“We the Dollars, in order to form a more perfect Union…”

I’m DISGUSTED with all the money Democratic Party organizations and candidates and progressive groups now have to cravenly beg from me, to have a shot at making a showing in elections in this brave new Scalia/Citizens United world we’re forced to live in!  I guess Repugs like him think it’s a fair clawback for the personal government assistance some of us need … nevermind the Corporate Wealthfare you KNOW they’re now pouring through the floodgates.  That illegal, immoral ruling was “the mother of all Nuclear Options.”  Apparently “limited government” only applies when the GOP is out of power, and “originalism” and “judicial activism” and “legislating from the Bench” only when they’re IN power.

Naturally, we can’t hope to win the money race against our own Corporations, most rich people, and corrupt government officials/politicians, which is exactly how Scalia et al. timed this unprecedented procedural power-grab, a coup d’etat under color of law.

What can we do?

Actually, “conservative” support for Corporations attacks the culture, family,* tradition, family farms, small towns, etc., so they should be with us in trying to oppose this new trend by somehow MAKING CORPS.’ MONEY IRRELEVANT.

(*–As theologian Stanley Hauerwas pointed out a generation ago.)

Palau is a U.S. State?

Sure there’s alot of important crap going down lately — or in the case of offshore oil drilling, COMING UP!  But while e-activist or e-shopper friends of mine surf from one online petition or storefront to the next, they keep hitting the same speed bump: The Republic of Palau.

Palau (sometimes spelled Belau) seems to be a beautiful Pacific Island nation on TV documentaries.  It’s also an INDEPENDENT Pacific Island nation, though formerly part of the U.S. post-WW2 “Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands,” along with what are now the also-INDEPENDENT Federated States of Micronesia, and Republic of the Marshall Islands.  (Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands [CNMI], though in the same neighborhood, were always governmentally distinct, and not part of the Trust Territory. [Distinct enough that apparently Robber-Baron-era-like sweatshops are still legal on Saipan, CNMI, USA!])

All 3 countries seem to maintain some special relationships with their former postwar Trustee, the USA.  Whether these are voluntary or not, I don’t have information on.  But in any case, THEY ARE NOT U.S. STATES OR TERRITORIES, BUT INDEPENDENT NATIONS.  But my friends in Pennsylvania, who used to be able to whip through online petitions, and even e-commerce, at warp speed, now come to the drop-down list of States,  hit “P,” and instead of moving right on, since the only “P” State is Pennsylvania, have to go up and click down from Palau’s USPS 2-letter abbreviation PW, to PA for the American state.  What’s more irritating for them is that PA comes before PW in the alphabet, even though of course Pal comes before Pen, and apparently these lists are alphabetized according to the name, not the abbreviation, even though the full name is never displayed!

Let’s be reasonable, even though that’s a commodity in short supply in American politics and government these days.  Even though strictly speaking Palau, if it’s part of the USPS now for some reason, comes before Pennsylvania, PA does come before PW, and most Americans have long since come to think of the two-letter abbreviations as entities in themselves.  Secondly, Palau has 20,000 happy people; the Keystone State has more than 12 million (some of them bitter).  Thirdly, considering the passions aroused on the Internet increasingly, having to hit those extra keys to get to an American state in a supposed list of them, is certain to be hurting e-commerce in this Republican Great Recession, and even e-politics, at least a little — thousands of dollars’ worth? tens of thousands?  Fourthly, a note of realpolitik: Palauans have zero members in the U.S. Congress; at this time Pennsylvanians have 19 Representatives and 2 Senators, representing the 6th most populous State in the Union.  Might they also point out that the Quaker State has voted for the (real) winner in every Presidential Election of the post-Reagan era, i.e. the Democrat, while Palau has failed to do so?

I’m the most politically-correct person I know, but certainly going with reason in this minor yet definite inconvenience needn’t be seen as oppressing Persons of Color, i.e. Pacific Islanders, need it?  In any case, PA has nearly 2 million Persons of Color at least, whereas PW has fewer than 20,000 (though for the record, PA has over 11,000 Pacific Islanders alone).  Arguably the current setup is oppressing more PoCs than our proposal!

So how about it, Uncle Sam?  Put PA before PW in the list where it reasonably belongs.  In fact, listing Palau after a U.S. State in a supposed list of U.S. States could honor its independence from them.

If you agree, email the Postal Service through their Customer Service link, and use the “Additional Information” box for the text of your note to them.

A corporation has no opinions or endorsements.

Only the people behind it do, especially the powerful and rich ones.  They have every right as individual “natural,” God-made “persons” that you and I have … even more since they are rich and powerful, if you know what I mean.  I struggle not to begrudge them that, after all, the Lord said, The rich you will always have with you … sort of.  It has ever been so; nothing new under the sun.

So why do they need to increase that influence of theirs exponentially by means of the money their customers entrust to them in good faith while making, in most cases, apolitical “consumer” purchases?  Why indeed?

And why, with extra privileges and “rights” that We The People have supposedly freely and graciously, Sovereignly bestowed upon them?  Why indeed?  What are they up to, and why should we “trust” them?

Why do they always want more, and more, and more?  Fool us once, shame on you.  Fool us twenty times … shame on us.

ADA doomed?

Will New Corporate America — The Second American Republic, if you will — chuck the Americans With Disabilities Act?

After all, look how expensive we are!  Do we spend enough to be worth it?

Hell, they could take away Disability assistance / benefits, and basically put us out on the street and/or kill us!

SWINE FLU, DAMMIT!

How many people have died, been impaired, sickened, because “Swine Flu” fell off the radar screen, replaced by the incomprehensible “H1N1” … just to protect the pork industry?

For that matter, how many other industries suffered lost “productivity” to protect pork?

If you got SWINE FLU, DAMMIT!, because you didn’t know what the FLIP “H1N1” was, send the bill to Hormel or Oscar Meyer or somebody like that, ’cause you saved their pork butts!!!!!  Or tell your employer or health carrier to do so.

Interesting barometer of the increase in business/corporate influence in our society, though: A generation ago when Swine Flu hit, nobody had a problem with just saying, “Oh and BTW, you can’t get it from eating pork products.”  PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU! SWINE FLU!

“Overactive Bladder,” or Diabetes?!

Which condition is spreading like wildfire in America?  You don’t have to be fat, a person of color, or poor, to get diabetes.

Don’t wait till your feet fall off and you go blind, before you “ask your doctor”!

Fiduciary Responsibility

Global catastrophe is NOT “fiduciary responsibility”!

If Business kills-off its stockholders and customers, isn’t that bad for business???

