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Mark2

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  1. Another aspect of this case deserves emphasis. The assassination was done with the help of the Yemen dictatorship, which the U.S. has propped up for years. I for one am sick of the U.S. propping up dictators all over the earth. This is really what fosters “Al Qaeda.” Sure, a few crazy Muslim clerics hate America for being the West, but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the hatred the U.S. government engenders by at one time or another arming every government in the Middle East, including Uzbekistan – about which read Craig Murray: http://www.craigmurr...orture_and_the/ former British ambassador whose career ended when he protested the torture there. The “U.S. government engenders” as opposed to clueless Americans forced to pay for it, but innocents in war and all that.
  2. A defeatist attitude easily becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Anyway, with Rick Perry soon to abandon the race, even Ron Paul’s detractors should acknowledge that he has a real chance of winning the Republican nomination. (As for the presidential election, any even halfway reasonable Republican candidate will win over Obama.) But don’t look to Fox News for news about Ron Paul. See this funny – and scary – series of video clips about Fox News and its bias against Ron Paul: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhNGoArBJuQ
  3. Leftistspew defends 2.7% inflation as follows: In other words: Invest your savings in something that yields an interest rate as high (or higher) than the inflation rate and your savings won’t lose value. Only if you fail to invest it wisely, say by stuffing the cash in your mattress, will it lose value. As others have pointed out, you have a right to dispose of your property – in this case your savings – as you wish. Mattress-stuffing, also known as instant liquidity for a rainy day, being an innocent activity, you might expect to engage in it without being punished. If you put your money in a mattress you are robbed. If you invest it you are robbed of the interest you would have made. In the first case you lose real value. In the second, if the investment is conservative, you stagnate. Lefistspew’s attitude towards the man who fails to invest per above appears to be that he’s a fool and deserves the loss he suffers. Somehow inflation is the base line, the natural state, a pickpocket who will always be with us. Yes, only a fool would complain. If, as I maintain, inflation is robbery, who benefits and how? A general rise in costs and prices and wages and fees and salaries is caused by an increase in the money supply, whether paper bills or computer blips. This would be harmless if it were predictable and happened all at once everywhere to everyone. But it doesn’t. Consider the elements of time and population. The bank (the government), untethered by the requirement that a bill must be a receipt for something of real value, creates a number of bills (or computer blips) and lends it to its friend Mr. A. Mr. A looks about him and sees physical objects and real services offered by Misters B, C and D at a certain price and buys them at that price with his new bills. Misters B, C and D in turn spend these bills. The bills in time percolate throughout the population in ever widening circles. Those in the inner circle pay the going price at "time zero." But as time goes by, the extra demand created by the extra money – a demand that likewise occurs in ever widening circles – causes prices (costs, wages, etc) to increase, again not uniformly and all at once, but first at the center around Mr. A, then further removed. Mr. A got his goods at the time zero price, whereas those further removed pay higher prices. All in all Mr. A benefits at the expense of all those at the periphery, as do those close to him. Misters B, C and D for example, benefit in that they make their expected profit, while merchants more at the periphery, not realizing that their costs will soon increase, make less profit in real value. All of which is to point out the obvious: The cronies of a fiat money bank rob everyone else at 2.7% per annum. And all’s right with the world?
  4. This replies to just the initial post. It’s a most peculiar stability where goods that twenty years ago took 100 dollar bills to purchase today take 170. One could say relative stability, but it would be relative to an even worse performing currency, say one in South America. This is our standard of stability? If you aren’t wiped out – unadorned with Make-Light Of-It quotes – everything’s OK? Not having been completely wiped out, just robbed somewhat – a mere 40%. From the linked-to article: “As 17th-century Latin American silver production dropped, debtors flooded the Dutch economy with debased foreign silver coinage, creating a stagflation risk. The [Dutch] Bank experimented with a bullion standard, converting different coins to paper at fixed exchange rates, but it could never get the rates right for long, triggering Gresham’s Law events where bad money drove out good.” First off it wasn’t the fault of gold or silver that some crooks debased it – meaning filing off the edges of coins or counterfeiting them using mostly tin or lead. Second, comparing paper money to coins, paper money is no harder to debase, easier in fact per unit value. Third, the Dutch Bank didn’t really experiment with gold as money because then there would have been no set rate of conversion to a quantity of paper money. Using gold as money means the users (buyers and sellers) decide how much of what goods an ounce buys, not a government bank. A bank (or the bank, if it’s a government monopoly) can still issue paper money in this system, but the piece of paper saying “1” on it must mean there really is 1 ounce of gold in the bank’s vault payable to the bearer. (A bank – or the bank – issuing more paper than gold on hand, in this system, would be defrauding each bearer. His loss would be inflation.) Fourth, only the author of the linked-to article knows what he meant by bad money drives out good when all the paper money is the same. Maybe he meant people abandoned the money in favor of gold, or vice versa. It’s hard to believe vice versa. I didn’t read much more, so many hours in the day, just skimmed. The introduction is loaded with emotional, over-the-top phrases: “otherworldly purity,” “stomach-churning,” etc. The style of writing is obscure, the above quote about debased coinage is typical. Just noticed: The article is published by the American Enterprise Institute, a hardcore neoconservative think-tank, if anti-Americanism masquerading as Americanism can be called thoughtful. John Yoo of torture infamy is there, and Michael Ledeen (author of Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli’s Iron Rules Are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago – I’m not making this up) used to be. In 2003 they hosted a dinner celebrating Irving Kristol. Now they’re debunking gold backed currency. Makes me want to buy more gold, at least in the short term. Even if gold’s a bubble it looks like it has a way to go before it bursts.
