Forum Replies Created
“’is something to be said for the argument that if you have to choose between two really bad options, pick the worst in order get it over with faster. ”
The problem with that argument – I can’t find a single instance in history where any similar move in a government has turned out at all well for the common people. With possibly the single exception of the American Revolution.
Trump is very likely to introduce real chaos in governance, Clinton not so much.
Most recently – how did the “Arab Spring” turn out? With the loss of the certainly horrible existing governments – the governments now in place are arguably much worse, and the “rule of law” has been really lost, these are now police states.
It’s ongoing in the Philippines. What a horror – and it does not look like that situation can go anywhere but down. What power exists there to re-establish any kind of un-corrupt police, or judiciary, or executive branch?
I see no path up for the Philippines, short of what is historical precedent – horrific, murderous revolution to establish a new strong central government .
The cycle is ghastly. But I see no benefit for our species in insisting the chaos and murder phase is necessary – since the outcome is pretty much always a new system as bad as the old.
We won’t “get it over.” Who – what entity, what power – is going to drive the “getting over”? There is none. The American Revolution was exceptional; largely because the powers to come out the other side were pre-existing. We’re non in the same place now.
Far more likely with Trump and chaos is an outcome like the French, Russian, and Chinese revolutions. Millions upon millions of dead.
Wow, that was fast. I think I was right about a some things – but –
This kind of rebound is exactly what happened after Brexit, which surprised me with the speed. So – a pattern, of sorts.
The rebound shows the 0.1% is still in full control of the market – and- I think the speed of the response indicates a fear of panic, on their part. They are aware that the “little guys” in the markets are getting spooky, and likely to panic – and the 0.1 do NOT want that mood to build.
I doubt they can control a real old fashioned world-wide market panic, and I’d bet they don’t think so either. I think they’re prepared for it; but want to keep current fantasy going as long as possible; and they still can, just by tossing in a few million extra “buy” orders when a day like Friday happens.
I’ll be interested to see what happens through the coming week.
I’ll make a prediction on the behavior or the stock markets. Do I believe this prediction? Nah; I only make it so it can be tested; if it comes true, then I’ll have a little reason to think I might, maybe, possibly, have some grasp of the forces at work.
Prediction: The “markets” will be allowed to drop to at least the same extent as after “Brexit”; possibly more. Then they will go back up – to stabilize at a tiny bit lower than the last interval, until after the elections; when it may be allowed to have some more drastic drops, ups, etc.
Reasoning: I think it’s clear the 0.1% do not want Trump. A hard market crash would, according to all history, be strongly in his favor. He would bring chaos – which is just never good for business, as a whole. Yes, some folks profit in chaos- but – it’s chaotic; and many businesses also die in chaos. So – they will use a bunch of the Monopoly money in their accounts to manipulate the “market” – which market, as we know, is entirely a fantasy, created by them in the first place. They know they’re not spending “real” money, so a billion here or there to swing markets is just part of the game.
I can be entirely wrong, or course. But there you have it; a testable hypothesis.
“A basic income for just 2000 people seems to miss the whole idea.”
No, it’s an experiment. An approach desperately needed in this world, assuming it can be run and measured honestly.
Just imagine – policy – based on what is proven to work; instead of whichever delusional ideology just managed to get elected-
If you are interested in a lucid and authoritative and complete discussion of climate change; try this hypertext linked site: ” on the Website of the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics. Discovery of Global Warming site created by Spencer Weart with initial support from the American Institute of Physics, the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.”
I have a new headline to suggest for the financial pages.
“Too Panicked To Panic.”
Trying to get my head into any broker/banker’s cranium; that’s how it hits me. Man, there is nowhere to turn, nowhere to invest – nothing for it but to keep finding new ways to pretend it’s all going just fine. Face reality? Disaster. Panic? Disaster. Keep pretending, and do everything possible to keep others pretending? Only choice there is.
Wind power- I’m intimately familiar. I killed 3 wind generators before understanding the problem; stupid engineers (my father was an engineering professor, so I’m familiar there, too.) Industrial design is typically focused on “optimizing’ use of materials – calculate real mechanical needs, then specify the minimum materials and strength to meet those needs.
Except. Oh, that darned real world. Always has some factors you forgot to put into the equations; like – salt spray/corrosion (really happens) – and – storm winds/waves that are higher than expected – by just a little bit. The industry finally caught on to some of that, and now designs wind machines to be stronger “than they have to be” – because; they have to be. They work. We can learn more on that point.
This is where “wave” power and similar projects are stuck at the moment – storm force is spectacular, we’re just not used to designing for it. And unlike air; water is not compressible – so force is different. We might learn.
Incidentally, Ilargi – you’ve used that photo before. I’m assuming you know that, and had a reason- ?
“Oh, irony. Just a few days after I wrote about Greece’s 15 minutes of fame in Meanwhile in Greece.., both the Guardian and the NY Times happen to notice the same thing.”
It would surprise me not at all to discover, if we could track it, that your article was directly (and/or indirectly) responsible for theirs.
That’s the way it works, alas. We here are “not real” authorities, you know – but “they” sure as hell keep track of what we say. I’ve had the same experience – commenting on NYT and WaPo, only to have similar/same directions appear in the next days/weeks.
The effect may or may not be actual plagiarism. One way it can happen is: a few people read the article/comment; it makes them think – then later, as a casual friend of the “real writers”, they casually say, with zero attribution, since they don’t remember it; “Ya know, Ralph; this is something you should write about…”
I see it as one way to actually spread thought. No rewards for us – except – thoughts change.
A lovely example of the state of “growth”. Macy’s, the huge department store- has been cutting prices to get sales – which has partially worked; but not enough; so they will close 100 stores. So; of course, their stock is sharply – up.
“Macy’s reported Thursday fiscal second-quarter sales and earnings that topped analysts’ expectations, as shoppers responded to the department store’s steep discounts. Yet with sales still on the decline, the retailer said it will shutter 100 locations to focus on its best-performing stores.
“The company’s shares shot more than 15 percent higher in early trading.”
This is a world wide pattern, I think. In biology, this is known as “autophagy” – literally eating oneself. Yep, those at the top will eat well; for a while. but… the outcome is predictable.
Be very wary of economic statistics reported by Japan. Other statistics do get mentioned; but tend to disappear; example: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160810_30/ “Data from the Bank of Japan shows that prices of goods traded among companies fell in July for the 16th straight month.” They have excuses for why; but that looks just an awful lot like real, systemic deflation to me. Also – # of households in Japan on welfare; record high; # of children in poverty, record high. Number of young people going into farming, record low; % of food Japan imports – stable; at 60% on a calorie basis, last I looked… but hey, they’ve got Pokemon Go, now; after everyone else-
The extreme fragility of the rule of law is being demonstrated right now in the Philippines; where they elected their demagogue president. Simply by saying he would be fine with citizens just killing drug dealers – and he would not prosecute – “more than 400 suspected dealers dead and more than 4,400 arrested since Duterte took office on June 30. Nearly 600,000 people have surrendered to authorities, hoping to avoid getting killed.” According to the AP and WaPo, and others.
Another source says 800 have been killed so far. Other sources point out that not everyone being murdered is actually involved with drugs- the chaos is seen as an opportunity to murder at will.
And just how do you get a society to step back from that sort of culture?
Grim seems an inadequate word.
“That much, at least, Donald Trump has right. Throwing-out the careerists, pettifoggers, hypocrites, ideologues, racketeers, power-seekers and snobs who have brought about the current ruin is at least a start in the right direction”
Truly dangerous Bull-Pucky. Should not be repeated within the hearing of any citizens.
We have thousands of historical examples where exactly this was done- revolution, guillotine the corrupt – and? Criminals were waiting on the sidelines to grab all power- followed a system more corrupt and more cruel and careless of human life than the one replaced. France. Russia, China. Iran. Tunisia.
Show me someplace where it did not happen that way.
The guillotine is great fun- but has never done anything to improve the lives of the common people.
My contribution to this discussion, from 2011. This is a 100% “bottom up” view- I have nothing to say about governmental policies- just what humans need and can do- perhaps.
Ran into this while doing my daily run through Japanese news – then backtracked and tried to find the same story during first level searches of my other news sources – not even visible on the “business” pages-
So- possibly in an attempt to suck up to “regulators”; Volkswagen ratted out it’s partners in a 14 year old collusion to keep the price of commercial trucks high. The EU regulators, supposedly enraged at this theft of money from consumers/business; have decreed a record fine of $3.2 billion – on the other truck companies.
Boy, that’ll show ’em! Hit ’em where it hurts, in the pocketbook!
And here we are at a place where the public and journalists stop right there, never asking A) “did those responsible for the naughtiness get punished?” – no, no executives are paying a dime; and B) “who is actually going to pay this fine?” – when we all really know the answer is “the consumers”. Not even stockholders; they’ll find a way to inflate a price here and there- so the money comes right out of the victims’ pockets.
We know it. And yet we really all agree to just stick to the fairytale script; “Crime does not pay, even for big corporations!”
Thank goodness we all get well trained in logic and reason, and behave rationally.
Another major point regarding GMOs; carefully counter-propagandaed by Monsanto et al; the need for it does not exist.
They keep claiming we “must!” use GMOs in order to feed the world; when the National Academies in the US just put out a paper stating there have been NO benefits to the food supply so far. None. And, of course- the myriad multi-year studies demonstrating the vast losses in the existing food supply, due to very silly reasons, all easily and safely fixable.
There is NO need to take the risk, however small it may be. None.
Spectacular video! Extraordinary mind.
Diablo – I wrote a response yesterday which somehow vanished, though I thought it had posted successfully. I’ll attempt a brief reconstruction:
Your familiarity with both the NE and agriculture are far higher than I’d been guessing; your facts are all correct. We still have different definitions of “arable”, however; my own requires that the agricultural practices should not be destructive of the land- and while standard agriculture could be practiced in many places; that is one of our greatest problems. Standard means strip mining resources; soil, fertility, biodiversity all steady drop. We have to stop doing that. Ergo my definition; we don’t even want to call land arable unless it can be worked in a non-corrosive fashion.
I was also amused to find another point where we differ: “There are 124.6 million houses in the U.S. and every one has running water.” Mine does not. Has not, for 40 years, will not, any time soon. And the other dwelling on this farm also does not.
I was struck this morning by this headline: “Citigroup’s quarterly profit falls 14 pct, less than indicated” from the financial press. This has been a trend for some years now; the reporting of “Good News!” – that is not good news at all, but merely less bad news than had been expected. It’s now the standard for good financial news- and the press has simply acquiesced that this should be so.
In the same story: “much smaller than the 25 percent drop Chief Executive Michael Corbat had warned of early in June.” Hm. Now how hard would it be to just spin the news this way intentionally – hey; we’ve got to report a HUGE drop in profits – let’s “warn” in friendly fashion that, due to no fault of ours, of course, we’re expecting losses twice actual – then we can announce it’s much better than that! Do you suppose they do this on purpose?
The answer there is “duh”, and I’ll add this is an ancient technique for managing the populace; I wrote a well-recieved blog post on this- in 2008:
“perplexed that investors’ demand for the perceived safety of government bonds has driven 10-year Treasury notes to record lows, even as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index scored fresh record highs”
This actually makes perfect sense under one circumstance. A great many of the big financial players are “in on the fact” that a major crash is not far away. They’re still playing in the market; because they are still fleecing the rubes – but they’re socking their savings away in as safe a place as they can find. Also goes along with the quiet up-trend in precious metals (currently in a momentary down-tick).
Somebody knows something. Lots of somebodies this time.
Diablo – a point we agree on: “then we have a world-wide hunger and poverty problem solely because of political choice. In other words, we’re killing people on purpose. But we here already knew that.”
I’m on record, for years, with this quote (which has come back to me “No one starves in this world because we don’t have enough food. They starve because of a lack of sufficient compassion, and a lack of justice.”
What I don’t mention there, because it makes the audience go blank-faced – is that hunger has been a major weapon of war, and other forms of populace control, since we started recording wars. Being used very effectively in Venezuela right now, to bring about regime change.
