Thursday, September 30, 2010

Austerity and the Impoverishment of Population

This post addresses how austerity is being imposed upon western populations in a deliberate attempt to lower living standards for the bottom 80% of the population.

I look at several articles, beginning with Greg Palast's interview with the economist, Joseph Stiglitz. Stiglitz explains how austerity was imposed in the developing world, giving us a good sense of how it will be imposed in the US and Europe.

I then examine David DeGraw's strongly worded but excellent polemic about the implications of financial collapse and austerity for the U.S.

Michael Hudson's essay on austerity in Europe follows.

I conclude by examining escalating defense spending, which contrasts starkly with dramatic cuts in wages, social welfare benefits and living standards:

Greg Palast
The Globalizer Who Came In From the Cold
Wednesday, October 10, 2001

The World Bank's former Chief Economist's accusations are eye-popping - including how the IMF and US Treasury fixed the Russian elections
"It has condemned people to death," the former apparatchik told me. This was like a scene out of Le Carre. The brilliant old agent comes in from the cold, crosses to our side, and in hours of debriefing, empties his memory of horrors committed in the name of a political ideology he now realizes has gone rotten.

Step One is Privatization - which Stiglitz said could more accurately be called, 'Briberization.'

After briberization, Step Two of the IMF/World Bank one-size-fits-all rescue-your-economy plan is 'Capital Market Liberalization.

This leads, predictably, to Step-Three-and-a-Half: what Stiglitz calls, "The IMF riot." The IMF riot is painfully predictable. When a nation is, "down and out, [the IMF] takes advantage and squeezes the last pound of blood out of them. They turn up the heat until, finally, the whole cauldron blows up," as when the IMF eliminated food and fuel...

The IMF riots (and by riots I mean peaceful demonstrations dispersed by bullets, tanks and teargas) cause new panicked flights of capital and government bankruptcies. This economic arson has it's bright side - for foreign corporations, who can then pick off remaining assets, such as the odd mining concession or port, at fire sale prices....

Majia here: Read the article and also how all this is going to lead to WWIII, according to David DeGraw of Amped Status
Here is an excerpt from DeGraw's Article:

"This crisis is the direct result of a strategic economic attack on the existence of a middle class and democracy worldwide. The stock market and economy have become weapons of mass oppression manipulated by an imperial banking cartel to impose order and exploit the masses. This crisis boldly represents the manifest evolution of the fascist spirit reasserting itself as the dominant ideology.

Any fairytale notions of the United States being a democratic republic built on the rule of law have been utterly dispelled. As a nation we have been bred and conditioned to be dangerously naïve to the darker forces which operate beyond the spotlight of the mainstream media. We have been blinded to what has been developing throughout the world.

The economic imperialism that has now blown-back to the United States and Europe has been evolving for decades and can be directly traced back to the end of World War II, to the birth of the CIA, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. ..."

Majia Here. The war against workers isn't just happening in the US but is occurring all over Europe as well, as explained my Michael Hudson in a recent article found at Economic Perspectives from Kansas City
Hudson writes: "From Brussels to Latvia, neoliberal planners have expressed the hope that lower public-sector salaries will spread to the private sector. The aim is to roll back wage levels by 30 percent or more, to depression levels, on the pretense that this will “leave more surplus” available to pay in debt service. It will do no such thing, of course. It is a purely vicious attempt to reverse Europe’s Progressive Era social democratic reforms achieved over the past century. Europe is to be turned into a banana republic by taxing labor – not finance, insurance or real estate (FIRE). Governments are to impose heavier employment and sales taxes while cutting back pensions and other public spending..."

MAJIA HERE AGAIN: Meanwhile, the war machine grinds on and the costs associated with (failed) empire building rise, as reported here at BlackListed News, reprinted from Stripes.Com:

"Study: Wars could cost $4 trillion to $6 trillion

The authors of the book "The $3 Trillion War" noted in a conference call on Wednesday that when they first released their findings two years ago, the estimates were widely criticized as being too high. Now, the researchers believe they may have been too low.

Joseph Stiglitz, who received the 2000 Nobel Prize for Economics, and Linda Bilmes, a public policy professor at Harvard University, said the number of veterans seeking post-combat medical care and the cost of treating those individuals is about 30 percent higher than they initially estimated. That, combined with increases in the cost of military medical care and the lagging economy, will likely push the true long-term cost of the war over the $4 trillion mark...."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why the "End of the Recession" is an Illusion

The Automatic Earth has an excellent post on this issue. here is an excerpt:

Essentially, as long as a company's stock can rise simply as a result of scores of workers being laid off, the term "recession" loses all functional meaning as a description of the overall economy. After all, this means that an increased shift of wealth from the poorer to the richer segments of society can, all by itself, end a recession. Those who lose their jobs and homes can be filed under the label "increased efficiency", and then forgotten.

The economist Max-Neef, who wrote Barefoot Economics, explains why economists have it so wrong by addressing their error ridden assumptions. Against traditional economics, Max-Neef writes:

1. The economy is to serve the people, not the people to serve the economy.
2. Development is about people, and not about objects.
3. Growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth.
4. No economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services.
5. The economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system -- the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible.

Finally, Robert Reich articulates why its time for change:

The Census Bureau reported on Sept. 16 that the number of Americans living in poverty hit a 51-year high in 2009, and income disparity has only grown more severe in economic hard times. It's led Robert Reich to conclude the time is now for tough medicine to narrow this gulf.

Read more:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Class Warfare

A series of links and article excerpts below on why class warfare is REAL:

Start with the WSJ's excellent slide show on poverty in the US

Then read Mybudget360s article about "recovery." Here is an excerpt:
"The net worth of Americans is still over $12 trillion below the peak reached only a few years ago. Home values are still in the dumps. Why is the recession over? Because GDP has grown and other random indicators that really just pertain to the top 1 percent.... Big banks are pushing capital wherever it can go for cheap labor, less regulation, and frankly less law to game the system. Keep in mind the money they are using right now is backed by taxpayer dollars."

Majia here: About those taxpayer dollars, Dean Baker writes that "TARP was a $700 billion disaster for everyone but the banks"

Still not convinced that class warfare is being waged? Meander on over to Zerohedge and read the article about modern day bread lines at Walmart. Here is an excerpt:

"CEO of Walmart on what modern day bread lines look like. To wit:

"Profits And Baby Formula – Our pal, Rich Yamarone, over at Bloomberg picked up an eye-opening statement made by the Wal-Mart CEO last week.

"I don't need to tell you that our customer remains challenged…You need not go farther than one of our stores on midnight at the end of the month. And it's real interesting to watch, about 11 p.m. customers start to come in and shop, fill their grocery basket with basic items – baby formula, milk, bread, eggs – and continue to shop and mill about the store until midnight when government electronic benefits cards get activated, and then the checkout starts and occurs. And our sales for those first few hours on the first of the month are substantially and significantly higher..."

And who has benefited from all those tax cuts that supposedly were going to lift all boats. Check out Phil's Favorites
Phil explains in great detail how big business payed "just $138Bn (6.3%) in total taxes in 2009 while earning 60% of all income"

Economic war is being waged against 90% of Americans by the other 10%. It is simply that the public is too numb to respond or too passive to react after 100 years of heavy dosing of corporate propaganda

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Janine Wedel's series on the Shadow Elite is worth reading.

Here is an excerpt:
"Many contractors are integrally involved in formulating and influencing policy on issues ranging from defense (as seen in the mentoring program), to the economy and energy to homeland security and intelligence. Even when many, if not most, of these contractors perform admirably, whether contractors always have the public interest at heart, or whether, beholden to shareholders, they might have their own, is a crucial question...."

Majia here: This issue about contractors shaping government policy priorities, strategies, and spending is an important issue. Contracting services isn't necessarily a bad thing; however, it is problematic for contractors to be writing regulations, policies, and strategies.

The contract work involved in the reconstruction of New Orleans was fraught with fraud and outright corruption.

We've seen how padding is added to Haliburton's services in Iraq and Afghanistan, fleecing the government of huge amounts of cash.

Unfortunately contracting too often is an open invitation for pilfering, as Galbraith documents in his book, The Predatory State.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Links Today

I'm not feeling very well. Terrible migraine this weekend. So, just links and one thought.

Although the recession is official over, the great depression II has just began!

The other links I find to be most relevant today include:

The Phytoplankton Crisis: Our Compromised food chain

Grayson Calls on Florida Supreme Court to Halt Foreclosures (because they are believed to be fraudulently based)

Compromised economic system, compromised environmental system, and compromised legal system.


The Tea Party folks are correct about wanting reform and a new party. However, those folks have been manipulated into thinking that what is best for the richest 5% of Americans is good for them. The puppeteers wait in the wings and have no remedies that will help the other 95% of Americans.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Poverty Rate 42.8% for 25-to-34-Year Olds

This should be the headline. Unbelievable and SCARY.

Dougherty, C., & Murray, S. (2010, September 17). Lost Decade for Family Income. The Wall Street Journal, p. A1, A4.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Deficit Hysteria Threatens the Nation: NOT the Deficit Itself!

Alternet: "300 Economists Warn That Deficit Hysteria Is a Big Con That Threatens to Drive America into a Full-Blown Depression"

"The experts called for a sane policy of growing our way out of debt by kick-starting the real economy in which most of us live and work.

Petitions by Change.orgGet WidgetStart a Petition � On Thursday, 300 economists and analysts issued a statement warning that the “deficit hawks” who appear to be gaining the upper hand in our economic debates are threatening to turn an already deeply painful recession into a full-blown depression...."

Read the full article....

MyBudget 360: The Purposeful Destruction of the Middle Class

MyBudget 360:

"The middle class is shrinking and this is purposeful, targeted, and deliberate. The current economic structure is setup as a welfare state for banks where a select few have been blessed to not fail.

Yet here we have 43.6 million of our neighbors and fellow Americans being allowed to fail. What kind of message does that send..."


Gulf Syndrome Grows

Toxicologist Dr. Riki Ott explains that the outbreak of terrible-looking rashes afflicting Gulf area residents and visitors may stem from the explosion of oil-consuming bacteria.

Residents suffering from oil and corexit exposure may have a compromised immune system, making them vulnerable to the bacteria.

In other news, Greenpeace reports it plans on sending a submersible down to the "spill" site to evaluate what the heck is really going on. THANK YOU GREENPEACE!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Massive Fish Kill in Louisiana



Life on the Economic Edge

1 in 7 Americans now lives in poverty. The PRIMARY reason is lack of jobs.

Too many of us would like to blame the poor for creating their own circumstances.

However, the #1 reason for poverty is lack of economic opportunity.

Lack of economic opportunity is now spreading upwards to engulf the middle class.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Complete List of David DeGraw’s Reports

Complete List of David DeGraw’s Reports

Inspiring Post on the True Meaning of Patriotism

Washington's Blog has a very inspiring post on the importance of dissent across American history and the dangers of stifling dissent for democracy in America.

I'm exhausted tonight. I try encouraging dissent in my students but I think they think I'm crazy....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Zero Hedge: Up to 67% of Phoenix Homes Underwater

Zero Hedge Report: Oil Found Covering Sea Bed Bottom

Good article on recent research discoveries of oil covering seabed bottom in Gulf of Mexico. Here is an excerpt:

In recent weeks the administration has been fanfaring the tremendous success of discovering far less spilled oil in the GoM than one would expect. The fallacious conclusion dervied from this "fact" by Obama's henchmen is that the oil just went poof and disappeared, with even the president going spelunking in the GoM to prove just how safe it was. Well, we hope he didn't step on the ocean floor, because a new report by ABC discloses that "miles of oil is sitting on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico."

It gets worse: 'Professor Samantha Joye of the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia, who is conducting a study on a research vessel just two miles from the spill zone [ZH: and must have been one of the +/- 2 US marine scientists who were not put on BP's payroll in the last two months], said the oil has not disappeared, but is on the sea floor in a layer of scum. "We're finding it everywhere that we've looked. The oil is not gone," Joye said. "It's in places where nobody has looked for it."

In the "Readers Comments" section I came across one particularly illustrative comment:

by Eureka Springs
on Mon, 09/13/2010 - 14:04

I went down to NOLA a couple of weeks into it.. stayed with the president of the United Commercial Fisherman, spoke with many fisherman who were out there every day, and we scoured hundreds of miles as close to the shore as possible. To compare the state of ooze and fumes before the spill to what happened during is beyond absurd. As alarming as the toxins in the air and the instant sickness it caused (dispersants or fumes from the volcano itself, or both, I couldn't say) were, the overwhelming show of force from military to every conceivable branch of police, guard, Barney Fife from multiple states and game and fish set up to protect BP and Haliburton was astonishingly fascist.

The very fact we know so little and that anyone could claim what the President claimed ( I don't see it so it's not there) proves what readers here know about the state of both our government and media today.

Just like the banksters there should be scores of top of oil men lined up in orange jumpsuits and even more so the government officials who help cover this all up. Cynical as I am I am still amazed at how well this all went for the three - media, gov., corporations."

Majia here: There never was any doubt that more oil would be "discovered." And, it continues to wash up as well....

Wages Collapsing
From the Economic Policy Institute:

From the Introduction to the Report:

"Workers who have kept their jobs or found new work during this downturn have also suffered from a broad-based collapse of wage growth over the last two years. And with unemployment expected to remain elevated for many years to come, we do not expect the suppression of wage growth to ease anytime soon..."

Link is to the entire report in pdf

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Why is the US Still in a Formal State of National Emergency?

And what does that mean for our civil liberties???????

Why aren't people demanding accountability on this issue?

Also, why are Emergency Responders from 9-11 Dying without Benefits????

Exactly who and what does this state of emergency serve? It certainly does not serve our nation, that has become compromised to its core.

ProPublica: Government Spent $196 Keeping Secrets for Every $1 Spent Declassifying Information

Marian Wang at Propublica publishes excellent investigative reports.

This issue of non-necessary classification of government data is not new. Several years back I taught a class on transparency

We read the following 2 books:

Gup, T. (2007). Nation of Secrets. New York: Doubleday.
Florini, A. (2007). The Right to Know: Transparency for an Open World. New York: Columbia University Press.

Both books argued that classification has taken on a life of its own and that all manner of documents and reports are classified for no reason at all.

The culture of classification is fundamentally antithetical to democracy.

It prevents an informed public AND it breeds conspiracy theories, which function to de-legitimize government.

HOWEVER, the real lack of transparency that exists in our society concerns CORPORATE actions and conduct. Corporate financials are supposed to be transparent if they are publicly traded; however, history has demonstrated how fraudulent so many corporate financial statements are

More generally, corporations are fundamentally NOT transparent since they are not required to respond to freedom of information requests about their product contents, environmental records, or workplace safety posed by the public. These types of data are supposed to be reported to the government but the public has no direct access.

A discussion of corporate transparency can be found here:

I have created a transparency guide that I'm trying to figure out how to post as an attachment. Look for it!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Buying Judges

Scary but true.

Dr. William Black explores this issue at Naked Capitalism and Washington's Blog takes it up in a detailed analysis.

The way I learned it, the "founding fathers" created the separation of powers--the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government--to combat the potential for tyranny.

We already know how corporations can influence political elections and thereby have the potential to corrupt both the legislative and executive branches.

Now we learn that corporations can also influence judicial elections.

So, our government's 3 branches of power can now easily be corrupted, legally, by corporate power.

Any anyone who calls this tyranny might be labeled a terrorist and disappear without recourse into some secret CIA prison.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Inequality Matters

On Tuesday this week in class I discussed the buying potential of the bottom 50% of the nation. I told them that The Wall Street Journal (2010), The Arizona Republic (2010) and Citigroup (2005) all regard the bottom 50 or more percent of the populace as financially irrelevant. They have no money to spend except on food, groceries, gas, and housing.

My students didn't get it because they don't realize what has happened to American society. We have become grossly unequal.

I have two links that explore this issue this week:
The Economic Policy Institute

The United States of Inequality at Slate

The article at Slate is quite detailed and includes a slideshow.

This economic dispossession of the majority of the population has ominous implications for our nation's stability and the sustainability of our way of life. Grossly unequal societies tend to be unstable, particularly when their leaders are looting and pillaging (as demonstrated so effectively by Jared Diamond in Collapse).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Economic Collapse Blog: Why the WTO is Bad for America

As I explain in my previous blog posting (from September 6), globalization isn't necessarily bad. Rather, the problem is that the types of globalization that have been promoted by wealthy corporations, nations, and "governance" institutions have been very detrimental to people in both the developing and developed worlds.

Today, the Economic Collapse Blog has a very relevant post about why the World Trade Organization is bad for America.

At a most basic level, the WTO is not democratic and represents the interests of political appointees rather than the people of the nations that belong to it.

I highly recommend visiting the economic collapse blog and reading this post.

Additionally, I just ran into a highly recommended video on peak oil. I haven't watched it yet but plan to asap. It is with Dr. Colin Campbell.

Monday, September 6, 2010

What is the World Social Forum and Why Does it Struggle Against Globalization

Globalization sounds good, until you find out more.

The idea that I might sell my tomatoes abroad to countries unable to produce them, but whose citizens like their taste, sounds reasonable and mutually beneficial.

Unfortunately, that is not the way that the globalization of trade and finance have operated.

What often happens is developing nations are encouraged to specialize their production in one or a few export oriented products. Low-wage work is what the developing nation can usually offer.

Developing nations are encouraged to have lax environmental and labor regulations so that work in their nations remains very cheap.

Developing nations are encouraged to sell off their national resources and government owned industries to western corporations.

The upshot is the populations of developing nations often end up with a decreased standard of living because their natural resources and capital have been essentially pillaged.

At the same time, work leaves the western developed nations for the low-wage, poor environmental policies of the developing world.

Pretty soon western populations in developed nations have high unemployment and few well paying manufacturing or production jobs. They are stuck in low-wage "service" sector jobs.

Globalization didn't work for them either. Pretty soon these formerly middle-class workers in developed economies are defaulting on their home and car loans. When their banks become insolvent, the government bails out the banks and other financial institutions while leaving the citizens broke, homeless, and unemployed.

The World Social Forum seeks to combat this type of pillaging in both the developing and developed nations.

The link above is to an article that examines this process. Here is an excerpt:

"The great range of actual measures carried on under the label of globalisation, however, were not those of integration and development. Rather, they were processes of imposition, disintegration, underdevelopment and appropriation.

They were of continued extraction of debt servicing payments of the third world;

depression of the prices of raw materials exported by the same countries;

removal of tariff protection for their vulnerable productive sectors;

removal of restraints on foreign direct investment, allowing giant foreign corporations to grab larger sectors of the third world's economies;

removal of restraints on the entry and exit of massive flows of speculative international capital, allowing their movements to dictate economic life;

reduction of State spending on productive activity, development and welfare; privatisation of activities, assets and natural resources; sharp increases in the cost of essential services and goods such as electricity, fuel, health care, education, transport, and food (accompanied by the harsher depression of women's consumption within each family's declining consumption);

withdrawal of subsidised credit earlier directed to starved sectors;

dismantling of workers' security of employment;

reduction of the share of wages in the social product;

suppression of domestic industry in the third world and closures of manufacturing firms on a massive scale; ruination of independent small industries;

ruination of the handicraft/handloom sector;

replacement of subsistence crops with cash crops and destruction of food security;

removal of ceilings on landholdings;

dispossession of tribal lands and the handing over of forests to corporate interests;

developing dependence of peasants on the new (and profoundly hazardous) products of biotechnology;

dumping of hazardous wastes in, and the shifting of harmful processes to, the third world;

use of women as sweated factory labour;

growth of prostitution amid large-scale unemployment;

invasion of images aimed at making women consumers of the beauty industry;

entry of multinational media corporations and their cultural products;

and systematic development of islands of consumerism amid a vast sea of poverty.

Little wonder that, far from becoming more integrated and prosperous, the world economy is today even more starkly divided.

By the indices of the World Bank, 45 per cent of the world lives on less than two dollars a day, and the number of the poor worldwide has grown during the 1990s.

A third of the world's labour force is unemployed or underemployed because of the economic order ruling today. At the same time, in 1993, the top one per cent of the world's population received a larger share of the world's income than the bottom 57 per cent;

the top five per cent had an income share approaching that of the bottom 85 per cent. "


Sunday, September 5, 2010

National Geographic: Hurricanes Could Carry Oil Inland

The link above is for a National Geographic article examining how hurricanes can rain oil inland. I found the article at Florida Oil Spill.

Given this possibility, it is not surprising that people in the Gulf area are getting sick from aerosoled contaminants.
Florida/Alabama area: Tests show ethylbenzene, other hydrocarbons in blood of coastal residents — “Everyone is getting sick”, it’s “becoming an aerosol” (VIDEO)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Robert Reich on Unemployment Report

I am confused about why the market reacted positively to the jobs report. Robert Reich explains why the report is not good. Below is the title of his post and an excerpt. Clink on link above to read the whole article:

The Great Jobs Depression Worsens, and the Choice Ahead Grows Starker
Friday, September 3, 2010
The Great Jobs Depression continues to worsen.

The Labor Department reports this morning that companies created ony 67,000 new jobs in August. That’s down from the 107,000 they created in July. And because the government laid off temporary Census workers, the economy as a whole lost 54,000 jobs.

To put this into perspective, we need 125,000 net new jobs a month just to keep up with the growth of the population and the potential workforce.

Think of it this way. The number of Americans willing and able to work but who cannot find a job hasn’t stopped growing since the start of 2008. All told, about 22 million Americans are now jobless. Add in those who are working part-time who’d rather be working full time, and we’re up to 25 million....


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Private For-Profit Universities Lobbying Against Proposed Regulations

For-Profit education is a scam (see my previous post). The federal government wants to crack down on student lending that is federally guaranteed at for-profit universities.

The issue is this: for-profits charge high tuition and promise jobs that don't materialize so students are stuck with huge bills that the federal government underwrites.

for-profits have the right to charge whatever they choose. However, the federal government is not required to guarantee loans that it considers excessive.

So, the regulations will affect lending guarantees, not how the universities operate.

Now these for-profits are engaged in an all out assault against this proposed policy to limit loan guarantees so that students don't get stuck with excessive debt.

For profit education is a scam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gulf Area Residents and Visitors Not Involved in Clean Up are Becoming Sick from Toxic Petro-Chemicals

Environmental reporter Jerry Cope became sick after visiting the contaminated Gulf region. He tested positive for petro-chemicals capable of producing nerve and organ damage. He was not involved in direct contact with the oil.

How many people have been similarly sickened?

What toxic tide, exacerbated by widespread corexit use, has BP and our conspiring government unleashed?

The article linked above also describes what happens to medical doctors who diagnose occupational diseases.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Citizen Activism and Corporate Terror

BP has committed crimes against humanity, flora and fauna. Citizen activism is responsible for revealing these horrors because the government has been complicit in the cover up.

Professional chemists, private citizens, and academics (none of which are exclusive categories) have conducted independent testing. Unlike BP payed "researchers," these independent tests are revealed to the public, complete with methodology and results.

Science aint science until the results are published for peer scrutiny. That means that BP funded research is not in fact scientific.

Independent lab results are now available and they find dispersant in Gulf waters 30 days and more after BP claims dispersants were discontinued.

Discussions can be found at Alexander Higgins blog and the Intel Hub.

Evidence is also accumulating that the combination of corexit (dispersant) and oil is more dangerous than oil alone. See the full discussion at Washington's Blog.

It is difficult to maintain a lie when the public gets activated.

Wall Street Journal: FDIC Finds 829 U.S. Banks at Risk

Sep. 1 2010 C1 by Michael Crittenden

"More than one-tenth of total are on 'problem list' as smaller lenders take time to recover."


Add this headline to the latest private sector job report from ADP (see the website Calculated Risk) and increasing early delinquencies for mortgages PLUS a deteriorating housing market and you have recession dip soup version 2!

17 Giant Questions About Handling of the Gulf
Mike Adams has edited and commented upon a list of 16 questions he found at the Economic Collapse Blog.

Mike Adams doesn't know the original author of the 16 questions from the collapse blog (that he expands to 17) but M. Snyder is the main author of the economic collapse blog.

This list of questions is excellent and the author over at the Economic collapse blog and Adams are to be commended.

I've excerpted 6 of the 17 questions to give the reader a flavor. I recommend reading the entire article at the link above:

Here are the 16 questions:

#1) Barack Obama has authorized the deployment of more than 17,000 National Guard members along the Gulf coast to be used "as needed" by state governors. So what are all of these National Guard troops going to be doing exactly? Are the troops going to be used to stop the oil or to control the public?

Mike's comment: Good question. Much of the response activity to the spill seems to be about controlling the public's perception and limiting media access to the spill site rather than actually cleaning up the mess.

#2) Barack Obama has also announced the creation of a "Gulf recovery czar" who will be in charge of overseeing the restoration of the Gulf of Mexico region following the oil spill. So is appointing a "czar" Obama's idea of taking charge of a situation?

#3) Because it is so incredibly toxic, the UK's Marine Management Organization has completely banned Corexit 9500, so if there was a major oil spill in the UK's North Sea, BP would not be able to use it. So why is BP being allowed to use Corexit 9500 in the Gulf of Mexico?

Mike's answer: Because Corexit kills sea animals and makes them sink and disappear rather than allowing them to wash up on shore where the emotional outcry would be even worse than it is already.

#4) It is being reported that 2.61 parts per million of Corexit 9500 (mixed with oil at a ratio of 1:1o) is lethal to 50% of fish exposed to it within 96 hours. That means that 1 gallon of Corexit 9500/oil mixture is capable of rendering 383,141 gallons of water highly toxic to fish. So why was BP allowed to dump 1,021,000 gallons of Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527 into the Gulf of Mexico, and why aren't they being stopped from dumping another 805,000 gallons of these dispersants that they have on order into the Gulf?

Mike's answer: Sadly, BP is running the show in the Gulf, not the government! The U.S. government has sold out to private corporations who now think they own the gulf and can run operations there however they see fit.

#5) If these dispersants are so incredibly toxic to fish, what are they going to do to crops? What are they going to do to people?

Mike's answer: They're obviously going to poison the entire Gulf Coast region if hurricanes whip up these chemicals and deposit them on land. We could be looking at a complete wipeout of the Florida citrus industry, for example, if all the worst conditions converge.

#6) If the smell of the oil on some Gulf beaches is already so strong that it burns your nostrils, then what in the world is this oil doing to wildlife that encounter it?