December 14th, 2008

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How Is Senator Bob Corker Like Laban the Aramite?

See my latest post here, wherein a suggest that Corker and the rest go back to Sunday School for a bit. They seem to have missed some rather importnant parts of the Bible.

I find the effort to demonize unions for succesful negotiations disgraceful. Is anyone asking that secured creditors forgive part of the massive debt owed by the Big 3? Bluntly, it would do a heck of a lot more good if we required secured creditors to renegotiate debt on a schedule with a date certain for when they will forgive 50% of the debt owed by the Big 3 than reducing the wages and benefits of unions members who negotiated and labored in good faith, and now find themselves cheated of the wages for which they labored.

What is it about so many people in this country that we demand that the elderly and those who have done nothing other than follow their contracts forced to give up their promised wages for nothing, while not making similar demands on secured creditors? If a contract is sacred, it is sacred for all? Yet those who consistently oppose modification of the bankruptcy code to protect widows and orphans from being ejected into the street because contracts are sacred have no problem demanding that the elderly who worked their lives at a job in the promise of a good pension give up their contract? And worse, demand it as a matter of moral equity, because others who did not form unions negotiated poorer deals?

I understand why the companies an their supporters in Congress say it. I understand why Fox news and their lackeys say it. I just don't understand why so many people seem to believe it. Or rather, I do. But I prefer for them to have to say out loud "it has nothing to do with contracts or Libertarian theory or anything I pretend to believe."
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And this goes out to tall the Leslie Fish fans . . .

No high ground, no high ground, anymore.

I have long warned that, eventually, we will rediscover our rich history of political violence in this country. We have a large number of returning veterans coming home to find that they or their families are losing their homes and have no job prospects worth speaking of. Not a happy combo.

In times like these, I am glad that the talk-radio blowhards are so tied in to the existing social order that the thought of a real revolution scares them silly. As the histroy of the Rwanda genocide shows, the use of the means of mass communication to whip populations into a killing frenzy is a very effective tool in times of social and economic dislocation. But the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the world have no stomach for what a real armed uprising raging out of control would do in our nation. And a good thing too. Because once this sort of thing gets rolling, it is very hard to stop. And it isn't the bad neighborhoods of NYC and DC and LA that are the threat. No, we're talking militia country, where "Break the Law" becomes a real possibility.

Idiots who yack about Obama's "cult of personality" and how they "fear" what he could become simply do not know enough history or have an appreciation of social dynamics. Bluntly, Obama's charisma is probably one of the strongest bulwarks against a significant, organized campaign of violence to remake the social order. OTOH, as a student of history, I shall expect some serious Cassandrafruede if this really does spin out of control and all the folks who think Obama is the AntiChrist get to enjoy a real good old fashioned meltdown of the social order such as we have not seen in this country since before the New Deal.

On the plus side, we as a nation have generally pulled back from the abyss at the last minute, usually because the political class recognized that they needed to make some serious changes before it got to be too late, and because we have an equally deep and abiding tradition of resolving these matters through the political process. But let's just hope that people realize that the political process is -- as Heinlien observed -- the process of people living together without killing each other. Otherwise, we'll see how No High Ground really works out.

Ain't no freedom here, not unless you take it
Ain't no justice here unles you make your own
There ain't no safety anywhere, unless you keep your rifle there
Time and change are everywhere and you gotta rise or fall.

As with so much else, it is much nicer to contemplate in the abstract.