounding more like those of Karl Rove or Frank Luntz by the day, the latest and most bizarre being that Afghan parents are burning their own kids to make the U.S. look bad. There are rumors circulating that the great general is about to quit his Afghanistan command and the collateral damage of the civilian body count exploding thanks to the Petraeus COIN method which is being exposed as a sham are indicative of a desperate and cunning charlatan working frantically to save his rapidly diminishing political future. I suppose that he could always slink back to Der Homeland in shame and become a cause celebre and hero to uber fascist right-wing degenerates, much like Douglas MacArthur after he was shitcanned by President Harry Truman in Korea for his insubordination. MacArthur in his time may have also believed that "they are fucking with the wrong guy". It is actually quite fitting that Petraeus would be presiding over the long running Afghanistan clusterfuck which has no end in sight - after all, it's better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven.

Petraeus or no Petraeus, the wars will continue because as obedient little historical revisionist flag-suckers we Americans have the slaughter of brown-skinned, non-Christians for our national glory in our blood. From the day that a child exits the womb the indoctrination of American exceptionalism, we are the good guys and the heinous lie that they ALL hate us for our way of life and therefore must be annihilated to preserve freedom and democracy ensures that the wars will never end. This very morning Obama and the establisment are in the process of plotting another foreign adventure  in Libya (their bankers must be getting nervous), this latest use of raw force will be justified under the left cover of a humanitarian intervention, the sort of hogwash that was peddled to the useful idiots to justify escalation in Afghanistan because of the brutality towards women. Time Magazine featured the war porn of a noseless Afghan woman on the cover to pimp the war to the butterflies, moonbeams, zebras and fairy tales liberals who never met a war that couldn't be justified under such phony pretenses of protecting human rights. The neocon mighty wurlitzer propaganda machine is already churning as well with the ludicrous claims that the financial collapse was all the fault of those damned dirty Ay-rabs, this Washington Times post has the title: Financial Terrorism Suspected in 2008 Economic Crash, credited to another of those evil little reports that are assembled in Pentagon propaganda chop shops. The headline does have one thing right though, the crash was the result of financial terrorism only the terrorists weren't wearing turbans and red headbands, rather they were wearing thousand dollar suits and floating off of the coast of the Hamptons in yachts while their derivatives exploded like the financial weapons of mass destruction that they were. War and lies and credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations and tainted, buffoon presidential candidates like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich are proof that you can sell anything in America. As Mencken once famously remarked, "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public" or something along those lines. Welcome to Chumpland and stock up on canned goods because the real financial terrorists of Wall Street are bidding up commodities (especially oil) and whiling away their time before unleashing their latest mass casualty attack on America, a Roman orgy of gross speculation: C.M.B.S. 2.0.

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows. [Please note these are 1935 U.S. dollars. To adjust for inflation, multiply all figures X 10 or more]

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill. And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

- General Smedley D. Butler

Just my two cents