Saturday, April 6, 2013

Growing fears that North Korea actually has the technology to launch nuclear missiles | The Australian

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October 15, 2008: “Will 401(k)’s Disappear in the Interest of Fairness?”

October 15, 2008: “Will 401(k)’s Disappear in the Interest of Fairness?”

As I was saying, "fairness" means higher taxes.

Capital controls having been gaining steam since 2007

That's when I closed the Goldmoney account.  What the US government did back then was akin to capital controls.

Capital controls will equal less trade.  The "Great Recession" started in 2007.  See a connection?  Trade has decreased since 2007, has it not?

The Great Depression got worse when the governments of that time began to restrict trade.  Capital controls are just history repeating itself.

When politicians and central bankers get into trouble, capital controls will find its way onto the docket.  It's that way in Cyprus now, it was that way in America in 2007 onward.  It's going to get worse because they aren't solving any problems.  They're just making the existing ones harder to see.

Two Americas, was John Edwards right?

The question isn't asked in the sense that Edwards meant it.  It is asked in the sense that some of us are not talking to each other, but at each other.  One America is using different type of language to talk at the other America about the same subject.

If the word meanings get changed, how can you have a meaningful discussion?  The words have to mean the same, and the language has to be stable.  Therefore, you don't change the meaning of a word to hide its true meaning.  If you do so, you are not communicating, you are deceiving.  Deceiving isn't communication.  Enemies don't talk, they fight.  It can begin with thoughts, then proceed to words, and finally end in violence.

Language are the tools of thought.  There has to be a gold standard of language.  "Gay" doesn't mean homosexual.  It means what it meant before it was redefined into what it didn't mean before.  It means carefree.  It means happy.  It didn't mean homosexual 40 years ago.  Homosexual is homosexual and should always remain so, as any other word.

I know Rush has talked about this, but I never really noticed how much of this goes on in politics.  Besides the issue of homosexuality, there is abortion.   In that case, the issue is about abortion, not choice.  It gets redefined into something that it is not.  It's an abortion of a developing infant, or to put it more directly, infanticide.  Even abortion can be thought of as a redefinition of infanticide.  People are not comfortable with killing babies.  At least not yet.  Abortion is used in place of infanticide.  Choice is used instead of abortion.

Another example is climate change.  The premise is that humans can change the climate at will.  Climate was previously thought to be an act of God.  Not anymore, thanks to the new wordsmiths of political speak.  What "climate change" really means, if the words were honest, is an increase in regulations and taxes.

Gun-control is allegedly meant to increase public safety, but it doesn't do that.  What it really means, if results are any indication, is less public-safety.  It should be called "criminal enablement".  You aren't going to stop criminals with new laws, especially more that didn't work in the first place.  If a criminal uses a gun in the commission of a crime, the only way to stop him is to bring greater force than what he is able to bring.  Gun-control doesn't control what needs to be controlled, which is the criminal behavior at the time it is instigated.  You do that by bringing more guns to the scene than the criminal can.

To develop this further, "investments" are taxes.  "Fairness" likewise.  It leads back to taxes, it must mean taxes.  A thing is what it is.  A tax is a tax is a tax.  A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, but a tax is always a tax.

In summary, "if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it must be a duck".  If you can redefine the language according to your convenience, the duck can be an elephant.  But the elephant in the room isn't convenient, so a duck has be substituted instead.  That's because the politicians know that their ideas aren't popular, so the right words can't escape their lips, they need deceptive new words to express unpopular ideas.


Yes, I forgot this one.  Illegal aliens used to mean what they are: illegal aliens.  But not according to Geraldo.

Toomey could be key to a deal on guns


Hopefully, there can be something here we can all live with, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

Click the following to access the sent link:
Toomey could be key to a deal on guns*

{quote: "Gun-control advocates believe they need a credible conservative voice"...Toomey would fill the bill...If Toomey were to support background checks, the Washington Post reported, that would give Democrats hope of winning over House Republicans in the Philadelphia suburbs - such as Mike Fitzpatrick in Bucks, and Pat Meehan in Delaware County, who represent moderate districts where new gun laws might be more politically palatable.

*This article can also be accessed if you copy and paste the entire address below into your web browser.

{omitted content


12 GOP senators back Rand Paul on gun-control filibuster - Jonathan Allen -

12 GOP senators back Rand Paul on gun-control filibuster - Jonathan Allen -

Hairy Reid can bring it up for a vote as early as next week, it says.

