Third Party & Independents Archives

March 04, 2008

War in S. America?

War is now potential in S. America as Pres. Bush tacitly backs Colombia’s illegal incursion into neighboring countries to kill people labeled FARC terrorists there. FARC is a communist rebel organization that utilizes terrorist tactics to keep the “revolution” alive. Their deeds have identified them as a very bad lot. But, America is once again dismissing international law and order in maintaining support for its ally’s breach into a neighboring sovereign nation.

The NY Times reports:

The three-way crisis in the Andes escalated Monday as Ecuador broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia, and Venezuela expelled Colombia’s ambassador and other diplomats.
Ecuadoran and Venezuelan Troops are moving into the border areas, and the potential of war is held off only by Colombia's refusal to send troops to its borders.

The Wash. Post reports that Colombia, to its credit so far, is not moving its military to the Ecuadoran and Venezuelan borders. Perhaps a decision made after the White House decided to state forthrightly and publicly that America would not tolerate breaches of the peace in our hemisphere. But, Colombia's incursion into Ecuador was supported by the American State Department as in this WaPo excerpt:

The U.S. State Department defended Colombia's pursuit of FARC members and encouraged bilateral discussions to solve the crisis.

Colombia is an America ally, and Pres. Bush just announced that Congress now has no choice but to back Colombia by passing the Colombian Free Trade Agreement which Bush proposed since this is what Colombia's President is asking of us, and failure to do so would now constitute, according to Pres. Bush, a national security issue for the U.S. This rather wild and bizarre extrapolation by the White House has all the fingerprints of a political ploy to leverage the Congress to bend to Bush's will, heretofore in doubt as to whether a Democratic Congress would go along with yet another 'Free Trade' agreement.

Voters in industrial and Rust Belt states are fed up with Free Trade agreements which give away American jobs for free in return for growing international corporate profits. The White House favors those international corporations, the Democrats do not. But, it would be a mistake to try to argue that this new potential for war in S. America is all politics and not a potential threat to the American economy and future should America back the illegal act of one of its allies there, finding herself once again on the wrong side of international law and world opinion.

This is a very big deal with enormous potential consequences and costs associated with the outcome for the United States and American tax payers and consumers. Made all the bigger by the Decider to invade Iraq still attempting to call the shots over this complicated S. American situation. And bigger yet by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez declaring he will engage in war against Colombia if it attacks FARC in Venezuelan territory. This is a situation which Pres. Bush's purchased education and terribly flawed experience as President will no doubt obscure his attempts to envision a justified, legal, and appropriate response to the looming crisis.

Chavez and GW Bush don't mix. Yet, that is precisely what could happen with an escalation of this situation in S. America, a mixing of defensive egos between these two rivals who are already frustrated to the hilt by the lack of support of the public in their own respective countries. This is a situation to be watched and guarded against very carefully until another American president is sworn into office.

Posted by David R. Remer at March 4, 2008 04:37 PM
Comments
Comment #247067

If the US shouldn’t get involved, then what’s up with Venezuela? Doesn’t seem like it’s any of their business if Columbia and Ecuador are having a border dispute. It looks to me like Chavez is looking for a way to prop himself up now that his economy and his socialist utopia have gone into the toilet.

Posted by: Liam at March 4, 2008 05:31 PM
Comment #247068

Liam, that’s the point. Both Chavez and Bush are involving themselves into this situation which exists between Ecuador and Colombia, not the U.S. and Venezuela. Why are Bush and Chavez injecting themselves into this fray? That is one of the subjects of this article.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 4, 2008 05:35 PM
Comment #247074


Well let me throw out a few thoughts on this mess.

Didnt Columbia’s military fire missiles into Ecuador to kill some FARC members? Seems to me they have a right to be concerned. Chavez on the other hand financially supports these FARC guys and didnt like the loss of one of his guys. Tough luck.

Wouldnt it be wiser to have Columbia return the favor by supporting some right wing extremist group in Venezuela to keep him occupied instead of rushing into anything? You would think that by now we would have learned that throwing money after terrorist (real or imagined)doesnt work that well, let Chavez learn the hard way.

To think that because Columbia is having a dispute with their neighbors we must rush and sign another “free trade” agreement doesnt make sense to me. It just seems like Bush is taking a serious situation and using it for political gain for the multi national corporations at the expense of the American taxpayer.

Why do we have to jump into anything? Dont we pay dues to the United Nations for just such a reason? Let them go referee the thing and if the people of Columbia decide they need our help along with the UN then we can make a decision at that time.
Why lose focus on the Iraq debacle and Afganistan? With a pending recession why should we take on another fight at this point. Let the European Union step up to the plate for us in our backyard as we seem to do for them if we think we need to interfere with these countries and their issues. Who know’s maybe those EU guys could talk sense to all 3 leaders and they could come to terms on a French/German/Dutch style of governing that works for the people of their countries and give up the extremes they seem to be fighting for.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 4, 2008 06:43 PM
Comment #247082

j2t2, your services are needed in the State Dep’t. Interesting ideas.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 4, 2008 10:31 PM
Comment #247090

Ecuador, like Venezuela, has has a leftist, democratic government with socialist leanings. The United States has a long history of backing the overthrow of leftist, socialist democrats. In the case of Chile, roughly 30,000 “leftists” were killed by the right wing Pinochet government in the name of free markets. Argentina suffered a similar fate during its Dirty War.

Early in the Bush administration, the US backed a coup against Venezuela. The coup failed.

Colombia is ruled by a democratically elected right wing government with close ties to the US. This government has a lot of good things going for it, including an aggressive campaign against drug smuggling, FARC, and so on. It also has a lot of bad things counting against it, including links to death squads.

Columbia went way, way over the line when they launched an attack across the border in Ecuador.

Oh, what’s the point. Once the Bush administration is out of the way we can resume discussions of things like international law, American ideals, etc. Until then, the US counts for nothing more than a powerful country with a lot of money and a very big military. That’s it. As long as Bush is around, we have nothing more to offer, just guns and money, lots and lots of guns and money.

Posted by: phx8 at March 4, 2008 11:32 PM
Comment #247094

j2t2
Unfortunately we do pay dues to the UN.
The UN is an ineffective organization. It can’t do anything militarily without it’s members sending their troops. And guess who usually send the most troops.
I don’t see the UN doing anything unless the US puts pressure on it. Then we’ll send 40,000 of our youngsters to die for the UN while the other countries send anywhere from none to a couple thousand.
This is a situation that we have no business getting involved in. Neither country is a territory or protectorate of the US. And I doubt very much that either country likes us very much if any at all.

Posted by: Ron Brown at March 5, 2008 12:36 AM
Comment #247101

Chavez cannot fight a war. He does not have the capactiy. The Columbians did the right thing. Let the wind bag run out of air.

The free trade agreement is a different story. It is good for us and good for Columbia, unless we fear the competition from Juan Valdez.

Posted by: Jack at March 5, 2008 02:19 AM
Comment #247106

Please…can any respondent spell “Colombia” correctly?

Posted by: Rachel at March 5, 2008 08:19 AM
Comment #247109

The newest word is that maybe some documents seized on a FARC laptop in the cross-border raid shows Chavez and FARC have a “stunning link”.

For more details…click here

Posted by: Jim T at March 5, 2008 11:22 AM
Comment #247110

More interesting is the involvement of one of the current presidential candidates, which is one reason for his endorsement by the President, in the I.R.I.(International Republican Institute) that is directly motivating some of the opposing parties in the area to help stabilze the United States’s interests(see also: http://www.counterpunch.org/kozloff02132008.html). And Venezuela is not all that incapable of defending itself given Hugo’s visit to Russia, in June 2007, that settled a deal involving weapons purchasing, and not just small-arms weaponry(see: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174830).

As McCain stated on national television “there will be more wars.”

Posted by: dobropet at March 5, 2008 11:43 AM
Comment #247111

FARC has been around since I was in college in the seventies.

It was intially alligned with a populist movement again the big monied interests and landowners. It still has ties to that movement. Unfortunately, the US war on drugs has turned this into a well armed and drug smuggling shooting war. The drug cartels are involved on both sides. The US has poured money and weapons into this area with the usual results: lots of dead innocents and general chaos. We’ve been brewing this war for decades.

Ask why arabs hate us and why South Americans are sick of us.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 5, 2008 11:52 AM
Comment #247112

Jim T well at least that is the story. The government of Colombia also claimed the FARC was attempting to make dirty bombs and showed information from this laptop that failed to prove the claim. Hard to tell who is truthing and whose not.

Rachel, you mean Colombia is not named after the space shuttle Columbia? Well it seems you are right.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 5, 2008 12:02 PM
Comment #247113

j2t2,

Yeah, at least that is the story. I just am waiting for the entire matter to be refered to the UN so the entire affair can be botched and boondoggled and end up supporting Chavez because he’s the 3rd world socialist dictator de jour.

googlumpus said:

“Ask why arabs hate us and why South Americans are sick of us.”

Well, they won’t have to wait for long. As soon as we raise coporate taxes and people get thrown out of jobs and our unemployment rate hits 9 or 10%…and once we bankrupt ourselves trying to pay for “universal” health care, and when we lose our three star credit rating…we’ll fade into a 2nd world country and they won’t have to be sick of us (US) any more. They’ll have to deal with the world’s only superpower…China.

Posted by: Jim T at March 5, 2008 12:17 PM
Comment #247118

Jim T,

I thought my question was rhetorical, but it isn’t because they hate freedom or hate us being number 1. It might have to do with us being the largest arms dealer in the world, our intervention for the sake of corporate giants sucking the resources out of other countries without fair compensation, otherwise known as colonialism. Whether we are number one or number 25, we need to avoid these special interest frontier style grabs at controling native peoples.

The naive puritanical roots of our “drug war” are what funds the drug war. Legalize ingesting whatever you want, and deal with addiction as a health issue. It’s cheaper, smarter, and doesn’t cram religious, and racist views down our throats or other peoples who come to hate these bigoted ideas and Americans that foist them upon others.

Ending the drug war won’t stop bigoted colonialization. That also needs to be dealt a death blow. The frontier days of the US ended in the 19th century. It’s time we realized it, and send adventurists like Bush to the dust bin.

We are now addicted to oil, but that isn’t seen as a moral religious issue, though peraps it should be. It IS an economic and military issue and we need energy rehab, a.s.a.p. John D. Rockefellar isn’t viewed as an opium magnate might be today, but it is the same problem.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 5, 2008 01:33 PM
Comment #247119

Here’s the free trade and labor situation in America today: Law firms that teach corporations how not to hire qualified Americans, using fake job ads to pave the way for more H-1B Visas). Even Bill Gates, wealthiest person in the U.S. lied before Congress to encourage Congress to raise H-1B limits.

Voters don’t like these Free Trade policies, yet the voters continue to repeatedly re-elect the politicians that are selling us out.

Trade deficits are not only ridiculous, but dangerous. The U.S. is borrowing $3 Billion per day.

How can we spend, create money out of thin air, and borrow our way out of debt and these huge deficits?

Posted by: d.a.n at March 5, 2008 01:35 PM
Comment #247132
dobropet wrote: As McCain stated on national television “there will be more wars.”
He’s a war hawk. A lot can happen in 8 months, but I will be totally amazed and confused if John McCain wins the presidential election. Posted by: d.a.n at March 5, 2008 04:29 PM
Comment #247138

d.a.n, quite right about the trade deficit. It literally exports our money supply in increasing amounts overseas to circulate through other economies. And at a time when America is experiencing a credit crunch and the Treasury and White House fear the dollar falling in value even more due to its inflationary effect.
All way around, this 30 years of near continuous trade deficits is finally severely restricting America’s options to effectively deal with its own economic and financial crises - and it will only get worse with the current Congress and Presidential candidates.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 5, 2008 05:26 PM
Comment #247147
All way around, this 30 years of near continuous trade deficits is finally severely restricting America’s options to effectively deal with its own economic and financial crises - and it will only get worse with the current Congress and Presidential candidates.
We may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg.

While millions are losing their homes, jobs, and have falling incomes, we have not yet seen the full consequences of these abuses of the last 30 years.

  • No one can tell us how we’re going to get out of this mess.

  • No one can tell us where the money will come from to pay the INTEREST on $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt, much less the money to reduce the PRINCIPAL $48 Trillion of debt.

  • No one can tell us where the money will come from to pay the INTEREST on the $9.4 Trillion National Debt, much less the money to reduce the PRINCIPAL $9.4 Trillion of National debt.

  • No one can tell us that the plummeting U.S. Dollar will stop falling against all major international currencies.

  • No one can tell us how we’re going to raise enough taxes to pay for all the things we want, when the tax system is already regressive, incomes have been falling since 1967 for most Americans, savings rates are negative, personal nation-wide debt is 420 Trillion, and 80% of the U.S. population owns only 17% of all wealth.
Hmmmmm … I wish it weren’t so, but this scenario is looking more and more less far fetched.

Yes, I seriously doubt the next Congress and President will have the will, discipline, or competence to address so many issues, growing in number and severity.
There are signs, and a few people are looking a bit nervious (e.g. Bernanke, Fed Chairman), and some people are practically screaming their warnings (e.g. David Walker, U.S. Comptroller), some financial analysts are predicting an economic tsunami, more and more analysts are recommending people buy gold (not $988 per ounce!) and other currencies, and a few people are predicting the next Great Depression.

Yet, some people are saying …

America as a whole has never been this rich, and it’s getting richer all the time. It’s a great time to be an American

I think (over the next 3 years) we will:

  • (01) have more inflation, because of so much debt creating the pressure create more money.

  • (02) more falling incomes

  • (03) more foreclosures and bankruptcies

  • (04) more jobs leaving the country

  • (05) more illegal immigration

  • (06) more economic instability

  • (07) more federal debt

  • (08) more personal debt ($20 Trillion)

  • (09) more energy vulnerability

  • (10) more decay of the public education system

  • (11) more poverty

  • (12) more wealth disparity (1% that owned 20% of wealth in 1975 now owns 40% of all wealth)

  • (13) more pain and misery
At any rate, the voters will have the government that the voters deserve.

P.S.

  • Venezuela is amassing troops, tanks, air and sea forces toward the Colombian border.

  • Chavez ordered 10 battalions, including tanks and aircraft, to the border, and some of the troops began mobilizing Tuesday, said Luis Reyes, the governor of Lara state in western Venezuela.

  • Venezuela says Exxon/Mobil’s legal actions against Venezuela are keeping oil prices high.

  • OPEC meeting: Cartel says it will support Venezuela in dispute with Exxon Mobil.

  • Oil Rises Above $104 to Record on OPEC Output, Venezuela Tanks
  • Posted by: d.a.n at March 5, 2008 07:15 PM
    Comment #247150

    David,

    You wrote:

    would go along with yet another ‘Free Trade’ agreement.

    Would the price marijuana and cocaine come down? - one way to control inflation…

    You also wrote:

    Voters in industrial and Rust Belt states are fed up with Free Trade agreements which give away American jobs for free in return for growing international corporate profits.
    I coming to realize that the Repubs like these trade agreements precisely because they disadvantage rust belt states i.e. organized labor. It is a good way to stick “it” in our “place.” The winners in these trade agreements are Republican farmers and Republican corporations - the losers, Democratic union members.

    Then there is Bush. That fornicate simply can’t live without starting a war somewhere. I pity him if he does leave the White House this January. What is he going to do with himself? It will be like empty nest syndrome except in his case it will be no bloody unnecessary war syndrome…

    Jack,
    Working men and women do not want to have to compete with Juan Valdez. They do not want to have to work for his wages - not when he is not allowed to form a union. They kill union leaders in Colombia. It is a Republican dream come true.

    Posted by: Ray Guest at March 5, 2008 09:23 PM
    Comment #247152

    Finally, given Bush’s coup attempt in Venezuela, Chavez has reasonable cause to get a bit nervous when American surrogates commence hostilities in the region.

    Posted by: Ray Guest at March 5, 2008 09:28 PM
    Comment #247157

    I’m afraid that some of the comments here have more to do with domestic American politics and attitudes than the history and political realities of Latin America.

    If you’re talking about international law—yes, crossing borders with hostile intent is generally considered to be against international law. It is also against international law, however, to financially support and/or give refuge to terrorist organizations, and it is not merely a matter of George Bush classifying FARC as a terrorist organization. The Latin American Parliament as well as the European Union classify them as such. It wasn’t something dreamed up by George Bush or the American Republican party.

    There are a lot of criticisms, some fair and some not, to be made about US activities in Latin America. But on this one, I don’t see how you can reasonably say the US is acting irresponsibly, and I’d be shocked to hear of any US Democrats who’d take a pro-Chavez or pro-FARC line in this dispute.

    This dispute between Ecuador and Columbia is a complex one having to do with weighing both countries rights under international law. It’s not so clear cut. You have a right to sovereignty within your own country’s borders. But under international law there are responsibilities that come with sovereignty, such as preventing your country from being a staging ground for attacks another another country. Neglect that responsibility, and international law becomes more complex; it can even been considered an act of war to allow the kind of cross-border attacks that have taken place. Much less actively support them.

    The only part of this which does not have gray areas is the actions of Venezuela, which are openly belligerent in that this matter has nothing to do with Venezuelan sovereignty or any rights Venezuela can lay claim to under international law.

    I’d agree that the US should stay out of it too, but I haven’t heard that the US is massing troops on Ecuador’s or Venezuela’s borders or is threatening to invade either country.

    Posted by: Liam at March 5, 2008 10:13 PM
    Comment #247161

    Liam,

    Even though it is well documented that attempts to stem the Cocaine trade are futile as production increases with attempts to wipe out cartels, the US has massively increased funding for arms and military assistance with the resultant rises in violence and death.

    The US funds these wars on both ends. The prohibition era laws, known to fund cartels like Capone are continued. We then fight these groups with military aid. Funny thing is in Colomubia, the regime we funded via governmental aid also moved drugs for profit. Sorta like Noriega, Iran Contra, etc. First we call them drug cartels then we call them terrorists. All along US corporations profit. Funny how that works.

    If I lived there, I might be a little beligerant, too. Wouldn’t you?

    Posted by: googlumpus at March 5, 2008 10:57 PM
    Comment #247163

    Another link that might be of interest.

    Why does America have a right to interfere in civil wars and internal politics such as this?

    I suspect the intelligence on the target in Ecuador was directed by US personnel in the CIA or military and the locals know it.

    Posted by: googlumpus at March 5, 2008 11:08 PM
    Comment #247164

    Liam,

    You wrote:

    The only part of this which does not have gray areas is the actions of Venezuela,
    But the U.S. has already attacked Venezuela in a coup attempt (an act of war). Colombia is our ally, possible proxy. Countries routinely get nervous when neighboring countries even engage in military exercises, to say nothing of cross border attacks in their region, to say nothing of cross border attacks on their allies by surrogates of their enemy. The whole situation becomes very dangerous.

    Posted by: Ray Guest at March 5, 2008 11:35 PM
    Comment #247165

    googlumpus, I do know quite a bit about Latin America, their people, history, politics, and their complicated feelings about the US. Some hostile feelings, some very friendly feelings.

    One thing I can promise you is that if Chavez got into a war with Columbia over FARC, no matter what the border issue was, the reaction throughout Latin American would be overwhelmingly negative toward Chavez. Even people who don’t like the US wouldn’t buy the line that Columbia is a US puppet that deserves to be militarily attacked by Chavez. You can bank on it. Columbia is not some place far off like Iraq. It’s a fellow Latin American country, and people wouldn’t stand for it.

    Posted by: Liam at March 5, 2008 11:43 PM
    Comment #247166

    Liam,
    You write: “… If Chavez got into a war with Columbia over FARC… the reaction throughout Latin American would be overwhelmingly negative toward Chavez.”

    Wrong. The governments of Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia all harbor quite a bit of hostility towards the US because of policies implemented by the IMF and World Bank. The current president of Chile is a moderate socialist who was tortured under the Pinochet regime. The government in Argentina is also moderately to the left, and likewise harbor a lot of ill feelings towards the IMF and World Bank.

    The idea that South American countries are going to side with the US against Chavez is silly. They may not have a very high opinion of Chavez, that’s true. But they’re not about to back the right wing government in Colombia, with its penchant for death squads, if that backing is perceived as supporting a puppet of the US, once again threatening to overthrow yet another leftist government.

    In cases like this, the US holds the huge amounts of debt over the heads of South American governments. “Say Uncle.” It is a powerful threat, and if recent elections are any indication, the governments of South American countries have had enough.

    Posted by: phx8 at March 6, 2008 12:10 AM
    Comment #247169

    phx8

    Chavez likes to make everything about him v the U.S. How do they feel about Chavez v Colombia? That is the conflict. You have Chavez siding with drug dealing terrorist v Columbia.

    Those terrorist are really horrible guys. They kidnapped and raped the hostage and then gave the baby away where he lived in squalor until found a couple years later. That throwing the baby away is what hurt Chavez’s big PR plan and ruined Oliver Stone’s new propaganda movie.

    It is true that the US and the EU consider FARC a terror organization and Chavez disagrees. But the current problem is a Colombian v Chavez conflict.

    Posted by: Jack at March 6, 2008 01:09 AM
    Comment #247170

    Jack,
    No doubt, Chavez is no saint. Far from it. And FARC is a nasty bunch. I don’t think anyone feels sorry for the FARC guys in Ecuador who got taken out by the Colombians. No one is shedding any tears over them.

    But all that does not justify raids across borders, and the reputations of FARC and Chavez do not automatically make the US or the Colombians into good guys. The US has a bad reputation too. In the name of “free markets,” the US has plundered the natural resources of South American countries. Corrupt military regimes have sold the futures of their countries in the forms of enormous loans taken from the IMF and World Bank.

    I guess my point is that we need to change our ways, and get away from providing military aid. We need to stop interfering. Being helpful would be great, but too often, the US “helps” by supporting odious regimes. I really don’t think most Americans understand what is done in our name. It is absolutely appalling. We need to stop exporting arms and stop funding foreign militaries. I am ashamed to know the US arms the world. We’re strong, we’re powerful, we’re secure, and we could… we could… stand for something worthwhile. I hope I see it in my lifetime. Because it sure isn’t happening right now.

    Posted by: Phx8 at March 6, 2008 01:30 AM
    Comment #247174

    Phx8,

    I agree Chavez is no saint, but he was elected because he panders, or at least appeals, to the impoverished masses. The opportunity for him to rise was created by the regimes and US “help” you speak of. The anti US sentiment is a strong undercurrent is South and Central America. They are tired of being bullied and stolen from. Castro arose under similar stupidity.

    Posted by: googlumpus at March 6, 2008 07:58 AM
    Comment #247186

    phx8, I mirror your reply to Jack. Well said and thought out. It is a logical pitfall to evaluate oneself by the standards and actions of others. A rapist is not a good guy compared to a rapist/murderer. The Bush administration has not been an international good guy by comparison to the likes of Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro. Jack constantly falls into the trap of allowing our adversaries to define us and our actions. A very dangerous and flawed way of thinking and evaluating the U.S. actions.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 6, 2008 01:26 PM
    Comment #247190
    Liam, You write: “… If Chavez got into a war with Columbia over FARC… the reaction throughout Latin American would be overwhelmingly negative toward Chavez.”

    Wrong. The governments of Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia all harbor quite a bit of hostility towards the US because of policies implemented by the IMF and World Bank.

    So if Chavez attacked the US, you might have a point. But we’re talking about him attacking Columbia. Yes, there is resentment toward the US throughout Latin America, but you seem to be completely buying Chavez’s line about Columbia being the same as the US. The poor and disenfranchised masses in Latin America, many of whom have socialist sympathies, will get nothing but greater poverty and misery from a war between Latin American nations.

    They have absolutely nothing to gain and much to lose from such a fratricidal war, and it’s unthinkable that Chavez’s anti-American bluster would be enough to cause them to support such a suicidal and idiotic course of action. Especially when Venezuela has absolutely nothing to do with this dispute, and the way it would all play out is scenes of Latin American armies and citizens killing each other.

    Posted by: Liam at March 6, 2008 02:14 PM
    Comment #247191

    Liam,
    Would Chavez actually order an attack? I seriously doubt it. Like you said, everyone would lose. But Chavez is making a powerful point. International borders have to be respected, and launching the occasional no-notice strike inside the territory of a weak neighbor is never acceptable.

    Venezuela is involved in the dispute, as any neighbor of Colombia must be. The strike was unacceptable, and if one neighbor is vulnerable, so are the others.

    The US supports and arms the Colombians. I suspect there’s a lot more going on than is generally reported, because what takes place (?) is happening in remote places. So yeah, it’s bluster, but there’s a powerful point behind the it.

    Posted by: phx8 at March 6, 2008 02:27 PM
    Comment #247193

    Another link that might be of interest.

    Why does America have a right to interfere in civil wars and internal politics such as this?
    It doesn’t.

    What is an Economic Hit Man? Last night, Riz Khan, who is Al-Jazeera’s counter to CNN’s Larry King, interviewed John Perkins, a former economic hit man.

    Not sure what an Economic Hit Man (EHM) is? Neither was I until Perkins laid it out for a dummy like me to understand:

    “There were two primary objectives of my work. First I was to justify huge international loans that would funnel money to Main and other US companies (such as Bechtel, Halliburton, Stone & Webster and Brown & Root) through massive engineering and construction projects. Second, I would work to bankrupt the countries that received those loans … so they would be forever beholden to their creditors, and so they would present easy targets when we [the US] needed favours, including military bases, UN votes or access to oil and other natural resources.”
    - Excerpt from Confessions of an Economic Hit Man


    Yet anohter manifestation of unchecked greed.
    Globalization has a dark side too (i.e. corpocrisy, corporatism, selling out America at every chance possible, etc.).
    Rest assured, that profits from other nations’ resources and/or cheap labor is the goal.

    Most (if not all) of these so-called Free-Trade policies have nefarious goals to pave the way for legal plunder.

    When will enough voters wake up to what is happening? Perhaps when they are jobless, homeless, and hungry?

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 6, 2008 02:43 PM
    Comment #247208

    d.a.n.,
    “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by Perkins is available in the library, and relates to this topic very nicely. The book is a little dated, and I think Perkins exaggerates his role in the scheme of things, but still, it’s a very readable and interesting book.

    “Shock Doctrine: Chaos Capitalism…” by Naomi Klein is also a terrific read on this topic. It’s also available at the library, although it’s new enough that there may be wait lists. Highly recommended.

    Posted by: phx8 at March 6, 2008 04:35 PM
    Comment #247210

    I’m at a loss why ALL of you refuse to consider Ron Paul’s proposals. They fall right in line with what most of you have said.

    He is still in this race, you know. Even if the media is purposely ignoring him.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at March 6, 2008 04:55 PM
    Comment #247211

    phx8, Thanks. I may check out the book (by Naomi Klein). Yes, I thought the same thing about Perkins role, but had little doubt about the nefarious schemes. The common thread in much of this is the banks and corporations. How can everyone that works, invents, creates, builds, and produces be in debt to the banks?

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 6, 2008 04:58 PM
    Comment #247212

    WW, Ron Paul is a nutcase, though his isolationist position appeals to some. Even a broken clock is right twice per day.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 6, 2008 05:00 PM
    Comment #247213

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/articles/?tag=Federal Reserve

    Posted by: Weary Willie at March 6, 2008 05:04 PM
    Comment #247215

    Oops.

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/articles/?tag=Federal%20Reserve

    Posted by: Weary Willie at March 6, 2008 05:07 PM
    Comment #247216

    Prove it loud mouth!

    Posted by: Weary Willie at March 6, 2008 05:09 PM
    Comment #247222

    There are many politicians far, far worse than Ron Paul, but I’m disappointed that someone who claims to be a champion of the U.S. Constitution won’t answer the simple question about Article V.
    But, few others in Congress will either, and those that have can’t get their story straight.

    Also, Ron Paul’s idea of competing currencies is a recipe for disaster. The world is already full of competing currencies that all have one thing in common: INFLATION

    And a gold/silver/commodity backed currency isn’t really the solution either (since that has some obvious problems with flexibile Money Supply growth/reduction).

    I do agree mostly with Ron Paul’s position on the U.S. being the world police.
    We can’t afford to keep doing that.
    We already have $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt, and no one can say where the money will come from to pay the INTEREST, much less the money to reduce the PRINCIPAL $48 Trillion so that it doesn’t continue to grow larger and larger (already almost half of the nation’s net worth).

    Unfortunately, none of the candidates for president are likely to address those any of those issues.
    They are too busy making promises about heatlh care, when health care might be more affordable if these other 10+ abuses were seriously addressed (instead of being ignored as they have been for several decades).

    The current problems with Venezuela and numerous other nations (many turning against us), and the U.S.’ falling grade on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index are because of the growing corpocrisy, corporatism, and other manifestations of unchecked greed. Based on Transparency International, the U.S.’s Corruption Score has fallen from position 11 (year 2004), to 17 (year 2005), and to 20 (year 2006).

    It is a despicable practice.
    It is the Cheaters Philosoply in action.
    It’s not a global village.
    It is more like global pillage.
    And it isn’t only happening over seas.
    It is happening here too (look at trade deficits, illegal immigration, unfair trade policies, H-1|2B visa abuses, etc.).
    Also, a lot of foreign nations that have invested in the U.S.’ national debt may be in for quite a shock if our banks start to fail.
    And it is not that far fetched.
    Bernanke is already telling us some small banks may fail.
    Maybe the U.S. won’t default by failing to pay the INTEREST, but it may very likely erode the value of the U.S. currency by printing more and more money to pay the growing INTEREST for the growing DEBT (over $1 billion per day of INTEREST alone only on the $9.4 Trillion National debt).
    The $48 Trillion nation-wide debt (mwhodges.home.att.net/nat-debt/debt-nat-a.htm) is almost 5 times the nation’s income.
    And 80% of the U.S. population only owns 17% of all wealth in the U.S.
    With falling incomes, which will mean smaller tax revenues, where will the money come from to pay the INTEREST on so much debt?

    Could it be we (most Americans) have have become the victims of the very same thing the U.S. has been doing to other nations for decades?

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 6, 2008 05:34 PM
    Comment #247223
    International borders have to be respected, and launching the occasional no-notice strike inside the territory of a weak neighbor is never acceptable.

    I understand your point. But the respect for international borders is founded in a whole body of international law, and those laws place responsibilities on all sides. Columbia’s borders were actually violated first by terrorists crossing them from Ecuador. Why are you saying that only Ecuador’s territorial rights are important here?

    It might be illegal for me to trespass onto your yard. But the law will look differently on my trespassing offense if I’m I’m pursuing somebody who just shot members of my family while trespassing on my property first. And who furthermore abducted members of my family and brought them onto your property. Which is exactly what FARC has done—murdering and kidnapping Columbians and then retreating over the border into Ecuador.

    Now, we might have different interpretations of the law. But no matter what, I think we could both admit that it’s there’s a debatable point here. Good arguments could be made in both Ecuador’s and Columbia’s favor. But what business is it of Venezuela’s? None at all. They are the only ones clearly in the wrong here. And for all the accusations against the US, I really don’t see what the US has done here except express an opinion. You can drag in all of the history of the US in Latin America if you want (and I’ll agree with much of what you say), but there’s still a lot more to the story than some of you are letting on. It seems like some of you just want to attack Bush, whether this all really much to do with him or not.

    Posted by: Liam at March 6, 2008 05:47 PM
    Comment #247233

    “Thus it conclusively proved that the slump, whose appearance the inflationists attributed to an insufficiency of the supply of money, is on the contrary the necessary outcome of attempts to remove such an alleged scarcity of money through credit expansion….This demonstration could appeal to statesmen intent on promoting the enduring well-being of their nation. It could not influence demagogues who care for nothing but success in the impending election campaign and are not in the least troubled about what will happen the day after tomorrow.” ~Mises,”Lord Keynes and Say’s Law,” Planning for Freedom, pg. 68

    A thought about competing currencies in that they may not serve the interests of the public at large when confronted with inflation. Having money that is backed by hard assets should be the standard and not a system of credit governed by elite bent on their own gains. Atleast, that’s what I think he meant, I haven’t studied Mises very much but he seems very business ethinically motivated. And Ron Paul’s standards are more intune with Mises’s, what Paul meant by competing currencies maybe the fact that the Federal Reserve is no more Federal than Federal Express. Ever since money was removed from it’s backing in gold, it’s value has depreciated quite tremendously, exponentially if you will. But his idea stems from non-interventionism in the free-market, as it has no place to be interved with. I do agree with that.

    And his idea for isolationism is NOT that in any way shape or form. His belief is non-interventionism, as most of the founding fathers were, granted we are beyond their beliefs and motivations than those we have acquired today. But such a stance removes our involvement from such upheavals and political strife encompassing the world today. As he puts it,”we should be the example for others to strive to become here in America.”

    I guess our leading by example now means that every nation should intervene into the affairs of other nations, as the U.N. believes. Their sympathies may be just, but their alterior motives are corrupt. As our current administration is.

    Posted by: dobropet at March 6, 2008 06:45 PM
    Comment #247239

    dobropet:

    Are you familiar with the phrase non-sequiter?

    Posted by: googlumpus at March 6, 2008 10:22 PM
    Comment #247252

    WW, Ron Paul does that far better than I could. Consider what it would mean if the U.S. decided to move to the gold or some other commodity standard like oil, while the rest of the world continued on balance of payments and trade surpluses and deficits? Our economy would be flushed down the toilet before we could even pare back the money supply to our commodity based assets.

    Let’s take just one simple example, to make this clear. We adopt a commodity based standard which dictates that our Treasury pull in and destroy greenbacks in the hundreds of billions in order to bring the value of our money supply in line with our commodity assets. The value of the dollar rises dramatically. China sees this and holds on to the 1 trillion dollars in greenbacks and treasury notes denominated in greenbacks until their value triples. Then they sell their greenbacks for thrice their original value. Now China can’t gain from this unless someone else loses - that is the nature of money. The millions of people who lose of course are the young Americans entering the work force who will pay three times as much in tax dollars and get much less dollars in wages over a portion of their work lives to make up the difference gained by the Chinese.

    The Chinese will triple their greenback wealth and American workers will see the value of theirs rise too, but, will have to pay substantially more taxes to make up the government deficits incurred in buying back the Chinese greenbacks, and their wages will pare back commensurately with the increased purchasing power of their greenback as the prices of basic goods and services rise for years until a balance is achieved between money supply and commodity assets. Net result, 100 million Americans will robbed of their wealth over the course of a decade or more while the transition takes place, and seniors will be driven into poverty by an absence of credit and dramatically rising health care, food, and energy.

    Students today are experiencing great difficulty in getting reasonably priced student loans for college. Ron Paul will dry that cash up overnight, because who would want to loan money during a deflationary period of 10 years or more without having anyway of knowing what the deflation rate will be from one quarter to the next? Its nuts.

    Then consider that Ron Paul on the other hand says we should not interfere with other nations minding their own business, ergo, we could not move them to follow our commodity based standard.

    That is the very definition of insanity. Complete and total idiocy, illogical, impractical, and downright destructive to the lives of a 100 million or more Americans if ever attempted. I call that NUTS!

    You support his ideas. So, surely, you have another word for it. But, he is still just as nuts. And his followers are ignorant of the consequences of his ideas, as the followers of all radical and destructive leaders in history were.

    However, its a moot discussion. As I predicted months ago, Ron Paul could not acquire more than 10% of the vote or polls. There just aren’t enough radicals like him or totally ignorant Americans about our economy to garner more than a 7 or 8% following. Which points to one of America’s great strengths. We still have strengths, despite all the focus on our weaknesses.

    Ralph Nader could not garner more than 10% of the vote as a radical, and much of what he advocated for consumers made enormous sense, and some of it was, is now, and soon will be enacted precisely because it did pass the logic and academic and common sense tests.

    It is a great strength of America that it is nearly impossible for radicals to get elected to the most powerful positions in our government, whether their name be Nader or Paul, Goldwater or McCarthy.

    Appointments of course, are quite another thing.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 7, 2008 02:33 AM
    Comment #247256

    Liam said, “They are the only ones clearly in the wrong here. And for all the accusations against the US, I really don’t see what the US has done here except express an opinion.”

    Then open your ears and listen to Bush’s speech on the topic, where he says our national security now rests on rewarding Colombia with a free trade agreement in return for their incursion into Ecuador.

    If you still don’t see it, then, its because you choose not to.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 7, 2008 03:04 AM
    Comment #247269

    David,

    And you don’t consider Neocons radicals?

    Posted by: googlumpus at March 7, 2008 09:44 AM
    Comment #247275

    Most of these characterizations are quite invalid. Ron Paul’s idea towards other nations, involvement, is not one deemed nuts. As one who has seen such nonsense spattered about for mere recognition to support illogical thought, the ultimate question I have is how is it that of all the candidates COMBINED did Ron Paul receive the most money donations from the Army, Navy and Air Force. This not only includes the families of these servicemen and women, but the servicemen and women themselves. You disagree with their logic?

    And whatever prediction you came to over Ron Paul’s percentage in votes is a moot discussion as illustrated on Black Box Voting, several recounts have been issued and as of to date none have even been allowed to proceed due to an underminded chain-of-custody battle involving the Diebold vote scanning machines. There is more to the picture than meets the eye. In one such incident, in Ron Paul’s home district his congessional seat was at risk to a challenger named Chris Peden. But as the final results were given, Ron Paul defeated Chris with 70% of the vote to 30%. Clearly no such threat was indicated in the voting results yet most MSM gave false information stating such nonsense as “Ron Paul’s congressional seat in serious jeopardy.” Yet in the run for the Presidency, in the same district, he only garnered less than 9% of the vote. That does not add up(http://www.ronpaulwarroom.com/?p=8064……and….http://www.ronpaulforpresident2008.com/blog/node/58).

    I don’t accept the MSM information on any given subject. They have given false information before.

    And, it’s non-sequitur and yes I see your point. Excuse the brain-fart. Anyway, simply implying that his ideas are radical, illogical or whatever does not constitute any fact whatsoever. And how are his ideas parallel to any other point in time involving destructive leaders?


    Posted by: dobropet at March 7, 2008 10:57 AM
    Comment #247276
    Liam wrote: And for all the accusations against the US, I really don’t see what the US has done here except express an opinion.
    Maybe.

    George W. Bush (43) hailed U.S. backed Colombian President Alvaro Uribe for going after the FARC and blamed the tensions on “provocative maneuvers” by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
    :ong standing resentments have been growing for decades.
    Why is that?

    Consider this list of OPEC nations and think about George W. Bush’s (43) influence and effect on the perception of the U.S. in the last 8 years
    Country ________________ Location
    Ecuador* _______________ South America (joined 1973-1992, 2007)
    Venezuela* _____________ South America (joined 1960)
    IR Iran* ________________ Middle East (joined 1960)
    Iraq* __________________ Middle East (joined 1960)
    Kuwait* ________________ Middle East (joined 1969)
    Qatar __________________ Middle East (joined 1961)
    Saudi Arabia* ___________ Middle East (joined 1960)
    United Arab Emirates _____ Middle East (joined 1967)
    Algeria _________________ Africa (joined 1969)
    Angola _________________ Africa (joined 2007)
    SP Libyan AJ ____________ Africa (joined 1962)
    Nigeria _________________ Africa (joined 1971)
    Indonesia _______________ Asia (joined 1962)
    ( * Founding Members of OPEC )
    NOTE: First OPEC Conference was held by Founding Members was in Baghdad, Iraq in SEP-1960.

    When George W. Bush (43) took office, oil was only $28 per Barrel.
    Now because of unnecessary wars, belligerance and alienating other nations on practically every continent, mismanagement of allies and oil friends, oil has now spiked to over $105.97 per barrel (a 264% increase).
    It is not far fetched to say the U.S.’ meddling is not partially the cause for current events in Venezuela, U.S. backed Colombia, and Ecuador (seeing how many nations are now anti-U.S.A. nations).
    Yesterday, George W. Bush (43) said: “I think it is a mistake [for OPEC] to have your biggest [the U.S.A.] customer’s economy to slow down … as a result of high energy prices”.
    How arrogant is that statement?
    Nevermind how George W. Bush (43) and the U.S. has treated almost every oil producing Nation (for many decades).
    Only yesterday, George W. Bush (43) was threatening OPEC again as oil prices skyrocket and the U.S. Dollar continues to fall like a rock.
    Well, DUH!
    What are the many reasons for the U.S. Dollar falling like a rock!
    Inflation is not only due to rising fuel costs, but that is what some want us to believe.
    After all, it’s not easy to create trillions of new dollars annually out of thin air and not cause inflation.
    While world-wide demand for oil has increased (e.g. China, India, etc.), the falling U.S. dollar is fueling (no pun intended) rising fuel prices too.
    It is a vicious circle.
    When ir rains, it pours.

    There is substantial evidence (which would fill volumes) of U.S. meddling (which is putting it mildly) and abuses abroad (for many decades) that has led to where we are today.
    This is not mere “America hate” speech.
    The U.S. is still one of the best 26 (of 195) nations in the world to live, and the U.S. still scores higher than most nations on Transparency International Corruption Score (although the U.S. has fallen from position 11 (year 2004), to 17 (year 2005), and to 20 (year 2006).
    The U.S. is not the most evil nation on the planet.
    But having the potential to be one of the most dangerous nations on the planet justifiably raises concerns among other nations around the world; something that should be recogonized; not abused.
    So, please don’t try to twist this into accusations of being an “America hater” and “America trashing”.
    However, despite Hugo Chavez’s meddling and trouble-making too (recently told to “Shut Up!” by Spain’s King Juan Carlos), the fact is, the U.S., and George W. Bush (43) are not without culpability for many of these problems (due to incessant medding abroad), the war on drugs, and the increasingly negative perceptions of the U.S. world-wide.
    And many Latin Americans have the opinion that there has been interference by the U.S. in their affairs for a very long time.

    And you don’t consider Neocons radicals?
    There are radicals in BOTH parties (neocons, liberals, etc.).

    What ever they are, what ever their labels, they are BOTH of little benefit (if not actually harmful), and the partisan-warfare (which they love to fuel) is a grand and extremely effective, circular, divisive, distracting, and mechanism to distract voters from substantive issues; allowing them to grow worse; not better; allowing irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians in BOTH parties to continue to enjoy very high 93%-to-99% re-election rates.
    But the larger problem is wide-spread and growing lawlessness by most politicains in BOTH parties, the Executive Branch, and rubber-stamped by the Supreme “Catch-22” Court, resulting in these abuses getting worse; not better.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 7, 2008 11:08 AM
    Comment #247283

    dobropet said: “I don’t accept the MSM information on any given subject. They have given false information before.”

    The MSM has ALSO provided 95% of true and verifiable information on a daily basis. The trick is to be able to reserve judgment until corroboration on what is reported is forthcoming and the source can be determined as reliable. Not always possible, but, in general, the MSM is indispensable for knowing ANYTHING about what is going on in our country outside our immediate neighborhood.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 7, 2008 12:27 PM
    Comment #247286

    Goo, no, I don’t consider the NeoCons radicals. A minority, yes, radical, no. There is nothing radical about the idea of world hegemony through military might and making that the number one budgetary priority. Such thinking has existed in our Parties and government for centuries or at least back to Andrew Jackson. Such views are held by a minority and if fully enacted pose serious dangers to our nation, but, they are not radical. No more radical than socialized policy wonks in the Dem. Party whose ideas have been around for over a century.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 7, 2008 12:32 PM
    Comment #247297

    The report on David Walker(http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/65/23469) and his belief that our society is in for a serious economic disaster points to the fact that our society needs redirection and/or demands to be addressed.

    Posted by: dobropet at March 7, 2008 01:30 PM
    Comment #247302

    dobropet, the MSM has covered David Walker’s warnings for several years now, and I have written many times referencing the Comptroller’s warnings.

    It’s not for lack of MSM coverage of Walker’s warnings, nor the MSM’s misrepresentations of them, that folks have not heeded his warnings to date. It is a general disinterest and political incentive to not act as acting on those warnings could jeopardize reelection for incumbent politicians precisely because action will cost the American taxpayers. (Though far less than inaction in the long run.)

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 7, 2008 01:44 PM
    Comment #247305

    Yes, David Walker (U.S. Comptroller) has many valid points.
    And that article is from Sep-2006 (18 months ago).
    Yet, if fell mostly on deaf ears.
    Some people are still trying to tell us that …

    America as a whole has never been this rich, and it’s getting richer all the time. It’s a great time to be an American.
    Americans have an intuition that something is wrong, but they don’t really understand the root causes and ramifications.
    David Walker is not a crack-pot, but he appears to be largely ignored.
    People would be wise to at least consider what David Walker is warning us about is not far fetched (… more … ).
    The signs are there.
    We will probably get through this next recession (as usual), but unlike most recessions, not without more inflation, more record-level debt, more record-level weatlh disparity, continued falling incomes (since 1967 considering more workers per household, more federal debt, and more regressivie taxation, etc.), and more of these abuses that have already taken a large toll for the last 30 years.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 7, 2008 01:56 PM
    Comment #247310

    Don’t know if you guys have seen this as it relates to the post here.

    http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/1156/68/

    Guess I’ll have to tell my colombia(colon-via-colon) source to watch my shipments of ____ more carefully. Damn tourists.

