Sunday, December 28, 2014

John McCain, Drill Baby Drill, and the Law of Unintended Consequences

Remember when John McCain was agitating the right wing masses with chants of “Drill baby, drill?”

Oh yeah, he quickly gave lip service to alternative energy sources – a sort of kiss before sending alternative energy to the gibbet with a hooded executioner. The emphasis was clearly on getting all the filthy fossil fuel we could out of the earth and sending it up the chimney for the enrichment of oil interests that were backing mostly the candidates of the right.

Here’s a reminder if you need it, but keep reading after you watch.

Now, from the New York Times, comes this:
HOUSTON — States dependent on oil and gas revenue are bracing for layoffs, slashing agency budgets and growing increasingly anxious about the ripple effect that falling oilprices may have on their local economies. 
The concerns are cutting across traditional oil states like Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Alaska as well as those like North Dakota that are benefiting from the nation’s latest energy boom 
“The crunch is coming,” said Gunnar Knapp, a professor of economics and the director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Right-O John. The oil’s gushing like water and it’s the oil producing states that are getting screwed.

Of course, in a way everybody’s getting screwed, even as cheap oil for as while produces some prosperity. With oil selling for less than – well certainly less than bottled water – the impetus to turn to alternative fuels has gone up the chimney. So you can expect the auto makers to sell more SUVs this year and fewer fuel-efficient cars. You can expect the solar and wind industries to wither. And eventually, when somebody tightens the oil spigot, everybody’s screwed and we’ll all be right back to where we were a few years ago.

One way to ameliorate the situation at least a little bit – and to get some desperately needed infrastructure repairs financed at the same time – would be to slap cheap gasoline with a five cent, or maybe even a ten cent federal gasoline tax.

With a Republican Congress? I have to be kidding, right?

Right. So we might as well all lie back and enjoy getting scewed. Long live St. Ayn. Forget I said anything, kiddies. Go back to your economics textbook. You know the one I mean. “Atlas Shrugged.” The current situation gives new meaning to the title. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Young black man shot dead by cops for shopping in Wal-Mart

A young black man wanders into Wal-Mart, walking up and down the aisles while chatting on a cell phone. He finds an air rifle left out on a counter top and picks it up. He continues shopping – or doing the Wal-Mart version of window shopping, eventually wandering into the pet department.

There, still holding the rifle – perhaps he’s on his way, eventually, to the checkout counter – and still chatting on the phone, he seems to be looking at merchandise on a dog food rack.

Meanwhile, a vigilante do-gooder calls 911 and reports he sees a man with a rifle loading the weapon in the store and pointing it at people. None of which is corrrect, store surveillance videos and later investigation show.

The cops arrive. They have real weapons that really are loaded. They dash into the store. Later they claim they told  the young man, who was still talking on his cell phone, to drop the gun. Even assuming that they are telling the truth, he clearly doesn’t hear them. His head doesn’t appear to  turn their way. He still continues chatting on the phone. About one second later, they blow him to kingdom come.

Cops, desperate to justify the shooting, bully the dead man’s girlfriend, still in shock from learning of his death, first trying to get her say that her boyfriend had the gun when he arrived at Wal-Mart, then accusing her of drug use, and also threatening her, “You lie to me and you might be on your way to jail.” You can watch a small piece of this disgusting interrogation here:

A grand jury convenes. Need I tell you the outcome? Right. The grand jury decides the police were “justified” in ending the young man’s life. 

If you’re from Ohio, you already know this story. It’s been in local papers, including the Dayton Daily News, and others for weeks. But although the shooting has had some television airtime and some play in The Guardian and The Huffington Post, similar events in Missouri and New York, with bigger media presence, have drowned out the story for most of the rest of the nation.

So here’s another dead body to add to the growing mound of young black corpses, on top of the second corpse within a few miles of Ferguson.

The rage in America is growing. Keep it up, cops. Get just a little more trigger happy and we all might get stuck with a full blown revolution on our hands. The American revolution started with a “justified shooting” by British troops and created a massacre in Boston. Study the history or repeat it, as the police and prosecutors seem hellbent on making sure happens.

And with that said, Merry Christmas. I suppose.

