Todays round up – 19th July 2015

1. Southern Heritage
I keep hearing rationalizations for the waving of the Confederate battle flag all of the time right now, as variations on “it celebrates my/our Southern heritage”. Was it this sort of heritage the rationalizers had in mind?
2. The suddenly awkward Donald Trump
Donald Trump appears to have said Awkward Things in the past week or so. He began with some fairly obviously racially prejudicial comments about Mexicans, which nobody in the GOP wanted to talk about. Then he jumped the shark by complaining that Sen. John McCain was not a real war hero because he got captured. At this point, a number of prospective GOP candidates felt obliged to condemn his comments. This would be OK, until you remember that some of these gentlemen were quite cheerfully supporting the 2004 SwiftBoat smearing of John Kerry. Like a certain John Ellis Bush. Quite why somebody in the media doesn’t publicly ridicule and mock him for his hypocrisy I cannot fathom. Sometimes ridiculous comments deserve only ridicule. While we are at it, we could also laugh at him for his ludicrously non self-aware comments about people needing to work harder.

3. Gene Simmons, the 1%, and millionaire conceit
Gene Simmons (yes, that Gene Simmons, he of Kiss), like many wealthy people, suffers from the conceit that the world would be a much better place if everybody thought and acted just like him. He also appears to think that the 99% should be nice to the 1% because..well, apparently, according to him, they fund just about everything.
Gene appears to have forgotten some fundamental truisms. Gene, you non-self-aware twit, let me try to educate you.
1. Nobody is indispensible
If the 1% were to disappear tonight, the next 1% would move up to take their place. Yes, Kiss would be replaced by…eegads, do I have to imagine this?
2. Respect is given, not earned
If the 1% want to be respected, they should try behaving like normal people and less like conceited, entitled, whiny jackasses.
3. It is better to keep your mouth shut…
..and be thought a fool, than you open your mouth and remove all doubt. (COUGH).
Anyway, it appears that this journalist has already pointed out a few of the flaws in Gene’s bloviations.

4. The Greece Crisis
This one will run and run. The proposed third bailout of Greece is not going to be any more succcessful than the first two bailouts. The main reason is that Greece is utterly bankrupt and has no positive creditworthiness. It therefore cannot borrow to pay its debts. The IMF knows this and has stated this publicly. That now gives the ECB a major problem, since its rules, if interpreted literally, prevent it from writing off countries’ debts.
The problem is that without a significant debt write-off, it is difficult to see how Greece can ever become solvent. In the meantime, the country will continue to exist on drip-feed loans from the ECB. This will result in further contraction of the economy, which will ultimately result in social unrest.My fear is that fascist, nativist parties will then gain control, at which point…it will only be a matter of time before Greece leaves the EU.

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