“Insanity,” according to a famous definition, is a condition revealed by the habit of doing exactly the same thing repeatedly in earnest anticipation of a different result. A closely related form of derangement is megalomania, a prominent symptom of which is an individual’s self-exalting belief that he is the divine exception that can make that different result occur.
When it’s displayed in private pursuits, megalomania is a harmless if pitiable condition. When coupled with political power, it becomes the propellant of large-scale social experiments that ruin societies and kill people by the tens of millions.
Barack Obama suffers from an acute case.
There are many things to like about Mr. Obama. As far as the public record attests, in personal terms he is genial, polite, and gracious. These traits contrast quite sharply with the casual bullying favored by the withered little cretin who presently occupies the White House.
Obama appears to be a devoted husband, and an exceptional father to his adorable daughters – traits which provide a very welcome contrast to the previous Democratic occupant of the Oval Office.
He is a remarkably disciplined individual and a decent writer. He has a good jump shot.
And if he manages to acquire a tithe of the power he seeks, Mr. Obama – or, more properly, the government over which he will preside – will probably end up killing many of us, either indirectly through the privations that result from a centrally planned economy, or through the direct application of the lethal force on which such economies depend.
Obama is a reasonably bright fellow. Somebody he respects – assuming there is any great enough to command his attention and rebuke his errors – needs to ask him this question, and compel him to answer:
If the key to prosperity is a centrally planned economy fueled by fiat currency, why isn’t Zimbabwe the wealthiest nation in history?
"Communism = Soviets + Electification," decrees the caption of this propaganda poster promoting one of Moscow's many "economic stimulus" initiatives. (Poster photos via A Soviet Poster A Day.)
The Electoral College has yet to elect Mr. Obama to anything, yet he and his Gosplan are putting the finishing touches on a grandiose plan to collectivize the entire American economy – that is, what remains of it – as an “economic stimulus.” Toward that end, Obama and his comrades have made it clear that they aren’t concerned about the number of zeros they add to the national debt.
There is a significant difference between “stimulus” as practiced by Bush the Lesser and the variety envisioned by Barack the Blessed (Peace Be Upon Him).
Bush and Greespan dispatched “tax rebate” checks to American consumers and flooded the country with “liquidity,” bidding all and sundry to go spend as their appetites dictated.
Obama and Bernanke, however, prefer to dictate the spending priorities on behalf of the population. Or as the Chicago Tribune summarized: “In recent years, federal stimulus packages sometimes amounted to giving Americans checks with a goal of stoking consumer spending. Obama’s transition team wants to mold a package that tracks the policy ideas he laid out during his presidential campaign and put people to work immediately.”
In just the past three months, the Bush Regime – with the conspicuous support of Mr. Bush’s successor – has appropriated the equivalent of half our Gross Domestic Product to bail out Wall Street. Obama apparently seeks to pick up the spare, as it were, by putting the rest of the economy under the control of the political class – for our own good, of course.
The plan is to put people to work on projects ordained by Obama and his omnicompetent vanguard of visionaries. The immediate priority would be “Green jobs, health-care technology and infrastructure,” one aide informed the Tribune. The paper ominously notes that “Obama aides have been privately consulting a range of interest groups about economic recovery.”
The New York Times uncharacteristically told something close to the truth when it observed that the Obama plan “would be in part a government-directed industrial policy, with lawmakers and administration officials picking winners and losers among private projects and raining large amounts of taxpayer money on them.”
Of course, a “private” project that receives taxpayer funds is now a government program.
During the reign of Bush the Lesser, this approach was called “privatization,” an artfully dishonest term that effectively inverts the truth. Who knows what tortured neologism will be coined to describe that process under Obama. But the substance of the matter is this: Bush presided over the most radical expansion of government control over the American economy in history, and Obama promises to regiment whatever embattled remnants of the private economy Bush may have overlooked.
Without the benefit of an inaugural ceremony, Obama is already dictating the terms of survival for those troubled industries who, in their panic over the unfolding depression, seek federal assistance. Speaking on Meet the Press today (Sunday, December 7), Obama wasn’t at all shy about specifying what he expects from the auto industry – such as the development of environmentally correct cars to radical reductions in executive pay – in exchange for taxpayer-subsidized loans.
While granting that the plight of top-echelon auto executives wouldn’t wrench so much as a tiny sob even from the chronically lachrymose, it’s worth remembering that Obama and his handlers won’t stop with that unsympathetic cohort. Just as they will use the leverage of government largesse to bring the auto industry into conformance with the will of the Gosplan, they’ll use similar means – and, most likely, even more draconian measures – to compel general submission to their Regime’s designs.
The man with the (Five-Year) Plan: Lenin, the most influential political strategist of the modern age, is seen in silhouette pointing (leftward, of course) toward a bright, new future.
To understand the scope of Obama’s dirigiste designs, it’s useful to recall his campaign gaffe (a “gaffe,” of course, is an instance in which a politician is caught candidly disclosing his intentions) in which he informed an audience in Roseburg, Oregon that “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.”
Obama seeks not merely to control the means of production, but also to regiment individual consumption in order to bring the population into compliance with his vision of a better society. He won’t be content merely to restructure the auto industry, or to preside over vast, corruption-fattened liturgies of infrastructure renovation; he’s after nothing less than a complete reconstruction of our individual lives. That’s the hideous truth lurking behind his anodyne promise to be the “president of all Americans,” whether we care to have someone preside over us or not.
George W. Bush was a conspicuous failure as a dilettante businessman. Barack Obama – so far as we can tell from his uniquely opaque biography – has never operated a business, met a payroll, or set his hands to honest work in the productive sector. His brow has never been beaded with the sweat of honest private labor, nor has it been creased by the stress familiar to businessmen seeking to meet the needs of customers while navigating the hazards of government regulation and taxation.
Yet he assures us that he possesses some numinous quality – “the vision of change … comes from me,” to quote one of his more recent Olympian pronouncements -- that equips him to direct a $16 trillion economy, correct the multifarious errors of made by lesser beings in their private transactions, and reorient that economy in order to address the future that he and his enlightened associates infallibly foresee it.
Question: What is an honest description of inherently worthless fiat currency? Answer: Play-D'oh!The reverse of this (unofficial) counterfeit euro coin found in Spain bears the likeness of Homer Simpson, which somehow makes a screwy kind of sense.
Given the wonder-working powers Obama implicitly claims for himself, the most intriguing question is not whether he was born in Hawaii or in Kenya, but rather if he was immaculately conceived.
Obama must be nothing less than a necromancer if he is serious about spending trillions of dollars on Keynesian public works projects: With the dollar’s demise imminent, Obama’s plans will require the ability to transmute a worthless currency into real money with actual value. Either than, or he will simply task Ben Bernanke to run the printing presses at such a speed that their friction-heated surfaces could be used to fry bacon.
"Come and join us in collectivist misery!"
"Come and join us in collectivist misery!"
Which brings us back to the Zimbabwe scenario.
For most students of hyperinflation, Weimar Germany – with its shoppers toting huge stacks of worthless marks in bags or wheelbarrows, and the government issuing single-side mark notes because the presses couldn’t keep place with currency depreciation -- exemplified the worst case scenario.
But Zimbabwe – land of the $200,000,000 dollar note and the $2 million loaf of bread – has overtaken Weimar as the most potent negative example.
People in that nation – once the chief agricultural producer for the entire continent – are dealing with the full menu of misery offered by a centrally planned fiat money state. The basics of daily life are constantly priced beyond their income; food shortages are commonplace, as are shortages of cash when the Government imposes arbitrary limits on daily withdrawals. Some of those residing in the country that was once the breadbasket of the Dark Continent have been reduced to devouring dirty, canine offal, or bovine excrement, and Zimbabwean children by the thousands are being felled by cholera.
Hyperinflation is the fastest and most efficient way to strip-mine a society of its civility. The barbarization of Zimbabwe is merely the latest example, but it won’t be the last. The architects of our economic distress have deliberately created the conditions for global hyperinflation in the knowledge that doing so will result in hardship and death on an unimaginable scale.
“The world is not going back to normal after the magnitude of what [central bankers and the political class] have done,” wrote Tom Fitzpatrick, chief technical strategist for Citigroup, in an “internal client note” privately circulated by the bank. “When the dust settles this will either work, and the money they have pushed into the system will feed through into an inflation shock. Or it will not work because too much damage has already been done, and we will see continued financial deterioration, causing further economic deterioration.”
One face of hyperinflation: Zimbabwean children find refuge from the famine that plagues their once-productive country.
Commenting on Fitzpatrick’s analysis, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph observes that the possible outcomes he predicts include a strong possibility of “a downward spiral into depression, civil disorder, and possibly wars.” As Fitzpatrick pointed out, “There is a risk of domestic unrest, starting with strikes because people are feeling disenfranchised. What happens if there is a meltdown in a country like Pakistan, which is a nuclear power[?] People react when they have their backs to the wall.”
