קסם וחסר מזה

Enchantment and lack thereof

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Economic Bad News

As you may have heard, America is amidst a severe trade deficit. The United States, a constant debtor, is dealing with a fiscal deficit 3 times bigger than any other deficit in history. We Americans love big things. As a result of this deficit, the American Dollar is weakening. The value of the dollar has been sliding since February 2002. Because of the American trade deficit, the United States has had to borrow money from other countries. This borrowing is the main reason for the decline in the dollar.

President Bush, as he does with all things he doesn't understand, is ignoring this problem. The White House is taking the "let's leave it alone and it will fix itself" stance on this issue. The President is too busy opening the floodgates of corporate campaign financing and securing a wealthy future for himself and a few of his friends. The American people are going to suffer as a result.

The increase in deficit, as predicted by the Congressional Budget Office, will be exponential as a result of Bush's stupid war, his continuing tax cuts for billionaires and corporations, and his daft economic policy. We already notice rising gas prices as a result of the declining dollar. Soon mortgage rates will rise, stock indices will fall, and companies will once again lay off thousands of employees due to shrinking profits.

A cheaper dollar would not be as threatening if it was part of a comprehensive strategy to close the trade deficit. For instance, the United States must demonstrate to our trading partners and the currency markets that it intends to reduce the federal budget deficit - thereby lessening its need to borrow from abroad and reducing downward pressure on the dollar. Unless and until it does so, the United States will lack the credibility and the authority to press for changes that need to occur in other countries to balance out global trade. There are alternatives to a single-minded pursuit of a weak dollar fix. What is lacking is the leadership to pursue them, and it is going to lead to a depression.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Memior Project - Politics

The United States is amidst a conservative sweep. Issues that historically were given a liberal, progressive, or other sensible approach have been overcome and swung backwards by the right wing. Conservative lobbying groups like the Religious Right and the NRA outnumber competing organizations both financially and in terms or personnel. Conservative think-tanks like The Herritage Foundation are twice as abundant as liberal consulting groups. The Democrats have been losing ground since the 60's; a grassroots, underground uprising has taken them by surprise. The country has been stolen from them.

Laws and policy regarding corporate crime, greed, misconduct, and consumer protection have taken a backseat to more stringent drug regulations, a dirty and unjust war, and The Patriot Act. These days, the proportion of tax money frivolously wasted or used against the American people is inexcuseable. We Americans wear clothes that people in other lands toil day and night to make,
all for just a few dollars a week. Our president bombs nations, kills to stimulate the economy, help his wealthy friends make their fortunes, and keep the citizens of America afraid, so they continue casting Republican votes. I wish another terrorist attack had occoured before Election 2004, the terrorists are being lazy. I would have loved to see two catastrophies in a single Bush term, that would have for sure swung Kerry to the lead.

I guess it doesn't matter that Kerry lost. Both political parties have become so dependent on corporate donations, so indentured to the multi-billion dollar enterprises that account for most of their funding; that they neglect the needs and beliefs of the American people over the demands of big multi-national businesses. A prime example of the master-slave relationship between business and politics shines through on the issue of prescription drugs. Almost every other 1st world country regulates the prices of pharmecuticals nationwide. Because of this regulation, almost all drugs are cheaper in other countries, even though they are manufactured in the U.S. Because the United States holds no such regulations on these American drug companies, they happily set, and raise, their price on a regular basis. Because of the drug deregulation, it is usually cheaper to re-import drugs from Canada, that have already been exported from America. During his campaign, Bush moved to outlaw such importation practices, claiming that such drugs, still manufactured in the U.S., may not be safe to consume once safley back in the country. Kerry, though still off target, offered a slightly better plan. He proposed legalizing the importation of Canadian drugs, though he wouldn't dare challenge the big American drug companies.

Both politicians are side-stepping the real issue. If either man or party had the guts to stand up to the drug bonanza, they could solve the entire problem without the need to import and export. In a slightly related topic, health insurance companies enjoy the same deregulation. Where most countries have done away with the unnecessary, costly matter of insurance; America is still heading strong in the wrong direction. American insurance companies have increased without bound:
- Premiums and prices
- Profits, consistently and without exception year after year
- Donations to political parties

It is interesting to note that most companies invest in both parties come election time. This way they are covered no matter who wins. It's a calculated gamble for them. What is more interesting is how companies pick favorites. Almost unanumously, across-the-board, corporations favor theRepublicans over the Democrats. I guess they bet on the right horse.

In conclusion, I would like to quote one Republican congressman from North Carolina. "...in conclusion, God bless our troops and we will never forget September the eleventh."

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Memior Project - Commercial

So instead of enriching my mind and body tonight, I polluted it with mindless television and junk food. Tonight I subjected myself to hours of commercalized ... commercials, it seems that everyone is trying to get me to buy something
this time of year. I also overindulged in fattening DP Dough for the second time in two days; then loading myself up with sugar in the form of cookies
and mega-lemonade, something I have been conditioning myself not to crave or indulge in as much these days. While hanging with Jenn, I attempted intellectual conversation, as she is a bright girl, but she seems more satisfied in pursuing more simple and masculine topics of conversation; that is to say, she didn't want to talk politics like I did. I guess this is kind of a blessing for me, as our political views clash dramatically in many ways. My ex­perience as an argue-er has shown me that it is futile to transplant another person's beliefs and opinions, the result of any attempt results in a proverbial "pissing match". On to other topics....

Why does everyone want me to buy things? Why can one man make fortunes while others lose? I feel victimized, almost overwhelmed, by the onslaught of advertisement that I am forced to endure day after day. It's holiday fever, and it's overcoming America once again, only more this year than the last. Fresh, new items that everyone has gotta' have are convieniently ubiquitous these days. Even George Foreman has a new grill that his kitchen (and his accountants) are thrilled about. Yes sir, seems like a bunch of folks are making money off of little old me, and the rest of the country. Well I'm not buying it. An attempt to boycott the consumption orgy that is holiday (let's not lie to ourselves, it's mostly Christmas) shopping would only further alien­ate myself from my family. I cannot choose that path. Instead, I will stick to my minimalist approach to life, and minimize my participation in this financial giveaway. I would simply make all my gifts by hand, while asking for nothing in return, but I haven't the time, and my family insists upon my "normal" participation. I guess I'm fucked.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone deserve tremendous accolades for their work in enter­tainment. Their South Park creation, as well as their many motion pictures, except Basketball, were truly fountains of enlightenment in a desert of trash. These geniuses are able to "play both sides" of the political devide, which
is a factor in their broad demographic. Their most recent work in Team America is an astounding display of their dedication to comedy and their tireless efforts in that pursuit. South Park has enjoyed more episodes than most othjer shows, and I look forward to seeing what else these two have up their sleeves.

This begins the conclusion of my entry tonight. I wish to remain fresh for a buffet lunch date tomorow. I hope I can find the coupon's for Pizza Hut. It is time to close, I am making far too many errors for my own good. This
concludes this entry.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Memior Project - Introduction

What are you afraid of?

Most everyone in this country lives in fear. I see this in just about-everyone I know. Even close friends find themselves in fear. They fear the consequences of leaving the light on overnight, of leaving the door unlocked, of missing
the begining of class. These people live in perpetual fear and it's not their fault.

Their fear of harm, of even breaking the status quo is a product of their upbringing and other outside influences. America runs on fear, it's how people make their money. I find this current subject trite and I feel unprepared
to further state my opinion. Therefore, I yeild the rest of this entry to other pursuits

I have been completley sober today. Not so much as a drop or a puff for me. Though I find myself in a welcome state of clarity and alertness, I long for the carefree abandon of narcotic consumption. I find my sobriety to be an agent in my writers block as I have managed to already waste ¼ of the page with nonsence and trivia. Though I rather enjoy the symbol I made in the above line.

Perhaps I should explain my project, let's call it my memior project. I plan to, as dilligently as I can, type out an entry of my thoughts every evening. After a brief re-read of my work, I will enclose it in an envelope, not to be opened until the completion of said project. Though I am excited for the findings of this experiment, I worry that drugs may be my muse; that, outside of an altered state, I will be unable to create anything of substance. It is significantly easier to keep track of my thoughts while sober.

Nothing upsets me more than people who make their fortunes by exploiting the ignorance or inexperience of other people.

What is the definition of memoir? Would this undertaking be more accurately refered to as a manuscript?

I hope I have answers for these questions when all is said and done. there are answers.

I hope

So when to call it an end? Perhaps when I run out of typewriter ribbon? No, that will be a few days at this rate. Paper? No, I've got hundreds of sheets. I suppose I will just have to decide when I am finished. I hope they still make ribbon for this typewriter. Do they even use typewriters anymore? Sometimes I wonder if I am typing this for the mere thrill of using this device. Upon the completion of each line, the machine lets out a loud hum and scream, as the carrier slides across the sheet. Magically, behind the carrier is the stream of letters I just typed. It's more beautiful than any text ever made
by computer. Every letter is slightly unique, with the subtle imperfections that only a mechanical device can bring to paper. This is by no means the homogenized product of the computer word processor. As the carrier reaches the end of the page, it halts and lets out a click. The thermal transfer iron is removed from the page. The drive motor reverses direction, and the carrier hurries back to it's return position. At the end of it's journey, it actuates a return switch that tells the motor to stop. Another motor scrolls the paper and the Canon Typestar 3 is ready for it's next line.

Yes, I enjoy this typewriter far too much. I also enjoy watching the ribbon casette gradualy unwind, indicating the progress I have made. Ass my page is coming to and end, so will this entry. I fear that an entry longer than two pages will leave me typing 'till sunrise. So I bring this entry to a conclusion. Regards All.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Memior Project - First Impression

The reason thoughts don't translate over to paper is because the mind works much faster than the hands.

A sulfur thyle is used in natural gas to give it it's odor.
The show (Mythbusters) is one of the few redeemable shows now on television. This is because of the lack of educational programming on television. It's also really cool because they blow shit up.

Why are the Honey Bunches of Oats (a Post product) manufacturers (happy cereal ladies) so happy about making cereal? It doesn't sound exciting. Why must they act so excited? There is no allegiance to cereal brands. Perhaps we should all go back to eating oats and granola.

It's too bad that they destroy alot of stuff, it looks cool but I wish I could have some of it.
Is it pretentious to write one's words or thoughts down?
This guy just stuck his mouthparts into a vaculator (vacuum cleaner) blower.
He is now bleeding. He might need stitches on his lips. They don't build vacuum cleaners like they used to. Our family had a 30 year old Hoover that ate up belts but never died. We kept it until the fan seperated from the motor shaft. Since then, our family goes through no less than one vacuum per year.

Another thing that I do not like about telivision: They always show the main event several times before the actual event in the plotlines of the program. This occours in commercials,

I feel like I have nothing left to write. The high is over, the dream is gone. Though I should be, I am not tired. Working at 2:30 every afternoonn can really mess with a person's sleeping schedule. I am waiting for a friend to call, but I don't think she will, she tends to be that way. The delay ­typewriter is a useful tool in creative writing. It allows one to make some corrections and even minor revisions before printing, but there is still the typewriter effect, sort of an irreversible process, that once something is said, it cannot be taken back.

Typing while laying down is taxing on both the wrists and the eyes. Though my concentration is better, I still can hardly see the words I am typing at this angle. SHIT, my first typeo.
Upon further inspection, make that second.
Funny, I seem to only mistype when I am sober.
I think I will stop for tonight. I am growing tired and this is as uncomfortable as ever. Perhaps the discomfort is the cause for my errors, perhaps the fatigue.