Monday, March 31, 2008

Speak Loudly and Carry a Big Lie

Dear George,

There is a reason the Big Lie will always trump the Truth. The Lie is decoupled from reality, so it can speak with an authority that is denied the Truth because Truth rarely achieves the absolute certainty after which it strives.

But then, telling you this is like preaching to the choir.

In times of disaster, liars always fare better because they are so adept at denying reality. Even as their world collapses around them, they continue to see a sound structure that will endure through the ages. One can only speak with authority when one hasn’t a clue.

This is why you are so important to an America that finds everything falling to pieces.

We need a leader who can claim that the outbreak of a renewed civil war in Iraq shows that the Surge is successful.

We need a leader who can see economic strength in the collapse of Bear Stearns.

We need a leader who clings to the belief that the dollar will reign forever and ever, and that China will bail us out of our economic septic tank.

Let’s go to the video tape and look at each one of these.

In Iraq, we are backing the separatist who want to partition Iraq to make it easier for foreign oil firms to privatize the country’s oil industry. Once again, we are backing a minority that wishes to destroy a majority in the name of democracy and freedom. In the process, we are pissing off the good people of Basara who are in an ideal position to cut off the supply line to our troops in the north.

It is inspiring how you can look at Bear Stearns and see a shining example of the market at work. Here is a firm that took an asset base of $80 billion and leveraged it into a derivative position of $13.4 trillion. And all is well on Wall Street. Oh, and let’s just bail them out while we go easy on anything resembling government oversight.

Your finest delusion is the belief that China is as bound to the dollar as a Siamese twin is to its sibling. You believe they have to protect the dollar because they are so dependent on the exports they send our way. A pain-in-the-ass realist might point out that last year China’s exports to the U.S. amounted to a mere 8 percent of its GDP. Couple that with the fact that 95 percent of China’s 11.2 percent growth last year came from domestic demand, and you have a recipe for a potential decoupling of our two economies.

This is why you must soldier on as you continue to make definitive statements of reassurance. Denial is just a river in Egypt and is the rock upon which your administration has been build from day one.

You have just a few months left before you cede the outhouse that is the Oval Office to your successor--if there is a successor, because with all the shit hitting the fan at once, we are seeing the formation of a perfect storm that just might prove to be the justification for your coronation as President for Life.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sopping up the Blood with a Policy Paper

Dear George,

Have you noticed how torrential tears of moral indignation are flooding the gutters as the nation celebrates the fifth anniversary of your Iraq Enterprise? To listen to your critics one would get the impression that the streets of Baghdad were littered with dead women and children.

Some decry the war’s madness and see it as a desperate act by a group of angry old men seeking to regain their lost virility through the wholesale slaughter of innocents. Others are unable to stomach the fact that America is finally coming out of the closet and showing the world that it is now, and always has been, a low-life street thug running a highly successful extortion racket.

When you get down to it, there are two reasons the Iraq Enterprise is such a hard sell. First, it was built on a firm foundation of 935 lies. Now, all wars are grounded in lies, since lies are the only way a nation can goad its citizens into getting shot up. This is why wars must be driven by the Noble Ideal that conceals the fact that modern wars are fought primarily to protect the corporate bottom line.

Iraq was a challenge because, being so unnecessary, it required an inordinate number of lies to get it rolling. (It is a tribute to your leadership that you have kept the Enterprise going even as your multiple lies have gone up in smoke.)

The second reason is a little more abstract. It is a truism that no country engages in a war; it implements a policy. War is simply the execution of a policy that seeks to expand a country’s markets or to lock up certain natural resources such as oil or precious metals. Again we get back to the role of the Noble Idea since people aren’t too keen on giving their lives for a policy.

The beauty of policy is that it never bleeds. Policy knows nothing of the body odor and muck that are a part and parcel of war. It remains isolated from the blood, sweat and stench with which war reeks; it is walled off from wars consequences that are reduced to dried dingleberries that rattle round the empty skulls of the bureaucrats who implement war’s policy.

Those who call the invasion a war crime forget that only losers are guilty of war crimes. Victory has nothing to do with winning and everything to do with establishing innocence.

Now America is ready to elect a new Warrior-in-Chief who, like you, will draw his inspiration more from Max Sennett than from von Clausewitz. I salute you for leaving him a war he can practice on.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saving the Apex as the Base Crumbles

Dear George,

Our preachers roar salvo after salvo against the moral relativism that is eroding America’s soul. However, we can only understand this relativism when contrasted with the two moral absolutes that are America’s backbone: propriety and obedience, both of which fall under the rubric of responsible citizenship.

The greatest danger to our country is a moral fringe that attempts to absolutize relative negatives like not killing, not stealing, not lying and not exploiting. Such relativism would undermine our position as the world’s sole hegemon.

One of the duties of the responsible citizen is a willingness to suffer stoically for his country. The patriot who loves his country will embrace the downturns and disasters that are inherent to any well-run republic. Responsible citizens are fatalists who accept disaster, whether economic or natural, with a resigned dignity. (The angry reaction of the citizens of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was a tragic example of irresponsible citizenship.)

This courageous acceptance of disaster is especially important as the country enters a terminal phase of economic meltdown that will separate the wheat from the chaff. If ever there was an opportunity for American’s to show the world what we are made of, this is it. Destiny is calling, and it is the duty of every citizen to answer that call by sliding a rung or two down the economic ladder. It is a sacrifice that will cut across economic classes. The unemployed factory worker evicted from his home may take comfort in the fact that somewhere a CEO is being forced to sell his vacation home in Capri.

America’s salvation is that you and your vision are in the Oval Office. And your vision is a powerful one, torn as it is from the backside of our one dollar bill. There it is, for all who still possess a dollar to see: a thirteen tiered pyramid topped by the eye of God. The message it sends inspires, for it tells us that no matter how badly the base of the pyramid crumbles, the apex will remain untouched. This is driven home by the words that sit just above the Eye of God, ANNUIT COEPIS: “He Approves our Undertaking”.

It’s simple logic. Preserve the apex of the pyramid and the spare stones will tumble down to shore up the base. This is why, in times of economic disaster, the first duty of the citizen is to protect the apex. Once the apex is lost, the pyramid is reduced to rubble.

You summed up this iron law of economics in your March 14th speech to the New York Economic Club when you said, “I’m deeply concerned about law and regulation that will make it harder for the markets to recover.”

This is as it should be. America is the market; the market is America. So it is that as Mr. and Mrs. America begin to live out of the trunks of their cars, just as their pioneer forefathers lived out of the back of their covered wagons, they may take comfort in the knowledge that their sacrifices are making America secure and that the stirring tales of their impoverishment will be an inspiration to future generations as they pick through the trash piles of their local favela.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, March 28, 2008

Plunging into the Utopian Abyss

Dear George,

One of the most utopian a states a man can achieve is that of perfect self destruction. It is only the prospect of self destruction that is frightening. But once the process begins and gains some momentum, a condition of serene stimulation follows as an individual watches, with detached fascination, the slow disintegration of his life. Granted, in the earlier stages there are desperate attempts to stave off disaster. Plots and schemes are hatched, appeals are made, experts are consulted, and excuses are made.

Then the tipping point is reached and the shards of a self-destructive trip are transformed into the comforting arms of disaster that promises an end of suffering and the eternal bliss that only total ruin can bring.

This is the sublime state to which your firm leadership has brought America. A paranoid fiction, sixty-plus years in the making, is in the terminal stages of crumbling. We are in the end times of a paranoid security state built as a bulwark against imaginary monsters tucked beneath beds and hiding in bedroom closets.

Our corporatists quickly discovered that there was a healthy profit to be mined in the tunnels of fear that run through the human psyche, and they worked them for all they were worth until the psyche was so honey-combed with tunnels that it was no more than a fragile structure ready to collapse at the touch of a gentle breeze.

We built an economic and military powerhouse grounded in a geological fluke known as the “age of oil”. To service this powerhouse, we created a lifestyle of gasoline powered sprawl to maintain our morbid myth of mobility and independence grounded in the delusion that oil is forever. We leveled mountains, drained rivers, denuded forests, paved over meadows, fouled the air and bloodied whoever stood in our way, all so we could blockade ourselves in our centrally air-conditioned fortresses that filtered out the stench we were leaving behind as our legacy.

There is an initial stab of fear when the repo man knocks on the door, just as he is knocking on ours. Thank God we have you with your bland assurances that the fundamentals are sound. With your reassurances, we know all is well even as he moves our belonging out to the street.