“but in the northeast virtually all land is arable, ”
Beware of facts- that aren’t. That’s one. Yes much of the land in the NE is “plowable”. But the definition of arable is “suitable for growing crops” – and that is not the case. Because? The fertility of all those soils were strip-mined and wasted immediately during the European invasion. All the forests were cut (as in ‘all’) – much land cleared and plowed, planted to European grains – and what didn’t instantly erode lost all fertility within a half century or so So – the many farms were abandoned, (starting around 1700, so we don’t remember) and Europeans took their plows to Ohio and west- where at least much of the ground is flat, and not quite as rapidly erodible. Now there is tons of forest growing in the NE – because the farmers proved they would starve trying to farm the remnants.
Growing trees now? Arable? No. Most topsoil long gone, remaining soils desperately depleted; often in ways not understood by agronomists; but they know it won’t grow ‘crops’ anymore.
This same misapprehension is common around the world; non-farmers see land not being farmed, but green, and immediately assume that land could be farmed. Almost universally; not so; for any and/or all of 30 reasons.
Which is not to say I disagree with the concept that present agriculture could easily deliver far more food to the world – the waste is very real, and in my professional opinion, greatly underestimated; I have yet to see any study looking at the entire system top to bottom; and there is great waste in all stages. Example; last year corn and soybean crops in the US were often stored – outdoors, in a pile, with no roof. Insufficient storage available. Losses there to birds, rodents, rot? Not calculated. We don’t want to know.
“Brussels is completely lost. Time to end its misery.”
I think that realization is growing among world “leaders”. If you take a look at the photos from David Cameron’s Exit event: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-36778350 – you will see a happy, happy man. Radiantly happy. My interpretation as a student of primate signaling is he is overjoyed to be out of that position. It was not only incredibly stressful; but essentially powerless- do what you will, any results are unconnected to your actions; and incomprehensible to these folks to boot.
Which is also a partial explanation for why the GOP wound up with Trump – no vaguely competent “leader” wants the position enough to fight for it.
Making the world just a bit more chaotic in days to come.
“Just hoping there wasn’t a question hidden in there somewhere.”
Just bemused observations; but that is often where interesting questions are born- let me know if you find one.
I am consistently amused by the vast disparity in what we “know”, and what we proclaim as indisputable truth all must recognize. Current noise in the South China sea being my case in point. The international arbitrator appealed to by the Philippines has given them all they’ve asked for; China says “oh, hooey”, and the Western Press is all proclaiming “a huge barrier” to China’s expansion now exists-
Meanwhile, the long article in WaPo about all this, citing the many voices claiming “significance” to the judgment, also contains this paragraph:
“In rejecting the decision, Beijing is certainly not alone. No permanent member of the U.N. Security Council has ever complied with a ruling by the PCA on the Law of the Sea, wrote Graham Allison, director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. “In fact, none of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council have ever accepted any international court’s ruling when (in their view) it infringed on their sovereignty or national security interests,” Allison wrote in The Diplomat.
The United States has never ratified UNCLOS, and rejected a 1986 verdict at the International Court of Justice ordering it to pay reparations to Nicaragua for mining its harbors, he noted.”
Yup. “None. Ever.” So we know no one ever pays attention; but- the noise machine has been well fed; and a substantial number of partisans in all directions have had their emotions inflamed a tad more.
Man, we’re weird.
Missed this earlier; there is a beautiful family tree for Abe on his Wikipedia site.
Several of his ancestors have Wikipedia pages of their own; several more should. Family connections going back to the shoguns; across many ruling sectors; deeply involved in WWII. Worth your time to read, if you seek to comprehend today.
Re: Abenomics. If you want to know who we are… we are gentlemen of Japan… Abe now has the political strings in Japan entirely in his hands, for the foreseeable future. For your education; here is his maternal grandfather; once emprisoned as a possible Class A War Criminal – for cause. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobusuke_Kishi
His family has been at this for generations; baby steps.
Amusement for today, thanks to NYT:
An authoritative statement that “we should do something”. No suggestion of any kind as to what, however. First step? No clue.
Evolution is going to happen, regardless.
A signal I have been waiting for has appeared. Precious metals are all moving up.
The signal strength is not strong, the trend not large- which to me is more significant than if it were. The market performance following Brexit to me indicates clearly that the Owners are still in total control of the markets. They’ve been keeping them high, to keep the suckers in, so they can be fleeced during the inevitable drop. After Brexit, the eternally hopeful were given a powerful “look, all’s well!” signal, which will be a very durable emotion now, since the potential harm was so huge. The suckers will now stay in all the way down.
Precious metals have been motionless for about 2 years, I think. But following Brexit, they have all, slowly, slightly, unnoticeably been creeping steadily up. Those markets are controlled by the Owners, too, of course.
Re the comments on the Japanese economy from yesterday; this is an enormous, and once again unprecedented factor that analysts really ignore- because they don’t know what to do with it: 25% of Japanese citizens are now over the age of 65. And that demographic trend is currently continuing, and intensifying.
There are lots of “gee-whiz” comments about that in the world forum, and “gosh, somebody should do something” – but really zero in the way of ideas on what to do, and zero action as well. “Economics” as a field of inquiry simply has nothing to offer for this situation. Nor do any others, but people continue to expect Economics to explain population wealth and trends, all history to the contrary notwithstanding.
We’re just stumbling into our future- and will keep on stumbling, as far as anyone can predict.
One of the ways in which analysts consistently fail to understand China is the insidious human wish to be able to ascribe a functional unity to the “government” – when none exists.
Multiple internal powers in China work against each other – through what is presented to the world as the central government. Precisely the same is true in “Western” governments, at all levels including international. The easiest way to truly see this is to look not from the top down, but from the corporations up.
The interests of Exxon are not the same as those of Monsanto. Or those of Boeing. Or the US Air Force. Or the Mafia. Or Goldman-Sachs. Or the CIA. Lockheed. Sony. ConAgra. Harvard. The US Navy. ATT&T. Toyota.
All-American; all of those are very serious powers indeed; with international power bases- which pursue to the uttermost their own agendas, entirely out of the public view. They will, can, and do cut each other’s throats whenever possible.
Who writes our legislation these days? Nearly without exception; draft legislation is written for corporate purposes, by corporate authors- and “trickled up” with minimal efforts to disguise it.
If you work in DC – you know this. The “good guys” in our own government now spend most of their efforts attempting to mitigate the relentless attacks. Stop them, expose them? Not an option. They will kill you. (if I have an accident in the next few weeks, you’ll know why.)
“..the West is incapable of producing leadership capable of preserving life on earth.”
A bad echo of what I said here a few days back; to wit all governments are paralyzed.
It is most certainly NOT a lack of “leadership” – more particularly what is missing is any ability to actually carry out meaningful responses; all parts of the implementation mechanisms are broken, starting with “will” to respond. And we have no precedents for how to repair “will” – in peace-time.
“piling on the debt as they watch the value of their properties soar”
And as we all know here, the “values” of their properties have not changed at all – only the “price.” Do they teach finance writers to perpetuate this delusion? Pay them? Or just exploit the fools?
And to ignore the historical reality that price always moves back towards value- eventually. Much like the old rubber-ball-on-a-rubber-band-with-a-paddle game. Perhaps the fascinations of the two games are identical-
In attempting to understand the lack of attention to the refugee disaster- keep in mind, it’s humans we’re dealing with here.
Both history and experimental psychology teach us the same thing- humans become numb to insult pretty quickly. The graphs of decreasing neural response to repeated stimuli are very uniform- a very rapid drop down to barely registering.
One dead baby on the beach, and the front page? Horrors. 200 dead babies every day? Uh – I think I need to mow the lawn.
That’s what we do. “Should” is a word of no power whatsoever.
I’m not suggesting that situation must leave us doing nothing. Just that we need to keep our actual behavior firmly in mind when searching for what might be possible.
Endlessly pursuing what is impossible – is a very bad idea. You wouldn’t think it would be necessary to point that out, would you? And yet. Our joint behavior suggests it is necessary.
Wow, what is UP with the NYT?? Two articles from the “Editorial Board” – which give solid data, and point out connections – that are really not “Owner-Friendly”. Which the NYT usually is; particularly the Editorial Board. Worth a look:
Both of those should tick off a lot of “Big Money” – I might expect some changes in the Board fairly soon.
Number of buyer, dealers indicted – zero. The “near” is actually an enormous loophole; years ago at a conference in Cairo I had street vendors approach me to buy both ivory and “substitutes” – allegedly hippo ivory and carvings from camel leg-bone. And the conversation always eventually got to “look, I can give you a certificate that this is hippo – but it’s really elephant. Isn’t it gorgeous?” “But- isn’t that illegal?” “Sure! So?”
“Illegal” just means bigger profits, of course- which means more incentive to kill. Somehow- even black-market profits have to drop; or we’re wasting our time.
Re: elephants; from yesterday. Would you (all) like to DO something? You can.
No, don’t send money to someone promising to stop poaching – work, every day, to re-focus world attention on the REAL problem here.
Yes, poachers are poor and desperate, blah, blah. THE Problem: Rich people love to pay big bucks for ivory, and are NEVER punished for it.
Nor are all the “middle men”. Because; it always turns out; they are “protected” by “connections” to the Customers. Always.
Can you get them prosecuted? No; but in this day and age – you CAN “expose” them; on social media. There is a direct relation between the final price of the ivory and rhino horn and the number of murdered animals; anything that decreases the profits will help the animals.
Do something so the prices fall. Personally? I’d happily spread a little polonium in the powdered rhino horn. Imagine the rumors- and the drop in prices.
Or, what the hell; just launch good consistent social media rumors that the horn and ivory are contaminated by radioactivity (blame Fukushima and Chernobyl- those are now the best places to stockpile illegal ivory, because the cops don’t go there) – and push the rumors enough that they start to stick. Are humans that gullible? DUH.
Shortly after writing the above, I tripped on this from the “Editorial Board” of the NYT, manifestly a quasi-camouflaged instrument of the Owners:
Summary: “We shake our finger at you.”
Suggestions for action: None. Well, apart from “You guys should, like, do something.”
Personally, I do not see it as “the rich nations turn their backs”, but rather as “All governmental bodies are currently paralyzed, at all levels.” Somewhat ironically, this paralysis is largely the result of active manipulations by the Owners to make them so; for the benefit of the Owners.
Do we have a fix for that? We do not. Default to: Darwin.
“And Greece has no way of dealing with it.”
No one on the planet has any way of dealing with it. We really need to recognize that fact first, before there is any chance to find some humane way forward. The “modern world” has never had to deal with any such movement of entire populations. Ancient population moves have universally resulted in the deaths of many/most of the humans involved – until the pressure was sufficiently alleviated.
We have no experience; no resources, no governing entities with any effective ability to direct responses. Our current “responses” are best understood metaphorically as the work of a child who builds a pretty sandcastle on a beach. The child is amazed and hurt when the next morning there is no sign of the sandcastle. Tides and the perversity of drunken teenagers at 2 AM remain outside the child’s universe; so another sandcastle is built. With identical results.
It’s grim, and will get grimmer. As with many of our species’ problems – we are now entering entirely new territory.
“Obama as some kind of peaceful guy who’s trying to get rid of nuclear weapons. He’s the biggest nuclear warrior there is. ”
People trying to understand Obama rarely remember that he grew up mostly in Hawaii.
Growing up next to Pearl Harbor does change a kid; I know, personally; I lived inside the Navy base there when I was in grade school. It was just a quick bike ride for me to get to the Sub Base PX – passing through where the Japanese attack was, It’s all around you.
Nobody forgets it, and kids do think about it. Out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean – bad people can come to kill you. We all “know” that- but I do think Hawaiian kids “KNOW” it a little more.
It all gets vastly more complicated from there- but that childhood never goes away.
“Trump: Only ‘Dummies’ Believe”
In this case, we should listen; inarguably, Trump is truly one of the great world experts on what dummies will believe.