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The Silver Curtain

Marla Singer's picture


On the 5th of March in 1946, in Fulton Missouri, at Westminster College, Winston Churchill delivered an address (since christened the "Sinews of Peace") lamenting the burgeoning power and influence being slowly but surely gathered up by the Soviet Union.  Perhaps the address will be familiar to some of you owing to its most famous passage:

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow. Athens alone — Greece with its immortal glories — is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation.

Ironic, as I will address, that he should mention Greece.

Much less well known perhaps is this later passage:

Our difficulties and dangers will not be removed by closing our eyes to them. They will not be removed by mere waiting to see what happens; nor will they be removed by a policy of appeasement. What is needed is a settlement, and the longer this is delayed, the more difficult it will be and the greater our dangers will become.1

The "Iron Curtain" came, of course, to signify the cavernous ideological, and eventually concretely physical, divide between East and West.  It took some 43 years before it was lifted once more, first and haltingly, in the form of the removal of Hungary's border fence in mid-1989 and then, of course, finally via the fall of the Berlin Wall in November that same year.

Not to be compared with a production of Italian Opera, the Iron Curtain did not describe a sudden, smooth, abrupt descent over the stages of Eastern Europe.  Quite the contrary, its drop was in stutters of discrete, fractional lowerings, such that it was a full fifteen years after Churchill used the term before its ultimate expression, the Berlin Wall, was finally erected in response to the emigration westward of a full fifth of East Germany's population between 1950 and 1961.

Appeals to patriotism (or accusations of treason, the criminalization of abandoning the state "Republikflucht" and eventually the very credible threat of deadly force) did little to stem the tide of departures from the East until it was erected.  But, obviously, it is in the nature of confiscatory governments to fence in the subjects from which they wish to appropriate- whether the asset that fuels their lustful avarice is freedom or (merely) capital.  (As if there is a difference).

Is it not despicable when for the sake of a few alluring job offers or other false promises about a "guaranteed future" one leaves a country in which the seed for a new and more beautiful life is sprouting, and is already showing the first fruits, for the place that favors a new war and destruction? Is it not an act of political depravity when citizens, whether young people, workers, or members of the intelligentsia, leave and betray what our people have created through common labor in our republic to offer themselves to the American or British secret services or work for the West German factory owners, Junkers, or militarists?2

A copyeditor might change only five words in the above passage for it to be easily mistaken for the words of a democratic representative on the House floor before slipping into the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 an amendment imposing confiscatory taxes on expatriating U.S. Citizens.

This last bit of déjà vu is interesting, and was not lost on foreign commentators.  When the United States tightened its grip on departing expats in 2008, the Economist went so far as to call it "America's Berlin Wall."  The comparison is more than apt once one discovers §8 USC 1182 ("Inadmissible Aliens"), which asserts:

Classes of aliens ineligible for visas or admission
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, aliens who are inadmissible under the following paragraphs are ineligible to receive visas and ineligible to be admitted to the United States:


Any alien who is a former citizen of the United States who officially renounces United States citizenship and who is determined by the Attorney General to have renounced United States citizenship for the purpose of avoiding taxation by the United States is inadmissible.

Just a few paragraphs away from the exclusion barring the admittance of:

Participants in Nazi persecution, genocide, or the commission of any act of torture or extrajudicial killing...

You know... Republikflucht, Nazi persecution... same deal.

Fortunately (or unimportantly), it is not the soul of its subjects the United States seeks to hem in.  (Yet).  In fact, the failure of the Iron Curtain to contain what Thatcher called "the essence of the human spirit and desire for freedom" seems to be a lesson well learned by what can only be termed "the left" in these pages.3

Avoiding direct assaults on this essence is a lesson the left have transformed into a most adept mastery of and adroit affinity for the more Machiavellian elements of political science.  Shadowy machinations like: The midnight vote.  The backroom deal.  The bill we must pass in order to read.  Reconciliation.  The anonymous earmark.  The bankruptcy priority end-around.  The Cornhusker Kickback.  The Chicago Way.  This deeply Chekist approach is a subtle acknowledgement either that postmodern subjects simply cannot be made to believe in the optimistic assertions of the benefits of these interminable social programs, or that clandestine-legislation is the only means to sneak damaging edicts past an increasingly educated and informed population.  So far, this approach has worked swimmingly for both the left and (despite?) the right.  Consider:

It is almost impossible not to smirk just imperceptibly in admiration when contemplating the achievements of Rep. Barney Frank.  He did, after all, manage in the short span of fifteen years to transfer several trillion dollars from the middle and upper classes to his constituents (and if you think these are limited to Massachusetts residents you aren't paying attention) right under the nose of an opposition party via the DeBeersian invention of "The American Dream of Home Ownership."  Even linguistically, simply grafting the term "Home Ownership" onto the brand of "The American Dream" is a bit of elegant marketing genius that should forevermore serve as a centerpiece in graduate level marketing programs.  As if this were not itself impressive, he has managed to deflect essentially all criticism related to the inevitable collapse onto the evil specters of greedy bankers.  Lavrentiy Beria would have wept to be able to wield such control while maintaining such a low profile.

The selection of Supreme Court Justices now almost excludes the possibility of selecting talented and brilliant jurists in favor of those political devotees unassailable enough to be confirmed by virtue of the raw rarity of written work which might actually tend to illuminate their skills and talents.

Despite terms like "Lockbox," "Trust Fund" and "Trustees" the only assets currently held by the Social Security Trust Fund are IOUs from the United States Treasury that will, in any event, have to borrow (or seize) the money to repay them- literally an impossible endeavor to complete.  Of course, this effectively means that for some time now, social security has been nothing more than a tax and that its description as "security" or a retirement scheme has long been a rather unimaginative lie.  Against this background Kevin Drum asserts:

Back in 1983, we made a deal. The deal was this: for 30 years poor people would overpay their taxes, building up the trust fund and helping lower the taxes of the rich. For the next 30 years, rich people would overpay their taxes, drawing down the trust fund and helping lower the taxes of the poor.

Well, the first 30 years are about up. And now the rich are complaining about the deal that Alan Greenspan cut back in 1983. As it happens, I agree that it was a bad deal. If it were up to me, I'd fund Social Security out of current taxes and leave it at that. But it doesn't matter. Once the deal is made, you can't stop halfway through and toss it out. The rich got their subsidy for 30 years, and soon it's going to be time to raise their taxes and use it to subsidize the poor. Any other option would be an unconscionable fraud.

The ease with which the assertion that this was obviously merely a regressive to progressive mutating tax scheme all this time and everyone knew better comes to Mr. Drum should be instructive (though others are prone to call it historical revisionism).

If it was really true that this was merely a tax scheme all this time with proceeds intended all along for the general fund why not say so?  Voters may have been upset perhaps?  Of course, this implies a rather deep penchant for deception on the part of the political class.

On the other hand, its possible that Social Security was the progeny of the best intentions, and was merely raped and pillaged wildly by Congress to fund... well... whatever they liked.  This would make the same political class nothing more than felons in effect.

Of course, in the end it makes no difference if the political class are charlatans or outright thieves.  What is of no small import is the pattern of governance here.  It is a pattern that has become so prevalent that my own ego cannot resist the temptation to label it with a term that I hope takes root.

This manner of government is not driven by overt collectivism and the blatant, state-enforced social subjugation that characterizes communism.  Nor is it well understood to be dominated by the pernicious nationalism, autocratic industrial centralization and megalomaniacal personality cults framed by fascism.  Neither can it be sketched as the consenting construction of broad and broadly parasitic labor pools and growth retarding redistribution schemes that make up the key tenants of socialism.  Quite differently, this manner of government is premised on the suspension of disbelief via sophistication, word play, disguise, deception, mistaken identity, the deliberate use of nonsense and absurdity to distract and will, no doubt, end in a melodramatic chase scene (treasury officials in absurd uniforms chasing stage left to stage right after foreign borrowers perhaps?)

In short, the United States has come to be governed by Farcism.

Farcist PIIGS

The success of Farcism depends on, and in some ways derives a measure of legitimacy from, the acquiescence (or abject ignorance of) a lazy citizenry.  Truly, it is hard otherwise to explain phenomena like the perpetuation of the myth that President Reagan shrunk the government, or that President Clinton ever presided over a surplus in the United States when budget and historical debt outstanding figures are openly available permitting anyone at all to falsify these claims in seconds.  In fact, under the Clinton administration it was the wholesale pillaging of the Social Security trust fund (accounted for in Intragovernmental Holdings instead of "public debt") that permitted the specious claim that somehow a material slice of the aggregate debt of the country had been paid off.  In other words, the sort of accounting and insurance fraud that would send anyone in the private sector to jail and so familiar to forensic accountants and prosecutors it actually has a name: "Cookie Jarring."  The last real surplus was in 1957, by the way.

Likewise, and in a more contemporary construction, that any member of Congress or the current administration might assert that pouring trillions of dollars of liquidity via Government Sponsored Entities into cheap mortgages had no real inflationary effect on housing prices and, almost in the same breath, scold the public on the importance of supporting via blank check the unaudited Fannie, Freddie and Federal Housing Administration to prevent a housing crash, and so assert without howls of public protest strains the very imagination in the absence of rampant Farcism.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, America is not alone in these practices.  In fact, with apologies to Churchill, a silver curtain, lovingly lowered by Farcist leaders, has long since descended over the free markets of the West.  It encompasses and conceals from public view the finances and balance sheets of all the major powers and many private firms housed therein.  It is typified by the sort of opacity that permits the United States to claim a mere $12.9 trillion in debt.  It is the blocking force that simply dares "independent" ratings agencies to even think of downgrading a sovereign (clearly Egan Jones must then be a member of the financial Maquis on this basis).  It smothers the utility of FAS 157, drawing a metallic shield over the balance sheets of large banks until guessing what lies behind becomes an exercise in futility.  It surrounds and isolates price inputs like short sellers and buyers of credit default swaps.  It permits European banks to reduce capital requirements (read: increase leverage) by loading AIG up with $172 billion in exposure in its "foreign regulatory capital portfolio." It retains the heat required to keep mysterious Special Purpose Vehicles within e.g., the Federal Reserve warm and dry.  And in the United States, member of a very exclusive club of sovereigns that tax worldwide income of their subjects, a club in which North Korea is also a charter member, as the desperate need for capital to support a flagging treasury begins to bite down, it carves out a "death strip" and orders its revenue agents to audit on sight, and its immigration officials to banish forever any subject with thoughts of Republikflucht.

It is somewhat Ironic that Greece, also called out by Churchill would be among the first to begin to emerge (entirely involuntarily as it happens) from behind the silver curtain.  It is as if Farcism, which erected the barrier in the first place, is itself eventually corrosive to the metal.  No surprise that Farcism's NKVD immediately targeted and hunted down, like Western agents caught in East Berlin, traders in sovereign credit default swaps.  In the case of Greece, they even used the state intelligence services to do so.  (Sheesh, at least Germany only uses its Gestapo foreign intelligence appendages to track down tax evaders).  Perhaps lies, damn lies and GDP statistics eventually burn holes in silver curtains, when the painted over rust that is a Farcist economy can no longer support its own weight.  Until then, however, you must realize that you actually have no idea how much something in a Farcist market is actually worth.

For a moment, just a brief moment this week, the silver curtain seemed at least translucent in the United Kingdom.  Some days ago, carefully after the shadow of Gordon Brown seemed sure to recede, Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King made several simply astounding pronouncements prompting Jeremy Warner at the Telegraph to Headline "Free At Last".

With crooked finger King pointed at the United States, shattering for a precious moment the illusion that letters like AAA should appear on the same page with the words United States or United Kingdom.  But even as the ripples in the pond undulated, the forces of Farcism, reeling for just a moment, seemed to collect themselves and reassert their dominance.

I do not want to comment on a particular measure by a particular country, but I do want to suggest that within the Euro Area it’s become very clear that there is a need for a fiscal union to make the Monetary Union work.

Read: Euro wide tax and spend authority.

Act III, The Chase Scene

Even the smallest cracks in the silver curtain may permit subjects in the United States to finally realize the extent and duration of the outright lies they have been subjected to by the Farcist political and regulatory classes.  It remains to be seen if these revelations will have any impact or if, in fact, the great power of Farcism (denial) will overcome enlightenment until utter collapse finally takes hold.

The fact is that, absent assumptions that strain the very fabric of space-time (perhaps the United States will invent cheap fusion power and become an energy exporter to the world? Or will the massive deflation of such a discovery merely accelerate the debt collapse?) there is simply no math that results in a calculation whereby the United States can pay off its outstanding obligations.

The United States will not outgrow its debt.  The United States will not tax away its debt (even marginal rates of 70% and 80% would not achieve this).  ("Mr. Obama, tear down this wall!" seems unlikely to do much good.)  The United States almost certainly lacks the political will to austere away the debt (to even balance the budget would require a 40% across the board cut using the 2009 or 2010 baseline, a 30% across the board cut using the 2011 baseline... etc).  Even a Republican sweep is highly unlikely to bring out the required change.  Instead the country must, as Greece has, begin to pursue frantically any source of capital it can grasp at.  Taxes must not only increase, but broaden, and capture more and more of the economy.  In this connection, slipping into the unread health bill the requirement that 1099s be filed for effectively every single transaction in the country over $600 easily reminds one of Greece's recent ban on cash transactions over €1500.

When a business buys a $1,000 used car, it will have to gather information on the seller and mail 1099s to the seller and the IRS. When a small shop owner pays her rent, she will have to send a 1099 to the landlord and IRS.

And here too is a measure of the power of Farcism.  It seems to Americans impossible that their 401(k) plans or IRAs might be the targets of sovereigns in the Final Chase scene.  "We would never let that happen!"  Of course, they forget that outright seizure and forfeiture are the hallmarks of communism and fascism.  Farcism is hardly so crude.  The Farcist government doesn't pass laws with overt seizure of retirement funds spelled out.  The Farcist government waits until midnight before slipping a small provision into the fast-tracked Child Protection and Education Act of 2011 that simply levies a corporate level tax on greedy retirement communities, the wealthy and exploitative licensed medical professionals who service them, slaps safety surcharges on the sale of each of those dangerous "ultra-light super compact electric vehicles," (read: Rascals), establishes a Homeland Security and border protection fee on all cruise tickets to the Bahamas, and establishes a surcharge on Kenny Rogers tickets.

This is Part I of a multi-part series on global rise of Farcism.  Part II "On the Pensioning of Roman Veterans" can be viewed here.

  • 1. The full text of the address is available here.
  • 2. From an East German propaganda booklet describing the horrors of the newly created offense "Republikflucht" (flight from the republic). (c. 1955).
  • 3. I use this term collectively and with particular intent.  I have long since abandoned the quest to learn if the likes of Barney Frank actually believe the laws of supply and demand to be optional, or if they are merely power hungry charlatans who no more believe that rent control is a good idea than do economists, as the correct answer actually has no mitigating effect whatsoever on the damage wrought by their collective movement.

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Fri, 05/14/2010 - 05:08 | 351165 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

the united states is an oppressive fascist regime ripe for revolution.....

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:28 | 351830 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Tony- Are you talking about the executive branch that took over last year?  A REGIME?  They haven't even served one term yet!

Please keep your eye on the ball son.  The crooks who run this game work through the goverment, they are not the government.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 12:15 | 351977 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture


                  Thank you Good Sir for the fantastic Truth made available for all to see!

On a similar note I offer... Who owns the Whore "You!" Voted into office?

The Lobby moves whoever "You!" vote into power. The person(s) Voted into power are interchangable with any other "You!" Vote into that very same office. Money is like water, it will always find a away thru... 

Next time Vote Conservative Republican instead of Liberal Commie Democrat, NOTHING! will change. Lie to yourself all the live long day, NOTHING but more of the same.

