6/19/17-6/25/17….

Here’s something else I wrote in 1995.

 

The deal everyone’s yakking about. An interesting take: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/06/wolf-richter-amazon-slash-jobs-whole-foods-dump-cashiers-switch-cheaper-products-price-war-wal-mart.html And read the Comments.

It continues to surprise me that while everyone declares the Mainstream Media (MSM) risk being put out of business by Social Media, the newspapers and networks continue to report, say, Trump’s tweets as if these are real news and not simply the midnight ravings of an egomaniac.

From Audacious Hope to Hope Abandoned: the presidency of Barack Obama. It’s what got us where we are. And has gotten him (and the missus) a $60 million book deal.

You’ll recall my earlier post on Cecconi’s, the new restaurant across the street. Here’s a squib from the Observer:  “But those who are concerned that Jones’ Italian restaurants are just as exclusive as his member’s only clubs have no reason to worry: “It’s a restaurant that all sorts of people of all ages go to, everyone comes to Cecconi’s.”  Well, not quite, I can think of two people who won’t be dropping in.

A nation mourns. The news that the actor Stephen Furth, who indelibly played Kent Dorfman, aka “Flounder,” in Animal House  has me bent double, keening and rending garments. As must be the case with the millions of others of my age and a bit younger, people (especially men) who know the deepest of mortal verities: that Animal House contains ALL TRUTH. No character in the film better embodied this Parnassian quality than Flounder (“Women – can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.”) A deity has passed. I shall do what needs to be done at such a grave, grievous moment and pay the respect that is called for: I shall take down the DVD (“Special Anniversary Edition”) and watch the movie for what must surely be the 20th time.

I’m getting to know R.R. Reno, editor of First Things, the influential journal founded a quarter-century ago by Father Richard John Neuhaus to argue the relationship between religion and public life and as a counterforce to secularism. Reno is a very impressive guy. Here’s a sample: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/issues/november-18th-2016/the-meaning-of-donald-trump/    Here’s something I recently wrote to an e-correspondent: I believe that our political system leads to certain tendencies, perhaps inherently, that can all fairly be described as suicidal. Racism is certainly one. Money-worship is another. Institutional corruption, whether in the public or private sector, is a third. Secularism should probably be in there somewhere, perhaps as a stepchild of the previous three. Another, perhaps the most toxic, is ignorance, which no power that ever was on earth has done more to foster than the internet and social media. As I am fond of remarking: the trouble with the internet is that it gives millions of people with nothing to say a place to say it.
Now: if a number of these tendencies come alive simultaneously, as seems to me to be the case today, you have a perfect storm that can wipe out everything in its path. Starting with a phenomenon that absolutely baffles me: it is one thing to ignore the plight of the poor, that’s been going on for millennia. But to actively wage war on the poor, as now seems to be the case, would appear to invite the wrath of God in whichever form He is worshipped, and in whatever way He chooses to manifest His fury. I should add that I’m not a religious person – I am in church only for weddings and, more often at my age (81), funerals – but I have to say that climate change strikes me as having elements of divine anger.  In other words: does God lose patience? Ever?

Good question: http://dealbreaker.com/2017/06/rentec-cftc/

Preparatory to relocating, I’ve been going through boxes and cabinets of old files, throwing away 90% of what I come across. Somewhere I found this, written by me at the end of 2012. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2011/12/28/big-lie-wall-street-has-destroyed-wonder-was-america How could I have gotten the outcome so wrong? The only answer has to be that my formative years – childhood through college – coincided with the years (1941-1960) that America showed itself to best advantage and left me with a residue of optimism and idealism that it has taken decades to scrape away. It’s very disheartening to reflect on the likelihood that for over fifty years I’ve gotten my own country wrong. That reflection played an important role in designing Fixers,  in which the narrator has to come to terms with the realization that the WASP traditions he was raised to revere and emulate – discretion, noblesse oblige properly understood, concern for others, the responsibilities that go with privilege – have been stamped into nothingness under the heavy tread of money-worship, unconcern for others, me-firstism and so on.

 

Interesting thought: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/06/not-just-working-class-service-class.html

A view from the front: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Block-Amazon-11243628.php I like this:

The Wal-Mart in a small, central Texas town never made a profit.

For 10 years, the megastore operated in Hearne, north of Bryan, with lower prices and better deals than local businesses. Wal-Mart eventually pulled the plug, but not before Hearne’s downtown was littered with empty storefronts. After the megastore closed, the closest place to buy basic necessities was a 26-mile drive away.

Reading about Amazon’s plans to buy Austin-based Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, you’ve got to wonder how much longer until the entire nation ends up like Hearne.

When China exports tires or steel at a loss and puts U.S. competitors out of business, we declare it illegal and call it “dumping.” When Wal-Mart, Amazon or Uber does it, we declare it a good investment opportunity and call it the free market.

For the MUST list: http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Gadfly/240311?key=2ZIPoiHsy9X3ZNGVLN4YvrK9ZZs1KWhBz010O-PCftXT1KFIDXHagaaR3q7QmshNZUZBRDV0YzJXemFoekJiQTIyelFpYjBXRVhNdS0zeV9TZVMwbHJHUFo5dw

What we need is compassion with brains: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nancy-pelosi-democrats_us_594d808ce4b05c37bb767d21 High IQ noblesse oblige, shall we say?

 

 

 

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