From Ambrose Bierce (1842 – date of death uncertain; probably December 1913 or early 1914), American satirist, critic, short story writer, editor and journalist. The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Vol. 8 (1911):
He who thinks with difficulty believes with alacrity.
Find the few who see the trend turning, at either tops or bottoms, before it actually turns, and that’s the real pool of geniuses. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:
Until the system implodes–you’re a genius.
So you’ve ridden the markets higher–stocks, housing, commercial real estate, bat guano, quatloos, you name it–everything you touch turns to gold. What can we say, bucko, other than you’re a genius!
It’s a market truism that rising tides lift all boats. But that’s not the really important effect; what really matters is rising tides turn everyone into a genius–at least in their own minds.
Those of us who have been seduced by the Sirens’ songs of hubris know from bitter experience how easy it is to confuse a rising tide with speculative genius. When everything you touch keeps going higher, the only possible cause is…. your hot hand, of course!
Stocks–I’m a genius! Housing–I’m a genius! Commercial real estate–yes, well, I suppose the evidence is overwhelming–it does seem I’m a genius.
The only thing better than buy and hold is buy the dips and hold–and use margin or whatever leverage you have to buy more before the price goes even higher.
What can we say other than: this is the strategy of geniuses. The proof is in the charts:
The S&P 500: margin to the hilt and buy every dip: genius!
Housing in Sweden, Toronto, Brooklyn, West L.A., San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Shanghai and every other blazing-hot market: borrow more from the shadow banking system, mortgage your house to the hilt, do whatever you have to do to get the down payment and buy another flat: pure genius!
From Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881), Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher, The House of the Dead (1862):
Whoever has experienced the power and the unrestrained ability to humiliate another human being automatically loses his own sensations. Tyranny is a habit, it has its own organic life, it develops finally into a disease. The habit can kill and coarsen the very best man or woman to the level of a beast. Blood and power intoxicate … the return of the human dignity, repentance and regeneration becomes almost impossible.”
From Sinclair Lewis (1885–1951), American writer, the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1930, Main Street (1920):
It has not yet been recorded that any human being has gained a very large or permanent contentment from meditation upon the fact that he is better off than others.
This is an interesting, but detailed and long, account of how the Reagan administration set up psyops sell its interventions, primarily in Central America, both at home and abroad. From Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com:
Special Report: The mainstream U.S. media obsesses over Russian “propaganda” yet the U.S. government created a “psyops” bureaucracy three decades ago to flood the world with dubious information, reports Robert Parry.
Newly declassified documents from the Reagan presidential library help explain how the U.S. government developed its sophisticated psychological operations capabilities that – over the past three decades – have created an alternative reality both for people in targeted countries and for American citizens, a structure that expanded U.S. influence abroad and quieted dissent at home.
The documents reveal the formation of a psyops bureaucracy under the direction of Walter Raymond Jr., a senior CIA covert operations specialist who was assigned to President Reagan’s National Security Council staff to enhance the importance of propaganda and psyops in undermining U.S. adversaries around the world and ensuring sufficient public support for foreign policies inside the United States.
Raymond, who has been compared to a character from a John LeCarré novel slipping easily into the woodwork, spent his years inside Reagan’s White House as a shadowy puppet master who tried his best to avoid public attention or – it seems – even having his picture taken. From the tens of thousands of photographs from meetings at Reagan’s White House, I found only a couple showing Raymond – and he is seated in groups, partially concealed by other officials.
But Raymond appears to have grasped his true importance. In his NSC files, I found a doodle of an organizational chart that had Raymond at the top holding what looks like the crossed handles used by puppeteers to control the puppets below them. Although it’s impossible to know exactly what the doodler had in mind, the drawing fits the reality of Raymond as the behind-the-curtains operative who was controlling the various inter-agency task forces that were responsible for implementing various propaganda and psyops strategies.
To continue reading: How US Flooded the World with Psyops