Archive for October, 2011

Parade of Homes/Charade of Horrors (October 31, 2011)

Posted in Coffee Party USA, Housing, Less Government Regulation Series, Market Solutions, Occupy Movement, Pogo Plight, Population on October 31, 2011 by

. . .

X          “The event should have been touted as a tour of Halloween Haunted Houses.  Nothing is changing.  No one is learning.  The garage door on the McMansion is only one inch thick.  What did you find?”

Y          “On the subsidized house, the garage door is two inches thick with brush insulation around the outside perimeter.”

X          “The Horror House is heated with an eighty percent efficient forced air system that draws combustion air from the garage and outside.  Even a new generation system that draws air from outside induces a stack effect flow of air that cools the house in the winter and warms it in the summer.  Cozy.”

Y          “The subsidized chateau is equipped with a ninety-five percent efficient forced air system that draws piped combustion air from outside the structure.  Huge energy savings.  The PVC to the outside is run aesthetically.”

X          “The McHorror House has windows splattered all over the place, but they are double paned.”

Y          “The code requires them.  Most of the windows in the bargain bungalow are on the south side with some on the west and a few on the east.  Some of the windows are covered with simple double-cell blinds.”

X          “The kitchen in the McMonster is equipped with shiny stainless steel but marginally efficient appliances.”

Y          “Simple Energy Star appliances.”

X          “The McNightmare is illuminated with regular incandescent light bulbs and T12 fluorescent bulbs in the garage with a smattering of cfls (compact fluorescent lights).”

Y          “Compact fluorescents throughout with T8 bulbs in the garage and two LEDs for the outside lights on the walkway.”

X          “There are so many little things.  The Monster Mansion has regular gate valves that may seize in a decade or two.  They require multiple turns to open and close, yet after a few years are really only good for one turn.”

Y          “They could do a good turn by getting quarter turn valves from the same supplier who outfitted the subsidized place.”

X          “One thing after another.  And I watched everyone else wandering around the McMongo house bedazzled by all the flashy baubles.”

Y          “The market sets the standards for the mansion; the government sets the standards for the subsidized structure.”

X          “We need more citizens less bedazzled by baubles.”

. . .

[Neither rain nor sleet nor snow could rein in or slow the “Enough is Enough!” March in Washington D.C. sponsored by Coffee Party USA on Saturday nor dampen the spirit.  A few hundred hearty souls hailing from Rhode Island to Oregon showed up at the gathering on the west side of the Capital to listen to a wide range of speakers.  They are frustrated but not feckless.  No one was arrested.]

[See the “e-ssay” titled “On Overpopulation (June 14, 2010).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Insulate it tight; ventilate it right

Seven billion little miracles are a big problem.  That’s ghoulish.

Boycott Food? On National Food Day? (October 24, 2011)

Posted in Boycott Series, Food, Society on October 24, 2011 by

. . .

A          “At least the processed junk.”

B          “That is the way to celebrate National Food Day.  Prepare and enjoy one healthy meal and let it become habit forming.”

A          “We ingest so much junk in such massive quantities.  We commit slow suicide every day and haul far more weight around on our musculoskeletal system than its design capacity.  We need to secure our food closer to the farm and the field and consume it in smaller quantities.”

B          “That may require fundamental lifestyle changes.  Families, when they exist, are fractured and eat at different times on the run from a bag in the car.  Eating is most efficient and enjoyable when a meal is prepared for a group and shared over conversation.”

A          “Slow food poisoning, I tell you.  Meat is the big killer.  Too many resources are devoured supplying us with meat.  Some meat, maybe, but in much smaller quantities.”

B          “Go green; eat plants.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

“Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.”  Michael Pollan

Eat less meat; enjoy more plants.

Exercise your mouth less and your feet more.

Get your food close to the farm and the field.

Occupy America: The “Bonus March/Chicago Police Riot/Kent State” Of 2011? (October 17, 2011)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Boycott Series, Economics, First Amendment, Journalism, Kleptocracy, Newspapers, Occupy Movement, Politics, Society on October 17, 2011 by

. . .

a          “They will only tolerate it as long as they regard it as harmless.  When they regard it as a threat to their domination, they will do harm.”

A          “Another inevitable repeat of history.  But when the Chicago police rioted in ’68 outside the Democratic National Convention and beat and tear gassed the populace, at least they only used night sticks and tear gas as weapons.”

a          “There are videos you can download to your tube with a few clicks.  You can see that the police even beat the press.  Back then, the press got it and got in the way and got it from the police.”

A          “Today, the authorities are armed with far more dangerous armaments and arsenals.  Even toll booth operators and beach patrols sport their own SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) Teams equipped with grenade launchers and flame throwers.  In an old black and white tv show, Barney Fife, a deputy sheriff in a small North Carolina town, carried one bullet, probably a .38, in his shirt pocket and was required to ask Andy, the sheriff, before he could even chamber it.  Different times.”

a          “Not many police officers realize that the kids are trying to protect the police union while the governor is trying to kill it.  When the federal government begins providing Homeland Security grants to allow local libraries to acquire armed drones, will anyone care or comment.”

A          “Not to worry, they are closing the libraries.  It might be Oak Park, it might be Oakland, it might occur on some other park or land that will become part of our national lore.”

a          “Even if the kids keep their heads, the authorities are going to bust them.  The problem is that one person may make a threatening comment that will provide the police with a pretext.  An undercover police officer could make a threatening comment to one of his colleagues and provide the pretext for a police riot.”

