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During the nineties there was discussion of rogue waves the sometimes show up in the Southern reaches of the Indian Ocean. As one who has studied physics knows when a wave is put upon another wave, it absorbs that wave’s energy and creates one wave the size of both. Sometimes three or four waves randomly fall in the path of each other and a giant wave, capable of swamping a tanker comes out of nowhere….
This week we have something similar….
The fiscal cliff… pressure on the economy.
The Longshoreman’s strike…. pressure on the economy.
Open war in Israel/Palestine over the new settlements announced today….
We may have dodged one end-of-the-world, to be capsized by the wave of another….
Would any American support a law imposed on us by the Soviet Union?
Would any American support a law imposed on us by Communist China?
Would any American support a law imposed on us by Islamic Iran?
Would any American support a law imposed on us by Mexico?
Would any American support a law imposed on us by Canada?
Would any New Yorker support a law imposed on them by South Carolina?
Would any South Carolinian support a law imposed on them by New York?
Would any Delawarean support a law imposed on them by Alaska?
When put in this perspective, the phrase…”it’s the law…” rings rather hollow…
It’s the law… of what? It’s the law of…. who? It’s the law decided by whom?…… What reference does this law have to me?
Such is every Americans feeling to corporate law… These laws were applied to the lawbooks without our knowledge. These laws were applied to the lawbooks without our approval… There laws were applied to the lawbooks not in an open environment, but subtlely sneaked in, unannounced, unnoticed, unapproved, unsubstantiated, and unconstitutional…..
These laws that are being upheld, benefit a very thin percentage of people, a razor thin percentage of people. at the expense of the majority…..
Rick Santorium stands up and states we are a nation of law. We follow the rule of law…
Yes, we will follow a rule of law onto which a majority of us signs on to… But nowhere in our contract with America did we agree to follow laws that have not been sanctioned by the Constitution as being legal. Nowhere in our contract with America, did we agree to follow the phantom that corporations were human beings. that corporations had just as much right as people to write laws, get them passed, and then uphold them… as if they were people….
There are times when breaking the law, is better than following it…
If you don’t believe me, just ask Jesus.
Times are hard for people. And there are two genetic strains of personalities reacting to those hard times.
The first is dominated by the selfish gene. They are the ones who say “hey, look at me! I’m doing just fine. If I could do it, you can too. I’m blessed. And don’t take anything of mine, unless you’re willing to pay me back a very high rate of return!”
The second is dominated by the selfless gene. They are the ones who say, “look, that could be me. Hey, I have something here I’m not using. Take this. Maybe you can find some use for it. And don’t worry about paying me back… When you get on your feet, return the favor to someone else who is down on their luck..”
We both know individuals and groups of individuals who follow these two pursuits…. To those of us who study history. a parallel can be drawn between the two camps. The selfish first stems from Old World philosophy. The selfless second originated in the New World.
The European nations were at that time founded upon the principals of mercantilism. Each nation used militaristic methods to acquire capital in the form of gold bullion. Stealing gold from South Americans was the principal cause of wealth formation throughout Europe during the colonial age. Those nations without territory in South America, stole their gold from those who had territory and were stealing South America blind. And then of course, you could trade some of your products for their gold if they were inclined to buy. That in a nutshell, was the European economic system existing at the time of this continent’s discovery.
You did not aid and abet your enemy. You charged, kept records, and used your military to collect, if those owing you money failed to meet their obligations. Needless to say, this mentality flowed downhill throughout each nation’s respective economies. If someone defaulted, you threw that person into prison where they could never acquire the means to pay you back.. You were vindictive, demanding, and cruel…. You had to be, so they feared you. Many of our early settlers were these poor locked up souls, filling up debtor’s prisons, only to be shipped over here, dumped and left to die..
Instead they prospered and from them, came the other line of treating those less fortunate: helping them get back on their feet by making them productive enough to earn money. The money then earned, was subsequently returned to those generous souls who gave them a break, by being spent in their stores on their own goods or services.
As the frontier expanded Westward, this philosophy spread with it. If a neighbor’s house burnt, you and your neighbors had a house raising party. If Indians stole their horses, you gave up some of yours. If your neighbor needed a plow, you lent him yours. The benefit was obvious. Should you befall poor circumstances, they would do the same for you, without asking. People were a rare asset as America’s frontier expanded; natural resources were abundant. So naturally, people gave up what they had, to help other’s if that meant they all had a better chance of surviving… After all, natural resources couldn’t come to your aid or load your weapon, should your family be attacked by a scalping party out on a raid.
This concept of banding together to help others is a very American trait. It would be one not so well widespread today, if it hadn’t been the greatest generation of Americans who brought it to the forefront. WWII drove home this idea to the rest of the world, It showed all that America was very different. Over here, people stood for something and because of that, they were willing to invest valuable resources to help right injustice, and even better, once winning? They packed up and went home. And one even better? They used their own precious resources to help their former enemies get back on their feet again… Gee what a great country..
