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HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK - Moves forward to 2125 due to election of US President trump.

Estimate of the time that Humanity will go extinct or civilization will collapse. The HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK moves forward to 2125 due to US President trump's abandonment of climate change goals. Apologies to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for using the name.


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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Screwing Oil Speculators

Hey Barry:

Releasing oil into the markets has been criticized as a move to damage speculators like the Golden Sox Gang.


Your pal,

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Reality Economics

Hey Barry:

Hope you like the picture above of our troops as my new header; it reminds me of what really matters.

Moving to an economic note, if we're looking at economic theory as it applies to today - at least that's what I'm doing - then there are one or two ideas to consider. This is part of considering what will take the place of the NeoCon dogma which has died recently. [Oddly enough, NeoCon dogma died from success - we gave it all it wanted and then it up and died. R.I.P.]

One of those ideas is called Post Keynesian Theory, or PKT. In other words, it attempts to suggest what happens to economics after the economy moves on beyond pure Keynesian doctrine. After all, the 1930's were a long time ago.

The basic Keynes idea from the 1930's is that the central government has to intervene on a macro level with stimulus and borrowing when the unemployment rate is too high. That's good as far as it goes, but in today's economy that action alone does not solve the problems we have. Markets are way too clogged with monopolies to react favorably to macro stimulus actions alone.

PKT takes Keynes' doctrine further into government intervention in the economy. Specifically, PKT suggests both an incomes policy and an industrial policy. And, I would add that a better PKT would also add a nationalist trade policy that protects our jobs.

An incomes policy is simply a tax policy that prevents personal incomes from rising so high that the possessors have the ability to damage the country from their actions.

An industrial policy is a national policy which chooses which industries will help the country in the future and then supports those industries with protective tariffs, subsidies and contracts until they become strong enough to stand on their own.

A protective trade policy is a policy which seeks to keep jobs at home. It has been forcefully explained by Ian Fletcher in his book Free Trade Doesn't Work: What Should Replace it and Why.

Now Mr. Fletcher has proposed a second alternative candidate for the moribund NeoCon dogma - Nationalist Economics. His discussion is available here:

Well, Barry, that's where economic thinking is heading: toward Post Keynesian Theory and Nationalist Economics. If you accept it, your job is to bring the legislature around to the new reality.

We're hoping you accept it Barry, because the penalty for ignoring reality will be very high for the country.

And, Lordy, them Reps is a stubborn bunch. My guess is that they'll cling to their bankrupt dogma until the country pays the price.

We're rooting for you here.

All of us in the day-to-day world know the real situation even if the Reps don't.

Your pal,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Replacing NeoCons

Hey Barry:

Well, the NeoCon economic philosophy seems to be withering to dormancy on the vine. But have no fear; it will come back again as soon as our memories fade.

Why is it withering? Well, it's fading because it won the war of ideas; it took over economics and politics. NeoCon philosophy was the dominant economic idea for several years. And, we - the good ol' U S of A - put its ideas into practice.

And, what did it give us? Among other things, it gave us high unemployment, the Great Recession, a housing crisis, a banking crisis, a debt crisis and a still developing European crisis that may well put us into another, deeper recession.

So, NeoCon ideas are correctly blamed for the mess we're in; and, those ideas are disappearing, for now.

John Maynard Keynes knew all this in the 1930's,

But, we forgot. And forgetting cost us, boy did it cost.

So, you may ask, what is the alternative anyway?

Well, the alternative is really pretty simple and it's mostly a lot of common sense.

See, markets are pretty good at creating jobs when there is some consumer demand. But, the problem is that when the entrepreneur's capital demands all the profits instead of giving fair shares to employees, customers, suppliers and society, then wealth becomes concentrated and society suffers.

Left alone this simple-minded NeoCon approach guarantees recessions because it chokes off demand from the consumers.

Consumer spending is two-thirds of the economy and consumers get their buying power from wages. If they don't have enough wages, then they can't buy things. That's called a recession.

That's where we are right now.

The better idea is to share the profits from business ventures with employees, suppliers, customers and society instead of giving all the profits to the capital. Allow capital a fair return but not everything.

After all, society is the thing that allows a venture to make a profit. Society provides a legal structure, educated workers, customers who buy things and so on. Without all of these things a business will simply fail from lack of revenue.

Of course, business owners will resist the idea of increasing wages and giving back to society. That reduces their profits and return on investment.

So, that means that you, Barry Obama, have to figure out a way to take some of the business' profits and billionaires' wealth - just a little - and give it to wages and to schools and roads and medical insurance - stuff like that.

But, wait a minute; we already have those mechanisms in place Barry. All you have to do is to tune them up a little. Let unions organize. Pass laws to protect them. Raise taxes on businesses to support education and infrastructure. You get the idea. It's not news, Barry.

Well Barry, we can hear it now, the screams and complaints will be really loud and panicky.

'That's socialism and it's anti-American. It's theft and stealing. It's Un-American.'

And so on and so on.

OK, Barry, here's the bottom line: this is the only way to survive as a country.

It's survival, not politics.

It's way more important than politics.

How about it, Barry? What will you do?

Your pal,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What Would Barry Do?

Hey Barry:

Let's imagine that we - the entire USA - is a small bunch on a tramp steamer on the high seas somewhere.

You are our Captain - no mistake. [Sorry, I have been reading Mark Twain, and he IS contagious - makes me want to write like a poor imitation]

Well anyway, there we are with pretty much two groups of folks: a smallish bunch with lots of food, great views and complete access to you at every table.

Then, there's the rest of us who have a little bit of bread, some brackish water and all the rats we can catch. Sometimes we can see you and the smallish bunch as you take your stroll on the top deck and we can wave to you. It makes us happy; we're still hungry, but happy.

It turns out that the smaller bunch want to reduce our bread ration by half because, well that's just what they do. But you as the Captain are sayin that 'We can't reduce their rations by half, but maybe we can just reduce it by a quarter instead. I'll think on it and get back to you.'

Of course, if you reduce the rations then the folks who actually keep the ship afloat will be weak and it'll be hard for them to fix all the leaks. When you mention that to the smallish gang, they just scoff and tell you that the workers can just work longer hours. After all, they don't have anything else to do.

But, Barry you have a dilemma: you know there's a storm coming and that the boat is in serious disrepair. If we don't fix the boat there's a real good chance it'll sink in the storm.

So you make an executive decision: "In order to save our ship, I have decided that I will take from the small bunch half of all that they have and distribute it to the folks who have little so that they will have the strength to keep our ship in good repair during the coming storm. I know that the bilge pump is broken, the engine needs a new fuel system, the piston rings are worn out and the radios are working only half time. In these difficult times, we must all work together because if we do not we will all perish together on the seas."

Immediately there is an uproar from the small gang.

"You cannot do that to us. We made our money fair and square by reducing bread rations every year, just like the rules allow. It is our right. We have been doing it for generations. You cannot stop us now. We will,.......... well, we will do SOMETHING real bad. Maybe we'll hold our breath for a really long time. Or, or, how about this, we'll promise to pay you 25% of the next food that floats by on a shipwreck. That's a good deal. You can't take away our rights like that - it's not fair.

OK, OK, how about this - we will pay you 5% of our food supplies right now, but you have to drop your outrageous demands on our property, our right to bread rations."

What'll be your answer, Barry?

What would Barry do?

Your pal,

US Troops Wall Painting

From Lena Groeger, Danger Room

Monday, June 20, 2011

VTO Farewell?

Hey Barry:

Seems like the end of an era is here - VTO's are about to be gone, gone.

Read about the last flight of the Harrier here:

We are still flying the tilt wing Osprey, but considering helicopters and unmanned craft, looks like its days are numbered to an outside observer like me.

Up, up and awaaay.

Your pal,