Cross-posted at No More Mister Niceblog

Friday, December 19, 2014

Taking hostages: ISIS, Kim Jong-un, Norman Seabrook and Viral Bad Behavior

Seabrook – you'd better
read about him below
Dear Leader Kim fattens while his people starve
Let’s start with the firm premise that I have no use for any of the entities mentioned in the headline or depicted above. Each, in his own way, represents something disgraceful about the human race. 

But what I’ve noticed lately is that vile behavior is spreading like a virus, thanks to guys like these.

I don’t need to explain much about ISIS, the organization whose trademark outrage, among its many outrages, is capturing innocent strangers and cutting off their heads.

Nor do I have to explain Kim Jong-un, the fat North Korean dictator in a land of starving people. He’s the one who just made a name for himself by bringing Sony to its knees for daring to make a film that satirized him. In the course of it he threatened the lives of any person who dares – dares! – to see the movie. He’s threatening violence in the style of 9-11. 

The silence from Congress is deafening. Our lawmakers seem terrified to so much as speak a word against him. He may be the most powerful influence on Congress since the NRA. Sometimes I wonder if he has bought as many legislators as the NRA.

But unless you live in New York – in fact,  even if you live in New York but don’t read the papers closely, Norman Seabrook’s name may leave you scratching your head. Norman who?

Seabrook is head of something called COBA, a renegade union called the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, and although his photograph makes him look affable enough, he is your worst nightmare. His sociopathic excuse for a labor union has demonstrated that he will shut down the city’s courts and criminal justice system if anyone dares challenge the brutality of the prison guards who form his union’s membership.

 They beat up teen-agers and allow or encourage others to do the same. They continence prison rape and sodomy and have been known to participate in it themselves. They smuggle contraband in to prisoners who pay off. They allow prisoners to bake to death. And then they lie, in incident after incident, to cover up the true facts.

And should anyone dare to bring individual officers up on charges, the union shuts down the courts by preventing the transport of prisoners from the Riker’s Island prison complex in the East River to any of the city’s courtrooms. The New York Times reports:
Last year, the same union effectively shut down the court system in the city for a day, an exercise in a different kind of power. Led by Norman Seabrook, the president of the union, correction officers claimed every single bus for transporting prisoners was unfit to drive or could not be moved. What were they up to? Well, the shutdown took place on the day a man being held at Rikers Island was supposed to be delivered to the Bronx courthouse to testify at the trial of two correction officers accused of assaulting him. The prisoner, and 750 other people due in courts throughout the city, were not able to go.
Each time brutal or justice-evading tactics are used – whether by ISIS, tinpot dictators, a corruption-tolerating union chief who is giving the many good unions a bad name, another stake is driven into the heart of civil society.

It’s all hostage-taking, whether you’re ISIS and you behead them, or you’re COBA and you take the entire criminal justice system hostage while you beat prisoners to death, some of them mere kids.

Hey, if they can get away with it, then why not me or my organization, too? And so brutal, thuggish, corrupt bad behavior grows viral.

Norman Seabrook is no better than Kim Jong-un, or the ISIS murderers. If he and his people get away with it, there will be another group perpetrating a new group of outrages, for sure.

A bill, egged on by Seabrook and Coba,  is coming before New York State Governor Cuomo. It will move the venue for cases brought against out-of-control brutal prison guards to Queens, from the historic and legal venue of The Bronx, where at least the distract attorney seems to have a spine. The question is, will Governor Cuomo also have spine – or at least spine enough to veto the bill? 

Or will he let the unions get away with it because they’re big campaign contributors – having “donated” $300,000 to state elected officials from both parties.

The New York Times reports:
The two prosecutors signed a letter stating their vigorous opposition to the bill’s purpose and language. 
“Remarkably, in one short sentence, this bill manages to be ambiguous as to its meaning, potentially unconstitutional and at odds with the surrounding provisions of Criminal Procedure Law,” they wrote. 
The state district attorneys association is opposed to it; the Legal Aid Society is opposed; Mayor Bill de Blasio is opposed; so is the New York Civil Liberties Union. 
“It’s rare that you’ll see those individuals and groups coming together on one side of an issue,” Mr. Brown said. 
Governor Cuomo’s office did not reply to a question about his intentions.
Eh, Governor Cuomo?

