Google, Haiti, and Taxachusetts

Saturday, January 23, 2010

There have been so many juicy topics to cover, it’s been difficult to keep away. Every time I’m moved to write, though, I really have something else to do or simply don’t want to devote the time to it. That said, here is, in summary, how to think about the following issues:

Google/China: Yes, if Google was #1 in China this wouldn’t have happened, but they’re not and it did. As a result, this is one of the great humanitarian corporate moves of all time. Perhaps the greatest (there’s not a lot of competition, I’m guessing). Google should follow through and close their business there. As arguably the most important corporation in the world, the move will properly shame China and the many companies that remain in that authoritarian country. Here’s a question that any one doing business there should ask: Would I want to live here?

Haiti: Nothing to do in the aftermath but help. In the long term, I’m with David Brooks and Bret Stephenson. Let’s stop giving money to countries “in need.” It does nothing, and may actively do harm. It’s difficult, because it is human nature to try to help fellow humans in need, but it’s also the right thing to do. Certainly, what the first world has been doing for decades has not worked.

Taxachusetts: I would have voted for Scott Brown too. Seriously. I would have voted for a cardboard cutout against Coakley. Although she was inept, I would have done it to send the message. I have said, many times, that if Obama and this Congress can’t get it done, then there is no hope for us. Year one has been an epic, unmitigated failure. Iraq, Afghanistan, secrecy, deficit spending, bank coddling, and worst of all, the healthcare nightmare. I blame Obama for not using his robust post-election strength to strong arm Pelosi (failure) and Reid (failure) immediately. Weak, poorly managed, pathetic. Obama, where are your balls? It’s time to lead.

And, btw, why do you need the 60 votes? Make an exceptional bill and let the GOP filibuster. Call their bluff. If they do it, and the bill dies, you hang it around their neck. Now, the bill dies, and it’s a Dem failure. Disgraceful.

(But then there would be no healthcare bill, someone wails. So fucking what? Paul Krugman can cry to his cats. This is not the most pressing issue in America. Budget restraint, financial reform, and confiscatory, punitive taxes on very wealth bankers, should be the priority. Followed by a 10% spending cut across the entire government, no exceptions.

We are going to have to suffer, period. Let us start suffering already so we have a shot at not fucking our children.)

The bottom line for me, in all this, is that I have really given up hope. I don’t believe our Congress (and the state legislatures) are capable of introducing the change (ethics, responsible spending) that is necessary.

Something very, very bad is going to happen in the next ten or twenty years. War with China, epic depression/inflation/default, or, in the best case scenario, a benevolent military coup (and a draft) that reforms the government in a way that makes it possible for America to function properly.

David Petraeus, are you out there? Rome needs you. Cross the Rubicon. Cast the die!

P.S. I can’t believe I just wrote that. Nevertheless, letting it stand.

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Paternity Rights: Losing Fatherhood

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I can’t believe how angry I am over this. Just finished an article in the NY Times magazine about cuckolded men raising children who are not their own. The article, Who Knew I Was Not the Father?, written by an adjunct professor at Columbia, is almost completely unsympathetic to the plight of men who have raised children to whom that have no genetic tie.

I am incensed. Livid. Apoplectic. The article cites several men who have sought to stop child support upon finding out only to be shot down by the courts in the interest of the child.

In the main case, the biological father is married (years later) to the mother and has no legal support obligations for his child. The cuckolded man does. It’s a bloody outrage.

Not once, in the entire article, does this hack take issue with the duplicity of the mother, the person solely responsible for the fraud, and the person (w/ the biological father) who should be entirely responsible for the financial support of the child. Where is that article? What kind of person does this to a man and, more importantly, to a child? Does this reflect upon her qualifications to be a parent? Shouldn’t these women be stripped of their children?

The answer, it seems, is no. Because it will upset the child. The author cites a lobbyist (now fighting against these women), who abandoned his child and won the right to have no financial obligations. She makes him sound like a monster. She quotes his young adult “daughter” as confused and damaged and mentions the suffering she endured because her “father” abandoned her.

WHAT ABOUT THE FUCKING MOTHER?

She’s not even mentioned. And, one presumes, the daughter doesn’t blame her.