It takes a man of decisive action to accelerate self-destruction’s downward momentum, and you are a man of action, if nothing else. You have God and your gut to guide you.

We are running out of oil, and your solution is to burn an additional 370,000 to 500,000 barrels of oil per day just so you can take control of Iraq’s oil fields. That’s between 4.5 and 6 million barrels per year going up in smoke so we can get our hands on more oil to burn. The beauty of all this is that when we end up with Iraq’s oil, we’ll have burned so much oil to get it, we’re going to have to burn more oil just to replace the oil we burned for Iraq’s oil, which, of course means…

Are you starting to feel the power of it, George? Madness is euphoric. It’s a bum's rush into the abyss; it’s the thrill of bungee jumping without the chord. We are a giant, as bankrupt as we are insane, thrashing through the china shops of the world, so wrapped up in our cloak of exceptionalism that we believe we are bringing salvation to the very humanity we are destroying.

If nothing else, it is a great antidote for the boredom of prosperity.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bringing Irony Back from the Grave

Dear George,

As he surveyed the wreckage of 9/11, Red Meat Rudy G. proclaimed, or might have proclaimed, or should have proclaimed if he didn’t, or maybe did proclaim, even though I’m not sure he did actually proclaim, that “Irony is dead.” Or maybe it was Time magazine that did. I’m really not sure who the fuck said what.

The point is that irony was dead and in the tomb, until you rolled away the stone and breathed new life into it, and irony rose from the dead and has been by your side ever since.

For example, as soon as you realized that the terrorists attacked us because they hated our freedoms, you proceeded to make America secure by destroying the freedoms that were attracting so much attention. Free speech became “uncontrolled information,” According to the Pentagon, the internet is now an “enemy weapons system.” Criminal prosecution no longer requires the burdensome efforts of investigation, indictment, trial, and conviction. All of this is streamlined with a stroke of your pen as you declare and individual an “enemy combatant.”

A strong sense of irony has allowed you to refine leadership as you have brought it into the twenty-first century. Where leaders once ruled through brute force, our corporatists state has found a more benign weapon: value-free quantification. One sage gives us an excellent example of how this weapon can drape criminal activity in an ermine robe of respectability:

Let’s walk through one of my favorite though experiments. I say to you, “I know a great way to make money through the wonders of free trade. Give me $10, and convince 99 of your friends to also give me $10.” You do that and I take the $1000. I then do something magical in the overseas black box, and a month later I have $1500. I come back to you and give you $700, saying, “The investment went well, but not quite as well as I had hoped, so here is what I have left after my ‘management fee’. Give each person their $7 back.

To those who point out that this individual cheated his investors, we say, “How is this possible since the profit made by the crook exceeds the loss incurred by his investors, so the bottom line shows that the entire transaction contributed to our overall prosperity. He made $800 and his investors lost only $300. That leaves us with a net increase in the GDP of $500. The dollar amount of the economic growth is all that matters.”

When it comes to irony, the above is mere child’s play. In your hands irony is elevated to an art form. When you can stand up and tell the nation, on the fifth anniversary of your Iraq enterprise that, “The battle in Iraq is noble, it is necessary, and it is just”, you have truly elevated irony to the heavens where it sitteth on the right hand of God Almighty from whence it shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

Irony sings when beautiful and noble words become the perfume that smother the stench of blood and death and when crime is reduced to numbers in a ledger.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Getting Religion Back into the Barn

Dear George,

Many are the legacies you will leave behind for history to puzzle over. There is your destruction of the American Empire and the economy that supported it. There are your efforts to speed up the onset of peak oil by burning billions of gallons of it to militarily control the Middle East, even though it has always been the graveyard of empires.

But the one that will garner the most respect and admiration is how you got religion back into the barn.

People forget how frightening it was forty-plus years ago when religion kicked down the barn door and fled the bonds of propriety. Look at the trouble it caused: the civil rights and peace movement, the muzzling of the CIA, and the denigration of war. It was running around the paddock, kicking up its heels and spreading instability wherever it went.

The problem is that the cross Jesus is always talking about taking up is a real destablizer. It makes empire difficult, it has no use for political power, and it loves diversity.

The voice of the prophet raging against the injustice of kings is a thorn in any leader’s side.

You discovered that the best way to silence a prophet and to get religion back into the barn is to give the prophet political power and influence. As soon as he sits down at the table, the prophet is defanged as he begins to sing the king’s song. Once a prophet embraces power, he becomes a fossilized caricature of his former self as his ego builds a walled fortress around his soul.

His cries for justice become cries of bigotry and intolerance. Where he once embraced the unwashed, he now wants to incarcerate and deport them. He calls for a Christian nation run by Christian white men and for the damnation of anyone who refuses to accept the one pure and true doctrine.

Make the pious powerful and they will stamp out the last vestiges of democracy in their zeal to manifest God’s world on earth. A dark spirit moves them, giving them a force and energy few politicians are capable of. The fire of fanaticism burns in their eyes, making of them avenging angels who will cut down everything in their path.

Channel and direct their energy, George, while you stand in the background, your trademark sheepish grin on your face, mouthing your tepid platitudes.

May the Force be with you.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Let's Give Nature Back to God

Dear George,

You are our Joshua, our warrior kink whose purifying lightening will be the scourge of malefactors and deconstructionists, both at home and abroad.

The first target of your campaign to purify America of the malignant evil that is rotting our collective soul should be a group of neo-pagan atheists who would make a mockery of Scripture with their subversive belief in animism. I am, of course, talking about the environmentalists.

Their greatest danger is the touchy-feely nature of their message that reeks of the stench of damnation.

“Nature is beauty,” they tell us.

“Nature is our temple.”

“The Earth is a living organism.”

If that isn’t paganism, I don’t know what is. Five hundred years ago these tree huggers would have been hugging a stake while the Inquisition put a torch to the faggots bundled beneath their Birkenstocks™.

Of course, in these days of relativistic permissiveness, nary an objection is raised. But under the gentle touch of your iron fist, all of this will change and we will return to a world of God-ordained absolutism.

The Bible is clear (Gen. 1; 26-30): God gave us the Earth to fuck up as we see fit. Yet, the pagans would have us believe that we are simply a “derivative” species and that some goddamned endangered species should stand between us and God’s commandment to “be fruitful.” When God ordered us to be fruitful, he was talking about commercial development.

Move quickly, George, before their pagan contagion spreads. You are our Moses leading us out of the wilderness of secularism. After you, the Rapture!

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Psychoanalyzing the Internet.

Dear George,

God bless our shrinks! Their Soviet colleagues have taught them the value of psychiatry as an extension of the State’s control over an individual’s thoughts and actions.

The latest breakthrough came in an editorial in the American Journal of Psychiatry by Jerald J. Block M.D.[i]

The good doctor wants to add “Internet Addiction Disorder” to the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V. The DSM is to American Psychiatric Association what the Malleus Malefactorum was to the European witch hunters during the torching of the witches. Both sought to scrub society clean of deviant thinking.

These days, it is becoming increasingly apparent that a major source of contemporary deviant thought is the Internet. It is here that we see the emergence of the antisocial dissent that questions and mocks our contemporary American values of greed and exploitation.

Were Internet Addiction Disorder to be accepted as a psychiatric condition requiring treatment, it would put a real damper on internet use. Who wants to be considered whacko because he researches an issue like the lies that lead up to the Iraq Enterprise and writes a strong article exposing them. Such an activity is the proper scope of the Mainstream Media who are best qualified to bury such a story on the back pages where few people will see it and even fewer people will be upset by it.

It also raises the possibility of court ordered treatment for bloggers who refuse to be silent.

I am glad to see American psychiatry adopting the Soviet methodology. The Soviet’s started out with the premise that theirs was the perfect society and that anyone who thought otherwise was mentally unbalanced since only a fool would criticize a perfect society.

Artists, poets and thinkers tend to be obsessive. All are major sources of dissent. How much better would life be had Karl Marx not obsessed on the injustices of the Industrial Revolution. The most effective way to tamp down art, poetry and thought is to pathologize obsession. Let a person spend too much time on one activity at the expense of those activities that contribute to the economic well being of the state, and he is, right away, deemed to be mentally unbalanced. (Of course, if Henry Ford hadn't been obsessive about the automobile, or Charles Goodyear hadn't impoverished himself to devolop a process for vulcanizing rubber, who know where we would be. The bottom line is that it is okay to obsess on profit and progress, but that's it. Eveything else is asking for trouble.)