Friday, December 12, 2014

In case you need further evidence that the concerns of Wall Street have nothing to do with you or me…

Why is Wall Street frowning? Because things
seem to be going better for the average 
As of late the morning of Friday, December 23...
  • Oil prices have plunged to the lowest level since 2009, below $60 a barrel. This means that ordinary Americans will be able to spend less on gasoline and heating oil, and therefore will have more money to spend on other things, a spur to the economy.
  • A long-expected increase in interest rates by the Fed is now less likely to happen, making borrowing cheaper for consumers and growth-minded businesses as well.
  • Consumer confidence, a measure of the ordinary American’s willingness to spend money, is above expectations. And it’s at an eight-year high. This ought to result in more money getting poured into the economy, fueling further growth.
Pop the champagne corks, right?

Well, not on Wall Street where, as of 11:40 a.m., the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,399, a tumble of 196.63 points since the day before.

However, perhaps Wall Street won’t be unhappy for very long.  The latest budget “compromise” in Congress changes parts of the Dodd Frank financial reform law that banned crazy derivatives trading. 

So now bankers will be able to recreate the same financial meltdown we had a few years ago, with the bland assurance that you and I will once more be forced to bail them out. Either that, or we collapse into another Great Depression.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The exquisite torture of the CIA torturers’ double-talk

This is a scene from a Medieval torture chamber. It very closely
resembles  what documented evidence indicates the CIA has 
done. And worse.
You’d have to be living on Mars to miss the news. The United States Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture is out, although only a mere 406 page summary of the full 4,600 page report is available to  everyday citizens.

Now the CIA chiefs, present and past, and their supporters, are turning inside out and backwards to deny everything while defending everything that the CIA and its contractors have  done – horrid, disgusting, inhuman, sexually perverted things clearly documented by the Senators.

The arguments of those defending perversion in the name of patriotism seem to boil down to these basic points
  1. In the first place, we didn’t do it.
  2. In the second place, we had to do it because 9-11
  3. In the third place we were given the legal authority to do it, even though when we did it, we didn’t do it.
  4. In the fourth place, even though we didn’t do it, what we did yielded valuable intelligence that interrupted plots against America – plots that we can’t tell you about because otherwise the people who are plotting against us would find out what their own plots are.
  5. In the fifth place, the 4,008-page report is “oversimplistic”.
  6. In the sixth place, the report is “analytically offensive,” whatever that means.
Flipping television channels last night and this morning, you could watch these creeps nearly gagging on their own tongues trying to make themselves look good. Or at least not like the liars, sadists, perverts, and most damning of all, the intelligence incompetents that they are.

Perverts? Well here’s a tidbit from the stern nurse-with-enema-bag sadomasochistic fantasy that, if you do a great deal of hunting around, you might find on some of the S&M porn movie sites somewhere on the Internet. And no, I'm not going to direct you CIA defenders to those websites, so you can drop your pants and masturbate to them.

"At least five CIA detainees were subjected to 'rectal rehydration' or rectal feeding without documented medical necessity," the report said. More specifically, "Majid Khan's 'lunch tray' of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins was 'pureed' and rectally infused.”

The torturers from the CIA, or CIA-supervised weirdos "had among other activities, 
engaged in inappropriate detainee interrogations, had workplace anger management issues and had reportedly admitted to sexual assault,” according to the report.

When I was a kid, I read – in a 1942 issue of the pretty conservative Readers’ Digest of all places – the summary of a then best-selling book by someone named Jan Valtin, who described how he was tortured by the Nazis in an SS dungeon.

You could take excerpts from Valtin’s book, and excerpts of the report from the Senate. and you almost couldn’t tell which is which.

We hanged most of the Nazis we caught as war criminals. That’s all I have to say on the matter.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

I know, I’m late on this. But the grand jury decision concerning officer Darren Wilson is a crock. A big one. Here’s why.

During the facedown with Michael Brown
Officer Darren Wilson had several options
other than shooting. But oh hell, bang bang!
I’m not going to go into any depth on how a prosecutor can impartially indict a cop from a department with which he has to work on a daily basis.

I’m not going to go into why he didn’t stand aside in favor of an outside prosecutor with no axes to grind.

I'm not going to ask why he put Darren Wilson on the witness stand at all, much less why he put him there before anyone else.

What burns my butt is that the prosecutor didn’t ask simple followup questions as Wilson testified.

So  it started we had officer Darren Wilson in a car and he spots some Black dude jaywalking. I’m also not going to go into whether the cop ever before enforced a jaywalking statute in his life.

