Archive for April, 2015

Prepping: Public And Private Perspectives (April 27, 2015)

Posted in Bail In, Bailout/Bribe, Bankruptcy, Banks and Banking System, Collapse, Debt/Deficits, Depression, Economics, Global Climate Change, Guns, Population, Recession on April 27, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

C          “A system that cannot go on forever will not go on forever.  The System in its current incarnation cannot go on forever.  Thus, the debate shifts fundamentally from ‘if’ to ‘when.’  The syllogism suggests that fundamental change is in store.  Do we have the stores?”

D          “‘When’ not ‘if’ and also ‘what.’  Plan B is by definition less desirable than Plan A or presumably it would be Plan A.  The most desirable plan is failing.  What is Plan B?”

C          “The other systemic challenge is weather.  That problem like the financial machinations is also substantially man-made and man-modified.  Mother Nature allocates every region a specially-tailored natural catastrophe.  Florida and the Southeast get hurricanes, the Midwest gets tornadoes, the West Coast gets earthquakes, other regions get typhoons and cyclones.  And Mother Nature is shifting the script so that some areas get floods and some get drought.  The jet streams and the gulf streams are working in tandem to change things on the ground.”

D          “Leaves you wondering what is Plan B?”

. . .

C          “The script never varies.  The public Emergency Preparedness offices provide detailed lists of necessary supplies and valuable advice yet always unfailingly avoid even hinting that a gun, even one for hunting squirrels or pigeons, is a wise and prudent investment.  Some of them are reluctant even to mention acquiring a knife other than a pocket knife or perhaps a scalpel.”

D          “And the private sector prepper sites go to the other extreme and focus the entire discussion around guns and ammo and ammo and guns and guns and ammo.  The alpha, the bravo, the charlie and the delta of preparation for the Great Omega.”

C          “Get a gun.  We have a moral duty to protect our family and friends.  And get an LED flashlight.  And extra batteries.”

D          “And beans and bullets.  My personal Plan B combines public and private sector suggestions.”

. . .

C          “Going it alone is a failure from the start, yet desperately few humans have the intellectual and emotional software to engage others cooperatively.  Finding others who have resources, skills and tools is not promising.”

D          “At heart, the most prudent preparation is to restrain the dragons in our soul to free our mind.”

. . .

[And this past weekend, earthquakes in Nepal.]

[National PrepareAthon! Day on April 30 is a grassroots campaign for action to increase community preparedness and resilience.]

[See the e-commentary at Beans and Bullets (April 6, 2009), We Ain’t Ants; We Are Grasshoppers (April 9, 2012), On Community (June 3, 2013) and On Roiling And Rolling Collapse (March 9, 2015).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Get a garden rake, get a gun, get a grip

“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself; if you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.” Attributed by some to Lao Tzu, but who knows.

Net Neutrality (April 20, 2015)

Posted in Consumerism, Digital, Google, Internet, Less Government Regulation Series, Net Neutrality, Privacy, Society on April 20, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

A          “The business model is built on two pursuits:  the profitable and the prurient.”

B          “The prurient is the profitable.”

. . .

A          “The first image from the ‘Gaggle’ search revealed pictures from her ‘Spring ‘Show Us Your Tats’ Break ‘77’ revelry.  The announcement of her Nobel did not surface until page 3 of the search.”

B          “There is no profit in Nobels.”

A          “I just cannot ‘friend’ Gaggle, because Gaggle is not a friend.  For a decade, Gaggle allowed access to the site.  Then Gaggle blocked access to the site likely because Gaggle was not making any money by providing access to the site.  Even if I used the full HyperText Transfer Protocol address, namely http://www.myinsignificantwebsite.org, Gaggle still revealed nothing.  Darkness.  Only the honest search engines such as ‘Ixquick’ and ‘DuckDuckGo’ reveal what is really there on the Internet.”

B          “And those two search engines do not track your searches.  Hard to develop search engine optimization (SEO) when Gaggle calls the shots and practices website nullification.”

A          “The Internet is a collection of monopolies and is in effect a ‘public utility’ that needs to be regulated by the public.  Net neutrality sounds like a sound idea.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

If Gaggle does not allow one to access a website, does the website exist?

Net Neutrality Soon

The Choice:  Pro War And Pro-Wall Street Candidate v. Pro War And Pro-Wall Street Candidate (April 13, 2015)

Posted in Bush, Clinton, Elections, Journalism, Newspapers, Presidency, Press/Media, Wall Street, War on April 13, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

C1        “The election is already over.  One party nominates a candidate who is pro war and pro-Wall Street and the other party nominates a candidate who is pro war and pro-Wall Street.”

