Thursday, August 31, 2006


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Make Mine Freedoom

Here's a little propaganda film made by John Sutherland. It illustrates well, the dream we once had, but have lost. It shows how far we've come.

Redefining Our Way To Victory!

Not content to fight insurgents, rebels, terrorists, freedom fighters, infantry, militiamen, etc..., using only conventional weapons and nuclear waste, the war is once again being waged against words.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush in recent days has recast the global war on terror into a "war against Islamic fascism." Fascism, in fact, seems to be the new buzz word for Republicans in an election season dominated by an unpopular war in Iraq.

Now in the past, 'fascism' was defined as a government ruled by corporate powers and an overwhelming sense of pride, nationalism and loyalty to the corporate state. It's darker side comes in when war becomes a profit center and this patriotism is used to start wars in order to create corporate profits. Wars of conquest in which corporations are given grants in ownership of public utilities, oil fields, hospitals etc..., are an example.

Obviously, fascism doesn't apply to terrorists or jihadists or crusaders, as their devotion is reserved for political ideologies or religious beliefs. People who invoke religion saying, 'God told me to invade that country and I did', are crusaders in this sense and not fascists. Although a a person be both at the same time.

But 'fascist' and 'fascism' are cool terms. They have bad connotations. People identify fascism with war and atrocities.

So they way to win this war of words, is to redefine the words to mean something else. Now a fascist is someone invokes religion in the name of war. Such as someone saying, 'God told me to go to war, so I did.' People who fight for God are now fascists.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Tuesday accused critics of the Iraq war as appeasing "a new type of fascism."

White House aides and outside Republican strategists said the new description is an attempt to more clearly identify the ideology that motivates many organized terrorist groups, representing a shift in emphasis from the general to the specific.

"I think it's an appropriate definition of the war that we're in," said GOP pollster Ed Goeas. "I think it's effective in that it definitively defines the enemy in a way that we can't because they're not in uniforms."

Yeah, that makes sense. One of our biggest problems when fighting the Germans in WWII was their refusal to wear uniforms. It was the lack of uniforms that defined the German State as a Fascist one.

Sloganeering has been an effective tool so far in the war in Iraq. The intrepid crew that sails White House policy has used sloganeering and the redefinition of words to great effect in their battles against evildoers. Our President's ability to Grand Stand is one of our greatest weapons against the Enemy of the Month.

Now that we're once again turning our attention to sloganeering and redefining words, our enemies are sure to lay down their arms and let our coporations take control of their countries and turn them into debt slaves, like us. You know those of use that owe everything to the banks and have to work 60 hour weeks to pay for our freedoms.

Victory Is At Hand!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

This Thread Is Over

Rumsfield said Nazi. That signals the end of the debate.

Rumsfield argues that if you hate war, you're a Nazi appeaser. Because I guess, Nazis were anti-war, flower-child hippies? That doesn't sound right.

Wans't Rumsfiend the dude that helped manage and orchestrate the latter half of the Vietnam war? Oh yeah, he was.


I'm gonna do the lazy blogging thing for a while, because I've found a category of videos on YouTube that fascinate me.

Here's the first installment of Weaseldogs Hot Picks!

Rumsfeld: U.S. able to take new fight despite Iraq

GENERAL: Well, of course, warfare isn't all fun. Right. Stop that! It's all very well to laugh at the Military, but, when one considers the meaning of life, it is a struggle between alternative viewpoints of life itself, and without the ability to defend one's own viewpoint against other perhaps more aggressive ideologies, then reasonableness and moderation could, quite simply, disappear. That is why we'll always need an army, and may God strike me down were it to be otherwise.
[zifff boom]
- From Monty Python's, 'Meaning of Life'.

And this makes as much sense as Rumsfield.

Skipping to the end...

Rumsfeld said there was no doubt the United States could win militarily in Iraq if it stayed the course.

"The important question is not whether we can win. Of course we can win. We won't lose a single battle," he said. "But do we have the will?"

This raises some questions for me. Didn't Vietnam prove you can win every battle and still lose the war?

And what are we winning, if we win Iraq Militarily? We were once trying to win 'Hearts and Minds', then we were trying to win in a political process and help the Iraqis govern themselves. Now we're trying to gain military control over Iraq.

When did we go from trying to create a free and democratic Iraq, to engaging in a War of Conquest? And isn't this back where we were in March 2003 when we put up banners proclaiming 'Mission Accomplished' while George Bush played dress up on the deck of an aircraft carrier?

"We are capable of dealing with other problems were they to occur," he told troops at an airfield in the Nevada desert.

"It would be unfortunate if other countries thought that because we have 136,000 troops in Iraq today, that we're not capable of defending our country or doing anything that we might need to do," he said in response to a question about military options for dealing with Iran.

Yes it would be unfortunate. I think that's an understatement.

According to Rumsfiend and Cheney, we'll be fighting in Iraq for decades. Bush has gone public with his plan to keep Iraq as is, until the next administration.

Staying the course means, changing nothing and keeping the war in Iraq going, neither winning or losing until the oil runs out.

