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The Greek Financial Crisis Explained

Greece voted no to austerity, which could cause other member countries in the EU (European Union) to eject it from that group. If that were to happen, Greece’s currency would no longer be the Euro and it would go back to using its traditional currency, the Drachma.

There are a myriad of other opinions on this issue, but I think that the Greek people may have chosen the best path, since the austerity program which has been forced on them by the EU has only made things worse.

The benefit of having been ejected from the EU would be that Greece could devalue its Drachma to whatever level it wanted (it does not have the authority to devalue the Euro, since that would affect all the other countries’ currency value as well), which would cause products made in Greece to become cheaper relative to other currencies, and thereby more valuable to outside investors, causing them to pour more money into the Greek economy, thereby helping the Greeks to pull out of their crisis.

This will cause the Greeks some short-term pain and increase the cost of imported goods within Greece, but is probably a good solution to their financial problems. No folks, running a government is not even remotely like balancing your checkbook, and devaluing a currency, although it sounds quite negative, can be a good thing when necessary.

The Myth of the Self-Loathing White Man

My various writings in defense of those of other cultures, races and points of view which sometimes vary greatly from that which my pale-faced, conservative brethren tend to hold, can at times cause some of those who have recently discovered Dictionary.com to fire missives my way with a recurring theme of “self loathing”, as if to help explain the defects in my own apparently miss-spent life.

This piece is directed toward those who have done so.

Since you asked, I decided that it was time to respond that it is not me whom I loathe, my slogan-of-the-week repeating friends, it is you.

You see, I am quite satisfied with my lot in life, which allows me the moral heft to challenge those of you who hide behind that with which you were born, simultaneously wearing it on your shirtsleeve as if it were a coat-of-arms, proving some high rank or accomplishment when you, often, have none which would give you license to hold yourselves to such lofty societal hights. You brag about what you were handed at birth because you’ve done little since and, therefore, have little else to be proud of, other than some “heritage” or serendipitously occurring skin color. It is reminiscent of Al Bundy’s recurring braggadocio about winning one football game at Polk High,┬áby simple virtue of the fact that he can’t think of another thing about which to brag.

To start with, I have raised two now-grown children into fine adults, with their own stable, nuclear families and good careers, with no issues of divorce, drugs or infidelities. No one in my family has ever been arrested. I also have a teenager with straight A’s in a gifted school who is on a path to an ivy-league college.

I started out a working man, washing cars at a car dealership and learning to repair and sell cars. Recently, I sold a company I started from scratch in 2008 for an amount approaching seven figures. I have owned a waterfront home on the Gulf-of-Mexico and my own private airplane and sailboat. I single-handedly piloted a 45 ft yacht around the Caribbean for 9 days with my family and flew a single-engined airplane from Minnesota to Florida, solo. I later flew that same airplane, solo, from Florida to New Jersey as hurricane Francis approached from my tail.

I have started, bought, sold and managed internet companies, aircraft leasing companies, construction companies, automobile companies, landscaping companies and real-estate investment companies. I have sometimes failed in my endeavors but more often than not, succeeded quite nicely, thank-you.

I have acted in community theater to acclaim, having had no formal training or acting lessons. I was given the lead role in two out of the three plays I’ve been in and had my share of standing ovations.

I have written two well-received books about management and am working on a third about racism in my lifetime. I write prolifically on all manner of subjects.

I started college at 50 years old and am now an MBA with less than two years remaining in my post-graduate education before completing my dissertation and receiving a Ph.D.in Managment.

Sorry folks, I have nothing to loathe about myself. I am quite confident that I have not squandered my time here on earth. And it is that confidence which allows me to look back at myself and see the privileges which have been afforded me in sharp contrast to the lack of privilege that others with far greater talent, courage and skill have suffered.

I spend no time whatsoever patting myself on the back or holding myself above others due to the simple expedient of certain molecules of deoxyribonucleic acid which happened to align in a particular way to make me a white male. To put it another way…I didn’t build that. It was built for me. And whatever privileges with which you were born were also handed to you.

I don’t defend others due to anything remotely approaching self-loathing. I do it out of self-love.

Contrary to what we like to think of ourselves, white people aren’t very nice.

In doing research for my book about racism, I’ve recently been reading some scholarly texts regarding law enforcement in inner cities. I’ve read numerous books, written by a combination of black prosecutors, black public defenders, white prosecutors and pubic defenders, and one which interviewed retired judges. They all have a common theme, which I’ll get back to in a minute.

The takeaway from all this research has been the confirmation of something which I, and many of you have likely believed for a some time but haven’t had the need nor the impetus to acknowledge. It appears to have become commonplace for white people who are in charge to either ignore or simply delay their reaction to the needs of black people. I’m speaking from a law enforcement perspective here. I’ve read many accounts about cops or other taxpayer-paid first responders either neglecting or simply refusing to go into black neighborhoods when they’re needed, as a way of tacitly determining the futures of these individuals.

One account was a poor family of 8 or so who lived in a small house with a newborn baby sleeping in one bed with his father. One morning they noticed the baby was not breathing and called 9-1-1. No one showed up after 20 minutes. Over the course of the next hour, they called three more times and no one showed up. When they finally called the fourth time, they overheard the 9-1-1 operator ask her supervisor why no one was responding. The supervisor was overheard telling the operator “There’s a shitload of people in that house. Somebody probably just rolled over on the baby and killed it. Tell them to call a funeral home”.

Here is a recent article explaining that Repubs don’t consider racism to be a very big problem I know that it’s from HuffPo, which is not considered to be a paragon of impartial reporting, but it’s a legitimate poll, based on the details of the study.

Other examples are of white judges imposing enormous bail on black kids who have been accused of possessing small amounts of pot. Since they can’t pay the bail, they languish in jail for what is sometimes months waiting for their trial to begin. Once their trial date comes up, many times the prosecutor isn’t ready or the public defender hasn’t had a chance to see the case, and it’s delayed. So the kid goes back to jail. By the time the case finally comes up, even if the kid is acquitted or takes a plea, he likely owes fines or court costs, which he can’t pay because he hasn’t worked in months. He is unlikely to be able to find a job since he’s been out of the job market for a while and has no way to support himself as a result. If the fines and court costs aren’t paid, a bench warrant is issued for him, which lands him back in jail, where he accumulates more fees. This is not an isolated incident. There are thousands upon thousand of black kids who are in jail because they could not pay fines and court costs associated with minor offenses.

The fact is that the same percentage of white kids smoke pot as black kids do. Since there are about 7 1/2 times as many white kids as black kids in the US, why would there be so many more black kids in jail over pot arrests than white kids? Could it be that black kids, what with stop and frisk laws that target them, are simply arrested more often for minor pot offenses than white kids? Could it be that predominantly white judges don’t rule as harshly or impose as large bail amounts on white kids? There has to be a reason that a smaller population of pot users accounts for a larger population of pot users who are in jail.

Dare I use the…”R” word? How many more instances do we need of, not “isolated examples” but of thousands upon thousands of occasions when whites assert their authority by ensuring that blacks stay in the subservient position in which we’ve always preferred them, then blame them for being there.

Folks, look inside yourselves here. If you were a cop or a judge, and you were presented with a good-looking fair-haired white college boy who was caught with a small amount of pot, and contrast that with seeing a black kid of the same age wearing a hoodie committing the same offense, would you treat them the same? Would you assume that the white kid was just making harmless juvenile mistakes, but the black kid has probably committed other crimes and deserves punishment?

If you were a cop and received a call about a fight in a predominantly black section of your city, and your sergeant told you not to bother because “those people are always fighting”, would you protest? Would you agree?

I’ve been hearing white people lamenting recently that they’re tired of hearing about racism. Well, to those of you who are, imagine how tiring it must be to the victims of it. Your boredom is more evidence of your acceptance of it than of any overuse of the word. It exists. And it exists in us all.

Really.

Americans: Are We Elitist Hate Mongers?

Here is a list of all the groups that I receive hate mail about. Most of it admonishes me for defending members of these groups. Most are also quite reductive in their sentiments. It makes me wonder if we, as Americans, pride ourselves on how many different groups we can hate. To wit…

.Mexicans are invading our culture and taking our jobs. They want what we got.

.Blacks are invading our culture, filling our jails, raping our women and destroying our music. They want what we got.

.Muslims and other Non-Christians, (except in some cases, Jews) are invading our culture, trying persuade us to face Mecca on our knees 5 times daily or some other weird religious traditions (unlike Baptists who drink snake blood and kill live chickens) such as grow beards and make our women cover up with hijabs and force us to follow Sharia law, secretly planning to launch terrorist attacks from within the country and want to convert us all to Islam. They want what we got.

.Communists are invading our culture and want to subjugate us to their failed system of government and make us all allegiant to a dictator. They want what we got.

. Gays are trying to convert us to their lifestyle and have sex with our children. They want to subvert our religion and destroy our families. They don’t want what we got, they got their own, thanks.

Please let me know if I’ve missed anyone.

The point is that when taken in context, we’re some hatin’ sumbitches, aren’t we? But we tell the world that we’re the peacemakers. I know that they don’t believe it, which is why so much of the world is perfectly willing to hate us right back, and we wonder why…

Are we that special, or that stupid?

Racial Pride is Always Stupid

I’ve recently seen many questions regarding racial pride. Some of them are old chestnuts like “how come there isn’t a white history month”? or “how come they can have black pride and gay pride and Mexican pride but when white people say they’re proud, its racism”?

Yes, I have recently seen these banal, childish and uninformed questions all over Facebook and other social media. It makes me wonder if, after hearing these questions for at least 40 years, these people ever actually listen to the answer?

Racial pride is never, ever a good thing. It is usually the result of a particular racial group having felt put-upon, oppressed, or mistreated because of their race. There is no reason to wear your race on your shirtsleeve, as it were, unless in defiance of someone who would diminish you because of your race. Those who are in charge, or in the majority, or actually commit the oppression and mistreatment don’t usually need a reason to be proud of their race.

Now, there are many times when it is the oppressor who, due to the inherent weakness of character which causes him to oppress a less fortunate or less numerous group, reveals his weakness when he complains at the mere suggestion that those who he is oppressing are in fact being oppressed! The possibility of him being called out over his oppression causes him to become defensive of his position, and by doing so, points out what few advantages the oppressed group may have.

His fundamental message is: Just because we have ignored your contribution to this country, just because the south is filled with memorials to Civil War heroes and virtually none to the slaves they were fighting over doesn’t mean that you should have Black History Month. Just because there are hundreds of white supremacist groups claiming thousands of members all over the country doesn’t mean that you can have a 5-10 member Black Panther Party. Anything that you do to promote your group in reaction to our oppression will come under great scrutiny and we will likely use that opportunity to point out even the most miniscule of benefits you’ve derived, such as Affirmative Action, not as a result of our beneficence, but as a result of your resistance to our oppression.

Racism does not mean that you don’t like black people. Racism is simply the act of seeing things through the lens of race. Racism is seeing black people or white people or Asians people or Mexicans or anyone else in the context of their race or nationality before you see them as people. If they, the ones you’ve been oppressing for hundreds of years, try to show pride in who they are, it is because you have tried to demoralize them and diminish all of the inherent pride that people need. The fact that you have been able to do that proves that you are the one with the power, whether earned or not.

No, if you are the man, you don’t need “pride week”. You need to wonder why you’ve created the conditions where others who are not as powerful as you, do.

Explaining a Sunrise to a Blind Man

The question sometimes arises as to who on either side of an argument is more enlightened, or smarter or less naive than the other. It can be pretty difficult when one of the abjectly stupidest, least informed and anti-intellectual human beings you’ve ever met says that talking to you is like “trying to explain a sunrise to a blind man”. Yeah, some yahoo actually said that to me. I then thought about it and realized that I could explain a sunrise to a blind man…but I digress.

When it comes to a particular position on a given subject, I use two tests to measure the thoughtfulness and what I call the opinion-directionality of the people in the discussion.

The measure of thoughtfulness includes whether the position is one of self-service. In other words, if you are right in your contention about racism, Confederate Flags, taxes, gay marriage, or any of a myriad of other subjects, who wins? If, in nearly every case, the answer is YOU, then I have no choice but to question your thoughtfulness, as you have a personal stake in the potential of your opinion prevailing. If you can somehow prove that racism is a fallacy and that black folk hide behind it to get bigger welfare payments while robbing my house and raping my daughter, and you just happen to be white…ya’ see where I’m going here, don’t you?

Now, I’m not suggesting that you can’t be white and have a legitimate argument about the veracity of a person’s stance on racism, but you’re gonna have to do better than just posting every article you see about white-on-black crime and think that you’ve made your point. (I know someone who does that). You’re gonna have to come up with some thoughtful, measured and well analysed arguments that can stand up to scrutiny, since, as I said, it is obviously in your interest to be right, so your argument is likely not the most objective.

The next measurement is the aforementioned opinion-directionality. What this questions is whether your opinion is one you’ve held for your entire life, or one that has evolved over time. The evolved opinion tends to sound a bit more substantive to me, and many others, because it tends to have been adopted after the relevant empirics have told you that your previous opinion, whatever it may have been, was wrong. It was arrived upon, instead of being included with your other mental baggage. Another way of saying it that you can’t change your mind about something unless you’ve actually thought about it. Those opinions that arrived at birth, or as a result of what I call parental attitudinal replication are more suspect since they have obviously been baked into the synaptic cake.

I have yet to meet someone who at one time thought that gay marriage was fine, yet later changed his mind and decided it was wrong. It always seems to go the other way.

I’ve yet to meet someone who once thought all races and religions should live as one and try to get along, yet later changed his mind and decided that white Christians should rule the world. Never, not once.

I’ve never met anyone who once thought that Confederate flags were emblematic of racism, slavery and treason, only to change his mind and decide that they’re just cute little emblems that celebrate Southern history.

The point about opinion-directionality is not that every opinion you’ve had since you pee-ed in place is necessarily wrong, backward and potentially of neanderthalistic origin, but it might prove that you haven’t spent a lot of time on anything remotely resembling introspection.

I have found that liberalism tends to be arrived at, after careful consideration, whereas conservatism tends to be an inherited, knee-jerk reaction to poorly understood events. Crime rises-so put more people in jail. A black guy did it-so they must all be criminals. You know a gay man with AIDS-they’re all filthy sinners. The word conservative itself, based on the premise of conserving, suggests that you like things just the way they’ve always been. Or like your parents had it.

And if I find that you are guilty of one or of both of those traits, as many, many conservatives are, that will make it hard for me to talk to you.

The Supreme Court Ruling On Obamacare Hurts Repubs In A Way That They Hadn’t Considered

I’ve said before that I’m not too enamoured of Hillary Clinton. She voted for the Iraq war and she’s not the most sympathetic of characters. Plus, she’s got a lot of baggage.

I’m actually willing to be convinced that Bush is more liberal than his brother and that Rand Paul is not a total nincompoop. Now, I didn’t say that I was convinced, only that I’m open-minded enough to at least consider them. Hey, I considered voting for McCain in 2008 until he turned ultra-conservative at the last minute.

But here’s the problem:

For all you open-minded Liberals who would consider voting for a Repub this time around, there’s something you’re forgetting-Healthcare. If the Repubs get the Whitehouse and the Congress, there is an excellent chance that they will at least attempt to repeal or severely weaken the ACA. This is a serious problem, folks.

So, bearing that in mind, remember. If you do come across a moderate Repub and think he might be a good fit, I don’t care what he or she says. One way or another, they will attempt to repeal the ACA if for no other reason than to get elected to a second term. Mark my words. Every one of them has already thrown down the gauntlet. That toothpaste won’t go back in that tube. They hate it and will kill it if they can.

So, if you’re like me and not a Hillary fan, we’ve got to get to work boosting someone else from the Democratic party. Failing that, we’ve got to make sure that Hillary wins, even if we have to hold our noses while doing so.

We just don’t have a choice folks.

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