Friday, December 3, 2010

Good morning to you all out there where ever you are. Cold again and between snow systems. I guess the one that dusted us really clobbered New York and other parts east. The next one is supposed to crank up the lake effect snow machine between tonight and sometime Saturday night. Thankfully we don't have to go out and it looks clear for next week when we next have to do errands.

I agree, Kay. We have to watch the congress critters carefully. I watch the 'snews' now mainly to be forewarned of what they will be doing to me because I know very well that most of them will not do anything for me. All you have to do to understand that is look at the wrangling over the tax cut extensions. The Republicans spout all that lovely crap about how the expiration of the tax cuts will cost jobs and the mainstream dutifully regurgitates it for their mindless viewers along with a couple of interviews from nicely well-fed 'small' businessmen who parrot the Republican line. The Democrats are angling for 'something' in return for caving in on the issue. They would like an extension of the expiring jobless benefits for the long term unemployed but I would be that that extension, if they get it and they don't sell out for something like the ratification of the START treaty, will not last nearly as long as the tax cuts. I wonder how much and how many will be sacrificed on the alter of the god of Predatory Capitalism in the Church of Commerce.

The New York Times and other snews outlets have reported that Wikileaks has been targeted by 'hackers' in a concerted denial of service attack which forced its service provider to take down its web page. I have to wonder who these 'hackers' are and who they work for. I put the term in quotes because over the last several years several governments have been suspected of employing hackers to attack other countries' government and business web sites. Nothing was ever proven because the web is perfectly structured to give 'plausible deniability.'

As I read the latest tomdispatch this morning I was reminded of historical pieces I read once upon a time. The amounts that have been spent on elections in this country have soared into the stratosphere. Although some Republican (Karl Rove, perhaps) said that the $4+billion spent on this last election was a small part of the national GDP, it is still huge amount to my mind. The parallel I see is with the long decline of the Roman Empire when would-be emperors bought the loyalty of the army with outsized promises of monetary rewards which eventually crushed the Roman economy. The 'end game,' according to author Andy Kroll, is continuous political warfare. Well, I would say that that has already come. We are in for an intensification of that war. The press speculation about who will be fighting it out in the next Presidential elections have already begun. Two ads I have seen recently are, I am sure, just the beginning. One is from a group opposing the tax some local areas, including New York City, proposes to place on some types of 'food' and drink which have been linked to obesity and the other is from an association of 'career' (read 'for profit') colleges and universities which have been the target of recent congressional hearings and investigative news reports for their misleading ads and recruitment practices. Both slam government, especially the Federal government, for taking away consumer choice and/or opportunity. So more and more resources will be expended to sway the 'army' of voters the would-be caesars need to install themselves in the halls of power. I think the old Roman system was more honest--and at least some people benefited materially from the bribery. All the majority of our voters get is disillusionment and disappointment. Another parallel comes to mind--the fall of the Soviet Union and our 'victory' in the Cold War. We 'won' because they went broke before we did.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

I share your views on all of this but that bottom line is we have to ask ourselves how badly is all of this you-know-what is going to affect the ordinary mortals like you and I and I suspect that a large part of us (yeah, the Teabaggers, too) are going to be--pardon my Anglo-Saxon barbarism--screwed wthout getting kissed.