Saturday, February 27, 2010
Most people don’t want to be free. Most people want to be rich. Some want to be famous. Few really want to be free.
Why be free? Freedom comes with many perils. It is far easier to cruise along through life with a nice warm blanket of welfare statism. Don’t be uptight man. Enjoy the ride. We’ll be dead soon enough.
But for some there is a deep resentment toward authority. We are the malcontents. We are the trouble makers. We are the revolutionaries.
Some people believe that if they can just get their friends in charge then society will be better. This is the philosophy of the left, and also the philosophy of the statist right. It’s a battle for the levers of power. Either I have power and you do not, or it is the reverse. This is how most people think. But then there are others…
The others believe that the state is a product of deeply flawed humans and should be limited and hemmed in if not torn out by the root all together. For the “good” the state can do, there is at a minimum 1 to 1 trade off in freedom at best. Often it is a far worse deal.
Government is addictive. Government is a drug. With too much it morphs the user into a bloated shadow of himself who perpetually ponders how he got to this point.
As a former smoker I can say that life is not as much fun when you are addicted to something. You always have to feed this ambient desire. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but you just need to keep putting cigarettes into your lungs. I found that the thing that finally got me to quit was when I realized that I was actually paying someone to kill me and to make life more difficult for me. I finally got pissed off enough to quit.
This country is addicted to government. We are addicted to Social Security, defense contracts, highway projects, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and about another million programs large and small all designed to solve some problem or another which more likely than not was created when government tried solve some other problem. We are on a lot of shit.
We need to get mad and to realize, no matter what our enablers say, government is a bum trip. We need to start by cutting back. Once we see we can live life without the government “party” we can think about getting rid of the welfare state once and for all. If we choose not to get sober we can always hang out with Babylon and Rome down on skid row and talk about the days before we were so very ill.
Friday, February 26, 2010
On January 28th George Soros warned of a “gold bubble.” After this statement hit the wires inexperienced metals investors sold positions and gold fell to $1050 an ounce, the lowest price since October 2009. Good thing you sold that position huh?
But wait. Who is this buying almost $700,000,000 in gold bullion? Hey, it’s George Soros. What the? I thought he said there was a gold bubble and that everyone should be very cautious if not selling the metal. He just doubled his gold position after saying that everyone else should get out. Hmm…Usually Soros has only the best interests of people in mind. There’s no way he’d use his interview at Davos to jawbone down the lustrous stuff. He wouldn’t do that.
But he did.
Generally people like Soros do not like gold. Gold makes things very difficult for those such as Soros, who enjoy a mainline right into the central banks fiat money machines. Gold represents real money and is the last store of value for those who can not play the fiat money game, or choose not to.
So the fact that Soros talked down gold, and then doubled his position in it weeks later should raise some eyebrows for metals investors. If Soros is buying gold, indeed literally tons of it, what does that tell you about the future of the fiat currency system, which as of this writing is getting wobbly again?
It tells you that you had better stop listening to George Soros' words, and pay much more attention to his actions.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
1 in 8 adults in this country is on food stamps. One in 4 children is on food stamps. There are no soup lines because the soup lines are virtual now. Go to Wal-Mart on the 1st of the month when the food stamp cards are replenished and see the lines of people queuing for groceries, at midnight.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
By Nick Sorrentino
On October 31st 1517 Martin Luther trudged up a hill to the Castle Church in Wittenberg and nailed his 95 Theses to the door in the early morning light. The Theses amounted to a moral indictment of the Catholic Church, the controller of this world and gate keeper to the next. It was an act of supreme individual defiance, and an almost suicidal act. Martin Luther likely did not expect to see the sunset that day.
Yet Luther had reached a place in his psyche where he felt he had to say what he believed, that Rome, the Catholic Rome, had become a Babylon that represented all that Christ did not. Luther believed there need not be an arbiter between man and God. Salvation was granted by God alone, and not by some functionary of the “Church,” who was paid for this absolution.
Basically Luther called Rome out as an immoral, indeed anti-Christian, force in the world.
Many others had come to this conclusion in the years before Luther and many of these people had found their fate at the stake. But technology had changed Luther’s world. With the invention of the printing press 65 years before, the mass production of writings had become possible and so ideas were now much more easily spread. Even more vital was that the laity was becoming increasingly literate and so could download Luther’s ideas.
Many of the newly literate class had undoubtedly come to many of the same conclusions as Luther. For those who could read, the Church stood in stark contrast to the words of Jesus which they now had read first hand. The Church was a fist that extracted tribute and furthered corruption. The literate man could see this. Where before the average person had to rely on a priest to read the word of God to him, now he could read Jesus’ words himself. And the thing is Jesus was a revolutionary.
Luther had the guts to put this general inkling of the Christians of Germany onto paper and then to make these observations public. Others reading his analysis then took his work and sent it viral across Europe, thanks in large part to that new technology, the printing press. It was not long before The Reformation, essentially a spiritual, societal, economic, and political transformation was in full swing across Europe.
Flash forward half a millennia. Humanity and especially America finds itself in the midst of turmoil and tumult. In the past decade the barbarians have started knocking on the gate (September 11th, 2001.) The American “empire” is now being challenged on nearly all fronts, overseas, at home, morally, and politically. Factor in the emergence of a technology that is at least as revolutionary as the printing press, the internet, and it is easy to see why we live in such interesting times.
As these changes have transpired our leadership has been slow to react. Part of this is due to the inherent nature of leadership hierarchies, they always resist change. Change means the possibility of new leaders. Another part is that much of our political leadership still exists in a 20th Century mentality. And I’m not just talking about the old white guys in the Senate, I’m talking about our president Mr. Obama too. They all fail to see that the only way for this country to prosper as it can again is to embrace a decentralized form of the state that works better in an increasingly dynamic world.
Thankfully we have the blueprint for this new way of organizing our country, it’s called the Constitution.
Enter a modern day Luther, an understated and unassuming man of slight build and modest pedigree, Dr. Ron Paul. A Congressman from Texas who against all odds has remained in Congress despite efforts by both the Republican and Democratic Parties to unseat him, Ron Paul nailed his own 95 Treatises to the political establishment’s door in 2007/2008 when he ran for president.
Because he was technically a Republican Ron Paul was allowed to speak during the presidential debates. He had run years before as a Libertarian but had gotten little coverage. This time however he had a bigger platform and his message resonated, just like Luther’s, with the marginalized literate middle class.
Luther read the Bible and found that the establishment that based its legitimacy on the sacred text, did not in any way reflect the tenants of Christianity. Likewise Dr. Paul looks to America’s sacred text, the Constitution, and sees the same hypocrisy.
What Dr. Paul voiced on the different stages during the presidential debates was in the minds if not on the lips of many who were paying attention to what was going on in American society. Though by no means a majority, especially in those years, many of these Americans could see that their government was broken and increasingly unrepresentative and unresponsive. Ron Paul gave voice to their frustrations, and articulated a solution.
People who could put 2 and 2 together could see that their government was increasingly disconnected from them. It cared little for them yet expected everything from them if need be. This feeling was not new and had waxed and waned over the previous couple of decades. But with the power of the internet these malcontents- and I use the term lovingly - could connect with one another and share ideas.
They were also able to organize. Though much has been made of Obama’s use of cyberspace during the 2008 campaign, it was Ron Paul’s efforts, or more specifically the efforts of his supporters, that were far more remarkable and innovative. Obama had the power of the Democratic establishment behind him. Ron Paul had the establishment, even his own party, actively working against him. Yet Ron Paul was able to effectively “crowd source” an entire presidential campaign.
Just as Luther’s ideas were easily spread due to the printing press so to0 were Ron Paul’s ideas spread in a much shorter period of time via the internet. Millions of people who did not see Ron Paul on the televised debates were able to become familiar with him and his ideas via Youtube. His simple message of adhering to the Constitution, made sense. His call to the people was deeply American. It was both revolutionary and conservative at the same time. America is supposed to be the land of the free, he said, and we have been betrayed.
Like Luther, Ron Paul sparked a fire in hearts of many people who had lacked any kind of spark for a long time. His message of individual empowerment, of fairness under the law, and of accountable government gave, and continues to give, many who have lacked hope, hope. And its not Madison Avenue Obamaized hope. Its real hope-for this country- and for the restoration of the Constitution.
So maybe it’s a restoration and not a reformation that we are in the opening stages of. Whatever we call it Ron Paul started it. This should not be forgotten. Let’s hope that as this political wildfire spreads in the form of the Tea Parties and in other forms we continue to aspire to the ideals embodied in Ron Paul’s original call for smaller government, all forms of government, and strict adherence to that masterful document, the US Constitution.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
This is from ABC. When the MSM starts talking like this it has to give one pause...
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
A friend of mine in Asia remined me of this. He saw the snowball fight on CNN. His reaction was similar to mine, anger. In a time of increased technological pressure on civil liberties one must remember that the sword cuts both ways.
Who will leverage this technology most effectively? The bullies? Or those who stand for freedom?
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
From what looks to be the height of the first phase of the economic crisis, this is an interesting analysis of the macroeconomic state of things and the inherent instability of the current system.
The point is made in the video that with the increased concentration of the banking system , comes increased vulnerability. We are even more concentrated now than when this was aired.
As the banks continue to consolidate through what I would argue are fraudulent -often- ways, the possibility of catastrophe becomes that much more possible. Not more likely, necessarily. This is key. But much more possible.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
The US is going after UBS for taxes on secret accounts. The Swiss financial secretary says that if the US continues to pursue UBS it could lead to UBS' failure. This will in turn undermine the Swiss, and by extension the European, economy.
UBS is the world's largest investment bank, and my former employer FYI.
Davos parties on, with the world's leading economic and business chiefs drinking, skiing, and listening to each other pontificate. Word is there is much consternation over the demonization of large banks.
Russia's economy contracts by over 7% for 2009, the biggest contraction in 15 years. Not a stabilizing development especially as Russia continues to cozy up with Iran.