Tuesday, September 30, 2008

'My advice to you is to start drinking heavily'

The official United States YouTube clip.
We just keep going to this one . . .
because it's so true. Contains profanity.

Dear World,


Hey! You f***** up!

You trusted us!

The Washington Post reports on markets and banks and economies (Oh, my!) in deep doo all across the world:

The turmoil that began on Wall Street now spans the globe.

Stock markets around the world cascaded lower Monday, European regulators announced the rescue of four major banks, and U.S. and foreign officials pledged to make hundreds of billions of dollars available to ensure that banks would continue lending to each other.

Yet the contagion continued. U.S. stocks opened weak, then fell off a cliff after the House of Representatives voted down a $700 billion plan intended to restore stability to the nation's wobbly financial system. That sent Brazil's stock market down 10 percent, prompting authorities in Sao Paulo to temporarily suspend trading, amid worries of a deep U.S. economic slowdown.

In the seldom-interrupted cycle of global financial markets, the extraordinary pace and scale of events brought an abrupt end to the confident attitude displayed by European officials as recently as last week, when officials claimed that shareholders and investors there had less to fear than their American counterparts because European banks weren't as heavily exposed to the troubled mortgage loans undermining the U.S. system.

(snip)

In France, authorities had been worrying about a sell-off of the stock of Dexia, a Franco-Belgian bank catering to local governments. The bank's stock dropped by more than a third in early trading Monday, then recovered slightly on a pledge from Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders to step in with government funds if necessary.

The Paris newspaper Le Figaro said a U.S. subsidiary of Dexia, the bond insurer FSA, had caused concerns among investors because of involvement in shaky real estate mortgages in the United States.

Several analysts said the European banking problems are biggest at institutions with heavy exposure to European property bubbles. Millions of homeowners and developers took out loans against property that is no longer valued at what it was a few months ago.

Nicolas Véron, a research fellow at the Bruegel center in Brussels, said concern has risen about strains in the banking system spreading to the Baltic countries and Eastern Europe, where several nations also have experienced property bubbles.

"We knew this would happen, because the storm in the U.S. is so powerful," Véron said.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Let them eat plastique!


From my congressman's official website today:
WASHINGTON- Today Congressman Terry (R-NE) voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, H.R. 3997. The bill failed on a vote of 205-228.

“The magnitude of increasing federal bureaucracy with $700 billion of taxpayer money is not a decision to be made so quickly. I truly believe there are other options including using the private market that should be thoughtfully considered by Congress. I look forward to continuing work in a timely fashion on this critical matter,” said Congressman Terry.

Suicide bombers of the economy


We're all Palestinian nut jobs now. Virtual suicide bombers of the economy.

Americans saw the prospect of a Wall Street bailout, and they freaked out. Started yelling "Death to the infidels!" Declared that if not pulling the financial markets' chestnuts out of the fire meant another Great Depression, then bring it on.

That's what enraged folks were telling reporters and cheerfully saying on talk radio all across the United States -- bring it on. Well, it's on. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 777.68 points today.

WHAT MIGHT have happened had Congress' failure to pass the "bailout bill" not come more than halfway through the trading day . . . before the Democrats and Republicans melted down into paroxysms of partisan s*** slinging?

Yep, barring a miracle of policy and politics, we really just might have us a depression now.
Like H.L. Mencken said so long ago, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

Who'd have thought what American voters most wanted was to be just like some Palestinian nut job, so intent on killing Jews that he's perfectly willing to blow himself up -- and whatever other Arabs might be within blast range -- too? Today, just change "Jews" to "investment bankers."

That's what a clear majority of Americans have opted for -- blowing up the economy (and themselves . . . and their friends . . . and their neighbors . . . and their children) on the off chance all those Wall Street robber barons might be reduced from obscenely rich to moderately rich.

IN THEIR FIT of pique -- and in their abject denial that their own greed might have played any role whatsoever in America's financial crisis -- ordinary Americans have turned down what Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House minority leader, called "a crap sandwich" in favor of strapping on an explosive vest.

A smart lot we Americans are. A smart lot who think the Palestinians are nuts.

If you want to put a Biblical spin on matters, maybe this is a prime example of why Jesus said we have to forgive others "70 times seven" times. Grudges and hatred make you blind -- blind to your own faults . . . your own sin . . . and your own self-interest.

Today, through our elected representatives, we've struck a powerful and wounding blow to the evil greedheads of Wall Street. We may not survive our glorious victory.

And neither may our children.

We must be so proud.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Don't eat (or drink) while watching this

A drinking game for Mormons


Here's a drinking game that our Mormon (and strict Southern Baptist) brothers and sisters can participate in with a clean -- and sober -- conscience.

Here's what you do: Download Sarah Palin's interview with CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric from the
CBS News website. Then, procure a fifth of Seagram's, Early Times, Jack Black, Stoli . . . or, hell, just mix up a big pitcher of "jungle juice" (Everclear and Kool-Aid).

NOW, ALL YOU NEED to do is gather around the laptop, play the interview and take a drink every time Palin makes a lick of sense.

If someone insists on taking pictures to upload to his or her Facebook page, I guarantee that no one will be worried about his pastor -- or any potential employer -- stumbling across them on the Internets.

Here's another Palinapalooza sample from the CBS Evening News:

Katie Couric: Why is it much more challenging there? Can you explain that?

Sarah Palin: The logistics that we are already suggesting here, not having enough troops in the area right now. The… things like the terrain even in Afghanistan and that border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, where, you know, we believe that-- Bin Laden is-- is hiding out right now and… and is still such a leader of this terrorist movement. There… there are many more challenges there. So, again, I believe that… a surge in Afghanistan also will lead us to victory there as it has proven to have done in Iraq. And as I say, Katie, that we cannot afford to retreat, to withdraw in Iraq. That's not gonna get us any better off in Afghanistan either. And as our leaders are telling us in our military, we do need to ramp it up in Afghanistan, counting on our friends and allies to assist with us there because these terrorists who hate America, they hate what we stand for with the… the freedoms, the democracy, the… the women's rights, the tolerance, they hate what it is that we represent and our allies, too, and our friends, what they represent. If we were… were to allow a stronghold to be captured by these terrorists then the world is in even greater peril than it is today. We cannot afford to lose in Afghanistan.

