Collected Poetry

 

 

Collected Poetry

VOLUME TWO 

 

Original materials - Copyright © 2008 - 2009 by Gary Bachlund    All international rights reserved 

 

"All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that's an alibi for my ignorance." Will Rogers (1879-1935)

 

Johnny B Blue and Suzy Q

Johnny B Blue and Suzy Q?
Why they be plain ole folk like you
And me and all them others who
Live their lives and love them too.

    Plantation hands and peasants all;
    Laboring folks some boss would maul,
    Get chewed up, spit out, we'd best recall,
    Cause grandees always make them small.

Massas, pols, the upper crust
Grind these little folks to dust
For use in mobs and armies' thrust
To feed their bosses' bossy lust.

    High atop some pinnacle,
    The politick-hatchet cynical;
    They speak their lies quite clinical
        Which is quite clear and open
        Though little folk keep on hopin'
        Next time it won't be slipp'ry slopin'....

Johnny B Blue and Suzy Q?
They still be plain ole folk like you
And me and them others too;
From them those massas took, who

    Plan to steal yet more from you
    For that is what's in store, it's true,
    For Johnny B Blue and Suzy Q
    And me and you -- and you and you.

 

 Envoi:  "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

 

See:    Passed on to you  ,  and also the song setting of this text, Johnny B Blue and Suzy Q  


 

Pinocchio knows  - the passing years expose

 

"I'll make our government open and transparent so that anyone can ensure that our business is the people's business. As Justice Louis Brandeis once said, sunlight is the greatest disinfectant. As President, I will make it impossible for Congressmen or lobbyists to slip pork-barrel projects or corporate welfare into laws when no one is looking because when I am president, meetings where laws are written will be more open to the public. No more secrecy." Barak Obama, 22 September 2008 Campaign event.   [ 1 ]

 

Semantic paradoxes set aside,
One should open one's eyes quite wide
To see what dear Pinocchio knows,
That lying pays well, except for that nose.

One may read verbatim a quote
Out from the past without sugarcoat
To see that dear Pinocchio knows
That lying sways votes. And this just shows...

Semantic paradoxes mean so little
Compared to semantic partying spittle
Drooling down the face of time
From a Pinocchio's nose, a shame, a crime.

Prone to lying while standing to speak,
Fabricating a world of hide-and-seek,
Where other Pinocchios know oh so well
That lying pays, in the great show-and-tell.

The carousel turns with pork's up-and-down
Because in secret it's a pork ridden town,
Which lets a dear Pinocchio's nose
Grow lies, as bald politics so often goes.

 

 Envoi:   "Political pork that stinks — literally. Pork-barrel spending comes with an odor this year — pig. The long list of pet projects passed by Congress in a record deficit year includes $1.8 million to study why pigs smell. Other gems include $1.9 million for a water taxi in Connecticut, $3.8 million to preserve a baseball stadium in Detroit and $380,000 for a fairgrounds in Kotzebue, Alaska, just above the Arctic Circle." In "Political pork that stinks — literally," Washington Times, 15 April 2009.

 

Addendum of 2009:   "According to CAGW, Alaska is the nation's most pork-laden state, receiving a total of $221,222,875 in federal largess for a population of only 686,293 people. This works out to $322.34 in pork per person, probably more than the average American spends in a year on actual pork at the supermarket. Coming in at second place is Hawaii, with $234.96 in pork per person, followed by North Dakota, the District of Columbia and, rounding out the top five, West Virginia." In "Pork Barrel Projects Rampant in Congress's Spending for 2009 Fiscal Year," by Peter Roff, USNews, 23 April 2009.

 

Addendum of 2010:   "But deficits and wasting taxpayer dollars aren’t the only concerns with earmarks. Lawmakers also worry about the public perception that the earmarking process breeds corruption or pay-to-play politics. When Republicans lost control of the House in 2006 elections, it was after earmarking scandals involving then-Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham (R) of California, convicted in 2005 of soliciting millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for defense earmarks; and lobbyist Jack Abramoff, convicted in 2006 of conspiring to bribe public officials. Democrats campaigned in 2006 to 'clean up the swamp' in Washington." In "'Pork barrel' spending: A big liability for lawmakers in 2010 election?" by Gail Russell Chaddock, Christian Science Monitor, 19 August 2010.

 

Addendum of 2011:  "The defense bill that just passed the House of Representatives includes a back-door fund that lets individual members of Congress funnel millions of dollars into projects of their choosing. This is happening despite a congressional ban on earmarks -- special, discretionary spending that has funded Congress' pet projects back home in years past, but now has fallen out of favor among budget-conscious deficit hawks." In "Mysterious fund allows Congress to spend freely, despite earmark ban," by Cole Deines, CNN, 28 May 2011.

 

Addendum of 2012 "The farm package is yet another 1,000-page atrocity as packed with goodies as a stuffed olive. There are 1,063 lobbyists feverishly pressing their case. In 2008, influence-peddlers spent $173.5 million on the farm bill – more than on Obamacare; this year the cash bash could be even higher. That says everything." In "The Outrageous Farm Bill That’s Packed with Pork, by Liz Peek, The Fiscal Times, 25 June 2012.

 

Addendum for early 2013:  "The K Street firm Capitol Tax Partners, led by Treasury Department alumni from the Clinton administration, represented an even more impressive list of tax clients, who paid CTP more than $1.68 million in the third quarter. Besides financial clients like Citi, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, CTP represented green energy companies like GE and the American Wind Energy Association. These companies won extension and expansion of the production tax credit for wind energy." In "How corporate tax credits got in the 'cliff' deal," by Tim Carney, The Examiner, 2 January 2013

 

Addendum for mid 2013:   "Immigration pork has purchased the support of a number of GOP senators who, not long ago, were both opposing immigration reform and demanding deep spending cuts to help reduce the deficit. Funny what some federal bucks for the hometown folks can do." In "Pork Entices GOP 'Deficit Hawks' To Support Immigration Bill,' by Howard Gleckman, Forbes, 25 June 2013.

 

Review of 2008 Pinocchio Promise"As President, I will make it impossible for Congressmen or lobbyists to slip pork-barrel projects or corporate welfare into laws."  Barack Obama. [ 2 ]

 

See:    Donkey Skins and Elephant Hides  ,  a story in rhyme,  and also   It's only a matter of....    and   Sam?    - the Debtor Man

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    " 'And how can you possibly know that I have told a lie? ' / 'Lies, my dear boy, are found out immediately, because they are of two sorts. There are lies that have short legs, and lies that have long noses. Your lie, as it happens, is one of those that have a long nose.' / Pinocchio, not knowing where to hide himself for shame, tried to run out of the room; but he did not succeed, for his nose had increased so much that it could no longer pass through the door." In "Pinocchio - the Story of a Puppet," by C. Collodi, Lippincott, 1914.

 

[ 2 ]    "A lie keeps growing and growing until it's as plain as the nose on your face." In "Pinocchio," film script adaptation of Collodi, for Disney by Ted Sears, Otto Englander, Webb Smith, William Cottrell, Joseph Sabo, Erdman Penner and Aurelius Battaglia (1940).  

            The political version of this is become famous:  "All governments lie and nothing they say should be believed." I.F. "Izzy" Stone (1907-1989) 

            See:  Seven Presidential Pardons - (2007) texts after quotes of recent American Presidents, and the update to this song cycle,  Well, we are out of money now  -  (2009)  after public quotes of Barak Hussein Obama II.  


 

Choice

Du mußt steigen oder sinken, du mußt herrschen und gewinnen oder dienen und verlieren, Hammer oder Amboß sein.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

 

You could be the hammer or you could be the nail.
You could be swabbing mop or you could be the pail.
 
You could be the shot gun or the buckshot in its load.
You could be the traveler or a sign along his road.

You could be the colors or the easel on which they mix.
You could be the problem or you could be the fix.

You could the catalyst which works for everyman;
You could be the monkey wrench and spoil some master plan.

You will be or you won't be, for that's the way things work.
You could and can and will, or won't but stand and smirk.

The choice? It comes to this, for you to take some chosen stand.
And should you choose such not to do, then comes life's reprimand.

 

Envoi:  "If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down." Ray Bradbury (1920-2012)

 

See:    A song setting of Sandburg's text, The Hammer - (2008) 


 

Yawn

"Compassion fatigue, n. the inability to react sympathetically to a crisis, disaster, etc, because of overexposure to previous crises, disasters, etc." And also "fatigue, emotional distress, or apathy resulting from the constant demands of caring for others or from constant appeals from charities: compassion fatigue experienced by doctors and nurses."

 

The roar of the yawn was discernible;
He'd heard too many shout,
"Help me! My needs are plausible!"
Till he was plum tuckered out.
        The many had cluttered, clustered
        And crowded him all about,
        With cries of anguish blustered
        Until that yawn came out.
Of beggars, one can have enough,
Of heated cries for help,
Until they blend, such begging stuff,
Into one consistent yelp.
        "Gimme" becomes the shorthand
        For all the long-played ploys;
        Then "gimme" simply turns quite bland
        As then its voice annoys.
Each cause must trump its brother
For each one is so just,
As justice becomes something other
Than doing what one must.
        Soon too many play as victim,
        Extending open palms,
        Each seeking someone just like him
        To answer pleas with alms.
But then comes up that roaring yawn
Which says, "That's just too much."
For beggars and their greedy spawn
Do grab and clutch and such
        With "gimme" for their" needs are great"
        And "what you have is mine,"
        Until the yawn declares quite late
        That "gimme" is an empty whine.
"I want" starts as a stream at dawn,
But soon becomes a flood,
Until he roars with such a yawn:
"From this turnip comes no blood."
        At home is where one's charity,
        Begins, for so he'd heard,
        And with that simple clarity,
        He'd yawned at the bleating herd.
The roar of his yawn was discernible,
He'd heard so many shout,
"Help me! My needs are most plausible!"
Until he was plum tuckered out.

 

See:    Fund Raising 


 

A Unicorn Named Ira

"You found what you found." Ira Einhorn, to detectives in a search of his Philadelphia apartment. March 28, 1979

 

Chic and radical, active and green,
A guru of peace and free love,
Civically active, and oh so keen
At controlling the girl he had seen.
She was lovely and luscious, a Beauty to his Beast;
He was evil and vicious to her.
To care about politics while blind, this priest
Proudly green, cared for her life not the least.

        Oh, the Holly and and Ira
        Were twined, then torn in twain,
        And she was stored in a suitcase plain,
        In his closet she was lain.

Philadelphia's Earth Day was a Einhorn-born thing,
As he railed as dissent 'gainst the foe;
As catalyst for change with post-radical zing,
A Planetary Enzyme was the song he did sing.
Ideas from the edge, and theories untold,
This Unicorn trod the intellect's path,
But his grasp of the world was an angry scold,
And free love for his Beauty was both hard and cold.

        Oh, the Holly and the Ira,
        They danced till she was dead,
        And found in a suitcase plain
        In a closet near his bed.

From handsome and chic and cheeky and bright,
He descended Darwinian stairs,
And grew fat and dirty, unkempt and a blight
On society's values and love's pure delight.
Awareness of the ecological kind
Was quite the fond game he had played.
And now she was rotting where she'd been consigned,
And to prison the Unicorn was justly consigned.

        Oh, the Holly and the Ira
        Is a story, old as the hills;
        She was found in a suitcase plain --
        His free love was that love which kills.


Envoi:    Einhorn, (n.) das unicorn - Oxford-Duden German Dictionary (1994)

 

Addendum:    "After his arrest, Einhorn jumped bail and spent decades evading authorities by hiding out in Ireland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and France. After 23 years, he was finally extradited to the United States from France and put on trial. Taking the stand in his own defense, Einhorn claimed that his ex-girlfriend had been killed by CIA agents who framed him for the crime because he knew too much about the agency's paranormal military research. He was convicted of murdering Maddux and is currently serving a life sentence. Although Einhorn was only the master of ceremonies at the first Earth Day event, he maintains that Earth Day was his idea and that he's responsible for launching it. Understandably, Earth Day's organizers have distanced themselves from his name, citing Gaylord Nelson, an environmental activist and former Wisconsin governor and U.S. senator who died in 2005, as Earth Day's official founder and organizer." In "Earth Day co-founder killed, composted girlfriend." by Remy Melina, NBC News, 21 April 2011.

 

See:    Earth Hour Follies    for the fun of it


 

Debt - you bet!

 

"Debt is to a man what the serpent is to the bird; its eye fascinates, its breath poisons, its coil crushes both sinew and bone; its jaw is the pitiless grave." Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873).

 

Debt seems kindly
When first it meets
Debtors blindly.
    Debt's benign
    When first one sips
    Its heady wine.
        Debt grows tall,
        And when it does
        It comes to call.
            Debt comes due,
            And when it comes,
            it comes for you.
                Debt grows tall,
                And as it does
                It makes one small.
                    In arrears,
                    The days are dark
                    As they appear.
                Obligation
                Swiftly morphs to
                Subjugation.
            Debt is threat,
            And with its fists
            You'll be beset.
        Debt is lien,
        And debt is hard
        For debt is mean.
    Debt is sad;
    When gone unpaid
    It drives one mad.
Debt is dumb,
And you are too
To call it chum.

 

Envoi:  "Blessed are the young for they shall inherit the national debt." Herbert Hoover (1874-1964)

 

Contre-enquête:    "It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world." Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

 

Addendum of Obama Criticizing Bush about Debt:   "On July 3, 2008 -- the day before Independence Day -- Barack Obama said that adding $4 trillion in debt was irresponsible and 'unpatriotic.' Obama [quote in video]: 'The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents - #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back -- $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic'." In "Flashback: Obama Talks "Unpatriotic" Debt In 2008," RealClearPolitics Video, 13 March 2013.

 

See:  Sam?   - the Debtor Man

 

Addendum of the Sales Pitch:    "Despite his hard-left background, Lula added tax cuts, drilled for oil and paid off the International Monetary Fund — in addition to his well-noted social programs that never exceeded his government's ability to pay. 'When I met with the head of the IMF and paid off the debt in full, he did not want me to pay off the debt,' Lula told Oliver Stone in his documentary 'South of the Border.' 'We paid off the debt, we paid off the Paris Club, we do not owe anything to anybody.'" In "Brazil's Tax-Cutting, High-Growth Socialists," Investors Business Daily Editorial, 31 January 2013.

 

Fact Checking IBD:  It seems the "Tax-Cutting, High-Growth Socialists" as touted by IBD have not remained debt free. Rather they borrowed again as much and more the very next year.  [ 1 ]  "Brazil recorded a Government Debt to GDP of 66.20 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product in 2011. Government Debt To GDP in Brazil is reported by the International Monetary Fund. Historically, from 2000 until 2011, Brazil Government Debt To GDP averaged 69.1 Percent reaching an all time high of 79.8 Percent in December of 2002 and a record low of 63.5 Percent in December of 2007. Generally, Government debt as a percent of GDP is used by investors to measure a country ability to make future payments on its debt, thus affecting the country borrowing costs and government bond yields." In Trading Economics, accessed January 2013.

 

Addendum Adding Debtors:  "And a mighty iceberg it is. The 2012 State of the States report, released in November by Harvard's Institute of Politics, the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government and the American Education Foundation, found state and local governments are carrying more than $7 trillion in debt, an amount equal to nearly half the federal debt. Often, the report said, 'States do not account to citizens in ways that are transparent, timely or accessible'." In "The Many Ways That Cities Cook Their Bond Books," by Steve Malanga, Wall Street Journal, 31 May 2013.

 

Addendum from Detroit:   "A team led by a state-appointed emergency manager said Friday that Detroit is defaulting on about $2.5 billion in unsecured debt and is asking creditors to take about 10 cents on the dollar of what the city owes them." In "Emergency manager: Detroit won't pay $2.5B it owes," Associated Press, 14 June 2013.

 

Addendum II from Detroit:  "Detroit could not have financed its bloat without Wall Street. Like German and French banks that bought Greek debt long past the point of reason, Detroit’s financial enablers cheerfully synthesized such securities as $1.43 billion in pension-funding 'certificates of participation' — about whose 'validity and/or enforceability' the Orr report expresses circumspect but ominous doubts. Spare some blame for Detroit’s log-rolling and — it must be said — mostly Democratic politicians, including spectacularly corrupt former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who faces more than 20 years in prison on bribery and extortion charges related to rigging city contracts." In "Detroit’s Greek tragedy." by Charles Lane, Washington Post, 9 July 2013.

 

Addendum from Pennsylvania:   "...the state’s General Fund balance reached a 10-year low. Alarmingly, the General Fund balance dropped below zero in September, a 10-year historical low for this time of year, resulting in a $700 million draw on a Treasury-provided line of credit. As a result of this low balance, Pennsylvania is now compelled to borrow unusually early in the fiscal year just to pay its bills." In "A look at Pennsylvania’s economic vital signs," by Rob McCord, Pennsylvania Treasury, 16 September 2014.

 

Addendum from Chicago:   "Following that May court decision, Moody's said it believes that 'the city's options for curbing growth in its own unfunded pension liabilities have narrowed considerably. Whether or not the current statutes that govern Chicago's pension plans stand, we expect the costs of servicing Chicago's unfunded liabilities will grow, placing significant strain on the city's financial operations absent commensurate growth in revenue and/or reductions in other expenditures,' the agency said in a release." In "Moody's downgrades Chicago debt to 'junk' with negative outlook," by Everett Rosenfeld, CNBC, 12 May 2015.

 

See:   Lying continues    and  Free bees 

 

Adden-dumb-and-dumber:    "The debt is up about 60% since Obama took office. This can't go on forever." In "Obama owns the debt now," by Glenn Harlan Reynolds, USA Today, 14 January 2013   [ 2 ]   [ 3 ]   [ 4 ]

 

See:   Leadership Failure  - spoke a failed leader

 

The Only-one-option Addendum:   "Governments can finance deficit spending by issuing debt or printing money. In most countries, a government-created central bank controls the money supply—in the United States, this task belongs to the Federal Reserve System. This means that the U.S. Treasury has only one option for financing deficit spending—issuing debt." In "Monetizing the Debt," by Daniel L. Thornton, Economic Synopses, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 2010, number 14.  [ 5 ]

 

European Addendum:  "According to the figures from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical arm, Spain had highest budget deficit – minus 10.6% - in the bloc. Apart from Spain and Greece, another 15 member states had deficits higher than 3% of GDP, including Ireland (-7.6%), Portugal (-6.4%), Cyprus and the United Kingdom (both -6.3%), France (-4.8%), the Czech Republic (-4.4%), Slovakia (-4.3%), the Netherlands (-4.1%), Denmark and Slovenia (both -4.0%), Belgium and Poland (both -3.9%), Malta (-3.3%), Lithuania (-3.2%) and Italy (-3.0%). The lowest government deficits were recorded in Estonia (-0.3%), Sweden (-0.5%), Bulgaria and Luxembourg (both -0.8%) and Latvia (-1.2%) Only Germany (+0.2%) registered a government surplus." In "Debt to GDP highest, budget deficit 2nd highest in EU, says Eurostat," Enet.gr (English), 22 April 2013.   [ 6 ]

 

Japanese Addendum:   "Japan’s debt-to-GDP ratio of 233.1 percent is the highest among the world’s developed nations by a large margin." In "Japan tops list of countries deepest in debt," by Michael B. Sauter, Charles B. Stockdale and Ashley C. Allen, NBC News, 15 February 2012.

 

Chinese Addendum:   "...the core problem isn’t simply a seize-up in liquidity. Rather, it’s that rolling over the piles of debt amassed over the last few years requires ever-increasing amounts of liquidity, and that’s becoming harder and harder to perpetuate. 'I think what people don’t really grasp is the extent to which this is not a liquidity crisis—it’s a debt crisis, so it’s not something that can go away,' says Anne Steveson-Yang....'They have a situation now where they’re running the whole economy on debt'." The scary reality of China’s debt crisis," by Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, 21 June 2013.   [ 7 ]

 

See:   Capital for Communists  - a story growing old

 

Russian Addendum:   "Russia cannot afford to keep raising state spending, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, but it must find the money to fulfill the social commitments he made on his return to the Kremlin last year. Putin, in an annual presentation of the government's three-year budget plan, said that 'the possibility of constantly and quickly raising state spending has been exhausted'." In "Russia can't raise state spending forever," by Darya Korsunskaya and Douglas Busvine, Reuters, 13 June 2013.

 

 Another European Addendum:   "The euro zone’s politicians, even in supposedly prudent Germany, have been reluctant to look too deeply into banks’ balance-sheets, let alone to force them to clean themselves up. There are certainly questions to be asked about all the government bonds that the banks have bought in recent years. But the main dodgy assets that have been swept under the European carpet are private: bad loans made to households and companies. ...If the euro zone’s recovery is to strengthen, this burden of private debt must be lightened." In "Europe’s other debt crisis," Economist, 26 October 2013.

 

Addendum for a Massively Debt Laden America:   "On May 17, the first day the Treasury reported that the debt had hit exactly $16,699,396,000,000--and was thus just $25 million below the legal limit--Treasury Secretary Lew sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner saying he was beginning to implement what he called "the standard set of extraordinary measures" to prevent the Treasury from exceeding the legal limit on the federal debt. Since Lew sent that letter--announcing that he would use 'extraordinary measures'--the debt has remained stuck at exactly $16,699,396,000,000 for 87 straight days. That includes all 31 days in July when Lew's Treasury says it was running a $98 billion deficit. When Lew stops using 'extraordinary measures' to keep the debt at exactly $16,699,396,000,000, the government will have another debt-limit crisis." In "Treasury Ran $98 Billion Deficit in July--But Debt Stayed Exactly $16,699,396,000,000," by Terence P. Jeffrey, CNSNews, 14 August 2013.

 

See:   Sam?   - the Debtor Man

 

2012 Elected Incumbent Addendum:   "President Barack Obama's reelection campaign — or what's left of it — has about $3.5 million in debt, according to campaign reports filed Monday. Obama's primary campaign committee Obama for America remains significantly in debt to vendors, consultants and other service providers more than six months after election day." In "Obama campaign still $3.5 million in debt," by Byron Tau, Politico, 15 July 2013.   [ 8 ]

 

A Worldwide Perspective:  "The primary myth being perpetuated by the Central Banks of the world is the belief that loose monetary policy and money printing will lead to economic growth. This is the reason why Central banks have cut interest rates more than 511 times since June 2007. It’s also why they’ve expanded their balance sheets by over $10 trillion (this doesn’t count unofficial lending windows and off balance sheet programs). It’s a strange idea, especially when you consider that there is literally no evidence that printing money creates jobs. Look at Japan, they have and continue to maintain QE efforts equal to 40+% of their GDP and unemployment hasn’t budged in 20 years. The UK has engaged in QE equal to over 20% of GDP with no success." In "The Fed Will Bankrupt the US Trying to "Create" Jobs," Phoenix Capital Research submission to ZeroHedge, 8 August 2013.  

 

Addendum from Italy's Newest PM:   "He said Italy must tackle its towering public debt -- equivalent to 130 percent of total economic output -- not because German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for it, but because 'it is our duty to, for our children's sake'. In "New Italy PM wins confidence vote, vows 'radical change'," Yahoo News, 24 February 2014.

 

Addendum of Too Much Government Debt:   "It [ BIS ] noted US was also a large external creditor in the 1920s, as was Japan in the 1980s, before each went into deep crisis. 'Time and again, in both advanced and emerging market economies, seemingly strong bank balance sheets have turned out to mask unsuspected vulnerabilities that surface only after the financial boom has given way to bust,' it said." In "BIS chief fears fresh Lehman from worldwide debt surge," by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph UK, 13 July 2014.  [ 9 ]

 

Addendum of Dollars Wasted for Nothing in Return:   "The U.S. gross federal debt currently stands at $17.548 trillion, and net interest payments to our creditors are the fastest-growing item in the budget. In 2014, the Congressional Budget Office projects that the nation will spend $233 billion on interest payments. By the end of the budget window in 2024, however, CBO forecasts that interest payments will nearly quadruple to an astonishing $880 billion. Every dollar spent paying our creditors is a dollar wasted—money for which we get nothing in return. Interest payments threaten to crowd out every other budget item." In "Why US Interest Rates Can Never Rise (In 1 Chilling CBO Chart)," David Howden, Zero Hedge, 11 September 2014.

 

 Addendum of the Unsustainable:   "Over the long term, at the federal level, the imbalance between spending and revenue that is built into current law and policy is projected to lead to continued growth of debt held by the public as a share of GDP. This situation—in which debt grows faster than GDP—means the current federal fiscal path is unsustainable." In "FISCAL YEAR 2015 U.S. GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, Need to Address the Government’s Remaining Financial Management Challenges and Long-Term Fiscal Path," Statement of Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States, GAO-16-541T, 6 April 2016.

 

Addendum of Continuing Growth in Debt:   "The world is awash with more debt than before the global financial crisis erupted in 2007, with China’s debt relative to its economic size now exceeding US levels, according to a report. Global debt has increased by $57tn since 2007 to almost $200tn — far outpacing economic growth, calculates McKinsey & Co, the consultancy. As a share of gross domestic product, debt has risen from 270 per cent to 286 per cent. McKinsey’s survey of debt across 47 countries — illustrated in an FT interactive graphic — highlights how hopes that the turmoil of the past eight years would spur widespread 'deleveraging' to safer levels of indebtedness were misplaced. The report calls for 'fresh approaches' to preventing future debt crises." In "Debt mountains spark fears of another crisis," by Ralph Atkins, Financial Times, 5 February 2015.    [ 10 ]

 

Addendum of Having Continued the Continuing Growth in Debt:   "Today’s global economy is plainly a case of it. The world has taken on more debt than it is ever likely to be able to repay, absent of implausibly high levels of output growth or contractionary fiscal consolidation. This, in turn, makes the global economy highly vulnerable to continued financial crisis and balance sheet recession. Too much capacity and too much debt make a poisonous combination. Credit cycles tend to be much longer than ordinary business cycles, which may have something to do with the cautionary effect that financial crises have on banking practice. It can take as much as a generation for a bank entirely to forget the normal disciplines of prudential risk management, and go for broke. Unfortunately, they always do eventually, once all institutional memory of the last crisis has died off." In "Only mass default will end the world's addiction to debt," by Jeremy Warner, Telegraph UK, 3 March 2015.   [ 11 ]

 

 Addendum of Puerto Rico in 2015:   " 'The debt is not payable,' Mr. García Padilla said. 'There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics, this is math.' It is a startling admission from the governor of an island of 3.6 million people, which has piled on more municipal bond debt per capita than any American state. A broad restructuring by Puerto Rico sets the stage for an unprecedented test of the United States municipal bond market, which cities and states rely on to pay for their most basic needs, like road construction and public hospitals." In "Puerto Rico’s Governor Says Island’s Debts Are 'Not Payable'," by Michael Corkery and Mary Williams Walsh, NYTimes, 28 June 2015.   [ 12 ]

 

Addendum of Chinese Communist Debt in 2015:   "Corporate China's debts, at 160 percent of GDP, are twice that of the United States, having sharply deteriorated in the past five years, a Thomson Reuters study of over 1,400 companies shows. And the debt mountain is set to climb 77 percent to $28.8 trillion over the next five years, credit rating agency Standard & Poor's estimates." In "Manage, meddle or magnify? China's corporate debt threat," Reuters, 18 July 2015.    [ 13 ]

 

Addendum of Cashing In:   "In the first six months of this year, foreign central banks sold a net $192 billion of U.S. Treasury bonds, more than double the pace in the same period last year, when they sold $83 billion. China, Japan, France, Brazil and Colombia led the pack of countries dumping U.S. debt."  In "Global central banks dump U.S. debt at record pace," by Patrick Gillespie, CNN Money, 16 August 2016.

 

See:    Too much debt   and also  This debt is your debt   - a parody on Woody Guthrie's non-folk song, "This Land Is Your Land"  and  A Government Song - (2009)  

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    This is a perfect example of smoke and mirrors, in which a stance -- such as "tax-cutting, high-growth socialists" -- is proven to be a single instance, proven false by the very next steps by a government to return to its indebtedness.

 

 Ponzi Finance

 

          One reads, "In particular, over a protracted period of good times, capitalist economies tend to move from a financial structure dominated by hedge finance units to a structure in which there is large weight to units engaged in speculative and Ponzi finance. Furthermore, if an economy with a sizeable body of speculative financial units is in an inflationary state, and the authorities attempt to exorcise inflation by monetary constraint, then speculative units will become Ponzi units and the net worth of previously Ponzi units will quickly evaporate. Consequently, units with cash flow shortfalls will be forced to try to make position by selling out position. This is likely to lead to a collapse of asset values." In "The Financial Instability Hypothesis" by Hyman P. Minsky, Working Paper No. 74, May 1992.  For this, see:   End Game  .

          While Minsky refers to "capitalist economies" in his White Paper, it is worth noting that this is true for socialist economies as well. Why? Because government creates debt then placed onto its citizens' backs, whether capitalist or socialist in the modern day. For this, one rightly argues that it is neither adjective -- capitalist or socialist -- which defines the worldwide problem today, but rather the noun, government. Government whether in a capitalist or socialist stance makes "public" debt, while a public does not. For this, see:  The funniest thing  - a meditation on Emma Goldman, and also Ponzi states  .

 

 Those on the Outside Pay For It All

 

            But more about Brazil in the news:  " 'The policy of (former President) Lula (da Silva) and Dilma (both PT) focused on income transfer through social programs, but did not include the middle class, so they have taken to the streets,' e-mailed Henrique Sartori, a free-market professor at the Universidade Federal de Grande Dourados in Dourados, Brazil. 'All of this is happening as economic policy does not cover most Brazilians, while inflation returns, and high taxes and state intervention in the economy increase.' Brazil's rulers have adopted the poor as their constituency, but have bought off big business and public employees too — creating a web of powerful interests who benefit from its rule. Those on the outside pay for it all." In "Brazil's Woes Are The Wages Of Socialism," IBD Editorial, 21 June 2013.

            The article broadens this picture:  "While special interests benefit from the carrots of socialism, the broader society gets the stick. 'We work four months of the year just to pay taxes and we get nothing in return,' a protester told the New York Times recently. They also deal with 6.5% inflation, police brutality, shoddy teachers and hospital unions, and rafts of regulations and bureaucrats. All of this is not a bug, but a feature of socialism — a socialism by so-called experts. And just like Spartan aristocrats more than 2,000 years ago, Brazil's rulers now watch, dumbfounded, as the helots revolt."

            As to the forerunner of this "socialism by so-called experts," see:  Sheer Ignorance , wherein a famous early socialist used the same accusation against business, and in part through the rejection of business started a decades-long cycle of the accumulation of power alongside inflation, brutality, shoddy public institutions alongside the regulation of bureaucrats -- a "feature of socialism."

 

[ 2 ]    "Yesterday, I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office." In "Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery, Address to Joint Session of Congress, Tuesday, 24 February 2009. 

            Or as the link to another poem's title demonstrates adequately, "lying continues."

            I do not debate with the partisans of either party who wish to pin blame on a political opposition, for the supposed opposition parties' "elder statesmen" have both participated in a massive growth of public debt over decades.

            What is simply is, and the question intensifies in strength and clarity, "what will the administration do to stop this acquisition of ever more debt?" Returning to an oppositional game of blame only ignores this more important question, and adequately explains why so many avoid the singular question as posed herein.

            As one may easily see, this political statement was an outright falsehood. The deficit was not cut in half, but rather the national debt skyrocketed. Between losses dismissed as acceptable because of "good intentions" and "noble causes", the simple fact is as USAToday correctly reported, "The debt is up about 60% since Obama took office." The reason has been assessed: "Debt is the symptom and the welfare state is the cause." In "The Welfare State as a Pyramid Scheme," by Michael Tanner, in "After the Welfare State," Jameson Books, 2012.

 

[ 3 ]     "It took us 200 years to get to a certain level in our national debt. It took us something like 20 years to then double that. Then, in a matter of 3 years we’ve quintupled it." In "Key Indicator That Just Spiked Is Huge Warning," Art Cashin, King World, 11 February 2013. 

 

 Debt is Panzi Finance

 

            Another report adds, "Without fanfare, the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department quietly posted its daily debt report showing the total public debt of the U.S. government topped $16.687 trillion. (To be exact: $16,687,289,180,215.37) On January 20, 2009, the day Mr. Obama took office, the debt stood at $10.626 trillion. The latest posting reflects an increase of over $6 trillion." In "National debt up $6 trillion since Obama took office," by Mark Knoller, CBS News, 1 March 2013.

            "Washington carefully conceals the information on the extent of the crisis in the country that followed the canons of monetarism. However, the information becomes known to the world, and the U.S. allies and partners are not happy because they know that the United States will emerge from the crisis in any way they can. They may be solving their problems at the expense of other countries, in particular Russia, as it has happened many times before, for example, in the case of placing Kudrin's oil and gas revenues in U.S. Treasury obligations. In light of this example the planned reduction in the exchange rate of the ruble announced by the Russian Minister of Finance early summer is not surprising. Empty dollars can be exchanged for even more rubles to buy quite tangible assets, including during the second phase of privatization that would help to close huge budget gaps. Likely there will be no problems in this fascinating process, as ardent liberals and adherents of the Chicago School of Economics and adepts of the U.S. sit in the economic block of the Russian government." In "The truth about the real size of the US national debt," by Yuri Skidanov, Pravda, 22 August 2013.

 

[ 4 ]      "Debt is the biggest threat to U.S. national security, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during remarks to business executives today." In "Debt is Biggest Threat to National Security, Chairman Says," by Tyrone C. Marshall Jr., American Forces Press Service, U. S. Department of Defense, 22 September 2011.

            One may well compare this to the insight from long ago, "It is the growing custom to narrow control, concentrate power, disregard and disfranchise the public; and assuming that certain powers by divine right of money-raising or by sheer assumption, have the power to do as they think best without consulting the wisdom of mankind." W. E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963).

 

[ 5 ]       The other option is, of course, to cease deficit spending. This is too difficult a policy for the politicians who only know how to spend money they do not have.  For this it is both amusing and tragic to revisit political posturing which time reveals to have been devoid of hope or change:  "We have to pay interest on that debt, and that means we are mortgaging our children’s future with more and more debt." In "Obama Says U.S. Long-Term Debt Load ‘Unsustainable’," in Bloomberg News, 14 May 2009. 

            An entire term later, this seemingly urgent tone is forgotten by the man who said it.  See: Sam?   - the Debtor Man.

 

 What Is Urgent Once Isn't Now?

 

            Centuries earlier, the commonsense of limiting debt in size and duration was clear:   "No pecuniary consideration is more urgent than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt; on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable." John Jay, in a letter to General Schuyler, 25 November 1780.  As with the quote from 2009, over two centuries of good advice has been swept away by so-called "progress."

            But it is noted:  "History is littered with examples of major economic and financial crises in countries that have engaged in public spending profligacy. That sad experience should be raising red flags in the United States, where the unsustainable longer-run trajectory of the US public finances is now suggesting the real risk of either a destructive burst of inflation or an outright government debt default. This is particularly the case in today’s US context where an ever-increasing portion of the US budget deficit is being financed by foreigners and where entitlement programs threaten over the longer haul to compound an already highly compromised public finance position." In "Perpetual Debt: From the British Empire to the American Hegemon," by H. A. Scott Trask, Ludwig von Mises Institute, 27 January 2004. 

            While the article specifically mentions the US, Europe, Africa, Japan and China are the same foolishness, the same "public spending profligacy." 

            Such profligacy is now in its end game in some arenas, to the dismay of the profligate ideologues:   "Maybe, in looking at the example Detroit has set as the first major American city to file for bankruptcy, the United States government will finally see more clearly what debt can do when politicians avoid reality." In "Detroit a warning for other cities," by Jay Ambrose, Detroit News, 26 July 2013.

 

[ 6 ]       Economics is not politics, though politics has pretended to be economics. The simple fact is that what is borrowed extracts interest payments, and what is borrowed must be paid back or the debt abrogated, as has been true throughout the history of governments. Now one reads that the debt built by sustained borrowing is tragically but laughingly unsustainable. Economics would have taught this, were it not for politics pretending to understand economics. "Austerity" is not a policy, but an economic reality. Eventually one cannot spend more than one earns without tragedy ensuing. But promising "more" than one can afford has marked politics for decades. Therefore politics has become the polar opposite of simple commonsense notions carried down through the centuries -- and ignored by government.

 

 The Wheels Are Coming Off

 

            "Europe’s debt-crisis strategy is near collapse. The long-awaited recovery has failed to take wing. Debt ratios across southern Europe are rising at an accelerating pace. Political consent for extreme austerity is breaking down in almost every EMU crisis state. And now the US Federal Reserve has inflicted a full-blown credit shock for good measure... The politics have curdled everywhere." In "The wheels are coming off the whole of southern Europe," by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph UK, 10 July 2013.

