"The wealthy, not only by private fraud but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the people some part of their daily living. Therefore, when I consider and weigh in my mind these commonwealths which nowadays do flourish, I perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men in procuring their own commodities under the name and authority of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely without fear of losing that which they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labor of the people for as little money and effort as possible."

Thomas More, Utopia

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Obama vs. Obama

The following public service announcement comes courtesy of Mark Fiore:

Big thanks to Dennis Perrin for introducing me to both Fiore above and Dwayne Monroe who authored the following message to disappointed Obamaniacs:

I know you're unhappy.

You tell me, via email, text messages, tweets, listserv posts and maybe even tachyon bursts I'm not yet equipped to receive.

You tell me -- and the world -- you're disheartened by Obama's velvet gloved treatment of ibanks, his failure to "take advantage of a good crisis." His inability to speak to any group of black people without yammering on about "personal responsibility" (a theme conspicuously absent from his speeches before mostly white audiences).

His escalation of the Afghan war. His supposedly groundbreaking national medical insurance plan which, once closely examined, looks an awful lot like a funds transfer program for the pharma and private insurance sectors.

His continuation of Bush era surveillance programs. His backtracking on same sex unions. His... by the gods, I could go on, but why?

Listen mates, I have some bad news for you and your ruined dreams...

You should have paid closer attention during the campaign. You should've spent a little less time shouting about new, "post-racial" politics, the excitement of "young people" and Obama's polished, upper management style of presentation and more time thinking through the totally predictable implications of the things he said.

What the hell did you think he meant when he said he was going to "step up" US efforts in Afghanistan? Air drop delicious snake cakes and DVDs? When a potential or sitting POTUS announces a "renewed effort" he (and one day soon, she) means only one thing: bombs, blood and blasting.

I know, that's three things.

Months ago, when you read stories about Obama's popularity among our well-fed hedge funders, what did you think that meant? Wall Street loves "diversity"? It meant those mercenaries were pointing their mojo wands towards the guy they felt would produce superior ROI.

And so on.

During the campaign months, many of you wankers (and yes, I love you but...) accused me of being cynical. Why didn't I open my heart and believe in change? Change! My black and tan amigos y amigas were dismayed I wasn't happy to see the ultimate example of a black face in a high place. Dreams, no longer deferred!

Well-intentioned pink skins scratched their heads, puzzled by my lack of glee at their non-racist action: voting for a black chief exec. Look at us!

To be cynical however, you have to be a disappointed romantic. Within each cynic's skull throbs a mind longing to believe with the fervency of a "Twilight" fan. My objections weren't cynical. I simply took Mr. Obama at his word and factored in the history of the office he sought.

So there you are, upset and worried. You're upset by how things have turned out. You're worried that unless Obama does this or does that -- zigs instead of zags, kerpluks instead of plukeriking -- his presidency will fail. Which is hella odd: what presidencies have succeeded and by whose criteria?

I recommend spending no more than five, maybe ten minutes being disappointed. And perhaps an extra half hour musing on the various things the President should do to save his historic legacy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pretty pictures will do

Recently I found myself in a rather long and tedious discussion with my brother over the state of the US and its relation to the rest of the world in general. For what seemed like hours he tried to convince me (and perhaps himself) that the sainted Obama administration was really, despite all evidence to the contrary, a force for change in the world. For example, when I mentioned the contrast in the Obama administration's response to the disputed elections in Iran to the coup in the one nation upon which the US exerts the most influence in Latin America, Honduras, he dissolved into to a cloud of semantics, disparately grasping at anything that would explain away the clear hypocrisy. Nuance aside, there's little difference between the Obama administration's handling of the Honduran crisis and what could have been expected of the Bush II regime that preceded it.

The same of course applies the Obama's handling of the financial crisis foisted upon us by the Wall Street hustlers and their bankrupt free-trade ideology. This is the part that really gets to the heart of my frustration with Obamaniacs such as my brother. Like most Americans, if he is not directly effected by an issue he just can't be bothered by the matter. So when it comes to our illegal invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation or the material support for ethnic cleansing on the other side of the globe well... that stuff's so out of the way and we're very busy. Well at least we used to be before half a million of us per month were losing our jobs as the Obama administration endeavors to move heaven and earth to save the very malefactors who decimated the economy (such as it is). Unlike the remote controlled, robot bombing of wedding parties the economic meltdown is something most American's can feel directly yet still there is a sizable number of people (my brother among them) who refuse to connect the dots to the policies of an administration filled to the brim with Goldman Sachs alums. Yes, cracks are starting to appear in Obama's polling numbers but we still have a long way to go before the financial oligarchy he serves starts to feel the heat.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mad Max

Max Keiser (my new favorite financial analyst) takes it to Goldman Sachs below. When's he going to get a platform on CNBC I wonder?

Part 2:

Update: Elaine Supkis fleshes this matter out in a very good post recently.