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9/30/2008

God’s Plan - Song for the Market Crash

  7:00 am

Here’s a song fresh off the press by Oakland based band llamachew which ties it all together. God, war, the economic collapse, and the worker on main street who can’t manage to pay all those bills. Starts with a Sarah Palin quote about how the war is God’s Plan!

llamachew God’s Plan webpage with lyrics

Download/Listen here

Download highest quality for broadcast (.wav - 43 megabytes)

9/24/2008

More of the McSame?

  6:46 pm

No, a Presidential McPain would be different, and in the event his temper flares, potentially much worse. We’ve had it very bad, the empire is flailing at the moment, but they didn’t use the bunker busters against Iran. In other words there are worse states of hell for those foolish enough to pursue them.

And in the event McCain’t is incapacitated by disease, he leaves ‘ready, willing, and able’ Pain to replace him, to shatter the glass ceiling once and for all. She is a frightening pit bull with lipstick in part due to her “God’s Plan” fundamentalism, which always seems to leave out the ‘thou shalt not kill’ part and embrace nationalistic militarism. An ideology of ‘end times’ and the suitcase shouldn’t be in the same room. Well neither should a torture survivor with an anger management problem.

9/23/2008

Greed Stampede

  5:54 am

To be brief:

Money is among other things, a form of power and a means to keep track of distributions of power.

Congress is preparing to promise to give away control over an enormous amount of money, hence power, in this moment of financial terror.

The value of money is not based on gold or silver anymore, but rather upon a widespread agreement or shared understanding that it has some value. In other words, there is a ’social contract’ of sorts that we will share power, resources, etc. based on the distribution of money. Our understanding of the value of money is like a language that we all speak.

Despite the tremendous inequality that this system of wealth maintains (and even exacerbates around the world), people generally accept this situation unquestionably and don’t perceive it to be unfair, despite the violent historical processes out of which the current distribution of wealth emerged (slavery, war, land theft, colonialization, etc).

This agreement isn’t working out very well at the moment. All the major investors are now fully alert to the possibility that all their assets will dramatically lose value. Soon the run on the imaginary money in the empty banks will begin in earnest, i.e., the greed stampede. In this extreme case, it can become apparent that money is basically a collectively maintained belief, a shared language of sorts. When the fear becomes strong enough, and everyone grabs for the pot simultaneously, this economic language fails and money has no value at all.

At that point we will experience financial anarchy, and a tremendous power vacuum will emerge, which would likely be quickly filled with some authoritarian military presence, martial law, etc. Perhaps some new form of temporary currency will be issued within nation states to coordinate production and distribution during the crisis, these could be called ‘coupons’ or ’stamps’ or whatever.

An interesting side point is that despite the crisis of a capital meltdown, the global infrastructure, material resources, and labor required to create all the things that people actually need and use remains intact. Perhaps that reminder isn’t very helpful. Even a perfectly functioning body can’t do any work when the mind goes into a coma. Would be nice to keep the heart beat and other vital functions working though.

9/21/2008

Fear and the blank check

  6:43 am

Private presentations by the Fed are terrifying congressional leaders, motivating a decision to commit some $700 Billion dollars to prop up failing financial institutions.

Their financial records are not transparent to the government, and it seems the banks themselves have no way to know with any certainty the extent of their own predicament. Perhaps the books have been overcooked so long as to be completely illegible.

Sadly, this is bailout request is reminiscent of the ‘blank check’ Bush was given by Congress to pursue the disastrous Iraq war. The cost of that war now includes an estimated 1 million murdered Iraqi people, 5 million displaced Iraqi people, over 4000 murdered and killed U.S. troops, an estimated financial cost of 3 trillion dollars, and many other costs which include a dramatic loss of U.S. credibility in the region. Bush’s ’smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud’ was in fact a dramatic propaganda ploy for which we will all be paying a hefty price for years to come.

Now the alarming news is that these secretive and under-regulated institutions have brought the entire U.S. economy, and potentially the global economy, to the brink of a cataclysmic breakdown. Despite the cruel inequalites and unjust priorities of our globalized economic system, certainly a meltdown of this order would result in untold hardships for countless people around the world, a severe punishment not limited to McCain’s “greedy” Wall Street investors.

The lost elephant in the room here is the question of trust. Just as the government of the United States deceived its own people to begin an unjustifiable war, these crumbling financial giants have hidden their unsound practices from external regulation and apparently even from themselves. Congress now proposes to solve the problem with a staggering commitment of $700 Billion dollars. If this problem is really just about bad housing loans, $700 Billion would be enough to directly enable every endangered homeowner become solvent enough to complete their mortgages, and that aspect of preserving bank solvency could be addressed. But of course the problem goes way beyond unrecoverable home loans, it’s just that the visibility and certainty of missed monthly mortgage payments has drawn attention to this corrupt house of cards and broken mirrors like a gust of cold wind, shaking the imaginary foundation.

This financial implosion can be likened to the collapse of the twin towers, with the momentum of the falling floors from above slamming through the ones below, ultimately bringing down the entire structure. The top floors of the economy have already begun to fall, and Congress is scrambling to stop the cascade, throwing billions upon billions of devalued dollars into the wreckage.

This is an historical moment where the ‘free’ market neo-liberal economic model has utterly failed. Without enormous government intervention, this economic system is broken, and therefore this is a critical turning point. When one model falls, others can and will emerge to replace it. Ideally the new economic model would be chosen carefully and democratically. More likely, in panic, both the democrats and republicans will capitulate to the demands of the power, writing yet another blank check for which future generations will be responsible for, while gaining little in the deal except perhaps breathing room to ascertain the extent of the damage before the next floor falls.

9/6/2008

Perot on McCain as “Opportunist”

  2:17 pm


“After he came home, he walked with a limp, she [Carol McCain] walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona [Cindy McCain, his current wife] and the rest is history.” Ross Perot

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