            The same can be said for the United States:   "These numbers are so huge it is hard even to discuss them in a coherent way. As noted above, the calculations that go into them are easily challenged. But although one can quarrel with the specific numbers, there is an undeniable important reality that they reflect-- the U.S. population is aging, and an aging population means fewer people paying in and more people expecting benefits. This reality is unambiguously going to be a key constraint on the sustainability of fiscal policy for the United States. One would think we should be saving as a nation today as preparation for retirement, and if in fact we are not, the current enormous on-balance-sheet federal debt is all the more of a concern." In "Off-Balance-Sheet Federal Liabilities," by James D. Hamilton, Working Paper 19253, National Bureau of Economic Research, July 2013.

 

[ 7 ]      "So here’s how it looks. Years of unsustainable, credit-fuelled growth are brought to a halt by a crushing financial crisis which exposes deep structural flaws at the heart of the economy. Rarely has the assumption of ever-rising living standards looked so vulnerable, with younger generations forced to pay not just for the crippling legacy of debt their parents leave behind, but for the mounting costs of an ageing population and the consequences of decades-long environmental degradation. Economic decline, austerity and inter-generational recrimination seem to beckon as populations adjust to the true mediocrity of their circumstances." In "China’s great economic leap forward hits the wall," by Jeremy Warner, Telegraph UK, 11 July 2013.

 

 More Ponzi Finance

 

            Additionally one reads:  "Local governments in China borrowed heavily after the global financial crisis to try to sustain growth rates. The last audit, published in 2011, showed they had debt of 10.7tn yuan ($1.7tn; £1.1tn) by the end of 2010. Debt may threaten China's growth, and there are growing fears that local governments may not be able repay." In "China orders audit of government debt." BBC, 29 July 2013.

            As time passes, the problem for debt-fueled growth affects China. One reads as an update:  "Morgan Stanley said China is approaching a 'Minsky Moment', a turning point when credit bubbles implode under their weight. 'There is evidence that this debt growth has become excessive and non-productive. It now takes four renminbi of debt to create one renminbi of GDP growth from a nearly 1:1 ratio in the early and mid-2000s. It is clear to us that speculative and Ponzi finance dominate China’s economy at this stage. The question is when and how the system’s current instability resolves itself,' said the bank." In "Tumbling Chinese yuan sets off 'carry trade' rout, triggers derivatives contracts," by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. Telegraph UK, 20 March 2014.

            What all these statements of reality join to say without ambiguity is this. One cannot live on borrowed money, which is what governments have attempted for decades now.

            So notes one view:   "We are hostages to the destructive actions of central banks. Printing money destroys value. The puzzle is not economic, but rather psychological. Why do we allow Central Bankers to make us poorer and endanger us physically? The answer lies in our non-rational brains. One aspect of our psychology, labeled the Stockholm Syndrome, is the human propensity to develop positive feelings towards captors in a form of traumatic bonding." In "The Stockholm Syndrome and Printing Money," by Paul Solman, quoting Terry Burnham," PBS News Hour, 8 May 2013.

            See:  Ponzi states  , in which the title as a phrase intends "states" to function as both a noun and a verb.

 

[ 8 ]      Political sides have sometimes argued that instances of private debt and public debt are somehow different phenomena, with different rules. Aside from the inflation of currency supplies, they are not. Profligacy and debt crush, while prudence does not. Sooner or later rising debt is met its fate as lenders flee. One learns such a lesson about enormous private debt:

            "As early as 1993, Jackson owed $30 million, a figure that grew to $140 million by 1998. From June 2001 through June 2009, Jackson's debt increased by about $170 million. When he died, Jackson owed $400 million to $500 million, Ackerman testified. Ackerman said Jackson received no loans after 2007, and at the time of his death, he was three to four months behind on payments for the San Fernando Valley home where his mother lived. 'He was tapped out,' Ackerman said." In "Michael Jackson trial: Pop star was 'tapped out,' millions in debt," by Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times, 12 August 2013.

            As counterpoint to such stories of debt, consider this:  Prudence and Thrift  - a hoary story.

 

[ 9 ]      The article speaks of sovereign debt of governments, and notes additionally: "Critics are unlikely to accept this assurance since Spain, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and Latvia have all gone through depressions over the last six years, and Italy, France and Holland are all close to debt-deflation. The concern is what would now happen to parts of Europe if there were a fresh downturn or an external shock. Debt ratios are higher than they were in the 19th Century. The 'denominator effect' of deflation is therefore more destructive today."

 

[ 10 ]     The amazing comedy behind "world leaders" and often-cited economists is that after all such world leadership and all such calls for more "refinancing" and new debt, a report about debt "calls for 'fresh approaches' to preventing future debt crises."

            The old joke tells of the patient's complaint about pain: "Doctor! Doctor! It's hurts when I hold my arm this way." The doctor replies, "Don't hold your arm that way." What then would be among the "fresh approaches" to governments creating ever higher levels of debt? To cease doing so. But the world is on a merry-go-round of politicians so entrenched in promising what governments cannot afford without putting such "entitlements" on an ever-increasing tab of debt that "fresh approaches" would require these same politicians -- the IMF and World Bank are among such politicians, for they act not as anything other than governments funneling money from government to government -- to stop creating debt and live within a nation's means. Such is a "fresh approach" which brings howls of complaint from all those who seek their wherewithal from others' wherewithal.

 

 Let's Live At the Expense of Everybody Else

 

            A revisit the wisdom of Bastiat is necessary. "...it is proved that Government cannot satisfy one party without adding to the labor of the others, until I can obtain another definition of the word Government I feel authorized to give it my own. Who knows but it may obtain the prize? Here it is: 'Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else'." In "Government," by Frederic Bastiat, 1848.

            Fresh approaches to increasing debt by governments around the world? The obvious one is to cease amassing debt.

            Today's cast of fictional characters -- governments, intergovernmental organizations, the IMF and World Bank -- all exist in large part to "live at the expense of everybody else."

            In large part the history of mankind is one of failed governments of societies which in time faded into the past. Today's crop of sellers of fiction happily denigrate and bemoan past governments, the useful fictions of history, while failing to note the reasons for failure. Many times over massive inflation has taught the lesson of foolish monetary policy, and yet it is tried anew. Many times the incentive of workers is drawn off by the burdens of taxation, and yet higher taxes are called for. Many times over, capital is blamed for governments doing what they have done throughout the history of failed governments, and yet one watches fungible capital again fleeing from government, seeking shelters from grasping hands. Amusingly, among those who seeks shelter for their own capital are the politicians who rage at others doing the same thing. Such is the nature of the great fiction, for it knows it is a fiction. Being a narrative of great power, it becomes crucial that the many not understand the truth of governments' consistent Corruption , of governments' love of Deficits , and all the best of the political class showing us that even Socialists love money

            And of course one must not forget that what is most beloved is Capital for Communists  - a story growing old. All the brightest and best are chasing Moolah  .

 

 What's Easy Is Easy Until It's Hard

 

            While this might seem to some a cynical view, it is a demonstrable view. Bastiat continued in his essay on government to note:  "The new Government is no less embarrassed than the former one, for it soon finds that it is much more easy to promise than to perform."

            Truth to tell, such is reflected even in the marvelous and very cynical observation that "Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers." This wisdom comes courtesy of Soviet Socialist, Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971).
            A synthesis of the above makes clear the obvious. Politicians promise more than they will ever deliver, cause debt and eventual chaos, even collapse, all the while seeking capital for themselves through the fiction of government. This is true of politics the world over, and oddly, even humorously and especially true of the ardent socialists of various types and forms, who would deny this loudly. They must, for the fiction which Bastiat exposed is always and ever busy clothing itself in the newest version of an economic emperor's new clothes -- increasing debt stitched together for a time with corruption for the imperial court.

 

[ 11 ]     A 2015 comparison of the most debt-ridden nations is sadly instructive. One finds some data in "Most Government Debt per Person," Bloomberg News, published in June 2015. Based on 2014 GDP, population and gross government debt, the study shows that Japan is the most indebted nation in the world, followed by Ireland and the United States is number three in this ignominious list. Greece, which is facing default in June of 2015, is by comparison thirteenth on the list.

 

 Politicians Are the Same All Over

 

             And of Greece in June 2015, one reads:  "...Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was elected to office in January on the back of myriad promises. Five months later, as Greece teeters on the edge of its existence in the eurozone, many of Mr. Tsipras’s pledges look either very costly or unachievable." In "What Alexis Tsipras Pledged Wasn’t in His Power to Deliver," by Stephen Fidler, Wall Street Journal, 18 June 2015.

            To restate the truth of government and its politicians of so many supposed flavors, one looks back to Khrushchev's "Politicians are the same all over."

            The obvious solution is for governments to stop taking on more debt, at the minimum. But then, what would politicians have if there is nothing more to promise and then finance by piling up debt? In the case of Greece of which the article says "teeters on the edge of its existence," one finds the reporting incorrect. Greece does not "teeter." A government does.

            Long after this government falls, as it will, Greece will exist as a geographic entity, a culture, a language and a people. Only the political ideology which brought collapse to it will fall. This will prove equally true for a Japanese, Irish or American government, as for all governments. Why? Politicians are the same all over.

 

[ 12 ]   This becomes extraordinarily clear. The article tells of "...which cities and states rely on to pay for their most basic needs, like road construction and public hospitals." When any entity -- an individual, a company or a government -- relies on borrowing "for their most basic needs," there is unassailable evidence that that entity in not productive enough to feed itself. This is not the path to prosperity, but the clear road to collapse. The many politicians and political and economic thinkers who have posited for decades that somehow this strategy is a road to the future have been and are being proven immensely incorrect. The lie of "financing" the "stakeholders" by borrowing for the "welfare" of an entity has always been fallacious.

 

 Words Count For Little

 

            When caught in an outright lie, it is human nature to rarely confess, but rather to apportion blame to someone else. Such is it now worldwide as socialists of all stripes term the failure of government borrowing a failure of capitalism. The failure of capitalism is only that productivity fails to provide enough that it might "share" with others of its productivity. The failure of socialism is that it has expected for centuries now that productive entities will work for meager profits or even none at all, a phenomenon more normally termed slavery.

            One may argue academic terms, definitions, expectation, models and theories for a very long time, but the bill comes due and expects repayment. Thus the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as but one example, was not only an implosion of socialism but also an abrogation of existing debt created by that now failed political enterprise.

            There is enormous illogic to not repaying a debt, and then asking the lender to lend more after suffering a loss.

            As Puerto Rico's governor Padilla said, "This is not politics, this is math."

 

[ 13 ]   "Corporate China's debt" is an interesting phrase, given that Communist China is -- well -- Communist, and therefore the state owns its banks and corporations.  In capitalist terms, these are monopolies, as well as state-owned.

 

 The State And Its Party

 

            One reads:  "Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have played a significant role in the world's second-largest economy, with over 155,000 SOEs valued at approximately $17.4 trillion at the end of 2013 spanning almost every industry sector. Despite the tremendous success some of the SOEs have enjoyed, largely thanks to their monopolistic market positions and entry barriers for private sector competitors, criticism of the overall inefficiency in the management of these assets has increased." In "China M&A: Reform Plan Promotes Mixed Ownership of State-Owned Enterprises," by Daniel Dusek, Peter X. Huang and Andre Zhu, Skadden's 2015 Insights, January 2015.

            Further one reads: "The government is working to boost the competitiveness of SOEs [ state-owned enterprises], whose inefficiency is one of the country’s thorniest quandaries. A number of SOEs have embarked on reforms by diversifying ownership to include more non-state investors, seen as helping combat official corruption, as well as pushing mergers and restructuring." In "China’s Xi Jinping says state industry the backbone of economy amid reforms," by Reuters Beijing, 19 July 2015.

            So, the picture clarifies when stated plainly. Corrupt, state-owned entities seek "non-state investors," even though there is no free market, and now that the "trading" in stocks for so many of these "state-owned" entities are suspended after losing capital value, the notion that "non-state" -- meaning private, and likely foreign -- investors would find such participation attractive becomes laughable.

            From the article cited above, one notes: "The effect of policy easing has been to reduce short-term interest costs, so lending for stock speculation has boomed, but there is little evidence loans are being used for profitable investment in the real economy, where long-term borrowing costs remain high, and banks are reluctant to take risks."  In "Manage, meddle or magnify? China's corporate debt threat," Reuters, 18 July 2015.

            "Banks are reluctant to take risks" all the while "stock speculation" in state-owned stocks "has boomed," and then lost value, the notion that foreign investors would flock to invest in a state-owned Communist enterprise, characterized by corruption, is more than laughable. As with Communists at one time lambasting the sheer ignorance of business leaders, one finds an odd non-market, statist concern.

            "...the party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said that the root of the problems its teams had found in state-owned firms was lack of party leadership or understanding of the party's role." In "China raps state-owned firms for lack of party loyalty," by Ben Blanchard, Reuters, News Asia, 20 July 2015.

 

 It's Always Someone Else's Fault

 

            Consider the circular use of language: "China" is the Communist Chinese government, owner of state-owned enterprises, and identifies "the root of the problem" in state-owned entities as "lack of party leadership."

            Translation:  Communist China's state-owned and Communist-run companies using Communist China's state-owned bank and Chinese Communist currency are being criticized by Communist China's Communist leadership for not "understanding the party' role." 

            What is the party's role? To own. To rule. To command the party's economy to be productive. To demand the party's stock market remain profitable in order to lure in foreign capital.  "...the People’s Bank of China has begun lending money to investors to buy shares in the flailing market." In "Chinese chaos worse than Greece," News/Australia, 7 July 2015.

            There is no "lack of party leadership." There is party leadership. A free market is free, not fueled by state-owned central banks, and heeds the antithesis of "party leadership." As noted:  "Corporate China's debts, at 160 percent of GDP, are twice that of the United States...."

            What a party this is, fueled by debt, " lending money to investors to buy shares in the flailing market?"

            The party's "role" is everywhere, inept yet pervasive. And all being run by Chinese Communist billionaires. "The average wealth of the richest 70 members of the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, far exceeds $1 billion."  In "The Contradictions of China’s Communist Capitalism," by Pranab Bardhan, Project Syndicate, 16 July 2015.

            The last quotes are cited also in the rhyme and supporting footnotes regarding Communist China. See:  We ran out .

            The image is one of So shall ism   inflated by the use of Smoke and Mirrors  .


 

I mean to help

"All things truly wicked start from an innocence." - A Movable Feast, Ernest Hemingway

I mean to help you, if you would allow;
I'll better your life more than it is right now.
I mean to help; but if you won't allow
I'd make things better, you must be made to bow
To all the best and all the good which I declare this day,
For you must pay and pay again if you would turn away.
    I mean to help, and help I mean is what I clearly see,
    Not what you feel or what you think, if you would disagree.
    Refuse my help? My keen advice upon your plate?
    If you do, then it's wicked you I must sternly castigate.
    Discipline must be enforced, of course,
    And I will do this without remorse.
I mean to help; but if you won't allow
I'd make things better, then you must bow
And bend your knee to this, my wisdom, properly;
For all your foolish error, you must -- nay shall -- obey me.
I must be mean to help, and you will allow
I'd better your life more than it is right now.

 

Envoi:  "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the  most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent  moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may  at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us  without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

 

Addendum:   "Judge Ciavarella, who sentenced around 3,000 children in a similar manner, was later sentenced himself to 28 years in prison for financial crimes related to his acceptance of $2.2 million as a finder’s fee for the construction of a for-profit facility in which to house these so-called delinquents. The scandal was called 'Kids for Cash,' and it rocked the state in 2009 — for the accusation that Ciavarella was happy to tear families apart in exchange for the payoff." In "Corrupt ‘Kids for Cash’ judge ruined more than 2,000 lives," by Larry Getlen, New York Post, 23 February 2014.

 

See:    I need no boots 


 

Ratio

More state,
Less man;
Despots
Fashion
This plan.

Despots
Rise up
But to
Crumble.
Free men
Rise up;
Despots
Tumble.

 

Less state,
More man;
Despots
Fear each
Free man.

 

Envoi:   "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)

 

See:    The funniest thing  - a meditation on Emma Goldman   and the informative  Bring presents to the party 


 

The end of the world

 

Knock, knock!  Who’s There? Armageddon!  Armageddon Who? Armageddon outa here!

 

Little Tommy Malthus came to merely say
    that man's green earth would fail one most unhappy day.
Stanford's silly Ehrlich joined the silly fray;
    seeing man's starvation, he truly did dismay.
Tipper's little Al did painfully convey
    that his scorched earth would simply boil away.

For others this earth could someday truly freeze
    if we'd not do quite what exactly they'd please.
They'd preach their raging fire or freezing of the seas
    and urge us all get down on our bended knees,
Resources gone, as shortages seize,
    with ravaging hunger and dreadful dark disease.

Duck and cover, the bombs will blast;
    the glowing devastation shall be vast.
Rachel's silent spring will come one day at last;
    the dying off she said occurs really rather fast.
Visions like these should make one full aghast,
    each who is convinced by such boiling bombast.

The ravaging horsemen of each apocalypse
    are but men from whom such anguish drips.
Thinking each unthinkable in slogans and in quips,
    these horsemen do grasp with threatening grips,
And peddle, preach and publish to their readerships
    Their worries and fears of some apocalypse.

Jerome and Tertullian had it historically wrong
    but still full loud they sang this ancient song.
Pandemics will roil and rage as they come along
    And some will say we shan't live long.
The end of the world draws near -- and strong
    is the lure for an unthinking throng.

 

For us mortal men in mortality's queue,
    an end surely comes for me as for you.
Ah, which end and which way is not quite in view,
    but when it comes, there's little we will do.
Why waste this day with what might not be true?
    Why not find something much better to do?

 

Envoi:  "Reality is infinitely diverse, compared with even the subtlest conclusions of abstract thought, and does not allow of clear-cut and sweeping distinctions. Reality resists classification." Fyodor Dostoevsky, The House of the Dead (1862)

 

Addendum of Uncertainties Becoming More Apparent:  "At most, the draft report says, climate change may have played a role in the disappearance of a few amphibians, fresh water fish and mollusks. Yet even the icons of catastrophic global warming, the polar bears, are doing surprisingly well. Their population has remained stable despite the shrinking of the Arctic ice cap. Ragnar Kinzelbach, a zoologist at the University of Rostock, says essential data is missing for most other life forms, making it virtually impossible to forecast the potential effects of climate change. Given the myriad other human encroachments in the natural environment, Kinzelbach says, 'crocodile tears over an animal kingdom threatened by climate change are less than convincing.' The draft report includes a surprising admission by the IPCC -- that it doubts its own computer simulations for species extinctions. 'There is very little confidence that models currently predict extinction risk accurately,' the report notes. Very low extinction rates despite considerable climate variability during past hundreds of thousands of years have led to concern that 'forecasts for very high extinction rates due entirely to climate change may be overestimated.' In the last assessment report, Climate Change 2007, the IPCC predicted that 20 to 30 percent of all animal and plant species faced a high risk for extinction should average global temperatures rise by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius (3.6 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit). The current draft report says that scientific uncertainties have 'become more apparent' since 2007." In "UN Backtracks: Will Global Warming Really Trigger Mass Extinctions" by Axel Bojanowski, Spiegel, 26 March 2014.

 

Addendum of Believers and Unbelievers:  "The origins of warmism lie in a cocktail of ideas which includes anti-industrial nature worship, post-colonial guilt, a post-Enlightenment belief in scientists as a new priesthood of the truth, a hatred of population growth, a revulsion against the widespread increase in wealth and a belief in world government. It involves a fondness for predicting that energy supplies won’t last much longer (as early as 1909, the US National Conservation Commission reported to Congress that America’s natural gas would be gone in 25 years and its oil by the middle of the century), protest movements which involve dressing up and disappearing into woods (the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, the Mosleyite Blackshirts who believed in reafforestation) and a dislike of the human race (The Club of Rome’s work Mankind at the Turning-Point said: 'The world has cancer and the cancer is man.')." In "The game is up for climate change believers," by Charles Moore, Telegraph UK, 6 April 2014.

 

 See:   The World Is Coming To An End    and also a song setting of Frost's  Fire and Ice - (2005) 


 

Kicks

"I had learned not to care. I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though... Barak Obama, Jr., in "Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance," Three Rivers Press, 1995.

Now, God knows, many things go --
Pot, booze, and blow, not smack though.
Speak truth to power, and then?
Sniff up that powder, take pen...

    Write four letter words,
        Maybe even better words,
    Learn not to care,
        Whine and wheeze.
    His cold sort of words
        Aren't Cole Porter words,
    Smoke rings blown in the breeze,
        But oh so intended to please...

He got a kick -- pot and booze.
Mere alcohol didn't thrill quite enough.
But in print we've apparently seen
That he got his kicks from that scene.

 

See:    When a radical comes to power    and also  President Cool 


 

Chump Change - Variations on "Mulberry Bush"

Billions go poof! down the rabbit hole.
Some of it's gone that somebody stole.
Some of it's spent on rigmarole,
Early in the morning.

Here we go round...

Someone's corrupt down that rabbit hole,
Far, far beyond an audit's patrol.
Some of the cash has gone for a stroll,
Early in the morning.

Governments dump in the rabbit hole.
Someone cleans up in that rabbit hole.
Someone gets wealthy from what they stole
Early in the morning.

Here we go round again....

Waste is flushed down the rabbit hole.
Fraud is alive down the rabbit hole.
Things happen there without control
Early in the morning.

Round and round,
Where she stops,
Nobody knows.
The buck stops here.

There's quid pro quo down the rabbit hole,
Funneling back through the lobbyists' role.
Folks skim the cream from the rabbit hole
Early in the morning.

 

Envoi:   "Politics, n: [Poly 'many' + tics 'blood-sucking parasites']" -- attributed to Larry Hardiman

 

See:    Chump Change    and also  Chump Change - variations on Mulberry Bush - (2009)  


 

A Government Song

The way to manage debt
Is to simply try to get
More of it to pay the bet
While showing no regret.
     Rolling over hefty sums
     While twiddling federal thumbs;
     Spending on one's party's chums
     Is how the future comes.
The way to play for time
Is begging every dime,
While seeking some new paradigm
Aside from sprees of crime.
     The promise and the hope
     Simply cannot cope
     With problems of this scope
     Upon the slippery slope.
         Nope.
The way to manage debt
Is to pay it back, and yet
Government seems quite upset
To shrink their silhouette.

 

Envoi:   "America’s dynamic private sector is carrying on its back an unreformed Leviathan." In "The Unsteady States of America," The Economist, 27 July 2013.

 

See:    A Government Song - (2009)  


 

Lazy Bones

“We often miss opportunity because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931)

 

I want milk.
        -- The cows are there.
Milk them? No. I'll sit and stare.

I want food.
        -- The fields are ripe.
I shall sit right here and gripe.

I want cash.
        -- The work calls out.
Better yet. I'll rage and shout.

I want things.
        -- Things can be found.
What's with all this runaround?

I want what?
        -- Someone else to work.
And if not, I'll go berserk.

I want... want....
        -- Want comes to you.
With all my wants, I'm feeling blue.

Stop nagging me!
        -- No more to say.
But it's you that makes me feel this way.

 

Envoi:    "Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy." - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

 

Addendum:   "If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side." Orson Scott Card (b. 1951)

  

See:   You toil   - words of Abraham Lincoln

 


 

No Place - no space, no grace, no trace

From the dictionary definition for "Utopia, literally: no place, from Greek ou not + topos a place," and an homage to the prescience of T. S. Eliot by paraphrasing from his "The Hollow Land" in the last stanza, all to be sung to the tune of "There we go round the Mulberry bush."

No Place is called Utopia,

Utopia, Utopia,

No Place is called Utopia,

As we will someday learn.

 

There we shall found Utopia,
Utopia, Utopia,
There we shall found Utopia,
On wisdom, law and right.

There we go gathering other's wealth,
Other's wealth, other's wealth,
There we go gathering other's wealth,
For the common good.

Here we go spreading wealth around,
Wealth around, wealth around.
Here we go spreading wealth around,
That is not ours to give.

No Place is for the faint of heart,
Faint of heart, faint of heart,
No Place is for the faint of heart
Who backslide or defy.

These are those who must be chained,
Must be chained, must be chained,
These are those who must be chained
For the common good.

This is the way that freedom ends,
This is the way that freedom ends,
This is the way that freedom ends,
Not with a bang but a whimper.

 

Envoi:  “Utopia was here at last: its novelty had not yet been assailed by the supreme enemy of all Utopias - boredom.” -- Arthur C. Clarke, in Childhood's End

 

See:    You Topia  ,  also  For Your Common Good 

 


 

It Doesn't Help

"I don't think that really serves the purpose of informing the public and answering their questions honestly. It doesn't help." Senator Dick Durbin in the Herald & Review, Decatur, IL. August 14, 2009

Politics is a one way street
And leaders love to lead.
The politicians' wondrous feat
Is how things serve their need.
But when a people disagree,
Some senator has said,
"It doesn't help." Why don't you see,
It's not how he was bred.
It's you must follow and obey
Whene'er he speaks his speech,
But when you aren't 'neath his sway,
Why then you overreach.
He is the One, not the many you,
Who lead your lemmings' strut,
And you should all agree, it's true,
To follow, mouths wide shut.
"It doesn't help," he says again
To disagree and question
Whate'er he says, where'er or when,
So take his firm suggestion.
Mouth wide shut and eyes wide closed
Is how the lemmings run;
Together as a mob composed
In camps of concentration.

 

Envoi:    "Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right." H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

 

Addendum:   "We sat there in silence, each of use convinced that the other's point of view was wrong." Agatha Christie, in "The Clocks" (1963)

 

Addendum:   "Liberty is the possibility of doubting, the possibility of making a mistake, the possibility of searching and experimenting, the possibility of saying No to any authority - literary, artistic, philosophic, religious, social, and even political." Ignazio Silone (1900-1978)

 

See:    Lemmings 

 


 

Modern Art

"There is a certain kind of person who is so dominated by the desire to be loved for himself alone that he has constantly to test those around him by tiresome behavior; what he says and does must be admired, not because it is intrinsically admirable, but because it is his remark, his act. Does not this explain a good deal of avant-garde art?" W. H. Auden (1907-1973)

 

I think about me,
And sing about me,
And celebrate me, me, me,
And obsess on me.
I'm pretty, you see,
So your galaxy
Must spin around me
And my gravity.
It's me must be
Your color TV,
So look upon me
And then magnify me
And focus on me;
And me, me, me
And my absurdity.

 

Shitty Envoi:   "But McCarthy and Serrano are comfortable with their narcissism -- they have nothing else going for them -- which is why they are comfortable with their fashionable shit. They’re not in terror of it, nor is the viewer, for everyone knows it’s just avant-garde show business as usual. Everyone knows that show business is unadulterated narcissism, and with that emotionally regressive, not to say a sign of arrested development -- artistic as well as personal development, and of course of the society that produces it." In "The Triumph of Shit," by Donald Kuspit, artnet-The Art World Online.   [ 1 ]

 

You're in this Addendum:   "But if you really want him to condemn the Piss Christ, this is what you have to do: Find an enterprising young artist willing to create a 'Piss Mohammed' version of Serrano’s work, and ask the museum to hang it right next to the Piss Christ. It could be part of a 'Piss Religion' exhibit. If the gallery declines (as it surely would), then perhaps one could gather together a small group of Manhattan atheists to march 'piss portraits' of Mohammed and his fellow deities / prophets right up 1st Avenue past the United Nations, in homage to the First Amendment." In "Try Hanging 'Piss Mohammed' Next to 'Piss Christ'," by Mario Loyola, National Review, 26 September 2012.

 

Addendum:   "Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it." C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

 

Addendum:    "There are centuries of wonderful things to read. Decades of brilliant things to watch. Newness is a flimsy trick." A Tweet by Erin Kissane, author of "The Elements of Content Strategy (2011)," circa late February 2013.     [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Cultish Novelty:   Looking intently, we can see that behind these ubiquitous and seemingly innocent experiments of rejecting 'antiquated' tradition there lies a deep-seated hostility toward any spirituality. This relentless cult of novelty, with its assertion that art need not be good or pure, just so long as it is new, newer, and newer still, conceals an unyielding and long-sustained attempt to undermine, ridicule and uproot all moral precepts. 'There is no God, there is no truth, the universe is chaotic, all is relative, the world as text,' a text any post-modernist is willing to compose. How clamorous it all is, but also — how helpless. For several decades now, world literature, music, painting and sculpture have exhibited a stubborn tendency to grow not higher but to the side, not toward the highest achievements of craftsmanship and of the human spirit but toward their disintegration into a frantic and insidious 'novelty.' To decorate public spaces we put up sculptures that aestheticize pure ugliness — but we no longer register surprise. And if visitors from outer space were to pick up our music over the airwaves, how could they ever guess that earthlings once had a Bach, a Beethoven and a Schubert, now abandoned as out of date and obsolete? If we, the creators of art, will obediently submit to this downward slide, if we cease to hold dear the great cultural tradition of the foregoing centuries together with the spiritual foundations from which it grew — we will be contributing to a highly dangerous fall of the human spirit on earth, to a degeneration of mankind into some kind of lower state, closer to the animal world." In "The Relentless Cult of Novelty," by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, in a paper prepared for the National Arts Club in New York City in 1993.

 

 Addendum of the Art of Marketing:    "...pioneered new approaches to the readymade, tested the boundaries between advanced art and mass culture, challenged the limits of industrial fabrication, and transformed the relationship of artists to the cult of celebrity and the global market." In "Jeff Koons: A Retrospective," author not noted, Whitney Museum of American art, circa June 2014.  [ 3 ]

 

Addendum:  "Usually I have to wait for other people to tell me when I have new ideas, because I never know this myself." Ludwig van Beethoven, circa 1802, cited in "A Dictionary of Music Quotations," Crofton & Fraser, Schirmer Books, 1985.

 

A Retching Addendum:  "We all know that some artists put their blood, sweat and tears into their creations, but one woman has taken it one step further - by using her own vomit." In " 'It's like a cleanse for your body and mind': Vomit Painter artist throws up on canvas to create Jackson Pollock-style splatter paintings that Lady Gaga loves," by Bianca London, Daily Mail UK, 31 January 2014.

 

Addendum:    "All of a sudden it didn't bother me not being modern." Roland Barthes (1915-1980)

 

Addendum:    "One cannot spend one's time in being modern when there are so many more important things to be." Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), in "Adagia," (1959).

 

Addendum of Almost Fraud:   "One of the world’s leading art dealers this week launched an astonishing attack on the contemporary art market, condemning the millions charged for some works as 'almost fraud'. The comments from David Nahmad, a Monaco-based dealer who is possibly the biggest in the world, come as art buyers reel from the collapse of the contemporary market. They echo remarks by the British sculptor Sir Anthony Caro, who last week said that 'stupid outrageous values' had become more important than the work itself." In "Contemporary art is a fraud, says top dealer," by Andrew Johnson, Independent UK, 22 February 2009.

 

Addendum of Certain Fraud:   "...this self-taught painter, who had once scratched out a living in Amsterdam, Morocco, and other spots along the hippie trail, had passed off his own paintings as newly discovered masterpieces by Max Ernst, André Derain, Max Pechstein, Georges Braque, and other Expressionists and Surrealists from the early 20th century. Helene Beltracchi, along with two accomplices—including her sister—had sold the paintings for six and seven figures through auction houses in Germany and France, including Sotheby’s and Christie’s. One phony Max Ernst had hung for months in a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Steve Martin purchased a fake Heinrich Campendonk through the Paris gallery Cazeau-Béraudière for $860,000 in 2004; the French magazine-publishing mogul Daniel Filipacchi paid $7 million for a phony Max Ernst, titled The Forest (2), in 2006. For the 14 fakes that the Beltracchis were eventually charged with selling, their estimated take was around €16 million, or $22 million." In "The Greatest Fake-Art Scam in History?" by Joshua Hammer, Vanity Fair, 10 October 2012.

 

Addendum of Forgery and Deceit:   " Spanish art dealer Jose Carlos Bergantiños Diaz helped persuade wealthy buyers to shell out millions of dollars for works he claimed famous masters of modern art had painted. But in reality, U.S. authorities allege, the works he sold as Rothkos and Pollocks were fakes painted by an artist he met on a Manhattan street corner. The alleged scheme stretched for nearly two decades, involved several New York art galleries and earned the conspirators more than $30 million, according to an indictment unsealed in federal court on Monday." In "Prosecutor: Indicted art dealer, painter were 'masters of forgery and deceit'," by Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN, 23 April 2014.

 

See:    anythingis   and also a song setting of  Modern Art - (2009)  

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     Definition: "avant-garde Seeming to be ahead of its time." From "The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art Terms," Edward Lucie-Smith, 1984.  By this delicious definition, something can not remain avant-garde any more than it can remain "modern."

 

 Old Modernity

 

            From the same source: "Modernism, Modern Movement General name given to the succession of AVANT-GARDE styles in art and architecture which have dominated Western culture almost throughout the 20th c." Now that the 20th century is left  behind for this 21st century, one may inquire: is "ahead of its time" now behind the times? In the same logical way, is "modernism" no longer modern?

            Most interesting is that in this particular "Dictionary of Art Terms," the term "old" is not defined within its 208 pages. "New" as terminology leaps out with the German terms, Neue Sachlichkeit, Neue Wilden, the French term, Nouveau Réalisme, and the English term, New Brutalism.

            The Preface (p. 7) states "...the aim has been to fit the book to contemporary approaches to art." The book is, as of 2013, is now thirty years old.

 

[ 2 ]     Newness? One learns from another art dictionary:  "As an art historical term, modern refers to a period dating roughly from the 1860s through the 1970s and is used to describe the style and the ideology of art produced during that era." Reading from some sentences earlier, "All art is modern to those who make it, whether they are the inhabitants of Renaissance Florence or twentieth-century New York. Even paintings being made today in a fifteenth-century STYLE are still modern in this sense." ART | SPEAK, A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements and Buzzwords," Robert Atkins, Abbeville Press, 1990.

 

 Vague Words

 

            And so, the "buzzwords" prove illusive and definitions become fluid. And avant-garde morphs as terminology into the Transavantgarde, while modern morphs into the postmodern, a term delightfully defined by Atkins as a "definition so vague then that it meant little more than 'after MODERNISM' and typically implied 'against modernism'."

            Atkins continues, "Many theorists believe that the transition from modernism to postmodernism signified an epochal shift in consciousness corresponding to momentous changes in the contemporary social and economic order." He opines, "Perhaps the clearest distinction between modern and postmodern art involves the sociology of the art world." One notes, sociology is a discipline conducted almost entirely in the medium of rather mundane non-poetical language. It seems almost as if sociology were attempting yet another coup to take art under its aegis and imprimatur, rather like previous era's elements of wealth and power requiring art to be subservient, rather than often revolutionary, if not subversive.

            As ever, the question seems the same. Should art serve, as once it did for the church? Royalty? The state? Corporate interests? The modern royalty of celebrity? The reigning political order? An ideology? The social and economic order?

            Is the modern artist a modern servant? Or a modern master? A little of both? Such "new" questions have been asked one way or another throughout the ages.

 

[ 3 ]      The comment written on the Whitney Museum site celebrating Koons' exhibition mentions transforming "the relationship of artists to the cult of celebrity and the global market." In plain words, marketing.

 

 Money, Lots of Money and Show Business

 

            One reads of celebrity, "Koons is arguably one of the most popular living artists today. Last year, he became the most expensive living artist too when his 'Balloon Dog (Orange)' sold for $58.4 million at auction. Koons is arguably one of the most popular living artists today. Last year, he became the most expensive living artist too when his 'Balloon Dog (Orange)' sold for $58.4 million at auction." In "Jeff Koons' whimsy takes over NYC museum," by Ula Ilnytzky, Associated Press, 23 June 2014.

            The question then becomes one of defining and measuring "popular." Is it celebrity? High sales price? Net worth of the artist? As to high sales prices, one finds yet more proof of the underlying capitalism towards which such art marketing strives:  "Jeff Koons’ controversial artworks often seem to comment on industrialization and contemporary culture by elevating the ordinary to the absurd. In 2012, Koons’ stainless steel sculpture Tulips was acquired by hotel tycoon Steve Wynn for $33.7 million." In "Jay-Z's Magna Carta Lyrics: A $493 Million Art Collection," by Natalie Bobeehmed, Forbes, 16 July 2013.

            This popular artist is a celebrity, as the Whitney Museum mentions.  One reads further:  "Jeff Koons is a larger than life art star, in the vein of Any Warhol. Much like Warhol did, he employs over a 120 artists who work in a meticulously run production studio. Koons is most famous for his gigantic stainless steel sculptures of balloon animals. In 1988, Koons put out four life-sized sculptures painted in gold leaf of Michael Jackson and his chimp, Bubbles. In 2001, one of them sold for 5.6 million. In 2007, his work, Hanging Heart, sold for $23.6 million at Sotheby’s and set a record for the most expensive piece of art sold at auction by a living artist. Koons is an avid student of art history and sees his work in the pantheon of great artists before him. Kitsch or not, Koons has made an indelible imprint on our modern culture." In "6 Ridiculously rich contemporary artists," a blog post by Thrift Obsession, I'd rather be making art Blog, 8 December 2011.

            Popular and a celebrity according to museum testimony,  one learns yet more:  "Critics are deeply divided on Koons' artwork. While some call it pioneering there are others who slate it as kitsch and self-merchandising. Koons has been widely quoted as saying his work has no hidden meanings. The Pennsylvania native has a personal net worth of $100 million." In "$1billion of tchotchkes and kitsch: Jeff Koons takes over New York museum with his life's work - including a Michael Jackson sculpture and print of his porn star ex-wife," by Associated Press via Daily Mail UK, 24 June 2014.

            Of the "over a 120 artists who work" for Koons, one finds this musing:  "I’ve always wondered why someone would ever want to work in Koon’s factory. Unless you have an undying love for painting photorealistic lobsters or would like to become an expert in polishing balloon dogs, what’s the point?" In "Why Not to Work for Jeff Koons," by Kyle Petreycik, Hyperallergic, 29 January 2013.

 

 A Picture Painted By the Numbers

 

            The picture emerges. Wealth. High sales prices. Marketing coupled to manufacturing, complete with a production line. Popularity. Celebrity. This is what art is in the moment, according to many reports and opinions. One may ponder how such "art" fits into the modern dialogue about Income Inequality  , but one may note that art according to a museum is now measured by "celebrity" and the measure of sales prices on the "global market." Art as capital in a world wherein celebrity is aimed at preserving celebrity.  Consider Christopher Hitchens' comment about celebrity: Preserve us - prays the privileged circus.

            After all, as the ArtNet critic noted above:  "everyone knows it’s just avant-garde show business as usual...."

            As to the Whitney Museum's relationship to the "one percent" economic class, one notes of its director that Adam D. Weinberg's base salary was $572,932 with other reportable compensation of $132,770, for a yearly gross of $705,702.00.  Source:  Whitney Museum's Form 990 for 2012.

            One learns further of the director's relationship to the museum from Form 990, "The museum's director is provided with a housing allowance and reimbursement for dependent care, under circumstances when it is in the museum's interest for director and director's spouse to attend after hours or out of town events. The director also has a discretionary fund to be used for business related expenses that are not otherwise included in the museum's operating budget."

            This suggests than not only some celebrity artists but also some celebrity museum directors have, in the parlance of the Whitney statement about Koons' retrospective, that this new wealth culture of modern art has "transformed the relationship of artists to the cult of celebrity and the global market." Isn't that rich?

 


 

an aspect of art

"Though originality is inseparable from personality, there exists also a kind of originality which does not derive from profound personality. Products of such artists are often distinguished by a unique appearance which resembles true originality. Certainly there was inventiveness at work when the striking changes of some subordinate elements were accomplished for the first time. Subsequently, used consciously, they achieved an aspect of novelty not derived profoundly from basic ideas. This is mannerism, not originality. The difference is that mannerism is originality in subordinate matters. There are many, and even respectable, artists whose success and reputation are based on this minor kind of originality. Unfortunately, the tendency to arouse interest by technical peculiarities, which are simply added to the nothingness of an idea, is now more frequent than it was in former times. The moral air of such products is rather for success and publicity than for enriching mankind's thoughts." by Arnold Schoenberg, in "Criteria For the Evaluation of Music," (1946)
 

an ass pecked of art,
manner is -- mmm --
in the under part,
minor, nothing dumb.

an aspect of novel tea

brews as it stews

its originality

boiling its muse.
striking changes,
battery's charged,
and someone arranges
to seem enlarged.
success cum publicity
is morals too few;
an ass pecked of art
in time bids adieu.

 

Envoi:   "The history of modern art is also the history of the progressive loss of art's audience. Art has increasingly become the concern of the artist and the bafflement of the public." Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)

 

Addendum:   "What is originality in art? Perhaps it is easier to define what it is not; and this may be done by saying that it is never a willful rejection of what have been accepted as the necessary laws of the various forms of art. Thus, in reasoning, originality lies not in discarding the necessary laws of thought, but in using them to express new intellectual conceptions; in poetry, originality consists not in discarding the necessary laws of rhythm, but in finding new rhythms within the limits of those laws."  In "The decoration of houses," Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman, 1898.    [ 1 ]

 

Addendum:   "In 2000 the Tate bought a tin purporting to be the excrement of Italian artist Piero Manzoni for £22,350 from Sotheby's. The news provoked outrage. How could Nicholas Serota lavish such money on this four decades old send-up on the absurdity of the art market, whose artistic intervention, after all, was not intended to be a thing of beauty or permanence? Indeed, Manzoni once said that he was exposing "the gullibility of the art-buying public" with his tins of Manzoni's Merda d'Artista. Hadn't the Tate been had from beyond the grave by the cheeky Italian? " In " Shit! Manzoni's work doesn't do what it says on the tin," Art and Design Blog, The Guardian UK, 12 June 2007.   [ 2 ]

 

See:  A song setting of Ezra Pound's texts,  Art - (2010)  

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    From the text" "That cheap originality which finds expression in putting things to uses for which they were not intended is often confounded with individuality; whereas the latter consists not in an attempt to be different from other people at the cost of comfort, but in the desire to be comfortable in one's own way, even though it be the way of a monotonously large majority."

 

[ 2 ]    One opinion states:  "A few years before his death, Italian conceptual artist Piero Manzoni played an eloquent practical joke on the art market when he preserved 90 tin cans worth of his own waste in 1961. Originally priced at its weight in gold, each 30 gram specimen of consumerism critique went for $37, but as the market fluctuated, the price of Artist’s Shit per can jumped to as high as $181,374 in 2007. Well played, sir!" In "10 Artworks Made with the Artist's Own Bodily Fluids," by Marina Galperina, FlavorWire, 10 June 2011.

 

 Gullibility

 

           And for this last phrase one learns that art is now about marketing, materialism and money. One may compare this with the assertion by Paul Gauguin above. While Manzoni's "shit" -- plaster according to a collaborator of the artist and surely showing the artist's own view about the "gullibility of the art-buying public" -- we see applause for that gullibility. Given subsequent "leaks" reported in some press, a definitive proof could be assessed, a la the enthusiasm to analyze the Shroud of Turin. Yet, opening a can for analysis would of course diminish its perceived cash value, as adjudged by museum directors and collectors of items which the artist already has informed the world as proof of their gullibility. The old game of "maybe yes, maybe no" as regards "art" is thereby conceptualized. Or maybe not.


 

Crisis

Cry, sis! Cry, brother!
Cry out! Cry loud!
Cry wild and hot
With the crying crowd!
Crisis!

        Nuclear winter and acid rain?
        This world? It's goin' down the drain!
        Warming? Cooling? A silent spring!
        Whatever it is, it's threatening!

Cry, sis! Cry, brother!
Cry out! Cry loud!
Cry wild and hot
With the crying crowd!

        People? Too many! The world's lost!
        Oh, what horror! Oh, what cost!
        Fiscal meltdown! The perfect storm!
        Each crisis will come with frightening form!

        Some Club of Rome that limits growth?
        A credit collapse? Or maybe both!
        Rearrange the deck chairs on a sinking ship,
        'Cause a crisis is so hot and yet very hip!
        Crisis!

Cry, sis! Cry, brother!
Cry out! Out loud!
Cry wild and hot
With the crying crowd!

        Crashes are coming! The end time nears!
        One of these things should stir your fears!
        Grab your crying towel and weep!
        Apocalypse comes! Come shed those tears!

Cry, sis! Cry, brother!
Cry out! Out loud!
Cry wild and hot
With the crying crowd!

 

Addendum:    "Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of ‘emergency’. It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And ‘emergency’ became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains." In "The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover: The Great Depression, 1929-1941," (1952).

 

 See:    Crisis  (2009)    ,  and also  Scare Tactics 

 


 

All the news is screaming

"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?… Has it ever occurred to your, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?…The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness." In "1984," George Orwell.

 

All the news is screaming,
Day by noisy day.
Gosh, there're epidemics
Which must be held at bay,
And coming Armageddons
For which we all must pay.
There're dangers lurking darkly,
Their dire warnings say.
There're awful things a-coming,
A-coming when? Today.
There's war and pestilence
And horrors on the way.
But all these have in common
That little folks must pay.
The news is loudly screaming
That men must join their fray.
But how, one asks? The answer?
Their money talks. Now pay.
The jingle jangle of the news
Is a daily loud cliché.
Each item carries all the news
Which comes to "you must pay."
Pay and pay and pay and pay
Is their game we're asked to play.
And if we shun the daily news
In all its vast array,
All stuffed with op-ed blather
And fraught with loud dismay,
The news will just work harder
To get us all to pay.
Wholly indispensable
And worth the price, they say.
But maybe not, when all that news
Reduces down to "pay!"
Advertising, politics,
And more competes this day,
Which boils down to simply,
"We're asking you to pay."
Pay and pay and pay and pay
Is their game we're told to play.
That's all most news is screaming,
Day by noisy day.

 

Envoi of Nightmare Bread:    "The stuff of nightmare is their plain bread. They butter it with pain. They set their clocks by deathwatch beetles, and thrive the centuries. They were the men with the leather-ribbon whips who sweated up the Pyramids seasoning it with other people's salt and other people's cracked hearts." Ray Bradbury, in "Something Wicked This Way Comes" (1962)

 

Addendum of the High Premium:   "...a distinguished former editor of the Independent on Sunday, 'Britain has developed a singular sort of media culture which places a high premium on excitement, controversy and sentimentality, in which information takes second place to the opinions it arouses.'" Francis Wheen quoting himself," in "Why facts must figure," the Guardian, 25 February 2002.

 

Addendum of Wrong Over and Over Again:  " 'This has been a bad few months for journalism,' Pelley said. 'We're getting the big stories wrong over and over again.' The 'CBS Evening News' anchor made the criticism while accepting a journalism award named for broadcast executive Fred Friendly from Quinnipiac University.' In "CBS anchor Pelley: Journalism's house is on fire," by David Nauder, Associated Press, 10 May 2013.

 

Addendum of Intellectual Life Absorbed:   "...during the 1960s, intellectual life was absorbed into the structure of the mass media: worth, merit, attention and visibility slipped from the pages of books to be estimated by frequency of appearance on the television screen. At this point, then, a new hierarchy, what Debray calls a mediocracy, emerges, and it rules the schools and the book industry." In "Opponents, Audiences, Constituencies," Edward Said, in the anthology, "The Anti-Aesthetic. Essays on Postmodern Culture," ed. Hall Foster, Bay Press, 1983.   [ 1 ]

  

 Addendum for Political News and Opinion:  "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."   H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

 

Addendum as Advice:    "Drag your thoughts away from your troubles... by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it." Mark Twain (1835-1910)   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Breakthroughs:   "Remember the hole in the ozone layer? Chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants apparently floated up to the atmosphere and were eroding the protective ozone layer over Antarctica. Some scares were fictitious, based on junk science to begin with. Bailey believes apocalyptic forecasts were off-base, but after an international treaty phased out the CFCs, French researchers reported in 2013 that the ozone layer is recovering. So will global warming, a much more complicated issue than CFCs, be resolved by cooperation or ingenuity? Ask yourself which science has seen more breakthroughs in the last few decades — political science or technology." In "Ignore the dire warnings about our lives because it’s just hysteria," by Kyle Smith, New York Post, 15 August 2015.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Repeated Errors Reported as Fact:    " 'The market recognizes that the Fed has repeatedly erred on the optimistic side,' said Eric Lascelles, chief economist at RBC Global Asset Management. 'Fool me 50 times, but not 51 times'." In "Why nobody believes the Federal Reserve’s forecasts," by Ylan Q. Mui, Washington Post, 15 June 2015.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of Looking for the Silent Spring:   "...the fears she raised were based on gross misrepresentations and scholarship so atrocious that, if Carson were an academic, she would be guilty of egregious academic misconduct. Her observations about DDT have been condemned by many scientists. In the words of Professor Robert H. White-Stevens, an agriculturist and biology professor at Rutgers University, 'If man were to follow the teachings of Miss Carson, we would return to the Dark Ages, and the insects and diseases and vermin would once again inherit the earth.' In 1992, San Jose State University entomologist J. Gordon Edwards, a long-time member of the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society and a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, offered a persuasive and comprehensive rebuttal of “'Silent Spring.' As he explained in 'The Lies of Rachel Carson,' a stunning, point by point refutation, 'it simply dawned on me that that Rachel Carson was not interested in the truth about [pesticides] and that I was being duped along with millions of other Americans.' He demolished Carson’s arguments and assertions, calling attention to critical omissions, faulty assumptions, and outright fabrications." In "Rachel Carson's Deadly Fantasies," by Henry I. Miller, Forbes, 5 September 2012.

 

Addendum of Withering Trust:   "Americans' confidence in the media has slowly eroded from a high of 55% in 1998 and 1999. Since 2007, the majority of Americans have had little or no trust in the mass media. Trust has typically dipped in election years, including 2004, 2008, 2012 and last year. However, 2015 is not a major election year. This decline follows the same trajectory as Americans' confidence in many institutions and their declining trust in the federal government's ability to handle domestic and international problems over the same time period." In "Americans' Trust in Media Remains at Historical Low," by Rebecca Riffkin, Gallup, 28 September 2015.

 

Addendum of Predicting the Apocalypse:   "Future historians — if there are any future historians — will almost surely say that the most important thing happening in the world during December 2015 was the climate talks in Paris. True, nothing agreed to in Paris will be enough, by itself, to solve the problem of global warming. But the talks could mark a turning point, the beginning of the kind of international action needed to avert catastrophe." In "Republicans’ Climate Change Denial Denial," by Paul Krugman, New York Times, 4 December 2015.

 

See:    Apocalypse sometime    and above,  Crisis 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    In the same essay, Said continues:   "...'the news' -- a euphemism for ideological images of the world that determine political reality for a vast majority of the world's population -- hold forth, untouched by interfering secular and critical minds, who for all sorts of obvious reasons are not hooked into the systems of power."

 

 In Our Assigned Places

 

           This is self-evident, as so many footnotes following these various rhymes glean tidbits from longer articles fluffed up with anecdotal tales and leaning on sometimes obscure references to ideologies. Said therefore ends his essay with advice:  "One must refuse to believe, however, that the comforts of specialized habits can be so seductive as to keep us all in our assigned places."

           Thus "all the news is screaming" of "their game we're told to play." And that play is to "pay and pay and pay and pay" because this is what "the systems of power" are all about.

           One may compare Said's "euphemism for ideological images" with Orwell's seminal "1984" in which  Oceania's 'inner party' was less than two percent of the population, while an 'outer party' supported them with the goal of keeping approximately eighty-five percent of the population -- the 'proles' -- in a submissive order. It is worth keeping in mind the numerical imagery of "two percent," as one looks over some rhymes and supporting footnotes, such as Fat cats richly rich of late  , Doctor Oppression comes to call and the apt "two percent" ridicule of The Robert Reich Song  - to the tune of "The farmer in the dell." Such as the "two percent" represented in easily-verified documentation, one may conclude that Edward Said's point is well taken, and that "all the news is screaming" so often with a common goal -- "to keep us all in our assigned places."

 

[ 2 ]    "Drag your thoughts away...." One modern critic of the last decades writes of "the disappearance of a sense of history, the way in which our entire contemporary social system has little by little begun to lose its capacity to retain its own past, has begun to live in a perpetual present and in a perpetual change that obliterates traditions of the kind which all earlier social formations have had in one way or another to preserve." In "Postmodernism and Consumer Society," Fredric Jameson, in the anthology, "The Anti-Aesthetic. Essays on Postmodern Culture," ed. Hall Foster, Bay Press, 1983.

 

 Pay, Forget and Pay Again

 

           The contradictory nature of the postmodern, as Jameson and Said both note that today's "news" and "political reality" are really oriented towards what Jameson critiques, "consumer capitalism." He errs of course, for all go to the market and practice consumption via the exchange of capital. Other systems have been proposed, but they also have failed when the experiments have turned sour. For this, the conclusion that socialism and capitalism are opposites is likely incorrect, albeit Marxist. Rather the Marxist mode of thought has tried to co-opt many disciplines, and oddly such capture has circled back to some form of economic monopoly -- a dictatorship -- which still says "pay and pay and pay and pay."   One may read of Breznev's comment from 1972 which spurred the rhyme,  When the cash cow cashes out 

           How alike is Jameson's observation to the sentiment:  "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana (1863-1952) in "Reason in Common Sense, volume one of "The Life of Reason; or the Phases of Human Progress (1905).  The problem circles around, and a "political reality" in Said's jargon ends up often being different from reality, especially as Jameson observes when a postmodern "social system has little by little begun to lose its capacity to retain its own past."

 

[ 3 ]  The question posed is apt. "...which science has seen more breakthroughs in the last few decades -- political science or technology?"

           The observable fact is that technology races ahead, and with it the hard sciences. Meanwhile, political science seems mired in the past. One Marxist critic of political science offers the view that political science in not, among other things, scientific.

 

 What?

 

           One reads:  "Political science is governed by five myths: l) that it studies politics; 2) that it is scientific; 3) that it is possible to study politics separated off from economics, sociology, psychology and history; 4) that the state in our democratic capitalist society is politically neutral, that is available as a set of institutions and mechanisms to whatever group wins the election; and 5) that political science, as a discipline, advances the cause of democracy." In "What Is Political Science? What Should It Be?" by Bertell Ollman, hosted by New York University website, n. d.

           Ollman, in a bio at the NYU site, " is a professor of politics at NYU. He received his D.Phil. at Oxford University in 1967, and has also taught at the University of the West Indies (Jamaica) and been a Visiting Professor at Oxford and Columbia Universities. Since 1970, he has given about 250 lectures on different aspects of Marxist theory in a dozen countries."

           This amuses, for Marx' "theory" has resulted in multiple examples of what hard science says is "experimentation." Examining the results of over a century of experiments in "Marxist theory" finds a wake of failed governments, often brutal and murderous, alongside failed command economies. Thus, when an academic and Marxist asserts that political science is not scientific, he may well be validated. The purpose of experimentation in hard science is to prove what functions and what fails.

           Ollman seems also correct in saying that it is a myth that political science advances the cause of democracy.

           Has political science then "seen more breakthroughs" than the hard sciences and technology?

           If Marx' classic work from 1848 which has attracted intellectuals like Ollman for over a century, then one finds precious little advancement in political science comparatively. It would be as if technology were still advancing the science of the mid-19th century more than one hundred years later.

 

 Seeking Power and Practicing Corruption

 

           With a century and more of "experimentation," what has Marxist theory proven? That government can abolish private property? Indeed. And then what happens? The elite lives large while the citizen becomes poorer. Then indeed, it is a myth that political science of the Marxist sort "advances the cause of democracy." It seems to support the advance of corruption, as much as anything. Consider the odd but experimentally proven notion that Corruption has a middle name .

           The Oxford dictionary defines political science as "The branch of knowledge that deals with systems of government; the analysis of political activity and behavior," while science is defined as the "intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment: 'the world of science and technology'."

           Observation and experiment resulting is functional understanding can be applied to political science if it is a science at all.

           If political science is the study of "the theory and practice of politics which is commonly thought of as the determining of the distribution of power and resources" as found in a Wikipedia article on "Political Science," the the recent historical practice of governments can be seen the results of experimentation. The experiments based on Marxist theory show governments easily turned into corrupt enterprises which fail economically, occurring with demonstrable regularity.

           Yet much of the news media around the world often "screams" about one apocalyptic vision and then another, ignoring the failures of proponents of Marxist theory and socialist governments in favor of global cooling and global warming (both publicized within one lifetime), the dire warnings about one product or another, or predicted famines which did not occur or predicted events of a scientific or technological nature which did not come to pass, often to promote the same old themes which ever more easily expose The Privileges of Intellectuals , so many of them involved in promoting the themes and streams of thought of Marxism itself, to politic for certain methods of "the distribution of power and resources" of entire nations.

 

 Give Us Our Daily Bread

 

           Generally science and technology have little need for "screaming," while political rhetoric and the headlines require it to feed themselves. As Ray Bradbury's words tell:  "The stuff of nightmare is their plain bread."

           What is demonstrable is that hard science and technology have little need of political science, which Ollman reminds us is not scientific. What is being seen is that media with its screaming advocacy for one fad after another, often contradictory, is that media is in fact losing traction as critical readers as well as the disinterested both conclude that an effective strategy might simply be called People walk away as "All the news is screaming, / Day by noisy day."

           The result, according to the news?  "Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public's view of other institutions. In this presidential campaign year, Democrats were more likely to trust the news media than Republicans or independents." In "Poll: Vast majority of Americans don't trust the news media," by Carole Feldman and Emily Swanson, Associated Press, 17 April 2016.

 

[ 4 ]    The "all the news is screaming" press is found of so-called "gotcha" questions, but winces when the tactic is applied to the press itself, as some recent press embarrassments have shown. Consider: Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha .

 


 

Oh it's always someone else's fault

Oh it's always someone else's fault
When I do just what I do.
The blame is clear; my somersault
Glues my blame direct to you.
        It's all you fault, and none is mine.
        The thought is just sublime.

Oh what I do, when I go wrong,
Is most surely all your fault.
It can't be mine; all faults belong
To some other's cracked Gestalt.

If you take no blame, it must be them
Who must then pay my fines.
It's really is quite the cleverest ploy
By which illogic shines.

Society is guilty, large and small,
For all the crimes I do.
It is they must pay, and prostrate fall
When e'er I give the cue.

Oh it's always someone else's fault
When I perpetrate some crime.
My sense is clear; this sweet assault
Paints others with my guilt-free grime.
        It's all you fault, and none is mine.
        The thought is just sublime.

Oh it's always someone else's fault....

 

Envoi:   "...there's plenty of blame to go around."  --  Suzanne Collins, in "Mockingjay" (2010)

 

Addendum:    "Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame." Erica Jong (b. 1942)

 

See:    Blame  and also  Grievance   and also  Oh it's always someone else's fault - (2009)   

 


 

Sketcherie

for my friend, Julie

 

Butterflowers, sunfingers,
Hearts in flowers bloom.
Colors, shapes and sizes
Paint away her gloom.
A bit of whimsy, up to par
While doodling her way back.
Eyes a little squiffy
Caught Terry's paperback.
Jars and pots with images
Running left to right.
Do something! Anything!
Like music brushed with light.
If lips be truly sealed
Then pictures sing aloud.
A friend who sees such dreams as this
Just makes a fella proud.

 


 

Killer kills killer

Killer kills killer,
As both sides cry foul.
Yes, it's a thriller
As arguers scowl
Across their skirmish line.
    You had encouraged!
    No, you are at fault!
    You should have discouraged!
    Your killings must halt!
    On sniping both sides dine.
Killer kills killer;
Each government sides,
And makes the game shriller
With government guides
To say some killing's fine.
    Some killing's right
    Is how the game's played.
    That is the fight
    As tensions get frayed.
    Each has its sacred shrine.
Follow the money
To see how it ends;
The rancor's unfunny
And tears apart friends
As hatreds gleam and shine.
    Killing is killing,
    If words tell a truth.
    But words can be chilling,
    Cold and uncouth,
    As lies both twist and twine.
Killing is killing,
Unless redefined.
Nice words do the spilling
Of blood, one should find.
Words like deeds malign.
    Killer kills killer,
    And both sides cry foul.
    That is the pillar
    Upholding each growl
    Across a blood-soaked line.

But mine isn't killing;

It's nuanced, refined.

Such is the distilling

Of killing defined.

With words then is all again fine.

 


 

I don't care

"Find out just what the people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both." Frederick Douglass (c. 1818-1895)    [ 1 ]

 

I don't care
    If you're straight or gay;
        I care a lot
            If you stand in my way.
I don't care
    If you're short or tall;
        I care a lot
            If you start a brawl.
I don't care
    If you're a guy or gal;
        I care a lot
            If you are a pal.
I don't care
    What colors your skin;
        I care a lot
            If you kick my shin.

I don't care

    What chat you speak;

        I care a lot

            If at me you shriek. 
I don't care
    If you're this or that;
        But I care a lot
            When I smell a rat.

 

Envoi:   "At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled." Ayn Rand, in "Anthem" (1937-8)   [ 2 ]

 

See:    Freedom is freedom is freedom    and  a setting of Walt Whitman's  To the States  

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   Resisted -- this is the key word, when it comes to "injustice and wrong" imposed on individuals as on whole populations. Douglass reminds from more than a century ago that resistance must sometimes be through words, and sometimes with "blows."

 

 Liberty Annihilated

 

         One reads:  "The power of the sword had in all ages been allowed to be vested in the crown; and though no law conferred this prerogative every parliament, till the last of the preceding reign, had willingly submitted to an authority more ancient, and therefore more sacred, than that of any positive statute. It was now thought proper solemnly to relinquish the violent pretensions of that parliament, and to acknowledge that neither one house nor both houses, independent of the king, were possessed of any military authority. The preamble to this statute went so far as to renounce all right even of defensive arms against the king; and much observation has been made with regard to a concession esteemed so singular. Were these terms taken in their full literal sense, they imply a total renunciation of limitations to monarchy, and of all privileges in the subject, independent of the will of the sovereign. For as no rights can subsist without some remedy, still less rights exposed to so much invasion from tyranny, or even from ambition; if subjects must never resist, it follows that every prince, without any effort, policy, or violence, is at once rendered absolute and uncontrollable; the sovereign needs only issue an edict abolishing every authority but his own; and all liberty from that moment is in effect annihilated." David Hume, in "The History of England," 1688.

         But the sentiment is found throughout the ages, as one reads: “If someone puts their hands on you make sure they never put their hands on anybody else again.” Malcolm X, 1925-1965.

 

[ 2 ]   "When a nation which has long groaned under the intolerable yoke of a tyrant rises at last and throws off its chains, do you call that weakness? The man who, to rescue his house from the flames, finds his physical strength redoubled, so that he lifts burdens with ease which in the absence of excitement he could scarcely move; he who under the rage of an insult attacks and puts to flight half a score of his enemies,—are such persons to be called weak? My good friend, if resistance be strength, how can the highest degree of resistance be a weakness?" In "The Sorrows of Young Werther," by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832).

         The answer to Goethe's question is that government deems resistance "weakness," as other things, because it is, as Hume notes above, government tends towards being "absolute and uncontrollable."  For this, it becomes imperative for those who seek wealth and power through political means define words for their own ends, even when such definitions become illogical or lies.

 

 Liberty Does Not Come From The Plantation

 

          This notion is clarified:   "Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of the government. The history of government is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is the history of the limitation of government, not the increase of it." Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924).

          Therefore then, it is an act of those who would rule to act against resistance to rule. Even in the modern day one finds seemingly softer grasp at control over people. One reads:  “You keep folks so scared. You keep folks so intimidated. You can give them money, access, but they’re still scared. And as long as you’re scared, you’re on the plantation.” Cornel West, in "Cornel West: Obama’s Response to Trayvon Martin Case Belies Failure to Challenge 'New Jim Crow'," Democracy Now, 22 July 2013.

         The imagery and words change somewhat, but the theme is consistent from age to age and culture to culture. In a live and let live world, resistance is often unnecessary, but in a world of government with the aim of some perceived "common good" which has the effect of causing "injustice and wrong," just as Douglass said, resistance is not only necessary, but required.

         Else one comes to the same old end of the story, a promise of a better world gone murderously wrong:   I'm gonna guide you to the promised land  - a story quite like others.

 


 

Chased Away

"The success of girls in public education is, of course, to be applauded. But the manner in which it was achieved has been significantly damaging to the educational experiences and future academic aspirations of boys. An increasingly under-educated inventory of disengaged and isolated young males is unlikely to be in our collective best interest." In Canada.com, By The Vancouver Province, September 5, 2007

 

The Johnny Bulls were chased away
By their Nattering Noisy Nancies;
Those socio-pathfinders whined and raged,
Indulging their feminist fancies.
"The Johnny Bulls are bores," 'twas said,
Aloud by wag-nagging wenches
Who watched their Johnnies wither and fade
And shrink in the feminist clenches.
The Nancy brigades had done their work;
The Johnny Bull herds were culled.
The Nattering Noisy Nancies asked,
"Why are our men drear and dulled?"
"We Nancies require the makeup and truss
To lift, light and leverage form,
Yet now that we've won in making our fuss,
We hunger for Johnny Bull's storm."
"A Nancy Bull hasn't the vinegar'd tip
To skewer some evils away,
Nor the muscle that's worth the price of a stamp
To stand up when we're predators' prey."
"Ah where are the lads of yesteryear?
The constant, the firm, the loyal?
The Johnny Bulls who would fight for the right,
Who would hold to the true? Who would toil?"
Nancies are right when they're feminine fine,
Not nattering, acid and snide,
But Nancy Johnnies will never be Bulls,
With feminist noises inside.
When chased away, when turned from their path
The Johnny Bulls lose their way;
The Nattering Noisy Nancies learn to late
For their mistakes they too must pay.
Nattering Noisy Nancies make
Piss poor Bulls for the herd,
And could use Johnny Bulls for their feminine sake
If never is heard their discouraging word.

 

Envoi:   "I earnestly wish to point out in what true dignity and human happiness consists. I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness, and that those beings are only the objects of pity, and that kind of love which has been termed its sister, will soon become objects of contempt." Mary Wollstonecraft, in "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects" (1792)

 

Contre-enquête:   "I feel that "man-hating" is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them." Robin Morgan, editor of Ms. Magazine, in "Lesbianism and Feminism: Synonyms or Contradictions?", in "Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist," p 178.

 

Addendum of Partial Responsibility:  "Feminism is partly to blame for the breakdown of the family, one of Labour’s most senior female politicians has said. Diane Abbott, the party’s public health spokesman, said that major issues facing society 'stem from family breakdown'. And in a surprise admission from one of the Left’s most outspoken feminists, she conceded that women’s rights campaigners have neglected the family." In "How feminism is to blame for the breakdown of the family, by Left-winger Diane Abbott," by Tim Shipman, Daily Mail UK, 3 January 2013

 

Addendum of Being Pissed Off:   "But after decades of browbeating the American male, men are tired. Tired of being told there’s something fundamentally wrong with them. Tired of being told that if women aren’t happy, it’s men’s fault. Contrary to what feminists like Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men, say, the so-called rise of women has not threatened men. It has pissed them off." In "The war on men," by Suzanne Venker, FoxNews.com, 26 November 2012   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of Pretense:   "The intention here is not to indict father or son. No, the intention is simply to say this: The absence of fathers matters. We have evolved a society wherein we pretend the opposite is true. The disappearance of fathers is now nearly the norm. Almost one in four American children lives in a household without their biological dads. For brown kids, that number stands at about 28 percent. For black kids, it’s a little better than half." In "Kevin Durant and the absence of fathers," by Leonard Pitts, Seattle Times, 11 May 2014.

 

Addendum by the Census Numbers:   "The Census Bureau reported Thursday that the nation’s marriage rate is the lowest since 1920, and the first-time inclusion of same sex married couples did little to reverse the decline. According to Pew Research Center analysis, the marriage rate of Americans 18 and older hit a bottom of 50.3 percent in 2013, down from 50.5 percent in 2012. In 1920, the first year mentioned, 65 percent were married, and the marriage rate hit a high of 72.2 percent in 1960." In "Census: Marriage rate at 93-year low, even including same-sex couples," by Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, 18 September 2014.

   

 Addendum of Men Going Their Own Way:   "...tens of thousands of men have formed a real-life online community called MGTOW, or Men Going Their Own Way. Their first rule? Abandoning all romantic relationships with women. On Reddit alone, some 15,000 readers are subscribed to the MGTOW page which declares it is for 'men going our own way by forging our own identities and paths to self-defined success; cutting through collective ideas of what a man is'." In "Inside the world of men who've sworn never to sleep with women again," by Kashmira Gander, Independent UK, 27 September 2016.  [ 2 ]

 

See:   Empowering feminism 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     Some media are taking note of the statistics of this phenomenon. One reads:  "After decades of feminism, Crouse noted that young men are now the ones who set the parameters for intimate relationships, and those increasingly do not include a wedding ring. 'And I know the feminists just yell and scream if you say anything like this, but time was, girls set the cultural morays, the standards, the parameters for intimate activity. The girls were the ones that set those boundaries. And now it’s the guys who do,' Crouse told CNSNews.com." In "Bachelor Nation: 70% of Men Aged 20-34 Are Not Married," by Barbara Hollingsworth, Cybercast News, 12 February 2015.

          The FOX report cited above says of men that feminism has "pissed them off." One finds in the Cybercast report "...men are not entirely to blame for the steep decline in marriage, Crouse pointed out. 'A lot of women fear marriage. While feminism is a spent force, the ultimate consequences of that philosophy is a whole generation of women who don’t want any man to tell them what to do, and don’t really understand the give and take that is necessary for a marriage relationship'."

          While much of the modern media seems to be focused on same-sex marriage, the new phenomenon of "throuples" and multiple partners in a single marriage, as well as people marrying objects as well as one instance of a woman marrying herself, what one may easily conclude is that "marriage" under the onslaught of  the "new" thinking now means little, a word which once had a resonance for the familial act of child bearing and raising. Now it seems to mean only permission for lifestyle choices, with so many different sorts of choices erupting that the word must be constantly redefined.

 

 New Thinking

 

          As to the marriage to one's self, one reads:  "A woman who vowed that she would marry herself if she didn’t find love by the time she turned 40, actually married herself earlier this month in a lavish ceremony here in Houston, according to reports. Yasmin Eleby married herself at the Houston Museum of African American Culture on January 3 in a lavish ceremony with 10 bridesmaids in attendance, plus family and other guests on hand to celebrate the event." In "Houston woman marries herself in elaborate ceremony," by Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, 29 January 2015.

          With multiple spouses courtesy of traditions like Mormonism and Islam, and with same-sex and now a same-sex triple partner marriage in the news, marriage now means "marrying" one, two, more or none, heterosexual or homosexual, and beyond. In other words, it means nothing. and so one finds a "bachelor nation" with 70% of young men not marrying. The end of the supposed ideal of a mother and a father working parenting together is at hand. In the name of progress, of course.

          Consider the modern phenomenon of Wedding Shredding -- bedding, treading, sledding.

 

[ 2 ]    Men going their own way are forming a "real-life online community" is amusing and self-contradictory. That a man or woman might go his or her "own way" seems to argue against forming a "community." The modern quasi-religious notion of psychology and self-help groups argues not for "going alone" but going collectively. The rhetoric twists in the wind. "Forming our own identities" is expressed in the plural, while "self" remains a most singular notion.

 

 Each Man's Fight for Sovereignty of Himself

 

          The article notes:  "Other websites including MGTOW.com are also dedicated to what they see as each man's fight for sovereignty of himself." In the same way, "each man" winds up being expressed by some form of collectivity, and this itself is a contradiction. Of course, all people require some interface with a community, for "no man is an island." But the search for "each man" to find within some collection is rather an opposite to any notion of individual "sovereignty."

          It makes odd linguistic and structural sense as an antithesis to the various collectives which gather together under feminism in all its own contradictions, that men's collectives might play a similar game. Yet individualism, whether expressed by man or woman, is individual. "Collectives" as regards "individual" identity is nothing like being individual, but plainly like belonging to some collective. Here's a thought. Why not stray from this collective and that collective, each blathering on sovereignty and "forging" identities? Stepping away from the collective might be a fine first step towards truly expressing one's own individuality. But it also it would sidestep the predictable marketing and manipulation which travels with each "collective."

 


 

Let's take that leaking lifeboat

Let's cut a hole in the lifeboat
To learn if it might sink.
Let's slit a vein or artery;
An experiment, don't you think?
        Let's build a model, fly it high
        Without a wing or prayer;
        Let's travel far and travel wide
        To see if here is there.
Let's try some lame adventure,
Although its lesson's sure;
Perhaps a different outcome
Will show, if we endure.
        Let's try the same thing yet again,
        Though failure is the norm;
        I'm sure the winds won't harm us,
        In a hurricane-roaring storm.
Let's walk upon the water,
To see if we might stand;
Let's soar with wax and feathers
To shake the sun's right hand.
        Experiments are finely fine
        And scientific too,
        Even when the outcome's known and false,
        We can lie and say it's true.
Just pay us for our struggle,
And we will be quite glad
To gin up nice consensus
As if it's iron-clad.
        It's all about the process,
        This play of give and take
        Wherein we take your money and
        You buy the bilge we make.
Let's take that leaking lifeboat
To learn if it might sink.
Let's slit your vein or artery

For consensus, won't you think?

