Friday, December 24, 2010
This is my end of the year post, and it is simply a series of not so simple questions for you to consider providing answers to. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.
1.) In the last year, what, if anything, have (you) learned about the culture we live in with respect to its functioning, resiliency, and its likely future?
2.) What are your biggest concerns with respect to the health of the nation vis a vis your own fortunes?
3.) If you could live in another (or other) part(s) of the world, where would it/they be, and why-other than weather related reasons- would you choose to live there?
4.) What sort of interesting developments or changes do you imagine will come about in the U.S. in the next twelve months? What have been the most interesting or meaningful ones to come about in the prior twelve months?
Friday, December 3, 2010
Still, even as I was taking a self imposed and modestly refreshing break, I did happen to notice, among many global developments, that Ireland has unsurprisingly, but disappointingly, been broken by the monetary hooligans of the EU, and, also, that some here in the U.S. are expressing their deep disapproval, not to say outrage, at the methods and behavior of the Transportation Safety Administration whose conduct of late has been markedly unkind to a number of folks seeking to get from point A to point B by air.
Monday, November 15, 2010
TWOB's distorted view of reality resides, in this humble observer's opinion, on Palin's astounding misconception that she is fit- in all the ways one needs, and ought to be fit- for The Presidency. Okay, I imagine she's physically fit, but, then, one of the nation's better Presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was confined to a wheel chair, so I'm not giving her anything but the minimum number of points for her likely ability to hike through some place like Denali National Park for more than half an hour without rest.
In truth- and it is the truth-only the most benighted and/or demented characters believe that Palin should be allowed to hold any office, however modest, since all Mrs. Palin really embodies, at least to those who have some semblance of judgment, is massive ambition married to appalling ignorance, all wrapped up in a toxic, little, Fundamentalist Christian box with a tawdry and fake "you betcha" bow on top. Put another way, in any other context save possibly running her own home in Alaska, she's a grand scale calamity waiting to happen. And that's being kind.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Empirically, after being immersed in the world of blogs of various kinds for some number of years now, my present view is that, at least where political action is concerned, the blogosphere may be doing, at best, only a small amount in assisting the winds of change. Simply, if not necessarily simplistically, put, despite the wide array of excellent blogs covering numerous areas vital to public life, my sense is that the many impassioned, well wrought, and sometimes even brilliant electronic scribbling that can be found on the blogosphere is not demonstrating the capacity to act as much of propulsive force for genuine, organized, political change.
Perhaps I shouldn't expect the blogosphere to have anything like the potential I would like it to have, and, yet, I am still disappointed in what I sense is, for the most part, a collective waste of energy coming from that part of the blogoshpere that seems to desire having a very different set of values in place informing our politics. Then, of course, perhaps my premise is wrong, and some nascent, ready to turn the established order on its head movement- though not the Teaparty- is, as I write, coalescing as a result of a few inspired blogs. Unfortunately, instead, my sense is that much of the energy that might be dedicated to the sort of action I have in mind is instead being spent dissecting, analyzing, and sometimes just plain fulminating against the established political order.
These are all laudable pursuits, even fulminating can, at least to some modest degree, be defended as useful, but, at the same time, I feel that, for good reasons, the forum that blogs provide overwhelmingly tend to dissipate the energies of their collective readership.
In the meantime, the established order, at least where the economy is concerned, seems to be in a well evolved state of epic upheaval, and if that perception is indeed accurate, history tells us that ineluctably the political sphere will soon experience its own brand of foundational tumult.
And while I'm quite prepared to give some unspecified sum of credit to the blogosphere for helping to assist change in the hearts and minds of some number of the populace, it seems to me that whatever effect the blogosphere is having as an agent of change, amounts to, at best, an engine for ad hoc responses to the dismal political status quo.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I wanted to let you know that the Senator did not vote for this legislation, HR 3808, rather it passed by . This means that no one objected to the bill but individual records of each Senator’s position were not kept. Thankyou for writing in.
Derek Khanna (on behalf of Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts)
Thank you for responding. I am aware that The Senate's was a , and for the purpose of clarification, when you wrote, "no one objected to the bill", were you saying that Mr. Brown voiced no objection to what is, in my view, a very objectionable bill? If so, saying Senator Brown did not "vote" for the legislation would seem to be technically true, but, rather something else in reality. Please advise.
From Derek Khanna:
No one objected to the legislation. A large amount of legislation is done on the floor, often without physical quorum, through a unanimous consent vote. This means that unless someone objects it passes. Senator Brown did not object. He did not vote for or against the legislation.
I understand your concern for the legislation, it was vetoed by .
It was "pocket vetoed" by the President, which is a qualitatively different act, and I now have, for all intents and purposes, my answer. I am disappointed that Senator Brown did not voice a strenuous objection to a bill whose intent was an end run around proper legal process.
I made the same query concerning HR 3808 to Senator John Kerry's office and have yet to receive a reply. On that basis, and that alone, so far, the office of Senator Brown has the edge on his Democrat colleague. Finally, a vote where no one can be said to have either voted for or against a piece of legislation that ultimately passes is evidence of a deeply, not to say fatally flawed, system. I know what I won't be doing next Tuesday.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
That, in itself, doesn't surprise me. I would be far more surprised, shocked, really, were the Legislative and Executive branches of government seen to be swinging into action on all fronts, enacting a full court press to thoroughly and judiciously deal with this epic sized sordid affair. But how could they? They are in so deep with all the financial system's perfidy it would be like turning evidence against themselves, which is why I assert that the U.S. Federal government, well, at least two of the three branches, but, probably, “upon review” the judiciary as well, deserves to be impeached, and some substantial portion of its number, a group that includes many high ranking officials, subsequently ought to be vigorously prosecuted for criminal misconduct.
If anyone can tell me by what contortions the Executive and Legislative branches of the Federal government-branches peopled by officials who, in the main, systematically subvert, deny, and/or obstruct justice- possess any legitimacy, please drop me a line.
Monday, October 11, 2010
In the meantime, as we anticipate how this all shakes out, I feel supremely confident in asserting that attempts by the boundlessly vile Obama Administration to cover up and/or forestall the fall out from this festering cancer meets septicemia meets gangrene of a legal, financial, economic, political, and social (have I left anything out?) calamity will only compound our nation's grave predicament.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
"We could not have accomplished what we've accomplished without Rahm's leadership."
Friday, September 24, 2010
The fate of the currency of the realm is something I'm keenly interested in for personal and intellectual reasons. In truth, everyone who uses, however modestly, the dollar as a medium of exchange, and heaven forfend, as a store of wealth, ought to be riveted by matters related to The Greenback's prospects, which, I am sorry to report, are, like all fiat, dismal.
Why should this be so? Putting aside the history of currencies, even reserve ones, whose viability rests ultimately on nothing but the existence of a solvent and subservient citizenry pliable to government taxing schemes, the dollar- which, since the inception of The Federal Reserve in 1913 has already lost 94 percent of its purchasing power- is destined to be devalued at an increasingly faster rate, perhaps to the point where it becomes shunned as a medium of exchange, because the vast majority of the taxable citizenry, contrary to economic reports that might suggest otherwise, are quickly being reduced to penury.
Add that condition to the existing burden to pay for all that needs to be paid for by way of pubic spending, as well as the need to repay borrowed funds- two requirements that are consuming the host like a late stage cancer- and it is as close to a certainty that, within a few years, if not sooner, there will be crisis on these shores of the sort that, in years gone by, would have only seemed fitting in places like late 20th century Argentina and Chile.
Lately, the authorities have been trying to pressure China into devaluing their own currency, the Yuan, the idea being that inducing a drop in Chinese currency would improve the United States' prospects for export. The diplomatic efforts, if that is, indeed, what they were, seem to have failed, and, so, the U.S. powers that be are engaged in skinning the cat via another time honored method, ergo the dollar's precipitous fall of late.
In truth, all currencies around the globe are in a race to the bottom as governments attempt to prop up their export trade with beggar they neighbor policies. This will, of course, simply exacerbate the already fragile condition of the world economy, but when winning elections are at stake, and the tempers of the citizenry are frayed, governments invariably opt for these sorts of measures. Rarely does anyone express concern that inducing weakness in one's currency carry any sort of real long term risk such that the weakness may start to take on the cast of a fatal illness. Even so, that shouldn't stop us, on this occasion, from being on guard for the already sick patient's transfer to the critical ward.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
What is China's famed growth and prosperity built on? For that matter, upon what foundation rests Dubai's once vigorous economy? They were both built on the same platform that the United States' storied nineteenth and early twentieth century economic growth rested upon, namely that of an army of mostly powerless, defacto indentured, and, quite often, just plain, old, slave labor. They say there is honor among thieves. I wouldn't know, but it's my view that there may be more honor, and certainly heaps more dignity, and freedom, at least until one is caught, being a petty thief in China than working for some charnel house like Foxconn.
It's interesting to note the similarities for the average Joe and Josephine Chin under capitalism compared to life under another oppositional ism spawned by Karl Marx. Both socioeconomic orders featured, and this may be a peculiarly Chinese trait, or not, big bosses-you know, the ones with immense authority, power, and, of course, big time perks-who seem to instinctively paint themselves as mere humble servants of the social order, working for the greater good, unconcerned with their own prosperity.
As Foxconn boss man, Terry Gou, put it:
"I am not interested in knowing how much I have. I don't care. I am working not for money at this moment, I am working for society, I am working for my employees."
One would very much like to ask Mr. Gou what salary he receives from his employees?
And lest we find ourselves taken in by the posture of selflessness, here is a more telling quote regarding the sensitivity of the aforesaid, Mr. Gou,
"The first one, (suicide) second one, and third one, I did not see this as a serious problem. We had around 800,000 employees, and here [in Longhua] we are about 2.1 square kilometers. At the moment, I'm feeling guilty. But at that moment, I didn't think I should be taking full responsibility." After the fifth suicide, in March, Gou says, "I decided to do something different."
Right. One wonders what amounts to taking full responsibility? Legally speaking that would seem to indicate, at the very least, some jail time.
On another, related, note, China's meteoric rise to economic prominence must be put down to more than just cheap, cheap, cheap virtual slave labor. It's also the result of a top down wild west mentality that decrees that environmental concerns aren't, well, something business needs to be overly concerned with. And so, concomitant with China's prosperity is pollution throughout the country that would've made a resident of 1930s Pittsburgh blanche, if not choke up and keel over.
Friday, September 10, 2010
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
I know, it doesn't really seem like an especially brain straining collection of words does it? But when one is as away with oneself as Mr. Davison clearly is, remembering such items can prove to be too much. And while I can readily agree with Mr. Davison's general position that we are, in fact, in the middle of difficulty, I will hazard a guess that were he to reveal precisely what he has in mind, I would share very little, if any, common ground with this berserk would be elected official's view on exactly what our problems consist of and how to best address them.
In the meantime, Ohio, you have my sympathies.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
At this point it might be helpful to point out that hyper-inflation, a dreadful condition that has most recently ravaged Zimbabwe, and that most notably occurred in the last century in such varied locales as Weimar Germany, Argentina, and Chile, is, despite the seeming similarity to inflation, a very different animal. Hyper-inflation occurs when a nation's currency is, in effect, shunned, which tends to be the result of a total and relatively sudden loss of confidence in the issuer of said currency. Inflation, by contrast, is generally a healthy development that comes about as a result of a fully functioning economy simply overheating.
There is nothing healthy about hyper-inflation. In fact, it is so nasty that, after wreaking absolute havoc, economically, politically, and socially, it generally burns itself out in a year or so. There is no evidence in modernity of hyper-inflation occurring in a currency that has held global reserve status, and that is the primary reason commentators invoke against the possibility of hyper-inflation occurring in the U.S.
The other reason that many "experts" offer for why it can't happen here, a reason that is, in essence, inextricable from the idea that the U.S. Dollar's reserve currency status will forestall hyper-inflation, resides in a belief in the indomitability of the U.S. monetary authorities. The basic idea is as follows: The Federal Reserve, The Treasury, and the broker dealers that work closely with these two institutions will not collude to monetize to a degree that will ignite hyper-inflation, because it is not in their interest to bail out borrowers at the expense of lenders. Despite sitting on trillions of dollars of non performing, (i.e. worthless) assets that can not be allowed to sit on balance sheets forever in their vastly depressed state, to head down the road of hyper-inflation would destroy The Federal Reserve's most prized asset, its dollar franchise. The goose that laid the golden eggs would be well and truly killed.
These arguments have several flaws, one of which is that the U.S. dollar is already in the process of losing its reserve currency status. It is happening slowly, and in fits and starts, but the wheel is rolling down the hill nonetheless. The rest of the world has been badly burned by the profound corruption in our capital markets and political sphere, and they are taking steps to insure that they will not be the bag holders of tomorrow.
As for the vaunted power of the U.S. monetary authorities, only in the sort of system we don't live in, namely a closed one, can their formidable power be, in theory, unassailable. The Federal Reserve and The Treasury do indeed have massive, if not unimpeachable, strength, but it is my view they have already squandered a great deal of their wherewithal in the service of a plethora of scams and frauds-see gold and silver suppression, and, of course, the much better known, but hardly transparent, exchange of toxic assets for currency. So, in short, the U.S. dollar is a currency whose days as the globe's reserve monetary unit are numbered, and the U.S. monetary authorities have, despite surface appearances, squandered their advantage and compromised their authority through various execrable endeavors.
Having said that, nobody wants a hyper-inflation, which may, in the end, be the main reason why one won't come about. However, my view is that the aforesaid wayward deeds of the U.S. monetary authorities are all that stands between us and the onset of wheelbarrow money. When, for whatever reason, their machinations are finally sundered-they are already exposed, but to date, no one in our thoroughly corrupt political environment seems remotely interested in addressing them-we will likely be hours away from a full blown hyper-inflation as they have an unerring and alarming tendency to emerge with blinding speed.
At this point you may be wondering what the title to today's blog entry has to do with what I've written about so far. Here's a hint: The authorities, monetary and otherwise, are, in my view, very aware that our financial system and economy are in a terminal state, and that the risk of an uncontrolled currency collapse-as opposed to their far more preferred scenario of a contained, slow moving one- is far from inconsiderable. What do you suppose they might have in mind to forestall, or at the very least, divert attention away from, the inevitable day of reckoning?
Saturday, August 28, 2010
In the meantime, Glenn Beck would have us believe that the fact that this rally was held on the forty seventh anniversary of, and on the same ground as, Martin Luther King's historic, "I have a dream" speech, was nothing less than "divine providence." Note to Glenn Beck, you, sir, are positively full of shit, and you and your adherents are little more than thinly veiled race baiters who delight in vile provocation. As for bogus left/ right distinctions of the sort that Mr. Beck and his benighted followers traffic in, they are only for forlorn folks who are so hopelessly out of touch with the actual forces that shape our government and our society that no sensible person should give them any creedence whatsoever.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
As I'm sure you're aware, the NOAA recently asserted that most of the millions and millions of gallons of oil that gushed-for months on end- from a compromised BP well was gone. That's right, gone. I don't know about you, but when I hear the word gone used, I generally take that to mean that the thing referred to as gone is not there...at all. I do not infer that gone means present in any way, i.e. concealed, hidden, masked, etc. etc. And, as I am the skeptical sort who doubts the veracity of official pronouncements regarding any matter that effects the public at large, it comes as no surprise to me that prior claims about The Gulf of Mexico being mostly, if not completely, oil free were just so much stinking, steaming ca ca.
Really, my friends, isn't it way past time to discard the quaint but absurd notion that traditional voting booth maneuvers have an oil covered pelican's chance at successfully overcoming the wickedness that besets us? Isn't the revelation by Wood's Hole personnel that a twenty two mile long plume of oil exists (and is loitering with intent) several thousand feet below the GOM's surface enough for you take proper stock of the situation?
Our President has gone along with this BP BS from start to finish. Appearances at acting tough on BP aside, The Commander-in-Chief, the same one who recently pretended to bob joyfully with his daughter in The Gulf's bathtub warm, oil infused waters, has been the best President the largest, multi-national major oil company could possibly buy. One wonders how much more oil resides several thousand feet below the surface? Probably only the controversial late whistle blower Matt Simmons would be prepared to conjecture, and that should bother the hell out of you.
Why I would even hazard to say that the fact that the only reliable information about the condition of The Gulf is available from the sort of (non vested) entities who weren't allowed anywhere near the BP gusher as it was going on should cause a similar sort of discomfort to the one I imagine occurs after ingesting oil befouled Gulf Shrimp. But that's just me.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Plan of Action
Making the aforesaid changes amounts to a case of we can take these steps ourselves with some modicum of control over the process or we can cede any potential for autonomy that still exists, and expect to be dealt with in an arbitrary (and most likely) harsh manner as exigent circumstances dictate.
End of Part 1