Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bailouts And Bombs

The markets continue to fall, and the Fed exercises its right to spend our tax dollars on bailing-out zillionaires. I've been having a hard time keeping track of who is and isn't getting a bail-out with each new announcement. What I do know is this: it's going to be more than $700billion now, it's allegedly directly targeted at stabilizing the home real estate market (finally someone noticed the instigating market of the whole crisis), and is somehow going to do this without the government procuring subprime mortgages. I'm not at all clear on how that last trick is supposed to work (if you are, please post in the comments and enlighten me). The Big Three automakers are also poised to get a bail-out, so they can continue to manufacture cars nobody wants. Apparently it's a point of national pride that those companies continue to exist, because Japanese and German companies are rumored to be quite willing to buy the manufacturing capacity and keep the jobs here in order to expand their own operations (and presumably get their hands on the one thing Detroit still does best: light and medium trucks for the commercial market).

Meanwhile, across the globe, attrocious terrorist attacks hit Mumbai, India's financial and cultural capital. Claims range from 80-100 are dead and upwards of 300 wounded, and hostages are and were being held at two major hotels, and a residential complex with Jewish residents and a Jewish prayer hall. Accounts vary as to whether the attackers are from the previously unknown Deccan Mujahedeen from India, or are Pakistani nationals. If the latter (or if the "Deccan Mujahedeen" is really the allegedly ISI-funded "Indian Mujahedeen"), Pakistan's politically unreliable ISI and the ultra-extremists they underwrite may once again have nudged India and Pakistan closer to war, and thus the world closer to hosting a nuclear war, and for what? And since Indian Police officials, government officials, and foreign businesspeople were specifically targeted, it remains to be seen what kind of a response India's security and military apparatus will put in place once the immediate threat has been neutralized. As for the lunatics who perpetrated these crimes, whatever legitimate grievances they may think they have, once they resort to terrorism, they taint their own cause. Terrorists (unless they are killing Israelis, in which case widespread antisemitism disguised as some kind of faux-outrage at Israel behaving like pretty much every other nation-state in the world gives their cause a popularity boost) turn world opinion against whatever issue their footsolidiers were supposedly recruited for. But that's just the recruitment lies, just like we have our own recruitment lies for our military. The ultimate analysis is always the same: whatever the supporters believe, the leaders are always after the same goal -- power for themselves. The leaders want exactly what they're getting, which is fear, chaos, the driving of a wedge between people, and fueling of the fires of hatred, so that Democratic societies might fall apart and leave behind feudalistic feifdoms for these extremist leaders to control. Afghanistan under the Taliban is the prototype here, and it's obviously all about power and control, because Afghanistan under the Taliban had absolutely nothing except for some desperate people for self-indulgent, power-mad warlords to rule over.

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