Yearning for freedom

Clearly the Egyptian anti-Mubarak movement almost exactly reflects the left-liberal secularism of their most enthusiastic supporters in the USA:

Amnesty International has today called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate serious allegations of torture, including forced ‘virginity tests’, inflicted by the army on women protesters arrested in Tahrir Square earlier this month.

After army officers violently cleared the square of protesters on 9 March, at least 18 women were held in military detention. Amnesty International has been told by women protesters that they were beaten, given electric shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers, then forced to submit to ‘virginity checks’ and threatened with prostitution charges.

It is obviously complete madness to conclude that the Ikhwan has any connection to the mass uprising of democratic people power in Egypt.

GDP growth!

Revised Q4 2010 GDP is reported at 3.1 percent. Which sounds pretty good, until you take a look at the fine print. Imports were actually negative, which is not a sign of consumer strength, but that wasn’t the real indicator of the problem being hidden by the government statistics:

Real gross domestic purchases — purchases by U.S. residents of goods and services wherever produced — decreased 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an increase of 4.2 percent in the third…. domestic profits of financial corporations increased and profits of nonfinancial corporations decreased. The decrease in nonfinancial corporations reflected decreases in all industries shown, except for small increases in some detailed manufacturing industries. The largest decrease was in wholesale trade.

In other words, the financial parasites are continuing their vampiric depredations on a weakening host. The productive companies are making less money, and the financials that supposedly make things more efficient – and therefore profitable – for them are profiting at their expense. In other words, the banks have learned nothing post-2008, except that they can expect to be permitted to break the law and fail with impunity. So, they are continuing to strangle the capitalist goose that lays the golden egg, with the express written consent of the U.S. government.