My God, George, combine the good doctor’s diagnosis with the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorist Act" that wants another HUAC to expose funny thinking on the internet, and you just might finally eliminate the dissent that has the potential for destabilizing America.

Incidentally, we are assured that the fact that Dr. Block has the patent on a device that restricts computer access has nothing to do with his findings.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

[i] I couldn’t get the link to work, so try going to and see if it works.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Letter

This seemed to be more fitting for Easter Sunday than one of Belacqua’s rants.

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, 'Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye,' and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." Matthew 7:1,5.

Are you listening, George?

A Happy Easter to all.

Case Wagenvoord

Saturday, March 22, 2008

God Explains It All

Dear George,

Somewhere between the second and third pipe, God dropped by for a chat and explained it all. Frankly, he’s a little pissed at the way some people misunderstand his message. There is a fringe group of believers who think God is all about personal transformation and living a good life of peace and harmony.

According to the Inerrant Word of God, this is bullshit! The real God, the God worshipped by all the right people with the right mindset in the right way is the God of social control. Like he said, “Do you think I penned Leviticus for fun?

God went on to explain that while it is true that Jesus was his son, most people don’t realize that he was a problem child who totally screwed up God’s message during his ministry on earth. Jesus didn’t die for our sins; he died for his sins. (Specifically, his trashing the temple was the straw that broke the camel's back. God sanctifies personal property, you know.) But the good news is that during his two-thousand year stay in heaven, Jesus has been reprogrammed and is ready to return to earth and set things right.

This means the church must seize political power, because only a merger of Church and State yields the ruthlessness needed to rule efficiently.

Then God leaned forward and whispered something to me that caused the scales to fall from my eyes and the wax to pop out of my ears.

George, you are one of God’s elect. When you were buy a recalcitrant bundle of cells floating in your mother’s womb, God laid his finger on the cell that was to become your forehead, and you were destined for eternal life. It’s all explained by the Tweaked School of Calvinist Theology: Some of us are destined for eternal life, and some of us are destined for eternal damnation.

This means that you are protected by the doctrine of supralapsarianism, called surlyism for short. What it means is that because you are among the “elect” it is impossible for you to commit an evil act. No matter how you slaughter, destroy, maim, incarcerate, torture, or lie, God still loves you and has your reserved table ready for you in heaven.

As a matter of fact, God wants you to do just that. Your mission is to completely trash the earth in preparation for Jesus’ return to rule for a thousand years of eternity. And he is tickled pink with the job you have been doing. You’ve destabilized the antichrists in the Middle East; you have displayed the moral courage needed to show the world what nuclear power is all about; you’ve trashed America’s economy and are transitioning its people to the purgatory of impoverishment where they will learn the submission and humility that God demands of his subjects.

God explained that marginalizing the sick and the poor is a humanitarian act. The earlier a person dies, the sooner he comes face to face with God’s judgment, and if he’s poor, God punches his ticket to Hell, because poverty is proof of God’s displeasure.

Health care is an offense to God. It is a cruel practice that simply prolongs suffering. God can think of nothing more barbaric than the early detection of cancer. Look at the agony is causes as the family of the victim is forced to go through years of expensive treatment during which hopes are dashed only to be rekindled again. How much better it would be to postpone diagnosis until the disease is in its terminal stage. Then the family simply gathers at the patient's bedside, he croaks and that is the end to it. Death is so much easier when it’s short and sweet.

But, I digress...

Yes, George, you are one of the elect. You can be sure God’s hand touched you because all of those voices year hear in your head are God speaking.

I know, because he told me so.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, March 21, 2008

Repositioning Death as Innovation

Dear George,

One of nature’s more destructive forces is successful greed. Whatever it touches is reduced to ruin.

Success is what differentiates criminal activity from sound accounting practices.

Success is the acid that eats away at systems and empires. Both die, and as they age they slather on layer after layer of pancake makeup in a desperate attempt to conceal the creeping rot of purification. This is called innovation.

We are seeing innovation at work in the arena of finance capitalism as its minions cast about in desperation to squeeze more profit out of our worthless currency. Their innovation is a delusive act based on the naïve belief that complex financial formulas and algorithms eliminate risk, which they never do.

There was a time innovation stood for progress. Now it is an invitation to disaster. The mushroom cloud rising over Hiroshima was the moment innovation was transformed from the light of progress to the darkness of death.

So it is that our financial wizards have brought us to the brink of ruin. We’ve bounced from bubble to bubble until are none are left. Our vaults are empty, their barrenness littered with crumpled up IOUs written on torn scraps of paper. Our sole comfort is Big Al Greenspan assuring us that the market will self-regulate itself out of the crisis.

Ideologues are so brain dead. Greed’s idea of self-regulation is to sate every appetite. Granted, it is easier to blame stupidity on the Invisible hand of the market. It’s a slick way to avoid personal responsibility for ones actions.

Let us wish our financial retards continued success and the climb to new heights of innovation and success. It is they who make life worth living.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Moral Nihilism and the Power of the State

Dear George,

The successful execution of your Global War on Terror (affectionately referred to by your defense contractors as The Eternal War of the Empty Policy) does not require toughness or resolve. All that is needed is for those in charge to achieve a sublime state of moral nihilism that transcends the archaic division between good and evil.

In this elevated state, consequences no longer exist. The dead are not dead; the maimed are not maimed. It is an ethical no-man’s-land scrubbed clean of the gore that is war’s traditional aftermath. Even after the most brutal bombing, children continue to play in the streets under the loving gaze of their mothers; husbands return home from their intact factories or offices; and the family sits down to its evening meal even thought their home has been reduced to rubble. For the morally atrophied, life in a bomb crater continues as before.

In a state of moral nihilism, slaughter is sanitized. A clean-cut young man sits at his laptop somewhere in Nevada and with his mouse directs the course of an unmanned drone until a collection of hovels is in his sights. He clicks the mouse and in a flash, the hovels are no more and their families that lived in them are no more. He closes his laptop, goes home to his family and gets a good night sleep, and as he sleeps he is blissfully unaware of the death and destruction he has wrought.

Moral nihilism works best in individuals devoid of a foundational core of values. This emptiness is achieved when the ties that bind an individual to a community and an extended family are severed. Into this void pour the facile symbols of the State, symbols that are effective because they have been stripped of their original meaning until only logos remains. The best example of this is the flag pin you wear in your lapel. This once proud symbol of freedom and democracy now signifies the moral void that has made us a hegemonic wonder to behold.

To reach its peak efficiency, moral nihilism requires an environment in which nobody is in charge. Instead of a single evil mastermind there is a collective mass of consensus that is more reminiscent of a pool of toxic sludge than a grand conspiracy. Its driving force is a blind momentum that drifts more from habit than from resolve. Any attempt to think outside the box is thwarted because the box is constantly growing and expanding so the mind is never able to step outside of its confines.

Language, stripped of passion, is the medium of this moral nihilism. The language of the nihilist doesn’t sing, it drones. Here is an example of its poetry:

A cluster bomb delivery will be examined to determine the optimum configuration of bomblets from a maximum probability of destroying the target.

The power of this passage rests in the absence of a child attracted to an unexploded bomblet. Nowhere in this tract is there a photograph of the child after the bomblet has exploded. The prose sits in a state of pure innocence without which war would be nothing more than a pushing and shoving match.

But, do not think for a minute that our moral nihilists are totally lacking in compassion. Leo Tolstoy had them in mind when he wrote, “I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means, except by getting off his back.” Of course, if the man throws me off his back, I have no choice but to kill him so the contagion of his freedom doesn’t spread to other carriers.

Life is good, George. Especially for those who don’t give a shit.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Labels that Safeguard America

Dear George,

The beauty of America’s one-party system is its efficiency at eliminating inconvenient candidates who become a little too populist for comfort. America is a white, male oligarchy, first, last and always. No candidate who dreams of empowering the people has a snowball’s chance in Hell of occupying the Oval Office until the oligarchy has leeched any and all populist impulses from said candidate.

Arbitrary labels are the desiccants that turn a candidate’s populist dreams into dried pods in an empty shell. The best labels are those that divide and weaken.

It is a fact that both HillBill and bamaobama are getting a little too populist for comfort. It is tempting to dismiss their rhetoric as so much posturing to garner votes. The problem is that when a candidate raises the mob’s expectations, the mob puts pressure on said candidate to deliver once he or she is in office.

So the oligarchy has rolled out the two labels that stand the best chance of neutralizing them both: race (with its implication of black militancy) and gender (with its implication of bra-burning feminists). These labels are precious jewels guaranteed to divert America’s attention from a crumbling economy, the upward flow of capital and foreign enterprises that are trashing America both at home and overseas.

