Saturday, December 10, 2011

Panic? Well, not exactly ...


My dude, Dylan Ratigan, is so right on that he's even ready with the Concrete and Accurate answer to the lady's question near the end of the clip.

He isn't making this shiite up.  The United States government is currently run by a bought Congress and a Democratic President who apparently got in way over his head once he first started listening to Democracidal imbeciliac geniuses such as Larry Summers, Rob Rubin and Tim Geithner.

Bang your head, dude!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For What Does "SEC" Stand?

Seems to be Severely Endemic Corruption.

Wow!  Guess this is what it takes to make me blog again.  From the WaPo:

If the judge’s ruling became the new standard, it could fundamentally alter the way the SEC does business and make it harder for Wall Street firms to make cases go away. 
The standard language used in settlements — neither admits nor denies wrongdoing — is one of  the carrots that induces defendants to settle."
The SEC has said that without settlements it would be forced to battle cases in court, tying up limited resources. As a result, the SEC said, it would be able to pursue fewer cases.

Simple and naturally unavoidable solution is to raise taxes. Keeping that simple is as easy as raising them 1% on the upper brackets for every .5% levied on the lower brackets.  Simple and both extremely effective as well as completely equitable.

The next spurious and ill-conceived defense of the SEC's actions is also legally and scientifically simple to alleviate. Onward in the story:


The SEC has argued that defendants would refuse to settle many cases if they were forced to admit wrongdoing. Such an admission could be used against them in private lawsuits.

Rakoff said that was part of the problem: Investors defrauded by Citigroup would not only recoup less than than their total losses; they would have to establish their own proof in any  private lawsuits against the firm without any help from the SEC. 


Are they really serious with that argument?  Can the people who run the Securities and Exchange Commision honestly NOT want the Public, the peops being duped by otherwise (supposedly) respectable corporations, to be able to put pressure on those corps to do Honest business?? Really, SEC?!

First they argue that the caseload of lawsuits is too much for it to handle and then they go and argue against the most obvious solution to that problem;  letting the folks who got duped pursuit lawsuits at their own expense.

None of that sounds as if the SEC is at all concerned with its raison d'etre of keeping businesses from circumventing the Law and abusing their privileges.  Prosecutors in a murder case will surely take a plea which still garners a Manslaughter conviction but they're hardly, rarely at any rate, likely to accept plea of disorderly conduct in its place.  That is precisely, and often every bit as destructively what the SEC's "standard language" does.  Repeated and as an enormous incentive to companies to plan their business activities with paying that "disorderly conduct" penalty rather than serving the rest their lives in prison.

To whit:
Rakoff has said that he is required to show some deference to the SEC’s judgment. But in Monday’s ruling, he said that the agency was asking too much of the court. Rakoff said that imposing settlements such as Citigroup’s $285 million deal can be unfair to the defendant and be susceptible to “abuse” by the SEC. 
“An application of judicial power that does not rest on facts is worse than mindless, it is inherently dangerous,” he wrote. It “serves no lawful or moral purpose and is simply an engine of oppression.”

I couldn't agree any more with either the sentiment or the language, Justice Rakoff. I couldn't agree not a bit more.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

SCIENCE!



Now, the really cool thing about Science is twofold. First it observes, records, anyalyzes and theorizes. Yep. That's for starters. THEN it Repeats that Process!

Again. And Again. And Again. It never stops repeating that first multi-stage step, so that one day, let's say 3,000 years ago in the time of Pharaoh, Odysseus and Nebuchadnezzar, we had scientists who were assiduously gathering data on the natural world, including their fellow homo sapiens, in order explain why their Political structures were the result of the Will of the Gods. Assuredly these personages existed for the most part in the incarnations of priests but having evolved from earlier priests and shaman of even less abundance of knowledge than these contemporaries of our Monotheistic religious foundations of the modern West.

Again and again this process has repeated itself. Through the wonders of the Roman engineering feats to the gathering of the barbarians of the northern forests into the hellish agglomeration of nations which became known as European, knowledge has been sought and tested and held up as The Truth throughout the long millenia of human neuropsychological evolution. Men have burned to the delight of hundreds, even thousands, merely for relating their findings and interpretations of natural facts which had previously been held as belonging to the realm of Heaven.

Darwin brought many houses down within the Western world's domains simply by pointing out the obvious, that species evolve from other species, yet still do vast numbers of homo sapiens cling to the beliefs of the wanderers of the deserts and sorcerers of the temples of ages past and fallen to dust and archaeological history.

Men (in conjunction with women, let us please not forget) have sailed beyond the Heaven of our past and floated above the world, even going so far as to walk upon the ancient nemesis of the Sun god. Luna. The mense maker. The mind bender and puller of the tides. A ball of rock oh so identical in many of its elements to our very Mother Earth. People have gathered knowledge and analyzed it so extremely well and successfully in order for these accomplished might come to be.

Then paused.

Returning to the science of our horribly demonized friend, Mr Darwin, I find it interesting how viciously so many anthropologists still debate our theories of human origins. As soon as one body of incontrovertible research is published the camps reallign and are formed anew to claim The Last Word on the location of some Garden of Eden. "Of course modern humans had to have interbred with Neandertals!" "Of course there is no way modern humans and Neanderthals could ever have interbred! The DNA samples prove it!" "Of course modern humans originated in one small corner of Africa! The DNA samples prove it!" All the while new evidence comes in yearly to suggest that ALL of these things are true. Just to varying extents which correlate unerringly dependent upon which part of the world from which they come.

