Thursday, December 31, 2009

Paranoia Is the Thinking Man's Mental Illness

The more you think about it, the more you know they are out to get you.

Lately the paranoid rumbling is that the Progressive Elite wants to thin the herd -- That they are about killing off a large percentage of the world's population.

Maybe it is nothing but paranoia, but do they have to act like it is true?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Underwear Czar?

"In response to the Christmas day bombing attempt, President Obama will be appointing an Underwear Czar. He will be presenting his briefs on the new position in a television address later this week."
Mark Steyn

Monday, December 28, 2009

Some Things In Life Are Self-Punishing

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is not sitting too pretty tonight in Federal custody near Detroit. Umar, you might remember, tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.
Umar had the explosives sewn into the crotch of his pants. The explosive did not explode, but merely caught fire, presumably rendering him of little use to the 72 virgins when he finally gets to meet Allah.

Do you suppose all that celibacy might account for some of the Islamic anger?
Something new. I can post from my cell phone for those odd fleeting thoughts which I will lose while trying to typwle from the stupid touchscreen.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Uh Oh.

I thought I was done for the day. I thought that I would be able to leave the pretty little bit of poetry as the top story for a while. I did not count on the sneakiness of politicians doing things under cover of other events. While we were all watching the Senate play games, President Obama issued Executive Order 13524 amending President Reagan's recognition of Interpol by removing all the restrictions that made them different than diplomats. Ipso Ergo, they are no longer restricted by the niceties of observing United States Law. They are just like any Ambassador. They can not be detained or arrested for violation of any law. He has effectively waved all your Constitutional Rights and rules of American jurisprudence. No Miranda, No Habeas Corpus here. He even removed the semi-colon indicating where the exceptions to the Diplomatic rules were. They are not answerable to you or any of your elected officials in any way. There is a new sheriff in town, an international one who don't answer to your steenking law.

Bet you didn't hear that on CBS, NBC or ABC. You didn't even hear that one (yet) on FOX. One world government here we come. Read it and weep.

"Think as I think," said a man

"Think as I think," said a man,
"Or you are abominably wicked;
You are a toad."

And after I had thought of it,
I said, "I will, then, be a toad."
Stephen Crane

The ist I Am

Young Matthew asked me: "What do [I] think of race?"
Very simple I guess: I don't.
Unless the other person insists I do. And then somehow I cannot repair the damage done. As an individualist and libertarian I first look at each person as an individual until their own words or actions say "put me in this group" (not just race¹) or "my group identity is more important than our relationship". Then that is how they are filed in that great filing cabinet of my mind.

This segues into something that has bothered me for a few days. A young(?) man who was a regular contact on my Flickr account, who mutually traded comments about railroad photographs, his and mine, found a photograph that editorialized on my feelings about the upcoming changes in our medical system, and left me a rabid disagreeing comment. I responded with logic, gently compared to here, and he left me a scathing reply about why I was wrong about the lack of individual responsibility and malpractice suits as lottery being real problems that aren't even being addressed; and he then promptly blocked and banned me from any further contact. It is a shame, I liked his photographs, and he mine; but he could not tolerate someone having dissenting thought. How far we as a culture have strayed from Voltaire's words in his Essay on Tolerance: "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too."²

Now, having said that, What would you do? If you came into your child's classroom and found this posted? It is an extremely racist work of I believe student art, although there are no other student works posted in the classroom, at all. So far, I have done nothing, said nothing, probably will not, and this is the first I have publicly mentioned it. But one standard I have always considered is: "If you reverse the parties, would it be offensive? Then it is offensive both ways". But what if you came into your child's classroom and found this prominently posted, what would you do?

¹ I had a correspondent on the internet who was profoundly deaf (don't expect hearing impaired from me). I ultimately stopped writing because the sole focus of her existence was her deafness, like that really was an important attribute on a computer bulletin board.
² The phrase "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" is widely attributed to Voltaire, but cannot be found in his writings. With good reason. The phrase was penned by a later author as a description of his attitude. It appeared in The Friends of Voltaire (1906), written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall under the pseudonym S[tephen] G. Tallentyre.

Please Sir, May I Have Some More

From an article by L. Ian MacDonald in the (Montreal) Gazette. Sometimes you get more objective news from outside the US, where the newspapers are not dedicated to making President Obama look good at all costs.

There were 192 countries and 120 heads of government in the room at Copenhagen, but in the end there were only two at the table, the United States and China. Welcome to the new world order.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, there has been one superpower, the U.S. Now there are two, as became abundantly clear in the chaotic closing day of the climate- change conference.
At that, Barack Obama was snubbed by the Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao. And then the U.S. was snookered by the Chinese.
As the New York Times reported Sunday in a riveting piece from the back corridor of the conference: "Twice during the day, Mr. Wen sent an underling to represent him at the meetings with Mr. Obama. To make things worse, each time it was a lower level official."
The first time, Wen sent his deputy foreign minister to a meeting of major heads of government, including most G8 countries (though not, apparently, Canada). Later on, the Times reported, "after a constructive one-on-one" between Obama and Wen, the Chinese premier sent his climate-change negotiator to another heads-of-government meeting that included the U.S. president.
There's more. The White House set up an evening meeting with the presidents of South Africa and Brazil, as well as the Indian prime minister and the Chinese premier, and when senior staff arrived, as the Times recounted it, they "were startled to find the Chinese premier already meeting with the leaders of the other three countries" - without the president of the United States, the guy who called the meeting in the first place. According to the Times, Obama rushed to the meeting and called out from the doorway: "Mr. Premier are you ready to see me? Are you ready?"
You don't see that in the newspaper every day, about the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth going cap in hand to his own meeting. It wouldn't have happened on Ronald Reagan's watch. His dignity, let alone his sense of the American president's role on the world stage, wouldn't have permitted it.
And what did Obama, and the world, get at the end of the day, after two intensive and chaotic weeks of negotiations under the aegis of the UN?
Not a treaty, not a binding agreement, although they called it the Copenhagen Accord, but a "take note" document, full of blank pages where targets for emissions reductions should have been.

When I was growing up, there was a newsclip from the old Movietone News that was shown of Neville Chamberlain coming back from the Munich Agreement summit just prior to World War II proudly proclaiming "Peace in our time". Why is it politicians never learn from the past?

The article goes on to state what we got for all the pomp ... no, not really pomp, just posturing.

As Obama explained it at his news conference, each country can set its own targets by filling in the blanks. It's quite a concept, running the climate-change issue like an open bar. Obama wants a 17-per-cent reduction of emissions below 2005 levels by 2020. Canada is looking for 20 per cent below 2006 levels. The Europeans would like at least 25 per cent, and they were understandably annoyed to be left out of the G5 meeting that finally came up with a shred of a deal.
Obama said his three bottom lines were transparency or verification of reductions, the actual mitigation of emissions levels, and the financing of developing countries' regimes by the developed nations.
And here's where Obama got snookered. On the second-last day of the conference, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States would do its part in creating a $100-billion-a-year fund for the emerging nations by 2020. This, in addition to the $30 billion on the table to 2012. This was a huge concession by the U.S. to meet an exorbitant demand by the developing countries. Clinton said it was "a deal breaker," and that the U.S. insisted on verification in return.
At the final meeting with Obama and the three other leaders, Wen deftly turned the tables saying that China wouldn't be accepting any financial aid, and therefore the question of verification was moot, and its sovereignty untouched. Clinton's deal breaker got flipped into China's deal maker.

It's probably just as well, because by their behavior, we know they aren't serious about the environment. They are serious about restricting the common man.

By the way, where are they going toget $100 billion to give away?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Pax Vobiscum et Cum Spiritu Tuo

Chrismas Lights

Sretan Božić,

Crăciun Fericit,
Joyeux Noël,
Feliz Navidad,
Chúc Mừng Giáng Sinh,
and a Merry Christmas to all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

People Who Are Not Your Friend - Part 1

The Banker.

