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Check out this profitable investment image:
Growing Free Money on Flowers
Image by epSos.de
Cool picture about free money that is growing on yellow flowers. This picture was made by my green friend epSos.de and can be used for free, if you link epSos.de as the original author of the image.
The accounts of the money in this picture are from Europe and there are called Euros. The Euro is the second money of the biggest reserve as well as the second money most changed into the world after the dollar of the United States. The name, the Euro, officially was adopted on December 16, 1995.
The Euro manages and administered by European Central Bank (ECB) of Frankfurt and the Eurosystem (formed of the central banks of the countries of the Eurozone). As an independent central bank, the ECB has the only authority to set the monetary policy. The Eurosystem takes part in the printing, to mint and the distribution of notes and coins in all the Member states and the operation of the systems of payment of the Eurozone.
The capital inside the European Union can be transferred in any quantity from one country to another. All the transferences of the European IntraUnión in the Euro treat each other like domestic deals and reduce the domestic transference expenses accordingly.
A monetary sign of the special Euro (€) was designed after a public review had limited ten original designs to just two. The European Commission at that time chose the design created by the Belgian, Alain Billiet.
In whole, more than 150 million persons in Africa use a currency fixed to the Euro and 25 million persons outside of the Eurozone in Europe and more than 500,000 persons on Pacific islands.
The most obvious advantage of adopting a common currency is the lowering of the cost of exchanging money, theoretically allowing businesses and individuals to complete commerce transactions easier and slightly more profitably.
The absence of different currencies also removes risks of exchange rate fluctuation. The risk of the movement of an exchange rate has always added an additional risk for companies and individuals who invest or trade using the currency from their own areas.
The introduction of the Euro has led to reduced risks of inflation, also. In the short term, there was concern that the adaption of the Euro would increase prices, but this fear wasn’t confirmed by general indexes of inflation and other studies.
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Check Out These Aircraft That Helped Save Our Freedom And Make Our Country Great
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: North American P-51C, "Excalibur III", with tails of Concorde & Boeing 707 in background
Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | North American P-51C, "Excalibur III":
On May 29, 1951, Capt. Charles F. Blair flew Excalibur III from Norway across the North Pole to Alaska in a record-setting 10½ hours. Using a system of carefully plotted "sun lines" he developed, Blair was able to navigate with precision where conventional magnetic compasses often failed. Four months earlier, he had flown Excalibur III from New York to London in less than 8 hours, breaking the existing mark by over an hour.
Excalibur III first belonged to famed aviator A. Paul Mantz, who added extra fuel tanks for long-distance racing to this standard P-51C fighter. With it Mantz won the 1946 and 1947 Bendix air race and set a transcontinental speed record in 1947 when the airplane was named Blaze of Noon. Blair purchased it from Mantz in 1949 and renamed it Excalibur III, after the Sikorsky VS-44 flying boat he flew for American Export Airlines.
Gift of Pan American World Airways
North American Aircraft Company
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Wingspan: 11.3 m (37 ft)
Length: 9.8 m (32 ft 3 in)
Height: 3.9 m (12 ft 10 in)
Weight, empty: 4,445 kg (9,800 lb)
Weight, gross: 5,052 kg (11,800 lb)
Top speed: 700 km/h (435 mph)
Single seat, single engine, low wing monoplane, World War II fighter modified for racing.
• • • • •
On July 15, 1954, a graceful, swept-winged aircraft, bedecked in brown and yellow paint and powered by four revolutionary new engines first took to the sky above Seattle. Built by the Boeing Aircraft Company, the 367-80, better known as the Dash 80, would come to revolutionize commercial air transportation when its developed version entered service as the famous Boeing 707, America’s first jet airliner.
In the early 1950s, Boeing had begun to study the possibility of creating a jet-powered military transport and tanker to complement the new generation of Boeing jet bombers entering service with the U.S. Air Force. When the Air Force showed no interest, Boeing invested million of its own capital to build a prototype jet transport in a daring gamble that the airlines and the Air Force would buy it once the aircraft had flown and proven itself. As Boeing had done with the B-17, it risked the company on one roll of the dice and won.
Boeing engineers had initially based the jet transport on studies of improved designs of the Model 367, better known to the public as the C-97 piston-engined transport and aerial tanker. By the time Boeing progressed to the 80th iteration, the design bore no resemblance to the C-97 but, for security reasons, Boeing decided to let the jet project be known as the 367-80.
Work proceeded quickly after the formal start of the project on May 20, 1952. The 367-80 mated a large cabin based on the dimensions of the C-97 with the 35-degree swept-wing design based on the wings of the B-47 and B-52 but considerably stiffer and incorporating a pronounced dihedral. The wings were mounted low on the fuselage and incorporated high-speed and low-speed ailerons as well as a sophisticated flap and spoiler system. Four Pratt & Whitney JT3 turbojet engines, each producing 10,000 pounds of thrust, were mounted on struts beneath the wings.
Upon the Dash 80’s first flight on July 15, 1954, (the 34th anniversary of the founding of the Boeing Company) Boeing clearly had a winner. Flying 100 miles per hour faster than the de Havilland Comet and significantly larger, the new Boeing had a maximum range of more than 3,500 miles. As hoped, the Air Force bought 29 examples of the design as a tanker/transport after they convinced Boeing to widen the design by 12 inches. Satisfied, the Air Force designated it the KC-135A. A total of 732 KC-135s were built.
Quickly Boeing turned its attention to selling the airline industry on this new jet transport. Clearly the industry was impressed with the capabilities of the prototype 707 but never more so than at the Gold Cup hydroplane races held on Lake Washington in Seattle, in August 1955. During the festivities surrounding this event, Boeing had gathered many airline representatives to enjoy the competition and witness a fly past of the new Dash 80. To the audience’s intense delight and Boeing’s profound shock, test pilot Alvin "Tex" Johnston barrel-rolled the Dash 80 over the lake in full view of thousands of astonished spectators. Johnston vividly displayed the superior strength and performance of this new jet, readily convincing the airline industry to buy this new airliner.
In searching for a market, Boeing found a ready customer in Pan American Airway’s president Juan Trippe. Trippe had been spending much of his time searching for a suitable jet airliner to enable his pioneering company to maintain its leadership in international air travel. Working with Boeing, Trippe overcame Boeing’s resistance to widening the Dash-80 design, now known as the 707, to seat six passengers in each seat row rather than five. Trippe did so by placing an order with Boeing for 20 707s but also ordering 25 of Douglas’s competing DC-8, which had yet to fly but could accommodate six-abreast seating. At Pan Am’s insistence, the 707 was made four inches wider than the Dash 80 so that it could carry 160 passengers six-abreast. The wider fuselage developed for the 707 became the standard design for all of Boeing’s subsequent narrow-body airliners.
Although the British de Havilland D.H. 106 Comet and the Soviet Tupolev Tu-104 entered service earlier, the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 were bigger, faster, had greater range, and were more profitable to fly. In October 1958 Pan American ushered the jet age into the United States when it opened international service with the Boeing 707 in October 1958. National Airlines inaugurated domestic jet service two months later using a 707-120 borrowed from Pan Am. American Airlines flew the first domestic 707 jet service with its own aircraft in January 1959. American set a new speed mark when it opened the first regularly-scheduled transcontinental jet service in 1959. Subsequent nonstop flights between New York and San Francisco took only 5 hours – 3 hours less than by the piston-engine DC-7. The one-way fare, including a surcharge for jet service, was 5.50, or 1 round trip. The flight was almost 40 percent faster and almost 25 percent cheaper than flying by piston-engine airliners. The consequent surge of traffic demand was substantial.
The 707 was originally designed for transcontinental or one-stop transatlantic range. But modified with extra fuel tanks and more efficient turbofan engines, the 707-300 Intercontinental series aircraft could fly nonstop across the Atlantic with full payload under any conditions. Boeing built 855 707s, of which 725 were bought by airlines worldwide.
Having launched the Boeing Company into the commercial jet age, the Dash 80 soldiered on as a highly successful experimental aircraft. Until its retirement in 1972, the Dash 80 tested numerous advanced systems, many of which were incorporated into later generations of jet transports. At one point, the Dash 80 carried three different engine types in its four nacelles. Serving as a test bed for the new 727, the Dash 80 was briefly equipped with a fifth engine mounted on the rear fuselage. Engineers also modified the wing in planform and contour to study the effects of different airfoil shapes. Numerous flap configurations were also fitted including a highly sophisticated system of "blown" flaps which redirected engine exhaust over the flaps to increase lift at low speeds. Fin height and horizontal stabilizer width was later increased and at one point, a special multiple wheel low pressure landing gear was fitted to test the feasibility of operating future heavy military transports from unprepared landing fields.
After a long and distinguished career, the Boeing 367-80 was finally retired and donated to the Smithsonian in 1972. At present, the aircraft is installated at the National Air and Space Museum’s new facility at Washington Dulles International Airport.
Gift of the Boeing Company
Boeing Aircraft Co.
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Height 19′ 2": Length 73′ 10": Wing Span 129′ 8": Weight 33,279 lbs.
Prototype Boeing 707; yellow and brown.
• • • • •
The first supersonic airliner to enter service, the Concorde flew thousands of passengers across the Atlantic at twice the speed of sound for over 25 years. Designed and built by Aérospatiale of France and the British Aviation Corporation, the graceful Concorde was a stunning technological achievement that could not overcome serious economic problems.
In 1976 Air France and British Airways jointly inaugurated Concorde service to destinations around the globe. Carrying up to 100 passengers in great comfort, the Concorde catered to first class passengers for whom speed was critical. It could cross the Atlantic in fewer than four hours – half the time of a conventional jet airliner. However its high operating costs resulted in very high fares that limited the number of passengers who could afford to fly it. These problems and a shrinking market eventually forced the reduction of service until all Concordes were retired in 2003.
In 1989, Air France signed a letter of agreement to donate a Concorde to the National Air and Space Museum upon the aircraft’s retirement. On June 12, 2003, Air France honored that agreement, donating Concorde F-BVFA to the Museum upon the completion of its last flight. This aircraft was the first Air France Concorde to open service to Rio de Janeiro, Washington, D.C., and New York and had flown 17,824 hours.
Gift of Air France.
Wingspan: 25.56 m (83 ft 10 in)
Length: 61.66 m (202 ft 3 in)
Height: 11.3 m (37 ft 1 in)
Weight, empty: 79,265 kg (174,750 lb)
Weight, gross: 181,435 kg (400,000 lb)
Top speed: 2,179 km/h (1350 mph)
Engine: Four Rolls-Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593 Mk 602, 17,259 kg (38,050 lb) thrust each
Manufacturer: Société Nationale Industrielle Aérospatiale, Paris, France, and British Aircraft Corporation, London, United Kingdom
Aircaft Serial Number: 205. Including four (4) engines, bearing respectively the serial number: CBE066, CBE062, CBE086 and CBE085.
Also included, aircraft plaque: "AIR FRANCE Lorsque viendra le jour d’exposer Concorde dans un musee, la Smithsonian Institution a dores et deja choisi, pour le Musee de l’Air et de l’Espace de Washington, un appariel portant le couleurs d’Air France."
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: View of south hangar, including B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay”, a glimpse of the Air France Concorde, and many others
Image by Chris Devers
Quoting Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay":
Boeing’s B-29 Superfortress was the most sophisticated propeller-driven bomber of World War II and the first bomber to house its crew in pressurized compartments. Although designed to fight in the European theater, the B-29 found its niche on the other side of the globe. In the Pacific, B-29s delivered a variety of aerial weapons: conventional bombs, incendiary bombs, mines, and two nuclear weapons.
On August 6, 1945, this Martin-built B-29-45-MO dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, Bockscar (on display at the U.S. Air Force Museum near Dayton, Ohio) dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. Enola Gay flew as the advance weather reconnaissance aircraft that day. A third B-29, The Great Artiste, flew as an observation aircraft on both missions.
Transferred from the United States Air Force.
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Overall: 900 x 3020cm, 32580kg, 4300cm (29ft 6 5/16in. x 99ft 1in., 71825.9lb., 141ft 15/16in.)
Polished overall aluminum finish
Four-engine heavy bomber with semi-monoqoque fuselage and high-aspect ratio wings. Polished aluminum finish overall, standard late-World War II Army Air Forces insignia on wings and aft fuselage and serial number on vertical fin; 509th Composite Group markings painted in black; "Enola Gay" in black, block letters on lower left nose.
The Southern Fried Chicks Comedy Tour
Shipshewana, IN (PRWEB) March 04, 2015
The Southern Fried Chicks Comedy Tour is the best “Girls Night Out” show on the road today. Starring Etta May, Sonya White, Karen Mills, and Trish Suhr, the Southern Fried Chicks is the top-grossing female comedy tour — performing to sold-out theaters across the country and will be in Shipshewana on Friday, March 6th at 7pm.
The Southern Fried Chick’s humor encompasses the gamut of women’s experiences with no apologies or excuses. This hilarious and often irreverent take on female life exposes the myth that women can have it all. These comics hold nothing back as they reveal their faults, failures, and shortcomings. Audiences will laugh out loud as they relate to experiences common to all women, and will find that laughing through the difficulties beats crying through them. Patrons will leave the theatre feeling like they have been on a mini-vacation with their best friends.
