Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Obama, Afghanistan, falling stocks, Hamas bomb disposal efforts, Star Trek, and other stimulating subjects

with 7 comments

jean-leon_gerome_pollice_verso

It’s been a busy week, and I’ve been unable to write as much as I would like. Of course I’m never able to write as much as I like. C’est la vie. I am working on a post about CEOs and psychopathy as promised in last Friday’s post. I’ll probably get around to most or all of my suggested posts. Still, we live in interesting times indeed, and there’s always something new to give thought too.

The latest stimulus for example. Obama has signed a $750 billion stimulus bill. It is the most ambitious spending program since Roosevelt I understand.  I haven’t really paid attention  to the details, because I can’t see that it will do much. Borrowing and spending money is the problem, not the solution.  Sadly in some ways the Democrats are the smarter party … so they try to do things bigger and smarter than the Republicans. Doing the same thing bigger and smarter only works if what you were doing made sense in the first place.

And speaking of doing things bigger and smarter, Obama is sending more troops to Afghanistan. Yeah, 30,000 more American troops are going to turn Afghanistan into a beacon of peace, prosperity, and secular western humanism. To justify this, I saw Ms Clinton on the news, talking about what a “threat” to the USA the Taliban was. Um, we attacked the Taliban, not vice versa. Osama bin Ladin and the 9/11 attackers were from Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan. History rewritten before our eyes.

How did the stock market react to this great news about the economy and Afghanistan? It fell, world wide. I’ve never seen every stock market fall on the same day, though granted I’m not much of a stock market watcher. I think there are signs that more and more people are beginning to wake up to just how bad the world’s economy is, and just how little power governments really have to fix it. Two governments have been toppled by the economic meltdown already, the rest of them must be concerned, if not  running scared, at this point.

And in a final story that straddles the bounds of irony, insanity, and everything else … Israeli munitions apparently have been “stolen” by Hamas. These would be bombs that Israel dropped in Gaza that didn’t explode. I loved what a UN spokesman had to say on the manner: “It’s clearly extremely dangerous and needs to be disposed of in a safe manner, … ” Let me see, the UN stood by and did nothing while Israel was dropping these bombs and blowing people up, but now they are concerned that they be disposed of safely? How about if Hamas disposes of them the way Israel disposed of them, would that be safe enough? Sigh. I have been meaning to write more about the whole Palestine mess, but it’s pretty depressing. My thinking is that Israel has painted itself into a corner with with endless militarism and drive for infinite security, and that ultimately it will go the way of previous crusader states. This fellow has made the argument for me very nicely though, I highly recommend “Israel is Trapped.”

So putting it all together, my current thinking is beware the Ides of March. For the less literary, that means I expect the world’s economic collapse to start really hitting its stride by March 15th. Yes, as Scotty would say “She won’t take much more of this.” If the world makes it through March without another major downwards turn in the economy, I’ll be thrilled. I think by then though the idea that this is some sort of recession that’s going to be fixed in a year of two will seem as unlikely as the Austro-Hungarian Empire being revived. The world’s economy is in much worse shape than the Enterprise, Obama is no Scotty, and this is real life. In real life when things are going really really badly, they usually end badly.

Moving right along, due to popular demand, I am going to tell the mutant chicken story soon. This story has never been in print before. It involves a flock of mutant chickens, a hastily evacuated insane asylum, hired mercenaries, and volleys of gunfire. It ends with cruel biological experiments and a pressure cooker. Best of all, it’s all true. Stay tuned.

(The above image is from a painting created in 1872, Pollice Verrso, by Jean-Léon Gérôme. I was looking for a neat picture to illustrate the Ides of March, the assasination of Caesar. I couldn’t find one I liked, but I found this neat 19th century painting of Roman gladiators instead. The whole picture can be viewed here. This painting was the origin of the modern idea that the Romans used a thumbs up and thumbs down gesture, they didn’t. In fact much of what people commonly “know” about history is actually 19th century literary invention. Who knew?)

Written by unitedcats

February 18, 2009 at 9:11 am

Posted in Business, Politics, War, World

7 Responses

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  1. great post. Not only some interesting insight and links about current events (however depressing and sobering they may be), but also a start trek quote and the promise of mutant chickens, finally!

    Josh V.

    February 18, 2009 at 11:41 am

  2. I would only point out that it isn’t the government which is bankrupt, therefore by the government borrowing and spending, it may help people avoid starving due to the bankruptcy of the private sector banking system. This problem was not created by government borrowing and spending. Not that it doesn’t create other problems when the government borrows and spends irresponsibly.

    Mahakal / מהכאל

    February 18, 2009 at 8:25 pm

  3. Speaking of banking systems… guess which country was voted best (by some sort of global economic think tank)? Canada! Know why? Because we REGULATE our goddamned financial institutions. No screw-the-small-guy subprime crap, no adjustable this and that. No repackage this repackaged package.

    Sadly no nation is an island, and since US (whose banking system was ranked #40) is Canada’s largest trading partner, their economy is starting to slide pretty quickly too.

    Thanks Bill Clinton, Bushies, and all you who have eliminated US regulations to line the pockets of a few elite… thanks a ton!

    Andrew

    February 20, 2009 at 9:53 am

  4. Mutant chickens, I’ll check back soon to hear about that.

    Is there any date set for when the US will pull out of Afghanistan? Will we ever defeat the Taliban? I doubt it. I think we should give up soon. Sooner better than later.

    light

    February 20, 2009 at 9:31 pm

  5. Funny that you should site “Israel is Trapped” as highly recommended since the second line states ‘The world’s financial system will recover” which seems to completely contradict your subsequent paragraph.

    Andrew, Canada is awesome, second only to Sweden and maybe Denmark.

    Steve

    February 22, 2009 at 10:39 pm

  6. Good catch Steve, but depends on what he means by “recover.” I think they’ll recover too, but it will take a decade or longer. In any even the link was about Israel, not the economy.
    Yes, Mahakal, I was using poetic licence and could have phrased that better. “Borrow and spend” didn’t cause this problem, but it made it a lot worse and it sure as hell ain’t gonna fix it.
    Afghanistan is the same as Iraq, it’s not a matter of will we leave, it’s just a matter of when and how ignominiously. And how much blood and treasure will be wasted first

    unitedcats

    February 23, 2009 at 5:14 pm

  7. OHH Every now and again I find a web site that is a real source of useful information and content. This is one of those. A rare beast indeed. Keep up the good work. Kind regards

    stock

    May 31, 2009 at 11:55 pm


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