Friday, January 11, 2013

Noteworthy...

The Coin! This TPM history of the One Coin to Save Us All idea gives a special shout-out to lambert at Corrente. I suppose congrats are in order.

TPM doesn't mention that Corrente has mooted a very radical notion: That even an unimaginably huge coin -- a $100 T coin, not just a $1 T coin -- would not have an inflationary effect. Here is the latest from Corrente writer letsgetitdone on that score...
Before O'Brien, Wiesenthal, Linkins, and others start chanting: Zimbabwe! Weimar! I think they ought to do such an analysis and put off going out for some canned food and gold bars. I've done a fairly detailed analysis of PCS impact showing why it wouldn't be inflationary, whatever the denomination of the coin(s) involved. So has Scott Fullwiler. With so much at stake in the debate over the TDC, I think they should at least read these Posts and tell us why they disagree, before they go off half-cocked about using PCS and getting hyperinflation or even inflation!
I'm unpersuaded. But I still like that idea better than this idea.

Krugman has pretty much come out in favor of the Coin. Actually, he seems to think that the idea stinks, but that the alternatives stink worse.
But wouldn’t the coin trick be undignified? Yes, it would — but better to look slightly silly than to let a financial and Constitutional crisis explode.
We still don't know whose face to put on that coin. I'm leaning now toward something Jay Ward-y: Bullwinkle...Super Chicken...Hoppity Hooper... (But not Dudley Do-Right: He's Canadian.) The best argument in favor of the coin is the fact that Fox has attacked the idea using the most hilariously hogwash-filled exercise in illogic available this side of an Alex Jones website.

Let's talk ugly. From time to time, I've tweaked the nose of a philosophy prof named Jim Fetzer, who has made a name for himself, at least in certain low circles, by promulgating some very goofy conspiracy theories. First he claimed that the Zapruder film was forged, using technology not available in 1963. (Even with CGI, the job he describes would be tough; I doubt that even Andrew Kramer could do it overnight.) Then Fetzer insisted that the twin towers were destroyed by space lasers, not wayward jets.

Now he is a leading spokesperson for Sandy Hook "trutherism" -- a school of unthought which holds that the massacre was a psyops fraud involving actors playing the roles of grieving parents.

Fetzer adheres to a differing form of Newtown trutherism. He thinks that those kids really were murdered...by Israelis. What's more, Fetzer has promoted this view in a piece published by the official Iranian news agency.

Fetzer can't even come up with a proper motive. In his view, elementary school massacres are evil, Israelis are evil, therefore Israelis must be responsible for elementary school massacres. That, to him, is logic.

Now, I have long criticized Israeli treatment of the Palestinians. And I've long made clear that I despise the neo-neocons who have spent the last half-dozen years trying to foment war against Iran. But what Fetzer is doing here is just...nuts.

Nuts.

Russia. Not long ago, a reader directed our attention to this lively post on modern Russia and American perceptions thereof. I don't agree with the author on certain key points, but I do know an excellent read when I see one. Here are a few excerpts:
Russia is busy becoming rather US-like in lifestyle and in social organization, and foreign relations are a hindrance to the smooth running of this process. Russians now watch American TV shows (dubbed into Russian), they lap up American-style marketing and advertising, they have bought into the SUV craze, they like to shop at the new malls and big box stores, to eat out almost every night, and some (those who can afford it) are even embracing the concept of suburban sprawl by erecting mansions in places that are a long drive from city centers. Many of them want to travel to the US, or even to move there, to better soak up even more of the profligate US lifestyle (which fewer and fewer Americans can still afford).
But in this the Russian politicians are conflicted: they like having access to the US, but having it would mean nothing if they weren't rich. In turn, the reason they are rich is because, under Putin, Russia has stood up to foreign interests and curbed the power of foreign companies in the crucial oil and gas business. And for this the US officialdom will never forgive them. Post-Soviet Russia was supposed to become an impoverished banana republic ruled by a pliant Western-controlled élite and serve as a playground for Western corporations, its mineral wealth there for the taking. The fact that this has failed to happen (largely thanks to Vladimir Putin) is an affront to everything the US stands for and holds sacred.