SEE, NOT A THING in there that would cause Demon Alcohol to pass through pious lips.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

McCain-Tambo '08





My God, the Republicans nominated Shelly Tambo for vice-president!

Not only that, when the second fiddle of the McCain-Tambo '08 ticket goes before the TV cameras without a script in front of her, it's tough to tell Tambo's real interviews from Tambo impersonators' gag interviews. It can get right confusing.

I DON'T UNDERSTAND. If the GOP and Sen. John McCain wanted to recruit a No. 2 from the ranks of Alaska moose-shooters, why not go for Maggie O'Connell? Or even Maurice Minnifield?

Honestly, I thought it was bad enough when, in her first TV interview, Tambo said she had foreign-policy experience because the Brick served both Stolichnaya AND Absolut. But this latest interview with CBS Evening News anchorwoman Katie Couric is just too much.

I think I'd need to polish off at least one bottle of Stoli -- maybe two -- before anything she said would start to make any sense to me.

THEN AGAIN, after a bottle or two of fine vodka, I wouldn't much care. Which would pretty much put me on a par with McCain and the Republican Party leadership, now, wouldn't it?

3 Chords & the Truth: Br0 c4n U 5p4r3 4 d1m3?

The waiting is the hardest part. At least that's what Tom Petty thinks.


But that's what I'm doing here in the 3 Chords & the Truth studio, and that's what you're doing wherever. We're waiting for the end of the world . . . at least the world as we've known it.

FINANCIALLY, we're in a real pickle now. The "experts" say only Congress -- and an infusion of your tax money -- can save us now. Or, more precisely, save Wall Street, which is supposed to, in turn, save us.

From what, we're not sure. Maybe we're waiting for the pols to save us from another Great Depression, whatever that might look like in the 21st century. Perhaps it's just from a nasty recession.

Some folks have had it with the greedheads in finance and government, and they say, "Screw 'em all, being on the abyss!"

Be careful what you ask for. You may get it. "It," in this case, may be the Mother of All Noses Cut Off to Spite Faces.

HELL, I'm no prognosticator. I was expecting the stock market to tank Friday; it was up 120 points. But I think simple logic (and accounting) dictates that even if the politicians pull our butts out of the crack, America still will face a reckoning -- maybe now, maybe later.

I don't think the "American Dream," at least as we now define it, is sustainable. Even if our revolving credit holds out, the oil supply won't forever. And a change is gonna come.

That's what this week's show is all about -- and you knew I would get around to the show eventually, yes? This week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth is about hitting the wall . . . it's about hard times and hard limits.

It's about being a lot poorer, and it's about redefining what it means to be rich. Wealth without cash, as it were.

THIS WEEK, the Big Show is all about being broke, and being broken. It's about the love of money and the pitfalls thereof. It's about what comes next, after the fall. It's about revolution, victory, peace and love.

And the show, as always, is about damn fine music, put together in a unique manner.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth. Be there. Aloha.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Way to go, Louisiana!




Dear Louisiana,

I assume not everyone in my home state is a Nazi or a racist . . . or even an ignorant knothead.

On the other hand, though, Louisianians have an unfortunate propensity for tolerating crumbling schools, dysfunctional cities, crooked politicians and crypto-Nazis in high office. Judging from crap like this, a lot of God Bless Amerika conservatives down there are more dismayed by me calling "Nazi" on a pol who wants to eliminate the poor by eliminating the poor than they are by one of their own trodding the same path as Margaret Sanger and Adolf Hitler.

Anything to save the sainted taxpayer a buck, eh? That's where Hitler got his start, too. Kill and sterilize the "defectives," ease the burden on der volk. Then move up to killing out-of-favor ethnic groups -- because they're a blight, too.

Well, given that Louisiana has been judged guilty of "generational welfare," generational stupidity, generational corruption and generational half-assedness, why shouldn't the rest of America deal with the Gret Stet just as some in the Gret Stet would deal with the poor?

I mean, look. All we need to do is turn on the television to collect sufficient information for a quick verdict.

And we don't need no stinkin' tubal ligations to carry out our sentence . . . which would be your vanishing act. We can just cut off the federal tax dollars -- there go those outraged taxpayers again -- and let the Gulf of Mexico (and the storms that roll ashore off of it) do the rest.

After all, since eradication is what you'd like to do unto others, you must be OK with that being done to you. Right?

You can discuss among yourselves.

Mission accomplished, Mr. President


Once in khaki suits,
Ah, gee we looked swell
Full of that yankee doodle dee dum!
Half a million boots went sloggin' through hell
And I was the kid with the drum!
Oh, say don't you remember?
They called me Al.
It was Al all the time.
Say, don't you remember?
I'm your pal.
Buddy, can you spare a dime?
-- "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" (1931),
lyrics by Yip Harburg, music by Jay Gorney

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Say what???


I know pictures on Blogger can lack a certain, errrrrr . . . je ne sais quoi. I think the word is "resolution."

Thankfully for those of us with bifocals, you can click on the picture and see a larger version.
For those who don't want to bother, here's what the story page on Omaha.com says:

BREAKING NEWS: First presidential debate schedule for Friday night

The first presidential debate schedule for Friday night, CNN is reporting this evening.

Details to follow.
GLAD TO KNOW IT. Now, what exactly does it mean?


UPDATE: OK, now we're getting somewhere, though I still don't know what the deal is with that first paragraph:

The first presidential debate is scheduled for Friday night, CNN is reporting this evening.

The Associated Press reported whether U.S. presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain would go forward with their highly anticipated debate remained unresolved late this evening after their White House meeting failed to conclusively produce an economic bailout agreement.

Details to follow.
REALLY, the debate is scheduled for Friday night? That's news? It's been scheduled for Friday night for a long time now.

The question has been whether the debate would go on, or whether the U.S. economy would plunge into a depression without one last chance for Americans to ramp up their level of small-D depression for the capital-D event.

What's the recycling number for kids?

Ever since Nebraska's "safe haven" law went into effect, a veil has been lifted somehow. And we see into a society's heart of darkness.

"Safe haven" laws were designed to allow parents to drop off their unwanted infants at safe places, like fire stations or hospitals, in an effort to keep panicked mothers from just dumping their babies, period. That, or perhaps killing them outright.

THE 49 OTHER STATES passing such laws before Nebraska put age limits on children falling under their "no questions asked" drop-off provisions. For arcane reasons -- most of them aimed at getting around the objections of a single state senator -- our law didn't include an age limit.

No one thought that would be a big problem. It was, leading to an unending stream of stories in the Omaha World-Herald about parents dumping children who definitely were not newborns.

And today . . . this:

Child drop-offs under Nebraska's safe haven law have until now been individual affairs involving individual children.

But Wednesday evening at Creighton University Medical Center, a father dropped off nine children, all his.

The children ranged in age from 1 to 17 years, said Officer Michael Pecha, an Omaha police spokesman.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services was still gathering details late Wednesday and would not comment, department spokeswoman Kathie Osterman said.

She did clarify, however, the process by which children are handled once dropped off:

When a child is left, hospital staffers call local law enforcement. Police in most cases would place a child or children in emergency protective custody.

The county attorney recommends whether a child should remain in state custody or return home, and a judge ultimately decides on placement.

In the week-and-a-half before Wednesday, at least two teens and one preteen had been dropped off at eastern Nebraska hospitals.

The safe haven law was intended to protect unwanted newborns, but Nebraska's law does not set an age limit on children who can be left at hospitals. Many have interpreted that to mean children up to age 19 can be dropped off.
A FATHER. Abandoning his nine children. At a hospital.

Something is afoot out there. Parents are desperate, and children are expendable.

Children now are just another throwaway item in this age of "choice" -- as in "You get to choose your own reality" and "You get to choose whether your unborn baby lives or dies."

Kids . . . be good, eat your vegetables and don't piss off Mama or Daddy. It's important.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

If it quacks like a Duke. . . .

I have been informed that I am a leftist, making the "usual comparisons of Republicans to Nazi Fascists" with my post about the Louisiana state representative hell-bent on following in the jackbooted footsteps of a previous holder of his House seat -- former Louisiana Nazi and Klan leader David Duke.

MY CRITIQUE may or may not be "leftist," but one thing I do know: If Rep. John LaBruzzo walks like a Duke, flies like a Duke, swims like a Duke, quacks like a Duke and wants to sterilize poor Louisianians like a Duke . . . he just might be a Nazi. Just like David Duke.

John LaBruzzo thinks too many poor people are dragging down the Gret Stet by clinging to the public dole. Adolf Hitler thought Germany had a problem with too many Jews, Gypsies and mental defectives burdening the state and dragging down the gene pool.

The only difference between the two -- and their prescriptions for dealing with some humans they see as less human than those who are Aryan enough and well-off enough -- lies in imagination . . . and what one can get away with.

Chad Rogers at The Dead Pelican thinks -- somehow -- that the dishonorable member from Stupid City isn't a Nazi at all, but instead has more in common with the Red Chinese:

The leftist comparison of La Bruzzo's eugenics plan to the Nazi Germany of the 1930s is a way of ignoring the real problem. For this business of government controlled reproduction is more reminiscent of present- day Communist China.

Like communist China, the state and local government has bestowed upon itself the role of caregiver. Thanks to the welfare system, New Orleans has an environment that discourages self-reliance, exacerbates poverty, and encourages dependence on the government dole.

No system like that can financially sustain itself. It now has more people than it can afford. As with Communist China, an environment of dependency has been created that is financially unsustainable.

And now, as with China, politicians are playing God to solve the problems created by politicians.

The left's cries of Nazism in NOLA ring hollow for another reason- La Bruzzo's arguments for sterilization mirror those of left on the issue of tax payer funded abortion. That is, pro-lifers are often criticized for wanting to force women to have children that they can't take care of. In short, they argue that abortion is a means of population control.

THERE'S ONE BIG PROBLEM with that critique: The analogy doesn't hold up.

The Chinese regime may be butchers and draconian population controllers, but they're not discriminatory butchers and draconian population controllers. If you're poor, you only can have one kid. If you're well-off -- at least theoretically -- you only can have that one kid.

If you're Han Chinese, you get one kid. If you're Zhuang, you get one kid. Manchu? One kid. Mongol? Same raw deal.

The Chinese communists are population controllers, and ruthless ones at that. They, however, are not eugenicists. They leave that nasty business to the likes of Adolf Hitler, Margaret Sanger . . . and John LaBruzzo.

If the jackboot fits. . . .

See, LaBruzzo doesn't want everybody to get their tubes tied or pee pees snipped. He just wants the "burdensome" to do that. He was concerned by the tremendous burden he saw the state of Louisiana shouldering as it evacuated, sheltered and provided for thousands and thousands of New Orleanians threatened by Hurricane Gustav.

Here's a picture of Louisiana's Burden:


WHAT DER FÜHRER from Metairie isn't concerned about -- at least concerned enough to propose one Final Solution or another -- is the even greater burden the aging Baby Boom generation is going to start posing for Louisiana taxpayers in a decade or so.

Fine, upstandin', hard-workin' constituents of der Führer are going to have to find a way to pay for all those state services (and pensions) Boomers are going to start sucking down like Otis Campbell with a jug of white lightnin'. Trouble is, my generation got its tubes tied, prescriptions filled and pee-pees snipped in alarming numbers, leaving fewer future taxpayers than otherwise could have been expected.

And worse than that, Boomers' offspring are hauling ass out of the Gret Stet at an even more alarming rate than they did.

Vascectomies and tubal ligations are no viable solution for burgeoning hordes of old people. As a 47-year-old, I tremble to think of what solution LaBruzzo might goose-step his way into for that one -- that is, if culling the burdensome poor doesn't provide enough taxpayer relief.

From the
New Orleans City Business article on LaBruzzo's eugenic scheme:

"If both the welfare and Social Security system keep growing, one day we're going to have a small minority of people working to fund and finance everybody else who isn’t working or producing," LaBruzzo said. "Our kids, who will be working, will be the minority and any vote of theirs will be canceled out. If your livelihood is based on government handouts, why would you ever vote for somebody who is going to lower taxes? They never would. So once we reach that breaking point there's no return."

