Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Change You Can Believe In: Freddie Mac Betting Against Struggling Homeowners. We Need A Public Mortgage Bank.

The founding fathers of fascism, the Republicans, would tell you that Freddie and Fannie should be closed because the government should not be in the mortgage business.   Who says?  This announcement will feed their fervor for selling off more public assets to their Wall Street masters.  But, in fact, they have ultimate responsibility for oversight of Freddie Mac so this is in fact an outcome of a bought and paid for political class.  During the Florida Republican debates it was consistently clear all candidates wanted to sell off Freddie and Fannie, public assets,  at bankruptcy rates to their Wall Street masters.   That way all of the mortgage profits go to Wall Street.  In other words, screw the American people.  Specifically, screw the often impoverished people who have no voice.

The reality is Fannie and Freddie are only a mess because they served the needs of their corporate masters rather than the needs of democracy.   This, through the influence-peddling of politics.  It was the comingling of private interests on Wall Street into quasi-public institutions and politics that created this mess at both Freddie and Fannie.   And now Republicans want to auction off Freddie and Fannie to the private, for-profit banksters who destroyed  said firms through fascist comingling in the first place.  Not only that, but sell at a steep discount to please their corporate masters. 

Let me pull out a remark I made numerous times over the years on here.  Thomas Jefferson wanted the government to GIVE every American their own property.  ie, Give them their own home.  You remember him?  He was that communist, socialist, anti-free-market kook who wrote much of our Declaration of Independence.   He was that bad guy who gave you all of your freedoms from the fascist British Empire.   Those freedoms that modern day politicians are taking away from you.  There is a reason that Jefferson didn’t want political parties in this country.  We see that reason quite clearly today.

I wrote a simple method to deal with the underwater mortgages in this country some years ago.  Simply rewrite the mortgages to market value and monetize the bank losses through a government facility.  And, if housing prices dropped appreciably at some future time, do it again.   It doesn’t cause inflation.  It doesn’t affect government spending.  Because it would be monetized, it does not add to any national debt.  It doesn’t do anything other than provide relief from the bankster’s debt serfdom and allow people to stay in their homes.  

If we truly believe that a man’s(person’s) house is his castle, and we want as many people as possible to participate in democracy and appreciate property rights, then, as Jefferson wished, we could seek to provide every person their own shelter, give them the opportunity to be responsible for their lives and in doing so give them a greater appreciation for what the Constitution actually means to them.   A way to implement Jefferson’s ideals, while still making people personally responsible in an economic system, would be to have a national zero-interest mortgage bank that is owned by the people of this country;  just as our government or our national parks or our national science labs are supposed to be owned by the people.   A bank whose charter would be written into an economic constitution and out of reach of political idiots.  A permanent staff would run the bank but the board could be randomly selected from its mortgage holders.  Randomly, as in, not selected by bank officials but by lottery.   Board holders would go through a brief educational stint before their period of service.  (This isn’t rocket science.  If you can pass the seventh grade, you can serve on a mortgage bank’s board and do a better job than the incompetent criminals on Wall Street.)  In other words, this would be a bank that had no affiliation with politicians or government.   The agenda and all handouts of all board meetings would be available through the Internet in advance of the meeting.  All board meetings would be videotaped live for any American to watch or even have a short period of question and answer on the board’s topics.  If we wanted to, we could grant a mortgage bank charter for each state so that the authority for mortgages are handled locally.  State bank management would be required to tour each county in the state annually to answer questions in a public forum and to gather feedback necessary to serve the needs of society.  State banks could then pay processing fees to local community banks to underwrite the loans or even pay local banks to administer the loans locally through their term.   External audits could be required… blah, blah, blah.  Expenses for operating the bank would be capped as they are at most well-run nonprofit organizations.  In other words, no politicians meddling with the bank.  Period.   Operational funding would not need to come from private, for-profit banksters.    It could be coined into service as our Constitution allows.  This bank wouldn’t have competing, private for-profit interests of effing over American citizens like Wall Street’s endless predatory schemes or the schemes of Freddie Mac under the influence of political corruption.  Instead, the bank would extend zero interest loans to all mortgage holders.   Zero.  Forever.  That’s right dog breath.  Just like Wall Street criminals get zero interest loans from the Federal Reserve to create their endless Ponzi schemes.   Instead, We the People get those zero interest loans and cut out the usury mobsters on Wall Street.  And, because these mortgages are held on account by public banks, any losses would simply be monetized.   But there would seldom be losses because the mortgage bank is always holding the underlying asset, it would never have to sell an asset at a loss to raise capital, it wouldn’t be a profit-driven institution and it wouldn’t have to borrow money to exist.   In other words, no more $25 trillion dollar bailouts of Wall Street criminals.  If any person lost their job, they would be granted similar rights with their mortgage that they are granted with unemployment insurance.  By the way, let’s do away with the housing property tax as well.    In other words, why should anyone lose their home because of economic misfortune?  And why should anyone ever profit off of the misfortune of others when it comes to a basic human dignity such as shelter, food, health care, etc.   

Look, this is a fifteen minute napkin sketch.  There may be better solutions.  But, the point here is that too many people are locked into a prison in their mind of what is possible in our society.   Politicians are never going to provide any substantive ideas because they aren’t generally capable of creative thought.   They are bureaucrats.  If they were capable of their own creative thought rather than living off of the creative thought and hard work of others, they wouldn’t be politicians.  Put ideas up for society to debate and allow the refinement and excellence of ideas that comes with public discourse and peer review.

This idea would help put a floor under housing prices, make housing more affordable, put more bling in your pocket and take it out of the hands of private for-profit banking, make a more stable society meeting more of the basic human needs of personal safety, require more personal responsibility for more Americans, provide a greater expansion of the American dream and result in greater democracy and self-rule.  Democracy and self-rule the way Jefferson envisioned it. 

Story link here.

posted by TimingLogic at 10:17 AM links to this post

Monday, January 30, 2012

Panetta: Decision to Kill Americans Suspected of Terrorism Is Up to Obama

As sentient beings, we are all granted certain freedoms by the grace of our existence, God, nature of whatever power that has created human life.   Giving man dominion over the freedoms and literal life or death of another human being is never legitimate.   There can be no exception to this universal truth.  Only the dominion of the rule of law and reason over man can ever be legitimate.  Every human being has a right to confront his accusers. 

A nation of laws has been destroyed.  We are now a nation of men and all of the possibly frightening dynamics that history hath wrought with it.    In America today, that includes state-sponsored murder.  The Minority Report has become a reality.  Albeit a substantially more crude, heinous and error-prone one.      

posted by TimingLogic at 11:05 PM links to this post

Hoorah! Bill Moyers Returns

Bill Moyers is a insightful lion of journalism who has absolutely no issue of taking a moral stand as part of his journalistic ethics.  Moyers is a favorite of mind who  foretold of the national security state twenty five years ago in the PBS documentary – The Secret Government: A Constitution in Crisis.  (We have linked to his remarks on this topic a few times on here and the entire documentary remains available on Youtube.  The documentary is frighteningly prescient of the rise of the unconstitutional national security state that now consumes our government.) 

In a world of generally amoral, immoral and value-less corporate media, Moyers’ journalism remains a shining beacon of what is good and honest and true.  I am so glad he has come out of retirement and is back on PBS 

Moyers starts this week off by penning The Party People of Wall Street.

posted by TimingLogic at 10:49 PM links to this post

Gingrich Labels Romney A Wall Street Bankster

Well, Romney is in fact a Wall Street bankster.   Let’s rehash a few points we have made on here over the years.  Private equity is an extension of a private, for-profit banking system.   Private equity as an industry has arguably pillaged the United States more than any single Wall Street firm has on its own.   I see no facts that dispute Romney made his fortune from pillaging.  And,  private equity pillages with the backing of Wall Street money.  In its wake, the industry has raked in billions upon billions of dollars and left society with the bill.  A bill adding up to countless hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars of debt over the last decade.   Nothing really any different than the real estate debacle created by Wall Street fraudsters.   

Make no mistake.  Mitt Romney’s firm does not create jobs any more than Wall Street does.  His campaign pitch is either ignorant of economics or an outright misrepresentation of the truth.  Private equity is a capital consuming industry as is banking.  Now, you can hire people into these industries and give the illusion of creating jobs but it is completely illusory.   As a capital consuming industry, every job created on Wall Street or in private equity is simply a greater tax on society.  Now, if these aren’t capital producting industries, they aren’t creating any wealth or any sustainable employment.  Instead, they are shifting it from point A to point B.  They are shifting it from everyone else in our country to themselves.   That is why our nation has been decimated while Wall Street labels itself as masters of the universe.  It’s nothing more than graft.  It’s simply indisputable economic fact.   I would be happy to engage Mitt in a reasoned, fact-based discussion on CNN about how the economy works and how to create capital producing jobs.  Hahaha. 

I consider private banking and private equity to be one of the vestiges of historical cultures of empire, corruption and theft.  I view them as essentially crimes against humanity and an afront to democracy.  The only thing worse than private banking would be private banking operating under a gold standard.  That is essentially a prison system under which democracy would attempt to operate through some Orwellian writhing and twisting.  And, that is what happened historically.   It’s sort of like putting lipstick on Charles Manson.    Gold is simply the lipstick.  It sure looks purdy. 

Gingrich is right about Wall Street rigging the economic game.  But, let’s remember Newt Gingrich is also a master of rigging the game.   Additionally, he could very well be the most narcissistic demagogue this country has seen in the last thirty years of politics.   Maybe that is why he was able to compromise with Bill Clinton on so many “reforms”" (bought and paid for by corporate lobbyists) that literally decimated our country.

Gingrich here (hilarious and pathetic)  and here.

Romney here.

posted by TimingLogic at 10:33 AM links to this post

Saturday, January 28, 2012

CSPAN In Depth With Author And Journalist Chris Hedges

I have linked to Chris’ writings many times on here.  I appreciate Hedge’s perspective as very unique.   He is a son of a preacher.  He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School.  He has lived abroad for much of his life so he has a global perspective on issues.  He is essentially a pacifist with some exception (Violence begets violence, hate begets hate.  Neither ever solve anything unless it is necessary to stop psychopaths like Hitler.  Ever.).  He understands the tie between democracy and economics better than any journalist I can think of.   He understands that those who suffer or are demonized or are excluded the most are often never heard.  He believes only nonviolent movements by the people will reform our government.  He understands the human condition.  He understands the corruption of politics by corporate power.  He understands how religion and politics are often used as bully pulpits to espouse hate and to attack those without a voice.  I appreciate and share all of those perspectives.  I often feel like his words come from inside of me. 

Earlier this month, Hedges gave a three hour interview on CSPAN.  All of the above topics and more are discussed.  It took me quite a few days to listen to all of it but it is one of the best uses of three hours I can remember.   I definitely think it is worth sharing.

posted by TimingLogic at 9:48 AM links to this post

Thursday, January 26, 2012

S&P 500 Update – Change You Can Believe In

This rally, that is now five weeks old, has only had five cumulative up days to define the entire price move.   This price movement is in a very tight linear regression line.  In other words, this entire move is driven by program trading.  Program trading using derivatives, that is.   And, if you go back to the start of September of last year, we have only had seven cumulative up days off of that bottom until today.   Five whole months, seven up days marking this entire move.   Without looking, let’s assume 21 market days of trading for each month.  That’s closing in on 105 market days and seven up days for this rally.  Baaahhhaaaa!!!   Oh yeah!  I’m bullish!   I’m bullish on reality.  That is, the status quo is in serious trouble and the engine of democracy is starting to crank over.    

This is a very sick market without buyers.  Instead it is being driven by Wall Street firms through the use of leverage (derivatives).  With tens of trillions of dollars of bailouts, the only way Wall Street’s rigged system of Frankenstein financial fraud stays afloat is through the use of even more leverage.    That means it remains incredibly vulnerable the minute the next gopher rears its head in the status quo’s economic strategy of Whac-A-Mole.

What did Obama say in his state of the union speech the other night?  “We’ve come too far to turn back now.” 

Indeed.  This president has not created a single net-new job during his candidacy.    And, the vast majority of the jobs that have been created under his term are poverty-wage jobs without benefits.  If it were up to the even loonier Republicans, we’d be in an even worse predicament.  Obama’s policies are simply George Bush’s policies with smoother rhetoric.  President Obama is  right.  We have learned too much about how his party and the Republicans manipulate and bilk our government to allow either party to continue with their smarmy back room deals. 

Change you can believe in. 

 2012-01-26_1444

posted by TimingLogic at 3:22 PM links to this post

Monday, January 23, 2012

Late Stage Corporate State Empire Decline - Pentagon Hires Hessian (Blackwater) Mercenaries To Run Latin American War On Drugs

I’m posting this on January 23 to honor John Nash, an incredibly brilliant contributor to gaming theory.(Pun intended.)  It has been years since we have written of this, but I wrote a few times five or so years ago that I believe the U.S. and China are in a Nash Equilibrium.  An unsustainable equilibrium that, when it breaks, will experience volatility representative of the scale of that equilibrium.   While we won’t be talking about the Nash Equilibrium in this post, we will be mentioning another important concept in gaming theory; sociological critical mass. 

Once again - “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” – Carl von Clausewitz

This Blackwater announcement in the war on drugs and its implications are much deeper than the headlines.  Let’s take a look at the undercurrents of reality.  

First off, I want to make a point about this post.  This post is about real economics.  Economics is a social science.  Therefore, one must understand the workings of the human mind and how that applies to sociology and civilizations.  If someone really wants to know what is going on in the world of economics, one must rely on the qualitative interpretation of quantitative factors.   In other words, why has our debt skyrocketed?  Why are 46 million people on food stamps?  Why do the  majority of Americans have a net worth somewhere around zero?   Why is our true unemployment and underemployent rate  around 25-30%?  Why is there absolutely no money in the economy for most Americans while monetary aggregates are exploding higher?   These are but examples, but as we have noted countless times on here, debt, as an example, has absolutely nothing to do with this economic environment.  It is but a symptom.  Those squawking about debt and the need to tackle it have no idea what they are talking about.  The issue of debt in the U.S. is no different than why Greece has accumulated so much debt.  It is the human behavior of corruption; self-interest, power, control and greed in lieu of service to society, selflessness, the search for truth and community that is so foundational to a democratic and civilized society.   It’s that simple. 

Economics is not what some automaton in the offices of Goldman Sachs or the Federal Reserve reports regarding factors such as GDP, home sales or the Purchasing Manager’s Index.   Those are symptoms.  Automatons at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, the Federal Reserve and similar bureaucracies are focusing on treating symptoms rather than the disease.  Therefore, the  disease continues to metastasize.  Economics as it is practices today is a failed ideology.  Its practitioners are wards of the state.   They have been institutionalized by corporate welfare and the government dole.   Therefore, they are intellectually-dishonest with themselves and deluded by their ego’s false belief systems.   

The interpretation of reality, just like all social sciences, is qualitative.  That is why people who think with their eyes (Goldman Sachs and Federal Reserve automatons staring at computer screen generated data.) and the status quo never get it.  They never understand that the world their eyes believe exists isn’t real.  And, so it is with this post. 

As we start this post, it is worth reminding readers that the British Empire hired  mercenaries throughout its reign of terror, including the Hessians (Blackwater)  used against colonists in the Revolutionary War.  For-profit wars are as old as the human desire for power and control.  Terrorism and empire go hand in hand.  Empire’s need to subvert the truth through control, viewed as terrorism by its oppressed, is then met with acts of terrorism by the oppressed against their oppressors.   Any historian on the topic of terrorism is well aware of this fact.   None of this is exactly rocket science if one opens their mind to reality.  

For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction.  ie, It would be plausible to expect more acts of terrorism against the United States because of a failed policy that creates a self-fulfilling prophecy of unintended consequences the CIA accurately understands as blowback.  (And the CIA helps create.)  Blowback is a function of the war state and empire.  Violence begets violence.  Illegitimate violence.  It is a very unfortunate characteristic of a world that the state has created. 

The United States policies of attempted empire (control) around the world are creating guaranteed outcomes based on circular reasoning  and faulty logic.  As the empire engages in more and more acts of control to maintain itself, it creates a self-reinforcing and ever greater need for more empire resources to maintain that control.  This is one dynamic that has led to the enormity of bloat and corruption in the for-profit military-industrial complex in the U.S. today.  It is also a determining factor in why the U.S. must outsource much of its hegemony to for-profit Hessians or mercenaries, why much of the Iraq war, including logistics and support, was outsourced/privatized, why there are literally thousands of corporations serving Homeland Security and the national security state and why the United States is encouraging NATO to play a larger role in defending American empire.   In other words, if we look at this dynamic from a gaming theory standpoint, the United States empire/national security state needs greater and greater adoption of its ever-expanding hegemonic policies to maintain critical mass.  It therefore must demand greater corporate involvement.  It must demand greater NATO involvement.  It must outsource its policies to Hessians like Blackwater, KBR and others.  If it doesn’t, the critical mass of ever expanding control will never be achieved.  Or put another way, quite simply, the empire/national security state will collapse.  

