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Guest Post: How “Social Proof” Helps Smart Investors

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Submitted by David Galland of The Casey Report

How “Social Proof” Helps Smart Investors

As a young man in a foreign land, my curiosity was piqued by the crowd standing five or six deep in a circle. On pushing my way forward, the focus of the crowd’s attention quickly became apparent – a fight, although for reasons I’ll explain momentarily, “fight” is not the right word.

The setting was the annual wine festival in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. I was just 18, a wet-behind-the-ears puppy from a small town in Hawaii. But even in the remote backwaters of my youth, the Swiss reputation for a certain decorum and circumspection had made its way into my consciousness. How then to explain the sight of several dozen Swiss citizens, a cross-cut of ages and gender, standing placidly by as one young man proceeded to batter another?

Now I have seen a number of fights in my life – in pre-PC days it was how kids often concluded their strongest disagreements (today, very much not the case) – and this was no fight. It was a beating, and a brutal one at that.

Adding to the surrealism of the scene – already surrealistic enough given the tableau of a polite crowd of plain Swiss folks watching the brutality, cow-like, against a setting of the placid beauty of the Swiss countryside – was that the girlfriend of the man being beaten was screaming in anguish as she appealed, futilely, to the crowd to intercede.

While memory can dim with time, I can still recall the scene, and my emotions, quite vividly. My initial reaction was that this was wrong, and I was unable to comprehend why no one did anything – especially in that the champion of this country fight had so dominated the contest that his opponent was all but knocked out, lying bloody on the ground unable to defend himself. Not content at his domination and ignoring the man’s screaming girlfriend, the champion pulled his victim to his feet as I watched in shock and, holding him standing with one hand, brought his other fist back dramatically and bashed the poor guy in the jaw, sending him crashing back to earth.

Clearly intending to do it all over again, he bent over and began to lift the target back to his feet. It was at that point that it dawned on me that no one else in the crowd was going to intercede in the carnage, not even to raise a voice in opposition. Instead, they were quite content to stare stupidly at what could have very well evolved into murder.

Recognizing the situation as some form of societal aberrance – though not understanding then how apparently normal people could fail to act against such wanton viciousness – I pushed my way through the crowd and into the circle and grabbed the brute, spun him around, and yelled “Enough!” in his face.

Things then proceeded to get a little wiggly. Dropping his victim, whose girlfriend quickly helped him crawl off into the crowd, the brute stared at me, uncomprehendingly at first, probably because of my use of an English word. But with his blood still up, it quickly became clear I was to be his next target. At which point, and I kid you not at all, someone tugged at my sleeve and when I turned, forced the handle of a knife into my palm. While I was still trying to register what had just happened, the herd made a noise that brought my attention back to the Swiss brute, and I was shocked to discover that he, too, was now similarly armed.

Now there were any number of reasons I had made the trip to Neuchâtel that day – to sample the local viniculture, tuck into a nice fondue for lunch, perhaps even to meet a cute Swiss girl – and I can assure you without double-checking that nowhere on the list was “get into a knife fight.”

And so without the slightest shame at overtly exhibiting cowardice, I dropped the knife and turned tail, shoving my way through the tightly packed crowd and making good my escape by leaping up on a parked car and running its length, then diving back into the crowd on the other side.

What Happened?

In the years following the events just related, I often wondered what happened that day. How was it that a crowd of otherwise normal-looking people – and Swiss at that! – could have stood by so passively as one man brutalized another, ignoring even the dramatic pleadings of the victim’s girlfriend?

Answers didn’t begin to come to me until some years later when I picked up Professor Robert Cialdini’s excellent book, Influence. In it, Professor Cialdini discusses a number of stimuli that trigger an automatic response in people, including the effect that “social proof” has on the human mind.

The mechanics of social proof, while somewhat complex, are pretty easy
to understand. Simplistically, we humans have a strong tendency to
glance over at other members of the herd in an attempt to gauge the
correct action or reaction to take in any given circumstance. While this
tendency can be useful in identifying the right bread plate to use at a
fancy dinner party, it can also have devastating consequences.

In one of the most notorious examples of the downside of social proof, in 1964 Kitty Genovese was slowly murdered on a New York sidewalk over the course of about 30 minutes, despite 40 or so witnesses, none of whom took action. They figured someone else would.

Likewise, the very average Swiss citizens I encountered that day in Neuchâtel clumped together and, seeing that no one else was making a move to intercede, stood mute.

In any event, understanding the concept of social proof – and its close cousin “social convention” – seems to me to be of fundamental importance to us as members of the human race, and as investors.

As far as the former is concerned, if you ever find yourself doing the same thing as everyone else, it should concern you. Stop and ask whether you are doing the thing because you want to or because you think it is the right thing to do – or are you doing it just because it’s what everyone else does?

As for the latter, if you rely on the cues coming from the mainstream financial media and officialdom, you would likely believe the country has exited the latest economic crisis and will now steadily make progress towards a return to normalcy.

Even I find myself fretting that maybe we have it wrong about the nature, depth, and likely duration of this crisis. The hard data say the crisis will almost certainly again worsen and – given the tenuous nature of the world’s monetary and economic systems – perhaps even result in a wholesale breakdown.

Yet, the indicators we look to for warning signals – the stock market and interest rates, to name two – are signaling that nothing particularly untoward is headed this way. This despite the data related to the “big two” of unemployment and housing being truly terrible, and zero progress being made in reducing the runaway deficit.

It gets harder to reconcile when the data clearly point to the eurozone as being in the grips of a slow-motion break-up, but yet the euro continues to hold up remarkably well.

Or that the Middle East is in flames and gasoline prices are over $4.00 a gallon in many U.S. localities. This week the International Energy Agency went on record with a statement that if additional supplies of petroleum don’t come online urgently, prices could spike higher and do serious further damage to the global economy.

Meanwhile, restaurants appear to be doing good business, and the parking lots in the local “box town” (Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy, etc.) are full on the weekends: social proof that all is well, even though my own research tells me it very much isn’t.

It Gets Worse

The seeming disconnect between the true state of the world’s economy and the public reaction is actually not a particularly bad thing for those who have their eyes open. After all, anyone who can see what’s coming, while the masses do not, has the opportunity to get positioned in investments that will do well when the truth of the situation becomes evident to all.

But there are matters much more important in this life than money-making.

This week, the Supreme Court ruled by an 8-to-1 majority that search warrants are no longer required before police commence to kick in your doors. Instead, the new test of armed intrusion into your house revolves around whether a policeman hears what he or she interprets to be “suspicious” noises coming from within your abode.

And this is just the latest in a long, long series of actions of a similar ilk that, together, add up to a vicious beating of the citizenry’s constitutional rights.

Where’s the public clamor, the outrage? A casual glance around reveals the masses as dumbly going along with these and other such travesties. But only because they are.

In the face of such apathy, it should come as a surprise to no one when the government continues to degrade individual liberties in favor of the all-powerful state.

It’s always been something of a joke that you can tell if a politician is lying by whether or not his lips are moving. But the joke has now morphed into a hard fact. Thanks in no small part to the mechanics of social proof, lying, deceiving, self-dealing, and obfuscating by the leadership are now considered perfectly normal and acceptable.

Now, I wish I could muster up some hopeful thought to interject at this point – even the smallest sign of a pushback against the state’s growing envelopment of all that comes under its gaze – but for the life of me, I can’t.

Rather, I feel today as I might have all those years ago in Neuchâtel if, on discovering the brutal beating going on, I had been bound and gagged and forced to stand in the crowd and watch it continue to its bloody conclusion.

Hopeless.            

But Not Helpless

The fact is that I am not bound and gagged. At least not yet.

And thus, while I still have the ability to do so, I will continue to take measures to protect my family and myself – first and foremost, by diversifying globally.

For many people, the idea of packing up and picking up in order to head elsewhere is a non-starter. They may feel an obligation to aging family members back home or have small children and worry that somehow a life abroad will not suit. Or they may not have the funds or income stream to assure they’ll be able to get by for a protracted period.

While there are good responses to all of those concerns, the truth is that physically expatriating is not for everyone. Yet that shouldn’t stop you from prudently – legally – diversifying some of your wealth globally.

Although I have mentioned it before, I’ll again mention what I took away as the biggest lesson of Adam Fergusson’s book When Money Dies. And that lesson is that if in the early days of the great German inflation, you had taken the simple step of investing money even one foot across the border with France or Switzerland, you would have saved yourself. Those who stayed put – who out of apathy, ignorance, or misguided nationalism left their money in the currency units of their native country, Germany – saw that money made worthless over the course of just a few years.

Of course, it is not strictly required that you have your wealth parked in assets domiciled in another political jurisdiction – gold and silver close at hand can serve much the same purpose. That said, if all of your eggs are in one basket, and that basket is located in a single, corrupt political jurisdiction, then the potential for that basket being grabbed away from you remains a constant threat.

For those of you with the means and a sense of adventure, creating a home away from home in a place you like is also a very worthwhile endeavor – though should you do so, I can assure you that your friends and family will think you unconventional. Maybe even unpatriotic or paranoid.

But that’s only because that is what they have been taught to think, and because they look around and don’t see other people doing it – so it seems strange to them.

Now don’t get me wrong: the United States is certainly still largely an agreeable place to live and to do business in. And it’s likely to remain that way for years to come. If I had to place a bet on any one scenario, that is the bet I would make.

That said, if the current trends continue, as they show every appearance of doing, then in our lifetime individual liberty could, de facto, be extinguished. While that may seem a radical statement, just ask yourself how secure your liberty will be if all three branches of the government purposely degrade the substance and intent of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights?

The records of the last decade or so make it clear that the Executive branch and Congress are all too willing to push constitutional rights aside for political purposes, or in an “emergency” – even institutionalized torture is no longer off the table. With the latest ruling on search warrants, the Supreme Court has thrown its hat into the same ring.

And things could get much worse, much quicker than most think they could. All it would take is another 9/11 – perhaps like the Oklahoma bombing, with domestic origins. Regardless of where it comes from, should an attack of the scale of 9/11 happen – as it almost certainly will – the final nails on Liberty’s coffin would be pounded in and the already-militarized domestic security apparatus will become openly antagonistic to those who take opposing views.

When sitting down to write today, I hadn’t planned on writing on this particular topic. But the Supreme Court’s ruling has clearly gotten under my skin. Even more bothersome than that has been the lack of public outrage at the ruling. After a day or two in the news, the ruling has now vanished from the public discourse, injected into the code of law like a dose of slow-acting poison.

Some readers may think that diversifying internationally is the wrong thing to do – that as a good American I should burn the proverbial boats and fight for what’s right. To which I would reply that I don’t intend on wasting what remains of my life in a knife fight with a far better armed opponent.

You’ll make your own decisions about how to best look after yourself and your family. But if you look to your fellow citizens for clues as to what’s going on, and how to react to it, you will be setting yourself up for a very rude awakening.

Trust your own instincts.

 

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Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:05 | 1319292 ??
??'s picture

The author fails to understand that there is no place to run to

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 16:10 | 1319666 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

And also, sooner or later, there comes a time to quit retreating and stand up and fight even if it likely means death.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 16:32 | 1319701 Dane Bramage
Dane Bramage's picture

Gold & silver is a good (best?) place to "run".

 

Of course, it is not strictly required that you have your wealth parked in assets domiciled in another political jurisdiction – gold and silver close at hand can serve much the same purpose. That said, if all of your eggs are in one basket, and that basket is located in a single, corrupt political jurisdiction, then the potential for that basket being grabbed away from you remains a constant threat.

 

I think that threat is over-stated.  No safety deposit boxes, etc., but in one's possession is the safest bet imho.  FDR's gold confiscation didn't occur "door-to-door", I see no reason another one would do so.  If it does I would imagine things would have gone so entirely FUBAR that holding on to one's PMs will be the least of our worries.  More likely is that a new currency will be introduced and, once again, be asset-backed.

As far as the latest USSC ruling "nails in the coffin of Lady Liberty", at least the author ackowledges she is dead.  Coffin nails or no, she's not going to suddenly spring to life.  

 

There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs to freedom. -- Garet Garrett

 

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 18:51 | 1319906 theMAXILOPEZpsycho
theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

It depends how much $$$ you have. But I'd say there are plenty. If you have, say, $10,000 in overseas gold, "10,000" in overseas silver, and $5000 in fiat, thats a start - anyone with that backing can be looking at a get out plan. First is to work hard and do overtime to buy more precious metals while reserching where to go and how to get there. Then pack up and leave, live as cheaply as possible. Then gold and silver go to the moon. Sell up and invest in something that cash flows like a farm...I don't know where but almost anywhere out of africa and the middle east is looking a better be than the US...

I'm from the uk and am thinking maybe Estonia

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:05 | 1319316 max2205
max2205's picture

When the shuttle blew up I resigned my USAF commission. When 9/11 happened I knew the Govt would over react.

All the blood is near the heart now in hopes of a medical miracle

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:39 | 1319320 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

Maybe the Swiss crowd knew the guys and knew the one on the ground had it coming?

The Kitty Genovese case is an urban legend. If you look up what really happened it was nothing like what you think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitty_Genovese

 

Some Germans did very well during the inflation, by investing in Germany. They bought real estate and businesses with borrowed money. Made good profits while the money was abundant. And still owned their properties, free and clear, after paying off their loans with inflated money.

That is why my money is in gold, silver, and real estate.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 13:32 | 1319450 fxretracer
fxretracer's picture

right, and thats why someone handed him a knife? no this was just a group of bloodthirsty humans much like yourself who like in the days of the Gladiators just love to watch folks get killed. The author of this blog is made of the character we should all be made of, but sadly we just dont make`em like we used to.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 15:18 | 1319604 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

Someone handed him a knife because the other guy had a knife.

I wonder if the author would have been so quick to jump in if he had witnessed the same fight in a biker bar in the USA?

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 16:40 | 1319712 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

What if the Swiss crowd was watching a couple of Frenchmen or Italians? As a Canadian I can assure you that if you live next door to the French long enough you will thoroughly enjoy watching them beat the shit out of each other. Although the knife argues for Italians.

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 05:59 | 1320356 Mrs Watanabe
Mrs Watanabe's picture

Diogenes, Those Germans who got fixed rate loans did well, not sure if they had variable rates then, but today everyone is on variable rates and is likely to loose as rates go up faster than their wages do. You might make money on a fixed rate debt but you won't if you are using it to invest in things where there is lots of over supply in, property!  Unless of course that supply is cut back.

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 09:28 | 1320447 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

I know real estate is stinko. I have this funny way of investing, I like to buy low and sell high. When everyone is running away, is often a good time to buy. When the media are touting an investment to the sky, is often a good time to bail.

Am also investing in Canada which is quite a different market from the US. If I was in the US I could buy good properties for a fraction of what I am paying now. But if you believe we are in an inflationary period real estate is bound to go up along with everything else.

Now I am not saying go out and buy any real estate, just like you do not go out and buy any random stock. You have to know what you are doing.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:09 | 1319324 brew
brew's picture

what the american people don't know...is what makes the american people great...

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 13:11 | 1319416 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

thanks. Now I'll be obsessed with this statement for the whole weekend.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 13:34 | 1319457 cosmictrainwreck
cosmictrainwreck's picture

indeed - it is either a mystical conundrum, or just silliness. which is it? I gotta know, oh shit, oh dear.....

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 16:59 | 1319732 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

Neither. It's the American Way.

Bill Bryson gives an interesting example that he saw while living in England in the seventies. There was a TV quiz program that pitted teams of college students against each other. One week, they had a team from England vs a team from the US.

So,  here you had a team of fresh faced preppies with perfect teeth in a contest of knowledge with a team of narrow chested English students raised on tea and cigarettes.

The English team wiped the floor with the Americans. I mean it was embarrassing, the score was something like 998 to 2. Even the announcer seemed embarrassed. The studio audience was just stunned into silence.

But here is the point. You know as well as I do that ten years later the brilliant English students became school teachers with holes in the elbows of their sweaters and office clerks counting the days to their pensions, while the preppies were making millions, literally millions at Goldman Sachs,or deciding the fate of the world at the State Department and the Pentagon.

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 05:53 | 1320355 XPolemic
XPolemic's picture

+1,000,000 (in bonus) best comment of ZH fer ages.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 13:31 | 1319456 rocker
rocker's picture

Do Americans know that their right to privacy has just been trashed. Even in their own dwelling. Even if they own that dwelling.

Do Americans know that they are No Longer Free. America is Not a Free Nation any longer.

Do Americans know that the Homeland Security act of 2002, under the guise of protection, takes our Freedom of Liberty and our Right to Privacy.

We are just like the communist now. Sheeple who must bow to the herd master called government or better the state.

Worse yet, our economy makes us like Japan now. Because of the Banking Cartel called the FED.  So Very Sad for U.S.A.

Home of the Free No More. This ruling by our Supreme Court says it all. We are by and for the corporations now. They rule us all.    

 

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 17:14 | 1319769 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

Heeere pussy, pussy, pussy!

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 19:40 | 1319976 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

> what the american people don't know...is what makes the american people great...

Very true, the most gullible peasants in the world.

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 03:24 | 1320320 brew
brew's picture

well iiiiii...i've become, comfortably numb...

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:30 | 1319344 UnRealized Reality
UnRealized Reality's picture

1964 Kitty Genovese

"As we have reconstructed the crime," he said, "the assailant had three chances to kill this woman during a 35-minute period. He returned twice to complete the job. If we had been called when he first attacked, the woman might not be dead now."

BUT, BUT...... The Police work for the Evil Empire.

People should think long and hard on What the Street Cop represents. But of coarse ZH and the conspiracy Theorist Will incite the evil arm of the Gov't.


Sat, 05/28/2011 - 15:24 | 1319607 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

The police were called. They did not respond fast enough to stop the murder. Since then, the system used to report emergencies  has been greatly improved, partly as a result of crimes like this one. In 1964 there was no 911 service.

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 21:43 | 1321604 BigJim
BigJim's picture

The cop who saves your life from a mugger is the same cop who will lock you up in a cage if you're smoking the wrong plant.

The problem in a police state isn't the police - it's the state.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:21 | 1319345 max2205
max2205's picture

Quote of the day

05/27/11 Normandy, France – As if it were not strange enough! Microsoft bought a phone company with no phones for $8.5 billion. Then, the public bid up the price of another Internet company, LinkedIn, to the point where buyers were paying more than $20 for every dollar of revenue that came the company’s way. As for profits, they capitalized each one at more than 700 times. At this rate, an investor wouldn’t earn his money back until 2,711AD.

He will need luck. People don’t usually live that long; especially crazy people.

But oddities are so common now; it is as if every man you pass on the street had two heads. One out of every four American homeowners owes more on his house than it is worth. Even in desert cities, such as Las Vegas, more than 70% are underwater. Nationwide, house prices are down 33% from their peak and still falling at 1% per month. That is, the typical homeowner loses about as much on his house as he takes home from his job.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:36 | 1319364 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

I get it! BTFH*D!

 

 

 

 

*Housing

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:27 | 1319347 I_ate_the_crow
I_ate_the_crow's picture

This week, the Supreme Court ruled by an 8-to-1 majority that search warrants are no longer required before police commence to kick in your doors.

Unless there was a decision I'm not aware of, this was a ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court, big difference.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:33 | 1319356 Sathington Willougby
Sathington Willougby's picture

There was a decision you weren't aware of.  That makes it no less heinous.

And when Ginsburg says it's fucked up, something is fucked up.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:48 | 1319369 I_ate_the_crow
I_ate_the_crow's picture

Thanks for the heads up, got confused over the "this week" in the article.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-1272.pdf

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 16:14 | 1319675 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Of course, our rights to our own property get flushed to stop pot smoking (something roughly 250% of the country already does including cops). Everything is just all fucked up.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:58 | 1319393 Sathington Willougby
Sathington Willougby's picture

Not a big deal, theres was no danger of "pontificating".

 

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:49 | 1319382 FrankIvy
FrankIvy's picture

Indiana SC case - if a cop is illegally entering your home, you have no right to resist that entry.

Example - Cop, who is at the wrong door, says to open up - you yell through the door - I'm not opening up.  He decides that you're being uncooperative and starts kicking your door down - an illegal entry to be sure.  You beat him up, hog tie him, and call the state police.  Your attack on his was illegal (and therefore an assualt on a LEO).

 

USSC case (Kentucky v. King) - nuanced, to be sure, but I read it to mean that police may use "exigent" circumstances as a reason to search a premises without a warrant as long as they don't either violate the 4th amendment or threaten to violate the 4th amendment to create the exigent circumstances.  "Exigent" circumstances are ones in which the police are compelled to act without a warrant because evidence will be destroyed.  I think the concept is bunk, but it's the current law.

 

Examples:

1. Cops arrive at your door because they've got tip that says you deal drugs.  They knock and say, "we're the police and we think you've got drugs in there."  You and your buddies start to scramble around.  If the police then break down the door, it is a legal entry and search.  NOTE - the SC did not rule on whether the circumstances in the case at bar were, in fact, exigent.  In the Kentucky case, the cops were pursuing a known drug dealer, and he ducked around a corner and went into one of two apartments - they didn't know which.  They went up to one, and the smell of weed was apparent.  They knocked and announced they were police, at which point there was a scramble inside.  Police kicked the door in and searched the premises, finding drugs.  Original dealer, by the way, was in the other apartment.  IF those circumstances (smell of drugs and scrambling) were exigent, THEN the entry and search was legal, because the mere act of knocking and announcing that they were police was, in and of itself, perfectly legal.

 

2.  Cops knock on your door randomly and you say go away.  Cops say, "open up right now or we're going to kick in the door."  You then scramble to get rid of your drugs.  Cops kick in door, seize drugs.  My read on Kentucky is that the evidence would be thrown out, because the cops threatened a 4th Amendment violation, and that is what created the possibly exigent circumstances.

 

BTW - if you ever pontificate on a legal opinion that you haven't read and understood, shame on you.  There is way too much of these meat heads running around saying things like "search warrants are no longer required."  People are dumbed down enough folks - don't exacerbate it by grossly mischaracterizing SC opinions.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 13:11 | 1319408 hurdygurdypauli...
hurdygurdypauliepoodle's picture

Thank you for the level headed response.  No one is listening, but thank you.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 13:51 | 1319489 I_ate_the_crow
I_ate_the_crow's picture

The moral of the story if you live in an apartment? Smoke pot in your bedroom closet.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 15:28 | 1319611 serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

I take away a different "moral" from the ruling.

If more than one LEO is at my door, I will assume that they are not there to arrest me, and I will respond as if my life is in immediate and grave danger, consequences be damned.

Self-destruction might be the answer.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 13:40 | 1319443 I_ate_the_crow
I_ate_the_crow's picture

Ok well now that I read it, I shall pontificate!

While I agree that the current assault on the 4th Amendment is outrageous, this decision isn't as dangerous as the holding made by the Indiana Supreme Court, which if justice prevails (yikes) should be summarily overturned on appeal.

The 4th Amendment is a procedural amendment.

This case concerns the search of an apartment in Lexington, Kentucky. Police officers set up a controlled buy of crack cocaine outside an apartment complex. Undercover Officer Gibbons watched the deal take place from an unmarked car in a nearby parking lot. After the deal occurred, Gibbons radioed uniformed officers to move in on the suspect. He told the officers that the suspect was moving quickly toward the breezeway of an apartment building, and he urged them to "hurry up and get there" before the suspect entered an apartment.


In response to the radio alert, the uniformed officers drove into the nearby parking lot, left their vehicles, and ran to the breezeway. Just as they entered the breezeway, they heard a door shut and detected a very strong odor of burnt marijuana. At the end of the breezeway, the officers saw two apartments, one on the left and one on the right, and they did not know which apartment the suspect hadentered. Gibbons had radioed that the suspect was running into the apartment on the right, but the officers did not hear this statement because they had already left their vehicles. Because they smelled marijuana smoke emanating from the apartment on the left, they approached the door of that apartment.

Officer Steven Cobb, one of the uniformed officers who approached the door, testified that the officers banged on the left apartment door "as loud as [they] could" and announced, "‘This is the police’" or "‘Police, police, police.’"

Cobb said that "[a]s soon as [the officers]started banging on the door," they "could hear peopleinside moving," and "[i]t sounded as [though] things were being moved inside the apartment." Id., at 24. These noises, Cobb testified, led the officers to believe that drug related evidence was about to be destroyed.

Ginsberg's dissent:

"The Court today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement in drug cases."

The Court used exigent circumstances as a way to justify probable cause because the guy was obviously a drug dealer and they followed him to his apartment. While I agree that any decision against the 4th Amendment is absurd in a post-Patriot Act USA, the police would not be able to use "exigent circumstances" against an ordinary citizen, follow them to their home, and then proceed in the same way it did in Kentucky v. King. At least in theory.

From the NYT article above:

The new rule undermines the rule of law by shifting the power to approve a forced entry from a magistrate to the police. It empowers the police to decide whether circumstances allow them to kick in the door.

This is true, but only when there is already probable cause to believe that the sounds they hear are the destruction of drug evidence, which they had in Kentucky v. King, because they set up a crack deal and watched the guy sell it and then run back to his apartment, where they smelled weed, and then heard scrambling after they knocked and announced. Sure, the scrambling could have been in response to hearing the police at your door and they didn't call a magistrate for a warrant, but based on the facts, they didn't have to. I'm not saying I agree with the decision, but unfortunately based on current 4th Amendment law it really isn't that huge of a of a deviation from normal procedure. It was just unlucky for the people in the apartment on the left to be living next to a crack dealer and be smoking weed at the exact time the police were doing a drug bust on him.

The Indiana decision is far more outrageous and dangerous, and the way the author above was describing the case I thought he must have been referring to that case.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 16:22 | 1319681 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Scenario #2 will never happen since they can just make up a "tip" afterwards. So the statement "search warrants are no longer required" is accurate, isn't it? What I want to know is if the cops are libel when entering without a warrant even with exigent circumstances?

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 17:35 | 1319794 Birddog
Birddog's picture

you make a very good point and distinction of possible interpretations.  The problem is some of those "meat heads" running around will be cops.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 13:08 | 1319401 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

 

Supreme Court:  No warrant needed if police discern destruction of evidence

Right here:  http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20110516/ts_csm/384310

Federal Supreme Court.

They also decided that they can pull your kids aside over anonymous sex abuse allegations, interview them without a Parent present, and take them away from you and put them into foster care:

http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2011/05/supreme_court_rules_authorities_can_interview_children_without_a_warrant.html

Can you say "Police State"?

