Tuesday, June 15, 2010

SAR #10166

War is a feature, not a flaw, in our economic system.

Mysterious East Central Asia:  In Kygyzstan, Kyrgyzies are slaughtering Uzbecks because they aren't Kygyzies.  I've sent away for a pamphlet that will explain the differences and why it matters.  It's a companion volume to the one explaining differences in the two types of Irish folk, various Semites and other vitally important trivia.

Without Comment:   The FAA is under pressure to open US skies to drones...

Forward into the Past:  It is widely acknowledged that FDR's error was caving in to the deficit hawks and reversing the recovery from the Great Depression, making it even worse.  They're back.  The lunatics are in charge and they want to cut, cut, cut – based on the medieval belief that bloodletting will make us better.  And if it doesn't, it will at least please the banks and bond markets.  The Germans are doing it.  The French, too.  The Greeks, the Spanish and the Portuguese believe they have no choice but to do it.  The UK, too.  Thus we lose another battle in the war between the bankers and the people.

Dateline: 13 June 2010.    Today BP started deploying undersea sensors to measure the amount of crude oil gushing from the seabed.  Only 55 days late.  This joins the long list of BP cost-cutting measures.

Monopoly:  US law enforcement authorities claim that the 1 million gang members in the US are responsible for 80% of all US crime.  Ought to be a law.

Encouragement:  With just a tad of encouragement from the White House, BP has come up with a new plan that will let it capture 50,000 barrels of oil a day from a leak they claim is only leaking 25,000 barrels a day, up from only 5,000 bpd a couple of PR announcements ago.

Send Money:  Fannie and Freddie need another trillion or so to keep the US housing market afloat. But hey, it's the American Dream – to have your neighbors buy you a house....

Re-appraisal: Looking back over the last two years, Nassim Taleb sees the economic situation today as drastically worse, with no recovery in sight. He sees more debt, more unemployment, a smaller tax base, larger risks, and the euro as “a doomed concept.”

Spot Quiz: Fill in the blank [ _ ] with a list of all the things BP has done right since April 20th.

No Problem:  In Australia there are fears the government may record internet user's browser history and details of their emails. We Americans can reassure them that it is painless – NSA's been doing this for a decade or more and only a few of us have disappeared.  So far.

Understatement:  “It will be some time before home values increase significantly.”

Clip & Save:  President Obama promised Monday that "things are going to return to normal" along the Gulf Coast and that the region's fouled waters will be in even better shape than before BP spilled a gazillion barrels of oil into the Gulf.

Cleanup Camps:  BP is hiring thousands of unemployed Gulf Coast fisherman, shrimpers, hotel maids and tour guides to clean up the oil spill. These folks have homes in the area – plus there are any number of empty motel rooms available.  So why is BP building a temporary camp to house 1,500 clean-up workers?  A camp with its own police and policies – like no alcohol, no reporters....  Do they plan on bringing in migrant workers who won't be so inclined to complain about not being provided safety gear and have a harder time getting compensation when they get sick from a lack of proper clothing and equipment?


Eric Hacker said...

re: Forward into the Past

Some deficit hawks may have the wrong reasons, but I agree with their solution. If one thinks a recovery is possible, then a deficit doesn't matter. If one recognizes that humans have hit the glass ceiling of resource limits and that a debt based economy cannot continue, then applying what worked in the Depression is no longer valid.

So then are deficits good or bad under the current circumstances? That depends on who will be harmed by them in the end. I think that much of the pain will fall onto the middle and lower classes. Especially as deficits are being used now to transfer bad and risky assets to the governments from the banksters. Therefore deficits are mostly bad and the little good they are doing will cause more pain later on. Better to have people fall out of the system now and begin to learn to be more self sufficient while things aren't dire, then have the floor drop out at once.

Bottom line: The elite are in full control and will find a way of benefiting no matter what. We just need to find the best path down the long decent for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment above in that there are good ways to spend money and bad ways. Taxing capital gains and hedge funds equally with 'ordinary income', and clawing back a few dollars from some overpaid public pensioners would not only help our sense of justice, it might allow us to spend those dollars (resources) on more important activities.

ibilln said...

Forward into the past: Very well said! I've taken the liberty of re-posting (with attribution of course) on my high-volume web site (3-8 hits/day).


Anonymous said...

I want to say a few more words on your headline, War is a feature, not a flaw, in our economic system.

During the 2008 presidential campaign my wife's niece, an intelligent and educated young woman in her early twenties, visited the U.S. from a South American country. She asked me if Obama was change I could believe in. No, not really, I replied. On the one hand, an apparent willingness on the part of many Americans to vote for a man with some African ancestry was a sign of real social progress. On the other hand, America needs to reform, to repent, to face the truth about how it acts – not only towards non-whites within its borders, but towards the rest of the world – and a politician who wants to withdraw troops from Iraq, and yet send more to Afghanistan, is Hillary Clinton with a bit more melanin and a Y chromosome.

On July 12, 2008, the Financial Times had a letter to the editor titled “Militarism A Feature of US Socioeconomic System”, which said, in part: “I have concluded, with much sadness, that the American militarism that brought us war with Vietnam when I was young, and war with Iraq today, is not a flaw of our socioeconomic system, but a feature. I recommend to your writer, and to all interested readers, Eugene Jarecki’s documentary film, Why We Fight, which includes President Eisenhower’s warning about the influence of the ‘military-industrial complex’.

Until our political leaders lead the fight against these ‘masters of war’ (in Bob Dylan’s phrase), instead of speaking of US soldiers occupying foreign lands as ‘defending our freedom’, we can expect more war and ruinously expensive preparations for war.”

I have coined, and advocate the use of, a catchy acronym which builds on Eisenhower’s phrase (which will be taught in public school in the humane, reasonable USA that may yet come to pass, either in our future or in some parallel universe)- the MICFiC

M ilitary
I ndustrial
C ongressional
Fi nancial
C orporate Media Complex -

“A conspiracy to use, abuse, and confuse the people – to ‘milk, shear, and slaughter the sheeple’, figuratively speaking – except the slaughter is literal."

Anonymous said...

Monopoly: US law enforcement authorities claim that the 1 million gang members in the US are responsible for 80% of all US crime. Ought to be a law.

Yes indeed, the GOLDMAN GANG, the War Racketeers, the PHARMA BUMS, AGRIBIZ, etc. More than a MILLION there! As for the penny ante drug dealers, etc.: CHICKEN FEED!!

Anonymous said...

My cousin tried to get a job in assisting with the hurricane katrina cleanup. He had experience in hazmat work and thought it would be easy money.

None of the companies would hire him. 90% of all the work was done by illegal aliens with no safety equipment.

BP will no doubt transition to the 'illegal solution' to keep down costs.