Sunday, September 21, 2008
The Triumvirate and the Plunderbund (Major Update, September 25)
Ave, Triumvirate -- the MMVIII version, in any case.
"The risks of doing nothing far outweigh the risks of whatever it takes to disarm Saddam Hussein."
George W. Bush, February 10, 2003 (and several other occasions prior to the second Iraq war)
"The risk of doing nothing far outweighs the risk of the [$700 billion-plus mortgage bail-out] package."
George W. Bush, September 20, 2008
A foolish consistency, we are told, is the hobgoblin of little minds, and -- this side of Sean Hannity, at least -- it's difficult to find anyone more consistently foolish, or more obviously small-minded, than George W. Bush.
During the nearly eight years his presidency has blighted our country, the Bushling has been a roving epicenter of disaster. And he has greeted each crisis with an indecent, if throughly predictable, eagerness to expand his own power, and that of the embedded oligarchy that produced him.
With the embarrassing enthusiasm of a dim-witted schoolchild, he strikes resolute poses and utters the same handful of banalities that translate into one perfectly consistent demand: Shut up and submit.
The one defining idea of George W. Bush's career -- and trust me, one idea is the storage capacity of his tiny yet uncluttered mind -- is this: As creatures of privilege, he and his cronies are permitted to do whatever they please. This is what made him so useful to the Power Elite that stands poised this week to impose a system of undisguised fascism on our country.
Necessity, warned Noah Webster, is the "old stale plea" of those who seek autocratic powers. For such people, deliberation is impermissible, and dissent unthinkable. "Necessity," we are now told, demands that Congress ratify, without delay or qualification, a measure dictated by Henry Paulson, the swindler heading the Treasury Department, that would elevate him to the status of economic dictator.
Relatively brief in length and austere in language, the bailout measure could be digested even further into one pithy statement: Congress hereby abdicates its constitutional power over appropriating and spending revenue to the Secretary of the Treasury, who has the power to spend any amount in any way he sees fit without being subject to oversight or accountability of any kind.
The entire purpose of the $700 billion bailout bill is embodied in Section 8 of the text: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."
Section 9 is likewise fraught with significance: "The authorites under this Act ... shall terminate two years from the date of enactment of this Act." Mr. Bush and his clique, including Paulson, are required by law to vacate their offices next January 20. Yet this measure appears to assume that Paulson will remain at his post for at least the next two years, since it's difficult to imagine that he would be able to "resolve" the crisis in only four months. Would the incoming president be forbidden by law to remove Paulson?
The Irrelevant Election
One thing is all but certain. If this measure passes, it really won't matter who wins the presidential election, or any congressional election, since Congress will have consummated the craven promise it has made on several occasions by surrendering the power over the public purse to an economic Fuhrer who embodies the interests of the Wall Street plunderbund.
All your wealth are belong to us! Someone set up us the mortgage bomb!
(Thanks to Anthony Gregory; click for detail.)
The Bush Regime (I hope that by now people would understand why that term must be used to describe the outfit ruling our nation) has made demands of this kind before, and Congress has acquiesced every time.
The post-9/11 "Authorization for Use of Military Force" was essentially an enabling act permitting the president and his handlers to wage unlimited foreign war and obliterate the Bill of Rights. A year later, Congress was panicked into ratifying the Regime's plan for war with Iraq (without issuing the constitutionally mandatory congressional declaration). In September 2006, Congress enacted the Military Commissions Act, which abolished the ancient habeas corpus guarantee and subverted the judicial system by creating a separate system to try accused terrorists. Just this spring the Democrat-controlled Congress acceded to the Bush Regime's demands for retroactive immunity to telecom companies that connived in its warrantless wiretapping program.
They've been practicing: Black-clad Homeland Security troops (the term "police" is inadequate) surround peaceful demonstrators in preparation for a mass arrest during the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
On each occasion, the Bush Regime has reiterated the "old, stale plea of necessity" while haranguing Congress and the public about the unthinkably horrible things that would ensue were the Regime denied any of the extraordinary powers it sought.
Our nation is now committed to open-ended foreign war, and burdened with a militarized homeland security state at home. Now the same disaster-drenched elite is demanding the power to seize all of our wealth -- such as it is -- and the power to redistribute it to their super-rich cronies in any way they please, without owing an accounting to anybody.
We have long since ceased to be a republic in anything other than the most wistful, aspirational sense. The system coalescing around us is built on a de facto Triumvirate: The Fed Chairman controls the currency, the Treasury Secretary supervises wealth redistribution, and the president -- whoever it is -- presides over foreign wars and internal security.
Regarding the latter, an ominous portent presents itself: On October 1, for the first time in our history, the military will assign an active-duty unit -- the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team -- as a an "on-call federal response force" for homeland security. No good will come of this, and we'll be seeing much more of it as the crisis matures. In the emerging order, each Triumvir would exercise plenary power within his realm. And the three of them would operate not on behalf of the public weal, but for the benefit of the Robber Class.
What can we do?
First, there is a small chance that the bailout bill, aka the Mother of All Swindles, can be derailed by a focused outpouring of public opposition.
There, now -- doesn't it feel better to enjoy a good, hearty laugh, even one flavored with frustrated bitterness?
I thought so.
In all seriousness, we have to make an effort to compel our "representatives" to oppose the bailout, not only because it would reduce the middle class to abject penury and peonage but because the only way genuine recovery can occur is if the current system is permitted to collapse immediately.
We confront a choice of catastrophes. The real tragedy is that the choice really isn't ours. But we still have time to fortify our positions. As someone who has dealt with a miniature version of this crisis in the form of a catastrophic family illness coupled with sudden, unexpected unemployment, I offer the following advice as the product of experience.
1) A gathering of the clans. Home, as Robert Frost put it, is the place where, "if you have to go there, they have to take you in." The moral obligation to help family is irreducible and non-negotiable. And families are little self-contained nations, even though that proposition emphatically doesn't work in reverse.
If you can, get close to your family right now and begin immediately to pool your resources, and, if possible, to help each other with your liabilities. This is particularly true if you have parents or grandparents who (like my mother and father) have a garden and a huge reserve of stored and home-canned food, and perhaps their own well. Be prepared to give as much as you get, pitching in to do whatever is needed to sustain the extended family as one discrete community.
2) Build a cushion. How dependent are you on "just-in-time" provisions at the local grocery store? The local gas station or convenience store? Can you reduce that dependency in order to survive for, say, two weeks? Or even a month?
Last Spring, our family bought a large quantity of wheat and beans, as well as a small store of dehydrated victuals. It was expensive then. It's more expensive now. But laying in a modest store of emergency food is no longer merely a good idea; it's imperative.
3) De-couple from the dollar. I'm not an investment analyst or adviser. I'm not going to tell you what investment vehicles you should choose or abandon. I would simply point out that the dollar was already heading irreversibly in one direction, and that the bailout would dramatically accelerate its decline.
We're assured that bank deposits under 100K are insured by the FDIC. But that agency is as bankrupt as the banks it insures.
From that fact flow some logical conclusions about the rational course of action regarding our bank deposits. It will be helpful to have cash on hand, even though its value declines every day.
And it's a good idea to have physical possession of some commodity money. The prices for gold and silver, which guttered before the financial meltdown, are heading skyward once again. They're still a bargain (silver in particular) for those seeking a safe haven. "Junk" silver (pre-1964 coinage and '65-'70 Kennedy 40% silver half-dollars) is important as both a haven and as negotiable currency in the likely event of a currency crash.
Just a typical rural Sheriff's department in Amerika, MMVIII.
4) Gather intelligence on the occupation force. In the event of localized or general breakdowns in public order, the police will not protect us.
That is not their mission, and it never has been. Armed self-defense is a task we cannot delegate, and we shouldn't want to.
When riots ulcerated Los Angeles in 1992, the only property owners in the affected areas who avoided catastrophic loss were the Korean-American shopkeepers who mounted armed patrols to repel the looters. Our rulers apparently learned from that experience. Witness the fact that in post-Katrina New Orleans and similar recent disasters, an immediate priority for the forces of official "order" was to disarm the law-abiding and let the looters have free rein.
What do we know about our local police and Sheriff's departments? What are their procedures for dealing with disasters, riots, and other emergencies? How many personnel do they employ? Do they have SWAT or tactical teams? Are they manned by dutiful statist automata, or are at least a few men in the mold of Ramon Perez and other officers of conscience who would scruple to carry out manifestly corrupt and unconstitutional orders?
One way to find out is to attend a citizen police academy or similar program offered by your local affiliate of the Homeland Security State. Programs of this kind exist nation-wide, and each offers an opportunity for suitably attentive and discreet individuals to scout out the intentions and capabilities of those who would be called on to occupy and regiment our neighborhoods in the event of a fully-realized social collapse.