ISTM the REAL bottom line is to HAVE a bottom line!!!  But right now it seems most American business is in a race to the bottom, period: ‘He who dies with the most toys wins.’  😦

“Freedom of the Press belongs to the man who owns one.”

So said some wag famously.  There’s just one problem with that: “Presses” — as well as radio or TV stations, cable and satellite broadcasting outfits, etc. — in this day and age are usually owned by corporations.  Major ones, anyway.

AND CORPORATIONS HAVE NO RIGHTS, ONLY PRIVILEGES.  ONLY “NATURAL PERSONS” HAVE RIGHTS.  THE LEGAL PUBLISHING CLERK IN THE LATE 1800s WHO DECIDED TO GIVE CORPORATIONS RIGHTS COMMITTED A MONSTROSITY AGAINST THIS NATION AND THIS PLANET … A FRAUD, ARGUABLY EVEN A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY.  THE SUPREME COURT NEVER GAVE CORPORATIONS RIGHTS!

…Though it found it convenient, in its corruption, to go along with that lying clerk and his lying employer-corporation.

Dennis Haysbert

Too funny!: Last night I saw a promo for The Unit, and I thought it was an insurance commercial!

Freedom from debt collectors!

  1. Did you know there’s a Statute of Limitations on many debts?!!  It varies by type of debt and by State, but basically if you avoid payments long enough [hopefully through no fault of your own, but sincere financial difficulty, sez I, but hey, the law is the law!], you’re Free and Clear!!!!!  Not that the predatory bastidges deserve the consideration….
  2. And after you browse this Federal court ruling, you may never give a debt collector the time of day again, may never agree to one of those mostly-bogus partial-as-payment-in-full arrangements, may never even stipulate that you have ever owed anything to anyone again!!!!!  Point being, be extremely careful, and if possible, get legal advice.
  3. Aren’t debt speculators the ones who caused the current Depression?!!!!
  4. From today’s research by me, it’s clear there’s alot of shady, barely-legal, deceptive, manipulative, maybe even illegal stuff going on by debt collectors.  Now THERE’S something (also) worth a probe!

SO HELP YOURSELF TO A “BAILOUT”!!!!!

Detroit Bailout: A Modest Proposal

How about if Washington bails-out Ford, GM, and Chrysler (How many times do we get to bail-out Chrysler?!!) the way it bailed-out the TV-makers?  Ban all existing motor vehicles from the road as of February, and allow only new Fords, GMs, and Chryslers from then on!  Congress can even give out coupons to help folks “make the transition.”

😐

(OTOH, it’d be great for Global Warming, improving our oil-independence, and we could dump the used cars on China and India so they don’t have to manufacture new ones for a while, helping their greenhouse emisions and our economics simultaneously – get back some of our money and “paper” from them!  Hmmm…!)

PS: Isn’t it weird that Repugs, including W., are OK with bailing-out banks and bankers and speculators, but not Union-dominated / Blue-State Ford, GM, and Chrysler?  Hmmm….

Crisis and Bailouts: A moral question

How did our and the world’s economy become so dependent on gambling on bad debt generated by deceptive, predatory lending?

Can we declare the Reagan Revolution over and restore some sanity to our economic and financial relations with one another??

OTS calls Wall Street’s fears “misplaced”

That’s the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision – which I didn’t know was still around after the ’80s S&L crisis cleanup – near the bottom of this AP piece.

Corporatocracy and Native Americans

Interesting (briefly-)detailed history (PDF) of New Brunswick’s Loyalist American settlement, illegitimate growth of corporations’ power, politicians’ conflicts-of-interest, and how all of the above left the province’s Natives destitute, as they largely remain.  A newspaper commentary by Professor Bear Nicholas.

Sweet Bailouts!

Funny how they don’t hesitate to give 800 billion of our and our grandchildren’s money to big business, the rich, and “investors,” while they nickel-and-dime us poor people to death!  Just four questions:

  1. How can the taxpayers be bilked without a Congressional Appropriation?
  2. Is there an election coming up?!! 😉
  3. How much of this money will come back into Republican campaign coffers?!!!  (I’m put in mind of the Canadian Liberals’ Sponsorship Scandal, and the U.S.-Canada softwood lumber deal that created a slush fund for W. and Harper!)
  4. For that matter, do campaign contributions determine which corporations we bail out and which we leave to “market forces”?!!!

Just let any one of you try and get help from the government when you’re in real need, disabled, unemployed, tied-down at home with kids, even trying to get off drugs, etc etc.!  Sure, there are programs, but talk about humiliation!

BTW, can we really have a President at this time who admits he’s economically clueless?!!!  Thanks for the honesty, McCain, but C-ya!!!

Kaopectate ain’t kaopectate anymore

I thought I posted about this a long time ago, but apparently not.  A few years ago the maker of Kaopectate took out the kaolin and pectin that gave the name to this old, effective anti-diarrhea product.  Instead they put in Bismuth salicylate, better known as Pepto-Bismol … but they kept the Kaopectate name!!!  Even my doctor was pee’d!  (I have IBS-Diarrhea, remember.)

On the Web there were suggestions about making your own concoction with clay and chalk, but with all the runs I already get, I wasn’t gonna risk all the little bugs you can get in there!  This in part led me to Paregoric, as I’ve said, which is a huge help, but not perfect.

There oughta be a law against such blatant deception in business / advertising by one of our sovereigns’ (States) corporations.

Gas gouging

How come gas prices at the pump seem to react immediately to predicted bad weather in the Gulf of Mexico, uncertainty in the Middle East or Venezuela, even news reports of increases in barrel prices?

What’s wrong with that?  When you hear “price per barrel,” that’s in the oil futures market.  Those prices shouldn’t make it to the consumer for a good part of a year, the time it takes to get bought at that price at the wellhead or wherever, across the oceans, through refining, and transporting to your gas station.  Plus, those futures are 3, 6, 9 months out.  ISTM somebody’s exploiting modern information overload for unfair profit.  I don’t wanna tax their windfalls; I wanna END them!!!!!

As for the other causes, they should have a delayed effect too.  They don’t.  Reminds me of the joke about PBS, “Petroleum’s British Subsidiary”!!  Except now it’s ALL the media!

Soda kills

Just in case you missed the new research about diet soda (yes, diet) recently, there’s this.  And diet was supposed to be better than regular!

Think about it: liquid sugar by the gallon, all those bubbles to mess with your gastrointestinal tract and environs, bigger and bigger cups – some now look like mini kegs! – and we expected to get away with it?!!!

Think of soda like candy – it is, after all, liquid candy: a little bit, once in a while.  Otherwise, just “obey your thirst.”

Or … there’s always beer, wine, liquor!

