• Steve H. Hanke
    05/04/2016 - 08:00
    Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke. A few weeks ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) sprang a surprise. It announced that a...

Guest Post: Into The Economic Abyss

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Mon, 04/25/2011 - 07:10 | 1202908 BernankeHasHemo...
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Ezekiel 25:17. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of Obama. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon Obama with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you, Obama.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 07:16 | 1202923 Blotsky
Blotsky's picture

Samuel L. Jackson

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 14:51 | 1204651 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Not that I'm sensitive about such things, but the line from Pulp Fiction cannot be found in the Bible as such.   There are elements of the killer's favorite line there, but not the whole thing, and not in that combination.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 07:28 | 1202941 Squid-puppets a...
Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

if only the people would go medieval on bernanke's ass

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 09:25 | 1203186 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You are welcome to start unless you don't feel you're one of the "people" you refer to.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 13:38 | 1204221 tomster0126
tomster0126's picture

what are we waiting for?  use Facebook to create a group, let's get a mass protest organized.  seriously.



Mon, 04/25/2011 - 08:03 | 1203001 Twindrives
Twindrives's picture

That's why Barry Soetoro (the big bankers' shoe shine boy) was installed in the White House in 2008, to lead America into the abyss.......and if re-elected in 2012..... into hell.     

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 08:12 | 1203014 thedrickster
thedrickster's picture

Word, the CIA creation that is Barry O.


Mon, 04/25/2011 - 12:09 | 1203768 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

What is weird is that Obama is a Marxist. Did the CIA create a Marxist president as part of their mission to combat Communism?

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 08:14 | 1203012 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Guess what people, they be planning to keep you trapped in the US


State Dept adding intrusive, semi-impossible questionnaire for US passport applications


Olga sez, "The U.S. Dept of State is proposing a new Biographical Questionnaire for passport applicants: proposed new Form DS-5513 asks for all addresses since birth; lifetime employment history, personal details of siblings; mother's addresses prior to your birth; any "religious ceremony" around time of birth, circumstances of birth including names (as well as addresses/phone numbers) of persons present, & more. Failure to answer can mean denial of passport, & govt reserves right to use this info for 'routine uses.'"

It seems likely that only some, not all, applicants will be required to fill out the new questionnaire, but no criteria have been made public for determining who will be subjected to these additional new written interrogatories. So if the passport examiner wants to deny your application, all they will have to do is give you the impossible new form to complete.

It's not clear from the supporting statement, statement of legal authorities, or regulatory assessment submitted by the State Department to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) why declining to discuss one's siblings or to provide the phone number of your first supervisor when you were a teenager working at McDonalds would be a legitimate basis for denial of a passport to a U.S. citizen.

You've got the rest of today to submit your comments on this proposal. Lots of additional material at the link below.


State Dept. wants to make it harder to get a passport

by Edward Hasbrouck on April 22, 2011

If you don’t want it to get even harder for a U.S. citizen to get a passport — now required for travel even to Canada or Mexico — you only have until Monday to let the State Department know.

The U.S. Department of State is proposing a new Biographical Questionnaire for some passport applicants: The proposed new  Form DS-5513 asks for all addresses since birth; lifetime employment history including employers’ and supervisors names, addresses, and telephone numbers; personal details of all siblings; mother’s address one year prior to your birth; any “religious ceremony” around the time of birth; and a variety of other information.  According to the proposed form, “failure to provide the information requested may result in … the denial of your U.S. passport application.”

The State Department estimated that the average respondent would be able to compile all this information in just 45 minutes, which is obviously absurd given the amount of research that is likely to be required to even attempt to complete the form.

It seems likely that only some, not all, applicants will be required to fill out the new questionnaire, but no criteria have been made public for determining who will be subjected to these additional new written interrogatories.  So if the passport examiner wants to deny your application, all they will have to do is give you the impossible new form to complete.

It’s not clear from the supporting statementstatement of legal authorities, or regulatory assessment submitted by the State Department to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) why declining to discuss one’s siblings or to provide the phone number of your first supervisor when you were a teenager working at McDonalds would be a legitimate basis for denial of a passport to a U.S. citizen.

