Romney, Huntsman, Gingrich only GOP candidates up to the job…

November 12, 2011

UPDATE ( SUNDAY, 11/13/11):

I like what Ron Paul had to say in the GOP presidential candidate foreign policy debate Saturday night about whether the U.S. should go to war with Iran over its developing or obtaining nuclear weapons. He said no and he said it sounds like the talk that led us into Iraq where we never found any weapons of mass destruction. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich seem hot to go to war there if it seemed necessary (if other pressures do not work).  Paul also said that we should only go to war via the formal declaration method set forth in the Constitution and that once committed we fight, win, and get it over with. I do feel, though that Iran cannot be allowed obtain nuclear weapons capability. A full-out war is probably not practical or necessary there, but a strike might be if all else fails (but of course that might set off some type of war). And now that I have gone this far, I have to acknowledge that in this modern day and age, it may be necessary for the nation to conduct various military operations short of war, but they should be kept to a bare minimum. I updated this post after reading part of the debate transcript — I’ll read it all and post about it later.

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When Barack Obama won the presidency I can recall people, that is ones who supported him, saying, “at last we have an adult in the White House”.

Since it is likely that Obama will lose in 2012, because it is hard to retain the presidency when so many people are in economic difficulty, it is fascinating to think who might be the proper adult to replace him.

After watching snippets of the CBS GOP presidential candidate debate on foreign policy this evening (I missed most of it due to the fact I had just got home off the road and was fixing my dinner), it seems to me the only real adults, or responsible adults, are, and not necessarily in this order: Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, and Newt Gingrich (well, responsible might be a stretch there, but Newt is professorial, kind of like the old sage).

Ron Paul is correct on many things, and seems well meaning, but he also does not seem to realize that not all of us are doctors and can afford his world.

This all has nothing to do with whether I agree with their politics — on some things I do and on some I don’t; I’m just thinking who could reasonably handle the job at the helm of the world’s super power.

Actually Huntsman should be the man. He is astute. He speaks Chinese and seems politically moderate and broad minded. But he apparently just does not fit into the modern Republican Party. Actually a ticket with Romney and Huntsman would be exciting, but I doubt the nation is going to put two Mormons in charge — there’s a question even one can get elected.

Herman Cain, despite his being top in the polling among identified Republicans, is not likely to have a chance in a general election. And foreign policy, which is a vital part of running the world’s super power, is way beyond his depth, he has clearly demonstrated.

Actually on foreign policy I am torn between Paul’s Libertarian view, best described as isolationist, and those who would be ready to nuke Iran so it does not get nukes.

(And I do think that to allow Iran to acquire nukes is suicide for us and the whole world. I doubt that we should, would, or could get into a land war with that nation over the issue, but there must be some way to prevent such a catastrophe.)

History shows that turning our back on problems or pretending they are not our problems leads to things such as Hitler with his Wehrmacht trying to take over half the world and Gen. Tojo and his military the other half.

The electorate, though, right now is probably more concerned about domestic issues, read that “the economy”, “jobs”.

Romney thinks he can use his supposedly proven track record in business to streamline things and get our fiscal house in order. At the same time, he does not come across as a right-wing firebrand who would dismantle every last bit of our economic safety net.

I was distressed when several of the GOP candidates wholeheartedly gave their endorsement to torture.

I would have a hard time voting for anyone who would support torture (unfortunately, the last time around the winning candidate opposed it and then continued the policy supporting it  — okay, I am now clarifying this or correcting this: my instant web research says that Obama has banned water boarding, but there are also stories claiming there are policy loopholes that allow torture to continue in some cases — unclear on this. I also note that I think the term “enhanced interrogation techniques” is nothing more than a euphemism for torture).

It’s probably too bad the whole issue of water boarding and other tortures ever came out in the open in the first place. I mean if it is only done to truly evil people and if there is anything useful produced from it, then who cares? But there is no guarantee that it is or would be limited to truly evil people (and in fact would not be used against the innocent) and it is questionable whether anything useful ever comes out of it — torture me and I may confess to anything and tell you anything you want to hear, but not necessarily the truth. And of course there is the troublesome moral question. And worst of all, once we put ourselves on record as being fine with torture we have no ability to dissuade our enemies from using it on our own people; we are left with no moral high ground to stand on.

On the other hand, once we go on such a public record as opposing torture, we lose some of that power to bluff suspects. Police use the bluff all the time.

