Wednesday, December 31, 2008
And so comes the death of another month and another year. It was a year of incredible revelations and stunning inaction from Congress, a time when a woman--among many other defendants, I presume--was run to her death by federal prosecutors and the Court, and warrantless surveillance was legalized allowing 60s radicals to say, "We told you so, we weren't paranoid."
It was a year when the economy began crashing as it would inevitably do under the GOP, and we can thank whatever deities we worship that it hit on their watch. Curiously, Americans never blamed the Bush II administration for its failure to prevent 9/11, but that's just too complicated for most folks to understand, I guess.
2008 was also the year that Alex Constantine made peculiar legal threats towards me after calling me a liar several times on his own site, not giving him very solid ground to stand on, and a year when I angered a few thousand readers and subjects (often the same thing!) with my writing. This is ironic, considering the number of liars and barracudas I've encountered in the whole Palfrey saga, it didn't paint a pretty picture of most of them. Somehow, I'm not supposed to have opinions on such things, at least according to some out there. Too bad for them, because I'm not going away anytime soon.
What's interesting is this: they're just my opinions, ostensibly my right as an American. I got a right.
Have hope, we're about to be freed from the shackles of consumerism and overwork, my strong belief of what's to come. It won't just happen, however. We have to make it happen with demands, very strident ones. I believe Obama is going to be an improvement only because there's nowhere else to go but up.
America is being pushed very far leftward by events birthed by very right-wing individuals and institutions who have wrecked their own blessed "market economy." This pleases me to no end: the GOP has potentially pushed us closer to being a socialist economy than FDR or LBJ ever could have.
This gives me a great deal of hope. Why? Because if we had kept going down the road we were before our economic problems began, we'd truly be doomed--there would be no hope at the end of that. Additionally, economic and political elites are now going to be forced to deliver on the promises of prosperity and a reaffirmation of the social contract. They know the options are few and more unpleasant.
On that note, have a happier new year, and make a new friend, someone who has your back for real. If they don't, they aren't a friend.
"He [Lincoln] entered political life in one of those eras of delusive prosperity which so often precede great financial convulsions... . It was too much to expect of the Illinois Legislature that it should understand that the best thing it could do to forward this prosperous tendency of things was to do nothing.'' --Lincoln biographers John M. Hay and John G. Nicolay
"Fucking fuck is fucked! Fuck 'em, fuckity-fuck-fuck-fuck!" yelled the Governor of Illinois at the Lieutenant Governor and his svelte Chicago wife, Patti. He was jumping up-and-down on a stuffed-canine, a bizarre scene soon to be available on DVD and Blu-Ray™ with added bonus features. Fuck. His Azar's™ Big Boy look was showing today and he was sporting a pompadour that could double for a beaver-pelt coming in for reentry.
"Look, fucker," stated the governor, "Either fuckin' get those fuckin' assholes off of the Tribune's editorial board, or fuck it, fucker. And no, I don't wear a fucking wig you asshole." He was being more restrained than usual. Patti had no druthers spelling shit out, fuck me for stating it.
"Fuck this shit, I'm the fucker who wears the pants in this family...'hold up that fucking Cubs shit, fuck 'em!' Gimme the fuckin' phone Rod," she shrieked, grabbing it like an IRS agent collecting on a delinquent tax bill from a casino owner. Her gun was drawn as well and she nervously pressed the .45-automatic to her sweat-covered temple repeatedly as she yelled into the receiver.
Machievelli never saw "la chienne" coming...
"Nuthin', and I mean nuthin' goes on in this fuckin' one horse town of Chicago without my fuckin' say-so, y'hear asswipes?! No more "Mrs. O'Leary's cow jokes either--and when do we get the bathroom retiled?!" Even the governor was shuddering over that last part of her remark. Fuck. Meanwhile, Assistant U.S. Attorney [NAME REDACTED] was listening-in with his wife and kids after a prolonged porno...you don't want to know.
"Heh-heh, I'm going to have to take this off of speaker-phone guys--uh, hold on! Er, shit, um, ahhh fuck!" muttered the government prosectuor. "OK guys, outta here, me and your mother need to listen-in on some very intimate conversations. The Governor of Illinois and his wife are talking out-their-asses again, bye-bye, chop-chop!" He clapped his hands together vigorously as he said it, and the kids left--resigned--but not without leaving a listening device of their own in the room so that they could monitor things in their bedrooms.
"Mom and dad are fucked, [NAME REDACTED] it's that simple," said the pie-faced teenager as they walked down the hall.
"Fuckin'-A-straight," said his sister. "Why can't we listen-in on private conversations too? Why do they get to have all the fucking fun?" Fucking adults...are there any of them left these days?
U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald and his new bride were sitting down to a cup-o'-joe that morning: "Gosh-and-golly, darling, you have no idea how much emotional damage listening these wiretaps has done to my fragile eggshell mind--the language of these people. We never tawked like this in Flatbush--never!!!" He was becoming overexcited by it all, huffing and puffing away, a real sight, a bourgeois hoot, but that's the effect of Jesuit education for ya'.
"Now-now, dear," said his celeb-chasing law groupie wife, "The blood-pressure, remember, remember, oh my, oh my. You know this isn't going to help you with the 'personal problem' we've both been experiencing lately," she sighed, exhaling a very long time. An imp of the perverse snickered within the walls of their home, but got a little electrical-shock from the wiring.
"What the fuck was that sound?! ...'People now know that if you're part of a corrupt conduct, where one hand is taking care of the other and contracts are going to people, you don't have to say the word 'bribe' out loud... . And I think people need to understand we won't be afraid to take strong circumstantial cases into court,' " he exclaimed loudly at the breakfast table. He could feel his own sense of outrage in his now-swollen testicles. His wife wisely interved again.
"Patrick--listen to me: this is like that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby prosecution, dear. Disclosure on it was, erm...premature." She warmly grasped his hand as she told him this, but it was the last thing she needed to say this morning. Timing is everything, especially when applying the "rhythm method." The Fitzgerald clan had a long history of premature ejaculation, the main reason the U.S. Attorney was sitting there arguing with his new wife at all. Hey, Irish doormen need a little piece occasionally, Jesus Christ.
"The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave!" screamed the U.S. Attorney. This marital row wasn't going to blow over anytime soon. The nuclear option was considered and adopted by both sides that morning.
Wife Jennifer retorted, "Lincoln was questionable too--he was the most successful railroad lawyer of his day. He even owned land near Council Bluffs, Iowa, then pushed to create the Transcontinental Railroad through emergency legislation that he proposed to Congress, he wasn't so clean. Besides, he used to tell dirty jokes to visitors at the White House, and often!" She was becoming aroused, with that flushed look that's the same shade of a baboon's...you get the picture.
He was going to have to hit the books for a reply to that one, but he was qualified, determined, and dedicated to this job. He would spend long nights at the Chicago Public Library and the office as he always did. He would not suffer from premature ejaculation any longer, even though his self-confidence was currently flagging, if not looking a little droopy. He began reading his Kipling, just like Governor Blagojevich: No "If[s]" for this prosecutor, he was a man, my son.
"Fuck," said a mafia soldier listening-in on the Fitzgerald breakfast.
Later that day, the Fitzgeralds ate out at a local mob-owned bistro in Oak Park and bumped into the Blagos. The grub was good, although the U.S. Attorney swore (not literally, and not under oath) that he heard someone beating-the-shit out a busboy in the washroom. Fitzgerald looked across the room and saw a familiar face. The Governor of Illinois waved and the U.S. Attorney did likewise. "Fuck it," they all thought to themselves. Appearances are everything in Chicago, after all.
The ghost of Mike Royko grinned from his crevice in Chicago's Watertower, a structure once derided by no lesss a figure than Oscar Wilde.
"See, we can all get along, dear--we don't have to use such coarse language with people, and we can all act civilized in each other's presence even though he's investigating me, imperiling my very existence, and not just politically. I have more control than you, lady Macbeth." His wife seethed, and began eyeing the small, white phallic-shaped object jutting from her purse. "Yeah, I know dear--heh-heh--I know all-too-well." It was going to be a cold day in hell before...you know (starts with an "F").
[Ed., 01.04.2009--This reads like an episode of "Deadwood." I should have added the appellation, "cocksucker" and it would have fit.]
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Let's be natural: Blago's stunning move in appointing former Illinois AG Roland Burris to the US Senate
Chicago, Illinois--Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty, apparently a foregone conclusion to state legislators and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and Illinois state legislators, the mainstream press, and the public whose opinion they've done their best to affect.
But never mind that: the media's saying he's guilty over and over again, so it must be true. Is he guilty? It sure looks like it.
My own opinion? He's no worse than the other Illinois politicians who are pointing-the-finger at him, it being Illinois. Today's move was brilliant on Blagojevich's part, and I have to hand it to him. By picking a prominent figure on the Illinois political scene in Roland Burris (who is African-American), he's injected not only defiance but race into what's rapidly becoming a constitutional crisis in the "land of Lincoln."
and his accusers. The press conference today was an And God knows, "Old Abe" is getting invoked so much that he might just materialize and weigh-in on the fact that most of his own cabinet were crooks and incompetents who couldn't agree on much, and that his generals drank a lot. So much for the sentimentalized version of Lincoln, the real man was more complicated. We can--at least--assume the same of Blagojevichunequivocal "fuck you" from the governor to the State legislature and the members of the impeachment board. If only our Congress were so vigilant.
The scene itself was quite dramatic when the governor spoke, but best of all was when congressman Bobby Rush spoke, daring Harry Reid and all the other white senators (Obama was the first Black U.S. Senator in ages) to vote against Burris in confirmation hearings, and not to "hang or lynch" him. This isn't so bombastic as it sounds: the last African-American senator before Obama was Carol Moseley-Braun...the second Black senator since Reconstruction, which speaks volumes about our political system and culture.
The congressman was speaking symbolically, but call it what you will (and I know you will).
Rush is a longtime face on the Illinois and Chicago political scene, as well as a former leader of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense who narrowly escaped death in the state-sanctioned assassination of Panther leader Fred Hampton on December 4th, 1969. Rush had planned to visit Hampton and Mark Clark's apartment that night, but was exhausted that night from his work for the party.
Bobby Rush is also the man who beat Barack Obama during the 1990s in a congressional election, so Obama and the Illinois Democratic Party allowed him and a team to engage in gerrymandering a new district into existence for the 2004 Senate elections.
But it appears that Reid and other white senators might not have to worry--Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has stated he won't certify Burris's appointment to the Senate. This could become a major legal battle in-itself. What's troubling are the media comments smearing Blagojevich from government informants, always a matter of concern to be weighed with the highest suspicion.
If Governor Blagojevich has a "bad record," you should look at the FBI's and the Justice Department's, the institutions that put-in-motion the assassination of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark under President Richard M. Nixon almost forty years ago. This all hedges on the assumption of guilt, which is un-American and has nothing to do with due process and justice, but has a lot to do with politics and acrimony.
Perhaps he's guilty, but he deserves a fair trial, something that's virtually impossible after the media campaign being waged right now. So-called "progressive"sites (and the right's sites and blogs), the wire services, television coverage, word-of-mouth, and the newspapers, are doing the government's unwarranted work with every parroting and reprinting of the line that "he's guilty until proven innocent."
Remember that the same Congress that let George W. Bush and his administration get away with high crimes is saying they won't accept any appointment to the Senate by Blagojevich. This is the same Congress that has allowed him every pass imaginable for his unconstitutional behavior. Not-so-ironically--because they have a sense of humor--Illinois Republicans are saying that Blagojevich is "creating a constitutional crisis," which we've seen at least twice under the Bush II administration.
Whatever the truth, little of this is what it appears to be.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
J-7--It's been one hell of a year, hasn't it? From my work for the Palfrey defense, to my paralegal classes, to the inevitable collapse of world capitalism, to incredible revelations of Bush II administration wrong-doing and the resultant inaction from Congress and the Judicial branch, there's every reason to feel hopeful. What kind of a year did you have? Not one like mine, I can state with complete certainty.
I even had the well known Libertarian "Reason magazine" quoting me next to Val Kilmer, and conspiracy-theorist Alex Constantine has threatened to sue me for having negative opinions about him. This isn't even counting the hacking of my email account (I have my suspicions here), the phony "cease and desist" emails regarding the Palfrey information on my site about two noteworthy former clients, or the other harassing ones that came my way.
Yes, there's every reason to feel hopeful about reasonable change. That doesn't mean we just sit back and let it happen, because then, it won't. Demand, demand, and demand again what you need to survive. Band together, make friends with people you might never have, and organize and act for change.
I've written on quite-a-few subjects this year, from attempts to desecrate the memory of Edgar Allan Poe, to issues of the geopolitical and of illegal surveillance. What's been most alarming is the inaction of Congress and the courts against Bush II crimes, but I have a newer take on this: they only did it to save a dying system, it was never really about protecting Bush and Cheney, and it's not working. With every revelation...nothing, no action to hold anyone truly accountable. That's desperation, kids.
American Empire is ending and history cannot be fought or denied when the currents are as strong as they are against established power in North America. It's over, now it just has to play-out, and all the king's horses and all the king's men aren't going to fix it. As a matter of fact, the more they keep doing what they always have to preserve their power, the faster they're going to lose it. Empires fall and things are moving faster than they have in decades, and can be counted on to move faster than in the past thanks to widespread access to telecommunications technology.
This decline is affecting everyone. There's nowhere to run for the jaded and the apathetic anymore. Yes, things will become ugly at times, but if you have it in-mind to help others, we can avoid a catastrophe as we have in the past. Use your head and have a safe and happy 2009. Understand that this won't always be the case, have realistic expectations, and stay honest if you can. And remember that the children are counting on us not to blow it, we owe them a better world where people look out for each other. Helping others is the most important thing.
On Jeane Palfrey: Watching a woman die from a distance after being driven to it by federal prosecutors was horrible, but I did help her as much as I could and she told me that she appreciated it, she even told went as far as to ask me if anyone had ever told me I was smart. God knows that I wish she had survived her ordeal and that her suicide will haunt me until the day I die. One can only hope it does that and much more to her tormentors. I intend to keep digging into these matters regarding everything that happened to Deborah Jeane Palfrey, and will continue to publish primary materials on this site since it's still my right as an American to do so. The vast majority of my contact with the deceased "DC Madam" was off-the-books, it wasn't under attorney-client privilege, and the public has a right to know what happened. Eventually, everything I have will be online in one form or another.
There must be accountability in this matter, and eventually, there will be. If that means people like Federal District Judge James Robertson looks like the goon and lackey that I suspect he is in the history books after his death, then so be it. The same goes for Jeffrey A. Taylor, a most unusual U.S. Attorney for the fact that he's an interim appointment that was never approved of by the Senate, as the Bush II administration sneaked him in when they were on recess in 2006...during the U.S. Attorney firing scandal. He prosecuted Palfrey. At the very least, future generations of Americans are going to view her trial as the abomination it was, a fraud that was a matter of selective prosecution in a time when there were more than would be statistically normal. Had Palfrey lived, we might know more about what happened, although she wasn't the last word as some are painting it to my mind.
At this writing, the Palfrey Estate is working against disclosure, and it's understandable. They want things to rest and for their loved one to rest in peace. They've had enough of the circus, the press, the media, and the lawyers. So have I. They're tired of others (starting with Bill Bastone, an individual they should take to court for defaming their loved one) dragging the name of their loved one and their family through-the-mud. I concur. But that doesn't mean every revelation is going to make Jeane look bad--that's not even the point. From what I know, she's beginning to look more and more heroic, or at least edging beyond being an "antihero," which in this society isn't a bad thing to be either. She was that and a whole lot more, and she was very complicated, just like the rest of life itself.
I enjoin the Palfrey Estate to move towards transparency in the matter and to realize that the government isn't going to give them what's theirs (Palfrey's remaining assets) without a major fight. Having counsel that does contract work for the government in other capacities isn't going to help them towards this reasonable goal which their loved on died for in-part. My opinion.
Astonishingly, Palfrey's will wasn't discovered until September 2008--what took so long? Why is Orrick going around and threatening various players in the Palfrey saga with lawsuits and invoking attorney-client privilege? One could imagine it has a lot to do with brokering a deal with the government, and one still hasn't been completed in the arena of asset seizure and forfeiture The abatement issue created by Palfrey when she killed herself before sentencing created problems for the State, and a semi-secret Trust created by Palfrey is causing problems for the Estate itself. She knew what she was doing. I have to wonder if her family does, but I wish them well and empathize with their suffering. There are so many unanswered questions in the Palfrey scandal, but I don't think Jeane's death closes-the-door entirely: there were many things she simply didn't know about her predicament, things that should have been included in discovery (sharing of information, what they have on you) from the prosecution. Eventually, some of these documents are going to surface, and we'll have at least a little clearer picture. I do not believe that she was innocent, I believe that she was denied due process.
The House Judiciary committee contacted Palfrey in the spring of 2008 through a "Ms. Oo," then didn't appear for a face-to-face meeting or respond to further calls and emails. Oo wouldn't do. Why? Who or what put-the-skids to their inquiry into the effect that forfeiture had on her rights to due process? They--and others--might tell me and the public, but I'm not holding my breath on that one, it's going to take years, and it's going to take persistent demands. It was quite a year, 2008. I don't expect any miracles from President-elect Barack Obama, but it's on him and Congress to initiate lengthy and serious probes into every crime committed by the Bush II administration, to rollback the precedents, and to allow justice to be served in the matter rather than in the obstruction of it. Palfrey is a part of all of this. There's reason to be hopeful, but not without demands.
Postscript, 12.29.2008: Add to the list that Larisa Alexandrovna gave me a good review on a satire about her marrying Yakov Smirnoff, which surprised the bejeezus out of me.
What a country:
"This is bigamy, I'm already married, and everyone's crazy except me," said the star journalist (or is it "Tsar journalist?) to the Russian, famous for telling fart-jokes about life in Soviet Union.
"Is big of you too," said the ex-Cold War asset, cribbing material from Marx...Groucho Marx. At least he has a cameo in Buckaroo Banzai, a movie that didn't grease his road to American citizenship that finally came in the form of a 1986 photo-op for the Reagan administration at the French-made Statue of Liberty.
"In Russia, wedding dress returns self to store, people so poor. In Russ--uh!" the bride cut him off, much to the relief of geriatric liberal tourists visiting Branson, Missouri, all three of them.
"You haven't lived in Russia for years...in Russia, in Russia! Is all you can say! In Russia--you are to be driving me insane in mad world. This Wall Street bailout is a coup d’état, everyone else crazy, especially Mistah Kurtz!" Her Pushkin and Conrad were showing, and the American Bastille was calling. Lewd, I know.
"Uh, in 'former Soviet Union,' only time people allowed to stand in line is on way to KGB headquarters and urinal, and urinal broken since Lenin died in 1924."
"Is no longer KGB--is FSB now stupid. Ach, life of poet is hard, and me with no dacha to run to," stated the would-be poetess, having once fallen into the reviled world of Madoff's NASDAQ and the whorish swamp of journalism where "gender-neuter person is wolf to gender-neuter person." Smirnoff went on (and on, and on...) with the usual: "In Russia--is 'polit-ical-ly correct'?--no one is old, even age stagnates because there is no money. Everyone is still young, even surviving members of Politburo. Last week, tractor go on strike in Smolensk."
"...That coup is now nearly complete and checkmate is all but unavoidable. We are in a crisis so dangerous that should these people succeed in their coup, your party affiliation will no longer matter, your American flag will be a nice collectible item of something that once was, and your version of God will be worshiped in secrecy because your freedoms will be owned by the few... ," came the perilous non sequitur from the bride.
"In Russia, we don't have coups anymore, is too expensive! Everyone just stay home and eat plaster, like in America now too," argued the groom with the Ukrainian bride. What a country. If you don't like it in Russia, you need to go to A'murka, pal. That'll learn ya.'
Postscript, 12.29.2008: I just keep knocking them out of the park. Larisa discovered this piece today and very charitably wrote a thumbs-ups on it! Thanks, Larue! She wrote that it was "paranoid" which I object to. My own opinion of her own journalism is very high, I think she's done and is doing very good work. But that doesn't change my opinion of the profession itself, it's a swamp, and hopefully she's cleaning some of it out with her stellar work.
That said, her hyperbole over the Wall Street bailout as a "coup" is most definitely paranoid when even the ruling class in America is going into meltdown, it was unwise and unwarranted. She wasn't alone in her alarmism back when a bailout was first proposed, and I don't believe her knowledge of history was good enough to be making such a bold and alarmist statement.
I should also add that she and I tussled during the Palfrey saga, and that she can take this satire as a kind of "apology." There's no point mentioning her recent sparring with another Huffpo columnist on the recent death of a GOP IT (computer tech) in what is definitely a case of strange timing. What I really protest is that Alexandrovna and others in journalism claim they have no agendas and that they tow-the-line of "professional objectivity," which is an insult to the intelligence of anyone with a pulse. But, a coup? That happened during the 1870s, we've been wage slaves to a kind of managerial Taylorism ever since.
We're watching the collapse of American capitalism, a reason for hope, and hardly a "coup," but the reverse. You miss these things when you don't have a good working knowledge of systems in crisis. Also, she bandies about statements on how people who disagree with her are "insane" quite a lot. She's not half-wrong, but welcome to the Internet. There it is.
A modest proposal: quit thinking that with every exposure of corruption that something's going to come of it. This system's in free fall and the guardians of it are even going to protect a bozo like George W. Bush in order to preserve long-held power and privilege. "Inaccurate"? "Paranoid"? That would be the "Wall Street coup" theory, especially considering we're staring an almost fully nationalized economy in the eye--that's socialism, and I have no problems with that. That means a scaling-back of the power of the corporations. Oscar Wilde.
OK, there was an inaccuracy: she does own a dacha. I wasn't aware a satire was held to the same standards as a doctoral dissertation, but then, she tried to adhere the rules of journalism to me once, someone who assuredly has little respect for the profession as a profession. Still, better her than others...
"Journalism is the one solitary respectable profession which honors theft (when committed in the pecuniary interest of a journal,) & admires the thief...However, these same journals combat despicable crimes quite valiantly--when committed in other quarters."
--Mark Twain, 1880.
WWW--Can you blame Obama? Is it really necessary for the press to come along every time the presidential motorcade goes out on a jaunt for an ice cream cone, or when the president-elect/president wants to take his kids to a park? Is it really relevant at all, is it newsworthy? Of course not, and the press are taking umbrage at President-elect Barack Obama for suggesting otherwise.
Yes, it's more about that ugly little troll in the room (not the GOP), the Holy of Holies, "access." Sounds lewd--I know--but there it is.
Yet, they've done very little bickering over following the most powerful man in America besides Karl Rove (whose constant whereabouts never concerned them much during his unfortunate tenure-by-appointment in the White House) these last eight years: that would be Vice President Dick Cheney, who has been hiding in "undisclosed locations" more often than not.
After ordering a tuna melt on 12-grain bread, Obama approached reporters and placed his hand on the shoulder of pool reporter Philip Rucker of The Washington Post, who was scribbling away in his notebook.
“You don't really need to write all that down,” Obama said.
All presidents and would-be presidents struggle with “the bubble” – the security detail and the always-there reporters that impose barriers to any spontaneous interaction with the outside world. ("Obama bristles as the bubble closes in," Politico.com, 12.28.2008)
Right, this is the most important thing in the world, getting down exactly what the president-elect ordered at a Chicago deli, that's wonderful and a great example of cutting-edge journalism. But what do you expect from a publication that did its best to protect George W. Bush and his administration as much as it humanly could for "access"?
"Press gaggle" has a derisive ring to it that's inevitably earned, and there are valid reasons (like the above and aforementioned) why the public invariably hates the press and journalists. This is because they're human, vulnerable to pressure from established power (making most of them traditional appendages of someone else's agenda), and because they tend to get their facts wrong, often knowingly.
A wonderful local example should do: A past acquaintance of mine was sleeping in the basement of his parent's home when a fire started, trapping him for a time, but he managed to escape the flames. Somehow, his dog also escaped on its own. Eventually, the fire trucks and the press belatedly arrived--the firemen extinguishing the blaze, while creatively took their notes. The next day we all sat reading the story that contended he had "run into the house to heroically rescue the family dog."
The problem? Nothing of the sort ever happened--not ever--and he hadn't even mentioned anything resembling the newspaper account to the journalist. He got out of the house and the dog was found wandering around by a fireman (they tend frequently to smoke pot and like hookers, just an FYI). The journalist and their editors just thought a rescue would read as more interesting, giving those blessed column inches that added "human element", ostensibly to sell more papers with ad-space. I could go on and on. When you cry wolf too often, people stop listening and reading, which they're doing-in-droves with the newspapers. Very soon, they will be gone and they won't be missed.
This harping over President-elect Obama wanting his own personal space implies that this desire somehow has sinister implications to it, which is a pretty silly reaction to someone asking logical questions--watch him when it counts. If only the same attention had been paid to the Bush II administration, although it's not as though Congress or the Courts were going to do anything, we already know this. No, get close to "inside sources," cultivate them, and act like we actually have a "Fourth Estate," a myth of that peculiar religion of journalism that worships falsehood with enough of a smidgen-of-truth so that they can sleep better at night. Adversarialism with the political class? Get real.
Look: monitor any given president's activities on the Hill, in the Oval office, in his choice of appointments, in the legality of his policies and his behaviors, but don't tell me he had a tuna sandwich on 12-grain bread. Nobody but the senile or the emotionally retarded care about that particular piece-of-information.
You can take your "access" and shove it. Journalism should never have become a profession, and today, it's a joke on the rest of us.
"Obama bristles as the bubble closes in," Politico.com, 12.28.2008: http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081228/pl_politico/16882
Friday, December 26, 2008
I'm not going to lie: it's not going to be a better year in 2009. Things are going to get much, much worse. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that's all of us. It's not the ruling class that's going to do it, it's not Congress, and it's not Obama. We can fix the mess that Wall Street and the politicians in Washington D.C. made for all of us, and we can even turn the tide in a direction that benefits us, the average people in America.
But that means dropping the greed and selfishness. It means accepting that the market model is done and must be radically reformed. It's going to mean a very pointed return to progressive taxation of the rich. Consumerism is ending, jobs are evaporating everywhere, at all levels of society, and it boggles the mind. It doesn't matter. What matters is each individual recognizing what they can contribute to helping others and pressuring for change.
How will you know what to do and when? You'll know when it comes, but hear me out--the average person has, and always will be, the real "corrector" when the powerful have wrecked civilization. We're the people who clean-up their messes, yes, but out of that must come demands. Demand a better life. Resolve yourself that nothing comes from power without demands, and our lives will improve.
This doesn't mean going unprovoked out and beating-the-crap out of cops, although it will mean defending ourselves when we're met by illegal violence from the private sector and her allies within the State. Americans are going to learn what the term "togetherness" means once again, because we're all going to be hitting the streets soon enough, and the confrontations are coming. Discipline and a wariness for violence will be crucial.
Creativity in civil disobedience will be one of the keys.
We must hold to the law just as the Republic Windows and Doors folks did. President-elect Barack Obama endorsed the validity and legality of the sit-in at Republic, which is a good sign for his administration. Other signs aren't so reassuring, which is why we must all demand, and demand loudly that the system meet our basic human needs when things inevitably become worse.
There will be riots. There will be general strikes, and there will be the natural response of repression. History is back and the stagnation is ending.
Demands get results, but patience and wisdom are going to be necessary as well, and we must show lawful restraint. Let the protectors of this failed system do the law-breaking, then we can take care of them in the courts. Right now, there are more important things: Spend time with your loved ones. Make a real friend. Treasure what's valuable, which is the warmth and kindness of friends (real ones) and family. Demand peace, and demand justice where there is none. Demand investigations into the Bush II administration until we finally know everything that they did so we can really clean up this mess he's left us. He didn't do it alone. Congress enabled, encouraged, and defended him. So did the mainstream media. Their time is coming as well.
Happy Holidays, Matt Janovic
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Wall Street/Madison Ave.--No, no, the conspiracists haven't seized on this one...yet, but I'm about to. Besides, it's only been a few hours, the corpse is still warm and some of the ambulance chasers are still sleeping, what with all these goddamned time zones.
Yes folks, that's right, he was "murdered," it was "the government" (which is comprised of the American people), and they even kilt some before there was a Washington D.C.. Medics at the scene checked Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet (could he have a longer name? please?) for a pulse.
There was none. Normally, they wouldn't be alarmed by this as Villehuchet ran a hedge fund on Wall Street, but the patient was 65 so there were rules and procedures to follow. His papers were in disarray, pointing to...uh, something sinister, and he knew certain shady characters.
Losing $1.4 billion for your clients can be deliterious to one's health, and it appeared that Villehuchet's wrists--Agatha Christie stylee--were found cut, clearly by some intruder who wanted their money back, or at least coffee and a doughnut, some paper clips, and a reference.
The New York Medical Examiner stated today in the French newspaper "La Tribune" that Villehuchet's condition had not improved or changed--still no pulse. Members of the Religious Right were notified as to his condition at all times, and weren't going to be caught off-guard. They knew the chances this was an assisted suicide, the single most important issue facing the human race today. A videotape of Villehuchet was sent to former doctor/politician/human Bill Frist: "I say, I say, he's alive!" exclaimed the perfect human simulacrum of Foghorn Leghorn. God hates Pinellas County, it seems.
It didn't matter. The patient wouldn't budge, there was still no change in his condition. Neither would the economy, or Mr. Villehuchet's chances of recovering his investors' money from Bernard L. Madoff, death being that final mitigating circumstance.
So, the medics tagged-and-bagged the stiff and sent him to the Smithsonian where he'll be on-display next year.
Yes, it breaks one's heart that stellar names like the Rothchilds and Swiss bank clients are losing their asses these days, it's a crying shame. The phones at Access International Advisors are ringing and ringing, while Madoff's is ringing off-the-hook with one death threat after another. And what of the Astors? John Jacob Astor--the first American millionaire--made his first fortune selling bad whiskey to the Indians, there's worse, there's far worse.
$50 billion isn't chicken feed, after all. Like a good business Samurai...no, a clean murder by "the government" sounds better. It wasn't me, it was the big, bad government. It wasn't that I was stupid, greedy, and avaricious--it was the big, bad government, because they control everything, even when they don't (if you know what I mean, I don't).
Belly up to the bar boys: the Republicans knew that the 80th anniversary of the Great Depression was coming, they yearned for that underdog status since they don't know much else, and it was time to create another one just for nostalgia's sake. Besides, the little people needed some reminding, and they're looking wan and fat these days, but it won't last. They say that every country is three meals away from insurrection, but for America, it's just two snacks.
"Why not?" said the RNC's central committee members, "It's been too long, so very, very long. We miss it. Yes, why not?" They all agreed to agree with themselves as is their wont to do, and they all shook their own individual hands. Forbidden sex soon followed as the sun set on the Watergate...
And yet, Mr. Madoff keeps smiling on his way in and out of his now confiscated townhouse, wearing his dopey baseball hat and lookin' significantly more nebbish than he did just weeks ago. Stick 'em up! Bye-bye dumb old order, hello new one. It was 7:50 A.M. when they found Villehuchet's cold, dead body. The conspirator Madoff got out of the office before they came, months before.
Early to bed, and early to rise, though they say the morning sun at Rennes-Le-Château tends to get in your eyes. God knows Melville would love what's happening in New York City these days.
Monday, December 22, 2008
WWW--And boy has he earned it, although I could mention someone else with the same first name for runner-up. But we won't dwell on that, let's hold dangerous opinions about other nuts, namely Alex Jones. At least he's never threatened to sue me for holding opinions about him.
I wasn't surprised that another blatant alarmist--Naomi Klein--has been on his radio show. Right, I mean we don't have enough paranoid conspiracy theorists in America, so one with a well-developed...uh, will to power comes down from the great white north, eh, to tell us the wrongliness™ of our ways.
Thanks, thanks a lot: we need more paranoia in bad times. I don't buy--literally, I don't--her "crisis capitalism" theory at all, it's too simplified, too pat, like Marx for cliff notes. If they had anything relevant to write or say, something might actually have happened to them. They don't. Yes, Alex Jones may have won "Fear Monger of 2008" for his dionysian rants on how everything is under control and that a police state is imminent.
Scratch that--Alex Constantine wins, he's got me scared at least, making threats of defamation suits and whatnot. The problem he has is that he called me a "liar" on several occasions on his website making already dubious legal claims void. Having the opinion that someone's writing wildly speculative theories about someone's death for money is protected speech because it's an opinion, nothing more.
I've written that Kurt Nimmo, Jeff Rense, and Alex Jones are just a few along with Constantine who I feel are trying to milk this particular theory for attention, maybe even cash. Considering the fact that Constantine just avoided a similar situation in court himself over Psychic Dictatorship, he could be enacting a psychologically-reflexive action towards me. This has a scientific basis, as it's understood that an organism will inevitably strike-out against a source of pressure or duress. Strange people. Very strange.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
"I can't wait to begin to tell my side of the story and to address you guys and, most importantly, the people of Illinois. That's who I'm dying to talk to."--Standing Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Chicago, Illinois--These are truly momentous times, a real threshold moment in American history. The Illinois Supreme Court's rejection of state Attorney General Lisa Madigan's filing to remove standing Governor Rod Blagojevich is a stunning example of a political and economic order on the ropes. It raises the specter of a power-vacuum and the continuation of a vicious Machiavellianism at the heart of American politics. In other words, intrigue.
Is that what's happening in the Blagojevich scandal? It wouldn't surprise anyone except maybe a High School teacher, the last to know what's going on at City Hall.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's case that the Governor attempted to "sell" Barack Obama's senate seat and did so actively in what he's called a "corruption crime spree" looks good on paper, it's convincing, but his outrage over things like how many times and permutations Blagojevich said "fuck" smacks of character attack and over-zealousness. Welcome to Chicago, Pat.
Coming from the Chicago U.S. Attorney, you'd be led to believe that Blagojevich was Rasputin and that his downfall was virtually inevitable based on the evidence he claims to have on him. Fitzgerald made similarly broad claims with the Plame case, winning a minor conviction on I. "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney which was quickly commuted by President Bush. Go team (boo team, you lost, you promised more than you could deliver).
Genson said it would be "frankly illegal" for the committee to base an impeachment recommendation on the criminal complaint against Blagojevich. The complaint doesn't provide full conversations and context, he said, and it can't be cross-examined like a witness.
Rep. Jack Franks, D-Woodstock, challenged Genson to have Blagojevich testify.
"If we want the facts, we should have your client here. If you want to get to the facts, let's bring him here, let's ask the questions," Franks said. ("Attorney: Ill. governor won't fill senate vacancy," AP, 12.17.2008)
The federal investigation appears solid on the surface, but did Blagojevich and others close to him really take affirmative steps towards the completion of a crime? Why the rush to judgment? Did they (Blagojevich and others) technically break the law merely by talking about something but not taking any substantial actions towards completion? Is this a case of wishful thinking?
Blagojevich could have a very good case here. His counsel, Ed Genson, has raised some very good points because there's a strong possibility that no substantial steps were taken towards completion of the crime, just a lot of [expletive deleted] talk.
These are just a few of the questions that should be addressed by the prosecution, the GOP, the DNC, the Obama campaign, and Blagojevich's detractors in the Illinois State House and Senate, and within his own office.
These people need to state their case clearly, the onus being on them in our legal system. At this writing, Blagojevich's attorney has announced that the Governor will not name Barack Obama's successor in the senate, answering at least one question in this whole mess.
This chaos and loss of faith in icons of authority and power all reminds one of the last days of Tsarist Russia. I can hardly wait to hear what the Governor has to say in his defense, I'm dying too Rod. Will it include revelations about someone who arouses just as many suspicions of corruption, one Rahm Emanuel?
U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald might discover that Blagojevich and Emanuel share a similar vocabulary, both politically and linguistically. He had better hope he's right, but procedure that gives deference to government investigators and prosecutors could shield him if this is so. Whatever happened to due process?