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Sunday, May 24th

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I'll bet you a Yuan to a Baklava

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First Quarter US GDP came in at 0.2%, which is down from 2.2% in the Fourth Quarter. This isn't really a huge drop in US economic growth as you might think at first blush. When GDP is calculated, exports are added and imports are subtracted. The strong USD is making imports 'cheaper' and throttling exports to euro using countries that must pay much higher prices for US goods.

 

China of course is right there to sell the exact same things as the US at a more favorable exchange rate, as more countries are simply trading in the yuan instead of converting them to USD first. Not that the US is a big exporter anyway, but Europe does use the US as a 'cheap labor' factory floor. Overall the top US exports are gasoline, fuel oil and petrochemicals. Our chief 'manufactured' export to China remains recycled cardboard.

 

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Running on Empty, Zapped & Unplugged

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Pardon me while I smolder and sputter from somewhere within, in the penthouse of this body, up behind the eyeballs, where my subdued executive function strains and squints, scrambled sidelong a smidge.

It feels like The Really Big Bottle of Liquid Smote has been glunked out and loosed into the reluctant Jacuzzi of my brainpan, bubbled and fluffed up a tad with some stray napalm.  Sorry about the greasy haze.  With any luck, that soot'll come right out of your clothes, as well as these curtains.

The lingering blast-zone of ozone playing tag with bacon in the air ducts will probably vent out eventually.  We all tend to air out eventually.  The trick is to give it time, and be in no rush.  That seems to be the Big Message here so far, if in fact there is one at all hanging about waiting to be discovered, recognized for what it is, then hugged, and given a lemonade and a homecoming parade.

So, today, I am cooling my fizzy, sizzled nerve endings with the oasis of my imagination:  a home-made, inner-mind batch of an old family recipe, the Turquoise, Gelatin Blur and Silky Malaise of On-Purpose, Memory-Shunting Cool-Ice Bars, following a thumping, thunder-tackle of the trumpeting tsunami terror some have come to experience, and then personally call, a brain seizure.

My trip to Abby-Normal Land, or Brain Oz, or Mind-a-Palooza, was on April 9th, when a few stray lung cancer cells had a flash reunion in the Motor Function Jazz Lounge of my Control Room's brain, completely hosing normal function for a few moments of confused, mutinous body wonder while everything else on board was forced to participate in a sort of genetic kabuki theater thought possible only by Kafkaesque writers laboring to improve upon TSA scripts with rich Jungian pride, using thick, rich concepts from Samuel Beckett, The B-52s, Hamurabi, Heckle and Jeckle.

Yes:  It has been a rich and heady time, me spreading my atomic structure in one-mote densities across this end of the solar system, and waiting for it all to spring, sproing, splung, and splap back into recognizable shape once again during assorted re-entry procedures at the hospital, where gravity and I were reunited in the same room, and allowed to playfully slap one another on the backs in a pantomime show of trust, friendship, harmlessness.

All the right signs are there, all the right noises are being made -- my body coos along again at my beck and call.  The meds and staff and insurance guardians and gatekeepers, and my body and I, and a phalanx of auxiliary staff, are all on the same pages and parapets of Gregorian Medieval Prescription Chanting and Calendar Watching.

So far, so good.

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Fate Makes a Health & Welfare House Call

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Fate -- or The Universe, or The Hairy Thunderer, or Kosmic Muffin, or The Flying Spaghetti Monster, or The Formless Mystery, or Your-What-Have-You -- waited ten whole days before it dropped by to give me a little something extra to stew in my cracked, shoulder-high, neck-mounted crockpot with the rattling glass-top lid.

Frankly, I had come to lose track of Its notions of style, Its sensibilities on timing, Its fondness for the unexpected slip of a stiletto between the ribs, Its pleased sneer for the gleeful anticipation of the set-up, followed by the crack of the ambush, the deft yank on the rug, the flailing, slow-motion fall, the broken things scattering on the floor...

And the snickering, the idiotic sniggering of Its visits:  You can just hear the virtual chitterings of tittering, trickster demon vapor once safely idled off course somewhere harmless and stone-bound, and now allowed -- invited! -- to play Trick-And-Treat out in the small front yard, sparsely grassy and fresh-mowed, ringed by an ancient, ramshackle white picket fence more splinters and streaks than substance, and on the other side of this closed front door, where the buzzer just sounded, are snatches of voices on the dangle and swing.

Sometimes, the ability to simply keep up with the presentation, and take it up, real time, as you go, is the whole show -- the whole point, it seems, like a convoluted test, launched and sprung the exact moment your tester has prepped you to lean the other way, to commit your balance in the opposite direction, having aimed you not toward but away.

Which is where, of course, you either laugh until you cry, or else you cry until you can slowly manage to recover a dented chuckle here, from under the phone table, or else snag a fuzz-coated chortle that fell to the floor over there...