    Posted by: dobropet at March 7, 2008 02:52 PM
    Comment #247337

    (alleged or actual) U.S. backed coups …

  • Year(s): Country

  • 1945-1953: Korea

  • 1947-1949, 1964-1974: Greece

  • 1949: Syria

  • 1950-1973: Vietnam

  • 1952, 1959-present: Cuba

  • 1953: Iran (www.democracynow.org/2003/8/25/50_years_after_the_cias_first)

  • 1953-1964: British Guyana

  • 1953, 1963: Guatemala (archive.nacla.org/Summaries/V1I1P3-1.htm)

  • 1955-1973: Cambodia

  • 1957, 1987-1994, 2004: Haiti (www.pww.org/article/view/4880/1/205/)

  • 1958,1959,1960: Laos

  • 1960, 1963: Ecuador

  • 1963: Dominican Republic

  • 1963: Honduras

  • 1964, 1970: Brazil (archives.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/americas/11/13/cia.chile.02/)

  • 1964: Bolivia

  • 1965: Zaire

  • 1966: Ghana

  • 1972, 1980-1992: El Salvador

  • 1970-1973: Chile (archives.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/americas/11/13/cia.chile.02/)

  • 1975: East Timor Indonesia (www.twf.org/News/Y1999/0915-Indonesia.html)

  • 1978-1989: Nicaragua

  • 1980 Liberia

  • 1982: Chad

  • 1983: Grenada

  • 1987: Fiji

  • 1989: Panama

  • 2002: Venezuela (failed coup in 2002 ; www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/apr/21/usa.venezuela)

  • Posted by: d.a.n at March 7, 2008 06:18 PM
    Comment #247339

    Not to mention the continued involvment in Iraq, a pre-emptive war based on flawed and/or trumped up, or false intelligence.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 7, 2008 06:22 PM
    Comment #247349

    d.a.n.

    While I agree with most of what you’ve said here I do somewhat disagree with this:

    David Walker is not a crack-pot, but he appears to be largely ignored.

    I think while what he says has a basis, it often is stated in extreme ways with a bit of chicken little overtones, that sounds more like he’s trying to get attention, rather than provide solid and sound opinion.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 7, 2008 08:55 PM
    Comment #247352

    So, the South Americans have resolve thier differences with a handshake it appears. Good on them.

    Meanwhile, Bush is going to veto a bill outlawing waterboarding by the CIA. He’s just shameful.

    Bush to veto bill banning waterboarding

    Posted by: womanmarine at March 7, 2008 09:32 PM
    Comment #247353

    I am trying to see how any of this diatribe has any value.

    The same posted by:’s have been saying the same thing for the years I’ve been here.

    What has been accomplished?
    I see nothing being accomplished, and it’s a shame.

    Ralph Nader has been campaigning for years against corporate domination of our economy and he’s excluded from the process by being labeled an outsider.

    Our fair haired champion lawyer, what’s his name, rails against corporate domination and he falls by the wayside.

    Anyone who challenges the corporate domination of our government is labeled a crack pot or a nutcase and is delegated to the ranks of the failed without a chance to explain themselves.

    I’m denied my freedom of speach because I am not eloquent with words. I cannot back up my thoughts with quotes from prominent figures that agree with me. I am shoved to the rear because of my education and my experience. My experience and my education is rendered null and void because of a lack of connectivity. A lack of common interface with the liberal remer, daugherty, democratic, point of view.

    Would I be held in high reguard by my liberal counterparts if I were to agree again and again?

    No! I wouldn’t be held in high reguard. I would be set aside in the plus column and used as an example of how the liberal point of view is correct.

    I refuse to be a shill for the status quo simply because dominate figures disagree with me. I refuse to bow to an opinion simply because that opinion is the dominant opinion. My opinion has led to incarceration, humiliation, degredation, but not subjugation.

    I’m letting you know your words of condesention are not a valid arguement. Your method of belittlement will not replace my freedom. I have a right to speak and I will not submit to your constant badgering.

    Posted by: Weary Willie at March 7, 2008 09:59 PM
    Comment #247358

    David,

    You wrote:

    The Bush administration has not been an international good guy by comparison to the likes of Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro. Jack constantly falls into the trap of allowing our adversaries to define us and our actions.
    I agree in principal. But I think that Jack is using the idea that “you know a man by his enemies.” You can know a man by his enemies, but his interpretation of what that means is overly simplistic. He probably thinks: If your enemy is bad, you must be good. This is not true. Sometimes the good guy (John Wayne) stands up against the bad guy and is defined by his standing against evil. Often however, it is bad guys fighting with each other over the spoils of evil (gang wars). In both cases you are defined by your enemy. In one case you are his opposite, in the other his mirror image. Of course, there are many gray areas in between the two.

    Posted by: Ray Guest at March 7, 2008 10:31 PM
    Comment #247360

    Liam,

    You wrote:

    Especially when Venezuela has absolutely nothing to do with this dispute, and the way it would all play out is scenes of Latin American armies and citizens killing each other.
    I agree generally. I don’t think Chavez intends war. He is probably doing a little grandstanding for the domestic and international audience. He is probably trying to support his friends by putting military pressure on Colombia. He is probably trying to defend himself from another American coop attempt that might occur in the midst of regional instability. He would be foolish to actually go to war, but people have miscalculated into war before. Especially, you don’t mess with the BushCheneyHaliburtonExxonWorldbankIMF administration. Those guys are nuts. Don’t give em any excuses…

    Posted by: Ray Guest at March 7, 2008 10:43 PM
    Comment #247361

    womanmarine,

    Unfortunately, the victors write history, but an honest historian ever arises; what will be said of a President who uses his power maintain the “right” to torture. Does he think that torture is “an inalienable human right.” Even as recently as ten years ago, could you imagine a President daring to do that without millions of people pouring into the street. There should be riots in every city of America. It is like… like… like… water torture. They have done so many outrageous things, one after the other, that drop by drop they wear us down, until we break down and accept the totally unacceptable.

    Posted by: Ray Guest at March 7, 2008 10:59 PM
    Comment #247362

    My opinion is based on what the person says. What the person I’m looking in the eye says to me. Not what some news man says on the half hour.

    The news guy is spouting the latest, not the best. He’s spouting the most catching not the most productive. Why is the news guy the most influential of all?

    Because he is the most easiest to access.
    Just like the democratic point of view. It’s the easiest to get, the most available, the dominant opinion.


    That doesn’t mean the democratic point of view is the best. It means the democratic point of view is the dominant point of view and it allows no other to be available. Unless another point of view can troubleshoot a crisis instigated by the democratics.

    We’re experencing the crisis management of the democratic party’s manipulation of world affairs over the last 100 years now. It’s not pretty trying to hold onto dominatation. Not pretty at all.


    Posted by: Weary Willie at March 7, 2008 11:00 PM
    Comment #247375

    Weary,

    You sound like you are sounding off pretty freely, to me. The only restriction here is not attacking the messenger.

    As to the Democratic dominance of issues, that’s simply a crock. The Republican or conservative point of view has dominated American culture since the rise of Reagan. It’s a false point of view, in my opinion, and has fallen on it’s own phoneyness and the corruption of it’s proponents, in recent months.

    It’s the wealthy man’s justification for unjust distortions of compensation inherit in capitalism, wrapped in puritan theism, something for which foolish Americans have always been eager to fall.

    Railing against education is waving a banner for ignorance and is about the dumbest argument I’ve ever heard. conservatism’s rise was in part due to William F. Buckley, a true intellectual. While I often didn’t agree with his viewpoint, he was seminal in my own education, having watched shows like Firing Line from childhood.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 8, 2008 04:30 AM
    Comment #247388
    googlumpugus wrote: d.a.n. While I agree with most of what you’ve said here I do somewhat disagree with this:
      d.a.n wrote: David Walker is not a crack-pot, but he appears to be largely ignored.
    googlumpugus wrote: I think while what he says has a basis, it often is stated in extreme ways with a bit of chicken little overtones, that sounds more like he’s trying to get attention, rather than provide solid and sound opinion.
    Do you have any facts to support that conclusion/opinion that David Walker’s warnings have “stated in extreme ways with a bit of chicken-little overtones”?

    I don’t know David Walker (or many people in government for that matter) well enough to defend his (or anyone’s for that matter) reputation 100%.
    However, can you show us anything that David Walker has done that is irresponsible, or merely designed only to get himself “attention”?
    Perhap you have seen something we haven’t?

    After all, in case you haven’t noticed, people seldom do themselves a favor by trying to give credence to the potential for dooms-dayish predictions. Wall Street hates it, the IN-PARTY hates it, stock brokers hate it, retailers hate it, and anti-anything-not-rosy optimists hate it. Doomsdayers are almost always painted as nut cases, even when eminent fiscal and economic melt-down is truly close or already upon us. Therefore, playing chicke-little is rarely advantageous.

    I’ve noticed many times that David Walker (U.S. Comptroller General) on many occasions, when some reporter or journalist has tried to back him into a dooms-day prediction, he was careful to say “if we stay on this course”, and that is true. He is not the only economist or analyst that has stated the very same thing. If we stay on the current course, the following problems (below), growing in number and severity, will get worse; not better.

    Therefore, I don’t see anything chicken-little about that.
    David Walker has put out several videos (one-simple-idea.com/DebtAndMoney.htm#Videos) to help educate Americans about the U.S.A.’s fiscal situation, and it appears (for the most part) to be responsible and accurate.
    The following is not mere chicken-little, dooms-day, sky-is-falling rhetoric:

    • the $9.4 Trillion National Debt is costing over $1 Billion per day in INTEREST alone;

    • $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security (leaving it pay-as-you-go with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching);

    • Trillions are being spent on the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan;

    • the PBGC pensions are $450 Billion in the hole;

    • federal taxes are regressive (one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm#Taxes)

    • incomes have fallen for decades (one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm#Income);
      • __TOTAL U.S. Debt and National Income__(2006 Dollars)
      • T=Trillion
      • $50.0T | - - - - - - - - - - - - - D (Debt=$48T)
      • $47.5T | - - - - - - - - - - - - - D
      • $45.0T | - - - - - - - - - - - - -D
      • $42.5T | - - - - - - - - - - - - -D
      • $40.0T | - - - - - - - - - - - - -D
      • $37.5T | - - - - - - - - - - - - D
      • $35.0T | - - - - - - - - - - - -D
      • $32.5T | - - - - - - - - - - - D
      • $30.0T | - - - - - - - - - - -D
      • $27.5T | - - - - - - - - - - D
      • $25.0T | - - - - - - - - - -D
      • $22.5T | - - - - - - - - - D
      • $20.0T | - - - - - - - - -D
      • $17.5T | - - - - - - - - D
      • $15.0T | - - - - - - - -D
      • $12.5T | - - - - - - -D
      • $10.5T | - - - - D - - - - - - - - I (Income=$10T)

      • $07.5T | - - D - - - - - -I

      • $05.0T |D- - - - I

      • $02.5T |I

      • $00.0T |________________________YEAR

      • _______1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 22

      • _______9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0 00

      • _______5 6 6 6 7 7 8 8 8 9 9 0 00

      • _______7 1 5 9 3 7 1 5 9 3 7 1 56

      • The Debt-to-Income ratio in year 1957 was 200% (($5T/$2.5T)=2.0 x 100)

      • The Debt-to-Income ratio in year 2006 was 480% (($48T/$10T)=4.8 x 100)

      • That is, in 1957, total debt was 2.0 times national income.

      • Energy vulnerabilities, despite the Dept. Of Energy’s annual budget of over $27 Billion.

      • The total $48 Trillion nation-wide debt is 4.8 times national income; where will the money come from to pay the INTEREST on that debt? Much less the money to reduce the DEBT so that it doesn’t grow ever larger?

    • Since year 2006 (money.cnn.com/2006/03/22/real_estate/homeownership_study/index.htm), home ownership has fallen for middle-income and lower-income people. Currently, home ownership is in a record plunge (money.cnn.com/2008/01/29/news/economy/home_ownership_vacancies/index.htm?postversion=2008012913), and the 4th quarter of 2007 saw the biggest one-year drop (1.1%) since tracking began in year 1965, as current mortgage problems and rising foreclosures take their toll.

    • home equities have fallen below 50% since year 1945;

    • the current wealth disparity gap has never been larger since the Great Depression; 1% that owned 20% of all wealth in 1976 now owns 40% of all wealth in the U.S., and 80% of all Americans only owns 17% of all wealth in the U.S.;

    • jobs are leaving the country by the millions; there are more jobs in the severely over-bloated government than all manufacturing in the U.S.

    • personal nation-wide debt ($20 Trillion) has never been higher (also as a percentage of GDP);

    • middle income Americans are losing an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion annually in net losses due to illegal immigration;

    • astronomical health care costs (too many middlemen and government meddling); (one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm#HealthCare)

    • declining quality and rising cost of education;

    • trade deficits are at record levels and have been growing worse for decades;

    • the U.S. is borrowing $3 Billion per day;

    • incessant inflation and the falling dollar;
      • ____INFLATION_______
      • CPI (CPI=100 for year 1967)

      • 700 + - - - - - - - - - - - X (=665: JAN-2008)

      • 650 + - - - - - - - - - - -X

      • 600 + - - - - - - - - - - -X

      • 550 + - - - - - - - - - - -X

      • 500 + - - - - - - - - - - X

      • 450 + - - - - - - - - - - X

      • 400 + - - - - - - - - - - X

      • 350 + - - - - - - - - - -X

      • 300 + - - - - - - - - - X

      • 250 + - - - - - - - - - X

      • 200 + - - - - - - - - -X

      • 150 + - - - - - - - - -X

      • 100 + - - - - - - - -X

      • 050 +XXXXXXXXXXX

      • 000 +_______________________YEAR

      • _____1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 22

      • _____8 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 9 00

      • _____0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 00

      • _____0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 07

    • While the U.S. is still one of the best 26 nations (of 195) in the world to live, and the U.S. still scores higher than most nations on Transparency International Corruption Score, the U.S.’ grade has fallen from position 11 (year 2004), to 17 (year 2005), and to 20 (year 2006). Starting a pre-emptive war based on flawed and/or trumped up intelligence didn’t help much.

    • increasing lawlessness; crime rates rising again after falling for several years;

    • etc., etc., etc.

    In my opinion, and based on dozens of economic factors (above), others in the federal government should be echoing David Walker’s warnings.
    There is no doubt that David Walker has his own political leanings (i.e. he was appointed by former president Bill Clinton), and some will accuse him of wanting to denigrate the current administration, but David Walker is far from being alone in denigrating the current admininstration, and it is the facts he is reporting that should be scrutinized.

    What ever David Walker’s motives may be, perhaps it would be best to first address the accuracy of his public statements?
    googlumpugus, perhaps if you could point precisely to some statements, or videos, or some evidence to prove David Walker is chicken-littlish, then your statement may have some credibility.
    But then, that would also require a lot of explaining to also explain away those not-so-rosy economic issues listed above to put a dent in David Walker’s warnings.
    (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_M._Walker_%28U.S._Comptroller_General%29).

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 8, 2008 11:41 AM
    Comment #247405

    WW said: “I have a right to speak and I will not submit to your constant badgering.”

    I think you just did! :-)

    Of course you have a right to speak in a public square, at home, or even here provided the rules are complied with. I love WatchBlog for that, rules that insure civility of discourse regardless of the passions that may underlie the discourse.

    Your comments have however for years, been a shill for the GOP majority opinion right or wrong, and still are amongst your Right Column cohorts. Me think thou dost protest too much! It is understandable for folks to seek a group to belong to when they feel threatened or inadequate. It is a very natural tendency.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 8, 2008 05:52 PM
    Comment #247406

    googlumpus said: “I think while what he says has a basis, it often is stated in extreme ways with a bit of chicken little overtones, that sounds more like he’s trying to get attention, rather than provide solid and sound opinion.”

    I think you mistake his intent. Facts and figures bore the hell out of people. He is right, we are heading over a cliff IF we do not act to prevent it. His bits of melodrama are intended to motivate inertia into action to prevent the realities his facts and figures portend.

    For this, I regard him as one of the great unsung heroes of our time. And he will be even more highly regarded as our government continues to ignore his warnings, much like MLK’s voice came to be so highly regarded as riots and racial violence dominated our cities and headlines in the 1960’s.

    Some ignorant folks of MLK’s day tried to claim it was MLK’s voice causing all the rioting, despite the fact that the exact opposite was the case. I see this happening now with David Walker. Some are claiming he is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, when in fact, his efforts are quite the contrary, to avoid it.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 8, 2008 05:58 PM
    Comment #247409

    d.a.n.

    Something that got a lot of play recently was this (paraphrased) statement:

    Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.

    I believe he was a history major. He likes to make comparisons to historical scenarios and I have read several that are equally false.

    What expertise does the comptroller have in these fields? What is his basis for this hyperbole? I have to conclude it’s to get attention, because it isn’t based in fact, and is ludicrous on it’s face.

    Somehow I’m not expecting the Barbarian invasion anytime soon, are you?

    I haven’t accused anyone of talking us into a recession, but there are psycological effects. Yes we have a serious credit crunch at hand. Belt tightening is exactly the wrong answer. Responsible spending amd easing of monetary policy is in order here. We don’t need a trade war with Canada regarding NAFTA, or letting the capital markets fall on their own pitard because they deserve it. When someone begins to throw reason out the window and panic, I tend to ignore them. I’m not accusing Walker of that, but getting a headline isn’t all that helpful.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 8, 2008 06:47 PM
    Comment #247412

    Willie,

    “It means the democratic point of view is the dominant point of view and it allows no other to be available. Unless another point of view can troubleshoot a crisis instigated by the democratics. “

    After the last 6.5 years of people bantering the words “treason, and traitor” about like they were meaningless, I can’t see how anybody could make a comment like that with a straight face.

    Posted by: Rocky at March 8, 2008 09:51 PM
    Comment #247471
    googlumpugus wrote: d.a.n Something that got a lot of play recently was this (paraphrased) statement: … Mr. Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.
    Is that it?

    Is that all of your evidence?
    And what’s wrong with those statements?

    David Walker compared the present-day United States with the Roman Empire in its decline, saying the U.S. government is on a “burning platform” of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, expensive overcommitments to government provided health care, swelling Medicare costs, the enormous expense of a prospective universal health care system, immigration, and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon.

    Notice the word if ?
    David Walker is right. He said the fall of the Roman Empire (one of the longest lasting in history) fell due to:

    • No. 1: Decline in moral values and political civility at home.

    • No. 2: Overconfident and overextended militarily around the world.

    • No. 3: Fiscal irresponsibility by the central government.

    What is false about that?

    And yes, all 3 of those apply to the U.S. today. Especially No. 3.
    Therefore, there are some parallels.
    History often repeats itself (though not always exactly; hence the phrases “striking similarities”, “parallels”, etc.).

    googlumpugus wrote: I believe he was a history major.
    He has degree in Accounting from Jacksonville University (FL), a Senior Management in Government Certificate in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
    googlumpugus wrote: He likes to make comparisons to historical scenarios and I have read several that are equally false.
    Not true.

    You have not yet proved anything as “equally false”.

    googlumpugus wrote: What expertise does the comptroller have in these fields? What is his basis for this hyperbole?
    He has a lot of experience, if you look at his resume and history.
    googlumpugus wrote: What is his basis for this hyperbole?
    What hyperbole? Where?
    googlumpugus wrote: I have to conclude it’s to get attention, because it isn’t based in fact, and is ludicrous on it’s face.
    What facts were false, much less ludicrous?

    You have a right to your opinion, but it does not yet appear to be based on any facts.

    googlumpugus wrote: Somehow I’m not expecting the Barbarian invasion anytime soon, are you?
    Where did David Walker say anything about the U.S. “expecting the Barbarian invation soon”?

