Aug 14, 2008

Labor Day Overview 2008

Labor Day 2008 Overview: the silence of the lambs

The conglomerate of western TV news stands like Cleopatra’s needle, polished, impenetrable, immaculate.

A number of subjects are banned by the conglomerate of western TV news media – the BBC is a participating member, though taking a wider view:

1. How “Songbird” McCain acquired his name

2. The bill for impeachment of the president being read for the second time by Senators Kuchinic and Waxman in the US Senate (Even the Pakistanis are allowed to know about bills of impeachment of their president, for God’s sake![1] )

3. When, in a universally acknowledged free and fair election – the only one I can think of, actually, without allegations of vote rigging – the Palestinian elections returned a winner by a landslide, the US and its allies immediately put their backing behind the loser in the election, Abu Mazen and Fatah, and declared the winner could not legally exercise power unless it accepted and promised to abide by, all arrangements, treaties, agreements, understandings that had been reached with the Israelis by the previous Palestinian administration, i.e., Fatah, which is what the election had been all about in the first place. The election winners, Hamas, were then declared “Islamist insurgents,” and must be only so referred to in all news items. (A fine example of a free press, also to be found in places like Myanmar.)

4. The list could be greatly extended.

Other developments since June, 2007: Mostly none.

Mr. Sarkozy, or “President Bling Bling” as he is better known in France, a sayan (helper) of the Israeli Mossad, as the French press has dryly noticed and not made an issue out of, (a genuinely free press works quite well in some places) had his finance minister declare that France was bankrupt at the very beginning of his presidency.

France produces 120% (one hundred and twenty per cent) of what it requires to keep eating, (Japan produces 39 % (thirty nine per cent) of the food required to keep everybody eating, a difference which explains a great deal.)

One of France’s main money spinners left is the CAP, the Common Agricultural Policy, of Europe. Under which France collects vast sums from EU budgets to support its farmers. The extra twenty per cent of French agricultural production is basically sold abroad, but often and mainly used for food support in African and Asian countries, essentially dumping the produce, driving the farmers to despair and suicide and getting on leaky boats in their thousands and causing immense problems in the European countries they flee to. “The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small.”

France could be relied upon in any case to be a strong supporter of such programs as the Monsanto “one season seeds,” buy your next season’s seeds from Monsanto, but the crux of their situation is that essentially they could not afford, being bankrupt, to lose their main remaining source of income. The demand of the poor countries in the Doha round that the rich countries stop dumping their agricultural surpluses in Africa and Asia was bound to be refused, as it duly was for the seventh time in a row, and this year the Doha round of trade talks failed again, just as it had always failed previously, and for the same reasons. You can not really expect France to give up its main remaining source of income without a titanic struggle. Not that France is the only one, of course.

The three dead American and four dead Israeli soldiers found among the casualties of the Georgian attack on South Ossetia will be one of those items never mentioned listed above. Won’t it? You mean it’ll be like the instructions from Cheney’s office to produce a forgery to tie Saddam in to 9/11 that so many people have seen and admired in passing that there’s no alternative to claim it as a master stroke of policy? (That little job, incidentally, the forging of the evidence, was passed to Douglas Feith (recently voted by acclaim of political journalists the stupidest person in Washington) at the OSP, Rumsfeld’s famous Office of Special Plans, which had already produced so much smelly stuff planted by the Israeli guests that Feith waved though security, like Saddam’s plan to aim planes carrying biological weapons on the US, re fuelled by Saddam’s extensive Atlantic fleet, that one more would hardly notice.

So everything happened pretty much as expected, Doha round fails again, France and allies hang tough on agriculture, President Bing Bling marries Eric Clapton’s girl friend and makes like a rock star, and sucks up enthusiastically to the Bushies. Germany oddly strident in anti-Iran campaign, announces intention to implement Bill 232 restrictions on Iran immediately “under strong American pressure” says my TV banner, probably the Secret Vassal till 2099 Treaty, building on all that good work done by France.

As for the agonized appeal to McCain by Saakashvili, president of Georgia, that’s just further illustration of a principle established in the Clinton administration, when, as one Asian politician put it, “It’s a turnstile. You put your money in, and you get access.” It seems Mr. Saakashvili took a little too trustingly the bumper sticker message “Invest in America – buy a congressman.” Buying a congressman is no guarantee that the congressman can actually deliver anything for you. Not even if his main foreign policy advisor, as in this case, was also a lobbyist for Georgia, bought and paid for.


The slow decoupling. or drifting away, of the Asian economies from the west, much misunderstood, usually deliberately, is an obvious fact.

China gains greatly in basic industrial training for its population by manufacturing and exporting to the west, but the process of getting paid in dollar loans which are then used to stop the dollar collapsing and ruining the game has gone about as far as it can, and China is doing a slow tanker turn to pour its production into improving the lives of its own population, (the Chinese can do attitude at three thousand years old is even more impressive than the American can do attitude at three hundred years old) as also are Brazil, Venezuela, and most other developing countries. (India has itself temporarily entangled in a proposed US nuclear deal and fighting in Kashmir, but will probably end up doing the same.)

With most western countries essentially bankrupt (America heads the list, closely followed by Britain, France, and Italy, to name only a few) and the majority of world trade in the hands of Brazil, China, and India, the west is marginalized. Even occasional military adventures like Georgia, and Poland in the north, where the hatred between Poles and Russians is ancient and virulent, seems unlikely to halt this tidal change.

[1] The phrase freedom of the press, or free speech, or the right to free expression can only be used in cases where a properly constituted panel of experts have scientifically established, e.g., the most offensive thing one could possibly say in respect of a certain group (say, Moslems) and then proceeding to create, print, and publish the said scientifically designed project, i.e., to drive twenty per cent of the world’s population into a frenzy of rage, such as, for example, the cartoons of the prophet created in Denmark and published as widely as possible. Other “freedom of speech” projects may have no such scientific basis.

The difference in cultures might be illustrated by imagining what the threat to humiliate him by draping women's knickers over his head might have done to a Viet Cong combatant? He'd have laughed in your face and blown his nose on the knickers, right?

MBIA stock rose on Thursday 8/28/08 because the company had agreed to reinsure $184 billion in municipal bonds.

(Yes, you’re right, MBIA was not asked from where it was going to get $184 billion to make good on the insurance if municipalities should fail – one county in Alabama has just declared bankruptcy.)

The US is to crack down, says the news banner, on prosecutors pursuing white collar crime, of which this would be a clear example, of insurance fraud – MBIA is undertaking risks it has no way of paying for.

The message is clear, however, continue as if nothing is wrong and everything is as it was before. Keep up the pretence. With imminent bankruptcy barreling down, and the land crumbling under climate change, not the most reassuring action, one feels.

If you manage to ignore the Tara-ra-boom-dee-ay of the Democratic Convention, and watch what’s actually happening, the thought “Do these clowns really know what they’re doing?” is bound to occur.

I mean, the awful question is beginning loom "Why are we fighting in Afghanistan at all?" "Yeah, I know about this feller Osama you're chasing for knocking down your two towers, but he ain't here, see? Left with no forwarding address. They say he's in Pakistan. Now will you please stop air strikes on our wedding parties and get your butts out of here?" an attitude beginning to seep into the pronouncements even of Mr. Karzai. And with the Taliban almost having their hands round the throats of the capital Kabul, well, hey guys, how about listening to what they wanna say?

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