Links 9/6/11

Dear readers,

Programming may be a bit lighter than usual this week. Bandwidth here in Maine still sucks. I made the mistake of assuming it was getting better, based on not awful performance on Sunday, and did not stop back at Starbucks after spending the day out (which involved, among other things, playing candlepins).

Mouse halts Nepal-to-Thailand flight USA Today (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

GM Feed Toxic, New Meta-Analysis Confirms Food Freedom (hat tip reader Aquifer)

Tick-borne parasite infecting blood supply: CDC Reuters (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Fears rise again over Europe debt crisis Financial Times

Lost Decades Everywhere: The Grim Reality of Europe Dave Dayen, FireDogLake

Why austerity is only cure for the eurozone Wolfgang Schäuble, Financial Times. If you had any doubts about shorting the euro, this should settle it. Per Swedish Lex:

I believe that because people say that a breakup is unthinkable, it may actually happen. Saying that a breakup is “unthinkable” to me only equals “I am in complete denial and will hence not take appropriate action to prevent the unthinkable scenario from actually playing out”

Whatever minimum euro leadership there was, it is disintegrating. Schäuble’s “more austerity will fix it” – oped in the FT this morning makes me want to weep. I do now know which planets Sarkozy and Berlusconi are on. My gut tells me that many EU governments are on the brink of saying F—k the euro, although they have probably not seriously considered the consequences as per UBS.

Sensitive cables reveal views that portrayed Indian Dalit groups as threats to US Tehelka (hat tip reader May S)

Africa: Trade Based Money Laundering – A Shady Side of Globalisation AllAfrica (hat tip reader Valissa)

The price of 9/11 Joe Stiglitz, Aljazeera (hat tip reader Paul S)

If Warren wants to race, she should leave the gate Bsoton Globe. This is not a good sign and follows news that the influential Boston mayor (a Democrat who deep sixed a progressive gubernatorial candidate a few years back) has already signaled serious doubts about Warren.

The Fallacy Behind Tax Holidays Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times

HAPPY LABOR DAY: Now Here’s The Real State Of The Job Market In America Clusterstock (hat tip reader Carol B)

More restaurants are targeting customers who use food stamps USA Today (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Herbert Hoover: On Bank Liquidity and Solvency, 1931 Ed Harrison

These last two links are important reads:

‘People Don’t Realize How Fragile Democracy Really Is’ James Fallows, Atlantic

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult Mike Lofgren, TruthOut (hat tip readers citalopram and May S)

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Black Smith


    Geeze, it’s only been two weeks:

    Warren launches website, exploratory committee
    August 18, 2011 | Andrew Miga, Associated Press

    Everyone knows it takes at least three weeks to listen to Boston alone!

    1. Danb

      Those who oppose her running are doing her a favor if they succeed; and giving her a valuable lesson in how to be effective as a national voice of fundamental reform unencumbered by seeking office.

      1. Yves Smith Post author


        Despite the hair-pullling over the Internet (I had planned to work in the early evening, since there is no night life to speak of in this part of Maine) i have gotten some R&R and am eating a ton of good seafood and enjoying the ocean views.

        My candlepin scores were 52 and 72, which for someone who has done conventional bowling all of once (no joke) I am told is quite good (I had the second highest score of four people in my second game). Candlepins are tougher than bowling, the lanes are narrower (so gutter balls are more common) and the narrow pins give you much less pin action.

      1. G Marks

        The ‘services’ don’t deny the existence of false flag operations, wherein ‘operatives’ infiltrate questionable groups and entrap them to commit crimes in a controlled and manageable manner. They just don’t admit to the ones they manufacture.

        There have been enough complaints of entrapment that we know it’s the agencies most effective tool against, ‘terrorists’.

        That’s one of the reasons Obama promised to close Guantanamo but can’t – because if any of those prisoners are allowed to testify in open court, Americans would learn too much of these covert operations, which are highly questionable to begin with.

        Hell, I watched a former CIA head [sorry, cannot remember his name] lament that part of the problem in intelligence these days is determining who is behind ANY act of violence, because [and this is the first time I heard the term] FALSE FLAG operations are so common.

        He said the way to untangle the truth of any given event is to ask “who benefits”? — This discussion was on C-Span after the bombing of the African embassy.

        He spoke openly of how FALSE FLAG operations are standard operating procedure for all intelligence agencies, making intel an extremely difficult job – together with false claims of pedigree by various groups, including Israel, and assorted jihadists.

        Clinton’s FBI infiltrated and destroyed the militia movement throughout the 90’s. The rule of thumb within these right wing groups at the time was – that the most vociferous, militant members of any group were Government operatives. I remember the stories across the internet by 1997. The Free Republic was seething over the entrapment groups from Montana to, OK City.

        No doubt in my mind – this was a plan to enlist Islamophobics for more war on Islam… for us and Israel.

        The families of the victims make up the TRUTH movement, and they are FIRM in their indictment of the Bush administration along with the Mossad.

        1. Lucy

          “The rule of thumb within these right wing groups at the time was – that the most vociferous, militant members of any group were Government operatives. I remember the stories across the internet by 1997.”

          Same in the 60s.

          1. aet

            ‘Twas ever thus, as the writings of Epictetus demonstrate.

            That warm fellow in the marketplace bad-mouthing the king and his Ministers, and seeking to engage others in his discussion, looking for their expressed agreement – is actually the King’s own man! – and he’ll be visiting those who venture to agree with his words, later, with the King’s troops.

            And they will no longer be expressing any doubts whatsoever about the Justice of the King and all his works!

  2. /L

    “Why austerity is only cure for the eurozone”

    The late William Vickrey (“We Need A Bigger Deficit”) on the 1991 recession:

    “The administration is trying to bring the Titanic into harbor with a canoe paddle, while Congress is arguing over whether to use an oar or a paddle, and the Perot’s and budget balancers seem eager to lash the helm hard-a-starboard towards the iceberg. Some of the argument seems to be over which foot is the better one to shoot ourselves in.

    We have the resources in terms of idle manpower and idle plants to do so much, while the preachers of austerity, most of whom are in little danger of themselves suffering any serious consequences, keep telling us to tighten our belts and refrain from using the resources that lie idle all around us.”

    1. liberal

      Vickrey was a great economist. He was also one of the very few modern economists who actually understood the role of land in the economy, and why light taxation of land value is an injustice.

  3. Diego Méndez

    I’d put the probability of euro break-up during the next 2 years at 95%.

    I am afraid the problem is so complex and the situation has deteriorated so sharply that not even eurobonds would solve it, since any undemocratic mechanism would lack legitimacy and, thus, it would be considered unreliable in the long-term by smart investors. [I do, however, support my country’s last-trench fight to stay inside the euro, despite the fact that we will almost surely lose it].

    Honestly, I can only say the world is going straight to the largest financial crisis ever. There is no global system in place to prevent it, so any solutions would be temporary, nationalistic and would undo the productivity gains (artificially?) provided by globalization.

    I can only hope we are only living in the 1930s economically, and not politically. My reason tells me otherwise.

    1. RebelEconomist

      Actually, I don’t see why the euro need break up if some of the countries default on their debts anyway. There seems to me to be an element of the “king’s new clothes” about the present crisis, where the received wisdom, promoted by banks and grandstanding journalists like Wolfgang Munchau, is that the eurozone countries must “do something”, usually involving committing more wealth, to stop the PIIGS defaulting. I say call their bluff, starting with Greece. Let Greece go bust and let the other countries use their wealth to recapitalise any of their banks that fail as a result. Give up these silly ideas to milk northern Europe like eurobonds and fiscal union. I suspect that most of the defaulted countries will opt to stick with the euro. The reality is that, despite the dreams of the europhiles, sentiment does not yet exist for a European political union. Like or not, the euro is a default union.

      1. Diego Méndez

        For a country, the fact that going out of the euro may produce an Argentinian-like devaluation means no rational investor will lend that country (nor its companies) money for a sustainable rate.

        There is no point in being on the euro if your country and its companies have lost market access. You, RebelEconomist, always focus on economics, but it cannot be analyzed as if politics didn’t matter.

        If the people are given two choices: a) make a revolution and have full employment; or b) don’t make a revolution, suffer from ultra-high unemployment for a decade and let savers get away with no haircut, the people will choose a, sooner or later.

        Of course, as you say, the rational decision would be something like c) distribute the costs of the adjustment in a fair way between different social classes, creating unemployment out of taxes if necessary. The problem, again, is political: politicians are just not so good at doing the right thing. Especially when they receive market-fundamentalist orders from Berlin.

      2. Diego Méndez

        Moreover, Southern Europeans are not aware of the risks their savings face while sitting on Southern European banks.

        If the Spanish state were to default, and since there is a constant flux of euros going out of Spain (trade deficit), how would Spain effectively guarantee Spanish deposits? How would it prevent an eventual bank run?

        There are lots of reasons for multiple equilibria producing a self-fulfilling banking crisis and a euro breakup. Unfortunately, IMHO, the system is not so robust as you imply.

  4. Diego Méndez

    By the way, I cannot see how a euro breakup would lead to gains if you short the euro.

    As I see it, the German masterplan is a core eurozone, i.e. Southern Europe (and possibly Ireland and Belgium) get out of the euro but France, Germany, etc. establish a fiscal union and a embryonic eurozone super-state.

    If that’s the case, the euro is not obviously overvalued at all.

    1. aet

      “Over-valued”, you say – compared to what, precisely? The US Dollar? Gold as priced in US dollars? Yuan? Cdn dollars?

      Or does one Euro buy too many eggs in your opinion?

    2. JimS

      The Germans should go further, and establish the Euro in the innermost core, consisting of Germany alone. Then they will have no problems!

      Of course, they could have achieved this happy state by just sticking with the Deutsch Mark in the first place. Really, they’re just sore that other countries aren’t willing to quietly become poor workers for Germany’s benefit. Good for the other countries.

          1. aet

            From commenter Divadwg , on the Guardian’s comment thread for the article I linked to above:

            “The US is printing money out of thin air which means they should offer higher interest to offset the depreciation, but interest rates are being held artificially low by the Federal Reserve because there are too many people in debt that would be bankrupted by higher interest rates.

            People who are not in debt would rather keep low interest, safe, boring Swiss Francs than low interest diluted dollars, but over time the demand for undiluted Francs requires more and more diluted dollars, raising the value of the franc. This rise is a cycle that inexorably continues, so currency traders gamble on it continuing by buying more francs, making the cycle worse.

            This results in $17 dollars for a Big Mac meal in Zurich and twice as much as normal for a Toblerone in New York. People don’t want to go to Zurich and eat $17 happy meals or buy hyper expensive Swiss chocolate which means that the only viable industry is Switzerland is keeping money and doing nothing – which doesn’t help in the long run. So now the Swiss will also print some francs out of thin air if too many people want to buy them with dollars, and keep the foreign printed money.”

            Makes some sense, imho.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      You seemed to miss the part where the German banks have to be massively recapitlaized if the Eurozone breaks up, no matter who exits. Banks falling over is not a positive for currency valuations (remember, the US was the reserve currency and kept its banks from falling over).

      Germany will either have to print massively (which the Bundesbank will not want to do) or engage in overt bailouts, which will be very controversial politically and may not happen fast enough to satisfy market demands. So the Bundesbank may be forced to act out of character.

      A German bloc may be the one that exits, but either way, it will be hit by massive disruption of its banking system and economy.

      1. Jim

        Hi, Yves,

        Is there any chance you could do a takedown of articles on the demise of the USPS? This seems like exactly the thing you could shred so easily. We’re being flooded with tales of doom and gloom now (from the NYT et al) about how bloated costs have put the USPS in dire straits. The usual refrain is that labor is being paid way too much and has too many benefits, and so their comp needs to be slashed. But the postal service has undercharged for years, and any private company doing the job would jack up rates immediately many fold. The usual sites never mention that a revenue increase to something approximating actual costs could be beneficial.



        1. Jim Haygood

          ‘The postal service has undercharged for years, and any private company doing the job would jack up rates immediately many fold.’

          That’s a remarkable assertion, given that the post office has a MONOPOLY on first-class mail.

          Since when has a monopoly ever ‘undercharged’? To what do we owe this unwonted philanthropy?

          1. Jim

            Ever compare rates at Fedex/UPS to the USPS? They’re not even close. Ever mail a letter in Europe? Costs twice as much as here.

            The USPS postage rates are ridiculously cheap. Where else can you send a letter thousands of miles for about 50 cents? Certainly not privately.


          2. Jim Haygood

            ‘Where else can you send a letter thousands of miles for about 50 cents? Certainly not privately.’

            Right — because it’s NOT ALLOWED for letter delivery to be offered privately.

            Even putting your garage sale flyer into someone’s mailbox is illegal — that’s monopoly!

            Therefore no comps are available to demonstrate that first class mail is underpriced. However, USPS labor costs are a higher percentage of revenue than Fedex and UPS, which might provide a clue.

      2. Diego Méndez

        Dear Yves,

        as I see it, that should be more than compensated by the trade surplus the remaining euro countries (Germany, France, etc.) would have vis-a-vis the rest of the world, even after accounting for a more competitive Southern Europe outside the eurozone.

        On the other hand, I cannot see the Germans printing money to rescue the banks. Stockholders and creditors would be wiped out, making the problem more of a global one, and the core-European taxpayer would pay for any recapitalization after that. But that’s just my 2 cents.

  5. skippy

    Apocalypse watch: O’realyyy and side kick Miller time use Kardashins as a American success story.

    O’REILLY: That’s right. In California in particular.

    Now, Kim Kardashian’s big wedding. I understand it cost $85 million. Paid for by the federal government. No, that — that’s a joke. And it was in your neighborhood, right? Weren’t — that was close to your house, was it not?

    MILLER: Once again — once again, I was at my weekly Slip and Slide demonstration with Barney Frank. But I will say this. I saw Cal Tech seismologists say that the weekend that Kim was up here…

    O’REILLY: Yes.

    MILLER: …the San Andreas Fault was only the second biggest fault line in the Santa Barbara area. So evidently she superseded that back there.

    O’REILLY: Now, did anyone that you know in the Santa Barbara area talk about this wedding? Were they excited about the wedding?

    MILLER: I was back in New York with you, brother. I was a pig in slop. I was nowhere near this state.

    O’REILLY: No, I know, but is there buzz now that you are back? “Oh, that Kim. She looked beautiful”? or “Gee, what a great celebration”? Did anybody care?

    MILLER: I don’t think so. Kim Kardashian is this. They got nothing, and they’re making $80 million a year off it. They got nothing.

    O’REILLY: Absolutely. This right here is the poster child for any American. If she can make it — see, I used to be. If I can make it, you can. Now it’s this one. We don’t know what she does. We absolutely don’t know what she does.

    MILLER: The door cracked a cosmic sliver. And I’ve got to give that woman and her kids this. They stepped through in an off-the-rack culture, and they’re busting their hump.

    O’REILLY: They got everything going on. That’s for sure.

    Skippy…the end is nigh.

    1. LeeAnne

      Skippy, I’m so grateful you covered this. Couldn’t escape so many mentions and photos, so I looked at one for a clue -the big smooch -lousy actor. kardashian a snappy name -but I don’t have a clue. her dad? his contract? what?

      1. LeeAnne

        but watching O’Reilly is too high a price to pay. I’ll have to pass. I may never know who the hell they are.

        1. aet

          If it weren’t for so-called “leftists” repeating their names, I would never even had heard of any of these right-wing” disc-jockeys or opinion-leaders or whatever the hell they call themselves.

          Here’s a hint: if you don’t like somebody in/on the “mass media”, or what they have to say, the don’t be spreading their names around.

          For those propagandists, ANY publicity is good publicity.

    2. bob

      Good catch skip.

      I think the road to the end started with “right wing comedian” Dennis Miller.

      What’s funnier than a Kardashian?

      Dennis Miller and Bill O’reilly talking about it.

      For the record, I’m laughing AT them, not with them. When are they going on tour? I am dying to be a heckler.

      1. aet

        Ignore them and they go away.
        Just don’t look! They live on your attention, kinda like vampires, poor things.

  6. Jim Haygood

    Charles Goredema’s essay, with the sensational title of ‘Trade Based Money Laundering,’ recklessly lumps together tax avoidance through international transfer pricing, illegal tax evasion, and money laundering (converting the proceeds of criminal enterprise into legitimate deposits).

    The man has an ax to grind, but his abrasive wheel is pedal-operated. Dude should get out of sleepy Pretoria more often.

    1. scraping_by

      I think the point is that the sleazy services offered by major banks in the developed world are a little more downhome and handmade in the rural continents.

      Really, everything you cite can be arranged at any upscale, international, very important bank and hidden behind bank secrecy laws. It’s just a different kind of business catering to sleaze finance in the sticks.

  7. /L

    One have to admit that the Swizz is thrifty, but they are of course also the among the real culprits in the crisis. Some nice historical data.
    there is a whole series of historical data available.

    Swizz is the country with permanent trade and current account surplus, maybe not very impressive growth rate but the country have since long being top of the crowd in wealth and living standards. And despite beinga an top notch export nation they have had low unemployment, so they haven’t achieved their export tiger status by artificial implemented unemployment, wages in Swizz is high. They haven’t like Germany or Sweden depressed their domestic economies and created artificial high unemployment and ditto hidden. A nice feature. That Swizz is awfully expensive is nothing new it has been that for a long time. Long before this crisis an graduate engineer fresh from the school make at least 2 or 3 times what they do in Sweden, so also in Germany. Well it doesn’t make German and Swizz companies rush to Sweden. E.g. car workers total salary cost is 30-50% higher in Germany than Sweden, GM did still dump Saab. Some years ago there was a GM fake competition on an new car model production between Sweden and Germany, despite significant higher worker cost it did go to Germany. Economists have hugely overvalued ideas of what minor currency fluctuations will achieve.
    Never the less if the thrifty and conscientious want to achieve that with foreign surpluses they have to accept that those who is the foreign deficit counterpart have to be in dept to make this equation possible, there is no other way it still not possible to have the moon or outer space as deficit counterpart.
    So still another foreign surplus country engaging in beggar thy neighbor policies to maintain its surplus to the rest of the world. How much must Piigs and so on engage in internal devaluations to counter that?

    1. aet

      Switzerland may not seem so “expensive” to the resident Swiss.

      If you are not engaged in trading goods between nations, why should one care what he exchange rate is?

      What good does currency speculation do?

      Should Governments keep speculators honest, or should the speculators keep Government honest?

      Well, I know which group I actually get a vote on: and which group actually consists of people whose names I know.

    1. LeeAnne

      that’s stunning. saved it. Its the very first time I have seen any accounting of what real people are being put through. Its always about bankers bankers bankers -when its about people people people

  8. Dave of Maryland

    [i]These last two links are important reads:

    ‘People Don’t Realize How Fragile Democracy Really Is’ James Fallows, Atlantic

    Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult Mike Lofgren, TruthOut (hat tip readers citalopram and May S)[/i]

    When you read, [b]please read carefully.[/b] It isn’t [i]democracy[/i] that’s at risk, but [b]government as a whole.[/b]

    Frankly I think the time for democracy is over. We need to saddle someone with the job on a lifetime basis. If it’s good enough for the Supreme Court, if it’s good enough for Warren Buffet or Steve Jobs or the Pope or Bill Gates, then it’s good enough for all of us, warts and all. The Divine Right of Kings is a warty system.

    With a lifetime job comes responsibilities that cannot be evaded, one way or the other. With elections come manipulation and graft.

    1. bmeisen

      Dropped my jaw reading your comment. Congratulations! A call for a return to monarchy. You’re serious I take it, but would you be satisfied with a simply dictator? A humble colonel?

      1. aet

        Calling for a Fuhrer (German for “leader”).

        Fascist, pure and simple…. ” Don’t give me reasons, give me orders!”


  9. Dave of Maryland

    These last two links are important reads:

    ‘People Don’t Realize How Fragile Democracy Really Is’ James Fallows, Atlantic

    Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult Mike Lofgren, TruthOut (hat tip readers citalopram and May S)

    When you read, please read carefully. It isn’t democracy that’s at risk, but government as a whole.

    Frankly I think the time for democracy is over. We need to saddle someone with the job on a lifetime basis. If it’s good enough for the Supreme Court, if it’s good enough for Warren Buffet or Steve Jobs or the Pope or Bill Gates, then it’s good enough for all of us, warts and all. The Divine Right of Kings is a warty system.

    With a lifetime job comes responsibilities that cannot be evaded, one way or the other. With elections come manipulation and graft.

    Wish there was a preview.

    1. bob

      Return to birthright?

      I think a much better idea is a national lottery of registered voters. Every 4 years, a new pick.

      Congress also, every 2 years. They couldn’t possibly do any worse.

      10,000 monkeys and all that.

      1. aet

        The presence of corruption is an infallible sympton of liberty.

        Freedom is dis-orderly… in contrast to fascism, or any other kind of tyranny maintained by terror.

  10. barrisj

    I can’t imagine a greater tragedy for Europe than a “federated” construct with centralised bank and finance institutions having plenipotentiary authority over individual countries’ sovereignty. It would be the ultimate victory for a neoliberal ideology that places the welfare of the people at the disposal of the oligarchs, and absolutely guarantees race-to-the-bottom social policies continent-wide…feh. It would put paid to any notion that still remains of “democracy” as the paramount governing principle of European states, as a huge, supranational Leviathan would arise to serve the needs of globalised capital and only globalised capital, and recreating helotry as the normative condition of citizens.

    1. aet

      Oh yeah?
      Who would they be racing, if it’s a unitary state?

      If you have independent States or Provinces, then they can “race for the bottom”, as US States do against each other in labour and environmental matters, or the USA does against other nations in the matter of capital and business. But in a unitary state?

      Statutory arbitrage between countries is the true problem, and standardization of laws across the Nations is the answer. The UN could serve for this.

  11. Hugh

    I don’t think people realize how fragile democracy really is. The 2012 campaign is currently looking to be the final nail in the coffin unless people start to understand what is going on.

    The writer, another ex-Congressional staffer who had worked in Congress as long as Lofgren (some 30 years), doesn’t specify that “what is going on”. It’s kleptocracy, and it has been going on and building for the entire careers of this staffer and Lofgren. Forgive me if I don’t have a lot of patience with these people who worked on and for kleptocracy their whole working lives and now are bothered and distressed by the results. What we now see is end-stage kleptocracy, but, you know, these people didn’t have any problems laying the foundations for it. I have no sympathy with them, or Fallows, and think they should be treated with the cynicism they deserve.

      1. aet

        It seems that “kleptocracy” is a word coined by the right-wing, specifically, anti-drug warriors and the GW Bush administration:

        “In 2006, the Bush Administration, consistent with promises made at the prior G8 Summit, enunciated a policy specifically intended to internationalize an effort to resist, pursue, and prosecute kleptocracies. The White House stated intended commitments to: denying safe haven, bringing together major financial centers vulnerable to exploitation in order to develop preventive anti-corruption practices, enhance international information sharing on corrupt officials, uncover, seize, and return stolen funds and prosecute those criminals involved, and ensure greater multilateral action in helping to develop and repair those areas of the world stricken by high-level corruption.”

        So Hugh, going after “Obama the kleptocrat”, are we?

        I think the use of the word ‘kleptocrat” is an attempt by the right to control the so-called “left”, by controlling the language used.

        Shadow play.

  12. Martskers

    Re: Warren’s Senate candidacy

    Please tell me Elizabeth Warren has abandoned her
    quixotic pursuit of a Senate seat.

    Apparently, she doesn’t know that the U.S. Senate
    is where progressives go to die, or to be
    voices in the wilderness.

    Republicans would like nothing better than to
    emasculate (sorry) one of the most progressive
    voices we’ve had in the public square in
    generations, and Democrats would like it if she
    ran because, as big a threat as she is to their
    move to the right, she’s a much bigger threat
    throwing stones from the outside than as an


  13. Jim Haygood

    Well said. The ex-staffer bemoans ‘lack of respect for the institution of Congress,’ but fails to perceive that perhaps it doesn’t deserve any respect.

    ‘The mainstream media absolutely fails to understand how little attention average Americans really pay to what goes on in all forms of government,’ he wails.

    But when you DO pay attention — to the recklessness, the malfeasance, the habitual nonfeasance — it makes you sick. For instance, with the new federal fiscal year starting on Oct. 1st, our eminent Kongress Klowns have not passed a single appropriations bill.

    Only someone who’s spent decades inside the insular bubble of the Beltway would labor under the overweaning conceit that his ridiculous, failed institution deserves more than five minutes of anyone’s valuable time.

    Tear the sucker down and start over. Or make it into a candlepins alley.

  14. eric anderson

    Reflections of a Former GOP Operative sounded more like a disaffected conservative Democrat. But nevertheless, the most instructive idea in the piece was the punchline… “Views differ on shape of planet.”

    Actually, it really is that bad. There truly are two incompatible world views. There’s no point arguing about objective truth. Whatever that truth might be, those opposed to it will not acknowledge it, so strong is the ideology (or religion, if you prefer).

    I see no reason to continue fighting. Let’s just divide the country in two. Jesusland and Moneyprintistan. People can migrate to whichever they prefer, and each new federation can move in its own direction instead of wasting its energies inveighing against the blindness of their opposite numbers. In the present, E Pluribus non-Unum, one side gains power for a moment, and then tries to drag the other side along. Naturally the response, the equal and opposite reaction, is a vociferous “Hell no, we won’t go.” It really is a poor use of time and effort.

    1. aet

      Your characterization is in error, and is calculated to neuter effective political opposition by engendering a sense of hopelessness and despair.

      Only supreme self-confidence wins battles. So who does your comment aid? How?

    1. aet

      I suggest:

      “Vigorous political engagement at every level by individuals working together in their common interests is the answer!”

      1. aet

        Tough to fit it on a sign, though.

        The right-wing are better with slogans, but the left usually has better songs.

Comments are closed.