Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

Legal Ownership Of Money

November 13, 2014

I have run the idea of the legal ownership of money past a number of the people that have been responsible for my own awakening. But I have received no response at all.

The idea is getting no milage at all.

Yet, I don’t see how this concept is not the lynchpin of the entire construct.

The Kenynesians decry the glut of savings and argue for greater state intervention and centralisation. The Austrians decry the debasement of the currency and decry state intervention and the centralisation of power.

Neither theory however, takes into account the fundamental asymmetrical exchange brought about by the unilateral ownership of the currency.

Of course, the Austrians are closer to the mark because in advocating sound money they effectively advocate greater power for individuals and entities to freely interact. But as far as I can tell, even Austrians are not explicitly in favour of full unencumbered ownership of money by society.

The nature of money is the single fundamental construct upon which everything else is built. Politics, taxation, Collateralised Debt Obligations or Credit Default Swaps are all derivatives of the nature of money. Politics does not influence the nature of money but rather exploits it. Similarly, fiscality or any of the fancy credit instruments mentioned above, have no bearing on the nature of money. Quite the contrary rather. They exploit it.

Politics could of course take the upper hand in advocating a different monetary system. This would entail however taking some rather uncomfortable if not dangerous positions against rather powerful and entrenched interests.

In my view therefore, the fundamental reality of the exchange of something we own outright for something we do not own and owe interest on, is the ultimate driver of all political, economic and social development.

Not only that.

But the continuous exchange of something that is intrinsically valuable (skills, ideas and time) for something that arithmetically does not maintain its original value of exchange (money), must arithmetically and necessarily result in the concentration of wealth in the hands of the ultimate owner of the currency. Thus this is a dynamic that can only result in the concentration of power and the full dependence of society on a progressively ever more pervasive and obtrusive state with all the concomitant ramifications regarding personal liberty that entails.

The ultimate owner of the currency has successfully drawn a boundary around society. Regardless of what happens within that boundary at the political, economic or social levels, the owner of the currency will always and everywhere expand the amount of money and credit in circulation. Thus, regardless of what happens within the boundary, the owner of the currency will enjoy an increasing revenue stream fuelled by compound interest calculated on an ever increasing quantity of money and credit.

This monetary construct therefore, thoroughly neutralises the political process. Political infighting between the right, the center and the left is therefore but a distraction, albeit a very useful distraction. In fact, the greater the political polarisation becomes and the more complex regulation and fiscality become, the greater is the resultant revenue stream for the ultimate owner of the currency.

In this context, wars, famines, humanitarian interventions, economic depressions, unemployment and crisis are an absolute manna for the ultimate owner of the currency who stands to gain regardless the underlying conditions. The greater the activity, the more strident the politics and the larger the dislocation, the greater the revenue stream becomes for the ultimate owner of the currency.

This monetary system is arithmetically skewed to impoverish. It cannot be otherwise. Granted the time line may be rather long but the result is arithmetically inevitable and preordained.

This monetary system cannot contemplate prosperity for all because this would inherently distribute profit in the hands of the many.

The arithmetic of this monetary system are geared towards concentration. Politics has no bearing whatsoever in changing this fundamental dynamic. Politics only serve to bring about ever greater regulation, intervention and complexity thus driving ever greater profits towards the owner of the currency. And the evidence is everywhere.

When something good works against personal freedom

October 22, 2010

Some of you may know I recently married and that my wife Rula is expecting our first child. As we pre-plan our child’s early life, one of the things we came across was the possibility of saving and storing the baby’s umbilical cord so that he/she may have access to his/her own stem cells if and when needed in the future.

We live in Jordan, in the Middle East. When Rula first mentioned the possibility of saving and storing the baby’s cord, I thought that whatever company would do that would store the cord in the same country where the baby was born or, at any rate, in the country of nationality of the baby. The reason I thought that, is due to the controversy that surrounds all things DNA, stem cells and biological identity. As things turn out, the companies that operate in Jordan in fact store the tissue in the UK. In fact, there are a number of companies that are licensed to carry out this type of work globally and it seems that China is at the forefront  of storage and use of stem cells. However, China not being recognized neither by the FDA in the USA nor the European body (which name now escapes me) nor the UK’s Human Tissue Authority, their work is not included in worldwide statistics.

