Labron James Play Basketball

Aquarian Weekly 7/14/10 REALITY CHECK


Tell me, Britney, why did the chicken cross the road? Because he wanted to be seen. The chicken is smart, he is cool. He is making a sound investment in himself — unless he is drunk, and then he has no future. But he wins either way. If the chicken is Flamboyant as he crosses the road, he will soon be rich and famous. If he is bitchy and neurotic, he will be eliminated. This is the Law of the Road.

– Hunter S. Thompson Stadium Living In A New Age

It is 3:25 pm on the eighth day of a brutally hot first week of July in NYC, and by all accounts among many of the sporting, national and celebrity press, LeBron James is the most famous man on planet earth. The pro basketball star’s brief but much ballyhooed free agency from the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers has pushed him into the Babe Ruth/Muhammad Ali realm of sport celebrity with hardly the resume or the personality to warrant such lofty comparisons. Although the league’s reigning MVP, displaying an almost blithe afterthought to his glimpses of magnificence (this space once described him less athlete than artist, his performances more akin to Jimi Hendrix than Pistol Pete Maravich), James’ greatest gift may lie in simply being famous.

The KingMore than mere fame, James is the ultimate capitalist in a socialist construct.

The National Basketball Association aka the Magic/Bird/MJ Enterprise is one of three major American pro sports which utilize a salary cap, putting a limit on otherwise free market organizations to what they can pay their employees, who also uniquely double as the product. Worse still, the NBA enforces a “hard cap” that is practically impossible to circumvent, as say the more laissez fare National Football League cap, which is mostly a joke considering the pathetic lack of a player’s union and no guarantee of payment should a player get brutally injured and can no longer produce to the agreed-upon salary’s level of performance.

James pisses on this.

The King will not only get his somehow, either through sweetened deals that involve part ownership or piggy-backed marketing deals and merchandizing sweeteners, but also, as has never before been seen in sport — the balls to broker deals with players from other teams, like-minded free agents, and hungry general managers, who have and will restructure their previous plans for one guy’s personal and professional happiness.

Atlas shrugs and we cannot get enough.

This is why it is fitting James waltzes around in a NY Yankees cap, the most successful and powerful franchise in the only pro sport not completely communistic in formation, despite its mostly unconstitutional and laughably irrational anti-trust exemption and the dipshits who own the Red Sox whining like bitches every year. This has allowed baseball to be run as a drunken land baron haven for decades — denying civil rights and promoting every form of cheating known to the art of gaming. The Yankees, who are forced to pay an exceedingly un-America luxury tax as a consequence of running the most outlandishly fantastic competitive business model ever conceived by the most brilliant titans of industry, continue to buck every system and traverse every era with unprecedented domination.

But again comparing LeBron James to the NY Yankees would be like putting your sixth grade science project up against the Atomic Bomb.

Having said that, not even the world’s greatest sports franchise with 27 titles, a billion dollar price tag, and a brand spanking new grandiose stadium can best the self-promotion machine whose very nickname, King James only hints at the spectacular level of narcissism he has achieved in a remarkably short time. Some seven years removed from his High School senior prom in a nowhere town in Ohio, James has parlayed his extraordinary skills into something akin to the Age of Vaudeville meets the Kennedys.

Money, Fame, Power: This is Horatio Alger on a John Galt jag worthy of Ulysses, jack.

For the past week, the nation’s, and in some cases, the world’s major newspapers, web sites, blogs and television programs from the Today Show to Nightline has either lead, plugged or speculated about his every move, mood, and machinations. And have there ever been machinations; from clandestine entourage meetings and strangely devised leaks to stock spikes (Cablevision shares — owners of the NY Knicks — exploded on a vague rumor he might choose Madison Square Garden to ply his trade).

Five or six franchises, the chosen few that could hope to afford him monetarily or accommodate him with the best plan for winning, wheeled their entire operations — owners, front office personnel, marketing firms, public relations departments, former players and in some cases jock-sniffing celebrities — to Ohio to woo his services.

Throughout the proceedings major stars of every major sport commented, tweeted, and weighed in on his “Decision”, which coincidently became the name of a one-hour “live network special” on ESPN later tonight. The James’ camp pitched the idea to the more than eager all-sports network to eat up 60 minutes of airtime smack in the middle of Major League Baseball season and days from the World Cup Finals on the whim of one man.

Money, Fame, Power: This is Horatio Alger on a John Galt jag worthy of Ulysses, jack.

No one denies James is a fine pro basketball player; perhaps casual fans would consider him the best in the game. Closer inspection by more astute followers of the sport would rank him considerably below former league MVP and five-time world champion, Kobe Bryant, after his pedestrian performance in key moments in an unceremonious ousting by the Boston Celtics in this year’s play-offs. At times it looked as if James had already begun his exit from the poor win-starved hamlet of Cleveland, as he walked around half stunned on the periphery as far less famous and powerful types chucked up an agonizing series of putrid shots to doom his season. At one point the cameras caught him on the bench during a time out with his eyes closed, as if in a Zen-like state of centering his chi on grander notions.

Those notions, it appears to all in the know, ended up in Miami to play in one of the worst sports towns in America for the Heat simply because his two favorite Olympic teammates, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, the latter of which is currently a contracted member of another team, held the league and their teams hostage to form an unholy bond. By the time the words “take my talents to South Beach” left his mouth, James’ jerseys and parts of downtown Cleveland burned, the Westside of Manhattan began to formulate interesting ways to chant “pussy” and the south side of Chicago sighed with relief they wouldn’t have to be pissed at him for not being Michael Jordan.

It was all part of a monumental plan hatched by the most famous capitalist in the world.

This week.


Reality Check | Pop Culture | Politics | Sports | Music


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Dan Bern at City Winery 2010


Aquarian Weekly 7/7/10

An Evening with Dan Bern, City Winery

SOHO, NYC 6/19/10

There is the Dan Bern you must listen to; the storming riffs and tender shifts of progression that bed captivating melodies, all the better to ferry along the oddly profound witticism – a seemingly endless musical array of parody, satire and tribute. Then there is the one upon the stage, swaying and strumming as the quintessential portrait of a wandering troubadour – the room sufficiently primed by a raucous NYC crowd acting as the perfect chorus for his mini tragic comedies.

Dan BernWhen the prolific Bern is on his game there is really no one better in any genre. The composer of hundreds of ditties over two decades and sixteen records, jumping from folk to country to rock to whatever swims in and out of his yawning transom. He was in fine voice at the City Winery on a sultry Saturday night in the big town, donning a black vest and blue jeans, a gray cabby’s hat atop his head. The less defiant, dare I say, more mature singer-songwriter emerged anew, playing hauntingly arranged versions of his most gripping songs like “I Need You” and “One Real Thing”.

