Saturday, October 4, 2008

Random Thoughts

Just some thoughts on a rainy, windy Saturday morning in paradise.

If we set the bar for a passing mark to a woman who looks and talks pretty but doesn't really saying anything, let alone substantive, and then set the bar for a man to give thoughtful, coherent, comprehensive, and understanding responses with no regard to his looks, is it sexism? Or what?

When the pundits and journalists gave Palin a passing mark for the debate even though she didn't say anything beyond soundbites, but the expected Biden to be Senatorial. "It was grading on the curve.", someone said. But when does the curve view sex as the measure for intelligence?

If we allow a white, pretty, woman calls the average American male "Joe sixpack", considering it a compliment, and then don't allow a black man to say the same thing, is that racism? Or what?

Far fetched? Not really. Sarah Palin dismissed the average American male as a dumb, stupid, beer-drinking, pickup-driving, tv-watching man. And everyone cheered. When Barack made a comment about the average American male, he was roundly criticized for being demeaning and maybe racist.

Don't we want a Vice President who respects Americans? We all know Mr. Biden has flaws, sometimes viewed comically, but why are we giving Ms. Palin a pass on her flaws? Her record isn't what she said it was. The Katie Curic interview wasn't an aberation. So why say it was and use the debate, which her staff and RNC aides pumped her full of soundbites and talking points, as the only judgement?

We're judging some candidates by the personality but others by the content of character (ML King)? Why?

They'll praise Palin for being pretty, dynamic woman who maybe has some knowledge of Alaska and its politics, but beyond that is a bubble headed, ditz. They'll attack Biden for being verbose, sometimes condescending, etc. but a very smart, experienced Senator. And they call them "even"?

What happened to judging people by the content of their character? Have we forgotten those words to expect less of our leaders?

If we try to understand something, say the financial services and credit crisis, and many of the expert tell you, "It's really very complicated for most people to understand.", is it just the way people act to disguise the truth? To treat you like an idiot in something they created that, when you get idea of what's going on and realize it's all a sham, a fraud, and so bad that one well known expert called it, "A soft creamy center inside a pile of manure."

The radio show "This American Life" has had two recent episodes on the crisis with experts who explain it in terms and ways it is easy to understand, and they tell you the facts the media, Congress and all the other experts aren't saying. While it started in the deregulation era of Reagan, it took off under Clinton and accelerated under Bush.

It's been a long time coming and it's the reality of a house of meaningless (debt) cards. There is nothing real behind all the money except the original mortages, many bad subprime ones that couldn't make profit if they tried, and just more money. It's all debt leveraged iinto more debt backed by securites based on the debt used to get the leverage with default swaps used to insure the leverage.

Get the picture? It is very convulted and complex, but it's nothing the home buyer or taxpayer created, just the financial services companies and the failed regulators, the latter who failed to heed the signs. They were all there but people choose to ignore or dismiss them, saying it's ok, like we're children.

Except in the end, the teenagers spent the house, and everything we own in the name of greed for profit with debts we'll buy with no real ideas they're worth anything more than the paper they're printed on. We were conned once into the situation and we are being conned again to buy the crap they left on the floor, while they walk away with many millions in profits.

Did you know now Skype, Yahoo and Google are the US companies to date who have cooperated with the Chinese government to conduct Internet surveillence on its own citizens? Who else do this beside all of the US companies? So much for freedom.

So, that's the state of Saturday as seen from paradise.

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