    Talk about hyperbole.

    googlumpugus wrote: I haven’t accused anyone of talking us into a recession, but there are psycological effects.
    But you are now accusing David Walker is responsible for it?
    googlumpugus wrote: Yes we have a serious credit crunch at hand.
    It is a little more serious than a credit crunch
    • $9.4 Trillion National Debt, with over $1 Billion per day in INTEREST alone on the National Debt (never higher, and never larger as a percentage of GDP since after World War II);
    • $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching (never worse, and if combined with the $9.4 Trillion National Debt, the total federal debt has never been worse ever, including as a percentage of GDP);
    • the PBGC pensions are $450 Billion in the hole;
    • state and local governments have over $6 Trillion of debt;
    • the nation-wide personal debt is over $20 Trillion (never worse ever; and never worse as a percentage of the $13.86 Trillion GDP since the Great Depression);
    • there are hundreds of billions (possibly trillions) of unfunded liabilities for the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan;
    • the nation-wide debt is over $48 Trillion (almost half of the Nation’s total net worth; never worse since the Great Depression);
    • but 80% of Americans only own 17% of the Nations total wealth (never worse since the Great Depression); only 2% of all Americans owns most of the wealth in the nation a trend that has been worsening since year 1976, and has never been worse since the Great Depression;
    • the U.S. Dollar has been falling fast against all major international currencies for the last 7 years; the U.S. Dollar has been falling fast against all major international currencies for the last 7 years; we’ve had incessant inflation since year 1956;
    • illegal immigration has never been worse, costing middle class Americans an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion in annual net losses; there is also the untold cost of crime by illegal aliens, who are encouraged to commit more crimes by being anonymous, and repeatedly arrested, released, and deported over and over and over;
    • taxes are more regressive now than they have been for many years; we don’t need higher taxes; we need fair taxation; (what a few people have said about my tax plan);
    • the monetary system has two problems:
      • the issue of usury, which is moral issue
      • a mathematical flaw; it is a pyramid scheme (a 9-to-1 fractional banking system) and all pyramid schemes are doomed to eventual collapse; where will the money come from to pay the INTEREST in the $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt, much less the money to reduce the PRINCIPAL of $48 Trillion of debt; and the Federal Reserve is creating more money to bail out banks, as if we can borrow and spend our way out of debt;
    • Unemployment is rising since Dec-2007 (101,000 lost jobs in the last few months); finances are contracting; Jobs are going to China (1.3 Billion people), and India (1.1 Billion people), and Asia;
    • Jobs are leaving the country in droves; here’s a law firm that teaches corporations how to avoid hiring Americans;
    • Incomes have been falling since year 1967 (when also adjusting for more workers per household, more government debt, more taxes, and more regressive taxes, more illegal immigration; job displacement, and replacement jobs paying less than previous jobs, etc.);
      • The wealth disparity has been growing worse since 1980, and has never been worse since the Great Depression.
      • The wealthiest 1% of the U.S. population has 40% of all wealth in the U.S. (up from 20% in year 1980; never worse since the Great Depression).
      • The wealthiest 2% of the U.S. population owns most wealth; more than the remaining 98% of all Americans.
      • The wealthiest 10% of the U.S. population has 70% of all wealth in the U.S.
      • The poorest 20% of the U.S. population has negative net worth (i.e. debt)
      • 40% of the U.S. population has (on average) essentially zero net worth.
      • 80% of the U.S. population has a mere 17% of all wealth in the U.S.
    • Education is declining in quality while rising in cost; causing climbing property taxes (and tens of millions of illegal aliens is exacerbating the situation);
    • HealthCare or DangerousCare?: Healthcare is not only increasingly unaffordable, but dangerous too! HealthGrades.com reported (27-July-2004) that “An average of 195,000 people in the U.S. died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a new study of 37 million patient records”. Once again, part of the problem is government meddling, the growing corpocrisy, corporatism, and other manifestations of unchecked greed. Health Care Solutions are needed. While government is not necessarily responsible for providing universal health care, it is responsible for protecting consumers from some greedy corporations that will do anything for a buck. Also, illegal immigration is placing huge burdens on the healthcare system. Illegal aliens are over-running our ERs, hospitals, Medicaid, and welfare. If the 9 problems (above) were adequately addressed, it would reduce the pressures on the healthcare system, and make healthcare more affordable. Healthcare and pharmaceuticals; in their greedy dash for money and profits, pharmaceutical companies and corporate hospitals are killing 195,000 people per year due to preventable medical mistakes. 195,000 deaths per year is appalling; another manifestation of unchecked corporate greed. Since 1999, that is over 1.5 million people killed by preventable medical mistakes. That is more than all the U.S. troops killed in the American Revolution (4,435), the War of 1812 (2,260), the Indian Wars (1,000), the Mexican War (1,733), the Civil War (462,000), the Spanish American War (385), WWI (53,402), WWII (291,557), Vietnam War (58,209), Korean War (36,574), the Iraq Gulf War (529), the war in Afghanistan, and the current Iraq war Mar-2003-present (3,963), combined! Average savings rates in the U.S. have been negative since 2005, which have only been negative for over a full year once before for one year, which was during the Great Depression, when Americans were struggling with huge job layoffs during the Great Depression;
    • Average home equities fell below 50% (a 16 year low);
    • Home foreclosures are at record levels. Greedy banks are raising bank fees, fines, and Adjustable Rate Mortgages to usurious double digit rates. Predatory lending and fraud are part of the problem. Since year 2006, home ownership has fallen for middle-income and lower-income people. Currently, home ownership is in a record plunge, and the 4th quarter of 2007 saw the biggest one-year drop (1.1%) since tracking began in year 1965, as current mortgage problems and rising foreclosures take their toll, and more and more people find themselves with upside-down mortgages in which their homes are worth far less than the debt owed on the home;
    • Stock market volatility (which is a lagging indicator of economic instability);
    • Gold spiked to $988 per ounce;
    • Oil spiked to $106 per barrel; and the U.S. also has a very bad situation with urban sprawl and long commutes (also see book: Sprawl Kills - written by Joel S. Hirschhorn, coFounder of FOAVC)
    • Energy vulnerabilities, despite the Department Of Energy’s (D.O.E.) $28 Billion annual budget;
    • Incessant government bloat and waste, growing to nightmare proportions; there are now more jobs in government than all manufacturing; trade deficits are at record levels; we can’t only be a nation that consumes (spends and borrows), but has no manufacturing or industry … eventually, we will be crushed by the debt; the U.S. is borrowing $3 Billion per day; what do Americans expect if they keep selling each other out, and repeatedly reward the irresponsible incumbent politicians for all of it with 93%-to-99% re-election rates? For example, did you hear last week that the U.S. Airforce (7-Mar-2008) awarded a major portion of the contract to build airborne refueling planes to a European maker of Airbus planes (delivering a major blow to Boeing Co.);
    googlumpugus wrote: Belt tightening is exactly the wrong answer.
    “Belt Tightening is the wrong answer.” ?

    What do you suggest?
    Creating more money out of thin air, borrowing, and spending our way out of $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt?

    And IF the severely over-bloated federal government doesn’t stop the waste, pork-barrel, spending, excessive money printing, wars, and these other abuses soon, this recession will last a long time (or worse).

    googlumpugus wrote: Responsible spending amd easing of monetary policy is in order here.
    But you just said “Belt Tightening is the wrong answer.”

    Yes, responsible spending is always needed.
    And what are the chances of that when most voters continue to reward Congress with 93%-to-99% re-election rates?

    googlumpugus wrote: … easing of monetary policy is in order here.
    AAAHHHhhhhhh … like the “hair of the dog”, eh?

    By creating more money out of thin air, and making credit easier to get, when the nation is already swimming in $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt?
    Creating more out of thin air will only make things worse later, and the U.S. Dollar has already been falling for 7 years.

    googlumpugus wrote: We don’t need a trade war with Canada regarding NAFTA, or letting the capital markets fall on their own pitard because they deserve it.
    We need fair trade. And we don’t need to be subsidizing or rewarding corporations that move jobs out of the U.S.
    googlumpugus wrote: When someone begins to throw reason out the window and panic, I tend to ignore them.
    Hmmmm … it might be difficult to ignore one’s self.
    googlumpugus wrote: I’m not accusing Walker of that, but getting a headline isn’t all that helpful.
    You still provided nothing convincing that David Walker was only looking for headlines.

    As stated before, people seldom do themselves a favor by trying to give credence to potential dooms-dayish predictions. Wall Street hates it, the IN-PARTY hates it, stock brokers hate it, retailers hate it, and anti-anything-not-rosy optimists hate it. Doomsdayers are almost always painted as nut cases, even when eminent fiscal and economic melt-down is truly close or already upon us. Therefore, playing chicken-little is rarely advantageous.

    You’re entitled to your opinion, but I haven’t yet seen anything to substantiate it.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 9, 2008 05:38 PM
    Comment #247483

    Thank’s d.a.n. for your phoney and unfactual analysis.

    You didn’t answer the one question I asked.

    Are you expecting barbarians? No? Then I rest my case. This is a silly discussion of a serious subject. If the answer is yes….well, I think that would make my case as well.

    Hey, if you want the comptroller to be your morality and history professor, you are free to idolize him.

    There IS no factual comparison on these points between us and the Fall of Rome, there is only what I consider to be, hyperbolic conjecture.

    The problem with long range economic forecasting is that it involves assumptions, that, historically, are almost always wrong. If we were good at predicting economic outcomes we’d all be rich and recessions would never occur.

    Yes, we have economic problems and I am thankful when David Walker addresses these.

    As to a history degree, it wasn’t a significant fact. I misrembered a comment of his in something I read or viewed. I think he may have said he was a history buff. He DOES often make historical references, that in my opinion, are off the wall.

    OK!! You think we are in moral decline and ready to be sacked and burned. I’ll gladly play the fiddle or teach GW for you…are you happy? Nope, no hyperbole there.

    Me, I like to keep my feet on earth and I stopped drinking too much coffee long ago.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 9, 2008 08:16 PM
    Comment #247504

    D.a.n.,
    OK, I drank a pot of coffee…pull up a chair…

    googlumpugus wrote: d.a.n Something that got a lot of play recently was this (paraphrased) statement: … Mr. Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.
    Is that it?

    Yes, that’s what you asked for.

    In case you forgot, you asked: Do you have any facts to support that conclusion/opinion that David Walker’s warnings have “stated in extreme ways with a bit of chicken-little overtones”?

    Where are the declining moral values and political civility as compared to the fall of Rome?
    I haven’t seen a Caligula or Nero appointed as an all powerful emperor, horses in the Senate, or prostitution of Senate wives. Have you? Are assassinations between parties going on during the Senate? Did I miss this?
    Is there really a comparison with excessive military spending and power projection between us and Rome? Do we require the same type of force to maintain our economic status as Rome did? Do we import slaves from our outer provinces as spoils of war?
    Ok I’ll grant you fiscal irresponsibility. I’m not sure you can compare Rome’s economy with ours….but I’ll give you that one to be nice.
    Do you have any facts to support your ridiculous supposition that we are about to fall like Rome? You already listed numerous economic problems, caffeine aside, listing them twice doesn’t count. I’ve given you that there are economic problems (as I did in my original post) Where does this add up to the fall of Rome?

    However, can you show us anything that David Walker has done that is irresponsible, or merely designed only to get himself “attention”?

    I never called David irresponsible. That’s YOUR phony straw man.

    As to his desire to get attention, I’ll let him tell us:
    “I’m trying to sound an alarm and issue a wake-up call,” he said. “As comptroller general I’ve got an ability to look longer-range and take on issues that others may be hesitant, and in many cases may not be in a position, to take on…..

    Perhap you have seen something we haven’t?

    Nope I think you saw it when you backed up and said you couldn’t support everything he says….. and what’s with referring to yourself as we? Have you become royalty now? Really…. please cut back on the caffeine.

    After all, in case you haven’t noticed, people seldom do themselves a favor by trying to give credence to the potential for dooms-dayish predictions. Wall Street hates it, the IN-PARTY hates it, stock brokers hate it, retailers hate it, and anti-anything-not-rosy optimists hate it. Doomsdayers are almost always painted as nut cases, even when eminent fiscal and economic melt-down is truly close or already upon us. Therefore, playing chicke-little is rarely advantageous.

    We agree on something here. Could it be the doom and gloomers are usually wrong? At least, since 1929 they generally have been. Minor little fact there, that could have some significance.

    I’ve noticed many times that David Walker (U.S. Comptroller General) on many occasions, when some reporter or journalist has tried to back him into a dooms-day prediction, he was careful to say “if we stay on this course”, and that is true. He is not the only economist or analyst that has stated the very same thing. If we stay on the current course, the following problems (below), growing in number and severity, will get worse; not better.

    Because his message is about long term economic issues. When he spoke about the Fall of Rome…..guess what all the headlines read? They generally breeze over the economic details of what he says, but they all squeeze that quote in. He knows that he’s saying something over the top. The point is to get attention. Noble? Not really. A cheap trick to get a headline, which buries his real message.

    Therefore, I don’t see anything chicken-little about that.

    Fine. See Ya, after the Barbarians invade. Or are they going to fall from the sky?

    Caffiene attack.

    I didn’t dispute the economic data. Lotta facts. Irrellevant to what I posted, but Okey Dokey!!

    In my opinion, and based on dozens of economic factors (above), others in the federal government should be echoing David Walker’s warnings.
    There is no doubt that David Walker has his own political leanings (i.e. he was appointed by former president Bill Clinton), and some will accuse him of wanting to denigrate the current administration, but David Walker is far from being alone in denigrating the current admininstration, and it is the facts he is reporting that should be scrutinized

    I made none of these arguments. Who are you arguing with? Yourself?

    What ever David Walker’s motives may be, perhaps it would be best to first address the accuracy of his public statements?

    No, because I wasn’t arguing with you about the economic issues.

    googlumpugus, perhaps if you could point precisely to some statements, or videos, or some evidence to prove David Walker is chicken-littlish, then your statement may have some credibility.

    I did, but you think we are in Rome with Barbarians at the gate…..

    But then, that would also require a lot of explaining to also explain away those not-so-rosy economic issues listed above to put a dent in David Walker’s warnings.

    I only argued with his hyperbole. Economics IS boring. But if you can’t get past that, you aren’t going to understand it or educate anyone about it. The problem is the public heard about the fall of Rome, not the real economic issues. Panicking people doesn’t educate them.
    I don’t worship at the feet of David Walker and don’t recommend others do. We’ve had this debate before on one of David Remer’s doom and gloom, impending depression posts. The real secret of David Walker’s discussions are that there IS time to react, and there are SEVERAL choices that a government and people may make about what is socially responsible.
    We are entering a period of economic turbulence ( to use a Greenspan term), overreactions that contract the money supply could have serious impact. I encourage calm and reasoned debate, not discussions about impending depressions or the Fall of Rome. That is irresponsible in my opinion.
    Ultimately I only said I didn’t like the way David Walker used hypebole to make a point. You disagree. Did we really need to go through all this? The only facts that were relevant were the hyperbole. I never disputed the economic data.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 10, 2008 03:37 AM
    Comment #247536
    googlumpugus wrote: d.a.n You didn’t answer the one question I asked.
    Are you expecting barbarians? No? Then I rest my case. This is a silly discussion of a serious subject. If the answer is yes….well, I think that would make my case as well. Talk about silly hyperbole.

    Forgive me. I was not aware that you actually wanted a answer to such a stupid question …

    googlumpugus wrote:(i.e. Are you expecting barbarians?).

    googlumpugus wrote:
    Fine. See Ya, after the Barbarians invade. Or are they going to fall from the sky?

    googlumpugus wrote:
    OK!! You think we are in moral decline and ready to be sacked and burned. I’ll gladly play the fiddle or teach GW for you…are you happy? Nope, no hyperbole there.

    More hyperbole.

    googlumpugus wrote: I don’t worship at the feet of David Walker and don’t recommend others do.
    Me neither. I simply asked for proof to back up your claims of hyperbole.
    googlumpugus wrote: I made none of these arguments. Who are you arguing with? Yourself?
    It’s funny to see someone spouting so much hyperbole, while accusing others of it.
    googlumpugus wrote: … and what’s with referring to yourself as we? Have you become royalty now?
    Did you not see David R. Remer’s comment above. He obviously is not convinced by your comments either …
    David R. Remer wrote: For this, I regard him [David Walker] as one of the great unsung heroes of our time. And he will be even more highly regarded as our government continues to ignore his warnings, …

    Your argument is still very weak (if not completely baseless), and you still have provided nothing convincing to prove that David Walker is only looking for attention, nor that any of his statements were hyperbole. As I said, you are entitled to your opinion. It’s just that it doesn’t mean much if it isn’t backed up by any evidence or convincing facts.

    Your only argument is that David Walker mentioned some “parallels” with Rome, and that is true. There are some parallels, so you have still failed to provide any convincing proof.

    googlumpugus wrote: I did, but you think we are in Rome with Barbarians at the gate…..
    Nonsense. I never said such a thing.
    googlumpugus wrote: I never called David irresponsible. That’s YOUR phony straw man.
    No? Didn’t you write …
    googlumpugus wrote: … discussions about impending depressions or the Fall of Rome. That is irresponsible in my opinion.

    And David Walker also never said the Barbarians were at the gate.
    That’s your silly statement (i.e. desparately grasphing at straws).
    Your argument is very weak, if not totally unsubstantiated.

    If you could provide some proof of some kind, your comments might have more credibility. But as of yet, you’ve provided none.

    If David Walker is truly only looking for attention and making statements that are chicken-little hyperbole, then you should be able to provide some examples. But the one example you provided is very lame and not at all convincing.

    googlumpugus wrote: No, because I wasn’t arguing with you about the economic issues.
    Really? After all, you are the one that brought up fiscal irresponsibility in your initial statement
    googlumpugus wrote:d.a.n Something that got a lot of play recently was this (paraphrased) statement: … Mr. Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.
    googlumpugus wrote: Where are the declining moral values and political civility as compared to the fall of Rome?
    I don’t think saying there are “some parallels” equates to “identical”.

    However, here are over 10 major abuses that have been cheating Americans for over 30 years.
    We have some pressing problems that have been getting ignored for years, problems growing in number and severity.
    Not hyperbole; not chicken little, dooms dayish rhetoric.
    I haven’t seen any of David Walker’s warnings that are invalid.
    Progress is slow: 2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward.
    Unfortunately, in my opinion, based on those abuses, we’ve been going backwards for a while, and economic instability will most likely be the first casualty.
    It isn’t possible to continue borrowing, spending, and creating money out of thin air without some painful economic consequences.

    googlumpugus wrote: I encourage calm and reasoned debate, …
    Similar to your comments above?
    googlumpugus wrote: I encourage calm and reasoned debate, not discussions about impending depressions or the Fall of Rome. That is irresponsible in my opinion.
    Telling the facts are not irresponsible.

    Your statements might have some credibility if you could simply show some where David Walker’s statements are false.

    There is a real potential for economic instability, as evidenced also by your own statement …

    googlumpugus wrote: We are entering a period of economic turbulence ( to use a Greenspan term), . .

    googlumpugus,
    Why not just admit that your argument is very weak (if not completely lame)?

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 10, 2008 12:47 PM
    Comment #247553

    d.a.n.

    Are you really that obtuse, or just pretending to be for the sake of argument? Mischaracterizing what I said, only furthers the absurdity of your argument with yourself.

    I have not disputed that there are long term economic issues or that David Walker correctly addresses these. I said this my first and all posts. You continue to argue as though I have, claiming some sort of egotistical satisfaction at proving that I must believe this. Frankley, I find that a bit of a parrallel to someone in the twilight zone.

    You quote my parallels of Barbarian invasion and label them as hyperbole to prove that David’s parrallels of the Fall of Rome are not Hyperbole? Huh? Is this the contortionist version of logic?


    When the Financial Times fails to note much more than the Fall of Rome, David Walker’s hyperbole has served it’s function (the article I quoted). Sadly the article doesn’t really extrapolate much on the meat of David’s issues. This is the problem with using hyperbole to discuss real economic issues.

    I guess since you really can’t demonstrate the parallels to the Fall of Rome, it’s easier to accuse me of arguing about substantive economic issues, so that you can argue that case.

    As to your 10 abuses. I’ve got news for you, they’ve gone on since Lucy walked out of Ethiopia, not just the last 30 years. They are so vague as to be completely useless information.

    When exactly is the Fall of America going to occur d.a.n.? That seems like a rather significant event. Did David Walker address that?
    Do you have an opinion?

    Or did David Walker mention things like moral choices and future costs? How is that like Nero and the fall of Rome, exactly? You say it’s not an exact parallel, then what is the parallel? Or is it simply hypebole?

    Frankly, I think David Walker would have laughed at this discussion long ago. Even an idiot understands the technique of saying something hypberbolic to draw attention.

    I tried reasoning and using your own ridiculous parsing technique to point out the fallacy of your arguments. Enough said on this silly thing.

    My objection was your use of David Walker’s name as some sort of banner of legitimacy. The facts and figures are the source of legitimacy, not David Walker. In the pieces of his I’ve read and seen he is mostly reasonable in his discussions of long term issues. He is sounding an alarm, but he does not name the offenders. In my opinion, if the GAO or Mr. Walker wanted to really stir the pot, he would start pointing out fallacious economic arguments made by our “leaders” on a daily basis. That would get headlines, too. Sure it would be political suicide, but then I would award him his medal of valor.

    BTW, belt tightening and responsible spending are not the same thing to me.One infers reducing consumption, the other refocuses consumption. Devaluing the dollar and loose monetary policy are exactly what is needed in this credit crunch. Frankly, I think the fed and worldwide federal banks need to be more aggressive than they’ve been so far. A falling dollar will help our trade balance. Economic stability is what draws investors. Economic growth is needed.Then reducing spending is in order. Then a lot of these issues become smaller. I agree the Fed was too loose previosly, which led to the bubble.

    There are two issues here. The current contraction and long term economic health. Let’s not confuse them.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 10, 2008 03:00 PM
    Comment #247558

    googlumpus said: “What expertise does the comptroller have in these fields? What is his basis for this hyperbole? I have to conclude it’s to get attention, because it isn’t based in fact, and is ludicrous on it’s face.”

    Wow, no, it is your comment above which has no basis in fact. Walker’s facts regarding the unsustainability of a 16 to 20 trillion dollar national debt is very accurate. His assessment that our political system has demonstrated to date a political inability to address the unfunded entitlement mandates forces an unsustainable economic reality upon the U.S is spot on. His parallel’s with Rome are also pertinent and relevant. Far more Americans are versed in history than they are in economics. Thus, the relevance and pertinence of his allusions to Rome’s governance failures, ethics failures, and its economically unsustainable overreach militarily and in terms of hegemony.

    It appears that it is your comment’s lack of comprehension or education on the matters of which Walker speaks, that are your comment’s problem, not the motives and facts and projections of David Walker. The fact is, a great many educated folks in Walker’s arena agree with Walker’s facts and references, they debate however on whether or not our political system is structured in a way as to permit the kind of action necessary to avoid Walker’s economic meltdown projections if we fail to act. But, clearly, to date the fact that our political system has NOT dealt with the future requirements for solvency is not debatable.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 10, 2008 03:55 PM
    Comment #247571
    googlumpugus wrote: d.a.n. Are you really that obtuse, or just pretending to be for the sake of argument?
    The obvious frustration is the weakness of your own unsubstantiated comments.
    googlumpugus wrote: Mischaracterizing what I said, only furthers the absurdity of your argument with yourself.
    False. The only mischaracterizations and hyperbole I’ve seen were in your comments.
    googlumpugus wrote: I have not disputed that there are long term economic issues or that David Walker correctly addresses these.
    False. You wrote …
    googlumpugus wrote: … it often is stated [by David Walker] in extreme ways with a bit of chicken little overtones, that sounds more like he’s trying to get attention, rather than provide solid and sound opinion.
    Which was then followed by more hyperbole …
    googlumpugus wrote:
  • I never called David irresponsible. That’s YOUR phony straw man
  • I encourage calm and reasoned debate, not discussions about impending depressions or the Fall of Rome. That is irresponsible in my opinion.
  • Are you expecting barbarians? No? Then I rest my case.
  • Fine. See Ya, after the Barbarians invade. Or are they going to fall from the sky?
  • OK!! You think we are in moral decline and ready to be sacked and burned. I’ll gladly play the fiddle or teach GW for you…are you happy?
  • I don’t worship at the feet of David Walker and don’t recommend others do.
  • I made none of these arguments. Who are you arguing with? Yourself?
  • … and what’s with referring to yourself as we? Have you become royalty now?
  • … you think we are in Rome with Barbarians at the gate …
  • No, because I wasn’t arguing with you about the economic issues.
  • We are entering a period of economic turbulence (to use a Greenspan term), . .
  • … discussions about impending depressions or the Fall of Rome. That is irresponsible in my opinion.
  • googlumpugus, Your argument is still very weak (if not completely baseless), and you still have provided nothing convincing to prove that David Walker is only looking for attention, nor that any of his statements were hyperbole. You are entitled to your opinion, but it doesn’t mean much if it isn’t backed up by any evidence or convincing facts.

    googlumpugus wrote: I said this my first and all posts. You continue to argue as though I have, claiming some sort of egotistical satisfaction at proving that I must believe this. Frankley, I find that a bit of a parrallel to someone in the twilight zone.
    False.

