Archive for April, 2013

The People’s Amendment: The “Contract With America” (April 29, 2013)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Balanced Budget Amendment, Coffee Party USA, Conflicts of Interest, Congress, Constitution, Immanentizing The Eschaton, Political Parties, Tea Party, Term Limits on April 29, 2013 by

. . .

X          “What do Republicans and Democrats agree on?”

Y          “Nothing.”

X          “What do Republicans and Democrats disagree on?”

Y          “Everything.”

. . .

X          “There you go.  The People’s Amendment:  ‘If a law applies to the people, it applies to Congress; if an exception or exemption applies to Congress, it excepts and exempts the people.’  One simple commutative rule enshrined in a constitutional amendment.  Genius is always obvious and simple.”

Y          “And the provision applies equally to Republicans and Democrats.”

X          “Indubitably.  Courts could easily interpret it without all the arrogant activism and ideological warfare that characterizes the courts today.  Every tax payer has standing to enforce the People’s Amendment in court.  Individual Congresspersons and Senators who vote for legislation that violates the PA are held personally liable for the attorney’s fees of the tax payer who succeeds in enforcing the PA and a small percentage of the public damages.  Each representative’s self-interest is enlisted to provide for and protect the public interest.”

. . .

Y          “While you are at it, add a simple term limits provision.  Six two-year terms in the House and two six-year terms in the Senate are balanced and fair.  The provision applies equally to Republicans and Democrats.”    

. . .

X / Y  “However, a balanced budget amendment is hollow and shallow.  Congress can balance the budget without a balanced budget amendment if Congress wants to balance the budget.  Congress can circumvent a balanced budget amendment if Congress wants to circumvent a balanced budget amendment.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” titled The “Contract with America”; The Congressional Reform Act of 2010 (March 29, 2010), Term Limits (May 14, 2007) and Bringing Balance To The Balanced Budget Amendment Debate (July 18, 2011).]

[For an argument that John McCain and Lindsey Graham should not be considered “enemy combatants,” see the “e-ssay” titled Republicans are Enemy Combatants? (May 10, 2010).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

A Democrat for The People’s Amendment

A Republican for The People’s Amendment

An Independent for The People’s Amendment

A Libertarian for The People’s Amendment

A Green for The People’s Amendment

A Tea Partier for The People’s Amendment

A Coffee Partier for The People’s Amendment

A Partier for The People’s Amendment

My honor student supports The People’s Amendment

My average student supports The People’s Amendment

My below average student opposes The People’s Amendment

My dog supports The People’s Amendment

A sniper for The People’s Amendment

An LBGT for The People’s Amendment

A mom for The People’s Amendment

A dad for The People’s Amendment

A viscountess for The People’s Amendment

A Fan of Fred (Hayek) for The People’s Amendment

A visiting adjunct professor at the Barack Hussein O’Bama II School of Government at the University of Chicago for The People’s Amendment

Pulitzers Are Pro-War? Pressing The Pushitzers. (April 22, 2013)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Journalism, Newspapers, Press/Media on April 22, 2013 by

. . .

1        “Hearst sure was.  He lobbied via his newspapers to get America involved in a dustup or two.”

2        “You never know, he might have qualified for a Pulitzer.  Their award for Commentary often seems to reward the individual who did the most over the past year to foment, promote and encourage war and discord, albeit usually subtly.”

1        “I envision a ‘war correspondent’ as someone like Martha Gellhorn who chronicled war and was even repelled by it rather than those who advocate and lobby for the start and prosecution of a war.”

2        “Greenhorn that I am, I naively believe that a ‘war correspondent’ who understands war also should comment on the need to prosecute those who start and prosecute an illegal and immoral war.”

1       “The War Lobby is wide-ranging; each industry does its part and takes its pro rata profit.  The Washington Post/The New York Times Pulitzer Prize for Commentary shuffles between The Washington Post Writers Group and The New York Times group of writers with a few stray forays over to the Murdoch Journal and another publication or two.  And favors those who favor war.”

2        “When you think about it, the unprovoked and illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 could go down in history as ‘The Washington Post/The New York Times War.’”

1        “Or the ‘General Electric/NBC/MSNBC War.’”

2        “Or the ‘ABCNNBCBS War.’”

1        “Or the ‘Fox Fiasco.’  A war spikes ratings.”

2        “And builds bottom lines.  In a generation, the Press has moved from investigating at great financial and personal risk the undermining of democracy in 1973 to supporting the invasion of a sovereign nation in 2003 with great financial and personal reward for the journalists, television folks and others on the inside.”

1        “As they said back in the olden days in ‘73, follow the incentive structure.  The Pulitzer Prize impacts pay, power, prestige, promotions, professorships, and the like.  We need to establish a peace prize for commentary for the journalist who questions the immediate resort to full-scale war and violence for every slight or perceived slight to counterpoise the Pulitzer Commentary War Prize.”

. . .

2       “Remember the scene in ‘Three Little Beers’ where the Three Stooges impersonate reporters to gain entrance to the Rancho Golf Course by using knobs from bathroom fixtures as press passes.  Moe’s and Larry’s read ‘Press’; Curly’s read ‘Pull.’  To get reporters to impersonate reporters, we need to establish something like the Pressitzer Commentary Peace Prize to push against the powerful forces advocating for war and violence.”

1        “What about the ‘Pushitzer Commentary Peace Prize’ to press for the consideration of a peaceful resolution.”

2        “But peace may not be what the editors and publishers want, so the effort may be all for naught.”

1        “The outcome turns on what the readers want.  And will pay for.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Earth Day Every Day

Civics Quiz:  “Can you name either the Three Stooges or the three branches of government?”  “Larry, Moe and the Supreme Court.  . . .  Right?”  . . .  “Spanky, Fox and Congress.”  . . .  “Manny, Moe and Jack.”

A press pass is not a pass for the press

If you are not a pacifist, are you an activist?

Give war a chance

Give war a fighting chance

Give war a fighting chance, or I will kill you

Don’t give peace a chance, not even a fighting chance or I will kill you

Bailouts: Out; Bail Ins: In; Slowly Boilin’ The Frog (April 15, 2013)

Posted in Bankruptcy, Banks and Banking System, Bernanke, Kleptocracy, Law on April 15, 2013 by

. . .

CD1      “Makes you wonder what we get for today’s tax payment.  The Dodd-Frank legislation states that we the taxpayers will not bail out banks and other connected businesses again for failed derivatives and the like.  So the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve (Fed) admit they cannot do their jobs and force the individual depositor to bail out the banks and other connected businesses.”

CD2      “At least now they claim that they will not take our tax dollars directly but will take our money indirectly.  Banks in America still exist to provide taxpayers with regular opportunities to bail them out.  And to pay huge and undeserved bonuses.  And on occasion to finance an upstart organic neighborhood grocery stand.”

CD1      “While individual states serve as laboratories for social and economic experiments, other countries provide insight into responses to social and economic problems.  The response in Cyprus to the banking crisis that afflicts every country today is revealing.  Instead of the taxpayers bailing out the bank, the banksters took deposits from individual depositors to cover shortfalls.  A ‘bail in’ rather than a ‘bailout’ is the way they brand it.”

CD2      “That has been the official policy in the United States and England since December 10, 2012.  The FDIC may promise to insure deposits up to $250,000, but that promise may be repudiated or supplanted or modified by the FDIC’s new formal and promulgated confiscatory policy.  They title their marching orders ‘Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions.’  The Federal Reserve joined in the task and in effect issued a joint press release stating:  ‘Your Deposits Are No Longer Insured.  Get Your Money Out Of Banks Now.’  Taxpayers cannot say that the government did not properly warn them.”

CD1      “The only event that really threatens the banking system is a literal run on the banks.  News broadcasts will have a field day interviewing those in line if they stay in line and the outraged ‘man on the street’ demanding his deposit.  However, by privately stealing funds from the public, there is no single public event to steel public attention and ire.”

CD2      “Failing banks were always taken over by a receiver and the small depositors recompensed by the FDIC.  However, if a bank fails today, the derivatives that doomed and continue to doom the economy are afforded super-priority status.  Ordinary depositors are booted to the back of the line.”

CD1      “Or the ordinary depositor is kicked completely out of the creditor’s queue and given worthless stock in the failed bank.  Four months have passed without an uncompensated failure.  A fortnight will pass and perhaps another four years without incident, but this banking fraud cannot go on forever.” 

. . .

CD1      “The insurance on up to $250,000 in deposits ostensibly provided by the FDIC has exacerbated the ‘moral hazard’ by disconnecting the individual investor from the process.  Individuals do not even make a cursory inquiry into the viability of a financial institution.”

CD2      “Should the depositor be obligated to do so or should the banking system be regulated and monitored by the government.  The answer is that the banks are inadequately regulated and monitored by the government, so by default it is ‘depositor beware.’”

CD1      “If depositors were rational as rationality is defined by economists and in the face of near zero transactions costs, they would transfer their funds to a credit union.  The National Credit Union Association (NCUA) has not joined the ‘bail in’ scheme publicly at this time.”

CD2     “A depositor who is rational as defined by economists realizes that interest rates are near zero and thus the benefit of leaving money in a bank is near zero unless the money is safe.  The potential costs are far more than zero and thus the depositor should transfer the money to a safe location such as a safe located in the basement.”      

. . .

CD1      “They say that if a frog in a pot of water is brought to a slow boil, it will not know or respond to what is happening, but if the frog is thrown in a pot of boiling water, it will jump out.”

CD2      “MF Global is forgotten.  They are slowly turning up the heat without response.”

CD1      “At least the frog reacts.  I’m tired of ‘bailing out’ and now ‘bailing in’ banks and am bailing on banks.”

. . .

[Peruse the government scheme titled “Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions” at and the similar policy in New Zealand at]

[Reflect on the discussion in, and]

[See the “e-ssays” titled Money “In The Bank” Or “Under The Mattress” (October 8, 2012) and Boycott Big Banks – Vote Your Dollars (November 21, 2011).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

I am not so much concerned with the return ON my money as I am with the return OF my money.  Attributed to a number of wits.

“An efficient path for returning the sound operations of the G-SIFI [Globally Active, Systemically Important Financial Institution] to the private sector would be provided by exchanging or converting a sufficient amount of the unsecured debt from the original creditors of the failed company [meaning the individual depositors who were previously assured their deposits are insured] into equity [meaning worthless stock].  In the U.S., the new equity would become capital in one or more newly formed operating entities.”  Page 3 at Paragraph 13 of the publication “Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions.”

Your Deposits Are No Longer Insured.  Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Get Your Money Out Of Banks Now.  Federal Reserve

The most condign resolution is to attach the salaries and retirement payments to the employees and retirees of the Fed, the FDIC, the SEC, the OCC, the CFTC, the DoJ, the BoE, the BoA, AIG, GS, S&C, C&B and others to fund any bank shortfalls.  And Congress, the President and the Supreme Court.  Problem resolved. 

“Open Bank Resolution”  “Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name.”

If banksters were branded terrorists, would there be prosecutions?


TEDx: THEODORAx or DOROTHEAx or . . . DOROTHyx? (April 8, 2013)

Posted in Economics, Energy, Environment, Society on April 8, 2013 by

. . .

1          “TED is a clever acronym.  Technology, Engineering and Design.  Three universes and infinite possibilities.  ‘Ideas worth spreading,’ they allege.”

2          “On first hearing, it sounds like a program named after your favorite smallmouth bass fishing buddy.”

1          “That is part of what reels them in.  Our friend TED covers the usual 3E programs – energy, economics, and the environment – and everything in between and on all sides.  Local programs are identified by the small letter ‘x’ and then the community such as ‘TEDx Gotham City’ or ‘TEDx Dodge.’”

2          “I thought the ‘x’ stands for the second ‘x’ chromosome.  By design, the speakers are from diverse backgrounds, yet they still tend toward more males than females.  However, the local organizers and more than 53 percent of the attendees are double ‘xx’ers.  But that is not why the local programs are not called ‘TEDy Shangri-La.’”

1          “That was my first thought.  Just because the ‘y’ chromosome so often correlates with goonery and buffoonery does not mean that all males are goons and buffoons.  Really.”

2          “Not all of them.  But the local programs may need to be called ‘THEODORAx’ or ‘DOROTHEAx.’”

1          “Or keep the males in the loop and call the local programs ‘DOROTHyx.’”

. . .

2          “Women undertake most of the jobs in non-profit entities.”

1          “Yet the White boys still hold most of the positions of power in for-profit entities.”

2          “But one can say with a high degree of confidence that it is not because of talent.  The White boys are there because of market distortions.”

. . .

1          “With women surpassing males in high school and college, the emerging civil rights issue is whether a less talented cohort of males can be admitted in the interest of maintaining roughly equal numbers of males and females in a class.”

2          “Instead of a young woman going to college to get an MRS. degree, today’s young man goes to college to get an MR. degree.”

1          “If he gets in.”           

. . .

[See the website]

Bumper stickers of the week

TED:  Ideas worth spreading

Ideas:  Good, especially good ones.

All Gave Some ; Some Gave All (April 1, 2013)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Bernanke, Gay Politics, Iraq, Society, Vietnam, Writing on April 1, 2013 by

. . .

1          “It expresses a universal and timeless truth.  It is a precisely balanced six-word memoir.  It is a pleasant and pleasing palindrome.  It is the perfect poem.  It is It.”

. . .

1          “No joke.”

2          “No, joke.”

1          “No joke.”

. . .

[See the article at dated today.  No joke.  See also]

April – National Poetry Month

Bumper stickers of the week:

There are no unwounded soldiers.

Show or tell?  Show, don’t tell.

Get it right, Write it right.

Cure writer’s block – Exercise, listen, think; Exercise, listen, think – Writer’s block cured.

Character is fate; Fates shape character.

Republicans like GLBA; Democrats like LGBT.

Addiction is too consuming; Destitution is too constricting; Dissolution is too confining; Might as well live.  (With a nod to Dorothy Parker).