Wednesday, February 24, 2010


now that there is nothing left to preserve the military, social security, medicare, medicaid, public education, unemployment benefits, farm subsidies, and so on, but the full-time running of the printing presses, this:

is the map of the united states.

i hope that either it suits you, or that you intend to help end the fed.

you might start by reading the federal reserve act, so that you can ask your congressman why the federal reserve continued to operate in violation of the law after his predecessors failed to re-charter its incorporation upon its expiration in 1933.
Upon the filing of such certificate with the Comptroller of the Currency as aforesaid, the said Federal reserve bank shall become a body corporate and as such, and in the name designated in such organization certificate, shall have power--

First. To adopt and use a corporate seal.

Second. To have succession for a period of twenty years from its organization unless it is sooner dissolved by an Act of Congress, or unless its franchise becomes forfeited by some violation of law.

or, you can go back to teaching your kids the pledge of allegiance.

Monday, February 22, 2010

libertarian paradise

fewer than 12 bank robberies occurred in the entire territory of the american old west between 1859 and 1900.

applying economics to american history, tom woods.


read. the tattered citibank umbrella, sipsey street irregulars.

somebody screwed citigroup with a credit card and put my phone number on the account info. they've been robo-calling me three times a day -- even on sunday -- for two weeks. they're probably calling in debts. his name is ian.

this may not be curtains for citigroup, but if it is a serious threat to them, you'd better watch out. any big market activity that can hurt them can hurt every single bank in the country.

what is more likely is that they see the symptoms of the problem sneaking up on them (again): big sell-off in stocks, lots of money market accounts withdrawn. the way the mortgage debt market was structured overall, some aftershock is expected. you've probably seen the graphs with the two "waves."

another scare like this will trigger a second "rush to safety." actually, a rush to USD, which would be the opposite, but whatever. i call this the great dollar spike of 2010. the rising edge of it is only halfway built up right now, but you can see how the events of sep. - dec. 2008 can repeat themselves in the dollar index. remember that bernanke has promised "tons and tons of liquidity" while banks continue to call in loans and reassess where in the market the risk is and where the no-risk-thanks-for-GSEs-congress free lunches are.

they'll find them before bernanke returns the monetary base to what it was. he won't be able to pull that off. there will be a single mass inflationary event. it is unlikely to trigger hyperinflation, but that is how it usually starts. why do i say unlikely? people are instinctively paying down debt ahead of schedule when banks get scared like this, even though it "hurts" them to not have cash when times are tight.

likewise, people will instinctively yank money out of banks to hold cash when a mass inflationary event hits. in fact they'll do it even earlier if the big guys like citigroup are going to make them wait seven days for the cash. but the "force multiplier" in the FED system that causes inflation is electronic, fractional reserves. not paper cash. there is a tiny fraction of paper cash in circulation within the country, compared even to M1. when you withdraw $10, the bank writes off $100, and the whole system loses $1,000. this is why arianna huffington thinks you should withdraw your money from the big banks but then put into local banks: take their toys away, but then give it to local business! (read: democrat political machine fodder)

mass withdrawals, then, have an instantaneous effect on credit posing as money. it will "look like" deflation from the eye of political economy. the fed will then be "forced" to use its government powers to bail out its private member banks again, to stay one step ahead, and "save the economy." in reality, he's saving fascism. he's saving the machine that is crushing the free market.

afterwards, people calm down when their mattress dollars are still good at the gas station and the grocery store. but then the gas stations start depositing the cash in their bank account...

as japan has shown, we can play this game over and over and over again, with an ever-increasing money supply, and we won't get hyperinflation (at least not over 20 years). we do not have a currency that remains largely domestic, like zimbabwae. so, it takes more than domestic boom-bust credit cycles to pull it off. central banks of the world would have to cooperate far less, all at once, to really kick it off.

or, they'd have to all be united and using only the dollar, at which point the entire earth is "domestic" under an imperial USA/FED. then you'll get global hyperinflation, because there will be no "greater fool" countries left to hold the bag. everywhere is zimbabwae.

of course, at that point, i figure they'll simply blame the localities where the currency began to be repudiated for inducing monetary instability. they'll probably call it terrorism. they'll send planes and bombs to "deflate" the situation. that could go on for a while before a vast array of politically neutered and vehemently nationalist "states," that all hate each other even though they're the same, could ever coordinate to resist it. say, a thousand years.

now for example, you may have seen china buying up lots of assets with its cash, but i assure you this is a token gesture -- just like holding their own gold will be a token gesture -- of independence. when central banks don't coordinate, governments don't cooperate. you even get a world war with a ten year armistice out of the deal. we're currently in that gray area where they're not out-and-out competing but not yet fully coordinated -- where, no, you can't shoot the bastards yet.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

well, of course.

and now for the good news, andrew sullivan.

If we can afford [military imperialism] but we cannot afford some basic health insurance for working poor Americans, something has gone seriously wrong.

you won't feel that way when you see what happens to medicare in the next couple of years.

He is real. He is sincere.

he was in 2008, too. but do voters want sincere? flash back to 2008. this is the list of states that went to mccain over ron paul in the republican primary, but then went to obama over mccain in the general election.


they total 300 electoral votes. note that obama won the electoral vote 365-173. even if you assume there was no significant raiding, the answer is no. the majority vote did not want a sincere man in the general election, and at no earlier point did their opposition minority want a sincere man. not at all.

normal, emotionally-balanced human beings might want sincere statesmen to hold office. voters don't.

english lesson 3

nationalism (n.): the idea that the political and economic history of your country is somehow unique, even when yours is the last country on earth to begin adopting the democratic (and sometimes undemocratic) socialism which the rest of the world has been working on since the enlightenment.

