Month: March 2011

Stop the Insanity! Please?

You knew the initial news from Fukushima had to worse than they said. It is. Question now is how much worse. Got rods in one reactor on the concrete floor; isn’t the next step melting through? (More here.) And thus we also get to the Big Media Fail: The recent meme is that nukes are far safer than we think. However, usually left un-noted is the obvious — when they fail, it’s a massive disaster. (And the Times, for one, is doing a most excellent job burying the news.) Looks like Copacabana may be getting really hot in the near future….

It must be me: You nearly never read criticism of pols that hypothesize that they don’t say things in ignorance but are deliberately lying, pandering. Has it not been so since the dawn of time? That they do know better but say stupid, dishonest stuff ’cause that’s how they get votes?

More proof of how weird I am: I cannot stop wondering why anyone would put an orthodox Objectivist in a position of great power over the American economy. They per se cannot do even a competent job, no matter how much they fellate and so on the D.C. press whores corp.

Just another reason we’re doomed.

Hey! Maybe if Obomba had balls principles and was honest, he wouldn’t be in a position where he’d have said this because he would have instead done the right thing.

Odd that the Times finds it odd that Republican rank and file have Big Business manipulating them. Who wouldn’t pay a couple hundred dollars a year for this “quality” “journalism”? Maybe people want free news because the quality of too much journalism is too crappy? I mean, if you pay what it’s worth, free is approximately a correct price.

Big Media "journalism" in three panels.
Vey ist meir! Another funny too close to reality to be funny.

Return to Normalcy! Hope-Free Blogging Returns!

So, the states’ fiscal condition may be improving already with increasing revenues — but it’s not stopping the rightwing’s lies about the need for draconian austerity (the better to funnel more money to speculators and the private sector). (Use Google to bust through the Journal’s paywall if you need to.)

Fiscal austerity: Clearly needed by still-collapsing home prices (a/k/a destruction of wealth) and Obomba’s failure to help underwater homeowners.

The failure of the Reagan Skool of Economics (as if the recent economic meltdown isn’t enough proof).

TimesFail! The Times opines on the failure of the Fed to jumpstart the economy overlooking that that isn’t really the Fed’s job, it’s the job of the President and Congress and they have failed mightily. And here’s how else the clueless Big Media fail….

Asshole, whore: Judge Beryl Howell.

Actually, far too close to reality to be funny.

Just a Little Hope

Not to defend natural disasters, exactly (I can, I suppose, I just don’t want to), as I’ve said Japan’s Great Triple Disaster (Mighty 3-in-1) may have a massive silver lining: The stimulus Japan’s needed for decades. Meanwhile, my neighbor, Alan Abelson, in Barron’s(!), channeling our local Croton radicalism, gives us this hope for the U.S.A.:

WE HUMBLY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE’VE been among those aforementioned cranky pessimists, and so is one of our favorite market pundits recently interviewed inBarron’s, MacroMavens’ Stephanie Pomboy. In her latest dispatch, Stephanie has come up with an epiphany, or it may be the product of too little sleep and too much coffee. We can’t make up our mind which, but like everything Stephanie writes, it’s provocative, feisty and smart.

The long and short of her discovery is that the Sendai quake in Japan will prove to be “the book-end on the Era of Globalization begun with Reagan’s speech at the Brandenburg Gate. Already contending with the outbreak of riots and civil unrest in developing nations, Japan’s quake conspires to solidify burgeoning doubts about the blessings of offshoring.”

As companies from Boeing to GM cope with a shortage of Japanese parts, she goes on, “the realization that even developed economies with stable political and social backdrops are not without risks surely has U.S. executives considering the benefits of sourcing supplies at or close to home.”

So what she envisions is that the tragedy in Japan over the long pull “will prove a blessing for the U.S., resuscitating our moribund manufacturing sector and returning jobs from overseas.”

The process and its benefits, she admits, isn’t going to happen overnight, but rather will unfold over years, if not decades. In the interim, while they work to centralize their supply chains and ultimately bring production back home, companies, Stephanie predicts, will hold more inventory as a matter of course. And the impulse to stockpile, she reasons, “diminished by the opening of borders and the disinflation it ushered in,” will get a new lease on life.

“Mother Nature,” she speculates, “may have accomplished what Bernanke could not. By shifting the tectonic plates in a way that finds marginal hiring and production taking place at home, she may have sown the seeds for a durable recovery.”

More hope here. I believe it!

Meanwhile, the judiciary may be getting a little corrupted. Ex-RIAA lobbyist becomes, federal judge, rules on file-sharing (“piracy”) cases. It’s not a conflict now because she may only return to the anti-piracy business on retirement. Of course, unless she steps down soon, there’ll be no RIAA to return to….

Doomed! Obomba: Serial failure (only on the big issues).

An un-American activity.

 

So. The Way I See it

Let’s look at the current economic disaster and the failure of our leaders to do very much to prevent the relatively imminent next disaster, Too Big to Save.

My perspective is that of the substance abuser.

In the 1920s, the investment class, so to speak, was like a bunch of addicts: greed and wealth over all. Which, like all addictions, resulted in disaster.

Enter FDR, who initially acted like an intervenor, essentially saving capitalists from themselves by policing them and preventing from destroying everything and within those limits, otherwise allowing them to do pretty much whatever they want.

The binge began all over again with Reagan and his followers egging on the investor class, effectively shutting down the police.

Disaster again.

Obama, elected in part as a reaction to the 2008 disaster has simply failed to intervene, preferring to be the addicts’ puppet.

And here we are.

Of course it’s not quite that simple.

But it’s plenty close enough.

(Feel free to prove me wrong.)

We’re So Lucky to Live in Times Like These

Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. — Confucius

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. — Mark Twain

Doomed! Professor Krugman:

The GOP prescription for higher employment is actually quite spectacular — it’s a thing of many levels, an ignorance wrapped in a fallacy.

The idea is this: we’ll lay off government workers; this will raise unemployment, putting downward pressure on wages; and lower wages will lead to higher employment.

So, for this to work you first have to have a downward-sloping demand for labor as a function of the nominal wage rate. There’s no reason to believe that’s the case: in a liquidity trap, falling wages probably reduce the demand for labor, because they worsen the burden of debt.

And even if you somehow bypass this objection, the argument is still nonsense: it says that by reducing demand, you cut the price, which increases demand, which means that you end up selling more than before. Um, no — that’s the kind of answer that, in Econ 101, has you suggesting that the student get special tutoring.

Doomed:

The “solution,” according to those same companies, is for the U.S. to offer a tax amnesty that will allow them to repatriate profits (which they have to do in order to, for example, pay dividends or buy back stock in the U.S.) at much lower tax rates — like zero. The lobbyists’ talking point is that if the companies have more cash in the U.S., they will invest it in ways that will create jobs. This doesn’t even pass the laugh test: as Coy and Drucker report, U.S. nonfinancial companies are already sitting on over $1 trillion in liquid assets within the U.S. (Link.)

How we’re winning in Afghanistan. Not.

Let’s see if I’m clear: Invading Iraq to destabilize the nation and in the process enable the slaughter of minorities is a good thing. So now Joe Lieberman wants to hit Syria because their leader isn’t doing a good enough job killing his own people?

It’s a Corporatist Person and You’re Only a Person

An a candidate I could support:

(More here.)

Corporatist state? Corporatist world. Who is Micro$oft to put people at risk?

For reasons unknown, Microsoft has changed the settings on Hotmail to disable HTTPS for users in several countries including Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Congo, Myanmar, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Hotmail users in those countries can now be readily spied upon by ISPs and their governments. (more)

Fukushima Daiichi: The Long March to Three Mile Island apparently continues. Ditto.

What’s American about the Wisconsin GOP? (More here.) Wait a second: It’s even worse than that.

Hey, look! A new low for Big Journalism. Again, why would any one pay for crap like this? Meanwhile, the Times inadvertently makes a joke: This guy is not a success because he’s a print man but because he reports real news of interest instead of bullshit and idiocy.

The modern FBI: Lousy detectives, great killers.

Lying piece of dishonest crap: John Lott.

Once again, it’s the Canadians who do the right thing.

My obsession with the lie that piracy destroyed Big Music:

[I]f it’s true that “music piracy” has dropped 30 percent, then we should have seen some sort of concomitant rise in music sales. And if there wasn’t one, well, does that mean the music industry is wrong that “piracy” is the cause of its financial decline? (more)

Hello, Sunshine!

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. — Albert Einstein

Spewer of lies. Click on the image for the latest.

So retards like Megan McArdle actually get paid for writing ignorant and/or dishonest crap like this? No wonder America’s in a terminal decline….

Austerity: Proven disastrous.

Obomba strikes another blow against freedom.

If a poor jobless mom is a welfare queen, what does that make, oh, General Electric? Or these greed addicts.

The Wisconsin cancer spreads to Maine. (More here.)

Sweet! An eighth grader gets sent home for wearing a pro-equality shirt. Guess it should have had the stars and bars on it; that kind of equality rocks down there in Louisiana.

Nuclear power: If you know, unacceptable. Read this and know.

The headline of the day, in which Newt Gingrich clearly demonstrates his qualification for the Republican nomination — shameless lying:

Newt Attacks Obama For Bombing Libya Weeks After Demanding Obama Bomb Libya

History, delirious history: