Links 5/24/10

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  1. Abhishek

    The US government has set up a Commission to look at the omissions and faults by different stakeholders leading to this environmental disaster.However don’t expect any solutions to the fundamental problems as US remains a laggard on issues of climate change and global warming

  2. alex black

    The article about all the new off-shore drilling starting up despite Obama’s assurances that there would be a moratorium is a bit disconcerting. It’s like Axelrod is telling him “Look, if you’re gonna win in 2012, you’ve already lost half your base – you need to pick off a big chunk of the Palin supporters.”

    1. attempter

      It wouldn’t surprise me if Obama’s still stupid enough to think he can appease Republicans and get them to like him. But I would be surprised if the campaign pros still think that.

      No, I imagine they’re counting on the liberal teabaggers to turn out in large enough numbers.

      As for actual progressives, Obama and the establishment Dems revile them and would rather die than try to appease them. Having successfully fooled so many of them in 08 is their great point of pride.

      That’s how much they intrinsically hate democracy and public interest policy. At least as much as Republicans do, maybe even more.

      1. Richard Kline

        Obama doesn’t have to appease Republicans, just shine on a slice of Republican _voters_, not the same thing. This was his big strategy in 2008. It failed miserably: he was elected because all the independents came over to him. It says worlds for Obama and his team that they didn’t even notice or adjust their strategy.

  3. attempter

    Sometimes I look at a photograph like that and think it’s from a hundred million years ago, showing long-extinct species in an ocean once boiling with exuberant life, now sterile.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That picture WAS taken from a hundred million years ago – if you look carefully, you could see a megalodon in the left, with is mouth wide open and in the upper right hand corner, there appears to be an Argentavis Magnificens.

  4. Bates

    “Statism” and the Ayn Rand Cult

    As usual when the predominant thrust of a society and it’s government have gone astray, in this case Keynesian voodo economics, the hunt is on for scapegoats. Rand was and is part of a lunatic fringe that, truth be told, are promoting anarchy with exceptions for protection of property rights, natl defense and civil order.

    An ignorant society faced with diminunition of living standards will follow almost any voice that promises a return to the status quo… Hitler’s rise is a good example of the horror that can come of populist appeal vs reason.

    That Rand idolized a serial killer should be reason enough to cast her ideas into the trash bin, along with other equally dangerous despots that have risen, caused mahem, and disappeared, only after causing millions of people to suffer and die for stupid ideas.

    Keynesian economics needs to be replaced with a workable, sustainable economic model for it is nothing but a Ponzi scheme, but not at the cost of human horror pushed to the fore front by the ideas of lunatics like Rand. The sound economic policies of the Austrian School economists has worked and will work again and the AEI be damned.

    1. DownSouth

      I love it when the various factions of the Libertarian-Austrian-Neoliberal (LANie) constellation start fighting with each other.

      It’s deja vu of the knockdown dragouts between the Stalinists and the Trotskyites.

      1. DownSouth

        That said, Johnson’s post is the mirror image of the poorly thought-out type of reductionism and over-simplification the LANies are infamous for. Hell, I use the word statist! Does that make me a LANie?

        The Washington Post article that is the subject of Johnson’s post, however, is a must-read. It is written by the president of the American Enterprise Institute, Arthur C. Brooks, and is a LANie manifesto. All the LANie talking points, all the LANie sophistries, are offered up here in one concise document. We see these same talking points and sophistries argued daily here on NC.

        The other important part of Johnson’s post is his research on Ayn Rand. He cites beliefs and philosophies of Rand and her acolytes—-in their own words.

        It’s important to study and carefully analyze what the various factions in the LANie coalition are saying. The best way to hang a true-believer, after all, is with his own words.

        1. Richard Kline

          And LANies love to hear themselves talk, so they’ll _give_ you plenty of rope, for free.

    2. eric anderson

      I like to consider myself a pragmatist, and honestly this attack on Rand seems overblown. How many really swallow Rand hook, line, and sinker?

