Wednesday, February 25, 2009


"This country does not torture!"  The Obama and full cry and you sit there muttering, yeah, bring it, Baby, bring it on!  Fight the power!   But wait, he is the power, and for now he's basking the adulation of people hungry for the kind of leadership he is displaying.  

I'll back up  to the beginning and say that I just finished the Obama's speech to Congress, and all crusty me can say is 'fucking A."  The man might not walk on water--and it's not clear that he gets health care, but he sure as hell knows how to speak and inspire, and the way he lasooed, hogtied, duct-taped and trivialized the remnants of the Republican party was masterful--beyond Muhammed Ali at his best.  He neutralized the opposition becaause he conveyed to people his understanding of the situation--financial, emotional, physical, existential, you name it--and his desire to get done what needs to get done.  If the Obama walks his talk then what follows in this post is rendered foolish.  I run it because  miracle that the Obama is, I've still not seen him master health care, which is tougher than walking on water. 

Here it is:  This post one has been in the works for over a month, while I've finished my book, started teaching a graduate course in scientific writing, and taught my intensive week long seminar on Dogs of the World in Santa Rosa, California, at what is now Bergin University of Canine Studies.  Among the things I think I know for sure are that the interwebs are changing forever the way information and most art are created and delivered, that no one has a viable economic model for dealing with that change in such a way that the creators can earn a living---well, maybe they can declare themselves banks and request bailouts--that the current economic situation is a fiasco that is fast beccoming a disaster, and that the Obama, for all of his brilliance and genuine humanity, does not have a clue about the health care crisis in this country.  If he did understand, he would move immediately to create a single-payer national health plan, with Medicare at its base, and in the processs he would repair the nearly mortal damage the Bushies did to Medicare itself.  That would go a very long way to restoring American vitality.  

Before my hiatus, I swore off keeping an anachronism, a blog, as just another of my wastes of time that produced no money.  But rather than tweeting or flashing mirrors at the sun or twittering dithering docking digital haikus or video self-mashes about the ways of my days, I continue in large measure because I know full well that were I to make such a switch I would disappoint the dwindling band of readers of this blog.  I know that continuing simply proves that I am what I keep--an eccentric anachronim wihout even the brains to take advertising to add a few pennies to my negative income.  Then I thought, sheet, why not just declare myself a financial institution--the First National Bank of Me--too small too fail and get me some of that free-bail out money.  That was when I started his blog in early January, before the Obama's inauguration and little has changed since in terms of the free falling economy.

Logic has never been my strong suite, but I do know that economics is called the "dismal science" because when it comes to predictive success--the chief measure for science is whether a  theory accurately predicts an event or events consistently--"dismal" is too kind a descriptive --the imprimatur of the Nobel committee not withstanding; indeed, the Nobel Prize in Economics should be renamed the the Nobel Inanity. That is being demonstrated again in the current financial crisis, which has produced near unanimity among economists that massive government intervention is necessary to shore up the financial system and thereby avert a full-blown global depression that will make the Great Depression look like a period of great weallth.  Well they don' go quite that far--most of them.

The US government alone has already shelled out more than one-trillion dollars to arrest the financial free fall to no avail. The financial sector is resolute in wanting to be bailed out and out and out again, riding this new bailout bubble for as long as it can, falling back when necessaryon the mantra that its major components are each too big too fail, so you better keep that money coming. But if something is too big too fail, the opposite must also be true, especially if it is failing--it is "too big to succeed." In effect the financial system is collapsing under the weight of its monstrous international, under-regulated banks, and their energetics are too screwed up for them to survive. They are evolutionary dead ends, with no where to go but extinction.

But if extinction, failure, is not an option because obsolete though they are, corrupt though they are, they are too crucial to the world economy to be allowed to fail, then sound business logic would dictate that the government of a particular nation or the governments of all nations so deciding would assume control of the megabanks, since their current leaders clearly are incapable of keeping them from failure. The last thing you do is throw money at the same gang of corporate pillagers who got us here in the first place.. That's not even sane enough to be irrational. It's simply creating a bubble of free coin from the realm. For proof consider that $18.4 billion the captains of larceny awarded themselves in early January along with the $3 or $4 billion executives of the disaster known as Merrill Lynch had previously awarded themselves or the hundreds of millions more, they've paid themselves in salaries just for the past several years. I'm not even touching for now GM and Chrysler threatening to go under and force all of these workers out of jobs unless they receive tens of billions of dollars and then using that money to fire workers.  Say what?  No wonder people are pissed?

But what's incredible is the faith that people have in the Obama--faith based on his rhetoric, his integrity and intelligence--and the sheer improbability that his success represents. The odds he beat to become president were deemed by most people so astronomical as to be incalculable--the odds of bookmakers not withstanding--not only because he was African-American but also because he was an intellectual and, according to one Wall Street Journal writer, too thin to be president. Now, polls are showing that 80 percent of the populace believes--and even skeptics among us hope--that the Obama is right, that the mess can be cleaned up and sanely fixed. The only way I see to do that is to recognize that late 20th century market capitalism is bankrupt in nearly all regards and then to nationalize financial institutions and all other corporations too "big to fail" and transform them into multiple, smaller, more efficient and directed corporations. Then, create civilian versions of DARPA and the Office of Naval Research, beef up NIH, NASA, and other civilian agencies , including those for domestic development, for issuing grants and micro-loans to promote promising technologies and developments in specific fields. Implement a single-payer national health plan through Medicare as envisioned in the beginning--that Medicare would be the first step toward national health care--the only thing that will cure the current crisis, brought on and exccerbated by insurance companies and the medical structure to support them that togetgher care--i.e insurance crisis--we have made the risks inherent in life so expensive to guard against that we have rendered life unaffordable. That's why deflation--the horror of horror to econonists is welcome to nonexperts as a proper corrective.  This country was living a fiction clothed in cheap goods.  It was the throw away culture that has now stuck itself in the garbage as well and the question now is whether it can pull itelf out before it hits the compressor.

I'll quit now and post the bloody thing, errors and all, so at least you'll know I'm still kicking and screaming--and doing lefthand double typing

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