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Showing posts from 2011

Free the Corporations

An interesting point and one worth consideration, no need for another Civil War, this time we just set them free and stop bailing them out etc. What do you think? Freedom, freedom, freedom....

"Now, if it is assumed that corporations are persons and are thus entitled to 1st Amendment rights (at least in the United States) it would certainly seem to follow that they are entitled to all the rights of persons. Or, at the very least, the other constitutional rights.

Corporations can, of course, be owned. In fact, common stock is bought and sold as a matter of routine business and provides an ownership share in a corporation. Since corporations are people, this means that people are being allowed to legally own other people. Owning another person is, of course, slavery. While slavery was legal at one time in the United States, the 13th amendment is rather clear on this matter..." Read article here.

Are We Already A Three Party Nation?

There are lots of arguments on why we need a third party candidate or even a third party. The reasons given are simply that the two party system is a groundwork for embedded interests and a third party would create more diversification. In other words a challenge to the status quo. Diversity may be a positive in your portfolio, but is it one in politics?

I would argue it is not, and the tea party could be seen as an example of my assumption. The Tea Party grew out of the discontent over change in our 2008 presidential election, but its roots go back much farther. American discontent with their elected representatives has always been a part of the political scene and eventually most presidents lose their glow if events prove cumbersome. Only after they are gone, are they revived in history, and in the minds of the political revisionists.

So who is this third party, are they made up solely of the Tea party or do the roots go deeper? David Deutsch in the 'Beginning of Infinity'…

Every Day Should Be Buy American

Re: 'Shop Local' November 26Th - a good idea but why not extend it a bit. Details here and here.

I've always felt Americans could solve the jobs problem if they had the will and realized you sometimes need to pay more for a product made by someone who has a decent life. Most people would like a decent life. Instead, you hear whining about taxes and regulation and both have been higher and more stringent in the past. So why do we not ask ourselves why?

So what have you done for America? Lots of whining but do you buy made in the USA? Do you drive a made in the America automobile? Do you support small and large businesses who build here? Do you support a fair wage? Scapegoating is heard too often, it is their fault: government, unions, immigrants, take your pick, history is full of examples, but what do you do for America? Do you support legislation that supports the America worker? The only thing I have seen worked since the 2008 election is talk, running your mouth is eas…

The New Deal Today

It often seems the republicans of today are still fighting Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Roosevelt helped make America what it is today, and his achievements are still visible and still important to our national well being, excellent review below.

"The New Deal: A Modern History"

"Michael Hiltzik presents a history of the New Deal. The author examines the origins of Franklin D. Roosevelt's plans to confront the nation's economic depression and the President's relationships with his inner-circle of advisors, which ranged across the social spectrum."

Cspan video provides a brief but important review. Watch video here.

"The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits, these dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and our fellow men." FDR Quote from link below

Book and excerpts.

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Shut Up and Think

"It seems to be a constant throughout history: In every period, people believed things that were just ridiculous, and believed them so strongly that you would have gotten in terrible trouble for saying otherwise. ¶ Is our time any different? To anyone who has read any amount of history, the answer is almost certainly no. It would be a remarkable coincidence if ours were the first era to get everything just right." From link below.


My wife often tells me my ideas are too offsetting, isn't that a wonderful euphemism, actually she is harsher. But I have learned through time, a long time, rule one, in social and corporate life, never tell them what you think. Doesn't that conflict with your person, your sense of self, shouldn't you be free enough to say what you think? Two examples.

We are at a dinner party when the topic of jobs comes up, what to do, what to do. My wife knows my feelings on this topic, but I shut up. Hint, every single person at our table owns a f…

What happened to the republican party?

Brian Williams started the debate this past week with the fact most Americans blame the policies of the last administration for the mess the economy is in now. So what do the candidates do but outline the policies of the last administration in more abstract and fluffy words, adding how well they have done so far and will do if elected. Where have I heard this before?

One of the curious ironies of the night for me was the federal governemnt can't do it but the state governemnt can. Think about that for a second. What was that Civil war thing about? The United States of un-united states.

And Massachusetts required a mandate because folks didn't or couldn't pay. Romney wins the best answer for the federal mandate, but that answer went in a black hole. Weird how honest remarks disappear.

Perry was right about being Galileo, they told him to shut up too, only it was the Church and not his advisers.

Santorum lost in PA for a reason, he is mostly nuts. He's living proof h…

Obama and Jobs

I had no idea Obama created jobs? I thought the corporations and the purchases by American citizens created jobs? I thought making things in America created jobs? Just a while ago while riding my made in America bicycle past my made in America car, I noticed that most of the cars were foreign? Japanese, Korean, and German? So I thought am I in a parallel universe or am I imagining this scene? So I stopped in a large chain store and I looked where everything was made? Again I thought I must have been transported to China? Couldn't be I thought? Nah, this is America and American know many need jobs, so surely they'd buy American made? Surely they would? Surely corporations would build here too? Let's hope that Obama guy has a large large family, I do, don't you?

Buy American = "Because Ford, GM and Chrysler conduct far more of their research, design, engineering, manufacturing and assembly work in the U.S. than foreign automakers do, buying a Ford, GM, or Chrysler…

Revolutions And The People

It is rare today that I read something that sparks a large question mark in my mind, but consider this, no revolution has ever helped the people in need of change. Our own founding included slavery, and while in principle it was egalitarian, our history has shown another side. Did women even exist then. The French revolution soon deteriorated into a mass killing of the very people it was supposed to help. Jesus died before he could create a heaven on earth, while he talked a good game, his heaven had to wait, his followers were quickly busy killing each other. The Russian revolution soon deteriorated into Stalinist paranoid communism. Mao's people's revolution killed millions and hardly changed the lives of the common people. Even material or technological revolutions only create problems of alienation, slave labor conditions, and societal disruptions. The Industrial revolution destroyed farming, created cities full of lives of misery, polluted the environment, and may today f…

Where Are The Honest Politicians Today?

Where are the FDRs and Trumans of the democratic party today? We know the republicans are in the pockets and under the control of corporations and big money but where are the democrats. The quote from President Truman still holds true today? Where is the change?

"Well, I have been studying the Republican Party for over 12 years at close hand in the Capital of the United States. And by this time, I have discovered where the Republicans stand on most of the major issues.

Since they won't tell you themselves, I am going to tell you.

They approve of the American farmer-but they are willing to help him go broke.

They stand four-square for the American home--but not for housing.

They are strong for labor--but they are stronger for restricting labor's rights.

They favor a minimum wage--the smaller the minimum the better.

They indorse educational opportunity for all--but they won't spend money for teachers or for schools.

They think modern medical care and hospitals are fin…

'Bonuses For Billionaires'

If the rich create jobs think how many more jobs there will be if we give them even more money? "Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money." George Carlin

By Nicholas D. Kristof

"Republicans won’t extend unemployment benefits, even in the worst downturn in 70 years, because that makes people lazy about finding jobs. They’re right: We should be creating incentives for Americans to rise up the food chain by sending hefty checks to every new billionaire. This could be paid for with a tax surcharge on regular working folks. It’s the least we can do.

Likewise, the government should take sterner measures against the persistent jobless. Don’t just let their unemployment benefits expire. Take their homes!"

Read article here.

What to do before 2012

What to do, what to do....

"The probability, then, is that the next election will be close. It could also be fateful. Not because it is apt to enable the kind of electoral transformation the country urgently needs. But the Republican Party already has a majority on the Supreme Court, which increasingly attacks the rights of workers and consumers. If it captures the White House and both houses of Congress it will pass Draconian measures and deploy repressive tactics to stifle public dissent. All in the name of freedom. What to do?"

"To me, the first thing to do is to explain in sympathetic ways what kind of pressures the white working class faces today, without caving in to tendencies within a segment of this class to demonize minorities.

The second is to remind people forcefully how many times tax cuts for the rich and market deregulation have generated economic crises, starting with the Great Depression.

