Shrinking the Nutty Rich

Ordinary folk at Metafilter are discussing an article about the super rich going to personal therapists.

One comment at Neuroses of the Rich and Famous:

“If there’s one group of people I’d prefer to see in the care of a competent therapist, it’s the ultra-rich and ultra-powerful. A lot of the time, these people got to where they are by being less than human, and now that they have some sort of say in =my= life, through politics or finance, I’d rather they be on a progression path back to human.”

Another comment of many, some acerbic, some witty:

Seriously. Rich people seem have so little sense of ambition in the sense of accomplishing big projects in the real world. Their ambition all seems to be tied up in simply increasing their bank accounts, which I guess is why they’re rich in the first place, but you’d think they could do something with all that money.


Strive. Only survive. Damn war. I’m proud of troops, sad, and listen to officers and do what authority commands but I do not think these things save us nor will nor can no matter we salute nor pay nor blood lost. I’m glad of Founders and Paine and rebels and our less death and least threat, our land. But I do not think Jesse Helms should be buried without scorn and I will never like rank in its pilfering, nor tricks, nor lies, nor bullies, nor praise a prize of thieves. I take great dreams with most poets and wilt to prophets but do not live outside my heart and never do with yours, no, not one claim while the infinite is binding.

An uber-successful singer

It’s hard. She’s a multi-platinum recording artist in trouble. We defer to fame, wealth and power. Lesser kids and poor folk we sweep away.

The South Asian Women’s Forum in India prints it out loud, calling Amy Winehouse a British junkie singer. A celebrity rag says only she’s the troubled singer. A top newspaper writes that she’s “the star” as does People Magazine. Many writers only hint by saying she’s the “Rehab” singer and some repeat her publicity that skin damage is caused by an ‘addiction’ to tanning under ultraviolet bulbs…!

With sympathy, here’s an alarming larger pic revealing significant stress and probably more ‘chemistry’ than her body can handle.

There are 100s and 100s trading on her story. But I blog this with trepidation, because the truth might be disguised in the mire of press. I shouldn’t add to it, but this pic isn’t shown often and it reveals something in Denmark.

Toward justice

Will we work together?

I think everyone, everyone, must be able to say “I helped you today” and “I brought this today” and “I am giving something today”. We must.

We must learn to stop everyone else, yes, all others who say “I’m taking this from you” or “You are here for me” or “I’m fooling you” or “I am abusing you”. There’s no good earth if cheaters outnumber children or if lies are common. I think this is an easy thing to achieve because it is personal and the best use of government. I think this is an easy thing because justice will appear.

Will we stop cowering?

If you notice, there are many powers. We are giving favors to winners and too often to fools and we let bullies above us. Silly. And too common.

What would America be if justice were equal to power?

Don’t worry if you want it. Congress must fund it. Each branch of government must be equal. Let’s try to equal the branches until our Constitution is true.

Why McCain reached the top

Shortage of oil and greater demand is not increasing the cost of oil.

Our Energy Information Administration shows us the top nations have been importing less oil.

Peak crude oil consumption is already behind us.

Japan’s peak year was 1996, Germany 1998, Italy 1995, Thailand 2005, Malaysia 2004, France 1980, United Kingdom 1996, Russia 1992 and the USA 2005.

China has increased oil consumption but in just one month the drop in USA’s 2008 consumption is more than two years of consumption growth in China, and India, and the new burgeoning economies.

Supplies of oil are at least 500,000bpd more than the world is using.

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have dropped prices to the level of nine years ago. Their Official Selling Price is 1998’s price of $4.20 a barrel.

But since Phil Gramm and McCain tweaked the market, more than 45% of crude oil futures transactions take place without regulation of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Many are seeing these consumer price increases as the big banks merely recovering the cash they lost with crooked mortgages. Expect to see extra ‘market manipulation’ as we get closer to election day.

Strange & Normal

From AP:

U.S. exports to Iran grew more than tenfold during President Bush’s years in office…

…more cigarettes to Iran — at least $158 million worth under Bush — than any other product.

…fur clothing, sculptures, perfume, musical instruments and maybe even rifles.

Fiscal forgetting

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. – Thomas Jefferson

When the rich steal from the rich, it’s Good Business.
When the rich steal from the rich for the poor, it’s Noblesse Oblige.
When the middle steal from the middle, it’s Corruption.
When the rich and the middle steal from the poor, it’s Fiscal Responsibility.
When the poor steal from the rich and the middle, it’s Crime.
When the poor steal from the poor, it’s Tough Luck. – BH

A Banker has silver in his hair, gold in his teeth, and lead in his ass. – anon

Revising the USA

Bush was at Monticello for a 4th of July celebration and proudly quoted Jefferson.

“May it be to the world, what I believe it will be — to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all — the Signal of arousing men to burst the chains, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government.”

He did not quote Jefferson. This is the actual quote.

‘May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government.”

Purpose of Rhetoric

From the BBC:

Ingris Betancourt asks to stop language of hate, AFP PhotoThe recently freed Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt has urged an end to the Colombian government’s “vocabulary of hate” against her former captors.

Ms Betancourt, a former presidential candidate, was held hostage for six years by Marxist Farc rebels.

But, while praising President Alvaro Uribe’s work towards her release, she said it was time to end “extremist” language towards the Farc.

Miss Betancourt is in Paris, where she flew after her release on Wednesday.

“I think we have reached a point where we must change this radical, extremist vocabulary of hate of very strong words that intimately wound the human being,” she told French radio.

Medical patience

Angered by a jingoist ‘free market’ government, the heads of the British Medical Association issued a strong statement to stop the meddling with England’s National Health Service:

“The BMA wants to see an NHS untarnished by a market economy, true to its beginnings, giving the public a fair, caring, equitable and cost-effective health service.

“Not a service run like a shoddy supermarket war.

“Let’s stop pretending that healing the sick is like trading a commodity.” [The Herald]

Charging Bush with Murder

Vincent Bugliosi builds a case for murder against President Bush. (photo, Jamie Rector for The New York Times)Vincent Bugliosi, a former prosecutor with a perfect record in murder convictions, and a respected crime author, builds a case for murder against President Bush for the deaths of Americans in Iraq.

Vincent Bugliosi was perfect in murder cases: 21 trials, 21 convictions, including the Charles Manson case in 1971. As an author, Bugliosi has written three No.1 bestsellers and won three Edgar Allen Poe awards, the top honor for crime writers.

A NYTimes story linked to IHT.

Fighting for Idiocracy

Rick Shenkman, Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American VoterSome say this is the most talked about book this summer.

“The extent of Americans’ ignorance is underestimated.

“To take one example that will give you an idea of the vast ignorance with which policy makers must come to terms: A majority of Americans do not know that it was their own country which dropped the atomic bomb.”

“Twenty-five per cent of Americans believe that the sun revolves around the earth.

“Encouragingly, today the number of Americans who can correctly identify and name the three branches of government is up to 40%.”

Half believe Saddam Hussein was behind the Sept. 11 attack. 1 in 5 know that we have 100 US senators. 2 out of 5 citizens can name the three branches of the federal government.

“If facts don’t drive our politics, what does? Shenkman says it’s myths. Politicians tell people what they want to hear. They tell us we’re smart, better than others, and God’s favorites. To win us over they pretend to be just like us, belting back shots of whiskey and playing pool, in a crude exploitation of the myth of the common man.

“Decade after decade Americans have been getting more and more schooling while our politics have been getting dumber and dumber.”

Just How Stupid Are We?
Facing the Truth About the American People

Rick Shenkman’s blog

A Fool’s Fib

This proposition for a war with Iraq, then followed by 100s of his editors around the world:

“The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy… would be $20 a barrel for oil. That’s bigger than any tax cut in any country.” – Rupert Murdoch, about 2003


“As long as we’re not doing everything in our individual and collective power to solve the challenges we face, the conscience of our nation cannot rest.” – Barack Obama

So many millions

Is it price or cost we must learn?

J. K. Rowling says to Harvard:

Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is indeed something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticized only by fools.

Ignored by idiots, we become poverty .

This era has been so proud, then failing duty to itself, when ignoring gifts of others.

The Sex Difference Evangelists (a six-part series)
Meet the Believers
Pick a Little, Talk a Little
Empathy Queens
Mars, Venus, Babies, and Hormones
The Ghost of Larry Summers

Starving an indictment

From a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian:

Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% – far more than previously estimated.

The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body.

The figure emphatically contradicts the US government’s claims that plant-derived fuels contribute less than 3% to food-price rises.

Typical of the rolling intimidation practiced by Bush:

Senior development sources believe the report, completed in April, has not been published to avoid embarrassing President George Bush.

“It would put the World Bank in a political hot-spot with the White House.”

And from a related article at the Guardian:

If politicians want to reduce emissions and stop global warming, biofuels are not the solution. Recent research suggests that biofuels may increase greenhouse gas emissions rather than reduce them. And by pushing up demand for agricultural land, they’re causing farming to expand into other areas that store carbon – such as wetlands and forests – releasing way more carbon than is saved through biofuels.

Nor will biofuels offer the holy grail of fuel security and stop us from having to curb our insatiable demand for oil or oil alternatives. Oxfam estimates that if the entire corn harvest of the USA were diverted to ethanol, it would only be able to replace about one gallon in every six sold in the USA. And if the entire world supply of oilseed were converted to biodiesel, this would only be able to replace, at most, 10% of global diesel consumption.

…inconvenient facts that Bush will ignore… ahhh, this Administration leaves me stunned… …the price of lives… the bully ideology… our impotent reply…

Voice in the Economy

There’s too many voices for me to sort. I trust none on TV, few in news, and never bloggers… 🙂 …thus I’m free to be utterly blind but never led, the only hope remaining.

Richard Cook is resolute and will not stop saying we are fools under a cynical trump of super rich too arrogant to be wise.

Day after day, Richard Cook is working to say their errors will condemn us, not the first time. He is proving we have too little knowledge about the wielding of power.

It’s nonsense, don’t you think, to know so little about the rich? Why on this good earth are we blind to power?

This link is to a chronology of his articles. This link is to his home site. This link is to a recent article, “The End of the Anglo-American Empire?

Much of the world’s history over the last century has been dominated by the United States. But by the turn of the millennium in 2000-2001, the “American Century” had begun to descend into a chamber of horrors.

The years since then have been marked by the huge financial bubbles engineered by the U.S. Federal Reserve System and the virus of predatory global capitalism. We have the looming worldwide economic crisis with rising bankruptcies, credit disruptions, and soaring fuel and food prices. Alongside has been the thinly-disguised but continuing attempt by the U.S. to conquer the Middle East by force of arms under the heading of the “War on Terror.”

Count the monkees

With a tip to Christopher Locke, I am hoping this tidbit will lure you.

Again and again, we seekers of truth are told that our primordial, essential nature is always already the case, always and only available now, no matter what the circumstances of our inner or outer lives, and therefore all desire to change our inner or outer lives in order to somehow get closer to the ever-elusive spiritual prize are not only fruitless, but are actually the problem itself.

Blah, blah, but here’s the line I like:

Seeking truth or God or enlightenment or Buddha nature is the equivalent, it has often been said, of a fish swimming endlessly in search of water.

Had I only known

Cost of crass


Ul­ti­mate­ly, they ar­gued, low sta­tus may drain per­for­mance by forc­ing peo­ple to de­vote part of their thoughts to the un­cer­tain­ties and threats that can arise from their su­pe­ri­ors’ chang­ing whims. A re­sult is that the pow­erless nar­row their fo­cus to small-pic­ture goals and to “de­tails” that might not be rel­e­vant to the task.

The find­ings “have di­rect im­plica­t­ions for man­age­ment and or­gan­iz­a­tions.”


Appalling behaviour is regularly tolerated in companies too — and indeed celebrated by the mass media. Witness the celebrity status now enjoyed by Sir Alan Sugar, a barrow-boy-turned-entrepreneur who has become the star of a popular TV show, The Apprentice. Or the gibbering rages of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who reportedly once threw an office chair at a Microsoft subordinate who had the temerity to announce that he was leaving to join Google. Bill Gates is likewise celebrated in the media for his inexcusable rudeness. His stock line “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!” is endlessly (and admiringly) reported. The gibbering rages of Oracle boss, Larry Ellison, (whose curious habit of collecting F16 fighter bombers also appeals to reporters seeking a bit of color) are also the stuff of admiring legend. And as for Steve Jobs…

It’s time we stopped worshiping these vulgar, undisciplined, ego-maniacal brutes

If we would solve the bully nearby we could march on power.