Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Auburn University Campus Closed

After the "biblical" rampage threat at the University, my day has changed a bit. For me at the city library here, there is an influx of very seriously minded students. Nice to see them. All kinds of folks, only separated from the rest of the crowd by their youthful non-use of Facebook. They have more serious assignments on their minds. Yesterday was tax day and we had a bunch of too serious folks with an air of desperation, so I welcome the change.

We had bomb threats when I was a kid and they would shut down a school for an hour, do some kind of cursory search, and let us all back in. I remember once that I was in the middle of a test and actually asked a fellow student waiting outside about a question on the test I was pondering. Bomb threats seemed like a timeout in a football game which could be used for strategic purposes to ice the kicker if one put a mind to it. In every sporting event, they do put their minds to how to cheat and win. (Remember that wars are won by basically cheating.) Americans, we love to cheat. In basketball they foul people on purpose to try to get the ball back in the last desperate seconds of a game. Every rule is used in sports as a way to win the game by bad sportsmanship. We Americans don't think of this as cheating. If you want to know why people do things like scrawl biblical rampage threats on the wall of a bathroom, keep in mind, it is all a game to people. If they get away with it, cause a lot of trouble, then "score!" Ethics (sportsmanship) is for losers.

Today, instead of bombs, it is guns. Guns are so much more easily obtainable though. When I was in college, it would have taken a lot of research to build a bomb and I would probably have been blown up in the process. However guns... why... I could go to Walmart now. I believe they had an assault rifle for sale there the last time I went, quite some time ago but definitely after that awful school tragedy. It was advertised on a sign that could be seen from across the store. We live in amazing times.

What Walmart is doing amounts to the same thing as our willingness to cheat in sports and pretty much everywhere else. The second amendment, whatever it was for, is basically a loophole. The part about "well regulated militias" is just interpreted in whatever way we want to win our side of the debate. Walmart is capitalizing on the fear that exists because of the increase in guns already out there. It is a game for Walmart, playing on the fear, and the "score!" is in profits. Walmart creates a circular mini arms race among citizens and profits. You had better keep up with your opponent! He has lots of guns. You might need two, or more to match him. And don't forget that someday the government will take away your guns. You need to call a timeout or foul someone. Get your gun now before the government changes the rules. Of course it is not just Walmart that is capitalizing but Walmart cheats in so many ways it is hard not to point them out as the universal example. If there is cheating involved, Walmart is doing it.

People ask why we have so much more violence in this country. Part of it is the proliferation of guns but another part is the gamesmanship of cheating that our country holds as important aspect of life. Cheating is in our bones.

Go team....

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Economics Books Ready to Go

Very good day today. I'm not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing that I never seem to finish a book before I find another to read. I was trying to finish just the first book of the "Dexter" series along with a lengthy history of politics. I think I just want to change tracks again and read Michael Lewis' new book on high frequency trading. Michael Lewis wrote The Big Short which still stands alone as the most accessible book written on the Bush economic collapse. His new book Flash Boys is about high frequency trading, which is a subject I have often used as the example that the stock market rich people money games continue as if nothing had happened. Economics, after all, still beats politics in my book as to importance for some reason. If you get a full view of a part, you can see the workings of the whole.

At the same time I really want to read Capital in the Twenty-first Century by Thomas Piketty about income inequality.

A book by Michael and a book by Thomas (my middle name). I have them loaded on my kindle so what am I sticking around here writing for?!!

[edit: Both are great but if you do not read "Flash Boys" you really have not gotten the full gist of our period of time in history. It is a perfect example of what IS Wall Street.]

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Month

...has passed.

(I am still of the notion that I am writing that nonsensical Rampant Letters blog that I was just editing an entry for. I must pull myself together.)

I have such perspective. I have seen the world shift. Forgive my errant writing. Sometimes the truth is too delicious to set out before the world, which, as I say, has shifted.

It is actually only my perspective that has changed. (I have altered the worde "shifted" to the worde "changed" so as not to be in repetition.)  Yes, you must have guessed that I have no intention of laying the sandwich open lest there be flies about.

Suffice it to say that I am much better.

I go to be with my brother this weekend. My perspective is great. Wish my brother, and me, luck. In the past I have always been bad to worry about health. I keep that in mind always.

I had a dream I want to write about. I just haven't got the time to figure out which of my blogs it belongs in. :)