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June 08, 2007


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The world could use a whole lot more transparency around money. Data will set us free.


Gerry, to protect us from Terrorists the info you seek is Top Secret. Those who reveal it are Enemies of the State. That is why we need the CIA and other Agencies to keep us safe. Transparency around money means citizen surveillance. It does not mean Watching the Watchers. They are not above the law. The law is that the law does not apply to them. That is, there are two levels of law. The law that applies to citizens and the law that applies to those who make it up as they go along without being accountable to anyone. In this way we are kept safe in a time of National Emergency.


I have a different definition of "citizen surveillance" in mind.


You are being monitored, Gerry, I would not boast online of your anti-American attitudes. The time is coming when those words may come back to haunt you. Stare all you want into the camera lens, as it swivels and pivots outside the Store of Convenience. You will never see the Watcher in the Control room. The system protects us all. Don't fight it. Knowledge is power, and what you don't know won't hurt you. There are good reasons you are kept in the dark.


Of that I have no doubt, and I am well aware that the digital trace is permanent. What can it all mean? We'll have to ask Dr. C.


The Tree of Knowledge was off limits for a good reason. Eat and be a gods! Some knowledge is best left to the devil.

O Lucky Man

Saying "small latte" in a $bux freezes a scene faster than a mention of e.f.hutton. Live large, motherbrother, or out you shall surely be cast.


I am only going by hearsay. Never had one of them lattes.

Jeremy Gregg

Phil, this string reminded me of "America," by Allen Ginsberg:

America I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can't stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb
I don't feel good don't bother me.
I won't write my poem till I'm in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I'm sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back it's sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I'm trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I'm doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven't read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I'm not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there's going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I'm perfectly right.
I won't say the Lord's Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven't told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over
from Russia.

I'm addressing you.
Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I'm obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It's always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie
producers are serious. Everybody's serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.

Asia is rising against me.
I haven't got a chinaman's chance.
I'd better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals
an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles and hour and
twentyfivethousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underpriviliged who live in
my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I'm a Catholic.

America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his
automobiles more so they're all different sexes
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they
sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the
speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the
workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party
was in 1935 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother
Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have
been a spy.
America you don're really want to go to war.
America it's them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power mad. She wants to take
our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader's Digest. her wants our
auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers.
Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I'd better get right down to the job.
It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts
factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.


"America I am putting my queer shoulder to the wheel," what a great line. Song of Myself was Ginsberg model, don't you think? Mine is closer to The Tale of the Tub. Ginsberg's persona is his own idealized self, writ large. Mine is the monster who might believe, much less retail, the gilded necessary lies we are told. Ginsberg praises Trotsky. I praise the CIA. He praises drugs. I praise recycling drug profits. So there are differences. And similarities too, I guess.

JJ Commoner

I say, where's the Deputy Editor when you most need him ? He never would have let this piece go to press as is ...


"The mad Socrates" has to sometimes live up to his own billing, or the customers will ask for their money back.


I'll get some perverse satisfaction watching
it all grind to a halt. I suppose it's the
system-stupidity that drives my satisfaction.

It won't be long now


National bankruptcy - how do we hedge against that?


Good question, Phil. Gold & silver perhaps?
A cave, a plot of land, a donkey, a wooden
hoe, plenty of burlap sackcloth and back
to barter we go? Don't take my word for it
or anybody else's but I think lotta folks
gonna get left holding that burlap...the lucky

We might have been able to hedge that, if it
were just 'national'.

Note from the url I posted that it goes far
beyond uS borders and it goes far beyond
the financial. Now where do you find a chart
for the rest?

Hold on, I had it around here somewhere?


It is hard to believe these charts. When I turn on my window to the world, my tv, the newscasters seem pretty upbeat, so do the advertisers. I don't see any panic setting in. There are two sides to every story, including Creationism. If things were going downhill so fast, I am sure our Elected Leaders and The Independent Press would bring it to our attention. On the other hand, Wolf Blitzer was pretty upbeat when we began Operation Shock and Awe. Do you think they are keeping us in the dark for some reason?


The hedge is to begin to restore the pathways of giving before the financial system takes a dive. Remember that the productive capacity, the real wealth in our homes, farms and businesses don't go away with a financial crisis. The only obstacle is the vaporous theories of property and ownership proffered by the ownership classes.


Hard to farm in suburbia. We paved the corn fields and turned them into gated communities. What is to harvest?


Something to watch.

Might suburbia revert?

If things were going downhill so fast, I am sure our Elected Leaders and The Independent Press would bring it to our attention.

Muahahahaha. You ought to apply to Jay Leno
as a gag writer.


Ever heard of The Good Soldier Schweik, a fine satirical novel by Jaroslav Hasek?

Like Schweik I do not question what I read in the papers as long as it is backed up by a quotation by an expert from a think tank, or by someone in a position to know the truth, like the newscaster.

O Lucky Man

And feral beasts?  Them too?

I’ve made this speech after much hesitation. I know it will be rubbished in certain quarters. But I also know this has needed to be said.


You can see in Blair's address the under current of satire that roils just below the surface of the best plain English prose. "Feral beast" and "rubbish" used as a verb are examples. What we have lost, I think, and is missing in Blair, is the recoil of the Text upon the Speaker. The alert satirist knows that every sentance is blunderbuss that in firing its missle at the target also recoils against the one who signs his or her name.

Had Blair celebrated whoredom, his own and that of the journalists, and invited the reader to sup with them, like Beggars beneath London Bridge, that would have real satire, and far more morally uplifting than this speech. Blair seems the mote in the jouranlist's eye, but no mote in his own. This undercuts, even as a rhetorical stance, the salience of his moral viewpoint. If you want to preach, grow a Prophet's beard, and go naked, Sir, that is my advice.

No Blood for Hubris

It's just one big fat throbbing drunken greedy savage sullen Mahagonny, City of Snares, is it not?

Sings the whore Jenny:

"As you make your bed, so you lie there.

And nobody cares if you do.

So if someone steps up, that one's me, dear --

And if someone gets stepped on, that's one you. . ."


The Beggars Opera and Three Penny Opera certainly do come to mind.

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