Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Fair Trade, Fair Markets, Fair Share Taxes and Responsibility:

reposted from May 2010

by Glenn Littrell

Whirlpool spends 110 million dollars on building a factory in Mexico, resulting in the closing of the Whirlpool plant in Evansville, Indiana. Eliminating over 900 jobs and devastating the community.

Whirlpool is receiving about 19 million dollars in stimulus benefits this year. If their factory is less than 25 years old, I suspect that they received tax breaks to build it. Have they also received tax breaks for unemployment compensation premiums for temporary jobs meant to encourage expansion and hopefully permanent jobs? How much have they tapped into government grants, government loans, and tax breaks over the years? I would suspect that Whirlpool has lobbied for legislation that was favorable to their company as well as their industry, and it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that they lobbied for policies that continue to make it easier to export jobs and close plants, to become importers of foreign goods as opposed to manufacturers of American products. I suspect that they have probably spent millions to support the Chamber Of Commerce and their attack on any 'Buy American' legislation.

Can anyone doubt that they have probably lobbied the Mexican government for Tax breaks and looking the other way on already nonexistent or lax health, safety, and environmental regulations? Bribing corrupt foreign officials is always cheaper than paying your fair share of taxes; just look at how much corporations and industries spend on lobbying every year. 

The only way we could 'entice' them to stay here would be to let them operate tax-free with no safety, health, environmental, wage, or labor regulations and for American workers to take no benefits and a pay reduction to less than a dollar an hour. Only countries with corrupt governments and or an impoverished population could accommodate corporations in this manner, and aren't we already getting too close to that ourselves?

With the "Tea Party" movement crying for their taxes to be reduced and smaller government, where would that leave us? Our infrastructure is already crumbling, schools are declining, and uninsured health costs are rising. These are just some of the many other things that need to be fixed because their cost is growing. 

The idea that free markets and unencumbered businesses will do the right things is idealistic and unrealistic. 

If you want to see Free Markets at their most deregulated, just look at the black market in illegal drugs.

Unrestrained markets lead to unrestrained greed, not because everyone is potentially greedy but because many are. Now that Corporations have been granted free speech rights, maybe we should consider demanding that they take on more civic responsibilities before we end up granting them voting rights or the right to run for elected office. 

Here are some concepts worth considering: 

  • Fair Trade in place of Free Trade, 
  • a Fair Market System in place of Free markets, 
  • a more efficient government instead of larger or smaller government, 
  • and more responsibility, not less from those who benefit the most from the virtues of this country.

Glenn Littrell

EBWhite

E. B. White was a journalist and the author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little.

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Saturday, February 20, 2021

YES!! It Was An Insurrection.

I don't know what you saw, but I saw:

Protestors flinging projectiles at police.

Protestors beating, shoving, and insulting police.

Protestors breaking windows and vandalizing property.

I heard threats of violence, death, and anarchy.

Protesters dragging the American flag across the floor of congress.*

Protesters wearing the flag like a blanket.*

Protesters using the flag and its staff as a weapon.*

The American flag heaped on someone's desk.*

American flags defaced with slogans, pictures, and discoloration.*

Few arrests.

Violence should always face consequences.

I never heard anyone explain any reasoning for the violent attack on our government other than those based on unproven lies and conspiracy. 

All references to the protestors' object or goal were expressed as destruction, injury, and overthrow.

To paraphrase critiques of attempts over the summer to raise awareness of rampant social injustices: "What sense does it make to vandalize their own neighborhood," substitute the word government for the word neighborhood. 

Did any of the speakers at the protest discourage violence, did they discuss how to proceed peacefully and legally? 

Where was the militarized law enforcement that was present at the June 1, 2020, Lafayette Park protest that saw peaceful protestors run over and gassed so that the President could have a photo op?

How many of those protestors (and their defenders) that stormed the Capitol were harsh critics of peaceful protestors over the summer? Where is the outrage from the so-called 'family values' law and order conservatives? They were outraged by a passive protest at football games and the disruption of traffic patterns at other peaceful protests but silent on armed attacks on the government and our constitutional principles.

The hypocrisy of the right-wing/conservative Republican'ts is never more obvious than when they express their self-serving views on patriotism and, in particular, when they claim their views on the American flag. They condemn protestors who do not follow their rigid view of the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem. Failure to stand or recite the pledge is vilified by them, but they're OK with improper display of the flag when they are doing so. They cringe and nash their teeth at any criticism of the anthem's words but don't even know the second and third verses. They condemn people who don't wave the flag and beat their chest in echoing their brand of patriotism but consider it OK to deface the flag with images, colors, and slogans that support their political views. Yet they condemn a man who chooses to kneel (a historical sign of respect) instead of stand during the anthem.

Flag desecration and proper protocols are laid out in the 4 U.S. Code § 8.Respect for the flag but it is not law; it is not enforceable by any degree other than society's level of acceptance. We are all free to accept it as protocol or reject it, but if you reject it, then what are the rules concerning 'respect' for the flag? 

That, obviously, is where the right-wing nationalist are: they feel they have the right to decide what patriotism is, what the proper respect for the flag is, what is right for the country. It is what they say it is. They are like the bully on the playground... his rules. 

The Bully in Chief 


Incited by the Bully in Chief and with the limited attitude of a mob, that is what they chose to do on January 6, 2021; takeover with no real objective other than violence, destruction, and bodily harm.

The June 1, 2020, Lafayette Park protest and the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol graphically demonstrate the divisive, illegitimate, and chaotic nature of Donald Trump's presidency and aspirations. 

GlennDL

Opinion: Political extremes hijack national symbols

*All of the items followed by the "*" are listed as disrespectful and desecration of the flag under the US Flag Code, but the so-called patriots" have little understanding of either our constitution or the flag code. The irony is that these same "patriots" probably are among those who skewered a black athlete who chose to kneel, a gesture which has never been viewed as a sign of disrespect in history, instead of standing.

Picture: By The White House from Washington, DC - President Trump Visits St. John's Episcopal Church, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=90897698

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