Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hardly surprising

I have posted before that I think psychopathic personalities, or morally insane people, would naturally be drawn to Wall Street. The reason is simple, they are driven by lust for power and clearly that is where power in America lies.

This new study posits that an extraordinary number of psychopaths (1 in 10) do work on Wall Street.

1 in 10!

Turn-of-the-century economists like Keynes seemed to take this for granted when they advocated tying CEO wealth to corporate wealth. The idea was, it seems to me, to leverage the skills of the morally insane for the greater good (or at least the good of capital).

Now, however, things have broken down as CEOs manage to enrich themselves no matter the state of the companies they direct. Until Washingtonians restore accountability to profitability there is a high probability of continued American decline.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

If a cherry tree falls, and nobody saw?

President Obama is treating Super-PAC money the way he treats every other moral dilemma. He says, to paraphrase, "I will not keep my word because of Republican behavior".

Source: Presidential about-face

One of his first promises to American voters was that he would close the Guantanamo gulag. He would do this in his first year, but it turned out that Republicans wouldn't let him and that was that.

I was reminded of how offensive Guantanamo is to the foundational ideas that made America great when reading an article on unpersons in unhistory by Noam Chomsky. Here is an excerpt that personalizes what Guantanamo means to a human being, and what the president's promise-breaking entails:

"the first Guantanamo case to come to trial under President Obama: that of Omar Khadr, a former child soldier accused of the heinous crime of trying to defend his Afghan village when it was attacked by U.S. forces. Captured at age 15, Khadr was imprisoned for eight years in Bagram and Guantanamo, then brought to a military court in October 2010, where he was given the choice of pleading not guilty and staying in Guantanamo forever, or pleading guilty and serving only 8 more years. Khadr chose the latter."

Source: Anniversaries from "Unhistory"

This is like George Washington shrugging when asked about a fabled cherry tree, is it not?

Addendum: Kevin Drum is a writer I respect and he takes a different view of the Super-PAC story. Here is a link to his viewpoint:

Not hypocrisy

Hey may be right up to a limit, and that limit might be drawn by the consequences of your actions on others.

When you take bribes you validate bribery. So the question is, does validating the actions of people like Jack Abramoff harm society more than it will benefit from another four years of president Obama?

Time will tell, but my instincts tell me no.

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin