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"The Captain" Says Goodbye: The Full Final Edition Of The Privateer

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For 727 editions, and nearly 30 years, Bill Buckler, the "captain" of the free market-praising Privateer newsletter provided a welcome escape from a world overrun with "free-lunch" economists, "for-hire" politicians, "crony-capitalist" oligarchs, "heroin-addict" bankers, "the-solution-to-record-debt-is-more-record-debt" Keynesians, and all those other subclasses of that species which Einstein, or whoever, described so aptly in saying that they all expect a different, and happy, outcome when applying the same flawed methods over and over. And for 30 years, Buckler's steadfast determination and adherence to his arguments, beliefs, reasoning and ironclad logic brought him countless followers, all of whom are now able to see past the bread and circus facade of a world every day on the edge of political and social collapse. Sadly, all good things come to an end, and so does The Privateer. We are delighted to celebrate its illustrious memory by presenting to our readers the final, must read, issue of the newsletter which encapsulates the philosophy and ideology of its author - a man much respected and admired in the free market circles - and thirty years of objective, unbiased market and economic commentary, best of all.

With exclusive prior permission, we present to you the 727th, and final, issue of The Privateer

THE FINAL REPORT

A MESSAGE FROM THE CAPTAIN

Normally, your Captain doesn’t have a lot of trouble with an issue of The Privateer. There is not much in the way of revision and seldom if ever anything in the way of re-writing necessary. After doing it in this newsletter for almost thirty years, a certain amount of facility in putting one’s thoughts into words can hardly be avoided. We seem to get it pretty nearly right, at least to our satisfaction, the great majority of the time.

This issue is different. That’s inevitable, since it is the last issue of The Privateer we will write. Something called “writer’s block” - which we
thought we had conquered years ago - has come back to bite us in sitting down to write this issue. We’ve already had to start over twice, not being satisfied with our original effort, and that is unprecedented. The essence of the matter is that it is hard to know just what to say.

Looking back over the “major” events of the past two weeks hardly seems adequate to the task. On the markets, the only “startling event” has been the big dive in the “prices” of the precious metals. Spot future Gold closed at $US 1564.90 on April 11. Two trading days later on April 15 it closed at $US 1361.20 after having been as low as $US 1321 earlier in the day. We cannot think of ANY type of “market action” which so eloquently illustrates the level of fear of the future presently held by the global financial powers that be than this. On second thought, we CAN think of one market event which would scare them even more. That is the HUGE surge in GLOBAL demand for physical Gold and Silver which was detonated by this big dive in the markets where paper “claims” to the precious metals change hands. We’ll have more to say on the surge in demand for the precious metals later on in this issue.

Apart from that, the G-20 nations met and so did the IMF and the World Bank. The G-20 handed out the same pious platitudes that they have been decanting ever since they took over from the G-7 as the premier international “policy making” body. The IMF handed out the same pap that they have been dispensing ever since they stopped actually trying to “do something” to fix a financial crisis in the wake of the Asian Crisis of the late 1990s. All of this was dutifully reported and exhaustively “analysed” by the mainstream financial press. None of it made an iota of REAL difference to the state of the world.

Meanwhile - with the partial exception of the brief period of the fall of the Soviet Union and its puppet states in 1989-1991 - two things have not changed over the whole history of The Privateer. One is the principles of both politics and economics which really matter. The other is the determination of all those who ignore these principles to squash any attempt to discuss them. The Privateer has been discussing them ever since we began. In what follows, we will discuss them again.

The Baseline Is You:

We use the word “you” here in the “royal” sense. The “you” includes the person who is reading these words. It also includes the person who is writing them. And it includes everyone who has never and will never read an issue of The Privateer. In sum, it includes everyone, but each standing as an individual upon their own two feet and facing the world out of their own two eyes. The most fascinating thing about converting our thoughts into words every two weeks is the simple fact that the most important thing in the world is ideas. Most people who take ideas seriously have at one time or another looked back over the course of history and chosen eras in which they would have liked to have lived. The more seriously they take ideas, the more selective they are about those eras. But in all cases, the chosen eras are the ones in which the exchange of ideas AND the debate over conflicting ideas was at its most vibrant.

The sad state of our current era is that it is one in which the exchange, discussion and debate of the ideas which MATTER is at a low ebb. The hallmark of any age of vibrancy and prosperity is the seriousness with which ideas are taken. The pesky problem with taking ideas seriously is that there is no way to do it except to think for oneself. Those who actually originate ideas are a tiny fraction of any population. Those who originate ideas with intellectual honesty and strive to present them with the utmost clarity are a tiny fraction of that tiny fraction. But everyone has the capacity to examine ideas and to accept or reject them. The extent to which that process takes place is what matters.

As you can imagine, we have been inundated with emails since we published our “closing down” letter along with the previous issue of The Privateer. We would be hard pressed to find a sour note struck anywhere in any of them. The aspect of all this which has gratified us the most is the one quality that was mentioned above all others by you, our subscribers. That was the clarity with which we present our arguments and analyses. We do not claim to have originated any new ideas over our publishing history. We do claim to have presented the ideas we have accepted and the PRINCIPLES behind them as honestly and clearly as we possibly can. There is no other honest way to communicate. There is no other honest way to persuade other people that the ideas being presented are worthy of their serious attention.

For years, one of the “catch phrases” we have used on our website is: “We have ways of making you think!” Strictly speaking, that is not true. The one thing which CANNOT be forced is the working of the mind of another person. But we are sure you have noticed that the greatest inducement to thought in others is the clearest exposition of what one would like them to think about. Many Americans, especially young Americans, were treated to an example of that last year in the courageous campaign of Dr Ron Paul.

Higher Learning?:

The US and the rest of the “developed” world are (at great and ever-increasing cost to those who receive them) churning out more holders of university graduate and post-graduate degrees than ever before in history. Yet the quality of teaching - and learning - has sunk to abysmal depths. In January 2013, the Huffington Post put up a test for eighth graders (age 13-14) on their website. Innocuous, you might say. The difference was that this test was administered - not in 2013 - but in 1912. Most post-graduate students today could not pass it. The test didn’t ask for opinions or interpretation - it asked for knowledge - of a very high order. Yes, high school students 100 years ago were “entitled” to their opinions. But they could not expect their opinions to be taken seriously unless they could show that they had the requisite knowledge to form them in the first place.

No such demonstration is required today, especially from those who are touted as the “opinion makers”. If you want to know why the United States was a comparatively FREE country in 1912 and why it is not today, the difference in what very young people were expected to KNOW then and now goes a very long way in explaining the difference. A century ago, a far larger percentage of the population was equipped to identify NONSENSE when they saw or heard it than is the case today. This is not a case of “dumbing people down”, it is a case of cutting off free and honest debate about anything which truly matters.

The Baseline Of Economics - And Politics:

We wrote this stuff about twenty years ago. We put it up on our website when it was first uploaded to the Internet in 1995. We don’t think it is necessary to change a word of it, so we won’t. Here it is:

“One Man Or Woman In Nature:

 

The best way to reach an understanding of the principles of economics, or politics, or anything else which involves the interaction of people, is to start by taking all the other people out of the picture.

 

All clear thinking about these problems begins with the idea of one man or woman in nature. Or, to put it another way, imagine yourself in the shoes of Robinson Crusoe.

 

Starting from such a situation makes it far easier to see the fundamental and irrefutable principles of economics. Here they are:

TANSTAAFL: There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch!
No one can consume more than he or she has produced.
You don’t get any if there ain’t none.
Don't eat the seed corn.
After food, shelter, and clothing, the most important economic good is TIME!
All productive work begins between the ears.

With more than one person (it makes no difference if it's six or six billion) in the picture, here are the fundamental and irrefutable principles of politics:

Everyone has the right to life and liberty.
You have a right to pursue happiness - there's no guarantee that you'll catch it.
The payment for successful effort is ownership.
Both parties must benefit or no voluntary exchange will take place.
There is no such thing as the ‘right’ to anything produced by another person's effort.

That's all there is to it. Just as the highest mathematics are built on the fact that 2 + 2 = 4, economics, politics, and finance, are built on these principles.”