And let’s grant, for the sake of argument, that as Wilson and some – not all – witnesses say, Brown reached into the cop's car, and somehow or other got his arm in deep enough to reach down, across the seat, and into Wilson’s holster for the weapon. And let's also grant for the sake of argument that Brown had the strength of a make-believe comic book hero. And let’s also grant that Brown had indeed shoplifted some cheap cigars and straight-armed a store clerk who tried to stop him. And that furthermore, Brown was committing that most grave of all crimes, jaywalking.

And then let us grant that according  CNN...

Wilson told the detectives how he ran through in his mind what he could do -- mace, baton, flashlight -- before going for his gun. To the grand jury, he expanded, describing a "use of force" triangle as to what reaction was appropriate. 
To the grand jury, Wilson also described his fear. He told jurors Brown was so powerful that when he grabbed the 18-year-old's forearm, "I felt like a 5-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan." 
That’s where a prosecutor who wasn’t sleepwalking, phoning it in, or more probably making damn sure he wouldn’t tempt a grand jury to indict might have jumped in and asked a few revealing questions. Like these two:
  • “So why, officer Wilson, didn’t you just roll the window up on Mr. Brown’s arm? With a piece of glass jamming his arm against the top of the window space, don’t you think you could have bent back his fingers and made him let go?
Or alternatively:
•So why, Officer Wilson, didn’t you just step on the gas and drive a short distance away from Mr. Brown, so that he couldn’t reach your gun? Or are you arguing that his “Hulk Hogan” strength would have been enough to stop several hundred horsepower of police vehicle in its tracks?
I know, I know, former cop Darren Wilson said, “I didn’t want him to run away.” Which raises some more questions:
  • Is it worth drawing your weapon and firing bullets into the body of a human being to keep him from running away from a charge of shoplifting?
  • Assuming Mr. Brown had run, and for the sake of law, order and the future of Democracy you had to catch this sticky-fingered thief, couldn’t you have followed him in your car until police backup arrived? Or if he took shelter in a house, simply waited for backup and then gone and arrested him inside?
It’s interesting how prosecutors will withhold  or ignore exculpatory evidence, frame people in death penalty cases, and get a conviction at all costs in murder trials – all completely unforgivable but rarely punished crimes of prosecutorial misconduct. Yet in this case prosecutor McCulloch did his damnedest to exonerate  before a grand jury – which was there simply to indict – an officer on what was at the very least a case of coarsely mindless police brutality.

In my own opinion, Wilson is most certainly not guilty of murder in the first degree, possibly not even of murder in the second degree. There's no evidence that he spotted Brown and set out to kill him. But there’s a strong cases that Wiilson's actions and reactions in this case were tantamount at least to criminal negligence and wanton disregard for life.

Wilson according even to his own testimony, is a killer, if only a manslaughter killer. And what does that make so-called Prosecutor Bob McCullogh? I leave it to you to find the correct adjective. The ones that occur to me are unprintable.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Silicon Valley exec threatens the journalists who cover him. Where does the financing behind him come from? Round up the usual suspects.

Are the fat cats financing Silicon
Valley predators?
Who would finance corporate desperadoes who flout the law in a variety of localities – and then threaten to dig up dirt on journalists who report on their shenanigans?

Who would in effect say, by handing largesse to the same desperados, “Go ahead. Thumb your nose at the law. Stick a finger in the eye of the public. Just make sure you return the vig on the money we put up for you.”

No, I’m not talking about the Mafia. The Tony Soprano types are small potatoes in comparison to these guys. I’m talking about some of the financial folks whose names pop up whenever the outrageously rich demand personal tax breaks for investing other peoples’ money if they’re hedge funders, or try to beat publishing houses and authors into submission if they’re silicon savages.

Here’s a list of the money sources reportedly behind the threat-makers. It's taken from a Silicon Valley online journal called Pando Daily, a watcher and critic of today’s new breed of highwaymen. 

Menlo Ventures
Google Ventures
Kleiner Perkins
Summit Partners
TPG Growth
Jeff Bezos
Troy Carter
Goldman Sachs
Scott Banister
Alfred Lin
Lowercase Capital
First Round
Naval Ravikant
Jason Calacanis
Shervin Pishevar

But let’s take a step back and explain this. 

Recently, the editor of Pando, and other journalists, began reporting on how Uber, a Silicon Valley disruptor company financed by people on the list you've just read, is muscling its way into various municipal markets with the equivalent of unlicensed  taxis. There’s big money in those smartphone-linked cabs, folks. And Uber didn’t like the negative publicity that some of its shadier activities were generating.

