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Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Last Radicals - National Review Online

The Last Radicals - National Review Online

There is exactly one authentically radical social movement of any real significance in the United States, and it is not Occupy, the Tea Party, or the Ron Paul faction. It is homeschoolers, who, by the simple act of instructing their children at home, pose an intellectual, moral, and political challenge to the government-monopoly schools, which are one of our most fundamental institutions and one of our most dysfunctional. Like all radical movements, homeschoolers drive the establishment bats.
In the public imagination, homeschooling has a distinctly conservative and Evangelical odor about it, but it was not always so. The modern homeschooling movement really has its roots in 1960s countercultural tendencies; along with A Love Supreme, it may represent the only worthwhile cultural product of that era. The movement’s urtext is Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing, by A. S. Neill, which sold millions of copies in the 1960s and 1970s. Neill was the headmaster of an English school organized (to the extent that it was organized) around neo-Freudian psychotherapeutic notions and Marxian ideas about the nature of power relationships in society. He looked forward to the day when conventional religion would wither away — “Most of our religious practices are a sham,” he declared — and in general had about as little in common with what most people regard as the typical homeschooler as it is possible to have.
“People forget that some of the first homeschoolers were hippies,” says Bob Wiesner, a counselor at the Seton Home Study School, a Catholic educational apostolate reporting to the bishop of Arlington, Va. In one of history’s little ironies, today most of homeschooling’s bitterest enemies are to be found on the left. “We don’t have much of a problem from conservatives,” Wiesner says. “It’s the teachers’ unions, educational bureaucrats, and liberal professors. College professors by and large don’t want students who can think for themselves. They want students they can indoctrinate, but that’s hard to do with homeschoolers — homeschoolers push back.” He relishes the story of a number of graduates of his program who attended a top-tier Catholic university and enrolled together in theology classes taught by the school’s most notorious liberals. They were of course more conversant with church orthodoxy than were many of their instructors. “The professors hated them. But the kids had fun. The president of that college at that time was trying to clean up the theology department, so when the professors would complain, he would call the students in and tell them to try to be polite — with a wink and a nod.”
One of those liberal professors is Robin West of the Georgetown law school, who wrote a remarkably shallow and evidence-free jeremiad against homeschooling that was published to the journal’s discredit in Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly. More a work of imagination than one of scholarship, the article ignores the wealth of data suggesting that homeschooling is a largely upper-income and suburban phenomenon, and that homeschooled students typically outperform their public-school peers. West offers a caricature of homeschooling families far removed from reality: “The husbands and wives in these families feel themselves to be under a religious compulsion to have large families, a homebound and submissive wife and mother who is responsible for the schooling of the children, and only one breadwinner. These families are not living in romantic, rural, self-sufficient farmhouses; they are in trailer parks, 1,000-square-foot homes, houses owned by relatives, and some, on tarps in fields or parking lots. Their lack of job skills, passed from one generation to the next, depresses the community’s overall economic health and their state’s tax base.” Education scholar Brian D. Ray, who specializes in homeschooling, found that West’s claims “basically have no foundation in research evidence,” and pointed out to the contrary that “repeated studies by many researchers and data provided by United States state departments of education show that home-educated students consistently score, on average, well above the public school average on standardized academic achievement tests. To date, no research has found homeschool students to be doing worse, on average, than their counterparts in state-run schools. Multiple studies by various researchers have found the home educated to be doing well in terms of their social, emotional, and psychological development.”
The problem is not educational outcomes: Students in the Seton program tend to score on average in the 80th percentile on standardized tests. The problem is that progressives operate as though the state owned children as joint property. Dana Goldstein, writing in Slate, urged her fellow progressives to resist the temptation to homeschool, arguing that the practice is “fundamentally illiberal” and asking incredulously: “Could such a go-it-alone ideology ever be truly progressive?” She went on to argue that the children of high-achieving parents amount to public goods because of peer effects — poor students do better when mixed with better-off peers — meaning that “when college-educated parents pull their kids out of public schools, whether for private school or homeschooling, they make it harder for less-advantaged children to thrive.” She does not extend that analysis to its logical conclusion: that conscientious, educated liberals should enroll their children in the very worst public schools they can find in order to maximize the public good.
The numbers are against them, but West, Goldstein, and like-minded critics still bristle with hostility at homeschooling. There are three related reasons for that.
The first is that progressives by their nature do not trust people as individuals and feel that, whether we are applying for a credit card or popping into 7-Eleven for a soft drink, Americans require state-appointed overseers. If homeschooling weren’t already legal — a happy consequence of the longstanding patchwork of exemptions in state-level mandatory-education statutes — it is highly unlikely that most state legislatures would vote to legalize it. Nine-tenths of American children attend government schools, and most of the remaining tenth attend government-approved private schools. The political class wants as many of that remaining tenth in government schools as possible; teachers’ unions have money on the line, and ideologues do not want any young skull beyond their curricular reach. A political class that does not trust people with a Big Gulp is not going to trust them with the minds of children. While West would like to criminalize homeschooling — she writes wistfully of the days when “parents who did so were criminals” — others have sought to regulate it out of existence, for instance by declaring homeschoolers’ residences to be public schools and requiring them to meet attendant planning and zoning standards, by installing such things as fire-safety systems, parking facilities, and emergency exits. “The good news is, there are very few people with authority and power who want to end homeschooling,” says Jeremiah Lorrig of the National Home School Legal Defense Association. “They’ve given up trying to outlaw it — and now are trying to control it.”
The second reason for this hostility is that while there is a growing number of secular, progressive, organic-quinoa-consuming homeschool families, there remains a significant conservative and Christian component. The reasons for progressive hostility to conservative Christians are many and complex, but one of them is that, like the homeschool, the church is something outside of government control, a forum that the triple constitutional protections of religion, free speech, and association place beyond the range of Leviathan’s leash. Progressives are by their nature monopolists, and the churches constitute real competing centers of power in society.
A third reason is that the majority of homeschool teachers are mothers. A traditional two-parent family with one full-time breadwinner and one stay-at-home parent is practically built into the model. Goldstein scoffs at that as the “dated presumption that children hail from two-parent families, in which at least one parent can afford (and wants) to take significant time away from paid work,” but of course the model is neither dated nor restricted to religiously conservative red-staters: Liberal enclaves such as Brooklyn and Seattle are full of stay-at-home moms. (Brooklyn, in fact, is a hotbed of crunchy homeschooling.)
Americans are dissatisfied with many things: Congress, insurance companies, Wall Street, the media. Many are dissatisfied with the government schools, too, and homeschooling has given them an opportunity to do something about that, taking matters into their own hands. They could do the same thing with health insurance and banking, as well, were the legal environment liberal enough. As its critics best appreciate, homeschooling is about more than schooling.
The Tea Party and the Ron Paul movement are in some ways the conservative flipside of Occupy, albeit with better manners, more coherent ideas, and higher standards of personal hygiene. They comprise conservatives on the verge of despair at trying to achieve real social change through the process of electoral politics and the familiar machinery of party and poll, with its narrow scope of action, uncertain prospects, and impermanent victories. There is a different model for reform being practiced in more than 1 million American households, by people of wildly different political and religious orientations. Homeschooling represents a kind of libertarian impulse, but of a different sort: It is not about money. Homeschooling families pay their taxes to support local public schools, like any other family — which is to say, begrudgingly in many cases — and the movement does not seek the abolition of local government-education monopolies. (It should.) Homeschooling families simply choose not to participate in the system — or, if they do, to participate in it on their own terms.
And that is a step too far for the Hobbesian progressives, who view politics as a constant contest between the State and the State of Nature, as though the entire world were on a sliding scale between Sweden and Somalia. Homeschoolers may have many different and incompatible political beliefs, but they all implicitly share an opinion about the bureaucrats: They don’t need them — not always, not as much as the bureaucrats think. That’s what makes them radical and, to those with a certain view of the world, terrifying.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

U.S. Highway 66 Association - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Route 66, the very first transcontinental highway, was built entirely with private funds.  No federal moneys.

