June 20th, 2012

Godzilla, default

(no subject)

There has been a view here that has been repeated that freedom of speech is absolute, and words should be spoken free of any consequence. So here's a simple pair of stories: in the 1960s there was a famous actress daughter of an actor who starred in a really famous softcore porn film, who went to Hanoi to sit on an anti-aircraft gun and agitate against the Vietnam War, thereby giving a boost to the Hanoi Politburo. Then you have her a few years later telling Vietnam POWs right out of the Hanoi Hilton that they were never actually tortured and that it was all a propaganda exercise by the evol capitalists.

Does she have the freedom to speak and act thus? Does the exercise of freedom of speech in her particular case extend to this? If the answer is no, what precisely is the difference between this and "proudly saying Nigger, Spic, Kike, Dago" and all those other lovely sentiments the "anti-PC" crowd wants said, aside from the repellent and repugnant view being expressed being one they detest as opposed to one they approve of?

Personally, I think what she did is beyond the pale, but I am not empowered to say "This and no further does speech extend", at least IMHO. Otherwise it gets into hypocrisy very quickly. What say you?

The Ol Switcheroo

'Preachin' to the choir' is an old saying, that roughly translated means 'Telling people shit they already know'. It should be seen as an absurd action, but in the world of politics - no sense makes perfect sense.

For about the next 4 months, Barack Obama will travel the country speaking to crowds full of Democrats, and Mitt Romney will do the same - only with crowds full of Republicans.

To what end?

Is it to show appreciation? That may be the best answer, but consider the type of person who goes to a political rally - are they really going to change their mind without the rally?
Is it to fill the followers head with talking points they can recall in everyday political discussions? Maybe, but you could do the same thing with a bunch of mailouts.

Could Obama and Romney put aside their differences for a minute, and agree to switch arenas/town halls? I think that would be the easy part, compared to the other things that would have to fall in place.

Worst case - they lose time, but not votes

Best case - gaining votes might be an unrealistic goal, but those are the best kind

The hell do you think?
The Captain's Prop

When Usury Is Involved

Debt, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.

–Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary.

When last I commented on debt and default, I noted that Greece, since it will never be able to pay back the gazillions owed to Deutche Bank and others, should simply be allowed to never repay the loans. The loans should be forgiven. In that article, I noted that predatory lending is nothing new to large banks, even when it comes to lending to sovereign nations. There are simply limits to the economic activity that loans can stimulate, meaning that one cannot loan one's economy to highs that enable repayment of principal plus interest. It ain't gonna happen, and shouldn't be expected.

Here's the thing: We have since the end of WWII had a seemingly deliberate attempt to reverse the sage practices of the past and to obliterate from the general memory that these practices were ever regular. We need to revive the normal, and to help that along I'd thought I'd try to revive old terms that are still relevant today, Collapse )