Terror In Paris

Peace for Paris, peace from terror. Free people everywhere, and our leaders, must address the war of terrorism that is breaking out across the globe. I’m afraid we have refrained from seriously thinking and speaking about the terrorism problem because of honest concerns about religious freedom and profiling. We must find a way to reconcile our value of religious freedom with our value of peace. Religious freedom does not include the freedom to wage a war of terrorism against the world.

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Peace for Paris (Thank you Rachel)

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America and Maryland Coming Apart At The Seams

Crowds surrounding the Reflecting Pool, during...

Crowds surrounding the Reflecting Pool during the 1963 March on Washington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a few short weeks, we’ve had the following:

A joyful national coming together to  celebrate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech.

The warm, fuzzy feeling of a unifying “American Dream” was quickly replaced by spinning centrifugal forces.

We went to the brink of war, and back, in Syria.

Oh, never mind, forget war. Back to our regularly scheduled program: “Defund Obamacare.”  Or else.

Wait! Wait! A mass shooting inside America’s oldest military installation, the Navy Yard, in the heart of the nation’s capital, a mile from the Capitol building . . . But mass shootings and gun control debates hold our attention for shorter time spans with each round of crazy violence.

Back, quickly now, to defunding Obamacare. (Obamacare is a serious but somewhat flawed effort to provide access to health care for all Americans. Therefore, it must be EVIL, right? Let me know if you can figure it out. I can’t.)

The alternative to defunding Obamacare, far as the crazies on the right are concerned, is shutting down the federal government!  And defaulting on the national debt; to be followed by worldwide economic chaos.

Loud and fevered — and apparently serious — conspiracy to bring down the federal government of the USA has previously been known as Treason. What should we call it today? Political and cultural insanity?

English: Map of Maryland counties

And now. to add a touch of humor, or not, the counties of Western Maryland (depending on how you define Western Maryland) are talking about seceding from Maryland to form a new state, complete with two U.S. senators! (Just what we need, two more additions to the world’s most dysfunctional deliberative body.)

Into the midst of the debate about secession comes a guest host on a Baltimore radio show, who displays amazing ignorance of Maryland geography and politics. She blindly relocated a state senator from District 37 on the Eastern Shore, placing him not only in the wrong county, but in a whole other region of the state, Southern Maryland, which is on the whole other side of the Chesapeake Bay. Hey, it’s only mainstream media. Actual facts are peripheral.

Not surprising that voters are fed up with the way things are going. Can the center hold? It’s looking more and more unlikely.

Fragmentation is the preferred intoxication of the day. Ah, the sweet wine of liberty!  “Don’t tread on me,” reads the label. Savor the fruity overtones of anarchy, and the subtle hint of chaos.

— John Hayden

Supreme Court Health Care Decision Divides The States

Fascinating complexity in the decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts upholding the Affordable Care Act!

English: President George W. Bush announces fr...

President George W. Bush, a Republican, announces his nomination of John Roberts to be Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First of all, Justice Roberts, a conservative Republican appointee, voted with the High Court’s “liberal” justices to create the 5-4 majority upholding the law. Republicans and conservatives across the U.S. hysterically called him a “traitor.”  Wait. Isn’t a patriot’s first loyalty to the United States of America, not to any political party?

The frightening possibility is that some partisans no longer see loyalty to the U.S. as a patriot’s first loyalty. It’s possible that some of the more extreme Tea Party loyalists have already seceded from the United States in their own troubled minds.

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News Flash — Jon Taplin Is Back!

New Anarchy vs. New Fascism? — Talk About “Living in interesting times!”

Jon Taplin has returned to his blog. Please read Jon Taplin’s insights into the deepening political and economic crisis. See his posts,  “Why Now?” and  “Brave New World Redux.”  Jon Taplin is the writer who explained the ongoing disconnection and unreality in America and the Western world with his series of essays on the “Interregnum.”

Now, in his two recent essays, prompted by the riots in London, Jon Taplin suggests that a “New Anarchy” may lie ahead for the Western World.  If for every action there is a reaction, I’ll up the ante by suggesting that the New Anarchy may be an attempted revolt against a New Corporate-Fascism.

We may live to see, in the near or medium future, a great struggle between the forces of Anarchy and Fascism.  Some may believe it will be the Apocalypse.  Whether or not you believe in Apocalypse, the struggle will likely feel like an upheaval of apocalyptic proportions.