This, by the way, explains the nature of the US campaign to vilify Putin. He has been singled out for painting with the archvillain brush not because he is a ruthless dictator (the world is full of ruthless dictators that the US likes very much and actively supports, provided they play ball). The reason is that Putin, of all the national leaders out there, actually gave a reasoned, principled response to attempts at foreign political and corporate domination of Russia: something he has called “sovereign democracy.” Now, the word “democracy” gets thrown around a lot but means ever so little (more on that in a moment) but the word “sovereign” actually does carry a meaning: there is a rather short list of nation-states that one can still call fully sovereign, and all of them are, in the eyes of the Washington régime, pariah states: Iran, North Korea, Libya and Syria (formerly). They are all on the Washington's target list for régime change.
Although I'm no uncritical admirer of Noam Chomsky, one aspect of his lifelong intellectual project deserves enormous respect: During the cold war, he tirelessly reminded audiences that what the U.S. opposed was not communism but nationalism.

Why do so many conservatives villify Putin? Why did so many of the same conservatives prop up Boris Yeltsin? Because the American power structure will tolerate only those curs who wear our leash.
Comments:
Good lord, the nuts are coming out. Loved the bit on Russia and Putin-- that actually makes sense to me. One minute Putin was in, the next minute he's out. I'd should've known corporate greed was at the heart of it all.
 
The Sandy Hook Truthers probably have guns, a lot of them. Hows that for scary?
 
People should get more perspective on US-Russian relations.

I actually thought a big push was going to be made by the US and pro-US forces in Russia, and by their British-protected Napoleon-in-exile pal Boris Berezovsky, to contest Putin in Russia after last year's election. (Not in the election; after it.)

There were indications that that was going to happen.

But it didn't. The rouble held out fine. There was no civil war. Good thing too.

The Pussy Riot, Sergei Udaltsov and Alexei Navalny stuff is explicable just by inertia. It's being wound down, not fired up. US ambassador Michael McFaul hasn't even been thrown out. The Magnitsky law and the retaliatory adoption ban are just peanuts.

Those who want to watch a big spat will have to wait a while longer. Perhaps not very long; but it certainly isn't happening now.

I mean for goodness sake - the guys on the Magnitsky list aren't even in the US, and they aren't even diplomats.

As for the idea that Hermitage Capital Management were as pure as the driven snow, and the only 'corruption' was what they were pitted against, being dear little activists trying to help 'human rights', I mean come on!

That's the Hermitage Capital set up by Edmond Safra and Bill Browder, right? The one headquartered in Guernsey with offices in the Caymans?

With 'activism' like that, do the super-rich crooks who rule everywhere need any cheerleaders? And these arseholes complain they were 'persecuted'. Yeah, them and the Yukos investors too.
 
What, the US government take control of the US currency? Surely some mistake? The scrip-pushing NYT won't like it one bit! The NYT suggestion sounds ominously like putting the US state under bankruptcy administration.

The following sentence was especially amusing: "(T)he scrip would be transferable, allowing financial institutions to buy it at a high percentage of its face value, knowing that the political crisis would almost certainly be resolved before long."

Like yeah, right.
 
If there was anything Catholic about the JFK assassination it would have been anti-Catholics in league with either American or British intelligence agencies. Lee Harvey was a useful idiot who was chosen as scapegoat because of his ties to the USSR. 120456
 
i know a little about this one. Hermitage were engaged in a scam that everyone did to enable ownership of gazprom shares offshore.

The tax police concocted their own scam to claim back the tax paid on dividends from a fund managed by hermitage.

They raided the offices claiming to look for evidence of tax fraud. In the raid they took the company seal. They used the seal to file a claim for taxes paid on behalf of the funds for over $200mn.

The tax authorities paid the scammers the money. Magintsk discovered the scam and tried to "alert the authorities". Of course the scam was being run by the authorities so that just got him arrested. Shame about him being denied his meds.

Harry
 
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