Archive for October, 2009

Nobel Prize

Posted in Uncategorized on 15 October, 2009 by salutiferous

While the Obama row over the Nobel Prize was not surprising given the state of screeching panic that FOX News is in these days, what was a bit strange was the flack from the left. Noami Klein appeared on Democracy NOW! several days ago to add her voice to those criticizing the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. While my first impression was that Obama received the prize for simply not being Bush as a kind of European joke on the American right, listening to all of the criticism has led me to weigh in on the issue with several points.

The first is that the Nobel Prize Committee is simply executing the will of a deceased arms merchant who set the trust up as a way to spin his legacy clean. The committee is under the direct influence of the Norwegian parliament and as such, not only do Americans have no say in the matter, but neither does the rest of the world.

The second is that the committee has clearly been prone to this sort of hopeful enthusiasm before, such as with the Arafat, Perez and Rabin award. Their selections have missed out on individuals commonly accepted as giants in this area like Ghandi and honored outright war criminals like Kissinger. Klein’s point that Obama’s award cheapens the Nobel Peace Prize is confusing in light of this history because I expect Ms. Klein is aware of it.


Question everything

Posted in Uncategorized on 12 October, 2009 by salutiferous

According to the mainstream media, economics rules reality even more so than science. We’re constantly being told what is possible or impossible and why certain events happen based on commonly accepted economic theory. “The US deregulated investment and commercial banking to create new efficiencies.” or “We had to bail out the rich investment bankers and their companies because otherwise the economy as a whole would suffer.” That’s nice. But whatever happens, the average American always loses out. We lost due to deregulation and the bailout. So these efficiencies we were promised simply lead to another bubble scam whose cleanup was paid for by Joe Taxpayer. The sad part was that this was totally predictable and Wall Street got its way because the national debate never questioned their logic or their power for that matter.

So it is nice to see a piece over at The Baseline Scenario destroying the logic behind the “need for big banks”. The Baseline Scenario has been getting some media exposure from the likes of Bill Moyers. Let’s hope that when it comes to restructuring this economy again, we can at least start by sorting through all of these paradigms and using only the useful.