Who Are You People

supreme court justice mercy

Of all the masterful arguments presented by Alan Shore (James Spader) in the American TV show Boston Legal, his argument in front of the Supreme Court in S04E17 has to be one of the best. Btw, I’ve been binge-watching the show for the past two weeks, as I’ve done here and here with other shows. Although I’m sure that the (real) Supremes would not tolerate monologuing as it appears in this episode, something inside me wishes this could/should happen. Shore (Spader) nails it. Calling out the The United States Supreme Court for their ideological bias–especially the conservative majority that has partaken in giving the world #americant–is brilliant. Actually, having never seen the show before, and having missed all of 1990s and 2000s tv programming in the US, I’m very surprised at the level of political and social criticism that takes place in this show–especially as it was produced by ABC, which is not a bastion of liberal/progressive programming. With that in mind, there is something missing in Shore’s speech (monologue) as he criticises the Supremes. Or let me put that another way. If I had written this episode, I would have included a bit about how conservatives have so ingeniously nit-picked their way to power since the 1970s. It wasn’t all Ronald Reagan, you know. There really are masterminds behind the scenes of the GOP and the Republican party. I for one, having seen all this take place from my expat 30k-foot high-seat, have to take my hat off to republicans. What a job they’ve done taking advantage of the stupidity of a nation. I mean. These sleaze-balls are the ones who pander to the lowest common denominator of the voting constituency of The United States of America… with gusto! They most certainly don’t pander to rational thought or rational governing. They do this by wiggling their way around the enormous political structure that is the US. Not only is there three branches to the federal government but each state has their own branches, their own constitutions, their own justices, etc. By attacking (and conquering) these various layers of politics, they have been able to maintain a stranglehold on the nation. It is an extremely successful from-the-bottom-up political strategy. Issues like taxes, big government, abortion, state’s rights, the 2nd Amendment, etc., are all basically the qualifiers of who gets appointed, who gets to run and, ultimately, who controls society. Because the complexity of this activity is too overwhelming for the stupid masses to comprehend, let alone even bother to ponder, the Republican party has pretty much run the show for well over thirty years. They do this by changing voting districts, i.e. gerrymandering. They appoint politically biased justices controlling legislation and even determining presidential elections. Heck! Conservatives have even found a way to circumvent Roe v. Wade. How? Easy, really. Some state legislatures that are run by conservative politicians (republicans) have changed the laws regarding hospital admitting privileges. Hospital admitting privileges are required of doctors who have private practices or clinics that perform invasive and/or surgical procedures. The admitting privilege is about the doctor, if he or she makes a mistake at the clinic, can then call upon a better equipped hospital to take care of any complications that may arise. That means, if a hospital is run by conservative ideologues, they can simply deny the doctor admitting privilege. Without the backup of a hospital but more importantly without adhering to the law that requires admitting privileges, the doctor cannot perform certain procedures at his/her clinic. It goes without saying that a clinic without hospital admitting privileges will not be able to provide certain services. Thousands of clinics have closed because of this. Pretty tricky, eh! But also well thought out. Indeed. Of course, I forgive the writers of S04E17 for not including my thoughts. They made up for it by having Denny Crane, the epitome of Republicanism, fart and make goo-goo eyes at the Supreme Court.

Rant on.

-Tommi

Below is a transcript of my favourite scene, Season 4, Episode 17, Boston Legal. Alan Shore v Supreme Court. Underlined text from me. Enjoy.

Continue reading “Who Are You People”

Und Der Fährt Immer Noch

vw no diesel in america

There is a scene in the satirical movie “Schtonk” where it’s said that Adolf Hitler claimed in his diaries that he invented the Käfer. You know, that cute little German car known as the beetle or bug–not the new plastic krapp copy they’ve got now. And not only did he invent the original bug, but he also invented the company that would make the car: Volkswagen. The people’s car. Fittingly, someone adds later in the film: “And it’s still on the road”–Und der fährt immer noch. The implication is that the car was built so well that it will drive forever. I guess. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Schtonk! is based on a true story. It is about a bunch of gaudy, slimy, yellow journalists who think they have found the Hitler Diaries. As is the case in the true story, it’s all nothing more than a grand hoax. But that hoax had a bit more to it than what we see in the film. One of the reasons Stern magazine was so easily manipulated into this hoax was the fact that Germans were starving for some sort of inner reconciliation regarding their recent past. In the movie the top manager of the magazine that was financing the acquisition of the diaries even says, after hearing the first words that Hitler (supposedly) wrote: “We’ll have to re-write German history, this is sensational, this means that he (Hitler) was a person like you and me.” Indeed. A privileged corporatist claims that a past can be changed as long as a new future can be arranged. Or something like that.

