Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SAR #10167

Public Relations is but propaganda in a pretty dress.

Quoted:  “The National Rifle Association agreed on Tuesday to permit House passage of tougher disclosure requirements on campaign advertising and other political activity.”

Less is Less:  US household debt has fallen for 7 consecutive quarters. Some cheer, noting that it was a feeding-frenzy of debt-based consumption that got us into the current mess.  But Americans went so far into debt because (1) the banksters made it easy and (2) American (inflation adjusted) wages have been falling for 30 years so the only way to keep consuming at the rate necessary to keep the economy running was to go into debt and to borrow, borrow, borrow against the illusionary value of their homes.  Now Americans have no choice but to pare back their debts, and thus there is and will be scant revival of the consumer-based economy.

On BP and the Damages:  “Fish can’t sue. Only people can.”

Un-American:  A bunch of Israel's Democratic puppets are demanding that the State Department bar the peace activists who took part in the Gaza flotilla from entering the US. Bunch of terrorists.

Animal Farm, Revised:   Some Europeans are more equal than others, or so France and Germany suggest with their proposal that those countries which do not adhere to EU budgetary guidelines should lose their voting rights.  Okay, but taxation without representation's been tried before...

Words/Deeds:   BP, which says it has nothing to hide, has hired Talon Security (think mercenaries) to help hide stuff - like oil on beaches and dead birds and animals.

Words in a Certain Order:   “We in the democratic world tend to assume state capitalism can’t prosper forever.  Innovative companies can’t thrive unless there’s also a free exchange of ideas.  A high-tech economy requires more creative destruction than an authoritarian government can tolerate. Cronyism will inevitably undermine efficiency. ” Blather.  Improvable platitudes.   And who is this 'we' and where is there an actual 'democratic' world?

Efficiency:  BP is going to cut out the middleman and burn off the oil and gas as soon as it gets to the surface.  Saves on refining and distribution and gets the CO2 directly to its ultimate destination.

Another One Bites Himself:   Turns out Rand Paul is not a board-certified ophthalmologist, as he claims.   Well, he is, but only by the National Board of Ophthalmology,  an outfit would-be Senator Paul set up by himself and runs out of a PO box in Bowling Green.  Not to be confused with the American Board of Ophthalmology, which certifies real ophthalmologists.  His explanation, “what does that have to do with the election?”

Peeking at Saudi Oil:  Saudi Arabia's petroleum output fell by a million barrels per day in 2009, down 11% from the previous year.  Explanations vary.

Where's the Egress?  Israel has painted itself into yet another no-win corner.  Everyone - the UN, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and even Hillary Clinton – wants the blockade of Gaza to end.  But being Israel means never having to say you're sorry, so all Netanyahu can do is sputter and blame the victims.  Which has gone down well in Israel and in the US Congress for decades.

Stimulus Spending:  With a nod to how silly the concept of GDP is, JP Morgan observes that the massive BP oil leak will raise the US GDP.  Every dollar spent scooping up dead pelicans is a dollar of economic activity.  Plus it will employ at least 4,000 of the 100,000+ thrown out of work by the disaster.  Benefits all 'round.

Curb Your Enthusiasm:  There are a lot of rocks in Afghanistan.  Many of them have useful minerals in them.  Maybe worth $1 trillion over some long, long time span.  This is not news.  The US 'found' the buried treasure using Russian maps, who based theirs on some drawn up by Kipling and company.  Note that the commodity markets merely shrugged.  Take a calming breath, then tell me:   Where is the energy to mine this stuff going to come from?   Where's the infrastructure – the roads, workers, reliable and stable government?  How big will the bribes have to be?  How much unmet need is there for most of this stuff?  How many years of internal warfare will there be before a reliably corrupt government is stable enough to take the next step?


Anonymous said...

"Explanations vary."

Subtle ;)

ibilln said...

Less is Less: Great! There's a lot of data out there about how the consumer is dead-ish, but your re-statement of the case is right on point. Thanks.

Rand Paul: According to Wikipedia, he got a real MD from Duke, no less. I'd wager there's a story there...

Anonymous said...

"Blather. Improvable latitudes. And who is this 'we'?"

Thank you, CKM, for your daily brilliance.

It's the first thing I read in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Curb Your Enthusiasm:


The years of cheap colonial bumboys is over. You have to hand out a lot of the LOOT to the locals like Hammered Karzai. They want their cut. Imperialism don' t pay no more; the model is broken. But not the political power of the War Racketeers who, lose or lose, make BILLIONS.

kwark said...

RE: Curb Your Enthusiasm Well, look at all the democracy our boys and girls have died to bring to the 'stans. Why shouldn't corporate America make a few bucks here and there, I mean what with the corporate welfare/bailouts fizzling and consumers refusing to do their job and consume what are they to do? And after all, making money is what all the killing's about anyway.