Rumsfield appears to welcome another conflict and we know our adminsitration wants to turn Iran into another Iraq. Do we need another 20 year war in another country? Do we need to be bled dry in multiple wars?

Donald Rumsfield says we can win if we had the will to do so. And he says we don't intend to win for decades. Cheney says we don't intend to win. Bush says we don't intend to win.

So who actually lack the will to win? It seems to be the administration. And isn't this classic Karl Rove? Turn your Achilles Heel on your opponents and accuse them of your own faults?

It's our administration that has no will to win, as their graft will dry up. So they are likely being truthfull in saying that we can win if we have the will. Until Bush, Cheney and Rumsfield decide to win, we won't.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bush Reads Very Fast

Hat tip to Crooks And Liars.

A Humbled Presidency
After a series of setbacks, Bush tries a more thoughtful approach
By Kenneth T. Walsh

Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006

Maybe it was the influence of his wife, Laura, a former librarian, or his mother, Barbara, a longtime promoter of literacy. Or perhaps he was just eager to dispel his image as an intellectual lightweight. But President Bush now wants it known that he is a man of letters. In fact, Bush has entered a book-reading competition with Karl Rove, his political adviser. White House aides say the president has read 60 books so far this year (while the brainy Rove, to Bush's competitive delight, has racked up only 50). The commander in chief delved into three volumes in August alone-two on Abraham Lincoln and, more surprising for a man of unambiguous convictions, The Stranger, Albert Camus's existential tale of murder and alienation (story, Page 38).

Bush's critics aren't buying. A man who so regularly mangles the English language and seems to disdain complexity couldn't possibly be so cerebral, they argue. But portraying Bush as a voracious reader is part of an ongoing White House campaign to restore what a senior adviser calls "gravitas" to the Bush persona. He certainly needs something. Only about 34 percent of Americans approve of his job performance-and 58 percent say Bush "seems in over his head," according to Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg. If nothing changes, the president could be a major liability for Republicans in November's congressional elections.

Here's a partial list of books he's read so far.

I figure that's about one book every four days. Supposedly he's working for a living. So if he reads two hours an evening, and eight hours on Saturday and eight hours on Sunday, he's reading a book in about four hours.

Or maybe he's not working and he reads full time? I could read at that rate, but I probably wouldn't get much value out of it. The last book I read was Richard Heinberg's, "Running on Empty". I read it in about two weeks, while riding on the train. Had it been a sci-fi it would've lasted just a few days, but I skipped back now and then in case I missed something. I know out of Bush's reading list I'd be going about that slow, just because the content would be important to me. Some of those books interest me.

I believe he could've gone at that rate if he looked at each page, but not if he read them. This story is designed to paint him as some sort of supercomputer genius. I don't buy it.

I think this is a reading list suggested by citizens, and republished as Bush's reading list. Bush probably never even touched many of these books, if any.


Update: On another forum someone pointed out that these selections are in two book of the month clubs that the commentator subscribes to. So it's probably just a list taken from their offerings.

F-16s escort jet back to Schiphol

With the current government and media campaigns to spread more terror of terrorism throughout the world, I suppose more of these emergencies will occur.

With more ever more invasive security precautions in place and the media explaining on a regular basis, that they don't work, what are people supposed to be thinking?

Is it any wonder that more people would suffer anxiety when flying?

Now we don't yet know what their unruly behavior was. Perhaps they a had a few drinks and wanted to sing songs. Perhaps they were nervous and making other people more nervous.

What ever it is, I wonder if this flight had been turned around if it had occurred in 1999?

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (CNN) -- A Northwest Airlines flight bound for India was escorted back to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport by F-16 fighter jets on Wednesday.


The airport spokeswoman said the pilot had requested to return to Amsterdam and after the plane landed, there were some arrests.

She would not specify if those arrested were passengers.

Sources told Dutch journalist Marijn Tebbens that the disturbance was the result of some unruly passengers. The plane landed safely at 11:39 a.m. (5:39 a.m. ET), the sources said.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Iran 'attacks Romanian oil rig'

Hat Tip to Mike for this one.

I don't know what this is going to mean, but I don't think it's a trivial event.

A Romanian oil company says one of its rigs stationed in the Gulf has come under fire from Iranian troops.

A spokesman for the firm GSP said Iranian troops had seized the rig after firing from a nearby ship, and GSP lost contact with its 26 workers there.

Radu Petrescu said the Orizont rig had been moored near Kish island since October 2005.

GSP operates two rigs off Kish. The other rig is reported to have been involved in a legal dispute in Iran.

It is unclear whether the incident on Tuesday was related to that dispute.

The shooting reportedly happened as the rig was being taken outside Iranian waters for a mandatory overhaul.

The rigs are operated under a deal signed between Petrom, GSP and Dubai-based Oriental Oil Co.

A statement on GSP's website, signed by company president Gabriel Comanescu, said the Iranian action was a "flagrant breach of all the international rules".