Etta May is known as the “Queen of Southern Sass” — she gives the straight-up truth like few have the guts to. Born in Bald Knob, AR, the only girl in a family of 10 children, Etta May grew up a survivor with a rusty spoon in her mouth. She married an ex-truck driver, had four kids of her own, and quips that three out of her four kids have a parole officer, but other than that, life has been good. As she says, “My show is more like a public service announcement, once you see my life, you’re going to feel a whole lot better about yours.”
Winner of the prestigious American Comedy Award, Etta skillfully weaves the audience through her life story, that is not only funny, but makes attendees feel like they’re sitting in their living room talking to their best friend. Her style and delivery secures her spot as a comedy legend. She has appeared on Oprah, Showtime’s Aspen Comedy Special with Jerry Seinfeld and Sunday Morning on CBS, and she stole the show with her hilarious performance on The Comedy Store’s Anniversary Special, on NBC. She is an audience favorite on syndicated radio shows such as Bob & Tom, Blue Collar Comedy, and Laugh USA. Look for Etta May on new standup shows like Laughs on Fox, and Comedy Stage on CMT.
Sonya White, originally from Virginia, combines Southern charm with big city smarts. She boasts national television credits such as Fox Network’s Nightshift, and the Family Channel’s Big Brother Jake, and has done colorful national promos for Jerry Springer and his infamous The Jerry Springer Show. Also known for her dead-on impersonations and sound effects, Sonya is truly an urban lady as the featured comedienne for Verizon Wireless on their Fun and Games movie accessory option — nothing says “city girl” quite like that!
Karen Mills first started entertaining crowds in the sports arena. She played college basketball at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga where she earned All-American honors and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Karen is a veteran comedian who has worked with Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, and was contributing writer for the Rosie O’Donnell Show. Karen grew up in the small town of Cleveland, TN, but after graduating from college moved to Atlanta, GA. Thanks to good books, good therapy, and of course, Oprah, this one-time country bumpkin has evolved into an enlightened, forward-thinking woman of the world.
Trish Suhr began her stand-up career in Los Angeles after leaving the family funeral business in her hometown of Middlesboro, KY. Since her arrival, she has become a regular performer on the longest running all-female comedy show Pretty Funny Women and is featured on The Southern Belles of Comedy DVD, starring Brett Butler. Television credits include Girls Behaving Badly and her regular gig as co-host of The Style Channel’s Clean House. Trish has also been to Afghanistan several times performing for US troops.
THE Sex Ladder (1964) … Item 4.. FSU News – The Demanding Side Of The Political Equation… Item 5.. Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced (full album) UK …
Opinions On Our Current Political Abyss And Some Relaxing Tunes
Image by marsmet525
We must stop examining the supply side of the equation, and instead look to the demanders.
…….***** All images are copyrighted by their respective authors ……
Rolling Stones Politics
The problems are many. Too many. Our eyes get fixed upon one among them, and our passions get devoted to fixing that one. In that focus, however, we fail to see the thread that ties them all together.
We are, to steal from Thoreau, the “thousand[s] hacking at the branches of evil,” with “[no]one striking at the root.”
ITEM 1)< /b> Rollingstone Politics
Lawrence Lessig on How We Lost Our Democracy
‘Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress – and a Plan to Stop It’
by Lawrence Lessig
Courtesy of Twelve/Hachette Book Group
POSTED: October 5, 3:25 PM ET | By Lawrence Lessig
The following is an excerpt from Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress – and a Plan to Stop It by Lawrence Lessig.
There is a feeling today among too many Americans that we might not make it. Not that the end is near, or that doom is around the corner, but that a distinctly American feeling of inevitability, of greatness—culturally, economically, politically—is gone. That we have become Britain. Or Rome. Or Greece. A generation ago Ronald Reagan rallied the nation to deny a similar charge: Jimmy Carter’s worry that our nation had fallen into a state of “malaise.” I was one of those so rallied, and I still believe that Reagan was right. But the feeling I am talking about today is different: not that we, as a people, have lost anything of our potential, but that we, as a republic, have. That our capacity for governing—the product, in part, of a Constitution we have revered for more than two centuries—has come to an end. That the thing that we were once most proud of—this, our republic—is the one thing that we have all learned to ignore. Government is an embarrassment. It has lost the capacity to make the most essential decisions. And slowly it begins to dawn upon us: a ship that can’t be steered is a ship that will sink.
We didn’t always feel this way. There were times when we were genuinely proud—as a people, and as a republic—and when we proudly boasted to the world about the Framers’ (flawed but still) ingenious design. No doubt, we still speak of the founding with reverence. But we seem to miss that the mess that is our government today grew out of the genius that the Framers crafted two centuries ago. That, however much we condemn what government has become, we forget it is the heir to something we still believe divine. We inherited an extraordinary estate. On our watch, we have let it fall to ruin.
The clue that something is very wrong is the endless list of troubles that sit on our collective plate but that never get resolved: bloated and inefficient bureaucracies; an invisible climate policy; a tax code that would embarrass Dickens; health care policies that have little to do with health; regulations designed to protect inefficiency; environmental policies that exempt the producers of the greatest environmental harms; food that is too expensive (since protected); food that is unsafe (since unregulated); a financial system that has already caused great harm, has been left unreformed, and is primed and certain to cause great harm again.
The problems are many. Too many. Our eyes get fixed upon one among them, and our passions get devoted to fixing that one. In that focus, however, we fail to see the thread that ties them all together.
We are, to steal from Thoreau, the “thousand[s] hacking at the branches of evil,” with “[n]one striking at the root.”
This book names that root. It aims to inspire “rootstrikers.” The root—not the single cause of everything that ails us, not the one reform that would make democracy hum, but instead, the root, the thing that feeds the other ills, and the thing that we must kill first. The cure that would be generative—the single, if impossibly difficult, intervention that would give us the chance to repair the rest.
For we have no choice but to try to repair the rest. Republicans and Democrats alike insist we are on a collision course with history. Our government has made fiscal promises it cannot keep. Yet we ignore them. Our planet spins furiously to a radically changed climate, certain to impose catastrophic costs on a huge portion of the world’s population. We ignore this, too. Everything our government -touches—from health care to Social Security to the monopoly rights we call patents and copyright—it poisons. Yet our leaders seem oblivious to the thought that there’s anything that needs fixing. They preen about, ignoring the elephant in the room. They act as if Ben Franklin would be proud.
Ben Franklin would weep. The republic that he helped birth is lost. The 89 percent of Americans who have no confidence in Congress (as reported by the latest Gallup poll) are not idiots. They are not even wrong. Yet they fail to recognize just why this government doesn’t deserve our confidence. Most of us get distracted. Most of us ignore the root.
We were here at least once before
One hundred years ago America had an extraordinary political choice. The election of 1912 gave voters an unprecedented range of candidates for president of the United States.
On the far Right was the “stand pat,” first-term Republican William Howard Taft, who had served as Teddy Roosevelt’s secretary of war, but who had not carried forward the revolution on the Right that Roosevelt thought he had started.
On the far Left was the most successful socialist candidate for president in American history, Eugene Debs, who had run for president twice before, and who would run again, from prison, in 1920 and win the largest popular vote that any socialist has ever received in a national American election.
In the middle were two “Progressives”: the immensely popular former president Teddy Roosevelt, who had imposed upon himself a two-term limit, but then found the ideals of reform that he had launched languishing within the Republican Party; and New Jersey’s governor and former Princeton University president Woodrow Wilson, who promised the political machine–-bound Democratic Party the kind of reform that Roosevelt had begun within the Republican Party.
These two self-described Progressives were very different. Roosevelt was a big-government reformer. Wilson, at least before the First World War, was a small-government, pro-federalist reformer. Each saw the same overwhelming threat to America’s democracy—the capture of government by powerful special interests—even if each envisioned a very different remedy for that capture. Roosevelt wanted a government large enough to match the concentrated economic power that was then growing in America; Wilson, following Louis Brandeis, wanted stronger laws limiting the size of the concentrated economic power then growing in America.
Presidential reelection campaigns are not supposed to be bloody political battles. But Taft had proven himself to be a particularly inept politician (he was later a much better chief justice of the Supreme Court), and after Roosevelt’s term ended, business interests had reasserted their dominant control of the Republican Party. Yet even though dissent was growing across the political spectrum, few seemed to doubt that the president would be reelected. Certainly Roosevelt felt certain enough of that to delay any suggestion that he would enter the race to challenge his own hand-picked successor.
A Wisconsin Republican changed all that. In January 1911, Senator Robert La Follette and his followers launched the National Progressive Republican League. Soon after, La Follette announced his own campaign for the presidency. Declaring that “popular government in America has been thwarted…by the special interests,” the League advocated five core reforms, all of which attacked problems of process, not substance. The first four demanded changes to strengthen popular control of government (the election of senators, direct primaries, direct election of delegates to presidential conventions, and the spread of the state initiative process). The last reform demanded “a thoroughgoing corrupt practices act.”
La Follette’s campaign initially drew excitement and important support. It faltered, however, when he seemed to suffer a mental breakdown during a speech at a press dinner in Philadelphia. But the campaign outed, and increasingly embarrassed, the “stand pat” Republicans. As Roosevelt would charge in April 1912:
The Republican party is now facing a great crisis. It is to decide whether it will be, as in the days of Lincoln, the party of the plain people, the party of progress, the party of social and industrial justice; or whether it will be the party of privilege and of special interests, the heir to those who were Lincoln’s most bitter opponents, the party that represents the great interests within and without Wall Street which desire through their control over the servants of the public to be kept immune from punishment when they do wrong and to be given privileges to which they are not entitled.
The term progressive is a confused and much misunderstood moniker for perhaps the most important political movement at the turn of the last century. We confuse it today with liberals, but back then there were progressives of every political stripe in America—on the Left and on the Right, and with dimensional spins in the middle (the Prohibitionists, for example). Yet one common thread that united these different strands of reform was the recognition that democratic government in America had been captured. Journalists and writers at the turn of the twentieth century taught America “that business corrupts politics,” as Richard McCormick put it. Corruption of the grossest forms—the sort that would make convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff wince—was increasingly seen to be the norm throughout too much of American government. Democracy, as in rule of the people, was a joke. As historian George Thayer wrote, describing the “golden age of boodle” (1876–-1926): “Never has the American political process been so corrupt. No office was too high to purchase, no man too pure to bribe, no principle too sacred to destroy, no law too fundamental to break.”
Or again, Teddy Roosevelt (1910): “Exactly as the special interests of cotton and slavery threatened our political integrity before the Civil War, so now the great special business interests too often control and corrupt the men and methods of government for their own profit.”
To respond to this “corruption,” Progressives launched a series of reforms to reclaim government. Many of these reforms were hopeless disasters (the ballot initiative and elected judges), and some were both disasters and evil (Prohibition and eugenics, to name just two). But mistakes notwithstanding, the Progressive Era represents an unprecedented moment of experimentation and engagement, all motivated by a common recognition that the idea of popular sovereignty in America had been sold. The problem was not, as McCormick describes, a “product of misbehavior by ‘bad’ men,” but was instead now seen as the predictable “outcome of identifiable economic and political forces.”
That recognition manifested itself powerfully on November 5, 1912: The incumbent Republican placed third (23.2 percent) in the -four–man race; the socialist, a distant fourth (6 percent); and Teddy Roosevelt (27.4 percent) got bested by the “new” Democrat, Woodrow Wilson (41.8 percent).
Yet only when you add together these two self-identified Pro-gressives do you get a clear sense of the significance of 1912: almost 70 percent of America had voted for a “progressive.” Seventy percent of America had said, “This democracy is corrupted; we demand it be fixed.” Seventy percent refused to “stand pat.”
A century later we suffer the same struggle, but without anything like the same clarity. A “fierce discontent,” as Roosevelt described America in 1906, is once again raging throughout the republic. Now, as then, it gets expressed as “agitation” against “evil,” and a “firm determination to punish the authors of evil, whether in industry or politics.” We look to a collapsed economy, to raging deficits, to a Wall Street not yet held to account, and we feel entitled to our anger. And so extreme is that entitlement that it makes even violence seem sensible, if only to the predictably insane extremes in any modern society.
Roosevelt was encouraged by this agitation against evil. It was, he said, a “feeling that is to be heartily welcomed.” It was “a sign,” he promised, “of healthy life.”
Yet today such agitation is not a sign of healthy life. It is a symptom of ignorance. For though the challenge we face is again the battle against a democracy deflected by special interests, our struggle is not against “evil,” or even the “authors of evil.” Our struggle is against something much more banal. Not the banal in the now-overused sense of Hannah Arendt’s The Banality of Evil—of ordinary people enabling unmatched evil (Hitler’s Germany). Our banality is one step more, well, banal.
For the enemy we face is not Hitler. Neither is it the good Germans who would enable a Hitler. Our enemy is the good Germans (us) who would enable a harm infinitely less profound, yet economically and politically catastrophic nonetheless. A harm caused by a kind of corruption. But not the corruption engendered by evil souls. Indeed, strange as this might sound, a corruption crafted by good souls. By decent men. And women. And if we’re to do anything about this corruption, we must learn to agitate against more than evil. We must remember that harm sometimes comes from timid, even pathetic souls. That the enemy doesn’t always march. Sometimes it simply shuffles.