The third, and most fundamental, is to challenge head on Repub…

If Republicans take the Presidency and the Senate

"Man robs bank so he can go to jail and get health care."

Listen don't knock him, soon Americans will be committing crime to get an education, eat, and have a roof over their head. In the Great Depression they just didn't have these nice prison facilitates, anyone who thinks America hasn't progressed is dead wrong. Prisons are nice now compared to a republican world, and republicans love them as privatization will mean more cash in their coffers. The elderly are actually banning together into gangs and hoping for one of those nice white collar prisons when Ryan and cohorts screw them on Medicare and Social Security. Good idea, prison, don't you think? While it is rather odd that prisoners do better than working Americans don't knock it as one day you may need it. Prisons may just become the new retirement facilities, we'll need legislation for 55 and older prisons. And when welfare goes, no one will complain about a solid roof over their head and nic…

Reagan Raised Taxes

Reagan Raised Taxes
Reagan Raised Taxes
Reagan Raised Taxes
Reagan Raised Taxes

If Ronald Reagan came back today, he wouldn't know who Ronald Reagan was? The GOP has used Reagan to justify their bad policies for so long it is time republicans of sense realized who Reagan was and what he really did. And kudos to Ronnie for his bipartisan work on Social Security.

"Faced with looming deficits, Reagan raised taxes again in 1983 with a gasoline tax and once more in 1984, this time by $50 billion over three years, mainly through closing tax loopholes for business. Despite the fact that such increases were anathema to conservatives–and probably cost Reagan’s successor, George H.W. Bush, reelection–Reagan raised taxes a grand total of four times just between 1982-84." Read article here.

Thoughts UHC

I am not a moral relativist.

I think the fact the richest nation on earth does not provide healthcare for all its citizens immoral.

I do not accept the argument that in any society class, privilege, and wealth are the only determinants of good healthcare.

I think that access to good healthcare is a good and a foundation for any arguments on individual freedom.

How can any American argue that something that hurts children is just the way it is and the alternate too costly.

How can a America without healthcare claim to be a religious, caring, freedom loving nation.

'Why Cities Keep Growing, Corporations and People Always Die, and Life Gets Faster'

Cities can grow past control and businesses can stagnant and die. The following is a fascinating look at scale and what it means when applied to more than just living things. It is long but interesting.

"The question is, as a scientist, can we take these ideas and do what we did in biology, at least based on networks and other ideas, and put this into a quantitative, mathematizable, predictive theory, so that we can understand the birth and death of companies, how that stimulates the economy?"

A Conversation With Geoffrey West

"The great thing about cities, the thing that is amazing about cities is as they grow, so to speak, their dimensionality increases. That is, the space of opportunity, the space of functions, the space of jobs just continually increases. And the data shows that. If you look at job categories, it continually increases. I'll use the word "dimensionality." It opens up. And in fact, one of the great things about cities is that it supp…

"Everybody pulled his weight, Didn't need no welfare state...Those were the days!"

"One of the ironies of Archie Bunker's worldview is that the 1930s, 40s, and 50s weren't nearly as conservative as he remembered them. The same faulty nostalgia drives the so-called conservatives of today's Republican Party and the Tea Party movement, who imagine those decades as a time when hard-working Americans pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps.

It's true that Americans worked hard during these years. But the bootstraps stuff is nonsense. The 30s through 50s were the time of the New Deal, low-cost loans from the Federal Housing Administration, the GI Bill, huge subsidies for defense contractors during the Cold War and other industries that employed millions of people, massive transfer of funding from cities to the burgeoning suburbs, federal projects like interstate highway construction and the space program, generous investment in public schools, record union membership, high tax rates for corporations and the wealthy, good job benefits, and Social …

Reason is not Rational

Long ago reading Derek Parfit's 'Reasons And Persons' I became fascinated with all the reasons we give for our actions. Parfit was interested in the various ways we rationalize our behavior and our justifications in a secular world. One item that fascinated me was the debate on self interest and actual behavior. I had had a long debate arguing 'self interest' is not the only motivating factor in our decision making. My wife told me just recently that I am never self centered. I liked that thought. Finding this piece adds to the complexity of reasons and persons.