Independant(s)??? Until they get on the Lobby Money Train, they will tell you what you want to hear!

WOOOOOT!!! WOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!                                  ALL! ABOARD!!

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 02:14 | 537022 qrs521
qrs521's picture

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Fri, 05/14/2010 - 14:47 | 352360 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

You can say they own the government.

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 12:03 | 354689 masterinchancery
masterinchancery's picture

wrong--they are both!

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 05:11 | 351168 Quintus
Quintus's picture

Superb work, Marla.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 10:10 | 351546 B9K9
B9K9's picture

"Who are you?"  Mordecai asks the Stranger (Clint Eastwood) at the end of High Plains Drifter.

Anne Coulter cannot write this well. Hmmm, puts thinking cap on ...

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:18 | 351785 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Yeah Marla! It's all that faggot Barney Frank's fault!

(...sorry, couldn't read this article after the sentence that blamed him for everything...)

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:32 | 351851 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Woah. One piece of the puzzle. Did a troll hijack your account?

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:38 | 351876 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

A classic example of an ego response. Someone reads something that ruffles their feathers and rings Pavlov's bell. The brain then shuts down and they can't go any further because in their own (egoic) mind they've already figured it all out.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:44 | 351886 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Could be the bell indeed.  Maybe an early drink will fix things.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:04 | 352090 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

Maybe. But I would grind up an anti-psychotic and stir it into that drink just to make sure.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:46 | 352200 AchtungAffen
AchtungAffen's picture

Hmm.... Not just that, there's more


"In fact, the failure of the Iron Curtain to contain what Thatcher called "the essence of the human spirit and desire for freedom" seems to be a lesson well learned by what can only be termed "the left" in these pages.3

Avoiding direct assaults on this essence is a lesson the left have transformed into a most adept mastery of and adroit affinity for the more Machiavellian elements of political science."


The left... Barney Frank... ¿The American Left? Is there such a thing, because when compared on a global scale, what some call the "American Left" is just a little less "right wing" than the generally called "right".

I wonder what goes through the mind of those who complain about "the left" as the seed of destruction of everything they yearned, while not bothering to watch (probably ideologically blind) to the other side of the debate.

When it's about the financial crisis it's all about Barney Frank giving money to its constituency, the left (eeeevil ACORN) forcing the good ole banks to give loans to people who can't afford them, or the left attacking their individual freedoms.

But nobody looks at the corrupt incentives created by the deregulation from the right, like the end of Glass Steagall or the prohibition to regulate derivatives passed by Gingrich. Or the secret spying programs created by the so lovable right to spy on your financial movements among other things. Or the wars, for that matter. Or the revulsion for taxes then converted in less taxes for the most affluent, or the so called fiscal conservatives blowing away superavits for record deficits and record low interest rates punishing savers in favor of a speculative frenzy.

The so called American-left (which in fact is a right wing movement a little more moderated than mainstream American-right) has done lots of mistakes, of course. But don't forget the intransigent right part of the debate.

But hey, I guess that it's a lot worse to transfer trillions to Barney's constituency in Massachusets rather than transferring trillions to the "real" constituency of every member of congress in Wall Street. I would hate those trillions to be sullied by the dirty hands of a Mort.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 14:18 | 352303 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

I just found this blog article from 2007.  Guy seems to be dead on regarding recent estimates of the 7.5 trillion (4 trillion.. 7.5 trillilon what's the difference) loss in property values.  His solution?  When it happens mow your foreclosed neighbor's lawn so it doesn't effect your property value as much.

I find this response fascinating.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 12:44 | 352026 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

***** “It is almost impossible not to smirk just imperceptibly in admiration when contemplating the achievements of Rep. Barney Frank.  He did, after all, manage in the short span of fifteen years to transfer several trillion dollars from the middle and upper classes to his constituents (and if you think these are limited to Massachusetts residents you aren't paying attention) right under the nose of an opposition party via the DeBeersian invention of "The American Dream of Home Ownership." ******

this is a quote from You Love...


December 16, 2003. The American Dream Downpayment Assistance Act authorizes up to $200 million annually for fiscal years 2004 - 2007.


HOME is the largest Federal block grant to State and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households. Each year it allocates approximately $2 billion among the States and hundreds of localities nationwide. The program was designed to reinforce several important values and principles of community development:


Which was part of: HOME is authorized under Title II of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act, as amended. Program regulations are at 24 CFR Part 92.

Which Daddy Bush pushed thru...


Did you see Barney signing anything into law? Did you see Barney continuing His daddy’s push?

Sorry Marla, in the one specifc of Barney verse Bush damage and to skip Bush to bash the lil, fat, bald, gay (not that there is anything wrong with two hot gay girls… I mean anything wrong with being gay.) guy did not play a bigger role than Bush, IN ANY CAPACITY! Sorry Love. I love you writing, I may even Love you… But you are wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy off on this push, Please make the adjustment for the facts presented going forward. Or not, you are after all a Woman…


Bush upped it $440 Billion dollars… NEW DOLLARS! On top of the Liberal’s monies… WOW! Austerity and Conservatives running things, gangsta of love that Bush was…


Sorry Marla, but no passes on this one…


My best to you and yours Marla as always (right or wrong), JW

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 12:56 | 352072 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

There you go Marla, you're being called out.

All I want to know is, can I watch?

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:28 | 352158 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

I think it's helpfull to put the zeros on numbers:

12,000,000 - Barney Frank

700,000,000,000 TARP - Who cares about Barney Frank?  He's polishing the brass on the titanic.  I agree that he needs to go, but placing that much blame on him is a tad severe.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 14:11 | 352282 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

So do we divide the blame up, weighted by tenure, or by 100? 435? 300,000,000?

I think treason has only one penalty - too bad it can make up the for the damage in this case.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 14:21 | 352310 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Here it is - why specify Barney Frank at all?  Why put that name in this misery? Why not make a list of a hundred names, or a thousand names, or as Mako says, 6.7 billion names.  The article strikes me as sensationalist.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 15:27 | 352459 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Sensationalist is kind of a boring term if describing the rape and terror the US Congress has "allowed" upon the face of the Earth. But sure, it was just an accident. Decades over.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 15:50 | 352523 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Just the US Congress this US Congress or every past US Congress?

Who directly benefits from the US foreign policy? The congress critters or the corporations who pay them?

Who directly benefits from these bailouts?  The congress critters or their handlers?

I don't understand what your point is.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 16:44 | 352644 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

My point is this poll. You might be surprised by the results:

The safety of our children depends on it!

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 17:03 | 352692 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

A reminder of true sensationalism.

Thanks for the shot in the arm. :)

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 17:06 | 352699 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

I took the quiz and now I am bewildered.  Time for beer.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 17:58 | 352778 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Have a good weekend. Enjoy the beer.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 16:31 | 352529 velobabe
velobabe's picture

does marla pick on girls?

she hasn't picked on me yet.

glad, i was forewarned.

do you know what IM means, maybe referencing something

in regards to sexual orientation?


oh by the way, this has to be the most fascinating page alive†

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 16:38 | 352632 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Velo! Hello!

IM? Hmm. In Me? Instant Messaging?

Marla made a Cheeky comeback. She's back in the fight! She was hurling thunderbolts and then it went silent for a while. Like waking up at the daycare and all the adults are gone. It's been kind of Lord of the Flies with comment scrubbing and waves of trolls on gold posts. I'm all about freedom of speech, but freedom from abuse is also in the Bill of Rights!

Sorry, didn't mean to rant, Velo. Don't worry if Marla never addresses you - she's a busy gal and it's usually only when she must that I've seen her. She's kind of like S. Weaver when she's a demi-god in the first Ghostbusters and we all want to be Bill Murray. Bunny says: rawr.

Marla 2012!