We hold that all of the principles stated above are irrefutable. The beauty of starting any study of economics with one man or woman in nature is that the principles stated are obviously true in that context. Please note that “rights” are not mentioned in the economic context because “rights” only pertain in a political context - a context which involves more than one person. If there are such things as political “rights”, there must also be such things as political “wrongs”. A glance on what is going on around you, wherever you live, is quite sufficient to demonstrate that there are many such “wrongs”. All of them are perpetrated by governments. And all of them involve the use of force - actual or latent. As Ayn Rand put it a long time ago: “The precondition of a civilised society is the barring of physical force from social relationships.”

In a civilised society, there is no such thing as the “redistribution of incomes”. Nor is there any such thing as “entitlements”, the very concept being an insolent negation of politics. In a civilised society, the concept of government debt is a contradiction in terms because a government has no way to service or repay that debt other than to use force to extract the means from its citizens. A civilised society is one in which the atrocities which have been perpetrated on the financial “markets” could never have taken place because the government would not have the means, or the “power”, to bring them about. If your Captain lived in a civilised society, he would have had to take up another line of work. So would a lot of other people.

All these things are seen today as being radical if not revolutionary, not to mention being “politically impossible”. In reality, they are simple statements of fact. They are obvious truths.

A World Which Never Grows Up:

These are two of the most famous quotes which have come out of the mouth of any politician in recent years. Both of them were said by Jean Claude Juncker - the prime minister of Luxembourg:

“When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”
“We all know what to do, we just don't know how to get re-elected after we have done it.”

Mr Juncker knows whereof he speaks. He is the longest serving head of government of any European Union state and the longest serving democratically elected current head of any government in the world. On top of his duties in Luxembourg, he was president of the Eurogroup from the creation of the semi-permanent position in 2005 until earlier this year. He is a very experienced politician. We don’t know if Mr Juncker actually knows what to do or not. We only know that he hasn’t done it, because he keeps getting re-elected.

Economic interventionism requires a welfare state in order to “justify” itself. Any government sells the notion that it should “run” the economy by redistributing what is left after it has met its own (inexorably rising) costs back to the public. Before the industrial revolution, this was done under endless variations of what the Romans called “bread and circuses”. The modern “welfare state” goes much further than this. To quote part of FDR’s state of the union message from 1941, it holds out the promise of “freedom from want” and “freedom from fear”. In return, the people are merely expected to give up FREEDOM.

There is another American statesman, this one worthy of the name, who made the definitive comment on this subject long before Mr Roosevelt got up in Congress in 1941. In 1775, in preparation for a proposition which he put before the Pennsylvania assembly, Benjamin Franklin said this: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Wherever you look in the world, those who HAVE given up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety have neither. The only way to make provision for the latter state is to regain the former state. But any moves towards this goal, according to so experienced a voice as Jean Claude Juncker’s, are politically impossible. Those who genuinely advocate it would either never be in a position to run for office or would be devastatingly defeated if they did get into such a position. Ron Paul’s run last year is proof of that.

A Plague Of Vested Interests:

In property law, the term “vesting” means to give an immediately secured right of present or future enjoyment to a given asset or item of wealth. In inheritance law, a holder of property “vests” this property in his freely chosen heirs when he lodges a duly signed and witnessed will. His heirs therefore have a vested interest in his property and will receive it after his death according to the terms of the will.

The concept of a vested interest is vital in a free society because it protects property beyond the lifetime of the person who holds it by assuring that it will be “distributed” according to his wishes. The tragedy of modern politics is that this concept has been turned on its head. Today, all of those who are recipients of wealth or claims to wealth taken by force (or created by fraud) by the government are said to have a “vested interest” in the power of that same government to continue to “distribute” it. A government with such power cannot and does not protect property or those who hold it. It has been well said by many people that without property rights, no other political rights are possible.

Governments have an obvious interest in the maintenance and increase of their power. Their subjects do not, even though most of them think they do because they have become confused in the process of swapping their freedom for what they think is their “safety”. More and more of these subjects are slowly and painfully awakening to the fact that old Ben (Franklin) was right. They have proved themselves undeserving of freedom or safety and have ended up with neither. A “vested interest” in the power of government to redistribute property guarantees an end result where there is no property left to distribute.

That’s pretty obvious when you think about it, but most people don’t bother.

Financial Analysis In One Lesson:

Here is something else which we wrote about 20 years ago and has been up at our website since 1995:

“We hold that the fundamental reason behind the present chaos in global relations, in trade, in financial interactions, and in markets themselves is an ‘absence’. What is absent, or missing, is the freedom to choose and act, the security of private property, and the use of sound money. That is the fundamental premise on which The Privateer bases all its analysis.”

In fact, every historical example of a society or civilisation descending into chaos has been due to an absence of precisely the factors we write about above. In the countless billions of words - in every language - which have been spoken and written about these problems, precious few have homed in on these fundamentals. A century ago, Ludwig von Mises proved conclusively that business cycles and “booms and busts” are an inevitable result of government interference with markets and money. At the same time, the advocates for the establishment of the Federal Reserve were talking about the need for an “elastic” currency to meet the “needs” of business. An “elastic” currency was precisely what von Mises pointed to as the fundamental CAUSE of the business cycle. Yet is was that same “cycle” that the Fed was supposed to banish.

It is a trivial observation to point out that von Mises was right and the Fed is wrong. The evidence is too overwhelming to need sifting through. Back in 2012, in our Early September Issue (Number 711), we quoted Doug Casey on precisely this subject: “There has been way too much concentration on the financial markets over the last 50 years. ...22 percent of the US economy is in financial services. ...In a sound economy, the financial sector would be tiny.”

The fact is that the financial sector is slowly swallowing the entire economy. As the US Dollar and the rest of the world’s currencies become more “elastic”, the financial markets become an ever more dangerous “substitute” for the economy - the production of real WEALTH. A century ago, the financial markets were seen as being the playthings of the rich. The rest of the population did not indulge. That was not because they couldn’t afford to. It was because they did not see such antics as being necessary. They relied on personal freedom, property rights and sound money. That was all they needed to “get ahead”.

Today, the financial markets are STILL seen as the playground of the rich. But now, the rest of the population sees themselves as having no choice but to “indulge”. In a situation where the government has first claim on their liberty, their freedom and their money, they have no confidence of “getting ahead” in the dwindling portion of the economy which is still devoted to the production of real WEALTH. Meanwhile, the “business cycle” as fuelled by the Fed and its fellow central banks has pulled the standard of living that Americans once took for granted right out from under them.

Revulsion over the state of the financial system and the financial markets is growing all over the world. So is anger over the impossibility of keeping up with the cost of living by means of simple saving. The problem is that most people today cannot imagine a situation in which “the financial sector would be tiny” any more than they can imagine a world in which the government did not have first claim over their property and they walked around with actual Gold coins in their pockets as money. That was the state of the world in which the Fed was born. It will not return until the Fed and its fellow central banks are given a decent burial.

Meanwhile, the financial markets and the financial sector have taken over the task of what is called “wealth creation”. What was once prosperity has become what is called “economic growth” - with the “growth” being measured exclusively by the amount of money being pumped into the system. And the more “money” that IS being pumped into the system, the more impoverished those who confuse it with wealth become.

The acme of ALL financial analysis is to assess the quality of the money that stands as the foundation of any conceivable financial system. The antithesis of financial analysis is to clamour for ever greater quantities of “money for nothing” as the only means to stave off economic implosion. There is no need to “analyse” REAL money. Supply THAT, and the financial markets can take care of themselves.

To Rule Or Be Ruled?:

This has always been the fundamental problem because it has always been held up as the fundamental choice. The vast majority of people today and at every stage of history have taken it for given and granted that “somebody” has to RULE. Behind all the justifications for all the forms of government in the world today is the implicit (or sometimes explicit) assumption that people must be told what to do with their lives.

When we speak of a dictatorship or a totalitarian state, we speak of a specific group of people who RULE.When we speak of a ballot box and supposedly contending political parties, we speak of the party in POWER. A totalitarian government rules by means of permissions by setting up a situation where any action which is not specifically permitted by those in power is PROHIBITED. The subjects in such a state can only do precisely what they are told to do and must do it when they are told to do it. Anything else is against the law. In the so-called “free” nations, those who prevail at the ballot box used to be called elected representatives in the days when the constitution - the laws which GOVERNMENTS must obey - still held sway. In more recent times, the label has changed to the “lawmakers”. Once that changeover was cemented in place, the laws which governments must obey were steadily eroded. Today, they have all but ceased to exist everywhere. The rule of law has reverted back to the rule of men.

