Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Criticism Wins Too Often Over Thoughtful Response

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s radical Green New Deal aims, among other things, to eliminate air travel. She envisions that by replacing air travel with high-speed rail. A number of Democratic presidential candidates endorsed her position.

Critics and media instantly danced-the-dance of criticism by headlines such as “2020 Democrats jump to endorse Green New Deal despite spending hundreds of thousands on air travel - including private jets.”

And the race was on to discredit.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

How Should a Society Respond to a Looming Crisis of Uncertain Timing but Catastrophic Proportions?

How can it begin to right itself when its entire banking/investment infrastructure and culture developed in a way that leaves it profoundly vulnerable to economic disaster?

How indeed? Mark Twain is said to have commented, "history seldom repeats, but it tends to rhyme."

Well, this is a very old rhyme indeed, its more recent history carrying us through the Great Depression, Savings and Loan Collapse, the Dotcom Bubble and finally, the 2008 Lesser (but not by much) Depression. Now today a worldwide shadow shrouds corporate bank loans about to go to hell.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Lack of Consensus is Not the Problem With Politics

Articles abound blaming the lack of consensus for today’s malfunctioning politics and they are right, but only to a point. We yearn for the good old days of cross-party consensus on such issues of common interest as...

  • Income inequality
  • Job loss
  • Infrastructure meltdown
  • Social isolation
  • Outright fraud and corruption
  • Immigration

…and others too numerous to mention. We piss and moan, wring our hands and point fingers at one another, all too often fracturing long-term relationships and staying away from family get togethers. It’s a national disease as most of us retreat to those who ‘think like we do’ on Facebook and Twitter. If consensus is dead, we, killed it quietly at home watching Fox News or MSNBC.


Saturday, December 1, 2018

Falsehood Flies, and Truth Comes Limping After It

Jonathon Swift wrote that in 1720, so it’s easy to see that today’s worries have a long and honored past in the minds of intellectuals. Swift, you may (or may not) remember wrote Gulliver's Travels and is regarded by Encyclopedia Britannica as the foremost prose satirist in the English language. But that particular quote is far from satire.

My take on it is that, while truth may limp, it somehow always crosses the finish-line, the tortoise that overcomes the hare. In fact that may be the very definition of truth—that it always shows itself in the long run. For the salvation of our species, truth is inevitable.

Well, thank god for that. We now have been introduced to fake news that is demonstrably not fake and a new hybrid on the political marketplace called alternative truth. I was unaware that truth had an alternative. Perhaps Swift might get a chuckle out of that.

Monday, November 5, 2018

The 2018 Mid-Terms, Love, Hate or the Overlap at the Polls?

For the first time in a very long life of political interest, I have absolutely no idea how the mid-term elections tomorrow will turn out. But I do know this:

There is a very large overlap in opinion that prevents this election from being a referendum on either love or hate for the current state of politics in America. A sweep on either side is unlikely. My hope is that the overlap will show itself.

My ballot was an early one, as I live outside the country and it has already been counted. And, of course, that ballot was marked by choices among candidates, because that’s the system under which we are governed. But individual candidates are a long way from telling the true story. The true story, if it reveals itself, is one of overlap.


Friday, November 2, 2018

We Humans Have Become Just Another Failed Experiment

There are lots of failed experiments in the history of our planet, so don’t shed too large a crocodile tear. Evolution is made up of the failed and the successful. Most of the oldest species still remaining on earth are ocean creatures, but the ones we would recognize are whitetail deer (3.5 million years), zebras (4 million years), red pandas (5 million), sandhill cranes (10 million), hedgehogs (15 million) and—drumroll—the Virginia opossum (an almost unbelievable 70 million).

They may not be around much longer, because since 1972 man-made environmental change has knocked off 60% of the animal species on earth.

By comparison, the modern human has been roaming around for about 200,00 years—a mere eyewink in hedgehog history. 

To make the point, the deer, zebras, pandas, cranes, hedgehogs and possums were fine-tuning their survival skills, while we humans kept on workin’ on larger and larger brains. Writer Kurt Vonnegut made the observation that our big brains were killing us and he wasn’t far from right.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Insatiable; a Porn Story, but Not That Kind

I was glancing through the newspaper a few days back, wondering where all the positive stories had gone from our news, when I ran across this:

‘Tech stocks battered after disappointing Amazon and Alphabet results: after the bell, Amazon tanked 8 percent. The fall came after the online retailer and cloud computing heavyweight reported that its quarterly net sales rose to $56.58 billion from $43.74 billion a year earlier. That missed analyst estimates of $57.1 billion’…(Investing.com)

So, the Insatiable investor class punished Amazon by 8% for missing their estimates by 2 ½%. Well, that oughta teach ‘em. “When we make quarterly estimates, no matter that we don’t have a fucking clew about how to actually run such a company, they better listen up,” said Ritchie Rich, flashing his Insatiable investor million-dollar smile and raising a carefully tweaked and surgically enhanced eyebrow.

That’s pornographic.