A          “A few young Boomers got their heads busted and then when older busted a booming economy.  Now the Boomers will bust some concerned youngsters’ heads – the youngsters who must endure the long bust but will never experience a lingering boom.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” titled “Ohio – Not Forgettin’ Ohio; The Battleground State Battles On (May 2, 2005)” and the “e-ssay” titled “The Residue of Unrelenting Fear: PTSD Afflicts The Populace (August 28, 2006).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Do you want the kids to be activists or pacifists?

Occupy Mayberry, R.F.D.

Kids (and older kids) who know and care are doing something

The kids are alright

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” – John F. Kennedy

Occupy America (October 10, 2011)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Boycott Series, Economics, First Amendment, Journalism, Kleptocracy, Newspapers, Occupy Movement, Politics, Society on October 10, 2011 by

. . .

A         “Commentators are having a hard time because there isn’t one spokesperson to interview nor one manifesto to mine.”

a          “Most commentators don’t understand what has happened in America over the last decade, so I don’t expect them to understand what is going on today.  I am aware enough to know that something’s clearly wrong, yet it is hard to describe.  What I do know is that I don’t have a future.”

A         “It’s simple and obvious.  The ruling class is strip mining the middle class.  And then accusing those who dare to point out the obvious truth that the astute observer is instigating class warfare.”

a          “They are clearcutting the kids.  They are not allowing a college grad let alone the ordinary Joe to immanentize the eschaton, although they are immanentizing the eschaton in a big way at my expense.  I really don’t have much hope of improvement or advancement.”

A         “Listen carefully.  That may be the big difference this time – an underlying absence of hope and a more pronounced sense of desperation.” 

a          “Hope died a few years ago.  Hope is so 2008.  Yet what do you have if you don’t have hope.”

A         “When hope totally disappears, an individual who can’t take it often takes one of three paths.  At the extreme, he takes his life, takes someone else’s life, or takes someone else’s life and then takes his life.”

a          “Someone sure took the life of the American Dream.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” titled “Boycott Big Banks (February 1, 2010).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Occupy Wall Street; Occupy Our America

You don’t need a sportscaster to know which way the ball bounces.

Are Courts Irrelevant? Are Courts Illegitimate? (October 3, 2011)

Posted in Courts, First Monday In October, Law, Movie Reference, Pensions, Supreme Court on October 3, 2011 by

. . .

a          “The Supremes open the doors today.”

b          “Didn’t His Excellency Chief Justice John G. Roberts close the doors to the Supreme Court years ago.”

a          “He did.  They will let themselves in to resume their part-time jobs receiving full-time pay and lifetime tenure via a side door, the service entrance if you will.”

b          “That is the gig of a lifetime.”

a          “The Supremes have not only closed the doors to the Court, they are closing the doors on the American dream.”

. . .  

a          “Hard to dispute that courts exist to incarcerate the underclass and to insulate the ruling class from responsibility.  That isn’t all bad, I guess.  Seems to depend on whether you have class.”

b          “Courts exist to give the pretence of the peaceful resolution of disputes and thereby to keep the masses from rioting.”

. . .

a          “Rating the characteristic judicial attributes is a close call.  Some days it is arrogance, other days it is anger.  It is always a close competition – anger, arrogance, arrogance, anger.” 

b          “I have endured many a nasty temper but few a calm judicial temperament.  Nothing will ruin a morning like appearing before a judge who is mired in a sterile marriage and fulminating over a fertile daughter.  He can use the bench as a bully pulpit for his undigested anger.”

a          “Or she for hers.”

b          “Or she for hers.  Some of these cats are as angry as a fer-de-lance with a hangnail.”

. . .

a          “Some days the judges sport a sourcaustic attitude, other days a condescending tone.  It is always a close competition – sourcaustic, condescension, sourcaustic, condescension.”

b          “I have collected court decisions in a file over the last few years.  The ‘Festschrift of Fear and Anger’ is in galley proofs.” 

. . .

a          “We equip police with batons and judges with gavels.  Both are used to beat.  There must be something in the fabric of the black moo-moo that transforms a person on the bench.”

b          “With increasingly few exceptions, judges are little more than tedious technicians and boorish bureaucrats reaching tendentious decisions.”

a          “Respect is an admixture of admiration and fear.  I don’t admire our judges; I do fear them.”

b          “They are not serving a useful function, yet they consume tremendous resources and waste a tremendous opportunity.  I have increasingly less use for them, yet they are drawing a regular paycheck and will draw a pension and do everything while on the bench to protect their paycheck and pension.”

 . . .

a          “The wrong lawyers are securing judgeships.  The wrong persons are obtaining political office.  Any attempt to reform the legal system must rely on the same raw material.  There is not much there.”

b          “Nothing like what I thought in law school.”

a          “What’s happened?”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” titled “On Respect, Fear, Admiration and Irreverence (December 17, 2007)” and the “e-ssay” titled “Congress Should Increase Congressional and Judicial Pay; Shareholders Should Reduce CEO/CFO/COO Pay (March 5, 2007)” written at a time when the courts seemed to appear to offer the possibility of being part of the solution.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Judge = FePb

Laws are not etched in stone today, they are concocted with an Etch A Sketch (R)

“. . . And Justice For All” movie with Al Pacino (1979)