The term “democracy” is nowadays everywhere revered as the preferred synonym for the term “freedom”. The problem is that democracy - literally translated - means majority RULE. The implication is that the rule is limited. The dictionary definition of “rule” in a political context is: “To exercise control, dominion, or direction over.” That is the opposite of freedom, which is defined as the ABSENCE of coercion.

The USA was established as a republic. As stated by Isobel Paterson in her book - The God Of The Machine - “A republic signifies an organisation dealing with affairs which concern the public, thus implying that there are also private affairs, a sphere of social and personal life with which government is not and should not be concerned.” When Benjamin Franklin was asked about the type of government that had been decided on at the Constitutional convention, he replied: “A republic - if you can keep it.”

The US has not kept it, of course, and neither has any other nation. The false choice remains - do you want to rule or do you want to be ruled. The only way out is to throw out the political concept of RULE altogether. There is a time in our lives when we do need someone “to exercise control, dominion or direction” over us. That time should end when we assume the mantle of being ADULT human beings. An adult human being rejects the role of both ruler and ruled.

The Most Powerful Impediment To Change:

If you think back to your childhood, can you remember not wanting to do something that your parents said that you had to do? Can you remember asking WHY you had to do it? Can you remember your parents striving to answer your question but you stubbornly refusing to accept their explanations because you didn’t WANT them to be true even though you knew that they WERE true? Did it ever come to the point where your parents threw up their hands and fell back on the old standby - “Because I say so!”?

Have you noticed a similarity between those old domestic dramas and the way our “leaders” govern us today? There are many people who don’t WANT the fact that one must produce before one can consume to be true. They don’t WANT the fact that every new “Dollar” the central bank produces out of thin air erodes the purchasing power of every “Dollar” they have spent their lives earning to be true. They don’t WANT the fact that they are not “entitled” to anything that the government might “redistribute” to them to be true. In short, they don’t WANT the fact that they have never progressed from their childhood rebellions to be true. It’s much safer to live in a world where you are told what to do. After all, doesn’t everybody?

Children may not like it, but they expect to be “governed”. An adult is capable of governing him or herself without the aid of any outside agency. As much as many of us might wish it were true, there is no halfway house. That is why any nation actually does end up with the government its people WANT - and deserve.

THE PRIVATEER - A RETROSPECTIVE

When The Privateer began publishing with Issue Number One on October 14, 1984, Ronald Reagan was just over two weeks away from enjoying one of the biggest landslide victories in US political history. During his first term, the Reagan Administration had very successfully cut US taxes but had not been able to get the Congress to cut spending. The result was that over the fiscal year which ended on September 30, 1984, the Treasury’s funded debt had increased by $US 252 Billion. That was a record for a single-year debt increase. It was 50 percent larger than the debt increase of fiscal 1983, which had itself been a record in nominal terms. Ominously, the prime rate in the US in October 1984 was 12.5 percent - which implied a Fed Funds rate of 3.0 percent lower or 9.5 percent.

In March 1985, Americans were “Cyprused”. A US dealer in Treasury debt went bankrupt. Some US Savings and Loan (S&L) entities which had invested in the dealer lost some money. A few people in Ohio got wind of this and hit their S&Ls to withdraw their deposits - IN CASH. The demand totalled a paltry $US 90 million. Ohio politicians panicked and froze the deposits of every institution in the state - a total of $US 5,300 million. That event became international news, to the extent that the bull run of the US Dollar which had been going on ever since 1982 abruptly reversed itself. Meanwhile, in the middle of all this, the US Treasury officially announced that the US had become a global net DEBTOR nation - for the first time since before WWI. Meanwhile, the Latin American nations which had been bailed out by the IMF at the start of the 1980s were refusing to service, let alone repay, their debts. An auspicious beginning for our publishing history, don’t you think?

The 1980s Boom - And Bust:

The US Dollar topped out in early 1985. As it did so, US and world stock markets took off. Interest rates were lowered to cater for the deficit spending of both the government and “consumers”. Even Gold began to rise, after having set new lows below even the ones set in mid 1982 over the first three months of 1985. The Dow had reached 1275 in November 1983. It didn’t decisively break above that level until February 1985. But by July 1987, it had doubled that level to reach 2550. Three months later came the biggest nominal points fall in US history. On October 19, 1987, the Dow plummeted 508 points or 22.6 percent.

What was the crash trigger? In essence, it was the US Treasury’s decision - in the wake of a $US 500 Billion increase of their debt limit - to go out and sell $US 70 Billion worth of new debt paper over the first full WEEK of October. That was too much for the Japanese and the Europeans to absorb so US interest rates spiked higher. The result? The Dow lost 158 points or 6.0 percent over the week of October 5-9. It then lost another 236 points or 9.5 percent over the week of October 12-16. And then came October 19.

The stock market crash of 1987 was one of the three biggest sudden financial disasters to hit the US in the entire three decades of The Privateer. The others were, of course, the Dow and the MUCH bigger Nasdaq crash of January/March 2000 and the global credit freeze of September 2008 - March 2009. In a very important way, however, the 1987 crash was the biggest of the three - because the reaction to it by the global financial powers that be made ALL the subsequent financial calamities inevitable.

The global financial calamities hit Japan first and hardest because the Japanese central bank outstripped all its “peers” in printing up new supplies of its own currency - the Yen - to mop up the global tidal wave of US Dollar holders who wanted to exchange them for Yen. To keep the exchange rate of the Yen down, the Bank of Japan HUGELY inflated the Yen. That promptly spilled over into Japanese financial markets. The Nikkei had risen to an all time high of 26,646 on October 14, 1987, less than a week before the crash. By the end of 1987, it was down to 21,564, the smallest fall in percentage terms of any major stock market. The Nikkei regained its 1987 high by April 1988. By the end of 1989, it soared to 38,876. In December 1989, the Dow had just regained its pre 1987 crash high. The Nikkei had exceeded it by 46 percent. By May 1990, the Nikkei was below 30,000. By March 1992, it was below 20,000. By September 2001, it was below 10,000. Meanwhile, the Japanese authorities are STILL doing what they began in late 1987.

The Tragedy Of The 1990s:

The greatest single tragedy which befell the world over our three decades of publishing was not 9/11. Nor was it any of the countless other acts of terrorism which took place all over the world during that period. Nor was it any of the wars which raged in the Middle East, in Europe and elsewhere. The greatest tragedy was the loss of an opportunity which was handed to the West in general and the US in particular by the break up of the East Bloc followed by the disintegration of the Soviet Union itself between 1989 and 1991.

March 1989: For the first time since 1917, an election was held in the USSR in which members of the Communist party were NOT the only candidates on the ballot. While this was going on, there were small demonstrations in both Moscow and Leningrad (now called St Petersburg) which called for official government recognition of the revolution of FEBRUARY 1917. This was the revolution which overthrew the Czar of Russia and led to the first ever Russian government by public consent. The Communist party overthrew that government in a coup in October 1917.

May 1989: A demonstration against the all powerful Chinese communist party became a brewing revolution at Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing. This escalation took place while Chinese Premier Deng was in Moscow at a summit meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev. He returned home early and ordered the “revolt” put down by main force. The whole world saw what followed. While this was going on, the Communist party in Poland succumbed to demands that it call an election which included the protest party “Solidarity” on the ballot. The votes were counted and the Communist party all but ceased to exist. While THAT was going on, Soviet representatives meeting their NATO counterparts agreed to withdraw 1.5 million of their troops back behind the old “Russian” borders. And finally, “workers” across the Soviet Union came out on strike to demand that a NEW Soviet CONSTITUTION be put in place no later than November 1990.

September 1989: The first non-communist government in any East Bloc nation since WW II ended was duly sworn into office in Poland. The government of the USSR faced the same choice as they had faced in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Then, they sent in the tanks. This time, they DIDN’T!

November 1989: On June 12, 1987, Ronald Reagan uttered the finest phrase of his political career. Speaking at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in a speech honouring the 750th anniversary of the founding of the city, he said this: “There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalisation, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” In November 1989, the Berlin Wall WAS torn down. It was not the work of Mr Gorbachev. It was the work, the joyous work, of German citizens on BOTH sides of it. This was the symbolic end of Communism in Europe. It was also the death knell of the Soviet Union. That was accomplished two years later in late 1991.

The Tragedy?:

George H.W. Bush (now known as “Bush the elder”) was the President of the United States from January 1989 until January 1993. Over those four years, he made only one visit to the USSR. This visit came at the end of July 1991, a few months before the USSR ceased to exist. On August 1, 1991, Mr Bush gave a speech in the Ukraine Parliament. This speech has since become known as the “Chicken Kiev” speech.

Here are two quotes from that speech as reported in the Mid August 1991 issue of The Privateer (Number 177). “Freedom is not the same as independence. Americans will not support those who seek independence in order to replace a far off Tyranny with a local despotism.” With these words, Mr Bush came as close to spitting on the exalted history of the birth of his own nation as it is possible for an American to do. The great tragedy is that  the political and financial establishment of the United States has been doing precisely that ever since. What was an epochal opportunity to return to a world of peace and of sane political and economic principles was obscenely squandered in the name of the American people. Americans wondered where their promised “peace dividend” had gone. It was swallowed in the maw of EMPIRE.

After The Tragedy:

“If we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries.” Secretary of State Madeleine Albright - February 1998.

“They hate us for our freedom.” President George W. Bush - September 20, 2001.

“So long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will sustain the largest military the world has ever known.” - President Barack Obama - speech at the Democratic Convention in September 2012.

That is what became of the “peace dividend” over the two decades since it was promised to the American people after the breakup of the USSR and its satellite states. At the turn of this century, the US Treasury was sitting on a funded debt of $US 5.75 TRILLION and predicting that it would be ALL paid off over the next 10 to 12 years. Today, that same funded debt is almost $US 17 TRILLION.

Boris Yeltsin became Russia’s first president on June 12, 1991. After the failure of the August 1991 coup against Gorbachev (who was still the first secretary of the communist party), Yeltsin banned all communist party activities on Russian soil in November 1991. Within a year of his election victory, Yeltsin had cut out EIGHTY complete departments of the government and had decreased government spending by more than 30 percent. Compare THAT to what masquerades as “austerity programs” today. The Russian people suffered a gruesome economic depression, one made inevitable by 70 years plus of gross malinvestment perpetrated by the communist regime. Yeltsin knew that there was no alternative and acted accordingly.

The rest of the world, and the US government in particular, did not. The legacy of that decision is today’s global financial, economic and increasing political chaos. It could have been different - but it isn’t.

The Great Turnaround:

Over fiscal 2000, the official funded debt of the US Treasury increased by $US 18 Billion. Over fiscal 2008, the funded debt of the US Treasury increased by $US 1,017 Billion. The intervening eight years had seen the bursting of three investment bubbles. The 1990s stock market bubble burst in January/March 2000. The US real estate bubble burst in mid 2006. And the second US stock market bubble burst in late 2007. Then, the entire global credit system froze up in late 2008.

The funded debt of the US Treasury has increased by more than $US 1 TRILLION in every fiscal year since 2008. Over the first half of fiscal 2013, the debt increased by $US 738 Billion. This is not what it costs to “grow” an economy these days. In terms of the creation of real wealth, the US economy is not growing, it is shrinking. This is what it costs to preserve the tattered remnants of the financial system. The most visible remnant of that system is the stock market, where both the Dow and the S&P 500 have exceeded their 2007 highs. That hasn’t taken much - only four and a half years of zero percent central bank mandated interest rates and an open-ended commitment to buy Treasury debt with Federal Reserve Notes created for the purpose. This latter “measure” has also managed to keep the yield on Treasury debt paper at or near historic lows. In the process, the biggest overhang of malinvestments in history has been created.

A bit more than twenty years ago, the opportunity to return the US and its allies and antagonists to a PEACETIME economy was there for the taking. If it HAD been taken, then the global “experiment” with purely fiat money would have closed a bit more than twenty years after it had begun with Mr Nixon’s removal of the last link between the US Dollar and Gold in August 1971. The chance was there. In March 1995, a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution was passed by the House and came within ONE vote of passing in the Senate. That is as close as such an amendment has ever come to getting out of the US Congress and being passed on to the US States and the American people.

A peacetime economy with a balanced budget has nothing to tempt a political or financial establishment. An establishment needs political POWER to preserve itself and will stop at very little to retain it. The past two decades are a sombre illustration of how far they are prepared to go in the preservation of that power.

GOLD - THIS AND EVERY WEEK

Here is a third quote from our website. It is the conclusion of our page stating: “The Case For Gold”. It was first uploaded to the internet in 1995. Its message will remain true unless and until Gold returns to the global financial system as a CIRCULATING form of medium of exchange or money.

“Money is NOT wealth, it is a medium by which wealth can be exchanged between consenting adults. If an adult does not consent, then money cannot produce an exchange. Nothing can produce an exchange if the potential parties to it do not consent. But an expropriation can be produced, by a government with sufficient power. To obtain that power, money must be controlled by government. Today, it is.”

“And because the money you use is totally controlled by your government, dear reader, so are you. That is the case for Gold as money.”

And here is someone else making the case for Gold - long before your Captain was born:

“It is impossible to grasp the meaning of the idea of sound money if one does not realize that it was devised as an instrument for the protection of civil liberties against despotic inroads on the part of governments. Ideologically it belongs in the same class with political constitutions and bills of rights.” (Ludwig von Mises - The Theory Of Money And Credit - 1912)

We certainly do not scorn the (indirect) gain in the purchasing power of Gold which has taken place over the past twelve years. Nor do we scorn the loss of that same purchasing power which has taken place since August/September 2011. But Gold’s “price” in terms of what masquerades as “money” today is and must be a secondary consequence. The fundamental importance of Gold - AS MONEY - is eloquently summed up by von Mises in the quote above. A FREE nation cannot be achieved or PRESERVED without a SOUND MONEY. Gold - above all other possible media of exchange including Silver - has historically proven itself to be that sound money. Any analysis of any aspect of our current global financial system which ignores this fact is fundamentally flawed. That is particularly true when dealing with MARKETS. Money is the bedrock of all financial markets. As such, it is also the bedrock of all economies.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of sound money. Gold is the soundest money ever discovered.

The “Controversy” Over Government Manipulation Of Gold:

To state that the more despotic a government becomes or aspires to become - the greater grows their antipathy to Gold as money - is a trivial observation. To argue over whether government is constantly on the lookout for more ways to interfere with Gold ever regaining its role as money is a trivial pursuit. To maintain that governments don’t try to influence the “price” of Gold in terms of the fiat currencies on which their continued domination depends is just plain silly.

In 2000, The Privateer analysed the HUGE upward bounce made by the Nasdaq in the immediate aftermath of its initial crash of March of that year. We used that particular event to make a wider point:

Manipulation? Could Be: Why would such an action surprise anyone? Why is this particular instance of government intervention taken by so many as ‘proof’ of the absence of ‘free markets’ in the US? The world knows that the Fed has the sole discretion to raise or lower US interest rates by any amount at any time of their choosing. Governments have been intervening in currency markets for more than half a century. Government intervention in the economy, and in the markets, is an accepted tenet of both economic theory and practice and has been for most of the past century.”

Only two things have changed today. First, the Fed no longer “raises” US interest rates. Second, the level of intervention in the economy and the markets has hugely increased. How could anyone argue that Gold is “exempt” from all this? After all, there can be no doubt that Gold is government enemy NUMBER ONE.

The Function Of Gold:

Anything bought or sold on a financial “market” is supposed to be an investment. Financial investments are supposed to have two attributes. First, regardless of their price at any given time, they provide a “yield” in the form of a dividend and/or an interest payment. Second, being traded on a market and therefore being subject to price fluctuations, they provide the opportunity for capital gains - or losses. All dividends, interest payments and capital gains are denominated in the currency of the nation in which a given market is located. The aim is to enjoy BOTH an income stream and the possibility that the market value of the investment will go up. Both of these are ultimately paid in terms of “money” - in all cases a fiat currency.

In the “advanced” nations - those most steeped in modern economic and monetary “theory” - the precious metals and Gold in particular are NOT seen as investments. We have long since become very tired of the mantra of Western investment analysts: “Gold is NOT an investment because it pays neither dividends nor interest”. This is perfectly true. No form of money pays dividends or interest - it IS dividends and interest - and every other form of payment which exists in all markets. Money is used to buy - and sell - investments. It does not constitute the investment itself.

A gram, troy ounce or tonne of Gold is merely a mass of inert metal. When used as MONEY, it is not a promise to pay, it is a medium of exchange and therefore a form of final payment. It cannot be created by law (fiat) so its quantity cannot be increased by law (fiat). It is not a promissory NOTE (like a Federal Reserve NOTE), it is a means of transferring property between participants on a market. It is FINAL PAYMENT. Its utility as a medium of exchange does not depend on the future confiscation of wealth. It is the medium by which the ownership of wealth is voluntarily transferred between the owners of that wealth.

Gold is NOT an investment and should not be looked upon as an investment. It is the best means ever discovered to underpin a market economy - and by doing that - a free and therefore civilised society.

The “Market” For Gold:

The reason there is a “market” for Gold today is because Gold has been legally barred from its historic role as money. Since Gold in the form of money is no longer the “common denominator” in all prices, it has a price in terms of the currencies which have usurped this role. There are two markets for Gold. In one, money is used to price paper claims to Gold. In the other, money is used to price physical Gold itself.

The headline “price” of Gold is determined in the paper markets - most notably in the futures markets of the US and other “developed” nations. Physical Gold plays next to no role in these markets. Almost all “contracts” are bought, sold and SETTLED in terms of paper. The holder of a futures contract can “request” settlement in the physical metal on the expiry of that contract, but he or she cannot demand it. All contracts can be and almost always are settled in paper terms. All Privateer subscribers will be well aware of the price gyrations which have recently hit the futures markets for the precious metals. For an excellent overview of the current situation, we recommend Waiting For The Dam To Break which was recently uploaded to the website of Goldmoney.com:

http://www.goldmoney.com/gold-research/alasdair-macleod/physical-gold-vs-paper-gold-waiting-for-the-dam-to-break.html

The most notable feature of the recent dive in the “price” of Gold on the global futures markets is that the lower the “paper price” went, the higher the demand grew for the PHYSICAL METAL. Even more notable is the fact that this physical demand was NOT confined to those parts of the world where Gold is seen as insurance against central bank monetary creation. The demand was global.  The cleaning out of physical inventories took place everywhere. And the “premium” on physical metal - the markup of the “spot” (physical) price over the futures (paper) price - blew out all over the world to an unprecedented degree. This is the most dangerous event to have hit the overseers of the financial system since the credit freeze of 2008. And there is no “cure” for this one because physical Gold cannot be created out of thin air.

ON A MORE PERSONAL NOTE

So, here we are on the last page of the last issue of The Privateer. My wife Cathy and I have had mixed feelings about getting to this point. On the one hand, it couldn’t come fast enough. On the other, there were times when we didn’t want it to come at all. But there are many ways to skin a cat and the particular one we have chosen over the last three decades has outlived its usefulness. It was and is time for a change.

It is easy to get downhearted about the bullheaded stupidity of those who rule our world. It is just as easy to get morose when confronted with the fact that most of those around us seem to have bought the line that any genuine change for the better is politically (or financially, take your pick) impossible. Our particular antidote has always been laughter - which really is the best medicine. We have had countless “rolling on the floor” exercises over the years when contemplating the sheer idiocy of it all. No matter what the state of the world may be, each of us gets to pick those aspects of it which we deem genuinely IMPORTANT. The rest are not worthy of our serious consideration - but they ARE worthy of our derision.

Never forget, the “achilles heel” of anyone who’s driving aim in life is to CONTROL the lives of other people is his or her aching need to be taken “seriously”. No tyrant on any level can handle derision, it deflates them utterly by reducing their stature to its proper level in a way which they cannot escape. Imagine if they held an election and everybody laughed - and then went on about their IMPORTANT business.

In essence, the people who matter in the world are fully confident that they have earned the status of adult human beings and get exasperated with those who insist on treating them as children. There are times when this tiresome tendency can grate very sharply. But most of the time, it really is screamingly funny and really should be treated as such. As Soviet dissenter Vladimir Bukovsky pointed out in his wonderful autobiography - To Build A Castle - one of the most potent weapons wielded by all those who stood up against the tyranny which surrounded them was the political joke. It won a great victory in the end.

A Word To ALL “Privateers” - But Especially To Privateer Subscribers:

If we reprinted all the gracious, articulate, generous and moving responses we have had to the letter where we announced the “winding up” of our newsletter, this issue of The Privateer would have blown out to many times its “normal” length. We cannot imagine a greater reward for our three decades of publishing.

There was not a single sour note in the whole deluge. We got emails from people who have been with us since the late 1980s and from people who have only had a few issues. We got letters to people who have never subscribed to The Privateer but who have followed our Gold commentaries online. We got letters from fellow newsletter writers too. One we especially cherish is a letter from Daria Doering - the daughter of the doyen of newsletter writers, Richard Russell. Ms Doering passed on her own best wishes on behalf of herself and her father for our three decades of work. Coming from a man who is halfway through his SIXTH decade of publishing one of the finest newsletters in existence, we are very grateful.

We’ve had a splendid time over the past thirty years. To all Privateer subscribers past and present, we say THANK YOU. You have made it possible for us to earn a living at something we love doing. To all subscribers whom we have corresponded with at any time in our history - and especially over the last two weeks - we say an even bigger THANK YOU. You have fuelled out efforts more than we can tell you.

That’s it for The Privateer. It is NOT “it” for Bill and Cathy Buckler - the CaptainS of The Privateer. Before we do anything else, we are going to take a complete break. But further down the road, who knows what may happen. All we can say for now is that if and when we make any plans for getting back into some type of writing in the future - you will be the first to know.

Now - let’s all of us sit back and watch what happens.

 

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Sat, 05/04/2013 - 18:34 | 3530605 Aeternus
Aeternus's picture

Farewell Bill....... Your work is done, rest easy.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deuC8GPr31A

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 18:37 | 3530610 ihedgemyhedges
ihedgemyhedges's picture

You fought a good fight.  Time to sail off in to the sunset.......

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 18:57 | 3530632 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

"The global paper currency system is very young. It depends for its continued functioning on the BELIEF that the debt upon which it is based will, someday, be repaid. The one thing, above all others, that could shake that faith, and therefore the foundations of the modern financial system itself, is a rise (especially a sharp rise) in the U.S. Dollar price of Gold."
Bill Buckler, The Privateer, 2006

Good luck Bill and Cathy. Thanks for years of good guidance.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:09 | 3530644 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Hail and well met.

If only the rest of the media had a tenth of the honesty, or class...

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:48 | 3530703 Cheesy Bastard
Cheesy Bastard's picture

Fair winds and following seas and long may your big jib draw!

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:07 | 3530732 gtb
gtb's picture

Navy man?

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:10 | 3530833 Cheesy Bastard
Cheesy Bastard's picture

More of a navel man, actually.  Mrs. Cheesy has a beautiful innie.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:24 | 3530758 GoldForCash
GoldForCash's picture

Bill and Cathy May you Tack in your desired direction forever.....

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 18:44 | 3530617 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Godspeed Capt'n Bill and First Mate Cathy.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 18:50 | 3530626 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"There is no such thing as the ‘right’ to anything produced by another person's effort."

No truer words were ever spoken.

Fair winds Cap'n!