Today we hear that same philosophy about helping others, being used across our health care debate This great debate of this decade is, at the core, a debate between helping people survive, or… helping people get rich off of helping people survive… All National Health Care arguments boil down to that one sentence… Whatever side you are on, whatever plank you hide behind, whatever argument you make, at its core is either the belief that we should be selfless, or selfish.
There is no way around it. If as a nation we should be selfless in our treatment to our unfortunate, our own citizens, then we need some form of governmental input. If as a nation we should be selfish in our treatment to our unfortunate, our own citizens, then we need to maintain the current status quo system of for profit private health care…
History has a funny way of playing tricks. We think of Socialism as a European tradition. However it was from America that socialism derived its inspiration during our nation’s growth over the 19th Century. Socialism was a contrived as a method calculated to achieve those values visible on the American frontier, by redirecting the wealth that for so long, had been locked down by a very few. Socialism was the way to pry open the coffers of one or two rich guys, thereby allowing help to flow outward to areas where it needed to go.. One should note, that the rise in Socialism was most prominent after WWII when the populations of broken nations looked to America as a model, and said we want to be like them… Combining the resources of government and business was their quickest avenue to achieve that goal.
It’s time we pool our resources over on this side of the ocean. Our financial system was stripped bare, and we need to grow our way back to prosperity. We also need to bring along the global economy with us..
One could argue that capitalism, free markets with no regulation, is exactly what collapsed our global financial system. AIG taking insurance payments and spending them, simply because they weren’t regulated, is exactly what capitalism calls for…
Americanism, on the other hand does just the opposite. Americanism is simply the pooling of resources for a short time only, to help a neighbor in need. It comes with no attachments, save the deep understanding that should the shoe be on the other foot, we would be the beneficiaries of their good fortune. We need Americanism if we are to continue our role as the greatest nation on earth. Our experimentation with the old world order these past eight years, led us to disaster… just like it has led European nations to disaster every twenty years, up until Americanism took over after 1945.
The wave of the future is not a free for all, money grabbing fiasco; it is an evolution. And evolution is at its most successful when the gene pool available is maximised. As for the healthcare debate, the more players allowed at the table, the better chance we have at evolving our healthcare system into the best option. That best option, will be determined not by plan or directive, but by individual purchases across every state of this nation…
Even if you have great distaste for a government entity entering itself into the health care insurance field, you can have no fear of letting it compete in the free market of health coverage… It is after all, a free market. If it can’t compete effectively, it will become extinct. On the other hand, if it is the better option and receives a much better reception than its private competitors do, it would be wrong to deny this nation’s citizens something that benefits them so greatly… It would be flat out wrong..
So the American thing to do, is to allow this governmental insurance entity to compete on the free market with private competitors. Americans helping Americans. It’s the only American thing we can possible do..
And as an aside, the next time you hear the word socialism patsied about, set them straight. It is Americanism they’re against.. Socialism died with fall of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch. Now, its Americanism. Helping ones neighbor who can’t help themselves..
But then again… there are those with the selfish gene.
If I were a timely person, I would have published this on Monday morning. Instead I (smirk, smirk) spent time making portfolio adjustments…
Two things all New Castle Countians should have noticed on early Monday morning.
One, the Valero refinery was belching toxic fumes at a rate unseen since the late nineties… Rough estimates guessed two thousand tons an hour belched out of their uncleaned stack. Residents headed to work early Monday morning, probably wondered what that oily sheen was on their windows as their wiper blades took several attempts to clear the morning dew from their windshields…
Nasal sufferers had a bad night. Asthma attacks were up. No doubt, if you took advantage of the warm weather and opened your windows, you have a cold right now.
This interestingly couples with the Friday announcement that Valero will shut down for repairs. Here is the inside story.
The repair is minor and can be accomplished by shutting down only one unit. So say those who work there. In fact, that is what they wanted. They do not want to be not working right now… Local management forwarded their proposal up to headquarters, from where this verdict was returned: shut down the entire plant indefinitely.
We are told that the repair could be patched in one day. They did it all the time when gas was selling well over $4.00 a gallon.
So why would they shut down the entire plant for a four hour fix on just one unit, now that gas is way under $2 dollars as gallon?
They tell us this. To create a scarcity of product. At that time when they begin the summer buildup, something that usually occurs as refineries prepare for the summer traveling months, this month’s scarcity will force up those prices of initial inventories. That price drive-up will then have to be sold to stations at even higher. The plant closure is their way of guaranteeing a higher price than what the market dictates should be paid all summer long. By creating a shortage throughout March of refined gasoline being bought up and down the east coast… they hope to artificially support this summers price higher than it needs to be.
To be clear, this decision came from on top. It was met with chagrin by local plant officials.
In a very broad framework, one needs to ask if this can be considered treason. Of course a business should have all options available to it to increase its profits. But when low fuel is the only driving force keeping our economy running right now, shutting down its flow, is like crimping a dying patients IV.
Should we as a society sit idle and allow it to happen?
I don’t have time to get into that argument today, but offer it for all: so you can debate the merits of jacking up our gas prices arbitrarily by a difference of $1.00 a gallon…
The second factor an observant New Castle native noticed, was the exceptional amount of corporate jet traffic flying into our airport.
Usually a busy day would count five flights incoming early Monday morning between 8 and 9.. The average is around two or three. This Monday, the rough guess stood at twenty four…
Why would so many flights be incoming to the bankruptcy capital of the world? Beats me.
But I would watch the number of corporate bankruptcy filings that hit this Friday around noon… It could be a record. (Most surprise public announcements take place on the last day of the quarter, which lies at the end of March.)
As I said, these are just tea leaves that have not hit the ground yet. Tossed up in the air and are still falling…… they are.
If only this had been offered up as evidence to the Supreme Court in December 2000.
I guess you get what you vote for.
While researching gasoline energy prices in Alaska, to determine whether being energy rich had any effect on lower gasoline prices as we heard during the 60 days between her nomination and her being miffed at McCain’s concession speech: (it doesn’t: today’s price in Juneau runs near $2.80 a gallon), I came across this ingenious map. Which made me ask the question: why is Alaska paying more under Sarah Palin, than the rest of us are under Obama?
Could it be there is no one looking over their shoulders?
As we race toward tomorrow, and blue maps of the US are on every blog, and if you want to find the Republican party these days, you must search the bars….. it would be wise to remember that we faced the same jubilation in 2004, when even as late as 17:00 hours on Election Day, we were ecstatic over what we assumed would be the outcome….
We face the same confidence in 2000, that a cocky Republican stalwart would be slapped down by the greatest human being to ever walk the planet…(lol, I kill me)….
And to be honest we are there today…. again… waiting in trepidation… hopefully anticipating our nation’s move past the doldrums of Reaganomics and Phil Gramm’s destruction of the global economy…
We have one reason to be optimistic… Eight years of failed Republican policy which took a nation, poised to do great things, and bankrupted it… Eight years of failed Republican foreign policy, which took a nation esteemed and emulated…. from Communist China to Pitcairn Island…. and turned its reputation into that of a crazy old Uncle Sam…. Eight years of failed Republican moral leadership, who scrambled to play footsie under bathroom stalls….or romp with underage Congressional pages… or prostitute their agencies at the bidding of corporate giants….have given us a distaste for all incumbents who we once esteemed… We can change it this year for good….
Bottom line: everything Republicans have promised they got to implement… their tax philosophy, their foreign policy, their moral superiority…..
And we are much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much, much worse off.
So perhaps Americans will be a little wiser this time around…. Republicans they will say?..”Forget about it!”
But there is hope for Republicans this time around as well.. Actually Republicans have a very good chance of winning every seat they want… For you see, while we were campaigning and chanting “yes, we can”; while we were scrambling to find new voters, while we were canvassing neighborhoods, while we were combating the misstruths told on Republican blogs with cold hearted truth, our nation, under its fringe Republican Leadership, was using the powers enabled by the Patriot Act, to splice into fiber optic lines under San Francisco, where Yahoo, AOL, Google, all intercept, store and monitor every single phone call and or electronic data transmission, and be able to change whatever comes in………..into what they wish to go out……… We have that potential. They can do it………. I’ve seen it done……
It’s simply a question of “Will they?”
I think we saw with Dick Cheney’s endorsement of John McCain just lately….. that all the processes are in place and that at least that Dick Cheney believes, he has the capacity to change the totals irregardless of what every voter thinks…
I just passed the WAWA near the Maryland border of Route 40, and found the cheapest gas….ever….. or so it seems…. My local station was stuck at $2.39 which I was grateful to pay…having come down from $2.59 a week ago…. It’s wonderful!
Wait a minute…. It still costs the same to drill, to refine, to store, to transport, to distribute, to dispense, and you know that no one is selling gas and losing money in the process…. They are comfortable with the money they are making now…..
So, in truth, despite all the bullshit, we were being fleeced $2.00 a gallon back when gas climbed over $4.12….It’s so obvious…. Those damn fat cat Republicans were skimming off two dollars for every gallon of gas… Two ‘effin dollars!
All that bullshit about changing environmental laws… about building nuclear power, about drilling off shore, was a smokescreen to cover the fact that huge amounts of oil were being hedged off-shore….
Remember when it cost $100 dollars to fill your tank? $50 of that went to fat cat Republicans…. Remember when you had to pass on the paying of some of your bills last summer, just because you needed $250 dollars more a month than the previous summer, just to go to work? Remember those huge profits comprised by those Republican supporting oil companies…Chevron (Condoleezza Rice) Exxon- Mobile? Halliburton? Cheney’s BBQ with Big Oil in 2000 paid off really big, didn’t it?
Remember McCain wants to give those same oil companies an additional tax break?
So what changed? Those Republican fat cats needed to sell of the oil they were hoarding for liquidity. That’s all. We were being robbed by the off-shore oil hedge funds that were allowed by Phil Gramm’s end run around Congressional oversight….. And he is first in line to become McCain’s Secretary of Treasury..!
$2.00 for every gallon!… for nothing!… DOESN’T THAT JUST REALLY PISS YOU OFF?
Well, guess what… America can return the favor on November 4th……..
Republican fat cats…. Meet Obama-Biden…..