Thursday, October 2

Top Down

I know we've got to talk about the economy. It's hitting the fan. Economics is the softest of sciences because no matter how much preparation and study you have for current or years previous markets, there is no reason why such predicating factors have anything to do with the day tomorrow. We may think that common sense applies to economics, but such is not the case. Eliminating risk and spreading trade derivatives? Unlimited leverage and unconfirmed credit? Combating inflation by lowering interest rates? These fools are too cool for school. How else could we go from a free-market deregulation of banks started in the 1980s, and finished by Cheney in 2002 to the nationalization of certain investment, housing, and finance banks in 2008. How else could banks support their business infrastructure with gambling and free-for-all real estate lending unless they knew that the Treasury would step in to make the bad dreams go away. How?

Because America is a nation of competitive believers. We're not noticing that this is the worst type of nationalization. We are trying bailouts that have "worked" in the automotive, airlines, telephone, and utilities industries with the blind faith that we're not as screwed as we think. Deregulation and bailouts can work in the American economy for even vital industries because of the size of the economy and its consumer base. The airlines and trucking industries regulated themselves to some success. The FDA does an adequate job despite feeding us hormones, preservatives, and genetically modified foods. The market creates private institutions to monitor itself. The problem is that banks are not simply an industry. They aren't a sector of the market. If they can make their own rules about self-regulation, when they fail they directly effect the National GDP and all sectors of business. When they went unregulated, we were playing something out of 13Tzameti. Very bad luck even if you win.

The truth is that common sense does apply where we can do something about the economy. This might mean we have to regulate our lifestyles. We don't want to hear that we shouldn't have credit cards unless we're regularly paying them off. We don't want to know that unless we are buying and selling homes, there is no real advantage to owning your house over renting. If you're never going to pay your house off in your lifetime, rent. Don't get the maximum allowable home loan or more than one mortgage. If you are a homeowner and able to make money off your homes, then you are doing it right. Otherwise, find the sweetest spot you can rent and enjoy life. I'm relatively young, but there are some really stylish apartments, houses, and cabins I've found. As there are more difficult items to digest, we'll get to that after we win.

Hang on, now, this is a monster post.

On the upcoming deba(t)cle:

Calling Sarah Palin a champion of women's rights is utter nonsense. It's the same a seeing a Black Republican. It's the same as becoming an Alberto Gonzales. In her mind, she is the megalodon shark who's nature it is to rule the seas of lesser creatures. She might feel righteous, but there will always be a tinge of betrayal when she's among her hockey moms. She certainly seems to affect congeniality, but unless she doesn't understand that women's rights is already defined in politics, she is grossly misrepresenting her position as a champion of anything. Wasilla is a ritchie town north of Anchorage in a state that pretty consistently elects Republicans no matter who they are. Only 51 percent of registered voters elected her, and none of them really care much about national or international affairs.

Palin is exhibiting some of the greatest message discipline I've seen from the Elephants this year, but I can't help but think the reason is that she wouldn't know what to say if we asked her. She's buzzing the codewords that paint Obama as anti-Israel and Big Government. Unfortunately, her "reform" is new breed of conservative that makes government even bigger than their cross-party peers. Her strongest policy seems to be anti-Second Holocaust as long as we're talking Jews. She's inventing definitions of words and policies when she doesn't absorb the weight of the issues. What must she think ethnic cleaning means? Guessing that because she is a woman governor and says she favors equality of sexes, she somehow supports any government measures to build those bridges specifically is as wrong as dong—and she knows it. I was raised Assembly of God. For what good it offers, it also completely subscribes to rote gender roles. The reason she shoots guns and chops wood has more correlation with her daughter being impregnated by a self-proclaimed redneck than her being a champion human. I'm not giving her credit here. McCain's campaign is looking to garner approval by keeping her away from microphones or brokering deals with news outlets not NBC. The McCain campaign was more than willing to point to polls indicating she'd been treated unfairly. You know who doesn't treat Sarah Palin according to approval ratings by the American public? World leaders. It's a sad thing the Democrats have to.

I hope Biden is mean to Palin. I hope he stops and repeats to America what she just said to them. I hope he mangles her phrases piece by piece. I hope he prepares a few questions for her himself, you know, just in case she gets a copy of the test. I hope he doesn't try to attack her weak points---because that's everything. I hope he focuses the attack on a few things Americans can dismiss her for. She waits for the interviewer to answer the question if she can get away with it. She can't even answer the New Republic, American Spectator, the New York Times or the Washington Post--- anything she reads that keeps her afloat the very complicated globe. She had to hire a bloody city manager when she was mayor. She says ridiculous things like 'I am the Governor and I can do whatever I want until the court tells me otherwise." She was not joking a month before her selection when she was asked what the VP does. She believes that John McCain is a maverick with great judgement when he picks someone like her for Vice President. When you pick someone you don't know, you're not a maverick, you're trusting somebody else's judgement.

Plotting those treacherous waters, everyone from the Democrats to the leaders of every other country in the world are not concerned about Sarah Palin's abilities. Everyone including the Republicans are certain they can shoot the gas tank in her mouth if the movie gets too scary. Apparently, Palin doesn't know how alone she is.

Loved the New Yorker cover on her foreign policy experience. Talk about equality. That's bad when you can accurately report with a single cartoon frame.

That should conclude all I'll ever have to say about Sarah Palin.

On Mythologizers:

Americans are ready to have female Governors. Americans are ready to have black Presidents. Americans are getting used to the idea of brown Mayors. Minorites tend to blindly support whomever looks and sounds like them. I have seen it in local politics and it's annoying. I know that the exceptional brown people don't always get what they're worth, and I honestly cannot see the day we have a Mexican American President. I understand why minorites throng the way they do, but so many of the older generation are so rigid in their lore that they practically shoo out any younger people with any talent. Most of the politicians in my town aren't much more charismatic or bouffant than a church deacon. They know their position is precarious, and if too many people notice this fact, their ass is grass. Our change is slow train a coming. So much has already changed in the past 50 years that I understand how the older generation is resistant, but it is up to all of us to work together. Generations insulate too much and society has not legacy and loses its identity. If the capable among the older generation are willing to listen, we are ready to learn. Ideas fuse and divide though a very small, incremental process. I imagine that the changes Obama and my favorite of his younger and older suppporters ask of America might be as impossible as we're told, but they extend far beyond this election, this country, and this lifetime.

Buy a Dylan

Now to the outright evil mythologizers. It might be a good thing to have a nation lead by someone who will not continue the U of C, steroid-mad bulldog censure of anyone they deem an opponent. America can no longer afford dictating its needs and desires to every other nation. OPEC and the European Union ensure us of that. Eventually they'll come knocking. Revenge is a sacred rite. The NeoCons are from a school that teaches free market is the answer to all of society's ill. Dick Cheney has been the President for the past eight years. He has been part of the ideology flowing out from the Heritage foundation, Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol and Irving Kristol Sr., Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton, Robert Kagan, the recently defunct Project for a New American Century (PNAC), the more brand-savvy American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), and coming soon, John McCain.

John stopped standing up for himself in 2003. By 2006, the McCain I would have voted for over Gore or Bradley or Nader or Bush was gone.

Neoconservatives have a strong pro-Israel stance. Unfortunately, they also have a pro-every other Middle Eastern nation stance, so long as they all remain obedient. This is not a conflict of interest in their minds. They support armament and funding missions with countries who hate each! In the same calendar year! They've backed Pinochet and Bin Laden in the past. There is no morality in their business, and government is just business to them. They are imperialists who more than likely would rather the gas prices remain high. They are nation-builders so long as those nations belong to them. They do not like OPEC or Saudi Arabia but meet and deal with them all the time. It's just business. They are more than willing to spread economic global interdependence(read: at peace with wars) with whomever might entangle themselves irrevocably. What began as a paradigmatic assault on Communism now has no worthy opponent left to fight. China has too many able-bodied. Russia is too happy with their oil wealth and as yet, remains too small. Those darn terrorists are too squirrelly and give bad intelligence too often. Iran only spends 4 percents of what the US does on its military. South America? They can only have wet dreams about N. Korea so many times. Good thing that missile slut Pakistan keeps flirting at our helicopters. They may get some sleep yet. They can't wait to send them our #1 export as soon as they start playing with the balls. Of course I'm speaking of top-shelf, wax-sealed, oaky Democracy®.

Single malt.

While they're at it, they are unloading on the only worthy opponents left standing in their way. So-called Americans that don't believe we're number one. They know that these people are really just Communists . They are principled enough to attack Democrats or Republicans so long as those targeted know enough to inform on them, and they've accepted that some casualties go with defeating these people.

I am being a bit unfair.

They are not all-powerful, but they have been gaining prominence and influence ever since Ronald Reagan concentrated their numbers in his administration. They only think they're all-powerful. Schemers like Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and Cheney have no problem playing with the fates of many. They believe we are worse off without them. What was once a dwindling movement now has seeped into all facets of politics and could be responsible for the current deterioration of goverment.

John McCain is not one of them fully. Not yet. Several are employed as campaign advisors, and there are a couple up+comers we might be mentioning a few years from now. Unless he's a really strong maverick, he's gonna have to argue against their researched and concocted research--the same kind of experience with a successful record of fabricating national threats. I'd wager Neoconservaties have grown to a full 20 percent minority of the Republican party, though some may be abandoning ship into these 3rd parties. They are just patient enough to deal with so called paleo-conservatives, Newt Gingrich/Pat Buchanan/Robert Evans/John McCain types. They shouldn't at all be able to call Democrats Big Spenders and Big Government. No administration has spent more than Bush's administration. Though they, like the Borg, are physically adept at assimilating new races. You might becomes a master of the universe, but the trade off is that you become a mealy, lumpy business suit. What is my indirect proof? Leo Strauss. I know it is not logically connected, but here is his contribution to the birth of neoconservative Democracy®.

From Political

Possibly the one that made all the other mythologizers great, Leo Strauss believes that power is held by those who make the magic happen. Rather than supply truth liberally to a citizen, it is much more effective to give him an expansive, heroic belief. A man who will believe in power is more unwavering than a man who intellectually comes to his interpretation of truth. It will be less effective if our power wizards and chieftans try to compete with God, so it will be wise to ally our anointed mythologizers with the Word of God. Strauss believes that it is important to have religious conviction even though he did not practice any faith himself. I think he just wanted to say that politicians should let God take credit for their being here. It has worked in N. Korea, the Middlle East, America---everywhere but Antarctica. Rather than destroy tomes of history, Leo Strauss believed it will be more important to change it whenever it suits us. Believing in it ourselves is not as important as making others believe in it. Even more stunning, it seems implied to me that it is important that the mythologizers NOT believe their stories so as to remain ahead of both their followers and their dissenters.

Now think of people who fit this definition.

From Politics

Leo Strauss

Not believing the shit they're shoveling---can you think of a pundit or politician this doesn't apply to. I am not calling everyone a neoconservative. I hope they are less than 20 percent of the Republican party. My point is that this neo-conservative modus operandi is being adopted in its barbarian forms by almost every person who whiffs their ugly ass into politics. I'm talking to you Glenn, Hannity, Olbermann, Mathews, O'Reilly, Murdoch, Kristol, and Rove. We will see if Maddow keeps up her level of integrity. Kudos to all you regular people talking real policy with your fathers even if all they want to hear about is their grandchildren. My faith in this country is strengthened every time I run into one of you liberals at a pancake house or coffee shop. You actually are most often libertarians or veterans or dads, but you are the kind of liberal that I am. Not willing to be fooled into following in one direction because of what the beat of the drum sounds like. Skeptical because I know people are trying to fool me, not because I have given up hope. Liberal because I've been caught unawares before, and I didn't like the feeling.

All politicians may lie, but the Republicans have the megalomaniac cheaters and thieves in their corps. These smiling, congenial, outright evil men are not fully in control yet, but they want to be. Under the McCain administration, they would have a darn good chance of taking over. Karl Rove and Robert Kagan are already embroiled with his campaign. Even good soldiers grow old and tire of fighting.

On the Hotbed:

Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia are under two different subheadings. First of all, the regular people are all tired of being shot at. They are hoping that Americans will get the hell out fo the country. "Mission Accomplished" was a win-win. President Bush got approval ratings and Al Qaeda got Americans to leave the Holy Land, the first reason cited for bombing the Twin Towers. Even non-combative Arabs were happy about taht one. It is one fo the greatest insults in Islam to have infidels present in the Holy Land. Keep them importing and the people will be happy enough. Leave cordoned off Iraq and the citizens will be tempted to take their oil fields back. Secondly, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia are their oil. The world will run out of oil as we insanely increase our need for it, but it isn't close to running out there. Iraq is greatly under-drilled. Iran is being paid by oil companies like BP and Exxon not to drill their oil. Saudi Arabia is the heart of OPEC, and can pretty much punish any other nation for producing too much oil, including the US of A.

Just a brief aside, South America has a giant, recently discovered oil field in the Pacific. It's owned by Brazil and Venezuela. We should look to them before we drill our lands. Yeah, I know Hugo Chavez hates us. Forget taht he's a brown man that hates you and what's the big deal. He's a nothing, and not because of the color of his skin. Drill Baby Drill! is just safer and more lucrative for oil companies in the United States. I don't know how Gingrich and Palin think that will last. Republicans have no interest in bringing the price of oil down unless it helps them win an election. Our country currently produces 8 millions barrels of oil domestically per day. I'd think that most people who are living beach front are also Republican and wouldn't approve of the smell or the pollution. Some have learned to live with an oil refinery in this town, but nobody is happy about it. Once an oil company ruins the real estate prices or beautful and precious Alaskan wilderness, oil drilling will not be so popular.

As far as foreign policy on trade goes, I will try to cover Russia, South Korea, Mexico, Canada, China, Taiwan, Pakistan, India, Germany, Hong Kong, and Japan on the next post. We've probably both had enough by now.

One last thing.

Know your lobbyists.
It isn't an easily navigable site, but if you really want to dig something up on lobbyists, there is some help. You have to have pretty specific information to snatch any results, so this isn't your starting point. Once you find what you need, you can search through copies of primary documents, trace contract payments, flesh out affiliations. Thanks to the Lobbying Disclosure Act.