      I believe Atlas Shrugged is one of the greatest works of the 20th Century, but I’m a Christian, I believe in altruism, so obviously I’m not in sync with Rand. Still, I thought her caricatures of politicians and the industrialists who join with them in an unholy alliance bore enough resemblance to various aspects of today’s government/finance industry incest and other incestuous relationships between public and private to give one more than a little pause. The book is worthwhile for that alone.

      Most people who read Rand, at least most that I know, take parts of what she stood for, and leave others. The failure of government at all levels is becoming so acute that even Obama voters cannot miss it.

      Government cannot save you. Government cannot control the climate. Government can’t even deal with an oil spill. Government creates ridiculous regulations which waste billions and do not accomplish the purpose for which the regs were written. An example: the airport screenings all travelers are not subjected to, what critics have termed “security theater.” It is theater. It gives the appearance of authorities keeping you safe. We comply like sheep.

      Sympathy with Rand does not equal total acceptance of Rand. I wish her critics would simply admit the obvious — that our government as currently constituted is a cause of problems (both by deliberate action and deliberate inaction) that threaten to bring us to nothing. How can any rational (objective, haha) person not want a reduction of this iteration of government?

      1. DownSouth

        Sympathy with Rand equals total acceptance of Rand. I wish her acolytes would simply admit the obvious — that free enterprise as currently constituted is a cause of problems (both by deliberate action and deliberate inaction) that threaten to bring us to nothing. How can any rational (objective, haha) person not want a reduction of this iteration of free enterprise?

        1. Bates

          ‘How can any rational (objective, haha) person not want a reduction of this iteration of free enterprise?’

          Exactly to the point and well put!

          Those that believe that Rand acolytes were/are in favor of the flavor du jour of capatialisim in America should take the time to read ‘Gold and Economic Freedom’…written by none other than the maestro himself…Alan Greenspan. Greenspan, when asked recently if he had changed his mind about his 1966 essay, replied; ‘not one word’.

          …and here are the last two paragraphs of Greenspan’s essay…

          ‘In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

          This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.’

          Alan Greenspan
          [written in 1966]

          This article originally appeared in a newsletter called The Objectivist published in 1966 and was reprinted in Ayn Rand’s ‘Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal’

          1. DownSouth

            I’ve been around you hard-money guys all my life. When I was a kid, I used to go to the local coin shop and a permanent fixture there was a character by the name of Red Gail. “Put your money in gold and silver,” was his constant refrain.

            I came from a working-class background, so of course the problem was that there was no money to “put in gold and silver.”

            So I had to use something the hard-money guys are almost totally devoid of, and that is what craazyman refers to as “imagination,” to help create what little wealth I now enjoy.

            The other thing the hard-money guys run low on is the thing called trust. The guarantee that social security makes is to offer a minimal subsistence-level existence upon retirement. And I trust the government (and my fellow citizens), whether that assistance be denominated in ounces of gold, US dollars or coupons, to honor that promise, and provide that assistance.

            The debate seems to evolve around how one defines wealth. The hard-money guys think wealth is an accumulation of something they can sink their teeth into, like gold. I, on the other hand, take my definition of wealth from Will & Ariel Durant:

            [W]ealth is an order and procedure of production and exchange rather than an accumulation of (mostly perishable) goods, and it’s a trust (the “credit system”) in men and institutions rather than in the intrinsic value of paper money or checks…
            –Will & Ariel Durant, The Lessons of History

            This thing about trust becomes obvious when one examines primitive societies to see how man lived for the millions of years prior to the last 10,000 years or so. As anthropologists have discovered, man has for all those eons—-even before the invention of paper currency or the use of gold for anything other than a status symbol—-organized himself into societies where the old were cared for. A good examination of this can be found in the chapter “The Natural History of Human Food Sharing and Cooperation” in Moral Sentiments and Material Interests by Herbert Gintis et al. Amazingly people for millions of years could depend on their primitive society to take care of them in old age. All this was built on trust—-I feed the young and the old now in exchange for the promise that I will be fed when I get old.

