Happy happy fun fun

Don’t know why I’m in such a “happy happy fun fun” mood today, but I thought I’d just give you a sampling of other “happy” people… (I will note that the young ‘un today made her Dear Old Dad proud today when, amidst a technical operation which required the generalized plea to providence, “Let’s hope this works out”… said, smiling and in as sunny a manner as possible, “I’m a PESSIMIST!”) Anyway, h/t for a number of these items to Make them Accountable.
We’ll start with this Der Spiegel interview of Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in economics, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, and professor at me and Barack’s alma mater, Columbia University, who tells us about the current economic situation: “It’s going to be bad, very bad.” Among other things, bank bailout activity should be designed to get banks to lend, and not give away taxpayer money to dividends and bonuses as now… “nationalization” is going to have to happen for real
James K. Galbraith tells us that officials used to “normal times”may not be up to the extraordinary times we are now in… or, perhaps as Professor Stiglitz told us… things are going to be bad… very bad.
We’ll continue with this story about a threatened jail sentence of (our hero) Clive Stafford-Smith for sending the President a memo after it was redacted by a classified document review team concerning his client’s undeniable torture at the hands of the United States and its allies and contractors. Not the underlying classified memo that identified individuals, mind you, but simply the blanked out page that censors had totally eviscerated. Stafford Smith has chalked this up to yet further intimidation against him for his aggressive representation of GTMO detainees, similar to “the underwear incident” of circa 2007.
Sadly, a “cautious” Obama Administration continues to err on the side of protecting war criminals and torturers, and again delays release of a number of “torture memos” prepared by former Justice Dept. official Stephen Bradbury.
And finally, to tie it all together… check out this from Dmitri Orlov (“Kolpasnik”) on how the Russian world “fuffle,” which has a bizarre English cognate, meaning a fraud deliberately manufactured to get someone to go for it… describes virtually everything happening to us… in short, we want to be fooled. We want to believe that the way to make us “safe” is for the government to impose dictatorial and tyrannical methods. That the way to get us out of an oil crisis is to encourage us to use bigger and more inefficient vehicles as fast as possible. That the way out of a debt crisis is to borrow ever more amounts of money.
Orlov’s basic premise (his Club Orlov is proudly on “the dog run” blogroll now) is that much of our “vaunted” way of life is, like the other former super-power, the USSR, pretty much doomed because of a fundamental dependence on something that can’t possibly last forever, i.e., cheap, readily available oil… and because we seem hellbent on not solving some fundamental imbalances in our lifestyle, instead, making them worse… just so long as we hear “happy talk” and that everything is wonderful, all the time. Or perhaps, is it really even a “con” when the “mark” seemingly wants to be conned?
Don’t know. All I can say is… see above re: “bad… very bad.” This has been… happy happy fun fun.