Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We need the good refs back

Thanks to folks like Phil "We've become a nation of whiners" Gramm and Newt Gingrich, our financial systems and major corporations lost oversight. First they tied the hands of the refs, then they cut their numbers. Next, when Bush became president, they replaced the NFL-quality refs with NBA-quality refs.

Is it any wonder that the game seems fixed in favor of the CEOs and against the long-term interest of shareholders, employees, and the economy as a whole? As Obama says, this isn't some random event, but rather a consequence of Gramm-style deregulation.

On our nation's 221st birthday, our national finance system is teetering on a collapse not seen since 1929. Sure, greed on Wall Street is to blame, as is greed on the part of mortgage brokers, real estate agents, and yes some home owners. But Washington created the environment where this was possible. Even CitiBank founder and Federalist Papers author Alexander Hamilton would be ashamed at what has unfolded.

So since Americans all understand sports analyogies, let's bring the refs back so that both sides play fair and that we all can enjoy the game.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

of course

The incumbents and their special interest friends don't like Utahns knowing who is giving them money, or how much.
Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert will not appeal a ruling declaring part of Utah's financial disclosure laws unconstitutional.
While this could open the door for corporations and groups to try to indirectly influence an election without having to file any financial or member information, Herbert has chosen to "respectfully disagree" and not pursue further legal action.
"It stands to reason that from the lieutenant governor's perspective, if you're an entity attempting to influence an election one way or another, we will hold you accountable," said Joe Demma, Herbert's chief of staff. "This ruling won't deter us in the least."
Yes, next time someone hits me with their car, I will respectfully disagree with where they placed their vehicle. How exactly will there be accountability if there is no disclosure? Huntsman campaigned on transparancy and ethics reform, but that was one of the first things that the legislature blocked.

It seems Speaker Curtis needs $300,000 to defend his record, or to pocket the donations without anyone being the wiser. Or other house members who pass bills in their own personal interest without disclosure. Hunstman's people claim they will seek a legislative change to fix the law that Judge Bensen struck down. Fat chance that bill will get any better with the current crew up on Utah's Capitol Hill.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Grand Post-Modernist Party

(Courtesy of

This last week in the presidential campaign is reminding me of the film course I took in college, and why I hated it so much. We learned about all of these theories and ways to over-analyze films (like King Kong is really a black man). One of the theories I remember being the most annoyed with was post-modernism. There, the idea was that there is no reality per se, only one's perceptions of what is out there based on your life experiences/beliefs etc. Sort of the Matrix meets the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle. And I am not the only one out there who thinks this.

And despite Republicans' usual dislike of doing things like taking a criminal's personal history into account at sentencing, 21st Century version of the party seems to have adopted this philosophy whole cloth.
The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

--Ron Suskind, Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush, New York Times Magazine, October 17, 2004.

This week Karl Rove said this about's debunking of many of John McCain's newest campaign ads: "You can't trust the fact check organization in all respect," he said. "They are human beings and individuals; they have got their own biases in there."

Just yesterday:
McCain seems to have made a choice that many politicians succumb to but that he had always promised to avoid — he appears ready to do whatever it takes to win, even it if soils his reputation.

“We recognize it’s not going to be 2000 again,” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said, alluding to the media’s swooning coverage of McCain’s ill-fated crusade against then-Gov. George W. Bush and the GOP establishment. “But he lost then. We’re running a campaign to win. And we’re not too concerned about what the media filter tries to say about it.”
You might have noticed this blog's motto, and think it is just a mantra.

But it's not, there is an objective truth. The truth is not such a fragile thing that people's perceptions and beliefs and saying it enough times changes it. If that were the case, then were are already on our way to an Orwellian future.

And anyone who is willing to lie about small things and big things for the sole purpose of obtaining power does not deserve and should not have, that power. Period.