 

Envoi:    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

 

Addendum:    "And in vain the dreamer rakes over his old dreams, as though seeking a spark among the embers, to fan them into flame, to warm his chilled heart by the rekindled fire, and to rouse up in it again all that was so sweet, that touched his heart, that set his blood boiling, drew tears from his eyes, and so luxuriously deceived him!” Fyodor Dostoevsky, White Nights {1848)

 

See:    Consensus  and also  Lemmings 

 


 

Chicago Poem II

"A Chicago alderman has been indicted along with a real estate developer on federal fraud and bribery charges. Isaac 'Ike' Carothers is chairman of the Chicago City Council's police and fire committee." Associated Press, 28 May 2009

Two in one year;
Now there's news to cheer,
An alderman caught deep in crime.
    Consistency there
    Shows that crime isn't rare
    When politics parties with grime.
How to explain
The criminals reign?
Politics poisoned by slime.
    Chicago's the link
    In this chain and the stink:
    Chicago's a paradigm,
Confirming suspicion
Chicago's tradition
Is politically grafted on crime.

    So say the poets
    Like Sandburg who know it's
    Chicago's way every damn time.

See:     Chicago Poem III 

 


 

Free Money

        

 

A tale for all who thought "debt" was "revenue" - be they consumers, governments, charities or foolish businessmen.

 

"Free money," said the fancy sign,
As I happened to be passing by.
Out in front good folk stood in line,
Each one for his piece of pie.

"Free money," it so clearly said.
"No risk, no obligation."
A little voice inside my head
Thought this some aberration.

Can there be money which comes for free?
Which one ought not pay back?
Golly gee, it occurred to me,
This sales pitch is crackerjack.

No wonder there's a line so long,
As each one waits his turn.
The math is just a little wrong,
As most would come to learn.

But for the moment and this crowd,
Seduction was complete.
The experts all had vowed
No one here must compete.

Everything is golden free,
Excepting small details.
Like working, slaving anxiously,
Because that's what "free" entails.

Tomorrow dawned before its time,
And good folk were dejected.
"Free money" proved a capital crime,
As I had once expected.

"Free money," said that rusting sign,
Swinging loose upon its hinges.
Good folk had swilled its salty brine
And sought too many binges.

 

It seems the clever ones in charge

Had freed folks of their money,

And left them with a debt quite large,

And prospects not so sunny.

 

For a while, the lesson stuck,

But then it came unglued.

Time passes and things run amuck,

As histories so late conclude.

 

"Free money," some new sign swore,
I noticed with a sigh.
Out in front folk stood once more,
Each one for his piece of pie.

 

Envoi:   "Corruption is authority plus monopoly minus transparency." Anonymous.

 

For more on the validity of this quote, see the many citations about corruption as nice folks seek "free money:"   Corruption 

 

Addendum of the Bamboozled: "One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back." Carl Sagan, "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark" (1995).

 

Addendum of the Large Instance:  "If [central banks] do too much, then they are only paving the way for the other partners, the governments, the parliament and the private sector, not to do their own job." Quote of Jean Claude Trichet, in "Bernanke Is Doing the Right Thing: Trichet," CNBC, 25 June 2013.

 

Addendum of the Small Instance"New Jersey will refer 109 names to criminal investigators after a probe allegedly found pervasive fraud in the federal free and low-cost lunch program in the state's schools, a state official said on Wednesday. The alleged fraudsters are all public employees, their spouses or members of their households, accused of lying about their income so that their children would qualify for federally subsidized reduced-price lunches, according to New Jersey Comptroller Matthew Boxer." In "Fraud widespread in New Jersey free lunch program -state official." Reuters, 17 July 2013.

 

Addendum of Pessimism and Utopianism:   "There are hints of a division within the liberal mind on this issue. Across the left and center-left, there’s agreement that an unequal society requires a thicker social safety net, and that as technological changes undercut low-wage work, government should help those left behind. But in the Obamacare debate and elsewhere, it’s not always clear whether this larger welfare state is supposed to promote a link between work, security and mobility, or to substitute for work’s gradual decline. On the left, there’s a growing tendency toward both pessimism and utopianism — with doubts about the compatibility of capitalism and democracy, and skepticism about the possibility for true equality of opportunity, feeding a renewed interest in 1970s-era ideas like a universal basic income." In "Leaving Work Behind," by Ross Douthat, New York Times, 8 February 2014.

 

 Addendum of Free Phones:    "One man told CBS4 he wanted a free cellphone but did not have a food stamp card and did not qualify. He showed CBS4 his current smartphone that he said he was paying $57 a month for. But he explained that he went across town, got a food stamp card anyway, then returned to Civic Center with a food stamp card that has no money on it, but was still able to use it to qualify for an 'Obamaphone.' 'Completely free. I didn’t pay a dollar, not a dime, not a nickel,' said the man. 'That’s what everybody calls them in the ‘hood, Obamaphone,' laughed the man." In "Government’s Free Phone Program Riddled With Abuse, Fraud," by Brian Maass, CBS, 6 November 2014.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of a Free Ride:   "Gov. Jerry Brown arrived in Rome for climate talks this week with the smallest of entourages – three – and the most comfortable of accommodations. Brown, who typically flies Southwest Airlines in California, flew to Italy with real estate developer George Marcus and his wife, Judy, in their private plane. Brown is combining his trip to a conference here with a vacation with those friends." In "Jerry Brown hops private plane to Rome," by David Siders, Sacramento Bee, 20 July 2015.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of US Immigration for the Free Benefits:   "Hundreds of immigrant families caught illegally crossing the Mexican border told U.S. immigration agents they made the dangerous journey in part because they believed they would be permitted to stay in the United States and collect public benefits, according to internal intelligence files from the Homeland Security Department." In "Immigrants caught at border believe families can stay in US," by Alicia A. Caldwell, Associated Press, 30 October 2015.

 

Addendum of Swedish Immigration Swamping the Welfare State:   "The unprecedented scale and speed of the autumn’s refugee crisis has forced even the Swedish political class to acknowledge that the ground beneath its feet has shifted forever. There is simply no more money, and no more housing, for everyone who wants to come, and for everyone who was entitled to do so under the old rules. The refugees have been spread all over the country, except in Stockholm, which has contributed to the backlash. A friend of mine lives in a small town in the centre of Sweden, with a population of 10,000 – which now has 1,000 additional refugees to feed and house. Their children must be educated. Jobs must be found for them. It’s really not easy to see how this will happen." In "When Sweden shut its doors it killed the dream of European sanctuary," by Andrew Brown, Guardian UK, 27 November 2015.

   

Addendum from the Copybook Headings:   In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all, / By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul; / But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy, /  And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die." - Rudyard Kipling (in his 1919 poem)   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum from Academia on the Employment-Resistant Personality Profile:   "...he has accumulated a mass of evidence about the personalities of welfare claimants and concluded that individuals with aggressive, rule-breaking and anti-social tendencies — what he calls the ‘employment–resistant personality profile’ — are over-represented among benefit recipients. He also found that their children are likely to share those traits, which helps explain why poverty has a tendency to be passed down from one generation to the next. Now, none of that will surprise anyone who has spent time among the long-term unemployed or their -progeny, such as the police, social workers and teachers. You might even say it’s bleedin’ obvious." In "Tell the truth about benefit claimants and the left shuts you down," by Toby Young, Spectator, 16 January 2016.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of Free Cash for Migrants:   "Migrants in Greece are set to be handed envelopes of cash under a £550million EU disaster fund announced yesterday. Brussels officials said despite the obvious dangers of giving taxpayers’ money directly to those in refugee camps to spend as they wish it would help them ‘maintain their dignity'." In "Migrants in Greece to be handed cash in envelopes to 'maintain their dignity' under £550million EU disaster fund," by John Stevens, Daily Mail, 3 March 2016.

 

 Addendum of Negative Impact:   "People throughout the world are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with immigration levels which are higher than any time since the Second World War, according to a new survey published Monday. At least six out of 10 people in France and Belgium, which have recently suffered deadly jihadist attacks, believe immigration has had a 'negative impact', said the Ipsos polling institute. Similar figures were found in Russia, Hungary and also Italy, which has had to deal with large numbers of migrants fleeing the Middle East or Africa and seeking to forge new lives in Europe." In "Worldwide concern over 'too many immigrants': study," Agence France Presse, 22 August 2016.   [ 5 ]

 

Addendum of Consumers Need Not Apply:   "Free money, or worse, money with negative interest, is not for everyone. Only governments and corporations are allowed to benefit from it, but not consumers." In "No 'Free Money for All,' only for Corporations & Governments; Consumers Need Not Apply," by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street, 1 September 2016.   [ 6 ]

 

 

See:   Cash in   and   Debt   - you bet!

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   The article notes:  "The problems CBS4 found in the giveaway program have been raised before. The FCC said that since 2012, it has fined its vendors more than $95 million for the kind of shenanigans uncovered in the CBS4 Investigation."

        The giveaway program problems are raised again, and by the same reporter:  "The program is funded by a universal service tax every cellphone user pays each month. It has grown from an $800 million program in 2009 to a $1.6 billion program today. The program is 23 times as large as when it began under the administration of President Ronald Reagan. 'It covers people who don’t need help,' said Pai. 'There are no safeguards to make sure the dollars are spent wisely. In the middle of Denver at a tent this fraudulent activity was going on. If it can happen in Denver it can happen anywhere'." In "FCC Commissioner ‘Outraged’ At What CBS4 Investigation Revealed About Free Phone Program," by Brian Maass, 20 July 2015.

        " 'That’s what everybody calls them in the ‘hood, Obamaphone,' laughed the man."

        While "free" to some and even those who "do not qualify," some one else "qualifies" to pay.

 

[ 2 ]  The free "private plane" ride is an experience few will have.  One learns that the governor of California's "free" ride was provided by a billionaire. So much for the passionate political statements and media issues of Income Inequality .

 

 Ranks of Political Donors

 

        One learns something of billionaires in California politics:  "Other big California donors who made the list of Top 100 individual donors in the country and gave entirely to Democrats and liberals included Oakland real estate magnate Wayne Jordan ($1 million), real estate magnate George Marcus and wife Judith of Los Altos Hills ($977,000), Esprit de Corps founder Susie Buell of San Francisco ($765,000), philanthropist Stephen Silberstein of Belvedere ($769,400), Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and wife Lynne of San Francisco ($745,000), John and Marcia Goldman of Atherton ($639,000), and Firedoll Foundation founder Sandor Straus of Lafayette ($361,000.) Making the list of top donors and giving almost entirely to Republicans and conservative groups were Bechtel Corp. co-owner Stephen Bechtel and wife Elizabeth of San Francisco ($405,000), Charles Schwab, founder of the Charles Schwab Corp., and wife Helen ($404,000), and Peter Paul, CEO of Headlands Asset Management in San Rafael ($389,000)." In "S.F. billionaire Tom Steyer ranks at top of political donors," by Carla Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 August 2014.

        When a politician is "near" to a billionaires, it seems "free" is something readily available, and of course never a quid pro quo.

 

 Money Tilts Leftward

 

        The political pretence aside, one reads:  "Democrats spent much of the 2014 campaign castigating Republican big money, but, it turns out, their side actually finished ahead among the biggest donors of 2014 – at least among those whose contributions were disclosed. The 100 biggest donors of 2014 gave nearly $174 million to Democrats, compared to more than $140 million to Republicans, according to a POLITICO analysis of reports filed with the Federal Election Commission and Internal Revenue Service. Donors who gave mostly or exclusively to Democrats held down 52 of the top 100 spots, including that of the biggest by far – retired San Francisco hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, who spent $74 million helping Democratic candidates and groups." In "Blue billionaires on top - POLITICO’s list of Top 100 donors of disclosed money tilts leftward," by Kenneth P. Vogel, Politico, 15 January 2015.

        Money tilts leftward? So says the political Right. Money tilts rightwards? So says the political Left. Both are correct, and the amounts can be quantified, documented and publicized albeit infrequently. Money tilts towards politics, plain and simple. See:  Bring presents to the party .

 

[ 3 ]  Those copybook "headings" which were to be re-copied by students again and again were maxims. While the once-upon-a-time maxim said "If you don't work you die," the last lines of the poem illustrate various modern examples of "free."

        Those lines above are completed in Kipling's narrative:  "That after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins / When all men are paid for existing, and no man must pay for his sins, / As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, / The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!"

        For politics in this modern age and by the funding of "free" are paid for voting, and "no man must pay for his sins" until "terror and slaughter return." Such is being seen with regularity as governments large and small are by their actions saying We ran out .

        The wealthy donors of both parties and with ostensible allegiance to certain principles do not disagree fundamentally. They "donate" in bringing "presents to the party" in the expectation of currying favors and favorable outcomes. These may be demonstrated by some obvious characteristics which the little loyal party members refuse to see -- billionaires are on the side of money, a side which is alternatively called Left and Right .

 

[ 4 ]    Dr. Adam Perkins is on the Faculty of Kings College, London, and authored many scholarly articles, as well as the book, The Welfare Trait: How State Benefits Affect Personality, 2015. The premise of the article in which his work is mentioned was that censorship of such documented work would result.

 

 The Hard Work of Dependency

 

        Specific to the UK one reads further:   "The Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government that took office in May 2010 set out to reduce welfare dependency, primarily relying on workfare and initiatives targeted to specific groups, such as disabled people, who are more likely to spend long periods of time receiving welfare payments. The Department of Work and Pensions has released a report claiming that Disability Living Allowance, the main payment given to people who are severely disabled, "can act as a barrier to work" and causes some recipients to become dependent on it as a source of income rather than looking for a suitable job." In Wikipedia article, "Welfare Dependency," n. d.

        The article earlier notes:   "The probability that a person will be able to exit poverty declines as the spell lengthens. A small but significant group of recipients remained on welfare for much longer, forming the bulk of poverty at any one point in time and requiring the most in government resources."

        Then Adam's notion of the "employment–resistant personality profile" might be apt, and if so suggests that these people soak up resources needed for the true poor.

        What is assured for come in the way of my own personal experiences, such as may be found alongside the rhyme, To Reap Without Sowing .

 

[ 5 ]  The rhetoric is that people would "forge" new lives in Europe. Given that the welfare states are overburdened and economic growth approaches zero, the notion of "free money" is a lure in part, and the system which will "give" such "free money" to migrants will be subject to basic math. When too many feed from the few, the system collapses. The remaining question is "who pays."

 

 Where Are the Limits?

 

        One opinion notes:  "Too many progressives are afraid to admit that secure borders are essential to a strong social safety net." In "Open borders or high-wage welfare state," by Michael Lind, Salon, 4 May 2010.

        Another opinion notes:  "Milton Friedman clarified the whole business years ago, the show’s host recalled. 'You can’t have open borders and a welfare state at the same time,' he remarked. 'If you do, you’ll be overrun with immigrants and your welfare system will go broke.' " In "Franklin's Golden Rule," by Bill Bonner, Daily Reckoning, 18 May 2006.

        As an example one finds an admission by a nation:  "The Danish welfare model is subsidised by the state, and as a result Denmark has one of the highest taxation levels in the world." In "Welfare," Denmark.dk, national website, n. d.

        A limited welfare model or one with low participation rate is seen as affordable. An overwhelmed welfare model with large participation is by the same model not affordable because taxes must rise to meet the burden. Therefore the question is clarified in a way, more arithmetic and less political.

          "...large numbers of migrants [ who are ] fleeing the Middle East or Africa and seeking to forge new lives in Europe" will either compete for employment or sap an existing welfare system. The more likely remedy is one of "forging" -- the Agence France Presse choice of verb -- productive, prosperous societies in their own home countries. Why is this not possible?

 

 What Are the Negative Impacts

 

        The answers center on governments. Corruption, totalitarian systems, radical Islam all contribute to those who "flee." But the lure of the better life is amplified by the parallel lure of "free money." This is the "negative impact" which many in prosperous nations now see, right or wrong. Negative impacts from totalitarian regimes are colliding with negative impacts on social welfare states. There are answers for societies, cultures and nations, but one is not the tragic yet recurring economic consequences of So shall ism and another is not the recurring worldwide violence and religious-cultural insistence to not fully integrate into a non-Islamic host nation of The religion of peace . These are interlocking drivers of much of the migration and its negative impacts, real as well as perceived.

        The solution begins with neither, but is built upon a solid foundation which irritates both the statists and the radical Islamists -- Freedom is freedom is freedom .

 

[ 6 ]   As an example, the article notes:   "In July, Germany has sold €4 billion of 10-year bonds with a zero-percent coupon and at a price above face value. This guarantees that investors, such as pension funds that have to buy these bonds, will never receive any interest payments. And if they hold the bond to maturity, they’re guaranteed a capital loss – not counting the losses due to inflation of the 10-year period."

        "Guaranteed a capital loss" is quite the same thing a any confiscatory government policy, such as taxation, but especially excessive taxation. When an "investor" invests in a loss-making instrument, if fact that investor is de facto a loser. Which entities then are the winners? Governments through their central banks and bond creation, in essentially income transfers from "losers" who are now pleasantly called investors, and "winners" which are governing elite and their many various central bank elite. This predicts an eventual rebellion against such tactics by governments.

 


 

The Modern Politician

To politicians of so many parties, genders, colors, spices and flavors.

 

He has nothing to say
But he says it quite loudly;
He has little to show
But he postures right proudly.
    Self esteem overflows his cup
    Though it's a tricky tacky goo;
    Vitamin Me is his drug of choice
    And his favorite flavored brew.
He has ill conceived plans
But he peddles them shrewdly,
Piling words upon words
Seeking not to act crudely.
    Clever he is to have climbed up the heap,
    To be greater than me or you.
    Base and corrupt when not wicked and wrong,
    He'll can argue the false with the true.
He has nowhere to lead,
But he steps out right grandly;
His know how is absent
As his plans fail quite blandly.
    His self-love glitters like silver and gold
    Like the treasure he fritters and wastes;
    He lives lordly large with excesses galore,
    With others to fund his fine tastes.
Nothing to say; nowhere to lead;
His performance is shining and bright.
After he supped and after he's dined,
He ready anew for some fight.
    Minister, president, senator, mayor,
    He borrows to pay for today.
    Young or ancient, woman or man,
    Those with cash are his ultimate prey.

Smiles for the cameras with smiling pretensions

Are smiled because well they sell,

His roads are all paved with goodly intentions

Though so many roads lead down to hell.

    This musing might tell of some you support,

    Or of some whom you rightly detest.

    But for such a notion here's a retort:

    One politician seems much like the rest.

 

Addendum of Openness and Transparency:   "...journalists say the lid has grown tighter under the Obama administration, whose chief executive promised in 2009 to bring 'an unprecedented level of openness' to the federal government. The frustrations boiled over last summer in a letter to President Obama signed by 38 organizations representing journalists and press-freedom advocates. The letter decried 'politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies' by spokesmen. 'We consider these restrictions a form of censorship — an attempt to control what the public is allowed to see and hear,' the groups wrote." In "Access denied: Reporters say federal officials, data increasingly off limits," by Paul Farhi, Washington Post, 30 March 2105.

 

See:    Politics      and    I shall not join the party  

 


 

Old Radicals

"We need a revolutionary communist party in order to lead the struggle, give coherence and direction tot he fight, seize power and build a new society." In "Prairie Fire: the Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism, Political Statement of the Weather Underground",  by Bernadine Dohrn, Jeff Jones, Billy Ayers, Celia Sojourn, 1974

 

One old radical has cleverly earned
His tenured, well-paid gig,
From which he snipes, yet is returned
A dividend, ripe and big.
 
His salary, piggy professorial,
Drops on his moneyed plate;
Another slops sponsorial,
Adding capital to his mate.
 
Between them, living on the hog,
They sing the radical's song;
Injustices, their catalogue,
They cry out loud and strong.

Quite nice, such radical comfort
Which they have come to love,
For they no longer know discomfort
While their words all come to shove.

Tear down the mighty from their seat?
And rage against the man?
But notice not their clever feat,
The radicals' money plan.

They're upper class, all blooded blue,
That's central to their scheme.
They're fat and sated, sassy too,
As they siphon off their cream.

They are the establishment, and in charge,
Which makes them radically fake,
Pontificating loud and large,
They're acquisitively on the take.

 

Clever old coots, to write so well,

And play their wordy game.

And it is these lies they successfully sell

To monetize their fame.

Old radicals with lots of cash
And creature comforts too,
Are living proof, their radical cache
Is capitalist through and through.

 See:    Crush the bourgeoisie 

 


 

No moss growing on this rock

There's no moss growing on this rock,
There's no rust on the plough.
There is that ticking of the clock
To urge me on -- for now.

There are no stewards calling breaks,
No barriers, save one.
There comes that time that time forsakes,
And then my race is run.

For now, that moment waits its turn,
Soft-spoken, patiently.
It is for now no great concern,
While life calls urgently.

There's time enough to turn stone,
To rust out in the rain.
There's time when time itself has flown
And the clock's advance is slain.

 

See:    I will tinker as I please 

 


 

Rhetorical Tides

To impartial historians and unbiased news media worldwide.

 

Deficits bad?
Deficits good?
            It all depends on the neighborhood.
        When you're in power
    In your government tower,
Then nothing you do is wrong.
        On tides adrift
            With winds that blow,
                One thing is wise to know:
                    Such rhetorical tides flex and flow.
Debt? Is it bad?
Debt? Is it good?
            It all depends on which brotherhood.
        Is perching on top
    As the language cop;
Then nothing they say can be wrong.
        The tides? They shift.
            Blustering words? They flow,
                While the average Joe
                    Gets to carry his woe.
Lawmaking, bad?
Lawmaking, good?
            It all depends on what's understood.
        When it isn't you
    To adjudge what's true,
Most everything's said to be wrong.
        On tides adrift,
            With winds that blow,
                One thing wise to know:
                    Such rhetorical tides flex and flow.
More tax is bad?
More tax is good?
            It all depends on what's understood.
        When yet more ants pay
    The freight for your day,
Then life seems a grasshopper song.
        The currents are swift,
            As yesteryear shows.
                The tides flex both to and fro;
                    Mere rhetoric, each new emperor's clothes.

 

See:    Shared Sacrifice    and also  Raise those taxes! - (2009) 

 


 

Ode to the Indiana Teachers Union - a coerced communion

"Indiana Pension Fund: Chrysler Sale Illegal, 'Tramples Their Rights' " - Huffington Post, 20 May 2009

 

The dreams of his father
Are reason enough
To gnaw your dreams apart.
        He chooses the victors,
        The losers, the rules,
        But that is just the start.
One union will steal
From another a share,
As loudly his justice is shown.
        And when the dust settles,
        And his game is adjourned,
        Away will your nest egg will have flown.
Audacity? Sure,
And it surely is change
That one hoped would not come to your door.
        But as you have seen,
        To buy something else
        He's managed to sell off your store.
Redistribution
Sounds lovely, and tasty and grand,
As it tumbles from audacious lips.
        It isn't as lovely
        And much less than grand;
        It's your cash that he casually strips.
The dreams of his father,
So few have discussed,
Are dreams which had failed before.
        His dreams come to you
        As a nightmare might come
        To redistribute and settle some score.
The dreams of his father
Are reason enough
To gnaw your dreams apart.
        Your dreams? Not valid,
        Not reason enough,
        And that's his political art.
In the game that's afoot,
You were just in the way,
Your dreams were just blown apart.

 

Addendum of Bankruptcy as Political Interest:   "Bankruptcies involve dividing a shrunken pie. But not all claims are equal: some lenders provide cheaper funds to firms in return for a more secure claim over the assets should things go wrong. They rank above other stakeholders, including shareholders and employees. This principle is now being trashed. ...Bankruptcy exists to sort legal claims on assets. If it becomes a tool of social policy, who will then lend to struggling firms in which the government has a political interest?" In "Barack Obama and the carmakers, An offer you can't refuse," The Economist, 7 May 2009.

 

Addendum of Union Screwing a Union:   "...the Indiana State Police Pension Fund, the Indiana Teacher's Retirement Fund, and the state's Major Moves Construction Fund filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting an emergency stay to delay the sale while they challenged the deal. The funds argued that the sale went against U.S. bankruptcy law because it unlawfully rewarded unsecured creditors ahead of secured creditors...." In "Indiana State Police Pension Trust v. Chrysler," Wikipedia.

 

Addendum of Unsecured Security Politically Secured:   "...an illegal taking of property from one group of creditors for the benefit of another, which should be struck down on both statutory and constitutional grounds. In a just world, that ignominious fate would await the flawed Chrysler reorganization, which violates these well-established norms, given the nonstop political interference of the Obama administration, which put its muscle behind the beleaguered United Auto Workers. Its onerous collective bargaining agreements are off-limits to the reorganization provisions, thereby preserving the current labor rigidities in a down market. Equally bad, the established priorities of creditor claims outside bankruptcy have been cast aside in this bankruptcy case as the unsecured claims of the union health pension plan have received a better deal than the secured claims of various bond holders, some of which may represent pension plans of their own. President Obama–no bankruptcy lawyer–twisted the arms of the banks that have received TARP money to waive their priority, which is yet another reason why a government ownership position in banks is incompatible with its regulatory role. Yet the president brands the non-TARP lenders that have banded together to fight this bogus reorganization as 'holdouts' and 'speculators'." In "The Deadly Sins Of The Chrysler Bankruptcy," by Richard A. Epstein, Forbes, 12 May 2009.

 

Addendum of Playing Favorites:   "The lack of transparency from the Obama Administration continues as leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee continue to try and persuade the Treasury Department to hand over documents relating to the Administration's involvement in the termination of non-union Delphi retirees' pension benefits. Non-union Delphi retirees saw their benefits lost while unionized UAW retirees at the company had their benefits "topped off" and preserved with taxpayer dollars funneled through General Motors during the 2009 auto bailout process." In "Obama Administration Still Stonewalling on Delphi Pension Scandal," by Mark Modica, NLPC, 29 July 2013.

 

Addendum Connecting the Dots: "In June 2009 a team of Jones Day lawyers, including Kevyn Orr, defended Chrysler in federal court against some 100,000 Indiana teacher and police pensioners. They were suing the bankrupt Detroit company claiming its offer of just 29 cents for their secured bonds was illegal. The pensioners’ Chrysler investment was part of their retirement income, yet their lawsuit — filed by Indiana’s treasurer — received little media attention and no sympathy from Washington Democrats or the Obama administration. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez quickly dismissed the suit, saying the public employee pensions were less important than saving Chrysler and the economy from harm. While public employee unions suffered, however, their auto worker cousins in the Chrysler (and GM bailouts) got preferential treatment, with President Obama’s auto task force giving the UAW significant ownership of the two companies and full funding of their pensions. ...in his frequent visits to Detroit, Obama has largely ignored city leaders and focused attention on UAW auto plants. This angers Democratic consultant Caddell who says Obama’s cold-shoulder (so far) to Detroit’s Chapter 9 betrays a party that takes majority-black cities for granted. 'It’s one of the biggest problems I have with my party,' he says. “T'e feeling is ‘we already have those votes so why worry about them?’ What happens in minority cities is of little interest' to Washington." In "Why Obama let Detroit (city) go bankrupt," by Henry Payne, Detroit News, 30 July 2013.

 

A parallel Addendum seeing the End of a Story:   "Bank of America, which was coerced into buying Merrill Lynch during the 2008 financial crisis, is now quietly dissolving the storied 99-year-old investment bank. This is destruction, and not the creative kind. As if the U.S. government's $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program weren't bad enough just as a bailout, there's the specter and now fallout of government meddling on a scale that can only be compared to Mussolini's corporate state." In "Merrill Lynch's Quiet Dissolution Another Casualty From The Pickers Of Winners And Losers," IBD Editorial, Investors Business Daily, 19 August 2013.

 

Adden-dumb of Government "Venture Capitalists" Losing Money Yet Again:   "The U.S. government lost $11.2 billion on its bailout of General Motors Co, more than the $10.3 billion the Treasury Department estimated when it sold its remaining GM shares in December, according to a government report released on Wednesday. The $11.2 billion loss includes a write-off in March of the government's remaining $826 million investment in 'old' GM, the quarterly report by a Treasury watchdog said. The U.S. government spent about $50 billion to bail out GM. As a result of the company's 2009 bankruptcy, the government's investment was converted to a 61 percent equity stake in the Detroit-based automaker, plus preferred shares and a loan. Treasury whittled down its GM stake through a series of stock sales starting in November 2010, with the remaining shares sold on Dec. 9, 2013." In "U.S. Government Says It Lost $11.2 Billion On GM Bailout," Reuters, 30 April 2014.

 

Addendum Follow-up on Delphi:   "Behind closed doors, the Obama administration’s auto team schemed with labor bosses from United Automobile Workers to preserve union members’ costly pension funds by screwing over their nonunion counterparts. The federally backed Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which had the fiduciary duty to represent the best interests of all the Delphi workers, helped sacrifice the nonunion employees at the UAW altar. While union pensions were topped up with tax-subsidized auto bailout funds, nonunion pensioners were left high and dry. In addition, the nonunion pensioners lost all of their health and life-insurance benefits." In "The autoworkers Obama robbed," by Michelle Malkin, New York Post, 25 July 2014.

 

Addendum of Debt-ridden General Motors Selling Unsecured Debt:   " General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) announced today the pricing of two series of senior unsecured notes for a total of $2.0 billion. These notes include $1.25 billion of 6.60 percent notes due in 2036 and $0.75 billion of 6.75 percent notes due in 2046. The offering is expected to settle on Feb. 23, 2016. GM intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the notes to make a discretionary contribution to its U.S. hourly pension plan and, in the event GM does not use all of the net proceeds for this contribution, for general corporate uses." In "GM Prices $2.0 Billion of Senior Unsecured Notes," General Motors, 18 February 2016.

 

 See:    Rob a Peter to Pay a Paul    and  as a direct parallel, Now how does that seem to a lender like you?  - a run-around

 


 

We've got to fight these battles

"We've got to fight these battles!"
"The judgment day is nigh!"
        "There's just so many problems,
        And no one knows quite why!"
"The budgets are great big mess,
The environment is threatened too!"
        Why, everyone is wailing loud,
        "Oh no" and, "What's to do?"
"The worst of it is yet to come,"
The experts drivel on.
        The news? It goes from bad to worse,
        But maybe it's a con?
Life goes on and days fly past,
With folks all getting by;
        And life still has such wondrous things;
        You'll find them, if you try.
You don't need all that gloom and doom,
The fuss, the rage, despair!
           The best things is this lovely life
        Are free, like love and air.
The howler, he's just shrieking,
"Apocalypse again!"
        And then he takes a little break,
        To put those thoughts to pen.
Refreshed for yet more outrage,
He takes his place anew,
        And screams and yells and gestures
        In hopes he's seen by you.
But if you look the other way,
And go about your chores,
        You'll see he gets more angry
        When greeted by your snores.
"We've got to cancel Christmas?"
Just why, I'd like to know,
        Except that if I ask him,
        He'll carry on his show.
So I'll just pass on by the chap
And let him prattle on;
        I refuse his silly, noisy game
        And will not act his pawn.
Life always has its ups and downs,
From yesteryear, to now,
        But problems all get figured out,
        Somewhere, some time, some how.
Those battles aren't all equal,
And most? Just fuss and noise.
        Turn them off and turn away,
        And turn towards simple joys.
That's the lively, real game,
A "battle," you might say,
        But I prefer some other name,
        And live my peace-filled day.

 

Envoi"There's nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win. Then you write the history." Paul Watson b. 1950), co-founder of Greenpeace, as referenced in Wikipedia: Douglass F. Rohrman (2004). "Environmental Terrorism". Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2 (6): 332.

 

 See:    All the news is screaming 

 


 

Raise those taxes!

"The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return." Gore Vidal (1925-2012)   [ 1 ]

 

Raise those taxes! My, o my!
Let's raise those taxes mountain high!
Raise those taxes by and by,
But raise them on the other guy!

Crazy taxes slip on by!
Make crazy taxes! Who'll ask why?
Crazy? Yes, vote with "aye!"
'Cause lazy me's my alibi!

Living's fine and dandy
When someone else will pay!
Just like sugar candy
Without the tooth decay!

Praise folks' taxes feeding me!
Oh, praise those taxes, yes siree!
Praise those taxes' spending spree!
Who pays those taxes! It ain't me!

 

Envoi:    "Let me say this. I am not for voting any more taxes on the backs of the American people, because I believe that tax of 1990 put on right here today, and I am very concerned about the tax package being discussed in this Congress. I am one Democrat who believes we should stimulate the private sector. We already have more government jobs than factory jobs, and I think that is an indictment of our Congress. One basic tenet to this Constitution is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and there can be no life, liberty or pursuit of happiness in America without a job." By Representative James Traficant, Jr., Democrat, Ohio, In United States Congressional Record, March 17, 1993 Vol. 33, page H-1303.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum as Prophecy:   "There is a limit to the taxing power of a State beyond which increased rates produce decreased revenue. If that be exceeded intangible securities and other personal property become driven out of its jurisdiction, industry cannot meet its less burdened competitors, and no capital will be found for enlarging old or starting new enterprises. Such a condition means first stagnation, then decay and dissolution. There is before us a danger that our resources may be taxed out of existence and our prosperity destroyed." Calvin Coolidge, in "Address to the General Court beginning the 2nd year as Governor of Massachusetts, 8 January 1920.

 

Addendum of Lobbying Greater than Taxes Paid:   As lobbying and campaign  finance records show, they are sending some of this money back to Washington but to peddle influence. In  fact, the 30 big corporations paid more to lobby Congress  than  they paid in federal income taxes for the three years between 2008 and 2010, despite being  profitable. During a period when companies posted  three-year U.S. profits ranging  from  $286 million  (Con-Way) to $49 billion (Wells Fargo) and totally $164 billion altogether, all but one company in this group paid no federal income taxes at all."  In "For Hire: Lobbyists or the 99%?" a report by Public Campaign, December  2011.

 

   Addendum of What Obama's Wanted:   "President Obama’s most recent budget request would reduce borrowing by $1.1 trillion over the next decade compared with current law — almost entirely through higher taxes on the rich, large estates and smokers, congressional budget analysts said Friday." In "CBO: Obama budget would raise taxes by nearly $1 trillion," by Lori Montgomery, Washington Post, 17 May 2013.

 

Addendum of the Excess Fiscal Drag:   "Surprisingly, despite all the attention federal spending cuts and sequestration have received, our calculations suggest they are not the main contributors to this projected drag. The excess fiscal drag on the horizon comes almost entirely from rising taxes. Specifically, we calculate that nine-tenths of that projected 1 percentage point excess fiscal drag comes from tax revenue rising faster than normal as a share of the economy." In "Fiscal Headwinds: Is the Other Shoe About to Drop?" by Brian Lucking and Daniel Wilson, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 3 June 2013.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum from Brazil:  "More than 100,000 people took to the streets in overwhelmingly peaceful protests in at least eight cities Monday, demonstrations that voiced the deep frustrations Brazilians feel about carrying heavy tax burdens but receiving woeful returns in public education, health, security and transportation." In "100,000 line streets of Brazil to protest corruption," Associated Press, 17 June 2013.  [ 4 ]

 

Addendum for Clarity:  “Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen.” Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)   [ 5 ]

 

Addendum of Taxes Raised:   "Revenues from state and local individual income taxes, general sales and gross receipt taxes, motor fuel taxes, motor vehicle taxes and taxes on alcoholic beverages each hit all-time highs in the second quarter of this year, according to data released today by the Census Bureau. That means that in no quarter of any year since the Census Bureau first started tracking state and local tax revenues in 1962 have Americans paid more in each of these categories of state and local taxes then they did in the quarter that ran from April through June of 2013." In "Census: State and Local Income, Sales, Motor Fuel, Motor Vehicle, and Alcoholic Beverage Taxes Hit All-Time Highs in 2nd Quarter," by Terrence P. Jeffrey, CNS News 24 September 2013.

 

Addendum for a French Socialist:   "A New Year's message from François Hollande backfired as his vague promise that taxes would be lowered some time in the future jarred with French voters facing tax increases that took effect as he was speaking. Instead of winning plaudits for his unexpected admission that taxes had become 'too heavy, much too heavy', the unpopular socialist president - weakened by tax increases, rising unemployment and a shrinking economy - provoked incredulity and scepticism among critics on both Left and Right." In "François Hollande concedes taxes 'too heavy' in admission that annoys all sides in France," by David Chazan, Telegraph UK, 1 January 2914.

 

Addendum for a Receding Italy:   "Many of Italy's current problems stem from pre-crisis times: Taxation on business income, for example. The World Bank ('Paying Taxes 2014') estimates Italian companies' tax burden at 65.8 percent. Only France (64.7) and Spain (58.6) approach those drastic levels, and they face similar problems. The European average is dramatically lower, at 41.1 percent, while Italy's neighbors, Switzerland and Croatia, have extremely low rates of 29.1 and 19.8 percent respectably. Given that, who would want to invest in Italy? 'Having Europe's highest business taxes is ruining us,' Massimo Giuliani, 55, the mayor of Piombino, agrees." In "Bungle Bungle: Italy's Failed Economic Turnaround," by Hans-Jürgen Schlamp, Spiegel International, 6 October 2014.

 

Addendum for Illinois:   "Illinois is overpromised, overspent, overborrowed. Present trajectories point to doom. So the race for luscious new revenue is quickening." In "Why Illinois and Chicago pols are so frantic to raise your taxes," Editorial, Chicago Tribune, 13 April 2014.

