Wednesday, December 22, 2010

seen2much's Rant

So the obvious has finally started to become impossible to ignore, as I have stated over and over that it would...

So, in that tradition, I will fill you all in at what so many of you obviously miss...

The collapse of our empire will end our planetary warmongering. The drone attacks will stop, troops will be brought home (or left stranded if the collapse is sudden enough..), our navy will drastically shrink ending our easy power projection, as will our air force.. The drastic reductions will be billed as "movements toward efficiency and modernization", truth is the only "movements" going on will be the death-crap our empire is taking during the final death-spasms..

So, defense spending cuts are coming no matter what... Good riddance to the death machine.

Social security is collapsing, as is all the other "chicken in every pot" socialist initiatives that idiot FDR foisted upon us.. Forced wealth distribution has been and always will be ROBBERY, and people will always find ways to deal with robbers, peaceful and otherwise.

We could have unwound this at a reasonable pace, immediately and drastically slashed the defense budget, took the savings and used them for infrastructure repair and advancement, as well as carefully weaning our population off the government cheese addiction, educating them for a more productive and self-reliant future... No, you had that choice and laughed him of the stage and shut him out out of the debates in 2008...

Now you will endure the consequences of willful ignorance:

First, The aforementioned military collapse, the powers that be will hold the military up as long as possible, for they are all that stand between them and the angry mobs that intend to take them to the nearest lamp posts.

SO.. The FIRST stuff that will get drastically slashed when the economic hammer comes down (when people finally realize that the "impossible" is now reality, that default is inevitable.), will be the "social safety net". Hospitals will shut down in droves, welfare checks stop coming, granny will have to pay for her own oxygen, millions will lose access to medications. That's right, you all will have to go cold turkey and figure out how to survive, more than a few of you will be priced out of survival.. You will get plenty of warning, students protesting impossibly high tuition combined with severe reductions in student aid and loan availability, skyrocketing hyperinflation, huge public worker lay offs and cut backs...

Then, some of you will scream for more socialism, but you who do are too stupid to see that there is nothing left to give out, no magic hat that springs forth with government cheese eternal... You will attempt to take from those that have, you will instead induce capital flight as well as passive and violent resistance... Those who produce will join with others who produce, and work together to resist and neutralize you takers.

The country will fracture, breaking along every line you can conceive, but mostly ideological lines. foreign influence will be at a minimum, as they will actually have larger problems than us. China will implode, right after it violently expands in asia, Russia will hold as long as Putin is alive, and he looks pretty healthy. Europe will devolve into the tribal mess it always was. The developing countries will be knocked back severely, war will be everywhere and mostly internal.

World war 3 is not completely off the table. If WW3 happens, we will be extinct when it ends. I think WW3 has less than a 50% chance of happening, but never underestimate the hateful desperation of our "leaders" if they cannot maintain their privileged state.

So there it is, the cliff notes of the next 40 years of the 21st century.. Most of you reading this will be compost by 2020. All of you will lose more than you can bear to lose. All of us are to blame, as much for how we lived as well as what we ignored. I'm just as guilty as you, I am no better than anybody else on this, I too may not live to see 2020, and if I do, I probably won't want to live to see 2021.

These are the wages of willful ignorance.

Reality will no longer be ignored.

Got Republic?

Monday, November 29, 2010

TOO Late?

Maybe I need to change the name of this blog. I was watching the movie with the line "you can't handle the truth!" with my brother-in-law the other day. After the defendent's speech he says, "I agree with what he said". He was refering to the part about "unless you are willing to pick up a weapon and stand on the wall, don't question me about how I do my job". I had to leave.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Panic Is ON

What this country is coming to
I sure would like to know
If they don’t do something bye and bye
The rich will live and the poor will die
Doggone, I mean the panic is on!
–Hezekiah Jenkins

As the Great Depression of the 1930’s was getting underway, President Herbert Hoover refused to acknowledge it. In the weeks following the events of Black Tuesday, Hoover called the economy “fundamentally sound.” Months later, he still insisted that the strength of the American economy was “unimpaired.” However, by 1931 he could no longer hide the truth. With the economy in shambles, Hoover was forced to declare that America was indeed in a ‘depression’. He chose the word ‘depression’ because he believed it to somewhat innocuous and far less provocative than terms like ‘panics’ or ‘crises’ that had previously been used to refer to significant economic downturns.

That same semantic game is being played on us today. What we now call a ‘recession’ is what was known as a ‘depression’ back in the 1930’s. As economist John Williams explains:

“The Great Depression was one that was so severe that in the post-World War II era, those looking at economic cycles tried to come up with a euphemism for “depression.” They didn’t want to create the image of or remind people of the 1930s. Basically, they called economic downturns recessions, and most people think of a depression now as a severe recession.”(1)

The lies propagated by our government and their paid shills are perhaps their greatest crime. Deceiving the people concerning the scope and magnitude of our financial crisis denies them the opportunity to prepare for the tough days ahead. Even the word depression does not fully impress upon the people the serious predicament we now face. Perhaps its time we do remind people of the 1930’s and draw parallels between those tragic times and our current situation.

Today’s unemployment rate is fast approaching the worst levels seen since the Great Depression. The official unemployment rate (U3) released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is currently at 9.9%. This is the number often reported by the mainstream media for public consumption but is far removed from reality.

To get closer to the real number we must consult the (U6) figure that is often touted as ‘true unemployment’. This figure adds into the equation those who fall under the contemporary definition of ‘discouraged worker’ and those who can only find ‘part-time’ work. That number puts the ‘true unemployment’ rate at 17.2%. But wait, there’s more!

Today’s definition of a discouraged worker is one who has not found work within the last year. Prior to 1994, a discouraged worker was defined as one who had not found work within the last month. That’s a big discrepancy. If we add those lost souls back into the equation, we come up with a more realistic unemployment rate of right around 22%. That’s just three clicks shy of the 25% often cited for the worst levels of the Great Depression in 1933. That 25% unemployment figure was reflective of all workers both on and off the farm.

Many economists, intent on disproving any comparison of today’s unemployment with that of the ‘Great Depression’, will often site the non-farm unemployment figure of 34%. But it should be pointed out that during that time, 27% of America’s employed worked on the farm. Today that number is only 2%.

Unlike today, The Great Depression of the 1930’s was deflationary. The Consumer Price Index was at 17.3% when it began in 1929. By 1933 it was down to 12.6%. In other words, as the depression progressed, the cost of things dropped; what cost $1.00 in 1929 only cost 73 Cents in 1933.(2)

Not so with the depression of today. Ours is an inflationary depression that is fast becoming hyperinflationary. Hyperinflation comes when the increase in the money supply causes prices to rise so rapidly that the highest denominated bank note becomes less valuable than toilet paper. This is being facilitated by industry bailouts, unnecessary wars, foreign aid to Israel and entitlement programs that were not factors in 1933.

Since 1933, inflation has increased 1,627.23%. To calculate its decimal equivalent you need to move the decimal point two places to the left. So 1,627.23%=16.2723 in decimals. This means that what cost $1.00 in 1933 costs approximately $16.27 today.(3)

The average American’s annual income in 1933 was $1,550.00. Today, that would be the equivalent of $25,218.00. According to the last Bureau of Labor Statistics report for 2009(4), the average American’s annual income was $28,592.00 (mid range between highest and lowest by State for 1 person). This may seem like we’re ahead of the game compared to the Great Depression. However, when you consider that the lowest bracket of income tax was levied at 4% in 1933 compared to 15% in 2010, you can see that we are almost on par. But you also must consider the plethora of other taxes and deductions that have since been siphoned out of the average American’s paycheck. Contemporary sales taxes and compulsory enrollments like mandatory insurance (both auto and health) must also be added into the equation to get a better gauge as to where we are now compared to days gone by.(5)

Prices of things, on average, were much more affordable back during the Great Depression than they are now. Here are some basic items for comparison:

Cost of a new house 1933: $5,750.00 (equivalent to $93,565.72 in 2010)

Cost to rent a house in 1933: $18.00 per month (equivalent to $292.00 in 2010)

Brand New Plymouth in 1933: $445.00 (equivalent to $7241.17 in 2010)

Gallon of gas in 1933: 10 Cents (equivalent to $1.62 in 2010)

Loaf of Bread in 1933: 7 Cents (equivalent of $1.13 in 2010)

1 Lb. Of Hamburger Meat in 1933: 11 Cents (equivalent to $1.79 in 2010)

Can of Campbell’s Vegetable Soup in 1933: 10 Cents (equivalent to $1.62 in 2010)

Dozen Eggs in 1933: 5 Cents (equivalent to 81 Cents today)

Take the equivalent monetary values listed above for 2010 and do your own research. Can you buy the same items today for that little cash? According to the 2009 census, the cost to rent a house is approximately $775.00 per month, on average. The cost of even the cheapest automobile is in the tens of thousands and I don’t need to tell you about everyday household goods. Consider these the good times. When hyperinflation sets in, these prices will soar. We don’t live today like they did back in the 1930’s when people were, at most, one generation removed from the farm. As was pointed out previously, 27% of American workers made their livings on the farm and were able to provide many of their own basic needs from that culture. Today, that number is only 2%.

Despite this data, deniers will refuse to believe that they are living through a depression. Some need tangible, salient evidence. They need to feel the depression, or at least have a cognitive reference point that coincides with the black and white images they have come to associate with a depression. Where are the soup lines? Where are the shantytowns? Where are the armies of disheveled hobos playing harmonica as they roast a can of beans over a roadside campfire?

The complexion of today’s depression is certainly different from the hard luck images of the 1930’s. But these are just cosmetic differences. When you strip away the veneer, you find that we are afflicted with the same problems as they were back then. Today’s soup lines come in the form of food stamps. Public housing and tent cities are today’s shantytowns. Hobos are now called ‘the homeless’, and many of them are disappearing from the streets and ending up in a burgeoning penal system that swallows them up on petty drug charges.

There are other factors that keep this depression suppressed in the minds of the American public. The most significant of these is unemployment benefits. This did not exist during the Great Depression. When you were out of work, you were out of money. This hit people immediately and many had no way to obtain even the most basic subsistence to feed their families. The welfare system is another contemporary mechanism that was not in place during that time. Right now, these are perhaps the only two things that distance the human suffering from our true economic reality. But they weren’t built to last, and the only reason they have lasted this long is because the government has a vested interest in keeping these entitlement programs going. Providing basic subsistence keeps the people dependent and apathetic to their plight. As long as people have a roof over their head and enough to eat they will allow those who provide those things to take everything else they have.

