Archive for September, 2010

Joe Miller, Alaska and America: Now What? (September 27, 2010)

Posted in Congress, Earmarks, Political Parties on September 27, 2010 by

. . .

C     “What if the Blue States accept Alaska’s recent offer, albeit tendered by a minority of mobilized voters, and cease providing massive subsidies, transfers, earmarks and grants to Alaska?”

S     “De-commission the Denali Commission, a federally-funded agency developing Alaska infrastructure?  Do away with SBA (Small Business Administration) Section 8(a) that provides preferences for Natives and veterans in federal contracting?  Provision the Native Hospitals exclusively with ANCSA (Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act) Section 7(i) profits?  Ban federally-funded home care nurses from entering tax-assisted Alaska homes spewing Fox propaganda on state-subsidized televisions?  Support the Alaska Financial Independence Bill:  “No federal funds shall be authorized, appropriated or expended for the use or benefit of the state of Alaska until all of the funds in the Alaska Permanent Fund have been exhausted for such purposes”?”

C     “On the national level, divert funds from the Department of Education to the Department of Ignorance?  Move from Social Security to Social Insecurity?”

S     “Do Alaskans want outside interests such as the Koch brothers of California to determine elections the way the Seattle fishing syndicate dominated Alaska life before statehood?  What about the growing influence of the Alaskan Taliban – the radical reactionary religious right?  Joe Miller is a certified nut case, but do those in Alaska like him because he is like them?”

C     “Is he the plaid Sarah Plain/Palin?  Can Lisa Murkowski mount a successful write-in campaign?  And who is Scott McAdams?”

S     “The far, far right versus the far right?”

C     “The election is less about electing persons than it is about defining the Alaskan people.”

S     “These elections are less about electing persons than they are about defining the American people.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Alaska Politics:  Louisiana with fjords, New Jersey without the charm, Uganda with receding glaciers

Alaska Politics:  Chinatown North

Alaska:  Building Bridges to Nowhere

My wheel dog is smarter than your lead dog.

What occurs in Alaska [the Pacific Northwet?] after two days of rain?  A sunny Monday.

On a Prius:

After two days rain

What occurs in Alaska?

A sunny Monday

The Depression is Over!? (September 20, 2010)

Posted in "L" Shaped Economy, Depression, Economics, Recession on September 20, 2010 by

. . .

E     “The Depression is over.  So they say.  In fact, it was only a recession and has been over since June 2009.  So says the National Bureau of Economic Research, the NBER.”

U     “How does that work?  Can I get a job, go back to work and collect a paycheck retroactive to June, 2009?  That is my benchmark.”

E     “Call them.  The NBER is generally respected as institutions go.  They pegged it as just a recession that was over in June 2009.”

U     “Praise the Lord and pass the paycheck.”

E     “A well-informed citizen should understand the NBER economic model; I don’t.  There may not be enough time even late on Saturday night to analyze the economic model.  However, I follow every fundamental economic factor.  The economic fundamentals are worse than they were two years ago.  The NBER conclusion seems wrong.”

U     “I don’t understand the economic model, but I know the conclusion is wrong.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Recessions are so overrated.

2 + 2 = 5

Playa Plastica / Plastic Beach (September 13, 2010)

Posted in Boycott Series, Environment, Plastic, Water on September 13, 2010 by

. . .

H     “The plastic water bottles may circulate forever in gyres in the ocean, fall to the bottom of the sea or roll up on beaches.  I always thought that the sun caused the plastic to deteriorate and mitigated the problem.  But no.  The small pieces and particles of plastic remain on the beach and in the bayou.”

O     “Out of sight, but not out of mind.”

H     “And yet still in the sight of shore birds, although the birds do not realize they are scooping up plastic mixed in the sand and the mud.”

O     “The marketers are making money selling something that is free for a higher price than auto gas or filet mignon.  The next stage for the marketers is to bottle plastic air.”

H     “Every plastic water bottle is a plastic explosive.  You can’t repeat often enough how important it is to boycott bottled water.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” dated March 23, 2009 titled “Boycott Water” and tap the movie “Tapped the Movie” and imbibe Bottled & Sold  The Story Behind Our Obsession With Bottled Water by Peter H. Gleick.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Boycott bottled water

Boycott bottled water

Boycott bottled water

Boycott bottled water

Boycott bottled water

Boycott bottled water

Boycott bottled water

Boycott bottled water

And then do it again

“Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.”  Attributed to Mark Twain

Wars Over Water:  Coming To A Continent Near You

Iraq: Shock and Awe; Shocking and Awful (September 6, 2010)*

Posted in Bush, Iran, Iraq, Journalism on September 6, 2010 by

. . .

K          “If journalists provide the first draft of history, historians may be in trouble.”

J          “At least there is some pretense of getting out of Iraq.  In 2002 and 2003 when we got in, too many journalists were cheerleaders for the unprovoked invasion of Iraq which was, of course, a sovereign nation.  The times required more careful observers and critics of those in power.”

K          “Enough works are actually available chronicling the folly of the invasion and occupation and its aftermath.  But has anyone learned anything?”

J          “The conventional wisdom is that history will tell.”

K          “Tell what?  That seems to be a cop-out particularly by those who supported the invasion.  Too many individuals are not observing the obvious.  Some Truths are clear now.  After 9/11, the American people were going to kill someone, but invading Iraq was akin to invading Belize after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.”

J          “What about his daddy’s honor and all that.”

K          “What honor?  His dad handled the prior engagement with much more skill except for the abandonment of the Kurds.”

J          “And the abandonment of the Shiites.”

K          “A President is obligated to protect national interests not to pursue a family vendetta.  The whole WeMaD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) charge was a fraud and a fabrication.  The current spin to blame the CIA when the CIA was forced to modify its assessment to support the invasion.  Colin Powell was conned by the neo-cons into making his February 5 speech, yet he has made a record that the neo-conservatives demanded war in the Middle East simply for the sake of war and to keep the U.S. committed militarily in the region.”

J          “Something happened that kept Bush from invading Iran.”

K          “The public may have had enough.  The surge was not a surge of more troops but rather an infusion of cash to bribe influential leaders.  The military ledger recorded the number of troops deployed rather than the number of dollars distributed.  However, the impact ended when the funding ended.”

J          “Talk about spewing cash.  The conventional wisdom is that the invasion and occupation cost $750 billion, although the real cost is at least $3 trillion.  That is a figure that can be more carefully calculated by thoughtful historians and economists.”

K          “So much could have been accomplished with the money.  Like getting Afghanistan right, if that was or is possible.”

J          “Build schools here rather than build schools there.”

K          “Bush and his buddies did not even know what they were trying to accomplish.  If the government sought to kill Saddam Hussein, they should have killed Saddam Hussein.  One of the grand ironies is that assassination of a foreign leader violates international and American law, yet bombing a command and control center with the leader in residence is an acceptable engagement.  The bombing of Kadafi’s command and control center shut him up.  The U.S. did not need to destroy a country to kill its leader.  The U.S. did not even need to kill its leader to silence him.”

J          “Hussein was not a friendly chap.”

K          “Profoundly bad guy.  We are better off with him out of the picture, but we can’t take all the bad guys out of the picture.  And the next Saddam Hussein is alive and well and currently an ambitious young lieutenant colonel in the Iraqi Army plotting right now to take over and enter the picture.”

J          “And the next Perle, Feith, Wolfowitz, Gonzalez, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush et al. are all aggressively recruited and copiously credentialed by the Ivy League universities that want a piece of those in power.”

K          “Iraq was a spectacular failure in ways that we don’t now even understand.”

J          “An honest history will not vindicate the invasion, it will only highlight the criminality.  Seems that nothing changes.  Which makes the future so predictable.”

. . .

(* Others used the phrase “shocking and awful” in other works.)

Bumper stickers of the week:

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”  Oscar Wilde

“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits on a hot stove-lid; he will never sit on a hot stove-lid again–and that is well; but also she will never sit on a cold one anymore.”  Mark Twain