Monday, December 27, 2010

At Last, Proof of Culture Gone Wrong

--I've just seen some proof of this contention!
Well, strong evidence, at least: an article
advising women about how to avoid makeup faux pas
engendered SIX HUNDRED comments! How important
is THAT subject, I have to ask?? In contrast, many
important articles and blog posts get far fewer
hits or comments.

It's been said by better minds than mine, but bears
repeating: Focus on light matters to the virtual
exclusion of the more important and urgent will
doom us to repeat Ancient Rome's our case,
at this rate, we won't have lasted even the 400+
years of their ascendancy. (Rome herself succeeded only
by bloody conquest and a caste/slave system.)

The internet reveals many clues as to society's
state, sad information, much of it. Do your own
survey, if you haven't already. If you are a caring,
intelligent person, you won't like what you see:

(1) Very few articles urging the overhauling of the
country's infrastructure. Instead of spying on so-called
"allies", why not tend to important issues at HOME?

(2) Where is the popular drive toward the greatest good
for the greatest number? Yes, there are caring people,
just NOT enough of them to make the difference. Ask
anyone working/volunteering in any of the helping
agencies, like food depositories/pantries, after-school
programs, the sick or disabled. They will sing my sad
song for you;

(3) The U.S. no longer possesses good, general knowledge
in science, math and history, all of which heavily contribute
to a top tier society. For decades now our students have fared
laughably compared to other nation's pupils; those countries
are catching up to us (some even surpassing us).

The ultimate proof of culture gone wrong is ignoring
a telling reality: we are in this together. "Community"
is another one of those catchwords so lovingly tossed
around, like "democracy" and "meritocracy". It's high time
we demonstrated we understand what those terms mean,
and act accordingly.

There's still time, just barely.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Understanding the True Significance of Reaganomics

I read a lot of history and economic material, am inclined to
personally pursue "progressive" (whatever true currency any of
these terms can possess) politics/policies/programs. Yet I'm able
to defend Reagan's presidency, at least the first five years,
on at least two important grounds:

(1) Reagan and Gorbachev, due to their personal, FDR-style
openness, put an end to the Cold War. (-Nevermind that we STILL
spy on each other!) Major, more objective, historians say so,
and I recall that memorable Time magazine article describing how
they left their handlers except for two interpreters, later getting
their glasnost underway in the fall of 1987. Some significant
drop in spent monies on the arms race can only be a good thing,
unless you own a munitions factory.

(2) Most of the leftist punditry I've observed only focus
on the negative effects of Supply Side and other policy
deregulating businesses and corporations. But they miss
something extremely significant: Reagan gave the laissez faire
"purists" their chance, and they largely blew it, NOT hiring,
NOT plowing extra profits back into their companies, retrofitting,

Reagan, a former democrat turned republican, seems to sincerely
have believed the U.S. business community would step up
VOLUNTARILY, (a la Herb Hoover); he successfully pushed
through his deregulatory agenda....including tax breaks for
factory owners to improve and expand their business; this was
called the 10-5-3, few took advantage of it. I think Bob Dole
angrily commented about that, and had this special tax incentive

Since 1900, TWO U.S. presidents gave business interests their
untrammeled way during economic contractions,which policy
resoundingly failed for all but the wealthiest, most self-obsessed
opportunists. (If you count Bush II, perhaps THREE.)

It isn't logically or rationally possible to dispute a philosophy
for most people to understand its flaws UNLESS it is actually
TRIED. So, listen up, super conservative republicans:

The true significance of Reaganomics: the greedy had the
opportunity to prove voluntary compliance for the common
good can work....but they didn't take it.

Bring on regulatory reform.
Just not a true nanny state.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Not The Last Word if I can help it

Dear Mr. "G.", you misspelled "precedent".
Also, yes, the Bush tax cuts run out soon. What do
you think is happening in the lame duck session?
These cuts will likely be extended, with a few
modest yet key language changes....perhaps you've
heard the expression, "God is in the details"
(-to say nothing of any potential devils).

Good for Mr. O!--About TIME he took the rigid,
the greedy and the ignorantly posturing of BOTH
parties to the woodshed.

NO, we CAN'T do whatever we see in our mind's
eye. Right now I am quite disgusted with a large
fraction of my fellow humans, but I can't teleport
myself to a more advanced planet, even though my
cerebral cortex boasts intelligence and imagination.

But when rushing to post, what's logic got to do with
it? To paraphrase Tina Turner, Logic, a secondhand
"emotion". My fantasy is to suddenly see far more
logic, sure possession of relevant facts, and supple
handling of English.

NOT happening before I die, I'll wager.

(P.S.: The Last Word is the MSNBC blog referred to here.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Phil Gramm Not So Irrelevant--to the FED

A few months back I characterized former senator Phil
Gramm as irrelevant after he used that term dismissively
about Glass-Steagall, the prescient 1930's two acts reining
in the banks. I hadn't known what he's currently up to, or I
would have castigated him for more recent atrocities
now affecting the entire U.S.

Sen. Gramm's opinions about "irrelevant regulations"
seemed unimportant--after all, he was (thank you, Texas!)
not reelected. But wait--where is he now?? He's a vice-
chairman of ZURICH'S UBS, the huge foreign bank which
has received a multi-billion bailout from THE FEDERAL
RESERVE. The Fed, now banker to the world??

According to VT Independent Senator Bernie Sanders,
quoted in a December 2nd, 2010 Bloomberg article,
that's a damned good question, which he and others
are assiduously pursuing. (--yahoo!)

All I can say is, where is a Phil Gramm look-alike
doll when I need one! (-To stick pins into, that is.)
Talk about "voodoo economics"! This last decade in the
U.S. economy seems like The Wild West, Caribbean Voodoo
Ceremonies, or treks to the Oracle at Delphi for
sage answers, etc., with all the exotic financial
instruments promoted by greedy idiots who'd taken leave
of their senses (lacking any reality-based sense, common,
uncommon, inspired or otherwise).

Meanwhile, certain pronouncements from U.S. think tanks
verge on the obviously fantastic, essentially claiming
the Fed must engage in loans to overseas banks. But
was such a practice in its original (or even current)

Is the United States still a sovereign nation?--With
geographical borders which have economic boundaries
as well?--Or just a gigantic corporation thoughtlessly
run by omnipotent oligarchs rolling roughshod over the
rest of us? (We need Teddy Roosevelt and cousin FDR
back AGAIN.)

Somebody call me when there's a concerted plan based on the
greatest good for the greatest number.

Until then, find me that damn Gramm doll!