The Rude Guy Podcast #69 July 8, 2010
[BP and the CIA, The Cost of War, and Grow Your Own]
Rich Zubaty here. Cranking out another podcast for no reason other than I’m turning 62 and have no good idea what else I’m supposed to be doing with my life.
Old age sucks. My memory is going the way of the giant bluefin tuna, I have bone spurs in my neck so I can’t lift heavy suitcases, if I get five hours a day where my attention span is greater than that of a hummingbird I feel like throwing a party. I can’t sensibly go on one of my famous invigorating, therapeutic, traveling expeditions, to Brazil, or Bali, or somewhere, to clear the cobwebs out of my brain, unless I somehow recruit a younger stronger traveling companion.
On top of that, Kathleen Parker from the Washington Post just seemingly ripped off one of my podcasts, and gave me no credit whatsoever. On June 30, 2010, she came out with an opinion piece called: Obama: our first female president. In October 2009 I made a podcast called: Barack Obama: our first female president. How about that? She even segued into it like I did by saying…if Bill Clinton was our first black president, then Barack Obama is our first female president. Then she echoed me again, this time from last month’s Podcast 68, noting Obama’s cautious feminine, management style…in the face of the gulf oil gusher, that cried out for decisive leadership…saying, as I had said…what was he doing delivering jokes to the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, when he should have been on Air Force One flying to the Louisiana coast. Three coincidences in a row? It looked like flat out plagarism to me.
So I emailed her and the Washington Post Ombudsman. She said she’d never heard of me, and that anyway she doesn’t write the titles to her pieces, someone else does. After a few more emails back and forth I concluded that she did not go to my podcast, listen to it or read it, and rip it off. I am not accusing her of that. However I still believe some combination of summer interns at the paper, clever quipping at Washington cocktail parties, by trendy eavesdroppers, and maybe even some precipitation from the…Overmind, [RG voice: the Overmind] conspired to materialize my ideas in her head. That’s kind of how memes work, spreading like a virus from mind to mind. And it happens to me a lot. Which is why I do not think it is entirely accidental. For instance, I do a podcast bit about how being born a poor white guy in America does not confer any great advantage, and three weeks later presidential candidate Obama is saying that being born a poor white guy in America is like arriving here as an immigrant. Someone out there is listening. And repackaging my stuff.
Years ago Bill Maher lifted material right out of What Men Know That Women Don’t, but in that instance I had sent him the book, so I know it got across his drawbridge. Yes, I’m delighted they steal my stuff, I just wish they would mention my name and send a few dozen more people to my podcast and web site. But I’m sure they learned years ago, from their media attorneys, never to admit to anyone that they stole your idea, because that admission might mean they legally owe you something. Said Lionel Trilling: “Immature artists imitate. Mature artists steal.” By and large mainstream media types are thieves. That’s how they got there and that’s how they stay there. What could it hurt to say: here’s an idea I got from Joe Blow, or Rich Zubaty.
And then, of course, as you know, I’m demoralized by the job Barack Obama is NOT doing, running our government. We voted for Martin Luther King Junior and got Redd Foxx. He fired McChrystal but didn’t fire the war. The only word for that is…stupid. He got handed an opportunity to pull out and blame it on the generals, but instead he’s doubling down. On track to spend more money on war than any president since World War Two.
The man is too gullible to be president. He BELIEVES in things, that are not worthy of being believed.
His first mistake was believing Tom Dashle – that he was the perfect Washington insider to spearhead healthcare reform. But Senator Daschle had neglected to pay his taxes on a free limousine service that had been provided to him for years, by a billionaire patron, so the Republicans ate him alive, and fucked health care reform right out of the gate.
Second Obama mistake was believing that the health insurance companies really wanted healthcare reform. Is he soft in the head, or what? Then he believed the generals who told him they could wrap up this Afghan war lickety split, if Obama would just give them more troops so they could have a surge, like in Iraq. Problem is, our surge in Iraq had nothing to do with decreasing the violence. The Shiites beat the crap out of the Sunnis and the Sunnis made peace with them. At the same time, we gave up our insane plan to have our oil corporations run the Iraq oil industry by finally resurrecting the Iraqi government Oil Ministry. The surge won’t work in Afghanistan because it didn’t work in Iraq. It’s irrelevant. It’s stupid. It just makes them hate us more.