It said that since Monday, Iranian military helicopters and ships had been "trying to intimidate the Romanian crew aboard the rig".

Then early on Tuesday "an Iranian military cutter boat opened fire against the Orizont rig, in the stern crane" and Iranian troops occupied the rig, the statement said.

"We do not know if anyone is hurt," it added.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Just In Case

I know that the White House continues to be effused with glowing praise over the progress in Iraq. Some folks are pointing to plans to build a water park in Baghdad as some of the good news coming out of that beleagured country.

But temper your enthusiasm.

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today, Mon Aug 21 12:09:47 2006.


December 29, 2005

This Travel Warning updates the current security situation and reiterates the dangers of the use of civilian aircraft and road travel within Iraq. This supersedes the Travel Warning of June 28, 2005.

The Department of State continues to strongly warn U.S. citizens against travel to Iraq, which remains very dangerous. Remnants of the former Ba’ath regime, transnational terrorists, criminal elements and numerous insurgent groups remain active. Attacks against military and civilian targets throughout Iraq continue, including in the International (or “Green”) Zone. Targets include convoys en-route to venues, hotels, restaurants, police stations, checkpoints, foreign diplomatic missions, international organizations and other locations with expatriate personnel. These attacks have resulted in deaths and injuries of American citizens, including those doing humanitarian work. In addition, there have been planned and random killings, as well as extortions and kidnappings. U.S. citizens have been kidnapped and several were subsequently murdered by terrorists in Iraq. U.S. citizens and other foreigners continue to be targeted by insurgent groups and opportunistic criminals for kidnapping and murder. Military operations continue. There are daily attacks against Multinational Forces - Iraq (MNF-I), Iraqi Security Forces and Iraqi Police throughout the country.

There is credible information that terrorists are targeting civil aviation. Civilian and military aircraft arriving in and departing from Baghdad International Airport and flying to other major cities in Iraq have been subjected to small arms and missiles. Civilian aircraft do not generally possess systems, such as those found on military aircraft, capable of defeating man-portable, surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS). Anyone choosing to utilize civilian aircraft to enter or depart or travel within Iraq should be aware of this potential threat, as well as the extremely high risk to road transportation described below. Official U.S. Government (USG) personnel are strongly encouraged to use U.S. military or other USG aircraft entering and departing Iraq due to concerns about security of civilian aircraft servicing Iraq. U.S. government personnel are only authorized to travel commercially on Royal Jordanian Airlines and AirServe. Personnel are prohibited from flying on all other commercial airlines due to safety and security concerns.

All vehicular travel in Iraq is extremely dangerous. There have been numerous attacks on civilian vehicles, as well as military convoys. Attacks occur throughout the day, but travel at night is exceptionally dangerous. Travel in or through Ramadi and Fallujah; travel between al-Hillah and Baghdad; travel between the International Zone and Baghdad International Airport; and travel from Baghdad to Mosul is particularly dangerous.

Occasionally, U.S. Government personnel are prohibited from traveling to certain areas depending on prevailing security conditions. There continues to be heavy use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), (especially new-type Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFP), and/or mines on roads, concealed in plastic bags, boxes, soda cans, dead animals, and in other ways to blend with the road. Grenades and explosives have been thrown into vehicles from overpasses, particularly in crowded areas. Overland travel should be undertaken only when absolutely necessary and with the appropriate security.

The U.S. Embassy is located in the International Zone. The Embassy can provide only limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq. At present, travel to and from the International Zone is extremely limited. The U.S. Embassy does not provide visa services to the general public. American citizens who choose to visit or reside in Iraq despite this Travel Warning are urged to pay close attention to their personal security, avoid crowds, especially rallies or demonstrations, and to inform the U.S. Embassy of their presence in Iraq. All Americans in Baghdad are strongly encouraged to register with the Embassy at the following website:

American citizens may obtain the latest security information or other information about Iraq by calling the U.S. Embassy, located in the International Zone, at: 1-240-553-0584 x5340 or x5346, or Iraqna cellular phones - 07901-732-134 and 07901-168-383 or by e-mail: or via the U.S. Embassy's website: http// The after-hours number in case of extreme emergency is 1-914-822-5493.

Updated information on travel and security in Iraq may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or, from overseas, 1-202-501-4444. For further information, please consult the Consular Information Sheet for Iraq, the current Worldwide Caution and the Middle East and North Africa Public Announcements, all of which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at

Friday, August 18, 2006

Nothing To See Here, Move Along

Chemical tests later Thursday turned up no explosives in the bottles, said Capt. Jack Chambers, head of the State Police Special Operations unit. The airport was reopened after nearly 10 hours.

Ok, so it was nothing. But it was scary wasn't it? And doesn't it show that our government is doing stuff?

Boooga! Boooga!

Did anyone wet themselves?

There's a an old story about the 'Boy Who Cried Wolf'. In it, the shepherd boy kept crying 'Wolf!' over and over for attention. The villagers kept running to his aid, only to find there was no wolf. The boy just just enjoyed watching the villagers run to his aid. It gave him a feeling of power.

One day, real wolves came and the boy cried 'Wolf!' The Villagers were sick and tired of his games and didn't believe him. The wolves ate all of his sheep and he's begging on the left turn lane of I35 today.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bottles Test Positive For Explosives

Are you terrified yet?

Notice how she hasn't been arrested? It's because these machines aren't definitive in their ability to determine if a chemical is an explosive or not.

Now I'll admit, this could finally be a real plot to blow up a plane, but I doubt it. It's more likely I think to be some sort of lotion that has a trace chemical signature that the sensor picked up as a 'hit'.

This sort of event probably happens fairly frequently, but now we have to hype each one, in order to terrorize us properly.

Bottles Test Positive For Explosives
West Virginia airport terminal evacuated

CEREDO, West Virginia (AP) -- A West Virginia airport terminal was evacuated Thursday after two bottles of liquid found in a woman's carry-on luggage twice tested positive for explosives, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman said.

"The bomb squad is on site and the woman is being interviewed by the FBI," Amy von Walter said.

A machine security checkpoint screeners use to test for explosives registered positive, and a canine team also got a positive hit, von Walter said.

NSA Eavesdropping Program Ruled Unconstitutional

Looks like we'll need another terrorism scare to make this one go away.

I'm sure that Republican Pundits will soon be saying that, "We have to break the law, to save the law." or that "The best leaders of crime fighting agencies are criminals themselves.", or finally "Only terrorists would honor and defend the US Constitution." But I'm sorry, I don't agree that our president should be a man that craps on the US Constitution and breaks federal laws on a constant and continual basis. The man that heads up Law Enforcement for the Entire United States of America should not be a habitual criminal.

Terrorists don't believe in constitutions, patriots do. We need a President that believes in America.

Didn't our President swear on a Holy Bible to uphold and defend the US Constitution? Is he anti-'Holy Bible' also? Does swearing on the Bible, mean anything to real Christians?

(CNN) -- A federal judge on Thursday ruled that the U.S. government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered it ended immediately.

In a 44-page memorandum and order, U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, -- who is based in Detroit, Michigan --struck down the National Security Agency's program, which she said violates the rights to free speech and privacy.

Taylor's ruling stems from a case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. According to The Associated Press, Taylor is the first judge to rule the eavesdropping program unconstitutional. (Read the complete ruling -- PDF)

The defendants "are permanently enjoined from directly or indirectly utilizing the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) in any way, including, but not limited to, conducting warrantless wiretaps of telephone and Internet communications, in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Title III," she wrote.

She further declared that the program "violates the separation of powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth amendments to the United States Constitution, the FISA and Title III."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

We Can't Make It Here Anymore - by James Mcmurtry

A very powerful video...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lip Service War Supporter

Using Terror In The Service Of Politics

Our own government again and again has used terror against it's citizens in increasing frequency in order to gain political advantages. Even now our own government is engaging in a campaign of terror, fear and bedwetting in order to produce desired political outcomes in November.

The MSM is eating it up, working hard to terrorize Americans in order to get them to think in the desired political frame of mind.

What do we call people that inspire terror in order to bring about desired political outcomes?

We call them terrorists.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Forty-Five Years - Stan Rogers Cover

I'm wearing my James Taylor hat in this one. :)

Bush Declares Victory

In a speech today, Bush declared victory in the war against Lebanon, saying that the cease-fire represents a defeat for Hezbollah.

"Hezbollah suffered a defeat in this crisis," Bush said during a news conference at the State Department.

"There's going to be a new power in the south of Lebanon," he said, referring to the U.N. force that will assist the Lebanese army in taking control of the area.

"How can you claim victory when you were a state within a state in southern Lebanon, and now you're going to be replaced by an international force?" he said.


He warned Iran against meddling in both Lebanon and Iraq, where U.S. troops are battling a persistent insurgency and trying to stave off a Sunni-Shiite civil war more than three years after the 2003 invasion.

In this speech, Bush laid blame for all of the deaths on Hezbollah and insulted the memopry of the dead as often as possible.

It's clear from his posturing that's he's gloating over the corpses and egging Hezbollah on.

This cease-fire isn't intended to last. You don't start insulting the other side when you're trying to negotiate a peace.

Bush wants WWWIII, and by golly he's gonna get it, no matter who has to die.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hilary Jumps Ship....

Clinton Denounces Cheney for Terrorism Comments
WNYC Newsroom

NEW YORK, NY August 11, 2006 —Senator Hillary Clinton has denounced Vice President Dick Cheney for saying terrorists would be emboldened by the results of Connecticut's Democratic Primary.

REPORTER: That's where an anti-war candidate defeated Senator Joe Lieberman.

CLINTON: I don't take anything he says seriously anymore. I think that he has been a very counterproductive even destructive force in our country and I am very disheartened by the failure of leadership from the president and vice president.

REPORTER: During a campaign stop in the Bronx yesterday, Clinton accused the administration of shortchanging New York of its homeland security money.

