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My goal is to post liberal talking points to combat those from the right.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

May the Best Team Win: Or how to live and learn to love the instant replay

I am old and grew up with American sports where the emphasis was always on, “may the best team win”. At first this sounds ok, but having lived with it, I find it capitalistic and boring. The American “best team” is usually the richest team. The team that can buy the best players, or in youth sports, the team that can "recruit" the best players. And after they spend the money, they deserve (?) to win, ala NY Yankees or LA Lakers.

In recent World Cup games there have been some bad decisions made by referees. This is too bad (meant sincerely). It would be nice if the referees were super-human and made no mistakes. And if the goal of the sport is for the best team to win, this is disaster. But I would ask you to define “best team”. In American sports it is easy. In basketball, LA Lakers are the best team and they win most of the time. To be sure the best team (Lakers) prevail, there is a 80 plus game season and seven game tournament series. This would preclude a team other than the "best" from accidentally winning. Kinda like Germany accidently beating England. Maybe England and Germany should have the best 4 out of 7. Some would argue that England is a better team than Germany and should have won. And if there were more referees, like American sports, and instant replay, England would have prevailed. But I say, on that day, Germany’s skill and luck prevailed. If you want to review referees’ decisions after the game to decide if they are fit to continue as referees, go for it, but dont ruin soccer with the American instant replay.

If there is a god, soccer god that is, please tell FIFA to forget the instant replay and play on.

For youth sports, I wish the emphasis would be to have a good, competitive game and the hell with the “best team”.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

So You Think You Can Revolt?

It is a popular for some to suggest that we still have the revolution card to play. I don’t think so. I think it is romantic to think that the downtrodden will rise up and cast off the chains of oppression and reestablish our Democratic Republic, but not likely. First of all let’s look at who is going to be on whose side in this revolution. Let’s break the population into four classes.

The tea-bagger/uninformed voters/gullibles or whatever,

the apathetic middle class that don’t want to be involved as long as Dancing With the Stars(?) is still on,

the informed, educated, liberal, professionals

and the ruling class/corporatists.

So while some of the educated, liberal class pretend to support an armed revolution, the tea-baggers are actually making the motions. And they actually have guns and of course are easily lead. So this is how I see the revolution happening. The tea-baggers, backed by our corporate overlords (the ruling class) will revolt. But they will revolt against the liberals. They will undo whatever is left of our Constitution in the name of “freedom”. Can you spell Patriot Act? They will readily embrace Dick Cheeney as their new Democratic Dictator (or unitary executive as Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts would call him). John Yoo will be their high priest.

Now go ahead and mock me, I am used to it. I survived high school so this is nothing. But if you honestly think there is a way an armed revolution can take us back to a Constitutional controlled Democratic Republic, please tell me, I am honestly interested.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Laying all the blame on BP is counter productive.

Of course BP shares some blame, but remember, they are a corporation and in spite of what the SCOTUS says, they are not human. BP doesn’t not have a conscience. Their sole goal is to make profit and as much as possible. They will cut corners and cheat the regulations at every turn. In some cases corporations have decided it is more profitable for them to neglect safeguards and pay the measly fines.

Bad analogy time:
If the candy store owner doesn’t buy a door and the guard sleeps on duty, should the neighborhood children shoulder the complete blame for getting into the candy?

We have inadequate regulations and very little enforcement of those regulations we have. Sadly, I doubt this president will do much about it. Oh something token will happen to BP, probably a punishment that they come up with. They will promise to never again let the battery run down on their blow-out preventer valve. Trust them. But IMHO they will never clean up this mess and they will do little to prevent the next one. Their sole goal is profit and they are willing to risk extreme damage to the environment and even human deaths (11 died on the Deepwater Horizon. Massey Energy killed 29 miners and nothing was done. I wonder how many deaths are allowed before we would do something.

Unregulated capitalism will be our downfall.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is Buy Stocks Investing or Gambling?

What happened to our economy? A number of things, many in the Bush years but also Clinton didn’t help by signing the bill that allowed the banks that you and I put our money in to “invest” (read gamble). So some will say that it’s just the “free market” at work, let the chips fall where they may. There are a couple of things wrong with that thinking. One, if I wanted someone to gamble with my money I’d go to Las Vegas myself. Two, we the taxpayers provide insurance to the gamblers (banksters). If they lose big, we make it up to them. Now remember it is our money they are gambling with and it is our money we give them when they fail. This may be win-win for the banksters but definitely lose-lose for the tax payers.
Another thing is that when stocks are bought in the market, we are not really “investing”. We are buying the stocks from another gambler that is betting the price will go down. We of course are betting the price will go up. Millions of these bets are made each day with virtually none of the money actually invested in companies to build factories or increase production.
We have seen plenty of evidence of how easy it is for the insiders to manipulate stock prices. For example, if an investment house strongly supports a stock, the popularity increases and so does the price. We, the general public are just trying to get in on the bubble. Now let’s say the investment company that is promoting the increase of the stock price, bets on the price falling and at some point stops supporting the stock, bingo, the price falls and the investment house (and or their favorite clients, make big money. One guess who loses. The poor bastards (you and me) that are just trying to make some money for retirement.
Goldman Sucks and others have done similar tricks with whole countries economies. In countries like Iceland, Ireland, and Greece they help make the countries’ economies look healthy, and then bet against the strength of the economy (they buy insurance against collapse). Of course they know the economies are over-stretched, because they helped put them in that position.
The banksters without regulations are manipulating our economy and making hundreds of billions and even trillions at our expense. We need tough regulations immediately.
I am sure that if an economist reads this they would cry, but it’s how I see it.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg

Once upon a time their was a goose that laid golden eggs, otherwise known as the American economy. For decades the goose delivered the eggs and everyone prospered. It was very important to protect the goose from the greedy that would want more than the goose could produce, therefore there were regulations that protected the goose. This worked for decades until the American people started to forget the 1920’s, the last time the goose was killed. In the 1980's the powers to be decided to listen to the wizard Alan Greenspan who said that the goose could give more gold. Alan, in the name of his God, Ayn Rand, assured everyone that guarding the goose wasn’t necessary. He said that instead of regulating the amount of gold taken, we should let the smart business minds decide on the amount to be taken. After all, he said, they would never kill the goose because that would be against their own best interest. Many other economists cried out that it was essential to protect the goose, but their cries went unheard. Now the goose is severely wounded and Mr. Greenspan says that no one could have foreseen the disaster. Apparently Mr. Greenspan doesnt understand greed.

A little late but the American people woke up and voted for change. Time to heal the goose. Sadly, the change didn’t materialize. Instead of getting a new doctor to heal the goose, the new president kept the same doctors that harmed the goose. Apparently the new president is powerless against the cons.

Move your money out of stocks. You wont be able to out guess the cons.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Top Corporations Pay Little or No Taxes

“Most corporations, including a large majority of foreign companies doing business in the United States, pay no income taxes, according to a report released today.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that two-thirds of both American and foreign companies doing business here end up avoiding all income tax obligations to the federal government, despite corporate sales totaling $2.5 trillion.
According to the GAO, each year from 1998 to 2005, an average of 68 percent of the foreign companies operating in the United States paid zero federal income taxes. During the same period, 66 percent of U.S. domestic corporations paid no federal income taxes to the government.”

Some of the corporations not paying any taxes in the U.S. were Bank of America, General Electric and CitiBank.



Sunday, April 18, 2010

How's That Trickle Down Workin For Yeah? You Get Trickled On Yet?

For almost 40 years every President, from Truman thru Carter, reduced our national debt. Bringing it down from 120% to approx 30% of GDP. But the Reagan and Bush I years saw the national debt skyrocket from 30% to about 65%. Clinton successfully reversed the trend and reduced the debt down to about 55%. Then Bush II drove the debt back up above 70%.

Two things are certain to grow when a Republican is in the White House, unemployment and the National Debt. Yet the Republicans accuse the Democrats of over spending.

These huge debts run up by the Republicans are a result of the infamous “Trickle Down Economics” theory. This theory claims that by giving the wealthy large tax breaks, they will invest that money into factories and production thus creating jobs. Well Republicans, how’s that working for yeah? If failed for Calvin Coolidge and now also for Reagan and the Bush’s. It’s been shown that the results of “Trickle Down”, is the redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the super-rich.

Clinton balanced the budget five times. Reagan, Bush I and Bush II never had a balanced budget.

Thanks to Mike Kohl who posts on DU:



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