So at the Waverly Inn in New York City, at a dinner at which the the guests included the actor Ed Norton, the publisher Ariana Huffington, and the journalist Michael Wolff, Uber’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Emil Michael, performed the communications equivalent of what a gangster signals by drawing his index finger across his throat.

Specifically, according to the online journal Buzzfeed, he “suggested that the company should consider hiring a team of opposition researchers to dig up dirt on its critics in the media — and specifically to spread details of the personal life of a female journalist who has criticized the company.”

I see two possibilities here. One is that Michael expected the word to get out and scare the living crap out of journalists, especially the intrepid reporter Sarah Lacy, editor of the website Pando Daily. This would have had the effect of – shall we say “discouraging?” –  further criticism of Uber. Michael later defended himself by saying he thought he was speaking “off the record.” To which my cranky reaction is, so what?

If a hit man, off the record, says he plans to terrorize the local police chief and and is looking to find machete with which  to commit the crime, his remarks have no right to privacy. I would submit that Michael’s threat to in effect terrorize reporters and critics into silence through implicit blackmail are equally unprotected.

This is all the more newsworthy not only because of the big financiers behind Uber, but because, according to Buzzfeed, Michael sits on a board that advises the Department of Defense. I leave it to you to imagine where his kind of mentality could lead a key department of our government. And why does the government, or the board, tolerate his proximity to the Pentagon?

Moreover, The CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, has refused to fire Michael. That’s no big surprise.  Kalanick himself is no sweetheart either. The Financial Times reported in May:
…in January, Uber apologised after its New York team was busted for repeatedly calling and cancelling rides from a rival car service. Kalanick would not discuss the incident on the record but Uber admitted at the time that this method for getting drivers’ details, hoping to poach them, was “likely too aggressive a sales tactic.”
Right. Or as Tony Soprano might have said, "I told you guys just to bust the guy's kneecaps. What's with all this getting  aggressive and strangling him with a piano wire?"

It all makes you wonder if our former democracy, which has already devolved into a corruptocracy, is now sinking even further, into a state of anarchy where only big money sources like those on the list, and big bad guys, can win. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A letter to the editor from an outraged rat

Today's guest contributor
Hey Crank!

I live in New York City, on the east side of Manhattan. My home is a hole under a bush in St. Vartan’s Park over on 36th Street between First and Second Avenues. I make my living mostly scrounging rotting sandwich crusts from garbage cans in and around the park. Sometimes I get lucky and find a few rice grains or some birdseed that somebody scattered for the pigeons.

It’s a tough life. Some days I go hungry. And it’s worth your life to ignore the predators out here, including an occasional New York red tailed hawk, feral cats, and those bastards from the city’s department of health who put out poisoned rat bait for us. Did I mention speeding cars when I try to get across the street?

Anyway, the other day I found a copy of The New York Times and I decided to rip off a few strips of paper to line my nest for winter. And guess what? 

I found a feature story by a reporter named Corey Kilgannon about a rat whose name is Toby. That’s right, the Times these days is writing feature stories about rats. You want to make your name in journalism? Forget people. Go for the rodents.

Now Toby isn’t your average rat.  She’s not struggling to get by, like me. She’s so well off she even has a personal trainer named Lydia DesRoche, who also admits, according to The Times, that “she has become sort of a social secretary, chaperoning Toby as she interacts with the smitten cast and crew backstage at the Ethel Barrymore Theater.”

Right, Toby is a well-fed, well-paid,  probably well-bathed, carefully cosseted Broadway theater rat, part of the rodent world’s One Percent. I’ll stake two mud soaked bagel crusts that her monthly upkeep costs more than the average out-of-a-job factory worker’s unemployment benefits. 

Toby’s in a Broadway play called, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” on Broadway. She lives better than the other 99 percent of us who are hiding out in holes in the ground and in sewers.

While the rest of us struggling rats get by on scraps and rotting food, Toby gets hand fed. She gets sleepover dates arranged for her, as if she was an incipient debutante at Spence, or Brearley, or one of those other academies for the one percent that charge $35,000-plus a year for tuition.

