The Talking Dog

February 29, 2012, Time marches on


And so we come to a once-quadrennial event, February 29th. I spent the early part of it convalescing in a big city emergency room, following up on an ailment that has plagued me much of this month; to my immense relief (and that of TD-Mom, who stayed with me, Mrs. TD and the Pup, and the rest of TD Famiglia... and hopefully, but not necessarily, TD World), I'm told that things are improving, and neither a multi-day hospital stay (as happened a fortnight or so ago) nor surgery is required. At least for now. And so, as I approach my 50th in about 8 months time... I guess this is the sort of thing I should get used to-- periodic strange medical maladies. But I digress.

Or do I? Because as sick as I feel (and although I'm pleased to be recovering, I do have some pain), I still seem to be healthier than our macro, be it issues environmental, economic, war and peace, civil liberties or you name it. As I quipped to a hospital technician (who suggested that Romney won Michigan...) I counter-suggested that perhaps in a few days, Santorum will have actually won it by 32 votes... but in any event, the whole thing is merely An Entertainment. It certainly matters not ultimately which Vassal-of-Goldman-Sachs occupies the Presidency, or which of "the two parties" controls the Congressional branch of our Strumpetocracy (a brilliant term I recently heard somewhere). So... I'm just not going to play that. As I suggest to you all... go about your own business. Don't get worked up about thinking there is any difference at all (and I mean AT ALL) about "who wins elections" in this country [or much of the world].

Just take care of yourself... and maybe you won't have to spend the evening in the ER... just saying.

And so... there we are.


February 26, 2012, Good times


Thousands braved the Russian winter to protest the inevitable election of Vladimir Putin back to the presidency of Russia in Moscow, forming a near human chain along that city's Garden Ring road.

Where was the pepper spray, the sonic weaponry or the tear gas and flash grenades?

It's about confidence, in some sense... the Russian people are confident that their government won't open fire on them, and Mr. Putin is reasonably confident, he'll win his election even without [the inevitable] fraud. In the US of A, by contrast, the status quo senses its grip beginning to slip, and hence, it desperately tries to hold on to power by any means necessary.

I wonder what this means?


February 16, 2012, The national ethos


As fortune would have it, I was kind of looking for some way to demonstrate that our national discourse-- to go along with our culture, and indeed our national ethos-- was operating at the level of "infantile"... and although I don't really mean to pick on Victoria Jackson in particular... she makes such a nice example of what I'm looking for to demonstrate my point.

And no, it's not a "left/right" thing... infantile is generously "bipartisan" in this country. It's worse than that, actually, because the deeper you dig into our culture, the less you find there... it's all just a big Disney Company production with really nice stage-sets of painted plywood propped up by 2 X 4's.. with nothing... NOTHING... behind it. And hence...

For God's sake... how can you even have a conversation with someone who says things like:

"The people of California voted that they did not believe that gay marriage -- no gay marriage," she explained to HuffPost Gay Voices. "They voted that. A judge, probably gay, activist judge, overturned that. Thatís what Iím talking about -- communism."

She explained further that it could lead to living in pods. "Do you know what the housing is going to be like when we all live in a pod?" she asked. "And we all take public transit? It's going to be Russia. It's going to be Cuba."

and

"We should vote on everything -- of course we should vote on everything," she said. But then she changed her mind: "Oh no, I believe in a republic where we should have elected officials. Democracy turns into mob-ocracy."

But in California the people voted on civil marriage, she is told, so what happened in California was mob rule, right?

"No, um, it was a judge. It was judge," she answers, hesitating. "I don't know. You're confusing me. I'm a beginner political activist."

So why shouldnít gays be able to get married?

"Thatís not marriage," Jackson explains, as still more CPAC attendees wave to her and thank her. "It's in the Bible. God created it. He did not create gay marriage. He created man and woman marriage -- duh!"

Yes. DUH.


February 9, 2012, Sadomonetarism


That's pretty much the only thing you can say about insistence by the Germans European financial authorities that already depression-ridden Greece lower its minimum wage some more and other pointlessly draconian austerity measures in order to secure yet another bailout (of mega-banks, of course).

Of course, there are those who contend that this is about actual sado-masochism-- German popular insistence that other (swarthier) people suffer as a price of German taxpayer bailout while Greece itself (its elites, anyway) enjoy the pain of still being in the euro, when pulling out and just defaulting would, in the end, result in far less pain than the current course.

Others note that if a 70% "haircut" isn't a default... just what the hell is? Of course, one of the most obscure, yet all powerful trade associations in the world... keeps insisting that defaults aren't defaults... and so, the system doesn't unravel... for another few days... until the haircut hits 100%, and the extend and pretend will inevitably fail once and for all.

Meanwhile, ignore the facts... like approval of TWO NEW NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS... all is rosier than rosy here... election year, you know. The economy... the environment... the fact that posse comatatus and the entire bill of rights have been jettisoned... nowhere near as important as candidates' stance on gay marriage (and which billionaire is funding their Super-Pac, of course).

Well, as David Sedaris once said, Greece invented democracy, built the Parthenon, and called it a day. And now... they've sold out their sovereignty for a few accounting gimmicks to be part of the euro and so that their own rich people (like ours) can avoid taxation and mega-banks can make obscene profits in order to pay obscene bonuses.

Never saw that trick before. This has been... sadomonetarism.


February 6, 2012, Souper Bowl, Bread, Circuses, etc.


Sorry to be my usual downer self... Hey, I'm as pleased as any New Yawker to see the scrappy N.Y. Giants triumph over the more arrogant (though still brilliant) N.E. Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI (the last place we still use Roman #'S!) as anyone... but I do note that the route of the inevitable ticker-tape (sort of) parade scheduled for tomorrow goes, as usual, right by my office building, which means it also goes right past the Occupy!-free Zuccotti Park (which I assume will be extra clean for the occasion!) The D.C. Occupy! is under some extra "tent cleaning" lately...

Along with the Republican primaries/caucuses (btw, congrats to Mitt for winning the Mormon-heavy Nevada caucus), sports are presented as one of the distractions from things like, oh... the fact that election year "improvements" in unemployment stats... simply mask reality. Or that the ongoing banking crises... are still ongoing. Or that the fundamentals of the economy... aren't so good. Or that we are now a de jure dictatorship.

Well then. Congrats, Giants! Yay New York! Rah Rah!