Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.
|Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 16h 57m 59s|
Today's word is ....
sardoodledom (SAR-doo-duhl-duhm) noun
Plays having contrived melodramatic plot, concentrating excessively
on the technique to the exclusion of characterization.
|Thursday, 24 May 2007 at 20h 11m 8s|
If it benefits you, call it inevitable
One thing that you will hear these days is the so-called
modern capitalism. When corporations sell their American footprints
(factories, warehouses, financial offices, bank accounts) and move overseas,
liberterian philosophy says that owners of "capital" have the "right" to move
where-ever they think they can get the best deal. The drive for short-term
profit is presumed to be no different from long term stability, so when the
financial wizards finance these operations to make millions this too is also
seen as inevitable, and therefore natural.
But jobs that vanish never come back, and the economy that remains is of a
different scale because the wealth creation is gone. Workers get a small
percentage of the expenses of the company. When large percentages of company
expenses are abroad, the amount of wealth created in the United States is
reduced. The percentage of a smaller total is inevitably smaller, but the
percentage itself may also shrink. This is the current situation for the
modern American middle class.
In order to justify this trend, advertizements and public relations firms claim
that "cheaper labor means cheaper prices." Walmart is "cheap" you see, because
of the cheap Chinese labor and pressure of Walmart to force their suppliers to
lower prices. Meanwhile, Walmart sucks out all the cash to banks external to
the community in which the Walmart exists, while the available jobs to the
Walmart customers has vastly decreased over the last 30 years.
But cheaper labor does not mean cheaper prices. If the costs of labor
increased by $10 per hour, that increase is spread out over the worker's
production per hour. If the worker makes four $60 dresses an hour, that is $10
divided by 4, or $2.50 increase per purse.
Note that the worker himself may not be able to sew 4 dresses per hour. But if
the group of 20 working together for 8 hours makes 80 dresses a day, what's the
difference in dresses per worker.
Consider also that the price of the now $62.50 dress includes an American
worker who might purchase the dress. This American worker puts his money in a
local bank and spends all of it in the community in which he lives, thereby
lending natural support to the small business entrepreneurs that would not
thrive without their local customers.
An increase in labor of $20 an hour would be a $65 dress.
An increase in labor of $32 an hour would be a $68 dress.
So for persons who bring up the issues of high land prices and higher external
costs per worker than China, touche.
The same is true of Immigrant agricultural laborors in the United States.
People say that no one will pick the fruits and vegetables, and that if the
price of labor increased, the price of fruits and vegetables would rise, and
we'd have to pay "$10 for apples."
Well again let's say a worker picks 20 apples per hour ( and the production is
more than 20). Divide an increase of $10 per hour, and that is only 50 cents
per apple ( not $10.) Even if the increase is $30 per hour, the added cost per
apple is only $30 divided by 20, or $1.50. All this even though the picked
apples per hour is more like 40 -- $30 divided by 40 = 75 cents.
As I've said in earlier posts, only the small clique of well-positioned
financiers actually benefit from this trend.
So ask yourself, what's really going on?
|Friday, 4 May 2007 at 17h 8m 41s|
An Anagram of sorts
Lets see if you can figure this out ...
-- followed by are destroying the government and nation with their kow-
towing to craven selfishness and corruption.
|Sunday, 15 April 2007 at 5h 56m 44s|
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some
blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit
to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
|Friday, 13 April 2007 at 15h 48m 15s|
"We didn't mean to do it" say these people who have been around since
Nixon administration through the Reagan administration and now the Bush
Uh,um ... y.y... yeah right.
You see, now they want to distract us from the real argument.
This is from the Associated press as posted on yahoo [Click here
The prosecutor probing the Valerie Plame spy case saw and copied all of Rove's
e-mails from his various accounts after searching Rove's laptop, his home
computer, and the handheld computer devices he used for both the White House
and Republican National Committee, Luskin said.
The prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, subpoenaed the e-mails from the White
House, the RNC and Bush's re-election campaign, he added.
"There's never been any suggestion that Fitzgerald had anything less than a
complete record," Luskin said.
Any e-mails Rove deleted were the type of routine deletions people make to keep
their inboxes orderly, Luskin said. He said Rove had no idea the e-mails were
being deleted from the server, a central computer that managed the e-mail.
Which of course completely misses the point.
The story is that Karl Rove organized an extra-legal communication system
purchased by RNC funds through which administration officials communicated the
public's business so they could conceal their corrupt activities from public
Whether the emails were purposely deleted or whether they were deleted for
purposes of being "tiddy" does not matter. The communication system itself is
illegal and is under the legal oversight of the judicial and congressional
branches of government.
It is not only absolutely unbelievable that the administration can't comply
with a subpoena by the Justice department, but this statement by Rove's lawyer
has nothing to do with the legal matters of the story.
This afternoon press conference (which is what the Associated Press story
really is after all) is just another strategic press conference by Rove's
lawyer Luskin. It is only a stalling tactic. They want to turn the debate into
a debate over why the emails were deleted, rather than the back-channel email
Also, as is pointed out by Shawn GBR on an Air America Blog :
From a legal standpoint too (which is also another topic our weak Conservative
friends are lacking knowledge), I would like to point you to this page
at Cornell University's Law website.
Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies,
or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the
intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper
administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or
agency of the United States...
...shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
|Friday, 13 April 2007 at 6h 37m 23s|
Wow, it's been almost 2 months
I know I haven't blogged in a while. I apologize to the 10 persons who might
actually read this regularly ... my mom, my three best friends Chris, Rob, &
Barry, and all of my beloved students.
I had about 3 weeks when my wrist was sprained and I couldn't type because I
couldn't use my right hand. I stepped out of my car, slipped on a grease spot,
and caught my fall awkwardly with my right wrist.
But that doesn't explain the other 3 weeks of inactivity.
It's baseball season you see. What better escape can there be from the
insanity of world affairs and the corrupt American government ?
And that's it really. I'm overwhemed and inundated, and it takes everything I
have to not just scream or devolve into a nervous wreck.
This week the news is all a buzz about radio talk cowboy Don Imus stupidly
referring to the women's college basketball victors as "nappy headed hoes."
Meanwhile, the backdoor email channels set up by Karl Rove via RNC (Republican
National Committee) paid for computers is getting little exposure. Yesterday,
when Patrick Leahy, Democrat Chairman of the Judiciary Committee angrily
disbelieves that the Administration lost 5 years of these emails, does the
press put this into perspective for the average ill-informed American ?
No. It doesn't.
This email network is being treated with kid gloves by the corporate press, if
it is dealt with at all. The administration ILLEGALLY set up a back-channel
communication system in 2001-2002 in order to have discussions that no one
could drag up as evidence.
The San Fran Chronicle couldn't be bothered with this story all week --
preferring to talk about the Salmon run, a green downtown building, the 60 year
anniversary of Jackie Robinson, MUNI bus troubles, the GOP vile comments about
Today, in typical Chronicle style, the pathetic paper republishes a Washington
Post piece on page A-3 by Michael Abromowitz. First of all, here is the Post story. And Click
here for the "Comical" version.
IT'S NOT THE SAME ARTICLE
The Chronicle cuts up and slices up the original Washington Post article, not
even mentioning the last 5 paragraphs at all. There is also no reference to
how this story relates to Jack Abramhoff -- which was in a story the Post (a
real newspaper) did the day before by Michael Abramowitz and Dan Eggen. [Click
In another e-mail exchange revealed during the investigation of disgraced
lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a White House official was described as warning
that "it is better to not put this stuff in writing in [the White House] . . .
email system because it might actually limit what they can do to help us,
especially since there could be lawsuits, etc." Abramoff responded in an e-mail
that the message in question "was not supposed to go into the WH system."
Hmm. Chronicle readers would have never learned this at all. Is this why the
Chronicle editors waited until today to finally publish an edited version of a
story on page 3?
Here is what the Chronicle felt it could edit out of the original story without
bothering to imform it's readers that did so.
Erasing an e-mail message beyond hope of retrieval is not easy, experts said.
In general, deleting any file on a computer does not make it go away, because
the computer normally will erase not the file but rather its own records of
it. "The data is not gone until it is overwritten," said John Christopher,
senior data-recovery engineer at Novato, Calif.-based DriveSavers.
The "deleted" file will remain on the hard drive, where it can still be found
and read until other data are saved to the same spot.
The same thing happens with e-mail: Trashing a message only means that the mail
program clears its records of where it had filed that e-mail in its own
Paul Robichaux, a principal with the Redmond, Wash., technology services firm
3Sharp and the author of three books about Microsoft's e-mail software,
compared it to a library that removes the entry for a book from its card
catalogue: "The book is still on the shelf."
This is yet another reason why the San Francisco Chronicle is better off
wrapping fish than reading.
|Wednesday, 7 February 2007 at 22h 35m 4s|
On the move
"Vietnam is on the move, see the transformation"
This is the caption from an advertisement by the World Bank. Words are a funny
thing. Of course it helps to understand what the World Bank does to realize
just how funny words can be. The World Bank is an aggregation of funds accrued
like subscription fees from the industrial nations of the World, but most of
the money is from the United States, Britain, and Germany. The bank is meant
to offer high risk loans to "developing" "third world" nations, but in reality
the bank functions by offering cheap loans to connected businesses that help
finance the corporate takeover of the vast jobless poor nations of the world.
Vietnam is one of these poor nations. Remember that was the country where the
United States creatively used that good ole American know-how to bomb the small
coastal nation into the Stone Age. Could it be that the constant warfare
between 1950-1975 hurt the long-term economy?
The Corporations that own the factories and the distribution networks have been
doing a lot of moving around over the last 40 years. Corporations have closed
up factories and moved to lower wage, lower cost regions of the world where the
governments are more easily corrupted so they can save money. This is the real
reason for the stock market booms of the 80's and 90's. The large financial
players that finance and oversee this movement have been squeezing out the
difference, resulting in larger dividends for the investing classes. While the
median income of the lower
99.5% of the population (anyone who makes less than $500,000) has remained flat
$35,000 for the last 40 years, the median income of the upper 0.5% (those who
have more than $500,000) increased 10 times !!!!
The median, by the way, is not the same statistic as the average. The median
is the data item that is exactly in the middle of an ordered stack of data
arranged from lowest to highest. Half of the population are below the median;
half are above. This is a more meaningful statistic because the average gives
you no sense of how the data is spread out or distributed. ( Example: 1
+ 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 +2 + 24 divided by 8 = 32 divided by 8 = 4, whereas the
median is 1.) The median income of an increasing population can also remain the
same even while the number of data items increases -- which is what has
happened to the lower 99.5% over the last 40 years (the average, on the other
hand, will always increase or decrease depending on the sum totals because
since you divide by an increased number of data items, the denominator is
different. Example: add another 1 to the above data. The median is
still one, but the average is now 33 divided by 9 = 3.666666...) Likewise,
the median income for the upper 0.5% could have only increased 10 times ( as in
1 million to 10 million) if the upper half experiences a gigantic boost in
Example: Think of the number you would now have to add to our data in
order to make the average 10 times bigger. This would be 36.666, and we have
to solve X + 33 divided by 10 = 36.666. Multiply 10, and this is X + 33 =
366.666. You would have to add 333.66 which is MORE THAN 10 TIMES the next
largest data item of 25.
1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 +1 + 2 + 24 + 333.66 is a microcosm of the income
distribution of the United States today. Which number do you think the
politicians listen to?
The impoverished nations that receive the new factories, offices (telphone
from India), and warehouses
are said to have "benefited" from this "transformation." Without a doubt,
having a steady income is better than being poor, but the way in which the
benefit occurs is like giving a dying patient morphine instead of a cure. When
a factory leaves and demolishes a community's economy, the new location is a
boon to another community, but the net transfer is not an even swap because the
financiers are milking the difference in costs instead of turning it over to
the new community.
These costs are also said to pass
on to the (beloved) customers, but even this has been shown by the economic
data to be false. When Nike moved its sneaker factories to Vietnam and reduced
it's labor and operational costs by 50%, the price of the sneakers at a shoe
store in the United States didn't drop. In fact the price has gone up over the
years, even though the labor and operational costs remain flat. Where do you
think the money these companies pay for advertising comes from?
The transformation goes something like this analogy, using money in a box to
represent the business. Suppose there are 4 persons, each
representing the four nations where a corporation has moved over the last 40
years. Call them USA, Mexico, China, and Vietnam.
At first the box has $100 in it. This money
represents all of the revenue used by the business, to pay wages and
expenses, and to flow through the local economies where the business is
located. Now when this box moves to Mexico, the owners take out $30 for
themselves and leave only $70 in the box. Then the box moves to China, and the
owners take out another $30, leaving only $40 in the box, which just so happens
to be enough money to pay the wages and expenses for the business in China.
When the box finally moves to Vietnam, the owners take out $10, and there is
only $30 in the box.
Where did the $70 go? It went through the filters of the financial system
because the prices in the USA did not all drop by 70% by the time the box got
to Vietnam. This is what Walmart shoppers need to understand, where the prices
are supposed to be "so low" because of the low cost, low wage imports. The
reality is however, that if the goods sold at Walmart were all from the
the price MIGHT be only a dollar more, because the corporations don't pass the
savings on to the customers.
This thing called "free trade" and "globalism" is nothing but a swindle.
But now Vietnam is "on the move." You see, the people used to sit around and
do nothing. Now, they are walking around and moving. Glorious days are ahead.
|Wednesday, 17 January 2007 at 19h 33m 17s|
I forgot who that person was
the individual cast against the walls of the skull
the caricature of selfdom
and the opened luggage besides
with unwashed socks piled randomly
upon the tossled blue jeans and flannel shirts
and the scattered papers wherein lie the sketched imprints of the real
that flows endlessly
is said to cease
at some point called death in the future
rather than a mirror to another domain
that is leaped through like entering the surface of the water
into the world beyond
where time slows way down
and sentences take half an eon to speak
like an evolutionary process
eclipsing the history
|Sunday, 14 January 2007 at 13h 3m 16s|
Eisenhower's farewell address
On January 17, 1961, 3 days before he stepped
Eisenhower gave a farewell address where he warned about the rise of military
contracts and military contractors. And he would know because he presided over
the presidency at the time of the CIA's nascent overseas black operations, and
when the first groups of US advisors and forces began to show up in Vietnam.
Yet it was Eisenhower who squelched the idea of dropping an Atomic Bomb during
the 1954 French military defeat at Diem Bien Phu. It was Eisenhower who managed
a successful de-escalation and troop withdrawal from Korea.
He was the Commander in Chief during World War Two AND also President from 1952
to 1960. He was in a position to know what he is talking about.
A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms
must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be
tempted to risk his own destruction.
Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of
my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments
industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make
swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of
national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments
industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and
women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on
military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry
is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political,
even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the
Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet
we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and
livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of
unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial
complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or
democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and
knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial
and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that
security and liberty may prosper together.
You can get the entire farewell speech here or here
for a more readable format.
Little known is a 1953 Presidential speech by President Eisenhower where he
castigated the "war
machine" and laid out his reasons for pursuing peace. Mind you, the Dulles
brothers were orchestrating international escapades in Iran, Iraq, Indonesia,
and Central America at the time, but Eisenhower was independent of those
intrigues, and discovered them towards the end of his Presidency. Nixon
discovered them too -- Nixon was Eisenhower's Vice President -- and was in the
middle of the Bay of Pigs development in 1961 when Eisenhower gave his farewell
address above. Nixon's connections with the mob are documented. and given that
Nixon was also involved with the Cuba-Bay-of-Pigs cabal that is known to have
resulted in Kennedy's assassination, one has to wonder just how deeply involved
Nixon really was. Recall that Nixon barely lost to Kennedy in 1960.
Oh but I digress, the history is too intricate to ignore.
