Blog #44 -Madness abounds unfettered in our poor old U. S. of A. 10 Oct. 2015

WHAT’S TO BECOME OF US is a line that my old pappy’s heard somewhere in the distant past, and he and I both fear for the young. Pappy is part of the “Greatest” generation and having been born in this great old U. S. of A. in the midst of the Great Depression, he has led a magical life. He believes that the Depression had a pronounced chastising effect on our entire population, extending all the way up to the politicians and bankers (even those who chose not to do the honorable thing and throw themselves from their lofty offices). As a result, laws were passed, yes, by our congressional representatives who were probably as corrupted as our present gang, and business practices were instituted to cause our economy to be more sustainable.

Unfortunately, as human nature seems to work, greed and corruption crept back into most of our institutions, until by now no one remembers those really bleak years of the 1930s, and those returning unpleasant habits which caused the near total collapse of our economy are no longer creeping, but are gushing through our society. There is hardly a quarter which is not affected, from our schools, our churches, our governments, our businesses, and all the way to our games and other entertainment.

If you are not seriously concerned about our civil society’s disappearance, you are possibly either participating in it’s demise or are too scared to even chance thinking about it. Sadly, our political parties, the Republicrats and Demoblicans, together with their wing-nuts on both sides, are hopelessly mired in endless “blame games,” and don’t seem to have any wish at all to seek real solutions to the plethora of problems confronting our poor old country, not to mention our progressively weakened world.

AN ADVANCE WARNING: This blog will get a tad lengthy!

WHILE THE COUNTRY’S GOING TO HECK IN A HAND-BASKET, those wild and woolly Republicrats are going bananas: Dear old Johnny Boehner gave it up in apparent disgust, and his supposed successor (as Speaker of the House) Kevin McCarthy, had to bail out of the running just because he spoke the truth about the Benhazi investigation. (Gee, remember old G. Washington who was rewarded by his pappy for truth telling – not anymore, tell the truth now, and you’re a dead duck).

A LITTLE ADMISSION BY OLD PAPPY AND I HERE – we just found the term “republicrat” in the “apple” dictionary, and here we thought we had invented it!?! Well, at least “Demoblican” still appears to be our exclusive!

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WANT TO INTERSPERSE A BIT OF GOOD NEWS HERE: They finally gave a CEO a little “hard” time: Peanut Corp. of America boss, Stew Parnell, drew 28 years for his reported order to his troops to “just ship it” re: salmonella-tainted product, way back in aught nine. He, of course, will appeal. What a shame all those financial crooks got off scot-free, but as far as we know they didn’t wind killing anybody. Maybe next time?

HEY, HERE’S ONE MORE TIDBIT ON THE “SOMEWHAT GOOD” SIDE:
Web-site owners quite naturally wish to have internet voyagers (or “eyeballs in the current vernacular”) visit their site. Well, one must be careful; there are numerous outfits promising you success. However, some of these “helpers” offer only “netbots,” or computers to view your ads. Another scam to join the long list of “cons’’ now available to all of us – well, at least it reduces the number of annoying ads which pop up on your computer screen!

Finally, in what we think could be either good or bad news; you can decide for yourself: “Hello” Barbie dolls are out in time for Christmas shopping, featuring conversations with your child which will be recorded on Toy Talks servers, ostensibly so they can remember details about your little girl’s favorite color, etc. Sounds a little “creepy” to us! ARE YOU STILL WONDERING WHY MY OLD PAPPY AND I FEAR FOR THE YOUNG?

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HERE’S ANOTHER HIT COMING FOR US (FEW REMAINING) TAXPAYERS: The U. S. Department of Education announced a formal process for students defrauded by their college or university to seek loan forgiveness. That could include all $1.2 Trillion outstanding, since the case could be made that none of our citadels of “higher” learning are giving the kids their money’s worth!

While on the subject of debt – Outstanding credit card debt is approaching a Trillion Bucks again, and studies show that Amuricans in general understand very little about what affects their credit worthiness; heck, in a recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, respondents underestimated their debt by an average of 37 percent.

Howsomever, all is not lost. Yale University, which has a $24 billion endowment, received $153 in interest last week on a perpetual bond issued in 1648 by a Dutch water authority. The 1000-guilder ($509) bond, written on goatskin is among five of the world’s oldest bonds that still pay interest.

FINANCIAL TROUBLES AREN’T ALONE IN THE “REALITY” SPHERE: Old Zuck says his social media giant will soon launch a “dislike” button to enable users to express empathy when a friend shares sad news. “Not every moment is a good moment,”Mr. Zuckerberg explained. Can you see where this baby may wind up going??

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER SCHOOL SHOOTING: However, mass shootings are not our biggest gun problem, it’s suicides! According to Mike Mariani in “Newsweek,” two-thirds of fatal-gunshot victims in our good old U.S. of A. die by their own hand. Too many crazies with too many guns certainly spells disaster! Obviously, we need a plan to foster better mental health. On the guns issue, the gun-nuts protested our old Prez’s visit to Roseburg yesterday, while his next stop will probably need to be Northern Arizona University!

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OK, WE HEAR YA CRYING “UNCLE!”

Just a comment or two on the old Pope’s visit:

On the “hard right” side, Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Henninger, reportedly opined, it was dispiriting to watch a spiritual leader of such eminence lower himself to the grubby “battlegrounds of secular politics,” allowing the papacy’s “moral authority to be politicized” for the short-term gain of the American Left. WHEW!!

FORTUNATELY, saner voices are still around: With his permission, we are quoting the Editor-in-Chief of pappy’s favorite news source, The Week magazine, Editor’s Letter dated October 9, 2015:

Is the Pope a commie? When Pope Francis dared to criticize the excesses of capitalism during his first visit to the U. S. over the past week, he was denounced in some quarters as a naive, cloistered cleric — a Che Guevara in religious robes. On Fox News, Francis was called a “communist” and “Marxist” who should “stay home” because “he doesn’t like capitalism,” while in his Washington Post column George Will sniffed at the Pope’s “woolly sentiments,” “shrill” tone, and “sanctimony.” Francis provoked these denunciations by saying climate change was a real problem that needed to be addressed, and by reminding us that the ultimate purpose of capitalism, and of politics, is to serve “the common good.” He also praised business as a “noble profession” and praised capitalism for lifting so many people “out of extreme poverty.” This is hardly radical stuff; Christianity and free-market fundamentalism are very different faiths, but in the partisan derangement that grips this country, suggesting that the profit motive must be tempered by moral concerns makes you one of Them.

For a demonstration of capitalism free of any moral concerns, consider the example of drug company CEO Martin Shkreli. Shkreli just jacked up by more than 5000 percent the price of a decades-old drug that AIDS and cancer patients have been taking to fight off a potentially fatal parasitic infection. His company “needed to turn a profit on this drug,” Shrkeli shrugged. Volkswagen, meanwhile, admitted it had secretly engineered 11 million cars to pass emissions tests in the lab, but belch dirty exhaust on the road. Is capitalism the best economic system ever devised? No doubt about it. Does believing that the profit motive sometimes must be restrained make you a radical left-winger? Only in America.

THANK GOODNESS FOR A SCOTCH OF UNCOMMON SENSE!

You’re not going to believe this, but good old Steve Forbes has updated his 400 billionaires listing already. Next week, old pap and I will be revisiting this distinguished group.

Try to stay calm, and have a smashingly good weekend, Buster.
PS: Correction: Blog #42 (The Pope’s in Town) was incorrectly labeled #41. This error was brought to our attention by several of our eagle-eyed readers, and we thank them for their vigilance.

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