Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Most Telling Reality Show There Is - A Look Right Into the Lives of the Hazzards

I just had to blog to direct your attention to this piece I read last week. It is so dead-on describing the behavior of those caught up in the whirling swirling world of World covetousness. It is at the same time hilarious in its exposition of folly, and sobering in its revelation of how criminal are the actions of everyone involved.

In fact one of the more hilarious/criminal parts -- depending on your disposition -- is the concluding presumption that if Caesar had directed his bailing-out efforts at those poor dumb middle to lower class saps instead of the banks it've been much better. Never mind that the boldly elucidating metaphor for idiocy still applies quite aptly to everyone who lives wholly and deeply in the World, by the World, for the World, of the World.

My recent elaboration of the insane reality of this habitual conduct is here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Oh That Caesar, He's Such a Kidder

I was thinking a bit about my last blog post, the one about the machinations of competitive duplicity required to keep professional sports economically viable. I ruminated over my little illustration about the Cowboys' new stadium and took it through a bit more logical progression. It's a great tool for identifying the truth about things.

Thus:

What if the Cowboys did have a million capacity stadium, one in which they charged $10,000 a seat for each game, one where such exemplery service was offered that some kind of maximum comfort vehicle personally delivered each and every spectator to their exquisitely equipped luxury box? And what if they did indeed fill every seat for every game, and as a result had millions of dollars at their disposal, millions of dollars that would certainly be used to--yes, you got it--

Buy the very best players on the market.

Furthermore let's say that to make sure the media darling teams do have that advantage most would like them to have anyway--I mean, come on, let's not be shy--let's just abolish the draft, remove the salary cap, and allow unfettered free agency.

It is obvious what would happen. The Cowboys could outbid every other team for every one of the best players coming out of college or those who have established themselves with other teams. They would indeed have a super-duper all-pro of all-pro teams.

Now, what's the next logical step in the progression? See if you can tell from the following:

Game 1 final score: Dallas 56, Tampa Bay 3.

Game 2 final score: Dallas 62, New York 7.

Game 3 final score: Dallas 49, Carolina 0.

Game 4 final score: Dallas 73, Denver 10.

I'm not even going to put up what the score would be against the Chiefs (whimper...) but can you see what would start happening?

The seats at the new boffo spectacular Cowboys stadium would start to be quite bereft of people.

Essentially most, not all (there are some fans who would love to see their team do this for all eternity--I certainly would if it were the Chiefs), but I'm afraid most fans would meet up with their fellow Cowboy rooters and, well-- let's just say the conversation would go something like this...

"Hey, wanna go see the Cowboys whup another team?"

"Why? They're going to win. It'll be over by the middle of the first quarter. You think I want to pay $10,000 to be bored for three hours again?"

So what to do?

What to do is have all that "competitive integrity" stuff in place enough so everyone sees that there will be some close games, and sometimes it'll even be the case that a team like the Cowboys may just not get to the Super Bowl, just to make sure enough people stay on board to tune in to the NFL.

Again, this is not so pronounced as it is in major league baseball. I will actually pay attention to my Chiefs because the pro football system does allow my team the chance to be the next Pittsburgh Steelers. But I also know those times will be few and far between.

I bring this up also because this is really a microcosm of the way it works in the real world. The power brokers of World System governance whether in the political, economic, or ecclesiastical realm will always make it look like they're keeping the playing field even-steven when all they're doing is putting up a grand front to ensure the flourishing of their human sacrifice.

In today's Los Angeles Times was a very interesting picture and caption. The caption was a note about how the G-20 nations will take over the job of what it said was the "permanent body for global economic cooperation." Why do they feel they need to do this? Why do they do it at all?

The answer to the first question is that those without Christ must submit to Caesar's rule in this way. The fact that this "permanent body for blah-blah whatever-whatever good thing" is being placed in other hands is just the shifting around of those most visible to those who must make more palatable the institutional human sacrifice required of all World inhabitants.

This gets to the answer to the second question, why do they do it? They've all been trained in the Deceptive Arts so well by those expertly qualified to do that. You will never know who the "trainers" are unless your mind is molded by the reality-honing stone of Scripture. Should their company be broached or names mentioned, most would shrug them off as pleasantly innocuous college professors.

In that picture is a protestor at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, and you'll note he is wearing that Guy Fawkes mask made famous in the film V for Vendetta. I'd venture to say his sentiments are something along the lines of...

"Don't fence me in, copper! I know you lie and I'm out to do whatever I can to stop you!"

Thing is, Caesar will lie, but he has the authority to lie. All he does is lie. That's who he is, what he is all about. Try taking the stripes off a zebra, that's what you'd be doing to try to get him to stop.

In fact he lies so proficiently that, ironically, those in his service are part of the forces actually mobilizing Guy Fawkes' around the world to rise up against something they can do nothing about. After all the very first Guy Fawkes was a classic case of an individual exploited by the Company to keep the ball game looking close.

I mean, come on, what would it be like if the Dallas Cowboyesque police officers there were seen as having too much power? That would simply be too boring. So guess who gets to be right there on the front page of one of the country's major metropolitan newspapers?

Wow! Touchdown Dallas with no time left! That'll make the final score 17-16, but those Chiefs sure put up a valiant battle! Wowwie zowwie how exciting was that?!

I wrote a bit about the whole V for Vendetta thing at my webzine. That is here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Lie Often Seeps Out

I am in insufferable sports team fan.

In-sufferable.

I am someone nobody wants to be around regarding any my-sports-team thing to such an extent that I realized I had to do something about it. Ever since November 17, 1998, I've scaled back my big-time sports intake to virtually nothing. I confess there are some things I do rarely pay attention to simply because my pathological obsession with my teams knows no bounds. I do watch the Chiefs games but only the games, and to assuage the excruciating pain of even that amount of torment, I blog about it.

I also enjoy Angels games with my son because he loves baseball so much that this indulgence can't help but enhance the father-son bonding thing. But again, I really only do this when I'm with him.

The other night my son had the Angels game up on his Wii, which allows us to see website pages of things. We had the ESPN gamecast there, not the live game, just the webcast with the pitch-by-pitch graphics. The Angels were holding on to an 8-7 over the Red Sox. Their closer Brian Fuentes was in pitching the ninth with the bases loaded but two outs, and if I remember he'd gone 0-2 on mediocre batter Nick Green.

Suddenly he started throwing balls, working the count full. Then the fourth green dot showed up indicating a walk. Tie game. Boston went on to win it in extras.

The following day there were reports from the umpires that the Angels coaches including manager Mike Scioscia were harassing them exceedingly. Then came the mind-blower.

The home plate umpire confessed that the ball-four pitch that tied the game could have been a strike. He added that he called it a ball because catcher Mike Napoli went too far to frame the pitch, meaning he caught it and moved his glove to make it look more like a strike.

Now, I didn't see the pitch, but from what I heard it was so plainly a strike that to say it wasn't, well, to say it wasn't requires an umpire to 'splain himself.

If you know professional sports, you know that umpires or referees 'splaining themselves simply never happens. This is beside the fact that the umpire in this instance practically confessed that he blew the call.

The reason I've felt like blogging about this is because for one thing, I've noticed that umpire strike zones are so tiny or they are so malleable that they can have such a profound impact on the game simply by virtue of this divinely bestowed prerogative. The other notable thing is that it is quite apparent that the Red Sox have an intimidating aura that allows them to get calls like these and therefore, gain an advantage when they play games.

It is well-known that superstars in every sport "get the calls," and that this is just accepted practice. Furthermore our beloved Angels could just as easily get the calls because they too are a huge market team, so please note I have nothing against the Red Sox per se and I do know our Angels are themselves certainly granted such advantages.