Among my earliest memories was going with my mother to the bank. I don't know exactly what she did there, this being the time before credit cards and when most transactions were done with cash. But this bank was different than today's banks. I even remember the big car the bank president had parked in the lot outside, unlike anyone else's I had ever seen. And there was even a magnificent cast iron box with a bell on the outside of the building. Even though New Hope was a town of less than a thousand people, the bank was ferocious. There was a dark mahogany wall separating the people from the bankers - and the money. It was a wall with thick glass, gun-ports, and revolving traps that would not allow anything to pass directly from one side to the other. It was about seven feet tall and topped with spikes and crowned with electrified wires. The gun-port fascinated me. I didn't really grasp the concept, but it was white marble in the mahogany with a shiny metal lining about two and a half inches deep with a plate on the inner end. It was a relic of the thirties when people before had despised their bankers. And through that gun-port, the nice lady or man on the other side would pass me a lollipop! Oh, it wasn't a very good lollipop, and I had long ago learned not to ask for the cherry that I really wanted and just take the green one I was given, but it was a lollipop. But even then it did not fool me for I observed with person after person they put in big money and got back small money. Something was wrong with this picture. The lollipop couldn't fool me.

But then came the sixties. The banker tried to clean up his image. It was lollipops gone wild. The fortress-like bank lobby became a more relaxed setting with a counter and face-to-face exchanges. The lollipops became ashtrays and toasters. And the banker became a salesman asking if I had a credit card yet,and wouldn't I please sign up for one. Like most everyone else, I had my experience with running it up to the limit, and minimum payments that will stretch a balance nearly ten years, but eventually, I got it paid down and learned to control myself. As, apparently so many responsible are doing lately. So many in fact that the bankers have a kind of dilemma. The responsible customers are not borrowing, and the irresponsible customers want more. So in order to keep up profitability, despite the banks being provided money at 0% or near zero interest rates, they are charging ever more usurious rates - 24%, 36% or even more. Which squeezes out even more desirable borrowers even while the exposure to the irresponsible becomes more tenuous.

Were it not for the Federal Government taking my money and just giving it to them, the bankers would have to live like the rest of us. But the taxman may finally have gone too far. The takings are getting smaller and smaller.

Mr.Banker, I hope you had a fun ride at my expense. My house is paid off. My car is paid off. My credit cards are paid off. And today I mail my last payment on the home renovation. That's it. I'm out. Initials on the door.

Just in time I might add.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Æsthetic or Anæsthetic ?

One doesn't normally pair these two words, one normally thought of in terms of art and the other in the world of medicine, but why not? They are after all from the same Greek roots.

Æsthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty.¹

An Anæsthetic is used to temporarily reduce or take away sensation, usually so that otherwise painful procedures or surgery can be performed.²

By the rules of semantics, those two words should be opposites. But like so much of what passes for art in the later half of the Twentieth Century, much music neither qualifies as beauty nor reducing sensation (at least not on the ears). Perhaps the real desensitization is that of compassion of some for their fellow man? And perhaps that goes hand-in-hand with cacaphony and antisocial lyrics and the general absence of beauty.

¹ Definition 1 of aesthetics from the "Merriam-Webster Dictionary" Online.
² Definition from the website.

Sneaky, Sneaky Senate

Well, they forced through the cloture vote - one o'clock AM on a Monday morning (or is that a Sunday night?) in a raging snowstorm.
The bribe that got the last Democrat holdout to yield his principles was an exemption from his constituents paying the Medicaid tax - in perpetuity! That's forever folks! A law that exempts the citizens of one state from a tax that effects all others was written into the bill. And if you want to search for it, the name Nebraska is hyphenated at the forced end of a line, so it is difficult to find if you don't know what you are looking for. Senator Nelson is not only unashamed of his sellout, but actually proud of it.
My first thought is that it cannot be constitutional to discriminate in favor of the citizens of one (There is another that effects only five - frontier states) state at the expense of those of another. According to Fox News Network, South Carolina's Lindsay Graham is already asking his state's Attorney General to investigate the Constitutionality with an eye towards suit.

One has to wonder, if this is so great why were the bribes, sneakiness, and hard ball attacks on Hadassah Leiberman necessary? And why does it still exempt Congressmen, Senators, and other high government employees?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A little self promotion

I just had an opportunity to impress my daughter (again). Back up on her hit parade. We were initially discussing body modifications and tattoos. She has several petite and hidden ones (including a so-called tramp stamp - someday, girls without one will be at a premium); how an old girlfriend increased the size of her breasts unnecessarily and her new boyfriend had a penile implant. And I have no tattoos or body implants (I am as I came, except for two pieces of plastic mesh inserted by a surgeon to keep my guts from spilling out from all that heavy lifting as a stagehand years ago)
We were speaking of "acceptable tattoos", when I mentioned the first time I saw Melvin van Peebles. (to my daughters friend's, that's Mario's dad) I was working on the movie Greased Lightning and he was walking around in flip flops and gym shorts (imdb credits him as writer - I had long thought he produced and directed it - I guess not. Then again he was just wandering around the set) . His skin was almost blue-grey and he had a barely visible tattoo around the base of his neck. Coupez sur la ligne and a string of little bead-like dots. "Cut on the dotted line" was the caption in French. No, dear, that is not subtle enough to be acceptable on you, and maybe some day, when I'm older, I will get my circle "UDSA inspected Prime" on my ass.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Luke 2:1

(King James Version)
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed .

And then, as now, he had to do it at Christmas time.

When I was a child, I lived for the Christmas season. It meant Christmas lights and trees, the spectacular midnight church service, the Child's Christmas party, Christmas carols, playing in the snow, being off from school, presents, and most of all my birthday.

Now as an adult, Christmas is just a giant sucking sound as the world conspires to shear me like a lamb. Some things are not too bad, like Christmas cards and gifts given; some are merely overbearing by their quantity like every store having a Salvation Army kettle and bell ringer; but the Government in their quest to make sure that they get first pick of my carcass are unbearably depressing. This is the season that I must buy my license tag ¹, renew my driver's license, and get my emissions inspection. It is also the time when I have to start preparing for income tax time.

And that birthday? It's just an additional year towards old age and Social Security.

Good, the car passed ...

¹And also,in November I must pay the ad valorum tax on my home. The Christmas lights are turned on on the city streets, it counts too.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December Eighth -what did we miss?

Yesterday was the 68th anniversary of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

But not once did I hear any mention of it. Not on any radio show, on any TV show or in any classroom in any school I was in.

Have we come to that point? A point where Pearl Harbor Day no longer merits even a passing mention.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Global Warming? Not here.

Our television networks in collusion with the politicians who try to manipulate and maneuver us into behaving in ways that they wish us to behave have perpetrated a fraud that they called "global winter" in the 1980s, and "global warming" in the 1990 and early twenty-first century, and now settled on "climate change". The premise has devolved into "We don't know what is happening to the climate really; but it is all your fault. Change your lifestyle to one of deprivation."
Deprivation? If Cap and Trade or the Copenhagen Treaty pass, as President Obama said in an interview in San Francisco in 2008, "Under my [energy] plan, prices would necessarily skyrocket".

Many years ago when I was in sixth grade, I had a teacher who taught me of the ice ages as part of an earth science course. It was particularly memorable to me because of where I lived. You see, there are lines of rocks that run across New Jersey, Pennsylvania (near where I lived), Ohio, Indiana, Northern Illinois (near where I went to college), Iowa, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin. Many of these rocks are so huge that the line is visible from the air. These lines are terminal moraines. They are the extent of the glaciers. For the last 18,000 years or so we have been having global warming . Obviously it wasn't caused by the behavior of man. Nor were its results what the professional gloom and doom people would have us believe. Without that warming, life as we know it would not exist.

But the real proof of the fraud is not the intercepted emails showing collusion to falsify results on the part of researchers. The real proof is the elitist behavior of the proponents of the theory. If it was the threat that Al Gore presents in his movie, he would not being enriching himself selling "Carbon Offsets". He would not be having Mexican workers plant an occasional tree to eat a little carbon. No he and the Hollywood elitists would ground their jets. Sting and the other rock-and-roll environmentalists would never do another concert with a fleet of trucks and buses. The First Lady would even fly in the same plane as the President when she goes shopping in Europe. They would lead by example, living a life as austere as a Benedictine monk.

No, these people consider themselves and their mission more important than the rest of us, the hoi polloi. Therefore, the rules don't apply to them. But if their beliefs are true and correct, these would not be rules, they would be laws - laws of physics. And unlike laws of man, laws of physics cannot be wantonly ignored by those who consider themselves special.

On Minority Rights

“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities”
- Ayn Rand.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

K. I. S. S.

The more complicated you make any system, the more likely it is to fail.

Why then, do the experts always try to fix something complicated by making it more complicated?

This morning I went toe-to-toe with a principal who told me that she wanted my personal guarantee that the new "Super" automation system that turns the lights on and off based on whether a classroom is occupied will never fail again. Right.

Now, I have maintained from the first time I ever heard this idea suggested nearly 20 years ago that there will come a time (just one?) when the children will be sitting in a dark classroom with the adults pointing fingers at each other as to whose fault it was, and maybe how to fix it. Here it was for real ... again.

I didn't design it, buy it, or recommend it. I didn't even put it in. I just came to take the bad part out and put a spare part in. Somehow this woman demands lifetime responsibility for the equipment. Of course I deferred. She emphatically declared that to be "Unacceptable".

The excuse for this million-dollar waste of the taxpayers money is for our school system to be an Energy Star system. Yep, we are going green. We will save energy and money no matter what it costs.

But the real punch line is that it neither saves energy nor energy bills. The lights will all turn off automatically sometime between eight and ten at night when the custodians set the burglar alarn and go home, until the morning custodian comes in at six to open the building. Contrast that with the old solution - the teacher would turn the light off at four when she went home and turn them back on at eight in the morning when she came back in, all at a cost of a couple of bucks for the light switch which is there already. That's it, just turn off the lights when not in use.

Don't dislocate your shoulder patting yourself on the back for being "green". Use that hand to turn out the light switch the way my teachers did 50 years ago and my parent's teachers did a generation before that.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Roofer's Card, It Covers everything

Very simple - I need a new roof. It has been 20 years and six months since my last twenty year shingles were installed. Straightforward, no?

Despite the current economic situation of unemployment, I had trouble finding someone to do the work. Or at least I had trouble finding an honest person to do the work.

All of the salespeople insisted on trying to claim my replacement on my home-owner's insurance for me as hail damage, which it is not.

I have no idea whether they get to charge more that way or they are just being helpful.

I also don't know whether their understanding of the role of insurance as a wager on future events is faulty; or whether their generation has a different concept of truth and honesty, seeing the evil insurance company as a deep pocket to cover every routine need the way they see medical insurance.

I just know that I see claiming against insurance something that is routine maintenance as dishonest. I bought insurance to cover me against unforeseen disaster, and using it so will ultimately keep my price down. A Karmic balance, don't you see?

But now I notice the hail-damage contractor's roofing signs on my neighbor's lawns. Somehow, my opinion of my neighbors has diminished a little.

Wollery's Conundrum

It seems to me ... the closer you are to the [US] Constitution, the farther right you are considered to be;
The farther you are away from the Constitution, the farther left you appear to be.
Why isn't the Constitution in the middle and people on both sides moving either toward it or away from it?
Chuck Wollery ........................

Perhaps Chuck, it is because the division is not just a straight line from left-to-right.
The Constitution is a libertarian Document existing close to the apex of the world's smallest political quiz, guaranteeing our freedom from the all-powerful government to which both parties wish to enslave us.

But you are forgiven, for the media does frame the discussion as you describe it. The media does this as an ad hominem argument demonizing their immediate opponent and keeping us from recognizing the real problem. It is a tactic straight out of Rules for Radicals.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Monopoly on Monopoly™ Money

Once upon a time in a land that was not far away...

Almost anyone could make a dollar bill. That's right. All the bill was was a certificate of ownership, a receipt. You still get them now - the difference is that with the common green Federal Reserve Note so common, no one remembers that we used to pass the receipts back and forth. The dollar was not the green piece of paper. The dollar was a round piece of 90% silver weighing 0.77344 troy ounces. Under the US Constitution, the US Congress had the sole power to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin... But the certificates, that was a different story. States, banks, companies, cities could and did circulate specie that could be exchanged for lawful money. It wasn't until the Progressive Government became greedy, coveted it all and formed the Federal Reserve, created Income Taxes, and taxed competing currencies, that the government felt the need to channel all our wealth through their hands in Washington.

Just prior to the Great Depression of 1929, there was somewhat of a standardization of currencies with new smaller bills - the ones that we use today. There were six major types, three of which survived the Depression. The ones that didn't make it were:

The Gold Certificate. Circulated in ten and twenty dollar certificates, each one represented a coin of gold of its nominal value. Private ownership of Gold and Gold Certificates became illegal under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932.¹

There were two types of National Currency:

The National Bank National Currency, backed by Treasury Securities that your local National Bank of Hometown had purchased with "lawful money" from and then deposited with the Federal Government's Treasury Department in an amount equal to the currency in circulation. This effectively doubled the amount of money in existence. The following quote from a publication of the Friesian School.
If the problem during the Great Depression had really been that there was "not enough money," then it would be surprising that National Bank Notes were suppressed in 1935 -- the bonds that had been issued to secure banknotes were all discontinued. If, however, it is understood that the political answer to the Great Depression was that only the federal government can be trusted with power over the economy, banking, and money, then the move is self-evident. (emphasis theirs)

And The Federal Reserve Bank National Currency, issued by the Federal Reserve bank, this bill was backed by Treasury Securities similarly purchased from and deposited with the Treasury Department. Aside from no longer differentiating the currency and note, this is not materially different than recent Federal Reserve Bank actions. These continued to be in marginal circulation until 1945.

The ones that survived until more recent times were:

As with the Gold Certificate,The Silver Certificate. the Silver Certificate is a receipt for metal on deposit with the Treasury Department. No more certificates could be in circulation than silver coin in circulation and in reserve. It was a natural limit on inflation. C. Douglas Dillon, Lyndon Johnson's Secretary of the Treasury ordered silver coin to cease being minted in March of 1964,several months after President Kennedy's assassination. The bills ceased being redeemed for silver in 1968.²

The United States Note,
the Federal Government's own fiat currency. Originally issued under President Lincoln, they became bound to an existing quantity in 1878 that continued until 1990s, although in the later years they existed in captivity and were not issued out to the banks and public.

And finally, the monopoly on Monopoly™ money. The only currency now in circulation. The one that (with the United States Note aforementioned) purports itself to be a dollar and not redeemable for one, the Federal Reserve Note. Between the Federal Government borrowing money to back them and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing printing them to belong to and be issued by the Federal Reserve Bank, a quasi-independent corporation, the current currency is a Gordian Knot of evasion of responsibility while retaining the benefit of wealth. Unfortunately, it is ultimately redeemable only in itself.

So was this one:

The advantage of having multiple currencies, was the same as the advantage of the backed currencies, stability to prevent runaway inflation, while still allowing the advantage of the fiat currencies, liquidity (ready availability without hoarding) to match the real wealth of the Gross National Product.

Having a monopoly of merely one currency, and a non-government fiat one at that, is that there is no balance on their checks. There is nothing to moderate the ease of debasing the currency. We will all be the poorer for it.

¹’² Gold nominally backed the US currency internationally under the Bretton Woods system until 1971, when President Nixon ceased honoring a run on the US gold reserves by Charles de Gaulle when the pegged price was less than the international price.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Please, Sir, May I Have Some More.

A comment to Mathew's question on another post. I thought it belonged up front and not in the back.

Why do I care so much about money? It is a marker for the worth of my life. I traded some of the limited time out of my life and my labors to someone else. In return they gave me this that I might regain that time and service from yet another person. The Government then comes and says I owe some of my life (in fact more than I am allowed to keep) to them that the politicians might use it to curry favor and buy votes with. There is a word for my labor and life belonging to someone else.

That word is slavery.

Today's illustration is a one hundred dollar United States Note, a fiat currency from before the Federal Reserve had a monopoly on Monopoly™ money.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Is Truth True Before the New Yorks Times Declares It?

If a tree falls in the woods

There is a hierarchy to reading the New York Times - A-1, far-right column and above the fold. That is when a story is important. The New York Times has just discovered that the interest on the National Debt is greater than the stimulus package in size, and that we are in trouble just on current spending. It is A-1, above the fold. Does this mean that it is just now true? Or was it true when the doomsayer Glenn Beck warned us about it?

And now CNBC announces that the "real unemployment" is is 17.5%. If you listen to conservative talk radio, you have known that for a while. Now, finally, the liberal side is beginning to acknowledge what the other side has been saying. What does that tell you - about the nature of truth? And about the nature of those who bring news to you?

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Favorite Quote: From the Seventh Seal

Spoken by the knight Antonius Block's squire Jöns:

"This is squire Jöns. He grins at Death, mocks the Lord, laughs at himself and leers at the girls. His world is a Jöns-world, believable only to himself, ridiculous to all including himself, meaningless to Heaven and of no interest to Hell."¹

And my other favorite quote, also from squire Jöns:

My little stomach is my world, my head is my eternity, and my hands,
two wonderful suns. My legs are time's damned pendulums, and my dirty feet
are two splendid starting points for my philosophy. Everything is worth
precisely as much as a belch, the only difference being that a belch
is more satisfying.

¹This is the translation from the book Four Screenplays of Ingmar Bergman; Simon & Schuster; ISBN-10: 0-6716-7833-7
as opposed to the book the Films of Ingrid Bergman; Citadel; ISBN 0-8065-0480-3 which an old girlfriend once bought me by mistake.

Stupidity? Or Arrogance?

While trying to pass a complete revision of everything we have ever thought of as healthcare and emphatically denying that care would ever be rationed, and despite decades of pushing routine test,our imperial Federal Government's U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (a panel, not called a death panel even though some people will die because of their decision) has revised downward standards of recommended care for early detection of breast cancer. Not content yesterday's demeaning our healthcare, today they did the same thing with cervical cancer and pap smears. Forgetting for a moment the very real human cost of these changes, are they politically stupid? Their goal is to change our healthcare system to one of equality. Where no ones care is allowed to be any better than anyone else's (save politicians and their families). A world where all care is equally mediocre. Lowest common denominator.

Shouldn't the least they do be hide their intentions? One has to wonder, did these panels anticipate the outcue*? Did they release this information earlier than they were supposed to?

Or maybe the current climate in Washington is absolute confidence that they will have their way with us no matter what we try to do about it.

*An announcer who steps on (talks over or cuts off) the last second or two of the preceding show or commercial is said to anticipate the outcue.


Ça Va Sans Dire.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

On Matthew and Money

Matthew Sickinson said in response to a previous post...
Why do you care so much about MONEY?

Because money is life. It is moving part of your life of today to prepare for your future, and paying for the shortfalls of your life in the past. It is a measure and means of responsibility.
You and Marianne and apparently your generation are still relying on your parents to carry you after more than a quarter of your way through your life. Your parents and grandparents had been on their own eight years by this point in their lives.
And now your generation are expecting an entitlement to free medical care to join your free food and lodging. Whatever you get will be taken (ultimately by force or the threat of) from others. The health care that will be given to the young who have chosen to spend their money on Flat Screen Super TVs, Wii games, stupid car modifications, cigarettes, booze, and drugs rather than pay for their own way must be taken from those who have outlived their savings and health. This new health plan is a death sentence for little old ladies like my mother in order to plow under the wild oats sown by those who will not care for themselves.

Whether one is a literal believer in the Divinity and stories of the Bible; Whether you believe it was divinely inspired or written by man to ensure civilized living; there is much wisdom in the precepts and messages of it. It is a plan for living and interacting with others. It is more than mere coincidence that one of most notable passages on charity, I Corinthians Chapter 13, includes as part of that verse 11: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things" (KJV). It is time.

Redistribution of Wealth? No.

Redistribution of Wealth? No. Redistribution of your income. Wealth becomes ever more concentrated.
Think of an old movie of the siege of a castle. Think of the guys climbing the ladders to get up to the top. What this so-called redistribution of wealth does is push those guys off the ladder. The closer you get to the top, the more likely you are to be pushed off.

Those truly wealthy people. Those hereditary families of wealth: Astor, DuPont, Kennedy, Rockefeller, Rothschild, and Vanderbilt will be just as wealthy, if not more wealthy than they are now. Their place in the world is even more cemented in place without being challenged by upstarts like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet or Donald Trump.

I used to try to explain to my union buddies that the people we were working for did not have big piles of money that they would swim in like Scrooge McDuck. No, the people we worked for had customers that they worked for who were trying to hard to get work from customers that they could work for an bring in that money that would ultimately work its way down to us. Oh, trickle down? That's been discredited by ... people who have something to gain be making us all dependent.
But I have seen a place with money like that - piled high and deep. And it is not the Federal Government. The Federal Reserve Bank, a private corporation that pays no taxes though it has all the money in the world (figuratively, not literally - though close)

Ok, all you cretins with Communist desires, all you who think that your place in life will improve by taxing the rich to bring their wealth home to you; go where the wealth really is. Storm that Bastille where the money really is coagulating and not circulating to you. Aim your confiscatory taxation at the Federal Reserve Bank. Instead of bailing out Bear-Stearnes, they should be bailing us out.

But no, our Congress is trying to squeeze the last drops of blood out of us, after all we are the rich - nurses, school teachers, electricians. Not Kennedys, Vanderbilts, and Rothschilds.

Tax the rich, feed the poor till there are no rich no more. (apologies to Ten Years After) I cannot tell you how many people missed the irony.

Everything Not Prohibited Is Mandatory

"Everything Not Prohibited Is Mandatory" read a sign over the entrance to an ant colony in the Sword in the Stone, part of T.H. White's book The Once and Future King.

It could easily refer to the medical reform bills bulldozing their ways through Congress right now. But I would add one more caveat: "and both prohibited and mandatory will remit money to the Government."

We'll be sorry.

Today's illustration is a memory from my childhood. I went to hear Terence Hanbury White speak at the University of Pennsylvania several months before he died.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Little Green Footballs Survey on Terrorist Trials

Little Green Footballs is running a poll on our feelings about bringing five of the main Guantanamo inmates to New York for trial. Please vote in their survey.

The Eco-Communists Say Capitalism is Bad for the Environment

The Eco-Communists say Capitalism is bad for the environment, and the "free" press parrots that impression. As Neal Boortz says, the Green movement is where yesterday's Communists have gone to roost.

But what is the truth? The horrible Capitalist disaster of Three Mile Island was merely a fraction of a fraction of a per cent of the damage done Chernobyl. Why? Because at every stage self-interest led to better quality control, from design through construction to operation. But Jane Fonda did China Syndrome about that time and the public put its blinders on and stampeded.

Today this country has the cleanest environment since in 150 years, but what of the Communist world? What is the future of the world under our new order? Here is the concern of the Communist government of the People's Republic of China. I think you will find this photo-essay on the concern of a benevolent all powerful government enlightening, if not shocking.

