h&f 0065 Let Justice Be Blind, but not Asleep

•January 31, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The inaugural address (in progress in the photo below) did, indeed give an awkward angle to the most important people, among them, the US Supreme Court Justices:  The podium is such that they would turn their heads nearly to a right angle – to their left – to see it.  But, do we espy here a faction of our judicial luminaries going ‘lights out’? [credit: David Bergman – Gigapan]



h&f 0064 …back from blogcation. just stretching today

•January 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

quad_stretch not stuntin’ today, (ok, maybe a bit)

not gruntin’ today, heavy lifting comes later.

not puntin’ today, gotta write something

just stretching.

before we dive in again to take a proper gander into the propaganda, an even balder dash straight to heart of balderdash, hoping to …learn something and then to DO that something that marks truly having learned and believed.

be well.  be good.

h&f 0063 A 5-Step Latin Recipe for TastyPolemic

•December 15, 2008 • 1 Comment

333_image14_sm1. Start with a clean topic.

(Steps 2 & 3 in separate saucepan, far away from topic…)

2.  Ad hominem

3.  Ad infinitum

4.  Heat reductio ad absurdum to boiling (in order to intensify flavor)

5. Pour all over topic.


h&f 0062 The Dark Symptoms of Our Consumer Culture

•December 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

No need for a lot of words here as the explanation for the death of a worker at Wal-Mart in Long Island, NY is as simple as it is painful. We want. We want. We want.

Even in the midst of our crisis, we don’t cut back.  We want.  We can hardly blame the bankers and big corporate as long as we are willing accomplices/dupes.

Among others, this death is the darkest and most logical of symptoms.

Listen to the comments in the video here and you will see that we are far from learning or a change in behaviour despite this consequence.


h&f 0061 “Obama’s vetting could chase away candidates” A quick news analysis.

•November 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment
President-elect Barack Obama's transition team is subjecting prospective employees to rigorous vetting.
CNN says, “President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team is subjecting prospective employees to rigorous vetting.” The horror!!

I think this news is evidence that we creep down a slope ever so gently, into soft non-thinking oblivion flavored by declining faith in integrity.  And I’m only smart enough to see my demise – because we’re all in this together.

This article is emblematic. Let’s start with the title: “Obama’s vetting could chase away candidates”  Is this an opinion, news, or statement of the obvious? ” The article is not in the Opinion section.

Now, take away “Obama” and read it again:  “Vetting could chase away candidates.”  Compare: “Interview questions may screen new hires.”

Seems like they were remiss in qualifying Obama’s vetting as “onerous” in the headlines or scared to do so.  But, “onerous” is the implication, and that takes us into the next problem.

The article quotes many sources to say that it is, but does not give proper context, instead assuming a technical and closed set of qualifications, and that without divulging them.  By doing this the article offers subtle, but real opinion that tiptoes as news here. The opinion: Being good matters.  Being Good is not relevant.

But we don’t even have to go moral on you here.  We could just do some journalism, maybe by rightfully expanding the concept of “qualified” by saying something like:  “While the vetting may seem onerous to many, it is possible that Obama is seeking to add a certain degree of moral authority to his administration, something political analysts have noted as lacking in recent administrations. ”   It’s not “being in the tank” to note that a President aims for integrity as well as strategy in his cabinet.

Read these statements from the article:

“But political analysts say the Obama team’s unprecedented degree of scrutiny could result in several qualified individuals deciding to forgo consideration for a top post. This could especially be true among individuals considered for economic roles in the administration from the private sector who might be more financially entangled than those who have been longtime public servants.”

[my note:  What if Obama defines “qualified individual” as one who along with technical qualifications also has an impeccable financial record? or… as someone with integrity?]

“It could in several instances cause people who are qualified who will do a great job in the administration say, ‘Look, I’m just not doing it.’ “

[my note: Do we really believe that we’re at such a low point that there are no more people of a statesman’s quality?  If they propose that these are the only persons left to “do a great job,” then I disagree.  It is not mathematically possible that we are left to rummage through the garbage to find that one sandwich that might be edible.]

