Sunday, September 29, 2013

MIDDLE CLASS FUNK, True of False: there is one.

MIDDLE CLASS FUNK, True of False: there is one.


"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics," was a statement of Disraeli, Mark Twain or someone else.  Whenever the counting started so did the lies, or, to be kind, the exaggerations.  But is it correct that how the middle-class feels is exclusively a product of statistics, of monetization?  And if so, exactly how does having or not having physical things contribute to their so-called funk?  The headline begs the question, the fallacy that simply assumes that there is there a middle-class funk.  Who says there is?  Compare the middle class in the ‘Fifties to which my parents belonged.  They didn’t seem to care much about money or what the “Joneses” had (as in “keeping up with the Joneses”) or if they did it didn’t trickle down to us kids.  We were very late with a television, but I can’t remember being jealous, we just went over to Doug’s house.  His dad was a dentist and they had a TV they were happy to share.  So why is there all this angst now?   Or is there?  Let me move on to the expression, “Is the glass half empty or half full?”  With respect to the title of William A. Galston’s OpEd "Behind the Middle-Class Funk" (Wall Street Journal, Opinion, August 7, 2013), I would argue that if a typical middle-class family was placed under a microscope, one would get two answers to the fullness of the glass.  They probably would be emotional answers, not statistical, as in “I feel it’s half empty” or “I feel it’s half full”.  In the “Fifties” half-emptyness were fear of the U.S.S.R. or “the bomb”, half-full was having a house, car, television, food on the table, and the wife at home to take care of the kids.  Today I’d argue that we’re afraid of terrorists (about as likely as the bomb back then) and enjoy (“half-fullness”) iPads, smart phones, and the Internet’s social media offerings.  Is their really a great “funk”? 


How many middle-class couples really even understand what “median income” is, or where they stand in comparison?  I offer that, after the prosperity of the Reagan years, the then-self-titled “liberals” needed to convince us that things weren’t as good as we felt they were.  Liberals served up statistics showing how miserable we should be, in order to win votes against the Republicans.  The mass media piled on and Whoever controls the media, controls the mind,” Jim Morrison late of the Doors might have said.  The now-Progressives (neĆ©  liberals) have apparently convinced most of the country that we’re in an absolute unfair mess and they are needed to fix it.  Republicans have accepted the mantra of the Progressives that our country needs a major change and don’t offer much in return.  And they have been losing, and will continue to until they can re-frame the message from funk to “Look what we have, look how business offers you jobs, look at the innovation for the future.”  That they haven’t and don’t seem to get it puts me in a funk.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

“What Happens When a Man Takes on the Feds”

“What Happens When a Man Takes on the Feds”

 This is a very disturbing article (“What Happens When a Man Takes on the Feds”, Opinion, August 31 – September 1, 2013) but not surprising.  It reinforces the danger of an all-powerful government which, as in this case, can lead to the arbitrary and oppressive human behavior of regulators.  People sometimes forget that regulators have the same emotions as the rest of us and can act on them, as seems apparent in this case.  The regulators diminish the value of the product while “Two and a half million adults spent $30 on a product”.  Seems that might be an indication of value to consumers.  Why not the regulators?  But Mr. Zucker is wrong when he says, “It’s not the government’s place to say what has value and what doesn’t…”  That is exactly what the government does.  It believes that its elite regulators are highly intelligent while the “free” American consumer is ignorant and needs saving from itself.  We have elected our politicians who are causing this disconnect to happen.  To my way of thinking, the Internet easily, cheaply and smartly could replace many regulators and all of the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  The U. S. government could sponsor an Angie’s List kind of site where we consumers can post product reviews and we consumers can see the experience of others before committing our dollars.  The site could distill reviews to make them easily understandable to everyone.  Lousy or dangerous products would fail in the marketplace, desirable products of value would succeed in the marketplace.  How easy is that?  If we – as our Founding Fathers did – believe in We The People to democratically elect politicians, why not to democratically elect products?