Anyway, here is what Eisenhower said in his 1953 speech. Click here for the entire speech.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies,
in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who
are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone.
It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the
hopes of its children.
The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than
It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.
It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.
It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.
We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat.
We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than
This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has
This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of
threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
-- From Address by President Dwight D. Eisenhower "The Chance for Peace"
delivered before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April
|Thursday, 28 December 2006 at 11h 37m 29s|
The real motives of Intelligent Design
Thom Hartmann (a Radio talk show host) talked about two
involving politics, science, nature and religion today. He talked about how
intelligent design is really a religious belief, and the Theory of Evolution is
a scientific fact based upon observable effects and predicable
experimentation. Mutations and changes in the Earth's environment are
cataclysmic events that result in some species being better adept to live by
exploiting some available resource or method of obtaining such resource.
Animals that specialized a method of eating and having off-spring have an very
advantageous ability to live. However, when the environment or eco-system
changes and these specialized methods are no longer effective, the species who
cannot adapt die off.
Thusly, if we humans cannot change our methods of energy production we will
destroy our ability to live here on Earth and die off, like the Dinosaurs
The beliefs called Intelligent design consist of the idea that some superior
man-like being "intelligentally" watches over all events big and small,
ascribing to all of the multitude of molecules, sub-atomic particles, planets,
universes, and living things his very astute eye. The father with a thick grey
beard -- or the loving earth mother -- watches over his many flocks, rewarding
and punishing them, or pushing a little here, pulling back a little there, all
day and night, 24-7. In short, God is a control freak that has his hand in
everything that goes on for a higher "intelligent" purpose.
It must be remember firmly by all who have personal religious "spiritual"
beliefs (like myself, and everyone else) that this "God" and the actions
of "God" get interpreted by human beings. People who go around saying
that "God" has spoken to them are viewed with suspicion for a reason. Why
would "God" speak to some persons, but not everyone anyway; or if "God" does
speak to everyone by actions, the interpretation or ramification of these
actions and events still must come through mankind. These spokespersons for
the Lord, or "prophets," are not always considered such by their
contemporaries, and are only named "Prophets" after they are dead and history
views them with better perspective. These "prophets" are also equated with
social upheaval and political events that are rooted in a community of ideas
and common issues. In short, religious faith and spiritual beliefs cannot be
separate from the human society in which they evolve because their is no way to
separate the actual God from the interpretations of men.
We cannot know what God's intentions are really. Certainly the course of
action that is most beneficial to everyone would be the best action to take,
but we modern-day persons assume an infinite wisdom and ageless perspective.
The Gods of the ancients, and even some Christian religious sects, were
jealous, whimsical, and wrathful beings. We humans cannot ever completely
understand the workings of the Universe, and are only better equiped by the
advanced technology of our machines. We analyze actions and reactions
scientifically and observe phenomenom that we try to explain, with models that
are usually better, but not anymore adequate to a complete understanding.
However, to say that God is what lives in the vacant spaces of scientific
knowledge is a very limited narrow-minded view of spirituality.
The belief that all things must happen for a purpose does not have to interfere
with the scientific method. Nor does the scientific method obliterate the
purpose of God and spirituality. Knowledge and understanding are intrinsic
parts of spiritual awareness, and spirituality is not separate from the human
culture and society from which it comes -- which is why there are and have been
millions of religions across the world throughout the history of mankind.
What we have here is a political movement that is trying to foist confusion
upon the ignorant masses who consider themselves religious folk. Lacking
scientific knowledge these people are vulnerable to this foolishness because
they don't have the knowledge to understand evolution, and thus can be
persuaded to view evolution as something that is anti-religious and hedonistic.
This is yet another battle in the age-old fight of "Faith" versus "Reason" by
organized religion upon the universities, or the Protestants upon the Catholic
monopoly in Europe, or the mandarins versus the clerics in China and the
ancient world. Or in modern day language: obeying the hierarchy of
officialdom versus thinking for yourself and being allowed to see the documents
or here the ideas upon which all official decisions a based.
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