The article is also closed in another sense.  You won’t find a perfect person.  I am sure there will be people with less than perfect pasts.  That’s who we are.  But you cannot say that there is not a whole lot of room for correction in the integrity range when you look at the last four presidencies.  I recognize that when we talk politics and business, we’re talking about ostensible integrity.  So, I’m not a blind fan, just given the history of integrity in those spheres, but I at least want a politician to make accountable steps toward doing the right thing.  That’s all we have to go on until someone is revealed as honest or a criminal.

You cannot give Obama the keys to “Change” and then point him to the “K Car” on the lot.  Change hurts.  It’s easy to shout it, to sing it, but once it hits you, you feel it and not usually in a good way.  We’re all in for some real pain if Obama is true to his word.  But, to ostensibly build an administration from a remnant of untainted people would be real change.  It would be a new moral underpinning that would give decisive military and economic advantage in the form of leveraging allies.

John Mellencamp: “That’s what’s so cool about “Hurts So Good,” because the whole song deals with the breakdown of illusions when it says “maybe we can walk around all day long.”

We can’t just walk around all day long in the same old same old.

h&f 0060 My Dog, Dogma

•November 20, 2008 • Leave a Comment
Go, Dogma, Go!

Go, Dogma, Go!

My Dog, Dogma

my dog, dogma
quite the enigma

chases karma
fetches stigma


he should fetch stigma for his logic-free karma-chasin. but…   in the non-perjorative sense, my dog gosta run on logic, no? hence the enimga …just like science, this dogma relies on proofs, and ultimately, on faith in something we can’t see.

h&f 0059 Local Is The New Global

•November 17, 2008 • Leave a Comment
A balmy night in Bedford-Stuyvesant, NYC

As local as it gets: A balmy night in Bedford-Stuyvesant, NYC

Just thinking out loud and testing a logic here…

Credit markets are frozen with no loosening in sight.  The US stock market will rise and fall in fits and starts, but equities do not look likely to gain any sustainable momentum any time soon as long as the market doesn’t come clean on housing prices.  The mortgage collateral at the root of the problem must be revalued and some people estimate the value deficit representing homes and other assets to be around 1T – yep, one trillion  dollars, a number too big to be thought of for most humans.  Why will banks lend when they still teeter on the verge of collapse with that revaluation pending and are focused on consolidation to prevent that?

For the full story on the one trillion and more, see Catherine Austin Fitts: http://solari.com/blog/?p=1598.

In short, theres no option but to return to a real economy, no longer relying on paper profits and financial engineering.  Although you may not rely on it directly (only a few of us do) your spending and your assets, especially if you own a home, are integral parts of the equation.  The current system counts on you to bank with Big Bank X and to consume like crazy all the things you don’t really need.  But the power is shifting: to you.

That is:  As the free flow of cheap credit is a thing of the past, we find ourselves in a new economy, one in which money is seeking what’s real just to keep its base value.  And what is real?  Commodities (gold, silver, and the minerals we need to build things) and whatever it is in your local community that you create demand for as a necessity.  Local goods and services are well positioned to be the new capital engines.  Big Bank X, and more importantly, Big Box Store X, know this.

Our government has a difficult problem: fix the problem (revalue and repurchase the overvalued assets) without startling the markets.  The Fed is continuing its undisclosed bailout (well above and beyond the now storied $700 billion) of financial institutions as a response to the problem.  If we knew how much was going out and to whom, people might well panic and start runs on those banks and foreign investors might do the same.

So, it may be a while before we get back to a reasonable flow of credit.  That leaves the local, real economy with opportunity: to bank local, buy local, create local opportunity, keep your cash and barter for what you need. The big boys will follow as they will seek any viable market.  One example: a major chain store setting up shop right in the heart of a structurally and perennially poor Brazilian favela (Casas Bahia in Paraisopolis, Brasil).  The government won’t serve the favelas, but the market will.  Thus, the way out of this global crisis seems to be local action.  The “think global, act local” cliche now gains new, real life.

Local is the new global.