Laura Bice

2201 Third Avenue

Seattle  WA  98121

(206) 902-7207


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Small Man who is Afraid to Make a Decision is the President of the United States

President Obama makes "Slick Willie" look clumsy.  His foot in the mouth, careless "red line" remark was confronted by Bashie Assad and all of a sudden Obama's ego and credibility were at stake.  He had thoughtlessly painted himself by himself into a corner.  He had to make a decision to make him appear strong, and President Obama never wants to make any decisions whatsoever.  So he said he would strike terror into the heart of Assad with a "shot over his bow"; then he got scared and said he needed to talk to (get permission or cover from) Congress after saying he didn't have to under the Constitution.  That delay would buy him a week or two of not having to make a decision.  Luckily, Congress began moving toward his goal: not having to make a decision "to strike", which of course could be criticized by those who matter to him: Jay-Z, Bouncy, Snoopy Dogg and George Clooney.  But then again he might have to make some decision if Congress would say no.  ENTER, Vlad.  Pee-You-Tin jumped on Kerry's throwaway, thoughtless remark.  Suddenly it became a serious proposal.  By Putin.  Assad would promise to do stuff with his chemicals and not to do what he hadn't done, anymore.  French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the draft resolution would establish "consequences" for the regime if it fails to comply with the proposed program. He didn't specifically name the consequences, saying "all options remain on the table."  The French official said Paris considered Chapter 7 a "nonnegotiable" part of the draft resolution.  Sounds like Obama threatening a shaking Iran.  But the most important part is OBAMA DOESN'T HAVE TO MAKE A DECISION.  And he can take full credit for Assad "backing down".  In truth, Putin saved Obama's reputation and more importantly, his ego.  Now Obama will be strutting his powerfulness.  Benign Bashie Assad will continue to slaughter his people.  And Obama will owe KGB Putin BIG TIME.  Will America unilaterally destroy all our nuclear weapons?  Will Obama give Russia money?  Oil?  Will our new immigration policy only allow poor Russians on welfare, and spies in?  It will be something dangerous to America.  Stay posted (and I hope I'm wrong.)  None of this has to do with what's good for America, or really America at all.  This is all about three, perhaps four, men's egos: Obama, Putin, Assad and who ever might be in charge of Iran, perhaps, Kerry, too, if Obama left him one.  Speaks mightily for having a woman president, but not Killary Klinton!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Too Late?

If it weren't so dire, our president's antics would be funny.  But playing "reset" with Comrade Putin,  sending paper airplanes to Bashie Assad, and cowering from Iran are all actions that have seriously diminished American Power and substituted laughter for fear of it.

Leaving two years of slaughter alone until it seems to be a good idea to stand to his throw-away line of a "red line" only confuses everyone.  Saddam Hussein killed at least tens of thousands with outlawed chemical weapons and the president, as senator, reviled the President Bush for invading and capturing that monster.  And before the last election President-Running-for-Reelection whispered to Comrade Putin something like "Hey good buddy, wait until I get reelected and then we can romp over the world together".  The Comrade liked the romp and not so much the "together".

Then, the neo-warrier Obama in order to pretend for history that he was a strong president, says he'll fire a shot over Assad's bow.  But, Mr. Assad, we won't attempt to unseat you, since you're really a beloved president of Syria.  Ditch your chemicals, planes and weapons first, then duck in your basement hide.  "That'll teach him," says Mr. Obama, "He won't dare use those weapons again."
What planet are these now-war-hawk Progressives on?  Moonbeam? 

Luckily, we in the United States might have a real choice next election, a loooong three years in the future.  A rational, conservative Republican could regain the respect of the world by showing some backbone and decision-making.  Another inexperienced Progressive ditherer, such as Killary Clinton, will be the end of American hegemony.  Islam terror will come here in full force.  New York as Kabul or Bagdad.

Yes, choice.

Please, Media, be critical and independent of the religion of ProgressiveObama.  Leave fantasy to the sci-fi books.

Please.  Maybe it won't be too late.  Maybe.