Employment situation, March 2013

The most recent numbers:

143.2 million working in Mar. 2013

The last one attributable to the Bush Administration

143.3 million working in Dec. 2008

Fewer people are working now than the last month of the Bush Administration.  Now that's what the "progressives" call progress.  More people on foodstamps and disability.  That's a feature, not a bug for the Dems.

Almonds and bananas as health food?

-- Comment --
According a commenter on free republic---"almonds and bananas, and you've got it made"


Low Magnesium Linked To Heart Disease

Low magnesium levels have been found to be the best predictor of heart disease, contrary to the traditional belief that cholesterol or saturated fat play the biggest roles...

To read the full article, please go to:


-- Disclaimer --
Medical News Today is not responsible for the content of this e-mail. Anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Medical News Today. Please note that this e-mail is an automated notification e-mail, sent by "me", via a form on the Medical News Today website. For that reason, neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified.

Senate votes highlight Dem divisions over Keystone pipeline, carbon taxes

The Hill's E2-Wire


“Congress has entered a period of legislative limbo on climate, in part because a partisan divide on climate science that exists nowhere else in the world,” said Paul Bledsoe, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund.

“There’s also a sneaking sense that many members of Congress on both sides prefer to let the President do the heavy lifting through regulation, rather than undertake more effective but politically complicated action themselves,” added Bledsoe, who worked on climate as an aide in the Clinton White House.[ emphasis added]
The only "sneaking sense" that I get from this is the idea that the left is trying to fuzz up an issue on which they are losing support.

Climate change is a code word for increased regulation and taxation.  It is packaged as a benefit---improved environment---but it doesn't deliver that.  Instead, it delivers a weaker economy and no change in performance on improvement in climate.  That's because climate is beyond our control.  Taxation and regulation is within our power to change, which can start if the language and the premises are properly defined.

Free Bitcoins?

Looks like a bunch of garbage to me.  I went there after setting up my wallet.  Forget about it.  Too much junk and a waste of time.

I'm not going to buy bitcoins, can't earn them by mining because it is too hard, and now that leaves donations.

Running out of options fast on that experiment.

3-D printer builds synthetic tissues

What kind of tissues isn't specified in the article.

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Washington Post: campaign finance complaint


Question: are the dems worried about this because of corruption,
or is it because it threatens their political fortunes?

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NYT: U.S. Adds Only 88,000 Jobs; Jo

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LA Times - Three justices' concern over gay parenting surprises experts

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No deal in sight on final day of Iran nuclear talks | JPost | Israel News

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I have a bitcoin wallet


I think that I've researched this about as much as my time allows.  Now, it is time to get some practical experience.

I won't put any bitcoins into this wallet.  It is an experiment.  I'll put up the address here on the web under the donate button.  If anybody wants to donate using bitcoins, that option now exists.  The link will be on the side bar to this post and this bitcoin address is ( drum roll please ) :


bitcoin thingy

Friday, April 5, 2013

PJTV: Asteroid Apocalypse: The Tech Exists to Deflect Asteroids...

Discussion of science, planetary defense, and the mining of asteroids as synergistic projects.

Texas family sells Porsche for bitcoins


If you have been reading my posts, you may recall that I mentioned Goldmoney before.  Goldmoney reminds me of bitcoin.  It proposed to be a medium of exchange over the internet.  You could pay for goods with Goldmoney in units of gold grams, which is the equivalent of 1 gram of gold at market rates.

Well, I was looking at the Goldmoney site yesterday and something caught my eye.  Back in 2011, they were compelled ( in my opinion) to stop the practice of using gold as money.  If I am not mistaken, this coincides with the beginning of the European crisis.

Now, bitcoin has only been around since 2009.  Goldmoney has been around since 2001.  Do any of these dates ring a bell?  Bitcoin is kind of like Goldmoney without the gold.

What I get from this is that the central banks and the politicians suppressed Goldmoney and they are trying to do the same with bitcoin.  Note that bitcoin is harder to suppress.  It is intangible.  It can exist anywhere on the world wide web.  Therefore, it is going to be harder to stop than Goldmoney.  Bitcoin may be stopped, but if it is, something else even harder to stop will emerge in its place.  When that happens, fiat currencies will be in big trouble.  Their continued existence relies upon a captive audience.

David Cameron: North Korea nuclear strike could hit UK


Perhaps a strike over the North Pole?  Not impossible.

