Today's Weblog
web log 2002-10-16

 Please visit Doris Haddock, a real, Honest to God, anti Corporatist, Progressive Populist!

"It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching  that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war,  corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment  more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war."
                             - Abraham Lincoln in a letter to William F. Elkins, Nov 21st, 1864

web log 2002-10-15

As a member of the Dei/Tao Church of the Enlightenment, I protest the display of the 10 commandments in our public buildings and schools.  Instead, let Occam'sRazor be displayed in its place.  Further, let the Enlightenment and the Works of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, Locke, Hume, Condorcet and their peers (and readings from  Thomas Mertons "Way of Chuang Tzu") be topics of meditation during our schools' "moments of silence".



 http://www.moveonpac.org/moveonpac/viewcandidates.phtml
"Good news:  in just 24 hours, ten thousand of us have given more than $400,000 for our four heroes in Congress.  That's $180,000 to Senator Wellstone's campaign alone.  The campaigns are ecstatic.  One campaign manager said, "You have no idea what this means to us.""


Spy planes to hunt sniper - I would be a supporter of the right to bear arms, iff that right's chief self appointed defender were not the (gag) NRA.  That organization's right wing sympathies, and its antipathy to registration, make support impossible.

The absence of effective registration makes more dangerous actions damaging to the right to keep and bear arms inevitable.  We already face a situation where laws against certain types of arms are accepted, the range of prohibited types will increase unless more limited means of management are available.

A "well ordered militia" requires some means of securing and maintaining order, registration is a reasonable way of providing those means.



From Time: Inside the committee that gave Jimmy Carter a Nobel and George W. Bush a message

The Shrubbyists heads are on the block.  Support for their unilateralism is weak in the US and waning.  They have been put on notice by the world community that they are on their own, if they do not seek and gain the support of our allies for any necessary action before proceeding unilaterally.

NO one, person or organization, that I know of has argued that Sadaam should be ignored, nearly everyone agrees that it may well be necessary to use military force to dislodge him.

The point is not whether or not Sadaam Husseign is dangerous and needs to be removed.  Clearly he does.  And clearly a tempered, measured, and well executed approach to doing so would have wide support.  The Shrubbyists have offered no such approach.

The issue before us now, therefore, is how to reign in these Shrubbyist would be "Masters of the Universe" before they do more damage to world peace and order than SH and ObL could do in their wildest dreams.


web log 2002-10-14

CNN's Mike Boetcher has comments on Bali
I have my own:  Surely, it was apparent to every thinking being on the planet, in the first weeks of the Bush Cheney drumbeat for global war after 9-11, that we faced  a 20 year interregnum during which it was going to be unsafe for any ordinary citizen of Eur0-Am nations to visit other parts of the world.

Bali was wholly predictable by October 15, 2001, if not in timing and detail, at least in principle and direction.   Actually, Bali is so logical a "first strike" in a terrorist war against Euro-AM citizens outside their own countries that only the timing should have been in doubt.  We can expect more, much more of this kind of thing.

The Shrubbyists have written off access by ordinary citizens to the rest of the world.  After all, it saves them the political problems associated with instituting new passport restrictions on US citizens who wish to go abroad, and it reduces the awareness that our standard of living, the incomes of ordinary Americans, no longer permit such travel anyway.

From email:

Michael wrote:
  ... There's no proof whatsoever   that force is going to end this so called war.  In fact, the   evidence points towards American aggression intensifying anti  American sentiment.
      We aren't the little kid punching the big bully in the nose on the   playground and sending him running away to mommy.  WE'RE the big kid   pushing other nations around and even nations that are our supposed   allies are growing to resent it.  If you want to see an american   city go up in a nuclear explosion, to face an outbreak of smallpox,   or to have someone use VX in downtown manhattan, keep attacking all   these little Arab countries.

  ...   And if you're a Green in Minnesota... &  Yahoo discussion

I for one have had enough, nay far too much, of these folks' foot stomping, breath holding, self destructive temper
tantrums.  Their childishness and political naivete is a clear and present danger to us all, and a good spanking is in order.


web log 2002-10-12

Betraying Adam Smith:  Corporate Libertarians and Runaway Capitalism

Over the last three decades we have seen an increasingly extreme reliance on the ideology of lassaize faire or the "invisible hand" of self interest in managing our economic and commercial relations.  That  has by now surely proven itself to be the road to ruin to all but the most committed ideologues.  The role that a peculiar, "corporatist" brand of pseudo libertarianism has played in providing propaganda support for this dead end policy is particularily disturbing.

The confusion of and conflict between Liberal and Libertarian attitudes is a mess, politically and conceptually, right now.  I have seen the term "anarcho-Libertarian" used to describe the extreme forms of libertarianism which have been funded and  so successfully usedby the Corporatist oligarchy to discredit government protection of free markets from predatory corporatism.

Liberals are  anti collectivist, pro market and pro pluralist, reaffirming the Constitutional system of checks and balances envisioned by the founders without adopting a policy stance that renders us incapable of dealing with the drive of corporate oligarchs to monopolize and destroy markets.

Libertarians, on the other hand, are largely rendered impotent in the face of private actions to distort and prevent the efficient action of markets by their near "religious" objection to government action.

In her article "Enron and the Myths of Runaway Capitalism" Marjorie Kelly, publisher of Business Ethics, describes some of current  problems of "invisible hand" theory.  George Soros touches on it in his Essay "The Capitalist Threat".  And Wm. Lerach discusses specific market failures resulting from this ideology in an interview with CFO magazine.

Adam Smith, in the "Wealth of Nations", Book I, Ch. X and XI, addressed these problems.  Though they were not  as central to business management or the theory of political economy when he wrote, he clearly recognized them and the need for measures, including government action, to correct for them.

The resulting breakdown in our regulatory practices and policies has led to a deep seated, pervasive decline in the integrity of business practices.  We have seen a 40% decline in the value of stocks; it is not unlikely that we face a double dip recession as a result.  Those who make public policy and those who report on it should take better care in the future to recognize such extremist ideology and its dangers, and treat it as the poison it truly is.

url's in order of link appearance
 http://world.std.com/~mhuben/faq.html
 http://iisd1.iisd.ca/pcdf/corprule/assault.htm
 http://iisd1.iisd.ca/pcdf/corprule/failure.htm
http://iisd1.iisd.ca/pcdf/corprule/betrayal.htm
 http://www.salon.com/jan97/state970120.html
http://www.thecriticalvoice.com/runaway_capitalism.html
 http://www.business-ethics.com
http://www.flora.org/library/mai/soros.html
http://www.cfo.com/Article?article=7612
http://www.online-literature.com/view.php/wealth_nations/10
 http://www.online-literature.com/view.php/wealth_nations/11

Other useful URL's

 http://www.prospect.org/print/V13/14/kuttner-r.html
http://www.DivineRightofCapital.com
 http://www.thecriticalvoice.com/eronlinks.html
http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWNtoc.html
http://www.adamsmith.org.uk/smith/quotes.htm
 



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