Monday, January 26, 2009

If You Have the Stomach...

...Watch this 10 minute video apparently shot by a muslim participant in a riot/demonstration in London. It would appear to be an indication of the European will to resist the overrunning of Western culture by islamic thugs now that their police force as well as the citizenry has been disarmed. Similar "demonstrations" now occur in Malmö, Sweden . This is the enemy whose name we dare not speak. Something to think about when the Marxist Messiah has "assault" weapons banned/collected.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

BOHICA (bend over, here it comes again)

No, gentle reader the above graphic (courtesy of Reuters and the Daily Mail) is neither a clip from a Hollywood set of an historical production or a time traveler's view of Roman legionaries arrayed to defend a provincial prefecture headquarters. In spite of their appearance, the gentlemen positioned behind that array of scuta wearing a variation of the imperial Roman helmet these are Icelandic police officers defending government offices from irate Icelanders protesting the disappearance of their savings from banks as a result of the ongoing financial/economic crisis. The Icelandic government is thus far the first political casualty of the currently unraveling fiat money debacle although arguably the US Republican party could lay claim to the distinction.

Although the evaporation of global wealth since the beginning of the meltdown in 2008 is triggering political upheaval, it pales with the economic contraction advocated by the new and emerging warmista religion (note that the EIA projections are a best case i.e. rosy scenario presented BEFORE the onset of the current recession/depression).

As is invariably the case, the collectivists in the media and the government hasten to construct the myth that this, like the depression of 1930 1941 is attributable to a failure of the free market system when in fact no such thing as a "free market" has obtained in the US since at least 1895. As a corollary to the acceptance of this myth, the collectivists insist that an increased application of the causes of the difficulties such as loose monetary and credit policies, regulation and confiscatory taxes are sure to cure the ailment. This is political and economic quackery foisted on the ignorant masses for the purpose of the politicians' retaining and accreting power in the short term.

Through the relentless propagandization of the population as well as the enactment of legal tender legislation, conventional "wisdom" has it that bank notes and their electronic variations are "wealth". That we have come to acquiesce in the concept that government manipulation of digits on scraps of paper is "wealth" surely qualifies as an example of a scam that rivals that of the great religions. In this respect we are poised to proceed down the path which the people of Zimbabwe have been led by that Pied Piper Robert Mugabe.

If any of you gentle folk doubt the possibility of such a pass, I would advise that you carefully examine the wording printed on any bank note which you may be fortunate enough to have in your purse/wallet. A bank note is nothing but a "promise" made by a government controlled bank. This also applies to the metal tokens struck and circulated by the government mints which are debased far beyond that which would have resulted in the execution of a coinsmith under even the most corrupt Roman emperor.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Fair and Balanced" Reporting?

As is usual during any instance of Israel responding to the acts of war against its citizens, the world's media present us with edited, scripted and often faked scenes of carnage and suffering by children and "innocent" Arab civilians. One would conclude from viewing the daily "outrages" committed in Gaza since 27 December that the Arab population of the terrorist enclave is on the verge of annihilation such is the one sided presentation of propaganda news served up by Arab stringers hired by AP and Reuters.

Apparently the Israelis have become fed up with the suppression of their side of the conflict and put up a web site in an attempt to air their version. The site contains at the time of this posting over 70 videos produced by the Israel Defense Force but is unlikely to influence a world public opinion predisposed by years of pro Arab propaganda to perceive any such action as unjustified.

The question remains as to how long YouTube will keep the videos available over the shrill protests of Arab and Islamic groups.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Quackery Is alive and well in 2009!

Many physicians summoned to treat a serious illness in 1796 would prescribe "bleeding" the patient to "remove the evil toxins" causing the patient's symptoms. If the first physician failed to affect a cure he would be dismissed and another practitioner would be summoned who would generally initiate another round of "bleeding". If miraculously, a patient survived these treatments and recovered in spite of the induced anaemia it was generally agreed that the "treatment" was a success. George Washington would appear to be a less than successful example of the efficacy of the practice of bloodletting. Indeed, in light of the knowledge gained in medical treatment since the close of the 18th century, the practice of bloodletting, if prescribed today would rightfully be categorized as "quackery".

