The stock market is heading back down this morning, hovering around 220 points below yesterday’s close. Waiting, waiting, as if the day’s events will save it or bludgeon it lower. The news echos the fears and disjointed beliefs on the fate of this and the effects of that, all is not right with the world. Perhaps it is time to panic, perhaps the time is near when civilization is about to be blown away from its moorings and set adrift in a universe of hostility and death. Of course MSNBC says all is well and buy more stocks, jump in, the water’s fine. I guess I should have gone to Pollyanna University and graduated with a degree in eternal happiness, with honors. Instead, I matriculated my way through the university of life’s events with the occasional side trip to institutional education, not that such a trip made that much an impressions on me. There is more to heaven and hell than is dreamed while sleeping in a classroom chair as the professor drones on.
What to make of the news, now that is a question worth considering. I had watched parts of the film, The Bedford Incident last night. It was made in 1964, just before I went into the service. I remember seeing it in West Philadelphia when I was out on my own, working for a department store and living in a studio apartment. I made just enough money to afford my studio, my food, and the transportation to and from work with a few dollars left over for the luxury of a movie or admittance to a local dance. The nation was at the height of the Cold War t the time, Vietnam was starting to heat up but the realization that is was a war had not come into the collective American Mind, that would not occur until 1968 when the Tet Offensive suddenly shook the confidence of the nation. Well, with watching Richard Burton in The Spy Who Came In From The Cold , which I also read while in the service, and seeing the Ipcress File, wasn’t that a most marvelous film, the world appeared to be somewhat unstable. A man could get killed here.
Oh good, an hour into the day and the elevator is headed back up. No cause for alarm. Optimism for increased dividend payouts by Apple have put a new face on the day. And Obama will slash the methane gas emissions by hobbling the gas and oil industry. I am surprised his hasn’t ordered all cows to be killed and close that source of gas emissions. So much for Political Science , I guess. We may have the best politicians money can buy but they sure are dumb, must have something to do with natural selection. Meanwhile I wonder if J.P. Morgan is rapidly spinning in his grave over what Jamie Dimon has done to his bank? It used to be an investment bank and not has been turned into a speculation bank, something of an oxymoron. But so many bankers are morons these days. I guess today’s spy novel will be more about foreign exchange trading that stealing state secrets.
My God! Is there no shame left in this country? Maxine Waters is attacking the HFT people. Yes, Miss Me and my husband aren’t guilty of stealing from the American public Waters is calling those High Frequency Traders to account, right after she make her stock market killings through insider trading. Yes, the use of insider information by any congressmen, congresswoman, or senator is perfectly legal since they have excluded themselves from the law in a bipartisan manner. Oh the irony of it all. Yes, I’m sure that she and her husband have never done anything for which there is corresponding evidence upon which to convict. But it is the same old line of bull, find people to blame, make a lot of sound and fury, and then do nothing that would disturb the campaign contributions from coming into the party’s war chest. High Frequency Trading was suppose to make the stock markets more liquid and help discover the price for any given stock at any given time. But all it has done is to drive the public retail trade out of the market and made it far to unstable except for those who speculate and follow trends. The stock markets are no longer an investment market. But ever since our Federal Reserve Bank has tried to stimulate the economy with almost zero interest rates and quantitative easing, which puts money into the hands of wealth speculators, drives up commodity prices, and otherwise destroys the formation of capital while killing off any savings for the general public, wow, what a mouthful, we no longer see investment in American business. Even Warren Buffet no longer invests but speculates. It’s good to have political friends who will do what you want without having to ask them.
So, will Europe turn to fascism with Charlie Hebdo in charge? I don’t think ignoring the immigration issues will be of much benefit and they had better do something. Secular humanism is a nice belief but it tends to stir up true believes and those who want action. Secular humanism is just another way of saying, “I don’t give a shit, just do what you want.” It is a default position in life that says, “I don’t have any convictions worth defending.” Or in the parlance of today’s teen, “Whatever.” Not that I find the far right and its focus on religion any more palatable. Religion is a creation for those who are afraid of the world, afraid of thinking for themselves. I have no quarrel with religion as such, I just don’t want it in my house. Let it stay outside with the dog. Yes, there are values we need and do have in any society. The first is that of cooperation among individuals for the good of others. You groom me and I groom you. You watch my back and I watch yours, how simple and how necessary. But we seem to lost so much of this ethic through the growth in the complexities of our societies and social world, we have lost touch with the very values that make us human and religion will not restore that sense of being. That is what saddens me about organized religion. That, and the fact that it is organized according to the dictates of some divine authority. Religion tells us what to think and how to act, something the lazy want and need. And that is the problem. No matter how much universal education with all the conflicting theories of learning and formal teaching we indulge ourselves in, we will never teach independent thinking. Only a few of us will grasp what that actually means and learn to think for ourselves. The rest will follow the lesson plan and do as they are told. It’s called a distribution or population curve. Those who think for themselves are at the far right of the curve while the rest, the average, sit right in the big fat middle with all the rest of the population. Think about it.