Bear in mind here that if the strategy Fitzpatrick describes is successful, the result will be an “inflationary shock” – which would mean the utter pauperization of everyone whose earnings, savings, and investments (such as they are) are in dollars. The only weakness in Fitzpatrick’s assessment is the false dichotomy found therein between the prospect of a continued, deepening depression on the one hand, and hyperinflation on the other. Thanks to the ministrations of the Power Elite, we’re going to have both.
By waging two eminently avoidable and utterly disastrous wars abroad, and engaging in unprecedented domestic profligacy, George W. Bush and his cronies burned our economy to the ground. Obama and his comrades are now ready to sow salt and leave it entirely barren for a generation or more.
Dum spiro, pugno!
The biblical standard for testing the authenticity of a prophet is simple: If what he predicts comes true then he is legit.
One would think the messiah, Barack Obama, would have been among those accurately predicting our current situation and the reasons for it. He was not.
But, was anyone?
Yes. The Austrian economists (Congressman Ron Paul chief among them) have been predicting this exact scenario for years — based on the intervention of government into the private sector (which resulted in the housing bubble, among other problems), the inflation of the currency, and the "investment" of billions of dollars on intervening in the affairs of other countries worldwide.
One would think their accuracy would have people clamoring to their feet with questions about how to get out of this mess. Instead, America seems hell-bent to embrace more of the policies that have created the problem in the first place.
Forget that the Austrians were correct on every single point. Obama is just such a darned good speaker and always sounds like he knows what he's talking about — he must be right?
I've often wondered why America invariably ends up with psychological misfits, morally challenged individuals, economic illiterates and megalomaniacs who abhor the rule of law and Constitution in the White House when literally any successful small business person chosen randomly by either of the two major political parties would do a far better job with their hands tied behind their backs. When I posed the question to a former history professor he responded by saying that our (corporatist) system mandates that only highly flawed individuals occupy the oval office.
What can we do? The bankers are covering their losses and giving themselves bonuses with the money they've stolen, buying cool stuff and real asset while the dollar still has value. If it looses reserve currency status, all this talk of depression and riots in the streets will come to fruition. Maybe that's why they're stationing 20,000 more troops in the "Homeland."
you can pray. it always works. and when you're done, stock up on food, go buy a gun, some ammo, and some silver or gold. you owe yourself this much, especially if you have a family. try this page out.
Thanks, Mr. Grigg, for ruining my mood at having finished finals for this semester. Now I'm going to be sulky all break. :(
Anonymous (#1) said: "When I posed the question to a former history professor he responded by saying that our (corporatist) system mandates that only highly flawed individuals occupy the oval office."
I'd disagree. It's just that there are those who work for a living, and those who vote for a living.
In other words, the people who could actually be good members of congress (oxymoron, I know), or good presidents, are busy being productive. The rest, being stupid and parasitic, become politicians.
I just can't stop thinking of this Civic Literacy Quiz, where the lowest scoring group were self identified elected officials.
Look for the "underground" economy to flourish, either through barter or cash transactions (this assumes, of course, that "cash" won't be outlawed or rigidly controlled within the coming few years). There is simply no other way that we common folk will survive Comrade Obama's "New Great Leap Forward."
Well, Alexander, at least your finals are over. I have three left! In any event, we certainly need to be realistic about this. We should start buying at least small denominations of precious metals (don't forget lead). Also, as I think Will has said before, we need to be buying canned goods and other non-perishables. A good stock of seeds would be good to have as well in preparation for the age of inflation that is upon us.
Obama will be able to say that the REALLY big bailouts did not occur on his watch. After all, a $34 billion bailout is eminently more palatable to the masses than a $700 billion bailout. While both figures are a textbook form of Machiavellian legerdemain (some say that there is upwards of $2 trillion unaccounted for), they still represent a vast sum of money that will have to be printed, which in the famously cold-hearted form of government, is done without regard for the law or individual's own lives. Regardless of who presided over which bailouts, we can be certain that the fascist system we are under will render us penniless should it continue unabated.
Gee, and here I thought that we always get such flawed creeps for presidents because a conspiratorial elite controls both parties, the media, the banks, academia and the voting machines themselves, and will only allow their sock puppet stooges to occupy the White House to fulfill their agenda for dictatorial world government.
It is refreshing to know that these jerks get into power and put the pedal to oblivion to the metal merely by chance.
are you actually saying anything or are you just complaining while citing sources?
look -- we're in this mess already. we've been in it before and we survived it. what you're saying (i think, as you don't ever really say what you think we should do, other than hide under our beds with some lead and seeds until obama's term is up) is that we should just do nothing and let the economy be free and everything will work out. i wish it would work that way. but we tried that the past twenty years and it didn't work, obviously. we did that during the beginning of what would become the Great Depression and that just made things worse. it was only when the government stepped in (and did exactly what obama is proposing) that the economy turned around.
america learned a lesson in the Great Depression: capitalism must be heavily regulated. the lesson the nation gleaned from the period from the Cold War to 2000 was that capitalism will solve all your problems. the lesson we should learn from 2000 to the present is that both lessons are correct and incorrect: we can't let the market do whatever it wants or else we get failing banks and crashing markets, but we can't regulated them too much or we won't have growth. as with all things in life, moderation is key.
which brings me to the one thing you said that genuinely upset me: in response to the obama quote, "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," you say "Obama seeks not merely to control the means of production, but also to regiment individual consumption in order to bring the population into compliance with his vision of a better society." i think this is a pretty far-fetched claim. obama was obviously commenting on the culture of greed and overconsumption that the bush era has prodded us to adopt and saying that we can't keep living like that in the hard years to come.
Great post Will.
I ad a little definition I picked up somewhere in my readings.
Ironic Evil: The evil good men do even as they try to do good.
maku520, the art of political commentary is little more than complaining in public. The question is whether this is done usefully.
The chief differences between the Great Depression and the one we confront now are the following: We're lost much, if not most, of the industrial capacity that permitted our economy to grow out of the Great Depression, as well as the Nixon/Carter recession of the late 1970s; and second, NO society has ever buried ourselves in debt to the extent we had BEFORE the Wall Street bailouts began.
We could begin a genuine economic recovery right away -- if we allowed the depression to run its course, force the liquidation of bad debts and malinvestments while adopting a more austere lifestyle without government regimentation. This would last several years, and it would heartily suck. But it would abet the re-growth of an economy based on production, rather than debt and debt-propelled speculation.
You seriously misapprehend the documentable lessons of the New Deal, one of which is this: Debt- or taxation-based government intervention, coupled with widescale regimentation of the economy, greatly prolongs an economic depression.
Recovery from the Depression didn't begin until 1946, when Congress began to tear down much of the New Deal and wartime fascist regime imposed by FDR.
As to the question of overconsumption:
When money and credit are loose, overconsumption is a predictable consequence. Discarding the fiat money/fractional reserve banking system would be the appropriate cure, rather than permitting some quorum of anointed ones to define appropriate levels of consumption for the entire economy.
After all, who are Obama and his ilk to say what constitutes "overconsumption"? That determination is very easy to make when people are compelled to live within their means, and this is something a hard money system tends to do.
Bush got us in this mess, and I don't see why people won't just give Obama the benefit of the doubt and see if what he proposes and does helps. It either will or it won't. And everyone should remember as cited above that Bush did this to us
and I agree that Ron Paul and other economists, common sense, that this has been coming for a long time, Ronald Reagan began it
Why should Obama receive the "benefit of the doubt" when his approach is simply to repeat and magnify Bush's errors?
Obama, let it be remembered, voted in favor of the Plutocrat bailout. He likewise did nothing to oppose any of Bush's wasteful, immoral policies. If he had been like Ron Paul -- demanding an end to imperialism abroad and profligacy at home -- Obama would have moral standing to ask for our support.
Just a couple of thoughts:
1. You claim we've had a "free economy" for the past 20 years and it hasn't worked out. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jimmy Carter first introduced the concept of sub-prime mortgages, essentially requiring banks to make bad loans. Bill Clinton increased that particular regulation. Had our economy been truly "free" banks would not have been making loans to people they knew could not repay. Home purchases would not have been artificially propped up by government intervention which, in turn, artificially created demand in construction and everything that contributes to that industry. In a "free" economy we would not have had a housing bubble at all. No bubble, no burst. I won't even go into the regulations with which the federal government has saddled the auto industry that continue to cripple them.
2. The Great Depression only became a depression AFTER FDR used the federal government to interfere. His intervention in the market increased the depth of the depression and lengthened its duration. The following article may help you understand.
No, a free-market economy hasn't caused the current crisis. We haven't had a true free-market economy in decades. But it's high time we tried one.
Shea, Bush alone didn't "get us into this mess." The "mess" is a catastrophe that has been steadily metastasizing since 1913. The most Bush can be credited with is merely setting in motion events that accelerated its culmination. Obama, if his words and deeds to date are any indication, will only see that culmination to completion.
