Kevin Carson has written an insightful piece on Obama’s new war on 3-D printers, and the threat they pose to a faux scarcity corporate economy. The attempt to stale creative destruction, one of the few useful forces within a capitalist economy, is not in the interest of the working class or new innovation: it is a recipe for stagnation. One should never forget who these Democrats serve: a slightly different managerial “elite” than the Republicans do, but still a managerial pseudo-elite nonetheless.
The email challenge came like a squirrel defiantly placing an acorn on its shoulder and daring me to knock it off: “respond to this damn article.”
The damn article was from Forbes, and I’ll be damned if the headline didn’t claim that Barack Obama was the “Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower.” The damn article came with a damn chart, which, at a second’s glance and with zero understanding of statistics, would seem to support the headline’s contention. Obama’s bar on the chart was far punier than the others, which, if you were born without a brain, would seem to suggest that he was, mais certainement, the “Smallest” spender.
Fears of a coming economic collapse that could spark widespread violence, even civil war, fueled the continued explosive growth of conspiracy-minded antigovernment “patriot” groups in 2011.
That’s the conclusion of a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups in the United States. The organization’s quarterly Intelligence Report, issued Thursday, found that the number of patriot groups grew from 824 to 1,274 between 2010 and 2011, up from 149 in 2008.
IT IS ONE of the world’s most secretive and high-powered groups – bringing together figures from the political, financial, diplomatic, corporate and media worlds in a confidential four-day conference discussing all manner of sensitive topics.
Today, TheJournal.ie can shine a light on some of the inner workings of the Bilderberg conference – an annual meeting where the world’s most powerful and influential people meet to discuss the shape of the world and what can be done to improve it.
Documents obtained under Freedom of Information legislation reveal the full agenda of the 2012 meeting, which counted Ireland’s Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, among its attendees.
They also provide previously unconfirmed details about the protocol and nature of the invite-only event – the secrecy of which often prompts accusations that the group’s ultimate task is either the advance of capitalism worldwide, or the formation of a unified global government.
As Britain loses faith in its banks and feels shockwaves from the euro crisis, one city is trying to keep local wealth in local pockets with the launch of its own currency.
Businesses can pay local taxes in Bristol pounds and the council has offered its 17,000 staff the option of receiving part of their pay in the currency Photo: Getty Images
The Bristol pound – usable only with member businesses in the city in southwest England – is to launch in September, and organisers are deluged with local firms wanting to sign up.
“The perception of banking and money is that it’s a very ruthless system: people are out for what they can get,” co-founder Ciaran Mundy told AFP.
From The Blaze.
As the old saying goes, “no good deed goes unpunished”.
By Erica Ritz
Angela Prattis has spent part of the summer distributing meals to hungry children in Pennsylvania, but now, the township has informed her that if she does not obtain a costly “ordinance,” she will be fined $600 each day she distributes food.
The Daily Times has more:
“I’m not stopping,” said Angela Prattis, who has been distributing meals she receives from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to about 60 children from a gazebo on her property this summer. “These kids are hungry. I’m not tearing down the community. I’m keeping the children out of harm’s way.”
Prattis, who has lived in the township for about three years, started distributing meals and drinks to underprivileged children at her church, the Church of the Overcomer in Trainer, several years ago. This year, after giving birth to her second child, she began distributing the meals from the gazebo in her yard.
Henry George(1839 – 1897) is a progressive hero that has been largely forgotten by time. In his heyday, he was one of the most famous living Americans in the World. Surpassed by only Thomas Edison and Mark Twain. His most famous book was translated into dozens of languages and sold 3 million copies in his lifetime. He was invited to speak and lecture all over the country and world, and his writings appeared in newspapers across the nation. At his funeral in 1897, 200,000 paid their respects by filing past his casket(as a comparison, when President McKinley was assassinated 4 years later, only about 100,000 people filed past his casket. So how did a 19th century printer, living in San Francisco , with no more than a 7th grade education become so famous? And why was he forgotten?
