Thursday, August 18, 2011

King Abdullah II Plans 'Star Trek' Resort

Not too many kings make guest appearances on science fiction shows. But Jordan's King Abdullah II did, for "Star Trek: Voyager" and now he's investing in a sprawling $1.5 billion Trek-themed resort in Jordan on the banks of the Red Sea.

At its core, Star Trek is about bringing worlds together and about a profound hope for the future," Liz Kalodner, executive vice president and general manager of CBS Consumer Products, said in a statement. "We are proud to bring such a unique, interactive Star Trek property to this part of the world to be a part of Jordan's future."

Aqaba will soon become a science fiction landmark.

Rally For Humans In Johnson City

I, for one, like humans. Mostly.

A rally pushing a growing grassroots movement to repeal laws which define corporations as "people" heads to Johnson City on Sept. 24th.

More on the movement here.

See previous posts on the issue here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

On Politicians Who Create Economic Turmoil

Tom Humphrey's Sunday column in the KNS on how much Tennessee (and every other state) depends on Federal funding, despite political claims that Federal funding is a critical problem weighing down the local, state and national economies, is a great read. And the article certainly is generating reader reactions that run from A to Z on the role of government, deficits, and debates which are dominant on the political scene.

About 40 percent of this year's total $30 billion state budget is federal money — and that's down from the last year, when the stimulus money was flowing in. If you count tax dollars only — not $5 billion in license fees, college student tuition and the like that still counts as state money in the overview — the federal total is much closer to half, about $12 billion federal versus the state's $13 billion."

As I've mentioned before, my congressman, Rep. Phil Roe derides President Obama's spending plans while still celebrating them when they arrive.

It's clear the economic debate has multiple layers - what role should government play, what relationships between business and government work and which do not, and as always, how does the public engage with their representatives to establish the type of governance we want.

So much of the debate is stalled totally by politicians like Rep. Roe, who vowed to seek the failure of an Obama presidency at all costs, a vow made with no consideration for the effects it might have. It's a campaign strategy and not an economic policy - and it's deeply destructive.

As Humphrey writes:

What we have here is a mixed message. Our politicians, particularly the Republicans now running the state show, roundly denounce federal deficit spending while happily handing out federal checks to hometown folks.

As a political service, this practice seems to have pretty high ratings right now. But, it is submitted, the outlook for the longer term is negative."

It is more than a mixed message - it's patently deceptive.