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Posts Tagged ‘capitalism’

Boredom is the enemy #1 to every serious occupation in life. A story which concerns St. John, a favorite disciple of Jesus is that he was once seen sporting with a tame partridge, by an archer who thought that the holy man should not waste his time in such frivolities; The apostle replied that if the archer did not at times relax his bow, it would lose spring.
Can there be time out for holiness? For a saint like St. Francis even frivolities shall prove his human quality in its naturalness. Addressing the sun as Brother Sun or the birds the revered figure of Assissi proved his time out was in fitness of God’s kingdom. The hand that wounds a man of God is an occasion for him to show his essence. He may dismiss it as natural of being among men of all persuasions and quality. For him forgiving comes easier because he is not only thinking of himself but also of another. Tyrants at home demand service and not understand those who serve also have sometimes difficulties in meeting their demands. They have simply forgotten others since they are full of themselves. Those who slash and burn rain forests do so because they want to aggrandize themselves at the expense of others. How can such fellows call themselves as human or decent?

The great Caesar as Plutarch tells us, on one occasion sought shelter under the roof of a rustic shepherd. At dinner time the meal cooked in rancid oil and served to him made the companion bristle with indignity. Caesar could accept the humble meal and thank him for his hospitality. Caesar proved his greatness even under straitened circumstances. He did not forget where he was and his place. He was a guest and having forced himself on another man’s hospitality knew how to behave. Like Caesar each of us is a guest here on earth.
Can there be time out for holiness? Or let us rephrase it like thus: Can there be time out from being human?
Tailpiece: there is nothing that can fix a problem like capitalism than fixing who we are and our decency to others who also have found sharing the space. None of us owns the earth. Perhaps education that we tout as cure-all is a travesty of true purpose of education. Think of damage done under initiative and free enterprise! colossal damage done by cretins in the name of bold initiative. Ptooii! Education on these fellows seems to fit the proverb:’casting pearls before swine’.
benny

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Remember the securitization food chain that led many banks to collapse?It followed the law that deregulated safety controls set in place to save the nation from another Depression of 1929. In 1982 Reagan opened the way for banks to make private profits over public losses so what happens but subprime mortgage crisis? Anyone could own million dollar house and only when the housing market bubble burst the nation realized the citizens were short-changed while many made their billions. After the 2008 Global economic crisis one would think the government would get its act together. No the current news makes it clear.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A clerical error landed Kathleen Casey on the streets.
Out of work two years, her unemployment benefits exhausted, in danger of losing her apartment, Casey applied for a job in the pharmacy of a Boston drugstore. She was offered $11 an hour. All she had to do was pass a background check.
It turned up a 14-count criminal indictment. Kathleen Casey had been charged with larceny in a scam against an elderly man and woman that involved forged checks and fake credit cards.
There was one technicality: The company that ran the background check, First Advantage, had the wrong woman. The rap sheet belonged to Kathleen A. Casey, who lived in another town nearby and was 18 years younger.
Kathleen Ann Casey, would-be pharmacy technician, was clean.
“It knocked my legs out from under me,” she says.
The business of background checks is booming. Employers spend at least $2 billion a year to look into the pasts of their prospective employees. They want to make sure they’re not hiring a thief, or worse.
But it is a system weakened by the conversion to digital files and compromised by the welter of private companies that profit by amassing public records and selling them to employers. These flaws have devastating consequences.
It is a system in which the most sensitive information from people’s pasts is bought and sold as a commodity.
A system in which computers scrape the public files of court systems around the country to retrieve personal data. But a system in which what they retrieve isn’t checked for errors that would be obvious to human eyes.
Integration principle denote the manner how an evil practice could run into different layers affecting the society and affect at the level of individuals.
Social changes are possible because of this principle.( Ack: AP News/20 Dec.11)
Bottom line is: where else private information sensitive and sacred in any society made out to be free and enlightened, should be treated as commodity and sold for profit? Where else but under capitalism?
Capitalism practiced in America can only be dismissed as crapitalism. No other word can explain it.
benny

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Re. my post on the Age of New Physics what science reveals is that in a collision of matter and antimatter,nihilism is not an option. Matter shall always have an edge over anti-matter. The earth was not ‘created’ in vain but was intended to be inhabited. Having said created you might ask, ‘how can you uphold science in one breath and speak of creation in the next? Science is not foolproof as we are ever discovering to our dismay. Einstein was the last word but science advances and Einstein’s theories recede into the past. New understanding splices into what was supposed and over a length of time shall be shown to altogether different. nutrinos can travel faster than the speed of light and technology shall push the envelop further than before. Let us give science its due place.( see correction at the end)