But it always floors me when I hear people who seem nice and civilized wholeheartedly endorse torture.

I do not.

P.s.

In an update of this post at the top I said that I had read part of the debate transcript. One really has to have either watched the whole thing or read the transcript and not depend upon news stories or blogs (like mine) to get the full sense of the whole thing. And these are not really debates — they are forums and not conducted in a way that gives each candidate equal time to cover each issue — each candidate does not even get to answer each question — time considerations, I imagine, and audience attention span would prohibit that. I think one-on-one traditional debates would be better, but of course in the primary there are several candidates.

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Consumer’s ultimate weapon: just say: ‘no deal’

November 11, 2011

It’s strange to me that we consumers sometimes don’t seem to realize how much power we have in the market place.

The biggest power we have over too high prices or poor service or poor quality products or whatever is to just not do business with those we have a problem with.

Now when someone is the only game in town or every business acts the same way, that does pose a problem — nonetheless, I’d rather go without than deal with something or someone who does not agree with me.

A young woman college graduate in Washington D.C. thought the $5-debit card fee enacted by Bank of America, along with similar actions by other banks, was unjust, so she did something about it. She got online and initiated a nationwide movement of people to move their accounts to regional banks and credit unions. Bank of America blinked (see link at bottom).

And here’s the deal:

First, as far as I see it, banks should be paying you money for using your money (of course if you barely have anything in there and keep over drafting, you don’t have much of a case).

Secondly, it was the banks that pushed people to use those plastic cards and they keep pushing. Years ago I got chewed out by a teller for having the audacity to come inside the bank to make a transaction. She thought I should be using the ATM outside.

I’ve been dealing with a regional bank for some time now, way before the current move began, and am quite satisfied.

In addition, I’m not running a nationwide boycott, but I am running a one-man boycott of Best Buy. To me they seem to be more into selling you stuff and not so much into good and/or fair service. I’m not going to put them out of business, but I am saving my own sanity.

I’m not a big fan of Walmart, but I will say this: my late wife tried to buy a flat screen TV at Best Buy and they were no help. She went over to Walmart and they even carried it out to the car for her (I was out of town driving down the road in my truck driving job).

Now here is kind of a twisted way (or logic, perhaps) where ultimately the consumer wins. Take the housing crisis, please. Anyway, for years the price of normal family dwellings, as opposed to Mcmansions or houses that were way beyond what the regular family might need, were way overpriced, especially considering the salaries that people made in any given area. Well after the real estate bubble burst in 2008 prices came way down — people weren’t buying.

Same thing with gasoline. Apparently the limit is somewhere around $5 per gallon. After that people just won’t buy.

If consumers really wanted to be smart, they would deal in cash only. Go with the rule: if I cannot pay cash, I cannot afford it.

If everyone did that prices would come down, way down.

Of course many will argue that such a cut in consumer demand would  really put us into a financial depression and then no one would have money to buy products no matter how cheap the prices. Nothing is perfect.

But the most potent weapon you have or we have as consumers is to pass on that.

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The link:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2098715,00.html

 

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CLARIFICATION:

In the original version of my previous post about the GOP presidential candidates I paraphrased something Herman Cain said in response to sexual harassment allegations.  I subsequently revised the post with the actual quote, taken both from a story on the web and from a YouTube video (the meaning does not change). It is: “The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations”. If  I wanted to be sarcastic I would say, yeah they do, so why don’t you just drop out. But seriously it is an interesting story with most of us not knowing whether he is the victim of a political smear or whether he just was not thinking ahead that some day he might run for president and then everything comes out. Despite his money-raising ability and even his polling, I don’t see that he has any chance to become president (vice president? I don’t think so either). The indications are that he has no real policy views, be they domestic or foreign, and all his answers revolve around his 999 tax plan. And I have already said too much about Cain.


Now is the time to start reading up on Romney…

November 9, 2011

THURSDAY, NOV. 10, UPDATE:

I’ll have to read up on Romney to see if he could make me vote Republican in the presidential race. A pretty tall order, that is voting Republican. I did not catch the GOP so-called debate last night but see that the pundits declared Romney the clear winner and Rick Perry the clear loser due to a case of the flop sweats.

Cain held his ground with answers limited to cutting taxes and spending I guess and, meanwhile, his lawyer is threatening to take legal actions against accusers in the ongoing sex scandal. Obama has been a dissapointment to many (including me), but with Cain I don’t even see anything to get disappointed about.

