Sunday, January 23, 2011

Baby Doc Anyone?

Baby duck doc anyone?

If it quacks like a duck...

In a move that surprised, shocked, and confused many a concerned citizen the world over, Jean-Claude Duvalier, un-endearingly known as 'baby doc', made a surprising return to Haiti after 25 years of self-imposed exile. Duvalier, need I remind everyone, does not require any introduction here. Apparently, baby doc (not to be confused with 'baby duck', which was a popular sweet wine consumed by many unsuspecting and inexperienced young drinkers way back when, which usually left an after-taste that was just as horrible as the other baby's political regime's legacy) returned to carry out his so-called messianic mission to 'reconstruct and save' Haiti from its seemingly desperate and apocalyptic present condition. The initial thought reflex from most people, myself included, was: a) that dude is still alive? And b) what balls this guy has returning to the country he so despotically ran under his corrupt and schizogenic regime. Equally as confusing and unsettling, were the cheers and chants the baby received upon his arrival at Port-au-Prince airport, from what I can only guess, were coming from a group of blindly desperate Haitians looking for anything or anyone to return some form of hope and fortune to their belleagered and challenged country? Perhaps, in some twisted and self-deluded fantasy, baby doc imagined he could somehow take advantage of a weakened and desperate population, who would somehow embrace Duvalier as their new saviour. Could someone please spell the words 'miscalculation' and 'insane'!

In the latest news or course, perhaps to save itself from embarrassment, the local Haitian authorities arrested and charged Duvalier on charges of corruption, theft and misappropriation of funds that occurred during the doc's 15 year tenure as 'president'. Notice, there are no charges, let alone allegations, linking baby doc to untold numbers of Haitians killed and tortured under the doc's 15 year long playdate (not to mention the many hundreds of thousands who fled for safety to orther countries)? So, as 'ol bugs would say, “what's up doc” with that? The conspiratorial tone coming from the streets and the Haitian media, is that French and American political interests and influences colluded to deliver baby doc back to his former playground in a plot to overthrow the current and equally unpopular and corrupt René Préval, who recently has been accused of rigging recent elections in Haiti. Although, as I see it, Préval has a loooooooong way to go in order to fill baby doc's dictatorially soiled diapers! I don't know what to think about that theory however, as it is, for all intents and purposes, quite linear in scope. But, baby doc's return does give off quite a bad smell indeed, like something that has the rotten stench of a scripted event. I have to wonder though if baby doc was not setup by some interests/influences/forces (the infamous 'they'), by setting up a pretty benign and successful trap, in the guise of a promise of a return to power for a pathetically power blind and thirsty dictator junky. Perhaps the baby was easily duped by an old trick. Could this have been a form of blackmail orchestrated in a manner à la mode de 'mission impossible'? Anything is possible in a world with no shortage of motive, deceit and lies. Other dictators were fooled and double-crossed in the past by the very hands that fed them. Sadaam Hussein being the one salient historically recent example that comes to mind.
On the subject of dictators, and on the heels of recent scientific news involving the recreation of woolly mammoths from prehistoric genetic material (BTW, another insane human folly), I cannot but imagine what would happen if our brave and nutty scientific community decided to reanimate former dictatorial superstars such Hitler and Pol Pot? I wonder if mankind would eventually reanimate former dictators with the ultimate aim to return these ghostly abominations back to their countries of origin where the deceased dictators (i.e. the genetic donors) committed their atrocities, for the inevitable purpose of awaiting trial for crimes against humanity. How absurd that would be. What would be worse though, the dictators' dark acts and atrocities or the thoughtless acts of scientists involved in reanimating dictator simulacrum from the grave? In any event, just as absurd is the news of baby doc's incomprehensible and overconfident return to Haiti last week.

Well, as the old saying goes: “if it look likes a duck doc, if it walks like a duck doc and if it quacks like a duck doc, then it's a fucking duck (baby) doc!!!”

Pierre Duranleau aka Cafargo (no longer contributing to this site)

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Fairytale Fable

Pick up the pooh, and shut the fuck up!!!

  Once upon a time there was a great kingdom. This kingdom was ruled by an elite class, who determined all the laws and currency issued within the kingdom.
  The ruling class, that is the King and his court, lived in opulence and luxury. They had riches aplenty, every wish and every one of their desires could be easily fulfilled. They were the government, and members of the lesser classes were given privileges to elect any within the wealthy elite to govern over them, they were even allowed to elect their 'King', and they called this process democracy.

  The ruling elite had so much wealth that those in the lesser classes strove hard to win their confidence by offering them services in exchange for some of their 'valuable currency', without which no man or woman could possibly purchase a lifestyle of any medieval comfort.

 However there was another class of subjects within this kingdom, a serf class of labourers and merchants who tended to the minutia of the land.   Unlike the Middle class who indulged the luxurious tastes of the King and his elite court, always hoping to reap the benefits of the their 'trickle down' excesses, the Underclass had to work long hard hours, performing menial jobs for very little pay.     Few within the Underclass could even afford a horse, let alone an Ox or other livestock that would allow them them the possibility of a decent living, instead they had little choice but to sweep the streets, collect the trash, point the bricks, and wash the windows, among thousands of other thankless tasks.

   In return for their lowly services, the King asked the Underclass to pay much less tax money on his currency issued. Naturally the Underclass were not pleased to part with any of the very little money they earned for their hard work and long hours, as they were barely able to make ends meet to begin with.
Fortunately though, they were given the opportunity to purchase lottery tickets which would temporarily satiate their anxiety by providing some 'virtual false hope' in exchange for 'relative civility', and watch jousting and other forms of sport that would quench their 'tribalist rage'.

  However the Middle class were expected to pay much more, after all, they possessed far more luxuries than the Underclass, and therefore could afford to surrender a greater portion of their royal currency to taxation.
The Middle class could indulge in a lifestyle only dreamed of by the Underclass, and soon became the envy of the Underclass, for they could indulge in fantasies of living not possible for the Underclass, through access to lines of credit, rewarded to them by the King for shouldering a greater amount of the tax burden.

 The Middle class, despite their relatively comfortable lifestyle, resented paying such a great percentage of their royal income to taxation…they wanted more, and were quite willing to go deep into debt in order to compensate for their loss of income due to the heavy taxation. They wanted nice homes, some even had TWO horses, which required twice as much maintenance. They wanted to send their children to the finest archery classes, and schools of higher learning. They would even go into debt to pay for a re-thatching of their cottage roof, and at Christmas time would often seek out and purchase expensive gifts to give one another, and sometimes even, would travel to distant lands in order to better celebrate their relative wealth.
  One day though, the Kings greed finally caught up with the kingdom, for he had issued too much 'cheap credit' based currency not backed by any labour or resources, and due to the compounding interest on debt, and an inability for the royal subjects to repay the debt, the lesser classes were told to endure austerity measures. Of course, the King had no desire to endure the very austerity he had imposed, so the burden was left to the Middle and Underclasses to suffer, for if they didn't, the King had ensured his subjects that their kingdom would certainly fall.

  The royal subjects began to grow restless, many within the middle class refused to lay blame on those truly responsible for the recession, that is to say the King and his court, and instead chose to criticize the Underclass for not shouldering enough of the tax burden.

 One member of the middle class, the Kings gardner in fact, stood up on a soap-box, and proceeded to make an argument for his suffering. The Villagers gathered around and listened. The Gardner lamented on how this recession was causing him to sink further into debt, whilst the King was expecting him to pay a greater portion of the royal tax with his royal currency.

  Now that his work load had slipped to just a couple of half-days a week, and due to the expenses of his lifestyle, he further lamented on how his sinking into debt could no longer allow him to maintain his former standard of living.
 The Gardner feared perhaps one of his horses would have to be sold, or that the children's archery classes would need to be scaled back. The Villagers listened intently, sympathizing with the plight of the Kings gardner.   Saddened that, given the recession, there was now less royal excess to be enjoyed by him and others in the middle class.

  Members of the Underclass were confused by his plea though, for they knew that even if he were to downsize his lifestyle to half of what it had been, it would still be a far greater wealth than the relative material poverty they lived in.
The King was not worried by this new tumult within the kingdom, he scoffed at one of his advisors who suggested the possibility of a 'revolution', for he knew that when it came to survival, the Middle-class would never 'bight the hand that feeds them', because in the end, they were still living a life of relative prosperity in relation to the Underclass.

Instead of turning their attention on those whose greed had created the austerity,that is to say the King and his court, the Middle class instead chose to support their King who subsequently taxed, criticized, and further regulated the Underclass to the point where their ability to tend to the minutia of making the kingdom function began to exponentially deteriorate, and with it the kingdom itself.    End of story! 
 (oh, by the way, they all got some Ho's and lived happily ever after!)     
                                                                                                                                                                           Dirty CT January 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Underdog Nationalism!

"There's no need to fear..."
   Boo-Hoo!, last week Canada let a 3-0 goal lead slip away in the third period at the world junior hockey championships, and lose the tournament to Russia by a score of 5-3. 'Our boys' lost an opportunity to once again impress upon the world Canada's dominance in the fantasy land known as ice hockey. Once again we missed a golden opportunity to assert our sporting 'manifest destiny', and leave little doubt in the minds of global onlookers as to who is the best hockey nation in entire the world!
   Our distinct form of 'cultural autism', also known as Canada's hockey obsession, has once again reared it's ugly head. As a nation, we have gone from being mild mannered and self-effacing, to a Frankenstein junior mini monstrosity of jingoistic wanna-bees. I can remember how it made our stomachs turn every time we'd witness our 'neighbours to the south' beat their chests, wave their flags, and weep openly on the podium for the glory of their extremely wealthy and well funded nation.
  Does the world really care whether or not Canada wins any given tournament. Did the people in Sweden, Germany, or Czech Republic skip work to watch the deciding game between Canada and Russia? probably not!  nor did they probably care either when Canada rubbed it in the worlds face eleven months ago at the 2010 Winter Olympics when they 'owned the podium' (or was it 'bought the podium) although it should have been 'bought the Immodium'?… whatever it was, that nauseating display of false patriotism succeeded in giving me a case of the runs akin to ingesting some rancid deep fried 'Beaver Tail' .
"Underdog is here!"
   Back to hockey, and the game (which I didn't even watch) congratulations to the Russians for their perseverance and character, it fills me with joy to see other nations excel and succeed at this wonderful sport, for their triumph was just as sweet as any underdog comeback.
    For me, and those like me, lovers of sport, of life, and the underdog, one such victory is sweeter than hundreds of victories by the favourite. Our nation is the nation of the underdog, of the little guy, and those who temper their triumphs with a spirit of good will and profound respect for their defeated opponents, which is why, in the next soccer qualifiers, I will be showing my true patriotism by cheering for lowly Canada, and not against them.
Dirty CT   January 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

And Birds Might Fall From Black Skies

Hey Mildred, We never should have lit those fireworks!

   Hey, Hey, the clouds are whey, which is why birds have been dropping from the
sky this world over. Within the last week thousands of birds have fallen dead and literally 'dropped out of the sky'.
   My, my, the sky will cry…Birds! like the Hitchcock movie, and a mystery surrounding their deaths. WTF? 
  Animal species group deaths are nothing new, but what is so odd about this recent wave of bird deaths, is how the phenomena has happened within one week and has spanned the four corners of our globe.
  First, the big story was the death of 3000-5000 red wing blackbirds in Beebe, Arkansas, preceded two days earlier by the death of over 100 000 drum fish in an Arkansas lake.  The 'experts' had narrowed the bird deaths down to being caused by either lightning strikes, hail, or New Year's fireworks…hmmmm, I dunno?!   Why do humans always have to fill the void left by a mystery with a theory?
Would we not be able to function, or sleep not knowing the cause of these strange anomalies? 
 The next day, birds in South America were found having fallen to their deaths, and then, two days later, thousands more were found dead in the state of Louisiana, and most recently, 500 dead birds were discovered in Sweden. 
 There is an explanation, and the explanation may possibly be a weird one, but when a mystery strikes, the battleground between the 'mainstream' and the 'fringe' always heats up.  
  I witnessed an atrocious piece about the bird deaths on the BBC the other day. The previous 'expert' explanation of fireworks 'blew up' when more bird deaths not related to New Year's celebrations, were reported, not to mention the 100 000 drum fish death toll two days before New Year's eve. Instead of simply reporting the facts and recognizing their 'firework' theory as untenable, they instead used the opportunity to take a cheap shot at UFO nuts and Conspiracy Theorists.  Why?
   Having looked into the U.F.O. phenomenon and investigative journalism which suggests a greater conspiracy, I know of no one in those fields making any crazy claims about 'the birds having collided with a giant UFO' as the BBC report states.
The BBC report said that wild theories about the cause of the bird deaths were swirling around, and as the reporter stated "You guessed it, on the internet" as if the internet is some kind of petrie dish for shoddy logic.
  Now we know there's a lot of crap on 'ye ol' interweb' and there are certainly small minorities of 'UFO nuts' who might believe a saucer crashed into the birds, but why mention it? They, the BBC, have managed to have taken a tragic mystery, and turned it into a lighthearted 'funpiece', encouraging us to laugh at a handful of 'nutjobs'. Contrast this report with SkyNews' who reported the bird deaths minus the joke piece; proving ethics in journalism is alive and well at Sky.
  My main point (question) is…why is it acceptable for the BBC to speculate on wild theories, then not take responsibility for that incorrect speculation, and THEN, turn around and use the opportunity to laugh at a few crazies whose theories are equally as invalid? This is not journalism as I remember it to be, it's 'infotainment'!    
  Meanwhile the other question lingering in the background is: Why does the BBC feel a need to associate crazy people to, and thus denigrate those, who are engaged in alternative research?     Might it be fear?
    I have a hunch that whatever caused these beings to meet their demise was most probably related to the fact that birds, like fish, follow the leader. Birds fly in flocks darting in all directions under the guidance of the lead bird, as fish swim in schools using this same principle. Nature could be revealing to us one of her secrets, that any species behaving lockstep in unison with leadership will suffer the consequences of that leadership. If the lead bird flies into peril, then it would stand to reason that those other birds within the flock would also fly into peril, and it's interesting to note, those 'experts' closest to the upper echelons of our hierarchical society have so far failed to entertain this possibility, I guess we all have our blind spots.
                                                                                                                                                         Dirty CT    January 6th  2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Balloon Economy