In all these what we need to remember is that positive values of universe cry out for mankind to be positive in their outlook as well. Merely because greed of some has made mess of our future we ought to think other means to go past these folks for whom material wealth is all that matters. Let them sort out their confusion and we need to get grips with what think is our best way forward. By throwing some dole to the poor shall never make them free from the yoke of poverty. The poor and weak in society need to be helped so they have adequate skills to grow further and make their way in life.It is not money but knowledge coupled with power is the secret. Positive intelligence in such a case shall cut a wide swath for man to go further.
Positive intelligence also tells us that any material object wealth for example with its adjuncts status, fame shall never be satisfied. The more you get more wants it will create and that make you a slave. Instead find a positive way to make material wealth our servant and not the master. Positive intelligence frees us from material servitude to be at ease with our interior word and material world equally. By positive intelligence we say ‘yea’ to life.
ii
Those who want to write their future need to hold onto the Positive intelligence.
I do not expect it would reveal us the kind of Creator God we are looking for. As humans let us not expect the impossible and think of silly stuff like guardian angels, prophets and such like. It is foolish to kill all those who worship gods with twenty hands since you are convinced your gods have two heads.
The intelligence with which we can carve the piece of mutton laid on our table will do. It is also intelligence to eat as much as your body can take it. Positive intelligence gives you all you need to be at peace with both visible and inner worlds. As the earth has given you may give equally your best to others. It is such intelligence that can make the earth fit for all those who want to make a difference positively.
A correction: Now the Scientists have retracted and found their basis to hold nutrinos can travel faster than light was based on wrong data. (March 23,2012-b.)
benny

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'workers of the world unite,'so says our Book,'So you deserve no handout,'said the ant

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''my wealth is spread around, so I dance and cut a figure', said the grasshopper.

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Do not try this at home
There are over 82,000 residents in Trenton, as of a 2008 census.

According to latest CBS news report a 15 year old girl took her sister of 7 and she sold them for sex to as many as seven.  Trenton is the capital of New Jersey.

Police say the teenager, who stayed behind, also took money to have sex with others at a party in a Trenton apartment Sunday.

The older girl is charged with aggravated sexual assault, promoting prostitution and other crimes. Her name was not released because of her age.

Police are trying to track down the men and boys who were at the party.

The girl must have followed the spirit of free trade as dished out by politicians and capitalists alike in her own small way. Think what she set out to achieve at a tender age of 15 ! Only the manner in which she set out went wrong. She made moneyin the best tradition of capitalism on whoever she could get hold of: it happened to be her sister of seven.

The older sister apparently believed in the bromide we have heard so often,’ Catch’em young,’ and do not believe in anymore. We have become cynical as she has, and know the best trick to turn up a dollar or two is to have one fall guy on hand. Of course she had set up her sister and knew if she played her cards well she could have had the custom of  the entire Trenton. Well almost.

benny

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How I learned to live with less*

(* and wondering what I did with my brain all this while)

My friend John Doe sent me the other day a letter that took my breath away. He had never sent me anything other than a short note in his longhand. Twice if I remember correctly. Once when his father died and another when his daughter got engaged. Usually he phoned me or texted me via the Web.
Getting a rather fat envelope I was amazed to see it was all written in his longhand as though he got a second wind once he took the pen to write in old fashioned way.  At the end he had his signature, a clue to our childhood days, a sketch of himself like the signature of Saint made famous by Leslie Charteris.
America had swallowed him some 40 years ago but he let me show that his heart still beat within true. Only that the Great Economic Meltdown like the Great Fish spat him out of a society he was so comfortable with.. The latterday Jonah, from his missive seemed to have a crusading spirit to live with the less. He in his characteristic style told he was part of a Consumer society ‘but like the pole dancer I had to hit the ground sooner or later. Ben, I am cured off my madness.’
How did he do that?
1.    Monthly payments. Earlier I didn’t care about the price, as long as I could borrow to pay for it and I have enough income to cover the monthly payment. No longer. I’ve already got too much debt, and the banks won’t lend me the money anyway. Result: More cash purchases and a lot less financing of cars, furniture and other costly items.
2.    Window shopping is a luxury that I can well do without. If I really need something I let the urge cool off. What I haven’t bought on impulse hasn’t hurt me.
3.    Us versus them :Technology has made living easier but hasn’t safeguarded us, the economically vulnerable from hitting the skidrow. As long as Technology comes in the form of providing a safety net for its votaries a safe home and supportive community, the kids’ education, Internet connectivity, sustenance for a pet, it shall remain questionable in my book of Rules.
4.    Redundancy made me move to a small rental home in 2007 and suddenly it were like scales falling off from my eyes. ‘Where on earth did I acquire all these junk?’ it hit me hard. The snazzy things became all at once junk, and redundant. Ever since I use the Web to sell them on line. It is painful but every time I sold an item, was like a spiritual deliverance.  One doesn’t how the things, in the process of acquiring them,(for no other reason than keeping with the Jones’s) forge ball and chain for your soul.
5.    Cutting back on pay-TV services or canceling them altogether, which saves $50 to $100 a month. When I get an urge I look  into YouTube or better still watch people. It is highly educative, this people watching I mean. No scare mongering or commercial breaks but just fun of seeing plain folks in their unguarded moments.
I know TV is full of crap and radio shows are an exercise in futility with sponsors competing one another to reach into your wallet. If I want an informed opinion or a sane commentary of the world what can Limbaug do better than I? At least I use my brain for my own good. It is a change anyway.
Reading my friend’s letter I realized we ourselves in a craze to sound ‘successful’ by creating certain symbols for it, pulled wool over our eyes. (Ack: usnews- Rick Newman , January 21)

benny

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In one of the recent speeches President Obama referred to Sermon on the Mount and his call for a house built on rock rather than on sand is thought provoking.