  5. This sidesteps the question but still needs to be said. 1. Unlike real abuse, which is extraordinarily rare, fat is hard to define even approximately. The same goes for skinny. Look what CPS – Child Protective Services, or whatever it’s called – did to one vegetarian couple. When CPS took their children away from them they tried to get their children back by force. The eventual trial, with Edgar Steele as defense lawyer, was featured on TV (I don’t watch such things and only read about it). The mother, Ruth Christine, spent 7 years in prison, the father will have served 12 when released in 2013. (By the way, the defense lawyer was a free speech advocate who once defended the founder of Aryan Nations, losing. Recently he was charged and convicted of attempting to murder his wife and mother-in-law, which is as authentic as the Christine’s child abuse. The fact that some of his views are disagreeable, to say the least, is irrelevant here.) 2. CPS has a long history of itself abusing children. The late Nancy Schaefer spoke and wrote about this: The Corrupt Business of Child Protective Services Look what they did to Kelly Michaels and children she was alleged to have abused, one of several cases described in No Crueler Tyrannies: Accusation, False Witness, and Other Terrors of Our Times by Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal. I think we’d be better off without CPS, assault and battery was illegal without it. At least don’t add another quiver to their bow.
  6. Straw man argument. No one here said have faith in a terrorist’s mercy. This sounds as if we’re to conclude that Tanaka means there’ve been thousands of domestic “incidents” in the U.S. since 9/11, which is absurd if “incident” means anything serious. There’ve been several FBI entrapment operations trumpeted as thwarted terrorist attacks. There’s been one utterly incompetent but apparaently genuine attack. Then there was the Underwear Bomber, in a class by itself. Instead of evidence of terrorist danger it’s evidence of our amazingly corrupt government. Again (I’ve mentioned it before), read what Kurt Haskell – a passenger on Flight 253 – has to say about it on his wife’s blog: http://haskellfamily.blogspot.com/2010/09/why-underwear-bomber-trial-with.html http://haskellfamily.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-day-one-year-later-underwear.html http://haskellfamily.blogspot.com/search?q=umar
  7. They've turned on video-streaming: www.911anniversary.ARIevents.com
  8. Relative to gold, prices are stable. But consider what this means. From 2001 to 2011 gold went from about $300 to about $1800 – a factor of 5 difference. In the same period prices have increased somewhat over 25% – a factor of 1.25 difference. (Try these inflation calculators, which I don’t think are far off: http://www.westegg.com/inflation/ and http://146.142.4.24/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl ) This is a major decrease in purchasing power. While you weren’t looking about a fourth of your savings melted away. It doesn’t matter if this shrinking money is stable relative to anything. In absolute terms it’s pretty unstable, and to the holder’s disadvantage. For now gold is unstable to your advantage. This may indeed be a bubble, and then two questions come to mind: 1. How long before the bubble bursts? 2. How big will it be right after it does? Of course we can’t know the answers for sure but obviously there’s money to be had if you can: • Buy at a price below the post-burst price, then • Sell soon before the burst. Another point: I’ve heard of people making money on the very volatility of the gold market. I don’t understand how it works. Commodities speculation isn’t my field despite the above remarks, which are pretty obvious.
