Archive for December, 2011

Boxing Day (December 26, 2011)

Posted in Consumerism, Economics, Entitlements on December 26, 2011 by

. . .

B          “On this day, the servants were allowed to use the discarded gift boxes from the previous day’s festivities to take some of the leftovers home.”

C          “The genesis of recycling.  I thought it also refers to the fights that break out when consumers brawl for gifts to continue the holiday celebration.  Like fisticuffs for sneakers.  Bare-knuckled negotiations to acquire something to cover one’s feet.”

B          “The Boxing Day model is a private sector approach, yet only a few lucky souls benefit.  We as a society cannot any longer create the conditions to allow everyone to work.  And we cannot continue to provide government payments to those who are not working.  And we cannot rely on private charity, even with substantial tax deductions for the contributions, to provide for those who are not working.  And we cannot not do something for those who are not working.”

C          “Cut defense spending on the hundreds of frivolous boondoggles that do not contribute to our national defense.”

B          “That is part of the solution.  We are in a box.  The best the ‘best’ can do is counsel us to ‘think outside the box’ without even understanding why we are boxed in by our limited resources.”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

Sit long, talk much, laugh a lot

Vaclav Havel – Plato’s “Playwright President” (December 19, 2011)

Posted in Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Military Commissions Act, National Defense Authorization Act / FY 2012, Political Parties, Politics, USA PATRIOT Act on December 19, 2011 by

. . .

C          “The American republic elects showboats and con artists to political office.  The Czech people elevated Plato’s ‘playwright president’ to office to aid in creating a democratic republic.”

D          “Someone from the world of movies and television could succeed in American politics but not someone from the world of arts and letters.  He straddled the worlds of poetry and politics.”

C          “Our politicians should be in prison for the crimes they commit in our land every day.  Havel went to prison for years to protest the crimes committed by the politicians in his homeland.”

D          “And fostered the Velvet Revolution.  America needs to foment a Velvet Revolution.”

C          “Our revolution will not be as smooth.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Vaclav Havel – Nobel Peace Prize Recipient in ?

European is lost; Europe is lost

Run that by me once again.  Why would Congress send to the President the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that makes possible the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens suspected of terrorist activities without due process in situations authorized by the President?  The 13 senators who voted against the bill: Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

[See the “e-ssays” titled “Republicans are Enemy Combatants? (May 10, 2010)” and “Gun Control, NRA Style (January 9, 2006).”]

Is The American Consumer Irrelevant? (December 12, 2011)

Posted in Bankruptcy, China, Consumerism, Pogo Plight, Society on December 12, 2011 by

. . .

P          “Another holiday season and consumers are consumed with consumption.  They say that seventy percent of our economy is or has been driven by consumer spending.  They also say that something that cannot go on forever will not go on forever.  And it can’t go on forever.”

L          “It can’t.  The consumers have not paid for their past consumption.  The Chinese have provided the goods and the money to get the goods and deferred payment but not forgiven the debt.  The American consumer is becoming an afterthought in the world market.”

P          “They say that saving is up in the aggregate, yet only very slim sliver of individuals who actually have money, distrust the stock market and seek to protect principle are saving.”

L          “Consumption is an addiction.  Advertising provides the shallow inducements and exploits deep fears and anxieties.  Economic health warnings should be added to all advertisements.  ‘Purchasing this product may be dangerous to your economic health.’”

P          “For so many today, keeping up with the Jones is not adequate.  Vanquishing the Jones is the goal.”

L          “And the Jones cannot afford to keep up with let alone vanquish their neighbors.  From another perspective, the parvenu of the last few decades are a sign of a society with upward economic mobility.  The economic mobility has reversed direction and is rapidly moving down.  Few are arriving.”

P        “Too many individuals are gullible.  There are too many iPhones, iPads, iPeds, iPods, iBooks, iMacs, iMeMines.”

L          “Individuals must take more responsibility.  If you circumnavigate the grocery store and only acquire goods from the shelves and refrigerated cases along the outside perimeter, you will find a variety of tasty and nutritional foods.  The junk food is piled in the middle of the store.  The market works if you understand the layout of the market.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” titled “Consume, Don’t Invest? (Nov. 9, 2009)”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

He who dies (having played in a responsible way) with the most toys wins

Live simply so that others may simply live

Trade in a credit card for a library card

Bernays was right on the money

Plan B Is Part Of Plan A

Standing Up In America (December 5, 2011)

Posted in "Fiat ______", Bailout/Bribe, Banks and Banking System, Courts, Credit Unions, Crime/Punishment, Housing, Kleptocracy, Law, Locke Gary, Perjury/Dishonesty, Politics on December 5, 2011 by

. . .

L          “We now learn that while he was Secretary of Treasury, Henry Paulson tipped off some of his hedge fund buddies of the Fannie Mae bailout.  Everyone in power is quick to proclaim that his statements and actions are not illegal and declare that nothing can be done.  His statements and actions are illegal, but those in power refuse to enforce Title 18, the criminal provisions of the United States Code, because they do not want to bring charges against their compatriots in power even their competitors in the other party.”      

O         “They cop out and refuse to send the cops out.  Because otherwise someone could bring charges against them some day.  The Great Ruling Class Truce.  And no one asks any follow-up questions or demands answers.”

L          “However, a federal judge in New York, Jed S. Rakoff, took a stand from his seat on the bench and rejected a settlement between the Big Banks and the SEC that would have let the Big Banks substantially off the hook.” 

O         “I read a blurb that the state attorney general in Massachusetts, Martha Coakley, took a stand and demanded that the Big Banks follow standards.  The lawsuit may put the Big Banks on the hook.”

L          “And in developments overseas, America’s standard-bearer in China, Gary Locke, is America’s stand-up guy in China.”

. . .

[Henry Paulson:]

[Jed S. Rakoff:]

[Martha Coakley:  See the “e-ssay” titled Fire Your Attorney General (November 7, 2011)]

[Gary Locke:  See the “Category” denoted “Locke, Gary”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

America Is Exceptional / When America’s Exceptional

Take a stand

Take a few fiat dollars out of your credit union and put them in your pocket for safe keeping.