I’m not making this rat up. Don’t take my word for it. This is what the Times said:
 “While Ms. DesRoche takes Toby home on the weekends to her apartment on the Upper West Side, the rat goes home on weeknights with members of the cast and crew. There is no shortage of takers; members with children usually get first choice.” 
I’ll bet she gets free medical care, too.

Hey, this rat is better off than a lot of people I’ve run across, so to speak. With rents in this town easily getting to $2,800 a month for a studio apartment, Toby has her own spacious dressing room. Well, okay, she shares it with a dog who’s also in the show, but even so. I mean, check out this passage from the Times:
“Inside, yes, there are lightbulbs around the mirrors and fresh roses on the makeup counter (Toby likes to nibble on roses). Also, on the counter is a long tube, for scampering through, and a glass of water, which she climbs up into, and nearly hops into, as she drinks.”
Right. Ninety-nine percent of rats have no time for anything except scrounging for food and reproducing. I’ve got relatives so impoverished, they sleep in the subway, along with the homeless people. And this snotty, overprivileged rat has a light-up makeup mirror and her own toys. Toys! Not to mention the roses.

I mean, this is an outrage. I scooted past a flower shop over on Third Avenue the other night, and roses were going for eighty dollars a dozen. And this spoiled rat eats them? That’s in-your-face conspicuous consumption, if you ask me.

Hey, this is another example of how only the One Percent get the best of everything, from real estate, to rose salads, to  their own personal trainers and social secretaries, while the rest of us New York rats live in squalor and danger.

We’re sick and tired of being vilified pariahs. Toby undoubtedly comes from a family of very rich rats, because when the rest of us tried to raise money by putting together an act that consisted of some gymnastics and a bit of rodent-dancing, Fox News came down on us like a ton of bricks – like we’re liberals, or Democrats, or demonstrators, or gun-grabbers, or terrorists, or something. I mean, just look at this disgusting anti-rat political screed from Fox. Go ahead, I'll wait while you play it:

“We slant, you try and decide.” I mean, that was what I call a completely biased piece of reporting. Not one pro-rat spokesperson was interviewed.  All you see is a bunch of Fox pimps and their patsies making out like we’re disgusting. We weren’t being disgusting. We were trying to break into show business.

Anyway, Crank, please do me a favor and post this letter to your blog. It’s time people knew the rats have their one percent, too, and that characters like Toby are just as irritating to us as the Koch Brothers are to you.

Whether we're talking about rats or people, the one percent gets the best of everything. For the rest of us, life’s nothing but a rat race.

Roscoe Norvegicus

P.S. The Times article also quoted Lydia DesRoche, the rat’s personal trainer, as saying, ““I’m just a rat servant now — I’m the rat butler.” Right. And hell will freeze over before the rich rats give it up. Taxing away a tiny little bit of extra income from the one percent might deprive them of their ridiculous luxuries, like butlers, and that’s why they pay off legislators to write laws in favor of the rich. Meanwhile, the greedy S.O.Bs. don’t care if the rest of us starve, or drown in a backed up sewer.  

P.P.S. While the rich drink Perrier, us poor rats have to slurp our water from puddles in the gutter. Wake me up when the revolution starts.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The American corruptocracy, the ISPs, and the coming destruction of net neutrality

"I'll give it to you any way you like, honey,
as long as you pay for it. I'm a lawmaker."
Prostitution is now legal. 

Oh shut up and stop telling me I’m wrong. Prostitution is not only legal, it’s a leading pastime in Washington. It just depends on what you’re selling.

Are you selling a Congressman? A Senator? A commission chairman? How do you want him or her? Nekkid? On his knees with his mouth open? Hanging from the ceiling by chains? Ready to talk dirty about coal, or oil, or taxes, or guns? Or to submissively whine and snivel about the hardships of the rich and how life isn't fair to them? No problem.

Harlotry, the FCC
and net neutrality

The latest manifestation of red blooded American harlotry is the coming destruction of net neutrality by the Chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler. And it has to do with a matter that generally provokes barely stifled yawns. Net neutrality. No no, don’t run away. Come back here and pay attention, damnit! 

Net neutrality simply means that nobody using the Internet can have a leg up on anybody else – or any corporation else – that also uses the Internet. With net neutrality, you can’t be thrown off the Internet because your Internet service provider doesn’t like your politics. The content you read or watch can't be blocked. The company that feeds you movies can't be charged a king's ransom – aransom that eventually gets passed along to the consumer.