Feed everyone

The Orthodox Herald in December pointed to recent statements by the Popes of Rome – John Paul and Benedict* – that we have a moral obligation to provide food and water – “nutrition and hydration” the doctors call it – to patients in a “vegetative state.”  (I guess if babies in the womb are no longer babies in the womb, food and water is merely “medical treatment”….)

But IOTM that what we have is a moral obligation to provide food and water to EVERYONE unable to provide it for themselves!  Whether they’re paralyzed, sick, poor, unemployed, frail, Disabled, children, drought-stricken, plague-stricken, unlucky or unskilled in agriculture, fulltime parents, mentally ill, retarded, insufficiently intelligent, underpaid, whatever.  We have so much wealth…!  And as St. Basil the Great said, Whatever of it we don’t need belongs to the needy.

How about a little human solidarity, love, sharing, generosity, philanthropy (yes, even in your voting and lobbying and taxpaying … unless you can come up with a better way), “consubstantiality,” God-like-ness (Think about “the liberality** of God“!), self-discipline, etc.?

(*–The O.H.’s readership includes Eastern Catholics [“Uniates”] in communion with Rome, traditionally possessing Orthodoxy theology, liturgy, spirituality, etc. … just not part of The Orthodox Church.)

(**–That’s liberality, not liberalism!)

Is eHarmony a cult?

Yes, it’s true, I was rejected by eHarmony.  Now I know why: I’m not a wussy.  I’m a real human being, not some ’50s fundamentalist Ozzie-and-Harriet clone.  “Obstreporousness“?  What gall!  Basically you have to be a total doormat – or some cultist.  (I never knew Jim Jones’ full name was James Warren Jones.  Neil Clark Warren?  Hmmm … any relation?!!)

BTW, according to m-w.com, “obstreporous” doesn’t mean “can’t be pleased.”  Interestingly, it does mean “stubbornly resistant to control.”  Control, huh?  Especially when you look at the questions and the required answers, I seriously think some cult watchers should investigate this outfit.  What happens to these ‘shiny happy people’ long-term?  What happens to some of eHarmony’s ‘rejects’ short- and long-term?: I’m not a cult expert, but I do know that this kind of emotional manipulaton is typical of cults!  ‘Oh please I’ll do whatever you want just make me feel that hope again!’

F’KOFF!

There’s even at least one accusation of fraud against eHarmony, though obviously I can’t verify it.

Strangely, it’s a serious compromise of Warren’s Fundamentalism to make use of the term “soulmate,” since he must know it comes from reincarnation theology, but totally unChristian!  He must be really desperate for disciples, money, and/or deceiving non-Fundies who may actually believe in soulmates.

All of a sudden I’m glad they rejected me!

PS: A post here (search for text “eharmony cult”) suggests that eHarmony’s employees may be the cult, reminding me of that suicide cult of space-worshiping New Age computer techies from a few years ago….  OK, time for a serious probe, before they off themselves … and take God knows how many others with them!

Cuba transition

So, with Fidel Castro retiring from governmental office, how long before America’s Cuban emigres – or their children – along with its government, corporations, wealthy, Protestant churches, etc., move in on Cuba, to restore neoliberal (“neocon,” in US terms) elite rule there, or even prepare a “liberated” island for U.S. Statehood?  Stripped of health care, the respect of much of the world, and the dignity of sovereign nationhood, they’ll be in great shape to join the Union….  But how can it be otherwise, when so many of its ‘saviors’ will be US citizens?!

Can’t whatever new order finally gets established there try to retain what good there is, rather than try to make Cuba over into Florida, or Puerto Rico, or Tijuana?  (Great places all, of course – and each different from the others.)  Why not “one Greater USA, Two Systems,” so to speak?  Cuba can be a little more socialized, with those great doctors, a sense of peoplehood and distinct culture (and language), pride in Cuba for Cuba’s sake rather than compulsively running into Bush’s arms (or McCain’s), etc.  It’s not the 1950s anymore … nor the ’20s.  Let’s not be destructive, but improve on what good is there, and of course work on the problems brought to the Island by both Communism and the U.S. Blockade.  Obviously there needs to be greater individual freedom, freedom of religion, speech, assembly, press, etc.

Fight back, Drive 55.

Auto repair scams

Why should generic auto repair and maintenance advice be anything other than straightforward?  For instance, is a transmission flush (not just drain-and-fill) a necessary thing, a helpful thing but not necessary, risky, or plainly always very bad?

I will confess I am a total girl when it comes to cars.  (No offense, ladies … especially you Diesel Dykes!)  Speaking of which, why should auto repair and service be so dodgy to begin with?  If ever a field of business cried out for strict government regulation….

Anyway, ISTM a car is far less contingent than a human body.  “Ya canna defy the laws of physics, Captain!”  A car is a mechanical device, nothing more.  If it tells you, “Forty days more and Nineveh – or your transmission – will be destroyed,” repenting of your sins in prayer, sackcloth-and-ashes, fasting, and almsgiving will not change its mind!  (Unless, of course, God Himself decides to become involved in an unusual manner…!)  Onboard computers aside, “the anklebone’s connected to the shinbone, the shinbone’s connected to the kneebone, the kneebone’s connected to the thighbone, etc.”  Yet automotive arguments and disputations almost reach the theological level!  (Western theology, that is, which is just rarefied philosophy.)

I will add this to the Web ‘cloud’: The first time I was ever ‘informed’ by a servicing dealer (I bought the car slightly used from a dealer of other makes) about a ‘need’ to flush the transmission, something I’d never heard of before, and wasn’t in the Service Guide, though “changing” the tranny fluid had by then been “not required but recommended at 60,000 and 120,000 mile interval” by Ford Inc.,* and since I was still under warranty, “recommended” was required – this was in ’99 – I called Ford in Detroit (Customer Assistance Center: [800] 392-3673 at that time, although I think I actually talked to a girl in a call centre in Toronto, eh?), and she told me something interesting: “We only hear about it from dealers!”  Interesting, because quite by accident I recently had it alleged by a transmission specialist – the owner of the business – who seemed not to gain anything from saying so except my good feelings, that the concept of the transmission flush “was invented by the dealers,” “is a fraud,” a way to get customers to pay $200 for a $50 job, and not something he could in those terms convince customers to do, so he returned the $10,000 flush machine to his franchiser.