The Federal infusions of funds into the unemployment and welfare systems will continue only for as long as it takes the bankers to fully rob the American people of everything they own. In the meantime, unemployment will continue to rise and the depression will deepen to levels unimaginable as the unsuspecting unemployment recipient spends his jobless days as if he were on a paid vacation. He’ll waste his checks on beer and porn and stretch out on the couch until the final week. Then he’ll get serious, only to find that things are not as rosy as the liars on CNBC promised they’d be.

Unlike 1933, our depression comes at a time when there is increased foreign war spending and many of our potentially unemployed youths are serving overseas. Imagine what would happen to the unemployment rate if these wars came to an end. Then imagine what would happen if unemployment benefits and welfare entitlement programs ceased to exist. When you do, you can understand why all of these things continue to be funded.

This is a robbery, and the hostages are being held in the back of the store learning to love their captors. Most Americans are under a spell best described as the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. In psychology, Stockholm syndrome is a term used to describe a paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express adulation and have positive feelings towards their captors that appear irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. The syndrome is named after the Normrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to August 28, 1973. In this case, the victims became emotionally attached to their captors, and even defended them after they were freed from their six-day ordeal.(6)

Until the American people snap out of their trance, they will refuse to believe that they are in a depression, recession, panic or crisis. To them, it will be a loving embrace by a charismatic savior. Only until they feel the peircing bite of cold air on their necks and the pains of an empty stomach will they finally come around to the realization that the panic is not coming—but that the panic is on!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So Much Insanity

March 17, 2010
Doug McIntosh

So much insanity; so much to comment on. I am in a target rich environment for stupidity, arrogance, corruption and fraud. Since there is so much of it, I am sometimes at a loss about what to write about. It is like I have turned on a Cable Channel, the Stupid Channel, all stupidity and all the time. Still, the stupidity levels in both American and global politics, economics and popular culture are simply overwhelming to me. Perhaps, I have lived too long, or at least I have seen to much. I remember what America used to be like, not perfect by any means, but at least a place where honorable men and women tried to do the right thing. America used to be a place where if you played by the rules, you at least had a shot. In modern America the game is rigged. It is rigged by corrupt politicians and regulators, criminal bankers and fraudulent stock brokers. The middle class is looked upon the same way a wolf pack eyeballs a flock of sheep. The system is composed of economic rapists and child molesters, using the full force of the law, politics and the media to engage in their perverted pastimes.

I weep for the American Republic, murdered in October 2008 by the first bailout votes, and I weep for the American people, but I do not weep for the American system of economic oligarchy and political fascism. In many ways, I say let it collapse. And yes Virginia, I really do want to see the head of Goldman Sacks led off in chains to either a swift execution, or a life of breaking rocks in a Louisiana swamp. There will be no economic recovery until there is a moral recovery, a moral recovery based upon criminal fraud charges against our leading government regulators, politicians, bankers and Wall Street firms. Since that is unlikely, I will settle for the economic collapse. Like Samson, I am perfectly willing to bring the temple down on the heads of our Dagon worshipping elite. After all, people like me have nothing left to lose. The most dangerous people are not those who have everything to gain: the most dangerous people are those who have nothing left to lose. We are now a society with tens of millions of people, armed people, who have nothing left to lose. Our NWO elite should bear that in mind. The basic problem with our elite is they don't know when to stop. I think that is because we haven't really held them accountable for their economic and political crimes. Hopefully, we can do that without a wave of violence, although I am no longer sure of that. It may be the popular rage explodes like the lid of a superheated pressure cooker. It will be unfortunate if that happens, but I can certainly understand why that will happen.

As usual, my first odds and end must begin with our esteemed Marxist Dictator Obama the First and his fun and games. The "change we can believe in" candidate, who is in effect a Clinton Two administration, offers us a "change we can't see" President. Obama has merged the corruption and sleaze of the Clinton's with his own oversized ego and arrogance to form the political version of a jackass. This is about the best description of the Obama administration I can think of. Who are these people and how did they get in power? Can a nation go temporarily insane? It's the best explanation for Obama being elected I can think of. McCain being the other.

In Obama's version of Sherman's March to the Sea, the so called Health Care debate, we see his true form revealed. The whole point of Obama's health care plan has nothing to do with Health Care. The main point of Obama's Health Care plan is to enact it and collect taxes for two or three years before any benefits happen. If there is a more cynical way to secretly raise taxes now, while delaying any potential benefit for several years, I have not seen it. Obama and his ilk are using the Health Care plan to inflict a tax increase without benefits. In all the discussion over his Health Care Plan this seems to fall between the cracks. It is not a Health Care Plan: IT IS A TAX INCREASE. Nothing more; nothing less. Viewed in this light, I can understand Obama's obsession with it. Obama plans to use the revenues generated by this plan to cover the 1.5 TRILLION yearly deficits he is running.

It also has to be one of the bitterest ironies that our warmonger President Obama, who is following the exact policies of Bush Jr.. his own party savaged for years, is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I am sure the deformed babies in Iraq and Afghanistan are impressed. If you take munitions and you coat them with depleted uranium, and then you fire or drop it on a country, you will get radioactive dust. Our warmonger President can't be bothered with things like that. It is amazing to me to watch the same liberal morons, who rioted whenever Bush came to Portland, not say a peep when Obama sends an additional two or three divisions to Afghanistan. The arrogance and hypocrisy of both the Democrats and Republicans is amazing to me. I really think they don't care anymore. They are so full of themselves at this point that quaint concepts like truth, honor and the oath they took to uphold the American Constitution mean nothing to them. They have deluded themselves to the point they don't even realize what they are doing. In fact, I think they even believe their own lies at this point. When I look at Obama, Peloski, Reid or McCain I see what the longshoreman Eric Hoffer wrote about in his book "The True Believer." The intensity of their drive to pass Health Care for instance, shows me we are not dealing with rational people, but fanatics instead. A nation led by fanatics into a Marxist wilderness of enemies of the state, increasing government control of all aspects of daily life; finally, the increasing criminalization of political dissent. Go back and read my essay, "Welcome to Ubangastan" and look at the predictions I made there; then tell me I am wrong.

If all this weren't bad enough, we have the whole debt issue. One of the things in the economic sphere that still amazes me is the simple fact modern economies are based on debt. All true economic growth comes from productivity, either from exploiting natural resources, farms, mining, timber, or from producing products people need, or from providing services they need.. In modern America economic growth comes from distributing imported economic goods, rigged stock markets, overbuilding real estate and bloated health care. America doesn't actually produce anything anymore, we merely play games with our money, take our pills and ship stuff around. The reason we are in such bad shape economically is we have built our economic house upon a quicksand of debt. Debt is not money. Until we realize this, there is truly no hope for us.

The main reason we are screwed economically speaking is that we have made no attempt to squeeze the debt out of our government, our corporations or private individuals. Under our fractional reserve banking system, it is impossible to pay back the amounts owed, since the amounts are so vast relative to our actual principal. The other thing we need to understand is we cannot pay off the Federal Deficit, anymore than we can fund the $60 TRILLION in unfunded government liabilities. Since we cannot pay our debt off, we only have two choices. The first is to keep juggling year by year until the whole economic system crashes. The other is to default on our debts and start over. Both will lead to an economic catastrophe which I can only call a hyper depression. I will also add that the foreigners we owe some of this debt too will not quietly accept any such default. They will take concrete steps to get their money back, either by a military invasion or a direct seizure of our physical assets. If you view both Clinton and Obama with their land grabs you begin to understand what I am talking about. For instance, the reason the oil in Montana isn't being developed is simple. It is being held as collateral for foreign investors when the US government defaults on our debt. When, not if, the USA defaults on its debts, the foreigners will simply take out their pound of flesh in hard, physical assets, like farmland, ports, airports etc. Mark my words, we will see the USA return to its status as a colony when that happens.

Well, enough ranting and raving for today. The sun rises on both the wicked and the just. I still think the wicked get sunburned more than the just, but like they say, honesty pays, but dishonesty pays quarterly dividends. Just ask any whore on Wall Street, or any of our politicians in that Sodom on the Potomac called Washington DC. Evil struts the land like a peacock, unafraid, insolent and bellowing, at least until the people turn it into stew. Personally, I am developing a taste for Peacock stew.

All links to this article must include link to Copyright reserved

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Avoiding a Digital Dark Age

Data longevity depends on both the storage medium and the ability to decipher the information

Kurt D. Bollacker

When I was a boy, I discovered a magnetic reel-to-reel audio tape recorder that my father had used to create “audio letters” to my mother while he was serving in the Vietnam War. To my delight (and his horror), I could listen to many of the old tapes he had made a decade before. Even better, I could make recordings myself and listen to them. However, all of my father’s tapes were decaying to some degree—flaking, stretching and breaking when played. It was clear that these tapes would not last forever, so I copied a few of them to new cassette tapes. While playing back the cassettes, I noticed that some of the sound quality was lost in the copying process. I wondered how many times I could make a copy before there was nothing left but a murky hiss.

A decade later in the 1980s I was in high school making backups of the hard drive of my PC onto 5-¼-inch floppy disks. I thought that because digital copies were “perfect,” and I could make perfect copies of perfect copies, I couldn’t lose my data, except by accident. I continued to believe that until years later in college, when I tried to restore my backup of 70 floppy disks onto a new PC. To my dismay, I discovered that I had lost the floppy disk containing the backup program itself, and thus could not restore my data. Some investigation revealed that the company that made the software had long since gone out of business. Requests on electronic bulletin board systems and searches on Usenet turned up nothing useful. Although all of the data on them may have survived, my disks were useless because of the proprietary encoding scheme used by my backup program.

The Dead Sea scrolls, made out of still-readable parchment and papyrus, are believed to have been created more than 2,000 years ago. Yet my barely 10-year-old digital floppy disks were essentially lost. I was furious! How had the shiny new world of digital data, which I had been taught was so superior to the old “analog” world, failed me? I wondered: Had I had simply misplaced my faith, or was I missing something?

Over the course of the 20th century and into the 21st, an increasing proportion of the information we create and use has been in the form of digital data. Many (most?) of us have given up writing messages on paper, instead adopting electronic formats, and have exchanged film-based photographic cameras for digital ones. Will those precious family photographs and letters—that is, email messages—created today survive for future generations, or will they suffer a sad fate like my backup floppy disks? It seems unavoidable that most of the data in our future will be digital, so it behooves us to understand how to manage and preserve digital data so we can avoid what some have called the “digital dark age.” This is the idea—or fear!—that if we cannot learn to explicitly save our digital data, we will lose that data and, with it, the record that future generations might use to remember and understand us.