You must understand this last paragraph and that last link to qualitatively understand the fundamental factors that clearly tell us that we have reached a stage of unsustainable dynamics in the U.S. empire.  The empire can no longer sustain itself and is, in fact, dying as I type this.  But, if you think with your eyes, you see the U.S. today is the most formidable military the world has ever seen and there are no forces on earth that represent any threat.  But, that is a false premise.  All empires collapse from within.  And, their collapse is often a result of what many would view as imperceptible perturbations.   As an example, we wrote that Wall Street was going to collapse more than a year before it did.  And, I wrote specifically how it would happen.  Politicians, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve, institutions of control, told us none of this was predictable.  Nonsense.  Similarly, just as there were many who saw the fall of the Soviet Union before it actually happened.  

These dynamics are really no different than existed in Rome, the British Empire, Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.  The events were different.  The sociological factors were similar.  Most recently, SOPA, PIPA and the military’s desire to monitor and control the entire Internet are all simply extensions of this dynamic of critical mass.  And, as a result, all require greater corporate involvement and influence over our government.   SOPA and PIPA are simply extending the control of the national security state to now include corporate control.  There simply are not enough resource available top the state to control the interests of its corporate masters.  So, SOPA and PIPA and ever-increased military monitoring require the state to extend its empire of control into the corporate arena by outsourcing policing to pliant corporate bureaucrats who serve power and control.   SOPA and PIPA are no different than this Blackwater war on drugs announcement.   The reality is we already have the finest content protection laws on the books in this country.  Those rules can be used to maintain the rule of law on the Internet just as they do through other mediums.  SOPA and PIPA  laws are meant to extend  empire control through the use of Hessians; or in this case corporations seeking the passage of SOPA and PIPA. 

This never-ending circular reasoning and faulty logic behind the need for greater control then leads to another circular reasoning and faulty logic of creating an ever great need for more resources to support the victims of this tragic and flawed hegemony policy.  That is, as more money is spent on guns, hegemony and empire,  less money is spent on democracy.  This dynamic creates endless and systemic poverty, malnutrition, sickness, unemployment and the crumbling of democracy in the United States.  This perverted dynamic then leads to people supporting the status quo like Paul Krugman and Barack Obama to tell us that the government needs to spend more even money during this “recession”.  Even though government has often spent upwards of 70% of national income since the 2008 economic collapse.   Soon we will all work for the Soviet state.

The United States is starting to achieve similar state-based spending  levels of national income to that of the failed  Soviet Union.  Interestingly, U.S. government spending is starting to approach a level that is nearly 100% greater than countries like Sweden who provide national health care,  achievement-based  education with high literacy rates, liberal human development & social programs and many other expressions of democracy that its people have deemed important.  But, the difference is the United States has no resemblance to Sweden.  At nearly twice the level of government spending of Sweden, our economy and our society looks more like the Soviet Union.  But, in many ways, even worse.  It is a cesspool for corporate welfare, poverty, corruption, malnutrition, a completely failed primary educational system, shanty towns in once vibrant  cities  like Detroit, Buffalo, Cleveland and thousands of other cities, homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, organized crime and other expressions of massive fraud and corruption associated with failed states.   This is what England’s society looked like near the peak of its empire.  That is, banksters, politicians and the wealthy elite looted society while everyone else experienced the social ills associated with empire. 

So should it really be any surprise that convicted war crimes thug and mass murderer Charles Taylor worked for the CIA any more than we have supported countless other failed-state thugs?   Could it be possible that  people in other countries are tired of constant attempts at control by the empire that often leaves them under the jack boot of puppet regimes?  That environment is now coming to an America near you courtesy of corporate efforts to help save the empire. 

As the circular logic of greater empire spending then leads to a self-reinforcing and ever greater need for more resources to support the victims of this effort, one of those classes of victims would be the American citizens and the other would be the foreign targets of hegemony.  The needs of foreign targets of hegemony are hidden from view from U.S. citizens.  Or, at least the consequences are often not attributed to hegemony but they exist.  The empire attempts to meet the needs of those foreign targets of hegemony by pumping tens of billions of dollars in aid into puppet governments like Egypt.   This benefits the empire’s for-profit corporations as thugs like Mubarak spend that aid with American corporations or grant exclusive access to specific corporations in return for said “aid”.   So, rather than creating democracy, or assisting in human development, empire “aid” is often used to feed the profits of American corporations employed by puppet governments as a form of circular corruption.  Then at home this circular reasoning of ever greater war spending leads to the never-ending increased reliance and dependence on transfer payments from the U.S. government to innocent Americans victims of empire and control.  We see that in a 700% increase in transfer payments from the government since the start of Reagan’s presidency.  That is, ever greater dependence on Medicaid, unemployment benefits, welfare, etc as money is sucked out of democracy and our economy to feed the ever-increasing needs of corruption and empire.  (And to now spy on Americans, target Americans for assassination and  hold them indefinitely without due process.)    Our democracy, the rule of law and self-rule must be restored.  This is not an issue resolved by politics or political compromising or electing a Dummycrat or a Republikaaner.  The system as we know it must be completely restored to act as it was originally designed to act.  Not how it has been twisted and rigged to act by politicians from both parties. 

Remember, I remarked on here long ago that empire was not compatible with democracy.  Clearly we are living the reality of that incompatibility in the United States today.  Collapse of society is, in large part, due to empire and the national security state.    Is there a lack of money available for the military-industrial complex, our corporate masters, entertainment for the ruling elites or lobbying or political campaigns?  There just isn’t any money to create domestic employment, fund entrepreneurs, pay for health insurance, provide a living wage, fund Social Security and feed & educate all of our children.

So, why does the United States hire mercenaries like Blackwater to do its bidding?  Well, there are really only three plausible reasons or combinations thereof.   One, the empire is overextended and realizes it would be political suicide to re-institute the draft to engage in endless acts of aggression needed to maintain its control throughout the world.  Or, two, the empire’s objectives are inconsistent with the United State Uniform Code of Military Justice.  In other words, the empire wishes to subvert the rule of law by engaging in military activities that would be illegal if engaged in by our democratic armed forces.  (Mercenaries like Blackwater are not subject to the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice as we found out in Iraq.  Iraqi officials wanted to bring charges against Blackwater for acts that would have landed American military personnel in prison.   But, they were unable to do so because Blackwater was not subject to the rule of law of the USUCMJ.  So Blackwater flipped the bird to the Iraqi government and their rule of law and left without consequence.)  Or, three, the political class is overtly profiting from war,  ie, This announcement of a for-profit mercenary force executing political policy is somehow enriching the pockets of the political class.   If we consider the social dynamic of critical mass linked to in a prior paragraph, we recognize that the primary motive for outsourcing to the Hessians is most likely that the empire is unable to achieve and maintain critical mass without doing so.    In other words, fascism in this country is a result of extended empire and the collapse of democracy in its wake.  Sound familiar?  It should.  It was the basis for Nazi Germany’s capitalist economy and its empire aspirations.   The United States is primarily a profit-driven, corporate capitalism-driven empire.  Many aspects of capitalism, especially corporate capitalism, are not consistent with democracy and need to be ameliorated or regulated to ensure the our economy remains aligned with our democracy.  Or, in the case of the United States today………..  We need an economic constitution.  We need an economic rule of law beyond the whims of man. 

What future acts will the empire take in an effort to save itself?  Is martial law possible?  A re-institution of the draft?   Greater attempts at corporate control like SOPA and PIPA?  Or will we awaken one morning to see the empire has simply fizzled without fanfare as happened in the Soviet Union?  I think a reasoned mind should be concerned as the need for greater control is necessary to subvert the truth.  The truth is the empire is failing.    And, as we wrote many years ago, that will leave vacuums of power around the globe that will be filled by someone.  Some will be filled by reason and the rule of law and some will be filled by unreasoned thugs.  All will contribute to greater future volatility; one of our major themes on here.

The world is unfolding exactly as we said it would years ago.  It’s simply in slow motion as illegitimacy around the world seeks to save itself by spending as much of other people’s money as it can loot. 

The world as we knew it is never to return.   46 million people on food stamps and by some estimates 80 million people actually qualified to receive them.  Entire communities and major cities decimated economically.  There is no economic recovery because this is not a recession.   It is a global economic and financial collapse just as we said would happen long before the 2008 bust. 