Let us fast forward to 21st century quackery which passes for conventional wisdom concerning recent financial developments as they presently obtain with regard to the present less than ideal economic climate. Most credible explanations of the current pass attribute it to a recurring business cycle which periodically purges the system of inefficient and non competitive enterprises and reassigns resources to more efficient uses. The rub of course comes in when the political class sees this process as a threat to their rice bowl and moves to "remedy" it. To be brief, a routine economic adjustment arguably triggered by a political policy of "easy money" as pursued by the central bank for a generation is to be "rectified" by massive injections of more of same.
The Inevitable Consequences!:

Based strictly on the official estimates of the 2009 deficit, any economist not on drugs must conclude that, in the coming months and years …

* The federal government will have to borrow more money than at any time in history …

* To raise that money, it will have to shove aside individuals, businesses, local governments and virtually all other borrowers, scooping up most of the funds available in the already-tight credit markets …

* By crowding out other borrowers, it will sabotage its own efforts now underway to restore private credit markets …

* It will put great upward pressure on interest rates — and ironically …

* It could bring on a new, more virulent debt crisis that deepens and prolongs the economic decline.

Take a Look At the Assumptions of the governments own Congressional Budget Office!

Beyond the traditional budgetary smoke and mirrors, here are just some of the holes in their estimates:

1. The CBO implicitly assumes that the debt crisis is largely behind us — no more big bank failures, no more GMs or Chryslers, no more international debt defaults and no Wall Street meltdown. But the very size of its own deficit projection — reaching 10% of GDP — makes that assumption highly questionable.

2. The CBO assumes that federal revenues will remain relatively stable at 17.6% of GDP, only slightly below the 18.3% historical average. That means there can be no depression, no unemployment disaster, no tsunami of corporate red ink and no plunge in federal tax revenues.

“Just make believe those events can never happen!” goes the rationale.

What about the government data showing that the unemployment disaster is already here? “Largely ignore that, too,” seems to be the underlying theme.

3. The CBO assumes that the economy will recover after 2009, and the government will get most of its bailout money back. For the TARP program, for example, the assumption is that the cost will be only 25% of the total amount loaned or invested. The remaining 75%, it figures, will be paid or earned back.

Any sentient and sane observer would determine that more injections of easy money (bailouts) to rescue failed and inefficient business and financial enterprises under such conditions is counterproductive bordering on the suicidal. Not so our political class who sees the inevitable adjustment as a short term threat to its continued ability to enjoy the perquisites of power. Couple this situation with the collectivist activists who see the situation as ripe to advance their green, regulatory and redistributionist agenda and we have what amounts to the "perfect storm" for an attack on our liberties and wallets. We are indeed in store for "interesting times". Move over Zimbabwe!


Saturday, January 10, 2009


The cacophony we have been subjected to by the leftist media since the opening of Israel's operation Cast Lead which began local time 11:30 a.m., 27 December 2008 is nothing if not predictable.

Between 1 January 2008 and 27 December 2008 over 3000 rockets were launched at Israel by HAMAS from Gaza. During the same period more than 1300 mortar rounds were also launched. These attacks resulted in 8 Israeli deaths as well as considerable damage to property and infrastructure. The "minimal" damage to Israel caused by these attacks is only due to the lack of HAMAS' capability of inflicting greater harm to citizens of the "Zionist Entity". Lest we forget, the chief objective of HAMAS is the extinguishing of the Israeli state and the murder of all jews and other infidels.

It is interesting to note the propensity of the leftist media and punditry to condemn Israel for actions to defend and protect its citizens from extermination by an avowed enemy while at the same time never countenancing such an attack on their own secure environment by an equally determined enemy.

In view of Mr. Scheer's statement:
While the Hamas rocket attacks are reprehensible, they are also an ineffectual challenge to Israel’s enormous security apparatus, and the severity of Israel’s response to them is counterproductive.
How long does Mr. Scheer believe any government can survive without taking action to protect its citizens from external aggression?

In addition to noting that "Israel's enormous security apparatus..." is meaningless unless engaged in defense of that nation, let us engage in an intellectual experiment: Suppose that a Mexican irredentist movement dedicated to the elimination of US sovereignty in California and the murder of all "gringos" were to come to power in the Mexican state of Baja California Norte. Suppose also that members of this movement began launching rockets and mortars from Tijuana into the populated areas of San Ysidro and San Diego in southern California causing casualties and property damage. Suppose further that over a period of more than 3 years the Mexican Federal government failed to control or eliminate these irredentist "militants". How long does one suppose that these leftist "journalists" and "pundits" such as Robert Scheer (a contributing editor to Nation Magazine and a "Nation Fellow") and "conservative" Patrick Buchanan would be clamoring for forceful "action" to end the terrorism? In the case of Mr. Scheer, I suspect, never: but as for Mr. Buchanan who characterizes Israeli actions as a "blitzkrieg" it would probably be measured in hours.

Please remember dear reader that HAMAS, since its inception in 1987 has been dedicated to not only the elimination of the Israeli state, but the murder of ALL "infidels". This includes YOU, Joe sixpack as well as the chablis and brie set.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Moral Equivalence

With the predictability of a daily sunrise the bulk if the world's media outlets continue to trumpet the immorality of Israeli military operations in the Gaza strip citing the horrific suffering of an "innocent" civilian population. These assertions bear closer scrutiny.

RESIDENTS at certain addresses in the Gaza Strip have been receiving unusual phone calls since the Israeli air assault began on Saturday -- a request that they and their families leave their homes as soon as possible for their own safety.

More unusual than the recorded message is the Arabic-speaking caller, who identifies himself as being from the Israeli defence forces.

Dipping into their bag of tricks for the updated Gaza telephone numbers, Israel's intelligence services are warning Palestinian civilians in Gaza living close to Hamas facilities that they may be hurt unless they distance themselves from those targets.

In some cases, the warning comes not by telephone but from leaflets dropped from aircraft on selected districts [or via text messages to cell phones].

Such warnings clearly eliminate the element of surprise, but for Israel it is of cardinal importance to minimise civilian casualties, and not just for humanitarian reasons.

Contrast these data with the scene observed in the above video. Clearly, these are not isolated events. They are however, unlikely to dissuade many who are predisposed to condemn Israel for disregarding the plight of the "innocent Arab population" a majority of which incidentally voted for candidates affiliated with HAMAS, a terrorist organization whose charter explicitly commits it to the murder of all Jews:
Article 7 of the Hamas Covenant states the following: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.

So long as the myth prevails that a foe who is committed to your death can be negotiated with, the bloodletting will recur with boring predictability.


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Snake Oil Salesmen

A few decades ago Ponzi schemes were all the rage. Chain letters and multi level marketing "business models" were common, every day scams victimizing unwary members of the population. The chain letter and pyramid cons for the most part involved only minimal sums of cash and one or two times being suckered usually sufficed to dissuade those with IQs above room temperature from further cash hemorrhages. Leave it to the government however to get in on the action big time and use its monopoly on the use of force to ramp up the boodle. Any of you gentle readers residing in the US not participating in the present "Social Security" Ponzi scheme program are doubtless either living the jungle rain forest life described by Thomas Hobbes: "Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short" or more likely, in hiding.

Gary North posits an interesting concept relative to the parallels between the equity markets as they have operated during the last few decades and traditional Ponzi schemes:

Every system of investing that does not rely on the actual increase in productivity of the businesses being invested in to pay off all debts, whether bonds, certificates of deposit, or retirement dreams of long-term holders of the company's stock, is a Ponzi scheme. It can be a government Ponzi scheme, such as Social Security or Medicare. It can be a Ponzi scheme by a state or local government, which promises enormous retirement benefits to state employees. It can also be a no-load mutual stock index fund. Ponzi schemes all have the same thing in common: future productivity will not repay the investors with sufficient money of constant or increasing purchasing power for the investors to achieve their goals. The investors have retirement goals which will be impossible to achieve by means of the investment strategies recommended by the experts. Investors believe the nonsense, and apparently their advisers believe it, too. Politicians get elected in terms of this nonsense. But it is nonetheless nonsense.

North cites the myth swallowed hook line and sinker by the progressive Keynesian economists and consequently most of our current political rulers leaders succinctly thus:

To tell American consumers that they can improve the productivity of the economy merely by going out and spending money is... [Keynesian] nonsense. The only way to increase the productivity of the economy is through thrift. The money generated by this thrift must then be invested wisely, in terms of future conditions, so that the company or fund making the investment can reap a profit. If [the] economy cannot do this through increased productivity, it will eventually find itself incapable of raising additional capital. Without additional capital, there can be no increase in productivity

If society simply spends and neglects to save, there are no savings to be invested in increasing productivity; and borrowing to engage in the spending (which is the current economic policy of governments) can only compound the problem.

The Great Depression of the 1930s was initially a recession exacerbated and lengthened by the very governmental actions that today are touted as the cure. Recessions are the cure for the conditions caused by the inefficient, misallocation of capital. We are about to suffer the consequences of government's attempts to avoid the political short term consequences of a normal correction. It will be interesting to hear the future recriminations offered up by the political class to escape the consequences of these follies.