Same Solution, Same Problem, no fix

I was at the Palo Alto theatre watching an old movie… Roman Holiday with Audry Hepburn, when she said something that caused me pause. In the movie, she plays a young princess who sneaks off to just be a free spirit for a day; but then returns to her duties. Where she is asked about European Affairs. Her answer (and the question) could be asked today about substantially the same problem and with substantially the same answer being the “preferred” one. Some things never change…

From the script:

AMERICAN CORRESPONDENT [speaking from the crowd] Does Your

Highness believe that Federation would be a possible solution to

Europe’s economic problems?

ANN. I am in favour of any measure which would lead to closer

cooperation in Europe.

Looks like the particular fantasy that “closer cooperation” or integration or “Federation” will solve economic ills has been around since at least 1953. You’d think after 1/2 Century they would have figured out it doesn’t do that. (Heck, you’d also think they would have figured out how to avoid financial problems…)

So is it time we started talking about Angela Merkel being on a Roman Holiday?

Subscribe to feed


About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Political Current Events and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Same Solution, Same Problem, no fix

  1. Ian W says:

    The idea of ‘closer cooperation’ and ‘Union’ which is meant to bring peace has been around since the times of Peter the Great and the end of the 100 years war. If you go back to the time of the Mayflower the map of Europe was nothing like it is today. Cromwell was yet to have his way in England, the Act of Union between Scotland and England was not until 1707, Much of Holland belonged to Spain, Belgium did not exist and the Federation of Germany was nearly 2 centuries in the future.
    Now there is a push in the EU to break the states within Europe into ‘Regions’ which may or may not reflect existing National boundaries.

    “1990-1994 Shaping a Europe of regions

    In 1990, AER’s Tabula Regionum Europae publishes the first map of her kind – citing a Europe made up of regions and not simply of countries. In 1991, the principle of subsidiarity becomes the leading AER campaign to promote the role of regions in all European and national decision-making processes. Soon thereafter its success is to be evident after the principle is recognized in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992. The creation of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) in 1992 and the Chamber of the Regions in the framework of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (CLRAE) in 1994, exemplifies a victory for AER in advocating for the regions in Europe. In 1994, AER launches CENTURIO, a programme encouraging regional civil servants in Central and Eastern Europe to follow training courses in western regions.”

    At the same time Scotland now has proponents of ‘independence’ or rather being a separate State within the EU, as does Catalonia. the Flanderen North Belgian Flemish want to break away from the Wallonie French speaking part of southern Belgium etc etc.

    So perhaps things may revert back to a patchwork of small princedoms and fiefdoms who will then talk about closer ties and cooperation..

  2. Pascvaks says:

    The driver knows that the horses and carriage can’t go as fast as the aristocrat in the coach wants to go, he can see the horses strain, he can feel every part of the carriage flex and grind beneath him. But what can he say, the fool inside is screaming for his blood and calling him a stupid clod, and his Lordship must be obeyed, such has it always been, such will it always be. Unless and until the driver slows, all will surely be lost; but the driver apparently prefers to die with his foolish master than challange his better and slow the team. Alas poor Europe, I knew her well! CRASH!

    (Never trust a European with the look of Union in his eyes, he dreams of Empire and Roman days, and forgets everything else that truly matters more, and must come first.)

  3. p.g.sharrow says:

    “ANN. I am in favour of any measure which would lead to closer cooperation in Europe.”

    Spoken like a true would be conqueror or Empiress . pg

  4. omanuel says:

    @adolfogiurfa Thanks for the link. There is little or no doubt that world leaders worked together to unite nations and end nationalism out of fear of the “nuclear fires” that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Aug 1945.

    Perhaps not intentionally, they undercut constitutional limits on government and effectively returned mankind to servitude

    On another front, a new study to be published in the PNAS will show that solar plasma motion is more than a 100 times slower than expected!

    These results falsify the cornerstone of the standard solar model, namely the transfer of heat, the origin of magnetic fields, and the supposed mixing of heavy elements with lighter elements in the sun.

  5. Laurence M. Sheehan, PE says:

    Europe is about the same as a chicken with its head cut off as of now. Runs about, flapping its wings and all . . . even after it is already dead.

  6. Petrossa says:

    The money they promised Spanish banks can’t be given since there is no legal means of transfer. Neither the ESF nor the ESM allows for direct payment to banks.

    But who cares about such little details….. We’ll change the law as we see fit. Permission from the participating nations? Nah. To much hassle. All that democratic stuff only slows down. No, we just make an amendment to a not yet ratified fund but let the nations ratify the old one. That’ll do the trick. Here is your virtual money por favor.

  7. R. de Haan says:

    “if the Euro fails, the EU will fail”

    Sounds like music to my ears because this is exactly what’s happening. Europe is a failed centralist concept set to exploit their populations to the bone. The sooner it collapses, the better.
    This is the wish of the majority of the European people and the best recepepy for economic recovery. The strength of Europe is and always has been local and regional competition.
    The artificial and centralized creation of what they call level playing fields through piles of suffocating regulations that trigger price hikes and destroy the Middle Class is what kills the economic basis of the entire Eurozone. The sooner it stops the better.

    Who needs Brussels, who needs unelected corrupt parasites who call themselves Commisars and who needs an army of 40.000 elite civil servants who think they should rule us at any price but who never have contributed a single euro in tax money.

    This system is a living nightmare.

    In the mean time: Chinese oil imports are going down.

  8. adolfogiurfa says:

    @R. de Haan: Perhaps “they” will implement the same system applied in several countries, that of the “Washington consensus”, which is what is being asked to Greece, which involves the privatization of state corporations, labor “flexibilization” and globalized markets. However this works succesfully. The trouble is that local properties (corporations/lands) end up in “their” hands.
    BTW: Which epoch of the european history was the happiest and what was its political organization?

  9. Petrossa says:

    the 1950’s i guess. Rebuilding after the war. Eveybody united for one goal.

  10. adolfogiurfa says:

    Or perhaps the epoch of the fairy tales and feudalism… :-)

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, on the weekend I did an overnight trip to So.Cal. and we visited 4 more misions. ( Some pictures after I edit them.)

    I’ve also got “TAILS” The Amnesiac Incognito Live System downloaded and running under VirtualBox (from which this comment is originating…); so some more on that after I’ve evaluated it some.

    In the news we have more EU Central Authority shoveling more money at Spain et. al. and as the Spanish unemployment continues high. China continues to slow (even cutting central bank interest rates; and as the oil import drop noted above shows) as the USA sort of muddles along.

    The EU Circus is at least an interesting diversion. The only entity there can can “create” money out of nothing (without excessive rule breaking) is the Central Bank; but it can not give that cash to the PIIGS directly. Buying their bonds is “problematic” as any bank that buys those bonds must show them as an asset and they are subject to “mark to market” style ‘quality of reserves’ issues.

    So a load of Spanish Bonds are sold to “solve the liquidity problem” for Spain. They go to banks, who show them as an asset in exchange for the loan of cash ( a liability). Now the added date causes the Spanish interest rates to rise and that, then, causes the value of all the Spanish bonds in all the banks to go down. Now all the banks have “too little reserves” and need more… that the Spanish Government provides… increasing the deficit and meaning that the banks and government need MORE money… Repeat until done…

    The fundamental problem is that the holding of a load of national bonds as collateral can NOT be made more “valuable” by issuing more national bonds to raise more cash for more reserves…

    The EU Central Bank could take on those bonds as collateral and issue an unlimited amount of new cash against them (without creating more bond debt by the nation…) IFF it had that authority, but it doesn’t. Just like California can not issue U.S. Treasuries, Spain can not issue EU-Bonds. Just like California has a very high and rising budget deficit and interest rate charges, so does Spain. Greater “union” does not change that nor fix anything. The only real difference is that The Fed can take in California Bonds as collateral from any bank holding them and hand over cash (so the bank has ‘reserves’ based on a large “value” of bonds despite what California does). Basically, The Fed can puff up ITS balance sheet with “crap” and rescue other BANKS from that problem; but it doesn’t fix the financial problems of the State of California… It just disconnects the banks from the State. So California is still augering into a hole; but at the end of it, Citigroup and Wells Fargo will still be standing…

    If the EuroZone continues on the “Bailing at all costs” path, the PIIGS will still collapse, but the banks will stay standing…. I’m sure that will make everyone feel better /sarcoff>;

    THE basic problem is that 50% unemployment rate among Spanish youth (the NINIs). They are not creating new wealth nor are they producing goods equal to their consumption. That net “loss” has to be paid by someone (not just in money, but in real wealth and goods). Not picking on Spain, just using them as an example for all the PIIGS and California (where we’re at something like 25% in similar groups for unemployment) and similar places. The Germans can only care so many “free riders”. They have reached their end.

    That’s why they have looked to the EU Central Bank and then up to the IMF to try to find others to provide the cash / carry the free riders. Between legal barriers and the lack of interest in participation, that is a dead end (perhaps a bit more cash will flow, but not much).

    At the end of the day, it comes down to a very simple misconception.

    The misconception is that monitary policy can fix structural and fiscal policy. So there is a structural (laws, taxes, culture, welfare) problem and a fiscal ( deficit spending, borrow tax and spend to too much debt) problem. Jobs have fled to China. The folks in California and Spain share the desire to buy a lot of goods from China and pay for them with the Chinese Credit Card. (As China is one of the few net wealth creators in the world, the goods consumed MUST come from that wealth creation – there is not enough reciprical trade to offset the consumption – so it MUST go onto the Chineese Credit Card in one way or another. All that can change is how hidden the path might be…)

    So until this is fixed ( until the government doesn’t hand out more “free money” than it takes in as taxes; until the government doesn’t take so much in taxes that enterprise abandons the country; until policy encourages enterprise) the unemployment stays high and rising, the tax revenue decreases despite higher tax rates, and the “banking crisis” continues. Repeat until deep depression leads to social collapse and / or war.

    The interesting side bar is how China is slowing. If they won’t give us the stuff for free, and we can’t buy it, the recession starts to reach them… Maybe something will finally be done about imbalanced trade now…


    Well, this comment came in with a strange IP address (as one would expect from an anonimizing process) but that tossed it in the SPAM queue… So it looks like using TOR might ‘have issues’ with being “fingered” as the same IP as some spammers who exploit it (or even just do both SPAM and provide TOR exit nodes at their sites…) Well, at least I didn’t have to much more than install TAILS on a virtual box machine to find that out…

  12. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: About “unemployment”: I guess the way it is calculated in Spain reflects the actual numbers of people not working there. How much would it be the US unemployment figures if calculated by the same rules?

  13. tckev says:

    Every time an EU minister makes a announcement, ringing in my memory is an old radio production of a Terrance Rattigan play ‘Man and Boy’. It’s about a self made man trying to keep it all together as his ponzi empire crumbles away in the 1930 crash.
    “Confidence and Liquidity” is the phrase that is returned to so many times in the play but proves more and more empty until the realization that there is nothing left. How it echoes when hearing the empty phases from the wooden actors of the EU.
    A review of Man and Boy –

  14. omanuel says:

    To paraphrase and misquote Chuck Chamberlain [1]:

    “There is a universal problem that is universal to all problems.”
    “There is a universal solution that is universal to all solutions.”

    The problem: Separation from God (Reality, Truth)
    The solution: Reconnect with God (Reality, Truth)

    Our problem: Science led society astray in 1945:

    The solution:
    1. A new study to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) will help society establish contact with God (Reality, Truth) by showing that solar plasma motion is more than a hundred times (>100 x) times slower than expected in the Standard Solar Model (SSM) of a giant hydrogen fusion reactor !

    These results falsify,/b> the very cornerstone of SSM:
    _ a.) How heat is transferred to the Sun’s surface
    _ b.) The origin of the Sun’s deep magnetic fields
    _ c.) Solar mixing of heavy and lighter elements
    _ d.) Necessary to keep the Sun homogeneous

    2. This new video of a powerful solar flare illustrates the absurdity of united efforts to
    a.) Ignore the Sun’s violent pulsar core, and
    b.) Hide the way the solar fountain of energy

    _ i. ) Made our elements
    _ ii. ) Sustains our very lives, and
    _ iii.) Exerts dominant control over Earth’s changing climate.


    [1] Chuck Chamberlain, A New Pair of Glasses, (New-Look Publishing Company; 10th Printing edition, 2008) 201 pages (I gave my copy away, so the quote is from memory)

  15. w.w.wygart says:

    The tendency towards, “… any measure which would lead to closer cooperation in Europe,” is a FAULTY response to the general evolutionary pressure towards the globalization and unification of human culture and civilization.

    The correct response to our problems with faulty group decision making springs from the realization that POLITICS, at least politics as we understand it today, is a dead horse. Beat it how ever you will, electrify it, put an anode in one end and a cathode in the other, it will never run the Preakness again.

    You have probably noticed it too, that NOBODY’S system of government is capable of producing enough GOOD decisions quickly enough to keep up with the rapidity of change taking place in the world today – at least without engendering massive oppression. You know the situation is BAD, when you are visiting your cousin at his family’s beach bonanza on Connecticut’s ‘silver coast’ and the matriarch of the family, your uncle’s brother’s widow [as liberal an old lady as is probably possible for West Hartford] suggests, in all seriousness, MONARCHY as a solution to our problems – you just had to be there.

    This is the underlying pressure that drives the faulty reasoning in our political systems today, that the solution to our problems with group decision making lies on the path towards the Sith solution – getting ALL of the power for ourselves [who ever WE happen to be] and making sure nobody else has enough power to interfere with US doing what is right – the tyranny of good intentions.

    The solution to our current set of problems will not be achieved by piling additional layers of government on top of the layers that are already not working, “federalizing”, or centralizing group decision making to the point that ALL decisions are made by a ‘group’ of unelected, unaccountable commissars in some picturesque European ville. The solution to OUR problems comes by disempowering institutions, returning decision making to the lowest practical levels and empowering right-acting individuals.

    The CORRECT response to the problem comes from the realization that the future of humanity belongs to the empowered individual – NOT the empowerment of individuals at the top of governing institutions who disempower [and impoverish] everyone else. This WILL happen. Humanity will become a global civilization with a single culture, the unit of culture will be the individual. It will also happen more quickly than you can imagine.

    This process will not be easy, nor will it come cheaply, there will doubtless be a great many Sith lords to be dealt with. There will doubtless also be a great many who will propose themselves as just the right Jedi to save us. Just remember though [you heard it hear first] the Jedi were the flip side of the Sith. Remember too, the Jedi Counsel was the most moribund and ineffectual institution in that particular galaxy because the Jedi were using a fairly Sith method. There will also be a great mass of people who cannot keep up [your humble correspondent probably amongst them] who will simply be herded into extinction as redundant.

    You object. Yes, there is the problem of ‘human nature’, but human nature is evolving rapidly. In a hundred years you will not be able to recognize humanity. Travel back in time a hundred years yourself and you could probably couldn’t stand to hang out with most of the people you thought you might have wanted to meet, they were just so ‘retro’ back then.

    Each one of us is born a slope-browed-retro-troglodyte, each one of us has the human potential to out grow our adolescent monkeyness and become fully human – or not. However in the future the ‘slopish’ will be treated more or less like an airline passenger today who jumps up out of his seat and yells, “allahu akbar!”, he will be gang-piled by his fellow passengers, bound and duct taped, and ejected from the aircraft – in short nobody will put up with your slopish behavior past a certain age. Thank God.

    The evolutionary trends are there to be seen for those who have the sight. Courage comes from the insight that the evolutionary creode flows towards empowerment of the right-acting individual. Fear creates the turbulence in the flow.


  16. Pingback: A Roman Holiday – Chiefio on the problem of no fixes for the same ol’ same ‘ol | The Coraline Meme

  17. p.g.sharrow says:

    w.w.wygart says:
    11 July 2012 at 12:31 am
    “The CORRECT response to the problem comes from the realization that the future of humanity belongs to the empowered individual – NOT the empowerment of individuals at the top of governing institutions who disempower [and impoverish] everyone else. This WILL happen. Humanity will become a global civilization with a single culture, the unit of culture will be the individual. It will also happen more quickly than you can imagine.”

    A good observation I believe. Local, democratic decision making is the only one that works over the long term for local governance. The scale of government for a situation should be only as large as, and as long lived as, the problem.

    “The new age will begin when a net covers the world” Hopi prophecy
    The old way of doing things is ending and a new way begins. pg

  18. Pascvaks says:

    “A New Dawn takes a Thousand Years.”

    There are several billion obsticles and several trillion key interactions in the way of “The New World Order”, most of the obsticles are people. Imagine we are sitting together somewhere on July 11, 1012, (it could be July 11, 0012, but why make the problem twice as big as it needs to
    be;-) so, here we be, trying to solve the BIG Problems of the World’s Middle Ages, and everything that comes after. Even with our fantastic memories to aid us in what’s going to happen, if we tried to speed up the process we’d fail, and very badly I’m sure. We’d miss so many of the trillions of little things that “have to” happen, and we wouldn’t be able to keep any of the Big Bad Things from happening either, remember The Crusades, the Reformation, the Inquisition, etc.?

    When the old New Englander is asked by the lost California Movie Star how to get from “Here to Boston?” and the Old Man says, “You can’t get there from here.”, the Old Man ain’t lying;-)

    When will we see ‘The New World Order”? In about a thousand years, and I’m pretty sure most of us wouldn’t care to live there if all we had to do was snap our fingers to get there right now. Change takes time to adjust to;-)

  19. adolfogiurfa says:

    @PG.: Hope that New World Order will put the self designed leaders at the same level than the rest of us.
    @Pascvaks: Guess that already have passed 999 years. The worst already happened: WWI and WWII, involving the atrocious killing of millions of innocent people, in cities, by bombardment, during the last war.

  20. Pascvaks says:

    @Adolfo – No I don’t think so! I like the way things are right now just fine and dandy. I’m not equipped to handle the past or the future, I’m a “Now” man. Remember, the past is prologue to the future! Unless there’s a sudden and dramatic drop in temps that decimates the carbon-units infesting planet earth, to borrow a phrase, or a Blackest of Black Plagues, I think that WWl and WWII will be seen as ‘little nothings’ and just old-fashion small scale blueprints for Man’s Inhumanity to Man. We are a bloodthirsty lot, the Killer Angels. The worst IS definitely yet to come. (It’s easy to read the future, people are very predictable; when push gets to shove someone will drop a bomb;-)

  21. adolfogiurfa says:

    Have you heard about the economic measure taken by Spain: Increasing VAT from 18% to 21%, that´s silly. The way to go out from troubles in well known:
    1st.To abandon the Eurozone, and breaking with Brussels.
    2nd.To decrease taxes.

  22. Julian Jones says:

    Hi EM Smith
    Was sorry you didn’t post my comment that I posted a few days ago.
    You have some great material on your site – our respective climatological views are very close.
    Best wishes

    <All good stuff ! Europe & USA simply appear like Hydraulic Empires (Wittfogel) in their dying days – in a not dissimilar way and for associated reasons that GMOs appear the end point of 5,000+ years of 'slash & burn' agriculture …
    Thanks for digging out my Climategate mails to UEA in previous blog.
    As I pointed out in these mails, there is “a relatively ‘cheap’ response to climate change” – that will of course also resolve many of our other dilemmas; particularly economic.
    Best wishes
    Julian Jones

    [ Reply: Just found it in the SPAM queue. WordPress does that some time. As noted in the “about” box, there is just one of me and I don’t check the SPAM queue that often. -E.M.Smith ]

  23. Julian Jones says:

    … I now see my first post never sent properly, as I have just got confirm mails back that didn’t come before – also; this was just a personal note, I put Not for Publication at top, within arrows, and that was deleted.

    [ Reply: HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) uses angle brackets to make commands to the markup engine to do something. Text inside angle brackets will be removed and an attempt to interpret it as HTML will be made… It’s a “feature”… (Drives me nuts on posting some kinds of computer programs where the ‘less than’ and ‘greater than’ operators are angle brackets…) If you can tell me which part was to be “private communications” I can delete it now… -E.M.Smith ]

  24. Julian Jones says:

    Hi EM The main text is personal – very pleased to follow up on all this confidentially in detail.
    Only wanted the first shorter comment shown. – You might be interested in a 700mb film I could upload on the most brilliant Aussie biological farming … Many thanks – Julian

  25. E.M.Smith says:

    I can download a 700 MB film, but don’t have a place where you can upload it (though many exist on the internet).

    Took a stab and an “edit”. Let me know if you want more edited…

  26. Julian Jones says:

    many thanks that edit is great – yes, mail me an email address to invite film download to later; though am on slow connection.
    Unfortunately our soil science has been progressively brought out, shut down or brought off – ever since it was realised that chemicals (and ploughing come to that – but this can be worked around) destroys soil microbiology – film explains good soil science. Its not just our banking system that is corrupted; but the corrosive effects of their investment decisions, especially on our science. I think it explains a lot of the climatological misunderstandings too – would be most interested in your opinion – many thanks. Not for publication

  27. Pingback: A reply to EM – A view down the road towards evolutionary concrescence | The Coraline Meme

  28. omanuel says:

    @Petrossa “the 1950′s i guess. Rebuilding after the war. Eveybody united for one goal.”

    Oct 1945 when the United Nations was established to “save the world” from “nuclear fires” that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Aug 1945.

    Confirmation of preferred models of reality started replacing unbiased observations of reality as the criterion for research grants and publication of findings in the 1950’s.

  29. Petrossa says:

    Touche. I was more thinking along local lines. Didn’t consider that disaster.

  30. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Petrossa: And don´t forget the concoction of a physics of the WWII winners: The “theory of relativity”, as opposed to the physics of a loser Planck.

  31. George says:

    I think we are about to see a major upheaval in the world order we have become accustomed to over the past 30 years or so. Iran’s “legitimate” basis for nuclear power (that is, assuming they have one) is based on the whole “peak oil” hypothesis. They were assuming the oil would one day (soon) be gone, nuclear power would be the only source that could provide huge industrial scale power. They want to be a global provider of nuclear fuel, or so they claim. Now the trouble is that with modern directional drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and access to fuels trapped in shale formations, we are looking at the US being net energy independent soon. Heck, we are exporting refined products to Venezuela now. China also has large potential reserves of oil shale. Couple that with Iraqi production beginning to increase and the Saudis announcing they have now have the Strait of Hormuz bypassed with pipelines than can handle about 40% of the flow currently through the strait. The result is going to be either a very dramatic drop in oil prices with today’s production rates OR a dramatic reduction in production in order to keep prices up. Either way, countries like Iran and Russia stand to lose a lot of export revenue.

    Assuming neither of those countries does anything, they are looking at a substantial decline in revenue. Now, would the Russians goad the Iranians into a confrontation that removes Iranian oil from the market in order to boost Russian export revenue all the while pretending to be Iran’s “friend” and “ally”? Would it be in Russia’s economic interest to stir up trouble in the Middle East? Might China, as a net energy importer currently, find that not in their best interest? Would that potentially be a “wedge issue” between China and Russia?

    I think Iran has bet wrong in a major way and Russia is trying to play a game of “both ends against the middle”. I also think China isn’t going to be all that pleased in the long run and might be a force for stability.

  32. omanuel says:

    @George, Petrossa You are both right: Almost everyone I meet now senses that We are about to see a major upheaval in the world order we have become accustomed to over the past 67 years (2012 – 1945 = 67 yrs).

    Climategate emails and documents in 2009 exposed a basic flaw in policies secretly adopted in 1945 to “save the world” from destruction by “nuclear fire”:

    Reality (“Truth”, “God”, “what is”, etc.) cannot be altered by:

    a.) Deceitfully directing public research funds, through
    b.) Anonymous reviews of proposals and manuscripts to
    c.) Coerce consensus on Reality (“Truth”, “God”, “what is”, etc.)

    As revealed at the inquisition of Galileo, Nature follows a Divine order, as the Bible represents the dictated word of God, so the persistent observer can decipher its hidden patterns, on Earth and in the heavens. – 1633

    Here’s the rest of the story:

  33. adolfogiurfa says:

    @George: You are right when you say “I think we are about to see a major upheaval in the world order we have become accustomed to over the past 30 years or so”
    But not in the details that follow that sentence. The “Major Upheaval” will be in the MORAL and SOCIAL order which has been too much time up side down.

Comments are closed.