Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Invasion of America

The insidiousness of it all, or how
"globalism" came and stayed...
There can be no question about the average American's Americanism or his desire to preserve this precious heritage at all costs. Nevertheless, some insidious foreign ideas have already wormed their way into his civilization without his realizing what was going on. Thus dawn finds the unsuspecting patriot garbed in pajama , a garment of East Indian origin; and lying in a bed built on a pattern which originated in either Persia or Asia Minor. He is muffled to the ears in un-American materials: cotton, first domesticated in India; linen, domesticated in the Near East; wool from an animal native to Asia Minor-, or silk whose uses were first discovered by the Chinese. All these substances have been transformed into cloth by methods invented in Southwestern Asia. If the weather is cold enough he may even be sleeping under an eiderdown quilt invented in Scandinavia.
Full article.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Death and taxes

Recently a report has surfaced that nearly half a million current and former U.S. federal employees have not filed tax returns and that they collectively owe almost $3 billion. Although I cannot confirm this, I have noticed that PEN (Postal Employee Network) has given the report credence at its website, quoting that “The federal agency with the highest number of delinquent taxpayers is the United States Postal Service, where 56,652 employees owe more than $320 million.” A reasonable extrapolation leads me to suspect that the number of individuals who no longer file must be in the millions. Whether they do so out of reluctance to pay taxes, disgust with the government, or abhorrence of the paperwork I cannot say.
Some scholars claim that it was tax policies that finally brought an end to the Roman Empire.
Many good links and comments there.

Full report.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Why I'm looking hard at Linux

The Vista Content Protection specification could very well constitute the longest suicide note in history.
Billy Gates once said Microsoft wouldn't be
around forever.

Looks like he's proved it.

Almost everything you'd ever want to know about

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Google trends

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Downfall Continues

The institutionally-structured world we have been conditioned to regard as essential to both our individual and social well-being, has been in a state of collapse for a number of decades. The unexpected end of the Soviet Union has been, perhaps, the most dramatic example of this centrifugation of authority. But the decentralization of social systems has also found expression in such areas as the education of children, alternative health care practices, and the development of technologies that place more decision making in the hands of individuals. The Internet now threatens the influence – if not the very existence – of the long-established “mainstream media.” Broadcast and print journalism – premised upon the top-down model in which an authoritative few communicate to the rest of mankind what it is in their interests to have others believe – now face a horizontal system in which hundreds of millions of people exchange information over tens of thousands of independent websites, such as the one you are now reading.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Nation of Porcupines just minding their own business

...without an enemy anywhere. What's their secret?
Sargans is the main gateway through the mountains into eastern Switzerland. Any army seeking to invade Switzerland from this quarter would quickly discover that idyllic, pastoral Sargans is also the Valley of Death.
Full report.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A note on the Fall of Rome

According to Rostovtzeff and Mises, artificially low prices led to the scarcity of foodstuffs, particularly in cities, whose inhabitants depended on trade in order to obtain them. Despite laws passed to prevent migration from the cities to the countryside, urban areas gradually became depopulated and many Roman citizens abandoned their specialized trades in order to practice subsistence agriculture. This, coupled with increasingly oppressive and arbitrary taxation, led to a severe net decrease in trade, technical innovation, and the overall wealth of the empire.
I'd bet good money on that outcome
being all the Fallen
Empires, including the ones to come.

See the rest of the entry.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pop, goes this weasel

Another indication of hanky-panky appeared in the back-pages of the New York Times last week under the appropriate title “A Phantom Rebound in the Housing Market” by Daniel Gross. The article points out that while the Commerce Dept was celebrating the latest rise in new home sales (in Nov) the reality was quite different. In fact, the government is overstating sales “by up to 20%”. The Commerce Dept failed to subtract the thousands of people who signed contracts but “simply walked away from their deposits when they realized they couldn’t flip the houses for a quick profit.”

Ooops! So the government is falsifying the figures to make things look better than they really are?

You bet. And, most of the high-end home builders like Toll Bros are reporting cancellations in the neighborhood of 37%!
Falsifying figures? Your gummint lies
to you? Impossible. Isn't it?


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What the fuck was wrong with these followers?

Without followers to this death and destruction,
this wouldn't have happened.

How much longer will psychopathic behavior be
tolerated now that we can see it recorded?

Why is saying "No!" to participation so

Now go see what I mean.

Ripped from grabbe.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Quote of the Day

Just look at us. Everything is backwards; everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information and religions destroy spirituality. --Michael Ellner

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Under which shell is the pea?

Cruel, ain't I.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Neo, Call the Architect

Another history of "civilization" in one paragraph...

Where I’m going with this: I wonder if money itself must undergo an inevitable cycle of decay just like a well-written constitution. Money organically comes into being through indirect trade. Self-interest eventually leads to some cabal of diabolical fruitcakes turning the medium of exchange into a mechanism of burdening the trusting and naïve with debt, warfare, and servitude. The system grows like a cancer until the ghost of Murray Rothbard flushes the big economic toilet, fire and brimstone falls from the sky, dogs and cats live together, and back to the barter system we go for those able to sit the whole thing out. A system of slavery, controlled collapse, some other ugly unmentionable stuff, and then back to square one. Neo, call the Architect. I think he’s about to press the reset button.
Read that paragraph again. I think it's worth it.

