Identification, ostracism, confiscation, concentration, and annihilation.
Those are the key steps in all genocides. We haven’t yet accomplished the final solution, the annihilation part, but we’ve done a brilliant job of the first four steps in our slow-motion holocaust against the American Underclass, the perpetually poor lowest ten percent of our society. The clever part, the really insidious part, is that while perpetrating our crime we’ve avoided the international community’s approbation. Indeed, we’ve earned begrudging praise for figuring out how to warehouse our unwanted black males and uneducated white trash behind bars, where they can’t hurt our precious children. And we’ve built a profitable, fast-growing new industry to boot: the for-profit prison business. So long as there are plenty of useless poor folk lying about playing dominoes and smoking weed, we’ll always have plenty of bodies to fill the cells, keeping the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, . . . → Read More: The Slow Motion Holocaust
We still have a subscription to the Los Angeles Times. The print edition. Seven days a week. And we read it cover-to-cover. We’re old school that way.
One of the abiding reasons to continue paying for something that can be enjoyed largely for free on the Interweb is to vote monetarily, to support some excellent writers whose talent and courage distinguishes them. The Times staff, which, like most major newspapers these days, is mostly voiceless and interchangeable, in the style of classic journalism. But it has its stars. Most of these scribes have a column of some sort, a place where their individual voice may be heard and celebrated, even when that voice is eccentric, edgy, or controversial.
Until last week, one of the truly great writers at the Times was a sports columnist named TJ Simers. His catalytic Page 2 column had been indefinitely shelved for . . . → Read More: TJ and The TIMES
Remember back in 2008, when it was decided by those who decide such things that Lehman Brothers wasn’t too big to fail, and the planet’s financial infrastructure melted down? Remember when the mortgage bubble built from “collateralized debt” burst like cheap balloons?
It’s been five years. Memories fade. You may have already forgotten that the bankers behind the economic collapse were permitted to (re)write the legislation regulating their anarchic industry. And that not one of them went to prison. Or ever faced a trial. Or were even charged with any crimes.
Malfeasance of such obviousness and grotesqueness would shame the normal person. The bankers, though, resorted to a kind of persuasiveness typically found at the end of a gun barrel. The masterminds behind the massive fraud convinced their political assets in both of the parties they control that the banks were too big to fail. The banks . . . → Read More: To Fail Too Big
Opportunistic petty criminals, the kind that go after old lady pocketbooks and unattended bicycles, generally aren’t very organized. They don’t have thorough long-range plans and an extensive network of colleagues to help coordinate their heists. Most unsuccessful criminals are desperate loners, independent contractors of malfeasance who can never stay one step ahead of The Man.
The ones that have their act together, the ones who run their illegal enterprise just like a profit-seeking business would, we call “organized crime.” Various mafias — the Italian, Russian, Mexican, Jamaican, Serbian, and Salvadoran chief among them — have earned our grudging fear and respect for their organizational discipline and managerial excellence. These mafias know what they’re doing. They’d be on the cover of Fortune if only what they were doing was legal – or at least as legal as gaming the energy markets and flipping a distressed homeowner’s property just . . . → Read More: Sanitary Mafias
The time we’re living in is being called the Technology Revolution. It’s given us personal computers and cell phones and devices that, we all agree, make our lives altogether better. Everything is more efficient, more connected. Things can be ordered to appear at your door, getting lost in your car is almost impossible, and you don’t have to wait a whole day (or even hours) to find out what a celebrity thinks about something.
But while life has become more “frictionless,” old-fashioned concerns like wages and buying power haven’t been helped by Tech. On the contrary, they’ve been hurt. Unlike the Industrial Revolution that preceded it, the Technology Revolution has not lifted the mass of humanity out of poverty.
The Technology Revolution has coincided with an extended period of American economic decline. It’s coincided with the systematic evisceration of the Middle Class. It’s coincided with a period . . . → Read More: Tech Solutions
Great news, America! Despite decades of war fighting and tax cutting, and despite a national deficit of nearly $1 trillion, we’re not broke!
Well, we, the citizenry and its treasury, are collectively broke. But we, the collective earning power we, are most definitely not broke.
American corporations, those paragons of civic virtue and societal responsibility, have collectively stashed $1.7 trillion overseas. Apple, the greatest company ever, has about $145 billion in cash on hand, $102 billion of it parked in foreign banks. There’s an excellent reason our very best companies have all their money sitting overseas instead of here in America, where it might give the national economy a nice boost. By parking it in places like Ireland, rich corporations such as Apple – and Google, and just about all the rest of the biggies – avoid paying American taxes!
They’re very clever, these . . . → Read More: We’re Not Broke
Oh, what a glorious life my uncles have had!
Born to the manor these two fine brothers,
Whose servants sheltered them from feeling sad,
Or foolishly acting too kindly to others.
Natural twins from the start, they twinned all through life,
The Harvard® and clerkships and China Bank™.
Jason got married; George needed a wife
To double the wedding and stay equal in rank.
Being a Barclay is grand, oh so grand!
Being a Barclay is grand, oh so grand!
Being a Barclay – well, you can’t understand.
How Georgie and Jason achieved to the utmost!
Their lust subject to polite conjecture:
Jetting to Spain, enjoying a slut host,
Eager to hear the twins’ austerity lectures?
With work and connections they hatched a large fortune
To add to the one they already had.
More loot . . . → Read More: The Ballad of the Barclay Boys
In the days preceding the storm of the century, two candidates running for President of the United States strenuously assured voters that they would pump more crude, frack more natural gas, and burn more coal than the other guy. Whether or not an energy policy built on a fossil-fuel paradigm could or could not be sustained wasn’t discussed, at least by Messrs. Obama and Romney, who proudly reiterated their fealty to the oil and mining companies that sign the checks. Virtually every other candidate for President –the ones who weren’t members of the Democratic or Republican crime syndicates, such as Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party — characterized our looming environmental disaster as the biggest threat facing America, not terrorism or the national debt, as the Military-Industrial complex would like us to believe.
To . . . → Read More: Climate Change, Clean Coal, and Dirty Propaganda