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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Operation Enduring Freedom

To free Afghanistan was a worthy and achievable goal set by an American President. Right now a stupid mistake over local customs has sent a wave of concern over the workers trying to make that happen.

Millions do not share the singular view of those who stand against that noble goal. America, fight your fight, not someone else's. You are not in the Hindu Kush as crusaders to convert minds. Nor as racists pushing an aryan agenda.

You are there to share the fruits of liberty. It can be done by protecting and tailoring the Afghan police. (See my simple advice in an earlier blog). 

The perpetrators of the scripture desecration must explain themselves publicly and turn themselves in to the

But the main aim cannot be forgotten.

In sum, postmodern theory suggests that there can be 2 afghanistans, one where liberty achieves prominence and another where it struggles against other values. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

High Gasoline Prices due to De-centering processes

McClatchy just had issued a well-researched story about the cause of high gas prices. Their judgment? Speculation, especially by banks and hedge funds who buy gas/oil futures with no plan to take delivery but only to sell on the price hikes they and their cohorts create (along with the help of cynical Western governments rattling sabers at Iran).

Here is a different theory: the price of gas has become unmoored from the supply of oil and is now free to fly into orbit. 

Suspiciously this event happens at a time when gas in the US should be at all time lows. There is a lot of oil around today. Demand is down due to joblessness. A mild winter in the US would also help to keep down the price per barrel.

But none of that has brought down prices, which for gas, are at record prices. Note it is the byproduct, gas, that has reached a peak price not oil.

Clear rupture between signified and signifier or between representation and what is represented  is classic postmodernism.

To blame speculation by banks or hedge funds is to say the same thing. Except it implies that such specultors can be brought to heed in order to bring gas prices 'in line' or 'into correspondence' with oil supply.

Postmodernism says no. 

Why? Because the referent has become unclear. Threats on Persia, less refining capacity, the true spare capacity of Saudi, etc.

The only thing that is clear is that the price can and will rise, without limit. That is the tendency now not correspondence, not supply and demand.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

America = Greece? Don't insult the Greeks!

Like other European countries the Greeks have a great safety net; it's hard to fire workers, great unemployment benefits, generous vacation time, welfare for those in trouble, free health care, early retirement pension, etc.

In the US the working class has already been pacified and trained. They have nothing that the Greeks have and don't ask for it. They barely have the nerve to demand a raise in the minimum wage!

Thus what is happening today on the Greek streets is not chaos nor anarchy. It is the refusal to become Americanized, a refusal to be abandoned to the wolves in accord with the Darwinistic mythology that is so espoused in the USA.

Unemployed? Out on the streets? The American way for you is 'tough'! 'Suck it up.' They will tell you your 'skill set' is old. Worse too, you have pay to get training for jobs at for-profit colleges (no apprenticeships like Germany).

So who is really better off?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Politics as Drama

There was a time when you could say that politics was dramatic: the Cuban Missile crisis comes to mind.

Today there is much ado about requiring the provision of contraceptives by all hospitals that receive Federal dollars. Not too long ago we heard about the huge 'fight' over the payroll tax cut.

Talk about tempest in a teapot!

With their grim looks and wild gestures of the politicos in front of the cameras you would think that the struggles were titanic!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The coming Car Bubble

You heard it here first. Bubbles are all the rage amongst predictors and pundits these days. They say that there are housing, gold, and bond bubbles.

But they missed the next one: the Car Bubble.

No to a housing bubble again because banks will not offer credit to most buyers. Over 1/3 of buyers today are cash.

But credit is available for everyone for vehicles. And used cars have gotten really used at this point in time.

Expect an explosion soon in car 'buying' or 'purchasing' (on credit of course) followed later by the explosion in repossessions and the birth of a citizenry that lacks not only resources but the virtual resources of credit too. Agamben! You did not think hard enough. The outcome is not bare life but hollow life.