Interestingly, we are told that in the early stages of this activity in the UK, companies were being licensed by a body other than the Human Tissue Authority. But eventually, government questioned the relevance of this private body issuing licenses for the collection and storage of human tissue and set up the HTA as a government agency.

At the individual level, as parents, both Rula and myself are naturally naturally inclined to do something that improves the chances of survival of our child. If saving the kids’ cord may help him/her one day fight some lethal disease then what’s a few thousand Dollars for peace of mind and for our child’s survival?…

The long and the short of the story is that Rula and I will do this. We do it willingly because it is a good thing.

Nonetheless, I cannot but be torn by my awareness that I am willingly giving up a significant portion of my child’s freedom… without my child’s consent.

Readers of this blog know I maintain our economic/social model evolves according to a logic dictated by two overarching dynamics: the first is the choice of monetary system and the second the choice of political system. As you by now know, though symbiotic, these two dynamics do not affect our lives equally the monetary system being the ultimate driver whereas the political system is subordinate thus is the proximate driver of all human dynamics. Moreover, despite the fact that the monetary system is the ultimate driver, the choice of system is not subject to society for ratification. In other words; governments, particularly Western governments, ergo governments of open democratic societies, retain the exclusive and arbitrary right to impose the monetary system.

Throughout the Western world, all be it at different times, our respective governments have imposed a debt based fiat monetary system upon society. Though not necessarily destructive, the political process ensures that debt based money always and everywhere will end in a catastrophic collapse. The only variable is time.

The reason is that debt based fiat money is predicated on inflation and inflation is a dynamic that conforms to the laws of diminishing marginal utility. This means that you progressively need more inflation in order to obtain the same result. This is not opinion. It is a mathematical truism.

What is relevant here, is that as the debt based fiat monetary logic evolves and as inflation loses traction over time, the only way more inflation can be brought to bear is if government progressively becomes more involved in society and the economy.

Thus as the effect of inflation inevitably wanes, the end of a debt based fiat monetary system is characterized by big government. But big government is inherently and by necessity intrusive thus ever more statist thus ever less democratic.

This is nothing new. It has happened before so this should not be and is not a surprise to anyone that can grasp the very simple logic of debt based fiat money.

At a time when government is clearly, blatantly and overtly flouting the black letter of the law for the ostensible good of “the system”, how much more proof do you want to realize that we are now well into dictatorship territory? How about a candid admission of manipulation at the highest level?

http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/plot_thickens_cftc_judge.php

http://www.futuresmag.com/News/2010/10/Pages/CFTC-judge-claims-colleague-is-biased-.aspx

If you don’t find the above worrying at several levels, how about this then:

All this is a reminder that the most informative element of any spy agency’s website is its Kiddie Korner, where spycraft meets the schoolyard for an awkward, barely appropriate encounter.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10/nsa-cartoon-animals-lure-youth-into-the-surveillance-arts/

Recruiting children to spy on your neighbor. That’s what the champion of freedom and open society has come to.

So if you understand the dynamics brought about by debt based fiat money, then the fact that today we are effectively living under a developing dictatorship should not be a surprise. We may not have reached the acute stage yet but the mathematical character of the monetary system ensures an accelerating dynamic so that events will follow at a quickening pace.

Back to the point of this post: my child’s biological identity.

Today, “security” is everything and everywhere. Our lives have been turned upside-down and inside-out by threats real and perceived and often by threats that are contrived and carried out by a myriad anonymous “security” agencies that have no overall supervision from any institution civic, military or government it may be. Personal freedoms are being curtailed at an increasing rate, youth organizations are being militarized, teenagers are being encouraged to learn the craft of spying and identification data is being forcibly collected and stored about individuals before they are even suspected of doing anything suspicious.

This is what happened to innocent till proven guilty.

Today, we are all guilty till proven innocent.