U.S. Highway 66 Association - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sunday, September 30, 2012



With The Fed now two weeks into it’s official QE∞ policy, and with calls this week by Fed Presidents Evans and Plosser for even further easing-bringing a devaluation/hyperinflation of the dollar one step closer by the day, we thought it apropos to republish StackerX’s account and experiences recognizing, surviving, and even profiting from a fiat currency devaluation.
Those who recall the account may benefit from re-examining the lesson, and for those unfamiliar with the account of the 1976 Mexican Peso devaluation, this is an ABSOLUTE MUST READ as the US is rapidly descending into full-blown Banana Republic status.

In 1976 I was managing an American subsidiary of a successful large US Company in Mexico. It had been a financial turnaround for our team. Cash flow had accumulated in our bank in Mexico and corporate didn’t want the money repatriated to the US. Although we had already paid a 35% income tax to the Mexican government, we would have to pay an additional 30% exit tax to repatriate the money. In addition, we would have to pay high fees for the peso/dollar exchange, in order to make the transfer. The company wanted to expand our successful business and so we decided to keep the money in Mexican pesos to be used for further expansion.
One morning, as my wife and I were on a trip driving on the highway, we heard a national message from the President of Mexico, Luis Echevarria, one of the most corrupt presidents in Mexican history. “It is a lie that we are going to devalue the peso,” he said. I stopped at the nearest motel to make a collect call to the US headquarters and I asked my boss, the head of the International Division, to allow me to immediately open a new US dollar account in Mexico. I wanted to convert the pesos into dollars for deposit. My boss, laughing, asked me why I wanted to do that and I responded that the peso was going to devalue. He asked me how I knew this and I told him that the President of Mexico had gone on the radio and announced that rumors of a devaluation of the peso were false, which meant they were true. He continued to laugh but allowed me to open the account.
 I then called my CFO and directed him to go to the bank and get everything ready for me to sign leaving only the necessary funds to continue to operate. We immediately returned to Mexico City in time before the bank closed. Everything was ready for my signature, but the bank manager was rather bewildered and probably thought I might be overreacting.
 One week later the peso was devalued from 12.50 pesos to $1 USD, where it had been for decades, to 26.00 pesos to $1 USD. A few days later it improved to 24.50 pesos to $1 USD. The reason for the devaluation of the peso was simply that it had been pegged to the USD for too long and they rose and fell in unison. Because of better economic conditions in the US, the dollar continued to go up in value and the peso increased in value artificially. Mexican goods were too expensive to trade with other countries and hence the devaluation, which allowed exports to increase. For the first time in decades the peso was allowed to float and since then it has been allowed to freely rise and fall against the dollar. The decision to devalue the peso was made by the president, which made him unpopular, as well as his economic advisers, which included the Secretary of the Treasury and Chief of the Central Bank of Mexico.
Everyone in the country was in shock. People’s net worth had devalued more than 53% overnight. The value in savings accounts dropped in half and neither merchants nor consumers knew how to react because they had never been through anything like it before. Luckily for me, I had also exchanged my money and my salary had been set in US Dollars when I signed my contract with the company to work in Mexico. For me, it was like getting a 100% raise, since for a long while; my house rent remained the same as well as utilities, clothing etc. I remember that on my boss’s next trip, he bought himself a couple of nice suits at a nice discount.
Businesses were unable to immediately raise their prices. They had to raise them slowly, and through many sacrifices. The positive side was that the company had a loan in Mexican pesos for an expensive property and was able pay it off with the new dollars at practically a 50% discount. Before the devaluation, we had been leasing other properties, some of which had expired and had been on a month to month basis. Thankfully, immediately before the devaluation, I renegotiated and signed some of the leases with modest increases for a term of 5 years. After the devaluation occurred, the landlords wanted to renegotiate these leases, but because of the terms, we enjoyed low rents for that period. Later, as we leased new properties, the owners  introduced clauses tying the annual increases to the value of the US dollar, which appreciated every year until the recent fall of the dollar in the exchange rate.
Our attorney in his 50s, of German descent, who spoke English and Spanish with a German accent, didn’t take my advice on the oncoming devaluation. After the devaluation, he was so desperate that he came into my office one day, accompanied by another attorney that worked for him, carrying an old-fashioned suitcase, which he placed on my conference table. He opened the suitcase, which was completely filled with high denomination peso bills. I had never seen that much cash in my life and I was completely surprised. He pleaded with me to accept the money right then and allow him to purchase shares in our company. I told him that this was not the proper procedure, but he asked me to consult with corporate headquarters and insisted I put the money in our safe. As I expected, corporate said no and much to his distress, I returned the money to him.
People were so desperate to exchange their pesos into dollars that the supply of dollars dried up and some, who had them, sold them at a premium in the black market. (editor note: As the US dollar is currently the global reserve currency, this would likely play out in the US by gold and silver becoming immediately unavailable, and selling at massive premiums for the physical metal on the black market)
The situation was so dire that a presidential order was passed banning the banks from allowing customers to open US dollar bank accounts. A few years later, when the peso stabilized, this practice was reversed.
Of course, on my next trip to corporate headquarters, I was received like a conquering Roman hero. My boss kept asking me to tell other executives why I decided that the peso was going to be devalued. My answer was simply that I didn’t trust politicians and had decided that the president was telling a lie in his address to the nation. This, of course, was very funny to them after seeing the results.
Today, Mexico’s financial situation is very much improved and the peso has been appreciating against the USD. Mexico holds more than $120 billion in USD reserves.
As I am writing this, the USD index is at 75.71. Commodities are priced in dollars worldwide and this doesn’t fare well for other countries where there is a growing unrest amongst the population. The world governments blame this on the US government for passing laws allowing the Federal Reserve to print trillions of dollars out of thin air. This money has been used to bail out the banks and to purchase US bonds that countries like China, Japan, Russia, etc. are refusing to continue to purchase. The money received by the federal government is spent in the expanded military wars and countless pork barrel programs. The government is unable to control the budget deficits by cutting expenditures because of poor presidential leadership and irresponsible and politicized congress.
The US has agreed that something needs to be done. One of the most favored proposals at the G-20 meetings is to use a basket of currencies which would includes the USD, backed partly with gold to serve as a new world currency. This proposal would mean a further devaluation of the USD of 50% for the US to be able to participate in the program. It would be interesting how this can be done since the dollar floats freely.
As long as we don’t repay our national debt, cut government spending, increase interest rates or stop the Federal Reserve from printing more dollars out of thin air, dollar’s role of international reserve currency will soon end. China and Russia are already using their currencies to trade with each other, especially in oil purchases, bypassing the purchase of US dollars to make the payments.
Numerous countries are buying gold and silver to replace some of the dollar reserves and hedge the value of their dollar reserves. Mexico recently purchased nearly 100 tons of gold to replace some of their dollar reserves. We still don’t know how much American gold is in Fort Knox as no audits have been completed since the 1950′s. The rumors are that there are no gold reserves remaining. We know that the US mint is purchasing gold and silver blanks from Australia as domestic production is not enough simply to satisfy the demands for US Mint production! Either way, this is bad news for the US dollar and also for any of us living in the US.
My experience with the peso devaluation makes it necessary for me to move my investments away from paper into physical gold and silver. I am doing this more as a defense mechanism to ensure my net worth is not devalued. Economic think tanks are already conducting feasibility studies to predict the ramifications of the devaluation both domestically and internationally.
It is going to be a very tough time for the US and I anticipate the Mexican devaluation will pale in comparison to our dollar devaluation, not only to this country, but worldwide. What is the answer for Americans?
Read the writing on the wall, and extricate yourselves from your US dollar positions.
Physical gold and silver bullion and coins will be the ultimate protection and wealth preservation assets during the coming devaluation of the US dollar.

Friday, September 28, 2012

After the Storm by Jeff Thomas

After the Storm by Jeff Thomas With all the study and thought that are required to make sense out of how the Great Unraveling will play out, we seldom take time to think of what it will be like on the other side. Those of us who are, by nature, long-term thinkers and/or optimistic, have a vague picture in mind of a rebirth of libertarian thinking, and a vibrant economy. However, we tend not to think too much more about these hopes than that, because we are caught up in the Great Unraveling itself - a very time-consuming topic. The other day, an associate whom I like to think of as having a decent, if not holistic, view of the present depression, commented to me, "I wish we could just have the crash tomorrow and everything that goes with it, so that, next year, we can get back to normal." Oops ... maybe his expectations are a bit more simplified than I thought. And, if others share his view, possibly the topic needs a bit of fleshing-out. While it may not be ready to be a prime topic of the ongoing conversation, possibly an outline of what may happen after all the fireworks have gone off would be in order. Ten Years Down and Ten Years Up Economic wizard (and favourite 'Uncle') Harry Schultz stated back in the early 2000's that what he anticipated was "ten years down and ten years up." At the time, many thought that his projection was extremely prolonged. I didn't think so. People do commonly seem to take the view that, once the various crashes have taken place, we simply walk out into the sun, brush the dirt off the knees of our trousers, and, with a spring in our step, walk into the bright new day. However, a depression is not at all like that. It is more like a town after a hurricane has hit. The storm may have been swift, but the recovery is not. Power lines are down. Roads are blocked. Homes and stores have been destroyed. Having personally been highly involved in the reconstruction of a small country after the devastation wrought by a category five hurricane, I can attest that, even if the population is hardworking and motivated (which they were), the task of rebuilding is monumental, and the time period required to achieve it is prolonged. I see the period after the various crashes very differently from those who anticipate immediate recovery symptoms. This is not because I imagine myself a visionary; my view is based on history. If we look at the economic collapses of the past, (inclusive of their possible knock-on effects, such as hyperinflation and destruction of the currency), from the fall of the Roman Empire to Weimar Germany, to Argentina and Zimbabwe - take your pick - the pattern is extremely similar. So, let's have a look at that pattern and ask ourselves if the present situation might not play out much the same (except far worse and more prolonged, as the conditions that led to this particular depression have been more extreme). The various stages are likely to be a given, but the various factors within each stage are a bit more uncertain. In every major economic collapse, some combination of these factors takes place. Also, consider that the stages themselves are like dominoes - they almost always fall in order. The reason? Details change in history, but human nature remains the same. The same knee-jerk reactions by people will repeat themselves over and over. (As an example, we are now experiencing a decline in exports from the First World. I believe that a repeat of the disastrous Smoot-Hawley Tariff of the 1930's will be passed in America, which undoubtedly would trigger increased hardship for Americans.) Stages of The Crash The stages are laid out below. The first three have already occurred. 1 INITIAL CRASHES Crash of the residential property market Crash of the commercial property market Crash of the stock market 2 INITIAL KNOCK-ON EFFECTS OF CRASHES Loss of homes Loss of jobs Inflation 3 IMMEDIATE ACTIONS BY GOVERNMENT Bailouts for select groups Dramatic increase of debt Politicians going in the opposite direction of a real solution The first knee-jerk reaction began immediately, with the Government attempting to "make the problem go away" as quickly as possible. Almost invariably, at this stage, the corrective strategy is hastily prepared and shortsighted, assuring further deterioration of the economy. In this stage, the politicians on both sides fail to focus on a real solution. Instead, their primary focuses are, first, to avoid a painful real solution, and, second, to engage in finger-pointing, each political party blaming the other for the problem. The problem worsens steadily until one of the next series of major dominoes falls. This is usually sudden and triggers the toppling of other dominoes. 4 SECOND WAVE OF CRASHES Major crash in stock market Currency plummets Increased bankruptcies Increased unemployment 5 INTERNATIONAL TRADING PARTNERS REACT Foreign countries refuse to accept more debt Foreign trade slows dramatically At this point, the Government introduces dramatic change, such as ill-conceived protectionism, which backfires almost immediately. 6 GOVERNMENT INSTITUTES DESPERATE SELF-DESTRUCTIVE MEASURES Defaults on debt Restrictive tariffs on imports Currency controls 7 ECONOMY REACTS IN LOCKSTEP TO GOVERNMENT ACTIONS Hyperinflation - dramatic increase in food and fuel costs Massive unemployment Extensive foreclosures Extensive bankruptcies At this point, the dominoes are tumbling quickly, and a rapid unraveling of control is about to take place. 8 SYSTEMIC COLLAPSE Bank closures Extensive homelessness Food and fuel shortages Electric power becomes sporadic, blackouts common As these factors unravel, the public mood turns to a combination of blind fear and anger. 9 SOCIAL COLLAPSE Crime rises dramatically (particularly street crime) Food riots Tax revolts Squatters' rebellions 10 MARTIAL LAW Creation of special army to address "domestic terrorism" Random killings become commonplace At first, the authorities focus mostly on violent subjugation and arrests; then, as prisons quickly become hopelessly overcrowded, camps become the norm. Soon, these too become unmanageable, particularly as a result of high cost of food and manpower. At that point, the solution turns to the killing of anyone who is suspected of a crime and, more frequently, anyone who is not submissive. (This will not resemble the Gestapo of the late 1930's. It will be less organized and more chaotic.) 11 REVOLUTION If revolution is to occur, it will happen at this point. Many people will feel that they have nothing to lose, and anger will be at its peak. If revolution does take place, it will not be an organized movement as such. It will be spontaneous, and breakouts will manifest themselves like popcorn popping, largely at random, with ever-increasing frequency. At some point, it may possibly evolve into something more organized. If you enjoyed this article, you might like our complimentary report, The Best of Jeff Thomas. Pulling no punches, Jeff shares his thoughts on the greatest threat to gold ownership, finding a bolthole on a budget, as well as the coming hyperinflation. You may download this free report immediately in our member's area. Or, if you are not a member, register for free here.

Sep 27, 2012 The Fed is Trapped, Gold is the Exit Darryl Robert Schoon 321gold ...s

Sep 27, 2012 The Fed is Trapped, Gold is the Exit Darryl Robert Schoon 321gold ...s

The Fed is Trapped, Gold is the Exit

Darryl Robert Schoon
Posted Sep 27, 2012

47% of US investors dependent on the Fed believe they are victimized by government, who believe they are entitled to enough liquidity to profit when risk is laid-off onto others, to society, to you-name-it
On September 13th, the Fed announced QE3, a policy of open-ended bond purchases which would add $1 trillion annually to the Fed’s balance sheet. The Fed’s decision to provide liquidity ad infinitum, i.e. QE etc, was framed in reasonable and carefully chosen language:
These actions, which together will increase the Committee's holdings of longer-term securities by about $85 billion each month through the end of the year, should put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative… Read here.

The measured wording gave the Fed sufficient cover to mask its increasingly desperate condition, i.e. how to keep its fatally-wounded credit and debt ponzi-scheme functioning while searching for a solution that doesn’t exist.
In capitalist economies, capital, i.e. money, is introduced by central banks into the economy in the form of loans; and because interest constantly compounds, economies must constantly expand in order to pay down and/or service those loans. This is why economists in capitalist systems are obsessed with growth.
Capitalism is, in actuality, a smoke and mirrors shell game where credit and debt have been substituted for money; and, as long as capitalism expands no one is the wiser because the fraud is so subtle. Capitalism, however, is no longer expanding. It is contracting.
Capitalism reached its peak in 2008 when Greenspan’s historic credit bubble burst. What investors believed was a finely-tuned balancing act between credit and debt orchestrated by Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan turned out instead to be a speculative bubble fed by Easy Al’s easy credit from the Fed’s 24/7 discount window.
While Greenspan presided over the greatest credit expansion in the history of capitalism, Greenspan also presided over two of its largest speculative bubbles - the 1996-2000 bubble and 2002-2007 US real estate bubble. Greenspan would later refer to evidence of these bubbles as ‘froth’; to those who lost homes and fortunes, it was blood.
(Click on images to enlarge)
The collapse of Greenspan’s two massive bubbles followed the spectacular collapse of the Japanese Nikkei. The catastrophic crash of Japan’s stock market in 1990 was the world’s largest since the US stock market had collapsed in 1929.
In Time of the Vulture: How to Survive the Crisis and Prosper in the Process, I wrote: …fueled by excessive amounts of liquidity, [the price of Japanese real estate and stocks] exploded upwards. Japanese real estate prices increased 70 times over and stock prices increased over 100-fold, with the Nikkei reaching a market top at 38,992 in January 1990.
As with all speculative bubbles, the Nikkei collapsed - and the collapse of the Nikkei in 1990 unleashed deflationary forces not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Prices of stocks and real estate in Japan began a long and steep multi-year descent.
Commercial real estate lost 80% of its value in the next decade and the Nikkei fell from 38,992 in 1990 to 8,237 in 2003. Deflationary cycles are long and protracted and if not stopped will become deflationary depressions, an economic phenomenon for which there are no ready answers.
In 1990, Japan escaped a complete deflationary collapse only because Easy Al’s credit bubble was underway in the West. Rising credit-driven Western demand combined with Japan’s high savings rate helped slow Japan’s inexorable descent into deflation. Nonetheless, after 1990, Japan would need to borrow increasingly large amounts of money in order to survive and borrow it did.
After the 2008 economic rendering, the central banks of the US, the UK and Europe have joined Japan in the desperate need to constantly increase money-printing to keep their economies afloat; and while reviving growth is their announced goal, the unspoken intent is to avoid a fatal deflationary collapse in demand.
As Credit Suisse recently noted: …Japan’s titanic struggle with private sector de-leveraging has spread to the rest of the developed world. Rapid succession of asset bubbles (at least 12 since 1980) led to the global private sector de-leveraging causing deflationary “winds”, regularly stalling global growth and leading to waves of expansionary public sector response.
While the extent of an asset price collapse in Japan was far more severe than either the or Subprime crises, the basic dynamic of subsequent response (i.e., private sector moving from borrowing to net lending, forcing public sector into stimulatory monetary and fiscal policies) was essentially the same in Japan in the 1990s as it has been in the US, the UK or Eurozone since 2008. Read here.
The Fed, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are all having to print more and more money to keep their economies functioning

On September 18th, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s commentary in The Telegraph UK was titled Japan launches QE8 as 20-year slump drags on. Evans-Pritchard noted that QE8, Japan’s latest round of quantitative easing, i.e. money-printing, is only the latest of Japan’s serial attempts to avoid a deflationary collapse.
Although Japan has survived deflation’s endgame for over 20 years, the US, the UK and Europe will not be so lucky - nor, this time, will Japan. With all major economic zones deflating simultaneously, the West’s demise will be far quicker than Japan’s protracted agony; and when the West collapses, this time Japan will collapse with it.
The US, Japan, and Europe are all trapped in deflation’s ever-widening net, i.e. a constantly expanding liquidity trap.
We’re trapped too - unless we own gold and/or silver.
In 1949, the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises wrote in Human Action:
The wavelike movement affecting the economic system, the recurrence of periods of boom which are followed by periods of depression, is the unavoidable outcome of the attempts, repeated again and again, to lower the gross market rate of interest by means of credit expansion. There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved
Von Mises words, written in 1949, are being played out today. In the intervening years, bankers did not abandon credit expansion. They did the very opposite. After WWII, bankers continued expanding credit until what von Mises called a crack-up boom occurred - where excess credit and money drive valuations to all time highs (from 1982-2000 the Dow rose from 777 to 11,723, a increase of 1400% in 18 years).
The collapse of financial markets in 2008 signaled the beginning of the end; and ever since then, central bankers have been printing more and more money hoping to stave off a final collapse.
Money-printing, however, will not prevent capitalism’s systemic collapse. It will, in fact, do the opposite. Collective central bank money-printing will trigger a final and total catastrophe of the currency system as von Mises predicted.
In August 2008, in Gold and the Collapse of Paper Money , I wrote:
We are about to see a variation of [the Great Depression], except this time it will be worse because this time sovereign monetary defaults will accompany the defaulting of debt and the contracting of credit. This time money itself will be a victim. Fiat paper money systems have always ended in failure. This time is no exception.
QE3 is the beginning of the bankers’ monetary death march. Central banks in Japan, the US and Europe are now openly engaged in massive monetary debasement, printing more and more money in the futile hope they can reverse the deflationary collapse now in motion. They can’t.
They can, however, in trying to do so, instead destroy the currency system.
My video, Wake-Up! The Crisis and the 2-Party System, is especially timely. Shot on October 29, 2011, it discusses today’s relevant issues months before they happened.
Buy gold, buy silver, have faith.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The fourth of July and hating America

