Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Money 01

Power runs on it, governments run on it, people kill daily to get it - or to get MORE of it - and guess what? It doesn't even exist. It's money.

Dismal, the world of money - for me. If you are normal, money is simply the quest you follow in life. But there may be some of us out there who, like me, find money to be the province of thieves and swindlers.

So - in this blog intended for improving my own thinking - and which too often functions as a valve to let off my endless steam as it boils up - I am going to try to put the whole issue of money in perspective.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pluralism, in Spite of My Prior Post

A Conservative, reading the prior post, will probably roar in indignation, lash out at me for not "understanding how the world works", and then accuse me of irrelevance. Whatever; I'm still trying to figure them out....

My earlier post brings up the whole question of Pluralism. Can natural enemies live together in society? Can they (more or less) cooperate? Or must it always be Rule of the Ruthless, & the oppression of the Other?

Do people, as people, have any value in a society existing here in the physical world of adversity? It seems to be a natural law that life is only fodder for other life -- that nature and God are indifferent to our lives and our pain. (Hence, in protest, the Liberality of Christians, who claim that Christ came to fix that and who claim that each soul is indeed precious.)

Rulers have traditionally ignored the question. Affairs of state or political expediency tend to trump individual's lives and affairs. But, if enough individuals get angry, the individual and his freedom can become an issue, whether in a good way -- as it was in Liberal administrations from FDR forward -- or in a bad way -- as in the French Revolution. Yet the rulers more often pass over the individual's freedom in favor of war and panic and crisis and money-making.

Actually, and despite being anti-individual, the Tea Party runs on this same sort of assertion: that living individuals DO matter. They see the "Free Market Economy" as being somehow supportive of individual people. They don't see money-making, corporate gangsterism & swindling of the poor & middle-class as properties of their Free Market Economics; they seem to believe that society runs best on a certain kind of organized greed, on the one hand, and on family, on the other, but that any other social organization is restrictive of Man's natural bent. So, despite their commitment to foreign mayhem and domestic misery (wars and wealth), they are actually acting from an urge to re-assert the individual and his or her family.

But this brings us back to Pluralism. Can these Free Market people co-exist with the "Free People people", the non-authoritarians and others who believe that life is open-end-ed, and that it can be a happy thing? And can either or both of them co-exist with the anything-goes Robbery people, who infest both parties?

I think, in fact, they have co-existed for a long time, historically, and are the Yin and Yeong of human society. I think it is incumbent on both the Free Market people and the Free People people to continue to do so, for a civil war on these lines will not end well for anyone. Even with the recent elections, and the nation apparently turned toward an increased militancy and an increased concentration of wealth, it is important to try to preserve both the U.S. Republic and, with it, the memory of Humane Good Conduct. Despite the corruption and brutality and short-sightedness that informs common human nature, we need not be lost if we can continue to promote rational thinking, the appreciation of good conduct irrespective of cults, and can avoid initiating bloodshed.


(& Their Friends the Communists, Islamo-Fascists, NAZI's, whoever)

As I see it:
These people will always control the rest of us. They love their business suits, their intrigues, their power-plays and their backstabbing; they consider force and abuse as meritorious habits, and reflection and apprehension as failings. In any society aiming at "progress", they will inevitably usurp the positions of power and make progress an exercise in domination and control. They are as attracted to money, control and superiority as dogs are to meat. They will claim to be simple men even as they despise simplicity; they will claim to be defenders of freedom even as they systematically eliminate it wherever they can. They are what they are, and that is who they are.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pluralism? Centrism?

There have been a few attempts to form American "Moderate Parties" here and there - but in general, Americans - since each one of us is so much smarter than the next guy - rely on our own Either/Or extremist logic to find our political positions.

I, of course, no longer go along with that. It occurred to me the other day that the notions of useful, virtuous politics that I keep coming back to recall some out-of-fashion words:

Pluralism - that out of many and various, we can be one (or at least operate and co-exist as one state)

Centrism - that if you reject the extremes, each one ever-hungry to "stand against" the other, and then concentrate on the commonalities, you can develop Central Values and a Centrist Platform.

Very out of fashion. But I think Ike would have approved.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Taste One

I had a discussion with my son last night about various topics, but it touched heavily on the notion of taste in matters of art, whether vulgar or refined. Being my son, he's had exposure to a lot of pop culture (tv & movies & comics), to my bugaboos and personal detestations (Republican cant, Feminist cant, etc.), but also some exposure to the old-fashioned fine arts (classcial music, English literature and especially that wonderful old scop, Mr. Shakespeare), something of European history, and a bit of what little I have to pass on of philosophy.

What he will do with this mish-mosh is his own dialectical business at this point. But I fully expect him to chase his own intellectual tail around and around until, in desperation, he acknowledges that he likes what he likes, stops worrying about how 'right' it is, but also realizes that although his tastes evolved in a welter of urges from self, child, father, high school intellectual moralities, pop-TV, and - of course - from his own various rebellions and reactions to these implanted judgments and desires, still it is his own reason in concert with this and also with his essential "taste" (his ingenium) which must maintain or modify the welter. If he understands that, given this welter of affections and affectations, he himself must evaluate it and junk it or use it as he sees fit, then I consider that a decent piece of parenting.

However many alien tastes may have been implanted and accepted in us, taste will still revolve around the individual and his perceptions; some things will not stick, some things will stick too well and in the end require prying loose, and others we will discover to have foreshadowed our proper - our self-styled as opposed to adopted - path of taste. And 'twill ever be a dialectical rodeo within the head and heart: low-brow, mid-brow, and high- or pseudo-high- brow.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Republican Pledge

Today's headline is - "GOP unveils its Pledge to America". I haven't read it all yet, but I will. I'm sure it will include a claim that only rich people and money-obsessed people deserve freedom; a claim only rich people and money-obsessed people deserve healthcare; a claim that birth control equals death; a claim that murder of women and children in Afghanistan or wherever equals freedom; and so on. I fully expect to see those claims, couched in slightly different terms.

But I also expect to see some good sense, too - for the Republicans have their share of it. First of all - that the US Federal budget MUST be balanced. Of course, this good sense will be vitiated by a pledge to maintain American military might in all corners of the earth, etc. Their pledge will be to create leeway for balancing the budget by eliminating social welfare programs, regulatory programs, educational programs, and progressive taxation of the overly-wealthy.

But I am going to read the thing. I'll have to get through my Liberal knee-jerk reactions to their myopic, athlete-hardass knee-jerk rhetoric, but then I can consider what might be valuable in it. Something's got to be done, whether it's done slowly (Obama et al.) or quickly (Boehner et al.) We'll see.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reflection, Recalibration

But enough about politics and human nature and my own distaste for it all. On to - what? On to 'coping', of course. How to live without being driven insane.

First of all, and despite what the media educates you to, moderation is the goal. It make take years to figure this out, but for the person who is a non-hot-shot, moderation is the rule of thumb.

The media - from movies to MTV to religion to history books to Fox News - in search of drama must endlessly repeat the Romantic rule, that only extremity is real. And there is truth in that, but as far as human life goes, it's a warped truth. It lends itself to the Either-Or Thinking that fosters false conclusions of great drama and conviction: everyone is either a Saint or a Devil, a Patriot or a Traitor, a Winner or a Loser, and so on. But we know that while polarities of these sorts can subsist in our minds, and by their drama and urgency and simplicity govern our view of the world, they are not the story, they are not the substance of living, which is something of gradations and mixtures, as well as extremes. Think about it. If the Either-Or extremity were nature's rule, how could we have temperate weather, a quiet afternoon, or - on the negative side - muddling and mediocrity? How could a building be built and constructed, section by section, instead of boldly flashing into existence? How could we have diseases that hamper but do not kill? How could we even begin to co-exist with our families and friends?

This is a corrective to the modern world's inheritance of the cults of Christianity and Islam, of Nietzche and Marx, and other fundamentalisms. Cults that demand adherence to an Absolute foster a delusion that the human mind rather enthusiastically takes up, such that we are too, too willing to practice in the place of Moderation and Reason. That we should govern our lives only by extremism, that a person must be Winner or Loser, that there is no middle ground, that "being fully human" equates only with "being a Winner", is a fallacy when it is pressed into service as a philosophy of life. And if being a winner means "being absolutely Certain", then it also means being definitely Wrong - for no one KNOWS, no one comprehends the whole business - microcosm, macrocosm, physics, astronomics, God and all - and that would be something the "winner" could never accept.

To endorse the Extremity Only fallacy forfeits a big chunk of one's own humanity, for it follows that 90% of the human race is then obliged to hate itself, for failing to 'be the Winner'. The only way to avoid that self-hatred is to beat everyone else, or to employ self-deception, arrogance and folly.