Save Our Bits!
The general problem of data preservation is twofold. The first matter is preservation of the data itself: The physical media on which data are written must be preserved, and this media must continue to accurately hold the data that are entrusted to it. This problem is the same for analog and digital media, but unless we are careful, digital media can be more fragile.

The second part of the equation is the comprehensibility of the data. Even if the storage medium survives perfectly, it will be of no use unless we can read and understand the data on it. With most analog technologies such as photographic prints and paper text documents, one can look directly at the medium to access the information. With all digital media, a machine and software are required to read and translate the data into a human-observable and comprehensible form. If the machine or software is lost, the data are likely to be unavailable or, effectively, lost as well.

Unlike the many venerable institutions that have for centuries refined their techniques for preserving analog data on clay, stone, ceramic or paper, we have no corresponding reservoir of historical wisdom to teach us how to save our digital data. That does not mean there is nothing to learn from the past, only that we must work a little harder to find it. We can start by briefly looking at the historical trends and advances in data representation in human history. We can also turn to nature for a few important lessons.

The earliest known human records are millennia-old physical scrapings on whatever hard materials were available. This medium was often stone, dried clay, bone, bamboo strips or even tortoise shells. These substances were very durable—indeed, some specimens have survived for more than 5,000 years. However, stone tablets were heavy and bulky, and thus not very practical.

Possibly the first big advance in data representation was the invention of papyrus in Egypt about 5,500 years ago. Paper was lighter and easier to make, and it took up considerably less space. It worked so well that paper and its variants, such as parchment and vellum, served as the primary repositories for most of the world’s information until the advent of the technological revolution of the 20th century.

Technology brought us photographic film, analog phonographic records, magnetic tapes and disks, optical recording, and a myriad of exotic, experimental and often short-lived data media. These technologies were able to represent data for which paper cannot easily be used (video, for example). The successful ones were also usually smaller, faster, cheaper and easier to use for their intended applications. In the last half of the 20th century, a large part of this advancement included a transition from analog to digital representations of data.

Even a brief investigation into a small sampling of information-storage media technologies throughout history quickly uncovers much dispute regarding how long a single piece of each type of media might survive. Such uncertainty cannot be settled without a time machine, but we can make reasonable guesses based on several sources of varying reliability. If we look at the time of invention, the estimated lifespan of a single piece of each type of media and the encoding method (analog or digital) for each type of data storage (see the table at right), we can see that new media types tend to have shorter lifespans than older ones, and digital types have shorter lifespans than analog ones. Why are these new media types less durable? Shouldn’t technology be getting better rather than worse? This mystery clamors for a little investigation.

To better understand the nature of and differences between analog and digital data encoding, let us use the example of magnetic tape, because it is one of the oldest media that has been used in both analog and digital domains. First, let’s look at the relationship between information density and data-loss risk. A standard 90-minute analog compact cassette is 0.00381 meters wide by about 129 meters long, and a typical digital audio tape (DAT) is 0.004 meters wide by 60 meters long. For audio encodings of similar quality (such as 16 bit, 44.1 kilohertz for digital, or 47.6 millimeters per second for analog), the DAT can record 500 minutes of stereo audio data per square meter of recordable surface, whereas the analog cassette can record 184 minutes per square meter. This means the DAT holds data about 2.7 times more densely than the cassette. The second table (right) gives this comparison for several common consumer audio-recording media types. Furthermore, disk technologies tend to hold data more densely than tapes, so it is no surprise that magnetic tape has all but disappeared from the consumer marketplace.

However, enhanced recording density is a double-edged sword. Assume that for each medium a square millimeter of surface is completely corrupted. Common sense tells us that media that hold more data in this square millimeter would experience more actual data loss; thus for a given amount of lost physical medium, more data will be lost from digital formats. There is a way to design digital encoding with a lower data density so as to avoid this problem, but it is not often used. Why? Cost and efficiency: It is usually cheaper to store data on digital media because of the increased density.

A possibly more important difference between digital and analog media comes from the intrinsic techniques that comprise their data representations. Analog is simply that—a physical analog of the data recorded. In the case of analog audio recordings on tape, the amplitude of the audio signal is represented as an amplitude in the magnetization of a point on the tape. If the tape is damaged, we hear a distortion, or “noise,” in the signal as it is played back. In general, the worse the damage, the worse the noise, but it is a smooth transition known as graceful degradation. This is a common property of a system that exhibits fault tolerance, so that partial failure of a system does not mean total failure.

Unlike in the analog world, digital data representations do not inherently degrade gracefully, because digital encoding methods represent data as a string of binary digits (“bits”). In all digital symbol number systems, some digits are worth more than others. A common digital encoding mechanism, pulse code modulation (PCM), represents the total amplitude value of an audio signal as a binary number, so damage to a random bit causes an unpredictable amount of actual damage to the signal.

Let’s use software to concoct a simulated experiment that demonstrates this difference. We will compare analog and PCM encoding responses to random damage to a theoretically perfect audiotape and playback system. The first graph in the third figure (above) shows analog and PCM representations of a single audio tone, represented as a simple sine wave. In our perfect system, the original audio source signal is identical to the analog encoding. The PCM encoding has a stepped shape showing what is known as quantization error, which results from turning a continuous analog signal into a discrete digital signal. This class of error is usually imperceptible in a well-designed system, so we will ignore it for now.

For our comparison, we then randomly damage one-eighth of the simulated perfect tape so that the damaged parts have a random amplitude response. The second graph in the third figure (above) shows the effect of the damage on the analog and digital encoding schemes. We use a common device called a low-pass filter to help minimize the effect of the damage on our simulated output. Comparing the original undamaged audio signal to the reconstructions of the damaged analog and digital signals shows that, although both the analog and digital recordings are distorted, the digital recording has wilder swings and higher error peaks than the analog one.

But digital media are supposed to be better, so what’s wrong here? The answer is that analog data-encoding techniques are intrinsically more robust in cases of media damage than are naive digital-encoding schemes because of their inherent redundancy—there’s more to them, because they’re continuous signals. That does not mean digital encodings are worse; rather, it’s just that we have to do more work to build a better system. Luckily, that is not too hard. A very common way to do this is to use a binary-number representation that does not mind if a few bits are missing or broken.

One important example where this technique is used is known as an error correcting code (ECC). A commonly used ECC is the U.S. Postal Service’s POSTNET (Postal Numeric Encoding Technique), which represents ZIP codes on the front of posted envelopes. In this scheme, each decimal digit is represented as five binary digits, shown as long or short printed bars (right). If any single bar for any decimal digit were missing or incorrect, the representation would still not be confused with that of any other digit. For example, in the rightmost column of the table, the middle bar for each number has been erased, yet none of the numbers is mistakable for any of the others.

Although there are limits to any specific ECC, in general, any digital- encoding scheme can be made as robust as desired against random errors by choosing an appropriate ECC. This is a basic result from the field of information theory, pioneered by Claude Shannon in the middle of the 20th century. However, whichever ECC we choose, there is an economic tradeoff: More redundancy usually means less efficiency.

Nature can also serve as a guide to the preservation of digital data. The digital data represented in the DNA of living creatures is copied into descendents, with only very rare errors when they reproduce. Bad copies (with destructive mutations) do not tend to survive. Similarly, we can copy digital data from medium to medium with very little or no error over a large number of generations. We can use easy and effective techniques to see whether a copy has errors, and if so, we can make another copy. For instance, a common error-catching program is called a checksum function: The algorithm breaks the data into binary numbers of arbitrary length and then adds them in some fashion to create a total, which can be compared to the total in the copied data. If the totals don’t match, there was likely an accidental error in copying. Error-free copying is not possible with analog data: Each generation of copies is worse than the one before, as I learned from my father’s reel-to-reel audiotapes.

Because any single piece of digital media tends to have a relatively short lifetime, we will have to make copies far more often than has been historically required of analog media. Like species in nature, a copy of data that is more easily “reproduced” before it dies makes the data more likely to survive. This notion of data promiscuousness is helpful in thinking about preserving our own data. As an example, compare storage on a typical PC hard drive to that of a magnetic tape. Typically, hard drives are installed in a PC and used frequently until they die or are replaced. Tapes are usually written to only a few times (often as a backup, ironically) and then placed on a shelf. If a hard drive starts to fail, the user is likely to notice and can quickly make a copy. If a tape on a shelf starts to die, there is no easy way for the user to know, so very often the data on the tape perishes silently, likely to the future disappointment of the user.

In the 1960s, NASA launched Lunar Orbiter 1, which took breathtaking, famous photographs of the Earth juxtaposed with the Moon. In their rush to get astronauts to the Moon, NASA engineers created a mountain of magnetic tapes containing these important digital images and other space-mission-related data. However, only a specific, rare model of tape drive made for the U.S. military could read these tapes, and at the time (the 1970s to 1980s), NASA had no interest in keeping even one compatible drive in good repair. A heroic NASA archivist kept several donated broken tape drives in her garage for two decades until she was able to gain enough public interest to find experts to repair the drives and help her recover these images.

Contrast this with the opposite problem of the analog Phaistos Disk (above right), which was created some 3,500 years ago and is still in excellent physical condition. All of the data it stores (about 1,300 bits) have been preserved and are easily visible to the human eye. However, this disk shares one unfortunate characteristic with my set of 20-year-old floppy disks: No one can decipher the data on either one. The language in which the Phaistos disk was written has long since been forgotten, just like the software to read my floppies is equally irretrievable.

These two examples demonstrate digital data preservation’s other challenge—comprehensibility. In order to survive, digital data must be understandable by both the machine reading them and the software interpreting them. Luckily, the short lifetime of digital media has forced us to gain some experience in solving this problem—the silver lining of the dark clouds of a looming potential digital dark age. There are at least two effective approaches: choosing data representation technologies wisely and creating mechanisms to reach backward in time from the future.

Make Good Choices …
In order to make sure digital data can be understood in the future, ideally we should choose representations for our data for which compatible hardware and software are likely to survive as well. Like species in nature, digital formats that are able to adapt to new environments and threats will tend to survive. Nature cannot predict the future, but the mechanism of mutation creates different species with different traits, and the fittest prevail.

Because we also can’t predict the future to know the best data-representation choices, we try to do as nature does. We can copy our digital data into as many different media, formats and encodings as possible and hope that some survive.

Another way to make good choices is to simply follow the pack. A famous example comes from the 1970s, when two competing standards for home video recording existed: Betamax and VHS. Although Betamax, by many technical measures, was a superior standard and was introduced first, the companies supporting VHS had better business and marketing strategies and eventually won the standards war. Betamax mostly fell into disuse by the late 1980s; VHS survived until the mid-2000s. Thus if a format or media standard is in more common use, it may be a better choice than one that is rare.

… Or Fake It!
Once we’ve thrown the dice on our data-representation choices, is there anything else we can do? We can hope we will not be stuck for decades, like our NASA archivist, or left with a perfectly readable but incomprehensible Phaistos disk. But what if our scattershot strategy of data representation fails, and we can’t read or understand our data with modern hardware and software? A very common approach is to fake it!

If we have old digital media for which no compatible hardware still exists, modern devices sometimes can be substituted. For example, cheap and ubiquitous optical scanners have been commonly used to read old 80-column IBM punchcards. This output solves half of the problem, leaving us with the task of finding hardware to run the software and interpret the data that we are again able to read.

In the late 1950s IBM introduced the IBM 709 computer as a replacement for the older model IBM 704. The many technical improvements in the 709 made it unable to directly run software written for the 704. Because customers did not want either to lose their investment in the old software or to forgo new technological advances, IBM sold what they called an emulator module for the 709, which allowed it to pretend to be a 704 for the purposes of running the old software. Emulation is now a common technique used to run old software on new hardware. It does, however, have a problem of recursion—what happens when there is no longer compatible hardware to run the emulator itself? Emulators can by layered like Matryoshka dolls, one running inside another running inside another.

Being Practical
Given all of this varied advice, what can we do to save our personal digital data? First and foremost, make regular backup copies onto easily copied media (such as hard drives) and place these copies in different locations. Try reading documents, photos and other media whenever upgrading software or hardware, and convert them to new formats as needed. Lastly, if possible, print out highly important items and store them safely—there seems to be no getting away from occasionally reverting to this “outdated” media type. None of these steps will guarantee the data’s survival, but not taking them almost guarantees that the data will be lost, sooner or later. This process does seem to involve a lot more effort than my grandparents went to when shoving photos into a shoebox in the attic decades ago, but perhaps this is one of the costs for the miracles of our digital age.

If all this seems like too much work, there is one last possibility. We could revert our digital data back to an analog form and use traditional media-preservation techniques. An extreme example of this is demonstrated by the Rosetta Project, a scholarly endeavor to preserve parallel texts of all of the world’s written languages. The project has created a metal disk (right) on which miniaturized versions of more than 13,000 pages of text and images have been etched using techniques similar to computer-chip lithography. It is expected that this disk could last up to 2,000 years because, physically, the disk has more in common with a stone tablet than a modern hard drive. Although this approach should work for some important data, it is much more expensive to use in the short term than almost any practical digital solution and is less capable in some cases (for example, it’s not good for audio or video). Perhaps it is better thought of as a cautionary example of what our future might look like if we are not able to make the digital world in which we find ourselves remain successful over time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Incredible 'Real' Reason for Carbon Trading?

Critics who think that the U.S. dollar will be replaced by some new global currency are perhaps thinking too small. On the world horizon looms a new global currency that could replace all paper currencies and the economic system upon which they are based. The new currency, simply called Carbon Currency, is designed to support a revolutionary new economic system based on energy (production, and consumption), instead of price. Our current price-based economic system and its related currencies that have supported capitalism, socialism, fascism and communism, is being herded to the slaughterhouse in order to make way for a new carbon-based world. It is plainly evident that the world is laboring under a dying system of price-based economics as evidenced by the rapid decline of paper currencies. The era of fiat (irredeemable paper currency) was introduced in 1971 when President Richard Nixon decoupled the U.S. dollar from gold. Because the dollar-turned-fiat was the world's primary reserve asset, all other currencies eventually followed suit, leaving us today with a global sea of paper that is increasingly undesired, unstable, unusable. The deathly economic state of today's world is a direct reflection of the sum of its sick and dying currencies, but this could soon change. - The August Review (Carbon Currency: A New Beginning for Technocracy?)

Dominant Social Theme: Green is good.

Free-Market Analysis: We tend to analyze articles that appear in the mainstream press but regular readers know that the Bell will make an exception from time to time. And in this case, we have. The paper we have alluded to, (above, excerpted) seems to reveal details about the power elite's REAL agenda as regards global warming and carbon trading. While some of the information alluded to in the article has come out already in serial reports, we think the way the August Review has pulled it together and synthesized the information may be seen as both original and important.

In fact, the mind-blowing report that the Review is presenting today on its website (for the first time anywhere) sounds credible to us, understanding as we think we do, the memes of the power elite and the reason for their promotion. Click here to read Carbon Currency: A New Beginning for Technocracy?

We are not surprised by the quality, generally, of the Review's publications. The August Review is a "global elite research center." The tone of its analysis is often scholarly and its articles - while frank - seem to place a priority on research over opinion. Here's more on the August Review from the site itself:

The August Review is an exclusive Internet-based publication of the editor, Patrick M. Wood, and focuses on the Trilateral Commission, its members and activities. The research "juggernaut" that was created by Wood and Antony Sutton to study the Trilateral Commission has been enhanced using various professional sources now available on the Internet. This editor is committed to performing original and innovative research, as opposed to re-hashing second hand or opinionated writings of other news services or commentators. The August Review also monitors the press for news stories relating to members, policies and meetings of the Trilateral Commission.

The emphasis on making carbon an environmental bogeyman makes sense within a context of power elite promotions. The elite creates fear-based dominant social themes to frighten people into giving up wealth and power to authoritarian solutions that have also not-so-coincidentally been created by the elite. Regulate carbon and you basically have a way to monitor and control people's entire lifestyles, or certainly the part that involves the use of oil, gas, etc. That water vapor is responsible for trapping the majority of greenhouse gases doesn't enter into the equation - because the environmental movement in its later stages is not about reacting to environmental problems but about creating more power and wealth for the handful of families and individuals that create these promotions.

Here's some more from the new August Review white paper:

The modern system of carbon credits was an invention of the Kyoto Protocol and started to gain momentum in 2002 with the establishment of the first domestic economy-wide trading scheme in the U.K. After becoming international law in 2005, the trading market is now predicted to reach $3 trillion by 2020 or earlier.

Graciela Chichilnisky, director of the Columbia Consortium for Risk Management and a designer of the carbon credit text of the Kyoto Protocol, states that the carbon market "is therefore all about cash and trading - but it is also a way to a profitable and greener future." (See Who Needs a Carbon Market?)

Who are the "traders" that provide the open door to all this profit? Currently leading the pack are JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. ...

Whoever controls the currency also controls the economy and the political structure that goes with it ... Technocracy and energy-based accounting are not idle or theoretical issues. If the global elite intends for Carbon Currency to supplant national currencies, then the world economic and political systems will also be fundamentally changed forever.

Considering the sheer force of global banking giants behind carbon trading, it's no wonder analysts are already predicting that the carbon market will soon dwarf all other commodities trading.

The August Review is a foremost authority on the Trilateral Commission. Here at the Bell we certainly believe that such private groups are damaging to free-enterprise because they inevitably seek to involve government power and to use the force of law for private ends. Such a system is called mercantilism and it is a true curse of modern Western societies.

It is the Bell's contention that the mercantilist destruction wrought by the power elite's dominant social themes has possibly met its match in the 21st century thanks to the Internet. It is the longtime contention of the editors of the Bell (for nearly a decade now in various publishing incarnations) that the Internet has been undermining the entire promotional program of the power elite and that the elite's memes would meet increased resistance as the Internet's influence grew. In fact, we believe this is taking place.

We have utilized the impact of the Gutenberg press on society as a historical reference point when making the case that the power elite will have to take "a step back" as it did before when confronted with the unique challenges of a major communications revolution. In fact, we are not impressed with arguments that because US military agency DARPA invented what became the Internet, the power elite expected and anticipated what the Internet has become. In fact, it was the invention of the floppy disc and personal computer that created the phenomenon of the Internet, and this was the result of private enterprise and could not have been easily anticipated.

The August Review's presentation of "Carbon Currency: A New Beginning for Technocracy?" may be seen, from the above perspective, as a further example of how the Internet is causing headaches for the power elite and its banking and financial instrumentalities. Once a concept is understood and transmitted throughout the Internet, plenty of readers take advantage of the information and elaborate on it in their own way. This will happen, we are confident with the revelations contained in "Carbon Currency: A New Beginning for Technocracy?" (It could thus mark an "end" rather than a new beginning, or certainly slow the momentum.)

Power elite promotions rely on secrecy and a sense of inevitability. But in the case of global warming, the promotion has been greatly damaged. It was the Internet that made possible the exposure of the reprehensible emails that showed a conspiracy to defraud as regard the impacts (and even the existence) of global warming. It was the Internet that provided people with a way to organize against environmental fascism. And now it is the Internet, in our opinion, that is exposing the further scheming that lies at the HEART of the power elite's promotional efforts as regards this horrid dominant social theme.

We are aware of the growing argument among certain observers of the alternative press that the exposure of power elite themes must be part of a larger plan. But if so, why didn't the same phenomenon occur in the 20th century when power elite promotions were at their peak and most powerful? The answer of course is the Internet. Every power elite meme from the war on terror, to global warming and central banking is under powerful attack these days. We can't imagine that this is a desirable outcome from the point of view of those involved with their implementation.

It may be that the power elite will begin "exposing" its own promotions in order to gain some advantage from Internet revelations. But we have difficulty believing that such an exercise will pay sufficient dividends to make up for the current destruction of its dominant social themes, which likely have to be rebuilt from the ground up - once the Internet is tamed (and when will that be?).

As a final aside, we are gratified that in this white paper, the August Review also deals with the fraud of peak oil. We are entirely unsurprised that Technocrat M. King Hubbert and his economically illiterate energy concepts manage to slither into the middle of the story that the August Review has to tell. The idea that the market itself would not (and somehow could not) respond to peak oil with new stores of energy is yet another power elite promotion. (Meme: Only government authorities, including the UN, can properly plan energy replacements!)

Conclusion: The August Review's presentation of the apparent planning and purpose behind the carbon scam is yet a further proof of the power of the Internet in our opinion. Between the emails revealing the conspiracy and the more recent revelations of phony research and false numbers (and the Review's seemingly accurate revelations as to where all this is really headed) we think the global warming meme is under extreme duress. Sure, it may stagger along - that's one of the hallmarks of a power elite promotion (it won't die no matter how many holes are shot into it) - but it's very hard to promote a theme or meme that has been discredited. And boy is it being discredited.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

USA Default is Now Certain

Below is a quotation from:

"When governments go bankrupt it's called "a default." Currency speculators figured out how to accurately predict when a country would default. Two well-known economists - Alan Greenspan and Pablo Guidotti - published the secret formula in a 1999 academic paper. That's why the formula is called the Greenspan-Guidotti rule. The rule states: To avoid a default, countries should maintain hard currency reserves equal to at least 100% of their short-term foreign debt maturities. The world's largest money management firm, PIMCO, explains the rule this way: "The minimum benchmark of reserves equal to at least 100% of short-term external debt is known as the Greenspan-Guidotti rule. Greenspan-Guidotti is perhaps the single concept of reserve adequacy that has the most adherents and empirical support."

The principle behind the rule is simple. If you can't pay off all of your foreign debts in the next 12 months, you're a terrible credit risk. Speculators are going to target your bonds and your currency, making it impossible to refinance your debts. A default is assured.

So how does America rank on the Greenspan-Guidotti scale? It's a guaranteed default. . . .

According to the U.S. Treasury, $2 trillion worth of debt will mature in the next 12 months. So looking only at short-term debt, we know the Treasury will have to finance at least $2 trillion worth of maturing debt in the next 12 months. That might not cause a crisis if we were still funding our national debt internally. But since 1985, we've been a net debtor to the world. Today, foreigners own 44% of all our debts, which means we owe foreign creditors at least $880 billion in the next 12 months - an amount far larger than our reserves.

Keep in mind, this only covers our existing debts. The Office of Management and Budget is predicting a $1.5 trillion budget deficit over the next year. That puts our total funding requirements on the order of $3.5 trillion over the next 12 months.

So... where will the money come from? Total domestic savings in the U.S. are only around $600 billion annually. Even if we all put every penny of our savings into U.S. Treasury debt, we're still going to come up nearly $3 trillion short. That's an annual funding requirement equal to roughly 40% of GDP. Where is the money going to come from? From our foreign creditors? Not according to Greenspan-Guidotti. And not according to the Indian or the Russian central bank, which have stopped buying Treasury bills and begun to buy enormous amounts of gold. The Indians bought 200 metric tonnes this month. Sources in Russia say the central bank there will double its gold reserves."

Official government-manipulated figures show that the unemployment rate dropped in January from 10% down to 9.7%. At the same time, the report shows that 20,000 more jobs were lost in the same month.

I'm not sure how they reconcile those figures, unless a lot of people are now working two jobs.

The unemployment figures do not really tell us how many unemployed people there are. It only tells us how many are receiving unemployment checks. When those checks cease, those who remain unemployed are re-classified as "unemployable" or "discouraged." It is assumed that they have stopped looking for work, and so they are not longer unemployed!

Last December the government originally reported job losses at 85,000, but they have now revised those figures to 150,000. Figures for January show another 20,000 jobs slashed from payrolls. And yet the unemployment rate went down to 9.7%. Go figure.

". . . the figures for December were revised to show 150,000 jobs were slashed from payrolls, instead of the 85,000 job cuts first reported."

From the same article above, we read,

Morgan Stanley's Wieseman and Greenlaw said they are getting "closer to calling the peak in the unemployment rate." Still, the unemployment rate could bounce higher again if workers who dropped out of the job hunt are encouraged enough to jump back in.

In other words, if a lot of people believe that the job market is opening up again, and they actually start looking for work again, then the unemployment figures will "bounce higher again." Why? Simply because the official figures do not really count all the unemployed; they merely count those who are actively looking for work.

Trouble in the Eurozone

The recent default of Dubai World is having a huge but hidden effect upon the rest of the world. Dubai is probably the main source of the derivatives market, and so their default will affect many other countries.

Then there is Greece, Portugal, and Spain, all of which are in or near default. They call this "sovereign default," when nations default on their loan payments.

America, too, is going to have to cough up $3 Trillion in payments on its short-term debt this year. There is not enough production in the entire economy to do that. The Fed will have to default or create still more trillions out of thin air.

This economic problem is not going away, nor can it be resolved by throwing more new money at it. New money merely creates more debt. While that policy may solve the problem in the short term, it only increases the problem long term. Of course, they are hoping that postponing the problem will give the economy time to turn around before the ship hits the ice berg.

Most nations have been postponing the problem by quick fixes and by "stimuluus" programs that only make things worse long term. No one recognizes the 10-ton elephant in the living room. It is the fact that the Treasury must BORROW money from the Fed in order to maintain a supply of money in circulation, instead of issuing Treasury Notes that are debt free.

Until we repeal the Federal Reserve Act and give back the power to create money to the Congress, the problem will only get worse, the private bankers will only get richer, and the people will be left impoverished in their own land.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Are Americans a Broken People?

Are Americans a Broken People? Why We've Stopped Fighting Back Against the Forces of Oppression

A psychologist asks: Have consumerism, suburbanization and a malevolent corporate-government partnership so beaten us down that we no longer have the will to save ourselves?

Can people become so broken that truths of how they are being screwed do not "set them free" but instead further demoralize them? Has such a demoralization happened in the United States?

Do some totalitarians actually want us to hear how we have been screwed because they know that humiliating passivity in the face of obvious oppression will demoralize us even further?

What forces have created a demoralized, passive, dis-couraged U.S. population?

Can anything be done to turn this around?

Can people become so broken that truths of how they are being screwed do not "set them free" but instead further demoralize them?

Yes. It is called the "abuse syndrome." How do abusive pimps, spouses, bosses, corporations, and governments stay in control? They shove lies, emotional and physical abuses, and injustices in their victims' faces, and when victims are afraid to exit from these relationships, they get weaker. So the abuser then makes their victims eat even more lies, abuses, and injustices, resulting in victims even weaker as they remain in these relationships.

Does knowing the truth of their abuse set people free when they are deep in these abuse syndromes?

No. For victims of the abuse syndrome, the truth of their passive submission to humiliating oppression is more than embarrassing; it can feel shameful -- and there is nothing more painful than shame. When one already feels beaten down and demoralized, the likely response to the pain of shame is not constructive action, but more attempts to shut down or divert oneself from this pain. It is not likely that the truth of one's humiliating oppression is going to energize one to constructive actions.

Has such a demoralization happened in the U.S.?

In the United States, 47 million people are without health insurance, and many millions more are underinsured or a job layoff away from losing their coverage. But despite the current sellout by their elected officials to the insurance industry, there is no outpouring of millions of U.S. citizens on the streets of Washington, D.C., protesting this betrayal.

Polls show that the majority of Americans oppose U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the taxpayer bailout of the financial industry, yet only a handful of U.S. citizens have protested these circumstances.

Remember the 2000 U.S. presidential election? That's the one in which Al Gore received 500,000 more votes than George W. Bush. That's also the one that the Florida Supreme Court's order for a recount of the disputed Florida vote was overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court in a politicized 5-4 decision, of which dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens remarked: "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." Yet, even this provoked few demonstrators.

When people become broken, they cannot act on truths of injustice. Furthermore, when people have become broken, more truths about how they have been victimized can lead to shame about how they have allowed it. And shame, like fear, is one more way we become even more psychologically broken.

U.S. citizens do not actively protest obvious injustices for the same reasons that people cannot leave their abusive spouses: They feel helpless to effect change. The more we don't act, the weaker we get. And ultimately to deal with the painful humiliation over inaction in the face of an oppressor, we move to shut-down mode and use escape strategies such as depression, substance abuse, and other diversions, which further keep us from acting. This is the vicious cycle of all abuse syndromes.

Do some totalitarians actually want us to hear how we have been screwed because they know that humiliating passivity in the face of obvious oppression will demoralize us even further?


Shortly before the 2000 U.S. presidential election, millions of Americans saw a clip of George W. Bush joking to a wealthy group of people, "What a crowd tonight: the haves and the haves-more. Some people call you the elite; I call you my base." Yet, even with these kind of inflammatory remarks, the tens of millions of U.S. citizens who had come to despise Bush and his arrogance remained passive in the face of the 2000 non-democratic presidential elections.

Perhaps the "political genius" of the Bush-Cheney regime was in their full realization that Americans were so broken that the regime could get away with damn near anything. And the more people did nothing about the boot slamming on their faces, the weaker people became.

What forces have created a demoralized, passive, dis-couraged U.S. population?

The U.S. government-corporate partnership has used its share of guns and terror to break Native Americans, labor union organizers, and other dissidents and activists. But today, most U.S. citizens are broken by financial fears. There is potential legal debt if we speak out against a powerful authority, and all kinds of other debt if we do not comply on the job. Young people are broken by college-loan debts and fear of having no health insurance.

The U.S. population is increasingly broken by the social isolation created by corporate-governmental policies. A 2006 American Sociological Review study ("Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades") reported that, in 2004, 25 percent of Americans did not have a single confidant. (In 1985, 10 percent of Americans reported not having a single confidant.) Sociologist Robert Putnam, in his 2000 book, Bowling Alone, describes how social connectedness is disappearing in virtually every aspect of U.S. life. For example, there has been a significant decrease in face-to-face contact with neighbors and friends due to suburbanization, commuting, electronic entertainment, time and money pressures and other variables created by governmental-corporate policies. And union activities and other formal or informal ways that people give each other the support necessary to resist oppression have also decreased.

We are also broken by a corporate-government partnership that has rendered most of us out of control when it comes to the basic necessities of life, including our food supply. And we, like many other people in the world, are broken by socializing institutions that alienate us from our basic humanity. A few examples:

Schools and Universities: Do most schools teach young people to be action-oriented -- or to be passive? Do most schools teach young people that they can affect their surroundings -- or not to bother? Do schools provide examples of democratic institutions -- or examples of authoritarian ones?

A long list of school critics from Henry David Thoreau to John Dewey, John Holt, Paul Goodman, Jonathan Kozol, Alfie Kohn, Ivan Illich, and John Taylor Gatto have pointed out that a school is nothing less than a miniature society: what young people experience in schools is the chief means of creating our future society. Schools are routinely places where kids -- through fear -- learn to comply to authorities for whom they often have no respect, and to regurgitate material they often find meaningless. These are great ways of breaking someone.

Today, U.S. colleges and universities have increasingly become places where young people are merely acquiring degree credentials -- badges of compliance for corporate employers -- in exchange for learning to accept bureaucratic domination and enslaving debt.

Mental Health Institutions: Aldous Huxley predicted today's pharmaceutical societyl "[I]t seems to me perfectly in the cards," he said, "that there will be within the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude."

