Friday, December 07, 2012

Existing in New York City: thegrowlingwolf on the Prowl

Foto by tgw, New York City, November 2012
Is Obama Fixing to Insult Us Again?
Please don’t tell me that these reports in the business press touting Sallie Krawcheck as a front-runner for chairman of the SEC or even a possible candidate to be the next Treasury secretary are true. Who is she? Oh, just another former Citigroup CFO, and therefore a prime participant in the great banking hustle that has savaged the world’s economy. Krawcheck was paid $11 million in 2005 while her bank contributed to the toxic mortgage crisis that would cost millions their jobs and homes.  
On the Prowl With thegrowlingwolf 
Had lunch at my favorite Persian restaurant yesterday.  The room was packed with Persians who all seemed to know each other.  Everyone looked so successful.  Didn't look like a foreclosure victim in the bunch,  One old graying rocker type was talking about writing songs and how saintly his mother was.  One very pretty Persian woman had a voice like a tiny child.  She kept playing with her iPhone, even while eating.  I'm amazed at the success of cell phones.  I remember a time when one despised the phone ringing or having to talk to someone on a telephone.  Now there seems to be one continuous conversation via cell phones going on: either with oneself or one's relatives or one's friends or, as in the case with thedailygrowlerhousepianist, doing business 24/7 and also looking up info on the Internet.  Screw trivial pursuits anymore.  Even the most obscure knowledge can be found on the Internet.  Last Saturday night I was keeping score while a gaggle of classy babes were playing Scrabble and when one of them challenged a word they didn't run get the Webster's Collegiate down off the shelf...why, my relative in the game had a Scrabble dictionary on her Nook.

I, being the contrarian I am, have no iPhone or iPad or Nook.  I'm still using a land-line phone that I've had for nearly 25 years, a Southwestern Bell phone.  It's battered and dirty and squeaky and static-laden but still it manages to capture the phone calls I care anything about.  I'm still reading my books in the published flesh.  I can't imagine reading a book on a Nook.  I mean, how do you pencil in marginalia while you're reading on a Nook?  How do you underline certain passages whose content you wish to make a note of for future reference or usage?  

I'm not really into small things.  iPhones and such remind me too much of toys.  Toys are for babies.  I was amazed how my niece's 7-year-old son can use an iPhone.  He can also handle himself well on a computer.  He certainly knows the right keys to push to navigate the Internet or to do a task.

Me, I'm still in the dark ages, though I am crazy about my computers; still to me they're just typewriters in the modern age.  Typewriters and typesetters and page designers, etc.

I'm currently full of writing projects, a novel which is halfway finished; a biography of my brother (oh what a vain project it is); a book of confessions with me as both the confessor and confession taker; a potboiler I started several years back; and finally a stage drama on the last day of the life of jazz saxophonist Lester Young.  Do I ever hope to see any of these works in progress in print?  No.  In this age of electronic books, no way I can get my writings published the old-fashioned way.  No.  My only hope of seeing them in print is, of course, if I publish them myself on the Internet as electronic books.  There are still "book publishers" in this age of electronics but I'm not banking my writing future on any of them publishing me...except my brother was famous enough I might could get a hardcopy publisher for my biography of him.

Are We Readying for a War With Syria?
It certainly looks like we are ready to put boots on the ground in Syria.  Right now NATO boots.  I believe we already have CIA operatives there; hell, I think our CIA operatives started the Civil War going on there now in the first place.  Now our warhawks are spouting this bullshit about Assad using chemical warfare weapons (read: Weapons of Mass Destruction) and all our purveyors of war are talking tough, like Hillbilly Hillary, "We won't tolerate Assad using chemical warfare" and some Pentagon yes man talking tough about how we're ready to take drastic actions if Assad turns to chemical warfare.  NATO is already gathering their klans in Turkey.  And remember, we are NATO; we supply NATO with money and weapons and also the majority of forces.  In the meantime, our global chemical corporations like Monsanto and DuPont are poisoning our food supply and our air and our water, but, hey, that's fine and dandy with us.  And yesterday, Japan suffered a 7.3 earthquake in the area of the Fukushima nuclear power catastrophe, but Tokyo Power is saying, "Everything is perfectly problem, the earthquake didn't kill anyone and the resulting tsunami was of no consequences."  You know they're lying like dogs and we'll read the truth any day now.  If I were Japanese, I would get the hell out of Japan immediately.  It's doomed, folks!  Remember, I'm a soothsayer.

Getting Out of Debt
1) Cut back on the trillions of dollars it takes to support the U.S. military around the world.  Even if you cut the Defense budget in half, we would still have the most viciously cruel military in the world, though even with spending these trillions of dollars (a waste) on this hi-tech military, they still can't win any wars.  2) Certainly, too, raise taxes on rich people and overrich corporations (highest profits this year in the history of Capitalism). I mean, why should a money-wasting rich fool like Mitt "the Mormon" Romney only pay 13% taxes?  3) Put a stock transfer tax on all stock market transactions.  That seems pretty damn simple to me.  4) Cut back seriously on funding for Homeland Security, the CIA, the FBI, and the NIS.  5) Rescind NAFTA and GATT and all free-trade agreements based on corporate gains (the Global Marketplace enriches the Capitalist and not the creators of Capital, the laborers).  Before he died, Milton Friedman admitted his free-trade economics was voodoo economics.  David Stockton, Reagan's Milton Friedman economist joy boy admitted that his economics were, as Pappy Bush said, voodoo economics. 6) Why can't the government spend money and create civil service jobs?  To hell with this austerity crap.  We spend money liberally on wars...why is that form of government spending OK; yet, spending money on creating jobs not OK? 7) Do away with the Federal Reserve.

Oh well, wistful suggestions on my part.  Mark me off as a Georgist/Marxist nutjob.

Henry George said:
"What has destroyed every previous civilization has been the tendency to the unequal distribution of wealth and power."

"Capital is a result of labor, and is used by labor to assist it in further production.  Labor is the active and initial force, and labor is therefore the employer of capital."

Karl Marx said: 
"History calls those men the greatest who have ennobled themselves by working for the common good; experience acclaims as happiest the man who has made the greatest number of people happy."

Did you know Marx was for Free Trade?  Not a free trade based on corporate needs but on laborers' needs.  Can you see the difference?

for The Daily Growler

From Counterpunch:

The moment when the New Deal as we knew it became history by bi-partisan consensus was a long time coming. A trans-generational core of inherited wealth and right-wing cranks has been trying to undo the New Deal since Social Security became fact in 1935. Ronald Reagan echoed anti-New Deal cries of ‘socialism,’ first as a paid spokesperson of the AMA (American Medical Association) against the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid, and later through his racist caricature of the ‘welfare queen’ living fat on public largesse. Despite the fact that Social Security is an insurance program paid for by its participants, much the same as private insurance but without the executive looting, the charge has always been of an undeserving public sucking on “a milk cow with 310 million tits.”
Democrats first joined the effort in earnest with Bill Clinton’s plan to partially privatize Social Security. The idea was to let our good friends on Wall Street manage a bit of the money for us, for a fee of course. That proposal faltered when Mr. Clinton was impeached. As was the fashion in European Central Bank circles in 2009, Mr. Obama took up the torch of fiscal austerity of his own initiative by creating his very own deficit commission. This should have come as no surprise to anyone paying attention—Mr. Obama publicly stated his intention to ‘fix’ Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid when he allied himself with the Wall Street friendly ‘Hamilton Project’ in 2006.
(In Between Democrats Clinton and Obama came Republican George W. Bush who also tried to partially privatize Social Security. Mr. Bush quickly retreated when he saw the depth of political opposition to the effort. As the saying goes, it takes a Democrat to gut the New Deal).
For the uninitiated, the Hamilton Project is the demon spawn of the Clintonite contingent of the Democratic Party led by former Treasury Secretary and disgraced Citicorp Board member Robert Rubin.

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