Later the performance expanded into a beautifully accompanied harmonizing romp, as Bern was ably joined by his usual touring companion, Paul Kuhn and opening act, Common Rotation, a talented Long Island trio which seemed to have been gathered together especially for a distinct performance balance of sonic comportment.

Brand new selections, most memorably the riotously clever “Osama in Obama Land” and “Talkin’ Tea Party Blues”, and old favorites, “Black Tornado”, “Breath” and of course, “Jerusalem” raised an already high bar for Bern, who is fresh off two successful songwriting jags for rock comedies, Walk Hard and Get Him To The Greek and appears to have put a new sheen on his best work.

An excellent sample of the present show, which one can only hope unfurls into a longer tour, can be found on Bern’s latest release, Dan Bern Live in Los Angeles.

Having had the pleasure to see Dan Bern ply his trade over the past eight years in every possible venue from a goddamned boat to a half-painted hotel room to political rallies, college campuses and stuffy studios, the Bowery Ball Room to Carnegie Hall, and even his own artist getaway in the desert, he has never sounded better or his songs provided a more deserving exposition than in this most recent incarnation.

The living songbook is once again a must listen and see.

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McChrystal Sacked, So?

Aquarian Weekly 6/30/10 REALITY CHECK

G.I. JOKE U.S. Military’s Revolving Generals & Endless Campaigns of Chaos

New commander-in-chief, same old crap; the United States Armed Forces is in chaos. Already recovering from decades of abysmal derailments and disasters in Korea and Viet Nam to ill-fated underground black-ops from Cuba to Nicaragua to Beirut, and the latest nonsense begun by the dumbly-fabricated braggadocio of Desert Storm and its baby brother in the half-assed colonizing of Iraq to the longest running campaign in American history in Afghanistan, the once proudly invincible U.S. military has now become our longest running pun.

Stanely McChrystalLess than two days after a freelance journalist coerced the commander of international forces in Afghanistan to commit professional suicide in the pages of whatever cheap imitation of pop culture schlock is now Rolling Stone magazine, President Barack Obama was forced to relieve General Stanley McChrystal of his duties. At least the disgraced and quite obviously half-mad general will no longer have to face the embarrassing possibility of retiring during what started out nine years ago as a vengeance jag for 9/11 and to bag its architect, the long-dead Osama bin Laden, but after the loss of 1,000 American lives and a projected cost of $1 trillion has become something of its own tragic comedy.

For the president, embroiled in a half dozen looming and already raging domestic disasters, it is bad timing to say the least. This is Obama’s war, and McChrystal is his man, or was his man, as the swift half-hour White House meeting of 6/23 would attest, the substance of which had the insubordinate general out and the hero of overdue mop-ups, General David Petraeus in. Later that afternoon, a visibly angered president took to the Rose Garden and tried his best to gloss over what has been an overlooked sinkhole of his administration — long debated and dissented by close advisers.

It was the very same advisers, along with the vice president and the president himself, who McChrystal and his aides casually mocked from the fringes of the battlefield, on the record and during operations, to a left-leaning rock periodical. A more damaging sabotage of morale and decorum is difficult to contrive beyond a blatantly defiant Douglas McCarthur-like implosion. It was as if the rot of what has become the ceaseless fighting in a desert wasteland pocked with hidden caves and unforgiving mountain ridges had frayed the edges of the U.S. Army’s top brass. The focus of the RS piece, “The Runaway General,” is not merely the bent rant of an over-worked and rancorously loose-lipped army lifer, but a manifestation of the abject lunacy which permeates an uncertain end game to a War on Terror mismanaged for so long by so many voices and fought by so many brave and run-ragged forces it emerges as a dizzying inertia of bedlam.

It stretches even the most elastic credibility to believe in this day of media by the second and by everyone coming from everywhere that even a man resembling a less provocative but no less puzzling Colonel Kurtz from Coppola’s Apocalypse Now could be so irresponsible or haphazardly calculating to publicly call the National Security Adviser “a clown” or paint his commander-in-chief as “uncomfortable with military leaders and initially unengaged on defense policy”. Then, after being presented the finished article prior to its publication, approved its content without so much as an obligatory retraction. The whole shebang reeks of a symptom of a disease beyond this president and his war or his commanders and their last vestiges of a “strategy”.

Things have not gone well for Obama and McChrystal in Afghanistan, as they had not for George W. Bush for the last seven years of his presidency, or the Soviets in the 1980s, the British Empire in the late 1800s, Genghis Kahn in the early part of the 13th Century, or Alexander the Great way back in 338 BC.

The latest being the very same McChrystal’s oft-delayed siege of Kandahar, which after months of planning was scheduled for “soon”, but by the timeline of how the “war” has gone for most of its duration, will likely launch sometime around Christmas 2012. Touted as the pivotal battle to what candidate and now President Obama has called the critical frontline of the aforementioned War on Terror, its snags simmer below the surface of the general’s queer and very public commentary.

Things have not gone well for Obama and McChrystal in Afghanistan, as they had not for George W. Bush for the last seven years of his presidency, or the Soviets in the 1980s, the British Empire in the late 1800s, Genghis Kahn in the early part of the 13th Century, or Alexander the Great way back in 338 BC. The enthusiasm of a new and improved “counterinsurgency” plan to take out Taliban 2.0, which stressed the always-popular road show of “overwhelming on-the-ground force coupled with an amped-up effort to win hearts and minds”, has soured into a tail-chasing bloodbath slowly losing traction with a majority of the voting public.

For many mind-bending reasons, over 60 percent of Americans polled in the winter of 2008 favored a ramped-up Afghan policy. Despite years of dismantling the original Taliban, backed up by the occasional failures to secure the country, and then what amounted to a dormant exit strategy in order to better run roughshod over Iraq; which if you haven’t checked lately is still rolling along, there were still some people willing to believe. Of course that willing constituency, after a year and a half of a doom-struck re-packaged plan, has sunk to around 40 percent or so. But plummeting support from the citizenry meant nothing for the better part of the last decade and looks to have crapped out now.

Into the breach strolled the high command to jam his standard-issued boot into his flapping maw, a grand mistake that has now likely set things back even further. Something that not only infuriated the president, since he had bought into the entire McChrystal war plan, but has rankled high-level Republicans in congress, who all stand firm with the president — no small feat considering that no matter the issue almost none of whom have so much as budged in Obama’s direction. It is especially odd when considering the current anti-incumbent landscape and the fast-approaching mid-term elections.

