Showing posts with label Depression. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Depression. Show all posts

Monday, August 11, 2014

For Robin

All we could see was the mask. All we wanted to see was the painted-on smile.

Behind our laughter, though, was the jester's unspeakable pain and, ultimately, despair. What hell on earth is this? What hell is this to believe to the depth of your soul that the world would be a better one without you?'ve probably had your moments; I know I have had mine. But what unspeakable hell is this to not be able to -- to, at the very end, not want to -- pull out of the nosedive of despair?

What is this hell depression?

What is this hopelessness suicide?

May the merciful God take Robin Williams into His arms and wipe away the tears. May He also dry ours as we contemplate the utter waste of it all . . . and the utter conditionality of our love.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Pat's always the last to hear

Actually, God told Paul Krugman this long ago, the economic collapse thing.

Or. . . .

Great googly moogly, can you imagine how pissed Republicans would be if it turned out Paul Krugman were the Almighty?! Naw, I'm just spitballing here.

Then again, maybe God just got on the Internets, did a little crowdsourcing and then decided He would mess with the mind of a doddering old man by repeating memes and musing about the logical consequences of present sociopolitical trends.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pigs fly. Europe over. End nigh.

Germany is the only country in Europe that can act to save the eurozone and the wider European Union from “a crisis of apocalyptic proportions”, the Polish foreign minister warned on Monday in a passionate call for more drastic action to prevent the collapse of the European monetary union.

The extraordinary appeal by Radoslaw Sikorski, delivered in the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate in the German capital, came as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development called on European leaders to provide “credible and large enough firepower” to halt the sell-off in the eurozone sovereign debt market, or risk a severe recession.

The OECD’s comments came as the organisation slashed its half-yearly forecasts for growth in the world’s richest countries, warning that economic activity in Europe would grind to a near-halt.

Yet their calls were met by a stubborn insistence in Berlin that only EU treaty change to forge a “stability union” in the eurozone would revive confidence in the markets.

In a startling comment for a senior Polish minister, Mr Sikorski declared that the biggest threat to his nation’s security was not terrorism, or German tanks, or even Russian missiles, but “the collapse of the eurozone”.

“I demand of Germany that, for your own sake and for ours, you help it survive and prosper,” he said. “You know full well that nobody else can do it. I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity. You have become Europe’s indispensable nation.

-- The Financial Times,
Nov. 28, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

He didn't see that one coming

Noted trends forecaster Gerald Celente, a favorite of Russia Today and American conspiracy theorists, thought he was being prudent by investing in gold futures.

After getting waylaid by a trend called Jon Corzine and MF Global, Celente tells the RT anchorette exactly what he thinks the "MF" now stands for. I wonder what that is in Russian.

Hang on. . . .

мать ублюдок. Thanks, Google.

HERE'S a trends forecast that I think Celente might sign off on -- and, I think, already has. Occupy Wall Street is just the first wave, the rash bunch of weirdos, freakazoids, hippies, eccentrics, commies, anarchists . . . and a few normal people.

They're being dealt with by the state security forces -- something the Russia Today producers might know a little bit about.

But if and when the next big economic shock hits -- maybe a financial tsunami of sovereign defaults rolling across the Atlantic from the Eurozone -- people just might be back in the streets. And it won't be the hippies and freaks and weirdos and other unserious folk.

Goodnight America, wherever you've gone.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Drawing a line in the sand trap

The Republican Party has had it with the strong-arm tactics of the Obama Administration, and its leading pols are saying enough is enough.

In fact, one GOP senator is drawing a line in the sand trap on No. 16, telling the evil Democrats to cease and desist molesting fine, upstanding Americans whose jobs may be threatened by the socialist cabal.

THAT WOULD BE (ahem) the CEOs of Wall Street banks who blew up the economy and now suckle at the federal teat. Somehow, James Rowley of Bloomberg stopped ROTFLMAO-ing just long enough to pound out this story:
A leading Senate Republican warned the Obama administration against removing chief executive officers at banks that received U.S. assistance, saying “the great fear” would be government management of companies.

“If you think that Washington can run car companies and banks and so on, well, then you’ve not been paying attention to how we’ve been doing back here,” Senator Jon Kyl said of the Treasury’s threat of management changes at banks getting “exceptional” aid. Last month, the administration forced out General Motors Corp. CEO Rick Wagoner as a condition for more U.S. aid.

