Ned Pepper's Outrages

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bachmann is in!

Ned has learned that the chief poster child of the Village Idiots, Michelle Bachmann, is determined to "run" for the Presidency. Now if the gods who make men mad can only entice Sarah Palin to enter the "race", Ned will eventually be treated to a political spectacle of mind-boggling potential: a 'debate' between two of the most narcissistic, anti-intellectual, sanctimoniously hypocritical knuckledraggers in modern American political history. Let the countdown begin!
Ned will celebrate the hoped-for event by mangling Shakespeare: 'Now is the winter of our discontent turned to glorious summer by these Daughters of the North."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The New American Economy, Ned's Analysis

With all the blather about the nature of our economy, Ned thought he would set the record straight, because, as poll after poll shows, nobody trusts economists.
Ned describes our economy as a turf-based service economy, since (1) much of the motorized activity seems to consist of trucks towing trailers filled with "lawn-care" devices in open mesh trailers; (2) at least 10 percent of some states are now turf; (3) half of the acreage in the Willamette Valley is devoted to grass seed and sod; (4) much of the country's employment seems to be lowly paid men and women cutting grass, edging lawns and other turf areas, and, best of all, blowing the debris around with gas-powered "leaf blowers," or selling such devices to others at Wal-Mart, Home Depot and other loci of poorly paid workers with few benefits, and (5) universities like Oregon State already offer majors in "turf management." Ned's favorite sight is watching some moron blowing dust and grass along a sidewalk, then into the street, where is is promptly returned to the sidewalk by traffic. And with more and more illegal immigrants working for these lawn mowing--er, 'landscaping' companies, Ned expects it will become even harder for poorly-educated American kids to find jobs. And this should provide some food for those more philosophical of us, since the present generation of kids is, while largely poorly-educated, about as self-centered and arrogant a bunch of narcissists as any Ned has ever seen.
Finally, with the number of geezers growing fast, and most of them in poor health because of bad diet and no exercise, the demand for these services can only increase, as the last thing a geezer will tolerate is an un-manicured lawn. The only fly in Ned's analysis could be that cities come to their senses and start to ban or tax turf.
Ned hopes these semi-coherent musings are of value to his many friends.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

$1.5 trillion and counting

Ned seems to recall that a historian, Paul Kennedy, wrote a tome years ago called "The Rise and Fall of The Great Powers" in which he described the reasons for the decline of once-mighty world powers including Spain, Britain and by inference, the United States. Ned finds Johnson's thesis to be more and more persuasive in view of the money pissed away on wars by the criminal Bush regime and, sadly, the Obama administration, which, like a grouper repeatedly trying to eat a porcupine fish, are very slow learners. Comes word today from Bloomberg News that the total cost of the misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan is at least $1.26 trillion and counting, and this does not count the cost of maimed soldiers returning with severe mental and physical problems. Adding these, and Ned gets about $1.5 trillion. It makes Ned's blood boil to think of the waste of lives and treasure carried out in the name of "defending freedom" and "protection from terrorism", not to mention, "spreading democracy."
As an exercise, Ned asks his friends to think of how this money could have been spent productively; for example, giving every city in the US a rapid transit system and paying for it for fifty years, or retrofitting every house in the country with the latest in energy-saving devices, or giving every kid with a B average a free college education, or even giving free memberships in the Delta Sky Club to anyone who wanted it--no, scratch that, Ned has to rub shoulders with enough riff-raff as it is.
One day, Ned hopes the criminals in the Bush regime will answer for their crimes with their heads, but by then the damage to the country will no doubt already be done.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another BP gem

One of BP's contractors on the ill-fated Transocean-owned Macondo platform has paid BP $75 million in a settlement to claims made by BP. Said a Deutsche Bank analyst, "The decision to settle potentially speaks more loudly that the Macondo disaster reflected failings across the oil and gas industry rather than... gross negligence on the behalf of BP”. Once again Ned reminds his friends, that we have met the enemy and he is us.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Defending Freedom's Frontiers III

Ned has learned that we have defended freedom's frontiers yet again by a "NATO" bombing that has resulted in at least nine dead civilians at a Tripoli Libya apartment building. Now all of you ignorant redneck obese patriots can go back to your Big Gulps and Winstons with no fear of those 4-year-old Arab kids terrorizing you or interfering with your cable hookup.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Obama 'bump'

Comes word that Obama's 'approval' rating has fallen into the high forty's, and Ned is frankly surprised it is that high. Well into his third featureless year, Ned wonders, sadly, what Obama has done to merit the public's trust? He has caved on emissions standards, caved to Republican knuckledraggers on taxes for sneering plutocrats and the Paris Hilton Crowd, caved on Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan (last time Ned looked, "NATO" was still killing wedding parties and kids there), cravenly caved on climate change, caved on Mountaintop Removal, cringed, sniveled and wet his pants at GOP knuckledragger threats to destroy the "full faith and credit of the US," and caved on the obscene "defense" budget. In short, he has caved on every single issue that required courage and discipline. Ned hopes he faces a stiff challenge in 2012 from some decent progressive candidate, and would frankly love to see the back of him. And Ned respectfully requests that his friends not start screaming 'The Republicans are worse!' That's not what Obama ran on in 08 and that's not what his supporters deserved.

BP and the GOM 2: The Dead Zone

Comes word today that LSU scientists are forecasting that the anoxic or "dead" zone in the GOM will be the largest in history this year, due to the enormous runoff the Mississippi is experiencing. The cause of this 9,000 square miles of dead ocean? No Ned informs his friends, not BP, but fertilizer from industrial "farming" operations in Iowa and the rest of the farming states of the Mississippi's watershed. And the fertilizer is dumped on row crops, and used mainly to grow corn and soybeans, in turn to be fed to animals, which will be slaughtered by illegal immigrants and be devoured by obese Americans.
So the one single thing that we could do to restore the GOM would be to end the industrial meat culture in this benighted country.
But of course it's easier to demonize BP while we go to Exxon to fill our tank to drive to the all-you-can-eat steak and chicken restaurant.
Ned wishes his friends a very good day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ned's forthcoming one-year anniversary: the BP saga

Ned seess to recall that he began this series of arcana about a year ago, incensed as he was about the media's and government's responses to the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf. He vividly recals the hysteria, preposterous claims, unsubstantiated dire predictions of disaster and sanctimoniously hypocritical posturing by politicians like Plyush Amrit 'Bobby' Jindal, a pompous, immodest man with much to be modest about. After a year during which the value of BP was nearly cut in half, and Obama and his goons extorted $20 billion out of the company's shareholders (full disclosure: Ned is one), as well as pressuring BP to eliminate its dividend, costing Americans and their governments billions in lost revenue, here is what we know.
* No seafood was ever found to have been tainted by hydrocarbons.
* No oil made it out of the GOM current into the Atlantic, which was a frantic prediction by a few irresponsible "scientists."
* The economic damage caused by the spill was almost entirely limited to actions taken by the federal government: needlessly closing fishing grounds, needlessly declaring a 'moratorium' on exploration in the GOM, and needlessly demonizing BP, but allowing the equally responsible Transocean, possibly Haliburton, which oversaw the cement job that failed, and perhaps even Cameron (after all they made the 'blowout preventer' that failed) to escape any censure at all.
Ned will admit that many hundreds of shore birds were killed, and he bitterly regrets that. He also regrets the loss of life incident to oil extraction in the Niger Delta and the rainforest of Ecuador, among other places. He regrets the decimation of reefs in the Persian Gulf, and he bitterly regrets the wars for oil in 1990 and 2004, costing trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives, many of them innocent. And the slaughter continues to this day.
So, yes, Ned is angry and bitter about the Gulf spill, He is angry at the clowns who ran BP, Transocean, Haliburton and Cameron, and who pay themselves obscene salaries to this day.
And hs is angry at his fellow Americans, who, if they used gasoline at Ned's rate for the past 19 years, would have resulted in a gas consumption of around 2.5 million barrels a day. Now, guess what the country's consumption was over that perod: about 18 MILLION BARRELS A DAY. So, as Pogo said, 'we have met the enemy, and he is us.'

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Nouvelle Vague

Ned's many friends may well wonder and fret, even agonize, at Ned's hiatus of twelve days, part of which was spent with Young Ned watching a couple of sports teams compete in an Undisclosed eastern city. But Ned confesses to be in a bit of what the French used to call a kind of a nouvelle vague. He has excoriated the rich and powerful Sneering Plutocracy and he can well imagine that they are grinding their teeth in impotent rage at the power of Ned's barbs. He has pointed out the foibles of puffed up narcissists, from congresspersons, to Republican governors, to dog owners. He has bemoaned the apparent conversion of Barack Obama into a moderate Republican. And now, like Balboa on the shores of the Pacific, he wonders if there are new fields to conquer, new oceans to discover. Of course, with the political silly season about to begin, the Republican presidential "candidates" will no doubt provide virtually unlimited absurdities to lambaste, but to Ned that is akin to shooting the proverbial fish in a barrel.
So perhaps, as Voltaire was said to remark, it is best to ignore the morons for a while and cultivate one's garden.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Romney: "Obama Has Failed The Nation"

Cultist former Governor of Mass. "Mitch" Romney has announced his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination by attacking Obama, saying he has "failed the nation." Now, Ned's friends know that Ned is no apologist for Obama. But Ned wonders which aspect of Obama's presidency Romney was talking about. Fact: Obama inherited a financial panic caused by the Bush regime's mishandling of the economy. Fact: Obama inherited a budget deficit in the hundreds of billions of dollars, the direct result of the Bush regime's tax cuts for Sneering Plutocrats and the Paris Hilton Crowd, in addition to a "prescription drug plan" that put billions into the pockets of drug companies and "health care insurers," and that was not paid for. Fact: Obama inherited wars of aggression in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, costing hundreds of billions annually, and to his shame has not extricated us nearly fast enough. Of course, this is the only criticism of Obama that Romney apparently does not make.
So, Ned wonders, how has Obama "failed the nation" except not to have rescued the country rapidly enough from the catastrophic and criminal actions of the worst regime in American history, the "presidency" of Republican George Bush and co-war criminal Dick Cheney? Ned is anxious to hear Romeny's explanation, and hopes it does not involve the Angel Moroni.