We study economics not to acquire answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists. Joan Robinson
Room 641A: The massive intercept of civilian emails, internet use, and telephone conversations started before 9/11. Kellogg, Brown and Root got the contract to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States prior to 9/11, too. Long before Bush learned to mispronounce "Osama". Why?
Heckuva Job: As soon as FEMA started packing DPs (well, that's what we called them in WWII) into those trailers, the complaints started. FEMA checked things out, then suppressed the evidence. Now, tens of thousands of Katrina victims will be evicted from their government-issued toxic homes "due to health concerns." Compensation? Right next to the compassion, sir.
Observation: Have you seen anything come out of Wall Street in the last year that makes you think anyone there has the slightest idea what they are doing? The only group with a worse record runs America's car companies.
Bad, Very Bad: With all this concern about how pregnant we are and whether to call it Recession or Depression, very few seem to consider that it might well be called Collapse.
Horns: To solve the climate crisis all we need to do is eliminate human greenhouse gas emissions and remove massive amounts of CO2 out of the air, while maintaining adequate supplies of affordable food, securing the survival of the world’s biodiversity, and keeping the economy growing. Oh, and do this without using fossil fuels.
Economy Model: Hundreds of U.S. Marines have been killed by roadside bombs in Iraq because Marine Corps bureaucrats refused to provide blast-resistant vehicles. An internal review cited "gross mismanagement" in the delay of deliveries of the mine-resistant, ambush-protected trucks for more than two years." Semper Fi.
Doomster! We need to act now to avoid the coming oil crisis. So says the CEO of Hess Oil. "It is not only a matter of demand. It is not only a matter of supply…. We need to take steps on both fronts, and we need to start today." Ah, what's he know?
Swallows : Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the poorest of the poor in Central Asia, are suffering an horrific winter marked by severe energy shortages because Kazakhstan stopped fuel oil shipments and frozen lakes stopped hydro-electric generation and snow on the roads stopped everything else. In the spring they will transition seamlessly into serious food shortages.
Success: A military survey of Sunni, Shia, and Kurd factions in Iraq showed that each group cited the occupation by the Americans as the main cause of the civil war in Iraq. We've succeeded in uniting them.
Self-reliance: In January, Bush once again promised we would become energy independent. Simple, we just have to find and produce twice as much oil as Saudi Arabia does.
Cat's Paw: What I've not seen suggested in discussions of the tug-of-war between Exxon and Venezuela is the possibility that Exxon's position was encouraged by Cheney as a way of weakening Chavez's popularity. Psst, pass it on.
Countdown: Environmental restrictions prohibit US purchases of fuels that emit more greenhouse gas during their production and use than conventional petroleum-based fuel. That rules out fuel produced from Canada's oil sands. Bush will surely find a way around this inconvenient law that would diminish an oil company's profits..