Monthly Archives: May 2008

Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century (Part 2)

As previously mentioned, I stumbled across this great although very long essay one day while listening to a segment of that wonderfully informative although largely unheard of radio program Unwelcome Guests (which has a tremendous archive of past shows available for downloads). The segment which I will link to here is a reading of this essay by Dmitry Orlov that was posted on investigative reporter Michael Ruppert’s website From The Wilderness. Mr. Ruppert is the author of the very interesting book Crossing The Rubicon and while he has left the journalistic scene due to various problems his site still is up and there is a plethora of great information still available. While I am not particularly a believer in the Peak Oil theory that Orlov bases this essay on I found the parts about surviving after the collapse of the Soviet Union to be riveting and horrifying.

We would be wise to pay heed to the material here as the oligarchy has put the United States on a similar path to economic collapse that none of the fraudulent candidates participating in the dog and pony show ‘debates’ will dare to bring up – choosing instead to stick to the sideshow issues like abortion, gay marriage, pandering to the dumbest of the dumb who are the overtly religious knuckledraggers and the left behinders and invoking fear at every opportunity.There is something to fear but it is not the ridiculous terrorist of the week – it is a Soviet style total economic collapse.

Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century

(PART TWO OF THREE)

By Dmitry Orlov

Differences between the Superpowers: Ethnicity

Our thumbnail sketch of the two superpowers would not be complete without a comparison of some of the differences, which are no less glaring than the similarities.

The United States has traditionally been a very racist country, with numerous categories of people one wouldn’t want one’s daughter or sister to marry, no matter who one happens to be. It was founded on the exploitation of African slaves and the extermination of the natives. Over its formative years, there was no formal intermarriage between the Europeans and the Africans, or the Europeans and the Indians. This stands in stark contrast to other American continent nations such as Brazil. To this day in the U.S. there remains a disdainful attitude toward any tribe other than the Anglo-Saxon. Glazed over with a layer of political correctness, at least in polite society, it comes out again when observing whom most such Anglo-Saxon people actually choose to marry, or date.

Russia is a country whose ethnic profile shifts slowly from mainly European in the West to Asian in the East. Russia’s settlement of its vast territory was accompanied by intermarriage with every tribe the Russians met on their drive east. One of the formative episodes of Russian history was the Mongol invasion, which resulted in a large infusion of Asian blood into Russian genealogy. On the other side, Russia received quite a few immigrants from Western Europe. Currently, Russia’s ethnic problems are limited to combating ethnic mafias, and to the many small but humiliating episodes of anti-Semitism, which has been a feature Russian society for centuries, and, in spite of which, Jews, my family included, have done quite well there. Jews were barred from some of the more prestigious universities and institutes, and were held back in other ways (for instance, lynching).

The United States remains a powder keg of ethnic tension, where urban blacks feel oppressed by suburban whites, who in turn fear to venture into major sections of the cities. In a time of permanent crisis, urban blacks might well riot and loot the cities, because they don’t own them, and the suburban whites are likely to get foreclosed out of their “little cabins in the woods,” as James Kunstler charmingly calls them, and decamp to a nearby trailer park. Add to this already volatile mixture the fact that firearms are widely available, and the fact that violence permeates American society, particularly in the South, the West, and the dead industrial cities like Detroit.

In short, the social atmosphere of post-collapse America is unlikely to be as placid and amicable as that of post-collapse Russia. At least in parts, it is more likely to resemble other, more ethnically mixed, and therefore less fortunate parts of the Former Soviet Union, such as the Fergana valley and, of course, that “beacon of freedom” in the Caucasus, Georgia (or so says the U.S. President).

No part of the United States is an obvious choice for the survival-minded, but some are obviously riskier than others. Any place with a history of racial or ethnic tension is probably unsafe. This rules out the South, the Southwest, and many large cities elsewhere. Some people might find a safe harbor in an ethnically homogeneous enclave of their own kind, while the rest would be well-advised to look for the few communities where inter-ethnic relations have been cemented through integrated living and intermarriage, and where the strange and fragile entity that is multi-ethnic society might have a chance of holding together.

Differences between the Superpowers: Ownership

Another key difference: in the Soviet Union, nobody owned their place of residence. What this meant is that the economy could collapse without causing homelessness: just about everyone went on living in the same place as before. There were no evictions or foreclosures. Everyone stayed put, and this prevented society from disintegrating.

One more difference: the place where they stayed put was generally accessible by public transportation, which continued to run during the worst of times. Most of the Soviet-era developments were centrally planned, and central planners do not like sprawl: it is too difficult and expensive to service. Few people owned cars, and even fewer depended on cars for getting around. Even the worst gasoline shortages resulted in only minor inconveniences for most people: in the springtime, they made it difficult to transport seedlings from the city to the dacha for planting; in the fall, they made it difficult to haul the harvest back to the city.

Differences between the Superpowers: Labor Profile

The Soviet Union was entirely self-sufficient when it came to labor. Both before and after the collapse, skilled labor was one of its main exports, along with oil, weapons, and industrial machinery. Not so with the United States, where not only is most of the manufacturing being carried out abroad, but a lot of service back home is being provided by immigrants as well. This runs the gamut from farm labor, landscaping, and office cleaning to the professions, such as engineering and medicine, without which society and its infrastructure would unravel. Most of these people came to the United States to enjoy the superior standard of living — for as long as it remains superior. Many of them will eventually head home, leaving a gaping hole in the social fabric.

I have had a chance to observe quite a few companies in the U.S. from the inside, and have spotted a certain constancy in the staffing profile. At the top, there is a group of highly compensated senior lunch-eaters. They tend to spend all of their time pleasing each other in various ways, big and small. They often hold advanced degrees in disciplines such as Technical Schmoozing and Relativistic Bean-counting. They are obsessive on the subject of money, and cultivate a posh country set atmosphere, even if they are just one generation out of the coal mines. Ask them to solve a technical problem — and they will politely demur, often taking the opportunity to flash their wit with a self-deprecating joke or two.

Somewhat further down the hierarchy are the people who actually do the work. They tend to have fewer social graces and communication skills, but they do know how to get the work done. Among them are found the technical innovators, who are often the company’s raison d’être.

More often than not, the senior lunch-eaters at the top are native-born Americans, and, more often than not, the ones lower down are either visiting foreigners or immigrants. These find themselves in a variety of situations, from the working visa holders who are often forced to choose between keeping their job and going home, to those who are waiting for a green card and must play their other cards just right, to those who have one, to citizens.

The natives at the top always try to standardize the job descriptions and lower the pay scale of the immigrants at the bottom, playing them against each other, while trying to portray themselves as super-achieving entrepreneurial mavericks who can’t be pinned down to a mere set of marketable skills. The opposite is often the case: the natives are often the commodity items, and would perform similar functions whether their business were biotechnology or salted fish, while those who work for them may be unique specialists, doing what has never been done before.

It is no surprise that this situation should have come about. For the last few generations, native-born Americans have preferred disciplines such as law, communications, and business administration, while immigrants and foreigners tended to choose the sciences and engineering. All their lives the natives were told to expect prosperity without end, and so they felt safe in joining professions that are mere embroidery on the fabric of an affluent society.

This process became known as “brain drain” — America’s extraction of talent from foreign lands, to its advantage, and to their detriment. This flow of brain power is likely to reverse direction, leaving the U.S. even less capable of finding ways to cope with its economic predicament. This may mean that, even in areas where there will be ample scope for innovation and development, such as restoration of rail service, or renewable energy, America may find itself without the necessary talent to make it happen.

Differences between the Superpowers: Religion

The last dimension worth mentioning along which the Soviet Union and the United States are in stark contrast is that of religion.

Pre-revolutionary Russia’s two-headed eagle symbolized the monarchy and the church, with a crown on one head and a miter on the other. Along with its somewhat holier manifestations, such as its iconography and its monastic tradition, the Russian church was as bloated with wealth and ostentation, and as oppressive, as the monarchy whose power it helped legitimize. But over the course of the 20th century Russia managed to evolve in a distinctly secular way, oppressing religious people with compulsory atheism.

The United States, uncharacteristically for a Western nation, remains a fairly religious place, where most people look for and find God in a church, or a synagogue, or a mosque. The colonies’ precocious move to leave the fold of the British Empire has made the U.S. something of a living fossil in terms of cultural evolution. This is manifested in some trivial ways, such as the inability to grasp the metric system (a problem considered mostly solved in England itself) or its distinctly 18th century tendency to make a fetish of its national flag, as well as in some major ones, such as its rather half-hearted embrace of secularism.

What this difference means in the context of economic collapse is, surprisingly, next to nothing. Perhaps the American is more likely than not to start quoting the Bible and going on about the Apocalypse, the end of times, and the Rapture. These thoughts, need I say, are not conducive to survival. But the supposedly atheist Russian turned out to be just as likely to go on about The End of the World, and flocked to the newly opened churches in search of certainty and solace.

Perhaps the more significant difference is not between the prevalence and the lack of religion, but the differences between the dominant religions. In spite of the architectural ostentation of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the pomp and circumstance of its rituals, its message has always been one of asceticism as the road to salvation. Salvation is for the poor and the humble, because one’s rewards are either in this world or the next, not both.

This is rather different from Protestantism, the dominant religion in America, which made the dramatic shift to considering wealth as one of God’s blessings, ignoring some inconvenient points rather emphatically made by Jesus to the effect that rich people are extremely unlikely to be saved. Conversely, poverty became associated with laziness and vice, robbing poor people of their dignity.

Thus, a Russian is less likely to consider sudden descent into poverty as a fall from God’s grace, and economic collapse as God’s punishment upon the people, while the religions that dominate America — Protestantism, Judaism, and Islam — all feature temporal success of their followers as a key piece of evidence that God is well-disposed toward them. What will happen once God’s good will toward them is no longer manifest? Chances are, they will become angry and try to find someone other than their own selves to blame, that being one of the central mechanisms of human psychology. We should look forward to unexpectedly wrathful congregations eager to do the work of an unexpectedly wrathful God.

The United States is by no means homogeneous when it comes to intensity of religious sentiment. When looking for a survivable place to settle, it is probably a good idea to look for a place where religious fervor does not run to extremes.

The Loss of Technological Comforts

Warning: what I am about to say may be somewhat unpleasant, but I’d like to get the issue out of the way. Most of the technological progress of the 20th century resulted in a higher level of physical comfort. Yes, that’s why we caused global warming, a hole in the ozone layer, and a mass extinction of plants, fish, birds, and mammals: to be somewhat more comfortable for a little while.

We all expect heating and air-conditioning, hot and cold water, reliable electricity, personal transportation, paved roads, illuminated streets and parking lots, maybe even high-speed Internet. Well, what if you had to give up all that? Or, rather, what will you do when you have to give up all that?

Most of our ancestors put up with a level of physical discomfort we would find appalling: no running hot water, an outhouse instead of a flush toilet, no central heat, and one’s own two feet, or a horse, as the main means for getting around. And still they managed to produce a civilization and a culture that we can just barely manage to emulate and preserve.

It doesn’t take a crisis to make public utilities go on the blink, but a crisis certainly helps. Any crisis will do: economic, financial, or even political. Consider the governor of Primorye, a region on the far side of Siberia, who simply stole all the money that was supposed to buy coal for the winter. Primorye froze. With winter temperatures around 40 below, it’s a wonder there’s anyone still living there. It’s a testament to human perseverance. As the economic situation degenerates, events seem to unfold in a certain sequence, regardless of locale. They always seem to lead to the same result: unsanitary conditions. But an energy crisis seems to me by far the most efficacious way of depriving one of one’s treasured utility services.

First, electricity begins to wink in and out. Eventually, this settles into a rhythm. Countries such as Georgia, Bulgaria and Romania, as well as some peripheral regions of Russia, have had to put up with a few hours of electricity a day, sometimes for several years. North Korea is perhaps the best Soviet pupil we have, surviving without much electricity for years. Lights flicker on as the sun begins to set. The generators struggle on for a few hours, powering light bulbs, television sets, and radios. When it’s time for bed, the lights wink out once again.

Second in line is heat. Every year, it comes on later and goes off sooner. People watch television or listen to the radio, when there’s electricity, or just sit, under piles of blankets. Sharing bodily warmth has been a favored survival technique among humans through the ice ages. People get used to having less heat, and eventually stop complaining. Even in these relatively prosperous times, there are apartment blocks in St. Petersburg that are heated every other day, even during the coldest parts of winter. Thick sweaters and down comforters are used in place of the missing buckets of coal.

Third in line is hot water: the shower runs cold. Unless you’ve been deprived of a cold shower, you won’t be able to appreciate it for the luxury that it affords. In case you are curious, it’s a quick shower. Get wet, lather up, rinse off, towel off, dress, and shiver, under several layers of blankets, and let’s not forget shared bodily warmth. A less radical approach is to wash standing in a bucket of warm water — heated up on the stove. Get wet, lather, rinse. And don’t forget to shiver.

Next, water pressure drops off altogether. People learn to wash with even less water. There is a lot of running around with buckets and plastic jugs. The worst part of this is not the lack of running water; it is that the toilets won’t flush. If the population is enlightened and disciplined, it will realize what it must do: collect their excretions in buckets and hand-carry them to a sewer inlet. The super-enlightened build outhouses and put together composting toilets, and use the proceeds to fertilize their kitchen gardens.

Under this combined set of circumstances, there are three causes of mortality to avoid. The first is simply avoiding freezing to death. It takes some preparation to be able to go camping in wintertime. But this is by far the easiest problem. The next is avoiding humans’ worst companions through the ages: bedbugs, fleas, and lice. These never fail to make their appearance wherever unwashed people huddle together, and spread diseases such as typhoid, which have claimed millions of lives. A hot bath and a complete change of clothes can be a lifesaver. The hair-free look becomes fashionable. Baking the clothes in an oven kills the lice and their eggs. The last is avoiding cholera and other diseases spread through feces by boiling all drinking water.

It seems safe to assume that the creature comforts to which we are accustomed are going to be few and far between. But if we are willing to withstand the little indignities of reading by candlelight, bundling up throughout the cold months, running around with buckets of water, shivering while standing in a bucket of tepid water, and carrying our poop out in a bucket, then none of this is enough to stop us from maintaining a level of civilization worthy of our ancestors, who probably had it worse than we ever will. They were either depressed or cheerful about it, in keeping with their personal disposition and national character, but apparently they survived, or you wouldn’t be reading this.

Economic Comparison

It can be said that the U.S. economy is run either very well or very badly. On the plus side, companies are lean, and downsized as needed to stay profitable, or at least in business. There are bankruptcy laws that weed out the unfit and competition to keep productivity going up. Businesses use just-in-time delivery to cut down on inventory and make heavy use of information technology to work out the logistics of operating in a global economy.

On the minus side, the U.S. economy runs ever larger structural deficits. It fails to provide the majority of the population with the sort of economic security that people in other developed nations take for granted. It spends more on medicine and education than many other countries, and gets less for it. Instead of a single government-owned airline, it has several permanently bankrupt government-supported ones. It spends heavily on law enforcement, and has a high crime rate. It continues to export high-wage manufacturing jobs and replace them with low-wage service jobs. As I mentioned before, it is, technically, bankrupt.

Both in the former Soviet Union and in North America, the landscape has fallen victim to a massive, centrally managed uglification program. Moscow’s central planners put up identical drab and soulless buildings throughout its territory, disregarding regional architectural traditions and erasing local culture. America’s land developers have played a largely similar role, with a similarly ghastly result: the United States of Generica, where many places can be told apart only by reading their highway signs.

In North America, there is also a pervasive childish idiocy that has spread desolation across the entire continent: the idiocy of the traffic engineer. As Jane Jacobs cleverly illustrates, these are not engineers of the sort that solve problems and draw conclusions based on evidence, but “little boys with toy cars happily murmuring ‘Zoom, Zooom, Zooooom!'” [Dark Age Ahead, p. 79] The landscape that makes them happy is designed to waste as much fuel as possible by trapping people in their cars and making them drive around in circles.

***

It can also be said that the Soviet economy was run either very well or very badly. On the plus side, that system, for all its many failings, managed to eradicate the more extreme forms of poverty, malnutrition, many diseases, and illiteracy. It provided economic security of an extreme sort: everyone knew exactly how much they would earn, and the prices of everyday objects remained fixed. Housing, health care, education, and pensions were all guaranteed. Quality varied; education was generally excellent, housing much less so, and Soviet medicine was often called “the freest medicine in the world” — with reasonable service achievable only through private arrangements.

