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November 09, 2011

DOOM: Feel the burn!


Signposts on the way to DOOM: the failure of the State to protect its law-abiding citizens. This is the breaking of the civilizational compact, and is as clear an indication as you’re ever going to get that things are spinning out of control. When the barbarians can act with impunity, or even with the complicity of the State, then the whole notion of “a nation of laws” is put to rout.

Quan's command center call was the latest example of the mayor's resistance to using police force on demonstrators, a position that is being reinforced both by her closest advisers and her family.

In fact, eyewitnesses say Quan's husband was among the banner-wavers blockading the port in a nonviolent action earlier Wednesday.

Ohio joins California in the “boned by choice rather than by circumstance” working-group of the LOTB. If you’ve ever spent time in Akron or Cleveland or Cinncinnati, this should come as no surprise at all. For Ohio Morons who despair of fiscal sanity ever returning to their state, look at it this way: this will hasten the day of DOOM, but also hasten the reckoning to come after. It’s a hard blow to Kasich, though.

Deficit accounting is a Ponzi scheme. How many government-run Ponzi schemes do we have now? I kind of lost count.

Banks started down the road to perdition when they started trading for their own book, and when their profits came from trading rather than loans to actual customers. The whole point of a bank is to make loans; that’s one of a bank’s core functions.

Greece: the abyss beckons.

China: the abyss beckons.

Italy: the abyss beckons.

Italy may be going under and Berlusconi may be on his way out, but Berlusconi (and Italy) still have defenders.

One of the problems with the Euro project is that the founders assumed that the concept of the “nation-state” was obsolete. Well, as it turns out...not so much.

One of the many errors the Founding Fathers of the euro made was to underestimate the resilience of the nation state. Yes, we live in a world in which technology, money and people flow across borders with greater ease than ever before. Globalisation makes the planet dramatically interdependent: Philip Bobbitt, the constitutional historian, has written brilliantly of the emergence of what he calls the “market state”. Even so, the nation has retained much of its cohesion, its significance and its grip on popular loyalty. One of the reasons that international elites hate Israel so much is that it is the clearest and most passionate example of this durability.

Financial chicanery in Japan: Olympus fraud went unremarked for two decades until the foreign-born CEO finally called bulls**t. This is a capsule of how Japanese corporate culture has contributed to that country’s long decline. It’s also an illustration of how “financial engineering” has become simply a prettier word for plain old fraud. (Incidentally, the foreign-born CEO who pulled the alarm on the problem? He got canned.)

Remember: Teh Bernank says that inflation is low! (He’s clearly not a fan of PB&J sammiches.) Also: Go long goobers!

Italy to Berlusconi: Arrivederci, baby.

Time for “eurothanasia”. It’s notable that even the ostentatiously pro-Euro FT has finally thrown in the towel.

Freddie Mac: broke, bailed-out, but still soaking taxpayers. Also: saying that "it's legal" is a pretty weak-assed defense.

Much of our DOOM took root when our public schools turned into a jobs program for adults rather than an educational system for children. A civilization can’t produce good citizens -- literate, able to think critically, and to work productively -- if the schools cannot train children properly. Much of the dysfunction you see around you every day is the result of a lousy public school system and the liberal/leftist establishment behind it.

Three cheers for income inequality. We live in a country were even the lowest classes can afford flat-screen televisions, ipods, smartphones, a car, plenty of food, and a closetful of clothes. Our poor people can buy things for very little money that even a century ago a King could not have bought for all the gold in the kingdom. And yet still we complain about “inequality”. Perhaps we need to reacquaint ourselves with true hardship to remind ourselves of how bad things can really get.

People who raise the alarm about a new “Great Depression” aren’t being dismissed as Cassandras any more. It’s not inevitable (yet), but time is getting very short if we want to avoid this catastrophe.

Karl Denninger and I don’t see eye-to-eye very often these days, but this post is spot-on.

You know, I hear a lot of approving noises from many quarters about how the Greeks should be lauded for their “democratic” resistance to EU demands for austerity. In general, I agree, but I wonder: where were the pundits back when Greece was racking up their huge debts? Things were certainly less “democratic” then, but no one cared because the money was flowing like water. “Democracy” only becomes important to the Greeks when there’s a threat that they’ll actually have to start paying their taxes.

Stealing from derelicts and the homeless. That’s pretty damned low.

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posted by Monty at 08:42 AM

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