Sunday, September 21, 2008

Announcing: The Politically Correct Bill Marriott

Last night I viewed the Marriott Hotel web site and noticed a blog by the firms president, Bill Marriott. Here it is, along with comments he invites from others who offered their condolences and heartfelt expressions of how terrible the tragedy was.

I similarly responded, expressing my sincere condolences along with my concerns about how long it took for firefighters to respond to contain the blaze - which they never did. I commented with words similar to my previous blog on this topic, below. I followed up by adding that my hope is that this terrible event should not dissuade democracies from asserting our efforts for freedom to overcome worldwide Islamic fascist terrorism.

Mr. Marriott chose not include my comments among the responses to his blog. Let me speculate as to why my comments were not included.

In his politically and corporately correct style which is shared by many of his American corporate cohorts, he chose not to call a spade a spade for fear of offending someone. He is not into feather ruffling. He wouldn't want to turn the Pakistani government, or, Allah forbid, the Islamabad Fire Department against him. He wouldn't want his hotel to burn to the ground. Oh, wait, it already did!

He is, obviously, taking the "long view." He will continue to be "easy to get along with" and "not easily offended" so he can get back to making the big bucks in a nation that is likely to kill his employees, a nation whose firefighters and top leadership are likely secretly wallowing in the success of their retribution.

This priority is consistent with Mr. Marriott's other top buck making priorities of continuing the policy of showing porn throughout his hotel chain, despite his purported religious beliefs.

This is so typical of our political and corporate "leaders." Their personal beliefs mean practically nothing in the practice of their governmental and business affairs. This is true whether the personal belief is "pro-life" or "pro-morality". If the belief doesn't get them elected or does not enhance "the bottom line" then to hell with it - literally.

For anyone who wonders why we are a declining nation, this is as good a starting point as any.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Slowest Response to a Major Fire I've Ever Seen

I was watching live scenes of the Islamabad, Pakistan, Marriott hotel fire this morning. The first scenes broadcast on Fox cable appeared to be about 30 minutes or so after the initial Islamic terrorist bombing occurred. No fire fighting was in sight. Only after 30 to 40 additional minutes of broadcast time (well over an hour after the initial blast) did any visual of firefighting appear - one lone stream of water aimed erratically at the hotel.

Like Saudi Arabia, one has to wonder about the dedication of this "significant ally" toward the defense of American interests. I would not be surprised if there was a purposeful deference toward allowing the hotel to burn - a show of Pakistani and radical Islams' disdain toward American efforts to thwart Islamic "extremism" (or Islamic "mainstremism" is perhaps more accurate) in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Pakistan appears to have gotten a bit edgy since the US has become more effective in thwarting al Quida activity in the border regions between itself and Afghanistan. This is our "slap on the wrist" for daring to be effective - which Pakistan does not have the will to be.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Stockholm Syndrome and Trickle Down Theory

As a conservative, a blasphemous thought has encroached into my mind concening the benefits of the "trickle down" theory we often hear about during discussions of how to stimulate the economy. I wonder whether most of us might be subject to the Stockholm Syndrome in this regard.

The conservative's solution to economic woes is usually centered around "the trickle down" theory. The opposite solution embraced by most liberals and many moderates is "tax the rich and tax big business" because they can afford it.

In an article entitled "Trickle-Down Ignorance" by Thomas Sowell (April 2, 2005) he states:

"What is often confused with a trickle-down theory is supply-side economics, such as that advocated by Arthur Laffer. That theory is that tax cuts can generate more tax revenue for the government because it changes people's behavior, causing more economic activity to take place, leading to more taxable income, as well as a faster growing economy.

Sowell continues: "Whether it will happen in a given set of circumstances is what is controversial, but none of this has anything to do with money trickling down from the rich to the poor. It has to do with the creation of more wealth in the economy as a whole."

The question I am plagued with: Does "the creation of more wealth in the economy as a whole" necessarily mean that the middle and lower classes benefit? Or do we just hope we will benefit? Does this merely result in the rich just getting richer and the middle and poor getting poorer?

Turning to the "Stockholm syndrome" for a moment, as Wikipedia defines it, the

"Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger (or at least risk) in which they have been placed. The syndrome is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg, Stockholm, Sweden, in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to August 28 in 1973. In this case, the victims became emotionally attached to their victimizers, and even defended their captors after they were freed from their six-day ordeal."

The Stockholm Syndrome is "Loyalty to a more powerful abuser — in spite of the danger that this loyalty puts the victim in — is common among victims of domestic abuse, battered partners and child abuse (dependent children). In many instances the victims choose to remain loyal to their abuser, and choose not to leave him or her, even when they are offered a safe placement in foster homes or safe houses. This mental phenomenon is also known as Trauma-Bonding or Bonding-to-the-Perpetrator."

I wonder if the poor and middle classes who support the idea of the "trickle down theory" are subject to the Stockholm Syndrome?" Out of years of conditioning, are we being loyal to a more powerful abuser - in spite of the disadvantages we might reap from buying into the alleged benefits of trickle down theory espoused by the wealthy and big business (the "abuser")?

Before we buy into the alleged benefits of the trickle down theory with its' tax cuts for the wealthy and big business, let's understand whether or not there are any real economic benefits for the rest of us. Let's dare to step out of the shadow of the abuser and look at objective evidence. As Sowell wrote, all too often we take one side of an issue for granted and blindly accept it as fact without bothering to understand the other side.

It is way too easy for us to feel excessively dependent on the wealthy to make our economy work as the easy way to continue feeling comfortable and taken care of.

Let's not be intimidated by those who might be abusers who use us to further their quest for tax-free and often obscenely excessive wealth.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Suddenly Seasoned Sarah

Two days ago (pre-convention speech), Sarah Palin's liberal critics declared her a small town nobody, a run-of-the-mill soccer mom, lacking experience, and not fit for the vice-presidency, never mind president.

Well, irony of ironies, after the speech those same critics now disdainfully declare her to be "a seasoned politician" and acting like a "Washington insider." After those diametrically opposed characterizations, they are likely next to declare her "schizophrenic", all self-invented fabrications by McCain's opponents.

What is even more confusing (and disingenuous) are the comments from liberal feminists and their close friends, the mainstream media. They whine that she will be neglecting her family if she is VP, after their decades of trying to bust women through the glass ceiling. Why isn't the same criticism leveled against the male fathers in office? They chastise her daughter for an out of wedlock pregnancy while screaming for "freedom of choice." I guess they would have preferred to assert their "freedom of choice" to abort the pregnancy, aka "kill the baby." They minimize and mock the courageous and right choice made in raising a downs syndrome child. (Again, abortion is their answer.) Make up your minds, fems. Which way do you want it? You're confusing me!

Politics is strange. It verges on other-worldly insane. If an individual exhibited the same inconsistent spoutings as the left has exhibited over the past week, there would have been a family intervention by now. Perhaps these inconsistent rants are the early signs of a liberal campaign becoming unraveled. Hmmm.

My previous post expressed initial doubts about McCains' VP selection, doubts based on knowing very little about his choice. Frankly, I thought there were better choices - most notably Mit Romney. However, the more I hear from and about Sarah Palin, the more confident I am becoming about her likely effectiveness and the good she may do for this country. She will definitely be one who will be fun to watch in the coming weeks as she goes head to head with the Obama camp and the derisive media.