Monday, April 25, 2011

Inside Job

Our government....teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy."

-Louis D. Brandeis

Two DVD reviews in one week. Hollywood, here I come. I won't be doing this all the time; this second review being a coincidence of necessity. I'm not planning on becoming the Left's answer to Rex Reed, I promise.

Now that you've laid out your bread for The Ernie Kovacs Collection (At least I sure hope you did!) I'm going to plead with you to make one more financial sacrifice. This one you will be able to pick up for under twenty bucks. It is a wise investment, too. "Inside Job", a recent film by Charles Ferguson, is the most important documentary ever to be let loose on the public. Buy it now - and show it to everyone you know. Arrange a public showing at your local library. If enough people see this film there will be revolution in this country. Count on it.

Then again, maybe not. Americans have become fat with apathy. Who am I kidding? Never mind.

If you are naive enough to believe that this country is still a democratic republic, Inside Job will set you straight. America has been overthrown by the Plutocracy. Thanks to three decades of deregulation, trillions of dollars have been stolen from the American people. And what no one has mentioned is the fact that the damage that has been done to our economy by these thugs is probably insurmountable. This is the way it's going to be forever. Although there is still room on the economic coffin to hammer in a few more nails. Go for it.

What is incredible about this very important film is that a few of the perpetrators of this incalculable theft arrogantly sat down with the makers of the film for interviews that are as jaw-dropping as they are outrageous. Within minutes they realize that Mr. Ferguson has his facts in hand, and they quickly become helpless deer in the headlights of his inquisition. One of them even indignantly terminates the interview. It truly is a beautiful thing to behold.

And still our downward spiral continues....

It's not bloody-well
likely that Inside Job will be seen by many - despite the fact that it received the Academy Award for best documentary of 2010. Then again, a nation force-fed the daily mush provided by FOX Noise is not very likely to fully understand the implications of what is presented in this film. Let's face it - The American people have been led to the cliff and they're cheerfully plunging into the abyss. The policies put into place by a feeble-minded reactionary named Ronald Reagan three decades ago sealed their collective fates - and yet they still revere the disgusting old Bastard. Puzzling. Puzzling. Puzzling.

A people as heartbreakingly stupid as these deserve everything that happens to them. Seriously.

Here is all the proof you need that the uber wealthy have overthrown our government: After decades of economic plunder, they were able to get we-the-taxpayers to bail them out, and not one of them - with one exception - has gone to prison. The exception is, of course, Bernie Madoff. You see, he didn't make his fortune looting the pensions of regular working people. His victims were exclusively the rich and powerful. The message could not be any clearer. Too big to fail? These people are too big to jail.

I cannot recommend this film enough.

Tom Degan

If it's not available from your friendly, independently-owned video store (Like they really exist anymore) here is a link to order it on


FULL DISCLOSURE: I do not receive financial compensation from Amazon for anything sold on their site that is linked from here. Honest!


Recently, I wrote about my friend Donna Cusano. She is an extraordinarily talented artist who just yesterday morning started a blog about being an artist and how it corresponds to being a human being and living a life filled with mountaintops of ecstasy and deep valleys of despair. She's also very funny. Here is a link to her site:

Art and Soul: Colorful Ingredients



At 9:47 AM, Blogger B. F. Koch said...

Round up the usual suspects!

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Mary Mayhem said...

"...real engineers build bridges. All financial engineers do is build dreams, and sometimes those dreams turn into nightmares..."

At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More examples of the religion of peace.

BAGHDAD (AP) – At least seven people were injured when a bomb outside the entrance of a Baghdad church exploded on Easter Sunday, an Iraqi police official said.

The blast took place just yards (meters) from the Sacred Heart Church in Baghdad’s Karradah neighborhood. Shrapnel from the bomb struck the outside of the building, and at least four of the church’s windows were shattered. Shards of broken glass lay on the street in front of the building.

Like many Baghdad houses of worship, the church is surrounded by blast walls to protect it from such attacks.

The officer said no parishioners were inside and services had not been held in the building.

Four policemen and three civilian bystanders were wounded, said the official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to brief the media.

Iraqi Christians have faced a recent wave of violence, including an attack last year against a Baghdad church that killed 68 people. Before Christmas services, al-Qaida-linked militants threatened a wave of violence against Christians, forcing many to tone down their ceremonies.