Why would I think this guy is trustworthy?  Maybe he thinks he’ll get my business in the future: What, $50 at a time, every 30k or 60k, on a little 100k+ Ford?  Hardly seems worth it.  The flush machine would pay for itself in a few months at most in that market, especially with his earnest-seeming gentle prodding.  But here’s something else: I’d been referred to him by one of the quickie oil-change places that all of a sudden seem to develop specializations in other fields as well … maybe … for service my new best friend said it turns out I don’t need.  (Was one of his workers getting kickbacks? or one of the quicky guys? Or did he himself undergo a religious conversion recently?!!)  IOW, he saw I was a total girl, and could’ve had me (so to speak) and made me think he was doing me a favor, coming and going.  And he didn’t.

I don’t know for sure about what I seem to have learned here, so I won’t mention names, but you’ve definitely heard of both franchises I’m referring to, the allegedly bad oil-change outfit and the allegedly better tranny place.

Frankly, I think auto shop should be mandatory for all high school students – male and female.  It could’ve saved me several hundred dollars at least, in the last 9 years, money I could really use now.

(*–Now every 30,000, according to their website genuineservice.com.)

Time/Putin, ‘the rest of the story’

With apologies to Paul Harvey, this commenter on another blog offers useful counterpoint to the Bu’ushist propaganda we’re getting on Russian President Vladimir Putin from Time Magazine and other sources official and (supposedly) unofficial.  Prior commitments delay any analysis I may contribute here myself on Time’s “Person of the Year” edition.

By way of preview (maybe), I don’t wanna channel Samuel Huntington here, but Russia IS different from the Catholic (Latin) and Protestant West, the Rationalized Capitalist West, the earlier-industrialized – and longer-suffering therefrom – West, the Classical Liberal West, etc. … and many Russians like the difference overall!  You know what Russians have always called contiguous land to their west?: EUROPE!  Now, (Western) geologists consider the ethnic heartland of Russia part of the continent of Europe, but Russians have always been conscious of a difference, Westernizing influences of such Western “heroes” as Peter and Catherine “the Great” – equally “Autocrats” with Ivan the Stern (whom the West never fails to call “Terrible”), Nicholas II, and everyone else in-between – notwithstanding.  But seemingly even “neocons” think a little autocracy, pogrom, persecution, purge, repression, national betrayal, apostasy, anti-democracy, etc., in pursuit of Westernization – or at least pro-Americanism – is AOK – just like in newly-Democratic Iraq, newly-Democratic Palestine, newly-Democratic Afghanistan, Democratic Kenya, “Liberalizing” China, the “Republic” of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, formerly-dictatorial Taiwan and South Korea and the Philippines and South Vietnam and Nicaragua and Panama and Argentina and Chile and Brazil and so on and so on and so on.

If there’s no objectivity involved in such allegedly professional analysis, let’s not pretend, but be up-front about our biases, OK?  But then aren’t you playing into the hands of the “post-modernists” who say there’s no objective truth?!!

One thing Russia does have, as they’re reminding us to their chagrin, is Orthodox Christianity, which isn’t afraid of objective truth, unlike their hardline Catholicism and Protestantism and “militant secularism.”  Their own Orthodox heritage, that of the West, generally ended around 1,000 years ago, just as Russia’s began in earnest.  And many of their ancestors hadn’t been Christian long enough to be Orthodox more than a fraction of the time most Russians have been.

I will say this for now: Orthodoxy’s role in a country is no more to stand up for Westernization / Americanism – what they sometimes call Snickerization (Russ. snickerizatsiya, similar to other cultures’ Disneyfication, etc.) – than for anything else other than The Truth, The Faith, The Common Good as they, limited human beings, see it, experientially guided by the All-Holy Spirit of God, One of the Trinity.  And many Russians have had quite enough of Western innovations – the Filioque, Papal supremacy, Uniatism, philosophizing, high-falutin intelligentsia of the West’s left OR right, Marxism, industrial slavery, Communism (aka “militant atheism”), the constant threat of American nuclear annihilation known as the (First) Cold War, Rationalized Capitalism, “militant secularism,” the current Second Cold War(?), etc etc etc.

Maybe I really am starting to become Orthodox, because I read Putin quotes and know what he’s talking about or hinting at, when it’s clear over their heads!  Maybe they should consult Orthodox when covering or analyzing Orthodox countries, cultures, histories, leaders, persons … and The Church itself of course!!!

Almsgiving IS charity

Though our “puritans” of today probably won’t take it from the Pope of Rome!  Not only is it good for the needy and objectively a good idea, but a good spiritual discipine, encouraging detachment from things, and actual “participation in the Divine Life” (as the Good Book says, I think in an Epistle of St. Peter) – which may be why the Lord said, “It is more blest to give than to receive.”  Which is why Rationalized Capitalism and Trickle-down/Voodoo Economics is the exact opposite of Christianity … not to mention very bad for you, eternally speaking!

Almsgiving is the soul of charity!

FREE CANADA!, or, What else American Red Tory means

Many Canadians feel economically dominated by the United States, the 800-pound gorilla to the South.  Though what should be done about that should probably be guided by Canadians who have that country’s best interests at heart.  For instance, letting them tear-up NAFTA and US-Canada Free Trade as well as other agreements prejudicial to Canada – or reopening them for fairer negotiations – and impose domestic corporate ownership quotas.

Some Canadians also feel culturally dominated by us.  Certainly they get all the American TV shows, books, movies, and music – though somehow they don’t seem to affect them like they do us, ie, making us kill each other and others different from us!  Also, Canadian influence on U.S. TV, movies, music, etc., is strong, or at least, the influence of Canadian-born persons (Pamela Anderson, Michael J. Fox, Lorne Michaels, Neil Young, Peter Jennings, etc.).  Interesting question for further examination.

But worst of all is U.S. influence on Canadian politics.  Not merely keeping an eye on the 49th Parallel since we are the local 800-lb. gorilla, but putting up with us exporting American republicanism, Republicanism, Classical Liberalism / irrational libertarianism, political Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, other ideologies, horse-race campaign news coverage and attitudes, greed and Rationalized Capitalism, giving orders to Canadian Forces behind the back of their own government, dictating policy to Ottawa, our government influencing their elections, Bay Street a carbon copy of Wall Street, the question of Fort Drum,* etc etc etc.  Now, ‘children must play,’ but must America muck around with such a loyal ally and generous neighboUr, when instead we should be learning from them?!!!  MAKE AMERICA IN CANADA’S IMAGE!!!

