Sunday, July 29, 2007

Less than 30 days to absolute tyranny

Icing on The Shit Cake now known as
Latest Bush Executive Order Outlaws Iraq War Dissent on Penalty of Full Asset Seizure

In an as yet un-numbered Executive Order (at least the number isn't published), president bush has decreed that your property - all of it - can be taken away at the sole discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury at the mere suspicion that you may commit a crime in the future. You can view and read this latest executive atrocity at the White House website.
Will you be spared?

Very highly recommended.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Wikipedia and the Spooks

Is Wikipedia Harboring a Secret Agent?

According to clues accumulated by ordinary citizens around the world, it could be that the CIA and other intelligence agencies are riding the information wave and planting disinformation on Wikipedia. If so, tens of thousands of innocent and unwitting citizens around the world are translating and propagating their lies, providing these agencies with a universal news network.
To be expected.

Full article.

Friday, July 27, 2007

U.S. must pay $101.7 million to men framed by FBI

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- A federal judge Thursday ordered the government to pay more than $101 million in the case of four men who spent decades in prison for a 1965 murder they didn't commit after the FBI withheld evidence of their innocence. serve and protect.


It's anarchy out there.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Make your very own Gun Free Zone

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ten Surprising Facts about the Homeless in the US

...and not one word about taxes and more
2) Causes of Homelessness

Listed in order of frequency: lack of affordable housing, low paying jobs, mental illness and the lack of needed services, substance abuse and the lack of needed services, domestic violence, unemployment, poverty, and prisoner re-entry.
Fuckin' amazing.

See the whole post.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More notes from Zimbabwe

Pychopaths everywhere...
This week in my home town, all types of meat have become completely unavailable as butchers were ordered to sell for less than half the price they had paid to abattoirs. One supermarket in the centre of the town was empty of all goods by mid week, another two were not far behind - both saying they expected to be out of business in the next few days - a week at most. In both of these outlets there were aisle after aisle of completely empty shelves. It was heartbreaking to see pensioners and desperately poor people looking for bargains but finding none and then looking for basics and finding none of those either.

Outside a major wholesaler, groups of young men stood around waiting for the "militia taskforce" to arrive so that they could buy up everything as the prices were slashed. The car park was nearly full of luxury vehicles - pajero's, twin cabs, SUV's. even a Lexus - all filled with men talking incessantly on cellphones and women in tight jeans and artificial hair - their vehicles already bulging with 'slashed price' goods, many pulling trailers also stuffed to overflowing.
Full report.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Time for Another Revolution

...but not the old-fashioned kind.

Look at the Velvet Revolution of Central
Europe in 1989.
From this we learn a little heeded lesson in social science, namely, that the real struggle that disturbs the enjoyment of life is not between economic classes but between Society as a whole and the political power which imposes itself on Society. The class-struggle theory is a blind alley. True, people of like economic interests will gang up for the purpose of taking advantage of others. But within these classes there is as much rivalry as there is between the classes.

When, however, you examine the advantage which one class obtains over another you find that the basis of it is political power. It is impossible for one person to exploit another, for one class to exploit another, without the aid of law and the force to back up the law. Examine any monopoly and you will find it resting on the State. So that the economic and social injustices we complain of are not due to economic inequalities, but to the political means that bring about these inequalities.
The income tax completely destroys the immunity of property. It flatly declares a prior right of the State to all things produced. What it permits the individual to retain is a concession to expediency, not by any means a right; for the State retains the liberty to set rates and to fix exemptions from year to year, as its convenience dictates. Thus, the sacred right of private property is violated, and the fact that it is done pro forma makes the violation no less real than when it is done arbitrarily by an autocrat. The blanks we so dutifully fill out simply accentuate our degradation to subject status.
Full essay.

Ripped from Firefly.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Why They Won't Impeach

Because the state and its de facto owners thrive on the exercise of force, any circumstance that enhances the power of government will be embraced and eagerly pursued. This is the meaning behind Randolph Bourne’s classic observation that “war is the health of the state.” It also explains the well-orchestrated fervor over global warming or any other dire threat du jour. Likewise, anything that diminishes state power will be resisted by all who have a vested interest in the exercise of such authority. At its base, this is what accounts for the refusal of the political establishment and its news media to acknowledge the existence of Ron Paul’s candidacy. Paul is persona non grata to these forces for one reason alone: his insistence upon drastically reducing state power.

Because, as Acton reminded us, power is a corrupting influence and, as such, its excesses can dissipate the public sanction upon which its continued exercise depends, the state must occasionally perform cosmetic surgery upon itself in order to restore its image. Thus, civil liberties groups may be successful in getting the courts to enjoin some minor prohibition (e.g., a statute criminalizing flag-burning), not out of any innate defense of individual liberty, but to create the appearance that the state is a force that can be tamed by a reasoned dedication to principle. In such ways does Boobus Americanus get lulled into the passive mindset that allows state power to retain its popular image as a latent but controllable system.

Full essay.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Deja vu all over again

“I’m hearing from more California baby boomers, 'I need to get out,’ ” said Diane Kennedy, a Phoenix accountant and financial adviser to the wealthy. “You can still make a lot of money in California. The problem is, then you have to pay taxes on that money,” said Kennedy, who recently helped a California client with annual income of about $1 million save $96,000 annually by making their home in Jackson Hole, Wyo., their primary residence.

“Effectively, you have the state of California subsidizing their relocation through tax savings,” Kennedy said.
It's happening again.

It doesn't look like they'll ever get it right.

Man does not walk willingly to the sacrificial

The rest of the report.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Secret list of universities facing collapse

I wonder how many 'secret' lists there are.
A secret list of nearly 50 universities and colleges at risk of financial failure has been drawn up by government officials since tuition fees were introduced, the Guardian has learned.

Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act name for the first time 46 institutions which the government feared could collapse even after the introduction of tuition fees boosted university funding.

The institutions, largely ex-polytechnics, affect hundreds of thousands of students and include large universities such as London South Bank University, Greenwich University and Liverpool John Moores University. Queen Mary, University of London, is also listed.
Full report.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And so it starts...

Don't try to tell D.J. Johnson that the property tax fiasco is only a Marion County problem.

The bill that she and her husband, both 70-year-old retirees on a fixed income, are facing for their Fillmore home in Putnam County underscores that this is a crisis hitting homeowners throughout Indiana.
"In 2003, it was about $1,500," she said, frustration filling her voice. "Now, it's about $5,300 annually. We'll have to sell our home. We can't pay that."

It's a fear hitting homeowners from one corner of the state to the other.
...adding to the housing glut.

What happens when the boomers come
online as retirees?

What happens when no one can afford

D.J. needs to look to Mexico for very
small property tax payments

Full report.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Snipshot - this one's a keeper

Monday, July 16, 2007

GERMANY: Breakdowns Renew Case Against Nuclear Energy

BERLIN, Jul 10 (IPS) - A series of technical breakdowns in two of the oldest nuclear power stations in Germany has led to renewed demands to phase out nuclear energy.
There will be more breakdowns as they all get older.

Odds are high that there'll be another

Full report.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Lysander Spooner

Since the topic of the uS Constitution came
up in a previous post, I'm bringing the following
here, from one of the greatest minds to have
popped onto the planet. I've had a link to
this on the right panel for a long time.
By what right, then, did we become “a nation?” By what right do we continue to be “a nation?” And by what right do either the strongest, or the most numerous, party, now existing within the territorial limits, called “The United States,” claim that there really is such “a nation” as the United States? Certainly they are bound to show the rightful existence of “a nation,” before they can claim, on that ground, that they themselves have a right to control it; to seize, for their purposes, so much of every man’s property within it, as they may choose; and, at their discretion, to compel any man to risk his own life, or take the lives of other men, for the maintenance of their power.
See it all.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Justice on the soccer field

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Just so you get it right...

"There is not one grain of anything in the world that is sold in the free market. Not one. The only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians." --Dwayne Andreas, CEO of agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland.

Credit crunch will 'shred investment portfolios to ribbons'

Don't blame capitalism. This is a 100pc-proof government-created monster. Bureaucrats (yes, Alan Greenspan) have distorted market signals, leading to the warped behaviour we see all around us.
Capitalism will be blamed, calling
for even more gummint imposed

I hope you have your donkey.

Full article.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

You might be a terrorist

There are now countless locations in New York where you will be harrassed if you attempt to take a photograph.
You might be a terrorist.
But rest assured that there are also plenty of photographers in the city who will quietly continue to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression - whatever the idiot security twerps say.
While I appreciate the author's attitude,
since when has a piece of parchment
acquired 'magical' properties?


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Why Big Things Fail

Or consider, for example, border enforcement. You can build fences and send troops: spend a few years making a plan and another few implementing it. But so long as there's demand for their labor, the immigrants are perfectly flexible: they will find and exploit whatever holes you leave, and it will take years to plug each of them, by which time they'll have found a thousand new ones. Each immigrant is a nimble center of decision-making: in the long run, they'll always outwit a bureaucracy. Same goes for the drug war. No overarching act of Congress will ever effectively quell the small, creative, profit-driven moxie of an individual drug supplier.

It's hard to miss the irony of our gigantism. We started out by outmaneuvering the British—not hard considering that the decision-making power was impossibly remote from the action, that the British forces were governed by a set of rules and conventions that inhibited their flexibility, and that, already, British forces were engaged all over the world.

The group of agrarian republics envisioned by a Jefferson or a John Taylor was designed to create local centers of decision, a group of agile, loosely-associated organisms responding to local conditions. The tragedy of America is the story of how it mutated into an empire, both internally and externally, and hence outgrew viability.

A brontosaurus no doubt means well, but its tiny confused brain is radically inadequate to govern its astonishing body. It tramples everything until it finally runs out of vegetation or collapses under its own weight. Here's hoping the United States government returns to the decentralized principles of its founding, lest it go the way of the dinosaur.
There will be no choice. Veggies
have been cleaned out.


Monday, July 09, 2007

Now you've really gone and done it

On Nov. 28, 2002, 2-year-old Abigail Rae died by drowning in a village pond in England. Her death is currently stirring debate because the ongoing inquest revealed an explosive fact. A man passing by was afraid to guide the lost child to safety because he feared being labeled "a pervert."

What's wrong with most 'pro-capitalist' thinkers

I think I realized how to explain what's wrong with most so-called "pro-capitalist" thinkers. They think they've figured out how the market works, and then they, performing the same act of hubris that "anti-capitalist" thinkers do, wish to engineer this mechanism themselves.
They want to second-guess the collective consciousness. But humanity as a whole, in its market order, even if most of the individuals in it were as stupid as you think they are, is way, way smarter than you (or any committee) could ever be. Because it has calculated (in the meta-mathematical sense) the revealed preferences of everyone.
Adem's on a fine roll. His language
is precise and compact, a rarity
these days.

Check out his blog.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Running from the teevee

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - CBS and ABC fell to their lowest ratings among the coveted adults 18-49 demographic in two decades last week, as reruns and summer alternatives drove viewers from their couches.
Implied here is that the reason for
the low ratings is the re-runs.

Then why are the ratings the lowest
in two decades?

Is this the first time they put re-runs

No, there's another reason for the fall.

Could it be that more are finding the
internet more exciting?

Full report.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Another guy 'gets it'

So without a doubt the USDollar is the weakest link, and the USTreasury Bonds are the traded security behind the bloated black hole that best symbolizes the current Administration and its economic stewardship. Don't expect a Democrat Admin to be any better. They will merely shift the furniture around, redirect the flows a bit, disallow certain profitable procedures to perpetuate, change taxes here & there, be pressured into continuing the foreign wars, and make their own colossal errors. They will be dumbstruck by the bonfires in the bond world and the wreckage in the housing world. Republicans always seem to enable corporate profiteering with impunity. See a dozen examples in the last six years. Democrats always seem to attempt to help the little guy, but harm the system in critical ways. See higher tax rates resulting in lower tax revenue. See environmental obstacles, confusing regulations, higher federal taxes & withholdings, resulting in lost jobs. The nation is stymied, crippled, and heading to the cleaners. My label has been 'The Receivership Economy' from dependence upon bubbles, debt default, and Old Europe pulling the strings.

