Saturday, May 14, 2011

Evening wrap 5/14

Busy blogging day.  Starts off with a post about the new blog, which will back up this one in case blogger takes another dump.  Then three posts about presidential politics sandwiching one about the debt issue.  A couple of space posts sandwiches one about growth or the end of it.  Three more posts of a mixed bag quality and another one about debt, for a total of 13 posts.

Today was mostly about politics and the economy.  With a small smattering of space and humor.

I saw something weird today about some guy who believes that the end of the world is soon.  The trouble with this thinking is the end of the world could have come at any time in the last almost 50 years.  One gets accustomed.  True that the end of the world could be near.  But why this week?  If it comes, nobody is likely to know except a few, who probably aren't going to talk about it in advance.  Know what I mean?

It looks like I got a good showing today, so thanks for coming by.  I'll see you tomorrow.

Krugman's talking tough

If this is any indication, somebody is going to have to back down. Or there's going to be a shutdown, most likely. But, the alternative is no better. One way or another, this has to be resolved. I recall reading earlier in the day that the difference is like the difference between going over a cliff, or walking around the edge of it. The writer meant that to do what Krugman says means going over the cliff. So Krugman's tough talk is a matter of whether or not the pain hurts more now than later. The best way to limit the pain is to actually do something about the problem. This attitude is not helpful.

Yahoo Breakout

A discussion of inflation. Fed Policy and quantitative easing. Debt ceiling. In context of political situation.

Number one reason to be optimistic about the future

The power of pee! If this ever becomes reality, will people stop being "pissed off"? If they stop being pissed off, will civilization finally be prevented from going down the drain? Ok. Enough of the bad jokes. Here's the video.

The Key of Awesome

This video has over 3 million views. Wow. There's some interesting effects on it. Almost like it was a professional job.

The Senate's rocket to nowhere

As you may note, Transterrestrial Musings is on my left sidebar.  The author, Rand Simberg discusses the rocket to nowhere here.  It seems that this rocket only intent is to spend money without actually doing anything useful. Sort of the kind of thing that may, um, cause budgets to get busted.  The kind of thing that may lead to the need to finance big deficits by quantitative easing, aka monetizing the debt, aka printing funny money.

Simberg's article ends by pointing to a YouTube video.  What the heck, I may as well embed it here.  The reason?  It mentions Fermi's Paradox.  I think I could offer to do a video response with my Pocahontas Neil Armstrong video.  My video says "beam me up Scotty, no intelligent life here!"

Why Growth is Dead

I hope that this isn't true.  In fact, I don't think that it is true, but one thing that will make it true is if we keep on the present course.  Particularly in excessive money printing.  On the other hand, this article claims that it won't make much difference either way.  I think the difference would be that the dollar will survive if we get debt under control.  If the dollar survives, the rest may be salvageable.  Anyway, here's the link.

NASA Working on LENR Replication and Theory Confirmation (Piantelli-Focardi)

This is not to be confused with the Rossi Focardi
According to Bushnell, NASA is not working on a replication of Andrea Rossi’s Energy Catalyzer device.

“We do not have enough details, by far, to even start to think of a replication of Rossi,” Bushnell wrote.

This looks like "cold fusion" except that nobody likes that phrase.  You might say that it was "nuked" two decades ago.


I thought for sure he was out, now this looks like he may be in.  He's right about one thing.  If he gets in, it will get crazier than what it already is.


I am going to guess that the frontrunners are going to be similar to what held in 2008.  Someone will take McCain's votes- I think Gingrich gets those, and maybe some for Romney.  Romney will hold his states and maybe pick up some because he will get more of McCain's votes than Huckabee would.  Huckabee may get more of the southern states than Gingrich or Romney.  This could shape up a lot like 2008 with it coming down to Texas before the winner begins to emerge.  Let's look at this map.,_2008
 If Huckabee gets in, it will be a three way race, in my opinion.  That would help Obama.

Obama in full campaign mode

Little stories like this one keep popping up.  There was another one about Obama ordering spillway to divert floodwaters away from refineries- even though these floodwaters will flood somewhere else.  Geez, you don't suppose he's worried about the price of oil, do you?  Other events, like the killing of bin Laden and the spiking of the football, it all fits in.  He came to Texas and walked away with a couple million in campaign funds.  Who looks like they are on top of things, and who looks like they are not ( Republicans).  For the Republicans, not looking good.  They had better shape up and soon.

What If the U.S. Treasury Defaults?

This is a good article, don't miss it. I think it's good because it pretty much agrees with what I've been saying.

hat tip, Instapundit

Presidential Politics- New Hampshire

Looks like for now, Mitt Romney is in front of the prospective field of candidates at this juncture, according to this source.  The same source has Romney ahead of Obama at this point.  ( In New Hampshire)


In Iowa? Here's one in a series of weaknesses of each of the 9 probable Republican candidates. This video describes Romney's weaknesses.


I added this to my playlists on YouTube. If you want to see all of this series, go there and watch. Or, you can click on his name while the above video plays and look for his videos on his channel.

Due to Blogger difficulties

I am going to start cross posting to a new Wordpress blog that I have just signed up for. It will be called kardashevianaspirations.

Stats for the past two days have been consolidated here as follows:


Now that I have set up the new blog, how will I manage it? Good question. Since I have called it kardashevianaspirations, perhaps I can just blog about space there. Or I can just cross post everything until such a time that I will just beginning blogging there full time.

Wordpress is a bit different from blogger. If I were to move, it would mean some stuff that I've gotten used to over here will have to go away. Wordpress is also set up to sell a blogger stuff in order to upgrade his site. Which means the Wordpress site may be limited for that purpose, unless I want to spend money.

Here's another possibility: I can begin with a story, then link to it for a more complete version. That's possible. Something to think about.

Answer: ( which won't be cross posted, by the way) I will use Wordpress as a backup. At the moment, I don't see it as a primary address for the blog. There is also a new sidebar entry under Rule and Procedures for the Blog with a link to the backup blog. If anything goes wrong, be sure to check that one out.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Every Breath You Take

Some say this is a paranoid's song. "I'll be watching you." Some of the comments say that this was a great love song. It just goes to show you how people can see the same thing in different ways.

With that I say, have a good evening. Maybe this thing will work better tomorrow.

My Kingdom For A Horse

The phrase is a little differently defined here than what I thought it would be.  But this post has nothing to do with Shakespeare.  The meaning I thought that may be applicable is this:  if a king had access to this, he may really be wiling to trade his kingdom for it because it was so valuable.  I use this phrase with respect to the idea that I've been batting about here: fusion propulsion.

The key here is recognition by way of little bits of pieces of information that convince me of its probable utility.  I found another today while  browsing the subject.  A pdf file produced by none other than Robert Bussard himself.  Perhaps the intuition came from listening to him speak on the matter before.  At any rate, the Isp for such a rocket appears to be near 1 million- yes 1 million.  An incredible number.  Bussard's paper gives little detail to this propulsion method, instead describing two other types.  Here is a snippet of the file here

Now, Bussard is referring to a polywell fusion device, whereas I am looking at a dense plasma focus.  Also, I've been thinking about a less than net energy device.  The thought occurred to me, why not mate it with an energy source as described above that will feed into the dense plasma focus in order to produce the reaction mass?  A possible energy source:  cold fusion device being worked on by Rossi Focardi.  In a short time, a device like this may be possible for deep space missions.

The ability to travel at will throughout the solar system may be worth a king's ransom indeed.

Blogger problem

Lack of posting due to Blogger technical difficulties.  As of now, several posts have been lost.  This represents a lot of work, and I'm not happy about it.  The better part of two days are now missing.  Supposedly, Blogger will restore these.  If not, the Blog has a big hole in it.

This thing discombobulated my posts, trying to put them back into order.

Batman Busted, Obama has no comment

The caped crusader is shown in police station after being arrested. I'm shocked!
Maybe Batman should have taken down OBL.  Our friends might still like us.

Obama took down Osama, and hoping for some drama in Texarkana, or is it El Paso?

Obama for King already, according to this guy, at National Review no less.  All right, stop fooling around.

Well, this counts as my eighth post of the day.  Usually about this time, I call it a day.  Let's see what I've managed to do

Not counting this post!
I smell a concerted effort at propagandizing the reelection of the President.  With skewed polls and constant belittling of Republican challengers, the conventional wisdom is being built up that this president can't be beaten.  I can recall the ridiculous poll numbers for Clinton in 1996.  He was up by 20 points in the pre election polls.  He did win, but by less than half that.  If these guys had their way, we may as well put a crown on him after all.  I think they are hoping for a rerun of 1996, but there's a bit of a difference this time.  In 1996, the budget deficit was falling, not rising.  In 1996, the economy was much better than this one.  In 1996, the USA didn't have a couple wars on its hands.  His job is bigger than Clinton's and it may get worse. I guess you can say, we shall see.

With that, I bid you good day.  Thanks for coming and I'll see you tomorrow.

It will be Romney today

Just ordered this book, so I'll be reading it today. Hopefully, it won't be boring. I'll update here from time to time as I read the book.

Chapter 1: He begins with foreign policy. Rather than parrot what he says, I will just mention that I like what he has to say. But there is a caveat. One has to be careful about foreign policy. Romney probably isn't a cowboy, it doesn't go with his background. There's not a whole lot of specifics, though. General talk about American exceptionalism.

Chapter 2: Why nations decline. He cites examples, in particular the Chinese, who built great fleets, but destroyed them. This observation was noted in Mining the Sky. He criticizes isolationalism. He warns against a lack of vision. He notes that people would rather not believe something bad, would prefer to be told pleasant things. He quotes that democracies commit suicide by voting excessive benefits to themselves. He warns against political correctness.

Chapter 3: Says America is good and it is good for America to be strong. Warns against rising threats from China, Russia, and Islamists. Warns that too many in denial about the significance of 9/11.

Chapter 4: Pathways to American Power: America's soft power underutilized. Calls for real agreements, not just paper agreements. NATO hasn't adopted the necessary strategy to defeat jihadism. Not getting enough bang for the buck. Need more accountability. Too often, we are getting outsmarted. History of weakness is a bitter one. Steep cost of military weakness should not be ignored. Military proliferation of nukes is dangerous level. Cuts in spending in 90's was unwise. Need to update our forces. Not the time for a new procurement holiday. New threats like cyberattacks. Space and cyberspace are the new battlefields. Need a small footprint, huge impact approach. Allies need to upgrade too, but are not. Wishful thinking is no substitute for preparation, but that is the situation today in Europe. We need strong allies. Criticizes Obama's apologies, we have nothing to apologize for.

Chapter 5: A Free and Productive Economy. Keys to productivity. Productivity key to standard of living. There is natural resistance to increases in productivity. Moores law is an example of productivity increase. Profit motive encourages productivity. Good ideas not enough, conditions need to be right. Luddites oppose productivity. Lack of retail productivity in Japan. Governments can stifle productivity. And unions too. And of course, they can combine to stifle it even more. Government has no profit motive, no reason to innovate. It is a protective monopoly. Card check violates democratic principles. Subprime mess, how it happened, who's fault. Warnings unheeded. The stimulus, its faults. Debt problem. Need to protect trade secrets. Factors that slow growth.

Chapter 6: The Worst Generation: Boomers failing where WWII parents succeeded. The problem of entitlement spending. Medicaid as "Pac Man" because it eats through the budget. Government needs to produce a balance sheet as well as a budget. A balance sheet would make spending more transparent. Politicians succumb to temptation to offer more than can be paid for and hide the true costs. Gives his proposals for reform. Turns to discussion of runaway debt- says there's still time to deal with it.

I may stop here for today. I note that there is an article about Romney in USA Today.

Newt makes it official

Newt Gingrich is running for president. I pulled the video from Politico and here it is:

Some people never learn

And they will vote the same way over and over again and get the same results over and over again. The latest example, right here. It was subprime mortgages that screwed up the economy. Now Obama wants to go back and do the same thing all over again.

It is also true, that no matter how hard you flap your arms, you can't fly. Man jumps to death off world's highest skyscraper. I bet he doesn't have the guts to do that again.


I know this is Romney's day, but Newt Gingrich is in the news today, most likely.
Washington Post has this video.

Top Ten guitar playing tips

This is from one of my subscribed channels on YouTube

Yahoo Breakout

I had this post up, but deleted it accidentally because I want to keep the Romney post on top. Here is the first video.

The second video was about the commodity rally, or volatility.

I seemed to have lost the one about gold, drat it.

These guys should be on YouTube

Nice little quip at the end of this video.

Morn. Summ. 5/12

Numbers are kind of flat.  At least they are not going down this morning.  I should reiterate something here. This blog will be about what is at the top of the page: markets, politics, arts, and sciences.  It has to be about something and that is what it is.  It takes time to read books, so if I'm reading, I can't write at the same time.

It could be better, however, to pace my reading around my writing so I can keep posting stuff on a continual basis.  I think I did that yesterday and should continue it going forward.


Since I didn't finish all three books that I've written about in this week, my plan is to finish that chore, plus some one other political post that I am writing now.  This plus the usual other things that I write about as mentioned above.

On spiking the football

I have been somewhat critical of the way Obama has handled this Osama bin Laden killing.  It began with all the celebrations of his killing, it seemed to stand all the rhetoric about "we're not that kind of people" sentiment on its head.  Then there was the way they seem to hem and haw their way around showing bin Laden's picture while saying there was no need to "spike the football", all due to this heightened sensitivity that they claim to have.  If he handled things so well, why dispatch somebody to smooth over the ruffled feathers of the Pakistanis?  Did he not needlessly introduce complications in our relations?

First of all, Obama and his minions are not being quite accurate, they are indeed spiking the football.  After all, why mention the killing at all, except to politicize it in just the way that they are doing.
If Obama continues to mention Bin Laden’s death, he may face his own accusations from Republicans that he’s politicizing 9/11. But as long as Obama refrains from spiking the football, so to speak, they won’t have anything to complain about.
He is spiking the football.  But he is doing it for the sake of domestic politics.  Just the mentioning of the operation risked the delicate Pakistani relationship.  Maybe we don't care about that, but we ought to wait at least until our troops are out of harms way.  He has jeopardized their position there for the sake of his own poltical future.

You can tell that that his friends in the media are doing some damage control.  They are invoking the old argument about Iraq v Afghanistan.  There is the either-or fallacy.  Bush's Iraq war v Democrats advocacy of killing leaders.  Since when is it either or?  Why can't democracy be promoted along with going after the likes of bin Laden?  And besides, this is just what Bush was doing anyway.  Why claim this either or when in fact, it was Bush who was going after Al Qaeda with a vengeance himself.  This entire article here is to promote the idea the it should have been Obama's strategy instead of the one Bush took.   But does killing bin Laden really take care of terrorism?  Is the war now over just because bin Laden is dead?  Or has it entered an even more dangerous phase?  Could Obama be placing his own interests ahead of the country's interests, and thereby placing the country in greater danger?

So, what could he have done differently?  Why publicize the killing?  If the interest was in getting bin Laden, why spike the football and risk damaging relations to those in Pakistan who up to now were willing to help us, even if it was grudgingly given and not necessarily what we would have liked.  It was better than nothing, which is what we may now get because of this.  Could it have been done secretly?  No, not exactly.  We did lose a helicopter, so you couldn't keep that a secret.  But you could have notified the Pakistanis and let them find a way to save face.  This is a relatively low risk way of handling the matter.  Why?  Well, the backup plan would have been to release all the details about the killing.  Instead, we could have given them a discreet way to handling the situation on the ground there and spared them the humiliation that they now have to endure because of Obama's grandstanding.

It is his grandstanding for public opinion back here that is endangering the interests of America.  So all the talk about not spiking the football is just as much baloney as his claiming that we are not that kind of people.  If we weren't, he would have brought Osama back here for trial, just like Michael Moore says.  But, the reality is that he couldn't risk that.  Just imagine holding an OJ Simpson type trial for Osama here in the USA.  Imagine what that would have meant if we lost that trial.  He would have had to be set free.  Obama could never risk that.  In the end, Osama was killed in order to help Obama in the polls.  And that, my friends, is spiking the football, against the Republicans and the Pakistanis, and it isn't good diplomacy.  But it may be good politics, at least for awhile.

Inflation? There's no stinking inflation.

So says our good friend, Paul Krugman.  Unfortunately, our good friend must not be paying attention to wholesale prices.  But don't worry, core prices aren't going up as quickly.
The more closely followed core producer index rose 0.3% in April. The core index is usually viewed by investors and the Federal Reserve as a better gauge of inflationary pressure because it excludes the volatile food and energy categories.

Just food and energy rising folks, nothing to see here.  Don't worry, be happy!  Go run up the credit card debt. Spend your life away.  The government will take care of you.  heh, heh

Kid's song

But I never heard of it. But I don't think it is because I'm too old. I saw a 70 year old grandaddy do this song, but I can't embed it, so I'll embed this one done by kids.

In the Year 2525

This was a hit in the sixties. I remember it well. It is interesting to listen to now.

Mitt Romney, Health Care Policy

Mitt Romney on.  In Michigan.  Thank everyone for coming in.  He went to Michigan State, he says.  Says like being home.  Will talk about repealing ObamaCare.  Comparison of his plan with ObamaCare.  Talk about Massachussetts plan.  We are Free Enterprise Country.  We have a Federal system, not a centralized system.

Tailored to people of state, not a one size fits all system.

Obama doesn't trust this.  His plan is a state plan as a state problem.  Obama went to centralized system, one size fits all.  Takeover of health care.  His plan didn't take over health care.  Obama raised taxes to fund his plan.

Similarity, the mandate.

Actually, all this is in his book.  Just repeating it here.

Ninety four percent already covered.  About half a million not covered.  Four hundred thousand got insurance.  The other 94% didn't have any change.  Independent think tank that reform cost was modest, less than 1 percent per year of state budget.  Did all this without a tax increase.

Why repeal?  Pro: Highest quality in world. Con: High cost, non portable.  President plan detracts from quality of health care, reduces choice, repels best and brightest.  "Don't go into medicine" because of government's heavy hand.  Discourages innovation.  Economic nightmare.  Raise taxes, diverts Medicare funds, and kill jobs.  Business less likely to hire people.  One reason recession taking so long.  Massive spending, power grab.

Would grant waivers to all 50 states.  Then work to repeal it.

His plan starts with same elements.  Do no harm.  Strengthen current system.  Portability.  Choice.  Expand care and access to care. ( In book)

States will have a lot of discretion in how they will implement plan.  Enpower individuals.  Greater consumer choice.  Make it portable too.  Costs should come down.   Cap damages in malpractice suits.  Make it work more like a market.  Health savings accounts.  Support innovations like co insurance.

How to get costs down.  Free market principles, basically.

Does a point by point comparison between his and Obama's.  He is actually saying he is running for President. Has he formally declared his candidacy yet?

Q&A session.  Stop here.

Update:  Wall Street Journal Online has a critical article about RomneyCare right here.  I can see how the Democrats can game the system, if given the opportunity.  If they want to criticize Romney on that account fine, but keep in mind that the Democrats have managed to pass something anyway.  Romney care or not, they passed it because they had the necessary majority.  They wouldn't have gotten it otherwise.  The key here is to get those majorities.  If you don't get them, it won't matter anyhow.

Update:  At ThinkProgress, a short skim of the article seems to suggest that Romney favored a national mandate as well.  Well, I don't know.  That's what they say.  Remember where that is coming from.  They are using Romney, no doubt.  I think Romney could be a problem for them.

Update:  PowerLine is critical too.   This may have influenced me before I read his book.  Frankly, they are blaming Romney for what the Democrats did.  How about blaming the Democrats for what the Democrats did?  By the way, I am against Obamacare.  I'm not so sure I'd like RomneyCare either, but I'll give him credit for trying to keep costs down.  This is not what the Democrat plan is and they know it.  It is really not fair to blame Romney for that.

Markets and Econ news (5/11)

Watching Yahoo Breakout.  Likes the current stock market.  Likes used cars and auto repair.

The next video talks about commodities.  Some discussion of copper.  Also coal.

The third video is about economy.  Commodity volatility.  Tightening in credit, hurts speculation. Prices go up like a rocket, down like a feather.  China talk.  Exporting Chinese inflation from their manufacturing goods. Hear that Krugman?   Some talk of employment.

What to do with your money.  Ryan Detrick's "victory lap" on his calls.  No follow through, he was asked about.  Bull market not over he says.  Some concerns.  June not been good month in recent years.  Stock picks? Retail consumer.  XLY etf.  Weigh watchers mentioned.  Amazon looks good he says.  Why amazon, he's asked.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Morn. Summ. 5/11

A decided dropoff.  Maybe nobody likes my political posts.  Well, fine.  I'm going to write about it anyway.  There's not enough audience here to worry about losing it, frankly.  This blog is going to be about what I like, and what I believe.  The audience can like or not like it.  Fine with me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wrap 5/10

It was light day posting.  Still managed to get in 8 posts, counting this one.  But two are management posts. That leaves 6.  What was left over was not very long.  I think the significant thing here is more of a focus upon people. I've got the video on the Speaker and the President.  And a couple posts about a possible Presidential candidate.  Still, it seems a bit scatter brained.

I did listen to the Space Show today, but there was no blogging on it.  Not much about space, nor science.

There's a post about playing guitar.  Another one was about a republishing of a STRATFOR article.  It raises the level of the discussion a bit.  Hopefully, it was interesting to come here today.  I hope the lack of writing was made up by some quality stuff I put up in its stead.

There have been some slogans over the years that I may be borrowing here as follows: this blog is a relentless pursuit of betterment.  There has not been a time that I've been blogging in which I haven't done everything I could think of to make this a better blog.  I won't say "excellence", or "truth", even though I like to pursue those too.  Betterment is, well, better for this blog.  It may not be great, but it is always getting better.  Thanks for coming by.

President on controlling gas prices May 6th

He makes it sound like he's doing a lot. So, why are prices going up so fast?

There has been a loss of oil production in the Gulf, thanks to his de facto ban on drilling. Then he talks about ending subsidies on oil producers, but how about ending all subsidies? Why only oil? The reason is that he is waging war on oil production while claiming that he is trying to bring down gas prices. That damages his claim on controlling gas prices.

He is also trying to grab some dollars so as to be able to say he is a deficit hawk.

He is for the energy of tomorrow, but what about today? He wants to give preferences to "new" energy, but why burn down your bridges behind you? Why cut subsidies to oil production at the same time as having a de facto ban on drilling if you really want to do everything to control gas prices? Isn't he just trying to push an ideological agenda instead?

More on Huckabee

I've read about half the book. He pretty much establishes his credentials as a conservative and also, questions the credentials of other conservatives. He answers his critics who question his conservatism. He expounds upon some of his philosophy. This much I've covered. I can't say that there is all that much about space so far. This is in keeping with what I've often heard on the subject. Space is just not that interesting to most people.

U.S.-Pakistani Relations Beyond Bin Laden

I found this article on STRATFOR and permission to republish is permitted given that the following link is displayed at the beginning or end of the article.

U.S.-Pakistani Relations Beyond Bin Laden is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By George Friedman

The past week has been filled with announcements and speculations on how Osama bin Laden was killed and on Washington’s source of intelligence. After any operation of this sort, the world is filled with speculation on sources and methods by people who don’t know, and silence or dissembling by those who do.

Obfuscating on how intelligence was developed and on the specifics of how an operation was carried out is an essential part of covert operations. The precise process must be distorted to confuse opponents regarding how things actually played out; otherwise, the enemy learns lessons and adjusts. Ideally, the enemy learns the wrong lessons, and its adjustments wind up further weakening it. Operational disinformation is the final, critical phase of covert operations. So as interesting as it is to speculate on just how the United States located bin Laden and on exactly how the attack took place, it is ultimately not a fruitful discussion. Moreover, it does not focus on the truly important question, namely, the future of U.S.-Pakistani relations.

Posturing Versus a Genuine Breach

It is not inconceivable that Pakistan aided the United States in identifying and capturing Osama bin Laden, but it is unlikely. This is because the operation saw the already-tremendous tensions between the two countries worsen rather than improve. The Obama administration let it be known that it saw Pakistan as either incompetent or duplicitous and that it deliberately withheld plans for the operation from the Pakistanis. For their part, the Pakistanis made it clear that further operations of this sort on Pakistani territory could see an irreconcilable breach between the two countries. The attitudes of the governments profoundly affected the views of politicians and the public, attitudes that will be difficult to erase.

Posturing designed to hide Pakistani cooperation would be designed to cover operational details, not to lead to significant breaches between countries. The relationship between the United States and Pakistan ultimately is far more important than the details of how Osama bin Laden was captured, but both sides have created a tense atmosphere that they will find difficult to contain. One would not sacrifice strategic relationships for the sake of operational security. Therefore, we have to assume that the tension is real and revolves around the different goals of Pakistan and the United States.

A break between the United States and Pakistan holds significance for both sides. For Pakistan, it means the loss of an ally that could help Pakistan fend off its much larger neighbor to the east, India. For the United States, it means the loss of an ally in the war in Afghanistan. Whether the rupture ultimately occurs, of course, depends on how deep the tension goes. And that depends on what the tension is over, i.e., whether the tension ultimately merits the strategic rift. It also is a question of which side is sacrificing the most. It is therefore important to understand the geopolitics of U.S.-Pakistani relations beyond the question of who knew what about bin Laden.

From Cold to Jihadist War

U.S. strategy in the Cold War included a religious component, namely, using religion to generate tension within the Communist bloc. This could be seen in the Jewish resistance in the Soviet Union, in Roman Catholic resistance in Poland and, of course, in Muslim resistance to the Soviets in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, it took the form of using religious Islamist militias to wage a guerrilla war against Soviet occupation. A three-part alliance involving the Saudis, the Americans and the Pakistanis fought the Soviets. The Pakistanis had the closest relationships with the Afghan resistance due to ethnic and historical bonds, and the Pakistani intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), had built close ties with the Afghans.

As frequently happens, the lines of influence ran both ways. The ISI did not simply control Islamist militants, but instead many within the ISI came under the influence of radical Islamist ideology. This reached the extent that the ISI became a center of radical Islamism, not so much on an institutional level as on a personal level: The case officers, as the phrase goes, went native. As long as the U.S. strategy remained to align with radical Islamism against the Soviets, this did not pose a major problem. However, when the Soviet Union collapsed and the United States lost interest in the future of Afghanistan, managing the conclusion of the war fell to the Afghans and to the Pakistanis through the ISI. In the civil war that followed the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the United States played a trivial role. It was the ISI in alliance with the Taliban — a coalition of Afghan and international Islamist fighters who had been supported by the United States, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan — that shaped the future of Afghanistan.

The U.S.- Islamist relationship was an alliance of convenience for both sides. It was temporary, and when the Soviets collapsed, Islamist ideology focused on new enemies, the United States chief among them. Anti-Soviet sentiment among radical Islamists soon morphed into anti-American sentiment. This was particularly true after the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait and Desert Storm. The Islamists perceived the U.S. occupation and violation of Saudi territorial integrity as a religious breach. Therefore, at least some elements of international Islamism focused on the United States; al Qaeda was central among these elements. Al Qaeda needed a base of operations after being expelled from Sudan, and Afghanistan provided the most congenial home. In moving to Afghanistan and allying with the Taliban, al Qaeda inevitably was able to greatly expand its links with Pakistan’s ISI, which was itself deeply involved with the Taliban.

After 9/11, Washington demanded that the Pakistanis aid the United States in its war against al Qaeda and the Taliban. For Pakistan, this represented a profound crisis. On the one hand, Pakistan badly needed the United States to support it against what it saw as its existential enemy, India. On the other hand, Islamabad found it difficult to rupture or control the intimate relationships, ideological and personal, that had developed between the ISI and the Taliban, and by extension with al Qaeda to some extent. In Pakistani thinking, breaking with the United States could lead to strategic disaster with India. However, accommodating the United States could lead to unrest, potential civil war and even collapse by energizing elements of the ISI and supporters of Taliban and radical Islamism in Pakistan.

The Pakistani Solution

The Pakistani solution was to appear to be doing everything possible to support the United States in Afghanistan, with a quiet limit on what that support would entail. That limit on support set by Islamabad was largely defined as avoiding actions that would trigger a major uprising in Pakistan that could threaten the regime. Pakistanis were prepared to accept a degree of unrest in supporting the war but not to push things to the point of endangering the regime.

The Pakistanis thus walked a tightrope between demands they provide intelligence on al Qaeda and Taliban activities and permit U.S. operations in Pakistan on one side and the internal consequences of doing so on the other. The Pakistanis’ policy was to accept a degree of unrest to keep the Americans supporting Pakistan against India, but only to a point. So, for example, the government purged the ISI of its overt supporters of radial Islamism, but it did not purge the ISI wholesale nor did it end informal relations between purged intelligence officers and the ISI. Pakistan thus pursued a policy that did everything to appear to be cooperative while not really meeting American demands.

The Americans were, of course, completely aware of the Pakistani limits and did not ultimately object to this arrangement. The United States did not want a coup in Islamabad, nor did it want massive civil unrest. The United States needed Pakistan on whatever terms the Pakistanis could provide help. It needed the supply line through Pakistan from Karachi to the Khyber Pass. And while it might not get complete intelligence from Pakistan, the intelligence it did get was invaluable. Moreover, while the Pakistanis could not close the Afghan Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan, they could limit them and control their operation to some extent. The Americans were as aware as the Pakistanis that the choice was between full and limited cooperation, but could well be between limited and no cooperation, because the government might well not survive full cooperation. The Americans thus took what they could get.

Obviously, this relationship created friction. The Pakistani position was that the United States had helped create this reality in the 1980s and 1990s. The American position was that after 9/11, the price of U.S. support involved the Pakistanis changing their policies. The Pakistanis said there were limits. The Americans agreed, so the fight was about defining the limits.

The Americans felt that the limit was support for al Qaeda. They felt that whatever Pakistan’s relationship with the Afghan Taliban was, support in suppressing al Qaeda, a separate organization, had to be absolute. The Pakistanis agreed in principle but understood that the intelligence on al Qaeda flowed most heavily from those most deeply involved with radical Islamism. In others words, the very people who posed the most substantial danger to Pakistani stability were also the ones with the best intelligence on al Qaeda — and therefore, fulfilling the U.S. demand in principle was desirable. In practice, it proved difficult for Pakistan to carry out.

The Breakpoint and the U.S. Exit From Afghanistan

This proved the breakpoint between the two sides. The Americans accepted the principle of Pakistani duplicity, but drew a line at al Qaeda. The Pakistanis understood American sensibilities but didn’t want to incur the domestic risks of going too far. This psychological breakpoint cracked open on Osama bin Laden, the Holy Grail of American strategy and the third rail of Pakistani policy.

Under normal circumstances, this level of tension of institutionalized duplicity should have blown the U.S.-Pakistani relationship apart, with the United States simply breaking with Pakistan. It did not, and likely will not for a simple geopolitical reason, one that goes back to the 1990s. In the 1990s, when the United States no longer needed to support an intensive covert campaign in Afghanistan, it depended on Pakistan to manage Afghanistan. Pakistan would have done this anyway because it had no choice: Afghanistan was Pakistan’s backdoor, and given tensions with India, Pakistan could not risk instability in its rear. The United States thus did not have to ask Pakistan to take responsibility for Afghanistan.

The United States is now looking for an exit from Afghanistan. Its goal, the creation of a democratic, pro-American Afghanistan able to suppress radical Islamism in its own territory, is unattainable with current forces — and probably unattainable with far larger forces. Gen. David Petraeus, the architect of the Afghan strategy, has been nominated to become the head of the CIA. With Petraeus departing from the Afghan theater, the door is open to a redefinition of Afghan strategy. Despite Pentagon doctrines of long wars, the United States is not going to be in a position to engage in endless combat in Afghanistan. There are other issues in the world that must be addressed. With bin Laden’s death, a plausible (if not wholly convincing) argument can be made that the mission in AfPak, as the Pentagon refers to the theater, has been accomplished, and therefore the United States can withdraw.

No withdrawal strategy is conceivable without a viable Pakistan. Ideally, Pakistan would be willing to send forces into Afghanistan to carry out U.S. strategy. This is unlikely, as the Pakistanis don’t share the American concern for Afghan democracy, nor are they prepared to try directly to impose solutions in Afghanistan. At the same time, Pakistan can’t simply ignore Afghanistan because of its own national security issues, and therefore it will move to stabilize it.

The United States could break with Pakistan and try to handle things on its own in Afghanistan, but the supply line fueling Afghan fighting runs through Pakistan. The alternatives either would see the United States become dependent on Russia — an equally uncertain line of supply — or on the Caspian route, which is insufficient to supply forces. Afghanistan is war at the end of the Earth for the United States, and to fight it, Washington must have Pakistani supply routes.

The United States also needs Pakistan to contain, at least to some extent, Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan. The United States is stretched to the limit doing what it is doing in Afghanistan. Opening a new front in Pakistan, a country of 180 million people, is well beyond the capabilities of either forces in Afghanistan or forces in the U.S. reserves. Therefore, a U.S. break with Pakistan threatens the logistical foundation of the war in Afghanistan and poses strategic challenges U.S. forces cannot cope with.

The American option might be to support a major crisis between Pakistan and India to compel Pakistan to cooperate with the United States. However, it is not clear that India is prepared to play another round in the U.S. game with Pakistan. Moreover, creating a genuine crisis between India and Pakistan could have two outcomes. The first involves the collapse of Pakistan, which would create an India more powerful than the United States might want. The second and more likely outcome would see the creation of a unity government in Pakistan in which distinctions between secularists, moderate Islamists and radical Islamists would be buried under anti-Indian feeling. Doing all of this to deal with Afghan withdrawal would be excessive, even if India played along, and could well prove disastrous for Washington.

Ultimately, the United States cannot change its policy of the last 10 years. During that time, it has come to accept what support the Pakistanis could give and tolerated what was withheld. U.S. dependence on Pakistan so long as Washington is fighting in Afghanistan is significant; the United States has lived with Pakistan’s multitiered policy for a decade because it had to. Nothing in the capture of bin Laden changes the geopolitical realities. So long as the United States wants to wage — or end — a war in Afghanistan, it must have the support of Pakistan to the extent that Pakistan is prepared to provide support. The option of breaking with Pakistan because on some level it is acting in opposition to American interests does not exist.

This is the ultimate contradiction in U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and even the so-called war on terror as a whole. The United States has an absolute opposition to terrorism and has waged a war in Afghanistan on the questionable premise that the tactic of terrorism can be defeated, regardless of source or ideology. Broadly fighting terrorism requires the cooperation of the Muslim world, as U.S. intelligence and power is inherently limited. The Muslim world has an interest in containing terrorism, but not the absolute concern the United States has. Muslim countries are not prepared to destabilize their countries in service to the American imperative. This creates deeper tensions between the United States and the Muslim world and increases the American difficulty in dealing with terrorism — or with Afghanistan.

The United States must either develop the force and intelligence to wage war without any assistance — which is difficult to imagine given the size of the Muslim world and the size of the U.S. military — or it will have to accept half-hearted support and duplicity. Alternatively, it could accept that it will not win in Afghanistan and will not be able simply to eliminate terrorism. These are difficult choices, but the reality of Pakistan drives home that these, in fact, are the choices.

Comment: Could there have been a better way to handle this? It is inconceivable that the loss of opportunity to get bin Laden would have been bypassed, and the risk was too high of informing the Pakistanis that we knew the whereabouts bin Laden. Yet the price of getting bin Laden may be a lot higher than we anticipated.

More about bin Laden killing here.

Boundless hypocrisy.

Dollar Bill Technique

I just saw of video that demonstrated this technique of playing guitar. It gives an interesting percussive effect, like a snare drum, it was said. Johnny Cash used this technique, so I went over to look for one of his videos on YouTube and found this one. If you look carefully, you will see. I looked at the drummer, and it looked as if he wasn't playing, yet it sounded like there was somebody playing drums. Hard to say if the guitar was making that sound. Anyway, here it is.

Federal Debt Ceiling

Some remarks by the Speaker at The Economic Club of New York. I want to get an idea of what may become policy soon.

Mike Huckabee

Yesterday, it was Gingrich.  Today, it will be Mike Huckabee.  Frankly, I don't know much about the man. Only from the Wikipedia entry I just read.  The reason is that I don't watch TV.  He is on TV with his own program, so I guess I could have learned something there.

I'll be reading one of his books today, so the posting may be pretty light.  I hope to read everything that is relevant and be able to write up something about it by the end of the day.

Just read the fifth chapter of this book.   The "Roach Motel" reference got my attention.  Very amusing.  I noted a lot of good quotes in that chapter, but I'll leave that until later.

Now Chapter 13 has been finished.  I'll give Huckabee credit for coming up with very good stuff that can work on a soundbite.  BUT, what he ended that chapter with sounded an awful lot like carbon trading. Sorry, that's a great big no no to me.  I dislke that with same intensity that the devil hates holy water.  Maybe that's a bad analogy, so be it.  There's no idea that I hate with more intensity than that one.  For people to latch on to that one is like taking a revolver to your head and pulling the trigger.  It makes no sense whatsoever to pay more for anything than what is absolutely necessary.  It is not necessary to do this.  Ever.

I'll keep reading.  If I find anything else like this, I am not going to like it.


It should be noted that Huckabee didn't formally say that he supported carbon trading. I haven't found anything like that yet. Overall, I find no fault with the book. There's plenty of good material here. In fact, some of what he says sound a lot like what I've written here. It may seem like I am copy catting him, but frankly, I hardly knew anything about him. His observations and mine, to the extent that they are alike, are simply a coincidence.

At this point, I rated Gingrich and Huckabee very close. There are differences, but it may be a matter of style, as opposed to substance. That statement may not be appreciated by supporters of either, come to think of it. Everybody likes to be his own man. They aren't clones.

Morn. Summ. 5/10

A quick glance at the monthly stats (not shown here) shows a slight upward trend over the last week. The 3 day total ( also not shown) is the best that I've had yet.  Something curious about the Vital Signs Page, it is getting hits.  I don't know why.  I didn't think that this part of this blog was all that popular.  A curious thing.

I'm getting a lot of my hits from google searches.  I think that this is reflective of the number of posts that I've made all this time.  It is getting close to 1000 posts.  A strong google presence can't hurt.

This is all good, yet the bottom line is still zero.  A lot of pageviews may be nice "psychic" pay, but it pays no bills.  My creditors don't take psychic checks.  I'm not complaining, just saying the way it is. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Winning the Future

This will be some preliminary discussion of Gingrich's 2005 book. It is somewhat dated, but not that dated. Also, as I mentioned earlier today, my time is limited, so I needed to skip a few chapters and get to the core of what I am interested in.

Ah, but I read several of other chapters first and didn't notice that the day was getting away from me. Ok, we'll get to the Energy and Space parts of his book. There's basically a good coverage here, but I would like to see more aggressiveness. But to put it mildly, this is not very likely from any candidate in this election. What I'd like to see isn't likely to happen. Looking at it that way, it is about as good as can be expected.

Without reading the whole book, I'd say Gingrich can make a strong candidate. I may even be tempted to go out on the limb and say he will be the candidate. But things are just too unpredictable. Let's put it this way. I think he has at least a 50 50 shot at the nomination. Beyond that, it is way too early to say anything else.

Moving on, it is getting late in the day and its time for me to wrap things up. Here's a pic of my posts for today.

It was heavy on the politics today. Didn't notice much in the markets. By the way, I missed the Space Show. I'll catch up later.

It wasn't a particularly productive day writing, but I have been reading a lot. You can't do everything you'd like.

That will be all for today. For those of you who came, once again, thanks. See you tomorrow.

The issues in the next election

It's still a long ways off, so any speculation about it may be quite premature.  Nevertheless, I have a hunch that it will be the economy.  The conventional wisdom seems to be that the economy will be recovering strongly, but what if inflation comes back into the picture?

Krugman doubts that this will happen, but as I pointed out yesterday, the lack of wage pressure did not stop increasing inflation in 2008.  The same factors at play for increasing inflation pressure in 2008 are present today. That is, the increasing price of oil.  Oil supplies are tight enough so that any loss of supply will be reflected in prices.  Thanks to Obama's de facto drilling ban in the Gulf, the oil supplies are now tightening up, and will get tighter just as the economy is improving.  This will lead to higher prices and the danger of having the recovery being stalled by it.

Not to mention the increasing regulatory burdens placed upon industry.  This will act as a brake upon new business startups and job creation.  The latest job figures may look good, but the internals, as I have heard, are not that good.  The recovery is getting near two years old, and the economy is still not growing robustly.  Yet there are already signs that inflation is out there and will accelerate soon.  This presents a problem for the Fed.  If inflation picks up, what do they do about it?  Can they sit around and take an accomodative approach to monetary policy while inflation begins to heat up?  I think the answer to that is no.  In fact, they may already be behind the curve.

This doesn't even count the debt issue, which could become a crisis at any time.  If that should occur, all bets are off.  What could spring that crisis?  It is hard to say.  Maybe it won't happen at all.  If so, it will be a small miracle, in my opinion.  It won't be helpful if the government can't come up with a credible deficit reduction plan.  If this fails, it could be an important signal to the rest of the world that the government just can't do what is necessary and they could respond to this in ways that will not be pleasant for policy makers nor the rest of the country.  But if the government doesn't come up with a credible plan, the rest of the world could just play along for awhile longer.  Therefore, it is hard to say how this will play out.

Inflation could be the trigger too, but Krugman says he doesn't think that will happen.  We will see.


Here is something on CSPAN which I thought may be interesting in terms of this post.


Just finished listening to this. It appears that the future is not going to be easy to predict. The reason is because of independents. You really don't know where that might end up. You can see independents hurting either party, or only one party, or both. Independents are the wild card. Its tough to categorize them and probably impossible to manipulate them. This is where the parties could lose their influence if this trend intensifies.

Mythical Meet Up

You may wonder about a certain picture that keeps coming up on the slideshow.  It was about this, a Mythical Meetup with Rhett and Link as they crossed the USA.  This was over a month ago now, getting close to two. Well, the meetup in Amarillo is now on YouTube and I'm in it.  Not much of me, but I am there.  I took a couple screenshots of the video, which was taken right at the end as the group got together and sang "America the Beautiful".

Wall Street Jounal Online

Has an article out today on Gingrich.  To assess quickly his chances, let's look at some recent polls in the article:
Mr. Gingrich continues to come in a solid fourth in almost all the national polls, behind former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Mr. Romney and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. With both Mr. Huckabee and Ms. Palin hesitating over whether to jump in, Mr. Gingrich would enter the race as a serious contender.
So, if Palin and Huckabee don't run, it comes down to Romney or Newt.  Newt probably gets the Huck vote, and probably at least splits the Palin vote.  Looks like it might come down to what Huck does.  But Huck has money problems, I recall.  Not so with Newt.

Here's some more from abc.  Also from People for the American Way.   Neither of the previous two links would be considered positively inclined towards Gingrich.

Here's a breaking news item from Twitter.  Newt will announce a bid for president on Wednesday.

Amazon comment

The following comment I just now wrote in response to a review on with respect to one of Newt Gingrich's books.

Since you wrote this in 2008, perhaps you weren't paying attention to his "solutions". At least one, in which I participated in to some extent, was quite helpful in reducing gas prices at the pump. "Drill here, drill now, pay less" was successful in getting President George W Bush to remove the restrictions upon offshore drilling. This worked great, as prices went down considerably. People may attribute that (the drop in gas prices) to a poor economy, but I don't agree. It so turned out, that there were other problems in the economy that proved too much to handle. You might say, if it weren't for that, things could easily have been worse.

Frankly, I don't know enough about Gingrich to say at this point if he deserves to be taken seriously as a candidate for president. But as for him not having solutions, I think you are not giving him enough credit.

The more I look into Newt, the more I like. That is why I am considering this book. I think you brush him off a little too quickly. Try looking again, this time with an honest look, if you don't mind.


I just ordered a free sample on Kindle of Newt Gingrich's book "Winning the Future".


I read the free sample and bought the book.  But my Kindle needs recharging, so I won't be reading it just yet.  He has written a lot of books, including a newer one than this, which was written around 2005.

The problem of time

I'd love to devote all my time to go into great detail all those things that interest me. But there isn't enough time for that. With the factor of time pressing upon the matter, I have to find ways to address these things as best I can.

As I mentioned in the morning summary, I am paying closer attention than ever to this next presidential election. With that in mind, it is going to be necessary to start looking carefully at all the probable candidates for the Republican nomination. It doesn't make sense to talk about the Democrats. Unless something really unexpected happens, Obama will be the nominee. At the moment, I am looking at bit at Newt Gingrich. There are other candidates, such as Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and others. I've mentioned Trump before, but he isn't a Republican in my book.

Since the list is rather long, going through all these candidates can become a really huge chore. As I mentioned, time is short. What should I do about this? Decide now on who I will cover, or keep it spread around, and watch developments? I have to decide upon that, and decide upon other things as things move forward.

So, I will be thinking about this as the day goes on. As it unfolds, I will write a bit here about the candidates. Perhaps as an introduction based upon what I can find that's easily available. But anybody can do that. Ok, but how many do? I can do that for now. Let it serve as a time saver for anybody who may be interested.

Morn sum, 5/9/11

The numbers look better.  Monthly pageviews are creeping up toward 1500, an average of 50 per day.  That used to be considered a good day, now it is only average.  Yesterday looked good too, nearly a new daily record.  People have been looking at the truck ad too.  Not many, but some.  Otherwise, things look about the same.

Every day seems to be different.  I wake up and I wonder, what will I do today?  It seems that I've covered politics fairly heavily in the last few days.  This morning, I woke up with that on my mind.  It seems like this next election is going to be very important.  But, I suppose they all are.  But this time, I am paying closer attention.

I have written about markets and the other topics covered on this blog too.  Like fusion, space, and videos that I've made and others have made.  I've tried to integrate all that into a whole package.  For example, fusion and space fit in with the Kardeshevian aspirations, which are to be mastered so that civilization can rise to the next level.  Videos show the points I'm trying to make by using the old saying " a picture is worth a thousand words."  Markets and politics are related because a sick political system can have a bad effect upon markets.  To pull it all together, I try to orient towards the future.  The future should be Kardeshevian, if we can keep our political order in good shape.

Hence, the interest in politics.  I may tend toward that end in future writings.  At the moment, it interests me, so I guess you can say that you can expect that going forward.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Eve wrap, 5/8

Busy day posting. This is the 12th post. For a long time, I averaged just 3 a day. Here's the list of posts.
Looking back on the day, it began as a political day, but ended as a space day.  By the way, while I was thinking up my next post, I read about Quicklaunch, better known for the Cannon to the Planets idea by John Hunter.  I was wondering how all that turned out.

Anyway, it's time to shut down for another day.  I'll put in a video for your amusement.  Thanks for coming by.

Peter Diamandis: Our Moral Imperative to Explore

There's a need to show this video in order to answer the question of why go to space with all the problems on the ground.  Space seems like a sideshow to most people.  Something you do to entertain people.  Like bread and circuses for the masses.

I think that this is an unfortunate consequence of the failure of the government to make space accessible. Making space accessible was the mission of the Shuttle, but, as we have seen, the Shuttle failed that mission.
Consequently, nobody believes that it can be done more cheaply than what it is done now.  Furthermore, since the Shuttle was limited to low earth orbit, the idea began to set in that the capability to do more was beyond us.

That's another thing that's wrong.  Once you get into orbit, you are "halfway to anywhere".  The idea that it is beyond our capabilities is turning into a myth that needs to be busted.

here is more

Hurray for him

This ain't Mexico. But there are those who seem to want to change that.

Newsletter - Edition 264 - 08 May 2011 By Christopher Laird

Lots of market news this week from Chris. As usual, I am posting the topics in this week's newsletter, and once again I remind you that this is a subscription based service. The link is in the Products page.

Quite a week in commodities, metals and the USD and CRB
Yen *
Yen ‘Death Star’
China and India interest rates
USD/Yen USD/Yuan USD/Euro
My gold and silver targets this week
Metals and general commodities here
Our alerts

Interesting chart

Got a copy of this from Greg Mankiw's Blog. I went to his blog after reading another one of Krugman's opinions, which, in this case, relates to the lack of inflation pressure in wages. The chart below shows what Krugman is pointing to:

The chart has a aura of plausibility about it. But I am not convinced. The reason I'm not is that I concluded that during the Bush administration, the admininstration was taking a weak dollar policy. This is what Krugman referred to in an earlier article I discussed yesterday. In that article, Krugman appears to advocate a weak dollar because it will make US goods more competitive overseas. But the other side of that would make imported goods more expensive here. Now the thing is this, a great deal of our trade deficit is with China, who pegs their currency to the dollar. A weak dollar will not have any effect on that. It is fair to conclude that a weak dollar policy is now in effect, simply because this administration is doing the same thing the Bush administration was doing and what Krugman himself has advocated.

Not only will China protect its export markets, so will the rest of our trading partners. There will be a "race to the bottom" in the currency wars. All of this has transpired before and appears to be repeating itself.

The inflation did not appear in the Bush administration until the end of his second term.  A sharp and deep downturn occurred at the same time.  In order to extricate the country from this, the current administration is simply copycatting the Bush strategy.  Guess who is advocating that, but Krugman himself.

While it may well be true that wages are not increasing very fast at the present, I am not convinced that inflation won't show up.  It did during the Bush term, mainly in the form of high energy prices. The chart above does not reflect the higher inflation rate in 2008, when wages weren't increasing all that fast then either.   I don't think Krugman's model takes that into consideration.  Energy counts for an awful lot in our economy.  In fact in any advanced economy.  It is not wise to allow energy prices to get out of hand, like what is happening now.

Historical inflation data here:  month by month numbers below (2008) :


The Blogger editor won't cooperate. The numbers keep moving around every time I do an edit. There's a solution, but I'm not working on the right machine for that at the moment.  (Fixed!)

A scan through those charts from prior years is interesting in itself. When Krugman talks about a weaker dollar in the Reagan years, it came after a stringent policy of tight monetary policy which whipped inflation of the seventies. Most likely at the time, the dollar was a lot stronger than what it is now. I could check it, but why bother? The dollar is already at all time lows today. If you go much lower, you will be going into uncharted waters. But Krugman isn't worried about that.

Cloward-Piven strategy

Described here on Wikipedia.  The article states that Glen Beck talked about it.  Since I never watched TV, I haven't seen Beck but once, on a YouTube video just recently.  When you look at the debt situation, you can't help but notice the parallels between what this strategy intended and the direction in which we are headed.

Since I don't listen to talk radio much anymore and I don't watch TV or Beck, nobody can claim that I am being taken in by far right wing ideology.  I have just been watching all this over the years.  Plus, I noted that this was beginning to gather steam in the Bush years.  It has also occurred to me that the Republicans, for all intents and purposes, are not any different from Democrats.  Hence, the Politics Schmolitics label on my posts.  My sources and methods are independent.

I just don't trust the politicians anymore.  Doesn't matter what political stripe, they end up doing the same thing.  Ultimately, the idea is to divide and conquer.  Isn't that what they are doing?  The pretend to offer opposition while out of power, but when in power, they just keep doing the same things as was being done before.  The belief is, when you throw the bums out, that change will occur.  What change?  Nothing changes and we keep moving towards the brink.  People end up at each others throats, divided and quarelling , but that works in the favor of the politicians whose real worry is that the people catch on, unite, and put an end to this nonsense.