Category Archives: Society

We’re All Currency Manipulators Now, by David Stockman

With universal fiat currencies backed by nothing, every government is a currency manipulator, including the US government. From David Stockman at lewrockwell.com:

Call it the monetary theater of the absurd. After all, here is what a determined currency manipulator did between September 2002 and July 2008.

To wit, it pumped about $200 billion of new dollar liabilities into the world financial system, thereby expanding the Fed’s balance sheet by 26%. Clearly, global traders and US trading partners didn’t welcome that flood of freshly minted fiat currency because during the same period, the traded-weighted dollar exchange rate plunged by 25%.

Moreover, there can be little doubt that the severe slump in the US dollar shown below was deliberate. During much of that period, the Fed conducted an aggressive campaign to slash interest rates, goose domestic growth and perk-up the inflation rate. The last objective in particular was the brain child of newly appointed Fedhead Ben Bernanke, who falsely warned Greenspan & Co. about the dangers of an imminent “deflation” that never remotely happened.

Needless to say, the impolite word for a policy of suppressing domestic interest rates and goosing inflation is trashing your own currency. All things being equal, foreigners will lighten their dollar holdings and trade the dollar down when authorities promise to reduce its purchasing power and to push yields lower relative to alternatives abroad.

Continue reading

Advertisements

We’re All Enemies of the State: Draconian Laws, Precrime & the Surveillance State, by John W. Whitehead

The iron grasp of the US government is closing in. Will anyone slip through its fingers? From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”—H.L. Mencken

We’ve been down this road many times before.

If the government is consistent about any one thing, it is this: it has an unnerving tendency to exploit crises and use them as opportunities for power grabs under the guise of national security.

As David C. Unger, a foreign affairs editorial writer for the New York Times, explains, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have given way to permanent crisis management: to policing the planet and fighting preventative wars of ideological containment, usually on terrain chosen by, and favorable to, our enemies. Limited government and constitutional accountability have been shouldered aside by the kind of imperial presidency our constitutional system was explicitly designed to prevent.”

Cue the Emergency State, the government’s Machiavellian version of crisis management that justifies all manner of government tyranny in the so-called name of national security.

Terrorist attacks, mass shootings, “unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters”: the government has been anticipating and preparing for such crises for years now.

It’s all part of the grand plan for total control.

The government’s proposed response to the latest round of mass shootings—red flag gun laws, precrime surveillance, fusion centers, threat assessments, mental health assessments, involuntary confinement—is just more of the same.

These tactics have been employed before, here in the U.S. and elsewhere, by other totalitarian regimes, with devastating results.

It’s a simple enough formula: first, you create fear, then you capitalize on it by seizing power.

For instance, in his remarks on the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump promised to give the FBI “whatever they need” to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism.

Let that sink in a moment.

In a post-9/11 America, Trump’s promise bodes ill for whatever remnants of freedom we have left. With that promise, flippantly delivered without any apparent thought for the Constitution’s prohibitions on such overreach, the president has given the FBI the green light to violate Americans’ civil liberties in every which way.

This is how the Emergency State works, after all.

Continue reading

Things Fall Apart, by Michael Krieger

It is SLL’s contention that things have been falling apart for many years. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

– Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

You’re not losing your mind, everybody else is. Things are crazy and getting crazier. Something must be done. Somebody, please do something.

If paying attention to global events overwhelms and results in a combined sense of dread, concern and bewilderment, you’re not alone. It’s not simply because humans have more access to more information than ever before that you feel this way, there does appear to be a quickening in the pace of the unfolding of humanity’s latest chapter. Things are genuinely falling apart, but things are always falling apart. Likewise, things are always being built and created. Governments come and governments go, as do global empires and monetary systems. Everything is dying and being born all at once, constantly and forever. This will not change.

That said, there are periods in history when the entire paradigm you’ve been accustomed to living under changes rather abruptly and for good. A change of this nature alters the entire game on a global basis and happens perhaps once in a lifetime. The last such shift happened during World War 2 and we’re living in the next one. How big of a change this will represent in the context of human history remains unknown, but we know it’s big. Really, really big.

Continue reading→

 

Fourth Turning Economics (Part Two), by Jim Quinn

Quinn continues his analysis of how the economy and world will change as we’re enveloped by the fourth turning. From Quinn at theburningplatform.com:

In Part One of this article I laid out the unsustainable economic conditions which will drive the next phase of this Fourth Turnings and detailed the economic factors which drove the previous three American Fourth Turnings.

Image result for fourth turning crisis

Strauss and Howe, when writing The Fourth Turning in 1997, did not know the exact circumstances and events which would propel the next Turning. But their study of economic and demographic trends along with the attitudes of generations and historical precedents in prior Fourth Turnings, led them to conclude the driving factors of this Crisis would be debt, global disorder and civic decay.

As I watch what is currently happening in this country and around the world, it is evident to me they nailed it. The volcanic eruption in 2008 unleashed a torrent of molten lava, which continues to flow along channels of distress, but is currently threatening to burst free of these channels and wreak worldwide financial and physical devastation. A multitude of possibilities described by Strauss and Howe below are already happening or will happen in the next few years.

Continue reading→

 

California’s Homeless Crisis Has Reached “Epic Proportions”, by Mac Slavo

California has taken a bold step forward and banned plastic straws, but it can’t seem to do anything about the ever burgeoning ranks of its homeless. From Mac Slavo at shtfplan.com:

The homeless crisis in the Democrat stronghold of California has reached epic proportions. Even after throwing billions of dollars at the problem, the state is unable to solve the epidemic they created.

And California’s plan to throw billions of dollars more at the issue won’t do much either. The problem isn’t a lack of money.  The problem is the socialist policies in place that make homelessness inevitable. There are now nearly 60,000 homeless people living in Los Angeles County, a 12% increase from the previous year, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

According to National Interest, Los Angeles is not the only county suffering under the weight of freedom-trampling socialist regulations that make it difficult for the average person to even get by, let alone afford a roof over their head. Other localities in California also saw substantial increases compared with 2017, when they last conducted a count, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. In San Francisco, the number [of homeless people] rose 17% while Alameda County, which includes Oakland, saw a 43% increase. Homelessness grew 42% in San Jose over the past two years and 31% in Santa Clara County, the heart of Silicon Valley.

Wealthy Elitists Freak Out As Hordes Of Homeless People Take Over Their Neighborhoods All Over The West Coast

“Even in the good old days, there was a Skid Row. Now the beggars, drug addicts, and lost souls are all over the city,” wrote San Francisco Chronicle columnist Carl Nolte.

The city is out of control. Traffic is a mess, but it’s rare to see a traffic control officer. Trucks are double-parked everywhere. The city is dirty—a friend just back from Mexico City was astounded to find the streets there far cleaner than the ones in her native city. There is so much human waste on the streets of San Francisco the city formed a ‘poop patrol’ where workers are paid $71,000 a year, about the same as the average school teacher. -Carl Nolte, San Francisco Chronicle

Nolte even nails the direct cause of the problem and it’s California’s government and the people who elect them.

To cope with these problems, the citizens have continued to elect weak city governments, all built on compromise and deals with competing pressure groups. At City Hall, everybody is responsible for everything and nobody is responsible for anything.

To make a complex problem worse, the city has so many rules and regulations that it has become nearly impossible to build anything. And the city desperately needs new housing. San Francisco has the highest building costs in the country. Architects and builders say it costs an average of $650,000 to build an ordinary San Francisco home these days. Even affordable housing is not affordable. Carl Nolte, San Francisco Chronicle

To those who continue to warn of the destruction of socialist policies, this is obvious. To those who want everything handed to them after it’s first stolen from someone else, it looks like a utopia.  But that’s because it’s easier to vote for politicians to “steal from the rich” than it is to beat the politicians own rules and become rich. Humans have lost their sense of individuality and their freedom in the process of taking the easy road.

California’s government also seems to have more pressing matters to attend to anyway, like banning plastic straws, plastic bags, and paper receipts. They’ve also begun providing free health care coverage to illegal immigrants while their homeless population burgeons.  California maintains a generous welfare regime, and it’s temperate and generally pleasant weather make it a natural haven for homeless people.

But the best way for the state to help the people is by doing the one thing the state won’t do: get the hell out of their way.

 

Bowling Alone: How Washington Has Helped Destroy American Civil Society and Family Life, by Alex

America was once a country with a thriving civic culture. No more.  From Alex at ammo.com:

Church attendance in the United States is at an all-time low, according to a Gallup poll released in April 2019. This decline has not been a steady one. Indeed, over the last 20 years, church attendance has fallen by 20 percent. This might not sound like cause for concern off the bat. And if you’re not a person of faith, you might rightly wonder why you would care about such a thing.

Church attendance is simply a measure of something deeper: social cohesion. It’s worth noting that the religions with the highest rate of attendance according to Pew Forum have almost notoriously high levels of social cohesion: Latter-Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Evangelical Protestants, Mormons and historically black churches top the list.

There’s also the question of religious donations. Religious giving has declined by 50 percent since 1990, according to a 2016 article in the New York Times. This means people who previously used religious services to make ends meet now either have to go without or receive funding from the government. This, in turn, strengthens the central power of the state.

It is our position that civil society – those elements of society which exist independently of big government and big business – are essential to a functioning and free society. What’s more, these institutions are in rapid decline in the United States, and have been for over 50 years.

Continue reading→

 

It Is What It Is, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

“It is what it is” is essentially a tautology, but it has become a catchphrase for a variety of sentiments. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

I was in a gathering of folks when a dispute escalated between a husband and wife over what has now become the title of this article.  During our discussion someone recited those words and the wife divulged how much she hated that statement.  After quietly listening to the exchange for a few moments, the husband spoke up and said:  “Well that must be more proof of how opposites attract, because I LOVE that phrase and I say it all the time!

Which may have been part of the reason why the wife disliked the expression, but I wasn’t about to go there.

Instead, I mentioned how that particular shibboleth of sortswas surely defined in the minds of the beholders.  On the one hand, its utterance could be an excuse – even a fatalistic expression derived from laziness or defeatism.  Or, like the purveyor of produce in Ayn Rand’s epic tome, “Atlas Shrugged” – when Dagny Taggart asked the grocery vendor why she didn’t move her product from out of the sun and into the shade and her reply was:  “Because it’s always been that way”.

Oh, the world sucks?  Of course it does.  Why bother.

It is what is.

Continue reading→