Michael Maiello's picture

    Infinite Topics: Catching Up On Goldberry

    This one goes out to you, whomever you may be...

    The significant numbers of city mayors or EMs closing schools, then creating private charters with TFA instant teachers? 

    The whole Charter school idea is flawed from the start.  But what marketing. Supporting charter schools lets mayors seem like they're doing something other than writing checks to politically connected cronies and lets them claim they're being tough on teacher's unions. It's be another generation before the scam is exposed. We could have better public schools if everybody had a stake it truly public schools.

    #Grexit, #Brexit?

    First should have happened, the second won't likely happen and I see both pros and cons to it.  The problem with the #Brexit is that then Scotland has to decide if it wants to be part of the UK or Europe, economically. A UK outside of its euro commitments could be fragile.    

    Fukushima, the gift that keeps on giving? 

    The global power industry hs spent $47 billion on safety upgrades and it's enough to make you wonder if this is throwing good money after bad or if nuclear power still has real green energy potential.

    The European refugee crisis and the EU’s hideous amoral response? 

    There's a charming economist named Jeremy Rifkin, who is big hearted but wrong about everything, who once wrote a book called The European Dream in which he argued that the EU had almost infinite growth potential because the European project could easily be expanded to include a secularizing Middle East.  This is clearly not so and was a naive idea from the start.

    In any event. I find it difficult as an American to criticize European immigration skepticism given how little the U.S. is doing on this issue.

    Also, I do have some sympathy for the position that some European countries that value their secular cultures do not want to accomodate an influx of more overtly religious migrants who have proved resistant to adapt.  Sorry, I said it.

    NATO (and increasingly many nations ‘under our umbrella’) and Africom footprints?  The soft coups going on in the global south? 

    Very frightening.  I don't want to get into a conflict with Russia over Turkey.  Can't imagine ever supporting that.

    Obama’s ‘visits’ to Cuba and the right-winger Macri in Argentina?

    Why is 'visits' in quotes here? This isn't the moon landing, he really went.  Good for him, visiting Cuba.  It's about time.  Our Cuba policies have been a mistake since the beginning. We pushed Castro into becoming what he became and essentially thwarted a legitimate people's revolution.  Now, however, we can beging to open some resorts.

    As for Argentina, our courts have treated the country very badly in its fight with the hedge funds that bought up its discounted, defaulted debt. Given that the holdouts got almost everything they asked for, I wonder why any sovereign borrower would ever negotiate with an indebted country again.  Only the debt forgiveness that followed Argentina's financial crisis allowed the country to build up reserves to pay its creditors in the first place.  So the lesson here is that if you held Argentina bonds and cut a deal with the country, you're a sucker because you didn't get paid while those who refused to deal did.    

    Climate change indicators?

    I read today that the coral is suffering as never before, due to rising ocean temperatures. But, nothing to get alarmed about, right?  

    Recent and pending SCOTUS decisions?

    I'm intrigued by the nun's healthcare case.  The court does not seem to accept "if you won't give your employees access to contraception, the government will do it for you," as a legitimate compromise.  I can;t imagine how on Earth that isn't a legitimate compromise.  I wish the government would do for me all the things I don't want to do myself. 

    And who is Merrick Garland, anyway?

    From what I can tell, an inoffensively moderate judge  chosen more to stick it to the Republicans who say they won't hold hearings than to change the court in a lasting way.  The cool thing about the Supreme Court, though, is that they probably means he will somehow change the court in a lasting way because nothing ever seems to go as planned with these nominations.

    Dilma Rosseff’s now likely impeachment? 

    The post Financial Crisis tide of funds flowing into emerging markets (fleeing zero interest rates in the developed world) allowed for a lot of unchecked corruption in both public and corporate life. Some of those bills are coming due.

    TTP and TAFTA and the implications for the 99% in signatory nations?

    A mixed bag, as you'd expect.  I think the effect of these treaties will be, in the short run, totally swamped by simultaneously diminishing demand from China, EM countries and the developed markets.  The world is too awash in stuff.

    The  U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention having ruled that Julian Assange has been unlawfully detained at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and what that means? 

    These things tend not to mean much.  UN working group's make declarations and rulings all of the time.  They have importance equal to the willingness of powerful member states to act on them.  It's a terrible system. But what is Assange hiding from, again?  It's not like Snowden, right? He's still hiding from a rape charge. Why do we continue to hear more about him than the alleged victim?

    The increasing murders of environmental activists in the global south? 

    I know nothing about this.  I should be for it, right?

    Justice denied in the police state killings of blacks, browns, First Americans and mentally ill? 

    I am against all of that. My ultimate solution is that we should have fewer criminal laws and fewer police, but only I think that.

    The constant attacks on trade unions and the ILWU getting the bird finger from the NLRB in a sleight-of-hand sick comedy sketch? 

    Not familiar with this but on the brighter side, public employee unions came out okay in that Supreme Court tie.

    The uselessness (or worse) of Big Unions captive to Democrats? 

    Big labor unions, like any big organization, can develop interests that diverge from those of their constituents. Union leadership starts to have needs that conflict with member interests just like big company managers are not always incentivized to do right by shareholders. Of course, this is not always useless. autoworkers got a bailout that other laborers did not, for example. Though one could argue that auto executives who weren't fired benefited most.

    Increasing wealth disparity, homeless  numbers, and percentage of USians living below the (low bar) poverty level?

    I thought you didn't want to talk about Bernie Sanders? 



    I think about these things.

    And yet I have no gun available at my home.

    And as far as poisons, I aint ever going to drink bleach or eat peanut butter anymore.

    I have met underlings all over the Arrowhead Region in Minnesota and so many hate the unions; and yet

    the unions were the lower classes' only hope.

    We are going to be okay.

    I promise.

    The end of the world is not nigh.


    Oh wait a minute. that was Mr. Ed!

    What the hell was the question again?

    Say this Sanders guy does not sell chicken, Right?

    This is the greatest of all possible worlds for chrissakes.


    whoever you may be

    And what do you mean the world has too much stuff? Stuff is good. The more the better. How in the world can anyone be against stuff? It pains my heart. Thats like saying there's too much wrestling. Got you there, buddy.

    You win!  There's just too much oil and only for now.

    That's better. I've released your mother, you can find her in a SoHo café at Prince and Mercer.

    Wait... that's where she works.

    I don't know why there's this why don't ya talk about this, why you talking about that crap. You should be educating, you should be changing minds.

    Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it's just me. But I like to read the news. I'm into knowing what's happening in the world and in politics. I think about it when I'm not reading. I roll the ideas around in my head. Sometimes I like to talk about it.

    Some people are into sports. They know the players. They know the stats. They know the teams and the win loss records. Some of them like to talk about it. I don't know much about sports and I'm not interested in talking about it.

    Some people love Game of Thrones. Or The Walking Dead. Or the Harry Potter series. Or Taylor Swift. There are all sorts of web sites where people talk about those people. I know some about some of those things but I'm not interested in talking about it.

    I'd like to think that reading the news, world events, and the politics of the actual planet Earth and understanding what's going on here is more important than knowing the news, world events, and what's going on in Westeros. I'd like to think that knowing the names, accomplishments, actions, and politics of major players on the world stage is more important than know the names and accomplishments of players on the baseball diamond.

    But that's just my opinion. and it doesn't even matter if one is more important than the other. People like to talk about the stuff they're interested in and read about. This is what I/we are interested in and like to talk about.

    I'm not here to change anyone's mind. Though often the debates are good and it's possible minds could be changed. I'm not here to educate anyone. Though there are some well read and pretty smart people here and it's possible to be educated here. I'm just here to talk about the stuff I'm interested in with people who share my interests and are pretty knowledgeable on the topics.

    You left out String Theory.

    I did string theory as a kid and even found a book and played around with it as an adult. It was fun for a couple of weeks but was very limited. I'm much more interested in origami. I started learning about it 40 years ago when I lived in Japan and I'm actually very good at it. Doing the more complicated origami figures takes hours sometimes. It's like a meditation with it's intense concentration and focus. The world shrinks to an eight by eight square of paper with hundreds of folds. Traditional origami has no cuts to the paper. It's the only thing I do in a strict traditional way. The end result is amazing, even when you know how you did it. I can actually do figures like this.


    I knew youd find a pony in all this horseshit.

    Very impressive, OceanKat!  Just amazing.

    I don't know why there's this why don't ya talk about this, why you talking about that crap. You should be educating, you should be changing minds.

    I like to show I can go, is all.

    Sure, you're gonna show off for some one time poster from nowhere while long time posters like PP get no love. PP's very astute spot on critique of my post applies equally to your's.

    You left out String Theory.

    To that I can only add, and nothing about origami.

    You take us long time posters for granted after we've worked so hard to support the site. Even Hal has frequently admitted that we've added some much needed profanity that's been sorely lacking in his posts.

    He didnt even ask to see my stamp collection or counterfeit Fabergé egg. I feel slighted. And *everyone* left out Frippertronics. Educated audience? The gaps are telling.

    Awww, who's my favorite ocean kitty?

    You guys, get a room already.

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