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Tuesday Evening News Roundup

Tuesday Evening News Roundup

Austerity really isn’t working out all that well in Europe.

William Black, scholar and economist, takes the Washington Post’s William Samuelson to task for advocating for austerity measures

We have known for over 75 years that the key to recovering from a recession is to follow a counter-cyclical fiscal policy that will reduce unemployment. We have long exhibited the wisdom to adopt automatic stabilizers that increase government services and decrease taxes when a recession strikes.

What would have happened if Obama had adopted austerity as Berlin imposed austerity on the European periphery? It would have prevented any recovery, throwing the U.S. into an even more severe recession. Berlin’s austerity demands have thrown the Eurozone back into a gratuitous recession, increasing the budget deficit in many nations and plunging Greece and Spain into depressions. Europe has followed Samuelson’s and Ryan’s policy advice and the results have been disastrous. Samuelson’s and Ryan’s austerity policies violate economic theory, economic history, and a natural experiment in Europe with austerity that has proved catastrophic. Samuelson, however, makes bizarre odes to Irish austerity, emphasizing the necessity of “persuading ordinary citizens to tolerate austerity (higher unemployment, lower social benefits, [and] heavier taxes) without resorting to paralyzing street protests or ineffectual parliamentary coalitions.”

New York Atty. Gen. sues Bear Stearns (J.P. Morgan bought the remnants of Bear Stearns). It appears that Bear Stearns was selling toxic complex mortgage-backed securities and they knew it was garbage but sold it as “good as gold.” (more…)

By |2013-11-03T18:14:59-04:00October 3rd, 2012|Economy, Elections, Foreign Affairs, Party Politics|1 Comment

Dumb and Dumber… or is it stupid and stupider?

I’m really not much for burning things. Occasionally, burning firewood is probably okay. I don’t tend to burn trash. I’ve taken care of way too many people who’ve been blown up by “surprises” in the trash. I know that many people like to burn things. Some are fascinated by fire. Others simply like to destroy things. I think the burning of books is kind of futile and stupid. I think that burning religious books, whether the Bible or the Koran or the Torah, is also stupid.

Booman has more:
Burning books is stupid. Getting mad about burned books is stupid. Killing people who had nothing to do with burning any books because you’re mad that a book got burned? That’s World Champion Stupid. It’s especially stupid because the moron preacher from Florida only had something like 30 congregants that he could pull together for his little game with matches. You’re going to kill random people because of what happened in someone’s living room on the other side of the world?I feel badly for everyone who died or sustained injuries, but I feel especially badly for the five Nepalese guards who were killed. They were killed with their own weapons because they refused to use them on unarmed protesters. They went to work for the United Nations and this is their reward. It makes me angry, frankly.

The people who work for the UN in Afghanistan aren’t too happy about it.

Foreigners committed to assisting in the rebuilding of Afghanistan have long accepted the possibility that they might die at the hands of warring parties, but this degree of violence from ordinary citizens is not something most of us factored into our decision to work here……This is not the beginning of the end for the international community in Afghanistan. This is the end. Terry Jones and others will continue to pull anti-Islam stunts and opportunistic extremists here will use those actions to incite attacks against foreigners. Unless we, the internationals, want our guards to fire on unarmed protestors from now on, the day has come for us to leave Afghanistan.

And then there’s this:

The act drew little response worldwide, but provoked angry condemnation in this region, where it was reported in the local media and where anti-American sentiment already runs high. Last week, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan condemned the burning in an address before Parliament, and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan on Thursday called on the United States to bring those responsible for the Koran burning to justice.A prominent Afghan cleric, Mullah Qyamudin Kashaf, the acting head of the influential Ulema Council of Afghanistan and a Karzai appointee, also called for American authorities to arrest and try Mr. Jones in the Koran burning.

I’m all for showing some basic respect for other people’s religious faith, but every last one of these jerks can kiss my ass. This is America, and we can burn any damn book we want any damn time we want. No one is going to arrest this fruitcake for burning a book and the fact that you think that we should arrest him means that you don’t understand the first thing about what it means to live in a free society with freedom of conscience. The dumb preacher got a bunch of innocent people killed, but only because a bunch of equally dumb people decided to murder people who had no responsibility or relationship to the man who instigated their ire. And who kills someone for burning a book? I don’t care that the book is sacred. It was probably published in New York before it sat in a Border’s warehouse for months waiting for some religious nutjob to buy it. Just like any other book, it was lit ablaze when the temperature hit 451 degrees fahrenheit. Allah didn’t intervene to prevent the burning, so it must have been something he felt like he had under control. I hope he isn’t the kind of guy who thinks his honor is protected by butchering UN aid workers.

You know what would also be stupid? If I responded to all this by killing the next five short people I see. I’ll just kill them and say I did it because it made as much sense to do it as it did to burn a Koran…or kill people because a Koran was burned. Why not? If you look at it just right, you know they had it coming.

By |2011-04-02T07:00:52-04:00April 2nd, 2011|Afghanistan, Books, Party Politics, Religion|Comments Off on Dumb and Dumber… or is it stupid and stupider?
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