The Fog

Between election night and Inauguration Day we live in another dimension – a dimension of muffled sound, a dimension of blurred sight, a dimension of confused mind. We’re living in a land of both shadow and substance, of unseen things and ill-expressed ideas. We’ve crossed over into the Twilight Zone.

And if we’re getting our news from the TV … to paraphrase Rod Serling again … It is difficult to sift through Mainstream Media news when every few minutes we’re interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.

Since election night I’ve been stumbling around in a dense fog … a greasy mist that briefly parts so I can glimpse historical markers that show us what’s happening but don’t show us a way out.

Last week 4 service members in Iraq and Afghanistan were killed. 134 Iraqis were removed from this earth as well as the 174 people slaughtered in Mumbai.

Then the fog closes in again. We walk a little farther ahead and see:

From The Seattle Post Intelligencer,

The Next Meltdown: Commercial Property

By Matt Apuzu, The Associated Press

Black Friday’s retail shoppers hunting for holiday bargains won’t be enough to stave off what’s likely to become the next economic crisis. Malls from Michigan to Georgia are entering foreclosure, commercial victims of the same events poisoning the housing market.

Hotels in Tucson, Ariz., and Hilton Head, S.C., also are about to default on their mortgages. The number of late payments and defaults will double, if not triple, by the end of next year, according to analysts from Fitch Ratings Ltd., which evaluates companies’ credit.

We’re probably in the first inning of the commercial mortgage problem,” said Scott Tross, a real estate lawyer with Herrick Feinstein in New Jersey.

Companies have survived plenty of downturns, but economists see this one playing out like never before because many banks no longer hold the loans they made. Over the past decade, banks have increasingly bundled mortgages and sold them to investors. Pension funds, insurance companies and hedge funds bought the seemingly safe securities and are now bracing for losses that could ripple through the financial system.

It’s a toxic drug and nobody knows how bad it’s going to be,” said Paul Miller, an analyst with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey, who was among the first to sound alarm bells in the residential market.

Unlike home mortgages, businesses don’t pay their loans over 30 years. Commercial mortgages are usually written for five, seven or 10 years with big payments due at the end. About $20 billion will be due next year, covering property ranging from office and condo complexes to hotels and malls.

Those retailers typically were paying rent that was expected to cover mortgage payments. When those $20 billion in mortgages come due next year — 2010 and 2011 totals are projected to be even higher — many property owners won’t have the money.

The dead and bad debt keep piling up around us but we can’t see anything clearly because of this damn fog. Our ship of state is not only rudderless but the captain and his crew have gone missing. Of course I’m mixing my metaphors here … because I don’t know for sure if we’re steaming around in circles in the Sargasso Sea or wandering near The Haunted Forest. As soon as we see a sign that says “I’d Turn Back If I Were You” I guess we’ll know for sure. But which way is “Back?”

We’re here … wherever “Here” is because the Bush Regime slapped down their last trump card. Regardless of what they’ve put on the table in the past … they’ve never played the Complete Lack of Leadership Card so well. All the chips are being raked in as the foundations crumble. Talk about timing.

The Bush Regime’s policies have worked perfectly for them. Each one designed to enrich themselves at the expense of a couple of gutted countries. They are only failures if you’re not reaping the benefits of disaster capitalism. And now when we see their policies exposed for what they are … it’s not that The Emperor has no clothes … he’s not even there.

But I can’t write about The Bush Regime anymore. Enumerating their crimes is a futile exercise reminiscent of punding.

Punding? Never heard of punding? Me neither until I ran into a burnt-out clutch of speed freaks years ago. Then I had to look it up.

Punding is human activity characterized by compulsive fascination with and performance of repetitive, mechanical tasks, such as assembling and disassembling, collecting, or sorting household objects. For example, punding may consist of activities such as:


  • collecting pebbles and lining them up as perfectly as possible,
  • disassembling doorknobs and putting them back together again,
  • trying but failing to systematically remove the entire contents of all the drawers and shelves in the home and sort through all their contents.


People engaging in punding find immersion in such activities comforting, even when it serves no purpose, and generally find it very frustrating to be diverted from them.

Dopamine overactivity results in punding. It is commonly associated with side effects of drugs used against Parkinson’s disease and with the use of methamphetamine (in which context it is known as “tweaking”), which increases dopamine release and blocks its uptake.

I am no longer interested in the repetitive, mechanical task of collecting, sorting through, and writing about the crimes of the Bush Regime. The evidence is in. And unless the Impeach Bush Community wants to go the way of the Flat Earth Society it’s time for them to finally drop the Impeachment crusade and start talking about Prosecution.

Elizabeth de la Vega’s United States v. George W. Bush et al. was published in November 2006 and Vince Bugliosi’s The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder came out last May.

Hint Hint: After Inauguration Day George W. Bush is going to have Secret Service protection for the rest of his life instead of the prison guard he deserves … unless we do something about it. The perpetrators may abscond to Dubai or Paraguay before we know it.

But it’s hard to be heard in this fog. Sounds don’t carry. The words are muffled. And most of us are just … waiting. 47 days to go. Along the way Christmas and New Year’s … diversions and distractions while we’re waiting for The New Guy and His Team to Take Over.

So many of us saw in The New Guy what we wanted to see. 47 days from now the fog might clear and we’ll begin to see who he really is.

In the meantime … there are rumblings from the left and screeching from the right as we make our way through the fog. And we’ve always got to remember … monsters and ghosts shamble on in the murk along with us. The Republican Base can still bite.

Even a man who is pure in heart
and says his prayers by night
may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright.

33 days since Halloween … and counting.

The Fog December 3, 2008


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