Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This And That

I really don't have the energy for any kind of original blogging right now. So instead of my bloviating on the news, I thought I'd show you some of the blogs I visit regularly with posts I've read in the last couple of days.

First off is Eschaton, a joint I spend entirely too much time at. The link includes the comment section which the denizens use as a chat room. The host, Atrios (Duncan Black) is an economist, so much of what he has had to say for the last couple of years addresses the various cataclysms. Lots of snark here, and more than a little rough language, usually to hilarious effect.

I think I do have great business idea: poverty porn for our Galtian overlords. Footage of mass misery is just what they need to cheer them up enough to hire another yacht scrubber or two.

Next, Suburban Guerrilla, run by Susie Madrak. Susie posts some wonderful youtubes, but she also has an eye for the political and nails it every single time. This link leads to a post on our desire for "protection" and what that means in a gun-happy culture.

I’d suggest that we all just stay home, but at least two people were shot by stray bullets while they were asleep this past week.

Another daily jaunt is to Ronni Bennett's Time Goes By. I consider Ronni's site to be the best of the elder blogs, full of common sense, wit, and whimsy. This post might very well explain my lethargy this week

It's an odd little season, this week between Christmas and the new year. A feeling of disconnect, a neutral period between past and future, a hanging moment for a few days when our concerns – personal and public – are held in abeyance while our planet's most recent circumnavigation of the sun winds down and the next begins.

For politics, nobody does it better than Libby Spencer's The Impolitic. Her most recent assessment of the Iowa Caucus is succinct but prescient especially for what it portends for campaigns this cycle at least.

The short version is retail politics have changed. The old maxim about all politics being local isn't true anymore. National campaigns are mostly embracing the 50 state strategy now. They can't tailor their messaging to specific audiences because there's a million "citizen journalists" with cell phones just waiting to create a viral video out of even the smallest discrepancy in their talking points. Big media will give them free exposure for any campaign generated messaging with national appeal. And thanks to Citizen United spending, outside interests can tailor the devious attack ads without candidate accountability, which changed their overall campaign tactics.

Finally, a blog that I just recently discovered but have fallen in love with: Phoenix Woman. Phoenix Woman has partners in this endeavor, and they are extremely capable. This post is by Phoenix Woman and points out the malfeasance of the US press when it comes to honest reporting of what's really going down in world finance.

America’s one-percenters — and the media companies they influence and/or control — are too busy pretending that the 99-percenters, the poor and middle-class people, are a burden that needs to be punished and stripped of whatever pennies they have so the one-percent crowd can get even richer. Anything that contradicts that pretense is generally suppressed by US establishment media, especially the media that most Americans encounter regularly.

That’s why, while you’ll hear and see lots of stories in the US media about Stern Germany Punishing Debt Sinner Countries, you won’t hear about German autoworkers getting paid twice as much as US ones. ...

That’s why you won’t hear that, far from dying, Japan is actually doing quite well, thank you very much: because Japan a) has a well-functioning social safety net and b) has reined in its rich people quite effectively.

It’s also why you won’t hear much about how Argentina, which told the IMF and World Bank “Enough!” rather than further hurt its own people at the banks’ request, is now the economic powerhouse of Latin America.

While I hadn't intended to fully retire and depend solely on Social Security, I have had the opportunity to visit sites such as these and to do some solid thinking. And that's a positive.



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