Archive for May, 2013

A Larger Scale

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Two things to keep in mind as the international community starts up yet another proxy war in the Middle East:

1) Syria is Lebanon on a larger scale.

2) Iraq is Syria on a larger scale.

At least our President has learned from the failures that were Iraq and Afghanistan.

He’s pursuing absolutely the right policy in Syria, which is to try diplomacy, particularly with the Russians, who are making the conflict much worse by propping up a failing dictatorship; they know they’ll be the big loser is Assad falls.

We have zero national security interests in Syria other than to keep the Israelis out of the way and minimize the possibility of a regional war.

Gorilla says: “Doing nothing very much is often better than pretending to care!”

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What Catholicism Does Mostly

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Is to be complicit in the degradation and destruction of women

Gorilla says: “And until that changes, Catholicism, like all religion, remains amoral and worthless!”

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Shorter Liberty Capital Indictment

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Should you dare to compete with our money launderers, we will bring you down!!!

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The Error On Terror

Friday, May 24th, 2013

President Obama’s speech on terror was welcome, but many more things need to be said and done:

1) A recognition that the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and occasionally Pakistan have been pointless. Terrorism is best handled as a law enforcement/intelligence issue.

2) The drones we use are an admission that our military is not equipped to wage prolonged wars with insufficient troops. Global terrorism involves perhaps 10-20,000 active fighters, and we cannot defeat them when our resources are devoted to being an occupying force in failed states.

3) Guantanamo should be closed, its inmates released and/or tried in US civilian courts. The cowardice of the Know Nothing Party on this issue defines their equally stupid and fatal attraction to fighting endless wars that contribute nothing to national security.

4) The Patriot Act should be repealed. That the Justice Department feels it can spy on the press in a vain effort to punish whisteblowers says our country has lost freedom during the 12 years we’ve lost our mind about terrorism.

5) We need a complete revamp of national security and defense policy. The focus must be on vital national security interests, not chasing down fifth-rate criminals and fretting over the likes of North Korea and Iran. We need to worry a lot more about cyber attacks and more sophisticated forms of espionage currently being undertaken by the Chinese. We need to reduce defense spending on programs that refight World War II (do we really need an Air Force or a Navy to meet today’s national security challenges? must we spend 10 times what the rest of the world spends to be secure? etc.).

The President’s made a good start on these issues, but we also need to stop seeing the Pentagon as a middle class jobs program and national security as a theatrical exercise in restraining our own human rights.

Gorilla says: “Let’s be secure, but let’s also be wary about those in our country who would restrict our freedom!”

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Goosing With Terror

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Only in Britain (and America) would a machete attack by two obviously disturbed nuts be seen as a terrorist attack.

So good to know from the toff British PM that he won’t “give in” to terror, just continue to use the word to distract from more obvious threats e.g. long-term unemployment and counterproductive austerity.

Meanwhile, Ben Bernanke seems to have forgotten entirely the meaning of his own words.

Goosing asset prices isn’t actually working in macroeconomic terms, unless you’re a shareholder.

The economy continues to drastically underperform the long-term trend, inflation is non-existent, and unemployment remains unaddressed.

Helicopter Ben only cares about Wall Street banks, so what we’re getting is Hang Glider Ben, gently falling to earth in his Bolsa wood dream machine.

So the rich folks will have a few days to ponder a market correction and decide in the long-term what the term “long-term” implies, because clearly Bernanke hasn’t a clue.

Gorilla says: “Would be nice if somebody in power cared about something other than being seen as seriously out of touch with reality!”

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Shorter Ben Bernanke, An Idiot’s Idiot

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

“Thanks to monetary policy, we could have missed our inflation and unemployment targets even more completely than we already have!”

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Guns And Tornadoes

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

The number of people killed yesterday in OK City more or less matched the number of people killed by guns yesterday in the USA.

And the people of OK deserve our sympathy, even though the politicans they elect make it far easier for the people of OK and elsewhere to die.

So, perhaps a program, sponsored by the evil government, to assist homeowners and local communities to build more effective tornado shelters?

So, perhaps a bit more in taxes from the people who hold OK and the rest of us in contempt?

So, perhaps a sense at last that we are a nation not just of selfish bastards but of human beings who need each other?

Gorilla say: “Or perhaps, fat chance!”

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Getting Reacquainted With Lermontov

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Gorilla will devote some space on the blog to quotations and random musings about writers.

Mikhail Y. Lermontov (1814-1841) was probably the first Russian writer that kindled Gorilla’s interest in that country, its language and culture.

Russia and Gorilla more or less left each other 20 years ago, but recently the flame is burning again.

One of the great Russian writers and poets, he’s not as well remembered (outside of Russia) as contemporaries like Pushkin, Gogol, and Turgenev.

A very short life, died at 26 in a duel, but managed to publish some of the most lyrical and beautiful poems of any age.

Parus (The Sail) is a particular favorite of Gorilla’s.

And his prose wasn’t bad either:

“Мы выживаем на новизну, настолько меньше требовательны, чем обязательства”.

“We survive on novelty, so much less demanding than commitment”.

Gorilla says: “Same as it ever was!”

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Repeat After Gorilla

Friday, May 17th, 2013

There is zero chance of a comprehensive immigration bill being passed by this Congress.

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The Unanswered Question: Year 5

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

The deficit’s shrinking, the polarization in DC means nothing much will be done on anything for the next 4 years, the banks and corporations are sitting on huge piles of cash, and inflation remains well below the Fed’s recently announced 2 1/2% target.

Gorilla asks: “So why is the Fed still doing so little about unemployment, a problem it could solve by giving people free money?”

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