"Reasoning was not designed to pursue the truth. Reasoning was designed by evolution to help us win arguments. That's why they call it The Argumentative Theory of Reasoning. So, as they put it,[b]"The evidence reviewed here shows not only that reasoning falls quite short of reliably delivering rational beliefs and rational decisions. It may even be, in a variety of cases, detrimental to ratio…

The UBL spin begins....

Let's give credit where credit is due, Obama, and this adminstration's focus on capturing OBL, did what Bush Cheney could not, he/they did not ignore the intelligence reports. Had Bush paid attention to the intel prior to 911, we may not even be having this discussion.

But in a curious way thanks are due to Jimmy Carter as well, it was the failed attempt in Iran that lead to the backup helicopters and a successful operation this time. I had to add that comment as I hear so much negativity about Carter.

"WASHINGTON — For years, the agonizing search for Osama bin Laden kept coming up empty. Then last July, Pakistanis working for the Central Intelligence Agency drove up behind a white Suzuki navigating the bustling streets near Peshawar, Pakistan, and wrote down the car’s license plate."

(...)

"Prisoners in American custody told stories of a trusted courier. When the Americans ran the man’s pseudonym past two top-level detainees — the chief planner of the Sept. …

You know you are crazy when....

I thought this so funny it belongs in humor, the odd, paradoxical humor of contemporary political insanity. You couldn't make this stuff up!

'Ku Klux Klan Says It Doesn't Condone Tea Party or Koran Burning'

"There are without doubt Islamic sects that teach extreme views of Islam but, going down to their level of hatred by burning their books is a dangerous and ignorant way to confront their teachings. The flames made by such unholy fires never die out! The Ku Klux Klan, LLC. opposes this most un-American thinking and activity." Read article here.

Make it in America - Buy made here.

America needs to get back to building here, buying made here, if we are to continue be a leading industrial nation. The movement of business overseas for profit will eventually destroy us - Enemies couldn't do it but greed will.

Check this out, interesting and see cspan for video if you want to learn and not just whine about our budget and unemployment.

See video here.

C-SPAN Video Library.

“Manufacturing still accounts for nearly one in 10 U.S. nonfarm jobs as measured by the government, and those jobs tend to pay much better than burger-flipping or barista gigs. . . Between 1997 and 2009, we lost six million U.S. manufacturing jobs, or around a third of the total. How much should we care? Plenty, says Andrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive of Dow Chemical. In Make It in America, he calls for a national strategy to revive manufacturing. We need manufacturing jobs, he says, if we are to keep a growing population busy and start paying off our debts to the rest of the world. So…

Gitmo Reversal

Whenever I hear talk of American exceptionalism (AE) I wonder what does that mean? How different are we from a banana republic when one attack on native soil creates an atmosphere of fear so strong constitutional law goes out the window? How exceptional are we, when military courts hidden on foreign islands, is the best we can do? How exceptional are we when religion freedom means you can't build here because we hate you? This is just another example of how far America has traveled from its core values.

But maybe AE like all things is just a myth used when necessary, forgotten much of the time. "Such tendencies in American Life as isolationism and the extreme nationalism that usually goes with it, hatred of Europe and Europeans, racial, religious, and nativist phobias, resentment of big business, trade-unionism, intellectuals, the eastern seaboard and its culture - all these have been found not only in opposition to reform but also at times oddly combined with it. One of t…

Sad News

One of the truly good ones died. Joe Bageant saw things as they are, check out his site and read some of his insights into America below.

See his writings here.