 

 Addendum for Illinois a Year Later:   "...property taxes are outpacing residents’ ability to pay for them. Over the past 50 years, whether measured in comparison to household income, economic growth, population or inflation, all classes of property taxes – residential, commercial, industrial, etc. – have placed an increasingly unaffordable burden on Illinoisans. Since 1963, Illinois property taxes have grown 2.5 times faster than inflation and 14 times faster than the state’s population." In "Growing out of control: Property taxes put increasing burden on Illinois taxpayers," by Erik Randolph, Ted Dabrowski, John Klingner, Illinois Policy, 21 December 2015.

 

Addendum of Who Pays the Higher Percentage:  "...the highest marginal net tax rates are not imposed on the highest-income families. They are imposed on those with the lowest earnings. For example: · At two times the minimum wage ($42,800), working couples get to keep less than 30 cents out of each dollar they earn. · At 1.5 times the minimum wage ($32,100), they get to keep less than 20 cents out of each dollar they earn. · By contrast, a couple earning $200,000 a year gets to keep 44 cents." In "Why Are The Poor, Poor?" by John C. Goodman, Townhall, 19 April 2014.

 

Addendum of Taxes Getting High:   "High hopes for tax money isn’t as expected as the state’s legal marijuana industry isn’t bringing in as much money as anticipated. In fact, tax revenue is way below expectations." In "Recreational Pot Not Bringing In Tax Money That Was Expected," CBS Denver, 2 September 2014.    [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of Opposite Reactions:   "Japan's economy contracted at a larger than earlier estimated annual rate of 7.1 percent in April-June, as companies and households slashed spending following a tax hike. The revised data released Monday show business investment fell more than twice as much as estimated before, or 5.1 percent, while private residential spending sank 10.4 percent, in annual terms. The earlier estimate showed the economy contracting 6.8 percent." In "Japan says economy contracted 7.1 percent in 2Q," by Elaine Kurtenbach, Associated Press, 7 September 2014.

 

Addendum of Political Speech Regarding Taxes:   "...a woman who less than two weeks ago said on live TV: 'We are exploring ways to do a more graduated income tax.' And then, days later, she claimed with a straight face: 'I have not talked about raising taxes. I don’t think we have to do it.' Baker pointed out that just days earlier, 'You practically came out in support of a graduated income tax.' 'Charlie, that’s totally inaccurate,' she misspoke. 'I absolutely deny that happened'." In "Martha Coakley forgets her own memory loss," by Howie Carr, Boston Herald, 3 November 2014.

 

 Addendum to be Whispered:   "Whisper it, but corporations don't pay taxes anyway. They merely collect taxes—from customers via higher prices, shareholders in lower returns, or employees in lower wages and benefits. The BEPS bogey man would vanish if corporate taxes did." [BEPS - Base erosion and profit shifting] In "A Global Revenue Grab," WSJ Opinion, Wall Street Journal, 23 July 2013.

 

Addendum of Communist China Lowering Taxes:   "China announced new steps aimed at bolstering slowing economic growth by cutting taxes, spending more on developing the Yangtze River region and expanding financing for exporters." In "China Pledges Spending and Lower Taxes in Growth Effort," by Feiwen Rong, Bloomberg, 11 June 2014.

 

Addendum of Connecticut Raising Taxes:   "The income tax has been raised five times since the early 1990s, and so a state that once had a zero income tax, and started with a low flat rate of 4.5%, now will have a highest rate of 6.99%. It also has one of the highest estate taxes, so people with wealth scram to Florida and Texas. That's not all. The Malloy tax hike also includes the extension of a 20% 'temporary' surtax on corporate profits, which will give Connecticut the fifth-highest tax on business in the nation. And the clueless lawmakers in Hartford are scratching their heads asking why businesses are threatening to leave." In "The Hartford Way: Keep Raising Taxes In Connecticut," Investors, 5 June 2015.

 

A Moving Addendum:  "...millions of American households apparently are doing something about it: Picking up and moving. A CNBC analysis of tax data and figures provided by two major national moving companies shows that states with the highest per-capita taxes, for the most part, are also seeing the biggest net migration out of those states." In "Tired of high taxes? Maybe it's time to move," by John W. Schoen, CNBC, 23 June 2015.

 

Addendum of Puerto Rico's 91.5 Percent Tax:   "...como “impuesto Walmart” que le impone a la multinacional una tasa contributiva estimada en 91.5%." In "Walmart amenaza con irse de la Isla si el Gobierno prevalece en pleito," Noti Uno, 4 February 2016.    [ 7 ]

 

 Addendum of the European Fiscal and Social Pressures:   "Based on figures from EY (formerly Ernst and Young) French workers hand over some 57.5 percent of their salaries to the state in various kinds of taxes compared to 56.9 percent in Belgium. France’s rise to the top of the table has more to do with the impact of Belgian tax cuts (last year tax liberation day was August 6th), the Institute said, but it appears France’s own tax cuts have failed to take effect if the study is anything to go by. Cécile Philippe, president of the Molinari Economic Institute and co-author said: 'The fiscal and social pressure on the average French employee remains at record levels. This pressure, which cannot be explained by more attractive benefits, penalizes most of the world'." In "French workers 'pay the most taxes in Europe'," TheLocal.fr, 26 July 2016.

 

 Addendum of WHO Should Raise Taxes:   "A French diplomat competing to be the world's top health official says a tiny international tax can help fill the World Health Organization's coffers, a proposal aimed at bringing order to the U.N. agency's fragmented budget. Dr. Philippe Douste-Blazy told journalists at the Foreign Ministry in Paris that 'micropayments' tacked on to as-yet-undetermined international business operations could support WHO's budget." In "Candidate for UN health chief eyes global tax to help WHO," by Raphael Satter, Associated Pres, 18 May 2016.

 

See:    Robbery   and also  Raise those taxes! - (2009) 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]      "You couldn't have it if you DID want it," the Queen said. "The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day." Lewis Carroll in "Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There," 1871.

 

[ 2 ]      In contradistinction to the politics of "raise those taxes," one reads interesting news from around the world.  Among such reports:  "Sweden has reduced public spending as a proportion of GDP from 67% in 1993 to 49% today. It could soon have a smaller state than Britain. It has also cut the top marginal tax rate by 27 percentage points since 1983, to 57%, and scrapped a mare’s nest of taxes on property, gifts, wealth and inheritance. This year it is cutting the corporate-tax rate from 26.3% to 22%." In " Northern lights, the Nordic countries are reinventing their model of capitalism," by Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist, 2 February 2013.

 

 How Much to Pay?

 

            One finds the Chinese Communists reducing tax rates in the moment to spur their economy:   "China has unveiled a series of moves aimed at boosting growth, indicating that policymakers are concerned about the slowdown in its economy. The steps include tax breaks for small businesses, reduced fees for exporters and opening up of railway construction." In "China unveils fresh measures to boost growth," BBC, 25 July 2013.

            In another interesting report, one reads the following exchange:   "VLADIMIR PUTIN: Of course, not. On the contrary I am even glad, to some extent, because the events have shown how risky and insecure investments in Western financial institutions can be. By the way, our tax regime in that context is also more favourable than yours. The income tax rate for natural persons in Russia is only 13 percent. What about Germany? How much do you pay? / JÖRG SCHÖNENBORN: It would be great if we paid only 13 percent. Of course, it would be great. Fight against tax increases is a hot topic during the election campaign. / VLADIMIR PUTIN: So, fight for tax cuts." Found at the Kremlin's own site, eng.kremlin.ru, Spring 2013.

            Lest the "13 percent" seem low as an income tax rate compared to the "West," one finds that some in the "West" -- an elite number inn government "service" -- pay less yet. 

 

 How Much to Pay For Fraud?

 

            "But before we declare our virtues, perhaps we ought to look just a little bit closer to home. And I hope that the taxpayers all over Europe listen to this. If we look at the EU officials who work for the European Commission and the European Parliament, the highest category [the most common grade is AD12] are people that earn a net take home pay of just over 100 thousand pounds a year. And yet under EU rules they pay tax of 12 per cent. It is tax fraud on an absolutely massive scale. And Mr. Barroso I would say to you, how can that be deemed to be fair?" Quote of MEP Nigel Farage at the European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg, 21 May 2013.

            As to "tax fraud on an absolutely massive scale" in the United States, one reads:  "The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to 'unauthorized' alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically occupied by thousands of “unauthorized” alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011. In fact, according to a TIGTA audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to 'unauthorized' aliens were in Atlanta. The IRS sent 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,164,976 to unauthorized alien workers at a second Atlanta address; 3,608 worth $2,691,448 to a third; and 2,386 worth $1,232,943 to a fourth." In "IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens at 1 Atlanta Address," by Terrence Jeffrey, CNSNews, 21 June 2013.

 

[ 3 ]     "We already have the most progressive tax system in the industrialized world, according to the OECD, and this would make it more so. The OECD finds such steeply progressive taxation reduces productivity and economic growth. Further, the U.S. is unique in that a majority of businesses and business income are taxed under these progressive individual rates, businesses such as sole-proprietorships, partnerships, and S corporations. One study finds that increasing the average income tax rate by 1 percentage point reduces real GDP per capita by 1.4 percent in the first quarter and by up to 1.8 percent after three quarters." In "What Is the Evidence on Taxes and Growth?" by William McBride, Tax Foundation, 18 December 2012.

 

 The Negative Relationship

 

             Referenced in the above cited article is another which states:  "My analysis suggests that tax policies take time to work its full effects on the economy. When the specification is sufficiently general to pick up these effects, a negative relationship between taxes and income growth emerges." In "The robust relationship between taxes and U.S. state income growth," by Robert Reed, 61 National Tax Journal 57-80 (2008). 

            As such studies as above accumulate, those advocating ever higher taxation rates are loathe to document real numbers but passionate to extend theory without verifiable proof.

           One such earlier theory has become more visible courtesy of recent politics. One notices: "The paper wishes to encourage domestic accumulation. This is a good gesture except for the underlying assumption which one only private enterprices [ sic ] and business that tends to encourage accumulations. True, in the paper there is a realization that taxation can be used as a means of forced saving, but it is given a secondary place in this respect. Certainly there is no limit to taxation if the benefits deprived from public services by the society measure up to the cost in taxation which they have to pay. It is a fallacy to say that there is this limit and it is a fallacy to rely mainly on individual free enterprise to get the savings. How are we going to rid ourselves of economic power concentration when we, in our blue print, tend towards what we ourselves discredit? In paragraph 47 the paper states that the company form of business organization is a departure from the direct individual ownership typical of Marx’s day. Yet one who has read Marx cannot fail to see that corporations are not only what Marx referred to s advanced stage of capitalism but Marx even called it finance capitalism by which a few would control the finances of so many and through this have not only economic power but political power as well. [ Later ] Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100 percent of income. Assuming that development and the achievement of a high per capita income is a benefit to society as a whole I do not see why the government cannot tax those who have more and siphon some of these revenues into savings which can be utilized in investment for future development, there by reducing our reliance on foreign aid." In "Problems Facing Our Socialism," Kwani (Barak H. Obama), East Africa Journal , 1965.

 

 Much Ado About Nothing

 

            In a clear contrast of theory and reality, one reads:  "The debate hinges on the scale of the “fiscal multiplier”. This measure, first formalised in 1931 by Richard Kahn, a student of John Maynard Keynes, captures how effectively tax cuts or increases in government spending stimulate output. A multiplier of one means that a $1 billion increase in government spending will increase a country's GDP by $1 billion. [ Later ] Most of the evidence on multipliers for government spending is based on military outlays, but today's stimulus packages are heavily focused on infrastructure. Interest rates in many rich countries are now close to zero, which may increase the potency of, as well as the need for, fiscal stimulus. Because of the financial crisis relatively more people face borrowing constraints, which would increase the effectiveness of a tax cut. At the same time, highly indebted consumers may now be keen to cut their borrowing, leading to a lower multiplier. And investors today have more reason to be worried about rich countries' fiscal positions than those of emerging markets." In "Much ado about multipliers," The Economist, 24 September 2009.

            Against the argument for 100 percent taxation "theoretically" and and the hypothesis of "multipliers," one finds other views: "The worldwide economic woes are not going away anytime soon. When it comes to how to address these fiscal issues, one thing is clear - spending cuts are what people are looking for, not higher taxes. What is also clear, even in the countries that are seen as more traditional welfare states, is that this economic environment may have shifted people's priorities, and it might be time for some change." In "Spending Cuts are Preferred to Higher Taxes to Reduce Deficits in the U.S., Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Germany," Harris Interactive Poll, 14 July 2010.

 

[ 4 ]     "People are so disgusted with the system, so fed up that now we're demanding change." In "Brazil unrest: 'Million' join protests in 100 cities," BBC, 21 June 2013.

 

[ 5 ]       Taxes draw away consumer spending power, it has been admitted in an Associated Press story about the obvious:  "Why aren't the impressive increases in wealth helping the economy bounce back as briskly as it normally does four years after a recession? Economists cite several reasons. The biggest gains aren't going to the vast majority of Americans. Many families are still nursing big losses on the value of their home, and the big drop in home prices from 2006 through 2011 has undermined their confidence. Moreover, their incomes have been crimped by a weak labor market and tax hikes that took effect in January." In "Rising US wealth doesn't generate spending surge," by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer, Miami Herald, 23 June 2013.

            And so, as with Nietzsche's assertion that "Everything the State says is a lie," one reads quite similar conclusions from others:  "All governments lie and nothing they say should be believed." I. F. "Izzy" Stone (1907-1989).  See:  Lying continues  .

 

[ 6 ]    The story of Colorado's voting for taxation on "legal" marijuana is most amusing, as the political and economic assumptions fail. Not only is the "expected" revenue less that expected, but legalizing marijuana will make it more difficult to enforce that marijuana provided by the black market. Comments to the CBS News article are instructive.  A comment to the article noted: "Black Market Weed is way cheaper cause it cuts out the Tax man." Another observed, "If you think people are going to buy higher priced (taxed) legal pot over lower priced (untaxed) illegal pot, you must be high."

 

[ 7 ]    There is amusing irony in this massive tax, because 1) Wal-Mart threatens to close its business in Puerto Rico over such a draconian tax and thereby jobs would be lost, and 2) at the same time as the territory is asking Wal-Mart to pay, the government pleads insolvency and has defaulted on repaying loans themselves. For such situations, one sees a simple human and institutional phenomenon which is that over time and with cause People walk away .

 


 

Consensus

"I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way." Michael Crichton (1942-2008)

 

Pile consensus highly high;
And let it Babel to the sky.
A massive mound, spectacular,
Remains just shit, in the vernacular.

Spread it wide and spread it far,
From Washington to Zanzibar.
Cover much with the political "it",
But still it stays just shitty shit.

Praise it, laud it, spin it round,
Or measure it by mile and pound.
Press it, sell it, yea, adore,
But still it stinks as once before.

Speeches, research, scholars' love
Will not make us fonder of
Its stink or its ubiquity
Which is nicest when it's absentee.

Debates are o'er and done with;
So goes this man-made myth.
Though consensus is but stinky shit,
Few fools do dare reject it.

Pile it up, most highly high;
Let it tower in the sky.
A rhetorical mound, spectacular,
Remains just shit, in my vernacular.

 

Envoi:    "Consensus is what many people say in chorus but do not believe as individuals." Abba Eban (1915-2002)

 

Addendum:   "CONSENSUS   Used only when followed by 'of an opinion.' Preferred spelling: 'concensus.' Eventual prescription of this spelling, in spite of etymological objections, may be confidently anticipated. For variation use 'climate of opinion'."   In "Federal Prose, How to Write in and/or for Washington," by James R. Masterson and Wendell Brooks Phillips, University of North Carolina Press, 1948. From the Foreword: "This book is for the American citizens who aspire to serve their fellow men by writing language that is written and sometimes spoken in the nation's Capital, and thus to qualify themselves as instruments by which the power and benevolence of the Federal Government are brought to bear upon the American people."

 

Addendum from 1975:    "There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. ....Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve." In "The Cooling World," by Peter Gwynne, Newsweek, April 28, 1975.

 

Addendum from 2005:   "Two thousand scientists, in a hundred countries, engaged in the most elaborate, well organized scientific collaboration in the history of humankind, have produced long-since a consensus that we will face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming." Al Gore in a speech at National Sierra Club Convention, 9 September 2005.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum:   "Investigative journalists at Popular Technology looked into which papers were classified within Cook’s asserted 97 percent. The investigators found Cook and his colleagues classified papers by such prominent, vigorous skeptics as Willie Soon, Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir Shaviv, Nils-Axel Morner, and Alan Carlin as supporting the 97 percent consensus." In "Climate Alarmists Caught Doctoring ‘97 Percent Consensus’ Claims," by James Taylor, Human Events, 18 June 2013.    [ 2 ]

 

Addendum from a Skeptic Reported as Not Skeptical:  "What my papers say is that the IPCC view is erroneous because about 40-70% of the global warming observed from 1900 to 2000 was induced by the sun. This implies that the true climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling is likely around 1.5 C or less, and that the 21st century projections must be reduced by at least a factor of 2 or more. Of that the sun contributed (more or less) as much as the anthropogenic forcings. The 'less' claim is based on alternative solar models (e.g. ACRIM instead of PMOD) and also on the observation that part of the observed global warming might be due to urban heat island effect, and not to CO2. By using the 50% borderline a lot of so-called 'skeptical works' including some of mine are included in their 97%." Nicola Scafetta, in "97% Study Falsely Classifies Scientists' Papers, according to the scientists that published them," Popular Technology, 21 May 2013.

 

Addendum from 1951:   "The CO2 theory of climate change, advanced by 'was never widely accepted and was abandoned when it was found that all the long-wave radiation absorbed by CO2 is also absorbed by water vapour'."  C. E. P. Brooks, Compendium of Meteorology (1951).

 

Addendum of Hot to Cold:   "No global warming has occurred above the 1998 level. In 1998, the PDO was in its warm mode. In 1999, the PDO flipped from its warm mode into its cool mode and satellite imagery confirms that the cool mode has become firmly entrenched since then and global cooling has deepened significantly in the past few years." In "Global Warming and CO2 During the Past Century," Don J. Easterbrook, PhD, Western Washington University.     [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Missing the Target:   "You’ll see that today’s benign climate is not even close to being the warmest on record. Not even close. Temperatures have been warmer than today for almost all of the past 10,000 years. In fact, if the chart went further back, you’d see that temperatures have been warmer than today for most of geologic history." In "Lieberman-Kerry bill predicated on a lie," Robert Felix, 27 May 2010.

 

Addendum asking Why:   "Something's not quite right with the climate. Over the past few years, while global CO2 emissions have continued to swell, the global temperature rise has leveled off." In "Global Warming: Why Aren't Temperatures Even Higher?" by Bryan Walsh, Time, 20 April 2010.

 

Addendum against Climate Stability:   "Climate stability has never been a feature of planet Earth. The only constant about climate is change; it changes continually and, at times, quite rapidly. Many times in the past, temperatures were far higher than today, and occasionally, temperatures were colder. As recently as 6,000 years ago, it was about 3C warmer than now. Ten thousand years ago, while the world was coming out of the thousand-year-long 'Younger Dryas' cold episode, temperatures rose as much as 6C in a decade -- 100 times faster than the past century's 0.6C warming that has so upset environmentalists." In "Read the sunspots," by R. Timothy Patterson, professor and director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, at Financial Post, Canada.

 

Addendum from a Philosopher:  "When two men of science disagree, they do not invoke the secular arm; they wait for further evidence to decide the issue, because, as men of science, they know that neither is infallible. But when two theologians differ, since there is no criteria to which either can appeal, there is nothing for it but mutual hatred and an open or covert appeal to force." Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)   [ 4 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]       Global warming advocates have prophesied, and critics have noted that many models are forecasts dependent wholly on assumptions about processes not fully understood.

            "Think of how many religions attempt to validate themselves with prophecy. Think of how many people rely on these prophecies, however vague, however unfulfilled, to support or prop up their beliefs. Yet has there ever been a religion with the prophetic accuracy and reliability of science? ... No other human institution comes close." Carl Sagan, in "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark," Random House, (1995) 

 

 The Worthless Authority of a Thousand

 

            Given Sagan's remark, one notes that "accuracy" and "reliability" are hallmarks, while the global warming advocates have provided neither, anymore than have global cooling advocates. For this reason, we see the political rhetoric has been adjusted to the seemingly neutral term, climate change. But if climate changes both in the directions of warming and cooling (as science have proven), then one public policy to deal with one cannot deal with its opposite.

            What may both accurately and reliably be stated is that attempts to assign and "trade" carbon credits have been both a failure, as in the case of the collapsed Chicago Climate Exchange which closed in 2010 and failing in the European version which is trading as of 2013 at a loss for many earlier investors.

            For this observation, it is wise to recall another scientist's words:  "In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642).

 

[ 2 ]      As to the notion of "doctoring" information, one reads in rebuttal to Cook:  "Cook et al. set out to demonstrate the existence of an overwhelming consensus on global warming. While their approach appears to owe more to public relations than the scientific method, there is little doubt that there is a scientific consensus, albeit not the one that the authors of the paper have led people to believe exists. The consensus as described by Cook et al. is virtually meaningless and tells us nothing about the current state of scientific opinion beyond the trivial observation that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that human activities have warmed the planet to some unspecified extent." In "Consensus? What Consensus?" by Andrew Montford, Global Warming Policy Foundation, GWPF Note 5, 2013.

 

 Refusal

 

            Asking questions, one "denier" has written something rather interesting:  "Mr Cook, backed by Professor Hoegh-Guldberg and Lu, has blankly refused to release these data, arguing that a data release would violate confidentiality. This reasoning is bogus. I don’t think confidentiality is relevant. The paper presents the survey as a survey of published abstracts, rather than as a survey of the raters. If these raters are indeed neutral and competent, as claimed by the paper, then tying ratings to raters would not reflect on the raters in any way. If, on the other hand, this was a survey of the raters’ beliefs and skills, rather than a survey of the abstracts they rated, then Mr Cook is correct that their identity should remain confidential. But this undermines the entire paper: It is no longer a survey of the literature, but rather a survey of Mr Cook and his friends." In "Open letter to the Vice-chancellor of the University of Queensland," by Richard Tol, 27 August 2013.

            And so in the ping pong game of continues, but when one learns that data is not being allowed to be independently verified, one sees a trend which is most un-scientific. Science is about verifying results in independent tests.

 

[ 3 ]       For consideration, a comparison of messages: 

            "According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become 'a very rare and exciting event'. 'Children just aren't going to know what snow is,' he said." In "Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past," by Charles Onians, The Independent UK, 20 March 2000.

 

 Snowfalls, Not Snowfalls and Big Scary Words

 

            "The country will experience a north-south divide over the next few days, with heavy persistent rain across the South bringing flood warnings, while other parts of the country brace themselves for a blanket of white. Heavy snow is expected across northern and central parts of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and North Wales overnight tonight and into tomorrow." In "Weather: 'It is supposed to be spring', says Met Office as more snow on the way," by Hayley Dixon, Telegraph UK, 21 March 2013.

            Ridicule gathers:  "So who are we to believe? For a final word, I turned to the greatest climate change scientist of all, Dr David Viner, one-time senior research scientist at the climatic research unit of the University of East Anglia, who predicted in 2000 that, within a few years, winter snowfall would become 'a very rare and exciting event.' However, he was trapped under a glacier in Stockport, so was unable to comment at the time the Telegraph went to press." In "When it comes to climate change, we have to trust our scientists, because they know lots of big scary words," by Sean Thomas, Telegraph UK, 19 June 2013.

            One also finds a growing awareness that the moralizing tone of the last decades' politics as regards consensus over global warming:  "We have not been awash in arguments for adaptation precisely because the consensus pertained to now-troubled estimates of climate sensitivity. The moralizing stridency of so many arguments for cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, and global emissions treaties was founded on the idea that there is a consensus about how much warming there would be if carbon emissions continue on trend. The rather heated debates we have had about the likely economic and social damage of carbon emissions have been based on that idea that there is something like a scientific consensus about the range of warming we can expect. If that consensus is now falling apart, as it seems it may be, that is, for good or ill, a very big deal." In "A cooling consensus," by W. W., The Economist, 20 June 2013.

 

[ 4 ]      While Russell critiques theologians, one notes at least one theological view which identifies the same as Russell does.  One finds, "Truth does not become more true by virtue of the fact that the entire world agrees with it, nor less so even if the whole world disagrees with it." In "The Guide for the Perplexed.," Maimonides (1135-1204). Just as science has been seen to have been politicized through centuries with base appeal to political "force," one notes that "force" of which Bertrand Russell is absent from Maimonides' observation. Thus, scientific truth is demonstrable, verifiable and with "all cards face up on the table," and religious as well as political truth is demonstrable by effects as seen in individual and societal behaviors.

 

See:    Let's take that leaking lifeboat 

 


 

Sometimes

Sometimes up is up
    And down is down;
Grammar speaks plain
    When it doesn't clown.

Sometimes in is in
    And out is out,
Unless against sense
    You're prepared to shout.

Sometimes right is right
    And wrong is wrong;
Some men are weak,
    And some are strong.

Sometimes truth is truth
    And not a lie,
Though words betray us
    By and by.

Sometimes soft is soft
    And hard is hard;
Sometimes clarity
    Is cloaked and barred.

Sometimes proof is proof
    While deceit glares bright;
And sometimes plain truth
    Can conquer might.

 

Envoi:    "Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves." Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

 

See:     Topsy Turvy 

 


 

Meetings

Titanic, meet iceberg;
Tooth rot, meet pliers.
Governments' debt makes
Government liars.
    Arrows, meet targets;
    Crimes, meet jail.
    Surely the rules say
    Rule breakings fail.
Teeter, meet totter;
Risk, meet pain.
Things simply break
Under too much strain.
    Promise, meet sell-out;
    Love, meet hate.
    Betrayals are many,
    It seems, of late.
Dissent, meet power;
Flee, or meet fate.
Things just collapse
Under too much weight.
    Rebel, meet fists;
    Tyrant, meet coup.
    History foretells
    What is coming for you.

Iceberg and pliers,

Debt and crimes,

For testing men's souls,

These are still the times.

See:    History Lesson 

 


 

The Wisest of Men

"All this leads back to the sneaking suspicion that the top minds at Newsweek think they are the wisest of men, the definers of trends and the shepherds of public opinion. So why is everyone abandoning their advice? Why are the captains of a magazine that's lost half its circulation telling the rest of us where the mainstream lies?" Brent Bozell, "The Decline and Fall of Newsweek," Creators Syndicate, 16 April 2009

We're the wisest of men,
the definers of trends,
and shepherds of public opinion.
    We seldom are wrong,
    While rushing headlong
    To our future directing the throng.

Words, courageous and strong,
Opining on and erelong
That the public might our labors prolong.

As the wisest of men,
As definers of trends
Who should shepherd your little opinion,
    Why then do we fade?
    Why's our public then strayed?
    Why do we seem smaller and grayed?

Ah, with wisdom comes age!
That's our excuse and our gauge
To why we see ourselves as so sage.

We're enlightened, Amen!
We've the smartest of friends
Who all dream of political dominion.
    But why then, alas,
    Is the public so crass
    As to leave reading us en masse?

Our magazines ought
All to be bought
By mere sheep that should subtly be taught.

They're not wise like pressmen,
Who are their best-est of friends,
Defining their unthought-of opinion.
    For this readers stray,
    Not their betters obey.
    Why must they then have their own say?

See:    I'm sorry 


 

The New Man

"...the best way to ensure that many more future governments will be forced, as they will then see it, through population pressure, to legislate for coercive birth control." Compulsory Limits on Births “May Become Unavoidable,” July 11 2007, Optimum Population Trust

The new Renaissance? Let men die.
Withhold prosperity and by and by
They will so surely; Death is nigh.

All to the Good, the New Man shrieks,
For fewer men is what He seeks;
Save the Earth, seas, fields and peaks.

Without Blemish of so many men,
Then Man stands proudly tall, again,
And thinks himself among the Supermen.

With new birth aborted, halted, killed,
The goodly Good of the New Man filled,
The Earth will speak, men's voices stilled.

A new Renaissance? For only Them,
Not for other men they so condemn;
A Renaissance, yea a stratagem.

Men must die that Man may live;
Their Law becomes quite Relative
As Man against men is the gift they give.

Their new Renaissance? Let men die.
Each Man who speaks this by and by
Means quite some other man, and there's Their Lie.

 

See:   The Robert Reich Song  - to the tune of "The farmer in the dell"  and also   The Scourge of the Planet 


 

The World Is Coming to an End

"Now and then a cult appears and announces that the world will soon come to an end. By some slight confusion or miscalculation, it is the cult that comes to an end-" G. K. Chesterton

 

The world is coming to an end;
Thus, send your cash to me.
With me, your cash is your best friend,
Yes, that's what I foresee.
    You've little use for meager change
    When massive change comes due;
    So while it seems a trifle strange,
    Send cash to me -- from you.

The world will surely poorly end,
Unless you freely give,
And if you will not join this trend,
I must turn punitive.
        The world will end by flooding,
        And so you must be drained;
        To stem the tide that's budding,
        It's you must be restrained.

The world will end in fire,
And so I'll take your cash.
And if you proof require,
You'll find I rage and thrash.
            The world will end, I tell you,
            And for this you must pay;
            Your world will end, I swear you,
            And you shall not say nay!

I'll heap such fears upon you,
Until cash flows my way;
I'll prophecy and argue
Until you come to pay.
                If you can pay a little,
                You then can pay yet more;
                And so I'll carve and whittle
                Until your payments soar.

The world might end, don't scoff!
But, send your cash to me.
With me, your cash is better off,
Yes, that's what my prophets see.
                    The world might yet be saved,
                    But I will not pay you back;
                    For cash is what I always crave.
                    Without it I would lack.

 

 Addendum of the End of the World, Revised:   "For the past five months, Harold Camping's Family Radio website had posted on its main page an "explanation" of why the world did not end on May 21 and why it would truly end on Oct. 21. Four days after Camping's failed doomsday date, however, that explanation has been removed, suggesting that Family Radio may be out of the rapture prediction business." In "Harold Camping Update: Family Radio Website Removes Doomsday Warnings After Failed Predictions," Ray Downs, Christian Post, 25 October 2011.

 

See:    The end of the world    and also a song setting,  Chicken Little - (2007) 


 

The Once Great British Bulldog

"You are the devalued Prime Minister of a devalued Government." Daniel Hannan, MEP for South East England, to Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

 

The once Great British bulldog
Is now a begging mutt.
It's Brown, and is a lap-dog;
Of laughter, it's the butt.

Bow-wow-wow and borrow
Was never clever, and
Now, oh wow, oh sorrow,
It's now Insolvent Land.

That once Great British bulldog
Is now a mangy cur;
Its Labour was but prologue
And now has proved to err.

Aristocrat-like canine,
It chewed contention's bone;
It moped about; and may whine
On seeing chances flown.

This once Great British bulldog
Is mongrel-like and sad;
It sees its neighbor Frog,
More solvent and less mad.

But this fool British bulldog
Borrowed trouble twice and more;
And now thinks in its fog
Of more borrowing until its poor.

 

Envoi:  "Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan doth oft lose both itself and friend." William Shakespeare (1564-1616).

 

See Nick Clegg's remarks in:  Free bees   - nature's tale, and also  Foolish men were ruling 

 

 Addendum of Debt:   "...my calculation of the UK’s total debt is £5.5 trillion, over twice as much as the Treasury’s figure. My figures are slightly higher than those calculated in 'A Bankruptcy Foretold 2010' because the Treasury has kindly provided me with more accurate and up to date figures than I had available at the time." In "True level of UK government debt exceeds £5 trillion," Nick Silver, Institute of Economic Affairs, 10 October 2011.

 

Addendum of Unsustainable Debt:  "A Treasury spokesperson said: 'That our national debt has reached more than one trillion pounds simply shows the unsustainable level of spending this country built up over the past few years, and shows why it is critical for our nation's future that we deal decisively with the deficit'." In "Government debt rises to a record of £1tn," BBC, 24 January 2012.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of the Offensive H. G. Wells:   "A little known historical precedent which dates back to August 1938 unsettles the perception that the Rushdie affair was the starting point of a series of challenges to creative freedom in the UK. Members of the Jamiat-ul-Muslimin, a British Muslim organisation whose members were predominantly working-class South Asians, gathered at one of their regular meetings in King's Hall on Commercial Road, east London. Here, according to the Guardian of 13 August 1938, they 'ceremoniously committed to the flames' a copy of H. G. Wells's A Short History of the World because of references to the Prophet Muhammad which they considered offensive. This was followed by a protest march by members of the organisation to India House, Aldwych, which accommodated the Indian High Commission in London's West End. Contrary to the public perception that Britain's Muslim minority began to find a voice of dissent only as recently as the 1980s, here we have evidence of a group of working-class East End Muslims marching west into the heart of London to assert their rights as Muslims and plead their cause with government officials." In "Muslims Protest Against H. G. Wells Book in 1930s Britain," by Rehana Ahmed and Florian Stadtler, Huffington Post, 19 September 2012.

 

See: Coexist 

 

  Addendum of the New Political Hate Speech of Winston Churchill:   "A candidate in the South East European elections has been arrested after making a speech quoting from a book by Winston Churchill about Islam." In "Euro candidate Paul Weston arrested over Islam remarks," BBC, 28 April 2014.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of British Islam's Trojan Horse:    "Sir Albert Bore, Birmingham's leader, apologised for the council's handling of the scandal. He said: 'The actions of a few, including some within the council, have undermined the reputation of our great city. We have previously shied away from tackling this problem out of a misguided fear of being accused of racism.' A separate review by Peter Clarke, the former counter-terrorism chief, found evidence of 'co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained' attempts to introduce an 'intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos' in schools. The review, which was commissioned by the Department for Education, found that the schools were trying to impose 'segregationist attitudes and practices of a hardline and politicised strain Sunni Islam'." In "Christians lie and wives must have sex or go to hell, Trojan Horse pupils told," by Steven Swinford, Telegraph UK, 18 July 2014.

 

Addendum of Praying in the New Service:   "The Church of England is making the changes to adapt to a population which increasingly has no Christian background at all. Where once the pattern was for couples to get married, live together, have a baby, and then have it baptised at about six weeks, they are increasingly living together, having babies, and then, after a couple of years, getting married and having the children baptised at the same time. As a result, there is a need for a shorter, simpler service that will not put off people who are offended to be addressed as sinners." In "No devil in detail of Church of England's new baptism service," by Andrew Brown, Guardian UK, 20 June 2014.

 

Addendum of Preying in High Places:   "The allegations—which centre around the suggestion that politicians of all parties and other VIPs preyed on children at a guest house in the London suburb of Barnes—have been given greater credence because in the past two years a string of national figures have been exposed as predatory pedophiles. Most notoriously of all, Sir Jimmy Savile, a BBC children’s television presenter feted by the Royal Family and Downing Street, abused 450 victims, mostly boys and girls as young as eight over 50 years. While Savile had long been seen as odd, the scale of his offenses shocked the country, not least because he was allowed special access to hospitals and the authorities laughed at or ignored his victims, before he died a national hero. An ensuing police inquiry, Operation Yewtree – which has arrested 18 TV presenters, comedians, disc jockeys and other showbusiness associates – last month jailed fellow BBC children’s presenter Rolf Harris for indecent assaults dating back decades, on girls as young as 8." In "England: Land of Royals, Tea and Horrific Pedophilia Coverups," by Martin Hickman, Time, 10 July 2014.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of the Jihadist Flag:   "The flag bears similar writing to the jihadi flags that have been flown by the extremist group in Iraq and other jihadi groups since the 1990s. When the estate was approached last night, a group of about 20 Asian youths swore at Guardian journalists and told them to leave the area immediately. One youth threatened to smash a camera. When a passerby tried to take a picture of the flag on a phone, one of the gang asked him if he was Jewish. The passerby replied: 'Would it make a difference?' The youth said: 'Yes, it fucking would.' Asked if the flag was an Isis flag, one local man said: 'It is just the flag of Allah.' But another man asked: 'So what if it is'?" In " 'Jihadist' flag flown in east London," by Rajeev Syal, Guardian UK, 7 August 2014.

 

 Addendum of a Member of Parliament:  "George Galloway claims to have 'declared Bradford an Israel-free zone', saying that he wants the city to reject all Israeli goods, services, academics – and even tourists. Reportedly speaking at a meeting of the Respect Party in Leeds at the weekend, Mr Galloway urged the people of that city 'to do the same'. The MP for Bradford West’s comments were captured on video and posted to YouTube, and have since been met with an angry backlash on Twitter. According to the footage, which was posted on the Guido Fawkes blog, Mr Galloway told activists: 'We have declared Bradford an Israel-free zone'." In "George Galloway declares Bradford 'an Israel-free zone' and warns away 'Israeli tourists'," by Adam Whitnall, Independent UK, 7 August 2014.

