Cowards and Thugs
Yes, the Obama Administration knows its priorities. A billion people living in a Communist gulag simply must be put on the back burner, especially when the corrupt thugs who run that prison of a nation are the ones who have all the dollars that will be lent to the U.S. government to pay for trillion-plus dollar annual budget deficits as far as the eye can see.
For those who have not read any of the numerous articles about foreign trade and debt published here at The Dark Wraith Forums (see, for example, "Foreign Trade and Debt" as a primer), those Chinese mercantilist thugs got all those U.S. dollars by systematically, deliberately, and for years manipulating their currency exchange rate with the United States so their toxic toys, poisoned foods, and other detritus of American consumer tastes would be ridiculously under-priced here, while American goods would be symmetrically over-priced there.
But let us not have uncomfortable conversations just now, at least not with those nice Chinese who, along with all the other nations with which we run trade deficits, will be paying for $787 billion in pork, tax rebate bonus checks, and other treats for which generations after ours will pay, along with that massive debt piled up by those fiscally conservative Republicans during Bush's years. We desperately need that foreign money, even though it really was our money before we sent it overseas in exchange for goodies, oil, and feel-good globalist trade relations.
For the U.S. Secretary of State to call upon the Chinese to face their abysmal, Medieval human rights record would be so undiplomatic. Far better to have our own Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, in his first major speech as head of the U.S. Justice Department, tell the American people that we are "...essentially a nation of cowards" about race relations. This would be the same Eric Holder who, as assistant Attorney General back during the Clinton Administration, ignored an order issued by the Eleventh Circuit Court and went ahead with a paramilitary raid on unarmed Cuban refugees to seize a little boy, quite literally, at the point of automatic weapons. This would also be the same Eric Holder who now waxes mealy-mouthed about hauling personnel of the Bush Administration from the torturers at GITMO all the way up to former Vice President Dick Cheney and former President George W. Bush, himself before the bar of justice on indictments for war crimes. This would be the same Eric Holder whose Justice Department has just filed a two-sentence court brief affirming the Bush Administration's position that the Afghan detainees being held at Bagram Airfield have no recourse in U.S. courts.
Yes, lecture the American people about being cowards, but by God let us not offend the foreign and domestic brutes who have automatic weapons or checkbooks.
It seems at least a few of our new President's people have quite the fetish for violent bullies, at least when they have guns or money.
Of course, that's what America gets for electing a guy from Chicago.
The End of Time, Epilogue
We may expropriate from future generations as much as we wish; in return, those future generations can take nothing from us but respect for who we were and what we did.
We have again and now plundered their land with our self-gratifying impunity, lying to ourselves that we are somehow doing this for them.
We are not. We are doing this for ourselves. We know that, and surely they will, too. Our choice of whether or not to acknowledge this is irrelevant: they, not we, control the words that will be inscribed about us in their history books.
In their time, in bitter disgust, those now very young and those yet to be born will plunder our graves of honor. It is their privilege and right; it is, in fact, their grim and solemn duty.
Without the past, which we have already bled of its treasure gifted to us, and without the future, which we are now about to bleed of its treasure gifted by us, we have reached the end of time, that circle of light in the present from which we have drawn what light the times that have passed could offer and from which we have no light to cast into the swallowing blackness of the ages and years to come.
Celebrate this day: we vanquished the past, and we have now sacked the future. Victory is ours.
The consequences are theirs.
Sen. Diane Feinstein's Net Neutrality Killer
Via Crooks & Liars comes word that Sen. Diane Feinstein was attempting to insert into the economic stimulus bill a provision called "Reasonable Network Management," a term apparently straight out of Comcast's playbook of euphemisms for corporate control (read that, ownership) of the Internet.
Now, it seems that Feinstein has managed to get her nasty little trick inserted via amendment through the backdoor of the House-Senate conference committee that reconciles the differences in the two chambers' versions. At the second link is the means by which you can contact Rep. Henry Waxman, who seems to be in a position to do something about Feinstein's stunt but who is apparently right now supporting her net neutrality killer amendment.
What Feinstein is doing is nothing less than sponsoring legislation further defining legal censorship of the Internet, claiming her handout to corporate welfare queens is to the noble purpose of providing more laws "...so that American ISPs can deter child pornography, copyright infringement, and other unlawful activity." Yes, Feinstein is trotting out the children; and if that isn't enough for all of us to hand the keys to the Internet to government and corporate bosses, she's tossing in the music industry, which is apparently being systematically destroyed by people sharing lousy pop music performed by over-hyped, talentless twits whose fortunes are made by record industry power brokers who tell addled music listeners that bad music is good music.
Ah, yes, and if all of that isn't enough, we also need the government-corporate Axis of Weasels to protect the world from "other unlawful activities."
No, that doesn't mean the Right-wing Websites will get shut down for FBWS ("Felonious Blogging While Stupid"); it means... oh, my! It means whatever the federal law enforcement community decides it means.
That's right. Legislation with language that vague is precisely how interpretive regulation morphs into its ugly (and constitutionally sanctioned) evil twin, quasi-legislative regulation.
If you don't like this nonsense Feinstein is pulling, you have but one option: you need to start bitching. Either you can do so to yourself and your long-suffering friends and relatives, or you can bitch your fool head off to select congressional representatives, including your own and that guy I mentioned earlier, Henry Waxman.
You can also raise Holy Hell with Sen. Feinstein, herself. Here's how:
In Washington, D.C.
Senator Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954
TTY/TDD: (202) 224-2501
One Post Street, Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (415) 393-0707
Fax: (415) 393-0710
You can also send the corrupt authoritarian Democrat an e-mail message.
