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June 08, 2012


Sorry again, I'm on my annual jaunt to Hue, but this time 4 of my Japanese university students are with me and I'm trying to set up a more permanent program here, so I thought that I would have some time, but as the wi-fi here has gotten more ubiquitous, I've not had the time to post because I'm sending google chats and the like to all and sundry. Strange that.

I really haven't readmuch Bradbury. I did read Dandylion Wine while in high school or junior high school and loved it. I remember it as being a rather nostalgic even sentimental book with scary parts, but perhaps my perceptions where affected by my age.

Up until a year ago I didn't read much sci fi or fantasy. Sice then I swwallowed the Game of Thrones series in one long gulp, and deperae for more, read Paul Hoffman's Left Hand of God series, the first in the Stepehn King collagoration series called something like Mongoliad (I'm gettig aphasic) and just finished a very wierd book about werewolf politics and Strange Gods by James Egan.

The problem for me is that all these books are parts of a series and none of the series are finsihed!

Laura :

May I recommend
Planet of Exile
The Dispossessed
Rocannon's World
by Ursula K. Leguin, and then, if you liked those
The Telling
and her masterpiece
The Left Hand of Darkness

Earth Abides
George R. Stewart

A Canticle for Leibowitz
Walter Miller

Lord of Light
Roger Zelazny

You might find that Louis McMaster Bujold's
The Curse of Chalion
charms you in much the same way as George R.R. Martin's Ice and Fire series. If so, you may like
Cordelia's Honor

Marion Zimmer Bradley's
The Mists of Avalon
is very fine.

Oh, and

The Doomsday Book
by Connie Willis

China Miéville's stuff, is blowing me away, right now.

In junior high school (mid 80's), I was bused to a LAUSD magnet school right next to Palos Verdes, where Bradbury lived. He was notorious for privileging places he could ride his bike. We read Martian Chronicles, Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes, and at the end of the semester Bradbury paid us a visit. It blew me away.

He was so cool, and he knew so much about comic books. And prepared us for Romeo and Juliet and Cyrano de Bergerac. It was very special.

Walter Miller's "Canticle for Leibowitz"

On whatever: How is it that a weather forecast can show a 70% chance of rain on a given day, while also showing a 100% chance of rain for given hours during that same day? Maybe one of our math Phds can weigh in on this one.

On other whatever (from here):">http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2012/06/house-republicans-try-to-create-the-worlds-worst-criminogenic-environment.html">here):

The epidemic of accounting control fraud by financial institutions that drove the Great Recession was the largest and most costly example of white-collar crime in history. But all we have heard from Obama and Holder is minimization of the role of fraud in the crisis and the same abject failure as the Bush administration to prosecute the elite frauds that drove the crisis. The minimization of fraud comes from the death of criminal referrals by the regulatory agencies. Neither the banking regulatory agencies nor the FBI has conducted what would have been considered in our era a serious investigation of an elite financial institution. When it comes to elite frauds; if you don’t look you don’t find. Having falsely claimed that there were only trivial violations of the law, the Obama administration has emasculated its ability to go credibly to the public and warn that the House Republicans are about to recreate the criminogenic environment that produces our recurrent, intensifying financial crises. Holder and Obama cannot credibly claim that the House Republicans are about to allow our financial elites to again grow wealthy through fraud because Holder and Obama are continuing Mukasey and Bush’s policy of granting de facto immunity to the elite criminals who caused the crisis.

Prominent Republican writers have recently urged their Party to destroy crony capitalism. Instead, their representatives are trying to entrench it. Prominent progressives have been urging Obama to destroy crony capitalism. Instead, he has entrenched it by taking his financial advice from Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Geithner, and Bernanke. Neither party is willing to take on their leading source of political contributions. We need a party, an attorney general, and a slew of regulators who will make it their mission to end crony capitalism in America. Europe needs the same thing.

The reason there has been no serious investigation is that any investigation is likely to clarify the relationships between government policy, the policymakers, financial institutions and the financial meltdown. While some number of private sector people might be indicted, maybe even convicted, the fallout would impact too many people in the government to make an investigation a realistic expectation.

It is ultimately the same reason that there was no serious investigation into anything in the Bush administration, there were too many Democrats that either knew too much, or should have, to isolate the blame adequately.

Of course, this is my opinion, only supported by the lack of action (or even demand for action) from the leadership of either party.

Sure, but that doesn't explain the other half of the picture: what we do going forward - defunding the enforcers of existing law and regulation, and fighting tooth and nail against enacted and proposed regulatory legislation, because big finance has such a good track record of self-regulating. Citizens United!

But, everyone does it.

Both sides equally.

For every action there is a corresponding and precisely equal yeah but.

Like these two guys, taking potshots at each other. Well, one shoots, the other bleeds, but the bleeder couldn't bleed without the shooter. In fact, the bleeder enables the shooter by his merely existence in the path of the bullet, thus both equally complicit.


One lawmaker wants to regulate the shooter and his weapon before the shooting can take place. The other wants to gut that regulation and persuade the guy sitting and minding his own business to sit somewhere else and mind his own business (buyer beware) out of the line of fire, to preserve the shooter's freedom.

Plus there's that freedom to bleed that also mustn't be interfered with. It's in the Constipation, if you strain hard enough.

If only the bleeders understood and appreciated that.

One day, the shooters will have so much money behind them via Citizens United that even the bleeders will be persuaded to vote against their interests.

"ure, but that doesn't explain the other half of the picture: what we do going forward - defunding the enforcers of existing law and regulation, and fighting tooth and nail against enacted and proposed regulatory legislation, because big finance has such a good track record of self-regulating. Citizens United!"

My initial response to this would be a long thoughtful comment on the fine lines of all the proposed regulatios, the broad hammer is not really effective due to the secondary effects, etc, blah blah.

After thinking about it, the self regulation has been easily as effective as any government regulation.

If the problem really has to be solved, I have my doubts, then Glass-Steagall type redefinition is more effective than Dodd-Frank government management. G-S is regulation, drawing limits and creating context that allows the entities to work with less intrusion in a pool we feel safer about. Dodd-Frank tries to micromanage these companies externally, making them less sound and, (I suspect,IMHO, etc), more likely creating more hidden unintended consequences.

...then Glass-Steagall type redefinition is more effective than Dodd-Frank government management.

You'll get no disagreement from me on that.

Thanks for the suggestions, Joel. I am going to try several,starting with The Doomsday Book which sort of suits my mood these days.

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