January 18, 2009
In many letters to editors, I have heard this sentiment expressed in defense of GWB’s miserable record as president: “No terrorists have attacked us…he kept us safe.” Well, 9/11 did occur when he was president. Here is a small gallery of momentos of our safety with W.
Our fearless leader keeps cool, and keeps reading “My Pet Goat” as the attack plays out. What decisiveness!
Our great leader was brilliant during the phony energy crisis manufactured by Enron (remember them?) that nearly bankrupted California.
Once again, Numero Uno was on the ball when Katrina hit, and his valiant lieutenant, Brownie, did a “helluva job.” Oh well, it was an act of God…
WMD? WMD? Did somebody say something about weapons of mass destruction..? Well, he kept us all safe, right?
Well, Bush isn’t the only great leader and visionary we had to guide us these last years. Now we see the results. I bet he and his friends kept their money really safe!
January 13, 2009
Regarding a certain Augustus Melmotte, a fictional character:
… And yet these leaders of the fashion know,–at any rate they believe,–that he is what he is because he has been a swindler greater than other swindlers. What follows as a natural consequence? Men reconcile themselves to swindling. Though they themselves mean to be honest, dishonesty of itself is no longer odious to them. Then there comes the jealousy that others should be growing rich with the approval of all the world,–and the natural aptitude to do what all the world approves. It seems to me that the existence of a Melmotte is not compatible with a wholesome state of things in general.’
Roger dined with the Bishop of Elmham that evening, and the same hero was discussed under a different heading. ‘He has given £200,’ said the Bishop, ‘to the Curates’ Aid Society. I don’t know that a man could spend his money much better than that.’
‘Clap-trap!’ said Roger, who in his present mood was very bitter.
from Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now, Chapter 55 – “Clerical Charities,” 1875
December 21, 2007
If you have read my recent post on Ayn Rand, or if you keep tabs on right wing pseudo-intellectualism in general, you might be interested in Paul Krugman’s column in the New York Times today. Writing about the ongoing mortgage debacle, he derides Alan Greenspan and others for their inaction regarding the real estate lending bubble that is now deflating rapidly and with great consequences for the economy as a whole. He regards it as a triumph of extreme ideology, and he specifically singles out for mention Alan Greenspan and his lifelong devotion to the ideas of Ayn Rand. I quote:
In a 1963 essay for Ms. Rand’s newsletter, Mr. Greenspan dismissed as a “collectivist” myth the idea that businessmen, left to their own devices, “would attempt to sell unsafe food and drugs, fraudulent securities, and shoddy buildings.” On the contrary, he declared, “it is in the self-interest of every businessman to have a reputation for honest dealings and a quality product.”
Sound familiar? How can anyone believe such rot? Then or now? Of course, the Nobelist Milton Friedman was similarly hypnotized by the “power of the market.” So interesting, then, to read Adam Smith, the granddad of modern economics and to see his views on the merchant class. I quote once again his remarks on the merchant class, from The Wealth of Nations:
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.
Of course, I can’t resist putting in another Gillray link, this time on the theme of uncorking…