Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Documentaries you ought to see

" Whatever your opinion of Ralph Nader - you ought to see this documentary film about him.Ralph is the Unreasonable Man. "-Dal LaMagna

An Unreasonable Man is a good movie but it has the problem of making you feel that our politics began in the 1960s. Other documentaries I would recommend:

The Atomic Cafe – 80s look at the American side of the early cold war nuclear confrontation. It’s fascinating to see Nixon debating with Kruschev, and suggesting the Soviet Union may be ahead in the thrust of their rockets but we are ahead in other things such as our color television (Kennedy then went on color television and pummeled Nixon for the missile gap on behalf of the military industrial complex, though this is not in the movie).

Heir to an Execution – granddaughter Ivy Meeropol looks at the Rosenberg executions. The Greenglass family is mostly not talking to the Rosenberg family to this day. It turns out that Julius Rosenberg’s Soviet code name was “Liberal.” Nixon is seen in his own twisted way advocating a kind of restraint in pursuing communists in the U.S. (“if you’re going to shoot rats, you should shoot straight”).

The long history of the left in the United States is one of variously courting the Democratic Party, being courted by it, fighting the Democratic Party, and being demonized by it. So what Nader did in 2000 was not so surprising given this history, as well as his own. It is interesting that after the election Gore stepped away from taking on the type of projects that would cause middle America (the ironically named “red” states) to regret not voting for him in 2000. It has become clear now that Gore chose a path instead to embarrass the left for not supporting him.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Wake me up in 2012.

Take on the Republican Candidates From Boston Beatnik:

Alan Keyes = Who?
Duncan Hunter = Nuts.
Fred Thompson = Done.
Rudy Giuliani = Asshole.
Mitt Romney = More packaged than a TV Dinner.
Mike Huckabee = Creationist. (How nice for you.)
John McCain = Broke.

Ron Paul = Brilliant.

We must end the war. Watch this short video::http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_zDnBe6R5g

If you want to end the war. Vote for Ron Paul.

Reply: that's great. but i will never vote republican.

Reply: Yeah, me neither, I can't trust em. Just can't.

A: It will likely all be over before Massachusetts votes in March anyway.

If you want, you can vote for Ron Paul in the fall when he drops out of the Republican Party and runs as an independent.

Looks like with Oprah behind him, Obama might win enough states that Hillary will have to put him on the ticket. So it will be Clinton/Obama in the fall (or maybe Obama/Clinton if he does so well she has to put him at the top of the ticket). Notice that she's started firing people who sling mud at Obama. That's because they are going to run together, and don't want to damage the product. And that's your next President.

The war will be over by summer. Bush will proclaim V-I Day a few weeks before the Republican convention in September. Here's how it plays out. If we are losing in Iraq, the Republicans are out. And if we are finally winning in Iraq, we don't need the Republicans to run the war anymore anyway.

I suspect what the Republicans are trying to do now is show enough weakness that the Democrats vote their heart and nominate Obama. Then they'll try to mess with the Democrats over the summer with the V-I Day thing. And in the fall, they'll try to get their candidates elected to Congress on the fear of a liberal/left Presidency. And if as is likely they come up short, they'll be back with the same fear mongering in 2010. Plus there will be some mistakes of inexperience to beat the drum on. So they fight in the Senate to block legislation for a couple of years, hope the Supreme Court shuts down the stuff they find truly outrageous, and put their money on winning back the House or Senate in 2010.

Of course, this could all be prevented if the Democrats would show some sense and nominate Richardson, who is their only qualified candidate. That would require some people to step aside who just don’t have it in them. And they'd have to put aside the pet issues, and focus on getting something done that they can run on for reelection. Also not in them.
So wake me up in 2012. Everything until then is foreordained.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Is the United States Bankrupt?

So the US owes around $9,000,000,000,000. The US population is 300,000,000. That works out to $30,000 per person. If you borrowed that from a bank at 6% interest (home mortgage), that works about to about $1,800 per year, or $150 per month. Of course, the interest on the debt gets paid by income taxes, which do fall heavier on the rich because of the graduated tax rates.

For example, the US collected around 1,000,000,000,000 in income tax in 2006 and paid out 211,000,000,000 in interest. That is about 21 cents for every $1 of income tax. So, if someone paid $5,000 in federal income taxes that year, his share of the interest was $1050 or $87 per month. If someone else paid $50,000 in federal income taxes that year, her share of the interest was $10,500 or $875 per month.