Friday, February 19, 2010

history repeating itself

congressman howard buffett speaking in 1947 on the subject of the truman doctrine.

mr. speaker, the so-called truman doctrine is characterized by proponents as probably the most far-reaching change in american foreign policy in a hundred years. many of its opponents contend it starts us on the road of militarism and imperialism. whatever its consequences are, i rise to propound a solemn question. how in the existing political framework of this nation can the people of america, if they so desire, effectively oppose this policy?

the policy is sponsored by the democratic party and collaborated in by the republican leadership. if the people disapprove of this adventure as many polls indicate, what recourse is left, then, when neither party provides the vehicle for effective opposition? when the republican leadership, without consulting the people, does a "me, too!" on decisive issues, what method do the people then have to effectively influence governmental policies? under this situation, it would appear that the people are losing the all-important right to approve or reject decisive policies at the ballot box, for as matters now stand, neither party affords the people the opportunity to effectively oppose this global program.

i respectfully urge the republican leaders responsible for this collaboration to explain this situation fairly and forthrightly to the american people. the people are entitled to a full explanation of a political performance which apparently deprives the people of an effective voice in determining america's future.

howard also wrote an essay, human freedom rests on gold (redeemable) money.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

navigating and modeling

this is a video of glenn beck urging preparation, and briefly towards the end, discussing political charts, like the venerated nolan chart. watch this video.

or, you know, try to.

aside from the oversimplified smears of positions which some pols hold, what i believe we see here is an idea whose time has come. i once argued that as liberty is not divisible, politics cannot be charted with orthogonal axes, as in the nolan chart. it is, i hold, time to replace it. with what?

yes, glenn beck, a circle. that's right.

the nolan chart places "economic" and "social" liberty on two orthogonal scales. for those not versed in mathematics, there is a bit of meaning to orthogonality. in very rough terms, what it means is that you can describe a point in a number of dimensions of space with "independent" values; you can draw a line by understanding ax + by if all the x's and all the y's can change freely without having a "cascading" effect. if the x line and y line are not orthogonal, then travelling any number of units, any at all, on the x line, also moves you on the y line.

so who are these nolan chart libertarians? Libertarian Party libertarians? they're young and among us, and i have no truck with them, but let us discuss another "libertarian" for a minute: albert jay nock.

nock described social power and state power as mutually exclusive forms of behavior. the way he told it, there was no separate "economic power" from social power; they are one and the same thing, and they are not state power. certainly, there are aspects of social power which could be called "economic" in that they are coincidental to market exchange. however, exercising this kind of authority is no less social a process for it. certainly no more than those liberties commonly understood as association and worship, while called "social" in that they are coincidental to other people and their behavior, are economic and require calculation to organize. both flavors of social power will bear the responsibilities appropriate to the extent of one's authority.

state power is simply political whim. the absence of people doing what they would like to do. totalitarianism is the exercise or worship of this in every conceivable action. beck places totalitarianism at the top edge of the line, probably just to start somewhere, without much consideration for the area under the circle's edge. if the traditional left-right model is what you are inculcated with, this is forgiveable. his job is not to reflect on models all day long, after all. his job is to pull for the state, for the center.

in fact totalitarianism truly belongs at the center of a circle, because it is among those who exercise state power where one finds the absence of all diversity of behavior and thought. it is at the circle's edge that all anarchy belongs, in all its forms, where everything looks either radical or irrational when you're counting in numbers: quantitative values that don't actually exist in nature. fictions, like the state itself. slightly more convenient ones than the state.

both at the center, and at the edge, there are no sides. no room for left and right, or too much room. take your pick. one's positions might fall as specks all over the circle, which one is free to average into a summary should one choose. each point in the circle's area is described with a radius and an angle: polar coordinates.

at the very edge is a multitude of interests working in harmony, without sides. get it? a circle. no sides. or, one side. same thing. one finds libertarianism pushing towards the edge in all ways. among ourselves we are seemingly leftish to the rightish ones, and seemingly rightish to the leftish ones, and i'm not sure we can ever fully trust each other until we dispose of the old french assembly dualism forever. this is an internal issue of interest to some. must we alienate the majority of voters in the process of resolving it? no.

in fact, one finds today's left and right happily preserved in clouds about the center of our graph. as one party dances clockwise, the other moves counterclockwise, and vice versa. arguably, both steadily spiral downwards into the center, falling in the kind of political gravity which requires they expend some principle that might preserve their radius in order to take up the necessary angle to maintain the facade of the left-right axis. their behavior reminds me of the great tradition of choosing which team is at bat first in a children's game of baseball: grasp the hanging bat with one hand, taking turns, higher and higher, until someone is forced to cap the top.

arguably, too, travelling the spiral is a necessary distillation of the best elements of both worlds, that they may join us out at the edge.

i don't have a nice name like "nolan" and i certainly don't think you should name this after glenn beck. i do think you should call it a graph, though, and not a chart. that sets it apart a little, don't you think? at any rate, the graph is not important. what is important is that you remember that liberty is not divisible. and, that your radius is more important than your angle. that's true in dating, too. or so i hear.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

acres of diamonds

To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a monetary union, putting out a fiat currency, composed of independent states.

milton friedman.

Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

the declaration of independence.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The Congress shall have Power ... To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures ...

the u.s. constitution.

not a very smart man, was he.

Monday, February 1, 2010

choose your battles

in all election races in the US, 90% of voters show up at polls only when the underdog has virtually zero chance of winning.

democracy: how the game has been stacked against you.