While a financial review showed most banks don’t require new assistance from the Treasury, “the government appears to still have control over the major banks to the extent of saying they’ve got to raise capital,” Kyl said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing today.

This continued government leverage over companies such as Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. “does raise some questions,” Kyl said. “Hopefully they can all get out of that relatively quickly.”

Kyl, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, also said it would be “absolutely unnecessary” for Congress to create a commission to investigate harsh tactics that the Central Intelligence Agency used to interrogate suspected al-Qaeda operatives seized after the Sept. 11 attacks.
PRO-ROBBER BARONS, pro-torture -- now that's what I call a winning political strategy. (Did the Chinese Communists take over the GOP while I was sleeping?) It can't be too soon until this spent political party just goes away and spares us any more of this vulgar spectacle.

Don't consider this an endorsement of the Democrats; it's just that we can deal with only one plague at a time. And this is the GOP's time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Apocalyptic is the new normal

If this doesn't scare you spitless, you're an idiot.

"THIS" WOULD BE the following dispatch from The Wall Street Journal:

Pakistan's Taliban seized control of another district in the country's northwest just 70 miles from the capital after consolidating their hold on the Swat Valley, according to local government officials and residents.

The latest Taliban advance into the Buner district has spurred fears that a controversial peace accord, which allows the militants to enforce sharia law in Swat, has emboldened them to expand their influence.

Militants have been moving into Buner since the Swat peace deal was signed with the government in February. But starting Tuesday night they seized control of the entire district, which has a population of more than one million people, local government officials and residents said. Heavily armed militants, streaming in from neighboring Swat, occupied government offices and set up their own checkposts. Terrified residents fled their homes.

Dozens of hooded fighters carrying rocket launchers and machine guns ransacked the offices of international aid and development agencies working in the district and took away their vehicles. Some employees of the agencies were also briefly taken hostage. The militants set up their headquarters in the town of Buner after driving out government officials.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the Taliban advance poses "an existential threat" to Pakistan and urged Pakistanis world-wide to oppose a government policy yielding to them. Pakistanis "need to speak out forcefully against a policy that is ceding more and more territory to the insurgents," Mrs. Clinton said in testimony before a House committee.
BEFORE YOU SHRUG and withdraw once more into your Wii cocoon, the significance of the Journal's report is found on The Daily Beast in a post by author Gerald Posner:
The Taliban advance should be causing high Richter-scale reactions inside the Obama White House. Counterterrorism officials have long warned that al Qaeda is desperate to obtain weapons WMD. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is in play if the Taliban insurgency should unseat the government of Asif Ali Zadari.

Pakistan has been a member of the nuclear club since in 1987. Intelligence estimates are that the country now has between 50 and 100 nuclear missiles that can travel 1,200 miles. That places much of India, Saudi Arabia and Eastern Iraq within range. With slight improvements in the rockets’ booster phase—not a difficult technological advance—Jerusalem could be hit.

Pakistan straddles a fault line between secularism and fundamentalism. Many Pakistani military and intelligence officers are markedly more radical than the centrist Zadari and openly supportive of Osama bin Laden. Pakistan’s equivalent of the CIA is still enraged by the central government’s abandonment of both the Taliban and the Kashmiri Jihadis. Fundamentalist religious schools—of which Pakistan has more than any other country—churn out thousands of radical Islamists, and outlawed militant parties regularly resurface with new names.


A Pakistani government led by Sunni fundamentalists could launch a nuclear attack on Iran's Shia provinces, long-time foe India and definitely Israel. Economic upheaval in the West would be assured by nuking oil fields in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. You think the stock market looks bad over the last two years? Let a Taliban spokesman announce that Mullah Omar has his finger on the Islamic Bomb.
LET US FERVENTLY PRAY the world's big international players -- Britain, the United States, Russia and China -- are at this moment planning a joint military operation to seize, if need be, and destroy Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Because if they aren't, and if Pakistan falls to the Taliban, we can be pretty sure -- one way or another -- this is The End of Everything. At least Everything as we have come to know it.

Actually, a complete Wall Street meltdown would be only the half of it . . . particularly if the Taliban were to nuke the Saudi oil fields.

