We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"This is a country with a state that is in a shambles, a police force in disarray, mediocre universities that serve as hotbeds of rage instead of knowledge and a shattered health care system. It is also on the brink of financial ruin."
Oh, yeah. These companies have been losing market share for decades and haven't been able to restructure to meet new circumstances. But in three months they're supposed to change all that and make sure that we have a "viable automotive industry?" And all for a relatively cheap $15 billion? Do you really believe that Pelosi has that sort of magic wand?
We need to encourage market solutions -- not bureaucratic ones -- as the best strategy for addressing the corporate governance failures we face today. Hedge funds and activist investors like Carl Icahn are the solution, not the problem. The market for corporate control should be deregulated and the SEC's restrictions on all sorts of equity trading should be lifted at once.
A government bailout of the Big Three keeps huge amounts of productive inputs in firms that can't use them efficiently. Forcing taxpayers to subsidize the continued employment of gargantuan quantities of raw materials, labor and capital goods in unproductive pursuits is a recipe for economic stagnation. The popular and politically convenient myth has matters backwards: The bigger the unprofitable firm, the more vital it is that it be allowed to fail.
For those of you who read the article on The Sphinx, I have further information from that bastion of accountability, Wikipedia:
"Although the date of its construction is uncertain, the head of the Great Sphinx now is believed to be that of the pharaoh Khafra. This god, was formed over millions of years by the sandstorms, which eroded the rock away!"
So, although the article claims The Sphinx is possibly hundreds or even thousands of years older than previously thought, it turns out it's actually millions of years old, and the face was carved by divine intervention and the desert sands.
That article about Greece you link to is a perfect example of journalistic stupidity. It casually suggests that all this violence all over Europe is occurring because of a police shooting. It apparently does not occur to these geniuses that most of this is opportunistic violence by people with other agendas ... people who could give a rat's ass about some kid being killed in Athens. And BTW, it looks like the cop who pulled the trigger is going down for it, so it's not like there's even a cover-up.
Greece, by tradition the cradle of democratic thought and government, has a long, loong tradition of domestic uproar and outrage. Those of us with long memories can remember how the Greeks behaved during World War II. They had a very strong Communist party which acted violently against the Allied efforts to fight the Axis powers, and murdered many of their own people. And ours.
On another subject, Harvard has some blatant amount of gall complaining about being cash-strapped. It is well-known that Harvard has the largest endowment of any of the Universities ... somewhere in the billions of dollars. I realize that's not much [evidently] by today's standards, but are we willing to spend forever bailing out organizations damaged by bad judgment? If this is the case, please let me know. I could use a few bucks myself.
I do have a memory, a vivid memory. of Some Greek anarchy.
I had travelled to Athens many times and knew the CIA Station Chief, Richard Welch who was gunned down in his driveway two days before Christmas in 1975 by the Marxist group November 17. He was a good man.
I've had a distinct dislike for the Greek culture since then. Forgiveness is God's area but I will never forget.