There’s more information in the Federal Register notice (also available here as a PDF) and from the Identity Project.

You can submit comments to the State Dept. online at  Regulations.gov until midnight Eastern time on Monday, April 25, 2011.  Go here, then click the “Submit a Comment” button at the upper right of the page. If that link doesn’t work for you, it’s probably a problem with the javascript used on the Regulations.gov website. There are alternate instructions for submitting comments by email here.

(Note that the proposed form itself was not published in the Federal Register. The Identity Project was eventually provided with a copy after requesting it from the Department of State, and posted it here.)

Here’s a draft of the comments (PDF) being submitted by the Consumer Travel Alliance and other consumer, privacy, and civil liberties groups and individuals, if you would like to use it for ideas for comments of your own. (It’s also available  in OpenOffice format for easier editing.)

Extra points to the person who gives the best answer in the comments to the question on the proposed form, “Please describe the circumstances of your birth including the names (as well as address and phone number, if available) of persons present or in attendance at your birth.”

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 08:50 | 1203094 lesterbegood
lesterbegood's picture

The FedCorp does not want anybody leaving the country with their property. Confiscation coming soon?

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 09:23 | 1203164 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture


 Apparently adopted persons, children of divorced parents, families who move often, individuals with deceased parents, and individuals with extensive work histories are, along with others, to be arbitrarily denied passports.

(Hmmm, just what were my mother's addresses during when I was ages -1 thru 10?)

 The penalty for any suspected "fraud" in completing the form will no doubt be a decade or more in a FEMA work camp

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 13:44 | 1204240 tomster0126
tomster0126's picture

Nooo....is this for real?  Thoughts on a national ID card being instituted, and perhaps used as a form of paperless currency?



Mon, 04/25/2011 - 09:30 | 1203193 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Oh boy, that sounds "doublesuperplusungood."

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 10:42 | 1203441 Founders Keeper
Founders Keeper's picture

[State Dept. wants to make it harder to get a passport]---Gully Foyle

Thanks for your post, Gully. Point noted.

My point: My family and I won't be needing a passport. We won't be leaving America. This is our country. Our home. This is where Lady Liberty stands, and we stand with her, beside her, and will fall or fail before her.

So help me God.


Mon, 04/25/2011 - 19:39 | 1205805 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Sorry, mate; Lady Liberty left the US some time ago.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 12:36 | 1203865 AurorusBorealus
AurorusBorealus's picture

 “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’[a]
   She has become a dwelling for demons
and a haunt for every impure spirit,
   a haunt for every unclean bird,
   a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
3 For all the nations have drunk
   the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
   and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 13:49 | 1204298 Whatta
Whatta's picture

yeah...so exactly when the fug will the meek inherit the earth? A post bernank-obama-harvard mba-giant squid-fukishima earth probably won't have much left to offer.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 07:14 | 1202909 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Yep, when the US goes the way of Argentina, it won't be pretty!

Titor was right, once the US goes kaboom, fighting is gonna start. Everywhere in the US by 2012.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 07:19 | 1202929 Mongo
Mongo's picture

Decoupling bitches!

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 07:26 | 1202934 DutchTreat
DutchTreat's picture

If the German script will be followed an American Hitler will stand up and accuse the Asians. Go long (EU) defense companies. 

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 07:43 | 1202969 Nate Taggart
Nate Taggart's picture

How different is the American population from the German population in the 20's and 30's?  Are we really immune to a Nazi like regime as most people believe?  

As before, the populist government will look for a scapegoat, but this time around it will be all the wealthy and the productive regardless of religion/race.  Concentration camps for small business owners?  It should be the banksters but we know they'll get off scott free.  Much easier (and lucrative for the politicians) to target the smaller fish. 

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 07:51 | 1202979 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Heil Trump !

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 09:17 | 1203160 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

I think the Brown Shirts are already running the place.  The plan is likely to precipitate some crisis So Obama can declare elections as "Too dangerous" and declare martial law. Then we will see some real blood shed. The serious and committed fighters will die off and the rest of us will go along with the new serfdom so we can keep our cowardly little lives.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 09:59 | 1203269 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Obama doesn't look like a fascist. In order to pull fascism off, you need to appeal to the narrow-minded nationalists who will blindly secure the state once they are in protection mode.  To pull this off, you need a segment of the population that is willing to stand up for its kind and follow a leader of its kind against an enemy that is different.

There are many reasons why fascism is a right-wing idiology, but this is first and foremost.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 10:06 | 1203288 redpill
redpill's picture

Right-Left paradigm is a fallacy.  Every "leftist" revolutionary leader has the same cult-of-personality nationalistic characteristic as Adolf & Benito.  The real spectrum is Authority versus Liberty.  And the Authoritarians all share the same need to get most of the people to be willingly compliant so they only need to get out the jackboots and batons for the mouthy dissidents.

I think the 2012 election cycle will be very telling, if Obama dramatically changes his rhetoric to make himself out to be a "strong leader" that is willing to take authoritarian steps to "fix things" we could see him become something very different than what you perceive him to be today. 

America does still have time to redeem herself, come back from this ledge, and work through our economic problems through liberty and freedom.  But I'm afraid the only chance of that rests on the possibility of electing a funny old Congressman from a little district in Texas who has rarely been taken seriously when he was warning us this day would come.  I don't like our chances, but I know who I'm voting for.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 10:14 | 1203302 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

It's a question of psychology friend.  Those inclined to be right-wing tend to think the world is black and white, right and wrong, good and evil.  Liberals tend to think in shades of grey.  Liberals tend to allow cancers to grow, while conservatives tend to cut it out.  In order to fix what is broking, the country needs to be culled, that can only be done by a certain breed, and Obama isn't a part of that breed.

There are no Scott Walkers on the right wing ticket for 2012 for a reason, the people can't stomach it.  It will take an economic disaster for the 'silent majority' to allow what needs to take place, then and only then will you see a stong conservative candidate.  Ron Paul is too much of a vagina to effect the kind of change that needs to be done.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 10:20 | 1203322 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

I think you are both right.  I think the left vs. right fallacy has been engineered to keep focus squarely away from the real criminals.  So I agree with Red Pill... it's not really real.  But the simple fact that this is engineered doesn't mean that it won't then be used to usher in what is to come.  To that point... our final form of fascism (which in my opinion will only mean doing away with facade of democracy) would likely come primarily from what we today view as the "right".  Just all my opinion, mind you.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 10:20 | 1203323 redpill
redpill's picture

Again, false paradigm.  Talk to a liberal about health care, taxes and unions and see how many shades of gray you find in their arguments.  "Liberal" minded people are subject to every bit of the sort of hard line authoritarianism that "conservative" minded people can be. 

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 10:34 | 1203389 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture


Mon, 04/25/2011 - 10:42 | 1203440 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

You are being a bit defensive and caustic.  Nobody likes to be told that they are supporting a fallacy... those on the "left" or "right". 

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 20:03 | 1205921 BigJim
BigJim's picture

No, it's not 'bullshit' - liberals are very keen to see people's wealth confiscated at the point of a gun, to be redistributed to those deemed more worthy of possessing it. This doesn't seem authoritarian to you because you have been brought up with it, but it is just as authoritarian to throw someone into a cage for not paying 'their' taxes, as it is to throw someone into a cage for smoking the 'wrong' kind of plant.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 10:38 | 1203411 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Some Liberal minded people are okay with authoritarianism, while most conservative people like authoritarianism.  Fixed that for you.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 11:00 | 1203502 Founders Keeper
Founders Keeper's picture

[...while most conservative people like authoritarianism.]---pan-the-ist

Yeah, that's what I was taught in US schools also.

Pan-the-ist: Another victim of Progressive academia.



Mon, 04/25/2011 - 11:28 | 1203622 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

How do you protect culture, wealth, and the means of production from people smart enough to know that there is nothing magical about property ownership?  It involves a boot and a club; without the state protecting the individual from the masses, you'll have none left of what conservatives are trying to conserve.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 19:45 | 1205838 BigJim
BigJim's picture

It involves a boot and a club; without the state protecting the individual from the masses, you'll have none left of what conservatives are trying to conserve.

Unfortunately, the state no longer protects the individual from the masses; it now actively allows the masses to enslave the individual via redistributive taxation.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 11:24 | 1203610 redpill
redpill's picture

Wrong. Modern "liberals" are fine with, and actively support, economic authoritarianism many forms. If you don't understand that, you are blinding yourself to the truth. Modern "conservatives" actively support social authoritarian policies. The important thesis is that BOTH are perfectly fine with extremely authoritarian government policy as long as it agrees with their stance on an issue. This is because modern politics is not based upon a coherent philosophy but upon individual issue appeal and voter division.

Advocating a consistent policy such as Liberty means not tasking government to impose their authority on your neighbor merely because you disagree with them. But neither modern "liberals" or "conservatives" have any problem doing that if they feel "justified" in their policy stance.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 11:59 | 1203737 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

So conservatives don't want a government in place who's purpose is to protect the wealth of said conservatives from "liberals"?  Seems to me the goal of the right these days is to weaken government for wealth preservation (cull social programs etc), so they'd all jump on board when the Nazi comes to town and puts his foot on the throat of "the people" who use the government to extract wealth from the wealthy.

Liberty, in your view, ultimately means wealth protection.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 12:09 | 1203761 redpill
redpill's picture

Now you're just talking nonsense. Who do you think is doing the seizing? The government is, for its own purposes. If that's "protection" then I'll skip it.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 12:41 | 1203877 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

There is a large area of reality that you are oblivious to.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 10:55 | 1203489 weinerdog43
weinerdog43's picture

Sorry, but you're full of shit.  Actually, I'm not sorry.  You're just full of shit. 

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 11:37 | 1203650 redpill
redpill's picture

Look, I'm sure if you're coming at it from one side or another you probably wish it were not the case. But the sooner you recognize the truth the sooner you'll stop being their tool.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 20:10 | 1205956 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Authoritarian nationalism is ambidextrous.

The terms left wing and right wing are empty and meaningless; anyone who uses them in a serious manner has exposed himself as either a shill or a dupe.

Likewise, liberal and conservative have lost all meaning except as pigeonholes into which people are placed based upon their response to ridiculous and picayune wedge issues.

The Obama administration is functionally equivalent to George W. Bush's third term. America is a one-party system; it masquerades as a two-party system in order to cultivate the illusion of voters having a choice.

Consequently, with very few exceptions, voting has become a futile charade. I'll vote for Ron Paul for president in 2012, as I did in 2008 and 1988. I don't expect he'll win (since most Americans regard freedom with fear and suspicion), but I can vote for him with a clear conscience.


Mon, 04/25/2011 - 20:13 | 1205982 akak
akak's picture


Mon, 04/25/2011 - 10:37 | 1203393 Pope Clement
Pope Clement's picture

Hitler, Mussolini (and his mutual admiration pen pal Roosevelt) didn't look very much alike either but they were all socialists who morphed into varying degrees of fascism. Seems like the the old French Estates General political classifications of Left and Right are not very useful to clear thinking on the subject; perhaps Sen. Moynihan's distinction of those who are of the party of Liberty as opposed to those who are not would be better....

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 12:44 | 1203902 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

The national socialist party was co-opted during the night of the long-knives.  Mussolini always was a fascist.  Roosevelt's rule was a "state of emergency", but he never installed or never was allowed to install the pinions that would allow fascism to take root.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 09:36 | 1203207 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

America's population is too diverse.  The infighting everywhere will start.


A big difference between immigrants in the early 1900's and now is that in the early 1900's the immigrants actually wanted to become Americans and assimilate.  For example, they learned English better than most Americans.  They did not "demand" that the state provided Italian or German speaking schools.  Go long any weapons manufacturer in any country that can deliver to the U.S.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 09:57 | 1203270 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

You're naive.

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 10:07 | 1203297 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

No, I lived it.  My family came here during WWII.  My Grandfather, my father, and myself all served our country before starting our own companies.  My grandfather would get very angry whenever my father spoke Italian in public (we spoke an unwritten dialect of Albanian Italian).  We have all done quite well, thanks.  

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 10:16 | 1203316 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

You're grand-father lived it.  You didn't.

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