"As an Anglo European white guy from a very long line of white guys, I want to thank all the brown, black, yellow and red people for a marvelous three-century joy ride. During the past 300 years of the industrial age, as Europeans, and later as Americans, we have managed to consume infinitely more than we ever produced, thanks to colonialism, crooked deals with despotic potentates and good old gunboats and grapeshot. Yes, we have lived, and still live, extravagant lifestyles far above the rest of you. And so, my sincere thanks to all of you folks around the world working in sweatshops, or living on two bucks a day, even though you sit on vast oil deposits. And to those outside my window here in Mexico this morning, the two guys pruning the retired gringoes hedges with what look like pocket knives, I say, keep up the good w…

We need Unions

Having worked a good portion of my early career in a Union, I have seen the good and the bad. The good far outweighs the bad, for without some counter acting power or authority, humans often act poorly. No need for examples, our politics today demonstrates that daily. There are lots of 'bad' people out there, and while they exist on all sides of all fences, giving the bad power magnifies their inept qualities. Scott Walker is one of the inept. America grew strong on Unions, and it is good to see that many still recognize their positives.

"The turmoil in Wisconsin is not only about bargaining rights or the pension payments of public employees. It is about transparency and openness. It is about neighborliness, decency and mutual respect. Joe McCarthy forgot these lessons of good government, and so, I fear, has Mr. Walker. Wisconsin’s citizens have not." Read article here.

And check out articles here.

Dumb and Dumber

The more things change...Winston Churchill said it best, "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." Today with all this talk of recalls and the confusion that is our government, it seems nothing really changes. So long as single issues and low turnout control our elections, tea party ideologues and the unlearned are a given. Alexis de Tocqueville may still be the best commentator on America.

"I have already observed that the American statesmen of the present day are very inferior to those who stood at the head of affairs fifty years ago. This is as much a consequence of the circumstances as of the laws of the country....

...On entering the House of Representatives at Washington, one is struck by the vulgar demeanor of that great assembly. Often there is not a distinguished man in the whole number. Its members are almost all obscure individuals, whose names bring no associations to mind. They are mostly village lawyers, m…

'Pay Teachers More'

My wife teaches, she could have done just about anything in the business world but in the olden times - said facetiously - women taught, were mothers and home makers before returning to teaching. Because I have worked in corporate America, we live well. But if you are a teacher and bread winner, another old term, you'd have a tough go of it in America today. If we want a nation of educated citizens we must value education and pay for it, seems simple.

Full article here.

By Nicholas D. Kristof

"From the debates in Wisconsin and elsewhere about public sector unions, you might get the impression that we’re going bust because teachers are overpaid.

That’s a pernicious fallacy. A basic educational challenge is not that teachers are raking it in, but that they are underpaid. If we want to compete with other countries, and chip away at poverty across America, then we need to pay teachers more so as to attract better people into the profession."

'Why employee pensions aren't bankrupting states'

"A close look at state and local pension plans across the nation, and a comparison of them to those in the private sector, reveals a more complicated story. However, the short answer is that there's simply no evidence that state pensions are the current burden to public finances that their critics claim.

Pension contributions from state and local employers aren't blowing up budgets. They amount to just 2.9 percent of state spending, on average, according to the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College puts the figure a bit higher at 3.8 percent." Read article here.

Another article here.

Republicans Are Good For....

This is part of a category of the more things change, the more they stay the same.

"Mr. Harrington estimates that between forty and fifty million Americans, or about a fourth of the population, are now living in poverty." (circa 1960 from link below)

Well not exactly the same.

"In 2009, 14.3 percent of all persons lived in poverty. In 1993 the poverty rate was 15.1 percent. Between 1993 and 2000, the poverty rate fell each year, reaching 11.3 percent in 2000." *

Republicans are Good for One thing: POVERTY increases under their presidents and congresses. You can start with Coolidge and Hoover and move to Reagan and the Bushs and the only consistent fact is poverty increases. As republicans argue today on what social program to cut, you can rest assured poverty will increase. The imbecilic idea that cutting funding for Child care or Planned Parenting will save lots, while bombs are good for - what are they good for, demonstrates the absurdity and moral bankrup…

'Conservatism Understood'

I have always been fascinated by the modern day American conservative. When I grew up the word had none of the meaning it has today. The reactionary nature of conservative thought and activity is a given, but I am still amazed that an ideology that has no consistent core ideas can have such influence and also hold together so odd an assortment of apostles. It seemed to me for a long time that its only power lay in its oppositional force to change. Without liberalism conservatism would have to stand on its own legs, what would those legs consist of? George W. Bush was a conservative until he became president, then by some conservative magic he ceased to be what he claimed to be. Could it be he was just what he was, and then given power the legs just weren't up to the task? I'm sure he's still a conservative even as his revision goes on in the world of contemporary spin history. Soon he will be canonized.

I was listening to Herman Cain at CPAC, and I have to admit seeing a …

'Willie Sutton Wept'

by Paul Krugman

"There are three things you need to know about the current budget debate. First, it’s essentially fraudulent. Second, most people posing as deficit hawks are faking it. Third, while President Obama hasn’t fully avoided the fraudulence, he’s less bad than his opponents — and he deserves much more credit for fiscal responsibility than he’s getting."

[...]

"The whole budget debate, then, is a sham. House Republicans, in particular, are literally stealing food from the mouths of babes — nutritional aid to pregnant women and very young children is one of the items on their cutting block — so they can pose, falsely, as deficit hawks.

What would a serious approach to our fiscal problems involve? I can summarize it in seven words: health care, health care, health care, revenue." Read article here.

Youth As The Driving Force For Freedom And Democracy?

We often overlook the obvious in trying to understand events. Consider the sixties in America and the rise of youth power that started during the fifties as the boomers were catered to and pampered by Madison avenue. Buying power has great power, it is one of the reasons America today has moved more conservative, those boomers are now older, more secure, and less open to change and adventure. One wonders of the same impact in eighties Russia. New generations forget the issues of the past quickly, and history can become fantasy as some now make it in America.

America today has lost its youthful exuberance and the recent Republican Governor's stand against progress for tunnels and trains characterizes this loss of promise, the loss of the American spirit of 'can do.' Society grow or die from within, hopefully the latest idea that we 'can't do' because it will cost money and taxes dies or America dies.

So whereto the Middle East today. Time will tell and time will…

GOP Anti-Constitution?

I think by now it must be clear republicans are simply hypocrites when it comes to the US Constitution.

'House GOP Rejects Requirement That PATRIOT Act Surveillances Be Conducted in Compliance With Constitution'

by John Nichols

"Less than a month after making a show of reading the U.S. Constitution into the Congressional Record, the leaders of the Republican-controlled U.S. House engineered a vote to extend the surveillance authorities that both the Bush and Obama administrations have used to conduct “roving surveillance” of communications, to collect and examine business records and to target individuals who are not tied to terrorist groups for surveillance." Read article here.

'The Wrong Crisis'

'The FCIC forgets the housing bubble' by Dean Baker

"The problems with the FCIC’s report, released at the end of January, stem from the Commission’s very inception: it was focused on the wrong topic. The FCIC investigated risky investments, lax regulation, excessive leverage. And it downplayed the more mundane, but vastly more important, collapse of the housing bubble.

The FCIC was set up to investigate a sidebar rather than the real story. Given the definition of its mission, the Commission did a reasonably good job. However, its 662-page report is a distraction from the real reasons why 25 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed, or have given up looking for work altogether. The real story doesn’t require 662 pages; it can easily be summed up in a few paragraphs." Read article here.

I have seen the light

I have been converted, years of common sense conservative and republican thought have won me over. I am saved. But I will need help as I transition a mind lost so long in liberalism. So please correct any lingering liberal ideas as I reform myself.

I now believe: Freedom is all you need and government should leave us alone. The Federal deficit started in 2009. Unions and teachers are the fault of our educational woes. Fannie and Freddie all by themselves caused the financial meltdown. The unemployed are not looking for jobs and are lazy to boot. Taxes are bad bad bad. Corporations are the best and really honest people. Global warming is a fraud made up by tree huggers. Our founding principles were perfect, Ms Bachmann showed me the way. Slavery was really kinda nice. Social Security, Medicare, and Healthcare are socialism. Minimum wage is too high and outsourcing is a just great. Joe McCarthy was just one super guy. And Sarah, Glenn, and Michelle Bachmann are super patriots who really…

Culture versus Reality

In the end it is meaningful jobs that matter, having lived a long time I am always amazed at the unreality of reality. We make it up as we go along, we possess filters and compartments in our heads, and we neatly place reality in one so reality becomes comfortable. And then when I watch the news or TV or most anything, I am always mindful of the myths and memes that drive our thoughts. I read the NYT piece noted in the OP below and thought, huh, and what and where and who and how - but thankfully someone took some time and addressed my bemusement.

