Politics and worldly things.
2008 October 06
In case you all hadn’t noticed, the world is falling apart. I posted here back on September 11th, 2007 that the finance world was going to fall apart. http://crucial-systems.com/For_those_of_you_that_dont_pay_attention_to_the_world_of_finance
The reason I fled New York was that I could see quite clearly that the wheels were going to come off that wagon and the US may very well collapse into chaos. Alarmist, yes. That’s what alarms are for.
The solid truth is that the financial markets always precede the real economy and things will be changing soon.
As of this weekend the “commercial paper” market has “frozen up”. This means that the circulatory system of the united states – the credit system that companies use to keep factories going and shipping happening is not working. Nobody wants to loan money to anybody else. That means [Cardiac arrest](http://www.rgemonitor.com/roubini-monitor/253853/financial_and_corporate_system_is_in_cardiac_arrest_the_risk_of_the_mother_of_all_bank_runs)
You may not like corporations and banks, but we live in their world. Expect some severe dislocations. It might even be fun for the likes of us. But it won’t be easy. Personally, I’m trying not to stress …. and failing at that.
It is entirely possible that food supplies will from time to time get interrupted. I’m serious. You may not think you buy things from corporations (you hipster you), but you live in the modern world and you are not isolated.
In the midst of the largest destruction of wealth in history (albeit fictitious fiat currency wealth), savy investors keep well ahead of the game.
Hmmmmm. Now what could those clever and immoral stock traders be thinking would happen that would boost the outlook for Cambell Soup ? Investing in pitch forks and torches might also be wise. The peasants will buying those in size.
Yep, and you too should have a stockpile of canned good, beans, all that good stuff so that you can survive any interruptions that may or may not happen.
“Supermarkets not going to have enough food. when it happens. The great equalizer is coming.” – rastabomba
(update: damn, even cambell got killed a few days later. this really is Armageddon)
It may not happen this year, it may not happen ever, but don’t freeze up in fear, don’t be stupid and not prepare.
Not preparing is stupid. Preparing and then it not happening is fine. Then you just have a bunch shit in the pantry. Whatever.
Oh, and buy camo. Its always cool to sit around the apartment wearing camo. Makes you feel manly.
New Yorkers : 20% of the city income came from Wall Street investment banks. They are gone. All of them. All the other financial institutions are reporting losses, everybody is reporting losses. That means they don’t pay taxes. That means NYC is bankrupt.
Expect serious cut backs. On the plus side, many of those hedge fund douche bags may move back to their stupid dorfs. Oh and that means restaurant income in New York is going to nose dive. Deflation in the city might happen as people drop their prices because they are desperate for business.
With all those abandoned shopping malls we may have an excellent free party and rave culture in the US. But sadly, the kids will probably just stay at home and make crappy emo videos and post it on youtube.
As we all know, the US is not designed to operate without cars and a corporate retail based supply chain. If globalization breaks down, the US can’t get enough imports to support the lifestyle to which it is accustomed.
Berlin – I can be poor in Berlin and enjoy it. Hell, the place looks cool with all these old buildings. We could fall into ruin and disrepair and it would still be an awesome city. It would still look nicer than it did in 1945. We will have the most awesome soup kitchens with cabbages and potatoes and stuff organized by cute Finish girls.
Personally I don’t really like money, or people with money.
2008 June 11
This was the most bat shit crazy episode in the whole Bush Gestapo Era. Charges are finally dropped, but as Kurtz states, there is no re-compensation for him.
The case originated in May 2004, when Kurtz’s wife Hope died of heart
failure as the couple was preparing a project about genetically modified
agriculture for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Police who
responded to Steve Kurtz’s 911 call deemed the Kurtzes’ art materials
suspicious and alerted the FBI. Kurtz explained that the materials (legally
and easily obtained basic life science equipment and two harmless bacteria
samples) had already been displayed at museums throughout Europe and North
America with absolutely no risk to the public. However, the following day,
Kurtz was illegally detained for 22 hours on suspicion of bioterrorism, as
dozens of agents from the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Homeland
Security, Department of Defense, ATF, and numerous other law enforcement
agencies raided his home, seizing his personal and professional belongings.
After a federal grand jury refused to charge Kurtz with bioterrorism, Kurtz
and Ferrell were indicted on two counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire
fraud concerning the acquisition of of harmless bacteria for one of
Critical Art Ensemble’s educational art projects. (Critical Art Ensemble is
the recipient of numerous awards for its projects, including the prestigious
2007 Andy Warhol Foundation Wynn Kramarsky Freedom of Artistic Expression
Grant, in recognition of twenty years of distinguished work:
The Department of Justice brought the charges in spite of the fact that the
alleged “victims of fraud”—American Type Culture Collection and the
University of Pittsburgh—never filed any charges or complained of any
wrongdoing, and the fact that in bringing the charges the Department of
Justice was acting completely outside its own Prosecution Policy Relating to
Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud
June 11, 2008
ARTIST CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES IN PRECEDENT-SETTING CASE
Department of Justice Fails to Appeal Dismissal
Kurtz Speaks about Four-Year Ordeal
Buffalo, NY—Dr. Steven Kurtz, a Professor of Visual Studies at SUNY at
Buffalo and cofounder of the award-winning art and theater group Critical
Art Ensemble, has been cleared of all charges of mail and wire fraud. On
April 21, Federal Judge Richard J. Arcara dismissed the government’s entire
indictment against Dr. Kurtz as “insufficient on its face.” This means that
even if the actions alleged in the indictment (which the judge must accept
as “fact”) were true, they would not constitute a crime. The US Department
of Justice had thirty days from the date of the ruling to appeal. No action
has been taken in this time period, thus stopping any appeal of the
dismissal. According to Margaret McFarland, a spokeswoman for US Attorney
Terrance P. Flynn, the DoJ will not appeal Arcara’s ruling and will not seek
any new charges against Kurtz.