It should go without saying that any message you send to Sen. Feinstein should contain only the most diplomatic of language and be free of implied or expressed threats, including those involving turbo wedgies. It would also be terribly insensitive in light of last week's jaw-dropping blunder in which she let the cat out of the bag that our Predator drone flights to bomb Pakistani targets are being launched from Pakistan, itself to start your message to Sen. Feinstein with the greeting, "Dear Stupid." Accurate, yes; appropriate, I think not.
Anyway, you might want to suggest in your message that she stick with helping her war profiteering husband keep getting those big bucks in pork-barrel war money from appropriations that went through the Senate Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee on which she sat until the stench of her conflict of interest became too much even for her Democratic and Republican cohorts in the upper chamber of Congress. (Instead of requesting that the Justice Department open a criminal investigation into what Feinstein did, how did the Senate handle the matter? Why, Ms. Feinstein is now the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee! Boy, that'll teach her a thing or two.)
If you're uncomfortable addressing a supposedly "liberal" Democrat with harsh words, just tell her you were compelled to do so by the Dark Wraith. Remember: he might seem incredibly charming, but he's a paleo-con; that means he has no patience for Republicans or Democrats when they're sporting their Prada jackboots.
We shall surely not stop the death plunge of this nation into an authoritarian state; but at the very least we can make its shock troops suffer the incessant din of our ceaseless bitching about it. Sen. Feinstein might even have to use some of that lobbying money she gets from the entertainment and telecom industries to buy a set of earplugs.
The Dark Wraith encourages readers to help make the Democrats at least pretend to be something other than Republicans with candy coating.
The Dark Wraith Audio Lecture Series: Lecture 6
Lecture 6: "Externalities"
Size: 18.8 Mb
Click on the link above to launch the lecture in your computer's default media player or use the shockwave player below to play the lecture.
Our Children and Our Children's Children
Yes, our children and our children's children will be paying for this bonus and that $600-per-person check last year; but they will be paying for considerably more than two rounds of pandering handouts that will be largely ineffective against a freight train of recessionary forces that will not let up until a sufficient level of asset devaluation has been realized in its own course, at its own pace, and for our own good.
Our children and our children's children will be paying for a lot more than a wad of C-notes stuffed into our pockets in a frenzy of hasty counter-cyclical fiscal policy crafted over the past week.
As a starting point in the calculus of accounting for the debt our progeny will bear in our names, our children and our children's children will be paying for the wars our leaders prosecuted. By some estimates, when all is said and done, the war in Iraq alone will have cost $3 trillion.
Moving on to other highlights and sidelights of our generous gifts to the future, our children and our children's children will be paying for all the government-authorized infrastructure of domestic surveillance and other "security" and law enforcement pork, the rampant building of prisons, the trillions of dollars in money handed out to financial institutions, car makers, and other companies, as well as the interest on the money we have been borrowing at the rate of hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
But here's the really good news: not all of what our children and our children's children are going to pay will be in cash money. By having labored under year after year of trade deficits of staggering proportions, we have been exporting dollars to foreign central banks in exchange for cheap imports from those countries, one of which, China, has for years been deliberately and systematically pegging its currency at a ludicrously low level against the American dollar to the purpose of making its imports very cheap here and our exports very expensive there.
Those central banks that accumulated foreign reserves of greenbacks lent some of that money back to us at the federal, state, local, private business, and personal levels. (Yes, if you borrowed money for a home, a car, or even college tuition, through the labyrinthine complexities of global finance you were actually borrowing money from foreigners who had gotten that money from you every time you bought cheap imported merchandise.) What the foreigners did not lend us of those greenback foreign reserves, they used for equity investments in everything from real estate to corporate stocks.
That means the foreigners with those greenbacks have now taken both of the two so-called "claims on future cash flows": they have the "prior claim" due in debt service and retirement of principal owed to lenders, and they have the "residual claim" due to owners after debt obligations have been satisfied (as the prior claim).
That means our children and our children's children will pay in cash for our excesses of the past eight years and those we are about to commit in trying to right that awful time, but they will also pay in loss of control over their own destinies because we have consigned them to sharecropper status on the very land their ancestors toiled to the bone and died valorously to make theirs and pass on to future generations of Americans.
But it goes even beyond that awful fate: for the past nearly eight years, in our name the United States government has killed, tortured, and otherwise disrupted the lives of countless people in places as far-flung as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Guantanamo Bay, secret prisons in Second World countries, and in our very own nation's cities, factories, and farms. While we, ourselves, are a quite docile people (notwithstanding our folkloric bravado to the contrary), those of other nations may not be so willing to forgive and forget our violence against them.
The bitter call to vengeance will echo across generations for peoples we have wronged, and we very likely will find that all of our talk of "hope and change" does nothing to quell the fire of rage that will burn in the hearts of men and women whose fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, aunt, uncles, and cousins we harmed so savagely when we let slip once again the remorseless dogs of our national soul at its very worst.
We, ourselves, can talk all we want about "Not in my name was this done" and "Never again," but those flaccid jingles will blow away as dust in the fire and shrapnel unleashed upon our descendants by the children and the children's children of the men we tortured in our nationalist zeal, the families we slaughtered in our pre-emptive wars, and the nations we shattered in our unbridled hubris.
We are the recidivist addicts, convulsing through our history from one bout of hegemony to the next, with precious but all-too-brief periods of sworn rectitude before our next debilitating high in manufactured casus belli and self-righteous manifestations of hypocritical morality.
Yes, our children and our children's children will pay: they will pay in cash, and they will pay in blood; and worst of all, they will pay with their own precipitous falls to the gutter from the highs of fiscal and military recklessness they learned from us, their ancestors who could not wash the blood from our hands before passing the future to the broken heirs to the throne of Empire in its nightfall.
We shall be most fortunate if the debt they will pay in our name comes due only after we are safely sequestered in the insular, eternal comfort of our graves.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.