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 17:49 | 352762 velobabe
velobabe's picture

WW, i have been on this page for about 3 hours now. she is one brilliant thinker and cute, too†

but it is fascinating to read these posts. i am assuming majority male. it is rather captivating for me. i read slowly but i believe i retain it. i am in love with her mind. plus i have been hanging with my daughter and she has been a marla emulator since the movie came out. she has been making me repeat all the rules every night. didn't know that about her. didn't approve of her tattos either, but she is getting more. glory glory hallelujah for forward thinking HOT chicks. we sure can help shepherding the male species as they try to screw up everything.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 15:59 | 352539 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Why the fuck NOT Barney? Everybody knows who congressman Barney "Media Whore" Frank is. Barney's problem is that he is, well, Barney and unfortunately he is in a political position to negatively impact citizens who are not his constituancy. He is not alone, but he is high profile and one of the many poster boys and girls in DC that represent part of the fucking problem and absolutely ZERO of the solution.

Beating the "poor Barney" drum makes it sensationalist. And Christ almighty, you drag out GWB like the readers here are in a fucking vacuum and totally unaware of his very considerable part in the clusterfuck. Who the fuck cares? GWB is gone, Obama grabbed the baton and ran with it. And Barney is still there, festering.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 16:41 | 352640 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

I never mentioned GWB.

Barney Frank is part of the problem, but if he wasn't there his replacement would likely be exact thing he is -- a tool of the banks.

It is easy for you to put the 'media whore' face on the problem, but the problem is unregulated crony capitalism and corporate dominance of the political power.

Sat, 05/15/2010 - 20:06 | 354047 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

"I never mentioned GWB." By proxy in mentioning TARP.

"[T]he problem is unregulated crony capitalism and corporate dominance of the political power." Of which Barney is a poster boy and tool of, among other things. That he is a media whore enhances the poster boy/tool use.

Sat, 05/15/2010 - 22:17 | 354200 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Blame them all!!!!  But blame the system, blame the system first and last.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 14:20 | 352309 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

LOL, that's much like looking at a Rembrandt and saying,

"Anne Coulter cannot paint this well..."




Sat, 05/22/2010 - 08:47 | 367473 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

I'm in awe. Marla is fucking brilliant.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 05:22 | 351171 desgust
desgust's picture


So sad and hopeless.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 05:24 | 351172 floydian slip
floydian slip's picture
Marilyn Monroe - One Silver Dollar


Love is a shining dollar
Bright as a church bell's chime
Gambled and spent and wasted
And lost in a dawn of time

One silver dollar
Worn silver dollar
Changing hearts
Changing lives
Changing hands

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 05:49 | 351180 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

Applause.  Fade to black.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 05:54 | 351183 i.knoknot
i.knoknot's picture

"In short, the United States has come to be governed by Farscism."

i assume you've coined this brilliant term? if not, kudos for inscribing it indelibly in my brain.


Fri, 05/14/2010 - 05:56 | 351184 brodix
brodix's picture

Lost in all of this is the fact that money is "invested" by loaning it to someone else. We have been creating a cheap illusion of wealth by lowering loan standards and betting against each other with easy credit, rather than finding ways to actually expand broad productivity and the access to  income for it to be affordable. The government didn't cure inflation by raising interest rates back in the eighties, it did so by the treasury borrowing the money, not just the Fed and distributing it in ways that kept everyone busy, but didn't cure the underlaying problems. It isn't malice, Marla, but stupidity, that is the root of our problems.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 08:08 | 351318 huntergvl
huntergvl's picture

I don't believe it is stupidity. It is a mistake to believe that those who make the rules don't understand the consequences of their actions. There might be some malice, but the overall theme I see is simply self interest and greed with a complete disregard for the 80% of citizens (the ones who have never heard of zero hedge and don't invest). Or would you have us believe that the legislators who repealed Glass-Steagall didn't understand the long term consequences? That CEOs of Billion dollar investment banks could not understand and quantify the risks inherent in unregulated and non-transparent derivative markets? Our corrupt legislators and greedy CEOs might be a lot of things, but to believe they are stupid is a form of denial and could lead to investment decisions based on a faulty premise. No one involved is stupid, no one involved is innocent.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 10:09 | 351560 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Dylan saw this

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child's balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon, there is no sense in trying

Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool's gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying

Temptation's page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover that you'd just be one more person crying

So don't fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing

As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don't hate nothing at all, except hatred

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Made everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It's easy to see without looking too far that not much is really sacred

Our preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the President of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked

An' all the rules of the road have been lodged
It's only people's games that you got to dodge
And it's alright, Ma, I can make it

Advertising signs that con you
Into thinking you're the one
That can do what's never been done
That can win what's never been won
Meantime life outside goes on all around you

You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear
That somebody thinks they really found you

A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit
To satisfy insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not forget
That it is not he or she or them or it that you belong to

Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to

For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Do what they do just to be
Nothing more than something they invest in

While some on principles baptized
To strict party platform ties
Social clubs in drag disguise
Outsiders they can freely criticize
Tell nothing except who to idolize and say, "God bless him"

While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole that he's in

But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it's alright, Ma, if I can't please him

Old lady judges watch people in pairs
Limited in sex, they dare
To push fake morals, insult and stare
While money doesn't talk, it swears
Obscenity, who really cares propaganda, all is phony

While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer's pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death's honesty
Won't fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes must get lonely

My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
False goals, I scuff at pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say, "Okay, I have had enough, what else can you show me?"

And if my thought dreams could be seen
They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:26 | 351827 brodix
brodix's picture


 I didn't say greed wasn't a factor, but they are destroying the very system they are exploiting and that is stupidity. Holed up in some third world country, hoping it doesn't sign any extradition treaties with the US when all this is over, is not the outcome these people really want. What does happen when the monetary system collapses? These bankers and politicians are not going to be the ones in power. It will be a much more hard minded group.

Sat, 05/15/2010 - 07:33 | 353452 huntergvl
huntergvl's picture

Hey Brodix,

I feel ya. But, I am not sure the monetary system will collapse; there is risk, but I'm not sure, 'the people,' have an appetite for collapse. I was really pissed off in 2007. I ranted about what idiots they all were and how they were being reckless and didn't have a fucking clue. When Housing was doubling and the DOW was at 14,000 I just said hell with it and sold all my stocks and sat back and watched the collapse. Since then, it has only gotten worse. I think I am playing a bit of a semantics game here, but I am careful not to use the word stupid anymore. Deliberate, corrupt, machiavellian, or even just bad intentions, suits my frame of mind better.


As far as extradition, there is no need to run for them. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Paulson, and Larry Summers, are not only still in power, but still in charge or at least have influence. In 2007, I threw investing fundamentals out the window and while it has been a rough 3years or so, I am becoming somewhat more comfortable with the new rules (there aren't any), and I keep my absolutely justified outrage separate from my investing. For instance, I want to buy gold. The 'fundamentals,' are screaming that gold is a buy. But, did you see that 30 point take down on the London exchange on Friday? The new administration has levied a basket of accusations and charges at various banks, CEOs, etc. So far, no legislators have been called to account. Accounting rules for just about every corporation on Wall Street have been suspended. There are no rules, there is still no accountability, but it makes for good propaganda to keep the 80% from burning down the banks, so far. The people can and likely will rise up when things get really bad, but last time I checked, the People don't have tanks or machine guns.


With the EU falling down the rabbit hole with the FED as far as QE to infinity, just WHO will they have to account to? This charade could go on for decades. (China is the only game changer I see, but they are many years from having an impact). The U.S. strategy is the same as it's always been, Mo Power, Mo Money, Mo influence, and fuck the little guy.


Just don't be the little guy and, "...never underestimate, the other guy's greed!"

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 06:03 | 351188 Stevm30
Stevm30's picture

Great post - thanks!  I guess we'll all just have to wait and watch for act 4, when the debt catches up with the artifice of the farscists. 

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 06:10 | 351190 Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Nice work Marla, but, uh, got any *good* news for me?  I'm seriously starting to feel like dropping out, packing it in with a stack of great books in say, Thailand or some other outpost.  Or someplace where they aren't rioting.  Yet.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:11 | 352113 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

Perhaps, but I know a number of people that are taking steps to move there permanently.

I think I will stick around to watch the entire train wreck myself so I can hopefully point my kids in the right direction for the aftermath.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 06:22 | 351191 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Recognizing your oppression and its injustice is one thing. Doing something about it is another. We seem to be resting too comfortably to risk the chance of increasing our discomfort by interrupting the process, thus ensuring its continuation.

In fact, mostly because of the illusion of prior investment, nearly all of us feel we have too much to lose to revolt, thus assuring us we will lose everything before we revolt. Thus we continue to voluntarily wear the chains that bind us to our masters.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 06:27 | 351212 silvertrain
silvertrain's picture

 Outstanding, I guess that means the poor will cause mayhem first.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 08:05 | 351314 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

actually silvertrain, poverty may be the only end-around of the Leviathan, as long as "poverty" (in terms of FU$ you hold) does not equal poverty (lack of means to sustain yourself and your family).

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 15:59 | 352408 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

Hell, you do enough spiritual work and concepts like 'poverty' and 'sustenance' kind of lose their practical meanings. This may be the most unconventional (by western standards) way of sustaining yourself:,2933,592544,00.html?mep

Sat, 05/15/2010 - 05:47 | 353416 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

thanks for sharing.  hard for most to believe, but prana is food.  better get back to work on the full lotus.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 08:12 | 351322 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

The primary reason for transfer payments under the guise of an enhanced social safety net. After all, a zero social security & VA COLA has been getting offset with a one time $200.00 payment the last couple of years. If all unemployment insurance ended after 26 weeks there would be millions more ready to assemble. Same kind of Farcism as the yield curve supporting the TBTF institutions with a direct tax imposed by the federal reserve on multiple segments of the market, or the impostor that now stands in its stead.. an echo of Farcism heard throughout the judiciary as well.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 08:51 | 351390 Gromit
Gromit's picture

If there is hope, it lies with the proles.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:36 | 351866 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Since they can't remember the past we are doomed.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 12:37 | 351996 Gromit
Gromit's picture

+ 1984

Don't think you need to remember the past. You need to have "boots on the ground" control of the present, then revise history and the future is yours.

He who controls the present controls the past.

He who controls the past controls the future.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:08 | 351754 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture
Japan’s Elderly Crime Triples on Isolation, Economy (Update1)

May 14, 2010, 8:09 AM EDT

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 08:03 | 351311 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

land of the free, home of the slave

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 23:41 | 355751 Alienated Serf
Alienated Serf's picture

i will be using that bon mot.  many thx.

Mon, 05/17/2010 - 11:05 | 356289 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

mis palabras son sus palabras amigo

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 10:12 | 351575 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Dude, I'll use Ochs Love Me I'm a Liberal but the same applies to any political affiliation.

Blame it on situational ethics if you like.

I cried when they shot Medgar Evers
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
As though I'd lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
He got what he asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I go to civil rights rallies
And I put down the old D.A.R.
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every colored boy becomes a star
But don't talk about revolution
That's going a little bit too far
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I'm glad the commies were thrown out
of the A.F.L. C.I.O. board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
as long as they don't move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

The people of old Mississippi
Should all hang their heads in shame
I can't understand how their minds work
What's the matter don't they watch Les Crain?
But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I read New republic and Nation
I've learned to take every view
You know, I've memorized Lerner and Golden
I feel like I'm almost a Jew
But when it comes to times like Korea
There's no one more red, white and blue
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I vote for the democratic party
They want the U.N. to be strong
I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I'll send all the money you ask for
But don't ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 10:32 | 351639 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You do understand that whites will soon be a minority, right?

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:38 | 351858 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Move north Cog.  Sure you have to wear a jacket in the winter, but it's whiter up here all year around.

*Racist comment for the day*

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:44 | 351875 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Read the fucking article and comment about it or go away.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 12:16 | 351915 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture


Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:14 | 352119 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture


Fri, 05/14/2010 - 14:25 | 352316 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

The map is not the territory.

But I think you know that and merely saw the finger instead of the Moon it was pointing to.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 10:29 | 351623 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

I don't think it works that way. Angry people tend to revolt in small ways. They run red lights, doctor books, smoke dope, make money in shadowy ways.

These same angry people are also the ones drawn into the mob mentality of any open rebellion. They are actually more vehement and destructive because they have hidden their true natures for so long.

If everyone here chose small acts of rebellion then the system dies from a thousand cuts.

Isn't that what happened in Greece?

On a side note you may want to Google up Moscow rules.


Fri, 05/14/2010 - 15:21 | 352448 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

I disagree with your generalization.

"Angry people tend to revolt in small ways. They run red lights, doctor books, smoke dope, make money in shadowy ways."

*IF* I choose to smoke dope, it is because I have weighed the risks and benefits and I have made a decision to do so as a sovereign individual, not as an act of rebellion because I disagree with my governments policies. It is true that some of their laws are overreaching and absurdly arbitrary, but that doesn't mean that I plan my actions around that absurdity. I wouldn't even consider it [that is, the illegality as a risk] when making the decision.



Fri, 05/14/2010 - 12:16 | 351982 Montecarlo
Montecarlo's picture

Well said - and too sad...   I'm taking action in my life today... just a small step.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:07 | 352096 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Well said - and too sad...   I'm taking action in my life today... just a small step."

And believe it or not, that is the solution. If each of us just did a little more than we're currently doing (which for many is nothing) most of our problems would be solved in weeks or months. Apathy is what we're always sold and what we happily consume in limitless quantities.

Most people think happiness is the opposite of anger. It isn't. Apathy is the opposite of anger.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:18 | 352128 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

And the power elite count on that apathy. In fact they cultivate it in so many ways that seem so common place now.

Shrug it off. Do something new. Do it this afternoon. See how you feel and what it shows you about yourselves.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 14:32 | 352334 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Understanding is the opposite of both.

I wouldn't say it is Apathy which is the problem I would say self interest is.

Abbie Hoffman said to approach people according to their interest, you don't get all intellectual with a factory worker. You speak to that person about how such and such effects his personal life. Once it becomes personal, instead of hypothetical, then it becomes understood.

It isn't that we are Apathetic regrading the other guy it is we really don't give a shit. We are primarily self interested. But once you explain that when the other guy has a job which pays well and has food in his stomach he is less likely to rob you for yours.

That giving the other guy a better life makes your better.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 14:49 | 352241 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Appreciated, Marla.  I agree with most of the article except, " increasingly educated and informed population."  Not from my vantage point, I fear. 

Farcism is well coined, and pairs nicely with my term for the Federal Reserve's current policy of prestidigiflation.

As I have said here before, I have come to believe that one of the few solutions that each of us can employ in our lives is disintermediation.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 20:52 | 352161 hangemhigh
hangemhigh's picture

Farcist PIIGS

The success of Farcism depends on, and in some ways derives a measure of legitimacy from, the acquiescence (or abject ignorance of) a lazy citizenry.  Truly, it is hard otherwise to explain phenomena like the perpetuation of the myth that President Reagan shrunk the government, or that President Clinton ever presided over a surplus in the United States when budget and historical debt outstanding figures are openly available permitting anyone at all to falsify these claims in seconds.  In fact, under the Clinton administration it was the wholesale pillaging of the Social Security trust fund (accounted for in Intragovernmental Holdings instead of "public debt") that permitted the specious claim that somehow a material slice of the aggregate debt of the country had been paid off.  In other words, the sort of accounting and insurance fraud that would send anyone in the private sector to jail and so familiar to forensic accountants and prosecutors it actually has a name: "Cookie Jarring."  The last real surplus was in 1957, by the way.


there is too much truth in this commentary. it's easy to whine and snivel and constantly blame somebody else for what has occurred or is occurring.

the ugly truth,though, is that 'we the people' are at fault. we all got greedy and stupid at the same time. 

that made it easy to buy us off with  worthless baubles like zero interest loans, reality tv, cable porn, prozac, vicodin, viagra,  liposuction, botox injections, silicone implants, unwinnable, illegal foreign wars, endless rounds of tax cuts followed by monumental deficits, and, finally, pathetic bread and circus routines like tee-times-with-tiger. 

this is what we have become. 

by abrogating our primary responsibility, to be well informed, intelligent, active citizens who hold their leaders accountable, we have forsaken our heritage and  settled instead for a succession of smooth talking charlatans and other lower forms of life motivated by nothing more than a psychopathic lust for  trophy spoils. 

