Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
It is not the food that we have planned for ourselves and bought for ourselves and eaten for our own sustenance that puts the pounds on during the holidays. Rather , it is the excess food that we find ourselves compelled to eat, because those for whom we bought it have seen fit not to eat.
Why is it that when you invite friends over for a get-together, friends you know perfectly well eat like wild boars and drink like fish, suddenly show up and have apparently joined Weight-Watchers as well as having become tea-totallers, showing an abstemious nature even beyond that of the Womens' Christian Temperance Union? I mean, exactly what am I to do with all that bloody beer they did not drink? Since I do not drink, it will be there until next Xmas. And the rum! I bought the smallest pequenino-piglet bottle of rum there is, something so small it was fit for a miniature doll house built on the theme of Little Nell, or The Drunkard's Folly; a Dickensian dollhouse like those Xmas village houses. I do not have a shot glass or jigger to measure careful drams of painful exactitude, and thus I promote a cavalier, swashbuckling approach to pouring drinks with large noggins filled to the brim!
The one confirmed Rum-and-Coke-meister was even joined by one or two other people, of whom I had never heard a propensity to drink rums and cokes, but there they were. Good. They barely put a dent in that blasted bottle! No! I looked at it when the party was winding down, and it was no more than a quarter down, even though I know there had been a constant parade to the bar area and back. It was like the goblet from which Thor drank at the giant's feast; a goblet which, unknown to Thor, was connected to the great Ocean, and try as he might, Thor could barely drain the cup.
And then the food. They ate like trenchermen and trencherwomen, but there were yet a few wheels of cheese and a jeroboam or two of rare wines, and enough of the Widow Clicquot to start a major nunnery. I am putting a dent in the cheese. She-who-must-be-obeyed suggests that I befriend a drinker or two for the winter. I warned her about this. I mean, do you actually want to be forced to purchase another refrigerator, since the one you already have is quite filled with beer, wine, and other toxic holiday fare.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Benedict XVI is magnificently right
...If moral rot has taken hold of a society, the market mechanism will take it to hell faster and more efficiently than any of the alternatives.
There is an even greater flaw in the theory of the free market, perhaps, and that is in the assertion that the market can form adequate expectations about the future profitability of firms and make proper judgments about allocation of capital. How do we explain away the misallocation of capital to Internet stocks during the late 1990s and to homes in the United States (and elsewhere) during the ensuing years?
The world simply is too uncertain for the market to look more than a year or two over the horizon. Technological and social change occurs in unexpected and dramatic ways, frustrating the best guesses of the cleverest entrepreneurs, not to mention the stodgy decisions of central planners. The market cannot form accurate long-term expectations; at best it can imagine future outcomes. The quality of its imagination in this case depends on cultural factors that transcend economic judgment...
The Pope's essay is at:
Monday, December 08, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
It was The Jeffersons with teeth, where we roamed the streets or were swept into tidal currents of the automobiles which clogged the streets, while the rich inhabited their
"...deluxe apartment(s) in the sky-y-y-yiii !!"
"...deluxe digs in Dubai-i-i-iii !!!"
Up until today, our history has been a film of jump cuts and isolated shots of the individual actors, creating anxiety, like Godard's A Bout de Souffle where everyone is alone, alienated, and isolate.
Our economic theories were designed to keep us weak and prey for the predatory, our religious beliefs were designed to keep us unquestioning and ignorant, our sexual mores were designed to keep our lusts just short of any possible satiation or fulfillment.
A lot for a Sunday morning.
I wish my uncle a bit more comfortable afternoon and evening.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
The task of writing falls to me today.
My uncle seems to think himself a latter-day Abraham - or Abram - and speaks of an odyssey to some other land. He thinks that it is a pity that Mars is not being terra-formed and capable of sustaining a population.
He often thought that it would be a good deal for the Palestinians to trade their ancestral homes on Earth for large regions of Mars; this being a deal that Netanyahu et alii would jump at and the hideous American Bush-type, evangelical mentality would rejoice over.
Of course, in the fullness of time, Mars would become a paradise, and the USA and its loyal allies might have to renege on some promises made to Palestinians...but that was all just a sci-fi story plot.
He looked at the photos and paintings of his relatives and ancestors, then came to the conclusion that he was responsible for the welfare of the future generations. He wants to be part of the future, not tied to a dead cadaver (as he puts it ) of the past and its obsessions!
The best I came make out is that he does not consider our present problems a divine retribution; rather a self-imposed debasement brought about by our insistence on creating Ironies for our enemies to laugh at. Virtue is not susceptible to ironic reversal, only Arrogance is, only Greed is. Virtue may well be its own reward, for all he knows.
The actual people who work, they will save the country.
The actual industries which employ them, they will save the country.
"It is almost Spring;
I can see a haziness of promising warmth
rising from the pastures out back.
It is the time of reflection and rebirth:
a short remembrance, then a plunge
into life again!... a mirror and a slap."
"Things to do:
Watch Cable TV muted, and watched the mad men and women yell and grimace and cavort, flailing their hands, frowning mightily, sermonizing pastorally; all of them satisfied with themselves, secure in their wisdom, even in the most dire calamity, that their knowledge is wealth and power.
What does it mean?"
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I was never too interested in Philosophy or Theology.
My uncle says that Jesus died due to God's desire to experience Death, and understand it in a human way. From this, He is able to properly transcend the realm of Death and create life everlasting.
Black Beans and Chips
Arminians and Atonement
May 28, 2007
...there is a universal aspect to Arminian understanding of atonement in that the death of Christ set aside the guilt of original sin. However, the death of Christ provided possible salvation for all, but this is conditional on a person accepting it through repentance and faith.