A spokeswoman for the vice president said his comments on the importance of a strong national security strategy "speak for themselves."

Just as I was just thinking that more pro-war candidates will be abandoning Iraq now that there's a new war to support,this came up on Eschaton... Just like they forgot Afghanistan when Iraq started up.

They've milked Iraq of all of the blood they can suck out it, now off to Lebanon, Syria and Iran.

Staying the Course

Thanks to Atrios.

FRIEDMAN: Not really. You know, the problem with analyzing the story, Howie, is that it doesn’t — everyone, first of all, this is the most polarized story I’ve certainly written about, so everyone wants, basically, to be proven right, OK?

So the left — people who hated the war, they want you to declare the war is over, finish, we give up. The right, just the opposite. But I’ve been trying to just simply track the situation on the ground. And the fact is that the outcome there is unclear, and I reflected that in my column. And I will continue to reflect.

And that's the problem. The Left wants to get the war over with. The Right wants it continued indefinitely. The White House wants to stay the course and continue business as usual. The Left wants to see something decisive. The Right loves the war, just the way it is.

What do you call people who love and support, never-ending wars?

Recapping George's Speech

Here are the essential points that George made in his recent speech.


While vacationing in the US, I caught some bad guys in London.

Through the hard work and determination of Homeland Security in the United States, the government that Tony Blair owns was able to catch some guys that they think are terrorists.

I caught the terrorists. Homeland Security in the United States made this possible.

The world is a safer and better place since 9/11.

The world is a very dangerous place and bad people want to kill you.

The government will protect you.

Be afraid.


The government will protect you.

You are safe.

Suckle my teats, our mommy government will make you safe.



The government will protect you.



America is safe.




People have complained that he rambled and wasn't clear. I hope that this makes it easier to understand what he was saying.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bush Takes Credit

Crooks And Liars has a video segment of the Bush press conference. View it here.

The press conference was allgedly going to cover the wonderful state of the US economy, but that speech got pre-empted by a foiled terrorist plot that Bush takes credit for.

So far the facts seem to be.

1. Pakistan, run by a brutal repressive regime, that tortures people and allows Al Queda to operate within it's borders, arrested some people.
2. Those people gave up the names of people they know in England.
3. In England, those people are arrested for an alleged terrorist plot, as recounted by Pakistani officials.
4. Someone in England called someone in the US to tell them about it.
5. Bush makes a speech and takes credit for the whole thing.

So far, as the news is reporting, it doesn't seem that England has come up with any evidence supporting the alleged plot. So far all of that information comes from a government that hates freedom and tortures it's own people.

There could've been a real plot. If so, we'll hear more about it as evidence is uncovered.

I think the odds are, that this story will fade away.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Politicians Vs. People/Bloggers/Constituents

Marcus from DailyKoS touches on a topic that's been on my mind lately in this segment on Crooks And Liars. In the MSM, I'm increasingly hearing the message that bloggers are somehow polluting the political process and moving it to the left. Bloggers have become the new scapegoat for failures in the MSM and in politics. We're being blamed for server crashes and getting bad information out to people.

And I'm beginning to see why they are beginning to fear bloggers.

People still ask me if I'm aware that I can't believe everything I read on the internet. But it's not as a strongly said as it once was. The self-policing force that the internet provides, is making it a more reliable news source than television and radio. And people are becoming aware of this, and so is the MSM. Worse, when the MSM publishes a false news story, it's blogged to death. They can't lie anymore, without their lies becoming an internet news story.

I admit that when blogging first appeared, and people were extolling it's virtues, I had my doubts. I got into blogging late because I didn't actually believe in it's potential. I've come around over time. And I've seen blogging on the rise even since I just the movement. And it is a force and it is making a difference. If the MSM and politicians fear it, it must be effective.

But when the established press and politicians demonize bloggers, who are they demonizing? Well theyr are demonizing quite simply, regular people. Politicians that blame bloggers on their failures are telling the world that they are blaming thier constituents. After all, it's regular people exchanging news that is becoming the problem for them. No longer is the MSM channeling specific information to produce desired political outcomes, but information is oozing out from everywhere.

Lieberman didn't get canned because bloggers were out to get him. Leiberman got canned because the regular people that once supported him, learned that he stabbed them in the back.

Blogging has become a way to fight ignorance in the political process. And ignorance is the incumbent's best friend. But when politician's declare war on bloggers, they need to be aware that they are fighting their constituents. And that's stupid.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Thrasher - Neil Young Cover

Monday, August 07, 2006

Does This Blog Make Me Look Fat?

I think this is too many posts for one day, but it's time for the weekend wrapup.

I got the chicks. I ended up with 16, when expecting 14. The gal that sold them too me, tossed in some extras to get rid of them.

The smallest chick in the lot didn't make it through Saturday. They were all stressed out about the move. That particular chick was afraid of the water mister and all the commotion, and wandered off to succumb to the 104f temps. I know that I can't save them all, but I still feel bad about finding little tragedies like that.

