The Brothers Karamazov

"Actually, people sometimes talk about man's 'bestial' cruelty, but that is being terribly unjust and offensive to the beasts..."
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Obama is a Hottie With a Smoking Little Body"

When searching for the earliest incarnation of Barack Obama, Franklin Pierce 14th president of the United States, came closest.


Please note that General Pierce is the hottest U.S. president of yore. Lauren Titus

Obama is "A Hottie with a Smoking Little Body". Luann Haley
However, we shouldn't overlook the competition.

ABC News

That Vladimir Putin is one tough guy. He hunts! He builds fires! He captains his boat through river rapids! He rides his noble steed shirtless! Alexander Marquardt

Vladimir Putin is the most popular leader in the world today. Mike Whitney

Enough wanderings abroad! Back to the homefires. Every incoming president inherits from a predecessor. Franklin Pierce and Barack Obama followed two of the easiest acts in the Presidential pantheon...Milliard Fillmore and George W. Bush!
In Franklin Pierce's case, this didn't seem to help much!
Philip B. Kunhardt and Peter W. Kunhardt ... wrote in The American President that Pierce was "a good man who didn't understand his own shortcomings. ... He was one of the most popular men in New Hampshire, polite and thoughtful, easy and good at the political game, charming and fine and handsome. However, he has been criticized as timid and unable to cope with a changing America."

Nor did it help Barack Obama who mumbled:

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
Barack Obama

Very little in the following account is unique to Franklin Pierce's presidency:

"The policy of my Administration," said the new president, "will not be deterred by any timid forebodings of evil from expansion. Indeed, it is not to be disguised that our attitude as a nation and our position on the globe render the acquisition of certain possessions not within our jurisdiction eminently important for our protection". wikipedia

After 150 years we are still prowling about the planet looking after certain possessions and seeking protection:

"As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains."
Obama Inaugural address

"Pierce's affable personality and lack of strongly held positions helped him prevail over (Winfield) Scott, (also a popular war hero)... reducing the campaign to a contest between the personalities of the two candidates." wikipedia.

"Barack Obama's popularity over John McCain is due mainly to his congenial personality, Americans saw the 46-year-old senator as likable and inspirational, and believed he could understand and relate to problems faced by the average person." The Jakarta Post

"Having lost public confidence, Pierce failed to receive the nomination by his party for a second term. Pierce's hiring of a full-time bodyguard - the first president to do so -, is testament to his ruined reputation". wikipedia

We'll leave to history the saga of Obama's bid for a second term. At any rate, the Secret Service will do at no cost that which the unfortunate Pierce had to provide himself.

"As has so frequently been the case throughout his presidency, it seems Obama has been torn between an ideological commitment on the one hand and his perceived practical responsibilities on the other".
Kier Willett Faster Times
It has been put about recently, by otherwise astute observers, that apparently when Barack Obama took office he was told in no uncertain terms that :

. the economy was so fragile, so close to self-destruction, that anything drastic he might attempt was sure to bring it all down.

. any action to restrict, hinder or diminish the operation of the Forever War establishment was verboten.

. establishmentarians run the show in a pinch, and not the Executive.

An incoming US President who does not immediately resign his office after having received eyes-only briefings of what's really going on is hopelessly co-opted or delusional. ibid

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Kansas Isn't in Kansas Any More

..."I expect what we're looking at is going to be much more serious than any past crisis, partly because America has already evaporated, like the morning haze on a hot summer's day. You're not in Kansas anymore. Kansas isn't in Kansas any more." Doug Casey

After the morning haze cleared all that remains where America once spread from sea to sea was a lengthy farewell note that ended with a plea to "forward my damage deposit c/o General Delivery/Second World". This could very well be a temporary forwarding address for if the mortgage is ever called in, who knows where the mail will go?

And it's so ironic to think the whole thing started with soap; well actually, the selling of soap. But not just peddling the stuff the old fashioned way, oh no, hawking soap became a new art form! Not exactly fine art but fine enough to conquer the world in a century. I wonder if any of those old 20th century advertising pioneers every dreamed their new offspring had such latent power?

Unlike Professor Oppenheimer in the desert after the first a-blast muttering we were like "Shiva, destroyer of worlds"; surely nobody at Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn and the other pioneer ad mavens had an inkling they would really destroy a world. If it had all stopped with pushing soap it would have been OK but the technique was too good. The temptation to sell ideas and ideology in the same way as soap was very compelling to other players. Players with agendas that most often favored a few at the expense of all others. It turned out to be so effective over generations that millions have seemingly been rendered incapable of independent thought or action by this method.

We're nearing the anniversary of the day March 15, 1891 when George Batton launched the George Batten Company in New York. Other pioneering icons contributed their bit, of course. Such stalwarts as Young & Rubicam and Lord &Thomas added to it, the technique, but BBD&O was supreme. Slowly it built up: first, just print, with billboards and later movie screens added to it; the advent of radio caught the wave nationally and softened us up for that killer of independent thought...TV. Now the web?; could go either way. Lots of potential for redressing our zombification but corporate at the core and therefore subject to government whimsy and worse. Alas, no saving grace there.

So two hundred years after the founding, most of the ideas and tenets that made our nation unique in the world have been discarded or co-opted. We thrash about aimlessly and begin to resemble other former republics as they drifted into despotism. We look about frantically for something which doesn't exist anymore and we have no clue as to how it all slid away. There seems to be no one still capable of shouting, STOP!, THINK!, what are we doing and why are we doing what we do? Why do we have sinister things happening all around the world that we don't approve of and that we didn't authorize?

Terrible things are happening by default every day, at home and abroad, and no one is in charge. There is only motion and noise but no focused action to reverse any of it. Every day, in every way it slides away and we appear powerless to retrieve that which has been lost.

You're not in the USA any more. The USA is not in the USA any more.

Quoth the Raving



Julius Caesar

Veni,Vedi,Vici...Sidi ( I stuck around )

Uncle Sam


....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving

All I know, all any of us know, is what we're told.

...Zero Gravitas


Quoth the Raving

If it walks like a depression, talks like a depression, and looks like a depression; it's a recovery.

...Zero Gravitas

Nice paint job

Nice paint job
Watch your step!

Quoth the Raving

Full scale War in Korea; we called it a Police Action
Police Action in Iraq; we call it a War.

...Zero Gravitas


Gene Pool?

Gene Pool?

Quoth the Raving

Ecology is an impending Black Swan quagmire therefore incorporation is anathema to Economists.

...Zero Gravitas


Quoth the Raving

An incoming US President who does not immediately resign his office after having received eyes-only briefings of what's really going on is hopelessly co-opted or delusional.
....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving

We are now a nation of middlemen. What becomes of us if the center cannot hold?

....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving


Why not use some of the red ink to make things Green?

....Zero Gravitas

"Ashes to Ashes"

"Ashes to Ashes"