A Negotiating Chip By Any Other Name


He’s free!  Free, at last! So, the most wanted man in America is now checking out the chiburekii and borsch in some of Moscow’s less popular venues.  Just be sure to stay off Tverskaya Street… too many CIA and Special Ops operatives covertly lurking there.

After sampling the sluggish hospitality of Sherametyova Airport for a rather long ‘layover’, with it’s TGI Fridays’ and numerous Shokoladnii Coffee Shops, Edward is becoming acquainted with his new compatriots and Moscow’s impeccable and prompt metro, courtesy of Mr. Putin and Co. Better to know the hegemen you face, rather than believe you are living in a democracy.  God knows, Edward has had enough of that shit.  He wants nothing more of African hegemons prancing around as men of the people.  He knows that if Obummer had his way, he would shove a drone missile up Edward’s ass and watch the boy’s shit fly.

I can just say, it is a blessing that Edward is more articulate on camera than the hegemon.  At least the boy doesn’t read from his master’s script.  No, he has had enough of the accepted narrative, and wants only to speak truth to power.  I’m just waiting for Brad to find his way out of this clusterfuck and hightail it to join his expat brother in far Western Siberia (a.k.a. Moscow).  That gives me an idea, perhaps I should open a home for displaced spies, whistleblowers and other disaffected persons indicted under Obummer’s reign of terror.  After all, the social contract has been broken too many times to count, beginning with its very inception by the white wigged assholes who constructed it.

Look, Moscow is not a bad place to hang out.  Lot’s of folk speak English, there’s good food and relatively good service.  And there are enough folks speaking in the vernacular so that you are never confused about where you really are.  The women aren’t hard on the eyes; but the cost of living can be hard on any expat’s pocketbook.  A good place for Edward to visit might be the lobby bar at the Moscow Marriott Grand.  Lots of interesting clientele there; but, again, it’s an expected watering hole, and VERY expensive.

And, we know that what Edward did is right and good, because now the American congress, that disheveled coterie of thieving shitheads is actually considering putting some restraints on the NSA and other surveillance mechanisms in that bastard of freedom.  But, I’d say that is another fucking kabuki play, intended to ameliorate the unwashed masses, as the congressional misfits continue to take their big salaries, their exclusive healthcare, and their generous retirement benefits, while also collecting all of the ass-fucking money they can seduce from their overly-solicitous lobbyists.  But, the congressional scrum had to do something; there was just too much exposure of the invisible scaffolding awkwardly hiding behind the feint spectacle of openness and transparency.

Once the genie is out of the bottle, or the dog has jumped the fence… it is impossible to get things back in order easily and quietly.  So now we are witness to the hand wringing, the finger pointing, sabre rattling, and the gnashing of teeth that follows from utter embarrassment and self-disgust.  “Fuck you,” says the hegemon!  “We won’t come to your big Olympic party in 2014.  So take that.”  Hell, I’m just waiting for John – the idiot – McCain to open his mouth and suggest bombing the fuck out of Moscow.  Hell, that’ll show those commie Ruskies!

Tell me, folks, is there any sense of self-restraint among the apparent managers of empire?  Or are they already too embarrassed from getting ass-fucked by their corporate patrons to be any more concerned about their personal image.  They just let it all hang out and see who will step up and buy the next BJ.

Politicians everywhere are the same people; a class of persons invented by civil society.  There is no moderating their behavior or their self-image.  It is simply required that we recognize their incapacitation after having inhaled enough of the rarified air-pollution of hierarchy to kill even the most attuned of Homo sapiens.  The stage is set.  Unrest is increasing across the globe.  The USA braces for its own form of disenchantment. Keep the channel tuned; make your beer runs quick.  The action is just heating up.  Just ask the Snow-man.  Or ask the Lakota, Sioux Indians, left to rot in the Black Hills of North Dakota.

57 Responses to A Negotiating Chip By Any Other Name

  1. I love your passion and way with words, Sandy!

    The timing of Putin’s decision reminded me, not that I needed reminding, that the Russians play chess and think strategically while the Imperium, befitting its relatively recent frontier past and celebration of the cowboy, shoots first—from either the lip or the hip—only to ask questions later. Cerebration rarely gets a look-in, even then.

    By biding his time, Putin has profited from the happy fact that just enough members of the American dronery have slipped out of trance to flip the poll numbers on Obummer’s iteration of Cheney’s Stasi envy. As that has become clear, nearly half the members of each house of the Congress have miraculously found their missing backbones. How long that will last is anyone’s guess.

    But I am not getting my hopes up: the Imperial City abounds in what the Germans used to call “Fachidioten” — Collins translates it as “narrow-minded specialists” but my German friends insist is better rendered as ‘expert idiots’. They swarm in from George Mendacious Mason, GWU, the Ivies, Chicago and points west — Stanford, USC — to do the set design, massage and ghostwrite the scripts and manage the lighting of the national stage across whose boards the venal and the assiduously obtuse then strut, rant, mime and generally cavort with the paladins of the Corporate master class and their meretricious fools who spout the house ideology with a promptness that would tickle Pavlov’s bippy if he were but here to see it.

    We are not declining; we are descending, with not enough power to take off again and quite possibly not even enough to land safely. Nothing is more pathetic than watching people who never understood that control is an illusion continue to pretend to themselves that they can still gain control of a situation they’ve never had control of.

    That is the last forty years of America’s history summed up in a single sentence. So it goes.

    • Disaffected says:

      But I am not getting my hopes up: the Imperial City abounds in what the Germans used to call “Fachidioten” — Collins translates it as “narrow-minded specialists” but my German friends insist is better rendered as ‘expert idiots’. They swarm in from George Mendacious Mason, GWU, the Ivies, Chicago and points west — Stanford, USC — to do the set design, massage and ghostwrite the scripts and manage the lighting of the national stage across whose boards the venal and the assiduously obtuse then strut, rant, mime and generally cavort with the paladins of the Corporate master class and their meretricious fools who spout the house ideology with a promptness that would tickle Pavlov’s bippy if he were but here to see it.

      Wow! That’s one acerbic paragraph! Nice!

      • Ron McCafferty says:

        You guys are killing me with the expanded vocabulary. I have resorted to sleeping with my dictionary.

        • Disaffected says:

          LOL! Gordon was really on a roll there wasn’t he? Sort of reminded me of a Dennis Miller riff there for a bit, although Miller was (and is) always just a tad bit too contrived, cute, and gratuitously ironic for my tastes. But I must say, the bippy reference was certainly a nice turn of phrase. Been awhile since I heard that one used, and very seamlessly as well.

          • Ron McCafferty says:

            Yeah, I was laughing at first too. But I have a serious case of ADD and I am confusing actual meanings as I try to use the words. I sound like Rocky Balboa when he thought condominiums was something you where on your pecker.

          • Nice to know I’m not the only one left who remembers Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In! Such a show would never make it to network television today.

      • Thanks, but without the spark of Sandy’s cri de coeur I never would have managed it. 🙂 By the way, Sandy, I didn’t mention it but I love the idea of your opening a home for dispossessed and /or unstated whistle-blowers.

        • kulturcritic says:

          Then they’d have me at the top of the list for aiding and betting with…

          • I know, but what about a YouTube comedy vaguely along the lines of Hogan’s Heroes, but told from the Russian point of view??

            Imagine the CIA drones overhead sponsored by Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas, United Technologies, et al, covered in decals like a typical NASCAR entry… or the klutzy agents trying to infiltrate the home… Eventually the search will be privatized and filmed as a reality show for Fox where it will run until Rupert tires of it and it migrates to the Discovery Channel where it will run for another decade…

            The Russians and the Yank whistle-blowers will watch the inanity that passes for American television journalism and trade wisecracks about it that will provide endorphin highs not just for the children of the Rodina, but pretty much all of central and western Europe once it goes into syndication. Surely there’s a young Mel Brooksov in Moscow, Saint Petersburg or Chelyabinsk looking for his big break-through that could take this and run with it?

            If I had the time, I would seek out, invoke and consult my inner Bulgakov and try to write something. Imagine the fun he would have today . . .

    • kulturcritic says:

      And it may be the last 6,000 years of human history, i.e., all the history there is, by definition. LOL “Expert Idiots” or “Idiot Savants” may be a more apt term.

  2. Malthus says:

    “the American congress, that disheveled coterie of thieving shitheads,” damn Sandy that phrase has me laughing so hard I am afraid my teeth may fall out. This piece is short and sweet and tells it all. We are doomed and fucked as a country at least the country I grew up in and sometimes I think that borscht might be really good compared to the pablum shit we are fed every minute of every day. Keep em coming. I need that laughter.

  3. Disaffected says:

    Love the passion this week! Perhaps the Snow Man will be enough to shake us out of our long term trance afterall. Just the same, I wouldn’t place any side bets on his long term survival. It’s in Putin best interest to keep him around for now. At some point in the future that’s likely to not be the case anymore. But hey, life is full of risk and then you die out there on the razor’s edge. We should all be thankful that someone’s willing to walk it.

    • kulturcritic says:

      I’m afraid the trance will continue apace… the zombies have had too much of their blood sucked out by the reigning vampire culture of Mad-Wall-Penn-Hollywood Streets. As long as the looney tunes are playing, the fans will stayed huddled round their screens eating spicy mexican corn chips and drinking PBR.

  4. the Heretick says:

    and just a day or two after this news we have a vague undefined terror threat serious enough to prompt the closing of US embassies. of course it’s all too hush-hush to be specific about, matter of national security. have you ever seen a flock of chickens when the fox is about the hen-house?

    • John T says:

      I thought the same, puts me in mind of the color coded alerts of a decade ago. What? It’s been that long?

      Live long and strong Edward Snowden.

    • DrCiber says:

      Precisely the same thoughts came to mind, oh how freaking convenient, yet another nebulous threat just one day after Putin calls Obummers bluff? But seeing that the Brits are only closing their embassy in Yemen for two, count em’ TWO days – or so they said on NBC Nightly “news”- one wonders just how much of a threat it can be. I mean WTF, the blue meanies wouldn’t be able to postpone their operation until Wednesday? Pathetic.

    • In the words of the group, Blue Magic, “Let the Sideshow Begin…”. That’s all this “terror alert” is, a sideshow to keep the masses from the whole Snowden affair; and from what fools these (Washington) mortals be.

    • Disaffected says:

      9-11’s truly become the gift that keeps on giving – the single pretext for what appears will be perpetual war from now on. Whoever hatched that plot really deserves some kudos. I still believe it’s all linked back to Cheney’s secret National Energy Policy Development Group meeting with all the major oil players in Mar 2001, whether or not the actual plot itself was discussed at that meeting. (I doubt it. That would necessarily be a very dark secret among a handful of dedicated spooks and was no doubt in development long before that.) But I’m guessing peak oil is recognized as the huge problem it obviously is behind the closed doors of the power elite even as they pooh-pooh it in public, if only because it signals some serious strategic shifts for the US in recognition that is so seriously geographically disadvantaged for the coming battle over remaining resources. Absent total military dominance in every sphere of possible combat (or the sudden benevolence of the Russians and Chinese, who, if they would just cooperate, could shut out the US altogether regardless), the US would be reduced to the impotent helpless giant that it’s leaders rightfully fear it will be. Our day’s coming. Soon. Although climate change is likely to make that whole strategic exercise laughably moot even sooner.

  5. Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

    It looks to me like the Snowdenstein saga serves the purposes of both protagonists. O’Bomber’s public gets to watch lots more episodes of an iconic hero staring down the Black Hats, while the Black Hats gleefully bury far more important stories. Putin’s public can once again feel heroic and a force for good, and of course some important stories might get buried. In that scenario it is not entirely irrational to suppose that Hegemon does not actually want him back or dead, at least not yet.

    One story, if true and quite possibly it isn’t, coming out of DEBKAfile says that Saudi Prince Bandar (dubya’s old buddy) flew to Moscow and suggested to Putin that he get hisself over to Cairo where General Sisi might be waiting to hand him a big order for weapons charged to a Saudi Gift Card.

    Could it be that the Wahhabis have become dubious as to the tranquil attributes of the Hegemon? As Russia is once again officially a God Fearing Nation, have they decided it is now alright to have commerce with them? Has the serial dismemberment of Sunni Muslim nations by the Hegemon caused them some concern over their own future? Are they theologically embarrassed over their fraternization with the worshippers of the Golden Calf? Is it true the pagan idol is concealed for safety inside a bronze bull?

    Now them’s some questions worth mulling over. But who will have the time, or the desire?

  6. kulturcritic says:

    It’s all in knowing the right dance steps!!

    • John T says:

      Love that tune!

    • outsider says:

      Very funny. But would you translate, Sandy? BTW, being new to this site, I’d like to add that I really love the detailed, always on point, artwork introducing each essay. At the risk of sounding really dumb, is it original or copied from somewhere?

      • kulturcritic says:

        Outsider, thanks for coming in! On the bottom right of the screen, there is a control panel. If you hover over the first rectangular button, it will say captions. Click it, then click English, and voila! It is not perfect but almost as good as I could do myself. Basically it is a comical year end state of the union address at the New Year celebration. Most of the artwork are originals from two Altai artist friends of mine here, Sergei Prokhorov and Yuri Ivanov. But, I also drop stuff in from the net from time to time. Let me know if the captions help. best, sandy

        • Sergei and Yuri’s work is fabulous!! [Psst — sometimes I spend more time studying the artwork than the attached post… 😉 ]

          Love the video — with the captions for help I actually picked out a handful of words that somehow survived my disastrous semester of Russian 101 forty-four years ago.

          It’s also interesting that as I have had to cull the online foreign press in recent years to find out what’s going on in America and the rest of the world, I was able to follow about half the references in the song.

      • kulturcritic says:

        Also, you must turn the video on first to see the captions button emerge.

  7. Disaffected says:

    Politicians everywhere are the same people; a class of persons invented by civil society. There is no moderating their behavior or their self-image. It is simply required that we recognize their incapacitation after having inhaled enough of the rarified air-pollution of hierarchy to kill even the most attuned of Homo sapiens. The stage is set. Unrest is increasing across the globe. The USA braces for its own form of disenchantment. Keep the channel tuned; make your beer runs quick. The action is just heating up. Just ask the Snow-man. Or ask the Lakota, Sioux Indians, left to rot in the Black Hills of North Dakota.

    True that. Who’d have ever thunk that anyone could make the pretty boys of “inherited old-money” capitalism (or old school European aristocracy for that matter) look like stand up guys, although they’re often one and the same these days. But I guess in the end, strongly hierarchical based capitalism and socialism are just flip sides of the same coin, although capitalism obviously proved to be the more efficient theft device of the two. When Karma finally begins to deliver the big smack down to our society in earnest for past sins a Hard Rain is definitely Gonna Fall.

    And just to show that just about anything can be perverted to just about any purpose you like, I offer the following:

    To occupiers and would be heroes it’s the same as it ever has been (and apparently ever will be); all the world’s a nail and they, themselves are God’s personally anointed hammers.

  8. Disaffected says:

    To which I would only unironically add, perhaps if US “warrior/heroes” would like to avoid said “hard rain,” perhaps they and theirs should just stop volunteering for and/or supporting it. Yeah, I know, the economic realities here at home suck and seemingly dictate otherwise. But if you just want to die and get it over with there are surely more efficient ways closer to home of going about it. And if you just want to truly be a hero, try standing up to your own government and paying the ultimate price. Rest assured, they’ll likely oblige you.

    • outsider says:

      I’m hoping the day will come when there are so few volunteers that they’ll have to start the draft back up. Maybe that would be the only thing that might wake our largely self-absorbed youth from their video game smart phone text-happy slumber.

      • kulturcritic says:

        But, if the wars are all fought on virtual, digital displays… those young’uns may just eat it up. I know I reek of cynicism.

        • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

          You know what Lily Tomlin said about cynicism. I fear it might apply in spades in regard to that scenario.

          The conscript army has been supplanted by the mercenary army. Their motto, lavish money on us and forgive us in advance for evils we commit and we will come. Even the UN is hiring mercs.

        • Disaffected says:

          You’re right though. All the electronic gizmos make it both more appealing to join and the pain of all the killing and mayhem that much more distant. PBS had a video a few years back in one of their documentaries showing an Army helicopter pilot’s reaction after a rather large kill shot (4 or 5 dead I think). At first, he and the crew thought it was an enemy and they were literally giddy with delight, but then the news came back that they had just fucked up and killed a bunch of their own. Opposite reaction. I found their response fascinating. In both cases they had just committed what, by any reasonable standard, should be considered murder. Slap a “bad guy” label on it and it was a glorious thing. Take it off, and it’s major depression time. Same outcome, different cognitive labels, totally different mental outlooks. But that’s what the military and extreme violence does. Lose the ability to rationalize it and you just can’t do it. Which is the beauty of all this video game violence. It helps condition the young’ns early on to rationalize violence and mayhem as “normal and necessary.” Gonna be a hard rain fallin’ indeed when all of this eventually comes back on us in full force, as it eventually will.

  9. GF Sutton says:

    I used to wonder how it is that empires die,
    with all of history to warn them.
    Nothing to wonder about now, is there?

    It helps little to water-proof the foundation
    after the rot has already well set in.
    And set in it has.

    If only our enemies were truly outside our borders,
    it would all make sense.
    If only they were outside our skins!

    • Disaffected says:

      Yep. The inside out rot of decadence and privilege. It’s done in all the great ones of the past, and it’s well on it’s way to doing in ours as we speak. Good run while it lasted, although as empires go, ours was pretty brief.

      • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

        The empire does appear as rather brief, but still it is passing through all the requisite stages. It seems as though everything happens faster now. Political discourse now takes about 10 seconds instead of 2 or 3 hours. Climate changes that used to take at least 10,000 years can now happen in a hundred, maybe less. A good fiction writer might conjure up a tale of the time dimension collapsing, at the end of which everything happens at once. 🙂

  10. Disaffected says:

    From the WTF! Department, the Sand Diego Padres (American baseball) apparently fancy themselves as warriors too. I had to do a BIG doubletake when I saw this (only in the USA!):

  11. kulturcritic says:

    “A longtime critic of Russia, Senator McCain has proposed to expand the Magnitsky list, complete the creation of a missile defense system in Europe, and is actively working on the adoption of Georgia into NATO.”

    I’m only surprised John has not suggested bombing Moscow! He is such a loudmouth jackass!

    • Malthus says:

      Also very much in the pockets of the industrial military complex.

    • Disaffected says:

      John McCain: Arizona’s own conservative “gift” that just keeps on giving. Too stupid to do anything else; even the conservatives don’t really love him anymore. A relic of Vietnam that just can’t admit that what he was doing over there – especially as a Navy fighter pilot – was completely wrong and misguided. He’s doomed to keep on fighting the cold war until his dying breath.

      • outsider says:

        McCain and his dim-witted yes man, Lindsay boy, remain very dangerous people. Why our cowardly MSM continue to invite these two on their insipid Sunday AM yawn fests escapes me. Who in their right mind supports these war mongers? Oh, that’s right, AIPAC and the MI/security complex, who control the agenda and need perpetual war to keep the money flowing in do. Hence, these two lifetime pols are their top go-to men. Of course it could be worse. McCain (and know nothing Palin) could have been elected.

        • Disaffected says:

          McCain (and know nothing Palin) could have been elected.

          That would have been fun, wouldn’t it? I think their own party might have impeached ’em both.

  12. Disaffected says:

    Nice piece over on Automatic Earth today (which I picked up off JHK’s commentary board, which one observant commenter noted has once again turned into a “cesspool”): Capitalism, A Norwegian Rat and Some Cockroaches. I used to peek in at that site pretty regularly, but for some reason got out of the habit. My loss.

    Makes some pretty good points on the God of Capitalism using the recent $60T methane belch article as a shining example. Basically, when all you see is profits, all the world’s denominated in dollars. And when all you see is dollars, everything real becomes denominated in them, aka purely abstract. I won’t try to paraphrase beyond that. Read the article, it’s worth your time.

    But yeah, that’s our basic problem right there in a nutshell. Exponential growth capitalism (a redundant term, as there is no other form on the drawing boards, nor are the current winners in such a lucrative system ever going to give up their ill-gotten gains should one ever come along) is the incipient cancer that will end civilization as we currently know it. Indeed, “civilization” itself has been allowed to metastasize because of it, and it’s now arguable as to which will end us all first: mass overpopulation, first enabled, then demanded by exponential growth capitalism; or the gross quality of life inequities inherent in capitalism itself.

  13. Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

    Shouldn’t that sentence have ended thusly? … the metatsized cancer that has ended civilization as we knew it.

    Metastatic processes produce their own terminating event. My money is on the methane belch. Since humans currently have no monetary value, the cost will be exactly zero.

    • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

      Must be gettin tired. That was supposed to be a reply to DA and of course I meant to type metastasized.

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