 

Addendum of Running Rings around British Law:  "Dominic Raab, MP for Esher and Walton, said: 'It is a damning indictment of the human rights farce in this country that this man has been able to run rings around the deportation system. If a dangerous criminal or suspected terrorist can frustrate deportation, by spewing out human rights objections while refusing to give his name so the claims can be checked, it turns the system on its head. Even the human rights lawyers should be embarrassed, it’s so ridiculous.' The saga emerged in a recent court ruling when B tried to halt deportation proceedings. But judges struck out his appeal. His lawyers had said the failure to resolve the stand-off was a breach of his human right to an 'effective remedy' by the State to his legal limbo. But the judges criticised the failure of the mystery man to identify himself as a 'deliberate distortion of the evidence'. They said his 'manipulation of information, his contempt and abuse of process' must not succeed because it would encourage others to 'behave in a similar way'. The terrorist arrived illegally in Britain in 1993. The Special Immigration Appeals Commission found he bought a satellite phone and airtime for extremists in Algeria and Chechnya in 2000." In "Walking free, the terrorist we can't deport... because he's kept his NAME secret for 21 years," by Chris Greenwood, Daily Mail UK, 9 August 2014.

 

See:   Human thug rights 

 

Addendum of Evil Alcohol in Britain:  "Business owners in Brick Lane in Whitechapel, on the edge of the city, were told on Friday they face 40 lashes if they continue to sell their 'evil' products. Brick Lane is one of London's trendiest areas and a popular location for Christmas parties. Anjem Choudary, who used to lead the Al-Muhajiroun group which has been banned under terrorism laws, told the crowd: 'The shops are run by Muslims and they know they are selling alcohol and they know the sale and consumption of alcohol is completely prohibited. We cannot live among the non-Muslims and see this evil take place'." In "Shop owners told they face 40 lashes if they continue selling 'evil' alcohol," by Cyrus Engineer, Mirror UK, 14 December 2014.

 

Addendum of the Evil of British Music and Dancing:   "In an attempt to enforce an ISIS-style interpretation of Islamic law, a group of extremists are allegedly cracking down on street parties in Britain by equating it to devil worship. The extremists are trying to bully and intimidate British Muslims against music and dance. According to a report in 'The Sunday Times', hardliners waved a 'No music' banner and chanted 'God is great' in Birmingham to disrupt festivities to mark the end of Ramadan. They boasted about 'stopping da filthy dancing' and have threatened to target other events." In "Islamist extremists crack down on street parties in UK," Zee Media Corporation, 10 August 2014.

 

See:  With regard to music 

 

Addendum of Recruitment for Jihad in London:   "The leaflets, distributed told readers that the 'Khilafah [Islamic Caliphate] has been re-established' and ordered them to spread it 'across the world.' Readers were also told that Muslims must 'obey the Khaleef according to the Shariah' - a reference to Shariah law, a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam which is propounded by the Islamic State, previously known as Isis. Ghaffar Hussain, managing director of the anti-extremism group Quilliam and contributor to IBTimes UK, told our sister site Newsweek that the group handing out the leafleters were well-known radicals, hailing from the Luton area. He also suggested they are associated with a network known as the al-Muhajiroun. According to Hussain, the group were handing out leaflets near Oxford Circus, London's key tourist hub and the heart of one of the world's busiest shopping districts." In "Islamic State Invades Central London and Recruits Jihadists in Oxford Circus," by Gareth Platt, IB Times, 12 August 2014.

 

Addendum of Acquiescence:   "Were you outraged by a Sainsbury's store's decision over the weekend to hide away its kosher foods in an attempt to placate anti-Israel protesters? You should have been. For this incident, though seemingly a one-off, speaks to a profound problem in Europe today – the respectable classes' acquiescence to anti-Semitism; their willingness to accept anti-Semitic sentiment as a fact of life and to shrug it off or, worse, kowtow to it. The kosher incident took place at the Sainsbury's in Holborn in London." In "The kosher controversy at Sainsbury's speaks to a profound problem: acquiescence to anti-Semitism," by Brendan O'Neill, Telegraph UK, 18 August 2014. 

 

Addendum of British Multiculturalism's Tragic Heft:   "Let’s start with a riddle. If South Yorkshire Police can mount a raid on Sir Cliff Richard’s home in pursuit of evidence linked to a single allegation of child sex abuse 30 years ago, why were South Yorkshire Police incapable of pursuing multiple allegations against multiple men who raped 1,400 children over 16 years? One thousand four hundred. Consider the weight of that number, feel its tragic heft." In "Rotherham: In the face of such evil, who is the racist now?" by Allison Pearson, Telegraph UK, 27 August 2014.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of Recurring Questions:   "PIE was formed in 1974. It campaigned for 'children's sexuality'. It wanted the government to axe or lower the age of consent. It offered support to adults 'in legal difficulties concerning sexual acts with consenting 'under age' partners". The real aim was to normalise sex with children. Journalist Christian Wolmar remembers their tactics. 'They didn't emphasise that this was 50-year-old men wanting to have sex with five-year-olds. They presented it as the sexual liberation of children, that children should have the right to sex,' he says. It's an ideology that seems chilling now. But PIE managed to gain support from some professional bodies and progressive groups. It received invitations from student unions, won sympathetic media coverage and found academics willing to push its message." In "How did the pro-paedophile group PIE exist openly for 10 years?" by Tom de Castella & Tom Heyden, BBC News, 27 February 2014.

 

Addendum of Waiting Lists:   "In the latest evidence of a hidden mental health crisis, a coalition of leading charities and medical professionals report that one in 10 patients are waiting for more than a year just to be assessed for treatment, and one in six made an attempt on their life while on a waiting list. GPs report a 'huge rise' in the number of mental health conditions, which has coincided with cuts to mental health services and psychotherapy posts in many parts of the country." In "Thousands attempt suicide while on NHS waiting list for psychological help," by Charlie Cooper, Independent UK, 16 September 2014.   [ 5 ]

 

Addendum of Supporting Polygamy:  "Many such women, who say they don’t receive enough support from their so-called husbands, happily choose to claim benefits instead. Is this legal? Apparently yes. Even if a polygamous husband has countless wives and an abundance of children, the women are treated just like any other single mother. In other words, they are entitled to Child Support, housing benefit, council tax benefit and any other benefits her individual situation might entitle her to. Under British housing rules, the husband cannot possibly be registered in all the households, so he most probably can claim separate benefits, too. If the women become unhappy and wish to divorce, they have no rights under UK law so would be entitled to no financial settlement." In "Strolling in a park, a London businessman and his THREE wives - just one of up to 20,000 such multi-wife marriages in polygamy Britain," by Rebecca Evans, Daily Mail, 20 September 2014.   [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of an Allegation of Multicultural Tolerance:   "A Rotherham couple were asked to get off a bus and called racists for singing the Peppa Pig theme tune to their 15-month-old autistic daughter, it has been claimed. Nick Barnfield and Sarah Cleaves claim they were travelling on a bus from Sheffield when a fellow passenger, who was reportedly wearing a hijab, took offence to the snorting sounds in the theme music, saying they were a reference to pork being forbidden by Islam. The couple claim that when they complained to the bus driver on September 8, they were told that it would be 'easier' if they got off and walked the remaining two miles to their home." In "Couple thrown off bus and 'branded racists' for singing Peppa Pig theme to baby," by Rob Waugh, Metro, 26 September 2014.    [ 7 ]

 

Addendum of a National Disgrace:   "One friend I know (who works in the NHS herself) has taken to driving to her GP half an hour before surgery starts – and even then she says there’s already a queue forming. No wonder that last week the leader of Britain’s family doctors said that intolerably long waiting times to see a GP have become a 'national disgrace', with more than 58 million patients in England likely to have waited more than a week to see their family doctor in 2014. That’s 50 per cent up from 2012." In "Seeing the GP can be bad for your health," by Glenda Cooper, Telegraph UK, 27 September 2014.

 

Addendum of Disturbing Consequences:   "The group warned that the new rules intended to combat extremism are already having 'disturbing consequences' for religious schools and forcing Ofsted inspectors to act in a way which undermines their ethos. It follows complaints from orthodox Jewish schools about recent inspections in which girls from strict traditional backgrounds were allegedly asked whether they were being taught enough about lesbianism, whether they had boyfriends and if they knew where babies came from." In "Christian school 'downgraded for failing to invite an imam to lead assembly'," by John Bingham, Telegraph UK, 19 October 2014.

 

Addendum of British Muslims Repaying British Tolerance with Sympathy:   "One in seven young British adults has 'warm feelings' towards Islamic State, according to a poll. Isis is riding a surge of 'anti-politics' sentiment among disaffected under-35s who admire the jihadists’ courage, academics warn. A tenth of Londoners and one in 12 Scots view Islamic State (Isis) favourably, but sympathy for the militant group reaches its highest levels among the under-25s, the Populus survey found." In "One in seven young Britons has sympathy with Isis cause," by Oliver Moody, Times UK, 30 October 2014.

 

Addendum of Racial Discrimination Notes in for Children's School Files:   "Parents were warned: 'Refusal to allow your child to attend this trip will result in a Racial Discrimination note being attached to your child's education record, which will remain on this file throughout their school career.' Parents contacted the school to complain. One parent, David Rhys, 44, said: "'There could be all manner of reasons why parents do not allow their children on a trip. But that doesn't mean the parents are racist, and it certainly is not fair to label the children as racist for the rest of their school life. These children are very young but something like that could affect the rest of their lives'." In "Head teacher apologises over 'racial discrimination' letter," BBC, 27 November 2014.   [ 8 ]

 

Addendum of Britain Being Responsible for Libyan Troops' Wrongs:   "...he said the cadets were unhappy with the way they had been treated by the British government, which he said had 'not offered a comfortable way of living here [at the barracks]', and that some people were 'trying to ruin the reputation of the Libyan Army'. Asked why the cadets were being flown home two weeks before the end of their course, he said: "I feel, like all the rest of us, there is no problem. 'It was the British from the beginning. They should have sought a solution and finished the training well. They didn't tell us about British law and what's the difference between right and wrong here'." In "Libyan cadet in Bassingbourn claims 'poor treatment'," by Lucy manning and Ed Campbell, BBC, 5 November 2014.

 

Addendum of British Welfare Benefits Funding Jihad:   "MPs described the prospect of British money being used to bankroll potential terrorist plots on British soil as 'sickening'. Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, said he would in the coming weeks question Theresa May, the Home Secretary, over the 'shocking' disclosures." In "Jihadists funded by welfare benefits, senior police officer warns," by Peter Dominiczak, Tom Whitehead and Christopher Hope, Telegraph UK, 26 November 2014.

 

Addendum of British Slavery:   "There could be between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of slavery in the UK, higher than previous figures, analysis for the Home Office suggests. Modern slavery victims are said to include women forced into prostitution, "imprisoned" domestic staff and workers in fields, factories and fishing boats. The figure for 2013 is the first time the government has made an official estimate of the scale of the problem." In "Slavery levels in UK 'higher than thought'," BBC, 29 November 2014.

 

Addendum of Fear-filled British Police:   "Former Scotland Yard detective Chris Hobbs told The Mail on Sunday last night: 'Frontline police officers in London are fearful they could become victims of savage targeted attacks on the streets of the capital by fanatical Islamist jihadists. Officers are concerned that other than receiving 'stay vigilant' advice they are not being kept fully informed of events in relation to the very real threats to their own safety or being afforded additional protection'." In "Frontline police say 'let us patrol in pairs' due to rising risk of street attack by jihadis," by Martin Beckworth, Mail on Sunday, 22 November 2014.

 

Addendum of National Healthcare Rationing:   "More than 300 patients a day are having operations cancelled as the National Health Service runs out of beds, official figures show. Surgeons were forced to delay planned, 'elective' procedures 3,113 times in the first two weeks of this month. This is an average of 311 each working day and a rise of almost 50% on the same period two years ago. The numbers are up 16% in the last year alone." In "300 patients a day have surgery axed," by James Lyons and James Gillespie, Sunday Times, 28 December 2014.    [ 9 ]

 

Addendum on a Prime Minister's Horrific Confession:   "The Prime Minister said children had suffered sexual abuse on an 'industrial scale' with too many people and organisations 'walking on by'. Mr Cameron - talking about the plans at No 10 - said: 'I think it's very important we take a step back and just recognise the horrific nature of what has happened in our country. Young girls - and they are young girls - being abused over and over again on an industrial scale, being raped, being passed from one bunch of perpetrators to another bunch of perpetrators'." In "Sex Gangs May Have Abused Hundreds Of Girls," by Lisa Dowd, Sky News, 3 March 2015.

 

Addendum of Legal Self-Defense:   "You must not get a product which is made or adapted to cause a person injury. Possession of such a product in public (and in private in specific circumstances) is against the law." In "Q589: Are there any legal self defence products that I can buy?" Police National Legal Database, AskThePolice.uk webiste, accessed 1 June 2015.

 

Addendum of the Midland Police:   "West Midlands Police knew five years ago that Asian grooming gangs were targeting children outside schools across the city - but failed to make the threat public. Documents obtained by the Birmingham Mail show the force were aware pupils were at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE) back in 2010. The confidential report, obtained under a Freedom of Information Act, also shows police were worried about community tensions if the abuse from predominantly Pakistani grooming gangs was made public." In "Police knew grooming gangs were targeting Birmingham schools five years ago but did not alert public," by Jeanette Oldham, Birmingham Mail, 24 June 2015.

 

Addendum of Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge:  "At least six of Britain’s 10 biggest multinationals — including Shell, British American Tobacco (BAT) and Lloyds Banking Group — paid no UK corporation tax in 2014 despite combined global profits of more than £30bn." In "Zero tax bill for UK big six," by Jon Ungoed-Thomas, Sunday Times, UK, 31 January 2016.

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]  The BBC pops the bubble of a Prime Minister's political words:  "In a party political broadcast last year, David Cameron claimed that 'we are paying down Britain's debts'. As you will soon see, we most certainly are not. ...And, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility, the UK's stock of debt will keep on rising for a number of years. So if anyone tries to tell you that UK debt is falling, they are wrong." In "UK debt and deficit: All you need to know," by Richard Anderson, BBC, 21 February 2014.

          The same criticism is leveled at many so-called Western governments which have themselves "gone on the dole" of ever-increasing debt to fund the utopian dream -- a Ponzi scheme -- of the "liberal" welfare state. For a view to the United States in rhyme and footnoted sourced, see: Sam?   - the Debtor Man.

 

[ 2 ]   For more on the arrest of a political candidate:  "A candidate in the European elections was arrested on suspicion of racial harassment after quoting a passage about Islam, written by Winston Churchill, during a campaign speech. Paul Weston, chairman of the party Liberty GB, made the address on the steps of Winchester Guildhall, in Hampshire on Saturday. A member of the public took offence at the quote, taken from Churchill's The River War and called police." In "Arrested for quoting Winston Churchill: European election candidate accused of religious and racial harassment after he repeats wartime prime minister’s words on Islam during campaign speech," by Lizzie Parry, Daily Mail, 28 April 2014.

 

 Using Freedom to Destroy Freedom

 

          One finds a parallel warning:  "Baroness Caroline Cox of Queensbury warned about the growing threat of political Islam in Britain and Africa at an event hosted by the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security at Tel Aviv University and The Israeli Institute for Strategic Studies on Monday. 'Islam is using the freedoms of democracy to destroy it,' as some of its adherents try to 'inhibit criticism,' said Cox, speaking at the Green House next to the university. In England, if you criticize Islam, you are called a racist, she said." In "British House of Lords baroness warns Israeli audience about threat of Islamists," by Ariel ben Solomon, Jerusalem Post, 29 April 2014.

          But of one sort of Islam in Britain, one reads:  "MPs and counter-extremism campaigners today called for new efforts to combat the radicalisation of young Londoners after a child was pictured carrying a black 'jihadi' flag associated with al Qaeda on a London street. The girl, apparently no older than 12, was seen holding the flag during a rally by supporters of the extremist preacher Anjem Choudary outside the Saudi Arabian embassy in Charles Street on Friday." In "Pictured: Child with black ‘jihadi’ flag at rally by Anjem Choudary supporters in London," by David Churchill and Martin Bentham, London Evening Standard, 28 April 2014.

          From some years back, one reads:  "A march in which protesters chanted violent anti-Western slogans such as '7/7 is on its way' should have been banned, a leading British Muslim said. Asghar Bukhari said the demonstration in London on Friday should have been stopped by police because the group had been advocating violence. The chairman of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee said the protesters 'did not represent British Muslims'." In "Muslim leader condemns protesters," BBC, 4 February 2006. This leaves the awkward question lingering: who represents British Muslims? And which criticism of Islam in Britain is "legal" and which is "illegal?"

          One finds no answers to such questions, for Islam has no one official spokesman. As one watches politics in the UK, one may conclude in the moment that Britain too has no one "official" spokesman -- as the BBC's correction of a prime minister's remark on debt and deficit, as above, demonstrates.

          One may foresee that trouble and troubles are well borrowed.

 

[ 3 ]   The British scandal seems wider than many thought. One read:  "...a generation of girls was betrayed by the justice system’s 'flawed approach to sexual exploitation'. It’s not long since we became aware of the CPS’s outrageous reluctance to charge a Rochdale sex-grooming gang. (Guess what? The 14-year-old girl who told on them 'lacked credibility'.) Starmer said perpetrators had escaped for years because 'police, prosecutors and the courts failed to understand the nature of the abuse'. To that sorry list we can now add BBC managers. Honestly, you could be forgiven for thinking they cared more about having to pull their two-part Jimmy Savile tribute than getting at the truth. How can they possibly not have known what he was like? After Savile died, a year ago on Monday, a commemorative page was put up on the BBC website." In "Jimmy Savile: It’s not Liz MacKean who should be leaving the Beeb," by Allison Pearson, Telegraph UK, 24 October 2012.

 

 Convenient Incompetence and Doing Nothing

 

          In seeking proof, one reads further:   "For the first time, Mr Sedwill also revealed there had been previous attempts to find the dossier – and how huge numbers of Home Office files have either vanished or been destroyed. He said a massive review of 746,000 Home Office files covering 1979 to 1999 had identified '573 relevant files which had been retained.' However, he added: 'The extensive analysis of the central database identified 114 potentially relevant files had been destroyed, missing or not found'." In "New twist in Westminster scandal: 114 secret files on paedophile cases missing, admits Government," by Simon Walters and Glen Owen, Daily Mail UK, 5 July 2014.

          Months after that revelation:  "British police forces have arrested nationwide 660 suspected pedophiles, Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) says. The agency said Wednesday that the detained suspects include teachers, doctors, care workers and former police officers. According to the NCA, 45 police forces around the UK were involved in the arrests. This came after a six-month operation that targeted people accessing indecent images of children online." In "UK police arrest 660 suspected pedophiles," PressTV, 19 July 2014.

          And yet other pedophiles will escape, courtesy of government "competence." One reads: "Hundreds of paedophiles will escape justice because Britain’s crime agency failed to act on a cache of information. Senior investigators at the National Crime Agency (NCA) sat on the names of 2,345 suspects for at least 14 months, it emerged last night. By the time local police forces got involved, little action could be taken because of the time that had passed, and some of the suspects had even died." In "How detectives let child porn suspects off hook: They sat on list of 2,300 paedophiles for 14 months - but did nothing," by Chris Greenwood and Neil Sears, Daily Mail UK, 3 October 2014.

          The BBC weighs in:   "Some 660 arrests were made during a recent operation targeting people who had accessed child abuse images online. However, the BBC understands that as many as 20,000-30,000 individuals were identified during that investigation. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) - part of the NCA - has estimated that 50,000 people in the UK are involved in downloading and sharing images of child abuse." In "Paedophiles who download images 'won't all be charged'," BBC, 20 October 2014.

          One circles back to the Telegraph's verbiage, and consider that many children were "betrayed by the justice system's 'flawed approach to sexual exploitations'."

          The tale continues:   "Scotland Yard officers have said they believe allegations that a ring of prominent politicians and members of the establishment abused and terrorised children as young as seven more than 30 years ago and went on to kill three young boys. Detectives appealed for victims and witnesses to come forward and identified a flat in Dolphin Square, London, near the Houses of Parliament, as a scene of some of the alleged abuse, as well as military premises and other locations across London and the home counties." In "London police: we believe claims of ‘VIP’ child sex abuse and murder," by Vikram Dodd, Guardian UK, 18 December 2014.

 

[ 4 ]  Both minor and major government bureaucrats in the management hierarchy and in charge of such "care" have been defending their supposed professionalism.  But one reads of simple political correctness as one motive for such professional if not criminal ineptitude:  "A care worker, who worked at children's homes from 2003-2007, told the BBC men would arrive almost 'every night' to collect girls, who escaped using a range of methods and were then usually driven off in taxis. The carer, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed staff were reluctant to intervene in some cases for fear of being classed as 'racist'." In "Rotherham child abusers 'brazen', says care home worker," BBC, 29 August 2014.

          More British newspapers are following the once non-British enthusiasm for multiculturalism which breeds protected groups, such that even investigation and prosecution of is feared to evidence of whatever it had become to be deemed "racist," as the word came to be applied by British multiculturalists.

 

 It Was Racist to Notice

 

          "We told how Birmingham and other local authorities in the region were breaking Government orders, in place since 2009, by failing to offer all runaways ‘return interviews’ which could have picked up complaints of sexual abuse. The BSCB report said 216 under 17s were reported missing between April 1 and June 30 last year, adding: 'We know that there is a clear link between children who go missing and the risk of child sexual exploitation.' The full scale of the abuse has not been revealed, but the force said last month that it was currently dealing with 57 live child sexual exploitation cases, 130 suspected cases, and 67 investigations involving online sexual offences against children. Meanwhile, last autumn, the Children’s Society revealed the organised nature of the grooming gangs." In "West Midlands Police report reveals 75 per cent of known on-street child sex groomers are Asian," by Jeanette Oldham, Birmingham Mail, 17 October 2014.

          "Three brothers alleged to have abused more than 50 girls in Rotherham remain at large - despite police being told about their activities more than a decade ago, it has been claimed. A former Rotherham Council researcher said mentions of the brothers, who are of Pakistani descent, featured ‘very heavily’ in a dossier she produced for police in 2001 on suspected abusers in the town. But the information was never acted upon - and the researcher has told MPs that the men have never been prosecuted for the alleged abuse, despite facing other charges on different criminal matters." In "Three brothers 'abused 54 girls in Rotherham - but remain at large'," Sheffield Telegraph, 28 October 2014.

          Another British news article speaks of Bristol:  "Shortly before Christmas 2012, a group of young men booked a room at a Premier Inn in Bristol. The friends, all in their early 20s and members of the city’s Somali community, chatted, drank and chewed the stimulant khat. One of the men, a local drug dealer called Said Zakaria – also known by his street name Target – was tasked with the job of finding some girls to 'party with'. Zakaria, 22, made a few calls and went off to pick up a girl he had been having sex with who can only be identified as Complainant 1 – C1. She was 13. ....He told her that this was his culture." In "Bristol sex ring: Girl, 13, was groomed and forced into sex with series of men," by Steven Morris, Guardian UK, 27 November 2014.

 

[ 5 ]   The New York Times weighed in with an editorial:  "Rotherham has the third-most-segregated Muslim population in England: The majority of the Pakistani community, 82 percent, lives in just three of the town’s council electoral wards. Voter turnout can be as low as 30 percent, so seats can be won or lost by a handful of votes -- a situation that easily leads to patronage and clientelism. Rotherham is solidly Labour; the last Conservative M.P. lost his seat a month after Adolf Hitler was elected the chancellor of Germany. The Labour politicians who governed Rotherham in the last decade came into politics during the anti-racism movement of the ’70s and ’80s. Their political instinct -- and self-interest -- was not to confront or alienate their Pakistani voters. Far easier to ally themselves with socially conservative community leaders, who themselves held power by staying on the right side of the community. These dynamics help explain why so few spoke out about the culture that produced the crimes -- a culture of misogyny, which Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a Conservative politician who was raised near Rotherham, criticized in 2012, saying that it permits some Pakistani men to consider young white women 'fair game'.” In "The England That Is Forever Pakistan, Multiculturalism and Rape in Rotherham," by Sarfraz Manzoor, 15 September 2014.

 

 Islamist Extremism Tolerated

 

          A few notions leap out from this excerpt of the NYTimes editorial. The first is that "solidly Labour" seems to so easily conflate with allying with "socially conservative community leaders. This, as with many other media reports confirms that the notion of Left and Right  is a failed political model, of little explanatory power, as conveniently Left is Right, as Right is Left   as political rhetoric needs it to be.

          The second is this: the 20th century's enthusiasm with cultural relativism and its odd sense of equality between cultures is falling apart as some things loathsome enough for most to agree are coming to light, in which political rhetoric plays no instructuve part when it tries to justify what the 1948 UN Declaration on Human Rights has so clearly stated. See: Moral Relativism  - verses and refrain.

          A major news states that "Britain has long been a locus of Islamist extremism, with its large Muslim immigrant communities and its tolerant approach toward those with radical views. In the late 1990s and in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, north London’s Finsbury Park mosque became a critical way station for global terrorists. But years of aggressive policing and intelligence efforts have shifted the extremist threat away from Britain’s mosques and into the hands of freelancers who are much harder to monitor and control." In "In Britain, Islamist extremist Anjem Choudary proves elusive," by Greg Witte, Washington Post, 11 October 2014.

 

[ 6 ]     See Nick Clegg's statement in a footnote to Free bees   - nature's tale.

 

[ 7 ]    "Peppa Pig is a British preschool animated television series created, directed and produced by Astley Baker Davies, which originally aired on 31 May 2004. and is distributed by E1 Kids. To date, four series have been aired. It is shown in 180 territories. Peppa Pig is a children's television programme broadcasting on Channel 5 and Nick Jr. in the UK, Nickelodeon/Nick Jr. in USA, ABC 4 Kids in Australia and Discovery Kids in Latin America, including Brazil. Each episode is approximately 5 minutes long. The show revolves around Peppa, an anthropomorphic female pig, and her family and friends. Each of her friends is a different species of mammal. " From Wikipedia article, n. d.

 

 Piggy and the Tip of the Iceberg

 

          That an "anthropomorphic" pig might trigger intolerance evidences quite the opposite of "live and let live," but rather a "do as I say," which is the antithesis of supposed political liberality. It also declares the withering of a tenet of multiculturalism in which cultures might coexist, as one culture now hosted in Britain declares it will not coexist.

          One might take notice of liberal tolerance of intolerance in the heart of London, as well as Rotherham:  "Hamza began a study group with around 10 others and their views started to become so extreme that the imam at the time, Dr Abduljalil Sajid, reported them to the police but nothing was done. Hamza later moved back to London and took over control of Finsbury Park mosque where he became a hate preacher." In "Young British jihadists fighting in Syria attended Abu Hamza mosque," by Tom Whitehead, Telegraph UK, 26 September 2014.

          Might one measure "flawed" by actual numbers. Larger numbers are foreseen:  "Bailey warned that the scale of the problem was far larger than previously thought, with the latest research estimating that the number of children suffering sexual abuse at some point in their childhood could be as high as 600,000. 'We don’t know for sure. But I think it’s tens of thousands of victims [a year] of an appalling crime.' The senior officer’s comments come as the police reel from a series of reports which cast forces as at best complacent over the issue of child sex abuse, and at worst as being 'wilfully blind' to victims’ pleas." In "Rotherham child sexual abuse scandal is tip of iceberg, says police chief," Guardian UK, 15 October 2014.

 

[ 8 ]     Of course, this is bureaucratic bullying of small children as of their parents. 

 

 Bullying Bureaucrats

 

          The text from the Littleton Green Community School letter to parents, dated 20 November 2013 and reproduced by the BBC, reads: "Dear Parent/Carer, As part of the National Religious Education Curriculum together with the multicultural community in which we live, it is a statutory requirement for Primary School aged children to experience and learn about different cultures. The workshop is at Staffordshire University and will give your child the opportunity to explore other religions. Children will be looking at religious artefacts similar to those that would be on display in a museum. they will not be partaking in any religious practices. Refusal to allow your child to attend this trip will result in a Racial Discrimination note being attached to your child’s education record, which will remain on this file throughout their school career. As such our expectations are that all children in years 4 and 6 attend school on Wednesday 27th November to take part in this trip. All absences on this day will be investigated for their credibility and will only be sanctioned with a GP sick note. If you would like to discuss this further please contact our RE Coordinator, Mrs Edmonds." After bad publicity, another letter was sent basically saying ignore this letter.

          According to the British government, the National Religious Education Curriculum is "a statutory part of the National Curriculum under the Education Act 2002 (Part 6)."  According to a Wiki article on said curriculum, one reads: "In all maintained schools, provision is made for the requirement to offer a course in Religious Education under the Education Act 1996. Parents have the right to withdraw pupils from this if they wish. In addition, at all Key Stages, the Department for Children, Schools and Families suggests that pupils are offered provision in Personal, Social and Health Education, although this is not statutory."

          In the UK government publication, "Religious education" (2004), one reads that this program is part of a "non-statutory national framework for religious education has been prepared by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, with the support of a steering group consisting of the following faith and belief communities and professional organisations." The Foreword states: "Good-quality religious education can transform pupils’ assessment of themselves and others, and their understanding of the wider position of the world in which we live. This framework has been produced for the national improvement of religious education. It is strongly commended for use as early as possible." Under the publication's section titles "The legal position," one clearly reads: "Religious education must be taught to all registered pupils in maintained schools, including those in the sixth form, except to those withdrawn by their parents."

          This one finds that Littleton's enthusiasm to bully children and their parents with threats of "a Racial Discrimination note being attached to your child's education record, which will remain on this file throughout their school career," parents clearly had the legal right to withdraw their children from such programs. The school was not only bullying, but also uniformed about the government's "framework" and legally in the wrong.

 

[ 9 ]     Of the "national" National Healthcare Service, one reads stinging critiques. Among them is a report by an international group. 

 

 Cash-Strapped Sickness

 

          "The UK has one of the worst healthcare systems in the developed world according to a damning new report which said the nation has an 'outstandingly poor' record of preventing ill health. Hospitals are now so short-staffed and underequipped that people are also dying needlessly because of a chronic lack of investment. The verdict, from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will make embarrassing reading for David Cameron who denied the cash-strapped NHS is heading for its worst winter crisis." In "NHS: UK now has one of the worst healthcare systems in the developed world, according to OECD report," by Paul Gallagher, Independent UK, 4 November 2015.

          Whether one agrees with the assessment from a political perspective, the fact is that there are obvious reasons why costs grow yet productivity declines. It is a symptom of the same which affects many nations, and that is the growth of management, per se.

          One looks back to a report suggesting the system is top heavy in bureaucrats. "There is simply too much management right across the NHS, most of it duplicating, interfering or counter-productive, and all of it diverting resources from the hard-pressed units and nurses who treat real people. Andy Burnham has inherited this nightmare, but it's too late for Labour to roll back the bureaucratic monster it created. Exactly half of the entire 1.3 million NHS workforce isn't treating patients." In "It's time to slay the bureaucratic monster that's ruining the NHS," by Michael Fallon, Telegraph UK, 23 October 2009. 

          As with inept governance in so many other examples, one sees and would rightly conclude that bureaucracy grows to crowd out in sheer numbers as well as public expense the productive, in this case those who actually deal with patients. Consider how seemingly normal is the short tale, The Story of Innocent Bloat  .


 

I Need Another Credit Card

"In order for us to get a handle on these costs, it's also important that we are honest in what these costs are." Barack Obama, 24 March 2009.

 

I need another credit card; this one I have is maxed.
I need another credit card before my style is axed.

By owing more, prosperity will seem to be my way.
By owing more, austerity will come some other day.

By owing more and more and more, I'll spend and spend and spend,
And then my debts won't make me poor, unless this game shall end.

When one lone chap plays out this game, it seems a fool's delight.
When government makes this its aim, we're told it's fair and right.

Who needs another credit card, when one runs red with ink?
The one who drops his fiscal guard, and spends up to the brink.

Why name it cash flow, when it's debt? Red-ink insolvency
Invests in chatter, as in threat, invests ambitiously.

But borrowing after borrowing is never paying back,
And soon it is torpedoing a game that's spins off track.

When Ponzi played this merry spiel, history learns us well,
The game was only meant to steal with lies that he could sell.

When one lone fool makes loans to pay the interest on his debt,
We look upon this fool's display to life and limb a threat.

But when a nation does the same, the serious opine
The wisdom of this foolish game as if it were benign.

But paying yesterday with borrowing is not benign nor fair.
This game will cause much sorrowing, much travail and much care.

The sauce which is the goose's is sauce for gander too.
The game in which one loses plays out, for me and you.

 

Envoi:  "Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other."  Oscar Ameringer (1870-1943) The so-called Mark Twain of Socialism

 

See:    Raise those taxes!    and   Pinocchio knows   - the passing years expose


 

Some Days Are Diamonds

for Julie Dalton, my friend

 

Some days are diamonds,
Some days are stone.
Some days the aching aches
Deep within the bone.
        Some days are splendid,
        Some days are bleak.
        Some days stretch on an on,
        A quaking, shaking week.
Some days are lively,
Some days are sparse.
Some days and most,
Life plays its comic farce.
        Some day, the diamonds
        Some days have shown
        Will fail in their brilliance,
        For diamond too is stone.
Some common stones
Burn in star bright light;
Some day when common life
Comes larger into sight.
        Diamonds and common stones
        Are family, one and all,
        And with each springtime
        There comes another fall.
Some days seem diamonds,
Some days seem stone.
Life was then, is now and
To tomorrow will have flown.

 

See:   A song setting of Max Eastman's  Hours - (2011) 


 

Bureaucracy

(paraphrase of Joachim Ringelnatz's "Ein Taschenkrebs und ein Känguruh")

 

A sweet little crab and a kangaroo,
Wanted to wed like me or you.
City Hall said this was not allowed,
"You're not alike," judged the legal crowd.

They cried out angrily: "Cursed and damned!
The bureaucracy simply will not understand!"
They hung themselves at the City Hall door,
A municipal remembrance, evermore.

 

Addendum:    "Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies." Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)

 

Addendum:   "A bureaucrat is the most despicable of men, though he is needed as vultures are needed, but one hardly admires vultures whom bureaucrats so strangely resemble. I have yet to meet a bureaucrat who was not petty, dull, almost witless, crafty or stupid, an oppressor or a thief, a holder of little authority in which he delights, as a boy delights in possessing a vicious dog. Who can trust such creatures?" Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC-43BC)

 

Addendum:   "Bureaucracy is undoubtedly the weapon and sign of a despotic government, inasmuch as it gives whatever government it serves, despotic power." Lord Acton (1832-1902).

 

Addendum:   "Any sufficiently advanced bureaucracy is indistinguishable from molasses."   Anonymous.

 

Addendum:  "RED TAPE   Substitute 'through channels. Unpardonable: 'Red tape is the curse of government work." Correct: "Regularization of procedure through channels is conducive to uniformity of product, distribution, and nonabruptness of terminability."  In "Federal Prose, How to Write in and/or for Washington," by James R. Masterson and Wendell Brooks Phillips, University of North Carolina Press, 1948.

 

See:   Bürokratismus     and for a different take,  The Bureaucrat's Memo - (2010)  


 

Chicago Poem

"Most aldermen, most politicians are hos." Convicted former Chicago Alderman Arenda Troutman, as in Chicago Breaking News, February 18, 2009

Most aldermen are hos,
Most politicians, those
Who pocket cash and pose
As honest, simple foes
Of corruption as it grows.
 
Most aldermen are cheats,
Corruption sweeps their streets,
Greasing palms in private suites
In grimy, stained deceits
With all those fine elites.
 
Most aldermen prostitute
As if they're destitute,
When caught, then they dispute
And loudly proud refute
Till evidence makes them mute.

 

Every city's got them,
Just like this crooked femme,
They choose this stratagem
And spend their time to stem
Justice, which will condemn.

 

An alderman in jail?
Where did her scheming fail?
Prove fraud by tax and mail?
Ah, justice did prevail;
It's just newest age old tale.

See:    Chicago Poem II 


 

The People's Bill

"I think we have a good security and economic team. I think we'll do better." Bill Clinton, Kuala Lumpur, 5 December 2008

 

They haven't got a clue;
The bill is coming due.
They're looking hard at you
                To pay.
They've fumbled in the game,
But evidence no shame,
While thinking you're to blame
                Today.
The brightest and the best
Have each puffed up a chest;
Not them, but you are pressed
                To pay.
Tomorrow is tapped out,
As there's a money drought;
And politicians pout
                Today.
They said they knew it all,
The price was just so small;
Then came their budget sprawl
                To pay.
The game is closing now,
With finding some cash cow
And milking her somehow
                Today.
But she's not easily caught,
And hoofed it as she aught;
Her milk is giving naught
                To pay.
Yet politicians spend
As if without an end;
It buys them one last friend,
                Today.
If skeptical you are,
You've every right to tar
And feather every czar
                You may.
They haven't had a clue
The bill was coming due.
They've always thought that you
                Would pay.
Their bill is coming due
                Today.

