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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Is The Solution For Outsourcing And The Exportation Of Jobs More Incentives For Corporations?

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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

FB-13 TW-

Monday, January 18, 2021

The Role Of Fearful Rhetoric

UPDATED: 1-18-21
ORIGINALLY POSTED: 7-11-2012
by Glenn Littrell:
Remember the 2011 assassination attempt of Gabrielle Gifford that saw 6 people killed and 18 others shot in Arizona?
The call to violence did not start with the January 6, 2021 riots; it didn't even start with Donald Trump; Trump only saw an opportunity to capitalize on the intolerant and violent tendency of the Republican Party leadership and the delusion of right-wing extremists, to his advantage.
This is why he only became a Republican when he announced his candidacy. He saw that their fringe element was more volatile than the extremists of the left. He knew that by putting forth a populist message, he could co-opt the disenfranchised right and draw off some votes from the equally disenfranchised left once their champion (Bernie Sanders) was eliminated. He knew the Republican base would follow any candidate once chosen.
His simplest task was to bully the Republican candidates into irrelevance.
He never thought it would be so easy.
When he succeeded, he never expected to beat his former friend Hillary. His plan was to gin up the next big moneymaking scheme with a simple "all publicity is good publicity" scam that faded into oblivion when, to his astonishment, he won.
That is how we got a president totally unaware of how politics, government, the constitution, and democracy worked—an ego-driven, bullying, insecure con-man.
jkelly
When you use fear or hate to motivate people to act you are pushing them to act in a manner that might be less than rational. Fear and hate are emotions, and emotions often lead to irrational thought processes and actions. When you include rhetoric that is less than truthful, peppered with innuendo, or dependent on misinformation or faulty conclusions you loose control of your message, allowing it to be co-opted by those that might be inclined towards your position but with a level of emotion that keeps the proper perspective, your more focused and more objective prospective, from being held in check by rational thought. The end result is that those you may have influence on, who look to you for leadership, may not always pickup on your sarcasm, irony, or other forms of making a point as being subtle wordplay. Because you have them on the edge of their emotional chair hanging on to every fear laden word you utter they may see your references like 'second amendment remedies' as anything but subtle.
This 'Upcoming Event' with Jesse Kelly may not have been intended to suggest violence against his opponent by a rational person, but Mr Kelly was running for Congress, a leadership position. Whatever his point was with this event, campaigning on messages that provoke emotions tends to expose his point to a wide spectrum of interpretations. Palin with rifle cross-hairs on her political 'targets', "don't retreat, reload" , Beck with his inflammatory references to Stalin, Hitler, etc., O'Rielly with his Islamaphobic characterizations, Bachman with her Democrats are anti-American and should be investigated, Limbaugh with his spineless rhetoric, and so forth and so forth.
Now look at Mr. Kelly's "Upcoming Event" and tell me what its all about!
How many times have we had to hear about how anti-America Obama is based on 'connecting the dots' or vague 'patterns of behavior' as proof from the above mentioned idiots. Well let's play connect the dots with the above demagogues and this "Upcoming Event" and the other references above and below!!!!!!
“Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.”  Voltaire
palin

Unfortunately the right wing is going to spin this atrocity away from their doorstep. They'll ignore their own claims that hateful Islamic rhetoric caused the Ft. Hood tragedy and chalk this shooting up to just another wacko.
There should be little doubt that whether this guy is associated with right wing hate groups, or even turns out to be a left wing wacko, or someone who came to his delusion without ever seeing FOXNews or hearing Rush, he did not live in a vacuum.
If he was anti-Rush, or a disillusioned liberal, he may have seen the right wing’s cries for violence as a threat to himself; if he was a right-wing fan who believed the claims of death panels he may have feared for his elderly grandparents; if he never watched TV, listened to the radio, or went on the internet he may have been exposed to hateful rhetoric, unfiltered by anyone outside of his little circle of friends.
I don't believe that Rush, Sarah or O'Rielly can talk anyone into murder, but I believe people who are in a position of leadership, influence or authority can scare people into over reacting out of fear and hate.  Rush, Sarah and others make millions of dollars influencing people. Their stations charge millions of dollars to sponsors that know just being associated with their shows can result in increased sales. Marketing/advertising is a billion dollar business based on influencing and directing people daily.
When their self-righteous fear-mongering stirs up mob mentalities [Tea Party] then they share the blame.
They raised cane when Obama used the word 'enemy' in a speech and cried racism when he used a 'back of the car' reference, but they routinely hurl words like socialist, target, anti-american, Christian, whatever, 'take out Harry Ried', reload, second amendment remedies, etc., etc.
This incident is going to do little to make them back-off the hateful rhetoric, its too valuable to them, they'll rationalize this away and then things will be worse not better. This incident will be the greater divide not a wake-up call.

After the Arizona shootings a spokesperson for Palin tried to say the ‘bulls eye s’ were not gun sights but ‘surveyor pins’.
But in the screen capture [right] of a Palin Tweet she refers to the graphic and the “bulls eye icon” herself.
PalinBullseye
We can’t shout fire in crowded theater for a reason. It is ill-advised to do so even when there is a real threat of fire. The reason is not because a warning isn’t important because it is, but how we alert the crowd to the fire is important to how they react to it. Rational people will react in an orderly manner, will access the situation and keep their heads, allowing for an orderly exit. Some people, perhaps less rational or prone to panic, may become anxious and panic. I think that we can all agree that how we deliver the message may determine the level of panic. To shout fire nearly guarantees that the few who might panic will and their panic becomes contagious. On the other hand a hurried but controlled announcement may keep the majority calm and the ones likely to panic may find the lack of panic in the majority calming.
tu
NOTE 3: 1-13-2011 More examples of Fearful Rhetoric are listed on the ‘part 2’ post of this article. All future updates will be posted to the ‘comments’ section there [TOTW: Other Examples Of Fearful Rhetoric]. Feel free to post your own comments here or on Facebook. Comments are not moderated before showing, but they are reviewed for civility. Please do not use the ‘Anonymous’ option, use the ‘Name/URL” option with a nickname if you wish to remain anonymous. This will allow responses to you in the comments section to not be confused with anyone else. Thank you:                                 GlennDL.
For full text of Robert Kennedy’s speech “Mindless Menace Of Violence” click here.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

17 Things we didn't hear about in 2020 because they weren't connected to COVID-19 or Trump:

1. We almost started World War III

2. Mr. Peanut was killed off, then reincarnated as Baby Nut

3. The weather went wild

4. A man named Deval Patrick ran for president

5. Bob Dylan released a 17-minute song about the JFK assassination

6. The Defense Department shared bona fide UFO videos

7. Murder hornets invaded the U.S.

by Jeva Lange

8. Grimes and Elon Musk named their baby X Æ A-12

9. NASA detected a parallel universe in Antarctica where time runs backward, or something?

10. SpaceX launched astronauts into space, sadly left all of us behind

11. A gigantic star 2 million times brighter than the sun just up and … disappeared

12. Kanye West announced he was running for president

13. A bunch of people planted mystery seeds from China, despite that obviously being a bad idea

14. We may have discovered the first proof of extraterrestrial life

15. Wormholes might not kill you!

16. Kellyanne Conway's 15-year-old daughter broke a major news story by telling on her mom

17. Please do not feed the monoliths

from: 17 things you've already forgotten happened in 2020
by Jeva Lange

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