Showing posts from 2009

Declared Affection for Caesar

A whole lotta Christians of some renown have gathered to issue an official proclamation of their desire to continue to do things their way no matter how much the federal government hints that they comply with them. It's called the "Manhattan Declaration," and it says three key things. One, we won't refuse to yell against abortion. Two, we won't refuse to yell against same-sex marriage. And three, we won't refuse to keep yelling. That last one was really an insistence on religious freedom, but what it really means is that they want to keep doing their thing and at the same time keep getting nice tax breaks for being otherwise good obedient tax-exempt non-profit congregations. Sadly, if these people were truly heeding Christ's words they wouldn't have to make such a proclamation. All they'd have to do is live out Christ's words . They'd then blow away so many people that seen in all His glory would be Christ, instead of a batch of off

Look at 100 Years of Weather in Antarctica and You'll Find the Meaning of Christmas

I recently read an economics piece about the opportunity cost of a certain Christmas tradition. The writer--some young financial wonk somewhere--lamented the abject inefficiency of gift-giving, going into great detail about the real value of the practice. His argument went something like this. Aunt Gladys gets you a $50 sweater when she really could just hand you the $50, at which point you could get what you really want. But because she gave you something you really don't  want, the value to you is no higher than $30, graciously considering that even if you don't really like it, it may be serviceable for having on when picking an avocado off the tree on a mildly chilly morning. So it's not just $0, let's grant that it is something. Making a valiant attempt to think like an economist, he concedes that there may indeed be a value to the simple fact that Aunt Gladys got you a gift, and tacks on another $30 for that, making the value $60. (If he were to be even more pr

The 2012 Factor

Last night I finally went to see 2012, the film with the boffo special effects of the utter destruction of the earth. There has been lots of water cooler talk about whether or not the world will actually end in 2012 like the Mayans supposedly said it would. I'd even noticed a number of books on the shelf at Borders all about how justified the concern should be. Whatever. The one book I read about all things significant is the Bible, and it pretty much has everything right there. It categorically says that the world as we know it now will indeed end . When that is only God knows. Sure he gave us some hints, but none of them amount to enough for anyone to say things like, "Yep, there it is, it'll happen on December 21st 2012 yessiree..." The one thing that is for sure is that God will hold on to those covered by the blood of His Son, and whatever value that has for anyone depends on whether or not they simply put their faith and trust in Him. When you watch this

Jimmy Stewart is Not Dead

I was recently amused by a headline in the Los Angeles Times, but it was certainly not surprising considering the media are simply the spokesholes for Cain, indeed themselves a vibrant part of the World System's decision-making processes. Sometimes, though, your attention can be drawn to the folly revealed in their pronouncements. It seems that all the money used to bail out important people "appears" to be paying off. It  appears that things are getting rosier for important people. The article does mention a lot of things that are not going well with the bailout plan, but hey, it's best if things appear to be going well. But this is the World speaking. Treasury Secretary and once New York Fed President Tim Geithner once said that the appearance of a powerful financial institution and its activity is most important for sustaining confidence, calling it "theater." At least it's entertaining! Never mind that it is actually real . Never mind that pe

The Human Sacrifice Dynamic

Yesterday's New York Times' featured front page story was about how close the U.S. is to being unable to service its debt. It's no big deal when that punky kid who always asks for lunch money keeps putting off paying it back, as long as he coughs up some interest every once in a while. It starts to get dicey when he can't even do that. It gets really scary when the lender is a big mean Asian dude. Front page story. In top World megaphone holder The New York Times . I turned on the news this morning to check out the expansive coverage of this quite boggling progression of events. Guess what the networks featured at the top of their 7am morning-show news? Barack Obama has all the information he needs to make and then announce his new strategy regarding Afghanistan. As I watched the newscasters (and I flipped to two different networks to catch essentially the same thing) blap about how valiant Obama and his "war council" ( their term) have been to stay o

