Taoist mythology, Lanna history, mythology, the nature of time and other considered ramblings

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Location: Chiangrai, Chiangrai, Thailand

Author of many self-published books, including several about Thailand and Chiang Rai, Joel Barlow lived in Bangkok 1964-65, attending 6th grade with the International School of Bangkok's only Thai teacher. He first visited ChiangRai in 1988, and moved there in 1998.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Too Fat to Fall, er, fail

Perhaps my information isn’t fully informed, but it seems that the current picture is like this:
“Too Big to Fail” JPMorgan Chase has disclosed that it generated a third of its overall investment banking profits for 2006-2008 from derivatives, and so resist allowing public derivatives trading, which would eat into those profits. To keep them, Goldman Sachs, the Bank of America, and others from failing, then, the whole economy must be allowed to fail (again).
The US unemployment rate is as high as it’s been since the 1982-1983 recession, at the second highest level since the end of the Great Depression, and significant numbers of unemployed people aren’t even counted. To get people back to work, not only must they be made desperate, but “excessive” and “unneeded” regulations must be removed, speeding us along our merry path to Armageddon. And those most actively protesting all this are also active in trying to protect the wealth of the rich. But, how is it possible to believe that cutting budgets for social services will help revive the economy? One must wonder, could the transmission of information, or lack of it, be part of the problem?
While it seems true that health care, even for those already retired, will cost more than the US military, I will dare to say what seems to have become unspeakable: the military budget is too big, and many military expenditures are counterproductive. Similarly, the $1 billion program to build a mega-embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, to rival the one the Bush government build in Baghdad, is absurd, whether a pipeline to counter the power of Russian energy giant Gazprom, and associated global gangsterism, is part of the program or not. The USA now has no enemies except those that the US government has gone out of its way to create. Similarly, the “Drug War” is both counterproductive and expensive, but what are the “Big Boys” without their dangerous, violent Big Toys?
Many more home foreclosures must be expected, an important percentage of unemployment benefits are running now out, a commercial real estate crisis is beginning to hit (as evidenced by mall closures and available office space), more bailouts are surely coming, and a quite likely insufficiency of Treasury bond purchases will result in even more money printing, further undermining the dollar’s exchange value. Latin America, now feeling its oats, has a brilliant scheme to make its own equivalent to the Euro, even further undermining the dollar. Not only is our military acting in counterproductive ways, but the greatly strengthened financial elite seems also to be undercutting itself. It’s amazing. Even those with power and influence seem quite clearly under-informed. Even the New York Times mimics the act: in a recent “Freakonomics” column, GM crops were citied as a great hope for the future – overwhelming evidence to the contrary gladly tossed aside. Immediate reward trumps delayed gratification every time!
Will disastrous speculation, and environmental catastrophe, continue to elicit no clear thinking? Apparently so.
In 1886, the United States Supreme Court ruled, in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, for the corporate owners - without comment allowing corporations to be considered “persons,” thereby giving them civil rights and greater protections (including those of “due process” and “equal protection”); by the early 1890s, states had largely eliminated restrictions on corporations owning each other. By 1904, 318 corporations owned forty percent of all manufacturing assets. That’s all over a century ago. Glass-Steagall was rescinded over a decade ago. The US still aids and abets in mass-murder... while few care.