            But when it comes to imagination and trust, the hard-money guys always come up zeroes.

            One thing that’s always puzzled me. I’ve never understood why the hard-money guys always seem to fixate on gold. Gold, after all, is one of those things that has a hybrid value—-its value is partially abstract and partially based on use. Why not go all the way to hard assets? Oil? Natural gas? Fresh water? Prime farm land? So I never really understood the fixation on gold, other than it’s some kind of fetish.

          2. Bates

            ‘The guarantee that social security makes is to offer a minimal subsistence-level existence upon retirement.’

            If I recall correctly the last pres Bush made a point of going to the Social Security ‘trust fund’ and showing one and all on tv that there is nothing in the SS fund except a bunch of IOUs. This was done while Bush was attempting to ‘privatize’ the SS fund.

            Trust in one’s fellow man is possible, especially friendships of long duration that have been tested by various crisis. Trust in a politician or banker is another matter. IMO bankers and pols are, in the large majority, the very best scammers in the world.

            Last I looked the US currency stated ‘In God We Trust’… I don’t buy that one either. I will continue to place my trust in that which has been sound money for many thousands of years…gold and other commodities. There is nothing rare or useful about paper with pretty pictures applied, and there is nothing sound about a SS trust fund full of IOUs.

          3. DownSouth


            If the nation reneges on its promise to pay social security, or experiences hyperinflation, then social chaos is certainly in the offing.

            I wonder, in the event of social disintegration, just who do you believe will protect your stash of gold?

            Of course if the social order breaks down, protecting your pile of gold will probably be the least of your worries.

          4. Bates

            ‘If the nation reneges on its promise to pay social security, or experiences hyperinflation, then social chaos is certainly in the offing.’

            I have little doubt that chaos is in the offing. Perhaps you know how it can be avoided?

            ‘I wonder, in the event of social disintegration, just who do you believe will protect your stash of gold?’

            I am not interested in having a stash of gold, but a gold backed currency that cannot be inflated at the whims of bankers and politicians.

            ‘Of course if the social order breaks down, protecting your pile of gold will probably be the least of your worries.’

            I am not in favor of social chaos but if it comes it will not be because some people have no faith in the politicians and bankers to treat money as if it is all earned, and not printed and allocated to rediculous ends.

      2. Anonymous Jones

        “The government cannot save you.”

        This is true. It does not prove your point. Not even close. You have to prove that the absence of government is preferable. This you have not done (and likely will not be able to do, IMO). In fact, most every industrialized democracy has chosen policies in direct contradiction to your professed preferences. There are few, if any, examples of complex societies that flourished without strong rules enforced through both force and societal pressure.

        I know you’re frustrated. I am too. Extremely frustrated with a society that lets people (I am one of them) earn in excess of the 20 times the median household income and then use that income to further perpetuate their own power and wealth through crony capitalism. It’s disgusting and foul. But lowering taxes on people in my class is not going to help stop this. It’s only going to make it worse. I love freedom too, probably much more than you can imagine. I’ve structured my whole life (socially, personally, economically) to have the freedom to do what I want at any time, but I’m just as afraid of a private person abridging my freedom as I am of the government abridging my freedom. Your knee-jerk anger, focused solely at the government as the source of all ills, and your undeveloped sense of how the business world really works, is not helping you see what really needs to be done.

        With all due respect, eric, you’re part of the problem, not the solution.

        1. craazyman

          Send me some money AJ! I will put it to good use.

          A few hundred thousand would be good! A minor sum indeed for a man such as yourself.

          We will produce a study on the role of government in the formation of earthly utopias. And all the women will be clad in see-through gowns of the thinniest silk as they bend down to serve us plates of vegetarian delights before we retire to the absinthe bar and see the visions of the next world. There we will find the solution.

          Rakesh Prantanavati
          Head Guru
          Temple of the 50 Virgins and Holy Gnostic Delights
          Post Office Box 88
          Institute for Contemporary Analysis
          Astral Highway, Magonia 73788-3838

    3. Andrew Bissell

      Yves likes to post any links she can find playing up the Rand/Hickman connection, including this poorly argued missive from Dave Johnson. (“Conservatives = Rand, Rand = Hickman, therefore conservatives = serial killers”, LOL!)

      The Hickman thing is addressed quite well here: She notes repeatedly that he is “a monster” and “degenerate.” Burns includes this in a more lengthy discussion of a Nietzschean phase she went through as Rand was developing her own ideas. To put it bluntly, the critics are cherry-picking quotes from Rand’s self-addressed scribblings in her journal, and by a ridiculous leap of logic using that to tar all of Objectivism as some kind of serial-killer philosophy.

      If Rand’s ideas are truly so abhorrent and impractical her opponents should show how and why instead of repairing to a few of Ayn Rand’s journal pages lifted out of context. There is plenty of such honest criticism to be found, but it does not make for sensational, sound-bitey blog entries.

      1. DownSouth


        Before he mentions Hickman, Johnson cites (and provides a link to) the Washington Post piece, written by a LANie true-believer extraordinaire. Then Johnson provides a peak into Randian cyberworld, providing links where Randians opine about a broad array of subjects, including democracy, government, religion, charity, altruism, environment, morality and society.

        And by all means, don’t take my word for it.

        But don’t take Andrew Bissell’s word for it either. Go look for yourself what great jewels of wisdom are issuing from the pens (and keyboards) of the Randians.

        So Johnson builds his case from the ground up. It’s not until the end that we get the part about Hickman—-kind of like the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae. Below it we have the ice cream, the chocolate, the whipped cream and the nuts. It’s after presenting all this other evidence that Johnson writes:

        If you are starting to feel that you have entered into the mind of the sociopath, there is a reason you feel that way. As she was developing her philosophy she was enthralled by a serial killer named William Edward Hickman. Ayn Rand wrote that the serial killer was an “ideal man,” a superior form of human because he didn’t let society impose their morals on him. He didn’t worry about what others thought and just did as he pleased.

        Of course Andrew Bissell skips all the supporting evidence, presented quite methodically, and zeroes in on the closing remarks. Andrew wants you to play juror, but without sitting through the evidentiary part of the trial.

  5. Francois

    RE: Environmentalists.

    Sadly, there is no surprise there. Maim a fellow human being, you get bail. But, dare to question Korporate malfeasance and it’s gonna cost ya 5 times more Buster!

    Welcome again to the United Corporations of America.

    1. aet

      For some “offenders”, the sanctions imposed aremore about what they think, than what they do.
      Thus it has ever been for political prisoners.

    2. DownSouth

      Hannah Arendt, who ranks right up there with Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Reinhold Niebuhr as an advocate of nonviolent revolution, believed that civil disobedients should be given the same rights and protections as lobbyists:

      [T]he fact is that the pressure groups are also voluntary associations, and that they are recognized in Washington, where their influence is sufficiently great for them to be called an “assistant government”; indeed, the number of registered lobbyists exceeds by far the number of congressmen.


      No doubt “the danger of civil disobedience is elemental,” but it is not different from, nor is it greater than, the dangers inherent in the right to free association, and of these Tocqueville [read Tory], his admiration notwithstanding, was not unaware. (John Stuart Mill [read classical liberal economist], in his review of the first volume of “Democracy in America,” formulated the gist of Tocqueville’s apprehension: “The capacity of cooperation for a common purpose, heretofore a monopolized instrument of power in the hands of the higher classes, is now a most formidable one in those of the lowest.”)


      The establishment of civil disobedience among our political institutions…. The first step would be to obtain the same recognition for the civil disobedient minorities that is accorded the numerous special-interest groups (minority groups, by definition) in the country, and to deal with civil-disobedient groups in the same way as with pressure groups, which, through their representatives—-that is, registered lobbyists—-are permitted to influence and “assist” Congress by means of persuasion, qualified opinion, and the numbers of their constituents. These minorities of opinion would thus be able to establish themselves as a power that is not only “seen from afar” during demonstrations and other dramatizations of their viewpoint, but is always present and to be reckoned with in the daily business of government. The next step would be to admit publicly that the First Amendment neither in language nor in spirit covers the right of association as it is actually practiced in this country—-this precious privilege whose exercise has in fact been (as Tocqueville noted) “incorporated with the manners and customs of the people” for centuries. If there is anything that urgently requires a new constitutional amendment and is worth all the trouble that goes with it, it is certainly this.
      –Hannah Arendt, Crises of the Republic

      1. DownSouth

        Notice that Tocqueville (the Tory or advocate of the aristocracy) and John Stuart Mill (the classical liberal or advocate of the new burgher-oligarchy) were both terrified that the right to free association (civil disobedience being the form of free association preferred or available to the lower classes) might fall into the hands of the hoi polloi.

        1. DownSouth

          The other form of free association employed by the hoi polloi are labor unions.

          Here again is an example of the gross hypocrisy that inheres in LANieWorld.

          Free association for the rich and powerful—-lobbyists—-is swell.

          Free association for the hoi polloi—-labor unions and civil disobedience (unless of course it be of the astro-turf variety)—-is anathema.

          1. DownSouth

            I’m also of the opinion that the more strident, in-your-face culture warriors (which have become a permanent fixture of the New Left) are also free associations of the astro-turf variety. James Baldwin was perhaps the first to pick up on this phenomenon, and many others have since commented that it is the Rockefeller Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation who are some of the principle sources of funding for the most inflamatory culture warriors:

            No one seems to know where the Nation of Islam gets its money. A vast amount, of course, is contributed by Negroes, but there are rumors to the effect that people like Birchites and certain Texas oil millionaires look with favor on the movement.
            –James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

      2. DownSouth

        It’s also instructive to explore where the astro-turf “populist” movements like the Tea Party Express, and the more (in my opinion) genuine grassroots movements like the Tea Party Patriots, fit within this framework.

  6. Anonymous Jones

    As to the Lime Wire piece, I had the same response you did, Yves.

    If memory serves the guy was reputed to be a mutual-fund market-timer at Credit Suisse until Fidelity, Vanguard, etc finally caught onto the parasitism. Moved on to other “free-market” forms of taking advantage of people, and made quite a profit at it, it seems.

    Nice to have friends at the NY Times…shame on that journalist and shame on the NY Times business page editors.

  7. Bates

    ‘Gold Fundamentals Weakening’ DoctoRx

    The writer of this idiocy seems to think the spot price of gold depends solely on the appetite of people for gold jewelry. He/she neglected to mention that the Indian central bank recently purchased 200 tons of gold from the IMF, China is purchasing all the gold it can get, and other central banks, businesses, and individuals around the world are buying, not selling, gold.

    Gold purchases, in the form of bullion and coins, are surging as fiat currencies continue to reveal that they are anything but a store of value. Gold/silver dealers in Europe were recently sold out and placed emergency orders for enormous amounts of gold Krands from S Africa.

    Why does Naked Capitalisim bother to post unsigned and misleading screeds like this?

    1. psychohistorian

      I just love me some “animal spirits” in the morning…..

      Hey ndk! After waving my NO BAILOUTS sign over Interstate 5 for a week in early September 2008, I took my small IRA and moved it from treasuries to GLD. I understand and respect your reasoning but my animal spirits say differently.

      Time will tell what comes of this kabuki. Ultimate security is in your mind, not pieces of paper of shinny metal objects.

  8. Hugh

    Re deepwater drilling permits and waivers, as we have seen both with banks and the healthcare complex, Obama views the business of government not just as business, but business as usual.

  9. Hugh

    I usually don’t comment on the photos. But this one and one a few days ago of silouhetted waterbirds at sunset are what I would call perfect shots. In the waterbird photo you have alternating planes of dark and orange, near silhouettes of the birds and far silhouettes of palm trees. It is static but it works. With the dolphins, by contrast, everything is motion: the dolphins, the waves, the spray. The frame is broken up by four planes of blue. And then there is that wonderful moment caught of the wave of dolphins replicating the wave behind them.

  10. MindTheGAAP

    Libor Shows Strain, Sales Dwindle, Spreads Soar: Credit Markets

    While the focus on Libor is nice, the two more significant indicators (for different reasons) are Eurodollar yields and A2/P2 spreads.

    It is my strong belief that eventually (later rather than sooner, but eventually) A2/P2 spreads are going to become and remain negative. At that point, the music stops. It is therefore worth watching.

  11. itad?

    Always Bet Kids

    The only program in the universe is the universe. The equation for the universe is 0 = 0, which articulates to (0 – 0) / 0, which is a fulcrum that creates both positive and negative infinity, with a looking glass at any point on the helix, depending on the location of the perceiver. By extension, the helix of helices is created, within which the vortex of travel, the symbiotic relativity circuit exists. The individual has free choice, but that choice affects every other individual, which is why liberty requires responsibility.

    Energy and mass are constantly circulating, one into the other and back again. Diversity increases with time, and decreases in the other direction, in a wave. The brain is a relativity clock. As everyone is observing now, choosing the past creates the vortex to the future. Think about the popular people in high school. On average, they were not the popular people at university, and the latter were not the popular people in business. In any distribution, there is going to be a very small percentage of outliers that are popular in all three phases, by random chance, but they too will fall off a cliff, a much higher one.

    For the individual in the short-term, life can be extremely “unfair”, but, over time, life is extremely fair, with larger and larger groups. The only way to make that gap is to travel through the brick wall faster than the knowledge of the wall. If gravity has already reached you, and you moved beyond its scope, it did you a great favor, relative to those who are about to hit the wall, in mass.

    When you fight gravity, you accelerate back in time, relative to evolution. When you accept gravity, you travel back in time slowly, relative to evolution. When you CREATE, convert mass to energy, and back again, beyond the knowledge of gravity, you accelerate forward in time, creating the relative voltage potential. Many try to make life fair for themselves, instantaneously, triggering a chain reaction, which affects everyone else, and is immediately recognized by gravity.

    If 7 billion people do not want to share responsibility for increasing diversity, the planet is quite capable of redistributing those resources more effectively; that’s how the 7 billion got here. The Mayans solved their problem by moving their entire civilization, and starting over. I don’t think that is going to work for 7 billion, but you are welcome to try.

    Time, perception, and choice are relative. There are always those that will wait until the last moment, and be forced out of the nucleus. Some will be prepared, some will be lucky, and others will fall to the rocks below. They will be a subset of those who are all still clinging to the past, saying “no one saw it coming.”

    Everything nets out to zero, but your unique talent provides you with the opportunity to travel forward in time, alone or with others, within the symbiotic relativity circuit, which is balanced by gravity. In a world of global human communication, false assumptions fall / implode on an exponential curve, into the black hole. Evolution does not stand still, not even for humans, who have a natural propensity to think they are the center of the universe, as they slip into the black hole, which a nice warm tide pool for those with single amplitude, single frequency dc minds.

    When the pool balls on that table collide, they impart energy. Some get bigger, some get smaller. In this particular collision, the empire is going to get much smaller, relative to the old perception, from the location of the old looking glass. Is that a threat or an opportunity? The individuals separated will have the same psychological choice. When the train hits the brick wall, they will see many threats and many opportunities, depending on their psychology. Markets are efficient, so individuals must be effective, and there are all kinds of semi-neutral capacitors that make up the circuit.

    7 billion people, and the oil keeps flowing. Wyle E. Coyote, the expert, out-smarted himself again. Give me a broom every time; an economy of experts isn’t worth the cpu time. Next, they’ll issue a certification test for the correct use of brooms, or they’ll make it a crime, punishable by death, for a non-person to use a broom, on page 2046 of the VAT tax legislation.

    Funny, how people that want to take your money go nuts when you give it away, chasing it from person to person, until it finds its way back to you, like a dog chasing its tail, as if money had value in and of itself, when it’s issued like toilet paper.

    Quite frankly, a system that threatens to proclaim you a non-person, threatens itself. The universe exists well beyond the imagination of gravity. You do not owe who you are to gravity. You were born who you are. Gravity can worship its false gods, worship its false science, and trample across its marriages, as it beds one and then the other, but it should not threaten the kids, “thinking” that there is no response, just because it cannot see or measure one.

    Gravity is gravity, nothing more and nothing less; life is a function of confidence in the unknowable. That looking glass is the kids’ first lesson, long before gravity can prejudice their outcomes with self-serving propaganda. The rabbit can dig that hole as deep as it likes. You don’t have to do anything, because the laws of physics ensure the walls will collapse of their own dead weight. That is all the insurance you need. Thank you, but no thank you. I’ll pass on the shovel, and take the broom.

    Males are raped in one country, females are raped in another, and those countries are supposed to go to war, over the price of oil, and at the urging of experts. Keep your war. Keep your oil. Keep your experts. As for my kids, gravity touches them at its own risk. They are quite capable of defending themselves, without the expert education system. And now, because the experts rigged the system in their direction, they don’t know which kids are mine. One day soon, they are going to touch the wrong kid, and their entire economy is going to blow up. Might want to treat all the kids with respect, but, by all means, keep cramming dynamite in the hole.

    1. Richard Kline

      Heeyyyyy, you’ve been cribbing my notes! That could be a compliment depending upon whether you can still reproduce that analysis after taking lithium.

  12. wunsacon


    >> So I never really understood the fixation on gold, other than it’s some kind of fetish.

    I’ve wondered about this, too. I own more grains and energy commodities than gold but still own gold despite my doubts.

    I think it comes down to this: it’s an easy-to-carry collectible with natural constraints in supply. If nothing else, it’s purty and it can be worn or displayed as a demonstration of “wealth”. The world is full of status symbols. Gold is a timeless status symbol. It therefore has “some value”.

    As the “worth” of other “stores of value” comes into question, this practically worthless collectible becomes a little more valuable.

    I agree it’s strange. I admit that I’d like to sell to a greater fool sometime in the future. Unfortunately, the other places to put my money look so bad that this seems like the best place to save some of my meager savings.

    1. wunsacon

      And, regarding my superficially arrogant “greater fools” remark, I indeed consider the possibility I might be one of them.

  13. Richard Kline

    The sentencing of Marie Mason to 21 years in prison is a despicable act, but in keeping with a long history of response to anarchism in this country. She is a political prisoner, no two ways about it.

    The net result of our ‘war on terrorism’ has been the restoration of severe penalties for domestic politcal dissent that is anything more than letter writing to already bought-and-paid-for editors. The Green Scare was at the very top of the agenda for the billionarie Don’t Tax Me propertarians who’ve successfully funded the hard right for more than a generation. You see, environmentalism is popular. Not necessarily all environmentalists or all kinds of actions, but certainly the goals. Standing up to the powers of wealth is popular. So it has been the goal of great and malevolent wealth to raise the costs on dissent by direct action to prohibitive levels for the individuals involved. Their resistance gives extractive wealth a black eye by calling attention to their theft, selfishness, and practices for everyone else. So stuffing a few souls like Marie Mason in a Federal penitentiary is meant to save wealth from that kind of attention. We know what kind of attention the Wholly Owned Media will bring to the crimes of wealth: zero. Big Win for the money here then. But a black day for the citizenry.

    And she has been sentenced as ‘a terrorist’ for burning a university facility. Now, think what’s in store for anyone sabotaging critical infrastructure. They may well end up looking at life without parole. Long after the times have changed and we’ve effected needed reforms in this country, Marie Mason and anyone who attempts _or even considers_ sabotage is going to be locked in prison, forgotten by the liberals who have long since moved on with their time and money. . . . That’s Homeland ‘security,’ in the home of the rich . . . .

    1. Skippy

      Do they not know, that this leaves only the hole enchilada as recourse.

      Skippy…a one shot deal of epic proportions and what then.

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