"Against this background, the ballyhooed “restoration” of culture to poverty discourse can only be one thing: an evasion of the persistent racial and economic inequalities that are a blot on American democracy."

'Culture still doesn’t explain poverty' by Stephen Steinberg

"Notwithstanding the election of Barack Obama, the last 40 years have been a period of racial backlash. The three pillars of anti-racist public pol…

The Conservative Apologist

If one thing is clear from the Arizona shooting, it is the inability of those on the right side of the political spectrum in America to face the reality that their words have power. The barrage of excuses and finger pointing is the consistent reaction of a political ideology that dominates much of the air waves today. One would need to believe that Jared Loughner's anger materialized out of thin air and his selection of victim had nothing to do with the political climate in America. This is just another example of an inability of most on the right to face the real world with eyes open.

Today there is a bustling business in revising history, and there is conservative money to recreate the past in any number of ways. Examine only the conservative and corporate sponsored think tanks, bloggers, or the so called grass root movements that get lots of press but are corporate sponsored. To be clear, it is money that comes from ideologues who have done well under American capitalism, but …

Why didn't this nut shoot a florist?

For all the apologists, can you tell us why this nut didn't shoot a florist?

"The main hypothesis concerning group-think is this: the more amiability and espirt de corps among the members of an in-group of policymakers the greater the danger that independent critical thinking will be replaced by groupthink, which is likely to result in irrational and the dehumanizing actions directed at out-groups." Irving L. Janis 'Sanctions for Evil'

Can anyone name a democrat who claims second amendment political solutions? Or putting politicians in the crosshairs of a gun? Extreme rhetoric sets the climate for the nuts: Clinton elected January 20, 1993 / Oklahoma City April 19, 1995 and Obama elected January 20, 2009 / Arizona shooting January 8, 2011. Is this a pattern, how about the holocaust shooter or the plane into the government building. This is an American killing Americans, it is internal terrorism and it does not materialize out of thin air.

"The rhetoric about…

'Rating Obama after two years'

'TNR asks prominent intellectuals where they stand on the president.' by TNR Staff

This is an interesting bit of information as it sums up the liberal frustration with the Obama administration. While conservatives and republicans claim the administration has gone too far left - this is simply rhetoric - the thinkers out there examine the reality of realpolitik.

Two comments - see all at link below.

"I recognize that, in domestic matters, the opportunity has been lost for reforms on a grander scale than Obama has already achieved. (Still, I applaud the achievements. Hillary Clinton’s health care proposal may have been grander yet, but the existing one is good enough. Not for nothing do I endorse Barack Obama for president.) But now that people no longer mutter in their soup about George W. Bush, hasn’t the time arrived to speak up audibly about human rights? And about mad ideologies and their influence in several parts of the world? An Obama administration might even disco…

'Voodoo Economics Revisited'

by Simon Johnson

"Some people expected Paul Ryan, a rising star within the Republican Party who will become Chairman of the House budget committee in the next Congress, to provide a fiscally responsible anchor to the next round of the deficit debate in the US. Writing in The Financial Times in early November, Ryan suggested, “America is eager for an adult conversation on the threat of debt.” But all indications are that he is just as childishly reckless on fiscal policy as most of his Republican colleagues since Ronald Reagan.

Unfortunately, there is no sign yet that the Democratic leadership is ready for a mature conversation about fiscal consolidation, either. Both parties’ leaders will get there – but only when dragged, kicking and screaming, by the financial markets."

Read article here.

"In 1977, the top 10% of the American population had an income 30 times that of the bottom tenth; the top 1% of the nation owned 33% of the wealth. The richest 5% owned 83% of the pe…