He said that if there is guilt from original sin, from a non-personal past history which affects us, then the same thing applies to the future: a future guilt non-personal which we shall bear...even if we have passed on!
Since this is nonsense, he denies original sin as action, yet accepts it as a Symbolic structure, and thus it does have symbolic life, and thus, may influence all of creation, past, present, and future.
It is part of the Spirit, yet not part of the Material world.
He seems to consider the spirit and matter to be co-terminal: matter processes spirit and hence preceeds it logically;
spirit is the reason for matter's existence, and hence preceeds it logically, also.
Since Matter is that which processes Symbols, actions in the present may destroy the symbol of original sin, whether Christ dies to do so or not.
I do not pretend to understand this.
I only loyally copy what he tells me.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The Market sets the price high enough to drive the less wealthy insane with consumer longing. Then goods are allocated efficiently by large, blood-thirsty riots.
I sense sarcasm.
My uncle tells us that human beings are not defined by their rationality, rather we are defined by our passions.
We come into life, we live life, and we exit life in a passion and rage of life; the Passion of Christ reflects our lives of passion, the Jihad of the Prophet is a mirror of our battles, the passage to Nirvana of the Lord Buddha follows our weary footsteps from despond to enlightenment.
Therefore, he says, anything that promotes love and understanding and well being is good, and hate and discord and suffering are decisively evil.
The suffering of 1 man or 1 woman or 1 child is reason enough for God's entire creation to be outraged.
Therefore, he says, an economy which cycles between surfeit and starvation cannot be good in God's eyes.
The "faith" in the autistic infallibility of self interest working in free markets is a faith built on sand. In our day, it has become very evident.
So he tells us today.
I record what he said. I am Aloysius, and the name may be derived from "loyalty".
I am a Mumbaikar: In Prayer and in Solidarity
I, too, am a Mumbaikar today.
...in prayer and in solidarity, I stand today with Mumbaikars everywhere. In shock at what has happened. In fear of what might happen yet. In anger at those who would be so calculated in their inhuman massacre. In sympathy with those whose pain so hurts my own heart but whose tears I cannot touch, whose wounds I cannot heal, and whose grief I cannot relieve...
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I have been recruited to fill in the blanks, during his self-imposed exile. He will be writing, but only for himself. I do not write for myself, and I am not a writer, but I guess I can take up the slack here and there.
So, here goes:
During the congressional testimonies on whether Santa Industries should receive a government bail-out, a congressman asked whether Santa had flown to Washington by regular commercial airline.
Of course, he flew in by his usual method: a luxurious North Pole Cutter Deluxe with 12-deer power; inefficient and uneconomic, but, as Santa said,
" ...uneconomic, but......Iconic !"
Congress will take up his application for $ 20 billion after the Xmas holidays.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Capitalism as it is historically defined in the United States of America is not the economic system which will enable mankind to establish its presence in Space.
American Capitalism is too prone to recurring cycles of destruction. Whether this is due to the theory itself, or the impossible nature of the American businessman is not clear, but it seems to be a bit of both. Today as we watch the resurrection of Citi group after its near death experience, we wonder at the wisdom which created such a system, wherein such monstrous institutions are allowed to roam the land, only to create chaos when they possess no homeostasis to regulate their vital processes.
Some economists and thinkers have lauded the "creative destruction" of American Capitalism. However, as an economic system gets larger and more complex, the recurring destructive cycles become more and more destructive: as the highs get higher, the lows become lower, thereby creating an Event Horizon of economy, a dark hole from which nothing will emerge.
It is obvious from the past year that the down and destructive part of the cycle is prey to panic and fear in a short time frame more so than the up part of the cycle is prone to exuberance: exuberance is spread over years; panic destroys in the blink of an eye...before the "rational" mind can encompass what is occurring.
Do not misunderstand; I love America. And for those who believe that America is the land of opportunity, I fully agree. However, I shall add that as you come to America to make your way in this land of opportunity, your children will enter into one of the cycles of destruction. Be aware of it. Every parent should teach their children what to expect in this economic system. We should try to understand that we cannot always lay up our wealth where rust corrupts, moth consumes, and the financial system spreads cancer. Such an Economy cannot build the structure required for the emigration of mankind into Space. The movement into Space requires investment over years and years.
This may only be effectively accomplished by a system which is not recurrently self-destructive. If we step into Space with a large footprint, a severe crash of the economy when it occurs will wreak havoc on a gargantuan level. The process of going back to square one, or square five, or whatever it is, will eventually be discerned as being too expensive, and resources will turn inwards to salvage what remains of the Earth-bound populations. Neither American Capitalism nor American Democracy, love them as we do, as they are understood in the present day of 2008, will lead mankind into the future.
When the Frame of Mind arrives that will do so, it will be accompanied a revolution in religious feeling among the large part of the peoples of Earth, for only Religion possesses the dynamic which may change large groups of human beings from inward and selfish looking tribes and nations into higher level communities, capable of controlling the Form of the Present and Future, as well as the lessons of the Past.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Our children will work as temps, often in deserted commercial real estate.
Our grandchildren will drive to deserted shopping malls to work in spaces rented from failed stores, empty Penney's, abandoned Sears, millions of empty square feet of space to cramp them into.
They will nap in the heat of the summer in their cars, essentially living most the day in their old cars made overseas. This nation is dying. It is an archipelago of islands of poverty and despair, the paranoid archipelago.... ...kept together with ghost ships steaming between the langolier gaps of what is left of our lives.
Tell your constituents to face the storm, or face the fire storm. Take your choice.