Links Fourth of July

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  1. Conor

    *sigh*… Regarding Jim O’Neill’s comments in the Telegraph article about Goldman Sachs’ warning (They’re good ones to do so, huh?): How anyone can be “positive” about our current worldwide economic situation has got to have something really nice in their pipe.

    The simple fact of the matter is, since at least the 1980s, the developed world, with the Americans leading the way, has been on a staggering easy credit binge – both collectively and individually – to end all credit binges; culminating with the SIV, CDO, etc., mortgage meltdown. Now we have to seriously pay the piper.

    Not only do we have to pay the piper to the tune of trillions of dollars (T-R-I-L-L-I-O-N-S), *Whew!!* the amount of wealth that has just disappeared *pffft* because of the subprime mortgage meltdown also adds up to trillions of dollars. Then we have a few more shoes to drop; some we can see coming and others we can’t. One that we can see coming is the looming Private Equity Crisis –

    *double sigh*… I see massive amounts of denial being played out all over the place. I can see this by the activity on the stock market: one day the pudding taste good, stocks go up; the next day we brush out teeth with soap and the pudding tastes bad, stocks go down, etc. Then trying to get a accurate gauge of what is really happening is nigh impossible because so many factors skew our ability to “see” the picture – the largest of these is the black market (illicit drugs, illicit weapons, human trafficking, etc.) Ironically, it may be the black market(s) that cushion our descent into whatever hell we have devised for ourselves… *another sigh*

    I read Andy Grove’s WSJ article with great interest yesterday. Mr. Grove made a lot of salient points. Sadly, he undermined his entire argument with an extremely aggressive stance on trade policy and protectionism. Mr. Grove said: “If the result is a trade war, treat it like other wars — fight to win.” Then he goes on to say: “If what I’m suggesting sounds protectionist, so be it.” Pardon me for digressing into ad hominem, but rich ass-holes like him can always say shit like that because they don’t suffer the collateral damage of those types of policies. I would even venture to speculate that Andy Grove never ever gives it another thought as to where or who is picking his strawberries while he’s shoveling them into that wrinkled maw of his…*gack!*

    The answer to all this is is that we must develop a mixed economy, as in: socialism with a small S, and capitalism with a small C. It is also time that we instituted a strong progressive taxation system. But most of all, it is time to seriously BLEED-THE-RICH!!! We must make the wealthy pay their fair share. There is simply no way around it. Period.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Officially, no. But unlike the case with narcotic meds, prescription lens suppliers on the internet accept faxed copies of prescriptions. Your old optician’s scrip, revised with a whited-out, more recent date, makes a fresh new one. Plus you can change the lens power as you think fit.

      I’ve been ‘writing my own ticket’ for years, and have made some interesting discoveries. For instance, cut your myopia correction by half a diopter (to a smaller number), and you can gain 18 inches of near vision with only a slight blurring of long-distance vision (which likely will go away within a few weeks). For most over-45 presbyopes, this is a very practical compromise that your optician may never tell you about.

      Busting a rent-seeking guild isn’t merely economical; it’s a moral obligation!

  2. Adam's Myth

    NETRA: so we can now measure our own eyes instantly with a smartphone and plastic magnifier. But will the optometry lobby ever let us buy glasses without a prescription?

    1. Conor

      Creepy deepy. *pun slightly intended* But, seriously, this kind of tactic really works! The thing that is so incredibly insidious about Capitalism of our more modern variety is how easily it shifts the sands around with amazing sleight of hand – a sort of meme prestidigitation – then aims it at whatever market or political viewpoint is in vogue.

      (heh,heh)… I’m sure you’ve noticed that pretty green flowering logo of BP’s. And now that America’s education system completely sucks, this kind of crap works all the better… I don’t know. Maybe it’s always been this way. Just look at the weird relationship institutionalized Christianity has had with feudalism. Maybe we just doomed to be stupid. Maybe not.

      Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann work for the same Network. Who are we going to boycott?

      1. Conor


        Glenn Beck is carried on Fox. Keith Olbermann is carried on ABC.

        But Glenn Beck is carried on ABC radio affiliates, so I’m not completely wrong.

        This goes to a previous point I had made about Media Corporations – and all Capitalism – being driven entirely by profit, not ideology. If Capitalism were a human being, that person would be considered a psychopath.

  3. Conor


    Maybe it’s the photo, but Lord John Browne (ex-BP CEO) looks just like George (Dubya) Bush except with a bigger nose! Same stupid yet malevolent look on his face… I just can’t handle this! This is just too drop-dead funny!

    Check it out!!

    *LoL!!* I’m getting off the computer right now! I think I’m hallucinating on coffee, or something. Bye.

    1. i on the ball patriot

      The Daily Beast is owned by IAC, headed up by system tool Barry Diller …


      “From October 1984 to April 1992, Mr. Diller served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox, Inc. and was responsible for the creation of Fox Broadcasting Company in addition to Fox’s motion picture operations.

      Before joining Fox, Mr. Diller served for ten years as the Chairman and Chief Executive of Paramount Pictures Corporation. In March 1983, in addition to Paramount, Mr. Diller became President of the conglomerate’s newly formed Entertainment and Communications Group, which included Simon & Schuster, Inc., Madison Square Garden Corporation and SEGA Enterprises, Inc. Prior to joining Paramount, Mr. Diller served as Vice President of Prime Time Television for ABC Entertainment.

      Mr. Diller was born in San Francisco and raised in Beverly Hills. He serves on the boards of The Washington Post Company and The Coca-Cola Company. He is also a trustee of New York University and serves on the Executive Board for the Medical Sciences at UCLA, the Board of Conservation International and the Board of Councilors for the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California. Mr. Diller is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.”

      That’s probably why you have the BP logo crowning the head of the Bush look alike. I can just see the photographer saying, “Tip your head a bit, more to the left”.

      Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  4. Ronald

    “I’m not having any trouble getting money,” said George, who recently got a $250,000 loan to renovate one of his buildings. But he’s not hiring more workers because of little or no growth in sales.”

    The small business mantra being the engine for job growth needs a closer look given the credit binge the American consumer has been riding for 20 years. Take away cheap credit from the demand side and away goes the sales, shocking really! Remove the RE agents, mortgage brokers, consultants of every strip that count as a small business and the impact of small business on hiring probably is much smaller then the the media hype. No doubt that long time small manufacturing/industrial/retail business can get a loan if they have any equity in home/commercial property but they depend on excess credit creation for their business prosperity to pump up the demand side.

  5. gordon

    Thanks for the link to NYT on oil subsidies. Also see this one (LA Times) for some relevance to the Gulf disaster:

    An extract from the LA Times piece:

    “Industry officials contend that the incentives have resulted in gains in domestic production, additional fees paid to the Treasury, and many jobs created in gulf state oil communities. And they say there is no connection between the industry incentives and the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig.

    “But there is little disagreement that the industry received significant federal support for such deep-water drilling. Since the government began aggressively issuing offshore drilling permits under President Reagan, the industry has received tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies, including exemptions from royalty payments — the fees due when a company extracts resources from U.S. government property.

    “The royalty waiver program was established by Congress in 1995, when oil was selling for about $18 a barrel and drilling in deep water was seen as unprofitable without a subsidy. Today, oil sells for about $70 a barrel, but the subsidy continues.

    “The Government Accountability Office estimates that the deep-water waiver program could cost the Treasury $55 billion or more in lost revenue over the life of the leases, depending on the price of oil and gas and the performances of the wells”.

    And for coal have a look at:

    The Earthtrack site seems to give a useful coverage of subsidies, as does the Global Subsidies Initiative site here:

  6. Sundog

    I wonder how many lists I’ll end up on for posting a comment with the word Blackwater? (Just finished Jane Mayer’s “The Dark Side” & highly recommend it.)

    If the renamed Blackwater were indicted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, it would cost Xe Services more than 95 percent of its business.

    Warren P. Strobel, Jonathan S. Landay and Joseph Neff, “Obama won’t charge Blackwater with violation of Sudan sanctions”

    1. Paul Repstock

      Wellllll….If I were a military commander, I would be very nervous to have these guys providing security/looking over my shoulder????
      The new contracts combined with the sale of the company seems to signify a change at the top????

  7. Chanelle Coonse

    The company brokerages network will give you access to some big pool of individuals who’ve the details about businesses for sale and buyers or investors looking for a company venture. By producing good use from the info you’ve, you might be cutting a provide and make a handsome profit out of the transactions.

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