Since we are coming up on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. I thought this would be an appropriate way to commemorate an event, that no matter how terrible, was one of the defining moments of the 20th century.
Thomas Frank - Pity the Billionaire:
First some true confessions. I’ve been doing a lot of reading over the past couple months. A brief illness had put me off my game for a while and somehow a good read keeps the mind vital without taxing it as much as a steady diet of writing. (In other words, I have been lazy for the past few weeks - but only for medicinal purposes.) During that time I worked my way through Thomas Frank’s “Pity the Billionaire”.
Frank has some very cogent arguments about how the far-right operates and how reality has morphed into an almost alternate universe from the rest of us. Its a place where grass is blue and the sky is green. In that topsy-turvy upside-down world one of the most glaring ironies is the resurgence of Ayn Rand. After all - corporate corruption and regulatory complacency had almost brought the entire world economy to its knees. That should have been enough to consign copies of Atlas Shrugged to the paper shredders for the next half century. But no…quite the contrary.
Ayn Rand For Dummies:
Rand contends that the true heros are the billionaires. The talented and few. They are the masters of the universe. They are our betters. They make ships like the Titanic possible. But they are also the victims. They are victims of our ingratitude. Our inability to appreciate how they have made our lives better makes them so. They employ the people who built the ship and lifted them from them from homelessness and an early grave to mere poverty. The people should be grateful to the likes of these billionaires. They are the producers. So they made a few mistakes and almost pushed us in to a second Great Depression that would have made the 1930’s seem like a cake walk - no biggie. After all, they are the JOB CREATORS! And now the job creators are on strike, refusing to hire because we, the ungrateful public have made their lives so “uncertain”.
After Nov. 2010 - I thought we were through with the “silly season” of politics for a while. We had quite a time - between Carl Paladino wielding a baseball bat, Sharon Angle and her “second amendment solutions, and Christine O’Donnell - who reportedly still is not a witch. For a trip down memory lane with some prose and videos you can go to BOO!!! The Silly Season of Politics Turns Scary! or Concession Speeches dos and dont’s.
As entertaining as all this was - the specter of would-be public representatives behaving this was uniquely disturbing. The reprieve from lunacy ended abruptly with the Iowa straw polls where the politics once again descended from the merely absurd and dangerous to the insane and surreal. Once again - you can’t make this stuff up.
Ed Schultz - of MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” reported that Michelle Bachman is now promising that if she became president, gasoline would return to levels not seen I was earning my Ph.D. (I think we went north of $2.00/gallon in about 2002). Promising gasoline prices less than $2.00 a gallon which would be achieved by a “drill baby, drill” policy of off-shore drilling. According to Bachman , this would increase our production by 500,000 barrels a day by 2030 - magically creating a glut of oil and lowering prices. Hmmm…..500,000 barrels a day is a drop in the bucket - no pun intended. And 2030 is almost 20 years away last I checked. Ed Schultz rightly pointed out that the price of gasoline is driven by world demand and that gasoline prices below $2.00/gallon would require a world wide economic melt-down. But then again - may be that’s the whole point. A Bachman presidency might but the catalyst to do just that. I’m just sayin’…..
I have already accepted that the US has become a robber baron economy - but it had always been in the back of my head that expatriation was an option if things continued their downward spiral here. But a recent round of reading and research has convinced me that the Robber Barons have “gone global.”
What Obama and the Antichrist have in common??????
A post with the above title was published in 2009 by Joel Richardson. One would hope that such a post was written with an eye to satire. Needless to say - such is not the case. This end of times prophet has somehow morphed into a FOX analyst - covering the protests in Madison WI. Yes, that makes sense. The pretzel logic involved in morphing the end of times into arguments about collective bargaining and medical coverage for teachers is truly torturous. The truly frightening thing is that some might actually take this seriously.
A couple of days ago Matt Yglesias had post about theFox Effect. He was responding to Richard Ramsey’s post about the “Fox Geezer Syndrome” in which discussed how even conservative adults were growing increasingly perplexed and frustrated by the extreme effect that the politics of hate (courtesy of the Glen Beck Show) is having on their parents.
Its the end of the world as we know it….and i feel scared.