Friday, February 29, 2008

The New World in the Making

I don't think it's an accident that the 20th century was the golden age of both artificial currency and broadcast news. When licensed airwaves and monopoly newspapers were the only ways for for people to update their knowledge of the world, paper money could sleep well at night.

For example, let's try a thought experiment.

Suppose the New York Times is taken over, tomorrow, by goldbugs. Let's say all of its editors, reporters, and columnists read this essay, find it plausible, and decide to really speak some "truth to power."

From tomorrow on, the Times puts all its weight into reminding its readers of the undeniably true and objective facts that the dollar is a faith-based currency; that new dollars are being created at about 10% a year; that the current US financial system was designed a hundred years ago, in the age of Morgan, Hearst and Rockefeller, to create a steady flow of new dollars for both federal spending and corporate welfare; that the global financial system is now completely dependent on money creation, and could not survive in anything like its present form with a static money supply; that remonetization of precious metals is a Nash equilibrium; and that if remonetization happens, the first people who move their money into gold will profit the most.

How many weeks do you think it'll take before the Gray Lady's pulp supply starts to turn a little green?

Of course we'll never know, because this will never happen. For the last century, the first commandment of the mainstream media has been responsible journalism. Promoting financial panics is not exactly responsible journalism.

I'm afraid anonymous bloggers have no such inhibitions...[My emphasis]
...and there's the rub, that last.

The Matrix has been found out.

It goes far beyond gold.

What will The New World look like?

Full article.

Psst. In case you haven't been paying attention see
here and here.

Now some will say that last is a bubble about to

Don't you believe it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spontaneous Order

Soon to re-assert herself, Ma Nature will not be fucked with...

Spontaneous Order. A great degree of order in society is necessary for individuals to survive and flourish. It's easy to assume that order must be imposed by a central authority, the way we impose order on a stamp collection or a football team. The great insight of libertarian social analysis is that order in society arises spontaneously, out of the actions of thousands or millions of individuals who coordinate their actions with those of others in order to achieve their purposes. Over human history, we have gradually opted for more freedom and yet managed to develop a complex society with intricate organization. The most important institutions in human society -- language, law, money, and markets -- all developed spontaneously, without central direction. Civil society -- the complex network of associations and connections among people -- is another example of spontaneous order; the associations within civil society are formed for a purpose, but civil society itself is not an organization and does not have a purpose of its own.[My emphasis]
Full essay.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Politics of Nonviolent Action

Withdrawing support, even symbolically, calls into question the props and illusions that hold Power up. Yet people are often ignorant of the power they hold, and governments conspire to maintain the illusion of their monolithic power, making their subjects feel helpless.
It may seem counter-intuitive that nonviolent resistance can be effective against rulers who have massive amounts of force at their disposal. But that is precisely the beauty of nonviolence. Using violence against "violence experts" is the quickest way to have your organization or movement crushed. That is why governments frequently infiltrate opposition groups with agents provocateurs—to sidetrack the movement into violent channels that the violence professionals (police, military, security agencies, etc.) can deal with.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

India --- leading the way into the future

Sending everyone back to donkeys...
The country's [India] highly competitive budget airlines continue to sell tickets for $12, but they come with $51 of taxes added on, of which fuel surcharges are $41. Three years ago, a Mumbai-Delhi one-way ticket, including taxes, cost less than the current tax component on air tickets.
...with a little sanity...
The southern state of Andhra Pradesh announced on February 12 a remarkable retreat, with a 90% sales tax cut on aviation turbine fuel, from 33% to 4%.

Monday, February 18, 2008

our sincerest regrets, the Fed

How is it that Bernanke’s economic post-mortem never made its way into the major media? Is there some reason the real state of the economy is being concealed from ‘we the people’?
Full article.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fred looks at The Washington Bumble

Fraud is rife, I tell you. At a glance the citadels of power in Washington seem imposing. One thinks of imperial Rome, or the intergalactic empires of science fiction. Along Pennsylvania Avenue, on Capitol Hill, in Foggy Bottom, in monumental buildings in Federal Greek style, men and women of erudition seem to manage the world. Across the river in the Pentagon, spangled generals operate an inconceivably powerful military that can strike anywhere within hours of deciding to do so. At Langley in Virginia and Fort Meade in Maryland the intelligence agencies spy on the world, sucking in vast amounts of information from secret satellites and undersea taps and massive antenna farms. The whole enterprise reeks of inexorability and omniscience.