Despite this pervasive pre-made conception that anyone who is modest is a loser, the truth is that we are many, of many types, and that we have little control over the circumstances around us. Where the winner-types teach us something useful is in pointing out our potential to control our Selves, our opinions and our actions. And that Presence of Mind requires not being the biggest and loudest, but being reflective and quiet enough in our own head so that we can re-evaluate the things that affect us, things and reactions to things which - by our accepting them - we allow to control our emotions and opinions. Fury is folly, in most cases.

Some are born to blaze, yes - let them blaze. But most of us are born to burn only more or less brightly; some of us rather dimly. There's nothing wrong in accepting that, having tried and tested yourself and your personal fire; accept your station of life, but don't get lazy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Right-Wing Crazy is ... well ... still Crazy.

Remember Newt Gingrich?

I just read that recently, probably because he's angry that certain other Sons of Satan - like Karl Rove and Terry Jones - have been getting all the air time rooting for the American Right, this father of the anti-American Religious Right has finally gone completely off his rocker, wholeheartedly endorsing a racist fantasy proposed by neo-con activist Dinesh D'Souza. (An article critical of these Morlocks, by columnist Maureen Dowd, can be accessed by this link, here.) In an article in Forbes magazine, D'Souza says that President Obama is somehow possessed by the malign and depraved spirit of his father.

D'Souza, in this article, claims to "explain" - get ready for it - "Obama's rage".

(Long pause to digest the nonsequitur.)

Now, if there was ever a President lacking in rage, it's President Obama. But once again, the Right - presumably fueled by looking at their own enraged faces in the mirror - has chosen to go beyond criticism into pure non-reality. Always playing hardball, never content with reality, and having forgotten what decency even meant, they twist and impute and invent and re-write all media content into whatever will mask the humanity of others and portray themselves as saviors. And if you mention Joseph Goebbels, they will probably get angry at the comparison.

It's amazingly sad that both the Left (hey guys, tax and spend IS a real problem; yes, it was Liberals and Lefties who spied for Stalin and gave him the Bomb - admit it!) and the Right (who chant, "Kill the dark people - it's what Jesus (... that damned Jew!) wants!") - that these Americans can't put aside their FANTASY WORLDS for a while and talk turkey. The always-angry and well-organized Right has what the sloppy and irresponsible Liberals need - good dollar-sense and active participation. The Liberals have what the Right lacks - human decency. The Left also retains some knowledge of what and who America is - a nation of immigrants, not a nation of 'saints'. The Right, sputtering with rage since time immemorial, has even managed to work the Democratic Left up into outrage of its own; alas, the Left, hampered by lingering notions of fair-play and even compromise, cannot out-propagandize their opponents.

What does the Right want? They have most all the money; they have had a very long run of wild Cowboy Diplomacy and unilateral wars. Why are they infuriated that there are people out there who are not Newt Rockney? That there are fellow people who might actually possess more feelings than just Contempt? They have gone beyond opposing the Left; they have identified Liberals as a separate, sub-human species that must be exterminated. If there are any people in the USA - aside from the Trotskyists and other such nuts - who resemble the Nazis and the Stalinists in their manner and their foreign policy ideas, it is plainly the Right. For them, anyone who would want to make life better for others MUST be a sort of evil genius, a Macchiavellian Deceiver, like themselves - only worse! So much worse!

And the Left - oh, boy. They won't come clean at all - and since they are now the 'bad guys', I'm sure they don't dare. Yet that is what they need to do. It's time for the Left to give up their self-indulgent 'something for nothing' social programs. (And the Right has to give up its wars; they are too expensive, in so many ways.) The Left can't get it through their thick skulls that imitating the Right won't resurrect FDR - that, in fact, FDR is himself seen as a kind of devil by more and more propagandized Americans. Yes, wholesale illegal immigration does undermine the state; yes, there are way too many laws; yes, you can't legislate morality; no, life is not a big party; no, the 60s were not a simply wonderful flowering of freedom - yes, the 60s were a period of social disintegration that led - ultimately - to Ronald Reagan and decades of Republican contempt for humanity. Americans, routinely derided for many years by insulting counter-culturists, more and more pinched by economic decline, and maddened by the slaughter at the Twin Towers, have decided that Liberty means kill or be killed. You can't wish that away.