The most powerful labels are those grounded in illusion. The use of “race” overlooks the fact that race is a false category that has no basis in reality. To imply great differences between individuals on the basis of insignificant morphological differences is pure fantasy, which is why it works so well.

The misuse of feminism is grounded in the belief that feminism refers to gender, i.e., all feminists are females. The assumption is flawed. Unless someone can prove that Margaret Thatcher was a leading feminist, the relation between feminism and females remains a fiction.

Feminism is the belief in the emancipation of all subgroups denied their full humanity by a dominant, white male elite. Any woman who emulates the values of this elite is not a feminist.

A true feminist candidate would step up to the podium and declare, “The reason missiles appeal to males is that they are so phallic. This is why men willingly throw billions of dollars at their creation and upkeep. The sight of a massive hard on pointing towards the heavens sends waves of pleasure coursing through their bodies. Tragically, the money they spend on their toys is inexcusable in a country where twenty-five percent of rural children live in poverty and 3.1millions households suffer from hunger. Sorry men, but when I take office the Pentagon goes to the end of the line when the money is handed out. They get whatever is left over once hunger and poverty are eliminated, and our infrastructure has been repaired.”

Where the male elite exploits and conquers, the feminist nurtures and comforts; where the male elite destroys, the feminist builds; where the male elite seeks peace through power and intimidation, the feminist seeks peace through dialog. The woman who advocates power and destruction is not a feminist. This is what makes the label so effective against HillBill.

Rest assured that there will never be a feminist president as long as the white, male oligarchy frames the issues. Nor will America ever see a black president as long as there is a race card to be played.

So invite Mad Dog McCain to the White House he can scope out the Oval Office to see how he would like it decorated once he is inaugurated.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Schemata of Bullshit

Dear George,

It really burns me! Some poetess claimes you are making war on language. She seems to forget that the function of poetry is to do just that, and by that criterion you are our poet laureate. She accuses you of this assault because you lie a lot. In making this charge she displays an appalling lack of understanding and appreciation of the craft that goes into the construction of a well-turned lie.

A pile of bullshit is more than just a randomly plopped pile. Rather, it is a carefully constructed, structure of layered turds that is a wonder to behold for those who are able to plumb its depths. Each turd contains within it a toxic gem that deadens the intellect and reduces the individual to a passive lump of clay that can be molded to any shape the State desires.

You recently dumped a load that is to politics what da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is to art, a masterpiece. You were giving a rousing defense of the criminal activity of our telecoms for which you are seeking retroactive immunity, which the House is resisting. So it was that you spoke as follows:

Now the question is, should these lawsuits be allowed to proceed, or should any company that may have helped save American lives be thanked for performing a patriotic service; should those who stepped forward to say we’re going to defend America have to go to the courthouse to defend themselves, or should the Congress and the President say thank you for doing your patriotic duty? I believe we ought to say thank you (emphasis mine).

Tears blur my vision every time I read that. What a wondrous pile of turds! What a work of art!

Let’s study the schemata of this pile and see just how the turds are arranged. You waste no time in laying your foundational turd, save American lives. This is the base upon which the remainder of the pile will be built. Right away, you establish and either/or dichotomy. If you don’t want to save American lives, then it follows logically that you are an unfeeling brute who wants to waste them.

Upon your foundation, you next lay the turd of patriotic service with its odour of Christian service because just as we are expected to serve God, so are we expected to serve our country because our God is a tribal God who Blesses America, and anyway, who wants to spit in God’s face by holding our patriotic telecoms responsible for their criminal behavior?

This is followed by one of your subtler turds, stepped forward. This little sweetheart reeks of the robust masculinity that is ready to step up to the ramparts and do its duty to God and country regardless of the consequences (as long as it is immune from prosecution). This is followed by the complementary gem that completes the couplet, defend America, a tiny turd that evokes images of the Greatest Generation storming the beaches of Normandy, even though the only thing stormed was a collection of turgid telephone conversations and equally dull emails.

Next, you turn to allusion when you speak of the courthouse, with its evocative imagery of the small-town square dominated by a turreted courthouse that is the repository of all that America hold dear—litigation

Then you top the pile with that eternal winner, patriotic duty. It is this little turd that makes patriotism what Dr. Johnson called “the last refuge of scoundrels.” The phrase stirs the testosterone with its cry for blood and destruction. In its name, populations are slaughtered and countries devastated. Duty, George, is the turd that destroys.

So I say to this poetess, see! George doesn’t war on language, he embraces it and makes of it a cudgel with which he is leading to American people to new heights of glory. Honor him; don’t revile him. He is one of the immortals.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Monday, March 17, 2008

936, 937, 938, 939...

Dear George,

Who would have thought that an innocuous letter like “n” could have brought down our economy?

Just look at all its absence has accomplished:

· Americans are now spending 66.9 percent of their monthly expenditures on debt service, medical costs, and food and energy bills.
· U.S foreclosure rates are at their highest level since World War II.
· Homeowners could see the value of their homes drop by as much as thirty percent.
· Our economy is racked by large trade deficits, manufacturing job loss, asset price inflation, rising debt-to-income ratios, the detachment of wages from productivity, the use of financial bubbles to support debt-financed spending, an easing of credit standards to support borrowing, and cheap imports to ameliorate the effects of wage stagnation.

Our financial retards accomplished all of this, and more, simply by dropping the letter “n”. All they had to do was redefine the meaning of capital. Traditionally, capital was defined as surplus wealth that was owned. Our oligarchy turned the economy into a cheap sideshow by repositioning capital as surplus wealth that is owed. It is amazing what a missing letter or word can do. (Imagine the possibilities were we to eliminate "not" from the Ten Commandments.)

None of this would have been possible without that paragon of progress, the corporation. A corporation is simply a “self-perpetuating collective bureaucracy”.[1] It is driven, not by rational self-interest, but by ego, greed and stupidity, all of which are sanitized by the arcane drone of bureaucrats whose critical faculties have been paralyzed by the anesthetizing effects of a profusion of quantified goals and objectives.

Margaret Thatcher sounded the death knell of capitalism when she made her grandiose pronouncement that, “There is no alternative!” Dynamic systems don’t need dogmatic statements like hers; dying systems do. I’ve always said God has a wacko sense of humor. One of his favorite practical jokes is to allow a system or a country to reach the pinnacle of its power and influence just before it crumbles.

But, all of this doom and gloom is naught but smoke and mirrors. I know, because you told us so when you said, “I believe our economy has got the fundamentals in place.” (We won’t get into unpleasant little questions like what you mean by “fundamentals.”)

Nor will we wonder if your statement is number 936, 937, 938, 939….∞.

Happy is the man who believes your bullshit.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

[1] Istvan Meszaros, Beyond Capital.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


The link I provided in today's letter to fill in some background information on Iran's Kish Bourse is a dud. Instead, go to instead.

You, Our Economy and Life's Suckabilness

Dear George,

There are those who cling to the naive belief that life is good. Personally, I prefer to cling to the naive belief that life sucks. I find it gives me a greater clarity of vision, and it’s a lot more fun.

The problem with the innocent is that they have no grasp of the sophisticated complexities that go into conspiracies. Whenever they suspect a conspiracy, they end up subscribing to a simplistic scenario such as the belief that you planned 9/11 or that more than one person assassinated John F. Kennedy.

Take your plans to cancel the 2008 election. The innocent believe that you will use an attack on Iran as an excuse to cancel them.

To those innocents I say balderdash! While you have planned such an attack, its purpose is to protect the petrodollar from an emerging petroeuro. The Iranians have established their own bourse to market their oil in competition with New York’s NYMEX and London’s IPE. This bourse demands Euros as payment. Such a scheme is a blow against free enterprise and cannot be tolerated. But, destroying the country has nothing to do with the upcoming nonelection.

No, George, you are much too clever for such a sophomoric scheme. (Or perhaps I should say the Big Dick is much too clever.) The problem with the Iran scenario is that it is too obvious. If you tried a stunt like that, KBR would have to start work on its internment camps without delay because the protest it would generate would be overwhelming.

Those who believe such nonsense would do well to sit down and read your National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, at least that part of it that isn’t classified. Basically, it allows you to declare yourself dictator in the event of a “catastrophic emergency.” The definition of what constitutes such an emergency if as vague as it is ambiguous. It could be “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruptions severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy (emphasis mine), or government functions.”