If the Taliban take over Pakistan, and its nuclear arsenal is still there . . . al Qaida will have The Bomb, and America could someday lose a major city. What's far more likely than that is the prospect of nuclear war on the Indian subcontinent, because India and Israel can't (and won't) live with the imminent threat of annihilation at the hand of nutwagon Islamist goons.

Jesus, mercy. Mary, pray.

HAT TIP: Crunchy Con.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The next sick thing

What do you get when you combine producers from the country that gave us legal euthanasia and the network that specializes in "Mouth-Breathe TV"?


Fox has fast-tracked a reality series in which real companies that are struggling to stay afloat in this lousy economy agree to let their staffs decide who among them will get pink-slipped to cut costs.

Fox is already in production on "Someone's Gotta Go," having lined up companies -- smaller, Dunder Mifflin-esque outfits with 15 to 20 employees -- Fox's reality-series madman/genius Mike Darnell told the TV Column. We sounded incredulous. Darnell notes that every time he comes up with one of these trashtastic reality series, we ask the same question: What on Earth would motivate anyone to be on this show? And his answer is always the same: "They want to be on TV. Who knows? There's never a shortage."

Each week, a different company will be showcased. Each week, that company's boss or owner will call the employees together and tell them someone has to be laid off. He or she will give the employees all the available information about one another -- salaries, job evaluations, etc. -- and let them decide who gets the pink slip.

Darnell thinks millions of Americans who fear for their jobs or have lost them will flock to a TV series in which someone loses a job every week, because the show is about . . . Wish Fulfillment.

The idea came from watching a segment on a cable news channel in which a small-business owner decided to let all her employees know what each of them was paid.

"We've taken it a step further and opened up the books to everybody's salary, opened up their HR files and let them talk about each other and to each other -- this one's lazy, this one's a hard worker, I hear this one's having an affair. And in the end they will decide who's to go.

"I'm sure you've been through a situation where someone at your company gets fired and you think, 'Why did that guy get fired and that idiot is still here?' " Darnell asked us, rhetorically. We had no comment.

The show will be brought to us by Endemol -- the Dutch-based production company that also gave the world "Big Brother," which used to seem mean-spirited and skanky, but which suddenly looks quaint and charming.
I THINK The Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes summed it up right nicely with that last paragraph. Or, to paraphrase Boon's description to Katy after a night of frat debauchery at Animal House: "Unbelievable. A new low. They're so ashamed."


That's because if you're a miserable enough SOB to watch it, they're miserable enough SOBs to make it -- "it" being yet another show that degrades people for the entertainment of others, thereby turning human misery into a media cash cow.

And you're a miserable enough SOB to watch it. After all, how long have The Jerry Springer Show and Maury been on the air?

Way back there then, Caesar used to provide bread and circuses for the people as a means of keeping everybody amused . . . and in line. Then the barbarians came.

Now, we find our "elites" -- both governmental and cultural -- providing bread and circuses for the barbarians (that is, us) as a means of keeping everybody amused . . . and in line. I mean, we have everything -- gladiators, temple prostitutes, chariot races (NASCAR), freak shows . . . everything.

WELL, ACTUALLY, not quite everything. We don't feed Christians to the lions yet.

Give Fox another couple of TV seasons, though, and they'll see what they can do.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

3 Chords & the Truth: Feel like a number

Hard times keep calling us back.

Calling us back to explore the subject one more time, at least, on 3 Chords & the Truth. Why not? We're in them . . . just as well plumb the depths of where we find ourselves.

What interests me this go around is the death of "livin' large." Or the death of that notion for some -- the ones not taking the bonus money and running. If you listen to the news, or the cultural zeitgeist, you can be forgiven for thinking we all were riding high . . .
and then something happened.

THE TRUTH is more complicated. Truth is, the American Dream has been under assault for the better part of two generations. For that long, great American industries have been on the skids, and the Americans who worked in them have been progressively thrown away.

Now we watch as the government goes about
"shuttin' Detroit down" -- which may or may not be a mercy killing -- and the loss of industrial jobs kicks into overdrive. Pedal to the metal.

Used to be, you could work in a factory (or plant) make a good wage, support your family, send the kids to college, then retire with a comfortable pension. Used to be.

Global competition and the quest for short-term returns killed that notion dead. We've thrown away workers' security, and now we're busily throwing away the workers themselves.

Job retraining, in too many cases, is learning to say "Would you like fries with that?" in both English and Español.

First, we began to import throwaway products. Now we have throwaway workers. Check out the tent cities of the homeless all over California.

REALLY, is there anything -- or, for that matter, anyone -- we don't throw away these days? We have disposable plates, disposable utensils, disposable containers and disposable appliances.

Disposable napkins, disposable clothes, disposable bags and disposable lighters.

Disposable relationships, disposable contracts, disposable jobs and disposable workers.

Disposable music, disposable culture, disposable arts and disposable media.

Disposable lovers, disposable kids, disposable marriages and disposable morality.

AGAIN . . . CAN SOMEBODY tell me what we don't discard?

Well, banks do seem to have some difficulty in disposing of "toxic assets." And we fervently hope you won't chuck this week's episode of the Big Show.

Such is life in a world where people serve the economy, and not the other way around. Maybe that's why we keep returning to this theme in these times.

Or, as
Bob Seger once sang:
Feel like a number,
Feel like a stranger,
A stranger in this land,
I feel like a number,
I'm not a number,
I'm not a number,
Dammit I'm a man,
I said I'm a man
THAT'S KIND OF a Motor City translation of a Christmas sermon Pope Leo the Great once gave. The money line: "Christian, remember your dignity."

It would be nice if the suits remembered our dignity once in a while, too. "Dammit, I'm a man. I said I'm a man."

And, as always, it's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A tale of two Kentuckies

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

It's a hard-knock life. Unless you're a big-time athletic program.

Then you get to tell a nation in the middle of the worst hard times since the Great Depression. . . . Well, let's just say you get to rub big money and f***ed-up priorities in folks' faces.

We act like life is a game and a game is life. No, and hell no.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Copper-plated coins denominated at .01 dollar
eminating from a paranormal entity of bliss

Your government wants you to know:

Economic turmoil (e.g., increased unemployment, foreclosures, loss of investments and other financial distress) can result in a whole host of negative health effects - both physical and mental. It can be particularly devastating to your emotional and mental well-being. Although each of us is affected differently by economic troubles, these problems can add tremendous stress, which in turn can substantially increase the risk for developing such problems as:

* Depression
* Anxiety
* Compulsive Behaviors (over-eating, excessive gambling, spending, etc.)
* Substance Abuse


Other Steps You Can Take

Acknowledge that economic downturns can be frightening to everyone, but that there are ways of getting through them - from engaging in healthy activities, positive thinking, supportive relationships, to seeking help when needed from health professionals.

Encourage community-based organizations and groups to provide increased levels of mental health treatment and support to those who are severely affected by the economy.

Work together to help all members of the community build their resiliency and successfully return to healthy and productive lives.

For further information on mental health or substance abuse issues please visit The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
PERSONALLY, I really prefer how Americans dealt with this kind of stuff in the 1930s (see video above).

Shutting Detroit Down

Sometimes, it takes a songwriter to distill into digestible form what's been happening to a people.

For a generation in this country, we've seen the rich get richer and the poor and working class get the shaft. By and large, we have been too distracted with bread and circuses to notice what's been happening in Novus Rome.

But the bubble has burst. The fit has hit the shan. We notice.

And now, as country singer John Rich notes, we're bailing out the bankers while we're
shutting Detroit down. And throwing the working man under the limousine.

If, as many fear, the worst is yet to come -- and if Americans have any civic-mindedness and fundamental concern for justice left -- there's going to be a revolution in this country.

You can take that to the zombie bank.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Of tinfoil hats and saving babies

I don't know how I missed this bit of spastic-colon knotheadedness last month, but I did -- and it was right here in the Great State of Nebraska, out west in Hastings.

Unsurprisingly, the really angry man of the Republican Party, Alan Keyes, was Ground Zero of the angst-induced lower-GI spasticity. In a political party full of angry men (and women), the perennial candidate always manages to stand out.

In the above interview with KHAS television, the man all but dons a tinfoil hat to keep the Obama NSA from reading his brain waves. That's the National Security Agency under the control of the "radical communist" Barack Obama, illegitimate president of the United States, which will soon cease to exist if we don't "stop" him.

UNFORTUNATELY, the Most Pissed-Off Man in America was in Hastings for a Triple-A Crisis Pregnancy Center fund-raiser. Doubly unfortunately, Keyes' appearance on behalf of the pro-life organization both detracts from the good work done by crisis-pregnancy centers and illuminates every single thing that's wrong with the movement today.

Foremost would be pro-lifers' failure to apprehend that culture precedes politics, and if you can't change hearts and minds, you're not going to get very far with any political assault against the "culture of death." Because it's a culture of death.

And, really, can you imagine any more glaring demonstration of such cultural and public-relations blindness than inviting an angry, articulate wingnut like Alan Keyes to be the face of your movement -- if only for a day? Or, if you're counting the YouTube universe . . . forever.

After all, nothing says "We're compassionate, reasonable people who want to help women and stand up for the most vulnerable of human lives" than this from "Ambassador" Keyes, as he likes to be called:
"Obama is a radical communist and I think it is becoming clear. That is what I told people in Illinois and now everybody realizes it's coming true. He is going to destroy this country and we are either going to stop him or the United States of America is going to cease to exist."
OR PERHAPS these bon mots:

"That's another question: Is he president of the United States? According to the Constitution, to be eligible for president, you have to be a natural-born citizen. He has refused to provide proof that he is in fact a natural-born citizen. And his Kenyan relations say he was born in Nairobi at a time when his mother was too young to transmit U.S. citizenship.

"So I'm not even sure he's president of the United States. No, that's not a laughing matter."
WELL, ACTUALLY, when Keyes says it, it kind of is.

We're in bad trouble in this country. We may or may not be sliding into another Great Depression. We may or may not possess the social and infrastructure capital to soldier through if we, indeed, are.

In so many ways, we are a nation divided. And, yes, we are enveloped by a "culture of death," where folks find it more expedient to rub out human "burdens" than carry them -- either to term or to a natural exit from this mortal coil.

We don't need bomb-throwers out there dropping their crazy pants to show their crazy ass to all the world, with one cheek tattooed "PRO" and the other one "LIFE." Hell, we don't need any bomb-throwers out there, period -- no matter what crazy-ass labels they sport.

The stakes are high, tempers are short, and just about anything says "love thy neighbor" so much better than Alan Keyes.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Burn, baby, burn! Hard times inferno!

The prophet of Times Square certainly has been an interesting sideshow.

SURELY YOU'VE HEARD, somewhere on the Internets, the dire prophetic warning from the Holy Spirit -- via the blog of the Rev. David Wilkerson, pastor of New York's Times Square Church:

For ten years I have been warning about a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires—such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago.

There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting—including Times Square, New York City. What we are experiencing now is not a recession, not even a depression. We are under God’s wrath. In Psalm 11 it is written,

“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (v. 3).

God is judging the raging sins of America and the nations. He is destroying the secular foundations.

The prophet Jeremiah pleaded with wicked Israel, “God is fashioning a calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh, turn back each of you from your evil way, and reform your ways and deeds. But they will say, It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart” (Jeremiah 18:11-12).
MAYBE the good pastor is right. Then again, maybe it wasn't the Holy Spirit whispering in his ear.

In any event, I don't know whether you can call it prophecy if one's reaction to it -- well, at least my reaction to it -- is "Well, DUH!" I think what Pastor Wilkerson really is prophesying would be a triggering event that will cause postmodern Westerners -- raised, by and large, with an entitlement mentality and without God -- to act in an entirely predictable manner when faced with dire circumstances rendering their worldview null and void.

In other words, go apes***.

Look at it this way: For at least a couple of generations, what used to be Christendom has elevated worship of mammon to historically unprecedented heights. And like all belief systems built upon philosophical sand dunes, the foundation was bound to crack.


Now the walls are bowing out and the roof ain't looking too good. One good shock -- The Israelis attacking Iran, perhaps, and oil prices again shooting into the stratosphere as a result? -- could cause the whole thing to come down.

Think of it this way: In the absence of the hope derived from the prospect of greater earthly prosperity (an insufficient and fleeting hope, obviously, but you take what's available to you) what real hope does mankind have apart from that won at a terrible price on Calvary, with Jesus Christ hanging dead on a cross for our sins?

What victory can we claim over the natural state of mankind, save that same Jesus' triumph over death and despair on that first Easter morn? Of late, we have put abiding faith in a modern materialistic aberration . . . but what if that all goes away?

