Wednesday, January 16, 2008


While I might believe in some of the teachings of Christ (most specifically, the way slaves should be treated by their masters - I'm all into that whole master/slave thing), I don't believe that Christ was divine. He might have been Divine, but not divine.

However, here in the land of more Godly than thou art -

Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is saying some pretty outrageous things, and I'm not sure the mainstream media is picking up on any of it (yet). Like how it's easier to change the Constitution than the word of God, so let's make the Constitution more in line with the word of God, rather than making it fit with some contemporary ideas about morality and justice.

Other presidential hopeful (and part-time underwear model) Mitt Romney says "no freedom without religion." And here I thought I could be free from religion if I so choose.

Barack Hussein Obama (yes, that's an Arabic name in the middle) is having his history/ upbringing/ color/ authenticity/ hygiene/ articulatedness/ hairstyle (oops, sorry - that's John Edwards) questioned by everyone, including his (current) chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Hillary (& Bill) Clinton. He is being smeared (through a variety of tortured arguments) over whether or not he's got Islam in his heritage, but now he's a Christian, so he might be apostate in the eyes of Muslims, and is he only a Half-rican? I'm beginning to think I'd vote for him out of spite, which is a rotten way to choose any candidate (unless you're a Repugnican).

Hillary (& Bill) Clinton is doing the "I've done more for the African-American cause than you have" mambo, roping in a variety of African-Americans to help out, like Tyra Banks. Always good to have the supermodel vote on your side. She's done more for them probably because she's OLDER than Obama. And not that not being black has anything to do with working for the African-American community, but I'm sure it would give you a certain perspective. Oh, AND she can cry, proving her humanity. Or that she has a good sprinkler system. As far as how long she's been working for the African-American community, didn't she start her political career as a Goldwater Girl? And didn't Barry Goldwater originate the Southern Strategy? So, in the beginning of her career, Hillary (& Bill) Clinton was part of the whole "scare the Southerners into voting Republican because otherwise they'll have to sit next to black people."

Since when are Democrats the party of my skin is darker/ my gender is more caring/ YOU SUCK! politics? Can't we all just get along?

Enough with the Bush / Clinton / Bush / Clinton / Bush routine. I want someone with a different name, and preferably someone who hasn't been politicking since I was seven.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Shock and Aw, Shucks

I have been taking a little time off of my usually highly sporadic posting schedule to work on a book, which I'm now considering abandoning, as Naomi Klein has gone me one (waaaaay) better with The Shock Doctrine, a fantastic exploration of Milton Friedman's economic theories and how they've created much of the mess we're currently in, economically speaking, in the world.

I've also just read a great piece on AlterNet by the always wonderful Barbara Ehrenreich (of Nickel & Dimed fame) on how the country has been in this wonderful period of growth, while everyone is feeling more and more pinched. We're working longer, more productive hours than any other nation on the planet, and yet every year, we make a little less, get by a little less.

As Adbusters once said, it's time the economists learned how to subtract.

The economy is only seen by the macroeconomics folks as a matter of growth, growth growth. As Ehrenreich's article says, if that was happening to you, you wouldn't think it was such a wonderful thing.

When you get cancer, the Gross Domestic Product goes up (because you have to pay the hospital for all that lovely medication). When your house is hit by a tree, contractors are hired to fix the damage, and GDP goes up. Any new car costs the environment, taxes and a multitude of other factors approximately $42,000, assuming a twelve year life span. That's on top of the sticker price. But that's all growth, so to the Chicago School of Economics, that's perfection!

Milton Friedman, the godfather of modern despotism (sorry, free-market economics), was responsible for South America becoming more third world than it already was. As a matter of fact, he helped South America make multiple steps back, by helping coup leaders in various countries sell off their social security systems, educational systems, and health systems to various corporate cronies who were (and I love this part) brought in by the coup leaders to decide who should get all of these businesses at fire sale prices. Strangely enough, the CEOs of these major firms thought they would be best suited to run these formerly state-run systems.

There are many stories in The Shock Doctrine of economists influencing foreign coup leaders into using the shock of the coup to decouple citizens from their money, from their rights, and in many cases, their freedom to change any of it short of violent revolution.

It also works when planes fly into buildings, or a hurricane drowns a city.

I will continue to write my book, tentatively titled, "Our Son of a Bitch! A Short History of Making the World Safe for Democracy."