There Are No Death Panels - There Don't Need To Be

Those people who for what ever reason are pushing for the Government to take over the healthcare system of the United states typically emphatically state that "there are no death panels in the bill". As if only explicitly declared and named decisions will limit your care.
Some of the withholding of treatment will come by economic rationing - "We have run out of money".
And some will come by physical rationing - "We don't have a doctor available (in your area or not) until April next".
And some will come by treatment review - "Prostate Cancer is a slow mover, something else will get you first".
The bill isn't even finalized yet and treatment review is already starting. The new guidelines were issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and push raising the starting age for routine mammograms from 40 to 50; and additionally, they question the effectiveness and need for digital self-examination. Most of the women I have known with breast cancer have been under 50. Anecdotal, I know, but that is just the way it is.

The proponents of the Government takeover of the US medical system retort with "these decisions are already made by insurance companies". Yes, BUT, at this, I can still (and do) change insurance companies to find a better one. That is a little more difficult with governments.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hypocritic Oath

If the president and the press are going to give Major Nidal Malik Hasan a pass on his breach of his oath swearing loyalty to the United States and its Constitution, because he is a Musxxxx - almost wrote it and brought a fatwah on myself - the least they can do is fault him for his breach of the Hippocratic oath, i.e. first do no harm. Maybe the AMA has more balls than the USA.

Currency Carry Trade

I have and a friend who some years ago spent a year and a half and a day in Saudi Arabia. The time is important because it made his income tax free. For the first few years I knew him (and perhaps to this day) he made his living essentially by changing that money back and forth into other currencies (generally the Swiss Franc) picking up a little gain on the changes in the relative values of the two currencies. Apparently he did it pretty well, because he rarely sought employment and lived relatively well.

Currency carry trade is a lot like that but on steroids, and involves the arbitrage on the interest differences as well as the relative value. One borrows money somewhere where the interest is arbitrarily low (like the US right now) and parks the money in bonds somewhere else with a higher return. In some cases, like George Soros, where your wealth and credit support it you even short the money - you invest money you don't even have yet!

Aside from the magnitude of the process (read too big to fail), there are examples with common sense failures in our ordinary experiences with this. I have two examples from the period of time I was in college many years ago. It was a time before computers when the velocity of money was not the speed-of-light, and we mere mortals could play too. It was just as illegal then, but time worked for us not against us. And we were too little not to fail.

In the first mea culpa, I lived in Pennsylvania, and went to college in Illinois. I had bank accounts in both states. When I didn't have enough money in Illinois, I drew upon my account in Pennsylvania and deposited it in my bank in Illinois. Ultimately, my money in Pennsylvania from my Summer job and allowances were running down, I did what the big boys do now ... I wrote a check on the Illinois bank and mailed to Pennsylvania. And then I could deposit a Pennsylvania check into my Illinois bank to cover it. I managed to do this for quite a while. Eventually It all fell apart. I was lucky, the small town bank in Illinois let me have a loan and I paid it off by working a small job in a woodworking factory before they caught on. But it didn't have to turn out well ... I quit while I was still ahead. Beats prison.

My other mea culpa is a he-a culpa. My college classmate Alan had a small business going buying old cars at auto auctions with a bad check. Tow-barring them home two at a time, cleaning them up and taking them to another auto auction where he would sell them at a profit, cover his check and pull a little out for himself. This one did not come to a good end though. One snowy night while coming home, he skidded on ice and wrapped his investment around a tree. Alan had to go hat-in-hand to his father who ran a savings-and-loan in a nearby small town to bail him out.

Right now, there are many 'Alans' and many 'me's. It is said they are too big to fail. I think the full statement has been truncated. They are too big to fail without taking the current currency system down with them, just as Alan and I took our wealth down with us. Morgan Stanley, and George Soros have the United States Government as their daddies to bail them out, but who it the United States Government's Daddy? I guess it will need to get a part-time job.

As my daughter would say "No good can come from this."

Monday, November 16, 2009

Have we lost our bleeping minds?

The decision has been made to try plotter mastermind (sic) Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in New York City in an ordinary criminal trial. Are they friggin' nuts? We are going to have a media circus to overshadow the OJ Simpson show trial. Add to that the Billions of dollars in petro-money available to beat or society to death with our own rules of compassion and law. And as icing on the cake, there is probably no harder place to secure in our country than New York City, unless it is the backwoods of Carroll County, Illinois. And that is where we are going to move the rest of them.

Funny about that. Carroll County is in the Northwest corner of Illinois, about two hours west of O'hare Airport.
Many years ago, when I lived in Carroll County, the United States Army kept their entire nuclear arsenal at the Savanna Ordnance Depot there. It was secure by remoteness, but it was more secure by secrecy. In the three years I lived there, I knew there was an ammunition plant, but knew nothing about the nuclear presence. Now it has been gone for more than ten years.

Now the presence of an Interstate to Chicago nearby has shrunk the distance (or at least the time) from Chicago by half. And thanks to MSNBC, and the Governor of Illinois, there is no secret about the future use of a local (underused) prison. Thomson Correctional Institute in Thomson, Illinois is a minimal security prison. Normally prison guards watch from towers looking into the prison grounds. But this time the guards will need to watch outside as well, for there is little to stop an assault on a prison this isolated, yet so near the metropolitan areas of Saint Louis, Chicago, Madison, and Minneapolis. That's right, a few hours in any direction and they could meld into massive populations of sympathetic supporters. It is the stuff that bad movies are made of. But is that so far-fetched in this day and age?

Every day we get a new surprise of just how stupid we have become as a nation.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's a Done Deal

Socialized medicine has passed the House of Representatives. Now the House and Senate hammer out their differences in secret and give us what they want to give us.

And the Republicans? They are proudly proclaiming that they managed to slip in two amendments that prohibit Government funding of Abortions. Aside from the obvious detail that they will be slipped back out in the backroom negotiations - no, that's the wrong word. There is no negotiating going on. There is just wheeling and dealing, carving up the spoils. The real tragedy is that it passed at all. The Government should have its sticky fingers out of ALL MEDICINE, not just abortions. If you had worried as much about that, you could have had your cake and eat it too. No government funded medicine, therefore no government funded abortions. Sometimes I think there are only the pro-abortion Progressives and the anti-abortion Progressives and there are no Republicans up there in Washington at all.

This Republic was the United States of America, not the Peoples Republic of America. There was a reason this is not a democracy. The founders of this country loathed democracy as tyranny of the masses.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Remember When?

Remember when unemployment was 5.2% and the media gave George W. Bush hell for it even thought that was the same number they praised Bill Clinton for getting unemployment down to?

The "official" number is now 10.2%, and that only counts the ones on unemployment insurance, not the ones who have been on it as long as they are allowed to nor the ones not looking for work, nor the hundreds of thousands of small business owners who, because they were not employees, are not eligible for unemployment.

I didn't think so. The media is not reminding anyone.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Still Don't Believe in Healthcare Rationing?

Have you been able to get your H1N1 shot yet? Why not?

It's available. In fact, some druggists complain that it is just sitting on their shelves. Unfortunately, it can only be given to people in certain Government-approved groups. And you aren't it.

The Government will do better when they have total control. Right?

Lies, Damn Lies, and Government statistics

It was announced today that we are officially out of the recession. Why? It only makes sense. When the hated George W. Bush was president, the media constantly reported we were in a recession for more than a year before we were actually in one, with the net result that ultimately we had a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now that the love of their lives Barak Obama is President, they need to turn the economy back around, so a second lie should undo the damage of the first. It's not that easy.

All those foreclosed houses are still sitting there. All the empty auto dealerships, malls, big box stores and factories are still empty. And well more than 10% of the population is still unemployed. I don't think we are back to happy faces, balloons and champagne yet. Not even close. And then ... there is still the piper to be paid. The only growth in expenditures is totally offset by a growth in debt. The worst is yet to come. One way, or another. The debt must be paid.

And the politicians aren't even chastened. They still intend to increase how much they take from you, so they can give it back and tell you it came from them.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Why the Hatred Toward Glen Beck?

Glen Beck doesn't provide answers. He provides questions. If the powers-that-be will not answer them, then we have little choice but to presume the worst. For if the answers were what we wanted to hear and were true, our elected officials would have no compunction about providing the answers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hate Crime - so important they had to sneak the law in.

I have an objection to the concept of "Hate Crimes" that I have never heard expressed by a talk radio pundit.

We are all supposed to be equal under the law. Now the Federal Government is telling me that if I am assaulted or killed, I am less important than others because I am not of a protected group. Since I am not gay and I do not belong to one of the Liberal's recognized protected minority groups, I don't matter.

It makes me wonder. If I claim to be gay so the police will pay attention to crimes where I would be the victim, would I have to prove it? Or would they just take my word? And what if the perpetrator just thought I was gay, even though I am not, do I still get special treatment? So many decisions. How about making the law simpler rather than more complex? Assault, battery, murder are crimes - no matter who the victim is.

And if this law is so important, why did you need to sneak it in on a military budget bill? Why not just vote on it as a law? Why must the Liberals alway lie?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Voltaire must have been a Libertarian, not a Liberal

At least if you believe Evelyn Beatrice Hall, writing under the pseudonym of Stephen G Tallentyre in The Friends of Voltaire (1906). She paraphrased his sentiment as:

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

This is not what I observe in Liberals, Progressives and Socialists. There the philosophy seems to be:

I disapprove of what you say, I will make sure no one hears you say it.

Mostly they hate Glenn Beck because the free speech he uses is their own words.

As goes Fox, goes all free speech.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Al Gore, I'd Like to Have a Word With You

Today's weather report for the Atlanta Metropolitan Area - HARD FREEZE WARNING!

According to the meterorologist, this is three weeks earlier than typical first freeze in the Atlanta area.

Where the hell is my global warming? I paid for it. I want it now. Don't give me this climate change bullsh!t. Either you were right or you were wrong.

Seriously, we have much more to fear from global cooling than global warming. Temperature rise means more food, temperature fall means less. You figure it out.

Paper Money

I wanted to share with you an interesting section of an editorial by Darryl Robert Schoon over at Kitco Commentaries. Note that the system he is talking about at the end is not Capitalism, but that bastard child of Socialism and Capitalism together, wherein the Government scratches the back of the elites, Progressivism, and its alter ego, true Fascism.


The substitution of paper money for gold and silver has always been imposed by those who govern upon those governed; and, in the US it was done so illegally. The US Constitution explicitly defines the US dollar in silver, not paper money. The current regime of fiat money in the US is not only a monetary abomination, it is de jure unconstitutional.

The imposition of fiat money in the US was done without the consent of the governed. However, those who govern approved it. This is because the advantages of paper money accrue to those who rule; and it is in their interests, not society’s, that paper fiat money becomes the coin of the realm.

The disadvantages of paper money are borne by society-at-large, i.e. entrepreneurs, workers, businesses, retirees, savers, etc. who pay retail for the credit dispensed wholesale to those better connected, e.g. are you able to leverage your investments 50:1 as can JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, etc.; and, can you to carry your underwater investments at full book value and borrow against them as it does Wall Street? And were you bailed out last year as were the banks?

I have always been amazed at those who identify with a system that primarily serves the needs of others and only incidentally theirs. I can only conclude that such identification is symptomatic of low self-esteem, as self-interest alone would dictate otherwise.

We are now headed towards a rendering so extreme that such divisions will become clear and perhaps the many will finally cease identifying with a system that benefits the few closest to the fountainhead of credit while penalizing the many farther downstream which usually includes them.

Modern economics is a sophisticated Ponzi-scheme cross-pollinated with a shell game designed for the advantage of government, banks and those at the front of the line wherein money is created out of thin air to be loaned to others who will in the end be indebted beyond their means to repay and whose economic futures will be destroyed by the inevitable confluence of the bankers’ compounding interest and their constant inflation of the money supply.

Just as I am astounded by those who would willingly, no, enthusiastically cede their autonomy and power to a massive central government in the naive belief that only honest altruistic people would climb the ladder to the top of their government; and that that government will truly lookout for their individual welfare.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I wonder how MARTTI AHTISAARI feels?

Never heard of him? How soon we forget. The Alfred Nobel Peace Price ... LAST YEAR!

2008 "The prize goes to: "MARTTI AHTISAARI for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts."

2009 "The prize goes to: BARACK OBAMA for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" over nearly eleven days.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nobel Prize (take 2)

I don't usually hit twice on blog subjects, but this one astounds me. I may will never look at the Nobel Peace Prize the same again. There is no way this one was earned. It was merely awarded. President Obama himself has acknowledged that. I can't get this out of my head.
It is not like I didn't know that politics affected the award of the Nobel Peace Prize any more than it does at the Academy Awards. At some level I thought there was some honesty in the award. I had thought of it as loosened standards, not total fraud. Had they waited until the end of his term, until he had actually accomplished something, or maybe even a couple years into his term, I would have thought 'maybe'. But this is on a par with the Philadelphia 1904 elections where 100% of the voters voted for the Democrat Party in one precinct only to have a great number of people say "I didn't". Here there is no doubt. The Nobel Committee was just a little too fast on the award to retain credibility.

That is the thing about integrity, a little breech is as bad as a big breech.

Glen Beck

Many times Liberals will say that you and I are brainwashed by talk show hosts. The failure of Liberal talk shows and networks, like Air America, to survive is attributable to this misunderstanding. What they miss is that we want to listen to people who confirm our feelings or at the very least expose us to new information that is consistent with that which we already know to be true. That, and no one likes to be told that they are stupid (Randi Rhodes - you catch more flies with honey than vinegar)

From time to time, I hear things on Glenn Beck and think "I wish I had said that". Sometimes I am proud to say that these are things that I have been saying or screaming for a while. Tonight is one of those. For a long time I have been saying that "Illegal aliens are the new slave class". That, and that fifty (or less) years from now we will pay the price for this slavery again. Like any slavery, this is not a good or moral thing.

And one more thing, The constant refrain that "these are jobs that Americans will not do" is wrong. These are things that Americans will not do for slave wages. True Capitalism is about contracts. The willing meeting of two parties. Slave labor distorts this contract. Not just for the slave, but for the person who must compete against the slave for his livelihood. This is true of the illegal immigrant and this is true of the Chinese manufactured products.

And why is it that the unions who are supposed to be for the worker are aiding and abetting the influx of this slave labor? It was the Democrats last time and it is they again who promote slavery.

April First Comes Late This Year!

President Barak Hussein Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!
Only two sitting presidents have been awarded a Nobel Prize, Woodrow Wilson* for keeping us out of World War One, and Teddy Roosevelt for - who remembers? Jimmy Carter had already left office when he received his for brokering that lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
And President Obama received his for gracing the world with his presence. The deadline for submissions was February 1st, a mere 11 days after he was sworn in.

*By the way, he later got us into WWI and imprisoned anyone who dissented about it - even at their own dinner table.


'By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. . . . The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.'
- Lenin

On face, there are two types of inflation: Cost increase, and currency debasement. I have heard some say "We cannot be in inflation, the prices are going down, We must be in deflation." No, we are in stagflation and the prices are going down. Think of it as a fire sale. There is a certain amount of desperation to keep any kind of commerce going, but what is being sold is what is already in the pipeline. Little is being created. Nothing is being manufactured in this country. Few ships are on the high seas. The rail-yards sit empty and still. No wealth is being produced to back up the increase in currency. Indeed, the increase in currency is not reaching the people. Where is it?
Just as "Cash for Clunkers" has been an empty promise (ask any auto dealer how many unpaid claims there have been, and the gov't claims to have spent all the cash), and TARP still sits 80% unspent. The reactions of the Chinese and OPEC to uncouple from (dump if you prefer) the dollar are based not on what our President has done, but on the promises of spending that he is making. Just as citizens are buying precious metals as a refuge from what is expected to come, our biggest overseas trading partners are hedging their bets - just in case. But where you or I may have a hundred thousand or two in cash assets, the Chinese and Saudis have trillions and if panic makes your portfolio shrink, think of theirs. They have a dilemma. If they do what the would honestly like to do and run screaming out the door, your hundred thousand would be worthless paper, but so would their trillions of FRNs. They have no choice but to exit gracefully. Lets hope that our people and politicians can wake up before they make that exit.
But more, how do they make that exit? They must spend it (or do something that has been our exclusive province since the Second World War - provide international relief and foreign aid). Currency exchange just passes the buck (accidental pun), and leaves someone else holding the problem. So there is a glut and it requires more dollars to accomplish that same exchange. There is the inflation, and the problem. We, the United States and its President, Government, and bankers think of the dollar as our own. After all, it even has our name on it. But it has escaped our control and ownership. And when the Federal Reserve and the Treasury conspire to buy our own debt, it enters more Federal Reserve Notes into an already glutted system - over there, not here. We are a country lately of entitlement. Just as our people expect that the world owes them a living, so does our financial system. We have sent our earned wealth over to China, and the Mid East in the purchase of transient things. You know the gas is gone, and so are most Chinese goods you have ever bought. Now we are sending our unearned wealth. They have US Federal Reserve and Treasury notes, both of which are promises to pay later. we are going to pay them ... with what?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Obama Fiddles While the Dollar Burns

This post deleted due to dated information. I wish I could have saved the snapshot of data that was graphed, but time marches on.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Destroy the Future By Destroying the Past

As I drive around the country taking pictures, I am noticing an odd phenomena.
Greenwood Mills
Everywhere I look, I see frantic, frenetic work tearing down our factories.
Go Go Goodyear  ...  Gone
Once these were symbols of our industriousness. Now there is some kind of coordinated hurry to make it all go away.
Monument to Fallen Industry
Do you suppose that maybe the reason is to make sure that the American industry that has now relocated to China never comes back?
Cold Spring Bleachery
Oh, yeah, this is the one my father managed
during my childhood; and the one where I
spent my college summers working,

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wouldn't It Be Nice To Have An Honest Free Press?

What does this tell you about our leading news sources?

Headline The Independant (London): The Demise of the Dollar
In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies...
Headline Breitbart: UN calls for new reserve currency
The United Nations called on Tuesday for a new global reserve currency to end dollar supremacy which has allowed the United States the "privilege" of building a huge trade deficit.
Headline USA Today: Letterman gets ratings bump from apology
David Letterman's apology to his wife and staff members means another big night in the Nielsen ratings for the late-night talk-show host, the Associated Press reports. ...
Headline USA Today Money: How to rebuild an investment portfolio after recession's hit
One year after the collapse of Lehman Bros., the average stock mutual fund is virtually unchanged. ...

Headline New York Times (online): Obama Says He Won’t Slash Troops in Afghanistan
President Obama told Congressional leaders he would not substantially reduce U.S. forces in Afghanistan, but he remains undecided about a troop buildup.
Headline Harsh outposts pose serious challenge for U.S.
A base in Afghanistan where eight U.S. troops died in a battle over the weekend was scheduled to be closed in the next few days, CNN has learned.
Headline Time Magazine (Online): The Orangutans of Sumatra Under Threat*
The cultivation of palm oil damages the habitat of the apes of Sumatra.

* To Be fair, I am only dealing with the leading headlines. Time Magazine online did have a link to an editorial What if oil weren't priced in dollars? It stated:"Such a change wouldn't be unmitigated bad news for Americans."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Oh Say, Can You See?

In the classic battle of the economists, I have long held a position favoring Jean-Baptiste Say and Say's Law which stated that in a free market society, goods and services are produced in exchange for other goods and services and that absent interference from power-hungry politicians and unscrupulous bankers, everything would ultimately balance in economics. (And even including them - there is a balance, however dishonest and unfair). Not would balance, must balance.

But there is a dark side to Say's Law stating that , saving, which he called hoarding, is irrational. It withdraws product from the equation, affecting the economy leaving an inequality that must be compensated for to restore balance. Left alone, this would be recession, underconsumption and its following unemployment. This is Keynes' paradox of thrift. Paradox because what is good for the individual is not similarly good for the economy as a whole.
You, and I, must prepare for our futures. We must prepare for our old age and infirmity, and future needs. We can not retire and service our debt. This is the paradox of debt. Production is withdrawn from the economy not just to save, but also to pay down debt. This leaves an empty spot in our economy that must be accounted for. It is a mathematical certainty.

For many decades now, our masters, the bankers and politicians have sold us on a Keynesian treadmill. Not as a certain group that we call Liberals* have scolded us for, [over] consumption.
No, rather it is as another group, the Progressives, true Liberals, have driven us to consumption beyond our means (through media and advertising); and when that is insufficient, they drive the government to consume as our proxy, the whole time chiding us for our individual profligacy. Still economics is a mathematics and as a mathematics, it is a science not an art - no matter how much they protest it to be. It must always balance ultimately. It is a mathematical certainty.

The problem arises from a presumption that any system be it Keynesian, Marxist, or any other humanly introduced system can see enough of the economic process from a remote observation control point to direct the economy in anything but a wrong direction wherever they should attempt to point it. This is an obvious vanity to believe that mere mortals can control an economy. This is not to say that they cannot affect an economy; nor even that it perforce must be totally bad. No, I am merely stating that since economics is an equality every change to the left side of the equation is met by our old buddy Newton "To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction". This is far more general than even Newton imagined. There will be an equal change on the right side of the equation. The economic changes caused by the meddling of the political governing class must in every class have their unintended consequences. It is a mathematical certainty.

The decades of Keynesian overspending have created their own paradox of debt. The holes in the road that the government borrowing tried to prevent will be met with a doubled hole when ultimately paid for - not just the original hole, but the one caused by the absence of substance generated at the time. This is why the recession in 1929, although smaller that the one in 1921 created a longer and deeper depression and why the current recession promises to be worse. We, as a society, have not yet learned to leave things alone. We have not yet learned to tend to ourselves and our families and trust the laws of mathematics to restore order and not self-serving politicians in far off Washington, DC. It IS a mathematical certainty.


*I say "we call Liberals", because their position is most often diametrically opposed to the "Liberals" in power, the Progressives. They are so wedded to a "them or us" mentality they do not objectively analyze the actions of the people on their supposed team. This is how we can have a cynical, self-serving, Chicago machine, Obama administration so adored by people who would never stand for 1% of that corruption from Republicans. Hence the women's groups support of the misogynistic Bill Clinton, or the environmentalists unquestioning support of President Obama's (and his wife's) flight(s) to Copenhagen this week is search of the elusive Chicago Olympics.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Randi Rhodes Disingenuous? Say It Ain't So

On my way home this afternoon, my XM radio was tuned to the channel where her show comes on. (4pm either Talk Radio or Americas. Sorry, not sure which)

She started out by attacking the anti healthcare-takeover people with a cute little jingle as being disingenuous . The gist was that conservatives saying "that guns and cars made our number of deaths look worse than they are" was statistical misrepresentation. Well, it is. Misrepresentation on the part of her straw man argument. It does not make the number of deaths look worse. It make the average life expectancy look worse. It actually does. The deaths to murder (by the way, murder, not accidental gun deaths as she said on her show) and auto fatalities primarily affect the young. The statistical distortion that causes does occur does force the average life expectancy in this country to the down side. There is no honest way of avoiding that. Public health care will not cure either of those problems.

The real problem is that 50% of our population is of below average intelligence.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Contango and Backwardation - or Veruca Salt Wants It Now

Now there's some terms you don't see everyday.

These two terms describe conditions in the futures markets. Contango is the normal condition in which things will cost more in the future than now. It is normal because it includes the costs of storage of the real commodity, and the money value of lost interest realized by paying now instead of later. And increasingly in our society the probable effect of inflation of the currency.

Backwardation on the other hand is a bellwether of things to come. If a precious metal like say silver was trading at $16/oz for immediate delivery and trading at $14/oz six months out, the prudent thing to do would appear to be sell your silver now and re-buy it now for delivery in a half year, pocket the $2000 or $20,000 stick it in a CD drawing interest,and retrieve your silver in six months avoiding the storage fees. But it doesn't happen. Or rather it doesn't happen until the difference is sufficient. Why? Because of the risk that you will not be able to retrieve your purchase, and the risk that the money you have drawn off your transaction will have inflated (read devalued) to a greater extent than your gain.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Busy Night - On Calling People Fascist and Nazi

Busy Night, three posts.

The mainstream media and even Fox, even Bloggers like Little Green Footballs get very uptight at calling what is happening a precursor to Nazism. Even using the term Fascist raises their hackles ( whatever a hackle is). But you have to wonder what people thought in the mid-thirties.

I'll start with Fascism. Aside from the hypocrisy of forgetting that the term has been thrown as an epithet at conservatives and libertarians for decades, Incorrectly it turns out. Because conservatives and especially libertarians are anti-statist. They are against strong central government. Fascism is a system of government with private ownership of the means of production with government control of that production. It is a very straightforward definition, and one that truly describes the changes in this country in the last nine months. If anything, we have overshot fascism a little towards communism, the state owning the means of production - right, GM?

But Nazism? Perhaps that is a stretch. After all, this isn't national socialism or nationalism, this is international socialism. Or is it? There is something else. Something that makes one involuntarily think of Germany prior to the Second World War. There is the cult of personality. Barack Obama is not just President of the United States of America. This week he is presiding at the United Nations Security Council. This week he is also pontificating at the global economic summit, the G-20, in Pittsburgh. He is President of the World, maybe even President of the Universe. Small children sing his praises the same way they did for Hitler. His nomination/investment/coronation/anointment in Denver last Summer look for all the world like it was designed by Leni Riefenstahl or Albert Speer. The only thing missing now is the repeal of the 22nd amendment. Oh, wait, what about Representative Jose Serrano's (D - NY 16th District) bill H. J. Res 5? A 2/3 majority of the Senate and it is the law of the land. Obama, President for Life, like his buddies Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Kim Jong Il. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who still has to be elected, rigged-or-not, would envy him. It could never happen here. Isn't that what moderate Germans said in the thirties? Do you suppose the ones that tried to warn the others about the cult of Hitler were belittled and mocked?

Our Founding Fathers feared just this particular kind of Presidency.

Do Protesters Really Want Anything Other Than A Chance To Protest?

At the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania there are protesters rioting in the streets, again. There is a certain sweet irony this time. They are protesting a summit at which the left's beloved President Barak Hussein Obama is the star. And there is another irony. These people are reputed to be anarchists. At the very least, they are non-conformists. They are carrying signs that say "No Bailout" and "No Capitalism". And yet, President Obama is the most anti-capitalist president ever. What more do they want?

Their beloved President is the most authoritarian President ever, in the process of remaking a government into a totalitarian police state. It will be a world in which you can be denied health and wealth , and even life should the powers that be wish it. It will be a world that will tolerate no dissent. Not just the violent demonstrations as in Pittsburgh, but a world where even broadcast, blogged, spoken or written dissent will not be tolerated.

Another Empty, Self Congratulatory Obama Speech

This speech, the one the President made at the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh - SSDD - Same Stuff Different Day. But did anyone else notice that it was made between five PM and six PM Eastern Time, right over top of the Glenn Beck show? Does anyone suppose that it was merely a coincidence? And why in the world did Fox Network preempt the Glenn Beck special to play it? It was no different than any of his others. No sixth graders will memorize this one.

And one last question - Am I the only one who notices the number of times President Obama uses the word "I" as the start of his sentences. In the seventh grade, Mr. Brabson taught me to vary my sentence structure and not start every sentence with "I".
For reference,the word I does not appear in the Gettysburg Address, not even once.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

As I was going to St. Ives

On my way to Washington last Saturday, Interstate 95 locked up solid as far back as the Beltway. Using my trusty GPS, I got off and took the surface streets. It gave me a different view of Washington and maybe the world. At first it was the usual suburban housing, but the closer-and-closer I got,

the more dense it became, until finally it was dense high-rise apartments that reminded me of nothing so much as pigeon coops or a bee hive. People who live like this are trying to tell people who live in Georgia, Colorado, and Wyoming what life is like and how it is to be lived. It is no wonder that they do not understand why we need our vehicles, our guns, the fruits of our labor, and the means to take care of ourselves. Similarly, we do not understand their needs to subvert the self to co-exist in so dense a population. We really are two different Americas.
But truly, do we really need to send more than half our wealth to these people? And how long would they survive if we out here in the physical world shrugged?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Fed Chairman Bernanke Says the Recession Is Over!

But the newspaper says something different. This is the Gwinnett County, Georgia's local newspaper's current monthly legal paper-of-record posting. This month the paper is one hundred sixty-eight pages of nine columns each. Pages one through seven are the usual legal fare, divorces, name changes, applications for liquor licenses, probate. Page eight is tax sales. And page nine through one hundred sixty-eight? All foreclosures. Don't even expect me to count how many foreclosures are on 28,800 column inches. I think we got trouble.

Obama supporters -

Obama supporters , if you want Socialism or Communism, go to a country that has it. Don't force us to change to your desires. There are plenty of countries you can choose from. This is where the people from those countries come to when they vote with their feet.

Each and every day I work with people from Cuba, Romania, Vietnam, the duchies of the former Yugoslavia, and the Ukraine. They are more adamant than I that this is becoming what they escaped from, and they don't want to move again.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gold Breaks 1000

1015 actually. The press is so excited! The silver I bought for $14.50 premium (commission) included closed today at $17.41 spot. I am not excited, I am worried. Why? Why am I not happy?

Gold and silver are not investments. They could be, but they aren't at this time. What they are is stores of value. An ounce of Gold will always be worth ... an ounce of Gold. An ounce of Silver will always be an ounce of Silver, no more, no less. Not so for that Federal Reserve Note¹ you are carrying in your pocket.

So why aren't I happy? Because not all of my money is secure in tangible assets. And a gain in Silver or Gold is more than offset by the loss in my savings, my salary, and ultimately, my pension.

¹Note - a memorandum of debt

Hey, Jimmy (Carter)

No, Jimmy, race has nothing to do with it. I didn't like it when you ran inflation up to the skies in the seventies either. When it comes to stealing away my past, present , and future wealth and the portion of my life that it represents, I don't care who you are. I don't care what color you are. I don't even care what party you represent. Stop spending my money on your whims. Stop spending my children's future on your grand ideas. Stop using the fruits of my labor to buy your re-election.

By the way, Jimmy - I don't expect you would remember me, but we met once, in your living room in Plains, back before you were President. I was part of a TV interview crew. Even though at that time I was not yet a libertarian and was excited to be in the presence of the man who would probably be the Democrat Party candidate, I came away with the impression at that time that you were in a different reality than I was. This was one of my seminal moments. It changed how I voted that year and maybe forever after to some extent. I listen to you now, and I find you are still in a different world that those of us who get up every morning, go to work and try to make enough to pay out bills, pay our taxes and live as well as those who don't. Racism has nothing to do with my concern for the health and wealth of my family. But you wouldn't know that, you live behind a Secret Service checkpoint in a literal different world.