Litany Unending

Sometime last summer I finally got around to buying Legacy of Ashes, a fairly exhaustive, though not neutral, history of the CIA. I purchased the book from a bookstore in Grand Central Station before taking a train to some random town upstate so that I could spend the day sitting in a park staring at the Hudson and reading. I never finished the book. Although well written, the book was too repetitive.

Legacy of Ashes was too repetitive because the United States does the same damn thing over and over again. Instead of allowing the CIA to be a neutral collector of facts towards allowing Presidents to make informed foreign policy choices, the most important original mission of the organization, the CIA has been used as a weapon against other nations and always wielded ideologically; any evidence that the CIA may posses that would tend to undermine the rationale for the various pre-determined and immutable arguments that one administration or another would make for covert or conventional action against another nation is ignored. The CIA is constantly called upon to help various administrations enact policy that the CIA itself thinks will not work.

Insofar as the military is an organization that does what the President tells them to as opposed to trying to use fact as a counterweight against whatever apocalyptic visions may transfix whomever resides in the White House, it is entirely consistent of President Obama to nominate a General to lead the CIA. Perhaps, as the Post says, the influence of the military has increased within the CIA, and it is true that Petraeus' nomination shows, again, hypocrites to be hypocrites, but in nominating Petraeus, Obama is making tradition explicit, not breaking it.

Of course, that tradition is the tradition of destructive and heartbreaking interventions into the Southern Hemisphere, the tradition of playing chicken with nuclear weapons while pretending the Soviet Union wasn't collapsing, the tradition of strangling any democratic movement that would challenge American regional hegemony. Ultimately, it is the tradition that expanded and is now destroying American prosperity. Whatever excitement you feel when thinking about the death of our corrupt and corrupting empire, just remember that, when it dies, it won't be the killers who suffer.


Home Computer Working

Vacation to reality is now over. Oh well. I got stuff to do. Music:


To all the lonely German ladies out there...

... wanna get married?

If, according to this article, minimum wage in Europe is $19, then I want to work at a McDonalds in Berlin and get a raise.

I was found shivering in the corner of a construction site in Gowanus. I have had all my shots and am house-trained. I am good with kids and other animals and I like to lay my head in laps and purr. Please rescue me.

I am witty and possess a soon-to-be-great collection of New York house records. I will do the dishes. I'm sure I can master the preparation of fresh pasta. I already like German beer and Fassbinder very much so my adjustment time will be minimal.


Couldn't have said it better myself...

... and angry it even has to be said. The way things are going, the Republicans are going to have to be really creative to continue to find ever-more ludicrous schemes to scare Democrats into voting for people to do the things they would have done themselves.

I would say that this should be the final nail in a very, very expansive coffin for anyone still thinking Obama might be "their man". But then again, there have been a few times I have thought that, and, sadly, there probably will be more times I will think this in the future. Nevertheless, unless the Republicans plan on using our nuclear capabilities, there is nothing they can do that would make things worse in terms of foreign policy, treatment of detainees and objectors to the nihilistic desire to empty our weapons stockpiles on the heads of others to keep the military contracting gravy train rollin'.

On the domestic front, I can still see how some people, specifically everyone who is not a straight, male WASP without a conscience, can still feel scared that whatever previously- or currently-discriminated-against group they belong to might suffer unduly should a Republican become President, but as I have said before, that fear is what enables all the other bad acts to occur. Better full legalization of gay marriage and/or a final end to the endless debate about Roe v Wade end AND not killing all sorts of people worldwide than despite, no? After all, regardless of the nature of your concern for yourself and your own group, if that is all you care about, you are not moral. You are selfish.


Party Tonight

... you know where if you know...



Democracy rethunked

The difference between despotism and democracy is whether the leader kills his or her own innocent citizens or innocent citizens somewhere else.

Or at least that is what it feels like living in the United States.


Tigers of Convenience

I had a moment, maybe lasting as long as the time it takes to get from 4th Street to Canal on the A train, of thinking that maybe, just maybe, I should edit yesterday's post slightly towards the positive to take into account Obama's sudden desire to raise taxes on the wealthy to ensure the (not-really-threatened) fiscal solvency of the United States government. But that moment passed and my next challenge was to find something to say as to why I am not excited. Thankfully, BLCKDGRD took care of this quite handily:
See, this is why I'd rather autoblogography and bleggalgaze than reiterating the obvious. What should I say about Obama's (quintuple pint bets stand) cynical and well-executed pivot and the motherfucking professional rubes who cynically don't note Obama's cynicism while applauding Obama's well-executed pivot and pig-trap sprung? Only 512 days until the General Election, boyee! Still, I've been warned to stop bleggalgazing, and since that recent seizure is squeezed dry anyway, OK, though it can't possibly be as squeezed dry as reminding you what a fucker Obama still is and what roobish whores our professional progressives are.
I mean, it's nice he wants to tax wealthy people and all. It's just, why not try to accomplish this task when it was easier to accomplish? Why wait to plant your seeds until the ground is frozen? Because: strategery. Fuck strategery.