The following words are Jon Taplin’s; I took the liberty of highlighting some words in bold:

“Whatever political will the country might have had for a WPA style program —putting millions of unemployed construction workers back on the job fixing America’s third world infrastructure—now seems to have evaporated. It was perhaps our last chance to avert the Coming Anarchy. With no government infrastructure programs to put people back to work, the private sector is left  trying to create jobs for the 28 million people who are either officially unemployed, working part time but wanting full time work or “discouraged workers” who have stopped looking for a job. This of course is not going to happen—and so we are all facing the problem of a “new normal”, in which a large portion of the high school only population may never find work. Liberal pundits mourn the loss of good jobs for this cohort, but as Bernard Avishai warned in “Strategy and Business” way back in 1997, “Any job that is still simple and repetitive enough to employ a semi- or non-skilled person is going to be even more pressured by new software or by contractor-suppliers in China and Brazil.”  — from Brave New World Redux

I would have some hope for America if President Barack Obama would appoint Jon Taplin to his inner circle of advisers at the White House. Also needed at the White House, Washington Post business and economy writer Steven Pearlstein. See “Who’s to blame for this mess? Let’s start with the corporate lobby.” on page G1 of the Post, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011.

— John Hayden

London Is Burning

This just in from a blog in London:

Tonight, in one of the greatest cities in the world, society is ripping itself apart.

If you want to know the latest in the American-European Political-Debt Crisis of 2011, I recommend you read blogs like Penny Red.

If you want a preview of what’s coming to an American city near you, California is no longer the barometer. Look at what’s going on in London, or Dublin, or Greece, Italy, Portugal, and the entire European Union. Europe is now in worse shape than America, but maybe not for long.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s report in Penny Red:

Tonight in London, social order and the rule of law have broken down entirely. The city has been brought to a standstill; it is not safe to go out onto the streets, and where I am in Holloway, the violence is coming closer. As I write, the looting and arson attacks have spread to at least fifty different areas across the UK, including dozens in London, and communities are now turning on each other, with the Guardian reporting on rival gangs forming battle lines. It has become clear to the disenfranchised young people of Britain, who feel that they have no stake in society and nothing to lose, that they can do what they like tonight, and the police are utterly unable to stop them. That is what riots are all about.

And more from Penny Red:

 This morning, as the smoke begins to clear, those of us who can sleep will wake up to a country in chaos. We will wake up to fear, and to racism, and to condemnation on left and right, none of which will stop this happening again, as the prospect of a second stock market clash teeters terrifyingly at the bottom of the news reports. Now is the time when we make our choices. Now is the time when we decide whether to descend into hate, or to put prejudice aside and work together. Now is the time when we decide what sort of country it is that we want to live in. Follow the #riotcleanup hashtag on Twitter. And take care of one another.

I also recommend Baroque in Hackney, who can provide other pertinent links in Britain.

And today, in Wisconsin, the people are voting. I wonder if what they decide, one way or another, will be able to slow down, one iota, the spread of the chaos in the Western World.

I have to go to work now.

— John Hayden

And They Call Themselves ‘Patriots’

The western front of the United States Capitol...

Image via Wikipedia

No. 4 in a series on the Debt Crisis of 2011.

Here’s an American paradox, or maybe it’s a morality story. You work to pay your bills. I work to pay my bills, thereby maintaining the fiction that I’m solvent and creditworthy.

While you and I are working to pay our bills, right-wing zealots are conspiring to prevent the government of the United States of America from paying its bills. They even pretend that it would be right and good for the U.S. to ignore its debts.

The premeditated intent of these patriot-politicians is to subvert Congress and sabotage the U.S. Treasury, force financial default, and destroy America’s credit rating. With malice aforethought, they plan to run the U.S. government straight into bankruptcy and shut it down.

By bankrupting the Treasury, these people — the Tea Party, the Libertarians, the Anarchists, the tax protestors — hope to smash and destroy the government, and kill its hated programs and taxes. Then they will wave the American flag and celebrate.

Isn’t it sedition and treason to destroy from within the government of your own country?

Believers in this Tea Party and Libertarian conspiracy call themselves “Patriots.”  But aren’t they really traitors and turncoats?

— John Hayden