Duck! and Gather

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  • In: predictions
  • Comments Off on But He’s Our Whore

Tomorrow, a boatload of my predictions issued in 2004 and 2006 will come true. Specifically:

Tomorrow will be a very auspicious day for this imperiled nation of ours. Weeks ago, my wife and I voted for Obama by mail in California. My guess is that he has already won, before the election day voting even starts tomorrow.

One thought that comes to mind concerns Obama’s sharp “swing to the center” back in late June. People like me howled about it. Particularly concerning Obama’s FISA-flip.

At the time, Kos said it best:

Kos said, paraphrasing: “It’s not like we’re not to going to vote for the guy, but still …”

So what is the relevance today of Obama’s June swoon?

To me, the relevance is that, in June, we got to see Obama for what he is. That is, he showed himself to be a whore of limp principle. Thus the gap between Obama and his political competition was reduced to a difference merely of degree, not of kind.

To put it simply, they’re all whores. But … and this is a crucial ‘but’ … he’s our whore.

We voted for him. We hope you do too.

I haven’t blogged about Obama since July 7. I suppose I have been avoiding the subject — not wanting to “go there” again. But my business partner just called me and asked: “What’s up with Obama? Why is his campaign sagging?” (Recent media reports say that McCain has overtaken Obama in the polls.)

Well, ask me a question, and I’ll tell you what I think. What I think about Obama is that he is risking not merely winning with a slight margin in November, but actually losing.

I agree with the people who say that this election is unlike recent past elections. In fact, I have a more radical view than most about this one.

I believe the country is headed for collapse. I believe when that collapse becomes evident to most Americans, the “two Americas” of John Edwards’ campaign stump speech (right message; wrong candidate) will become painfully clear to all. Essentially, the America of 2008 comprises certain entrenched powers, and then there’s the rest of us.

This isn’t a division of wealth, fame, or class, necessarily. Rather, it’s a division of mindset. It’s the mindset of Head versus Long Tail. It’s elitism versus populism. Top-down control versus bottom-up. Concentrated power versus diffuse power. Hierarchy versus network.

I think this election of 2008 is a lot like the election of 1860. Imagine what would have become of America had Lincoln been pro-slavery, or had Lincoln been defeated at the polls by a pro-slavery opponent. Had that happened, there would be no America today.

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Two years ago, I posted Greece Beats the US: A Perfect Allegory for Duck & Gather. That post mentioned that, in the semi-finals of the 2006 World Basketball Championships, the Greek national team beat the U.S.

I argued that this defeat of the U.S. served as a nice allegory for America’s dark future. Basically, my argument runs that we Americans are by far the most talented and extraordinary nation the world has known (I’m not just talking basketball here). But we are headed for an epochal collapse — one that may well cost us our world empire and even threaten our very survival.

The punch line of all this: We’re doing it to our ourselves! That is, we Americans are the authors of our own impending collapse. I won’t bother going into peak oil, obesity, the wacky weather, crushing consumer debt, or any other of the glaring signs of the coming apocalypse. Instead, let’s talk basketball.

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  • In: predictions
  • Comments Off on The Way Out for Obama

Yesterday, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times confirmed what one might expect: Obama is way stressed out. She paints him as caught between the “warped imagination[s]” of the left and the right in America.

If so, then his mistake these past few weeks has been in trying to pander to the pet prejudices of each group. One problem with doing that, of course, is that in an Internet world in which nothing is secret, whatever he says to pander to one set of extremists enrages the opposite set.

Another problem with doing that comes when the man doesn’t even believe in his own pandering. When that’s the case, he’s stressed doing it, and not at all charismatic or engaging. This is what I have seen in his pandering to the right wing (evangelicals, neocons, big corporations) these past few weeks. I don’t believe Obama shares the pet prejudices of those groups. So when he pretends to do so in his speeches, those speeches fall flat.

What to do if you are Obama? I mean he just can’t ignore the evangelicals, neocons, and big corporations because that’s too big a chunk of the country. What to do? What to do?

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  • In: predictions
  • Comments Off on Wouldn’t it be amazing if …

… Obama’s screw-up these past couple weeks (see the previous post) is a result of his campaign merging with Hillary’s? I don’t mean to “blame the witch again” with this post. But the idea bears consideration.

One thing Obama said he would do as president would be to appoint to leadership positions in Government the very people against whom he ran in the primaries and election. A sort of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” approach.

Well, I’ll bet that if I looked, I’d find that some formerly Hillary people have found their way to the ear of Obama these past couple of weeks. Don’t get me wrong. Obama is still saying this shit. And Alexrod is still defending the indefensible.

But I’m wondering whether the centrist Clinton machine is having some effect on the Obama campaign, thereby bringing that soaring bird crashing back down to Earth.

Boy, would that be ugly or what?

After what Obama has been doing since I posted my Landslide prediction two weeks ago, I might just have to downgrade that one. Read Ariana Huffington’s piece of June 30 entitled Memo to Obama: Moving to the Middle is for Losers. It’s a well-written article. I highly recommend it.

IMHO, Obama got to where he is for two reasons: (1) deeply held core principles; and (2) his charisma in expounding these principles.

But it now seems that, having finally killed off the wicked witch, Obama is going out of his way to alienate the very core that supported him in the first place. Among the laundry list of topics on which Obama has lurched to the right, the one that has caught my attention is his awkward embrace of big corporations (e.g. supporting the FISA bill, and supporting McCain’s proposal to lower the already low corporate taxes).

As I have blogged, the sole substantive distinction Obama drew between himself and Hillary concerned her embrace of big corporations. And in his economic speech given shortly after he clinched, Obama drove home this anti-corporate position of his.

But evidently, two weeks ago, his “handlers” got to him.

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I had drinks a few weeks ago in San Francisco with a fellow highly educated, liberal-leaning techy. I told him I’d love to take some betting action against someone who would pick McCain in November (I would pick Obama). He said he wouldn’t take that action, so we moved the conversation over to whether or not Obama would not merely win, but win in a landslide. He was thinking Obama would win, but not in a landslide. But as we began to parse the various Southern states, looking for some good betting ground, we realized there was no room for a good bet. So we left it at polite discussion.

Best bet I’ve made yet is with my wife. Her entire family is for McCain. She’s the only one for Obama. They ridicule her position. But they have her thinking Obama won’t win, even though she’d prefer that result. So we made a bet: Obama wins, we have another kid; McCain wins, no more kids for us. Of course I won’t hold her to that bet once the landslide results are in November 4. But at least it feels good to pretend like I have something meaningful riding on this little bit of historical arbitrage. (I’ve been prodding her to offer her mom double or nothing on a small debt we owe her mom. i.e. McCain wins, we pay her mom $2X; Obama wins, we pay her mom $0. But my wife refuses to take advantage of ignorance.)

Anyway, check out Obama’s 50 state strategy. “Obama’s strategists don’t really believe he can beat John McCain in [generic “Red” state]. So why blow cash there?” The article goes on to describe an elegant “bleed the Soviet Union to death” strategy to beat McCain in the Fall.

I say what this modest strategy will buy is not merely a victory in the Fall. I say it will buy Obama a surprising populist landslide the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long, long time.

Anybody wanna take McCain?

Steven Kazmierczak is the latest infamous school shooter. This time, the campus police responded within minutes, thus keeping the body count down to a “low” 6.

The odd thing about this case is that Mr. Kazmierczak was not odd. He wasn’t an anti-social wierdo. He wasn’t one of those kids who made other people feel uncomfortable (e.g. Mr. Cho).

On the contrary, Mr. Kazmierczak is universally described as having been kind, considerate, accomplished, highly intelligent, warm, raised by a stable loving family, etc, etc.

This case caught my interest due to this obvious non sequitur (i.e. wonderful guy goes psycho).

Over the past four years, I’ve cited the school-shooting epidemic as part of a larger social pathology that includes serial killings, “going postal”, abortion as birth control, and the like. I’ve lumped all of these pathologies together as natural symptoms of a diseased, irresponsible, collapsing society.

