Casinos, teddy bears, gay generals
I'm working on another one of those dull but paid spreadsheet jobs for the publisher that handles my courseware, so my mind is occupied by something other than politics. Probably a good thing.
Still, a few brief comments:
1. It's clear that the Wall Street Casino is gradually losing its centrality and authority, and it's clear (to everyone but the bettors) that this loss is good for American business. I've seen the emptiness of the Wall Street approach three times in my life, in different types of work. Three times I worked for family-owned companies which were then bought by stock-based corporations. The family had enjoyed the actual work (printing, construction, education respectively) and kept the loyalty of workers who also enjoyed the same vocation. When the corporation took over, the task became irrelevant because stock-based corporations are only interested in raising the share price. If maintaining a business will increase the share price, maintain the business. If destroying a business will increase the share price, destroy the business. If destroying the United States will increase the share price, destroy the United States.
With this publisher, I've now seen changes in both directions for the first time. In judging causation, you can't always tell what's happening from an A-to-B change, because other things could have been changing at the same time. When you see A-to-B-and-back-to-A, you have a more meaningful experiment. During this publisher's stock-based ownership, it churned out endless press releases full of words like 'exciting' and 'thrilling', and my occasional free-lance assignments were encrusted with meaningless legalisms such as notarizing every document. A few months ago they were bought by a private equity holding, which is basically a group of Canadian provincial pension funds. Since then, I've seen much less of the 'exciting' verbiage and less of the legalistic stuff, and more of the good old business. "Here's a piece of work. Have at it." Much better!
2. On the British teacher in Sudan who was punished for letting her students name a teddy bear 'Mohammed', all the talking-pointheads are saying "How horrible! This couldn't happen here!" Really?? Just what would happen to an American teacher who allowed her students to name a class mascot 'Jesus'??? She'd be punished for sure, but for an opposite reason
. Our authorities wouldn't be worried about blaspheming the Holy Name, because the name of Jesus is anathema to them. Our officially established religion worships Gaia the Planet Goddess, and no other name is permitted.
3. On the gay general at last night's CNN debate: He hated the "don't ask / don't tell" policy when used by the Army, but he gladly collaborated with "don't ask / don't tell" when used by CNN. Anderson Cooper claims that he didn't know about the gay general's preference
for the Clinton campaign, and the gay general didn't tell anyone in the debate about his life partnership
with the Clinton campaign.