Based on the accumulation of recent reports, Europe is among the “walking dead.” The recent elections in Greece and France indicate that the respective populations are resistant to austerity measures. Despite insolvency, or in France’s case the prospect of insolvency, Europeans are so committed to their entitlements, they won’t give them up. Claims that a higher millionaire tax will offset the deficit provides a frission for socialists, but does little to offset the financial imbalance.
The law of contract, based on the consent of the parties, and the law of torts, based on our obligations when no agreement covers what happened, are fundamental to American law. There is only one problem. Both fields are hopelessly out of date.
In announcing their intention to cancel this year’s Memorial Day Parade, in Saratoga Springs, New York, last week, the annual event’s sponsoring organization, listed a number of reasons, one of which really shocked this commentator’s sense of how cheaply, beyond dollar value, many of today’s Americans assess the worth of their so-called ‘Freedom.’ The sponsors literally stated the event was too ‘dollar-costly.’
At that moment, the full meaning of just how materialistically divided we’ve become, struck home. Then, a flood of pointedly related questions arose:
It has been an article of faith among those opposed to the federal health care reform law that it must be repealed. You see it all the time: “repeal Obamacare.” But what does that mean? Do they really mean repeal everything? It turns out that the answer is “yes.”
The release last year of Martin Scorsese’s HUGO has brought to the forefront a long-deceased cinema pioneer. That would be Georges Méliès, who is played in HUGO by Ben Kingsley.
What makes Méliès so interesting historically is that he was as much an illusionist as a filmmaker. His imagination allowed him to concoct and employ a range of special effects in the films he made around the turn of the 20th century. These effects include time lapse photography, multiple exposures, and hand-painted color on film shot in black-and-white.
There are at least two famous airlifts associated with World War II. In 1942, when the last route from India to China was cut off, FDR made the decision that it was imperative China receive armaments and supplies for the Army Air Force in China, which was struggling to pin down Japanese forces. Both the US and UK began the appallingly dangerous air lift over the Himalayas -- from Assam (famous for its tea) in India to Kunming in China.
In his State of the Union address this past January, President Obama warned the higher education community that, “If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down.” Clearly, “affordability” of postsecondary education is a top priority of this administration. President Obama went on to say that, “We can’t just keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition, we’ll run out of money. States need to do their part by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. And colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down."
Sometimes it’s easier to see the problems abroad than it is at home. And that may be true of the Euro zone. As we all know, there have been a series of agreements bailing out Greece on the condition that Greece make very large cuts in its own budget. And it hasn’t worked. Why not? Shouldn’t cutting back have rejuvenated the Greek economy?
Although William Ross Wallace may have coined the most ardently honest description of Mothers’ Day, before the malediction of American Marketing made a mockery of it, his brief citation still exudes a reality most humans wish was true: “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”