And so with other governments and empires. But on slightly more penetrating examination, one sees that countries blunder about like idiot children more often than they act wisely, or even sentiently. This is obvious in all fields of national endeavor, but most conspicuously so in matters martial. Armies usually aren’t very good.
The CIA, NSA, Mossad, OGPU, NKVD, KGB, DIA, Savak, MI6--all loom relentless, omniscient, coldly effective, almost spectral—like Batman. You can’t run and you can’t hide. The Shadow knows. They have the dark appeal of ruthlessness and are thought to have secret powers deriving from mysterious electronics and poisons.

At a second glance, they are unimpressive.
I propose a federal law requiring that all babies be fitted with helmets. Too many are dropped on their heads, and bubble up to Capitol Hill, where they impersonate grownups. The illusion of competence.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why Were The Tapes Destroyed?

Even the author is a former bummint member.

Why are so many of them coming out of the closet?


Most don't see the forest until after they leave it.
Many Americans are content with the 9/11 Commission Report, but the two chairmen of the commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton are not. Neither was commission member Max Cleland, a US Senator who resigned from the 9/11 Commission, telling the Boston Globe (November 13, 2003): “This investigation is now compromised.” Even former FBI director Louis Freeh wrote in the Wall Street Journal (Nov. 17, 2005) that there are inaccuracies in the commission’s report and “questions that need answers.”
Full article.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The gloss-over

NEW YORK -- The United States is at risk of losing its top-notch triple-A credit rating within a decade unless it takes radical action to curb soaring healthcare and Social Security spending, Moody's, the credit rating agency, said on Thursday.

The warning over the future of the triple-A rating -- granted to US government debt since it was first assessed in 1917 -- reflects growing concerns over the country's ability to retain its financial and economic supremacy.
At risk, my ass.


Full article.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Who's Been Goosing Goldilocks? America & The Myth Of Free Markets

The author is supremely articulate...he also knows the
difference between capitalism and the free market.
Prior to central banking and credit-based capital markets, commercial markets were not dependent on credit. They were free markets, unaffected by the spigots of credit and debt. Free markets operate without the artificial stimulation of credit-based money; free markets respond to real needs and real demands, not to the incessant need of bankers to indebt society in their drive to enrich themselves - a drive that produces individual profits in the short run and collective economic ruin later.
The solutions being proposed by central bankers increasingly resemble those of retreating armies - feints instead of advances, bold proclamations betrayed by flaccid follow-through, all obviously concocted on the fly in the face of unexpected crises. The central bankers’ limited arsenal of rate cuts. is clearly inadequate regarding the rapidly evaporating liquidity of credit markets.
Today’s so-called free markets are not free at all. Today’s markets, especially in the US, are being manipulated in order to keep them afloat.
There is much debate as to how this will all end. While the particulars are unknowable, the end is not. The collapse of paper-based paper currencies and speculative credit markets is certain. Only the time is not.[My emphasis]
Highly recommended.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Locked in stone

Bush's response to Iran's "Oil Bourse", his response to the end of American empire, is pre-stonge age in nature. Indeed, the US empire will collapse when the dollar collapses. Because we have an ape-man and not a real President, the consequences will be tragic.
The Prez is irrelevant to the outcome, 'real' or 'unreal'.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Coming out of the other side

There is apparently an upside to the rottenness to come, according to Celente – if Americans dare to reinvent for the 21st century the free thinking and civic courage of their past. This good cheer as Rome burns is buried somewhat in Celente’s report for 2008, but what it suggests is that, catalyzed by crisis, a fair number of Americans – a minority, likely, but still to watch – will begin this year a transformation of consciousness. Celente predicts that the smaller communities, the smaller groups, the smaller states, the more self-sustaining communities, will “weather the crisis in style” as big cities and hypertrophic suburbias descend into misery and conflict. “Like Katrina’s victims that knew the hurricane was coming but didn’t flee – and looked to Uncle Sam to save the day – those that don’t take action before panic strikes or wait for Washington to lend a hand, will suffer the most from the calamity that follows,” he writes. Economically, the new consciousness will recapture Yankee frugality and reject the lunatic behaviors that have been unsustainable since the Second World War – big houses, big cars, big spending. Those who market and embrace “products and services that focus on compact, smart, functional, efficient, neat, clean, reusable, 'less is more' and 'small is beautiful',” Celente writes, “will handsomely profit.” There will be a downsizing of expectations and perceived needs. There will be a downsizing of giantist institutions to fit to human scale – the center cannot hold, particularly as state’s righters and tax rebels and what Celente calls “the newly flourishing state secessionist movements” begin to repudiate a $9 trillion-in-debt federal government that too often practices the most offensive kind of taxation without representation.
Highly recommended.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Breaking up the stampede

Adding a single dissenter - just one other person who gives the correct answer, or even an incorrect answer that's different from the group's incorrect answer - reduces conformity very sharply, down to 5-10%.
Very interesting.

See it all here.

Friday, February 01, 2008

A wag at the anarchic future