On the minus side, the centrally planned behemoth was extremely inefficient, with high levels of loss and outright waste at every level. The distribution system was so inflexible that enterprises hoarded inventory. It excelled at producing capital goods, but when it came to manufacturing consumer goods, which require much more flexibility than a centrally planned system can provide, it failed. It also failed miserably at producing food, and was forced to resort to importing many basic foodstuffs. It operated a huge military and political empire, but, paradoxically, failed to derive any economic benefit from it, running the entire enterprise at a net loss.

Also paradoxically, these very failings and inefficiencies made for a soft landing. Because there was no mechanism by which state enterprises could go bankrupt, they often continued to operate for a time at some low level, holding back salaries or scaling back production. This lessened the number of instant mass layoffs or outright closings, but where these did occur, they were accompanied by very high mortality rates among men between the ages of 45 and 55, who turn out to be psychologically the most vulnerable to sudden loss of career, and who either drank themselves to death or committed suicide.

People could sometimes use their old, semi-defunct place of employment as a base of operations of sorts, from which to run the kind of black market business that allowed many of them to gradually transition to private enterprise. The inefficient distribution system, and the hoarding to which it gave rise, resulted in very high levels of inventory, which could be bartered. Some enterprises continued to operate in this manner, bartering their leftover inventory with other enterprises, in order to supply their employees with something they could use or sell.

What parallels can we draw from this to employment in the post-collapse United States? Public sector employment may provide somewhat better chances for keeping one’s job. For instance, it is unlikely that all schools, colleges, and universities will dismiss all of their faculty and staff at the same time. It is somewhat more likely that their salaries will not be enough to live on, but they may, for a time, be able to maintain their social niche. Properties and facilities management is probably a safe bet: as long as there are properties that are considered valuable, they will need to be looked after. When the time comes to dismantle them and barter off the pieces, it will help if they are still intact, and one has the keys to them.

Economic Collapse in the U.S.

A spontaneous soft landing is unlikely in the U.S., where a large company can decide to shut its doors by executive decision, laying off personnel and auctioning off capital equipment and inventory. Since in many cases the equipment is leased and the inventory is just-in-time and therefore very thin, a business can be made to evaporate virtually overnight. Since many executives may decide to cut their losses all at once, seeing the same economic projections and interpreting them similarly, the effect on communities can be utterly devastating.

Most people in the U.S. cannot survive very long without an income. This may sound curious to some people — how can anyone, anywhere survive without an income? Well, in post-collapse Russia, if you didn’t pay rent or utilities — because no-one else was paying them either — and if you grew or gathered a bit of your own food, and you had some friends and relatives to help you out, then an income was not a prerequisite for survival. Most people got by, somehow.

But most people in the U.S., once their savings are depleted, would in due course be forced to live in their car, or in some secluded stretch of woods, in a tent, or under a tarp. There is currently no mechanism by which landlords can be made not to evict deadbeat tenants, or banks be prevailed upon not to foreclose on nonperforming loans. A wholesale reintroduction of rent control seems politically unlikely. Once enough residential and commercial real estate becomes vacant, and law enforcement becomes lax or nonexistent, squatting becomes a real possibility. Squatters usually find it hard to get mail and other services, but this is a very minor issue. More importantly, they can be easily dislodged again and again.

Homelessness

The term “loitering” does not translate into Russian. The closest equivalent one can find is something along the lines of “hanging around” or “wasting time,” in public. This is important, because once nobody has a job to go to, the two choices they are presented with are sitting at home, and, as it were, loitering. If loitering is illegal, then sitting at home becomes the only choice.

The U.S. and the Soviet Union were at two extremes of a continuum between the public and the private. In the Soviet Union, most land was open to the public. Even apartments were often communal, meaning that the bedrooms were private, but the kitchen, bathroom, and hallway were common areas. In the U.S., most of the land is privately owned, some by people who put up signs threatening to shoot trespassers. Most public places are in fact private, marked “Customers Only” and “No Loitering.” Where there are public parks, these are often “closed” at night, and anyone trying to spend a night there is likely to be told to “move along” by the police.

After the collapse, Russia experienced a swelling of the ranks of people described by the acronym “BOMZh,” which is actually short for “BOMZh i Z,” and stands for “persons without a definite place of residence or employment.” The bomzhies, as they came to be called, often inhabited unused bits of the urban or rural landscape, where, with nobody to tell them to “move along,” they were left largely in peace. Such an indefinite place of residence was often referred to as bomzhatnik. English badly needs a term for that. Perhaps we could call it a “bum garden” — it is as much a garden as an “office park” is a park.

When the U.S. economy collapses, one would expect employment rates, and, with them, residency rates, to plummet. It is hard to estimate what percentage of the U.S. population would, as a result, become homeless, but it could be quite high, perhaps becoming so commonplace as to remove the stigma. A country where most of the neighborhoods are structured so as to exclude people of inadequate means, in order to preserve property values, is not a pleasant place to be a bum. Then again, when property values start dropping to zero, we may find that some of the properties spontaneously re-zone themselves into “bum gardens,” with no political will or power anywhere to do anything about it.

I do not mean to imply that Russian bums have a good time of it. But because most of the Russian population was able to keep their place of residence in spite of a collapsing economy, the percentage of bomzhies in the general population never made it into the double digits. These most unfortunate cases led short, brutal lives, often in an alcoholic haze, and accounted for quite a lot of Russia’s spike in post-collapse mortality. Some of them were refugees — Russians ethnically cleansed from the newly independent, suddenly nationalistic republics — who could not be easily reabsorbed into the Russian population due to Russia’s chronic housing shortage.

Communal Survival

Russia’s chronic housing shortage was partly caused by the spectacular decline of Russian agriculture, which caused people to migrate to the cities, and partly due simply to the inability of the government to put up buildings quickly enough. What the government wanted to put up was invariably an apartment building: 5 floors, 9 floors, and even some 14-floor towers. The buildings went up on vacant, or vacated, land, and were usually surrounded by a generous portion of wasteland, which, in the smaller cities and towns, and in places where the soil is not frozen year-round, or covered with sulfur or soot from a nearby factory, was quickly converted into kitchen gardens.

The quality of construction always looked a bit shabby, but has turned out to be surprisingly sound structurally and quite practical. Mostly it was reinforced concrete slab construction, with ceramic tile on the outside and hard plaster for insulation on the inside. It was cheap to heat, and usually had heat, at least enough of it so that the pipes wouldn’t freeze, with the steam supplied by a gigantic central boiler that served an entire neighborhood.

One often hears that the shabbiest of these Soviet-era apartment blocks, termed “Khrushcheby” — a melding of Khrushchev, who ordered them built, and “trushcheby” (Russian for “slums”) — are about to start collapsing, but they haven’t done so yet. Yes, they are dank and dreary, and the apartments are cramped, and the walls are cracked, and the roof often leaks, and the hallways and stairwells are dark and smell of urine, but it’s housing.

Because apartments were so hard to come by, with waiting lists stretched out for decades, several generations generally lived together. This was often an unpleasant, stressful, and even traumatic way to live, but also very cheap. Grandparents often did a lot of the work of raising children, while the parents worked. When the economy collapsed, it was often the grandparents who took to serious gardening and raised food during the summer months. Working-age people took to experimenting in the black market, with mixed results: some would get lucky and strike it rich, while for others it was lean times. With enough people living together, these accidental disparities tended to even out at least to some extent.

A curious reversal took place. Whereas before the collapse, parents were often in a position to provide some financial help to their adult children, now the opposite is true. Older people who do not have children are much more likely to live in poverty than those who have children to support them. Once financial capital is wiped out, human capital becomes essential.

A key difference between Russia and the U.S. is that Russians, like most people around the world, generally spend their entire lives living in one place, whereas Americans move around constantly. Russians generally know, or at least recognize, most of the people who surround them. When the economy collapses, everyone has to confront an unfamiliar situation. The Russians, at least, did not have to confront it in the company of complete strangers. On the other hand, Americans are far more likely than Russians to help out strangers, at least when they have something to spare.

Another element that was helpful to Russians was a particular feature of Russian culture: since money was not particularly useful in the Soviet era economy, and did not convey status or success, it was not particularly prized either, and shared rather freely. Friends thought nothing of helping each other out in times of need. It was important that everyone had some, not that one had more than the others. With the arrival of market economics, this cultural trait disappeared, but it persisted long enough to help people to survive the transition.

Smelling the Roses

Another note on culture: once the economy collapses, there is generally less to do, making it a good time for the naturally idle and a bad time for those predisposed to keeping busy.

Soviet-era culture had room for two types of activity: normal, which generally meant avoiding breaking a sweat, and heroic. Normal activity was expected, and there was never any reason to do it harder than expected. In fact, that sort of thing tended to be frowned upon by “the collective,” or the rank and file. Heroic activity was celebrated, but not necessarily rewarded financially.

Russians tend to look in bemused puzzlement on the American compulsion to “work hard and play hard.” The term “career” was in the Soviet days a pejorative term — the attribute of a “careerist” — someone greedy, unscrupulous, and overly “ambitious” (also a pejorative term). Terms like “success” and “achievement” were very rarely applied on a personal level, because they sounded overweening and pompous. They were reserved for bombastic public pronouncements about the great successes of the Soviet people. Not that positive personal characteristics did not exist: on a personal level, there was respect given to talent, professionalism, decency, sometimes even creativity. But “hard worker,” to a Russian, sounded a lot like “fool.”

A collapsing economy is especially hard on those who are accustomed to prompt, courteous service. In the Soviet Union, most official service was rude and slow, and involved standing in long lines. Many of the products that were in short supply could not be obtained even in this manner, and required something called blat: special, unofficial access or favor. The exchange of personal favors was far more important to the actual functioning of the economy than the exchange of money. To Russians, blat is almost a sacred thing: a vital part of culture that holds society together. It is also the only part of the economy that is collapse-proof, and, as such, a valuable cultural adaptation.

Most Americans have heard of Communism, and automatically believe that it is an apt description of the Soviet system, even though there was nothing particularly communal about a welfare state and a vast industrial empire run by an elitist central planning bureaucracy. But very few of them have ever heard of the real operative “ism” that dominated Soviet life: Dofenism, which can be loosely translated as “not giving a rat’s ass.” A lot of people, more and more during the “stagnation” period of the 1980’s, felt nothing but contempt for the system, did what little they had to do to get by (night watchman and furnace stoker were favorite jobs among the highly educated) and got all their pleasure from their friends, from their reading, or from nature.

This sort of disposition may seem like a cop-out, but when there is a collapse on the horizon, it works as psychological insurance: instead of going through the agonizing process of losing and rediscovering one’s identity in a post-collapse environment, one could simply sit back and watch events unfold. If you are currently “a mover and a shaker,” of things or people or whatever, then collapse will surely come as a shock to you, and it will take you a long time, perhaps forever, to find more things to move and to shake to your satisfaction. However, if your current occupation is as a keen observer of grass and trees, then, post-collapse, you could take on something else that’s useful, such as dismantling useless things.

The ability to stop and smell the roses — to let it all go, to refuse to harbor regrets or nurture grievances, to confine one’s serious attention only to that which is immediately necessary, and not to worry too much about the rest — is perhaps the one most critical to post-collapse survival. The most psychologically devastated are usually the middle-aged breadwinners, who, once they are no longer gainfully employed, feel completely lost. Detachment and indifference can be most healing, provided they do not become morbid. It is good to take your sentimental nostalgia for what once was, is, and will soon no longer be, up front, and get it over with.

Asset Stripping

Russia’s post-collapse economy was for a time dominated by one type of wholesale business: asset stripping. To put it in an American setting: suppose you have title, or otherwise unhindered access, to an entire suburban subdivision, which is no longer accessible by transportation, either public or private, too far to reach by bicycle, and is generally no longer suitable for its intended purpose of housing and accumulating equity for fully employed commuters who shop at the now defunct nearby mall. After the mortgages are foreclosed and the properties repossessed, what more is there to do, except board it all up and let it rot? Well, what has been developed can be just as easily undeveloped.

What you do is strip it of anything valuable or reusable, and either sell or stockpile the materials. Pull the copper out of the streets and the walls. Haul away the curbstones and the utility poles. Take down the vinyl siding. Yank out the fiberglass insulation. The sinks and windows can surely find a new use somewhere else, especially if no new ones are being made.

Having bits of the landscape disappear can be a rude surprise. One summer I arrived in St. Petersburg and found that a new scourge had descended on the land while I was gone: a lot of manhole covers were mysteriously missing. Nobody knew where they went or who profited from their removal. One guess was that the municipal workers, who hadn’t been paid in months, took them home with them, to be returned once they got paid. They did eventually reappear, so there may be some merit to this theory. With the gaping manholes positioned throughout the city like so many anteater traps for cars, you had the choice of driving either very slowly and carefully, or very fast, and betting your life on the proper functioning of the shock absorbers.

Post-collapse Russia’s housing stock stayed largely intact, but an orgy of asset stripping of a different kind took place: not just left-over inventory, but entire factories were stripped down and exported. What went on in Russia under the guise of privatization, is a subject for a different article, but whether it’s called “privatization” or “liquidation” or “theft” doesn’t matter: those with title to something worthless will find a way to extract value from it, making it even more worthless. An abandoned suburban subdivision might be worthless as housing, but valuable as a dump site for toxic waste.

Just because the economy is going to collapse in the most oil-addicted country on earth doesn’t necessarily mean that things will be just as bad everywhere else. As the Soviet example shows, if the entire country is for sale, buyers will materialize out of nowhere, crate it up, and haul it away. They will export everything: furnishings, equipment, works of art, antiques. The last remnant of industrial activity is usually the scrap iron business. There seems to be no limit to the amount of iron that can be extracted from a mature post-industrial site.

Food

The dismal state of Soviet agriculture turned out to be paradoxically beneficial in fostering a kitchen garden economy, which helped Russians to survive the collapse. At one point it became informally known that 10% of the farmland — the part allocated to private plots — was being used to produce 90% of the food. Beyond underscoring the gross inadequacies of Soviet-style command and control industrial agriculture, it is indicative of a general fact: agriculture is far more efficient when it is carried out on a small scale, using manual labor.

Russians always grew some of their own food, and scarcity of high-quality produce in the government stores kept the kitchen garden tradition going during even the more prosperous times of the 60s and the 70s. After the collapse, these kitchen gardens turned out to be lifesavers. What many Russians practiced, either through tradition or by trial and error, or sheer laziness, was in some ways akin to the new organic farming and permaculture techniques. Many productive plots in Russia look like a riot of herbs, vegetables, and flowers growing in wild profusion.

Forests in Russia have always been used as an important additional source of food. Russians recognize, and eat, just about every edible mushroom variety, and all of the edible berries. During the peak mushroom season, which is generally in the fall, forests are overrun with mushroom-pickers. The mushrooms are either pickled or dried and stored, and often last throughout the winter.

Recreational Drug Use

A rather striking similarity between Russians and Americans is their propensity to self-medicate. While the Russian has traditionally been single-heartedly dedicated to the pursuit of vodka, the American is more likely than not to have also tried cannabis. Cocaine has also had a big effect on American culture, as have opiates. There are differences as well: the Russian is somewhat less likely to drink alone, or to be apprehended for drinking, or being drunk, in public. To a Russian, being drunk is almost a sacred right; to an American, it is a guilty pleasure. Many of the unhappier Americans are forced by their circumstances to drink and drive; this does not make them, nor the other drivers, nor the pedestrians (should any still exist) any happier.

The Russian can get furiously drunk in public, stagger about singing patriotic songs, fall into a snow bank, and either freeze to death or be carted off to a drunk tank. All this produces little or no remorse in him. Based on my reading of H. L. Mencken, America was also once upon a time a land of happy drunks, where a whiskey bottle would be passed around the courtroom at the start of the proceedings, and where a drunken jury would later render a drunken verdict, but Prohibition ruined all that. Russia’s prohibition lasted only a few short years, when Gorbachev tried to save the nation from itself, and failed miserably.

