The Rabid Independent, Nonpartisan solutions, independent policy ideas

Kenny G is a saxophone player who had a few mini-hits in the 1980’s that some people still remember. He has, ever since, spent his time playing those (elevator) songs over and over again to survive. So this week he went to Hong Kong to show support for the protesters. He tweeted a picture of himself in front of them saying: I wish everyone a peaceful and positive conclusion to this situation” Apparently he’s quite popular in China.

That’s what artists do, right? They help speak truth to power and they stand up for the oppressed… sing it with me: ‘War, What is it good for? Absolutely Nothing”  Go Kenny.

Sadly the story doesn’t end there. Beijing released this statement:

We hope that foreign governments and individuals speak and act cautiously and do not support the Occupy Central and other illegal activities in any form.

Kenny immediately recanted by deleting  his tweet. His sales of Songbird in China matter far more than silly democratic principles. Just like Kenny, no one in Washington is supporting the protesters in Hong Kong. America, the beacon of freedom and democracy on earth, is scared to death of big bad Beijing, even though China depends utterly on US sales to survive! (?) There’s kind of a perverse masochistic mentality here. We (and Tim Cook) should feel embarrassed to watch Apple open up 25 new stores in China at the same time as the Chinese government is trying to crash iCloud.

Being old and complacent is OK as long as you can guarantee that your descent is not too severe. Kenny G is like all first world economies: He did some work 30 years ago and has no new ideas. He’s just trying to make it to the grave in comfort. Our politicians just want to make it to a lobbying firm before the big payoffs disappear. Baby boomers just want Medicare to survive long enough for them to retire with full coverage (until they die).

What is Obama waiting for?



OK – It’s true, actual trade wars aren’t allowed anymore because everyone has bought into the idea that tariffs and import quotas are bad for everyone. Even if your economy is getting destroyed by the global parasite you’re still supposed to sit still and accept your punishment – as though it’s good for you. “It will force [...]

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Tiananmen Square Redux

On September 30, 2014 By

The Hong Kong government structure is being altered to match the mainland Chinese model. This doesn’t strike me as a great surprise. Did the residents believe that the communists would allow the British common law system to prevail? They celebrated their freedom from Britain in 1997 but didn’t seem to look ahead very far.

So now [...]

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Leonardo DiCaprio went to the climate rally last week and got hammered for being a  hypocrite. Most people, when asked, favor a Buy American philosophy and a Do No Harm to the environment approach. We also eat meat and put Don’t Be Cruel To Animals stickers on our bumpers. When we get to or [...]

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Last week Alibaba issued its first listed stock on the NYSE and investors went wild. The P/E came out at 40X earnings and the stock rallied 30% on the first day of trading. Do the buyers know that they actually own equity in a Cayman Islands shell company? The government of China makes it illegal for foreigners [...]

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The Middle East is a multi-headed monster. There are so many kinds of bad guys that it fits in with no western paradigm. We just aren’t capable of getting it. Every time a politician asserts with confidence that (s)he has a plan or (s)he knows what any specific group wants, we should tune out – especially if [...]

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Every so often we see something so extreme, so far beyond normal that it shakes up our understanding of a subject. The question becomes: What are policymakers thinking?


Many years ago Saudi Arabia began funding religious education in destitute Muslim countries (Madrassas) so as to breed a generation of Sunni fanatics who would attack Shiites and work [...]

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Economics textbooks teach us that there is a sort of natural sine wave to the economy: A little growth->higher consumer confidence->more spending->lower inventories>production expansion->higher labor demand->higher wages->higher confidence and spending – and so we go round and round until inflation happens, and the Fed steps in to slow it all down because that’s what they [...]

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All the Chicken Littles of the world love to emotionally proclaim that the Fed will ruin us all. Inflation is about to explode due to inappropriately low interest rates.  Our currency will collapse when everyone figures out how irresponsible they have been with their balance sheet. Bond yields will soar; stocks will plummet. Needless to say [...]

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More Distractions

On August 20, 2014 By

I have argued that we need two leaders – a President who attends to foreign policy and ceremonial duties and a Prime Minister who works on domestic legislation to fix the (primarily economic) problems of the day. Then only one of the two can be distracted by foreign issues that don’t affect Americans such as Crimean [...]

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Here’s my list of things that bug me. Some are big and some are petty. Feel free to offer new additions.


Mottos, Creeds, Rules

As we search for legitimate solutions to America’s problems everyone must obey these rules or we’ll never get anything done.

Mottos, Creeds and Rules

Reading List