Thursday, November 24, 2011

Who among us takes notice if a sparrow falls to the ground

Around the 2:00 mark, a female protester is pushed back into a bush and a bird drops out. She alerts a policeman who picks it up and it flies away on the left side of the screen.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Occupy the Voting Booths

Occupy Wall Street is a hipper version of the Tea Party where the guests refuse to leave. The protesters' commitment is admirable and they have identified dozens of issues that need confronting. Unfortunately, as the weather changes and the public's attention and patience begins to fade, OWS needs to change tactics.
If OWS is going to change the social order, it will have to settle on a plan of action. Had John McCain won the election, no doubt the left would hope that simply getting a candidate like Barack Obama would be the simplest and most effective way to deliver cultural and social change.
OWS supporters have demonstrated strong motivation and commitment for almost 3 months. To successfully change and reform Wall Street, occupiers will have to identify several priorities and engage in extensive planning and commitment to get it. In short, OWS will have to compromise a little and indulge in Realpolitik. The Tea Party did something like this by fielding right wing looney candidates in 2010, but the TEA Party also lost its soul in the process, becoming another cog in the well financed and lubricated vast right wing outrage machine. How OWS will keep its soul is anybody's guess.

Happy Birthday Doctor Who

My favorite TV show turned 48 this week...

Barack Obama was the President of the United States in the early part of the 21st century.


Barack was making a publicised speech from the White House on the recession when, like everyone else on Earth, he was transformed into a copy of the Master. After the substitution had taken place, the Master made the remark that the solution to the world economic crisis Obama had been about to present was "deleted". (DW: The End of Time)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Libertarians and Objectivists are always accusing liberals of being collectivists who want a nanny state. I suppose this could be the Objectivist version of one of the few Disney movies I consider a classic.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Job Creators

Years ago, sociologist Herbert Gans asked the question, "Does poverty have functions to explain its persistence?"

His answer: The poor are job creators.

Poverty keeps the fields of penology, criminology, social work, and public health in business. It creates the need for social scientists, social workers, journalists, and other 'poverty warriors.' Poverty provides tenants for run down housing, gamblers for the gaming industry, employees for Walmart and recruitees for the peacetime army.

Because the poor are required to work at a low wage, they subsidize a variety of economic activities that benefit the affluent. The poor also pay a larger share of their income in property and sales taxes.

The poor also play a role once filled by minorities, giving upper and middle class people someone to look down upon.

"Not only does the alleged moral deviancy of the poor reduce the moral pressure on the political economy to reduce poverty, but socialist alternatives can be made to look unattractive if those who will benefit most from them can be described as lazy, spendthrift, dishonest, and promiscuous."

-Herman Gans