Saturday, July 17, 2010

Take Back Our Government!

Yes! Let's Take Back Our Government!

Lincoln might have used ink writing the Gettysburg Address, but there is no "inc" in "Of the People, by the people, and for the people."

© 2010
You read it here first!!!
I hereby grant a royalty free use for the first 10,000,000 people to use this phrase!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Quick Note

I need to get these charts up for a political discussion on FB

This chart shows the public sector and private sector percentages of the sub-prime mortgage securitization market in 2003 and 2006

And this next chart shows the total growth in the sub-prime mortgage securitization markets from 2003 and 2006 and the percentage growth of the public sector and the private sector.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Is American Exceptionalism Exceptional?

"My dog is better than your dog." (Canine exceptionalism) *

"My elementary school is the best one in town." (Elementary exceptionalism.)

"My high school is the best one in the state." (Wilsonian "Rah rah rah, be true to your school" exceptionalism, Brian style)

My state is the best in the country. (State exceptionalism)

My college's football team can beat up your college's football team. (Gridiron exceptionalism)

My fraternity is better than your fraternity. (Greek exceptionalism?)

I love my country, and I celebrate that we have done many great things in this world, not the least of which are creating modern democratic governance, as well as, usually, trying to improve it and us.

But I simply cannot take the next exceptionalism step (to the nationalist level) and still look myself (or my dog ) in the mirror....

Your mileage may vary


* This is the first line of Tom Paxton's "My Dog Is Bigger Than Your Dog" Lyrics I suspect this reading of his song is where Paxton was going in those early days of his career.

Amazingly (?), there is no YouTube of him performing it. (I heard him in concert a few decades ago lamenting that he had sold the rights to a pet food company - maybe that's why.)

In lieu of that, a fantastic video of Tom on the rare Pete Seeger TV show: Ramblin' Boy

Friday, July 2, 2010

Why the Revolution?

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, let us not forget that the Declaration of Independence listed 27 reasons for splitting from England.

Only one was about taxation, and that was a complaint about imposing taxes on us without representation. (I.e., without having a vote.)

Most of the others were about the abrogation of the rights of the people (not of business and commerce) to control our own destinies through the offices of our government.

Should We Always Stick to Original Intent?

From everything I have read, our FF's were deeply opposed to the US maintaining a standing army. see, e.g.,
  • Federalist Papers 8, 24, 25, 26, 29, 41 (and maybe more, I stopped word searching there) ). see also
  • See also 'Freedom Daily'
  • “A standing army is one of the greatest mischief that can possibly happen” James Madison
And yet those who proclaim "original intent" as the only measure of our national life don't decry standing armies, or announce any acceptance that a changing world necessitates leaving "original intent" behind when appropriate.

The same changing world, IMO, necessitates leaving other aspects of "original intent:" what worked in an agrarian, barter economy world, is as inapplicable to today's world as relying on the several states' militias would be today