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Dean Sayers

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Pop-economics serve the rich [Mar. 9th, 2011|04:35 pm]
Dean Sayers
More criticism of local letters to the editor

Pop-economics primarily serve the rich, but some recent letters forget this.

 

Oscar Walker is confused when he quotes Proverbs: “the rich rule over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Ignoring the obvious wisdom in Proverbs, Oscar claims that "politicians purchase our votes with tax dollars." Actually, politicians are purchased by the primary investment blocs in industry, specifically finance, oil and military firms. If you want to know how our votes are acquired - look no further than the malaise that is CNN, NBC, FOX et al.

 

But Proverbs isn't completely on target, either. Take the lender-borrower relationship of China and the US: China couldn’t thrive without a strong dollar – cue the massive federal bond purchases by China.

 

Numerous readers (Lee, Alward, Winfrey) have written to express their concern about government spending and “big government.” Instead of targeting the rich, budget reform has always consisted of attacks on the working class. Winfrey in particular tries to paint government as the “problem” for innovation. But he’s woefully false: something like 80% of technological innovation is subsidized by the government. The finance sector proves in its own right that futures and derivatives are more lucrative than job creation – so why pretend that tax cuts for the rich will create jobs?

 

But there is an alternative: massive taxes on those who have accumulated wealth in the unregulated financial markets. Transfer this to the working class by expanding government jobs, purchases, or as a class subsidy. Either way, those who possess the means of production will have only one option to get rich again: produce goods for American consumers.

 

But this probably won’t happen, because, as Proverbs points out: “the rich rule over the poor.”

 

Dean Sayers



http://www.mechlocal.com/index.php/opinion/article/letters_to_the_editor_03_09_2011/ (4th one down)
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Obama Is Far to the Right of Smith, Keynes and Marx [Feb. 13th, 2011|02:07 pm]
Dean Sayers
“Reaganomics” never died, but it’s wrong to pretend that Obama’s dismissal of working class interests is a return to Reagan’s policies. He simply represents a continuation of a trend of deregulation started under Nixon at the behest of the American Enterprise Institute, Hayek and Friedman.

 “The End” mention’s a lack of “pure” Randian economists – but this is very nearly what Greenspan was. A close follower of Ayn Rand, Greenspan considered himself a “libertarian republican” and reduced the effectiveness of Mark-to-Market regulations – which comically allowed bankers’ balance sheets to distance themselves from the power of the market.  Where are the Marxists in government? I certainly don’t hear anyone clamoring for popular control over the workplace.  Adam Smith felt that taxes were a “badge of liberty” – try telling people that now! 

What about Keynesians? Ever since Hayek, Friedman and Thatcher, Keynes was “turned on his head” in support of supply-side economics. Keynes has only been used in the expansion of corporate power – when was the last time you heard of legislation which sought to expand demand by redistributing wealth to the working class? Instead, we have massive corporate bailouts propped up by convenient cherry-picking of Keynes’ theories.

But the critical point remains: the success of capitalism has nothing to do with free, unfettered markets. As Chomsky quotes Borrus in Understanding Power, “five of the top six fastest growing U.S. industries from 1972 to 1988 were sponsored or sustained, directly or indirectly, by federal investment.”

 That’s the face of capitalism today, and if Obama were serious about his “Keynesianism,” he would not be supporting a pay freeze for federal employees, which will have a serious, adverse effect on demand.


Dean Sayers, December 13th

 -This was a response to an article that hilariously compared the "relative lack of input" from Marx and Ayn Rand as an attempt to prove that mainstream economists are centrist.

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Mackenzie Column Was Riddled With Bias [Feb. 13th, 2011|01:57 pm]
Dean Sayers


In December, I pointed out that Wikileaks revealed a democratic deficit in the Middle East. Recent developments have proven that this deficit is unsustainable. Ross Mackenzie seeks to confront the issue, but from the start, his article is riddled with regional bias and insular thinking.

First, he betrays his own prejudice when he describes Iraq as “democratic” – a state in which public assembly, labor unions and certain political parties are expressly criminalized. In 2010, every major Iraqi party called the elections “fraudulent.” He goes on to cite Israel, a nation founded on the ethnically-based expropriation of its native population, as another “democracy.”

