The “Gun Show Loophole”: A Dialogue Among Gun Owners.  Oh, And Happy Presidents’ Day (February 19, 2018)

Posted in Guns, Law, Second Amendment on February 19, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K(GO) “Here’s another perspective.  Psychos have rights.  Right?  What we need is a law that allows every confirmed psycho to purchase one rifle or pistol a month.”

GO1     “A confirmed psycho?”

K          “Multiple convictions for domestic violence, wife beating, violent outbursts, assault charges.  The usual.”

GO2     “No question that the person is a psycho?”

K          “No question.  While we are at it, how about allowing every confirmed psycho to make one purchase one rifle or pistol a week.”

GO3     “Now hold on there . . . .  I’m not so sure.  You say he is a confirmed psycho.  Well, if he is a confirmed psycho, he is the type of person who probably should not have a gun.  But only if he is truly a confirmed psycho.”

GO2     “That is where I draw the line.”

. . .

K          “Great Americans like me can buy a gun.  Great Americans like you can buy a gun.  Psycho Americans like the psycho Americans . . . maybe not.”

GO1     “Sounds about right.”

K          “The only solution is to require a background check as part of every purchase from a dealer or from a private purchaser.”

GO2     “That makes some sense.”

. . .      

. . .

K          “In about five minutes after the meeting that night, I moved the three of them off a position they have never even allowed anyone ever to challenge.”  

J          “They may be willing to listen to someone who has a few guns.  Always structure an argument so that they convince themselves.”

K          “The half-life of the message may be two weeks.  I stayed on message and tabled asking them if they were troubled that the Russians appear to have funded the National Rifle Association’s (NRA’s) bombardment of them almost daily with propaganda during the months before the 2016 election.”

J          “Next meeting.  Next month.”

. . .  

[See the e-commentary at “Get A Gun; Practice Gun Safety (January 25, 2016)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

Bugging Out To N.Z.:  The Movie, Part 2.  Oh, And Happy Valentine’s Day (February 12, 2018)

Posted in Aviation, Class, Climate, Collapse, Community, Global Climate Change, Kleptocracy on February 12, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Those who want to bug out to New Zealand seem to believe the island is ‘PLAN B’ on this planet.”

J          “And yet the thoughtful folks who think about it observe that ‘There is no PLANet B’ in our universe.”

K          “Not even Mars.” 

. . .

K          “When the funds run out to guard the compound, the guards will walk off the job.”

J          “I would clear the runway and clear the plane to land, visually if necessary.  The first aid kit, fire extinguisher and other supplies on the plane would come in useful.”

K          “The P.I.C. should pack a readily available t-shirt proclaiming ‘Don’t shoot me, I’m only the pilot’ to stand apart and then stand apart when they land.”

J          “When the kleptocrats deplane, they can be debriefed and disabused of their old ideas.  They need to know that the rules have changed.”

K          “The rules may be the same, just the participants will change.  They depart a land where ‘Might makes right’ and land in a land where ‘Might makes right’ also.  The difference is the group with the might has changed mightily.”

. . .

K          “I asked him to forward the draft contract when they e-mail it to him.  Is he as pilot obligated to be ready to leave in four hours or six hours or eight hours?  How many family members is he allowed to take with him?  However, when the Collapse comes, all contracts are advisory and voidable.  The pilot can amend the manifest and take his family and friends to the promised land.  That could be the plot twist for the third plane that actually completes the flight.”

J          “We might ‘Immanentize the Eschaton’ in the new land, the New Z-land.”

K          “Perhaps the most prudent strategy for the locals is to bivouac next to the compound, befriend the guards and be ready for the transition.”

. . .

K          “Writing and filming the movie would be too much fun.”

. . .