 

Envoi:   "But it was a political choice on the part of Congress and President Bill Clinton to deregulate Wall Street so thoroughly that nothing stood between the big banks and the destruction of the economy." In "Decline and fall: how American society unravelled," by George Parker, Guardian, 19 June 2013.

 

Addendum:   "Former President Bill Clinton is the 'liar' the public is most able to forgive nearly two decades after his affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky, according to a new poll. According to a CBS-Vanity Fair poll, 43 percent of people said they are most able to forgive Clinton among a list of other famous people who have lied to the public." In "Poll: Bill Clinton most forgivable 'liar'," by Mario Trujillo, The Hill, 3 February 2014.

 

See:    The Dishwashers' Song    and  Lying continues   -  government flexing its sinews, and also  Hillarious    - with two l's, because misspelling can be fun


 

No One Likes "I Told You So"

No one likes "I told you so,"
When it applies to them;
But when you are their target,
It's a fine, rhetorical gem.
To be quite wrong? That's just no fun,
But being right is fair.
It all depends what role you have
And how much blame you share.
If you can pass the passing buck
To some poor, witless stooge,
Why then it's easily applied
And you call them "Scrooge,"
Or "profligate," or "stupid,"
Or any other name,
For in this wordy word play
All is fair and game.
"Ad hominem" is angry,
But "I am right, you're wrong"
Is such a fine, delicious tack,
It's quite the siren song.
No one likes "I told you so,"
For life too plays that game;
Life's consequences come along
And spoil it as a game.


 

The Double Standard Song

"Prince Charles was accused of hypocrisy last night for using a private jet on an 'environmental' tour of South America. The prince will travel to the region next month in a visit costing an estimated £300,000 as part of his crusade against global warming. He will use a luxury airliner to transport himself, the Duchess of Cornwall and a 14-strong entourage to Chile, Brazil and Ecuador on a 16,400-mile round trip." Daily Mail, UK, 14th February 2009

 

Do as I say, not as I do;
Listen up, I'm a-tellin' you,
What I say is fine an' true,
An' rightly right quite thro' and thro'.
Heed my words.

Heed what I say, my words obey,
And notice not nor my deeds weigh
When I cheat or when I stray
From my own sage advice today.
Need my words!

Listen, heed, conform, comply.
Ask no questions such as "why?"
Embrace, observe, abiding by
Such sage advice as offer I.
Need my words!
Heed my words!

All of my words are golden bright,
And my advice is always right;
Measure me not as I recite
The words that I'll ignore tonight.
Heed my... Need my words.

Double standards are my game,
And isn't it a crying shame
That you can't have them, all the same,
For they are mine, and that's my game.
Need my words!

Do as I say, not as I do;
Listen up, I'm a-tellin' you,
What I say is fine an' true,
An' rightly right for all of you'.
Be my herds:

Not as I do.... Do as I say.
Not as I do.

 

Envoi:    "There are three principles in a man's being and life: The principle of thought, the principle of speech, and the principle of action. The origin of all conflict between me and my fellow-men is that I do not say what I mean and I don't do what I say." Martin Buber in "I and Thou" (1923)

 

See:   The Double Standard Song - (2009)  


 

Scare Tactics

Catastrophes are coming sure,
Our governments do us assure.
    The news is all so deeply keen
    That scary things are easily seen.


Salmonella in the eggs,
And deep thrombosis in the legs.
    Listeria in the best of cheese.
    Wind-borne toxins on the breeze.


BSE in infected beef.
Pollutants kill each dying reef.
    There's bird flu in the flying fowl;
    As wind turbines kill the dying owl.


Methane farts from windy cattle
Call wind-filled activists to battle.
    Mercury in the blue fin;
    Oh God! And then there's saccharin!


Estee Dee's most coy infections
Travel through some boy erections.
    Insecticides are simply awful,
    And some are made unlawful.


"Asbestos" is the lawyers' cry,
As acid rain drops from the sky.
    Catastrophes predicted.
    The homeless once evicted.


Dioxins stuff the poultry;
Fish die off in a dying sea.
    Satanic is some child abuse,
    Talk radio is running loose.


Obesity is run amok
And there's that sinking, rising buck.
    Hunger stalks the hungry lands,
    Grim suburbia expands.


Polluting carbon spewed by man?
Condemning CO2 is someone's plan.
    Movie popcorn kills, they say,
    Tobacco, booze, come what may.


The world is burning, fever fed,
That what some folks see ahead.
    Others say an ice age comes.
    According to statistics' sums.


Gosh, nitrates poison water,
And genocides make for slaughter.
    Some foresee that silent spring,
    And smoking is appalling.


Populations exploding like the stars,
Preach our scare-fed commissars.
    The world is coming to an end,
    Why, it's a most dreadful trend.


There's fear that we can't do enough,
And fear that too much is far too tough.
    Oh, all the fear and scary chat,
    My advice? The hell with that!


Live a life that finds its joy,
If only that it will annoy
    The worry warts and anxious brood
    That hector forth dark certitude.


Live a life that says goodbye
To scare tactics as they withdraw, then die.
    This is the scariest thing of all,
    When scare tactics can no longer call.


The prophets preaching gloom and doom
Will find fewer dupes for them to groom,
    And when laughter fills the light of day,
    These angry folks must shrink away.

 

Envoi:  "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." Rahm Emanuel, in an article by Gerald Seib, in "In Crisis, Opportunity for Obama" Wall Street Journal, November 21, 2008

 

Addendum:    "So it is more useful to watch a man in times of peril, and in adversity to discern what kind of man he is; for then at last words of truth are drawn from the depths of his heart, and the mask is torn off, reality remains." Titus Lucretius Carus (99-55 BCE)

 

See:    All the news is screaming 


 

Bulls

"A politician should have three hats. One for throwing into the ring, one for talking through, and one for pulling rabbits out of if elected." Carl Sandburg

 

Bulls make excrement,
As politicians do;
The stench from their offices
Is dearly costing you.

Cities', states' and nations'
Greased with stinking lard,
Buy some loyal cadre
As their royal bodyguard.

Get a whiff of politics,
Its double standards stink;
It is not what politicians
Would rather have you think.

But stink it does, not redolent
With promises' sweet bouquets;
Its smell like bull, for such it is,
But they love it anyways.

Bulls make excrement,
The politicians more;
The stench of such excrement
Is the perfume they adore.

 

Envoi:  "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." -- Aesop

 

See:    Politics 


 

No God is the god for me - a musing on amusing atheists

I hate it that you speak of God,
    And find the whole thing more than odd.
        Such delusion! Such great error!
            If only such believers could be so fair,
        Believing not except like me,
    And this is my one great plea.
Believe in No God that isn't there,
    As I do here, in my No God Prayer!
        I hate that God is on your lips,
            Which explains my shoulder's many chips!
        Your delusions cause me great pain,
    As I rage away in my No God brain.
I'm repelled by a God of which you speak,
    It pressures my blood to a fit of pique!
        That you dare think not like me
            Is an abomination, don't you see?
        Convert away from the believer's need,
    And believe my truth-filled Non-God creed.
When you speak of God, more God,
    And together as you silently nod,
        I so resent it that you don't agree
            There is No God, quite like brilliant me.
        I'm offended! Slighted! Vexed! Upset!
    I redden and break out in a sweat.
You are deluded, not like me;
    I should be your high authority!
        Believe my plea and not in God
            For your belief is the real fraud.
        I believe there is No God
    And worship, praise, adore and laud.
No God is the anti-god for me,
    And should be for you but for stupidity.
        No God fills my every thought,
            And for this No God I have fought.
        No God is my dear belief,
    My antidote and my relief,
For religions have brought the world its grief
    While my religion is disbelief.
        It's mere inconvenience to my creed
            That atheist nations killed indeed
        Far more than all religions did,
    But don't look at that! No God forbid!
My creed is so pure and fair,
    You all should fall into its snare.
        I hate it when you speak of God,
            And find the whole thing more than odd.
        Such delusion! Such great error!
    All you believers should be so fair,
Believing not except like me,
    And this is my one great plea.
        No God is the god for me!

 

 Envoi:    "Really, a young Atheist cannot guard his faith too carefully. Dangers lie in wait for him on every side. You must not do, you must not even try to do, the will of the Father unless you are prepared to "know of the doctrine." All my acts, desires, and thoughts were to be brought into harmony with universal Spirit. For the first time I examined myself with a seriously practical purpose. And there I found what appalled me; a zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of fears, a harem of fondled hatreds. My name was legion." C. S. Lewis, in "Surprised by Joy" (1955)

 

 Addendum of Facing Discrimination:   "Atheists, humanists and freethinkers face widespread discrimination around the world with expression of their views criminalized and subject in some countries to capital punishment, the United Nations was told on Monday. In a document for consideration by the world body's Human Rights Council, a global organization linking people who reject religion said atheism was banned by law in a number of states where people were forced to officially adopt a faith." In "U.N. told atheists face discrimination around globe," by Robert Evans, Reuters, 25 February 2013

 

Addendum of Not Worrying:   "If you think God’s there, He is. If you don’t, He isn’t. And if that’s what God’s like, I wouldn’t worry about it." Haruki Murakami, in "Kafka on the Shore" (2002)

 

Addendum of Twaddle:   "All this twaddle, the existence of God, atheism, determinism, liberation, societies, death, etc., are pieces of a chess game called language, and they are amusing only if one does not preoccupy oneself with winning or losing this game of chess." Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)

 

Addendum of Not Proving:   "...when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods." Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

 

Addendum of Believing in Nonbelief:   "'Therefore It Is A Religious Position,' said Dorfl. 'Indeed, A True Atheist Thinks Of The Gods Constantly, Albeit In Terms of Denial. Therefore, Atheism Is A Form Of Belief. If The Atheist Truly Did Not Believe, He Or She Would Not Bother To Deny.'" Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay (1996), pp. 402-3   [ 1 ]    [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of a Vehement Brand of Nonbelief:   "The New Atheists are not a comfortable group of people. They have scornful contempt for those with whom they differ — that includes religious believers, agnostics and other atheists who don’t share their vehement brand of nonbelief. They are self-confident to a degree that seems designed to irritate. And they have an ignorance of anything beyond their fields to an extent remarkable even in modern academia. They also have a moral passion unknown outside the pages of the Old Testament." In "Why God Is a Moral Issue," by Michael Ruse, New York Times, 23 March 2015.

 

See:    Darwin's God  , and also  Offertory   - an anthem of irony

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    "The conspiracy theory of society is just a version of this theism, of a belief in gods whose whims and wills rule everything. It comes from abandoning God and then asking: 'Who is in his place?' His place is then filled by various powerful men and groups -- sinister pressure groups, who are to be blamed for having planned the great depression and all evils from which we suffer." Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, Routledge, 1963.

 

[ 2  ]    "For at least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols." Aldous Huxley, in "Complete Essays 1," 1920-25.

 

 Easy to Be Against and Easy to Hate

 

            As actions cause reaction, some of the more aggressive stances of atheists are drawing their own criticism:

            "So, what’s gone wrong with atheism? The problem isn’t atheism itself, of course, which is just non-belief, a nothing, a lack of something. Rather it is the transformation of this nothing into an identity, into the basis of one’s outlook on life, which gives rise to today’s monumentally annoying atheism. The problem with today’s campaigning atheists is that they have turned their absence of belief in God into the be-all and end-all of their personality. Which is bizarre. Atheism merely signals what you don’t believe in, not what you do believe in. It’s a negative. And therefore, basing your entire worldview on it is bound to generate immense amounts of negativity. Where earlier generations of the Godless viewed their atheism as a pretty minor part of their personality, or at most as the starting point of their broader identity as socialists or humanists or whatever, today’s ostentatiously Godless folk constantly declare 'I am an atheist!' as if that tells you everything you need to know about a person, when it doesn’t. The utter hollowness of this transformation of a nothing into an identity is summed up by the fact that some American atheists now refer to themselves as 'Nones' – that is, their response to the question 'What is your religious affiliation?' is 'None'. Okay, big deal, you don’t believe in God, well done. But what do you believe in? Today’s atheism-as-identity is really about absolving oneself of the tough task of explaining what one is for, what one loves, what one has faith in, in favour of the far easier and fun pastime of saying what one is against and what one hates. An identity based on a nothing will inevitably be a quite hostile identity, sometimes viciously so, particularly towards opposite identities that are based on a something – in this case on a belief in God. There is a very thin line between being a None and a nihilist; after all, if your whole identity is based on not believing in something, then why give a damn about anything?" In "How atheists became the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet," by Brendan O'Neill, Telegraph UK, 14 August 2013.


 

A Sunshiny Thought

I blithely squash every little worm,
And watch its squishly squashly squirm.
My lack of sympathy indeed
Knows worms will soon revenge the deed.

See:    A Sunshiny Thought   


 

A Vase of Carnations

This life shows me interesting vistas, I dream,
A hodgepodge of hallucinations;
And things are not always the things that they seem;
And I am a vase of carnations.

See:    A Vase of Carnations   


 

Love Songs for Dorothy

An appreciation of Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

 

i.    Romance Novel

Dark days are come,
And the nights are long,
As he turned numb
To a love that turned wrong.

ii.    Cigarette Smoke

My first love was a hero
In shining armor then;
My second was a zero,
On a scale from one to ten;
My third went up in smoke,
My fourth was a joke.
I've lost count of the amount now.
Okeydoke?

iii.    What About It?

Woman wants one steady beau;
Man hunts many -- tally-ho!
Love is woman's total sum,
Man beats on a different drum.
Woman's love is deep and broad,
Man suspects love will be fraud.
What can one make from all of this?
Like hell it is? Or is it bliss?

iv.    Jumbled

Love is up and then it's down,
then it's right, and then it's wrong.
Is there somewhere sage advice
To put aright this jumbled song?
All loves' labors writers tell,
All love stories authors penned,
Say it's heaven and it's hell.
How then does the story end?

v.    A Litany of Symptoms

I do not like the way I feel,
I'll crack up, blow a fuse and squeal.
I find myself an awful mess,
An awful truth it is, I guess.
I dread the dawn, and dread the night;
I hate I don't . . I hate I might . . .
I cannot find my inner peace,
My inner passions will not cease.
I need to break this devilish spell.
I need not feel quite this unwell.
I do not ail, I am not ill.
I have no reason to be shrill.
I am afflicted, in much distress,
And much, much more, I do confess!
I rant and rave and rage and roar.
I'd like to settle every score.
And when I think of love at all...
In love, its seems, I'm sure to fall.
And when I think of love at all...
In love, its seems, I'm soon to fall!

See:     Love Songs for Dorothy  (1990 / rev. 2009)   


 

Left and Right

"We were talking about your politics." A anonymous friend at a July 4th barbeque, 2001   [ 1 ]

The Left thinks me quite Right,
     The Right thinks me quite Left.
          They both judge me as a blight;
     In this they are quite deft.
          I refuse the Left and Right,
     As both seem equally
          To holler, wag, and wage a fight
     With faux intensity.

They both seek the world's power
     Which I can never grant.
          They both in every hollering hour
     Rage and vent and rant.
          Governors are best, I've learned and think,
     When governance is least,
          When those fat cats quietly shrink
     And gorge not as a hungry beast.

"He," they rant, "who is against me
     Is for the other guy."
          An insipid, clever little game,
     But one that I did spy.
          I'll not be for the Left,
     And not be for the Right.
          Neither one means anything
     Except getting fish to bite.

The Left, it plays with outraged slights;
     The Right with such things too.
          They both are keen and like their fights,
     A mean and angry stew.
          Government is quite best unseen
     And not so mighty high.
          For this these parties call me mean,
     An independent kind of guy.

I will not wear a label
     Which reads as Left or Right.
          I'll resist, as best I'm able
     And therein lies my plight.
          It's very right to be left alone,
     And live one's private life.
          That's what Left and Right dislike,
     And why they stink their noisy strife.

 

 Addendum of the Conservative Workers Party " 'Enough corruption already,' protesters shouted Thursday in Sao Paulo. Another slogan was that a united people does not even need political parties. Years of corruption scandals that stained politicians of all stripes, including the Workers Party, blended with anger over meager public services to create 'a chasm between civil society and the world of politics,' said Chico Alencar, a lawmaker from a party that formed by breaking away from Lula's. The young people crowding the streets of Brazil in recent days "were eight years old when Lula came to power. They did not live through the transition to democracy," Alencar said. So for them, he said, the Workers Party, in power for a decade and tracing its roots back to social and union movements, 'is an institutionalized conservative party'." In "Brazil stuns the world with an angry undercurrent," Agence France Presse, 21 June 2013.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of the more Conservative, Traditional Left:   "Instead, Mr. Xi has signaled a shift to a more conservative, traditional leftist stance with his 'rectification' campaign to ensure discipline and conspicuous attempts to defend the legacy of Mao Zedong." In "China Takes Aim at Western Ideas," by Chris Buckley, NYTimes, 19 August 2013.    [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Bandying:  "The bandying about of the term Liberal these days does little credit to its users. The same goes for Rightist, Leftist, Socialist, and Conservative -- all at this late hour meaningless, and therefore continually misapplied. It looks as if candidates, partisans, and journalists on all sides had lost the means of accurate invective and the sense of political fact." In "The Great Switch," an essay from 1989 by Jacques Barzun, in the anthology, "A Jacques Barzun Reader," Harper Collins, 2002.

 

Addendum of Dictatorships:  "The great actors and theorists of twentieth-century politics, on the right and left, agree on this point: Max Weber and Vladimir Lenin say, in almost identical words, that with regard to the use of force the state is always a dictatorship." Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, in "Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire," Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, (2004).

 

Addendum of Neither:   "Writing in his notebook on 17 February 1881, three years before beginning work on The Mayour of Casterbridge, Hardy said, 'Conservatism is not estimable in itself, nor is Change, or Radicalism. To conserve the existing good, to supplant the existing bad by good, is to act on a true political principle, which is neither Conservative nor Radical'."  Thomas Hardy, quoted by Dale Kramer, in "Introduction" to The Mayor of Casterbridge," Oxford University Press..

 

Addendum of a Greatest Cultural Victory:   "... this lop-sidedness in our folk memory that we need to address. While Nazism is well understood as the monstrosity it was, there is often a lingering sense that Communism was well-intentioned, even though it went wrong. The merest connection with fascism bars a politician from office; yet those who actively supported the USSR are allowed to become ministers and European Commissioners. Wearing a Che Guevara tee-shirt is not regarded in the same light as wearing an Adolf Hitler tee-shirt; but it should be." In "The greatest cultural victory of the Left has been to disregard the Nazi-Soviet Pact," by Daniel Hannan, Telegraph UK, 17 September 2014.    [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of Centuries of Phony Compassion:   "No one so epitomized the 18th century left as Jean Jacques Rousseau, who likened the masses to 'a stupid, pusillanimous invalid.' In the 19th century, Karl Marx said, 'The working class is revolutionary or it is nothing' -- in other words, millions of human beings mattered only if they carried out his vision. Fabian socialist George Bernard Shaw included the working class among the 'detestable' people who 'have no right to live.' He added: 'I should despair if I did not know that they will all die presently, and that there is no need on earth why they should be replaced by people like themselves'." In "The Left's Phony Compassion For The Downtrodden," by Thomas Sowell, Investors, 18 October 2016.    [ 5 ]
 

See:    I shall not join the party    and also  Left is Right, as Right is Left 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    An amusing comment regarding liberal and conservative.  "Everyone in Hollywood is liberal, until it comes time for them to work without pay. Then they’re downright Reaganesque." In "Hollywood Goes Bankrupt," by Ben Shapiro, Frontpage, 21 June 2013. 

          But one might mull over this:  "Steven Spielberg on Wednesday predicted an 'implosion' in the film industry is inevitable, whereby a half dozen or so $250 million movies flop at the box office and alter the industry forever. George Lucas agreed that massive changes are afoot, including film exhibition morphing somewhat into a Broadway play model, whereby fewer movies are released, they stay in theaters for a year and ticket prices are much higher." In "Steven Spielberg Predicts 'Implosion' of Film Industry," by Paul Bond, Hollywood Reporter, 12 June 2013.

          I suspect that technological advances will prove the opposite, that plenty of independent films will be made by small producers and rarely or never find their way through the theater distribution system, but rather move through the digital world thereby avoiding the "system" outright.

 

[ 2 ]    The "institutionalized conservative party" is in fact not Conservative, as might be the name of the British party bearing that word as name, nor "conservative" as an American Republican might be called. Rather the "...Workers' Party (Portuguese: Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT) is a centre-left political party in Brazil." Wikipedia.

 

 The Party Betrays the Workers

 

          One reads of the party's struggles: "How such a rising star in the leftist governing party, someone whose name is often mentioned as a future presidential contender, so badly misread the national mood reflects the disconnect between a growing segment of the population and a government that prides itself on popular policies aimed at lifting millions out of poverty. After rising to prominence on the backs of huge protests to usher in democratic leadership, the governing Workers Party now finds itself perplexed by the revolt in its midst, watching with dismay as political corruption, bad public services and the government’s focus on lifting Brazil’s international stature through events like the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics inspire outrage." In "Brazil’s Leftist Ruling Party, Born of Protests, Is Perplexed by Revolt," by Simon Romero, NYTimes, 19 June 2013.

          Moreover, as to the "institutionalized conservative party" as Agence France Presse described  the PT, one reads:  "The PT is a party based on the working class, which in the past had proclaimed socialism as its aim and promised to repudiate Brazil’s massive foreign debts as well as radically redistribute the land. Millions throughout Latin America hoped that its rise to power would show a way out of the capitalist crisis. These illusions were fed by many prominent self-proclaimed socialists, who celebrated the PT victory as a turning point in the struggle for democracy and socialism and even “the end of neo-liberalism”—the imperialists’ free market ideology." In "Brazil: Workers’ Party Betrays Workers," in Proletarian Revolution No. 70 (Spring 2004) at Marxist.org.

 

 What's In a Word?

 

          Therefore one might well ask of the phrase, "institutionalized conservative party," what is the definition of the word, conservative? A chimera of a word, apparently at times "conservative" can mean "centre-left" and according to the New York Times it can also be synonymous with "political corruption," and of course the Marxists say that this "institutionalized conservative party" had once "proclaimed socialism." Obviously in political discourse in our day, "conservative" can indeed mean both "left" and "right" in a chaotic and chameleon-like elusiveness.

          The same may well be argued for "liberal," one apparent antonym for "conservative." For some, to be liberal means to be some sort of "center-left," not quite socialist, excepting when Wikipedia's "center-left" may be understood in the example of the Partido dos Trabalhadores which proclaimed "socialism" and yet also understood via the Marxist's prose above to stand against "neo-liberalism." 

          One might learn the language lesson well: liberal is center-left, socialist and also an antonym for neo-liberalism. Conservative is traditional and yet also liberal as in the example of the quotes above concerning the PT, and perhaps even socialist excepting when socialism stands against a conservative. Center and moderate are also choice and meaningless words in this shifting sand of politics. Therefore it is apt to review the quote of Chico Alencar above: the phrase speaks well, in saying there is "a chasm between civil society and the world of politics."

          Of course there is. It is a chasm of language intended to say nothing by piling on terms with meanings which elude one's grasp. And when words can mean so many things, of course such words ultimately mean nothing.

          Consider more insights into a "workers' party" in which the elite few --- who claim to represent the lowly worker --  play those smae-old, well-worn and  Old-fashioned schemes.

 

[ 3 ]    The use of Left and Right as synonyms for political stances has become little more than meaningless name-calling. When "conservative" as an adjective can be linked to "traditional leftist stance" as one reads in the New York Times of Chinese Communists, one sees that such monikers are used in an indiscriminate and almost happenstance manner.

 

 This One or That One or Who Was What?

 

          A children's book shows the folly of such group identification: "...until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew whether this one was that one... or that one was this one or which one was what one... or what one was who." In "The Sneetches and Other Stories," (1961) by Dr. Seuss.

          In the same manner, the ardent Leftist rages against the right, while the ardent conservative rails against the liberal. But inquire what such words really mean, and watch the "Plain" and the "Star-Bellies" of politics fall over themselves in paragraphs of jargon-laden prose.

          For such examples of real-world political rhetoric, generally I refuse the Left and Right as terminology. As with the example of the phrase "radical left" morphing into a "radical right" as found in Left is Right, as Right is Left   and a parallel musing on language titled Liberal is conservative  , one learns that violence against society and the advocacy of some form of greater state and its control over society are all hallmarks of both the Left and Right, depending on how the terms are used and misused.

          This makes great sense, as one ponders the clear distinction which was made a century ago.

 

 Liberation From Shackles and Restraint

 

          Please see: The  funniest thing  - a meditation on Emma Goldman, in order to see more clearly that politics which so blithely mixes liberal and conservative and traditional left and neo-liberalism in a jumble of self-contradictory words is employed by politicians and their supporters, whatever their party affiliation and therefore loyalty, at only one goal -- the acquisition of power over others.

          One may review that Goldman advocated "liberation from the shackles and restraint of government," while Mühsam taught us, "It is certainly clear that wherever society exits there is no room for the state, but that wherever the state is it is like a thorn in society’s flesh, it does not permit it to form a people who can socially inhale and exhale, and instead divides them into classes and thereby prevents them from being a society," and Bastiat spoke of that which "confuses the distinction between government and society."

          The Left and the Right -- as lumped together in the rhyme -- are rather alike, wanting government to serve them. In order to see this so, they are easily able to urge something less than freedom and more like state-sanctioned coercion to see their political vision of how one should live one's life enforced on another. A free society is not synonymous with such a state. A free society is not left or right, and most importantly seeks freedom -- Freedom is freedom is freedom  .

 

[ 4 ]      For a meditation on St. Che of Cuba, see:  Murderous murderer murdered  -  "M " as in the myth of Che Guevara.

 

[ 5 ]    Sowell's article speaks the challenge to provide proof, as the history of "phony compassion" tells historical facts:  "Its central premise is that the workers are poor because their employers have exploited them. That was not a hypothesis to be tested but an axiom to be accepted as sacred dogma. Nowhere in the three volumes of Marx's classic 'Capital' was there the slightest attempt to test that belief empirically. It would not be difficult to put the Marxian exploitation thesis to a test. If capitalists' exploitation of the workers is what makes them poor, then in countries run by Marxists, the workers should have a higher standard of living than in countries with a capitalist economic system. But among the many Communist countries that emerged around the world in the 20th century, there has not been a single one where the workers' standard of living has been as high as that of working people in the United States."
          For such measures, one finds "modern" thinkers constructing apologias to explain why So shall ism has so consistently failed.

 

 The Sacred Dogma Unproven

 

          The usual argument is that it has not been correctly applied. Additional arguments are constructed to opt for other measures, although Marx' and other socialists' theses were always about what may be measured by materialism, as well as notions that history is faulty, or that relativist narratives should apply so as to excuse multiple failures. For such efforts, Sowell does well to observe that this has become "sacred dogma." Beliefs cannot be falsified, as resist empirical testing. This alongside the call for "dictatorship" remains the weakness of the "vision" which has denigrated the "stupid, pusillanimous invalid" and the working class which "is nothing" when it does not adhere to the sacred dogma.

 


 

Let's All Sacrifice

"In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant."   Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970)

 

"Let's all sacrifice," the rulers drool,
        Their children taught in a private school.
"Let's all give just a little more,"
        Say rulers, adding yours to their sumptuous store.
"Let's all forfeit for a worthy cause,"
        Chide rulers, as they hone their claws.
"Let's all offer up, as best we can,"
        Scold rulers, while excluded from that plan.
"Let's all forego for just a little while,"
        Whine rulers mid their sumptuous style.
"Let's all" means us but never  them,
        For that's their daily prayer. Amen, amen.


 

All God's Chillun Got Credit Cards

The voice of one, crying in the wilderness.... Isaiah: XL

 

All God's chillun got credit cards,
    De workers, de fat cats and dem's jobs don't pay;
All God's chillun got credit cards,
    That seemed de heavenly credit way.

All de banks, dey got credit cards,
    An' haggle ev'ry day over hefty debt;
All de banks got huge credit cards,
    An' lots of debt dat stays not met.

All de biznus dey got credit cards,
    An' long and short der way around;
All de biznus dey got credit cards,
    With debts dat prove unsound.

All de hedge funds, dey iz credit cards,
    Dat shove de debt all over de place;
All de hedge funds, dey iz credit cards,
    An' leverage and loss widdout a trace.

All de politicians, dey luv credit cards,
    But dey go beggin' jez de same;
All de politicians, dey luv credit cards,
    But when dey fold, don't take no blame.

All folks' cities got credit cards,
    An' look to borrow more today;
All folks' cities got credit cards,
    To borrow f'um another day.

All great states -- dey've got credit cards,
    De fattest and de leanest an' de meanest too;
All great states -- dey've got credit cards,
    An' pile up de debts fu' you.

All de nations got credit cards,
    De richest an' de poorest an' de in between;
All de nations got credit cards,
    An' peddle bonds, for debt is keen.

Would ya loan yer money to a credit card?
    Would ya toss yer money away?
Would ya loan yer money to a credit card,
    And have to pay to play someday?

Who ya gonna blame for de credit woe?
    De chillun, or de banks or de biznus folks?
De investors, politicians or each city schmo?
    De gov'nors or de presidents dat credit chokes?

 

Credit stretches jez so far,

    An' den it bounce back where it war;

Credit stretches jez so far,

    An' ders jez too many sippin' f'um dat jar.

 

All God's chillun got credit cards,
    An' all dat debt got huge one day;
All God's chillun got credit cards,
    An' somethin' gotta bust, come what may.

 

You kin be certain all God's chillun got debts;

    Debt and taxes, dat's certain too.

You kin be certain all God's chillun got debts;

    And all dem debts? Dem's lookin' fo' you.

See:    No Dignity 


 

Tomorrow comes - bringing maelstroms

"Detroit got into a trap of doing a lot of borrowing for cash flow purposes and then trying to figure out how to push costs (out) as much as possible,” said Bettie Buss, a former city budget staffer who spent years analyzing city finances for the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan. “That was the whole culture — how do we get what we want and not pay for it until tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow?" In "How Detroit went broke: The answers may surprise you - and don't blame Coleman Young," by Nathan Bomey and John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, 15 September 2013.

 

Tomorrow comes;
    You can't finance today
with tomorrow's sums.
        Collection time ever nears.

Tomorrow comes;
    Don't borrow from next week
for some tomorrow's crumbs.
        Collection time' grimace leers.

Tomorrow comes;
    You cannot pay with debt
From all of your chums.
        Collection time hates arrears.

Tomorrow's nigh;
    The end of the road
For each pyramid guy.
        Collection time brings its fears.

Tomorrow's here;
    You can't finance forever
and tomorrow's drear.
        Collection time perseveres.

'Comes collection time,
    But you just can't pay
For your promises' crime.
        Collection time brings no cheers.

Tomorrow's now;
    You can't finance again
With an empty vow.
        Collection time's bringing tears.

See:    O golly 


 

Three Songs for Roger

 

Life

Life's ups and downs don't ever disengage,
And when one book is read, there's still some other page.
The ins and outs are just a part of one big cage,
And you must play, for all this world's your stage.

    What's a little scratch when you got an itch?
    What's a little flick to the power switch?
    What's a little catch for the pitcher's pitch?
    What's a little gloom when your life's a bitch?

One comes with the other one, that's for sure.
For most every illness there seems some cure.
If you start with one, you'll deal with two,
'Cause that's what life has made for you.

    What's a soothing balm for each ache and pain?
    What's a plumber's plunger to that backed-up drain?
    What's a little bleach to the red wine stain?
    What's a changing wind to the weathervane?

One comes with the other one, I'll tell you true.
For any one thing there comes the cue
That you'll play with one, but romp with two,
'Cause that's how life was made for you.

    What's a fitting answer to every little plight?
    What's the color black to the color white?
    What's a bumpy tumble from some lofty height?
    What's a workman's wrench when the nut's too tight?

    What's a little lovin' when you're feeling fine?
    What's the thing that's yours that is also mine?
    What's the dark of night when the sun does shine?
    What's that giant puzzle? Read between each line.

One comes with the other one, I'll say it straight.
For any one thing, like love or hate,
You will sport with one, but war with two,
'Cause those are the rules life's made for you.

Who Am I?

What am I, as I look back?
That fallen giant or the bean stalk Jack?
Is the handsome prince what I have been
Or just some Joe taking it on the chin?

Where am I, as life goes by?
A Gulliver's traveling kind of guy?
I've been lost but I've been found,
And I've been loosed, though once was bound.

Was I the tailor killing flies
But also that dragon's last surprise?
Are all my stories quite the same?
I'm due the praise and due the blame.

Who and what and why, I ask,
While taking off each story's mask?
Who am I, as I take and give?
Why exactly do I live?

Who am I, as life goes on?
The ugly duckling and a graceful swan?
Who am I, each day I live?
What is it that I might give?

Love

Love; it's a difficult word at the very best.
It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that sting.
Besides, what's love gotta do with it?
Pop stars holler and sell a hit,
But it could as well be in a grade school skit.
What does love mean to you and me?
Does it mean my freedom or your slavery?


I love my pizza, and I love my beer,
I love my dog, and conquering fear.
When my team wins, I love to cheer,
And when they lose, I love to jeer.

I love to cuss, and I love to grouse;
I love to laugh, and I love my spouse.
To love so many things is great,
That even I can love to hate.

I love bein' right, and I love bein' seen
In all the right places, or in between.
I love to fight when the time is right,
And the time seems right both day and night.

I love myself, even when I don't,
And I love to choose, even when I won't.
I love to love to love to love,
And especially when push comes to shove.

So what does all this lovin' mean?
Is love from God or just a chromosomal gene?
Is love its very own opposite?
Is love so fine though sometimes shi....?

Oh, I love my pizza, and I love my beer,
I love my dog, and conquering fear.
So, come what may, this much seems clear,
Love's here to stay, from what I hear.

See:    Three Songs for Roger  (2009)  


 

Ponzi states

All are Ponzi schemes and nothing more;
    each government's a haughty hustling whore
who vends its bustling favors to both greedy rich and poor.
    These are pyramids which cannot stand;
        each government's a damaged brand
    which no longer feeds the fires that they all have fully fanned.
 
These are houses of cards which teeter now;
    each government pretends know-how
but comes then time when rats will flee their sinking scow.
    They're amassing debt as their sole program;
        all governments are become a grand flim-flam
    but comes an end to every scheming Ponzi scam.
 
Comes the time when pyramids fail;
    each government's a leaking pail
which works no longer well with which to bail.
    Such Ponzi schemes are simple traps;
        they preach their promises but then collapse,
    while politics works frantically to keep it longer under wraps.
 
A day before such schemes are done,
    such Ponzi schemers lies are spun
with words which commonsense alone would quickly shun.
    "We're running out of cash," they'll scream;
        all governments have raked their cream
    from the top, which is this story's common theme.
 
They've spent today and, too, tomorrow;
    these schemes will soon neither beg nor borrow
more than the well known end of storied Ponzi'd sorrow.
    Ponzi schemes are doomed, we've known;
        governments' debts creak, crack and groan
    and their best intentions are soon to be overthrown.
 

Ponzi states the obvious

    by examples which should have enlightened us;

governments finance is but Ponzi'd hocus pocus.

    These are the Ponzi states we're in;
         governments which once were thin
     are fattened for a slaughter which shortly shall begin.

 

Envoi including a Classic Definition of a Ponzi Scheme:   "By estimating that zero stimulus would be consistent with a 10 percent quarterly drop in equities, they calculate it takes around $200 billion from central banks each quarter to keep markets from selling off. With the Fed and counterparts peeling back their net liquidity injections from almost $1 trillion in 2012 toward that magic marker, King’s team said 'a negative reaction in markets was long overdue. We think the markets' weakness owes more to an almost belated reaction to a temporary lull in central bank stimulus than it does to any reduction in the effect of that stimulus in propping up asset prices,” they said in an Oct. 17 report to clients. Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategists said in a report today that another 10 percent decline in U.S. stocks might spark speculation of a fourth round of quantitative easing from the Fed. That would mimic how the Fed acted following equity declines of 11 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2011." In "All the Markets Need Is $200 Billion a Quarter From the Central Bankers," by Simon Kennedy, Bloomberg, 21 October 2014.

