“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A new paper in the journal International Productivity Monitor finds that underlying the US recession is a long-term decline in productivity growth, interrupted briefly by the " revolution" for eight years, followed by a slump "to 1.47 in the past eight years."

Economists forecast the end of growth
Unlimited GDP growth is over as we enter a new age of resource scarcity - we must transition to a new economy

The last few weeks has seen bad news for the global economy, with the US and Europe facing growth slowdowns, and even much vaunted economic powerhouses Brazil, Russia, India and China faltering unexpectedly. While mainstream economists continue to predict an ongoing 'recovery', other leading experts point to the end of growth as we know it for the foreseeable future.
Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed its quarterly forecasts for global GDP growth from 3.3% to 3.1%, and revised down growth estimates for other major powers. The US forecast was downgraded from 1.9% to 1.7%, and Europe is expected to contract 0.6% rather than the originally estimated 0.3%. The IMF also downgraded growth forecasts for 2014.
Against this background, evidence has emerged that the era of booming economic growth is over, and that we are entering an age of permanently slow growth - at best.
A new paper in the journal International Productivity Monitor finds that underlying the US recession is a long-term decline in productivity growth, interrupted briefly by the " revolution" for eight years, followed by a slump "to 1.47 in the past eight years."
Study author US economist Prof Robert J Gordon of Northeastern University concludes:
"... we face a significant possibility that the disposable income growth for the bottom 99% of the income distribution could be as low as 0.5% per year, or perhaps even 0.2%."
This conclusion complements Gordon's previous prediction last year that by 2100, the US economy would return to an annual growth rate of 0.2%. He describes the second industrial revolution as the core driver behind rocketing growth experienced over the last 250 years, noting that the main factor behind the continuing slump since 1970 - escalating over "the last eight years", was a lack of sufficient industrial innovation capable of fundamentally "changing labour productivity or the standard of living."
He argued:
"Future growth in real GDP per capita will be slower than in any extended period since the late 19th century."
The "headwinds" holding growth back include key economic issues such as "rising inequality", the "end of the 'demographic dividend'", the "overhang of consumer and government debt", as well as "the consequences of environmental regulations and taxes that will make growth harder to achieve than a century ago."
While Prof Gordon has his naysayers, his outlook is surprisingly corroborated by other experts. HSBC Group chief economist Stephen D. King's new book, When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence, portends how the age of high economic growth will never return, largely due to the "exhaustion of various one-off productivity gains that boosted growth after World War II" and "a tripling in rates of consumer credit founded on an unsustainable increase in housing prices", among other factors. King disagrees with Gordon's worst-case scenarios, but agrees that the dividends that made high growth possible in the past appear largely "unrepeatable."
Last month, King and HSBC also slashed their global growth forecasts for 2013 from 2.2% to 2.0%, which they explained was due to unexpected slowdowns in emerging markets.
These downgrades are yet another example of the failure of mainstream economic models to keep up with the real nature and pace of global economic deterioration. Indeed, missing from the above analyses is recognition of a central factor: that the productivity gains driving industrial growth were enabled by the abundance of cheap fossil fuels and other resources.
In his latest newsletter, legendary fund manager Jeremy Grantham - who made billions predicting every major stock market bubble of recent decades - warns that cheap resources are history:
"Our global economy, reckless in its use of all resources and natural systems, shows many of the indicators of potential failure that brought down so many civilisations before ours."
Industrial civilisation is currently "completely dependent on the availability of cheap energy." Therefore, resource depletion combined with "the wild cards of rising temperatures, slowly rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and, above all, destabilised weather for farming" could lead to "a rolling collapse of much of civilisation" - unless the world embarks on a "Manhattan project level of commitment" to transition to an alternative energy and agricultural system.
Last year Grantham issued his stunning but little-known verdict that previous US GDP growth rates of 3% a year are now "gone forever." Future US growth will eventually approximate:
"1.4% a year, and adjusted growth about 0.9%... The bottom line for US real growth, according to our forecast, is 0.9% a year through 2030, decreasing to 0.4% from 2030 to 2050."
He adds that Prof Gordon and others have failed to account for the role of "tightening resource constraints" and "environmental costs that increase at an accelerating rate":
"Resource costs have been rising, conservatively, at 7% a year since 2000. If this is maintained in a world growing at under 4% and a developed world at under 1.5% it is easy to see how the squeeze will intensify."
Resources might eventually increase their costs at 9% a year, in which case "the US will reach a point where all of the growth generated by the economy is used up in simply obtaining enough resources to run the system." Within 11 years, under this scenario, "the economic system would be in reverse."
However, Grantham now highlights two trends that could facilitate the transition to a more stable economy - declining fertility rates and the rise of renewable energy. Garnering data over the last 40 years, he demonstrates a "remarkable drop in fertility" in the US, Europe, the richer East Asian countries including China, and even South Asia and Africa. According to the more optimistic end of UN projections, if such trends continue global population would peak at 8 million by 2050 before declining to near 6 billion by 2100 - a process which could be sped up with appropriate policy measures.
Simultaneously, Grantham argues we may be on the cusp of "a great technological leap that for the first time is accompanied by less energy use – the technologies of solar, wind power, and other alternatives as well as electric grid efficiencies and improved energy storage." By 2025 to 2030, he observes:
"Both solar and wind power are likely to be cheaper than coal... once the capital is found and the project is built, a wind or solar farm delivers far cheaper energy than a coal-fired utility plant, at around one-third of the marginal cost of coal."
He estimates that "nonrenewable energy" could be completely replaced by renewables "in 30 to 50 years", during which the new technologies will become increasingly cheap and efficient.
But Grantham still concurs that these developments cannot herald a return to the era of high growth, although they might smooth the way toward a new economy that is "less overreaching, less hubristic, a lot humbler about growth and our use of resources, and more determined to live in balance with the natural energy we receive from the sun and the heat, food, and water with which we can sustainably be provided."


  1. What would be an economic growth model that is not based on consumption and an expanding population?

    1. That would be the useless widget growth model.

      You simply race to see how many useless widgets the country can produce with a static population.

      Perhaps production awards/medals can be given out as an inducement.

      Why any country would wish to do this I can't imagine, but then much economic behavior makes no rational sense. Look at Vegas......

  2. Could you have economic growth model and a declining use of unlimited resources?

    1. Hypothetically, yes.

      But with unlimited resources why should one worry about a declining use of them?

  3. Don’t bother posting from previous threads.

    Forward, march.

    1. I won't, particularly the last thread, which was idiotic.

      Onward, upward!!

      Another big storm in Vegas, report just came in from on the scene. Lots and lots of lightning, winds to about 50 mph, no downpour, but steady rain.

      So much rain is very rare there.

      It is all caused by global something or other.

      And the human race is all at fault.

      It might be the Obama Perpetual Recession, OPR, and the gambling gods are angry.

    2. The Global Obama Perpetual Recession - GOPR.

      If USA catches a cold, the whole world catches it too.

  4. Vegas even has a pyramid, a monument to economic irrationality.

    The original pyramids were monuments to our own magnificence, and made more sense.

    Both by their very existence prove the falsity of Marxism as an economic model.

    1. Thankfully.

      Marxism is as bad as Islam when it comes to human freedom.

      Both systems should be buried in the dust bins of history.

  5. July 21, 2013
    The Mind-Boggling Implications of a Bitcoin Economy
    By Robert Berry

    >>>In the ether is a kind of freedom that none of us could have imagined. Beyond simply opting out of depreciating government currencies, each with its attendant ties to taxation and regulation, Bitcoin provides a means of escape into a free and largely anonymous parallel economy.

    As real wealth migrates into the ether, so too will the prospect of earning there. The resulting capital formation will spawn unimaginable new industries with stocks, debentures, and payrolls, all denominated in BTC and held anonymously.

    The new currency will be impossible for any government on earth to regulate, though they can be counted upon to try. Reluctant to legitimize the notion of a crypto-currency, the U.S. government has been slow to announce a regulatory regime, even while they have begun targeting so-called money transmitters, or exchanges which convert large-scale funds from USD to BTC. But transactions of smaller amounts are routinely done in person at spontaneous meet-ups of regular folk wanting to trade in and out of USD and BTC. In the end, the bureaucrats would have a better chance at regulating the next version of "World of Warcraft."

    The world's political class would do well to make a virtue out of necessity and leave the Bitcoin economy alone. By allowing it to flourish, citizens will have somewhere to run should, or when, state currencies hyper-inflate. A ready alternative like Bitcoin could provide for a much needed soft landing.<<<

    It seems to me there's got to be some kind of Achilles' Heal with this BTC stuff but I don't understand the concept well enough to say what it might be.

    I feel that if I were to try it I'd end up getting screwed, but wouldn't be able to know just how.

    I like my bank's ATM/Debit card. Never been turned down yet, and all you do is one swipe.

    It might have come in handy for my niece in Germany who recently had her purse stolen on a commuter train. No plastic, no ID of any kind, no cash, no passport, no ability to access her B of A account. Cell phone stolen too. But she did have her computer in her apartment. Told her to cash a check with her room mate. She did still have her checkbook.

  6. The only model that has nailed this economy, from the start, has been the "peak oil" model.

    Oil is the lifeblood of the modern economy, and it will have to be replaced over coming decades. Thankfully, we in America know how to do this. We replaced 10% of our gasoline use almost off-handedly.

    1. Take away the American "fracking" boom (which, due to the high decline rates, can't be sustained,) and global oil production has been flat since the first quarter of '05. Sometime in the next year, or two, the inexorable decline will begin.

    2. Pretty chart for the "data-challenged,"


    3. .

      This is not an adversarial question.

      But I notice that you are always talking about production being flat. While I can see that flat production may impact or reflect on growth, you seem to be implying that flat production is because there is no way of increasing production. On the other hand, I see production as being influenced by many variable, supply and demand (the current downturn), fuel economy increases, the alternative energy you are always telling us about, consumer choice (again given the current downturn), the use of other petroleum based products, etc.

      Am I mistaken in that you use the flat production numbers to indicate shortages? How do you factor in these other elements if you do?


    4. It's hard to imagine anyone holding too much oil off the market at $100.00/bbl.

      Possibly, Saudi Arabia, to a small extent (but, it's not the side of the bet that I'd come down on.)

    5. .

      Until you are sure we have reached the tipping point, the main thing that will drive production is demand based on growth (which has been rather stagnant since 2007) and on price. And price can be driven at least in the short or medium term by factors beyond shortages, by geopolitical issues, energy alternatives, speculation, etc.

      Given the weak demand since 2007, the turmoil in the ME, the change in lifestyles, the alternatives to oil that have been expanded, increased fuel standards, etc. I just don't see production levels as a tell-all indicator of what is happening right now. High gas prices are obviously affecting growth given the hard times and the people who are under- or unemployed cutting back but I'm not aware of any shortages out there.


    6. No. Production is driven by Price.

      And, while production has remained, basically, flat, Price has Doubled from $55.00/bbl in 2005 to $110.00/bbl, Today.

    7. .

      While price does encourage production it also dampens demand especially when alternatives or conservations are available.

      You can only sell what people will buy. No one will produce more oil if there is not more demand.

      Again, I am not aware of any oil shortages being reported.


    8. Yes, Q, that is correct. At $110.00/bbl there are no shortages. And, there will be no shortages at $120.00/bbl, or in the case of an even more severe recession, $80.00/bbl.

      There will always be oil; the only question is, "at what price?"

    9. Here's where I think you might be missing the beat; It's not just about us.

      While "we" have cut consumption since 2007, China, India, and the rest of the non-OECD nations, along with the oil "exporters," themselves, have Increased consumption, by a slightly larger amount than we've decreased.

    10. You see, those people have a lot of pretty good jobs, now (bad news for Detroit/good news for Beijing.)

      And, while they still can't afford to buy as much gasoline as the average American, there are a few Billion of them, and a lot of those few billion can afford Some gasoline, diesel, etc.

    11. .

      I realize that, Ruf.

      However, I just scanned the blog stream Deuce put up above. I haven't really had a chance to get into the numbers to see if they make sense; however, some of them look pretty bad.

      Lower growth numbers shouldn't surprise anybody though, the guys who run the Medicare and Social Security trust funds have been predicting lower growth as the baby boomers retire (a little over 2% as I recall) for at least a decade. The lower productivity over the past decade did surprise me somewhat however. And, while China had a growth rate over 12% a few years ago, they are now projecting 7.5% and no telling how long that will last. Brazil isn't doing so good.

      Oil might not be our biggest problem in the near future.


    12. It might not be; but it's a damned big "biggie."

      The Good News is that it is solvable. The Bad News is that a $3 Trillion/Yr Industry doesn't want it solved.

  7. Daddies ARE Necessary.

    July 21, 2013
    Trayvon Martin, where's your daddy?
    Bob Campbell

    Listening to talk radio gives you a different perspective on things. I particularly enjoy listening to callers air their gripes and approvals. One of my favorite shows is Chris Krok in Dallas-Ft. Worth. Chris is soft-spoken, a Christian, and a devout family man.

    This past week has been one of constant complaining from callers over the George Zimmerman verdict of "not guilty." There is a large black population in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, and Chris took many such calls.

    Last Friday, President Obama made the comment again: "If I had a son..." We all know the story. Only this time Obama in reference to the Zimmerman verdict went further: "It could have been me." This is not very tasteful, especially from a sitting president.

    Chris took exception to what the president said; as he put it, "if Trayvon Martin had had a daddy in the family, he might not be dead today." The implication was that Trayvon had had no father figure to teach him right and wrong. In effect, Trayvon was raising himself on the streets. Moreover, Chris claimed, "72% of households have no father figure present."

    An older black woman got on the phone and proceeded to challenge Chris on his statements. "No, no, no! The problem isn't Trayvon's father. The problem is the subsidies black women get from the government. The subsidies give a mother more money than these unemployed black men can give. You know these subsidies have been around for many, many years. That's the cause for us black folks having no fathers."

    I think Chris almost fell out of his chair; I know I did! Chris wanted to ask this woman a few questions, but it wasn't going to happen. She realized what she had just said and didn't want to be put on the spot. She hung up!

    Lets be clear here. "Subsidies" are a nice way of saying welfare. So my question would have been simple: "If subsidies are a major problem with black families, what would you do to fix it?"

    It is amazing to me that this black woman was willing to admit to the American public that the root cause of broken black families is government "subsidies."

    But before you confine the argument to strictly black families, know this: the Hispanic rate of unwed or abandoned mothers is 31%. White mothers is 22%. These percentages are old (2004).

    Maybe President Obama could address this issue the next time he speaks to the American press.

  8. STUDY: Happiness highest at ages 23, 69......drudge

    At 23 you don't have anything, and don't much care if you do or don't. But that girl there means something, and your friends.

    At 69, you may have something, or not, and don't much care if you do or don't. And that wife there means something, and your friends.

    Some of our best days are still ahead for the most of us!


  9. >>>Now in Israel? The "apartheid" state? It's almost a requirement to insult your elected officials.<<<

    I laughed at this. It recalled how my old Jewish lawyer had told me once, 'Baab, we Jews argue like hell among ourselves.'


    Seems he knew whereof he spoke.

  10. .

    From the previous stream,

    47% of the adults are functionally illiterate.

    Is this really a subject a purported English major from Idaho who lacks the ability to read (and comprehend) simple posts at this blog, making him in effect a functional illiterate himself, should be commenting on?

    That is, unless he has been elected as some poster boy for the illiterate by RIF, the Reading is Fundamental organization.

    As if English majors didn't have enough to be embarrassed about as it is.


    1. .

      Whoops, sorry. Missed the injunction to move forward posted above.

      A little difficult to do when all comments are cut off before you actually see them.


    2. I am so sorry Quirk.

      Both Doug and I have been concerned about your behavior in Detroit, and the ruination you and your types have caused there, and how you and SoulsRUs exploited the situation, and the storms you brought to Vegas when you arrived, is all.

    3. When the court finally awarded me ownership of SoulsRUs for punitive damages against you, after your many appeals, which was all you had to attack, I immediately told the two employees, who had not been paid in months, to immediately stop exploiting the illiterates in Detroit, as a humanitarian gesture.

    4. .

      You should be sorry.

      But no need to apologize to me.

      Rather you should be sorry for the disgrace by association you have brought down upon your fellow graduates at the Acme English Major Academy.

      Now, of course I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that you did graduate, though, if true, I assume it was through weakened test score, 'adjustment' points to reflect your Swedish heritage, and your participation in the 'Let's Promote Self-Esteem Program' for 'special' kids.


  11. >>>Human Rights lawyer Fareed Al-Atrash said the Palestinian judiciary applied a Jordanian law that criminalizes cursing the King.<<<

    Heh. :)

    William Blake, back in the day, nearly went to jail for the very same 'crime', cursing the King, or was it the Queen?

    He had said, in a garden, "Damn the King" (or Queen, I forget).

    This was a no-no at that time.

    1. .

      Still a no-no in Thailand.

      And depending on what you say, it's still not very healthy in Russia, China, or here for that matter, so I would be careful with some of your flippant remarks.

      Big Brother IS watching.


    2. I am seeking martyrdom, Death by Big Brother.

      In Russia, it's not healthy to be an honest newspaper reporter. In China it's not healthy to even be, sometimes.

      Quirkian Cowering may be the healthiest policy nearly everywhere, except in Israel.

    3. ....except in Israel, where you can say "Damn Netanyahu" and nobody gives it a second thought.

    4. But thank you from the heart for your concern, Quirk.

    5. .

      It's just the kind of guy I am.


    6. Indeed, I totally agree.

      I have put my very life in your hands many times, and will again. You have always been magnificent in that regard.

      But, never my money.

  12. Advertisement

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    Damn ObamaCare

  13. Obama has indicated that if Israel attacks Iran the United States will not resupply.

    This is extremely stupid on our part. But it is what you get when you elect a sunni to high office.

    If Israel attacks Iran, such a no resupply policy may in the end force Israel to use nukes to get the job down and to end the rockets raining down on Israel.

    I cannot express how stupid I think this no resupply idea is; neither Bush nor McCain nor Romney would have countenanced this stupid idea.

    Of course I've always argued the USA, Israel, and some others ought to do it jointly.

  14. Don't know about anyone else, but I find this type of topic fascinating -

    Jul 21, 9:33 AM EDT


    JERUSALEM (AP) -- A team of Israeli archaeologists believes it has discovered the ruins of a palace belonging to the biblical King David, but other Israeli experts dispute the claim.

    Archaeologists from Hebrew UNIVERSITY of Jerusalem and Israel's Antiquities Authority said their find, a large fortified complex west of Jerusalem at a site called Khirbet Qeiyafa , is the first palace of the biblical king ever to be discovered.

    "Khirbet Qeiyafa is the best example exposed to date of a fortified city from the time of King David," said Yossi Garfinkel, a Hebrew University archaeologist, suggesting that David himself would have used the site. Garfinkel led the seven-year dig with Saar Ganor of Israel's Antiquities Authority.

    Garfinkel said his team found cultic objects typically used by Judeans, the subjects of King David, and saw no trace of pig remains. Pork is forbidden under Jewish DIETARY laws. Clues like these, he said, were "unequivocal evidence" that David and his descendants had ruled at the site.

    Critics said the site could have belonged to other kingdoms of the area. The consensus among most scholars is that no definitive physical proof of the existence of King David has been found.

    Biblical archaeology itself is contentious. Israelis often use archaeological findings to BACK UP their historic claims to sites that are also claimed by the Palestinians, like the Old City of Jerusalem. Despite extensive archaeological evidence, for example, Palestinians deny that the biblical Jewish Temples dominated the hilltop where the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam's third-holiest site, stands today.

    In general, researchers are divided over whether BIBLICAL STORIES can be validated by physical remains.

    The current excavators are not the first to claim they found a King David palace. In 2005, Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar said she found the remains of King David's palace in Jerusalem dating to the 10th century B.C., when King David would have ruled. Her claim also attracted skepticism, including from Garfinkel himself.

    Using CARBON DATING, the archaeologists traced the site's construction to that same period. Garfinkel said the team also found a storeroom almost 15 meters (50 feet) long, suggesting it was a royal site used to collect taxes from the rest of the kingdom.

    Garfinkel believes King David lived permanently in Jerusalem in a yet-undiscovered site, only visiting Khirbet Qeiyafa or other palaces for short periods. He said the site's placement on a hill indicates that the ruler sought a SECURE SITE on high ground during a violent era of frequent conflicts between city-states.

    "The time of David was the first time that a large portion of this area was united by one monarch," Garfinkel said. "It was not a peaceful era."

    Archaeologist Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University agreed that Khirbet Qeiyafa is an "elaborate" and "well-fortified" 10th century B.C. site, but said it could have been built by Philistines, Canaanites or other peoples in the area.

    He said there was no way to verify who built the site without finding a monument detailing the accomplishments of the king who built it. Last week, for instance, archaeologists in Israel found pieces of a sphinx bearing the name of the Egyptian pharaoh who reigned when the statue was carved.

    Garfinkel insisted that critics like Finkelstein are relying on outdated theories.

    "I think other people have a collapsed theory and we have fresh data," he said.

  15. Much more interesting than the productivity index, but I realize that's just me.

    There are those Jewish folks arguing like hell among themselves again, just like my lawyer said.

    And they seem to do it politely.



  16. My niece, in Germany, got all her stuff stolen but she befriended an older gentleman, much older and now all is taken care of.

    My daughter isn't very happy though. She says first she did it to me and now she's moved on to the old guy in Germany.

    I still love her, my niece that is and I have many a fond memory. I never knew I could feel so young again. woot woot!

    1. I do feel a little jealous though. I don't want to share my niece with a German. Quirk would be ok but not a German.

    2. .

      I see the Anonymous Asshole is back.


  17. Go fuck off asshole.

    Deuce can you put him/her in the trash can permanently.

    1. Surely you have something more 'productive' to do than hang around here and make a true arse of yourself.

      Deuce, trash him/her.

      And puts 'its' name up if you can.

      I am done for today.

      It was nice while it lasted.

      I enjoyed your posts today, WiO.

    2. Get yourself a sign on, boobie.
      You said you were not going to post until you did that.

      Are you just that stupid?

  18. The consequences of Israeli Apartheid coming home, just as it started with the alienation of South Africa during the apartheid era.

    In a refrigerated shed, shielded from the blazing summer heat of the Jordan Valley, about 15 Palestinian workers are sorting ripe figs by size and packing them into plastic supermarket containers, then boxes marked in German, English and French: Feigen, figs, figues.
    The farm’s Israeli owner, Avigdor Arbel, moved to the area from the southern city of Ashdod in 1974 when he was 22 and the government was offering young men land to settle near the Jordanian frontier after Israel seized the West Bank in the 1967 six-day war.

    Much of the outside world deems the area inside a Jewish settlement where Mr Arbel grows his figs, dates, grapes and peppers as land occupied illegally by Israel and part of a future Palestinian state. “England doesn’t want any fruits from here,” Mr Arbel’s son Ortal says. But for what Britain does not want there are other customers in Israel or abroad: “There are Russians buying,” he says.

    Now the EU, Israel’s biggest trading partner, is pressing home the point forcefully with its 500m-plus consumers as it prepares to draft EU-wide guidelines for the labelling of goods made at settlements as originating from Israeli-occupied Palestinian land.

    Brussels last week shocked and angered Israel’s government by issuing new guidelines prohibiting EU funding for Israeli entities based in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The new measures mean that companies, academic institutions and other organisations that have operations beyond the Green Line, which marks Israel’s internationally recognised borders, will no longer be eligible for scholarships, grants or funding from European institutions.

    Israel’s settlement economy faces further problems. EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels today to consider labelling guidelines for settlement goods that would affect $300m of Israeli exports, according to a World Bank estimate.

  19. Bring on the boycott
    The world is starting to show its contempt for the post-Zionist right in Israel. Judgment Day has come.
    By Uri Misgav | Jul. 18, 2013 | 4:28 AM

    Sometimes there is no choice. Sometimes the body is too sick and weak to heal itself without outside help. It would be better if Israeli society would force itself to be free of the occupation and the post-Zionist settlement enterprise, but this has not happened. There were opportunities. Most Israeli governments since 1967 have failed to take advantage of them. The two prime ministers who did display leadership and courage, Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon, were stopped short.

    The sickness and distortion of reality have become so pervasive that even some good souls on the Israeli left say that the issue is no longer relevant. But guess what? The monster is still here. And without protesting it out in the open there won’t be a revolution and there won’t be a State of Israel.

    The single question is how do we ensure this will happen? Israelis understand just three things: force, an explicit order and losing money. The deaths of 3,000 in the Yom Kippur War led to a separation of forces agreement and a peace treaty with Egypt. An explicit instruction from the great powers led to the withdrawal from the occupied Sinai Peninsula after the Sinai Campaign in 1956.

    But the most interesting strategy is hitting Israelis in their wallets. There is something degrading about it because it means that high-minded ideology, hollow values and pretty words aren’t doing the job. But I also suspect that it is the most effective means of them all. Certainly, it is the fastest. When the American administration of George Bush Sr. threatened to revoke Israel’s loan guarantees for integrating the large wave of immigrants reaching the country in the early ‘90s, even the hawkish Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was pushed toward the unprecedented recognition of the Palestinian people and the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991 that laid the groundwork for the Oslo Accords.


  20. {…}

    Consequently, it is clear to every intelligent person that the foolishness of the occupation and the settlements could end tomorrow if the Americans wanted it so. No attempts at shuttle diplomacy by the U.S. secretary of state would be needed. An unequivocal order from the White House backed by the freezing of U.S. foreign aid − and everything would end. Not tomorrow, but today. But the American administrations are paralyzed by the Jewish lobby in Congress, who are indebted to Jewish donors and are held captive by the American military industrial complex. Either they want to but cannot, or they don’t want it enough.

    Therefore, in the interim we, and apparently they, are left to rely on the European Union. Since it is a federation, everything there works slowly. Since they are Europeans, everything there works in an orderly fashion. Consequently, there were clarifications, notices and warnings, but in the end the lot was cast. The EU intends to begin officially levying sweeping sanctions on everything Israeli located beyond the Green Line.

    In practice, this is a first step in a campaign that threatens to eventually lead to an international boycott along the lines of the one enacted against apartheid-era South Africa, including separate visas for settlers who seek to enter through Europe’s gates. On the ground, a large share of the cooperation and agreements between Israel and the Europeans are de facto already structured this way. As is known, the Europeans don’t love the occupation and settlement enterprise. What is revolutionary here actually lies on the declarative level. From now on, the wording of agreements that Israel will want to sign with the European Union and its members will include official Israeli recognition that the settlements are not part of the State of Israel but are situated in army-occupied territory.

    One way or the other, it is interesting to examine the reactions as well as the lack of reactions. Senior Netanyahu government officials are keeping quiet for the time being. Israel does not have a functioning Foreign Ministry in any event. The position of foreign minister is patiently awaiting for Avigdor Lieberman to wrap up his personal matters, while Foreign Ministry employees have been striking for four months now. As Barak Ravid put it, the complete disconnect with reality has been expressed in the declarations made by Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. Just last week, Bennett called the signs of Israel’s international isolation as “concoctions,” and said, “No one on earth is interested in the Palestinian issue.”

    I want to ask the midgets of the post-Zionist right and in particular their leaders a simple question. Let’s assume the Europeans really are hypocritical anti-Semites and you are the epitome of humanity. What will you do now? Will you declare war on the EU? When the day comes, will you declare war on the United States as well?

    We tried to do things nicely. We explained to you again and again that it was not going well− that the overwhelming majority of the Israeli people, along with most of the world, were not interested in continuing the occupation and the settlement enterprise. You scoffed at us − and justly so. We deserve it. We were too weak. But you also derided the entire world and now the world is starting to show its contempt for you. Judgment Day has come.


    1. .

      It is kinda funny, funny that anyone would expect a two-state solution there while any of us are still alive.

      Bibi claim that he wants to resume negotiations immediately without preconditions but it is merely a PR stunt designed to make Kerry feel like he is actually accomplishing something.

      Kerry says there are 'just a few things' to sort out but that he expects a new round of negotiations to begin soon.

      Even if negotiations started, they would be over within the same two-three weeks the last ones under Hillary lasted. Too many things they will never agree to.


    2. .

      My point remains. There is no chance for a negotiated peace, two-state or for that matter one-state.

      The issue of a Jewish State is just one issue among many that will not be resolved. Abbas has indicated the PA will recognize the State of Israel. They will just not recognize the Jewish state of Israel.

      There will be no compromise on either side.

      Demographics say that Israel cannot remain both Jewish and Democratic.


    3. .

      Hey, what happened to the friggin post I was responding to?


    4. Quirk has been suckered right into the Israelis plan. They have never wanted a two state solution despite what they say.

    5. Sorry Quirk, I am done trying to deal with this guy. He is too stupid to follow general courtesies and thinks he can get away with making outrageous insults and making charges that I will not repeat. Anything and everything he posts will be routinely deleted. I don’t sit here and monitor the site hourly so if he slips something in, copy it and respond to it if you so choose. I am removing everything he posts and will not bother to read any of it.

  21. A British judge comprehensively dismissed a high-profile legal attack on the University and College Union, it emerged on Monday. The case was brought after democratic union bodies discussed boycotts of Israel.

    An Employment Tribunal ruled the claim of “institutional anti-Semitism,” brought by union member and Academic Friends of Israel director Ronnie Fraser, was dismissed on all counts.

    The ruling is a dramatic and comprehensive defeat for the Israeli “lawfare” strategy, and may even have backfired for its proponents who today descended into acrimonious internal back-biting.

    1. Back to the drawing board for Dickstein, Sacks, Weiner & Cox

  22. This is just how it started with the South Africans. Soon there will be discussions of divestiture of State pension funds from companies doing business with Israelis. Good on them, the anti-apartheid forces in the US for going the political/economic route and not attempting to use force against "the prominent Simon Wiesenthal Center".

    Political intimidation by the Jewish lobby is beaten by the truth. One step at a time, the truth is being propagated across the world.

    Boycott Israel Leader Wins Calif. Regents Post — Jewish Groups Angry
    Berkeley Student Sadia Saifuddin Led BDS Fight

    By Reuters
    Published July 18, 2013.

    The University of California appointed a Muslim American woman as a student member of its governing board on Wednesday in a move opposed by Jewish groups that objected to her pro-Palestinian activism.

    Sadia Saifuddin, a 21-year-old social welfare major at the prestigious University of California at Berkeley, will become the first Muslim student member of the 26-person board of regents for a year-long term starting in 2014.

    Jewish groups including the prominent Simon Wiesenthal Center strongly objected to her nomination, citing her involvement in a campaign to divest university funds from companies with business connections to the Israeli military.

    They also objected to her sponsoring a student senate resolution that condemned a lecturer at the system’s Santa Cruz campus for what the resolution said was Islamophobic rhetoric. The groups said it was Saifuddin who showed an intolerance toward opposing viewpoints.

    Read more:

    1. There will be a tipping point when it starts to actually cost real money. Look at the rush to the exit after the Paula Deen thing.

  23. Interact as you see fit with him. I'm tired of his fat slob mouth. He wouldn't have the balls to say face to face what he routinely says to me. He is not that bright and he rarely argues to a point.. It is all histrionics and party propaganda.. As a matter of policy, he will be deleted from here forward and if I think he is posting as anonymous, I'll delete that as well.

    1. Concur Deuce. Would that Godwin's Law applied to webforums as it does in Usenet.

  24. "Frank" meaning calling dissenters Nazi scum.

  25. He had his own blog but no one ever read it, He should start a new one and maybe someone
    here would show me some mercy and post a few comments with him to keep him away.

    1. Pork Rinds for Allah. Unfortunately, the Eschelon software at NSA was triggered to key on the phrase "for Allah" so now the FBI is so far up WiO's ass he can smell Brylcreme.

  26. i have his IP address, he uses Road Runner and posts from Columbus Ohio. If he persists, I will simply report it to Google. They could do what they will.