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Number of posts: 178
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Posts by Monica Smith:
- Mitt Romney refuses to release multiple years of taxes, ignoring decades of precedent.
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…
Self-Centered Myopic Pricks
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
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
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.
Who is John Galt?
“[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know.”
—United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
Rumsfeld left out one category – the unknown knowns. Randians are the people do not know what they know – nor what they want to do.
Both Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York, and Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the U.S. have made the point, in discussing the $25 billion settlement agreed to by four of the major banks involved in the mortgage fraud scam, that this is a beginning and that no criminal or civil suits would be canceled out by this action.
So, as if to prove the point, the Department of Justice announced on Friday a separate fund, over and above the $25 billion, to compensate members of the military services whose rights had been abused
Super Bowl Politics
There has been much discussion by the pundits about the significance of the “Half Time” ad for President Obama’s reelection. Democrats have a hard time understanding the Republican Clint Eastwood’s motivation in associating himself with a project that highlights one of the President’s singular accomplishments.
The rescue of the American automobile industry is the President’s to claim. No doubt about it. But, that’s from the perspective of the people who design, manufacture and sell the cars. From the perspective of the financial engineers, who thrive on breaking companies up and selling the parts as so much scrap, the “rescue” was an intrusion on their standard operating procedure.
Voting Them Off The Island
Forbes, the money publication, reports on who’s giving money to the Super PACs in hopes of affecting the upcoming elections so the flow of assets from the public purse into their pockets isn’t interrupted. Since there aren’t all that many billionaires, their donations, as reported to the Federal Elections Commission, are easy topics for lazy journalists. Having them aggregated in so-called Political Action Committees makes them even easier to track. Like the votive candles in a rack, donations attest to the devotion of the congregation.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
On Tuesday, July 22, Glenn Beck spoke from some 700 movie screens to Americans who paid admission to hear him attack the "Common Core." The "Common Core" consists of standards, offered to the states, defining the knowledge and skills that American school-children should learn at each stage of their education. Beck's move here reminded me of "The Music Man," the con man in the musical of that name who comes to an Iowa town to fleece the good people there. What Beck and the con artist in "The Music Man" have in common is that to accomplish their own hidden aims Read on →
Every human culture, it seems, has had some notion of the sacred, and has placed that notion at the center of its worldview. From this, we can conclude several things: 1) that a sense of the sacred – like other universals, such as language and music – is an inherent part of our humanity; 2) that therefore we can conclude that this sense has served the cause of life of our kind through the eons in which we developed; and 3) that the experience of “the sacred” possesses an important kind of power, that it is not just an inherent part of us b Read on →
I recently had the pleasure of roaming about the grounds of the Carter Center in Atlanta. It was an early Sunday morning before any of the buildings were open and I had the place pretty much to myself except for one lady who volunteers there and was fidgeting around in one of the small side gardens. I didn’t tromp over the entire thirty-five acres, but I covered enough to be impressed with the design and the number of large Oaks that provided much needed shade from the bright sunshine and heat. The visit took me back in time to when I w Read on →
July 24, Thursday afternoon, 3:30. The July sun bears down with no mercy. The humidity’s high and the terrain rough and remote. To the northwest a cloudbank promises relief but relief never comes. We drive on in no need of windshield wipers. Robert Clark and I are miles from city life headed deep into the Francis Marion National Forest. To reach our destination, we turn off US Highway 17 onto State Highway 45. We drive for miles looking for Halfway Creek Road. Our directions, scribbled onto the back of an envelope by a naturalist friend, instruct us to “turn left onto Hal Read on →