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Thursday, September 18, 2014
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    Monica Smith

    Monica Smith
    Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."
    Number of posts: 182
    Email address: email
    Subscribe to my RSS Feed: http://likethedew.com/author/monicasmith/feed/

    Posts by Monica Smith:


      Empty Calories

      The Fiscal Frappé

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Nov 27, 2012
      Fiscal Frappé

      Yes, that’s a flippant title. I could call it the fiscal scam, but “scam” is getting to be a hackneyed term. Besides, it is hard to take the most recent fiscal kerfuffle seriously. That the President’s spokesperson enunciates according to news reports:

      “We should address the drivers of the deficit and Social Security currently is not a driver of the deficit,” Carney told reporters today. The senior retirement program is solvent for another 21 years, at which time recipients could see a reduction in benefits.

      Button, Button

      Anatomy of a Hostage Taking

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Nov 17, 2012
      Anatomy of a Hostage Taking

      If people aren’t obligated to pay taxes on their income in the first place, what difference does the rate make?

      If your car is electric, what difference does the price of a gallon of gas make to you? Yes, there may be some psychic pleasure in seeing your neighbor having to shell out more and more dollars at the pump, but that’s not nice.

      This whole kerfuffle is starting to look like the campaign finance scam in which Congress put restrictions on individual contributors and no limits on what incumbents could collect and even distribute to their cronies — all to insure their continuance and power in office.

      Were It Used For Good

      The Six Billion Dollar Stimulus

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Nov 12, 2012
      This is what only one billion dollars looks like.

      It’s peanuts compared to the trillions we spend annually on medical procedures and pills, but the psychic rewards of participating in the most expensive U.S. election ever are much greater.

      While the billionaire donors who opened their trust funds and expense accounts so generously deserve a hearty thank you and some pretty notes, everybody who chipped in a buck or an hour or a month or a year is entitled to a good gloat and a hearty pat on the back. Truer words were never spoken than the President’s “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

      Your Vote Might Count

      Being Cavalier About Counting the Votes

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Nov 8, 2012
      Being Cavalier About Counting the Votes

      There has been lots of talk during the 2012 election season about efforts to suppress the vote or, as I like to refer to it, “thinning the electorate.” The legislative requirement that voters validate their existence with documentary evidence was part of that effort, made supposedly less onerous by letting forgetful people fill out provisional ballots and then come back with the paper-work a few days later. Suspicious people assumed that the provisional ballots would, like the ballots of absentee voters never be counted, regardless of whether they’d be validated, because that’s what had always been done…

      Education Goes Bad

      Willard’s Planning an Inside Job

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Oct 30, 2012
      Willard's Planning an Inside Job

      Willie Sutton explained in his autobiography that he never actually explained his bank robbing as being motivated by the money’s location. Sutton just liked robbing banks. He collected the money as evidence that he’d done it. Willard, on the other hand, has acknowledged he’s going to D.C. ’cause that’s wherethe money is. He’s got a Willie Sutton complex.

      Guess where he got it? At the Harvard Business School.

      Religion of Growthism

      A Management Problem

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Oct 16, 2012
      Money Black Hole

      As if to validate my hypothesis that economic theory has veered into the management and manipulation of people, rather than the material resources and assets we need to sustain our existence, the Nobel Committee has awarded this year’s prize to two Americans:

      Two researchers whose work has made for better matchups among students and the schools they wish to attend, and between kidney donors and recipients, were awarded the Nobel Prize in economics Monday.

      While I’m arguing as follows on the internets…

      Monetary Theory

      Modern Money

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Oct 2, 2012
      Modern Money

      John Kenneth Galbraith, American economist, famously said that “the best money is worthless.” His son, James Kenneth Galbraith, now teaches at the University of Texas in the LBJ School of Public Policy, whence he continues to agitate for a more realistic science of economics.

      James has a number of acolytes who make their home at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. And they’ve actually come up with a moniker that, quite frankly, is not a barn burner. MMT for Modern Monetary Theory may remind of the MTA, where Charlie was famously lost in Boston, but it doesn’t resonate. MM, for Modern Money, seems to work better…

      Wake up, America

      Orson Swindle has turned up again.

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Sep 23, 2012
      Orson Swindle has turned up again.

      Like a bad penny. This time I found him on my doorstep. He’s written an op-ed for the Florida Times Union, the major paper in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia, pretending to be a movie reviewer and touting something put together by Dinesh D’Souza:

      The author and co-director is Dinesh D’Souza, an intellectual; a distinguished author and journalist; a conservative; and an honest man in every respect.

      Right. And, in typical conservative fashion, Swindle touts his own “credentials” in support of what would seem to be a hatchet job on the President of the United States…

      A Mean Clown

      John Boozman, Senator Double Cross

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Sep 20, 2012
      US Senator John "Bozo" Boozman (R-AR)

      When Rachel Maddow introduced a segment of her show about four unknown United States Senators, who recently voted to deep six legislation to provide additional support for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars coming home to unemployment, she started out by saying most people probably don’t know who these men (they are all men) are.

      I know who John Boozman is because I’ve been paying attention ever since the establishment-favorite Blanche Lincoln was selected in the Democratic primary in Arkansas in 2010 and then replaced by the newcomer, John Boozman because, as Howard Dean rightly pointed out, when voters have a choice between a fake Democrat and a real Republican, they vote for the latter.

      Vicarious Cannibals

      The Rich Are Revolting

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Sep 4, 2012
      The Rich Are Revolting

      Funny how that sentence can have two opposite meanings. Anyway, Mike Lofgren, writing in The American Conservative, charges the rich with revolting and seceding from the nation state. While many of his observations are on point, I’d argue that he’s got the causality backwards. The rich are always the same, disconnected from the societies in which they exist, because they share a common quirk of personality.

      They’re not disconnected because they’re rich; they get rich because they are disconnected.

      Anti People

      Insubordination at ICE

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Sep 3, 2012
      John Bozeman

      The Constitution of the United States of America is based on the belief that what individuals do is good, unless and until it is proved to have injured or insulted someone else. Also, the Constitution directs the agents of government to provide for the general welfare, which includes individual human rights. Of course, before the ink was even dry on the original document, the human rights of some persons were legally discounted or abrogated.

      Hannah's Blog

      Vicarious

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Aug 25, 2012
      Vicarious

      That the brain makes connections on its own is pretty obvious to anyone who’s aware of one’s dreams (some people aren’t). So, that might be a factor that should be referenced when one expounds on what one thinks, whether the thoughts are spontaneous or have been reflected upon and parsed before being shared.

      I guess I’m particularly aware of the autonomous brain because when I woke yesterday morning I had the thought that a small bouquet of the rose in my yard with a few marsh heather stalks would look nice.

      Summer Reading

      Willard Likes Poetry

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Aug 22, 2012
      Mitt Romney and Bill Koch

      Bring me men to match my mountains,
      Bring me men to match my plains.
      Men with empires in their purpose,
      And new eras in their brains.

      Willard Romney likes poetry, especially if it’s short and if it connects him to a person whose respect he craves. That’s why, as the Washington Post reports, he’s been reciting the four lines he learned from William Koch…

      Don't Say Anything At All

      If you can’t say something nice…

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Aug 17, 2012
      Obama v Romney

      Does this bit of folk wisdom account for notoriously gabby conservatives resorting to euphemisms as a matter of course? Not being able to keep their opinions to themselves, do they feel compelled to make the nasty sound nice? If so, then can we conclude that this apparently innocent habit just sort of morphs into a pattern of communication in which nothing is as it seems — i.e. the web of lies in which much of the nation is enmeshed just developed by happenstance?

      Threatening the Implausible

      Burning urbs

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Aug 1, 2012
      Suburban neighborhood on fire

      The “burning of the cities” in the 1960s continues to haunt conservatives. When they’re not concerned with “drowning government,” something’s “burning.” The latest iteration is a screed in the National Review by one Stanley Kurtz who’s trying to convince himself that the heir of the burning cities now has his eye on the suburbs.

      Frankly, I don’t intend to even read the whole thing, but the first paragraph of “Burn Down the Suburbs?” seems worth dissecting.

