Wednesday, April 27, 2011

IRAN AND IRAQ - April 28, 2011

It is an insult to informed listeners when the US administration tells us things that we can easily know are untrue. This supposed right of the rulers to tell lies that will support their policies is a balance to their supposed right to keep us from knowing the truth, as is seen in the wikileaks prosecutions. Not only do they tell us the lies, but they claim the right to inflict punishment upon those who discover them and tell what they have learned. In the case of Iran, they long ago branded them an enemy of US, and succeeding governments have repeated their untruths as though they knew no better, and called upon the law and the patriotism of US to second the deceptions, far into the future when no legitimate grounds for them continue to exist. An outstanding example is when US labels their allies as democracies, overlooking deeds that we would excoriate in those whose offenses do not exceed the unwillingness to join an alliance against some US interest. As an example, we have the contrast between our propaganda about Iran and Sa’udi Arabia. The former is attacked for its undemocratic government while the hereditary monarchy of the latter is called a democracy, or at least we take no notice of their medieval excesses. Also, Iraq was called the worst tyranny in the world while their neighbor Syria was being excused. Now Syria has suddenly joined the ranks of the worst, while Yemen continues being mostly overlooked. In the meantime, we have supported military dictatorships of the worst sort over the decades since WW II even heaping accolades on the likes of Pinochet and Ferdinand Marcos. When Pakistan joined US in standing against the Chinese, they were wonderful, while India was treated as an enemy for decades, and Iran had its government overthrown, leading to the “choice” of the mullahs and the Shah, probably dooming democracy there for the foreseeable future. The people of Iran are due an abject apology but instead they are excoriated because they are at political odds with their natural foes in the Israelis. It is time that some respect be shown to the intelligent US people.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

DEBT - April 21, 2011

In the discussion of debt, it is important to recognize the cultures surrounding this institution in our world. The most serious consideration on the part of the lender is whether the borrower has the genuine intent and also the ability to repay the principal, and also the interest, if any. It is usually considered that this consideration must fall upon the lender, if he has any genuine concern for the loan. Of course, in our time, we are familiar with the bankster game of inducing a loan by a borrower who may not repay the principal, but can be expected to submit to usurious interest costs, possibly coming to exceed even a large multiple of the whole loan. This seems to support the whole of the credit card scam, usually foisted upon the unwary. Young adults especially seem to fall for this gambit. In the case of nations, the issue of the willingness and capacity to pay the contracted costs seems to be essential in making the loan. Yet our literature is replete in cases in which the borrower genuinely believes that he will repay somehow, but is without any real motivation to deprive himself to do that, and maybe there will be no way to succeed in that. Any observer seeing the contortions of the two major US parties must realize that the People have been seduced into debt by the inability of either party to remain in elective contention unless they promise to reduce the taxes from which the money to repay the debt will come. Thus we have the canonical situation in which the loan cannot be repaid, even if the debtor wishes he could. In that case, we see extraordinary efforts being made to secure the cost of the debt from someone else. In general, it is the onus of the lender to see that he does not lend to someone who will not pay, even if he wants to. Unless the borrower has the will to exact the debt from himself, or from those who own him, it is the action of a fool to lend him money. So much for confidence.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

DEMOCRACY. NOW? - April 13, 2011

No matter how you slice it, approximately half the electorate of WI has voted to continue the control of our government by the corporate plutocrats, and while there is a lot of difference between 49% and 51% in terms of who holds office, it can hardly fail to be noticeable that most of those below the median in their share of the goodies have voted for the regime of the Kochs and their ilk. Thus, while the Tories sell the working and lower middle classes on endless promises of the likes of abortion prohibition, the Dems are doing the same with empty promises of economic justice. Barack Obama continues to sell himself in the role of the Weak King, soliciting pity for his fecklessness, and others will be paying the costs of his weakness. In AZ, the State made a political decision to forego the program of replacement organs for medical victims. Middle class citizens paid with their lives for the election of Tories who call themselves Republicans, and the Republic is ratifying that election. In many states, middle class teens are being priced out of the economic benefits, if any, of a college education. By the time this depression turns itself around, they might have missed the boat and will have to live their lives as a lost generation. Corporatized health insurance will continue to empty the bank accounts of many and fill the graves of many of those who don’t have the money the plutocrats want to rob. But as I have often mentioned, and many before me for over 2K years, including Plato and Socrates, democracy is subject to the depredations of demagogues selling political snake oil and the public is often too sleepy to act sensibly in their own interest. Still it remains the truth that the People can make a revolution at the ballot box, without needing to pick up a gun. If we wait too long, we will share the agonies of the people of Libya. Even in this pinch, democracy offers the People their best deal, until it becomes too late, as it often does.