It must have been sometime around the 1970s, though perhaps much earlier, that it became unacceptable to suggest that the various races of homo sapiens sapiens around the world might have evolved separately. The Biblical, then mitochondrial, Eve was surely the mother of us all! To some this will always be an absolute. As with everything, including as we've recently discovered the speed of light, there are no absolutes. Everything is relatively absolute to one extent or another. Or, if you prefer, absolutely relative. A relatively absolute fact which sends so many of even the most rational of scientists and religious devotees into despair of any hope of ever finding the "Truth".

The differences between Religion and Science are many. The similarities even greater. I've personally chosen to follow science because, as I hope I've made clear, Religion will certainly change over the decades as does Science, but the latter, despite being practiced by the same species of highly intellectually evolved ape as is the former, has within it the Requirement to, however grudgingly adhered to, examine Everything. Update and re-analyze even the most thoroughly well understood facts of its theories in order to Always advance towards a more complete understanding of Reality.

Not just accept what our remote ancestors did so rightly based upon their data sets come to believe about the origins of our world and ourselves.

What prompted this little rant? :) Just this little blog post by paleoanthropologist John Hawks. As soon as I read the title I knew I was going to love the post. Population structure within Africa: has "modern human origins" become a non sequitur?

As much as is saying humanity's roots go back a mere 6 million years, I suppose it just may be. Eggs always come first. But something had to lay them...

Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Egress Is Looking Better All The Time...

Throughout the whole of my politically aware life I've never imagined that our society might regress to a condition such as that which pervaded the early decades of the 20th century. I thought that in the early 1980s, despite the potential for mass devastation which the Cold War did present, that we would, if we survived, continue relentlessly towards a Progressive society. One which always found the means to lift its most unfortunate or merely recalcitrant members out of their gloom, disaffection and despair. One which would heal its citizens bodies even as it might neglect their minds and hearts as being too much the stuff of Religion's concern.

It has only been in the last several years that I've started worrying that I really have been too much the anthropological optimist.

The reelection of W Bush didn't truly astound me. It disgusted me mostly for the way in which Kerry handled the whole election. The way he "didn't dignify" the Swift boaters' claims until way too late. His semi-irrelevant points on the deficiencies in Republican Tax policies and, most tellingly, his refusal to speak of the swelling real estate bubble which was at the time, 2004, beginning to show the first signs of massive instabilities which would eventually lead to '07's financial meltdown. And please don't say, "well No One knew it was gonna happen." A Lot of economists were saying it was a catastrophe in the waiting the way the U.S. and Britain had opened up to Speculation the lending reserves of Banks. How the rules allowing insane packaging of loans into assets which only the richest investors could possibly use as defense against bad investments.

Doesn't anyone in Politics understand Economics for civilizations? The only thing they do seem to understand are the finer academic points which show how the wealthiest investors can secure and invest their wealth at the same time, as if that siphon segment of the pool of international wealth is somehow the only one that matters to the health of the whole system.

Is it Ignorance? Is it Hubris? Is it really, I mean seriously can it really be as simple as Greed?

I don't think it is, but I am now, after years of non-utopian optimism about our near term future, starting to believe that greed really is become too much a driving force in our culture in general, and Politics in particular.

In this Op-Ed essay by Henry Gireaux of Truthout my growing Nationalist fears are given an almost ecumenical form and dimension. It is quite the literary Op-Ed and touching in an emotionally devastating, yet at the same time, satisfying way. Where Robert Reich does state his analyses plainly and with statistical and historical empiricism, Gireaux does so with a flair for the historically dramatic. If he does occasionally dance with hyperbole I think it only is because the subject matter truly is of such an Historically massive nature.

I've said I don't believe the United States is in any real danger of falling into the a 2nd world economic strata. I think that I still believe that. I'm just not as sure as I was when I was much younger and had not yet been subjected to the reality of which these past forty years of economic diminution of my country's middle class has resulted.

We will be to see...

In the Twilight of the Social State: Rethinking Walter Benjamin's Angel of History

by: Henry A. Giroux, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

By eviscerating public services and reducing them to a network of farmed-out private providers, we have begun to dismantle the fabric of the state. As for the dust and powder of individuality: it resembles nothing so much as Hobbes's war of all against all, in which life for many people has once again become solitary, poor and more than a little nasty. (1) -Tony Judt
I think that preface paragraph by Tony Judt does an excellent job as a synopsis to the essay which follows. Note the footnotes as well. Excellent all 'round!

Good Luck!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

possibilities

in the fullness of the memory

it seems that I was disappointed

yet again

unflinching

and yet I swelled with pride

unbidden come to rest upon my bosom

and finding peace

did dance

without much glitter

though in peace

and so does a goal astound

I want that which is denied me

I am not he who waits

though so I must become

before my truths are revealed

to me

Lonely

Terrible it is not

though so do I express it

the pangs of growth I stymie

with each endless

reenactment of the same

is born another

so forth to neverland

away to dreams untrammeled upon

by reality's intimate ties

and focal points of no concern

to what is most important

in my heart

and head

the apocryphies which adorn

my wanton fantasies

will bow before reality

and its angels

should I be brave

and restore those

to their place atop the temple

which is me

an element convicted

and held accountable to this life

and all it pours o'er my brow

and into my eyes

my thoughts and fears

will arise and dissipate

until the morning far from now

when love

blooms again

in peace, love and understanding

as it may be

suffused with lust

and pure intents

at odds no more

for evermore

as one are love and wonder

passion and concern

driven thoughts of purest

white snow meaning

for ever and evermore

Thank you to Lisa Wiffledust for the forum in which this was expressed.