All I'm doing is pointing out the lie.

The thing is, many could blap back, this is such a tiny little lie. Oh a little meaningless sports thing--whatever. Ah, just have to remind you--did you forget? I'm just insufferable about the sports team thing.

And really, the whole little culture war spat between the umps and the coaches? It's all drama. All of it just hides the fact that so much duplicity is taking place behind closed doors to a much larger degree giving the larger media darling teams the advantage. Think we're not going to get showcased for the eleventy-seventh time in as many eons a postseason of Yankees-Red Sox-Dodgers-whatever other media-glomming team there is?

Today I even caught this joyous piece at MSNBC about the new Cowboys stadium. And yes, being a moderately zealous 49ers fan I'm naturally disposed to revile the Cowboys. The idea here: now that the Cowboys have the biggest boffoest specTACKyoolarest new stadium could mean more talent and therefore more wins.

Now, does this sportswriter not know about the way NFL football works--or at least is supposed to work? Salary cap, draft, pretty much meaningless free agent movement, all are designed to make sure every team has a chance to compete. It doesn't matter if you have a million capacity stadium charging ten thousand dollars for each game's seat and you float the spectators on specially designed hovercrafts to their luxury boxes, the system is intended to make the play on the field the fair and honest result of the very best any team can do to with the players they have.

The problem comes in how little the NFL really wants to see St. Louis-Nashville Super Bowl matchups (as there was in 2000), and how much they slobber over Boston-New York (2008).

I really don't think this MSNBC writer is a moron. I do believe, however, that simply by highlighting the Cowboys in this way he helps inject into the public consciousness a conception that the Cowboys are supposed to be favored in some way, and when they are indeed given certain advantages, then that's just the way things go.

In other words, we are all to know that what's good for the Cowboys is good for the NFL. After all, in baseball, what's good for the Yankees (or the Dodgers or the Red Sox) is good for major league baseball.

I do know the umpire's call and the webwriter's story are actually little tiny things in the grand scheme of things. But I just blog about them for two reasons.

One, I'm that insufferable sports team fan -- note that I'm sports team fan simply wanting my team to win -- and I just don't like it when I see how difficult it is, even impossible it is, for my teams to be reasonably competitive against the powers of those working the system to get the most $$$ from major-market media-darling teams' success.

And two, big powerful institutions contracted with the World not only lie, but they have the very best marketing campaign to keep people believing it's not happening.

But hey, more people like the Yankees and Cowboys winning, so what do I have to say about it?

That's show biz...

A bit of narrative about my sports team story begins in this entry last January from my Chiefs blog. I've also compiled an inventory of sports team success frequency for metropolitan areas to provide some evidence that certain markets are indeed unduly favored.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Blinders Always On

Tomorrow is Nine-Fifteen, the infamous date generally cited to commemorate the implosion of the mighty twin towers Lehman Bros. and Merrill Lynch. It is indeed the one-year anniversary of the financial equivalent of Nine-Eleven.

Thing is, very few people pay much attention to it, relatively. I say relatively because there are a number of financial watchers who know about it, know about its impact. Tonight on the Nightly Business Report it was discussed at length, and one of those offering his thoughts was Alan Blinder, former vice-chair of the Federal Reserve as well as former a lot of other schnazzy high-level economic/finance positions.

After being asked about the main lesson learned Blinder said (something to the effect--from the best of my recollection), "I can answer that with one word. Risk. Risk was woefully underappreciated." He then reeled off all the people who should've known better. "Risk was underappreciated by x, risk was underappreciated by y..." He went through at least a half-dozen culprits, as if he was reading us the FBI's Most Wanted list.

What is the deal with this thing, risk?

Most of the investor's considered risk has to do less with concerns about the inability to do a job and much more with fears of moral dissipation, but this is rarely every addressed. Who wants to call a liar anyone they're looking square in the face, particularly those with whom one must do business on a regular basis?