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:10 | 3530838 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Yeah, I am going to miss him too.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 00:59 | 3531355 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

From a former subscriber for a few years in the 2000s-- THANK YOU Bill and Cathy.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:55 | 3530937 chindit13
chindit13's picture

While I agree with you, I also appreciate that this sentiment is quite definitely a Western concept.  At the heart of many other cultures, each of which is different from the other (e.g., Japan, India, China), such sentiment is not considered "true".  With the way the worldly winds are now blowing, we will get to see which philosophy "Darwin" chooses.  Abe's recent comments suggest a change in Japan well away from the individual, especially if those individuals are women, and generally if one is not of the Emperor class.  India might see a re-emergence of the Hindu-nationalist, caste-embracing BJP, which definitely and absolutely believes some---by virtue of their exalted (re)birth---have a right to what is produced by another person's effort.  China has the system down best, where "for the good of society and the people" is an effective way of saying "what my Party and my cronies want we will get in spades".  Even Mohammed Mahathir of Malaysia double-talked it by calling it "Asian Family Values" (note the net worth of his family and you can see the unintended joke).

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 22:18 | 3530981 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

China's system sounds familiar.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 09:59 | 3531851 Melin
Melin's picture

It is neither a "Western" sentiment nor belief that makes a statement true.

To state that an individual has a right to their own life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness is to state a fact of reality based on the nature of human beings. We have to think in order to act and survive and no one can think for us. Just because individuals in "The West" discovered this fact of reality, does not make it a mere cultural phenomenon.

You may believe you are "free" to put a gun to my back and steal my home but no such freedom exists. Imagine a society where everyone held that belief.  Only death and destruction would follow.

We are free to give up our rights; we are not free to violate another's rights.

That most cultures find it fun and profitable to systematically violate the rights of individuals does not alter the fact that each individual human being has the right to (because they must) think for themself and must act based on their own judgment.

Ideas matter because reality exists independent of them.  Ideas either correspond to the facts of reality or they do not.  The ideas held by individuals in any culture are subject to error; i.e., they can fail to correctly identify the facts of reality; in this case the nature of man's rights.

 

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 22:29 | 3533319 kkam
kkam's picture

I don't know where you get this utterly wrong idea. I am an Indian living and working for a long time in China/Japan and my observation at the individual level is that the Captain's statement is as true here as it is anywhere. Your opinion seems to be formed by the stereotypes repeated by western media. India and China have had lousy governments for a long time and as a result individuals have figured out ways of getting the govt out of their daily lives as much as possible. China today is closer to a true capitalist society than almost all western nations. Indians just ignore the laws that their stupid govt imposes. Your statement about the BJP is complete nonsense. It's just another political party trying to win power.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 18:59 | 3530630 The Second Rule
The Second Rule's picture

So called "free markets" have brought humanity to the edge of the abyss. Fuck "free markets" and good riddance.

 

and that's me being polite

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:18 | 3530656 The Second Rule
The Second Rule's picture

I don't give a shit if I get 1000 thumbs down. I'm right about this. And you. are. not.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:28 | 3530669 paulbain
paulbain's picture

==================

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently, "Million Dollar Bonus" (MDB) has changed his moniker to "The Second Rule." I wonder whether MDB was formerly known as "Math Man" or "Robot Trader." Does anyone still remember Math Man??

-- Paul D. Bain

PaulBain@PObox.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

=======================

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:36 | 3530684 The Second Rule
The Second Rule's picture

You know what...go fuck yourself ASShole. There was nothing ironic, or sarcastic, or sardonic in my post. I spoke from the heart. Apparently something you and MDB both lack. And oh yeah, FUCK FREE MARKETS!

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 22:38 | 3531009 Proofreder
Proofreder's picture

It seems quite apparant that both heart and mind are full of shit.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:44 | 3530693 The Second Rule
The Second Rule's picture

I am in favor of "FAIR MARKETS" not TPTB so-called "FREE MARKETS." What's the difference? Well, if you have to ask that question you are probably way in over your head to begin with.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:51 | 3530786 TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

And it would be certain (at least in your mind, second rule) that it is you who is educated enough to determine what fair in a "fair market" would be. 

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:12 | 3530843 The Second Rule
The Second Rule's picture

Thanks for the softball buddy. Fucking A right I would implement some changes. starting number #1 with China. You want to make dirty steel with dirty coal-fired power and put Americans out of work. Hey. solly Chally. New day. New fucking deal. 100% tariffs on your dirty steel. Ooh. Hurtz donut?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7P7BFBWQ1E

 

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:56 | 3530941 TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

So raising tariffs on imports is such a new deal? Now how, if history is any guide, might that work out?   

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 00:19 | 3531270 Jon Bong Jovi
Jon Bong Jovi's picture

What are you a 19 yo undergrad econ or "business administration" major at some podunk state school? You definitely sound like one.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 20:21 | 3533052 Ludwig Van
Ludwig Van's picture

Bravo, Second Rule. I don't think these guys get it; they just want to *talk* about the shit.

"2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about FIGHT CLUB."

I appreciate your effort. Now with all most due respect,

GO FUCK YOURSELF...

and, uh, have a nice day!

.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 04:03 | 3531536 Think for yourself
Think for yourself's picture

Looks like you don't know who you're talking to. If you want to be found to have any rational authority round these parts, you'll have to get some communication manners. This confrontational attitude you're showing along with youtube-level discourse is not constructive to the discussion, so just take a deep breath, okay?

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 12:01 | 3532070 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

Tell that to the bitcoin haters.. the only reason you think this place is civil is that 90% of the commenters left nod in unison

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:21 | 3530753 Bugsquasher
Bugsquasher's picture

You obviously have no clue how the concepts of free markets and political freedom are inexorably linked.  If you can't figure that out with an alleged IQ of 150 I.d question the placement of the decimal point.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:54 | 3530769 The Second Rule
The Second Rule's picture

Let's say for the sake of argument you're right. Here's what this sub-genius with a 15 IQ (decimal adjusted) would do. Number one: Close the borders and stop ALL immigration. I mean all of it. H1b visas in particular. Two: ALL trades on NASDAQ, NYSE, SPX, COMEX, et al must be FOR A MINIMUM OF 24 HOURS. Three (a & b): Decriminalize no risk drugs like pot, and the world's oldest profession--in fact I'd insist on a Whore's Union. Four: Cut the military budget by 1/2 as of yesterday. Five: Restore the rights that were stripped from us with the Patriot's Act 1 & 2. Six: Repeal NDAA. Seven: Dismantle the NSA Data Center in Utah,

So you tell me...friendo. Am I an idiot?

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:56 | 3530887 honestann
honestann's picture

A thoroughly corrupt system cannot be fixed by tweaks.  And the negative consequences of pretending fictions are real are not eliminated by taking the fictions even more seriously.

All nations are fictions.  Thus all national borders are fictions (while real, physical geographic features are of course quite real).  A solution that says "close the borders" is therefore nonsense.  Perhaps as an alternative you'll stop telling animals where on this planet they can and cannot travel, and settle for something like, well, how about this: nobody gets freebies financed by others ("nobody" would include those folks you consider "foreigners").

Good idea to stop criminalization of pot and a few other assorted molecules, but you can't stop there without setting yourself (or someone else) up as "dictator of humanity".  After all, someone needs to decide which molecules pass the test, which don't, and which test is momentarily chosen before it becomes completely corrupted by payoffs and elections.  So how about just letting people take whatever they want, and letting them enjoy/bare/suffer all the consequences of their choices, including whatever expenses are involved.

Now you swing full-bore to the authoritarian side and mandate AKA dictate that some union be created.

Cut the military budget by 100%.  Where do you get off by telling anyone else they must pay for the level of "military" that you deem appropriate?  If those of you who want a "military" buy weapons and ammo, then train yourselves, that sounds like a wise alternative that doesn't require you convert anyone else into your slaves.

Forget the "rights" that were "stripped away" by "patriot acts".  Why?  Because you must first recognize that "rights" are a fiction, and even in terms of your own deluded ideas about how "government" exists, those rights cannot be "stripped away" without ammending the constitution, which was never done (yet you accept it as done, which is completely contradictory).

Once you understand that no "government" or "authority" or "official" has ever existed in this universe, you will be able to direct your 150 IQ brain to untangle the tangled mess in your brain.  Once you throw off the endless fictions and understand that "none of that exists", and that all that exists is the real, physical universe, including real, physical animals (including human beings), you can probably get your brain to cope with the modest complexity that remains (namely, reality).

