Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What is Meant By 'We'

In reading various critiques, articles and posts, even by those of the Left - there is a tendency to use the word 'we' without fully defining what it means. Yes, when bourgeoisie mouthpieces use the word they are meaning 'we' as in Country, perhaps the U.S., while actually addressing a more select group of the wealthy. But even among trenchant critics of U.S. policy there is a tendency to devolve into the use of 'we' as a representation of Country or some select team based upon national borders. For myself, I resist using the word 'we' when talking about the United States. I live here but it is not my country or my flag. For me, 'we' is the working class , 'we' is the masses of humanity in a global context. For the 'we' I think of myself as part of is international.

The division of the world into nation-state bulwarks is as historically backward as the tribe was five hundred years ago. It serves no progressive function and is a relic in the development of capitalism, for the growth of both are intertwined in history.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Glorious Libyan Revolutionaries

Going all in on ethnic cleansing.

Libyan rebels may be indiscriminately killing black people because they have confused innocent migrant workers with mercenaries, the chairman of the African Union said, citing the fears as one reason the continental body has not recognized opposition forces as Libya's interim government.

"NTC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries," AU chairman Jean Ping said Monday, referring to the rebels' National Transitional Council. "All blacks are mercenaries. If you do that, it means (that the) one-third of the population of Libya, which is black, is also mercenaries. They are killing people, normal workers, mistreating them."(1)

I wonder what the Western 'Leftists' who gave full throated support to the uprising will have to say of this.

Interesting if they should decry the discriminatory targeting of illegal immigrants in the U.S but flick away reports of slaughter of the same in another country because it doesn't fit some half-baked notion of pan-Arab revolution.

1'AU head: Libya rebels may be killing black workers' - Ap

Friday, August 26, 2011

More Genetic Gobbletygoop

"The HLA genes that the Neanderthals and Denisovans had, had been adapted to life in Europe and Asia for several hundred thousand years, whereas the recent migrants from Africa wouldn't have had these genes," said study leader Peter Parham from Stanford University School of Medicine in California.

"So getting these genes by mating would have given an advantage to populations that acquired them."

I wish scientists would top pretending that they understand all this stuff. They don't. Instead they are using their half-knowledge to reinforce racism. We get it, blacks are dumb and weak, and Whites (and now some honorary Asians) are better. OK, so go ahead a colonize those dumb and weak people, they can't do better on their own.

The sway that poorly understood biology has in the nature-nurture debate is indicative of a society that basically doesn't give a shit about equal opportunity. If all you look at is genetics, then of course, that is the only causation you will find.

And, apparently Peter Parham of Stanford thinks that Native Americans are a different, and primitive species:

"Peter Parham suggested a parallel could be drawn between the events of this period and the European conquest of the Americas.

"Initially you have small bands of Europeans exploring, having a difficult time and making friends with the natives; but as they establish themselves, they become less friendly and more likely to take over their resources and eliminate them."

1'Neanderthal sex boosted immunity in modern humans' - BBC News UK

Monday, August 22, 2011

War Requires Skill as Well as Brute Power

The teenagers totting machine guns around the checkpoints of Tripoli did not turn the tide in Libya. It was professional training and strategy from Western special ops forces.

If this is your idea of a revolution, then so be it.

A US official was quoted as confirming reports that Qatari special forces had helped spearhead the rebel storming of Bab al-Aziziya, and that British, French and Italian advisers had played a role.(1)

1'Street fighting rages in Tripoli as Gaddafi loyalists fight rearguard action'- UK Guardian

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Limits of Gadflyism

Alexander Cockburn as an exhbit:

For their part the progressives howl about Perry’s gesture towards secession. “We’ve got a great union,” he famously said in response to a reporter’s question. “There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that.” Big cheers from the crowd. I don’t see what’s wrong with Perry’s stand. I’m all for the right to self-determination, hence state secession. Aside from anything else, it’s how empires fall apart. Vermont, Alaska, Hawai’i, Texas – the empire crumbling just like the Towers. What’s wrong with that picture?

Secession means war. And border wars are probably the last area of potential large scale conflict because nuclear weapons are of little use. Regionalism is a luddite fantasy in a world as economically and technologically integrated as ours. The nation state is actually one of the dialetic contradictions of capitalism; global economic expansion requires greater political internationalization but capitalism is bound to the nation state structure from whence it came. Of course, this is where the working class comes in.

1'Rick Perry: One Lucky Son-of-a-Bitch' - Counterpunch

Looking for a Job, Any Job

Thursday, August 18, 2011

'Lucky to Have a Job'

I'm hearing this phrase punted around a lot, usually by bosses. Which is nonsense, a job is a right - not necessarily the job you want, but the opportunity to work and have a decent standard of living.

Yes, I understand bosses want us to feel 'lucky', but that has no bearing on the ideal state of a society - only their ideal state.

The Verizon Strike

This is a big deal and rather courageous given the economic climate; little has been mentioned about it on what passes for the Left blogosphere. The use of anti-terror laws to intimidate the strikers is as horrific as it is expected.

1'Injunctions attack democratic rights of Verizon strikers' - World Socialist Web Site

An 'Equal Opportunity' Police State

is still a police state. This is the problem with arguing against anti-terror laws on the basis of racism. Well then fine, lock up all dissidents of any color, and watch liberal arguments deflate.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On the Fall of John Paulson

According to CNBC, hedge fund guru John Paulson is down 34% for the year.

With only 'experts' now playing the markets, for the most part, the experts will therefore as a group get 'average' results.

And even when rolling dice there is a 1 and 36 chance of getting snake eyes, but this does not mean the person who rolled it is especially skilled.

Rick Perry, Underestimated

It looks like liberals are underestimating Rick Perry in much the way they did George W. Bush. Calling someone stupid and a cowboy does not hurt electability in this country. But Perry is no Bush, he is a more dangerous and skilled politician who is at least partly backed by New Dixie secessionists. Folks who would rather smash the current construction of the United States than compromise or give in.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No New F-16's for Taiwan

In July, the U.S. State Department indicated a final decision on the F-16 issue would be made by Oct. 1. Since 2006, the U.S. has repeatedly denied Taiwan's request for 66 F-16C/D Block 50/52s, a prospective sale estimated at more than $8 billion.

The planes would replace 60 F-5 Tigers and 60 Mirage 2000-5s due for retirement within five to 10 years.

China has called the sale a "red line." A recent editorial in the state-controlled People's Daily called for the use of a "financial weapon" against the U.S. if new F-16s were released.

The U.S. decision comes as a blow to the self-ruled island's effort to counter China's growing military, whose first aircraft carrier began sea trials last week, and therefore to its independence.(1)

1'U.S. To Deny Taiwan New F-16 Fighters' - Defense News

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Swiss Franc as the Global Reserve Currency

More distortions in the global economy, as investors flee the U.S. dollar only to find there isn't much to run to. Switzerland certainly does not have the capacity to support a significant reserve currency. So we now have low level currency wars.

“The franc is catastrophically overvalued,” said Blocher, a former justice minister for the People’s Party, Switzerland’s largest. “It’s almost like economic warfare -- to wage a war, you must use all measures at your disposal, and you must win.”

Note: The People's Party is a nativist , anti-immigrant party.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Apologizing for 'Any Offence' Regarding the Darcus Howe Interview

This is not an apology BBC, this is political double talk, and garbage. Just don't say anything if you don't mean it.

It reminds me when I temped for a well known Northern California HMO , and we had to call angry customers and say much the same thing - this type of apology is legally meaningless and scripted as such. It avoids any mention of real guilt or wrongdoing.

In the real world, people say 'sorry , I was wrong to say that'.

"We'd like to apologise for any offence that this interview has caused," the BBC wrote on its website. 1

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Condeming the Riots in London

It would be nice, in a way, for someone to go on TV and not condemn the riots. Maybe even express the wish that they had happened during the Olympics. One does get tired of the sanctimoniousness of our leaders, inveterate killers and sadists that they are.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The London Riots

Rioting bores me, it almost never leads to positive social change and often just scares the shit out of sections of the working class and opens the door to a larger security state. This is why you'll find the Drudge's and Zero Hedge-type libertarians of the world cheering it on. Because they in fact are libertarian only in the pursuit of capital, but idolize the power and domination that comes with it. Bottom line, rioting is just dumb and lumpen.

On the other hand, it's too be expected in a society that has a generational declining standard of living and vast swaths of youth unemployment. The youth are being fucked, thoroughly and completely. It's amusing to see the hapless UK Guardian trot out aging responsible community leaders to prove to their masters how well mannered they are.

Quite a few people, especially amongst the young, just want the system to burn down - the stench of corruption , venality, hypocrisy amongst our meritocrats and their masters is overwhelming. I would just argue that wanton sacking isn't the most effective way to go about things.

The Narcissism of 'Wall Street'

Some prominent finance oriented websites are titillated with the notion that Obama cleared his schedule today for them and their needs.

It was actual to pay tribute to the Navy Seals killed in Afghanistan.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

China 'the largest Creditor"

I've seen this written umpteenth times recently, but it's not exactly true. The Federal Reserve is the largest holder of US treasuries at the moment, at least officially. And they could double the size of their holdings without blinking an eyelash. Just showing the U.S. is not going to default as long as it has a shred of governability left, which it may not. And if China is worried about their dollar denominated assets, they shouldn't have pursued the Asian export model in a country of 1.4 billion. Their leadership still seems vaguely naive about what capitalism is, which is winners and losers and the violence necessary to sort out or perpetuate that order. Holding a bunch of 'dollars' on a computer screen doesn't do much for the winning side of the ledger when you come down to it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Euro Debt

With weak growth there's no way Club Med countries can stay in the Euro. It's not simply a matter of balancing a budget today, governments need revenue and that comes from growth. I suspect what 'speculators' are attacking in the financial markets is Italy's moribund growth prospects as much as anything. And under the ECB staightjacket, along with domestic hostility to immigration and negative fertility rates, that won't change.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Export Fantasy

China's Exports to GDP ratio is .4, the United States' is .1. The point being, Obama's dream of a export-centered recovery was always fantasy because it's not a significant share of the US economy and hasn't been for years. The U.S. has been an economy built on domestic demand and domestic growth since the opening of the West. And as things stand, much of American industry is not competitive in the global market, and won't be without a currency collapse, which is impossible given the dollar's role as safe haven. Which is why the country will continue to rot from the core until the global financial architecture is changed, which won't happen because Wall Street and foreign mercantilists won't let it. The ruling classes mostly have their chips in this system.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Smell of Fear

It's great when these Wall Street Wizards and their hangers-on get scared. I'm sure there are many others who cheer whenever the market crashes. The arrogance of our ruling class deserves a takedown, which is why it seems like more and more people just want the whole system to burn. Or they won't lift a finger to prevent it from happening.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Where Profits Are Coming From

Daniel Gross :

The U.S. stock market isn't a barometer on the U.S. economy any more. The typical member of the S&P 500 already gets about half of its revenues (and almost all its growth) from overseas.

This is a significant historical change that probably requires further attention than is currently given. If the U.S. consumer is no longer indispensable to the world economy, it means the middle class is in for the type of austerity that has been traditionally been doled out to periphery countries.

However, the U.S. continues to run massive current account deficits, indicating that possibly, the U.S. middle class consumer is still quite vital. It is just no longer capable of absorbing the excess aggregate production inherent in a capitalist economy. Which means the system has a mounting debt and fictitious capital problem that is increasing, not decreasing. One would be led to believe there have to be problems in the Chinese banking system in this scenario.