C2       “And if you demur in a public forum, the popular press will dismiss you as an isolationist for questioning war and as a populist for supporting an equitable and sustainable economy.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at The First Look At The “Second Political Party” (January 3, 2011).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Bush III

Clinton II

Jeb Clinton

Hillary Bush

AIIB: China: 1; U.S.A.: 0? (April 6, 2015)

Posted in AIIB, Banks and Banking System, China, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Foreign Policy, International Finance, Money, SDR - Special Drawing Rights, Sports, Supernova Dollar on April 6, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

A          “International March Madness, I say.  Tracking the bracket was an all-consuming delight.  Looks like the final score is a soccer score which is appropriate for an international vote after weeks of intense hardball lobbying.  But not as close as the likely score on the hardwood tonight.”

B          “1 to 0 is a soccer score, 40 to 0 is not a soccer score or a basketball score or a hardball score, it is a resounding shutout.  The Chinese AIIB Selection Committee is still selecting the Final Forty.  They say the Prospective Founding Members are in Division I and the Regular Members are in Division II.”

A          “The first plebiscite on a nation by other nations in history.  The world is weary of American hegemony.”

B          “And arrogance and dominance.”

A          “The vote was not an anonymous voice vote, the world spoke with one voice.  The roll call is deafening.”

B          “The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) do not say ‘American Bank’.  The Asian Development Bank (ADB) does not say ‘Japan Bank’.  The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) does not say ‘Chinese Bank’.  But it is clear what they say.”

A          “A pound to the penny that Great Britain and the City of London know a great deal and are quickly angling to be the player settling international accounts in lieu of the U.S.-dominated SWIFT.  The ‘special relationship’ between the U.S. and Great Britain is . . . so special.”

B          “Germany, France and Italy joined Britain and joined.  The ANZUS countries of Australia and New Zealand.  The Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.”

A          “Belgium of the BeNeLux countries did not submit an application although the Netherlands and Luxembourg did.”

B          “The three neutral ‘S’ countries during World War II including Sweden, Spain and the world’s banker Switzerland.”

A          “The BRICS including Brazil, Russia, India and perforce China, yet not South Africa apparently.”

B          “South Korea is on board but North Korea is jettisoned.”

A          “Vietnam and Iran and Saudi Arabia but not Afghanistan.”

B          “The PIiIGS are coming around including Portugal, Italy as noted, Iceland, possibly Ireland in the near future, and of course as noted Spain.  Greece is preoccupied.”

A          “Taiwan.  Taiwan.  China’s enemy is China’s friend.”

B          “Hong Kong.  Even Hong Kong.  China’s other enemy is China’s friend.”

A          “Tibet.  Still not free.”

B          “Israel.  Even Israel.  Oddly Israel.  America’s friend is America’s adversary China’s friend.”

A          “They say the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  Is it commutative?  The friend of my enemy is my enemy . . . or my friend?”

B          “A friend without benefits who get benefits?  It gets complicated.  Canada and Japan deciding not to join are revealing.”

A          “In contemporary culture, we are asked to ‘friend’ someone.  Nations have interests not friends.  Perhaps the United States needs to ask for other nations to ‘interest’ the U.S.”

B          “But they are interested in other national interests.”

A          “The Republicans in the U.S. oppose the 2010 IMF Quota and Governance Reforms and resist efforts to develop the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to substitute as the world’s reserve currency in lieu of the U.S. petrodollar.  The AIIB will also settle accounts using something other than the SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, another institution dominated by the United States.  The world is developing a workaround and trying to quarantine the toxins in the current financial system.”

B          “The world is seeking free, fair and honest financial settlements.”

A          “The U.S. thought it could take their ball and go home, but instead of the world blowing up, the world blew up another ball.”

. . .

A          “Remember when we noted the ‘three principle products’ of a country in school.  In the past, the U.S. exported the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, and the Peace Corps.  Today, the United States exports phony dollars, toxic inflation and endless wars.”

B          “Many countries just are not interested in participating in the American Dream any longer.  However, the vote is less one of disdain for the U.S. than fear if the current contagion is not corralled.”

. . .

A          “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

B          “And the U.S. did not join.”

A          “The percolating world instability will lead to money flowing into the dollar for some time until the world refuses to import American dollars and American inflation and dooms the dollar.  The Supernova dollar.  The big bet is predicting the peak.”

B          “China is positioned to buy gold priced artificially low by the West and then revalue the gold and demand that the yellow stuff be included in the SDR, directly or indirectly.”

. . .

A          “I am betting dollars to doughnuts the Chinese will display the same arrogance and dominance in operating their racket.”

B          “The same incompetence and decadence.  The same new, same new, as they say.”

. . .

A          “And the changes will not even be understood by Americans even after the full force of the changes washed ashore.  Except when they go to buy a plasma tv and scope out the sticker.”

. . .

[See some background discussion at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_Infrastructure_Investment_Bank and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_for_Worldwide_Interbank_Financial_Telecommunication.%5D

Bumper stickers of the week:

The central message of the Twentieth Century is that it is easier to take by investment than by invasion.  Neither “I” in AIIB stands for ‘Invasion’.  The United States still embraces the old paradigm of “bomb and kill and kill and bomb.”  Diplomacy is war carried on by other means.

Copies of the debate in each country discussing whether to join the AIIB are a rich trove of insight.