Much of the foregoing is grim advice. But remember that those who prepare for the worst are never disappointed.
Update: Circling the bowl....
China has finally decided to stop lending money to U.S. banks. The countdown begins to Beijing's decision to dump its Treasury notes, which have to be considered a slightly higher grade of "toxic" securities.
The Bushling insists that "the market isn't functioning properly" by punishing people who made bad decisions. Remember, this is a guy with no experience in an honest job -- so it's not surprising to learn that beneath the thin veneer of "conservatism" Bush is as red as a beet.
Now Bush is inviting both presidential candidates to "suspend" their campaigns. Any bets as to whether we'll actually have an election this November?
On sale now!
Dum spiro, pugno!
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Been anticipating this for over a decade. Attended "un-regulated militia" meetings back then. They were infiltrated. If they were taking place today all would be arrested and jailed. It was at those meetings that we first learned about the Fed. Reserve and all the other lies. All the stuff discussed at those meetings that was labeled the rantings of lunatics is now being mentioned in the general population. Even had a govt. goon squad terrorize me in my own house for nothing. The masses remained asleep. Too late.
Learn your area inside and out. Know how to walk places off the road or sidewalks. Don't discuss politics or how much you dislike Shrub the Decider someone could be an informant. Also remember survival won't be based on how much ammunition, how tight your grouping is at 20yards, how much food and potable water you have survival will also be the good lord looking out for you.
If things get that bad for the dollar, it seems to me that other currencies wouldn't be much better, commodity money would prevail. Also, some states passed laws in the wake of Katrina saying the government may not confiscate weapons from the people. I believe Bush signed a federal law to that effect as well. Of course, we know what the law means to these people, but at least it's something.
REM + Billy Joel =
"we didn't start the end of the world as we know it!"
:-) my first link!!!
Learn how to barter and become good at it.
I just came back from the country of Peru. Life still goes on even with a devalued currency and a corrupt government. It is amazing to see the number of opportunities that exist for ambitious entrepurneurs - even when the system around you is broken.
Good to know I'm not the only one that feels powerless. And I do. I long since gave up writing to my "representative."
Overall good advice Will.
This house of cards is going down, and the hedonistic and amoral will be partying in the building until the walls come down around them.
BTW I couldn't help but think of these guys when you spoke about the triumvirate.
Sorry for the blast from the past. Bonus points if anyone can tell me who they are...
A note of appreciation from the rich
By Author Unknown
21/09/08 "ICH' -- - Let's be honest: you'll never win the lottery.
On the other hand, the chances are pretty good that you'll slave away at some miserable job the rest of your life. That's because you were in all likelihood born into the wrong social class. Let's face it -- you're a member of the working caste. Sorry!
As a result, you don't have the education, upbringing, connections, manners, appearance, and good taste to ever become one of us. In fact, you'd probably need a book the size of the yellow pages to list all the unfair advantages we have over you. That's why we're so relieved to know that you still continue to believe all those silly fairy tales about "justice" and "equal opportunity" in America.
Of course, in a hierarchical social system like ours, there's never been much room at the top to begin with. Besides, it's already occupied by us -- and we like it up here so much that we intend to keep it that way. But at least there's usually someone lower in the social hierarchy you can feel superior to and kick in the teeth once in a while. Even a lowly dishwasher can easily find some poor slob further down in the pecking order to sneer and spit at. So be thankful for migrant workers, prostitutes, and homeless street people.
Always remember that if everyone like you were economically secure and socially privileged like us, there would be no one left to fill all those boring, dangerous, low-paid jobs in our economy. And no one to fight our wars for us, or blindly follow orders in our totalitarian corporate institutions. And certainly no one to meekly go to their grave without having lived a full and creative life. So please, keep up the good work!
You also probably don't have the same greedy, compulsive drive to possess wealth, power, and prestige that we have. And even though you may sincerely want to change the way you live, you're also afraid of the very change you desire, thus keeping you and others like you in a nervous state of limbo. So you go through life mechanically playing your assigned social role, terrified what others would think should you ever dare to "break out of the mold."