When the economy collapses, hard-drinking people everywhere find all the more reason to get drunk, but much less wherewithal with which to procure drink. In Russia, innovative market-based solutions were quickly improvised, which it was my privilege to observe. It was summer, and I was on a local electric train heading out of St. Petersburg. It was packed, so I stood in the vestibule of the car, and observed rainbows (it had just rained) through the missing windowpane. Soon, activity within the vestibule caught my attention: at each stop, grannies with jugs of moonshine would approach the car door and offer a sniff to the eager customers waiting inside. Price and quality were quickly discussed, an agreed-upon quantity was dispensed in exchange for a fistful of notes, jug to mug, and the train moved on. It was a tense atmosphere, because along with the paying customers there came many others, who were simply along for the ride, but expected their fair share nevertheless. I was forced to make a hasty exit and jam myself into the salon, because the freeloaders thought I was taking up valuable freeloading space.

There might be a few moonshine-makers left in rural parts of the United States, but most of the country seems to be addicted to cans and bottles of beer, or jugs, plastic or glass, of liquor. When this source dries up due to problems with interstate trucking, local breweries will no doubt continue to operate, and even expand production, to cope with both old and new demand, but there will still be plenty of room for improvisation. I would also expect cannabis to become even more widespread; it makes people less prone to violence than liquor, which is good, but it also stimulates their appetite, which is bad if there isn’t a lot of food. Still, it is much cheaper to produce than alcohol, which requires either grain or natural gas and complicated chemistry.

In all, I expect drugs and alcohol to become one of the largest short-term post-collapse entrepreneurial opportunities in the United States, along with asset stripping, and security.

The conclusion to this excellent essay is forthcoming.

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Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century (Part 1)

I stumbled across this great although very long essay one day while listening to a segment of that wonderfully informative although largely unheard of radio program Unwelcome Guests (which has a tremendous archive of past shows available for downloads). The segment which I will link to here is a reading of this essay by Dmitry Orlov that was posted on investigative reporter Michael Ruppert’s website From The Wilderness. Mr. Ruppert is the author of the very interesting book Crossing The Rubicon and while he has left the journalistic scene due to various problems his site still is up and there is a plethora of great information still available. While I am not particularly a believer in the Peak Oil theory that Orlov bases this essay on I found the parts about surviving after the collapse of the Soviet Union to be riveting and horrifying.

We would be wise to pay heed to the material here as the oligarchy has put the United States on a similar path to economic collapse that none of the fraudulent candidates participating in the dog and pony show ‘debates’ will dare to bring up – choosing instead to stick to the sideshow issues like abortion, gay marriage, pandering to the dumbest of the dumb who are the overtly religious knuckledraggers and the left behinders and invoking fear at every opportunity.
There is something to fear but it is not the ridiculous terrorist of the week – it is a Soviet style total economic collapse.

Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century

(PART ONE OF THREE)

By Dmitry Orlov

Introduction

A decade and a half ago the world went from bipolar to unipolar, because one of the poles fell apart: The S.U. is no more. The other pole – symmetrically named the U.S. – has not fallen apart – yet, but there are ominous rumblings on the horizon. The collapse of the United States seems about as unlikely now as the collapse of the Soviet Union seemed in 1985. The experience of the first collapse may be instructive to those who wish to survive the second.

Reasonable people would never argue that that the two poles were exactly symmetrical; along with significant similarities, there were equally significant differences, both of which are valuable in predicting how the second half of the clay-footed superpower giant that once bestrode the planet will fare once it too falls apart.

I have wanted to write this article for almost a decade now. Until recently, however, few people would have taken it seriously. After all, who could have doubted that the world economic powerhouse that is the United States, having recently won the Cold War and the Gulf War, would continue, triumphantly, into the bright future of superhighways, supersonic jets, and interplanetary colonies?

But more recently the number of doubters has started to climb steadily. The U.S. is desperately dependent on the availability of cheap, plentiful oil and natural gas, and addicted to economic growth. Once oil and gas become expensive (as they already have) and in ever-shorter supply (a matter of one or two years at most), economic growth will stop, and the U.S. economy will collapse.

Many may still scoff at this cheerless prognosis, but this article should find a few readers anyway. In October 2004, when I started working on it, an Internet search for “peak oil” and “economic collapse” yielded about 16,300 documents; by April of 2005 that number climbed to 4,220,000. This is a dramatic change in public opinion only, because what is known on the subject now is more or less what was known a decade or so ago, when there was exactly one Web site devoted to the subject: Jay Hanson’s Dieoff.org. This sea change in public opinion is not restricted to the Internet, but is visible in the mainstream and the specialist press as well. Thus, the lack of attention paid to the subject over the decades resulted not from ignorance, but from denial: although the basic theory that is used to model and predict resource depletion has been well understood since the 1960s, most people prefer to remain in denial.

Denial

Although this is a bit off the subject of Soviet collapse and what it may teach us about our own, I can’t resist saying a few words about denial, for it is such an interesting subject. I also hope that it will help some of you to go beyond denial, this being a helpful step towards understanding what I am going to say here.

Now that a lot of the predictions are coming true more or less on schedule, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the steady climb of energy prices and the dire warnings from energy experts of every stripe, outright denial is being gradually replaced with subtler forms of denial, which center around avoiding any serious, down-to-earth discussion of the likely actual consequences of peak oil, and of the ways one might cope with them.

Instead, there is much discussion of policy: what “we” should do. The “we” in question is presumably some embodiment of the great American Can-Do Spirit: a brilliantly organized consortium of government agencies, leading universities and research centers, and major corporations, all working together toward the goal of providing plentiful, clean, environmentally safe energy, to fuel another century of economic expansion. Welcome to the sideshow at the end of the universe!

One often hears that “We could get this done, if only we wanted to.” Most often one hears this from non-specialists, sometimes from economists, and hardly ever from scientists or engineers. A few back-of-the-envelope calculations are generally enough to suggest otherwise, but here logic runs up against faith in the Goddess of Technology: that she will provide. On her altar are assembled various ritualistic objects used to summon the Can-Do Spirit: a photovoltaic cell, a fuel cell, a vial of ethanol, and a vial of bio-diesel. Off to the side of the altar is a Pandora’s box packed with coal, tar sand, oceanic hydrates, and plutonium: if the Goddess gets angry, it’s curtains for life on Earth.

But let us look beyond mere faith, and focus on something slightly more rational instead. This “we,” this highly organized, high-powered problem-solving entity, is quickly running out of energy, and once it does, it will not be so high-powered any more. I would like to humbly suggest that any long-term plan it attempts to undertake is doomed, simply because crisis conditions will make long-term planning, along with large, ambitious projects, impossible. Thus, I would suggest against waiting around for some miracle device to put under the hood of every SUV and in the basement of every McMansion, so that all can live happily ever after in this suburban dream, which is looking more and more like a nightmare in any case.

The next circle of denial revolves around what must inevitably come to pass if the Goddess of Technology were to fail us: a series of wars over ever more scarce resources. Paul Roberts, who is very well informed on the subject of peak oil, has this to say: “what desperate states have always done when resources turn scarce… [is] fight for them.” [ MotherJones.com, 11/12 2004] Let us not argue that this has never happened, but did it ever amount to anything more than a futile gesture of desperation? Wars take resources, and, when resources are already scarce, fighting wars over resources becomes a lethal exercise in futility. Those with more resources would be expected to win. I am not arguing that wars over resources will not occur. I am suggesting that they will be futile, and that victory in these conflicts will be barely distinguishable from defeat. I would also like to suggest that these conflicts would be self-limiting: modern warfare uses up prodigious amounts of energy, and if the conflicts are over oil and gas installations, then they will get blown up, as has happened repeatedly in Iraq. This will result in less energy being available and, consequently, less warfare.

Take, for example, the last two US involvements in Iraq. In each case, as a result of US actions, Iraqi oil production decreased. It now appears that the whole strategy is a failure. Supporting Saddam, then fighting Saddam, then imposing sanctions on Saddam, then finally overthrowing him, has left Iraqi oil fields so badly damaged that the “ultimate recoverable” estimate for Iraqi oil is now down to 10-12% of what was once thought to be underground (according to the New York Times).

Some people are even suggesting a war over resources with a nuclear endgame. On this point, I am optimistic. As Robert McNamara once thought, nuclear weapons are too difficult to use. And although he has done a great deal of work to make them easier to use, with the introduction of small, tactical, battlefield nukes and the like, and despite recently renewed interest in nuclear “bunker busters,” they still make a bit of a mess, and are hard to work into any sort of a sensible strategy that would reliably lead to an increased supply of energy. Noting that conventional weapons have not been effective in this area, it is unclear why nuclear weapons would produce better results.

But these are all details; the point I really want to make is that proposing resource wars, even as a worst-case scenario, is still a form of denial. The implicit assumption is this: if all else fails, we will go to war; we will win; the oil will flow again, and we will be back to business as usual in no time. Again, I would suggest against waiting around for the success of a global police action to redirect the lion’s share of the dwindling world oil supplies toward the United States.

Outside this last circle of denial lies a vast wilderness called the Collapse of Western Civilization, roamed by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, or so some people will have you believe. Here we find not denial but escapism: a hankering for a grand finale, a heroic final chapter. Civilizations do collapse – this is one of the best-known facts about them – but as anyone who has read The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire will tell you, the process can take many centuries.

What tends to collapse rather suddenly is the economy. Economies, too, are known to collapse, and do so with far greater regularity than civilizations. An economy does not collapse into a black hole from which no light can escape. Instead, something else happens: society begins to spontaneously reconfigure itself, establish new relationships, and evolve new rules, in order to find a point of equilibrium at a lower rate of resource expenditure.

Note that the exercise carries a high human cost: without an economy, many people suddenly find themselves as helpless as newborn babes. Many of them die, sooner than they would otherwise: some would call this a “die-off.” There is a part of the population that is most vulnerable: the young, the old, and the infirm; the foolish and the suicidal. There is also another part of the population that can survive indefinitely on insects and tree bark. Most people fall somewhere in between.

Economic collapse gives rise to new, smaller and poorer economies. That pattern has been repeated many times, so we can reason inductively about similarities and differences between a collapse that has already occurred and one that is about to occur. Unlike astrophysicists, who can confidently predict whether a given star will collapse into a neutron star or a black hole based on measurements and calculations, we have to work with general observations and anecdotal evidence. However, I hope that my thought experiment will allow me to guess correctly at the general shape of the new economy, and arrive at survival strategies that may be of use to individuals and small communities.

The Collapse of the Soviet Union – an Overview

What happens when a modern economy collapses, and the complex society it supports disintegrates? A look at a country that has recently undergone such an experience can be most educational. We are lucky enough to have such an example in the Soviet Union. I spent about six months living, traveling, and doing business in Russia during the perestroika period and immediately afterward, and was fascinated by the transformation I witnessed.

The specifics are different, of course. The Soviet problems seem to have been largely organizational rather than physical in nature, although the fact that the Soviet Union collapsed just 3 years after reaching peak oil production is hardly a coincidence. The ultimate cause of Soviet Union’s spontaneous collapse remains shrouded in mystery. Was it Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars? Or was it Raisa Gorbachev’s American Express card? It is possible to fake a missile defense shield; but it is not so easy to fake a Herod’s department store. The arguments go back and forth. One contemporary theory would have it that the Soviet elite scuttled the whole program when they decided that Soviet Socialism was not going to make them rich. (It remains unclear why it should have taken the Soviet elite 70 years to come to this startlingly obvious conclusion).

A slightly more commonsense explanation is this: during the pre-perestroika “stagnation” period, due to the chronic underperformance of the economy, coupled with record levels of military expenditure, trade deficit, and foreign debt, it became increasingly difficult for the average Russian middle-class family of three, with both parents working, to make ends meet. (Now, isn’t that beginning to sound familiar?) Of course, the government bureaucrats were not too concerned about the plight of the people. But the people found ways to survive by circumventing government controls in a myriad of ways, preventing the government from getting the results it needed to keep the system going. Therefore, the system had to be reformed. When this became the consensus view, reformers lined up to try and reform the system. Alas, the system could not be reformed. Instead of adapting, it fell apart.

Russia was able to bounce back economically because it remains fairly rich in oil and very rich in natural gas, and will probably continue in relative prosperity for at least a few more decades. In North America, on the other hand, oil production peaked in the early 1970s and has been in decline ever since, while natural gas production is now set to fall off a production cliff. Yet energy demand continues to rise far above what the continent can supply, making such a spontaneous recovery unlikely. When I say that Russia bounced back, I am not trying to understate the human cost of the Soviet collapse, or the lopsidedness and the economic disparities of the re-born Russian economy. But I am suggesting that where Russia bounced back because it was not fully spent, the United States will be more fully spent, and less capable of bouncing back.

But such “big picture” differences are not so interesting. It is the micro-scale similarities that offer interesting practical lessons on how small groups of individuals can successfully cope with economic and social collapse. And that is where the post-Soviet experience offers a multitude of useful lessons.

Returning to Russia

I first flew back to Leningrad, which was soon to be rechristened St. Petersburg, in the summer of 1989, about a year after Gorbachev freed the last batch of political prisoners, my uncle among them, who had been locked up by General Secretary Andropov’s final, senile attempt at clenching an iron fist. For the first time it became possible for Soviet escapees to go back and visit. More than a decade had passed since I left, but the place was much as I remembered it: bustling streets full of Volgas and Ladas, Communist slogans on the roofs of towering buildings lit up in neon, long lines in shops.

About the only thing new was a bustle of activity around a newly organized Cooperative movement. A newly hatched entrepreneurial class was busy complaining that their cooperatives were only allowed to sell to the government, at government prices, while hatching ingenuous schemes to skim something off the top through barter arrangements. Most were going bankrupt. It did not turn out to be a successful business model for them or for the government, which was, as it turned out, also on its last legs.

I went back a year later, and found a place I did not quite recognize. First of all, it smelled different: the smog was gone. The factories had largely shut down, there was very little traffic, and the fresh air smelled wonderful! The stores were largely empty and often closed. There were very few gas stations open, and the ones that were open had lines that stretched for many blocks. There was a ten-liter limit on gasoline purchases.

Since there was nothing better for us to do, my friends and I decided to take a road trip, to visit the ancient Russian cities of Pskov and Novgorod, taking in the surrounding countryside along the way. For this, we had to obtain fuel. It was hard to come by. It was available on the black market, but no one felt particularly inclined to let go of something so valuable in exchange for something so useless as money. Soviet money ceased to have value, since there was so little that could be bought with it, and people still felt skittish around foreign currency.

Luckily, there was a limited supply of another sort of currency available to us. It was close to the end of Gorbachev’s ill-fated anti-alcoholism campaign, during which vodka was rationed. There was a death in my family, for which we received a funeral’s worth of vodka coupons, which we of course redeemed right away. What was left of the vodka was placed in the trunk of the trusty old Lada, and off we went. Each half-liter bottle of vodka was exchanged for ten liters of gasoline, giving vodka far greater effective energy density than rocket fuel.

There is a lesson here: when faced with a collapsing economy, one should stop thinking of wealth in terms of money. Access to actual physical resources and assets, as well as intangibles such as connections and relationships, quickly becomes much more valuable than mere cash.

***

Two years later, I was back again, this time in the dead of winter. I was traveling on business through Minsk, St. Petersburg and Moscow. My mission was to see whether any of the former Soviet defense industry could be converted to civilian use. The business part of the trip was a total fiasco and a complete waste of time, just as one would expect. In other ways, it was quite educational.

Minsk seemed like a city rudely awakened from hibernation. During the short daylight hours, the streets were full of people, who just stood around, as if wondering what to do next. The same feeling pervaded the executive offices, where people I used to think of as the representatives of the “evil empire” sat around under dusty portraits of Lenin bemoaning their fate. No one had any answers.

The only beam of sunshine came from a smarmy New York lawyer who hung around the place trying to organize a state lottery. He was almost the only man with a plan. (The director of a research institute which was formerly charged with explosion-welding parts for nuclear fusion reactor vessels, or some such thing, also had a plan: he wanted to build summer cottages.) I wrapped up my business early and caught a night train to St. Petersburg. On the train, a comfortable old sleeper car, I shared a compartment with a young, newly retired army doctor, who showed me his fat roll of hundred-dollar bills and told me all about the local diamond trade. We split a bottle of cognac and snoozed off. It was a pleasant trip.

