Friday, February 28, 2014

How UNC Beat Duke (2014) Marcus Paige WOWS!

I'm a little bit late with this story (so please pardon me), but it's well worth the wait.

From Adam Lucas via Linked-In:

By Adam Lucas

"What are you writing?" the lady in front of me asked.

We were sitting in the Smith Center around 8:30, and I had a (very nerdy) black pocket notebook that I carry with me everywhere at games. I write down big plays. I write down turning points. I write down the things I want to remember because things tend to happen on nights like this that you do not want to forget.

The first thing you noticed is that this was not a typical Smith Center crowd. It was not even a typical Smith Center UNC-Duke crowd. This was a crowd that had been waiting through a snowstorm and an eight-day delay and two years of home losses to these guys from Durham, but it felt like a whole bunch more than that.
Some crowds are reactive. This one was proactive. This one cheered for everything. This one stood for everything. The reason we still go to games in the era of high definition television and expensive parking and home projection screens is for that very rare occasion, the one that may not even happen once a season, when you are part of a crowd that feels like they had an impact on the game. The chance to say, when you are telling this story in a few years: Leslie McDonald had 21 points and James Michael McAdoo had 10 rebounds and those other 21,750 of us, we helped, too.
This was that kind of crowd, and I wrote that down.
"Our crowd was sensational the whole game," Roy Williams said. "Even when we were down, they were into it."
And the Tar Heels were down for most of the game. But then Williams started switching defenses, and it turned into one of the best coaching battles there has ever been at the Smith Center. Two Hall of Famers, each scheming, each reacting to the other while also trying to come up with that one first strike that would turn the game.

After playing mostly man-to-man with a light sprinkling of 3-2 zone, Williams went to a 1-3-1 zone out of a timeout with 11:37 remaining. "We haven't played a 1-3-1 since I've been here," Marcus Paige said. "We just put it in a couple of weeks ago."
Duke was noticeably staggered, as if trying to negotiate a snowy highway, and missed a three-pointer. On the next possession, they missed again. And on the next possession, Mike Krzyzewski called a timeout.
What do you think he did during that timeout? Told his team how to beat a 1-3-1, of course. Then they came back out on the court and were greeted by a Carolina defense
Duke missed again. And somewhere, Dean Smith smiled.
With under five minutes to play and a 60-58 Duke lead, Williams again called for the 1-3-1, with J.P. Tokoto at the top of the defense contesting everything. Again, it worked, and the Devils missed a rushed three-pointer. After a fortuitous fast break that ended with a game-tying McAdoo power drive, Krzyzewski called another timeout.
This was as good as it can possibly get in college basketball, and I wrote that down. Hall of Famer Williams throwing out an unexpected wrinkle. Hall of Famer Krzyzewski calling timeout to beat it. Hall of Famer Williams countering his counter.
Oh--and Hall of Famer Williams forcing Duke to burn two timeouts that they dearly needed later in the game.
We stood up for most of the second half. No one told anyone to sit down, probably because everyone's energy was solely and completely focused on telling the Tar Heels to "BOX OUT" and "MAKE A FREE THROW" and "STOP THE DRIVE." They needed us to tell them these things. We were helping.
At the end, after McDonald had made some clutch shots and Paige had made some ridiculous shots, there was just Nate Britt, a freshman, on the free throw line. And Nate Britt knows exactly how you felt.
"I was here last year," Britt said of the decisive loss to Duke when the Devils raced to a 14-0 lead. "And I was here the year before that when Austin Rivers hit the shot. I definitely thought about those games. The whole time, I was thinking, 'We have to win this game.'"
Those last two years, Britt had been merely a recruit and a spectator. Now he had a chance to affect the outcome, so he did. He made four of four essential free throws that sealed the win. A freshman did that.
"I've shot those same free throws at least a million times," Britt said. "After practice, I can't leave until I hit at least ten in a row."
By the time Britt's last free throw swished cleanly through, it was clear what was about to happen. The Carolina-Duke game at the Smith Center is one of the highlights of the school year for every single student at the University of North Carolina. These visitors from Duke had forced them to wait eight days for it.
Do you know what happens when you make college students wait? This is what happens:
"I could feel the floor shaking," said Desmond Hubert, who played 11 important minutes.
I am just glad to know that the shaking was not limited to my section, where I had just high-fived my new friend the inquisitive notebook lady after a Britt free throw, and I wrote that down.
For the last 60 seconds of the game, the crowd pushed toward the court. Anyone who was there knows it. Some courts are stormed out of a sense of obligation. This court was going to be stormed out of a sense of jubilation.
My eight-year-old son sits on the basket beside the Tar Heel bench--the one in front of the risers. His official title is ballboy and sweat wiper but his real role is to get, as one person put it on Twitter, "SO TURNT UP!!!" In the car on the way to the game, he asked me, "Do you think if we win the students will storm the court?"
They probably will, I told him. And if they do, you should climb up on the basket support and let them go by.
"And then can I go out there?" he asked me.
"Yes," I said. This is not textbook parenting, but in 1992 I stormed the court after the Bloody Montross game and I have never, ever forgotten it.
As time expired and the students started deservedly streaming onto the court, I looked down towards the goal, and there was Asher, crouched on the basket support, simultaneously looking terrified and thrilled. It was 11:15 p.m. on a school night and Carolina had just beaten Duke and the students were storming the court and it was completely obvious that he was never, ever going to forget that moment.
My wife texted me: "Is Asher OK?"
I wrote back: "I think this might be the best day of his life."
As he left the court, Desmond Hubert was crying. "It was such a great feeling," he said.
"I've never felt like that, like I'm so happy that I'm crying." He said it with a little bit of wonder, like he couldn't believe that one basketball game could do that to a person.
But it can, and I wrote that down.
With the students still completely covering the court, Jump Around played over the arena PA system, and everyone did their best Danny Green impersonation. It was a purely unscripted moment of joy, and it felt like it might not get much better than that. Except it did, because then played the alma mater, and strangers put their arms around strangers, and everyone shouted the key parts with as much voice as they had left, the "PRICELESS GEM" and "TAR HEEL DEAD" and, well, you know exactly how it ends.
The Tar Heel locker room was a madhouse. "No one," Hubert said, "was safe." A few minutes later, as McAdoo prepared to meet the media, director of player development Eric Hoots happened to walk by. Before the game, Hoots had sat on the bench, tapping his foot on the hardwood. "My heart is beating so fast right now," he said. It was 6:30 p.m., two and a half hours before the game.
Five hours later, he still had that same energy. "Hoots," McAdoo called to him. "By the way, you head-butted me in there," and he pointed towards the locker room.
And suddenly I realized that I was really, really tired. It had been a long game and a long wait to see that game and all at once, like about 1 a.m. on New Year's, it suddenly occurred to me that I was exhausted. Most of the players were gone and the night was ending.
Paige had just finished his interviews and was walking to take a shower. He had played a game-high 37 minutes in a sweltering Smith Center. His jersey was untucked and he had just a slight old man gait to the way he was moving. You know how you felt after cheering at the game? Paige played in the game.
"Hey, Marcus," said a voice. It was Anthony Hernandez, a 12-year-old from Morganton who'd spent the day with Paige two weeks ago. Hernandez has muscular dystrophy and is in a wheelchair, but he was wearing a Tar Heel jersey and his favorite Carolina hat because it was his first time at the Smith Center for a game.
And then, Paige changed. His fatigue turned into an ear-to-ear smile. He put his arm on Anthony's shoulder and asked him what he thought of the game. He bent down, so they could look eye-to-eye. Anthony asked Paige to sign his jersey, and of course Marcus did, because he is Marcus Paige.

View image on Twitter
Adam Lucas @jadamlucas

This is how @marcuspaige5 celebrates a win over Duke. 

You are going to think this next part didn't really happen but I promise you that it did. Marcus and Anthony talked a little bit about the game, and Paige said he was going to take a shower. He squeezed Anthony on the shoulder. Anthony looked up at him, and there was some of the purest admiration in his eyes that I have ever seen anywhere.

"Marcus," Anthony said, "you are the best."

I did not write down that part, because some things are completely and totally unforgettable.

(Adam Lucas is the editor of CAROLINA).

Go Heels!

And more from last night:

Marcus Paige’s performance one of all-time greatest for North Carolina player against NC State

Talk About Entitlement, How About Those Multi-Millionaire Republicans?

I'd say the Republican Party is in big trouble.

For many reasons.

But being the nephew of Dumbya has got to be a disqualifier, doesn't it?

Just kiddin'!

In a world where the Pauls are seen as intellectuals, anything can be sold.

GOP’s Secret Idiot? If George P. Bush Is Its Future, The Party’s In Trouble

Dubya's nephew is running for office, and is Rand Paul's expert on Hispanic voters. But his luck may be running out

George Prescott Bush, son of Jeb and grandson of George Herbert Walker, is running for Texas land commissioner. Next stop: the White House! As long as he manages to get himself elected land commissioner, that is. It may be tougher than he anticipated, which is to say it may actually require more than simply wanting the job and being named Bush.

Not many Texas voters really understand what the land commissioner does, making it the perfect office for someone with a lot of money and/or name recognition but no prior experience. Unfortunately, it is actually a pretty powerful state office, responsible for millions of acres of land, including mineral rights leasing, making it perhaps not the best office for a political neophyte with no prior government experience.

That is why the Austin American-Statesman editorial board recently referred to the “weak candidate pool” as “distressing.” They went on to endorse Bush’s Republican opponent, mostly for not being George P. Bush. Bush has run a classic rich man’s non-campaign, ducking the press and limiting public appearances to brief, completely controlled situations. He has avoided newspaper editorial boards and in-depth interviews in favor of brief hits with local TV news.

Reports from the field suggest the bus tour has been comprised of short speeches, no audience questions, some small talk with voters, quick interviews with local media and then on to the next event. We tried nine times via phone and email to reach Bush’s campaign, with no response.
That’s not a great way to earn an endorsement. As Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka pointed out, Bush committed to running for land commissioner primarily because it seemed “the path of least resistance.” He filed his papers to run for office well before finally deciding on which one, making it all the more obvious that he was just searching for the easiest possible route to bigger things.

The Bush family passion for “public service” increasingly resembles that of the Romney family, in which running for office is viewed as a sort of philanthropic gesture, as if the candidate is offering the masses the experience of being governed by a decent and right-thinking natural leader. To reject this offer is to appear frightfully ungrateful. That presumption and entitlement are enough to make an otherwise sober newspaper editorial board endorse a man whose campaign platform seems to be mainly about barring the children of immigrants from getting public educations.

Being famous and avoiding scrutiny as much as possible is actually a decent way to get elected to many offices. It helps to have money, and Bush certainly does. One benefit of being a Bush is access to the legendary Bush family “Rolodex” of family friends/fundraisers. Mr. Bush’s campaign has nearly $3 million, the Wall Street Journal recently reported. “The campaign of his primary opponent, Gilmer business consultant David Watts, had $2,000 cash on hand and $4,000 in debt….”

But the lengths to which Bush is going to avoid saying anything interesting might be a slight sign of concern about his political ability. Sometimes a successful political scion seems like exactly the sort of person who should run for office right up until they do so and then open their mouths, revealing themselves to be idiots, completely unable to articulate reasons for existing at all, let alone reasons for anyone to vote for them.

Bush’s strategy seems to mainly involve not allowing anyone to give him the opportunity to embarrass himself by having to speak extemporaneously or answer difficult questions about policy or Republican politics. Not that I’m saying George P. Bush is secretly an idiot! He just might be, and he seems intent on maintaining the mystery.

Rand Paul recently met with Bush in Texas, where the senator (and fellow son of a politician who benefited mightily from his family’s already extensive fundraising infrastructure) sought the candidate’s advice on a subject that is of endless interest to political pundits and Republican politicians wishing to appear long-term-oriented:

“Really I wanted to get advice from him, as much as anything, about how the party grows in Texas and states with large Hispanic populations,” Paul (R-Ky.) told POLITICO backstage after stumping for a state senate candidate here.
Ah, yes, George P. Bush — a native Spanish-speaker whose mother is Mexican-American — is just another stop on Paul’s “asking various ethnic communities what it would take to get them to vote for Republicans” listening tour. Still, how much advice could Bush, who has never actually won an election with Hispanic support (or any other kind of support), actually give?

A man who was born into one of the most prominent Republican families in the nation is perhaps not the best person to turn to for advice on appealing to various disparate blocs of mostly liberal voters from wildly varying backgrounds — “Hispanics,” in other words — especially if that man is unwilling to admit that the wisest thing the party could do to appeal to many of those voters is to become more liberal on most major domestic issues and also stop being so goddamn racist all of the goddamn time.

As long as the Republican Party thinks the solution is to “showcase more high-profile Latino candidates but change nothing else at all,” their outreach efforts will probably not achieve much. So what sort of message does Bush have for Paul and other Republicans looking for tips on winning over those elusive Latino voters?

Bush said he wants to be among the next generation of leaders guiding the state forward.
“Our state’s values are under attack. And this attack is being led by one man and one man only. His name is Barack Obama,” he said. “And now he has his ideological soul mate, in the name of Wendy Davis.
Yeah, I bet “Barack Obama is the enemy of our values” is a message that’s really gonna resonate with the broader Latino community. It almost sounds like George P. Bush’s secret to winning in an increasingly diverse Texas, much like the Republican Party’s strategy in the nation as a whole, is to try to appeal to white conservatives until the very second that stops working.

(Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Corruption Among the Gay/Lesbian/Bi Money Mongers?

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund specializes in supporting conservative gays. They refused to help openly gay progressive Democrats Ed Potosnak (D-NJ) and Trevor Thomas (D-MI) when that support could have helped them against their conservative opponents.
Long ago, I pegged them as another worse-than-useless insider suck-up outfit that was 90% about the career aspirations of the management and 10% about equality for the LGBT community.
They exist on massive contributions from a small handful of gay millionaires and they are contemptuous of the LGBT grassroots. These are their donors. I wonder which one made them back Tisei and Innis over Tierney and Shea-Porter. From what I can tell all these donors have given hugely and generously to Democrats and Democrats and more Democrats... except Weston Miliken (but he hasn't given to any Republicans either).

It's not really that hard to tell the players without a scorecard.

Try looking for the right-wing Neanderthals.

Sorry about that slur, Neanderthals.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund - Even Worse Than EMILY's List . . . Or Just As Bad

Rep Carol Shea-Porter (D) and Dan Innis (R)

So far this year, Blue America has only backed two incumbents on a special page designed for true-blue progressives who need electoral help this cycle. Each of them is an independent-minded and stalwart fighter for equality and for a shining progressive vision of America. Fortunately for Mike Honda, his Republican-lite primary opponent, Ro Khanna, isn't a gay guy who wants to cut Social Security. He's just a straight guy who wants to cut Social Security. If he was a gay guy who was campaigning on cutting Social Security, the self-styled Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund would be backing him.

But they're not. Instead, they're backing Republican Dan Innis, a gay guy who wants to cut Social Security by beating New Hampshire progressive Carol Shea-Porter, who was fighting for gay equality long before the careerist hacks who use the so-called Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund to enrich themselves, were ever calling themselves the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

They're also backing Richard Tisei again against another strong LGBT ally, Democrat John Tierney of Massachusetts. We covered the Tisei vs Tierney dynamic a lot last cycle (as you can see at the link above).

Let's just concentrate on Carol Shea-Porter's race. It's far more serious because she's heavily targeted by the Republican Party and she's in a shaky Republican-leaning seat with a PVI of R+1. Obama won the district last year, but only with 50% of the vote. The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund could tilt the balance against her, against a woman who said "As long as our LGBT brothers and sisters are denied the right to marry who they love, or they are denied equal protection under the law, we still have work to do." Against a woman who fought to help end Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Against a woman who was an original cosponsor of ENDA and who signed the historic amicus brief regarding the unconstitutionality of DOMA. Why would any straight LGBT ally ever want to work with these people at the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund if this is how they treat their allies?

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund specializes in supporting conservative gays. They refused to help openly gay progressive Democrats Ed Potosnak (D-NJ) and Trevor Thomas (D-MI) when that support could have helped them against their conservative opponents.

Long ago, I pegged them as another worse-than-useless insider suck-up outfit that was 90% about the career aspirations of the management and 10% about equality for the LGBT community. They exist on massive contributions from a small handful of gay millionaires and they are contemptuous of the LGBT grassroots. These are their donors. I wonder which one made them back Tisei and Innis over Tierney and Shea-Porter. From what I can tell all these donors have given hugely and generously to Democrats and Democrats and more Democrats... except Weston Miliken (but he hasn't given to any Republicans either).

NEW YORK, NY 10011



BOSTON, MA 02116


NEW YORK, NY 10013




When Barney Frank broke with the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund last year, he explained that his "So my support for John Tierney over Richard Tisei is based only in part on the fact that if the Democrats take back the House we have a very good prospect of legislative victories, while if Mr. Tisei succeeds in keeping John Boehner as Speaker, we have not. It is also because I do not think it is appropriate for us to go to John Tierney and others, solicit their support - and in the case of John, receive it wholeheartedly - but tell them that we may withdraw our support for them not because of anything under their control but because they have the wrong sexual orientation."

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Harold Ramis Will Never Die

Harold was clearly the most successful comedy writer-director of all time,” said Tim Kazurinsky, who followed Ramis at Second City and later became his friend. “The number of films that he has made that were successful, that were blockbusters, nobody comes close. Even in light in of that, he was more successful as a human being.”
. . . Ramis leaves behind a formidable list of achievements, with writing credits on such enduring comedies as “National Lampoon's Animal House” (which upon its 1978 release catapulted the film career of John Belushi, with whom Ramis acted at Second City), “Stripes” (1981) and “Ghostbusters” (in which Ramis also co-starred), plus such directing efforts as “Caddyshack” (1980), “National Lampoon's Vacation” (1983), “Groundhog Day” and “Analyze This” (1999).
. . . Ramis' comedies were often wild, silly and tilting toward anarchy, but they also were cerebral and iconoclastic, with the filmmaker heeding the Second City edict to work at the top of one's intelligence.

There was something about Harold Ramis that made you love him immediately. At first sight. At first word. First gesture.

His love of ironical life twists (see Caddyshack and Caddyshack II), good humor and zen-like acceptance in all types of screwy situations (see Stripes), his ability to deal with any adversity (see Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II), and his never-ending sweetness and consideration of others (see his (and my choice for his greatest) masterpiece Groundhog Day). I must have watched Groundhog Day 20 times at least - I never not watch it when it comes on TV.

I was heart attacked when I learned of his death. He always seemed to be just my age. Or much younger . . . any age actually. Or maybe it was just my joie de vivre.

My favorite scene from all the movies he directed (and it was incredibly hard to choose the most, among the favorites, as I loved them all (and I just watched Meatballs again last weekend)):

The absolute best of Harold Ramis (if only he could do mine):

I'll think of your zen gaze, Harold, every time I watch a movie.

From Wikipedia:

. . . Ramis worked in a mental institution in St. Louis for seven months. He later said of his time working there that it

...prepared me well for when I went out to Hollywood to work with actors. People laugh when I say that, but it was actually very good training. And not just with actors; it was good training for just living in the world. It's knowing how to deal with people who might be reacting in a way that's connected to anxiety or grief or fear or rage. As a director, you’re dealing with that constantly with actors. But if I were a businessman, I’d probably be applying those same principles to that line of work.[7]
. . . Ramis began writing parodic plays in college, saying years later, "In my heart, I felt I was a combination of Groucho and Harpo Marx, of Groucho using his wit as a weapon against the upper classes, and of Harpo’s antic charm and the fact that he was oddly sexy — he grabs women, pulls their skirts off, and gets away with it".[2] He avoided the Vietnam War military draft by taking methamphetamine to fail his draft physical.[9]

Following his work in St. Louis, Ramis returned to Chicago, where by 1968, he was a substitute teacher at the inner-city Robert Taylor Homes.[10] He also became associated with the guerrilla television collective TVTV, headed by his college friend Michael Shamberg, and wrote freelance for the Chicago Daily News. "Michael Shamberg right out of college had started freelancing for newspapers and got on as a stringer for a local paper, and I thought, 'Well, if Michael can do that, I can do that'. I wrote a spec piece and submitted it to the Chicago Daily News, the Arts & Leisure section, and they started giving me assignments [for] entertainment features."[11] Additionally, he had begun studying and performing with Chicago's Second City improvisational comedy troupe.[12]

Ramis' newspaper writing led to his becoming joke editor at Playboy.[7] "I called a guy named Michael Lawrence just cold and said I had written several pieces freelance and did they have any openings. And they happened to have their entry-level job, party jokes editor, open. He liked my stuff and he gave me a stack of jokes that readers had sent in and asked me to rewrite them. I had been in Second City in the workshops already and Michael Shamberg and I had written comedy shows in college".[11] Ramis was promoted to associate editor.[13]

. . . After leaving Second City for a time and returning in 1972, having been replaced in the main cast by John Belushi, Ramis worked his way back as Belushi's deadpan foil. In 1974, Belushi brought Ramis and other Second City performers, including Ramis's frequent future collaborator, Bill Murray, to New York City to work together on the radio program The National Lampoon Radio Hour.[2]

During this time, Ramis, Belushi, Murray, Joe Flaherty, Christopher Guest, and Gilda Radner starred in the revue The National Lampoon Show, the successor to National Lampoon's Lemmings.[14] Later, Ramis became a performer on, and head writer of, the late-night sketch-comedy television series SCTV during its first three years (1976–1979).[15] He was soon offered work as a writer at Saturday Night Live but he chose to continue with SCTV.[13] Characterizations by Ramis on SCTV include corrupt Dialing for Dollars host/SCTV station manager Maurice "Moe" Green, amiable cop Officer Friendly, exercise guru Swami Bananananda, board chairman Allan "Crazy Legs" Hirschman and home dentist Mort Finkel. His celebrity impressions on SCTV included Kenneth Clark and Leonard Nimoy.

. . . Ramis left SCTV to pursue a film career and wrote a script with National Lampoon magazine's Douglas Kenney which would eventually become National Lampoon's Animal House. They were later joined by a third collaborator on the script, Chris Miller. The 1978 film followed the struggle between a rowdy college fraternity house and the college dean. The film's humor was raunchy for its time. Animal House "broke all box-office records for comedies" and earned $141 million.[2] 

Ramis next co-wrote the comedy Meatballs, starring Bill Murray. The movie was a commercial success and became the first of six film collaborations between Murray and Ramis.[2] His third film and his directorial debut was Caddyshack, which he wrote with Kenney and Brian Doyle-Murray. The film starred Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, and Bill Murray. Like Ramis's previous two films, Caddyshack was also a commercial success.

In 1982, Ramis was attached to direct the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. The film was to star John Belushi and Richard Pryor, but the project was aborted.[16] In 1984, Ramis collaborated with Dan Aykroyd on the screenplay for Ghostbusters, which became one of the biggest comedy hits of the summer, in which he also starred as Dr. Egon Spengler,[17] a role he reprised for the 1989 sequel, Ghostbusters II (which he also co-wrote with Aykroyd). His later film Groundhog Day has been called his "masterpiece".[2]

He also had a role in the 1997 film As Good As It Gets as Helen Hunt's son's doctor.

His films have been noted for attacking "the smugness of institutional life ... with an impish good [will] that is unmistakably American". They are also noted for "Ramis's signature tongue-in-cheek pep talks”. Sloppiness and improv are also important aspects of his work. Ramis frequently depicts the qualities of "anger, curiosity, laziness, and woolly idealism" in "a hyper-articulate voice".[2]

In 2004, he turned down the opportunity to direct the Bernie Mac-Ashton Kutcher film Guess Who, then under the working title "The Dinner Party", because he considered it to be poorly written. That same year, Ramis began filming the low-budget The Ice Harvest, "his first attempt to make a comic film noir". Ramis spent six weeks trying to get the film greenlit because he had difficulty reaching an agreement about stars John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton's salaries. The film received a mixed reaction. His typical directing fee, as of 2004, was $5 million.[2]

In an interview in the documentary American Storytellers, Ramis said he hoped to make a film about Emma Goldman (even pitching Disney with the idea of having Bette Midler star)[18] but that none of the movie studios were interested and that it would have been difficult to raise the funding.
Ramis said in 2009 he planned to make a third Ghostbusters film for release either in mid-2011[19] or for Christmas 2012.[20]

. . . Ramis was married twice and was the father of three children. On July 2, 1967,[3] he married San Francisco, California artist Anne Plotkin, with whom he had a daughter, Violet.[2] Actor and Ghostbusters co-star Bill Murray is Violet's godfather.[2] Ramis and Plotkin separated in 1984 and later divorced.[2] In 1989, Ramis married Erica Mann, the daughter of director Daniel Mann and actress Mary Kathleen Williams.[21] Together they were the parents of two sons, Julian Arthur and Daniel Hayes.[3] Ramis had two grandchildren at the time of his death.[13]

Ramis was a Chicago Cubs fan and attended games every year to conduct the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field.[when?][22] His pastimes included fencing, ritual drumming and making hats from felted fleece, and he reportedly learned to ski by watching skiing on television.[13]

. . . In May 2010, Ramis contracted an infection that resulted in complications from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis. He lost the ability to walk; after relearning to do so, he suffered a relapse of the disease in late 2011.[25] On February 24, 2014, Ramis died at his Chicago-area home from complications arising from vasculitis.[25][26][27] He was 69 years old.

. . .  In 2004, Ramis was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame.[28] In 2005, Ramis was the recipient of the Austin Film Festival's Distinguished Screenwriter Award.[29]

. . . Harold Ramis frequently collaborated with Ivan Reitman. He co-wrote National Lampoon's Animal House, which Reitman produced before going on to co-write the Reitman directed comedy, Meatballs. He also went on to write and appear in three Reitman films: Stripes, Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II.

Dingleberries of Credibility Clinging? (Freedom Paranoia) 5 Billionaires (Using Their Fortunes To Make Life Miserable for the Little Guy) Global Capitalism Means Writing Off Humans? (Thank You, Petersonians!)


You Are Being Stagnated: The Social Engineers Are Managing Your Standard-of-Living Expectations Downwardly.

Who Really Determines What You Will Or Will Not See On TV Or Read In The Newspaper?

Fox News.

Faux Snooze.

That, its owner, Rupert Murdoch, and its Panting Boy Wonder Boss, Roger Ailes, makes it one of my least favorite subjects (due to massive personal ennui and fear of retching) to even mention any part thereof, but it has attracted Charlie Pierce's journalistic needle, and he elucidates its new secret coding spellbindingly.

oward Kurtz, who generally has so many interests in conflict that it's a wonder he doesn't get perpetual cramp in his 1099s, has landed at Fox News, where nobody gives much of a fk about ethics, or the truth, or anything else that gives Roger Ailes a pilonoidal cyst, and he doesn't have to worry about those sad dingleberries of credibility that still cling to his career.
I know that television stations are licensed in the public interest. It's fair for the FCC to examine how much news a station offers, as opposed to lucrative game shows and syndicated reruns. But the content of that news ought to be off-limits. The Fairness Doctrine, which once required TV and radio stations to offer equal time for opposing points of view, is no more, and good riddance (since it discouraged stations from taking a stand on much of anything). The Obama administration swears it's not coming back. How, then, to explain this incursion into the substance of journalism, which seems utterly at odds with the notion of a free and unfettered press?
Steve M does a good job of answering the "How, then, to explain..." part of Kurtz's quandary. (The answer: the FCC has a legal obligation to do this, and has done it for years without setting the flying monkeys aloft.)

But that won't stop Kurtz and other, less responsible hysterics from howling their conjuring words until somebody in the saner precincts of the media - my money is on my man Chuck Todd, who is still beside himself over the White House's authoritarian attitude toward releasing doggie pictures - catapults it into Our National Dialogue. (Although Mediaite is already sadly ahead of the game.)

But I'm most amused by Kurtz's invocation of The Fairness Doctrine, which is what wingnut talk-show hosts use to scare their children into going to bed on time. ("Get upstairs right now or The Fairness Doctrine will get you.")
Oh, look. It's already happening.
Paranoia is supposed to drive the news because freedom.

Almost eight years ago, in the course of beginning research into a book, I went to a national convention of talk-radio hosts and everybody there was talking about how terrified they were that the new Democratic majority in the House was going to bring back The Fairness Doctrine, and how they would all stand tall as part of The Resistance. (Bear in mind that Harry Reid already was on record as saying he had no intention of doing so.)

There was even louder screeching about it in 2008, when the towering incompetence of the C-Plus Augustus administration gave the Democratic party nominal control (briefly) of the entire government. The president said (again) that he had no intention of bringing back The Fairness Doctrine. (In 2008, let's face it, it would have been pretty far down on the to-do list behind Clear Out The Rubble From The Entire Government.) And yet...

The questions the study asked, Republicans say, tread too close for comfort to the now-defunct Fairness Doctrine, a controversial federal policy that required radio and TV news to present opposing views of the news stories they covered. The policy was in effect from 1949 through 1987 and was formally wiped from the books in 2011...(H)ouse Republicans shared similar concerns with Wheeler in December, calling the study a "Fairness Doctrine 2.0."..."

The proposed design for the [Critical Information Needs] study shows a startling disregard for not only the bedrock constitutional principles that prevent government intrusion into the press and other news media, but also for the lessons learned by the Commission's experience with the Fairness Doctrine," Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote.
And what, exactly, was "the Commission's experience with the Fairness Doctrine"? Well, having grown up as a news consumer in that benighted tyrannical age, what I remember was that there were a number of media companies, large and small, national and local, and that they actually competed with each other to present original programming from a pretty wide spectrum of political opinion.

What I also remember was that you couldn't at that point drive from New York to Los Angeles while listening only to the same three or four nationally syndicated radio hosts, all of them wingnuts.
And was political debate stifled?

Well, I seem to recall the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement and the rise of the women's movement, and all of them taking place while the Fairness Doctrine was in place, and, again, my memory may be dimming, but I recall hearing vigorous debate about all of them -- especially that Vietnam War thing - from every corner of the AM dial that wasn't playing the latest single from the Lemon Pipers. (Hell, I remember the late, great Jerry Williams in Boston putting former Bostonian Malcolm X on the air for two hours, which freaked out his local audience for years.)

The Fairness Doctrine fell under Reagan, with the assistance of Antonin Scalia, which should be all you need to know about it.

In any case, the Fairness Doctrine has no constituency anywhere in government, and it certainly has none in the current monopolistic mass media culture - Hey, anybody hear about that Comcast-Time Warner merger? - which is a far more worrisome thing than whether or not the FCC is stopping by to make sure you're fulfilling your public obligation to the public airwaves, but which is something Howard Kurtz doesn't seem to worry about. A man never knows when he might need another gig.

It was an interesting fantasy, wasn't it?

Imagine how it was to think up a scheme whereby you pay your controlled media to broadcast to ordinary taxpayers that they will get massive benefits (dribbling down lazily) from millionaires and billionaires if they increase their own taxes in order to let the rich taxpayers not pay taxes so they can voluntarily use their non-taxed income in any manner they please to eventually invent/create jobs and opportunities for the less well off. (Of course, you don't mention the necessary increase to the little guys' taxes to make up the deficit during the sales scam.)

What nice guys. Rich guys. Will the Lord ever bless us more?

Oh, to live in such a country.

God is good.

The following array of events only proves that when you allow the rich to rule unobstructed by the public interest for so long, it goes to their heads and causes loss of mental acuity (à la perceptions of themselves as royalty).

(And I personally really enjoyed the performance art of the following old guy as he smiles broadly throughout his speech at his own cleverness (and the stupidity of his listeners).)

Ain't he a sweet old Grand Dad?

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014

5 Billionaires Who Are Making Life Miserable for Ordinary Americans

Nothing like using your immense fortune to stick it to the little guy

Dave Johnson

5 billionaires who are making life miserable for ordinary Americans

Tom Perkins (Credit: Bloomberg TV)

Dave Johnson

Here is how it works these days: You start hearing about a big, national problem and then it becomes a drumbeat. First there are a few articles and columns mentioning that such-and-such is a problem. Then a number of articles appear, then a “study” from a “think tank” confirms the problem and sounds the alarm about how terrible it is, and then just as the issue seems to be the only thing you are hearing about a solution is presented.

Of course, the solution always involves taking something away from you and giving it to some company or industry standing in front of a billionaire or three. The right question to start asking when you hear about these “problems” is "which billionaire is driving this?"
Here are five-plus examples of billionaires who use their money to try to get us to think what they want us to think in order to enact a right-wing economic agenda.

1) Pete Peterson’s deficit/debt scare campaign and his ongoing effort to gut Social Security and other entitlements. Leading every list of billionaires pushing an issue is billionaire Pete Peterson and his forever war on government doing things to make our lives better, especially Social Security. Peterson leads the list because of reports of his pledge to spend $1 billion on his pet issue.

Have you ever heard anywhere that the budget deficit and national debt are a problem? You can’t pick up a newspaper or magazine, turn on the radio or TV, or listen to any politician from the so-called “center” to the far right without hearing that, and the reason is Pete Peterson and his money.

Peterson and his money are a big part of the backing for the Concord Coalition, Fix the Debt, The Can Kicks Back, the Comeback America Initiative, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the Moment of Truth Project, the Committee for Economic Development, America Speaks plus contributions to many other groups. As Michael Hiltzik worded it in Unmasking the Most Influential Billionaire in U.S. Politics at the LA Times,

“The shame of Washington … comes from the fact that almost every organization promoting the grand fiscal bargain in which those programs will be on the table has accepted, somewhere and somehow, money from Pete Peterson.”
Sourcewatch’s Fix the Debt portal contains much more information on this big-money influence campaign, including this graphic:

Last week one of Peterson’s deficit-scare groups was in the news.

The Can Kicks Back is an organization named after the narrative that not cutting Social Security is just kicking the debt can down the road. They claim this is because there is a generational war where older people are living high on the hog and younger people will have to pay for this. The group tries to make legislators think younger people want them to cut Social Security, etc. using astroturf videos, Twitter posts, etc.

Well, the Peterson spigot seems to have dried up. The anti-debt group is… wait for it… in debt. All of that astroturf hype about younger people demanding Social Security cuts? When the Peterson money ran out, the urgency went away.

Here’s the thing about this massively funded deficit-debt scare the country has been put through. Getting people whipped up about budget shortfalls (when raising taxes on the rich or cutting the bloated military budget are off the table) necessarily leads to certain conclusions that benefit a wealthy few. It leads people to believe that our government should cut back on the things it does to make our lives better — also called “government spending.”

Meanwhile the country’s real deficit problem is our trade deficit, especially with China. The trade deficit is the measure of jobs and factories moving out of the countryFixing this deficit just happens to create jobs, lift wages and repair our economy.

If you are hearing about how terrible the budget deficit is and how it is so important that we all make sacrifices in order to bring that deficit down, it’s Pete Peterson ‘s money talking. Too bad there is no billionaire pushing us to fix the trade deficit.

2) Billionaire John D. Arnold’s attack on public-employee pensions. Have you heard that the biggest problem facing our states, counties and cities is the bloated, lavish, insane level of money that goes to public-employee pensions? Of course you have, and that’s partly thanks to billionaire John Arnold. Arnold got his start at Enron trading natural gas derivatives. After Enron he used his Enron money to form an energy-trading hedge fund. Now he is using his fortune to fund various philanthropic causes, including helping to keep Head Start running when Republicans recently shut down the government. Unfortunately he has also dedicated part of his fortune to gutting public-employee pensions.

In a September report for the Institute for America’s Future, the Plot Against Pensions (which has excerpts posted on Salon), David Sirota showed how the Pew Charitable Trusts was working in partnership with (and funded by) Arnold. The findings in Sirota’s report include:

  • Conservative activists are manufacturing the perception of a public pension crisis in order to both slash modest retiree benefits and preserve expensive corporate subsidies and tax breaks.
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation are working together in states across the country to focus the debate over pensions primarily on slashing retiree benefits rather than on raising public revenues.

Then last week, in The Wolf of Sesame Street: Revealing the secret corruption inside PBS’s news division at PandoDaily, Sirota revealed how PBSWNET had solicited Arnold to fund a two-year series of “news” shows named “The Pension Peril” that would promote cutting the pensions of public employees. In this story, Sirota wrote:

“In recent years, Arnold has been using massive contributions to politicians, Super PACs, ;ballot initiative efforts, think tanks and local front groups to finance a nationwide political campaign aimed at slashing public employees’ retirement benefits.

His foundation which backs his efforts employs top Republican political operatives, including the former chief of staff to GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey (TX). According to its own promotional materials, the Arnold Foundation is pushing lawmakers in states across the country “to stop promising a (retirement) benefit” to public employees.”
WNET severed the relationship. According to the New York Times, “WNET, the New York City public television broadcaster, said on Friday that it would return a $3.5 million grant it received to sponsor an ambitious project on public pensions in the face of charges that it solicited inappropriate underwriting for the series.”

To its credit the Times’ story gave full credit to Sirota’s reporting,

“Earlier, after a critical report on Wednesday by David Sirota on the website PandoDaily, WNET officials said they were comfortable with the foundation’s funding. Mr. Sirota sharply criticized WNET for accepting the Arnold Foundation money because John Arnold, a former hedge fund manager, has financially backed efforts to persuade municipalities to cut public employee pension benefits.”
Note that Arnold allies are pushing a ballot initiative in California to gut public-employee pensions.
P.S. A while back I also took a look at the campaign to turn the public against public employees. In Discover The Network Out To Crush Our Public Workers I looked at some of the names behind the network of “institutes” and “policy centers” and what I called “cookie-cutter think tanks” that were issuing “reports” that basically claimed that the world would end if we didn’t “reform” (gut) the pensions and other compensation of public employees and stop them from being allowed to organize unions.

Tracing through the directors of the various “institutes” and “pulling the threads” of partner organizations they listed, I found that many or most of the strings lead back to Wall Street. I wrote then:

These corporate/conservative organizations are very good at manipulating the media and public opinionit is their purpose. Their “experts” are well paid and always available to talk to reporters, appear on TV and radio shows and write articles and opinion pieces for newspapers, blogs and for their network of similar organizations.

Their “reports’ and “studies” reach the conclusions that fit the strategy, and are crafted to sound just right. And there are so many of them! The result is development of “conventional wisdom” about what is going on in our society. This is why that conventional wisdom more and more reflects the corporate/conservative line.”
Of course, getting these things enacted often runs up against a troublesome problem: democracy. There are still places where voters have enough of a say to block some of the things the billionaires are demanding. But never fear, there are a few billionaires working on fixing that pesky democracy problem, too.

3) Charles Munger Jr. (near-billionaire and son of a billionaire) bankrolled California’s Proposition 20 in 2010 to create a “citizens redistricting committee” that took the process of drawing political districts out of the hands of California’s politicians. Munger and many Republicans believed this would immediately turn the state over to the Republicans because the districts were “ gerrymandered”— rigged — to have a majority of “safe” Democratic-voting districts.

Prop. 20 passed, but it didn’t work out the way Munger and Republicans had hoped, not by a long shot. The earlier Democratic gerrymandering process had been “too clever by half.” To make sure Democrats would have a guaranteed majority in the legislature they drew up districts in a way that moved Republican voters into a minority of “safe” Republican districts.
The problem with this is that it takes a two-thirds vote in the legislature to pass a budget, and Democrats had rigged the system in a way that left Republicans with just over one-third control. So year after year Republicans blocked everything, demanding big tax breaks for corporations as a ransom for passing anything that helped any actual people. (Why does that sound familiar?)

It turns out that fair redistricting is a gift to citizen control and democracy. After the citizens commission got rid of the gerrymander, voters kicked out enough Republicans to give Democrats two-thirds control. Prop 30  increased taxes on the wealthy, while also bumping up the sales tax . Now the state has a budget surplus, schools are starting to get re-funded, infrastructure is starting to get repaired and things are getting done again.

Other Munger-financed propositions include Proposition 32, a failed attempt to keep unions from being involved in politics and Proposition 14, which passed and gave California an “open primary” which keeps political parties from being able to choose their own candidates instead the top two vote-getters in the primary go into the general election regardless of party.

4) Billionaire Tom Perkins laid out his own solution to the democracy problem the other day in an interview at the Commonwealth Club INFORUM in San Francisco, saying, “The Tom Perkins system is: You don’t get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes,” Perkins said. “But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How’s that?”

There you go: one-dollar-one-vote plutocracy vs one-person-one-vote democracy is now openly part of the public discussion. Think Progress’ Igor Volsky explained how Perkins’ idea is “already in the works.”

“The nation’s growing gap between the rich and poor has become a full-blown crisis, with the top 1 percent of families experienced a 278 percent increase in their real after-tax income from 1979 to 2007, while families in the middle 60 percent saw an increase of less than 40 percent. A large body of research suggests that high inequality leads to lower levels of representative democracy and a higher probability of revolution, as poorer citizens become convinced that the government is only serving and representing the interests of the rich.

Wealthy people’s disproportionate impact on democracy also has the effect of perpetuating income inequality. During the 2012 elections, “the top 0.01 percent of campaign donors — one percent of the one percent — contributed more than 40 percent of all the money spent in the 2012 elections,” compared to 15 percent in 1980. Harvard economics professor Edward L. Glaeser argues that as the rich become richer and secure more political influence, they support policies that make them wealthier at the expense of everyone else.”
But wait, there’s more. Conservatives really are advocating migrating to a plutocracy. The conservative National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson argues that progressive taxation in which the wealthy are asked to pay more than others sets a precedent that should apply to votes.

He writes, “If our political liabilities — taxes — should be as a matter of justice proportional to our income, then why shouldn’t our political input be likewise proportionate? Why should proportionality be the rule in one context and not the other? The leap from ‘No taxation without representation’ to ‘proportional taxation with proportional representation’ is not a very dramatic one.”

5+) Silicon Valley billionaires Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt and others pushing low wages for people who work for them.

Speaking of Silicon Valley billionaires…did you think billionaires were in favor of “free markets” and such? Well, it turns out not so much.

In one (more) example of billionaires rigging the free market for their own gain, a lawsuit alleges that the top executives of Apple, Google, Intel, LucasFilm, Pixar, Adobe and others conspired to set up a scheme to drive down the pay of executives, engineers and others.

The class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of more than 100,000 employees and claims that around $9 billion was stolen from these employees in the 2000s.

E-Bay and Intuit are involved in a similar suit. See Pando’s The Techtopus: How Silicon Valley’s Most Celebrated CEOs Conspired to Drive Down 100,000 Tech Engineers’ Wages.


Pete Peterson is right, the debt is a problem, but not in the way he claims. And his cure would make matters worse.

The problem works this way:

When Ronald Reagan cut taxes (1981) the deficit and debt exploded. He then rescinded most tax cuts in 1982, but not on the aristocracy.

Those multimillionaires and billionaires ran to the Treasury to load up on debt instruments when interest rates were in double figures rather than invest in new businesses. They bought enough that they are now the fourth largest holders of US debt, slightly behind China.

The following year (1983) Reagan got Congress to raise the payroll tax substantially. That produced massive surpluses that a 1938 law requires to go to the Treasury rather than sit idle in exchange for IOU's that go to the Social Security Trust Fund. Those surpluses now in the Treasury pay the interest on the debt instruments that the aristocracy loaded up on. The end result is the working middle class is supporting the aristocracy, that includes Peterson, and has to the tune of nearly $3 trillion since Reagan's payroll tax increase.

Peterson wants to cut Social Security benefits to address the debt, but that would make the debt worse, not better. It will get worse because cutting benefits without cutting its supporting taxes would make the surplus larger and that larger surplus going to the Treasury for IOU's would become larger debt.

The realistic method of reducing the debt is to increase Social Security benefits and reduce the payroll tax so that Social Security operates in the red. That would force the Treasury to redeem with cash some of that $3 trillion in debt the Trust Fund holds. Of course, the IRS might have to tax people like Peterson to get the cash to reduce the debt and he is certainly against that, so he proposes something that makes things much worse.

The man thinks like a true conservative - like an idiot.

No empire, no imperialism, no offshoring of jobs (Read something on Congress and Outsourcing), no obscene trade deals, no debt problems.

Corporations are not people and money is not speech.

Give up the empire: nine hundred installations in 130 plus counties pursuing the interests of the world's 1%.

You get a country back.

Armando Cedillo

You forgot to mention Mark Zuckerberg's odious whose agenda includes annually flooding the US labor market with millions of skilled and unskilled foreign nationals in an effort drive down wages and put money in the coffers of giant developers.

and dont forget who Charles Munger is - his daddy - Munger senior is partners with the 'saintly' Warren Buffet - who loves to tell us how modest he lives and how he still lives in the same house he did when he was not rich..... and here his money is helping make life hell for the less fortunate.

If you think Professor Roberts is kidding, don't gasp too much as you read his latest column. Oh, and if you haven't kept up, he's read by millions who don't think it's funny.

Global Capitalism Has Written Off The Human Race

By Paul Craig Roberts

February 18 2014

Economic theory teaches that free price and profit movements ensure that capitalism produces the greatest welfare for the greatest number. Losses indicate economic activities where costs exceed the value of production, thus investment in these activities is curtailed. Profits indicate economic activities where the value of output exceeds its cost, thus investment increases. Prices indicate the relative scarcity and value of inputs and outputs, thus serving to organize production most efficiently.

This theory doesn’t work when the US government socializes cost and privatizes profits as it has been doing with the Federal Reserve’s support of “banks too big to fail” and when a handful of financial institutions have concentrated much economic activity. Subsidized “private” banks are no different from the former publicly subsidized socialized industries of Great Britain, France, Italy, and the former communist countries.

The banks have imposed the costs of their incompetence, greed, and corruption on taxpayers. Indeed, the socialized firms in England and France were more efficiently run and never threatened the national economies, much less the entire world, with ruin as do the private US “banks too big to fail.” The English, French, and communists never had to print $1,000 billion dollars annually to save a handful of corrupt and incompetent financial enterprises.

This only happens in “free market capitalism” where the capitalists, with the approval of the corrupt US Supreme Court can purchase the government, which represents them and not the electorate. Thus, the taxation and money creation powers of government are used to support a few financial institutions at the expense of the rest of the country. This is what is meant by “markets are self-regulating.”

Several years ago Ralph Gomery warned me that the damage done to US labor by jobs offshoring was about to be superseded by robotics. Gomery told me that the ownership of the technology patents is highly concentrated and that breakthroughs have made robots increasingly human in their capabilities. Consequently, the prospect for employment of humans is dismal.

Gomory’s words reverberated with me when I read RT’s February 15, 2014, report that computer and robotic experts at Harvard have constructed mobile machines programmed with the logic of termites to be self-organizing and able to complete complex tasks without central direction or oversight.

RT doesn’t understand the implications. Instead of raising a red flag, RT gushes: “The possibilities are vast. The machines can be made to build any three-dimensional structure on their own and with minimal instruction. But what is truly staggering is their ability to adapt to their work environment and to each other; to calculate losses, reorganize efforts and make adjustments. It is already clear that the development will do wonders for humanity in space, hard-to-reach places and other difficult situations.”

The way the world is organized under a few powerful and immensely greedy private interests, the technology will do nothing for humanity. The technology means that humans will no longer be needed in the work force and that emotionless robotic armies will take the place of human armies and have no compunction about destroying the humans on whom they are unleashed. The picture that emerges is more threatening than Alex Jones’ predictions.

Faced with little demand for human labor, little wonder thinkers predict that the rich intend to annihilate the human race and live in an uncrowded environment served by their robots. If this story has not been written as science fiction, someone should get on the job before it becomes ordinary reality.

The Harvard scientists are proud of their achievement, as no doubt most of the Manhattan Project participants were about their achievement in producing a nuclear weapon. But the success of the Manhattan Project scientists was not very nice for the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the prospect of nuclear war continues to cast a dark shadow over the world.

The Harvard technology will prove to be an enemy of the human race.

This outcome does not have to be, but free market ideologues think that any planning or foresight is an interference with the market, which always knows best (thus, the current financial and economic crisis). Free market ideology stands in the way of societal control and serves the short-term interests of powerful and greedy private groups. Instead of being used for humanity, the technology will be used for the profits of a handful.

That is the intention but what is the reality? How can there be a consumer economy if there is no employment? There cannot be, which is what we are gradually learning from the offshoring of American jobs by global corporations. For a limited period an economy can continue to function on the basis of part-time jobs, drawing down savings, food stamps, and extended unemployment benefits.

However, when savings are drawn down, when the heartless politicians who demonize the poor cut food stamps and unemployment benefits, the economy ceases to provide a market for the offshored goods that the corporations bring home to sell.

Here we see the total failure of Adam Smith’s invisible hand. Each corporation in pursuit of greater managerial “performance bonuses” as determined by profits did its part in producing the destruction of the US consumer market and greater misery for all.

Adam Smithian economics applies to economies in which capitalists have some sense of commonality with other citizens of the country like Henry Ford did, some sense of belonging to a country or to a community. Globalism destroys this sense.

Capitalism has evolved to the point where the most powerful economic interests, interests that control the government itself, have no sense of obligation to the country in which their business entities are registered. Except for nuclear weapons, international capitalism is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced.

International capitalism has raised greed to a determinant force in world history. Unregulated greed-driven capitalism is destroying the jobs prospects of First World labor and the ability of Third World countries, whose agricultures have been turned into export monocultures serving the global capitalists, to feed themselves. When the crunch comes, the capitalists will let the “other” humanity starve.

As the capitalists declare in their high level meetings, “there are too many people in the world.”

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.