Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I hate the arbitrary assessments that come with certain dates. They are obligatory in some sense and as a conventional nonconformist I thought I would chime in. 2008 was alright in the end. More up than down. I was never able to get more than a few hundred miles on the bike trips but the idea of that was laughable just a few years ago.
I had a good year creatively. While I didn’t make much head way on the DJ project I did put out some good short stories, I had some tough nights in the wilderness but the good times more than made up for it. The video front has been fun but I need to put forth more effort in scripting and editing. The Radmul channel has been fun to build on YouTube and is starting to take on a new shape that I like.
I had forgotten how oppressive it is to be depressed when everyone else is happy so the end of the holiday season is always welcome . I still hurt too many days. I have lost any conditioning that I had gotten and have gained too much weight.
The year in politics has been interesting. I have enjoyed my debates on Dkos and Hufpo. I have a post in the works wrapping up my political thoughts for the year. For now I am out for some fun on the last day of the year hope you are doing the same.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Today is the international day to end violence against sex workers day. The key to this in my opinion is to destigmatize and decriminalize these activities. I am sad to say I see neither of these things happening anytime soon.
The rich need to have low cost whores available to the rabble or they will agitate for enough money to have the same access to sex that others have. Once they stigmatize an individual through a criminal record the worker has many fewer options for making a living. They keep the options limited they keep the prices down and prevent the workers from garnering enough resources to change their life in a capitalist system.
The second factor is the prison industrial complex. Many parts of rural America are dependent upon incarceration for their economic development. We lost our manufacturing and built prisons and those cells need to have occupants. The police exploit the poor at all levels forcing them to become informants and extorting the poor workers for favors. This is more control of the underclass.
If legalized the workers would be entitled to police protection like any other commercial enterprise. The policing of the lower classes is punitive not protective for the most part.
The moralists are too wrapped up in their superstition to allow reason to get in the way of punishing sin. These are a powerful constituency and sex workers are not. The patrons that have a modicum of power are shamed into silence so the puritans get their way.
Friday, December 12, 2008
A long list of random thoughts for a fall Friday. On a sad note Bettie Page died on Thursday after a heart attack a few days ago. A free spirit that was tormented by the puritans and exploited by the photographers of her day. This Bio book is pretty good if you are unfamiliar with her or check out this web page.
The Senate failed to Put together a bail out package for the Big 3 and now the shrub in chief is saying that the TARP will work out some sort of kick the can down the road loan. The parting shot of the free market mystics at union busting will probably give us a total cluster fuck to the bread lines. Unrestricted no strings attached money is so much better than a planned bill but hey I was against the plan anyway. I have written before about a bottom up approach to these bailouts rather than top down.
The more I read about this current financial meltdown The less sense I am able to make of it. I have more research to do but my take from readings so far leads me to think fraud is the cause more than anything else. People lying about value, capitalism in a nutshell is the root of this mess. The bond raters being paid by the bond sellers enabled a huge fraud to be perpetuated on investors. Appraisers and lending brokers getting paid on the transaction rather than the success of the transaction led to loans being made to people that had no chance to repay them. The ponzi scheme nature of our economy came tumbling down due to lying by the institutions that established the value. Putting the CDS, (credit default swaps) out of the reach of regulators by Phil Grahams Enron loopholes meant that nobody was responsible for minding the store. Greenspan robbing the poor to pay Wall street with interest rates kept the bubble building and when oil prices spiked the house of cards collapsed.
Corruption reared it’s ugly head in Illinois politics when the Gov tried to sell a senate seat. Quoting Captain Renault I am shocked , shocked to see crooked politicians in Chicago. The sad part is that it has given the right wingnutosphere the opening it needed to begin delegitimizing the Obama presidency. I do not think we are in a post partisan era, in fact the idea of a post partisan era is stupid. We are back to the Rushbo era of, “Clinton is holding America hostage” and nothing will get done. Yes I am a pessimist and the lame group of DLC and Clinton era holdovers that populate the Obama cabinet give me zero reason to question my skepticism. As I am getting a large COLA next month deflation works for me right up until the government collapses and we got to anarchy. I am way to old for that.