For example, if you transmit movies the way Netflix does, net neutrality means you can’t gain a monopoly by paying to make sure your movies get seamless transmission, while your competitor gets his transmissions so badly slowed down that the film keeps being interrupted – forcing the audience to stare at a little turning wheel until they give up and stop watching.

And so, if we manage to preserve net neutrality, Netflix, or Google, can’t gain a virtual monopoly, or near-monopoly, on movies and then charge whatever sum pops into their greedy heads.

And Comcast and Verizon can’t decide to throw any blogger off the Internet who doesn’t walk around in a bra and spiked heels, praising how well Comcast and Verizon are hung.

Utility shmootility! 
The ISPs want to control you.

The easiest way to preserve net neutrality is to treat every Internet Service Provider as a utility. Listen, your electric company can’t decide to cut your service because you’re using their juice to watch MSNBC or Fox. The movies you subscribe to shouldn’t be made unwatchable by Internet slowdowns because the movie provider’s president didn’t pay the Internet Service Providers their vig.

Or to quote President Obama, “Simply put: No service should be stuck in a ‘slow lane' because it does not pay a fee.That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth.”

But there are some people out there who don’t like net neutrality. And yes, you can round up all the usual suspects: AT&T, and Verizon, and Comcast, and Time Warner Cable. They want to control the toll bridge to and from your mind, your eyeballs, your ears and your wallet. 

And their pet hooker at this moment is Chairman Wheeler. How he got his job in the first places is very nearly a puzzlement, since his last job was as a lobbyist for the very industry he’s supposed to be regulating now. Do you detect a whiff of conflict of interest there?


I am ashamed to say that Wheeler is an Obama appointee. But at least President Obama seems to be having second thoughts.

Razzle-dazzle ‘em 
with soporific language

Wheeler’s thought? Delay and obfuscate and take a “hybrid approach.” Obfuscate how? Prop your eyelids open with toothpicks, boys and girls, because Wheeler wants to make sure you're asleep while this matter is considered. He recently explained...
“Whether in the context of a hybrid or reclassification approach, Title II brings with it policy issues that run the gamut from privacy to universal service to the ability of federal agencies to protect consumers, as well as legal issues ranging from the ability of Title II to cover mobile services to the concept of applying forbearance on services under Title II.”
Thank you for that edifying and reassuring thought, Chairman Wheeler. 

You can try parsing Wheeler’s prose line by line if you want. But the executive summary is simply this: the public and democracy are screwed.

And if you think most of your senators and Congresswhores are going to step in and legislate net neutrality if Wheeler succeeds in killing or crippling it, have another think. This is a corruptocracy we live in, child. The people with money buy the laws and regulations they want. Congress, like Wheeler, simply works for the whorehouse.

Somehow what comes to mind is a filthy song we used to sing at the student pub at the University of Leeds student union, way back in my exchange student days in England. This blog doesn't limit obscenity very much. But I’ve got to have at least a little bit of propriety. So I’ve taken the liberty of plucking a few verses from the old pub song more-or-less out of context here – and presenting them to you, with the most vulgar of the four-letter words replaced. 

All the same, pay attention. This is where the United States is going. Or are we already there?

It’s the same the whole world over
It’s the poor wot gets the blame
While the rich has all the pleasures
Isn’t it a crying shame?

See him in the House of Commons
Making laws for all mankind
While the victim of his dirty rotten pleasures
Has to live off her behind.

If you’re rich, randy, and rotten
You can buy whomever you wish
While the poor put out for pennies
Let ‘em starve, ‘cause life’s a bitch.

It’s the same the whole world over
It’s the poor wot gets the blame
While the rich has all the pleasures
Isn’t it a crying shame?

Monday, November 03, 2014

Hot air, nutcase thinking and hatred – some of the latest from the far edge of the far right wing. Yes, these guys, among others:

Tea Party Logo

Above: the logotypes from three of the nuttiest organizations-with-a-following in America. I didn't find them. They found me, as have several other batcrap crazy political organizations. They all think I'm one of them. They have thought so ever since I got curious a few years back, about an online ad from a guy who wanted to give me a free gun for taking his "self defense" course. I clicked for more information. And then the gears and wheels started turning.

The free gun guy evidently sold my name to some right wing organizations, who evidently sold my name to even further-right organizations, who then sold my name to...well, you get the idea. And what e-mail I get from them!