Today, increasing numbers of people in the U.S. who do not comply with authority are being diagnosed with mental illnesses and medicated with psychiatric drugs that make them less pained about their boredom, resentments, and other negative emotions, thus rendering them more compliant and manageable.

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is an increasingly popular diagnosis for children and teenagers. The official symptoms of ODD include, "often actively defies or refuses to comply with adult requests or rules," and "often argues with adults." An even more common reaction to oppressive authorities than the overt defiance of ODD is some type of passive defiance -- for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Studies show that virtually all children diagnosed with ADHD will pay attention to activities that they actually enjoy or that they have chosen. In other words, when ADHD-labeled kids are having a good time and in control, the "disease" goes away.

When human beings feel too terrified and broken to actively protest, they may stage a "passive-aggressive revolution" by simply getting depressed, staying drunk, and not doing anything -- this is one reason why the Soviet empire crumbled. However, the diseasing/medicalizing of rebellion and drug "treatments" have weakened the power of even this passive-aggressive revolution.

Television: In his book Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (1978), Jerry Mander (after reviewing totalitarian critics such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Jacques Ellul, and Ivan Illich) compiled a list of the "Eight Ideal Conditions for the Flowering of Autocracy."

Mander claimed that television helps create all eight conditions for breaking a population. Television, he explained, (1) occupies people so that they don't know themselves -- and what a human being is; (2) separates people from one another; (3) creates sensory deprivation; (4) occupies the mind and fills the brain with prearranged experience and thought; (5) encourages drug use to dampen dissatisfaction (while TV itself produces a drug-like effect, this was compounded in 1997 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relaxing the rules of prescription-drug advertising); (6) centralizes knowledge and information; (7) eliminates or "museumize" other cultures to eliminate comparisons; and (8) redefines happiness and the meaning of life.

Commericalism of Damn Near Everything: While spirituality, music, and cinema can be revolutionary forces, the gross commercialization of all of these has deadened their capacity to energize rebellion. So now, damn near everything – not just organized religion -- has become "opiates of the masses."

The primary societal role of U.S. citizens is no longer that of "citizen" but that of "consumer." While citizens know that buying and selling within community strengthens that community and that this strengthens democracy, consumers care only about the best deal. While citizens understand that dependency on an impersonal creditor is a kind of slavery, consumers get excited with credit cards that offer a temporarily low APR.

Consumerism breaks people by devaluing human connectedness, socializing self-absorption, obliterating self-reliance, alienating people from normal human emotional reactions, and by selling the idea that purchased products -- not themselves and their community -- are their salvation.

Can anything be done to turn this around?

When people get caught up in humiliating abuse syndromes, more truths about their oppressive humiliations don't set them free. What sets them free is morale.

What gives people morale? Encouragement. Small victories. Models of courageous behaviors. And anything that helps them break out of the vicious cycle of pain, shut down, immobilization, shame over immobilization, more pain, and more shut down.

The last people I would turn to for help in remobilizing a demoralized population are mental health professionals -- at least those who have not rebelled against their professional socialization. Much of the craft of relighting the pilot light requires talents that mental health professionals simply are not selected for nor are they trained in. Specifically, the talents required are a fearlessness around image, spontaneity, and definitely anti-authoritarianism. But these are not the traits that medical schools or graduate schools select for or encourage.

Mental health professionals' focus on symptoms and feelings often create patients who take themselves and their moods far too seriously. In contrast, people talented in the craft of maintaining morale resist this kind of self-absorption. For example, in the question-and-answer session that followed a Noam Chomsky talk (reported in Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky, 2002), a somewhat demoralized man in the audience asked Chomsky if he too ever went through a phase of hopelessness. Chomsky responded, "Yeah, every evening . . ."

If you want to feel hopeless, there are a lot of things you could feel hopeless about. If you want to sort of work out objectively what's the chance that the human species will survive for another century, probably not very high. But I mean, what's the point? . . . First of all, those predictions don't mean anything -- they're more just a reflection of your mood or your personality than anything else. And if you act on that assumption, then you're guaranteeing that'll happen. If you act on the assumption that things can change, well, maybe they will. Okay, the only rational choice, given those alternatives, is to forget pessimism."

A major component of the craft of maintaining morale is not taking the advertised reality too seriously. In the early 1960s, when the overwhelming majority in the U.S. supported military intervention in Vietnam, Chomsky was one of a minority of U.S. citizens actively opposing it. Looking back at this era, Chomsky reflected, "When I got involved in the anti-Vietnam War movement, it seemed to me impossible that we would ever have any effect. . . So looking back, I think my evaluation of the 'hope' was much too pessimistic: it was based on a complete misunderstanding. I was sort of believing what I read."

An elitist assumption is that people don't change because they are either ignorant of their problems or ignorant of solutions. Elitist "helpers" think they have done something useful by informing overweight people that they are obese and that they must reduce their caloric intake and increase exercise. An elitist who has never been broken by his or her circumstances does not know that people who have become demoralized do not need analyses and pontifications. Rather the immobilized need a shot of morale.

Bruce E. Levine is a clinical psychologist and his latest book is Surviving AmericaĆ¢€™s Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007). His Web site is

Sunday, January 24, 2010

America's Impending Master Class Dictatorship

Alternate Title: Jubilee Nation

FOREWORD: At certain times, focusing on the big picture is important not just for investment success, but for personal welfare, and even survival. We believe such times are here. It is estimated that 98% of Americans have never held a gold coin in their hands. Yet 100% of Americans regularly handle Federal Reserve Notes. From a contrarian standpoint, the financial message from those two statistics is clear. Even so, gold is much more than money or an investment medium; it stands for liberty and throughout history has facilitated escape and ensured freedom. Never having touched a gold coin is the monetary equivalent to never having breathed fresh air, felt the warmth of sunshine, looked up at the stars or risen from the gutter. Fiat Federal Reserve Notes are becoming nothing more than sewage decomposing in the vast, toxic septic tank of predatory Washington politics, epic Federal Reserve arrogance and error, blatant Wall Street fraud and outright Master Class plunder. Below, we outline America’s troubling and compounding predicament, and urge you to think about how to protect yourself from its consequences, both financially and personally.

Thanks to the endless barrage of feel-good propaganda that daily assaults the American mind, best epitomized a few months ago by the “green shoots,” everything’s-coming-up-roses propaganda touted by Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, the citizens have no idea how disastrous the country’s fiscal, monetary and economic problems truly are. Nor do they perceive the rapidly increasing risk of a totalitarian nightmare descending upon the American Republic.

One stark and sobering way to frame the crisis is this: if the United States government were to nationalize (in other words, steal) every penny of private wealth accumulated by America’s citizens since the nation’s founding 235 years ago, the government would remain totally bankrupt.

According to the Federal Reserve’s most recent report on wealth, America’s private net worth was $53.4 trillion as of September, 2009. But at the same time, America’s debt and unfunded liabilities totaled at least $120,000,000,000,000.00 ($120 trillion), or 225% of the citizens’ net worth. Even if the government expropriated every dollar of private wealth in the nation, it would still have a deficit of $66,600,000,000,000.00 ($66.6 trillion), equal to $214,286.00 for every man, woman and child in America and roughly 500% of GDP. If the government does not directly seize the nation’s private wealth, then it will require $389,610 from each and every citizen to balance the country’s books. State, county and municipal debts and deficits are additional, already elephantine in many states (e.g., California, Illinois, New Jersey and New York) and growing at an alarming rate nationwide. In addition to the federal government, dozens of states are already bankrupt and sinking deeper into the morass every day.

The government continues to dig a deeper and deeper fiscal grave in which to bury its citizens. This year, the federal deficit will total at least $1,600,000,000,000.00 ($1.6 trillion), which represents overspending of $4,383,561,600.00 ($4.38 billion) per day. (The deficit during October and November, 2009, the first two months of Fiscal Year 2010, totaled $296,700,000,000.00 ($297 billion), or $4,863,934,000.00 ($4.9 billion) per day, a record.) Using the GAAP accounting method (which is what corporations are required to use because it presents a far more accurate and honest picture of a company’s finances than the cash accounting method primarily and misleadingly used by the U.S. government), the nation’s fiscal year 2009 deficit was roughly $9,000,000,000,000.00 ($9 trillion), or $24,700,000,000.00 ($24.7 billion) per day, as calculated by brilliant and well-respected economist John Williams. ( Fiscal Year 2010’s cash- and GAAP-accounting deficits will likely be worse than 2009’s, given government bailout and new program spending that is on steroids and psychotic.

Putting Fiscal Year 2009’s $9,000,000,000,000.00 ($9 trillion) deficit another way, 17% of America’s private wealth, accumulated over a period of 235 years, was wiped out by just one year’s worth of government deficit spending insanity.

Given this, is it any surprise that Treasury Secretary Geithner has announced that the release of the nation’s FY 2009 supplemental GAAP financial statements has been delayed? Remember, this is the same Secretary Geithner who bullied people to cover up the sordid details of the AIG, or more accurately, the taxpayer-funded, multi-billion dollar, Santa Claus bailout and bonus bonanza for Goldman Sachs. Do you really think this government, characterized as it is by fiscal and monetary secrecy, lies, chicanery, cronyism and stonewalling, wants the people to know what is actually happening? Obviously, it does not, so it hides from the public the inexcusable facts.

It is estimated that the top 1% of Americans control roughly 40% of the nation’s wealth. In other words, 3 million people own $21,400,000,000,000.00 ($21.4 trillion) in net private assets, while the other 305 million own the remaining $32,000,000,000,000.00 ($32 trillion). 77,000,000 (77 million) Americans (the lowest 25%) have mean net assets of minus $2,300 ($-2,300.00) per person; they live from paycheck to paycheck, or on public assistance. The lower 50% of Americans own mean net assets of $27,800 each, about enough to purchase a modest car. Obviously, it would be impossible to retire on such an amount without significant government or other assistance. Meanwhile, the richest 10% of Americans possess mean net assets of $3,976,000.00 each, or 143 times those of the bottom 50%; the top 2% control assets worth more than 1,500 times those in the bottom 50%. When you combine these facts with Wall Street’s typical multi-million dollar annual bonuses, you get an idea of wealth inequality in America. Historically, such extreme inequality has been a well-documented breeding ground for totalitarianism.

If the government decides to expropriate (steal) or commandeer (e.g., force into Treasuries) America’s private wealth in order to buy survival time, such a measure will be designed to destroy the common citizens, not the elite. [ right now -- re-read the title of this blog -- thank you ] Insiders will be given advance warning about any such plan, and will be able to transfer their money offshore or into financial vehicles immune from harm. Assuming that the elite moves its money to safety, there would then be $120,000,000,000,000.00 ($120 trillion) in American debt and liabilities supported by only $32,000,000,000,000.00 ($32 trillion) in private net worth, for a deficit of $88,000,000,000,000.00 ($88 trillion). In that case, each American would owe $285,714.29 to balance the country’s books. (Remember to multiply this amount by every person in your household, including any infant children.)

If the common people suspect that something diabolical was in the works, a portion of the $32 trillion in non-elite wealth could be evacuated as well prior to a government expropriation and/or currency devaluation, resulting in less money for the government to steal. What these statistics mean is that it is absolutely impossible for the government to fund its debt and deficits, even if it steals all of the nation’s private wealth. Therefore, the government’s only solutions are either formal bankruptcy (outright debt repudiation and the dismantling of bankrupt government programs) or unprecedented American monetary inflation and debt monetization. If the government chooses to inflate its way out of this fiscal catastrophe, the United States dollar will essentially become worthless. You can be absolutely certain that a PhD. in economics, such as Dr. Bernanke, is well aware of these realities, despite what he might say in speeches. For that matter, so are Chinese schoolchildren, who, when patronized by Treasury Secretary Geithner about America’s “strong dollar,” laughed in his face. One day, perhaps America’s school children will receive a real education so that they, too, will know when to laugh at absurd propaganda.

The government has announced that during the fiscal years from 2010 through 2019, it will create an additional $9,000,000,000,000.00 ($9 trillion) in deficits, an amount that is almost certain to be understated by trillions given the country’s current economic trajectory. The government assumes that this vast additional deficit will be funded by others, such as the Chinese, as it is a statistical fact that the United States will be incapable of funding it.

Furthermore, with the budgetary equivalent of a straight face, the Office of Management and Budget reports in its long-term, inter-generational budget projection that the United States government will experience massive, non-stop deficits for the next 70 (SEVENTY) years, requiring the issuance of tens of trillions of dollars of additional debt. The OMB does not project even one year of surplus during the entire seventy year budget period.

These deficits and debts are now so gargantuan that they have become surreal abstractions impossible even for sophisticated financiers to begin to comprehend. The common citizen has absolutely no idea what these numbers mean, or imply for his or her future. The people have been deluded into thinking that America’s arrogant, egomaniacal, always-wrong-but-never-in-doubt fiscal witch doctors and charlatans, including Greenspan, Rubin, Summers, Geithner and Ponce de Bernanke, have discovered a Monetary Fountain of Youth that endlessly spits up free money from the center of earth, in a geyser of good will toward the United States. Unfortunately, this delusion is false: there is no Monetary Fountain of Youth, and contrary to the apparent beliefs of the self-deified man-gods in Washington, D.C., the debt and deficits are real, completely out of control, and 100% guaranteed to create catastrophic consequences for the nation and its people.

When government “representatives” deliberately sell into slavery the citizens of a so-called free Republic, they have committed treason against those people. This is exactly what has happened in the United States: the citizens have been sold into debt slavery that they and their descendants can never escape, because the debts piled onto their backs can never, ever be paid. Despite expensive and sophisticated brainwashing campaigns emanating from Washington, claiming that America can “grow” out of its deficits and debt, it is arithmetically impossible for the country to do so. The government’s statements that it can dig the nation out of its fiscal hole by digging an even deeper chasm have become parodies and perversions of even totally discredited and morally disgusting Keynesianism.

The people no longer have elected representatives; they have elected traitors.

The enslavement of the American people has been orchestrated by a pernicious Master Class that has taken the United States by the throat. This Master Class is now choking the nation to death as it accelerates its master plan to plunder the people’s dwindling remaining assets. The Master Class comprises politicians, the Wall Street money elite, the Federal Reserve, high-end government (including military) officials, government lobbyists and their paymasters, military suppliers and media oligarchs. The interests and mindset of the Master Class are so totally divorced from those of the average American citizen that it is utterly tone deaf and blind to the justifiable rage sweeping the nation. Its guiding ethics of greed, plunder, power, control and violence are so alien to mainstream American culture and thought that the Master Class might as well be an enemy invader from Mars. But the Master Class here, it is real and it is laying waste to America. To the members of the Master Class, the people are not fellow-citizens; they are instruments of labor, servitude and profit. At first, the Master Class viewed the citizens as serfs; now that they have raped and destroyed the national economy, while in the process amassing unprecedented wealth and power for themselves, they see the people as nothing more than slaves.

America’s public finances are now so completely dysfunctional and chaotic that something far worse than debt enslavement and monetary implosion, terrible curses unto themselves, looms on the horizon: namely, a Master Class-sponsored American dictatorship.

Throughout history, the type of situation in which America now finds itself has been a fertility factory for tyranny. The odds of an outright overthrow of the people by the Washington and Wall Street Axis, or more broadly, the Master Class are increasing dramatically. The fact that so few people believe an American dictatorship is possible is exactly why it is becoming likely.

The fact that so few people believe an American dictatorship is possible is exactly why it is becoming likely.

The fact that so few people believe an American dictatorship is possible is exactly why it is becoming likely.

Dictatorships have blighted history and ruined lives since the beginning of civilization. In recent times alone, tyrants such as Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Ceausescu, Amin, Hussein, Mussolini, Tojo, Kim, Pinochet, Milosevic, Tito, Batista, Peron, Pol Pot, Mugabe, Marcos, Somoza, Mengistu, Bokassa, Sese Seko, Franco, Ho Chi Minh, Mao, and Castro have power-sprayed blood onto the screen of time and ravaged mankind with murder, torture and human oppression. A full catalog of history’s tyrants would require a book of hundreds of pages. In the past 100 years alone, over 200 million human beings have been annihilated by wars, ethnic cleansings and government assassinations. Just when we think that civilization has been able to rise above tyranny’s inhumanity and disgrace, a new dictator appears on the scene to start the process all over again. Every time this happens, fear and submission paralyze the vast majority of the affected masses, leading them to “follow orders” and lick autocracy’s blood-stained boots.

History has proven to tyrants that oppression works. In fact, it is easy to control a populace, once you control the money, markets, military (including police), media and minions (the recipients of welfare, social security, free health care, government jobs and the like, who are dependent upon the state and likely to be compliant). This is exactly where the United States is today.

Recent American events paint an ominous picture of a Master Class that is now in total control.

When 90% of the American people vehemently rejected the $700,000,000,000.00 ($700 billion) TARP bailout plan, the Master Class put it on a fast track and approved it anyway.

When a clear majority of the American people said no to a government takeover of Chrysler and GM, the Master Class poured billions of taxpayer dollars into those corporate sinkholes and took them over anyway.

When the people said no to multi-trillion dollar crony bailouts for the bankers and insurers whose corruption had caused global financial mayhem, the government pledged to those elite insiders more than $13,000,000,000,000.00 ($13 trillion) of the people’s money anyway.

When the people expressed astonishment and anger that Wall Street planned to pay itself record 2009 bonuses, in the midst of America’s worst-ever fiscal and financial crisis caused by them, Wall Street stuffed its pockets with taxpayer-supported bonus money anyway.

When the people said no to a proposed $40,000,000,000.00 ($40 billion) bailout of AIG and its elite trading partners such as Goldman Sachs (an amount that subsequently exploded to $180,000,000,000.00+ ($180+ billion)), the Master Class went underground, covertly misappropriated taxpayer money and made the payoffs anyway.

When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were nationalized at enormous taxpayer expense, the government approved $6,000,000.00 individual pay packages in 2009 (150 times the average American wage) for the CEOs of both failed companies anyway.

When a clear majority of the people said no to nationalized health care, even after being bombarded by a multi-million dollar, lie-drenched propaganda campaign designed to bamboozle them, the House and Senate passed nationalized health care bills anyway.

When more than seven million American workers lost their jobs and were subsisting on unemployment benefits and food stamps, federal government employees, who now earn DOUBLE what private sector workers earn, were given another round of pay and benefits increases anyway.

When private sector workers’ 401Ks and IRA retirement plans plummeted in value due to economic collapse and endemic Wall Street-orchestrated market corruption (including systemic front running, flash trading, naked short selling and other manipulations), government “defined benefit,” lifetime-cost-of-living-adjusted pension plans, despite already being underfunded by $2,000,000,000,000.00 ($2 trillion), were made richer than ever anyway.

The long, shameful litany of events signaling the total divorce between the Master Class and the people of the United States doesn’t stop there. It goes on and on.

The message from the American Master Class to the American people is simple and clear:

We Defy You.

Governments that openly defy the people are either already totalitarian or in the process of becoming so. Monetarily, the United States clearly functions as a totalitarian dictatorship already, with a Federal Reserve that operates in secrecy, creates limitless amounts of debt and currency at will, and showers trillions of dollars upon favored Master Class insiders with zero transparency or accountability whatsoever. The Federal Reserve is so shameless about its dictatorial powers that it flatly refuses to provide details about multi-trillion dollar bailouts and rescues of privileged elites, in open defiance of Congress and the people. The fact that they get away with these blatant acts of defiance demonstrates the true extent of the Master Class chokehold on America.

If the Master Class were a benign despot and if its policies and programs actually worked, that would be one thing. But that is not the case. Rather, its programs are in a complete shambles.

Every single government entitlement program in the United States is bankrupt. This includes Social Security ($17,500,000,000,000.00 underfunded; $17.5 trillion); Medicare Part A ($36,700,000,000,000.00 underfunded; $36.7 trillion); Medicare Part B ($37,000,000,000,000.00 underfunded; $37 trillion); Medicare Part D ($15,600,000,000,000 underfunded; $15.6 trillion), Government and military pensions ($2,000,000,000,000 underfunded; $2 trillion), Food Stamps (current underfunding difficult to measure because the number of recipients is exploding; hundreds of billions underfunded versus original projections, minimum); and the list goes on. The above underfunding amounts are NET of projected tax receipts over the next 50 years. But the current recession has invalidated virtually all long-term budget and tax receipt assumptions, meaning that the true underfunded amounts are now greater than current, already mind-boggling estimates.

While the above statistics are terrifying enough to any citizen with a functioning brain, what is Twilight Zone-eerie and a far more serious cause for alarm is the casual indifference with which the Master Class is now making the country’s dire and irreparable fiscal circumstances even worse.

The nationalized health care program will cost at least $1 trillion over the next ten years, and most likely multiples of that. It is being crammed down America’s throat by a bankrupt government that does not have the money today and will not have the money tomorrow to pay for it. Worse is the fact that the same government that has bankrupted each and every existing social program now intends to directly or indirectly control the health care of all citizens. Based on the government’s existing track record and the health care program’s enormous complexity, invasiveness and cost, the probability that it will become a national fiscal and humanitarian catastrophe is roughly 100%.

“Cap and Trade” is a multi-trillion dollar tax scam being foisted onto the American public without a legitimate debate or popular referendum. You might be surprised to learn that “Climate Revenues” are already included in the federal budget, starting with $79,000,000,000.00 ($79 billion) in fiscal year 2012, which begins only 20 months from now. During fiscal years 2012 through 2019, the government expects to collect $646,000,000,000.00 ($646 billion) in “Climate Revenues,” a completely new tax category. Have any of your elected traitors told you that they have enacted $646,000,000,000.00 ($646 billion) in “Climate” taxes beginning twenty months from now and continuing forever? These “Climate Revenues” are based on junk science, lies and hysteria, and have been pimped by greed-diseased parasites who seek to make billions from operating and manipulating the Cap and Trade “marketplace.” Favored elitists such as Hank Paulson, Al Gore, General Electric and Goldman Sachs, among others, have positioned themselves to profit from the nation’s upcoming Cap and Trade tax misery and economic debilitation.

The reality is that the giant Ponzi scheme called the United States of America is running out of money. In any Ponzi scheme, money must constantly be poured into the top of the funnel in order to pay the redeemers at the bottom. As the number of redeemers has grown, tax receipts have fallen far short of covering their withdrawals, a problem that has now become an outright government funding emergency further aggravated by the fiscal, financial and economic crises.

If the Washington and Wall Street Axis were not legally able to create and distribute counterfeit American money, the Ponzi scheme would have collapsed already. Trillions of new, out-of-thin-air, printing-press and electronic “dollars” have bought the Axis additional time, but new sources of revenue must immediately be found to keep the scam alive. Congress is fully aware of this reality. Outright tax increases would be bad politics during a recession that is morphing into a depression, and also bad for 2010 re-election campaigns, so they cannot be implemented. Therefore, Congress continues to advance the health care and Cap and Trade agendas, which are nothing but taxation Trojan Horses festooned in righteousness and sanctimony, despite overwhelming popular opposition.

If the nationalized health care program is passed, revenues and fees will kick in immediately in 2010, whereas costs will not begin to accrue until 2012 and later. The government plans to spend the revenues immediately to forestall a total fiscal collapse. Nationalized health care has absolutely nothing to do with health care; it has to do with creating an immediate revenue stream to help fix the current government funding crisis. Similarly, Cap and Trade has nothing to do with fixing the environment. It, too, is nothing more than a massive tax increase similarly designed to address the government’s epic funding shortfall, with thick slices of pork thrown in for privileged insiders and deceitful propagandists like bloated “Father of the Internet” and now “Savior of the World” Al Gore.

The last thing the Master Class wants is for the people to understand the disastrous state of the nation’s finances. Master Class brainwashing tells the people that it is “negative” and “pessimistic” to look at the facts, despite the fact that psychological health is characterized by the ability to identify and deal with reality. The Master Class wants the people to put on Bozo the Clown happy faces and let sugar plums and green shoots dance in their brains as they write one check after another to pay for Cap and Trade, nationalized health care, and a mind-numbing assortment of other taxes and fees.

On Sunday night, November 30, 2009, North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Il (a name that says it all, even better than Made-off’s), an international poster child of Master Class psychological illness, devalued his country’s currency by 99%. This vicious tyrant, who has given birth to a national hell on earth, is chauffeured in Mercedes Benz limousines, drinks the finest imported whiskies and dines in imperial dignity on foods prepared by personal chefs while his citizens starve to death on the streets or, at best, eke out a subsistence living. Kim became paranoid that the people were actually figuring out how to improve their pitiful, impoverished lives in tiny ways, so he decided to wipe them out. The people were given one week to exchange their money at a rate of 100 old Won for 1 new Won. Any lifetime family savings in excess of roughly $700.00 were simply confiscated by the North Korean government. To keep the people in line, the military and police were put on high alert, fully prepared to kill or arrest any protesters.

On January 9, 2010, Venezuela’s strong man Hugo Chavez devalued his country’s currency by 50%, overnight and without warning, causing immediate inflation, shortages of food and supplies, and general financial chaos throughout the nation.

While you might be shaking your head in pity over the plight of the citizens of North Korea and Venezuela, ask yourself this: could this not happen in the United States?

On April 5, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, an Obama hero, outlawed gold ownership overnight by signing Executive Order 6102, which gave the people three and one-half weeks to surrender all privately-owned bullion to the government for a price of $20.67 per ounce. On January 30, 1934, nine months after collecting the people’s gold, Roosevelt devalued the dollar 69% overnight, by raising the gold price from $20.67 to $35.00 per ounce.

Since its founding in 1913, the Federal Reserve has devalued the dollar by 98+% thanks to endless money printing and debt creation, a corrosive and impoverishing process that is now accelerating. In the past year, the Fed has engineered $20+ trillion in bailouts, subsidies and guarantees for well-connected and lucky scavengers and opportunists, an amount equal to roughly 40% of the total private wealth created in this country since its inception. All because a few elitist government man-gods with an almost perfect record of error and failure have deemed in their imperial wisdom that it shall be so. The citizens, whose hard-earned wealth is being systematically destroyed by this continual, government-decreed monetary debasement were never invited to the debate or given a say, which is par for the course for dictatorships. This massive de facto devaluation now hangs over the people’s wealth like a great monetary sword of Damocles.

Conceptually, whether it is a 50% overnight devaluation in Venezuela, a 69% overnight devaluation in the United States, a 98% devaluation in America over time, or a 99% overnight devaluation in North Korea, what is the difference? The fact is: there is no difference; monetary debasements are all the same. In each and every case, the people’s wealth is stolen via government edict, while the people stand by helplessly and in shock.

So one must ask: For whom does the bell toll? A foreign “them,” or a domestic us? Who is to say that you will not be told tomorrow morning that, effective immediately, in accordance with some perversely named mandate such as the “American Monetary Security, Wealth Preservation and Terrorism Prevention Act,” enacted by emergency for “the safety of the nation and the financial well being of the citizens,” all existing currency and bank balances will be redenominated in “New Dollars,” at a conversion rate of 1 new for every 100 old currency units? Would this not simply be another, almost predictable act of defiance toward the American people by the Master Class? And if that happened, do you honestly believe that the Master Class would not have been alerted in advance and allowed to make special preparations for itself ahead of the devaluation? Do you think they intend to go down in the same ship as the people they defy? If such a currency devaluation were announced, what could you do about it? March on Washington? But how would you get there if your money had been wiped out?

Despite what you may hear from State Media, which includes virtually all establishment news organizations, particularly financial ones (e.g., CNBC), America is on the precipice. No bankrupt nation in history has ever defended or preserved the freedoms of its citizens. In fact, it has been the exact opposite: in desperation, bankrupt governments have routinely plundered their citizens’ wealth and imposed totalitarian controls. What will make things different for the United States, the largest debtor nation in all of recorded civilization?

The United States government cannot ever, possibly pay its debts, is pathologically incapable of controlling its spending or curbing its hunger for both domestic and international empire and persistently refuses to tell the American people the truth. If America’s citizens were told the truth and given the benefit of true leadership, as opposed to the guile and dishonesty of an endless array of political liars and hacks, perhaps they could rally and defeat the problems that afflict them. But instead, they are fed by the Master Class a steady diet of narcotic propaganda that deludes, confuses and enervates them. The truth cannot set people free if it is never told, and that is the essence of America’s gathering tragedy.

In a future article, we will detail specific developments you should watch for to chart the course of America’s ominous and potentially deadly national storm. The current, grave situation is already a clear call to action. When the signals become even more urgent, it will be late in the game to take protective action, and possibly too late. Citizens should begin to prepare now not just for financial survival, but for the personal security of themselves and their loved ones should a Category 5 economic and political hurricane rip into the nation, something that becomes more likely every day.

With respect to personal finances, in virtually every national currency devaluation and major political upheaval in the past, gold has represented sanctuary for the affected people. Gold has not just preserved wealth, but personal freedom as well. While governments can devalue fiat currencies, they cannot, by edict, devalue gold. Yes, they can try to manipulate its price, but unless all governments join in the collusion, ultimately the price will return to market. The market for gold is global, and demand exists in all nations and among all peoples. Should the government attempt to confiscate gold, it will be an outright admission that the financial system is collapsing, and the people will know better than to hand over to a corrupt government their only means of survival. The most important point is this: devalued currencies never rise again. Once they are destroyed, they are gone forever, and those whose wealth had once been denominated in them are wiped out. As you have no doubt heard before, not one fiat currency has survived over time, and that is an indisputable fact. More significantly, no fiat currency has ever suffered the abuse that has been inflicted upon the United States dollar, meaning that it is at extreme risk. Gold has been money for 5,000 years. It has not merely survived, it has prevailed over each and every fiat currency collapse throughout history. Given this, the most important financial question a person can ask him- or herself today is: How is my wealth denominated at this time? And given its denomination, is my wealth likely to be safe in current and evolving circumstances?

One thing is certain: as the epic David and Goliath monetary battle unfolds, between the people fighting to defend their hard-earned wealth on one side, and a Master Class that greedily and pathologically wants to plunder them on the other, the price of gold will become extremely volatile for a period of time. Volatility will, in fact, tell you that the War on Wealth has officially been declared, and will be your signal to do whatever you must to protect what is yours. As the government Goliath and its Master Class allies short tonnes of bullion into rigged futures markets in a desperate attempt to make gold look dangerous and risky, the Davids will be coming forth not just in the United States but from all corners of the globe, buying 10 grams here and one ounce there. There are 6.8 billion Davids, versus one diseased Master Class that numbers in the small millions. There is no way the Master Class can defeat the people, if the people finally rise up and say “No More of Your Plunder. No More of Your Cold and Soulless Financial Oppression. No More of Your Cynical and Godless Exploitation.”

If you find the above argument compelling, you should consider how to protect yourself from Executive Orders that could be issued at any time, under any pretext, and that could be extremely hostile to your financial and/or personal health and well being. One simple way to start is to purchase one ounce of gold for yourself and each member of your household, and much more if you can afford it. That is not financial advice; it is merely the common sense generously communicated to you by history.

Stewart Dougherty