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Links 8/29/10

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  1. purple

    The interesting thing about the Koch’s and their allies (I’d include the Walton’s) is that they are in many respects superseding the East Coast ‘Establishment’ faction of the ruling class; this is probably the reason elite politics is in such disarray and will remain so. The argument Rich presents isn’t that inspiring; it’s along the lines of: which noble should the peasants work for ?

  2. Bates

    RE: “China Begs, Borrows, Steals American Know-How”

    Author Navarro seems surprised that China is not playing fair with it’s trading partners. He also acts as if the US is pure as the driven snow in it’s trade relations with other countries.

    Both of these ‘surprise discoveries’ by Navarro are disingenious.

    All countries are engaged in economic warfare with each other all the time. Is Navarro really surprised that China is not acting in accordance with trade regulations regarding international trade? All is fair in love and war! The current trade rules were written by Western Powers and benefit primarily the West. US and other Western Power trade rules have driven many emerging agrarian countries into the ground!…a casual look at Hati is all it takes to confirm this.

    We should not forget that the current US manufacturing posture is a result of US policy to allow the off shoring of US manufacturing capacity and jobs to China and other cheap labor countries. US trade policy regarding China, and other low wage/low environmental standards countries, allowed US based multi-national corporations to benefit at the expense of the US worker and the US economy.

    Now that the pigeons of US Trade Policy are coming home to roost all the blame is being directed at ‘our trading partners’.

    Where is the blame for the near sighted American Politicians and Corporations that allowed this situation to develop by poor trade policiy decisions for the benefit of US Corporations?

    Navarro also seems to think that China needs to buy US Industry in the US to capture US steel technology…another disingenuous assumption. China alread produces about half the worlds steel. Actually, we might learn something about steel production from the Chinese should we allow them to build steel producers on US soil!

    If US Corporations are not going to invest in US Production facilities and create new US Jobs, why not let the Chinese do it? US Corporations, like GE, GM, etc, have been busily converting themselves into financial institutions…which has not worked out all that well.

    Navarro also complains that ‘US Managerial Expertise’ will be confiscated by Chinese locating on US soil. What a crock! Has Navarro taken a good look at the US managerial expertise that has caused the current world financial crisis?

    Last…Why did we not hear the same outcry when Yamaha, Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, et al, located manufacturing plants on US soil?

    1. Jojo

      Nicely said!

      But unfortunately, when all is said and done, the majority of business people and the politicians will shrug their shoulders and continue focusing on short-term ‘results”, while ignoring long-term implications of the policies they choose to support.

      I guess ultimately, this is what a corporatocracy is all about. The many suffer for the sins (gains) of the relatively few…

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In economic warfare, we can learn from the Trojans and remind ourselves to beware of opponents bearing gifts of employing union and non-union American workers.

  3. madrona

    I confess I don’t “get” the Navarro article, other than as an effort to bolster the Steel Caucus’s efforts to block Ansteel’s investment (which I understand to be 20% or less of the total, Steel Market Update has said 14%). In any case, the idea that China needs U.S. technology to manufacture steel is just wrong. They’ve been equipping their plants with the latest mill technology from Europe for years and years now. On the other hand, if dumping is the fear, then building factories to employ American workers should be regarded in the U.S. as an acceptable remedy, particularly when those jobs are sorely needed.

    Here’s a more favorable view of a different Chinese investment, this one by Shenyang Power:

    For the USW, this deal means the Chinese firms will initially buy approximately 50,000 tons of steel manufactured in unionized American mills to fabricate towers and rebar for the 615 megawatt wind farm in Texas, will employ Americans at a wind turbine assembly plant to be built in Nevada, and will employ more American workers in green jobs at plants constructing the blades, towers and thousands of other wind turbine parts.

    http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/08/10/what%E2%80%99s-green-white-and-blue-american-jobs/

    And here’s another take on the Ansteel investment from Bill Newman, a partner at Sullivan & Worcester LLP:

    http://www.usainbounddeals.com/2010/08/articles/deals-developments/man-bites-dog-congress-lobbies-cfius-on-steel-development-joint-venture/

  4. Debra

    Oops, on an Internet binge, it’s so addictive…
    Thanks for the article on the moneyless man. I’m hoping that it’s going to get some people thinking about what is POSSIBLE without money.
    I’m gonna buy the book soon.
    No caravan though… my large baby grand will not fit into a caravan…
    baby grands are incompatible with the nomad’s life, I fear…

  5. DownSouth

    Re: “The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party”

    Most people believe we’re currently trapped in Great Depression II. But Frank Rich gives additional evidence that maybe we’re not currently reliving the Great Depression, but the Roaring Twenties.

    I say this because, in his book Only Yesterday, Frederick Lewis Allen cites substantial evidence that the wheels had come off of the real economy during the 1920s, well before Wall Street hit the wall in 1929.

    And it was during the 1920s that the appeals to racism and religious bigotry, like those being orchestrated by the Koch brothers, reached their highpoint of popularity. The membership of the Ku Klux Klan, founded in 1915, grew rapidly to an estimated 4.5 million in 1924. “It came to wield great political power,” Allen says, “dominating for a time the seven states of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio and California.”

    The target victims have of course changed. Back then the Negro, the Jew and the Roman Catholic were the principle targets. Today it’s the Mexican, the Muslim and the gay person. And of course the so-called “socialist,” which finds incarnation in the person of Barak Obama, is a permanent target.

    There are of course some changes, but how close does the movement and the rhetoric of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin come to replicating this?

    The objects of the Order [Ku Klux Klan] as stated in its Constitution were “to unite white male persons, native-born Gentile citizens of the United States of America, who owe no allegiance of any nature to any foreign government, nation, institution, sect, ruler, person, or people; whose morals are good, whose reputations and vocations are exemplary . . . to cultivate and promote patriotism toward our Civil Government; to practice an honorable Klannishness toward each other; to exemplify a practical benevolence; to shield the sanctity of the home and the chastity of womanhood; to maintain forever white supremacy, to teach and faithfully inculcate a high spiritual philosophy through an exalted ritualism, and by a practical devotion to conserve, protect, and maintain the distinctive institutions, rights, privileges, principles, traditions and ideals of a pure Americanism.”

    Thus the theory. In practice the “pure Americanism” varied with the locality. At first, in the South, white supremacy was the Klan’s chief objective, but as time went on and the organization grew and spread, opposition to the Jew and above all to the Catholic proved the best talking point for Kleagles in most localities. Nor did the methods of the local Klan organizations usually suggest the possession of a “high spiritual philosophy.” These local organizations were largely autonomous and beyond control from Atlanta… Though Imperial Wizard Evans inveighed against lawlessness, the members of the local Klans were not always content with voting against allowing children to attend parochial schools, or voting against Catholic candidates for office, or burning fiery crosses on the hilltop back of the town to show the niggers that the whites meant business. The secrecy of the Klan was an invitation to more direct action.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Evolution-wise, our biology is still more suited for Stone Age living, never to roam far from the square miles we call home.

      And the results from implicit bias test are not encouraging as it appears to show how prejudice we humans are. Yes, you can improve your score by visualing someone like Nelson Mandela, but what does that mean, except perhaps you’re cheating?

      There is a reason why eating local food is healthier for your body.

      There is also a reason why engaging in ‘micro-tourism’ where you discover all the wonders in your own tiny backyard rather spending 5 seconds snapping a photo in front of the Eiffel Tower or the northenrn-most point of your home state (how about the most south-west point of your city – doesn’t that seem weird to you now?), or the lowest point (or highest point) of your province or county is emotionally satisfying by taking in the beauty all around you.

    2. i on the ball patriot

      Good comment.

      What jumps out at me in this fake left New York Slimes article is the matter of fact normalizing of — the legitimizing of, the validation of — the extreme and obscene wealth of the players involved. You are made to feel you have a dog in the hunt champion (the fake left NY Slimes), in the intentionally created divisive struggle of mean spirited Koch/Murdoch against the kinder gentler Soros and warm and wonderful Jon Stewart. And that deceptive struggle is the focus. Yet nothing is said about limiting the obscene wealth and assets of those players as a remedy to lessening the power that they wield. Instead, their outrageous wealth, gained on a tilted playing field that they bought and maintain, is reinforced by the article.

      Time to get sane — maximum wage limited to ten times the minimum wage, with private property asset wealth in proportion to that ratio. Evolution would welcome the breather to repair the damaged planet and get things sustainable.

      Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  6. DownSouth

    Re: “The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party”

    Most people believe we’re currently trapped in Great Depression II. But Frank Rich gives additional evidence that maybe we’re not currently reliving the Great Depression, but the Roaring Twenties.

    I say this because, in his book Only Yesterday, Frederick Lewis Allen cites substantial evidence that the wheels had come off of the real economy during the 1920s, well before Wall Street hit the wall in 1929.

    And it was during the 1920s that the appeals to racism and religious bigotry, like those being orchestrated by the Koch brothers, reached their highpoint of popularity. The membership of the Ku Klux Klan, founded in 1915, grew rapidly to an estimated 4.5 million in 1924. “It came to wield great political power,” Allen says, “dominating for a time the seven states of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio and California.”

    The target victims have of course changed. Back then the Negro, the Jew and the Roman Catholic were the principle targets. Today it’s the Mexican, the Muslim and the gay person. And of course the so-called “socialist,” which finds incarnation in the person of Barak Obama, is a permanent target.

    There are of course some changes, but how close does the movement and the rhetoric of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin come to replicating this?

    The objects of the Order [Ku Klux Klan] as stated in its Constitution were “to unite white male persons, native-born Gentile citizens of the United States of America, who owe no allegiance of any nature to any foreign government, nation, institution, sect, ruler, person, or people; whose morals are good, whose reputations and vocations are exemplary . . . to cultivate and promote patriotism toward our Civil Government; to practice an honorable Klannishness toward each other; to exemplify a practical benevolence; to shield the sanctity of the home and the chastity of womanhood; to maintain forever white supremacy, to teach and faithfully inculcate a high spiritual philosophy through an exalted ritualism, and by a practical devotion to conserve, protect, and maintain the distinctive institutions, rights, privileges, principles, traditions and ideals of a pure Americanism.”

    Thus the theory. In practice the “pure Americanism” varied with the locality. At first, in the South, white supremacy was the Klan’s chief objective, but as time went on and the organization grew and spread, opposition to the Jew and above all to the Catholic proved the best talking point for Kleagles in most localities. Nor did the methods of the local Klan organizations usually suggest the possession of a “high spiritual philosophy.” These local organizations were largely autonomous and beyond control from Atlanta… Though Imperial Wizard Evans inveighed against lawlessness, the members of the local Klans were not always content with voting against allowing children to attend parochial schools, or voting against Catholic candidates for office, or burning fiery crosses on the hilltop back of the town to show the n–gers that the whites meant business. The secrecy of the Klan was an invitation to more direct action.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    To the moneyless man, I have a question.

    Comparing to going moneyless for a whole life anonymously, going moneyless for 1 year and then writing a book about seems much less daunting. Is there hope we can go that route for more than a year as matter of routine without having being able to write a popular book about the experience?

    1. ginnie nyc

      Prime Beef: FWIW, MoneylessMan says in the comments section of the HuffPo article that he continues off-the-grid for over 2 yrs now, and all book profits will go to a fenced-off charity.

      1. craazyman

        Do you dream of a world of happiness without the pressures of money?

        Would you like to throw off the chains of slavery to the almighty dollar?

        Do you know that a rare form of happiness is only one phone call away?

        Send us all of your money and liberate yourself, Right Now!

        We’ll take all your money and keep it out of your reach for 1, 2, 3, 5 or 10-years, so you can find that rare form happiness that has eluded you your entire life!

        Imagine the relief when your money burden suddenly disappears! Our Wall Street money managers will lock your money up in investments that no one can understand or even value. Not even our experts will be able to make sense of where your money is or how much is there. You can rest assured that even if you decide you want your money back, you won’t be able to access even a dollar! That’s a promise.

        Liberate yourself and renew the joy of life! Our operators are standing by, all major credit cards accepted . . .

        1. craazyman

          BTW, did anything come out of Jackson’s Hole this weekend?

          boowahahahahahahaha hahahaha ahahhaah!!!

          Allright, I need my medicine about now. :)

          1. skippy

            “BTW, did anything come out of Jackson’s Hole this weekend?”

            ——

            OK….enough with the visual metaphors!

            Skippy…Bernanke’s head popping out of the Jackson Hole annulus, is were I draw the line mister!

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        OK, Ginny, forget craazyman. I’m sorry I was a little hard on him. I hope he can keep going for a long time. It will inspire me.

  8. Glen

    A couple more good reads:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29sun1.html?ref=opinion

    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/29/how-obama-got-rolled-by-wall-street.print.html

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/28/failure-to-rise/

    Ouch! And all, highly predictable.

    There must be some bitter irony in that Obama views Reagan as a “transformational President”. Dude, Reagan’s “fundamentally different path” voodoo economics have trashed your Presidency. Maybe you should consider doing something truly “transformational” yourself, and finally throw out Reaganomics before it complete wrecks the country.

    But then again, that could put your 2010 and 2012 campaign strategy in trouble:

    Obama 2012 – Yeah, I trashed the country, but the other guy is worse!

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Good points, BTW, about Michael Hirsh’s Newsweek piece on Obama and Reagan as faux hero.

      But this too is maddeningly typical of MSM—persistently giving Obama cover as a well-meaning but hapless fool or bungler rather than a co-conspirator in Wall Street and Pentagon crimes, none of which the DOJ has even made a pretense of stemming. How long can the cheerleaders and apologists coninue the charade?

      Obama’s hiring of all the same bush-league financial grave-diggers (and a Zionist chief of staff) to lay a foundation for hope and change was an immediate tip-off that we’d been seriously had, and everything since has proven that shock to be true. His record of aborted pledges and betrayed promises is now far too long and his hollow, Trojan horse legislation so transparent that it’s inexcusable for any competent journalist to give him a shred of benefit of doubt now as merely incompetent or inept. He oversold his grasp of fundamental issues so expertly during the campaign that it is no longer possible for him to plausibly hide behind a mask of such abject stupidity.

      Finally, after stacking the Cat Food Commission with good ol’ boy chairmen like Simpson, vocal and avowed enemies of Social Security, Obama hasn’t a fig-leaf of goodwill remaining. I believe his chessmen-puppeteers have it all calculated moves ahead: a brief stint in the GOP briar patch to loot Social Security, after which MSM journalists will sympathetically say, “yeah he got rolled again, but he means well; and isn’t it nice to have, in Biden’s words, a clean-cut articulate African-American with so much promise in the White House?” Suckers.

      Still, unlike chess, this is not a closed system, and I believe the real world may yet change the game and serve them some well-deserved surprises in 2012.

      1. Rex

        I agree the Obama administration seems to be an abject failure in delivering any real solutions to the many real problems we are looking at, and seems to actually be empowering the same old thieves. I am vastly disappointed that it seems impossible to improve any of the many problems we are looking at, even when it seemed the voters wanted to see some real change.

        You seem to imply something could change for the better in 2012. It seems more likely to me that the ineffectual bad will be thrown out and replaced by the good old worst. If you see room for hope, please give a scenario of how that might happen.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          My hope is that a nonfatal (nonmilitary, non-ecological) disaster finally, massively destroys all confidence in crony, casino capitalism and that capitulation clears the way for a peaceful revolution of leadership and forces a broad transformation in values: financial, cultural, and spiritual.

          Odds of a financial apocalypse are fairly high according to Gerald Celente, Robert Shiller, Nicholas Taleb, and others, all of whom bucked the ridicule of conventional wisdom to warn of the GFC. Taleb on Bloomberg:

          “I’m very pessimistic… By staying in cash or hedging against inflation, you won’t regret it in two years… The financial system is riskier than it was before the 2008 crisis that led the U.S. economy to the worst contraction since the Great Depression.”

          And, from the Automatic Earth, “Bubble Psychology and Lessons from History”, linked here the other day: “… we have consistently said that this bear market is by no means over. The recent year long counter-trend rally is over in our opinion, and phase two of the credit crunch is beginning. We expect phase two to be have considerably greater impact, especially on the real economy, than phase one.”

          The article charts eerie parallels between the agonizing, bouncing slide of 1929-1932 leading to the Great Depression to our current position at the top of a hyper-stimulated dead-cat-bounce prior to, IMO, the Greatest Depression.

          http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2010/08/august-13-2010-bubble-psychology-and.html

          It’s fascinating how many significant crises—economic, political, military, and ecological — seem to be converging on the Maya winter solstice of 2012.

    1. Rex

      The article begins with:
      Gates explained to the Washington Post that much of what is touted as free-market innovation was born of government subsidies: “The Internet and the microprocessor, which were very fundamental to Microsoft being able to take the magic of software and having the PC explode, were among many of the elements that came through government research and development.”
      [Gates is Microsoft's Bill Gates.]

      Really? I worked in and around Silicon Valley while these processes were evolving and I am unaware of government influence playing much of a part, except possibly demand for parts from the military. The internet evolved from a DARPA government funded project, but I don’t think microprocessors and most of the technology that supports the internet evolved from government influence.

      Am I wrong? Can anyone justify Gates’ proposition that the government stimulated much of what made his empire possible?

  9. Computers

    Now i am obtaining a bizarre mistake at the highest of most your pages ==> Warning: require_once(.
    ./wp-includes/wordpress/entry.php) [function.require-once]: didn’t spacious strm

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