Flimsy Sanity: November 2010

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Paula Poundstone says she is bulimic but forgets to throw up. Me too. Have a good one

Monday, November 22, 2010

When the house needs cleaning, get a woman!

When women are the advisors, the lords of creation don't take the advice till they have persuaded themselves that it is just what they intended to do; then they act on it, and if it succeeds, they give the weaker half the credit of it; if it fails, they generously give her the whole. - Alcott, Little Women

The time to put some women in control is NOW when things are going to hell. I nominate Renee Dufault for FDA, Brooksley Born for Treasury Secretary, Geneviette Walker Lightfoot for SEC and Eileen Welsome for head of the IRS. It makes more sense to put the people who exposed problems in control instead of the "go along to get along" crowd. Come on, Obama, the time for party politics is gone.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

David Ignatius Says

The world is run by organized criminals. We still like to pretend that the world is run by governments which have neat little boundaries, and their own currencies and stamps and intelligence services and police forces. Those were the rules of the game during the cold war, but they've changed. Power has slipped from the governments into the hands of private organizations. In New York, private currency traders have more power of the dollar than the Federal Reserve. In Russia, the mafiya has more power than the army. In Mexico, the drug lords have more power than the President. In Japan, the politicians are just a front, the real power is held by the corporations and the yakuza. Real power around the world does not reside with governments any longer but with private industries. Real power is secret power.

When the last depression hit, the male role model was strong, quiet, honest, and decent (the radio show Jack Armstrong, All American Boy according to a cute bio I read called "The Lutefisk Ghetto"). In the last decade, the most popular movie is the Godfather and fraud is considered clever.

When the Mexican peso was crashing, people bought what they knew they would need like food or shingles for their house. I will post a picture of my new water heater when it shows up.

Monday, November 08, 2010

FreeMarket Follies Deux

The Arizona immigrant law was written by the private prison industry. The oil companies wrote the energy policy. The drug companies wrote the Medicare prescription plan. Corrupt money changers who got large by swallowing other sharks wrote the bailout. What is the point of paying to keep legislators in a corral for lobbyists to pet, flatter and ride? A lot of tax money could be saved by eliminating all of the congressmen and everyone assisting them in the ABC (Always be Campaigning) amusement park.

John Leonard said:
Ours is a tantrum culture that measures everyone by his or her ability to produce wealth and morally condemns anyone who fails to prosper.

Is is any surprise that what Kant called "the will to be ethical" has been replaced by preachers sermonizing about the "prosperity gospel" whereby wealth is reward from the Kingdom of God? Or that Lloyd Blankfein says he is "doing God's work?"

Quite comic that the worst of the right-wing bullies chose the effeminate name of T party. Does it stand for tantrum? For the crazies who slipped down the foxhole? Or is it like Ayn Rand's devotees who called themselves the collective and are experts at misdirection, like Blackwater who is now Z? Please do not bring back the people who caused the world to give the peace prize to someone for what he was not.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Free Market Follies

The torch and pitchfork teaparty crowds are not the only thinkers who can come up with simple solutions to complex problems. Given that the USA approves of the bounty and/or contractor methods of employment and given that the goal is to privatize government functions, eliminate taxes, fix health care, balance the budget and end unemployment simultaneously through free market principles, I propose the following small changes to America that transfers costs to the benefactors.

Adopt the Diamond Standard The gold standard was always a problem of distribution, aquisition, and storage. Frankly, everyone's faith in money's value is diminished no matter how many anti-counterfeiting dodads thay add to fancy it up and pretend that it is more than flexible-valued paper. Furthermore, a major problem with a gold standard is that one has to either round up the hoarding John Birchers or blow up a whole mountain to get a bucket of it. Diamonds are much more plentiful, are carbon based like other products we would die/kill for and people are already deluded by the DeBeers that they have value. Also, many diamonds are in Africa and those people could finally quit being third worlders and/or would be easier to kill than Arabs.
Social values expand. Finally divorcees could quit bitching about the years they wasted as diamonds become the next bubble and values skyrocket. Women will all insist that men "put a ring on it" and prostitution returns to its rightful place as a profitable business for the non-squeamish who are the true professionals at faking it.
Create jobs -Genuine Zirconium (my aunt brags that she has a genuine Zirconium) and rhinestone manufacturing to supply hustler's and p[oseur's demand become growth industries as do consulting diamond identification experts.

Tomorrow: Politicians become freelancers.