Put simply, the antitrust laws in this country are basically a joke, protecting us just enough to not have to re-name our park service the Phillip Morris National Park Service.
His testicles: Present and accounted for
All of the miracles of our lives are because of America and our ancestors’
lucky, brilliant decision to move here from the desperation of Eastern Europe.
All of it is thanks to the brave men and women who fought and died and bled on
World War II battlefields like Anzio and Tarawa to keep us free, and to the
framers of the Constitution.
But it’s also thanks to capitalism. I realized this as I swam back and forth in my pool looking up at the stars and the contrails. Under capitalism, my grandparents, my parents and I could be paid the value of what we produced.
Their (our) income and position in life were (are) a function of what value we could add, not of the status of poor stateless Jews that we would have been in Europe.
Capitalism values people as individuals according to contract, as we lawyers and economists learn, not according to the status of our birth. This in itself is a miracle.
But, as I swam and watched the private jets’ lights as they glided right
above my head into Palm Springs International Airport, I had a chilling thought:
in capitalism, the most fundamental building block is trust.
When yeoman farmers sent their savings to banks in London and Glasgow and Paris, they had to be able to count on it not being stolen. That was what allowed capital to be accumulated and deployed, and for the entire world economy to take off.
When I see what the top dogs at all too many corporations are now doing to that trust, I feel queasy. Outrageous — yes, obscene — pay. Greedy backdating of stock options, which in my opinion is straight-up theft. Managers buying assets from their trustors, the stockholders, at pennies on the dollar, then forestalling competing bids with lockups and insane breakup fees.
These misdeeds and many, many more are hammer blows at the granite
foundation of trust we built in the 1940s and ’50s. How long democratic
capitalism can survive these blows before it gives in and gives birth to
revolution or to an out-and-out aristocracy, I am not sure.
If that trust disappears — if the system is no longer a system for the ordinary citizen but only for the tough guys — how much longer can the miracle last?
EACH day’s newspaper, it seems, brings more tidings of unrestrained selfishness and self-dealing and rafts of powerful people saying it’s good for us to be robbed if only we truly understood the system.
The problem is, we’re getting to understand it all too well.
And there is no one in Washington — absolutely no one — to help.
"The story was interesting, but it was more of an item for the Reliable Source or In the Loop -- and not worth Page 1. It seemed like a "gotcha" without the gotcha.
The story also lacked needed financial context. It noted that Edwards bought the house for $3.8 million in 2002 and sold it last month for $5.2 million after it was on and off the market for 18 months.
But the story didn't pin down that the house, in the 3300 block of P Street, had at least $1 million in renovations, said several sources. The asking price originally was $6.5 million and had been lowered twice, according to Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, the region's multiple listing service.
And the story didn't mention how home prices had risen from 2002 to 2006 -- for District single-family homes, the gain was 61 percent, said Fred Kendrick of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokers. Applying those numbers would put Edwards's house at about $6.1 million, not counting the renovation costs."
Labels: ....Just for the Record
Part of the problem is security, but Iraqi officials also said they feared that members were losing confidence in the institution and in the country’s fragile democracy. As chaos has deepened, Parliament’s relevance has gradually receded.
Deals on important legislation, most recently the oil law, now take place largely out of public view, with Parliament — when it meets — rubber-stamping the final decisions. As a result, officials said, vital legislation involving the budget, provincial elections and amendments to the Constitution remain trapped in a legislative process that processes nearly nothing. American officials long hoped that Parliament could help foster dialogue between Iraq’s increasingly fractured ethnic and religious groups, but that has not happened, either.
The biggest argument was when a Sunni cleric MP harshly criticized what he called a policy to target only certain parts of Baghdad (apparently referring to Haifa street and Latifiyah), and said the troops were killing civilians. The MP told Maliki that “We’ve lost trust in you as a head of the state….” An uproar began with many shouting from their seats. The cleric continued his verbal attack and the speaker tried to silence him by telling him he exceeded his time limit. He wouldn’t stop. The speaker then shut off the cleric’s microphone.
Maliki returned fire saying, “You in particular will regain your trust in this government when we send your file to a court of law. You talk about Latifiyah when you know, and everybody knows, that terrorists are right now holding 150 innocent citizens hostages in that city”.
This direct threat was met by applause from the members of the UIA.
The speaker (al-Mashhadani) didn’t like this response from Maliki and turned to the lawmakers and said “You applaud this? The Prime Minister is openly accusing one of your colleagues of being a terrorist and you applaud! This is unacceptable!”
The session descended into chaos with members in white and black turbans shouting at each other. The speaker lost his patience and screamed back “Enough of this sectarian speech making! You will set the streets on fire! How are we going to succeed if we’re divided like this?”
"London is not a battlefield. Those innocents who were murdered on July 7
2005 were not victims of war. And the men who killed them were not, as in their
vanity they claimed on their ludicrous videos, 'soldiers'. They were deluded,
narcissistic inadequates. They were criminals. They were fantasists. We need to
be very clear about this. On the streets of London, there is no such thing as a
'war on terror', just as there can be no such thing as a 'war on drugs'."
I take it that everyone this side of absolutist anarchism would probably
agree that the applicability of some laws should not depend on the location of
the offense. If murder, rape, and robbery are to be proscribed by law,
presumably the proscription applies in my kitchen just as it does in the center
of Main Street. Similarly, I take it that everyone this side of absolute
totalitarianism would agree that the law must recognize and account for some
private vs public distinctions: the fact that the Board of Health has something
to say about how cleaning supplies may be stored in a school cafeteria shouldn't
mean that its minions can breeze into my kitchen for a snap inspection. Is there
some generally agreed-to principle to which we can refer and appeal in
evaluating proposals between these two extremes? I don't think there is one that
is generally agreed to and consistently applied; I do think that our failure to
think these matters out systematically has put us where we are today: a
situation in which raw power and the loudest voices substitute for that missing
principle, and in which folks like 5th District Councilman Tim Pape furrow their
brows and set about "weighing" competing sets of alleged "rights." That's a
little troubling to me, purely from process considerations. Do we have any
reason to think that our city councils are populated by accomplished moral
philosophers? Next month, will Mr. Pape begin to balance my "right" to speak
freely against his "right" not to have to hear things that he finds uncongenial?
Which way will his pointer incline?
I don't even know where to start with this vile hatespeak. I guess the beginning will do. Hey, Toni, what "message" exactly would it send to your kids that could possibly be worse than the reprehensible "we don't serve your kind around here" mentality that you display now?
"As a single gal…I would not consider it. One, not for me personally, and two not for the message it would send my kids.
Another side of the issue, I have had long talks with my kids about this too. I have already had an instance with my now 15 yr old daughter who wanted to “go out” with a person of color. Of course, “going out” in high school - at that age - does not entail dates…but nevertheless I came unglued. Two points I have always considered - if the relationship advances and the couple marries and has children, the children suffer the consequences for their entire life trying to figure out who they are. And then there is always the extended family tree…."
"There’s been a certain amount of pop sociology in America that the Shia can’t get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There’s been almost no evidence of that at all Iraq’s always been very secular."
We’ve got lots of soldiers sitting on megabases all over Iraq. They should be out and about, some of them embedded, others just moving around, tracking the terrorists, hunting them down. I don’t know how many guys and gals are sitting in air-conditioned quarters and drinking designer coffee, but it’s a substantial number. Enough of that.
We have, in effect, turned the U.S. into a winner-take-all casino economy, substituting the gambling hall for the factory floor as our governing economic metaphor, an assembly of individual strangers whose fortunes depend overwhelmingly on random luck rather than collective hard work.I know that (at least) superficially, I tend to agree with the observation.
[Here is] an excellent video on Michigan Democrat Dudley Spade's pass on Michigan House Bill 5267. This bill would have allowed BOTH genders to have EQUAL parenting rights to their children. There were obviously other factors such as: 1) Both parents had to be considered fit 2)The Equal custody arrangement would not interfere with the child's school schedule. This bill would have allowed children to be loved, nurtured and guided by BOTH of his/her biological parents. The research is in abundance when it comes to supporting legislation such as this. In addition, the majority of all polls conducted on shared parenting have proven that Michigan voters are demanding such legislation.