He vilifies the “spiritual leader” of the Muslim Brotherhood with a scary Anti-American quote – which was really shocking, coming from a nation whose autocratic leader has been propped up for the last 30 years by the U.S.. The Brotherhood, far from a representation of the protesters in Tahrir Square, refused to even take part in protests for the first few days of the uprising in Egypt.

Further, Mackenzie fails to mention that nearly half of Jordanians are of Palestinian origin – a fact that might shed some light on how peace with Israel, a nation which continues to expand its undefined borders, is both unpopular and undemocratic there.

Mackenzie doesn't seem to think that Arabs deserve a democracy that reflects the interests of the people. But let’s be honest with ourselves - in this narrative, Arabs really aren’t allowed to have sovereignty – let alone democracy.

 I can say this for Mackenzie, though: he didn’t author Oliphant’s racist comic that accompanied the article on page E3. The caricature looks like it was pulled right from a 19th century Anti-Semitic cartoon – only this time, it is the Muslim who is portrayed as dirty and sinister.


Mackenze Column was Riddled with Bias - Dean Sayers, Richmond Times Dispatch
Obamacare and the Islamist Movement - Ross Mackenzie, TownHall Conservative
Disgusting Caricature of "Muslim Brotherhood" - Pat Oliphant, GoComics
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Conclusion of the segment "Netanyahu Under Fire..." offers little insight - but it could have. [Jan. 21st, 2011|12:51 pm]
Dean Sayers
[Current Music |R.E.M. - Welcome to the Occupation ]

During the "Netanyahu Under Fire..." segment on January 19th, the final portion was curt, and amounted to a declaration that the sky is blue: we know they're at a standstill, as we've known for years. But there are clear reasons why this is the case, and they could have been mentioned.

That Palestinians cannot come to the negotiating table is the simple result of an expansionist neighbor which refuses to declare its borders. When did Appeasement work before? Why should an economically strangled population offer this concession of more land and resources, constantly?

I'm disappointed that NPR presents the case as a simple disagreement; it's not. It s a disagreement which allows Israel to continue expansion, and offers nothing but attrition for the Palestinians which have been "put on a diet" by Israeli sanctions (and yes, internal Israeli memos use the term "diet" to refer to the policy - its really disturbing).


(recently submitted to NPR in response to the following article: Netanyahu Under Fire From Israeli Left and Right)
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Oh, I see [Jan. 12th, 2011|09:40 am]
Dean Sayers
People think that calling a sociopath 'mentally ill' is some kind of offense against other mentally ill people. What a bunch of children - why does every issue have to be a black-white dichotomy?
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Two Absurdities [Jan. 12th, 2011|09:32 am]
Dean Sayers
 One, "I can speculate on the AZ shooter's mental state, but you can't, and therefore he is not insane": http://community.livejournal.com/ontd_political/7527216.html

Short answer: sorry, but its simply not sane to do what Loughner did. And yes, being a sociopath is an issue of sanity, or a lack thereof. There is no justification to claim that he's not mentally ill with the bizarre pretense that that is some kind of "defense" of the mentally ill. It's not like the mentally ill are some kind of homogeneous group.



Two, "I won't account for whether or not a "clan mentality" can be applied to humans as a whole (via Oxytocin hormones) so therefore it cannot apply to humans as a whole": community.livejournal.com/libertarianism/2798805.html
(The discussion in "liberal" is more illuminating): http://community.livejournal.com/liberal/3340001.html

Short answer: Without defining the limits of this hormone's clan mentality, there is no reason to discount its viability in applying to a "universal brotherhood" model. It's not brain surgery, kids, its basic math.
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Public Should Be Privy to All Cables [Dec. 13th, 2010|09:40 am]
Dean Sayers
[Tags|]
[Current Music |Ministry - Impossible]

Beres' recent commentary on Wikileaks betrays an uninformed view of the Wikileaks cables and a contemptuous attitude towards media consumers.

Take Iran: Beres is quick to claim that most nations are "well aware" that Iran more resembles a "little Satan" than Israel. In fact, only 10% of individuals polled in Arab states believe that Iran is a threat at all - 88% believe Israel is a threat, followed by the US at 77%. There is overwhelming support for Iran's right to its nuclear program. The leaks reveal a democratic deficit in regimes whose governments support US involvement in the region. (Examiner)

Beres goes on to call those responsible for the leaks "vindictive little people," the act, "despicable" despite her admission that "it appears that nothing destructive or capable of causing grave damage to U.S. interests has been released." One might do well to consider the actual value of information released, in particular to inform our democratic system. Not Beres, who sums up important revelations about everything from backdoor dealings with corrupt regimes to the Federal Reserve's bailout of Swiss bank UBS as akin to "personal communiqués" (personal to the point that their authors published them to be viewed by hundreds of thousands in the intelligence community!). The same UBS was embroiled in a tax-evasion lawsuit brought on by a whistleblower at the bank who was the sole UBS employee sent to prison for the fraud. UBS was the 12th biggest contributor to Obama’s 2008 campaign.

The government should feel safe in knowing that its lies and misrepresentations to the US public will be defended by the "free press." How comforting to hear a columnist claim - with absolutely no sense of irony - that I shouldn't be privy to knowledge which she does not even believe is a threat.

Dean Sayers.

Midlothian.

Link: http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/letters-to-the-editor/2010/dec/13/tdopin01-letters-to-the-times-dispatch-ar-711160/

Was a response to: www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2010/dec/05/ed-beres05-ar-693875/

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David Nolan is Dead! [Dec. 4th, 2010|08:56 am]
Dean Sayers
[Current Mood |Transcendental]
[Current Music |Cat Rapes Dog - Capitalist Punishment]

The dukedom want's a head, though yet unknown:
As fast as they peep up, let's cut 'em down.

-T. Middleton, The Revenger's Tragedy

thechronicleherald.ca/World/1214292.html

"He not only helped found the Libertarian Party but remained active and helped to guide our party for the last 40 years," Mark Hinkle, chairman of the Libertarian Party, said in the statement. "We are now the third-largest political party in America, and one of the most persistent and successful third parties in American history, thanks in large part to David Nolan."


"Efforts
Turned into naught
There is little
conscious thought
His tanned limbs
Are going numb
Speeding
Was very dumb

Raised to be condescending
Never himself, just pretending
Thought he was from a higher class
A parasite on the working mass

People sometimes get relieved when things like that transpire
Another bastard has died and gone to swim the lake of fire
Focus on the exchange list and you'll end up dismayed
Should've spent life doing good, instead of the American way"

-Cat Rapes Dog
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Sweden is re-writing the law to prosecute Assange [Dec. 3rd, 2010|06:56 pm]
Dean Sayers

Both women admit to consenting to sex with Assange, and they both boasted about the fact - one even holding a party. There was no violence. This is corroborated by the prosecutors handling the case. And the law, itself, is being re-written with the sole intent of convicting, and in effect neutralizing Assange:

"Proposed reforms of Swedish rape laws would introduce a test of whether the unequal power relations between the parties might void the sincerely expressed consent of one party. In this case, presumably, the politically active Ardin, with experience fielding gender equity complaints as a gender equity officer at Uppsala University, had her will suborned by Assange’s celebrity. The prosecutor coming as she does from a prosecution “Development Unit” could achieve this broadening of the law during Assange’s trial so he can be convicted of a crime that didn’t exist at the time he allegedly committed it. She would need to. There is no precedent for it. The Swedes are making it up as they go along."

www.crikey.com.au/2010/12/02/when-it-comes-to-assange-r-pe-case-the-swedes-are-making-it-up-as-they-go-along/
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Great men were gods if beggars couldn't kill 'em [Nov. 17th, 2010|11:54 am]
Dean Sayers
Social Security Judges Face Violent Threats
" In Eugene, Ore., a man who was denied benefits said he is "ready to join the Taliban and hurt some people." Another claimant denied benefits told a judge in Greenville, S.C., that he was a sniper in the military and "would go take care of the problem."


Snog - Justified Homicide
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