Monday, December 12, 2011

Good Monday morning, everyone.  We are supposed to have fairly warm weather for the entire week with rain but no snow.  I remarked over our morning coffee that we used to hope we wouldn't have snow for Halloween and were thankful when we didn't.  Now we hope we will have some snow for Christmas and are thankful when we do.  I don't know that the stats say be I suspect our December has been warmer than normal and we have had the fifth latest measurable snow on record.  Let's see if there is anything worth linking to or commenting on.

I have often said that what constitutes 'earmarks' and 'pork barrel spending' depends entirely on who is proposing the spending.  This McClatchy article points that out very nicely.  It points out why any attempt to prohibit the practices are probably doomed to failure.

Tom Englehardt, in his excellent post this morning, says we need to formulate new language to describe our political arrangements.  I wonder how long it will be before companies and corporations demand not only the right to contribute to give unlimited funds to political campaigns but the right to vote.  And how should we apportion the vote?  Perhaps we should give each company a number of votes equal to their American workforce.  Hmmm--I think I get a whiff of the old 3/5 rule where Southern States were able to count each slave as 3/5 of a person for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives.  The only difference is the corporation would be voting directly and the wage-slaves have the right to find employment (if they can) elsewhere.  Hmmm--maybe that would get the bastards to hire people.  Although they might just find it easier to disfranchise the unemployed.

The stock markets always leave me bemused and bewildered.  For months I have watched the various averages going up when any breath of 'good' news comes across our media and down when that news is proved on second look to be less than good or the spotlight shifts to a different problem area.  Last week investors appeared ecstatic over the news that the Europeans had an agreement to deal with their debt crises.  That is plural because each country, with few exceptions, has its own crisis hanging over it.  Today, the hopium has worn off and everyone realizes that the 'agreement' was more smoke and mirrors than substance.

We just saw a piece on CNBC concerning the 'controversy' that led Lowes to pull its advertising from a Muslim show on TV because some conservative Christianist group in Florida complained.  The Christianists object to Lowes 'supporting' a show that 'supports Muslim values.'  The so-called expert agrees with Lowes action on the grounds that given the 'charged atmosphere' they can't communicate effectively.  Problem #1: Lowes has communicated very effectively by letting the Christianists control where and with whom the company advertises.  Problem #2: this was hardly a 'charged atmosphere.'  We hadn't heard anything about it here.  Problem #3: this reminds me all too much of the Tinky Winky controversy way back when when that idiot preacher blasted the Teletubbies because the purple, purse-wielding cartoon character supposedly fostered homosexual values.  Problem #4: how many people outside the Muslim community (and the community of paranoid, bigoted Christianist community) are really watching the program??  I haven't seen the program.  I don't intend to watch it.  It simply doesn't interest me.  For that reason I also don't watch Catholic programming, or Baptist Programming, or BET.  I wonder how many Christian oriented shows Lows advertises on?  Maybe the company should contact the bigots with a list and tell them that, in the interests of fairness, Lowes is pulling its advertising on those as well.

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