128 Replies to “Trade War!”

  1. Uh huh, Smoot-Hawley Part Deux: The Evisceration

    F’ing idiots. Extend and pretend goes nuclear.

    A trade war on top of Ben’s currency pixelation could really skew the price of Russian and east European ammo, dammit, much less basic commodities – wheat, sugar, rice etc.

    Merry Christmas my ass.

  2. Yeah, dump a fresh new pile of $600B right now and oil goes to $100 in two second is my guess. I’m gonna go top off the tank and cut a couple more cords of wood tomorrow. Maybe buy a case of toilet paper while I can afford it.

  3. Bif, the SPAM-o-meter is clocking $3.59 per can at the local Safeway. Next to food, gasoline is still cheap.

  4. Oh, and did anyone notice that it took a whole week for gold to go from over $1300 to over $1400 per ounce?

    Thanks, Ben.

  5. i’ve long maintained that john dolan is the war nerd.

    No shit. I never disputed that. The worst kept secret on the internet. Some people were saying that Mark Ames was The War Nerd… that’s what I was disputing, if memory serves.

  6. No shit. I never disputed that. The worst kept secret on the internet. Some people were saying that Mark Ames was The War Nerd… that’s what I was disputing, if memory serves.

    and here i am thinking that i had special knowledge of sorts.

  7. dave, it is unlikely things will change on their own volition. And we have generations practiced in the art of martial destruction.

  8. Uhhhh, no.

    Oh hey, seems like the budget situmination has struck here in my beautiful wide spot in the road. Seems the city council deems it prudent to layoff some of the local gendarmerie. Spotted a flyer in my local bagel joint to show up at an upcoming council meeting in support of finding “other revenue sources” to prevent this catastrophic and clearly public-safety endangering abomination. Uh-huh.

    Maybe I’ll see if Mish can do a phone-in while I hold the phone to podium mike.

    I am guessing cutting everyone’s pay so that all can remain employed is off the table. Let the F.U.D. flag fly.

  9. “I don’t want to be fooled by pretty words. Just tell me a good story”
    – Dino De Laurentiis

    DDL was a great example of the old school whatever it takes kinda dude that Homey seems to be aspiring to of late. Really though… the key point of this article, as I see it, is not being above deploying creativity in your day-to-day problem solving.


  10. I can’t wait to see what Moonbean comes up with, that is, after he returns from what I hope for him was a rejuvenating week of vacation.

  11. yeah gov moonbeam. you shouldn’t dis him. he used to fuck linda rohndstat when she was prime pussy, i think. i don’t know who he fucks these days.

  12. honestly bunnbunn, i could be wrong, but i think that you’re about to be taxed to fucking death. what’s the only way out of that dilema? stop making money, i think.

  13. Musical chairs no doubt, but definitely FUD to keep the local public safety gravy train on the tracks.

    I’ll answer your IBM query – no. But my father worked for a few years at First Interstate Bank (should be a familiar name from CA’s past) in their data processing and played, from what I recall, a significant role in the banks big iron acquisitions, at least for the Arizona facilities. The IBM/Amdahl situation played itself out on a somewhat smaller scale with the IBM/Compaq dust-ups in the mid 80’s.

  14. dave, it is unlikely things will change on their own volition. And we have generations practiced in the art of martial destruction.

    there are stories about volition. just like there are stories about god.

  15. I’m confused, I thought Moonbeam had already been governor of CA for two terms. I guess it was only for one term, so he can once again? Arnold is out after two terms, correct? Not that he wanted the job anymoron.

    Anyway, agree with dave, Moonbeam used to bang Linda on a regular basis when she was prime stuff, the bastard. I’m still envious.

  16. yeah, well a cheesburger is no less an american cultural icon than the constitution, mom, or apple pie. it is something worth dieing for, unless you got something else in mind.

  17. so the guy doesn’t like the hypocrisy of starbucks. me too, and that fact that they made their business empire by selling cheap beans (mostly from guatemala) and roasting them well. the profit is simple = price of good beans – price of cheap beans (sold as if they were good beans) made into coffee. mark ups on all things made as liquid are huge, as water is also usually cheap, and the diluted result impresses the monkeys as a worthwhile purchase. the best example is any sized soft drink, and this is where most of the profit is in fast food restaurants.

    the fact that coffee contains caffeine, which is physically addictive, also helps their business.

  18. so i asked a starbucks employee where they were dumping their coffee grinds. she said they just dumped them in the trash. around here that goes into a land fill. that’s a lot of coffee grinds that could be composted, instead, like we do at casa del doom. some ecologically-minded company.

  19. Preaching to the choir on the inherently conflicted purported ethics of international capitalism. But I do really like that RSA art. Interesting that they brought Oscar Wilde of all people into the fray.

    Anyway… obviously the time is right to launch a new franchise of caffeinated beverage dispensing outlets. I can picture it now: BB’s PC-free Arabica Blend… we take pride in mercilessly grinding third world laborers (most of whom have nothing better to do anyway) to provide you, the real producers of the world, with the finest carbon-footprint indifferent ingestible stimulants legally available without a prescription.

    We all know that Oscar Wilde would have given his last sandwich to a starving waif whose situation would be just the same (with hunger returning as always yet again) tomorrow. You really have to wonder about guys like Bill Gates. Having that much money probably is a great burden for people as wrapped up as tightly as he is in promoting various strains of would-be do-gooder corporate collectivistic culture and whatnot.

  20. For example, does anyone think that organic apples that cost twice as much as GMO apples are really any better?

    I think this RSA guy makes some points but is a little confused about apples.

    First if all, I have never seen a GMO apple for sale. Ever. I’m not sure one has ever been created. Secondly, organically grown apples are generally superior in taste to non-organic. Yes, they are. No doubt. I currently grow 8 varieties of apples organically. There is no comparison to store-bought in flavor. Mine have more flavor and are sweeter. It has to do, in part, with the chemical fertilizers and very often the commercial irrigation inducing faster, steadier growth of the end product: bloated and insipid fruit. Most folks will never know (or care) what they are missing.

  21. yeah, i think that that guy makes a little too much out consumerist redemption through consumption, as a movement. most people i know really don’t give a fuck. they’ll drink dunkin’ donuts coffee just as soon as they’ll drink starbucks. in fact some of them prefer dunkin’ donuts to starbucks. dd’s coffee just tatses like brown, slightly bitter, water to me.

    you west coast and mid-pacificers probably aren’t familiar with dd. everybody knows starbucks; so they must be doing something right, from a perverse corporatist perspective anyway.

    only joking, all living things, given adequate resources, will grow to the limits, and beyond, of thier respective niche. we all, sadly, pc or otherwise, share the same agenda.

  22. Guilt, he’s talking about guilt.

    “consumerist redemption through consumption”

    It’s the “buy in”, redemption by proxy is the cover story, the endorphin spritz to offset the nagging inadequacies of American Way of Life (TM).

  23. the guy’s a good drawer–artist, but his agenda is a bit off. listen to dave and bill catton, they know the true story, fellow cargo cultists, err, americans. let the wisdom and wry humor of the bunn one and uncle remus carry the day and entertain us all as we slip down the slope toward the cliff’s edge, that moment being when we have to queue up in line at the local filling station for our weekly allotments, in the daylight hours. (almost forget the spelling of queue, been awhile since the 70s).

    meanwhile, enjoy your extra free time and our empire’s twilight moments.

  24. yeah, i think that in order to feel guilty about something, one must take pleasure from the guilty act. wich also, unavoidably, leads to feelings of moral superiorty upon denuncition of said acts. the ramifications can not be unraveled by the human brain. they can only be felt, as in , this feels good, but this feels even better.

  25. UR, lots of butter, easy on the salt.

    yeah dave, my personal definition of tragedy is feeling guilty for something you either didn’t do or did poorly. i guess i’ll go to my grave regretting not banging melissa mullens back in senior year high school. she was a tramp, but a damn good looking one. there was a moment when she was interested in my attentions, but i chickened out. then again, with my luck, she would have gotten pregnant (by somebody) and yours truly would have been stuck with the tab and the guilt.

    that, and not buying gold when it was only $400 an ounce. that was about a thousand dollars an ounce profit ago.

  26. Doom, you want that butter layered?

    “in order to feel guilty about something, one must take pleasure from the guilty act”

    Define pleasure in this context.

  27. I think that to feel guilt (in its purest deadliest form) your typical monkey has to have experienced a substantially contemporaneous feeling or sensation of having betrayed his better self in some way. Lesser degrees of guilt (perhaps not even genuine guilt) I think tend to involve perception of wrongfulness or at least inappropriateness of (in)action as defined by someone else’s standards. Such externalities of course might be brought crashing down upon the bad actor, thusly, and maybe ironically, inspiring a middle realm of guilt (quasi-guilt) very much resembling a person kicking himself in the ass for not having properly anticipated particular consequences. Then there are certain wretched beings, heroically and/or tragically, who find themselves susceptible to various and sundry irrational expectations that take on strawman-like guilt-engendering lives of their own.

    A miracle (not sufficiently reported in my view) is the dismantling of ineffectual frameworks and subsequent discovery of heretofore concealed commonalities.

    p.s. — I think homey whom I overheard the other day canceling his WSJ subscription is, for better or worse, fully at peace with the personal total war concept.

  28. Lesser degrees of guilt (perhaps not even genuine guilt) I think tend to involve perception of wrongfulness or at least inappropriateness of (in)action as defined by someone else’s standards.

    Case in point: Eliot Spitzer

  29. damn, layered butter sounds extra good there, remus.

    regarding MSM, i feel like canceling my subscription to Time, but am hanging in there with them so far. i almost cried this am watching what was left of the dignity of the Today show hosts ebb away, singing karaoke to each other. that used to be a serious news infotainment program, now reduced to a bunch of ass-clowns yucking it up on camera. chet and david must be rolling in their graves.

    kunstler’s right about americans devolving into a clownish society locked in mass delusion. perhaps the elites figure they can handle them better as self-absobed simpletons, mere cattle. self-awareness running rapidly in reverse.

  30. guilt – feeling bad cause you fucked your nieghbor’s wife while she was drunk.

    regret – feeling bad cause you didn’t fuck your nieghbor’s wife while she was drunk.

    basically, one might feel guilty about violateing some social taboo. i think a taboo is always social in that it is imposed by some interpersonal exchange. the exchange may or may not involve society, or even large segments of society. taboos, to the best of my knowledge, always involve the denial of something that might be considered pleasureable. pleasure, of course, can involve anything from eating shit(literally), wich is taboo across the board, but people still do it, to eating cheeseburgers, wich is a more trendy taboo. i think.

    rerget is a much simpler emotion, in my mind anyway. as in, fuck, i didn’t do that while i had the chance; taboo or not.

    of course there’s a lot of gray between the two, i think.

  31. if, for example, you feel bad cause you didn’t jump into the water to save a drowning person(not that i, personally, bepending on the circumstance, would feel bad about something like this). can this bad feeling be considered guilt or regret?

    i’d call it regret.

  32. i think that in certain extreme cases guilt can become generalized in that one might feel guilty all the time for feeling any pleasure at all. one could also be consumed with regret, and become unable to feel pleasure at all.

  33. no, it ake that back. because it was more pleasureable to not jump into the water than to jump in the water, and, supposedly you continue to take pleasure in life, while the drowned person does not, if you had bad feelings, they would be guilty.

  34. if it was a hot girl that you were having sex with, then they would be regret.

    if it was your brother, you might feel remorse.

    like i said to begin with, feeling cannot be teased apart by the human mind.

  35. Oh, and Doom, Govenor Moonbeam was a pretty hot piece back in the early ’70s, I might add. Now he’s just as saggy as all the rest of the old guys. An acquaintance of mine, originally from a long line of SF Republicans, who passed away in February this year used to be GM’s baby-sitter.

  36. Here’s to Uncle Remus… trapped in a world he never made (Editor’s note: Howard the Duck homage to ye who be ill informed) and, thankfully, UR, likewise, is utterly incapable of merely blending in.