I loved the way you slipped “economy” in there, because now the depth and sophistication of your plan comes into focus.

It is problematic waiting for a national disaster or a terrorist attack to use as an excuse for making you our supreme leader. I know you talk to God a lot, but He can be pretty unreliable with it comes to disaster planning.

This leaves self-inflicted disasters. Blowing up a Wal-Mart in the heartland simply wouldn’t work because at this point, your credibility is resting at the bottom of our national septic tank, and the public would see right through it.

Instead, you, in your wisdom, have gone with a self-inflicted economic meltdown. The beauty of this approach is that all you had to do was sequester yourself in the Oval Office while your point man, Big Al Greenspan, did all the dirty work. How else can we explain the incompetence and ineptitude that has characterized America’s financial sector over the last fifteen or twenty years?

All you need do is collapse the banking system, send the world economy into a massive depression, throw millions of Americans out of their homes and you have the economic “catastrophic emergency” that would justify the implementation of the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive (God, I love poetic titles!)

My only suggestion is that you hold off on attacking Iran until after you’ve consolidate your power. By then, you’ll have a massive army of unemployed so desperate for food and income that they’ll gladly pick up a rifle and get themselves shot up, especially if you can blame our economic disaster on the Muslims.

I love you, Big guy! Every time you open your mouth you confirm my deep-seated belief that life sucks. Thank you for keeping my faith alive.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Courting Death for Fun and Profit

Dear George,

Let me tell you why I love America. She is a wounded empire, dying a slow death as her wounds bleed out. A wounded animal is an angry animal ready to lash out in any direction. This is why God anointed you leader, because you are the man for the time and the place.

Death is a glorious experience; a time of romantic tragedy and kitsch that lends itself to operatic arias and flights of inflated rhetoric. Death beats the mundane boredom of everyday life with its mind-numbing routine mired in a syrupy swamp of love and compassion. To die, George is the ultimate trip, and you are our Judas Goat leading us through a maze of ramps to the slaugher house.

That is why I was thrilled to see you going for the trifecta: Iran, Venezuela Ecuador.

It was just in time that you kicked “Fox” Fallon out of the Middle East. If there is one thing the sweet madness of death cannot abide, it is reason, and Fallon was just too goddamn reasonable with his refusal to take out Iran. The man had no understanding of what a death wish is all about.

But you are really hitting your stride in Latin America. What a pain in the ass that place is. I hate to be critical, but Chavez should have been taken out years ago before he was able to spread his contagion to other countries in the region. Are you telling me that assassination is no longer one of our policy tools?

Well, thank God we have our Latin America Israel in Columbia. Columbia’s President Alvaro Uribe is primed and ready to do your dirty work for you. His incursion into Ecuador to take out a terrorist cell was but the first shot in what promises to be a prolonged campaign to spread Democratic Capitalism to all of Latin America.

Once again, we have a classic good/evil battle building up steam. Columbia is a paragon of democracy in sharp contrast to the dictatorial socialism of Columbia and Ecuador. Just hope some wiseass journalist doesn’t ask you how many labor leaders, human rights advocates, teachers, lawyers and intellectuals Chavez has murdered recently.

Whoops! I forgot! There are not any wiseass journalists left. Silly me!

It was a stroke of luck that the brave Columbian soldiers “discovered” a FARC-EP laptop after slaughtering the terrorists in their sleep. That was a major public relations coup. The crème de la crème was the “revelation” that the FARC-EP had acquired 110 pounds of uranium for a dirty bomb it plans to sell to the nearest terrorist. O George, how my heart leapt with joy as you once again began to take America down the “Yellow Brick Road.” It is truly a miracle that after the 935 lies that led us into the Iraq quagmire our press is still willing to swallow another one of your turds.

I would like to give you one piece of advice. Recently, when speaking to our brave soldiers in our Department of Homeland Security, you said, “We’re in a battle with evil men—I call them evil because if you murder the innocent to achieve a political objective, you’re evil.”

George, George, George! Stop looking in the fucking mirror when your write your speeches!

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Goodness of Evil in a Good World

Dear George,

All statesmen are liars. The world would freeze up and become mired in peace if they did not distort, fabricate, spin, inflate, deflate, break treaties, propagandize, rationalize, deny, label, demonize, exploit and, in general, bail bullshit as if it were sinking the ship of state.

But you, Big Guy, are the exception, because you have uttered one statement that is absolutely true: that you are a righteous man who talks to God.

Extended conversations with God are what produce the world’s badasses. Every bomb that explodes today does so in the name of somebody’s God. That is because there is no such thing as evil. (Keep this between us girls. Efficient marketing tools are grounded in fantasy, and evil is one of the best.) Evil is simply good carried to the point of absurdity. Christianity started out as a force for good. Then Constantine made it the state religion of the Roman Empire. That is when the church discovered political power and immediately adopted a policy of salvation through annihilation. This policy is still operative, but now it goes under the rubric of “spreading democracy.” (You have given a new and deeper meaning to “Live Free or Die”.)

Because evil is simply good gone mad, it follows that every action you have taken has been an expression of the good and the pure. And nobody can question the purity of your motives. Saints don’t do nuance.

You are the Word, and the Word was made flesh and dwells among us. It is your Word that must be spread to the far corners of the earth. It is your Word and your Truth that are dumped on the just and the unjust alike, astride the cluster bombs that tumble earthward like snowflakes falling upon a barren landscape.

You are the personification of statesmanship. Never has the good flourished so as it has under your guidance. Continue as you are, O Captain, as our Messiah who will carry good to the mountaintop where it will achieve its greatest purity.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Making America safe through the preemptive prosecution of thinking.

Dear George,

It is gratifying to see that a major flaw in our criminal justice system is being corrected. The law’s traditional insistence on prosecuting an individual after he commits a crime, coupled with a wimpish presumption of innocence has rendered law enforcement both impotent and ineffective.

The only way America will become a walled community of safety and security is if we start prosecuting criminals before they commit a crime. By putting the emphasis on intent, we put the burden of proof on the suspect to convince a court of law that nary a criminal thought crossed his mind.

Our salvation is the “material support” laws that are now on the books in which an individual can be prosecuted for providing material support to any organization the government has designated as a terrorist organization even if that wasn’t his intent.

Eric Umansky hit the nail on the head when he described material support laws as, “…a prosecutors dream. They don’t require evidence of a plot or even of a desire to help terrorists. They give the government a shot at conviction traditional criminal laws could never provide.” They are what one law professor described as a “preventive paradigm” designed to nip crime in the bud before the criminal is able to commit an illegal act, even if he had no intention to do so and wasn’t even a criminal in the firsts place.

Prosecutors are giving material support laws additional bite through what is called “strategic overinclusiveness”, which is a polite way of saying you can be busted for looking at someone or refusing to be cowed by authority.

Not that any red-blooded American has to worry about being swept up in a material support dragnet. These laws are not designed for the White supremacist organizations that are the rage in parts of the county, unless they do something illegal like blowing up a federal office building. The laws are designed to protect us from brownies such as Muslims and illegal aliens.

Granted, the laws could easily be redirected should any White folks become too strident in their criticism of your efforts to preserve America’s democracy. The truth is that there isn’t a hard drive in the country that does not contain on it some evidence, no matter how sparse, of criminal intent. Downloading a BDSM file gives material support to wench beaters, and a farmer downloading information about a nitrate-based fertilizer is prima facie evidence of his intent to blow something up.

For now, prosecutors are only going after brownies, all of whom are acts of material support waiting to happen. However, there is no denying that these laws are effective weapons in the prosecutorial arsenal and could easily be used against all those who have sat down at a computer. The beautiful thing is that their every keystroke is on record with our National Security Agency ready to be dragged into court as evidence that some poor unsuspecting citizen sent an email or wrote a blog critical of your administration. And since your administration's sole activity is the War on Terrorism, such criticism constitutes giving material comfort to every terrorist organization on the face of the earth.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Forget Dr. Spock when dealing with Congress.

Dear George,

Sweet is propaganda’s Siren song. Softly it sings as it croons soothing lyrics of reassurance to its passive listeners. “You are safe,” it sings. “Your leader is strong and protective. He loves you and cares for you and will break any law to defend you. Nor will he be hesitant to disappear any who would undermine his loving protection by questioning his authority. He is your security. Without his strong arm you are in danger from the evil forces that would rape your women, kill you and sell your children into slavery.”

So much sweeter is propaganda’s song when its notes are written across the pages of a free press that dances to the leader’s tune and shores up his authority though allusion and suggestion.

