Despite Showing Up In Person, Romney Loses Nev. Straw Poll
Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2007 2:26 PM by Chuck Todd
From NBC/NJ's Erin McPike
"SPARKS, Nev. � Ron Paul won the GOP presidential straw poll conducted by organizers at the Conservative Leadership Conference held at the Nugget Casino this weekend �by a large margin,� according to an organizer. "
Monday, October 15, 2007
Living in an Imperial World
by Karen Kwiatkowski
The republic is dead. Not sick, not dying, not failing, or in a gradual decline, not waiting to be resuscitated, but already stone cold dead.
This death probably occurred as we began to win the Cold War, but long before we realized we had prevailed. The professionalization of politics, of military and bureaucratic service to the state, of foreign policy making, and of business seems to have completely done in the old ideas. Simply federated, decentralized, self-depreciating government that once feared the people has self-actualized into a contemptuous, rapacious and iron-fisted murderer of freedom, and murderer of men.
Perhaps the 1989 movie Weekend at Bernie’s was really the American political saga, and we never knew.
The founders worried that subsequent elites and factions would take over the republic they had birthed with every aspect of their power, as the gifted political elites of their time. Yet, as the 19th century dawned, even the most pro-state among them loved freedom and hated tyranny.
They were right about government power and human nature, and their predictions true. New elites and government-dependent factions have ascended. Unfortunately, these political elites hate freedom and love the tyranny of government solutions.
One of many truths Ron Paul’s campaign is revealing is how hated real liberty is among the powers that be, how despised the individual, and how all-encompassing the contempt with which modern power brokers in Washington and New York hold the principles of the founders.
Americans who care about the existence of an American republic are many, and those who love freedom are many more. Again, the fantastic and political wisdom-slashing adventure of the Ron Paul campaign stands witness to the fact that sheer passion for liberty remains a vibrant force in American life. But this passion, this life, is nowhere to be found in American government, nowhere to be found in the state, or in the empire.
There seems to be no effective way to save or restore the republic, no way for any individual to even begin to solve the problem of our late 20th and early 21st century imperialism. I tend to agree, and the wisest observers in these pages warn, as Chris Floyd does, "It is pointless – and counterproductive – to simply throw yourself under the wheels of such a monstrous machine in futile spasms of rage and despair. The machine doesn't care. It will gladly chew up your life and move on."
All this presumes that an American republic is still viable – not really dead, just severely weakened and in need of strong salts and a booster shot.
A book I read a few years ago, entitled Deep Survival, by Laurence Gonzales, offers a helpful perspective on our current condition. In studying the question of who lives and who dies in extreme survival conditions, Gonzales found that survivors shared a sense that, in fact, they were not going to live. While they wanted to live, to go home again, and to be secure – they recognized that they were so royally and absolutely FUBAR’ed that they would die, probably quickly and perhaps horribly.
Now, obviously those who actually died in these disasters could not be interviewed, but the behaviors and actions of those who lived and those who died were measurably different. The survivors recognized the ugly truth of their own imminent death quickly – and this early recognition of reality – however harsh and frightful and depressing it may have been – was also at once incredibly liberating, in some ways exhilarating.
What if the Military had disclaimers like Pharma Ads?
Save the Rich! Save the SIV's
It's not reassuring to read that Treasury officials are working their tails off (even over the weekend) in order to come up with a bailout plan for Structure Investment Vehicles - or SIV's for short. Anytime government folks work weekends (police and faire aside) it's generally bad.
While Citibank and others are planning to pony up as much as $80-billion dollars for an SIV bailout, I'm sitting back aghast that fat cats who were piling in the dough suddenly can't handle a little risk - so they deserve to be bailed out. Isn't that why some investments carry more return than others?
Contrast this egregious generosity with the handling of a middle American family of five, who are being forced out of their home in (fill in your city) because the husband and wife have suffered one job loss, and their mortgage has reset at a rate far higher than was ever disclosed in the predatory lending which precedes financial slaughter. Slight difference?
So, pardon me for being a stick in the mud here, but how is it that serial bubbles, begetting serial bailouts, is a good thing in a nominally "free" economy?
Yeah, yeah, I know. "If the (fill in this week's bail out hopeful - which this week is SIV's) goes down, that could bring down the whole global economy. Like that would be all bad? Sure, we'd have unemployment - but we have that now - it's just the counting that's not quite skookum. And, if (more likely when) globalism melts, we will get some of our exported jobs back, and China can keep the lead in its paint, thank you.