Sunday, September 2, 2012

Some Additional Thoughts To Throw In The Mix

America's Favorite
Some additional matters of interest have been swirling around this end game the political class seems to be playing. While they and their owners and sponsors continue to wrangle over how quickly and thoroughly the tattered remnants of the Republic (we have been unable to keep) shall be unraveled, we the People wrestle with a whole other set of circumstances Our Betters have neither the time nor the patience for:

  • Joblessness

  • Debt

  • Hunger

  • Homelessness

  • Stolen Future

  • Endless Sacrifice
And that's just for starters, to get the ball rolling as it were. The situation for many households in America is dire. A report just came out (can't find the link at the moment, but will add it once I do) that points out that California's median household income fell by 11% between 2007 and 2010, a spectacular drop compared to the oft reported increases in median (or sometimes "average") income during this Endless Recession.

I've long been suspicious of any statistical report that claims rising income for Americans in general because it just isn't so. I've witnessed too many cases of household incomes remaining perfectly flat at best during the course of the Endless Recession, and too many cases, way too many cases, of household employment income falling by anywhere from 10% to 50% (and sometimes more) in the course of a few years.

The statistics have clearly been skewed by the fact that those at the top continue to amass gigantic fortunes from which they derive enormous income, though statisticians deny it.

Millions have been forced out of their jobs, and millions have been forced out of the job market altogether; labor force participation is at the lowest point in generations and it continues to shrink. Poverty is at the highest level in generations and it continues to grow. The two are related it seems to me, factors, you might say of one another. Duh.

But in his acceptance speech -- which I have still not seen any of -- the Would-be King Emperor, Shahanshah, declared that when $21.00 an hour jobs with benefits "went away," Americans rolled up their sleeves and took two jobs that paid $9.00 an hour without benefits and they forged onward, uncomplaining, happy indeed to be able to continue the March of Progress -- at least that's a paraphrase of a report I saw. "Only in America," right?

Americans are falling backwards rapidly, and this is due, as I have repeatedly pointed out, to the deliberate policie at the top of the Government which in turn are determined -- if not dictated outright -- by the desires of the Masters of the Universe who crashed the economy to begin with. Those few people still control the United States and they largely control the rest of humanity as well.

Should the RomneyBot and His Familiar succeed in their Pinky and the Brain plan to take over the world -- their plan after all is directly out of the Reaganite-Gingrichite playbook. I've long assumed that the models for the cartoon characters were Ronnie and Newty -- things for the average sod will only get worse, far worse, far more pervasively and far faster than anyone thought possible.

The so-called political "opposition" isn't even playing a rearguard action any more, it's now a rout. The Future -- at least anything resembling a Future as we once understood it -- is gone.

"There's nothing left."

Well, not exactly "nothing." What Our Rulers are attempting to engineer, and the ACA is a perfect example of it, is the subjugation of the American People, through a form of taxation, to corporate interests in perpetuity; it's a form of debt slavery. Whether it is precedented or not I can't say, but in the end it hardly matters whether it's been done before, what matters is that it proceed with as few impediments to those on the top who will benefit from these extractions as possible.

So far, so good.

The New Future of Universal Debt Slavery -- through what amounts to automatic extractions from the 99% on behalf of corporate interests via innovative forms of taxation -- will shortly become the New Normal in part because there is almost no conscious opposition to it. There is opposition but not so much at the root of the problem, the real issue as it were.

Somewhat tangentially, there is a remarkable review by Mike Beggs of David Graeber's "Debt" over at Jacobin that is quite a wonder in its own right, for it does seem to go on forever. These are the kinds of exercises I have long had a love-hate relationship with, for they often add to the consideration, even though ultimately they are as light as froth floating in the air. It's appreciable in its own evanescent right, though what it actually has to say about "Debt" -- apart from the nostrum that "anecdotes aren't enough" -- is lacking... clarity. In fact, Beggs seems to be quite taken with Graeber's anthropological and indeed anarchist approach to his topic, one that makes mincemeat out of economists (who deserve it of course), and provides a comprehensive and comprehensible framework for the woefully uninformed public to understand what is really going on.

But it's not enough for him, he wants something both grander and more granular, and cites a number of works that provide what he is looking for. Ergo, what? Yes, there are other works out there, and isn't it great? Anyway, I didn't mean this to devolve into another criticism of the critic -- one of my favorite pastimes when time was -- but Beggs' contribution to the discussion is something else again. Check it out if you have a few hours to spend on... froth.

Meanwhile, Mark Ames has put out a piece dealing with the nature of the shoot-to-kill kultur that pervades American Authoritarian Society these days and how it relates to both the propaganda culture and the "twerps" who so often are placed in positions to defend the indefensible. It's a rollicking ride than can make for substantial dot-connection. Ames is very good at that.

As is his former colleague at the Moscow headquarters of the late-lamented Exile, Matt Taibbi, who works his gonzo mangler into a perfect storm of revelations regarding RomneyBot and his devotion to loading companies with debt from which many never recover, while he collects fabulous amounts of free money. Automatically. That's what it's all about in our financialized supposed capitalist casino, getting to the point where "I win, you lose" is institutionalized and made permanent.

There's your trouble -- and there's your Future.

Let the Dixie Chicks make it all better:

Finally, from May, a piece from the Occupied Chicago Tribune regarding the Dreaded Black Bloc. Much virtual ink has been spilled on the topic (lord knows, I've done my share), but this is one of the better examinations of the phenom of the Black Bloc and just what it does and doesn't do. Recommended.

"Dance for that Anarchy" -- Po-Po Troopers getting out of the rain in Tampa on August 27 prior to the RNC, while the folks dance for that anarchy in the downpour.

Another Po-Po Troopers in Tampa video. This is actually pretty sad... it's from


  1. This is a great list. I follow a lot of others. Michael Hudson:

    Who points out that financiers now accomplish through the banking system what used to be accomplished through war, and that the income of the rentier class is essentially a free lunch at everyone not in that class's expense.

    Yves Smith, whose blog, "Naked Capitalism" is always very informative about the latest shenanigans:

    Paul Craig Roberts, who I normally read at Counterpunch, who talks about how the religion of mainstream economists leads to the solipsism where obviously impoverishing behavior (race to the bottom outsourcing) is supposedly a rising tide that lifts all boats:

    Truthfully, I read an awful lot of this stuff. I don't actually do anything brave, like stand in front of Robocops and try to stop it, sad to say. I do appreciate those who do though.

  2. Thanks for the additional links. I think people are coming to understand at least somewhat that the stakes are getting higher and higher, and every one of us is in the sights of the Ruling Class.

    They are out to win, and they can taste total victory. Trouble is, neither of the presidential candidates will stand in their way; one of them is one of Them, the other is awfully faithful to them. If Obama doesn't emerge from this a billionaire, I will be surprised....