Propaganda comes in many shapes. There is the strident propaganda of a Hitler, or The Big Lie repeated over and over until it becomes The Truth. There is propaganda that induces rage and propaganda that brings tears to the eyes.

Then there is the propaganda that is like a silent fart let loose in a crowded room that leaves a gentle trace of its stench that is barely noticeable amid the press of humanity crowded into a confined space. This is the style of propaganda The New York Times has mastered.

I was reminded of this when I stumbled across this bon mot in the Monday edition of the paper.

Three words into the above story, the Times laid its fart when it wrote, “In continued defiance of the White House, [House]Democratic leaders are…. (Emphasis mine)”

With a single slug of type, the paper has redefined our separation of powers. Congress no longer opposes or disagrees like a co-equal partner would do. Not any more, George! Now Congress defies its leader. It is your recalcitrant child who requires a firm hand and an occasional caning to correct its behavior.

Thank God we are a Christian nation that looks to the Bible instead of the Constitution. The Constitution is silent when it comes to dealing with a problem child; the Bible tells us exactly what to do.

It is right there, in Deuteronomy 21:20-21: “And they shall tell the elders of the village, ‘This our son is rebellious; he will not obey our voice.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So shall you purge evil from your midst.” (I have selectively edited this verse, which is the only way to correctly interpret the Bible.)

This is why I love the Bible. It offers simplistic solutions to complex problems. Not that I am suggesting you literally stone Congress, though the idea does have its merits. The point is that you don’t need them to rule. All power now rests in your feverish brain and you no longer need a throng of congressional do-gooders trying to trip you up.

The next time you call congressional leaders into the Offal Office for a dressing down, pass around a stone with the above verse chiseled into it. I’m sure they’ll get the point.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

[1] “House Steers Its Own Path on Wiretaps,” The New York Times, Tuesday, March 11, 2008, page A17.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Blowing Bubbles, Blowing Smoke and Saving Social Secuirty

Dear George,

Where Jesus walked on water, our economy walks on bubbles. This shows that both God and greed generate miracles.

Our current meltdown in nothing more than an economy transitioning between bubbles. As long as the Fed’s printing presses work overtime, we will have enough liquidity to inflate the next bubble that comes down the pike. The credit crunch simply shows that fear is the only emotion that can trump greed. But, fear not fear, for as soon as the next bubble begins to rise in the east like the Star of Bethlehem, greed will return and send fear packing.

This brings me to the point of this letter. It is axiomatic that the more liquidity that is available, the more a bubble can be pumped up. Liquidity is to a bubble what steroids are to professional sports.

Ever since you took office, your minions have been circling a sea of liquidity like vultures circling a rotting carcass. I am speaking, or course, of the Social Security Trust Fund. The billions of dollars that sit in that fund that would better serve America if Wall Street were allowed to burn it in its Furnace of Financial Fantasy.

You have already found that a direct frontal assault on the fund won’t work. You’ve got too many senior citizens out there who have turned into dependent leeches that are depriving Wall Street of its liquidity fix.

This means we need a long-term approach that will finance future bubbles after the next generation of bubbles pop.

The solution to this problem is simple: reposition smoking.

Begin your campaign with a major policy speech before the American Medical Association. Reaffirm your administration's commitment to a healthy American public, and announce a major administration initiative to combat the ravages of smoking. The first shot fired in this campaign will be to convene a blue ribbon panel of scientists who will be charged with the mission of determining exactly why cigarettes cause the health problems they do. Load the panel with those scientists who deny evolution and global warming.

Six months later, they issue a report that says, in essence, “Silly us! All this time we thought tobacco was the problem. Now it turns out that the real problem is the cigarette paper, which contains a major carcinogenic, and we’ve figured out how to eliminate it.

We have also discovered, much to our surprise, that tobacco is a health benefit. After all, tobacco is an herb and everyone knows that herbs are good for you. But there’s more! We’ve also discovered that you maximize tobacco’s health benefits if smoking is started before the onset of puberty.”

Then you move to step two, a major campaign whose slogan is, “A Butt Can in Every Classroom.” We’ve got to get those little tykes puffing away. Elementary school smoking must become the wave of the future.

The goal is simple: once we get the average life expectancy down to 52.3 years, Wall Street owns the Trust Fund and can generate so many bubbles that the NYSE will look like the old Laurence Welk Show.

Start to work now, and by the time you leave office in 2016, Wall Street will be singing your praises and your legacy will be secure.[1]

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

[1] It’s a lazy day. This is a revised version of a letter I posted years ago. --cw

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sanitizing the Banality of Evil

Dear George,

America finally has her Pravda. It is none other than the newspaper that prints, “All the News your Administration Sees Fit to Print.” Thanks to the gifted writers at The New York Times, your sins become virtue and you incompetence, genius.

I’m sure Condi read you the lead story in the March 9th edition. That’s the one about your vetoing the anti torture bill Congress sent you.

An honest newspaper would have called your veto an act of moral depravity and would have analyzed the impact such a veto would have on world opinion, which now sees the United States as a rogue nation spinning out of control.

Instead they kick off the story with:

President Bush on Saturday further cemented his legacy of fighting for strong executive powers, using his veto to shut down a Congressional effort to limit the Central Intelligence Agency’s latitude to subject terrorism suspects to harsh interrogation techniques.

Your ‘legacy”, George! Have you ever seen evil so beautifully sanitized? “Legacy” is a word that has real class. It paints a picture of old money and exclusive clubs and gives no hint of the fecal matter extruded by the recipients of our hydro therapy. Best of all, you’re “fighting for a strong executive powers,” which is a polite way of saying America needs a dictator because there’s a terrorist in every woodpile.

You put it very well when you asked of your critics, “[W]hich attacks would they have hoped that we wouldn’t have prevented?” It’s a tough call. Do we prevent the attack that is a product of your imagination or mine? Booze rotted you brain, meth is rotting mine. Which of us has the most reliable imagination? The short answer is that both imaginary attacks must be prevented.

The truth is that America needs a strong executive and it has nothing to do with terrorism. A country that is using make believe-money generated by a make-believe economy to fund a war against a make-believe threat needs an authoritarian leader who will suppress and marginalize those foolish enough to suggest that we should transition to a real economy that generates real money with which we can deal with the real domestic problems facing us.

We need a commander in chief, and you are sublimely qualified for the job. The best commanders in chiefs are those with dismal military records. War heroes just don’t cut it. The man who has actually smelled the stench of combat and seen the suffering it leaves in its wake is incapable of the sustained psychotic irrationality that makes total victory possible.

Look at Eisenhower, our greatest war commander, who wimped out when he started fretting about our military-industrial complex. This is why I have my doubts about McCain. Sure, he’s talking the tough talk, but will he walk the tough walk when he’s in office? His combat experience makes it doubtful. Before you know it, he could be sitting down for a round of Texas Hold-em with the Iranians and North Koreans.

No, George, if ever there was a man destined to be our commander in chief, it is you. Your naiveté and innocence, coupled with your frat-boy mentality, guarantees that when there are bombs to be dropped you will drop them with nary a second thought, let alone a first one.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Our Quadrennial Search for a New CEO

Dear George,

It never fails to amaze me how often the left gets it wrong. I’ve been reading a piece that goes on and on about what wimps Congressional Democrats are, which they certainly are but not for the reasons the author describes. Their cowering has less to do with a missing backbone and more to do with the revolution you have set into place.

America’s traditional separation of powers has always been a pain in the ass. Under the pressure of constant bickering and posturing the wheels of government have clumped along to the stirring beat of inefficiency.

Thanks to you, the public no longer suffers the vacuum of inaction that for too long characterized the Beltway. You have strengthened our traditional separation of powers by making the legislative and judicial branches employees of the Corporatist State. This allows the three branches to achieve a unity of purpose never before dreamed of.

Congressional Democrats fold and fold and fold because they understand that loyal employees don’t buck the boss. Pork fat floods the hallowed halls of Congress, and our congressmen realize that if they don’t dance to the corporate tune they will find all this fat rendered out of them.

The bottom line is that they don’t fear you, they fear becoming low fat legislators.

The public bitches about how chaotic and long our electoral process is. It seems to be an endless sea of mud. In truth, we have one of the most efficient electoral systems in the world. The mud that is slung is simply another example of the Bread and Circuses intended to divert the public’s attention from the real issues.

Even before the first stump speech is made, or the first mud slung, our corporatists have vetted and approved every candidate. Those who fail to make the cut find that the mainstream media promptly cancels their very existence.