[Listen to this excerpt from Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot (1994) ]

[See the e-commentary at “Bugging Out To N.Z.:  The Movie (June 26, 2017)” and “Immanentize the Eschaton.  Say What? (August 22, 2016)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

There is no PLANet B

Going Forward With The “Reverse Stock Split” (February 5, 2018)

Posted in Crime/Punishment, Dow Jones, Federal Reserve, Kleptocracy, Rackets, Rule of Law, Stock Market on February 5, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “The Federal Reserve has purposely pursued a policy to punish citizens, including millions of hard working and God fearing Americans in their retirement, who merely seek a predictable and reasonable rate of return on their money.  If citizens want any real return on their money, the Fed forced them into the stock market racket.”

J          “Which is a crime and really should be punished as a crime.”

K          “Except we subsist in a country without the rule of law.”

. . .

K          “The Dow was at about 26,000 last week before today’s collapse, yet the real value of the underlying stocks measured by realistic price/earnings ratios is only about 13,000 to perhaps 15,000.”

J          “But that type of thinking undermines the consensus that all Americans are financial geniuses.”

K          “The ‘Wealth Effect’ is surreptitiously impoverishing many of those financial geniuses.  Too many investors/speculators are spending more money or, even worse, incurring more debt without realizing that their faux wealth will soon vaporize.”

J          “The ‘Poverty Effect’ will be a bodacious and stupendous bummer.”

. . .

K          “Check this out.  In a typical stock split, one share at $100 per share is split into two shares at $50 per share.  That thinking is so outmoded and outdated.  Everything in the stock market is hocus pocus.  I propose a reverse stock split where one share at $100 per share is split into two shares at $100 per share.  We need to create wealth.”

J          “Count me in.  The Dow at 52,000.  Just like that.  Twice as rich.  But with the absurdity, the insanity, the depravity and the irrationality that defines our reality, why not a three for one split and thus a Dow of 76,000.  Thrice as rich.  Just like that.  We need to concoct wealth.”

K          “Pocus hocus.  Count me in.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “The Dow Is The Canary (April 26, 2010)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The Dow at 104,000!!!!!!!!!!!

Or not.

Divas And Divos At Davos (January 29, 2018)

Posted in Antitrust, Banks and Banking System, Globalization, Kleptocracy, Rackets on January 29, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “I like their knife.”

J          “The common folk need a people’s Davos.”

. . .

K          “The world is not flat.  From afar, it is a mysterious big blue marble with swirling white clouds.  Up close, it is one long unlevel playing field with all the big players playing a game with the little players.”

J          “When you think about it, ‘globalization’ is an anagram derived from neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism and neo-capitalism and neo-consumerism.”

. . .

K          “When the one one-thousandths of one percent (.001 %) get together, you know they are up to no good.”

J          “They fix prices, but they do not fix problems.”

. . .

K          “They say that a conspiracy is two or more people working together for one end.”

J          “My theory is that they are conspiring to put the fix on us.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Humanity’s Motto:  To Enslave And To Colonize (January 27, 2014)”, “The ‘Superfluous Consumer’ (July 27, 2015)” and “Is The American Consumer Irrelevant? (December 12, 2011)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”

Government Shutdown: Shutdown Congress (January 22, 2018)

Posted in Class, Congress, Gender, Race, Term Limits, Women's March on January 22, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Shut down Congress.”

J          “Vote them out.”

. . .

K          “One word.  Term limits.”

J          “If Congress does not limit its term, we must limit their terms.”

. . .

K          “We need 20/20 vision in the upcoming 2018 elections.”

J          “Hindsight is 20/20, but only if you want to see things clearly.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Marching For Science And Momma (April 24, 2017)”, “Women’s March On Washington (Woodstock With Conviction) / Coronation (January 23, 2017)” and “Debt Ceiling Dilly-Dallying?  Term Limit Amendment = Balanced Budget Amendment (December 11, 2017).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Throw the bums out

We need 20/20 vision in the upcoming 2018 elections

Women’s March 2018 signs courtesy of Doonesbury:

Make America Smart Again

First We Marched, Now We’re Running (For Office)

Does This Ass Make My Country Look Small?

Grab ’em By The Midterms

Super Callous, Fascist, Racist, Sexist, Braggadocious

Women Are The Wall And Trump Will Pay

Too Much Bulls*** For One Sign

They tried to bury us.  They didn’t know we were seeds.

Elect A Clown, Get A Circus

Without Hermione, Harry Would Have DIED

I know signs.  I make the best signs.  They’re terrific.  Everyone agrees.

Race And Class And Crime: Jail White People.  Oh, And Happy Martin Luther King Day (January 15, 2018)

Posted in Affirmative Action, Class, Crime/Punishment, Due Process, Equal Protection, Guns, Justice, Prison/Criminology, Race, Wall Street on January 15, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Blacks are disproportionately and unfairly favored over Whites.”

J          “Browns too.  And the long-term studies clearly show that many of the Blacks and Browns who were preferred over the Whites and received a free ride at public expense were clearly unfit and unqualified at the time of matriculation.”

. . .

K          “White people are criminals.  They commit almost all of the crime . . . measured by the time-honored dollar per transgression ($/transgression) metric.  We need to lock up White people.”

J          “That is exactly my point.  The total criminal activity of White people (CAW Index) is calibrated in the trillions of dollars.  The total criminal activity of Black and Brown people (CABB Index) is calibrated in the hundreds of millions of dollars and perhaps may be as high as a billion dollars when everything is considered, calculated and calibrated.”

. . . 

J          “That underscores the fundamental Equal Protection rights of Whites that are being trampled and transgressed by favoring Blacks and Browns in the allocation of public accommodations at the graybar hotels of America.”

K          “And the Due Process rights of Whites.  Whites must be afforded the right to receive ‘three hots and a cot’ on the public dole.”    

. . .

K          “So what you are saying is that in 2018, no Blacks or Browns should be sent to jail and in their stead Whites should be given the highly-coveted openings in jail.”

J          “Exactly.  Unless a gun, knife or other weapon is involved, any Black or Brown charged with a property crime in 2018 should be given probation and not take a spot away from a deserving White in the graybar hotels of America.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “King Seale Newton X Day (January 16, 2017)”, “King Daze (January 20, 2014)” and “King (January 16, 2006).”]     

Bumper stickers of the week:

Jail White People Now

Prison:  It’s not just for Blacks and Browns

One World Currency? (January 8, 2018)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Cryptocurrency, Currency, Cyberactivities, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Magazine Reference, Money, Petrodollar, Special Drawing Rights (SDR), Universal Monetary Unit, World's Reserve Currency on January 8, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Thirty years ago tomorrow, The Economist magazine uploaded an article titled ‘Get Ready for the Phoenix’ with a cover proclaiming ‘Get ready for a world currency’ and featuring a rising Phoenix.”

J          “Get ready.  The Phoenix, the Bancor, the S.D.R., the Universal Monetary Unit, the Bobcoin, the Something Else is likely to replace the PetroDollar in the near future.  Stay tuned.” 

. . .

K          “On a simple level, ‘cryptocurrencies’, etc. are digital and gold, etc. is analog.  Blockchain technology underlying ‘cryptocurrencies’ is likely to be supplanted by a fast, fair, sustainable, scalable, guaranteed Byzantine fault tolerant consensus digital technology using gossip protocols and virtual votes such as Hashgraph.  And Hashgraph is likely to be supplanted by even more advanced and sophisticated technologies.” 

J          “That’s what everyone is saying.  Get ready.  Stay tuned.”

. . .

[See a related and more recent article “One world, one money” in The Economist magazine dated September 24, 1998.  First published as a five-part series punctuated with reprints of paintings by Gustave Courbet, “Bitcoin Doesn’t Exist – The Full Story” written by “Dr. D” for “The Automatic Earth” project/site provides some perspective on the phenomenon known as ‘cryptocurrencies’.  The comments to the series and the comments on the sites that reprint the series provide some robust ideas and opinions.  Much is happening quickly.]

[See the e-commentary titled “‘Bitcoin’, ‘Ethereum’ . . . ‘Blockchain Technology’  Say What? (July 3, 2017)”, “The Mandibles, FRNs, SDRs, IMF, G20, WTD! (September 5, 2016)” and “USA + FRN/PD — > IMF + SDR — > NDB + UMU? The “Universal Monetary Unit” . . . Coming To a Planet Near You (January 2, 2017)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Want to improve your love life?  Change your handle to “Blockchain”

. . .

The Economist, January 9, 1988, Vol. 306, pages 9-10; Cover:  “Get ready for a world currency”; Title of the article:  “Get Ready for the Phoenix”

THIRTY years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries, and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency.  Prices will be quoted not in dollars, yen or D-marks but in, let’s say, the phoenix.  The phoenix will be favoured by companies and shoppers because it will be more convenient than today’s national currencies, which by then will seem a quaint cause of much disruption to economic life in the last twentieth century.

. . .

At the beginning of 1988 this appears an outlandish prediction.  Proposals for eventual monetary union proliferated five and ten years ago, but they hardly envisaged the setbacks of 1987.  The governments of the big economies tried to move an inch or two towards a more managed system of exchange rates – a logical preliminary, it might seem, to radical monetary reform.  For lack of co-operation in their underlying economic policies they bungled it horribly, and provoked the rise in interest rates that brought on the stock market crash of October.  These events have chastened exchange-rate reformers.  The market crash taught them that the pretence of policy co-operation can be worse than nothing, and that until real co-operation is feasible (i.e., until governments surrender some economic sovereignty) further attempts to peg currencies will flounder.

. . .

The new world economy

The biggest change in the world economy since the early 1970’s is that flows of money have replaced trade in goods as the force that drives exchange rates.  As a result of the relentless integration of the world’s financial markets, differences in national economic policies can disturb interest rates (or expectations of future interest rates) only slightly, yet still call forth huge transfers of financial assets from one country to another.  These transfers swamp the flow of trade revenues in their effect on the demand and supply for different currencies, and hence in their effect on exchange rates.  As telecommunications technology continues to advance, these transactions will be cheaper and faster still.  With unco-ordinated economic policies, currencies can get only more volatile.

. . .

In all these ways national economic boundaries are slowly dissolving.  As the trend continues, the appeal of a currency union across at least the main industrial countries will seem irresistible to everybody except foreign-exchange traders and governments.  In the phoenix zone, economic adjustment to shifts in relative prices would happen smoothly and automatically, rather as it does today between different regions within large economies (a brief on pages 74-75 explains how.)  The absence of all currency risk would spur trade, investment and employment.

. . .

The phoenix zone would impose tight constraints on national governments.  There would be no such thing, for instance, as a national monetary policy.  The world phoenix supply would be fixed by a new central bank, descended perhaps from the IMF.  The world inflation rate – and hence, within narrow margins, each national inflation rate – would be in its charge.  Each country could use taxes and public spending to offset temporary falls in demand, but it would have to borrow rather than print money to finance its budget deficit.  With no recourse to the inflation tax, governments and their creditors would be forced to judge their borrowing and lending plans more carefully than they do today.  This means a big loss of economic sovereignty, but the trends that make the phoenix so appealing are taking that sovereignty away in any case.  Even in a world of more-or-less floating exchange rates, individual governments have seen their policy independence checked by an unfriendly outside world.

. . .

As the next century approaches, the natural forces that are pushing the world towards economic integration will offer governments a broad choice.  They can go with the flow, or they can build barricades.  Preparing the way for the phoenix will mean fewer pretended agreements on policy and more real ones.  It will mean allowing and then actively promoting the private-sector use of an international money alongside existing national monies.  That would let people vote with their wallets for the eventual move to full currency union.  The phoenix would probably start as a cocktail of national currencies, just as the Special Drawing Right is today.  In time, though, its value against national currencies would cease to matter, because people would choose it for its convenience and the stability of its purchasing power.

. . .

The alternative – to preserve policymaking autonomy – would involve a new proliferation of truly draconian controls on trade and capital flows.  This course offers governments a splendid time.  They could manage exchange-rate movements, deploy monetary and fiscal policy without inhibition, and tackle the resulting bursts of inflation with prices and incomes polices.  It is a growth-crippling prospect.  Pencil in the phoenix for around 2018, and welcome it when it comes.