Yet every day that the Right and Left refuse to come out of their fantasy worlds of propaganda, every day they refuse to give an inch, every day they screw their hatreds up to the utmost, that day is another nail in America's coffin. So -

Stop blaming each other; stop the name-calling; renounce your extremists, renounce your conventional wisdoms; re-learn toleration; remember you're ALL Americans, whether you like it or not; and start identifying what the real, hard and important problems are for the USA. That's a tall order for people who find ego, insanity and hatred more to their tastes....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What a strange time....

What a strange time....
But when in history were the times NOT strange?
The "cutting edge" in U.S. politics has passed to the right - even further to the right, it seems, than in Reagan's day. A resurgent threat of individualism (gang-action) haunts us, even as the old threat of collectivism (gang-action, also) haunted our parents.
There is a basic logic in the Tea Party stance - mine is mine, and you can't demand it of me - you can ask, but you can't demand it of me. They see society not as a relationship but as a war.
If the Republicans stink of greed, and the Lefties of old illusions and Stalin's crimes, the Tea Party stinks of down-home bullying and swagger. Their tactics are purposefully violent, insulting and overbearing. Their campaign is driven, and replete with propaganda - and they have their own television network to propagate it. It's this combination of bullying verbiage, scurrilous disinformation, and all those dollars and popular anger behind it that raises alarms in people like myself. A party of bullies - haven't we seen that before, says the Left-winger in me? Anybody remember the rise of fascism? Anybody remember the Trail of Tears of Andrew Jackson's day?
But all this proves is that I, myself, am a stranger to the basis of human interaction, which always comes down to violence. It was once a hope that men could be more than just violent drones, that there might really be such a thing as a good civilization. But this is and has been constantly belied, on all sides, by the Left, the Right, the Communists, the Islamofascists - everybody.
Do people have a "right" to live, and to live decently? And then - what does that mean? What is decent? And if people are not tested, if they are not morally destroyed and brought low in the course of their lives, how are they to emerge from their vulgar, crazy selves? But enduring such trials always calls up hatred and blaming - for it is always man's nature to blame someone else for adversity.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bad Conscience or Good Conscientiousness?

The Conscience (as opposed to mere consciousness) is that "associated knowledge" or "small quiet voice inside of one" that will whisper or nag about the right or wrong of our conduct. Someone who is conscientious is careful about investigating these nonverbal, internal critiques - someone who listens to his or her conscience.

My conscience nags from all sides in political questions: Can I speak up and claim any authority when my perpetual implicit foolishness shines out in whatever I say? Can I speak up when I am simply reacting to news, when I haven't researched or investigated the report deeply? Can I let crime go by, seeing that it's an inevitable part of nature, and not speak up? Can I put any value on the idea of the 'equality of men' when quite plainly we are not in any way equals, but rather more 'born rivals'? Is 'equality of men' just another word for the Law of the Jungle, the Social Darwinist 'justice'? Is it not foolish to carp about misfortune, as though nature were being wronged by the suffering it itself creates? Is it not foolish to give voice to resentment? To disagreement? What are my credentials for giving voice to any such protest or dismay? Since death is not an evil, how can I complain about the 'collateral damage' carnage that American intervention has loosed on Afghanistan and Iraq? How can I complain about this carnage, given that it is caused more by Muslim absolutism and Aghani and Iraqui ego than by any specific American policy? How can I imagine that the original American neo-Con interventions were not, in fact, pursued for American Imperialism? How can I imagine that the original American mideastern neo-Con interventions were not, in fact, aimed at truly evil men, guilty of every kind of crime? But then how can I endorse further carnage pursued at the expense of the more-or-less innocent folk of those nations when we know that the terrorists' tactics inevitably result in fixing greater and greater accretions of crime and blame on us Americans - that guerilla wars are impossible to win where the people on the ground are made into shields to suffer or deflect the domineering power's blows - how can such a war ever be won?

Et so on and so forth. If the evil folk of the world have decided that rotten America is 'the great Satan' and legitimate target of any kind of violence and provocation, how can they not be treated as our enemies? And if enemies, how can we not defend ourselves? The joke for militant and aggresive American Christians is this: Christ already laid that his followers should "offer them the other cheek also" - not sweat oppression and domination that is yet to come, simply endure it and cleave to God.

But how can one, in good conscience, stand by as people are killed and torn to pieces regardless of their guilt or innocence? How can one stand by as one's own nation implicates itself in crime and savagery? Yet, by its nature, savagery is a natural part of the human world.

Et so on and so forth....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Florida Road to Jihad

News item:

"... the pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center, an evangelical Christian church in Gainesville, [FL,] said his church plans to go through with its 'International Burn a Koran Day'" to be held on Sept. 11th, 2010.


I love the irony - this 'church' is the "Dove World Outreach Center" - neither peaceful, nor international, nor out-reaching, but simply and self-satisfiedly ignorant and angry. Woo-hoo.

This demonstration of thick-headed American ego is obviously intended as a commemoration or protest of the Sept. 11 attacks performed by our favorite ultra-Islamic terrorists, Al-Quaeda. By reacting this way, this little branch of the Religious Right is deepening and confirming all the propaganda victories already won by Al-Quaeda and their fellow terrorist bandits. But then, the "Dove" church is probably counting on Armageddon in 2012 or somesuch, and sees this as just the run-up to it. No wonder Christian is becoming a four-letter word. Oh, for a Pontius Pilatus to chastise these stupid Americans!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Religio vs. Belief-io

From over here in the no-Brain's-land of low-brow philosophizing, a notion suggeseted by an author named James Carres: Can one analyze the troublesome notion of "religion" into two poles:

Religion (worship, cult, rites, tradition)
Belief (participation in a contra-rational faith)?

This may be a useful division of the non-secular here in the jihad-ridden physical world.

Friday, August 20, 2010

On Men, Women, and Generalities

A comment by a woman on FaceBook prompted a reply that turned into this little exposition:

The differences between men and women are insignificant compared to the power of the Force. Ooops. I mean, compared to the differences between TYPES of people.

My rule is this: Generalities may be true AS generalities, but generalities will FAIL before specific realities - and in regard to specific, individual people. Not all men are gamers, not all men are sports-niks, etc., and yet so many are. Quite a few women in fact ARE gamers, ARE sports-niks, etc., but not all of them by any means.

But I would insist that the "Men=Mars, Women=Venus" things have actually been very good for a lot of people. These recapitulations of old and valid rules of thumb, suppressed and ignored from the 60s on, correspond to what people in fact still find to be true in their lives - in general ways, or for specfic people. Even feminists trying to raise feminized boys have remarked on how, in the end, their boys often showed classic boy-behaviors despite their pro-feminine/ gender-less upbringings. And new research on contrasts in brain-activity between men and women tends to suuport these notions. Generation brings forth patterns, and at the same time brings forth endless variations on those patterns.

The relentless generalities do keep asserting themselves, but they are not the whole story. So to be able to aknowledge reality again and accept it, despite the cant from the Left, is a great stress-reducer. For years and years there was a de facto media campaign going on that seemed to be aimed at convincing people that there was NO difference, that men were simply defective women, as it were. Admittedly, that was a corrective against the monolithic old male-centric biases that had been generally in force, but it was the exception masquerading as the principle.

To say that no, all woman-talk is not about "relationships" is to say truly - but someone only needs to say so because the contrary generality is being asserted as an absolute, threatening to become a moral or political straitjacket in defiance of reason and reality.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Phew - Vacation?!? Phew....

Even vacations seem to get harder every year. The pattern is either (a) just as I approach the vacation dates, I get ill and spend the vacation under the weather; or (b) a pattern of euphoria, dismay at spousal and offsprings' demands, the personal Block that works to keep me inert, frustration boils, rage bubbles - though seen to be irrational and counter-productive, a calming down, acceptance, a few tasks done, some time wasted utterly, some time spent pleasantly. After that, it's back to work and I'm all charged up and feeling energetic - bleh - for about four hours, and then the normal inhibitions or distractions get to work on me.....
When I was young and my testosterone was up, I was tied in knots; now that some of these are untangled, I'm slower and less moved to ... move. Deng ni-gaw fai!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Perfect P-36

Quod ego stultior, I have many absurd pleasures that I do not do without, even though any Stoic teacher would choose the fact of any or all of these to morally lacerate me with. But in the end, I think he would have to chase me out of his stoa, since part of my duty to God is to be what he handed me, and that seems to NOT be someone who delights in his own superiority....

Whatever. And now to the realm of indifferentia:

I recently got lucky on Ebay - a $70 diecast model of a Curtiss P-36 Hawk (the immediate forerunner of the stalwart P-40 Tomahawk) for a mere $6. Woo-hoo! Even though the shipping for the heavy little fellow came to $11 or so, it was still a tremendous bit of luck. When I received it, I was amazed at the fine detailing! I have a few other diecasts, and some of them are pretty puerile in the attention to form and detail - but not this terrific, hefty little 'Carousel 1' model. Beautiful. The Carousel 1 line (Carousel is now, of course, defunct) were beautiful pieces. Of course, I could NEVER afford them at their $70 each list prices. But Chaos/Fortune/the-pointless-aether tossed at least one my way.