Some advocates now suggest that there be mandatory paternity tests for all fathers at birth to avoid this problem. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. The entire tone of the article suggests a kind of mystification as to why these men would be so upset about this.

Really?

I mean, really?

P.S. On a related note, as I have written before, men should have the right to opt out of financial support for a child during the same time period that a woman can choose to abort the fetus. Figure out for yourself why this is fair and just.


Link Rodeo: Larry Summers, Test Bias, and Entitlement Apocalypse

Monday, May 18, 2009

American Ponzi…Larry Summers doesn’t practice what he preaches:

But defering to big banks and prefering fiscal expansion is very much a decision in the hands of Treasury and the White House. They may feel this is essential to restoring confidence, but that is not the general experience of countries facing major crises. The usual advice – given by the IMF, often at the behest of the US Treasury – is: manage an insolvency process for failed banks, precisely to reduce fiscal costs now and in the future, and to help restore confidence in the economy. Come to think of it, wasn’t this exact point made – forcefully and publicly – by Summers to the Japanese government during the 1990s?

John McWhorter on test bias against blacks:

Zora Neale Hurston had some apt words in her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road: “It seems to me that if I say a whole system must be upset for me to win, I am saying that I cannot sit in the game, and that safer rules must be made to give me a chance. I repudiate that. If others are in there, deal me a hand and let me see what I can make of it.”

We’re running out of money…fast. Social Security will exceed revenues in 7 years:

The Social Security Board of Trustees reported Tuesday that costs will exceed revenues in 2016 — a full year sooner than expected just last year. And total assets — including more than 70 years of “surpluses” built up in the “trust fund” — will be completely gone by 2037 — four years earlier than in last year’s report.


What Do Jews and Anti-Semites Have in Common?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It’s fascinating. The most popular search phrase leading to my brief post about Freddie Mac CFO David Kellermann’s suicide was some variation on “David Kellermann, Jewish.”

Obviously, I can’t tell who was doing the searching but it did raise the idea in my mind of a commonality between Jews and Anti-Semites. Namely, an obsession with who is Jewish.

What do you think? Who was doing this search? The Jews or the Anti-Semites?

I’m going to guess both.


Older Men, Reproduction, and Resentment

Sunday, April 5, 2009

It’s a beautiful day in New York so I’m not going to write a long (or, many will argue, well thought-out) post for this issue, but I will just say I am consistently amazed at the resentment among privileged, educated women at men generally, and, I’m guessing, at their husbands specifically.

Reading the New York Times Magazine and a piece within by Lisa Belkin, essentially calling for men to be riven by the same age and time pressure as women when in comes to reproduction. She cites several studies that promote the idea that older men have children with more problems – lower IQs, autism, etc. Assuming that the studies rigorously controlled for other factors (which is always a legitimate concern in studies of this kind) like environment and mothers’ age, correlation doesn’t imply causation.

It seems more likely to me that older dads are simply too tired to supply the extra stimulation to boost their childrens’ IQs by two or three points.

In any case, Belkin goes off on an embittered riff about men having “sell by” dates and hoping that women will now begin to judge them in the same way women are judged.

Good luck, sister.

And while you’re at it, quit complaining. The choices of the modern woman are what women have been fighting for for decades, right? Furthermore, she isn’t really at war with men or the culture, she’s at war with biology, but doesn’t seem to realize it.

Reproduction is the purpose of life. If you don’t want to have kids, don’t have them. But if you do, quit complaining. The world has had enough of these latter-day feminists whining about the burdens of motherhood. She writes of the stereotype of “women eager to settle down and men as reluctant” as though their were no truth in it; as though women are not the primary drivers of our reproductive dyad. It’s just silly.

Lisa, women – you want babies and are anatomically constructed to grow and nurture them. Get used to it already. In fact, revel in it. It’s the point of your existence – not, and this is true of men as well, whatever pathetic career you pursue until you die and everyone forgets you ever existed.

Even if it turns out to be true that sperm loses some potency as men age, it does not change the sexual dynamic. Men can reproduce well beyond the age when women can. Fecundity is sexually attractive. Ipso facto, men are attractive to the opposite sex for longer than women are. That’s why women go for the “silver-haired sex symbols,” and why old ladies can’t get a date.

