‘A cigarette that bears a lipstick’s traces
‘An airline ticket to romantic places’
Billie Holiday, ‘These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)’
Last week, we were sitting in the hotel restaurant in Miami Beach having breakfast…
A man — about 30 — was leaning on the counter. His dirty pants were falling down. He wore a black t-shirt with a skeleton on it. He put his head down on the counter…and said something incomprehensible.
He got a cup of coffee…and staggered over to a chair and flopped down, talking to himself.
After a few minutes, he got up. He clutched his pants, which were almost around his knees. He wobbled. He lurched. He headed for the door and disappeared out through it.
Then, a woman…voluptuous…pretty…dressed in white jeans, with a very low-cut t-shirt came in the same door.
She looked in our direction. She said something. We couldn’t make it out…Was she asking the time of day? Directions? We smiled.
She came towards us and sat down next to us on the couch.
‘Would you like a massage?’
Two young men came in. Shorts. T-shirts. Almost identical outfits. But one wore his baseball cap backwards. They held hands. Smiled at each other. They got cappuccinos.
Deceit and delusion
But now, we are back in Baltimore, visiting our new granddaughter. Then, we’ll be off again, back to Ireland.
There was a time when we looked forward to traveling. Buying an airline ticket to a romantic place promised a thrill, an adventure…and a learning experience.
Now, we’d rather stay home. But now, the cost of not traveling is higher than the benefit of staying home. We’re taking care of business, in other words. And as business has grown, so has the need to take care of it.
But let’s turn to our familiar beat — the world of money. Or, more particularly, the world of deceit and delusion known as ‘economics’. Unromantic. Tawdry. But fascinating.
When we left off last week, we were looking at fake wars. As you know, these are wars that no one wants to win, since their real purpose is to shift wealth from the public to the war-fighting industries.
Our point was that even fake wars sometimes spin out of control — when people forget what kind of war they’re fighting, for example.
Early in the week, US president Donald J. Trump was taking the trade war far too seriously. Then, his Deep State handlers must have straightened him out on that; before the week was over, he declared that he wanted to get back into the Trans-Pacific Partnership!
Then, he went off message again…this time, on the war on terrorism. A gas attack against civilians in Syria had been alleged; the president wanted to retaliate.
As you know, no sparrow can fall anywhere on the planet without inviting a US counterattack against the starlings. Observers wondered why the president didn’t wait to find out who had actually perpetrated the attack…if anyone. But they failed to understand the nature of fake war.
It didn’t really matter whether any atrocities had been committed…or who had committed them. As it turned out, the gas attack was most likely fake. Perfect; the US could stage a fake revenge attack, too!
Russia was notified in advance of where and when the US would attack, allowing time for the ‘enemy’ — whoever they are — to make themselves scarce.
The Donald had an opportunity to show what a tough, decisive leader he is, without doing any real harm. It was all for the benefit of the fans…and, of course, the Deep State.
So far, so good.
Deep state war
Then, no sooner had we all relaxed when, on Sunday, a new war flared up — the war between Donald J. Trump and the Deep State itself.
Many people think this war is real. Donald J. Trump, they believe, is fighting for ‘the people’…and the Deep State is trying to stop him. He really wants to drain the swamp, they say; it’s not his fault the water is getting deeper.
Anything is possible.
Mr. Trump’s instincts are clearly ‘populist’ — he certainly understands the showbiz side much better than most politicians. But he is no fool.
Hardly had the sun set on the polling stations in November 2016 when he invited the Wall Street insiders from Goldman Sachs…and a trio of retired generals…to join him in the White House.
But there are many different factions in the Deep State. Like sows at a feeding trough, they bump into each other trying to get at the swill. And the winners are usually those that are most heavily armed.
Leaping ahead, we notice that whenever there is a ‘populist’ movement in politics, it almost always leads to the military wing of the Deep State taking control.
Caesar, Lenin, Mao, Mussolini, Hitler, Perón, Castro — revolutions begun in the name of the ‘people’ tend to degrade into military dictatorships.
Why? Because government is always a way for the few to take advantage of the many…and the fraud is easier to pull off when you can invoke those atavistic ‘us versus them’ emotions.
The lumpen naturally rally ‘round the flag and support the military — no matter how absurd the situation.
And if they don’t, you shoot them.
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