Thursday, August 30, 2007

On participation

If the water is impure, but we must drink it to live in society, then the most sensible course – if we wish to help our fellow men – must be to drink as little of it as possible, and convince people of the value of that course by making our case – and displaying our health – at every opportunity.

To bring the metaphor back to earth, we cannot live in society without paying taxes, consuming government services, and contributing financially to actions we know are evil. You cannot even read this article without using data protocols first developed by governments, and funded through coercion.

Since anyone reading this article must by definition have accepted some level of interaction with coercion, the question thus becomes not "should we pay our taxes?" but rather "to what degree should we participate in statism?"

First of all, we must understand that participation is not sanction. Dragging an atheist to church does not make him religious. Locking a man in your basement does not make him a house guest. Paying protection money to the Mafia does not make you a cheerleader for organized crime.
See it all.

On Bernanke

Ben Bernanke is the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
...sonorous sophistry like Lewis Carroll's walrus, "talk of many things, of shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings, and why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings."
See it all here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We're all socialists now, even the rich

...capitalism without financial failure is not capitalism at all, but a kind of socialism for the rich. --James Grant.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nightclubs are hell

Finally, the truth about this crap...
I'm convinced no one actually likes clubs. It's a conspiracy. We've been told they're cool and fun; that only "saddoes" dislike them. And no one in our pathetic little pre-apocalyptic timebubble wants to be labelled "sad" - it's like being officially declared worthless by the state. So we muster a grin and go out on the town in our millions.

Clubs are despicable. Cramped, overpriced furnaces with sticky walls and the latest idiot theme tunes thumping through the humid air so loud you can't hold a conversation, just bellow inanities at megaphone-level. And since the smoking ban, the masking aroma of cigarette smoke has been replaced by the overbearing stench of crotch sweat and hair wax.

The Pathetic Clowns have arrived

...or why The Current Empire is fucked,
another old story.
What the Bush administration has created in Iraq is a sort of paradise of perverted capitalism, where revenues are forcibly extracted from the customer by the state, and obscene profits are handed out not by the market but by an unaccountable government bureauc­racy. This is the triumphant culmination of two centuries of flawed white-people thinking, a preposterous mix of authoritarian socialism and laissez-faire profiteering, with all the worst aspects of both ideologies rolled up into one pointless, supremely idiotic military adventure -- American men and women dying by the thousands, so that Karl Marx and Adam Smith can blow each other in a Middle Eastern glory hole.
Full essay.

Thanks to Rick White

Monday, August 27, 2007

Plain talk

Lot fewer people living in denial of this now...
...the thousands that have been let go from
the companies involved, for some.
The scores of billions of dollars and euros that central banks have poured into the maw of losses lately will only paper over the essential problem for another few weeks, at most. The damage to global structured finance has been done, and it can be stated rather precisely: a widespread recognition that it's not possible to get something for nothing, after all. And that when you hold a lot of paper that was gotten for nothing, and put it up for sale, nothing will be offered for it. What a surprise.

The task of people holding power now in the finance sector (which itself may be a conceit at this point) is to manage the rapid dissolution of hallucinated wealth in such a way that as few people as possible notice that x-trillions in dollar denominated pixels have vanished from the hard drives. Sooner or later, though, millions of shlubs dependent on pension checks, or annuities, or monthly payouts of one kind or another will notice that something has stopped landing in the mail box. Re-po men with bad haircuts and tattoos will be driving other peoples' cars to the auction barn. Young people accustomed to thrilling paydays will discover that their services are no longer required in the mortgage origination business, and will instead have to memorize dozens of excruciating formulas for different sorts of beverages more or less based on coffee. Millions of realtors will enter second childhoods as they move back in with Mommy and Daddy, who themselves must now change their plans, since it is no longer possible to flip the 1956-vintage raised-ranch in Hempstead to buy that half-million condo in Maui.
Highly recommended.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Gas out the ass

"The hydrocarbon resources available in the Monument Butte oilfield are very large, making the possibility of shifting from oil production to the ongoing farming of clean, natural gas an attractive consideration," said Robert Pfeiffer, president and chief executive officer of Luca Technologies. He noted that the Monument Butte site was one of six oil fields across the United States that Luca has been studying. The company has demonstrated two of those sites to be robust, methane-generating Geobioreactors,...
Full article.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Fred goes to Washington

...and reports on The Clowns there...
I don’t know. But it is a bureaucratized terror, coated with a sort of Madison Avenue inanity. Terror by Disney. I get the impression that it is a response more to boredom than to peril. Life is pretty tedious going to the cubicle farm every day. Living in an imaginary war zone relieves the ennui. The Homeland Security people, not exactly a scintillating crew, get to feel important, have a sense of mission and maybe even be noticed. In a meaningless life, the chance to go mano a mano with bin Laden, even if only by tilting at trash cans, is better than nothing.

When I am dictator, I will strap the mothers of the graduating class of Harvard to the front bumpers of Humvees in Baghdad, and see how long support for the war lasts.
Full report.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Power of NO

Just concentrate on the title.

The rest is a distraction...
superfluous, but read it
anyway right here..

Small town living after the Crash

As I mentioned, the collapse of the Soviet economy was barely detectable in Soykino. Reasoning by analogy, if some of the more pessimistic (or, as more and more of us think, realistic) predictions come true, and the developed portions of the United States become completely dysfunctional, much more so than they are presently, a village such as Soykino, if one existed, would remain similarly unaffected. And if you owned a house there, you could live there, and be unaffected as well.

Upon arriving, you would no doubt have to explain to the other residents what happened: "You see, the economy collapsed, and now there is nothing more for me to do out there." And they would say: "No! Really? That's a pretty big thing, isn't it?" And you would say: "Huge! Could you please pass the pickled mushrooms?"
Full report.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fess up

The path to accepting freedom is really disturbing to almost everyone (it sure was to me), which is why most people desperately fish for an excuse for NOT going down that path. "THERE WOULD BE CHAOS! WE NEED GOVERNMENT! DEATH, MAYHEM, ANARCHY!" But no such dire predictions or emotional tantrums can alter the painfully simple logic involved: either I own me, or I am the property of someone else. And if I simply accept that I own me, the world looks like a VERY different place.

The feeling is exactly like that of an animal that has been in a small cage all its life, suddenly being shown a vast expanse of open wilderness (like Montana, for example). Unfortunately, most caged animals, when they catch a glimpse of freedom, cower into the back corner of their cage and snarl and whimper until the door is shut again.

How about you?
Jo's Paradox: Do you still think you have a choice? (link fixed)

The whole post.

So went the "free market"

But in Germany, where there is concern about Russia’s buying up pipelines and energy infrastructure and squeezing Europe for political gain, Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that purchases by foreign governments or government-controlled companies pose a risk.

“How do we actually deal with funds in state hands?” Ms. Merkel said at a news conference in July. “This is a phenomenon which until now has not existed on such a scale.”
She's right.

Governments control these markets now.

Blackmail for oil and gas has been added to the

Full article.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thru the looking glass...darkly

"I think now people are beginning to realize that this has got to be the largest fraud, backed up by intimidation and extortion and by the sheer force of taking peoples property and hard-earned money without any lawful authorization whatsoever," lawyer Tom Cryer told WND just days after a jury in Louisiana acquitted him of two criminal tax counts.

Now read that again...carefully.

Would a law make it right?


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Death of Hierarchy

All future action that works or makes any sense
comes from the bottom up, not top down.

What that means is that you are now in charge of all
the good...or bad... that might come to you.

The hierarchy has lost it.


The center will not hold.

You're on your own.

Trust nothing that happens 'top down'.

Trust no one that tells you he's in charge, even if he
sounds religiously convincing.

If fact, run from those types.

Your mileage may vary...

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Former SU, the US to come

Good analysis and practical ideas from
Russian-American, Dimitry Orlov, a man who has
been there. All links below are highly recommended.
A slightly more commonsense explanation is this: during the pre-perestroika "stagnation" period, due to the chronic underperformance of the economy, coupled with record levels of military expenditure, trade deficit, and foreign debt, it became increasingly difficult for the average Russian middle-class family of three, with both parents working, to make ends meet. (Now, isn't that beginning to sound familiar?) Of course, the government bureaucrats were not too concerned about the plight of the people. But the people found ways to survive by circumventing government controls in a myriad of ways, preventing the government from getting the results it needed to keep the system going. Therefore, the system had to be reformed. When this became the consensus view, reformers lined up to try and reform the system. Alas, the system could not be reformed. Instead of adapting, it fell apart.[My emphasis]
Minsk seemed like a city rudely awakened from hibernation. During the short daylight hours, the streets were full of people, who just stood around, as if wondering what to do next. The same feeling pervaded the executive offices, where people I used to think of as the representatives of the "evil empire" sat around under dusty portraits of Lenin bemoaning their fate. No one had any answers.
"So much talk about The System, so little
understanding." --Robert Persig

The System lives only in the head of the participants,
especially at Its Demise. What it's named or how it
works is not at all widely understood as Persig said.
It lives only in the head of Each Believer...and not well.

It produces nothing. Only individuals do...if it's in each
of their best interests to continue to do so.

At some unknown number of "non-participants", it
collapses for lack of interest/profit.

"Fuck it", is the meme then heard widely on the street.

It's an old, old story that Earthmonkey hasn't learned

Will he learn it this time?

I give that two chances: Slim and None...for a long

I may be wrong but I'm not betting on it.

Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century, Part I
Although people often bemoan political apathy as if it were a grave social ill, it seems to me that this is just as it should be. Why should essentially powerless people want to engage in a humiliating farce designed to demonstrate the legitimacy of those who wield the power? In Soviet-era Russia, intelligent people did their best to ignore the Communists: paying attention to them, whether through criticism or praise, would only serve to give them comfort and encouragement, making them feel as if they mattered. Why should Americans want to act any differently with regard to the Republicans and the Democrats? For love of donkeys and elephants?
Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century, Part III

The rest:

Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century, Part II

Thriving in the Age of Collapse, Part I

Thriving in the Age of Collapse, Part II

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The "Civilization" of Clowns

"The United States is the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, yet its inhabitants are strikingly unhappy. Accordingly, we present to the rest of mankind, on a planet rife with suffering and tragedy, the spectacle of a clown civilization. Sustained on a clown diet rich in sugar and fat, we have developed a clown physiognomy. We dress like clowns. We move about a landscape filled with cartoon buildings in clown-mobiles, absorbed in clownish activities. We fill our idle hours enjoying the canned antics of professional clowns. We perceive God to be an elderly comedian. Death, when we acknowledge it, is just another pratfall on the boob tube. Bang! You're dead!" -- James Howard Kunstler, Home from Nowhere

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Everything's tanking now

Asian markets, European markets, Americas, Dow,
all here.

Gold & Silver, CRB,
Dollar, Treasury bills...

What have I missed?

Humpty Dumpty is really busted up this time...

You know the rest.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The New Hegemony?

Americans need to understand what the neocon Bush regime cannot: a nuclear exchange between the US, Russia, and China would establish the hegemony of the cockroach.
Will the uS go broke before that?

There is a small hope but the hubris of a once
rich nation heading toward the poor house
reverses that.

Full essay.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What is the ultimate end of a planet enmeshed in contradictions?

1. Destruction, war and looting are good for
the economy. Without the occasional obliteration of
lots of people and property, material and moral
progress would grind to a halt.
2. We have taxes, which people are forced to
pay, to fund a legal system to keep people from
stealing from each other.
3. To keep people from ruining their lives with
drugs, we stick them in cages along with human
predators for ten years.
4. To protect our nation that respects freedom
and life, we sometimes enslave teenagers and force
them to fight, kill and die in other countries.
5. Reading is a joy but you’ll only do it if
6. Guns in the hands of criminals are
dangerous, so to stop them we have armed agents
locate people with guns, beat them up and threaten
to kill them if they don’t disarm for the sake of
7. Slaveholders made this nation the first free
country by rebelling against an empire and making
it an independent nation. And also, this country
only became a free country when our greatest
president stopped a bunch of slaveholders from
breaking away and making an independent nation.
8. Everyone knows we need government. It’s what
the people want. The people are the government, in
fact. And we need the government to force the
people to be good, which they wouldn’t be without
the government, which is good because the people
themselves are good and want the government, which
is them, to be good.
I suspect that far fewer than I in 10 see the
venomous snakes curled up in these 8 trees.

Do you?

When the majority does see them, will they

How many other trees with serpents are there?

Full essay.

"After 15 million human beings had perished in the war, the foremost statesmen of the world were assembled to give mankind a new international order and lasting peace . . . and the British Empire's financial expert was amused by the rustic style of the French Prime Minister's footwear." -- Ludwig von Mises, Planning for Freedom

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Bizarro World of Politics

If anyone is still looking for a political "savior",
you have my sympathy.

Now you can wake up. It was all a bad dream.

