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Guest Post: The U.S. Is A Kleptocracy, Too

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Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

The U.S. Is A Kleptocracy, Too  

If we dare look at the plain facts of the matter, we have to conclude the U.S. is a kleptocracy not unlike Greece, only on a larger and slightly more sophisticated scale.

Yesterday, I noted that Greece Is a Kleptocracy; the U.S. is a kleptocracy, too. Before you object with a florid speech about the Bill of Rights and free enterprise, please consider the following evidence that the U.S. is now a kleptocracy worthy of comparison to Greece:

1. Neither party has any interest in limiting the banking/financial cartel. The original Glass-Steagal bill partitioning investment banking from commercial banking was a few pages long, and it was passed in a few days. Our present political oligrachy spends months passing thousands of pages of complex legislation that accomplishes essentially nothing.

As Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Thomas Hoenig recently noted (in a rare admission by an insider--I wonder how long it will be before he "resigns to pursue other opportunities," i.e. is muzzled):

The problem with SIFIs ("systemically important financial institutions," a.k.a. too big to fail banks) is they are fundamentally inconsistent with capitalism. They are inherently destabilizing to global markets and detrimental to world growth. So long as the concept of a SIFI exists, and there are institutions so powerful and considered so important that they require special support and different rules, the future of capitalism is at risk and our market economy is in peril.

Do you really think Dodd-Frank and all the other "fooled by complexity" legislation has accomplished anything? Hoenig cuts that fantasy off at the knees:

As late as 1980, the U.S. banking industry was relatively unconcentrated, with 14,000 commercial banks and the assets of the five largest amounting to 29 percent of total banking organization assets and 14 percent of GDP.

Today, we have a far more concentrated and less competitive banking system. There are fewer banks operating across the country, and the five largest institutions control more than half of the industry’s assets, which is equal to almost 60 percent of GDP. The largest 20 institutions control 80 percent of the industry’s assets, which amounts to about 86 percent of GDP.

In other words, nothing has really changed from 2008 except the domination of the political process and economy by the financial cartel has been masked by a welter of purposefully obfuscating legislation. This is of course the exact same trick Wall Street used to cloak the risk of the mortgage-backed derivatives it sold as "low risk" AAA rated securities: by design, the instruments were so complex that only the originators understood how they worked.

That is the current legislative process in a nutshell. Much of the 60,000 pages of tax code are arcane because they describe loopholes and exclusions written specifically to exempt a single corporation or cartel from Federal taxes.

The U.S. is truly a kleptocracy because its political leadership actually has no interest in limiting the banking/financial cartel. When questioned why their "reforms" are so toothless, legislators wring their hands and bleat, "Honest, I wanted to limit the banks but they're too powerful." Spoken like a true kleptocrat.

2. Our stock markets are dominated by insiders. It is estimated that some 70% of all shares traded are exchanged in private "dark pools" operated by the TBTF banks and Wall Street, and the majority of the remaining 30% of publicly traded shares are traded by high-frequency trading machines that hold the shares for a few seconds, or however long is needed to skim the advantages offered by proximity to the exchange and speed.

If that's your idea of an "open market," then you're the ideal citizen for a kleptocracy.

3. The rule of law in the U.S. has been divided into two branches: one in name only for the financial Elites and corporate cartels, and one for the rest of us mere citizens.
Between corporate toadies on the Supreme Court who have granted corporations rights to spend unlimited money lobbying and buying legislators as a form of "free speech"--ahem, how can something that costs billions of dollars be "free"?--and vast regulatory brueacracies that saw nothing wrong with MERS and the complete corruption of land and mortgage transfer rules, the U.S. legal system is now a perfection of kleptocracy.

As economist Hernando de Soto observed in The Destruction of Economic Facts, the ForeclosureGate mortgage mess is not just a series of petty paperwork mistakes--it is the destruction of the entire system of trustworthy transfer of property rights for non-Elites:

Knowing who owned and owed, and fixing that information in public records, made it possible for investors to infer value, take risks, and track results. The final product was a revolutionary form of knowledge: "economic facts."

Over the past 20 years, Americans and Europeans have quietly gone about destroying these facts. The very systems that could have provided markets and governments with the means to understand the global financial crisis—and to prevent another one—are being eroded. Governments have allowed shadow markets to develop and reach a size beyond comprehension. Mortgages have been granted and recorded with such inattention that homeowners and banks often don't know and can't prove who owns their homes. In a few short decades the West undercut 150 years of legal reforms that made the global economy possible.

The results are hardly surprising. In the U.S., trust has broken down between banks and subprime mortgage holders; between foreclosing agents and courts; between banks and their investors—even between banks and other banks.

Frequent contributor Harun I. summarized the reality of this political and financial coup by kleptocrats:

As described by Georgetown University bankruptcy expert Adam Levitin, in testimony to subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, "If mortgages were not properly transferred in the securitization process, then mortgage-backed securities would in fact not be backed by any mortgages whatsoever, [and] could cloud title to nearly every property in the United States." It would also raise the question of the legality of the resulting millions of foreclosures on American homeowners, since the banks cannot prove "ownership" of the foreclosed property.

The statement above gets to the elemental issue that apparently is lost on many otherwise intelligent people. This is not about frivolous claims based on technicalities. This is about securities fraud (theft) on a ludicrously massive scale. These so-called securities were sold to governments, pension funds and other financial institutions globally. Trillions were made by banks selling what is becoming clearly understood to be worthless pieces of paper and when the jig was up, which ultimately led to the destruction of economies globally, they made ordinary citizens the losers by sliding their worthless pieces of paper to the balance sheet of taxpayers worldwide.

And while some are quibbling over whether someone should get a free house, those who have perpetrated the greatest swindle in the history of mankind are about to get away with it, because they are "systemically important", code for TBTF (too big to fail).

You think money laundering and tax evasion is a specialty only of Caribbean island "banking centers"? Think again; we have corporate oversight equivalent to that of Somalia. U.S.A. a haven for corporate money laundering: A little house of secrets on the Great Plains:

Among the firm's offerings is a variety of shell known as a "shelf" company, which comes with years of regulatory filings behind it, lending a greater feeling of solidity.

"A corporation is a legal person created by state statute that can be used as a fall guy, a servant, a good friend or a decoy," the company's website boasts. "A person you control... yet cannot be held accountable for its actions. Imagine the possibilities!"

"In the U.S., (business incorporation) is completely unregulated," says Jason Sharman, a professor at Griffith University in Nathan, Australia, who is preparing a study for the World Bank on corporate formation worldwide. "Somalia has slightly higher standards than Wyoming and Nevada."

The U.S. was declared "non-compliant" in four out of 40 categories monitored by the Financial Action Task Force, an international group fighting money laundering and terrorism finance, in a 2006 evaluation report, its most recent. Two of those ratings relate to scant information collected on the owners of corporations. The task force named Wyoming, Nevada and Delaware as secrecy havens. Only three states - Alaska, Arizona and Montana - require regular disclosure of corporate shareholders in some form.

