October 2011
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Month October 2011

Mercantilism, not capitalism, is the enemy

OWS is missing the advantage of the Tea Party: combining disparate elements over the TARP and forgetting social issues. The TARP was a clear gift to the mercantilist elements of the financial sector. The social issues are there to divide us, but the mercantilists would like us to concentrate on distracting fights over unemployment benefits, taxes on earned income, illegal immigration and the deficit instead of private sector jobs. MIDDLE CLASS MUST HAVE CAPITALISM Mercantilism is the Enemy Wayne Jett © October 17, 2011 Those protesting Wall Street oligarchs and those protesting Big Government spending have much more in common than even they think. They are all middle class who worry their prospects are suffering, although they propose conflicting political solutions and rhetorically attack each other. Each must awaken to this fact: their common oppressor is mercantilism – not capitalism. Oligarchs and Mercantilism Mercantilism is the historical name given to methods used by oligarchs to influence government and advance their agenda. First on the oligarch agenda is to increase their capital holdings by looting financial markets and by exploiting de facto monopolies in business. Greater capital brings them closer to complete control of government and, eventually, to full power without […]

Globe SpotLite Gets “F” for Journalism & Supreme Judicial Court Gets “Red F” for Jurisprudence

Are we living in a banana republic? It’s starting to seem that way. First the Boston Globe does a Spotlight story based on information gleaned from their crack staff, the best of the best, going through a sampling of drunk driving cases in eastern Mass. In most files they probably found a complaint, which has the name, age, and address of the defendant, the docket number, and the charge(s) against him. There is also the docket itself that is the official record of the case as it proceeded through the system. Court dates, bail, whether there was a trial and if so bench or jury, and finally the disposition, i.e. guilt/not guilty/dismissed/continued w/o a finding. And if but “not guilty” or “dismissed” then penalty/sentence. The third part is the police report. Ah, the police report. The one that gives the police officer’s version of events and statements told to him by the defendant and civilian witnesses. Anyway the SpotLite’s big scoop is that for every 20 arrest a police officer makes for drunk driving 17 plead guilty, 2 are dismissed or found not guilty by a jury and 1, one, will be found not guilty by judge after a bench […]

‘Twas the Night of Halloween…

(I worked too hard on this not to cross post.) ‘Twas the night of Halloween, And in all the streets the branches and debris were frustrating the treats. All little ghosties and ghoulies were kept from their rounds of their neighborhoods darkened from trees that came down.

Nearly half a million in MA still without power. Is this OK?

Globe: State officials said 1,500 crews — an unprecedented number — were working to restore power. The officials said they hoped the number of customers without power would be cut in half by the end of the day, but cautioned that some might not get their power back until Friday. More than 519,000 customers were without electricity at mid-morning, but by the late afternoon, the number of power outages had dropped to around 460,000. I understand that this storm presented unusual challenges – very early, trees still had leaves, heavy snow, downed limbs, etc.  But doesn’t it seem as though there have been one or two storms in each of the last few winters that are “unusual” and that result in hundreds of thousands of people being without power for about a week?  Needless to say, being without power in New England for multiple days in the winter is a serious, and potentially life-threatening, problem. I’m just wondering whether we need to rethink the model.  Sure, utilities shouldn’t be required to employ thousands of line workers who would only have to work on super storm days.  But maybe there’s some way of adapting the snow-plow model (most people who plow […]

Updated “most dangerous words in the English language”

“To update Ronald Reagan, the most dangerous words in the English language are:  I’m from Wall Street, and I’m here to make you money.”  credit to: Ted McIntyre, page A10, Boston Globe of 10/31/2011. My addition: Wall Street makes money for the Wall Street .01% – not the rest of us.

What’s scarier than Ghosts and Goblins on Halloween? Five Terrifying Facts about the American Economy

It’s Halloween, a day for all things spooky and scary. And while ghouls, ghosts and goblins may be stalking the streets tonight, there is something far scarier afoot in America right now. With millions of people out of work and families struggling to make ends meet across the country, politicians like Scott Brown continue to stand in the way of job creation to protect tax breaks for the ultra wealthy. Here are five facts that will really send shivers up your spine — but unlike the rest of the Halloween monsters, these problems won’t disappear at the end of the night. You paid more taxes last year than some of the largest, most profitable corporations in America. Bank of America received a $1.9 billion federal tax refund, despite making $4.4 billion in profits and receiving a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion. Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. But they paid no federal income taxes. In fact, they received a $156 million rebate. Wealth inequality has skyrocketed in the last three decades. A recent report from the Congressional Budget Office revealed that the top 1% of earners saw their income […]

Halloween, Headless Horsemen and Literature in our Schools

Posted by Jim Stergios  October 30, 2011 02:07 PM http://boston.com/community/blogs/rock_the_schoolhouse/2011/10/halloween_headless_horsemen_an.html In this season of ghosts and goblins, it seems only appropriate to think about the stories that for many generations served to frame our imagination of what Halloween should look like. For generations, schoolchildren of all backgrounds learned about literature and life in America via Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans, Herman Meville’s Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Paul Revere’s Ride, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. That list is a partial trajectory of the American spirit. On Halloween a different sort of literary spirit has grown around the holiday, with very visible markers in our literary past: Our fascination with the macabre in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, the humorous, light-hearted yet richly crafted stories of Washington Irving such as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and tales formulated from the stark oppositions of American Puritanism, as evident in the stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Ichabod Crane’s unlikely fascination for the beautiful Katrina has always been easy for a child to grasp, as was […]

Scott Brown uses non-public “constituent letter” as campaign fodder. Legal? Not sure. Weird? You betcha.

As you probably know, the League of Conservation voters has put out an ad against Scott Brown arguing that he has a lousy environmental record.  Well, he does.  Anyway, you can see the ad here, if you haven’t already. What’s really peculiar is the Brown campaign’s response to it.  They’ve assembled their own little video, but here’s the really odd thing: the use of a “constituent letter” from Brown to some unnamed constituent – a letter presumably sent in Brown’s official (i.e., taxpayer-funded) capacity. (Click for larger image.) OK, a couple of things here.  First, is a letter from Brown’s Senate office to an unnamed constituent – a letter that, as far as is evident, has never been made public, except for this excerpt on his campaign site – really a “fact” than can legitimately be used to rebut an ad that is based on his recorded votes?  Isn’t that kind of like saying, “never mind what you saw me do in public, here’s something that I once whispered to someone in private”? Second, is it legal to use a letter that apparently was written by and sent from Brown’s taxpayer-funded Senate office as fodder for his campaign site?  I […]

Deval? NH? Maybe Scott Brown, instead?

This isn’t about being against New Hampshire. It is about being FOR the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. So, I get this in my gmail: -snip So please join me on November 5th in Windham, New Hampshire — right over the border — as we focus our efforts and our energies on what lies ahead. You can purchase your online tickets here, and together we can support the New Hampshire Democrats as we remind our friends and neighbors just what it is about America that makes us great. Ever forward, Deval *record scratch* I have no problem with Deval schlepping North to help them raise a buck or two. But, this narrative of taking Bay Staters and their money North? Two words – Scott Brown. As a very proud member of the underground railroad that ran into NH in 2004 & 2007-2008, I have to humbly ask that we stay home this time. Might the MA Senate candidates put a call in to the Gov and help him tweak his narrative?

Will the sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain hurt his campaign? [updated 2x]

This is sort of a follow-up to Charley’s post about the tragic state of the Republican presidential field.  The latest wrinkle, in case you hadn’t heard, is that Politico is claiming to have identified two women who alleged that Herman Cain sexually harassed them when Cain was the head of the National Restaurant Association back in the 1990s.  Supposedly, the women were paid five-figure sums in exchange for leaving their jobs at the Association and agreeing not to talk about their departure. The Politico story is pretty well devoid of specifics (for example, there are no names, and no details about the harassment that supposedly occurred, even though Politico claims to have seem the documents associated with one of the cases), to the point where Dan Kennedy is “leaning” toward declaring that the story should not have been reported at all.  Whatever the journalistic proprieties, though, it seems to me that, given the lack of details, the story is not likely to harm Cain’s standing in the polls.  If anything, in fact, it may give him a boost, since Cain can now claim that the librul media is terrified that he might win, and therefore is now out to get him […]