Alfred E. Smith

Alfred Emanuel Smith

Alfred Emanuel Smith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alfred E. Smith, The Happy Warrior by Christopher M. Finan. Democrat and liberal, Alfred E. Smith lived from 1873 to 1944. He was governor of New York for 8 years and was the Democratic nominee for president in 1928, losing to Herbert Hoover. He antagonized some businessmen with his proposed liberal legislation to protect the poor and working people.

“When business groups objected that he was threatening the free enterprise system, Smith’s answer was simple. ‘What did we set up government for?’ he asked. ‘My idea of law and democracy is the expression of what is best, what fits the present day needs of society, what does the greatest good for the greatest number.”’

Long gas lines

Uttercast: News Shortage?

Uttercast: News Shortage? (Photo credit: doughaslam)

If you have been watching TV coverage of the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, you have probably noticed the long lines of motorists waiting to purchase gas for their vehicles. The lines are the result, not of shortages, but of the absence of electricity to power the gas pumps at the service stations. During 1973-74 and again in 1979, gas lines like the ones you are seeing in New Jersey and New York formed everywhere in the US because of actual shortages of gasoline. The shortages were relatively small, 6%+, but there was panic buying. Short tempers caused fights to break out in lines as some motorists tried to jump ahead of others who had been waiting longer.

What you are seeing today in a small part of the country could be the future of the entire country, if we or Israel bomb Iran. The mere threat of Iran closing the Strait of Hormuz could create shortages and send gas prices soaring. The US Navy may be able to keep shipping safe in the area, but insurers will raise their rates immediately on ships in the area. The threat of an Iranian attack will be sufficient to keep some ship owners out of the area. If you do not want to spend time in lines awaiting your opportunity to buy gas in rationed quantities at high prices, tell your politicians not to attack Iran.

Please see Strait of Hormuz | Strait of Hormuz part 2 | Strait of Hormuz part 3

Born in Hawaii

Hawaii

Hawaii (Photo credit: jmauerer)

Born in Hawaii
Of parents disparate
Educated here and abroad
Hawaii, IndonesiaCalifornia,
New York and Massachusetts
He worked in the heartland
He organized with a heart
Then he declared his intent
To serve a greater community
Thus he serves us all today
Will his service be rewarded with success?
Will his service be rewarded
With four more years?
Only time and tide and you and I will decide.
Forward to four more years.

Sandra Fluke

Sandra Fluke

Sandra Kay Fluke

Sandra Fluke graduated from college in 2003 and spent the next five years working to help the victims of domestic violence while at the New York organization, Sanctuary for Families. That appears to be her main interest, although she has spoken out in support of women’s health, the issue that attracted the wrath of Rush. The mandate that she supports is one that entails the cooperation of healthcare insurers. Why the critics assume that US tax dollars are the partial or principal source of funding I do not understand. I commend her for her work to prevent domestic violence and to aid its victims.

Please see Rush | Rush part 2 | GOP-land

After me, the deluge

Louis XV, by Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1730 (Château d...

Image via Wikipedia

“Après moi, le déluge” (After me, the deluge or flood) is usually attributed to french king Louis 15. It may have been said by Louis’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour. It appears to be the motto of the current GOP leadership; they want to win now and don’t give a darn about the future. If they cared about the future, they would be taking better care of the health of their elderly supporters (with expanded Medicare or Obamacare) and looking for younger voters to replace them as the elderly Republicans die out. Instead the GOP is alienating the young and Hispanic voters who they will need in the future as those groups grow in importance relative to other voting blocks.

The GOP would like to restrict the right to vote to wealthy property owners and might even increase the minimum voting age if they could. In an ideal GOP world, the right to vote would pass from father to son, and the 0.01% could appoint members of the Senate without a vote, as was the case in England before universal suffrage, and was probably true in US state legislatures before the 17th amendment. In New York state, Chauncey Depew, an US Senator, was not invited to sit with other guests at dinners by the wife of Commodore Vanderbilt because she regarded him as an employee of her husband. And servants did not dine at the same table as their masters.

Please see Voting rights | For sale