4. Just as in Greece, taxes are optional for the nation's financial Elites. In Greece, you don't mention your swimming pool to avoid the "swimming pool tax." Here in the U.S., that sort of tax avoidance is against the law (smirk). Here, you hire a Panzer division of sharp tax attorneys and escape taxation legally (well, mostly legally--whatever it takes to win).

If you are unfortunate enough to be a successful small entrepreneur who nets $100,000 a year, you pay 15.3% self-employment and 25% Federal tax on the bulk of your income, a combined rate of 40.3%, and a combined rate of 43.3% on all income above $82,400.

Those who net millions pay less than half that amount, somewhere between 17% for the top 1/10th of 1% and 21% for the top 1%: Citizens for Tax Justice, which looks at all taxes paid including federal, state and local taxes, said that in 2010 the top 1 percent of earners will pay 21.5 percent of taxes.

Note that the 21.5% paid by the top 1% includes all state and local taxes. Here in California, the small businessperson earning $100,000 pays between 5% and 9% state tax, so their combined state and Federal tax burden on their highest earnings is a whopping 50%. Then there are property taxes and the 9.5% sales tax, and endless junk fees skimmed from small business. Add all that together and the total taxes paid rises to the 60% level, or roughly triple what the top 1% pay.

(Bitter note from a tax donkey: To all those tax-and-spenders who whine that California has "low taxes," please pay my "low" property tax bill, will you? It's "only" $11,000 a year.)

Super Rich See Federal Taxes Drop Dramatically:

The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year. The average income on those returns in 2007, the latest year for IRS data, was nearly $345 million. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992.

Eric Schoenberg says to sign him up for paying higher taxes. Schoenberg, who inherited money and has a healthy portfolio from his days as an investment banker, has joined a group of other wealthy Americans called United for a Fair Economy. Their goal: Raise taxes on rich people like themselves.

Schoenberg, who now teaches a business class at Columbia University, said his income is usually "north of half a million a year." But 2009 was a bad year for investments, so his income dropped to a little over $200,000. His federal income tax bill was a little more than $2,000.

"I simply point out to people, 'Do you think this is reasonable, that somebody in my circumstances should only be paying 1 percent of their income in tax?'" Schoenberg said.

Do you really think you don't live in a kleptocracy? Why? Because the truth hurts?

 


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Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:33 | Link to Comment baby_BLYTHE
baby_BLYTHE's picture

It is Fascism.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:53 | Link to Comment Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

it is fascism and Marxism/socialism ...but i've come to realise the two ideaologies converge in the exact same human character type: parasites, unproductive, cheating, lying, lazy scum living off a productive host (society)

all roads lead to human character

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:56 | Link to Comment kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Psychopathic parasites, but I'm not sure about "lazy".  The study and advancement of all of the ism's is meant to create a cover for the criminals and a distraction for the masses. 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:01 | Link to Comment Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Old news. Tell me something the Sioux, Apache, Navajo, Cree, Klamath, Hopi, Pima, Comanche, Cheyenne,  Crow, Dakota....and numerous other formerly free nations didn't  know hundreds of years ago.  

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:08 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

they didn't shed a single tear of remorse for the tribes they utterly annihilated?

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:35 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

they didn't shed a single tear of remorse for the tribes they utterly annihilated?

 

Oh yes, they were extremelly efficient at that. The pratical evidence is the low number of Indian tribes that were found in NA. Only the most populous could survive.

US citizens nature is eternal.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:12 | Link to Comment wanklord
wanklord's picture

Americans are a bunch of stupid animals easy to manipulate and subdue.The sooner the US economy collapses the better, so these brutes will finally learn NOT to live beyond their means.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 15:42 | Link to Comment LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Isn't this the same shit that rolled out of your mouth, what, a week ago or so?
Do you have this saved in a text file for cut and paste and it just came back up on the top of the list?

Let's see, I'm going off memory here:
Europe slaughtered most of their able young men when tech overtook tactics and we saved your ass.
Then, you wouldn't listen to our "play nice" admonitions and you did it again the next generation, this time slaughtering each other on an industrial scale.
Then, when the soviet tanks killed all the grass east of the fulda gap, we held them back so you could vacation in the Med instead of spending on defense.

You're welcome, asshole.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 18:30 | Link to Comment Kayman
Kayman's picture

LFMayor

Thank you for pointing out that Europe has been given a free ride on the backs of the American taxpayer since 1939.

 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 21:38 | Link to Comment Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

We also keep fighting their wars for them (Bosnia and now Libya). These former world powers are now utterly worthless when it comes to war (except for Britain).

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:57 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Thank you for giving me a convenient and highly visible location for posting the following:

TO ALL NATURAL BORN AMERICAN CITIZENS

If you have a Social Security Number, you are NOT protected by the Constitution.  Rather, you are a ward of the socialist District of Columbia, a beauracratic satellite office of the Vatican.

Your SSN is a MARK, a property tag.  Once you take it, you become merely chattel, to be taxed, regulated, fined, levied, and controlled in anyway that your Masters see fit.

Social Security is a CONTRACT between you and the United States of America (a federal corporation, see USC Title 28 3002 (15) (A) (B) (C)).  By entering into this contract you waive your Constitutional rights and accept in return a kind of lifelong indentured servitude.  If you received your SSN as a youth (i.e. under the age of 18) then you were illegally entered into a contract, because as a minor you cannot lawfully be held to a contract, and no adult can enter you into one either because that is the definition of slavery.  But it's only illegal if you object, and you can only object if you know you can, and you can only know you can if you spend the time to read the law, every last page of it.  But fortunately, we have been afforded shortcuts by Good People who blazed a trail.  It's a trail along a steep mountain overgrown by vegetation and thorns, but it is there, if you will be motivated to find it and brave enough to follow it.

Don't believe me?  Fuck you.  I've been researching this longer than you've been reading Zero Hedge, in fact longer than ZH has even been around, and I stand on the shoulders of giants who came long before me to proclaim to all of you that your freedom is merely a beauracratic filing formality.

You want proof?  Go through the process and see what happens:

http://famguardian.org/TaxFreedom/Forms/Emancipation/SSTrustIndenture.pdf

Once you've successfuly rescinded your SSN, that's your proof.

You have nothing to lose but your bondage.

I am Chumbawamba.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:14 | Link to Comment wanklord
wanklord's picture

Duplicate

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:29 | Link to Comment tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

yo chumba, that file is very buggy fyi.  won't open and crashes my pdf reader everytime.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:31 | Link to Comment indio007
indio007's picture

There is no such thing as a natural born citizen in a body politic see Calvins Case.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:32 | Link to Comment pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

Do they accept Paypal???    hahaha!

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:34 | Link to Comment tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

~~~

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 15:09 | Link to Comment Whatta
Whatta's picture

you are a ward of the socialist District of Columbia, a beauracratic satellite office of the Vatican.

Huh? Vatican don't want no homo-luving, warmongering, aborting USofA as a satellite.

 

I AM NOT chumba or wumba

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 15:48 | Link to Comment purplefrog
purplefrog's picture

I'll go you one better than that, Chumby Baby.  The con-stitution has never been the law of the land.  Have any of you checked out some of the SCOTUS decisions.  It's all commercial law and any resemblance of any law to the con-stitution is only that - a statutory look-alike.  Just try bringing up the con-stitution in a federal court as a defense.  It will be cited as frivolous.

Just look around you.  Would we even have a Fed if the con-stitution were the law?  Could people have their property taken from them for the public good if the con- were the law of the land?  Wake up people.  Funny money is proof positive that the constitution is not the law.

Okay, junkers.  Have at it.

 

 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 15:59 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

You are correct, but the flood always begins as a trickle.  Once you shatter one illusion, each subsequent one becomes easier to surmount.  Once people realize they live in a real-life Matrix they will keep seeking until they find the truth.  The problem is, no one really knows how deep it goes, not even the bastards that control this level and the two or three below.

I am Chumbawamba.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 16:56 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

you're full of crap; most people will TURN AWAY and persist in denial even when the obvious is trying to pry their eyelids open

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 17:02 | Link to Comment purplefrog
purplefrog's picture

Yeah, you're right, of course.  It took me awhile and I had a mentor!  And I'm still not seeing it all yet.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 17:41 | Link to Comment Maniac Researcher
Maniac Researcher's picture

Trust Chumbawamba -- he's been doing research for years! And by research, I mean reading unsubstantiated, intellectually lazy, poorly sourced material that lacks any substantive peer review outside of its target audience.

But don't worry, Chumba is an expert! He's distilled this important information for you and peppered it with bigoted comments, unassailable fallacy arguments, and broken links.

To cap it off, he provides this material by humbly re-mentioning his name - just in case we miss it at the beginning of his sage advice-filled comments.

With friends like Chumbawamba helping us resist capitalist exploitation and imperial hegemony, who needs enemies?

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 00:14 | Link to Comment knowless
knowless's picture

the link to the PDF worked for me.

it's a how to guide to attaining sovereign citizenship status in the US, no idea if it works, but they lay down all the forms and the reason they are necessarry.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 16:50 | Link to Comment pods
pods's picture

PF, from my research, the organic constitution was (and is) still in effect, but the 14th amendment and the implied consent of citizens through the use of corporate money (FRNs) allowed corporate commercial law to be used in place of our common law.

Really is a big, deep rabbit hole.  

Chumba, let us know how it goes trying to get out.

I think it was Kayl who did something similar, but within the UCC, (s)he took control of his own commercial affairs, so stayed within the system, but somehow took back his credit.

Really a Matrix moment when it started to fall in place.

There is a movement for sovereigns to re-enter a constitutional republic.  Have not joined yet, but have read alot about the subject.  Act of 1871, 14th amendment, FRNs, etc. 

http://www.republicfortheunitedstates.org/

pods

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 15:57 | Link to Comment chopper read
chopper read's picture

Chumbawamba.  well put.  I have found your comments to be largely correct.  By the way, I may also add that one must be 'domiciled' here in a particular state and have paid for this domicile with 'lawful money' (at least 21 silver dollars) to not be classified as a pauper.  Finally, no interest-bearing bank accounts as usuary is condemned (in Ezekial) in the Bible which serves as a foundation for our laws. 

sounds nutty, I know.  junk away.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 17:40 | Link to Comment Maniac Researcher
Maniac Researcher's picture

Chumba, this is your target audience.

 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 16:48 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

+1

In other words Angels and Demons, with Tom Hanks, is propaganda?

Fanfare for the Common Man (link to music)

It was written in response to the US entry into the Second World War.

 

Goossens had suggested titles such as Fanfare for Soldiers, or sailors or airmen, and he wrote that "[i]t is my idea to make these fanfares stirring and significant contributions to the war effort...." Copland considered several titles including Fanfare for a Solemn Ceremony and Fanfare for Four Freedoms; to Goossens' surprise, however, Copland titled the piece Fanfare for the Common Man. Goossen wrote "Its title is as original as its music, and I think it is so telling that it deserves a special occasion for its performance. If it is agreeable to you, we will premiere it 12 March 1943 at income tax time". Copland's reply was "I [am] all for honoring the common man at income tax time".[2]

 

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

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 16:09 | Link to Comment LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Wow Trav, we're back onto that noble savage stuff again!  Wasn't so long ago we were kicking this around, remem?

I read once from a chronicler of the Miami, westermost of the Iroquois league:
"War and Torture, it seems, are their sport and leisure."

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 17:03 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

I'm a true believer now.  Only white people do anything wrong and everything bad that ever happened to anyone is white people's fault.

Everyone else is distilled purity.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 17:41 | Link to Comment Maniac Researcher
Maniac Researcher's picture

aww. the poor bigot wants a cookie.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 16:31 | Link to Comment downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

follow the leader------>  

two wrongs and all. ya know.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:09 | Link to Comment kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

nah... that was just manifest destiny, brother. 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:31 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

And that means what? That we should forget about their crimes, because they are "old"?

Saying "old news" is kind of like a Jedi mind trick. Move along.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:53 | Link to Comment pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Your niave, but some day, you'll grow up.

The system gets looted.  On the one hand is the rulers, on the other hand there are working people.  When the rulers use the government (as they have since the beginning of time) to strike at the workers (used to call them slaves) the slaves revolt and make it better for the slaves.

There are times when the slaves have it good at the expense of the rulers, there are times when the rulers have it good at the expense of the slaves.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:01 | Link to Comment Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Yeah, liberalism and socialism are just the camoflage the thieves wear. They aren't stupid enough to actually believe that shit works. History proves it has never worked, unless the goal was the slow death of the nation.

The parasites are just their foot soldiers.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:59 | Link to Comment augie
augie's picture

SUNSHINE AND LOLLIPOPS FOR EVERYONE!

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:32 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

Yeah, quite true.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 16:40 | Link to Comment downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

I would guess that the amount of time in which the slaves have it good is much less than the amount of time in which the rulers have it good. It would seem to me that momentum usually favors the owner class. On the other hand, I have only been alive for 2.6 decades, so I can't comment from experience.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:05 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

not all fascists are the same, dude.

Some of them are very strong ideological nationalists, like Hitler was.

Obviously, with Simon & Schuster writing the history books and Warner Bros, MGM, etc. making the historical movies, you get only a tiny slice of the picture and told from one particular, very narrow viewpoint.  And this becomes the historical narrative.  Upon complete examination of the facts, everything is not so cut-and-dried.  From another person's perspective, what occurred was driven by a desire for ideological purity and moral clarity.

There are vast differences between Stalin's brand and Putin's brand.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:09 | Link to Comment B9K9
B9K9's picture

I've come to the conclusion that anyone still discussing these matters is either bored or doesn't really fully comprehend what is occurring. 2.5 years ago, when ZH was first launched, it seemed like a novel concept to reveal the inner-workings of the systemic fraud inherent in the global ponzi. Now it's old news - yawn.

Look fellas, another Ghawar or two or three, necessary to allow 1 billion+ Chinese & Indians to replicate Western lifestyles and drive total credit outstanding north of $50T is not forthcoming. Like "no tickie, no washie", the equation is in reality "flat energy, no growth, no ponzi".

I mean, really, what else need be said? Knowing this, the objective of the power-elite is to survive the culling. To that extent, they are maximizing their wealth consolidation on the off-chance it may provide them good stead when TSHF.

For all the rest of us, it would behoove you to log off the 'Net and start honing your (a) interpersonal skills; and (b) your practical, contributory skills. Tribalism is coming back (as if it ever left), and the key to survivial is to both not have enemies and to be able to help out. Anything less will put your sorry ass in the remainder bin.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:29 | Link to Comment Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

For all the rest of us, it would behoove you to log off the 'Net and start honing your (a) interpersonal skills; and (b) your practical, contributory skills. Tribalism is coming back (as if it ever left), and the key to survivial [sic] is to both not have enemies and to be able to help out. Anything less will put your sorry ass in the remainder bin.

 

The crux of the biscuit.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:33 | Link to Comment Duuude
Duuude's picture

B9K9...Well said except for the enemies part. They do have a proclivity of showing up...

 

http://timshel.org/timshel.php

 

Nice to see you.

 

 

 

 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:34 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

B9K9

"I've come to the conclusion that anyone still discussing these matters is either bored or doesn't really fully comprehend what is occurring."

Neither. It is easier to talk revolution than to be a revolutionary.

Ever watch two guys fight? First they always threaten, " Man I'm gonna fuck you up". All bluff and bluster.

A real fighter just strikes.

Then walks away.

 

 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 20:49 | Link to Comment i-dog
i-dog's picture

+1

Best lesson I was ever taught: "Say nothing ... and hit 'em while they're still talking"! Works every time. :)

Which is what we should all be doing now...while they're still rolling out the TSA/FEMA/NSA police state infrastructure. They're not finished talking yet!

End the Feds!! (Federal Reserve & Fed.gov)
End the European 'Experiment'!! (EU & EUR)
De-fund the IMF!!

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:49 | Link to Comment tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

happy 2 year ZH bday b9k9...remember this oldie but goodie?

I've caught some flack by stating that the Bible is the most importance reference document we possess. For some reason, a few people apparently mistook my obvious atheistic principles for ecclesiastical belief. Wrong; however, if one is interested in any historical precedent of how this situation plays out, simply open a page in the Bible and start reading.

Seven years of feast & famine? Check. Powers-that-be pre-emptively attempting to wipe out the opposition? Check. Lectures on the evils of money-lending? Check. The one constant throughout history is that on a fairly regular cycle, the PTB get whacked.

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/head-greek-debt-office-replaced-former-...

still unfolding just like the Good Book says, isn't it?

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 15:11 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

you're anglosaxon?  Our tribe is in suicidal disarray.

If you dislike Lebron James now, apparently you are a rayciss.  There is no reason for someone to not have voted for NeObama than raycissm.  Only raycissm prevented him from getting 100% of the vote- that includes all the motherfuckers who didn't even go in to pull a lever.  They rayciss too.

And there are actually a lot of punk ass belly crawling WASPs who believe this shit.

Every failure throughout history of any non-wasp is rayciss and the fault of wasps.

U got a well-organized tribe with all the money sitting at the top and a VERY clear sense of their own manifest destiny as the chosen of God.  Dislodging this requires brutal ethnic cleansing.  Their own holy work mandates that they treat you as an inferior outsider and do everything they can to fuck you over and take what you have.  How the hell do you go up against this without matching brutality?

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 16:15 | Link to Comment LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Preach it brother.  The flash mobs of "underpriveledged youth" are helping spread the message and wake the sleepers with their little roadshows, too.

In the end, this will all get sorted out the best way. Old school.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 17:04 | Link to Comment laughing_swordfish
laughing_swordfish's picture

 

You wouldn't by any chance be talking about that certain "ethnicity" whose "Ancestral Homeland" is in what used to be called Palestine, would you?

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:17 | Link to Comment steelhead23
steelhead23's picture

You are a moron.  Stop writing drivel, read something about socialism, and learn.

http://michael-hudson.com/2011/06/whither-greece/

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:28 | Link to Comment redpill
redpill's picture

Fascism, Marxism, Socialism, Communism, all are various forms of oligarchy but they typically have some ideology behind them related to a grand scheme of social organization.  However twisted, the believers in these authoritarian nightmares truly think tthe world can be a utopia if only power is centralized and control is absolute.  

The kleptocrats have no such grand vision.  They are far more petty and self-serving.  In fact they are perfectly happy to fuck everyone just to keep the money/power rush.  I don' tknow if that makes them better or worse then megalomaniacal dictators, but philosophically I find them distinct.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:13 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Zero Govt

"two ideaologies converge in the exact same human character type: parasites, unproductive, cheating, lying, lazy scum living off a productive host (society)

all roads lead to human character"

Fuck that character bullshit! Everybody just wants the easy simple route. That's why people invent shit, not to make life harder for themselves and everyone else but to make life EASIER and SIMPLER.

The fact is those productive types are actually wage slaves serving someone else. Those productive types need that whip hand enforcing their masters will.

The lazy bastard is the guy who mods his kids transformer to grab beers from the fridge and deliver them poolside. His buds come over and say cool can you make me one. Then comes the informercial.

Then the coke and hookers in Billy Mays old house.

Technology and innovation is always driven by the lazy bastards who refuse to walk three feet to the fridge for a cold brew.

 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:33 | Link to Comment cdskiller
cdskiller's picture

dude, what are you talking about? it is capitalist fascist oligarchy. it has nothing whatsoever to do with marxism or socialism. it's more like the mafia, or any other criminal organization.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 17:51 | Link to Comment Maniac Researcher
Maniac Researcher's picture

Wow, fascism and Marxism/socialism. That's deep.

Yeah, we know it's hard for you, "Zero Govt" -- you work hard all day and then brown people with less money than you don't treat you with proper respect you deserve, right? You see [read:imagine] welfare moms in the check out line and fantasize about their demise. But you care so much about the world, don't you ZG? You care so much! You want all those nasty freeloaders [read:brown people] to die so you can get on with your enlightened utopia! Yes, things will be SO much better when all the parasites are dead. Truly, you are the paragon of the anarchist sentiment of mutual aid.

Quick question for you, enlightened one: How far did you get into Godwin, Kropotkin, Bakunin, and Goldman before you realized you were an "anarchist"?

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 18:53 | Link to Comment Use of Weapons
Use of Weapons's picture

Tierra y Libertad!

 

But you've got noticed; now after naming the names, can you walk the walk?

 

Note: Most AnCaps are not anarchists; they are Libertarian Randians who discount the monopoly of violence that "free market policing" entails. Take this on board before engaging with me; also note that half my family are reptiles, and as such your name has been noted & digested - I'd suggest not coming at me as a lolcat, fluffy things are food, not play.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 02:51 | Link to Comment i-dog
i-dog's picture

"Most AnCaps are not anarchists; they are Libertarian Randians "

Sad, but true. They just can't seem to take the final step to trust themselves, and their neighbour, with a gun...always handing it over to the State for "safe keeping"! LOL.

Thu, 06/30/2011 - 02:32 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

ideology is a tool to cloud common sense (including anarchy)

I'm very happy: Two Minds is back in splendor!

the greatest revolution mankind experienced was when the Roman Plebs went on strike until they would get written laws

the next great revolution will be when constituencies require lawmakers to know by heart all laws of a country

thousands of pages of obscure laws that nobody reads or knows fully are not laws, they are instruments of oppression

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:51 | Link to Comment wombats
wombats's picture

I believe you are correct.  At least there aren't brown shirts marching thru the streets enforcing the submission of the populace and confiscating posessions (PMs) yet.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 17:13 | Link to Comment laughing_swordfish
laughing_swordfish's picture

W:

 

I think you have it wrong. The "Brownshirts" will be marching through the streets rounding up members of TPTB too slow or stupid to flee, as well as those luckless members of "that certain ethnicity" that has done so much to bring this country to ruin.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:57 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

No, not yet.  Fascism is what comes after the crash when the strongman has to right the ship at the point of a gun.

Putin, Hitler, FDR; they all came about as a result of the same incipient circumstances.  If you're lucky, the strongman puts a lot of shit right.

I mean of course Hitler was totally irrational and is the gestalt of insanity but he righted the Germany economy, purged the kleptocrats, and reestablished some sense of order.  I mean just the other day, someone posted something from Mein Kampf where he was speaking about the shameless mendacity of politicians.  Surely, this must have been ghostwritten because it was totally on-point and actually correct in its analysis.

Putin did the same thing after the USSR's collapse, and FDR in the USA.  Now, you may not like some of the things any of these guys did, but judge them in juxtaposition with what led to their rise.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:15 | Link to Comment jaxville
jaxville's picture

Hooray for Hitler

   Check out the movie "Inside Job" if you have any doubts about what every member the US kleptocracy have in common

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:17 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

jaxville

"Check out the movie "Inside Job" if you have any doubts about what every member the US kleptocracy have in common"

Some dipshit hawking homemade dvds on Youtube?

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:39 | Link to Comment cdskiller
cdskiller's picture

I see someone has been living under a rock for a couple of years.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 16:38 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

take a look at where the post-USSR hyperinflation oligarchy fled to after the Putin putsch.  The difference was he didn't expel beyond the top layer.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 17:54 | Link to Comment Maniac Researcher
Maniac Researcher's picture

..calling Putin's move a "putsch" belies your level of intellectual depth.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:02 | Link to Comment Gladio Insurrection
Gladio Insurrection's picture

Is one required to join the Democrat or Republican party in order to hold a private sector job, attend school, or gain access to cultural events?

Is any form of xenophobia officially sanctioned?

Are masses of citizens being disappeared or stripped of their rights for purely ideological reasons?

Do we have an autarkic national economic policy?

Does the state stifle finance capitalism in any way?

While perhaps being equally an abomination, it is not de facto historical fascism.

 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:19 | Link to Comment TimmyM
TimmyM's picture

Gladio, here are some answers:
Without joining a party you cannot make your vote count.
When you are not born into the right family and anointed a conformist, you cannot get into the right school.

Think Muslim

The TBTF banking system. Do you have a say in Fed policy?

Ever hear of minority policies? How about housing finance subsidies crowding out productive finance? Or do you like taxes that support big oil and the military? Subsidizing defense worldwide? ZIRP forcing retirees to subsidize banks? Ever hear of the CRA?

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 17:45 | Link to Comment Gladio Insurrection
Gladio Insurrection's picture

TimmyM, I grant you all of your grievances and the thousands of others left unstated, however the point of my post was to illustrate key principles of historical fascist regimes like Italy, Germany, Hungary, and Romania.

Other features: strict gun control, mandatory health regiments, youth indoctrination, overt propaganda, cultural homogeneity.

If others wish to redefine the term and make fascism mean what it didn't then, there is little I can do but point out the more glaring discrepancies.  Fascism was anti-communist and anti-capitalist, embodied the opposite of laissez-faire policies, and opposed (especially foreign) financial profiteering.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:11 | Link to Comment grovernors
grovernors's picture

The US has ALWAYS been Fascist, and to a certain extent I have ZERO problem with this.  The problem is corruption and a franchise judicial system that promulgates abominations in the form of infinitely righteous corporations over flesh and blood humans.  In the end the humans become slaves and or commodities to the state.

In actuality and to get back on topic, since the popular election of US Senators via the un-constitutional 17th Ammendment the US has ceased to be a Republic and is by default a Democracy. 

The 17th Amendment is un-constitutional as outlined in Marbury v Madison in which the Supreme Court essentially said that congress did not have the authority to change the structure of the Constitution and judicial review was born.  Hence you CANNOT turn a Constitutional Republic into a Socialist Democracy.

Seek the truth, root out corruption, support new TONA legislation and re-establish the Republic.  tona2009.com

god bless you all

 

 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:38 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Hard to re-establish what is already established.

The US is a republic. This might change though by popular will and privatization of government.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 23:47 | Link to Comment Guy Fawkes Mulder
Guy Fawkes Mulder's picture

noob

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:51 | Link to Comment Dr Zaius
Dr Zaius's picture

I agree the 17th amendment was bad, but the 17th amendment didn't turn the US into a democracy. The US is still a republic because we elect representatives to government. Those representatives create the laws, pass budgets, etc. rather than the people themselves. We are often referred to as a democracy because the mechanisms by which the representatives and the chief of the executive branch are selected is a democratic election. The 17th amendment turned us more into a republic than before as the representatives in both houses of congress are now elected by the people. Prior to the 17th amendment, the states appointed senators to the Senate to six year terms in office. The sad thing is that by ratifying the 17th amendment, the state government voluntarily gave up their voice at the federal level -- something that, in retrospect, should not have been done.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:22 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

FYI, grovs: Marbury v. Madison was a hack political decision. That arrogant bastard Marshall said that he understood the Constitution better than Madison, who wrote it! (Yeah, the Madison in Marbury v. Madison was THAT Madison.)

 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 16:47 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

you know better than this. The shit that led to the case was political hack in the 3rd degree.  Congress could have revoked or nullified Marbury, but didn't.  Instead, they revoked the Act that led to the case in the first place.

Ironically, it was a Federalist who lost in that case and in the Federalist Papers, Hamilton argued for judicial review.  In fact, most of the delegates to the Convention agreed with this principle as it was well-established prior in ye olde Englande.

The Statute conflicted with the Constitution and was therefore void.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:40 | Link to Comment MMT Roolz
MMT Roolz's picture

This is nonsense.  The Constitution provides a procedure for amendment.  As long as that procedure is followed, the Constitution changes, thus what was not constitutional, becomes constitutional.  To state that a procedurally proper constitutional amendment is "unconstitutional" is idiotic. 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:44 | Link to Comment Onohymagin
Onohymagin's picture

That it is.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 22:20 | Link to Comment FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Max Keiser was saying the US is a Kelptocracy three years ago.  I find that Max is way ahead of the curve (he has already called for guillotines).

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:37 | Link to Comment JimBobOMG
JimBobOMG's picture

Is this QE3?

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:11 | Link to Comment Shocker
Shocker's picture

No, your not even close :)

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:35 | Link to Comment monopoly
monopoly's picture

Not a flash crash but check out KBH stock and earnings, yikes. I have been saying it for years, we have too many home buliders, they need to consolidate, file for bankruptcy or just go away. BZH should be the first to file.

Man, this is going to get ugly. Jut the timing.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:40 | Link to Comment Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

take one monopoly institution (Govt) and load it with sponsored sock puppets (the US is the most openly/obviously/patently corrupt system with candidates and parties requiring vast sums to campaign from vested interests) and what the fuck do you expect???

..you've got to be a complete moron to think citizens have a chance in this sham, and a complete idiot to cast a vote

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:34 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

No, not "complete idiots", just normal people exposed to a decade or more of all-day conditioning between the ages of 5 and 20 or so.

The rulers DID study Skinner.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:27 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

CH1

"No, not "complete idiots", just normal people exposed to a decade or more of all-day conditioning between the ages of 5 and 20 or so.

The rulers DID study Skinner."

I disagree, the majority of people are just followers. Nothing more than that. They don't want to think for themselves. It's always been this way and always will be this way.

People haven't been "dumbed down". Now those of like mind can find others for the daily bitch fest.

To quote John Lennon

"And you think you're so clever and classless and free

But you're still peasants as far as I can see"

 

 

 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:57 | Link to Comment CH1
CH1's picture

Hi GF,

You have a point, to be sure, but I think it has been magnified by the mass conditioning programs.

If we still disagree, no prob.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:41 | Link to Comment NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Say, let's skip to the chase.

The world is a kleptocracy.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:48 | Link to Comment dracos_ghost
dracos_ghost's picture

+1

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:02 | Link to Comment illyia
illyia's picture

+ 14T

 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:39 | Link to Comment Orange Pekoe
Orange Pekoe's picture

We used to be cannibals who stole meat from each other's bones. Now we're just cannibals who steal money from each other's bank accounts.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:45 | Link to Comment Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

This is news?

I think it is the shift to overdrive since 2008 that is shocking to most people.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:00 | Link to Comment kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Sure... because pre-2008 was nothing but liberty.  You're stuck.  Get unstuck.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:05 | Link to Comment Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

No, it sucked, but at least they tried to hide it a bit.

We haven't been a free nation since the federal courts decided to become our imperial overlords.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:13 | Link to Comment kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Fair enough.  Though I don't think there was much effort to hide anything "post 9/11".  The engines have been revving ever since, IMO.  In hind sight, you can see things for what they were further back than that, but 9/11 is when things got out in the open.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:43 | Link to Comment Sinestar
Sinestar's picture

Jealousy is so unbecomming Tyler. Caviar anyone?

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 20:55 | Link to Comment Use of Weapons
Use of Weapons's picture

You meant 'caveat emptor' - caviar is now endangered, and like most fish will be off the menu in 10 years time - unless you're one of those poseurs who eats herring's roe without realising the difference. That's because enjoying the negative side of the coin, you forgot the positive, and so all balance was lost.

Oh, and if you're one of those types who just love eating species that are soon to be extinct... well... I've heard that homo sapiens is on that list, and I'm sure the vans delivering choice cuts will be much missed.

 

Long live the new flesh - and time to be rid of the half breeds.

 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:45 | Link to Comment carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

I suspect that what appears as a Kleptocracy is actually a Financial Oligarchy intent on cosolidating its power base.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:55 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Point.

And it would be just like the oligarch masters of the universe, once caught with their hands in the cookie jar, to then say "Yes you found me out but ... oh wait look at that evil man over there stealing your money!"

Most people would look.

It's too easy.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:09 | Link to Comment carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

"The path of least resistance was to engage in fiscal deception."

"The financial sector has an interest in understating the debt burden – first, by using “mark to model” junk accounting, and second, by pretending that the debt burden can be paid without disrupting economic life. "

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/how-financial-oligarchy-replaces-democracy

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:49 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

I have a hard time being angry for people avoiding paying taxes. Its the "my tax money going to somebody else" I have a problem with.

There is more than enough money being stolen all around not just from us "paltry peasants."

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:48 | Link to Comment Sockeye
Sockeye's picture

I couldn't agree more with Hernando de Soto quoted here: "Knowing who owned and owed, and fixing that information in public records, made it possible for investors to infer value, take risks, and track results. The final product was a revolutionary form of knowledge: "economic facts." Property rights and clear administration of those rights is absolutely fundamental to a just society. The concept of personal property extends to fruits of labor (income) and therefore our acceptance of income taxes and debt money / inflation makes all of us complicit in this kleptocracy.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:53 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

I wouldn't necessarily say complicit. One must hedge accordingly to exist. So long as others value some sort of "commodity" such as US dollars (for whatever bullshit reason they value them) then it may be wise and prudent for one to utilize them in certain circumstances. I'd say we as a globe have become completely brainwashed to think that money is and only exists in "fiat currency." Our entire thinking has been geared around its monopoly of value. I think craigslist is but one thing that is beginning to erode that notion.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:05 | Link to Comment Sockeye
Sockeye's picture

I agree that complicit is a strong word but you are getting to the heart of this when referring to the monopoly power over notions of value that we have granted to fiat currency. My point is that we have a role in accepting and allowing this monopoly power. We can move away from kleptocracy by establishing alternative and competing mechanisms of valuation.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:52 | Link to Comment Greeny
Greeny's picture

"nothing has really changed from 2008"

Right,

Except for those who where invested and double their money

including Silver holders. Those who don't like US, can

move to Argentina, Mexico or something. America still greatest

country in the World, f*ck doomsters!

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:03 | Link to Comment Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Greeny, i'm presuming as everyone has been junked once on this thread, except you, that you're the junk button junky? It's shame other people are expressing their opinion different to yours isn't it? Only a year or two more and Washingtons civilian stormtroopers and internet Nazi squads will have closed down your (once) great America, 'Land of the Free'

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:06 | Link to Comment Greeny
Greeny's picture

Very rarely junk anyone, except personal abusers.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:10 | Link to Comment SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

No its Robo, I caught him in the act red handed twice yesterday.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:19 | Link to Comment pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

How can you catch someone junking?   I thought each and every post in this thread was automatically starting out with 1 junk.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:56 | Link to Comment wandstrasse
wandstrasse's picture

Dear mass junker, since yesterday or so you seem to be junking each and every post. I mean, my posts are crap, to junk them is Ok, but not each and every post is crap. Are you a banker and/or was your girlfriend taken away by a confessing ZH reader?

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:03 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

It's called "random noise"

Subtract 1 from the junk value of every post.

Next week, subtract 2.

Notice, it's exactly how monetary inflation works. Which is also a kind of noise.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:10 | Link to Comment el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo's picture

I find it amazing that anyone here gives a shit about junking. Big deal. Now writing graffiti on your garage is another story.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 20:55 | Link to Comment Use of Weapons
Use of Weapons's picture

As a troll-like being, it is very depressing.

Before, I could tell if I was hitting a nerve by the junks - now, why bother trolling, since everyone has them?

 

 

Instead, I'll just do truth - and that always hurts.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:53 | Link to Comment monopoly
monopoly's picture

Just ignore the infestation from this insect. I imagine if Tyler really worried about it he could figure out who the idiot is and just go Poof!. No big deal. A few parasites on our page from time to time. Lets you know what a positive effect this site has. Luv itl

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:07 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

why in the hell do you people CARE SO MUCH about what you think other people think of you?

People who concern themselves with JUNKS are by DEFINITION sheeple.  You are here for truth and debate or you are here for group affirmation.  If the latter, then you are a lemming, a sheeple, one of the herd.

I have never noticed how much a post is junked until someone comments about it.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:09 | Link to Comment SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

People can junk me all they want, I dont care it means nothing. They cant debate, they dont have the tools for it, so they just junk. Funny.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:50 | Link to Comment Trundle
Trundle's picture

I still can't understand the junk.

Who gives a shit?

As far as I can tell, you can't tell who it is or why they junked you.

Now, if some tool in a Yeshiva in Brooklyn can shut your you tube video down by falsely claiming a fictional copyright violation, that is one thing, but otherwise "sticks and stones".

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:30 | Link to Comment centerline
centerline's picture

I could care less about junks.

A serial junker in the room though is different.  Got to make fun of that for the sport of it!

 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:32 | Link to Comment malikai
malikai's picture

I'd have to say it's something of a badge around here. Especially when you're not playing into the whole confirmation bias bullshit. Although I have yet to reach your level and have my posts junked off the board, I have come close at times.

What I really want to know is, how do I get there? How do I get the holy grail of having a post junked to oblivion?

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:44 | Link to Comment centerline
centerline's picture

There are few key "buzzwords" that seem to push people over the edge!  Trav knows a few.  Ha, ha.

+1 regarding confirmation bias.  This place ought to be like shock therapy to avoid getting pulled into groupthink bullshit.  Most people dont realize the simplicity and scale of the problems we face because of this crap.  They are hopeless trapped by thier own fears, experiences, limited perspective, etc.  Likewise, the "machine" is impressive and we are all subject to getting pull into it from time to time.  It takes real effort to not get discouraged and lose too much perspective.

 

 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:59 | Link to Comment Trundle
Trundle's picture

How many junks are needed to get a post removed?

I have assumed that is not junked-based but editor discretionary based.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:09 | Link to Comment pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

I think 50 junks get's a post removed

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 16:51 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

I was holding the record until TD raised the junkoff threshold and Hamy hit one into the cheap seats.  I still think I may have the quickest junkoff but you've got asterisks now because the threshold is a moving target.

Just say something anti-establishment.  Yes, this place has an establishment.  Lots of people here are sheeple and they will respond to you the same way as sheeple do out in the world, with ostracism.  Because they cannot defeat you in argument, they will just meekly register their objection by "shunning" you with a junk.

It's a natural part of group dynamics even among supposed "freethinkers" that there is a consensus opinion.  It seems to be an emergent phenomenon among humans.  A social "system" forms and it has its own orthodoxy.  There are those who run around like sheepdogs trying to enforce it and there are those like me who don't subscribe to group orthodoxies and the sheepdogs bark at me.  And I just laugh with derision.

This phenomenon is probably an evolutionary adaptation.  Those who express and conform the orthodoxy among others had higher offspring survival rates and the trait reinforced.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:58 | Link to Comment Sockeye
Sockeye's picture

Government revenue should be derived 100% from a Land Value Tax.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_value_tax

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:20 | Link to Comment Gladio Insurrection
Gladio Insurrection's picture

Fantastic idea, if you eventually want everyone to end up as a landless serf.  The devil is in the assessor's office.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:09 | Link to Comment Sockeye
Sockeye's picture

Not if government is limited to "by the people, for the people."

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:58 | Link to Comment dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

The US is a kleptocracy.......is that supposed to be a news flash or something? Duh

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:04 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

It would be a news flash to Thomas Jefferson, I suspect.

Much has been lost that will never be recovered.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:30 | Link to Comment Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

I know I'm not the only one who will fight to prove your second comment incorrect.  What has been lost can and should be recovered, but it is going to take a tireless minority that set more than proverbial brush fires.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:00 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

You are a dreamer, aren't you? Can't have enough of those.

As to your dream, history suggests otherwise. Things can indeed be recovered, but not by those who foolishly lost them.

Whoever comes after I would supply the following advice: You must suffocate the bankers in their cribs.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 18:59 | Link to Comment mkkby
mkkby's picture

Junked you because I agree so completely.  (See it really IS a badge of honor).

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:28 | Link to Comment carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

We didn't get this Republic without a fight.

And we aren't going to keep it without a fight.

Unfortunately our government has bred a couple of generations of couch potatoes that are more easily prodded into the appropriate chutes...

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 15:04 | Link to Comment dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

"We didn't get this Republic without a fight.

And we aren't going to keep it without a fight."

I like the way you think.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:58 | Link to Comment Greeny
Greeny's picture

"so his income dropped to a little over $200,000. His federal income tax bill was a little more than $2,000."

If this is a NET income it meas nothing, cause he might have

150k expenses, some of which can be write off, otherwise:

Pure and complete Bullshit! Ask your accountant.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:14 | Link to Comment Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Yeah, that guy from Columbia is a nutbag.  I heard him in an interview where he was reminded that at any point he can take out his checkbook and write a big fat donation to the U.S.A.  After that the host asked if he was going to do this and this dirt bag wouldn't answer... kept diverting to some other topic.  What a P.O.S.

The tax code is utterly insane.  We need to start anew with a simple code and eliminate the instruments that allow so many to avoid paying their share.  Yes, I'm talking about a flat tax or some other simplified format.  If you don't work and you don't pay taxes... then you don't get to vote.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:48 | Link to Comment malikai
malikai's picture

I believe Jefferson et al were of the opinion that only land owners should be allowed the vote. Of course, that may have made for a drastically differenent society than today, but if such a rule were to come about now, it would mean only the banks get to vote. Probably not much difference there, really. In fact, it would actually be more honest than the current voting regime.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:54 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Back then land ownership could be serve as a proxy for either government revenue or education.

Now the US has no efficient proxy since education is utterly broken, and 47% of the population are net recipients of government largess, even before counting the TBTF and their effective 0% tax rate and unlimited PR budgets.

An uneducated populace has great difficulty understanding the true consequences of NOT reducing their own government subsidy over the long term, so they inevitably vote for continuing down the road to damnation.

The tax code is a mess and but it might be possible to enact legislation to effect that one must contribute their fair share in order to be eligible to vote- it could be standardized across the entire population, thus avoiding discriminating against specific groups and would bypass the historically abused and legally barred practices of literacy tests and poll taxes.  Politically though, it is impossible, until things get much worse economically, and some sort of economic discipline is forced upon the government. 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:00 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

LOL!  had a feeling this might be coming.  why am i not surprised? 

true, too...

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:14 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

LOL----3 junks for agreeing with c.h.smith! 

well, at least that doesn't happen too often...

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:57 | Link to Comment SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Charles Hughes Smith has a lot of waking up to do, he seems very nieve explaining things is simple terms that everyone with half a brain should already clearly understand. Survivors, anyway...not so much for the degenerate stock gamblers.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:38 | Link to Comment Aquiloaster
Aquiloaster's picture

It may not be so much that he has waking up to do, but rather in an effort to effect some change and awaken others, he speaks at a level that is overly simplified. Eight years ago, I would have needed to have it put to me in such simple terms. Now though, you're right--his blog seems 2-dimensional and repetitive.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:02 | Link to Comment Stax Edwards
Stax Edwards's picture

Ahem.  

 

I realize there are many gold bugs and TEOTW spooks on here, but nonetheless, this site is about cutting edge market news and uncommon insight into the markets, albeit with the end is fast approaching as an underlying theme. Don't confuse the banksters and pigmen with those who trade as one in the same.  I am quite certain that if you believe you are surrounded by only survivalists and gold hoarders you are mistaken.  You are being a bit offensive towards most others here, no?

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 16:01 | Link to Comment LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Oh please guide my content contributions, great one.
I found this site through TEOTWAWKI links ijit.  It's a good source for the real pulse of the financial world, I've learned shit loads of things from contributors here in the past 30 odd weeks since I started and they sure as hell weren't all financially related.
And just what exactly are you so nervous about, oh please don't offend us limp wristed peace maker? 

Are you guilty of collusion with the pigmen? 

Are you going to beg to the Morlocks when then come to devour you... tell them you really weren't a fat cat financier?  Does this weigh heavy on your conscience, fill your bladder and raise the hair on your arms (assuming you haven't depiliated and moisturized recently) as you detect the faintest whiff of the approaching fires?

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 18:56 | Link to Comment Stax Edwards
Stax Edwards's picture

Easy Killer.  I think we are all guilty of collusion with the pigmen, it is a bit hard to avoid.  But I pay cash for everything I can.  I have but one payment every month and it is out of neccessity.  Let me guess, you have a car payment, mortgage, home equity line, credit card balances, etc. etc.  Tell the truth jerkoff, who is really in collusion with the pigmen?

If you are in agreement that everyone who trades is degenerate, wtf are you doing on a finance blog anyway?  My point was to point out to SD1 that he is being a bit offensive.  SD1 is always around this joint and apparently had no problem with my assertion, what has your panties in a wad?

As another once said on these boards "learn it, live it, trade it" or something similar

I submit that finance and credit is the source of the slavery, not trading in the markets.  The current problem is the markets and .gov in general have been rigged via regulatory capture by the pigmen, and I am all for bringing them down and starting anew.  Free markets are the answer, not the problem my friend.  Until then we trade the markets we have.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:57 | Link to Comment malikai
malikai's picture

Tax revolt, bitchez!

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:16 | Link to Comment Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

this is the only way congress gets certain outrageous programs to cease... they defund it.

It's time to "defund" our govt. - a tax revolt is the only non-violent means we have left to let our govt. know how serious we are about it.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:05 | Link to Comment Modern Money Me...
Modern Money Mechanics's picture

Just for the record....

Michael Greenberger, the former Dir. of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (1997-99), explained that it was the financial industry lobbyists who donated millions to Phil Gramm over his 24-year congressional career and drafted the 285-page bill called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. The financial industry used Phil Gramm as a vehicle since he was then the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

On December 13, 2000 the Supreme Court had issued its decision on Bush vs. Gore. Two days later, December 15th, President Bill Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress were locked in a budget showdown over a massive 11,000-page, $384-billion, Omnibus Spending Bill. It was at this time that Gramm slipped in the 285-page measure sponsored by Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who was the chairman of the agriculture committee. They had tried to get the measure passed earlier and it had been considered dead. But committee chairmen have the right to submit bills directly to Congress without committee approval so the bill was never debated in committees or submitted to the House or Senate for a vote.

Phil Gramm stood up on the Senate floor to hail the act's inclusion into the must-pass budget package. But only an expert could have followed what Gramm was saying. The act, he declared, would ensure that neither the SEC nor the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) got into the business of regulating newfangled financial products called credit default swaps - and would thus "protect financial institutions from overregulation" and "position our financial services industries to be world leaders into the new century."

It worked! Just prior to the Christmas holiday, the act found its way into the The Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2001 (Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill) (H.R. 4577). The Senate version passed by it "Unanimous Consent." President Clinton signed it into Public Law (106-554) on December 21, 2000. and the rest is history.

The new Commodity Futures Trading Act allowed banks to speculate in the market by increasing reserve ratios from 9-12:1 to 30-40:1 meaning that for every dollar of physical cash, they could create up to forty dollars of "loan cash" to use for what turned out to be high-risk investments.

Earlier in his career Phil Gramm sponsored the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act which, in turn, repealed the Glass-Steagall Act and allowed traditional depository institutions (banks) to speculate in financial markets just as they used to do before the Great Depression.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89338743
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Gramm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_Futures_Modernization_Act_of_2000
http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2008/07/foreclosure-phil.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramm-Leach-Bliley
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/omni2000/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/07/priceless-how-the-federal_n_278...
http://www.deepcapture.com/the-story-of-deep-capture-by-mark-mitchell/
http://dshort.com/charts/index.html?/2011/Federal-debt-2012-rolling-esti...

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:13 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

wow, William jefferson Clinton has a lot to own up to and its not just "cigar" and ML. The ultimate financial corporate shill who only believed in GS gurus.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:10 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

and know what?  Your standard of living benefitted from all this.

The US has been poised for collapse on account of our massive trade deficit and underproduction for the better part of 4 decades now.  Only chicanery like this keeps us living in luxury.

As a nation, we scammed the rest of the world.  We all have been living larger than possible due to the FRN Reserve hegemony our entire lives.

You people who think that if we just "get rid" of all this stuff, life will be cool and there'll be no thieves...get serious. 

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 13:26 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

No kidding.

Now, if only we had regulations everything would be fixed...

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 14:19 | Link to Comment tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

As a nation, we scammed the rest of the world.

a small donation to the "widows & orphans" fund in return for playing World Police.

{otherwise known as the vig}

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