Here's the thing about morality. You can either look at it negatively or positively. I guess I am moral on some level because I have never shot someone in cold blood, at least compared to people who have. But, I could also compare myself to others who haven't and yet have had opportunity or even apparent motive to do so. Those people who don't pull the trigger are certainly more moral than I am. That Obama only seems to be concerned about doing good at the times when he can't really do anything? It's worth about as much as what you should be paying me to prevent tigers from eating your children. Have your children been eaten by tigers? No? I guess I am doing my job well!


Your loyalty is the fertile soil...

... from which the weeds sprout.

Greenwald sets it straight (does Krugman read?)

I guess that essay has already been written in various forms throughout the last few years, or even longer, really, but it continues to bear repeating. The "peace" Obama seems to be aiming for is the kind where everyone is equally unhappy.

Given just how unprincipled Obama has been, (which, really, seems a lot more incomprehensible to those of us who are passionate than just another ideologue we happen to disagree with - who could imagine wanting to be President for no compelling reason at all!), it is time for some of you to just, you know, go ahead and admit it, via mantra (I recuse myself having not voted!):

Advertising works.
On me.

Advertising works.
On me.

Advertising works.
On me.

All my Coastal Liberal disdain
My fancy degrees
From voting I shall abstain
That's change
in which we can all believe


Advertising works.
On me.

More stuff here. Reading the comments, I can't believe there are still people saying they will vote for Obama despite despite despite. Whereas in 2008, all one could do was make an educated guess as to what the nominees would do while in office, but, in 2012, one of the nominees will have already provided almost four years of data. Why vote for someone if they are not going to do what you want them to do? I am confused. Vote for Obama because he seems like he might not relish blowing up children? Whereas the Republicans almost certainly relish doing so? How about not blowing up children at all? That option is not on the table? Hmm! I wonder why that is?


$1.75 for wash, $1.00 for dry

I've written a bunch of unpublished posts but don't know what to say anymore.

You might be interested to know that there is actually something that makes me more cynical than the machinations of the power elite: Dancing With The Stars.

I don't own a television. And I don't mean that in some boring Adbusters-bullshit sense, either. Given how cynical I am about my own future and the future of this country, I see no reason not to get stoned and play video games for the next 50 years or so. But I can't really spend that kind of money on anything right now. And besides, there aren't that many good video games.

Without a TV, I don't have to watch Dancing With The Stars. Nor do I. Except at the laundromat. I catch a few minutes there when I am switching my wet clothing to the dryer. I really don't understand what is going on.

I don't have anything interesting to say about Dancing With The Stars, nor anything funny. I'm just curious. What the fuck century is it anyways? What decade? Who are the Americans who watch this shit? It looks like some bastard child of the 1950s and the 1970s. The most crowd-pleasing, mind-numbing crap for the most brain-dead and credulous dolts. These people believe in an America that still looks like a commercial for breakfast cereal or coffee or Reagan or something. Maybe they even live in one too, or have convinced themselves that they do. We don't bomb anyone! Fuck, they vote don't they?

I mean, can you just sit back and laugh for a moment? Marxism? Anarchism? Feminism? What? Ha! Ha! Ha! I think Big Brother invented it all just to keep us over-analytical weirdos busy. What a headache it would be for all of them to have to talk to all of us all the time! They wouldn't be able to enjoy the dancing, the celebrity drama, the commentary, the orchestra that makes the most maudlin Glenn Miller sound like Anthony Braxton in comparison. You gotta feel sorry for them! We're the ones trying to ruin their lives, not the other way around!

Thank goodness for these blogs so we can all talk to each other and leave everyone else alone!!!


Three Thoughts

1. Faith has something to do with believing in contradiction...

"I still have a gut belief that Obama shares our values..."

Why? Seriously!

And what is it with this country and our fucking guts and our fucking hearts? What about our fucking brains? Maybe it's a Christian lineage thing? Like learning to love a god that is pretty ruthless but who ultimately is only doing it for "our own good"? I dunno.

2. Violence only provides release for the violent...

In my darkest moments, I begin to think that revolution has to be violent. But it doesn't quite work, does it? The only way a violent act would be received as an act of revolution and not as the spasm of a lunatic is if there were enough people to support that opinion. And if there are enough people to support that opinion, there is really no need to be violent at all, is there?

3. Last night I had a dream that Paris existed.