 

Addendum of the Ponzi Public Pensions:    "Taxpayers are now on the hook for billions of dollars more to cover the future retirements of public workers, with the bill widely varying depending on where they live. The City of Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension System, for instance, had more than enough funds in 2003 to cover its estimated future bill for workers' retirement checks. A decade later, it is short $3 billion. The state's pension goliath, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, had $281 billion to cover the benefits promised to 1.3 million workers and retirees in 2013. Yet it needed an additional $57 billion to meet future obligations. The bill at the state teachers' pension fund is even higher: It has an estimated shortfall of $70 billion." In "California pension funds are running dry," by Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times, 13 November 2014.     [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of a Green Ponzi Scheme:   "Troy Wragg, 34, a former resident of Philadelphia, PA, Amanda Knorr, 32, of Hellertown, PA, and Wayde McKelvy, 52, of Colorado, are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, and seven counts of wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger and FBI Special Agent-in-Charge William F. Sweeney, Jr. As the founders of the Mantria Corporation, Wragg and Knorr allegedly promised investors huge returns for investments in supposedly profitable business ventures in real estate and 'green energy.' According to the indictment, Mantria was a Ponzi scheme in which new investor money was used to pay “earnings” to prior investors since the businesses actually generated meager revenues and no profits. To induce investors to invest funds, it is alleged that Wragg and Knorr repeatedly made false representations and material omissions about the economic state of their businesses." In "Indictment Charges Three People With Running $54 Million 'Green Energy"' Ponzi Scheme," Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 3 September 2015.     [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of the Depleted Funds:   "Social Security’s cost exceeded its tax income in 2014, and also exceeded itsnon-interest income, as it has since 2010. This relationship is projected tocontinue throughout the short-range period (2015 through 2024) and beyond. The 2014 deficit of tax income relative to cost was $74 billion and the deficit of non-interest income relative to cost was $73 billion. In recent years, OASDI tax income and non-interest income have differed as a result of a temporary reduction in the Social Security payroll tax for 2011 and 2012, offset by reimbursements from the General Fund of the Treasury to the Social Security trust funds. These reimbursements were less than $1 billion in 2014. For 2015, the deficit of tax income (and non-interest income) is projected to be approximately $84 billion. The Trustees project that the asset reserves of the OASI Trust Fund, together with continuing program income, will be adequate to cover program costsover the next 10 years under the intermediate assumptions. However, the projected reserves of the DI Trust Fund decline steadily from 40 percent of annual cost at the beginning of 2015 until the trust fund reserves are depleted in the fourth quarter of 2016. At the time reserves are depleted, continuing income to the DI Trust Fund would be sufficient to pay 81 percent of scheduled DI benefits. In "The 2015 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Trust Funds and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds," House Document 114-51, 22 July 2015.

 

Addendum of a Chinese Ponzi Scheme:   "Authorities in China have arrested 21 people on suspicion of defrauding almost one million Chinese investors of 50bn yuan (£5.3 billion) after an online peer-to-peer lender turned out to be a giant Ponzi scheme, state media has alleged. Police used two mechanical diggers for 20 hours to retrieve 1,200 account books that were buried six feet underground as part of the investigation into one of the biggest financial frauds in the country’s history, Xinhua state news agency said." In "Almost one million investors lose £5.3bn in massive China Ponzi scam," by Neil Connor, Ailin Tang and agencies, Beijing, Telegraph UK, 1 February 2016.

 

See:    Debt    and  A World of Numbers  , and also  The Counters of Coin  ,  just below

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]  While politicians and beneficiaries of public pension schemes would balk at the notion that public pensions, so many underfunded, are Ponzi schemes, they fit the classic definition as they are and remain underfunded.

 

 The Clarity of Definition

 

          One learns:   "A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors. Ponzi scheme organizers often solicit new investors by promising to invest funds in opportunities claimed to generate high returns with little or no risk. In many Ponzi schemes, the fraudsters focus on attracting new money to make promised payments to earlier-stage investors to create the false appearance that investors are profiting from a legitimate business." In "Ponzi Schemes," U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission, last modified 9 October 2013.

          As many public pensions funds pay out far more than are "invested," the need is for new income streams at the same time as politicians fail to fund the schemes. In this way, schemes are ever less fully funded, insuring their collapse. Those public pension schemes which are "defined benefit" systems require public funds to pay for high income pensioners by median and low income taxpayers.  See:   Under funding sharks .

 

[ 2 ]    One notes the connection to "green" politics: "Three people were charged Thursday with running a $54 million Ponzi scheme built on promises of a green energy technology that would turn trash into fuel and 'carbon-negative' housing developments, neither of which were ever fully developed, federal prosecutors said. ...Two months before the SEC civil lawsuit, the company was publicly recognized for its stated commitment to "help mitigate global warming" by former President Bill Clinton's Clinton Global Initiative. The company was cited for its plans to develop the biochar technology that it said would sequester carbon dioxide and reduce emissions in developing countries. Wragg appeared on stage with Clinton at the event in September 2009." In "3 charged in $54 million green-energy Ponzi scheme based on trash-to-fuel promise," US News and Global Report, 3 September 2015.

 

 The Clarity of Green

 

          Green politics has given the nation quite a number of "investment" failures arranged for by government itself. For a itemization of a few government-funded examples, see: Bankrupt green , much of which has been based on so much Globaloney - sung to the children's tune, "Baa, baa black sheep."


 

The counters of coin

 

"...it's all just one big lie." Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff, December 2008  [ 1 ]

 

The counters of coin
purloin what they can
     as counters of cash
     are brash with a plan
to feather their nest
like the rest of their clan.

Rake from from the bottom
and rake from the top,
     and build up the pyramid
     to swill from the top,
for that last sucker in
might bring it full stop.

Prune not the hedge,
for it will on its own
     prune all of its growth
     that never was shown
to be certain or true
for funds will have flown
     away without clue

     for so it is shown.

Trust, as commodity,
is not without price,
     and often not trustworthy
     and often not nice;
fool me once and
more fool me twice
     but fool me again?
     I'll not be fooled thrice.

For this the coin counters
Ferret and hunt
     For new naive prey
     for their pyramid stunt.
Will it be you?
For it shall not be me
     who falls for the game
     of the coin counters' spree.  
[ 2 ]

 

Envoi:  "The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket."   Will Rogers (1879-1935)

 

Addendum of Rolling Over Debt into Larger Debt:   "The only way the Treasury could handle the $942,103,000,000 in old debt that matured during the period plus finance the new deficit spending the government engaged in was to roll over the old debt into new debt and issue enough additional new debt to cover the new deficit spending. This mode of financing the federal government resembles what the Securities and Exchange Commission calls a Ponzi scheme. 'A Ponzi scheme,' says the Securities and Exchange Commission, 'is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors,' says the Securities and Exchange Commission. 'With little or no legitimate earnings, the schemes require a consistent flow of money from new investors to continue,' explains the SEC. 'Ponzi schemes tend to collapse when it becomes difficult to recruit new investors or when a large number of investors ask to cash out.' In testimony before the Senate Finance Committee in October 2013, Lew explained why he wanted the Congress to agree to increase the federal debt limit—and why the Treasury has no choice but to constantly issue new debt." "Ponzi: Treasury Issues $1T in New Debt in 8 Weeks—To Pay Old Debt," by Terence P. Jeffrey, Cybercast News, 28 November 2014.

 

See:   Leadership Failure  - spoke a failed leader

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     "The OCC action is expected to highlight larger control weaknesses beyond the bank's dealings with Mr. Madoff, who had a two-decade-long relationship with J.P. Morgan before his arrest in December 2008. The OCC is the bank's primary regulator. The Justice Department, OCC, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and J.P. Morgan declined to comment. The penalties would be the latest in a string of legal settlements for the largest U.S. bank, which agreed in late 2013 to pay out nearly $20 billion to end an array of lawsuits and investigations relating to past mortgage bond sales and the 2012 'London whale' trading debacle. It set aside third-quarter 2012 legal reserves of $9 billion and told investors that $23 billion was on hand to absorb future settlements and lawsuits." In "J.P. Morgan to pay $2 billion over Madoff case," by Dan Fitzpatrick, Market Watch, 5 January 2014.

 

 Under the Nose of Regulators

 

            "His alleged Ponzi scheme could inflict $50 billion in losses on society types, retirees and nonprofits. The bigger cost for America comes from the notion that Madoff pulled off the biggest financial fraud in history right under the noses of regulators. Assuming it's all true, the banks and hedge funds that neglected due diligence were stupid and paid for it, while the managers who fed him clients' money — the so-called feeders — were reprehensibly greedy. But to reveal government and industry regulators as grossly incompetent casts a shadow of doubt far and wide, which crimps the free flow of investment capital." In "25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis," Time Magazine, 2008.

 

[ 2 ]       Time Magazine ran their survey cited above,  listing their choice of 25. One may be convinced that this list is far too short.

             But among them on Time's list were top Democrats and Republicans including Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as 'generic' Americans, Europeans and Asians but also lays blame on "American consumers" who have accepted the Ponzi lie of easy money. Of course the notion of "easy money" continues to be played out in the politics of the social welfare state as well as the "crony capitalist" strategy of governments picking winners and losers. But the list also included heads of many of the large financial entities like AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, investment banks now being pressured to pay in negotiated fines -- as above -- for their complicity.  See:  Freddie and Fannie and Barney and Frank  .

 

 An Admission

 

             Among Time Magazine's views, one reads:  Alan Greenspan, "...in the 1990s, ... presided over a long economic and financial-market boom and attained the status of Washington's resident wizard. But the super-low interest rates Greenspan brought in the early 2000s and his long-standing disdain for regulation are now held up as leading causes of the mortgage crisis. The maestro admitted in an October congressional hearing that he had 'made a mistake in presuming' that financial firms could regulate themselves."

             The Chairman of the Fed made a very large mistake, tallied in the billions lost.

             Therein is a perfect example of the notion of self-regulation, which has allowed many on Time's list to go into retirement with millions in payouts, as well as some involved in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac serving on Obama's "financial team" beginning his administration.

 

 Big Bucks for Big Boys

 

              One reads from a careful source:  "Franklin Raines' predecessor, James A. Johnson, (former chief of staff to Vice President Walter F. Mondale), was CEO of Fannie Mae from 1991 to 1998. After Johnson left the company, regulators later discovered that Fannie Mae had engaged in fraudulent accounting practices in 1998 which manipulated its earnings so that executives could earn performance bonuses (up to $1.9 million in Johnson's case) they would not otherwise have been entitled to. In May 2008, Senator Obama tapped James Johnson to be one member of a three-person panel tasked with vetting potential vice-presidential running mates. Johnson (who was not serving as an economic advisor to the Obama campaign) resigned from that position shortly afterwards when news accounts reported that he had received more than $2 million in home loans at below average market rates from Countrywide Financial (a partner of Fannie Mae)." Snopes, 3 January 2012.

             One may well argue that the foxes have long been in charge of the chicken coop, as one follows a trail from president and administration from Clinton, through Bush and into the Obama years.  For a perspective on this kind of American politics, please see:  Fat cats richly rich of late - a comparative and sourced criticism of the nouveau "fair share" folks,

             One might forecast that men following in the shoes of these who share "blame for the financial crisis" are continuing the errors, for politics seems to protect error-makers in the modern day.


 

Fat, fat government

 "I want that glib and oily art, / To speak and purpose not." (William Shakespeare, King Lear. Act I. Sc. 1.)

 

Fat, fat government
Won't get thin.
O my gosh,
What a state it's in!
     Waddling and weighty,
     Larded with grease,
     Corpulent, paunchy,
     It seeks increase.
Mad, mad government
Can't play fair.
O my gosh,
Its emperor's bare!
     Draped with promises
     As talk is cheap;
     It grubs for cash
     And its price is steep.
Vain, vain government
In its mirror,
O my gosh,
It can't get clearer!
     Self-absorbed Pooh-Bahs,
     Vainglorious types,
     Self-important
     Yet filled with gripes.
Bad, bad government
Stuffed with debt,
O my gosh,
But what comes yet?
     Its high and its mighty
     Seem flummoxed and foiled
     For each of their schemes
     Is deeply soiled.
Poor, poor government
Begs for "more."
O my gosh,
That's what's in store!
     Taking the lion's share,
     Calling it fair,
     Drawing folks in
     To its lion's lair.
Crass, crass government
Wipes the floor.
O my gosh,
It's asking for more!
     Deceit, chicanery,
     Duplicitous schemes,
     Government is quite
     Not what it seems.
Fat, fat government
Spins its spin.
O my gosh,
What a state we're in!

 

Envoi:   "My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government." Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

  

 Addendum of Increasing Concern:   "Gallup has documented a steady increase in concern about big government since 2009, rising from 55% in March 2009 to 64% in November 2011 and 72% today. This suggests that government policies specific to the period, such as the Affordable Care Act -- perhaps coupled with recent revelations of government spying tactics by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden -- may be factors." In "Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat," by Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup, 18 December 2013.

 

Addendum of the Rapidly Growing Enterprise:   "Government is a rapidly growing enterprise in the United States." In MPA Program description, Department of Political Science, San Jose State University, College of Social Sciences, circa 2014.     [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of Decreasing Trust:   "Just 13% of Americans say the government can be trusted to do what is right always or most of the time, with just over three-quarters saying only some of the time and one in 10 saying they never trust the government, according to the poll. 'The number who trust the government all or most of the time has sunk so low that it is hard to remember that there was ever a time when Americans routinely trusted the government,' CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said." In "CNN Poll: Trust in government at all-time low," by Paul Steinhauser, CNN Politics, 8 August 2014.

 

Addendum of the Same Old Piggies: "It escapes me why the Obama White House would want that pork for business in the final deal, being, as Democrats claim, the party that fights corporate tax breaks. Unless Democratic opposition to big tax breaks is just political posturing. Lord knows, the Democratic Party is willing enough to take big business campaign contributions. It's clear now that the added revenue from President Barack Obama's demand for an income tax increase on the 'wealthiest Americans' has been frittered away by the higher cost of the big business tax breaks that are the spawn of Baucus and fellow Democrats. It makes no sense." In "The same old fiscal train wreck," by Dennis Byrne, Chicago Tribune, 8 January 2013.

 

Addendum of Failure Rewarded:   "Of course ignored by the Keynesian elite is that how capital is allocated is of great importance. In the private sector failed companies and ideas are quickly starved of capital so that they can waste no more of it, after which new and better ideas move to the front of the line for investment. That's surely not the case when it comes to government outlays with the money of others. Indeed, when politicians and government workers (their salaries coerced from the hands of those they rule, quite unlike how investors voluntarily pay Apple salaries) allocate the funds they tax away, there's no market discipline to restrain them and starve their errors. Better yet for the feds, their failures are rewarded with even more taxpayer funds." In "Apple CEO Tim Cook Pounds Another Nail Into the Keynesian Coffin," by John Tamny, editor of RealClearMarkets, 29 May 2013.

 

Addendum of Indonesian Interests:   "Speaking at a forum in Jakarta, former Constitutional Court chief justice Mahfud M.D. said that Indonesia is blighted by an oligarchy of elites that prioritize their interests over the public interest and do not abide by social rules, causing disillusionment and a lack of confidence in the law." In "Indonesia’s Weak Institutions Spark Nostalgia for New Order, A jurist and an economist say power abuse by elites and uneven growth has left people yearning for Suharto," by Ezra Wihite, Jakarta Globe, 27 May 2013.

 

A taxing Addendum:  "Top IRS executives spent $9.5 million on travel between 2011 and 2012, including 15 bosses who averaged more than $154,500 each, an official report revealed today. Some of them were on the road more days than they worked because they live half a country away from their Washington, D.C. offices and frequently travel on their days off. One IRS higher-up racked up more than $283,000 in taxpayer-funded travel expenses during those same two years. Another spent $161,000 in 2011 alone. The $9.5 million total over two years reflects the travel expenses of 373 high-level IRS officials." In "New IRS scandal: Private jet-hopping executives spend $9.5 MILLION in travel expenses in just two years," by David Martosko, Daily Mail, 24 July 2013.

 

Addendum from the Past:  "The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them."  Mark Twain (1835-1910)

 

Addendum of Gaming the System:   " 'The art of government is to make two-thirds of the nation pay all it possibly can pay for the benefit of the other third,' mused Voltaire. Even that cynical French Enlightenment writer couldn’t imagine what would transpire one day in California, where a portion of the mere 15.3 percent of the public that works for government has gotten the rest of the public to pay for an eye-popping level of compensation. The latest data — revealed in a December update to the controller’s “Government Compensation in California” (http://publicpay.ca.gov/) Web site — provides fodder for outrage. There’s a fire battalion chief in a small Bay Area suburb receiving a one-year total compensation package that costs $494,000 and city managers in modest-sized burbs (Temecula, Menifee, Carlsbad, Buena Park, Fountain Valley) receiving pay-and-benefit packages of nearly a half-million bucks and more in 2012. ...Increasingly, the public may be seeing that the problem isn’t a handful of officials who illegally gamed the system, but a system that — as Voltaire understood — allows a powerful minority to legally game the majority." In "Does Bell toll for excessive public pay? Controller's compensation database tells shocking story," by Steve Greenhut, San Diego Union Tribune, 21 December 2013.

 

Addendum of the Double -- and Triple -- Dip:   "Texas Republican John Cornyn supplemented his Senate salary with a trio of public pensions last year from his days as a Texas judge and elected official—a practice some fiscal watchdog groups have attacked as 'double dipping.' Cornyn, who is the minority whip and the No. 2 ranking Republican in the Senate, reported collecting $65,383 in public retirement benefits in 2012 in addition to his $174,000 salary as a U.S. senator. Cornyn’s office did not respond to requests for comment." In "Sen. Cornyn Reveals Not One, Not Two, but Three Public Pensions Atop His Salary," by Shane Goldmacher, National Journal, 17 June 2013.

 

Addendum of Wanting to Survive:  "If idle time is the devils plaything, idle money in the hands of the bureaucracy is equally wrought with danger. The laws of nature are fairly consistent. Once an entity is created, its primary function is to sustain life and thrive. This applies to a government agency just as it does to the cockroach or our own species." In Thomas Piketty Views on Taxation Reveal the Lefts Punitive Instincts," by Paul Winters, Liberty Voice, 24 April 2014.

 

Addendum Doing the Math:   "Some facts to consider: 1) There are 25,356 government agency workers earning $180,000 or more. 2) 18,709 of those workers at at the Department of Veteran Affairs (5% of workforce). 3) 2,355 are at the Department of Health and Human Services (3% of workforce). 4) 1,605 are at the Department of Transportation (3% of workforce). Note again that this list is of civilian workers — no members of the military are included; neither does it include the Judiciary Branch or congressional staff. By way of contrast, the percentage of those earning more than $180,000 at the Department of Defense, the largest agency of the government, is just under 1/2%." In "Does Something Seem Fishy To You In This List of Gov’t Agency Workers Earning More Than $180,000?" by Michael Hausam, Independent Journal Review, 6 July 2014.    [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Fattened Superintendence:   "...when it comes to total compensation, pension, tax deferred savings, health care benefits and other types of perks not reported as pay, Montclair-Ontario Unified School District Superintendent James Hammond collected the most of any official in the database, $492,076.92.  Hammond’s salary of $250,737 accounted for just about half (51 percent) of his total compensation. While only 19 school administrators earned more than $250,000 in base pay, 33 of the officials earned more $250,000 in taxable income while 121 collected more than $250,000 in total compensation." In "Teacher pay averages $84,489; LAUSD data missing," by Thomas Himes, Contra Costa Times, 25 July 2014.

 

Addendum of Reverse Robin Hoods:   "The beneficiaries of the current system peddle emotional falsehoods to keep the younger generation from looking too closely at the numbers. For instance, police officers and firefighters trumpet the myth that they deserve to receive such large pensions because they don't live long after retirement. Should thirty-something workers be crass enough, they ask, to deprive these heroes of a few years of comfort after a life of public service? This is buncombe. The nation's largest state pension fund, the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), has been a muscular advocate for California's mad pension-increasing spree since the late 1990s. But the "we die early" arguments were too much even for CalPERS, which, despite its union advocacy, is a font of useful actuarial data." In "Reverse Robin Hoods, Public worker pensions rob the young and poor to pay the old and rich," by Steven Greenhut, Reason, March 2015.

 

Addendum of Government Expenses:  "Cruise-boat dinners, Super Bowl parties and golf tournaments were part of Department of Energy conferences that cost taxpayers more than $21 million over a 16-month span, according to a new report from the department’s inspector general. The report examined more than 300 Energy Department conferences held from April 2013 through September 2014 and found that, in at least some instances, work wasn’t the only thing on the agenda." In "Parties, golfing, ‘casino nights’ part of Energy Dept.’s $21M conference budget: report," by Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, 19 February 2015.

 

Addendum of Paying Government Retirement to a Convicted Felon:   "Even though L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon was convicted of four felonies this week, he’ll continue to receive his $116,000 annual pension, a newspaper reported Friday. There are some California jurisdictions that prohibit city employees convicted of felonies from receiving pensions. That’s not the case in Los Angeles, a worker in the city’s civilian retirement division told Los Angeles Daily News. Alarcon, 60, was convicted Wednesday of four counts of perjury and voter fraud for living outside Council District 7 and lying about his address on official documents. The councilman’s wife, Flora, was convicted of three counts." In "LA Councilman Convicted Of Voter Fraud Will Continue To Collect $116K Annual Pension," CBS Los Angeles, 25 July 2014.    [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of the Public Pension Poorhouse:    "...Chicago is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to the government pension crisis. Pensions for teachers and state employees are bleeding the state dry. A state budget office spokesman tells me that 'nearly one of three state tax dollars now goes to paying pensions for retired municipal and state employees'." In "Illinois, paced by Chicago, goes from powerhouse to poorhouse," Stephen Moore , OC Register, 13 September 2015.

 

Addendum of Fancy Furniture:   "The furniture shopping sprees equaled about $6,000 for every one of the agency’s 15,492 employees, according to federal spending data made public by the government watchdog OpenTheBooks.com." In "EPA’s fondness for high-end furniture costs taxpayers $92 million," by Kellan Howell, Washington Times, 24 September 2015.

 

Addendum of Fattened European Government:   "Just as France's and Italy's poor economic results prompt the leaders of the euro area's second and third biggest economies to step up their fight against fiscal austerity, it might be appropriate to ask whether they even know what that is. Government spending in the European Union, and in the euro zone in particular, is now significantly higher than before the 2008 financial crisis." In "European Austerity Is a Myth," by Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg, 19 August 2014.

 

Addendum of the Loopholes:   " The notorious inefficiencies of Italy's state sector were laid bare on Thursday as news emerged of a Sicilian doctor who has done just 15 days' work in the past nine years. After using a series of reasons to stay off work, the unnamed doctor was being pilloried as the latest example of how thousands of state workers find loopholes in the rules to duck out of their job." In "Italian doctor works just 15 days in nine years," by Tom Kington, Telegraph UK, 28 August 2014.    [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of Pretending at Austerity:   "...politicians are still using 2008 as an excuse to grow government even though it is their policies that are causing the slow growth. We need less government, not more, and yet governments are engaged in deficit spending like they did in the 1970s. It didn’t work then to boost growth, and it isn’t working now. Euro area government spending was 49.8% of GDP in 2013 versus 46.7% in 2006. In other words, euro area governments have co-opted an additional 3.1% of GDP (roughly €300 billion) compared with before the crisis—about the size of the Austrian economy. France spent 57.1% of GDP in 2013 versus 56.7% in 2009, at the peak of the crisis. This is the opposite of austerity—but the French economy hasn’t grown in more than six months. It is no wonder S&P downgraded its debt rating. Italy, at 50.6% of GDP, is spending more than the euro area average but is contracting faster. Every economy can be divided into two parts: private and public sectors. The larger the slice taken by the government, the smaller the slice left over for the private sector, which means fewer jobs and a lower standard of living." In "Behind the Global Growth Slowdown," by Brian Wesbury, Wall Street Journal, 14 October 2014.

 

Addendum of Government Moving Costs:   "Rubens, who was a senior executive in the D.C. office when she was tapped in June to take over the troubled Philadelphia branch, received more than $288,000 in relocation expenses. 'The government shouldn't be in the business of doling out hundreds of thousands in cash to extremely well-compensated executives just to move less than three hours down the road,' Miller said." In "Calls mount for release of Phila. VA report," by Jessica Parks and Jason Laughlin, Philadelphia Inquirer, 26 March 2015.   [ 5 ]

 

Addendum of a Historical Hope:   “To know nothing of sultans, viziers, governors, cadis, treasurers, tax farmers, fakirs and bigwigs, is a blessing of which the greatest portion of humanity has no concept.” In "Geschichte des Weisen Danischmend und der drei Kalender," by C. M. Wieland, 1775.     [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of California the Red:   "...California’s state government ended the fiscal year $175.1 billion in the red, thanks largely to state retirement obligations that had to be included in its balance sheet for the first time. Under new rules by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, state and local governments must list unfunded pension liabilities as debts alongside the more traditional bonds and other forms of debt." In "California’s pension debt puts it $175.1 billion in the red," by Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee, 18 March 2016.   [ 7 ]

 

Addendum of Propping Up Africa's Aging Autocrats:   "Even if we wanted, not all of us are going to go to Europe, US the Middle East or wherever we smell prosperity. The lasting solution is to deal with the unpatriotic and selfish sharks that have messed up the place called home. These aging autocrats; the Mugabes, Kabilas etc. that have wasted the family silver and now have the effrontery to ungratefully boast about being 'self made men'. Remember, 'no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark'." In "Africa: Ignore Trump, Fight Sharks That Have Spoilt the Place Called Home," by Nicholas Sengoba, AllAfrica, 31 January 2017.  [ 8 ]

 

See:    The Story of Innocent Bloat   and   Raise those taxes!   and also  At the trough 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]  The prospectus for San Jose State's Masters of Public Administration (MPA) tells its truth. As the university is state-sponsored, one may examine its "public" leadership's fat cats:   "President Qayoumi as well as former Presidents Don Kassing and Jon Whitmore have received a base salary of $328,200 since 2008. They also received $25,000 from the Tower Foundation and $12,000 a year for automobile allowance and housing, according to Michael Uhlenkamp, the CSU director of media relations. In 2011, Qayoumi earned a base salary of $276,055, $60,000 for housing and $12,000 for automobile allowances as president of Cal State East Bay. When he came to SJSU in April 2012, his base salary increased by approximately $52,000. According to the 2012-13 CSU executive compensation summary, Qayoumi is currently the second highest base salary among CSU presidents." In "President Qayoumi and Provost Ellen Junn's salary: The breakdown," by Angela Medina, Spartan Daily, 17 March 2013.

 

 Public Servant Wealth

 

          Salary + housing + automobile allowance = $347,065, an equation placing such a public servant near the top of all financial classes in the United States. 

          One may reflect on these fat cats, in comparison to other academic fat cats as Doctor Oppression comes to call  .

          One may reflect on these fat cats in the jargon of Income Inequality  .

          One may reflect on these fat cats alongside the many fat cats who game the system via Modern Times and Charity  .

 

[ 2 ]  By way of comparison, a yearly income of $180,000 places such a federal employee well up into the top ten percent of all income. This is a documented source of income inequality as sponsored by the federal government.  It would be arithmetically correct then to note that the "servants" have become the "masters."

 

 I've Lifted Your Wallet

 

        Consider government at federal, state, county and municipal levels alongside "public charities" funded by government grants and professional fundraising, alongside "public" academics, who all could easily admit, I've lifted your wallet  .  This is done by the unceasing call to Raise those taxes   and increase that so-called "public" Debt   - you bet!

 

[ 3 ]  Political party affiliation is often not mentioned in news reports. Alarcon is a Democrat, and this is worth noting because the political rhetoric of the Democrat Party is to decry the opposition, the Republican Party, as a leader in corruption, a party of fat cats and of standing against the populace, when in fact both parties evidence all too many examples of Corruption  .

        The Democrat who defeated him in a primary race called for "fighting the status quo," which in this instance would have been Alarcon, another Democrat. Amusingly California is a state, solidly in the hands of Democrats.  Therefore "status quo" accusations have a distinct meaning, which the party expects a populace not to notice.

        "Bocanegra, an aide to outgoing Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, said his election represents the desire for change in the community. 'The people of the northeast Valley spoke loud and clear tonight and they made it clear they are hungry for change,' Bocanegra said. 'They want new leaders who aren't going to toe the line, but are willing to fight the status quo to bring the resources we desperately need to our communities'." In "39th Assembly: Richard Alarcón out of office after two decades," by Rick Orolov, Los Angeles Daily News, 6 November 2012.

 

 The Game of Political Speech

 

        Given that Alarcon as well as Bocanegra are both Democrats, one might ask -- why were "resources" which were "desperately" needed in their communities not in those communities?

        This is the game of political speech, irrespective of parties. If the status quo was solidly Democrat and the "new leaders" are Democrats, what does a complaint against the status quo mean?

        The outgoing Democrat who lost in the primary and who is now a convicted felon was quoted in the Los Angeles Daily News, " 'I feel blessed to have had nearly 20 years in office and I'm looking forward to my last eight months in office,' Alarcón said. 'The people let you know when they feel it's time for a change'."

        Apparently "blessed" means continuing to receive public retirement of $116,000 a year -- twice the average California resident -- though being convicted of felonies.

        A rather fine arrangement for politicians.

        So in political speech, "representation" seems to mean even living outside the area represented as is proven true of Alarcon, and "status quo" means the same party, yet again. This is how one plays Politics  . Change the names, change the party affiliations, change the locales and even change the nations, but politics remains politics, open to corruption.

        One might well conclude Democracy is stupid  .

        Especially as one tells a tale of those who voted, when that tale is Voted  - not sugarcoated.

 

[ 4 ]  The inefficiencies of Italy government become tragically laughable. The article notes: "...the case was being treated in Italy as an example of the inefficiencies of Italy's legion of civil servants. The problem is pronounced in Sicily, where an army of around 144,000 regional staff – both permanent and temporary – includes 26,000 forestry workers, more than in British Columbia in Canada. Around 7,000 Sicilians have been given government jobs teaching work skills to Sicilians without jobs."

         See may find much more documentation about government Incompetence  - from whence to thence.

 

[ 5 ]  For the purpose of simple numbers into a reasonable context, one finds in Philadelphia County the median "per capita money income in past 12 months (2013 dollars)" according to the US Census of $28,502, and a "median household income" of $52,548.  (US Census Quick Facts, 2010 to 2014.)  Thus, in this one example, the federal government has spent more than five times the median household income of that area and more than ten times the media per capita income to "relocate" one big-shot federal employee. Such is the nature of the political and bureaucratic elite in the United States today.

        One notes that the media was pressing the government to disclose details of such "relocation" expenses, and at which the government was balking. This is simply fat, fat government  refusing to get thin.

 

[ 6 ]   In the original German: „Nichts von Sultanen, Wesiren, Statthaltern, Kadis, Schatzmeistern, Zollpächtern, Fakiren und Bonzen zu wissen, ist ein Glück, wovon der größte Teil der Menschheit keine Vorstellung hat.“

 

 Liberating Society From the State

 

        This quotes functions as an envoi for  Erich Kurt Mühsam's tract, "The Liberation of Society from the State." In it Mühsam observed:  "...state and society are two different things. Neither is society an accumulation of all the different organizations and connections within which people order their communal affairs and under which the state exists alongside other institutional forms, nor is the state from among a great many possibilities one of the types of organization in which society can embody itself. It is certainly clear that wherever society exits there is no room for the state, but that wherever the state is it is like a thorn in society’s flesh, it does not permit it to form a people who can socially inhale and exhale, and instead divides them into classes and thereby prevents them from being a society. A centralized construct cannot at the same time be a federalist construct. A system of management organized along authoritarian lines is a government, a bureaucracy, a commanding power, and this is the mark of the state; a community built upon equal rights and mutuality is, when considered within the bounds of their physical proximity, a people, when considered as a general form of human living, a society. State and society are opposing concepts; the one excludes the other."

        One observes that government -- of all kinds and stances and political postures -- serves itself, and serves itself well. It fattens on the society which it pretends to nurture, as is shown above and throughout these rhymes and many sourced addenda and footnotes. Wieland observed that "to know nothing" of -- that is to say, be well distanced from -- government "is a blessing of which the greatest portion of humanity has no concept."

 

 Bigger Government Becomes Dysfunctional

 

        As the years pass, one sees that fattened governments must feed off of their citizens in some way. As an example of this awareness, one reads:  "Overall history is not bending toward happy acceptance of ever-larger government at home. Nor toward submersion of national powers and identities into large and inherently undemocratic international organizations. The nation-state remains the focus of most peoples' loyalties, and in a time of economic and cultural diffusion, as Yuval Levin argues in his recent book 'The Fractured Republic,' big government policies designed for an age of centralization have become increasingly dysfunctional." In "The collapse of the political left," by Michael Barone, Washington Examiner, 8 December 2016.

        Which government filled with governors does not become fattened on citizens' productivity which it taxes in order to fatten? The circular question is intended. After all, Let's have some quail, by George , which is merely a snapshot or two in time from the larger narrative titled The Story of Innocent Bloat  .

 

[ 7 ]   The political side to this story is the totality of the story itself. In prior years the unfunded liabilities had simply been not been included in state budgets, rather than these liabilities being new. Dealing with them was just a matter of politics playing   Kick the can  - most governments' plan.

 

[ 8 ]  African nations face economic challenges which no amount of "foreign aid" can correct. The issue is indeed that nexus between aid funneled through "aging autocrats," as on young African economist speaks to "fat, fat government" in Africa.

          One reads:   "Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid." Quote of Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, in "SPIEGEL Interview with African Economics Expert, For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!" Spiegel Online, 4 July 2005.

          One finds African "leaders" of fat, fat governments in very lean nations with high poverty rates demanding more money through foreign aid programs, for the obvious reason -- "huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted...."

          Thus and as ever, help morphs into hindrance at the hands of fat, fat government. Such is its nature.


 

We've got nothin' to do

We've got nothin' to do, let's protest;
We've got nothin' to do, let's march.
   Let's wave our silly slogans
   Under some war memorial arch.
Let's speak truth to power
Unless it's us that lies,
   And fight for nothin' special,
   In costumes and disguise.
Let's storm some barricades,
Some outer walls and tower,
   Rebel against authority,
   Unless our Joe's in power.
If some one else makes protest
We'll organize against,
   And shout and whoop and holler
   As if we are incensed.
We've got nothin' to do, let's protest;
We've got nothin' to do, let's march.
   Let's wave our silly signs
   Under some war memorial arch.
And when it's done and over
We drink and laugh and cheer
   And think that we are somethin' hot
   And cool like cheap, chilled beer.
Oh, poor ennui's got nothin' to do....

 

Envoi:    "It’s surprising how hard we’ll work when the work is done just for ourselves. And with all due respect to John Stuart Mill, maybe utilitarianism is overrated." Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes.


 

Senator Crooked and Congressman Hoax

Senator Crooked came to speak and oh he spoke so well,
   of nothing much and nothing less and nothing much to tell
Except to say how much he cared and felt with deep concern
   what every voter thought he should for with them he would yearn
For every wish and every need and every want they had,
   and for these all he said to them that he would sure be glad
To heap up all the spoils and loot that he would for them gain
   if only they would vote for him this time and once again.
His term was marked by service most to his inner clan
   as if when speaking to the folks that was his erstwhile plan,
But when election time came round this evidence did fade
   into "nothing" blather by which to fool the folks is made
From nothing much and nothing less and nothing much to tell
   except to say how much he cares and feels so very well
Of all the stresses, all the strains of the voting folk
   who regularly believe in him as if he were no joke.
But joke he was and joke he is and joke he will yet be
   until the little voting folk awaken thence to see
That Crooked has no interest in average little folks
   except to use them as he will with Congressmen like Hoax.

 

Envoi:   "If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal."   Emma Goldman (1869-1940)

 

Addendum:    "VOTE, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country." From Ambrose Bierce's "The Devil's Dictionary" (1911)

 

Addendum of None of Your Business:   "There was no public debate and no public vote when one of the most contentious topics in American foreign policy was decided – outside of the view of constituents, who oppose the president’s plan to aid the rebels by 54 percent to 37 percent, according to a Gallup Poll last month. In fact, ask individual members of the committee, who represent 117 million people in 14 states, how they stood on the plan to use the CIA to funnel weapons to the rebels and they are likely to respond with the current equivalent of 'none of your business:' It’s classified. Those were, in fact, the words Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chair of the committee, used when asked a few days before the approval was granted to clarify her position for her constituents. She declined. It’s a difficult situation, she said. And, 'It’s classified'. She was not alone." In "For Congress, ‘it’s classified’ is new equivalent of ‘none of your business’," by Ali Watkins, McClatchy, 30 July 2013.

 

Addendum of Warning from New York City's Mayor in 1922:   "The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation. To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller–Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as the international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both parties, write political platforms, make catspaws of party leaders, use the leading men of private organizations, and resort to every device to place in nomination for high public office only such candidates as will be amenable to the dictates of corrupt big business. These international bankers and Rockefeller–Standard Oil interests control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in this country. They use the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of office public officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government. It operates under cover of a self-created screen [and] seizes our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection." John F. Hylan, New York Times, 10 December, 1922.

  

See:    Corruption   , and  for details on institutional corruption,  Freddie and Fannie and Barney and Frank   , and also a setting of Ambrose Bierce's  Egotist - (2011)