That is, I’ve argued that our post-modern oil-based life within a country that has virtually no cultural glue binding us together has no precedent in recorded history, and is entirely unsustainable. The human animal is not meant to live the way we live today in America, where:

  • none of us is responsible for the resources that keep us alive (e.g. food, water, health-care, shelter, heating, etc.) and we don’t even know the people who produce them, and
  • we have no culture — no national food, beliefs, myths, heroes, etc. — that binds us together (indeed the only common trait shared by any two randomly chosen Americans is the belief that each is free — i.e. none of us is necessarily bound to anyone else)

I believe that the above conditions make America ripe for the greatest collapse in modern history. I believe that we are currently in the final preliminary days of “normalcy”. And in these “normal” days, guys like Steven Kazmierczak are a dime a dozen.

But, actually, Steven Kazmierczak was not dime a dozen. Not that nice, well-raised, bright, promising, etc., etc., kid. No, there has to be something else there beyond the broader national unraveling dynamic.

Dig a little on the Internet, and the answer is obvious: It’s the SSRIs, stupid.

Strange that I missed that angle until just now. For four years on this site, Big Pharma has served as my “poster child” of the sort of old corporate industry that emerged 50+ years ago as a blindingly useful industry. But over the decades, and up through today, that industry has transformed itself into a deadly scourge that is killing us.

I won’t bore you now with examples of the last statement (read, e.g., my About page) — other than to point you to the link above for one example. Click it and dive in.

The biggest “story” of the Steven Kazmierczak incident is the story told by this link– a story that no major media is yet touching. None of them. That silence tells you all you need to know about the major media.

As my dear readers and listeners have noticed, from time to time I digress and expand on a topic of little interest to many of you (e.g. Sean). But as I have pleaded, my purpose for doing so has been to illuminate parallel dynamics within American consciousness.

As I have explained previously, I see sports as an allegory of American life. Just as young children are mirrors of the family life in which they grow up, American sports are mirrors of the culture (such that is) in which they perform. So for, example, I’ve pointed out that since 9/11, the champions of the three major sports (baseball, basketball, and football) have been “team” teams, not “star” teams.

The only exception to this was in 2006 when the Miami team “won” the the NBA title, and the Pittsburgh team “won” Superbowl XL*. Back then, I argued that those two seemingly model-breaking events actually were the exceptions that proved the rule. In other words, I entitled the accompanying podcast “Revenge of the Sports Corporations.”

So we come to last night’s Superbowl between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. What about America’s future can we read in the tea leaves of that game? Here is my quick answer:

1. Life is lived in the flesh, not on paper

The New England team was favored by 12-14 points in Vegas. They ended up losing by 3. Paper did not match the flesh. Why?

New England won the Superbowl of January 2002. That was the first of three Superbowls that New England would win over the ensuing six years. But they didn’t just win in 2002. Instead, that team hearkened the dawning of the new epoch in America (i.e. community over star individuals).

Since 2002, the New England team has “talked the talk” of this new epoch. I won’t bore you with all the details which show how they elevated the community (team) over the individual star. But what last night’s game showed me is that it is one thing to speak the truth; it is altogether another thing to live it.

The New England team of last night talked it. The New York Giants walked it. In the new epoch, walking trumps talking.

2. Look to the children, for the children will lead us

Children say the darndest things that embarrass the adults. This is because babies are born staring straight at the truth, and it takes many years to be taught how to spin and falsify the truth. The coming epoch will be a time of great, frightening change. Adults will have a hard time with it, being married to their own false consciousness. But the children will go with the flow.

And so the new and better ways of life will come from the children, not the adults. I know that seems hard to believe today when some of the children are named Lindsay and Britney and … (I’m drawing a blank to come up with more — I don’t have a TV). But history says it will be so.

So let me quote what Eli Manning said after last night’s game. After all the plays and non-plays by “adults” (i.e. the “knowns”) like Brady, Moss, Harrison, Seau, Thomas, Welker, Strahan, Burress, Toomer, and Manning, the game defining ones were made by the children (i.e. lesser knowns or unknowns) with names like Tuck.

As Manning said last night after the victory: “I’ve got two words for you: David Tyree.”

The lesson for the new epoch: listen to the children.