The only explanation for such a maneuver is that with no end in sight, and most of the legislature unable to wash nine years of blood from its hands, they’re all-in. But politics, lunatics and Jann Wenner’s flaccid rag aside, the most pressing issue is the sad state of the United States military; spread frighteningly thin and literally holding a shifting line in the sand. How mush shit are these poor people expected to eat before someone with half a brain ends the insanity?

The answer the president gave to this question would come as he concluded his post-McChrystal Rose Garden address by stating that the change in leadership is not a change in policy. And thus, the Pentagon, in a banner year boasting at least a $700 billion budget, more than 10 times that of the State Department, will continue to toil in the world’s deadest of ends; making the Obama pledge to begin the withdrawal of the 94,000 American troops in Afghanistan by July 2011 the biggest joke of all.


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Obama Loses Left

Aquarian Weekly 6/23/10 REALITY CHECK

EXIT STAGE LEFT Obama at a Crossroads with Progressives

What the battle over national health care could only portend has now come into glaring reality in the wake of the BP Oil Gusher, which is well into month two and showing no signs of slowing. It is official; the president of the United States has lost the Left.

All the crazy talk from the extreme Right about birth certificates and irrational blabbering about a weird amalgam of fascism and communism with a dollop of radicalism mixed in has masked the growing unrest on the side that counts for Barack Obama. There is no presidency without the Left and certainly no prayer of a second term either.

Unlikely PairIt appears that by the third paragraph of his first Oval Office address things for Liberal Central have gone from sickly to flat-lined for Joe Cool. Perhaps it’s a penchant to wait an agonizingly long time to chime in on events that directly affect his presidency or his almost detached sense of intellectual miasma that has raised the ire of his most rabid supporters, but whatever lip service the Obama address paid to a need for alternative energy and environmental concerns, the broaching of which had the Right in a predicable froth, turned out to be nothing more than a fart in the wind for liberals.

No carbon tax. No Cap & Trade. No steadfast demand for a detailed Energy Bill or a harsher rebuke for Big Oil.

The Left had first whispered, then wailed about what is now pretty much universally accepted as the worst man-made environmental disaster in the history of this nation becoming another missed opportunity to jam home legislation to reshape the country. As it seems was the failure to include a Single Payer Option in the watered down Health Care Bill or a stronger demand for Immigration Reform as the ethnic, cultural, and social lines were being drawn in Arizona. Not to mention the still open-for-business Gitmo after huge revelations of illegal torture techniques sanctioned by the previous administration. Oh, and by the way, there are still two wars a-raging, one that has now become this president’s own dubious gamble in Afghanistan.

But the BP disaster is such a slam dunk for the Left and its many environmentalists vs. big business crowd, it appears almost comical that what they believed in the autumn of 2008 was their president would not exploit it more fervently, as say the glut of neo-cons who dove headlong into a complete Middle East reconstruction during the country’s lust for vengeance following 9/11.

For a short time these past weeks there was an outcry about the president’s lack of leadership during this crisis, which on the surface appears dumb, but when studied more closely, is patently asinine. Leadership? Did we need fireside chats or blustery speeches? Maybe we were looking for him to don a flak jacket and fishing togs and stroll along the surf shaking his head despondently, giving impromptu press conferences while hosing down cranes.

You guys are our sugar daddies and we’ll take our beatings and eat your dung and turn around and thank you so very much. We sleep with the great whore and we sleep well.

So of course the White House brain trust comes up with bright idea to sit Joe Cool at the Oval Office to say the same thing every president for the past half century has said about “weaning ourselves from a dependence on oil” and “developing alternative energies” and “holding Big Oil accountable” and “devising new regulations”, while calling for a series of special commissions to dig fancy trenches under the sea.

It was hardly Obama’s finest moment and registered uncharted rancor among liberals everywhere from the media to college campuses to the furthest reaches of intelligentsia. Many wept like children, others just bitched like, well, bitches.

And although the Left went ballistic on the last two Democratic presidents, it is still astounding how much this one, a different model on so many levels, resembles the last truly effective Republican chief executive.

After the first two years it was becoming glaringly evident to all in the Reagan administration that the Right had gone from intermittent gripers to an outright mutiny. Complaints of The Gipper being soft on the Russians, cow towing to the stalwarts in congress, and revealing a more reserved sense of compromise and level headedness that resembled nothing of the rousing candidate they had championed so fervently, Reagan’s once soaring approval ratings dipped severely as he faced a good old-fashioned mid-term horse-whipping.

Like Obama, a charismatic symbol of the newly charged era of progressivism, Reagan’s repackaged conservatism made him a different breed of Republican. But what Reagan learned and Obama has now come to realize is that when expectations to take down the status quo and wreck the system from the Right or the Left is met with the rigors and demands of actually running the immovable monstrosity that is the Free World, there remains for your hardcore base only disappointment.

Obama’s Health Care Crusade in the face of rising unemployment and at best a vacillating economic recovery, sent much of his Independent support running, but despite lukewarm to despondent reaction from the Left, whose majority believe its results a grotesque genuflect to insurance moguls, the BP spill has become the last straw.

Mere months after one of the most unlikely and politically savvy victories of any president, Barack Obama has reached the critical crossroads of his presidency. With far less experience than Reagan and with a much less empathetic rival party, which has treated his first two years as if he were more usurper than elected official, Obama has to use the Reagan model of small victories, appear unifying, and begin to rebuild a trust inevitably eroded by the toughest gig of them all.

One of the greatest lessons to be learned from the unerringly positive approach to politics displayed by the Gipper when times get tough is to tell your base if they don’t like it they can go back to the way things were with the other guys in charge.

Then blame everything else on the press.

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Open Letter To British Petroleum

Aquarian Weekly 6/9/10 REALITY CHECK


To Whatever Incompetent Asshole It May Concern,

Jesus Bar-Hopping Christ, what the fuck is going on?

Plug the fucking hole already.

This is beyond irresponsible corporate shenanigans now. Sure its criminal, but I don’t give a shit about criminal. I expect most of you oil skags to rape land, price fix, bribe officials and other business-as-usual stuff. But I also expect when you drill into the ocean that you have a method to plug the goddamn hole when it leaks or explodes or some other fiasco within, say, a month’s time.

What is this now; fifty days and counting?

BP RollingThis goddamn catastrophe has gone on so long I have been unable to avoid writing about it. I figure spinning outrage on oil barons fucking up the environment is akin to whining about the Catholic Church covering up pedophilia. I mean, let’s apply some selective creativity in subject matter here. But this is beyond ridiculous now. This, I dare say, and I am hardly a purveyor of hyperbole here, may be the worst environmental corporate disaster in my lifetime.

I repeat, upon reviewing your abysmal record, which shows “760 willful safety violations” as charged by the Occupational Health & Safety Administration in the last three years alone, and horrific EPA toxic release data dating back to 1991, along with massive fines for 104 oil spills in a one-year period between 1997 and 1998, I really don’t give a hovering shit. I need oil. I like heat and my car and I don’t care how many Arabs and volunteer armed forces have to die for it.