The implications are profound.

Once upon a time the “old country” was a land where people could only do what was allowed by law so that America, the land where people could do anything provided it was not forbidden by the law, flourished. The difference in the two approaches ensured that in upholding the presumed inherent goodness of man, America allowed people to imagine and create things that did not exist whereas in the old country, government would give guidelines in what to imagine and what to create.

To be sure, both approaches created some degree of wealth and somehow advanced society and both approaches can be deemed to have succeeded depending on what the parameters for success are. Nonetheless, the personal freedom approach was much more prevalent in America than in Europe hence no doubt contributing in a significant manner in turning the USA in the global hegemon.

But I digress. I am now about to give up what could very well turn out to be a significant portion of my unborn child’s identity and place it in the hands of government. Sure the company that will collect the cord claims that nobody but the parents have access to the tissue but in light of Western governments increasing and proven inclination to hold themselves above the law, I know the genetic identity of my child will wind-up on a government database. From there, government through any of the myriad agencies under its presumed control will have significant latitude in using and misusing this information. Some of the possibilities have been illustrated by authors young and new. Some their work was deemed fiction or science fiction when it was first published. But today, we see the long dark hand of government stretching over society ostensibly to provide protection; protection that can only be offered by curtailing your personal freedoms to save you from yourself.

In recent years a minor movie I thought was deserving of attention, if not recognition, was Gattaca.

Though dramatized and no doubt “a bit out there” for the time it was shown, today government has come a long way to achieving just that objective. You no doubt heard about Echelon. Echelon has been running for a good many years and it has collected phenomenal amounts of information on all and sundry globally. Most of the information collected though, pertains to faceless or even nameless individuals. Now think about this. Since the events of 2001, large numbers of people worldwide have their finger prints taken at certain airports regardless of whether they are staying in that particular country or whether they are just transiting. Innocuous enough right? It is no different than handing over your passport right? Enter biological information. Within a few years, government will not only have full access to your name and know exactly what you are made of and what illness you may suffer from, but it will also have a comprehensive data-bank of whom you’ve spoken to, what documents you have ever requested and exchanged, with whom and why, where you’ve been, whom you’ve seen, at what time and where…

The Berlin wall only came down twenty years ago. That was the point at which “free” society thought it had overcome by wielding truth, justice and personal freedoms.

We are fully back to square one but this time it is global.

That is what is occupying my mind these days.

545 People responsible for all US woes

September 8, 2010

Hat tip to poster ROAN on Voy for pointing out this article

BY Charley Reese

(Date of publication unknown)– — –  Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don’t write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don’t set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don’t control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices – 545 human beings out of the 235 million – are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.

I excluded all but the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it.

No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislation’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

A CONFIDENCE CONSPIRACY

Don’t you see how the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of Tip O’Neill, who stood up and criticized Ronald Reagan for creating deficits.

The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating appropriations and taxes.

O’neill is the speaker of the House. He is the leader of the majority party. He and his fellow Democrats, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetos it, they can pass it over his veto.

REPLACE SCOUNDRELS

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 235 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts – of incompetence and irresponsibility.

I can’t think of a single domestic problem, from an unfair tax code to defense overruns, that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.

When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red. If the Marines are in Lebanon, it’s because they want them in Lebanon.

There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take it.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exist disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. They and they alone have the power. They and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses – provided they have the gumption to manage their own employees.

This article was first published by the Orlando Sentinel Star newspaper

Sign of the times

August 30, 2010

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/7970391/Oxford-English-Dictionary-will-not-be-printed-again.html

“The next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, the world’s most definitive work on the language, will never be printed because of the impact of the internet on book sales. Sales of the third edition of the vast tome have fallen due to the increasing popularity of online alternatives, according to its publisher.”

As to why a democracy can lead but to an inflationary trajectory… (Yes Minister)

November 21, 2009

I always thought Yes Minister is by far one of the most entertaining and edifying comedies ever produced. As it turns out, though unwittingly, the authors of the series also stumbled upon the reason why democracy can lead only to an accelerating inflationary trajectory.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/6617356/Why-Yes-Minister-is-as-true-as-ever.html

Significant excerpts:

We [the authors] had to get down to basics, to the classic actors’ studio question: “What’s my motivation?” There are two answers: the expressed, publicly acceptable motivation, and the real motivation. The minister’s declared motivation is to serve the voters, to satisfy their hopes and aspirations, at whatever personal sacrifice. His real motivation is to get promoted, to get re-elected, to burnish his own and the government’s image.

The civil servant’s declared motivation is to carry out the wishes of the government efficiently, economically and impartially, working conscientiously and tirelessly to turn ministers’ policies into just, beneficial and workable laws. Their real motivation is to raise their personal status, to enhance the importance of their department, to avoid blame, to gain credit, to minimise work, to resist change, and to retire with an index-linked pension, a knighthood and the chairmanship of a couple of quangos and a seat on the board of a blue-chip company.

It seems that this wider divergence between appearance and reality is not just a British – or even Western-democratic – phenomenon. Gogol wrote The Government Inspector in the 1830s and it exploits this joke – in local rather than national government – in exactly the same way, to the delight of modern audiences.

Secrecy is the key: secrecy, which required concealment, deception and dissimulation. It is not helpful to take a moral view about this, because it is in the nature of all institutions.

[…]

There is a permanent conflict between public institutions and democracy. Democracy requires information and control; institutions require secrecy and independence. Jefferson wrote in 1788: “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground” and that, in an increasingly institutionalised and globalised world, is happening in just about every country.

The attempts of government to pretend that its only purpose is to carry out the will of the people it serves create a treasure trove of comic opportunities.

The authors probably have not fathomed the immoral truth they have stumbled upon wishing only to see the humorous side of the tragedy that is the political process.

Regrettably, once government becomes the largest actor in the economy, it takes on a life of its own and like all life forms, self preservation becomes the priority regardless of any presumed obligations and duties it may claim to hold as self evident.

http://mwhodges.home.att.net/piechart.htm

Saudi Arabia (human rights)

October 25, 2009

I needn’t remind any of you that 13 of the identified and/or caught 9/11 hijackers, alleged accomplices and would-be hijackers were Saudi nationals.

The question is why are we fighting a war in Afghanistan?

Can you enumerate even some of the reasons our governments have given us in order to justify sending our troops to Afghanistan? If you can, should you not wonder whether, since we already are astride our high moral horse, we shouldn’t send our troops somewhere else too?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/us_saudi_flogging

If you can’t remember why we are in Afghanistan surely you remember that:

– In 2002, when a school for girls in Saudi Arabia caught fire, the Religious Police decided it was preferable to lock the students inside the burning building condemning them to certain death rather than compromise the honor of the students’ families by allowing them out in public wearing only their night gowns instead of the Muslim attire. We are talking here of the year 2002… not 1502… this is about seven years ago folks….

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1874471.stm

– There is no freedom of worship in Saudi Arabia. There are no churches, synagogues or temples of any other denomination than Islamic… and there too, only Sunni Islamic worship is allowed.  Considering that Saudi society is only marginally competent and negligibly willing to work, the entire economy is operated by foreign nationals that have to risk severe punishment including lashes, jail time if not outright decapitation, if they so much as attempt to worship their chosen God.

– 2002 was a particularly prolific year in the wondrous land of Saudi Arabia. That same year, some Dr. Umayma Ahmad Al Jalahma published a “scholarly” article in the government’s main propaganda daily Al-Riyadh stating that Jews drink the blood of non Jewish adolescents to celebrate one of their holidays.

http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP35402#_edn1

So, why is it that we are in Afghanistan exactly?

Chipping away at the Vatican one vicar at the time… about time too…

September 24, 2009

Consider the number of scandals that have come to light only in the recent past and only within the Catholic church.

Now consider the fact that said scandals and allegations have only cropped up in countries where there is a legislative and judicial framework that allows victims to report such abuse and sometime to prosecute the abuser.

Now, take a moment and think.

