Yearly Archives: 2013

Another meditation on intent.

Republicans are accused of having declared war on themselves. To which I respond:

It’s easy to declare a war or peace or jobs or whatever. Actually achieving anything is the problem. Or rather, it goes with taking the intention for the act. When one assumes that it is enough to demand “let there be light” and there it is, then the need to follow up words with actions tends to be missed. “In the beginning was the word,” and, as far as some people are concerned, that’s all it takes, the right words. Demands.
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Winding down.

The year is winding down and I’m running out of thoughts. We sorted through some old books that had been stashed in the attic and I discovered my certificate from the NY Chamber of Commerce for my FOURTH PRIZE in their essay contest. That’s a gross disappointment. I’d always thought it was a third prize.
Now that I have a scanner, I can duplicate it and post my dishonor. In eighth grade I did accept at face value that free enterprise had helped to make America great. One suspects the essay contest did not have the desired effect. 🙂

The Threat Agenda

The threat agenda is really tedious, whether it’s terrorists or Republicans were are supposed to fear. But, all the political consultants seem to have hit on threats as a fund-raising strategy, as if voters were really so dumb as to think a few dollars would keep Republicans, or the Tea Party folk, at bay. How are we supposed to differentiate when everybody promises to fight? Never mind that fighting never yet did settle anything.

I can appreciate the effort to keep in touch with voters throughout the year, as well as the risk involved with promising certain achievements. But, random antagonism against our fellow citizens is unproductive. It certainly does not recruit additional voters to a democratic agenda. I’m sorry Howard Dean succumbed to the mantra of the fund raisers. But then, he never was very good at picking subordinates and surrogates and never registered that his prodigious internet fund raising was a fluke, a novelty.

Fleecing the Faithful

New arrivals to the United States are often impressed by the apparent religiosity of the people, as evidenced by the proliferation of churches and sects of almost infinite description. While these establishments of religion are, of course, given special recognition in the first Amendment to the Constitution, it does not necessarily follow that an absence of official supervision by agents of government accounts for the multiplication. After all, the press is similarly relieved of official restriction and there the result seems to be a corporate consolidation, on the verge of creating just a handful of monopolies for the dissemination of current information.
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The Fear Economy

Paul Krugman has a new op-ed with that title in the Times. On one level, one could say that this title is about as esoteric as one can get. That fear, an emotional hormone-generated reaction, is subject to exchange and trade pretty much leaves real goods and services out of the equation entirely. The cannibals are sublime and their currency is fear.
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War on Terror on the Home Front

It’s hard to win a war when the warfighters are busy targeting the home front. Sometimes it seems the Cons are always talking in code. Just so, the real meaning of “we’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here” didn’t become clear until most of the war fighters returned over here and the definition of “them” became obvious. Snowden says his superiors were surprised when he showed them more data was being collected in the U.S. than anywhere else. Well, perhaps they were and perhaps they weren’t. That they didn’t make any record of his communication and that they didn’t want to know more should not be a surprise. Neither should the fact that the Congressional supervisors did nothing to curtail the effort. Indeed, only a few months ago, Feinstein and Chambliss bragged that they’d provided more funding for the spying than the administration had asked for. After all, it was Jane Harman, also out of California, who proposed extending surveillance to root out domestic terrorists, people who threaten the stability of the traditional power structure — i.e. the petty potentates in Congress and the state legislative bodies routinely embedding caprice in the rule of law.