    I simply asked whether you and and facts or evidence to substantiate your statement (below), and to date, you have provided nothing convincing.

    googlumpugus wrote: [David Walker’s statements] often is stated in extreme ways with a bit of chicken little overtones, that sounds more like he’s trying to get attention, rather than provide solid and sound opinion.

    d.a.n asked: Do you have any facts to support that conclusion/opinion that David Walker’s warnings are “stated in extreme ways with a bit of chicken-little overtones”?
    googlumpugus wrote: You quote my parallels of Barbarian invasion and label them as hyperbole to prove that David’s parrallels of the Fall of Rome are not Hyperbole? Huh? Is this the contortionist version of logic?
    Yes, your comments are doing a very good job of demonstrating contortionist, circulare logic.
    googlumpugus wrote: When the Financial Times fails to note much more than the Fall of Rome, David Walker’s hyperbole has served it’s function (the article I quoted). Sadly the article doesn’t really extrapolate much on the meat of David’s issues. This is the problem with using hyperbole to discuss real economic issues.
    False again. David Walker said there will be trouble IF we don’t change course soon, and that is true. Therefore, not hyperbole.
    googlumpugus wrote: I guess since you really can’t demonstrate the parallels to the Fall of Rome, it’s easier to accuse me of arguing about substantive economic issues, so that you can argue that case.
    False.

    The economic conditions are germane, since one of the parallels involves fiscal policies.

    googlumpugus wrote: As to your 10 abuses. I’ve got news for you, they’ve gone on since Lucy walked out of Ethiopia, not just the last 30 years. They are so vague as to be completely useless information.
    False.

    Those abuses are quite precise.
    There’s no vagueness at all.
    Which one did you find vague?

    • Lawlessness

    • Wars

    • Plutocracy / Kleptocracy

    • Illegal Immigration

    • Election Problems

    • Debt and

    • Inflation / Usury / the Monetary-System is a Pyramid-Scheme

    • Regressive Taxation

    • Insufficient / Inadequate Education

    • HealthCare or DangerousCare?

    Gee. I didn’t know Lucy (species Australopithecus) was concerned with laws, illegal immigration, election problems, debt, inflation, taxes, education, and healthcare.
    At any rate, it is true that the root causes of most abuses are rooted in human traits that have been with us for a long, long time (greed, fear, apathy, complacency, laziness, lust for power, etc.).

    googlumpugus wrote: When exactly is the Fall of America going to occur d.a.n.?
    In my opinion, if we don’t change course, it might be with a few decades, as the debt load finally becomes unmanagable (already now at $48 Trillion nation-wide; almost half of the nation’s net worth).
    googlumpugus wrote: That seems like a rather significant event. Did David Walker address that?
    I don’t think David Walker predicted a time-line.
    googlumpugus wrote: Do you have an opinion?
    I think we will change course, but not soon enough to avoid considerable pain.

    Already, home equities have fallen to a 16 year low (below 50%).
    The Nation-wide debt of $48 Trillion is at record level highs.
    So are trade deficits.
    All of these factors culminating all around the same time doesn’t look good.
    I think we will have a one or more long recessions for the coming decades, and the standard of living will continue to fall.
    Beyond that is too hard to predict.
    But if the federal government continues the massive borrowing, spending, and eroding the currency, something as severe as a Great Depression is not far-fetched.

    googlumpugus wrote: Or did David Walker mention things like moral choices and future costs? How is that like Nero and the fall of Rome, exactly? You say it’s not an exact parallel, then what is the parallel? Or is it simply hypebole?
    Again, David Walker nor I ever contended there were exact parallels. David Walker simply said the fall of the Roman Empire (one of the longest lasting in history) fell due to:
    • No. 1: Decline in moral values and political civility at home.
    • No. 2: Overconfident and overextended militarily around the world.
    • No. 3: Fiscal irresponsibility by the central government.
    What is false about that?

    Afterall, all 3 of those parallels exist today.
    We have troops all over the planet, and it is very costly, and we have a lot of debt.

    googlumpugus wrote: Frankly, I think David Walker would have laughed at this discussion long ago.
    Maybe. It’s possible that denying reality, accusing other of hyperbole while spouting tons of hyperbole, and the inability recogonize it can be amusing.
    googlumpugus wrote: Even an idiot understands the technique of saying something hypberbolic to draw attention.
    What hyperbole? You’ve still failed to provide any facts or evidence. It may exist somewhere, but I haven’t seen it yet. If he is so prone to hyperbole, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding some of it.
    googlumpugus wrote: I tried reasoning and using your own ridiculous parsing technique to point out the fallacy of your arguments. Enough said on this silly thing.
    The obvious frustration is the weakness of your own unsubstantiated comments.

    Your comments are easy to parse and repudiate, because they are not only silly hyperbole in most cases, but lack reason and supporting facts.

    googlumpugus wrote: My objection was your use of David Walker’s name as some sort of banner of legitimacy.
    I think the U.S. Comptroller General has some legitimacy, which is reinforced by his rhetoric, education, videos, and writings.
    googlumpugus wrote: The facts and figures are the source of legitimacy, not David Walker.
    Exactly. I’ve seen many GAO Reports and David Walker’s writings and videos.

    If you see any false facts, please feel free to point them out.

    googlumpugus wrote: In the pieces of his I’ve read and seen he is mostly reasonable in his discussions of long term issues. He is sounding an alarm, but he does not name the offenders. In my opinion, if the GAO or Mr. Walker wanted to really stir the pot, he would start pointing out fallacious economic arguments made by our “leaders” on a daily basis. That would get headlines, too. Sure it would be political suicide, but then I would award him his medal of valor.
    He has. You obviously have not followed his deeds closely.

    For example:

    • WASHINGTON, March 7, 2008 (UPI) — With less than a week left as the top U.S. auditor, David Walker is asking Congress again for a review of finances of the CIA and other intelligence agencies… Walker said he is fighting powerful legislative patrons of intelligence agencies who have resisted examinations of how taxpayer dollars are spent.

    • (12/8/2006) David Walker, U.S. Comptroller General discusses Congressional oversight of Iraq, the federal deficit, and private contractors. Also an update on U.S. war costs for Iraq & Afghanistan.

    • In the congressional debate over President Bush’s $1.6 trillion package of tax cuts over 10 years, Walker warned lawmakers to be prudent with the projected budget surplus, and to take into account a demographic tidal wave he says will begin to arrive just beyond this 10-year period. This wave, he said “can swamp our future fiscal picture and return us to the days of growing deficits if we are not prudent about our actions today.”

    • Also, I seriously doubt the IN-PARTY (previously the Republicans) liked David Walker’s warnings, while they are trying to paint a rosy picture of everything.

    • Lastly, people seldom do themselves a favor by trying to give credence to potential dooms-dayish predictions. Wall Street hates it, the IN-PARTY hates it, stock brokers hate it, retailers hate it, and anti-anything-not-rosy optimists hate it. Doomsdayers are almost always painted as nut cases, even when eminent fiscal and economic melt-down is truly close or already upon us. Therefore, playing chicken-little is rarely advantageous.

    googlumpugus wrote: BTW, belt tightening and responsible spending are not the same thing to me. One infers reducing consumption, the other refocuses consumption.
    But you wrote …
    googlumpugus wrote: Belt tightening is exactly the wrong answer.
    It doesn’t matter if people are broke, and can’t take on more debt.
    googlumpugus wrote: Devaluing the dollar and loose monetary policy are exactly what is needed in this credit crunch.
    So we can create money out of thin air, borrow, and spend our way out of debt?

    Sure, it might be good if good loans can be made, but it’s a vicious cycle, that grows the debt larger and larger. It will simply make things worse long-term.

    googlumpugus wrote: Frankly, I think the fed and worldwide federal banks need to be more aggressive than they’ve been so far.
    What you are suggesting will simply make credit easier to get, and the debt will grow larger and larger. It will simply make things worse long-term.
    googlumpugus wrote: A falling dollar will help our trade balance.
    The down-side is worse that the up-side.
    googlumpugus wrote: Economic stability is what draws investors. Economic growth is needed. Then reducing spending is in order.
    Tell it to Congress, that continues to create money out of thin air, borrow, and spend; creating more and more debt.
    googlumpugus wrote: Then a lot of these issues become smaller. I agree the Fed was too loose previosly, which led to the bubble.
    We have had many bubbles; bubble after bubble after bubble.

    The incessant exponential erosion of the currency fuels it.
    People flee to stocks, then to real estate, then to oil, gold, and commodities.

    googlumpugus wrote: There are two issues here. The current contraction and long term economic health. Let’s not confuse them.
    It’s more serious than a mere contraction.

    The problem is a combination of factors all culminating simultaneously.

    • massive debt ($48 Trillion nation-wide debt);

    • inflation; erosion of the U.S. Dollar since 1956; falling against all major international currencies since 1999;

    • falling incomes (especially when including more workers per household);

    • credit crunch, exacerbated by much debt and inflation already;

    • wealth disparity (never worse since the Great Depression);

    • record low home equities (below 50%); lowest level in 16 years;

    • record level foreclosures; millions per year;

    • increasing education costs and declining quality (at a time when we need more education to compete globally);

    • illegal immigration costing tax payers $70 Billion to $339 Billion annually in net losses;

    • astronomical health care costs bankrupting families;

    • regressive taxation, as evidenced by Warren Buffet, the 2nd wealthiest person in the U.S., who paid a lower tax rate (e.g. 17.7% on $46 Million in year 2006), than his secretary (who made $60,000 and paid a 30.0% income tax rate)

    • rampant corruption and irresponsible borrowing and spending by Congress;

    • many pressing problems are getting ignored, growing in number and severity; lawlessness is increasing; crime rates are increasing;

    • stock market volatility and huge losses;

    • gold prices spiked to $980 per ounce;

    • oil reached $107.90 per barrel today;

    • two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing hundreds of billions per year;

    • $12.8 Trillion was borrowed and spent from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching;

    • the monetary system is a pyramid scheme that is doomed to collapse when there is no more capacity for more debt; it’s like playing the game of Monopoly, and one player (the bank) can print all the money they want; Before long, the bank owns all the money and property, and everyone else is broke or deep in debt.

    • plutocracy;

    • our government is FOR-SALE, as evidenced by 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters that are vastly out-spent by a tiny 0.15% of all 200 million voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more)

    • increasing global competition;

    Just answer this one question if you can:

    • QUESTION: Where will the money come from to pay the INTEREST on the $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt, much less the money to reduce the PRINCIPAL $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt?

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 10, 2008 06:35 PM
    Comment #247574

    Probably from all the attention your graphs get on this site, good grief give a guy a break.

    Don’t argue anyone, d.a.n will just put up another awe-inspiring chart and put us to shame with it! Oh great, I feel a disturbance, here comes another one!

    Feels good to keep it funny, doesn’t it?

    Anyway, to make this even worse, the entire David Walker interview, just found where it’s been plastered at for resale in hopes of getting to the public, it came out mid last year I believe in conjuction with someone’s candidacy, on Ron Paul’s first DVD. How fitting. It’s on the tail-end of it and it’s the full interview.

    Great d.a.n, now I’ll be lucky if anyone reads this at all. All the best.

    Posted by: dobropet at March 10, 2008 07:51 PM
    Comment #247577

    David,

    What is David Walker’s expertise on the moral decline of America as compared to the Fall of Rome? I see you bit into d.a.n.’s bait and switch routine. It was an absurdly hyperbolic headline grabber that worked. Please do not read d.a.n’s phoney intreprtation of my comments as mine or add to them.

    In context:

    Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.

    I believe he was a history major. He likes to make comparisons to historical scenarios and I have read several that are equally false.

    What expertise does the comptroller have in these fields? What is his basis for this hyperbole? I have to conclude it’s to get attention, because it isn’t based in fact, and is ludicrous on it’s face.

    Somehow I’m not expecting the Barbarian invasion anytime soon, are you?

    I haven’t accused anyone of talking us into a recession, but there are psycological effects. Yes we have a serious credit crunch at hand. Belt tightening is exactly the wrong answer. Responsible spending amd easing of monetary policy is in order here. We don’t need a trade war with Canada regarding NAFTA, or letting the capital markets fall on their own pitard because they deserve it. When someone begins to throw reason out the window and panic, I tend to ignore them. I’m not accusing Walker of that, but getting a headline isn’t all that helpful.

    Walker discusses economic problems quite well and I agree with most of what he says, even though d.a.n. seems unable to read these words.

    What I disagreed with was Walker’s use of the Fall of Rome as a corrollary to the US economy. There is no basis for statements that we are in moral decline, especially in comparison to the events leading to the fall of Rome. That IS absurd. I’m still waiting for facts to support this crackpot idea.

    It resulted in numerous simplistic articles that emphasized the fall of Rome and did nothing to educate the public about economics.

    Perhaps I am a complete moron, and Walker is an insighful historian. Or maybe it was a throw away line to garner attention.

    You and d.a.n. can wait for the Barbarians, I’m gona have some scotch and shake my head at the lunar phase.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 10, 2008 08:23 PM
    Comment #247579
    dobropet, Great d.a.n, …
    Thanks! : ) Posted by: d.a.n at March 10, 2008 08:29 PM
    Comment #247580

    googlumpus asked: “What expertise does the comptroller have in these fields?”

    Probably the same as mine as a philosophy minor in college and lifelong student of history. Moral decline (by Roman standards) was not the cause of the decline of Rome necessarily, but, the fall of all once great civilizations not conquered first, was preceded by a decline of moral/ethical observance by that society’s own standards (not by our Contemporary standards which would has no bearing on the topic at all.)

    Political civility is rather obvious as a potential precursor to the fall of a civilization as political capacity and productivity in solving national problems is essential to preserving the integrity of a large civilization.

    One does not need a Ph.D. to acknowledge the relevance and common sense of such factors.

    Are you suggesting that the only knowledge worth listening to is that which comes from EggSperts! If so, that may be the cause of the flaw in your arguments against David Walker. His motives are irrelevant if his facts and logic and rational assessment are sound, a priori. And many of them are.

    Unsustainable debt can be a way of life destroyer. This is true a priori and is witnessed everyday in American bankruptcy courts. Political discord is the opposite of political consensus, and civilizations rely on certain degree of political consensus to preserve the leadership of the civilization, a priori, since some measure of consensus is required to solve challenges posed to civilizations.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 10, 2008 08:47 PM
    Comment #247581
    googlumpugus wrote: David [R. Remer],

    What is David Walker’s expertise on the moral decline of America as compared to the Fall of Rome? I see you bit into d.a.n.’s bait and switch routine. It was an absurdly hyperbolic headline grabber that worked. Please do not read d.a.n’s phoney intreprtation of my comments as mine or add to them.


    No. Don’t read it. You’ll turn into stone.
    googlumpugus wrote: In context: Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.
    False. Again.

    David Walker is right. He said the fall of the Roman Empire (one of the longest lasting in history) fell due to:

    • No. 1: Decline in moral values and political civility at home.

    • No. 2: Overconfident and overextended militarily around the world.

    • No. 3: Fiscal irresponsibility by the central government.

    What is false about that? It is all true.

    googlumpugus wrote: I believe he was a history major. He likes to make comparisons to historical scenarios and I have read several that are equally false.
    googlumpugus wrote: I believe he [David Walker] was a history major.
    False.

    We already covered this once. Now I’m beginning to wonder about your memory.
    David Walker has degree in Accounting from Jacksonville University (FL), a Senior Management in Government Certificate in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

    googlumpugus wrote: What expertise does the comptroller have in these fields? What is his basis for this hyperbole? I have to conclude it’s to get attention, because it isn’t based in fact, and is ludicrous on it’s face.
    Hmmmmmm … we already covered this once before too.
    googlumpugus wrote: Somehow I’m not expecting the Barbarian invasion anytime soon, are you?
    No. Were you actually expecting an answer to that question?
    googlumpugus wrote: I haven’t accused anyone of talking us into a recession, but there are psycological effects. Yes we have a serious credit crunch at hand. Belt tightening is exactly the wrong answer. Responsible spending amd easing of monetary policy is in order here. We don’t need a trade war with Canada regarding NAFTA, or letting the capital markets fall on their own pitard because they deserve it. When someone begins to throw reason out the window and panic, I tend to ignore them. I’m not accusing Walker of that, but getting a headline isn’t all that helpful.
    False.
    googlumpugus wrote:
  • I never called David irresponsible. That’s YOUR phony straw man
  • I encourage calm and reasoned debate, not discussions about impending depressions or the Fall of Rome. That is irresponsible in my opinion.
  • Are you expecting barbarians? No? Then I rest my case.
  • Fine. See Ya, after the Barbarians invade. Or are they going to fall from the sky?
  • OK!! You think we are in moral decline and ready to be sacked and burned. I’ll gladly play the fiddle or teach GW for you…are you happy?
  • I don’t worship at the feet of David Walker and don’t recommend others do.
  • I made none of these arguments. Who are you arguing with? Yourself?
  • … and what’s with referring to yourself as we? Have you become royalty now?
  • … you think we are in Rome with Barbarians at the gate …
  • No, because I wasn’t arguing with you about the economic issues.
  • We are entering a period of economic turbulence (to use a Greenspan term), . .
  • … discussions about impending depressions or the Fall of Rome. That is irresponsible in my opinion.
  • googlumpugus wrote: Walker discusses economic problems quite well and I agree with most of what he says, even though d.a.n. seems unable to read these words.
    Not true.

    Now you agree? Despite the many denigrations and accusation of hyperbole above?

    googlumpugus wrote: What I disagreed with was Walker’s use of the Fall of Rome as a corrollary to the US economy.
    Why? It’s not far fetched. David Walker’s warnings are not at all far-fetched.
    googlumpugus wrote: There is no basis for statements that we are in moral decline,
    False.

    You will first have to explain away these abuses.

    googlumpugus wrote: … especially in comparison to the events leading to the fall of Rome. That IS absurd. I’m still waiting for facts to support this crackpot idea.
    We are still waiting for facts to substantiate your unsustantiated statements (see above).
    googlumpugus wrote: It resulted in numerous simplistic articles that emphasized the fall of Rome and did nothing to educate the public about economics.
    False.

    David R. Remer tried to explain to you the motivations for using something that Americans understand.
    Economic is boring.
    But the reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire are more interesting.

    googlumpugus wrote: Perhaps I am a complete moron,
    For once, I agree with you 100%!
    googlumpugus wrote: … and Walker is an insighful historian.
    If you say so, but that is very contradictory to you previous statements.
    googlumpugus wrote: You and d.a.n. can wait for the Barbarians, I’m gona have some scotch and shake my head at the lunar phase.
    Ahhhhh … that explains a lot. Interesting.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at March 10, 2008 08:48 PM
    Comment #247583

    googlumpus said: “There is no basis for statements that we are in moral decline, especially in comparison to the events leading to the fall of Rome.”

    Sure there is. One would have to be blind to contemporary history to fail to see it. The rise of open tolerance for homosexuality and the legalization of the taking of lives whether in clinics or on death row, constitute by Christian textual standards of morality, a decline in American morality. But, this is only true if one accepts the arguments that 1) we are a Christian nation (which of course we aren’t as established in our Constitution), and 2) if one chooses against all evidence contrary, to believe that the incidence of homosexual proclivities or taking of life, is greater today than in previous times in our history.

    Walker may, I can’t say for sure because I haven’t spoken with him personally on the matter, be using common public parlance to convey a far more accurate theme, specifically, that our times are marked by a decline in the kind of discipline and integrity that motivated folks to ethical public service for reasons above and beyond the personal gains.

    If this is the case, then Walker is making a potentially valid case. The corruption of our government systems by those motivated by greed and avarice over public service and preservation/improvement of our way of life, does appear to be more widespread today, than in most periods previously. Not that human nature has changed that much, but, that the checks and balances on power, greed, and avarice have eroded, as in the public fails to hold politicians accountable at the polls, as they have in previous periods of our history.

    If this is what Walker refers to in discussing declining moral and ethical values, then I would have to agree with him. Much as Rome lost is representative government answerable to the people, as part and parcel of its decline. And much as Rome over extended its hegemonic reach beyond its revenue sources to maintain, causing it to relinquish ever greater regions of taxing authority, and the spiral effect caused the Roman Empire’s dissolution and collapse, similar to the U.S. attempts to maintain over 700 overseas military bases and outposts around the world, is proving to be a constant annual deficit maker leading to ever greater national debt which approaches level of unsustainability in the face of entitlement unfunded mandates or the consequences of failing to meet those mandates.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 10, 2008 09:05 PM
    Comment #247584

    d.a.n’s post:

    googleumpus comments: false

    There that proves it!!!!

    Only it didn’t take me nearly as long.

    I did not say the only purpose of David Walker’s comments were to gain attention. I said the Fall of Rome reference likely was.

    You continue to argue about statements I did not make (or group commnts on your absurd statements to distort their meaning) and choose to ignore the ridiculousness of the idea that the Fall of Americe is damn near identical to the fall of Rome and is imminent. Frankly, it makes you look a little nutty, but by all means proceed with with that.

    Since you did address the more sane discussion of actual economic policy, I’ll respond to that.

    googlumpugus wrote: BTW, belt tightening and responsible spending are not the same thing to me. One infers reducing consumption, the other refocuses consumption.
    But you wrote …
    googlumpugus wrote: Belt tightening is exactly the wrong answer.
    It doesn’t matter if people are broke, and can’t take on more debt.

    Exactly. The point is we are in a credit crunch, a contraction. That is economic cycle that requires increasing liquidity and easing monetary policy. While belt tightening might be a desirable long term goal, making the mistake of doing during a contraction accelerates the contraction, worsening the long term economic outcome.
    googlumpugus wrote: Devaluing the dollar and loose monetary policy are exactly what is needed in this credit crunch.
    So we can create money out of thin air, borrow, and spend our way out of debt?
    Sure, it might be good if good loans can be made, but it’s a vicious cycle, that grows the debt larger and larger. It will simply make things worse long-term.

    Not if you can grow the economy. Economics is always a balancing act.

    googlumpugus wrote: Frankly, I think the fed and worldwide federal banks need to be more aggressive than they’ve been so far.
    What you are suggesting will simply make credit easier to get, and the debt will grow larger and larger. It will simply make things worse long-term.

    Not if the economy recovers and grows. Long term, increasing oversight and responsible lending IS needed.

    googlumpugus wrote: A falling dollar will help our trade balance.
    The down-side is worse that the up-side.

    Not short term. Remember, there are two issues here: A contraction and long term economic stability.

    googlumpugus wrote: Economic stability is what draws investors. Economic growth is needed. Then reducing spending is in order.
    Tell it to Congress, that continues to create money out of thin air, borrow, and spend; creating more and more debt.

    Agreed. Of course it’s the Fed creating money and zero inflation/ low unemployment targets are ideal, but difficult to achieve. Walker’s message needs to get a response out of Congress. We need a watchdog to scream when spending cut targets aren’t met during expansions as well as confrontation of those not meeting those targets.

    googlumpugus wrote: Then a lot of these issues become smaller. I agree the Fed was too loose previosly, which led to the bubble.
    We have had many bubbles; bubble after bubble after bubble.
    The incessant exponential erosion of the currency fuels it.
    People flee to stocks, then to real estate, then to oil, gold, and commodities.

    I see nothing wrong with liquidity and moving markets. One market or other will always be rising or falling

    googlumpugus wrote: There are two issues here. The current contraction and long term economic health. Let’s not confuse them.

    It’s more serious than a mere contraction.

    It’s a they. Short and long term. I don’t think it makes sense to conflate them.

    QUESTION: Where will the money come from to pay the INTEREST on the $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt, much less the money to reduce the PRINCIPAL $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt?

    Well of course it will come out of yours and my pckets, but the only hope we have is to grow the economy while restraining or resstructuring long term spending. That means both economic responsibility and carefully pulling off the balancing act to recover from this contraction.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 10, 2008 09:10 PM
    Comment #247589

    David:

    While I don’t necesaarily agree with your comments about morality declining or even that greed in lieu of public service increasing as accurate, that is a reasoned response.

    It’s a stretch to make the connection to the percieved increase in greed as a parallel to the depravity of Nero or Caligula, but I’d buy that. That, of course, is reading a lot into a throw away reference, that I don’t believe he was overly serious about.

    It points out the press’ failings that the headlines and articles centered on this idea.

    I’m not quite sure I get your reference to Homosexuality. Historically, homosexuality was not a morality issue in Rome. Christianity was a fringe Jewish sect. Empirically, homosexuality is a part of the behavior continuum of Human Beings and probably does not fluctuate with the comings and goings of “morality” fashion. I was amused in a literature class in Texas when several of the students were amazed that homosexuality existed in the period when Lysistrata was written.

    The idea that greed or corruption is increasing, if believed, would indicate to me that Rhinehold is right that the only answer is smaller government. The only thing that has for certain increased is the size of government. If it is more vunerable to corruption, then it is unlikely that the behavior of millions of years of evolution have suddenly changed and more likely that government, like absolute power, corrupts absolutely.

    Personally, I think there is always greed and corruption. Reading about our founding fathers dealings and writings assures me of that. In fact, given their dealings in slavery and Jefferson’s own apparent debauchery with his slaves, and the economic instability of America at the time, I’d say Walker’s comment might more appropiately fit Jefferson’s time.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 10, 2008 09:43 PM
    Comment #247591

    dobropet,

    Thanks for the heads up, and may the force be with you :)

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 10, 2008 10:13 PM
    Comment #247595

    David,

    I came across this earlier today.

    Pope Benedict XVI has spoken out on social issues throughout his three-year papacy. He backs a current political initiative to outlaw abortions after 90 days and encouraged Catholics to abstain from a 2005 referendum on easing restrictive laws on fertility treatments, which failed to achieve the 50 percent participation level to make the vote to change the law binding.

    The seven social sins are:

    1. “Bioethical’ violations such as birth control

    2. “Morally dubious” experiments such as stem cell research

    3. Drug abuse

    4. Polluting the environment

    5. Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor

    6. Excessive wealth

    7. Creating poverty

    The original deadly sins:

    1. Pride

    2. Envy

    3. Gluttony

    4. Lust

    5. Anger

    6. Greed

    7. Sloth


    I guess he forgot about pedophilia or assumed it was already covered under an earlier admendment.:)

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 10, 2008 10:32 PM
    Comment #247618
    googlumpugus wrote: d.a.n’s post: googleumpus comments: false There that proves it!!!!
    Hmmmm … Is that another example of hyperbole? Or too much scotch?
    googlumpugus wrote: I did not say the only purpose of David Walker’s comments were to gain attention. I said the Fall of Rome reference likely was.
    False.
    googlumpugus wrote: … it often is stated [by David Walker] in extreme ways with a bit of chicken little overtones, that sounds more like he’s trying to get attention
    , Notice your own words “trying to get attention”. Maybe it’s the scotch whiskey?
    googlumpugus wrote: What expertise does the comptroller have in these fields? What is his basis for this hyperbole? I have to conclude it’s to get attention, because it isn’t based in fact, and is ludicrous on it’s face.
    Notice your own words “it’s to get attention”.

    As for the fall of Rome, your lame excuse is you don’t see the barbarians at the gate …

    googlumpugus wrote:
    Somehow I’m not expecting the Barbarian invasion anytime soon, are you?

    Nowhere did David Walker ever mention Barbarian invasion. That is your own twisting of the fact to salvage a weak (if not totally unsubstantiated case).

    googlumpugus wrote: You continue to argue about statements I did not make …
    False. Your own comments reveal otherwise.
    googlumpugus wrote: (or group commnts on your absurd statements to distort their meaning) and choose to ignore the ridiculousness of the idea that the Fall of Americe is damn near identical to the fall of Rome and is imminent. Frankly, it makes you look a little nutty, but by all means proceed with with that.
    How typical. Some people, when unable to debate the facts, they resort to name calling.

    Again, no one (including David Walker) said that America was going to fall, much less “damn near identical to the fall of Rome and is imminent”.
    Funny how some people complain of other’s hyperbole while spewing it.

    googlumpugus wrote: Exactly. The point is we are in a credit crunch, a contraction.
    It’s more serious than a mere credit crunch and/or contraction.

    The problem is that more credit won’t help many people that already have too much debt.
    And why is there so much debt?
    Could it possibly be that there is something wrong with the usurious, inflationary monetary system?
    How is it that everyone that works, invents, creates, builds, and produces be in debt to the banks?

    googlumpugus wrote: That is economic cycle that requires increasing liquidity and easing monetary policy.
    How do people borrow more when they can not handle the debt they already have now?

    How does one borrow and spend their way out of debt, when they already have more debt than they can handle?
    $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt is over $157,377 of debt per person.
    And 10% of the wealthiest Americans own 70% of all wealth in the U.S.
    80% of all Americans only own 17% of all all wealth in the U.S.

    googlumpugus wrote: While belt tightening might be a desirable long term goal, making the mistake of doing during a contraction accelerates the contraction, worsening the long term economic outcome.
    How do you stop contraction when people can’t borrow more because they already have more debt than than they can handle?
    d.a.n wrote: So we can create money out of thin air, borrow, and spend our way out of debt?
    googlumpugus wrote: Not if you can grow the economy. Economics is always a balancing act.
    AHHHhhhh … it’s magic, according to another lame argument.

    We just need to grow the economy, eh?
    How?

    • By borrowing and spending our way out of $48 Trillion debt (almost 4 times the $13.86 Trillion GDP)?

    • By undermining and selling out U.S. workers?

    • By more H-1B Visa and H-2B Visa abuses?

    • By importing more tens or hundreds of millions of illegal aliens (cheap labor)?
        FallingOrStagnantWages + CheapLabor = BigProfits

    • By more regressive taxation?

    • By creating more huge entitlement systems?

    • By spending those entitlement surpluses ($12.8 Trillion), leaving them pay-as-you-go, with a 77 Million baby boomer bubble approaching?

    • By meddling in healthcare (i.e. Medicare), creating massive Medicare fraud, and shifting medical costs to middle-income Americans.

    • By creating more liquidity (a.k.a. creating more money out of thin air) to bail out greedy banks whose greedy predatory lending practices created massive numbers of bad loans?

    For example:

    googlumpugus wrote:
    Frankly, I think the fed and worldwide federal banks need to be more aggressive than they’ve been so far.

    That will make credit easier to get, and the debt will simply grow larger and larger. It will simply make things worse long-term.

    googlumpugus wrote: Not if the economy recovers and grows. Long term, increasing oversight and responsible lending IS needed.
    Is it “responsible lending” to lend money to people that already have more debt than they can handle?

    That’s why we are now in the pickle we’re in now.
    Too much easy credit.
    Too much irresponsible lending.
    Too much usurious and predatory lending practices.
    Too much creating money out of thin air.
    Why do the banks get to receive interest on money created out of thin air?
    Seems like a definite conflict of interest, eh?
    If one makes INTEREST on money created out of thin air, they have a motive to create more money out of thin are, and loan it to everyone possible.
    Duh!
    And even if the loan is foreclosed, that’s OK too.
    Now the bank has converted money created out of thin air into real assets and property that can be auctioned off.
    Of course, the bank prefers the money and INTEREST, so that it can create more money out of thin air from its reserves (only 10%).

    googlumpugus wrote: googlumpugus wrote: A falling dollar will help our trade balance.
    d.a.n wrote:The down-side is worse that the up-side.
    googlumpugus wrote: Not short term. Remember, there are two issues here: A contraction and long term economic stability.
    More magic. Short term thinking is one of the problems and reasons we have economic instability, energy vulnerabilities, massive debt, and other abuses.
    googlumpugus wrote: Economic stability is what draws investors. Economic growth is needed. Then reducing spending is in order.
    d.a.n wrote: Tell it to Congress, that continues to create money out of thin air, borrow, and spend; creating more and more debt.
    googlumpugus wrote: Agreed. Of course it’s the Fed creating money and zero inflation/ low unemployment targets are ideal, but difficult to achieve.
    But you just said above that …
    googlumpugus wrote:Frankly, I think the fed and worldwide federal banks need to be more aggressive than they’ve been so far.
    To make more loans, the Fed must create more loans to member banks (probably at lower interest rates), which creates more debt.

    And the Federal government (treasury) can borrow more money (from China, Japan, Germany, etc.).
    And the U.S. Mint can create more money.
    And the Fedearl Reserve can also create more money out of thin air.

    Once again, how is creating more money out of thin air, borrowing more, and trying to loan more going to get us out of $48 Trillion of debt?
    How many short term solutions can be used until they no longer work?

    googlumpugus wrote: Walker’s message needs to get a response out of Congress. We need a watchdog to scream when spending cut targets aren’t met during expansions as well as confrontation of those not meeting those targets.
    There are many organizations do that. CAGW.ORG even grades every congress person and has the Porker-of-the-Month awards to make fun of pork-happy politicians.

    But it has little effect when incumbent politicians enjoy cu$hy 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    googlumpugus wrote: googlumpugus wrote: Then a lot of these issues become smaller. I agree the Fed was too loose previosly, which led to the bubble.
    d.a.n wrote: We have had many bubbles; bubble after bubble after bubble. The incessant exponential erosion of the currency fuels it. People flee to stocks, then to real estate, then to oil, gold, and commodities.
    googlumpugus wrote: I see nothing wrong with liquidity and moving markets. One market or other will always be rising or falling
    No? Bubble after bubble, which creates more economic instability, is OK?
    d.a.n wrote:QUESTION: Where will the money come from to pay the INTEREST on the $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt, much less the money to reduce the PRINCIPAL $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt?
    googlumpugus wrote: Well of course it will come out of yours and my pockets, …
    HOW is that possible when:
    • (1) the money to pay the INTEREST on $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt does not yet exist?
    • (2) the money to pay on the PRINCIPAL of $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt does not yet exist ?
    • (3) 20% of Americans have negative net worth (i.e. debt)?
    • (4) 40% of Americans have (on average) ZERO net worth ?
    • (5) 2% of the wealthiest Americans owns most of the wealth in the nation ?
    • (6) home equities have fallen below 50% (the lowest level in 16 years) ?
    • (7) real median household incomes have been falling for decades (especially when including the fact that there are more workers per household)?
    • (8) when taxation is regressive too (i.e. Warren Buffet paid 17.7% income tax on $46 Million while his secretary paid 30% income tax on $60K)?
    • (9) $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt is almost half of the nation’s net worth. Where will the money come from to pay the INTEREST on that $48 Trillion debt, much less the money to reduce the PRINCIPAL $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt, when that money does not yet exist?
    googlumpugus wrote: … but the only hope we have is to grow the economy while restraining or resstructuring long term spending. That means both economic responsibility and carefully pulling off the balancing act to recover from this contraction.
    That sounds good.

    But very nebulous and vague, and lacks detail.

    googlumpugus wrote:
    Frankly, I think the fed and worldwide federal banks need to be more aggressive than they’ve been so far.

    Your suggestion that the Federal Reserve make credit easier to get so that Americans can build up more debt doesn’t make much sense, when Americans already have more debt than they can handle.

    $48 Trillion of nation-wide DEBT is a huge part of the problem.
    The monetary system is a huge part of the problem, because it is a usurious and mathematically flawed pyramid scheme that breeds more and more debt.
    The monetary system is a is like playing the game of Monopoly, and one player (the bank) can create all the money they want out of thin air; before long, the bank owns all the money and property, and everyone else is broke or deep in debt.
    And these other abuses contribute to the problem.
    And more short-term solutions are creating a much bigger long-term problem.
    The pyramid scheme will collapse when the nation has no more capacity for more debt.
    The you will see the sell-off and liquidation of other assets.
    Already, we are seeing assets being sold off to foreign investors.
    The problem is more serious than a mere recession.

    • The problem is that the U.S. is actually producing less real value each year, and producing more debt.

    • There are now more jobs in the severely bloated government than all manufacturing jobs in the nation.

    • Trade deficits are a joke.

    • The U.S. is importing manufactured (value-added) products, while the U.S. is exporting wheat, corn, etc.

    • The U.S. is importing tens of millions of illegal aliens that are costing tax payers an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion in annual net losses, depressing wages, not to mention the untold cost of crime, disease, and job displacment.

    • The $9.4 Trillion National Debt is a massive drain on tax payers.

    • Why does the Federal Reserve get to receive interest from the government on money created out of thin air?

    • The federal government is undermining jobs in the U.S. This week, the U.S. Air Force gave a huge portion of a Supply Tankers.

    • The federal government is undermining jobs in the U.S. via H-1B visa abuses, and refusing to enforce existing laws.

    • The federal government is undermining jobs with unfair trade policies.

    • Greedy corporatists, only focused on short-term profits, are training our foreign competition, and moving massive numbers of jobs out of the U.S.

    • The federal government is sucking up 20% of all income.

    • The federal government is rampant with fraud, pork-barrel, corporate welfare, and waste (www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/bg1840.cfm), while the debt grows to record levels.

    • The total $48 Trillion nation-wide debt is almost 5 times the nation’s income, and almost 4 times the $13.86 Trillion GDP.

    • There are solutions, but more short-term solutions are not the answer. There are lots of good ideas, and solutions. Unfortunately, Congress is where good ideas go to die, and voters are culpable too for repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates (one-simple-idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2008.htm).

    • The list of abuses and stupid things the federal government has been doing for the past 30 years would fill volumes, and it is more serious than another recession. Things will get worse until those abuses are stopped.

    • As David Walker wisely warned us, if we don’t change course soon, there will be painful consequences in the coming years.

    By the way, David Walker recently resigned as U.S. Comptroller General (8vsb.wordpress.com/2008/02/15/david-walker-resigns-as-us-comptroller-general-post-no-021508-3/):
    As the head of the Peterson Foundation, Walker will oversee the billion-dollar endowment of Pete Peterson - former Commerce Secretary, the founder of the Blackstone group, The Concord Coalition, and legendary advocate for government fiscal responsibility. Chief among Walker’s duties at the Peterson Foundation will be the funding and advocating of projects that will enhance public awareness of fiscal imbalance, government deficits, and nuclear proliferation.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 11, 2008 10:36 AM
    Comment #247637

    d.a.n.

    Take a breath, dude.

    You may not like my assessment of the difference between short and long terms economic goals, but I have yet to see a practical solution come from you. We could go the Ron Paul method and create the worst depression in history, or try to slowly work our way out of this mess.

    If you were appointed emporer d.a.n., what would you do?

    I have no problem with someone attacking the Fed, calling for stable currency or aking for responsible spending. I do have a problem with panicky talk of impending doom, without realistic solutions. Walker does discuss solutions and distinguishes political economic choices from the simplistic political rhetoric of both parties which seems to be divorced from economic reality most of the time.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 11, 2008 01:14 PM
    Comment #247665

    goog said: “Historically, homosexuality was not a morality issue in Rome.”

    Quite right! Which is why I said morality FOR or defined by that particular civilization. The definition changes dramatically from civilization to civilization especially across historical time. But, I also referenced the tolerance for homosexuality as a precursor. It is an historically verifiable trend in history, and doesn’t take much creative thought to understand the correlation.

    Civilizations that become great before their demise are also civilizations defined at their peak by far more relative freedom and liberty for citizens (a goal of civilizations seeking to become great) which encompasses greater tolerance for individual choices, which in turn is an outgrowth of specialization of labor which is a signature hallmark of all great civilizations. In other words, as civilizations become great, tax payer freedom of choice and social liberties increase raising tolerance for such individual choices as homosexual lifestyles. Concurrently with the rise of tolerance for homosexual lifestyles, choice, and liberties, comes greater dissent, greater focus on the individual and less loyalty and deference to the civilization at large, which sows the seeds of the civilization’s fall from greatness. Sacrifice and deference for common purpose and ends is what builds great civilizations, and once great, individual choice, greed, and purpose undermine and destroy that sense of shared sacrifice and deference to society that made it great, all other things being equal.

    We are witnessing this very pendulum swing in the United States today. With great prosperity comes vastly greater freedoms of individual choice which prosperity buys in the form of power and influence and perceived (though not real) independence from the rest of society. Since homosexuality predisposition is relatively constant in populations, restrictive self-sacrificing civilizations seeking greatness are less tolerant of individual and minority differences. But, very prosperous civilizations allow great freedom of individual expression and choice which allows expression of previously repressed individuals with homosexual predispositions.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 11, 2008 05:49 PM
    Comment #247677
    googlumpugus wrote: d.a.n. Take a breath, dude. You may not like my assessment of the difference between short and long terms economic goals,
    That’s right.

    Your solution is not very good, but you will probably get your way.
    Today, the Federal Reserve pumped another $200 Billion into the banking systems (a.k.a. liquidity).
    Let’s hope the member banks are more responsible with loaning it out this time, eh?
    In the mean time, the U.S. Dollar is still falling fast (one-simple-idea.com/USD_Falling.htm).
    Hopefully, before too much longer, we won’t need a wheel barrow full of U.S. currency to buy a loaf of bread.

    The problem with the monetary system requires a very simple change.
    However, some very wealthy and greedy people will do everything they can to prevent it.

    googlumpugus wrote: … but I have yet to see a practical solution come from you.
    False again (see list below).

    I have lots of ideas, and here are several: One-Simple-Idea.com/One-Simple-Idea.htm#NinePointPlan
    The problem is a not a lack of solutions and ideas.
    The problem is:

    • (a) Congress is where good ideas and solutions go to die,

    • (b) and too many voters allow it by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    googlumpugus wrote:
    We could go the Ron Paul method and create the worst depression in history, or try to slowly work our way out of this mess.

    No. Ron Paul’s ideas of competing currencies, and/or returning to the gold standard are not the solution either. That would be a disaster. The world is already a mass of competing currencies. The problem with most monetary systems is two-fold:
    • (1) usury (which is also an ethical problem)

    • (2) and a mathematical problem that plagues all pyramid-schemes; they are doomed to collapse when there is no more capacity for the ever growing debt inherent in a pyramid-scheme.

    googlumpugus wrote: If you were appointed emporer d.a.n., what would you do?
    We don’t have an Emporers. We have three branches of government and a quasi-government controlled / privately owned Federal Reserve bank (one-simple-idea.com/FederalReserve.htm).

    However, here is what I would recommend:

    • STEP [1] Voters, please vote smarter and stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates. It isn’t working, is it?

    • STEP [2] Then stop these abuses
      • [2.01] Lawlessness;

      • [2.02] Wars (7 wars in the past 90 years; don’t start any more unnecessary wars);

      • [2.03] Plutocracy/Kleptocracy (e.g. 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a tiny 0.15% of all 200 million voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more));

      • [2.04] Illegal immigration; costing U.S. tax payers an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion annually in net losses;

      • [2.05] Address Election Problems;

      • [2.06] Debt; Stop all unnecessary spending;

      • [2.07] Pass an amendment to fix monetary system;

      • [2.08] Make the tax system fair (which is currently unfair and regressive); one-simple-idea.com/TaxSystemReform.htm ;

      • [2.09] Improve education; in a voting nation, an educated electorate is paramount, and necessary to compete in the global economy;

      • [2.10] Health care is a disaster and killing 195,000 people per year (since year 1999, in only 8 years, it is more deadly than the 1.5 million Americans killed in all American wars since the American Revolution).
    • STEP [3] Other solutions:
      • [3.01] VOIDnow.org (Voter Education)

      • [3.02] FOAVC.org (Uphold the Constitution; stop these violations: One-Simple-Idea.com/ConstitutionalViolations.htm)

      • [3.03] One-Simple-Idea.com/One-Simple-Idea.htm#NinePointPlan

      • [3.04] One-Simple-Idea.com/OnePurposePerBILL.htm

      • [3.05] One-Simple-Idea.com/BalancedBudgetAmendment1.htm

      • [3.06] One-Simple-Idea.com/One-Simple-Idea.htm#BalanceTheBudget

      • [3.07] One-Simple-Idea.com/BorderSecurity.htm#Solution

      • [3.08] One-Simple-Idea.com/TaxSystemReform.htm

      • [3.09] One-Simple-Idea.com/Biometrics.htm

      • [3.10] One-Simple-Idea.com/ProblemAndSolution.htm

      • [3.11] One-Simple-Idea.com/HealthCareSolutions.htm

      • [3.12] One-Simple-Idea.com/BiofuelsAndEthanol.htm

      • [3.13] One-Simple-Idea.com/Education.htm

      • [3.14] One-Simple-Idea.com/ElectionReform.htm

      • [3.15] One-Simple-Idea.com/Environment1.htm

      • [3.16] One-Simple-Idea.com/LawEnforcement.htm

      • [3.17] One-Simple-Idea.com/WhatAllVotersShouldDo1.htm

      • [3.18] One-Simple-Idea.com/WhatAllVotersShouldDo2.htm

    googlumpugus wrote: I have no problem with someone attacking the Fed, calling for stable currency or aking for responsible spending.
    That’s good. But do you see the inherent mathematical problem with the 9-to-1 fractional banking system in which money is created as debt (out of thin air), and the 12 Federal Reserve Bank charge all member banks and the U.S. government INTEREST on that money created out of thin air (which is why the debt monster grows and grows, and everyone else that works, invents, creates, builds, and produces is in debt to the banks?).
    googlumpugus wrote: I do have a problem with panicky talk of impending doom, without realistic solutions.
    I’ve listed solutions above, and those are not original ideas. I gleaned them from other people.

    The problem is very serious.
    We have not yet seen the painful consequences.
    The potential for a significant economic melt-down is not far-fetched (one-simple-idea.com/Scenario1.htm).

    googlumpugus wrote: Walker does discuss solutions and distinguishes political economic choices from the simplistic political rhetoric of both parties which seems to be divorced from economic reality most of the time.
    Hmmmmm … so David Walker really ain’t so bad after all?

    Someone needs to be waving the warning flags.
    Who else in the federal government is doing it?
    I think the situation is more serious than many think.
    Unlike past recessions since year 1950, we have painted ourself into a tiny corner with many problems culminating simultaneously (one-simple-idea.com/Factors1.htm).

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 11, 2008 07:43 PM
    Comment #247685

    Ah, d.an. finally gets it. I didn’t criticize the substance of Walker’s interviews just the hyperbole which clouded his message.

    It would have been nice if you read those lines in my first post:

    While I agree with most of what you’ve said here I do somewhat disagree with this:

    and

    I think while what he says has a basis,

    In the fictional world of emperor d.a.n. how would you reverse the recession?

    What you listed would have no immediate effect on the economy except to create ambiguity which would likely deepen a recession into depression proportions.

    What would you do to prevent yourself being hoisted on a pike and burned while your subjects starved? Tell them to eat cake?


    Posted by: googlumpus at March 11, 2008 10:27 PM
    Comment #247688

    David, Wow!

    That’s an interesting take.

    It is an historically verifiable trend in history, and doesn’t take much creative thought to understand the correlation.

    I’d be interested to know of any studies or books regarding this idea.(Meaning a linkage of accepting homosexuality and decline of empires)

    I’m not quite sure how this applies to Rome, however, as homosexuality acceptance didn’t arise at the end of their empire, it existed throughout their time and prior to it in Greece. The rejection of Homosexuality is associated with the rise of Christianity and Muslim religions, of course sex in general was seen as sinful in both cultures, unless it fit in with their other ideas of purity. Then, of course sexual subjugation was acceptable.

    Christian and Muslim empires have come and gone without homosexuality becoming acceptable in them.

    I’m less familiar with eastern cultures but do not recall similar episodes of the repression of homosexuality. Their macho cultures have always rejected homosexuality as far as I know. Eunuchs were popular for a time in China, but this was to make these men safer, more docile and remove the threat of being a cuckold.

    While Japan doesn’t accept homosexuality as far as I know, they are far more liberal in their sexual mores than western culture.

    I personally think the fall of Rome had to do with disconnection of the ruling class from reality. Their depravity increased with their removal from the stresses of real life supported by the slave classes below them, resulting in infantilism and even psychosis in the coddled classes and personified in the singular executive.

    I think that is more verifiable than a homosexuality quotient.

    Posted by: googlumpus at March 11, 2008 10:56 PM
    Comment #247693

    googlumpus,

    You forgot to mention the Romans had been drinking water out of lead pipes for centuries.

    Posted by: Rocky at March 11, 2008 11:43 PM
    Comment #247708

    Rocky,

    Granted. Although lead makes you stupid, not crazy, doesn’t it? They were also thought to eat moldy breads sometimes, I know that is often the excuse given for the Salem witch hunts.

    Of course, tertiary syphillis is thought to make paranoid, and schizoid leaders like Napolean or Hitler.

    I tend to think the problems were more attached to a large class or ruling group of Romans who became so accustomed to abusing those below them, that it failed to dawn on them, rebellion was rising. That and the distances involved in supporting and controlling their far flung empire became unsustainable.

    Kind of reminds you of guys like Abramhoff and Delay, but on a vastly larger scale. We have problems, but I find it somewhat disengenuous to compare our problems with theirs. It’s like comparing your big brother stepping on your toes with an ant being obliterated by an elephant. Similar, but not really of the same order.

    Posted by: googlumpus at March 12, 2008 01:16 AM
    Comment #247723

    goo, organic brain damage can manifest itself in either lowered rational thinking capacity or personality and emotional disorders, and both. Depends on what areas of the brain are affected as depositories for the lead.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 12, 2008 02:48 AM
    Comment #247741
    googlumpugus wrote: Ah, d.a.n. finally gets it. I didn’t criticize the substance of Walker’s interviews just the hyperbole which clouded his message.
    Nonsense.

    The following is your criticism of both the substance of David Walker’s interviews and message (since his interviews are his message).

    googlumpugus wrote:
    • I think while what he [David Walker] says has a basis, it often is stated in extreme ways with a bit of chicken little overtones, that sounds more like he’s trying to get attention

    • I have to conclude it’s to get attention, because it isn’t based in fact, and is ludicrous on it’s face.

    Why not just admit that you don’t have any substantive evidence or facts to back up your comments?

    You have still have not provided anything substantive to back up your assertions of “chicken little overtones”, “ludicrous”, and “hyperbole” by David Walker.
    If he is so prone to “hyperbole”, statements not “based in fact”, it shouldn’t be too hard to provide a few examples, eh?
    All you provided was his statement of David Walker noting some parallels with the fall of the Roman Empire (one of the longest lasting in history) fell due to:

    • No. 1: Decline in moral values and political civility at home.

    • No. 2: Overconfident and overextended militarily around the world.

    • No. 3: Fiscal irresponsibility by the central government.
    That is not hyperbole, since there’s nothing false about that?

    It is all true. Especially the “Fiscal irresponsibility”.
    We also can afford to be the world police, with $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt, and having to create money out of thin air to pay for all of it.
    And the decline of moral values and political civility is clearly demonstrated by the:

    • lawlessness and increasing crime rates; massive illegal immigration; laws flagrantly ignored, many constitutional violations (one-simple-idea.com/ConstitutionalViolations.htm), election fraud and election problems;

    • government FOR-SALE, corruption, pork-barrel, graft, corporate welfare and subsidies, and waste; 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a tiny 0.15% of all 200 million voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more; www.opensecrets.org/pressreleases/DonorDemographics02.asp); plutocracy;

    • increased
    • Congress giving itself a raise 9 times (between 1997 and 2007) while our troops risk life and limb, go without armor, medical care, and promised benefits;

    • a usurious and dishonest monetary system that is clearly a pyramid scheme (one-simple-idea.com/DebtAndMoney.htm)

    • regressive taxation

    • massive debt, which is one of the inherent mathematical flaws of the usurious and dishonest monetary system;

    • declining quality and rising cost of education; some politicians don’t want smart voters, because ignorant voters are easier to abuse;
    Thus, Davidl Walker’s 3 parallels with Rome are factual and easily defensible.

    Yet, frustrated with your inability to substantiate your arguement and criticisms of David Walker, you countered with

    googlumpugus wrote: Fine. See Ya, after the Barbarians invade. Or are they going to fall from the sky?

    That’s not hyperbole?
    Where does David Walker ever mention the “barbarians at the gate”?
    Yet you accuse others of hyperbole while spouting massive amounts of hyperbole?

    googlumpugus wrote:
    • I think while what he says has a basis, it often is stated in extreme ways with a bit of chicken little overtones, that sounds more like he’s trying to get attention
    • “stated in extreme ways with a bit of chicken-little overtones”?
    • Somehow I’m not expecting the Barbarian invasion anytime soon, are you?
    • I don’t worship at the feet of David Walker and don’t recommend others do.
    • My objection was your use of David Walker’s name as some sort of banner of legitimacy.
    • I have to conclude it’s to get attention, because it isn’t based in fact, and is ludicrous on it’s face.
    • I did not say the only purpose of David Walker’s comments were to gain attention. I said the Fall of Rome reference likely was.
    • I’m not accusing Walker of that, but getting a headline isn’t all that helpful.
    • Fine. See Ya, after the Barbarians invade. Or are they going to fall from the sky?
    • I made none of these arguments. Who are you arguing with? Yourself?
    • … and what’s with referring to yourself as we? Have you become royalty now?
    • I never called David irresponsible. That’s YOUR phony straw man
    • Are you expecting barbarians? No? Then I rest my case.
    • Fine. See Ya, after the Barbarians invade. Or are they going to fall from the sky?
    • OK!! You think we are in moral decline and ready to be sacked and burned. I’ll gladly play the fiddle or teach GW for you…are you happy?
    • you think we are in Rome with Barbarians at the gate …
    • You continue to argue as though I have, claiming some sort of egotistical satisfaction at proving that I must believe this. Frankley, I find that a bit of a parrallel to someone in the twilight zone.
    • I see you [David R. Remer] bit into d.a.n.’s bait and switch routine.
    • It was an absurdly hyperbolic headline grabber that worked. Please do not read d.a.n’s phoney intreprtation of my comments as mine or add to them.
    • No, because I wasn’t arguing with you about the economic issues.
    • d.a.n. Are you really that obtuse, or just pretending to be for the sake of argument?
    • We are entering a period of economic turbulence (to use a Greenspan term), . .
    • … discussions about impending depressions or the Fall of Rome. That is irresponsible in my opinion.
    • In the fictional world of emperor d.a.n. how would you reverse the recession?
    • I encourage calm and reasoned debate, not discussions about impending depressions or the Fall of Rome. That is irresponsible in my opinion.
    AHHhhhh … calm and reasoned debate similar to the many fine examples above?
    googlumpugus wrote: In the fictional world of emperor d.a.n. how would you reverse the recession?
    I already posted it above.

    Of course, that is a very ambitious list, but the first two STEPS would be a good start.
    However, it is unlikely we’ll even get to STEP [1] to happen until the consequences of so much fiscal responsibility finally becomes painful enough to motivate the voters to stop rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates, as happened when anti-incumbent voting sentiments increased in the Civil War and the Great Depresssion.
    In the mean time, the Federal Reserve will put another bandaid on it, create several more hundreds of billions of new money out of thin air (a.k.a. liquidity), and make the long-term problem worse.

    But long term, the real solution is to fix the monetary system and banking system, because it currently is a pyramid scheme that is mathematically doomed to collapse, because to keep it from collapsing requires more and more debt, which can’t last forever. $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt is already almost quadruple the $13.86 Trillion GDP, and that is nothing to trivialize (not with these other problems growing worse in number and severity for the past 30 years).
    Do you think the member banks will now be more careful with the $200 more billion created out of thin air yesterday?
    For how long?

    Short-term, we need:

    • Responsible lending is required.

    • Less government spending, waste, pork-barrel, corporate welfare, government jobs. MUCH less government. More people work in government than all manufacturing jobs.

    • The lawlessness and abuses above (hammering the middle class) also need to be stopped. Those are new things we need to do, as much as old things we should stop.

    • And we need to start leaving Iraq. The U.S. can’t afford the trillion$ it is costing (with $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt and the U.S. Dollar falling like a rock). The U.S. can not afford to be the world police and unnecessary wars (some of the 7 wars in the last 90 years were not necessary).

    googlumpugus wrote:
    What you listed would have no immediate effect on the economy except to create ambiguity which would likely deepen a recession into depression proportions.

    Nonsense.

    The steps listed above would work.
    Unfortunately, they are not likely to occur until the consequences of so much fiscal irresponsibility finally provides the pain to provide the motivation to finally take action, enforce laws, stop abuses, reduce excessive spending, reduce debt, and create stability and sustainability (not unsustainable exponential growth).
    It’s a cycle …
    ,-(1) Corruption, oppression,
    | (2) courage, Responsibility, outrage, civil unrest,
    | (3) liberty, growth, abundance,
    | (4) selfishness, complacency, fiscal irresponsibility
    | (5) apathy, dependency, fiscal & moral bankruptcy,
    ` - - return to step (1)

    What will eventually lead to another Great Depression is trying to create more money out of thin air, borrow and spend our way out of $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt.
    Eventually, the debt will grow so large that creating more money out of thin air won’t work any more, because everyone is already deep in debt.
    Already, $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt is $157,377 per person.
    However, GDP is only $13.86 Trillion.
    And 80% of all Americans only own 17% of all wealth in the U.S. (never that low since the Great Depression).
    Where will the money come from to pay the INTEREST on $48 Trillion when it doesn’t yet exist (much less the money to reduce the $48 Trillion of PRINCIPAL so that it stops growing larger)?

    googlumpugus wrote: What would you do to prevent yourself being hoisted on a pike and burned while your subjects starved? Tell them to eat cake?
    Hmmmm … now who is seeing the “barbarians at the gate” and engaging in more hyperbole?
  • Posted by: d.a.n at March 12, 2008 12:17 PM
    Comment #247775

    goo said: “I’m not quite sure how this applies to Rome, however, as homosexuality acceptance didn’t arise at the end of their empire, it existed throughout their time and prior to it in Greece.”

    I can see that you don’t see. Because your knowledge of the history of Rome and Greece is confined to their golden ages, and now their humble beginnings. Homosexuality is the enemy of a people seeking security from competition and invasion and subjugation. This is true a priori, because groups of people are more secure when their numbers are greater. Tolerance for homosexuality reduces population numbers needed for ethnic or cultural security. Hence, the tolerance for homosexuality rises primarily in civilizations who have reached the status of Great civilizations, which usually means also, dominant military position or status.

    The rise of the Spartan professional Army hired by the Athenians for Athens defense, coincides with Plato’s attribution of homosexual remarks by Socrates in the Gorgios, for example. Such references in publicized works don’t occur prior to the Golden Age of Greece. That’s not to say homosexuality didn’t occur, but, public tolerance/acceptance did not rise until the Golden Age.

    Nathanael Blake writes of homosexuality in Rome: “Unlike the modern view, social class mattered a great deal in the acceptability of homosexual relations. The upper classes were much more likely to indulge in homosexual acts, and masters had the sexual use of their slaves.”

    This is consistent with my theory that with affluence of a civilization comes the freedom and liberty of individual choice which gives rise to public acceptance or at least tolerance of Homosexuality in the civilization.

    We have witnessed the same thing in the U.S., and in European nations this correlation between affluence and public tolerance for homosexuality in the culture.

    Remember that in non-affluent civilizations, marriage and offspring are key to property and wealth accrual and conservation. In affluent societies, marriage and offspring are no longer that important to wealth acquisition (dowery’s and the like), nor conservation within the familiy.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 12, 2008 04:19 PM
    Comment #247788

    David,

    Actually homosexuality was accepted as “normal” by troops of Rome, Greece, and Sparta thruoghout their histories.

    Yes, it was also glorified by some in affluent societies. Of course, writing, and architecture was also associated with this same affluence. Is architectural advancment and prolific writing a sign of decay?

    I think your theory is based on your own predjudices rather than a sound analysis of history.

    Agrarian societies require large families. Industrial societies and societies in the age of modern medicine are the societies that do not require large families. Rome didn’t stop having children because everyone was having homosexual sex.

    As to homosexuality being a substitute for heterosexual sex, that didn’t occur in any greater proportion that it does in any other society. Romans and greeks simply weren’t as hung up on the differences as Christian and Muslim teachings have biased our cultures.

    What you are proffering is a western, likely chrisitian, tilt on morality. I know you ascribe to Buddist philosophies, but it appears that the biss is still there.

    Recognizing the false morality of homosexual bigotry is an indication of enlightenment, not moral decline, in my opinion.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 12, 2008 05:40 PM
    Comment #247789

    d.a.n.

    Other than proving you are rather long winded, you are simply arguing with yourself.

    I think I’ve made my points and others can judge for themselves. Fortunately, we don’t live in emporer d.a.n.’s universe or googlumpugus world.

    The Fed is doing the right thing, though Wall ssems to think more is needed. I agree. For eighty years they’ve done a pretty good job, not that there are the problems you have mentioned.

    Ron Paul got maybe 10% of the vote. I doubt either of us could raise even one percent.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 12, 2008 05:47 PM
    Comment #247790

    oops:

    err… not that there aren’t the problems you mentioned.

    and

    for David,

    err…. it appears that the bias is still there.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 12, 2008 05:53 PM
    Comment #247793
    googlumpugus wrote: d.a.n. Other than proving you are rather long winded, you are simply arguing with yourself.
    Not true.

    The issue was and still remains that you have not provided anything substantive to back up your assertions of “chicken little overtones”, “ludicrous” and “hyperbole” messages by David Walker. That’s all. Why not simply admit it, instead of digging a deeper and deeper hole?

    If David Walker really was so prone to “hyperbole”, statements not “based in fact”, it shouldn’t be too hard to provide a few examples, eh?

    googlumpugus wrote: I think I’ve made my points and others can judge for themselves.
    Not true.

    Saying something is so does not equate to backing it up with facts and evidence.

    googlumpugus wrote: Fortunately, we don’t live in emporer d.a.n.’s universe or googlumpugus world.
    Funny how some people resort to silly labels and other nonsense when they become frustrated with the weakness of their own lame arguments.
    googlumpugus wrote: The Fed is doing the right thing, though Wall [Street] seems to think more is needed.
    Then you support throwing more money at the problem.

    Sort of like trying to put out a fire by throwing gasoline on it.
    The new $200 Billion of more money created out of thin air is a short term solution that will make things worse later.
    The best thing to do is allow the correction (i.e. recession).
    Throwing more money at it just makes each successive recession worse with $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt, record-low home equities, record low wealth disparity, two wars, etc., etc., etc.

    googlumpugus wrote: For eighty years they’ve done a pretty good job,
    Since when was a usurious, dishonest pryamid-scheme a good thing.

    Surely you know that it is a pyramid-scheme?

    googlumpugus wrote: … not that there aren’t the problems you have mentioned.
    If the problems exist, and it is a pyramid scheme, how can they be doing a pretty good job?

    Could it possibly be that there is something wrong with the usurious, inflationary monetary system?
    Not just a moral problem of usury, predatory lending, irresponsible lending, mortgage fraud, etc.
    But a mathematical problem inherent in any pyramid scheme, that dooms it to ever larger and larger debt?
    How is it that everyone that works, invents, creates, builds, and produces be in debt to the banks?
    Where will the money come from to pay the INTEREST in the $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt, when that money does not yet exist?
    Where will the money come from to reduce the PRINCIPAL of $48 Trillion of debt (so that the debt does not grow ever larger), when the money does not yet exist?
    Where will the money come from when 80% of Americans only own 17% of all wealth in the U.S., and a mere 2% of the wealthiest own most of the wealth?
    Where will the money come from when the U.S. Dollar is falling like a rock?
    How can the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury, and America money-print, borrow, and spend its way out of debt?
    I think David Walker is right to sound alarmist.
    I think the problem is more serious than many realize, because of so many simultaneous problems (massive debt inherent with a dishonest and usurious monetary system; inflation; 2 wars; entitlements; global competition; energy vulnerabilities; illegal immigration; lawlessness and increasing crime rates; plutocracy; government FOR SALE;, corruption, rampant spending and bloat; declining quality and rising cost of education; unaffordable and dangerous health care killing 195,000 people per year; unfair and regressive taxation, many dozens of different taxes, election problems and fraud, etc., etc., etc.), growing in number and severity, being ignored year after year, because of too many irresponsible incumbent politicians, and too many voters that repeatedly reward them for it with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    googlumpugus wrote: Ron Paul got maybe 10% of the vote. I doubt either of us could raise even one percent.
    Hmmmmm … Not sure what that has to do with the problems mentioned?

    I’m not a Ron Paul fan, and don’t think much of his competing currencies theory, since we already have a myriad of competing currencies. Also, a gold/silver/commodity backed currency is not a good idea either. What is needed is a stable currency that targets ZERO inflation/deflation and is not a dishonest and usurious pyramid scheme.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 12, 2008 06:42 PM
    Comment #247802

    D.a.n,

    I agree with most of your long term ideas about the economy.

    I said it, I’ve repeated it, as have you numerous times. What’s the point? Is it to demonstrate Goebbels maxim of repeating a lie until it becomes truth?

    I don’t believe you have demonstrated that the US is paralleling the fall of Rome. No barbarians, No Neros, No Caligula’s in office No orgies in the Senate.

    You think this is absolute truth. You offer only economic stresses as proof of corrollary.

    IF this is corrollary to a failed society, I don’t see it.

    David Walker, Yourself, David Remer and the Pope may believe we are falling into the abyss of moral depravity. I think that is total and absolute BS, as do most other people I know.

    You wish to conflate these things to prove your case and then twist what I said into that conflation.

    You may march up and down all day with your “The end is coming” sign and declare Chicken Little the purveryor of divine truth, but you haven’t proved it. You haven’t made your case, but rather you’ve damaged your message.

    You offer no short term fixes to stabilize the economy, because it would damage your idealogy, or at least your purist arguments.

    In real politics you don’t get a second chance once you fail to respond to people’s needs. Hoover learned that lesson.

    It seems to me you fail to recognize a win win situation when it confronts you. I’ve offered you avenues to tone down your rhetoric and address short term realities. That doesn’t seem to interest you. It is why few really listen to your message, and why I was dissapointed by the articles i saw about David Walker, and his choice to use that imagery.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 12, 2008 08:59 PM
    Comment #247811
    googlumpugus wrote: d.a.n, I agree with most of your long term ideas about the economy.
    Good. There’s always hope.
    googlumpugus wrote: I said it, I’ve repeated it, as have you numerous times. What’s the point? Is it to demonstrate Goebbels maxim of repeating a lie until it becomes truth?
    You are changing the subject. The issue was and still remains that you have not provided anything substantive to back up your assertions of “chicken little overtones”, “ludicrous” and “hyperbole” messages by David Walker. That’s all.
    googlumpugus wrote: I don’t believe you have demonstrated that the US is paralleling the fall of Rome. No barbarians, No Neros, No Caligula’s in office No orgies in the Senate.
    Which is it.

    You just wrote …

    googlumpugus wrote:
    d.a.n, I agree with most of your long term ideas about the economy.

    But then you write …
    googlumpugus wrote:
    I don’t believe you have demonstrated that the US is paralleling the fall of Rome. No barbarians, No Neros, No Caligula’s in office No orgies in the Senate.

    Yet, no one ever mentioned Barbarians or Caligulas and such. Those are all very weak obfuscations.

    googlumpugus wrote: You think this is absolute truth. You offer only economic stresses as proof of corrollary.
    False.

    I’ve referred to both the economic factors and human/psychological factor.

    googlumpugus wrote: David Walker, Yourself, David Remer and the Pope may believe we are falling into the abyss of moral depravity. I think that is total and absolute BS, as do most other people I know.
    Nonsense.

    That’s more hyperbole … the very thing you accuse everyone else of.
    Funny how those most that accuse others of the things they are most guilty of themselves.

    googlumpugus wrote: You wish to conflate these things to prove your case and then twist what I said into that conflation.
    Nonsense.

    We’re just waiting for you to provide anything substantive to back up your weak assertions of “chicken little overtones”, “ludicrous” and “hyperbole” messages by David Walker. That’s all.

    googlumpugus wrote: You may march up and down all day with your “The end is coming” sign and declare Chicken Little the purveryor of divine truth, but you haven’t proved it. You haven’t made your case, but rather you’ve damaged your message.
    More nonsense.

    You still have failed to tell us where the money will come from to pay the INTEREST in the $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt, when that money does not yet exist?
    Where will the money come from to reduce the PRINCIPAL of $48 Trillion of debt (so that the debt does not grow ever larger), when the money does not yet exist?
    Where will the money come from when 80% of Americans only own 17% of all wealth in the U.S., and a mere 2% of the wealthiest own most of the wealth?
    Where will the money come from when the U.S. Dollar is falling like a rock?
    How can the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury, and America money-print, borrow, and spend its way out of debt?

    googlumpugus wrote: You offer no short term fixes to stabilize the economy, because it would damage your idealogy, or at least your purist arguments.
    False.

    I provided many solutions above; both short-term and more importantly, long-term.

    googlumpugus wrote: It seems to me you fail to recognize a win win situation when it confronts you.
    More nonsense.

    You have made numerous statements, yet you are unable to back any them up with any facts or evidence.

    googlumpugus wrote: I’ve offered you avenues to tone down your rhetoric and address short term realities.
    How big of you.

    However, the issue is that you still have not provided anything substantive to back up your assertions of “chicken little overtones”, “ludicrous” and “hyperbole” messages by David Walker.

    Are you sure your hyperbole (below) is helping your case?

    googlumpugus wrote:
    • I think while what he says has a basis, it often is stated in extreme ways with a bit of chicken little overtones, that sounds more like he’s trying to get attention

    • “stated in extreme ways with a bit of chicken-little overtones”?
    • Somehow I’m not expecting the Barbarian invasion anytime soon, are you?

    • I don’t worship at the feet of David Walker and don’t recommend others do.

    • My objection was your use of David Walker’s name as some sort of banner of legitimacy.

    • I have to conclude it’s to get attention, because it isn’t based in fact, and is ludicrous on it’s face.

    • I did not say the only purpose of David Walker’s comments were to gain attention. I said the Fall of Rome reference likely was.

    • I’m not accusing Walker of that, but getting a headline isn’t all that helpful.

    • Fine. See Ya, after the Barbarians invade. Or are they going to fall from the sky?

    • I made none of these arguments. Who are you arguing with? Yourself?

    • … and what’s with referring to yourself as we? Have you become royalty now?

    • I never called David irresponsible. That’s YOUR phony straw man

    • Are you expecting barbarians? No? Then I rest my case.

    • Fine. See Ya, after the Barbarians invade. Or are they going to fall from the sky?

    • OK!! You think we are in moral decline and ready to be sacked and burned. I’ll gladly play the fiddle or teach GW for you…are you happy?

    • you think we are in Rome with Barbarians at the gate …

    • You continue to argue as though I have, claiming some sort of egotistical satisfaction at proving that I must believe this. Frankley, I find that a bit of a parrallel to someone in the twilight zone.

    • I see you [David R. Remer] bit into d.a.n.’s bait and switch routine.

    • It was an absurdly hyperbolic headline grabber that worked. Please do not read d.a.n’s phoney intreprtation of my comments as mine or add to them.

    • No, because I wasn’t arguing with you about the economic issues.

    • d.a.n. Are you really that obtuse, or just pretending to be for the sake of argument?

    • We are entering a period of economic turbulence (to use a Greenspan term), . .

    • … discussions about impending depressions or the Fall of Rome. That is irresponsible in my opinion.

    • In the fictional world of emperor d.a.n. how would you reverse the recession?

    • That doesn’t seem to interest you. It is why few really listen to your message,…

    • Fortunately, we don’t live in emporer d.a.n.’s universe or googlumpugus world.
    • L
    • You wish to conflate these things to prove your case and then twist what I said into that conflation.

    • David Walker, Yourself, David Remer and the Pope may believe we are falling into the abyss of moral depravity. I think that is total and absolute BS, as do most other people I know.

    • You may march up and down all day with your “The end is coming” sign and declare Chicken Little the purveryor of divine truth, but you haven’t proved it. You haven’t made your case, but rather you’ve damaged your message.

    • You offer no short term fixes to stabilize the economy, because it would damage your idealogy, or at least your purist arguments.

    • I was dissapointed by the articles i saw about David Walker,…

    • d.a.n. Other than proving you are rather long winded, you are simply arguing with yourself.

    • I encourage calm and reasoned debate, not discussions about impending depressions or the Fall of Rome. That is irresponsible in my opinion.

    googlumpugus wrote: That doesn’t seem to interest you. It is why few really listen to your message, and why I was dissapointed by the articles i saw about David Walker, and his choice to use that imagery.
    Whatever.

    Logic and common-sense doesn’t work with everyone.
    Which is why you still have not provided anything substantive to back up your assertions of “chicken little overtones”, “ludicrous” and “hyperbole” messages by David Walker. That’s all. Why not simply admit it, instead of digging a deeper and deeper hole?

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 12, 2008 10:31 PM
    Comment #247816

    d.a.n..

    Logic and common-sense doesn’t work with everyone.

    How true.

    Which is why you think Rome is falling rather than the more mundane problem of longterm economic issues.

    When You provide evidence that society is disentigrating, other than the common complaints of old men decrying how the world has changed on them, I and others besides the fringe, may buy into your message.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 12, 2008 11:44 PM
    Comment #247839
    googlumpugus wrote: Which is why you think Rome is falling rather than the more mundane problem of longterm economic issues.
    googlumpugus, UHHhhhhmmmmm just in case you were not aware of it, Rome already fell a long, long time ago (around year 476 A.D.).

    Many books of ancient History state the year 476 as about the time that Rome fell, because that is the year that the last emperor was driven off his throne. However, Rome was not built in a day, and actually also took a very long time to fall. It is a process, and the process was so slow and so gradual that most Romans were not aware that their empire was coming to an end.

    Some historians say the fall of Rome began around 190 A.D., when Rome was attacked by tribes such as the Goths and the Vandals, and civil wars in parts of the empire further weakened the rule of Rome, and increased lawlessness and the respect for the Roman empire dwindled as a result.

    And that is why long-term economic issues and problems should not be trivialized and/or dismissed so cavalierly, or constantly handled with short-sighted, short-term solutions.

    googlumpugus wrote:
    … rather than the more mundane problem of longterm economic issues.

    It’s a process. Many long term problems, but not merely a mundane problem.

    Progress is slow; 2.00 steps forward, 1.99 steps backward.
    But progress is not always the fate of a nation, as evidenced by the hundreds of nations and empires that have come and long gone.

    googlumpugus wrote: When You provide evidence that society is disentigrating, other than the common complaints of old men decrying how the world has changed on them, I and others besides the fringe, may buy into your message
    Non-sequitur.

    No one said society is disentigrating. That is one yet another wild extrapolations and exaggeration such as this …

    googlumpugus wrote: Fine. See Ya, after the Barbarians invade. Or are they going to fall from the sky?

    I stated that there are many economic problems culminating simultaneous, that will make future recessions deeper and more painful.
    There’s a big difference, despite the many attempts to twist the facts, change the subject, and cloud the issues with hyperbole such as this

    googlumpugus wrote:
    • It was an absurdly hyperbolic headline grabber that worked. Please do not read d.a.n’s phoney intreprtation of my comments as mine or add to them.

    • I think while what he says has a basis, it often is stated in extreme ways with a bit of chicken little overtones, that sounds more like he’s trying to get attention

    • “stated in extreme ways with a bit of chicken-little overtones”?
    • Somehow I’m not expecting the Barbarian invasion anytime soon, are you?

    • I don’t worship at the feet of David Walker and don’t recommend others do.

    • My objection was your use of David Walker’s name as some sort of banner of legitimacy.

    • I have to conclude it’s to get attention, because it isn’t based in fact, and is ludicrous on it’s face.

    • I did not say the only purpose of David Walker’s comments were to gain attention. I said the Fall of Rome reference likely was.

    • I’m not accusing Walker of that, but getting a headline isn’t all that helpful.

    • Fine. See Ya, after the Barbarians invade. Or are they going to fall from the sky?

    • I made none of these arguments. Who are you arguing with? Yourself?

    • … and what’s with referring to yourself as we? Have you become royalty now?

    • I never called David irresponsible. That’s YOUR phony straw man

    • Are you expecting barbarians? No? Then I rest my case.

    • Fine. See Ya, after the Barbarians invade. Or are they going to fall from the sky?

    • OK!! You think we are in moral decline and ready to be sacked and burned. I’ll gladly play the fiddle or teach GW for you…are you happy?

    • you think we are in Rome with Barbarians at the gate …

    • You continue to argue as though I have, claiming some sort of egotistical satisfaction at proving that I must believe this. Frankley, I find that a bit of a parrallel to someone in the twilight zone.

    • I see you [David R. Remer] bit into d.a.n.’s bait and switch routine.

    • No, because I wasn’t arguing with you about the economic issues.

    • d.a.n. Are you really that obtuse, or just pretending to be for the sake of argument?

    • We are entering a period of economic turbulence (to use a Greenspan term), . .

    • … discussions about impending depressions or the Fall of Rome. That is irresponsible in my opinion.

    • In the fictional world of emperor d.a.n. how would you reverse the recession?

    • That doesn’t seem to interest you. It is why few really listen to your message,…

    • Fortunately, we don’t live in emporer d.a.n.’s universe or googlumpugus world.
    • L
    • You wish to conflate these things to prove your case and then twist what I said into that conflation.

    • David Walker, Yourself, David Remer and the Pope may believe we are falling into the abyss of moral depravity. I think that is total and absolute BS, as do most other people I know.

    • You may march up and down all day with your “The end is coming” sign and declare Chicken Little the purveryor of divine truth, but you haven’t proved it. You haven’t made your case, but rather you’ve damaged your message.

    • You offer no short term fixes to stabilize the economy, because it would damage your idealogy, or at least your purist arguments.

    • I was dissapointed by the articles i saw about David Walker,…

    • d.a.n. Other than proving you are rather long winded, you are simply arguing with yourself.

    • I encourage calm and reasoned debate, not discussions about impending depressions or the Fall of Rome. That is irresponsible in my opinion.

    googlumpugus wrote: When You provide evidence that society is disentigrating, other than the common complaints of old men decrying how the world has changed on them, I and others besides the fringe, may buy into your message
    Again, no one (including David Walker) said society is disentigrating. David Walker, David R. Remer, and I have pointed to serious problems that can continue the decline. None of them have predicted that the society is disentigrating. A Recession or even a Great Depression does not equate to society is disentigrating. Cyclic decline (e.g. 2.00 steps forward and 1.99 steps backward) does not equate to the “society is disentigrating”. It simply means there are problems to be solved (the sooner the better). And trying to creating more money out of thin air, borrow, and spend our way out of $48 Trillion debt is not the right approach, it is only a short-term bandaid, and debasing the U.S. Dollar (which has already been falling drastically against all international currencies since year 1999) will have more long-term and negative effects later. It would be better to bite the bullet, weather the recession (correction), reduce debt instead of growing it, stabilize the currency, cut the severely bloated goverment spending and waste, and stop these abuses, and stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, pork-happy, tax-happy, wasteful, FOR-SALE, corrupt incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    At any rate, I’ve provided ample evidence of many pressing problems and worsening economic factors (and potential solutions too: see comment # 247677 above) to show that future and successive recessions will be difficult (which does not equate to the “society is disentigrating”).

    Feel free anytime to address (in detail) each problem and/or solution on those lists.
    After all, you already stated above

    googlumpugus wrote (Comment #247685):
    … I agree with most of what you’ve said here …

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 13, 2008 10:18 AM
    Comment #247848

    d.a.n.

    Being obtuse and literal, doesn’t help your case, but confirms your choice to argue reductio ad absurdum rather than understand reality. A false premise will result in a false conclusion.

    Being repetitive is just boring, and offputting.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 13, 2008 11:19 AM
    Comment #247855
    googlumpugus wrote: d.a.n. Being obtuse and literal, doesn’t help your case,
    True. Perhaps people should practice what they preach?
    googlumpugus wrote: … but confirms your choice to argue reductio ad absurdum rather than understand reality.
    False. What part of reality do I not understand?

    Funny how some people decry the very things they engage in themselves.

    googlumpugus wrote: A false premise will result in a false conclusion.
    True. Such as the false premise of mis-identifying others’ hyperbole, while simultaneously spouting tons of one’s own hyperbole (see long list of hyperboles above)?
    googlumpugus wrote: Being repetitive is just boring, and offputting.
    Then why continue to respond to it?

    Again … at the risk of being repetitive … ; )
    Perhaps people should practice what they preach?

    You still have not provided any convincing proof or evidence or anything substantive to support the assertions of “chicken little overtones”, “ludicrous”, and “hyperbole” by David Walker.
    If he is so prone to “hyperbole”, statements not “based in fact”, it shouldn’t be too hard to provide a few examples, eh?

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 13, 2008 12:04 PM
    Comment #247866

    d.a.n.

    Sorry, but you keep asking a false question.

    It is obvious on it’s face to anyone connected with reality that the U.S. situation is not “like the fall of Rome”

    Time will prove one of us right.

    Saying “I’m right, your wrong”, does absolutely nothing to further your argument.

    It’s an absurd argument, and will not stand, irregardless of how loudly you assert it.

    You offer zero proof of this absurdity. Saying you have is dishonest. All you have provided is your stretched sense of doom and gloom.

    It is fine with me if you believe that, but it is not proof to me, or most voters.

    Our democracy survived the depression, althugh Rhinehold may disagree, it will survive this credit crunch. Saying we are in moral decline will often draw a crowd, and some who concur, but it is an old, tired trick. Perspective is important. Al Qaeda functions on the belief that arabs nations have eroded morality. Few here would say they have a sound perspective.

    I dislike that form of hyperbole for precisely that reason. It engenders false hatreds and rath on social progress.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 13, 2008 01:28 PM
    Comment #247872
    googlumpugus wrote: d.a.n. Sorry, but you keep asking a false question. It is obvious on it’s face to anyone connected with reality that the U.S. situation is not “like the fall of Rome” Time will prove one of us right.
    No, the mistake is the assumption that David Walker said the situation was “like the fall of Rome”. Certainly not identical.

    The assertion by David Walker was that there were some parallels, which he specifically stated as:

    • No. 1: Decline in moral values and political civility at home.

    • No. 2: Overconfident and overextended militarily around the world.

    • No. 3: Fiscal irresponsibility by the central government.
    That is not hyperbole, since there’s nothing false about that?
    And, those 3 things are plausible parallels.

    But none of us know what the future holds.

    googlumpugus wrote: Saying “I’m right, your wrong”, does absolutely nothing to further your argument.
    Well, that depends exactly which point you are referring to now.
    googlumpugus wrote: It’s an absurd argument, and will not stand, irregardless of how loudly you assert it.
    You offer zero proof of this absurdity. Saying you have is dishonest. All you have provided is your stretched sense of doom and gloom. Not true.

    Like David Walker, I’ve said IF we stay on the current course, there will be considerable economic instalability and pain.
    That does not mean the “barbarians are at the gate”, the U.S. is going to fall, or that “society is failing”.

    googlumpugus wrote: It is fine with me if you believe that, but it is not proof to me, or most voters.
    Again, no one is trying to prove that the “barbarians are at the gate”, or the U.S. is going to fall, or that “society is failing”.
    googlumpugus wrote: Our democracy survived the depression, althugh Rhinehold may disagree, it will survive this credit crunch.
    I agree. I’m simply saying future recessions (for the next decade) are likely to be more painful, due to so much debt, massive entitlements and unfunded liabilities, 2 wars, massive illegal immigration, regressive taxation, dangerous and unaffordable health care, increasing crime rates and lawlessness, inflation, etc., etc., etc.
    googlumpugus wrote: Saying we are in moral decline will often draw a crowd, and some who concur, but it is an old, tired trick.
    Again, I think that is a valid arguement too, due to the rising crime rates, lawlessness, constitutional violations, massive illegal immigration, and govenment for-sale (e.g. 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a tiny 0.15% of all 200 million voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more)), etc., etc. etc.

    Still, that does not mean the “barbarians are at the gate”, the U.S. is going to fall, or that “society is failing”.

    googlumpugus wrote: Perspective is important.
    Absolutely. There are degrees of everything.
    googlumpugus wrote: Al Qaeda functions on the belief that arabs nations have eroded morality.
    That may be true to some degree, but probably not in the ways Al Qaeda thinks.
    googlumpugus wrote: Few here would say they have a sound perspective.
    Nope. Of course not.
    googlumpugus wrote: I dislike that form of hyperbole for precisely that reason. It engenders false hatreds and rath on social progress.
    Me too.

    However, I still have not seen any convincing proof or evidence or anything substantive to support the assertions of “chicken little overtones”, “ludicrous”, and “hyperbole” by David Walker.
    If David Walker is so prone to “hyperbole”, statements not “based in fact”, it shouldn’t be too hard to provide a few examples, eh?

    That’s all. Some more convincing proof (if it exists) to support the assertions about David Walker (U.S. Comptroller General) would convince me to say: yes googlumpugus, you are right. I was wrong.
    Or we can simply agree to disagree.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 13, 2008 02:57 PM
    Comment #247891

    Any way, regarding war in South America, it seems the likelihood of that has diminished?

    And the Bush Administration was considering this.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 13, 2008 07:36 PM
    Comment #247893

    d.a.m

    Thanks for the interesting, if frustrating, debate.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 13, 2008 08:13 PM
    Comment #247899

    Farc knows what? How to sell drugs! How to massacre & kidnap their countrymen & foreigners! How to keep an armed conflict alive for decades! Trying to force their views with guns, when the majority of the population doesn’t support their views! The military wing of the Colombian Communist Party is just a rudiment of the past that should be neutralized.
    Regarding Chavez, I can see Venezuela in the future being torn by conflict & poverty.

    Posted by: ARBEN Camaj at March 13, 2008 10:14 PM
    Comment #247918

    googlumpugus, Thank you too!

    One more question …

    What do you think would happen if:

    • (1) the Federal Reserve had not previously pumped $180 Billion into the banking system earlier this year (14-Jan-2008, 28-Jan, 11-Feb, 25-Feb, 11-Mar)?

    • (2) AND the Federal Reserve had not announced (11-Mar-2008) their plans to pump in another $200 Billion into the banking system?

    • (3) AND the Federal Reserve and Federal Government had not created the $150 Billion economic stimulous package (to arrive in mid May-2008)?

    Had those things not been done, do you think that would cause more harm than a recession? (e.g. a depression)?

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 14, 2008 11:52 AM
    Comment #248070

    goo said: “When You provide evidence that society is disentigrating, other than the common complaints of old men decrying how the world has changed on them, I and others besides the fringe, may buy into your message.”

    No, you won’t, because you have a priori decided that our great nation is an exception to the demise of all great nations and empires that preceded it. Hence, no amount of evidence would convince you that our society will disintegrate, economically, politically, culturally, or socially.

    China’s economic growth supercedes ours by a factor of at least 3, often 4-5 times, every year, for many years now, and they have only just begun to tap their human and natural resources toward ever greater productivity. We are net exporting our national wealth to China via trade deficits and federal budgetary borrowing.

    Those facts combined with our 9.4 trillion dollar national debt, and current year’s deficit of 450 billion to 1/2 trillion dollars in the face of everyone’s recognition that our deficits our killing our future, provides you no evidence whatsoever that our future is in peril of disintegrating.

    How about the 44 trillion dollar unfunded mandates for Soc. Sec. and Medicare? If honored, they increase our national debt by $44 trillion dollars or raise our taxes to nearly 50% of every dollar wage earned. Or, if not honored, increasing millions of Americans die of malpractice, lack of readily available medical expertise, or suffer horribly for lack for resources to ease their poverty and pain at the end of their then shortened lives due to lack of preventive medical care.

    Again, these options provide you no evidence of impending disintegration of our great nation despite the logical fact that the scenarios above, or some combination of them, are the only scenarios available to our nation which, don’t create more devastation and suffering than the scenarios outlined.

    Why does the image of an ostrich come to mind?

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 15, 2008 07:02 PM
    Comment #248089

    David,

    That provides me with a belief that we are declining economically against a larger population and developing power.

    China also has many problems. Their road won’t be bump free. I hear some barbarians in Tibet are rattling the cage.

    What I don’t see is a priori knowledge of us on a precipice. Our democracy is tough. Our people are tough. We are still a larger power than China, at this point in time.

    We don’t have the same problems as Rome. Will our nation last beyond 300 years without some modifications? Probably not. I don’t really know.
    I just know we aren’t collapsing into a heap any time real soon.

    Cheer Up!!!

    Posted by: googlumpugus at March 15, 2008 09:54 PM
    Comment #248208

    The people of the US will continue to dig themselves into deeper economic and social problems unless they realise that:

    The US has no innate right to be the dominant economic power in the world, and is in the process of losing that power to the Euro zone and to the manufacturing powerhouse of China.

    The Dollar has no innate right to be the trading currency of choice for oil and other commodities, and is losing that position to Euros, gold and to oil itself.

    It is information power that now dominates the world, and the best-educated will come out on top: the US is nowhere near the top of the educational league.

    What terrifies people like me is that despite its slipping power in many areas the US is super-dominant in military power: so how can we expect a country in economic and social crisis to act when it has such an arsenal?

    Posted by: RogerL at March 17, 2008 09:39 AM
    Comment #248260

    RogerL,

    We’ve have behaved like a bully since the days of Jackson, to outsiders. What I fear is tying militarism to nationalism and terrorizing our own people.

    While we aren’t the best educated, we aren’t exactly slouches yet either. Vigilance is what keeps us free.

    Posted by: googlumpus at March 17, 2008 04:01 PM
    Comment #249177

    RogerL, one of the most poignant questions posed anywhere in the blogosphere today! Wish I had a definitive answer. But, without knowing the outcome of the presidential and congressional elections in 2008, and answer is simply not available, only speculation. Seems pretty clear however to me, what proclivities would lie at the heart of a McCain administration facing decline in power in all but military might. Many could by Hillary’s own words, make a similar case for speculation on her part.

    Obama leaves the impression that military might is not a path to recapturing lost power in other arenas. But, nothing about international affairs is so easily summed and packaged as that impression would lead one to believe.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 25, 2008 08:54 PM
    Comment #249178

    googlumpus said: “What I don’t see is a priori knowledge of us on a precipice. Our democracy is tough. Our people are tough. We are still a larger power than China, at this point in time.”

    What can I say, you obviously are not listening to the right people, like Hank Paulson in the last 24 hours saying the economic picture going forward is indeed a precipice if action now, and in appropriate and definitive measures, is not taken.

    You used the word ‘soon’. Is 2019 soon? That’s when Medicare creates deficits dwarfing those today. How about 2040? Is that soon? That’s when Social Security demands outstrip its accrued surpluses of the past. Soon, interesting word requiring context. How about 2022 when taxes MUST be raised to about double their current rate to forestall economic disaster in the form of an across the board downgrading of U.S. treasury bonds on the world market? Soon enough for you?

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 25, 2008 08:57 PM
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