The gaudy, slimy, yellow journalists in Schtonk! are no different than the gaudy, slimy, yellow managers that run corporations today. For it is true, dear worst-reader, that the only way to get by in a world where monopolies and oligarchies and plutocrats rule everything is by hoaxing and manipulating and cheating–and arranging new futures. This is the true face of unabashed, predatory capitalism that is drowning us all. And not just drowning all of us minions. Some of the corporations have to drown, too. But only some.

What is the difference between a car made in Germany or a car made in the US? Sure, there are quality differences, maybe even one will last a bit longer than the other. But all in all, they are the same. So how then do you make money if there is nothing to differentiate your product from the next product? Or what do you do if there is no more money out there to buy products? Indeed. You arrange things. In the end, it’s all just corporate bullshit–that has been arranged. With that in mind…

Diesel vs gas = gas wins (in the US)

According to one of the articles I read, 20% of all diesel passenger cars sold in the US are made by VW. That’s fucking huge. Reason? Diesel cars get great mileage–and that whole obsession-thing America has with Germans doesn’t hurt either. Can you say Fahrvergnügen? On the other hand, gas mileage is kinda important to Americans these days, even though Americans don’t really know anything about gas. They most certainly can’t understand why the stuff is such a huge determining factor in their living standard. Seriously. They don’t get it. The wars, empire, failed Texas oilmen elected (twice) to the land’s highest office. Nor can Americans understand that all the money they pay for gasoline, thereby deminishing living standards, goes into the coffers of a few people. That means there are a few gas company execs out there ranting and raving about slimy Europeans encroaching on their turf. And who do the gas companies collude with? Again. A significant # of diesel passenger cars on US roads are made by Europeans. Did no one tell those Europeans that America is gasoline? Diesel is European. And you know what Americans think of the French, right? Freedom fries, baby!

Supply vs demand = supply loses.

They call them recessions and not depressions because the latter is so definitive. They also use the word recession because inherent in the word is the idear of recovery. The western world and the concept of a living standard that permeates it has yet to deal with the fact that there is no difference between depression and recession if there is no recovery. The whole point of Too Big To Fail and bailouts is that corporations don’t have to actually answer to the market. Instead they keep on supplying, i.e. manufacturing, producing, etc., as though nothing has happened. The problem is, there is no such thing as the market. There’s only “growth” which feeds stock prices and open lines of credit. With that in mind, my guess is that VW has simply over-produced. Since there is no recovery insight from this recession (depression) something has to be done with all those unsold cars. But it can’t come out that America’s favourite diesel motor can’t be sold on account there’s no money to buy them. What would Ford or Chrysler say about why their cars are not being bought either? Oh, yeah. They’re all in the same boat.

When multinationals get into trouble this is what they do. They pretend something went wrong. They claim foul from government regulation or foul against a competitor. Or they get government regulators to claim foul against them. They make crony politicians do them favours. Some even hire universities (via grants) to do a study about, gee, I don’t know, …emissions. Next there might even be a study about tire pressures. Are tire manufacturers in dire straits?

Just look at GM’s recent debacle. Didn’t Toyota recently recall a shit load of cars? Does any of this sound familiar? These companies are allowed to get away with what ever they want. They simply push the burden of being unmanageable elsewhere. It’s the slimy, gaudy, yellow thing to do. They arrange (their) futures.

Rant on. -Tommi

Links that motivated this post:

A Spot

oil heart

It goes something like this. After worst-writing for a few hours, in a rush, I got around to getting some chores done. The chores are thus: buy fresh meat and wine for the evening. Pick some veggies for the pan. Dress the kitchen properly so she’s prepared for my cooking. Start drinking with a cold beer after three. But first, on this odd day, I had to run to the Turkish supermarket because I forget fresh coriander during my shopping spree the day before. I have to make a quick run  (before I start drinking). My 1992 Alfa Romeo Spider is getting up in years. So too is the work of drunk Italians. Each time I have to pick up a part that has fallen off, listen to her squeak as we drive around or worry about what else can go broke, I think of the Italian workers and all the wine they were drinking while assembling her. Nomatter. I get in her, and, as usual, push down on the clutch. It’s a habit, you know. It’s the first thing I do whenever I get in the Italian queen. Out of habit sometimes I do the same thing when entering an automatic vehicle. My Alfa has a funky clutch to begin with. Something about Italians and their parts. Had the same issue with my Italian motorcycle oh so many years ago. Italian clutches never feel the same. One day it feels light, the next heavy. Another day it feels marshmellowie and the next it feels like a hangover. But this day, this late morning, it felt of nothing. Pure and unadulterated nothing. Like an automatic car. No resistance whatsoever for my left foot. So I pop the hood, have a look at the hydraulic fluid reservoir, and, as expected, it’s butt empty. Oh. Looks like tonights meal is gonna have to go without fresh coriander. But what do I do with my Alfa? I call my shop and order a tow. He shows up immediately. We have a short conversation about politics and worst-writing and then he hooks up my Alfa to his tow. I warn him to be careful regarding the low hanging oil pan of the motor. He’s extra cautious. Then he gives me a receipt for my car and pulls away, Alfa in tow. I wave goodbye and then look down at a new oil spot. She’s giving me a message? Yes, she is. Rant on. -t

