Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Politically Charged Current Events Post

with 5 comments


The feedback on my “letter to my readers” post has been useful so far, spartan, but useful. Current events posts do tend to be popular, and even better, they are relatively easy to write. On the other hand, as was pointed out, they tend to get stale rather quickly. On the gripping hand, they are often fun to write, so I do plan to keep them up.

So with no further ado, current events. The big news of course is that the recession is over. Yes, it’s official, even Obama hailed the good news. Now if everyone would just go out and start buying stuff again, we’ll be out of the woods in no time. Right. I’m pretty sure all they did was print up enough money and borrow against it to produce the illusion of recovery, and since the malignant economic structures that caused the problem in the first place haven’t been addressed, at best all this means is that some time has been bought. And in fact it means that when the crash does come it will be even worse. Who knows, maybe Obama will suffer LBJ’s fate. He’s the president who claimed we had won the Vietnam War in 1967. Turns out LBJ’s assessment was, shall we say, premature.

Speaking of wars, it’s uglier than ever in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Iraq still has unspeakable violence.  I suppose I should write about them more, but most people either don’t care, are painfully misinformed, or both. And “painfully misinformed” is being diplomatic at a world class level, at least when talking about Americans. I am going to be writing about our predator death squads soon, there”s some lessons to be learnt there. Anyhow, Af/Pak, short version, don’t order your victory cakes yet, we’re light years away from “Mission Accomplished” in Afghanistan and Pakistan unless the mission was violence and war into the foreseeable future.

Which it might very well have been. My latest theory is that we are most afraid of dictators like Saddam and Ahmadinejad because a strong dictatorship is often where a modern effective nation state is forged. They may be ugly while they last, but the sense of national identity and purpose that they foster is the basis for the modern nation state. And the last thing the USA or Europe wants is modern nation states in ther Middle East and the third world. Colonial client puppet states are far more amenable to selling off their nations resources for a few chests of goodies for the people in charge. I mean, Saddam had this crazy idea that the oil profits from the oil in the Middle East should be used to benefit the people in the Middle East. Compared to that idea,  the threat posed by Al Qaeda is trivial.

In domestic matters, in a fascinating display of human stupidity, some parents pretended that their kid had floated away in a home made balloon.  Two points to be made here. The first, which everyone over the age of twelve should know, don’t mess with the Feds. You can mess with the local authorities, you can even joust with the state authorities,  but only a fool or a crusader runs afoul of the federal government. As for their desire to use their hoax as a stunt to help them get a reality show, I’m pretty sure even in today’s Roman Circus world a reality show based on psychologically traumatizing your kids is going to be a hard sell. Let’s hope so at least.

In local news, part of a repair to the old Bay Bridge that is being rebuilt blew down during a windstorm. Three cars were damaged, one person was hurt. The bridge, the region’s main traffic artery, has been closed indefinitely. Sigh. This in so many ways is a microcosm of modern America. A project that in the first place didn’t need to be done, the old bridge was good for hundreds of years. Every step of the way has been marked by cost over runs and clearly deliberate attempts to chose the most expensive way forward possible. I mean., the scaffolding for this bridge is going to cost 600 million dollars, most countries could build the bridge for that kind of money. And now they are so goddamn incompetent that a little wind starts blowing the project apart.

You know, if the aliens ever invade, we’re hosed. Blackwater and Goldman-Sachs will make a profit right up to the very end though. As Alien armoured columns blast there way into Washington, there will be Obama on TV, telling America that all is well, the new secret weapons will save the day, even as flashes from alien ray guns increrasingly illuminate the Washington skyline behind him.

Have a great weekend everyone.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, it’s the only image available to illustrate the topic, and its use here in no conceivable way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image. Credit and copyright: L.A.Marzulli. And I’m serious about the alien invasion movie where we lose in the end because spin and propaganda and corruption is no match for alien weaponry. Both conservatives and liberals could be skewered … Cheney goes down fighting with a shotgun in his hand, Michael Moore is captured and undergoes alien probing, and at the very end it’s revealed that all along Obama was one of them! He wasn’t born in Hawaii or Kenya, he wasn’t even born on Earth at all! Muahahahahaha!)


Written by unitedcats

October 30, 2009 at 6:04 am

Posted in Business, War, World

5 Responses

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  1. “a strong dictatorship is often where a modern effective nation state is forged” — Really? Care to give examples?

    “A project that in the first place didn’t need to be done, the old bridge was good for hundreds of years” — except that it was damaged by earthquake and engineers found problems, but I guess if you would rather take your chances on a damaged bridge you think can last CENTURIES…

    Mike Goldman

    October 30, 2009 at 9:41 am

    • South Korea? Spain? Portugal? Russia? Germany? France? Hard to find a modern nation state that wasn’t forged by a series of dictators. Don’t worry, I’ll be making a dedicated post on this someday. In any event I’m not touting the advantages of dictatorship, just pointing out that Saddam was transforming Iraq into a modern secular socialist state, and that was far more dangerous the the west than the fractured mess we replaced him with.

      And the new bridge may be damaged or destroyed in an earthquake. No, politicians found “problems” and a great opportunity, not engineers. The money spent on this new bridge could have saved countless lives in all sorts of ways, the chances it will save any lives on the bridge is problematic at best. Granted my information comes from a career bridge engineer, perhaps you have a better source?


      October 30, 2009 at 10:07 am

  2. Good post,

    Dictatorships work very well for accomplishing a goal, but who’s benefits from reaching that goal is the problem….As for structures, most city/gov. projects are loaded with kickbacks and special contracts for their buddies and fam., thats why it gets expensive. The pyramids lasted a long, long time and although many would doubt, we could do better today…after all, the Egyptians didn’t put a man on the moon (as far as I know). If we can do that, we could build simple infrastructure to last if we wanted…..then again, a lot of people still believe the three WTC building collapses were caused by fires…….sigh….



    November 2, 2009 at 2:15 pm

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