TALK LIKE THAT sounds familiar. Perhaps like this 1922 passage by Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood?

Our 'overhead' expense in segregating the delinquent, the defective and the dependent, in prisons, asylums and permanent homes, our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying ... demonstrate our foolhardy and extravagant sentimentalism. No industrial corporation could maintain its existence upon such a foundation. Yet hardheaded 'captains of industry,' financiers who pride themselves upon their cool-headed and keen-sighted business ability are dropping millions into rosewater philanthropies and charities that are silly at best and vicious at worst. In our dealings with such elements there is a bland maladministration and misuse of huge sums that should in all righteousness be used for the development and education of the healthy elements of the community.

OR MAYBE THIS from Sanger's 1938 autobiography:

I accepted one branch of this philosophy, but eugenics without birth control seemed to me a house built upon sands. It could not stand against the furious winds of economic pressure which had buffeted into partial or total helplessness a tremendous proportion of the human race. The eugenists wanted to shift the birth control emphasis from less children for the poor to more children for the rich. We went back of that and sought first to stop the multiplication of the unfit. This appeared the most important and greatest step towards race betterment.

HERE'S WHAT La Bruzzo is. He's a throwback to a bygone age Americans don't much like to acknowledge anymore, as outlined in The Guardian, with this extract from Edwin Black's War Against the Weak:

The film was called The Black Stork. Written by Jack Lait, a reporter on the Chicago American, it was produced in Hollywood and given a massive national distribution and promotion campaign. Haiselden played himself in a fictionalised account of a eugenically mismatched couple whom he advises not to have children because they are likely to be defective. Eventually, the woman does give birth to a defective child, whom she then allows to die. The dead child levitates into the waiting arms of Jesus Christ. It was unbridled cinematic propaganda for the eugenics movement; the film played at movie theatres around the country for more than a decade.

National publicity advertised it as a "eugenic love story". One advertisement quoted Swiss eugenicist Auguste Forel's warning: "The law of heredity winds like a red thread through the family history of every criminal, of every epileptic, eccentric and insane person. Shall we sit still ... without applying the remedy?" In 1917, a display advertisement for The Black Stork read: "Kill Defectives, Save the Nation and See 'The Black Stork'." Various methods of eugenic euthanasia - including gassing the unwanted in lethal chambers - were a part of everyday American parlance and ethical debate some two decades before Nevada approved the first such chamber for criminal executions in 1921.

As America's eugenics movement gathered pace, it inspired a host of imitators. In France, Belgium, Sweden, England and elsewhere in Europe, cliques of eugenicists did their best to introduce eugenic principles into national life; they could always point to recent precedents established in the United States.


(snip)

As America's elite were describing the socially worthless and the ancestrally unfit as "bacteria," "vermin," "mongrels" and "subhuman", a superior race of Nordics was increasingly seen as the answer to the globe's eugenic problems. US laws, eugenic investigations and ideology became blueprints for Germany's rising tide of race biologists and race-based hatemongers.

One such agitator was a disgruntled corporal in the German army. In 1924, he was serving time in prison for mob action. While there, he spent his time poring over eugenic textbooks, which extensively quoted Davenport, Popenoe and other American ethnological stalwarts. And he closely followed the writings of Leon Whitney, president of the American Eugenics Society, and Madison Grant, who extolled the Nordic race and bemoaned its "corruption" by Jews, Negroes, Slavs and others who did not possess blond hair and blue eyes. The young German corporal even wrote one of them fan mail.

In The Passing of the Great Race, Grant wrote: "Mistaken regard for what are believed to be divine laws and a sentimental belief in the sanctity of human life tend to prevent both the elimination of defective infants and the sterilisation of such adults as are themselves of no value to the community. The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit and human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community or race."

One day in the early 1930s, Whitney visited Grant to show off a letter he had just received from Germany, written by the corporal, now out of prison and rising in the German political scene. Grant could only smile. He pulled out his own letter. It was from the same German, thanking Grant for writing The Passing of the Great Race. The fan letter called Grant's book "his Bible". The man who sent those letters was Adolf Hitler.

Hitler displayed his knowledge of American eugenics in much of his writing and conversation. In Mein Kampf, for example, he declared: "The demand that defective people be prevented from propagating equally defective offspring is a demand of clearest reason and, if systematically executed, represents the most humane act of mankind. It will spare millions of unfortunates undeserved sufferings, and consequently will lead to a rising improvement of health as a whole."

Mein Kampf also displayed a familiarity with the recently passed US National Origins Act, which called for eugenic quotas. "There is today one state in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of immigration] are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but [the US], in which an effort is made to consult reason at least partially. By refusing immigrants on principle to elements in poor health, by simply excluding certain races from naturalisation, it professes in slow beginnings a view that is peculiar to the People's State."

Hitler proudly told his comrades how closely he followed American eugenic legislation. "Now that we know the laws of heredity," he told a fellow Nazi, "it is possible to a large extent to prevent unhealthy and severely handicapped beings from coming into the world. I have studied with interest the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock."

Nor did Hitler fail to grasp the eugenic potential of gas and the lethal chamber, a topic that was already being discussed in German eugenic circles before Mein Kampf was published. Hitler, who had himself been hospitalised for battlefield gas injuries, wrote: "If at the beginning of the war and during the war 12,000 or 15,000 of these Hebrew corrupters of the people had been held under poison gas, as happened to hundreds of thousands of our best German workers in the field, the sacrifices of millions at the front would not have been in vain. On the contrary: 12,000 scoundrels eliminated in time might have saved the lives of a million real Germans, valuable for the future."

THE HOLOCAUST was Margaret Sanger's -- and all the rest of the American eugenicists' -- theories and practices carried to their logical conclusion. Almost a century since hate was refined into a science, LaBruzzo has bought into that line of thinking wholeheartedly -- and hard-heartedly.

And now, with Louisiana taxpayers' money, he proposes to carry that agenda out to an extent that makes even likely Planned Parenthood sympathizers squeamish.

No, what the race-purifier from Metairie proposes isn't new, and it most certainly can't be blamed on Mao Zedong. And while the Nazis drank deeply from the same poisoned well as LaBruzzo, sterilizing the poor, the black and the "defective" really isn't Nazi, either -- though they certainly perfected the deadly artform.

What the latest menace from Metairie proposes is as American as apple pie. And Jim Crow. And miscegenation laws.

Louisianians had better beware embracing little GOP Nazis like John LaBruzzo, because the rest of America is well into the process of doing to Louisiana what LaBruzzo (and those who support him) would do to "the nigras." Among these United States, Louisiana is exactly what many Americans figure they have too much of, and would like to make go away.

And if folks all across the Gret Stet would rather not embrace the concept of "brother's keeper," that non-embrace is what they're going to get . . . "good and hard,"
in the words of H.L. Mencken.

From the city that gave us David Duke. . . .



From the R21 video Hall of Shame. Maybe
some Metairie, La., voters in there somewhere?

If you live in Louisiana, it might be worth considering any economic crisis that benighted state is headed for might be due less to too many people "depending on government" than voters depending on half-assed Hitlers like John LaBruzzo to run that government.

New Orleans City Business says the state House member from Metairie -- the New Orleans suburb that gave America
David Duke -- wants to pay the poor to get sterilized:
State Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, fears Louisiana may be headed toward an economic crisis if the percentage of people dependent on the government is not decreased.

His solution: pay impoverished women $1,000 to have their tubes tied so they will stop having babies they can’t afford.

The idea came to LaBruzzo after hurricanes Katrina and Gustav when the state was forced to evacuate, shelter and care for tens of thousands of people.

"I realized that all these people were in Louisiana's care and what a massive financial responsibility that is to the state," LaBruzzo said. "I said, 'I wonder if it might be a good idea to pay some of these people to get sterilized.'"

I GUESS we can be grateful Louisiana state government -- never known for its efficiency or for attracting the best and brightest -- only seems to be capable, at present, of producing half-assed Hitlers. Lord help us all if LaBruzzo suddenly were to develop the brains of a Philadelphia lawyer and employ the efficiencies of German eugenicists.

Like Adolf Hitler, for one.

Der Führer never would have wasted a single Reichsmark on tying the tubes of a single Jewish woman when he could gas hundreds at a time for a fraction of the cost. LaBruzzo may be evil, but nobody ever accused him of being Hitler smart:

LaBruzzo said he is researching the issue, and if he finds that the number of people on welfare has increased on a dramatic and continuous basis over the past several decades, he may introduce a bill during the next legislative session promoting voluntary sterilization in exchange for monetary compensation.

"If both the welfare and Social Security system keep growing, one day we're going to have a small minority of people working to fund and finance everybody else who isn’t working or producing," LaBruzzo said. "Our kids, who will be working, will be the minority and any vote of theirs will be canceled out. If your livelihood is based on government handouts, why would you ever vote for somebody who is going to lower taxes? They never would. So once we reach that breaking point there's no return."

Reaction to LaBruzzo's proposal has been swift. It has been called racist and reminiscent of the genocidal policies of the Nazis.

Shana Griffin, interim director of the New Orleans Women's Health Clinic, described it as a modern day version of eugenics, a theory that promotes improving humanity’s future by decreasing the number of babies produced by people who are seen as physically, socially or mentally deficient.

It is obvious who LaBruzzo is targeting with this legislation by mentioning welfare recipients and those dependent on city-assisted evacuation — poor, black women, Griffin said.
WHAT IS IT with Metairie, anyway? First Duke, now this clown?

Obviously, it would be extremely hypocritical (not to mention evil) of me to advocate the sterilization of the city's voters. Perhaps, though, it wouldn't be out of line to require Metairie residents -- and only Metairie residents -- to pass literacy and civics tests before they can register to vote.


I think that might be a game plan. See, you're not actually trying to wipe out a whole class of obvious social and mental deficients, exactly.

No, you'd just be trying to minimize the damage coming out of Stupid City. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Iran's stopped clock has right time

You know you are really and truly screwed when clowns like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad start to make a lot of sense when he's upbraiding your country.

Read
this Associated Press account of Doctor Whack's address to the United Nations General Assembly and know the United States is well and truly up a fragrant creek. Without a paddle. In a leaky rowboat:

Iran's president addressed the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday declaring that "the American empire" is nearing collapse and should end its military involvement in other countries.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said terrorism is spreading quickly in Afghanistan while "the occupiers" are still in Iraq nearly six years after Saddam Hussein was ousted from power in Iraq.

"American empire in the world is reaching the end of its road, and its next rulers must limit their interference to their own borders," Ahmadinejad said.

He accused the U.S. of starting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to win votes in elections and blamed a "few bullying powers" for trying to undermine Iran's nuclear program.
ANYBODY WANT to look at the headlines and argue where, exactly, Iran's stopped clock hasn't indicated the correct -- and late -- time of day in Empire America?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

K-Doe say: Burn, Wall Street, burn!

This is a short documentary from 1990, when the (now) late, (always) great Ernie K-Doe was volunteering at Tulane University's WTUL radio, spinning the New Orleans R&B he helped make famous.

I DISCOVERED IT on the WTUL website, as I sat here in the studio, thinking I ought to add some sage observation to the Interwebs as Americans sit . . . and wait. Wait to find out how Congress is going to fix the fine mess we've gotten ourselves into, with an assist by the robber barons of Wall Street.

Wait to find out whether we're all poor now.

Wait to find out exactly how far the mightiest nation on Earth -- ever -- has fallen.

Yeah, I thought I needed to write something wise, or at least pithy, about this fine damn catastrophe waiting to swallow us all up. Is this Great Depression II? Shall we now arm ourselves, man the barricades and shoot the looters in three-piece suits?

Perhaps I could just sit at the keyboard and tell you I told you so. Whether or not I actually did.

BUT THAT'S not important now.

It seems to me -- as we tap dance on a ledge high above the abyss -- that the Fed, the Congress, the fancy bankers and the stock-exchange traders are powerless to screw up anything that particularly matters. We'll get by . . . somehow . . . with a little faith, a little orneriness and a little ingenuity.

We'll grow gardens and put in wood stoves, and we'll become a lot more "green" and a lot more local.

And we'll figure out that it ain't so bad, once you get used to it.

Screw Wall Street. Wall Street can't create an Ernie K-Doe. Or a decent R&B record.

We, if we are lucky, might figure out that our riches do not lie in our 401(k) accounts, but in our communities, in our churches and in our cultural cornucopia. We might come to see that we can be rich, even if we are poor (see New Orleans, City of).

Besides, not even Fort Knox could contain
a force of nature like Ernie K-Doe, the late Emperor of the World. A pearl of great price who started out life during the last Great Depression at New Orleans' Charity Hospital.

Burn, K-Doe, burn!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Easy answers to Twitter questions

Saturday, September 20, 2008

When morons run schools

What happens when bigoted morons run schools? Well, for one thing, they ban constitutionally protected speech -- like wearing rosary beads as a symbol of Christian devotion -- calling it "gang related."

ON DAYS LIKE THIS, I really, really wish I had gone to law school. Because I would take Tabitha Ruiz's case pro bono, and the Dallas Independent School District would pay, and pay dearly.

KXAS television has the details:

A Dallas County high school student said she was forced to remove her rosary before going to classes because the school considers it is a gang symbol.

Tabitha Ruiz, 16, said she was stopped at Seagoville High School after she went through a metal detector and told to take off her rosary.

"I was going through the metal detectors, and they looked at me and they saw the rosary and told me to take it off because it's gang-related," she said.

The Dallas Independent School District said in a statement that items that represent a gang are prohibited.

"Students are not allowed to wear logos or symbols that represent a gang," DISD said.

"Dallas police identified a rosary as a gang symbol."

But Dallas police said a rosary is not considered a gang symbol.

"Rosaries are not considered gang symbols unless the person is (a) known gang member or he/she is wearing a red or blue rosary in conjunction with other red things like shoe laces, belt or bandana," police said in a statement.

Ruiz's mother, Taire Ferguson, said she was stunned to hear a rosary was considered a gang symbol.

"My first reaction was, 'Gang people don't have Jesus. Maybe they need Jesus,'" she said.

Ferguson said it was "unacceptable" for the school to ask her daughter to take off the rosary. She said item is just a symbol of her daughter's Christianity.

"She's never been in trouble. She's a good kid," Ferguson said.

She said she is ready to take the case to court.
IT'S AMAZING -- isn't it? -- what fools, tyrants and mediocrities we oftentimes manage to put in charge of our children's education. Young minds deserve better.

And the powers that be at Seagoville High School and the DISD deserve to be made into a powerful example of the terrible things that can befall bureaucrats' when their minds get "stuck on stupid."

Avoiding a depression . . . at what cost?


CNBC's Jim Cramer thinks the government's plan to buy up Wall Street's problem debt just might have saved us from the Great Depression, Part 2.

WHAT I'M WONDERING, though, is whether we've avoided the abyss at a terrible cost.

Just how much money is the government going to have to just start printing now? How bad will inflation become? How much debt will foreign governments have to buy from us . . . if they will at all anymore?

How far in the hole will Uncle Sam now be, and what does that mean?

Will we have avoided another depression -- an economic cataclysm -- by closing the door once and for all on the American Century? And has that sentence been commuted, or merely temporarily stayed?

I'm no economist, and I don't know. I also don't know whether anyone does know.

AND I DON'T KNOW, either, whether our government realizes that America's fate is no longer in American hands. We have an Achilles' heel, and the world knows what it is.

We've acquired a de facto empire, the product of power and hubris . . . and maybe we've just crossed a bridge too far. We're Napoleon, and we can see the spires of Moscow, but winter is coming on fast and we've outrun our supply lines.

Suddenly, it seems to me -- And, really, what the hell do I know? -- we've come to the end of an era. Suddenly, we're no longer exceptional. Suddenly, empire is something we no longer can afford . . . if ever we could.

We're the Army-Navy game. A faded treasure of formerly great consequence, now more suggestive of stubborn pride and greater witsfulness.

Time marches on. With us or without.

3 Chords & the Truth: 1971 . . . and 2001

I'm sitting here in Room 222, waiting for Pete Dixon's American History class to get over with so I can do my air shift at KWWH, the voice of Walt Whitman High.

Maybe, if I have a little time, I'll drop by Miss Johnson's class to say hi. I know she's an English teacher and all, but she's still a totally groovy chick.

Anyway, my show is on during lunch period, so I know I'll have a big audience. I can't wait to play the new Grass Roots and J.J. Cale records . . . the J.J. Cale thing will be enough to straighten out Bernie's white-boy 'fro. I mean, it's really far out, man!

OH, HANG ON for a sec. . . .

Jason! What's happenin', man?

Groovy!

Later, man! Right on, bro!

Anyway, man, I was going to play more acid rock, but I don't want to push Mr. Kauffman's buttons too much, you know? Yeah, he's kind of a square, but he's a square who can shut me down.

I guess sometimes you got no choice but to play by The Man's rules. It'll be different in college, man. There, we can organize to fight the Establishment oppression.

Well, gotta run. Catch me in a bit on 3 Chords & the Truth . . . straight talk and cool music, right here on KWWH.

It's the grooviest show on the radio! Be there. Aloha.


P.S.: I wonder what people will be playing in 30 years? I don't know why I was thinking of that -- like, I just was, man.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fair is fair. But society isn't.

Rod Dreher over at Crunchy Con posts the following points about "white privilege" sent in by a reader of his. I'm ashamed to say that, in reading the post, I was taken aback that I hadn't even considered some of it before.

TO SHOWCASE just one example, what about Bristol Palin getting knocked up by her "f***in redneck" boyfriend, and how, if the young couple were black, we'd be clucking about "social mayhem" and the problem of black illegitimacy. Which we would.

Is it a problem that we
don't see preggers Bristol and her ruffian baby daddy as some sort of baby-mama ho and her white-trash Tupac? Do the daughters of GOP vice-presidential candidates have a higher class of unplanned, unwed pregnancy?

Or is it a problem that we've become conditioned to see just about every unwed black mother and her baby daddy as just that, almost without exception?

MAYBE THE PROBLEM is both. That we're too quick to overlook the forces of social disruption lying at the heart of every white Romeo and Juliet and too quick to condemn African-American kids when they do the same damned thing.

No difference in the offense. Big difference in white society's perception. And that's flat-out wrong.

Not to mention racist.

Anyway, here's part of what Crunchy Con posted. Go read the rest . . . and cringe as you do:

For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help. White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay. White privilege is when you can call yourself a "f**kin' redneck," like Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll "kick their f**kin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot s**t" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug. White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you're "untested."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hey, Boo Boo! Don't mess with the Russians

The Bush Administration ought to have thought about how badly Russia can screw over the United States -- every day in every way -- before America started messing around in the Bear's neck of the woods, trying to humiliate Yogi in front of Boo Boo and everybody.

And George Bush has big trouble now, because Yogi Bear (a.k.a. Vladimir Putin) -- who's "smarter than the average bear" -- is in the process of stealing his "pic-a-nic" basket, as
The Times of London now tells us:

Russia defied the United States yesterday by announcing plans to sell military hardware to Iran and Venezuela.

The head of the state arms exporter said that he was negotiating to sell antiaircraft systems to Iran despite American objections. Russia has already delivered 29 Tor-M1 missile systems under a $700 million (£386 million) deal with Iran in 2005.

“Contacts between our countries are continuing and we do not see any reason to suspend them,” Anatoli Isaikin, the general director of Rosoboronexport, told the RIA-Novosti news agency at an arms fair in South Africa.

Reports have circulated for some time that the Kremlin is preparing to sell its S300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran, offering greater protection against a possible US or Israeli attack on the Islamic republic’s nuclear facilities. The missiles have a range of more than 90 miles (150km).

Sergei Chemezov, the head of the state-owned Russian Technologies, also disclosed that Venezuela’s leader, Hugo Chávez, wanted to buy antiaircraft systems, armoured personnel carriers, and SU35 fighter jets when they come into production in 2010.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Sechin, one of the closest allies of Mr Putin, the Prime Minister, visited Venezuela and Cuba this week. Kommersant, the financial newspaper, said that Russia was forming “alliance relations” with the two antiAmerican regimes as a response to US involvement in former Soviet republics.

The Russian moves mark a serious deterioration in relations between Washington and Moscow. Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, threated to block Russia’s membership of key international organisations. She told the Kremlin that its “authoritarian policies” could prevent it from joining the World Trade Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which coordinates economic policies among industrialised countries. In an outspoken speech to the German Marshall Fund, an institution promoting greater cooperation between America and Europe, Dr Rice said: “The picture emerging is of a Russia increasingly authoritarian at home and aggressive abroad.

“Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organisation is now in question. And so too is its attempt to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.”

She added: “Russia’s international standing is worse now than at any time since 1991.”
HEY, CONDI! I don't think Russia really cares. It has the oil . . . and your pic-a-nic basket.

Was Georgia, Kosovo and the Ukraine
really worth riling up Yogi? Not even Ranger Smith can help you now.

Every man a schmuck



Dear America,

Congratulations! All you bastids is gonna be a big banana republic!

HAAAAAAAAA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! HAHA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

We's all white trash now!


Love,

The Gret Stet of Louisiana


P.S.: Squirrels is good eatin'.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hell on wheels


To my old man, wheelchairs didn't bring forth visions of the disabled. They were just more stable platforms to shoot from.

I learned this the hard way.

Mrs. Favog and I hadn't been married but a few years when we became aware of my father's . . . uhhhhhh . . . eccentric views about those confined to chairs with two big wheels in back and a pair of little ones in the front. We were living in Baton Rouge at the time, and we were over to my folks' house for dinner.


IT WAS Labor Day. I know this because I recall that we were watching the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon.

I made the mistake of asking whether they'd be making a donation to Jerry's Kids, fighting the good fight against muscular dystrophy.

Hell, no, said the old man.

Why was that?

He then launched into a diatribe about the crippled, wheelchairs and guns. Something about how the Wheelchair People were just itching to gun us all down.

I can picture it now: The cute little Muscular Dystrophy Association ambassador -- probably all of 11 years old -- was pissed as hell about his impending horrible death from a dread disease and, dammit, he was going to take as many people as he could with him.

Unfortunately for us, the wife and I did the rational thing when presented with the specter of Roland the Crippled Wheelchair Gunner. We laughed our asses off. But my old man wasn't joking.

I ought to have figured that he wasn't. The old man almost never joked.

WHAT FOLLOWED was an angry diatribe by the old man -- aimed at his uppity son and his g**damn Yankee wife. Somewhere in there was the memorable phrase, "I might not have book learnin', but I got common sense."

That phrase spoke volumes, actually. It needed to. What followed from the old man was about a month's worth of silence -- and not just on the subject of wheelchairs and guns.

The old man is long dead now, but the whack genius of Psycho Gunners on Wheels lives on in Favogian lore. After all, you just can't get anymore insane than. . . .


Ohhhhhhhhh . . . CRAP:
This shooter had an unconventional mode of transportation.

Shortly after 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, police responded to a call about a person who was down in the street near 69th and Maple Streets. Officers found Patrick Amburn, 40, of Glenwood, Iowa, who told them that he had been shot by a man in a wheelchair.

Amburn was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center with a gunshot wound to his back. His injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, police said.
THANKS, Omaha World-Herald. I can hear the old man going "HEH HEH HEHHHHHHHHHH!" all the way from Roselawn Cemetery in Baton Rouge, La.

The cops had better haul in Jerry Lewis for questioning. He probably knows the assailant.

We extend greetings to our Chinese overlords

No comment is necessary on this CNBC report, I don't think.

Morgan Stanley -- one of the two last independent, U.S.-based investment banks -- is negotiating with the Chinese government for a fresh infusion of funds into the beleaguered investment bank.

Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack held various conversations with potential merger partners Wednesday afternoon including top executives at Citigroup and Wachovia Bank . However, Mack continues to work to keep Morgan Stanley an independent company CNBC has learned.

Executives at Morgan are currently crunching numbers to determine how much of an additional minority stake they need to sell to settle market fears about the company.

Mack's plan is to sell a piece of Morgan Stanley to a Chinese bank. Mack has been dealing with Chinese government officials all day Wednesday to line up money from China.

He also has been dealing with top officials from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury to lobby them to give approval to a Chinese bank increasing its stake in the company.

China’s sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corporation (CIC), already owns 9.9 percent of Morgan. However, Mack, according to people close to the company, understands that he faces significant obstacles including a turbulent market that has crushed Morgan shares.

People close to Mack say that he does not expect any deal tonight and he would like to avoid one on Thursday. However, if he has to do a deal, because of further deterioration in stock price he will.

CNBC's David Faber had earlier reported that the Federal Reserve has been active in encouraging the Chinese to invest in U.S. financial institutions. The Fed has even made it clear that it would look favorably upon a Chinese acquisition of a U.S.-based financial institution, sources said.

Morgan Stanley stocks plunged more than 24 percent Wednesday and it is imperative that the investment bank gets a cash infusion before its shares decline further. London-based HSBC has also been cited as a possible suitor for Morgan Stanley.

Napoleon Obama rallies the troops


Overheard on Obama Farm: "All speech is free. Some speech is freer than other speech."


IN ITS TUESDAY EDITIONS, the Chicago Tribune tells a tale that could have been written by George Orwell . . . or Saul Alinsky in full "We'll really f*** 'em tomorrow!" mode:
Chicago radio station WGN-AM is again coming under attack from the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama for offering airtime to a controversial author. It is the second time in recent weeks the station has been the target of an "Obama Action Wire" alert to supporters of the Illinois Democrat.

Monday night's target was David Freddoso, who the campaign said was scheduled to be on the station from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Chicago time.

"The author of the latest anti-Barack hit book is appearing on WGN Radio in the Chicagoland market tonight, and your help is urgently needed to make sure his baseless lies don't gain credibility," an e-mail sent Monday evening to Obama supporters reads.

"David Freddoso has made a career off dishonest, extreme hate mongering," the message said. "And WGN apparently thinks this card-carrying member of the right-wing smear machine needs a bigger platform for his lies and smears about Barack Obama -- on the public airwaves."
THIS READS like a page out of the Industrial Areas Foundation playbook.

It's the kind of grassroots strong-arm tactic a "community organizer" uses against the city council or a school board . . . or an abusive employer in the community. But to use such tactics as not-so-vague intimidation against a media outlet in the name of stifling free-and-open debate?

And not only that, but to use such tactics not against The Man, but in service of a Washington pol who seeks to become
THE
Man?

Would Saul Alinsky cheer on a disciple who grabbed the reins of power? Or would he be horrified that his methods had been subverted by the institutional power base in service of Obama's personal ambition?

And the status quo.

Maybe some hints lie
in an old Playboy interview with the Old Radical himself, conducted by Eric Norden in 1972:

PLAYBOY: The assumption behind the Administration's Silent Majority thesis is that most of the middle class is inherently conservative. How can even the most skillful organizational tactics unite them in support of your radical goals?

ALINSKY: Conservative? That's a crock of crap. Right now they're nowhere. But they can and will go either of two ways in the coming years -- to a native American fascism or toward radical social change. Right now they're frozen, festering in apathy, leading what Thoreau called "lives of quiet desperation:" They're oppressed by taxation and inflation, poisoned by pollution, terrorized by urban crime, frightened by the new youth culture, baffled by the computerized world around them. They've worked all their lives to get their own little house in the suburbs, their color TV, their two cars, and now the good life seems to have turned to ashes in their mouths. Their personal lives are generally unfulfilling, their jobs unsatisfying, they've succumbed to tranquilizers and pep pills, they drown their anxieties in alcohol, they feel trapped in longterm endurance marriages or escape into guilt-ridden divorces. They're losing their kids and they're losing their dreams. They're alienated, depersonalized, without any feeling of participation in the political process, and they feel rejected and hopeless. Their utopia of status and security has become a tacky-tacky suburb, their split-levels have sprouted prison bars and their disillusionment is becoming terminal.


They're the first to live in a total mass-media-oriented world, and every night when they turn on the TV and the news comes on, they see the almost unbelievable hypocrisy and deceit and even outright idiocy of our national leaders and the corruption and disintegration of all our institutions, from the police and courts to the White House itself. Their society appears to be crumbling and they see themselves as no more than small failures within the larger failure. All their old values seem to have deserted them, leaving them rudderless in a sea of social chaos. Believe me, this is good organizational material.


The despair is there; now it's up to us to go in and rub raw the sores of discontent, galvanize them for radical social change. We'll give them a way to participate in the democratic process, a way to exercise their rights as citizens and strike back at the establishment that oppresses them, instead of giving in to apathy. We'll start with specific issues -- taxes, jobs, consumer problems, pollution -- and from there move on to the larger issues: pollution in the Pentagon and the Congress and the board rooms of the megacorporations. Once you organize people, they'll keep advancing from issue to issue toward the ultimate objective: people power. We'll not only give them a cause, we'll make life goddamn exciting for them again -- life instead of existence. We'll turn them on.


PLAYBOY: You don't expect them to beware of radicals bearing gifts?


ALINSKY: Sure, they'll be suspicious, even hostile at first. That's been my experience with every community I've ever moved into. My critics are right when they call me an outside agitator. When a community, any kind of community, is hopeless and helpless, it requires somebody from outside to come in and stir things up. That's my job -- to unsettle them, to make them start asking questions, to teach them to stop talking and start acting, because the fat cats in charge never hear with their ears, only through their rears. I'm not saying it's going to be easy; thermopolitically, the middle classes are rooted in inertia, conditioned to look for the safe and easy way, afraid to rock the boat. But they're beginning to realize that boat is sinking and unless they start bailing fast, they're going to go under with it. The middle class today is really schizoid, torn between its indoctrination and its objective situation. The instinct of middle-class people is to support and celebrate the status quo, but the realities of their daily lives drill it home that the status quo has exploited and betrayed them.

THE OLD RABBLE-ROUSER really had suburbia's number, didn't he?

Certainly Obama, the erstwhile community organizer, still is adept at Alinskyesque sloganeering and at cutting and pasting from the IAF playbook. But in what way does he propose to rally the middle class against that status quo, which "has exploited and betrayed them"?

Especially when he's running on a platform that's merely a Democratic Party version of the status quo in an attempt to become the duly elected Quo of Quos.