Well, Darn, I Just Don’t Feel Like Talkin’

Yes, I still have lots to say, but I am having, what for me is an all to few occurrence, a lack of obsessive need to write about it.  I’ll let you guys in on a secret.  I rarely write this stuff off the cuff.  Usually, these posts brew over days, sometimes weeks, as I build as solid an argument as I can and look at the reasons for the post.  My post “Let’s Set the Pace” was running in my head for months.  While I thought of the reasons why I wanted to write it, I cringed at the backlash I expected to receive from reactionaries who did not read the entire post.  I’ll have to say that I was disappointed with the lack of response since I would love to discuss it further.  I would love discuss any of my posts further but for now, no new arguments.  They are still brewing.

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I don’t bite

I just wanted to let you, my faithful reader that I have yet to have, that I don’t bite.  Yes, I do write a lot of stuff that is highly political or religious, but I actually like the challenge of discussion.  Please don’t be afraid to debate these issues with me.  I’ll warn you now that I will make you work for it; however, if you succeed in changing my mind, the next person will find it harder to change it again.  Let’s just have fun with this.

Open Mouth, Insert Golden Spoon, and Cry like a Two Year Old Denied More Ice Cream

I am so sick of hearing the Republican Party’s, and their rich backers, whiny attitude about being asked to pay a little more taxes.  They are spending millions of dollars on a campaign ad blitz built upon an out of context sound bite from President Obama.  The sound bite played out of context is “… If you own a business, you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen …”  The first problem is when you here the entire speech, you find out that he was referring to the highway system and infrastructure that allows businesses to thrive.  The second problem is that even if you focus on the misrepresented sound bite, the idea is still valid and says something of the truth that Republicans work very hard to befuddle.

 The truth is that the people behind these ads are not only greedy beyond belief, but they also have huge John Gault complexes.  They strive very hard to convince the gullible public that businessmen like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mitt Romney created the businesses that made them wealthy solely on their own.  Anyone who is dumb enough to believe this BS should be locked away for their own protection.  There is no way any one person could make a company into a multi-million or multi-billion dollar business on their own.  If the business is a service, a lone person could not interact with enough customers to create that kind of wealth and if they could do so with only a few customers, I would seriously question the legality of the service.  Now the entrepreneur that has an idea for a product, they may be able to sell a lot alone, but again not enough to make millions.  Also, even if they make the product themselves, they had to get raw materials from somewhere; they had to get the product to the customer; they needed capital to start production.  In other words, they had workers helping them.

Steve Jobs did not personally build every Apple computer, I-Phone, or I-Pad.  He did not write every line of code that runs them or each individual component with which they are made.  Now I am going to say the most sacrilegious thing a Republican could hear, Steve Jobs was completely replaceable.  Yes, even the mighty founder of Apple could have been replaced. We might have had to wait a little longer, but someone else would have eventually taken us down the same path.  They may even have done it better.  Time and need will create the will to create something independent of any one person.  If all the multi-billionaires suddenly disappeared from the earth, yes, the world economy would collapse for years, maybe decades as we sorted out the mess, but others would eventually step into the gaps.  The simple truth is that billionaires are no less irreplaceable than a good worker.

In reality, the Republican’s would have us believe that business owners live in a bubble of rarified air separated from the rest of the world.  We on the outside are a starving mass of savages that only know how to scratch our asses and beg from the almighty businessman.  Through the businessman’s kind generosity, we are given sustenance to make our lives better and if that sustenance was withheld, we would die immediately.  What a pile of bull.  The simple truth is that the shoe is on the other foot. If we did not mine the resources to make the product, they would not make money. If we did not build the products they created, they would not make any money.  If we did not transport the products to a seller, they would not make money.  If we did not take receipt of the money from the customer, they would not make money, and most importantly, if we did not buy their products, they would not make money.  In the end, we are the ant to their grasshopper.  We do most of the work and they take the cream of the crop.

 

As for the John Gault complex, all I can say is that he was a fictional character that never had to deal with reality.  Question, in their little island utopia, who built the houses that they lived in?  I highly doubt it was any of the rebel entrepreneurs.  I can just imagine the fight to see who was lowest on the totem pole and; thus, had to do all the labor.  Which ones had to be servants to the others?  What many millionaire businessmen don’t understand is that, while you may be bigger than a lot of us, you are still nothing but a servant to the Billionaires.  You better decide whose side you want to be on, the side that truly makes the economy work or the side that sucks money out of the economy for their own personal tally sheets in the game of who has the most.

Hey Republicans, take that golden spoon out of your mouth, quit crying, and don’t ask for any more ice cream until you have done your chores!

 

A Failure of Imagination, America

As I have done many times on my old blog when I had thought I reached the end of what I wanted to say, more showed up banging ceaselessly upon my brow until I wrote it down or got a headache.  Apparently, I had some more failures rattling around my head and they had a distictively American flavor.

1.  Americans fail to imagine that the large investment banks currently hold our economy and our lives in hostage to their greedy whims.  Some will say that this is just business and it is the way it should be.  These people fail to imagine that their great lives could be lost in an instant of greed from someone bigger than themselves.  Our entire way of life is in the hands of the people that control the money.  If this was not the case, we would not have to worry about Bain capital buying our companies and sending the jobs overseas.  We would not have to worry about the banks not loaning money to keep our businesses running.  Here is something to think about, control of information has been said to be the key to the future, so how do you control the information?  Money.  If you don’t beleive me, check into who owns what media and what media controls which news company.

2.  Americans fail to imagine that their every purchase, from a house to a car to a pack of gum, affects people the world over.  They fail to see the depth of the connections between us and every other country.  You cannot threaten China with trade sactions without understanding the costs to our own economy and vice versa.  A person buying a pack of gum has the weight of the world on his back.  They are employing hordes of people from the grocery clerk that makes sure the gum is on the shelf to the cashier that checks you out.  They are paying for the truck driver that delivered the product as well as the gas delivery driver that brought the fuel to run his truck.   You employ the warehouse worker who unloads the truck from the manufaturor of the gum.  You employ all the workers including the CEO of the Gum manufacturor.  You are also paying for the advertisers to sell you on buying the gum through commercials, packaging, or research.  You are funding governmental agencies that oversee and regulate the companies.  Further, you are financing the people that create the ingredients including those used in packaging, which may be in another country.  Let us not forget the oil workers across the globe who labor to suppy us with the fuel for every aspect of this single transaction.   You are paying for the betting on Wall Street for all of the companies involved here and in turn, all the foriegn and domestic speculators involved in Wall Street.  Ok, enough.  My head hurts and I could just go on and on.

A Failure of Imagination (full post)

“A failure of imagination,” is a phrase supposedly spoken by Astronaut Frank Borman during the senate hearings of the Apollo I accident.  I learned of this phrase from the great miniseries From Earth to the Moon.   In the second episode of the series, the horrific events resulting in the deaths of Gus Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee are dramatically re-enacted.  During the inquiry many errors of design and construction were examined as to their role in the accident with some people interested in seeing the program suspended as too dangerous.  When Mr. Borman was asked directly what caused the accident he replied “A failure of imagination.” 

Whether this is an accurate portrayal of historical fact or artistic license, I do not know; however, the words and the explanation given have stuck with me.  In the show, Frank Borman went on to elaborate what he said.  He wanted to express that, while there were problems within the program, there was not a sense of disregard for safety as some would portray.  In reality, many people within and without NASA failed to imagine a fire occurring on the launch pad because the focus of the scientists, engineers, and astronauts was on accidents occurring during the flight.  They failed to connect a greater risk of fire to a test in an unfueled rocket; a test that had been done the same way through several missions without prior incident.  Basically, everyone failed to plan for the conundrum of circumstances that occurred that fateful day.

What I personally took away from this idea is to never trust anyone who talks in absolutes.  Your money is completely safe, nuclear power is safe and clean, or oil can be safely exploited in wildlife sanctuaries without risk.  Mankind and modern history is a living testament to the power of a failure of imagination.  I bet the designers of the Titanic failed to imagine their wonderful creation crashing into an iceberg.  What about the operators at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl failing to imagine the disasters that occurred at these Nuclear Plants.  We very much know the failure of imagining a tsunami that could wipe out all the back-up power needed to prevent meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi.  I am sure that the first bank to repackage mortgages into mortgage back derivatives did not foresee the global economic catastrophe they would create.  (I tend to believe that they did not see the potential even though I feel they knew they were repackaging bad debt so they could sell it off their books.  As time went on; however, I think they knew what was coming and knew it would not hurt them but us.)

I’ll bet Hilter failed to imagine the Russian’s defeating his army just as the French failed to imagine how easily the German’s crossed the Maginot line.  Einstein probably failed to imagine the lingering fear of Nuclear annihilation that was a result of his equation E=MC2.  Countries like Cambodia failed to imagine that Communistic fervor could lead to the atrocities of Pol Pot. We have been following our singular lack of imagination from the birth of man until now.  This is why I have problems with any religion, government, or scientists who say they know the answers to our problems.  They may know things, which could help now, but they cannot, or in some cases will not, see all the consequences of their actions.  Scientists do not know that there is no God.  Popes do not know that there is a God.  Companies do not know that the product they are giving you is absolutely safe.  Consumers do not know that companies intentionally misled them.  What I am trying to say is to never take things for granted because someone says you should.  They may be just failing to imagine what they say is not the truth.

Failure of Imagination

This is just a place holder to a post I wish to write later, but I will tell you that these are words to live by and are a quote for the character of astronaut Frank Borman in the mini-series From Earth to the Moon.  Whether or not the real Frank Borman said these words, I do not know at this time, but the idea behind the words is valid no matter who said them.