" of the free and home of the slave...."; yeah that rings true, tip e canoe.

so does another ZH'ers comment, "...the problem is that the people fear the system.  nothing will change until the system fears the people."

it's commited individual and co-operative public actions that will matter most now.

it's payback time, people.

lets play these demented, deranged homies some high, hard chin music.....for starters how about something from Madame DeFarge's song book....." les tetes doivent roulez...."




Sat, 05/15/2010 - 06:54 | 353436 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

glad you heard the bell hangem.  however please note it was not rung as a call to get the rope.   i choose to refuse to choose or condone violence, if only through personal experience & observation of the vicious cycle of suffering that it creates.

this is strictly a personal decision and i respect your choice to think differently.  we all have our own roads to travel and each must bear the consequences of our own journeys.  cheers.

(love the use of french tho...such a beautiful language.) 

Sat, 05/15/2010 - 11:26 | 353590 hangemhigh
hangemhigh's picture


this was not a call to violence. it is a call to action.  those of us who understand what is happening  can write/blog millions-billions of words and absolutely nothing will change. 

in fact, in that sense, the internet can be trap, a simulacrum, that gives the appearance of matter and meaning when none is present.  lots of sound and fury and very little substance. 

i'm a ghandi fan who believes absolutely in the karmic cycle; worlds can be changed with non-violent means.  to do that, though, lots of people must all act at the same time, in the same place with a single unified purpose. 

sitting around and talking about it is just what the dark side wants you to do.

always good to hear from  you, TEC.

(i lived and worked in france, on the riviera no less, as a young man.  c'etait un tres doux temp, mon ami..............)


Sat, 05/15/2010 - 13:54 | 353716 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

and as a fan of baudrillard, i'm pickin up what you're puttin down re: the simulacrum trap.   we used to use this acronym back in the day:  ATNA = all talk, no action.  and you know us 'mericans -- we love to talk smack.

gandhi definitely dropped some subtle bombs of Right Action in his life that i don't think even MLK fully picked up on. publicly weaving his own clothes for one.   always thought it'd be fun to turn the pool at the washington mall into a giant rice paddy.  instant irrigation of the people, by the people, for the people oui?

likewise mon ami.   sorry to

Sat, 05/15/2010 - 16:14 | 353799 hangemhigh
hangemhigh's picture


a giant rice paddy with no incoming, dude.

the pool sounds like the perfect place for a july 4th 'don't tread on me' anniversary celebration.....

from there maybe we can move the party out to the hamptons where the evil empire summers with their maseratis, medications and high end russian hookers.................

robo, cheeky, chumbawamba, are you in.............?????

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 06:09 | 351193 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

There is also a wall in Las Vegas, I think...

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 06:22 | 351204 litoralkey
litoralkey's picture

Small problem about Churchill's speech, he was implementing the redevelopment of Greece's economy before the 1946 vote, led to Greece living in a strange world of CIA/ MI5 controlled politicians doing the bidding of foreign masters, including ballooning the debt to buy off the Commie- agitated populace.

The same reason the US and Brits and French fought to hold on to Greece is the same reason the Germans dragged the US in to the Kosovo cluster....

Russia owns the heating fuel and nat gas, only by controlling the pipelines could the elites in the West cut a deal with Russia that was mutually beneficial to the elites on both sides of the table.  Western European living standards were a mirage then, and even more so today.


P.S. Chekist in English, his name was Cheka.


Fri, 05/14/2010 - 06:26 | 351210 Marla Singer
Marla Singer's picture

"P.S. Chekist in English, his name was Cheka."

Indeed! Corrected.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 08:24 | 351335 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

Whose name was Cheka? I thought that it's direct translation of abbreviation of the name for early Soviet Security apparatus.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 08:56 | 351404 Gromit
Gromit's picture

The Cheka (?? - ????????????? ????????? Chrezvychaynaya Komissiya, Extraordinary Commission Russian pronunciation: [t??.?ka]) was the first of a succession of Soviet state security organizations. It was created by a decree issued on December 20, 1917, by Vladimir Lenin and subsequently led by aristocrat turned communist Felix Dzerzhinsky.[1] After 1922, the Cheka underwent a series of reorganizations whose members continued to be referred to as "Chekisty" (Chekists) into the late 1980s.[2]

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:47 | 351897 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Essentially the first extra-judicial execution squad for the Soviet state. We had the Roaring Twenties - they had the gaping maw.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 06:27 | 351213 Bigdaddydvo
Bigdaddydvo's picture

Wow, unbelievable work Marla.  Would love to see Farcism go viral as a universal description for what's happening today. 

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 06:28 | 351214 silvertrain
silvertrain's picture

 BTW, Thanks Marla, I learned alot in that wonderful piece.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 06:35 | 351215 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Look at the legislative history around the AMTFTC (Alternative Minimum Tax Foreign Tax Credit) limitations to get a fuller flavor of how little regard the pols have for their constituents abroad. 

There is a fiction that double-tax-avoidance treaties actually prevent double taxation of US individuals, but they only seem to work for US companies. Sure we get a credit, but we still pay for representation that is sorely lacking.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 06:35 | 351216 Bob Dobbs
Bob Dobbs's picture

Nice read.  That was a very well reasoned essay.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 06:36 | 351217 ConfederateH
ConfederateH's picture

Awesome Marla.  I have said it before, you are my hero!

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 07:58 | 351219 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

This deeply Checkist approach is a subtle acknowledgment either that postmodern subjects simply cannot be made to believe in the optimistic assertions of the benefits of these interminable social programs, or that clandestine-legislation is the only means to sneak damaging edicts past an increasingly educated and informed population.

A fine look at the current example of faith based governance whose faith rests upon the clandestine way our government functions.  Regardless if the method is a repudiation via the legislative process or via royal decree (Executive Order, especially for national security) or plunder made lawful by a court system that has lost the Constitution in a sea of precedence based molestation the results are the same.   Subjugation.

Great read Marla.  Nice to see you and your copy in full form.  I also remember that Churchill's scissors beat Hitler's paper.

Nothing is so bad as something which is not so bad. - The Scarlet Pimpernel

Farcism fits the bill to a "T".

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:00 | 351720 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

And history's rock beat Churchill's scissors.

I am Chumbawamba.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:56 | 351923 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Hell.  I learn something new from you all the time brotherman.  And all this time I thought it was Whitehall that worked endlessly to turn Churchill's scissors into a plow.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 07:11 | 351246 Raymond K Hassel
Raymond K Hassel's picture

Marla, I haven't been blown away like that since gradeschool - +10

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 07:19 | 351253 old_turk
old_turk's picture


When we become what we (albeit briefly) once abhored, it is a point of inflection on the arc of the republic.  Do we continue as the Romans so long ago did and 'chose' the chains of a 'strong man' or do we deflect off on a tangent long since abandoned?

Decisions have been made, are being made and, it seems, will be made going forward, based on the failed political philosophies of the 19th and 20th centuries.


We live in historic times.

And isn't not always a good thing ....

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 09:01 | 351414 Gromit
Gromit's picture

The Roman empire lasted 400 some years after it reached its apotheosis and so may we.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 09:28 | 351449 old_turk
old_turk's picture


In a continously (not daily, but generationally) degradating state of turmoil.

Fits and stops on the way to the dissolution.

I understand that silver and gold were popular then too.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 10:52 | 351699 Gromit
Gromit's picture


The US will continue to dominate the World until the oil runs out. Then we'll see. It won't be China who are copying our enterprise model. Not that the Chinese have any interest in Empire anyway as their history shows.

We will eventually be unable to afford the military hardware to strike fear in far places and just like the former USSR our power will degrade. Again the later Roman Empire is the template.

Governance will become local, think City State economic units.

Or Dark Ages. Take your pick.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:51 | 351906 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Chinese/Russian EMP.

End of the United States as we know it. Some "empty" cargo ships right off the coast can turn millions into cannibals.


Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:14 | 352117 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Going to be a feast though WW. lots of 300+ pounders out there. I'm short soap manufacturers and long the NaOH manufacturers, if you get my drift!

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 14:07 | 352265 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Forget going to the lipo clinic - it'll be like freaking manna! Samples, anyone?

I'll need to study up on some anatomy:


Fri, 05/14/2010 - 18:10 | 352798 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Soylent soap!

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 18:25 | 352831 velobabe
velobabe's picture

now that is really good, coming from a HULK†

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:02 | 351725 Gromit
Gromit's picture

Yes excellent read thank you. I like Niall Ferguson, always thoughtfull stuff.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 17:48 | 352766 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

"The Roman empire lasted 400 some years after it reached its apotheosis and so may we"

The Romans didn't have drilling rigs....

Sat, 05/15/2010 - 05:54 | 353418 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

the Romans also didn't have the internet.

'Whoever controls the territory possesses it. Possession of territory is not primarily about laws and contracts, but first and foremost a matter of movement and circulation.'  -- Paul Virilio

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 07:32 | 351271 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture


Farcism.  It's like water was to Helen Keller.


Thank you.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 07:37 | 351281 Crime of the Century
Crime of the Century's picture

Smart is sexy. You go girl.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 07:42 | 351287 Pat Shuff
Pat Shuff's picture


  One of the better expositories extant. Or maybe amongst best

  of recent, less recent and future, a masterpiece that stands alone

  with or without the contrast against  background surroundings

  of managed messages textured in drivel.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 07:50 | 351297 nuinut
nuinut's picture

Farcism. Rather fitting. It never really felt like we had come very far, did it?

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 08:35 | 351317 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Thwarting price signals destroys capitalism, and forces capital into hiding.

Marla, you made us wait too long for this excellent piece of work.

The nature of woman, no?

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:25 | 351328 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

fine frothy soap you continue to stew.

thanks for the 1099 find.  sneaky bastards.  guess that means it's vital to keep all single transactions under 6 Bennies.  fair enough, can be done with some creativity applied.

and the day i give up citizenship is the day i no longer wish to return in this lifetime.  if that day ever comes, so be it...will gladly give up my passport with zero assets to declare, ZERO.  the world's a big place with lots of nooks & crannies of prosperity.  until then for now, "I prefer not to."

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 08:58 | 351407 ambrosiac
ambrosiac's picture


Excellent, Marla!



"And I know that every one will confess that it would be most praiseworthy in a prince to exhibit all the above qualities that are considered good; but because they can neither be entirely possessed nor observed, for human conditions do not permit it, it is necessary for him to be sufficiently prudent that he may know how to avoid the reproach of those vices which would lose him his state; and also to keep himself, if it be possible, from those which would not lose him it; but this not being possible, he may with less hesitation abandon himself to them.


And again, he need not make himself uneasy at incurring a reproach for those vices without which the state can only be saved with difficulty, for if everything is considered carefully, it will be found that something which looks like virtue, if followed, would be his ruin; whilst something else, which looks like vice, yet followed brings him security and prosperity."


Ah, the roots of Farcism.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 08:59 | 351408 Gromit
Gromit's picture

Q:  When will the USA enact Exchange Controls?

A:  When capital flows turn negative and appear likely to remain so.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:45 | 352194 Invisible Hand
Invisible Hand's picture

I have been waiting for the predicted dollar rally (think it's happening now) to move most assets out of the US.  Have to admit I don't exactly know where to put assets but the US sure looks to be a basket case in a few years (neglecting a revolution, political or otherwise, which may or may not make things worse).

Got any ideas while we can still get the funds out?

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 14:32 | 352335 Gromit
Gromit's picture

Southern cone of South America.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 09:47 | 351480 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Farcism. Perfect.  The intersection of Orwellian oppression and postmodern bullshit I should say.

I always welcome an opportunity to (try to) mix it up with Marla when she pens something like this.  Yet here is one of those posts that packs her compounded, cumulative insights, strongest arguments and themes into a tight shell casing headed for the breech.  Then, like a ballistics expert  she describes it's imminent trajectory and impact on the landscape.  The cold calculus of war indeed.

So, not much to add here other than to say that hopefully technology, distributed information capabilities, gun ownership, lassitude within the public sector and animal spirits outside it are pervasive enough in this country to prevent some of the darker statist outcomes (hinted at here) from ever being realized.  But yes, look to the end.

And speaking of cumulative insights please keep GP and FR content available or at least send out a bulletin before taking it down.

Really, everyone should be emailing this link to all and sundry today.  Show what ZH can muster.  Surely you know someone who could stand to benefit from a more thorough big picture contemplation?


Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:17 | 351778 Mercury
Mercury's picture


Seems like both men's fears are being realized to some extent right now.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:19 | 351786 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

It would seem that both stratagem can be employed on a populace.  First split them into groups then apply the proper methods.   It is not an either/or philosophy with Huxley and Orwell it is a both simultaneously/whichever works best for the individual.

Some people prefer a whip to whiped cream...

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:28 | 351832 Husk-Erzulie
Husk-Erzulie's picture

Yet here is one of those posts that packs her compounded, cumulative insights, strongest arguments and themes into a tight shell casing headed for the breech.  Then, like a ballistics expert  she describes it's imminent trajectory and impact on the landscape.  The cold calculus of war indeed.

Goddamn, some of you people are good writers.  These brilliant, poetic, rhetorical bottle rockets are so much a part of why I love ZH.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 21:17 | 353044 Shortbus Bully
Shortbus Bully's picture

Agreed.  While the majority of what is written pisses me off, it most often is a pleasure to read.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 09:47 | 351490 junkyard dog
junkyard dog's picture

The success of any tax collection program is directly dependant on the taxing authorities ability to collect the tax. The IRS' only means of collecting non-payroll taxes is fear. Fear does not provide success, only voluntary compliance guarantees success.

The IRS is not capable of processing the current electronically generated 1099's it receives each year. The IRS will not be able to enforce the rules related to the 1099's mentioned in this post.

There are a limited number of hours in each day. There are a limited number of auditors available to collect the 100's of billions of taxes currently not being collected each year.

The Congress is attempting to use an industry that is the most corrupt in this country to try and collect the uncollectible. That industry is the Certified Public Accountant.

75% of the population believes in voluntary compliance. 25% of the population believes that that is the dumbest concept ever conceived; Just ask Tim Geithner.



Fri, 05/14/2010 - 10:24 | 351612 Husk-Erzulie
Husk-Erzulie's picture

I don't think this measure is so much aimed at revenue enhancement as it is at enhancing control over small and medium sized business.. The difficulty of collection and processing is neither here nor there, the key lies with the difficulty of compliance.  Just another legal tool to take out any bothersome non-oligarch controlled concern whenever neccesary or desired.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:40 | 352182 Invisible Hand
Invisible Hand's picture

I think you may have something there.

I read an review of an autobiography of a lady who lived through the Nazi era in Austria (I think).  She said that one of the first things the Nazi's did was put in place onerous regulations to drive small businesses out of business.  (Her uncle had a coffee shop with a few tables and had to close because he couldn't afford (and had no room) to put in a bathroom.

The Facists (and the Obamaists) are allied to big business (like GE) and big labor (SEIU) and hate small businesses because they are more efficient than their huge pals and cannot be unionized, because most employees are relatives.

Sounds familiar to me, but maybe I'm paranoid.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 14:08 | 352275 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

In an insane world a sane man must appear insane.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 14:23 | 352313 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"In an insane world a sane man must appear insane."