Not being able to penetrate all the potential patterns in this dimension of existence can be a royal pain in the ass.  Today pointed out that one again.  It's another looping, repeated lesson that's in very high rotation this week.

Personally, I'd prefer having the ability to slide along the secret slipknot rings of synchronicity -- content to just know the issues and events in play, the reasons for them, how they all connect up, whether they are fair or sensible, lame or sane...

But...

Watch anything long enough and the patterns start to slip and squeak out.

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Brainstorms, Lightning Rounds, Sparks, Shorts, and Mystery Melons

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It's been a week now, and I'm starting to experiment with concepts a bit longer than "Guhh," "Yow!" and "Uhh, I'm sorry -- were we talking just now?"

A while ago, my brain decided to take out a loan on my leftover lung cancer account, slowly piddling itself away in administrative account fees, apparently, as approved by some corporate raider gene I never knew I had lurking in my genetic banking system. Those break-out, cancerous seed cells were used to find, and dam up, a slower-moving chunk of the real estate river and eddies in my head.  Beaver-like, these cells were made into a cozy submarine-houseboat-lodge -- and jammed right against the part of my well-fatted head's control surfaces for my outer body's motor skills uses.

A week ago, this abrupt cancer-barricading in my mind meat caused a spectacular ground-out, a functional snafu and control loss sometimes called a hot brain mess in some circles, and a bounteous brown-out in others -- and just as accurately tagged as a brown-trouser day in still others.

In my case, some very nice, gentle medical people took me in, showed me around, and referred me to rafters of information regarding the far-gentler sounding circle of events:  Brain Seizures.

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It’s Happy-Time Again … And it’s Awesome!

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All the candidates are getting themselves good and greased up eager to be sodomized by their favorite billionaire in the hope there’ll be a hefty campaign contribution left on top of the dresser before the billionaire leaves the motel room.

Too harsh? How ‘bout this …

Hillary Clinton cares as much about “Everyday Americans” as I care about the microbes that live in the P-trap under the kitchen sink in the house across the street.

The moment she masters the art of time-travel she should go back to the years she sat on the board of directors at Wal-Mart. But this time she stands up to the world's largest retailer as they wage war against labor unions … instead of remaining silent. Then she could jump ahead and vote against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq. So until that magical day when Hillary Clinton commands both Space and Time … she gives me the dry heaves like all the other Republican Clown-Car-Candidates.

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Too Many Fronts, Not Enough Back

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Military strategists will tell you almost anything in order to get a new war contract or get a green light to go stomp something.  But they'll also mix in some truth from time to time.  One of these truths is that nobody ever wins a war having too many fronts.

The concept has never been clearer to me.  I am surrounded, and they're closing in on all sides.  The war I'm waging, and very clearly losing, is one of basic interest.

No, not the sort of war involving compound interest, say, where one invades and takes over a country via financial manipulation, without a shot being fired, à la Greece.  I'm not even fighting the type of interest that involves economic assault -- thinly disguised, survival-of-the-smarmiest stuff -- where one entity attempts to eat another entity in the corporate jungle, then pass off the debt from that "meal" as a loss, note it as a reason to loot the workers' pension fund, file bankruptcy, then flee offshore with the all-but-stolen loot, à la vulture capitalists in general, and Hostess as only one instance in particular.

  • Although, I'd probably have to agree with you if you thought it possible that humanity's downfall began with calm acceptance of the idea -- put forth with the sort of straight face normally reserved for poker schools -- that one could auction off someone else's debt.  This unseemly notion of perverted math is the falling pebble that triggered the larger global avalanches of leveraged takeovers, junk bonds, and credit default swaps.
  • We all remember how well that show went, as many of us are still trying to get our family members, and our hopes and dreams, brought up into daylight again, rescued from the sub-basement rubble of collapsed buildings and caved-in plans.
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We still have Liberal content streaming directly to you on the ObamaNet

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If you are streaming this online you are receiving it without paying extra nor are you trying to get around an outright block of it's liberal content. That's because you are using the ObamaNet. A bit of history: the Right Wing crazies made fun of Al Gore for 'inventing the Internet', a claim he never made by the way. Gore did push through the language that made the government funded construction of the  internet entirely available to anyone without prejudice, or as it's commonly known, Net Neutrality, and the right wing corporations hated him for it.

 

Bush appointees to the FCC found a loophole in the law and simply declared that that Net Neutrality ended when it reached your ISP or Internet Service Provider. That could be a phone company or increasingly a monopoly cable company that provides the last mile of wire between you and the World Wide Web (www). So if you want to stream a movie you don't just pay for high-speed internet, you pay extra to the original source because they will be artificially restricted from providing you with content at a usable speed without paying extra, even though you are already paying for high speed access.

 

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