Bill of Rights like Magna Carta is a testament and it cannot set aside from the pulse of a nation. Nation is made up of living people and if such a testament cannot march in step with them it remains a dead letter. Thus President Obama is right in calling for a complete overhaul of American values. Take capitalism as a cornerstone of American enterprise.  How does that connect with values of other nations? We are all part of a global village and this being the case, American capitalism needs to be built on something more permanent if it is to be worthwhile for others. “It is simply not sustainable,” he said, “to have an economy where, in one year, 40% of our corporate profits came from a financial sector that was based on inflated home prices, maxed-out credit cards, overleveraged banks and overvalued assets.” There the President put crapitalism in a nutshell. Are not Americans making their values impossible by disconnecting certain national characteristics from the times of the age?

The pioneering spirit of the backwoodsman is as different from the carpetbaggers or the robber barons of post civil war era. How can one reconcile Jay Gould the wily robber baron with Davy Crockett? Both are child of their times as Madoff is a symptom of a generation that tried to make greed synonymous with American values. Look how China reinvented itself under Deng Xiaoping. The Party had no difficulty in marrying off Communism with Capitalism and the New China is no more true than those who heeded the call of the Great Helmsman. Time is of the essence and national values are laid down by citizens who try to be relevant. We need to remember ideology becomes almost obsolete by the time it is written. Lenin could not have predicted his Worker’s Paradise would be bedeviled by Stalin and Trotsky. Yet bravely he worked himself to an early grave thinking his ideology shall live on. In China those who took part in Cultural Revolution and waved the little red book may have helped Chairman Mao silence his detractors, but were totally irrelevant to the march of events that made Market Socialism inevitable. Unlike Mao Tse Tung, Deng Xiaoping never held office as the head of state or the head of government, but served as a catalyst to bring to light the spirit of his times. His influence on his people from 1978 to the early 1990s was immeasurable. He was instrumental in introducing a new brand of socialist thinking, having developed Socialism with Chinese characteristics and Chinese economic reform, also known as the socialist market economy and partially opened China to the global market. He is generally credited with advancing China into becoming one of the fastest growing economies in the world and vastly raising the standard of living. Time made the change inevitable and those who switched the ships mid-sea didn’t bring new national values but they made their achievements as synonymous with the spirit of the times. This is the Rock of Ages from which we develop our national values.

benny

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Capitalism is where hope of affluence is the carrot that leads the ass; crapitalism is the stick that the system applies on the way for no good reason than greed takes over it.

benny

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“Worst Is Yet to Come:” Americans’ Standard of Living Permanently Changed
Posted Feb 17, 2009 12:53pm EST by Aaron Task in Investing,
There’s no question the American consumer is hurting in the face of a burst housing bubble, financial market meltdown and rising unemployment.

But “the worst is yet to come,” according to Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, who believes American’s standard of living is undergoing a “permanent change” – and not for the better as a result of:

* An $8 trillion negative wealth effect from declining home values.
* A $10 trillion negative wealth effect from weakened capital markets.
* A $14 trillion consumer debt load amid “exploding unemployment”, leading to “exploding bankruptcies.”

“The average American used to be able to borrow to buy a home, send their kids to a good school [and] buy a car,” Davidowitz says. “A lot of that is gone.”

Going forward, the veteran retail industry consultant foresees higher savings rate and people trading down in both the goods and services they buy – as well as their aspirations.

Now let me  quote from Paul Krugman’s article,’Decade at Bernie’s':

‘Until very recently Americans believed they were getting richer, because they received statements saying that their houses and stock portfolios were appreciating in value faster than their debts were increasing.

…It’s worth remembering …notably in right-leaning publications like The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and National Review’ (promoted the belief that the Americans could count on capital gains forever and ridiculed those who worried about low savings and high levels of debt.)

Now it seems those who worried were right after all. The surge in asset values had been an illusion and the debts were,  not a surge but an hurricane to which Katrina is merely a sneeze.

There is a statutory warning on cigarette packs. Shouldn’t there be a similar warning on any financial pundit who paints a rosy picture on insufficient evidences,  in the interests of public safety? As for the Wall Street Journal and similar journals who do the role of a barker for dubious bankers (if found to be true) ought to be held responsible for the mischief they are doing with impunity. I think in such a case they are equally  culpable as doctors who are at present sued for malpractice.

In any case as Betty Davis says in All About Eve, a bumpy ride ahead is for all whose only fault was to believe in the system.

benny

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