St. Petersburg was a shock. There was a sense of despair that hung in the winter air. There were old women standing around in spontaneous open-air flea markets trying to sell toys that probably belonged to their grandchildren, to buy something to eat. Middle-class people could be seen digging around in the trash. Everyone’s savings were wiped out by hyperinflation. I arrived with a large stack of one-dollar bills. Everything was one dollar, or a thousand rubles, which was about five times the average monthly salary. I handed out lots of these silly thousand-ruble notes: “Here, I just want to make sure you have enough.” People would recoil in shock: “That’s a lot of money!” “No, it isn’t. Be sure to spend it right away.” However, all the lights were on, there was heat in many of the homes, and the trains ran on time.

My business itinerary involved a trip to the countryside to tour and to have meetings at some scientific facility. The phone lines to the place were down, and so I decided to just jump on a train and go there. The only train left at 7 am. I showed up around 6, thinking I could find breakfast at the station. The station was dark and locked. Across the street, there was a store selling coffee, with a line that wrapped around the block. There was also an old woman in front of the store, selling buns from a tray. I offered her a thousand-ruble note. “Don’t throw your money around!” she said. I offered to buy her entire tray. “What are the other people going to eat?” she asked. I went and stood in line for the cashier, presented my thousand-ruble note, got a pile of useless change and a receipt, presented the receipt at the counter, collected a glass of warm brown liquid, drank it, returned the glass, paid the old woman, got my sweet bun, and thanked her very much. It was a lesson in civility.

***

Three years later, I was back again, and the economy had clearly started to recover, at least to the extent that goods were available to those who had money, but enterprises were continuing to shut down, and most people were still clearly suffering. There were new, private stores, which had tight security, and which sold imported goods for foreign currency. Very few people could afford to shop at these stores. There were also open air markets in many city squares, at which most of the shopping was done. Many kinds of goods were dispensed from locked metal booths, quite a few of which belonged to the Chechen mafia: one shoved a large pile of paper money through a hole and was handed back the item.

There were sporadic difficulties with the money supply. I recall standing around waiting for banks to open in order to cash my traveler’s checks. The banks were closed because they were fresh out of money; they were all waiting for cash to be delivered. Once in a while, a bank manager would come out and make an announcement: the money is on its way, no need to worry.

There was a great divide between those who were unemployed, underemployed, or working in the old economy, and the new merchant class. For those working for the old state-owned enterprises – schools, hospitals, the railways, the telephone exchanges, and what remained of the rest of the Soviet economy – it was lean times. Salaries were paid sporadically, or not at all. Even when people got their money, it was barely enough to subsist on.

But the worst of it was clearly over. A new economic reality had taken hold. A large segment of the population saw its standard of living reduced, sometimes permanently. It took the economy ten years to get back to its pre-collapse level, and the recovery was uneven. Alongside the nouveau riche, there were many whose income would never recover. Those who could not become part of the new economy, especially the pensioners, but also many others, who had benefited from the now defunct socialist state, could barely eke out a living.

This thumbnail sketch of my experiences in Russia is intended to convey a general sense of what I had witnessed. But it is the details of what I have observed that I hope will be of value to those who see an economic collapse looming ahead, and want to plan, in order to survive it.

Similarities between the Superpowers

Some would find a direct comparison between the United States and the Soviet Union incongruous, if not downright insulting. After all, what grounds are there to compare a failed Communist empire to the world’s largest economy? Others might find it humorous that the loser might have advice for the winner in what they might see as an ideological conflict. Since the differences between the two appear glaring to most, let me just indicate some similarities, which I hope you will find are no less obvious.

The Soviet Union and the United States are each either the winner or the first runner-up in the following categories: the space race, the arms race, the jails race, the hated evil empire race, the squandering of natural resources race, and the bankruptcy race. In some of these categories, the United States is, shall we say, a late bloomer, setting new records even after its rival was forced to forfeit. Both believed, with giddy zeal, in science, technology, and progress, right up until the Chernobyl disaster occurred. After that, there was only one true believer left.

They are the two post-World War II industrial empires that attempted to impose their ideologies on the rest of the world: democracy and capitalism versus socialism and central planning. Both had some successes: while the United States reveled in growth and prosperity, the Soviet Union achieved universal literacy, universal health care, far less social inequality, and a guaranteed – albeit lower – standard of living for all citizens. The state-controlled media took pains to make sure that most people didn’t realize just how much lower it was: “Those happy Russians don’t know how badly they live,” Simone Signoret said after a visit.

Both empires made a big mess of quite a few other countries, each one financing and directly taking part in bloody conflicts around the world in order to impose its ideology, and to thwart the other. Both made quite a big mess of their own country, setting world records for the percentage of population held in jails ( South Africa was a contender at one point). In this last category, the U.S. is now a runaway success, supporting a burgeoning, partially privatized prison-industrial complex (a great source of near-slave wage labor).

While the United States used to have far more goodwill around the world than the Soviet Union, the “evil empire” gap has narrowed since the Soviet Union disappeared from the scene. Now, in many countries around the world, including Western countries like Sweden, the United States ranks as a bigger threat to peace than Iran or North Korea. In the hated-empire race, the United States is now beginning to look like the champion. Nobody likes a loser, but especially if the loser is a failed superpower. Nobody had any pity for the poor defunct Soviet Union; and nobody will have any pity for poor defunct America either .

The bankruptcy race is particularly interesting. Prior to its collapse, the Soviet Union was taking on foreign debt at a rate that could not be sustained. The combination of low world oil prices and a peak in Soviet oil production sealed its fate. Later, the Russian Federation, which inherited the Soviet foreign debt, was forced to default on its obligations, precipitating a financial crisis. Russia’s finances later improved, primarily due to rising oil prices, along with rising oil exports. At this point, Russia is eager to wipe out the remaining Soviet debt as quickly as possible, and over the past few years the Russian rouble has done just a bit better than the U.S. dollar.

The United States is now facing a current account deficit that cannot be sustained, a falling currency, and an energy crisis, all at once. It is now the world’s largest debtor nation, and most people do not see how it can avoid defaulting on its debt. According to a lot of analysts, it is technically bankrupt, and is being propped up by foreign reserve banks, which hold a lot of dollar-denominated assets, and, for the time being, want to protect the value of their reserves. This game can only go on for so long. Thus, while the Soviet Union deserves honorable mention for going bankrupt first, the gold in this category (pun intended) will undoubtedly go to the United States, for the largest default ever.

There are many other similarities as well. Women received the right to education and a career in Russia earlier than in the U.S. Russian and American families are in similarly sad shape, with high divorce rates and many out-of-wedlock births, although the chronic shortage of housing in Russia did force many families to stick it out, with mixed results. Both countries have been experiencing chronic depopulation of farming districts. In Russia, family farms were decimated during collectivization, along with agricultural output; in the U.S., a variety of other forces produced a similar result with regard to rural population, but without any loss of production. Both countries replaced family farms with unsustainable, ecologically disastrous industrial agribusiness, addicted to fossil fuels. The American ones work better, as long as energy is cheap, and, after that, probably not at all.

The similarities are too numerous to mention. I hope that what I outlined above is enough to signal a key fact: that these are, or were, the antipodes of the same industrial, technological civilization.

Part two will be forthcoming

Playing The Nazi Card

“See in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”

– George W. Bush

“How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.”

– Adolph Hitler

In an incredible escalation of rhetoric for even the desperate neocon fascist Bushreich the invocation of the shameless accusation that Barack Obama and Democrats are akin to Nazi appeasers in front of the drooling assembly of Likudnik war freaks gathered together in The Knesset to festively celebrate the 60th anniversary of Zionist oppression was a thing of ugliness and awe. The Bush-Cheney-Neocon Axis of Evil have now taken Jew baiting to the apex of audacity and in signature fashion for this bund of criminals who have used 9/11 as an opportunity for their evil little coup d’etat to hijack America in order to implement a domestic police state and wage the war of civilizations against those evil Muslims. Yet another of those timely Osama bin Laden tapes just happened to follow in the wake of Bush’s sulfuric vapor trail and he even had his old gray beard back this time.

Now that the dreaded Nazi card is out and flying around I find it entirely appropriate to set the record straight over many misconceptions that may be held about the version of revisionist history that the administration and their army of seasoned propagandists are out there selling and that which is more accurate. I have to give a good deal of credit to bloggers this time as well as to certain progressive radio hosts who had in the past been reluctant to drag the Nazi skeletons out of the Bush family closet. Even the overly cautious Buzzflash who for the second in their second amazing headline of the week (the first was a piece on the lie of Flight 93 and the shoot down order that exposed the great Todd Beamer “Let’s Roll” myth as the malodorous bucket of festering pigshit that it always has been) linked to a Huffington Post piece by the great Larisa Alexandrova entitled All The President’s Nazis (Real and Imagined) in the form as an open letter to Le Enfant Terrible which was absolutely scathing in a well deserved and long overdue calling out on the filthy fucking double dealing Hitler worshipping swine Bush family. This is particular part is dead on and a shot directly across the bow of Bush’s Bismark armada:

Dear Mr. Bush,

Your speech on the Knesset floor today was not only a disgrace; it was nothing short of treachery. Worse still, your exploitation of the Holocaust in a country carved out of the wounds of that very crime, in order to strike a low blow at American citizens whose politics differs from your own is unforgivable and unpardonable.

Then seguing into…

Your family did not stop with supporting fascists and Nazis abroad, did they Mr. Bush? Surely you must know of your grandfather’s role in the treasonous plot of 1933 to overthrow democracy in America? Let me remind you Grandpa Bush — that is to say, your grandfather — wanted fascism imported into the United States, or as you now call this type of transformation, “exporting democracy.” Prescott went so far as to subsidize a coup attempt in order to achieve his dream of a fascist America (see BBC report below):

Document uncovers details of a planned coup in the USA in 1933 by right-wing American businessmen. The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression. Mike Thomson investigates why so little is known about this biggest ever peacetime threat to America.

In other words, not only was your grandfather a self-professed fascist, he was a Nazi sympathizer and a war profiteer who should have stood trial at the Hague instead of buying his way into the US Senate. He was also a traitor, twice over.

And in beautifully closing the piece Larisa went for the throat…

Yes, you are an anti-Semite

Would you say no, you are not an anti-Semite? Consider your own words when you thought no one was keeping score:

“You know what I’m gonna tell those Jews when I get to Israel, don’t you Herman?” a then Governor George W. Bush allegedly asked a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman.

When the journalist, Ken Herman, replied that he did not know, Bush reportedly delivered the punch line: “I’m telling ’em they’re all going to hell.”

Only an anti-Semite would think this type of humor is acceptable. Did you tell the Jews of Israel they were going to hell? No, instead, you told them that American Democrats are Nazi sympathizers and in an act of sheer indecency, the right wing Likud party orchestrated the greatest applause you ever got. For shame!

What this blind adoration finally proves to me is that the right-wing regime that has overtaken Israel cares nothing for its people, its heritage, and the tragic history that they now honor by applauding a man whose family-fortune was built on the bodies of their loved ones. Like their Republican (and Lieberman) counterparts in the United States, Likud does not represent its people, rather, it represents its owners. Likud has traded Israel, its Jews, their heritage and history for the same golden calf purchased and sold by the far-right wing in the United States.

I am ashamed of you Mr. Bush. I am ashamed of those who applauded your political porn played out against the hallowed backdrop of the Holocaust. I am ashamed of those reporters with you, who between them could not muster the moral courage to call you out on your ugly rhetoric and ask you about your own family Nazi ties. You are, sir, the most abhorrent human being of my lifetime. I dare say, in the lifetime of this nation.

Now THAT was an impressive fucking blast and long overdue. Bush has really outdid himself this time but we have all known for years just what sort of a fucked up subhuman walking, talking poster boy for abortion but this is truly fucking outrageous even by Bush’s standards. The man is a stinking, gut sucking vulture with the morals of a dirt-hugging Texas rattlesnake and a soul so dark and fetid that Hell wouldn’t take him because even Satan has some standards unlike the scumbags who run the Republican party.

But I digress…

Anyhow, let’s start with the Nazi thing itself because Emperor Bush of all people should be intimately familiar with this because it was his granddaddy, Prescott Bush who personally profited from his work and association with the Union Banking Corporation which was a conduit for businesses that financed the rise of the murderous regime of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers Party. So egregious was their assistance and complicity in building the murderous war machine of the Third Reich that UBC was shut down and had their assets seized by the government under the Trading With the Enemies Act . No wonder that the Bush family and the extremist right-wing fascists who control the Republican one-party government has so much hatred towards President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A government that the Bushes have been major players in and have had at least one member in control or in a position to influence the Oval Office and U.S. policy for nineteen (at least officially) of the last twenty seven years of the period of the decline of the American Empire of stupidity, sin and shit.

This is fascinating stuff that unfortunately due to the nature of our pathetic national media is little known and normally would earn one the stigma of being affixed with the dreaded ‘tin foil hat’ but it is all out there for those seeking to know the truth about the true history of this most despicable and treacherous of American families that are the Bushes. Grandpa Bush and his company served as agents for Fritz Thyssen the German industrialist known as “Hitler’s Angel” who was indispensable in providing the financial backing and carried clout that would create what was then the strongest military machine in the world as well as the most bellicose. While the Bush-Nazi links received no attention domestically in our neutered, corporatist media here is an article from the London Guardian “How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power” and here is a link to another excellent piece by investigative journalist John Buchanan that is entitled Bush Nazi Link Confirmed that was published in the New Hampshire Gazette. The Nazi skeleton is but one of a great number in the Bush family closets and potentially the most damning of all, especially in the face of the strident language used by the current Bush regime in seeking to marginalize dissenters and tar them as ideological sympathizers with those who were appeasers and facilitators of the most vile despotic regime of the last century. Incidentally there is a lot more regarding dealings with the Nazis by both the Bush family and their cronies as well as American corporations and the intelligence community that granted amnesty to former war criminals to use them as assets in Eastern Europe as well as Central and South America. But that is a bigger can of worms than I intend to open in this post so it will have to wait for another time.

And now that the Nazi card has been played in a most ostentatious manner by the Bushists maybe it is finally time to begin to bring up that which is most obvious in that it is the current leadership of this country that has far more in common with the Nazis than most would be able to accept. See if any of this sounds familiar: The nation’s leader seized extraordinary powers after a ‘terrorist’ attack; a leader who holds a cult-like sway over a large percentage of the population and was not elected by a majority when he came to power; leader belonged to a secret society (Thule / Skull and Bones); a special act was passed enabling the leader to subvert the constitution during a prolonged state of emergency; a vaguely defined enemy; surveillance and searches without warrants; the use of religion as justification (Gott Mit Uns) and the propagation of a belief that God had chosen the leader and the people for a special purpose; control of the press; ever present propaganda; the use of the term “Homeland” (Heimat) to describe the country; us versus them (“with us or against us”) mentality; the persecution of homosexuals and other minorities deemed inferior; organized crackdowns on liberals and intellectuals; the changing of the definitions of science and history to suit the agenda of the regime; the consolidation of power through corporate alliances; construction of detention facilities for vague ‘new programs’; centralized security apparatus; labeling of critics and dissenters as traitors and using ethnic divisiveness to identify enemies of the state.

All that is missing now are the organized pogroms but with the shrill voices of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, Michael Savage and the rest of their ilk those could be coming very, very soon. Especially if the polls continue to show a loss of Republican iron-fisted, authoritarian rule once and for all along with the renunciation of the quisling accomodationist DLC because the one thing that the Bush administration and their neocon allies absolutely cannot risk under any circumstances is that all of their hard work in constructing a more subtle sequel to Prescott Bush’s buddy Hitler’s 1000 year reich will have been for naught and more than a few of those pigfuckers may just end up doing the air dance at some future version of the Nuremburg Trials.

The ultimate horror would be another terrorist attack in the run up to the elections which would allow for Bush and Cheney to implement every provision of the NSPD 51 that would effectively end America as we know it for the rest of our already shot and increasingly miserable lives. Alarmist? I hardly think so given the loathsome actions of this administration and the Republican establishment whose actions have been, well…Naziesque since September 11, 2001. As the wise man George Santayana once said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” and has there ever been a country whose lack of knowledge of the past and the millions who wear their willful ignorance as if it were a badge of honor quite like America in 2006? Here is a very brief history lesson.

Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933, his Nazi party was a minority in the legislative body not possessing the two thirds vote that it would take to activate the ‘enabling act’ which would allow for the leader to pass laws in a time of war or national emergency without the approval of parliament. Hitler wanted to assume total control in order to declare war on the terrorists and the enemies within who were seeking to destroy the German way of life.On February 27, 1933 the building in which the German parliament met was set ablaze under s mysterious circumstances and a man who was a known Communist was found naked and cowering behind the building, taken into custody and eventually executed after a trumped up trial in which the Nazi demagogues railed against the ‘terrorist’ threat. The party and their leader then used rhetoric, fear and propaganda in order to convince the majority of the populace that they were the only ones capable of shielding them from harm; there was only one catch, they had to forfeit their rights and place their trust the party in order to be safe. This event is commonly known as the Reichstag Fire.

Immediately thereafter, Hitler, Goebbels,Goering and the rest of the extreme right-wing Nazi party used fear mongering to declare a state of emergency which led to the activation of the enabling act that gave Hitler dictatorial powers by allowing the leader to reign unequivocally without the vital check of the oversight of the legislature in the Reichstag…including the powers to conduct secret surveillance against Germans under the guise of protecting them from the ‘terrorists’ Once the normal democratic processes had been subverted opponents were quickly silenced (either out of fear, execution or having their tickets stamped to the one of the many concentration camps springing up throughout the land) and the legislature and courts were rendered irrelevant to the whims of the leader and the Kool Aid drinking sycophants who were held enthralled by the cult of personality while the remainder of the population was terrorized into compliance and capitulation by the leader’s unchecked powers and his willingness to use police state tactics to eradicate all opposition.And the rest as they say is history.

And I will close with an extended passage from Milton Mayer’s They Thought They Were Free which should send a chill up the spines of sane Americans:

“What no one seemed to notice,” said a colleague of mine, a philologist, “was the ever widening gap, after1933,between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing to do with knowing one is governing.

What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if he people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.”

This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.”

You will understand me when I say that my Middle High German was my life. It was all I cared about. I was a scholar, a specialist. Then, suddenly, I was plunged into all the new activity, as the universe was drawn into the new situation; meetings, conferences, interviews, ceremonies, and, above all, papers to be filled out, reports, bibliographies, lists, questionnaires. And on top of that were the demands in the community, the things in which one had to, was “expected to” participate that had not been there or had not been important before. It was all rigmarole, of course, but it consumed all one’s energies, coming on top of the work one really wanted to do. You can see how easy it was, then, not to think about fundamental things. One had no time.”

“Those,” I said, “are the words of my friend the baker. “One had no time to think. There was so much going on.” “Your friend the baker was right,” said my colleague. “The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your “little men”, your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you. Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about – we were decent people – and kept us so busy with continuous changes and “crises” and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the “national enemies”, without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?”

To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it – please try to believe me – unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, “regretted,” that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these “little measures” that no “patriotic German” could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.

The neo Nazi, Bush administration, their backs to the wall chose to play the Nazi card and now that it is out it is fair game and Americans should take the time to diligently research just how much that those scoundrels and black hearted bastards truly have in common with Hitler’s goons. Quite a fucking bit and it’s time to stop fucking around with Godwin’s Law and start calling a fucking spade a fucking spade for once in our goddamned lives.

By Ed Encho

Planet Shit Dispatch: Peckerwood Nation Edition

Clinton Scores West Virginia Landslide!

The bitter and recalcitrant Hillary Rodham-Clinton’s whopping 43 percent win in the West Virginia primary despite the category 5 spin doesn’t mean jack fucking shit. Consider that the mountaineer state’s demographics, the sort of folks that Clinton aide Mickey Kantor so eloquently refers to as “white niggers” are a fucking master race compared to the denizens of peckerwood nation down south of the Mason-Dixon Line. These hard-workin’ (when they are able to find jobs that haven’t been offshored) white voters are as easily duped with allegations of secret Muslim conspiracies, anti-Americanism by a ‘darky’ who refuses to wear a flag pin or hold his hand over his heart during the ridiculous fucking Stalinist pledge of allegiance and actually gives a rat’s ass about economic conditions in such capitalist desecrated shit holes like West Virginia rather than engage in laying stink bait about guns, gays and God. This is Clinton Country and could be the capital of the New Dixiecrats that Hillary is running hard to be the queen of. The ultimate statement on the sort of demographic that the Clintons curried such favor with is exemplified by famous figures such as Lynndie England and the rest of the Class of Abu Ghraib Prison who no doubt were heroic figures to many of the backwoods, barefoot hicks who prowl the Appalachians huntin’ for varmint to eat.

The Clinton spinners, surrogates, Hillemmings and morons on loan from Rush Limbaugh will roar into Kentucky to score another massive ‘win’ with a similar demographic and then keep moving the goalposts all the closer to that crucial Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting on at the end of May. In perhaps one of the most nauseous displays of pandering and disingenuousness that I have ever personally seen (and in these fucked times that speaks volumes) Clinton hack Terry McAuliffe took to the Sunday morning bloviation circuit with his magnum opus of flim-flamming and ass kissing taking place on Tim Russert’s ‘Press The Meat’. McAuliffe spun, contradicted, dissembled, shamelessly kept invoking Russert’s beloved dad ‘Big Russ’ and in an amusing moment had the tables turned on him when his own words were turned on him while trying to make a case to steal all of the Florida and Michigan delegates. Russert (redeeming himself in a very small way for devoting a full 20 minutes of a recent Obama interview to ridiculous questions on the Reverend Wright ‘controversy’) sprung a passage from McAuliffe’s own book on him.

MR. RUSSERT: A change. Also, Hillary Clinton, back in October, said, “You know, it’s clear, this election they’re having [in Michigan] is not going to count for anything.” Now, it’s counting for a lot.

I turn to the bible, “What a Party,” Terry McAuliffe.

MR. McAULIFFE: Good man, good man.

MR. RUSSERT: Your book.

MR. McAULIFFE: Yes, sir.

MR. RUSSERT: And back in 2003, this was a discussion…

MR. McAULIFFE: Yes.

MR. RUSSERT: …you had with Carl Levin, the senator from Michigan.

MR. McAULIFFE: Yeah. Yeah.

MR. RUSSERT: “I got a call on February 1, 2003, from Carl [Levin]” … senator from Michigan, “[who] told me they were going to hold the Michigan primary before New Hampshire, which would have led to complete chaos. … `If you do that, I will take away 50 percent of your delegates,’ I told them. They thought I was bluffing. But it was my responsibility as chairman to take action for the good of the party, and taking away half their delegates was well within my authority. … `You won’t deny us seats at the convention,’ [Levin] said. `Carl, take it to the bank.'” They’ll “`not get a credential. The closest'” thing you’ll “`get to Boston,'” the convention city, “`will be watching it on television. I will not let you break this entire nominating process for one state. The rules are the rules.'”

MR. McAULIFFE: Yep.

MR. RUSSERT: Chairman McAuliffe.

MR. McAULIFFE: You bet.

MR. RUSSERT: So now, Chairman Dean is saying the rules are the rules.

MR. McAULIFFE: Yeah.

MR. RUSSERT: Michigan broke them, they’re not going to be seated. Maybe they’ll get half. Would you accept that?

MR. McAULIFFE: Well, first of all, that’s now out in paperback, I want you to know. But second, I would say the rule is 50 percent. That’s the point I’d like to make. I had the right, the party, to take away 50 percent. The party took away 100 percent of the delegates. The rule is 50 percent. Had they only taken away 50 percent like the Republican Party did, Tim, you and I would not be having this conversation today.

MR. RUSSERT: So you would accept that as a compromise, half the Michigan and half the Florida delegates?

MR. McAULIFFE: We certainly might, you bet. But in fairness, the Rules and Bylaws Committee will meet on, on the 31st to make that decision. The issue is 50 percent. They took away 100 percent. He can’t deny that a million-75 people showed up in Florida and 600,000 showed up in Michigan. They voted, they were certified by the county and the state. These people voted. We have to win these two states in, in the general election. It’s important, Michigan and Florida.

MR. RUSSERT: But you’d take half.

MR. McAULIFFE: Well, I’ll–we’ll let the Rules and Bylaws, it’s up to them to make that decision. But the rule is 50 percent. Had they done 50 percent, Tim, you and I wouldn’t have this conversation today. They took away 100 percent.

It was the best thing I’ve seen on that silly assed beltway elitist’s show since Senator Jim Webb smacked down that little dicksmoker and John McCain butt-buddy Lindsay Graham last year. So the endless primary season goes on, and on and on and on. The joint neocon effort to paint Mr. Obama as a Muslim has crossed over into the New York Times with neocon icon (he wrote the bible on how to stage a coup d’etat) Edward Luttwak’s piece “President Apostate?” that is spreading like kudzu weed throughout the right-wing blogosphere and will be used to further the whisper campaign against Obama and strike terror into the hearts of the idiot white trash in places like West Virginia, Kentucky (the incest capital of the western world) and other enclaves of ignorance and racism that should have been stomped out long ago. Gas is at 4 bucks a gallon, food prices are spiking and the masses of asses insist on fighting vicious wars of attrition over bullshit cultural and racial wedge issues while the country is looted and sold off to foreigners for pennies on the dollar. Then again the white picket fence world of idyllic nostalgia that never really existed outside of 1950’s propaganda television shows touting the nuclear family and nonexistent virtues is still the world that most of the indolent bitter white folk like to imagine as they cling to their guns and religious malarkey. Whitey is losing and losing precisely because of the ignoramuses who remain enshrouded in their warm and cozy impenetrable cocoons of denial.
A few years back I had a perfect example of why this once great country is now circling the drain delivered directly to my front door. If you love Chinese food you have to truly appreciate the difference between the great discovery of that rare really great ‘takee-outee’ emporium of great Chinese food and the slop that passes for it.The Chinese owners of the restaurant who had owned it for years through which the consistency was absolutely impeccable for a non standardized chain eatery and who were able to deliver the freshest, hottest, most tasty and authentic heaping portions of egg foo yung, pork fried rice, moo goo gai pan, szechuan beef and lo mein while making enough of a profit to remain in business suddenly sold out without warning. Well much to my dismay the product that was delivered by the new white boy ownership was about as edible as something dug out of a fucking dumpster.

The rise in gas prices to the 3 dollar a gallon level likely drove them to do it and they had to be laughing all of the way to the bank. In addition to being great cooks they were shrewd business people and understood that profit margins running primarily a delivery based restaurant were going to be dropping like Newton’s Law Of Gravity before too much long. Enter some white chumps with money looking to buy up a successful business and the goodwill that came with it. Of course the quality immediately went straight to hell, the portions shrunk and the prices went up.

You see, with ‘whitey’ and his great free market capitalist ideals the emphasis is never on quality, only profits. The restaurant was be out of business by the end of the year, ironically it is the year of the Dog according to the Chinese calendar. It is was the only white meat that ‘whitey’ would have been able to make a profit on by that time with soaring gas prices and a declining customer base. The Chinese were smart, once again they beat whitey at his own game. They sold for peak profit at the exact time that their operating costs made it impossible to continue to produce their product in the same manner that had guaranteed their success, and capitalist whitey was left holding a flaming bag of dogshit once again and of course the bag was manufactured in China.

I never personally envisioned that the 21st Century would be one of regression because we are getting far closer to the Flintstones than to the Jetsons in Der Heimat.

I guess that if I had one tip and one tip only to offer the defenders of Pleasantville USA it is this:


Learn how to speak fucking Chinese!
By Ed Encho

Hillary Trolls for White Trash in West Virginia

Clinton Scores West Virginia Landslide!

The bitter and recalcitrant Hillary Rodham-Clinton’s whopping 43 percent win in the West Virginia primary despite the category 5 spin doesn’t mean jack fucking shit. Consider that the mountaineer state’s demographics, the sort of folks that Clinton aide Mickey Kantor so eloquently refers to as “white niggers” are a fucking master race compared to the denizens of peckerwood nation down south of the Mason-Dixon Line. These hard-workin’ (when they are able to find jobs that haven’t been offshored) white voters are as easily duped with allegations of secret Muslim conspiracies, anti-Americanism by a ‘darky’ who refuses to wear a flag pin or hold his hand over his heart during the ridiculous fucking Stalinist pledge of allegiance and actually gives a rat’s ass about economic conditions in such capitalist desecrated shit holes like West Virginia rather than engage in laying stink bait about guns, gays and God. This is Clinton Country and could be the capital of the New Dixiecrats that Hillary is running hard to be the queen of. The ultimate statement on the sort of demographic that the Clintons curried such favor with is exemplified by famous figures such as Lynndie England and the rest of the Class of Abu Ghraib Prison who no doubt were heroic figures to many of the backwoods, barefoot hicks who prowl the Appalachians huntin’ for varmint to eat.

The Clinton spinners, surrogates, Hillemmings and morons on loan from Rush Limbaugh will roar into Kentucky to score another massive ‘win’ with a similar demographic and then keep moving the goalposts all the closer to that crucial Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting on at the end of May. In perhaps one of the most nauseous displays of pandering and disingenuousness that I have ever personally seen (and in these fucked times that speaks volumes) Clinton hack Terry McAuliffe took to the Sunday morning bloviation circuit with his magnum opus of flim-flamming and ass kissing taking place on Tim Russert’s ‘Press The Meat’. McAuliffe spun, contradicted, dissembled, shamelessly kept invoking Russert’s beloved dad ‘Big Russ’ and in an amusing moment had the tables turned on him when his own words were turned on him while trying to make a case to steal all of the Florida and Michigan delegates. Russert (redeeming himself in a very small way for devoting a full 20 minutes of a recent Obama interview to ridiculous questions on the Reverend Wright ‘controversy’) sprung a passage from McAuliffe’s own book on him.

MR. RUSSERT: A change. Also, Hillary Clinton, back in October, said, “You know, it’s clear, this election they’re having [in Michigan] is not going to count for anything.” Now, it’s counting for a lot.

I turn to the bible, “What a Party,” Terry McAuliffe.

MR. McAULIFFE: Good man, good man.

MR. RUSSERT: Your book.

MR. McAULIFFE: Yes, sir.

MR. RUSSERT: And back in 2003, this was a discussion…

MR. McAULIFFE: Yes.

MR. RUSSERT: …you had with Carl Levin, the senator from Michigan.

MR. McAULIFFE: Yeah. Yeah.

MR. RUSSERT: “I got a call on February 1, 2003, from Carl [Levin]” … senator from Michigan, “[who] told me they were going to hold the Michigan primary before New Hampshire, which would have led to complete chaos. … `If you do that, I will take away 50 percent of your delegates,’ I told them. They thought I was bluffing. But it was my responsibility as chairman to take action for the good of the party, and taking away half their delegates was well within my authority. … `You won’t deny us seats at the convention,’ [Levin] said. `Carl, take it to the bank.'” They’ll “`not get a credential. The closest'” thing you’ll “`get to Boston,'” the convention city, “`will be watching it on television. I will not let you break this entire nominating process for one state. The rules are the rules.'”

MR. McAULIFFE: Yep.

MR. RUSSERT: Chairman McAuliffe.

MR. McAULIFFE: You bet.

MR. RUSSERT: So now, Chairman Dean is saying the rules are the rules.

MR. McAULIFFE: Yeah.

MR. RUSSERT: Michigan broke them, they’re not going to be seated. Maybe they’ll get half. Would you accept that?

MR. McAULIFFE: Well, first of all, that’s now out in paperback, I want you to know. But second, I would say the rule is 50 percent. That’s the point I’d like to make. I had the right, the party, to take away 50 percent. The party took away 100 percent of the delegates. The rule is 50 percent. Had they only taken away 50 percent like the Republican Party did, Tim, you and I would not be having this conversation today.

MR. RUSSERT: So you would accept that as a compromise, half the Michigan and half the Florida delegates?

MR. McAULIFFE: We certainly might, you bet. But in fairness, the Rules and Bylaws Committee will meet on, on the 31st to make that decision. The issue is 50 percent. They took away 100 percent. He can’t deny that a million-75 people showed up in Florida and 600,000 showed up in Michigan. They voted, they were certified by the county and the state. These people voted. We have to win these two states in, in the general election. It’s important, Michigan and Florida.

MR. RUSSERT: But you’d take half.

MR. McAULIFFE: Well, I’ll–we’ll let the Rules and Bylaws, it’s up to them to make that decision. But the rule is 50 percent. Had they done 50 percent, Tim, you and I wouldn’t have this conversation today. They took away 100 percent.