The Bigot Meter

ahmed clockTrillions of dollars have been spent. Habeas Corpus has been suspended–along with Bill of Rights. The government has the right to spy on you. You can be put on a no-fly list. We now have a government institution named homeland security. We also have a patriot act that cannot be dissolved which guarantees all the above. Seriously. Can it get more Orwellian? I’m sure there is plenty more to add to the list. But it all seems redundant at this point, doesn’t it? I mean, what has happened since that morning? That morning in September, 2001. I’ll tell you what has happened. They won. No, seriously. We might as well come out and admit it. The terrorists have won. The guys in those planes, the guys in Afghanistan, the Iranians, Hamas, ISIS/ISIL. Etc. All of ’em. They have won. Wanna know how I know they’ve won? Just look around. Look around as though you’ve never looked around before. Nomatter what you believe, what TV station you watch, what party you (think you) vote for, look around. The world has gone batshit. All there is, as ever has been, is profitability, greed, death, destruction and batshit. And that’s the ticket, dear worst-reader. The terrorists have won because, well, batshit rules. “But wait. Hasn’t it always been that way, worst-writer?” Ok. Maybe it has. But it seems to me that in the past, when the batshit got too thick, when the ammonia stench overwhelms, something came along to counter it. What that something is, I can’t get into here. It’s too broad, wide, over-reaching–and way too deep for worst-writer. Instead, all one needs to consider, look at, are the little things. Like how a 14 year old American citizen high school student, with brown skin, a muslim name and a small case with a bunch of wires and circuits in it, gets arrested–because batshit rules. Our minds have been so overcome with fear, so clouded with anger, so dimmed with wanton ignorance, that a boy’s science project MUST be a bomb. What! Wait. And that’s not all. Batshit is more than everywhere. You can see it in the way police departments across the country wield deadly force over communities, mainly aimed at people with dark skin. You can see it when presidential candidates get questions from “citizens” regarding the legitimacy of a dark skin president. You can see it when the Republican Party splits into factions of … Batshit. Indeed. The terrorists have won because we now officially live for batshit–thanks to them. And since we’re on the issue of thanking, I want to thank Ahmed Mohamed for providing #americant with yet another beacon of light to the truth–and for giving us the first ever BIGOT METER.

Good luck suckers. Rant on. -t

Links that motivated this post:

Buffoons Ticking On And On And On

What’s to be done when everything is leveraged? Where does one go when margins are so thin? How do you get credit when all there is is debt? How do you get water from a rock? The answer to these and many other questions, dear worst-reader, is simple. You mis-manage your company like no other. You mis-manage everything and blame someone else (for it). You hire college grads who have been trained to the highest levels of mis-management. You are a crony organisation, you are a cancer–but so is everything else. And. You are General Motors. GM has to be one of the worst run companies in human history–yet it ticks on and on and on. A company that was bailed out in 2008/9 to the tune of (insert # here) billion dollars. Ralf Nader says GM was given $50billion from the US government. The money was part of TARP. Most of that money, btw, was not used to help the factories of GM, which are practically non existent in the US anyway. Nor was it used to prop up worker salaries or even management salaries. No. The money was used–and is still being used–to maintain the financial-isation of GM which emulates the financial-isation of #americant post Ronald Reagan. That financial-isation, basically, is one thing and one thing only: Debt. Which means, even though GM sells millions and millions of cars every year, it cannot manage its way out of the mess it’s gotten itself into by following and wallowing in the greed culture that is Reagan’s #americant. As bad as that sounds, GM is in the news now for having to pay a fine of $900 million to the US government because it built cars, knowingly, with faulty parts that supposedly lead to the deaths of hundreds of customers. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Pause. Swallow. Clear throat. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not laughing at the death of anyone. But I am laughing at the idear that GM cannot die. On top of that, where do you think the fine-money GM is paying is gonna go? As Ralph Nader nails it, the money is nothing but…

“The government gets the $900 million, which is like a drop in the bucket for GM. By the way, that money really is tax money recycled. GM, from the bailout, still has billions of dollars of taxpayer money in its treasury.” -Ralph Nader

Wow. This is one of the world’s largest companies and it’s managed by buffoons. Yet it ticks on and on and on. I guess part of all that ticking is the reality that buffoons feed off of buffoons. This is how the world ticks, baby.

