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Number of posts: 185
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Posts by Monica Smith:
- Mitt Romney refuses to release multiple years of taxes, ignoring decades of precedent.
America’s State Parks Association is sponsoring a first day hike in which all fifty states will participate. Texas, being a big state, has forty five venues on offer, while Georgia is promoting twenty sites and Missouri is offering programs at thirteen parks. Meanwhile, poor Louisiana seems able to manage guided hikes at just two of its parks. But, they are free.
It really doesn’t matter, from an economic perspective, what useful endeavor people are engaged in, as long as they are compensated sufficiently with currency (money) to enable them to compensate others, who do the things they don’t have talent and time for, in turn.
What really undermines efficient trade and exchange of goods and services is the rationing or sequestration of the currency (money) we use to mediate those transactions. Rationing currency is comparable to restricting access to reading and writing skills in order to hobble the ability to communicate.
The spouse, a now-retired professor of film studies, who was certainly entitled to be considered “outstanding in his field,” addressing movies from a literary and communications media perspective and having authored a couple of biographies of Nevil Shute Norway and Charlie Chaplin, as well as the totally original study of movies about war, “Looking Away; Hollywood and Vietnam”, is not really a studious person. Indeed, it’s quite likely that he moved from the study of novels and poems to film because movies made it possible for him to be somewhere else, even as he had to sit still in a room.
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.
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
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
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
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
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…
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Boiling It Into A Conserve
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.
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
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
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
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
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
“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…
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
How does that happen? Mostly, it's the result of a mixture of hubris and inadvertence. Humans, stuck on themselves, think they know it all. Others are convinced "all it takes is the idea" (the ExxonMobil slogan) and, as it was in the beginning, man says the word and nature is obedient. Fortunately, the age of electronics has made it possible to virtually eliminate inadvertence. We can look ahead and simulate what will happen, if we repeat the mistakes of the past. That's what James Holland is doing with the various projects at Cannon's Point in the marshes on the coast of Read on →
The tiny old man wheezed and warned me to leave him alone since he was just looking for a wall to lean against. He was an examination of human frailty, revealed in blurred and jagged fragments. He told me to beware of joy. Thus ended another of my dreams that left me a bit shaken and in need of understanding. In some of my dreams, such as this one, everything is frequently miniaturized and even immaterial as if -- in the words of Patrick Modiano, this year's winner of the Nobel Prize for literature -- "to suggest that any visions, grand or Read on →
It is the morning of October 3rd. As I have for the past more than forty October 3rds, I take from the cupboard a special kind of candle and light it. As I do so, I think about my father. It was in the early morning hours of October 3, 1967, in a hospital in Minneapolis, that my father died. It was a great loss. He was not yet 49, I was 21, and his death came way too soon for me to be done needing him. The candle burning on my countertop is called a yahrzeit candle. (yahrzeit literally means “year-time.”) Bur Read on →
I read the obituaries. But I no longer read a printed newspaper every day and the obits just are not the same in on line versions of newspapers. So I am forced to catch up on weekends when my satisfyingly fat Sunday papers arrive. I do not turn to the obituaries first due to a compulsive need to read the paper in proper order. When I finally get there I read them all, savoring the details, cringing at those my own age, and grieving the brief, one sentence send offs. My first born believes that we need a law requiring all Read on →