Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So NAFTA Didn’t Work

Of course it didn’t. Why has it taken so long to see that? Globalization happened, that’s why. In summary, NAFTA was supposed to help Mexico develop; keep the Mexican worker in Mexico and raise their standard of living. But, globalization made jobs cheaper in other countries so the moguls of industry moved jobs out of Mexico. And, given the moguls’ anti-labor and greedy, American capitalistic philosophy, NAFTA was never intended to “help” Mexico. It was always intended to “help” the moguls. But, the writers of today’s New York Times article Nafta’s Promise, Unfulfilled dwells only on Mexico’s dilemma of its sweeping poverty.

Try looking at NAFTA from the perspective of those who wrote it, the moguls themselves. It worked fine from their perspective, i.e., making the top two percent super-rich, allowing them to take home millions every year, cutting labor costs at the expense of the American middle-class worker’s standard of living and disempowering labor unions. Of course that plan finally fell through with devastating results; just look around at the state of the economy. Funny thing about killing off the middle-class; when it is gone, there is nothing left to keep the country afloat. It’s one thing to take opportunities and work hard to climb to success, it’s quite another to become rich at the expense of millions of other people. NAFTA didn’t raise Mexico’s standard of living; it lowered America’s.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Police Go-Go-Go-Go-Die Mentality

Yesterday, Saturday, March 21, 2009, three Oakland, CA police officers were killed and another was critically injured. One of the officers was killed and one wounded when they stopped the suspect, Lovell Mixon, in a routine traffic stop. The other two officers were killed when they rushed into a building where the suspect was hold up. While all the facts are not in, I get the impression that the police were in a hurry to confront Mixon. I wonder whether a little more patience on the part of the police might have saved a few lives. What does it matter if a suspect who has barricaded themselves in a building stays there for a few hours or even days if it saves a few lives?

It appears to be the same “go-go-go” mentality that caused the death of Mr. Grant on New Year’s Day at the BART station. Rush in, rush to do something and rush to kill someone. Maybe a class on adrenaline control or anger management would be good. Clearer thinking is what is needed, not a rush to die.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bonus Bullshit

I tuned in Ronn Owens, KGO Talk Radio, this morning to hear him discuss the latest outrage; the latest AIG bonuses. As usual, I heard also the latest bullshit from one extreme to the other. One caller said that taking the bonuses back was bad because these people would leave AIG and then trade derivatives “against” AIG. What? Does that mean that there are no derivative traders trading against AIG now? Of course not. And, if that’s true, so what if these greedy bastard and bastard-ettes trade against AIG? They haven’t been very successful so far, so who is to say that they can do any better in opposition.

Another caller said it’s a “contract,” and we can’t be voiding contracts. Really? We void employment contracts all the time because of bad performance and behavior; police employment contracts are good examples. So, that’s bullshit too. Then another caller “dittoed” the common theme; that AIG won’t be able to get good employees unless it gives bonuses. Are you kidding me? Do you mean to tell me that there is nobody in the entire United States that cannot do their job just as well as they did? Are there not hundreds of traders out of work at this very moment? Wouldn’t they be willing to work for salary alone? Of course they would. So, that’s bullshit too.

I think the real issue is a national failure to recognize bullshit when we hear it. Of course, Owens went about being his natural self, countering each argument just to keep the bullshit going to fill up his allotted time. No other skill or knowledge is required to do that except one: the ability to bullshit.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hanging in the Wind

According to ‘The’ Dick Cheney, President Bush “…left Scooter sort of hanging in the wind…” by not pardoning him before Bush left office. In my opinion, more than Scooter Libby should be hanging in the wind for exposing CIA operative Valerie Plame. It’s too bad that more weren’t prosecuted for that traitorous act. The Dick can’t seem to keep quiet even though he has nothing new to say. Everyone knows what he will say, to the word, if given the chance. The Dick has a warped view of reality, the “End Times” perspective, in which we all die in one last, devastating battle. Hogwash.

We have a lot of injustices to correct. We shouldn’t allow the Cheney’s of this world to get in the way. We already know the affects of their misguided ideas. After all, they left America hanging in the wind.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

God’s Math

David Wolpe agrees with my thinking in Why Faith Matters. I too can’t quite separate God from science and I, in fact, believe that every day and with each new discovery we come closer to the mind of God, as Einstein said. Wolpe appears to agree, although I believe he goes too far in saying that we will “never” prove God scientifically. Well, even if we did we wouldn’t recognize the moment or the significance, so maybe he’s right; we will never prove His existence to our satisfaction. There will always be someone nay-saying.

But, I was intrigued by a Quantum Mechanics discovery, actually a rediscovery, regarding “entanglement” where distant particles affect the other instantaneously, without any regard for the maximum speed limit, the speed of light, in physics, without “directly touching” the other and without any definable “position” when it does. And, the distance between the particles doesn’t seem to matter; from one inch to the width of the universe. Instant messaging from across the universe. That blows the mind. Ah well, you’ve got to read the article since my explanation is grossly deficient. Needless to say, it sounds like mystic stuff to me and completely counterintuitive. To my very humble way of thinking, things have to be next to each other, “local” and touching, to directly affect another, except for God. The Entanglement theory says that non-local messages cannot go slower than the speed of light. Well, God is fast. Believers already knew that.

Quantum Mechanics is taken on faith by all non-physicist, believers and non-believers alike. So, it is all faith, which is why I like David Wolpe’s book.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The New Weak Chicken – Rush Limbaugh - Ha!

Every farm boy who’s raised chickens will know about the weak chicken. Every chicken coop has one. Chickens have a peculiar behavior regarding that weak chicken; they will peck it to death. It is an odd thing to witness and is especially prevalent in young chickens. As one weak chicken dies, another is chosen and all other chickens gang together to peck the new one to death. Mature chickens don’t seem to participate in this behavior unless one is injured in a fight, and chicken coop fights are nearly constant.

It is pleasing to see that the Republican coop is fighting and may have a wounded chicken, Rush Limbaugh. I couldn’t be more pleased. We, as a nation, have had enough of Limbaugh’s philosophy to last us a lifetime and it is time for him to bow out of public view. It won’t be long until Republicans begin to gang up on Rush and start pecking. I can hardly contain my glee and can hardly wait to see the outcome of this chicken fight. Squawk. Squawk.