Goldman Sux! Senate Sux More!

 I held myself hostage for a couple hours yesterday as the Senate banking committee grilled a series of reptilian Goldman Sachs executives, both past and present, including current CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

The chief inquisitor was Michigan Dem, Carl Levin, long-time water carrier for the auto industry and fierce opponent of CAFE standards, and therefore fierce opponent of clean air. Levin single- handedly created an instant smash hit drinking game, as every time he quoted the word “shitty”,  derived from internal G.S. emails, I downed a shot of Russian vodka, mainly to dull the reality of the charade that was unfolding before me.

In case you missed it, the main issue with Goldman Sachs is that, during the housing bubble,  they were selling bundles of toxic mortgage securities to unwitting dupe clients, while their own investment wing was “shorting” the same securities, effectively unloading crap they didn’t want anymore, while raking in $billions in profits on the short side. An analogy would be if a car dealer unloaded a lemon on some sucker while at the same time taking bets on whether the clunker would make it to the next stoplight.

The problem with the senate’s grandstanding clusterfuck was, of course, that it was responsible for the the very deregulation, a shitbomb known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, that allowed predators like G.S. to engage legally in these activities in the first place. And who, among others, fully endorsed Gramm-Leach-Bliley? Of course, the good Senator Levin.

But can you blame the Obama administration and congressional democrats for flipping the populist card? After all, Obama’s  single largest campaign contributor turns out to be Goldman Sachs, and dem pols have been raking in Wall Street moolah ever since they decided the trade unions and their campaign contributions were counter productive to their newly furbished image as Global Capitalists. And if the proposed banking “reform” that Democrats are proposing is anything like the recently-passed health care “reform”, expect so many loopholes and exemptions Goldman, et al, will merely have to create another “legal” form of corporate fraud.

Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

It always seems neccesary to preface a “gun rights” issue, with the admission that, yes, you too own a gun, as if only gun owners are credible commentators on guns. So here goes: I own guns, two of ’em to be exact, a Winchester 30-30 deer rifle and a S&W Chief’s Special 38. But I hasten to add, I own the guns, the guns don’t own me. I make this distinction, because it seems like a lot of gun owners are obsessive-compulsive about their purchasing choices, and you may never, ever learn what kind of a car they drive, their favorite restaurants, TV shows, movies, or books, or what kind of coffee maker gets their jack going in the morning, but by god, they want desperately for you to know that they own guns.

I find this look-at-me-I-own-a-gun attitude a little weird because, if there really is something to the notion that an armed society is a safer society, than you want the “bad guys” to not know who owns and doesn’t own a firearm. The element of surprise is important in that regard, if you catch my meaning.

Where I grew up in Pennsylvania, everybody owned a gun, and when buck, doe, or bear season opened up in the fall, it was a free fire zone. But after a few weeks of traipsing through the woods, high on Ballentyne Ale, blasting away at whatever moved, most everybody made sure the guns went safely back into their cabinets to rest up for the next round of animal slaughter (although skunk, porcupine, ‘coon, and timber rattler season went year ’round, if you really felt that ambitious). Point is, guns were no big deal, not much different than your chainsaw, a pipe wrench, or your wrist watch: a handy tool to have when no other tool would do.

What the hell happened? When did gun ownership become this chest-pounding source of pride and self-identity? At exactly what point in history did the the tribe splinter from guys-who-own-guns into GUYS-WHO-OWN-GUNS-GOD-DAMN-IT!!!

I don’t know the exact statistics, but I believe that most of the 10’s of millions of guns in America are in the hands of mere 10’s of thousands of people. In other words, only a tiny percentage of Americans actually own guns, but there about 5 guns for every man, woman, and child in the country sold annually. Thus the name “gun nut”.

The latest little show-and-tell by the gun nuts revolves around something called “open carry“. This means walking around town, going into restaurants and stores, I suppose even Toys-R-Us,  toting un-loaded guns. The point, exactly, you ask? Beats me. According to John Pierce, the founder of the “open carry movement”: “I think the reason is that in many parts of the state, law abiding citizens are completely denied the right to protect themselves and the only option they have is unloaded open carry if they want to exercise the God given right of self-defense.” Make sense now? No? Ok, guess I’m not alone.

So what has been the net result of this “movement”? Well here in San Diego County, where the last buck, doe, and bear hightailed for the national forest several decades ago, a bunch of open-carriers strolled down the boardwalk at Mission Beach brandishing unloaded firearms on a sunny spring afternoon recently (I’m not kidding about that), ultimately provoking a local pol into re-thinking  the law. One thing led to another and Whoops! That ol’ law of unintended consequences reared its ugly head again!

But all’s okee-dokey in Gun-nutville. Because if these guys had nothing to bitch about, well….they’d have nothing to bitch about. Then they would lose their reason for living.

But like all causes, sometimes the purists must be forced to deal with those for whom guns are a part of, but not the center of their universe. In Keene, NH, recently, an “open breast” fanatic decided to exercise her god-given rights as only she knew how.

Coffee, Tea, or Me?

I was a featured speaker, along with Congressman Bob Filner,  at a “Coffee Party” event held Sunday in North Park. In the event that you are unaware, The Coffee Party  is a liberal response to “The Tea Party”, of course minus the yahoos, cretins, imbeciles, and bigots that comprise the tea baggers. It was a nice group of folks, actually, if anything, too nice, at least in my opinion.