There has been an explosion of interest and commentary these past few days as a result of a front page story in Monday’s edition of the influential Financial Times (of London). The story stated that the CFTC was set to drop its four year investigation into alleged silver price manipulation due to insufficient evidence to bring charges, according to three unnamed sources. I went to sleep Sunday evening when the story first appeared prepared to wake up to similar and confirming stories in other publications. Instead, there were no other stories confirming the case was set to be dropped; only strong statements that the FT was story was “premature” and “inaccurate in many respects” by a named source, Commissioner Bart Chilton of the agency.
The CFTC’s silver investigation is a hot button issue and the FT story, as well as Commissioner Chilton’s response to it, set off an outpouring of emotion and conjecture in the precious metals world. And for good reason, as this is an extremely important issue. There can be no greater concern than whether a market is manipulated in price. The issue of a silver manipulation is also a divisive matter, even within the CFTC itself; otherwise there likely wouldn’t have been leaks that the investigation was over and the immediate response of not so fast. As is usually the case with extremely divisive issues (like politics and elections), emotions take hold and the real issues can get distorted.
The bumper sticker on the beat-up pickup truck read: “Friends don’t let friends vote Democrat.”
The driver was obviously not affluent. Yet, despite all the news about mega-trillion dollar bankster bailouts, mega-million dollar bonuses for financial crooks, and unimaginable compensation packages for corporate CEOs who have moved middle class jobs out of America, something made the down-and-out pickup truck driver associate with the political party of the super-rich.
As I wondered at this strange alliance of the dirt poor with the mega-rich, I remembered that in 2004 Thomas Frank wondered about how the Republicans had managed to convince the poor to vote against their best interests. Frank’s answer, or part of his answer, is that the Republicans use “social issues,” such as gay marriage and Janet Jackson’s exposed nipple to work up indignation over the threat to moral values posed by liberal Democrats.
The working poor have been convinced by Republican propaganda that voting Democrat means giving the working poor’s tax dollars to the non-working poor, to providing medical care and schooling for illegal aliens, and being soft on terrorism.
In classical logic, the standard model of deductive reasoning is the syllogism. Most people are probably familiar with this example: All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
The enthymeme is an incomplete syllogism with one of the premises left implicit. In classical rhetoric, a speaker uses an enthymeme to appeal to the unstated shared assumptions of the audience. The unstated premise is an unexamined cultural assumption — frequently a prejudice — shared by the audience, which is left unstated because to state it might invite critical examination.
In a class society, the enthymeme takes on special importance. The ruling class ideology is conveyed by enthymemes embedded in all the messages with which the cultural reproduction apparatus — political speeches, the schools, the news media, entertainment — bombards us every day.
One of the most effective weapons we have, in our fight against the ruling class and its ideology, is to make explicit the unstated premises of the enthymemes in ruling class propaganda and expose them to critical examination.
The case of the rigged Libor turns out to be the scandal that just keeps on giving. It reveals a great deal about the behavior of the Federal Reserve Board and central banks more generally.
Last month, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke gave testimony before Congress in which he said that he had become aware of evidence that banks in England were rigging the Libor in the fall of 2008. According to Bernanke, he called this to the attention of Mervyn King, the head of the Bank of England. Apparently Mervyn King did nothing, since the rigging continued, but Bernanke told Congress there was nothing more that he could do.
The implications of Bernanke’s claim are incredible. There are trillions of dollars of car loans, mortgages, and other debts, in the United States, tied to the Libor. There are also huge derivative contracts whose value depends on the Libor at a moment in time. People were winning or losing on these deals not based on the market, but rather on the rigged Libor rate being set by the big banks.
The idea of “collapse”, social and financial, comes with an incredible array of hypothetical consequences ranging from public dissent and martial law, to the complete disintegration of infrastructure and the devolution of mankind into a swarm of mindless arm chewing cannibals. In an age of television nirvana and cinema overload, I have found that the collective unconscious of our culture has now defined what collapse is based only on the most narrow of extremes. If they aren’t being hunted down by machete wielding looters or swastika wearing jackboots, then the average American dupe figures that the country is not in much danger. Hollywood fantasy has blinded us to the tangible crises at our doorstep.
The new American flag forever postage stamp series recently released by the U.S. Postal Service represents a degree of hypocrisy heretofore unimaginable. Below the American flag on each stamp is one of the following four words – freedom, equality, justice, or liberty – followed by the word “forever.” For example, “freedom forever.” The not so subtle message of American exceptionalism is that the United States is a country in which freedom, equality, justice, and liberty will surely live forever. The sheer arrogance underlying this postage stamp series is almost beyond belief.
Below is the proposed list of speakers and topics for the upcoming Seventh Annual Meeting of the PFS, which will be held in Bodrum, Turkey at the Hotel Karia Princess, from Thursday September 27 through Monday October 1, 2012. Those interested in attending should contact Dr. Hoppe or Mr. Grözinger, Administrative Secretary, regarding conditions, availability, and requirements.
Property and Freedom Society
7th Annual Meeting
September 27 – October 2, 2012
Karia Princess Hotel
Speakers & Topics
Philosophy and Law
- Hans–HermannHoppe: The Nature of Man. Does Any Such Thing Exist?
- StephanKinsella: The Corruption of Law
- Guido Huelsmann: The Winners and Losers of a Monetary Policy
- Thorsten Polleit: What Do Bankers Know about Money and Banking?
- Walter Block: The Economics of Discrimination
- Jeffrey Tucker: One Million Tiny Miseries: Government Policy in our Time
Literature and Literary Criticism
- Sean Gabb: On Literature and Liberty
- Benjamin Marks: On H. L. Mencken as a Libertarian Model (and some Romantic Libertarian Delusions)
- Karl–Peter Schwarz: Between Restitution and Re-Expropriation: Desocialization in Eastern Europe
- Norman Stone: Comparative History: Turkey and Spain
- Tom DiLorenzo: The Myth of American Exceptionalism
- Hunt Tooley: Engineering Tragedy: The Meaning of the CIA Coup d’Etat in Iran, 1953
Society and Politics
A new study conducted by Finnish researchers has confirmed what many of us have known for years: our stressful jobs are making us age faster.
The research led by Kirsi Ahola of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health measured the length of DNA sections called telomeres and how the lengths varied in association with job stress. It found that people suffering from the most job stress tended to have shorter telomeres.
Telomeres, located at the ends of chromosomes, serve as a type of protective cap to the ropy strands, helping assure that the genetic instructions carried by genes on the chromosomes are accurately translated so cells get the right messages.
Stress lines: A new study found that work-related stress causes people to age prematurely
Telomeres shorten with age, oxidation and chemical insults. Often, when telomeres reach a critically short length, the cell dies in a process called apoptosis, NBC reported.
Some cells do not die, but rather become what scientists call ‘senescent’ – they start making genetic errors and causing damage.
As part of their research, which appeared in the journal PloS One this month, Ahola and her team analyzed blood cells called leukocytes – which are critical to immune function – in 2,911 people between ages 30 and 64.
They found that workers who experienced severe exhaustion from job stress had significantly shorter leukocyte telomeres than their relatively stress-free counterparts.
But it appears that frazzled wage earners have more to worry about than crow’s feet, wrinkles and greying locks. Telomere shortening has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
ALEXA GELLMAN, LearnVest
A new report by the Consumer Federation of America found that two in five American households live paycheck to paycheck—that means no savings, retirement account or emergency fund.
The number of families living this way has increased by 7 percent over the last 15 years, in no small part because of the recession.
Now, only 30 percent of Americans say they feel comfortable financially, and only one third think they have enough saved to retire before age 65. In addition, the survey found that 51 percent of Americans feel behind on saving for retirement, a figure that has risen over the last decade and a half.
These findings go hand-in-hand with statistics Bankrate.com uncovered last month: Roughly half of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover three months of expenses, and a quarter haven’t saved a single cent.
This is big news. We know that the earlier we build up our emergency and retirement funds, the better prepared we’ll be and the greater return we’ll see on our money. But that quarter of Americans aren’t so concerned about saving enough–they’re concerned about saving at all.
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