    I’m a bit concerned about Jim and this latest talking point regurgitation of his about the so-called Tea Party folks/idiots allegedly being a bunch of anti-Semites, John Bircher’s, etc. Doom, JHK might be generally correct about conservatives today lacking a William F. Buckley sort of public intellectual capable of articulating what they stand for, but in the great tradition of those plagued by longevity, JHK has become so brainwashed by his foolish fantasy of, continued self-identification with, and reflexive ceaseless automaton-like promotion of a progressivism (actually asserting with a straight face that John Stewart [the comedian] is the most respected Walter Cronkite type person presently on the scene today and, for the record, one of his “peeps”) that to hear him say another word about Americans being ass clowns or whatever is just about more than I can take from that shameless yet still ambulatory case of rapidly progressing brain rot.

  37. “JHK might be generally correct about conservatives today lacking a William F. Buckley sort of public intellectual capable of articulating what they stand for,”

    It would seem the goals of public education have been met. Where the fashionably articulate progressives (progressive – what a stupid fucking label) such as JHK go wrong with their genetically-predisposed-to-failure view of society and the fantasy world they would have us exist in is that they associate inarticulate with thoughtlessness.

    I enjoyed reading and listening to Buckley, but from a fly-over perspective, he had about as much in common with rank and file conservatives as Sarah Palin.

    As for articulation, it is as much about the ability to put thoughts and ideas into words as it is the audience to listen. Anymore, if you don’t say what people think they want to hear, they are not listening.

    The vacuum of pretense.

  38. Oh hey, any you kids scoop up some o’ that ground floor opportunity GM IPO today? The bots had a field day with it.

  39. Got this one from Mish’s site.

    “Union officials say they are doing all they can to prevent the layoffs, but contend the city has forced them into a corner. And one union official said older officers wouldn’t give “a dime” to prevent the layoffs.”


    Same thing happened with an outfit over in Tulsa. Choice between everybody taking a cut and saving jobs, or sacrifice some to maintain the status quo for the rest, status quo baby.

    [sung while reloading magazines or cleaning weapons]

    Zippity doo dah, Zippity aye,
    My oh my what a wonderful day
    Plenty of sunshine coming my way,
    Zippity doo dah, Zippity aye.

    STFU Gomez, you’re just jealous ‘cuz you can’t sing. And where the fuck are we? You do realize it’s DARK and this most certainly is not Kansas? Goddammit, kill the lights and hand me my night eyes.

  40. “How great is this? Every state in the US, as identified by their major TV show:”

    Yeah, whatever. Does DC = Ren & Stimpy?

  41. U R on a roll, UR!

    Definitely not R&S–much too sardonic for the D of C…

    I’d say “The West Wing” or that failed Clooney show, “K Street”… much more appropriate for the self-important carpet(gas)baggers that infest our fair city.

    Just a little fond reminiscence of the early ZK days…


  42. You know Doom, I actually stream the new Five-0 only because I want to be sure to catch your walk on.

  43. It’s like a long chamber of commerce promo with a plot, local color and product placement. Except the really big dood. Dayam.

  44. UR, it’s just a matter of time before my walk on. Meanwhile, look for me on the National Geo Channel in 2011.

  45. fox news or npr? you decide.

    i made damn sure that my kids watched plenty of r&s when they were growing up. my(our) generation was deprived, so i made sure that my kids would never suffer like i did.

  46. so, i really don’t understand taleb. the whole fucking world wants a free lunch. so, the fed and it’s minions come up with ways to get a free lunch; and now they want to extend that run. so, what else should they do? and how does that not comport with the ways of the world? and, to top it off, he provides the answers to his own dilemas. bernanke et al, will not be punished as a result of of the feds current actions, at least not immediately. we all get punished in the end.

  47. Yeah dave, thanks for the Bukowski. Always the right choice, especially on a not-so-lazy Sunday.

    I mean when you’re living in a time when Americans are willing to make someone who can’t even prove he was born in the country the blooming President, why not a pope of former Hitler Youth pedigree?

    With Catholicism already being on shaky ground as it is, this is no time to be setting up the flock for trial by technicality-based dogma, if you will.

    For example, if I touch myself whilst in a state of latent sleep is said act less or more a sin than if a sodomite has his partner put the condom on for him? Where does one find ethics or at least revenue opinions on such matters?

    Just sayin (as we used to say).

  48. This Pope-finally-approves-rubbers-for-the-flock deal is a very subtle recognition by the church that the world has reached Peak Oil.

  49. popes, preists, preachers, politicians, most cops(but not all, i have some good friends that are cops)…always give me the creeps. but this guy is just extra creepy.

  50. Its OK if you want to tell us about that encounter you had with the priest when you were an altar boy, dave. We are here for you.

  51. “i’m just glad that i’m not a dancing chicken, i guess.”–dave

    yeah, but you’d be immortal, dave. thousands of years from now, long after we’re dead and forgotten, they’ll find that chicken’s video in some time vault, and even those four-eyed quadriplegic ape-men will get some major laughs at that chicken and will wonder about the sanity of its instructor.

  52. Yeah. Thats the problem. The line for what gets you into heaven (or hell) keeps moving. Turns out having condom use on your rap sheet may not preclude you from getting through the pearly gates neccessarily, but you better have a good story ready never-the-less, so as not to hold up the line. That’s a situation where you DON’T want to be asked to step aside for more detailed screening. Also, the jury is out as far as any retroactive dispensation regarding condom use, i.e. for those who were denied heaven on these grounds, possibly at least affecting the status of those on the bubble in the higher levels of purgatory.

    Unrelated, but holy smokes, one thing I got from reading these books about the Vikings recently is they really hated the whole Christianity thing with a passion. They would go pretty far out of their way to stick it to some monk or nun, digging up and pissing on the bones of the saints, that sort of thing, even worse. Worst of all was the “blood eagle” style of execution by torture, reserved for captured Christian kings and those of the highest religious authority. If in turn if a Viking was captured alive by the Christians they would practice their own form of payback, by baptizing the heathen right before sending him to hell by execution.

  53. Its OK if you want to tell us about that encounter you had with the priest when you were an altar boy, dave.

    i’ve worked long and hard at repressing those memories.

  54. “one thing I got from reading these books about the Vikings recently is they really hated the whole Christianity thing with a passion.”

    Bif, I got a tour once of the old cathedral at Durham. They had a lot of holy men buried inside, with the usual depiction of the deceased as a carved motif on the sarcophagus. Upon inspection, I noted the hands of most were missing, and there were hack marks in the marble on the arms and sometimes the faces. When I asked my host about these, he replied that the Vikings used to raid the place and do those sorts of desecration. Makes sense in line with what you’ve read about them.

  55. I’m making a kale soup today with kale, garlic and assorted hot peppers from the garden and sausage, onion and potatoes). This soup is so powerful and nutritious. If I can make it just right I believe it would give me the strength to rule over all that I see. Or at least keep me healthy.

  56. GB, small coincidence, I made kale soup today too. It was very good, but yours sounds better with sausage and garlic. Mine was a poor man’s version with potatoes and onions but no meat.

    Doom, your observations in Durham are consistant with the behavior I read about. Those Viking dudes were the Hell’s Angels of the north. They thought those holy joe Christians were just a bunch of pussies and it pissed them off. Heathendom resents a pussy like nothing else I guess.

  57. Heathendom….I wonder. Is the dom the same referencing to Christendom, Islamadom, Shintudom, Kale-cooking-dom, or is it more a mathematical expression more closely resembling domain with attendant RANGE? e.g. I am Hindudom therefore my range of expression encompasses killing you if you disagree with my peaceful ethos.

    Personally, I’m all for anarchydom. Let the bad blood boil along with the kale. It’s a good recipe. And you get fed healthy.

  58. So today is Black Friday? I don’t know what a credit score is or how to use a credit card and I don’t care to know. I didn’t go shopping today, but my favorite retail store is the Salvation Army store. I don’t think they take credit cards, anyway.

  59. “What if the world were rearranged so that the inhabitants of the country with the largest population would move to the country with the largest area? And the second-largest population would migrate to the second-largest country, and so on?”

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