So, what happens to the S&P 500’s earnings if this system of corporate empire unwinds?  The future will not be divined by the reflection in the rear view mirror and it sure as hell won’t be divined by Goldman Sachs  lobbyist’s wishes.  We know that because the empire is more increasingly unable to achieve the critical mass needed to ensure Goldman Sachs can continue to rig the games of the corporate state in their favor(Now you understand why I have written numerous times that Goldman Sachs’ future as an economic concern is highly dubious.   Goldman Sachs is the poster child for rigging the rules of the corporate state in order to benefit from it.  And, once those rigged rules achieve critical mass, they mint money through the most morally-bankrupt of means.  That economic game is collapsing.  Forever. )

By the way, Blackwater’s founder has been accused of describing himself as a Christian crusader bent on destroying Islam by running a rogue corporation that uses murder to hide its many acts of terror.  And the accusations were made by some credible sources.  We never saw a public investigation of those charges.  Of course, the corporate state buried those accusations as it does to all others threatening its control.  Here and here.   Blackwater has changed its name numerous times because of its countless legal wranglings.  It is obviously some Orwellian public relations attempt to run from its past and its crimes.  They just changed their name again.  A pig is still a pig regardless of the color of its lipstick.

Pentagon Hires Mercenaries to Run Drug War

posted by TimingLogic at 2:39 PM links to this post

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Romney Implodes And Loses South Carolina Badly. Is His Campaign Finished?

I have to say that I wouldn’t be surprised to see Romney’s presidential election bid be essentially finished by the end of March based on the primary schedule.   I don’t think he can win consistently in the south or the industrial belt.  It isn’t a matter of superior candidates.  That would be the joke of the day.  This field of candidates is the All-Star line up for the corporate state.  Many factors obviously play a role but with revelations that have come to light in the last few days, it seems more apparent that Romney is a power-mad bankster whose values are often whatever is convenient. 

This isn’t going to fly in areas of the country where large masses of the population derive their values from strong religious beliefs.  I know as anyone else does who also lives in these areas because I grew up in one such area.  Those same values shaped much of who I am.  That is, imperfectly idealistic about what is right and wrong. 

I have a high disdain for soothsayers and those who seek religious authority to manipulate others but most Americans are grounded in strong values impacted in some way by religion or spirituality.   As frustrating as it can be to witness polarizing figures who manipulate religion to spew messages of hate,  it very well will be values of morality that are so deep in most American minds that redeem our nation and ultimately take down the Godless corporate state.   And, there is no doubt.  It is Godless.

With revelations of offshore bank accounts , that he often made enormous profits through the destruction of companies and other people’s lives as a Wall Street shape shifter and various other issues that play heavily in some religious circles,  well……..   Romney has a very tough road ahead.

Perception is often reality and character is defined by what we do when no one is looking.  Romney is going to have a hard time shaking a growing perception of what he was doing when no one is looking and how his values often seem to be determined by convenience.  Those values are prevalent on Wall Street and the circles in which Romney has made a living as well as in Washington and on Wall Street.  (Which is why Wall Street has firmly lined up their support for him as the bankster candidate and why Congress has a 9% approval rating with people in the real world.) But values of convenience surely aren’t embraced by most people in the real world where a “man’s” word is his bond.   Romney’s word may be his bond but there is enough doubt to tank his campaign.  Doubt is all all that is necessary in an environment where Americans are starved for virtuous leadership.  

If I were a betting man, I would bet that Romney is finished. 

posted by TimingLogic at 11:20 AM links to this post

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lobbyist & Congress Caught Conducting Business On Tape

posted by TimingLogic at 2:58 PM links to this post

Mark Fiore’s Mocking Cartoon Of Unconstitutional Indefinite Detention And Ron Paul’s Legislation To Repeal It

posted by TimingLogic at 2:21 PM links to this post

Dummycrats Backing Internet Censorship Are Largest Financial Beneficiaries Of Its Corporate Masters

Does everything in Washington smell like shit?  It’s no surprise that our former congressional banking committee chairman who was behind the corrupt Wall Street reformless reform bill, none other than Christopher “bought and paid for” Dodd, is the primary lobbyist behind the corporate state’s Internet censorship bill.

posted by TimingLogic at 9:54 AM links to this post

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gallup Editor: Romney’s National Support Is Collapsing

We are living through history.   I have said before that this is most likely the most defining moment in our country’s history.   I suspect Mitt Romney believes he is a very good person.  And, in many regards, that is most likely so. I am surely not portraying myself as some puritanical beacon on the hill.  We all suffer from the human condition.   But, there are three different images of the self that exist  -  the image shared with the general public or at work, the image shared with our family & friends and the image that is hidden from everyone except ourselves.    With some people, most often those who are most attuned to who they are, those three images may vary little, if at all.  But, with others, it varies tremendously.  No one, even family members, ever suspected that Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy or Dennis Rader were serial killers.  

Now, I am simply making a point of the ego’s representation of the self rather than comparing Mitt Romney to Dennis Rader.   But Mitt Romney is one of the most power-obsessed people I think we have ever seen on the public arena.  What is it about him that drives him obsessively to seek authority and power?  What is it that we don’t see?   Is he simply looking for validation he never received as a child?  Is there some chance he would use that power in some benevolent fashion?  Or……   what is it?  I am suspicious of anyone’s motives whenever someone seeks authority.   So is anyone who understands those who most fervently seek power are those to be most suspicious of granting it. 

Romney is the candidate of the Wall Street bankster and the corporate state.  That’s where he made his money, Wall Street dominates his contributions list and his views of economics are driven by corporatism ideals.    On paper, Rmoney is invincible.  That is, if one believes the media machine and that money and propaganda can build the perfect candidate.  (Ask Hillary Clinton and Republicans in the last election cycle about that one.  McCain was considered dead in the water and Clinton’s nomination was a foregone conclusion.)  The problem was the American people didn’t get the memo.  ie, The people figured out the con.  Is Mitt Romney headed for a similar fate? 

Most people recognize a bullshitter.  Not everyone.  But most.  Especially when it is so obvious.  Romney’s behavior at debates, his tiptoeing around how much money he made, the growing awareness of an affiliation with Wall Street and making insane sums of money by often dismantling businesses or burdening them with debt used to pay himself a king’s ransom and his fierce determination to gain the highest position of authority in the world makes me personally feel very uncomfortable.  Do many Americans are becoming uncomfortable by seeing the same thing? 

Gallup is showing that nearly in a blink of an eye, Romney’s approval numbers are dropping precipitously.    The trend is not your friend in volatile times.  One cannot predict the future as simply a reflection of the past. 

These truly are interesting times.  

Gallup Editor video here.

posted by TimingLogic at 4:26 PM links to this post

Nobody Understands Debt

I have railed on Paul Krugman a few times on here.  But, there is no doubt he is a bright fellow.  That is, if one considers defending an economic mythology based on voodoo, is the definition of bright.  As I have remarked before, Krugman’s intellectually dishonest or ignorant (only he can say which) views on economics helped get us into this crisis.  He publicly mocked William Greider (a brilliant journalist who has been foretelling of this economic calamity for a long time) in the late 1990s when Greider stated our economic policies were going to lead to a disaster in this country.   Krugman was shilling for Bill Clinton’s horrendous economic policy decisions and Greider actually had a sound understanding of fundamentals economics that Krugman was too ego-driven to admit or understand. 

I generally think Krugman is irrelevant and his notions of economics and solutions to this crisis only appeal to Democratic party ideologues who buy into this false belief system of endless left versus right political barking.  These are the only people who are willing to open their mouths like baby birds to spoon in all of the pablum people like Krugman can feed them. 

We all make mistakes in judgement.  Economist Joseph Stiglitz was once on the parade bandwagon for the status quo and has completely shed his faulty belief system to become a formidable force for a return to sound economic policy in this country.  Who knows.  Maybe this article is the start of Krugman’s awakening. 

I have mocked this debt myth for years.  Debt is a figment of your imagination.  It isn’t real.  And, those who have these histrionics attacks about our rising debt are playing into the hands of the banksters and corrupt elites who want you to be focusing on debt and austerity instead of fixing what caused the debt bubble in the first place.    Focusing on debt and austerity will contribute to even greater economic decay.  (As I have said before, with the swipe of a pen the U.S. wiped away half of its debt during the Great Depression and we are headed towards a similar act at some point in our future.  Btw, on this very topic, as I have noted before, Social Security could be funded forever without ever a worry of it going bankrupt or worrying about borrowing money to fund it.  ie, The debt mongers are intellectually-dishonest, self-interested, anti-democratic haters, or they are just plain ignorant about debt and money.  Most are the latter.)   Krugman understands the myth of debt in this article but many of his conclusions are still way off  base. 

Amazingly, Krugman still doesn’t get what is wrong with this country’s economy and seemingly shows a complete lack of fundamental economic knowledge.   He appears almost as clueless about economics as Ron Paul and his bandwagon of economic illiterates.  

Now, I like Ron Paul.  He speaks the truth about corruption of our government.  (Although his hatred of government does not solve anything.)  But let’s be frank.   He economically-illiterate.  You may disagree but I can prove it with math and science.  I channel surfed through the Republican debate for five minutes last night and listened to corporatist shill and lobbyist extraordinaire Rick Santorum (whom Paul accurately labeled as disgusting for his corporate lobbyist activity and then Santorum later returned the name-calling as part of the endless carnival barking of political idiots from both parties.)  and Ron Paul exchanged jabs about Apple and economics surrounding the company.  It was like watching the movie Dumb and Dumber.   Santorum was shilling for the corporate state and Paul was trying to apply his libertarian beliefs to economics as he always does. 

Just an FYI for those who believe Paul understands economics, which he clearly does NOT.  Libertarianism is a political ideology.  it is a belief system.  And, it is an arbitrary one that means arbitrary things to different people.  In other words,  Paul’s view of economics exists no place else but in his mind.  It surely isn’t based on reason, math and science.  Libertarianism has many valid beliefs.  But, there is some equally valid belief that as an ideology it had more merit in an agragrian society.   In other words, a society that was not completely interconnected as a very complex system today.  ie, No one is self-sufficient in this country.  No one.  Everyone depends on everyone else for their economic fate.  Although a libertarian value of wishing to take personal responsibility for what we can control in our lives is surely a hallmark of a sound and stable mind.   Libertarianism is NOT not a form of math or science-based economics.   Politics=/economics.   I’m going to torch much of this economic gibberish with some very pointed posts in the future.  

Nobody Understands Debt

posted by TimingLogic at 11:12 AM links to this post

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Friday, January 20, Occupy The Courts To Overturn The Massively Corrupt Court Decisions Supporting Corporate Personhood

posted by TimingLogic at 1:24 PM links to this post

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop The Corporate State’s Political Stooges From Internet Censorship

“War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” – Carl von Clausewitz

Well, let’s test that two hundred year old quote.  The Cold War, the war on illiteracy, the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war on unemployment, the war against welfare abuse and on and on and on.  Now the war on terror, the latest continuation of politics by other means, is morphing into a fear-based society without laws (Why I am suing Barack Obama) and a war to shut you up.  The war to shut you up would be the war on Internet censorship. 

The list of endless abuses of privacy, individual liberties, democracy and the rule of law goes hand in hand with the economic slavery of the corporate state.  Greater and greater control is necessary to create an Orwellian reality that mocks the truth.  That truth is none of the policy wars we have been involved in over the last fifty years are legitimate.   If a world exists where we aren’t able to say or do anything without offending someone, especially our corporate masters, the transformation to a complete fear-based society will be complete.

The Internet Archive.org, Google, Wikipedia and other sites are joining in a period of darkness today in a show of solidarity and dissent.  Just about all of the founders, scientists and engineers who created the internet have already expressed their dissent.  This period of darkness will eventually be permanent courtesy of the political stooges of the corporate state if they have their way.   These bills are atrocious legislation written by corporations not meant to protect citizens from internet predation or crimes but instead to control freedom of expression and dissent against illegitimacy.

The status quo’s rapaciousness seems to know no bounds.  

Join Vint Cerf and other founders of the Internet who without equivocation are against the destruction of our internet freedoms an sign the petition to your congressional overlords to stop the attempted corporate coup of the Internet.

posted by TimingLogic at 10:24 AM links to this post

Sunday, January 15, 2012

State-Sponsored Murder And Vigilantism? Another Iranian Nuclear Scientist Murdered

“When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” – Martin Luther King

 
Giant triplets of racism, materialism, militarism

I thought I would put up a more philosophical post on for Martin Luther King day.   Is this an economic and markets-based post?  I guess in a more fundamental  way it is relevant to both.  But, it’s also a philosophical post about the state of the state and therefore, the state of humanity around the world as it pertains to the endless struggle of good versus evil.  A struggle that King gave the ultimate sacrifice to support; that being his life.

There are few things I find as frightening as a theocracy.  To be ruled by someone claiming divine authority over others or over the rule of law is an afront to someone’s  spirituality or the truthful meaning of religion.  It is an afront to human dignity.  It is an afront to reason.  It is an afront to the rule of law.   It is an afront to freedom. 

Claiming divine authority over anyone for any reason then leaves those under this dynamic in a constant state of “unknowingness”.  When does anyone ever truly know when their economic or personal liberties are going to be taken from them?  Taken under the guise of divine authority in lieu of the rule of law and reason.  Cronyism and corruption defines this type of bureaucracy void of accountability and oversight.  Providing for oneself or one’s family under a theocracy requires the abandonment of one’s core being.  Frankly, it requires the abandonment of one’s spirituality.  It paradoxically defeats the truthful intent of religion and instead mandates a state-driven, fear-based ideology upon all of society. 

Any time daily decisions and personal responsibilities for our lives are outsourced to, or taken by, any type of authority, our existence becomes a lie that is not driven by our own meaningfulness and our own worthiness.  We give up our authenticity in order to participate in any system driven by authority.  In essence, people become emotional slaves in a state of endless bondage.   This not only defines Iran’s theocracy but the U.S.’s corporatocracy. 

Often people find methods to resist this type of tyranny.  We saw that in Iran a few years ago with protests.  And, there are countless dissidents to this type of tyranny who are jailed for their resistance.   Or even murdered as was Martin Luther King.  Most people recognize that hate begets hate and employ peaceful and constructive methods of resistance.   King was one such example.   And, for that, he was criminalized, demonized and targeted as an enemy of illegitimate authority. 

I am no fan of the theocracy in Iran.  It exist substantially because of the blowback to decades of American and British meddling as we have pointed out before.   (Once again, for every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction or karma is a bitch.)    When the U.S.-backed puppet police state in Iran collapsed, the theocracy arose to fill the power vacuum in what once was a progressive, secular government.   The rise of the theocracy was in some ways akin to the rise of Nazism in Germany.  They both preyed on the repressed and base animal emotions of the crowd.  But, the Iranian people themselves  are a peace-loving culture.  How do I know that?  Well, it’s not because of hollow rhetoric used by authority everywhere.  Iran hasn’t invaded anyone in hundreds of years.  Actions speak louder than rhetoric. 

Does any peace-loving person want the Iranian theocracy to get a nuclear weapon?   That’s a ridiculous question.  Obviously, no one of reason wants anyone to have a nuclear weapon.  Especially illegitimate power.  But, I do understand there are some arguments that having one can be a deterrent.  That is why the United States has nuclear weapons.  There is some validity to having a bigger weapon than any potential enemy that cannot be trusted to abide by the rule of law.  Especially with belligerent enemies who are constantly testing and often attempting to overturn the limits of the rule of law.  There will always be belligerent enemies around the globe until humanity achieves some new level of consciousness.  (By the way, until relatively recently, Iran’s only nuclear reactor was given to them by the United States when we supported the brutal police-state puppet the Shah of Iran.  A little of that karma thing going on?  The foundation of Iran’s current nuclear program is courtesy of the United States.)  

Now, with reference to deterrent, who does Iran view as the only belligerent enemy capable of actually destroying it?   That would be the United States military-industrial complex.   Forget about any rationality of whether the United States would ever invade Iran.  The question is a valid one as it pertains to the paranoia of the theocratic state in Iran.  Given that reality, is it possible that we just might be using the wrong strategy to deal with Iran’s theocracy?  That  we might consider some tactic other than the nonstop rhetoric of invasion, shock and awe or making Iran a parking lot?     The United States has the capability of destroying Iran a few thousand times over.  Does it actually buy us anything to constantly remind them of what they already know?   This strategy clearly increases the Iranian theocracy’s paranoia.  Paranoia often leads to the paranoid feeling as though they must take irrational measures based on said paranoia.

Now, here is an even more fundamental question along the lines of these tactics of belligerence and control.  What value is created when we see state-sponsored murder of Iranian scientists?   Where the rule of law is thrown under the bus in some rationalization of state-sponsored vigilantism?

Can you imagine if another nation was killing a number of scientists working on nuclear power plants or working in key military programs in the U.S.?  People who have families and children?   People who have arguably committed no known crime?  People who may be devoutly peaceful, religious or even possibly pacifists?   We really know nothing about these Iranian scientists other than they were murdered.  Most certainly murdered through some effort of state-sponsored  vigilantism. 

If these scientists have committed a crime, should they not be brought before a court of law to face their accusers?   Whomever is murdering Iranian scientists, many in Iran are tying it to the United States.   And, now we are starting to see a backlash building against the United States in the minds of many peaceful, non-violent Iranians who otherwise have no grievance with the United States.   This would be no different were the same to be happening to scientists in the United States.  One thing is most likely certain.  The United States has knowledge of who is killing these scientists and probably has the ability to stop the it.    That is, if the CIA isn’t directly involved itself.  Where is the rule of law and respect for human life? 

Since when is breaking the law to enforce a vigilante’s perception of what the law should be a rational and reasoned policy?  To the contrary, it is this type of rationalization that leads to the crumbling of civilizations.  Is this really any different than the endless vigilante murders and lynchings we experienced in our own country in our not too distant past?  Acts that were often blessed by illegitimate authority.

Now, Leon Panetta, our defense secretary, said last week that Iran is not trying to develop a nuclear weapon but that we clearly don’t want them to develop one either.  Well, that was new news to me.   Seemingly, all we have heard for years out of Washington is the drum beat of the war state that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.  What is truth and what is military-industrial complex propaganda of fear and terror that allows men to rationalize vigilantism that has no basis in the rule of law or reason or justice?   What is actually going on in Iran?  And, if they are trying to develop a nuclear weapon, is some of it meant to be a deterrent to a paranoia created by endless threats from the United States?   I sure as hell am not siding with an Iranian theocracy but is there any reason or respect for human life left or have states around the world usurped every last ounce of our humanity? 

Does Iran’s government really function any differently than the corporatocracy in the United States?  Corporate lobbyists in the United States regularly manipulate, write and dismantle the rule of law?. For the rest of us, there is a never-ending stream of red tape and corruption to sift through in order to create economic determinism and to have a self-determined life.  Or to sift through to protect ones personal liberties.    I would say that is a common condition in both countries. 

Both countries have some modicum of a rule of law but it is constantly being manipulated and dismantled by the whims of man.   Iran has a theocracy.  We have a corporatocracy.   In Iran the ultimate “decider” is …… George Bush.  Just kidding.  The Ayatollah.   (I couldn’t pass up Bush’s decider remark.  Our politicians often believe their authority is not granted by law but by their beliefs as the Ayatollah does. )

I  look at it this way.  In the United States, most often the primary authority is the rule of law and the penultimate authority is the whim of man.  And, that rule of law is often manipulated or written to serve the whims of man.    In Iran the primary authority is the whim of man and the penultimate authority is the rule of law.  And their rule of law is often manipulated or written to serve the whims of man.  Both states are similar in the regard that there is no rule of law that is above the corruption of the whims of man.   There is no ultimate, reasoned authority in a rule of law in either country that cannot be destroyed by a rigged system corrupted by power and influence.  

But, what I think should concern people more than all of this belligerent rhetoric in both Iran and the United States are people who believe they get their guidance from God or a voice in their head or some deluded interpretation of ancient religious beliefs and then abuse their privilege as a public servant with this as their prerogative.  Who then beat the drums of fear, terror and war to foment the crowd or because they believe somewhere deep in their deluded mind that they are doing God’s work.   This type of behavior is common in both Tehran and Washington.  My God would never endorse such policies.  That’s why spirituality is a personal journey and should never be allowed as a tool of government or the state or anyone serving as a public servant; what you believe is for your journey, it’s not to be used to control me.   That is a reminder why politicians, the state and unaccountable bureaucracies everywhere must be legally compelled to adhere to the rule of law in lieu of what beliefs are running through their mind. 

The rule of law must protect us from the insanity of anyone who believes there is a great clash today between Christianity and Islam.    Because just as the unstable mind of many lobbying our government or many politicians who have contributed to creating a predatory, brutal and inhumane economy in our country, if left to their own delusions, they will continue to project the same deluded manifestation of an unstable mind onto our foreign policies.  They create a world that is a reflection of their paranoia, hatred, fear and need for control.  You know, just like feudal lords and religious leaders on both sides did by whipping up terror in the minds of the crowd during the Crusades.

When I watch some of these presidential debates and some of the idiocy spouted by clearly delusional beliefs, I wonder how some of these people are really any different than the insanity that exists in the Iranian theocracy.    How did the most mad, deluded and inhumane in the world get to where they are today?   And, then I am reminded.  Oh yeah.  A government for sale to its highest bidders.   Or a government not constituted by self-rule.  Those who will serve a system corrupted by power and money will always rise to levels of authority in such a system.   It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy until the chain is broken by We The People.

One cannot serve two masters.  Truth and money/power.  Once a system becomes inculcated with money/power, truth will invariably matter less and less.  There is never an exception.   Power and money are driven by a need to control.   One cannot control the truth forever.    Truth will always find a way.  The two intents of truth and control are diametrically-opposed.   Or, if I would draw this relationship using the logic of a Venn diagram or Boolean algebra, the commonality is an empty set.   Truth or control.  Which do you choose?    A theocracy/corporatocracy or the rule of law?

Very little in the world of statism today serves the search for truth and justice.  It’s about control, power, greed and money.   Wall Street’s avoidance of any investigation into legal wrongdoing for looting our treasury, destroying our civilization and destroying our economy is the perfect example of this.  There is no search for truth.  There is no transparent, nonpolitical investigation.  It’s purely about control.  Washington politicians are bought and paid for.  Their mission as toadies for the corporate state is to control and subvert the search for truth.  To stop any such investigation.  The same can be said for many of our foreign endeavors of power and control.  Just like in Iran.

I thought this an appropriate post for the holiday we are celebrating in the United States; Martin Luther King Day.   With this holiday we celebrate a man who was able to rise above the imperfectness of the human condition to share ideals of fairness, human dignity,  justice, acceptance, community, reason and the rule of law.  Shared ideals based on the search for truth over the attempts of control perpetrated by the status quo.

On that note,  I would bet most Americans have more in common with most Iranians than they have in common with the politicians who are supposed to be serving our country.    We both  love our families.  We both want to lead a life with freedoms granted by our creator.  We both want to become who we were meant to become.  We both want to appreciate the simple pleasures of daily life.  We both  want illegitimate authority out of their lives.  We both want economic democracy.  And, we both want self-government that serves society, community and truth in lieu of control. 

The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others, as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders, serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.-- Henry David Thoreau

Martin Luther King was a hero, patriot, martyr and reformer for all of humanity by any truth-driven definition of those words.  While we are able capable of being the change we want to see in our sphere of the world around us, we need leadership in government to restore the rule of law and democracy for all of society.   Successful movements, while always started locally,  need leadership on a larger scale to impact all of society and reform our government.   That leadership is never delivered by a politician.  Ever.  It might be a leader who infrequently holds political office and it may not.  It is the one component missing today in the rejection of the corporate state by untold millions of Americans. 

The United States needs  its next Martin Luther King or its next Susan B. Anthony or its next Mother Jones or its next William Lloyd Garrison or its next Theodore Roosevelt.  At some point, that leader will emerge and coalesce the community of Americans who hold ideals of peace, dignity, compassion, community, freedom and democracy above the ideals of control held by the corporate state.   We shall overcome…….. illegitimacy and control in order to create a world of truth and reason.

The murder of Iranian scientists continues.

posted by TimingLogic at 11:38 AM links to this post

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The National Security State: A Cold War Architect’s Anguish Over What Our Nation Has Become

“Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God’s service when it is violating all His laws.” – John Adams

There are three major dynamics that have contributed to the never-ending struggle to maintain democratic ideals in our government and in our economy.  They are a government corrupted by money, a for-profit banking system and a for-profit military-industrial complex, in that order of significance.  Democracy, a strong economy for all Americans and sustainability will never be permanently achieved until those dynamics are transformed.  

(As an aside, for those who believe Ron Paul is their savior just as Barack Obama was many people’s savior back in 2008, Paul only wants to address one of these issues; the military-industrial complex.  And, if we are honest, Paul’s isolationist perspective on foreign policies may be so extreme that they might destabilize much of the world and create even more fundamental issues that the United States would eventually have to face at greater cost to our nation.   The United States is served well by a formidable military.  Just not one corrupted by politics, profit and power.  None of the other presidential candidates from either party want to address any of these dynamics because both political parties are in fact registered corporations that are beneficiaries of corporate personhood, fascism and the associated co-mingling of corporate money and power in politics.  All of the other presidential candidates from both parties are simply bought and paid for stooges of the corporate state, which is why they marginalize and label as kooks people like Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader, Ross Perot and others who expose their fraud and corruption.  If it’s up to the two corporate political parties, none of these dynamics will ever change.  Fortunately, their control, like all manifestations of the ego, is an illusion.) 

One of the most ingrained and widespread propagandized belief systems in the United States surrounds that of the military-industrial complex.  Its propaganda permeates every aspect of our existence.  I think one must consider that every conflict the United States has been in since World War II may have been primarily driven not by the desire to spread democracy or save people from tyranny but instead to perpetuate American corporate hegemony and subservience to the U.S.  for-profit war state.  That includes the conjured up boogeyman and fear mongering of the Cold War.    Just like the boogeyman and fear mongering that terrorists present today.   Is there really a difference?  