Of course, then I got greedy and went after another "deal" that I spotted - or, rather, mis-spotted: a 'diecast' (as I thought) of a Ki-61 Hien, the beautiful 'Japanese Bf109' (aka 'the Tony' in American plane-spotter parlance). Well, I got that too, and it's very nice, but it's entirely plastic - looks good, but it has no heft at all and does not rise of the level of detail of the P-36. Still, I'm glad I got it - there's little harm in it for $22 total - and it's beautiful among my others. Had to move SuperCar to make room for it!

"Gee.... Sorry, Mitch!"

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Decent Man vs. the Successful Man

Just listening to a reading of the Odyssey, and at that point where Telemachus has spoken to the general assembly, and Antinous has counter-attacked, blaming Penelope for the fact that he and the other suitors are eating, drinking, leeching and fucking the help to the continual detriment of her and Telemachus, it occurred to me - as it should - that Antinous is yet another asshole, following the foul inspiration that Nature often gives man & beast, to wit, to blame the victim.

So many people are focused on their goals only and fail to even consider something like moderation or respect or good acts. But their greed is also their particular virtue. Nature likes them, because they are heartlessly dynamic, just like her.

Carse's Book et Alia

I've begun James P. Carse's book, The Religious Case Against Belief, which is a critique of the identification of the notion of Religion (or mystery) with Belief (or adherence to one set of rules, one set of 'facts'). I've only started it, but it's promising.

He points out that Belief thrives on opposition, on conflict. That heroic stands depend on a real or imagined oppressor. This ties in, in my mind, with the notion brought fwd by Lee Harris in his book, Civilization and Its Enemies, where he points out that Jews, Americans, secular people, Europeans, etc. are only stick figures in the self-contained psycho-drama of Islamic Extremism. Carse argues that there is an interrelation of Belief and Counter-Belief, each egging the other on, unable to let things lie, each unable to re-assure itself of its own rectitude without the provocation of the 'Wrong' belief.

Alas, under-achiever that I am, I haven't finished either of these, but need to...! Back to the stacks.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Trolls.... There's a yahoo group I follow (haven't ever enough time to really READ what they post, for the people there are largely thinkers & their posts detailed) that was overwhelmed with teabagger-istics recently (on one hand) and hyperactive sniping Christianity on the other.

How did the religion of the Prince of Peace become the province of these bullies and blowhards? Oh, well, that aside....

The 'bagger kept lambasting the President and so on - but the group's forum was supposedly about philosophy and although there's no reason that Reason can't be applied to current quandaries, when it becomes a political forum the passions infect it & it ceases to be a thoughtful place. The troll in question rightly cited Musonius Rufus (as I recall), saying that one SHOULD be roughed up & dismayed at one's self in an actual philosophical venue, but his high-testosterone bully-boy Right-Wing snapping and sniping also killed the flow of ideas and info about the topic. It became a brawl-venue for the trolls and the rest of us were shoved to one side.

What would Epictetus have said?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chaos is a General Thing

Re Healthcare -
My "Improved Medicare for all!" guy, Don McCanne (, reports that:

Comment: Those individuals with good incomes and who have employer-sponsored health plans should not be complacent, but should be very concerned for the following reasons:

* The largest increases in the financial burden of health care have been occurring amongst middle- and higher-income people

* Among those with employer-sponsored private insurance, 18.4 percent face a high financial burden (spending over 10 percent of income on health care)

I'm inclined to accept this, since Don McCanne is not an apologist for the rich, and is moreover a confirmed universal healthcare proponent.

But this surprises me - the corporations soaking the middle- and upper-income brackets re healthcare costs? Progressive taxation by the corporations? Hmmmmm. Of course the rich can manage it (with good or bad grace), but that shrinking middle class is in more trouble.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Guilty I am, of goldbricking today. "Must ... get back ... to ... work!" I chant mentally as I watch myself type away - my harmonia animae is out of kilter, or rather my proper ingenium is worming its way out as laziness or something similar.

And so - Farewell, Trent! Your term runs for ages, mine for only a bit longer, Earthly in years as I am....

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