August 15th, 2011

Voodoo Economics: The Toxic Ideology

With real wages of the middle class stagnating or decreasing over the last decade, cuts to entitlements all but certain, and the continuing growth of the 'work more for less' environment of cutting workers and making the rest pick up the slack for the same pay, one starts to wonder why people put so much trust in the 'job creators', aka the mega rich that are being protected and benefited time and time again. Corporations and banks are posting record profits, but unemployment is still up. As the rights of the workers are being trampled on, one wonders how long this will be allowed to go on. High income inequality is a hallmark of third world nations, is America heading along the same path?

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Wanna bettaworld

Uniting a community.

In the UK we have seen London, a city with over 3,000 different languages spoken, and having several different religious and ethnic communities among it's residents, fragment and turn into what was a battleground where an overstretched police force took on looters and rioters for several days.

It has to be said that although hundreds of people descended on one London borough to commit arson and looting, there were far many more who turned out, as volunteers, to clean up the mess. But how did our society become so fragmented in the first place and what can be done to address this problem ?

First, let us have no talk of blaming any immigrant community, or the idea of multiculturalism as being a bad thing in itself. It is a fact that Switzerland, one of the most politically stable and best run countries in Europe has got three different languages, two major religious blocs and a cultural heritage from two nations who fought on different sides in two World Wars. Collapse )
Godzilla, default

OK, this is not how politics is supposed to work:

http://www.azfamily.com/news/politics/Frustrated-feelings-come-out-during-Senator-Mccains-town-hall-meeting-127277083.html

So, Senator McCain of Arizona recently compared the Tea Party to the Hobbits, the mutant furry-footed humans from Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit (obviously). First of all, the Hobbits were technically the good guys. I hope this doesn't spoil anything for anyone but it's actually Gollum, the ugly little toad that destroys the One Ring from greed, the Hobbits were so bloody ordinary they just got it where it needed to be. If that's damning them with faint praise, then OK. If that's trying to insult them, well......that's not how insults work.

Second, why compare them of all fantasy species to the Hobbits in the first place? They should properly be compared to the http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Decepticon types because they're incompetent, have yet to succeed in passing anything, and spend more time fighting their erstwhile allies than dealing with their theoretical rivals. Their very name opens them to mockery (ensue Mad Hatter and Marsh Hare cartoon) and their whole ideas are as non-sensical as anything out of a Vonnegut satire. Hobbits are boring Englishmen Eloi-types in a fantasy world inhabited by an Eldritch Abomination with a magic ring.

This satire brought to you by Underlankers Incorporated, you may now return to your regularly scheduled community programming.
boognish

(no subject)

Here's something for the community's U.S. citizens to consider. Cornell's website is very good at linking to sections of the U.S. constitution inkblotted by amendments. What it does not do is link Article III section II to the 14th amendment. Article III Section II, and the Judiciary Act of 1789, are very clear on the fact that the United States court system extends to every sphere except for The People vs Their State. If Article III Section II remains unchanged for all intents and purposes, and the 14th amendment extends the U.S. Bill of Rights to The People vs Their State, then is the only justification for the Supreme Court ruling on things like gun ownership in Chicago based on this clause of section II: "The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority"?

If aforementioned clause is the justification for the judicial power extending based on the 14th amendment's assertion "No state shall break the 5th amendment" (my paraphrase), why is that statement valid in the context of the 14th amendment but not the 5th? Is not the lack of an explicit statement giving judicial power over The People vs Their State a contradiction?

I'll be going to bed soon. Please talk amongst yourselves.
Groovy Kol

The new public enemy

David T Beers is probably the most influential among the un-famous guys in the world of global finance. Don't know him? Well, the Finance ministers of most countries know who he is too well. He's the chairman of the department of public debt at Standard & Poor's. Which means that he supervises the ratings that the agency is putting on the debt instruments of each government. A couple of weeks ago, when S&P downgraded the US from the coveted triple-A to AA+ (the horrorz!), the hive mind of Wikipedia finally made up its mind and added an article dedicated to David T Beers. And quite timely.

Beers is the man who downgraded Greece's rating to crap eeh, I mean "Junk" last year, and this way made the EU's rescue operations even more complicated than they already were. But what really granted him the unusual place in the spotlight was the relegation of the US from the elite club of the triple-A's. This unprecedented, although not-too-surprising decision, not only increased the shock waves across the nervous markets in the last days, but it also brought a lot of anger on Beers, S&P and the other two big agencies, Moody's and Fitch. We could say they're now public enemy #1 both for the politicians and people at both sides of the Atlantic.

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