 

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:30 | 1319350 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

At one time I thought packing my shit and getting the hell out of here was the answer.  Now I think the opposite.......even though im fighting a losing battle I plan on staying here and attempt to pack someone elses shit and ship their sorry asses off.  I'm currently building a huge rocketship that can hold about 10,000 fucking assholes and have it aimed straight towards the center of the sun.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 13:17 | 1319431 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

Killing those that you don't like or don't agree with is the oldest recipie in the book.

It's not novel and it's akin to creating debt to get out of debt --it is ineffective.

Ideas are the true battleground.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 20:52 | 1320059 TerraHertz
TerraHertz's picture

"No man, no problem." - Stalin.

When the State takes this position, things go very badly for the people.

When the people decide to do it in self defense, it's a totally valid proposition.

10,000 sounds like a good start.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:42 | 1319354 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Dear Tyler, as my older brother told me the other day, "The Randian filth always come to the rescue of the statist pigs !". Talk about looking on when a crime is happening ! They hold the Socialist's coat when he beats up on Lady Liberty ! Monedas 2011 Marc Faber is Swiss....don't bash the Swiss ! http://trololololololololololo.com/

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:30 | 1319359 LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

The human race is being murdered over many years by forces unknown and we sit idly by and do nothing.  /analogous/

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:34 | 1319362 FrankIvy
FrankIvy's picture

The Kitty Genovese case was an example of "bystander intervention," which postulates that, as the number of people who are responsible for doing a certain thing increases, the likelihood of any one person doing that thing declines.  In other words, of the dozens who heard her scream, all said that they thought somebody else would surely have phoned it in.

Not an example of "social proof.'

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:43 | 1319368 UnRealized Reality
UnRealized Reality's picture

I don't buy that. It's about people not giving a shit. Every fucking man for themself!

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:34 | 1319363 JR
JR's picture

“The hard data say the crisis will almost certainly again worsen and – given the tenuous nature of the world’s monetary and economic systems – perhaps even result in a wholesale breakdown.” – David Galland

“This depression is unlike the Roosevelt depression and only propaganda can refer to that history while ignoring what is new.   A full national solution is simple: discontinue offshore production and…restore national manufacturing.  Of course, the huge transnational profits and power will not be given up without a fight even in the face of a protracted depression.”

That was written in 2009 by John Lilburne, a systems analyst in the article, “Free Trade 25 Years Later: A $6.6 Trillion Deficit” :

The U.S. has been designated the major dumping ground for the global economy’s transnational corporations.

To make it possible,  Ben Bernanke and past Fed chairmen have involved America’s GNP as a secret ingredient in the Fed’s worldwide operations. 

That is why Bernanke is frantically pulling out all financial QE stops. It is to prime the U.S. credit pump in order to rejuvenate profligate spending.  It is to recycle and sustain the powerful profits of transnational corporations made from goods produced by cheap foreign labor and unloaded on America’s shores to sell without hindrance in the U.S.—a nation deliberately stripped of its manufacturing base to become the major dumping ground of the global economy.

But the one necessary economic ingredient that the Fed cannot provide to solidify its new era of economics is a sustainable economic system – unless it’s a global system of ultimate control. 

It is a symbiotic, conspiratorial relationship between a captured U.S. government, the international bankers and collectivist or dictatorial governments requiring Americans as hosts to a parasite.

Said John Lilburne “The transnational corporations since 1984 have been sustained by a new, more powerful profit engine than deficit spending.  The first precondition for the new engine was the dismantling of a large part of the U.S. manufacturing base so that production could be outsourced to China, India, NAFTA etc. where very cheap labor was readily available.  The second precondition was permission to dump the foreign produced goods in the U.S. without hindrance.  The third precondition was compliance by the banking system to recycle the huge profits as new loans.”

Continued  Lilburne: “The U.S. government and banking system have a revolving door to the transnational corporations and all work as a team...  In any crisis they play a blame game.”

To make it possible for such a large amount of foreign-produced goods to be sold in the U.S., credit had to be extended to consumers by the bankers in order that the transnational capitalists could receive dollars.  Dumping goods into the U.S. increases supply but the goods cannot be sold without deflation unless demand is also increased by credit expansion.  Supply and demand must be equal.

“Deficit spending is a way to extend endless credit to the government which pledges never to default …”

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 13:29 | 1319451 zaknick
zaknick's picture

Whoever junked you knows jack about "globalization".

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 14:14 | 1319518 Monedas
Monedas's picture

The fix is simple ! Lower combined tax rate to 10% and get the fick, fack, ist gefucken outta the way ! Business will boom and the statist pigs will get more revenue than Reagan gave them ! Monedas 2011 Me happy ! http://trololololololololololo.com/ 

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 13:15 | 1319426 zaknick
zaknick's picture

You tolerated turning black neighborhoods into war zones just because somebody wanted to get high. Their rights were not as valuable as your white rights. That was the Trojan horse they used as well as a thorough purging of the 1960s Great Society judiciary (I've read the rulings, there was once true Justice) Clarence "rapist uncle Tom iBuffoon" Thomas for a man of Thurgood Marshall's moral stature. JFK, MLK, RFK etcetera etcera etcera

You thought you were the new Rome.

KKKarma

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 20:24 | 1320000 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Zaknick...nick...nick...nick ! Wasn't that the noise Jack Nicholson made in Easy Rider when he got out of the cage and had his first slug o' Kool Aid ?........We were the last in the New World to experiment with slavery....and the first to get rid of it ! We proved slave labor is worthless ! It did give rise to an Industrial Revolution in farm machinery (Whitney, McCormick etc.) that has been feedin' the ex-slaves ever since on food stamps ! Monedas 2011 African slaves were not high grade producers ! They were more trouble to feed, clothe and care for than they were worth ! They weren't too impressive when they got their 40 acres and a mule, either ! Red Chinese slaves, on the other hand, are awesome ! Orderly, respectful, intelligent, hard working, well educated and PRODUCTIVE !!! And you don't have to look at 'em hangin' around the kitchen door all day !

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 13:19 | 1319430 tamboo
tamboo's picture

"Now don’t get me wrong: the United States is certainly still largely an agreeable place to live and to do business in. And it’s likely to remain that way for years to come. If I had to place a bet on any one scenario, that is the bet I would make."

errrr, isnt this the same bet that herd mentality is making?!?

the collapse is totally inevitable and completely premeditated,

pleading incompetence is a good cover story that the sheep readily

buy into as they cant wrap their noggins around the concept

of an infiltrated leadership that seeks to genocide them.

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread704343/pg1

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 13:35 | 1319463 ThirdCoastSurfer
ThirdCoastSurfer's picture

As long as there are people there will be an economy. Months of an economy are like days to humans, akin to dog years. Placebos are very effective as are comforting words of encouragement. The patient has a lot to live for and a very strong will. However, the economy suffered a major heart attack and was in defib for hours before the paddles were applied and a stable, but low, blood pressure and pulse were achieved. There was collateral damage to many other organs and large teams of skilled specialists have been working for over 2 economic weeks now with mixed and sometimes conflicting results. The last attempt to remove the breathing tube of QE caused a setback and second attempt is now thought prudent. Like the first post points out, if the economy is beyond repair then what difference will it make how much debt is incurred or how long it is delayed? The issue will become who was selected to survive despite the already massive assistance to keep them functioning when they never were critical to the well being of the patient and will do little to help the economy recover if a second and prolonged crash results. 

 

 

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 14:05 | 1319506 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Yeah ? Even North Korea has an economy ! Things can get worse with Obama ! Good campaign slogan ! Monedas 2011 Visit North Korea soon ! We'll leave the light on for ya ! http://trololololololololololo.com/

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 13:50 | 1319481 etresoi
etresoi's picture

What you described about the Swiss people is one of the few rhings I dislike about them.  However, it was not enough for me to leave the fascist states of america and emigrate to Switzerland.

When I first arrived in Geneva, 12 years ago, I told people that I was a political and economic refugee from the states.  Some thought I was strange but now think I was prescient.

Since then I have refined my status.  I have renounced my citizenship of birth, became a Swiss citizen, a rural French resident and keep my wealth and income stream in a third country.

As the author atated, "You’ll make your own decisions about how to best look after yourself and your family. But if you look to your fellow citizens for clues as to what’s going on, and how to react to it, you will be setting yourself up for a very rude awakening."  I have made my decisions and am very pleased .

 

 

 

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 08:44 | 1320420 squib
squib's picture

Can you sign my yearbook?

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 16:19 | 1319493 gwar5
gwar5's picture

"The medium is the message."  Marshall McLuhan.

In case there are anybody left who has not figured it out yet.... those attractive automoton idiots who bring us the 24/7 formulaic "news" on TV are more than just bearers of (bogus, biased) information.

They are the information. They are the role models that you are supposed to mimic. It's a celebrity endorsement and role model for you to copy, a powerful combination. They are not only projecting the censored narratives that they want you to consider important, but what/how to think and feel about it. 

They project a false consensus by flooding the media zone with journobots with cloned perspectives and newcasts without dissent of opinion or narrative (except for a few notables which drives them nuts). No alarms bells are  set off that anything is wrong, unless it goes against the approve narrative -- hence, the Tea Party was turned into racist Hannibel Lecters. Everyone is made to feel good about falling for the latest meme so that when herd mentality takes over it has it's own momentum and it is hard to shake.

Lately it's as if the old media has been put on steroids counteract the internet. The FCC is moving forward with control of the internet; including the kill switch, filters, and censorship, despite the first amendment and a federal judge ruling against them.  

Contrary to what many have repeated on this and other sites, our fellow citizens here and abroad are not unaware because they are stupid sheep. We are all up against powerful techniques being carefully  applied and they are well aware of the herd instinct. People are being manipulated on a scale not seen since (ever?) world wars were being fought.

The voluntary consent of the average person is being confiscated through techniques which are part of the new "Scientific Socialism."  Yes, it even has a name. Cass Sunstein, Obama's (stealth) Regulator Czar, is the ultimate purveyor of this in the USA. The old Marxism/socialism failed, in part, because central planners had to use overt force at the point of a gun. The new, and improved, "Scientific Socialism" gets you to perform tricks for the central planners through a full range of well known psychological inducements that worked well on lab rats. Use of guns are old school. Your world will be morphed into a giant Skinner Box and your behavior determined by the amount of positive reinforcement you require.  Your life's pursuit shall be determined by a well thought out gauntlet of rewards and punishments which Sunstein calls 'nudges'. If you get out of line and don't follow the herd you will get enticed or punished, or both, to get back into line with the herd.

Sunstein wrote a book on this subject so it's not a tin foil hat theory. In fact, that's how this modern day Goebbels got his job in the Obama administration. 

To give you a sample: one of the tricks Sunstein relates to obtain taxes from people he calls, "Deceit before receipt" and is highly revealing. He advances there will be less dissent if the government can confiscate money from people if they can take it before they actually people actually receive the funds (of course). Which is to say, he is a huge proponent of hidden taxes and deficit spending/currency debasement -- the ultimate stealth tax. He also says that money does not belong to the people, it belongs to the government, because the government prints it as a courtesy and privilege to the people.

A diversified and functioning media is essential to ring the alarm bells to the public when things are not right. It's not happening folks. Our mass media are just part of another conglomerate that is being manpulated just like everything else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 22:51 | 1320179 JR
JR's picture

Great post, gwar5.

What we're learning is that the crisis we face is not due to incompetence but to a deliberate plan for plunder. The Federal Reserve was created by men for no other reason than to eliminate their business competition and to use the government as a vehicle to gain power over other men and to confiscate as much of the country's wealth as they could carry.  The media has been an essential part of keeping the public from discovering the true nature of their exploits.

 

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 15:10 | 1320886 Use of Weapons
Use of Weapons's picture

+1

Behavioural Economics is the formal name. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Thaler

Oh, and it isn't Socialism. It is about control however. Left/Right paradigms are out of date at this time.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 14:08 | 1319512 Stilicho
Stilicho's picture

If you think you've found some great truth in the Protocols of Elder Zion, that is probably because you have not bothered to read actual political philosophy, especially modern, starting with the works of Machiavelli. Half truths are the most dangerous. Are we any better than MSM we all complain about if we are willing to advertise half truths as gospel? Whoever promotes this Elder Protocols stuff is beyond ignorant... they are willfully ignorant because they have seen what their prejudices has led them to. Now, let me tell you about the Huns who are eating Belgian children...

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 15:14 | 1320883 Use of Weapons
Use of Weapons's picture

I'm left unsure to how deeply you're referencing Machiavelli, so a general warning:

Most people don't realise that Machiavelli's "The Prince" was satire. He was an avid Republican, and the Medici had driven him from office & tortured him a year prior to its writing. The book is basically a list of behaviours he despises in the ruling classes. It is, if you like, a "how to spot a predator, how the predators operate and how to blend in" guide - it is not a 101 to ruling, despite what 99% of people think (or don't - they just consume the myth).

Try some of his other works, such as Reforming Florence

http://www.constitution.org/mac/florence.htm

The reason why Florence has always so often changed its government has been because it has never been a Republic or a Principality of the proper kind; for that Principate cannot be called stable where things are done according to the desires of an individual but are decided by the consent of the many; nor can it be believed that that Republic will endure where those moods of the people are not satisfied, and which, if they are not satisfied, cause the ruin of the Republic: and that this is true can be seen from the States (governments) that that city has had from the year one thousand three hundred ninety three (1393) until now: and beginning with the Reform made in the said time by Messer Maso Degli Albizi, it will be seen how at that time it was desired to give it the form of a Republic governed by the Optimates (Aristocrats), but that there were so many defects in it, that it did not last forty years; and it would have lasted even less if the wars of the Visconti had not ensued and which kept it united. Among other defects there was the promulgation of a list of eligible candidates (Squittini) a long time in advance, in which fraud could easily be introduced, and in which the elections could be not good; but on the other hand, because men change easily, from good becoming wicked, giving eligibility to citizens a long time in advance, it could easily happen that while the selection might be good, the drawing (up of the lists) could be bad: in addition to this, there had not been instilled in great men a fear of creating Sects (Factions), which are the ruin of a State. The Signoria also had little reputation (influence) and too much authority, being able to dispose of the lives and possessions of the citizens without appeal, and being able to call the people to a parliament. So that the Signoria came to be, not the defenders of the State, but an instrument to cause its overthrow whenever an influential Citizen should be able either to govern her or swindle her. On the other hand, as has been said, as it had little reputation, and often consisted of abject young men, existed for only a short time, and did not apply itself to any serious business, it could not have much influence.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 14:25 | 1319539 Petrolia
Petrolia's picture

Property & PM's.  That's the only way I can see to even try and defend ones hard earned assets. Property I already had.  PM's been and being added since learning from this great site.

People here don't talk about property much but I see it as a real asset much like PM's.  Sure it can go down in value, like PM's can, but it can go back up again like PM's can.  Fiat once devalued never goes back up. Well it hasn't yet.  If I'm told my property has gone down in value I say, "good the next one will be cheaper".  Just like in PM's, rejoice & BTFD's.  I personally think property perhaps better than PM's.  It produces income, albiet in fiat but that can be turned into more PM's & property.  Well for a while it can.  I'm rambling in my first proper post.  I'll shut up for now.

 

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 22:54 | 1320182 JR
JR's picture

Excellent post; your logic is excellent, IMO. This is the strategy I am following to deal with this uncertain future. 

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 01:49 | 1320279 Hook Line and S...
Hook Line and Sphincter's picture

Nice first Petrolia. I hope you have your strategy in place for partial liquidation of PM's at issuance of the new currency. Also, careful about that property...the Fed gov sees you as a TENANT, and the state/municipalities will have you in the cross-hairs for a long time. For the moment outside of Section 8 housing and double wide trailers (that you finance [see lonnie deals]), that property better be of the variety that produces income during a minimum of 15 years stagnate environment dressed up in employment that is going to be coming back at wheelchair speed, and new businesses that will be demanding ultra low lease rates. 

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 06:06 | 1320358 Petrolia
Petrolia's picture

I am UK citizen but not resident there. No fixed abode.

I shifted all UK assets into my wife's name.  I personally own property in tax havens in europe and outside europe.  Fairly modest but a start and better than fiat.

I do this to protect my fairly high earned income while I am earning it.  Once I stop work I may or may not move back to the UK depending on the situation there at the time.  Both with the country & the family.

In the meantime I am just trying to both accumulate and protect what I have by holding assets in tax free environments.  My only assets are property and PM's.  I'd like more asset variety but just don't trust ANYTHING else.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 14:39 | 1319555 Oquities
Oquities's picture

apparently kitty genovese was quickly stabbed twice and stumbled away to a dark alley after the only witness yelled at the perpetrator.  the killer then came back after driving away and found her in the dark alley and attacked again.  someone witnessed this and called police.  the perpetuation of the 38 witnesses who did nothing is mythical - they're including people behind closed windows on a cold night who maybe should've heard and done something.  but go ahead and mislead before investigating.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 15:45 | 1319636 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Marshall McLuhan is the Maynard Keynes of the media ! Apologists for Socialism ! These are not our best and brightest ! Second rate opportunists ! Monedas 2011 Capitalism works it´s magic every time it's tried ! http://trololololololololololo.com/

 

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 19:35 | 1319968 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

"Capitalism" works until the most sociopathic people in the system consolidate all the power into a few winners (geee, just like now). There no ISM that can deal with the reality that humans are evil and the most evil ones will use whatever methods at their disposal - including purchasing the political system - to win.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 20:38 | 1320040 Monedas
Monedas's picture

O contraire ! MEism works pretty good ! Capitalism, playing on the greed of the un- washed, cons them into productive channels like sewin' my underwear ! I'll have to show you the shirts I just got from Haband ! Made in Swaziland ! $9.99 each ! I feel like the Great Gatsby showin' off his silk shirts to Daisy ! Monedas 2011 Life is good and gettin' better fast ! http://trololololololololololo.com/

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 16:19 | 1319645 Hannibal
Hannibal's picture

'YOUR SILENCE GIVES CONSENT."-Plato

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 19:28 | 1319946 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 19:34 | 1319952 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

Brilliantly timely article.

The ONLY solution is to get the hell out of here now. I can't (age and aged parents) but anybody under 30 who isn't making plans to leave will kick themselves in the ass (in regret) in the next decade.

For those who say there's no place to go... The point isn't that there's another perfect place to go to. The point is that there's going to be places where the oppression (aka fascists, "Country FIRST") will be less onerous. It's all a matter of degree. The US was on its happy ignorant way to fascism when Eisenhower gave his famous "Military Industrial Complex" speech. It hasn't gotten better sense then.

Representative government in a country this large (and stupid) isn't even a remote possibly, and never was. Get out before it's too late.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 20:44 | 1320051 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Baja or Chile ! Not high priority nuke targets ! Rich in seafood and resources ! Pretty "Catholick" girls ! There are only two Mediterranean climates in the New World ! Prevailing breezes scrubbed clean by a few thousand miles of ocean ! Wine growing areas ! Good beer ! Cheap labor ! Tolerant Christians ! Monedas 2011 To be happy, you have to believe at least that you, yourself and you are good people ? I'm Monedas....no need to ask if I'm happy ! http://trololololololololololo.com/

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 02:52 | 1320315 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Baja of Tijuana fame? It's all yours. When the SHTF in the USA, the natives will be a lot less "Catholick" and tolerant of your frolicking with their daughters. Snail-mail me from the Atacama in 10 years.

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 08:13 | 1320406 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Simply not true. Chileans are not anti american or anti anything. They will judge you as an individual. And their daughters are always intrigued by american and other true caucasian foreigners.

Now if you are talking baja california in a shit storm? Ambrose Bierce's quote before he disappeared "Mexico, now that is euthanasia" comes to mind.

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 10:22 | 1320501 Monedas
Monedas's picture

As opposed to Vlad the Impaler ? I admit Baja has challenges ! Look at the Mexican Peso ? A year ago it was pushing 15 to the dollar ! Now it's 11/1 ? All you investors in Mexican mines....thanks for all you do ! There is a nation wide chain of stores called Elektra ! They sell appliances, furniture, motorcycles etc. They have a Banco Azteca in every store ! They wire money from store to store ! They sell and buy Centenarios and Onzas de Plata ! Mexicans are better prepared for a return to a Gold standard than the welfare masses of the US ? Monedas 2011

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 11:38 | 1320559 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Mexico being so dependent on the american economy cannot escape a made in usa shitstorm. If it is bad in america it will be bad in mexico. Need better diversification.

Chile, uruguay, even bolivia, peru and paraguay, but not mexico.

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 15:08 | 1320703 Monedas
Monedas's picture

I think Mexico will outperform the US ! Mexico is or was the leading producer of Ag in the world ! Mexico can't fall much....like most Socialist economies they haven't reached the heights we were at...at the nadir of the 30's depression ! Mexicans don't take kindly to people snooping around their "casas y ranchos" ! People take justice in their own hands much more ! They don't have a huge welfare/useless bureaucrat population ! They don't take kindly to outside agitators....especially Afro-Americans ! They have plenty of crude oil ! They have the most active borders with the US ! There are millions of cross-national families in the brotherhood ! Jesse Jackson don't mess with Mexico ! I'm not claiming Mexico is a Negro free zone ! Ha ha ha ! Mexico does not have Europe's and Detroit's Muslim problems ! Jes' plenty o' Catholick girls....and Mormons, Menonites, Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews etc. ! I can live with that ! Monedas 2011 Me happy ! http://trololololololololololo.com/

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 19:30 | 1319958 southsea13
southsea13's picture

Sigh...Switzerland. My friend lives there and he`s of the opinion that those Swiss are a strange lot. Beneath the placid mediocrity of bourgeois conformity there seethes a horde of Helveticans struggling to break out from their banal (albeit often safe) existences. I feel the author had the misfortune to happen upon that most universal of human activities: the drunken brawl (although I think it is something we Brits `lead the world` in :( )

Re. civil liberties: I guess as long as there are enough iPads and hours to play Farmville we`re all happy little campers! :)

 

 

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 21:12 | 1320079 Monedas
Monedas's picture

I think there are many, many, many good escape options in the US and Canada ! You're with your own people ! Also, Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania ? Tasmania has a gold mine ! That's always a good sign ! Afrika ? No ! Muslim countries ? No ! Bon voyage ! If your in a foreign place and you hear someone listening to "Tangerine" on a Juke Box...just say "Monedas ?"....it will be me !

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 21:55 | 1320125 Beatscape
Beatscape's picture

Fascinating. What the author refers to as "social proof" is a close cousin to normalcy bias and herd instinct.

People live in a world framed and dictated by routine. We feel content in our nice, predictable routines.  In fact, we fight tooth-and-nail to obtain a comfortable routine. When we are confronted with a frightening situation that potentially jeopardizes our comfortable routine, most of us won't take action.  Sadly, our cozy routine is more important that some else's life. 

Our desire to be normal, part of "the crowd" and one of the guys herds us into normalcy bias. If we stay with the crowd, we will avoid disaster and be safe.  Rather than plan for the worst and prepare for catastrophe, we actually feel more safe by embracing what is normal and routine. This is an odd charateristic that we have inherited--yet one of our instincts.  Like the author said, this definitely helps us identify the right bread plate to use at a fancy dinner party or even more relevant, helps gets our kid into that elite private school by embracing the mores of the power-set people that run the elite private school.  We are bred to be one of the tribe.

In many ways it does pay to reflect the actions of others in order to exhibit the "correct behavior".  Look at the stock market.  If you went along with the bull crowd in 2009, which outnumber the shorts and is consider more normal, you would be richer than a contrarian short who is sure the economy is going to collapse from a double dip in real estate prices or Greece's default on their debt instruments. Be normal--don't fight the Fed, buy the f*cking dip, buy NFLX, CRM and AAPL.  It works in many cases.

So, there is validity in following the crowd in order to secure your cozy domain.

Ah, but here's the rub.  Do you want to be one of the routine sheeple, who could be sheared at a given moment? Or, do you want to be an alpha male?  Most of the sheeple will live a nice predictable normal life.  But the alpha male takes a risk.  Our evolutionary background bred both types.  The alpha males who will risk it all to take a leading position.  And, the sheeple who will do as their told and follow the herd.

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 23:24 | 1320204 JR
JR's picture

Interesting, this following the flock, especially if the flock is headed over a cliff.

To wit, I had a guest this weekend whose girlfriend, he tells me, was laid off more than a year ago and collects unemployment; and now lives with her parents.  Yet, she buys $3000 Gucci purses, gambles in Las Vegas on three-day luxury weekends, wears 2-carat diamond earrings he recently bought for her on his limited paycheck, and she can’t discuss politics for fear of an anxiety attack.

She was offered her old job back, but decided to remain on unemployment while she pursues looking into a new career as a manicurist.

This, IMO, will not turn out well for the nation if it continues.  An economy based on spending such as this, and not earning, is headed for the rocky shoals.

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 10:05 | 1320475 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

It's the American Way. Observers have been shaking their heads and waiting for that cliff drop for a long, long time but it seems there is always another quick fix, slick trick or gimmick up the sleeve.

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 16:47 | 1321081 Monedas
Monedas's picture

You can never discount that possibility ! I just wish they would use one per cent of all the fiat they have created to triple the size of the National Hoard to let us say 24 mm Tonnes of Au ! The Socialists want to destroy freedom and Capitalism so we will beg for a new, reasonable Socialist Order ! Monedas 2011

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 00:26 | 1320237 scratch_and_sniff
scratch_and_sniff's picture

"creating a home away from home in a place you like is also a very worthwhile endeavor – though should you do so, I can assure you that your friends and family will think you unconventional. Maybe even unpatriotic or paranoid."

What about all the American companies that split to Aisa? Were they paranoid and unpatriotic? Fucking right they were, but they are still around to do business. Hence anyone with money should have a little stashed everywhere, paranoid or not. 

Sun, 05/29/2011 - 18:10 | 1321282 puckles
puckles's picture

I'm rather tired of all the exhortations to own PMs (although, admittedly, I do, but not phys).  I'd much rather invest in something that paid some return.  That is why I find the author's recommendation to invest in land, etc. elsewhere, a rather good piece of advice.  And even if one is not a great farmer, at least you'll have something to eat.

As regards the problem of when to leave, I'd suggest dealing with that as soon as possible.  The Nazi/Communist Revolution/Stalinist/Manchurian experiences argue that sooner is always better than later.  Paraguay is still very cheap.

Mon, 05/30/2011 - 22:45 | 1324242 joiceca
joiceca's picture

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