Saturday, November 26, 2011

One of my many problems with Ron Paul

Gail Collins from the otherwise bleak New Pravda:
Basically, Paul seems to want to revert to the 18th century, when every bank could set its own monetary policy and every community ran its own schools — presuming, of course, the community wanted to pay for them.

“The founders of this country were well educated, mostly by being home-schooled or taught in schools associated with a church,” he reasons. Those of us who were not born in the gentry could presumably go back to sowing and reaping hay.

As I see it, Ron Paul is a candidate who often strikes me as explicitly rejecting modernity.I get why some avowed "progressives" really liked Ron Paul at the height of the War on Terra - he does (for probably different reasons than I) often hit the right notes on getting out of all these damned wars, ending torture, and he did seem to be thoroughly against all of the Homeland Insecurity nonsense that emerged in the shadow of September 11, 2001. Heck, I even found that a breath of fresh air at the time. But, as we all know, we can't just cherry pick the facets of a candidate we like and pretend the rest don't exist. Rep. Paul is someone whose economics probably seem more fit for the pre-industrial-era Colonial period, and whose affinity for Ayn Rand would only further reinforce the "everyone for himself" individualism that already pervades our culture. Then there's his love of the Old Testament scriptures and patriarchy. Why anyone who even remotely associates with "the left" would find any of this attractive is beyond me.

Look, I get dissatisfaction with the two party system which is rotten to the core. But I'd just as soon hold out for better than what Ron Paul and his followers are prepared to offer. We can do better than advocate for a return to mercantile-era capitalism.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I love the smell of oligarchy in the morning

Jonathan Schwarz sez:
I'm Thankful We Have Such a Cohesive International Oligarchy

That's what I'm thankful for today. Sure, everybody knows that Gamal Mubarak, Hosni's son and heir apparent, started his career as an investment banker for Bank of America and then set up his own private equity fund. And it's old news that UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi takes time out from pepper-spraying American students to assist in the crackdown on Greek students. But did you know that Asma al-Assad, first lady of Syria, was a mergers and acquisitions investment banker at JP Morgan, and about to start on an MBA at Harvard, before she married her husband Bashar?

You really can't run a coordinated international attack on 99% of humanity without having all the attackers be buddies from way back.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Prayer by William S. Burroughs

Not sure if I've shared this one before, but it's one that I've found continues to resonate with me.