The mail sounds as if it comes from  mental wards for fantasy thinkers who truly believe I want to destroy my own Social Security income, live without health insurance, impeach President Obama, store a cache of weapons in a secret underground burrow, arrest Senator Harry Reid for treason, and...well the list goes on. And on. And on some more. And also...

Did I mention they also want to sell you and me: super vitamins...lessons in survival for when The End comes...surefire investment advice to protect you and me against things s like "the coming global economic holocaust," and...well if it'll put my money or your money in their pockets, they're selling it.

As in the pitch reported here to save me from the dreaded ravages of Ebola, which is either breathing up my pants leg or getting carried across the Mexican border by Mexican Al Queda or ISIS agents -–agents hellbent on smuggling an epidemic into this country in their lungs and their noses. After which they'll...I dunno, breathe on us maybe.

Put on your aluminum hats, boys and girls!
The Space Visitors will be here in a flash!

Now, before you read any further, run, do not walk to the kitchen, get out your roll of aluminum foil, and make yourself a foil hat, because that's the only way to ward off all the danger that has been reported to me in e-mails. Here are some excerpt

The New York Crank's nominee for the
"Not-Quite-Sharpest Knife In The Drawer" Award:
Fellow Patriot,
Do you know the most dangerous tool you can own?
The answer might just surprise you...A knife is the most important tool anyone can have.
Most of us use one everyday.
It's at our side and we use it without even thinking of it (oftentimes for things a knife should never be used for.)
But it can also be the most dangerous...
Protect yourself with this FREE deviceYou see, you are 10 times more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than you are with a sharp one.
So I'd like to give you a simple device that ensures you never have a dull blade again... Absolutely Free.
O the horror! Gay Apple exec reveals he's gay!
There must be a plot in here somewhere.
In Shocking “Coming Out” Letter, Apple CEO Makes It Clear He Will Use His Position of Power to Push for Gay Rights
"I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."
After reading Cook’s public announcement that he prefers to have sex with men, one is forced to wonder: WOhat does a person’s sexual orientation have to do with growing Apple’s profits, selling iPhones, or running a business in general?
What do you think about Cook going public about his homosexuality and his admission that Apple will “do its part” to advance gay rights? Leave a comment below.
And here are a pair of the 
choicest comments about Cook
You pretty much nailed it to the wall, hit the pill (baseball) out of the park!!!! They know (?) what they are doing is WRONG, goes against just about EVERY religion known to man!! I've seen it said that even Islamist are against homosexuality! 
What these gay's want is for the rest of humanity to say "It's perfectly alright/ normal" that you are gay! They want EVERYONE else to justify their sexual orientation so "they" can feel good about themselves! Lest they forget that come Judgement Day they will have to answer to the Creator/ God!! He doesn't have to be PC! HE gets the final word! They say they want acceptance but in reality they want "us" to justify their perversion!

The alleged price of his beer leaves
Obama foes foaming at the mouth
Obama Drinks Most Expensive Beer in History
Shucks, I'm not only a dangerously subversive
liberal. I'm (even worse!) also a snob.
Liberals are funny creatures.
They walk around with an attitude that they’re better than everyone else. Nothing a liberal does, says, reads, or thinks can ever be criticized without a barrage of ad hominem attacks being hurled at you.
If you want a good laugh, or if you want to dig up some serious dirt on liberals...
It's a $200 value – your free!
(See, they make money by 
being too good to be true.)
The first 500 people that go to 
the website below will receive 
a FREE copy of:
"The Complete Survival System"
(That's a $200 value - yours FREE 
if you hurry!)
The "system" has been specifically 
designed for both MEN and WOMEN to 
cover the unique needs of each.

Y'see, what it is, I'm guessing, is that men stand up to urinate while women have to sit, so when it comes to survival...uh...umm....

Build a secret AR14 in your basement today
and surprise those lefty neighbors tomorrow

Dear Patriot,If you would like to know how a group of underground, true American Patriots are building their own AR-15’s at home completely “off the books”.Meaning ...
• no serial number
• No registration...
• And 100% legally
... with just a handful of tools and simple, inexpensive parts in their garage, then simply watch this urgent video now....
Vote, or these loonies will
 end up controlling America

That's it for today, folks. Tomorrow's election day. And, gulp! The Tea Party crazies seem to be gaining on the rest of us. Proof that you can't be too dumb. Or too dumberer.