Tag Archives: neuroplasticity

Fair/Free Trade Con Artistry

Pouilly Fuisse

YOU ARE LOOKING AT A FAIR TRADER

I’m going after James Kitfield today. He is a storied reporter, beltway veteran, and quintessential centrist. He holds all sorts of views I have no quarrel with, but on trade he’s off by a Moon shot, perhaps a crash landing on Mars.

Look, the new world order, the one we helped build from the ruins of what was left of the world after World War II? That deal included our helping to get Germany and Japan back up on their feet.

We also have spent most of the last seven decades building up a global trading system. That isn’t a black and white proposition, it isn’t all good or all bad, it is a mixed bag.

I feel like a one armed poker player in a a two sided argument. I feel like the house is dealing from the bottom of the deck. They’ve won every hand and there are way too many journalists (Kitfield to Cokie Roberts) who are participating in an underhanded card counting game of intentional duplicity.

Our globalized trade system is a mashup of all manner of treaties, bilateral agreements, and codified understandings. You and me? We don’t need to be bogged down in the details. They’d like us to be. It would be useful to the free trade advocates. We’d be on their turf.

All you need to know is this. Whatever agreements the United States makes either to amend previous agreements or in making new agreements must include representatives from the many  many labor representatives, environmental representatives and progressive (non-market likely educational institutional) economists.

What is missing is balance. We can make superb trade agreements that will be good for the world trade system, but we’ll need to bring the right members of our country to the table. The Big Banks, Wall Street, multinational corporations and their many many sycophant’s need to be excused from the table for the next half century why we clean their’ tilting the playing field in their favor’ mess up.

I repeat… we are in favor of fair trade not the con job free trade agreements that have been foisted on our country. Those agreements have been a disaster. James Kitfield misdirected his listeners today. The French wine industry knows how the game is played. Paris listens. It is time Washington get with the people and do our country right.

Centrist trade apologists are toxic right now. Fair trade… repeat it is fairer trade we want to negotiate… not the end of trade… unless free mindless trade is what you mean by that Frank Luntz tested phrase?

 

 

It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Canary Starts Sizzling…

Six Boats

Setting Sail for a Better Future

Let’s head out from here where sanity prevails. First, we have a global manmade climate crisis. Got that? Let’s get our priorities right. Wake up!

Next up is worldwide population levels continuing to expand while we wreak havoc upon the support system all these new lives will need if they are to survive.

Our politics and our economics are complex. This is a two headed monstrosity. One defends the other, while the other goes about plundering the world and taking a modest sum of their profits to keep propping up their enablers.

Like an addict business just can’t help itself. The business of business turns out to be all too often quite rapacious of resources and let’s just say not particularly talented at focusing upon sustainability to say nothing of mankind’s survival.

And then there is Hillary Clinton’s campaign, a Democrat running for office and she can’t take a position on the Keystone Pipeline? That’s not going to get the job done. Does she support the Transpacific Partnership; a trade agreement that affects 40% of the world’s global trade? No, she can’t say one way or another. We are being asked to vote for a riddle inside of a mystery.

There is all of this plus we have Republican Senators plotting in an effort to defund the Affordable Care Act which would result in stripping 17 million citizens of their health insurance. This isn’t humanity’s best moment.

Plus, with the world bursting at the seams with people this same grand deliberative body is rushing as fast as their fake bile can be spewed to defund an organization that tries to help all of humanity in general and women in particular to determine if and when they will have a child.

Some low life named Drudge calls the Pope the Antichrist. Some Cuban out of Florida running for higher office claims Obama is covertly funding the same terrorists that the Pentagon is trying to kill. Please…

Here is the situation. We have to deal with climate change. That means doing something about it here. We’ll need to work with every other country in the world because this isn’t just our problem it is the world’s problem too.

Next up is getting control of the world’s most voracious inhabitants… human beings. Where to start? Well, obviously we’ll need to figure out where all these people are coming from and why there are so many individuals, religions and governments blocking efforts to help humanity manage their reproductive systems. What the hell is wrong with you people?

This isn’t a mystery. If we deploy women’s health care programs across the world we will enable billions of earth’s citizens to have the chance to choose the right moment to start a family.

If you object to offering others the chance to choose how they wish to arrange their lives then you might well be confused about what the difference is between freedom and tyranny.

Finally the stupendous wealth that has accumulated in the hands of so few has in turn been used to frustrate efforts to put in place policies that will go a long way toward solving humanity’s problems. It turns out great wealth is in and of itself a great big problem.

