Tuesday, October 28, 2008

READER COMMENTS

SWAMPOODLE REPORT: THE PALIN PATHOLOGY

You've worked much too hard to find fault with her debate remarks --and none of it makes much sense. I don't even have time to try to figure out if there is any substance to your judgment. It just sound like so much prejudicial nit-picking to me.

Like the concern for her clothes. Definitely a stupid thing for the RNC to do --to take her to Nieman Marcus and Saks to buy a wardrobe for her whole family -- you can't buy a handkerchief there for a reasonable amount. That's what my Dad bought for me from there when he made a Texas trip. It is a store for the ultra rich.

But think of all those employees who work there -- and the designers and manufactureres who make the high end clothing. They spend money too -- and they pay taxes. So think of all the income tax resulting from those purchases -- and the sales tax.

I see her as inexperienced in debate -- not being a lawyer - -but successful in many ways that are unusual for a woman with a family. She is a first timer to the national spotlight -- but her success record demonstrates her to be pretty sharp. and her recent speeches/interviews have been good enough for me. - Barb

HOWARD ZINN ON THE ELECTION

Obama doesn't give a fuck about angry constituents now or four years from now because he knows they don't control the media or the money, both of which he needs to get elected. I respect Howard Zinn, but this sounds like a recording of the message he and Noam Chomsky had for us four years ago and nothing has changed. I'm voting for Nader and so should Mr. Zinn and Mr. Chomsky. Then something might change.

JROTC TEACHES SCHOOL CHILDREN HOW TO KILL EACH OTHER

I'm a high school senior in Las Vegas, NV - I've been in Marine Corps JROTC since the first day of freshman year.

Cities like Las Vegas are the perfect breeding grounds for drugs, gangs, and horrible violence. It's overcrowded, everyone's poor, and the city government is broken beyond repair.

I can say with complete honesty that I agree with some of your points, I think kids my age should be more critically thinking, we need to re-learn the word "Why".

On the other hand though, there's undeniable benefits to JROTC programs. Last year 80% of the battalion at my high school finished the year with a 3.5%+ GPA. Now I'll admit that there are some radical ROTC instructors that want all their cadets to join the service and all that. But mostly, JROTC Instructors want their cadets to succeed.

As for the marksmanship training, the theme behind all of it isn't about the guns. It's about the self-discipline involved in operating a weapon, and cadets must past a series of tests designed to gauge a person competency with safety and handling.

For the most part every instructor has at least an associates degree in general education, supplemented with their 10+ years of military experience. They're paid the same as other teachers by the district they work for; the reason they make more is because they're paid additional money by their respective branches.

You may have your opinions about JROTC but before you go and make them public, why don't you go down to a couple of your local units. If you can go to one of each branch. I can just about promise you that despite your obvious hate for them the cadets of those programs with be the most polite and professional teenagers you've ever met.

Just one last point: despite what everyone seems to think (probably because he's a Democrat) Sen. Obama supports the Department of Defense. He's not the tree-hugger we all seem to think. . . In case you missed it in the second presidential debate he said we should kill more terrorists. . . it was pretty cool. -
MCJROTC Cadet

NADER: TIME TO CHALLENGE CORPORATE PERSONHOOD IN COURT
Thanks for publishing Ralph's comments. I'd love to read a response from constitutional attorney Obama.

THE TWO WOMEN WHO TOOK ON THE WALL STREET TOUGH GUYS

It may just be an coincidence, but we suspect not. The fiscal collapse was built on rampant and unchecked male machismo, with credit swapping substituting for mate swapping

Blaming everything on men in general is no different and just as stupid as blaming everything on blacks. The next time some idiot says to me, "those people" are all this or that, some idiot may get my assessment of their mental capacity. - Weary

I don't feel this is "blaming everything on men". Sam doesn't blame men, he blames machismo, which is not the same thing. I think what Sam's suggesting is that the fiscal crisis is a result of the predatory, self-congratulatory militarism assumed to be the natural personality of successful economic actors. Big swinging dicks, ignoring those fussy broads, and billion dollar deals made in the poker shack all smack of the myth of the red-blooded militaristic "American Man". Besides, women would have made different mistakes. - Wilowisp

COVERING THE FISCAL CRISIS

Journalists would be trusted
more if they were imbued with the spirit of your last Swampdoodle Report. No, we don't where the money is going. There is a crying need for more forensic journalism and for more grass-roots journalism. But we're not likely to get either with such a concentration of media and the kind of commercial censorship that afflicts the "news" today.

For example, there is no excuse for the press not having warned us earlier that an economy based on selling each other houses was not a healthy economy. But the press failed to do so, not, I believe, by an error of omission but rather because its was itself a beneficiary of the so-called housing boom. The predatory lenders, the developers, the suppliers all constituted a major source of advertising revenue for the press, and so it had no vested interest in challenging the nature of the boom.

The journalism schools are talking about niche journalism, but they're not talking about the crying need for forensic accountants who are also adept journalists. I.F. Stone notwithstanding, there has always been a resistance in newsrooms to spending hours, days and sometimes weeks examining budgets and related documents, and yet more often than not that is where the news that a democratic republic needs is hidden.

If George Soros and Warren Buffet say they didn't invest in credit swaps because they didn't understand them, why didn't the press report, at very least, that these financial instruments were so impenetrable that some of the smartest investors of our time didn't understand them. Why wasn't that a front-page story?

All over the country developers have corrupted local government, while the complacent press has taken the position that development is good, that it creates jobs and broadens tax bases. Not only was such a presumption unwise, but the press failed to keep the big picture in front of us, namely that while we were building homes at a furious pace and selling them via bad loans, we were not creating the jobs and benefits needed to enable people to keep on paying for those homes. The government was telling Americans to buy more and save more at the same time. It was pushing a housing boom and giving it the guileful name, Ownership Society, while failing to stimulate the diverse, broad job market necessary to sustain any economy.

And where was the press? Raking in the advertising and screwing the public by failing to provide the big picture. Ayn Rand was having her day, courtesy of a shortsighted, venal media oligarchy, and now one of her principal suck-ups, Alan Greenspan, says maybe Ayn Rand and her Chicago School of Economics have led us down a primrose path. But would it have been so hard for the press to point out that the only thing that was trickling down from the heights of Ms. Rand's enlightened selfishness was jobs to India and Mexico?

We do not have a free press, we have a commercially censored press. We should stop kidding ourselves about this. If this were not so, the press would force the candidates to take their stand on controlling access to the Internet, which was developed with tax monies. The press does not take on the corpocracy to which it belongs, and we are paying for this. - Del Marbrook

ECOLOGY & ELECTIONS

Given the ongoing mass extinctions worldwide and the onset of global warming displacements, this election year's concerns about wars, economies, and other human navel gazing demostrates a species that has lost any justification for its domination of the planet.


OBAMA HINTS RETURN OF DRAFT

Honestly, I would support this move. I am hopeful, but not all that optimistic, that a return of the draft would also invoke a return of the strong anti-war movements of the '60s. If everyone, rich and poor, runs the same risk of losing their sons and daughters in war, perhaps the population would be less gleeful about going to war. In an ideal world, it could mark the beginning of the end of the military-industrial complex, but that is nothing more than wishful thinking. If nothing else, maybe Canada would once again provide refuge to soldiers who protest the war, as they did in Vietnam but have not done in the most current wars because we have a completely volunteer military.

OBAMA'S MANY VIEWS ON MARIJUANA

I am a daily smoker. The world would be a better place if people smoked marijuana in my honest opinion. Alcohol is the poison that should be illegal and anyone that says otherwise has never tried marijuana. fact.

What people don't realize is that many marijuana smokers do so responsibly. I did very bad in high school because I got high everyday. If it had been legal I would have not skipped school and I would have gone to class and just smoked after school.

Alcohol is the poison, marijuana is the cure. enough said.
PALIN WANTS CREATION FANTASY TAUGHT

As the Pasta of the Hueco Tanks congregation of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I [say that] if Biblical Creationism is taught in school, we will most definitely sue to have FSM-ism taught. Our Holy Book, "The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster" inspired by the FSM and divinely communicated to Prophet Bobby Henderson, will be used as the text in the classroom. - Ramen, Steve

REAGAN GAVE BIRTH TO TODAY'S FISCAL CRISES

Amen to that. I was starting college at the dawn of the so-called "Reagan Revolution". and used to try to warn my friends of much the same thing. It was depressing to see how the young people of that era fell in line with the crap that the then-nascent neo-cons were pushing. Sadly, even after all the destruction they've wreaked, it appears that many of the newer generation of young people are still falling for their horribly flawed economic, domestic and foreign policy agendas.

I was in high school when Reagan was elected. I remember all the people who thought he was going to make America proud again. I would reply to them that this was the beginning of the thirdworldization of the US, and unless we stopped Reagan and his cronies, we would all be living in a Third World slum in a few decades. They would accuse me of being negative, and I would say I'm just paying attention to what Reagan is really saying, not just his happy platitudes. Though third world as a term has fallen out of vogue, we are coming frighteningly close to that prediction.

1 Comments:

At October 28, 2008 8:03 PM, Blogger Richard said...

This crisis was not a failure of laissez-faire capitalism, it was a failure of intensive regulation —in unbelievable, mass stupidity, the most commonly touted solution is more regulation!

From The American Competitive Enterprise Institute:
While the Dow collapses, we have a bull market in government regulations. The 50-plus departments, agencies and commissions are now at work on 3,882 rules; 757 will affect small businesses. More than 51,000 final rules were issued from 1995 to 2007.

That’s 51,000 NEW regulations, added to what was there before, in only 12 years!.

On another of their web pages:
Well over 48,000 final rules were issued from 1995 to 2006–that is, during Republican control of Congress.

That is hardly Rand's laissez-faire capitalism; that’s fascism/corporatism & socialism. At root, those are the very ideologies Rand spent her lifetime hoping to save Americans and America from. Now, when the effects of those destructive ideologies from Washington hit the fan, everyone is blaming laissez-faire capitalism instead. They are ridiculous, uninformed, or dishonest.

Greenspan dropped any pretense of understanding Rand's arguments sometime before he became head of the Fed., and he then became a major part of the problem. His monetary policy and suppression of interest rates, when Rand would have said “let the market decide” were an appalling government intervention. Add in The CRA, CDS, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the recipe for a distorted market was complete.

Now imagine, there YOU are, the CEO of a large financial organization. Your competitors are complying with the regulations and are making good for their shareholders, while things are getting tight for your firm. What do you do?

You join in, of course. If you are able to understand the fraud in the government’s game, you build yourself some protection for when the bubble bursts… but most people, like you and your commenters, are not that smart. Still, none of you would have dared to play the 'game' Washington's way if it were not for a handful of people in the US government who believed they were more intelligent than the free market. Without those people, lending rates would have adjusted themselves years ago, paper money would not have been printed like it grew on trees (e.g. “helicopter Bernanke”) and the present crisis would not even have been imagined.

Consider reading “The Virtue of Selfishness” & “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal” next, to see how, rational egoism is the essence of business. and is the reason for individual rights. Capitalism is the only moral system, and it does work.

 

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