And all you had to give up was... stuff that never existed in the first place, and therefore had no justification to confuse your thinking so badly in the first place.  But you, like many 200 IQ thinkers, have not bothered to question your most basic and fundamental premises.  And no IQ is sufficient to untangle a massively complex web of self-constradictions, no matter how many geniuses you assign to the problem, and no matter how many millennia you try, and no matter how many billions of people your fellow geniuses destroy in the process.

You're plenty smart enough.  You're just confused.  And lots of very smart people are very confused indeed.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 12:49 | 3532059 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

I beg to differ- a thoroughly corrupt system can fixed by tweaks, if one has the luxury of time, precisely because most systems are corrupted by tweaks over time.

Unfortunately, time is a luxury in short supply relative to its demand for the current challenges.

Political systems as static constructions serve only as monuments to the failures of their architects.  A boat is a fitting analogy, it is designed, then built, then put out to sea.  On the open sea- a helmsman invariably loses his course and bearings when he develops the hubris that he can read the waves and adjust the rudder to maintain a desired bearing and doesn't need a compass and constant as guides.  The error arises slowly and by increment and becomes obvious over time.  The challenge of the cursed Ship of State is that it cannot be dry docked, so repairs and alterations must be performed on the open water.


 

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 00:55 | 3531350 King_Julian
King_Julian's picture

You lost me. Those bitches don't need a union. Open shop on pussy or I'm out. Last thing you want in that business are union rules!

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 01:15 | 3531379 defender
defender's picture

I am going to say some things.  They aren't attacks, so please take the time to consider them without lashing out.

You are obviously young, this means that you don't have the experience to see what is affected by these changes. 

Steel is made in China because we, as a nation, have decided that it is OK to pollute as long as we can't see it.  The same is true of rare earth elements.  Bringing them back to the US also brings the pollution with it.  It also brings about a storage problem, because we now have to find places to hold the literal mountains of iron ore, the constantly increasing mountains of refining waste, and the much smaller mountains of manufactured steel.  This also ignores the shipping of all of these mountains to an acceptable location.

Immigration, historically, can be linked to the increase in the wealth and prosperity of a nation.  The nations that have no immigration tend to stagnate.  Also, the immigrants that we have here send money to their families back in the mother land.  If this stops, the inflation that we are currently shipping to the rest of the world will land squarely on our pocket books.  These immigrants are also doing jobs that most americans won't touch with a ten foot pole.  Lets be honest, who wants to spend 10 hours a day bent over, picking strawberries for low pay?  Are you ready for the increase in cost to all of your basic food items that this will cause?  And even if you are, the retired granny down the street won't be making a penny more, how will she pay for it?

As far as pot goes, what are we going to do with all of the inmates that have been turned into hardened criminals from 5 years of hanging out with Boris the Blade in prison?  What about all of the legal contracts that the states have signed with the corporations that run these prisons that demand that they must stay full?  Finally, there aren't enough jobs to go around now, what happens when an extra 1% of the working population tries to enter the workforce?

Whores?  Well I don't really want to touch the topic, but they are known for carrying disease, and being linked to all of the shady parts of society (mob et al.).

The military budget would be where the wheels fall off of the wagon.  Simply put, the military spending touches almost every facet of american life.  Plus, all of the people who are currently employed by the military-industrial-complex would have to find new jobs.  By cutting the budget in half, we are talking millions of people looking for work, and not getting paid.  By the time you add everything up, it is likely that the % hit to the economy would be large enough to classify as a depression, not even considering the nations current malaise.

 

Well, that took enough of my time so I will stop there.  I don't think that the ideas are bad, but I know for a fact that you didn't consider any of the consequences of these actions.  This is why everyone is attacking you, because your arrogance won't allow you to even consider if you are wrong, or worse yet, that doing the right thing might cause absolute disaster to fall on the entire world.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:30 | 3530879 tsx500
tsx500's picture

      Into the pit stepped Second Rule

      Spewing much nonsense & drool

      He made not good sense

      And seemed rather dense

      And everyone laughed at this tool !!

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 20:33 | 3533081 Ludwig Van
Ludwig Van's picture

He just came here to fight, man. Nothin' wrong with that.

Get a clue. Look up his handle.

.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 01:35 | 3531407 Blues Traveler
Blues Traveler's picture

You recieve negative marks bc your thoughts lack lucidity, dig deeper. Its a human issue not capitalism.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 03:19 | 3531512 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

Please try the following experiment:  try holding your breathe until you pass out.  Or better, use a plastic bag over your head-unlike the author you won't be missed on this site.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 04:17 | 3531545 Think for yourself
Think for yourself's picture

Suggested prescription: Not until passing out, but close. Take a deep breath. Keep it. Get some more air. Keep it.

Keep it.

Maybe sip a little bit more air?

Keep it.

.

.

A little bit longer. Maybe check your posture.

.

Release slowly, without any hitch in the outflow. Exhale completely.

Breathe back in, deeply, and have a breath or two at your own rythm.

Have a few more cycles if you want.

Enjoy!

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 04:39 | 3531556 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Is that called "Kinda Blue"?

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 04:43 | 3531559 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

Or kinda "blue shoots"?

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 03:26 | 3531515 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

In ancient times during the time of socrates they argued and debated without reservation, none of em ever said "i've got a degree in soothsaying and reading goat entrails so my argument carries more weight"

Shared data, analysis and debate is more conducive to freeing other minds and improving your own than ranting about how smart you are to satisfy your bruised ego.

P.S.

I actually agree with you about free markets, its just that rants like yours demean the debate.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 03:33 | 3531520 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

With knowledge comes doubt - inevitably.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 04:29 | 3531553 Think for yourself
Think for yourself's picture

There you have it.

The level of discourse we've seen is not up to par and just drags down entire subthreads.

Generally, those who mean well and want to communicate in the realm of ideas are interested in studying the Trivium, that is, Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric. Only once he applies this understanding will he become aware of his previous ways with language...

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 10:50 | 3531942 Melin
Melin's picture

You can't legitimately bid "good riddance" to something you've never had.

Your desire to be controlled by others has been answered.  No need to keep screaming for moar control; it is complete.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:25 | 3530664 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

You missed the point:  it's the ignorance of people like you that's taken us to the edge.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:33 | 3530678 The Second Rule
The Second Rule's picture

Ignorance of people like me huh? 150 IQ. Two college degrees in science, not basket weaving multicul bullshit. Yeah, I'm the Idiocrat that has brought down society. You know what? You convinced me. Maybe I should squirt out half a dozen Honey Boo Boos and join the rest of our retard short-bus society, and escape further criticism and rebuke. Is that your brilliant idea? Truth doesn't give a fuck about your beliefs and prejudices. But yeah, I'm the "ignorant" guy.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:32 | 3530749 true brain
true brain's picture

Free market by definition is fair market.

You 150 IQ, two college degrees from community college. Don't think so. You sound like my gardener, Jose. and look like him too. fuck you first.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:59 | 3530803 Sparkey
Sparkey's picture

Stupid people tell others how smart they are!

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 23:25 | 3531127 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

Stupid people always feel the need to tell others how smart they are...

There...fixed it for ya.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 09:47 | 3531826 Deo vindice
Deo vindice's picture

Some people do not understand there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. True knowledge is the foundation of wisdom - which is the application of that knowledge.

You can have knowledge without wisdom, but you cannot have wisdom without knowledge, and that knowledge must be true (factual).

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:37 | 3530894 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Don't you think it's a tad disingenuous to come on here anonymously whilst extolling your academic credentials and supposed IQ?

 

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 22:11 | 3530967 honestann
honestann's picture

Time for the 3rd degree from the school of hard knocks.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 00:18 | 3531281 Jon Bong Jovi
Jon Bong Jovi's picture

Go get laid. You sound like you're not getting enough pussy. Jizz backup is clouding your thinking.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 05:16 | 3531561 Think for yourself
Think for yourself's picture

150 IQ?

So what? Welcome where you're a 1 sigma event.

You might have aquired lots of information in science, but never went as far as the integration of that pile of stuff into actual knowledge.

You need to take a deep breath, look at what you've been writing so far and ask yourself if any of what you've said helped in anyway the progress of the general discussion taking place.

