Thanks, those of you who have been trawling for images of tribal barbeque socializing and GROOVE-style online meetings. Please keep an eye open.
Now back to politics. I am still catching up from my two months of e-hell... probably caused by powerful forces desperate to shut me up, right? ; ) Oh, but now they’ll move on to other methods.....
==Moyers on Income Disparity==
Many of you know that I find Bill Moyers highly annoying. For someone so bright and articulate to be so often mired in cliches... well, it’s a lot like William F. Buckley and George F. Will on the other side. Proof that brains do not equate to wisdom. Still, I read Mayers for gems amid the dross.
What follows is not one of his gems; it is simply a distillation of fact:
“2005 - the editors of The Economist, one of the world's most pro-capitalist publications, produced their own sobering analysis of what is happening in America. They found great and growing income disparities. Thirty years ago the average annual compensation of the top 100 chief executives was 30 times the pay of the average worker; today it is 1000 times the pay of the average worker.
"They found an education system "increasingly stratified by social class" in which poor children "attend schools with fewer resources than those of their richer contemporaries." They found our celebrated universities increasingly "reinforcing rather that reducing" these educational inequalities. They found American corporations no longer successful agents of upward mobility. It is now harder for people to start at the bottom and rise up the company hierarchy by dint of hard work and self-improvement.
"The editors of The Economist studied all this evidence and concluded - and I am quoting a pro-business magazine, remember - that the United States "risks calcifying into a European-style, class-based society."
People who talk about this are accused of fomenting class warfare. In fact, we are the ones trying to prevent it.
More from Moyers:
The number of lobbyists registered to do business in Washington has more than doubled in the last five years. That's 16,342 lobbyists in 2000 to 34,785 last year. Sixty-five lobbyists for every member of Congress.
The total spent per month by special interests wining, dining, and seducing federal officials is now nearly $200 million. Per month.
But it's a small investment on the return. Just look at the most important legislation passed by Congress in the last decade.
There was the energy bill that gave oil companies huge tax breaks at the same time that Exxon Mobil just posted $36 billion in profits in 2005, while our gasoline and home heating bills are at an all-time high.
==On the National Anthem==
This from Larry Brilliant: “Pres. Bush's comments that the national anthem should be sung only in English remind me of an earlier Texas governor's equally deeply thoughtful (!!) and related comments, as cited in Jimmy Carter's 1997 Commencement speech at Duke:
"The year I was born, Texas had a governor, a woman named Ma Ferguson. Her husband had been governor before her. There was a debate in Texas, which is still going on by the way, about what to do concerning Mexican immigrants who don't speak English well or at all. The debate was should we let them learn in Spanish, or should we force them to go to classes with English only. Ma Ferguson settled the debate. She held up a Holy Bible. She said, "If English is good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for us."
Check out “I’m The Decider” (to the tune of “I Am The Walrus”). Turn it UP!
Bad news for Donald Rumsfeld. Support for the “grumpy half-dozen” is growing. His troops are siding with the generals. An Army Times poll has 64% supporting his resignation.
Henrik Hertzberg of The New Yorker sure can write. Here's his take on the "Revolt of the Generals" (This was pre-Colin Powell.)
PPI Trade Fact of the Week | April 19, 2006 “U.S. Imports Have Grown By 38 Percent Since 2000” - Export growth between 2000 and 2005, by contrast, was an historically feeble 19 percent.