Just plug the fucking hole already.

Shit, I expect a company that in 2005 had its largest refinery explode killing 15 poor Texans and injuring 180 more to be a callous conglomerate of money-hording scum. But these are Texans we’re talking about, after all. No one outside of that god forsaken desert patch of yahoos cares a lick about Texans, especially those who expire from its leading export, which, let’s face it, and has regurgitated from its diseased womb an alarming number of vapid rich and powerful mediocrities. Those saps would have likely shot themselves in the street anyway.

So I hope I am making this as clear as possible; I am not your run-of-the-mil environmentally compassionate, anti-big business, head-in-the-sand, sign-waving troglodyte. And I am not being facetious when I state emphatically that I worry not a lick about your sordid past or your spectacularly criminal business model or the millions you use to purchase chunks of my government. I accept that this kind of knuckle-grinding immorality comes with the territory.

At least I’m willing to admit it. There may be hardheaded, wise-ass sarcasm peppered with miserable cynicism here, but you won’t find an ounce of hypocrisy. Whether the rest of us shake our heads in disgust or moan on talk shows or whip off poetic disdain for the evils of Big Oil, we all need it, jack. We need to drill for it. Thus, we accept the consequences. We’re all adults here. Our patience and standards have a variety of weird levels that are hard to press when it comes to getting the stuff. We may get all pissy and boycott you guys and buy it from someone else, but it changes nothing, really.

You guys are our sugar daddies and we’ll take our beatings and eat your dung and turn around and thank you so very much. We sleep with the great whore and we sleep well.

Do you see anyone boycotting the colossal piles of crap made by child slaves in Chinese basement sweatshops? I have more shit from China in my house right now than not. We just had an Olympics there. It was our best joke: A celebration of the human spirit in the home office for human misery. Never mind that, they poisoned our children. Forget that, we borrow money from them so we can wage wars all over the Middle East for our oil. Honestly. We get it. You’re the worst. We’re the worst.

Just plug the fucking hole.

Do you think we’ve forgotten the horrors of 9/11? Nah. It came and went and we still pump the oil. A badly formulated and ill-conceived war to kick a half-assed dictator out of Iraq, and we still keep on truckin’ and SUVin’ and well, you get the picture. You guys are our sugar daddies and we’ll take our beatings and eat your dung and turn around and thank you so very much. We sleep with the great whore and we sleep well.

Hell, we slept right through your 2006 oil operations in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, when neglected corroded pipelines unleashed five-thousand barrels of oil all over our nation’s most pristine landscape. But you know what? Fuck Alaska. Its last goddamn governor is a pox on our collective IQ and quite the proponent of drilling-baby-drilling as I recall it. Let Alaska burn.

Just plug the fucking hole.

And if you can’t plug the thing, at least cop to it. Jamming mud and garbage down there and hiring dweebs to build robots to piddle around is embarrassing. I can take greedy, apathetic monsters for my Oil Men, just not ineffectual boobs. Those guys get into government. You guys are supposed to be coldly efficient with the occasional wink-wink environmental hazard or easily explainable and paid-off faux pas, not this incredible clusterfuck. People mock the media all the time, but right now online there is a submerged, 24/7 video surveillance of this disaster constantly pumping bilge into he Gulf of Mexico. It’s really quite inventive and ingenious and it kicks like gangbusters. The camera works great. Your shit doesn’t, and therein lies my problem with the situation.

And forget the government intervening. People down there are not too keen on the government helping with disasters. Chances are the people “helping” were probably hired because they were someone’s drinking buddies. We already know the fuck-ups we’re dealing with up there. Leave them out of it. Private sector will fix it. It’s the American way, or some other tired bullshit. We make it up as we go along, but it works in some strange way, unlike your company, which cannot plug a fucking hole in fifty fucking days.

Plug it. Damn it.


Thank you.


jc Oil Whore

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Chris Christie’s Faux Revolution 2010

Aquarian Weekly 5/26/10 REALITY CHECK

N.J. FAUX REVOLUTION 2010 Checking in on Governor Chris Christie’s Reduce-Government Experiment

When the Reality Check News & Information Desk moved its operations to the mountains of Northwestern New Jersey in the late summer of 2001, there was some trepidation as to the level of local politics it would cover. There had been major fallout in New York from years of underhanded and admittedly vicious attacks, not to mention ill-conceived unabashed mockery from Albany to Gracie Mansion, never mind Westchester contacts that became both rankled and legally vindictive. But the pull of N.J. politics and its tawdry history wet our appetite for shenanigans like never before.

Chris Christie In WonderlandWhen called upon we came with swords sharpened, but usually stayed out of the “regular dealings”. Even now when called by friends and most recently my esteemed attorney to join a fight on school budgets and the teachers’ union, we tend to balk. This is not out from lack of concern or civic duty, but a regrettable deficiently of faith that any type of petition, rally, or endless political meandering could curtail The Machine.

It was a flaccid and mostly mean-spirited expose of The Machine that this space eventually offered to the Huffington Post upon its request last year for us to make heads or tails of what regularly goes on in this state. Motivated by our two-part investigative piece in 2004 entitled, “Notes From The Cesspool”, the popular liberally-based news site asked yours truly to expound on our published assessment that “the Garden State had reached an enviable level of corruption so fantastic it trumps the nightmare that is Florida.”

Once again the veiled attempt to paint an understandable framework to N.J. political doings ended in my final salvo which concluded that “politics here is akin to a social dizziness, a kind of all-encompassing paranoia, like Steven King’s Jack Torrence wielding mallets at his family for a shot of beer.”

And this is what current governor, Chris Christie took ownership of this past January, becoming the first Republican to run this mess in a dozen years. Christie’s aim, stemming from the fervor gripping the entire nation in this The Year of the Faux Revolution, wherein taxes must be cut as entitlements grow or at the very least keep rolling along untouched, was to slash the state’s bloated budget and make the hard choices in cutting into N.J.’s massive deficits.

Problem for Christie, as it is across the nation, as recent primaries and soon-to-be mid-term elections portend, is two-fold: As much as the citizenry rails against taxation, it also does not want its stuff taken away, and that’s where Democrats — which run the state’s legislature and will likely (despite national Republican gains this fall) will be running the legislature come 2011.

Christie, once a symbol of anti-establishment uprising, has now become The Man. The fickle public has once again seen the sacrificial way of The Budget Cut, and it is not happy.

