My mistress’ Dad had to go back to work today — poor Rupert! — so he asked me to author a guest websayito today on his behalf. I’m not much of a writer, to tell the truth, but — as you Yanks say –here goes nothin’!
I came over a few days ago from London, where I stay in a charming flat a stone’s throw from Hyde Park in London’s fashionable West End. Well, to be honest, we’re kind of on the fringes of fashionable, right alongside the railway tracks.
Let’s see, what should I talk about? Rupert, as he was leaving, mentioned something about a caucus race in a place called Iowa. And a tea party, like the Mad Hatter gave, or was it a reference to that thing in Boston? If so, come on, guys, that was back in 1773! Take about harbouring a grudge! (ooo, nice pun, maybe I’m getting the nack as we say)
But you blokes do have some real nutters over here, I must say. Well, ‘course we do as well, but we kind of keep them in the back rooms of the pubs, rather than strutting them out center stage like as you do here. I mean, wow, that woman from Alaska? I saw here on the tele ranting on about how the “government” had shipped all your jobs overseas and how the private sector should “reindustrialize” America, but without government interference. Helloooooooo! Who do you think shipped all those jobs overseas? It was the private sector, dummy, not the government!
Oh,and that Tea Party woman down in Florida, what’s-her-name. Regarding the EPA, she said that the government should stop putting “Nature ahead of people”. Yes, she really said that! Hellooooooooo! Like people are not part of nature? Next thing she’ll say is dogs are not part of nature, so we should stop putting them ahead of squirrels and rabbits.
Well, I think I’ve said enough for one day, don’t you? I think I will now take a well-deserved nap, maybe on one of the heating vents, if I can get a place on one before Penny and Bruno. Cheers!
Under a warm rain, I took a walk through McPherson Square, where the Occupy D.C. movement has set up one of their camps. More than a collection of tents, which is what I expected, it’s morphing into a village with a library, a tea shop, a tour guide business, and a place that lists the kinds of donations they would appreciate, from pharmaceuticals, to food and clothing. They have even organized a government.
There is an air of permanence about the place, as if everyone plans to be there for a long time. One of the most interesting things about this leaderless, agenda-less movement is that, unlike the Tea Party, it has so far proved very difficult to co-opt by one of the major parties. Democrats don’t want to touch it, realizing the moment they do Rush and company will cry ‘Ahhhh, class warfare, we knew it!’ Republicans initially attacked it, but it’s hard to keep up a sustained assault on something that just says ‘I’m here, I’m a reality, what are you going to do about it?’ It’s also hard to redirect their anger and frustration from “the one percent” to “liberals and socialists” when you ARE the one percent.
The elites in the Third World have long ago mastered the art of ignoring poverty. I remember one of my colleagues who had lived all his life in a South American country, and, until he joined FINCA told me “I never realized there were people so poor in my country.”
Perhaps a year or two from now, Occupy D.C. will still be there in McPherson Square, but we will have learned how not to see them.
I don’t know why, but I can think better when I am outside of the U.S.A. Perhaps it’s the weight of all those stupid ideas concocted inside the Beltway of Washington D.C., crushing my creativity and channeling all my energy into shouting at the T.V.
Anyway, here it is: Let’s rule from below. Rather than rail at our elected representatives, let’s form “social networks” of like-minded individuals — around the environment, science, education, health, whatever — and begin to rebuild our societies along more sensible, sustainable lines. We can act in ways — perfectly legal, not even any “civil disobedience” involved — that reshape our world in a way that, on our deathbeds, we can say something to our children other than “I’m sorry”.
An example would be the environment. We shouldn’t waste anymore time trying to convince the Oil Companies and the Tea Party that Global Warming, if not addressed, is going to asfixiate us all. Instead, we simply form “social networks” of everyone who believes in Global Warming and ask the foremost scientists to tell us what we, on the individual level, can do to mitigate it. They will need to give us both the individual impact (assumed to be minimal) and the “roll up” (potentially astronimical), and then a regular report on the progress we are making. If nothing else, think how empowered we will feel!
I have come, reluctantly, to this solution, because what was once “The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body” (per US) has become “The World’s Most Dysfunctional Body”, incapable of collaborating even if we were under an attack from the planet Mars. Imagine Boehner: “This is great! We can blame Obama!” Imagine Obama: “Really? Can they legally do that?”
Moments before I took the picture above, I informed my daughter’s mini Daschund that her parents were engaged to be wed in November. We’re working through it.
My timing was off by a couple of weeks, but I’m sorry to say my prediction of the market collapse has been pretty much spot on: first, a 500 pt drop, followed by 1,000 (Okay, it was “only” 635), which means if my reading of the “Tea Party” leaves continues to bear its rotten fruit, today will be the day we all sing the Tom Petty ditty ‘Free Fallin’.
So, if I’m so smart, I must have unloaded my entire portfolio by now, and moved it into one of Rush’s gold funds, correct?
No, as in every other market crash (I’ve lived through a half dozen) I sat there, just like you, probably, like a paralyzed mouse in the shadow of an approaching alley cat, and just watched a good chunk my life savings evaporate, telling myself ‘Don’t worry, it always comes back’. But will it, this time? And when?
Speaking of Cat. One of my runnin’ buddies from back in the day corrected my memory of that balmy spring ’70 night, which, per his recollection, went like this:
“Was that the watered down version for your God fearing constituency or a memory fade? The Cat sat at the sill of a first floor window while he warmed up and we passed back and forth with him doobies and cans from our utility belts until after his promoters came in the room two or three times and told him the audience was getting overly restless and he needed to get on stage. Unfortunately, The Cat showed he was not full bore Man of the People yet when we asked him to let us climb in the window and he told us “I can’t, Man, I just can’t.” At any rate, that is how these old alcohol sodden memory banks recall the event.”
Together, we could remember everything.
I had a colleague/friend/adversary (in that order) when I was back in the labor movement who was very good at solving problems for me. So good, in fact, that when I didn’t have any problems he would create one and then offer to solve it for me.
The Tea Party operates much along the same lines. We didn’t have a problem with raising the debt limit until they turned it into a massive crisis, diverting the nation from the real problem, the deficit. But now they have “solved” it for us, forcing the President and the (sane part of) the Congress to finally get their act together and get it done.
My theory on the climate was correct: no sooner did the Hot Air around the Capitol Dome begin to dissipate, than the merciless heat wave that has held us hostage for four long weeks has begun to slacken. Speaking of hostages. Apparently, deprived of the ability to create another crisis around the debt ceiling until after the election (Obama’s sole ‘victory’), the Tea Party has announced that, failing the ability of the bipartisan committee to come up with further budget cuts, they will take Sasha and Malia hostage until Obama gives the OK to the Dems to cave again. Asked how he would respond to such an action, Obama said he would not have the Tea Party arrested as it was ‘not my style’.
Oh, well. Let’s return to our lives, the things we do control. Our ‘leaders’, flush with the success of their Grand Compromise (which everyone from Wall Street to Beijing is hailing as a total flop as a solution to the deficit) have already promised not to move one inch from their entrenched positions: No Taxes for the Republicans, No Cuts to Entitlements for the Democrats.
Forgive me if I don’t watch this time.
I find it fascinating — morbidly so — how differently the Republican and Democrats treat their radical fringes. We Democrats throw ours under the bus at the first sign of trouble. The Republicans put theirs in the driver’s seat.
Oh ‘Bama, why hast thou forsaken us?
Barring a revolt of the Liberals in the Senate and House (are there any?), it looks like a massive victory for the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh, and those who think the poor people in this country should make all the sacrifices and the wealthiest should……get more tax breaks. That strategy has worked brilliantly in the Middle East, so, yeah, let’s try it!
Meanwhile, Kim had to issue a ‘tweet back’ to some of her more rabid fans, who apparently discovered where she lived and have staked (stalked?) out her mans in the Hills. She appealed them to respect ‘my personal space’. Whew, so she has some, that’s good.
And, yes, I still edged her out on the Velocity of Tweet Growth Index, 4% to 2%, although she surged an impressive 174,619 to my…….3. Come on, Followers, show me some love!