Saturday, August 10, 2013

An idea for the Tea Party

The GOP is the party of no, as president Obama claimed, and no "No!" has been louder than that of Tea Party evangelists. It is their way or no way, you have religion, or you are a traitor to the cause that must be rooted out. Etcetera and so on.

One of their beliefs is that government should be smaller. Another is that Americans should have more personal freedom. The trouble is, their path to making government smaller is to cut at it stupidly with broad brush-clearing strokes. This is akin to cutting down a forest without regard to where you are standing in relation to where the trees are falling. You  might get a field or you might get hit over the head by a falling tree. These two outcomes are not equally desirable, except maybe from the point of view of the trees.

Here is an idea that both cuts government and increases personal freedom and which would have political allies on the left and the right. Here it is, decriminalize non-violent drug use and make the law retro-actively apply. Then, follow this up with targeted cost-cutting to eliminate everything drug-chasing from government. That would accomplish both goals and it would put a halt to unnecessarily oppressive and expensive laws.

What's wrong with that approach?

"Nothing!", sez I.

Rotten apple

We all know that US companies use every tax-dodge there is, profiting billions while tucking vast sums of money in speck-island banks. Apple is just one such corporate looter:

But, that doesn't stop these same companies from turning loose an army of lawyers and tying up our court rooms at great expense every time the wind tussles their hair:

Taken together how are companies like Apple anything but a drain on the US economy? Shouldn't we say that without taxation there is no representation, and that if you want to shirk all of your responsibilities we will shirk all of our duties?

Friday, August 09, 2013

Moe Shrugged

Here is my synopsis of Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

An 1100-page tedious fantasy novel in which Russian-born Ayn Rand envisions a totalitarian final solution that rids the technocratic elite of the "looters" (loosely defined as everyone else, but particularly the compassionate).

Here is a link to a more thorough crucifixion:

One cannot help but note the similarities between Mitt Romney's use of "takers" and Ayn Rand's use of "looters". When today's GOP embraces this beast-ethic it countenances fools gladly.

Monday, July 29, 2013

All the president's men

If Wall Street wants it, then Obama wants it, plain and simple:

The trouble with the "Obama is a tyrannical, black-skinned, socialist" meme is that it blinds people to the truth. As I heard it put recently, "He is a black Nixon, not liberal in the least."

Look at the aversion to whistle-blowers (truth tellers I like to call 'em).
Look at his slavish devotion to the tycoon class.
Look at the people he surrounds himself with.

This is no liberal, not even close.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Reviving history

"We know now that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob."

Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reflecting on Sandy

As the cleanup for hurricane Sandy begins, I have asked myself a question.

It is easy to see the contribution of government in time of crisis. It is represented by the National Guardsmen, the FEMA representatives, and equipment. It is represented in National Weather Service, in emergency declarations, and shelters.

It is easy to see the contribution of charities in time of crisis. The Red Cross is feeding, clothing, and sheltering people. If necessary they are organizing blood drives.

My question is, "What is the contribution of multi-national corporations?" There must be some, because Wall Street is their homeland if anyplace is, but I don't see much.

I suppose that is relevant, because Mitt Romney talked about privatizing FEMA earlier in the year.

In a privatized rescue operation, would a helicopter lower a credit card swiper first, and a rope only if the fee was met?

I view government as organized cooperation, and think it works best when its' services are commonly needed, or morally necessary. Organizations like the Coast Guard, National Guard, National Weather Service and FEMA prove their worth when you need them most. These are organizations that the US government needs to take care of our own and I think it is unwise to cripple their effectiveness, and it seems especially obvious now, doesn't it?

Would New Jersey's governor Chris Christie, for instance,  have complemented president Obama's effectiveness if FEMA were unresponsive?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Romney gone wild

Here is a link which shows Mitt Romney at a Boca Raton fundraiser:

Romney exposed

The video is surprising on many levels, but I suppose it is always surprising to hear a Parseltongue speak carelessly.

What is most offensive to me is that Mr. Romney was born rich and personally embraces every tax loop-hole he can discover, yet derides the poor and the elderly as government-dependent moochers for taking credit where credit is due.

Mitt seems to forget that the Earned Income Tax credit was a conservative idea that was proposed to offset tax-cuts for the wealthy in the interests of fairness, but it has been successful at lifting people out of poverty. If anything, Mitt should be proud of the idea because it works, and remind the Florida elderly in particular about the unintended benefits of cooperative conservatism. 

Instead, Mitt characterized the largely GOP-voting elderly in a crucial swing state as "takers", as "moochers", and as essentially bought-votes. One expects that if voters were to watch this video and juxtapose it with their own finances, as perhaps military men might, that these same voters would vote against Mitt or else stay at home.

This speech was self-defeating.

More than that, it highlights a view that conservatives have adopted recently that they should be ashamed of. If a neighbor needs help, you offer a hand. It should be a self-evident truth that cooperation is better for all.

It is flattering to believe that if you are successful it is due to your virtues, but self-flattery is not a virtue even in the rich. There is more to success in life than success in finance and this video makes clear that Mitt has a lot to learn about being both human and American.

Shall we live in a society that laughs at Katrina victims, throws the elderly on the streets, slams a door in the face of the talented-but-poor, and idolizes tycoons as virtuous?

If so, then Mitt is your Messiah and Paul is your patron saint.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A warning for the GOP

Moral behavior extends from the principles of Justice and Compassion.

A party that wants to comfort the comfortable during a time of economic stress is no guiding light in the darkness, no pillar of strength.

Is it not weakness and a moral disgrace when the strong bully the unfortunate?

Is this the path to greatness?

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin