Archive for April, 2009

FINANCIAL PIRATES AHOY!

April 27, 2009

SAVE CIVILIZATION FROM THE DRUG OF SUICIDALLY HUBRISTIC GREED.
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Introduction: The damage, and death toll, that financial pirates cause is incommensurably greater than the one caused by pirates at sea. So why has it been tolerated for so long? All right, handy stupidocrats, paid by their hyper rich masters, have made the American public much unaware of anything that really matters to their condition. OK, the exactions of the financial pirates and their armed forces, were long directed to other nations, but still, the tide turned long ago…

Verily, the American public got habituated to abuse, and may find a perverse pleasure forgetting the emptiness of its condition through said abuse by the lords of finance.

Considering the state of the planet this codependency of evil has no future. Time for a philosophical straight jacket.
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WHO IS CIVILIZED?
How does one measure civilization? By a flourishing economy? But then how is that measured? By GDP, the thing that augments in traffic jams, and an increasingly inefficient USA economy, with its gold plated health exploiters such as Warren Buffet? (By the way, I have a whole theory on how to found economy as a more exact science, using energy; somewhere else published, and beyond the scope of the present essay.)

Is a civilization more advanced than another because of its more advanced science, its more advanced technology? In other words: its more advanced knowledge of the truth? Or is civilization measured by its ethics? But then who is to say that a slave society, where women are half what men are, is ethically less advanced than another, especially when the orders were given by an analphabetic epileptic in the desert?

Well, there is a ready answer to this. A cursory look at history shows that less advanced ethics give a less advanced economical system, science and technology.

The monstrous experience with increasingly unjustifiably dictatorial civilizations in the Middle East demonstrated this: what had been the most advanced area in the world for a long time became progressively one of the most backwards. And now with the reigning superstition that undercut women and want to kill everybody else who do not believe in the lunacy (pun intended!), it is full speed backwards, as the Taliban marches on Islam-a-bad and its thermonuclear nukes.

But back to the main subject.

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ETHICS IS ABSOLUTE, BECAUSE EVOLUTION IS ABSOLUTE:
Indeed is ethics always relative, or just indirectly measured by techno-economical progress?

Of course not. Ethics is absolute. One can point at the Charter of the United Nations, the one that countries founded on an uneducated superstition violate everyday. That Charter is absolute. Human Rights are absolute.

That absolutism of Human Rights, in turn, is founded on ten million years of specifically human evolution. Human beings come with their own owner’s manual, and part of it is called ethics. Evolution wanted it, and evolution is all knowing, misericordious, and most merciful. Differently from the big man raging in the sky, it really exists. EVOLUTION GROUNDS ETHICS ABSOLUTELY.

In specifically human evolution, for example, all humans are equal, and women are not the idiots the Qur’an say they are. Far from being unable to devise a plan, as the Qur’an and Lawrence Summers say, women were devised by evolution to be as capable mentally, in the average as men. Actually, it’s both the Qur’an and Summers who proved unable to devise a plan, except if that plan was to destroy civilization. 
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THE QUID PRO QUO OF GLOBALIZATION, AND WHO BUSTED IT:
This was already attempted during colonization. The dirty little secret of decolonization is that the rich countries wanted out. A French minister of finance during the decolonization of Africa expressed his opinion. It was a strange thing: after all, basically, and contrarily to legend, Africa had not really asked to be decolonized, with the exception of communist penetrated Guinean unions; even Algeria had voted massively for the new French constitution, and was given as feed to the FLN nevertheless. So what really happened? Well, something very much related to the present globalization crisis.

That French minister finally admitted the obvious: France was unwilling to keep spending for a fully functioning hospital every 100 kilometers in gigantic Africa. Same with infrastructure throughout Africa. Of course there were other problems, such as Soviet and American imperialisms that were determined to push the European powers, weakened by Nazism, out of the planet, if at all possible.

Nevertheless, the selfish factor played a very important role. Spain and Portugal, which kept their colonies longer, suffered economically from it (although they were spending as little as possible).

The quid pro quo of globalization was that the developing countries would pay their way (instead of having the colonial powers creating their infrastructure) by working and selling products to the advanced countries, which, in turn would exchange their more advanced products (developed from their advanced scientific research). Great.

Some important participants kept their side of the bargain, mostly Japan, China, and now India and Latin America. But the advanced industrial countries faltered. Of course the USSR turned into a disaster: it was insufficiently democratic to keep up with ideas.

But the West faltered badly, because, there too, democracy faltered. But more insidiously. Basically the disposable part of the economy, the investable capability, was stolen by peasants and pirates.
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DOWN WITH WESTERN AGRIBUSINESS:
The farming lobbies used the electoral maps, in Europe and the USA, to have more clouts than they deserve.

The total subsidies in agriculture of the EU and the USA amount to around 300 billion dollars. instead, they should be zero, because that’s 300 billion dollars stolen from the poorest parts of the world, those that can trade only agricultural products.

Moreover this money is desperately needed to deploy in research and development. For example material research (new batteries, and all sorts of more efficient materials) depends enormously on the number of researchers and steady budgets (China, which is number one in some material subsectors, such as some optical crystals, has proven this). Sending the money instead to American cows and European corn so that the water table can either disappear (Western USA) or get illegally polluted to death (Western France), is an outrage to Africa, and the future of mankind.
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WHY FINANCIERS ARE MORE MURDEROUS THAN SOMALI PIRATES:
Roosevelt dubbed bankers, “banksters”. His implicit idea was that they made gangs, gangs of bankers, and robbed the public. He came in as president, fully cognizant of the class of hyper rich thieves he belonged to (Roosevelt knew quite well that many American plutocrats were in bed and thick business with European fascists, such as Mussolini and Stalin; he would see the massive business of American plutocrats with Hitler grow below his unbelieving eyes).

So Roosevelt closed all the banks and did what Obama has got to do: shut down the bad ones, help and regiment the good ones.

A lot of measures, during the great depression, consisted in reining in the financiers, and legislate their abusive amusements out of existence.

That arsenal of preventive measures was taken down under Rubin, Summers and Clinton (the genius of economic malevolence, Summers his name, repelled the Banking Act of 1933, in 1999, no less!). This dismantlement went all the way to the repeal of the up-tick rule on short sales. The later executive order (not yet overturned by Obama!) coincided not coincidentally with the exact moment when the market peaked under Bush II, in July 2007.

After that the hedge funds could make like bandits, until all the 401k had turned into 201k, and that meant that the hyper rich fed on the retirement of the American public, like vultures on a freshly killed carcass. This was a deliberate plot to enrich the money manipulators, by bringing the clock back to the world of finance that had caused the Great Depression of the 1930s. The same cause had the same effect in 2008.

Then the impudent plutocrats required the public to pay their 2008 bonuses, while in Nevada people die of cancer because the state, having run out of money, does not treat them anymore. The impudent plutocrats will not need the public for their 2009 bonuses, thank you. Too bad if the cancer patients died. Maybe they should have eaten caviar.

A better model of what’s happening with finance is not gangsterism, but piracy. The financial class of the USA got used to see the money passing by, like Somalian pirates see the ships passing by, and it came to them that, by threatening loss of the economy, hence lives (because ultimately even the health care system is starting to fail even more than usual as the economy of the USA heads towards a depression), they could make tremendous wealth for themselves.

*** 

 

THE FINANCIAL PIRATES ABUSE THE ECONOMY TO DEATH:
Some will say that I exaggerate. But the Roman republic died from plutocracy, and even the Roman empire later on, as plutocracy led to an intellectual fascism so thick, the entire social fabric fell apart. The social fabric of the USA shows some serious signs of extreme stress. In a way, the USSR died that way, because the Soviet regime was intrinsically plutocratic: all the power of money (or economy) was in very few hands.

The wealth stolen by financial operators does not create something that other people can use. Building huge datchas in the deep woods, contrarily to what Keynes (with his holes) argued, is not helpful to the infrastructure of the countries, because only a few can use those datchas. The properties of the rich and their valets and lackeys do not have enough public utility.

The wealth of the plutocrat is not the wealth of the entrepreneur that provides a new service or product to others. The wealth of the plutocrat is grabbed from more productive areas of the economy.  It’s the sort of wealth usury brings. All the wealth of the world came to serve the hyper, mentally unbalanced nuts who find pleasure in humiliating others and depriving them. It is as much economic activity that goes into valets, and as much that does not go into research for new science and technology.

Of course financial pirates’ propaganda always vaunts its new “products”. In truth all they are just new traps to exploit people with more usury (“subprime, Alt A”). They invented strictly nothing of value, besides reinstituting serfdom by replacing common sense by credit. Credit cards and bank cards with their electronic chips inside were invented by French engineers working in Marseilles, not by Wall Street titans of Ponziness.
***

HYPNOTIZED BY THE PLUTOCRACY:
Over times, pirates established themselves in some seas, because they habituated people to expect piracy, and live with it. It was the case for decades towards the end of the Roman republic, as Rome was sagging under its own plutocrats (Plutocracies love to create messes they can exploit, be it simply by posing as saviors). Pirates had created entire cities, all of them fortified. Even Julius Caesar was captured, and his family had to pay a ransom to recover that young man.

Finally commerce, on which Rome crucially depended, became very difficult, and the Roman senate had enough. In a demonstration of what plutocracy could do, the Roman Senate, happy to breach the People’s republic a bit more, gave extraordinary powers to Pompey the Great. Pompey attacked, and cleaned the entire Mediterranean in … three months.

The present mess can be cleaned in three months too. Only the will is lacking. It is not been cleared in three months because people that created the mess helped elect Obama, and now they expect to be paid. Summers and Geithner are there to watch Obama, and lead him astray. A convenient trial in Chicago will bring many Obama associates to the witness stand (Rezko, Emanuel). That should keep a plutocratic Damocles sword over Obama. At the slightest deviation from the desired trajectory, plutocratic money could do wonders with embarrassing revelations. After all, to handicap Clinton, for years, it took only the definition of the word “sex” (something about cigars, in the USA, it seems).

But Putin was the toy of the Russian plutocrats. Once firmly in power, he backstabbed them. (The Economist, apparently handsomely paid by Russian plutocrats plotting in Britain, ran a rabid anti-Putin campaign for years, in a vain attempt to keep the hyper rich Russians, hyper rich; never mind that they invented nothing, and went from rags to riches in a split second, thanks to dirty, unjust deals galore.)

The essential cause of the financial and economic disaster is the greed and corruption of the financial pirates, and the fact that the public got habituated to their exactions, impudence and hubris. The solution is to stop being habituated first.

The financial pirates are worse than useless, they are the worst problem dragging the economy down. It’s not just that they steal immense fortunes. They take a lot of deliberately bad decisions they personally profit from (an example is the selling short of the retirement of common Americans). The same occur with piracy at sea. Pirates do not just steal stuff, and kill the occasional victim. They also make commerce a fearful thing, and more expensive, and thus hinder it. Similarly with financial pirates: they do not just affect commerce at sea, but all commerce, and, by disorganizing the entire world economy, including health care, they kill more than any pirate could.

***

FINANCIAL PIRACY AS THERAPY:
Why all the madness? Can’t the plutocrats see they are killing civilization, hence their planet, hence themselves? Sure they would, if they really tried, but they use a flaw in the human disposition. The whole point they have, is to be so idiotic that they become forgetful of the human condition. The same could be said of Hitler: how come he dared to risk a world war, that he was sure to lose? Because he wanted to experience hatred, a mighty passion that drowned completely the fearful emptiness that his condition would have been otherwise (considering his intrinsically boring nature).

Zhuangzi (4C BCE) suggested to view life as a butterfly dream. Twenty-four centuries later, having badly digested Nietzsche, a few French philosophers proclaimed that life was absurd. This pathology came from too much boredom, and not enough passion, not enough stress (maybe a reaction to life having got suddenly boring, from the defeat of the Nazis). Human beings are made to run away from giant cave lions, and then plot carefully how to kill them, or, at least, make the lions respectful enough to stay away.

The piratical financier is that lion they want to flee and fight, but not too much, lest the universe feel too devoid of passion.

Time to grow up, or go climbing, or hunt real lions with sticks and stones. Indeed, it’s time to reestablish discipline: humankind is confronting the biggest lion ever, the planet devouring run away greenhouse. And there are other lions out there, maybe smaller, but still nasty, such as biological, or nuclear war.

Time to put financial piracy in a straight jacket.
***

Patrice Ayme
https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/

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KORAN’S SEXISM EXHIBITED, NATO DECRIED.

April 23, 2009

THE QUR’AN IS OUTRAGEOUSLY SEXIST.
ITS INCOMPATIBILITY WITH WESTERN CIVILIZATION RUNS DEEP.

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I extracted ALL the significant sentences in the Qur’an having to do with women, and put them below. When philosophy goes to war, it can be as simple as pointing to the naked truth. But old remnants tremble and shatter.

***

Warning: Extracting from the Qur’an all verses relative to women was widely viewed by some simple minds, apparently replacing mental activity by pseudo political correctness, or simple cowardice, as “moronic”, “racist” and “neofascist”.

It’s of course none of the sort. Quite the opposite. Publishing parts of a religious text is neither racist, nor stupid, nor neofascist. Various dictators have been trying to hide behind religion at the United Nations, true, by equating secularism with racism. But civilization should not surrender to them.

***

OLD RELIGIONS, OLD AND OUTRAGEOUS SEXISM: IS THIS WHAT NATO IS FIGHTING FOR?

In previous versions of this essay, the Qur’an was quoted directly, right at the start of the essay. An argument was then made, though, that I did not refer to the Bible and Hinduism while I mentioned the Qur’an, and that I thus exhibited this way my fanatical pro-Bible, pro-Eight Sacred texts of Hinduism disposition. So let me correct that by being very clear.

Both the Bible and old time Hinduism are sexist, true. The Bible being, moreover, a direct source for the Qur’an (see below). Hinduism was much more murderous than the Qur’an against women, no comparison (widows would be burned alive, sometimes, as in the Old Scandinavian religion).

OK, now that these greetings are out of the way, and before quoting the Qur’an’s abusive disposition against women, let me get to the crux of the matter as far as the point of it all, another bone of contention, some having accused me of ‘Historicism’, being obsessed by old texts, out of context.

Neither the Bible nor Hinduism are the law anywhere nowadays. Instead the Qur’an is officially the law in many so called “Muslim” countries. NATO supports many of them.

In particular, soldiers from secular NATO are supposed to fight in Afghanistan, to defend Afghan law against insurgents. But Afghan law’s core is the Qur’an. Thus secular countries are supposed to die in the name of the Qur’an.

But I present a thorough and handy demonstration that those who apply the Qur’an to the letter are in drastic violation with Human Rights as defined by the Charter of the United Nations.

Differently from Nazi law, or the Shariah, the Charter of the United Nations imposes at the outset the fundamental doctrine of Western Civilization, namely equality of all to the law. It’s fundamental to Athenian law, and Roman law, and the doctrine of the State Of Law made explicit by a Roman empress, 16 centuries ago.

Using NATO troops to support Islamist regimes, like the one in Afghanistan, is an intrinsic contradiction, and actually in violation of international law. This drastic observation ought to have major consequences on the present Western strategy, which is therefore not just illegal, but unwise, besides being inhuman.

(I use occasionally the older word “Koran” instead of the apparently more correct “Qur’an”, to the benefit of older readers; Only a few technical administrative verses about details on how to manage those pesky women have been omitted.)

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THE QUR’AN SAYS THAT RAPING WOMEN IS RIGHT BECAUSE THEY ARE PASSIVE “FIELDS IN WHICH TO PLOW”:
After general salutations in Surah 1, and the introduction of Allah, and His “Messenger”, Muhammad, the Qur’an starts for real with Surah 2, by far the longest in the Qur’an. It is called “The Cow”. The Cow has five verses on women. Two are innocuous, three are abusive.

“It’s OK to have sex with your wives on the night of the fast.” [Surah 2; verse 187]. “Menstruation is a sickness. Don’t have sex with menstruating women.” [S. 2; v. 222]. “WOMEN ARE YOUR FIELDS SO GO THEN INTO YOUR FIELDS AS YOU WANT. [S.2: v. 223]. “Women have rights that are similar to men, but men have a status above them.” 2:228. “A woman is worth one-half a man.” 2:282.

Thus it can be perceived, as soon as The Cow, early in the Koran, that once a woman is in the possession of a man (it could be a wife, or a “slave girl”, a concept ubiquitous in the Qur’an, not just in Southern American plantations of the eighteen century), she has no right in refusing sex.

The Afghan law article 132 just states this fact. But Obama finds this article 132 “abhorrent” . Thus it would seem that Obama, although “not at war with Islam”, finds it “abhorrent”. In other words, apparently without being conscious of it, Obama is self contradicting. That is the exact Achilles’ heel of NATO’s Afghan and Pakistan strategy. It has been fighting the wrong enemy, and has allied itself with the wrong friend, who, verily not a friend, but the West’s enemy of old.
***

QUR’AN: WOMEN ARE SEX WIDGETS:
“Marry the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four.” 4:3.

“And if ye wish to exchange one wife for another and ye have given unto one of them a sum of money (however great), take nothing from it. Would you take it by the way of calumny and open wrong ?” [4:20.]

(Nothing wrong with exchanging wives, something wrong about adding “open wrong”.)

“All married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.” [4:24.]

(You can’t have sex with married women, unless they are slaves obtained in war, with whom you may rape or do whatever you like.)

And those who are not able to afford to marry free , believing women, let them marry from their believing slaves…  [4; 25.]

“And leave the wives your Lord created for you ?” [S. 26; v. 166]

(Women were created by Allah for the enjoyment of men.)

***

QUR’AN: DON’T FORGET TO PUNISH WOMEN:
Lewd women are to be confined to their houses until death. 4:15.

You may not forcibly inherit women, unless they are flagrantly lewd. 4:19. “All married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess (slaves).” 4.24.

…”And if when they are honorably married they commit lewdness they shall incur the half of the punishment (prescribed) for free women (in that case). This is for those among you who fear to commit sin. But to have patience would be better for you. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” [4; 25.]

MEN ARE IN CHARGE OF WOMEN, BECAUSE ALLAH MADE MEN TO BE BETTER THAN WOMEN. Refuse to have sex with women from whom you fear rebellion, and BEAT THEM UP. [4:34].

Men are guardians over women because Allah has made some of them excel others, and because men spend on them of their wealth. So virtuous women are obedient… [4: 35].

Lot offers his daughters to a MOB of ANGEL RAPERS. 11:78. (This is actually Genesis [19; 7-8], one of the many extract of the Qur’an, cut and paste from the Bible.)

When the doom of Allah comes, pregnant women will suffer miscarriages, nursing mothers with forget their babies. 22:1-2.

The wives of Muhammad will be punished double for lewdness. (And that is easy for Allah.) 33:30. The wives of Muhammad are not like other women. They must not leave their houses. 33:32-33.

Those who “did wrong” will go to hell, and their wives will go to HELL with them (no matter how well the wives behaved). [37:22-23]

The wives of Noah and Lot (who were both righteous) betrayed their husbands and are now in the FIRE. [66:10.]

Muhammad’s wives need to be careful. If they criticize their husband, Allah will replace them with better ones. 66:5.    
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QUR’AN: WOMEN ARE PLAIN DISGUSTING:
Don’t pray if you are drunk, dirty, or have touched a woman lately. 4:43. When it’s time to pray and you have just used the toilet or touched a woman, be sure to wash up. If you can’t find any water, just rub some dirt on yourself. 5:6.

“The GUILE OF YOU WOMEN… IS VERY GREAT.” 12:28.
Those who disbelieve in the afterlife give female names to angels. 53:27.

YOUR WIVES AND CHILDREN ARE YOUR ENEMIES. They are to you only a temptation. 64:14-15 [That idea comes straight from Jesus, a prophet of Islam. A relative of Muhammad was a professional Christian, and told Muhammad was he saw in the desert.]  
***

QUR’AN: the WOMEN, and the children ARE FEEBLE MINDED AND ARE UNABLE TO DEVISE A PLAN. [Surah 4; verse 98].

***

QUR’AN: STEAL WOMEN:
There is no blame on you if you divorce women when you have not… appointed for them a portion, and make provision for them… (this is) a duty on the doers of good (to others).[2.236]. Males are to inherit TWICE AS MUCH as females. 4:11. “Unto the male is the equivalent share of two females.” 4:176.
***

QUR’AN: SEXISM IS GOOD:
A man cannot treat his wives fairly. [4:129].

MEN AND WOMEN ARE ENEMIES! [Surah 7: verse 24].

If you value your parents, wives, and children more than Allah and Muhammad, then just wait and see what Allah will do to you after you die. [9; 24.]

If you accuse an honorable women of adultery, be sure to bring four witness. Otherwise you will receive 80 lashes. 24:4. A husband can accuse his wife of adultery with only one witness. 24:6 .
You don’t have to be modest around your wives or your slave girls “that your right hand possess.” 23:6.

Believing women must lower their gaze and be modest, cover themselves with veils, and not reveal themselves except to their husbands, relatives, children, and slaves. 24:31.

(That was the verse believed to justify Hijab.)

Prophet, enjoin your wives, your daughters and the wives of true believers to draw their veils close around them. 33:59.
*** 

MUHAMMAD HANKY PANKY:
Allah gave Zeyd to Muhammad in marriage. This was so that all Muslims would know that it’s OK to marry your adopted son’s ex-wife. 33:37.

Allah says it is lawful for Muhammad to marry any women he wants. 33:50-51.

When Allah or Muhammad decide that a man and a woman should marry, they must marry. 33:36.

If men must speak to Muhammad’s wives they must speak from behind a curtain. And no one must ever marry one of his wives. 33:53.
But it’s OK for Muhammad’s wives to talk with certain people. 33:55 If Muhammad’s wives are good, Allah will give them “an immense reward.”

33:28-29. O Prophet! Why bannest Thou that which Allah hath made lawful for thee, seeking to please thy wives?”
Allah says it’s OK for Muhammad to have sex with any of his wives whenever he wants. 66:1. (Article 132 of Afghan law again!)

Muhammad’s wives need to be careful. If they criticize their husband, Allah will replace them with better ones. 66:5  
***

APPRECIATION FOR HUMAN FEMALES:
Virgins await those who enter paradise. 4:57.
But the single-minded slaves of Allah will enjoy a Garden filled with lovely-eyed virgins. 37:40-48
Female companions await those who enter the Gardens of Eden on the Day of Reckoning. 38:52 
Allah will reward faithful Muslims after they die with “fair ones with wide, lovely eyes.” 44.54

Allah will give those in the Garden women of modest gaze whom neither man nor jinn have touched. [56. 17-23.] (Jinn = Evil spirits, or genies, created from fire.)

Allah will reward believing men with “fair ones” (beautiful women) in heaven, “close guarded in pavilions”. [55:71 & 72.] (Lest they escape?) Allah made virgins to be lovers and friends to those on his right hand. [s. 56; 36 & 37.]

The preceding appreciation for women, in conjunction with other verses calling for killing unbelievers, to go to paradise, entice young men to die for Allah.
***

NOT TO SAY MUHAMMAD WAS NOT A COURAGEOUS PROGRESSIST:
The parts of the Arabian desert that neither the Greco-Romans nor the Christians or Jews had penetrated yet were savage and cruel. Muhammad fought a lot of that successfully. For example, it was traditional to bury alive infant girls. The Qur’an condemns this:
“And when the one buried alive it is asked for what sin she was killed,” (81:8-9).

In truth, the Qur’an as we know it was ordered by Uthman, the third successor of Muhammad, the greatest emperor of his time. This was extremely opposed at the time: a coup developed against Uthman, and he was assassinated, or executed for it. The situation degenerated into a civil war that last to this day. So Obama’s statement that:” “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world for the better, including my own country,” on the face of it, means nothing.

The literal interpretation of the Qur’an was long unlawful, centuries ago. In modern times, it was pushed by oil wealth and the Saudis, long with the full approval of the CIA, which was delighted to have an issue to divide everybody (Pushing Quranism was especially useful to fight, France, Britain or the USSR, or divide South Asia).

There are excellent reasons to believe that Muhammad would have been seriously irate about the Qur’an we have presently. There are plenty of aspects of His personality in the Hadith, which, concurrently with known fact of His life (“Sunna”), depict Him as very advanced, especially about the condition of women.

That puts the rest of the Qur’an under suspicion.  Aisha, Muhammad beloved child-bride went to war about the sexism in the Qur’an. As she said: “It is not good that you people have made us (women) equal to dogs and donkeys.” [Hadith, Volume 1, Book 9, Number 498.]
***

THE UN CHARTER CONTRADICTS THE QUR’AN:

The United Nations Charter, is an overgrowth of the “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. The Quranic instructions above, which, once again are ALL instructions in the Koran relative to women, form a clear picture of complete violation of all the first seven articles of the Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations.

“Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
***

THUS, THE QUR’AN IS AN ANTI WESTERN CIVILIZATION RECIPE BOOK:
The Qur’an explicitly contradicts the STATE OF LAW. The State of Law has been central to Western civilization for more than two millennia.

That principle is that all adults, even the monarch (if any) are equivalent in the eyes of the law. It is central to the present civilization (See Galla Placidia, Roman empress, in the conclusion).

On the contrary, the fascist principle, the Fuehrerprinzip, is verse 59 of Surah 4 of the Qur’an (and that maybe where Hitler found it). It says that the leader should be viewed as God, as long as he is a Muslim. Hitler modified that in: “The leader ist Gott, as long as he is a German.”

Now true, from Justinian to Hitler, including Henry VIII and countless others, including G.W. Bush, the principle of the State Of Law was violated by many. But Bush may still be brought to justice by the independent judicial system of the USA.

The preceding should put to rest the issue of violation of the rights of women by the Qur’an. 

The Qur’an does not treat married women equally, and expect women in general to often be “slave girls”, or “those that your right hand possess”. A woman captured in war, even if married, is totally owned and has no human rights whatsoever. Women should be covered, beaten and confined, as soon as found morally short. In which case one can seize their property. Sometimes women are only allowed to speak behind a ‘curtain”, and are forbidden to leave the house. Why not? Women are “enemies”, it’s that simple. Why should enemies go school? When Obama says he loves Islam, shortly after saying that he wants girls to go to school, he is obviously contradicting himself.

Now, true, not all Muslims follow the Qur’an literally. Many of the outlying areas (Senegal, Indonesia) long had their own interpretations that used to avoid a literal interpretation of the Qur’an. These much more modern and compatible interpretations should be the only allies the West can trust.

Unfortunately, oil money and its clout, plus CIA pro-religious extremist machinations, have increasingly brought a renaissance of the literal interpretation of the Qur’an. The bombing campaign of the USA, all the way to Pakistan, can only make the situation worse.

People should not be bombed. What needs to be bombed is many ideas in the sexist and fascist Koran that Uthman contrived, obviously contradicting Muhammad, at least as far as the treatment of women is concerned.
***

Patrice Ayme
http://patriceayme.com/

***

Remarks: 1) Publishing the preceding on various sites I have (DK, ET, CD), I got lots of hate mail, and insults. I found this interesting, because those critics called my quotes above hateful, hating me for them, although, since I was just quoting the Qur’an, what they are truly hating, unbeknownst to them, is not me, but the Qur’an itself.

…The way of the hate monger is long, difficult, and full of traps.

2) Some people asked, in their naivety: what is the point of exhibiting all that sexism? Well, it’s part of an immense reasoning the subtlety of which escapes those who decided the strategy of the USA in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

Some, of course, ask: what is the point of exhibiting the tortures, the crimes, even the holocausts?

What was demonstrated here, beyond a reasonable doubt, is that the Qur’an, as it exists, is extremely sexist. This does not say other religions are not sexist. Some are. Judeo-Christo-Islamism is  not the worst. And, Christianism and Islam, are variants of  sexist Judaism. The Bible is full of outrageous sexism, and some sexism in the Qur’an is straight from the Bible.

3) Some argue that of these things one should never talk. According to this emotional logic, if something is inconvenient, it should not be mentioned. This was tried before: one did not want to mention the massacre of the Jews, that was too politically incorrect, so one ended with Auschwitz.

4) An objection from the Internet:

“When Patrice said: “Now, true, not all Muslims follow the Qur’an”, it showed her ignorance in a major and extremely surprising way. The simple fact is that one cannot be Muslim and not follow the Qur’an – all of it. To suggest that “not all Muslims follow the Qur’an” is completely off the mark. This is truly one of those “either/or” situations: You either believe in the revelations of the Qur’an and follow what it says, or you’re not a Muslim. Period.”

Patrice’s amused answer to this: Sometimes, “extreme surprise” is a major warning, not just a simple fact. Ignorance can masquerade as knowledge.

Your culture is smaller than you think. Check for example Senegal and the Mourides… Among many others… It’s not because you are ignorant that others are too. Oh, check the Druses, too, Hashashins (“Everything is false” as ultimate meta principle) and many Salafists. Right from the start, the Qur’an was not believed by many people who viewed themselves as Muslim, especially the closest family members of Muhammad. Far from feeling the Qur’an was everything, some looked at it as trash. Sexist trash, said Aischa.

Hence the ongoing Muslim civil war, as I said above. Many naive Americans think Wahhabism is everything, because oil is everything. But Wahhabism is not everything, because oil is not everything.

5) Much of the Qur’an comes from the Bible. The idea that woman is worth half a man is there. Oops, not quite:

Leviticus 27:1-7 … “The Lord set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel, and if it is a female, set her value at thirty shekels.”

6) GALLA PLACIDIA & THE STATE OF LAW: On 11 June 429 CE, Roman empress Galla Placidia had a law passed, with the following remarkable passage: “it’s an admission worthy of the majesty of a prince to confess when obliged by the law: because Our authority results from that of justice. A prince who submits his dignity to the laws is more respectable from this than from his power. By the present edict We deprive others of what We forbid to ourselves.”

That law was incorporated in the refurbishment of Roman law under emperor Justinian, a century later.

Now of course, the Muslims never had an empress (there was a sultaness once, in Egypt, among the Mameluks confronting Saint Louis; it did not last long.) How could the Muslims have an empress? What, with a half wit? A creature worth half a man? Something in which to plow? A fortiori not an empress extending the theory of the secular state. Compare the nobility of the preceding passage to the grossness of the Qur’an fascist principle: “O YE WHO BELIEVE! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and OBEY THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE IN POWER.” (Quran’s fascist principle, S.4; v. 59).

Nor was Galla Placidia alone. She was not the only “Augusta”. When the Franks established their empire in the north west quadrant of the ex Roman empire, they had around 7 reigning queens in 150 years. One of those queens was Bathilde. She had been captured as a slave in England, and, once reigning queen, abrogated slavery. That was at the exact time that Uthman ordered the writing of his pro-slavery document, the Qur’an. 

7) As soon as one mentions the Qur’an, in a way that is not thoroughly respectful and apologetic, the Politically Correct and Intrinsically Stupid generally screams that it is racist and xenophobic, and, in the USA they often deduce one is pro-Bible. 

The problem with holding onto such hysteria, is that the Qur’an is pretty much a desert version of the Bible light. A demonstration of this is that one finds some of the preceding outrages in the Bible first. The Bible was written, in Babylon, 11 centuries before the Qur’an.

Here it is:

Deuteronomy 22:20-1: If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house.

Leviticus 20-9: If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death.

Exodus 35:2:  For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.

***

UNITED SADISTS OF AMERICA?

April 19, 2009

WHY VIOLATING INTERNATIONAL LAW IN A COVER-UP IS WORSE THAN VIOLATING IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

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Abstract: How the new boss is in danger of getting worse than the old boss.

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There is something worse than having a country practice torture. What is worse is when a country normalizes torture. What Obama and company are saying, in fact, is that torture is not prosecuted in the USA.

This statement is creating a legal precedent, and even worse, a new social contract for the USA. The United States of America does not just torture, it justifies the torturers, and sees no ground for their prosecution.

Then Obama can say: “we, the USA, do not torture”. But look at what the USA does. Talk is cheap, and most of the time, of no consequence. Acts are definitive.

Forgiving all and any torturers on the outset, on the ground that it happened before, is a definitive act.

Obama always says that he looks forward, not backwards. Why was he a lawyer then? Do not lawyers have to look at acts and facts sometimes? Do not acts and facts happen in the past? And only in the past? Do not lawyers have to argue about what the acts and facts really were, before giving advice or passing judgment? I mean real lawyers, those who practice law, not just pontificate for mesmerized students.

Dear Obama, everything that happened, happened before. Learn. Nothing that happened, happened tomorrow. Learn. We only move forward because we have identified, examined and learned the mistakes we did in the past.

In the USA, the fact is, looking forward, from now on, thanks to dear Obama’s position that the past divides us, that if government officials use torture, other government officials will come and justify the torturers. Such is the new social norm. As determined by Obama, the lawyer who does not learn from the past. Learn. That is what the examined life means. Learn.

When a French general revealed, 45 years later, that he had taken part, as a general, in torture in Algeria, and justified it, he was punished by the French State (although in theory there was legal prescription).

France knows there are lines not to be crossed, formally speaking. To forgive, forget, and refuse to examine yesterday’s torturers is not normal speech. First it is action, by refusing to help the victims, past and future. And it is also hate speech against the victims, past and future. It is even hate speech against our civilization.

Al Qaeda will be happy to learn that Obama justifies torture. Something for the Taliban to meditate too, as they make American soldiers prisoners. (As the case of the Algerian war showed, torture can work for the torturers; not for civilization, though. See addendum.)

Republican, democratic Germany prosecuted the Nazi torturers. All and any of them that could it could detect, suspect, and find. Why? Because liberated Germany had become, and it is, a republic, and a democracy. Germany was not a torturing racist plutocracy anymore. It was not anymore the United Sadists of the Apocalypse. No more of this sort of USA.

Some deluded people in Germany tried State sadism and torture before, after they seized electoral power with propaganda tricks, claiming they were from the left, even “socialist” and “nationalist”. But all those NAtional-soZIalists, those Nazis, were servants of an international plutocracy, most of which was based in the USA (and gave the Nazis their weapons and Wall Street financed military-industrial complex).

The Nazis, inspired by demented variants of Nietzsche and Darwin, proceeded to find reasons why civilization, as heretofore understood, was quaint. They did away with lots of it, most of it secretly, though, because their rule was based on consent, not terror (see the book “Hitler’s Willing Executioners” for reference on this; the Gestapo had very very few officers inside Germany). Consent rested on ignorance, but was a delicate thing. The Nazis knew that the Germans would not have tolerated the reestablishment of official Middle Ages methods.

Thus, even those Nazis never came out as that creep who teaches law at University of California, Berkeley, came out, under Bush. The creep wrote an official USA memo justifying torture. That creep said that torture was good. No Nazi ever dare sink that low. It has been left to the USA to sink that low.

For years that anti civilizational creep was left to teach and pontificate, a respected alternative to reality.

Just as Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf”, this is the first act, the first warning, the first submission of the theory to the people: torturers are ‘cool’. Don’t be alarmed.

The plutocracy taught us that greed was good. Now its obsequious servants are teaching us that torture is “cool”. Well, it may be cool, but it’s not tolerated in our civilization, or in international law. Like Nazi Germany, the USA is free to exit both, and we are free to oppose the USA. We will see who wins. We already know where morality won. We also know that the right ethics is most of the battle.

U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama’s decision not to prosecute officials who practiced torture professionally on terrorism suspects amounts to a breach of international law, the U.N. rapporteur on torture said. “The United States, like all other states that are part of the U.N. convention against torture, is committed to conducting criminal investigations of torture and to bringing all persons against whom there is sound evidence to court,” U.N. special rapporteur Manfred Nowak told the Austrian daily Der Standard.

At least the USA will not be able to come around and claim that nobody told them they went criminally insane. Because, simply put, that is what is going on.
***
Patrice Ayme
http://patriceayme.com/

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Addendum: In Algeria, the FLN (Front National de Liberation) used torture against French civilians, and recommended to use it against small French children. Although the French army had won the war militarily, and although the Algerians had voted massively in favor of the new constitution that was uniting France and Algeria as a big democracy, everybody was disgusted, and the government in Paris suddenly just quitted, and gave the keys of the country to the FLN, without further elections. There had been so much bad blood, due to the usage of torture on both sides, that civilization got so damaged, that both societies were left in partial moral ruin to this day. Subsequent civil wars in Algeria (two and counting) killed hundreds of thousands of people, and the millions of Algerians and their descendants who found themselves on the other side of the Mediterranean from Algiers, were long treated with undeserved hostility by the French natives, no doubt in part to justify the bad outcome.

So it’s a choice; torture and thrive the torturers, or examine what happened, examine and condemn the details of how one got there in the first place, to save civilization. Only a judicial, and civilizational inquiry can do this.

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YOU SINK, THEREFORE WE THRIVE.

April 14, 2009

 

IS OUR OBAMA LEARNING FROM HIS MISTAKES?

Abstract: This is mostly a chronicle of some of the latest errors of the Obama administration, from the silly (Obama forgetting he is not president of Europe), to the sublime (bombing allies to make sure they turn into enemies). We will do more positive stuff (Cuba, Mark To Market, etc.), some other time. First, we will buy a microscope.

The sections are psychologically entangled, but also stand on their own. (It’s like Quantum Mechanics.)

The most important part of this essay is the end, the last four sections about “appreciating the Islamic faith” so much that U.S. policy is becoming the main advocate of Jihad. The war strategy in Afghanistan is self contradictory, and self defeating. I explain why.

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POWER IS ABSOLUTE, ERROR IS RELATIVE:
Now, of course, some of these errors are not errors, when looked at from the right reference frame, that of the decision makers. When Lawrence Summers makes million of dollars for himself, by following the most biased ethics imaginable, he is making no mistake as far as he, and his friends, are concerned. When military advisers, who are future wealthy defense consultants, do all what they can do to encourage more and more war, they make no mistake, either, as far as they are concerned. Peace is just an inconvenient outcome.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that is why the European Union dissolves power absolutely. But, overall, the many mistakes of the USA in the twentieth century turned extremely well for the USA, thus the accepted wisdom of the U.S. establishment is to keep on making more, that should keep on turning well. Little does the USA know that this method also worked well in Britain and France, before, well, it did not, and major mayhem followed, with near death experiences of the countries themselves. This knowledge of history goes a long way to explain the difference in the European ways.
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SEARCHING FOR EGGS IN THE DEVASTATED GARDEN OF ONE’S IMAGINATION:
The American presidency has ways that transcend circumstances. It is part circus: the president is supposed to search for Easter Eggs, and the nation ponders for months the arrival of a dog for the little girls of the president, etc… Of course, European intellectuals will scoff that these are not the important subjects. But they are the subjects in the American media, they are what Americans worry about, because that is what they see on TV.

Americans see sports with scores on TV all the time, and, lo and behold, they are great experts of sports with scores, because that is what is on TV. Debates about the more than 1,000 U.S. military bases overseas and the eleven nuclear aircraft carrier task forces, and how they relate to the ongoing deindustrialization of the USA in the service of the plutocracy, the American public does not see on TV, so it has become the American temperament to ignore those. No doubt that if Michael Moore broached the subject, he would be depicted as traitor to the nation.

Meanwhile the president has mightily decided to religiously pursue, and even extend, the mistakes of his predecessor in the Middle East and South Asia, and, on that, there was no debate. The pain has not been great enough. The power of the USA has not been diminished enough. And, so far, China (and others) have been paying for it (by buying U.S. treasury bonds). Why does China pay for grave U.S. errors? Well, it’s basic machiavellianism.

China has not forgotten that France and Britain attacked it to force it to accept opium (which the imperial Chinese government had outlawed, because too many Chinese got addicted). After a savage invasion (precious architecture, such as the Summer Palace, was devastated) Franco-British troops forced China to submit, insuring some Chinese degeneracy for a while to come. Of course that Franco-British invasion was expensive, and the French and the British do not pay much attention to it to this day (France has kept stolen Chinese art, in total violation of the law). But one of the points of that invasion was to make China into an addict, so that Chinese activity would be self destructive.

Similarly, many American habits are now self destructive, and China pays for them. China did not even have to send an army. Its workers can stay home. The more they work, the more gifted they get, the more they can send money to America, so that America keeps on doing stupid, self destructive stuff, like bombing fanatical Muslim fundamentalist countries which are supposedly its allies, with a combined population of more than 210 million (explanation lower down). How clever is that? 

Because China is playing a long game, it is financing its potential enemy’s insanity. China is mostly interested in what will happen 50 years from now. So it is building nuclear power plants, adopting European efficiency standards, pushing all technological and scientific domains, while keeping the USA, its most dangerous rival, on its steady drug of self satisfaction and erroneous ways to apprehend reality. Short term there is an alliance of convenience with American plutocracy, which siphons most of the financial profits, while China siphons most of the acquisition of capability. Everything is rosy.
***

IF OBAMA INVITES TURKEY INTO EUROPE, SHOULD THE FRENCH PRESIDENT INVITE MEXICO INTO THE USA?
“Europe gains by diversity of ethnicity, tradition and faith – it is not diminished by it,” said president Obama to a round of applause from his audience, the Turkish parliament. “And Turkish membership would broaden and strengthen Europe’s foundation once more.” More applause. It looks as if Turkey is so ready to become part of Europe, that its parliament believes that Obama is the president of the European Union.

Diversity of faith? Europe has one and only one faith, democracy. Democracy is what is mandated in the European constitution (as it is).

the one and only question about Turkey, as with all potential applicants to the European Union is: how democratic is it really. Turkey has no doubt made great strides. The Kurds are even allowed to speak their language now. Recognizing the Armenian genocide cannot be far behind.

Europe does not need lessons about diversity. For example, it has been lawful to be homosexual in France for at least 450 years.

Europe has suffered from all too much diversity, ethnicity and faith. These are categories Americans need more of, true. Those who are to gain from being more exposed to those categories are the Americans. Europe has seen them way too much of them. Give Europeans boredom, and no gains; they have see excitement and great strides, be they from Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini or Hitler. Too bad American presidents insist on reading texts from speech writers. They just sound imperialist, instead of from the heart.

Too bad the French president is not enough of a buffoon to pursue the dialogue by proposing Mexican “membership” of the USA, “to strengthen the USA’s foundation once more”.

Now, of course, in the same spirit, the European Union orders the USA to make Puerto Rico the fifty-first state.

Why did not Obama propose Morocco to become part of Great Britain?

What is the difference with Turkey? Morocco asked to become a member of the EU, just like Turkey. The Moroccans were always there. They were part of the Roman empire for centuries. Europeans have common citizenship. Whereas, indeed some of the ancestors of the present day “Turks” came even from Gaul (As Alexander the Great knew all too well: he asked them to surrender, and they replied that they were only afraid that the sky would fall on their heads!). But the fact is the Turkish army, as its name indicates, came from Central Asia.

At this point Turkey does not recognize the Cypriot government at all, and prohibits Cypriot ships from docking at Turkish ports, although they are contiguous. Oh, detail; Cyprus is part of the European Union, and it is as if Mexico did not recognize the state of Rhode Island, but still wanted to become the fifty-second of the USA. By intervening in European internal affairs, Obama says that this not important, that Mexico refuses to recognize Rhode Island citizens as American citizens.

Now Americans will not pay attention to any of this. But, for the Europeans, it’s a striking example of this mix of American ignorance and of ordering Europe around that characterized the Bush presidency for all to see. It rose all sorts of red flags about Obama. A few incidents like that, and Obama will feel little different from Bush, from the EU point of view. Unsurprising, Obama came back from Europe completely empty as far as getting Europeans to do anything they did not want to do. True, Europeans have learned to see right through American misrepresentations (see the stimulus question below). But behaving as if the U.S. president was king of Europe does not help. Europe was created as a political union in part because Europeans have understood that they were in an adversarial relationship with the USA, and especially its plutocracy. Ignoring this is not respectful. (And it reminds one of the fact that the USA is also ignoring its constitutional enmity to Muslim fundamentalism, an ignorance that is also not respectful, see below.)
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BIG TIME INTERVIEW OF SUMMERS BY A PROFESSIONAL CONSPIRATOR PLUTOCRAT:
Nice show: Lawrence Summers, Obama’s economic brain, was interviewed by the founder of the Carlyle Group, Carlyle is a conspiratorial group investing in “defense”. It is as dirty conspiratorial, imperialistically manipulative as one can imagine. It is a natural context for Summers. It felt as if a professor (the Carlyle chief) was interviewing an eager student (Summers). Summers was reciting his lesson, and cracking American style jokes (jokes that make fun of honesty, intellectual integrity, etc… For example, when asked a serious question, Summers deflected it with his usual weasel look around, by saying that there were seven cameras in the room, and that was seven too many. The room burst in applause: American plutocratic humor at its best, admired for the creepiness it exhibits.)

No question was asked about Summers’ employment at hedge funds, making more than ten million dollars (including some double timing when Summers was president of Harvard, while he was accusing Harvard professors to do just that, even when it was in a very modest way, to the point some professor he accused had to leave Harvard; of course that professor was not from the party of the plutocrats). Summers wants to give trillions of dollars to hedge funds (as much as the entire existing hedge fund market). But that is OK: Americans are too busy watching their sports on TV, and the first dog, they don’t have the time to learn the intricacies. They don’t even know what a hedge fund is. Well, it’s why they will lose their job: no more TV. Get it?

Summers is not just the symbol of plutocracy at work. He enforces its latest schemes, under the cover of make belief. As I said many times, the financial crisis is mostly a desperate attempt by the plutocrats to transfer the losses they incurred from their schemes to the public, which has already suffered from it. Summers thinks, so that the plutocracy thrives some more, because as the public sinks, it transfers all to it. Except the sport scores on TV.

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STIMULUS HIGHER IN EU, INTEREST LOWER IN EUROZONE:
Obama went to Europe to give lessons about the Europeans stimulating more. The Europeans are leery to do so: piling up government debt augments the free market interest rates. Now the later are most of the rates affecting consumers. In the USA, some credit card rates are as high as 29%. Those sorts of rates have historically been viewed as usury. But the Obama administration let them happen in their desperate effort to replenish the banks.

So what was that Obama stimulus? Well, minus the Alternate Minimum Tax rebate (there every year), it was 700 billions. Out of that 100 billions went to the states. The states have been cutting spending, because their revenues are down. How much did they cut? 355 billions. But of this Obama compensated only 100. Thus the real American stimulus cannot be more than 700 – 355 = 345 billion dollars. What is the European Union stimulus? above 500 billion dollars. I rest my case. Oh, maybe not: what of the free market interest rates? Well, they depend upon expected inflation rates, and economic prospects.

Free market interest rates are LOWER in the Eurozone than in the USA (although the European Central bank has its short term interest at 1.5%, so has room to ease, whereas the U.S. Fed are at zero). The Eurozone is the part of the EU using the Euro currency; that’s 320 million people; several countries would like to enter it, but can’t because of their bad finances. Iceland was told to apply to the European union first. By the way the USA, because of its terrible finances, could not apply to the Eurozone.
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OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND: MOVE GITMO TO AFGHANISTAN:
Bagram: The Obama administration wants to be able to bring prisoners from a third country to Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Force base, and keep them in detention indefinitely without being able to see a judge. A Federal judge, a Bush appointee, contested that, on the ground that the Supreme Court had challenged that precise notion about Guantanamo. Some suspects have been caged for seven years, and they did not see a judge once.

The Obama administration appealed this judgement on Easter day, Friday evening (an old technique: by night, during a vacation).

A good and lively expose of this on the Rachel Maddow show. Seven minutes of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdXDpsUgXn4.

***

PIRACY CHECKED:
After hospitably giving a line to the pirates, to drag them out where seas would be calmer, Navy sharp shooters killed them, rescuing a heroic sea captain. The USA applauded hysterically, not paying much attention to the violation of the law of hospitality (which is part of supra morality in all the desert areas). The American Navy first gained the confidence of the pirates, towing them, hence having given them some form of hospitality. And then shot them in cold blood. Hardly a fair fight.

Meanwhile, French commandos conducted their third assault against pirates. The pirates were holding five hostages, including two women and a three year old child. The boat owner died. So did two pirates, and another three were captured. This, of course, was little mentioned by the main U.S. media: America is all about itself, if possible 100% of the time, that’s how Americans learn (sport scores). French commandos, submarines and helicopters, have liberated 37 hostages altogether, this was the first death of a hostage.

Of course, it’s good that the USA fights piracy, finally. But, so far, because no American had been attacked before, the American military was mostly present by its absence (although even China or even Switzerland had sent or agreed to send forces). Most of the effort was French military. (The US Navy established a piracy command in August 2008, revealed in October.)

Anyway, fighting piracy is a better way to use the U.S. military. The wrong way is to attack Pakistan, claiming one thinks one can get away with it. It could, and ought to have been done, under Bush, in hot pursuit of bin Laden. But it was not done. Now, it’s too late, it only makes a bad situation worse: American bombing by flying robots has spread to new provinces of Pakistan, making massive free advertising for Jihad. Humans and their Qur’an against the machines, Terminator IV.
***

“WE WILL CONVEY OUR DEEP APPRECIATION, FOR THE ISLAMIC FAITH”:
…said Barack Obama in Turkey.

Turkey is supposedly a secular democracy. Ignoring this inconvenient truth, Obama explained to the Turkish president that “our partnership with the Muslim world is critical”. Why to mention Islam at all, if he wants Turkey into the EU? Then the president of the USA clarified all this by bending at the waist, getting the top of his head below the shoulder of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, guardian of the fundamentalist Quranist Wahhabist faith, the most extreme variant of Islam, the Islam of bin Laden. Bin Laden’s family was long the richest in Saudi Arabia, after the Saud family, of course. A question of who the Saud give business to.

Obama was asked what he thinks of a new Afghan law that legalizes rape. Article 132 contains this provision: “As long as the husband is not traveling, he has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night…the wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband”. Obama piously said, “I think this law is abhorrent” and that his administration’s views are being communicated to the Karzai government. “We have stated very clearly that we object to this law.”

Unfortunately the Afghan Constitution and the Qur’an, the central ideological core of Islam, see it differently:

Here is the beginning of the Afghan Constitution, as extracted from the official government web site:

“The Constitution of Afghanistan. Year 1382. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Preamble: We the people of Afghanistan: 1. With firm faith in God Almighty and relying on His lawful mercy, and Believing in the Sacred religion of Islam… Have adopted this constitution in compliance with historical, cultural, and social requirements of the era, through our elected representatives in the Loya Jirga dated 14 Jaddi 1382 in the city of Kabul.

Article One, Ch. 1. Art. 1: Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary and indivisible state. Article Two, Ch. 1, Art. 2: The religion of the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam… Article Three, Ch. 1, Art. 3: In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.

DEEP APPRECIATION FOR RAPE?
What does Islam say about women? Well, I will write a full essay about that, with all the quotes of the Qur’an about women, to dispel all ambiguities. Here is an appetizer that explains Article 132.

The Qur’an is divided in chapters (“Surahs”). The longest by far is the second one, “The Cow”. Surah 2:; verse 222 of “The Cow”says: “WOMEN ARE YOUR FIELDS SO GO THEN INTO YOUR FIELDS AS YOU WANT. [2:223]. “Women have rights that are similar to men, but men have a status above them.” [2:228]. “A woman is worth one-half a man.” [2:282].

The Afghan law 132 just repeats this verse, [2: 222]. Thus, it would seem that Obama, although “not at war with Islam”, finds it “abhorrent”. Or is it a question of the moment? One moment abhorrent, one moment deeply appreciated?
***

THE FRIEND OF YOUR ENEMY IS NOT YOUR FRIEND:
A related question is: why does NATO make war to ‘help” a fundamentalist Muslim state such as Afghanistan or Pakistan? Maybe the Americans do not want to know, but I am sure the Europeans will be interested by that question.

Even supposing that aerial bombing could be viewed as a form of legitimate help, as obviously Washington does, there is no answer to this question. This is the inner contradiction of the U.S. policy in Muslim countries.

Now, right, it worked forever, and brought back a lot of oil. But it was mostly conducted secretly. How many Americans know that the Iranian Shiites were pushed and financed into insurrection by the CIA in 1953, ultimately creating the present Iranian regime that the USA loves to hate? How many Americans remember Rumsfeld, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, then, as he was to be later, shaking Saddam Hussein’s hand in 1976? How many know how that relates to the great attack of Iraq on Iran later? Not too many: they were too busy keeping scores on TV, munching French fries.

But now things are getting in the open. The fact is, in Afghanistan, the USA has long supported old Muslim friends, who did not want to send little girls to school, and supported them precisely because they did not want to send little girls to school. Bombing those old friends can’t help. Instead one has to debate sending girls to school, and bribe the old friends to send girls to school, if need be. But, lo and behold, the USA (let be) created an Islamist fundamentalist constitution for Afghanistan, no questions asked. Why? Is it that, after all, Afghanistan was just organized as something else? Maybe a free firing range, a free market for the military-industrial complex? After all, what will the USA do, if not for war?

***

YOU SINK, THEREFORE WE ARE:
That there will be only defeat, that this will be the answer, is irrelevant. It may take twenty-five years for the USA to get defeated, but, meanwhile the Carlyle group, and other elements of the U.S. military-industrial complex will make good business, that is what is relevant to Summers and company.

Of course, victory could be defined differently, making defeat inconceivable. After all, “pulling out of Iraq” has now been defined as leaving 50,000 soldiers there, watching over “American civilians”. Which kind of American civilians will be left in Iraq? Mercenaries? So, 50,000 soldiers in Iraq “protecting” how many U.S. mercenaries? Recently there were 100,000 U.S. financed mercenaries in Iraq, many of them, professional killers. Fire the teachers inside the USA, send the mercenaries overseas: the new U.S. economy. who said that an assault weapon culture did not make social sense? What would the USA export, but for mercenaries?

The military-industrial complex hopes that those Chinese workers will have work for the next 25 years, so that they can pay for the American plutocracy’s wars. The way the plutocrats see it, they know what they are doing, and, as long as they have eleven nuclear aircraft carrier task forces under their command, they are irresistible.

But hubris is irresistible, and that is precisely why it kills so well. Everything. Even plutocracies. One needs to watch more than sports on TV to know that.
***

Patrice Ayme
https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/

PLUTOCRATIC USA AS A GIANT PONZI SCHEME.

April 12, 2009

 

AND WHY IT IS IN DENIAL, AND WHY IT IS NOT BEEN FIXED, AND HOW TO FIX IT.

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Abstract: The financial crisis is not what it is usually assumed to be. It’s essentially a crisis of the plutocrats, and the economy has been stopped to come to their rescue. Sadly, it will be in vain.

***

In an excellent editorial in the New York Times, “Awake and Sing!”, [NYT, April 11, 2009], Frank Rich says that: “it is time to leave behind the bubble’s toxic culture that not only took away wealth but certain American values, and do something good… Some spoilsports raise the conflict-of-interest question about Summers: Can he be a fair broker of the bailout when he so recently received lavish compensation from some of its present and, no doubt, future players?” Rich, in his magnanimity, does not mention that some of the “players” have already been explicitly proposed as future recipients of the PPIP. Here is an expanded and clearer version of my comment on Frank Rich’s work, that the NYT was kind enough to publish:
***

What is a Ponzi scheme? It is also known as a pyramid scheme. It is as scheme that is advertised as giving positive returns to investors, when, in truth, all they get is the money that new investors put in, while attracted by the claimed returns they are themselves bequeathing to their predecessors. This works until the last investors come in. The U.S. real estate market functioned like a giant pyramid scheme, the largest ever in history, and the last investors were called the “subprime” people. Naturally enough, those who set up the scheme, the plutocrats, deflected criticism heading their way, by pointing at the subprime people as the root of all evil.

Geithner’s scheme, the PPIP (Public Pays for Impudent Plutocrats) is the last attempt to save the richest of the rich from the collapse of the real estate pyramid scheme. These attempts have been made, one after the other, each a variant of the preceding one, to save the hyper rich. Such attempts, to make the hyper rich as rich as it used to be, cannot fix the economy, because the economy was made poor by the hyper rich being so rich that no money was left for the real economy. So the economy is left without enough money, while most of the disposable U.S. government money is diverted to the hyper rich.

Geithner’s PPIP is the most impudent Ponzi scheme ever planned in the history of humankind. It was advertised by the administration as the transfer of two trillion dollars of the public to the richest people in the world. That may sound baffling. Why, if they are already so rich, would one want to send them a few more trillions? The grave problem for these poor richest people in the world is that most of their riches is tied in derivatives, hedge funds, securitization, structured investment vehicles, most of them tremendously leveraged from real estate. In other words, the richest people in the world are threatened with losing their riches, except if the Summers-Geithner plan comes to their rescue. (By definition in this essay, some of these “hyper rich” are individuals, some are institutions, and various funds for the ultra rich, some hedge funds, some are institutions similar to hedge funds, all very leveraged with public money; an example being AIG, an insurance company part of which acted like a hedge fund; most insurance companies did nothing of the sort.)

What did some of the hyper rich do? They invested one million dollars, say, and then went to one of the largest banks, and asked the huge bank to lend them 40 millions. The bank did it, because it had huge deposits of the public’s money. So the bank took the public’s money and gave it to the hyper rich. Now, having started with just one million, the hyper rich had 40 million to invest. They invested it (say) in real estate.

But now the value of real estate, three years later, has been cut in half. Whereas the hyper rich invested 40 millions, now this property the hyper rich acquired is worth twenty millions. This means that, should the hyper rich try to get rid of that property, it would have a hole of twenty-million dollars, that would still be owed, by the hyper rich, to the huge bank (and, thus, indirectly, to the public). But all the hyper rich truly had was one million. Now the loan would be, typically, a “recourse” loan, which means that the huge bank, in theory, could seize the rest of the hyper rich’s property, in the amount of the sum owned, namely twenty-million dollars. But you know, these people are friends. Another way had to be found. So Geithner and Summers say: “This could not possibly be right, the market is not functioning correctly. We will reflate it with taxpayer money, until the hyper rich owe nothing, and that will help everybody”.

In truth it helps only the hyper rich, because millions of Americans would have been foreclosed, or forced to sell at drastically reduced prices. Moreover, Summers and Geithner plan to have hedge funds buy, with public money, only restricted types of assets, namely those the hyper rich own, and are highly leveraged with. It is not about average Americans. It’s all about the hyper rich remaking their money, with transfers of public money.

There have not been enough protests to stop the deployment of the PPIP. And the somewhat similar TARP; in TARP, contrarily to the even more outrageous PPIP, loans are supposed to be paid back, and some giant banks have been making a big noise about that. They claimed they wanted to pay back the loans of TARP money right away. But they conveniently omitted to say that they had already profited from GIFTS of TARP money made through intermediaries. Thus, for example, Goldman Sachs got a gift of 12 billion of TARP dollars made through AIG, as a payment, not as a loan.)

So this will go on, until the system blows up. And it will. A back of the envelope computation, using some plausible guesswork about what the giant banks have probably been up to, shows that, just directly from real estate, the four biggest banks are in a seven trillion dollar hole. And there is more worthless debt out there. There is no way that the U.S. public will keep on paying such giant sums. At some point, purchasing pitchforks, and going out in the street will seem less expensive.

Indeed, after wasting a few trillion dollars of the public thing in that bottomless pit of endless debt owed by the insolvent hyper rich, the four big banks will still go down. They know this. So they will not lend at anything approaching the old lending levels. The giant banks are part of what is known as the “shadow banking system”. That is what is completely broken beyond repair. It’s this entangled mess of leveraged Structured Investment Vehicles, firms handling derivatives, hedge funds, private equity, giant banks, etc… that is shattered. The crisis will go on.
***

HOW TO FIX THE CRISIS?
The first thing to do, at the very least, is to remove the people responsible of the crisis, as the S&L regulator, Black, pointed out. That would include Summers, who is, with Clinton, G. W. Bush, Rubin, Greenspan, and some members of the republican party under Newt Gingrich, one of the individuals most culprit of what happened. Geithner was there all along too: he is a fast talker, and know who his masters are, and serves them well. Black suggested that to find good people a good starting point was that good people pay their taxes. There are thousands of competent and honest bank managers in the USA. (To punish them, though, Geithner is going to try to bankrupt the FDIC with his PPIP Ponzi scheme, so FDIC fees will skyrocket, another way to exploit the public without directly using taxes.)

The solution is to write off the debt of the big banks (eradicate the wealth of the richest connected to that). And recapitalize. This is done by the FDIC, it’s called “receivership” in the USA (more than a thousand U.S. banks have gone through receivership in the past). Anywhere else, it’s called nationalization. It is all the more urgent to do so, because, now that the “shadow banking system” has vanished, it is of the essence to reconstitute conventional, old fashion, boring banking: that is the only way to get credit restarted, big time. The future consists into going back to the distant, financially healthy past, when the economy was expanding for real.

Ireland’s economy has been all too much a part of the international pyramid scheme. The Irish government just wrote off the books the entire commercial sector of its 6 largest banks. This is the sort of legislative effort that needs to be done: as I suggested many times, the G20 should outright outlaw many of the financial schemes involving various derivatives, and then write off the bank debts connected to these. That would help recapitalize the banks without spending money. The drawback is that many plutocrats would be wiped out, and some small people would have to learn new names to look up to. (Apparently Putin, who also has a problem of highly leveraged plutocrats suddenly owing billions, told them there will be no rescue for them, just for the workers who work all the way down in their industries; Putin has proven a great traitor to the plutocrats who helped put him where he is; maybe Obama should emulate him? Getting rid of Summers and Geithner would be a good start.)

In most civilized countries, Summers would be viewed as completely corrupt. He pushes to send a one way gift of trillions of dollars to hedge funds, that he worked for, and obviously will work for some more. The emperor has no clothes, and advocates to strip everybody else of all their possessions, but nobody dares to say that this should stop.

In France Summers would be probably arrested next week at 3 am, his homes would be searched, his computers seized (this has happened to top bank managers in France before, and even to Louis XIV’s Secretary of the Treasury). For suspected “traffic of influence”. At the very least, millions of aggrieved citizens would be demonstrating in the street to ask for Summers’ resignation.

But this is the USA: justice is not independent, and the public is afraid of itself. Actually, unbelievably, Federal judges are named by the president of the USA. The preceding presidents, Clinton and Bush, contributed to this giant Ponzi scheme that the financial system of the USA turned into, and contributed more than all their predecessors combined. It is actually fairly probable that this is the most corrupt episode of the entire history of the USA. It leaves far behind all the personal corruption that was involved in the launch of the Great Depression of the 1930s. How could those judges, named by those perpetrators, find that strength?

***

Patrice Ayme
http://patriceayme.com/

http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

***

 

Addendum: It is important to understand that the banks do not have a direct mortgage problem: more than 97% of the mortgages are paid in full, on time. Mortgage business is profitable. That may change, though, as Summers and Geithner extend the crisis, and leave credit starved of money (thus shrinking the economy, hence jobs).

Moreover banks can borrow from the Fed at 0% and lend long at 5%, so that, too is extremely profitable.

Thus, the basic banking business is profitable at this point. It does not have a liquidity problem.

The problem is then entirely with of the “Shadow Banking System” that the bank holding companies have allowed to steal the money from the banks, thus creating a 40 times leverage for the hyper rich. That system is so insolvent, it will disappear. Right now, it’s on fire, shaken by great explosions, but desperate plutocrats and their agents (Summers, Geithner, etc.) hope to save it. It does not matter to them that much if they steal all the liquidity from the real economy, as long as they save their personal advancement to the top of the world.

Hence to restart the credit system is easy: cut off, through receivership, the link between the basic banking business and the bank holding companies that have been exploiting them. To do this, the plutocratic agents have to be removed first.

Sorry to be so repetitious, but I have been saying this for more than 8 months, and the message does not seem to have reached the mainstream media yet…

***

TAX AND THRIVE.

April 8, 2009

 

ENERGY TAX NOW. CARBON CAP TRADING LATER.
***

Abstract: The Greenhouse warming is “worse than the worst that was expected three years ago” said the IPCC scientific intermediate conference co-chair a few days ago. The USA is the number one perpetrator.

Obama has proposed green energy, without paying enough efficient attention to the fact that the market has been manipulated towards burning carbon. Instead the market should be manipulated to make burning carbon what it really is, namely expensive.

So far, oozing ever so slowly to remedy this, Obama has proposed a Carbon Cap and Trade circus, as the European Union has tried to make work, for years. But Carbon Cap and Trade should be considered only a second order measure, as it is in Europe. Carbon Cap and Trade has been attempted in Europe, decades after the instauration of continent wide huge taxes on energy.

Carbon Cap and Trade has revealed itself to be slow, difficult to implement, with extremely complicated regulations, and tricky price fixing, that have baffled even the Parisian bureaucrats. Although the French wanted to avoid this, Carbon Cap and Trade turned for years into a subsidy for polluters.

The first order measure to make the market price carbon accurately ought to be, as it is in Europe, a tax on bad energy. That could be implemented by the presidential pen tomorrow. Let Congress howl to the wind: what could it do against icy presidential logic? So here is some logic.
***

WHAT GLOBAL WARMING DENIERS FAIL TO LOGICALLY PROCESS; THE CH4 ERUPTION POINT:
The USA produces more than a third of the world CO2 emissions (25% inside the USA plus a considerable amount of U.S. industrial production relocalized to China, where coal provides the energy of the beast). In the USA, more than half of electricity production comes from coal (whereas the carbon contribution in France, although still disgusting, is negligible).

What the greenhouse deniers do not understand is that warming causes THEMSELVES are non linear, and NOT CONTROLLED BY MAN, BEYOND A POINT (to be reached very soon, if not already). We basically went from 270 ppm of CO2 before the industrial (aka carbon burning) revolution, to 385 ppm now (augmenting 3 ppm per year; 19 billion tons more than the year before, .6% more).

Some will smirk and say that there is no reason to sweat, because 4,000 ppm were present during the carboniferous era, we have a long way to go before we turn carboniferous all over. True as far as the 4,000 ppm. But false as far as sweating great buckets in rising, dying, acidic seas.

Indeed the jump from 400 ppm to ten times that does not have to be linear, and, when this sort of jump happen, they certainly are not. The way it may work is this: beyond some threshold, METHANE ERUPTS.

Where does the methane come from? From frozen, hydrated deposits deep in the ocean, or in the tundra. If they get warmed up enough, those deposits evaporate, or explode, and make methane.

Methane is a Green House Gas (GHG) that is much more warming than carbon dioxide by a factor of more than twenty times over a century. It is not as stable as CO2 in the atmosphere, because, basically, it burns, or oxidizes more slowly (whereas CO2 does not). This means that its capacity to heat up the atmosphere is even higher over, say, a decade.

Thus, at some point all the methane will erupt, and put a warm blanket over the planet, all of a sudden. That, in turn, will release immense quantities of CO2 presently in the ocean (half of the humanly created CO2 has been going there, deep in the oceans, but now it is shaken out of the Antarctic ocean, due to the acceleration of wind speeds, and lowering of the main wind circulation belt, both of which were expected, and now observed, greenhouse warming effects).

This why putting a limit of 550 ppm on the CO2 would be stupid. In the official scenario, it would double the CO2 levels, and, from crude. thoughtless computations, it would only rise the planet’s biosphere by just three degrees Celsius.

But this convenient scenario inconveniently forgets that most of the three degrees warming would be in the Arctic, and would erupt the considerable methane hydrates there. Moreover, suddenly active bacteria will feast on vegetation frozen for dozens of thousands  of years, generating even more methane.

The total amounts of methane in the oceans and in the ground in the polar regions, is not known, BUT it is OF THE ORDER OF ALL THE RESERVES OF HYDROCARBONS COMBINED. It may be half of them, it may be more. Only Satan, obviously a resident of Venus, knows. In any case, the amounts of methane are gigantic, and are known to be capable of giant tsunamis and bringing the planet swiftly into its HOT MODE (because it happened 35 million years ago).

The warming of the arctic has become so catastrophic, it is self amplifying. That is a known fact. As the ice, which used to reflect the sun’s energy back to space, disappears, or get thinner, the Arctic ocean and seas absorb a huge quantity of solar energy, and store it for the next winter (the ice pack is in terrible shape in 2009 because of this storage of solar energy in 2008).

Now Arctic methane has started to contribute to the greenhouse, starting in summer 2008. It was observed visually (bubbles), it was heard, and it was felt by seismographs, off the Siberian coast.

It is to be feared that methane will keep on erupting in massive quantities. So the number to look at is not just the carbon dioxide density (around 385 parts per millions), but the density of CO2 EQUIVALENT Greenhouse Gases. At some point the effect of warming through CH4 eruption will be RUNAWAY (no human intervention would stop it, not even if one stopped the anthropogenic emissions of CO2).
***

WHY ENERGY TAXES BRING JOY AND JOBS:
The three largest car companies automotive groups in the world are not American. They used to be. But no more. They are all from countries with high gasoline and road use taxes (Japan, France, Germany). There is a direct cause and effect relationship, but one needs, as usual, a threshold of mental capability and knowledge to understand this. [See addendum for details.]

The old cliche’ that rising taxes in a recession is wrong is itself wrong. What is needed now is more USEFUL economic activity, so as to get more USEFUL jobs. Taxes which decrease jobs are bad, taxes that encourage jobs are good. Energy taxes are doubly good: they give more fire power to the government spending (but enough money to the plutocrats already, please!), and they create the necessary condition for a new green energy job market.

The plans of job augmentation of the Obama administration have been, so far, laughable: the Summers-Geithner crowd is apparently spending most of its brain power on variant of the scheme of sending money to their ultra rich friends, who are past and future employers, mesmerizing mentors, their everyday obsession, and what they want to be when they grow up. They plan to “create or preserve” three million to four jobs within a year. It’s pathetic: the population augments by roughly as much, so basically their aim is to create no jobs at all, relatively speaking. Besides the economy is losing 700,000 jobs a month. That’s about nine million jobs in a year. And five millions have already been lost.

Instead Obama went to Europe, apparently trying to stimulate European laughter by suggesting that Turkey should join the European Union. That was as smart as if Sarkozy had used his recent presidential trip to Mexico to order the United States of America to make Mexico the fifty-second state of the USA (after incorporating Porto Rico, and, soon, Cuba, no doubt).

Obama also claimed that he is not fighting Islam in the Middle East, obviously another attempt to be funny (I will address this in another essay). Just fighting Al Qaeda, which is following the Qur’an verse by verse.

Obama should go back to Job One, namely stimulate the job market of the USA. For that he needs battle field courage, and use his popularity to teach America that it needs a swift reallocation of its priorities. It is better to have teachers, and schools, and health care, and welfare than trucks and potholes and waste and smog and hot, rising, acidic seas devoid of life.

Because energy prices have collapsed, due to the Great Repression out there, so did green investments, which were cut by more than half since 2008. This needs to be fixed, and it can be fixed. It has been fixed in Europe. In Europe, green energy grows by leaps and bounds because the price of energy is stable, and very high (gasoline taxes are typically of the order of five dollars, or much more, up to eight dollars per gallon!)

With high energy prices, alternative project managers and engineers and politicians can then make precise plans. A 200 meters high windmill, or a giant solar installation cannot be planned when the price of energy can be halved in 6 months. Another interest is that the price of energy, ultimately, will get enormous. To raise the price now forces anticipation while there is still time. The only available mass energy right now which is available as an alternative to coal is nuclear. But nuclear plants could not possibly be built in large numbers fast enough. Moreover, to be really as ultra safe and ultra efficient as it can be, nuclear needs generation IV and higher plants, which have not been researched yet.
***

COAL IS TOXIC AND HOPELESS:
Some people crow that coal could do it all. They used to crow that the USA had 250 years of coal. China also was crowing similarly. Never mind the soot and the CO2. But then something happened, and the American and Chinese reserves were cut down enormously. It turned out that the numbers had been computed way too optimistically. In three years, the USA was cut down to 100 years of coal. Anyway, coal has to be cut down: the sea is rising too fast, faster than the worse predictions of three years ago. These days, three years is like eons.  

Retooling the entire transportation industry of the USA to make it more efficient is a good start to create new jobs. For that the government has to make more efficient industries profitable, and cut the hidden subsidies to carbon (among the later, the cost of its pollution, all the people it kills, the gigantic military deployments overseas it necessitates, and all the corruption attached to oil and gas procurements). Bringing up the price of energy is the way to do it.

That old partisan of fetching oil in Iraq, manu militari, Thomas Friedman, has turned ecological. In a pretty good editorial he cuts through the fog of the administration: “A cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse-gas is actually a carbon tax. So let’s stop hiding the ball and have a strategy, message and messenger that tell it like it is.” [Show Us The Ball, April 7, 2009, NYT.]
***

WANT REAL CHANGE? TAX GAS, BIG TIME, AND SHUT DOWN COAL:
A gasoline tax is not subtle, and would support a rejuvenated Detroit. Indeed people would be forced, and could be further incited with cash payments to buy new cars (that could be done right away, as I advocated, and as the Obama administration has enjoined Chrysler to do with Fiat; an alliance between GM and Renault, and Ford with Peugeot and/or Volkswagen could do the same; inciting car purchases with cash payments is a French method, many times used, and that now Germany has imitated). The USA, overall, would save energy, thus money, and quickly, an effective national defense function (and that would advance the technological level of the USA and its industrial base, two other defense functions).

A national gasoline (and more generally energy) tax would also decrease the enormous deficits that are piling up as the USA tries to spend a huge amount of energy (hence money) trying to get out of its desperately erroneous trajectory. That is another national defense function.

But, unfortunately, the Bush, sorry, Obama, economic advisers are deeply entranced in Market Mystique, as Paul Krugman puts it cogently. So they are delighted to set up another market, the Carbon Cap Trade. It took years for the French and other Europeans to make it work, sort of (the carbon exchange is based in Paris). So Carbon Cap and Trade will allow to delay treatment of the national carbon disease by years. It was also highly profitable to a chemical company such as the French Rhodia, and other giant corporations.  One of the problem is that the carbon pollution prices had been mispriced (and given to companies too generously).

Of course it would be unimaginable that Carbon Cap Trade would allow some of the friends of the administration, the hedge fundists, to make more money, and it would be unimaginable that the reason that some in the administration want to set it up is that, precisely, it will take years to do so, while making it looks as if they were busy doing something.

If the executive could execute, rising energy taxes could be done by executive order. Compensatory payments could be made to the poor as in Europe.

Coal produces more than half of U.S. electricity. That has to be reduced, not forgotten. Coal should not be the object of fantasy, such as that even greater pie in the sky, “Carbon Capture”, also pushed by the administration. Capture is practiced in a few places, true. But mostly for local economic reasons (typically reinjecting CO2 to push natural gas out). Otherwise it would turn out so expensive that it would make coal too expensive. Figuring that one out with absolute certainty, would take many years, furthering implementing real change that would make a difference.
***

Patrice Ayme
http://patriceayme.com/
http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
***

Addenda: 1) HOW A TAX CAN GENERATE BUSINESS: THE CASE OF THE CAR INDUSTRY:

Demand is down or, in some cases, dying, because what people want is changing. It is not just a question of desire, but also of repulsion. Horses were pooping all around the big developed cities in 1900. The switch to the car was not just caused by the many advantages of the automobile. There was also a move away from obsolete technology out of sheer disgust. People had enough of horses as transportation.

Although this is perhaps not obvious in the USA, there is definitively this feeling in Europe about last year’s automobile’s technology. People are just waiting for the better cars around the corner. This happens in Europe because the European Union has imposed 160 grams of CO2 per kilometer in present cars (before sanctions apply). The EU is now switching to 125 grams per kilometer.

Daimler Benz, which used to produce gas guzzlers, screamed a lot, but it has improved its latest models dramatically (hey, no choice!) to catch up with Volkswagen, Fiat, Renault and Peugeot. Renault has a big electric car research project. Fiat has found a device to improve gasoline mileage. Start and stop systems are spreading. Braking energy storage by ultra high efficiency capacitors is improved. There is no doubt that European car demand will rebound as the new models come out, and European consumers feel that they are doing their moral bit of helping the environment by purchasing more advanced, greener technology.

That is why Toyota is now number one in sales, followed by Renault-Nissan (6 million), then Volkswagen (expected to produce 5.7 million cars), and then GM (expected at 5.3 million, if it is still around). so, beyond the problem of physical quality of the widgets and devices, there is the problem of their MORAL quality. People are increasingly repulsed by immoral products. This happened to nuclear energy in the past (it was not just a question of being scared).

The same happens with “organic” versus other produce. Not only are they better for health, but they are morally superior. And people like to exhibit their moral superiority: Toyota’s Prius has sold better than other hybrid cars, in part because it looks different, and owners can advertise their superiority, just as if they were birds of paradise.  And that superiority is moral.

Because the American civil industry was allowed to decay and become obsolete, hence inefficient, hence immoral in a more energy and waste conscious world, consumers are increasingly turning away from it.

Regulations are not just important to keep the financial dragon in its grotto, but in making products morally, hence economically, attractive, which consumers cannot resist.

***

2) Carbon Cap and Trade has been proposed in detail in Australia. As usual, it starts by distributing free permits to pollute and a subsidy of the order of three billion dollars to the carbon polluters. Besides the government breezily announced that it may reduce CO2 pollution by as little as 5% by 2020. A joke by any other name.

***

3) REAL MEN ARE NOT WEASELS: The usual counterargument from conventional left wingers is: “Big time gas taxes and shutting down coal will bring big changes, all right. The Government will change back to complete Republican control, for starters. So thanks, but no thanks. We prefer solutions that won’t actually make the problem worse in the long term.”

The answer to this defeat of the mind is that one has to do, or recommend, the right thing, sometimes. Machiavellianism does not always work.

Doing the right thing starts by making people get to know the right thoughts, and learn to reject the bad ones. The USA cannot fall of the end of the earth. Nobody worldwide care about old fashion U.S. “republicans” much more than they care about malaria carrying mosquitoes. A plague by any other name.

One could have used, and one did use, the same sort of reasoning to justify half baked ways in the Weimar republic. It was like: “let’s not irritate the Nazis too much by taking them on directly, or they will get worse”. Later, as Hannah Arendt (who herself resisted all alone, as a Jewish girl, until she was kicked out to France by the Gestapo!) pointed out, the Jewish councils cooperated with the Nazis, so as not to irritate them too much.

Instead, the way to deal with the Nazis was to take them head on, by declaring war to them, as France succeeded to persuade Great Britain to do in 1939. If nobody had taken a stance, Hitler would have ended by ruling in Washington, as he fully intended to do (he even explained his plan to his collaborators; the French frontal attack ruined it all).

So, no thanks, it is high time to tell the American people to join the rest of civilization… Time to tell them they were deluded by their plutocrats.

***

4) A research article by geologists in Nature (April 2009) shows that carbon capture will, probably, not work. Reason? Injected carbon dioxide does not make carbonate, a rock (as was hoped by carbon wishful thinkers). Instead, injected CO2 makes Perrier, in the fullness of time (sparkling, extremely high pressure gas-water mix). But not to despair: it makes sense. The plutocrats want their deity, Pluto, to be served Perrier underground.

A few considerations  of the logical type then show that trying to stuff all the CO2 coming from coal beds into a few depleted natural gas fields will not work. Besides volcanoes gets a lot of energy from CO2… Carbon capture is just a way to capture the imagination of the naive into more of the same, to profit the same old crowd… Here, have some more Perrier.

***

DELIBERATELY VIOLATING THE LAW.

April 6, 2009

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION VIOLATED THE LAW, AND IT WAS OBVIOUS, BUT NOT THAT BLATANT.
***

By refusing to close insolvent banks, the Obama administration is violating an important law, the “Prompt Corrective Action Law” [US Code, Title 12, Chapter 16, sec 1831]. That law, in particular, mandates explicitly to minimize the cost to the FDIC (hence the “prompt” closure of “undercapitalized” banks). The law defines in detail what “undercapitalization” means, and mandates the “appropriate Federal banking agencies” to find it out (because if a bank defaults, the FDIC is left holding the bag). They have a limit of ninety days. By the way, unrestricted bonuses are unlawful too, it is explicitly mentioned, and so on.

In other words Obama and Geithner have been debating the law, as if they had a choice. Geithner, in particular, because he has been in an oversight role forever, should be subject to prosecution, for having deliberately ignored and violated the law (having failed “to resolve the problems of insured depository institutions at the least possible long-term loss to the deposit insurance fund” in spite of “Prompt corrective action required”).

Now the Geithner plan is providing welfare for hedge funds, and their associated corrupt banks. Geithner calls that the PPIP. The PPIP works better, in its generic case with a positive outcome for the insolvent banks and greedy hedge funds, when the FDIC maximizes its losses. The PPIP also violates the ‘Prompt Corrective Action Law” (Sec. 1831), and its spirit.

The way it works is this: an agent can borrow from the FDIC, and then it can buy worthless assets with the funds it has borrowed. Next, it could then walk away, since the Geithner loan is “nonrecourse”. “Nonrecourse” means that if the agent defaults, no part of the loan can be recovered by seizing some collateral of the agent. The agent does not need any collateral. The agent can buy something for a billion dollars one day, and then walk out the next day, no question asked by anyone.

The agent can be anything: Geithner just has to like the agent (so it’s the Paulson plan in disguise, except the funds are much greater; the arbitrariness is the same, though: it’s all about the love and esteem that the Treasury Secretary has for the potential agent). The agent could be a corrupt, insolvent bank, or a greedy desperate hedge or a corrupt insolvent private equity fund (there are some of the later holding a lot of worthless real estate, such as one the columnist Thomas Friedman has invested in, explaining his constant, glowing propaganda for the Geithner plan). Then agents could exchange each others’ bids, and favors. It would be perfectly legal, as far as Geithner is concerned (not as far as the Constitution is concerned, because the equality clause would be violated).
***

Bill Moyers interviewed WILLIAM K. BLACK, Senior Regulator for the Savings and Loans crisis under Reagan and Bush Senior, a criminologist, law, economics and business professor [April 5, 2009].

WILLIAM K. BLACK: In the Savings and Loan debacle, we developed excellent ways for dealing with the frauds, and for dealing with the failed institutions. And for 15 years after the Savings and Loan crisis, didn’t matter which party was in power, the U.S. Treasury Secretary would fly over to Tokyo and tell the Japanese, “You ought to do things the way we did in the Savings and Loan crisis, because it worked really well. Instead you’re covering up the bank losses, because you know, you say you need confidence. And so, we have to lie to the people to create confidence. And it doesn’t work. You will cause your recession to continue and continue.” And the Japanese call it the lost decade. That was the result. So, now we get in trouble, and what do we do? We adopt the Japanese approach of lying about the assets. And you know what? It’s working just as well as it did in Japan.

BILL MOYERS: “Yeah. Are you saying that Timothy Geithner, the Secretary of the Treasury, and others in the administration, with the banks, are engaged in a cover up to keep us from knowing what went wrong?”

WILLIAM K. BLACK, Senior Regulator for the Savings and Loans crisis: “Absolutely.”

BILL MOYERS: You are.

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Absolutely, because they are scared to death. All right? They’re scared to death of a collapse. They’re afraid that if they admit the truth, that many of the large banks are insolvent. They think Americans are a bunch of cowards, and that we’ll run screaming to the exits. And we won’t rely on deposit insurance. And, by the way, you can rely on deposit insurance. And it’s foolishness. All right? Now, it may be worse than that. You can impute more cynical motives.”
***

There is an easy way to prevent panic: in France all deposits are insured by the government, in any bank, whatever the amount. But this is not the way chosen by Summers and Geithner. Potential panic is thus just a pretext for them: the USA could do like France, and no panic would be imaginable. Now the cynical motives are in plain sight: Summers got eight million dollars, just like year, in 2008, from the very people he wants to give two trillion dollars to, in 2009. Maybe the adjective is venal, not cynical.

What does PPIP stands for? According to Geithner, Public Private Investment Plan. According to me, Public Pays for Impudent Plutocrats. Interestingly, the size of PPIP is supposed to blossom to two trillion dollars, the exact size of the hedge fund “industry”. Does that mean the hedge fund “industry” is broke too, and has to be fully recapitalized by taxpayers, lest the ultra rich would not be ultra rich anymore?
***

Patrice Ayme
http://patriceayme.com/
http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

 

Addendum: 747 banks were nationalized (“put in receivership”) during the S&L crisis (the average bank was kept in government custody for three to four months; bad assets were yanked out, and put in the RTC).

QUICKIES ON OBAMA & G20.

April 3, 2009

***

VARIOUS ELEMENTS IN AN OFTEN INSOLENT PROGRESS REPORT.
***

GENERALIZING THE UNION:
In 69 years, (fierce) France and (non democratic) Germany fought three horrendous wars, the later two spreading to the entire planet. More than 100 million died. During W.W.II the occupation of France ended with a Frenchization of many top Nazis. That made the idiocy and self contradiction of the conflict blatant. Fanatical Nazis such as general Rommel started with war crimes against the French, but ended the other way around, prosecuting Nazis who had committed war crimes in France, and organizing the coup against his ex-idol, Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler rolled out his worst, most fanatical general, the “butcher of Sevastopol”, to destroy Paris. Instead the butcher talked, and made peace with the French resistance. So, after the war, French and Germans pursued their thorough conversations, and a (more peaceful) unification of their little realms.

The European Union was born around the idea of talking problems to death. Politicians became debating intellectuals who talked until the details could be left to civil servants. The recent reunion of the G20 generalizes this solution to the entire planet. This is excellent, because the problems are many, and getting worse. Next time stupid conflicts arise because peoples, and especially their intellectuals, are not able to talk problems to death, the number of people killed may be in the billions.

W.W.I happened because half a dozen generals plotted to destroy democracy in Europe. Sometimes, it does not take much. The CEO class and hedge fund managers and private equity types have conspired for years to steal the world’s riches until the entire world economy, starved of working capital and credit, grounded to a halt. There, again, a small group of exploiters and plotters caused great suffering. In August 1914, the guns thundered before talking could take place. This time, talking is first, and leads to action.
***

CHINA CHANGING:
At the G20 summit in London, China, China, the Communist power, the “People’s Republic”, hesitated to crack down on tax heavens, because its own Hong Kong and Macao are tax heavens. How things have changed! It used to be that the fear was that the communists would smother capitalism. Now they connive to head the subcommittee of the G20 cracking down on tax heavens (but not too much)!

Thus communist China has become more subtle. Has plutocratic America become more subtle? Or is it back to the old semantic art of relabelling everything? The Bush wars are “augmented”, but now called “overseas contingency operations”. As the assistant secretary of the Air Force puts it: “Key battlefield monetary incentives has allowed the Air Force to meet the demands of overseas contingency operations even as requirements continue to grow.” Toxic assets, have become a “legacy”. The latest is meant ironically, because, indeed they are a legacy now bequeathed on hedge funds in the amount of one trillion dollars.
***

IS OBAMA OBSESSED BY BECOMING RICH?
Soon Obama’s personal fortune will be well north of ten million dollars for all to see. The way Obama looks at it: “Americans do not resent the rich, they all want to be rich” [News conference, London, April 2]. Obama is claimed to be as left a politician as one can find in the USA, and so the message of the American left is supposed to be: you can’t beat the rich, so join them.

Was not the desire of Americans to want to be rich, while neglecting everything else, the psychological foible the truly ultra rich exploited to persuade common Americans to get so much in debt that they were supposed to live as serfs for the rest of their lives. olive in extreme debt and poverty for the rest of their lives, now losing their jobs, their houses, and their health? Why would the president push this some more? Because his side kick, that hedge fund manager, Lawrence Summers, just declared that “there is not enough greed”? Does not Summers have enough greed all by himself?

By expressing what one thinks is people’s motivation in general, one expresses one’s notion of normal, hence one’s notion of oneself. Therefore Obama wants to be rich.

What about Americans wanting to be just, Americans wanting to be good, Americans wanting to have empathy? Is the president’s role just to extol the value of “rich”, forgetting that being rich is relative while other qualities are absolute?

Are not jobs the want of most Americans, and becoming rich a clearly irrelevant prospect now?

Is not the desire to be “rich” sometimes in contradiction with wanting to be right, good, or just? Should not a politician extol wanting to be right, good or just first? Is the role of the president to extol greed, and claim that “Americans do not resent the rich” when facing the obverse?

Should not politics be practical philosophy? Is not philosophy about being right? Is wanting to be rich the nutshell of Obama’s political economics? Is it why he likes hedge funds so much, as demonstrated by a multi trillion dollar effort for hedge fund welfare being the essential effort of his administration to save the banks?

But has not the present crisis demonstrated that all those who are not in hedge funds should resent them? Anyway, let see how many more trillions can be given to hedge funds before the American public resent them. No doubt Americans will enjoy the future: “I am poor, I have no job, no health care, but I do not resent that my president is rich and his hedge funds got all the money.”

In other lands, in other times, people have resented the rich, and from this resentment, human rights grew. According to polls, most Americans resent that trillions of dollars of taxpayer money, present and future, have been going to the rich, and they do not know the half of it. So watch it.
***

THE RICH WHO ATE THE WORLD:
Many Americans, even from the American (pseudo) left will say that the USA is all about getting rich. But of course, everybody wants to get rich, worldwide, it’s not just Americans, as Obama implies it.

Making Americans as the only people, worldwide, who, supposedly, want to get rich, is to give them special rights and prerogatives.

The present problems of the USA are related to credit and regulation, of course. But fundamentally they have to do with a gigantic conspiracy of a particular class.

When Deng Xiaoping said that “to get rich is glorious”, it was fully appropriate to the context at the time in China. China had sinned by an excess of will to poverty. It was time to compensate the other way. The problem of the USA right now is the converse: there has been tremendous greed throughout the USA, and it shows all over, from decaying schools, to decaying infrastructure, to air raids in Afghanistan, to intellectuals who confuse critical thinking with self satisfied bleating trotting contently behind the Obamas to guide them every step of the way.

Obama has perfectly understood that “the rich” is the problem. He just can’t stop being mesmerized by the rich. He makes that obvious by dropping the name of his rich friends as often as he can. He persists in this behavior, although it’s clearly not appropriate that the president of the USA evokes as his “friends” plutocrats who are dependent upon taxpayer money, and then extol their “ability at managing their portfolios”. It’s not Alice in wonderland, it’s Alice in Horrorland!

Roosevelt was a traitor to his class, because he had not been a poor boy. Roosevelt was not mesmerized by the rich. Roosevelt knew that being rich in money did not make one rich in mind and achievements. Roosevelt knew mind and achievements were more important than showing everybody he made it. Roosevelt knew that to make it meant being just, right, and good. And not just to his friends and fellow social climbers and arrivistes.

“The rich” has taken all the money from the giant banks it controlled, bet it and leveraged it all in an entangled web of promises to each other to get even richer. on a housing madness of its own creation (because the rich regulated the regulators and polished the politicians). In the end, no capital was left.

*** 

REGULATIONS: MORE SAUSAGE, BETTER MARKETS:
The G20 cracks down on the world plutocracy (not too much). It triples the requested supplementary funding of the IMF to one trillion dollars (it will be used to rescue developing nations too indebted in hard currencies like the Euro, and the like). Socialist like, regulatory measures all. Obama did not get the international financing he was asking for his hedge funds. What do the financial markets do? They rally. Why? Because they are markets, and it’s people who go to markets. If people get slaughtered at the markets, they will not go to the market. Whereas, if pigs get slaughtered at the market, people will buy the sausage.
***

HEDGE FUNDS: THE ROAD TO HELL.
Hedge Funds will have to go. They speak about leaving London, their last place of refuge. Even George Soros, the legendary hedge fund manager, ironically asks: “Where will they go? Another planet?” Good: it was time for hedge funds to do something constructive. Hopefully they are going to Venus. Should be hot and crispy enough there, to melt even a hard bankster’s heart.
***

What was needed for the banks was a clean break, with fully recapitalized big banks. Now it will not happen with the change of the ‘Mark To Market” rule. Summers and Geithner are just saving their friends, past and future employers. Krugman said he did not think they were “venal”. A good matter to reflect on, indeed. Venal, or not venal? It all depends what “venal” means. How much “evidence” should there be in evidence to constitute evidence? Shall the sun rise tomorrow? Yes, but some of the rich will insist that we should not jump to conclusions.

This being said, “Mark to Market” was clearly abusive in some ways. If some doctor pays his mortgage on time, and has been doing so for years, why would her mortgage suddenly be worth 12 cents on the dollar, because of some transaction somewhere?
***

AFTER THE HEDGE FUNDS BEARS’ FEAST:
Next Obama has to reestablish the UPTICK RULE. It was put in the Great Depression of the 1930s to prevent bear raids. It was removed by Bush in July 2007, so that hedge funds could “bear raid” the markets, and make money from destroying the retirements of most common Americans, while hedge fund managers made like bandits. Now that this mission has been accomplished, and hedge fund profiteers have their own retirement secured, and now that Obama has found new ways to shovel money to hedge funds, one may as well reestablish the up tick rule.
***

BUSH WAR WELFARE WAS OFF BUDGET, IS OBAMA HEDGE FUND WELFARE ON BUDGET?
The Bush administration forgot to budget the Iraq war (cost so far, with interest: 3.1 trillion dollars. Yes, with a a “t”, as usual). The Obama administration made a point of including that war in its budget (although the fine print: “we will protect our 100,000 mercenaries” makes it unlikely that cost will go down, except if Iraq finally kicks the USA out). But what about its hedge fund support program, with its many trillion of dollars? Is that budgeted? Not particularly. Bank temporary seizure by the people and recapitalization would cost much less (in the few hundred billions, and guaranteed to make money in the long term).

In Strasbourg, Obama claimed that he simply wanted to “root out” the terrorists, to make everybody safer. Root them out of what? Pakistan and Afghanistan. How many people live there? Oh, about 220 millions. A better strategy would be to change their minds. A good way to start is to never again use aerial bombing on houses or populated areas, no matter what. In other words: change the American way of war. Just think about it: there are Islamic terrorists in Morocco, Egypt, etc. OK, not at the same density. But now suppose NATO would go there and bomb suspects’ houses. Do you think terrorism would go down?
***

IS POLITICS A CODE WORD FOR CORRUPTION?
In the USA, the richest people, the hedge fund and the private equity managers or owners pay the very low maximum tax rate of 15%. The Obama administration, always anxious about those Americans who have achieved what Obama views as the ultimate dream (see above), has so far forgotten to tax them at the upper bracket. Instead it left them in their special lowest of all brackets. But it was time to appear to be doing something about it. So we now learn that the Summers-Geithner administration approached Congress about, well, doing something with these 15%. Maybe rising that a bit. Congress duly informed the administration that “politically” it was a no go: the richest of the rich should be taxed at more than 15%, end of the story.

Who controls Congress? Rush Limbaugh?

Now, of course, pathetically, Obama can turn around, be very bipartisan, and mumble that it’s not feasible “politically”. What he truly means is that it is not feasible venally. The US Congress is venal, that’s all. The adjective best describing the situation is “venal” not political.

Obama could well be real cool, and overrule the corrupt Congress. Indeed, question: what prevents Obama to sign an executive order? The French presidency has done just this, about bonuses and golden parachutes, not waiting for the French legislature to change the tax code (which will happen, in the fullness of time). Now, of course, the rich that corrupt the congressmen will be angry. But so what? We know they have power (that’s what plutocracy is), but shall they always have power? As The Economist put it, talking about Obama: “LEAD, DAMN IT!”
***

Mr. Lewis, CEO of the Bank of America warned on CNBC of “great danger” if the G20 tries to hinder further theft from his class [April 2, 2009]. Why is this guy getting taxpayer money? Why is he sending all the money he gets from American taxpayers to hedge funds instead of people and the real economy? Why has he not being fired yet? Why are only the car companies CEOs threatened, and fired, when the upper money managers who caused the disaster  are still in power, and pontificating?
***

Here is the G20 verdict, as pronounced by President Sarkozy: “A page has been turned on post war American style capitalism”. A day later, Obama praised Sarkozy as “courageous on so many fronts, it’s hard to keep up” and for displaying “initiative, imagination, creativity” in tackling difficult problems.
***

Patrice Ayme
http://patriceayme.com
http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

WHEN PLUTOCRACY KILLS.

April 2, 2009

 

THOSE WHO WANT TO LIVE WITHOUT FINANCIAL REGULATIONS ARE OUTLAWS AT HEART, AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH.
***

Abstract: President Obama has been getting the worst economic advice, from the architects of the disaster. Instead what he should be told is that the corsair capitalism that enriched the USA so much in the last century has no future. Global civilization will not tolerate it anymore. G20 leaders should inform Mr. Obama of this.
***

CORSAIR CAPITALISM:
What is the origin of the crisis? Oversimplifying minds accuse “capitalism”. One may as well accuse gravity. Capital is already known to corvids (avian dinosaurs, among them crows). Corvids make tools as required and use them later, harvest nuts, and store them carefully, according to their expiry dates. Those who decry capital may as well decry the brain, and go back 300 million years.

So here we decry, but we decry the support of the American presidency for thievery disguised as high finance.

France and Britain, several centuries ago, supported corsairs, who were state sanctioned pirates (preying on Spanish shipping, typically). Some became very famous and honored (Sir Francis Drake in Britain, Surcouf and Suffren in France). The USA has been using its plutocrats and hedge funds as old time corsairs, but on a world sucking scale. The Nazis were clients. Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, Hussein and bin Laden were collaborators, clients or allies. Enough.

Plain old thievery and organized crime is at the root of the present crisis. Unfortunately, the inexperienced, wealth mesmerized Obama, chose as economic advisers devoted fanatics of the plutocracy, Summers and Geithner, and their perverse and ridiculous advice is often regurgitated by the august presidential lips, just as it was put in. G20 leaders should be aware of that.

Obama says he is “less interested by identifying blame than by fixing the problem”. [London, April 1, but not a joke!]

Funny. How does one fix a “problem” without “identifying blame”? Obama cannot fix anything if he does not identify blame. Please somebody tell him.

One learns by making mistakes, and then identifying them. Absent identification, absent learning. Obama fully demonstrated this by making the worst of the worse pontificators and manipulators the closest to him in economic advice, the very people who had put in place the financial machination that devoured the world. And then Obama, still not having identified any blame apparently, made one of the worst of the worse conspiracies, the very cause of the crisis he claims to be solving, the core of his economic strategy (namely with the will of Geithner to keep on giving to the richest of the rich under the amusingly impudent pretense of finding the best price for the richest of the rich, which, it unsurprisingly turns out, is the worst of the worse prices for taxpayers).

For nearly a century, the American oligarchy has taken ethical short cuts to enrich itself at the expense of everyone else. Under the cover of “DEREGULATION”, that very small minority, mostly based in the USA physically and philosophically, has set up special “industries” to steal as much as it could from commoners. This small minority of “the best and the brightest” has stolen so much of the world capital, that not enough has been left for the rest of the world economy to function. As simple as that.

The “remedy” enforced in the USA, so far, has been to send to the plutocrats ever more money, knowing that they will be grateful later. They have been in the past (see the richly rewarded Bill Clinton).
***

TIME TO SHUT DOWN THE MOST EXTENSIVE  CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION EVER.
True,  Nazism and Stalinism were more deadly. But a reason they got there was that nobody stopped them in time. [The so called isolationism that affected the Congress of the USA at the time did not affect the American plutocracy, which collaborated extensively with Hitler and Stalin, especially Hitler; one should turn the reflection around: was not “isolationism” a disinformation campaign from the plutocracy to hide what it was really doing?]

The reality dysfunction that the USA suffered when it approved Bush’s destruction of Iraq was a warning. The tolerance for Geithner’s plan to send trillions to the richest of the rich (the very mechanism that caused the financial crisis) is another. There would be huge demonstrations in the streets if the  population of the USA was gained by the French mentality of calling thievery by its name.

This time, though, American intellectuals are finally resisting: Nobel Prizes Stiglitz and Krugman, in particular, have dared tell the obvious (usually American intellectuals prefer to not make the smallest wave, lest the plutocracy looks down on them, and stop cuddling them; instead a real intellectual ought to look down on the plutocracy, because the fundamental driver of the intellectual is mastering thoughts, whereas the fundamental driver of the plutocrat is to master people.)  

To fix the world economy, those immense, but criminal enterprises should be dismantled by law. And the apparition of new ones should be discouraged. There are two of the later: 1) making the world pay for the military industrial complex of the USA, and its adventures, by forcing the world to buy US treasury bonds (otherwise the dollar would collapse, so the world economy would collapse, such is the blackmail), 2) the brand new Summers-Geithner’s welfare for American based hedge funds (also paid by the rest of the world according to the same previous mechanism).

The color of the USA may have changed, but poster boys do not the mind of a plutocracy that put them on the runway, change. Force will have to be employed to reply to force. So Prez Sarkozy and Kanzler Merkel are encouraged to lead in the resistance to American based plutocracy, and its plots. Considering how much American based plutocracy helped fascism before (and during!) WWII, the French and the Germans have deep historical reasons, not only to  bring their antennas out, but to block plutocracy once and for all. What was started in 1939 has to be finished now.

Unity is important for the G20. Everybody should unite against the capital thieves. As shown below, in the USA, plutocracy kills directly. Protectionism and trade barriers should be absolutely resisted. A lot of the negative aspects of globalization can be directly traced to the fact it was administrated by the plutocratic vampires. Once those are in their cage, on a a dry bread and water diet, the problem with globalization will be much more manageable.
***

PRESIDENTS PASS, PLUTOCRACY GROWS:
When Nixon came to power, it was to stop the Vietnam war. But Nixon did not end the Vietnam war. The war went on as the military industrial complex raked ever more profits (replacing 2251 war destroyed aircraft, for example). Instead Nixon made health care into a giant profit center for the plutocracy.

When Clinton came to power, it was to fix health care. But Clinton did not fix health care, nor did he dismantle the giant for profit military industrial complex. Instead Clinton made war in the Middle East permanent. Clinton also made giant banks into giant profits center for the plutocracy.

When Bush II came to power, it was to stop “nation building”. Instead Bush II made wars into giant profit centers for the plutocracy. Nations and wars were created, with trillions of dollars of public money, and made private profits for the richest Americans.

Every single American presidency seems to engineer a new industry to give ever more power and money to the American plutocracy. Why? Because American plutocracy controls not just American politics, but the higher riches of American sociology. The respect for the rabid intellectual, so far, has not gained the USA. Far from it. The plutocracy knows the intellectual class is its natural enemy, and, just as under Rome, suppresses it. So there are no higher reaches in the USA than the higher riches. Hence the venal spectacle given by the lamentable Clinton.

In theory, the West is made of democracies. Demo-cracy = People-power. For the People to have power, they need money. But the American plutocracy has sucked up all the money, hence all the power, to itself.

Then Obama came to power, promising a bit of this, a bit of that, and lots of “post-partisan” content empty smiles and kisses. Instead of dismantling the giant profit centers that the plutocracy set up for itself in the last 40 years, Obama is augmenting the American wars in the Middle East (more soldiers and personnel are sent to Afghanistan, the war is extended to Pakistan, and the withdrawal of troops and spending from Iraq is on paper only). Worse: the Summers-Geithner cabal has invented a brand new profit machine for the plutocracy: the largest hedge funds ever imagined, using taxpayer money for personal profit.
***

IN THE USA, PLUTOCRATIC PROFITS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE LIVES OF THE COMMONERS:
American leaders tend to strike moral poses as they foster their schemes. But inner American morality is in free fall, and it’s not just because of the highest incarceration rate in the world, and because there are trillions to help hedge fund managers and their friends, while billions cannot be found for homeowners.

Officially more than 20,000 Americans die every year directly from lack of health care insurance. Medical treatment was refused to them, on the ground that they did not have medical insurance, while known medical action would have surely saved them, and then, well, they died. It’s OK: profits were saved.

In the USA medical insurance is supposed to be a profit center for wealthy individuals who own insurance companies, people such as Mr. Warren Buffet. Individuals who cost too much are not covered.

Since 9-11, more than 150,000 Americans died from being refused medical treatment, more than 50 time the number killed by bin Laden, a rogue CIA employee. But the national priority in the USA is to fabricate robots to bomb people suspected of being friends with bin Laden, and Mr. Obama never miss an occasion to claim that this titan of health care profits, Mr. Warren Buffet, is his “friend”.  Of these impulsions, American liberalism is made; if it makes a lot of money, it has got to be good. So the eternal war against bin Laden is good, and Mr. Buffet is good.

Frontline was giving the example of an excellent young American woman, Ms. White, who had to interrupt her medical studies, because she had lupus. Then she lost her student insurance, entirely stop her studies to take a menial job just to get health insurance, to receive treatment. [Many Americans just have jobs so they can have health care insurance; of course an unstable situation.]

When for profit private insurance companies refused to pay for her, anymore, Ms. White had to go back to her parents, in her native state of Tennessee. Tennessee refused to pay for her treatment in the end. Treatment refused, she was left to die. By the way, Ms. White was completely white, and quite pretty, before the disease ravaged her face (as Frontline, a TV show of US Public TV, showed).

Finally Ms White’s organs failed and she ended in the emergency room. Twenty-one (21) of her organs had to be removed, cost: $900,000  (all going in the appropriate greedy pockets). She died at 32. This the USA today.

Of course hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer of bad health insurance, and die from it too, but not as blatantly as for those who are outright refused treatment.
***

AMERICAN PRESIDENTS CHANNEL THE PLUTOCRACY, SUCH IS THEIR ROLE:
Clinton ran his first presidential campaign on the theme of providing universal health care to Americans. He did nothing of the sort. He enjoyed being president, and remembered to send something to Congress about it way too late. In the end he tinkered a bit with child care, and Bush tinkered a bit with senior care. Why all the apathy? Because as far as the socioeconomic organization of the USA is concerned, health care is supposed to be served by the likes of the friend of Mr. Obama, Warren Buffet. Health care is not about taking care of health, it’s about taking care of profits. How did one get there?

Nixon invented what Geithner calls now a Public-Private partnership: the Public brings the money, and the Privates run away with it. Thus Nixon created the Health Maintenance Organizations, and Geithner want to leave his plutocratic mark by giving trillions of dollars to the hedge funds. Nixon took care of the health of Americans, Geithner wants to take care of the “toxic assets” (that he relabeled as “legacy” perhaps because they consist into a real fortune bequeathed to hedge funds).

The idea is this: the plutocracy sets socioeconomic machines to make ever more money, gather ever more power for itself, and makes sure that these machines could not be undone.

The great work of Clinton was the deregulation of the financial industry. Just as Nixon invented the HMOs, Clinton, his Rubin, and Summers and Geithner invented the giant banks violating the capital requirements of the International Bank of settlements, massively so. OK, maybe it was the other way around: Rubin and Summers, with their Clinton… After all what did Clinton know? Clinton, a lawyer, and professional mass seducer, has just the power of gab, he did not study finance seriously as Rubin and Summers did.

Thus they created one more giant for profit machine feeding the plutocracy. Now we are being told it cannot be undone, simply more trillions of dollars to be shoveled in its direction will bring back happiness. The tiny cost of Obama care (a tinkering with the existing for profit health care) is no more than 160 billions… Less than what AIG, a hedge fund calling itself an insurance company, devoured in 6 months.

Confronted to these geniuses of American finance, and the for profit machines, how could the Obama administration do better? Bush extended the never ending Middle east war, and now that he is gone, the war has grown further.

That new machine is Geithner’s Public-Private hedge funds welfare system. It will be started with half a trillion, but officials have already talked about two trillions. That used to be Bush’s budget. How quaint. In truth the hole is much bigger.

In the USA, even prisons are for profits (judges were condemned recently for sending people to prison as they increased profits by sending innocent people to prison!). Actually, if it can draw a profit, it’s private in the USA. Man hunting by private outfits is legal in the USA.

Obama pointed out that the American army needs to stay in Iraq to protect American civilians. By this he probably means the 100,000 mercenaries who do the dirty work there.

Am I too tough? The “September 11 Marque and Reprisal Actes off 2001” authorizes the State Department to grant letters of mark without awaiting for Congress. In 2007, a private American company, Pistris, was granted a letter of mark to arm a ship flying American flag and conduct offensive operations in the high seas.

France and Britain outlawed that in 1856.
***

TO ERR IS HUMAN, TO PERSEVERE IS DIABOLICAL:
There is serious business to be conducted out there. The IPCC most recent meeting shows the greenhouse warming is “worse than the worst” that it expected. Giant American banks have squandered their deposits away, squandered their capital, but here we are talking about squandering the capital of Mother Earth. Or, more poignantly, our life sustaining capital.

The seas are rising faster than the worst that was anticipated. The oceans are becoming acidic. The oceans are becoming too hot in places to hold enough oxygen to support known life. At any moment 2,000 billion tons of methane are ready to start belching out in tremendous tsunamis and flaming tundra. Yes, it’s that bad. Temperatures are expected to rise ten (10) degrees, Celsius (20 F) within a generation in the Arctic. That will surely get the methane to belch. That sort of catastrophe has happened before, about 35 million years ago, or so.

The European Union, and the rest of the world, have made an insufficient, but courageous and sincere effort to reduce the CO2 emissions. The USA not only produces 25% of the CO2 directly, but a lot more, when one takes into account how much of the American industrial production has been delocalized to China.

The USA has obstinately refused to help the climate disaster it has proudly led. OK, Obama wants to change this. But the first thing to do is to raise taxes on energy, and in particular gasoline, and Obama was president two months, and has not risen the gas tax by one cent. This is the only gesture of any significance: speech is easy, tax is hard.

[Some parrots will fluff their feathers and pontificate that taxes should not be risen during a recession, that it is well known. But that’s a laughable line in the context of an administration that has refused to free credit by nationalizing a few giant banks, and which has sent trillions of taxpayer money to said banks which then used them for anything in sight except extending credit for the People. And this goes on and on. Energy taxes are compensated for the poor in Europe. The carbon scheme Obama has evoked, a French idea, is very hard to implement, it’s obviously a way to delay, while claiming to be big time green all over.]

As I explained extensively on my Tyranosopher.com site, American plutocrats aided, abetted, and may even have outright fabricated Hitler from scratch. To explain the crime, find to whom the crime profited most. This immensely serious charge has been dangling over civilization ominously. If true (and it is) it’s one more reason to dismantle some of the devices, such as the Bretton-Woods accord, that were imposed after W.W.II by the USA.

After all, the gift that the Roosevelt administration made to Stalin, half of Europe, all of Eastern Europe, has been finally given back. At the end of the war, Stalin’s reign of terror could have easily be terminated by its generals. Instead, massive personal diplomatic support from the USA gave Stalin a clout he did not deserve, and desperately needed. The Soviets dismantled Stalin’s inheritance themselves (Gorbachev did).

Now it’s time to do away with more legacy of the toxic assets of American, or shall I say, plutocratic, supremacy. There are more important and rewarding things to do than sending ever more money to the richest of the rich, while immense numbers of innocents die from it.
***

Patrice Ayme
***