Death from the personal to the societal

I don’t have an ending for this… it’s just an open statement–while each man (or woman’s) death diminishes me, I can deal with that concept only at the personal, not the societal level.  I don’t think any of us can cope with losing thousands of American soldiers in a war.  Each and every American death in Iraq and Afghanistan is personal for SOMEone, but unless we begin to feel it at a personal level, I don’t think we’re going to make the effort to get the hell out of there.

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Call it a depression, go ahead

On the financial state of this country, a few observations.  I believe it’s all getting very Chicken Little.  As soon as two economists actually agree (or one Alan Greenspan says) that we’re in a recession, then the squawking of “the sky is falling, the sky is falling!” commences.  Recessions and depressions are always diagnosed afterward, by their very definition, and I cannot emphasize this strongly enough, THEY ARE INEVITABLE.  Everything cycles on this planet, and economics are no exception.  And, when financial institutions are being bailed out by the Feds, we are in a depression. Ta-da!

Next, there is a very big difference from saying that corporations–let’s use casinos in Illinois as an example–are losing money, and the reality of what’s actually happening.  The casino profits from this time last year, and in fact from last month, are down.  The casinos here are screaming that it’s the Illinois non-smoking legislation that went into force January 1 that is diminishing their profits.  In my less than humble opinion, while that may have an effect, it’s MUCH more likely that it’s the overall economy.  When gas is a dollar a gallon higher than this time last year, people are less likely to throw money overboard on the gambling boats.  However, I digress.

As I said profits are down.  If I could scream this at the top of my lungs, I would… Year-over-year differences in profits do NOT mean the casino is losing money.  They’re not.  They just aren’t winning money off of people at the same or a higher rate than they were this time last year.  Their profits are still obscene… they just aren’t as obscene as they want them to be… 🙂

The Prez Election…

Oh my, the Democrats are walking the “party of diversity” walk and not just talking the talk this presidential election year, are they not? We now have Obama, a half-black man, and Clinton, a female of thoroughly white descent running for Democratic leader of the free world. The Republicans, on the other hand, devolved into a game of “who’s the oldest über-conservative,” and McCain won, even thugh only half of that is true. 

On the other hand, he’s won the race for testiest, whitest white man, while the Democrats go off in a corner and dice the diversity pie into halves and quarters. Consider this: More than half of America is female (slightly). More than half of America is white. This means Clinton is part of the only actual majority in the country. Not saying you shouldn’t vote for her–just be aware that she belongs to no minority except the ideological one that is women who are willing to speak up. Whether you love her or hate her, you’ve got to give her credit for at least standing up and not shutting up.

Free Speech

“Free speech” is a canard, a lie, a pipe dream foisted on us by the founding fathers. Our “freedoms” of speech are abrograted every day, we are censored, or we censor ourselves. When was the last time you saw the “f-word” or the “n-word” published in a newspaper? I’m NOT saying we should say anything we bloody well want to–if I were, I would have used the actual words instead of some namby-pamby euphemisms. I’m saying that we need to stop squawking about free speech vs. hate speech, and whether burning a flag is “freedom of expression,” when we obviously don’t REALLY believe in the concept at all. We believe in freedom of speech until we don’t want to hear what someone has to say, and we’ve legislated it that way.

Legislating Thought

The phrase in the lawbooks “with intent to…” is a successful attempt to actually legislate thought, and to make certain thoughts illegal. How do you prove intent? I might not have intended to drop the hammer on my foot, but I did actually do so. So, the only way we can PROVE that there is intent is if the person on trial confesses. Unless, of course the confession is coerced. Shades of Gitmo. I have to stop now.