Those who survive the cut are committed to the status quo no matter how much they prattle on about change. The change they promise is the change of no change in which the more changes they implement, once in office, the more things remain the same. The sole rationale for our federal government is the care and feeding of our corporatist elite. The public is simply an inconvenient fact of life that is easily diverted by the trivia ground out by our state owned media.

Government has nothing to do with public opinion which most congressmen find to be “quaint”. Ethical behavior is a politician’s death warrant, as Dennis Kucinich is finding out.

Congressmen love to tell concerned citizens that they agree with them on a given bill but are unable to vote for it because they don’t have the votes, which is another way of saying that the boss doesn’t want the bill to pass.

The beltway is humming along with a business-like efficiency. We are in the throes of a presidential election in which the country’s corporate masters will select our next CEO who will faithfully carry on as you have.

In business, continuity is everything.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Demographics of Freedom

Dear George,

It’s time to silence all of those wailiwicking weepers on the left with their elephantine sense of entitlement to multiple rights such as freedom, civil liberties, healthcare, steady employment, benefits, a house of their own, a good education for their children, a loving spouse, safe neighborhoods, and small-town values straight out of the Hollywood of the forties and fifties.

A right is not a necessity, it is a gift granted at the pleasure of the state. So, it must be understood that if the state sees fit to grant a given right, the scope of said entitlement is limited to those individuals whose surnames end in a consonant.

However, there is one right that this demographic is entitled to without exception, and that is the right to be terrified by all those whose surnames, if even pronounceable, end in a vowel or a “z”.

That, George, is the realpolitik of today’s America.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Friday, March 7, 2008

Deregulation, American Style

Dear George,

“The Land of the Free.”

I’m sure that phrase brings as big a lump to your throat as it does to mine. Granted, we’re not too sure what that lump is, whether its laughter trying to break lose or vomit. Whatever it is a, lump is a lump and thoughts of freedom bring it to the surface.

Yes, we are truly the land of free enterprise in which deregulated financial institutions enjoy the heady liberty once enjoyed those pioneers of deregulation, the pirates of yore.

However, when we speak of deregulation, we mean deregulation, American style.

Technically speaking, there is no such thing as deregulation. A corporation is never deregulated. Instead, it exchanges a benign regulator, the State, for a harsh regulator, the marketplace. The marketplace decrees that if you screw up, you fail.

God bless Ronnie, he cut the paternalistic ties that protected corporations and threw them, naked, out into the cruel pit of the market.

And all was happiness in the Land of the Free until May 17, 1984. That was the day the Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company came crawling to the FDIC for a bailout since it was about to go under. It was the largest bank failure in the history of the FDIC. It was so big, that the FDIC ended up buying into the bank and making it history’s first deregulated, government-owned bank.

But it gets even better. Not only did the FDIC buy the bank and bail it out with public funds, it also “affirmed the notion that certain banks were ‘too big to fail.’’ (Emphasis mine.)

The message was clear, George: Screw the market, if you’re big enough Uncle Sam will bail you out. It was a lesson not lost on the Savings & Loan industry.

One of the advantages of having a Congress that is a corporate employee is that when the shit hits the fan, all Congress does is slather deodorant on the shit without disturbing it. No one suggested it might be a good idea to reregulate banks. This taught banks that there was a profit to be made in failure.

The reason we don’t have to remember history is that it keeps repeating itself. And it is certainly doing that with the subprime meltdown. Once again, our deregulated financial institutions are jumping on the bailout bandwagon as they look to their congressional employees to bail them out, and once again, in the heat of a presidential campaign, there is no talk of reregulation.

Reregulation would be a disaster since it would make it impossible for financial institutions to profit from their incompetence.

All while, the Dow continues its with its spasmodic instability. The Dow is like a fourteen-year-old’s pecker: When a pretty girl smiles at him, it goes up; when she ignores him, it falls. Neither condition bears any relationship to reality. It’s all in his imagination.

So, keep your tax cuts in place as you prepare to pick the taxpayer’s pocket to bail out another set of financial retards. Let us continue to show the world what free enterprise is all about.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A New Link

Readers will notice that I have added a new link, "The Unapologetic Mexican." Visit it and you will find a site that is both thoughtful and well written. --cw

Shrinking the Populist Tumor

Dear George,

A presidential election is not an exercise in democracy; it is an abdication of democracy. Every four years, those who care to, enter a voting booth and sign off on both their right to influence policy and their very awareness of it. It is this abdication that has enabled you to make such a creative use of the Offal Office.

Even though we are a one-party system, I must admit that the Democratic faction has a tougher row to hoe. Democrats have to pay lip service to public participation, Republicans don’t. The trouble is that every once in a while a Democratic candidate surfaces who actually takes this nonsense seriously. This is why we have to contend with bamaobama this time around.

The good news is that for all of its natter about democracy and “the people”, the Democratic Party is still run by party hacks. The smoke-filled room has been replaced by the super delegate’s Blackberry. And therein is the salvation of the country.

Okay, so during the touchy-feely Sixties the big talk was about “power to the people” and all of that bullshit. The trouble with the people is that they don’t understand the proper use of power. Only those who occupy the corridors of power truly understand and appreciate it. Give the people power and the result is self-indulgence and licentiousness.

Thank God HillBill has all but been anointed by the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), and thank God for the council and their heroic efforts to purge the party of its populist contagion. It’s dedications to centerism and triangulation has given us Iraq, Afghanistan, outsourcing and the economic meltdown that will prove a boon for the council’s corporate masters.

Between HillBill and the DLC you may be sure that when the convention rolls around it will make little difference how many delegates bamaobama has won in free and open elections. The party’s Super Delegates will obediently fall into line and make sure that America’s dynastic domination by corporate interests continues unabated.

Let HillBill prevail with her "solutions, solutions, solutions", the same sterile solutions that have brought America to the precipice of a new age of chronic disaster management.

With HillBill’s appointment, the GOP will snap to attention in a frenzy of rabid unity and John “Mad Dog” McCain will be swept into office and the beat will go on and on and on.

I think it’s time for the DLC to lean on the Senate to get S 1959, the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act” passed. This is the chemo that will shrink the populist tumor once and for all. America can’t afford another bamaobama.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Living Free in the Land of the Protected

Dear George,

I was thrilled to see that HillBill took Ohio, whose state motto is “Home of the Honest Touch Screen.” It was good to hear her talk her smoke-filled room talk about how Democrats must carry Ohio to win in November, so Democrats had better back her because she's a proven winner in Ohio, if no place else.

HillBill's victory means that your legacy will live on after you leave office, and what a legacy it is! You have completed America’s transition into a militarized security state, one that HillBill is pledged to continue.

It’s not easy maintaining a constant state of militarized peace, especially when our wars of liberation are fought in defense of the corporate bottom line. Creativity is needed to produce the long line of imaginary enemies without whom our wars of pacification would be much more difficult to justify.

A militarized state must, of necessity be an authoritarian state. Such a state needs a leader unencumbered by the restraints of law and decency. Military efficiency demands that the leader be ready to snap an order on a moment’s notice, no matter how fucked up the order is or how disastrous its consequences. The order must be given, and there is little time or need for lengthy debate or discussion. Do it, or be shot! Life doesn’t get much easier than that.

Enemies are a must. Just as a young child is comforted by an imaginary friend, so must the militarized state be comforted by imaginary enemies. The sole justification for the militarized state is the presence of a constant threat. It makes little difference who this imaginary enemy is. Hitler had his Jews; we had our Communists who were replaced by the terrorists when the Commies faded from the scene.

I would point out that enemies that begin with a lower case letter are preferable to those that are capitalized. Lower case enemies tend to be more flexible and inclusive. With a capitalized enemy, one has to prove that an enemy is a Jew or a Communist. No such proof is necessary to label someone a terrorist. It is a generic term that can be stretched and expanded to include anyone the state deems inconvenient.

We live in a golden age, George. Americans have accepted an ongoing state of anxiety as the norm. They are simply too frightened to be free. And a frightened people always look for a strong leader. Of course, this fear is kept simmering by the ingenious use of sound bites. And you do have a fine collection:

· “keep us safe”
· “new attacks on our country”
· “bring destruction to our shores”
· “protect the American people”
· “critical information”
· “disruption of planned terrorist attacks”
· “hate our freedoms”

And those are only the sound bites you used to justify your Protect America [from democracy] Act.

I must say that if there is one thing that has made America the success story that she is, it is your doofus grin. It makes for a great graphic that gives our authoritarian state a down home façade that makes its oppression a little more pleasant for the people. While the Big Dick sneers on the dark side, you grin for the cameras and all is well in the land.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

How Milo Minderbender will win Iraq for America.

