Tuesday, May 17, 2011

When Chickens Come Home to Roost

Ah, the follies of man, the stupidity, lies, and the greed of same never ceases to amaze. Take the national debt, the debt ceiling and Tiny Tim, our esteemed Secretary of the Treasury, to see how our government deals with a self inflicted fiscal crisis created by a corrupt and venal financial system that goes beyond words.

"There are certain times in life when a man is faced with overwhelming adversity… times when he has no reason to adhere to society’s norms anymore.  It is in these instances that the true quality of his character comes shining through.

One of these situations is when he’s broke. Dead, flat broke. Some people, even when staring deep into their own financial abyss, still hold to their moral principles, honor their obligations, and keep their word.

For others, the boundaries of morality are quickly blurred into shades of gray, and things like fraud, thievery, and deception become perfectly legitimate tactics in their minds.

Speaking of broke, faced with what is tantamount to the official insolvency of the United States of America, policymakers have opted to seize funds from the retirement accounts of public sector workers in order to keep the government running.

Wow. America’s leaders are willing to engage in cannibalistic thievery in order to continue funding government operations. I wonder what sorts of operations are so important that they are willing to steal from their own people in order to finance? Any ideas?"

But it gets better.

"Never fear, though, the cracker jack squad of politicians in the 112th Congress is clearly hard at work, spending all of their time and attention at resolving the debt crisis and budget troubles.

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, for example, proved to America that she’s focused like a laser beam when she introduced bill HJ Res. 64 on Friday afternoon. What exactly is HJ Res 64? It’s a resolution to express support for designating September 2011 as Gospel Music Heritage Month.

The similarities to Nero playing his fiddle are all too obvious.

Adding injury to insult as it were, Ms. Jackson-Lee followed up HJ Res 64 with the introduction of HR 1900, yet another bill to give TSA sweeping powers over “surface transportation” such as train stations and bus terminals. Now you can be molested in planes, trains, and automobiles. Coming soon: shopping malls!

Not to be outdone by Ms. Jackson-Lee, Senator Barbara Boxer just introduced Senate res 177 to designate May 15th through May 21st 2011 as “National Public Works Week.” Wait a sec… that’s this week! Well what are we waiting for, comrades!?! Grab a shovel, there’s dams to build!

To cap things off, President Obama is getting ready for his highly publicized trip to Ireland next week where he will visit the ancestral home of his great great great grandfather, a small town called Moneygall.

While in Japan...

"After admitting that radiation levels in the building housing Reactor number 1 had reached 700 millisieverts per hour on Monday, TEPCO was forced to concede on Thursday that the reactor core has in fact been exposed and melted down, causing a leak in the containment vessel itself. This not only poses greater likelihood of contamination of groundwater, but makes it even more difficult to continue cooling operations. As one nuclear adviser noted, TEPCO’s current operation of flooding the core must now be scrapped, as large amounts of cold water hitting melted fuel could trigger another explosion, causing a further massive atmospheric radiation release.
Meanwhile, a new leak was found at reactor number 3 this week, and an unknown amount of radioactive material was confirmed to have leaked into the ocean. This leak was reportedly sealed by Wednesday.

On Tuesday the Japanese government confirmed that the number 4 reactor building was leaning and that emergency work had been done to shore up the building to prevent it from collapsing in the event of another earthquake or aftershock. Reactor 4 contains fuel rods from 3 to 4 reactors, leading to worries that a building collapse would lead to spent fuel rods being scattered around the Fukushima site, making the entire area unworkable.

As nuclear engineer Arnold Gunderson notes, the admissions of containment vessel leaks in three of the reactors represents a turn of events that nuclear regulators in the United States have previously thought impossible.

In the latest setback, one of the plant workers collapsed and died shortly after beginning his shift at the Fukushima plant on Saturday. The cause of death has yet to be determined.

Confidence in the Japanese government’s ability to respond to the unfolding catastrophe slipped even further this week, as it was revealed this week that the prefectural government appears to have failed to notify 4 of the towns in the vicinity of the Fukushima plant that there had been a nuclear accident following the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. The government is connected to all six towns within 10 km of the plants via special digital communication lines, and is obligated to inform the town governments in the wake of any nuclear emergency. However, records released this week show that the government only contacted two of the towns in the vicinity, and neglected to inform the other four. Two of the towns that were not notified learned of the accident via tv news reports and concluded that it was necessary to evacuate residents.

After reading these two articles, one readily see the similarities to the days preceding the French Revolution whereby the power elite haven't a clue on not only just how dire the situation really is but also on how to deal with it before everything goes to hell. Combine this total lack of leadership with the demons of declining energy resources, global warming, a corrupt financial system and countries sliding into default and one see the makings of a possible new dark age of frightening proportions.

Tech, at one level, can handle the energy equation but without sound finance and intelligent governance, the ability to accomplish anything of consequence is a fool's errand at best. Seen below is our debt. The Zerohedge copy accompanying the DTS linked image is a must read to learn more about the precarious financial condition of our nation.

"We have seen the best of our time: machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders, follow us disquietly to our graves.
" Gloucester, Scene II - King Lear

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