Archive for March, 2011

Connect the dots: The free market canard

March 30, 2011

There is a place where light can not make it through and it is not a black hole in outer space. It is the space between our business leaders and our government.

Fact 1: GE is the single largest company in the US.

Fact 2: GE made $13.5 billion in profit last year.

Fact 3: GE didn’t pay a penny in taxes on its profit. In fact, it is asking the federal government for $3.2 billion in tax rebates!

Fact 4: Back at the end of 2008, Bloomberg reported that the U.S. government had agreed to insure an additional $139 billion in GE Capital’s debt holdings, the second such intervention within a month.

Fact 5: GE’s CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, is the head of the president’s team of economic advisors.

Fact 6: Anyone who thinks we have a free market economy is utterly blind.

Disclosure: The New York Times’ David Kocieniewski broke the GE profit story.


Confessions–Part 1

March 28, 2011

Your innermost self is really who you are. The outside noise could be overwhelming. The inner voice can easily fall on deaf ears. And this could whither the soul.

Caring about my friends as much as caring about myself has been my cherished pleasure and pride. I love sharing their joy and getting immersed in their sorrow.

That sharing, however, could  inadvertently conflate your space and theirs. The things you love and enjoy suddenly become what they must love and enjoy.  With the best of intentions, extreme love might insidiously give way to selfishness. Insensitivity and overconfidence  all could drown your soul.

A recent  trip has given me a wake up call–nothing can help me look within, redress my life, and appreciate its essence and the beauty of true love and friendship like traveling can. It redirected my compass. My spiritual ears are back listening to my inner voice. And I have now a fire wall more adept at filtering out the outside noise.


Dwarf Minds, Giant Egos

March 27, 2011

If  you’d like to get informed about what will happen next in the Middle East, start by ignoring our Middle East experts.

Tom Friedman, Roger Cohen, Nicolas Kristof, Farid Zakaria, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, and almost every self-proclaimed expert have been enlightening us with their predictions.

The problem is those “giant- egoed” dwarf minds have never been anywhere near the truth about complicated issues in the Middle East (heck, not even the state department or our $80 b intelligence agencies.)

Recall when they’re all were cheering up the Iraq war and none of them got it right?

If Iraq is ancient history to you, just look at their forecasts when the spark that started it all in Tunisia erupted. None of them and I mean none predicted that Hosni Mubarak was next, or how much of a game changer this was going to be. In fact, up until two weeks into the Egyptian uprising, those great minds were predicting Mubarak to prevail in the end.

The Tsunami sweeping across the Middle East these days is bigger and more convoluted than any of those pitiful minds can absorb much less analyze. It doesn’t help when you come into the analysis arena with a huge baggage of bigotry  and racism either.

Stay tuned!


Attention Deficit and Budget Deficit

March 18, 2011

Move over, the deficit-cutting ax is just about to hit you.

By the way everyone, does anyone still remember the wars going on in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen? How much they’re still costing us; anyone?

Just take a look at this technologically marvelous and factually credible website and see where the deficit really comes from.

The cost of wars  to the state of Wisconsin so far: $18, 616, 142, 400 and it is multiplying by the second. Its deficit is $1.5B.

The cost of wars to New Jersey that required the hero of our time, Chris Christie to slash much-needed social programs: $53, 317, 921, 516. Its deficit is 10.5 B. Do you hear him even hint at this?

Just enter your state in the upper left hand corner of the website and see how much it is costing you by the minute. It is bleeding all of us dry.

And our esteemed officials are looking to save money by cutting  heating oil for the elderly, laying off school teachers,  busting the unions, and cutting funding for day care programs.

No one in the media is reporting on the cost of  wars anymore. It is total amnesia inducing a total attention deficit to the real problems.

We’re cannibalizing each other here at home. All of a sudden public employees and unions are the villains that caused the deficit. They’re the ones that brought the entire world’s economy to its knee!

It is scary. Be very afraid of what they’re doing to this country.


Seeds of democracy in the Middle East are the seeds of worry in Israel

March 11, 2011

Israel is worried!

Listen to its prime minister, he is nervous.

Listen to its foreign minister, he is worried.

Listen to members of the “Knesset”, they’re worried.

They’re so worried, they’re asking the US to intervene!

Now one must conclude there must be an army of an advanced extraterrestrial civilization that is about to obliterate the country with the 4th largest army and with the over 250 nuclear warheads.

But no, they’re worried because  their neighbors are revolting against tyranny. They’re rising against  thugs and dictators, enabled by the US and Israel I might add,  that have been repressing their population for over three decades and presiding over one of the worst economic stagnation and social inequity in the world.

The Arabs, at long last, got fed up and decided to rise (and they’re not out of the woods yet.)

Israel is worried about that! Israel would like to have a monopoly on democracy in the region.

How many times have you seen their leaders on your tv and in major newspapers op-eds declaring: We’re the only democracy in the region….. We are defending the values of the West in the region….etc…

Israel couldn’t claim  that any longer, if these Arabs caught up with the history train and became democracies and elected their own representatives.

With the departure of its dictators’ friends who have brutalized their people, Israel would cease to be able to blackmail everybody on the planet — a deed easily achieved when having  backward, tribal, poor neighbors ruled by thugs as enemies.


Pity that movie critic

March 6, 2011

I saw  the “Adjustment Bureau” yesterday. It is a science fiction movie tackling free will woven into a sweet romantic love story.

I loved it. Every atom in me felt alive with love and it showed through the reluctant tears in my eyes! It also made me question essential beliefs and priorities in my life and contemplate the meaning of fate.

The sweet aftertaste lasted long after the movie was over and left me in a trance well into the night, and I loved the feeling. 

What wouldn’t anyone pay to live such a magical feeling for a night; to feel alive with love, to enjoy a ride  through worlds of sweet dreams, and contemplate fate and the power to change it?

What more would anyone hope from a movie? 

Not a Christopher Kelly,  movie critic of MacClatchy Tribune. “…[w]ith one more mumbo- jumbo -y twist piled atop another…the more the characters talk, the more implausible the whole thing becomes..”; a cliché that could be used to berate most great sci-fi flicks. But that is not my point.

Does this guy even have feelings. Does a movie have to be a case study in logic? (actually, the plot fits together rather nicely)

All I can say is I pity the critics. They can’t feel. If you don’t come out of this movie overwhelmed with emotions, and feeling some abandoned corners of your soul awash with love,  you’re not alive.   


The face and voice of crystallized hate

March 3, 2011

Do you want to look hate in the face? Do you want to hear its voice?

Just watch this short video of your fellow citizens and politicians from Orange County, California.

Here is the video. Make sure you have sickness bag around.


May be we can learn from the brave demonstrators in the Middle East

March 1, 2011

Is it me or is everyone’s logic is skewed nowadays.

Every colleague I talk to about the transformative events in the middle east is unphased by the heroic people over there; young and old. People are marching on between  bullets, tear gas,  and other dictators’ favorite lethal  instruments, demanding their freedom, their dignity, and their rights. But  we’re not impressed.

“Democracy doesn’t work over there” declares one intellectual. “Who said we’re not going to get something worse?”, boasts another. And those are the enlightened ones supposedly.

How ignorant can an enlightened one be? Very. Who are we to doubt those people who are bravely dying for their rights, fighting dictators and armies we in the USA have armed and trained? Who are we to dismiss those youths that have empowered themselves with technology and faith in kingdoms, “sheikdoms”,  and faux republics ruled by fear and terror?

Let’s just have a perspective here, folks. May be we can descend from our ivory tower for a moment, get a “patch” to cure  our brain’s addiction to  Facebook, ween ourselves off celebrity gossip, and look ourselves in the mirror. Money is ruling more than ever before: Bought off politicians;  hypocritical religious leaders; greedy bankers and billionaires;   corrupt supreme court justices, you name it. May be we can learn something from those demonstrators. For it won’t be long before we lose the American way of life we so  much cherish.