ADD 2:

Checked the debate blog and apparently Cain did answer a question on the sexual harassment allegations, saying: “The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations…” He also said his supporters are just sending him more money over the issue. I do think, though, that beyond his die-hard supporters, he has lost a lot of ground.

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ADD 1:

I have to remind myself that right now we are in the primary, partisan mode of the presidential campaign — a lot of nonsense, not many real issues. In the so-called Republican debate tonight it is reported that the audience booed when questions were asked about the sexual harassment charges against Herman Cain — they were booing the questioner. If you are only supposed to ask softball questions or ones that simply set up the talking points for the candidate, really what is the use? It would be helpful, though if the media (and I hate to use that term because it is a kind of pejorative to describe working journalists) asked questions on true national and world issues and skipped the gossip, except that whether someone who wants to be president of the United States is in the habit of groping women (we had one that was famous for doing just that, Bill Clinton) is somewhat of an important issue — it goes to character, as they say. It was a big deal among the know-nothing contingent of the far right when Clinton did it, but just propaganda from the left when Cain does it (or is accused of doing it). Actually I think he is losing some of his flock over the matter.

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Maybe Mitt Romney will finally win the presidency and the GOP can claim a victory, but right now it is looking to me like they have shot themselves in the foot by too much pandering to the far right, and not just conservatives, but no-nothing, anti-intellectual conservatives — there is a such a thing as intellectual conservatives — ever hear of the late William F. Buckley Jr.? And there is such a thing as thoughtful and honorable conservatives. Ever hear of the late Barry Goldwater? And there is George Will, who uses words so big or obscure that the average so-called conservative of today would not know whether he is on their side or not and I don’t know either. I haven’t read any of his stuff lately — maybe I need to see what he thinks of the current GOP circus.

I am so tired from working all day that I really don’t have the energy to write. But I was going to listen to tonight’s GOP debate on CNBC, but I seem to have no live video or even audio access to it. But a live blog post I read said the first question was on Italy and it went to Herman Cain. But he did not address the question but instead went on to something else. Figures. From what I understand about him he has no world view whatsoever.

I hear that Newt Gingrich is moving up in the polls, thanks to Cain’s problems with the sex scandal.

But I think the smart money is still on a Romney- Obama race.

I have also heard that there might be a third-party attempt by maybe someone like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who could finance it himself.

We really need a third alternative (actually alternative indicates two, so we need a third option).

We also need to get all the clowns out of the race. Looks like we might be losing one if the sex scandal keeps up.

I need to cook dinner and get some sleep.

Tomorrow has to be better.


It’s up to Obama or Romney; we can’t allow the clowns to take over; more Cain sex allegations, it can’t be? ‘Oh, it be!’…

November 8, 2011

ADD 1: Just can’t keep up with the Cain sex allegations — they keep on coming out of the woodwork. I no sooner posted this than another one appeared. Several women have been reported to have leveled sex allegations against him — one went public and now another has or will shortly. Solid Cain supporters — even his wife — may say: “it just can’t be, but as Elaine said in that Seinfeld episode: “ Oh, it be!” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1Vm8VLj5dQ)

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Who can get America on track again? Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?

In a strange set of circumstances the Republican Party seems stuck with a candidate they at the best ambivalent towards and at the worst cannot stand — put him in the same category as Obama.

But it seems that the GOP cast of characters, beyond Romney, is like send in the clowns. At best, each one of them is one-dimensional with no world view and not even a broad view toward American society, other than people who run businesses are, well like Jews, God’s chosen people (no offense to Jews — the only analogy I could immediately come up with) and the rest of us poor working slobs go to heck. The business folks are “job creators” (gawd I hate that new buzz-word phrase), the rest of us are just so much bothersome overhead.

I should not include Ron Paul in all of this, perhaps. He does in his own quaint way seem to be a man of the people, but in his world everyone would be able to take care of his or herself and if not, there’s always begging on the street or applying at your local charity. “Are there no poor houses or debtors prisons?” — didn’t Scrooge ask something like that?

People are disgusted with the elites, the intellectuals, those too smart for their and their country’s own good, and with some reason.

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat addresses that quite well I thought. One of the best lines in his recent column (most recent?) was: “In place of reckless meritocrats, we don’t need feckless know nothings” (see link at bottom of post).

This Cain thing is absurd. I have no idea how much there really is to the sexual harassment charges but his denials and story alterations seem so unconvincing — maybe he’s just an as..ole and now some of those who came into contact with him way back when are getting revenge. The latest is that he has denied ever meeting or even knowing of a woman who has publicly accused him of sexually attacking her while indicating her submission was a requirement for a job she wanted. He claims he knows nothing of her, but he and his staff seem to know a heck of a lot about her background and the fact, they claim, that she has led a life of financial misfortune and has filed bankruptcy.

And it could be that he really does not remember her (maybe it was so commonplace, why would he recall?). It could be that she came on to him and when he tried to respond he was rebuffed. She simply could be a nut case jumping on the bandwagon for fame and fortune or just for kicks. It could be a lot of things. A simple calm denial and offer to answer any questions concerning the subject, no matter how bothersome, and even somewhat unfair, it may seem, would have sufficed. But this man who wants to lead the world’s superpower can’t seem to handle it all.

Rick Perry comes across as a moron. I realize name calling is not terribly productive, but I know nothing about him other than the so-called debate appearances I have seen him in and some of the more outlandish comments that he has made elsewhere.

Oh, and there is Jon Huntsman. I should not have implied that he was part of the cast of clowns, but he seems to be in the wrong political party — he just does not fit in.

That the Republican Party could even be anything but ashamed to have the likes of Michele Bachman in their stable of candidates shows how far down that party has sunk.

Maybe it is all a grand strategy by the Grand Old Party to make Romney look good. It may well be working.

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I think columnist Douthat hit the nail on the head with this column:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/opinion/sunday/douthat-our-reckless-meritocracy.html


The danger of those candidates just in it for the publicity…

November 6, 2011

I was reading an opinion piece in the Washington Post, and the obvious came to me — not really a new revelation, but a reminder of a problem we now have in politics. The obvious being the answer to my question as to what is Herman Cain all about?

We have the phenomenon of people getting into presidential politics just to make a name for themselves and sell books and jack up the price of speaker fees. They have no real interest or at the very least no expectation of winning and no real qualifications to do so either (that is beyond the minimal legal requirements).

I think Sarah Palin was the trailblazer in all of this. She may or may not have been serious at the local level up in Alaska and even at the state level up there, but once she hit the national scene show business took over.  She didn’t even finish out her term as governor once she found she could cash in big time on the blowhard circuit.

Now we have the Cain phenomenon. The writer of this piece in the Post newspaper (and I have heard this line before, now that I think about it) claimed that Cain never was serious, he just thought what a hoot or what a lark and what a way to up his value as a talk show host and public speaker and book author. He was probably surprised as any at his success in the polls.

But although the sexual harassment charges against Cain did not seem to at first affect his high polling (even  surpassing Mitt Romney for front-runner status), the news today is that at least one poll shows him losing ground over the accusations story: http://news.yahoo.com/cains-favorability-drops-sex-accusations-poll-051227162.html

(Whether Cain really engaged in sexual harassment is probably only known to him and the alleged victims, and as is usually the case, probably, it’s a matter of interpretation and changing societal rules. But the long and the short of it is that sexual harassment just is not as accepted as it once was.)

I’m not sure that Mike Huckabee, preacher, turned Arkansas governor, turned presidential candidate, turned TV personality was ever all that serious — I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was — but he wisely chose show business, for which he seemed better qualified — I mean he plays the electric guitar, and has a homespun persona.

But with politics in the state that they are and with the seeming inability of the two major political parties to solve the major crises that afflict our democracy and the fact that people often opt for style over substance, it is no wonder that these non-serious candidates hold such sway. But it is dangerous. One of them might accidentally win.

All the nonsense that goes along with these faux candidates distracts from the serious issues.

On a related note (I think related) I am interested to read that some Republicans in congress may be jumping ship from the party line and be willing to consider some tax hikes, along with spending cuts — really, is there any other logical way to resolve the economic crisis without dismantling our whole government and descending into chaos?

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Some background from the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-herman-cain-crack-up/2011/11/02/gIQAfyuAgM_story.html


Even though soldiers should follow orders and keep their mouths shut, you can’t blame the general for being resentful and a bit incredulous about the attitude of Afghanistan…

November 5, 2011

Soldiers are supposed to know how to take orders and move out smartly and otherwise keep their mouths shut and definitely not to step out of the chain of command. Of course a general is not just any other soldier, but their duty is much the same when it comes to following the civilian leadership. They can always resign if they cannot follow the program.

Nonetheless, you can hardly blame that general in Afghanistan (not the top one, but a general nonetheless) for telling it like it is and being incredulous, or more precisely, resentful of the attitude of Afghanistan’s leader Hamid Karzai for saying such things as Afghanistan would take the side of Pakistan if the U.S. went to war with that nation. And he is resentful of the whole attitude of the Afghans he is trying to train.

Gen. Peter Fuller, deputy commander for the NATO training program in Afghanistan, has been relieved of his command for his outspokenness (I link to the story at the bottom of this post).

Too many thousands of lives of U.S. servicemen and other personnel have been lost there already and the U.S. is going bankrupt in what is a quagmire of epic proportions.

If the United States was not spread so thin, it might do well to simply make Afghanistan a protectorate and quit the nonsense of nation building in a land where the inhabitants are either unable or unwilling to govern themselves in a peaceful manner. Now it is their right to live tribally like they have for so many thousands of years, except by aiding and abetting the Taliban in 9/11 they made it our business.

But Osama Bin Laden is dead, and of course he was caught hiding in plain sight, not in Afghanistan, but our fake ally Pakistan.

However, the U..S. is not in any shape to make Afghanistan our 51st state or whatever.

Osama Bin Laden is dead.

We should leave now and give thanks to those who died or were gravely injured for the cause — it may not have come out as we wished it, but we did keep Al Qaeda tied up and we will continue to deal with them and any others under the mantra: If you attack or threaten the U.S. you can run but you cannot hide”.

We should also leave Iraq altogether. Our combat mission there has been given the boot by an ungrateful nation.

They’ll make do. They have oil. I hope they drown in it.

And to Afghanistan, I say, go back to your tribal affairs and just don’t help terrorists attack us, thank you.

A lot of innocent people, millions, in that part of the world have been killed due to our actions. But as backward as some of them are, there is plenty of communication these days and they have to realize that they can’t just hide behind their sometimes backwards culture as if it were in a vacuum. When it affects us, we feel forced to act, and yes, we may have overreacted.

Maybe East is East and West is West after all.

The story about the fired general:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/04/peter-fuller-fired_n_1077204.html

P.s.

Yes I know they had culture, and sometimes a very advanced culture, in the Middle East before there ever was a European civilization, but in some ways they failed to progress, at least by our western standards. But again, that’s okay as long as they don’t attack us.

And we really do need to find alternative sources of energy.


Looking for work, a new career and a new lifestyle might be better than Occupying; Mixed emotions about Port of Oakland being shut down…

November 3, 2011

Much of what I have posted below was done last night, but today, as I wait for my next load (I am a truck driver), and as I have time to hear more about the Occupy Oakland general strike, which among other things shut down the Port of Oakland for a time — and not only prevented truckers from getting in or out but prevented work from being done on the inside due to lack of transportation — I am coming to the conclusion that these protests, which are really protests about the inequities in our society, would be better directed at our elected officials. And just like I would ask Tea Partiers, I ask the Occupy people, where have you been all this time? The lack of public participation in the democratic process has left a vacuum that has been eagerly filled by the monyed/corporate interests. Yes, let’s do take our country back. We can do it peacefully and by keeping up the pressure on our elected officials by communication with them and by voting. And peaceful demonstration, I repeat, is a positive thing. Violence gives the powers that be a handy excuse to clamp down.

Down in this post I mention an incident involving a motorist who ran into a couple of protestors — the details today on that are unclear as to whether it was by choice or accident — crowds blocking intersections and cars do not mix well. There were reports they were pounding on the car.

Through the magic of the computer I think I will go down into this post now and slighlty reword that.

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UPDATE (Nov. 3, 2011, 6:30 a.m.) While yesterday’s Occupy Oakland protests were mostly non-violent (not altogether) things got out of hand this morning with windows shattered and a big bonfire set, and police moved in with tear gas and flash-bang grenades, to which some protestors yelled that they were just like the war veteran who suffered injury from police. But, you know, when you cause a disturbance or you are in the midst of trouble, what do you expect? One caller into a radio show I listen to last night opined that the National Guard should be called in. I have called for that in Oakland and others places when they were hit by race riots or ongoing gang violence and I would feel the same way about this if things steadily get out of hand — I’m not sure it is that bad yet. I have not been to Oakland, that is down on the streets, since all this began. This current thing does not appear to be a racial thing and all the photos I see do not depict just people on one ethnic or racial group. It’s supposedly a revolt of the middle class or a revolt against people being kept out of or booted out of the middle class due to the economy and the politics behind it.

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The following, uncless otherwise noted, I posted last night:

While I almost, almost I say, have some sympathy with the Occupy movement (Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Oakland ect.) I have mixed emotions.

Mob rule is or might seem okay if you are away from the mob but might get some ultimate benefit or they go after someone or some entities with which you may have a beef or no sympathy with, but it gets scary when it comes after you or affects you or forces things you don’t want.

Currently, as I write this, Occupy Oakland is congregating at the gates of the Port of Oakland, one the nation’s busiest.

Ironically, some of the workers there are sympathetic, and maybe some not. The Longshoreman’s Union is officially precluded from taking part in what is called a general strike by the Occupy movement by way of its contract with the port.

Truck drivers, many or most either just employees of outside companies or owner-operators, are caught in a bind. Whether or not they are sympathetic to any of the beefs of the Occupy movement, which are unclear, beyond they feel downtrodden for being part of the 99 percent rather than part of the 1 percent who control the wealth and politics, they’re just trying to get their jobs done and get home like anyone else would want to. And they have to pay their bills and groceries.

I’m a truck driver and I do go into ports, but so far have not had to go into the Port of Oakland. If I was prevented from doing my job and making money, it would not make me sympathetic to the cause.

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Now at 9:05 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 2, I hear on KGO Radio, San Francisco, that the port blockage is essentially over, but I did not hear a clear statement as to whether ingress and egress was still being blocked.

——————–

Earlier in the day, some Oakland businesses were forced to shut down because they did not want any trouble from the Occupiers in the general strike. There were some isolated reports of vandalism, but that was attributed to troublemakers who supposedly do not represent the interests of the Occupy movement (which is hard to define since it has no official leadership or even platform).

Civil disobedience is sometimes necessary and sometime admirable — civil rights, Gandhi, and such.

But what if super right wing people who blame everything on foreigners, minorities, those with different sexual proclivities, atheists, and welfare recipients decided to engage in some mob rule? What if they went on a Nazi-like Kristallnacht type rampage?

I often run through Oakland, but I am not there now and have not ever seen any of the demonstrations there. I’m having hard time finding comprehensive stories that seem to depict exactly what is going on there. The Wall Street Journal today was reporting that the general strike there today “fizzled”. But I am hearing that it has shut down a major port and as many as 4,000 people were at the gates — that does not seem a fizzle.

There is some complaint that at times today there was some vandalism, but it is also reported that Occupy followers have disavowed that action. A person in a car this evening reportedly rammed some pedestrians, either by accident or frustration, and caused injury and the mob began to go after him, but some Occupy people prevented that.

Nonetheless, if this movement becomes mainstream it could have quite a drastic effect on society and send the shivers into the one per centers who sit up high all smug and do not live up to their social responsibilities.

There is an unwritten social contract under which it is perfectly fine for one to amass all the wealth he can or for corporations to do the same, but at the same time recognize some responsibility to society, way short of cradle to grave socialism, which stifles society. That social contract has been broken and that is really what is pushing this Occupy movement.

To reiterate, or to expand on something I mentioned earlier, there is this feeling, backed up by research, that basically our public policies, our government, is controlled by the one percent of society that have control over the bulk of the money. The Occupy movement sees their activities as the only way to protest, that the ballot box does not work because for some reason politicians by and large respond more to lobbyists than citizens.

I actually think they do or would respond to citizens but they have to see blocks of votes and they do not see that when so few people vote and when we have relatively weak political parties, with candidates taking their cue from big donors. Besides that, our existing parties, for whatever reason, do not seem to represent the feelings and interests of the populace as a whole — oh, that’s right, until recently when so many people were put out of work no one had time to be interested in politics.

The Tea Party has some of the same gripes as the Occupy movement but looks at things from a slightly different perspective, I think. The Tea Party seems to see big government allied with left-wing political interests who favor socialism. But they also lament that the government does not listen to the citizens.

I did hear one Occupy follower on the radio saying there is some thought of going for a third political party. I’m wondering whether a third party would represent the interests of those who would be inclined to follow Occupy or the Tea Party.

Some would argue it is political parties that are the problem, but it is impossible for a democratic government to enact the legislation it must to get things done without some way to coalesce various ideas into coherent programs and action.

I still think that keeping informed and letting those whom you can vote for or not know how you feel can be effective.

But I also think that if the system does not respond to the wants of the public something has to give eventually — it did in 1776.