The great threat to our republic today comes not from the hidden bribery of the Gilded Age, when cash was secreted among members of Congress to buy privilege and secure wealth. The great threat today is instead in plain sight. It is the economy of influence now transparent to all, which has normalized a process that draws our democracy away from the will of the people. A process that distorts our democracy from ends sought by both the Left and the Right: For the single most salient feature of the government that we have evolved is not that it discriminates in favor of one side and against the other. The single most salient feature is that it discriminates against all sides to favor itself. We have created an engine of influence that seeks not some particular strand of political or economic ideology, whether Marx or Hayek. We have created instead an engine of influence that seeks simply to make those most connected rich.
As a former young Republican—-indeed, Pennsylvania’s state chairman of the Teen Age Republicans—I don’t mean to rally anyone against the rich. But I do mean to rally Republicans and Democrats alike against a certain kind of rich that no theorist on the Right or the Left has ever sought seriously to defend: The rich whose power comes not from hard work, creativity, innovation, or the creation of wealth. The rich who instead secure their wealth through the manipulation of government and politicians. The great evil that we as Americans face is the banal evil of second-rate minds who can’t make it in the private sector and who therefore turn to the massive wealth directed by our government as the means to securing wealth for themselves. The enemy is not evil. The enemy is well dressed.
Theorists of corruption don’t typically talk much about decent souls. Their focus is upon criminals—the venally corrupt, who bribe to buy privilege, or the systematically corrupt, who make the people (or, better, the rich) dependent upon the government to ensure that the people (or, better, the rich) protect the government.
So, too, when we speak of politicians and our current system of governance, many of us think of our government as little more than criminal, or as crime barely hidden—from Jack Abramoff (“I was participating in a system of legalized bribery. All of it is bribery, every bit of it”) to Judge Richard Posner (“the legislative system [is] one of quasi-bribery”) to Carlyle Group cofounder David Rubenstein (“legalized bribery”) to former congressman and CIA director Leon Panetta (“legalized bribery has become part of the culture of how this place operates”) to one of the Senate’s most important figures, Russell B. Long (D-La.; 1949-1987) (“Almost a hairline’s difference separates bribes and contributions”).
But in this crude form, in America at least, such crimes are rare. At the federal level, bribery is almost extinct. There are a handful of pathologically stupid souls bartering government favors for private kickbacks, but very few. And at both the federal and the state levels, the kind of Zimbabwean control over economic activity is just not within our DNA. So if only the criminal are corrupt, then ours is not a corrupt government.
The aim of this book, however, is to convince you that a much more virulent, if much less crude, corruption does indeed wreck our democracy. Not a corruption caused by a gaggle of evil souls. On the contrary, a corruption practiced by decent people, people we should respect, people working extremely hard to do what they believe is right, yet decent people working with a system that has evolved the most elaborate and costly bending of democratic government in our history. There are good people here, yet extraordinary bad gets done.
This corruption has two elements, each of which feeds the other. The first element is bad governance, which means simply that our government doesn’t track the expressed will of the people, whether on the Left or on the Right. Instead, the government tracks a different interest, one not directly affected by votes or voters. Democracy, on this account, seems a show or a ruse; power rests elsewhere.
The second element is lost trust: when democracy seems a charade, we lose faith in its process. That doesn’t matter to some of us—we will vote and participate regardless. But to more rational souls, the charade is a signal: spend your time elsewhere, because this game is not for real. Participation thus declines, especially among the sensible middle. Policy gets driven by the extremists at both ends.
In the first three parts of what follows, I show how these elements of corruption fit together. I want you to understand the way they connect, and how they feed on each other. In the book’s final part, I explore how we might do something about them.
The prognosis is not good. The disease we face is not one that nations cure, or, at least, cure easily. But we should understand the options. For few who work to understand what has gone wrong will be willing to accept defeat—without a fight.
From the book Republic, Lost. Copyright (c) 2011 by Lawrence Lessig. Reprinted by permission of Twelve/Hachette Book Group, New York, NY. All rights reserved.
• How Money Corrupts Congress: Interview with Lawrence Lessig
ITEM 2) Teddy Roosevelt (1910): “Exactly as the special interests of cotton and slavery threatened our political integrity before the Civil War, so now the great special business interests too often control and corrupt the men and methods of government for their own profit.”
ITEM 3) So, too, when we speak of politicians and our current system of governance, many of us think of our government as little more than criminal, or as crime barely hidden—from Jack Abramoff (“I was participating in a system of legalized bribery. All of it is bribery, every bit of it”) to Judge Richard Posner (“the legislative system [is] one of quasi-bribery”) to Carlyle Group cofounder David Rubenstein (“legalized bribery”) to former congressman and CIA director Leon Panetta (“legalized bribery has become part of the culture of how this place operates”) to one of the Senate’s most important figures, Russell B. Long (D-La.; 1949-1987) (“Almost a hairline’s difference separates bribes and contributions”).
Item 4) FSU News www.fsunews.com …
The demanding side of the political equation
10:25 PM, Oct. 24, 2012 |
Senior Staff Writer
FSU News – Chad Squitieri
Now that the presidential debates are over, I find myself as an onlooker being left without satisfaction. A debate is an opportunity for two candidates to engage in a thought provoking discussion that highlights their differences from one another. What we often end up with in debates is little more than sidestepping and finger pointing.
Looking forward to debates to come, my wish is that they will consist of more substance, and fewer talking points. This wish of course can easily be shrugged off as little more than the naïve daydream of a college student; a thought destined to never materialize. The way to see this apparent pipedream become reality, however, is more in the hands of the voter than one might expect.
Political debates have never been known for their politeness, and this election cycle stayed true to form. While it may be accurate that politics in this country have always been highly contested matters with the ability to bring out plenty of emotions, it is also true that the mechanics of politics have seemed to stay in step with the rest of our society. It seems that in today’s political realm, it is becoming more and more “cool” to be rude to your opponent. The rationale behind this action is explained by the fact that candidates feel they can rally their bases in opposition to the other candidate by acting in ways we have witnessed over this debate cycle.
Actions such as talking over one another, name calling and finger pointing come to mind. The bigger question, though, is why do candidates feel they can better rally their bases by acting in a way that seems to turn the discussion into little more than a spectacle as compared to a way that better gets a candidate’s core message to voters. To answer this question, we must stop examining the supply side of the equation, and instead look to the demanders.
The demanders in any election are the voters. It is the voters that make up the political market, and it is this market that the suppliers, the candidates, bring their ideas. It is the nature of politicians to behave in ways the public wants them to behave. Having this thought in mind, it becomes easily identifiable why our politicians would act in ways that would otherwise seem counterproductive to the political process. It is because that is what we ask for.
If as a whole we demand to see politics turned into a spectacle consisting of little more than name calling and snarky, eight-second clips intended to make the front side of the evening news, then that is what our candidates will supply us with. If we instead insist on a more thought-provoking discussion which gets at the fundamentals, then candidates will have the incentive to provide just that.
As the next generation, we will have the ability to steer the course of the political process in this country. Whether we choose to end up with more political gridlock and wordplay, or instead choose straightforwardness and seek results is to be determined.
ITEM 5) – YouTube Video Tunes -Jimi Hendrix – Are you Experienced (full album) UK
Published on Nov 16, 2012 by gunsgifts galleries
1. "Foxy Lady" 0:00
2. "Manic Depression" 3:22
3. "Red House" 7:08
4. "Can You See Me" 11:01
5. "Love or Confusion" 13:19
6. "I Don’t Live Today" 16:33
1. "May This Be Love" 20:51
2. "Fire" 24:05
3. "Third Stone from the Sun" 26:52
4. "Remember" 33:42
5. "Are You Experienced?" 36:35
1997 Experience Hendrix reissue bonus tracks
1. "Hey Joe" (Billy Roberts) 40:05
2. "Stone Free" 43:35
3. "Purple Haze" 47:18
4. "51st Anniversary" 50:02
5. "The Wind Cries Mary" 53:17
6. "Highway Chile" 56:37
Standard YouTube License
Batman’s “The Tumbler”: Ultimate Play Features Edition
Image by HJ Media Studios
Yes, I know there are a lot of Lego Tumblers out there, many of them to the same minifig scale as mine, but none of those other Batmobiles have the sturdy construction (this can survive a six-foot drop; many of the earlier prototypes could not) and the huge wealth of play features. In ascending order of coolness:
1. Extendable Bat-Wings pop out of the sides.
2. A hidden jet thruster emerges from the back panel, like in the Dark Knight film.
3. The top opens, allowing full access to the comfortable interior.
4. Deployable Bat-Missiles pop out of the hood.
5. Deployable Bat-Missiles spring into readiness from hidden panels on the sides of the Tumbler’s body.
6. In the event that the Tumbler becomes destroyed, the front portion of the Tumbler… get this… actually transforms into a fully functional, completely playable Bat-Pod motorcycle.
Ziad K Abdelnour
Image by ziadabdelnour
President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners