Let the war over the information directives begin

One of President Obama’s top economic advisers said that the nation’s economic crisis has led to an “excess of fear” among Americans that must be broken to reverse the downturn.
In other words, it’s time to reign in the terror speak. Perception drives reality after all and lots and lots and lots of people actually believe whatever the White House says (for some reason*) and so doom and gloom forecasts need to be reigned in. The end to some of the engineering of the public via fear mongering sounds like a good thing right? Yes because we all know that it always stops there. It’s only a few centimeters to the right to say “no criticism of the economy” and only a few millimeters beyond that to say “the economy is in good shape no matter what.” Just ask the Bush administration (specifically, remember that this recession came out of nowhere. And is a recent thing, not something that’s been getting worse for years.)

National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers said consumer spending seems to have stabilized in an encouraging sign, but he also suggested it was still too early to predict the timing of an economic turnaround.
In the meantime, he told a forum, a problem has been that “fear begets fear.”

Yes, yes, fear is the mind killer. But the moment you start massaging the facts to make everything look like roses we have a problem. On the flip side of all this, it would seem that the National Center on Family Homelessness has been doing a little number massaging of their own…in the other direction. A report regarding the vast number of homeless children issued earlier this week greatly expanded the use of the term homeless to include over a million children who are living with others. The real numbers are somewhere in the vicinity of 330,000 instead of 1.17 million. To be clear, that first number is waaaay too high. (>0 = too high, okay?) and those million or so children that are “doubled up” as the report fails to state are probably in pretty dire straits. The issue here is not that there isn’t a problem that needs to be dealt with, the issue here is that the NCFH positively shoots their cause in the foot by publishing misleading or out and out wrong data in their report in an effort to, presumably, gain attention or funding.

China is worried about US treasury holdings…yes you read that right.

China’s premier didn’t say it in so many words, but the implied warning to Washington was blunt: Don’t devalue the dollar through reckless spending.
Premier Wen Jiabao’s message is unlikely to be misunderstood at the White House. It is counting on Beijing to help pay for its stimulus package by buying U.S. bonds. China already is Washington’s biggest foreign creditor, with an estimated $1 trillion in U.S. government debt. A weaker dollar would erode the value of those assets.
“Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I’m a little bit worried,” Wen said at a news conference Friday after the closing of China’s annual legislative session. “I would like to call on the United States to honor its words, stay a credible nation and ensure the safety of Chinese assets.”

Wow. Okay, so the government of one fifth of the world’s population thinks we’re spending too much money. Interesting. It would hold more water if the Chinese government had any credibility whatsoever but it doesn’t. They are worried about the effect of all this on their economy. Which they shouldn’t have to because We Shouldn’t Be So Gorram Cozy With China In the First Place….Damnit.

Of course China’s official news agency (warning: not a safe site – it makes my anti virus break dance whenever I go there) reports only that Tibet enforces new measures to protect UNESCO world heritage site saying that the Tibet Autonomous Region “has enacted measures to conserve the UNESCO world heritage site Potala Palace”..and later having their governmental puppet stooge denounce the Dalai Lama’s anniversary speech, citing a history of Tibetan attrocities in what sounds like a textbook case of the Chewbacca defense – which I suppose means they’ve been at least passively following the Pirate Bay trial.
Just to be clear, that’s China – the country that stepped up security on the anniversary of the Tibet revolt, China who makes a point of pride of being a totalitarian police state, and China, who is always open to speak with the Dalai Lama provided he drops his separatist stance thus ensuring a final “victory” as these propaganda obsessed dictators view the universe.

* rather than, say, taking it as a suggestion for how things are, as certain bloggers do for example.


~ by Auntie Ranty on March 13, 2009.

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