Monday, August 12, 2013

SAR #13224

That the market will prevail is not necessarily comforting.

Enlightenment: Obama says the government's 24/7 monitoring of citizens is only "an incremental" infringement on our rights and that, besides, it's legal and will continue. So the only way to curtail this home-grown Stassi is to repeal the Patriot Act and rid ourselves of the Imperial Presidency. But to do that, we'll need a whole new Congress. And to get that we'll need a whole new electoral system and voting districts and political parties. And to get that we'll need a new Constitution. And to get one of those, we'll need a new revolution. Damn, and we just wanted to drain the swamp.

Stay Back From The Edge: After a quick run-up, homebuilder stocks have suddenly dropped 25%. Second only to the customer, home construction is a key to the economy and a strong housing industry is required if there's to be a recovery. And the market, right now, is far from convinced.

Inquiring Minds: According to a leak by Edward Snowden Barak Obama, a sealed indictment has been handed down over the Benghazi incident and the US is “intent on capturing those who carried out” the attack. Given our penchant for dropping missiles out of the sky on those silly enough to get on our bad side, why do we need an indictment? Time for a show trial? Trying to build up the head count at Guantanamo? Note: federal law says "no person may disclose [a sealed] indictment's existence," which could suggest the President is either a common criminal or an untouchable non-person.

Payday: Obviously there are a bunch of people who can run your company quite well; you should pick the one who will do the job for the least money.

Two Minutes of Hate: First we were supposed to go shopping, now we're not supposed to go anywhere. So much for the victory over al-Qaeda, which is now apparently a franchise operation with branches here and there that are sufficiently terrorfying to scare the US into closing its embassies. Why do we go along with this malarkey? Why does the press? How do the nation's intelligence failures justify opening your email and looking over your shoulder as you hit the internet or shop in the local mall? This is not “the new reality”. It is not new, it's antique. And it's not reality, it's propaganda. Now Fukushima– there's a real threat that we should be really afraid of - but the media goes where The Ministry of Truth points them.

Devil/Details: As Shell's CEO says, the shale revolution is “a little bit overhyped.” Y'think, Ollie?

All Ads, All The Time: As you walk down the street, ads on trash cans and in small windows and such keep changing to show you the same two or three items. Why? Because they know who you are and what your shopping habits are. How? Your cell phone, dummy. That electronic monitor you happily carry about. It even tells what you ordered for supper and which bathroom you use in the bar (and plays you an ad over the sink while you're there). It's called 'personalized advertising' and it's coming to a lamp-post or trash can near you. 
Comes The Dawn: Maybe the terrorists are not that good, maybe our hundreds of billions a year spent on espionage of all sorts is a waste on money because, at base, our spies are simply not very good at their jobs. 
Possibility: “So how does this end? Here’s a depressing thought: maybe it doesn’t... We can probably have high unemployment and stable prices in Europe and America for a very long time — and all the wise heads will insist that it’s all structural, and nothing can be done until the public accepts drastic cuts in the safety net. ...permanent depression could end up simply becoming accepted as the way things are ”

The Parting Shot:


Classof65 said...

"Daily Kos" has recently published an article that is called "15 ways to show we do not have a liberal media." Have you read it? If not, please google the title and read it. I'm sure you'll find it interesting...

ghickey said...

I read your blog daily. And almost always agree with your sentiments expressed.

However, regarding housing as a driver of the economy I must disagree. A booming housing sector is a result of a strong economy, not a prerequisite or the cause of strength in the economy.

This is the type of confusion that follows financial bubbles. It is the same as believing that the stock market is the cause of a strong economy. As in the "wealth effect" that motivates some central bankers of late....

Yours truly,

HS said...

Enlightenment/2 Minutes/Possibility- It should be abundantly obvious by now that the ownership class controls all in the US--the government, the press (through consolidation), and the Federal Reserve. Quantitative easing was a wealth transfer that was propagandized as stimulus and the US public has been dumbed down enough to buy it. It is only to the ownership class's benefit to maintain perpetually high unemployment, hence the push for immigration reform. The fact that they've trotted Krugman out to sell this concept is all the confirmation that is required.

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re Enlightenment - we don't need a new constitution to get a new party - just different behavior by the people we've already got

over the weekend a telephone poll asked my party affiliation - republican, democratic, independent - without the slightest hesitation, and without premeditation either, i answered "socialist"

that's senator bernie sanders' affiliation, by the way - read all about it - they just call him "independent" because the word "socialist" scares the horses

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re personalized ads based on tracking you with your mobile phone - as i understand it, turning off the phone doesn't help - you have to take the battery out

or - and here's a startling idea - go someplace without taking the phone with you

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Hey Gang - sorry to be absent - now and then life gets in the way...

But in order:

Class of 65: SAR sent you to the DailyKos item in SAR #13221's "Spotty Quiz".

ghickey: While there's a bit of chicken-egg to the housing/economy feedback cycle, there has been and continues to be a strong attempt to kick-start that cycle. Yes, mainly to indenture the "owners", but also to get the secondary and dependent consumer spending running again to increase the profits on that part of the tinker-toy.

HS: I missed the part where PK advocated QE. He advocates stimulus spending on projects that put money in the people's pockets, not the bankers' vaults. Else why warn that the object seems to be to get us to accept "permanent depression"? As for the rest you are, unfortunately, correct.

mcpd: re cell phone. Only time I carry mine is walking in the woods - and only four people have the number. (Not counting the government...)

mcpd: And just how do you propose to "change the behavior" of politicians who do not need you and have a monopoly on the process - both monetarily and structurally?

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

ck - i wasn't clear enough - when i said "different behavior by the people we've already got" i intended to convey two related ideas

a)change of behavior by those politicians that we currently have, who are capable of responding to popular demand for new policies

b)change of which politicians are in power, by the power of the ballot box - in this case the behavior that is changing is the voting behavior of the people

this assumes there could be a change of popular sentiment, AND semi-honest elections - maybe these things can happen, maybe not, but they are worth a try

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

mcpd _ Ah, but the two main problems with popular democracy are (1) the people and (2) what the people think they want.