The rest have settled into their new pen. They've been eating and drinking well, and have been digging in the cool dirt under the mister when the day gets hot. Their pen is shaded under a forty year old oak tree, so they don't get any direct sun.

When I went to pick the chicks up, there were some young girls holding up signs for free puppies. Being a sucker at heart, I had to look. I've now got a Aussie Border Collie / German Shepherd mix that I've named 'Teaser', from Cat Steven's 'Teaser and FireCat'. He's about seven weeks old and smart as can be. He only cried a little Saturday night. Otherwise he's settled right in.

Ella has adopted him, and keeps his neck coated in dog slobber.

I'll post pictures as soon as I get new batteries for my digital camera...

Discombobulating The Entropy Engine

That article by Eugene McCarraher is fascinating. Thank you Jim far the ling at Words Matter

I'm a bit burned out by religion, but my fascination with morals and ethics continues to grow.

I believe there is a relationship between burning out in work, and burning out in life. When life becomes nothing but work, how can you feel that you are living? You aren't any longer, you are only working.

Living isn't about working and vacationing. Living is about making it day to day. And in the end, the string of days that have fallen behind us comprises our lives.

I forget who said the quote that goes something like, "No one goes to their death wishing they'd spent one more day at the office." I imagine there are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part i believe that is true.

Our grandparents dreamed that they were working hard to give us a better life. Instead, we inherited a life in which living is almost impossible and work is mandatory.

But it's not their fault. We do it to ourselves. We teach each other to be consumers. We put great emphasis on learning to be consumers. We have built as our greatest achievement, a social engine for extracting exhaustible resources at the greatest possible rate, for the purpose of turning it into garbage. And while we do it, we tell ourselves that we are fulfilling a higher purpose. We are fulfilling a 'Work Ethic'.

But what is a 'Work Ethic'? A 'Work Ethic' can probably be best defined as, a goal in which a person puts in enough effort to pull his own weight and give something back to society.

In the practical modern implementation, our 'Work Ethic' can be defined as, working harder than we need to, to ease the lifestyle of the leisure class.

And our society, as an entropy engine works very hard to keep us indebted and working. Even a homesteader must be a capitalist in order to pay taxes. The system we have created will not allow us to opt out.

But we can come close. To do so, we have to shed the consumer mentality and become something else.

Thanks to Peak Energy, we'll do it whether we want to or not.

To do this, we first need to understand what props the system up, and makes its vampiric systems function. Essentially the system feeds on any activity that doesn't go directly into life support. Those activities involve debt based finance, marketing, sales, fashion, following the trends and keeping up with the Joneses.

From a boiled down perspective, it's our desire to have things and to go into debt to get them. This debt based way of living, drives up purely financially based profits, drives up prices and makes everything in life more expensive. Essentially, were trained to live on the financial edge, living paycheck to paycheck, pushing the system at it's maximum rate. This maximizes the quantity of money that powers finance at the expense of jobs and industry. It makes the rich richer, and the poor poorer. This is essentially what is turning the middle class into wage slaves and destroying the lives of the poor. The logical conclusion to this is that almost everyone becomes a peasant, while a few wealthy families own us completely.

The only way out, is to scale back the speed at which we spend. The first step is to quit spending money we don't have and then to stop spending money at the rate that we accumulate it. Going as debt free as possible takes money out of high finance and undermines the financial industries’ political power. Power that it yields to push legislation designed to strip us, of the fruits of our labor at ever increasing rates.

The benefit of paying off debts and avoiding debts immediately manifests at the personal level as extra money in our pockets. When emergencies occur, we have the means to cover them. When we want to promote an activity or a product, we can use our recreational money to vote for it.

Taking high finance out of the game, will force investment into real industries, and will force financial industries to invest in people and jobs. Skills will become more valuable than ownership. Labor will rise in value. What money we have will better cover the things that we actually need. Life will get easier for everyone.

If those of us in middle class that can best afford to do this, can find the discipline to do so, it will force a restructuring of power in finance and politics that will enrich all of our lives. It is truly the tide that will lift all boats. By increasing the value of labor, and forcing prices down by minimizing the impact of debt based financing, those that are sinking in our current system will find themselves better able to flourish and live in our economy.

It seems counter intuitive, but over-consumption is destructive to economies. It moves power from the people to corporations. It gives them ownership over us and our politics.

To make this happen we need to...

1. Eliminate credit card debt.
2. Pay off mortgages.

Not everyone can do this at once. Many people are just trapped. But with every one that can do this and does, the net that is keeping us entrapped will be weakened one thread at a time.

Peak Energy will do this for us, but if it does, it will do so destructively. The people will suffer most. If we can do this voluntarily as individuals, families and communities, then it's the corporate non-persons that take the hit. Actual human beings will be empowered by the process.

Our current path is one of worship and enslavement to Mammon. It is destroying our spirit, our hope, our lives and the future of our children and grandchildren. We don't need to blame anyone, we don't need to fight anyone, we don't need wars, we just need to change ourselves.

Al Gore's Penguin Army

I finally got around to seeing this oil industry sponsored film.

The premise is simple, 'Science is boring, fantasy movies are cool'.

It is funny and hypocritical that an entire industry that owes it's very existence to science, slams science in this fashion. this is the same industry that suffering from a lack of supply of new geologists, that are needed to replace the ones retiring.

Though it's being slammed a bit, I think it's an excellent mirror of culture in the US. Real life stuff is boring even if it may kill you, but made up realities are entertaining and should take up a disportionate share of our time and money.

We're sleep walking into the future. And even the oil industry is promoting the very ignorance that is going to hasten it's decay.

Alaskan Pipeline Is Taken Offline

New worry for drivers: BP shuts oilfield
Damaged pipeline in Alaska affects about 8% of U.S. oil production; record gas may be coming.

It seems that almost every day there is a new news item that makes the notion of a smooth power-down an ever more remote possibility.

Jay Hanson has argued that as we go over the peak, civilization as a whole will do everything it can to make matters worse.

He argues that civilization will increasingly devote itself to war and waste it's remaining resources attempting to destroy itself. He argues that it's not a single conscious idea that leads to this outcome, but instead our individual choices that lead to making such a cataclysm possible. He and others have argued that when times are hard (or perceived to be), people will lend support to violent leaders that will propose war, as a solution to take out scapegoats.

And it seems that's what the US is doing. We're spending the last of our irreplaceable resources in order to expend ourselves in a last big war, in which bush and friends will glorify themselves and make lots of money.

Is there any other reason to throw away the future of our children and grandchildren in a war that ultimately can't be won unless we're prepared to nuke 100 million people? Even then, we can't get and keep the oil. It would still be a loss.

Who bets on a dead horse? We do.

In the mean time, we've had to stop maintaining our country to pay for this war. Most of our highway projects have been put on hold. Congress is cutting Amtrak's budget to free up funds to pay for the war. Privatization of our electrical utilities has done damage to our infrastructure, as profits are now more important than reliability.

Our oil infrastructure is aging. In the article above, it was pointed out that maintenance to the oil infrastructure has taken a back seat to profits. they argue when prices are low, then there's no point in maintaining the fields. And I see the point. The free money that our government takes out of our pockets and gives to the oil companies, along with tax breaks and tax exemptions should not be spent on maintenance, as the oil executives say they don't need them anyway. Even when they tells us times are hard for them, they make generous profits.

Your tax dollars are better spent on summer homes in France, lobster dinners and jet-setting around the world.

Besides, now the oil industry has a sob story to take to Congress. they can explain how their pipeline broke and Congress will shake us down and give them more free money. We pay at tax time and we pay at the pump.

Screwing up maintenance to the point engineering failures, is a money making tactic for the oil industry and the electrical utilities. Every failure is an excuse for Congress to give the industries more free money.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Black River

If you wonder what I look and sound like, here I am...

Filling Holes

One of the things that isn't discussed much and that I think I finally got my head wrapped around is why currency works.

If you have a gold standard and resources can be brought into the market anywhere (Like an agrarian economy), then the money sort of swirls around from place to place in a slow chaotic motion driven by the seasons.

In a Fiat System where resoruces come from specific locations and are provided by specific families or organization, then money flows from the point of creation through an economy and downslope to the source of resources, where it sits and accumulates.

It's the flow of money that makes it valuable in a fiat system. So long as it flows, it can be used for trade and eventually to buy oil. Further, money that is flowing, propagates and makes more money, in the form of fiat loans. If the money isn't being loaned, it doesn't grow and less money chases finite resources.

This is why the GDP is an important measurement. It measures the flow of money through the system. The flow of fiat money and not the quantity, determines the strength of economies.

A nation that produces mostly money as it's export product, will be able to keep spending money to buy foriegn resources, only so long as the money accumulates somewhere else.

And that's the part that's dangerous. For our fiat money there has to be a source and a sink. The money has to flow in one direction and disappear. That means it has to be destroyed or accumulate soemwhere.

In our current system, the money is generated out of thin air by the Federal Reserve and by banks when they write loans. It flows through various businesses and accumulates debt that can never be repaid. Finally it makes it's way to nations that produce goods and resources. Those nations can't spend it as fast as they get it, so they accumulate it. As long as they keep accumulating it, the additional money they receive has value.

Now after Peak Oil, when oil declines for a nation, we experience a bit of a backwash. The money flow slows, so the reserves start getting spent. To counter, the money must be created faster to push the money into banks faster than it wants to come out. The Saudi Royals for instance will have to accumulate money ever faster, even while their oil production declines.

That means that the speed at which money travels from the Federal Reserve to the Saudi bank accounts must be increased. To do so, less must go to wages, and more shoved through corporations in shady finance arrangements. Especially finance arrangments that generate money from virtually nothing, like derivatives. A government can also use this money to create subsidy driven jobs that produce a need to consume. Highway projects for bridges going no where and wars are a way to keep the spending going toward consumable resources.

At some point though, the money is created and moved so quickly and does so little work in creating job and raising wages to match, that it loses it's need to purchase resources and goods. If you don't have a working class, your nation can't buy goods or oil. There are only so many projects that a government can generate out of thin air, for the purpose of speeding the flow of money into oil accounts.

Our own government in the US is demonstrating that it can no longer speed the money along fast enough if the money is used in the US. So it borrows to spend and use it in foriegn nations.

When the Saudi Oil reaches a tipping point, the oil will no longer be filling coffers, it will begin to flow back out of those savings accounts. The money will cease to flow. When it does not flow, then the fiat system will stop. Debts will not be repayable and institutions will not be able to borrow. The Federal Reserve won't be able to lend new money.

The trillions in saved monies being held in the Middle East and China, represents a huge wave of backwash that will flow back upon us, until the dollar finally seeks it's true value.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Iranian Oil Bourse - 201

ConfudeForeigner asked about the Iranian Oil Bourse, euros, and whether China and India will go along with it.

I think that whole issue is very relevant to events that are unfolding now. This question has been sidelined by recent events. In the US it was never an issue understood by the mainstream. A number of commentators have ridiculed its significance and used some really simplistic but false arguments to pooh-pooh the idea.

The argument is that through exchanges and various markets, how oil is priced, doesn’t matter, because you can exchange euros for dollars and dollars for euros. But that’s a left-handed answer. And an answer that only makes sense, because the question is misunderstood.

The question should be posed as, “Does it matter how oil debts are settled?” And this question changes the nature of the answer. Oil debts to the producing countries aren’t only priced in dollars; they must be ‘PAID’ in dollars.

To create these dollars, the US Treasury essentially creates them out of thin air through the magic of fiat currency. They are borrowed, gifted, created through Mobius style debt instruments, and make their way into international markets, where almost every nation uses them to buy oil. This makes the dollar the de-facto global currency.

What this has resulted in, is a massive US debt and huge dollar reserves in the Middle East. The oil producing Middle Eastern countries have accumulated mountains of wealth in dollars, for which they just can’t spend fast enough. It just keeps piling higher and higher. If they do spend it, it devalues. If they don’t spend it, it’s worthless.

And keep in mind that those dollars represent value in goods, owed by the US public. In theory, the US should be worth the value of the dollars in circulation. In practice, there are enough dollars to buy the planet more than eight times over. One recent statistic I’ve seen is that the foreign holdings of debt amount to over $400 thousand for each US citizen. We’re born in debt and thanks to liberal spenders in our government, our debts just increase every year, without our consent.

Iran has been seeing their mountains of dollars grow. They know that at some point, the dollar must collapse. In fact everyone knows this game can’t last forever. The first one out of the dollar gets the most value. The last one out gets shafted.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, China and others, are using various strategies to divest dollars. They are buying property and corporations in the US. They are shifting dollars to Euros at a rat of about 5%/year. The ME countries are doing so apparently with the White House blessing, as we’ve seen in recent deals to sell ports and other high profile pieces of real estate to Arab countries, backed stridently by the Bush family.

So Iran is looking for a way to be one of the first out. Our State Department and our White House wants them to get the shaft, in this deal. Their plan is to set up their own trading market and sell their oil in Iran, in euros, rather than use existing markets controlled by US and British interests. This would give added legitimacy to Arab banks, to Arab corporations and would preserve much more wealth for the Arab peoples.

Nations rich in dollars would have to trade dollars for Euros, and then deposit those euros in Iranian financial institutions in order to trade for Iranian oil.

Guess what happens to European financial institutions doing the dollar for Euro exchange? They get to see mountains of dollars pile up. They will be forced to absorb the risk of holding dollars. They will be forced to seek a balance, so the exchange rate will be adjusted. Over time, it will take an increasing quantity of dollars to buy a Euro. We’ll see a rapid devaluation of the dollar.

China is very interested in this arrangement. China is sitting on a mountain of dollars that is worthless. China can never spend it all. China will never get face value for their mountains of dollars. They know much of the money they hold is worthless. Currently, they are divesting them just as the Arabs are. They are buying US corporations, stripping their assets and then moving their operations back to China. They are buying US real estate. They are investing in oil fields all over the world. They are spending US dollars to take ownership of tangible assets as quickly as they can.

China doesn’t love the dollar. China currently sells goods in euros and dollars. China will simply follow the money. If oil is sold in Euros, then China will take her mountains of dollars and exchange them for Euros, leaving the European banks holding the worthless bills.

The trouble in the ME now, has sidelined Iran’s plans. One thing an international market needs is stability. If the US bombs Iran and then retreats, the US will still have destroyed confidence that Iran is a safe place to put assets. The US doesn’t need to conquer or keep Iran in order to buy time for the dollar; it simply needs to introduce uncertainty in the Middle East. With the current conflicts, the world is holding its breath and there’s no trust in Iranian security at the moment.

The US dollar will collapse. Right now the goal seems to be, to make sure that when the US slips into a new Great Depression, that the Arab Royal families are able to preserve their wealth. Few things are more important to the US Congress, Senate and White House right now.