Monday, December 15, 2008


The Republican, after totally mismanaging the economy have decided that it is not their fault it is the unions' fault. The senators screaming the most about the auto bailout are all Republican, they are all from right to work states and most of them have non-union auto plants. It is not enough that their states have subsidized these plants so that Toyata and Mercedes and Honda will have a competitive advantage. They seem to feel that they need to destroy the US auto industry to assure this advantage.

When this happens who will benefit. I imagine the power elite in these states will become rich. The overseas car companies will become rich, and the workers will become poorer. Do these guys realize that if workers keep getting squeezed that no one will be able to afford a car. Then what? As companies become more automated the idea was that workers would share in the increase in productivity. If a worker is 10 times more efficient today than in 1960 than the worker should make more money, this is called sharing the wealth. No one wants to talk about this anymore.

There is still talk of Joel Klein for the department of Education. I saw a great quote in The Times. This guy Fuller said that for Klein “It’s tough love without any love,” a perfect description. Putting someone into the Education department who is as anti-union and anti-teacher as Klein is a very bad idea.

None of this means that unions are perfect. But without them we will be back in the days of the robber barons. If you follow the money you will see this.

I also saw an article in the paper about a doctor who has been one of the main proponents of using psycho-active drugs on kids. This doctor is at Harvard school of medicine. When asked how much the drug companies paid him he said not more than a few hundred thousand dollars. It turns out it was 1.2 million. You have to always follow the money.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Catch 22

I went to see Catch 22 last weekend. The play was not that great. All the lines were taken directly from the book, which meant there were some great lines. It was just that it didn't work as a play. There was a discussion by one of the characters about time passing. He was saying that time passed very quickly when you were having a good time, and slowly when you were not. The conclusion was to have a miserable time if you want to feel like you lived a long time.

Meanwhile there was an old guy (he said he was 107) who sat outside a whore's house in Rome. He gave a whole long speech about why Italy would win the war. His premise was that Italians were bad soldiers and therefore less likely to die. He also talked about welcoming the Germans than later welcoming the Americans. Whoever was in power he would welcome them. He was not trying to change the world. He did not want Italy to become the richest most powerful country in the world. He just wanted to be happy. He thought that that was winning.

This guy was very appealing some how. When I think about myself, I think I am not working that hard. I am teaching a class which I love doing. I am playing with technology with an expectation of whatever I do is great because no one expects much. I have no power. Usually a lack of power comes with a lack of control over your own life. In my case this is not true.

Maybe I should think like this old Roman. Whoever takes over, I should welcome them. Just relax and enjoy myself. I think I keep writing about this. The idea of slowing down and just letting life happen. If only I could sit outside a whore house in Rome drinking wine and giving fatherly advice to the whores.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday he expects the OPEC nation will vote in late February on a constitutional amendment letting him stay in office as long as he keeps winning elections.

"In February, at the end of February, I think we should be ready for the referendum ... on the constitutional amendment," Chavez said during a televised speech.

Chavez, a socialist, lost a similar bid to amend the constitution last year and will have to leave office in 2013 if he loses the upcoming vote.

Thank god I don't live in a country that lets it's elected leader change the constitution to meet their own agenda and desire for power.

Oh wait I live in a city that does this. Never mind.