Archive for the ‘economy’ Category


The Anti-American GOP

15 July, 2010

How’s that for an inflammatory title?  I think I can support it, though.

Democracy is the philosophy which holds the United States of America together.  The rules apply to all.  We all pay taxes1, taxes which we, through our elected representatives, have agreed to pay as an admission fee for a civilized country.  We all obey the same laws, laws which we, through our elected representatives, have agreed to obey to make our lives safer.  Yet one of our major political parties, the Grand Old Party, the Republican Party, is attempting to short circuit this grand experiment in self-government.   

Democracy cannot be enforced at the point of a bayonet2.  It is a social and governmental compact to which we, as citizens and residents, have agreed.  The idea that all men are created equal, that there are certain inalienable rights which apply to all, requires fealty to the idea that we all must follow the same rules, tolerate the same red tape, stand in the same lines.  We expect there to be no special privileges such as the hochadel of the 1600s enjoyed, such as the lords of England enjoyed, such as the party members of the USSR enjoyed.

But democracy also requires three basic conditions — literacy, free time, and wealth.  And, since the Reagan Revolution of the early 1980s, what has been under attack by the new conservatives?  Education and middle class wealth, and the free time that wealth created. Read the rest of this entry ?


Hunger is Not a Positive Motivator for Children

18 July, 2009

Yesterday, I posted an older story about a religious cult in Baltimore in which a 21-month-old boy was starved to death because he would not say ‘amen.’  Starving a child is a notably ineffective way to change a child’s behaviour (and starving him to death even is even less effective).  Sadly, one state representative from Missouri would disagree. Read the rest of this entry ?


A Response From a Clued-In American to a Clueless Brit

16 April, 2009

Yunshui asked (on my post Happy Teabagging Day!) for an explanation of what the hell the right was trying to do with the whole teabagging thing:

Somebody fill me in here – as a Brit who, frankly, can’t be arsed hunting through an infinite pile of porn sites to find the current (political)definition of “teabagging”, I’m at a loss as to what all these teabaggers clogging up the intertubes are actually protesting about. Something to do with taxes? Can somebody please explain to me what “teabagging” is (I know enough slang to realise that it’s a very unfortunate choice of moniker, but I’m not entirely sure what the Republicans mean by it)?

Cheers in advance, clued-up Americans! Read the rest of this entry ?


Governor of Vermont Vetoes Human Rights Bill; Legislature Overrides.

7 April, 2009

Vermont just became the first state in the union to legalize gay marriage via the legislature, rather than the courts.  After the Republican (big surprise) governor vetoed the legislation  (he claimed that, in this economic climate, it would be a ‘distraction’): Read the rest of this entry ?


The Ultimate Dummies Book

2 April, 2009

Obstructionism for Dummies.  Like they need it.

Read the rest of this entry ?


College Football and the Morons at GMAC

6 January, 2009

My father had a couple of sayings which I heard again and again while growing up:  “The key to happiness in life is to find something you enjoy, and then find someone stupid enough to pay you for doing it,” was one.  Another was, “Take responsibility for your life.”  And, of course, “Attention to detail is the key to success in life.” Read the rest of this entry ?


Republican Voting and Death

17 December, 2008

The Republican Party has,  for the past several election cycles, become a regional party based primarily in the intermountain west (Montana, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, parts of Colorado and Arizona) and the evangelical south (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri).  This map shows it pretty clearly:11-09_election-countypurplemap


  Read the rest of this entry ?


Analyzing a Joke

30 November, 2008

 A really good friend of mine sent me this:

A salesman was driving down a deserted stretch of highway when he notices a sign out of the corner of his eye.  It reads:


He thinks this is a figment of his imagination, and drives on without a second thought.

Soon he sees another sign that reads:


Suddenly he begins to realize that these signs are for real, and drives past a third sign that reads:


His curiosity gets the best of him and he pulls into the drive. On the far side of the parking lot is a stone building with a small sign next to the door reading:


He climbs the steps and rings the bell.  The door is answered by a nun in a long black habit who asks, “What may we do for you my son?”

He answers, “I saw your signs along the highway and was interested in possibly doing business …”

“Very well my son. Please follow me.”  He is led through many winding passages and is soon quite disoriented. The nun stops at a closed door and tells the man, “Please knock on this door.”

He does so and another nun in a long habit, holding a tin cup, answers the door.  This nun instructs, “Please place $100 in the cup, then go through the large wooden door at the end of the hallway.”

He puts $100 in the cup, eagerly trots down the hall and slips through the door pulling it shut behind him. The door locks, and he finds himself back in the parking lot facing another sign:

SERVES YOU RIGHT,  YOU SINNER. Read the rest of this entry ?


You Can’t Make This Shit Up X

4 November, 2008

Just in case you needed another reason to vote Democratic this election:  the chief risk officer for Bear Stearn, a guy named Michael Alix,  has landed a job with the Federal Reserve.  He will be in charge of looking out for banks that are taking risky investments.  Sheesh.

From Clusterstock:
“In a move that is sure to put to rest the notion that there are no second acts in American life, former Bear Stearns chief risk officer Michael Alix has landed a job in the office of the Federal Reserve charged with assessing the safety and soundness of domestic banking institutions. We suppose that Alix at least has plenty of experience with unsound banking institutions. He was the chief risk officer of Bear Stearns from 2006 until 2008. So, basically, he was the guy on the mast charged with yelling “iceberg” just before the titanic introduced its bow to a floating hunk of ice. Prior to that he ran credit risk management for Bear from 1996 to 2006, Jon Keehner at Bloomberg points out. That worked out just great.”

Remember:  Obama would be ‘risky.’  And Republicans aren’t?


Vote Reality

3 November, 2008

Neoconservatism is based upon faith.  Faith that, if we deregulate business and finance, they will suddenly behave themselves and act ethically.  Faith that, if we lie to children about sex and prophylaxis, they will not experiment with their bodies.  Faith that we will be welcomed with flowers in Bhagdad.  Faith that tax cuts pay for themselves.  Faith that tax cuts for the rich will help the poor.  Faith that one can shape reality, can create a new reality, through sheer willpower.  Faith that, because we are creating a new reality, the laws do not apply.  Faith that everything that our founding fathers wrote has been misinterpreted by virtually every historian and that we are a Christian nation.

Faith, as I have said before (see here and here) is the ability to believe something despite no evidence or evidence to the contrary. Read the rest of this entry ?