It was the best thing I’ve seen on that silly assed beltway elitist’s show since Senator Jim Webb smacked down that little dicksmoker and John McCain butt-buddy Lindsay Graham last year. So the endless primary season goes on, and on and on and on. The joint neocon effort to paint Mr. Obama as a Muslim has crossed over into the New York Times with neocon icon (he wrote the bible on how to stage a coup d’etat) Edward Luttwak’s piece “President Apostate?” that is spreading like kudzu weed throughout the right-wing blogosphere and will be used to further the whisper campaign against Obama and strike terror into the hearts of the idiot white trash in places like West Virginia, Kentucky (the incest capital of the western world) and other enclaves of ignorance and racism that should have been stomped out long ago. Gas is at 4 bucks a gallon, food prices are spiking and the masses of asses insist on fighting vicious wars of attrition over bullshit cultural and racial wedge issues while the country is looted and sold off to foreigners for pennies on the dollar. Then again the white picket fence world of idyllic nostalgia that never really existed outside of 1950’s propaganda television shows touting the nuclear family and nonexistent virtues is still the world that most of the indolent bitter white folk like to imagine as they cling to their guns and religious malarkey. Whitey is losing and losing precisely because of the ignoramuses who remain enshrouded in their warm and cozy impenetrable cocoons of denial.

A few years back I had a perfect example of why this once great country is now circling the drain delivered directly to my front door. If you love Chinese food you have to truly appreciate the difference between the great discovery of that rare really great ‘takee-outee’ emporium of great Chinese food and the slop that passes for it.The Chinese owners of the restaurant who had owned it for years through which the consistency was absolutely impeccable for a non standardized chain eatery and who were able to deliver the freshest, hottest, most tasty and authentic heaping portions of egg foo yung, pork fried rice, moo goo gai pan, szechuan beef and lo mein while making enough of a profit to remain in business suddenly sold out without warning. Well much to my dismay the product that was delivered by the new white boy ownership was about as edible as something dug out of a fucking dumpster.

The rise in gas prices to the 3 dollar a gallon level likely drove them to do it and they had to be laughing all of the way to the bank. In addition to being great cooks they were shrewd business people and understood that profit margins running primarily a delivery based restaurant were going to be dropping like Newton’s Law Of Gravity before too much long. Enter some white chumps with money looking to buy up a successful business and the goodwill that came with it. Of course the quality immediately went straight to hell, the portions shrunk and the prices went up.

You see, with ‘whitey’ and his great free market capitalist ideals the emphasis is never on quality, only profits. The restaurant was be out of business by the end of the year, ironically it is the year of the Dog according to the Chinese calendar. It is was the only white meat that ‘whitey’ would have been able to make a profit on by that time with soaring gas prices and a declining customer base. The Chinese were smart, once again they beat whitey at his own game. They sold for peak profit at the exact time that their operating costs made it impossible to continue to produce their product in the same manner that had guaranteed their success, and capitalist whitey was left holding a flaming bag of dogshit once again and of course the bag was manufactured in China.

I never personally envisioned that the 21st Century would be one of regression because we are getting far closer to the Flintstones than to the Jetsons in Der Heimat.

I guess that if I had one tip and one tip only to offer the defenders of Pleasantville USA it is this:


Learn how to speak fucking Chinese!

Coming Together: A Mini Manifesto

Now that even the corporatist beltway elite lackey media has slowly come to recognize the inevitability of the political version of the unbeatable New England Patriots losing the big one it’s time to put the intramural pissing matches aside and to start reorganizing for a shot at the true target. The Hillary Rodham-Clinton campaign now faces fourth and thirty-two, has the ball at it’s own twenty yard line, is down by eight and there are sixteen seconds left in the Super Bowl. It’s not exactly officially in the books yet but the fat lady is humming and the opposing team has just administered the traditional Gatorade baptism to their head coach on the sidelines.

Outside of a certain demographic Rodham-Clinton’s numbers were always juiced by the knuckle dragging hordes of extremist propaganda pimp Russian Limbaugh and his “Operation Chaos” and that the Hillemmings would accept this as help to crown their queen was a complete moral sellout based on selfishness and some bizarre sense of entitlement. It was the finger on the scale that has allowed the corporatist warmonger Clinton to continue this futile quest for the Holy Grail that long ago should have been over. Now it’s time to drive the final stake through the heart, chop off Medusa’s head, stuff her mouth with garlic and send her seething and entitled ass to the Senate to replace that pathetic little eunuch Harry ‘Casper Milquetoast’ Reid as Majority Leader with an attitude and one big hell of an axe to grind.

We should spare no fury and give no quarter in pursuing the ultimate task at hand that is the complete and total eradication of the extreme fascist right as a functional political entity in America. If the creeping fascism cannot be halted or at least slowed significantly then nothing else is really going to matter. It’s that simple. This is a historic time and the ever more rapid collapse of the extreme right-wing model of friendly fascism built meticulously and at great expense since WW II and implemented by intelligence agencies plundering abroad and enslaving at home in the interests of the American elite and big business. The model of American extreme capitalism (I do not use the term ‘free market’ because what exists is not free in any sense of the word, it is only crony capitalism and socialism for the rich) is as predicted by so many who were simply decried as commies and persecuted by the state falling apart, it has now become cannibalistic and is unsustainable. The relentless ideology behind the drive for perpetual economic growth, a zero sum game with few winners and many suckers toiling to build temples for Pharaoh is a flawed premise at the very basic levels. The things that perpetually grow are cancers and viruses and at this stage it is obvious to all but the hucksters and those in denial that American capitalism has gone cancerous and has metastasized to financial markets throughout the world.

The financial sector has been gamed to the point of collapse by the economic chicanery of the same sort of scoundrels who George Washington once referred to as a “squadron of corrupt paper dealers” and Frankin D. Roosevelt called out the same unscrupulous bandits as “economic royalists”. We stand on the verge of a complete systemic collapse, a grand implosion of historic proportions and a devastating wave of misery and poverty that is only gaining strength as it roars towards landfall, it will be the tsunami of the chickens coming home to roost and my friends it is coming very soon. To quote one who I personally find to be detestable on every level and who bears a large share of the responsibility for the hellstorm of woe that is currently battering the homeland, the late and lamentable Milton Friedman:

“Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.”


Well, we have our crisis right now and with the ideas of the extreme fascist right being exposed as the grand fraud that they have always been we also have an opportunity to produce real change. It is going to take work though and it is going to take no small degree of some swallowing of pride in the pursuit of the larger goal of total reform. As the man Bob Dylan once sang “Stop all this weeping, swallow your pride, you will not die, it’s not poison”. It is crucial that this opportunity be seized upon at this moment, it is not rhetoric to say that we now stand at the crossroads and which route we choose will either lead to our salvation or will force not only those currently alive but those as yet unborn to suffer terrible consequences. This is the time that we all have been waiting for, time to participate in something that truly matters on as large a scale as could possibly be imagined.

The religious wrong hasn’t been the same since Jerry Falwell went to his glorious reward and has now been roasting on a spit in the bowels of Hades for a year now. The newest figurehead, Pastor John Hagee is to put it quite simply, a dangerous fucking lunatic whose bastard alliance with hard core Zionist war freaks pretty much has allowed him to be given a free pass as John McCain’s spiritual leader while Reverend Wright was unfairly vilified and used as a bludgeon on Barack Obama. The free ride needs to end and Hagee and his minions need to be exposed as the terrifying danger that they truly are, how any overstuffed sack of shit tent preacher who suddenly hit it big can run such a pro-Israel con job when the biblical prophecy that he shills for when taken to it’s ultimate end will kill more Jews than Hitler needs to be exposed as the vile Anti-Semite that he is. His tirades against Catholics should also be brought out into the open in order to expose the latest version of Father Coughlin.

Mr. Obama has energized young voters to go forth with a positive vision and with this as a given a right-wing machine is going to be sent out like a rolling ball of butcher knives, the negativity, slander, fear mongering and intimidation this fall is going to be like nothing ever seen before. As veterans of this sort of thing it is going to be up to us who blog, work as activists and are battle hardened to counter whatever the bastards in the establishment throw out. In a rare concept for those on the left it is imperative that we be the aggressors this time because at times you have to pick a fight in order to win it. We need to seize the initiative once and for all because the truth is on our side. The electorate is being squeezed by the war pimps, the globalists and the Wall Street looters and we cannot allow the demagogues of the fascist right to continue to win using their standard tactics of fear, smear and divide and conquer. With current trends as they are gas prices will be above $5.00 a gallon come November, the economy will be on the brink of another depression as prime mortgage and credit card defaults continue to soar despite the best efforts of the Plunge Protection Team and The Fed to run their own big con General Petraeus style propaganda surge and food prices will be at record highs. As the late great Saul Alinsky once said now is the time to “rub raw the sores of discontent” and to take advantage of growing unrest to mount a challenge against the entire fascist system of the corporate police state.

1: Be prepared to re-fight the Vietnam War – It is a certainty that the McCain campaign is going to do everything to make this a fight against Hanoi Jane and to rip off the scabs of Nam in order to do so. DO NOT cede any ground to McCain and the right on this one, he is first and foremost a WAR CRIMINAL and a self admitted one at that. Real heroes don’t drop bombs and incendiary devices on civilians from the relative safety of the air. As futile and illegal as wars like Vietnam and Iraq are (which is another topic altogether) any one who wants to claim to be a war hero should have to look at the consequences of his kills and absolutely nobody who kills civilians should ever be allowed to hide behind the war hero shield as some sort of immunity talisman for his murderous actions. The right savagely and mercilessly swift boated John Kerry for his military service in 2004 and Mr. McCain should be treated equally, by affording him any respect for his cowardly actions during Vietnam is ceding the battle before the first shots have been fired.

2: Wage guerilla warfare against the pocket media – Infiltrating staged media events and then engaging in organized protest, challenging political figures with facts during their appearances, calling into talk shows and speaking the truth are all going to be necessary in order to get a message out that is not filtered through the corporate media. While I am not agreeing with the so-called 9/11 Truth Movement and do not wish to address those issues in this post they have been a successful nemesis to the neocons. Their tactics and their fervor in their activism should be an example to all who wish to bring about change.

3: Be Vigilant – Always be watchful, those who seek to maintain their places within the existing failed system will use any form of chicanery and trickery to do so.

4: Be ahead of the game, think and anticipate – Study the enemy’s tactics and you stay if not one step ahead be ready to counter them when the time comes.

5: Focus on Economic issues – Hit economics hard because this is the one area where people are severely hurting right now. The Democratic party sold out to the corporatist DLC long ago and in doing so ceded this most valuable tool that transcends ordinary paradigms in order to secure their own place at the feeding trough. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to always turn the topic back to economics and blame the corporations, the energy cartels, big pharma, agribusiness and Wall Street for every bit of misery that the ordinary working American is currently experiencing. Populism is NOT a dirty word and it needs to be used as a tactic in this war against the establishment.

6: Make strategic alliances: The only way that the oligarchy run amok can be reigned in is by working together with those who have different ideologies but are also antiwar, pro American and want to see above else the restoration of civil liberties and a massive rollback of the police state. Progressives and liberals may think that libertarians and Ron Paul folks are all out there prospecting for fool’s gold in Galt’s Gulch but they are fighting against the same authoritarian octopus. Philosophical differences need to be set aside in order to unify under a common goal and then attack from different directions. There are a large amount of principled conservatives who are aghast at what the neocons, the theocons and the globalists have done to the Republican party and there could be nothing better than to see it recaptured by pragmatists, non-interventionists and anti-big government forces. Big government is a menace to all, we can see that now with the unchecked power of the Bush regime and to quote conservative icon Barry Goldwater: “A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away”. I think that we ALL can truly appreciate that now after the wanton abuses of power of the Bush-Cheney junta and now the great beast needs to be reigned in and a traditional system of checks and balances restored.

7: Prevent election theft: Always remember that the corporations still control the machines. Be watchful and aware of voter suppression, racial discrimination, caging lists, goons stationed at precincts to challenge voters and report any suspicious activity to both local officials as well as get the information to a blog or organization that will make it public.

8: Be a counterforce to war machine propaganda: Prepare to flood local newspapers with editorials, letters, hit the message boards, blogswarm and engage the enemy at every opportunity.

9: Do not let race be used as a political tool: With Barack Hussein Obama being both black and having a Muslim sounding middle name look forward to the vilest type of racist slurs and terrorist insinuations yet. Denounce these tactics and hold those accountable for them through public shaming.

10: Denude the false idols: The Clintons are self-serving corporatist hacks, John Wayne was a draft dodging armchair patriot whose real name was Marion and who stayed in Hollywood and made movies while his peers were taking fire in World War II and Ronald Reagan was a dude ranch cowboy and B movie actor who sole out his fellow Hollywood associates during the McCarthy years and was recruited by the organized fascist right (with the Powell Memorandum as a game plan) to play the ultimate role of his life and then have the think tanks rewrite history to turn him into an American icon, a new father figure and the personification of all that was American. They were of course lies and Reagan needs to be remembered for his unspoken declaration of total war against the middle class.

11: Reclaim Our History: What Americans to believe to be our history is intentionally devoid of any honest examination of the sins of empire, we must dispose of the official state version that has been used to indoctrinate and suppress (largely through omission) the real truths of a country that is not as exceptionalist and well intentioned as we have all been led to believe: Howard Zinn has a great new educational tool out right now that is as easy to read as it is for novices to interpret. A People’s History of American Empire is in graphic novel format, is cheap and easy to read. I would strongly recommend it to everybody especially to teach others who ordinarily do not have the time or patience for normal reading.

Our history has been scrubbed and sanitized by the economic royalists and the fascists to eliminate any mention of true heroes of the working class and of a real democratic society. The vast majority of those compliant little consumers that have for too long been churned out by a starved for funds and battered into submission school public school system that has been turned into a nationwide network of drone factories (one of the only things that we mass produce in America anymore) have never heard of those who sacrificed for those things that came to be taken to granted to the point where they are now being taken away.Where is there any mention given of Eugene Debs or of Joe Hill or of Saul Alinsky or of Mother Jones? What about General Smedley D . Butler who called out the blood barters with his tract War Is A Racket and his exposure of the Business Plot where wealthy traitors schemed about a coup against FDR? What is taught about Huey Long? I mean other than the widely accepted narrative of a power mad, corrupt tyrant instead of the man who scared the living shit out of the elitist establishment with his “Share Our Wealth” program that made the New Deal look like Reaganomics. Long stood up to entrenched interests and the moral rottenness of looter capitalism, he built roads, bridges, hospitals and schools as well as provided free textbooks and he even dared to take on the almighty Rockefellers and Standard Oil. Long railed against institutionalized corruption with his “every man a king” type of populism and he was making dangerous noises about running for president. The ending of the Huey Long story is all too predictable and familiar: he was of course assassinated.

And what of Hellen Keller? The little girl who overcame blindness and deafness and whose struggles with her handicaps are taught to American children as an example of how to overcome adversity as they are indoctrinated to the lies of a society that demands sacrifice and backbreaking work from the lesser classes as unquestioning slaves to the whims of the modern pharaohs on Wall Street. She has been sanitized, turned into a Horatio Alger version of the little engine that could while her later life as a social activist goes ignored. Hellen Keller would grow up to be a champion of women’s suffrage, she would join the Industrial Workers of the World and to help to found the American Civil Liberties Union. She was a socialist who dared to speak out against the power base and their exploitation and for that sin her life has been through revisionist history turned into a perverse fairy tale and yet another myth to bolster the system that would make slaves of us all. The little engine that could was very quickly uncoupled from the rest of the train once the narrative switched tracks from one of inspirational value to one of social justice.

And there are others, there are many others who risked all to end child labor, to fight for equality and the forty-hour work week and unemployment protection and workers rights, workplace safety and a right to basic human decency but they go largely unheard of. It’s time to revise history to be honest, inclusive and not only what the oligarchy chooses to dictate and indoctrinate to the population. This is of the ultimate importance for a people whose history is stolen from them have no future.

12: Debunk and discredit the charlatans: Major mouthpieces like Limbaugh can no longer be allowed to portray themselves as paragons of virtue and family values. Chickenhawks like William Kristol cannot be allowed to be given credibility as war cheerleaders, cynical politicians cannot be allowed to invoke and trash the good name of Jesus Christ while throwing open the temple doors to the moneychangers and lazy, celebrity obsessed scandal mongers cannot be allowed to masquerade as serious journalists.

13: Language: Turn the tables and make the word “conservative” into as dirty a pejorative that the think tankers and their opinion managers have turned “liberal” into. With the country in ruins it is imperative that the blame be placed exactly where it belongs – with the hard right conservatives and especially the Republicans. Time to dip the elephant in shit and trot it out to lead the parade of clowns who have gotten us into this giant mess in the first place.

14 : Don’t lose sight of the Big Picture: It is imperative to focus on the big picture this time, there will be gay marriage amendments, abortion amendments and other culture war stink bait on ballots across the country and to get mired in debates on this garbage is a waste of time. Let’s face it, this is fighting the last war and there is no way that war will ever be won with narrow minded one issue voters and the get out the vote machine that has been built to exploit gullible wedge issue voters who dutifully goosestep from their bund meetings down to the local polling place to vote against their own economic self interests. These people can never be convinced to give an inch on the loser issues of abortion rights and gay rights so a better strategy would be to avoid those topics altogether, deprive them of their energy and to attempt to turn the focus to economics. Everybody is hurting now and it’s only going to be worse come election season. Well meaning but simple-minded folks are justifiably bitter but the bitterness needs to be focused where it should be and that is against the globalists, the corporatists and the warmongers. These people can’t get beyond the most general and emotional of concepts so stick with how they are being raped every time they gas up or visit the grocery store.

15: Reject the politics of fear: American fascism uses fear as fuel, watch for an escalation in neocon rhetoric, bogus terror threats, Osama bin Laden videos, heightened states of alert and those waving the bloody flag with cries for more war.

16: Reclaim Patriotism: For too long the right has been allowed to define what is patriotic and then wrap themselves in the flag while waging war against everything that America is supposed to stand for. Slapping a little metal flag pin on one’s chest is not patriotic and displaying a magnetic yellow ribbon sticker does not mean that one supports the troops. There has been a total failure in standing up to the flag pin fascists and this needs to be stopped and those wearing the flag pins need to have their patriotism challenged by not standing up for the Constitution instead. Time to take back the flag!

Granted, it is one hell of a big rock to roll and the hill is a steep one but there is a desire for real and lasting change in the air right now and it needs to be seized upon, this is the opening of the window of opportunity. With the financial system in crisis, the big boys being bailed out while the rest of the country is basically being told to go to hell and the average family feeling the pain in a very real way that makes them suddenly open to some suggestions on how to do things differently as well as who to blame for their being shafted now is a time like no other to move swiftly and together. We need to cast off the yoke of the existing sham system, reject the phony paradigms, stop fighting each other and form up to transverse the beach and to storm the castle.

I will close now with a quote from Victor Hugo “Nothing else in the world… not all the armies… is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”

Time has come, now how do we respond?

The March of the Hillemmings


Onward to West Virginia! After duping fewer of the “white niggers” in the Hoosier state into believing that she is some sort of brawling, beer drinking, elbow wrestling, blue collar ‘one of them’ the bitter and recalcitrant monster that is Hillary Rodham-Clinton moves the goalposts one more time. The non-elitist who just happens to be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of at least $ 109 million dug around in the sofa cushions in order to lend her never ending crusade another $ 6 million and change in order to remain solvent while the operatives work their chicanery and try to strong arm, sweet talk, cajole and bribe those superdelegates into getting with the fucking program and throwing in the Clinton restoration – when will those fuckers get it that Tracy Flick 2008 is entitled to the presidency goddammit?

The encouraging thing about the narrow Clinton ‘win’ in Indiana is that there seems to be a limit to the stupidity of at least enough of the people to have not bitten on the race baiting, the demagoguery and that idiotic fucking suspension of the gas tax over the summer as some sort of band aid on the sucking chest wound of the average American’s budget courtesy of the economic disaster brought on by a quarter century of deregulation, fucked up trade policies, the enshrinement of greed as the highest possible virtue (the giveaway on this was that television show where people actually competed for the honor of licking Donald Trump’s balls) and a flood of easy credit that unregulated Wall Street ivory tower ‘banking’ houses (casinos is a more appropriate word) then packaged into toxic debt instruments and sold to suckers worldwide. As the old saying goes ‘if something appears to be too good to be true then it is too good to be true’ or something along those lines and it was only a matter of time until the music stopped and now millions of saps who bought into the big con have suddenly discovered that they have no chairs.

American idiots can only blame themselves for being dumb enough to be swindled into ignoring reality and their own economic self interests in order to vote for the most dumb and superficial reasons while keeping their heads in the sand and the home equity credit lines open to buy all of the trinkets and baubles necessary for them to still go to bed at night miserable, unfulfilled and deeper in debt. I find it ironic that the degenerate pigman Rush Limbaugh is throwing out a rotator cuff patting himself on the back for inducing his army of angry idiots to crossover and vote for Clinton in the obviously Animal House inspired “Operation Chaos” that have given the bitter old bitties who see Hillary as their own personal version of Taarna the avenger enough backup to keep Obama on the ropes until the dirt diggers can find a big enough chunk of kryptonite to vanquish him once and for all. Limbaugh, the human (and I use that term very loosely) version of the giant gas filled pig balloon that Pink Floyd used as a prop during shows and who is a similar icon for the fascist Republican party is largely responsible for today’s economic misery that will only continue unabated under the neocon dream of McClinton. After all, it was his modern day Father Coughlin propaganda that harnessed the anger and misery of the economic diaspora that began to emerge during the 80s when Reagan’s war on the middle class was kicking into high gear with the farm crisis and the closing of the mills. The heartland and the rust belt were the first to be thrust upon the alter of greed for sacrifice to the gods of Milton Friedman style voodoo economics and the down on his luck loser Limbaugh was discovered and recruited to propagandize the hurt, scorned and angry to scapegoat minorities and liberals for their deteriorating lives.

Limbaugh’s act worked to perfection to the extent there the lazy, mainstream media public relations flacks who pass themselves as legitimate journalists in this sorry era of the fucked and dumb actually feel comfortable in citing him as some sort of legitimate public figure to be respected and quoted. Well, John Wayne Gacy once had a similar aura of respectability and we all know how that ended up so perhaps there is at least some hope that the drug addled, thrice divorced, multi-millionaire grand poobah of white populist propaganda will soon come crashing down as well. His insertion of himself into the perennially clueless and hapless Democratic party primary season of no end may be the petard upon which his mammoth carcass is finally hoisted. People start to look for different victims when gas is approaching four dollars a gallon, their overpriced homes are in pre-foreclosure, speculators driving up food prices make it harder to put food on the family and jobs are being sent by the thousands to whatever third world shithole has the cheapest slave labor gulag system. The fingers of blame are very slowly starting to be pointed upwards as indolent Americans begin to realize that the ultra rich four flushing asshole class that Limbaugh works for are the ones to blame for their misery and not the brown menace.

The failure of what was perceived to be the bread and butter of the massively overhyped by both the multi-millionaire Clintons and the Republican looter establishment Reverend Wright race card is by all indications from Indiana going up like a flaming bag of dogshit on the castle doorstep. When race baiting and fear mongering no longer work then the establishment is in big time trouble. It’s hard to blame the black man for everything during those long cold winters when the furniture is being burned for heat and the family pets begin to look like a cheap way to eat for a few days. Now I am not naïve enough to think that the American sheeple will ever be able to muster up enough gumption for a full fledged peasant revolt but their not being duped by the standard horseshit that politicians shovel out in order to distract and keep from talking about the real issues is at the very least a flicker of light in the darkness. That Clinton didn’t win Indiana by at least 30 points given the massive ignorant hick demographic and the temporary loan of battalions of Limbaugh’s angry army of dittohead drones proves that things just might be different this time and that would indeed strike deeply at the very heart of the oligarchy. Even that philandering little fascist dwarf Newt Gingrich is freaking out that the GOP mojo is no longer working.

So onward march the Hillemmings, a proxy army to defend the status quo who have much in common with their newfound brethren on loan from Lord Limbaugh, towards West Virginia, towards the edge of the abyss and with any luck ultimately off of the edge of the cliff.

The Serendipitous ‘Suicide’ of the D.C. Madame

“Death solves all problems – no man, no problem.”

-Joseph Stalin

You can add D.C. Madame Deborah Jeanne Palfrey to that long list of marvelously convenient mysterious deaths, ‘accidents’ and ‘suicides’ that have for so long been a fixture of the hijacked by fascist American political system. The dead giveaway on the importance of Palfrey and the threat that she represents is that ordinarily such an incident would be flogged to death 24/7 on the corporate media machine given the sexual sleaze factor and the celebrity allure. Well that insipid blathering sow Nancy Grace spent about ten or fifteen minutes on it on Thursday and was then on to something involving actor Rob Lowe, as much as I hate cable ‘news’ programs I tuned again last night and she was talking about some kidnapped or murdered pregnant teenager, you know, the same local news that is trumped up and manufactured into a national crisis.

Palfrey was really big trouble for a lot of folks with serious clout and the cover story of her hanging herself is in my opinion just more of the same easily digestible lemming food that is usually spoon-fed to the masses of asses when such things occur so as not to induce even the slightest doubt in the legitimacy of the good and wise people who are running their government while they can stay in their narcotized state in front of their beloved television sets.

Now I just happen to live in the same county where Palfrey’s body was found and after being front page news in the major area newspaper on Friday the next day’s follow up story was very small, below the fold in the local and state section not about Palfrey but rather one that was dismissive of so-called ‘conspiracy theorists’ who found the ‘suicide’ to be as suspicious as I do. It has not been covered in depth by any of the major websites to my knowledge, you know the same ones that gave us all of that wonderful detail on the Natalee Holloway disappearance, Anna Nicole Smith’s O.D., the amazing adventures of Laci and the fetus and the great in depth coverage of the sex offender or pederast of the week at the expense of say the crimes of the Bushreich, the war, real economic news absent the numbers massaging to obfuscate and obscure the real picture and the accompanying dismantling of America by the Wall Street looters as the oligarchy locks in the gains and offshores the rest of the country.

Every and I mean EVERY piece that I saw in the mainstream media accepted and sold at face value that this was a suicide even though Palfrey’s prostitution operation was so tied in to the most integral parts of the fascist establishment and that she had given interviews on radio programs that she was NOT going to commit suicide. The one story that I did see in the Orlando Sentinel had this little tidbit that wasn’t picked up anywhere else but should have been for a very obvious reason:

On Monday, Palfrey arrived at her two-bedroom, two-bath corner condominium at Park Lake Towers, where she often stayed on trips to visit her mother, Strizack said. She had owned the Orlando home since 1996, but it was up for sale.

Palfrey was a pleasant, meticulous person, Strizack recalled. She treasured her privacy so much that she once sued the condominium association because it kept a key to her unit.

She did not draw attention to herself, but when she talked to you, she was clearly well-organized and in control, he said.

On Monday, Palfrey seemed no different. She carried clothing, briefcases and suitcases down the stairs from her second-floor apartment to a rented car in the parking lot, stopping to chat as usual.

She told Strizack she was taking her property to her mother’s home in preparation for prison. Contrary to the U.S. Attorney’s Office estimate, she told the condo manager she thought she might spend six or seven years behind bars.

On one trip down the stairs, she lugged a 2-foot-wide box she suggested carried materials related to her infamous court case.

“This is my evidence,” she told Strizack before carrying it out the door.

Now I personally would find it strange that the women was found swinging from a rope shortly after making a comment like that. But Florida being what it is which is the diseased penis of America, a sweltering cesspool of crime, corruption, black ops and depravity where elections go to be stolen there is no chance in hell that any sort of legitimate follow up investigational work be done into Palfrey’s death. Not with Jeb Bush’s people still dug in like ticks in the state bureaucracy and with sitting Governor Charlie Crist rumored to be on the list as John McCain’s running mate.

Regarding the client list Republican diaper baby David Vitter (who still sits in Congress) was the one main name came out but dark rumors abounded that heavy hitters like one Richard B. Cheney may have at one time used the service while in the employ of Haliburton. Of course now we’ll never know will we?

Palfrey is just the latest but there have been so many others, the lesser minded and the deniers will of course accuse me of being a ‘tin-foil hatter’ but they are intellectually barren and content to lay warmly inside their warm security blanket of denial and suck their thumbs rather than acknowledge that this government is run (and has been for a long time) by a criminal syndicate far worse than the mafia itself.

Here are just a few of the others whose deaths were marvelously serendipitous for the prevailing status quo that I personally find to be very interesting.

Danny Casolaro: Was working on a book about a far-reaching global criminal syndicate with roots in the U.S. government that he had called The Octopus that tied together elements of the Reagan-Bush administration, an old boy CIA network, the theft of the legendary PROMIS software, international gangsters, BCCI figures and government contractors. He was found dead in a bathtub with his wrists sliced open in a West Virginia motel after telling friends that he was going to “bring back” the head of the Octopus.

Steve Kangas: Critic of the American extreme right and the Central Intelligence Agency Kangas wrote the marvelous piece The Origins of the Overclass and was rumored to be working on a book on CIA covert operations when he was shot dead in get this – the home of Hillary Rodham-Clinton buddy Richard Mellon Scaife.

Gary Caradori: During the Franklin Coverup involving allegations of child prostitution against Republican officials including rising GOP star Lawrence King and leading up to the White House itself investigator Caradori along with his young son perished in yet another of those small plane crashes that seem to occur with great frequency when the occupants are a threat to the establishment

Gary Webb: investigative reporter who wrote the famous Dark Alliance on the CIA-Contra crack cocaine connection series for the San Jose Mercury news and then had his life and career destroyed. He was found dead in 2004.

James Hatfield: Wrote a book called Fortunate Son about then presidential candidate George W. Bush alleging that Dubya had been busted for cocaine in 1972 and that his father had intervened to have the arrest covered up. Hatfield was then smeared, slimed and publicly vilified. He was found dead of an overdose in an Arkansas motel room in 2001.

Cliff Baxter: Enron executive and potential witness found shot dead in his car, death was ruled a suicide.

Kenneth Lay: Kenny Boy, a buddy of George W. Bush and the biggest kahuna of them all with Enron died of a heart attack after his conviction and before he could potentially cut a deal for sentencing leniency. Dead men tell no tales do they?

There are of course a multitude of others, and each of the above merits and entire post on their own all though could have caused serious problems to the existing establishment. Just a bit of research into the plethora of similary convenient and suspicious deaths related to both Bush administrations and the Clinton administration build a circumstantial case that this is no longer a government of the people for the people but one that has long become a criminal enterprise that serves the elite, the corporations, the defense industry and the financiers and will use any method at its disposal to terminate those who threaten it with extreme prejudice. A good piece that I recommend reading is L.F. Prouty’s An Introduction to the Assassination Business.

The trail of prematurely dead reporters, politicians, bureaucrats, former CIA directors and witnesses who are connected to government and corporate scandals is something that bears more serious scrutiny or at least the same amount of scrutiny that the missing teenager or pervert of the week is afforded by our pathetically deficient and corrupt mainstream media.
None other than old Joe Stalin himself put it best, “Death solves all problems – no man, no problem”.

Dispatch from Idiot America: Obama’s Bubba Gap

You know who is bitter in America? I am. Because shit-kickers voted twice for a retarded guy they wanted to have a beer with, and everybody else had to suffer the consequences!

-Bill Maher

The bubba vote? What a fucking hoot! Newsweek magazine just continues to amaze in their increasingly successful quest to become America’s predominant tabloid shitrag. This week’s cover story is laughingly entitled Obama’s Bubba Gap and flogs the latest Clinton slime machine storyline that the magical mulatto is failing to attract the same dumb motherfucker demographic who were largely responsible for giving us the eight year running pox on western civilization that is the George W. Bush soft dictatorship.

The Clintons are really fixated bagging their share of rubes with the tired charge that Obama is some sort of high falutin, nappy headed version of John Kerry, an effete snob and an ivory tower elitist who some slobbering white trash freak wouldn’t want to have a beer with. He is just a prissy boy with no ‘testicular fortitude’ who doesn’t throw down shots of whiskey at photo ops and can’t bowl worth a damn, but I sure as hell bet that he can wind surf and is a living god when it comes to polo.

This is just phase 26 of the ‘kitchen sink strategy’ designed by a vengeful woman scorned in the aftermath of that Super Tuesday so long ago to keep moving the goalposts down the field, paying off the refs and making the ball carrier face repeated flagrant fouls on the way to the end zone. Like some grotesque running of the gauntlet designed to exact the maximum amount of damage because the ultimate sin in Murka is bucking the system. I brings to mind the great and eerily prophetic 70’s movie Rollerball in which Jonathan E. refuses to retire and faces the ultimate death match of a game with no rules, no time limit and a sole purpose of publicly killing him because he had the audacity to believe that he was bigger than the ‘game’.

A lot of those 70’s movies have a lot of relevance today when viewed again because let’s face it, people really had their shit together a lot more back then and were scared fucking shitless of what this country was becoming. Rollerball was about the corporatization of the planet, the elimination of any actual wars and the mass opiate game that kept the masses in line, I would strongly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it and don’t waste your time with the silly remake. Soylent Green is looking more and more like the work of great work of vision too with the current world food crisis, global warming, over population and borderline anarchy. How long is it going to be before some corporate genius comes up with the great solution that wraps up everything in one great bundled solution for all of our current problems?

Hell, the prototype program is already out there just waiting to take on some of that great added value that Wall Street looters cream their suits over and of course like so many other nefariously anti-American things like web censorship, bioweapons, military arms and vaccines is it being test marketed in a country without the civil liberties protections that even our now picked clean constitution offers us here in Der Heimat.

It was recently revealed that the Chinese government (you know, the human rights abusing chinks sponsoring the idiotic corporate Olympics this summer) is utilizing mobile execution units or ‘death vans’ to dispatch with criminals and more than likely in keeping with tradition, other enemies of the state including any dissidents that are not destined for slave labor factories to produce cheap shit for export to your local Wal-Mart.

The old Stalin era Russians sent out bread trucks at night to haul off dissidents, the Nazi’s used buses with non-threatening silhouettes of people painted onto the windows so as to not appear menacing in order to more easily lure their victims into vehicles that were specially designed to asphyxiate the occupants with exhaust fumes, could it be that there will be big yellow smiley faces painted on the vans when they are rolled out here in the USA? As with Google and Microsoft who are currently using China as a market in which they can beta test internet censorship software before the imminent U.S. rollout it is probably only a matter of time until there is a death van coming very soon to a location near you. And since you are out here acting as a subversive blogger in the Bushreich’s surveillance state rest assured that YOU will likely already be on the pick up list.

On being confronted with the gruesome truth about the new state fleet Chinese officials were positively Rovian in their shameless explanation that the vans actually represented a more humane means of performing executions rather than the traditional use of firing squads and for good measure further justified the new program by saying that it actually benefits the poor per the following excerpt from a 2006 USA Today story:

Makers of death vans say they save money for poor localities that would otherwise have to pay to construct execution facilities in prisons or court buildings. The vans ensure that prisoners sentenced to death can be executed locally, closer to communities where they broke the law.

My God that sounds so Murkan that it sends a cold chill running up my spine. Just how quickly do you think that the one party rulership of this country would jump at the opportunity to introduce legislation to roll out the newest weapon in the ‘Global War on Terror’ to deal with all of those sleeper cells of secular humanist, al-Qaeda worshipping, godless, gay loving liberals? And guess which company will probably get the no-bid contract? If you guessed the same one that was recently awarded $385 million to construct ‘temporary detention facilities’ you are already more of a danger to the state than you might realize.

But wait, there’s more. The truly ghoulish part of this horrible tale is that the death vans are staffed with medical professionals who after performing the execution by lethal injection then proceed to harvest the victim’s organs which are put up for sale and the bodies are being driven immediately to a crematorium before relatives are allowed to view the decesaed or otherwise investigate. According to Amnesty International, the same world human rights organization that incurred the wrath of the Bushist government for their condemnation of our new national right to torture and maintain a gulag system:

Injections leave the whole body intact and require participation of doctors. Organs can “be extracted in a speedier and more effective way than if the prisoner is shot,” says Mark Allison, East Asia researcher at Amnesty International in Hong Kong. “We have gathered strong evidence suggesting the involvement of (Chinese) police, courts and hospitals in the organ trade.

Executions in death vans are recorded on video and audio that is played live to local law enforcement authorities — a measure intended to ensure they are carried out legally.
China’s refusal to give outsiders access to the bodies of executed prisoners has added to suspicions about what happens afterward: Corpses are typically driven to a crematorium and burned before relatives or independent witnesses can view them.

Chinese authorities are sensitive to allegations that they are complicit in the organ trade. In March, the Ministry of Health issued regulations explicitly banning the sale of organs and tightening approval standards for transplants.

Even so, Amnesty International said in a report in April that huge profits from the sale of prisoners’ organs might be part of why China refuses to consider doing away with the death penalty.

What a great idea for the mutated form of capitalism/fascism that is so popular in the world among the globalists today and the vans can also one day be used to facilitate the elimination of the unfit so that the entire Social Darwinist process can be accelerated. The organ market represents yet another opportunity for money to be made, you can bet that Wall Street will go absolutely bonkers over the profit potential and the futures market will explode faster than you can say Thurston Howell III. Aren’t the wonders of the fucking free market grand?

There is a marvelously sick serendipity in the possibility of the death vans hitting the domestic market at exactly the same time when civil liberties are disappearing, secret arrests are looming, the death penalty is being expanded and Haliburton is constructing concentration camps for ‘future programs’ yet to be defined, people are getting hungrier by the day and with the U.S. manufacturing base having been gutted the bean counters are desperately looking for a new export product other than toxic financial shit bombs.

Could Soylent Red, White and Blue be coming soon?

But I digress….

We have come to where the highest qualification for the presidency is the abilty to successfully pander to the white trash aka the Hoosier state vote, a bunch of ignorant racist hicks who worship Larry Bird, just Midwestern versions of the same dumb, beer swilling, testosterone reeking dipshits who were largely responsible for George W. Bush and the by proxy ass fucking of the rest of America. It was pretty damned funny when this little story came out that Clinton hack Mickey Kantor is in the political classic movie on the 1992 Bubba For President campaign War Room referring to those pasty white inbred idiots in Indiana that are now being hornswoggled as get this – “white niggers”! The actual quote attributed to Kantor is “How would you like to be a worthless white nigger?” Now that is piss your pants hilarious but Bill O’Reilly won’t be asking the Queen about that one during her next hot session of dry humping on Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing propaganda pulpit will he? This is as astoundingly humorous a bit of true honesty as when Jack Abramoff referred to the rubber fetus crowd as the bunch of ingorant, knuckledragging morons that they are an email that was exposed a few years back. I say that Hillary has one set of brass balls to accuse Obama of being an elitist with yuppie pricks like Kantor on the staff.

Does Hillary shave her pits? Why does Michella Obama hate America? Where’s his Merkin flag pin, is she really a hermaphrodite? just how are them hoop shootin’ local white boys at the local all American John Cougar Fucking Mellencamp little foreclosed on pink houses small town high school going to do this year? That is about as sophisticated as it gets for the dumbest fucking collection of white trash corn fed, pumpkin patch peckerwoods north of the Mason Dixon Line. Shit yeah, we have no jobs, the double-wide is in pre-foreclosure and the kids are going to bed cold and hungry but goddamit we are gonna wage us a proxy war against that uppity high fallutin darkie and all of his Muslim buddies.

And no amount of the empty suit’s damnation of Reverend Wright is going to do one fucking thing to change the mind of the ‘nigger hating white niggers’ when it comes down to it, they will all obediently goosestep to their polling places come November and cast their votes for John McCain.

The shit-kickers and rubes will once again be the ones who ultimately make the choice come November, they will swallow the same bullshit in a slightly different package and the rest of us will continue to suffer the consequences of living in a country with such an overwhelming amount of willfully ignorant, easily suckered morons.

I am beginning to strongly suspect that we are all doomed to be fucked!

God Bless America!!!!

Planet Shit Dispatch: American Idiot Edition

You know who is bitter in America? I am. Because shit-kickers voted twice for a retarded guy they wanted to have a beer with, and everybody else had to suffer the consequences!

-Bill Maher

The bubba vote? What a fucking hoot! Newsweek magazine just continues to amaze in their increasingly successful quest to become America’s predominant tabloid shitrag. This week’s cover story is laughingly entitled Obama’s Bubba Gap and flogs the latest Clinton slime machine storyline that the magical mulatto is failing to attract the same dumb motherfucker demographic who were largely responsible for giving us the eight year running pox on western civilization that is the George W. Bush soft dictatorship.

The Clintons are really fixated bagging their share of rubes with the tired charge that Obama is some sort of high falutin, nappy headed version of John Kerry, an effete snob and an ivory tower elitist who some slobbering white trash freak wouldn’t want to have a beer with. He is just a prissy boy with no ‘testicular fortitude’ who doesn’t throw down shots of whiskey at photo ops and can’t bowl worth a damn, but I sure as hell bet that he can wind surf and is a living god when it comes to polo.

This is just phase 26 of the ‘kitchen sink strategy’ designed by a vengeful woman scorned in the aftermath of that Super Tuesday so long ago to keep moving the goalposts down the field, paying off the refs and making the ball carrier face repeated flagrant fouls on the way to the end zone. Like some grotesque running of the gauntlet designed to exact the maximum amount of damage because the ultimate sin in Murka is bucking the system. I brings to mind the great and eerily prophetic 70’s movie Rollerball in which Jonathan E. refuses to retire and faces the ultimate death match of a game with no rules, no time limit and a sole purpose of publicly killing him because he had the audacity to believe that he was bigger than the ‘game’.

A lot of those 70’s movies have a lot of relevance today when viewed again because let’s face it, people really had their shit together a lot more back then and were scared fucking shitless of what this country was becoming. Rollerball was about the corporatization of the planet, the elimination of any actual wars and the mass opiate game that kept the masses in line, I would strongly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it and don’t waste your time with the silly remake. Soylent Green is looking more and more like the work of great work of vision too with the current world food crisis, global warming, over population and borderline anarchy. How long is it going to be before some corporate genius comes up with the great solution that wraps up everything in one great bundled solution for all of our current problems?

Hell, the prototype program is already out there just waiting to take on some of that great added value that Wall Street looters cream their suits over and of course like so many other nefariously anti-American things like web censorship, bioweapons, military arms and vaccines is it being test marketed in a country without the civil liberties protections that even our now picked clean constitution offers us here in Der Heimat.

It was recently revealed that the Chinese government (you know, the human rights abusing chinks sponsoring the idiotic corporate Olympics this summer) is utilizing mobile execution units or ‘death vans’ to dispatch with criminals and more than likely in keeping with tradition, other enemies of the state including any dissidents that are not destined for slave labor factories to produce cheap shit for export to your local Wal-Mart.

The old Stalin era Russians sent out bread trucks at night to haul off dissidents, the Nazi’s used buses with non-threatening silhouettes of people painted onto the windows so as to not appear menacing in order to more easily lure their victims into vehicles that were specially designed to asphyxiate the occupants with exhaust fumes, could it be that there will be big yellow smiley faces painted on the vans when they are rolled out here in the USA? As with Google and Microsoft who are currently using China as a market in which they can beta test internet censorship software before the imminent U.S. rollout it is probably only a matter of time until there is a death van coming very soon to a location near you. And since you are out here acting as a subversive blogger in the Bushreich’s surveillance state rest assured that YOU will likely already be on the pick up list.

On being confronted with the gruesome truth about the new state fleet Chinese officials were positively Rovian in their shameless explanation that the vans actually represented a more humane means of performing executions rather than the traditional use of firing squads and for good measure further justified the new program by saying that it actually benefits the poor per the following excerpt from a 2006 USA Today story:

Makers of death vans say they save money for poor localities that would otherwise have to pay to construct execution facilities in prisons or court buildings. The vans ensure that prisoners sentenced to death can be executed locally, closer to communities where they broke the law.

My God that sounds so Murkan that it sends a cold chill running up my spine. Just how quickly do you think that the one party rulership of this country would jump at the opportunity to introduce legislation to roll out the newest weapon in the ‘Global War on Terror’ to deal with all of those sleeper cells of secular humanist, al-Qaeda worshipping, godless, gay loving liberals? And guess which company will probably get the no-bid contract? If you guessed the same one that was recently awarded $385 million to construct ‘temporary detention facilities’ you are already more of a danger to the state than you might realize.

But wait, there’s more. The truly ghoulish part of this horrible tale is that the death vans are staffed with medical professionals who after performing the execution by lethal injection then proceed to harvest the victim’s organs which are put up for sale and the bodies are being driven immediately to a crematorium before relatives are allowed to view the decesaed or otherwise investigate. According to Amnesty International, the same world human rights organization that incurred the wrath of the Bushist government for their condemnation of our new national right to torture and maintain a gulag system:

Injections leave the whole body intact and require participation of doctors. Organs can “be extracted in a speedier and more effective way than if the prisoner is shot,” says Mark Allison, East Asia researcher at Amnesty International in Hong Kong. “We have gathered strong evidence suggesting the involvement of (Chinese) police, courts and hospitals in the organ trade.

Executions in death vans are recorded on video and audio that is played live to local law enforcement authorities — a measure intended to ensure they are carried out legally.
China’s refusal to give outsiders access to the bodies of executed prisoners has added to suspicions about what happens afterward: Corpses are typically driven to a crematorium and burned before relatives or independent witnesses can view them.

Chinese authorities are sensitive to allegations that they are complicit in the organ trade. In March, the Ministry of Health issued regulations explicitly banning the sale of organs and tightening approval standards for transplants.

Even so, Amnesty International said in a report in April that huge profits from the sale of prisoners’ organs might be part of why China refuses to consider doing away with the death penalty.

What a great idea for the mutated form of capitalism/fascism that is so popular in the world among the globalists today and the vans can also one day be used to facilitate the elimination of the unfit so that the entire Social Darwinist process can be accelerated. The organ market represents yet another opportunity for money to be made, you can bet that Wall Street will go absolutely bonkers over the profit potential and the futures market will explode faster than you can say Thurston Howell III. Aren’t the wonders of the fucking free market grand?

There is a marvelously sick serendipity in the possibility of the death vans hitting the domestic market at exactly the same time when civil liberties are disappearing, secret arrests are looming, the death penalty is being expanded and Haliburton is constructing concentration camps for ‘future programs’ yet to be defined, people are getting hungrier by the day and with the U.S. manufacturing base having been gutted the bean counters are desperately looking for a new export product other than toxic financial shit bombs.

Could Soylent Red, White and Blue be coming soon?

But I digress….

We have come to where the highest qualification for the presidency is the abilty to successfully pander to the white trash aka the Hoosier state vote, a bunch of ignorant racist hicks who worship Larry Bird, just Midwestern versions of the same dumb, beer swilling, testosterone reeking dipshits who were largely responsible for George W. Bush and the by proxy ass fucking of the rest of America. It was pretty damned funny when this little story came out that Clinton hack Mickey Kantor is in the political classic movie on the 1992 Bubba For President campaign War Room referring to those pasty white inbred idiots in Indiana that are now being hornswoggled as get this – “white niggers”! The actual quote attributed to Kantor is “How would you like to be a worthless white nigger?” Now that is piss your pants hilarious but Bill O’Reilly won’t be asking the Queen about that one during her next hot session of dry humping on Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing propaganda pulpit will he? This is as astoundingly humorous a bit of true honesty as when Jack Abramoff referred to the rubber fetus crowd as the bunch of ingorant, knuckledragging morons that they are an email that was exposed a few years back. I say that Hillary has one set of brass balls to accuse Obama of being an elitist with yuppie pricks like Kantor on the staff.

Does Hillary shave her pits? Why does Michella Obama hate America? Where’s his Merkin flag pin, is she really a hermaphrodite? just how are them hoop shootin’ local white boys at the local all American John Cougar Fucking Mellencamp little foreclosed on pink houses small town high school going to do this year? That is about as sophisticated as it gets for the dumbest fucking collection of white trash corn fed, pumpkin patch peckerwoods north of the Mason Dixon Line. Shit yeah, we have no jobs, the double-wide is in pre-foreclosure and the kids are going to bed cold and hungry but goddamit we are gonna wage us a proxy war against that uppity high fallutin darkie and all of his Muslim buddies.

And no amount of the empty suit’s damnation of Reverend Wright is going to do one fucking thing to change the mind of the ‘nigger hating white niggers’ when it comes down to it, they will all obediently goosestep to their polling places come November and cast their votes for John McCain.

The shit-kickers and rubes will once again be the ones who ultimately make the choice come November, they will swallow the same bullshit in a slightly different package and the rest of us will continue to suffer the consequences of living in a country with such an overwhelming amount of willfully ignorant, easily suckered morons.

I am beginning to strongly suspect that we are all doomed to be fucked!

God Bless America!!!!

By Ed Encho