3. Jesus was a nice guy; Christ is a myth

In the new epoch, false messiahs will arise. As I have argued in my “All Hail the Messiah Obama” series, I believe Obama is just such a false messiah. But read that series! I strongly support Obama for president (I just voted for him this morning in California’s primary — actually, my wife let me check off her ballot).

I believe that, circa 2008, Americans are children who cannot yet think and act for themselves. Just as children need the guiding hand of a truth-speaking adult, so we Americans need proxy inspiration from the false messiah Obama.

And still, just as healthy children grow up to learn that their parents are not God (nor the Devil), so we Americans will need to grow up to learn how to talk and walk the truth for ourselves. In the new epoch, self reliance will be the rule. Nobody will be pulling your ass out of the fire. You’ll be doing it yourself or you’ll burn.

Thus I come to Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England team. In the months, and weeks, and days leading up to last night’s game, Brady was presented to us as Christ. Last night, we saw that he is no Christ (and, trust me, if Tom Brady isn’t Chirst, nobody is); instead, he’s just Jesus.

As Jesus, Tom Brady shits and his shit stinks, and he struggles (even just a bit) when the pressure gets too high, even for an extraordinary chap like him.

The lesson for the new epoch is: Don’t pray to anyone but yourself; and while you’re at it, don’t pray to yourself too much either.

The theme of this four-part blog series is: I want Obama to win the presidency, but I’m not so sure I like the guy. In the previous posting, I wrote:

In short, me, Peter, doesn’t need a messiah. But I firmly believe that this nation does. And I firmly believe that Obama is that messiah.

As I explained in the second posting of this series, I believe America needs a messiah because most Americans are children who take little or no personal responsibility for their own existence. As such, Americans need the guidance of an all-powerful adult. When the “children” look like adults themselves, “all-powerful adult” is upgraded to “messiah”.

But what would this messiah do for us Americans that we need so badly? In short, he would unite us. Unity is a necessary precondition for saving this country.

For the past four years, I have been predicting a coming “doomsday” in America. Although such a day would certainly be painful, it would have the side benefit of uniting us. That is, one of the upsides of really shitty things happening to us is that we find common cause with other people who have experienced the same shit. It’s an eternal human dynamic.

So for fours years, the only uniting force that I could imagine that would bring this nation of 300+ million individuals together as one was the force of mutual calamity. But that thought made me very nervous because calamities by their nature come as a surprise. If calamities weren’t surprising, we could prepare and either avert them, or at least come to terms with them.

But surprised people, especially frightened children, are highly irrational beings. And when those surprised “children” are adults, they can be quite dangerous.

So for four years, I’ve been thinking about how to survive the aftermath of when the majority of this country finally wakes up to the realization that this great nation is f#$&ed. History shows when these sorts of awakenings happen, chaos is loosened for a period, until fatigue sets in, acceptance emerges, and some sense of normalcy is returned. Think New Orleans.

The trick of living during such times is to survive the chaos. The A+ trick is to not merely survive, but to prosper. A failing grade is awarded for non-survival.

Well, when one’s head is thinking that way, one spends some energy toward enhancing self-sufficiency, and strengthening one’s community relations.

But then along came Obama. In Obama, I could see a better way toward unity. A quicker way. A shortcut.

Sure, calamities will unite us. But at what cost? A messiah figure can do the same for us — much quicker and much cheaper. A messiah could bring us together, so that when the unavoidable calamities do come, they arrive as not such a great surprise, and the ensuing chaos is ameliorated.

Now, it’s a whole other blog series to explain this next statement: If Obama wins the presidency, I expect there to be an assassination attempt against him. Not because he is a black man. But rather because he will be the man, like FDR before him, and Lincoln before FDR, who inherited a f#$%ed country off the rails, and did what was necessary to restore order. For his efforts, Lincoln was assassinated, whereas FDR survived the 1933 coup attempt against him.

Should President Obama be assassinated after he had brought this country together, then whatever dark days will surely follow that tragedy, we will be more prepared for them.

So as I said in the first posting of this series: Booyah for Obama for president! I don’t have to like him as a man to passionately hope he wins. I just have to love America.


for the money has gone too far

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