Some of the more easily exploited of them squeamishly worry, "I'm handing a lot of money to these people. I wonder, will they lie and cheat, and if so, how well will they do it?" Veteran value extractors have reached the pinnacle of their profession with the tested approach: "I know they will lie, and do it very well. My job is always figuring out how much I must add to my costs…"

The fact that Blinder says that risk was underappreciated is only an indictment of all who swim in the sewage of habitual value extraction--everyone: debtors and creditors, investors and entrepreneurs, bankers and regulators, young taxpayers and old pension-drawers, penthouse corporate executives and penthouse window washers--all of them.

World consideration of risk is the very nourishment for human sacrifice. Whenever you hear it brought up the Artisans of Deception are right there to feed the echo chamber heaping servings of

"Whupp, there's always risk and you just gotta find a way to insure against it" (I'm making sure I get my cut the next time Goldman Sachs sacrifices millions of taxpayers on the AIG altar.)

"You can't trust anyone so look out for yourself no matter how brutal that is" (There's got to be another Bernie Madoff to secure my retirement, someone who'll be just a bit more honest.)

And oh yes, almost forgot, "Good thing there's Barack Obama to look like he's in charge of things" (You go feds, you go after those evil Swiss bank account holders and make-them-pay-their-fair-share-dammit!)

There are only two ways of assessing the value of things. The World way and the Kingdom way.

In the World millions of Alan Blinders (quite the appropriate name) bonk into everything underappreciating how much people lie to get more from their human sacrifice. Quite blindly they believe if they just lie better they'll get more from their sacrifices than the other guy. Many do, by the millions of dollars -- but... for what?...

Those in the Kingdom ask: Why is there any risk at all to begin with?

Even better, what is it about any given individual from which I may accurately assess their risk?

Really, what is the truth about how much any given individual can be trusted? I believe the answer is by one simple test. Is someone all about sacrificing others to gain more of the World for him or herself? Or is someone all about sacrificing him or herself so others may benefit? One is the typical value extractor, the other is the only one who can do actual value enhancement.

Furthermore, there is only one way an individual can be a genuine value enhancer.

Only One Way.

I address it a bit more in my latest webzine homepage essay. It is here.

Last year at this time I began a series of blog posts about the Nine-Fifteen implosion and its fallout. Those are compiled here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Shiny Yellow Rocks at $1,000 each - What a Deal!

The price of gold has reached a record $1,000 an ounce, and I wonder what precisely is it that made a shiny yellow rock increase in value by that much? Did we suddenly discover it has some cancer-fighting agent within its compound? Are people somehow more compelled to ask you to the dance floor if you're wearing it? Has its heretofore unmarketed capacity to do the laundry and mop the floor while you lounge by the pool been finally realized?

Well, not really.

The only reason is because the value of the dollar is slipping and hordes of people (ah, no word is more apt here than "hoard") believe they can somehow protect the meaning of their value by getting and holding shiny yellow rocks.

Yeah.

Wow.

That'll do it.

I seem to vaguely recall a story about a king--name of Mitchell or Michael, not that but a bit more odd--for some reason I'm thinking of a muffler repair shop, but, what do I know...

But hey! What about the Constitution?! Ah yes, that treasured sacred document, the one that sacredly and, um, treasuredly I guess, really protects us and our value! Yes, that one! Yay for it! After all it does say right there in Article 1, Section 8 that the United States Government of America I quote now "shall have the power to coin money [and] regulate the value thereof" unquote. Thair-ya-go.

So then when the Congress says a dime is ten cents, then dammit it's ten cents.

Er, problem, though.

A dime is not ten cents anymore, and a dollar has never been a dollar. In fact shiny yellow rocks are only whatever value they are because of the work of miners and speculators, and perhaps image molders who find a way to make wearing them more fashionable. If a billion tons of easily extracted gold were found somewhere it won't be $1,000 an ounce for long.

Oh certainly there are gobs of people (I already did the hordes thing so I've got to use gobs) who believe that if you've got gold you're secure, but the question is brutally begged. What is it exactly that make you with your comstock load (or lode I guess) of gold any more valuable than you already are?

The reason there was ever any gold standard was very simple.

It is because all men are liars.

Not only are all men liars but most are dismayed they are. "Huh? You a liar? Me a liar? Nahhh..."

Do you realize how little regularly practiced deceit is considered as part of the cost of doing any business at all, when in reality it is entered into everyone's business accounting all the time? It is very expensive yet no one has the balls to admit why. That gold has reached $1,000 an ounce is testament to that truth.

In a very real sense, what is it that you're saying when you say, "Hey, I have gold. Trust me." Is it not the case that you are saying you need some extrinsically valued item--shiny yellow rocks--to establish that you are not a liar? Are you not saying you need a traditionally considered temporal form of value assessment to get people to consider you worth anything you are worth?

What about this. What about just being valuable in the things you can do to make others lives better in and of themselves? What about being so trustworthy that people know you are who you are? How about just allowing God to move you to do marvelous things He's already made you to do?

I know the reason why it doesn't happen. That too is simple.

It is because so many refuse to make Jesus Christ their very value assessment. The Bible is pretty clear about it. "You have the Son, you have life. You don't, you don't have life." That's pretty plainly laid out there.

Oh, and the dismay about the fact that all men are liars, that too is actually pretty much an exact verse from the Bible. Really. Look at Psalm 116:11. Look, right there. "In my dismay I said, 'All men are liars.'"

Hey, don't worry. I myself don't pretend to be a non-liar. I'm a liar too.

Unless I allow the counsel of the Holy Spirit to make me truthful.

He is the key. In fact He is the only thing. I'm the most brazen wretched pukifying liar without Him. And if I'm truthful I'm going to refuse to hide behind shiny yellow rocks or Congress and its constitutionally mandated value assignment powers, both of which are gutter sludge compared to the blood of Christ.

What do I have to lose to just let people see me as one who's abandoned himself to Christ. Oh, yeah, I may lose the World.

Wow. Seems like a lot.

The World.

But I'd rather have my soul back and the beautifully gracious (and quite truthful) interaction with my Lord.

(I've written a bit more about all this at my webzine. Here it is.)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Eons of Value Disassessment, Still Ravenously Schlurped Up

My latest reading has been Unruly Americans by Woody Holton, a fine narrative about what was really happening among Americans that led them to assemble the U.S. Constitution. It doesn't come near Rulers of Evil for elucidating the core reasons America was formed, but it's pretty good at filling in much of the peripheral stuff.

What strikes me as I read is how deeply tormented were the very souls of sensitive individuals subject to rank value disassessment -- the way the World assigns value using institutionally sanctioned deceit. Taxpayers loathing bondholders, bondholders loathing currency holders, currency holders loathing tax collectors. Lots and lots of loathing among people who claimed to be followers of Christ.

It can shake you up if you don't grasp the perfectly rational reasons the bearers of Cain's legacy do what they do. It's been going on for eons and eons and eons.

This past Saturday The Los Angeles Times' Tom Petruno wrote "A Good Time to Reassess Strategy." He belched up the standard numbers of the day and followed them with the routine "Maybe you oughta do this, or maybe that." I can't help but think how many times through history top business writers have written a "Good Time to Reassess Strategy" piece. I'd bet it is in the millions.

The question is,

Why?

What is it you're trying to figure out?

What kind of lying are you trying to scoot around?

And really, if you're trying to juke the lying without calling them on it, aren't you just as much of a part of it as the liars you're hoping to sink your little schlurpy lemora chops into?

That's okay, though. That's the way it should be.

The World is all about human sacrifice, and rather powerful forces are at work to make all of it easier for you if not extraordinarily painful. As always.

Thing is I've written my latest homepage piece about this. If you take a look I'd love to get your take.