Archive for June, 2010

Much concern about money

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

There’s an irony in today’s fear of deficits. Since 1980, when the Reagan people managed to turn the country onto its downward slope, the only thing we’ve feared about debt is that there might not be anyone around to lend us more. Today we’re in a public panic about debt, and endless amounts of cash are available at the lowest rates of the century. You just have to be really, really wealthy to get the loan.

Regular folks know that debt can destroy their lives, because they’ll be forced to pay up by a man with a gun. They’re being told, by people who know better, that the same thing is true of the country, and they’re being sold an ‘austerity’ program designed simply to prop up the asset values of the super rich.

The lever-pullers are placing a risky bet. Today’s popular pundits are still successful  cheerleaders. Working folks enthusiastically vote to reduce their own standards of living. But if you spread enough suffering around, people might start applauding a different message. ‘Inflation’ is Big Money’s term for rising wages, and that might be an easier sell than taking on more unemployment just so we can send a quarter of our tax payments to the already rich.

There’s a problem with the gun fetish.

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Lots of Americans love guns. They cherish the thrill of imaginary killing each time they point and shoot. They have bumper stickers, clubs, and a powerful political organization all celebrating their commitment to firearms. They shout down all objections and trample all their opponents. They are sure they are right, because their cause is written directly into its own constitutional amendment.

But they are misled. The second amendment is about providing citizens protection from their own governments, and a man with a gun is laughably helpless against authority now. Today’s civilian defenses require communications jamming devices, GPS system disruptors, video cancellation technologies, and the like – all of which are forbidden to private citizens.

Effective second amendment ‘arms’ are all banned, by legislation ostensibly crafted to protect the country from terrorists. Large, publicly covert, national police organizations are promoted as necessary safeguards against invisible attack. Popular support is maintained by continually fanning a low level fear of bad guys, who are only too visible because they’re running around shooting people with those precious guns!

The president fired a general today.

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

The general running the occupation of Afghanistan was disappointed with the political leadership in the US, and said so, quite publicly. So he was fired, and the shallow were reassured that the sanctity of civilian command was preserved.

Of course, he was promptly replaced by the hero of the occupation of Iraq, reminding the thoughtful just how irrelevant, or instrumental, this president is to the governing complex.

My job for your campaign

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Since I’m an average American, I think of politics as pretty dirty business. So when I hear the president’s men are out offering jobs to people to keep them from running for office I think, well, so what?

It sounds almost more sensible than corrupt.

I am wondering whether this is one of those things that, if we shine a really bright light on it for a really long time, we might discover is crime most heinous. I don’t know the law and I find it easy to avoid learning it, but I’m sure lots of lawyers could get me going passionately either way. Perhaps trying to buy off a candidate is like trying to buy off a juror; obstructing a candidacy or something. Maybe the thinking is, administrations just can’t be allowed to hire people for political reasons. Maybe. Still, at the end of the day I guess most of us go to bed thinking the world remains as it was, and sleep okay.