Category Archives: Politics

The election — a giant crap game?

Regarding the Federal Reserve, which is not “federal” (it’s NOT a government agency — it’s a privately held corporation and its ownership is a well-guarded secret):

“People talk about the issue of Republican vs Democrat… It’s organized crime. You call the Republicans ‘Genoveses’ and the Democrats ‘the Gambinos.’

The people at the top treat it like it’s their crap game. They’re making a lot of money. Occasionally somebody at the table shoots each other but the moment anything threatens their crap game, they all unite to protect it.

They’re both controlled by the same financial, economic and corporate interests.”

Michael Ruppert, in this film (at 59:32).

All this campaign ugliness has been a red herring, a non-choice masquerading as choice, some expert sleight-of-hand to get citizens to hand over more and more of our personal and economic freedoms.

No matter how you voted, I encourage you to keep an eye on your liberties in the coming years.

Lisa Ling reports: what happens to a foreclosed house

Or: Foreclosures are trashing the environment

Or: The treasures left behind when a family flees

Or: Why is that guy painting the lawn?

Or: “You know you’re in trouble when the lawn is brown and the pool is green.”

It’s hard to pick just one title for this clip. It’s long (12 minutes), but worth watching, in a sickeningly fascinating way. Lisa Ling comes in at 1:00.

I was uncomfortable watching it.


There are some well thought out replies to my questions on my last post. Go on over and read them, and feel free to contribute your own answers.

Forget the candidates. Let’s talk core beliefs.

The personalities are fleeting but the principles are permanent. Hopefully not semi-permanent.

I’m talking about how we organize as a group of 305 million individuals, the grand experiment in self-government that was launched 232 years ago and will hopefully extend through future generations (feels quite shaky now, though, doesn’t it?).

So let’s take a break from the campaign crud and think beyond the relative temporariness of all the faces we’ve grown to love and/or hate.

(I loved when SNL Weekend Update announced the winner of the VP debate: the person you already liked. So true! I watched the Twitter stream during the debate and noted that it was more an exercise in entrenchment than enlightenment.)

Is the polarization on the candidates due to our being easily swayed by smears, minutiae, and manipulation? Or is it because we have fundamental disagreements on what our political and economic systems should look like? I’d like to explore the latter.

I hope many of you will engage in this discussion. It’s harder to examine your core beliefs than to “go with your gut” on a candidate, and I hope you’ll indulge me. Just four questions.

Leave comments here or do a post on your own blog. I’d like to reach beyond my own readers to see others’ ideas of utopia. You can even add a question if you want — make the question(s) your own. And I don’t even need to say that we should stay respectful, right?

Whether you are in or outside of the US, I am interested in hearing from you.


1. Overall,* do you believe people are basically bad (1) or good (100)? Try to put a number on it.

2. Overall, do you think the best economic system would reward people based on what they need (1) or on what they deserve (100)? Again, put a number on it.

3. What do you think are the main functions (say, 5-10 of them) of government? You could even divide your list into (a) Federal and (b) State/Local.

4. In an ideal society, what percentage of the wealth created by citizens should go to fund government**? In other words, what is a fair price to pay for the functions of government you list in #3?

* Yes, in all these rating questions there will be “it depends” and “in some cases” and innumerable qualifiers. I am asking you to think overall.

** As a benchmark, all three levels of government currently consumed 38.8% in 2006 (data from Economic Report of the President, February, 2008.


I follow many bulletin boards and political blogs, and I’m finding it fascinating watch people justify their positions on the Obiden and McPalin teams.

People tend to use inductive reasoning:

I like Obama. Therefore, the “lipstick” comment was harmless and the GOP is just nitpicking.


I support McCain. Therefore, the “lipstick” comment was a not-so-veiled way of calling Sarah Palin a porcine creature.

Problem is, people aren’t aware they are inducing. They think they are deducing.

Deductive reasoning might look like this:

I heard the comment from Candidate A. I imagine Candidate B saying the same comment or its equivalent. I then judge the comment based on the words and meaning rather than on its originator.

In inducing, one moves from the specific to the general: I feel this way about A, so I feel this way about everything A says.

In deducing one moves from the general to the specific: I keep finding evidence in what A says that makes me feel this way about him/her.

Induction masquerading as deduction means that we have a very hard time creating real dialog, because our arguments are supported by opinion rather than by facts. And we don’t realize it. We talk past each other, and we are not open.

I wish I’d taken a logic class so I could explain better what I mean.

Do you see it? Do you do it?