Tomorrow is the fourth of July. Among the few freaks who actually think "what is all this about?" we will celebrate the signing of a document that is, above all else concerned with the FREEDOM OF THE INDIVIDUAL. Yeah, the document is in the context of forming of a new government and revolting against the old one. However, the core of it is a full frontal attack on one of the most destructive lies today, that there are "group rights" or "societal rights." The huge lie embraced today by many is that men must be viewed as a part of a group, rather than individuals (who may compose all sorts of different groups). The fiction most Americans believe is that the state of existing as a "group" creates some kind of (fuzzily defined) "group rights and obligations," and at times those trump individual rights. Modern statists proclaim that we must look for a diversity between those two, group rights and individual rights. This is the division point between the (few) individuals who talk about "liberty" and modern statists. The Declaration of Independence say it very very plainly. GROUPS (in this case, government, but all groups in reality) EXIST FOR THE RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS, INDIVIDUALS **NEVER** SURRENDER RIGHTS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GROUP. This is the big difference between so called "liberals" and the people whose name they stole (the current libertarians). Every single statist redistributionist big government monstrosity, from the so called "right" or "left" (and the two are hardly distinguishable, despite all the howlings of "conservatives" to the contrary), rests on destroying this basic premise..... the rights of the individual are sovereign. The DOI is a document asserting the ONLY reason for the existence of the government is to protect the sovereign (it is my qualifier, not in the document you know what that word means?) rights of the individual. Not a group, not "society" not "the nation"..... but INDIVIDUAL rights of freedom... to do as they wish, live as they wish, treat their own bodies as they wish, be as unsafe (toward themselves) and insanely crazy as they wish, SPEND THEIR MONEY as they wish, worship (or not worship) as they wish, say the most offensive and vile and hurtful and hateful things as they wish, and in general, live lives free from the qualifier: "but this doesn't help SOCIETY!" If you say this among totalitarian statists (about 80% of the people, best I can tell) you will of course get all kinds of stupid idiotic suggestions like "go someplace where you can live alone in your tent" as if demanding the RIGHT to be left alone means everyone lives in some kind of atomized exclusivist hut somewhere. I don't know whether these people are so stupid they can't UNDERSTAND living in society as free people, or they fear freedom, but this much is clear. The Declaration of Independence is dead, most Americans hate what it really says, and therefore I have no idea what they are "celebrating," besides fireworks, barbecue, and beer. So go ahead and tack up a flag if it makes you feel "patriotic" or something. Put on Lee Greenwood and cry, for all I care. You may in fact genuinely "love your country" and love that flag and deeply respect all it "stands for." Be aware of this, though. Unless you are willing to state that the individual is sovereign over the group when it comes to personal liberty, you hate what it REALLY stands for. You have just made up another "America" to be patriotic for. I suppose that is your right. Have a happy fourth.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Two years of oceanic observations below the Fimbul Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Twenty-year-old models which have suggested serious ice loss in the eastern Antarctic have been compared with reality for the first time - and found to be wrong, so much so that it now appears that no ice is being lost at all. "Previous ocean models ... have predicted temperatures and melt rates that are too high, suggesting a significant mass loss in this region that is actually not taking place," says Tore Hattermann of the Norwegian Polar Institute, member of a team which has obtained two years' worth of direct measurements below the massive Fimbul Ice Shelf in eastern Antarctica - the first ever to be taken. Overall, according to the team, their field data shows "steady state mass balance" on the eastern Antarctic coasts - ie, that no ice is being lost from the massive shelves there. Two years of oceanic observations below the Fimbul Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

WHO is the threat here?????

Each star below is a military base.




Well, because we are the good guys, of course!!

Sobran Column --- The Honor of Ron Paul

I miss Joseph Sobran.

I guess I’ve known Ron Paul for a quarter of a century now, and I don’t remember how we met. My first memory of him is a quiet dinner on Capitol Hill, during the Reagan years. He told me with dry humor of being the only member of Congress to vote against some bill Reagan wanted passed. For Ron it was a matter of principle, and he was under heavy pressure to change his vote.

What amused him was that the Democrats didn’t mind his voting against it; all the pressure came from his fellow Republicans, professed conservatives, who were embarrassed that anyone should actually stand up for their avowed principles when it was unpopular to do so.

That was Ron Paul for you. Still is. The whole country is getting to know him now, and the Republicans still want to get rid of him. The party’s hacks, led by Newt Gingrich, have even tried in vain to destroy him in his own Texas district.

They’re right, in a way. He doesn’t belong in a party that has made conservative a synonym for destructive. George Will calls him a “useful anachronism” because he actually believes, as literally as circumstances permit, in the U.S. Constitution. In his unassuming way, without priggery or histrionics, he stands alone.

He may have become at last what he has always deserved to be: the most respected member of the U.S. Congress. He is also the only Republican candidate for president who is truly what all the others pretend to be, namely, a conservative. His career shows that a patriotic, pacific conservatism isn’t a paradox.

If they can’t expel Ron Paul from the party, they can at least deny him the nomination. The GOP front-runner, Rudy Giuliani, who says he hates abortion more than any other constitutional right (or words to that effect), went into raptures of phony indignation during the first “debate” when Paul said simply that the 9/11 attacks were a natural result of U.S. foreign policy. The pundits applauded the demagogue, but millions of viewers were thrilled to find one honest man on that crowded stage. (By the way, Paul is a doctor who has delivered thousands of babies and never killed one.)

Ron — I’m very proud to call him my friend — fares well not only in comparison with the party’s sorry current candidates, but also with its legendary conservative giants, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. He lacks their charisma and of course Reagan’s matchless charm, but he excels them both in consistency, depth, historical awareness, courage, and honor. Heaven grant him some of Reagan’s luck!

Which brings us to the big question: does Ron Paul have a prayer? Well, he may have a prayer, but that’s about it. He doesn’t have a billion dollars; delivering babies, often free of charge, is not the way to amass a staggering fortune. He has nothing to offer the special and foreign interests who pour millions into Rudy’s and Hillary’s coffers. Sorry, this isn’t a Frank Capra movie.

But virtue — honor — is rare enough to be an asset, especially when the two big parties don’t have much of it. If both offer pro-war, pro-abortion New York liberals next year, there could be an urgent demand for a third option, especially since Giuliani could smash what’s left of the Bush-riddled GOP coalition while Hillary remains, well, Hillary.

What if Ron Paul runs for president on, say, the Constitution Party ticket? Who knows? I can only attest that to know him is to love him, and knowing him for many years has only deepened the esteem I felt for him when we were both much younger men. This is a man who strikes deep chords in people’s hearts.

Every attempt to portray him as an extremist, or even eccentric, founders on his palpable probity and wisdom. His words are the carefully measured words of one given to meditation. Ron Paul is a man you listen closely to.

The odds are heavily against his being elected president next year. But if he is on the ballot in November, the odds are far heavier against his candidacy’s being forgotten. He will say things worth pondering long after the votes are cast.

Until now, the GOP has been able to contain Paul by pretending he wasn’t there. But the silent treatment can no longer stifle this soft-spoken man. He has been proved right too often.

Sobran Column --- The Honor of Ron Paul

Monday, January 23, 2012

Human Life Sunday

Yesterday was "Human Life Sunday" and most evangelical churches are full of stuff about abortion. Everyone who has seen more than one post by me knows I think it a horror and a redo of the Holocaust and awful. Christians are mostly united on that issue.

Yesterday, though, was one of the best "Human Life Sunday" services I have ever been to. The reason is that it was NOT "against abortion." It sorta was, but in a really really good and different way. Someone has said that the best way to show a crooked stick is crooked is NOT to pull out the protractor, and give a detailed set of measurement codices, but simply to lay a straight stick beside it.

The message was on "adoption" and the nature of the family of God vs those not in the family. It was beautiful, inspiring, full of truth and a great message on the two families and the free and open invitation to join God's family.... and how family members share the same characteristics of the father (this is, in fact, how you know they are family members).

The "human life Sunday" part, though came in the exhortation to the congregation to do what the Christian church has done through the centuries, and that is take in the unwanted. Christians have historically been known as those who rescued abandoned and unwanted children, rescuing them from degradation, exploitation, starvation and abuse. The Roman cynic Julian complained that Christians not only cared for their own poor but rescued the abandoned children of the pagans. Amy Carmichael spent her entire adult life beating people up to send her money so she could buy child temple prostitutes from Hindu shrines and raise them (while she was horribly sick, btw). George Mueller ran an orphanage entirely "on faith" meaning he never asked anyone for a dime but ran close to a million dollar ministry simply asking God to show he was God by providing without publicizing needs. His bio is quite amazing. All these and more are part of the heritage of the Christian church. He brought up the quip of Barney Frank, who stated that "pro lifers think life starts at conception and ends at birth." While acknowledging that this is terribly unfair, he really hammered on the fact that we should be willing to sacrifice our standards of living to open our homes and take in the unwanted, including becoming foster parents, if not going all the way thru adoption. This, before attempting legislation, is the best way of repudiating the phenomenally selfish and barbarous ethic of abortion. Not saying that legal protection is wrong or misplaced. It is saying that an ethic of love is better led than driven.

My own experience is that the church where I go is the first one I have been for a LONG time where people who don't have a lot to bring to the table socially are welcomed in, affirmed and a conscious effort is made to make them know that "you matter."

This is so very contrary to everything out there in "normal" society and sadly (I speak from experience) contrary to much of the church. It should be the one place where the "what can you do for me?" values are rejected.

The fact that the unhip, the uncool, the uneducated, the slow, the odd folks are welcomed is of the same cloth as an emphasis that we should be welcoming to otherwise unwanted children.

Carole and I talked a few years ago about how God may call us to adopt a child, specifically a child from a different race, and maybe one with problems, partly as a statement that all people have value. Carole's response was most interesting. She said "how could we NOT do such a thing?" We had no idea that our "adoption" would be of the homegrown variety, nor of the pain that would be involved in how that was set up, but here we are.

Anyway, the pastor said he wanted the church to be KNOWN as the place where unwanted children could go, no matter what their problems or backgrounds or race or whatever. He is adopting a child from Uganda from an aids orphanage. The church has started a number of ministries focused on this, with resource links and funding pools. It is phenomenally expensive to adopt, usually costing upwards of $20,000 and often doubling that if you do so internationally. His attitude is "so what is my money for?"

Again, it was beautiful.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ron Paul is a Lunatic!

A slobbering on the chin, feces smearing on the wall, howling lunatic with CRAZY ideas.


Monday, January 16, 2012

I have a dream (redux)

I stole this from Zero Hedge. It is a reworking of MLK's most famous speech in light of the OCCUPY protestors (who have a legitimate gripe, even when their solutions suck).

This is

(it is surprising how little of this needed to be rewritten or edited to be apropos.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as
the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

In 1776, the founding fathers, in whose symbolic shadows we stand
today, signed the Declaration of Independence. This momentous decree
came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Americans who had
been seared in the flames of withering political and economic
injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their
political and economic captivity.

But almost 250 years later, ordinary Americans are still not free. Two hundred and fifty years later, the life of ordinary Americans is sadly crippled by the manacles a government that is operating under the credo "by the corporation and state and for the corporation and state", rather than "by the people for the people."

Two hundred and fifty years later, countless Americans are living in a lonely island of poverty, struggling to get by on government handouts, in the midst of a vast ocean of obscene prosperity in many instances subsidized by their government.

Two hundred and fifty years later, Men women and children of all color are languishing in the corners of a privileged society controlled by the few and find themselves an economic exile in their own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would
be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, Washington DC together with it's financial enablers on Wall Street, have given the American people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "Too Big To Fail."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of economic opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of opportunity and the security of economic justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to
rise from the dark and desolate valley of "moral hazard" to the sunlit path of creative capitalism. Now is the time to save our nation from the quicksands of chronic bailouts and "Too Big to Fail" to the time proven solid rock of creative destruction and economic opportunity. Now is the time to make economic justice a reality for all of our children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of economic discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of transparent economic growth and opportunity. Nineteen sixty-three was not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that it was just the Negro who needed to blow off steam
and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation continues to allow Wall Street and much of corporate America to operate "business as usual."

And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until Americans are returned their citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which is engulfing America must not lead us to a distrust of all wealth, for many of our successful brothers in business, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their economic success is inextricably bound to our success.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking, "When will you be satisfied?"

We can never be satisfied as long as outspoken Americans are the victims of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.

We can never be satisfied as long as our country continues to be pillaged by greed and corruption.

We cannot be satisfied as long as Americans individually and as a people are
forced to struggle under the chains of unsustainable debt.

We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by pepper spraying goons protecting signs stating: "Keep
off the Grass."

Not only can we not be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote but equally as long as an ordinary person on Main Street USA is forced to accept that his worth less than those in the privileged club of Wall Street billionaires.

No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells.
And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for economic freedom and opportunity left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered
by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to downtown New York City, Oakland, Boston, Detroit and LA and the rotting housing tracts of California, Ohio, Massachusetts, Nevada, Florida and Arizona, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men, not corporations or banks but men, are created equal."

I have a dream today!

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Group Says It Got Primary Ballots With Dead People's Names - New Hampshire News Story - WMUR New Hampshire

James Okeefe is my hero!

Group Says It Got Primary Ballots With Dead People's Names - New Hampshire News Story - WMUR New Hampshire:

'via Blog this'

Rock Star Ron Paul and his critics

"What a lot of the media doesn't seem to understand about Ron Paul, is that he doesn't only attract people that agree with his views, he is also able to educate people so they change their views to match his." (AP)

This is true. You see, those who want "another Reagan" have one staring them in the face, they are just too ideologically blinded to see it. Reagan's great strength was that he was able to reach across the aisle and pull into the Republican Party huge numbers of ex democrats, or traditionally voting dem independents. He helped them see "your party no longer represents you, and we are the group more closely aligned to your interests." He also brought in huge numbers of young voters.

How did he do this? By enumerating a huge lot of libertarian principles (which he then failed to follow...., but hey, he at least got them out there on the table). THIS is why Ron Paul supported him (one of only three Congressmen who did so, defying the Republican leadership) back in 1976.

The ideas of traditional liberalism (what we call "libertarianism" because the Marxists have co-opted the word "liberal") are strong, and powerfully appealing. More than that, the arguments are intellectually cogent and EXTREMELY powerful in their moral suasion abilities. This is why Ron Paul has almost a cult like following among many. His "rock star" appearances befuddle the nay sayers because he has NOTHING "rock star" about him. His manner is weak, his voice squeaky, his suits don't fit, and he is contemptible compared to a Perry, or a Romney. However, in his speeches (which have NO pizzazz) an undercurrent of truth, honesty and common sense just boils out. He talks about freedom, the need to take back government, the immorality and ridiculousness of our constant wars, the intrusion of the state into our lives, and the corruption of our money/banking system through the federal reserve.... all those things ring true because they ARE true. It is like there is a burst of reason and common sense in a sea of lies and manipulation.

In the midst of this, you do see the people who resist this, and resist bitterly. They are mostly, although not uniformly the constipated metamucil crowd, as Ron gains 50% of the youth vote. He is most vociferously resisted by the greyhairs. Many Evangelicals also reject him, though mostly over a view of "Israel" which is related to a rather bizarre end times theology.

Why is this? Partly that kids are idealistic, but it is also something else. As a rule, no one in America has been educated in HOW to think, but rather WHAT to think is all they know. Zerohedge had a great article which I linked to here -- The biggest mental effort people put forth does not include actually evaluating arguments, but choosing their sources of information. Critical thinking skills are very rare in our culture today. Instead we simply mirror what the "experts" tell us in the media, and think freedom of thought means choosing our "experts," whether they be Limbaugh, Stewart, Alex Jones, Thomas Friedman or Ron Paul. MSNBC or Fox is their great excercise of freedom. That is why some of the stuff, like the current idiotic thread which asserts that Ron Paul is anti gun freedom, (this post originally was written in a local gun forum) is so abysmally stupid that one could walk through the deepest elements of the article and not get your ankles wet, and yet it is put forth as a serious critique. Further, contemptuous dismissal is met with moral indignation and a chorus of "you think you are so smart" or something like. The ability to distinguish between STATIST approaches to "gun freedom" and liberty based arguments are simply beyond the ken of the person who makes such arguments. I started to post in the thread but thought, "man! if that crap is thought a serious rebuttal, there is no point." The same kind of foolishness came from a recent "anybody but Ron Paul" by the pro life group "Americans for Life" who maintain the phenomenally mindless position that anyone who is for rolling back abortion by any means other than a constitutional amendment is "not pro life." This is nothing more than an inability (and often and unwillingness)_ to actually EVALUATE and think critically. Choose your expert and strap in. The idea that HOW we come to the results wished is actually more important than the temporary goal is just not within the processing capabilities of many oldsters, it seems. It is a learned habit. Hand me the remote, will ya?

There is another reason why the man is popular. Men were created for truth. We WANT to believe truth and we want to believe men are telling it. This is why we fall, over and over and over, for scam artists, hucksters, thieves and shysters. This belief that "he is genuine" is a chord that resonates deeply in the heart of men. Again, we WANT to believe that someone is honest and has integrity. Of course, there are many who think themselves "wise" because they has seen the truth that men are, in fact, liars and untrustworthy. There is a vocal element of that stripe here. Because of this, they think that bitter cynicism is the lodestone and they are above the rubes getting sucked in. These are the people who will tell you that Tim Tebow is a hypocritical money grubber, or bawl out continuous warnings about the messiah complex of Paulites. They have not a first scintilla of evidence, but they have a false view of man (virtue is not possible and redemption is a myth) and more importantly, they WANT to believe this because it make them wise and brighter than the naive simpletons who believe...... .ANYTHING. It often justifies in their own mind their own bitter hostility toward all things good/God. Good simply does not exist, outside kissing puppies and other personal acts of piety, be they secular or religious. They are largely bitter and angry people, and often self congratulatory that they are not "taken in" with the rest of the gullible. These are the folks who have no retort except to repeat over and over that "you have a mancrush on Ron Paul" or "you think he is a Messiah" or some other such. They think themselves wise and untouched by such hero worship. I like the phrase "above it all" to describe them.

This is why some Paulite diatribes (including mine) are so laced with scorn and contempt. Not because the people making the accusations are contemptible, but because the arguments are so obviously pandering lies, and obviously "rip and paste" hit pieces.

This is not to say that everyone not on the Ron Paul bandwagon is some dyspeptic sour old coot, a cranially vacant nimrod, or some other defective person. There are good and serious reasons to question his positions. Foreign policy issues do bear scrutiny, and the issue of Israel and the US is a touchy issue. You may wind up evaluating him on the basis of this and saying "no thanks" and that is certainly legitimate. I may think you are wrong and we can respectfully disagree.

My own first thought about the military stuff was "this is crazy and will never work"........., and then I began thinking about what was said. I started looking at some of the people he was quoting (none of these ideas are his, by the way. He is standing in a stream of political thought, the source of which goes back thru Hayek and Mises and Bastiat and Jefferson and Locke and Aquinas and Calvin and Augustine). I began weighing the different arguments I wrote to a friend of mine and asked him to pray for me, joking that I might wind up on the staff of the John Birch Society (I did not know who Alex Jones was at the time or I would have used him). I had discussions with a scholar friend of mine who teaches political science at Liberty University (that conversation was dismaying). I flew out to San Antonio to talk to a friend of mine who is a colonel (now retired) in Special Forces who was in Iraq. He is one of my closest friends, and I was really torn over my developing views on our foreign policy and my loyalty to men like him. He came home between deployments and I flew out to his home to have some long talks about where I was going (I know his wife just LOVED that! lol Had not seen the man for 11 months or so and someone shows up on his one week with her to talk politics!). I wound up where I am. I maintain close friendships with these guys whom I respect, but disagree with. I can respectfully disagree with you if you show any semblance of integrity on this stuff.

If you post stuff that consists of foolish tripe that has every appearance of completely unthinking pabulum shoved out by people with all the intellectual honesty of Chris Matthews or Rachel Maddow, or all you have is "I don't like foreign policy" and then line up a bunch of sneers based on "electability" though, don't whine about being mocked. You deserve it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lack of Critical Thinking is Key to the Corrupt Status Quo Maintaining Their Power | ZeroHedge

Insightful article with a focus on financial ideological subversion, but has implications for every aspect of culture. Key point is that we have replaced "how to think" with "what to think" so that critical thinking skills are very rare in our culture today. Instead we simply mirror what the "experts" tell us in the media, and think freedom of thought means choosing our "experts," whether they be Limbaugh, Stewart, Alex Jones, Thomas Friedman or Ron Paul. Very good article.

Lack of Critical Thinking is Key to the Corrupt Status Quo Maintaining Their Power | ZeroHedge:

'via Blog this'

Monday, January 09, 2012


This is spooky.

NEVER. in my WILDEST WILDEST dreams....

did I EVER think I would be agreeing with Phil Donahue on ANYTHING.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Friday, January 06, 2012

Ponzi Planet: The Danger Debt Poses to the Western World - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

This is a FANTASTIC article in the German Magazine "Spiegel." I am amazed that it made it into print. It is a barnburner, despite being very long.

In summary, it shows where the central banks of western countries have done EXACTLY what Bernie Madoff did. They have engineered a huge Ponzi scheme.

Like all Ponzi schemes, someone eventually gets left holding the bag. This is why they are illegal, except when it is the lawmakers themselves running the scam.

Ponzi Planet: The Danger Debt Poses to the Western World - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International:

'via Blog this'

Racist Ron Paul Newsletters, memo from CNN HQ

OK, here it is. Final proof that the letters that caused such a stink back in the early 1990s were NOT being written by Ron Paul.>

Here is a scan of one of them, which clearly shows the author during that period of time to be a Mr. "James Powell." At present, this story is still breaking.... and of course WE aren't going to be looking for what really happened....., so we don't know yet if James Powell is

1) a guy at the CATO institute - my guess.


2) one of the directors at FORBES (who is also connected to FOX media! have someone look at this)

Either way, it lends clear credence to the portrayal by Ron that this was in the early days of the libertarian movement, and it was wild, freewheeling, with huge freedom and disorganization and a lack of "control" (hmmmm, kind of like libertarianism). If something happened that was inappropriate, you simply said "nope, that is not me" and fired the person doing it, or disassociated yourself from them.


This is actually what terrifies the control freaks and wet diaper whiners of the right and left. We can use this to our advantage. Without any help from us, they will moan and complain and shriek in terror about the "dangers" of such a lack of rules to protect us and make sure we wear our star of David..... er, I mean show our papers..... no, that is not it either...... well, you know what I mean just like I do.... I think. Anyway, these mewling crybabies can always be counted on to moan that THERE HAVE TO BE RULES. Of course, we here at Pentagon/media/banking/ will be happy to allay their fears Otherwise we will have dogs and cats living together and everyone doing what we want and no CONTROL.......and in short, CHAOS, not to mention a loss of money and power here. This cannot be tolerated.

Because of the violation of this principle of control, these libertarians MUST BE STOPPED. Truth must NOT be a barrier. Responsible journalism must give way to guilt by asking the same damfool questions over and over and accusing the same lies a million times no matter what answers are given.

In short, we have to enshrine the standards of Gloria Borger, who encapsulated so well this policy by asking the same question 8 times over and over in one interview, finally pissing off the object of her witch hunt...... and then editing the released clip to make her intended quarry appear to be flipping out over a simple reasonable line of questions. This is a masterful application of the Goebbels journalism standard, which consists of an absolute REFUSAL to go digging into the archives of the Ron Paul newsletters themselves to try and uncover the facts (it took a Ron Paul supporter to do that!), but rather to simply wave the offending articles and shriek "admit your guilt!!!"

We can always count on the aphorism of Mark Twain "h'aint we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain't that a big enough majority in any town?" The left has long been known as an idiot crowd who lust for government control like a horny 17 year old boy gazing longingly on internet porn. However, the delightful discovery that is coming out is that the "conservative" movement is full of meat heads who are just as committed to centralization and totalitarianism. It took less than 4 hours for these useful tools to begin sneering at the "hypocrisy" and gravely intoning their predictions that "the media" will destroy the candidate over this. The idea that the truth might come out has never entered the thought horizon of these persons. This actually shows them to be tools because they WANT to be tools. They will simply repeat what we tell them.

Now that the truth has come out, these rubes have forgotten the original issue and are fixated on another of our accusations. We have moved on, and so have they. By the time we finish waving the current issue (an offending tweet re: John Huntsman) in their faces, the truth that twitter can be hacked quite easily has also vanished from the picture. We have the garrulous "GIVE ME MY METAMUCIL, DAMMIT!" crowd from the right so eating out of our hands that they never even consider that when the offending contemptuous tweet about was taken down, it mysteriously RE APPEARED a few moments later. Americans are such imbeciles that we can spin this to insinuate that Dr. Evil is a gibbering old fool who is hopelessly obsessed with spiteful evil and childish gloating and simply cannot help himself, but MUST post in gleeful triumph over a candidate who wasn't even running. Again, we can count on the stupidity of the right to coalesce with WHAT THEY WANT TO BELIEVE to aid us, here.

In short, the observation of the reporter covering the pentagon that "if Ron Paul is elected over 1/3 of these people will lose their jobs"... while a horrifying prospect, is not really on the immediate horizon. While his ideas are hugely popular with the young voters (with over 50% of them in Iowa voting for the libertarian nutcase), we have a good buffer zone of bible thumping Christian Sharia advocates on the right that we can use to scare the sh*t out of the soccer mom crowd, and of course, the left has been in our pocket for some time. The collapse of the centralized collection of congress, military, media, and banking is not likely to occur soon...... at least until we can all safely collect our pensions.

Be of good cheer and carry on.

1993: The Ron Paul Strategy Guide | @RP_Newsletter:

'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The mental process of Christians astounds me sometimes

From Volokh

Santorum: “States Do Not Have the Right to Do Wrong”
Jonathan H. Adler • January 5, 2012 11:02 am

The WSJ Law Blog reports on comments by former Senator Rick Santorum (unearthed at RedState) on federalism and the authority of different states to adopt different policies on moral questions.

I’m a very strong supporter of the 10th amendment . . . but the idea that the only things that the states are prevented from doing are only things specifically established in the Constitution is wrong.

Our country is based on a moral enterprise. Gay marriage is wrong. As Abraham Lincoln said, states do not have the right to do wrong. And so there are folks, here who said states can do this and I won’t get involved in that.

I will get involved in that because the states, as a president I will get involved because the states don’t have a right to undermine the basic fundamental values that hold this country together. America is an ideal. It’s not just a constitution, it is an ideal. It’s a set of morals and principles that were established in that declaration, and states don’t have the right, just like they didn’t have the right to do slavery.

If Senator Santorum is a “strong supporter of the 10th amendment,” he might want to read it, as it seems to say precisely what he denies.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The Constitution only prohibits states from doing those things the Constitution prohibits, and the federal government may only constrain state autonomy pursuant to those powers delegated to the federal government. Santorum may think same-sex marriage is wrong, but nothing in the Constitution prevents states from recognizing same-sex marriage nor does anything in the Constitution authorize the federal government to stop states from doing so.

The reference to Lincoln is also interesting, and does not exactly support Santorum’s claim that “states don’t have a right to undermine the basic fundamental values” of the nation. Contrary to Santorum’s suggestion, states did have the legal authority to permit slavery prior to adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment (which was adopted, incidentally, well after Lincoln’s death). The Emancipation Proclamation, issued pursuant to the President’s War Powers, only applied in those states that had seceded. The federal government had the authority to limit slavery, such as by ending the slave trade or (prior to Dred Scott) prohibiting slavery in federal territories, but states retained the authority to “do wrong.”

A more charitable interpretation of Santorum’s remarks would be that there is nothing in the 10th Amendment that would prevent a constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage. That would be true, but trivially so. There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents the adoption of additional amendments on anything (with one exception still relevant today). But this only makes the point. Were a constitutional amendment adopted prohibiting same-sex marriage, then states would be specifically prohibited from recognizing such marriages by the Constitution, not by some conception of America’s “moral enterprise” or the “basic fundamental values” of the nation.

It is absolutely amazing to me that CHRISTIANS are flocking to this guy. The rationale of this is, of course, that the 14th amendment incorporates the 9th amendment. This is the purview of liberal, interventionist statist court rulings that "conservatives" have been condemning for years....., until they find that it is convenient to use the same reasoning to get what they want. "Conservatives" in the Republican party are statists, totalitarians and power freaks just as much as the socialist counterparts they profess to hate.

The best thing I can say about them is that they are dying off.

This article shows that Ron Paul won over 50% of they youth vote. He absolutely blew out the rest of the people. The voters for Romney are over 60, and the Santorum vote was mostly 40-60.

It is clear that the future belongs to noninterventionist, non statist, small government ideals. It is also clear that the dyspeptic legalist prune juice church lady crowd is going to lose influence, simply because they are dying out.
The only question in my mind is whether they will drag the entire nation into bankruptcy and tyranny with their good intentions, or have the decency to die first.

For the love of God, please go.

Land of the free

It may have looked like they were ready for war or some deranged person looking for his late Social Security benefits.
But it was only Federal Protective Service officers with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security who were conducting a random training operation early Tuesday morning when they surprisingly showed up at the Social Security Administration office in downtown Leesburg.
With their blue and white SUVs circled around the Main Street office, at least one official was posted on the door with a semiautomatic rifle, randomly checking identifications. And other officers, some with K-9s, sifted through the building.
"I thought someone was upset about not getting there check," said Laura Kelly, who took a friend to the office on Tuesday.
According to one Homeland official in the Washington, D.C. office, Operation Shield. is an effort that uses routine, unannounced visits by FPS inspectors to test the effectiveness of contract guards, or protective security officers -- "detecting the presence of unauthorized persons and potentially disruptive or dangerous activities."
Part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FPS is the federal law enforcement agency that provides integrated security and law enforcement services to over 9,000 federally-owned and leased buildings, facilities, properties and other assets.
Officers on the scene would not speak to the press and by noon they were gone. But Thomas Milligan, district manager for the Social Security Administration office, said while the visit came as a surprise, the office was ready. He added the officers checked videos, security measures, alarm system and more.
"It was to make sure security measures are in place and properly followed," Milligan said.

Daily Commercial - <p>Training excercise startles locals</p>