At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you thought Hard-shell Baptists believed this way?

Kuala Lumpur, Apr 24 (ANI) — Islamic clerics in Malaysia are firm on their ban on ‘poco-poco’ a popular dance form, claimed of having Christian roots, despite the country’s National Fatwa Council’s decision to allow the dance.

The Perak Fatwa council’s Mufti, Harussani Zakaria, said the state fatwa council was convinced that the dance contained elements of Christianity and spirit worshipp.

“We will not back down on our decision. It is final,” the Star quoted Zakaria, as saying.

Earlier, Zakaria had announced that the dance was ‘haram’. He further said that research showed the cross-shaped movement, normally associated with Christianity, could clearly be seen in the dance.

Zakaria said that this dance form has been originated from a ritual dance often practiced in Jamaica while the word “poco” referred to a kind of wild dance performed while possessed by “ancestral spirits”.

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Saudi's say there is an oil glut and they are cutting back production.

The "experts" say there is so much surplus crude there is no place to store it.

Supply & Demand says that oil/gas prices should be going down...actually the prices never should have risen the way they have.

Commodity traders are bidding up the price of crude based on rumor and speculation.

The Rich get richer whilst the rest of us drown...the rich are watching and do not give a flying fuck!

At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Allah Akbar said...

its amazing that the US liberals spend more time attacking and character assassinating the US "bible thumpers" while sticking their heads in the sand about the muslim radical's actions. muslim radicals continually commit horrible acts against humanity but the libs just put their heads in the sand.

At 2:15 AM, Blogger Mack Lyons said...

For the gentlemen who want to derail the topic towards muslim radicals, Islam and the like, don't. That's not what we're talking about today. Today's focus is on this nation's speedy encroachment into plutocratic territory. Try focusing on that instead.

As far as Ronnie Raygun goes, I suspect a lot of Americans were on ol' Ronnie's wavelength. There's a quite brutal takedown of Reagan and the people who worshipped him over at The Exile:

At 4:47 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


Send me an e-mail with your address.

Cheerio! Pip! Pip!

By the way, I love your comments, Mack Lyons. I hope you get your blog going soon. I'll put a link up for you!

Tom Degan

At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blame Bush, it always worked before.

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blame the rich, they caused this!

More than 60 churches were burned and thousands of Christian-owned homes destroyed in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north after the recent election of incumbent Christian president Goodluck Jonathan, according to the Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors.

Riots broke out Monday after the preliminary results of Saturday’s vote were announced. Jonathan, who was sworn in as president in May 2010, was announced president over his Muslim opponent Muhammadu Buhari.

“Last year there were more martyrs in Nigeria — approximately 2,000 Christians killed in the northern part — than in any other country in the world,” said Open Doors USA President/CEO Carl Moeller. “Nigeria is such a key country in the spread of Christianity all over Africa.”

“Please join me in prayer for the Christians there, especially for those in the north,” he added.

Muslims complained that the vote tallies were rigged, but independent observers described the election as the fairest in decades.

“The elections for the National Assembly and the Presidency were both credible and creditable and reflected the will of the Nigerian people,” said the Commonwealth observers’ report.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

The captains of industry are acting according to the humanistic constructs they learned in American schools and universities. Our problems are not merely social or political – they are ideological at a more fundamental level. As much as I am not a fan of social engineering, I’m also not a fan of Randian objectivism (I viewed the poorly done “Atlas Shrugged” last night). The fact that many conservatives are coming out as big Rand fans is disconcerting to me – I find her ideas deplorable. Humanists of any stripe will ultimately lead you to bad ideology.

Anyway, to the plutocracy question. Monarchies were, in truth, plutocracies. Democracies are, in truth, plutocracies. Communism was explicitly plutocratic. The question is not whether there is a plutocracy – there always has been and always will be – contrary to the façade on the front of it or the rhetoric behind it. The question is on what ideological basis does the plutocracy in power operate.

Anon, I am a Christian and not a fan of Islam, but quit hijacking the blog – it is inconsiderate.

At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Riddle me this Plutocrats:

How can Exxon Mobil's profits be up a staggering 50% from last quarter when the price of crude has been increasing by leaps and bounds?