While maintaining his or her sanity. That is the most difficult part. I can swim with the other fish but how do I maintain sanity while doing so.

I remember reading something a few years back about the insane asylums of the 60's and 70's. A number of sane people (reporters or other interested parties) got themselves admitted into various asylums all over the country in order to see what was going on in them. After a week or two inside and after being examined by the staff psychiatrists running the place, all of them were diagnosed as insane.

After a few weeks, others on the outside "rescued" them. And 6 months later, in follow up interviews, nearly all of the people who spent two weeks in the insane asylum all reported that they began to question their own sanity while they were inside and they felt that if they were forced to remain inside for months or years they would have gone insane.

How do you maintain your sanity when you live among the insane? 

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 15:20 | 352446 junkyard dog
junkyard dog's picture

You ignore them.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 15:30 | 352470 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

No, you beat the shit out of them when they try to take your applesauce.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 18:39 | 352853 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I'm desperately trying to remember the movie that came from and I'm thinking Jack Nickolson. Yes? No?

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 21:24 | 353050 Shortbus Bully
Shortbus Bully's picture

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest?

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 12:13 | 351773 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

'tis where & why VAT, carbon & internet tax come in...

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:21 | 352137 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

Vicious!  Did you get burned by your accountant or something Junkyard?

There are good and bad in all professions.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 09:51 | 351499 lsbumblebee
lsbumblebee's picture

"On March 5, 1946, at Fulton, Churchill made his famous "Iron Curtain" speech. He warned that an "Iron Curtain" had descended upon Europe, the Communist enslavement of the Eastern European countries. He failed to mention that he and Franklin Delano Roosevelt had joined at Yalta to deliver Eastern Europe to Stalin, with Alger Hiss, the originator of the plan, beaming in the background. Not a single journalist, anywhere in the world, mentioned Churchill's overwhelming personal complicity in creating and maintaining the dire situation which he now publicly deplored."


Fri, 05/14/2010 - 10:54 | 351703 Gromit
Gromit's picture

Do you think the Allies should have marched on Moscow?

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:16 | 351783 lsbumblebee
lsbumblebee's picture

The question is irrelevant because The Cold War was the necessary next step for the wealthy elite to continue warmongering, deficit spending and to keep the people under control.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 12:56 | 352071 Attitude_Check
Attitude_Check's picture

Only now we see the historic clarity of vision of Patton in 1945.  By failing to grasp the nettle and "continue on to Moscow" the West's capitulation lead to the enslavement of eastern Europe, and the continued enslavement of the Soviet citizens, and 50 YEARS of cold war costs.  Of course this did end up benefiting some.....

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:32 | 352170 Invisible Hand
Invisible Hand's picture

By Yalta, Churchill had be almost completely locked out of the decision making process by Harry Hopkins and FDR.  Both Harry and FDR were greatly enamored of Stalin and disliked Churchill.  Churchill did not realize that secret understandings between Stalin and FDR had been ongoing for years and that he had been frozen out until the Yalta.  Here is a quote from FDR on Stalin:

"I (FDR) just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of a man. ... I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace."

FDR abandoned Poland to the Russians while Churchill fought for their freedom.

Churchill wasn't perfect but the fault for the Iron Curtain was primarily Stalin's, with a big assist from a dying FDR and communist cabal that was his senior advisors.

McCarthy was right about Communists in the US government betraying us (although he was a drunk and uncouth bastard).  Alger Hiss was guilty, virtually everyone accused by McCarthy was guilty.  The Rosenberg's were guilty.  I.F. Stone (the famous "incorruptable" journalist) was a Russian agent.

So give Churchhill a break and blame the great FDR for the Cold War.  The fault was not in our British allies, but in ourselves.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:45 | 352195 Gromit
Gromit's picture

Junior partners don't get much of a say. (see Tony Blair.)

FDR had to like Stalin or fight him.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 10:00 | 351516 Husk-Erzulie
Husk-Erzulie's picture

Brilliant essay.  I wonder about the characterization of Americans as lazy.  I'm not sure that this is quite fair.  I tend to see us more as victims, slowly and stealthily caught up in a system of soft information control and perception manipulation.  This control is practiced not just on the working class but it extends right up through the middle and upper middle class.  Those young people who attend Deerfield and Hotchkiss and go on to entry level indoctrination in financial firms have for generations been as thorougly soma'd as any one else.  The unforseen spoiler in this hypnotic scenario is the internet, an emergent system whose almost immediate deep grafting into the economy and concurrent  revolutionary effect on information sharing could not have been predicted by any but the fantastically prescient.  This information revolution represents the clearest, most present danger to the heretofor comfortably unnacountable crime elite.  Imagine if 911 had taken place in an internet free media environment.  The obvious contradictions, the blatent unreality of that event would never have broken out into the broader conciousness.  It would have been a fait accompi which would have carried forward the agenda of its perps with almost seemless, rippleless perfection despite the fact that the operation was almost fatally overreaching and clearly suffered several potentially fatal mistakes in its execution.  This is why I submit that solving the internet "problem" has got to be among the top priorities of those who are invested in the ongoing rape of the Republic.  How will it be controlled as clearly it must be, without sacrificing the economy which has grown so swiftly up around it?  It is the Samizdat of the 21st century ideological struggle for the minds of the populace.  Thanks for being such an outstanding part of the problem!  ;~)

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:08 | 351755 Duuude
Duuude's picture


Been thinking the same thing, well put.


Simply, Thank you.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:20 | 351796 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture


"You're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't rank all that high on the truth meter," Obama told the Hampton students. 

"...information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation," Obama said. "All of this is not only putting new pressures on you. It is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy."


Fri, 05/14/2010 - 13:36 | 352169 DisparityFlux
DisparityFlux's picture


Seems a little late in the day to address issues with the Internet, which can now only be solved by government regulation or constant vigilance of the populace.

Anyone besides me read 'An Information Systems Manifesto' by James Martin published in 1984?

Score another "win" for unfettered entrepreneurial spirit founded on the presumption of man's inherent nobility.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 14:43 | 352351 i.knoknot
i.knoknot's picture

the internet isn't the issue, it's purely a comment about information control, ala Goebbels.

"i'm right. if you don't agree, you didn't hear me correctly. listen again.  i'm right. if you still don't agree, you must be getting mis-information from that-there-internet thing. or fox. or rw radio. gotta turn those things off - because i'm clearly right."

this isn't a case of "our opinions differ, but i'm in control by democratic process, so deal with it", it's a case of "how the hell can you idiots not see that social-equity is the obvious correct path for mankind - you just need to be *fixed* - vote it in, then we'll know what's in it, then *you'll* see what *we've* always known..."

whereas i just believe that whether you folks (any of you) are 'right' or 'wrong', i have a right to be left the fuck alone, and to be invoiced (taxed) for the services *i* use, and not a friggin penny more. (e.g. tax gas, and your roads will be paid for by the users, etc.)

yes, i can hear you mr. president(s), and i don't care much for most anything you say these days. and i fear there's not much you can say that will change that, outside of "off with their heads", which, to my thinking, isn't that far off in some form or other.

it is *you* that aren't getting it, sir. but ironically, it is i, who wish to be left alone, who shall likely lose in the end.

baahh bahhhh bahhh mehhh baahhh meehhh

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 19:08 | 352859 velobabe
velobabe's picture

your right, i hear you.

serious shit thinking, is going down on this page today.


Sat, 05/15/2010 - 06:10 | 353422 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

i have though it's been quite awhile, 20 years maybe?   perhaps you wish to take a few minutes to summarize how it relates to the current conditions of I/S from the end user standpoint?

have you read this one (it's a google doc link)?

it's gets really interesting around p19 in the change management section, especially when you consider it in terms of linguistics and memes.

Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:54 | 351918 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

It's the six-pack Bubbas armed to the teeth and loaded up on New World Order conspiracy fact that will make it through. Upper-middle class and above better have a pass to the underground facilities or they'll get to see the payday for ignorance of natural laws.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!