Doing God's Work

I'm deeply intrigued by what the agents of Cain sometimes say that are dead giveaways as to the true nature of things. One recent item has run laps around the airwaves, and it was Goldman Sachs' boss Lloyd Blankfein's remark that he is doing God's work. This has generally been treated with the loudest ribaldry from the boastfully jeering punditry. "Ha!" they're gushing, "This guy has taken taxpayer dollars by the billions and is stuffing his cronies' pockets with it! ' Doing God's work !' What a dork!" The fact that it is considered in such a way reveals two things. One, that the World's megaphone is functioning perfectly, for the derision is designed specifically to get an obsequieous populace to firmly believe certain things, in this case that snotty banker types should be wholesomely reviled. And two, the pundits are faithfully doing their duty for their Superior officer, whether they know him or not. By assessing the

The Vicissitudes of November

I'm thinking about things that have happened or are happening here at the beginning of November that are worth mention. I think about November 2, the date Adrian Veidt aka Ozymandias executed that ultimate act of Agency enforcement against World inhabitants. Imaginations catastrophized into a quasi-catatonic state stir people to fiercely concoct "peace" while hyperviolence still festers in millions of souls. I think about November 5, the date Guy Fawkes was supposed to carry out the designs of his unknown superior even if he didn't have a clue as to what he was doing. Zealous rage against the state cleverly invented and widely advertised keeps rebellious people riled up. Funny how this year's November 5 featured a disturbed army psychiatrist shooting up his base. I thought about why we must have an army base at all--why can't Fort Hood just be a wonderful sports camp where people discharge their emotions on the field and later yuck it up over a beer. It

The Constitutionalist Crusade

Mark Levin is a talk-show host I sometimes listen to because I really like his bulldog attitude towards all things foolish. His popular book Liberty and Tyranny is a being read voraciously by the conservative set. Levin frequently offers a typical rationale for his entertaining rants, and it pretty much comes down to this. "The Constitution says so!" (Or "The Constitution doesn't say so!" as the case may be) Quite a few loyal Americanists feed on The Document for their political sustenance, and that is perfectly fine for those who like cruising in the hyperviolent crusade against other threatening savages. Americanist liberty means those other guys can't dick with them and the constitutionally authorized force of the law should make that happen. Tyranny to the Americanist is when those other guys get the upper hand and they get to rail against them with the most enthusiastic revulsion. I address this a bit more in my webzine's home page, and s

The Invention of Lying - Ooo, Let Me in at the Ground Floor!

A new film with a novel premise is out today called The Invention of Lying . It stars comic actor Ricky Gervais and from what I glean from the guy he was made for a role like this. The part he's got here is that of a fellow who lives in a world where truth-telling and all things truthful is the norm. No one knows of any other way to behave, until ... Ricky finds out about lying . Hey, cool. Lying. Now I'm pretty much getting the idea that by lying he finds he can get cash he wouldn't otherwise be able to get and generally do all kinds of neat things for mild enjoyment at the expense of stodgy straight-arrow types. And I'm sure as the film moves on he finds he gets into some awkward predicaments as well. I don't know a whole lot about it, but one review I glanced at said the premise can't sustain itself through an entire full-length feature. Not hard to see that. Anyway, a couple things made me think about this whole lying thing, a topic I like to address a bit b

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 .

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 anyw

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

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 ...

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 docume

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 Rea

Value Assessment Regulation - It's Expensive!

I've been seeing a lot in the news about executive compensation, particularly for those in financial industry companies. Apparently there is quite a snit about the hundreds of thousands of dollars being paid to employees of the major banks and investment firms. As I watch this I think about the righteous indignation expressed by both government officials with microphones and jealous complainers having microphones shoved in their faces. And then I wonder... Who's paying them that money? I just find it funny that there is so much railing against it that Congress is weaving bills together that would put limits on that pay. But then, why do they feel that they have to do that? Sure they consider that since these institutions have receiving some amount of government bailout money they should be subject to reasonable oversight by those in charge of the rescue largesse--namely the feds. But that still doesn't answer the question. Remember it? How do the bankers and investment gian

Light Years Away from Meaningful Truth

Did you know that there is now a U.S. commission on examining what is happening with the TARP money? You know the TARP money, as in Troubled Asset Relief Program money, hundreds of billions of dollars dropped in the laps of foolish but high-living value extractors? Its chairman, Phil Angelides, recently said to an LA Times business columnist, "Here's the big picture. The commission's role is to be a pursuer of the truth. If we commit ourselves to pursuing the facts and uncovering whatever is underneath whatever rock, we will do Americans a great service." I can't say that I split a gut laughing at this remark, and that is really only because every high profile World operative blaps this kind of thing regularly, and they do so with a completely straight face. Every single time. Hmm, go figure. This comes at the same time that one of those grand metaphors for truth vs. deceit is getting gobs of airplay right now. You know which one it is, the whole blue pill vs. red

The Value Assessment Surplus

Noted that the U.S. budget deficit hit the $1 trillion mark for the first time in history. And it is rising. Nothing much to point out except for the same old regarding the contrast between the World and the Kingdom that so few people seem to see. There they are, the top World ruler guys, at the behest of needy World inhabitants, continuing to spend money and banking on some point in the future when these needy souls (and their children and grandchildren, and hey, may as well add great grandchildren) will actually do enough to pay back what they're spending on today. I mean, really, it is such a mind-boggling number, a trillion, but these guys do it anyway. I just wonder, why not a quadrillion? Hey, after all, derivatives traders have already said the $250 trillion worth of assets in the world today is worth a quadrillion. Now there's a bit of a value assessment surplus. Why not a quintillion? Why not build everyone a bridge to wherever they like? Why not give everyone their ow

The REAL Michael Jackson

If you turn on any mainstream media outlet you're sure to encounter at least a bit of the wall-to-wall Michael Jackson coverage. The extraordinary attention given to him after his sudden death is not surprising, really, as talented and as eccentric--and as troubled--as he was. What I find interesting is how zealous everyone seems to be trying to find out the real Michael Jackson. What was he really like, and did he really do any of the destructive things so many think he did? How many times have I seen or heard--and believe me, it isn't really a lot, mostly because of nothing to do with Michael Jackson but because I just dislike the idolatrous nature of the coverage--anyway, how many times is someone interviewed who details whatever intimate knowledge they have about Michael Jackson? The day after he passed away I was driving to work and some radio newshow mentioned the final concert tour he was supposed to have, and I had this thought. Why don't they just get someone els

The Philosophy of Nothingness

I happened to catch celebrated economist Amitai Etzioni's latest piece, Spent , a call to reject consumerism as a way to extract ourselves from the current economic malaise. In his very first paragraph he perceptively derides the "regulation is the answer" pap, and concludes with this: "What is needed instead is something far more sweeping: for people to internalize a different sense of how one ought to behave, and act on it because they believe it is right." Right away it is easy to see he is a product of the World System, even a sworn operative doing its bidding, spouting about World ways to solve World problems. However eloquent he is, and he is that at some points, no one will ever be able to do anything he thinks they should do because it is missing the most critical part. Etzioni is a wholly devout World guy because he does what all World people do all the time. He appeals to what philosopher Immanuel Kant referred to as the "categorial imperative,&qu

Being Talked About

I've been reading some on the history of the Jesuits, as I sometimes do, and I am always amazed at how much they have done to portray themselves as persecuted. What is even more interesting is how few people seem to see that all the whining about their disestablishments, ostracisms, and even martyrdoms is deliberately designed to direct even more attention to their plight for the purpose of keeping their work relevant. And relevant it is, for it is the very work of Cain's administration. While so few see it for what it is, even more rail against it. If on the other hand they express enthusiasm for the Catholic cause, they'll still excoriate some disfavored government official for some awful thing they're doing. But it is no different. Cain's officers will do Cain's work, whether in their ecclessiastical capacities or their political ones. I saw Frost/Nixon tonight, and it was a very good movie, I enjoyed it. What struck me about this film was how much so many p

The Intellectual Lobotomy

Yesterday U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter announced he was retiring from the highest bench at the still sprite age of 69. It is notable what he once said about his work on the court, quote: "When the term of court starts, I undergo a sort of annual intellectual lobotomy and it lasts until the following summer, when I sort of cram what I can into the summertime." What? The delightful dances these guys do with THE LAW just aren't ever-so fun and wonderful? I love how people always boast "We're a nation of laws, not of men." But, um, isn't this a democracy ? Where the people have the power? Guh? Errp? Ooop? Yes, indeed, to actually try to sort all that out would require a lobotomy of sorts. If you've ever even looked at the volumes and volumes and volumes written through the ages about laws and the massively turgid attempts to get it right, you'd wonder why everyone in law or politics doesn't have a lobotomy. Or maybe they do? Souter sa