Posts Tagged ‘practical philosophy’

Better Thinking: Off Base!

July 12, 2013

I THINK, THEREFORE I JUMP:

Paul Krugman is not amused by those who want to box him in, and rightly so; say he in “Fields of Expertise”: “One of the more annoying kinds of comment that pops up sometimes on this blog is the complaint that I’m violating some kind of principle whenever I write about anything that isn’t strictly economics.”

The concept of “economy” and the coining of the word, was authored by Xenophon. Xenophon, a golden youth, a child of the rich, was a student and friend of Socrates. He took part in military campaigns, rather as a dilettante and detached observer (he admits). However, when a Greek army found itself leaderless and isolated in the middle of Mesopotamia, he was elected general (!) and did his job superbly.

The Greek army was surrounded by uncountable ferocious enemies. The Persians of Ataxerxes II had proven themselves treacherous beyond belief. After the Greeks had been victorious, during a negotiation, the Spartan overall commander Clearchus and all other Greek senior officers were assassinated by the treachery of the Persian satrap Tissaphernes. (Middle Eastern perfidy has a long history!)

It was high time to think different. General Xenophon did the unexpected; instead of heading west towards Ionian Greece, as Ataxerxes expected, he led the army north, across deserts and what is now called Kurdistan. The mountains were severe, and the Kurds, not amused. However, after treasures of ingeniosity, and ferocious combat, the Greeks pulled through and reached the Black Sea.

Xenophon wrote down this history in Anabasis. Ah, yes, because Xenophon was also a historian. Anabasis means: going up! Or literally; off base! Off base, that is, leaving behind lower dimensions, acquiring higher ones.

Anabasis got the Greeks thinking that maybe the problem of Persia could be solved by conquering the whole damned thing. (Something the fascist pseudo-Greek Alexander so called “The Great” would soon implement, after being taught by another Athenian philosopher from the same tribe, Aristotle: many of the greatest philosophers ever knew each other personally!)

After returning triumphantly to Athens, Xenophon thought of philosophical matters, at the creative level. He got the idea of economy: house (eco) management (nomy). Thus he formally founded a field that had been central to civilization for millennia. Xenophon saw the need. It detached, to some extent, a field of study, making the claim it was partly dimensionally independent  from politics and customs. The veracity of that axiom has been demonstrated since.

Xenophon was an immensely courageous, creative and intelligent man, as his military exploits demonstrate. That’s what it takes to distinguish a concept of importance, previously unobserved, or deemed unworthy. This is the essence of the philosophical method.

So what is philosophy? Guessing what was not guessed before. How? By thinking so broadly, or so extradimensionally that one can see, or imagine connections and concepts that were never seen before. Who is cut for it? The smartest. What are the consequences? Encouraging thinking to go across frontiers that were never even imagined before.

How did we get to have a house and manage it? How did we come out of the cave that way? Because we exerted off base thinking. So the title, of the seven book volumes of Xenophon of his adventures as a general, Anabasis, is actually symbolic of the entire civilizational condition. Charles Quint, another admirable leader of mankind (for the human, and far sighted way in which he treated American natives) may have been inspired when he chose the motto:“Plus Oultre!”

We are living in a science fiction world. Why? because anything is possible. not just technologically: watch the USA having secreted a secret surveillance court making so called “secret laws”. Watch the sulfur of the Secret State Police (GEheime STAat POlizei: Gestapo). Contemplate the consequences if the world economy, which is energy dependent, broke down: no more than two billion people, at best, can be supported by the local economies.

Reading Sci-Fi is relevant to understand what is happening, and, more importantly, what could happen. Specialists, like woodpeckers do what they do well, pecking an overspecialized field of expertise and their brains, or academic careers, are well insulated from shocks.

But geniuses they are not. So keep on broadly thinking, professor Krugman, economics is everywhere, even when we look up to the stars, as we have to. Where we have to go. Be it only if we do the math!

And let the ants do their special things, as they get crushed by the weight of what is for them incomprehensible wisdom on its way towards unimaginable horizons!

Economics is vast, vaster than has been guessed so far. It contains all of physics. And more; all of human behavior, all of human imagination.

Take a particular case: Krugman, and others, have been lamenting that the Republicans in the USA are self destructive, because they want to reduce programs for the poor. And poor, old, voting whites are the main beneficiaries of these programs. So Krugman thinks the danger is limited. However, doing so, he neglects a big chunk of human evolutionary psychology that has consequences, not just on the soul, but on economics.  

One should never underestimate the power of run-away propaganda to hurt those it seduces. There is, deep down in man, born in the evolution of domination, a self destructive streak. Neoconservatives or neofascists exploit it. They may be crazy, but that only reinforces their appeal.

Anabasis, freeing oneself of the base, is the symbol of the human condition, and, a fortiori, civilization. When the mind is flat, the world is flat. It takes more than eyes to see the world. It takes a mind. And it better look up, to make up what was not there before.

***

Patrice Ayme

 

Aphorisms, July 2011

July 17, 2011

The More Fascist, The More Indignant:

China is upset. How dare Obama receive the Dalai Lama, that Tibetan monk in red? Blood is much better than red. Much better to shoot to death Tibetan refugee children in the back, as they try to escape the dictatorship in Tibet. Too bad there were dozens of mountaineers to witness that, and record it. Or may be it was good, as everybody could see China meant business; if you don’t like it here, you leave, in a coffin.

And remember: the fascism you see is only a symptom. The real disease is deep down inside.

***

Coherence Wanted:

Murderoch and his lackeys are heading to jail. Hopefully. OK, only a few thousands plutocrats and their lackeys to follow them. Some of the charges could be the same as for the Nuremberg trial: promoting war of aggression. Others would be new: promoting publicly torture and inhuman treatment, something the Nazis did not dare to do.

Let us be clear: Nazism was repressed with ferocity, but not soon enough to prevent the death of 70 million (yes, seventy millions, it was not just about Jews).

Nazism was a mental, civilizational disease that struck Germany progressively, over a few generations. It developed, in a place, Germany, which was initially pretty pacific (but for Prussia). Racist fascist plutocracy developed to mass murdering proportions, because it was not struck, in a timely manner. Nevertheless, advocating torture and wars of aggression is something that even Nazi Germany knew was a bridge too far.  So, in a way, thanks to Murderoch and his friends, imitators and collaborators (that would include Tony Blair), the situation is philosophically worse now.

By not striking its plutocrats now, the West has been weak. Obama has been irresponsible. Which makes him now responsible of any further decay, looking forward.

Now that Murderoch and his salaried criminals are been exposed for what it was clear they were, over decades, a new dawn can be seized. It is an occasion to get out of it clean. At some point, civilization has to be defended, or one will go down the ethical drain, as Rome did.

And that means writing down bad banking investments, and punishing the bankers when it turns out they invested the way they did, from corrupted practice; corruption is the defining word of the Murderoch empire, and its propaganda. The so called financial crisis, a paroxysm of exploitation by the plutocracy, is entangled with Murderoch, and his ilk.

So is the war in Afghanistan, started by the USA in 1979, against a secular republic. Now the self described democrat in chief is allied to a narcotrafficking, Islamist regime, thoroughly corrupt and rotten, and NATO is supposed to spend 15 billion dollars a month there (officially), let alone all the maiming and murdering… That is progress, and civilization, only in the Murderoch sense.

***

The Education Of Effort:

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, harassed by cancer, is going back for chemotherapy in Cuba. “I find myself before my highest mountain and my longest walk,” quoted Chavez from Nietzsche’s treatise “Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None.” Nietzsche’s philosopher-prophet (con)descended down from a mountainous retreat to mix it up with humankind.

That Chavez quotes regularly from an All European philosopher is a good sign. Never call Nietzsche “German“, he would have resented the insult. Nietzsche was the first to say that he was anything but German (although he wrote in German). If you insist, you can call him “Polish”, he said.

A beautiful steep and vertiginous path up from the sea next to Nice is officially named after Nietzsche, who hiked it regularly. Nietzsche, a solo mountaineer, even on ice, even when (lethally) sick, was friendly to reality. And reality is encountered in the mountains, or at sea, or in the wilds, not in saloons and high society. That is why Nietzsche resigned from the university: he wanted freedom of thought… and emotion.

Nietzsche’s strident warnings about the lethally violent mood which was going metastatic in Germany, were not heeded enough by enough people of the German persuasion.

French and German socialists made a last hour, coordinated effort to stop World War One, with a general strike. Tragically, the effort came to an end when the most famous French tribune, Jean Jaurès, himself a top professional philosopher who became a leader of the socialist party, was assassinated by a French nationalistic fanatic. Otherwise we would have had a show down between democratic progressives and  fascist plutocrats, rather than between Prussian and French armies.

The great showdown between democratic progressives and  fascist plutocrats, has no happened yet. Throughout the 20C, that fundamental civilizational reset was diverted into side issues, such as Communist fascists against racist fascists, or democrats, against fascists. But the full causal confrontation has never happened: at Nuremberg, many more should have been sitting, many of them not German. Many of them Western industrialists and bankers, who had financed Hitler, or even done his job before he was in power.(For example by creating the monster IG Farben.)

At first sight it seems strange that Nietzsche, an advocate of the “Will to Power” would be followed by the socialist leaders. But it’s not: you need lots of will to climb. Nietzsche was angry against the transformation of the German people into an unthinking herd, manipulated by newspapers. The socialists had the same problem.

We, the world, have had the same problem, as the plutocrats were authorized to Foxify the world. Fox, owned by Murdoch, is the dominant TV channel in the USA, with an unending parade of beautiful people pounding Nazi logic, for the whole world to learn by rote. Crafty as a fox, it lives off red meat, as it, and its friends, scavenge, worldwide.

***

The Hypocrisy Of Social And Financial Success:

Now what to think of beatifically happy authors such  Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, another French philosopher who became a success author of gnan gnan theater? (Schmitt has been translated in 50 languages, and basks in it.) I appreciate his theater (literally and figuratively). But not his philosophy, which is most dangerous, because it lies.

Schmitt claims that “anger is utter stupidity“. Well, he is neurologically wrong, and an hypocrite full of himself, besides. I guess that the declaration of war of September 3, 1940, of Britain and France against Hitler, an act of astronomical anger, was also “bêtise compléte“, to quote Schmitt in his original French.

Schmitt ought to make us angry, no wonder he does not like anger. Schmitt was born in Lyon. Why did Schmitt become a Belgian citizen? Obviously, to avoid high French taxes. That’s a well known trick which many who come into money in France practice (other authors flee to Ireland, where authors are not taxed at all (!), and corporations pay only 8% tax; no wonder France, Germany and Britain feel that Ireland is exploiting them… and their banks).

Why are French taxes much higher than in Belgium? France has a serious army and an expensive military-industrial complex, whereas the profession of Belgium is to not defend democracy.

That hypocritical defenselessness was the main cause of the Franco-British defeat against Hitler in May-June 1940, as the sudden switch of the Netherlands and Belgium from Hitler-friendly to lamentable victims, and their strident calls for help, completely disorganized the French and British armies, which rushed in to help, as Hitler had hoped.

So Schmitt smiles beatifically, but this deformation of his face, truly a mask, has no value. He went to Belgium, not out of goodness and giving, but out of selfishness and anger. Yes, anger. The anger of a man who had to pay his share, and refused to. Acts can talk louder than smiles. Better the smile from an angry man, it’s worth something. The smile from a mask is worth nothing. The most recent neurology shows that the only way to shake the brain into shape is with strong emotions.  And anger is the prime strong emotion.

***

Better Late than Never:

After more than 3,000 French bombing strikes on Kaddafi’s mercenary forces, the Libyan National Transitional Council, NTC or CNT, has finally been recognized by the USA, July 15, as the legitimate Libyan government. France recognized the NTC March 10.

Force for the better? Force for the better. If democracies live on their knees, soon they will eat dirt. France has fought hot wars against Qaddafi, on and off for four decades, it’s time to finish him off.

The French national Assembly voted to pursue the war in Libya, 482 votes for it, 27, against. All the Communist deputies voted against. (Thus those Americans opposed to the war in Libya are French communists, aligned with Moscow! I am trying to be funny, because the hour is grave enough.) Some of the communists argued that Syria was treated better. This is not correct. Just Qaddafi killed twenty or thirty times more, relative to the population, than Assad has so far, before French bombers bombed.

France is trying to do the transition right, in Libya, to anchor the righ side of the Magreb. Algeria was told to stop sending petrol to Qaddafi. And that will be stopped, one way, or another.

Have no silly hope: should Assad persists in his evil, Pluto inspired way, and engage in much further, Qaddafi like behavior, he is next. Once again, we are not in world where democracy can sit peacefully, next to fascist regimes getting bloodier everyday, without compromising its own survival. (And that sibylline declaration holds for Israel too!) Besides bombings, weapons can be sent, some of them from planes landing in the desert, as the French do in Libya, putting anti-tank missiles in the hands of the Berbers… (in a touching re-enactment of the Algerian war).

The French PM argued that “la solution politique commence a prendre forme“. Kaddafi’s chief of staff was received by the French president. Negotiations work better at the point of a gun. (As pointed out by Bruce Willis in Besson’s movie, “The 5th element”.)

***

More Faces Than Janus:

“The Economist”, the magazine which used to celebrate Pinochet and his friends from the CIA, is definitively less sanguine about the USA. It revealed that the French government was, rightly, shocked, after massive war efforts in Ivory Coast, Afghanistan and Libya, to hear from the departing Secretary of Defense of the USA, that the Europeans were not doing enough in defense.

Quite the opposite, the French, and other Europeans, noticed that the Americans made a puny effort in Libya. Now, of course, Libya is strategic for Europe, whereas Afghanistan is nothing to Europe. Europeans are in Afghanistan by solidarity with the USA, to help them catch their ex-mercenary, the rebel Bin Laden. I wonder how that is going.

American defense is huge. But it’s not just a giant police operation, the USA policing the world for what they view as the better, it’s also a military-industrial complex which takes care of its business by never ending a war too soon. The situation in Afghanistan is a disaster mostly because the main agent of the war since 1979, the USA, made it so. Including with its importation of bin Laden, to Afghanistan. It was a made into a deliberate disaster (as it was advocated to be, at the start, by Gates and Brzezinski), again and again. The interest of that was to keep a reason to be (there) militarily.

After 9/11/2001, the USA could have easily killed bin Laden, be it only by grabbing the situation at Tora Bora, a mountain range were bin Laden was besieged. The USA could have also imposed on Afghanistan a secular constitution, the best way to return to the pre-1980s situation, and separate the secular forces from the Islamists.

That which was not done in Afghanistan, imposing a secular constitution, can now be done in Pakistan, and OUGHT to be done. It was just done in Bangladesh.

***

When The USA Ought To Swallow Its Own Free Trade Medicine:

“The Economist” also ran an article drifting my way on an important point of American defense. Namely it observed that the F35, the new American fighter, ten years after it was decided to build it, is turning into a radical failure. The least of its problem is that it will see service not before 2016 (a full decade after the more performing Rafale).

Among other problems, like being slow, and having little cargo capacity, the F35 carries only two missiles inside (the only way it can pretend to be stealth). The F35 is so under-armed, that American generals, “The Economist” informs us, wake up at night in panic, covered with sweat. American analysts have concluded that the F35 was no better than the F105, a plane shot down in great numbers in the early stages of the Vietnam war, before it was replaced by the more performing F4 Phantom.

The French rival to the F35, the Rafale, has been engaged very successfully in combat in Afghanistan and Libya (the Rafale is a multipurpose aircraft: it does air superiority, interception, bombing, ground attacks, and reconnaissance).

The Rafale can carry more than its own weight in ammunitions, and 250% of its weight with supplementary fuel and electronics, because  they can hang from 14 hard points below its vast, but compact dart style wing, helped by a  big forward canard, full of stealthy, reactive electronics. It also has twice the combat radius of the F35 (combat radius is crucial for carriers, and the combat radius of the F35 is abysmally too small, only 1,000 kms).

The Rafale is protected by active stealth (it makes anti-radar), so it can be metallic and fast. Anti-radar works so well, that it is unlawful in cars.

Rafales attacked Qaddafi’s tank columns while facing fully operational and active modern missile systems some mobile, some fixed, at point blank range, in the desperate, last minute defense of Benghazi. So effective were the Rafales that they covered non stealth Mirage fighter-bombers operating with them.

This action in Libya definitively proved that active stealth works (passive stealth, American style, is known NOT to work, as was demonstrated during the war against Serbia: A Czech system imitating modern radio astronomy was able to detect F117 stealth planes, and direct cannon fire appropriately… All modern warplanes, since 1940, that is, since radar exists, have had stealth coverings, by the way. So American style stealth is as old as radar. Active stealth is a completely new technology, only the Rafale has it.)

“The Economist” says that the USA ought to scale back the F35. But it does not notice that the USA ought to swallow its own medicine. If the European Typhoon and Rafale, especially in light of the “Meteor” ram jet missile development, which they are made to carry, are better, why should not the USA buy those? Is this not the key advantage of free trade?

The British, especially, and the French, quite a bit, have bought in the past American weapons. Although the Americans refused to buy European made, superior air tankers (which the Australian and British have bought), the French, to this day, use American air tankers (KC35). And have used in the past American fighters (the Crusaders).

The Brits use American strategic missiles and submarines, which they bought (France makes its own, completely independently of the USA). Could it be that the Americans refuse to reciprocate? And use their military-industrial complex not just as an indirect instrument of imperialism, but, directly, as a way to prevent others to have one? (Small production lines being very expensive.)

Justice, economy, and the belief in the free market, should lead to the conclusion that the best thing to do would be for the USA to give up on the F35, and replace it with Rafales.

Some would whine that this would be the end of American defense. But not at all, quite the opposite. It would improve American defense. The USA could concentrate on its strengths, if it cooperated more with the Europeans. Trade American flying robots against Rafales. The French would be interested (as they are debating buying American drones, with their more advanced tech).

The Americans are way ahead in drones, and other aspects of electronic warfare. Reinforce that advantage. Moreover, an adequate defense for aircraft carriers against ballistic missiles is crucially absent, and tempts rogue elements in the Chinese military to hope that they could keep American carriers in the middle of the Pacific, far from the puny 1,000 kilometer range of the F35.  That mesmerizing possibility will make them more aggressive than if they had no hope.

As the American defense budget shrinks dramatically soon, European cooperation in developing hyper expensive weapon systems ought to be welcome.

***

 When An Army Is Right, Militarism Is Moral:

Eva Joly, candidate to the presidency from of the ecologist party in France, thinks there should not be a French military parade on 14 Juillet. This has created some controversy, as Joly has double nationality, and became French 50 years ago. The French PM let it be known that this showed her French culture was not that deep.

I do like and esteem Eva Joly a lot, and admired her work as a tough investigative judge against the French plutocracy, made, in the face of death threats. However she is completely wrong on that one.

Now, of course, I am myself a fanatical anti-militarist. Still, civilization needs to be defended.

In 1940, France and Britain came to the rescue of Norway, after Hitler attacked it. Joly was born in occupied Oslo in 1943. The Nazis committed atrocities in Norway (war crimes).

if France and Britain had done nothing against Hitler, Hitler would have gone east (he had an accord from 1935 with Great Britain to this effect). France and Britain could have waited as everybody else in Europe was having a fight to death with Nazism. That was the American “isolationist” model. The model of Eric-Emanuel Schmitt, in other words: no anger, it’s an utter stupidity, gnan-gnan reigns.

Michel Foucault, the philosopher, made fun of the sentence “civilization needs to be defended”. It is fashionable to view such an idea as deeply reactionary. However, one has to be careful to not be an opulent exploiter of a system, while decrying it. Condemning the cake, and those who want more, while eating the cake and splurging, makes one into a liar.

So it all depends. If it is to fight Hitler, no bomb is big enough. If it is to fight strikers (as happened in the past in France, or the USA!), the military ought to stay in its barracks. Thus the present author is against the war in Afghanistan (mostly because of its history, and the fact that, in turn, created an irreversible gangrene), but for the war in Libya (not only are the rebels on our side, but their ideology is correct, being ecumenical, and non Islamist).

Anchored deep in the French psyche is the tremendous sacrifice of anti-fascist wars, with the huge losses they entailed.  The verdict is not that the wars ought to have been avoided, and France should have disappeared, or turned Nazi, but that the wars should have been won at a lesser cost.

Nietzsche screamed loud, about German hyper nationalistic racist fascism, but people paid attention too late. To this day, idiots teach haughty lessons about WWI having been caused by other factors, spread all around Europe. What France learned is that, when Prussia attacked Austria, it ought to have intervened. And Britain learned the same, when Bismarck connived to make it appear that France attacked Prussia. France and Britain learned that one had to make a stand against fascism, and the earlier, the better.

***

Historical Chaos:

Of course the onset of WWI could have turned differently if Jaurès and the German socialists could have pulled a last minute strike to avoid war, as they tried to do (but Jaures was assassinated by a French fanatical nationalist). This means that millions of the workers knew that the war was a plutocratic plot, and a fascist one, too But not enough knew it, and they did not disobey enough.

By being anti-militaristic, Jaurès was anti-fascist; and he was right to be so; in the end it’s half a dozen plotting fascist generals at the head of the Prussian Army staff which created WWI.

***

Too Soft A Philosophy, Too Drastic, The Consequences:

In a way, there was a first war, which France, thanks to Voltaire, refused to fight. That was the Seven Year War, against Great Britain and Prussia. As a result most of the world French empire was lost, and, ironically enough, the Lingua Franca of the world became English (the old “Anglo-Normand”).  

That’s when France shrank, and the Anglo-Saxon empire became giant. There are three ironies in this:

1) that French self imposed defeat led to French vengeance, and the creation of the USA, and weakened Great Britain so much that she could not be of much use to France at the start of WWI and WWII (although Great Britain was of some use, in WWI, as the ten or so divisions of the British Army of general French (sic) played a role on the Marne).

2) although the Anglo-Saxons attribute their superiority on the French to the subtlety of the English laissez faire, the truth is the exact opposite: they won because of their militarism, an attribute generally bestowed, ironically, on the French…

3) France and Britain, long the same country, are again quite the same. But their creation, the USA, the fruit of their discord, has some wild tendencies which need to be addressed, and harnessed, lest the Atlantic turns into an insufferable split, and lest the advantages one could find in this gifted child be denied.

***

On Bastille Day, 14 Juillet, a French soldier was killed in Afghanistan in combat. The day before, 5 French soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. From a suicide bomber Afghan soldier, during a sura.

A lot of morals in this. First, how come the French have been inside Afghanistan since 2001? Was not that a war started by Carter on July 3,1979? Somebody explains that. Why does not carter fight his war alone? After all is not his Nobel peace prize just for that?

Second, the hare brain plan to give power to the Afghan military seems prone to unforeseen explosion.

Third: the big mistake, in Afghanistan, was to fail to separate friend and foe. How could have one done that? By imposing a secular constitution. It was easy to do in 2001/2002. But I forgot: Bush was preoccupied with allowing his (ex?)friend bin Laden to escape.

That was just done in Bangladesh, and the Islamists went rabid in the street. Religious fanatics always do that, it’s part of the process of calming them down. But the Islamists are not represented in parliament, and secularism ought to weaken them further.

So, practicality in this? Insist that all and any theocracy is no democracy, and sanctions apply. That would, of course, include Afghanistan. So give an ultimatum, and evacuate.

***

Warning To Egypt:

Standard Islam and its standard Qur’an was created by a military regime, twenty years after Muhammad’s death. A civil war started, among diverse interpretations of Islam, to this day, 13 centuries later.

In a way, what we see presently in Egypt is a continuation of that history. The war will go on, until secularism triumphs, as it did in Europe at the end of the Middle Ages.

***

There is lots of value in post thunderstorms sunsets. As we come to appreciate their beauty, we come to appreciate the apocalypse, any apocalypse, &, thus, to transcend it. thereafter no fight is too hard, no mountain too high, no martyrdom too cruel (esp. if visited upon others.)

***

***

What’s so hot about being cool? The snake is cool, the mind is hot. So, is it not cool to have a mind? A burning subject in cold semantics.

***

Yes, of course the real problem is not the banks, which only claim to be suffering. It is the consumer debt. And the debt cannot be fixed, except by winding it down further. Thus, the government has to create jobs to compensate. Instead, the cutter in chief only intends to cut, cut, cut.

Later Obama will switch to the progressive stuff, he said July 15, so progressives should support him. Presumably after the country has died from a 1,000 cuts…

***

Save the banks, say the plutocrats, and they smirk. Instead, banks which require public help ought to be nationalized, as Reagan and Bush Senior did during the failure of 2,000 Saving and Loans.

***

Obama claims to be a democrat. Hope he can believe in. When he was in full power, with the full Senate, and the full Congress behind him, he could easily have done away with tax breaks for billionaires. He just did not think about it, darn. And he could have done rising taxes on billionaires, even after losing the elections in November 2010. But that would have been cutting the branch on which he sits proudly, isn’t?

Thus Obama waited safely for the republicans to be in control of Congress. Then he claimed he wanted to tax billionaires, while going, hand in hat to Wall Street, to beg who he defined as his “friends” for money, lots of money.

No doubt he will get it. Because his friends on Wall Street see no contradiction. They know their boy’s service is always impeccable, and stylish, besides. The boy has got class. Maybe he could be rewarded as well as Clinton.

***

No, they don’t know what the truth is, and they don’t care. They are not looking for it. Truth, for them, means power. They just laugh as they get ahead, trampling us all on the way (spoken form one who has had direct evidence of the caudillo maximo…).

Why this, why now? Because it gets in the air, and a civilization goes down thus; rots by the head. Leaders have their own society, they don’t see the rest.

***

Living on the road to happiness does not beat having a home there. Paid cash, from the savings one made, avoiding bad investments.

***

Israel Outlaws Boycotts Against Israel: more stunts like that and swimming across the Med will become a priority. The old Jerusalem kingdom was supported by West, until it was not anymore. Then it disappeared quickly. Without Western support, Israel is not viable. So be nice. Behave.

***

Paupers Don’t Make A Country Richer:

The Washington crowd thinks pauperization motivates people. It does not. They will find that out, the hard way. People work if there is profit in it. Otherwise, they may as well hang out, go on welfare, and food stamps (which is what is happening).

The minimum wage in France, or Germany, is more than twice that in the USA, and those economies are roaring at this point relative to the economy of the USA, which is stagnant, especially if one counts that only the metastatic financial sector is doing well (instantaneous German expansion is around 6% at this point, France is at 4%, the USA is folding over).

***

Truth, BTW, even in formal logic, is not fully elucidated. (For more on that search for “Tarsky”, a late Polish-American logician, and “truth”). No wonder truth is hard to find in political life…

***

Patrice Ayme

IF YOU LOVE IT THE WAY IT IS, PLEASE, VOTE FOR SOME MORE CLINTONS!

February 4, 2008

 Abstract: The Clintons, during an eight year presidency, made the rich richer, and started the present war with Iraq (confirmed by several H. Clinton votes as a senator). THAT’S IT! Besides this, the CLINTONS DID NOTHING. We describe below why it will be more of the same next time Clintons come around, to the deep secret delight of their smoking and fuming pseudo opponents.

 All what changed during the Bush-Clinton rule, besides smoke and mirrors, was ever more war against the planet. Bush the Father became Vice President, the all important right hand man of Reagan, 27 (TWENTY SEVEN) years ago (the own dad of that Bush had a personal, and immensely lucrative relationship with … Adolf Hitler … truth is more violent than fiction!) Inbreeding of a ruthless, brazen elite has made the USA into a very strange place. It’s high time to get out of that trance with the past. For the planet, yes, but also for the USA.
***

 The Clintons promised health care reform 16 years ago, as they were running for the White House. What happened? Well, nothing. They caused a lot of antagonism, and used the controversy they had created to do nothing (it’s a new sort of machiavelism: empower your apparent opponent (but secret ally) by enraging him to death). Here is a quote from Paul Krugman, a writer and economist who is no Obama lover (“Lessons of 1992”, New York Times, 01/28/08):

 “… Mr. Clinton promised health care reform… This turned out to be a disaster. Much has been written about the process by which the Clinton health care plan was put together: it was too secretive, too top-down, too politically tone-deaf. Above all, however, it was too slow. Mr. Clinton didn’t deliver legislation to Congress until Nov. 20, 1993, by which time the momentum from his electoral victory had evaporated, and opponents had had plenty of time to organize against him. The failure of health care reform, in turn, doomed the Clinton presidency to second-rank status. The government was well run … but as Mr. Obama correctly says there was no change in the country’s fundamental trajectory.”-

 Well, the entire problem of the USA has been the “fundamental trajectory”. The US has been behaving as if, alone among the concert of nations, it had nothing to learn from anybody. This is reflective of a general inability to learn from the other side, fundamentally arising from a self persuasion of intrinsic purity and superiority. In one word: hubris.  

 So the Clintons’ presidency did not do any health care reform. Were they too busy doing something else? If so, what was it?

 What did the Clintons’ presidency achieve? Well, Rubin (head of Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, great sub prime crisis architect, and also Clinton Treasury Chief) told Clinton in 1992 what he would be doing as president. Clinton said: “You tell me if I want to be reelected I should keep the fu..ing bond trader happy?”. Well, he was, because he did.

 That’s good, to keep the bond traders happy: it keeps interest rates low, and you have to be nice with rich people, worldwide (because most bond traders are overseas). But is that all the Clintons could do to help the USA? Make nice with the Rich? The Clintons did not make any health care reform, but they created the BUBBLE economy (“irrational exuberance”, Greenspan nicknamed it in 1996, half way through the Clintons’ presidency).

 The Clintons also went to war against IRAQ. As Clinton boasted during the debate with Obama (01/31/08): “In 1998 we bombed them for days”. She seemed really happy about that, she was beaming: nothing beats a good bombing, and especially not reasoning with one’s adversary. The Clintons did not just bomb: they instituted continual war, harassment and blockade against Iraq. They did not dare go to the last step, themselves, but then, in several votes, in 2002, Senator Clinton incited G. W. Bush to invade Iraq (she claims she did not want the US to be forced to obey the UN Security Council, apparently forgetting the USA has right of veto on any decision of the Security Council; so she deliberately voted to give full powers to Bush without having him to justify himself to anybody).

 The Iraq invasion could be viewed as the ultimate aim, conscious or not, of the Clinton strategy: don’t negotiate, just attack, antagonize everybody. Just as with the Clintons’ pseudo effort with health care. To this day, the USA will not talk to Iran. Instead it has Europe’s “Big Three” do the talking for them (it reminds one a bit of Munich, where the US was conspicuous by its absence, and France and Britain were left to talk to Hitler alone, with the implicit message that the USA could not care less).

 Now Hillary Clinton has positioned herself to stay in Iraq indefinitely, because she will withdraw troops only if it’s “RESPONSIBLE” (she said in the debate with Obama). Well, that is Bush’s, and Mc Cain’s point, entirely. They both withdraw troops everyday, and are very “responsible” about it, and if it’s irresponsible to withdraw, well, they don’t. But if Clinton is going to be Mc Cain light, why not get the real thing?

 People may wonder what motivation the Clintons would have to go on with the Iraq war. Well, what motivation had the USA to go to war against Iraq under the Clintons? Well, the same motivation that Great Britain had in invading Iraq: OIL. And keeping oil men, and their derivatives, happy.

 Other suggestions of Hillary Clinton, such as freezing interest rates are completely unworkable, and would be totally unjust (as Obama correctly pointed out, free market interest rates would then rise enormously, so there could not be any new home purchase. Clinton has got to know that, everybody knowing a bit of finance and international law knows that, so she deliberately misrepresents reality by omitting this significant negative change; besides, the US would be in default, and the dollar would collapse.)

 The Clintons did nothing much during their eight year presidency. By comparison, Nixon set up with “Federal financial assistance” the “Health Maintenance Organization” system, unique in the world, a national health care were the rich profits financially from sickness and death. Nixon found some spare time to do this during Watergate, while extricating the US from Vietnam, and fighting the huge inflation the Vietnam war had caused. While the Clintons stayed 8 years in the White House, playing the saxophone as they let the economy drain, exporting all its jobs overseas, Nixon did a lot during 5 years (OK, mostly in the wrong direction, but the point is that, contrarily to what the Clintons’ rule showed, a president can do a lot.)

 The HMO system set up by Nixon, with the attending insurance industry, destroys ever more US health care (now # 37 and sinking). The Clintons did nothing about it.

 The Clintons talked lots about ecology, but they did nothing, there, again. This is not just a question of having clean air, and the fact the US emits about one-third of the world’s CO2. Doing nothing about US inefficiency also STRATEGICALLY WEAKENED the USA. Under the Clintons the inefficiencies in the US economy grew, as proven by the apparent, otherwise unexplainable, rise in “productivity” (GDP loves waste: the bigger the traffic jam, the more productive, as far as GDP is concerned). So doing, the USA fell further behind Europe and even the rest of the world, in many technologies and industries (China adopts EU standards, so the USA cannot sell its over-polluting cars in China, a problem the Germans, French and Japanese do not have with their own cars).

 Bush extended all the Clinton policies to their logical conclusions. The Clintons had saved some money for him, as they did not invest in infrastructure whatsoever. Of course a modern infrastructure is what an economy makes. The US is now clearly relatively less competitively industrialized than, say, France.

 What were the Clintons after? Well, B. Clinton, soon after his presidency, earned more than 40 million dollars just in speaking fees, and H. Clinton declared more than 20 million dollars in her personal stock portfolio, a few years ago (they assuredly own much more than that, these are two items we observed passing by). This does not look good in comparison with all past US presidents, but one, all the way back to Truman (neither Nixon nor Reagan nor Carter used their presidential prestige as a piggy bank). OK, the Bushes are a different problem alltogether, in the scale of their impudence: having got money from their collaboration with Hitler (!), as a family, they keep on going with their fundamental trajectory, empowering themselves (the Carlyle group, doing business in and from the Middle East, etc…)

 The Clintons are probably sincere: they believe that all can be done is micro tweaks to the US trajectory, and they may as well have a good time doing it. It’s true the neoconservative attack machine gave them no respite (but that is a smokescreen, as we said: the true work of the Clintons is to do nothing fundamental).

 The problem, for the rest of the US population, though, while the Clintons were amusing themselves, doing nothing important and efficient, was that the entire world was moving fast past the USA. If this continued, if change was not brought in a timely and controlled manner, the US economy could get in very dire straights.

 A modern house can be made 15 times more efficient than an old one. The US is covered with inefficient houses. The EU mandates efficiencies, and not just in housing. The entire US railroad system has to be rebuilt.

 All of this crisis of US energy inefficiency, means economic opportunity, if grabbed early enough, and spells disaster if, as under the Clintons, the solution is viewed as more US military action in Iraq, or more money in Wall Street.

 Iraqis have plenty enough reasons to hate Americans: get over it, and pass the buck to the United Nations (this is the meaning of withdrawing from Iraq).

 According to Adm. R. Mullen, Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, military spending should rise to about 2 billion dollars a day. Payments to Iraqis and replacement of worn equipment are augmenting quickly. According to the commander of the Marine Corps, “We are making do … but we see some needs on the horizon.” (Source of all this: Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2008). In other words, the life energy of the United States of America is draining in the sands of Mesopotamia.

 The Bush administration, out of money and imagination, has been saving a few hundreds of millions by savaging the US MENTAL infrastructure (from biology to high energy physics). For example the budget for thermonuclear fusion was cut down to zero, leaving the monopoly of that highly strategic field completely to Eurasia. This sort of diplomacy (the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor being an international project), with the knife (as in Iraq), removes ever more goodwill for the USA. At the Bali climate change conference, all of the planet’s governments were disgusted by the US attitude. To the point that, when the Papua New Guinea representative told the USA to “get out of the way”, everybody applauded, and the US had to submit.

 For the USA to stop being just reactive (hence submissive), it will take more than the tinkering the Clintons, and their secret neoconservative friends, propose to do ad vitam eternam.

 As the US keeps on rebuilding in Mesopotamia what will be bombed tomorrow, probably by the US itself, it’s as much which is not built in the USA, by the USA, for the USA. Sisyphus should get out of making war in Mesopotamia. It’s unlikely that the Clintons, who started the massive air war against Iraq, would suddenly change, and learn to become more constructive. Clintons have been consistently reproaching Obama to want to talk to opponents (instead of what? Bombing, the Clinton way? Demonizing one’s opponents, an old Bush-Clinton tactic?)

 For the longest time, for all too long, the USA was put to sleep by all the advantages its victory in WW II brought (in a war that killed more than 70 millions, mostly in Europe, the USA suffered only 418,500 dead, and no damage to its infrastructure; by comparison France had lost entire cities to bombings, and only a handful of railroad engines still worked; most of the core of Europe had been devastated; it’s hard to believe, but repairs for the damage caused by WW I, yes, the First World War, is still ongoing!) All other countries have known immense turmoil, and the wisdom most have gained is that it is better TO PREVENT THROUGH CHANGE, INSTEAD OF BEING VICTIMIZED BY CHANGE. The planet is under immediate threat, and it could quickly turn into a military threat, if ecological panic gets out of control (what about $ 500 oil? And rising seas?) This crisis is also an opportunity, even an economic opportunity. The USA has to lead CHANGE, not just try to conserve a past which is now dead.

 PA.

Post Scriptum: 

1) Note on the Anglo-Saxon obsession with waging war and hatred in Iraq: the Anglo-Saxons have been making war in Mesopotamia for more than 90 (ninety) years. Now the USA is making its largest investment ever, or anywhere, waging war in Mesopotamia. Clinton calls this “RESPONSIBLE”. How come? Simple: Iraq has the largest oil reserves (behind, or not, Saudi Arabia), and the USA has the world’s most INEFFICIENT economy, dying for oil. One deep cause of Anglo-American furor against the Ba’ath party in Iraq was that the Ba’ath had broken the monopoly of the British Iraq Petroleum Company (by signing with a French company), then the Ba’ath nationalized the IPC, and Iraq grew vigorously (after the 1968 revolution). The Anglo-Saxon hatred against Iraq runs very deep. The British Manual of Military Law of 1914 opined that the “rules of war” applied only to conflict “between civilized nations … they do not apply in wars with uncivilized States and tribes”.

In a War Office minute of 12 May 1919, Winston Churchill argued for the use of gas: “I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas (in IRAQ). We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favor of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare… I am strongly in favor of using POISONED GAS against UNCIVILIZED TRIBES. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a LIVELY TERROR and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most..”

Need I say more?

2) OK, I could put in doubt the sense of reality of the Clintons. Clinton, a huge white guy with a white wife and a white daughter, has long gone all around claiming he was “the first black president”. With the Clintons white can be everything: white is black too, and the blacks themselves seem redundant. Why to want black, when you can have white, and, come to think of it, it’s also black? Emperor Clinton has no clothes, but they are black.

Patrice Ayme
Patriceayme.com
Patriceayme.wordpress.com.


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Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

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in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

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Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

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