Jun 5, 2010

Culturalnorms

If I lived in India, I should be certain that most dramatic events had some connection to Kashmir. The execution of the only survivor of the recent attacks on Mumbai is a fair example. (Is it true? How d’ye expect me to know? I don’t do crosswords, either. Whatever my intellectual activities may be, they take place at a more humble level.)

In much the same way, all Americans know that the CIA and the Pentagon, working together on behalf of the military/industrial complex, cause all political events. Their attitude to this obvious fact has nothing to do with its truth or falsity; it depends entirely on whether they are benefiting from it and in what way. Opinion is a sellable commodity like anything else.

The federal government report that expresses concern at the “cozy relations” between federal agencies and the institutions they are monitoring is performing a duty in stating the obvious. The “personnel,” i.e., people, you know two legs, two arms, and a head, move easily between the government and the institutions they “monitor,” collecting large checks each time they go through the revolving door. Having a lady from Wellpoint, a leading health insurance company, move to the government side to write Mr. Obama’s healthcare insurance bill for him is an example.

On Friday, June 4, 2010, the Dow Jones fell over three hundred points. Why? A barrel of worms appears. Well, it’s because of the weakness of the Euro, say our paid hacks, with Greece joined by Spain and now Hungary in admitting to being essentially bankrupt, or at least wildly over spent. Why should the problems of the Euro cause US shares to collapse? Particularly since the US is in the same fix if you look at debt as a proportion of GDP, and in a much worse state than Greece or Spain if you look at the sheer volume of debt? And overhanging everything, six hundred trillion dollars, a figure almost beyond imagining, of Credit Default Swaps – insurance against non payment of loans – being moved around between the banks. No answer.

Meanwhile, in the real world outside Kashmir and the US military/industrial complex, some tidal shifts are removing the landscape as surely as the island in the Bay of Bengal, a long disputed ownership problem, disappeared beneath the rising waters.

Climate change is reshaping our world, mother earth is stirring in her sleep and sometimes throwing off the bedclothes, and it seems clear we are no longer in control of anything. “Things are in the saddle and ride mankind,” said Walt Whitman, and the congressman will ensure the continued production of battleships in his home state, because if the few remaining workers with jobs lose them they will not vote for him, but his efforts are increasingly irrelevant. Whether the troops die in the floating coffins or elsewhere, die they will. In addition to nuclear weapons, many countries now have drones to do the killing, and we have put them all on automatic.

A black tide, under a pressure of seventy thousand pounds per square inch, is putting four million gallons of crude oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico, from where the Gulf Stream will carry it inexorably to the home of the company that caused the disaster. The relentless operation of divine justice? As you wish.

If you are looking for encouragement, the cancellation of flights due to the Iceland volcano reduced the amount of carbon put into the atmosphere by an amount much greater than that produced by the volcano. Some were unable to get their usual Kiwi fruit from New Zealand, of course. So it goes.

In other news, Burma, (Myanmar – you remember all that Aung San Suu Kyii stuff) has been trying to get nuclear weapons, probably through the good offices of North Korea, (No, not enrichment for industrial purposes as in the case of Iran, nuclear weapons, to blow things up.)

And the rumors circulating through the blogosphere for weeks that the US was behind the sinking of the South Korean ship, the Cheonan, which put the final nail in the coffin of Japan’s efforts to get the US marine base off Okinawa, have now appeared in a full article. (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/LF04Dg02.html) Admittedly by a North Korean spokesman, but better than nothing.