Billionaires are not a feature of capitalism they are a flaw and to drain the swamp of excess wealth is to make our world a safer more egalitarian place where we might well survive if only we can clear our minds of the haze and get focused on the challenges we face.

Does this sound radical? Cleaning our air? To help men and women determine when to start a family? To tax our wealthiest citizens more and our poorest citizens less?

Some political party is going to have to clear their throat and speak out and then pass the necessary legislation. Trump and Sanders are merely canaries in the coal mine. They are harbingers sounding the alarm.

Our political, religious and economic systems are in desperate circumstances. They are all in need of change and yet each has exquisitely organized itself to resist change. One way or another, this is going to come to an end. I’d prefer a soft landing or if not perhaps it is time we start manufacturing helmets… and fast.

Five Boat

Let’s Set Humanity’s Course for Survival

End Stupid Stop Stubborn

Hot Fun in the Setting Sun
Hot Fun in the Setting Sun

 

More Off the Cuff Links…

We take you to the streets of London where students are marching for, “No tuition fees! No education cuts! No debt!” Let’s go to Milwaukee where what passes for progress we have this pathetic excuse for policy being implemented. Sorry folks we can’t get to the new economy everyone is talking about by dismantling our education system.

Dismantling programs isn’t policy, it isn’t even constructive politics. It is something else. While you were looking to the  left the right was running so far to the right that they’ve run out of room. And speaking of running out of room how about another Robin Hood in reverse episode. Speechless…

And speaking about criminals that never get charged, never are tried, and now no longer go to jail there is this nifty little bit of complaining by the Fat Cats. And Robert Reich explains how the big money boys do it. So, what do you do when the wheels on the bus that keep going round and round seem to be about to fall off the bus? Why you call the Vatican and ask the Pope to come speak truth to power.

Do you love answers to those persistent questions? Like for example how do you give a man a raise? By paying him more.  This “more” we are talking about only works if we don’t blow up the world’s economy. I’m not one of those doomsday machine types, but some of the policymakers in Europe are.

Finally, words of advice from one of the better minds in our country.

“I’m here in Mexico, Playa del Carmen. In my neighborhood there is a man who sells bottled water. Did you know he has a sister that sells hot water that a married man can never get out of?”

 

 

 

 

Stupid, Dumb and Dunderheaded

 

Harvest Moon 2014
Harvest Moon 2014

“Your wallets gone, passport is missing and you’ve just received a note from the consulate. There is nothing they can do. You will have to live with your new tattoo and the sex change operation.”

Send in the clowns… they’re already here…

Working today on the stupid… I try not to do stupid, but sometimes you can’t help visiting the stupidity littering the landscape before us.

Fortunately I do visit with the gods and they remind me to maintain my stupid sense of humor. Thank you Three Stooges.

I make my living saying stupid things that on second appear to be smarter than they first look. Of course frequently I am dumber than I appear.

Still we wish the world of the future will be handed to our grandchildren in better shape than the way it was handed to our generation. This is looking stupid both in terms of hopes and the utter logjam of stupid that clutters the path to this goal.

Well, this is the sheer quality of this era of information. With all this power comes all this stupidity. People don’t just act stupid they go on and do stupid for all of their lives. Case in point would be everybody that thought Galileo was stupid. James Inhofe our stupid senator from Oklahoma reprises his moron and stupid. His stupidity is well paid for by a well-oiled not so stupid machine.

And that is stupid. We are essentially much dumber than our brilliance might suggest. It isn’t that we aren’t smart enough it is that we are simply too prone to dunderheaded choices. We are simply brimming with what I respectfully refer to as the ape shit crazy.

Is this too hard to understand? Can you say Fukushima? Dumbest idea we’ve ever had. Build it and they will come. What do you mean you didn’t know that there could be a tidal wave so big that…. We could turn around and go the other way but as smart as that turn might be it feels dumb to the stupid inside of us.

“You can hardly contain your excitement at the going away party; they are finally leaving for college. They come home for Christmas and want to know who the hell gave you permission to buy a new car.”

Hot Spring Honeymoon Front Cover
Get it Here… Clickity Click Click

 “BTW… I finished your book. I liked it. And I laughed.” Nick Nicholas Sensational Street Act

The Stupidity Links

Ultimately we are throwing our grandchildren under the bus…

Is it the deficits or is it putting people back to work? Come on really? You don’t know what to do?

