Posts Tagged ‘editorial’

From the Editor’s Perch…

January 12, 2014

Lady Gaga2

Fashion

 

            In the book, Fascism versus Capitalism, Llwellyn Rockwell Jr. mentions the Harvard philosopher, Santayana’s observation “that ideas aren’t usually abandoned because they have been refuted; they are abandoned when they become unfashionable.”  Most people reading this who have tried to introduce an unfashionable notion probably have suffered this observation.  You either find yourself socially isolated.   Or you are made to feel as if you are speaking in a foreign tongue, as if, as a woman at a theater rehearsal once told me (regarding my thoughts):  “I feel as if I am talking to someone from the moon.”  Thoughts judged to be unfashionable are simply left to die alone while conversing to the backs and sides of heads, and thence to float away, detached and withered, into the cold outer reaches.

The most dramatic example I’ve run across of this phenomenon is from the same book as mentioned above.  Henry Hazlitt was an editorial writer for the New York Times from 1934 till 1945 who backed a return to the gold standard.  He was finally sacked for his editorials in opposition to the Breton Woods agreement of 1945 establishing the World Bank.   Hazlitt wrote: “it would be difficult to think of a more serious threat to world stability and full production than the continual prospect of a uniform world inflation to which the politicians of every country would be so easily tempted.”  Throughout his tenure, no one, as far as can be seen, joined him in his warnings.  He could not even generate a credible opposition.  His opposition around the Breton Woods agreement ignored him, claiming a world catastrophe if the measure were not passed.

History has proved Henry Hazlitt correct.  And millions of lives perhaps need not have been lost to the devastations of WWII if the advent of rampant inflation had not been there to fuel the rise of fascist philosophies.  But no matter.  WWII did occur.  The Times has never apologized.  (Don’t hold your breath!)  And Henry Hazlitt lost his job.  John Maynard Keynes ideas appeared to be new.  Henry Hazlitt’s appeared to be old.  To be included in a current conversation you must be perceived to be ‘new’ – otherwise, the argument goes, why have one?   Though there was no factual basis of incompetence for firing Henry Hazlitt, by 1945 the Times publisher,  Arthur Sulzberger, “had had enough.”  “When 43 governments sign an agreement, I don’t see how the Times can any longer combat this,” he said.

 

“How important is sound money?  The whole of civilization depends on it,” says Llewellyn Rockwell.  Nevertheless, fashion trumps it.

 

            If these anecdotes don’t arouse you, then I give up.  I can’t reach you with a sharp pin.

 

But fashion itself is a fascinating topic.  It seems to move and change on its own timeline, without regard for events.  (Which, I would suppose is as we should expect, given its impervious nature.)  In my younger years I lived in a home I’d purchased on the cheap in the Rainier Valley area of Seattle.   This section of Seattle contained (and still does) the most diversified population in terms of race and ethnicity of any area in King County.  While I lived there, gang violence was endemic.  I still remember my neighbor arguing loudly in the middle of our street with his son not to join the gang which was waiting for him on the corner.  I had passed the years watching this decent kid grow from a toddler, to the middle school aged youngster who now apparently had been judged old enough to join the gang.  I also remember a neighborhood friend relating the tale of going to pick up her son at school and having to hug the floor of her car outside of the school to escape the exchange of bullets passing overhead.  Our community and the city government tried this and they tried that.  Then, after it seemed I had given up hope and had moved on anyway, it just ended.  No more violence.  No more gangs on the corner.  And yet everything else was the same.  Same people.  Same laws.  Same police.   Same homes.  Same everything.  Only the people who did that sort of thing, didn’t do it anymore.  As near as I could tell, it just passed out of fashion.

Photo is Lady Gaga from Google Images

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From the Editor’s Perch

January 30, 2012

Editor’s Note:  My last posts really left my numbers flagging.  So to kill off my readership altogether, I thought I’d share some new thoughts:

I’ve Been Wrong Before.  I’ll Probably Be Wrong Again.  And I May Be Wrong Now, But…

I’ve recently been called a Troglodyte (not personally, just my relations) because of my views on ‘Climate Change’.  It used to be because of my views on ‘Global Warming’.  But that moniker has changed, since there hasn’t been any for the past ten years.  Now we’re supposed to be very frightened because the weather is changing.  

               “Doesn’t the weather always change?”

               “No.  This is Climate Change.”

              “Well, why are we experiencing ‘Climate Change’?

              “Because of ‘Global Warming’!”

(Return to beginning of article…)

We’re supposed to be getting even more frightened as the days pass, because Climate Change is supposed to be occurring along an exponential curve.  This is what all of the august scientific bodies tell us. 

               “Are you sure it’s all.”

               “Yes.  All credible sources.”

               “And these are the same sources who warned us about Global Warming?”

(Return to beginning of article…)

             “But aren’t these the same sources which warned us some 30 years ago that we may very well be entering a phase of Global Cooling,  and might have to consider spreading coal dust on the ice caps to absorb more of the sun’s energy.”

             “We’ve learned a lot since then.”

(Return to beginning of article…)

It used to be that CO2 was just something plants used to grow, and animals produced when they breathed.  Now, however, it has been declared a ‘pollutant’ by the EPA, and needs regulating. 

(Start holding your breath here.  And we will try to make it to the end of this piece before you are forced to break a future federal regulation.  Think of it as being like pushing in a DVD and seeing that FBI anti-piracy warning that flashes on.  No biggie.  You can DO this.)

Apparently CO2 is one of the determining causes of ‘Global Warming’.  Which, though it does not currently exist, is the cause of Global Climate Change.   Which DOES exist.  You got it?   (Or are you just STUPID?)   …because of Global Warming. 

(Return to beginning of article…)

CO2 does this through a process called the Greenhouse Effect, wherein excess CO2 causes more of the sun’s energy to be trapped in our atmosphere.  This extra energy in turn produces more violent storms…. but apparently not Global Warming.  At least in the last 10 years.   Even though it apparently did so before this.

All credible Scientific sources apparently agree on this, even though the evidence apparently does not.

For example, fossil evidence and geological measurements indicate that in the past, levels of CO2 twenty times the current level did not accompany the extremes in temperature currently predicted.

In this case scientific sources apparently disagree on this, though the evidence agrees.

Alright.  We’re done. You may duck around a corner, out of sight.  Small breaths, now.  And don’t be greedy!

Photo by Carl Nelson

From the Editor’s Perch

July 25, 2010

“When the competition is over, the Kings and the Pawns all go back in the same box.”

                                          –  Italian proverb

          

 

SUCCESS

From what I’ve been able to glean from Wikipedia, each fertilized human embryo represents a huge Oklahoma-like Land Rush representing an average 30 million sperm participants.  And the fellow/woman you’re looking at here, sleeping under this thin grey coverlet, represents the winner of such an event.  So think about this: each person you encounter every day has been enormously successful.  And I mean on the level of a Bill Gates.   

So what about this poor fellow/woman?  Well, my first thought would be that indeed, “winning IS everything”.  But, by that I mean, success in one sphere does not necessarily transfer well to another.  (i.e. that’s all it was, and now it’s gone.) 

In fact, we’re all has-beens.  It will be the very rare person who can replicate the success they had by just being born.  So, I think we shouldn’t be alarmed so much by failure… By being broke?  Well, yes.  Maybe a bit – or even a lot!   But I think each of us should get up each day and walk with our shoulders back and our head up – in light of the immense success we already are… even if you’re a little hungry and sleeping under a bridge.

                                         – Carl Nelson

Photos by Carl Nelson


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