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Mark Ames

Ratigan Show Ames on Skimming1

Exiled editor Mark Ames was back on the Dylan Ratigan Show today ranting about the great American inflation scam, and how companies skim the junk food that goes into your mouth, and skim the toilet paper that wipes the digested Hebrew National hot dogs on their way out.

That’s right, they even rip you off while you’re sitting on the toilet with your pants down, folks! Corporate America, have you no shame, sirs!

Ahem…Here’s the video of today’s rant:

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Posted: February 22nd, 2011

Ames Ratigan Reagan

Mark Ames went on MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show yesterday to remind America about the real Ronald Reagan no one else will talk about on TV. If you’ve been suffering from nausea and stomach gas over the past week during the Ronald Reagan 100th birthday celebrations, overdosing on our Soviet-like “Glorification of Dear Eternal Leader of All Times Ronald Reagan” then take a dose of this Ames antidote and call us in the morning.

Here’s the video: (more…)

Posted: February 9th, 2011

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This article was first published in The eXile on June 10, 2004

“One thing’s for sure. Pessimism never created a job.”

— From Bush’s new anti-Kerry television ad

For my first two months out here, watching the Republican goon-machine retreat into the shadows in shame as their paradigm crumbled around them provided an excellent source of entertainment. But over the past week, the madness has come full circle. The shock of imperial decay has been too much to bear — and so a strange moratorium has been imposed upon all current events in America.

It started at the end of May, with the longest and most gratuitous celebration of D-Day imaginable. The D-Day celebrations on cable news networks ran every single day for over a week, taking up nearly every minute of every news program. Nothing but long, weepy elegies to the Greatest Generation, a lone trumpet wistfully soundtracking to shots of the flag and steely, wrinkled veterans. (more…)

Posted: February 5th, 2011

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This article was first published in Vice.

If President Obama’s SOTU address left you feeling vaguely suicidal but you’re not sure why, a quick comparison to the previous Great Depression president’s SOTU address might clear it up and help you to your logical conclusion. Here is an excerpt from FDR’s 1935 State of the Union speech:

Let us for a moment strip from our simple purpose the confusion that results from a multiplicity of detail and from millions of written and spoken words.

We find our population suffering from old inequalities, little changed by past sporadic remedies. In spite of our efforts and in spite of our talk we have not weeded out the overpriviledged and we have not effectively lifted up the underpriviledged. Both of these manifestations of injustice have retarded happiness. No wise man has any intention of destroying what is known as the “profit motive”, because by the profit motive we mean the right by work to earn a decent livelihood for ourselves and our families. (more…)

Posted: January 28th, 2011

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This article was first published in Alternet.

Now that the shock of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting is starting to wear off and the country is returning to its normal insanity again, we’re back to facing a far worse, far more serious, and far more violent threat than mere rampage shootings:  “Austerity.”

The DC-Wall Street power circuit has already decided for the rest of us that “Austerity” is the Big Word that will define the 2011 political agenda. Austerity is what the oligarch-sponsored Tea Party demanded, what the Republicans are promising to deliver now that they’re in control of drafting the budget, and what the Obama Administration is going to try to enact as part of their neo-Clinton triangulation strategy. They’re backed by the Establishment media, which has been hammering home the same message for months now: Austerity is the answer to our problems—problems that were created by the same Establishment that wants to make us scream in pain again, but that’s beside the point here. The way this “austerity” debate has been framed in all the major media outlets, anyone pushing for austerity cuts and “pain” is automatically labeled “courageous”—which is an odd way of defining courage, since not a single rich politician or pundit pushing for “austerity” will actually suffer that pain, and most will profit from it. But that’s what counts as “courage” in our era. These same media elites used words like “courage” and “bold” to describe how Vietnam War deserters sent other people’s kids to die in Iraq—it was “courageous” because these warmongering draft-dodgers didn’t pander to the protesters in the streets or popular opinion. (Of course by this standard, that would make the world’s worst, most undemocratic tyrants the most courageous leaders in the world.) (more…)

Posted: January 26th, 2011

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This article was first published in Vanity Fair.

It takes a lot to terrorize a Russian. Compared to the truly spectacular acts of terrorism and violence that Russians have suffered over the past two decades, today’s suicide bombing at Moscow’s busiest airport, Domodedovo, is too small-time to have much of an effect besides pissing off an already-pissed-off population.

Back in 2004, two passenger jets that took off from this same airport were blown out of the sky by Chechen “black widows”—Chechen women widowed by the brutal war with Russia, and turned into suicide bombers. Shortly after that double-Lockerbie airplane bombing, opposition leader Eduard Limonov explained to me what he thought was behind the logic: “They understood that Russians wouldn’t be moved if only one plane was blown up, so they blew up two planes simultaneously, just to get our attention,” he said. Limonov used to write about Russian hard-heartedness, the result of their brutal experience with Communism, followed by the nihilistic Yeltsin Era, when the average male’s life expectancy plunged from 68 years to just 56, in a free-market Babylon of corruption, plunder, and violence.

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Posted: January 24th, 2011

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In the summer of 2004, I published an article in the New York Press that answered Thomas Frank’s question “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” The Bush-Kerry campaign was heating up, and it was clear to me that the American left was going to make the same mistake it’s been making for 30 years, and will continue making until it faces some unpleasant truths about the rank, farcical psychology that drives American voting habits. Why don’t they vote in their own economic interests? Why don’t voters vote rationally, the way we were taught in grade school civics classes? In a rational world, with rational voters voting in their rational economic interests, Bush—who dragged America into two lost wars before destroying the entire financial system—would’ve been forced to resign before the first primary and exiled to Saudi Arabia; rationally, rational voters would have elected anyone or anything, John Kerry or a coconut crab, over that fuck-up of fuck-ups, George W. Bush.

The answer came to me just I was just finishing my book Going Postal. Researching and writing that book was a real mind-fuck: spending all those isolated months sloshing through Middle American malice. I realized something obvious when I pulled back from all that research and looked at the Kerry-Bush race: malice and spite are as American as baseball and apple pie. But it’s never admitted into our romantic, naïve, sentimental understanding of who Americans really are, and what their lives are really like. (more…)

Posted: January 22nd, 2011

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Mark Ames talks to the legendary Wall Street critic and radio personality Doug Henwood, host of “Behind the News” broadcast on Berkeley’s KPFA 94.1 FM, and publisher of the “Left Business Observer”. Click the player below to listen to Hendwood’s radio interview with Ames.

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Posted: January 17th, 2011

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A huge number of “going postal” rampage massacres that I’ve studied feature Glocks, including last Saturday’s assassination-rampage in Tucson. What is it about the Austrian-made handgun that makes it such a favorite of rampage killers, not to mention narco-gang-bangers and anyone looking to rack up a newsworthy kill count?

I asked some of my gun-enthusiast friends, and thought I’d share with you the two most interesting responses. Both asked to remain anonymous for obvious reasons—this isn’t a popular time to talk honestly about the pros and cons of Glocks.

The first gun-enthusiast is a former serviceman and war veteran who owns a Glock himself, and has had extensive professional experience with a variety of weapons; the second is an old friend of mine from Texas (meaning he was born with a gun in his crib) who has always had impeccable taste in guns, more of a gun connoisseur than mere enthusiast. (more…)

Posted: January 13th, 2011

Ames Ratigan Show Mark at the Mic Jan 11 2011

Mark Ames was back on MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show yesterday talking about the Tuscon assassination-rampage murder, the degeneration of America’s political class and how growing inequality makes everything and everyone shittier. To quote eXiled hero Charles Portis, “We’re weaker than our fathers, Dupree. We don’t even look like them.”

Here’s the video:

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Posted: January 12th, 2011

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This story was first published in Vanity Fair.

Saturday’s shooting in Tucson, Arizona, has been variously described as an “assassination” and a “shooting rampage”—but which one is it?

This may seem like a semantic quibble, but what occurred in that Safeway supermarket appears to be an entirely new type of American murder: a hybrid of political assassination, of the sort that plagued America in the 1960s and 70s, and a “going postal” rampage massacre, of the kind that first appeared in the mid- to late-1980s, with the rise of Reaganomics inequalities and the deterioration of workplace culture. (more…)

Posted: January 10th, 2011

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Exiled Online editor Mark Ames delivers an address to the nation on MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show. The subject: A quick history lesson on why “austerity” is the worst, most insane idea imaginable to solve America’s economic woes–and how John Q. Galt III is going to force-feed every one of us a lethal dose of Dr. von Hayek’s Austerity Snake Oil, whether we like it or not: (more…)

Posted: January 6th, 2011

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This article was first published in the New York Press on February 8, 2005.

Thank God for the Iraqi insurgency. If it weren’t for the resistance tying us down, we would have already moved against far more serious foes like Iran or North Korea, foes we clearly can’t handle. Given the bang-up job the incompetents running our country have done in Iraq, you can bet that America versus Iran/North Korea would end with something like Bush commanding a rump American state from deep inside a Colorado bunker, cursing the American people for having let him down, as the Jihadi/People’s Army coalition troops encircle Denver…

This conclusion dawned on me while reading The Record of the Paper, a frustratingly rational, careful yet necessary critique of the New York Times‘ criminal coverage of—and collusion in—the march to war in Iraq.

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Posted: December 14th, 2010

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Maybe what’s happening in America today will seem funny to some other culture in some future time—how it happened that in the depths of America’s decline, Liberals, the great opposition to everything mean and ruthless in this culture, couldn’t muster up a get-together for anything better than a mock-in. Led by a clown.

I confess, I couldn’t hack it. I came to the rally–saw those two pastry chefs from the Mythbusters show get all the Liberal Elites to hold a post-modern human wave, an ironic human wave allowing all the self-conscious Liberal Elites to play like Real America, while salvaging their vanity because it was all ironic and post-modern… And to make sure that everyone knew they were not really human-waving but rather meta-human-waving, the Mythbusters duo deconstructed the human wave. And all the Liberal Elites smiled and laughed knowingly, because all 150,000 were in on the biggest inside-joke wankathon in American history. And that was it for me–I was outta there. (more…)

Posted: October 30th, 2010

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Will Wilkinson: Libertard With Sadditude

Ever since Yasha and I first broke the story about the Koch brothers financing the Tea Party Campaign in February of 2009, I’ve been wondering: Have all those billions that the Brothers Koch invested into their libertarian brain-washing project paid off?

The answer: You betcha.

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Posted: October 3rd, 2010

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The full version of this article is published on the New York Observer Online.

So far, the debate over the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero has unfolded along predictable lines, with the man at the center of the project, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, drawing attacks from the right painting him as a terrorist sympathizer with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

But meanwhile, links between the group behind the controversial mosque, the CIA and U.S. military establishment have gone unacknowledged. (more…)

Posted: September 10th, 2010

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This article was first published in The eXile on April 27, 2000.

The nonviolent teach-in at a church in Colombia Heights just begged to be sneered at. You couldn’t help it. Here in the church basement, hundreds of protest-eager students ranging from Phish groupies to Tower Records clerks were being prepped for slaughter by a pair of butch mentors and their lanky male sidekicks, all elders of the great Seattle riots. Since there were several such teach-ins across Washington D.C. for days leading up to the anti-IMF protests, you could assume that thousands were being trained for non-violent action, facing down not only America’s entire security forces apparatus (FBI, Secret Service, U.S. Park Rangers, D.C. Metropolitan Police, and the National Guard to name a few), but also the enmity of the mainstream press, as well as Washington’s vile, physically-repulsive professional class. The poor Vegan hippies were going to get stomped on by the greatest state police apparatus that the world has ever known, and they had no idea. (more…)

Posted: September 5th, 2010

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This classic “prank” first published in the summer of 1999 ranks as one of the eXile’s least-successful pranks (which paradoxically made it x-tra annoying) on our longtime nemesis Michael McFaul–formerly a top Clinton USAID official in Moscow, Carnegie Endowment and Hoover Institute tool, and currently Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director for Russia and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council.

Our fling with McFaul goes way back, and even though he’s an Obama bigshot, he hasn’t forgotten us, as revealed in the Wall Street Journal in 2008:

Michael McFaul, professor of political science and director of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University, and a frequent target of attacks from the Exile, said he was “sorry to see the paper go” though he didn’t always agree with its politics. The Exile frequently assailed Mr. McFaul for his 1970s-style haircut.

Indeed. And now…the prank: (more…)

Posted: August 25th, 2010

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I just found out–belatedly–that one of my childhood heroes, Jack Tatum, died of a heart attack a few days ago. When Tatum played for the Oakland Raiders in the 1970s, he was the most intimidating football player of his time–not in a hammed-up telegenic way, but in a disturbing way that made people, including fans of the sport, nervous. Tatum was serious about his violence, and sadistic, and gratuitous–but not a loudmouth. After knocking countless opponents unconscious year after year, Tatum put his most famous hit on wide receiver Darryl Stingley, snapping two of his neck vertebrae and nearly severing his spinal cord. The hit left Stingley paralyzed for life from the neck down, and sealed the NFL’s squeamish loathing of Tatum and the old Oakland Raiders forever.

Tatum never apologized to Stingley for that hit–and why should he have? Instead, Tatum wrote just two years later, “My best hits always bordered on felonious assaults.” To this day, it’s hard to find a video of the Stingley hit–even in the recent ESPN tribute to Tatum, naming him the #6 Most Fearsome NFL Hitter of All-Time, they’re still too unnerved to even mention the notorious Stingley paralyzing:

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Posted: August 1st, 2010

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This article first appeared in The eXile on June 1, 2007

For months now, our overseas readers have been asking us, “What’s a gopnik?” They have a vague idea of what a gopnik looks like, thanks to our Face Control page: tough Russian dudes with bad skin and blank fuck-if-I-care expressions. They’re the guys who look more comfortable squatting than standing. But more than anything else, they’re the last males on planet earth who can get away with wearing those 20s-style leather gangster caps without looking like drama school fags rehearsing for a musical. (more…)

Posted: July 22nd, 2010