Don't they have to pay the higher per barrel price? If so wouldn't that negatively impact Exxon Mobil's bottom line?

With demand basically flat how are they earning these astronomical profits?

What is the "Pass Along" component and how is this possible?

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

GB –

ExxonMobil makes money off of exploration and production (upstream) – not just refining (downstream). So, a percentage of a higher per barrel price makes them more money in their production business.

Refining margins are more driven by “crack spread” than the absolute cost of the barrel of oil, which is driven primarily by global demand for the products. Sometimes high oil prices do significantly hurt refining margins - other times not so much. Right now, crack spreads are very high relatively.

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harley A:

Could you "Dumb Down" your reply...this old Gypsy didn't follow.

It seems regardless of market conditions ExxonMobil still makes a fortune. How do Commodity Traders factor in?

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Robert Scheer sums it nicely in his latest "The New Corporate World Order":

Big government, the devil that Republicans love to inveigh against, is big precisely because it is so active in so many costly ways in serving the interests of our biggest corporations. Corporate lobbyists attest with their every breath that big government and big business are bedmates in a bountiful venture that impoverishes the rest of us.

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More corporate hypocrisy from the left.

"In what the White House calls a push for transparency, a pending executive order would require companies doing business with the federal government to disclose political contributions to independent groups, but would not place the same requirement on public employee unions or federal grant recipients that typically donate to Democrats.

Entitled the “Disclosure of Political Spending By Government Contractors,” the order would implement parts of the DISCLOSE Act, which failed to get through Congress last year. The legislation sought to restrict campaign speech after the landmark Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the right of corporations and unions to donate to campaigns.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed Monday that work is underway on the draft order, and linked the move to President Obama’s stated commitment to transparency.
Hans A. von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, was skeptical of Carney’s assertion that the president was merely committed to transparency.

“If transparency is the true goal, why isn’t the proposed executive order covering any outside entity that gets federal money? It only applies to government contractors, not grant recipients like Planned Parenthood,” he told “Public employee unions are also exempt from this order.”

Hans Von Spakovsky, who was the first to report the existence of the draft executive order, on Pajamas Media last week, argued that the move would politicize the federal procurement process.

He is also troubled by the use of an executive order in this instance.

“This threatens the representational system,” he said. “The president wants to implement through the regulatory process what failed in Congress.”

At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dave dubya,

do you also get your "unfiltered, uncensored, and uncompromising" news from linktv? lol

I watched the "billionaires tea party" and at the end the putz said that the BIG CORPORATIONS were evil for pushing for lower regulations and taxes. Has it occurred to you liberal putzes that small businesses are also for lower regulations and taxes?

At 7:38 PM, Blogger Suzan said...

I agree.

I also wrote previously about this trenchant piece of art.

Did I get inadvertendly dropped from your blogroll?

Just reading along and didn't see my blog listed . . . .

Thanks for all you do.

At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Under my plan energy prices would NECESSARILY skyrocket."

January 2008
B.H. Obama, a man of his word

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Gypsy Bob –

Simple is about all I’m capable of here. I’ve worked in and around oil/gas/petrochem for years but not expert in crude refining.

Two businesses:

Production (finding and extracting oil from the earth and marketing to refiners). They like high oil prices – always increases profit margin.

Refining (making gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, heating oils, etc. from crude oil). You would think high crude would be bad and sometimes it is. But, the demand side for the products is very important, too. When demand for the products outstrips refining capacity, the products can rise in price to the point where the price of the crude feedstock is not as important and they still enjoy good profits. The “crack spread” is industry lingo for the difference between the value of the barrel of crude oil and the value of the products that can be produced from the barrel of crude. It is high right now.

ExxonMobil is in both businesses. So, right now, they are doing well on both fronts.

At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harley A. - Thanks for the clarification and the Civil Discourse.

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Cartel

2009 92 minutes

In his first feature film, director Bob Bowdon takes aim at America's public school system, revealing a self-serving network of wasteful cartels that squander funding and fail to deliver when it comes to academic testing and basic skills. Both parents and teachers want change, but reform is an uphill battle in the face of heel-digging bureaucrats and so-called "dropout factories." It's a bona fide crisis that's burgeoning out of control.


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