Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Brilliance Of Tom Petty's Wildflowers CD

Tom Petty's "Wildflowers" CD came out in 1995 during my senior year in high school.  I remember playing it over and over, driving all over the Portland area for baseball games.  

Now that it's available to listen to online, I'm reliving the genius of that CD.  "Wake Up Time" is my favorite song.  If you haven't listened to it, you must.  It's excellent, especially if you're a Tom Petty fan.  

That's all for today.  Just listen to the CD.  It's well worth it.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Race To The Bottom Ratchets Up

As I've written before, Ted Cruz is very, very smart and will say whatever it takes to win the nomination, even if he probably doesn't believe it.  And here is another example of him adopting the Donald Trump anti-immigrant rhetoric that has sadly taken the primaries by storm:  

Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  

I'm not an immigration expert but there's probably no way in hell that the government would be able to round up all 12 million people and send them back to where they came.  Especially, if they had been in the country for 30, 40, or even 50 years.  

Just like there's no way that President Obama was going to round up 300+ million guns owned by American citizens.  But that didn't stop the opportunist profiteers from gun manufacturers, NRA crackpots, and disingenuous politicians beholden by the gun lobby to scare the living crap out of gullible Americans who went out and sent gun sales through the roof, crowning Obama as Greatest Gun Salesman On Earth.  

Ignorance is a greater problem than illegal immigration.  And we have a lot of it here.  

We natives, myself included, don't always appreciate the opportunities available to us.  In my day job, though, I work with many industrious real estate investors who came to the United States a few decades ago from places like Mexico, Pakistan, China, India, Vietnam, etc.  They've all mentioned in conversation over the years about how great it is to have the opportunity to chart their own path in the United States versus living in a country where corruption, bribery, state controlled economics, or a caste system dictated their professional and financial destiny.  

Rather than talking about "rounding up illegals" and riling up angry white voters who have seen their real wages fall starting in 1970, lost their jobs to globalization, experienced NAFTA job losses, and felt competition from Communist China and former USSR states opening trade and flooding the labor market with tens of millions of new low cost workers, it might be better to talk about how the real pressure on wages and jobs have come from the very top of the food chain of the ruling class who have benefited tremendously from the these circumstances they helped create.  

Blaming illegal immigrants for "taking our jobs" is a great misdirection.  Illegal immigrants have no economic or political power compared to super rich individuals and powerful corporations who own our political system and pay for laws to be written for their benefit.  

Yet, angry voters have seen or thought they had seen some "illegals" in their town taking American jobs.  And the "illegals" Mr. Cruz and Mr. Trump are subtly alluding to are Mexicans so why not scapegoat them with all this talk of building a wall and keeping them out. It's an easy sell to potential voters who don't want to take the time to think that maybe these guys are playing them for political and financial gain, keeping their attention of something trivial compared to the fleecing they're receiving at the hands of Cruz, Trump, and Rubio's campaign donors who stand to gain tremendously if one of these guys is elected president.  

However, as much as I'd like to see the candidates use logic in their rhetoric, I realize they're going to continue using fear-based emotional rhetoric to motivate the voters to show up at the polling station. It's such a stupid strategy to me but it works.  People don't get motivated or inspire by numbers and data the way I do.  And that's probably why I'm not in the cable news business or working for a political campaign.   

Enjoy your day and don't get swept up in the nonsense being spewed by all these guys on the campaign trail and the beholden big media that needs this flamboyant rhetoric to keep viewers and eyeballs glued to drive ratings and advertising dollars.