Kyle Bass: "Japan Will Implode Under Weight Of Their Debt"

video via Zero Hedge

I found out this morning that MtGox, which is a bitcoin exchange, is based in Japan.  There was a blip in bitcoin markets overnight, plus a big move by the BOJ mentioned in the video below:

Any connections?

Bitcoin is virtual, gold is real money, USD$ is a compromise

On The Money-ness Of Bitcoins

Do androids dream of electric sheep?

That's the title of the book that the movie Blade Runner was based upon.

Anyway, there's a bit of news that ties into this book.  A computer can 'see' your dreams.

What will they think of next?  Androids, like RoboCop?

Bitcoin Hacked: Price Stumbles After Buying Frenzy



Online currency bitcoin had 20 percent knocked off its price overnight on Thursday as one of its major exchanges became the victim of a hacking attack


Bitcoin news is rather fast developing.  Something a year old is ancient history when it comes to bitcoin.

The fallacy of gun-control

It has been stated so many times that it has been become a cliche---if you get rid of guns, only the crooks will have guns.  This latest drive towards gun-control came as a result of the school shooting in Connecticut.

This Washington Times article has a quote worth noting here, but it is not going to get through to these thick-headed types who insist upon legislating ineffectual laws that won't address the real issue:

Before the Newtown tragedy, the Brady Campaign determined that Connecticut was the fifth highest-rated state for restrictive gun-control laws. Adam Lanza ignored those laws — such as including stealing the guns, carrying them without a permit and violating the federal “gun free” school zone — in his evil mission to murder school children and teachers.[emphasis added]

 What gun-control supporters don't get or don't care is that the laws just passed do not address any of these basic facts.  The only people who are going to observe these laws are the very ones who are the least likely to do any harm.  The ones most likely to violate the laws won't be deterred from violating this one either.

This isn't about gun-control, it's about people control.  But they are controlling the wrong people.  The ones they should be controlling are the ones they are protecting.  The government itself needs to be brought under control.

We need government control, not gun-control.

[Shared Post] Beginners Guide to Mining Bitcoins

In case you are interested, check out the following post:

Beginners Guide to Mining Bitcoins

More information here in this video:


These two sources say to buy BitCoins.  Why?  It is difficult to mine them.  [Hmm.   Just a sidebar here, I've been writing them as BitCoins and bitcoins.  It is easier to write bitcoins, so now I'll just write it that way because it is easier.]

An interesting thing mentioned in the video is that bitcoin exchanges are being regulated.  So much so that a big exchange, MtGox is getting out of the business.  Evidently, the government is concerned enough about these things to pay attention to them and to shut them down if that is what it takes.

This leaves me with the impression that the only thing bitcoin has to offer is the ability to move money around surreptitiously.  That means the government is going to be interested in this, you can "take that to the bank".


More about mining bitcoins here.  My impression is that this is a tough job, like real mining.  You could even lose your stash, like what happened in the Treasure of Sierra Madre.  Maybe it is well if you had a sense of humor about it.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Obama seeks reprise of Speaker Pelosi

The corresponding www article is:

Additional comment is:

Sounds like a threat .

Geopolitical Weekly: Beyond the Post-Cold War World

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Beyond the Post-Cold War World


An era ended when the Soviet Union collapsed on Dec. 31, 1991. The confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union defined the Cold War period. The collapse of Europe framed that confrontation. After World War II, the Soviet and American armies occupied Europe. Both towered over the remnants of Europe's forces. The collapse of the European imperial system, the emergence of new states and a struggle between the Soviets and Americans for domination and influence also defined the confrontation. There were, of course, many other aspects and phases of the confrontation, but in the end, the Cold War was a struggle built on Europe's decline.

Many shifts in the international system accompanied the end of the Cold War. In fact, 1991 was an extraordinary and defining year. The Japanese economic miracle ended. China after Tiananmen Square inherited Japan's place as a rapidly growing, export-based economy, one defined by the continued pre-eminence of the Chinese Communist Party. The Maastricht Treaty was formulated, creating the structure of the subsequent European Union. A vast coalition dominated by the United States reversed the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

The post-Cold War world had two phases. The first lasted from Dec. 31, 1991, until Sept. 11, 2001. The second lasted from 9/11 until now. Read More »

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What I think I know about BitCoin right now

So, I've been researching this BitCoin phenomenon now for a few days.  I've posted most of what I've learned, but not everything.

The only thing that I haven't posted is this: how do you spend your BitCoins?  The answer is: not very easily.  There simply isn't many places that accept BitCoins, as far as I've been able to find.  Mostly, its for stuff that you can do without.  You can't buy food, clothing, gasoline, or many consumables with these BitCoins unless I'm missing something.

That's one thing.  Then there's the value problem, which is what I've posted about.  Therefore, I'd say that you really don't want to have a lot of BitCoins in your possession if the value of your BitCoins goes to zero very suddenly.  That's a real possibility.  The only thing holding up the value of BitCoins right now is that people seem to be willing to buy them.  They buy them and then what?

That brings up the question of why are people buying these things?  The answer is that it may be in support of an underground economy of sorts.  The price that you see for BitCoins could represent the interface between the demand for cash in place of the BitCoins, which are being traded in the underground economy.

You need cash to buy everyday items.  You can trade BitCoins for illegal stuff.  BitCoins could be useful for evading authorities because of the anonymity of the transactions.  To give an example, what if a prostitute sells her services for BitCoins?  She can't be busted if the authorities can't prove she accepted money for sex.   If they can't prove a transaction, they can't prove a crime.

It may support the drug trade, but mere possession of drugs is illegal.  Sex between consenting adults isn't illegal, as far as I know.  But it may help the drug trade move money around, or hide it from authorities.

Another thing holding up the price could be something akin to a Tulip Craze.  In other words, an asset bubble.  Unless there's some way to establish values for BitCoins, they can't ever go mainstream.

Bitcoin is backed by Weed. [???]

Published on Oct 26, 2012 BitcoinOz

Sponsored by - the Ebay of legal non drugs.

Don't Buy Bitcoins

Uploaded on Apr 22, 2011


See also my article: The theory of money in the tradition of Carl Menger

Obviously, a critical view of BitCoin.

Jon Matonis on Bitcoin and crypto-currencies



Published on Mar 29, 2013

Subscribe to our newsletter at Episode 118: GoldMoney's Andy Duncan talks to Jon Matonis of the Bitcoin Foundation who is also a contributor to Forbes Magazine. They discuss Bitcoin's latest price spike and whether crypto-currencies are a credible alternative as a medium of exchange.


GoldMoney is a gold vault operation, for want of a better term.  This is their communication, which is amongst the ways in which they communicate with the world.

You can buy and sell gold there, with what they call gold grams, which represent 1 gram of gold.  In comparison to an ounce, it takes about 30 grams to equal an ounce.  GoldMoney's vault is located in the Channel Island of Jersey, near England, if memory serves.  I traded with them there, on the internet, in 2007.  I stopped fairly quickly that year when the US government started interfering, to my displeasure.

My contribution to the thoughts on this matter on the video is that since BitCoin is peer-to-peer, and a value is needed to establish what a BitCoin is actually is worth, then all is needed is some agreement amongst the BitCoin community as what that value of a BitCoin actually is.  Now, if BitCoin is pegged amongst the community that it is worth so many gold grams, then you have achieved an objective value of a BitCoin, in my opinion.

Real currencies are set up by governments.  A government is a group of people who exert authority and operate according to some kind of mutual agreement amongst them.  In comparison, you would need to have a way to police a system, amongst the participants in that system.   Now, a group of people can set this up and run it according to a charter they agreed upon.  It can govern the system.

The video doesn't cover this, by the way.  It is my own thought on the matter.

Anyway, here's the video

Guest Post: Will Globalists Use North Korea To Trigger Catastrophe?

Zero Hedge


a war in North Korea serves the more malicious interests of globalization. No matter what happens in the near future, it is important for Americans to always question the true motives behind any event and ask ourselves who, in the end, truly benefited.


A plausible motive for what's happening in Korea.  The idea is to get rid of the US dollar as a reserve currency.

Actually, my own take is that if this is true, it may also be a way to take down a source of US power.  The real power behind North Korea is Russia and China.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Anti-Keystone billionaire rattles Democrats - Andrew Restuccia and Kenneth P. Vogel -

Anti-Keystone billionaire rattles Democrats - Andrew Restuccia and Kenneth P. Vogel -

The Dems want to play it both ways.  For or agin ,  can't be both.

Connecticut lawmakers set to vote on tough new gun law

I found this article on Reuters Mobile (

Connecticut lawmakers set to vote on tough new gun law

No authority to do this under the US constitution.

Bitcoins and Johnny Walker

How do you set a Bitcoin price?  How do you know if the price is fair?  Could you set some type of gold standard, but without the hassle of holding gold?

In my recollection, money has taken the form of commodities at various points in history.  Such as a barrel of whiskey or tobacco during Colonial Times.  Commodities would be good, because they don't change, or don't change much.

You really want prices to be stable.  How do you know that you receive value if prices aren't stable?

Let's say you can buy this for 1 Bitcoin

Johnny Walker

Then, you may be in business.

Bitcoin & The End of State-Controlled Money: Q&A with Jerry Brito


While researching this topic of Bitcoin, the ideas expressed above are what I mean when I say that I don't get it. It is still dependent upon existent currencies.  How does it replace anything?

The Innovation Project 2013 - Al Gore Speaks On Mobile Money And The Global Mind


“When Bitcoin currency is converted from currency into cash, that interface has to remain under some regulatory safeguards. I think the fact that within the Bitcoin universe an algorithm replaces the functions of [the government] … is actually pretty cool,” Gore said. “I know that there are a lot of innovators that are out there that are trying to think up … come up with new models and I look forward to that.”[ emphasis added]


Surely, Gore jests.  Something here doesn't add up.  How can those who are pushing Bitcoin as some kind of revolutionary monetary system square that with what Gore said?  Or vice versa.

Say it ain't so!

Guest Post: The Myth Of U.S. Energy Independence

Bit-Pay Mobile Checkout

As I wrote earlier, I don't get Bitcoin. So, I'm trying to get an education on the concept and found a video that I'd thought I'd share. There are other videos, of course.

Once you get into this, your curiosity may grow. Incidentally, if you mention Bitcoin to people, they'll probably shrug it all off.   So did I.   I've heard about Bitcoin for some time now, but it didn't get my attention enough for me to begin researching it until yesterday.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Beyond the Post-Cold War World ( updated)


This is to balance off some of the negativism here.  The analysis of the world situation holds that the USA is still at the top of the heap.

I don't know if the Chinese have gotten the memo, though.  They have different ideas, I'm sure.

Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk comes out for same-sex marriage - Daily News

Another GOP senator abandons tradition, betrays the base , and supports same sex marriage.

The GOP may as well close shop.

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Musk: SpaceX to Attempt Falcon 9 First Stage Water Landing

At a joint press conference with NASA earlier today, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the company will try a water landing of its Falcon 9 first stage later [this] year.

Looks like the same story I posted on earlier.  The link above has a few more details, though.

US Dollar as reserve currency is at risk

Thanks, World Reserve Currency, But No Thanks: Australia And China To Enable Direct Currency Convertibility

U.S. on alert for nuclear blast overhead

Free Republic

WASHINGTON – U.S. officials quietly are expressing concern that North Korea could use its “space launch vehicle” to explode a high-altitude nuclear device over the United States, creating an electromagnetic pulse that would destroy major portions of the U.S. electrical grid system as well as the nation’s critical infrastructures.

You mean that Bush's Airborne Laser System, which was canceled by You Know Who, could have helped with this?  I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you.

I discussed the EMP possibility just a few days ago.

Obama and the Democrats Hate Free Americans


As many of you know, the push to turn us into a Marxist/neo-fascist, totalitarian, top-down dictatorship began in 1913 with the Democrats and the “progressive movement,” and has never gone away.

And I thought that it all began in the seventies!

Bitcoin ( updated)

Guest Post: What Every Libertarian Should Know About Bitcoin

Monday, April 1, 2013

Pessimism, part 3

It seemed that this little bit of self-examination was necessary.  It does appear to be a reason for concern today.  Being pessimistic about the situation isn't unreasonable given the track record of the government for as long as I can remember.

In particular, I reviewed this video once again.  Now, if this guy is right- and I think that, unfortunately to say the least, that he is- then it is a very serious matter.

Banks are setting themselves up for a big crash and governments are letting them do it.  The politicians are a little too corrupt to be good servants of the people.  They have really screwed the pooch this time.

One thing that banks should never be allowed to do is to monkey around with their reserves.  That's what the video says they are doing.  It appears that they are being very conservative about it, but that little bitty crack they opened up can bring on a catastrophic failure.

Let's just hope that this guy's facts are wrong, and they aren't doing that.  Because if he's right, we've got a problem.

On pessimism part two

Do people who are negative know that they are that way?

That is a question I saw on quora.

I posted about that this very morning.

I think the question implies a bias towards being optimistic about things in general.

You could flip the bias to the negative, and ask : do people who are positive have a realistic understanding of the situation that applies?

There's nothing wrong with being positive but there must exist a reason for the optimism.

Being negative does not necessarily mean that you're being unreasonable, nor does being positive as being synonymous with being right or accurate.

I would rather be right than be optimistic if the optimism was unrealistic.

By the same token, I would hate to be pessimistic if there were some reason to believe that there were very legitimate reasons to be hopeful about a situation.

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On pessimism

This blog started off with some optimism.  I figured that there were solutions out there, and all that was necessary was to implement them.

It must have changed with the reelection of Obama.  Maybe the reality of what has happened to this country began to overwhelm whatever optimism there may have been left.

I'm pretty sure we are headed for a crack-up.  Don't know how or when, but it is bound to occur.

That business I read about this past weekend with respect to gold probably croaked my optimism for good.

You know what they are doing with gold?  They are treating it the same way that they are doing with paper money.  They've created a fractional banking system with gold.  The idea is that when somebody can't get their gold that they think they own, the entire system may crash.  Well, maybe.  You see, they lease out the gold and what happens is that the amount of gold that they have on hand isn't enough to cover the obligations that they are incurring during the meantime.  It's like a bank that can't cover the demands of the depositors. A bank run ensues and they have to shut down the bank.

People still think paper money is good, so maybe they will accept paper money in its stead.  That's a bit of gallows humor there, in case you didn't pick up on it.

It is hard to convey humor sometimes with the written word.  If you didn't laugh...

Texas won't secede

This is idle talk.  How do I know?  I didn't until this morning.  On Drudge, I found an article that says Governor Perry is under pressure to take the Obama money which would be used for ObamaCare.  The pressure is coming from within the Republican Party.

So, even the stalwart red Republican Party of Texas is hot for the free money from DC.  If that's true, no way Texas will get off that gravy train.

What a joke.

Early seventies was a turning point in history

Look what happened in the early seventies:
  • Cancellation of the molten-salt reactor
  • Cancellation of the NERVA ( nuclear thermal rocket)
  • End of Apollo, scrapping of the Saturn V rocket
  • The end of the gold standard.  Inflation spiked shortly afterward.
  • Arab Oil Embargo
  • Watergate and resignation of President Nixon
  • Until 1973, homosexuality was considered a mental disorder.
  • Roe v Wade decided in 1973
  • End of  the Vietnam War, South Vietnam collapses in 1975
  • Beginning of systemic budget deficits
These are the events that I can recall, there are undoubtedly many more.  It is almost as if something in this country snapped back then, and is only getting worse.

Perhaps the roots of this can be traced back to the sixties or earlier.  However, whatever the cause, the events themselves heralded the decline that we witness to this very day.

Iran and North Korea are now threats to the United States.  Who'd a thought that would be possible back in 1973?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Big Rock Candy Mountain

Sounds a bit like Merle Haggard's Rainbow Stew.

What could go wrong in Korea?

Haven't thought about this situation enough.

What are the possible scenarios?

Let's see what I can figure out on this.

At the top of the list is this:  Is N. Korea bluffing, or not?
If they are bluffing, that means they have nothing to threaten us with, or they won't use it.
In this case, they are hoping the bluff will make us go to the bargaining table and give them whatever they want.  This would be an overestimation of themselves, or and underestimation of Obama.  The latter could be dangerous for them if Obama does the unexpected.  That cannot be ruled out.  However, if they are forced to back down, this may cause them to plot for vengeance later.

If they are not bluffing, that means they've got something, and they will use it if they wish.
In this case, they have given up hope of getting anything from us, and will attack as a way of getting revenge.  They are prepared to deal with the counter strike that will come, and this doesn't scare them.
Information is the key here.  If our information is good, then we know what they've got and that can be a relief of sorts.  If our information is bad, they may pull off a coup of sorts.  However, they will have to accept the American response, which is surely not what they should wish for themselves.  Even if they cause tremendous damage to the US, they will not escape unharmed.  That would not be a good trade for US and an acceptable trade for them, but nobody actually would win in such a scenario, except for possibly Russia and China.

Whatever the Norks have as information probably relies heavily on Russian and Chinese intelligence.  But that is only as good as their intelligence is and also it is only as good as what those two will share.  The Norks may not have the whole story, and they probably know this.  Therefore, anything they do is very risky, and they must know this.

Here's something that just occurred to me.  If the Russians and Chinese believe that an American counter attack will only harm the Norks, they could offer to rebuild North Korea if they attack America.  In such a case as that, the Norks may find an attack to be worthwhile, if they can irreparably damage the United States.

Or, they may be playing for negotiations and concessions.  However, they may end up with war, which only benefits Russia and China.  There is, of course, the possibility that their attack will fail.  In the best case scenario for them, they may count on Russian and Chinese help after a successful attack, or maybe those two will welsh, and not help rebuild North Korea at all.

If North Korea feels it has nothing to lose, and much to gain, this could get very dangerous if we are not prepared.

So, what does Obama do?  If he does do something, it could get very ugly.  What the Norks are counting on is that he does another Clinton and negotiates.  But Obama can't repeat the Agreed Framework deal.  Not with Iran bubbling up beneath the surface with their own nukes.  Obama's wiggle room isn't very far.

So, what do the Norks want?

I recall that in the Bush era, they wanted some kind of non-aggression treaty, or something like that.  Threatening them with war doesn't play well with that scenario.  But Obama can't let the Nork's threats go by either, so he has to be seen as strong.  If he is seen as weak, Obama can lose political credibility---which is something he may not be able to afford later on.  There aren't a lot of good options here for Obama.  His best option is to play for time and find a way to strengthen his hand if he has a weak one.  Even if he has a strong hand, he needs to make sure he keeps it strong, which is not exactly what he's doing.

So, what could go wrong?  The thing that sometimes happens on the world stage.  Somebody miscalculates and something else goes boom.

Capital Controls equal Smoot-Hawley Tariffs

Coyote blog has a post about capital controls.  Which reminded me that somebody on the net said that this was like the Smoot-Hawley tariffs that were imposed during the Great Depression.   What the Coyote blog reminded me of was that Krugman is for capital controls.  That's what little Cyprus is doing to try to save itself from its latest financial crisis.

What was the effect of the Smoot-Hawley tariffs?  It caused the other trading partners to retaliate.  This led to a downturn in international trade that deepened the Great Depression.

Is international trade shrinking?  Well, I'm not sure.  It seems like I read somewhere that it was.  So, I brought up the Baltic Dry index to see.  Trouble is, with all the government interference in the economy, you don't know if any of the numbers are any good.  So, here's a snapshot of the last year.  I'd have like to have seen a longer version, but this is all that this chart will reveal.

Looks like a wedge pattern of higher lows, and lower highs.  A change of direction is coming soon.
It hasn't arrived yet, but changes are coming.  The leadership, if it can be called such, is hoping for a resumption of growth.  But if the Baltic Dry Index goes the wrong way, that won't happen, and we may see something quite different.

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.  Which is the case here?  I suspect farce.  Western Civilization is making a caricature of itself.

Don't laugh at the Nork leader

He might be able to hurt us, which would not be any laughing matter.

This is speculation, since I have no hard evidence of it being true.  I read on a Free Republic thread that the Norks could be developing an EMP type weapon.  If this is true, we may not be able to stop it.

How so?

A ballistic missile trajectory could be defended against by the anti-missile batteries that Bush built.  However, the hypothetical EMP device would be placed into an orbital trajectory, and thus have a faster, steeper trajectory.  Such a trajectory could not be reached by the anti-ballistic shield which was not designed for such a threat.  In other words, we'd have no defense against this type of attack.  That type of attack was not anticipated.

Moreover, such an attack may be disguised as a peaceful launch.  You may not know what hit you until it is too late.

The question is this, then:  do the Norks have such a device?  It is plausible that they could develop one, you know.  It doesn't require as much tech savvy as you might expect.  In addition, they already know how to get to orbit.  That was recently demonstrated.

There are ways to defend against such an attack, so the question there is: are we prepared?  I suspect that we are not.


Looking at a globe, it appears that a missile attack can be defended, even if it is in an orbital trajectory.  North Korea is not well-positioned to launch such an attack.

Risk - It's Not Just A Board Game

Zero Hedge
all markets from equities to bonds (and even risk itself) are priced as though 2007/8 never happened. It appears, Williams notes, given the market's perceptions that, "all the problems are behind us." He chides, "Nothing could be further from the truth."

It resembles the game of managing perceptions that I wrote about before.  Nothing is what it appears to be.