This is your brain on mushrooms… 

 

 

Princeton’s Epitaph to Democracy

weathy toys small

The Luxury Yacht  Karma

That Princeton Study says the elite having captured the political process going back all the way to the 1980’s. The powerful have ended democracy in the USA. The novelist is always looking for a working model of the world. Billionaires, corporate titans and their paid operatives are running riot now. This is the paid for crowd. Fox Television isn’t a political ideological operation it is an oligarchic operation. Lower taxes, less regulation and free trade isn’t a consensus economic perspective, it is an elite belief system. Privatization of everything isn’t always the way to go. Our water systems, prisons, and national security agencies are best left in the public sector. Do we really want Wall Street setting our water rates? Do we want incarceration rates set by judges drumming up more business for privately held prisons?

Creating narrative is fun. Down at the personal level, human to human, a multitude of interesting storylines can be developed. But, if we really don’t have a democracy it means the fish are no longer swimming in the same ocean that Steinbeck or Sinclair Lewis imagined. I give a lot of thought to Buddhism’s model of mind. I don’t find dreams or childhood trauma always helpful in development of a character. Similarly whether we like it or not capitalism or some mutant ascendant version of some form of economics has escaped from the regulations used to constrain its most vile tendencies and here we are left to wonder when the next shoe is about to drop. I am pondering a narrative set in the wine country, and a man who makes wine being chased around the valley by a super wealthy woman. As he explains to her, “I can’t make love to you. It would be like going to bed with Lloyd Blankfein in drag…”

Playing Free and Lose with Fact and Opinion….Wee…………..

Transnational capital has been able to break free of nation-state constraints to accumulation beyond the previous epoch, and with it, to shift the correlation of class and social forces worldwide sharply in its favour – and to undercut the strength of popular and working class movements around the world, in the wake of the global rebellions of the 1960s and the 1970s.

                                                                             William I. Robinson, University of California, Santa Barbara

rigging

                                                 The Jig is up and the Rigging is In

We all have our own personal narrative. It is our story. It is the one we steer right through the center of what we trust and know and doubt and fear. All of us are folded into a variety of other dimensions. You may pick your dimensions and I’ll pick mine.

I keep running into the old trusty canard, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not his own facts.” (Daniel Patrick Moynihan). While we fool around trying to determine the difference between a fact and an opinion manipulation of the impossible to understand Libor Rate takes place right in front of our eyes. Is that my fact or my opinion? Does that matter?

Why doesn’t anything happen? It is only the most abusive banking crime in the history of humanity committed right in front of our eyes.

It is like having some drunk bastard ruining your night at a bar, leaning up against you, stinking of booze and tobacco, treating you to one whopper after another as if you are supposed to listen to his exaggerated list of quasi truths so blown up and distorted they resemble nothing like the actual fact of what actually happened. I take my drunks as character studies. They play it too loose when it comes to the facts. And facts I can use in fiction where sadly a drunks fiction is for their book not mine.

And so where are we with the Libor Rate Crime Against All of Humanity? I want doors broken down, men dragged away in handcuffs, shots fired, tear gas used, get the guys who did this out of those buildings and put them into custom made outsourced buildings of our own choosing. Nice buildings with bars, cute men in uniforms, little TV dinner trays for food, and give them calendars to meditate upon for a decade or two or even three!

I’m not a death penalty type, but I’m certainly alright with putting bankers who have eaten from humanities monetary trough and are remorseless about the misery and pain they have been the cause of. We’ve got tens of millions of workers out of jobs across the globe, I’ve seen estimates (facts not opinion) that go close to 100 million, and the bankers looting the system that crashed because of their misconduct remain untouched and unbowed smoking cigars and drinking fine wine in the Hamptons out of reach from the non-banking collectively screwed over majority of us as if we don’t know where they are and don’t know what to do.

One of these days the posse is going to saddle up and come for these amoral folk… or, perhaps that is just my opinion and as everybody knows putting the bankers away is a fact humanity seems not to be entitled to.

HOT SPRING HONEYMOON

“I can see how a good photograph could be a breath of fresh air in a stale mind.”

Keefe smiled and had a faraway look in his eye,

Gretel got a stoic expression on her face, “He’s a nice enough looking man and, when the time comes and if he picks me, I’m aim to play the sweetest peach he’s ever picked even if it turns out I’m the most rotten woman he ever shared a bed with.”

“Can’t be evil if you end up saving our little town,”

“Might just do the trick,” Gretel said, “every time I’ve climbed into bed with a man it’s been for either love or fun, haven’t tried doing it for my civic duty, it could put a whole new wrinkle on the thing.”