(Rubber/Fabric=Economy, Air=Credit, Pump=Oil)
The more hot air one blows into a balloon, the more the balloon expands.
The air pressure stretches the rubber thinner and thinner as the balloon grows larger. It expands to the point where the molecular structure of the rubber (or some other fabric) can no longer bear the pressure of the expanding gas. The molecules then break apart rapidly, all at once, in the form of a BANG! or in other cases, the ballon springs a leak which then requires you to pump more air into it in order to offset the loss escaping at the point of rupture. At some point, the energy required to pump an equal or greater amount of gaseous pressure into the balloon, becomes so great that the machinery pumping the air begins to break down…and at that point, the balloon then begins to lose pressure, and deflate at a calculable rate.
The expansion of western economies (not the selling of spurs and saddle soap)
relies on the "air" known as credit, blown into the balloon using a pumping
That ball is up, UP, and AWAAAYYY!
energy known as "Oil" to fuel the infrastructure necessary for the expansion to occur. Although we have alternative fuel (energy) sources, none of them come close, in energetic output, to oil based petroleum.
When the price of Oil spiked at 147$ a barrel in the summer of 2008, the 'credit balloon' had expanded as much as it was capable of expanding,and was already in an advanced stage of decline. As Oil prices began to then slip away, investors started a massive selloff which led to the stock market crash in September 2008.
The long period of sustained 100$ plus, per barrel of oil had taxed the systems capacity to maintain certain profit margins, to the point of implosion.
Every institution that relied on interest (Banks, and other lenders of money) were hit the hardest, with many large dependant corporations slouching along in their shadow.
We know the economic crash of '08 was a direct result of a mortgage housing bubble in the U.S. which began in 2007. The housing bubble burst when the economic expansion necessary to keep the bubble expanding started to slow due to higher prices in the fuel that allows this 'balloon expansion' to happen, oil. After the crash of '08, stimulus packages around the world, and in the U.S. known as bailout money (TARP), were introduced. Combined with slashed interest rates, the major banks were able to salvage the markets, and return a sense of normalcy to the economy. This 'recovery' was able to take place for one reason only: Oil prices had plummeted into the mid-thirties per barrel.
Had Oil remained above 100$ a barrel, Banks would have needed three to four times the amount of 'bailout' money (taxpayer money) in order to keep their 'Ponzi scheme' of "interest on manufactured credit" going.
Now as economic expansion begins to slow once more, and Oil creeps back up above 90$ a barrel, Banks are once again printing up money out of thin air, which in turn can only make the price of Oil (and other commodities) climb, once again eating into the profit margins.
So, here we are again, on January 1st 2011, with the economic horizon looking a bit like the changeling child of January '08. Considering the damage we have suffered over the last few years, it wont take much to prick this balloon economy, and send it sputtering aimlessly, as the price of Oil's getting sharper by the day.
Dirty CT January 1st, 2011