PS: Why don’t Canucks, with more guns per capita than us, kill each other like we do?  Why don’t our TV and movies have such a bad influence on them if any at all?  Why do they have health care, multiple parties, Responsible Government (read accountable executive),** hand-marked paper ballots, profounder education, more peaceful diversity, nicer cities, less-“concentrated” Indians, recognized Mixed-Blood Indigenous, true friends in all parts of the world, etc etc etc.  They’re not perfect.  But the answers must lie in their culture, their heritage, their history, even their legal tradition.  (Conversely, our late friend Marc Chaitlin firmly believed our violence today was rooted in our violent Revolution and replacement of legitimate government with “the Slavemaster Republic.”)  How do they differ from us?  Monarchy, peaceful evolution vs. violent revolution (They’re ‘the American Evolution’!), Classical Conservatism, gradual independence, British tutelage (vs. enmity) in statecraft and soldiery and diplomacy, “Peace, Order, and Good Government” more important than mere “Pursuit of Happiness” (sounds like a motto for Hedonism!), a sense and tradition of the Common Good as an active not passive thing, national solidarity even in peacetime, self-restraint, a check on politicians even in the appointive offices of Governor General and Lieutenant-Governors, greater High-Church influence (Roman Catholic and Anglican), an Empire-cum-Commonwealth of Nations, etc etc etc.

(*–Rudmin alludes to the “unprecedented” Congressional appropriation behind the initial construction of Ft. Drum, unprecedented because it was unconstitutional!  Being for three years, it violated Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, which limits military appropriations to two years!  Somebody in Washington really wanted Ft. Drum, bad enough to risk public exposure and a court case, neither of which apparently came.)

(**–Think about how our elite structure their own corporations.  There isn’t a Board of Directors in the land that would give a CEO the carte blanche any U.S. President has for 4 or 8 whole years, unless he was already majority owner or the inventor of the product or something, of course.)

MLK Day

  1. “Martin Luther King Sales”?!!!  I guess it was only a matter of time.
  2. “Day-on, not day-off”?  I’ve been familiar with this since the ’80s.  I understand the sentiment, but I think it makes non-Black adults (ie, not in school) question whether it’s a “real holiday” (as they say) if it’s not a day off except for government.  Fewer and fewer of them are “real holidays” anymore, with stores open, malls, even businesses / workplaces, factories, customer service….  It seems only Christmas, New Year’s (mostly), 4th of July, and Thanksgiving are “sacred” anymore, know what I mean?  And Europeans get all August off…!  Even Canadians get a couple unnamed, theme-free “bank holidays,” while we’re merging holidays – Lincoln’s Birthday and Washington’s Birthday into “Presidents’ Day.”  Frankly, I think February is too long as it is; we should un-combine them, and in fact, get every Monday in February off!  How about every Monday in August, too?  Christmas Eve … Black Friday … Thanksgiving Eve … Easter Monday … Friday before Memorial Day … Halloween (Trick-or-treat all day, kiddies!) … Election Day … Friday before Labor Day….

Cyber-Budgets, or, GIGO, or, The Coming Coverup

So the Bushies aren’t going to issue Budgets generally on hard copy anymore?  Do you trust them?  I sure as hell don’t!  They’re already spending money without Congress’ approval, picking-and-choosing which laws to “faithfully execute” and how, and making up other laws on their own without Congress; now they can just make financial changes as easily as you or I “cut” a zero from one line and “paste” it to another, or worse!!!

This is the same reason I don’t let Welfare, auto insurance, HMOs, banks, student loan servicers, etc., communicate with me by email.  I want it in print, on paper, you lying, thieving, deceiving, greedy, power-hungry sons of bitches!!!!!  Dated, postmarked, the whole damned nine yards!

More on Writers’ strike and late night

NBC and ABC threatened to fire employees of Carson Daly, Leno, O’Brien, and Kimmel?  Let’s fire THEM!  Boycott NBC, ABC, their late-night advertisers, and these networks’ affiliated companies, if you can!  It’s hard, I know, they’re everywhere!  But don’t boycott MSNBC, it’s our only alternative to Faux News Channel and their MSM clones, for politics and government coverage, such as it is.

It’s OK, Craig Ferguson has the most entertaining/longest monologues in late-night!  Well worth the price of admission … and then some!  😉

BTW, so much for Conan’s allegedly-wispy facial hair….

Huckabee crossed a picket line; Late night shows

…even if he doesn’t want to admit it.  When he went in a back door to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to avoid “crossing a picket line,” he either didn’t know or didn’t care that you don’t have to physically walk through a barricade of striking workers to “cross a picket line.”  All you have to do is help a struck workplace perform struck work.  IIUC, Leno, who is himself a Writers’ Guild member and theoretically still on strike, believes as long as he ad-libs and doesn’t “write,” he’s not scabbing himself.  But IIUC, the Guild – who are supposed to be his authority in such matters – disagrees, and was indeed picketing the taping of his show.  (If the Guild kicks Jay out, he’d be barred from writing for his own show!)  If Huckabee really supports the writers, he should’ve foregone the temptation to make political hay by going on Jay’s first new show since the strike began, on the eve of the Iowa straw poll.  But he either doesn’t understand, or doesn’t really care.

Catholic theologian David Tracy and sociologist Andrew Greeley have a theory that might explain Rev. Huck’s behavior.  They say Protestants have a congenital difficulty comprehending analogy – the idea that something is like something else – rooted in their Biblicism and centuries-long opposition to Latin-Rite Catholic material “sacramentalism.”  Thus, Huck wouldn’t have understood that the taboo against “crossing a picket line” isn’t necessarily literal.  It has nothing to do with a face-to-face challenge to the picketers on-duty at that moment, and everything to do with the total aim of the job action by all the employees.

Then again, maybe it’s just because he’s a Republican … which may be the same thing.  Greeley tells the one about the two old Irish-American ladies in Chicago: One says, “I hear Alderman O’Leary has become a Republican.”  The other replies, “Ridiculous!  Wasn’t I after seeing him in church just last Sunday?!”  😉

Of course, Leno calls himself a Catholic of some kind….  Conan O’Brien and Carson Daly, too.  (Daly even majored in Theology at Loyola Marymount … calling into question the Jesuit education available there!!)  So I guess we should boycott them and their advertisers!?  (I must confess that, last night, eating at a turnpike service area, their two TVs were blaring Fox News and O’Brien/Daly. Tough choice. I went with the latter, for which may God have Mercy on me! In Orthodoxy, we seek forgiveness even in a dilemma, rather than seek to justify ourselves before God – before Whom no creature can justify himself. But I saw it as the lesser of two evils!)

Catholic Dave Letterman* did the right thing, reaching an “interim agreement” with the Guild on behalf of himself and Craig Ferguson (aka Worldwide Pants Inc.), before returning to production.

(*–As Dave told fellow Catholic Ray Romano a year or two ago, “I have a season ticket, but I don’t make it to all the games.”)

Wearing tape

It really is “the end of history”: Women are now taping their clothing on!  They’re being convinced/pressured to believe that they have to show us so much skin, or other improbable clothing positioning, that won’t keep from indecency in most U.S. jurisdictions or on most U.S. TV channels, without adhesives.  This isn’t fashion, it’s soft-core pornography, or circus-wear – and as usual, damned uncomfortable for the women, in more ways than one.

I guess this means the end of the old joke about when a young lady is old enough to wear a strapless dress: “If it stays up, you’re old enough.”  And I guess 8-year-old Lisa Simpson’s been taping since the ’80s!

How soon before the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models’ paint-as-clothing goes “mainstream”?!  It’d certainly give new meaning to the Golden Globes!!!*

Yup, paint ‘n’ spackle, that’s all an actress or supermodel really needs today!  She’s nothing more than a robot-(wo)mannequin!

(*–I own that one.  You can’t use it without paying me.  And since the writers are still on strike, don’t hold your breath!!!)

Germany warns on Wifi; What about cumulative effects?

This recent British newspaper piece* is somewhat opinionated, but includes facts about German concerns about health risks.  This Wikipedia link currently provides allegedly-scientific counterpoint.  [“Jane you ignorant slut!”]

One thing possibly hinted at in the German report is the cumulative effect of ALL the electromagnetic radiation we now live amid (“electrosmog”?).  We’re usually told about their “safety” one at a time, but what about altogether?!!  One smokestack or factory-farm, car or burnt forest or clearcut, doesn’t cause Global Warming, but millions do, after all!

(*–Don’t worry about the .ece suffix on this link, it seems to just be a normal webpage.)

“Pre-Embryos”?

Maybe I’m out-of-touch, but I’ve just noticed this neologism on the Web, being used for what are more commonly called “frozen embryos” or “pre-implanted embryos,” in the context of in vitro fertilization.  Are the users of the new term trying to persuade us these aren’t actually embryos anymore?

I thought “pre-embryos” were sperm and ova!  Even actual science still calls “fertilized ova” or “zygotes” embryos, and their science embryology.

Maybe I’m out-of-touch again, but I’m starting to seriously wonder about the reliability of these people, some of them alleged scientists!  First there was the Korean guy who deliberately falsified research data, then the Boston guy with the for-profit corporation and misleading news releases and statements; now this.

And some people complain about religion?!!!

I’m not certain an o/Orthodox approach to these things needs to rely on scientists anyway.  Science is always changing, and is supposed to be always uncertain, “open-minded.”  But the ‘temptation’ to see if maybe they’ve got something ‘this time’ is hard to resist.  ‘Benefit of the doubt,’ you know….

But who “was always the Father of Lies”?!?!?!

Digital TV: Worth it?

It doesn’t work in bad weather or over as great distances as analog.  Considering that very bad weather is one time you really need your local TV stations, this really wasn’t well-thought-out.  We might want to reconsider the thinning-out of local (and real) news on the radio!!!

Weather Hype

Commercial media (and others who serve them) over-hype actual and even potential forecasts of bad weather because often that lets them activate higher-cost advertising – kind of like the sensationalistic screamer headlines in tabloids, designed to attract more ‘eyeballs’ – often called things like “Operation Snowflake” and “Stormcenter.”  Commercial media have “Snowflake [etc.] sponsors” lined-up in advance each year or bad-weather season.  I’m not sure if they just dump the cheaper ads, or keep both.  But the broadcaster has complete control over when it decides to “declare the Stormcenter open,” and the money rolls in automatically.

I suppose if there were super-excessive abuse by the broadcaster, sponsors might rebel, but I haven’t noticed any change after a number of high-profile examples in recent years, have you?  It may be like playing the one-armed bandit: ‘one of these times’ they’ve gotta hit the jackpot!

Now, maybe not all weather gaffes are greedy.  Also, there’s a natural tendency in U.S. journalism, especially broadcast (TV and radio), to focus on threats and bad news and fear, as Michael Moore pointed out in Bowling for Columbine.  As the saying goes, it does focus a viewer’s attention to know that he is to be hanged in a fortnight – or maybe stuck in a snowdrift then.  Plus, who wouldn’t like to be able to predict news, especially news that affects everyone; when anywhere close to accurate, that’s the ultimate in public service, right?  But compare the 1980s to today, and it’s clear to me the weather hype is exponentially greater.

So one must wonder….

(Meanwhile we could actually use more attention on Global Warming – that’s REAL bad news!)

Stephen Harper is no Tory

This piece says a little more about what this blog is about.

U.S. liberals’ progressive conservatism(!)

To hear “conservative” politicians and “pundits,” we try to get government to help the needy, sick, and disabled, as a way of buying their votes, that is, bribing them.  Same with labor and workplace rules for workers and unions … public education for kids(?) and the teachers’ unions … a little more social justice, for city people’s, women’s, people of color’s, immigrants’, and gay people’s votes … reduced censorship and looser broadcast content guidelines for, well, pornographers’ and bohemians’ and atheists’ votes, I guess … Evolution and equality and compassion in said public schools, for, I dunno, Unitarians’, “social engineers’,” and wimps’ votes? … environmentalism for the treehuggers’, EarthFirsters’, and eco-terrorists’ votes … “well-regulated” firearms control for the “jack-booted thug” vote I guess? … and peace, for the huge Muslim vote in this country!

They talk as if we’ve all devoured the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, the Quran, Gustavo Gutierrez and Chairman Mao and Madalyn Murray O’Hair, all ‘baddies’ like that.  We’re all free-loving, swinging, acid-dropping, rock-and-roll-listening(!), non-breeding stereotypes from the ’60s – just like they sound!

With my own life’s study and observation, I think the large number of native-born Americans – I don’t have alot of in-depth exposure to Americans born elsewhere at this time – being American (small-R) republicans, *are* somewhat ‘ideological,’ very much attached to the words of this country’s individual liberties, to the vote (preferably free and clean and counted correctly – How hard is that?!), to the Constitution of 1787 as amended and generally as interpreted, and to our accustomed, historical/evolved form of Rationalized Capitalism.  I also think the large number of them, being what might be called center-left in social ethics(!), or such awful terms like ‘caring’ or ‘sensitive’ or ‘polite,’ also believe this status quo isn’t perfect yet, has generally been getting better through the labor of alot of people in our society over the years, and can always be tweaked and improved: “Our best days are yet to come.”  We care about the Common Good, generally for those worse-off than ourselves in this country and abroad, even those different from ourselves.  On a personal basis we are the most philanthropic in the world (though as I’ve said, that may be in part because morally we have to be, since per population or economy, our government is not; in any case, it’s not enough to meet the need and the Common Good).  We generally support fairness especially to those worse-off, even some extra help if they really need it and we can give it.  Our biggest problem is such a disconnect with our government that we always feel overtaxed, but when we’re correctly informed, we’re often even ready to adjust our stances in politics, economics, ecology, society, etc., not because we “flipflop,” but because we discover we didn’t know as much as we thought we did about this or that situation.  It’s a big country, after all, and an even bigger world!

Therefore, when our critics and (supposed) ‘betters’ accuse us of mere cynical angling for power for power’s sake, such charges are patently false.  We don’t wage “class war,” though some of us seek to *end* the one being waged against us!  And we certainly didn’t make up Global Warming because we thought it’d put us back in power, but we espouse doing what we can about it because we just don’t want the planet to FRY as much over the next couple thousand years!!!  I don’t want to engage in potentially false gainsaying, but in the era of Karl Rove, it seems our critics doth protest too much!

In fact, IOTM that the large number of native-born Americans display qualities of progressive conservatism or Red Toryism, of a kind not entirely unlike what I’m constantly discussing in this blog!  Obviously relatively few have studied the British, Canadian, and Australian constitutions and legal and political systems, or other comparative government, or consider themselves Monarchists at this time, or explicit critics so much of Classical Liberalism or Modernity, or, obviously, Orthodox Christians.  But this is only to be expected in an environment of over two centuries of school and media brainwashing.  But the large number of native-born Americans show signs of convinceability, if the truth, the facts, the history and the causes of things, can be gotten out to them, and they can be reminded to think carefully before they vote or lobby, and to remember that what unites us is far greater than whatever may be perceived as dividing us.  Their real ‘conservatism’ manifests itself as it is able, in a country where we exiled or suppressed our true Classical Conservatism, and where heartless, brainless, even unFaithful and traitorous actions masquerade under the name of “conservatism” today.  Actually, as I recently read someone else suggest, we are the ones, in the absence of any other relatively-viable alternative at this time, seeking to ‘conserve’ what good there may be from the republic as described above, while our critics and ‘betters’ defy the agreed Constitution, undermine its interpretation, neuter Congress and the States, and risk “World War 3” several times over, in the last few years alone.

Which is why I blog.

OTOH, our critics are the ones who show signs of blind faith in innovative, false, artificial, unrealistic, inhumane, lethal, unChristian, Classically Liberal and Modernist ideologies … of hypocrisy, cynical manipulation, divisiveness, and incivility … of sinister agenda on behalf of a minority of vested interests … of moral and ethical corruption … of military, foreign policy, fiscal, and intelligence-management malfeasance, misfeasance, and/or nonfeasance … of lost Sovereignty over our own and other countries’ created corporations … of “voodoo economics” which basically are the single biggest cause of most of our people’s real material problems for the whole last generation, such as increased hunger and homelessness, falling wages and health-care coverage and assistance to the needy, rampant profiteering and offshoring instead of the promised reinvestment of corporate and wealthy tax giveaways, etc.

We’re driving ourselves to death

Best Place to Live for Global Warming AND Peak Oil

Just a reminder that when I started calculating this based on climate maps, I was thinking not only about GW but also PO.  Obviously anyplace COLD gets you out of GW, but if it makes you burn more fossil fuels for heat – your own, or your electric plant’s – it’s counterproductive.  Hence, Bay Area winters – on the wetter, cooler side – aren’t too chilly, and summers aren’t too hot for now, but this “sweet spot” will drift north over the generations.

Food can also be grown there in abundance, but then it’d compete with living space, employment space, etc.

Keep in mind that areas around  this area, while not as ideal, will be better than many.  There are other less-ideal spots around the world comparable to areas abutting this part of the Bay Area.  If I think about it, I may look into listing them.

Another lifestyle to consider is Snowbirding, ie, spending winters closer to the Equator, and summers farther away from it – water resources being equal, of course.  Jobs would have to migrate, too; I’m not sure exactly how you work that out.  What about two half-year jobs instead of one full-year job, with year-to-year guarantees/contracts of employment?

“Results not typical”

Businesses shouldn’t be allowed to advertise on the basis of results that are “not typical,” it’s inherently deceptive, ie, THEY LIE!  They should give us “typical,” and maybe the range of results, ie, from nothing to best.  As one outfit used to say, “An informed consumer is our best customer.”

How about religions, while we’re at it?!!!  😉

Are children really drinking Starbucks coffee?

These guys are more hard-core than I realized!!!

Do U.S. farmers and shippers really want to kill foreign poor kids?

Of course not.  Tell your Representative and Senators mercy is more important than profits.

Global Warming denier-scientist preparing for 3 foot sea rise

Fundie Brownshirt mercenary militia contractors “engage” Iraqis?!!

It’s time to stop outsourcing our wars.  Blackwater is clearly doing more than just “personal security,” and it must be a war crime.  Only a nation’s soldiers are allowed to “engage.”  Ironically, these guys are just “unlawful combatants”!!!

Least Arctic ice ever; “NW Passage” thru Canadian internal waters!

This AOL News link will break.

Actually ISTM they could keep the “passage” open year-round by running enough ships through there to keep it from re-freezing, ever.  Not that I wanna give them ideas or anything, but surely it’s already been thought of.  Screw the polar bears, screw the environment, screw Canada.

This is separate from “who owns the Arctic Ocean.”  [“Who owns an ocean?” That’s greed!]  Every map since the French and Indian War has depicted the Far North of North America as belonging to Britain, or now Canada.  The inhabitants of the islands north of the Canadian mainland regard themselves as Canadian citizens, and always have.  But Washington says it doesn’t recognize Canadian sovereignty even there… without saying who they think does have it… surely not the U.S.?!?!?!  But the Bushies will provoke a war even with our best friends, Canada!

W = Clinton = Reagan = Thatcher/Major = Red China

Interesting data from the Wikipedia page on the Gini Index of income/wealth inequality.  The U.S. experienced three big spikes in inequality since WW2, under Reagan, Clinton, and Bush II, all similar to the last “Conservative” regime in the UK, and Communist China embracing “capitalism.”*  (See the graphic of Selected Countries Over Time, and the CIA’s own US estimate since 2000 at the link below.)

So who are the best non-poor countries (or regions) in terms of equality?: Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Benelux, Ireland, Australia, France, Canada… the usual suspects!  And the Baltics.

As for Poverty in the Developed World, “We’re Number One“… in Probability at Birth of not Surviving to Age 60… and in Population Below 50 pct. of the Median Income!  Overall we’re 16th out of 18… and we’re Number 4 in functional illiteracy.  And the percentages are probably even worse for U.S. poor and non-Whites.  We’ve got to do something about this, people!  Health care, books, a family wage, and something about structural racism!

(*–More evidence of what I recently said, that the PRC is basically where America was a century ago… not a good place to be, and quite a “fall” from Marx and Mao!!)

“We value your outrage.”

Not simply a lying, “Your call is important to us,” like when you call any other company and all lines are busy, or they’re closed, or whatever.  This message greets callers to Silk Soymilk ([888] 820-9283) after hours.  Very cool.  🙂

Predatory Lending and the “Subprime Mortgage Crisis”

If your MSM aren’t explaining it to you, go here: they nailed it before it broke!*

I’d urge Hightower to run for higher office, if I didn’t think it’d corrupt him!

(*–Before the news broke, that is. Obviously the system broke years ago!)

UPDATE: Oh, I’m sorry.  I didn’t realize non-subscribers don’t have access to the whole piece.  But hey, it just may be the best ten bucks a year you ever invest (nine for seniors and students; what about the poor and disabled?!!).  Plus they’re nonprofit – can’t beat that!

Long story short, the latest “crisis” is about guys who prey on and deceive people who want a home, get them to commit to ridiculous repayment schemes, seize their house, so they’re out on the street anyway, and loads (more) in debt too.  But Jim and Phil tell it so much better and funnier, and with cartoons too!

Cingular is NOT the new AT&T

SBC bought what was left of the original AT&T (“Ma Bell”),  and changed its own name to the better-known AT&T.  (This has happened in the past, where a lesser-known entity has bought a better-known one, or a smaller bought a bigger, in either case adopting the name and/or logos of the bought entity.)

Cingular was formerly a joint venture of SBC and BellSouth, which itself (ie, Cingular) at one point acquired AT&T Wireless, but only became branded itself as something like AT&T when SBC bought BellSouth and what was left of the old AT&T, and adopted the latter’s name.

Long story short, there’s alot more to “the new AT&T” than just the former Cingular.  Why the former SBC is focusing so much on the former Cingular (ie, cellular service) in marketing is beyond me!

If various Wikipedia articles have it wrong, your mileage may vary….

I will say this: In my more skeptical moments over the years I have doubted that the old AT&T was actually broken-up in the ’80s… paradoxically, a decision I mostly opposed.  But again if Wikipedia has it right, in fact it was, and although superficially it appears to have been substantially re-assembled as the whole “new AT&T,” there have been alot of spin-offs, as well as surviving new startups, in the former’s ‘semantic field.’

Are the American people better off?  Folks point to the telecommunications ‘revolution’ that has occurred in the last 25 years.  Would it not have taken place, or be as far along as it is today, if we had been allowed to keep the economy, convenience, and relative accountability of Ma Bell?  (Would THAT be a good thing or a bad thing?!!)  The scientists at the original AT&T were pretty smart dudes and dudettes, after all.  Also, at least one of the articles alleges post-breakup AT&T’s venture into computer science, the real driver of the ‘revolution,’ was ill-fated; IOW, it was other people anyway!

So what do we really have today in old AT&T’s place?: a miasma of fragmentary-seeming names and corporations, phone-service pricing that seems to be completely arbitrary (“whatever the market will bear”… or can be tricked into bearing), little or no regulation or true accountability, tons of money poured into duplicating many times over what most sensibly should be a single top-quality network of telephonic hardware (After all, the shortest distance between any two points is still one straight line!), increased unreliability, decreased sound quality, zillions of seemingly fly-by-night businesses and services and products, tons of OUR money poured into lobbying Washington against the public interest and only in the interest of corporate fat-cats, etc. etc. etc.

Of course, this was all brought to you largely by the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush/Cheney pro-business, anti-people ‘revolution’ of the last 27 years (brought to us all by Iran/Contra/October-Surprise)….

I say, Restore State sovereignty over corporations and business!

Where did all these “Founding Fathers” come from, anyway?

According to Wikipedia, which is sometimes right(!): 

In the late 17th and early 18th Centuries, many younger* sons of English aristocrats specifically chose to leave England for Virginia in the Colonies. Many of the early Virginians who were plantation owners were such younger sons who had left England fortuneless due to primogeniture laws. These Founding Fathers of the United States of America were nearly universally descended from the landed gentry of England, with many being descended from English Kings of the late 14th and early 15th Centuries, especially through the numerous offspring of Edward III of England.

(*–ie, non-inheriting)

Would I be a total Marxist if I didn’t fail to perceive lasting class-consciousness among most of these Founders… and their (so to speak) ‘heirs’???!  [Although they had royal and noble and knightly ancestors, they were not themselves – they ‘fell out of the tree,’ so to speak, at least under English law and custom.]

So what’s wrong with that?  I’m a Monarchist, after all, a Classical Conservative?  Only this: of the handful of mistakes King George III’s advisers/administrators (ie, ministers, politicians) made with regard to these Colonies, one of the biggest was in not supplying us more largely with men and women who were “honourable” or “noble.”  Occasional Crown officials of these Colonies had been knighted, sent here, and left when they completed their service.  As to the future Canada, Nova Scotia warranted a whole bunch of Baronets, a kind of hereditary knighthood, and some of them are still in existence.  And at least one Baronetcy was granted in the Province of New York, to a French-and-Indian War hero whose son moved to Canada as a Loyalist after the Revolution, and whose line of Baronets continues to this day.  But that seems to be all!  As I’ve recently said, if we are deprived of the honorable and the noble, we will be ruled by the dishonorable and the ignoble.  Sure, American textbooks of European history are filled with the misbehaviors of such men and women, but think about this: Out of the tens of thousands of knights and nobles in Europe, we only hear about a handful negatively.  Most were probably no more sinful than you or I.  But they could be prevailed upon, like the Monarch her/himself, with extra persuasion not applicable to you or me: They were “honored” and “noble,” so one could urge them, ‘Hey, live up to it!’  (Talk about “role models”!)  They had public duties and position, a family heritage, training and preparation, Christian/religous  social ethics to live by quite publicly.  They were rulers, regulated by a system and somebody definite, the Monarch; *we* have rulers who regulate themselves, which means not at all!  As I also recently said, at least in Orthodox Christianity, the Tsar of Russia all the way into the 20th century was exhorted by the Church to be moral, to do justice, to show mercy, to do the right thing, and despite Western propaganda to the contrary, usually did his best in a difficult job.  (Remember, Russia was the most diverse, largest landmass of its day – from Poland to Alaska!)

OTOH if our rulers here in America are just about a “contractual, commercial republic,” one whose design even pretends to rely on competing selfishness to limit abuse (like that’s ever worked, especially lately!), how can you morally urge anything on them?!  Instead, we hear just enough Horatio Alger-type stories to try to make us emulate them.  No thanks!  We can do better!  Lots of people do better!