Saturday, June 26, 2010

Think It But Don't Say It

A couple of folks have found trouble lately speaking that which everyone knows. The dimwit Congressperson from Texas caused a brouhaha by apologizing to the BP executives for the governmental "shakedown". This is a no-no and it is amazing how some people just "didn't get the memo". Everyone knows Big Energy demands respect at every level of capitalist government but you are not supposed to blurt it out on national TV. Just like the Big Bad Bankers, these execs are in the "doghouse" and the public expects humility and shame. Law Makers are to chastise and shame them for a week or so. This is how it is played and Texas Dufus better learn the rules.

The next culprit guilty of speaking his mind is the careless General. Didn't he see Jimmy Carters lust piece in Rolling Stone? I thought these guys were the best and the brightest! P
Now we have the Genius General and perhaps Patreaus can buy off enough Taliban to get another Surge Victory but I'm still unclear on how that gets bin Laden out of his cave or prevents a terror attack from some other nether region of the globe. Mc Crystal can start working on the book and perhaps there is a Budweiser commercial in his future as well.

I see where the Supremes let Enrons Jeffrey Skilling off (or was he Savings and Loan?, I keep mixing up my crises) Turns out the Government used too wide a net to prosecute these white collar types, that they didn't actually MISREPRESENT the product they were selling. Like aluminium siding salesmen, they were perhaps a tad over zealous but hey! that's how you get the sale! Business is business and the government better not forget it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Malaise

I have been absent but it appears Obama's oil speech has Democrats in a funk. Apparently he used a war analogy, which really didn't rally the troops, and the spreading blob is winning anyway. Bob Herbert likes the analogy and wants a Marshall Plan type effort, with every asset and resource from around the globe mobilized in the attack. One Big Global Community of Experts and Know How. Sounds a bit Marxist to me.

The BP CEO joins the pantheon of Evil Corporate Dudes and EJ Dionne writes about "A Different Kind of Malaise", arguing "Democrats should feel a lot better than they do." Still, "the proper role of government" is not clear. Each new regulatory failure, from Big banks to Big Oil, only highlights the singular impossibility of the task, hence the "malaise" from each ideological camp.

Interesting how this Ken Feinberg character, of the 9/11 Fund Fame, has come to be America's Arbitrator. He will judiciously dole out the "compensation" cash and all will be recovered, including the profit system. Yet the malaise continues to eat around the edges. Glen Beck is extolling Ayn Rand and his own new work of fiction but avoiding the oil spew altogether.

David Sirota speculates, following the "news" about Afghanistan's untapped mineral wealth, that the U.S. public "now sees resource wars not as detestable- but as worthy and even admirable."
US PUBLIC? who is that? They thought such wars detestable? When? What utter nonsense.

Finally, I see that Steve Forbes has a petition out asking folks to help him fight "Big Labor"!
Really? Big Labor? I want some of whatever he is smoking. I'm glad Kurt Vonnegut didn't have to live to witness any of this. It's so grotesque, yet on the other hand, people I would never have considered "political" are coming up to me wanting to talk about capitalism (two just this last week). They are sick of the malaise.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Friend of Israel.

Listen, as a friend, you need to see a counselor, like I'm doing today. When your first reaction to anything is a giddy "Release the Hounds!" you are sick. I wish I could blame it on capitalism but of course it is a much more complex complex.

A Jewish friend last night wondered if this was Israel's "Rosa Parks moment" but I would suggest Bull Conner Selma moment might be more appropriate. The Jewish friend I fished with last week (there for the tragedy) blamed in on "Hamas rockets" but did not try to explain those beyond the cliche. "Sworn To The Destruction of Israel". It is time to listen to different voices, find the courage to abandon the old narrative.

The piece by Michael Chabron in the Sunday (6th) NY Times was typical of this narrative:
"I felt an abstract pity for the wasted dead, with their cargo of lumber and delusions, for the ill equipped, poorly led soldiers who had killed them."

A lyrically styled gem stuffed with lies and pathos. An "abstract pity"? Perhaps this best characterizes modern Zionism, that it can only muster "abstract pity" now, after all the carnage. "Wasted" dead is a judgement from the God whose name we cannot speak. "Delusions" is a political, real-politic, judgement from a cynical, ever-calculating mind which believes in nothing, especially not a God. And as for the "ill equipped" rant....
He followed with pathetic, cowardly excuses such as "blockheadedness, blunder, stupidity". All lies from a liberal Friend of Israel who is facilitating her destruction in a way Hamas never could.

As the U.S. empire crumbles it will not be able to play these sick games. The world wants to see your bombs, it wants a treaty with Islam, it can't keep going along, ignoring the symptoms, simply out of guilt. Get help.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another Brush

I have had my share of close calls and seen some bad things go down in my fifty six years. The list just got longer. Yesterday my guiding partner flipped his raft on the river we were fishing and one of his clients drowned. I came in behind just a little too late. We searched in vain but had to leave because others were hypo-thermic and in shock. They found the body late today. Western rivers are swelled with snowmelt and rain right now and are treacherous. Each move with the oars must be calculated but a certain amount of luck is also needed. Jims ran out. I hope my friend and colleague can work through the trauma and pain and continue doing what he loves. I just have to wonder what might have been had I made a more efficient search, arrived sooner, stayed closer.

I am not a thrill-seeker. I don't need a lot of adrenaline at this point. But there is inherent risk to every activity and I do find the challenge of nature, running rivers, skiing steep slopes, mountaineering,etc.. rewarding. Next week I will have to jump in with increased respect at the power and quickness.

RIP Jim Dewhurst, angler.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Desert Success

I have been absent due to a week of work (back on the river) and a week vacationing out in the desert of southern Utah. Being away from all media and a computer for this time has been frighteningly refreshing. The oil stopped gushing from the sea floor, the Israelis didn't commit yet another atrocity, the jobs numbers didn't exist! It was sort of like moving to Utah and joining the Church, buying a big tract house, a white pick-up truck and some off-road vehicles. From Ogden to Provo the Mormons are busy conquering nature AND reality. The economy is booming, America is Godly ( despite certain ironic attitudes such as the HBO show Big Love) , Glen Beck and country music reaffirm all one knows to be good and true.

Camping out for a week in our nations Park System was interesting. "Getting Away From It All" takes on a whole new, symbolic meaning. Gigantic RV's with satellite dishes and flat screen tv's hum throughout the starlit night. I was reprimanded by a ranger for gathering firewood rather than purchasing the pre-packaged variety. At Bryce Canyon bus-loads of Japanese and European explorers emptied out to snap their pictures against the vast, empty backdrop, then onward they rush to the next big attraction.

It is perhaps the juxtaposition between the ancient landscape, those millenial layers of oceanic upheaval and tectonic force, with the self-absorbed busy-ness of our hilarious civilization which had me wondering if I could even come back to this keyboard. Those eons of wind and rain and freezing should cause folks to question some of their own Sacred Stories and yet Utah and Arizona and other desert places seem to produce the least introspective kinds of folks. What up?

I go back on the river tomorrow and so the blogging will be sporadic at best.Thanks for the conversation throughout the winter, some was very challenging and productive and keep checking back because something tells me there will continue to be plenty to discuss. Where is Kafka, or even Hunter Thompson, when we need them the most?