And it might, you know.

HOW DOES a people without hope behave?

David Wilkerson had a vision:

There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting—including Times Square, New York City.
All you need is angry people. Check.

Hopeless people. Getting there.

A match thrown in a puddle of sociological gasoline. ?????

Someone, anyone, tell me: What hope will the people have when the "bubble America" they've so carefully constructed proves to the cruelest of false hopes? In what do people hope when their collective god dies, the house has gone back to the bank, the SUV has been repossessed, they can't put food on the table and the iPod won't answer urgent prayers?

What's left but the abyss when the trend line looks like this, as reported by The Associated Press:

Fifteen percent of respondents said they had no religion, an increase from 14.2 percent in 2001 and 8.2 percent in 1990, according to the American Religious Identification Survey.

Northern New England surpassed the Pacific Northwest as the least religious region, with Vermont reporting the highest share of those claiming no religion, at 34 percent. Still, the study found that the numbers of Americans with no religion rose in every state.

"No other religious bloc has kept such a pace in every state," the study's authors said.


The current survey, being released Monday, found traditional organized religion playing less of a role in many lives. Thirty percent of married couples did not have a religious wedding ceremony and 27 percent of respondents said they did not want a religious funeral.

About 12 percent of Americans believe in a higher power but not the personal God at the core of monotheistic faiths. And, since 1990, a slightly greater share of respondents — 1.2 percent — said they were part of new religious movements, including Scientology, Wicca and Santeria.

The study also found signs of a growing influence of churches that either don't belong to a denomination or play down their membership in a religious group.

It's fitting, actually, that President Obama announced today that it's now full speed ahead for embryonic stem-cell research, otherwise known as cannibalizing the tiniest human beings in hopes of fixing what ails us giant economy-sized human beings.

This triumph of scientific "progress" is an eminently logical progression for the "developed" world, where we've cannibalized the environment to build a planetary Temple of Stuff. And where workers continually are cannibalized (figuratively . . . thus far) by corporate titans in the name of "shareholder value" and "globalism."

Creating embryos just to consume them makes perfect sense to an America where we've cannibalized our surviving progeny's future for the holy cause of tax cuts, elective wars, McMansions and an automobile in every pot.

WHETHER OR NOT it really was the third person of the Holy Trinity -- terminology wholly unfamiliar to a burgeoning demographic -- it seems to me it was perfectly appropriate for Rev. Wilkerson to issue his warning and invoke the prophet Jeremiah.

After all, one of the founding fathers has his back:

"For in a warm climate, no man will labour for himself who can make another labour for him. This is so true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed are ever seen to labor. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever. . . ."
Thomas Jefferson wrote that. You can find parts of it on the Jefferson Memorial . . . in Washington, D.C. That's where President Obama -- supremely ironically -- has devoted much of his energy to enshrining a new form of slavery, one where humans not even worth three-fifths of a white man satisfy our needs with their lives.

Washington is also where politicians look out for the interests of corporate masters at the expense of a new kind of serf. "Wage slaves," if you happen to be of a Marxist bent.

And Washington is where the government enabled, then bailed out, the Wall Street profiteers who blew up the economy. And, maybe, your job along with it.

Worse, they blew up the gods in which lay our hope. O mighty iPod, o sacred text message, come to our assistance in this our time of travail! Hummer hear our prayer!

Hello? Hello?

No one's there. Burn that mama down.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Looking for bailouts for God, Inc.

Go to Mass on Sunday, and you're likely to hear how contributions are falling short "x" thousand dollars every week. Please step it up.

Yes, we know some of you have lost your jobs. Yes, we know people are hurting. Yes, we know there's a recession afoot, maybe a depression.

But. . . .


But, we've turned the Catholic Church into a corporation? But, we don't give clothes to the naked or food to the hungry, but instead create chanceries, which have offices, which hire staff, who run programs . . . which help the needy?

But, half of what you put in the plate -- plus a crapload of parents' money in the form of tuition -- go to fund a Catholic-school system no better (at least in Omaha) than public schools and absolutely as likely to turn out hedonistic little pagans?

But, you're paying dearly to build more, and more luxurious, facilities in which comfortable suburban Catholics hear a lukewarm version of the gospel to the lounge-lizard beat of liturgical composers at whom, I'm sure, Simon Cowell would love to have a go?

OH . . . AND THEN there is

WHICH MAKES YOU wonder about this, from Pravda, ummmm . . . The Catholic Voice:
Lee Karrer, finance director for the Archdiocese of Omaha, says only time will tell what kind of an impact the economy will have on the archdiocese.

"It's probably a little too early," he said. "The archbishop, however, has directed that we bring our expenses of operating the Central Administrative Offices into line with anticipated slowdown of incoming revenue."

Karrer said the finance office is in the process of finishing the budget planning on reducing the budget for 2008-2009, as well as the fiscal year of 2009-2010. The reality is that anything and everything is being discussed in terms of reducing the budget, including salary increases, benefit levels and staffing.

"Now we are just at the beginning of the process for Fiscal Year 2009-2010. We haven't even met with the finance council yet. So it's a little early to be able to say exactly what the end results will be," he said. "I can say we've reduced this year's fiscal budget by six figures and will do at least that if not more in 2009-2010."

The finance office's budget affects the chancery offices at 100 N. 62nd St. in Omaha and the archdiocesan offices located at the Sheehan Center campus near 60th and Northwest Radial Highway, Karrer said.

Father Joseph Taphorn, chancellor of the archdiocese, said the priests of the archdiocese have had their salaries frozen for this year, and all archdiocesan office directors were asked to trim about 10 percent from their budgets.

"How can we do that without sacrificing the essential program ministries?" he said. "Well, maybe we can forsake some of the luxuries, some of the travel or conferences that are nice things to do, but if we really don't need to do it, then let's not do it this year and put some of those things on hold.

"Everyone has to trim a little bit and tighten the belt, but I think for the most part we're going to preserve essential services and those essential programs, but everyone has to be a little lean."

"EVERYONE HAS to trim a little bit and tighten the belt," or, if you're in the pews, fork over what's left in your wallet. Yes, indeed.

Well, except for Archbishop Elden Curtiss, who's going to be doing just fine in his retirement years -- sitting pretty, all by himself, in his $389,000 house. Paid for by the good Catholics of the archdiocese.

Meanwhile, somebody sitting somewhere in the chancery, in some office of some archdiocesan bureaucracy, is wondering where all the Catholic young people went. And why those who still bother with God at all are more than likely to end up in some church just like little Waterfront Community Church in Schaumburg, Ill.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Breaking news: The death of God

God had died in that season; the spirit no longer flowed through the people's bank statements and 401(k) accounts and, lo, the desolation of abomination was upon them, and they were mightily afraid. Confusion gripped the faithful, and consolation they could not find.

Woe enveloped them, and verily they awaited the solace of death.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Oh my word, they killed God! Bastards.

Is God dead? Yes, it is.

We killed our god. Our $avior is no more.

LO, it is written by The Associated Press:

A relentless sell-off in the stock market Monday blew through barriers that would have been unthinkable just weeks ago, and investors warned there was no reason to believe buyers will return anytime soon.

The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted below 7,000 at the opening bell and kept driving lower all day, finishing at 6,763 — a loss of nearly 300 points. Each of the 30 stocks in the index lost value for the day.

And the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, a much broader measure of the market’s health, dipped below the psychologically important 700 level before closing just above it. It hadn’t traded below 700 since October 1996.

Investors were worried anew about the stability of the financial system after insurer American International Group posted a staggering $62 billion loss for the fourth quarter, the biggest in U.S. corporate history — and accepted an expanded bailout from the government.

But beyond daily headlines, Wall Street seems to have given up the search for a reason to believe that the worst is over and the time is ripe to buy again.

“As bad as things are, they can still get worse, and get a lot worse,” said Bill Strazzullo, chief market strategist for Bell Curve Trading, who said he believes the Dow might fall to 5,000 and the S&P to 500.

The Dow’s descent has been breathtaking. It took only 14 trading sessions for the average to fall from above 8,000 to below 7,000. For the year, the Dow has lost 23 percent of its value.
I WOULD SAY "Have mercy on us," but who would be there to hear?

Oh, Baal, what have we done to you?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Repent! The end may not be near

Cheer up! Things could be worse.

Or so I'm told.

this floated over the transom, courtesy of Reuters:
The global economy may be deteriorating even faster than it did during the Great Depression, Paul Volcker, a top adviser to President Barack Obama, said on Friday.

Volcker noted that industrial production around the world was declining even more rapidly than in the United States, which is itself under severe strain.

"I don't remember any time, maybe even in the Great Depression, when things went down quite so fast, quite so uniformly around the world,'' Volcker told a luncheon of economists and investors at Columbia University.

Given the extent of the damage, financial regulations must be improved and enhanced to prevent future debacles, although policy-makers must be cautious not disrupt things further while the turmoil is ongoing.

Volcker, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve famed for breaking the back of inflation in the early 1980s, mocked the argument that "financial innovation,'' a code word for risky securities, brought any great benefits to society. For most people, he said, the advent of the ATM machine was more crucial than any asset-backed bond.

"There is little correlation between sophistication of a banking system and productivity growth,'' he said.
NOW IS THE TIME for all good men to drop the bulls***. Quit blaming your neighbor who, for whatever reason, is in trouble. Try helping instead.

It's important.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Swine Rebellion . . . live on CNBC

Did you get talked into an adjustable-rate mortgage by an unscrupulous broker, only to have the value of your house collapse and the mortgage reset?

Did you get a fixed-rate mortgage on an overpriced house that also happened to be the cheapest house . . . at least the cheapest house in a neighborhood you dared live in?

Did you do all the right things? Tried to be responsible, didn't buy too much house . . . but didn't count on your house now being worth two-thirds of what the mortgage is?

Well, bubbie, you're a loser!

YOU'RE A LOSER, a drain on society who doesn't deserve one iota of help from the government. You're a parasite who will be sucking the hard-earned monetary lifeblood out of "ordinary folks" -- like Chicago traders and well-paid CNBC talking heads like Rick Santelli.

And what needs to happen to you is a good dose of social Darwinism. You need to be left to ruin. Homelessness, even.

Government aid should be restricted to the worthy -- to the producers of society. You are worthless and weak and, if need be, there should be a revolution of the fit in this country to put you in your place.

Note that this revolution will be coming after Wall Street got its wad of the taxpayers' scratch.

OR, AS BILLIE HOLIDAY observed as we were emerging from the last depression:

Them that's got shall get
Them that's not shall lose
So the Bible said and it still is news
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own

Yes, the strong gets more
While the weak ones fade
Empty pockets don't ever make the grade
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own
That's got his own

THIS IS AMERICA on the edge of the abyss. This is the America of "them's that got shall get." That is, until the gettin's no good.

Then comes the America that eats its own. Its poster child is Rick Santelli . . . live on CNBC.

Never has "capitalist pig" been such an apt description.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Doom is becoming a meme

I keep hoping Gerald Celente is a nut, because if he's not . . . we're toast.

So, how do you think we look in marmalade? Will we go well with tea? Reasonable questions in these interesting times, I think, because Gerald Celente -- the doomsaying trends researcher with a much better than average track record -- is no nut.

Colorful and a great self-promoter, but no nut.

IN BRIEF, Celente thinks we're at the beginning of what he calls the Greater Depression, that unrest and uprising will sweep the land, and that the trendy Christmas gift for 2012 won't be an iPod. It will be food.

Welcome to the United States of America, the world's first formerly developed country. According to Gerald Celente. Who is right more often than not in his forecasts.

I think the reason Celente is all over the media (and now is all over the blogs of folks like me) is that our collective gut tells us he's right. That our entire economy, society and coddled, hyperindividualistic existence is absolutely unsustainable.

Not politically, not emotionally, not spiritually, not economically, not environmentally.

WE GOT too greedy, too fast, and we partied like there was no tomorrow. Welcome to tomorrow.

That's what my ample, middle-aged gut is telling me. That's what Celente's data are telling him.

So, how then shall we live?

My guess is radically differently than we do now -- as if we're going to have any choice in the matter. Everything will change.

I think God will change, too. Rather, I think our perception of God -- our relationship to God and the church -- will change. That, or God will become dead to us.

We no longer can afford a lot of things, and a self-satisfied, self-reverential (and referential), middle-class Christianity is one of those luxuries now beyond our grasp. We will be holy, or we will be savages.

The center did not hold. Neither will Marty Haugen. At least the coming Bad Times won't be all bad.