How gullible does Geithner think you are?

Anwer: pretty gullible.

Step one: Treasury gives Goldman Sachs billion in grants

Step two: Treasury gives Goldman Sachs billions in loans

Step three: Goldman sachs pays back the loans

Step four: You forget that Goldman Sachs ever got billions in grants, and think that Goldman Sahcs “paid back” their welfare checks

Reality: Goldman Sachs is a lemon socialized company, one which is profitable only because you pay the bill for their losses.

Obama should dismiss Geithner, and aggressively seek ways to nationalize Goldman Sachs, and the other welfare agencies and zombie banks.

Only fools pay their mortgages. Wise men have friends in the Treasury

I told you so:

When I first called Chase in October, a representative named Sarah said I didn’t qualify for a loan modification because I wasn’t yet 90 days past due. The only “loan modification” she could offer me was a “repayment plan” under which I paid $400 more per month for six months until I was current again.

“It sounds as if I would be better off waiting to fall 90 days behind,” I said. “I think I’ll wait for that.”

Only fools pay their mortgages. Wise men, whether their business is trucking or insurance, have spent their time nursing connections at the Treasury Department.

Torture and xGW

The writer’s copy of The Handbook of 5GW: A 5th Generation of War? is in limited circulation among the handbook’s contributors, so it’s a good time to highlight an excellent point by Arherring: “XGW and Torture.”

Here’s an excerpt:

4GW Torture:

4GW – Fourth gradient doctrines are based upon the principle of the attainment of a functional invulnerability that prevents the opponent from being able to orient upon a threat and creates a perception that saps the ability of the opponent to function effectively.

The use of torture at the fourth gradient is premised upon the creation of a sense of dread of the unknown in the minds of the opponent. Torture becomes a method not just of gathering information, but a weapon of fear. Used as an extreme, the opponent may have a fear of capture by the 4GW actor that prevents the opponent from orienting effectively, always considering most immediately the need to be able to escape rather than the most immediate method to execute their own doctrine. The morality of the use of torture at this gradient is ignored in the necessity of its utility to inspire fear.

5GW Torture:

5GW – Fifth gradient doctrines are based upon the principle of manipulation of the context of the observations of an opponent in order to achieve a specific effect.

Torture at the fifth gradient takes on a different aspect from the use of torture at 0GW and 4GW. At those gradients the negative moral aspect of torture is either irrelevant or used to give torture utility. For 5GW the moral aspect of torture is the most important aspect. In most  (if not all cases) 5GW is a warfare of competing ideas and ideals. At the fifth gradient the least desirable outcome is to have your ideology linked to an overwhelmingly negative meme like torture either  through your own actions, or by the manipulation of an opponent that links torture to your ideology.

A 5GW force is typically one that is too weak to win a competition of ideas and ideals, so I think Arherring’s descriptions of torture in 5GW are besides the point.  In a 5GW, the torture of a single person may be the only violence that is inflicted as part of a subtle, winning campaign.  Likewise, a 4GW campaign may be built on broadcasting an attractive ideology.  Fear may be besides the point.

Still, I like the idea of using xGW as a way to understand torture. I also like the way Arherring lumps together “torture and “enhnaced interrogation techniques.” The difference between them is a legal fiction. You either win or you don’t.  That is, you either lose or you don’t.

The Eastern Partnership

Good news that the western, democratic, and globalized countries of the European Union are building an “eastern partnership” to help states formerly dominated by Moscow to keep their independence and, as important, their globalizing trajectory.  

Fears of Russia weighed heavily on the minds of those who went to Prague this week to launch the “eastern partnership”, a project meant to improve economic and political relations between the European Union and six former Soviet republics: Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. This low-budget project has no military component and may not make much of a difference, says Fyodor Lukyanov, a Russian foreign-policy pundit. Still, Russia sees the EU as a competitor in its sphere of influence and reacts fiercely to any interference, such as Belarus being told that recognising South Ossetia and Abkhazia would hurt its prospects with the EU. That the summit was followed by a conference on Nabucco, a gas pipeline meant to bypass Russia in the south, was just another irritation.

Also good that Belarus is included in that list.  When I last talked about the Eastern Partnership, Belarus was not involved. Belarus was once a friend of Russia, until Putin began destroying the soft power he inherited from Yeltsin.

Russia is essentially a white version of Nigeria, without Nigeria’s accomplishments of a peaceful foreign policy or an English-speaking elite. Aside from client regimes created through military invasion, no country or statelet has any desire to become closer to Russia.

No wonder.

Racism in the Age of Obama

Neither the word race nor the word racism appear anywhere in the article, “Couple’s ‘buy black’ experiment becomes  a movement“:

“We’ve still got that ‘the white man’s water is colder’ mentality,” he said. “We can’t take us for granted. When we go to our establishments, it’s almost like we’re doing a favor. That ought to be a given for us.”

The Andersons remain encouraged by their momentum online and in the media. At the end of 2009, they hope to show $1 million in spending with black businesses among supporters across the country.

“The response has been so huge,” Maggie Anderson said. “We think so much can come out of this. We’re in movement-making mode now.”

Meanwhile, Catholicgauze tweets the lawsuit of a a white african-american student.

Great mysteries in geography

Catholicgauze links to one:

So how could a European woman be on the North Island? There was established European trading in India, Japan, Taiwan, and Indonesia but the closest historical trade port was approximately 4,500 miles (7,500 kilometers) away (and that’s a direct path through the heart of Australia. If it was the skull belonged to an European woman she was a) lost or b) part of a expedition that ended horribly.

Not everyone agrees that it was a European. Some state the skull dating is wrong or the skull belongs to a Maori. There is a legitimate debate because the history does not work out. Unfortunately there are those who argue it must be Maori so the investigation should be closed. The former point is legitimate and must be weighed while the later is the politicization of science.

Here’s an example of the politically-correct spin:

Akaroa-based botanist Warwick Harris said the preliminary information attached to the finding of the skull “should be immediately dismissed as implausible in view of what is accepted as the history of European voyaging to New Zealand, i.e., nothing before Tasman and Cook”.

I’ve always enjoyed books such as Lands Beyond and Phantom Islands of the Atlantic, so I’m for strange and mysterious explanations. The scientist in me knows better, and wants to see the evidence.  Unlike the politically correct dismissers of the New Zealand skull.