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Down We Will Go Again

by Patrice Ayme Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 02:40:01 PM EST

When the Titanic zooms and scraps among icebergs, those who steer the ship ought to be changed.


In his blog, June 10, 2009, Paul Krugman observes that:"has the economic news started to darken again? Up through about March, every report was worse than you expected, often worse than you could have imagined. Since then, most reports -- although continuing to be bad in an absolute sense -- have "surprised on the upside." But my sense is that in the last few days we've been getting reports -- Korean trade, Japanese orders, German exports -- that are once again surprising on the downside.This thing ain't over yet."

How could the crisis be over? American bankers, private individuals in charge of the public money supply for their own personal profit, are back in charge. Representative Collins Peterson said, speaking of Congress, alluding to the bankers: "They run the place". (June 6, 2009.)

The USA has such powerful bankers banking, that is is, indeed, banking, instead of having a massive, long term industrial policy. It has an industrial policy only for the military-industrial complex (which does careful long term planing, hence produces the best tools and weapons in the world in its specialty).

Bankers have small financial minds, focused on what they know, usury and leverage (to describe it parodically). Seriously, they live off credit, and, if one left it to them, everybody would be indebted to them as much as possible (this is the sense of  the subprime crisis). Pushed to the max, one would go back to serfdom, with the lords, the bankers, owning everything. it seems they own already the political process, in the USA.

Bankers cannot deploy anything investment that does not provide them with short term profit. The smarties in the Obama administration said they will try to encourage rewards for longer term profits. The fact is, though, that we are still talking financial profits, and the  basic profits of civilization are not financial, but provided by the State (example of these profits that cannot be monetized: security, democracy, a healthy environment, a legal system). By having only the financially obsessed ones steering the country, they steer it off civilization, by confusing the superficial for the fundamental .

Obama said that one should steer away from a cliff, if one is driving towards one. But, so far, he has just stepped on the gas. Total liabilities of the USA is over 100 trillion dollars, whereas the GDP is no more than 14 trillion, and the U.S. federal tax revenue is 2.4 trillion. (See A. Laffer, Wall Street Journal June 10, 2009.)

How course there is a stimulus. But it mostly compensate the catastrophic collapse in states' spending. Obama speaks renewables, but the investments in renewables have collapsed. One of the reasons is that renewable energy produced in the desert or geothermally, or by the wind, has to be transported. but the electric grid is hopeless. It needs 300 billion dollars right away, way more than anything Obama dreamed of.

A 3,500 Megawatts (2 large EPR nuclear reactors worth) geothermal plant is ready to go by the Sutton sea, but the tini tiny line there could never transport the power to LA.

An example of long term lunacy of the USA is the dearth of financing of advanced civilian nuclear power. It should be financed enough to produce a profitable, full scale fourth or fifth generation nuclear reactor in a private-public partnership (it is one of the sectors where the USA is still ahead). Such reactors basically solve the waste problem, and can be made completely safe. The reason they have existed only in baby form so far has been that technological progress, especially in high temperature materials, has to be made, to get large scale profitability.

But this does not interest the Obama administration: too intellectual, too much oriented towards hard science? Although it is clear that such reactors are necessary. Be it only to get rid of the 60,000 tons of piled up wasted, barely used nuclear fuel that constitute most of the waste of the U.S. open nuclear cycle in the last 65 years, or be it only to provide with a clean base load capability (coal officially kills 24,000 people a year, in the USA, and apparently around as many miners a year in China).

Many other countries are not that stupid and arrogantly leaving their destiny to the money manipulators. To stick to the nuclear example, several countries have advanced programs (even Iran knows it needs nuclear). Without mentioning France and its deployment of advanced reactors, India has embarked on a very sophisticated program with three types of interlocking reactors using thorium (because India has little uranium, but a lot of thorium).

Meanwhile, the aerospace industry threatens to follow the car industry. A lot, actually most, of the future, mythical "Dreamliner", Boeing's 787, is made and conceived overseas, including some of its most crucial parts (wings, fuselage, landing gear). The Computer Assisted Design, for the entire plane is the, worldwide ubiquitous in aerospace, CATIA, made by Dassault Systemes S.A.. Not to say it is not smart to collaborate with European powers (it is, because it's the exact same democratic, republican civilization, joined at the brain). What is not smart is to depend upon  non democratic powers. What is not smart is to leave financial vultures in charge of an entire gigantic country. That, in turn, drains the entire world economy down.

Patrice Ayme

please go away or stop posting your junk. You're polluting the site with hateful or incoherent crap and you kill all possibility of dialogue by your inability/refusal to listen.

Behave, or you'll be banned. This is the one and only warning you'll get.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 04:22:23 PM EST
Jerome, I know you'll tell me I don't know what Patrice has done, but despotic, authoritarian insults and final threats are not a way to resolve whatever, or give you and ET a good name.  

Just the non-silent minority of one.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 02:43:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you'll tell me I don't know what Patrice has done

Read this comment thread and then come back.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buiter

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 02:47:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can understand why you feel concerned, metavision, because I can see how Jerome's comment might look out of proportion to the content of this diary.

However, it's an out-of-context duplicate that Jerome had to put here, because the original was hidden along with the comments to which it was a reply.  The comments were automatically hidden by Scoop because Patrice received one warning and ten troll ratings-please check out the hidden comments as well.

by Sassafras on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 03:09:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I for one took a peek at the trolled-out comments.

It looked to me like those were comments about far-right dangers, on a diary about, ahem, far-right dangers?

The overall idea of that comment seems to be that Mr. Ayme made a few points related to far-right before, and he felt undeservedly dismissed and even insulted, hence, he says, the dangers of the said far-right (eg, plutocrats or anti-islamists) is only augmented in absence of open dialogue on those subjects.

A look at Mr. Ayme's previous diaries might prove that he doesn't have reasons to feel insulted.
That said, on my word, I fail to see in what way his complaints and 'warnings' deserve a troll rating. Let alone 10.
( have those ratings been justified btw, or was this  considered one of those 'obvious' cases? )

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 09:21:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He wrote a diary about Islam that basically consisted of a string of more or less contextually challenged Qu'ran quotes - quotes that could have been lifted off pretty much any skinhead site, as far as I could tell. The audience reacted badly, and he's been whining about that episode ever since. He also had a discussion about the Nazi rise to power in which he blithely dismissed the need to actually provide references for his statements of fact. The audience was not amused here either.

So a comment where he bitches about the reception to his Qu'ran tract and snarks about references... Well, I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader.

It's not so much about a need to confront extremist Islamists or the need to cut the balls off some plutocrats - I do believe that all the people who troll-rated that comment are actually in agreement on that. It's about publishing factually (and, if I may say so, linguistically) challenged screeds and then responding with flamebait when people call bullshit. That kind of behaviour is, shall we say, not conducive to open dialogue.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 03:08:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I browsed a little through the Islam diary; the objections were in the line "I wish I could unrecommend this diary", accusations of racism or veiled accusations of supporting The West (TM), unargumented. Now you may all (FPers etc) feel it was clear enough to just point it out. The feeling I got was more like, one is not allowed to criticize the West's enemies, because one would thus show one's implicit support for The West (TM).
In short, it felt at some point that Islam could not be criticized, regardless (hence the professed secularism would mostly reduce to anti-christianism).

There may actually be criticism of Islam here on ET that I haven't seen, though.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 11:06:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, there's plenty of criticism against Islamic political interference in the business of civil government. Not unanimous - few things here are - but it's here. The most obvious example I can think of off the top of my head is the commentary around the Cartoon Jihad a couple of years ago.

There's also no love lost for various Islamist regimes. One of the stories about the Iranian elections that got play in the Salon was accusations of fiddling in Ahmedinejad's favour. In the latter case, the data analysis involved turned out to be bunk. But the story got a tolerably enthusiastic reception on first read-through.

But stringing together various more or less contextually challenged quotes from some holy book or another is not a particularly convincing way to state the case against a religion. All major religions have embarrassing passages in their scriptures. For that matter, you can find some pretty ugly sentiments among the founders of multi-party democracy. And you don't even have to look that hard...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 07:26:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
when patrice first showed up i went to read at his site and after a few minutes came across the likes of

Patrice Ayme

CIVILIZATION IS DEFINED BY EXCLUSION: Rome outlawed human sacrifices absolutely. For millennia, the Middle Earth had excluded any cannibalistic context absolutely. Christ, that great (counter) revolutionary, was going to question all this, to induce civilization to flow backwards.

As the following passage of the Bible shows, Jews were horrified when Jesus came up with speeches resuscitating human sacrifice (even if somewhat mystically). After all, the lesson drawn from God stopping Abraham's murder of his son, was that human sacrifices were to be no more. That was 1,300 years before Christ. It was difficult for the Jews to swallow Jesus' tasteless reintroduction of human meat consumption into religion. Before he talked about eating human flesh, Jesus had 5,000 people listening to him, says the Gospel of "John" (the most detailed of Gospels, and the one of only two independent sources). When Christ had finished with his anthropophagic considerations, only 12 were left (one of them a "devil").

Here is Jesus gloating about eating human "meat", as depicted in the Bible (John, VI; 42-66):


Patrice Ayme

The Romans were tough and matter of fact. Evil was central to their business. That was best expressed by Plautus' "HOMO HOMINI LUPUS" (184 BCE; translated into English by Hobbes, to great Anglo-Saxon applause.) This Roman ethological observation, that man is a wolf for man, allowed the Romans to become much more realistic, thus much more clever, hence much moral than Athens at advancing civilization. The Romans were expecting the worse, and that was better. "Homo Homini Lupus" was exploited by the Christian sect, in a negative mood, by superstitiously labeling it "original sin" (Saul/Paul). The badness of man was made into an act of faith by Paul, and he honored it. The Christians forgot that the wolves had original goodness too.

now i like my 'out there' theories, and don't grudge others the same dubious pleasure, but here was some really strange stuff!

i wondered how long it would take for something incendiary to go off, and taking cultural potshots at islam was the roadside bomb.

i was hoping that maybe P.A. would experience some kind of intellectual catharsis here at ET that might help him come down a little closer to earth, but unfortunately, this was not to be.

i didn't want to post such examples before, because i felt he should have a fair chance to learn something here, but it was also not to occur. i was hoping for intelligent discourse, instead we got paranoia and victimology.

too bad, 'big' brains are in such short supply here!

it's not your knowledge or ability to discern tides of plutocratic history that have caused friction here, it's your less-than-discreet intellectual superiority complex that tripped you up.

too bad...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 03:28:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok. I did not check out his website actually - my reaction was wrt Jerome's more than strong warning above.

I thought a 'mega-troll' is more like someone purposefully flaming debates or repeatedly posting  aggressive and off topic texts, btw. I note that whining, weirdness and bad english count as mega-troll criteria.

On the other hand, the community is absolutely free and entitled to police the website in any way it sees fit, I guess...

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 11:16:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
less-than-discreet intellectual superiority complex

Who on ET displays his intellectual superiority with discretion?

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 06:00:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you do!

actually, i think most people here are above average smart, and not too vain about it.

i was happy to have patrice here, even after reading what i perceived to be drivel at his site, because he's obviously intelligent and well studied, and i thought the interchange might be um, interesting...

there are certainly other examples of extreme insecurity dressed as uber-certainty, or casual arrogance, but people with an addiction to polemics usually don't last long, as no-one here gets off on that.

there's a nice blend of agreement, seasoned with occasional differences, mostly handled with courtesy.

some people don't know how to thrive in such an environment, unfortunately.

as you probably know by now, you don't have to be religious to suffer from spiritual pride, atheists can be equally afflicted.

but the results are the same...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 08:56:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with you.

These "diaries don't represent an editorial line any more than the comment threads do." (JakeS, 25.04.09)
A philosopher's mind is vast, and if that weren't so he wouldn't be a philosopher. He travels many paths where others don't care to go. He may err or be right and thus he's inspiring.

Where's the problem?

Everyone is free to disagree or to support other views. Why ban them?

Freedom of religion, freedom of speech belong to our most precious gifts.

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 05:57:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in principle i agree with your sentiments, Lily, however trollish behaviour waxes when indulged.

there had been plenty of slack cut, plenty of chances ignored to shift attitudinally, perhaps you missed some of it.

genius often permits itself rudeness, but it's a bug, and if not called out, can turn into an entrenched negative feature.

he wasn't banned, btw, he was invited to change, leave or lurk, as i understand it. hints to modulate were studiously ignored, or turned into grist for the victim-mill.

knowing this place and its capacity to live and let live, it would not surprise me if he continued to poat with new tone, and i for one would be happy, it's nice to have the variety, but the signal was barely distinguishable from the noise.

manners, m'dear, it really does come down to that, le bon ton, tu sais? conversations can go deeper, and come up with more interesting treasures, if people treat each other with respect.

...which is why i particularly enjoy your posts, as they have been high signal, gracefully and intelligently articulated, offending no-one, yet making it clear when you do or don't like something.

when you made some mistakes, you retracted and apologised instantly, always a touch of class, imo.

nice to see you pop in!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 09:12:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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