Next Obama made a total ass out of himself, telling us offshore drilling is safe, because he had believed in the oil industry’s reassuring propaganda, on oil-spill containment. From that he moved right along to believing Wall Street’s opinion that America needs mammoth, too-big-to-fail, banks, in order to compete globally, right…and that capping credit card interest rates would quote “hurt small business”, right…and that fantasy synthetic derivatives, like betting on movie box office receipts — that bleed capital out of the nuts and bolts REAL economy — will NOT be regulated as the Las Vegas style casino gambling they really are, but will get allll dressed up in the thin-lipped arrogance of Wall Street securities…right. And there’s no need to discuss putting a tax on all stock market transactions, like England has, to raise money to put our people back to work rebuilding bridges and roads. The people saved the markets, but we have no right to expect the markets to save the people. Right…So much for banking reform. Over and over again Obama’s employed the same guys who made the mess, to clean up the mess. You do that with plumbers and auto mechanics. Not with bankers and oil companies.
I just read a column in Huffington Post by John Hari, from the London Independent, who said, in 2006 speculators like Goldman Sachs saw the housing market start to collapse, so they pulled their money out of that and started speculating in the worldwide food market, driving up the price of wheat 80% and rice 320%. 200 million people starved, there were food riots in 30 countries and one government was violently overthrown. But bizarrely, more food had been produced that year than the year before, but the year before the real market had set the prices of food, and in 2006 the market speculators had set the prices. The greedheads and banksters took their hundreds of billions in profit out of the housing mess, and had nowhere to stick ‘em, so they stuck ‘em in food. And starved and murdered people worldwide. Barbarians in $2000 suits.
And these are the people Obama believes.
Does anyone see a pattern here?
Does Obama still believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy too? This man has no fucking idea how the world works. No idea who he is supposed to be listening TO, and fighting FOR. No fundamental hard-won philosophy of life, or of economics, or of government. Nothing. Just touchy feely platitudes. He has a childlike naive belief in establishment organizations. That’s the pattern. If it’s a giant organization he, believes them. If it’s just us common folk, he FEELS our pain. But if it’s oil company representatives or Wall Street, he BELIEVES them. How the fuck are we gonna get change out of a president. who relies on advice from establishment con men and thieves who starve children to death so they can buy bigger boats?
As former General, and then President, Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “God help this country when someone sits at this desk who doesn’t understand the military as well as I do.”
Eisenhower was talking about generals, but he was ALSO talking about corporations, and he was ALSO talking about Congress. He was talking about how these three groups gang up on the American people to steal their money.
In 1953 president Eisenhower addressed the Academy of Newspaper Editors on the state of the military buildup.
Said Ike, the war hero, who had commanded the D-Day invasion of Normandy: quote. “The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities, it is two electric power plants each serving a town of 60,000 population, it is some 50 miles of concrete highway, it is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. (Here, by the way, is Eisenhower, talking about the government building hospitals instead of building bombers. You know what we call that? Socialized medicine. Government-built hospitals. Socialism. By a Republican no less. And now we’ve elected a BUSINESS Democrat who thinks government hospitals are only for veterans of foreign wars, and not for veterans of the domestic wars of rich against poor.)
Anyway…Continues Eisenhower “We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat.
We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found, on the road the world has been taking.
(But [clipped]) this is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.” unquote
Barack Obama is a bullshit jive-talker from the South Side of Chicago. I grew up around hustlers like him. He has no business in the Oval Office.
I want Bernie Sanders, I want Ralph Nader I want Dennis Kucinich. I want someone with experience and ideas and vision. And the courage to carry them out.
Not somebody who has no conviction about anything, no experience commanding anything, and no living understanding of history, whatsoever. After surviving George W Bush we deserve something better than a guy who gave himself a B plus for doing nothing besides giving speeches his entire first year in office while the country fell apart around us.
OK, here’s something of interest. The real story of how BP, British Petroleum, has fucked up this country, OUR country, over the past sixty years. And it reveals Dwight Eisenhower’s blind spot too.
From the 1920s into the 1940s, Britain’s standard of living was supported by cheap oil from Iran. British cars, trucks, and buses ran on really cheap Iranian oil. Factories throughout Britain were fueled by cheap oil from Iran. The Royal Navy, which projected British power all over the world, powered its ships with cheap Iranian oil. This British Petroleum Company was the most lucrative British enterprise anywhere on the planet, because the Brits only paid the Iranians, 16% of the market price of a barrel of oil, and would not even let the Iranians see their books, to see how much oil they extracted.
In 1951 the new Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadegh tried to negotiate higher royalty payments out of BP, but when the Brits wouldn’t deal, he nationalized the oil fields and promised that, henceforth, oil profits would be used to develop Iran, not enrich Britain.
BP went crying to the British Government, which immediately went crying to President Eisenhower.
Eisenhower, encouraged by his Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, a lifelong defender of transnational corporate power, agreed to send the Central Intelligence Agency in to depose Mossadegh. The operation took less than a month in the summer of 1953. It was the first time the CIA had ever overthrown a democratically elected government. And it wouldn’t be the last.
The newly elevated Shah, an aristocratic despot, savaged the population with a murderous police force, and let BP do whatever it wanted. BP made hundreds of billions of dollars off the deal.
But our preposterous interference in a democratic country showed the world that the USA does not hesitate to overthrow democracies, like Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Chile, on and on. So the Muslim world turned away from democracy, and toward Islamic Fundamentalism, as a governing system. Much less chance of the Americans screwing with that. And as we all know, Islamic Fundamentalism has become a plague on the entire planet.
So thank BP for the Ayatollah Khomeini, who kicked out the Shah, and took our U.S. embassy workers prisoner, creating the Iranian hostage crisis, that brought down the Jimmy Carter presidency, and put Ronald Reagan in the White House, kicking off 30 years of conservative hell in America. All our lives have been impoverished by living in a deregulated corporate nightmare for the past thirty years, where the corporations got richer, by stealing from the workers.
Yes, thank BP, for the greedy scheming that condemned me, and you, to have to live in an insanely right wing nation, from Ronald Reagan, right on through to today, with casino banking on Wall Street and a volcano of oil erupting in the Gulf of Mexico. And all because we helped BP steal hundreds of billion of dollars of oil from Iran by throwing out their democratically elected leader.
And now, laughably, the British government is whining to us about their poor old pensioners who have their money tied up in BP. Here’s what I have to say about that. Fuck them! Fuck the Brits, and fuck their pensioners. Stop being greedy. Stop investing in criminal companies because they give you big dividends, because they are robbing the rest of the planet blind. It’s your own fucking fault you greedy old farts.
Fuck British colonial capitalism. It is now, and always has been, a scourge on the earth. The Brits are the sleaziest, most corrupt businessmen on the planet. There are 50 oil refineries in the USA. BP owns two of them. And yet those two have racked up 97% of all the safety violations, in the entire industry. BP doesn’t give a shit about people. Not even its own workers.
And listen to this. Last year more than 137 billion barrels of oil were traded on the American commodities markets alone. And yet the world consumes barely 30 billion barrels of oil annually! What the fuck is that about? What it’s about is, the big banks and oil companies are screwing us again, by fiddling with the price of oil, like they fiddled with the price of food, so they can make profits betting on whether it will go up or down. Based upon their own insider manipulations of the oil supply.
Leon Hess, founder of Hess Oil, told a Senate Committee twenty years ago, “I’m an old man, but I’d bet my life that if the Commodities Market (today’s Nymex) was not in operation, there would be ample oil and reasonable prices all over the world without this volatility”. Unquote.
What does that mean? Today it means that in a world wide recession, demand for oil is down, and oil should be trading for $25 a barrel, not 75. The reason it’s trading for 75 is that big banks like Goldman Sachs and Bank of America and J.P. Morgan, are filling up oil tankers and hiring them to sit offshore. Restricting the supply. Propping up the price of oil…And then some day, they will buy short futures contracts on oil, then they will empty their tankers, and flood the market, driving down the price of oil, and make huge profits on their shorted futures contracts. Capitalism is insane! It’s putting the cat, inside the canary cage. And calling it FREEDOM. The cat has a right to roam freely. How dare you keep it out of that canary cage? You socialist bastards.
It’s time to end the Religion of Growth! The religion of growth.
Anyone who’s been listening to me for awhile knows I think our fundamental problem is, that we live in a neurotic capitalist society that is predicated upon constant growth, rather than in a sustainable democratic socialist society, that is predicated upon constant renewal. In a capitalist society rich people, who have much more money than they need, must be wooed…enticed to invest their money, so that the wheels of commerce can roll. What bullshit. People who already have too much money, have to be offered opportunities to make yet more of it, for anything to work.
A new survey of the countries with the quote “happiest people” showed the democratic socialist countries of northern Europe leading the list. These are all countries with health care for everybody, food and housing for the unemployed, government, not corporate, financing of elections and no wars.
In an ideal democratic socialist society, like they have on Star Trek Next Generation, money doesn’t matter. Indeed, on that show, money doesn’t even exist. If the people need a community garden, more than they need yet another 7/11 dispensing cigarettes and corn syrup soda, then by god, that’s what that empty lot at the end of your block gets used for. The metric is not how much money it can return to rich people investors; the metric is how much does it improve the quality of life of people who live on that block. Sustainability. Renewal.
I love gardening. I got good at organic gardening thirty years ago when I was growing pot. These days I could pump out some juicy tomatoes and lettuce and squash and green beans, and even some mint and oregano and fresh basil yum yum, if I could only find a place to grow the stuff. But I can’t. Everything is OWNED by some asshole. And there’s no room for me. Our local government pays for airports and boat ramps. In case you own an airplane or a boat. But doesn’t buy empty lots for growing food. This is anti-social behavior. Government captured by business. Neglecting the basic bonds between people, and the way we have functioned for ten thousand years, in order to stimulate the bonehead capitalist economy. Fuck the capitalist economy. My tomatoes taste better than theirs have for the past fifty years, ever since they started designing tomatoes they could pick green and ship on trucks from California to Chicago. So the economy could GROW, and rich people could make money, and the rest of us would all get cardboard food.
Cardboard food is not the inevitable consequence of living in a developed economy. Germany and France both have great food. In Germany, when you ride on the train, you see that people do not have lawns in their front and back yards. They have spectacular gardens, with corn and tomatoes and melons and bobbing bright yellow sunflowers. That’s what I call civilization. Where people really enjoy the hell out of growing their own food.
I saw community gardens in downtown Helena Montana. The State capitol of Montana. State building one block that way. Community garden one block this way. You wanna grow something you sign up and get assigned a little plot, and you take care of it.
I’m not gonna give you my “socialism is good” rant again. But if you like libraries and firemen and roads to drive on, then you already like socialism…so let’s figure it out, and get good at it and have more of it, like Star Trek. Community gardens are a no brainier. All you need is some seeds, and an empty lot where you have permission to plant them.
OK…It’s summer and probably no one is listening, so I’m gonna indulge myself by reading some fan letters, emails from some of the folks who have read my books. The people who DO give me credit for what I do. These people keep my motor runnin’. Like this:
Hello Rich…I recently purchased your book What Men Know That Women Don’t. This book has literally been like a bomb going off in my head. I am grateful to you for having poured your energy and experience into this book. I am only sad that I did not know this earlier in life (I am 36) — yet I am now able to correct much badness that I have unknowingly created. I am blessed to have read your book and to be able to apply the principles in raising my 6-year old boy and 4-year old daughter, and with my wife. I have since turned on several guys to your website and book. Shoot – it’s as if we have all been walking around brainwashed for our entire lives, blind, and now suddenly we see it. Fucking unbelievable. May the Universe bless you. You are doing Great Work.
And in a follow-up email he writes:
I will be getting your other books shortly…I found the book, What Men Know That Women Don’t, on amazon.com. I found out about your work from a website called theabsolute.net that referenced your books and ideas. Please keep up the work — your book has prompted my own investigation into my, “mindscape”, as you call it… I am finally starting to see.
Since reading your book I have started fishing again — something I quit doing when I was 12 years old, and fell into the rat race. And I take my son and daughter with me. And I take days off work to do this….
I can see the effects on my children and wife when I am around, spending time, being a father and husband. We have less money because of it, but they are ok with that. They want my presence and love, rather than me showing up burnt out from working an 18-hour day, and showing up the next day to do it all over again. Your book has re-enforced my own gut instincts, that had been all but chewed up by the various memes of our culture. Somewhere along my descent into the abyss of the modern mindscape, fishing became something that was a, “waste of time”. What a trick! I’m taking my son and his buddy from school, fishing this weekend. Off the pier, nothing fancy or expensive, but spiritually priceless.
please feel free to use my statements…
may the universe bless you bro!
From: Vivek Sharma, Los Angeles, California “unquote”
What can I say mister Vivek Sharma. This brings tears to my eyes. Here’s a dad who read my book and started taking his kids fishing. Because, as he puts it, it’s spiritually priceless. It doesn’t get any better than this for a writer like me.
And then there’s this, from a Nepalese woman living in Australia, who saw my What Men Know That Women Don’t video, on Youtube.
Quote: the world wouldn’t be the same without guys, especially the ones that work in building/slash/construction/slash/engineering, and doing the really tough outdoorsy jobs, that require a lot of strength, and spatial intelligence. Women couldn’t and wouldn’t do the kinds of jobs that you’re capable of, and enjoy doing. We’re built by nature for having babies, nurturing/caretaking and light jobs. You guys deserve far more respect than you’re currently getting! Unquote.
She went on to say that UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, which she had experienced back in Nepal and India, was a blatantly sexist, anti-male organization. Personally I don’t know anything about that, but why am I not surprised? I can tell you this much, this woman is one of the few women in Australia who is not a rabid feminist. I told you in my last podcast that Ozzie and Kiwi feminists recently deleted my wikipedia page. Just made Rich Zubaty disappear – poof — on wikipedia, because I am not quote “notable”. Fuck wikipedia.
But we’re not done with this week’s fan mail yet. Listen to this, from:
Jeff Duke, 25, a janitor in Waterloo Iowa
Hey, Mr. Zubaty, I really enjoy your podcasts. I have been listening for the past year and a half now, while finding your humor and ideas original, as well as entertaining. I loved your autobiography, which I downloaded from your web site, and I also bought What Men Know That Women Don’t. It was a splendidly fine read; insightful, concise and compelling. I think every man should read it. Unquote.
Thank you, mister Jeff Duke, from Waterloo Iowa. I think every man should read it too. And let me take a moment to tell you how much pleasure it gives me to know that blue collar guys, like you, and like me, are listening to this podcast. I can picture the young Mr. Duke, at work, plugging the iPod into his ear, and sweeping the gym floor, late at night after the big game. Listening to Rich Zubaty rant about capitalism and socialism, instead of listening to Rush Limbaugh rant about capitalism and socialism. Before, on AM radio, they could only get Rush. Now they can get guys like me. Guys who know how to work with their hands, as well as work their mouths. I used to have electricians, and automobile assembly plant workers and other tradesmen listening to this show. And I hope some of them still are.
So thank you Jeff Duke. You and Vivek Sharma and the Nepalese woman from OZ, made my week. Think of it this way. I get three dollars per book sold. So, since the Nepalese woman only watched my youtube video, I made six bucks this week. But look at the honest to goodness satisfaction to be had from getting three emails like these, about my work. Do you think three people emailed Stephen Spielberg last week and told him; “Gee Whiz, your dinosaur movies really changed my life?” …I doubt it. There’s real art and there’s corporate art. And as stupid as my efforts are at times, at least they are, for real. They’re not sold out popular crap. They’re not about making money. Long live podcasting.
If you like this show, email me. So I know it. So I muster the good cheer to keep on going.