Christie, once a symbol of anti-establishment uprising, has now become The Man. The fickle public has once again seen the sacrificial way of The Budget Cut, and it is not happy. This fuels Democrats to cry, “I told you so” and then to fuel fears of going without while completely ignoring the obvious need to choose between endless government-provided measures, from stop lights to libraries, and lowering an exploding deficit hardly ceased by an expanding tax burden.

The backlash against Christie’s proposed school budget cuts and general state-run services has been rabid. Many of the same groups polled, and eventually those who rushed to the voting booths to sweep in an anti-incumbent, anti-big government, tax cutting, fiscally responsible alternative, are now roundly pissed. These are the same socially liberal and fiscally moderate independents, as well as so-called hardline blue dog Democrats and staunchly conservative Republicans who had swung more to the Left than ever before in 2008, and were then roundly pissed at what they believed was a snow job by our current president.

Mainly, these people; whoever they are and whatever they represent, do not know what the hell they want. Either that or they are incapable of dealing with the parameters of reality as presented by measuring factoids, like, for instance, simple math.

N.J. Democrats, for their part, have been crying “tax cuts for the rich are not fiscally responsible and leave the middle class wanting”, which has a certain comforting if not recidivist ring to it. Ultimately controlling the coffers, and using the tide of “keep your hands off my entitlements and keep my kids in schools and make damn sure cops are patrolling my neighborhood and garbage is picked up weekly” to battle Christie’s hard-swallowing budget proposals has sent us all back to Square One.

Hence the recently proposed Millionaires Tax sent to the governor’s desk as this goes to press, which will most assuredly be vetoed by Christie, despite his backtracking on eliminating senior property tax rebates in his current budget plan. Christie, who has been chewing daily on humble reality pie of his own, now sees the silly notion of actually balancing budgets and cutting taxes in a state where there is an expected level of living, which is highly expensive and never fully paid for, but continues to roll along madly. As if finally giving into the delusion of his electorate, Christie claims with the restored benefits, the budget could still be balanced.

This kind of talk renders the Christie Experiment in Change as neutered and useless as what has become of the country’s perspective on Barack Obama’s attempt at such a notion. And it will absolutely put the kibosh on the populist rage that swept 47 year-old Rand Paul — a fair Libratarianm but lousy politician — into the national spotlight; another post-Boomer type that ignores the writing on the wall, which reads in bold caps: GOOD LUCK, SUCKER.

So let New Jersey’s misfortune in No Solution is Palatable be a lesson to the rest of the nation.

Unless someone actually has the balls to raise taxes to pay for more stuff or cut taxes and ignore the public’s hue and cry in getting less stuff, there will be another election between bellowing billboards with fancy ties propped by powerful slogans which will result in the same old song and story.

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Arizona Calling (SB1070)

Aquarian Weekly 5/12/10 REALITY CHECK

ARIZONA CALLING How Law 2010 Pushes Immigration Reform to the Brink

Though many people will disagree, I believe Senate Bill 1070 is what’s best for Arizona. – Governor Jan Brewer upon signing into law Senate Bill 1070 on 4/30

Jan Brewer's Mighty Pen Upon the launching of my web site in the early months of 2000, a 3,000-word screed from a concerned Arizona law officer was posted on its now defunct Sound-Off page. It emphatically stated that if in the following decade the United States government didn’t do something about the state’s “sieve border security”; there would be “terrible bloodshed” and “dire consequences”.


Fast forward those ten years, and Arizona now has a Wild West showdown of murderous proportions, whose death toll rivals the slaughterhouses in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A grievous dereliction in the federal government’s duty to provide for the common defense and preserve U.S. sovereignty, long derided in this space, has reached such a pressure point in Arizona that its local government thought it necessary to enact what amounts to an abject mockery of constitutional law.

SB1070, rubber stamped by Governor Jan Brewer, is nothing more than a hand-cupping, throat-shredding scream for help.

Mission accomplished.

For the bellow has been heard loud and clear.

Worded very much as the last vestige of survival, stemming from a Mexican drug lord war spill-over which has resulted in a plethora of random beatings, stabbings and collateral violence against Arizona’s citizens, the 1070 Law could not have hoped to survive a national outcry of racial profiling and unconstitutional tyranny, but more importantly the bevy of ensuing lawsuits and a predictable Washington intervention.

Fact is Brewer and the Arizona Senate ran out of legal and sane options. Because no one in an ostensibly free society could accept Law 1070 as a sane or legal option; in fact, the thing is so completely irresponsible, it even leaves the police at risk.

To wit:

The law lists a Context of Arrests; in other words, the fashion in which the Arizona police are to enforce it: Routine policing (bar brawl, speed trap), Routine suspicion (no hunches), and Not relying solely on race.

How then, you may rightly ask, is anyone going to effectively round up illegal aliens, of which by the way there are — according to the Office of Homeland Security (your tax dollars at waste) — 460.000 in Arizona today, without racially profiling, working on hunches, or going beyond “routine policing”?

The answer is they cannot. Thus, the 1070 Law is set up to fail, or at the very least, set up to cause illegal search and seizures, police-state abuses, and those rough-and-ready lawsuits. Truth is the damn thing is an atavistic draconian national embarrassment.

And yet this brilliantly directed showpiece by Arizona lawmakers, fronted dramatically by their governor, has now fully engaged the federal government and our president, who correctly pointed out in numerous speeches hence the law’s ridiculous constitutional liability and hardly a concrete answer to what now amounts to a new and improved concern for Immigration Reform.

Once again: Mission accomplished.

The mere fact that the president is on this subject, faced with massive oil spills, a Tennessee flood disaster, a Time Square terrorist plot, and the endless financial reform histrionics, is a bell-ringing success for crazy bill gone even crazier law.

Make no mistake about it; because of Arizona’s desperate and wholly reckless legal hissy fit, the nation’s eyes are now squarely focused on what has been an escalating problem for states bordering Mexico. It is no longer merely an argument about fining businesses who employ illegal aliens, their free health care or running under the radar of national security and other tertiary criminal activities. Now it’s lunatic drug dealers and gun runners blasting away at suburbanites; mothers and children being hacked to bits on street corners and the elderly bludgeoned by thugs who waltzed unhindered across our border.

This is why 70% of Arizonans back the law, just as you would too, if you were frightened for your life. Intellectually, there is a reason to raise eyebrows, as I surely did in the months following 9/11, as Air Force fighter planes whizzed the East River or tanks remained parked outside the Lincoln tunnel. Overkill? Police state? Or a reasonable response to a horrible breech of national security.

There is little arguing the law’s ratification as anything other than unconstitutional chicanery or the wild plea for federal assistance long overdue, but it does come with some precedence.

Since 1940, federal law has dictated that aliens must carry papers, such as U.S. citizens keeping passports at the ready in foreign countries, including all of Europe. Moreover, since 1976, the Supreme Court has recognized that states may enact laws to discourage illegal immigration without being pre-empted by federal law. As long as Congress hasn’t expressly forbidden the state law in question, the statute doesn’t conflict with federal law and Congress has not displaced all state laws from the field, it is permitted. This is why Arizona’s 2007 law making it illegal to knowingly employ unauthorized aliens was sustained by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Basically, it seems, Arizona can do whatever the hell it wants, save Martial Law, which is pretty much next.

Ah, that is until the vagaries of carrying out the law — the whole reason we have laws is the penalty levied if said laws are broken — then a great deal of problems arise. And the backlash is going to be expensive in an economic downturn. Therefore, without further ado, I give you, with the teeth of a rabid dog, the federal government’s time to face the music. Suddenly, amidst the wrangling over Health Care Reform and Financial Reform, bailouts and stimulus packages, here comes a state begging Big Government to do its job or else.

Don’t think this will not be an issue come November when the Live Free Or Die set and their candidates of choice weight in on its aftermath, from civil libertarians to xenophobes.

Mission accomplished.

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Our Case Against Financial Reform

Aquarian Weekly 5/5/10 REALITY CHECK

G-R-E-E-D Humanity’s Case Against Financial Reform

I tried to break the spell–the heavy, mute spell of the wilderness–that seemed to draw him to its pitiless breast by the awakening of forgotten and brutal instincts, by the memory of gratified and monstrous passions. – Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Two men watch as two wolves struggle for survival. The first wolf is kindness, the other is greed. One man asks, ‘Which wolf will triumph?’ The other smiles and says; “The one I fed.” – Native American Proverb

Goldman SachsThe principle hazard of the columnist trade is its guarantees of repetition. The aim is to take a fresh angle to arguments or unfolding current events and spin them in a readable and oft times, hopefully, convincing manner. We do none of that here. Repetition to the point of revulsion is our practice. You would be correct in assuming it something of an art form. It may be presented in various and mainly vulgar and chaotic ways, but it is nonetheless the same tired crap.

For nearly fourteen years now, the Reality Check News & Information Desk has regurgitated one particular point — whether dealing with politics, social issues, pop culture, art, music, sports, or civilization’s frailties and triumphs — that human nature is what it is, and no matter how one wishes, hopes, even prays to alter it through speeches, protests, laws and other tawdry over-reaching miasma, it remains human nature.

And nothing in the realm of human nature is as strongly defined, nurtured, and set alight than greed.

Freud and his minions would argue sex, and others of a more spiritual slant would cite love, but they are both way off. Love & Sex are emotional offshoots of greed. From the moment a child latches onto a breast for milk or grabs some inanimate object and attaches a sense of self-esteem and comfort to it, irrationally blurting, “Mine!” thus begins a sense of entitlement and destiny engendered in a spirit yearning to breath free. It is nothing more than greed; pure, unblemished, and groaning with hormones.

Egalitarian all-for-one-and-one-for-all concepts are unnatural. Sharing; the most selfless act we teach our youth, is unnatural. Do you share your spouse? Maybe, if there is a special arrangement and it’s kind of your thing, but mostly, you don’t. You also don’t share your home, but for a few days or a room or two, or your car or your bank account, unless it is part of another spousal arrangement, and so on. These are possessions granted as such by a free society. It is the blessed freedom to build ownership, but, alas, also the freedom to lose it.

This is the beauty of America; in all its horror and glory. The liberty bestowed on our human nature, unbeknownst to generations of peoples from all over the globe, allows us to find out about ourselves. This has led to terrific progress, greatness, and societal evolution; well documented in volumes of U.S. history, and it stands to reason that the no-so flattering elements are also part of that history.

It is a history built on the freedom to break it all down to one common denominator; greed. A bunch of British landowners wanting to gain ownership of property — a word denoting greed — carved out of the wilderness. Period. Basically, the Declaration of Independence is a 1,338 word hosanna to “Mine”! This country’s entire formation, foundation, and evolution in a brutally and furiously free nature, is all about G-r-e-e-d.

Its ultimate manifestation is Wall St.; the speculation of trade, commerce and economic fluidity; where the everyman to the titan can take his most precious commodities and send them adrift on a wing and a prayer, striving for fortune with a modicum of fear it may disappear in a puff of smoke. And if the art form of the columnist is repetition, then those who call Wall St. home deal in prognostication, and all the manipulation and subterfuge that comes with it. Guess work. Con artistry. The enticement of the gamble — the definitive greed high.

A risky place to play with human nature, but one built on it most primeval form. It beats in us, as a heart of darkness.

Certain members of our society, some in the media, and others in our churches and most in a civic capacity, tend to separate human nature from our institutions. It is an easy target, mainly because institutions are so prevalent. It is simpler to cast generalities upon subjects we don’t like and ignore the diametrically opposed equation when something we do like is attacked in the very same fashion. This allows for human nature to define, for instance, something like Wall St. bankers or massive investment firms with their cloudy vernacular and inside jargon, as an evil conglomerate.

Of course this is nonsense. Evil is just an intangible quality we attach to shit that doesn’t work in our favor. It is used against us when those in opposition want to paint us with the same broad stroke, whether al Qaeda or some other ridiculous palaver, as we in turn use it to wipe them out.

If anything, Wall St. and everything it stands for is based solely and completely, and I dare say, uncompromisingly on our inherent lust for greed.

Make no mistake about it, Wall St. exists because people want to make money, not advance society or observe moral obligations, or serve the greater good. Sometimes these ideas happen as a consequence of “making money”, but more times than not, it’s the bottom line. Its aim is to feed the greed, and use our freedom to grab the brass ring in any way, shape or form it can.

But then when those freedoms are “abused”, as in the case with much of the crazed feeding frenzy that sank the economic solvency of the Western World in late 2008, whether it’s massive banks or irresponsible investment gurus, a fantasy housing market or other tried-and-true free market scams, the ensuing outcry rings a tad hypocritical.

Do people take their assumingly hard-earned cash and dump it into a system to buoy the spirit of humankind or prop up the economic structure of its people at large? Or do they do it to grow it for a sense of financial security — another buzzword for greed.

Big dividends/Big losses; all part of the free market society, which explores the very nature of our being. But people being people, we love the former part of the equation and the latter not so much. If the latter happens then things must be regulated and controlled and goddamn it people have to go to jail for acting like…well. acting like us, only on a much wilder and wholly criminal way, of course.

I’ve recently heard an alarming number of our citizenry, from the president to many pundits and politicians claim that the free market system does not exclusively subsist for greed, that it is not some bizarrely massive casino, and that somehow the freedom to make scratch is outweighed by the thorny issue of losing one’s shirt.

This is gobbledygook, like vapid yakking about Founding Fathers and American Spirit and Shining Cities on Hills.

Freedom, really true freedom, allows for human nature to run its course, and to regulate, castigate and investigate its ambitions runs counter to our own nature, the nature to grab and hold and keep away from others.

Like what I told the jeering throng at the NJ TEA Party Tax Day extravaganza two weeks ago; if you really want freedom, true American, unhinged freedom, be prepared to have a stark and yawning chasm between winners and losers, survivors and victors.

Financial Reform?

Good luck.

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Tax Day Speech (TEA Party)

Aquarian Weekly 4/21/10 REALITY CHECK

NJ TEA Party Coalition Rally

The following is a transcript of a speech given by the author at the First Anniversary of the NJTPC on 4/15/2010 at 4:30 pm on the Hackensack Green, Hackensack, NJ.

Good day.

I’d like to begin by pointing out that you people are idiots. And by that I mean stupid, since I am assuming, as idiots, your vocabulary is limited. Please forgive me if you are not an idiot or by chance are an idiot but not so much as to need the “stupid” qualifier. It’s just that my only exposure to Tea Party enthusiasts and their paid speakers and media sounding boards are usually manipulated by main stream corporate news organizations; and I have to tell you this half-assed “movement” of yours is very often displayed as an agonizingly long line of inarticulate goobers with little to no grasp of the King’s English or of the nation in which they are trying to reconstruct. Seriously. I have abused my fair share of narcotics in the past and basically mainline French absinthe on weekends, but it is difficult for me to reconcile this kind of behavior to the appropriate chemical stimuli.

Please keep your boos and caterwauling until I am finished. We have a lot to get to before we bring out the usual parade of slobbering slogan jockeys. But don’t panic; in order to make the reality medicine go down smoother, I have agreed to throw in the occasional fist-pumper every paragraph or so, like “Death to the Weird!” and “Go George Washington!”

Now at this point you might rightfully ask yourself; why would the NJTPC invite this asshole to deride us so viciously before uttering a single word that soothes our sense of isolation and fabricated angst against a massive and uncaring government that wishes to steal our hard-earned money and control everything we do? Fear not! What stands before you is a tried-and-true rebel. I have fought this battle in a dark vacuum of spite without all the flavor-of-the-month fanfare you posers enjoy.

You see, long before you decided what level of government over-reach would motivate you to waste a perfectly good workday waving grammatically-challenged signs dressed in American Revolution regalia, I was the founder and chief officer of the AAPGF, or as it is known in the fringe group industry; Artists Against Puritan Goat Fuckers.

The AAPGF, to which a fancy logo and a detailed manifesto have been available for over a decade on-line, is a turn-of-the-century brainchild of great independent thinkers, whose ranks today number in the thousands. We believe without compromise, that the authority and power of our governing bodies have gone far enough. Many Republicans here today who are ironically tying to piggyback this “movement” actually fought against its unyielding principle of individual liberty by using bullshit arguments about children, obscenity, God, the greater good of society and other tyrannical gibberish.

Ah, thank you. I see I’ve hit upon your buzzword. Good to see some of you are still awake. The special Kool-Aid will be administered shortly.

“Up with people!”

My founding of the AAPGF aside, what ultimately garnered my invite to your gathering today is my repeated and thus far thwarted attempt to secede my meager stretch of land from the Union, much of my tribulation is well documented on my web site, so I shan’t belabor it here.

But believe me when I tell you; I’m a lifer. This is not a hobby for me, nor is it a calculated attempt at politics or middle-aged outrage, as what appears to be the case for an overwhelming number of you soft-bellied small-timers. I’ve been to the edge and back with government; federal, local, you name it. And I’m here to say the entire thing is fucked and must be broken down and rebuilt from scratch. It is flawed and screwed, and its atavistic foundation, cobbled haphazardly as it was under cannon fire during a heat wave two hundred and forty or so years ago, while still the best example of governance in the history of human civilization, is nothing more than out-dated Euro-Trash.

I’m talking about heavy lifting people. Voting another group in over the group that came before has kept The System growing and its expansion widening for most of these two hundred years. This is why I’ll assume you guys are waving the Don’t Tread On Me flag. I’ve proudly unfurled one of those on every property I’ve inhabited for three decades. It is the only flag that should fly. The American version is tainted and besmirched and until there is justice for all should be our pariah.

“No more free lunch!”

So what are we trying to accomplish; you know beyond the awkward social ineptitude and yelling?

Well, I decided, that instead of sharing my fairly radical and somewhat scarily reasoned ideas today, I wish only to breakdown what it is your aim and to point out as succinctly as possible its utterly ill-conceived and badly fostered platform.

I have in my hand the NJTPC’s Core Principles. It’s Mission Statement, and I paraphrase, is “to restore and protect the founding principles of our nation”, which, as already stated, for a “movement” is silly. You’re supposed to reject a system that isn’t working, not make specious claims that its origins were bastardized. What is this; the Russian Revolution meets the dawning of Christianity? All philosophies are bastardized.

“Down with pie charts!”

Okay, now onto your thirteen principles, and by the way; nice under-grad symbolism with the original thirteen colonies. I dig that.

1. Rights are endowed by God. Governments are instituted by men.

The musket and the sword endow rights. The people choose democratic governments. And while I understand this mocks the very notion of a Tea Party in the sense that our present construct provides taxation with representation, these are the facts; and although you are entitled to your opinion, not so much the facts.

2. Support for U.S. Constitution.

The original or the amended version? If it is the former, then all women and minorities will be asked to please leave; along with those with limited land ownership. You’re all excluded. These are your principles, not mine. I only wish to deconstruct them.

3. Support of the Tenth Amendment – states sovereignty.

If we are going to adhere to the original founding principles, then there are no states. Therefore these “principles” – which are defined as immutable and handed down by an invisible deity – are rendered null and void.

4. Rejection of global governance and the ignoring of the laws bound by the Constitution are punishable as treason.

Who are you guys going to elect that will not be bound by global governance and won’t challenge the authority of the constitution, because you cannot name one president and hardly any single legislative branch member who hasn’t engaged in this activity.

5. Only the founding fathers original interpretation of the constitutional is valid.

Once again, women, minorities and lower middle classes exit stage left.

6. Rejection of all tax laws.

Any group that considers taxes as a form of slavery really wouldn’t embrace prison. I would wipe this off the list myself, but that’s just me.

7. Free Market over any government regulation.

For more information on how this has been an abject failure and led to the most socialist laws known to this republic, please see the Roaring Twenties. When you have sufficiently been educated on the recorded disasters of an unchecked Free Market, then we can talk. Until then, please stop giving me the finger. You need to blame your parents and the shitty school system for your frightening level of ignorance.

8. Rejection of tyranny.

Agreed, but most of the language in your principles sound a bit authoritative, like “We only accept the original form of the constitution.”

9. Rejection of usurping the checks-and-balances of governance.

I will respectfully leave this alone, for its populist sentiment is at its basest form a “All puppies are cute” kind of thing.

10. The government is at service to the people.

Well, I thought we were Free Market. There is no government service without the people, and if the people are going to “be” as opposed to “being represented by” the government, then Principle #10 directly refutes Principle #7 and turns this thing into a pseudo-Bolshevik rally, and I did not bring my notes for that one.

11. Reserve the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

What the hell are you doing in Hackensack?

12. Reserve the right to remove our consent to be governed.

Please see an earlier principle for the jail solution. I think many of you would likely benefit from incarceration of some kind, but again, I wouldn’t recommend it.

13. We only support candidates from whatever party that adheres to these principles.

Good luck.

Okay, so in conclusion, I offer my sincerest wishes of fortune on your meaningless journey to nowhere, as I will conclude with the same slice of wisdom I offered to an anti-war rally four years ago, when similar mud-brains thought by electing new guys to the same System would end the fifteen wars we’ve got going.

Do yourselves a favor; ignore the ugliness of the big picture; get laid and have a beer. Better people than you have given up far more for less. Write it off as a loss and try and be happy. It could be worse, you could be gay and pay all the taxes for half the rights.

Thank you and God bless me and everything I stand for, and god damn the rest of it.

“Happy Tax Day!”

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2010 U.S. Allies Run Amok

Aquarian Weekly 4/14/10 REALITY CHECK


Rumors of Afghani President Hamid Karzai’s drug use in the wake of his inflammatory anti-American comments are highly suspect. While it is true that Karzai has an insatiable appetite for chewing pure hashish bricks, it would be hard to tie this activity to the insane gibberish he decided to announce to his people after meeting with the president of the United States two weeks ago. Drugs are merely an excuse for being a self-destructive asshole. Stating that the U.S. fixed an election he won and that its armies, which now keep him from being executed, must leave or he will join those who aim to execute him is the talk of an idiot, not a hash fiend.

Hamid KarzaiKarzai suffers less from drug abuse than politics. He is a politician, and as such, must play to his base, which consists of religious lunatics with an irrational hatred of western values or some such voodoo bullshit. Moreover, many of these constituents see Karzai as an American stooge. He must turn this around quickly, faced with a looming deadline in which the crucial U.S. presence in that lunatic asylum ends.

Karzai’s loose-canon babbling matters little, since his days are numbered. Anyone with any grasp of Middle East political savvy has given him less than a week to live the minute the last marine leaves. What does matter is that Karzai is just one of several U.S. allies continuing to act smugly in the face of our generosity and military sacrifice. At least Karzai has the balls to be a two-faced conniver, unlike the last president of his former neighbor, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who kissed America’s ass for years after 9/11 to hide the embezzling of millions of U.S. tax dollars.

Musharraf and Karzai are symptoms of this antiquated U.S. foreign policy that was rightfully born during the Second World War but continued haphazardly during the Cold War; this penchant to capture the hearts and minds of nations through force, executions, and coups to better promote democracy and freedom throughout the world to the point of military disaster and near bankruptcy.

The tribal kill-tank that is today’s Afghanistan is an unfortunate offshoot of America’s secret war to kick the Soviets out in the 1980s, which was left to disintegrate into chaos once the job was complete. Another fine example of the U.S. spending blood and treasure to correct its original foreign policy catastrophe.

For an even more pertinent model, check out Iraq. As stated ad nauseum in this space for years, despite naive drivel that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11; if the first George Bush didn’t play war hero in Kuwait, there would have been no U.S. military presence on “holy ground” and al Qaeda would not have had a prime source for causing the kind of havoc it did in the 1990s, which lead inevitably to the horrors of 9/11.

These are tough economic times. Extravagances like being responsible for the survival of an ungrateful and obstinate pack of morons must be addressed.

The worst part of the whole Afghanistan/Iraq goofiness is the United States did not get the proposed stranglehold on oil riches after decades of playing half-baked neo-con dunderheaded international three-card monte with half the region.

Then we have the always-intriguing call for democracy in Palestine, which was made manifest in open elections wherein the people chose a world-class terrorist outfit. Not to mention it is perfectly legal for citizens of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, two main allies we liberated and protected, to openly donate funds to al Qaeda.

But the Arabs are only half the problem here.

Nowhere in the Fourth Estate is there a more pro-Israel stance than exhibited in this space. It has raged for years about its sovereignty and applauded its military brilliance, but this latest nonsense with that strutting ass, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over treaty-busting settlements in the Gaza Strip, summarily shoved in the face of the American vice president in March, is as sad as it is suicidal. Without U.S. weapons and mounds of cash, Israel would have been a smoldering heap by 1978.

Netanyahu is the prize thoroughbred in the smirking stable of American lackeys that operate under the delusion they have control over their fate. It started in the spring of 1996, which happened to be the month I spent in Israel. I was in country when Netanyahu had three hyperbolic-laden debates with then Prime Minister Simon Perez and then on Election Day, when he acted as if he’d conquered Europe. Netanyahu’s militaristic, right wing nationalism is cute, but exists in his own fantasy. He is a puppet of the United States, as every one of his predecessors has been (of which he is one, having been ousted in ’99 before returning in late 2005) and his successors will be.

It’s just the way it is, jack:

No America, no Israel.

Netanyahu’s demand for the United States to stay out of Israel’s business is akin to crazy people waving signs at Tea Party rallies to keep the government off their Medicare.

It is time to face the hard truth: Nation building, like Liberalism and Conservatism, is a failed American philosophy, which for some strange reason seems to go on unchecked.

But the American tradition of repeating mistakes aside, there is a tried-and-true American staple that is currently misguided: anger.

As Americans go loony over a tepid National Health Care Reform Law their government spends billions a year to prop up the damaged social construct of sanctimonious blowhards and backstabbing narcissists half a planet away. Not to mention our kids losing limbs and lives over this miserable shit.

Under this kind of geo-political meandering you would think the United States would have stopped the Congo War by now, which has claimed over five and a half million lives since 2001. Maybe we’d stop doing business with China, which is an abject civil liberties joke. Perhaps we might consider storming the Vatican and eradicating the systematic raping of children?

In January of 2003, this space called it Selective Heroism; all that talk about Axis of Evil was stupid and expensive. It didn’t work in Viet Nam or any of the ensuing meddling.

These are tough economic times. Extravagances like being responsible for the survival of an ungrateful and obstinate pack of morons must be addressed.

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