For over a decade, cultural institutions worldwide have hosted Kurtz and
Critical Art Ensemble’s educational art projects, which use common science
materials to examine issues surrounding the new biotechnologies. In 2004 the
Department of Justice alleged that Dr. Kurtz had schemed with colleague Dr.
Robert Ferrell of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public
Health to illegally acquire two harmless bacteria cultures for use in one of
those projects. The Justice Department further alleged that the transfer of
the material from Ferrell to Kurtz broke a material transfer agreement, thus
constituting mail fraud.
Under the USA PATRIOT Act, the maximum sentence for these charges was
increased from five years to twenty years in prison.
Dr. Kurtz has been fighting the charges ever since. In October 2007, Dr.
Ferrell pleaded to a lesser misdemeanor charge after recurring bouts of
cancer and three strokes suffered since his indictment prevented him from
continuing the struggle.
KURTZ SUMS UP END OF FOUR-YEAR NIGHTMARE
Finally vindicated after four years of struggle, Kurtz, asked for a
statement, responded stoically: “I don’t have a statement, but I do have
questions. As an innocent man, where do I go to get back the four years the
Department of Justice stole from me? As a taxpayer, where do I go to get
back the millions of dollars the FBI and Justice Department wasted
persecuting me? And as a citizen, what must I do to have a Justice
Department free of partisan corruption so profound it has turned on those it
is sworn to protect?”
Said Kurtz’s attorney, Paul Cambria, “I am glad an innocent man has been
vindicated. Steve Kurtz stared in the face of the federal government and a
twenty-year prison term and never flinched, because he believes in his work
and his actions were those of a completely innocent man. Clients like him
are a blessing, and although I have had many important victories, this one
stands at the top of the list.”
As coordinator of the CAE Defense Fund, a group organized to support Kurtz
from the beginning of the case, Lucia Sommer sees the end of the prosecution
as bittersweet, and like Kurtz, is thoughtful about the broader significance
of the case: “This ruling is the best possible ending to a horrible
ordeal—but we are mindful of numerous cases still pending, and the grave
injustices perpetrated by the Bush administration following 9/11. This case
was part of a larger picture, in which law enforcement was given expanded
powers. In this instance, the Bush administration was unsuccessful in its
attempt to erode Americans’ constitutional rights.”
Referring to the international outcry the case provoked, involving
fundraisers and protests held on four continents, Sommer said, “The
government has unlimited resources to bring and prosecute these kinds of
charges, but the accused often don’t have any resources to defend
themselves. This victory could never have happened without the activism of
thousands of people. Supporters protested, vocally opposed the prosecution,
and refused to let it go on in silence. And without their efforts at
fundraising, Kurtz and Ferrell would not have been able to defend themselves
from these false accusations.”
Sommer added that the next step for the defense will be to get back all of
the materials taken by the FBI during its 2004 raid on the Kurtz home,
including several completed art projects, as well as Dr. Kurtz’s lab
equipment, computers, books, manuscripts, notes, research materials, and
personal belongings. The four confiscated art projects are the subject of
an exhibition entitled SEIZED on view at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center
in Buffalo, NY, through July 18:
For more information and extensive documentation, including the Judge’s
dismissal, please visit: http://caedefensefund.org
2007 August 13
Dick in 2004.
So what were they thinking the second time round ?
- Its time to get the whole middle east powder keg going.
- Its time to destroy the US itself USSR-Afghanistan style, thus opening it up for corporate takeover.
- Its time for Armageddon.
- They are in contact with space aliens, and its the aliens that told them they had to do it.
The so-called Left should give up trying to reason with these people and saying America got stolen etc. and we have to get organized and let the people be heard with our elections and shit. Whatever. Clearly something much larger is afoot.
2007 April 10
At an Army base in Alaska last year, “there was one guy who literally
chopped off his trigger finger with an axe to prevent his deployment,”
Dr. Thomas Grieger, a senior navy psychiatrist said in an interview.
New york times, mon april 9th, 2007
More respect then I give to the Buddhist monk in Thailand who cut off
his penis because it wouldn’t sit still during meditation.
Interesting: The desertion rate during the Vietnam war was 5% (NYT)
2006 September 10
I’m in the US right now, watching TV. Everybody is trying to simulate grand emotions with their 911 specials. Synthesized strings, swirling motion graphics, firemen, hugs.
One of the most amazing things about 911 itself was the complete SILENCE of the everyday. Newscasters didn’t have scripts and talked like actual real people sitting in front of cameras. As I walked about the streets of lower manhattan the next day I saw everybody else just walking around the streets. Nowhere to go, just wandering around looking, pretending to go somewhere or still obeying the body’s routine of walking somewhere. But there was nowhere to go, and you couldn’t stay at home anymore. I slipped past the National Guard and got down onto Wall Street. 8 inches of fine white ash on the ground, my footsteps muffled exactly like walking in a Minnesota blizzard. Total silence. There was nothing to do (we all tried to give blood, but the blood banks were overflowing). What ever projects you were doing before came abruptly to hiatus just like all those commercials on TV. No commercials for days. No jokes. No politics. No bullshit.
Like a rift in time.
Then the bullshit gradually resumed, then came Osama and the Rise and Fall of George and all that. None of that squabbling concerns me right now. Once a year everybody should just shut up for the day.