Thomas Friedman repeats himself, again and again

Here we go again: the ol’ Pornstach has been talking to Senior Economic Policy Makers in America and Germany again, and in 800 words he has a solution for what ails us.

Betcha can’t guess!

Investment in technology and education. You know, because it’s really important for every kid to have $70,000-100,000 of debt getting out of engineering school to learn that there are no engineering jobs available in the US.

We’ve been down this road with Friedman before.

Here in Silicon Valley, where the unemployment rate is nearly 13% and you cannot enter a retail store without seeing former engineers in the cash wrap ringing up a sale — if they are lucky; some of these people are literally rocket scientists. One of my friends from long ago, a brilliant man with a Computer Science degree from an A-list engineering college now works for Best Buy selling flat panel teevee machines, instead of designing them.

It’s not a lack of education, it is a policy decision to free global capital to race to the bottom.

A decade or so ago, Engineers in Silicon Valley were up in arms over all the H1B visa holders who were pouring in from India and elsewhere. They were highly trained, highly motivated, and software companies could hire five of them for the same cost as hiring one American. Now, Silicon Valley corporations are not even doing that — by going to India (and other places) directly, they can hire local talent at local wages, which is to say dirt cheap. By the way, India is now afraid of China as US corporations are rapidly moving there and leaving Indians behind.

A quick look around the Valley today does not show signs of the next technological revolution; everywhere there are abandoned business parks. The quickly slapped together tilt-ups that optimistically defined the first wave of the technology revolution here now sit empty, or in some instances they have been converted to evangelical churches.

My friends in the start-up world have told me that as part of the agreement to get funding from the Venture Capitalists up on Sand Hill Road they have to have a plan in place to not hire their engineering talent in the United States. And why should they since the Clinton Administration foreward there have been tax incentives and other incentives to move operations offshore? That’s policy, Thomas, policy that you promoted.

And so in one swoop we are not only ensuring the rise of unemployment here in the Silicon Valley (and in the US), we are also enabling low-wage countries to exploit their workers. We’ve made the mistake of thinking of these low-wage countries as our partners, when in fact they are our competitors.

You decry that our kids are falling behind in math and science, and I agree, but I also see why. Here in the Valley, they’ve grown up watching both of their parents work 80 hour weeks, forgo family vacations because there is a new product release coming up, a tight schedule. They’ve watched their parents split up and get laid off, chewed up and spat out. So these kids who should be the most likely to go into engineering and science can see that it is a dead-end road. Kids are not stupid, Tommy. Why would they make the same mistakes as their parents?

Shorter Thomas Friedman:

“You guys, kiss and make up, do it for me.”

Jeebus, I forgot to read Friedman yesterday, and today he popped up, whack-a-mole style in my local paper, and so there I was, coffee in hand, reading the ol’ pornstache first thing in the morning. There ought to be a law. Anyway, let’s get to it.

As a friend of both Turkey and Israel, it has been agonizing to watch the disastrous clash between Israeli naval commandos and a flotilla of “humanitarian” activists seeking to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Personally, I think both Israel and Turkey have gotten out of balance lately, and it is America’s job to help both get back to the center — urgently.

You are a friend to both Turkey and Israel? How does one become a friend to two countries? I’m not even sure I’m a friend to my neighborhood. I’m sorry, of course, that the deaths of so many activists personally affects you, Tommy; I mean your suffering certainly puts all that death in perspective. But what is your column if not a shallow vanity piece?

And of course, The Pornstache is a centrist, so he blames both sides of this tragic event, even though Friedman has a long history of being an Israeli fanboy, he sees this as an opportunity to polish his centrism medal of mediocrity. You know, as long as it makes Israel look good, it’s centrist.

I’ve long had a soft spot for Turkey. I once even argued that if the European Union wouldn’t admit Turkey, we should invite Turkey to join Nafta. Why? Because I think it really matters whether Turkey is a bridge or ditch between the Judeo-Christian West and the Arab and Muslim East. Turkey’s role in balancing and interpreting East and West is one of the critical pivot points that helps keep the world stable.

OK, I have a soft spot for Turkey too, usually with cranberries. But what about Turkey’s history of genocide with the Armenians, and lately the Kurds? I’m sure the Cypriots have an opinion, too. Yeah, Turkey is f***in’ awesome.

…Since then, I have seen Turkey play an important role mediating between Israel and Syria and voting just a month ago in favor of Israel joining the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

OK, so when Turkey does something to aid Israel, then they are the greatest thing since Viagra. I get it, Tommy. You can finish the column now, we see your centrist crap for what it is. What?! There’s more?! Oh, Sweet Jeebus, that’s right, he needs 800 words, not one less.

I have no problem with Turkey or humanitarian groups loudly criticizing Israel.

You’re a big man, Friedman. So I can start whinging against Israel now, with your blessing?! Oh, wait – there’s some fine print before I can begin, eh?

But I have a big problem when people get so agitated by Israel’s actions in Gaza but are unmoved by Syria’s involvement in the murder of the prime minister of Lebanon, by the Iranian regime’s killing of its own citizens demonstrating for the right to have their votes counted, by Muslim suicide bombers murdering nearly 100 Ahmadi Muslims in mosques in Pakistan on Friday and by pro-Hamas gunmen destroying a U.N.-sponsored summer camp in Gaza because it wouldn’t force Islamic fundamentalism down the throats of children.

So, in order to criticize Israel I have to criticize everyone else in the region. Are you the same Friedman who said that the US was right to invade Iraq “to send a message to the region?”

There is no question that this flotilla was a setup. Israel’s intelligence failed to fully appreciate who was on board, and Israel’s leaders certainly failed to think more creatively about how to avoid the very violent confrontation that the blockade-busters wanted.

Why is there no question that this was a setup – He’s Thomas Friedman, he knows things. Things! But let’s see: Israel made a tactical mistake in how to deal with blood thirsty Muslim thugs; yeah, that seems fair and balanced. Centrism wins again, as long as Israel wins!

But I sure know this: It is overwhelmingly in Israel’s interest to bring more diplomatic imagination and energy to ending this Gaza siege. How long is this going to go on? Are we going to have a whole new generation grow up in Gaza with Israel counting how many calories they each get? That surely can’t be in Israel’s interest.

I’d be the perfect fool, why didn’t I see it first: Starving the Gaza is bad because it is bad for Israel. And now the exciting conclusion as only the ol’ pornstache can do it!

This is a critical moment. Two of America’s best friends are out of balance and infuriatingly at each other’s throats. We have got to move quickly to get them both back to the center before this spins out of control.

Yippee! He did it – Friedman managed to devote an entire 800 word column about politics and instability in the Middle East without even once mentioning the 8-ton elephant in the room: that the entire US foreign policy is built around support and aid to Israel. Mr. Friedman, I salute you! You’ve done another exceptional job of blaming the victims and exonerating the perps the whole while wearing your white cowboy hat of false Centrism.

When Friends Fall Out – by Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman is flat, hot, and stupid

The Old Pornstache quiffs out yet another column in which he celebrates people who are already wealthy becoming wealthier by creating startups where they don’t hire anyone, and declares that it is what we need more of.

Here’s the short version: EndoStim was inspired by Cuban and Indian immigrants to America and funded by St. Louis venture capitalists. Its prototype is being manufactured in Uruguay, with the help of Israeli engineers and constant feedback from doctors in India and Chile. Oh, and the C.E.O. is a South African, who was educated at the Sorbonne, but lives in Missouri and California, and his head office is basically a BlackBerry. While rescuing General Motors will save some old jobs, only by spawning thousands of EndoStims — thousands — will we generate the kind of good new jobs to keep raising our standard of living.

Sounds reasonable until you read further: the Cuban and Indian immigrants are wealthy doctors and CEOs. The CEO is also the CEO of Trek bicycles, and he is already successful. So from what I can see, his favorite startup, EndoStim, does not hire a single American, and the handful of Americans that will profit from it — though they are immigrants — are already successful in their own careers.

So the magic formula that Friedman says is what we need to get Americans back to work is for fantastically wealthy Americans to make even more money by creating products that will no doubt be sold here (and thanks to the Health Care Reform Bill will likely be very successful), but hire and pay not a soul here in the States.

Shorter Thomas Friedman:

“We invaded your heathen country, exported our democratic values to your land, and planned an eternal military occupation to civilize the region and fight you heathens, brought you civilization and the True God, and this is the thanks we get!?!”

(And the ol’ Porn’stache’s three rules apply hilariously to Chimpy McStagger, but I doubt Friedman sees the irony in that.)

Suck. On. This. Thomas. Friedman.

If the Democrats now lose seats in the midterm elections, we’re headed for even worse gridlock, even though we still have so much more nation-building for America to do — from education to energy to environment to innovation to tax policy. That is why I want my own Tea Party. I want a Tea Party of the radical center.

What a stooge. The Porn’stache doesn’t see his role in any of this. He is the Mr. Magoo of pundits, just rolling along blindly wreaking havoc in his wake. The world isn’t flat, Friedman, but your head is.

Thomas Friedman is a cheerleader of everything that radicalized and immunized the right from the consequences of their actions. He has cheered ever factory closing, and every initiative that has made life more miserable for the middle class. Tax cuts for the rich – you bet (as he is married to the billionaire shopping mall heiress, I guess he benefits from that) — because in his world that money then becomes capital that will spur more money-making. Just not here.

The poor do not exist in his world, except to be exploited in third world factories as they compete in The Race To The Bottom. India is looking over its shoulder as China is now the preferred destination of multinational corporations; you can hire contracting agencies that use slave and prison labor there. Take that, little Sanjay — unless you are willing to work for free, that is.

The Porn’stache has been consistently and demonstrably wrong on everything. His words have given justification and comfort to the powerful in their quest to grab everything away from the rest of us, and now he says he wants a center movement? What, prithee tell, is the Center to the Porn’stache? He gives us a word-salad, a jumble of buzzwords culled from columns past:

The radical center is “radical” in its desire for a radical departure from politics as usual. It advocates: raising taxes to close our budgetary shortfalls, but doing so with a spirit of equity and social justice; guaranteeing that every American is covered by health insurance, but with market reforms to really bring down costs; legally expanding immigration to attract more job-creators to America’s shores; increasing corporate tax credits for research and lowering corporate taxes if companies will move more manufacturing jobs back onshore; investing more in our public schools, while insisting on rising national education standards and greater accountability for teachers, principals and parents; massively investing in clean energy, including nuclear, while allowing more offshore drilling in the transition. You get the idea.

Yes, we get the idea – give the little people a crumb, but give corporations tax breaks to move jobs back here. And let Big Oil have their way, and while we’re at it, let’s get Big Nukes a rim-job, too.

No, what you do is you tax the Bejeebus out of Off Shore Companies until they do move back here. Tax breaks when the effective tax rate is zero (or less) is no incentive for off-shore companies to do anything. And while you are at it, you re-negotiate NAFTA and all the other -Tas. You want to do something about illegal immigration – then fix NAFTA. You will cut illegal immigration and as a bonus, the drug wars will recede, too.

Anyway, nice try ‘Stache. You are such an out-of-the-box thinker.