  9. 9/11 – A Decade Later: Lessons for the Future A symposium sponsored by the Ayn Rand Institute / Center Thursday, September 8, 2011 - free and open to the public. National Press Club 529 14th Street NW Washington, D.C. 20045 The program will feature three panel discussions: • Upheavals in the Middle East: Assessing the Political Landscape 1:00 - 2:05 p.m. Panelists: Yaron Brook, Efraim Karsh, Daniel Pipes, Walid Phares. Moderator: Elan Journo. • The Islamist Threat: From AfPak to Jyllands-Posten and Times Square 2:10 - 3:15 p.m. Panelists: Peter Brookes, John David Lewis, Diana West. Moderator: Elan Journo. • Iran, Israel and the West 3:25 - 4:30 p.m. Panelists: Elan Journo, Efraim Karsh, Clare Lopez, Michael Rubin. Moderator: Yaron Brook. About the panelists Yaron Brook – Ayn Rand Institute Peter Brookes – Heritage Foundation Elan Journo – Ayn Rand Institute Efraim Karsh – Middle East Forum John David Lewis – Ayn Rand Institute, Duke University Clare Lopez – Center for Security Policy Daniel Pipes – Middle East Forum Walid Phares – Foundation for Defense of Democracies Michael Rubin – American Enterprise Institute Diana West – Washington Examiner syndicated columnist It will be live-streamed on the Ayn Rand Institute’s event website: www.911anniversary.ARIevents.com
  10. On page 4 of this issue of The Undercurrent you find a reference to “the “homegrown” terrorists who have recently become major threats. The plans of the ‘underpants’ and Times Square bombers were foiled ...” The Times Square bomber – a Pakistani immigrant – was utterly inept. He might as well have had a smoke bomb. How about some effort made in restricting Third World immigration before we consider Faisal Shahzad a “major threat.” The Underwear Bomber, to repeat an earlier post, looks like a fraud from beginning to end. Read what Kurt Haskell – a passenger on Flight 253 – has to say about it on his wife’s blog: http://haskellfamily.blogspot.com/2010/09/why-underwear-bomber-trial-with.html http://haskellfamily.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-day-one-year-later-underwear.html http://haskellfamily.blogspot.com/search?q=umar
  11. The U.S. helped the Soviets all along, starting with the Bolsheviks. Listen to this hour long interview with Anthony Sutton, made in 1980, about the help given the Soviets and Nazis: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6987303668075230852# Unfortunately the interviewer appends his own ideas at the end after the interview is over. His manner turns me off but Anthony Sutton is well worth listening to. You can skip the interviewer’s introduction too. (The picture quality is very poor, almost useless.) One of Anthony Sutton’s books was favorably reviewed in The Objectivist (January 1970), the first volume of Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development which ultimately totalled three volumes: 1917-1930, 1930-1945, 1945-1965
  12. Aristotle is supposed to have said: “Justice consists of loving and hating aright.” Long before seeing the above I’d come to loath the writing of Edward Cline. It reeks of counterfeit emotion. Phony to the core. Eesh! which I understand is what the ancient Greeks used to say when they couldn’t take it anymore. Note Cline’s admiring nod to Winston Churchill, who helped lie America into WWII. Alternate history isn’t supposed to alter too much, that is, before a certain point in time, yet Cline writes: “Monitored Al Quada communications repeated the query, ‘Is he dead yet?’ They could only have been referring to President Bush, who fortunately was not in the White House that day.” There’s no record of this happening. “... on September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked on its own soil by agents of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and Iraq.” In fact the alleged hijackers were from Saudi Arabia (15), United Arab Emirates (2), Lebanon (1) and Egypt (1). None of the governments of the countries he mentioned planned 9/11. He conveniently omits mentioning that for months Germany and the U.S. harbored many of the alleged hijackers, and that many were known by U.S. government agents to be terrorists and in the U.S. yet left them alone. About the dancing in the Arab street, some of it was genuine, some fabricated. Cline omits the authentic commiseration of Iranians – it wouldn’t have served his purpose. He likens 9/11 to Pearl Harbor, failing to point out that FDR used Pearl Harbor as a pretext just like Bush and friends did 9/11. “Hiding in an Afghan village in the Swat Valley, bin Laden for two months maintained radio contact with his sympathizers and enablers in the Pakistani government and in Kabul. On November 4th, when our intelligence had confirmed his location and that of his enablers and protectors in Pakistan, the village was vaporized with a battlefield nuclear projectile mounted on a drone fired from a nuclear submarine patrolling the Indian Ocean, the Patrick Henry.” After three nuclear “holes” in Pakistan, the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul “was similarly razed.” Then it’s time for the Palestinians! Then the Lebanese! Then Iran! After the last, peace everlasting. Nuke Iran, that’s the ticket! Edward Cline uses the dead of 9/11 to promote his own agenda. “Many people would suddenly believe they were being stalked by jihadists. They would turn around [and] see nothing. The fall of Islam and its virtual disappearance from men’s concerns was a true sign of “Islamaphobia,” but eminently curable. It is not every century when a major faith suffers from mass abjuration.” It sounds like Edward Cline speaks for his own neurosis. Think of all the time he spent writing this cartoonish propaganda when he spends no time at all on the real and growing list of police state measures given in my last post. To repeat, the man is a hypocrite, phony to the core. Politically Edward Cline quacks and waddles just like a neoconservative. He’s an only slightly exaggerated version of Daniel Pipes or David Horowitz.
  13. Cline must be living in some alternate universe. “War Won, Government Diminishes” ? “Long Live Lady Liberty!” ? Where was Cline when the following outrages on Her occurred: The Administration can lie the U.S. into trillion dollar wars, thousands of soldiers killed, with impunity. (Listen to former Col. Lawrence Wilkerson on this. Lie is the right word.) Real ID. The Military Commissions Act of 2006. The Defense Authorization Act of 2006. The Martial Law Act of 2006. The Cybersecurity Act (not yet law). The Protecting Children Act (not yet law). Illegal domestic surveillance with impunity. The phony war on Drugs. The creeping federalization of police departments. The president set that anyone the President or his men designate an enemy of the state -- including an American citizen -- they can torture to death with impunity. Warrantless GPS tracking. Rampant corruption in the federal judiciary. The TSA. This list could go on and on. And all we get from Cline is happy talk. Where is the outrage? Making heroes out of frauds like Bush (puppet of Cheney) and Giuliani is as low as it gets. What a hypocrite! I wonder if Islam is the real, most basic, enemy. Anyway, with friends like Cline who needs Islam?
  14. Tanaka repeats his assertion that Ayn Rand wrote an essay on Hickman, dishonestly abusing the meaning of “essay” in the process. I think what I wrote about perfect makes sense in the full post. I’m not going to write about details of AR and Hickman. The subject is disgusting and doesn’t interest me that much. It’s inconceivable that AR – later in her mature years when she better understood English and Americans – would either defend any aspect of Hickman or denounce his detractors for hating him as an egoist rather than a creepshow killer. Tanaka – he of the private disorganized and rambling diary “essay” – may have the last word, I shall not reply.
  15. Regarding Zoid’s last post ... 1. AR made a mistake in her evaluation of Hickman. She made a mistake in her evaluation of many, perhaps most, of the journalists condemning him (e.g. Edgar Rice Burroughs). Two private mistakes. 2. Reread Zoid’s earlier statement: “ ... since sociopathy is characterized by a habitual disregard for the rights of others, and since rights are central to Rand’s philosophic thought, it’s clear that she would never have deemed such psychological illness ‘a gift.’” It’s a fallacious, rationalistic argument. What she said in the 1920s is what she said. She could have made a mistake despite whatever is central to her current -- or later -- philosophic thought. In fact, just from reading the journal, no rationalistic or otherwise argument is necessary: she did not say psychological illness is a gift. However she did admire Hickman for seeming to have been born without the ability to care what others think. She makes it clear that she’s purposely taking this out of context. On the other hand she condemns the journalists for not taking this out of context. She doesn’t put it that way, but that’s what it amounts to. My theory is that she projected her experience of Russians onto the hapless journalists. I think this accounts for her last entry, evidently written after she had cooled down, where she says to herself, in so many words, take it easy AR. Dreamspirit: “... it is a little upsetting to hear that the person you admire greatly once viewed something you think is monstrous with positive emotions.” Indeed. How to explain it? AR was good at separating one aspect of something from another aspect, focusing on just one. In the case of Hickman she blundered, privately (and very early in her career), but better examples come to mind. She praised the Marxists, not for their ideology, but for their method of spreading it. She once praised Chomsky – I’m not making this up – for his reasoned denunciation of Skinner. She opposed U.S. entry into WW II, not because she loved the Nazis but because she loved America. Later when asked to write a screenplay praising Oppenheimer et al for their work on the Manhattan Project, she was willing to do it in order that the Project not be praised as a triumph of government science. She focused solely on the fact that it got done. (Fortunately that movie never made it past preliminary planning. Later she used Oppenheimer -- perhaps along with Millikan, who was much in the news at the time promoting government science -- as part of the basis for the character Stadler.) A detractor could misrepresent all this: she was a Marxist, she loved Chomsky, she hated the America Firsters, she thought government science was great, etc.