What can you do? Life sucks.

One can only imagine what its like to live with a woman like this. Carefully charting up chores and duties to make sure they’re split 50/50 and resenting it the whole way; seething about breastfeeding and having the primary role as the caregiver because she is “mommy.”

Eeesh. I pity her poor husband.


Infuriating

Friday, January 23, 2009

Everything I read in the paper this morning is infuriating to me.

David Brooks writes of the pork laden stimulus bill coming out the House. I need to read more about it, but it seems like a disgraceful piece of Congressional crap. Obama must veto and veto again until they get it right.

Also on the op-ed page, Robert Zoellick wants more money for developing countries. Why? So it can be pissed away into the Swiss bank account of the son of some tyrant? So he can drive a Mercedes and wear a gold watch? How many years has the world been pouring money into Africa, for instance? Where is the real, lasting improvement?

Then, inside, I read about a youth detention center that guards essentially ran as a criminal racket. A boy died and now his mother is suing the city for $20 million. That’s my money. I don’t want this woman (and her ambulance chaser) to get rich because of these jackasses.

Further in, a woman named Susan Dominus writes a column about Caroline Kennedy’s failed bid for the Senate. Her point seems to be that CK deserved a shot (even though she was the wrong woman) because it would have demonstrated that women who have been out of the workplace to raise kids can still do the job. T.S., honey. How about giving me a shot at the Senate seat? Because I work, I don’t deserve it? This bit about women not getting opportunities in the workplace after the kids is so tired and vaginocentric that it’s offensive. Hey, I’d love a high paying job that I’m not trained for and haven’t given any thought to in 20 years (Sarah Palin, anyone?). Isn’t making money to support children beneficial to society? Didn’t I learn valuable managerial skills? (Btw, did you notice Paterson actually appointed a qualified person to the job?…and she has a vagina!) I bet there are a lot of working women who found CK’s chutzpah off-putting.

Wait a sec, I have an idea.

I write a blog. I want to be appointed to Susan Dominus’s job. I’ve never been a reporter, per se, but I’ve done a lot of similar work in the writing type field. I know I can do a great job. And hey, she’s a woman. Shouldn’t there be more men writing her column?

Sorry. There’s more, but I’ve run out of gas. Maybe I’m just in a bad mood, but these people are destroying my sense of hope.


Thoughts on the Obama Inaugural

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

If I had time, I’d organize these into an essay…but I don’t, so…

1) There is a terrific irony in the Obama victory. His candidacy was sealed, in my opinion, by the Sarah Palin pick. Palin may have solidified the GOP wingnut “base,” but she cost McCain the sensible, conservatively-inclined middle – including a great many so-called Reagan Democrats. Palin’s candidacy was a stand-in for the Southern strategy that has been so effective for the GOP. She appeals to the proudly ignorant, to the uneducated masses, to all those who are threatened by America’s multiculturalism. It was her candidacy, the very real possibility of the worst of us ascending to the highest office in the land, that ultimately made voters either reject her, or, at the very least, stay home. In other words, ignorance helped usher in a new dawn in America. Sarah Palin, with a massive assist from W., was finally enough to bring about the day when education bested ignorance.

2) This is likely beaten to death everywhere, but I haven’t been reading a lot about the inaugural, so I’m going to take my shot and write about the dynamism of American democracy. Where else, indeed? Really, no where else – not in this way, not at this time. I do not like American triumphalism, that perpetual pat-ourselves-on-the-back that pours forth among Rupert Murdoch’s propagandists, but in this case, it is well deserved. America truly is the world’s first microcosmic global community. Here we have everyone, people from all over the world, finding opportunity, living lives unimaginable in their homelands, becoming Americans and, without limitation, it now seems, seeking to fulfill their highest aspirations. This is what gives me hope for America. This is why I don’t bet against us now. Because, for all our faults, we are always ready to begin again anew. America has grown on its ancient wounds a stronger fiber and possibility is now effused with light and momentum. This is the dynamic character of a free and ever adaptable people. We are down now. But we are not out. We are never out. This election has proved that again.

3) More later…no time to write now…