In his book, My Exploited Father-in-Law by Curtis Dall (son-in-law of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Wall Street broker himself) wrote: "The depression was the calculated 'shearing' of the public by the World Money powers, triggered by the planned sudden shortage of supply of call money in the New York money market . The One World Government leaders and their ever close bankers have now acquired full control of the money and credit machinery of the U.S. via the creation of the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank."
Obama, like FDR before him, works for these World Money powers. Nothing he has said or done in his life could lead anyone to the conclusion that he will betray them by overseeing a return to Constitutional government, a hard money system and true free market capitalism. He deserves no benefit of the doubt; he deserves an opportunity, albeit at gunpoint and under the watchful eyes of an informed populace, to uphold the Constitution and abolish the Federal Reserve System. Anybody want to lay odds on that happening?
"After all, who are Obama and his ilk to say what constitutes "overconsumption"?"
I don't know, but I'm willing to bet that what's considered overconsumption for you and me will be completely different from what BO considers overconsumption for himself and his buddies- sort of like Al Gore, who travels all over the world railing against global warming while owning a home that uses more energy than entire villages in Africa.
As I recall, Reinhard Heydrich was also widely recognized as a loving husband and devoted father.
Aye, this depression will be substantially worse for a few reasons (some of them I remember from an author I cannot remember!)
1. There is no gold or silver standard to help check inflation. At all.
2. People were much more virtuous, on the whole, in the earlier part of the century.
3. In 1930, approximately 25% of the population was involved in agriculture, so a hefty chunk of the population was not utterly dependent on very few for food. Today, fewer than 3% of the population are in agriculture.
4. The average savings rate has gone from about 8 percent in 1992,very slowly declining into the negative savings rate we have today.
Game over. Yes, this whole process is a necessary correction, a necessary correction being frustrated by the asinine actions of the Komissars, whose arrogance is such that they think they are able to not only control, but positively influence the billions of free-will economic choices made by billions of human beings, every day. Arrogance. There is no other word.
Unfortunately, we are going to witness a lot of suffering, perhaps even starvation, before people reassess what they value in life. Today, people value new luxury cars every year, the latest in computers, 60'' plasma TV's, thousands in clothing every year, expensive vacations, eating out at restaurants every day, a huge home bereft of the sound of children's feet.
Perhaps in the future, people will value being, not possessing. Let us hope they value children, not things. Truth over violence.
Aye, it sounds all nice and poetic. But it's true. The economy reflects what the people value. And you cannot force people to value something, whether by the artificial manipulations of the market by inflation, subsidies and tariffs, or by the barrel of a gun.
Keep posting the truth, Will, because people are waking up.
Never been here before. Interesting article, and kudos for the vocabulary.
Your prediction for the future of the economy is, unfortunately, sound, if a little exaggerated. However, you go too far in blaming George W. Bush for the run-up to the looming economic disaster.
The drift toward a planned economy began in the 1930s, as world socialist activists deliberately steered their children into the control points of American society: law, news, education, entertainment. They gave birth to the 60s radicals, who over the last 30 years have achieved near-total control of primary, secondary, and post-graduate education by moderate-left and hard-left theorists and administrators; total control of news dissemination; total control of entertainment media of all sorts; and a controlling presence in the courts, with activist judges creating law out of thin air. With that much control over the mindset of America, the outcome -- the public voting itself into a neo-Marxian planned economy -- was a foregone conclusion.
Obviously, this is an oversimplification; there are other roots that go back as far as the 1840s, modern behavioral changes, effects of media and increased leisure time, etc. But the main thing is, we were deliberately taken down by socialists, who formed a long-term strategy and executed it successfully. Whatever you may think of him personally (and I think you're being uncharitable,) GWB was merely the last caretaker before the deluge.
We must blame ourselves for letting it happen. In the final analysis, every people gets the government it deserves, and that's never been truer of any people than it is of the people of the United States of America. We were handed the blessings of liberty by better men than ourselves as a gift, and gave it up for an imaginary bowl of pottage.
One small nit:
The poster of Lenin's silhouette; the caption mentions that he is, "of course," pointing left.
But he isn't. Mimic his stance yourself. You are pointing RIGHT.
The VIEWER sees "left," the SUBJECT points "right"...
What no one seems to notice is that BOTH ARE IN FACT THE SAME DIRECTION.
And that's what's really important. It's not Right-versus-Left, because they are really going in the same direction... No matter which you choose, you are still heading in the direction that they (the pointers) want us to go... our belief that it is "right" or "left" is just one more tactic of division, used to distract us from the truth of our slavery.
This freak better keep himself in Payette. Seems he fits in real well there with his bald attempt to blame an administraton that isn't even in office yet with the sins of the extremist-capitalist neo-CON christo-fascist tinkle down Ronnie Ray-gun fellating freaks that infest much of America.
It will be interesting to see how long he and his family will last when the collapse is in full swing and the christo-fascist "patriots" come down from their mountain cabins to liberate the "homeland" from the "unpure".
My wager is it won't be more than a minute or two.
Before you attack me for seemingly insensitive comments let me make it abundantly clear that the America we loved no longer exists. The christo-fascist neo-CON shell that that now exists needs to be destroyed permanently. If it is not the whole world will suffer a much worse fate than the freak who wrote this column can possibly imagine.
In short America needs to disappear. Sooner the better. It's not that it will be that great a loss. Americas are only 5% of the world population and Americans have caused 95% of the worlds problems. Good riddance!
Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.
~ Steven Weinberg
The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion.
~ Thomas Paine
The modern conservative is engaged in one man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
~ John K. Galbrait
will - i agree that capitalism dictates that we let it all run its course. but inherent in capitalism is a boom-bust cycle, and i think that government has a vested interest in trying to lessen those natural business cycles. but of course bush2 did the wrong thing to address the bust this time (and the 2001 recession).
chip - since the 1980s the government has been deregulating businesses and industries. that seems like "free market"-izing the economy to me. reagan did it, bush 1 did it, the republican congress during clinton's presidency did it (clinton went along with it to get his plans and programs, such as welfare reform, through the legislature), and bush 2 certainly did it. the us government has been deregulating markets for a while on the assumption that it's good for the economy (thanks, greenspan). but capitalism comes with the boom-bust cycle -- it's inescapable. and that's what we're seeing here. bush 2 just made it worse by not allowing capitalism to work because his friends were loosing a lot of money.
i'll admit -- i rely on the way history has painted FDR's programs and haven't read a lot about it, but it seems like people really thought they worked. i definitely agree that the federal reserve was a terrible idea and paved the way for the crappy fiat monetary system we have today, but i really believe that the work programs that were introduced helped get the economy going again. yes, it took a long time, but the hoover dam wasn't built in a day. the "trickle up" effect takes awhile.
overall, i respect your opinions but i don't think that obama is a bad guy (i don't necessarily think bush 2 is a "bad guy" either, just horribly misguided and surrounded by bad guys) and think that he'll have a different way to solve our current problem that will work better than 1) giving failing banks more money (which was stupid in the first place and contrary to any and all viable economic theories) or 2) letting the market work itself out (which will create mass unemployment in the short run and an even more severe global depression in the long run). we can't let the depression hurt the world too much or else big wars will start happening again.
and as for overconsumption, i think it's pretty common sense. don't buy a gas-guzzler. don't buy a giant house. don't go to mcdonald's every day. don't buy new clothes every month. don't leave the lights on. these are things parents should be teaching their children; rather, the tv is teaching children that things are cool and you need everything that's new and shiny and it doesn't matter if it destroys the environment or was made by starving children in less-developed countries.
I know of no crime that has not been defended by the church, in one form or other. The church is not a pioneer; it accepts a new truth, last of all, and only when denial has become useless.
~ Robert G. Ingersoll
You know your god is man-made when he hates all the same people you do.
If you talk to God, you are praying. If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.
~ Thomas Szasz
Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
The thoughtful and intelligent readers have already pointed out all the flaws in this piece except one. Obama isn't a "decent writer". There is only one instance where obama's authorship can be proven and it was mediocre, at best.
The books "authored" by obama have been proven to be penned, instead, by Bill Ayers. The literary style, access, etc. strengthen the claims.
In writing, like so many other things, obama is a fraud.
Bosunj--you have an agenda.
A belief in God is not a liability and does not cause wickedness in man.
It is man's perversion and exploitation of this relationship that causes evil.
Man, with no divine guidance, generally finds little to protect himself from falling for the typical satanic values--greed, corruption, disregard for humanity.
It is evil that seeks to destroy God. If you work to prove there is no God, you need to ask yourself who you work for...
Slavery and profit is what keeps the rich from killing-off all the poor.
Hey-wait a sec, I thought this turkey Obama W. Bush was all about "change".
I guess he was just kidding!
A guy I was talking to yesterday, Bob who Bush apologist, said that Bush didn't have much to with the bailout.
Religion is what happens when an noble and enlightened human being with a worshipful following dies, and the politicians and shopkeepers see a wonderful opportunity to reorganize those followers into a dues-paying membership club who will do as they are told. Money and power for the taking.
For those popes and cardinals and ministers and TV evangelists, it's a lot easier than working. Sheesh! They get themselves up in long dresses and exorbitant jewelry, then go round attacking gays and drag queens, probably because the drag queens have better fashion sense than they do. Everybody hates competition.
The inspirational philosophy, which dies with the enlightened one, then becomes an undead thing resurrected to life - an intellectual and moral vampire. In other words, a religion.
- Lemuel Gulliver
Bosunj, honest people acknowledge that Ronnie Ray-gun played an instrumental role in sinking the people of the U.S. into debt. As far as I know, most people who read this blog are not at all neo-cons, and that in fact, this blog is the antithesis of neo-con. Did you know that? Have you read many other posts here? Most people here recognize that Bush has spent more money that belongs to other people, and inflated the currency more than Clinton ever did, and detest the fact.
I didn't see anything in his post that is blaming Barack Obama for the collapse of the economy we are currently riding. What he is saying is that Obama is going to end up doing more damage by pursuing his economic interventions. He is not saying that Obama is going to deliberately make the problems worse because he is a wilfully evil man, but because he does not understand economics, and like most other politicians, republicrat and demopublican alike, he hubristically thinks that he is able to micromanage the billions of voluntary human interactions that comprise the economy.
As for your notion that we're "Christofascists..." where on earth do you get that, besides your prejudices? Do you see anyone here claiming the right to force other people to be virtuous? Do you see anyone claiming the right to use state violence to support religion? Do you even see Jesus saying that his followers should use violence to effect their means? No! As Joseph Sobran points out, Jesus told his disciples to shake the dust from their feet and move on when they were rebuked, not "cleanse the land of the impure." You are an arrogant, ignorant bigot, sir, and you owe Mr. Grigg and the readers an apology for your slander.
Nothing in Christ's teachings supports the initiation of violence against one's fellow man, or the use of violence to defend an idea in itself. And no one who murders, tortures or taxes does so as a "Christian." If he calls himself a Christian, he does it as a hypocrite.
"America," sir, does not need to disappear. If, however, by "America" you mean the bullying, violent tactics used by the state known as the U.S. government, you are absolutely right.
But I am not a part or an appendage of the state, and I do not support its actions.
The US economy was sovietised long time ago. It must be realised that corporations are not private capitalist enterprise but socialist institutions.
Please, read "Power Without Property" by former US Secretary of State Adolf Berle, 1959.
US is up to its ears in Jewish communism, the economy, the wars and all the rest.
Just because there was "deregulation" in certain industries does not mean America experienced a true free market — for two reasons:
1. Deregulation was not complete. A reduction in government regulations does not mean there was a removal of all government regulations. Any intervention of free markets by government is going to have a detrimental effect.
2. It is a law of economics that pressure at any point of an economy is going to show up somewhere. It may not show up in the industry where the pressure is applied but it will show up somewhere. Our economy is interrelated. The detrimental effects of government intervention in one industry could show up in another. Just because the government "deregulated" some industries does not mean it was done for all. Government intervention was alive and well in the 80s and 90s. And, of course, today.
You claim that capitalism comes with a boom/bust cycle. That is not true. The boom/bust cycle is a direct result of inflation, which is only possible with fiat money. Our government removed our currency from the gold standard so that it could print money any time it wanted to fund something. The inflation of the currency creates a boom — for a while. When the currency stops being inflated we have the bust — a recession. If our currency was backed by gold the government would not have the ability to inflate it and the boom/bust cycle would be all but gone.
Now, there is such a thing as business failures in a capitalist system. But even those are good. When a business does not provide adequate goods or services (i.e. things people neither need nor want) people will not exchange their money for those goods and services. Instead they will exchange it for goods and services they actually will use.
Capital is redirected toward productive businesses and productivity is rewarded. Owners of failing businesses then change to more productive pursuits.
Not to effectively shoot your latest quaff of farm fresh, fringe Christian-Extremist (a la, say, Koresh) "Keep yer' guns loaded fer when Uncie Sam comes" full of holes, but Jesus Christ was, by your very definition, a Megalomaniac. And he was killed for it. I guess the only rousing thing about that one was that he's the messiah. That's what they tell me, at least.
You've read the Bible, right? You re-read what you write, right? The appearance of these questions are not to function as sarcastic flourish (OK, they do a little bit), but rather to raise another question that I believe is unequivocal: Do you take yourself that seriously? And also: Do the people of East Jesus, Idaho take you that seriously? I'm sure you've got heaps and heaps of net traffic--numbers I'm sure you're considering vaunting out with an irreverent, "But look at all my hits, my supportive comments!" I have this to say to that: It's not hard to find a transexual in Asia.
In perfect honesty, I'd like to comment that I think you're incredibly intelligent, pomp and filigree aside. Use it to proselytize in the Appalachians, where your hackneyed, thesaurus super-sized rubbish won't be easily sifted through by the locals.
Mr. Dharma (may I call you "Buck"? I love your lead guitar work with Blue Oyster Cult) -- there are precious few things that deserve to be taken seriously. I am not on that list, but I earnestly hope at least a few of my opinions will make it.
I would have replied earlier, but I couldn't hear your natterings above the incessant racket of my target practice and the din generated by my hunting dogs. It's my melancholy duty to inform you that if you're interested in perforating this essay you're going to have to upgrade the caliber of your logic.
You've skimmed a bit of the Bible and dipped into a book or two, but I see you're unacquainted with the proper use of an atlas. Payette is in western Idaho. But you have half a point; I grew up in "East Jesus," or Rexburg, as it's formally known, but I'm sure they wouldn't claim me if the matter were pressed on them.
Christians like myself gladly admit that Jesus is either the Messiah or a megalomaniac; that presentation of options rules out the preferred option of some agnostics (such as Thomas Jefferson at one phase of his life), namely that He was a splendid moral teacher but nothing more.
If He was the latter, his was an oddly undemanding sort of megalomania, seeing that He emphatically refused to assume the power to compel people to follow Him. I suspect that He is consistently aggrieved by those who invoke his Name to sanctify their pursuit of coercive power.
Furthermore, unlike most conspicuous figures in history, Jesus accomplished something novel, as opposed to following the megalomaniac's preferred approach of futile repetition.
The axioms of Marx, when applied faithfully, inevitably lead to misery, corruption, and bloodshed, yet megalomaniacs continue to insist, with the misplaced earnestness of Bullwinkle the Moose thrusting his hand with unwarranted confidence into his magician's hat, "This time for sure!
Whenever the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount are applied, by way of contrast, the practical results are vastly different. The true pity is that professed Christians (particularly those pursuing political power) often display so little interest in following those precepts.
I apologize in advance for this off-topic comment, but I couldn't find an e-mail address.
A leviathan so enormous will pay no heed to where he steps:
It is incredible to me that after having been "schooled" on proper respect for Islam for seven years, the Head of State would not understand the insult. Commenting on the size of the shoe is sort of like commenting on the shade of yellow after being urinated upon.
O America, how much longer will you wallow in your stupidity? The Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves, and the blood of the patriots cries out from the ground. They are taking your freedoms day by day, and you say to them, "Protect us!!"
I'll quote Ben Frankin here: "He that trades Liberty for security deserves neither."
A few comments from across the pond in England.
There are those, fortunately not too many on here, who blame the people for what has been done to them by governments, when the simple fact is that "our" governments have never been under our control. They do what they like and we take the blame - until we get so thoroughly fed up (keeping it polite) that we take matters into our own hands and depose the despots by force.
If we could once establish a true government "of the people", we could solve most of the problems overnight by the simple act of taking back all that stolen (fraudulent) "money" and "credit" into interest-free state ownership, together with the existing banking infrastructure and the fortunes of the traitors, both in banking and in government.
Meanwhile, we could start to issue our own promissory notes, but valued in real commodities. Forget dollars, pounds, euros and all the rest of the worthless denominations and print our own notes to the value of "a pound of tomatoes", "a sack of peas", "a box of ammo" and suchlike. They'd find it difficult to ban such "currency" and it would have a real, fixed value.
Just a thought.
To Mr. Robert Corzine-
Great quote from Curtis Dall's book 'My Exploited Father-in-Law'. Could you give us lazy slobs the page number of that remark? I'd like to highlight it once I buy it from Amazon. Thanks.
That quote from Curtis Dall's book appears to be a composite quote.
In my copy of the book part of the quote appears on page 49 and the remainder is on page 59.
Hungary's inflation was the worst. When it was "corrected", the exchange rate was 1 forint to FOUR HUNDRED QUINTILLION pengo!
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