Naturally, we try to play you off against each other whenever it suits our purposes: high-waged workers against low-waged, unionized against non-unionized, Black against White, male against female, American workers against Japanese against Mexican against.... We continually push your wages down by invoking "foreign competition," "the law of supply and demand," "national security," or "the bloated federal deficit." We throw you on the unemployed scrap heap if you step out of line or jeopardize our profits. And to give you an occasional break from the monotony of our daily economic blackmail, we allow you to participate in our stage-managed electoral shell games, better known to you ordinary folks as "elections." Happily, you haven't a clue as to what's really happening -- instead, you blame "Aliens," "Tree-hugging Environmentalists," "Niggers," "Jews," Welfare Queens," and countless others for your troubled situation.
We're also very pleased that many of you still embrace the "work ethic," even though most jobs in our economy degrade the environment, undermine your physical and emotional health, and basically suck your one and only life right out of you. We obviously don't know much about work, but we're sure glad you do!
Of course, life could be different. Society could be intelligently organized to meet the real needs of the general population. You and others like you could collectively fight to free yourselves from our domination. But you don't know that. In fact, you can't even imagine that another way of life is possible. And that's probably the greatest, most significant achievement of our system -- robbing you of your imagination, your creativity, your ability to think and act for yourself.
So we'd truly like to thank you from the bottom of our heartless hearts. Your loyal sacrifice makes possible our corrupt luxury; your work makes our system work. Thanks so much for "knowing your place" -- without even knowing it!
"I received the following communication today. It appears the Government has new Lego building blocks to play with. Prison cells that are designed to snap together to build a prison anywhere at any time to meet the demand.
The new Lego style can be snapped together to make a hundred, a thousand, or hundred thousand cell prisons, two, three, or ten blocks high. Rather expensive to make these mobile type units don't you think? Our government must see a need for them somewhere. Your home town when needed maybe?
Move em in, move em out when and where needed! The people need to confiscate a few of these units and stack them in DC and Wall Street. They are truly needed there and could be put to good use."
Sent FYI from,
PS: Video of Cell placement for final unit design:
While the federal apparatus grows more out of control, at least the local authorities here in New Orleans seemed to have learned a few lessons from the post-Katrina stormtrooper fustercluck. This time around, when Gustav hit, the city announced that while no one would be dragged out their homes at gunpoint and have their weapons confiscated, no one choosing to stay (like me) could count on any city services either. You can stay if you want, but if you get injured and call 911, you can't count on an ambulance showing up. Fair enough; that's the way it should be. The public outrage the city received after the post-Katrina goonfest evidently shamed the city into better behavior. Police and National Guard simply patrolled the streets to discourage looters, which worked remarkably well. There was very little looting this time in a city which for several days was down to less than 10% its normal population (evacuation). More importantly, law-abiding citizens were left alone. I believe that it was the public outrage expressed by people like yourself over the stormtrooper excesses last time that brought about a much more benign official response this time. For a change, the guys wearing uniforms were actually here to help; however, I can't help but think that this may have been the last time I witness such a thing.
I sure hope we're both wrong, Will. I hate being right all the time.
Your postings are always excellent. Thanks for this one. Ten years ago, most people poo-pooed Y2K, saying, in essence, this country was too big to fail. But those of us who knew better, DID prepare for the worst. Now that the decline of our country is moving at the speed of a runaway freight train, those Y2K preppers now know that those preparations were not for a potential crisis, but one of impending actuality a decade hence. Our family moved from the city to a rural location where we have the space to raise our own food. Our buckets of food staples, medical supplies, etc. are safely stored in the basement. What some of us saw 10 yrs ago should be a wake-up call for those today. If you see a problem, the prudent thing is to make plans to see you through it.
anon @ 716
In addition to traditional self-sufficiency and fieldcraft based survival strategies, I would look into agorism and mutual aid for social-based survival strategies. Wikipedia is a good place to start. A better world can be built even in the darkest of times.
I find the Oct 1st deployment of Army forces on US soil to be a rather convenient timing for an October surprise. I just wonder what the event will be, they are obviously anticipating angry Americans in need of big brother style shepherding.
Police defend MCCain from dangerous grandmother with sign.
Hell it's about time for a cia/mossad false flag attack isn't it? The Serfs are getting restless some are even alert to this fox guarding the henhouse bull biscuits bailout. Ohh and try harder government trained chimpanzees of Das Homeland security we know your watching. Stare into the abyss and it stares into you.
It's time to bring back the family
farm, in a big way.
Rather than writing your Congressman & Senators by yourself, I would suggest getting at least 10 friends and relatives to write your Congressman and Senators along with you. If they have a local phone #, give them a 3 minute phone call also.
If Davey Crockett told us back in the early 1800's that federal charity for the poor is UnConstitutional, why would federal charity for wealthy investors and CEO's now be Constitutional??
I keep a stack of "The New American" from the mid 90s in the latrine in case the Sack N' Save runs out of toilet paper. I do like the James Thornton and Jane H. Ingraham articles and the Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership are kinda cool.
ripe canker blossom -- unless you keep your head in the place where you choose to insert your issues of TNA, they really won't do you much good.
FWIW, I entirely agree with you about Fr. Thornton and Jane Ingraham, and the JPFO is a terrific organization.
From the comments of KongressKlowns in the hearings this week, it's clear that enraged constituents are letting them have it with both barrels. Several of them have said that constituent comments are running 99 to 1 against the bailout.
On the other hand, the wholly arbitrary number of "$700 billion" has become a meme, as it gets repeated over and over, even by opponents of the bailout. And you can hear the usual trial balloons of compromise -- IF limits on executive compensation are added; IF the Treasury gets warrants or preferred stock in the institutions availing themselves of the program; THEN we can make a deal and go home to campaign.
Warren Buffett extracted astonishingly harsh terms from Goldman Sachs -- a ten (10) percent interest rate on preferred stock, plus IN THE MONEY warrants -- that is, call options with a strike price below the current market price of GS stock, giving them an immediate intrinsic value. These are terms that venture capitalists typically would demand from a bunch of 20-something tech entrepreneurs operating from their garage -- high interest, plus an ownership stake. If blue-chip Goldman Sachs is compelled to accede to such terms, what happens to the lesser denizens of corporate America -- not to mention the forsaken "little people"?
The Ponzi economy is collapsing, as every confidence scheme must do. Shoving taxpayers into the role of "bottom-pickers" and "greater fools" to bail out Wall Street is both wrong and futile. As Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) said in a riveting address to the House (available on YouTube), we want those fat bonuses and securitization fees disgorged, right down to "the tires on your Mercedes." Rock on, Marcy!
My instinct is that one way or another, this shameful deal is going to get done. Bushco's "push mode" will be (1) crash the stock market; (2) crash the dollar; (3) crash some more buildings. Step by step, there's a bailout in your future. But there's no rule of law, and no constitution. We've moved on from such quiant notions ... haven't we.
And as to your local law enforcement, federalized police are like Africanized bees -- mindlessly, lethally hostile.
Breaking news! Songbird McCain knows Diebold has this one in the bag so he is suspending his campaign to work on the bailout(ripoff). Awww isn't that kind putting country first and all.
"Shut up and submit" sums things up perfectly. Congress has already assumed the role of a department within the executive branch rather than coequal branch of government. The imperial kleptocracy now expects it to immediately fork over $700 billion simply because they have labeled the request urgent. I wonder how many more "urgent" requests for vast sums of money will be made in the months and years ahead?
Who's going to pay for this:
If you reply, "The people," how will it be exacted from them?
Not for publication:
Sorry, I'm about to post an amended version of my previous post, which you'll identify when you receive the amendment. I ask that the earlier version not be posted. Thanks.
Who's going to pay for this:
If you reply, "The people," how's it going to be exacted—and, moreover, what is going to be exacted?
These numbers they throw around how can one even visualize how much they are? Uh huh China is pulling the plug you knew it would happen as were the number one debtor nation. Were number one woo hoo. False flag is just around the corner folks. Will the Shrub declare himself Fuhrer for life? Since they'll probably kill us all anyway let's use this voice why we still can.
They are denying the story the story regarding China halting lending to U.S. banks.
What do you make of that?
Jeri Lynn, I think this was a trial Balloon by Beijing to test market reaction.
Excellent article. I think this "bailout" is the equivalent of the British Parliament's Stamp Act, which many colonial Americans saw as the last straw in their experience of British economic tyranny. America is finally coming to life, and it is angry! That's why the American combat troops are coming home to be used against us. The fascist elite know what's coming, and they want it to happen! An insurrection will be a perfect excuse for martial law, the permanent "suspension" of what's left of the Constitution, the permanent "suspension" of elections, and the herding of the population into the FEMA camps, where the "reliable" people will be sorted out from the "troublemakers". The "reliables" will come out to live lives of abject poverty and slavery, and the "troublemakers" will never come out of the camps alive. If we fail to revolt, the fascists will launch a false flag "insurrection" that will suit their purpose. Believe me, they have thought of everything.
The New American Revolution: Break The Bank
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