Archive for May, 2011

In Memoriam (May 30, 2011)

Posted in Military, Society on May 30, 2011 by

. . .

A          “The kids came from Connecticut and Kentucky and Kansas and Colorado and California and got carted off to countries with foreign-sounding names.  They did not individually have any quarrel with the people.  . . . .”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

All gave some, some gave all

The Silent Takeover (May 23, 2011)

Posted in China, Cyberactivities, Economics, Foreign Policy, Locke Gary, Middle East, Military on May 23, 2011 by

. . .

C1        “Take over America.  Of course we are.  You say that you have a better plan, comrade.”

C2       “The primary lesson of the Twentieth Century is that it is easier to take by investment than by invasion.”

C1        “Clear thinking, little butterfly.  Invasion is costly and ineffective.  Invasion only assists the defense industry.  You can eat butter; you can’t eat a gun.  We focused our spending on efficient invasion technology.  We are letting the Americans spend on offensive technology to allow them to go bankrupt.”

C2       “They are already bankrupt.”

C1        “They are.  They are also too big to fail, but not too big to own and operate efficiently.”

C2       “Increase the purchases of t-bills and t-bonds by another fifty percent to a holding of 1.5 Trillion U.S.  They will be worthless, but they are one of the tickets to control.”

C1        “We will decide what they are worth later.”

. . .

C2       “America has an unproductive class of third-rate minds and fifth-rate characters who suck staggering amounts of money without contributing anything of value.  They are identified as CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and their like and ilk.  They run companies and run them into the ground.”

C1        “Comrade, we plan to teach them how capitalism really works.  Survival of the fittest.  They are not fit.  They will not survive.”

C2       “They do not have a working market for talent at the top of American corporations.  The market is broken . . . and fixed.  The brigands and hooligans run the companies.  The American schooling institutions feed and fuel the broken market.”

C1        “The brigands and hooligans will be fixed like the mongrel dogs they are.  They will be sent to regional re-education camps . . . to be re-educated.”

C2       “Were they ever educated?”

C1        “Very good.  You will go far.  What about the cyberfun we are having with them.”

C2       “You should taunt them with simple technology and gauge what they have to combat the efforts.”

C1        “We can send a message internally to the Seventh Fleet to ‘stand-down’ at any time that looks like it is one of their own.  We can even send a message to have the crew stand on their heads.”

C2       “We can?  What will you do with the people?  The people do not produce.”

C1        “They produce but not products.  We provide the goods and the money to buy the goods for now.  They will be allowed to consume as long as it is in our interest to allow them to consume.”

. . .

C2       “Soon the Middle East will be our challenge.”

C1        “A problem not a challenge.  It is now an American problem and will remain an American problem.  America has a place in the world and a role to play.”

. . .

C2       “We have our own domestic problems.”

C1        “Not if we don’t acknowledge them.”

C2       “Look at the problems we don’t acknowledge.”

C1        “Who asked you?”

C2       “Our comrades are becoming . . . filthy running dog consumers.  We are creating our own mess.”

. . .

C2       “I have another plan.  What if we tried to work with them?  Why don’t we have a beer with Gary.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Is it possible to go through the day and encounter something or anything not made out of oil and not made in China?

Gary Locke – nominated to be the Ambassador to China.  O’Bama’s most astute and foresighted appointment.

“Fiat Stock”: Taking Stock Of The Stock Market (May 16, 2011)

Posted in "Fiat ______", Middle East, Stock Market on May 16, 2011 by

. . .

?          “Let me get this right.  Once the stock is initially offered, typically to a few connected individuals and institutions on the Inside, the company does not receive any of the money from any subsequent stock sales?”

!           “Right.  The shares are bets by individuals and institutions.  The holder of the stock may receive some dividends that are taxed as ordinary income.  However, the holder of the stock is gambling on the market decreeing that the stock is worth more because the company is somehow worth more.  Some individuals and institutions on the Inside get information called ‘inside information’ that allows them to buy the stock before those on the Outside learn that something happened earlier that makes the stock more valuable now.  The holder of the stock is counting on a pension fund or endowment or widow or other Outsider being there to buy the stock at a higher price.”

?          “To get the dividends?”

!           “At least a dividend is something.  The big score is to sell the stock at a higher price to someone who did not have the ‘inside information’.”

?          “But what is the stock really worth?”

!           “Who knows.  The government and the Fed could double the supply of money/money electrons and give the stuff to those on the Inside to spend.  Then the aggregate stock prices would roughly double.  That is particularly true today when there really are no other viable competing investments.”

?          “But what is the stock really worth?”

!           “Does it really matter.  You’re on the Outside.  Don’t ask too many questions.  Play along.  Just because it is your future does not mean that it is not a game.  The key is knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.”

?          “While you only have ‘outside information’ to guide your gamble?  And then if you actually win anything, you convert the stock into ‘fiat money’?”

!           “Or convert it into ‘fiat gold’ or ‘fiat silver.’  It’s that simple.”

?          “But what is it really worth?”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Trust Me

Have Faith

George Mitchell Resigns ; Middle East Hopeless

On Trading Off (May 9, 2011)

Posted in Economics, Energy, Environment, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Housing, On [Traits/Characteristics] on May 9, 2011 by

. . .

X          “I gave a neighbor a few dollars a few years ago not to cut a tree on his property that provided ample shade for my house and a sylvan view for me.”

Y          “You paid for what they call ‘borrowed landscape.’  You receive a pleasing view that someone else funds and maintains.”

X          “He pays the taxes and I rake the leaves within the drip zone.”

Y          “Anything in writing?”

X          “Just a handshake deal that has worked so far.  The tree shades the house from the sun and lowers the electric bill.  Now I need the energy from the sun to hit the house and lower the electric bill.  The solar panels are wired in series and when even small areas of a few panels are shaded they produce less electrical output.  I plan to approach him and see if he will let me cut the tree.  He installed a back up wood stove last year and may now allow me to cut it if I give him the wood in sixteen inch lengths.  That would work for me.”

. . .

Z          “We debated the proposed microhydro project last week.  It is hard to be in favor of microhydro at the public forum on alternatives and then against microhydro at the fly fishing club meeting.”

Y          “Hard to have hydro without hydro.”

. . .

Z          “It looks like I am saving the planet until you look at all the costs.  ‘Emergy’ is all the embedded energy in an item.  The measure incorporates all the energy to produce and consume it not just my cost of acquisition and consumption.  Weighing everything, the decision is not as clear.”

. . .

X          “The community council seeks to impose height restrictions on buildings and also require more substantial setbacks from the street.  A building must go up or go out.”

Y          “They may be against buildings.  A building can’t go up if it can’t go up or go out.”

. . .

Z          “Do you support a local farmer who occasionally indulges some pesticides or a distant organic farmer?”

. . .

Y          “Providing fewer parking spaces won’t reduce the number of cars.  Providing more sidewalks may increase the number of pedestrians.  However, aren’t you simply substituting concrete for tarmac?”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Medium Is Beautiful

Eat Mangoes Naked

Sawgrass Is Popeye’s Spinach On Crack

“Fiat Gold” / Fool’s Gold (May 2, 2011)

Posted in "Fiat ______", Depression, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Economics, Gold Standard, Recession on May 2, 2011 by

. . .

F          “Remember that back in 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt confiscated all gold, devalued the dollar and decreed that the United States no longer allowed U.S. citizens to convert dollars into gold.  On August 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon decreed that the United States no longer allowed for the convertibility of the dollar into gold.  At the same time, federal spending and dollar creation grew and continues to grow exponentially.  Gold is an unworkable and irrational benchmark and restraint, yet it was a brake.”

G          “You still believe that the rest of the world will decree that the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency.”

F          “Don’t lose faith.  In time, it is only a matter of time.  Even with careful explanations, the public will not understand the consequences.  If there is a ‘slinky slide’ rather than a sudden drop, ‘fiat dollars’ may be accepted for a few months or perhaps longer if there is still some residual faith in the greenback.  The buck is familiar and will be readily available, but it may stop here.  Some members of the public will shed their habit and shift their faith from ‘fiat dollars’ to gold and silver.”

G          “Moving from money to Morgans.”

F          “Then the Great Revelation will be revealed when they discover that they are now holding ‘fiat gold’ and ‘fiat silver.’  The half life of the fascination with the shiny stuff may be two or three months.  Then everyone will discover that the stuff is generally useless, although gold may be useful for some electrical connections and silver for our electrical devices.”

G          “And maybe the stuff is not really as necessary if there is limited delivery of electricity.”

F          “A garden shovel will be much more valuable than a golden bar.”

G          “And knowing how to use a garden shovel.”

F          “And being physically able to use a garden shovel.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” titled “Is The Gold Standard Really The Gold Standard? (January 18, 2010)”]   

Bumper stickers of the week:

Why is gold always priced in . . . dollars?

Fiat = Fiat = ?

All that glitters is not a medium of exchange, a store of value, and a unit of account.