Today the United States is spending trillions of dollars fighting an enemy that may be comprised of a few small groups of hooligans numbering in the hundreds or very low thousands.  During the Cold War, the fear mongering was over an equally incompetent Soviet Union.   At least then, propaganda could derive a real threat of substantial size.  Today, it is essentially small gangs of stateless hooligans that we are destroying our economy and our democracy trying to stop. 

Now, was the Soviet Union involved in state-driven terror and attempts at destabilization around the world?  Sure they were.  So was the United States.   As Randolph Bourne so eloquently wrote ages ago, War is the Health of the State.  So, yes there was a tit-for-tat going on between the United States and the Soviet Union.  A tit-for-tat that was only possible in the United States through the use of crowd or mob creating propaganda created by the military-industrial complex.  Was it actually necessary to create a U.S. war machine capable of blowing the world up countless times over?  To overproduce weapons systems at a staggering rate that left the U.S. mothballing recently produced military systems in vast graveyards and systems depots simply because they weren’t needed while we continued to overproduce even more and more systems while we were mothballing current military technology?  State-directed overproduction  that is really no different than state-directed overproduction we saw in the communist Soviet Union or communist China or Nazi Germany.  All while that overproduction and overspending has left less and less money for investment in democracy, infrastructure, the non-military economy and our people?   And, to continue with this insanity for decade after decade even after the collapse of the Soviet Union?  Get real.   The propaganda of the war state is all consuming and countless Americans are completely brainwashed as we highlighted in the last post on crowds.  The for-profit military-industrial complex creates a crowd mentality  by appealing to the most base and unreasoned animal fears and instincts of the human mind.  Effectively by using fear and terror as a mob-creating and controlling tool.  And, then creating an image of the military-industrial complex as a savior serving democracy and human kind. 

But as damning as all of this is, none of it would be possible without the even more destructive effects of a private for-profit banking system controlled by a handful of mobsters.  A private for-profit banking system denies countless tens of millions of Americans access to their democratic economic rights and access to society’s capital.  This dynamic limits economic opportunity and creates artificial unemployment.  And, that is the ability through which the war state is able to find an endless supply of recruits for a volunteer military.  Typically the most poverty-stricken Americans have one method of achieving economic opportunity.  That is through recruitment into the war state or service in our military.  Now, this isn’t any type of conspiracy.  It’s simply a matter of how unregulated economic interests of greed, corruption and misplaced power find a way to harmoniously work together for their own personal benefit at the expense of society, our economy, human development and democracy.   As Teddy Roosevelt told us one hundred years ago, unregulated capitalism destroys democracy and democratic economics.  

A timeless truth is that rich men usually start wars and poor men fight them.  That was the only reason why World War I happened and it was a driving factor in the halls of a massively corrupt feudal caste system in Europe that also contributed substantially to World War II.   It’s no surprise a similar feudal caste system is now in place within the United States.  If we had a public banking system out of reach of politicians that primarily served democracy and human development, economic opportunity would be abundant.  The war state could never fill its quotas of a volunteer military.  Never.   Especially not in times of illegitimate wars that endanger our military service people for often dubious reasons that include profit and power.   Let alone find the funding to overproduce weapons systems into the hundreds of billions and even trillions of dollars as they do today.; all while record Americans live in poverty with no meaningful economic opportunity or hope of a better life.

The state of mind of fear mongering and propaganda fuels the profit engine of a for-profit military-industrial complex.  Even if it exists through unintended consequences of a for-profit military-industrial complex, the war state, its propaganda and fear mongering are very real.   And the paranoid policies of the war state creates enemies where none existed.  Its belligerence creates resistance that eventually becomes a reality.  In other words, its policies create enemies and a self-fulfilling need for even more wasteful war state expenditures that have destroyed our economy.   (While there was most certainly rampant and systemic corruption in the Soviet Union, the largest profit motive for the Cold War arms race most likely lied within the United States.)  

One of the links in a December post highlights how for-profit military contractors are lobbying for the passage of congressional bills that would strip American citizens of their constitutional rights and move us one step closer to the end of democracy and a complete fear-based society.  We saw the same dynamic in Nazi Germany, the British Empire and other examples of unbridled and unregulated power and corruption.  Whether this is intentional or simply the endless stupidity of those who serve the state as machines rather than thinking men as Thoreau told us, it really doesn’t matter.  The end result is the same.  A loss of democracy, self-rule and economic self-determination.     

There isn’t anything really new in the Vanity Fair article in this post except for the interspersed comments of George Kennan; a remorseful architect of America’s fascist state.  But, what is profoundly new is that someone in the mainstream media is giving this topic substantial print space.  Vanity Fair is a widely-read, highly influential magazine.   

One must remember the war machine is simply one facet of the corporate or fascist state.    Not only does the corporate state involve the thousands of for-profit security and military contractors but it transcends most every industry of the corporate state.  The only way to keep this perverted system of economics and globalization going is through greater and greater control as more and more resist its cruelties and immoralities.  For more than  half a century we have seen the U.S. corporate state exerting its control over the rest of the world.  This is accomplished not only through military hegemony but also through non-military corporations and the endless pillaging we see them involved in throughout the world.  Setting up factories in corrupt countries where, with the small pittance of a local bribe or a corrupt state seeking power, legitimacy and permanence, slave wages, unsafe work environments, long work hours and endless pollution are possible.   This economic dynamic is based on imperialism and a fraudulent attempt to subvert the rules of law meant to protect societies from unsafe working conditions, slave wages, predatory business practices and environmental safety amongst other democratic rights our society has fought for.   Rights that Republicans now argue are choking off the competitiveness of our economy.   This dynamic presents massive profit for not only corporations, but also the pigmen who finance it, the investor class (generally elites) who mint massive returns through the cumulative efforts of economic predation and the political whores who squeal all the way to the bank by passing endless red tape and rules that allow it. 

As the system starts to unwind, it’s no surprise the status quo is trying to tighten the noose not only on the rest of the world but in more recent times, we see that same type of control exerted on the rest of the world is now exerted on our own citizens.  Control that is lobbied for by corporations.   Now, citizens in the United States are targets of the same control that the war state imposed on the rest of the world.  But, now we see it in the police and security state imposed on American citizens.  This isn’t exactly rocket science.  We have been writing of this dynamic for years.  Illegitimacy can only maintain itself by exerting greater and greater control as reasoned and unreasoned dissent rises against it. 

Vanity Fair writes about a culture where the ends justifies the means.  A nation of men and not of laws.   Two of our long term themes on here.  Kennan is quoted by Vanity Fair as stating,  “We must have courage and self-confidence to cling to our own methods and conceptions of human society.  After all, the greatest danger that can befall us in coping with this problem of Soviet Communism is that we shall allow ourselves to become like those with whom we are coping.”   Now in my typical sardonic and often snarky fashion, I often refer to the United States as the Soviet Union on here.  Or the Soviet United States or other similar jabs.   But in actuality, the United States shares a lot in common with the former Soviet Union; economically, militarily, a centralized state bureaucracy driven by paranoia, subversion of any written law and individual rights, lack of economic determinism as well as a few other dynamics.   While statism may be different in each situation, there is a rhyme to it that is similar in every occurrence whether it is the British Empire, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union or statism practiced in these here United States.  I suspect if I wrote a detailed post on the parallels between the Soviet Union and the United States today, many people would be shocked at the commonalities.  Shocked that their belief systems are so deluded by a false reality.  Obviously, this is a topic we will continue to talk about in the future. 

Don’t believe this economic or military system is cast in stone or throw up your hands that it is too late to save our nation as a remorseful Kennan pens.  The Soviet Union collapsed overnight.  Literally.  The collapse was happening for years in advance just as the United State’s war machine is collapsing right before our eyes today yet few fail to see this dynamic because they think with their eyes.   

Many in the political class in the United States likes to believe that their hero, Ronald Reagan, outspent the Soviet military into submission and ultimately collapse.    We wrote on here many years ago what caused the Soviet collapse.  It had nothing to do with Ronald Reagan.   The only thing Ronald Reagan did was outspend Barack Obama by 5:1 in increasing the size of our national debt and taking the war state to a new level of authority in our nation by throwing money at any and every project the for-profit military-industrial complex could dream up.   Ronald Reagan was a horrible president if one values democracy and the rule of law over the whims of man.

The Soviet Union’s demise was forecast two decades before its collapse by Soviet dissident Andrei Amalrik.    The Soviet Union’s collapse came within the same decade as his prediction but was off by a handful of years.   At the time of his prediction, every major bureaucracy in the west, including the military-industrial complex, think tanks and politician in the United States laughed it off.   While Amalrik’s work is hard to find, especially transcribed into English, I have read his work.    Amalrik wrote of the real reasons why the Soviet Union would collapse from within.   The United States didn’t need to overspend on military and defense to defeat the boogeyman threat of the Soviet Union.  It just needed to sit back and wait for its many contradictions to defeat themselves.   The Soviet Union collapsed from within not because of Ronald Reagan or the United States war machine’s propaganda in the role it played.  Just as the United States is collapsing from within today.  But that message didn’t serve the profit motives of the military-industrial complex. 

As we wrote back in 2007 as I recall, the real events that led up to the Soviet collapse were far different than the propaganda fed Americans.  I am not going to rehash that post but in the relative final period of the Soviet state, what ended up being a final blow was a currency that wasn’t convertible.   (Similar to China’s  today.)  Now, for new readers, we have been writing for just as long of a coming global economic bust and that the form of trade settlement we see today is likely in its final phases along with it.   That the current trade settlement system based on floating exchange rates had lasted thirty to forty years and historically this was typical before global currency crises would arise.   How accurate that has come to be with currencies around the world on fire?   Don’t worry.  This dynamic is just starting for many nations.  And many more will come.  When we wrote that,  there was no talk of any currency issues anywhere except the dollar going to zero, usually followed by remarks that China’s currency or Europe’s currency were honest money or safe havens.  Hahaha.  RRRRRRight. 

If you combine these topics into the complexities that arise because of them, you could very well expect every nation will more than likely be faced with a trade-related crisis at some point as the global economic and financial system collapses.  We don’t know exactly what that will be.  I could speculate but being overly specific at this point is really not possible.  There are too many future events and moving parts for anyone to do anything but make some educated guesses.  But, my point is if trade-related settlements are likely to be changing, the United State’s ability to fund the war state will collapse under the same dynamics as the Soviet Union’s collapse.   That is, through some dynamic as this system unwinds, the dollar will eventually become less “convertible” per se.  That could be from a lack of demand for dollars as the world economy collapses and cannot afford dollars to fund U.S. hegemony.  That could be point to point trade settlement we speculated as a replacement for this system. (And by the way, is now being rolled out by a few nations.  Another outcome we nailed in advance.) Or it could be any other of many credible dynamics.  And, if this happens, the collapse of the U.S.’s military-industrial complex global hegemony will literally be an event rather than a process.  It will happen “over night”.  Not necessarily in a day but in a very short period of time. 

Kennan’s frustrations and fears that we are too far gone to save our country were written during the exact cycle that our country could very well be saved and our democracy restored through events that are uncontrollable by the status quo.  Just as happened in the Soviet Union.  It’s not atypical that often trends change just as people throw up their hands and give in to the status quo.    The contradictions that exist within the United States today are clearly unsustainable.

(By the way, Marc Faber appears to finally understand what we have written about since starting this blog and he is calling for a global economic bust, a global financial bust, a collapse in the investor class and a collapse in the derivatives markets.  Thank you very much.  We have been writing this since before anyone I am aware of in the financial industry.   The more one understands about the nuances of a complex system, the less one needs to think with their eyes and can instead rely on mathematical analysis to determine  the real state of that system.)

Actually, this long blathering post was going to be my first in 2012.  But, as I thought about it, I wanted to lay some of the context of this post with the post on crowd or mob behavior.  Because the war state is clearly driven by fear mongering and an enormous propaganda machine that encourages the most base of humanity’s instinctive responses in the crowd that believes in it.    Between military spending, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which overseas our military nuclear arsenal and the associated costs of hegemony that are hidden in places like the State Department, the National Security Agency, the CIA and other hidden costs, the United States spends more than twice the rest of the world on its military.   That dynamic has contributed massively to the destruction of our economy.  Any time anyone talks about real defense cuts, the war state’s chief toadies, the bought and paid for politicians, start banging the marginalization drum of fear and terror that such talk is un-American, communist, jeopardizes our security and other equally ridiculous forms of control.  This drum beat clearly is meant to apply to the base human instinct of fear and terror that so many manipulators use to control the crowd and all of its irrationality.  Clearly, a reasoned, intelligent, fact-based discussion about this topic would yield a very different perspective.   A first among that perspective is that there is only so much money that can be in our economy at any given time without some type of catastrophic consequences.    The more that is spent on guns means less that is available for butter.  The United States is crumbling under massive poverty while we continue to brandish the largest and most fearsome military the world has ever seen.  Why does a peace-loving nation comprised of 4% of the world’s population need a military that spends twice as much as the rest of the world combined while our citizens cannot feed their children or afford basic medical care? 

That country high on a hill that Ronald Reagan propagandized about doesn’t exist.  It could.  It exists in the mind of many Americans including myself who strive for higher ideals as a society.  But within Washington politics what exists is a reality much more somber.  A national security state driven by fascism and corruption.  A reality created by people like Ronald Reagan and other politicians in a government that serves the state, power and monied special interests rather than democracy, economic determinism and the rule of law.  Since when did we as a nation outsource our freedoms to servant politicians in lieu of the rule of law and reason?  Unless we see some type of miracle awakening by politicians and an associated transformational change before the system uncontrollably heads towards reset mode, those who think with their eyes and have faith in the whims of man over the rule of law, will learn what that faith hath created.  A new world will eventually reveal itself right before their eyes.    A world that started to reveal itself starting in the economic catastrophe of the late 1980s, the mid 1990s bond crisis, the 2000 collapse and the 2008 melt down of the entire global economic system.  A world many never dreamed existed but their belief in endless propaganda by self-interested power and greed helped create.    

Corporate personhood must be repealed with a constitutional amendment.  The co-mingling of corporate power and endless distortions of private for-profit money must be removed from politics and all government.  Democracy, economic liberty, working markets, the rule of law and self-rule must be restored.  Reason and its rule of law must be restored as the foundational primacy in our society rather than the corporate profits and political bribery that instead creates a government ruled by the whims of man.   Unstable men deluded by power, at that.   We can either do that proactively or we can do it after the impact is potentially so devastating that it will be forced upon us with no other option.     

It’s coming.  It’s coming for the same internal contradictions that accurately allowed Andrei Amalrik to predict the demise of the Soviet Union while the most “qualified” experts of the status quo throughout the United States laughed at such an event. 

The human mind has only two intents in everything it does.  The intent to control and the search for truth.  That the United States national security state, an institution of the human ego, exerts greater and greater control both within and outside of its borders is the best leading indicator of its  ultimate demise.  Ultimately, dissent, both reasoned and unreasoned, against the illusory belief in its ability to control  requires it to exert greater and greater authority (control) to keep the illusion alive.  

Remember, as I wrote on here before, this is a cycle when we can expect institutions of the ego to fail.   How accurate that statement has become.  Institutions of the ego, or of man if one wishes to use that term, are based on the illusion of control.   Every institution of the ego ever conceived ultimately failed because it was nothing more than an illusion of control.  Truth always and ultimately is what will be revealed in some manner.  That is what we see happening around the entire world today.   The failing of countless institutions of the ego.  Money, banking, governments, companies, financial derivatives, nuclear power plants, political parties, tsunami break walls, economies, Wall Street, corporate personhood, “free” trade, “free” markets, genetically-modified foods, tinkering with DNA and artificial life without understanding of the forces involved, lobbying, religious fanaticism, the military-industrial complex; these are all illusory institutions of control created by the human ego.   As a result, they are until they aren’t.  Truth will always find a way.   It can never be defeated by control.  The unintended consequences and impacts when that illusion of control are lost often involve opening Pandora’s Box as we have remarked before.

------->>>>>>>  Politicians are too egomaniacal and self-absorbed with the blinding need for power sought to ameliorate their own ego’s demons to even begin to realize they almost never have any idea what they are doing and as a result how much worse they are capable of making it.

Without transformation, the United States military-industrial complex continues heading down the same fateful path as the Soviet Union for all of the same fundamental reasons.   Ronald Reagan didn’t win the Cold War.  In a great bout of irony, he was just one of many men who contributed to the defeat of the rule of law in favor of special interests and therefore contributed to the United States following a similar path that led to the demise of the Soviet Union.   History is indeed a weapon.   In this case of the belief that Reagan and the military-industrial complex defeated the Soviet Union, history is clearly a weapon of the national security state. 

Vanity Fair’s article - One Nation, Under Arms.

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all of the lessons of history”  -- Aldous Huxley

posted by TimingLogic at 10:27 AM links to this post