Watching the slow-motion train wreck of an economic system collapse unfold

Watching the slow-motion train wreck of an economic system collapse unfold
click pic to reminisce

benzos don't kill people  

Posted by howard in nyc in ,

10/30/2011
21:08

earlier in the week, this story hit that ruth and bernie madoff actually did have some shame, for a few hours, and tried to end their sorry thieving fraudulent lives.  ate some ambien and valium.  shockingly, woke up the next morning.  i did not know why this was a big news story.

but, during the sunday football, the reason for this 'news' was made apparent.  cbs was pimping this week's 60 Minutes show.  jeez, who cares.

somehow, rich thieves never figured out the only way valium or ambien will kill you is if you gulp so many pills at once, a dozen or so find there way past your epiglottis to physically clog your windpipe.  and a big handful of tylenol is all you need to do the trick. shit, suicide is wasted on all the wrong people.

hey ruth.  you tried to kill yourself.  next time, try harder.

the system is broken. a lot broken.  

Posted by howard in nyc

10/8/2011
17:05

if you need a simple, focused message, you're welcome.


this simple, focused message that the folks downtown at Occupy Wall Street offer to the nation is clear and obvious.  except to the people who will not, or can not, accept either the message, or the reality.

and Occupy Wall Street is a success.  a smashing success.  after only three weeks.  sure, the success may be temporary.  but they are Winning-Duh!

the fact that the system is broken is now part of the conversation.  it was not a month ago.  now it is, on the tee vee, in the new york times, even occasionally on the murdoch (including the occupied wall street journal;   while the street proper is still safe from the mobs, for the moment they got into dey heads.)

that is a success without a single demand. or a list of demands.  i'm sorry, i missed that part of the revolutionary cookbook--that demands must be produced, err, on demand.  there was an old term from the 60s and before.  consciousness raising.  still counts. 

on the demand front, another way of looking at it i read earlier in the week.  when there is a single injustice--we'll have a single demand.  when there is a simple, uncomplicated injustice, we'll have a simple, uncomplicated demand.

see me; hear me; even mace me and arrest me; those are the demands of the day.  and the success--being seen, being heard.  that only took a matter of days.  well done, OWS.

like i said, it may be temporary.  very likely, it will be dust and memories by winter.  temporary success is not failure.  from small things mama, big things one day come.

enough about the messengers.  let me hammer the message yet again.

the system is broken.  a lot broken.  to the point of failure.  requiring massive overhaul, including replacement or rebuilding of many key components.  possibly requiring junking and replacement, which becomes more likely the longer the crippled system is driven w/o the necessary overhaul.

the political component of the system has failed; it no longer performs its democratic function.  Obama and his administration has functioned 100% in the best interests of the banks, the lobbyists, the huge corporations.  not one single action, regarding war, economy, health care policy, has failed to supply those interests with everything they demand, at the expense of the population at large.

we have three years of historic record to serve as proof of this claim.

the party or individual identity of the president has ceased to matter.  red/blue, democrat/republican makes zero difference in the day to day and year to year policies and actions of the federal government.

the finance industry component of the system has failed.  despite being given every support and every dollar they demanded after their failure was obvious to the world in 2008, they again are on the brink of an extinction event.  they cannot even maintain their stock prices, as boa, morgan and goldman shares tumble over the past year.

the larger economic component of the system has failed.  in our system, economic prosperity requires growth.  growth used to come from savings and investment; those inputs were replaced by debt.  debt (and credit) is by definition based on confidence--a reasonable expectation that the debt will be repaid.

when debt grows beyond a certain point, the confidence fails, and debt growth stops.  and economic growth, and prosperity, stops.

the problem appears to be how to replace/restore debt growth.  the problem in actuality is too much debt.  adding more debt only breaks the system more, compounds the failure.

all the efforts to feed the failed system serves only to foster more failure.  more "stimulus" only stimulates 1) more money in the pockets of the rich, the corporate and banking heads; 2) more jobs to china and higher unemployment here; 3) more debt that will never be repaid. (paraphrased/stolen from Jessé at his blog today, Jessé's Cafe Américain

the further myriad failures--education, health care delivery and profit taking, infrastructure, government bureaucracy--merely outcomes of and symptoms of the above component failures. 

simple, really.  the system, that we have all participated in and enjoyed our entire lives is broken.  really really badly broken.  no republican or democratic president or group of congressmen is going to fix it.  because all they will do is a tune up--change the oil, new spark plugs, maybe wheels and a coat of paint.  that is all they know how to do.

the bad news--that is the good news.  that only a small percentage of americans are willing or able to accept the fact that the system is severely crippled is grim.  but OWS has chipped away at that, if only for a short while.

the really bad news--we are not gonna overhaul and repair the system until it seizes up.  not until a catastrophic full-stop failure.  despite the opportunities, the multiple clear warnings, the wake up calls.  it looks like we may be blessed with yet another opportunity, to watch it happen in europe, with maybe time to avoid it here.  (i doubt it; i think when europe blows, we will have about three minutes before the first bank failure here, then its party on garth.)

i try my best not to fall in love with and commit to my forecasts and predictions (i don't limit that to women.)  most of the time, i don't even like my predictions.  including these two today.  that Occupy Wall Street will fade away; either by co-option by the entrenched left or the labor movement or the Democratic Party; or alternatively in a spasm of violent suppression, orchestrated or not.  and that america will not wake up to the severity of the failures of politics, finance and economy and demand overhaul until after the broken system is totaled.

as usual, i hope i'm wrong.

 

Posted by howard in nyc

Monday 10/31
Category: 19th CENTURY QUOTATIONS

Clue:"In this sense, the theory of" this group "may be summed up in the single sentence:  abolition of private property"

Answer:  Who are the Communists ?


Monday 10/24
Category: U.S. CITIES
Clue: Of the top 10 cities in population within city limits, this one of 1.4 million is the only state capital
Answer:  Where is Phoenix, Az ?

Tuesday 10/25
Category: CLASSIC GAMES
Clue: Monopoly creator Charles Darrow's sole quote in "The Yale Book of Quotations" includes this 3-digit number

Answer: What is 200?



Wednesday 10/26
Category: DEATH OF AN AUTHOR
Clue: In 1940 at age 44 he died of a heart attack at his Hollywood home while reading his Princeton Alumni Weekly
Answer:  Who was F. Scott Fitzgerald?



Thursday 10/27
Category: MOVIES
Clue: The villain's visage in this movie series was partly chosen due to its likeness to an 1893 work by a Norwegian artist
Answer:  What are the "Scream" movies ?


Friday 10/28
Category:  INVENTORS
Clue:  In 1823 this Scot obtained a patent for a process that made silk, paper & "other substances impervious to water and air"
Answer:  Who was Charles MacIntosh ?





Monday 10/17
Category: 2011 EVENTS

Clue: To mark an historic visit, on May 17 an Irish Army band played this song, followed by Ireland's anthem
Answer:  What is 'God Save the Queen'?  she ain't a human being


Tuesday 10/18
Category: FOREIGN-BORN INVENTORS
Clue: His 1922 New York Times obituary mentions that his patent no. 174,465 "has been called the most valuable patent ever issued"

Answer:  Who was Alexander Graham Bell?

Wednesday 10/19
Category: THE 20TH CENTURY
Clue: In the 1940s Franklin Roosevelt coined this term in reference to all the countries allied against the Axis powers
Answer:  What are the United Nations ?

Thursday 10/20
Category: TOP OF THE POP CHARTS
Clue: In 1978 he replaced his brothers at No. 1, who then replaced him; one of the brothers was a writer on all 3 songs
Answer:  Who was Andy Gibb ?


Friday 10/21
Category: CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
Clue: In the original 1883 work, this title character kills a talking cricket, has his feet burned off & nearly starves
Answer:  What is 'Pinocchio' ?






Monday 10/10
Category: The Revolutionary War

Clue: He was executed in 1780 & buried in Tappan, New York; his remains were moved to Westminster Abbey in 1821


Answer:  Who was Major John André?  he was the head of brit army intelligence, who ran benedict arnold (and probably banged arnold's wife).






Tuesday 10/11
Category:  19th CENTURY LITERATURE

Clue: " 'How are you getting on?' said" this animal character, "as soon as there was mouth enough for it to speak with"

Answer:  Who is the Cheshire Cat?

Wednesday 10/12
Category: ART & STATE CAPITALS
Clue:  The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, home to the largest permanent collection of her works, is in this state capital

Answer:  Where is Santa Fe, New Mexico ?


Thursday 10/13
Category: THE OSCARS
Clue:  This performer is the only person to win Oscars for acting & also songwriting

Answer:  Who is Barbara Streisand ?


Friday 10/14
Category: THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
Clue: This nation lost its direct access to the Pacific around 1880 but retains a navy that now patrols its rivers & a large lake
Answer:  Where is Bolivia ?



Monday 10/3
Category:  REMEMBERING U.S. HISTORY
Clue: Issued in 2011, a stamp commemorating the 150th anniversary of a major event in U.S. history depicts this stronghold

Answer:  Where is Fort Sumter?


Tuesday 10/4
Category:  EUROPEAN TRAVEL &  TOURISM

Clue:  Visited by 15 million people a year, this spot in Britain honors an 1805 battle fought elsewhere


Answer:  Where is Trafalgar Square?



Wednesday 10/5
Category:  LITERARY TITLE CHARACTERS
Clue: He gave his horse a name that partly means "nag" in Spanish; the name he gave himself refers to a piece of armor


Answer:  Who is Don Quixote?  and i thought his name refers to a breakfast favorite.  (quick-oats)



Thursday 10/6
Category: OSCAR NOMINATIONS
Clue: The only time 3 actors from the same movie were nominated for best actor was for this high seas film

Answer:  What is Mutiny on the Bounty ?



Friday 10/7
Category: ROYALTY
Clue: The son of an Oscar winner, this prince is also a 5-time Olympian

Answer:  Who is Prince Albert of Monaco ?  (Grace Kelly and Prince Ranier's son)