Naturally a couple of baggers showed up to protest the protesters and one of them actually had a bullhorn and one of those signs that I’ve only seen on television, you know, the one that has a picture of Obama and Hitler  side-by-side. (Apparently while I was looking elsewhere, Obama has gone from a commie to a fascist almost overnight.) Local Fox TV news was on hand as well. Anway, while Filner was being interviewed on the sidewalk in front of the venue, bullhorn boy (here he  is after a brief , but annoying ad) was shouting from 6 feet away “Filner is afraid to meet the voters!!” ( odd when you consider that, well, Filner was in fact meeting the voters. )

While this sideshow was getting most of the attention, there was another tea bagger, sans bullhorn, who was patiently explaining to an attentive lib how being spat upon by hippies upon returning from ‘Nam was what awakened his political activism. If true, his was possibly the only real authentic case of spat-upon-vets yet to surface.

And, of course, that’s the problem with these dolts: they just make shit up and pass it along as divine truth: Obama’s a Muslim, Obama’s not an American citizen, Obama’s gonna take your gun away, Sarah Palin is “a breath of fresh air”, a dirty hippie spit on me, Newt Gingrich is “brilliant”, Dick Cheney is not a blood-sucking war criminal, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

Meanwhile, the nice guys, the coffee partiers, were actually passing around “civility pledges” inside the venue, vowing to treat with respect even those lie-spewing fear mongers who were littering the sidewalk out front. WTF? Why treat respectfully the very people that already think you’re a bunch of limp-wristed pansies? If you’ve ever tried to reason with an attacking Doberman, you get my point. The baggers apparently have no qualms about stifling respectful dialogue, given that their holy tome is a crayon-scrawled screed called “Arguing with Idiots”  written by the odious Glenn Beck.

Anyway, what do I know? Maybe the play-nice tactic will eventually work. It’s certainly worth a try. The next time some tea bagger accosts you on the street, screaming bogus “truths” in your face, try just sticking a flower in the barrel of his bullhorn.

Hating is OK, Really!

 

Hey, lately there’s been a lot of public histrionics about “hate speech”, and all the hate that’s going on out there amongst the ignorant bigots in the tea party movement, and in the media, and just in general. And I think all the concern is misplaced.  It’s not that the Michael Savages of the world hate, it’s that they hate the wrong things. Same for Limbaugh, Beck, Ann Coulter and the rest of them. By example, I just referred to “ignorant bigots” in the tea party movement and in the media, name calling at it’s very worst. But it’s perfectly proper to hate ignorance and bigotry, isn’t it? Or would it be preferable to merely dislike bigotry. Do you hate the fact that millions of jobless Americans are about to be booted out onto the street by the banker bastards that hold the notes on their foreclosed homes, or do you merely dislike it?

Sure, there are plenty of things to hate. Just look around. It’s perfectly proper to hate the idea that Goldman Sachs has enriched itself by billions of dollars of TARP money, but the guy who actually paid the taxes to bail out Wall Street is now working 2 jobs to pay for his families healthcare. What’s there not to hate? I personally hate the fact that demogogues like Newt Gingrich are still pushing the lie that 16,000 new armed IRS agents are about to be unleashed on an unwary citizenry, and I hate the fact that a mob of retards actually believes him.

I also hate that mean, little shit Bill Donahue, of the Catholic League, and his ridiculous attempt  to deflect priest pedophilia away from the Vatican and his sacred church and, instead, blames the gay community.

I hate that this pontificating phony  made $32 million last year, and that I have to share the planet with the idiots who await his every moronic utterance.

I hate that this mediocrity has credibility amongst millions of American:

No, I personally hate a lot of things, from stepping bare-footed on broken glass to the twisted, misinformed assfaces who think Obama is an America-hating closet Muslim. Limbaugh, Savage, Beck, and the rest of them are free to hate whatever they want, I suppose. It’s what they love that I hate: the money-grubbing, poison-spewing, vampiric corporate state that controls this country.

Obama Appeases Terrorists; Diplomat Tries to Blow up Plane!

Tragedy was narrowly averted last night when a cigarette-wielding Terrorist-Diplomat was thwarted by air marshals as he attempted to bring down  a Washington to Denver airliner . Conservative bloggers were quick to point out, rightfully, that this brazen attack was a direct result of Obama’s new “terrorism appeasement” policy.

“All of that talk about making our enemies like us and forgiving us in the post-Bush era isn’t really working out for us, is it?”, said the website Red State.

“Never fear. We’ve got the Whitewasher-in-Chief to paint all our troubles away.”, wrote Michelle Malkin.

“Muslim Tries to Light a Bomb on DC to Denver Aircraft.”, was the headline on the website Atlas Shrugged.

“A diplomat from a moderate Muslim country tries to blow up an airliner? The Obama administration would have us believe that this has nothing to do with ideology, and that there is no pattern here.”, reported Powerline.

And where was our appeaser-in-chief while this attack on the homeland was taking place? You guessed it, trying to sell his airy-fairy fantasies about nuclear disarmament to our NATO allies.

Coincidence? We think not!

Stacy Taylor

Radio maverick, writer, escape artist

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