Expect it to continue in your waking state.
As the Bizarro Effect continues to wreak havoc with the moral sense of millions, and especially in the vicinity of Washington, D.C., so far, in the Democratic Party presidential primary, a major candidate has proposed invading Pakistan – and the front-runner declares that we can't rule out using nukes to go after al-Qaeda, even if that means wiping out, say, the city of Islamabad.

Lest I be accused of partisanship, I hasten to point out that Dr. Strangelove is all the vogue in the GOP, too. At one or another of the Republican debates, all the GOP presidential aspirants – with the notable exception of Ron Paul – refused to rule out nuking Iran. The liberal-conservative bipartisan unity on this question of nuclear mass murder – extending all the way from Hillary on the left to Tom "Nuke Mecca" Tancredo on the nut-job right – is really rather breathtaking, and it illustrates an important point: when it comes to the intersection of war, nukes, and foreign policy, Hillary and her hickish/hawkish constituency are but a milder and less kooky left-wing version of the fiercely nationalistic Republican fundamentalist hicks, who positively welcome the prospect of nuclear devastation as a sign of the "end times" and the second coming of Christ.

There is a sinister campaign afoot to make the use of nuclear weapons, albeit miniaturized "bunker-busters," acceptable, and this, too, is part of the spreading Bizarro Effect: in a world ruled by moral inversion, the unthinkable is now being openly talked about and justified. In a further sign that the Bizarro Effect has taken over the national consciousness, Hillary refusing to rule out the possible mass killing of hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis and/or Afghans is now considered a move toward the "center," while Obama's initial moral revulsion (quickly overcome) is considered a "radical" deviation from the norm.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Fed's Meltdown

The names may change to protect the innocent...

Oops, there aren't any here.
10 years ago began the greatest financial crisis of our modern economic age. The collapse of the Asian Tigers in the summer of 1997 eventually led to the collapse of the Russian bond market in 1998. This led to the near collapse of the global economic system.
This time the difference is the US is King Kong. Russia was a baby chimp.

The entire planet is papered in US debt .

Think about it.
Even Greenspan agrees with me on that one. Now we find ourselves at a similar decisive point. We are at the wrong place at the wrong time. I believe we will date economics from Before Chrysler and After Chrysler in the summer of 2007. The reason for that is we have seen the credit spigot dry up. When risk is factored into the pricing it is all over. All of it!

We are looking at liabilities in the 600 TRILLION range, not billion. We are looking at unwinding 600 TRILLION in unfunded liabilities at all levels of the global economy. Braying Bernie and his Fed can't print enough money to cover it. The entire economic system can't comprehend it, much less deal with it. Once you look at the harsh realities underlying the global and domestic economies you realize we are like the people sitting in their cars on that bridge in Minneapolis. Take care of yourself since you can't expect any help from the system.
As I've said many times, learn to be
kind to the ass that bears you

Neo's gonna push the reset button.

Don't miss this one.


The Fed today injected $65 bln of repos, extending credit to banks to shore up their liquidity needs. Normally the Fed only accepts treasuries as collateral. But the banks no longer have enough treasuries, or they don't want to sell their "safe" assets in exchange for credit. But they do have lots of risky assets like CDOs that everyone wants to get rid of. The Fed bent over and today announced they will take those "off their hands".
Found here.

Another look at the Matrix

You don't have to participate but you will
be affected.
We have a new type of rule now. Not one-man rule, or rule of aristocracy or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision.

They are representatives of abstract forces who have reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of past.

There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers.

The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident. Inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push. --W.S. Burroughs
Ripped from Discordian Research Technology

Friday, August 10, 2007

The fix isn't in

Felix Rohatyn, who co-chaired a commission on rebuilding American infrastructure, added: "Whether it's their high-speed trains, whether it's their airports, whether it's their roads or the way they run their cities, European infrastructure, which is financed by the European investment bank by selling long-term bonds to the public, is a perfectly wonderful system." But, no, the American right thinks it's our way or the highway.

You never hear the conservative movement's leaders talking about how the United States might learn from, say, France's successful approach to early childhood education, Germany's effective worker training policies, or Canada's politically neutral election administration system.
Comment is free...the name of that site.

Ignorance usually costs.

Who will pay for all this ignorance?

Can these guys fix it?

Looks beyond fixing to me.

Best not be underneath when Ma Gummint sits.

Take a gander at that clown.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

4,000 People a week trying to leave UK

BRITAIN is facing a mass exodus of people looking to escape the crime and grime of modern living.

The country’s biggest foreign visa consultancy firm has revealed that applications have soared in the last seven months by 80 per cent to almost 4,000 a week. Ten years ago the figure was just 300 a week.
You Brits have a lot to chose from to
make it easy.

I wonder how many are trying to get into the UK.

Full article.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

It's The System, stupid

...and if you think politics of any stripe is the answer,
think some more.
Harold Pinter's subversive truth, I believe, was that he made the connection between imperialism and fascism, and described a battle for history that's almost never reported. This is the great silence of the media age. And this is the secret heart of propaganda today. A propaganda so vast in scope that I'm always astonished that so many Americans know and understand as much as they do. We are talking about a system, of course, not personalities. And yet, a great many people today think that the problem is George W. Bush and his gang. And yes, the Bush gang are extreme. But my experience is that they are no more than an extreme version of what has gone on before. In my lifetime, more wars have been started by liberal Democrats than by Republicans. Ignoring this truth is a guarantee that the propaganda system and the war-making system will continue. We've had a branch of the Democratic party running Britain for the last 10 years. Blair, apparently a liberal, has taken Britain to war more times than any prime minister in the modern era. Yes, his current pal is George Bush, but his first love was Bill Clinton, the most violent president of the late 20th century. Blair's successor, Gordon Brown is also a devotee of Clinton and Bush. The other day, Brown said, "The days of Britain having to apologize for the British Empire are over. We should celebrate."
Highly recommended.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


"Reason is not automatic.

Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it.

Do not count on them.

Leave them alone." --Ayn Rand.

Monday, August 06, 2007

"swoon", the man says

The market swings will get deeper and more violent as the Fed’s massive credit bubble continues to unwind. Trillions of dollars of market value will vanish overnight. The stock market will go into a long-term swoon.

Ludwig von Mises summed it up like this:

"There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The question is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved." (Thanks to the Daily Reckoning)
... then this...
And it’s not just the banks that are in for a drubbing. The insurance companies and pension funds are loaded with trillions of dollars in “toxic waste” CDOs. That shoe hasn’t even dropped yet. By the end of 2008, the economy will be on life-support and Wall Street will look like the Baghdad morgue. American biggest financials will be splayed out on a marble slab peering blankly into the ether.
Concerns about credit quality may get worse because banks promised to provide $300 billion in debt for leveraged buyouts announced this year……Bear Stearns Cos., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., are as good as junk.”

That’s right---“junk”.
I don't doubt it, but holy shit, Batman.

Gonna be a great market in donkeys. Might
even be able to buy one for a year's supply of
potatoes soon.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Out of Control...again

Thanks to Rick White

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The teachings of Diogenes

A student of philosophy, eager to display his powers of argument, approached Diogenes, introduced himself and said, "If it pleases you, sir, let me prove to you that there is no such thing as motion." Whereupon Diogenes immediately got up and left.
Learn more from this wise man.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Henry Rollin's Fine Rant

Never heard of the guy before.

He's now on my 'good boy' list for not holding back.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Microsoft is going down

"The entire industry is disappointed by Windows Vista. And that's not going to change in the second half of this year."
Full article.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Where is it all going?

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Many economists worry that the U.S. federal budget deficit could approach a record $500 billion this year. Few, however, have grasped that the fiscal problems facing the United States could make an itty bitty $500 billion deficit look like pocket change.
Try $44.2 trillion on for size.
... What the number represents is the difference between all the government's future obligations -- mostly Medicare and Social Security payouts, which will explode when Baby Boomers start retiring in large numbers -- and its future revenue. ... If the problems aren't corrected, the study shows, the already huge projected shortfall could grow to $54 trillion by 2008 and keep getting larger every year thereafter.
... Gokhale asserts that fixing the massive shortfall he projects -- assuming the government chooses not to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits -- soon will force the government to pick from an array of even nastier poisons, including:
* boosting individual and corporate taxes 69 percent
* raising payroll taxes 95 percent
* cutting non-Social Security and non-Medicare spending 56 percent
* eliminating all other federal government spending
* or some combination of each of these four measures ...
The Financial Times reported Thursday that the Gokhale-Smetters study was commissioned by Paul O'Neill when he was treasury secretary ... the Social Security Administration has started using the Gokhale-Smetters accounting method to project future deficits The $44 trillion hole?, Recent study says Social Security, Medicare shortfalls could be far bigger than previously thought, May 29, 2003: 3:46 PM EDT, By Mark Gongloff, CNN/Money Staff Writer 805_clip6
That $42 trillion is old news. So is this.

More here.