Without a doubt the USDollar is the weakest link, as numerous holes must be plugged to in the leaking dike. Gold and silver must be prevented from a zoom rise in price, since they serve as warning signals. Crude oil and natural gas must be prevented from a zoom rise in price, since they directly strain the USDollar. The long-term interest rates must be prevented from jumping higher. The stock market indexes must be prevented from falling sharply, since the public sees stocks as a visible signal of wealth. The USDollar must be prevented from a sudden freefall. The entire Wall Street and US Federal Reserve leadership is in the process of soiling their skivvies. The best investment might be in Depends Adult Diapers. These guys, leverage mechanics in financial engineering, destroyers of economies, snake oil salesmen of cancer ridden asset bonds, they are sweating bullets, pooping their pants, staring into space, stunned by failed auctions and uncertain valuation, wondering about leverage implications and debts called by creditors. These are no longer exaggerations written in tabloids, but rather front page news items.
Highly recommended.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Civilization, The Essence

"The highest form a civilization can reach is a seamless web of deserved trust. Not much procedure, just totally reliable people correctly trusting one another. That’s the way an operating room works at the Mayo Clinic. So never forget, when you’re a lawyer, that you may be rewarded for selling this stuff but you don’t have to buy. What you want in your own life is a seamless web of deserved trust. And so if your proposed marriage contract has 47 pages, my suggestion is you not enter."
Full speech.

Ripped from the comment section at

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Michael Moore's latest scam

Is he a social commentator? A man who lives to reform?

No, this is an entrepreneur from the far political left with a business model that is serving him very well. The usual left wing Hollywood con artist, who talks socialism and gets rich off capitalism.

Moore's films are to social commentary what pornography is to human relations.

Find vulnerabilities and hot buttons, stimulate, provoke, exploit and sell tickets.

I've had a chance to see "Sicko" because I was on a TV panel that hosted Moore as part of his promotion campaign.
Highly recommended.

Ripped from Maximum Advantage.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Yuri Bezmenov on demoralization

Ex-KGB agent and defector tells it well...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Identifying With the State

Once we identify ourselves with the state, that collective entity does more than represent who we are; it is who we are. To the politicized mind, the idea that “we are the government” has real meaning, not in the sense of being able to control such an agency, but in the psychological sense. The successes and failures of the state become the subject’s successes and failures; insults or other attacks upon their abstract sense of being – such as the burning of “their” flag – become assaults upon their very personhood. Shortcomings on the part of the state become our failures of character. This is why so many Americans who have belatedly come to criticize the war against Iraq are inclined to treat it as only a “mistake” or the product of “mismanagement,” not as a moral wrong. Our egos can more easily admit to the making of a mistake than to moral transgressions. Such an attitude also helps to explain why, as Milton Mayer wrote in his revealing post-World War II book, They Thought They Were Free, most Germans were unable to admit that the Nazi regime had been tyrannical.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Why does fiat money seemingly work?

Imagine that you live on a small island mining the local salt mine, together with Pete the fisherman and Tom the apple grower. You'd exchange your salt for Pete's fishes and Tom's apples, while they would exchange fishes and apples between them.

One day Pete says: "Instead of fish, from now on I will give you pieces of papyrus with numbers marked on them. (Papyrus grows in near unlimited quantities nearby, to the obvious benefit of Pete)." Pete continues "One papyrus mark will represent 1 fish or 5 apples or 2 bags of salt (equivalent to current barter exchange rates). This will make it easier for us to trade among ourselves . We won't have to lug fishes, apples and salt around all the time. Instead, we simply present the papyrus for exchange on demand."

In short, Pete wants to modernize your little island economy by introducing money - and he already has one of those $1 papyrus notes with him, which he's eager to exchange for salt.

You'd laugh him out of the room, since you would realize that the papyrus per se is not of any value. If you were all to agree on using the papyrus, its value would rest on a promise alone - Pete's promise that papyrus he issues is actually backed by fish. Since the stuff grows everywhere, he could easily issue it by the bucket load. In fact, it's unlikely that any of the islanders would ever come up with such an absurd idea.

More likely they would use another good for which there is an actual demand (for instance, a rare type of sea-shell that is prized as an ornament and only seldom found on the island) as their medium of exchange.

In short, a free market medium of exchange/store of value can only be something with an already established demand. No worthless object would ever emerge to function as money in a free market.

So how did it happen?

How did essentially worthless objects come into widespread acceptance as money? To answer that question, we need to take a brief look at history.
Take a look.