Tuesday, March 6, 2018

America is Not a Democracy, It’s a Republic

All this whining about America losing its democracy is entirely wrong-headed. The income-gap is high on the list, gun-control reads large and job losses connected to free-trade agreements are all major targets.

These are not targets without merit, but the cause is not a loss of democracy although they may well be democratic issues. Confusing Democracy with Republic clouds the issue and makes logical discussion difficult.

All of the above complaints are Republican issues (and by that I don’t mean the Republican Party).

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Return to Tariffs in the United States Makes Sense

Tariffs are essentially a tax on imports or exports between nations. Their goal is to protect manufacturing and that’s more than timely as America no longer manufactures what it did in the times before such free-trade agreements as NAFTA.

As a bit of a primer, consider our background in tariffs:
Alexander Hamilton (America’s first Secretary of the treasury) explained that despite an initial “increase of price” caused by regulations that control foreign competition, once a “domestic manufacture has attained to perfection… it invariably becomes cheaper.” George Washington signed the Tariff Act of 1789, making it the Republic's second ever piece of legislation. Increasing the domestic supply of manufactured goods, particularly war materials, was seen as an issue of national security. Washington and Hamilton believed that political independence was predicated upon economic independence. (Wikipedia)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Weinstein Moment in School Shootings

Every major societal change has its defining moment, that time when dithering is no longer possible and action unstoppable.  

Martin Luther King Jr’s I have a Dream, the self-immolation of Tunisian shopkeeper Mohamed Bouazizi that began the Arab Spring, the #MeToo movement that rose out of the Harvey Weinstein revelations and now, finally, the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida are all such defining moments.

They have in common that their injustices failed to be addressed over the long term, were unsustainable in their specific areas of society and were the result of decades, sometimes centuries, of largely political inaction. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Note to Elon Musk: Put the Electric Car Where it Counts

The automotive industry is surging toward a bright near-future of electric vehicles. But currently the industry-focus is on consumers and, let’s face it, they are mostly middle to upper-middle class suburbanites. The worst auto-related pollution is in the cities. Not only that, but buying a pricey new car is a slow-turnover process and will take decades to actually affect pollution. 

I have some thoughts to share with Tesla in that area and I shared them, but failed to even get a reply. Sorry ‘bout that, Elon. You must have been distracted over at Space X or the Gigafactory. But see if they make sense to you, the reader and, if you’re an average American, a car owner as well.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Men Are Over: It’s Time to Send Them Off to the Kitchen or Out to Rake Leaves

Harvey Weinstein presided over The End of Manhood and the world is a better place for it, at least to read almost anything from the internet or newspapers (if newspapers are still read at all in this Brave New World).

In politics, the arts, business and even the most intimate of relationships, men are falling like leaves in autumn. Now we are relegated to raking up the leftovers of our errors and hauling them out to the curb to be picked up and hauled off.

The financial misdeeds of off-shoring one’s personal or corporate tax responsibilities are old news, yesterday’s stuff. Who cares what Trump did or didn’t do in Davos? All eyes are now on Stormy Daniels and every woebegone member of the British Presidents Club. News cycles may well be faster-than-a-speeding-bullet, but #MeToo has legs. That hashtag is on every man’s mind.

Out with them all. Men are over. It’s time for them to fix lunch for the kids and pick them up at school, if they can be trusted with the keys to the car. They may possibly be allowed to select a wine for dinner.

How may I humiliate thee? Let me count the ways:

Friday, December 8, 2017

Burning Witches Once Again with #meetoo

I’ve been silent on the Weinstein aftermath for a while because I needed to soak in the circumstances over a period of time. Still not sure if I comprehend it all, the one thing I have become sure of is that it is a conflagration well past time for ignition.

This is not current news. This is a revelation of misdeeds and horrors as old as slavery and, as we once came to our senses and outlawed slavery, its stink of racism still lingers in the air today, more than a century and a half after its demise.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Key to Converting Trump Supporters

There is a key, but Democrats haven’t a clue as to how to slip it in the lock. In their present state of denial they have zero chance of gaining ground in either the 2018 mid-terms or the 2020 general election. Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary and Bill Clinton think they got blind-sided and simply a tweak here and a minor adjustment there will bring them the success they were fixated upon.

Ain’t gonna happen.

Republicans and their Democratic co-conspirators haven’t done a thing for the bottom two-thirds of America for two generations, ever since Ronald Reagan (the Great Communicator) wrecked the unions and privatized everything he could get his hands on. It’s been a race to the bottom in America ever since.

We finally ‘trickled down’ to Trump and his election makes perfect sense.