How To Dispose of Toxic Assets

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I woke up this morning and there was an unusual mystery stench emanating from the swamp. I know, I know, a strange aroma coming from a swamp does not seem unusual. I mean don’t us swamp rats live for the je’ne se quoi of putrefying organic matter? Well… yes… but this was worse, much worse.

I wisely hastened to put on one of my son’s gas masks… you can never be too safe… and headed out to investigate. What did I find? To my horror some scalawag had dumped a Bandini Mountain of toxic assets in my swamp!

Who could have been so low as to commit such a foul and dastardly deed and pollute my swamp with toxic assets? I have my suspicions but the mystery may never be solved.

Friends, has this happened to you? If not rest assured, it will. The foisting off of toxic assets shall come full circle back to us all… the victims of all the great Ponzi schemes and greedy skullduggery which started the train wreck in the first place.

None of us really know what a toxic asset is. But we do know this; "toxic" and "asset" are contradictory. Therefore toxic assets are bad right? We don’t want them. The banks don’t want them. The Treasury Dept. doesn’t want them. The Chinese don’t want them. They gotta go.

Unfortunately, toxic assets are like plastic bottles and Styrofoam. They are here to stay until the Mantis People and Roach Republic rule the Earth and discover how tasty they are. I’m not sure we can wait that long. Toxic assets have to be dumped toot sweet and please… not in my swamp!

We could jettison our toxic assets on the TV game show The Price Is Right. After all, TPIR is popular all over the world. Spread the "wealth" I say!

However, maybe there’s a more fiendish and devious method of disposal.

We need to find some really gullible suckers. Well the big Western powers have been specializing in this for at least 150 years. It’s called "colonialism." It’s the rampant exploitation of some third-world country preferably with a different religion and a whole bunch of people with dark skin… and no nasty military! Where could we ever find such a place today? Easy. It’s called Somalia!

For those of you who have been glued to your favorite infotainment channel on the lobotomy box you know that Somalia has… and I shudder at the thought… pirates! Yes! Pirates! Shiver me timbers!

Just the other day a band of pirates from Somalia attempted to snag a cargo-ship flying the Stars and Stripes. That was probably not wise. But, I wonder what they could have possibly thought was on the Maersk Alabama of sufficient value to risk the wrath of Uncle Scam?

Could the Pirates Of Somalia (soon to be a major blockbuster rumored to be staring Crispin Glover, Charo and Earnest Borgnine) have been after a cargo of blankets, sacks of rice and aspirin? Seems like a stretch doesn’t it? How about oil for ransom? No the Alabama wasn’t a tanker. Could it have been something all backwards, crushed third-world countries crave like… weapons? Hm… don’t really know. Maybe they’re just plain stupid.

However, in a recent article Jeremy Scahill brought up some interesting points. It seems the Maersk Alabama: "belonged to a US Department of Defense contractor with u2018top security clearance,’ which does a half-billion dollars in annual business with the Pentagon, primarily the Navy." Oops. That got the Pirates of Somalia in really hot water.

As romantic as it sounds, are the Pirates of Somalia really pirates or is this another media term to manipulate our perception? The whole thing does sound a lot like so many struggling resistance movements against colonial powers throughout history. I recommend Eric Margolis’ excellent new book American Raj for a good succinct recap of all the "highlights." The Pirates of Somali fit the pattern perfectly.

Anyway, according to the East African Seafaring Rogues they are not pirates. They consider themselves to be the Volunteer Coastguard of Somali. Argh… Something’s afoot Matey!

Reported by John Hari of The Independent: "In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since — and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply (illegal offshore fishing — auth.) and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

"Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died."

Blimey! That sounds nasty. But never mind the human catastrophe factor, how can we exploit the situation? I’ll bet you’ve come to the same solution I have. Let’s dump all our toxic assets as well as our toxic wastes on Somalia! We could load them all onto a ship from the bogus "East Lilliputian Trading Company" and sail it merrily into Somalian seas singing Yo-ho, Yo-ho A Pirates Life For Me all the way. Never mind that it sounds a lot like the East Indian Trading Company of old that ransacked India. They’ll never make the connection. And listen up you scurvy dogs! From where I live in the Caribbean, I know my pirates. The Pirates of Somalia will take the bait.

Brilliant huh? Thought you’d like it. Let the Pirates of Somalia "hijack" our toxic assets! When they demand a ransom we can simply decline and claim bankruptcy. At least that part of the scheme will be true.

April 13, 2009

Tom Chartier [send him mail] played lead guitar in legendary Los Angeles punk band The Rotters for 26 years until their final appearance in January of 2004. He has lived in Tokyo and Los Angeles. Currently he resides somewhere in the Caribbean.

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