Saturday, December 13, 2008

Iceland is a microcosm of the excesses of capitalism.

The story of Iceland's fall from Euro-Econo-Powerhouse to a country on the brink in such a short span of time should be instructive for those who advocate unfettered economic growth.

When the primary driver of an economy is unrestricted growth fueled by capitalism's only motivator, greed, then boom and bust cycles are the natural consequence.

Here's why I think unfettered growth is a problem for capitalism:

1) Growth is great when there is an unlimited potential.

2) When the potential reaches limits, then the contraction of the economy creates significant, broad-scale, economic disruptions.

Why do those issues create a problem for capitalism?

Issue number 1 is a fantasy. It is more wishful thinking than reality because unlimited potential is a myth. In essence, it sets people up for failure.

Issue number 2 sets the stage for socialism. Socialism is not always bad, it helps people weather a storm, but it can stifle future capitalistic development.

I've said all the above to say this: For capitalism to prosper and provide its fruits, then it must be tempered with some government oversight.

Government oversight is really the only way the public can put brakes on exploitation and the ever-present boom and bust cycles that unfettered capitalism brings.

We're now seeing a correction in the excesses of capitalism. It's not that capitalism is bad or wrong, just that too much of anything without some adult supervision results in imbalance.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bettie Page passes away. Great loss,

It's a sad day. Pin-up icon Bettie Page passed away in California after suffering a heart attack.

You'll remember Bettie Page as the black haired pin-up who often did bondage photos in the 1950s.

For those of you interested, Bettie grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. She attended a local high school, Hume Fogg graduating salutatorian of her senior class. She was reportedly upset that she wasn't top of the class because that assured her a full scholarship to Vanderbilt.

Bettie did receive a full scholarship to George Peabody College (now a part of Vanderbilt) and graduated with a teaching degree. She taught school for a short time (I would have loved to been her student...). Bettie wasn't just a pretty face, she was smart and academically inclined, albeit with a Southern drawl.

Betty was from East Tennessee, but left because of an abusive father.

She married a few times and finally wound up in New York as a secretary. She did some modeling and finally met the man, Irving Klaw, who turned her into the icon we know today.

Time has a few photos of Bettie here.

Bettie was queen before plastic surgery, before botox, and before photoshop. She was a rare bird.
So long Bettie.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Too much cleanliness is a bad thing.

I follow the George Carlin philosphy on cleanliness, namely, if I get poop on my hands I wash, but otherwise I don't.

Carlin pointed out to humorous effect that when growing up he swam in the East River where people dump sewage. He swears he never got sick and the experience made his immune system stronger.

Well, it seems George was correct. Studies suggest that too much cleanliness actually makes allergies worse.

I couldn't agree more. I have a friend that carries Purell and washes incessantly when in public. It doesn't seem to work because he gets sick more than anyone I know.

Me, on the other hand? I get a cold or the flu maybe once every 3 years, if that.

I'd much rather pass up the regular dose of disease and if that happens because I don't sanitize myself to death, then goody for me.

Glad to be in America with an expansive view of liberty

When I read articles like this one I thank the stars that be that I live in America.


In America, wing nuts have the burden of proving why something should be banned. Those of us who advocate for an expansive view of freedom as opposed to some moral watchdog's limited notion of free speech breathe a sigh of relief.

America, despite all her faults, requires that wingnuts expose themselves to the public square and potential ridicule in order to push their agenda.

Transparency can never be underestimated as a valuable tool for freedom.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Intellectualism returns to the Presidency.

All I can say is: THANK GOD!

Pre-election prophecy about Cindy McCain's disdain for the working family comes to pass

Here's confirmation of what I warned about in the lead up to the election.

I told the story of Cindy McCain, as a shareholder of Anheiser-Busch, supported the sale of the company to foreign company InBev.

I warned that Cindy wasn't interested in helping working families since she supported the buy-out. Buy-outs must be paid for so job cuts are necessary to help finance the borrowing necessary to complete the purchase.

Well, I have been proven correct.

So, the McCains are not for the working families of American, just their own bottom line.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Shinseki choice highlights Rumsfeld's and Wolfowitz's ignominy

Here's a notable piece about General Shinsheki possibly getting a job in the Obama administration.

The General behaves with integrity and character and that serves to highlight the utter lack of integrity and character of his former boss Donald Rumsfeld and the latter's neo-con butt buddy Paul Wolfowitz.

Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were nothing but scumbags and they deserve the ignominy their loser asses will get.

Thank God I never voted for the man who so sacrificed his obligation to the country when he hired such incompetent boobs in the first place.