Rydz777's Journal - Archives
Posted by Rydz777 in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Sep 27th 2007, 03:13 PM
about a favorite Bible verse from Larry King who pulled it on an unsuspecting Paris Hilton. But the clever little minx was too smart for him. "I like them all, Larry."
Full disclosure - mine is: "For now we see through a glass darkly." (1st Corinthians)
Aside from its religious significance, the Bible is a part of western literature, so such a question is essentially a question of depth of education. "What's your favorite quotation from Shakespeare, Senator Clinton?" She replies, "Out, out, damned spot!"
"What's your favorite limerick, Senator Gravel?" Gravel says, "I can't repeat it on TV, but it begins...."
to the U.S. and to Canada. Not just poverty - since time immemorial there was poverty - but now a new kind of poverty brought on when their third-world economy was put in harness with the first-world economies of the US and Canada - i.e. in a word, NAFTA.
And when millions of working-age people leave a country, that country's economy gets only worse. Mexico has always been ruled by an oligarchy (in the 20th century pretending to be "revolutionary")and now the oligarchs have been joined by rapacious narco-lords. And a final blow: the oil seems to be running out.
The New York Times reports today (September 2):
"...the long term outlook is not good, and travelers should brace themselves for a growing number of chronically late planes....
"The reasons include an overtaxed air traffic control system that is probably at least a decade away from being replaced, and a handful of big hub airports that at times are operating above their practical capacity."
My opinion: it would be nice if the next (Democratic) administration would cease the spending of billions wrecking Iraq, and desist from spending other money in unwanted meddling around the world, and attend to a badly neglected domestic agenda. This would include major investments in infrastructure - air traffic control, airports, highways, bridges, and water and sewer systems.
Jeffrey Larson used to be paid $ 17 million a year to manage Harvard University's huge endowment. In 2004 he decided to set up his own Hedge Fund - Sowood Capital - and borrowed $ 2 billion from investors. Harvard put up $ 500 million.
By last Wednesday, Sowood Capital had lost half its money, and Harvard had lost $ 350 million.
Meanwhile, another Hedge Fund - United Capital Markets - had also gone into losses and its manager John Devaney has his 142 foot yacht and his home in Aspen up for sale.
Schadenfreude anyone? Not really, because if this reckless cowboy capitalism that has blown into a bubble finally bursts, we will all get sprayed.
Cramer, the stock market guru on CNBC, in his usual frenetic style calls the present economic situation "Armageddon."
"Billions for building homes in Iraq and thousands are losing their homes here. Fourteen million people took out mortgages in the last 3 years. Seven million took teaser rates and they will lose their homes."
Cramer calls for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to lower interest rates, but the Fed is between the proverbial rock and a hard place. We have been financing our deficits (including the insane war in Iraq) with loans from foreigners (mainly Asia.) Lower interest rates will mean that it will be less attractive for foreigners to lend money to us, and then how will we finance our deficits?
This "great economy" that Bush has constructed is teetering on the edge.
but at the monumental mess he will leave behind. Mess is actually too weak a word. He has wrecked our armed forces, left us isolated in the world, piled up a staggering debt which we owe largely to China, Japan, and other Asian countries, sunk the dollar to new lows, corrupted the government, solved no problems, energy or otherwise, and set new standards of incompetence. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
We are going to get a Democratic President, but the challenge will be greater than that which faced any President since Franklin Roosevelt. My fear is that if the new President doesn't perform miracles, he/she will soon be so unpopular as to be paralyzed. I think the new Presidency will get a very short honeymoon - and the worst problem to be confronted will be this war if it is still going on in March 2009. The best present of Democratic Congress can give the next Democratic President is to stop funding this war NOW.
he sure nailed it with that quote which begins this article: "We're all wired into a survival trip now." That's deep at every level. Sadly, he chose to abandon the trip, but the rest of us who've chosen to stick around need to ponder every day the reality of what survival now means.
the decade now seems a wildly optimitic prediction. Indeed the only way oil will not top triple digits within the next few years will be if there is a huge worldwide depression."
