Archive for November, 2013

Obamacare Fans Going Mad?

November 29, 2013
Be free. Within bounds. Belong. But stay critical. Do not forget. And first of all, do not forget to learn, and do not forget to forgive.
Sage principles one ought to give thanks to. Just the opposite of Krugman proclaiming “Obamacare’s Secret Success”, namely the slowdown in health costs has been dramatic”.
I have a different explanation for the slowdown in the rise of health care cost in the USA. Trees don’t grow up to the sky
Limits to Growth: Exponential Up Mutates Into Exponential Asymptotically Bounded

Limits to Growth: Exponential Up Mutates Into Exponential Asymptotically Bounded

Secret Success?”, Krugman? Millions of health insurance contracts have been cancelled, millions of people have seen their premiums and co-pays skyrocket. Krugman calls this a “secret success“?

Obama delayed for Thanksgiving, another piece of Obamacare called “SHOP”. (A telling name: Obama feels everything is for sale; not just himself, but also Americans’ health). See New York Times: Small Firms’ Offer of Plan Choices Under Health Law Delayed.

The drama of the Obama presidency was that, after He was elected, all too many of his supporters felt like they belonged, and reveled with tribal relish. They put the little critical sense that the reign of Satan Bush had fostered, in deep freeze. In other words, they were back to their old goose stepping of 2003.

Instead of forcing Obama to improve Medicare by executive orders, right away, they let him, and the plutocratic leaders of the Democratic Party, embark on a bizarre effort to save the for-giant-profit health system in the USA.

Obama and the democrats had acquired full control of the USA (I know they deny this, a telling Freudian slip, per se). They sang and played like little children, knowing the masters would reward them well for their mindlessness. Masters such as the Koch brothers, or the Waltons (see below).

There was also blatant dishonesty: Obama had promised to crack down on the revolving door between giant profits and government. Instead he opened it fully, allowing Well Point, a health insurer, to draft Obamacare. Everybody at the top was hushed with money: the debt of the USA is doubling.

Krugman: The law establishing Obamacare was officially titled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act…— slowing the seemingly inexorable rise in health costs… Has the curve been bent? The answer, amazingly, is yes. In fact, the slowdown in health costs has been dramatic.

O.K., the obligatory caveats. First of all, we don’t know how long the good news will last. …Second, we don’t know for sure how much of the good news is because of the Affordable Care Act. Still, the facts are striking.”

My name is Paul Krugman, and I am incoherent! Krugman: ” Since 2010, when the act was passed, real health spending per capita — that is, total spending adjusted for overall inflation and population growth — has risen less than a third as rapidly as its long-term average.

What could account for this good news? One obvious answer is the still-depressed economy, which might be causing people to forgo expensive medical care… there’s evidence that Medicare savings “spill over” to the rest of the health care system… The news on health costs is, in short, remarkably good. … health reform is starting to look like a bigger success than even its most ardent advocates expected.”

Notice that all what Krugman found was Medicare “bending costs”. In truth, this has noting to do with the ACA. Obama could have done more on Day One, by an executive order, if he had given Medicare full negotiating powers, as its homologues have all over the world. For example, in Canada. But Obama, too happy to hide behind occupied by his “SHOP” program on the “health marketplace” with its (stock?)”exchange”  for “consumers” still refuses to do so to this day.

Va de retro, Krugman delirium! The obvious explanation for the bending in health cost rise is that people simply don’t have the money for a health care system costing 20% of GDP.

So there could be just a limit to growth (“Malthusian”) curve at work: people cannot afford to spend more, so they cut down, because they have to.

The cost of health care is completely out of control in the USA. Top health administrators in the USA are paid ten to twenty times more than their homologues in Europe. And it’s worse at the level of insurers.

This madness at the top does not just cost more, it creates a corrupt system where underlings are paid more than they should be, just to make them accomplices of the outrageous gouging at the top.

If I am correct, the quality of health care in the USA ought to be going down, as patients see doctors less, and get treated less. And what is observed? Exactly this. The USA slipped from 37th in health care quality down to 46th rank (latest evaluation).

A new born in the USA has a probability of dying twice that of the European Union, with its 500 million people (including 100 million poor Eastern Europe still recently enslaved by the Red Plutocrats of Stalinian ilk).

How did that deliquescence develop? Because people such as Paul Krugman, instead of insisting stridently on a public insurance system developed the human relations that told them that private for profit insurance was the American way.

Hence Obamacare, an experience unique in the world. For (huge) profit corporations that claim, as USA style philanthropists do, to care for the little guy, while filling up their pockets ever more. For reference, the first public universal health care system opened in Germany, more than 150 years ago. Obamacare is nothing of the sort. Obamacare is more like universal gouging rather than universal health care.

Yet, denying blatant evidence, many democrats have stridently claimed that Obamacare is the exact opposite of what it is. The difference between their fanatical cult and the unfolding reality is apparently driving them mad (analyze Krugman above admitting “we don’t know for sure”, and then proving it’s not about the ACA, as he claims, but Medicare!).

Instead top democrats should relax. They are rotten, they should admit that to themselves.

They should do like Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is the largest employer in the USA. It makes enormous profits: 17 billion dollars last year. Wal-Mart’s CEO, Mike Duke, earns 11,000 dollars, an hour; its retirement is worth 113 million. And he is not even the owner.

Wal-Mart treats most of its employees like dirt. Still Wal-Mart organized a “food drive” among its employees, for those of its own employees who can’t feed themselves. that’ s philanthropy at its best, and most revealing.

Six individuals of the Walton family have a combined “worth” of more than 110 billion dollars. When it was only 89 billions, a few years ago, it was already more than the total wealth of the bottom 40% of the population of the USA (145 million people).

As Ralph Nader explains in the link above, the profits of Wal-Mart are made possible by government assistance. It’ s the same for the fast food industry: 52% of workers there use public assistance.

In a country where plutocrats get much, if not all, of their profits from the government, Obamacare is a natural.

***

Patrice Ayme

PROOF IS PHYSICAL

November 27, 2013

”Information is physical”. Always. Of course. What else?

Yet, the mystery is far from dispelled, as we don’t know what “physical” is. We don’t know, what physics is, for sure. Some roll out the Quantum, and say:”here is physics: it from bit”. However, we are not certain of what the Quantum is (= we don’t know whether quantum theory is “complete” or not; ultimately it’s a Physical Problem, experimentally determined; Von Neumann thought he had a “formal” proof, but he was wrong).

Are there Physical Problems that are not Mathematical Problems? Or Physics Proofs that have not Mathematical Proofs? Well, at this point, there are. Take general fluid flow. Be it water inside a fluid, or a meteor going hypersonic, these Physical Problems exist, and have solutions, that the physical objects themselves are Physical Proofs. It is not clear that they have Mathematical Solutions, let alone Mathematical Proofs.

Theorems From Physics? claims that:

“mathematical theorems are not supposed to be contingent. This is a fancy philosophical term for propositions that are “true in some possible worlds and false in others.” In particular, the truth of a mathematical proposition is not supposed to depend on any empirical fact about our particular world.”

With all due respect, that’s theology. Conventional theology, so called “Platonism”, but still theology. For me Plato, and his modern parrots are seriously obsolete, and “an embarrassment, for these people are friends”, as Aristotle put it.

I can show that the proof that square root of two is irrational contains assumptions made on an empirical basis (along the lines of mn = nm, actually; similarly, the choice between Presburger arithmetic and Robinson, or Peano, or Ayme arithmetics, can be viewed as empirically driven.)

However, what is an achieved mathematical proof? Just a neural arrangement. Similar neural arrangements in the minds of noble primates called mathematicians. Thus, a mathematical proof is a physical object constructed similarly in the minds of many. So a mathematical Proof is a Physical Proof, just as the fluid in a tube is a Proof of a Physical Problem, the flow problem. And similar tubes have similar “proofs”, once similar fluids similarly flow.

So any Mathematical Proof is a Physical Proof.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Notes:

1) Could Quantum Theory be Wrong?

(Meaning not as perfect as it is taken to be.) Actually the main objection I have against the Quantum-as-it-is is exactly the same as the objection Isaac Newton had against his own theory of gravitation: instantaneous interaction at a distance with nothing between made no sense, said Newton.

(Einstein remedied this partly by proposing that gravitation was a field propagating at the speed of light.)

2) The preceding was a comment of mine on the “Gödel Lost Letter and P=NP” site in Theorems From Physics?

And most notably the following passages: “The philosopher in us recoils dogmatically at the notion of such a “physical proof”…  Imagine that someone shows the following: If P is not NP, then some physical principle is violated. Most likely this would be in the form of a Gedankenexperiment, but nevertheless it would be quite interesting. Yet I am at a loss to say what it would mean. Indeed the question is: “Is this a proof or not?”

Actually this is exactly the general method I used to prove there is a largest number. Basically, I said, if there is infinity, there is a violation of the conservation of energy principle. Oh, by the way, if you want to know, in my system, the proof of P = NP is trivial (as everything is polynomial; four words proof, so I should the Clay Prize, hahaha)…

Fish Rots By The Head

November 25, 2013

PLUTOCRACY, INFECTIONS, ANTIBIOTICS, & CORRUPTION OF THE SOUL

Dr. Tom Frieden is the director for the Center for Disease Control. He wrote for CNN “A nightmare health scenario we can stop”. A lie by omission and diversion, that exposes how plutocracy corrupts the soul… And kills.

What Dr. Frieden does not mention, is probably, I claim, where his future salary will come from. I will show, indeed, that the horror does not stop there.

As USA Hogs Get Antibiotics Daily, Human Babies Ought To Get Less?

As USA Hogs Get Antibiotics Daily, Human Babies Ought To Get Less?

Here is Frieden’s report, or, shall I say, disinformation (I removed repetitive, sanctimonious, data empty passages):

“Today’s interconnected world means we’re all linked by the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat – and the antibiotics we use.

… antibiotic resistance travel the globe. Take Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE. This really is a nightmare bacteria, resistant to most, and in some cases all, antibiotics. These microbes are especially deadly, and they can pass their resistance to other microbes through “jumping genes” or plasmids

Right now, CRE are found primarily in hospitals. But if these microbes become more common in the community, then urinary tract infections, wounds and other common infections will be extremely difficult or even impossible to treat. It’s a terrible scenario… each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die as a result.

It’s a big problem, and one that’s getting worse.  But we published this report because it’s not too late – there’s a lot we can do to slow down, and even reverse, antibiotic resistance.

Clinicians, healthcare facility leaders, public health professionals, leaders in agriculture, policymakers, and patients all have a role to play in reversing the current resistance trends. Through concerted commitment to immunization, infection control, protecting the food supply, antibiotic stewardship, and reducing person-to-person transmission we can keep new resistance from developing and prevent the resistance that already exists from spreading.

Prevent: Drug-resistant infections can be prevented by immunization, infection control in healthcare settings, safe food preparation and handling and hand washing.

Track: CDC collects and analyzes data on antibiotic-resistant infections to understand their causes and to discover which people more likely to be infected and to help find and stop outbreaks.

Improve use: Every doctor must commit to use antibiotics only when needed, and to use antibiotics for only as long as they are needed. Patients need to understand that “more” drugs does not equal “better” drugs. The right treatment is the best treatment – and that isn’t antibiotics for every infection or every illness.

Develop new drugs and diagnostic tests: It’s important that we restart the pipeline and provide incentives to companies to do this research. Still, it might be 10 years before the next antibiotic is available, and unless we improve systems to prevent resistance, we will lose these new drugs as well.

The president’s budget has a request for an increase of $40 million so we can better use advanced molecular techniques to find resistant and other deadly microbes and stop them faster. …

More from CNN: Doctors still overprescribing antibiotics”

The CDC is making an anti-antibiotic campaign. In humans. Why?

Because doing so acts like a psychological vaccine against the scandal that is really going on about antibiotics in the USA, endangering the whole planet.

Indeed, antibiotics are systematically given to animals in the USA, everyday, so that animals can grow more, faster and bring more profit. Explicit plasmids have been tracked to this practice, which was made unlawful in Europe, January1, 2006 (the European Commission “ban on antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feed” goes into some details).

In Europe, antibiotics can be given to animals, if and only, they are sick. In the USA, antibiotics usage is discouraged in human, even when they are sick. That debasement makes, in turn, dignified humans sick. No danger for Dr. Frieden.

Dr. Frieden’s recommendation of giving less antibiotics to humans is inhuman. Why? The USA has more death by infections than any other advanced countries. A baby on the first day of life has twice the probability of dying in the USA than in the European Union (As National Geographic points out in 2013).

Notice the Union has bottom-of-the-barrel countries such as Greece, Poland, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. A leading cause of baby death in the USA? Infection.

I just want to see Dr. Frieden’s future mansion. I hope his wife can buy as expensive a bag as Oprah Winfrey, and make a big fuss about it.

American doctors are reluctant to use antibiotics, in conditions where they would have long been used in France. Indeed, if a child has a severe respiratory infection, one cannot know for sure that’s bacterial, until it’s way too late. Such is the state of science, sorry, folks.

Recent studies have shown that just treating babies with antiseptics (related to antibiotics) such as chlorhexidine, used on umbilical cords could save 500,000 babies a year.

In a country such as France, the same generosity that is extended to live meat is extended to young humans. The French love their babies. But treating humans as well as animals is apparently frown upon in the USA, and Dr. Mengele Frieden is part of the plot.

Let’s hope he gets well rewarded.

“Most informed scientists and public health professionals acknowledge that the problem of antibiotic resistance in humans is overwhelmingly an issue related to human antibiotic use,” the American Meat Institute says. Thank you, Pluto, your message is always clear: lies are true, and truth is lie.

My question is simple: how much are those scientists paid? By whom? How much will they be rewarded? Where is Dr. Frieden next multi-million dollar income to come from?

A few years back, I remember reading a study of antibiotic resistance in the middle of the Amazon. The resistance was from plasmids (travelling small gene pieces that can jump species) that originated in domesticated animals given antibiotics in the USA. The study was in the AAAS Science Magazine (to which I’ve subscribed for decades). The antibiotics in question had never been introduced to the South American continent.

Here something I have a reference for.  A study in the journal mBio, published by the American Society for Microbiology, shows that an antibiotic-susceptible staph germ passed from humans into pigs, where it became resistant to the antibiotics tetracycline and methicillin. Then the antibiotic-resistant staph jumped back into humans.

To quote:“Modern food animal production [ IN THE USA!!] is characterized by densely concentrated animals and routine antibiotic use, which may facilitate the emergence of novel antibiotic-resistant zoonotic pathogens. Our findings strongly support the idea that livestock-associated MRSA CC398 originated as MSSA in humans. The jump of CC398 from humans to livestock was accompanied by the loss of phage-carried human virulence genes, which likely attenuated its zoonotic potential, but it was also accompanied by the acquisition of tetracycline and methicillin resistance. Our findings exemplify a bidirectional zoonotic exchange and underscore the potential public health risks of widespread antibiotic use in food animal production.”

Paul Keim, an author of the study, said that the research shows that “our inappropriate use of antibiotics … is now coming back to haunt us.” He says the solution is clear — banning antibiotics in livestock feed, as in the European Union.

Frieden, the head of the CDC “forgets” the animal feed problem in the USA. (Though he nebulously, but tellingly, allude to “leaders in agriculture“, no doubt those “leaders” who led him to believe big checks leading him to a better future.)

Frieden’s ethical level is compromised below plausibility (since his expertise is beyond any suspicion, his omission of animal feed is deliberate). Dr. Frieden, I’m afraid, can only be assumed to be a shill for big agro-business, just as Krugman is for big banks (and Pelobamacare).

Antibiotics resistant tuberculosis (TB) grows in Russian and Georgian prisons. Dr Frieden himself implicitly admits USA hospitals are not clean enough. Why does not he go clean them with bleach? When antibiotic resistant TB patients from Eastern Europe make it (unlawfully) to French hospitals, they are cured with (semi secret) new antibiotics. French hospital personnel don’t freak out: French hospitals are kept clean.

In December 2012, the FDA withdrew a 1977 (!) proposal to remove approvals for two antibiotics, penicillins and tetracyclines, used in livestock and poultry feed. It said it would focus instead on “voluntary reform” by the meat industry to limit use. Typical Obama: “In greed we trust!”

When the Roman empire (more exactly the Principate) was experiencing great wealth, top intellectuals, the ones who had access to the imperial court, were clearly uneasy. Yet, they did not want to dig into the truth, because it would have compromised their material wealth.

Same now. It goes even beyond that: a renowned physicist accused me of treating Dr. Frieden badly. A case of plutocratic university system solidarity. After all, if people as successful as Frieden and Obama see as central to their jobs to mislead people with outlandish, deliberate lies, is not lying moral? After all, it’s successful.

The fish rots by the head. Demosthenes, Polybius and the Gracchi warned the Athenian and Roman republics what horrors were coming, lest they resisted the psychological slide to the Dark Side. Only that could have worked, but it did not. However, in more modern times, strident warnings by intellectuals were heard. An obvious case is the Dreyfus affair, when plenty of French intellectuals blasted the temptation to slide into horror, and did this successfully.

But let me point out this: what is more base, more horrible than letting babies die… so that pigs can grow?

***

Patrice Ayme

Supply Side Epic Fail

November 24, 2013

Comments made on the world wide web show that some don’t get what I say in economics.

Liberals with a self defined “conscience”, such as Krugman, Obama, and pretty much the entire democratic establishment in the USA have promoted a loose monetary policy, low regulation, and the redeeming values of the “marketplace”. Ever since 2008, those self described “liberals” have sent more money to the biggest bankers, their “friends”, in charge of reviving the economy that said bankers had just collapsed.

This strange methodology has a name “Supply side economics“. It has not been effective at all in increasing demand and lowering unemployment. But it has propped up the fortunes of the wealthiest people to new heights.

How could that have happened? Simple: the money, the “liquidity” goes to the biggest banks, exactly those which caused the bubbles and crashes. Why? Bubles are their financial breathing; inhale, buy; exhale: sell short. Trouble? Threaten the governments, and force them to fork more money over to the big banks way too big to fail, through the central banks, or the sort of debt “relief” extended to the likes of Greece.

(That pattern was slightly broken with Cyprus, but then Russian plutocrats occupied the vacuum).

A reason for asset inflation is that the return on investment for increasing production capacity is close to zero in an environment characterized by low demand, excess production capacity, zero CPI inflation, and low innovation. New factories are not built when the existing ones cannot sell at full capacity, and when there is no reason to completely retool.

The low innovation is related to the attitude of governments. Government have to create innovation demand by introducing new technology. A country researcher-in-chief ought to be the government.

Just look at France. Over the last few centuries, the push of government to innovation was crucial… To bring worldwide innovation. After all, even Louis XIV financed the Dutch Huyghens (who invented, among other things, the wave theory of light).

French government demand created the first cars (in the 18C), the fist hot air balloons, better explosives (1790s), first planes (Ader and company), and the first nuclear program (Paris January 1938). Also in the 1830s, the government bought the patent for photography, so that “all of humanity could profit“. In England, it was decided, early on, by the government, to finance trains, instead of the sort of freeways for individual cars Mr. Macadam and his friends wanted to build. (At the time cars were steam driven.)

Nowadays, instead investors, deprived of meaningful pursuits, chase one another to higher returns in speculative asset trading including art, stocks and real estate. Thus the world ugliest triptych was sold for the greatest price ever.

In the USA, government encourages fracking. A “bridge fuel” said Obama. Clearly a bridge to nowhere: as it is, with existing technology, the ecological impact of fracking is so nefarious, that it is, clearly a Ponzi scheme. (Yes, banks are feeding it, similarly to the subprime bubble, and similarly to that, with the full support of the present government of the USA, and that is why fracking is happening, on such a massive scale, in the USA alone; the technology has been around for decades, although horizontal drilling has improved it.)

To cut down this meaningless activities, asset speculation ought to be mitigated by increasing taxes on higher incomes and short term capital gains. Also a wealth tax on land and properties should be cranked up (they are already so, in places such as France, but certainly not in the UK and USA; the latter exemption makes the former uncompetitive!).

Meanwhile meaningful innovation, like figuring out the details of large Thorium reactors, ought to be pushed… in government research programs, something private industry cannot do.

(Instead Obama financed things such as electric car and battery companies, something private industry can do; the money thus diverted was not available for more fundamental pursuits.)

Government spending on innovation, health, education, infrastructure, and housing ought to be increased, paid by the 93% tax on income republican president Eisenhower had instituted.

This has to be done in a subtle manner. For example the Pelosi style Demoncrats have argued Obamacare augmented health spending. And it does, straight into the pockets of plutocrats. It’s not because one knows how to push on the accelerator, that one knows how to drive.

If the 99% had more money in their pockets, consumer demand would increase.

In any case, the so called “supply side theory” and its attendant bubbles have been fully repudiated. Supply Side economics is another name for plutocracy rising. It has completely infected the economy of the USA, starting 20 years ago (that is, under Clinton).

Supply Side Economics believe that the “marketplace”, if left completely free, lower prices on “consumers”. So it is also the theory behind “Obamacare”, and why Obama transformed patients into consumers exerting their free market choice. Supply Side, just as Obamacare, neglects corruption and human nature and its attendant greed (that’s why the Obamacare website failed).

A central feature of Supply Side is the tax rate. In the USA in recent decades the concept has been named after a right winger, Arthur Laffer. However it originated with a French economist, and engineer, the polytechnicien Arsene Jules Etienne Juvenal Dupuit, in the 1850s. (As a good USA right winger, Laffer is careful not to attribute to a Frenchman the invention of the concept that bears his name.)

Kennedy reduced taxes from a top marginal rate of 91% to 65%, high on the Dupuit Curve and hence increasing government revenue. But Reagan reduced taxes from a top marginal rate of 50% to 28%, lower on the Dupuit Curve and thus decreased government revenue (as part of his government killing program). Obama, of course, lowered taxes much further, and, although a very rich man, pays only a 174 or so overall tax rate.

That Krugman and Summers loudly return to their Reagan roots, and advertize bubbles as the way out for the economy, for all to see, something that Reagan himself may have frown on, is truly amazing. The impudence. The bull headedness.

The problem in the USA is not the Tea Party. After all, it did not get to power. Yet. The problem is that democrats implemented Supply Side Economics, namely lowering taxes on the rich to the point deficits could be used as an argument to destroy the Great Society that Kennedy and Johnson put in place.

A mathematically interesting self feeding vicious loop.

***

Patrice Ayme

Housing & the Money Trap

November 23, 2013

Economics is a subject founded, and dominated, by philosophy. or rather, it should be. Instead it got to be dominated by gangsters and banksters.

The crisis the western economy comes from what passes for rational economic theory is far plutocratic lunacy. To put it in one sentence: “greed is not just good, but god.”

How did this come to be? Force. Force is what gave meaning to economics. In 1945, Allen Dulles, head of the OSS, was sitting in Berlin, in charge of de-Nazifying his Nazi friends he had made such good business with. A few thugs got tried, but the real friends and business associates were taught to make American style jokes, so they could go back to business. Force works:

Wall Street Golden Calf: Larger Than Life Itself

Wall Street Golden Calf: Larger Than Life Itself

Decades unfolded. The OSS, now called the CIA imposed military men all over the Americas, if not the World, covered up by Harvard, Chicago or Stanford certified “economists”. No god, but greed: an old story, already found in the Bible (the adoration of the gold calf). That was great for We The People of the USA, as riches flowed towards the USA. That comforted USA universities in their knowledge that their vision of economics as all about greed was correct.

The City of London poodle reinforced that notion and that system, after Thatcher came to power.

Then Reagan came to power. His greatest feat was probably to have introduced a tuition in the public University of California. That University had been founded specifically to be free, in contradistinction with the plutocratic universities, where diplomas were paid for, to give the appearance of distinction and qualification on merits to the children of plutocrats. Reagan broke that nasty idea.

From there on, all what was worthy in the USA would be paid for.

Reagan had in his cabinet two twenty-something economists, eager to please and succeed: Larry Summers, hyper connected to plutocratic economists with Nobels, and Paul Krugman. Nowadays Krugman, is viewed, erroneously as the most progressive economist there is. And his blog is the most read in economics, worldwide (complete with my more damaging comments censored).

Summers’ attempt to head the Fed, supported by Obama, was shot down by an Internet born campaign. As far as I know, I am the first to have excoriated Summers from way back. What Summers did under Clinton would have made FDR scream. Summers not only destroyed the Banking Act of 1933, FDR’s most important economic reform, but he allowed the expansion of banking scams to realms never imagined before.

Now, Summers, seconded by Krugman, has embarked in a vast campaign to justify the abysmal economy they helped to create in the last three decades. See:

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/16/secular-stagnation-coalmines-bubbles-and-larry-summers/

Recently, Krugman has been trying to explain that Keynes was not an idiot, that Keynes was just joking when he said real stupid stuff. I have long argued Keynes was partly a confirmed idiot, and even a lethal one.

See: https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/colbert-good-keynes-not-so-smart/

Lord Keynes was just not an idiot, in many ways, he was also a Nazi. A Nazi incubator. a mother hen for Nazism. No wonder he wanted people to fill up holes at the bottom of coal mines; he was inspirational for Nazism.

Krugman is a strange case: on one hand, he is violently and haughtily condemning those who call him, Larry Summers, Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin Jews, as they originally are, although he admits he is badly estranged from his roots.

On the other hand, Krugman exhibits wild enthusiasm and total devotion to Lord Keynes. Lord Keynes was a rabid partisan of murderous, German fascism, and regretted loudly and extensively that the Versailles treaty had freed enslaved nations subjugated by Prussia and Vienna. Keynes, as early as 1919, wrote down the entire system of thought the Nazis would run away with. Then he published it, as “The Economic Consequences of Peace” and that piece of trashy Nazi propaganda became the Bible of pseudo-progressives plutocratic sycophants throughout the Anglo-Saxon world. Including presumably, that of Krugman as he is all things Keynes, night and day.

To this day, Keynes’ TECP is the source of much anti-French hatred and contempt in the Anglo-Saxon world (something Krugman deplores, another of his charming contradictions). Most cultivated Americans have been brain washed, by a time honored Nazi tradition,  to deplore “Versailles” as the cause of everything bad. Those Americans ought to have to line up, and be spanked vigorously by Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Romanians, Serbs and assorted others. French judges could assert when USA buns are rosy enough.

So now Krugman is again in love with Summers for all to see (Curiously he does not extend that affection to Summers’ compère, the Maestro of bubbling, babbling and mumbling, Alan Greenspan (Greenspam, Greenmail? who is out with another trash book).

Summers’ theory is that bubbles are good. It’s nothing new: that “theory” was put in practice by him and Greenspan under Clinton. Now our errant boy, Krugman, is embracing it idly (caveat: although, before anyone, I pointed out 4% inflation was good, I do not embrace bubbles.) In ‘Bubblephobia and Monetary Policy’ Krugman opines that:

How do you know that monetary policy is too loose? The textbook answer is that excessively expansionary monetary policy shows up in rising inflation; stable inflation means money is neither too loose nor too tight…I’m pretty sure the side Janet Yellen is on, says that at low inflation rates this rule breaks down… stable inflation at a low level is consistent with an economy operating well below potential. [I agree with this.]

But there’s a critique from the other side that seems to be gaining a lot of traction with central bankers not named Janet Yellen — namely, the notion that if asset prices are rising, and that this might signal a bubble, it’s time to tighten, even if inflation is low or falling.

And Krugman to inform us than an esteemed colleague at the Swedish Central Bank was fired because he disagreed with rising interest rates. Indeed, it makes no sense:

Killing The Economy: Good, Say The Plutos, We Will Shine More Brightly

Killing The Economy: Good, Say The Plutos, We Will Shine More Brightly

 

The Riksbank raised rates sharply even though inflation was below target and falling, and has only partially reversed the move even though the country is now flirting with Japanese-style deflation. Why? Because it fears a housing bubble.

This kind of fits the H.L. Mencken definition of Puritanism: “The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” But here’s the thing: if we really are in the Summers/Krugman/Hansen world of secular stagnation, things like this are going to happen all the time.”

Krugman, Summers, Greenspan, and the entire economic establishment are barking up the money tree. But an ultra major economies have worked without money. I sent Krugman the following, and, perhaps having understood it, he kindly published it.

Thinking of the economy in terms of money only brings the lowest bounds and deliquescent traps to the economic discourse.

There is a housing problem, from Germany to California. A neighbour’ two full grown, professionally employed children, just moved in to share her small apartment. Why? Because in San Francisco, studios are renting at $3,000 a month.

Real estate prices have tripled in Munich, und so weiter.

Verdict? It’s not about money, or “inflation”, it’s about supply of housing. The old solution is to throw money at banks and to hope them to throw some more money at the housing market.

But bankers, and other rich people, have interest to see housing prices go up: thus they become richer, while doing nothing. That is they have more and the others, relatively less. So housing’s supply diminishes, relatively speaking.

In more than three decades, the population of California more than doubled, but housing did not. Especially not where the jobs are. So prices exploded, especially after international plutocracy bought itself a few adobes. Does that mean there is inflation? No. Just not enough housing.

How was the problem solved after WWII in Europe? Entire cities had been levelled (say Toulon in France). Well, the governments simply decided to build housing. Forget the banks. Just pay the contractors directly, and get on with the work.

This stays true today. Government driven, quality (energy neutral) housing ought to be governmentally decided throughout the West.

That would surely help the economy more wisely that frantic fracking. (Fracking can be considered a Ponzi, or pyramid scheme, because it does not pay for the escalating damage it causes, so it’s a repeat of the “subprime” madness, and a crazed bubble.)

So we need more governmental intervention in the economy. But not by just exacerbating the consuming. Turning “patients” into “consumers”, on the “health marketplace” as the clueless Pelobama did, is the way of error. What we need is a government that brings work where needed, directly. (Although fiscal tools could help, say by cutting taxes on construction, and relaxing some regulations.)

Big time energy policy, both in research (Thorium reactors, Thermonuclear Fusion, etc.) and development (replacing planes by nuclear-electric trains, so to speak, etc.) scientifically driven is needed. There are simply projects only the government is big enough, and free from short term profit enough to engage in; see “Synthesis Found”.

Just throwing money at banksters, so they be good, as Krugman and his colleagues have advocated, forever, is not good enough. It’s just perverse enough.

And measuring inflation, as is done in housing, by lack of supply, is deeply erroneous, indeed.

***

Patrice Ayme

Who Wanted Kennedy Dead?

November 22, 2013

For 50 years, many theories have come up about Kennedy’s termination. It may be good to recapitulate what’s certain.

First it’s certain that we are strangely uncertain. The president of the USA is assassinated, and we don’t know for sure why, or even how. History helps. In 98 years, three presidents of the USA were assassinated. For the first two, Lincoln and McKinley, we know exactly whom, how and why. Not so with JFK.

To get a perspective, look at a much older country. In 15 centuries of continuous governance, France had two leaders executed. One was a long reigning Frankish queen, Brunhilda, at the end of a long civil war; the second one was ex-Prime Minister Laval, for collaborating with Hitler too enthusiastically.

France also had two kings assassinated. Yes, in 15 centuries. Two. For basically the same reason. One after the other. The great Henri III, and his hand-picked successor, the just as great Henri IV.

The cause? Overall, the cause was the religious wars of the Sixteenth Century, seven of them in quick succession, involving the fanatical Catholic League, financed by Catholic fascists in Spain (themselves of Bourgogne origin)… and sometimes nearly as fanatical Hugenots.

We know exactly who killed the kings. Extreme attention was given to find out whether there had been conspiracies behind the hands of the killers. Enough was found to reveal that both killers fed on the atmosphere created by a number of Catholic grandees. No direct links sufficient enough to convict was found, but enough to steer the mood in France, for centuries to come. Making both leaders, and the people, very suspicious, and then pro-active, against religious fanaticism. There is a direct logical chain between Henri IV’s death, in 1610, and the expropriation of the Catholic church, in 1905.

Both assassinations were no surprise. There had been at least 17 attempts against Henri IV. Clearly his bodyguard was incredibly at fault for allowing Ravaillac to come close.

In the case of Kennedy, there was just one attempt (compare with the many attempts by the CIA to kill Castro). And it was just perfect. Supposedly three shots by one man, in six seconds, with an old bolt action rifle, two of them lethal. Captured after killing a police officer, Ostwald was asked if he killed the president. His first words were:“It’s for you to figure out.”

Enigmatic.

Jack Ruby knew everybody at the police station, and everybody knew him, a French journalist found out (he talked to Ruby before the assassination, and was interviewed by the Warren Commission!)

The verdict, in the case of Henri III and Henri IV, was that the fanatical mood of the worst Catholics drove the will to kill. Both the fanatical Dominican friar, Jacques Clément, and Ravaillac evolved in an atmosphere of extreme zealotry fed by their entourages.

The (very educated, but Catholic fundamentalist) family of Ravaillac was actually condemned very severely, as it was viewed responsible for having fostered a mood of religious hatred. Catherine Henriette de Balzac d’Entragues, Marquise de Verneuil, who had two children with Henri IV, was revealed as having been involved in at least one conspiracy against the king. She was exiled forever. Her motive? Henri had married Marie de Medici, a banker.

In any case French authorities, in 1610 CE, recognized that a mood could be culprit.

Was there such a similar killing mood involved in JFK’s death?

Of course. An obvious set of suspects offers itself.

Who would have wanted Kennedy dead? The same mood and galaxy of conspirators that has been involved in the Plot Against France.

John Kennedy had refused to support the Bay of Pigs Invasion (revealing called Operation Pluto) with regular troops. Instead, he compromised the CIA, the Mafia, and more than 100 Cuban plutocrats (many of whom Castro gleefully executed).

Who headed the CIA? Allen Dulles, the brother of Eisenhower’s Secretary of State Dulles, the man who told Ike what had been done on his behalf.

The Dulles Brothers represented up to 800 Nazi firms before the Second World War, and kept on managing Nazis after the war (the one who created the CIA was head of the OSS bureau in Berlin in charge of de-Nazification, immediately after the war). When Kennedy started his crack-down on the CIA and the Mafia, the Dulles were not amused.

Don’t forget that, at the time, the 100 top engineers of NASA were Nazis. And not small Nazis. Big, large, genuinely ultimately vicious Nazis. Look at the esteemed Werner Von Braun: a full SS commander, who was not just decorated by his friend Hitler, but managed some of the most deadly death camps (slaves built the “Vengeance Weapons” underground, in the worst conditions).

(By the way, irony of history, that Von Braun’s space program was excellent for the Allies: Albert Speer (top Nazi in charge of industry) estimated that the V2 program cost as much as the construction of 24,000 fighter planes… and had little to show for it, except for exasperated democracies determined on, well, vengeance.)

The Dulles brothers themselves came into that line of business as lawyers employed by their masters, top American financiers. The very financiers, instigators, and incubators of Nazism itself.

John Kennedy knew the music. His father, having pulled out of the market before the 1929 crash, lent money to the Mafia during the Prohibition. The Senior Kennedy, nominated by FDR, ambassador to Great Britain, had to be recalled after he declared, on the record, that “democracy was finished” in Britain and the USA (and had to be replaced by a Nazi-like system).

Why did the Senior Kennedy declare this? He misjudged the new mood. Until 1936, the Nazis were engaged in a quiet coup in Britain, involving the king. A proof? The 1935 Nazi-Britain treaty deliberately violating the Versailles Treaty (and especially its secret informal protocols, or why the Nazis attacked Poland).

After that disaster, the French had to work hard to get the British leadership to regain its senses (something that went on between 1936 and 1939; the first move of the British anti-Nazis was to kick the king out; that was facilitated because his future American wife was known to be spying for… Hitler)

Similarly, Kennedy’s son misjudged the mood of the upper crust of American society, and, especially, that of its racist, violent, greedy, ruthless, darker underbelly. JFK had deeply annoyed a lot of mighty, ruthless organizations by 1963. JFK also knew there were bodies buried, why, and where (at least figuratively speaking).

Kennedy expected to be assassinated. He spoke of this to his wife everyday. So it is likely that he knew he had crossed the thin red line to messianism.  JFK, and his Jesus Christ attitude was a Damocles Sword over the plutocratic establishment. After calling businessmen “son of bitches”, what was JFK going to do next? Rant against Foundations?

For the nastiest plutocrats, it’s much better to have clueless presidents, such as Reagan, Clinton, or Obama.

50 years later, the same nastiness is firmly in control. It promises to keep the USA in Afghanistan another ten years. It has dismantled FDR’s Banking Act of 1933. It has instituted a new health system same as the old one, that promises to increase further the profits of health plutocrats in the USA. it has launched the USA on an energy policy of fracking its way into bankruptcy, same as the “subprime” mess, just bigger.

Don’t ask who killed the Kennedys. Ask instead: who could have profited from it?

Patrice Ayme

Freedom To Lie

November 21, 2013

Medal Of Freedom For Lying

President Kennedy invented a distinction called the “Medal of Freedom”. Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey got it. I am familiar with Clinton’s work: without question a much loved president, although not as much as JFK (the most popular USA president).

In my book, undoubtedly, Clinton was the worst president since the worst side of FDR. Clinton enabled plutocracy more than any other president. G.W. Bush just pursued it, with amateurish lying. Amateurish relative to Clinton’s. Clinton is such a good liar that, to this day, most Americans love to believe him. 

Kennedy deserves his popularity. He was neither a liar nor a coward: he took responsibility for the Bay Of Pigs invasion and then he refused to double up on the error by sending US regular forces to help. JFK, helped by his brother, did not hesitate to use force to make the Mafia, the racists, and even the Nazi connected CIA bend (that may have cost him his life). 

LBJ imposed anti-racism laws, and the “Great Society” (now being dismantled). There were other great presidents: even Hoover launched great works. Truman finished the Second World War with gusto (bluffing the crazed Japanese High Command into submission with two quick nuclear strikes). Eisenhower  brought up taxes on the rich to 93%. Even Carter named Volcker, who broke inflation (allowing Reagan to rip the profits).

Teddy Roosevelt broke the monopolies. FDR was great in many ways: public works, WWII, and… the Banking Act of 1933 (aka “Glass-Steagall”).

So what is Clinton most famous for? Intervening in Rwanda? (No, the French army did that.) Intervening in Yugoslavia? (Sure, but the British and especially the French, under UN mandate, had stood in harm’s way, for years before that.) No, Clinton is famous for his “good” economy: 8 years of bubble, thanks to Greenspan, Rubin, Summers. The committee to ruin the world.

What did they do? Destroy Roosevelt’s most important work, the Banking Act of 1933.  That enabled the biggest banks to run amok.

As Obama’s most important act , so far, has been to prevent “Medicare For All“, by using the smokescreen of Obamacare. (“We should have done ‘Single Payer'” just admitted that high class liar, Nancy Pelosi… Let me rather suggest doing Hara-Kiri.) It was therefore only natural that he offered the Medal of Freedom to that other great right wing president, Bill Clinton.

History will judge both of these “democratic” president to be followers of Reagan. But strikingly more to his right. As they presented themselves as progressives, that means they deserve the Medal of Freedom from Truth. Indeed.

I confess I find Oprah Winfrey gross. Her speciality seems to be emotional diarrhea. Formed as a “black” beauty queen, she rose quickly in the celebrity circus. She periodically appears to make outrageous statements of the most violent racist nature. Here she is on the BBC, November 15, 2013:

WINFREY: “Are there still places where people are terrorized because of the color of their skin, because of the color of their black skin? Yes… I said this, you know, for apartheid South Africa, I said this for my own, you know, community in the south – there are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and THEY JUST HAVE TO DIE.”

If they just have to die, maybe she can ask her friend Obama to spare a few drones?

BBC’s Gompertz: “…has it ever crossed your mind that some of the treatment of Obama and the challenges he’s faced… if he was a white guy, those wouldn’t have happened, he wouldn’t have been treated in quite the same way, he wouldn’t have to deal with quite the same confrontations?”

Patrice Ayme: Indeed, BBC! Obama would never have been elected if he had been a “white guy“, so he would not have had to suffer as president, challenged and confronted.

WINFREY: “Has it ever crossed my mind? It’s crossed my mind probably as many times as it’s crossed your mind. Probably it’s crossed my mind more times than it’s crossed your mind. Just the level of disrespect. When the Senator yelled out, “You’re a liar.” Remember that? Yeah, I think that there is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs, and that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African-American.”

It was not a Senator, but a Representative. The White House admitted in the last week, that it deliberately decided to lie about Obamacare, after debating the pros and cons of the lying (!). For months.

The “disrespect for the office” may come from the increasing feeling that this office ought to be disrespected. After all, taxation through representation is not real democracy, just a parody, and increasingly that way for all to see. Watch the negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership between three  government officials and six hundred lobbyists. The meta knowledge that, the government engages in deliberate lying, does not help. Many know that lying as a method of government was tried before.

Her stupendous wealth not having been serviced with enough perceived deference by an employee of a Zürich store, Oprah Winfrey’s flew back in her personal jet to the USA,

Winfrey appeared on “Larry King” (not his real name: basically all is false in USA media; his name is Zeiger). Larry King is “worth” more than 150 millions, and Oprah Winfrey, the queen of race and abuse, three billions. American media is all about extremely rich people interviewing filthy rich people, whose “worth” is only measured in money. OK, let’s not be unfair about Zeiger’s worth: he was married 8 times.

Winfrey, you have to understand, is, on the (admittedly tiny) mental scale of the USA the equivalent of a celebrity intellectual, the Albert Camus of the USA, imperishable author of slave’s truths such as:  “The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work”. Work, get it? To go well with Reagan’s claim that all jobs are equally worthy. Or this: “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness. The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.”

The slaves in Zurich had the wrong attitude when the American queen showed up, and they were not afraid.

Oprah faced Larry King, with her ineffable self-satisfied smirk. With a smile, Larry King, that master of the straw man and the red herring, asked the multibillionaire about racism. “Oh, it’s around, Larry”, said the queen of quick and dirty philosophy, an Ayn Rand for the 21st century. Winfrey was beaming with pride, happiness and a smug smile, hardly contained: her preferred subject! If was as if racism was one of the best things that ever happened to her.

I was looking at her, and I thought: this is so strange, how come the public cannot see it? Racism makes that woman happy. How could it be that racism is the best thing that seems to be happening to her? Then why does she complain that it is done to her? Is she into emotional ad-lib sadomasochism? Could it be that racism is her bottom line? Psychologically and business-wise?

Is Winfrey popular because a large part of the mentality in the USA is sadomasochist? Is sadomasochism the mentality symbiotic to plutocracy? When in Rome, do as the Romans, debased and cruel, the more the plutocracy grows?

Winfrey proceeded to make racist allegations against Europeans in general. European bashing is a most important notion among USA plutocrats: by demonstrating that European are base, racist creatures, they implicitly allege that’s what lack of respect for money leads to. It demonstrates the superiority of the American system, where racism completely honorable, as long as it is connected to money. (Come to think of it, that’s how it started in the Barbarous Years.)

Thus, did Winfrey’s racism earn her the Medal of Freedom? What else? Imperishable quotes such as: “Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” (She should know: pregnant at 14, her only son died shortly afterwards.) Or her allegations of sexual and other abuse against her entire family, denied by her entire family?

One of my faithful and long-suffering commenter interjected:”Patrice, I completely disagree with you.”

To protect this person’s identity, we will call her NV (for Naive Victim). NV insisted:“You are talking about maybe 30 minutes in a millennia of racism. Until equal is equal no one can talk shit. Sorry.”

So we deserve a millennia of racism from Winfrey and her ilk, because kings in Africa sold slaves? Come again?

And that was not 30 minutes, that Winfrey show, but a real campaign: the billionaire queen went around no less than the six most major venues in the USA to instill the notion of exuberant European racism. A pattern with her over the years.

As we saw above, she appears to incite murder, on racial ground, and then, logically enough, the droning Obama gives her a medal.

Who sows racism, harvests racism. As simple as that.

(To be continued…)

Patrice Ayme

Gates Of Hell

November 18, 2013
Here they were, on the magazine“60 Minutes” of CBS News, once made famous for revealing serious data about the Vietnam War. Our Lords. On the left Warren Buffet, on the right Bill Gates.
 
In the middle, domineering psychologically and physically, in a striking mix of self appreciating virgin Mary, and ramrod straight Marie Antoinette, Melinda Gates.
 
The subject? The good plutocrats make, as governments flounder, and the billionaires come to save us, by displacing and replacing it (say by replacing public schools by privatecharter” schools, with the benediction of the Financial Times mesmerized Obama).
Gates Tax Free Palace, Seattle Behind

Gates Tax Free Palace, Seattle Behind

The propaganda piece told us how the billionaires were a “silver lining” in lieu of government for education, research, health, etc. Hey, the Gates, we were told, nearly eradicated polio. Things sure have changed since the Vietnam War. 

The 60 Minutes interviewer was Charlie Rose (himself family connected to plutocracy). Here is his introduction:
 
Today, the wealthiest 400 Americans are worth over $2 trillion… they own as much wealth as the bottom half of American households combined.
 
While resentment towards the super rich grows, there may be a silver lining taking shape. It turns out a lot of those rich people are giving staggering sums of money away, in what is being called a golden age of philanthropy.
 
And this surge in generosity is not by accident…. it was started by an influential trio: Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett… Learn more about their new club for billionaires. Membership comes with just two requirements: be worth at least a billion dollars and be willing to give half of that away.” 
 
The report did not define what “giving” means. As we will see, it’s not “giving” at all. It’s more like the difference between leasing and owning. Or more like the difference between having capital, and having a rent. Rich people, in the Nineteenth Century, were called “rentiers”. Because they had a rent. This is what Buffet advocates. A rent. Tax free. Instead of going to the Buffet once, go there everyday. For free. Forever.
 
Ah, yes, because I forgot a slight detail, and so did Charlie Rose: that rent is tax free. So the difference is between taxed capital (however lightly), and tax free rent.
 
Nor did the report insist that money is all about controlling power. If one has power control, one does not need money. Te report alluded to that problem, just to shrug it off. How? Hell, the Gates “nearly eradicated” polio. (They did not eradicate Monsanto, though…) 
 
“60Minutes”:”Buffett and the Gates invite pledgers once a year to exclusive resorts like Kiawah Island in South Carolina. Here billionaires attend sessions on how to give money away more effectively. Our cameras were not allowed in.”
[Nothing like “exclusivity”; camera pans out on incredibly luxurious accomodations, gigantic resort, gold plated everything, cashmere carpets, crystal chandeliers, etc…]
 
“60 Minutes”: “This day’s agenda: it included lessons on how tools like technology can be used to transform failing schools and, with the government cutting funding on medical research, how can philanthropists step in and help spur new medical breakthroughs. But we wondered, what else goes on behind closed doors?” 
 
Randall Lane [Forbes Magazine editor; interviewed by “60 Minutes”, as part of the segment]:
 
The public has a right to know who owns the world. Government is showing, you know, over the past couple decades that it can no longer solve the great problems of the day. Now these philanthropists who have incredible wealth, the problem-solving brainpower, and also the name and the influence to be able to open doors are uniquely qualified right now to solve the huge problems.
60 Minutes: But that does raise the question: do these billionaires have too much power?
 
Charlie Rose: There’s some people who say big philanthropy is not such a good idea, meaning that somehow you have enormous power and you’re not elected and, and that that may not be such a good idea to have people with enormous wealth to have so much influence. 
 
Warren Buffett: Well, would they prefer dynastic wealth? Pass it on. Or would they prefer, you know, obscenely high living?
 
Bill Gates: …We do think we’re all gonna be smarter and do it better learning from each other. But there is no pooling of money. We celebrate the diversity of philanthropy.
 
Charlie Rose: “OK, so there’s no instance in which somebody could say, “Look, I mean, we got too many people of huge wealth who are having too much influence.”
 
Jean Case [plastic surgery billionairess]: “Well, Charlie. Think about Bill and polio, for instance. Bill and Melinda’s work in polio. I mean, they’re coming close to eradicating polio on the face of the Earth. I think when we have a couple of examples like that, people will see, that’s not power being used for personal purposes. That’s really leveraging everything you have to change the world to make it better.”
 
What is all this giving all about? Creating “Foundations” upon which the relatives of the hyper wealthy can get a rent, tax free, forever. It all started with Rockefeller, a century ago, and was initially blocked by all, ferociously. But times have changed. A lot.
 
For plutocrats, wrong is right. So when they are wrong, they feel right. By definition of what “Pluto” means.
 
The mythical Jesus Christ discovered this 2,000 years ago, and was very clear on the subject:“A rich man will find it more difficult to go to heavens than a camel through the eye of a needle”. It is curious that Christians are not making more noise about this.
 
Krugman is coming to the same conclusion as Jesus. Me too.
 
The true aim of economics ought to be work and energy (same thing). Instead it has evolved into theories about money, something private bankers create on behalf of the government, and give to their friends and clients.
A whole generation of economists has become rich by serving the rich with theories that help the rich. Why would they stop? They would endanger their income, power and reputation by doing so.
 
According to “60 Minutes“, the new power to replace government is that of the hyper rich. And therein the problem. Under Eisenhower, the upper tax rate was 93%. There few very rich individuals. Most people felt that they were owners, stakeholders, of the economy, of the society, of the country.
 
The USA has been going downhill ever since, in tax rates, as in its prospects.
 
Now we are being told that money ought to govern, not just economics, but society itself. Directly.
 
The Foundation Law allows plutocrats to exert power, basically tax free, forever (there is 2% tax on “investment income”). Foundations just have to spend 5% of their capital a year, but the beauty of it, is that they can spend it on themselves. And they do.
Example: Gates’s palatial headquarters in Seattle.
***
Patrice Ayme
 

Nuclear Salvation

November 16, 2013

In the minds of some, no doubt, the agonizing Obamacare was how to avoid Medicare For All, and go on with health care gouging. Success. Similarly, in the minds of some, hysteria against nuclear power is a way to go on with the various destructive exploitation schemes fossil fuels provide with.

Continuing hysteria against nuclear power makes humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous changes in the biosphere caused by CO2 impossible. Why? Because it deprives humanity of the only new energy source developed by humanity in the last 100 years.

No Nuclear? Dam That.

No Nuclear? Dam That.

Fossil fuel production can be dominated by a few brutes doing brutish things (Qaddafi, Putin). Burning stuff is perfect for plutocrats. Instead nuclear industry demands a control by advanced science and high standards of regulation and government probity. Nuclear energy is too coldly rational to be a plutocrat friendly environment.

The tides in the gigantic Baie du Mont Saint Michel are up to 14 meters high. The energy therein is that of a several nuclear reactors. Construction cost of a giant dam enclosing the entire bay would be enormous. The river Severn estuary in England has been extensively studied. A dam there could bring more than 8,000 Megawatts (8 standard nuclear reactors).

Windmills, watermills, and even tidal power plants, have existed for more than a millennium, and were massive energy sources in the Middle Ages.

The ancient Greeks used solar energy passively, and Archimedes even used it as a weapon against the Romans, very successfully, during the siege of Syracuse. Nothing new there.

Syracuse fell, and Archimedes was killed by a Roman soldier. A Frenchman discovered the photovoltaic effect in the early Nineteenth Century. All this to say: been there, done that.

Wind, solar, current, burning animal waste and wood has been tried before. It’s great. However the development and deployment of safer nuclear power systems is, overall, the only practical mean of addressing the CO2 production problem, on a planetary scale. It’s tough, but reality tends to be tough.

True, some regions, such as the famously desiccated and sun struck West of the USA, could do only with solar and wind energy. But such places are few on the planet. They tend to be where people are not, because people need water.

Denmark,  posing as an ecological maven, is trying to go mostly renewable. However that small country is heavily dependent upon electricity from Norway, Sweden and Germany… and coal. It’s even building a new giant coal plant. Moreover, although Denmark is flat, much of its renewable power is stored in Norwegian and Swedish mountain dams.

Mountains, and water to lift up mountains, are not found everywhere (for example, Arabia has plenty of mountains, on a huge area, from Oman to all along the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, but this small continent has no too little water… not coincidentally the first dam ever built was there).

Global demand for energy is growing rapidly and must continue to grow considerably to provide for the needs of developing economies. Those constitute more than 90% of the world’s society. So we are talking about the need to augment energy production by an order of magnitude.

One is not going to do that with a bit of wind in North Sea and a little sun in the Gobi.

The need to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions is becoming blatant, even to the clueless. The hurricane with the most powerful winds ever, by a long shot, just happened.

The CO2 crisis, entailing climate change, and the concomitant population overload, have brought a need for ever more energy. For example a clean water crisis is developing, all over the planet, and, to reduce it, much more energy is needed to produce clean water (say by treatment, or desalination).

We cannot increase energy supply dramatically while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions if the newest power plants keep using the atmosphere as a waste dump. The projections of fossil fuels usage in the next two decades are completely insane, thus doubly irresistible. First insanity attracts, and, as producing the last fossil fuels because ever more financially attractive (like, say cocaine), there is ever more activity to produce more.

The same sort of craziness by greed affected finance, which went from 8% of profits to 25%, as it attracted ever more, the crazier it got! Call that the spiral of greed.

Renewables like wind, solar and biomass will play roles in a future energy economy. However, those energy sources cannot scale up fast enough, or big enough, or everywhere enough, to deliver cheap and reliable power on the scale the global economy requires, especially as the apocalypse unfolds (see Haiyan).

Indeed the coverage of the proposed “renewables” can only be spotty in space and time. Consider Poland, for instance. Poland has plenty of cheap coal. In dreary winter conditions, without wind or sun, the only clean alternatives are coal, or nuclear power (gas is not an option, as it would require Poland to depend upon its historical enemy, Moscow, just when that capital is showing an ever increasing Czarist inclination).

Consider also the energy of the sea: it can be exploited, in a few places, if and when the technology can be invented, but certainly not in the middle of continents. Poland has access to a sea with no significant tides or currents.

For half a century, only one tidal power plant existed, in the entire world, on the Rance river, in France. It produces 240 MW, a quarter of a standard nuclear reactor. The hyper pharaonic project, across the Baie du Mount Saint Michel, was contemplated for a while. Instead, a project going the other way, reinstituting the bay to its original state, was implemented.

It may be theoretically possible to stabilize the CO2 emissions without nuclear power, for a few countries. Say in wind rich Denmark. By cheating, as I just explained. Germany may be able to do so, after huge investments, but, for now, it is augmenting its use of coal.

Switzerland has decided to close one nuclear power plant. A very dangerous plant, I agree. And I want it closed too. However, it will be replaced by a giant coal plant in Germany. USA fossil plutocrats will be happy to sell the coal. Also Mr. Putin will delighted to sell more gas to Switzerland. The more gas he sells, the more dictatorial he can get. To make sure he gets paid, the Russian dictator has just embarked on a hyper paranoiac nuclear weapon program (hey, you want to make sure people fear you!).

In the real world, worldwide, there is no credible path to climate stabilization that does not include a considerable role for nuclear technologies. Considering available, or close at hand, technologies.

The only technology that could change everything and could plausibly work, is thermonuclear fusion. Although Korea, in cooperation with ITER, has a crash program, no power deployment will intervene for at least 15 years, at an unknown cost. Whereas very safe fission plants such as EPR, can be deployed now.

Most of the 400 nuclear plants presently in service use 1950s technology that was deployed to maximize Plutonium production. The West, and the so called “Communists”, were getting ready to fight nuclear wars, so they made “civilian” nuclear reactors that were extensions of the military programs. In particular, they produced nuclear explosives (Pu).

Incomparably safer, much more abundant Thorium technology was not developed, because it has no military use.

Fortunately, passive safety systems and other advances can make new nuclear plants, even using the basic Uranium technology of the 1950s, much safer. An example is the French EPR (although it’s expensive, built massively, the cost would go down).

Modern nuclear technology could extinguish proliferation risks. Say by developing Thorium nuclear power. Thorium has no military use, and it reduces the waste problem to insignificance.

If we had scaled-up massive Thorium, it could be proposed as an alternative to, say, Iran. In the future, as the cost of fossil fuels keeps climbing, more and more countries, just like Iran, will desperate to develop nuclear power. As it is they can use only primitive 1950s, military dangerous nuclear technology.

Scientific giants such as India and China have Thorium programs. But the West would progress faster, if it made the crash effort the biosphere needs.

The worst radioactive waste products from the Thorium cycle last only 3 centuries at most, whereas Plutonium’s half period is 25,000 years. Even then, Plutonium can be recycled into a fuel called MOX (for Mixed OXide) and burned again: that’s what France does (and produces MOX for Germany, Britain, Japan and even the USA; although there, weirdly, Congress has made using MOX unlawful).

Hence the radioactive waste disposal problem can be solved by burning current waste, using fuel more efficiently, and using different nuclear processes from different fuels. (Ultimately, more advanced nuclear tech will be able to dispose of all waste, by transmutation, a science discovered by Irene Joliot-Curie around 1932.)

Innovation and economies of scale can make new power plants much cheaper than existing plants.

All energy system have downsides. 200 meters tall windmills are a danger for birds, planes, peace and quiet, and esthetics.

Yet quantitative analyses show that the risks associated with the expanded use of nuclear energy are orders of magnitude smaller than the risks associated with the continued use of fossil fuels. Tyrants, such as Putin, will develop weapons of mass destruction, including of the nuclear kind, the weaker our economy and technology gets, and the more they perceive our decisions to be based on irrational tendencies. Because it’s irrational to hate “nukes” just because it was the most human way to force the fascists controlling Japan to capitulate.

The Chernobyl nuclear explosion was a statement about the Soviet Union, not about nuclear science. That was not the only massive nuclear catastrophe in the USSR. Chernobyl employed a type of nuclear technology deemed extremely dangerous in the West, and not developed, precisely because of its dangerosity.

To make the situation worse, Chernobyl did not even have a containment building. Now, no coal plant has a containment building, and it’s free to spill its mercury, lead, arsenic and radioactivity around the world (so called “bag houses” can capture some of these; I think Obama is trying to impose them through the EPA, and they could price coal out.

Fantasies about Carbon Containment and Capture (CCC) are just this: fantasies. Coal plants are competitive, only if they can spill their dangerous waste, worldwide. Right now burning coal makes 44% of the electricity of the USA, and countries such as Australia, are getting rich selling coal to China (Thorium is abundant in places such as India, which have little Uranium).

While there will be no single technological solution, the time has come for those who take the threat of global warming seriously to embrace the development and deployment of safer nuclear power systems as one among several technologies that will be essential to any credible effort to build an energy system that does use the atmosphere, directly, and the ocean, indirectly, as a waste dump.

The planet’s air, soil and oceans are warming, and the seas are getting dangerously acid, from reacting with CO2, and poorer in oxygen, from the temperature rise. Meanwhile carbon dioxide emissions are rising faster than ever.

We cannot afford to turn away from any technology that has the potential to replace a large fraction of our carbon emissions. Much has changed in potential nuclear technologies since the 1950s. The time has come for fresh approaches to nuclear power in the 21st century.

In truth, there are 100 fission nuclear technologies out there that one could plausibly develop. Thorium and high temperature reactors are particularly prominent, because of their promises, and because both were developed on a very large experimental scale at some point in 1960s and 1970s. We know they work. Only details have to be figured out, such as which materials will be the most efficient in the harsh environment of a mighty reactor.

The fact is, civil nuclear energy killed, over the years, much fewer people than, say, skiing. Whereas the atmosphere that fossil fuels creates kills millions.

London Then, China Today, Earth Tomorrow?

London Then, China Today, Earth Tomorrow?

In the USA alone, at least 200,000 die from air pollution, each year. And this is not the place worst affected.

On December 5, 1952, the winds abated, and London sat in thick smog for 4 days. It is now evaluated that more than 12,000 died, in London alone! The recent abandonment of the electric tram system augmented the pollution.

In truth we are doing this to the whole planet, just more dispersed. The plutocrats have displaced their evil works to friendly China, and the slaves there can breathe what they have been ordered to breathe.

Energy decisions must be based on facts, not on emotions and biases that were inappropriate all along, and now prevent us to address the apocalypse we are facing.

The development and deployment of advanced nuclear energy is not just a no brainier. It will happen, no matter what. The only question is whether it will happen after, or before, Jurassic Park is back to an ocean near you. Very near you.

***

Patrice Ayme

Obamacrap, Trade Plutocrap

November 15, 2013

Abstract: If you thought Obamacare, drawn in secrecy, with deliberate lying, was bad, hold on tight!

Obamacrap, the gift that keeps on giving:

[As a reminder, lest my mood be misconstrued, I am 100% for single payer public universal health care. One could get there safely, and rather quickly using Medicare and executive orders.]

Obama about Obamacare today November 14, 2013: “I get accused of a lot of things but I don’t think I am stupid enough to go around saying this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity a week before the website opens if I thought that it wasn’t going to work. Clearly we and I did not have enough awareness…”

We and I“? Stand reassured, Mr. Resident: you are more aware and less stupid than you look. Or are just words falling out of your mouth? (As someone who knew Obama 40 years ago, suggested to me, the haphazard falling of the words, used to be, even then, a characteristic of Obama.)

How did he get to become president of the USA? Someone asked me, today. Bear with me, it gets clearer, further down.

Obamacare is PHILOSOPHICALLY erroneous. You can’t force the PUBLIC to pay private profiteers. All the deliberate lying by the Liar In Chief and his corporate shills cannot change this.

An army of liars led by a Liar In Chief do not one truth make, if they can help it.

Why does not the website work? Greed. Because it’s all corrupted by the search for profits, like the rest of the Obamacare monstrosity. 600 million dollars, just for the (non functionning) site. And counting, now that Google and Oracle have put their greedy fingers all over the deal.

***

Is Trade An Absolute Good?

Well, yes, if and only if, it is fair. Brazil produces chicken at rock bottom prices, thanks to mass cultivation of corn and soy, while paying workers 350 euros a month. Then the chickens are sent worldwide. Right now that’s undercutting the chicken industry in Europe.

And it is not fair. When the European chicken industry is dead, the plutocrats at the other end will be free to jack up prices.

How To Impose Free Trade?

Very simple. Three remarks:

1) Cutting the rain forest for corn and soy: unfair advantage, ecological damage with worldwide consequences (undercutting world oxygen production; diminishing bio-diversity). To be punished with sanctions. Financial sanctions, call them A.

2) Workers paid minimum wage. Equate what it means relative to reasonable, European like social and health protection, in Brazilian prices. If found wanting, financial sanctions, call them B.

3) Cost of transportation evaluated in CO2 poisoning equivalence (extremely cheap poisonous and polluting bunker oil is used, for transportation by ships). Call that that financial sanction C.

Then take the price of chicken arriving in Europe, and slap on top of it a tax equal to (A + B + C).

***

Why is the TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership’s elaboration secret? Because Plutos can’t thrive without it.

The TPP is NAFTA on steroids. It involves 12 Pacific Rim countries, minus China. The negotiations have been kept secret but WikiLeaks, and others, have leaked draft copies revealing the true intent.

Although the TPP is called a trade agreement it is more of a corporate rights agreement.

Only two of the 26 chapters under negotiation have to do with trade. The other 24 include how a government regulates corporate activity, what for profit corporations can and cannot do, how long pharmaceutical patents or copyright terms should be, how the Internet is governed, the sharing of personal information across borders, banking and tax rules, plus how plutocrats should be compensated when environmental or health policies interfere with their profits.

Only three government individuals in each TPP nation have access to the full text of the agreement, while 600 ’trade advisers’ – lobbyists guarding the interests of large US corporations such as Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto and Walmart – are granted exclusive access to crucial sections of the treaty text.

Three on the government side, six hundreds  on the plutocratic side. Call that pure plutocracy, full anti-democracy. without transparency, you can’t have democracy. Pericles and his philosophical advisers pointed that out, nearly 24 centuries ago.

Obama, and other leaders, want to sign and ratify the TPP before the end of 2013.

Besieged WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange stated: “The US administration is aggressively pushing the TPP through the US legislative process on the sly.” The advanced draft of the 95-page, 30,000-word Intellectual Property Rights Chapter institutes a transnational legal and enforcement regime, replacing existing laws.

The longest section of the Chapter – ’Enforcement’ – is devoted to detailing new policing measures, with implications for individual rights, civil liberties, publishers, internet service providers and internet privacy, as well as for the creative, intellectual, biological and environmental commons. Measures proposed include supranational litigation tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer, but without human rights safeguards. It is stated that these courts will conduct hearings with secret evidence. The IP Chapter also replicates many of the surveillance and enforcement provisions withdrawn in the past under protests.

Thus probably the attraction of trying secrecy, and a sly maneuver.

We saw how well that worked with Obamacare.

Assange: “If instituted, the TPP’s IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.”

How come Assange did not die yet?

Believing the plutocrats increasingly looks like the road to a world war, said Mario Soares, the 90 years old ex-Prime Minister and President of Portugal, post-dictatorship. Soares feels and thinks that the situation now is more terrible than under the 60 year-long Salazar fascist dictatorship.

***

What minds infuriated by fascism do in war:

The 20, 21 to 22 August 40,000 French soldiers died in Belgium, north-east of Sedan. In just one commune, in just one battle, in just one day, the 22 August, 27,000 attacking French soldiers died, killed by artillery.

Infuriated German troops burned Belgian houses. If you want to infuriate fascists, just resist them. That reminds them they are very bad people, they get even more angry.

In just one village, 94 civilians were shot, two were burned alive, for good measure. Within a front of 25 kilometers, another 500 civilians were lined up and shot. Jeanne Jacob, 2 years old, was killed with her dad, as they were hiding by the river.

Why all these incredible horrors? Just because the Kaiser had ordered to wipe out the French Republic. Top German generals, infuriated by the suicidal resistance of the French army, took vengeance on Belgian civilians.

French, Belgian, British, Italian, and American troops did not commit atrocities in World War One (although, later, when Italy fell under the control of the ex-socialist, the fascist Benito Mussolini, Italian troops did commit atrocities).

French and British troops did not commit atrocities in WWII either (although they were both victims of Nazi atrocities; and not just the troops including other “races”; when the Nazis were winning, in May 1940, infuriated, once again, by the effrontery of British resistance, the Nazis killed at some point 95 Brits who had surrendered, among other cases like that; the cases involving the French run in the thousands of troops assassinated after having surrendered, just in 1940; OK, all right, after being stopped by French “colonial” troops that surrendered only after running out of ammunitions, after blocking Rommel’s 7th Panzer, the Nazis were justly infuriated: justice as fairness, Nazi style).

Definitively, plutocracy brutalizes minds, and makes men into furious, blood thirsty beasts. That’s the whole idea.

Trusting common sense rather that the authorities can save lives. Don’t trust today’s plutocrats when they tell you everything is OK.

JP Morgan, the USA’s top banker, was a great supporter of the Kaiser’s plutocracy.

Plutocrats pay each other with taxpayer money: JP Morgan, the bank the preceding founded, one of Hitler’s main supporters, and creator of German hyper inflation, paid the daughter of the former Chinese Prime Minister. Annually. $900,000. Yes, that’s nearly a million.

Don’t worry, the Plutos are not going to jail. That’s not done among gens de bien.

***

Trust Typhoons Not

Huge ocean-going ships 400 meters inland in the Philippines, next to each other, thrown there by super typhoon Haiyan. Filipinos are very expert in the way of typhoons.  After all, they live in “Hurricane Alley“. They are used to it, with an average of 20 typhoons a year.

So strong was the typhoon, that, those who trusted officialdom and made it to the local school, made to resist typhoons, came out swimming after the seven meters tidal wave struck.

Most, smarter than that, hit the hills, the old fashion way. Hence fewer dead.

***

Is Optimism An Absolute Good?

No. It’s rather an absolute candy. Pessimism is a greater good, and learning to live positively with it, while looking at reality, straight in the eye, an even more precious gift. In other words, the exact opposite of how Obama, the unelected European Commission, and all the secret commissions, NSA and assorted death panels, wants us to live.

***

Patrice Ayme