Punk Economics and et cetera
In my reading I came across this site and the video “Punk Economics”. The video does an excellent job of explaining the economic shell game going on in Europe (with a decidedly Irish slant of humor) and ,since it will affect the U.S. and reflects what has gone on/is going on here in the U.S., I offer it to FDL’ers for parsing. The BIG difference is the U.S. debt is sovereign while Europe’s isn’t and THAT does make a difference in POSSIBLE outcomes. BUT the whole game on both sides of the Atlantic is the efforts to return to a failed system.
What do I mean by it will affect he U.S.? “Amid much rejoicing on yesterday’s approval by the Eurogroup of the second Greek bailout, we would like to strike a note of caution. The current deal will not restore Greece to fiscal sustainability, not least because no amount of austerity will work. We remain of the view that the crisis will only be resolved when, and if, European banks are sufficiently recapitalised to render a Greek default, and the concomitant peripheral contagion containable.
Our fear is that European politicians have been lulled into a false sense of security by the market’s euphoric reaction to the introduction of the ECB’s Long Term Refinancing Operations (LTRO) program into believing that they can safely let Greece go. This brings to mind the situation on the eve of Lehman’s collapse, when then US Secretary Paulson, believing that the markets had already priced in a default, refused to use taxpayers’ money to bail it out. A few days later, Paulson bailed out AIG and then enacted TARP at a cost of $700bn, an amount an order of magnitude higher than it would have taken to save Lehman’s. That was still not enough to prevent a global recession and financial crisis.
Letting Greece default will in all likelihood trigger a systemic bank crisis that could in time make the Lehman’s crisis seem like the warm-up act. The LTROs are not sufficient, and they certainly are not TARP. Unless that is, the ECB does finally step all the way in.”
Which the Germans won’t allow.
But at least one person is tring to fight back in a specific way: “California man sues The Treasury Secretary”:
“A Federal Court suit by Clifford Johnson of Gualala, CA was refiled 29 February 2012 in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco Division. The suit seeks to end the current monetary system where the U.S. government borrows money from the banks rather than creating money by Treasury action. The suit was originally filed 28 December 2011 and was refiled for procedural reasons.”
“The relief sought by the complaint, as a result of correction of the alleged incorrect statement and resulting dependent falsehoods on the Treasury website, is for the plaintiff (and all others) to be enabled to seek through political action for future Social Security payments to be made with Treasury currency, thus retiring debt held in the so-called Social Security Trust Fund.”
“The proposition is that the national debt crisis is a hoax that is perpetrated by the acquiescence of the government to using only money created by the banking system (Federal Reserve notes and bank credits denominated in those units). In short the claim is that the Treasury should print government money rather than borrowing bank money and then there would be no national debt. And the U.S. government would not be paying interest on U.S. money as is the case today.”
“It really does seem as Orwell was prescient: “Private companies could take responsibility for investigating crimes, patrolling neighbourhoods and even detaining suspects under a radical privatisation plan being put forward by two of the largest police forces in the country.
West Midlands and Surrey have invited bids from G4S and other major security companies on behalf of all forces across England and Wales to take over the delivery of a wide range of services previously carried out by the police.”
Now I’d never heard of G4S until someone here at myFDL -seem to remember it being Wendy Davis but there are others it could have been- but it’s apparently the second largest multinational in the world,next to Walmart.
“This scale dwarfs the recent £200m contract between Lincolnshire police and G4S, under which half the force’s civilian staff are to join the private security company, which will also build and run a police station for the first time.
The home secretary, Theresa May, who has imposed a 20% cut in Whitehall grants on forces, has said frontline policing can be protected by using the private sector to transform services provided to the public, but this is the first clear indication of what that will mean in practice. May said on Thursday that she hoped the “business partnership” programme would be in place next spring.”
So this is but another CCA like attempt to privatize the public commons. Between the camera’s and this effort to privatize police forces, it’s real easy to see the fascist forces in Britain slowly tearing down whatever still exists in Britain of a democracy.
And something that doesn’t get much mention is how the U.S. uses weapon sales to further it’s hegemonic foreign policy:
“In its Yearbook 2010, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) documents that the United States accounts for 43 percent of world military spending and 30 percent of global arms exports, making it preeminent in both categories.”
“In his Nobel Peace Prize address in December of 2009, President Barack Obama unabashedly celebrated his nation as the world’s sole military superpower , and his actions in the interim have been dedicated to confirming, prolonging and magnifying that status.
Last July it was reported that although the U.S. “is currently the world biggest weapons supplier — holding 30 per cent of the market…the Obama administration has begun modifying export control regulations in hopes of enlarging the U.S. market share, according to U.S. officials.” 
Obama first advocated the streamlining of arms sales controls in August of 2009 and reiterated the demand in his State of the Union address on January 27 “as an element toward doubling exports by 2015.”
Yeah, that really makes me want to vote for him. And if you think Obama should return the Nobel Peace Prize he got, weigh in here.
So if Orwell was prescient, was Douglas Adams also? And is self-awareness, a condition necessary to be considered ‘human’, solely a human condition?
“”Dolphins should be treated as non-human “persons”, with their rights to life and liberty respected, scientists meeting in Canada have been told.
Experts in philosophy, conservation and animal behaviour want support for a Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans.
They believe dolphins and whales are sufficiently intelligent to justify the same ethical considerations as humans.
“We’re saying the science has shown that individuality – consciousness, self-awareness – is no longer a unique human property. That poses all kinds of challenges.”
And for those who think humans are just naturally nasty animals, consider this.
“New research on higher animals from primates and elephants to mice shows there is a biological basis for behavior such as cooperation, said de Waal, author of “The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society.”
And remember Molly Ivin’s words of wisdom.
“So keep fightin’ for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t you forget to have fun doin’ it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin’ ass and celebratin’ the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.”