Think of all those countries where the Catholic church operates (because the Vatican like any organization or organized religion “operates”) and where there is no legislative or judicial framework to allow anything similar to happen.

That’s right. That would be most of the world.

Now think of all the abuse that is most assuredly going on in Africa, in South America or South East Asia and that we may never hear about.

Absolute power, opacity and/or divine immunity is a combination made in hell. This is so for religion as it is for government.

Beware the man wearing the cloth. As someone said some time ago: chastity makes the church grow fondlers.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/6224134/Panel-to-investigate-Catholic-Church-abuse-allegations.html

Beware the climate of conformity

April 14, 2009

Via Anthony Watts

What I am about to write questions much of what I have written in this space, in numerous columns, over the past five years. Perhaps what I have written can withstand this questioning. Perhaps not. The greater question is, am I – and you – capable of questioning our own orthodoxies and intellectual habits? Let’s see.

He takes the long, long view. He looks at climate over geological, archaeological, historical and modern time. He writes: “Past climate changes, sea-level changes and catastrophes are written in stone.”

Much of what we have read about climate change, he argues, is rubbish, especially the computer modelling on which much current scientific opinion is based, which he describes as “primitive”. Errors and distortions in computer modelling will be exposed in time. (As if on cue, the United Nations’ peak scientific body on climate change was obliged to make an embarrassing admission last week that some of its computers models were wrong.)

Over time, the history of CO2 content in the atmosphere has been far higher than at present for most of time. Atmospheric CO2 follows temperature rise. It does not create a temperature rise. CO2 is not a pollutant. Global warming and a high CO2 content bring prosperity and longer life.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/beware-the-climate-of-conformity-20090412-a3ya.html?page=-1

Russell Crowe tells it like it should be

April 13, 2009

As always, public awareness followed by indignation comes waaaaaaaaay too late….

The press has lost it’s primary roles as guardian of individual freedoms, constructive critic and counter weight to monopolistic political and/or commercial power since a long time. Of course, the reason we’ve lost the benign and necessary role of the press is because we’ve collectively let it happen. Because as society becomes wealthier and more comfortable we become ever more inclined to disregard what is clearly undesirable if not criminal behavior. Luckily, the Internet has picked up where the press left off, but that’s another story.

Anyway. Better late than never for this type of film or book to come out I suppose.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/5141550/Russell-Crowe-tells-it-like-it-should-be.html

Here’s a slogan for the G20 mob: What do we want? Free trade! Boris Johnson has some friendly advice for the crusty anti-capitalists soon to descend on his city.

April 1, 2009

Boris Johnson on the need to let real Capitalism have a go. For those of you that think that Capitalism has failed, nobody ever anywhere gave a go to the real thing. Setting interest rates by state mandate is not compatible with capitalism. Subsidies to industry and interest groups is not Capitalism. Tariffs are not compatible with Capitalism. Production quotas are con compatible with Capitalism.

Find me a country anywhere on planet earth that has ever given a go to the real thing. Let me save you the trouble. You can’t. You can’t because as I outlined in previous essays, the political game (regardless at which degree of the spectrum you sit at) is inherently and by necessity the art of expediency and manipulation.

Although political plurality is perceived as a noble goal denoting political and social emancipation, the inherent dynamic of plurality must necessarily culminate in an inflationary blow-off cycle as we are living today.

However, although a dictatorship could and would be more desirable under a number of moral aspects, a dictatorship is by its very nature not conducive to gathering, synthesizing and crystallizing the opinions, ideas and aspirations of a large number of members of society. Also, contrary to democracy, a dictatorship does not have to end in an inflationary blow-off cycle but it pretty much always has.

Periods of time characterized by economic, social and intellectual prosperity are to be found at the beginning and development phases of the inflationary cycle both in Democratic or Despotic societies. The difference is that whereas a Democratic society cannot influence the inevitable conclusion of the inflationary cycle, a dictatorship could but almost always fails to do so.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/borisjohnson/5039646/Heres-a-slogan-for-the-G20-mob-What-do-we-want-Free-trade.html