Full essay.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Anger Is Fruitless

It struck me part way through Mr. Olbermann's articulate tirade (against the insane policies of Mr. Bush and his followers) that his anger was only justified by the fact that he was foolish enough to have believed in the false idea of "proper authority" in the first place. As though Mr. Bush, or anyone, can somehow or other acquire the control and responsibility for the life, choices, and actions of another person, or an entire group of them. Had Olbermann been talking about some raving lunatic spouting insanities at the sky in the middle of a big-city park, I doubt that he would have shown such depth of anger, but rather would have exposed it for what it was, the comedy that is the irrationality of human minds. But no . . . Mr. Olbermann is not amused, he is outraged. I propose that his outrage should more properly be directed inwardly at the one who foolishly relinquished mental responsibility for his own life to another--another who had the arrogance, audacity and chutzpah to claim the wisdom and, more importantly, the "proper authority," to direct the lives of others.
Full essay.

Ripped from Bill St. Clair

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Guns and Dope Party position paper #23

A great man has just left us...Robert Anton Wilson...R.I.P., buddy:

Little Tony was sitting on a park bench munching
on one candy bar after another. After the 6th candy
bar, a man on the bench across from him said, "Son,
you know eating all that candy isn't good for you.
It will give you acne, rot your teeth, and make you

"Little Tony replied, "My grandfather lived to be
107 years old."

The man asked, "Did your grandfather eat 6 candy
bars at a time?"

Little Tony answered, "No, he minded his own
fucking business."

See the rest here.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Bad Trip

Can anyone still believe — really believe — that the government gangsters enjoy special wisdom unavailable to ordinary people? That they virtuously make use of whatever arcane knowledge they may have? That they act for our benefit? Those ideas underlay the civic culture back when I was growing up, along with a certain slogan that you don't hear much anymore: "Taxes are the price we pay for civilization."

If no one outside the State Developmental Center can believe any of it these days, why do so many people act as if they do? And not just on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, either.

If you haven't yet gone cold turkey, please
do so now. It's been a bad trip.

From The Last Ditch.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Heads up

Jesus is coming, everybody look busy.

The Language of the Herd

There is something repulsive about this vocabulary, an aggressive language of superiority in which "key players" can "interact" with each other, can "impact" society, "outsource" their business - or "downsize" the number of their employees. They need "feedback" and "input". They think "outside the box" or "push the envelope". They have a "work space", not a desk. They need "personal space" - they need to be left alone - and sometimes they need "time and space", a commodity much in demand when marriages are failing.

These lies and obfuscations are infuriating. "Downsizing" employees means firing them; "outsourcing" means hiring someone else to do your dirty work. "Feedback" means "reaction", "input" means "advice". Thinking "outside the box" means, does it not, to be "imaginative"?
He didn't mention "going forward"
which means not "going backward".


Full article.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

More global warming

(State College, PA) - Parts of the country's southern midsection will be enduring their third day of a dangerous and paralyzing ice storm today with flooding rain pouring down just to the southeast. As this swath of messy weather finally begins to shift tonight, severe cold will once again threaten citrus crops in California.

Full article.

Blackmail succeeds. The Political Economy just got bigger in Michigan

US state Michigan has agreed to give Ford Motor $300m (£155m) to keep open six of its factories in the state.

The move, which amounts to subsidies of about $23,000 per worker, could help safeguard 13,000 jobs in the state.
Half of the $300m will come from the state government, which will borrow $150m against an already-swollen budget deficit.
Expect many more failed attempts
to prop up the that old, worn-out
hag called the Real Economy.

She's already been rode hard.

Full report.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Either it will or it won't

The Either Or World is dead. Are you

ready for the consequences? Do you

have any idea what they might be?

I don't.

Neither does anyone else.

Contradictions are us.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Political Economy and The Real Economy

I estimate at least one person is born
every minute who is never able to tell the
difference between the political economy
and the real economy.

The political economy brings the gun

to the room,
producing nothing of value,

nothing life sustaining. In fact, it's known

for producing widespread death
among the victims.

The real economy always feeds it until that

economy runs out of energy.

That's how the political economy eventually
eats itself
...and most everything else.

Have you spotted that donkey you're thinking

of acquiring yet?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Breaking conformity

Even though Milgram’s is the most famous, it’s not my favorite. No, my favorite psychology experiment is Asch’s on conformity. Here, in the typical setup Asch would have a vertical line drawn on one card and three other lines on a second card, and would ask the group of subjects (all within earshot of each other) questions about the relative lengths of the lines.

The twist is that all but one of the subjects were actually confederates, who purposely gave incorrect answers. The point was to measure how much peer pressure (or more broadly, the desire to conform) would cause people to give obviously false answers. What’s really interesting is that after the fact, the subjects would attribute their obvious mistakes to poor eyesight or some other personal failing. They didn’t seem to realize that the wrong answers of everyone else in the group made it very uncomfortable to give what was clearly the right answer.

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Monday, January 08, 2007


"Much of what proudly calls itself education is

merely a rearranging of ignorance." --sfosparky

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Taking a break

Posting could be spotty to non-existent for
about two weeks.

Come in anyway and look through the links.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Saddam Hussein's Execution

Just some thugs whacking a competitor.

What's the attraction?

Naming a New Era: the new middle ages

From Indonesia to Scotland, and from the former Soviet Union to southern Africa, the process most characteristic of our age is political splintering, decentralization, even disintegration. Hardly a month goes by without some new state appearing on the map. And political transformation extends far beyond government. Each time a new user acquires a TV dish or links up to the Internet, the nature of politics undergoes a subtle change. Each time a new international organization arises, more states find themselves caught in its coils. The splintering process has led to vast increases in the power of organizations other than states, such as multinational corporations, nongovernmental organizations, and the media. With each passing day these groups are a little more independent of government. With each passing day, the influence they exercise in world affairs grows.
Well, there's one fine thing you can say
about those groups. They don't have The
Bomb, don't build prisons at Guantánamo
and don't run off whacking strangers in far
off lands.


Ripped from chumpfish