Rant on. -t

Links that motivated/helped with this post:

Continue reading “Buffoons Ticking On And On And On”

Doodle Of A Dream

Had a dream the other night. I think. Even though I can’t draw worth a hoot, my best shot at an image of the dream is above. This dream started in the middle of a journey that begins at a red x (bottom left corner of the page). I think the journey was to the Red Sea to go scuba diving. But wait. The dream didn’t start there exactly. It actually started in Cairo. The red x is somewhere between Cairo International Airport and our final destination which is the resort region of Marsa Alam. I just didn’t feel the need to doodle that part. Nomatter. The trip was a total mess. Our plane was re-routed to Cairo International where we had to disembark and subsequently be “processed” for entry. Then we waited for hours in a luxurious bar where I got drunk out of my mind on “special” Egyptian schnapps. Eventually we boarded another airplane but instead of taking us to Marsa Alam airport it landed somewhere in the middle of the desert. We then boarded busses for the remaining part of the trip. There were no roads, no civilisation and it never got dark–even though we drove for a few days. The bus was crowded but comfortable. Everyone sat in their seats and some even used the ventilation system to blow dry their hair. A few children entertained the back of the bus with German songs from Scorpions and The Dead Trousers. Not unlike the luxurious bar at Cairo airport, the schnapps flowed and flowed. But then our tour bus was captured by Mexicans. So it’s here where the doodle kinda begins, i.e. the red x. Which brings me to the following question(s): captured by Mexicans in Egypt? How can that be? Oh yeah. It might have something to do with me not being one hundred percent white but also being a white-looking American and travelling through Arab Spring countries in order to get my kicks at twenty-five meters with colourful fish. Or. Prior to going to sleep that night I got kind of upset reading all the news about how Egyptian forces bombed a bus full of tourists because they obviously mistook it for being a bus full revolutionaries–or the like. We are living in those/these times, eh, dear worst-reader? Nomatter. The dream struck me and the morning after I felt compelled to codify it. What really sticks out in my conscious mind–as opposed to my dream mind–is that our Mexican captures trekked us along a desert road with a few stops in-between, as illustrated in the image (doodle) above. Huge tents were available to shade us from the sun. Oddly, being in a desert n’all, there was no need for water or suntan oil. The only thing available were books at various rest/pause stops. This is the part of the dream that confused me so. In the middle of a desert a group of people walk along a road (or was it a pathway?) and our only sustenance was books. The books had Mexican guards, though, and I don’t know why. Where were the Egyptians? Then, after a cup of earl grey, I dabbled in the following pseudo conclusion(s). I’m not sure what my other half is. It is safe to say that biological-daddy wasn’t white and he most certainly never read a thing to me. But what was he? He wasn’t black, he wasn’t asian and he most certainly wasn’t European–although he spoke German. He spoke German because he was stationed in Germany for most of his military career starting in the mid-50s thereby bringing numerous booty children to the world, aka Besatzungskinder. Yours truly being the second one of approximately four or five, etc. But. Again. Nomatter. I’m drifting. The thing is, I romanticise sometimes, even find myself hoping, that my other half is Indian. Maybe I’m a Sioux or a Mohawk or even a Choptank. But I could also be Mexican or Puerto Rican. Not that that is less than being half Indian. It’s just that I think, if I were on a scuba trip to the Red Sea, to read books, and read the corals, and wonder at deserts and desserts (that I’m not supposed to eat), I would never get captured by a bunch of Mohawks. Or? So I got up the other morning and was compelled to try and capture the dream, what it means. That’s all.

Rant on. -t

Link that motivated this post:

Repeated Airstrikes on Mexican Tourists | The Guardian

Combinations Prevail

four white men of 2015 and beyondThere is no doubt that combinations like this will prevail. Look at the place and the history that makes them–these combinations. First, we have Matt Damon running his trap when he shouldn’t–securing his white supremacy position in Hollywood and playing the fantasy meritocracy card (see lampshade link below). Then we have The Donald teaming up with a fellow cheater (and for added effect fellow cheater Lance Armstrong up in the corner). And there you have it. Cheaters. White supremacists. Meritocracy is bleeding from the walls. So let’s arbitrarily combine them. Combinations–to confuse the idiotic masses who adore corporate America. Adore, indeed. Lust for. Entertain. Bank account. No future–unless you’re one of these achievers. It’s voting time next year. So don’t get confused by combinations. You have earned The Donald #americant. #fuckthemartian

Good luck suckers. Rant on. -t

Links: