December 31, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The corporate behavior described here goes beyond unethical. It is immoral, and since it deliberately misleads the public, it is probably illegal. It certainly deserves to be investigated by the FTC, by the Better Business Bureau, by Consumer Reports, and by the travel writers for major newspapers.

Tony & Cheri's PlayaZone

There is a lot of talk in the news these days about the difficulties facing small business owners around the world. Nowhere are these difficulties felt as deeply as in the travel industry. The rapid growth of the control of travel by big business with its multi-billion-dollar internet and advertising power has caused many small travel business owners to be pushed aside. As a result the consumer ends up with limited access to travel choices while the Mom and Pop hotel or tour or shop ends up on the brink of extinction. We know this firsthand, as we are one of those small businesses being unfairly crushed under the weight of travel industry giant Expedia. In fact we think Expedia is trying to put us, and small independent businesses like ours, out of business. And here’s why:

Expedia and its many affiliates, including Hotels.com and Venere.com, invite people to come…

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November 13, 2012 at 10:34 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This is the best statement I’ve ever seen on the need to face facts, and to debate constructively.

koshersamurai

All Americans, ESPECIALLY Republicans and those who belong to what used to be The Tea Party Movement, need to listen to this…

The Rachel Maddow Show: November 8, 2012.

“Ohio really did go to President Obama last night. And he really did win. And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately President of the United States. Again. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month. And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. And the polls were not skewed to ‘over-sample’ Democrats. And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math. And climate change is real. And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes. And evolution is a thing! And Benghazi was an attack ON…

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September 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

John Hively's Blog: News and Analysis of the War Against the Middle Class

Warren said of Christie’s speech at the Republican convention, “We made a decision together as a country: To invest in ourselves, in our kids, and in our future. For nearly half a century, that’s just what we did.

And it worked. For nearly 50 years, as our country got richer, our families got richer—and as our families got richer, our country got richer.

And then about 30 years ago, our country moved in a different direction. New leadership attacked wages. They attacked pensions. They attacked health care. They attacked unions. And now we find ourselves in a very different world from the one our parents and grandparents built. We are now in a world in which the rich skim more off the top in taxes and special deals, and they leave less and less for our schools, for roads and bridges, for medical and scientific research—less to build a future.

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August 19, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fareed Zakariah

August 14, 2012 at 6:55 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A recently discovered incident of plagiarism has caused CNN to drop Fareed Zakaria as a commentator, and some other news media are also considering dropping him.

That would be a mistake.

Despite any shortcuts he took in his article on gun control, Fareed Zakaria is still one of the most insightful commentators on both national and international political issues.  He sees the relevance of facts whose relevance no one else has spotted.  He sees through disinformation.  He sees each issue from a novel and useful angle.  He is also an extraordinarily clear writer.  I eagerly read his columns whenever they appear, and learn something even from the columns with which I do not completely agree.

If he is denied a prominent forum, we will all be the poorer for having been deprived of his insights.

August 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This is a fascinating post about Pussy Riot’s public prayer to free Russia from Putin. It has links to a video showing their prayer/performance, and thence to a video on the police reacting to a street protest of the arrest and charging of three of the group’s members.

Romney’s fib about the government role in creating prosperity

July 31, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In an interesting article about how conservatives have used and misused the insights of the economist Milton Friedman, Nicholas Wapshott (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-conservatives-misread-and-misuse-milton-friedman/2012/07/27/gJQAcrISEX_story.html) quotes Willard Mitt Romney’s statement about the roles of government and the private sector in creating prosperity:

Milton Friedman understood what, frankly, our president, President Obama, I don’t think has learned even after three years and hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending. And that is: Government does not create prosperity. Free markets and free people create prosperity.”

Let’s think about that for a moment.  

The private sector can create wealth only when the infrastructure needed for its activities is in place.

Throughout American history the government has funded – either directly or by favorable taxation or by providing rights of way – roads, bridges, canals, railroads, security of property and of person, traffic laws, punishment of fraud, enforcement of contracts, stable currency, patents, educated (literate, numerate) job seekers, communications (including mail, email (invented by the Federal government, the Internet (likewise), GPS (likewise), food safety laws, and many other things that – from George Washington on – have been seen as ways of promoting commerce.  

The US would not be a developed, unified country without continent-spanning transport and communication.  
For each of the items above, government – Federal or state or local – has been the only way of establishing – or encouraging the private sector to establish – a sufficient amount of each type of infrastructure.

Right now, pause and consider what your life – including your ability to find work, go to work, and buy and sell – would be if even one of the items listed above were not available.

Anyone who thinks about it knows this.  Every high schooler knows this.  Willard Mitt Romney went to business school, so he knows this.  But his words ignore it.

If we credit his sincerity, we cannot credit his intelligence.  If we credit his intelligence, we cannot credit his sincerity.

Based on his education and his success in business finance, I think that we must credit his intelligence but not his sincerity.

Willard Mitt Romney speaks with a forked tongue.

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