Friday, February 17, 2012
Friday, February 11, 2011
Historical note. There has been only one popular revolution in the history of the world which upon its success was not immediately taken over by either a dictator of a radical mob or both. Read French, Russian, Cuban, Iranian and a host of others. The process summarized nicely in Orwell’s Animal Farm. The exception, of course, is the American Revolution, the one exception. So now let’s see what becomes of Egypt. They seem like such nice people. I wish them well and suggest they look at the one revolution that has long remained in the hands of the people. It is admittedly a hard act to follow, the script written by a remarkable assembly of genius. It is a script for chaos, of course, and that made it work. Whoops, maybe I missed Poland. But that is a work in progress.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Let us wrap ourselves around this frail young man, all of us. Let us protect him and lead him, for we Americans need no leaders. It is not in our nature to be led. But it is in our nature to be great. In the end, that is why we selected him, those of us with the vision and skill to do that. We saw in him that rare sense of knowing who we really are and asking us to be just that. Today we have a new job ahead of us. Let’s get right on it. We have a new President to lead, he has asked us to do that, that is his gift, and we must respond. That is the job before us, and it is a job for us all, for each and every one of us, to take this opportunity to be as great as we really are.
Today we can leave smallness behind us. And, as the world has noticed and feared, we have been very small indeed. It was not George Bush who was small; it was us. We could have saved him from himself and the world from him, but, to our great shame, we failed both him and ourselves. Let us never do that again. We have a strange nation here, one that is, by careful design, precisely what we, its people, make of it. Nowhere else and never before has there been such a thing.
The California High Desert
5 November, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Now add to this the evidence that the presumptive next President will be a centrist. Barak Obama is hardly the screaming socialist the right has labeled him, nor is Nancy Pelosi nor Harry Reed. Indeed, there are few leftists in the government. The government is about where the American people are, center right to center left and never far from the center. It is the leftists and progressives who will be disappointed in the next administration. We are not going very far to the left. That is the beauty of American government, it is anchored by division. Nobody has enough power to go anywhere weird, the notable exception being the present administration, which took so much power to itself that it drowned in it. That is more typical of parliamentary systems. Except that the parties in most parliamentary systems are not so stupid or arrogant as this one. They know they will suffer for it if they are. So for any who thought we might be entering an era of progressive government, I am sad to report, you will have a long wait. For one thing, the Republicans, as they always do, have bankrupted the country. We have no means by which to progress and will not have for a very long time. The best we can do is repair a few bridges and pave a few roads, maybe even fix some schools.
What we can do though, and must do, is economize, which is to say reduce the excesses to non-producers and create a safe environment for both entrepreneurs and workers. Among other things, it is essential that we fix the health care system by sharing the burden. Our companies can not compete with companies whose health care is provided by the state, which is to say all of the people. That has killed or nearly killed General Motors. I never understood why anyone would expect corporations to bear social burdens. All I want from them is profits for their share holders and obediance to the law. That is why we have government, to bear social burdens.
Economy will also take us out of Iraq and Afghanistan. We can not and never could afford such useless and/or senseless adventures.
The long and short of it is that I am pretty optimistic, at least for the longer term. It will be hell for awhile though, hell few of us have ever seen.
Also grateful for the gift of the Bush Administration, the lessons it taught the country about the costs of foolishness. I trust eveyone is now smarter about politics and perhaps more careful with their votes. I am especially encouraged by what I am hearing from the right. They seem to be looking forward to working with President Obama. After all their silly rhetoric about his radical nature, they have suddenly seen him for what he is, a rather mild and well considered moderate, and a blessed relief from the radicalism we are soon to leave in the past. Should anyone still ask why Bush's ratings are so low, it is because he is a radical and the country is not. That he is also stupid probably helped, but that is not what turned people away. It was his craziness.
Oh, should John McCain come from out of the dust to surprise everyone? Well, he is also a moderate. Except for not being as mild, smart and attractive as Obama, and infuriating the entire universe if he were to pull it off, that would do this Democrat's heart good, to see a sort of Republican have to clean up this mess, and get blamed for failing. I am entirely ready for that kind of irony. And just mean enough to enjoy it. O.K., John, here is the manure pile, and here is the pitch fork, two of them. You can put the lady on the south side of it. When she is done, she might just be up to the job. She might also want to change her clothes. But even that would not advance her career. She would be dead meat. Left standing, God only knows where she will go. Surely not back to Alaska, which will be a blessing for them.
Don't forget, vote early and vote often. As I have done. I too once lived on the south side of Chicago.
Next week we can find something else to do.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
We could also fix American racism, which does intrigue me. It is not as simple a task, but it is surely do-able. I would start in western Pennsylvania or maybe Idaho, where it lurks in dark corners and moldy wood piles. Flush it out of there, and you can flush it out of anywhere.
The economy, of course, needs fixing, The main reason it has not been fixed, the same as the reason it is broken, is that we assign the task to experts, in this case economists, none of whom, by virtue of educational brain damage, have any sense of it. Perhaps I should explain that. On the farms where I grew up we understood and saw a great deal of that kind of brain damage. We even had a name for it; we called it book learning, which we held in great disdain. We would send a kid off to college, to agricultural school say, and he would come back brain damaged, knowing nothing about how to run a farm but full of stuff we once loaded into manure spreaders. It was a terrible thing we did, taking a perfectly fine kid and making him useless if not dangerous. What we had done, of course, was remove him from any reality having to do with making a living on a farm and instead filled his head with the odd notions of professors who had never come close to a real farm, let alone shoveled manure or pulled teats, cow teats that is, as we used to do.
Now I am going to leave Joe the plumber in the clutches of the media, where the silly fool belongs. I used to be a plumber, and real plumbers know to keep their mouths shut about things they don't understand. But I will turn to real plumbers and real farmers and real motorcycle dealers and real waitresses and real realtors and real doodlebuggers (something to do with finding oil in the ground), people on the cutting edge of our economy, people who feel it when something goes wrong, people whose intellect I know and respect. They saw this thing coming months if not years before it hit. And they told me why it was coming. Unlike economists, they got it right because they were right where it was happening. What they could not do is figure out how to stop it, or if they did, then nobody would listen to them. Instead we listened to people with book learning.
Mind you, I am not licensed to speak with much authority on this. I was one of those kids they sent off to college, which I did with such relish that I became a professor. What license I do have I got from being submerged in all that book learning and professing. I can tell you why the experts have gotten it wrong. I know all about experts. I was one. But I also worked in steel mills and slums and oil fields and logging towns and on farms and trap lines and trot lines and firing lines. And some of that got into me, at least the ability to hear what people in such places have to say. These are the people we should be listening to and listening carefully. These are the people who understand economies; they live in them.
So when we get ready to fix the economy, when someone gets to it, I hope they will look to some of that wisdom out there where it is happening. I trust we will not leave it to the bloody experts who got in this mess.
Let's see. What else needs fixing? Oh, yes, we have to fix the world or at least find our place in it, which is probably not in the sands of Arabia or the guts of Asia or the heart of Africa. Having once been a sort of spook I have long been of the persuasion that a sharp knife and a sharp mind do a far cleaner job of it than a plane load of bombs. So that too can be fixed. But not by the experts, who are much too taken with pyrotechnics. For this I would turn to butchers and farmers. That would also help fix the economy, knives being much less of a drain on it than fireworks.
So many neat things to do. With just one quick read of today's news, and I have not yet gotten to the funnies, where most of the wisdom lies. Such an exciting world we live in with so much fun yet to be had. Thank God I did not pick up the paper this morning to discover that everything was just fine. What a huge bore that would have been.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Keep in mind that we got to the moon and back on theory and very little fact (we had never been there). Obsolescent theory at that, at least so fools would suggest, Newtonian physics and a pre-Copernicus earth centered universe. The test of theory is not if it is true but if it works. And it worked to put the earth at the center of the universe.
But I stray. This morning the important thing is that what we theorticians saw some years ago, that we were then and remain in a crashing economic dynamic, fed not only by loss of any pilot or police but also by the sucking of energy from the producers, the people who work and the people who buy. Not to mention the squandering of our resources on the idle rich and in death and destruction abroad. Some (notably lately Fareed Zakaria) contend that the British Empire was felled by the Boer War, a small incident in itself, but critical by virtue of the timing. Let us hope the timing of the Iraq War is not such.
That aside though, we are heading into a very dark abyss. I trust you are all prepared. Christmas promises to be bleak and perhaps so for years to come. While electing John McCain will clearly make it worse, electing Barak Obama will not solve it, not for a very long time. The damage has been done. And it will take some time to repair it. Let's hope it only takes time.
Oh, for those of you of a conspiratorial bent, I'm sorry to disabuse you of that. Stupidity is the sole culprit here, stupidity coupled with mendacity and short-sighted greed. Conspiracies are just too demanding. This is the simple product of fools.
I was reminded of this as I watched the few parts of the Republican National Convention that I could stand. What a gathering of blind and self-congratulating sycophants. Swamped in evidence that utterly defied every word they had to say.