Demand is going up (Chinese and Indians are now acquiring automobiles) and reserves are peaking out (check the situation in Mexico.) As usual, we wait for a crisis to mature before we get serious about looking for solutions. Among the many disasters from having Bush in charge is the fact that we still have no rational energy policy in this country.
can be made between Vietnam and Iraq...." Yes, the "hollowness of the White House" is one, but there is another important comparison. Both were UNDECLARED WARS. The Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the power to declare war. Tomkin Gulf and Iraq Resolutions are not the equivalent of a Constitutional declaration of war. They are in fact subterfuges and usurpations.
The lesson for the future - to avoid further such disasters - is this: No wars without a formal Declaration by the Congress. We have not had such a Declaration since World War II, and this is our Constitutional protection against folly, misadventure, and the misbegotten temptation to be the world's policeman.
more. We are an increasingly fractured country (I hesitate to use the word nation.)A general sense of community seems to be absent - although there are sub-communities. We are told that we are a "credal nation" bound by a common respect for the Constitution and the Declaration. But how many of our 300,000,000 have actually read these documents or internalized them? The "American Dream" is hard to defend as anything more than consumerism - what an earlier generation termed "conspicuous consumption."
Posted by Rydz777 in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue Jun 19th 2007, 08:55 PM
The July/August 2007 issue of "Foreign Affairs" (foreignaffairs.org) has a lengthy article about the effect of globalization on workers' incomes. This is the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations which is essentially pro-globalization but worried. Another quote:
"...inequality is greater now than at any time in the last 70 years...."
A key finding of economists quoted in the article was this: A study of 7 educational categories ranging from high school drop-outs to those with doctorates and professional graduate degrees showed that only the last group had experienced any growth in earnings from 2000 to 2005.
The writers fear a "backlash" against globalization. Personally, I think it is high time for a backlash.
This is from an editorial this week in an opinion journal. And this: "He entered the national stage, after all, by implicitly placing himself apart from those other conservatives who were not, like him, 'compassionate." And finally: "...it can lead to a dangerously distorted view of reality."
These views of Bush did not come from the "liberal media" but from the June 25, 2007 issue of "National Review." When the literate part of his base blows the whistle on him, it means that Bush is truly finished.
DU threads before that the Republicans are on the way to extinction, like their predecessors the Whigs. The United States, and the world, is facing unprecedented problems and solving them cannot be left to a bloated plutocratic system.
I'm impressed by remarks by Zbigniew Brzezinski in his latest book "Second Chance." He says that if the United States is to retain any influence in the world, we must change ourselves. Brzezinski describes our society as being hedonistic and consumerist with growing disparities in income. I would add that it is vulgar and shallow. The world will not look to such a society for leadership, and we desperately need positive changes in our country.
Time Magazine (June 4, 2007) has an article, "What North Carolina's woes teach us about building an economy around temporary workers." Some key highlights:
- North Carolina imports more (legal guest)farm workers than any other state. "The system is collapsing from within," says the director of the N.C. Growers Association.
- Criminal gangs in Mexico prey on the guest worker recruiting program.
- U.S. Consulates in Mexico which must approve applicants are swamped and have outsourced their work.
- Scheduling snafus abound leaving crops rotting.
- The legal guest workers are jealous of illegal workers who can "move like a bird."
- A labor economist at the Univ. of California says that guest worker programs are too stiff to fit into the fluid U.S. economy.
- The whole system is bound in red tape and bureaucracy.
- "The anxieties" of the populist wing of the Democratic Party "are driven in part by the fact that the main area of expansion in the proposed bill would be for guest workers outside agriculture." "...a flood of guest workers would drive down salaries (in the service sector, construction, and factories) as they already have in farming."
"...here's an apostasy being whispered by some economists: get rid of large scale agriculture altogether. England did it and is content to buy the bulk of its food from foreign producers."
We are rapidly getting rid of our factories. So let's get rid of our farms too. Then we can all exchange "services."
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