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Breaking Wind, If Not Silence November 6, 2012

Posted by markswill in About me, Navel Gazing, Politics, Schmolitics.
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Since my last rant some seven weeks ago, I’ve had a few stabs at composing another but to no avail, obviously.

I don’t know about yours, but I find that in these blighted times and especially if you’re of a certain age and culture, life is an endless tide of disappointment, failure and betrayal relieved only by brief and increasingly infrequent examples of spiritual generosity and soul-stirring creative venture. As such, there isn’t much worth writing about that isn’t just more of the rut-ploughing whining I’ve been doing for years now.

So on the cusp of a right-wing, tax-avoiding, women-hating religious zealot probably becoming Master of the Universe and then bombing Iran, out-sourcing even more jobs to the Far East and ending his female subjects’ right to choose an abortion, I fear we are all in the same bloody boat. But one thing I can be sure of and is perhaps worth noting is that Trouble Rides a Fast Horse.

Which is all you need to know.

And if you can bear to read more of the same, albeit at greater length, check out the column on the right

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Comments»

1. hed maginnis - November 6, 2012

You are an optimist. I’ve been sitting here thinking Romney might win.

markswill - November 6, 2012

Hahahahaha and indeed, ha. He will, after botched re-counts in Ohio and Florida. They we really ARE all fucked.

2. Linda Stokes - November 6, 2012

Thank doG, you’re still alive:D

markswill - November 6, 2012

Only just.

3. paulblez - November 6, 2012

Bloody Hell Mark, talk about burying Caesar before he’s even been stabbed, you Brute! 😉 I’m prepared to bet you a tankful of gas in that old nail of yours, versus a tankful of gas in my Tmax that Obama wins after all! (and I bet your tank is bigger than 15 litres!).

markswill - November 6, 2012

‘Fraid I’m not a betting man, Blez. But in this case, and sadly, I think I’m right.

4. martincraig - November 6, 2012

Well, in spite of all signs and portents to the contrary, I’m feeling childishly optimistic. I’ve just been told out of the blue that a Japanese female wrestler is using my song ‘Rockin’ at the Ace Café’ as her entrance theme music. The lesson from this is: weird things CAN and sometimes DO happen. Extrapolate that into US politics and, as Billy Fury sang, ‘Maybe Tomorrow….’

Speaking of creativity, I think your ‘horse’ strapline is right up there with ‘Keep a good head and carry a lightbulb’ & other Great Statements Of Our Times.

markswill - November 6, 2012

Well I hope you’re right Martin, but I seriously doubt it. When you’re THAT rich, spending all THAT money, AND you’ve got the religious right and the Las Vegas mafia behind you…. well I rest my battered old case.

martincraig - November 6, 2012

Yeah, my optimism’s wearing off already. Insane that the one who raises the most $ becomes leader of the western world. But apparently, Dylan’s predicting a landslide for Obama; I’ll just cling to that for a few more hours.

Of course, we’ll get drones either way – apparently coming from an industrial estate in Wales. More geeks are about to start controlling drones from Waddington Aerodrome in Lincolnshire. Whoever buys the election, we need a Drone Blog from you soon.

5. WTK - November 6, 2012

I dunno. I was hoping Ross Perot or Fat Al Gore would make a last ditch write-in run for the crown and spice up this election. I don’t think we bomb countries anymore, I think we drone them to death. Obama has unleashed 400% more drones than Bush so I’m betting we will drone on Iran. So antispetic. No need to get involved in a nasty little foot war with all that blood and Gore. Tsk…

6. Pete - November 6, 2012

Where’s that fast horse racing, Mark, you old tipster, you? I was going to put my money on Optimistic Ostrich or Same Again Barman in the 2:30 at Newmarket but you’ve got me thinking…

markswill - November 6, 2012

This particular old nag is racing towards oblivion, and it ain’t wearing a bridle.

7. Stephen Dunne - November 7, 2012

Mark, happily you are wrong and have missed out on a free tank of petrol. So the world is not over (quite yet) so hope we can all get on with liing life. Glass half full rather than half empty here.

paulblez - November 7, 2012

Steve, you mean Mark has missed out on having to buy ME a free tank of petrol, so he was wise not to take my bet!

markswill - November 7, 2012

Who’s Steve Dunne? Should I bow to his superior political savvy? Or the fact that he has a very thirsty motorcycle?

8. WTK - November 7, 2012

Mark, put to rest your fears. Obama was elected so we shall all live in the Perfect World of the last 4 years. SIgh… Let’s all save money and we’ll live together in one large communal hovel.

markswill - November 7, 2012

I am already living in a hovel, moving to a communal one would only make life more exciting. Anyway, I’m sure you’re right there with that political sage, Donald Trump in believing that the election was a total fraud and if only Mutt had spent more than Obamarama bribing the hispanic vote, he’d have clinched it.

But none of it matters anyway as the GoP control the House of Reps so you can strangle anything the Demons try doing to “make things better”. And then come the next election you can blame them for fucking up the country! A win-win strategy, eh?!

WTK - November 7, 2012

No, it was a very fair election all around. I’m just concerned that there will be nothing left in 4 years to bother with in the US. Republicans have a party that caters to the demographics of 50+ years ago! Dopes. The Democrats can’t get out of their own way. I think it’s a real mess over here, and you Euro-types aren’t helping matters with the terrible EU economy, and getting worse. Soon, a nuclear winter will be looking good!

9. markswill - November 8, 2012

Fair? Wasn’t it all down to who spent the most money? Or maybe that IS fair? I’d agree your country is in a mess, ours too, and most of Europe as well. Are the banks to blame? Can there be a recovery given the grave financial imbalance and the rise of China? I dunno? And in the twilight of my life, I’m not sure I care any more.

10. WTK - November 8, 2012

Over $6.3 B was spent in total, just over 1.1 B spent by each candidate, and the House, Senate, agencies, and President remain the same. Basically, no changes, other than 105 popel ding in a hurricane during the process. Your last sentence is the BEST! The whole process is repulsive…each spentr over a billion dollars to become President????? That is such a waste…

Pete - November 8, 2012

I’d be intrigued to know how much of the colossal spending ends up back in the US economy. Perhaps there is some consolation in thinking that some of what appears to be a waste (and I agree it certainly seems extraordinarily indulgent) might end up as a bit of a windfall for say, recession-weary US printers, badge/button makers, flag makers etc? Or will a lot of the production have gone abroad to China and elsewhere? Certainly much will have ended up in the hands of the media barons like Murdoch.

markswill - November 8, 2012

Very good point, Pete. And I bet if Murdoch could find a way of printing his newspapers in China (or more likely, Mexico!), he be doing it right now.

WTK - November 8, 2012

Yes, I would assume a good portion returns to the economy, but growth needs outside capital through trade and selling goods and services, so this exercise is more of a transfer of money from millions of donors to largely radio and TV shareholders. It does cause economic activity, but it’s not much different than any transfer in a closed system. This is why infrastructure spending by stimulus spending never works, a situation shown by Japan in the 1990’s and the US in the last 2 years. In fact, it completely ham-strung the Japanese economy for two decades. Some economies choose to create wealth by inflationary actions through increasing the volume of money, or devaluing currency and selling goods offshore more attractively—both of which are a disaster. With election spending there are other problems, largely that campaigns are late payers, or never-payers, and local/state/Fed elections have brought to ruin many small shops providing services. This question/point of yours actually calls for a much larger and broader discussion, but it seems that modest spending limits are needed. Sorry if I am sounding cynical, but the election process in the US is withering…

Pete - November 8, 2012

Good point re the late payers. Buggers.

Your comments also suggested an image of the old Soviet Union where the big industries all paid each other in kind and little cash changed hands. In that case it spelled disaster for the western companies who rushed in after perestroika hoping to grab a chunk of the profits only to discover there were fewer profits to be had than they envisaged. The oligarchs who knew the system happily pocketed the western investments and got nicely rich.

There is always the issue of whether the relentless pursuit of growth is the only way forward for an economy. Seems to me the fear of non-growth is often more destabilising than a period of steady but small gains. it also seems that most of the product of that growth ends up in the hands of the usual elite suspects anyway – who of course have an interest in promoting growth…

On a side note I saw that Michelle Bachmann narrowly squeaked in to her seat despite spending 12 times more than her opponent, with the candidates spending $20.8m (£13m) and raising $22.7m. That’s a lot of money to get just one person into Congress.

11. WTK - November 8, 2012

Yes, your last point is my point—what is the vested interest, payoffs, or crippled ego would drive a person to spend that kind of money for a lousy Congressional seat? The system is corrupt, and you are right on the money, so to speak, regarding the old Soviet, and I might add, much of the current CEE in the hinterland regions.

Growth is part of the old saw that populations increase and productivity must increase to match, resulting in more goods traded, so the magnitude of no growth is far worse than imagined for a society, BUT that is Old Theory, and economists are a day late and a dollar short in my opinion, and I speak as the ex-brother-in-law of the Chair of Harvard’s Economics school. (Not that it gives me any insight.) I’m just another Bozo on this bus careening toward the Cliff of Lemmings.

So, looking at the macro issues it seems that something is intrinsically wrong with a political system that condones/allows/supports this behavior. I’m not damning a Republic of Representative Democracy, but someone better hit the campaign hand brake soon. Isn’t there a limit on election spending in the UK, even for Prime Minister (I believe?)—I do recall that Major, or Blair, said something to the order that “500,000 Sterling is an adequate amount”.

Bachmann is another version of old ideas and the Republicans’ blue-haired senior demographics. 5 Tea Party reps were defeated—she would have made the 6th. Why I remain disgruntled is because nothing fits my schema which is simply conservative fiscal policies and liberal social policies; and yes, they can easily co-exist as they have in the US and elsewhere, off-and-on over the years.

Grumble…..

martincraig - November 8, 2012

I have to say, the quality of debate stemming from a brief rant with farting in its title surely offers tentative grounds for cautious optimism about the human condition.

markswill - November 8, 2012

Should I start referring to you as Dr Pangloss, Martin?!

martincraig - November 8, 2012

How man. Tha’s nowt un-worrantud aboot MY opta-mizum, mista Willyumz! Sur wotch yalipp!

(Hurpam norooda lyne?)

markswill - November 9, 2012

Hahahahahaha: at last a Geordie sage.

markswill - November 8, 2012

I can’t argue with any of that, Terry, even the potential for coexistent policies from polar opposites of the political landscape. And Pete’s previous comment about Bachman was spot-on, too.


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