      Eat Less Chicken

      That’s innovation!

      by | 6, Add your Comment | Jul 21, 2012
      That's innovation!

      t used to be that competition was defined as more than one person striving for a common goal. The object was, as in a foot race, to get there first and, through the process of measuring oneself stride for stride against the others, keep improving. Competition, ideally, increases efficiency and improves the quality of products and talented people.

      At some point, this traditional understanding of competition got transformed into something else.

      Mitt Romney?

      What’s Willard hiding?

      by | 10, Add your Comment | Jul 13, 2012
      Former Governor of Massachusetts and a perenial Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney by DonkeyHotey

      His stash of cash, mostly. Why? It goes with the territory. Obsessive accumulators hide things. Squirrels do it; pack rats do it; and so do the bees in their hives. Hoarding and hiding are like that proverbial horse and carriage.

      Barack Obama’s operatives are more verbose.

      1. Mitt Romney refuses to release multiple years of taxes, ignoring decades of precedent.

      Boiling It Into A Conserve

      Making lemonade out of lemons

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Jun 19, 2012
      Political lemons who make an awful tasting lemonade

      Every person is unique. However, we do share common behavioral patterns, based on our characteristic functions, by which we can be categorized. We walk, talk, touch, imagine, invent, reproduce and recreate.

      Speech is a good example of how the patterns are then set, into distinct languages, in response to the influence of our environment. While almost all infants make sounds, it’s their environment which renders some meaningful and some meaningless, depending on the response to the prompt.

      Socialism

      No public lands in Texas?

      by | 0, Add your Comment | May 26, 2012
      Texas Wildlife Ghetto Regions

      I don’t know if that’s true, but it may account for why Dr. James Kroll has moved on up to Wisconsin to become the Deer Czar and convert Wisconsin’s public lands into private enclaves so the deer herds can be more properly managed and controlled. As if there weren’t enough reasons already for Governor Scott Walker to be recalled!

      If you love deer hunting you better vote out Walker!!! Walker is currently in the process of creating a system where public hunting lands will be turned over to private companies..

      People Are Corporations

      How Willard Creates Jobs

      by | 5, Add your Comment | May 14, 2012
      Lynn Tilton, Chief Executive Officer, Patriarch Partners

      By prompting people like Lynn Tilton to decide that “enough is enough.”

      Well, to be honest, as a neighbor tells it, Lynn Tilton is responsible for the rescue of the paper mill in Gorham, NH because her father came to her in a dream and said that taking the two million dollars from the settlement of her sex discrimination law suit and retiring early was the wrong way to go.

      Take & Take

      The Conservative Dilemma

      by | 2, Add your Comment | May 5, 2012
      Dogs fighting over rope

      Government by the people is the ultimate DIY enterprise. Mainly, we benefit each other by taking turns. Conservatives are people who, for whatever reason, do not know where their interests lie. And, having no basis for comparison, aren’t able to divine others’ interests either. They are self-centered without being self-aware. From a societal perspective, they probably exist to be recipients of other people’s creative ministrations. After all, for the shoemaker to perfect his craft and experiment with style and design and criteria of comfort, he needs people other than himself to use his product.

      Know Before You Owe

      Obamas at Ft. Stewart, Georgia

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Apr 27, 2012
      The Obamas speak at Ft. Stewart

      A two-fer, if ever there was one. According to the White House Press office, both the First Lady and the President spoke. However, despite Republican carping about the President using the official plane to campaign, this visit to northeast Georgia had an official purpose — to explain and sign legislation that reforms how veterans interact with college programs and, one hopes, avoid getting ripped off.

      White Collar Criminals

      Yes, but…

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Apr 15, 2012
      Yes, but...

      Pre-conceived notions are funny. They make a sunny day cloudy. They make the successful Department of Justice prosecution of banksters and fraudulent mortgage brokers, like Lee Farkas, look like a failure because every conviction can be appealed to a higher court. Even the staid New York Times found it necessary to point out that sentencing Farkas to thirty years in prison fell far short of the 385 years the prosecution had suggested. And somehow, trying the case in Virginia for crimes committed in Alabama and Florida counts as a demerit.

      Keeping the Peace

      Of Fraidy Cats and Copy Cats

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Apr 8, 2012
      Of Fraidy Cats and Copy Cats

      “To know that you can’t walk down the street at night in your own neighborhood,” the councilman said. “That’s a terrible shame. That’s a terrible feeling. No one should be subjected to that.
      “This is Tulsa, Oklahoma,” Henderson said. “We should have the ability to stand out on your porch anytime, day or night, that you want to.”

      No doubt, Jack Henderson, the Commissioner for the Tulsa District, in which five people were shot by a guy in a pickup truck, is sincere in his statements. People should be able to walk (up or down) the street…

      Self-Centered Myopic Pricks

      Stuck in the ineffable present

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Mar 13, 2012
      Stuck in the ineffable present

      Some people do not have a sense of time passing. They don’t perceive time as a linear sequence of events in which the past, present and future are distinct entities and, especially the past is over and done with. So, they exist in an ineffable present in which what was, what is and what could be are all muddled together. The result, not surprising, is that such persons are in a state of constant insecurity and whenever they do something that fails to satisfy, they can’t help but think that had their mother had a choice, they might well not be here. Which is why, just to be on the safe side and in case a miracle occurs, no babies, dead or alive should be taken from the womb prematurely.

      Mouth of Mass Destruction

      Grinchy Gingrich Gossips in Georgia

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Mar 4, 2012
      Grinchy Gingrich Gossips in Georgia

      Newton Leroy Gingrich has to have a good showing in Georgia. He’s admitted that’s important, if he’s to continue as a candidate for the presidency of the United States. Which, presumably, accounts for the message he delivered Friday in Brunswick, on the Georgia coast.

      “Barack Obama clearly has a vision, but it’s the wrong vision,’’ Gingrich said.
      Obama’s vision is of a socialist structure guided by politicians in Washington, Gingrich said.
      “Like Barack Obama, I’m a visionary,” Gingrich told the crowd. “It’s just that my vision is directly opposite from his.”

      He’s right. President Obama is looking forward and Gingrich is looking back to the jobs he claims to have created before he was forced to resign from Congress and to fixing a tax code the chief executive has no ability to legislate.

      Our Empire's Distant Outposts

      Camp Bondsteel revisited

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Feb 26, 2012
      Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo

      Every couple of months, I check the Google to see what’s happening at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. My interest in the place, one of the largest U.S. military bases ever built and the obvious prototype for what was being built in Iraq, goes back to 2005 when Kellog, Brown and Root (KBR) was engaged to supervise the leveling of hillsides and the filling in of valleys to accommodate a U.S. watch-tower in the Balkans.

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    The Crushing Weight Of Love

    The Crushing Weight Of Love

    By: Tom Poland

    About five years ago a lovely phenomenon took hold in Europe. Couples wrote, etched, painted, and scratched their names onto padlocks and latched them to fences and railings on bridges. They hurled the keys into the river, canal, what have you. “Nothing can break our love.” In particular, the Pont des Arts footbridge over the Seine in Paris gained renown for this ritual. Only an intrepid scuba diver or bolt-cutting interloper could destroy their love, and that would take some doing. Just imagine all the keys resting on the bottom. People love to join a movement. In the City of Lights, so   Read on →

    Holdin’ Your Mouth Right

    Holdin' Your Mouth Right

    By: Will Cantrell

    If you ask me what makes the world spin around, I'll tell you it ain't love or money or even oil from the Middle East. I swear to God, it's irony -- sheer good old-fashioned, unadulterated irony. Sometimes I get the impression the thing has jumped on my back, attached itself like a leech and hung on like the hot Georgia sun in the Dog Days of summer. Irony seems to stalk me wherever I go. Of course, I'm getting a little ahead of myself... *********************************** Man, I wish I could take credit for that look on her face! I'd like to  Read on →

    The Republicans’ Extraordinary Pattern of Destructiveness

    The Republicans' Extraordinary Pattern of Destructiveness

    By: Andy Schmookler

    The Republican Party, I have said here, has been taken over by a destructive force. Time now to flesh out more of the picture showing the relentlessly destructive nature of what now animates the Republican Party: It's a force that's insatiable in its lust for power and wealth. Even though we have the greatest income inequality that we've had in living memory, this force works continually to widen that gap still further. All their budgetary proposals would take from average Americans to give more to those who already have the most. As they protect those who have tripled their share of  Read on →