Dear George,

Yossarian is not the real hero of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. The real hero is that prototypical capitalist, Milo Minderbender. Milo personifies the law of unintended consequences. Heller created Milo as a satirical putdown of capitalism. History has shown us that Heller was a prophet who was describing the future of warfare.

(Sorry, George! Catch-22 is a book, which puts it beyond your reach, so let me summarize briefly. The book is set in Italy during World War II. Milo was an Army mess officer whose dedication to profit transcended patriotism, loyalty and duty. If there was a buck to be made, Milo was there.)

Milo’s finest moment was when he contracted with the Germans to bomb his own airbase. The vision of Milo in the base’s control tower directing German bombers personified capitalism at its very best.

As our Neocons have shown us, yesterday’s make believe is today’s truth. Once again, capitalism is coming to the rescue in Iraq and showing America how wars can be won if only we allow the free market to determine strategy.

The basic rule is simple: If your enemy is kicking your ass, hire him. And that is exactly what we are doing in Iraq. Proudly, we are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to pay the salaries of some 600,000 fighters who have one thing in common: they all want us out of the country.(Okay, so some of them are Kurds who like us, for now. But nothing spoils a good story like facts, as you well know.) Supposedly, these wage earners are charged with restoring order in their respective areas.

One might say that this is a foolish strategy given that the majority of Iraqis believe that the only way to restore order is to kick our asses out. This creates a tactical situation in which we have armed a force three times the size of our force that would like to show us the door.

Those who believe this is a dumb thing to do have little understanding of the intricate complexity of capitalism. As I have said before, Iraq is too important a revenue stream to end. The challenge is to keep it going in the face of increased public opposition. What better way is there to do this than arming the enemy and waiting for him to turn on us?

Believe me, George, as soon as Sunni and Shiite militias began slaughtering our brave young men, America’s patriotic bile will rise to the surface and Iraq will become the media event of the century as we unleash the full force our nuclear vengeance on the country.

We must make of Iraq a barren desert upon which we can create a model state for the entire Middle East to admire and imitate. Hiring our enemies is the easiest way to implement this policy.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Monday, March 3, 2008

Why ring around the collar has made America strong.

Dear George,

An obsession with security begets an anxious need for more security, and the more security is ratcheted up, the more intense this anxiety becomes. This is the feedback loop that keeps our military-security-industrial complex humming. Decades of robust defense spending have made this feedback loop, once the sole possession of the paranoid, a way of life.

DOD file films of Blue Angels executing their intricate dances in the sky and waves breaking over the bows of destroyers and cruisers cutting through stormy seas uplift and give to a nervous public a wisp of security that quickly vanishes, leaving uncertainty in its wake.

We no longer elect presidents; we elect commander-in-chiefs because we are conditioned to see threats where none exist. So ingrained is this doctrine of the ever-present threat that to even suggest that what this country needs is a president who can transcend the parochialism of the “security paradigm” is heresy. An anxious public must have a nuclearized security state if it is to function.

The public eagerly throws dollars at the Pentagon budget as if were a DOD lottery in which the winning ticket will guarantee life-long security. Only our elite know that no such ticket will ever be printed.

The conditioning has been comprehensive. We are now blessed with a public that fears germs, cancer, crazed druggies, drunk drivers, second-hand smoke, unhappiness, depression, unpopularity, failure, carcinogenics, body odor, bad breath and ring around the collar. They are so intent on an odor-free, risk-free society that they are willing to stand by and watch their freedoms being pissed away.

Only a public so conditioned would tolerate gutting food stamps to feed already bloated defense contractors.

Only a public so conditioned would give credence to John “Mad Dog” McCain as he intones dire warnings of the “moral monsters” against which we must protect ourselves with sophisticated weapons systems and a trillion-dollar defense budget.

We are addicted to power because that is the only thing that gives meaning to a meaningless life. This need for meaning arose because we placed the ego on the throne of existence. The ego must invent meaning because, as an ontological fiction, it has none, unlike the soul to which meaning inheres.

God in his heaven will bless you and lift you up for all you have done to keep America anxious and afraid. Fear is the passion that makes possible the stiffened leadership that has, in the eyes of the world, made us a monster to destroy.[1]

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

[1] This letter is a riff on “America’s Ghost” by James Carroll which may be found at the above link. Carroll is one of our most gifted and intelligent writers on national defense and other subject. --cw

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Blood of the Lamb Still Flows

Dear George,

Many are the lies we tell to convince ourselves that we are civilized and that we have risen above the barbarity of our ancestors. Religion makes of us all deluded fools desperately trying to coat our savagery with layers of piety.

We do differ from our forefathers, but the difference is superficial. Where they practiced the brutal barbarity of the savage, we practice the serene barbarity of the civilized.

Of the many lies we tell, perhaps none is more insidious that our belief that human sacrifice is a thing of the past. It still thrives. And I am not talking about war, though it certainly does its part to cull the herd. No, George, the truth is that economic growth is impossible without blood sacrifice. In the past, blood was offered up to appease the gods; now it is offered up to make straight the way for prosperity.

Regardless of the existence of the autonomous nation-state, their borders have always been ignored by international criminal organizations, be they drug cartels or multinationals. In terms of misery and slaughter perpetuated in their names, drug cartels are Boy Scout troops compared to the blood offerings demanded by our multinationals.

The blood- drenched maw of the multinational is never sated. Wherever there is a profit to be made or a resource to be exploited, it builds an altar upon which it offers its victims to the gods of growth. Wars are but one of the knives with which it guts its victims. Disease and starvation are the others. Each day, thirty-six thousand children do their part for prosperity by dying of starvation or other poverty-related diseases.

Like the priests of old, the high priests of the multinationals feel not a stab of remorse, for they understand that fresh blood is the nutrient without which the economy would stagnate.

Instead of condemning human sacrifice, let us celebrate it as the religious rite that it is. When Christians celebrate the Eucharist they sing, “Holy, holy, holy Lord God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Blessed, indeed, is the man who comes in the name of economic expansion. He is so blessed that his every act, no matter how vile, is equally blessed as it rises above the archaic distinction between good and evil. All growth is a form of death and we must steel ourselves to accept this as a healthy sign of increased productivity.

Our growth as civilized beings began when the first caveman experienced the joy of economic expansion by killing his neighbor and taking his stuff. It has only become more sophisticated since. Who knows where growth will take us next.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Bull Guts and Prosperity

Dear George,

Fiat currency is to finance capitalism what the element lead was to alchemy. Both are base materials their possessors hoped to transform into something of value through the muttering of incantations. Only finance capitalism succeeded. Fait currency obtains value when a well-armed bully shakes a dollar bill in a peon's face and snarls, “This mother is worth what I say it’s worth!”

I wonder if the alchemist, as he stood over his bubbling cauldron, asked himself, “What if I succeed and turn this lead into gold? What will that do to the price of gold on the open market? Will we not reach the point where it would take a ton of gold to purchase what a pound of gold now purchases?”

One thing we can be certain of, the finance capitalist never asked this question about his fiat currency. Why bother when you can produce value as fast as you can print it.

Finance capitalism is the alchemy of today as it busily produces value out of a base material--paper. It is all fantasy, which is why you are so adept at it. Your greatness is your deftness at spinning fantasies. You are Fred Astaire and your Ginger Rogers is the make believe that twirls and swirls like the multiple folds of her ball gown.

Fantasy is the hot air that has inflated the multiple bubbles that have maintained the illusion that we are a prosperous nation when, in truth, our economy has been stagnant as we shipped our manufacturing base overseas.

Ours has been the prosperity of increased indebtedness, even as we have shriveled up our consumer base by adding to the ranks of the impoverished. We need the poor because debt is a major source of revenue for our financial capitalists. They are the vultures who profit every time funny money changes hands.

Their goal is the total economic meltdown that would give them the opportunity to wrap a neoliberal garrote around the neck of what remains of the New Deal and slowly strangle it.

All of this was made possible when the bean counters enticed the virtual economy to pack her bags and leave the real economy. There’s more profit in make believe than there is in actually making something or in providing a real service.

Loved it, Big Guy, when you told the world there is no recession, just some minor problems that your administration will handle with the same “can do” attitude that liberated Iraq.

The priests of old assessed risk by studying the innards of a gutted bull. The priests of finance capitalism assess risk using “risk assessment models.” I suspect the priests of old had better luck with their bull guts.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones