Saturday, April 21, 2012

Things to Know - 22 April

John Deering

1.  Economics and all things economical are in a confounding state of flux.  This article is heartening and challenging in both ways.   It appears that the off-shoring of jobs is returning to the United States.  Remember when we thought that we were going to be doomed in this country as the all the manufacturing jobs that we had created were going to go begging to the lowest-cost labor markets?   Started off with Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, China, Bangladesh....etc.   In some cheaper labor markets, the countries got more educated, richer, and the cost of labor rose, so the jobs went to another phase of third-world labor providers.   Things are not so cheap in China any more.  China is developing through the phase that raises its standard of living, and consequently their cost of labor is rising, as well as their reputation on human rights is caught up in the equation.  Now, the cost of oil is getting so high, that transportation costs in getting products to market (our market in the USA), cancel out any labor savings from off-shore production.  The challenge is for us to now meet the education needs to support an industry that cannot get by on the dumming-down and neglect that has occurred in the last three decades:

2.  A genuinely funny video clip from Bill Maher's show.   It verifies my opinion that satire and comedy does more in the shortest period of time to lay out the issues, and educate an understanding.   From Will Rogers, to Lenny Bruce, to Mort Sahl, and on now to Bill Maher:

3.  Kind of related to the above entry, this article from the WashPost speaks to the aversion that the electorate feels in trying to understand the political process of voter understanding on the issues, platforms, and campaign. Things are just too muddled, nasty, confusing, and time wasting.  The perfect atmosphere to put money into negative TV ads and sound bites that are short and bitter, and hope it has the same subliminal result of pitching an ad for soda or Ginzu knives:

4.  Maybe this is the wrong time to bring it up, but a serious discussion involving returning to the draft, and at the same time creating an enhanced program of National Service should begin:

5.  Bill Moyers on the subject of Christianity and its relationship with Capitalism, plus a short video clip with Ross Douthat:

6.  This column is a very blunt and sad story of a son, who lived through the unhappy and totally wasted end-of-life experience of both his parents whose minds faded away.  The only thing he could do was wait for their passing, and then he buried them and went home:

7.  Thomas Friedman asserts that our political system of government is now a "vetocracy".   No one has enough power to do any decision making on public policy or legislation.  There is only enough power to block the other side.  Result - we go no where.   That pretty well sums it up these days.  Stagnation:

8.  The male-dominated hierarchy of the Catholic Church has come out and espoused that the problems with the church are that the Nuns are not focused on issues of papal encyclicals and are spending their time on elsewhere, causing the resulting moral terpitude.  Yes, blame the Nuns you guys.  The Nuns are pissed as only Nuns can articulate their anger:


"Ninety percent of everything is crap." 
       -- Theodore Sturgeon
"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines." 
       -- John Benfield
"Love thy neighbour as yourself, but choose your neighbourhood." 
       -- Louise Beal
"Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn't have to experience it." 
       -- Max Frisch

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