Did it serve anybody except yourself? Your "I Me My" that attempts to legitimize itself by taking on a role. Right now you're being the guy on a generally serious and good-hearted, productive board who comes in and puts on a show about justifying his credentials before having yet fulfilled any of the generally accepted requirements that would define useful discourse. Before bringing something to the table.

But then you might just be a troll. Who'd care then? People around here pay lots of respect to the concept behind my alias and do so quite beautifully if I might add. So I'm not worried. But if you're not ill-meaning, then please notice that the blatant anger and aggression in your tone is completely counterproductive to the aforementioned discussion.

Take another breath, and now maybe take some time as you read a handful of articles, maybe a dozen over a week, and pay attention to the comments too. Understand that this place is not somewhere you can "fake it 'till you make it", because delivering the dialectical goods is what matters.

So be humble about it (we all have to) and learn. Share in due time, accordingly to growth. Don't go thinking that you know everything. Keep that in mind (we all have to). Relax.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:09 | 3530717 ToNYC
ToNYC's picture

Stalin liked how you think. Get the First Rule to waste the Second Rule.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:15 | 3530739 The Second Rule
The Second Rule's picture

Yeah, well again, the absence of your argument is conspicuously absent. This idea that we are supposed to bow down before free makets like it's some kind of Golden Calf is nothing short of idolatry. I mean seriously dude. Let's put the rhetoric aside for the moment. You honestly don't see that? Take a breath. Take two breaths. You honestly don't see that this slave worship of Capitalism and Free Markets is not just another form of religious idolatry? I'm asking a serious question and I hope to get a serious answer, not just a piece of snark, which apparently is all the ZH community can do these days. So what say you?

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:20 | 3530750 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Well, it looks like you are trying to draw some distinction between "fair markets" and free markets. In a "fair market" are there winners & losers? If there are losers, is that fair to them or free?

Maybe it would help if you describe your vision of what is fair.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:32 | 3530760 honestann
honestann's picture

Just to make sure you understand.  A "free market" is what exists when every human being can look any and every other human being on earth straight in the face and see one in the exact same position of authority as himself, namely "I have no authority over them, and they have no authority over me".

Once this background exists, then two types of human interactions exist:

#1:  predatory == involuntary, coersion

#2:  free market == fully voluntary, no coersion

Note that #2 is also called "individualism" and "productive".

Also note that in circumstance #1, the way to deal with human predators is the same as any other species of predator, namely a bullet.

Also note that in circumstance #2, the only way to deal with human individuals is by fully voluntary means, never coersion or force.

Do you realize you side with the predators?  Do you fully understand the serious consequences of your choice?

What is called a "free market" today bears almost zero relationship to #2, which is a free market.  What do you expect predators to do?  Admit free markets are good, and their modus-operandi of "get away with anything they can" is putrid evil?

BTW, show us one of those actually "free markets" that you refer-to.  Most ZH folks will immediately move there.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:17 | 3530853 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

A salute to you, honestann, one of our greats.  Any true "free market" (outside of the polar wastelands anyway), and I am there in three weeks...

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 22:09 | 3530956 honestann
honestann's picture

I'll try to arrive in two weeks so I can greet you at the... door?  coast?  Frankly, it'll have to be an airlock.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 22:26 | 3530993 chindit13
chindit13's picture

I admire your positivism, but I can't seem to find any example in human--or even mammalian---history where every being could look at all others and see none had authority over any other.  It's a noble goal, to be sure, but in practice it never seems to happen.  Dogs have pack leaders, humans have social strata, sometimes informal (listen and watch two Japanese speak to each other, see which one instinctively uses the more formal and respectful version of the language, and which one bows most deeply) and sometimes quite formal (India's Caste System).  I'd love that we all evolve, but that beautiful concept of total human equality is still rather young, and as I wrote in response to nmewn above, different parts of the world currently are heading in polar opposite directions.

"The Second Rule" is getting hammered here, but I suspect (though I can't speak for him) what he is getting at is that the reality of "free markets" means human nature (i.e., the historical record of how we tend to behave toward each other) tends to obviate fairness.  While I love and support the concept of "no authority", that almost seems to be like one those economist's assumptions that, while the assumptions never actually exist in fact, form the foundation of the economist's theory.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 00:07 | 3531243 honestann
honestann's picture

Sure, that bugs the hell out of me too.

But if nobody ever realizes that not a single authority exists in this universe, how will they learn to ignore or reject so-called authorities, or learn to defend themselves against authoritarian predators?

All I (or we) can do is point out the non-obvious, and hope enough people realize it is correct, and explain to others, and so forth.  Humans cannot evolve intellectually as long as their brains are crammed full of inherently irresolvable contradictions and absurdities.  Humans are smart enough to cope with the complexities of reality, but not with unending contradictory fictions.

About your last paragraph.  I suppose my attempts to further clarify ways of expressing ideas can sound like criticisms, when my intent is only to clarify and elaborate because otherwise the less precise formulations will hold back human beings indefinitely.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 03:48 | 3531527 Victorio
Victorio's picture

My brain just got a hard on.

sorry, was that tmi?

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 03:54 | 3531531 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

Three Mile Island? Please, don't mention it ...

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 05:07 | 3531568 Think for yourself
Think for yourself's picture

One can also note that the human nature indirectly referred to is mostly environmentally conditioned.

I have reason to think that some of us want to live up to our name of Homo Sapiens Sapiens. That is not only the man who knows but rather the man who knows he knows - he who is conscious of thought.

Mindful consideration of one's field of potential and actual decisions allows us to process these contradictions and access a more integral truth. It is conscious Work.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 23:17 | 3533374 honestann
honestann's picture

Now you understand what my life is about.  Except my focus is now on inorganic consciousness that is smarter than human consciousness.

Great to hear someone say what you said.

Probably the single most fundamental reason our inorganic consciousness implementation will be smarter than humans is precisely the issue you addressed.  The core elements of the architecture make sure the consciousness is aware of the status of every mental unit, and every referent of every mental unit, as well as itself and its own processes.

Just keeping the fundamentals straight makes a huge, huge difference as it turns out, which I try to express in many of my ZH posts.  It is very gratifying that someone out there understands!

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 23:07 | 3531038 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

I hate to inform you but you'll never have a full #1 or #2 they are just the extreme ends of the spectrum. Things will always fluctuate somewhere between how far depends on the people themselves and what they are taught and value. The problem isn't the politicians or economists it is the people who have been trained to accept predatory as they only way to go. Garbage in, garbage out they are just pre-trained dogs by the time they get into positions of power. It is hammered into people's heads in school on TV in the popular culture. You change the culture and the control mechanisms the pendulum swings back towards free markets unless these socialist types who want to go as far to #1 as possible are able to fully destroy the economy and US dollar. The only thing holding them back from full out destruction is people here are armed to the teeth and they are genuinely afraid people will shoot them if they go too far to quickly without having a paramilitary police force strong enough to deal with that. Socialism is just Communism waiting to happen once the people are disarmed. If they've become too entrenched  outright rebellion or splitting the country into 2 might be the only option left. I suspect we are going to find out one way or the other before the Oero's term is up at this rate.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 01:09 | 3531278 honestann
honestann's picture

Oh, I know perfectly well that we will not see a sane world come to be.  That's why I often say "humans are finished" in my ZH messages.  I believe that's true.  However, I hold out the possibility that a tiny sliver of mankind (or at least sentience) can escape this planet, and indeed achieve the kind of "free market" (meaning "voluntary, non-coersive") existence in outer space.  This is because outer space cannot be controlled by any central authority, strictly due to the nature of reality on the scale of a solar-system and beyond.

So yes, I'm as pessimistic as anyone that "we can fix this".  Only when earth has a frontier for the more independent and brave to escape to is there any chance of voluntary human interaction without domination by predators-DBA-government and predators-DBA-authorities of various kinds.  Since earth has more-or-less run out of frontiers, the only hope is getting into outer space.  As much as I would love to believe that lovers of liberty [with guns] will stop the predators and authorities, I honestly believe they are too confused to act strongly, coherently and decisively enough upon their principles.  So I do believe, humans on this earth are indeed finished, with only the sad details remaining to be written.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 01:37 | 3531409 defender
defender's picture

Unfortunately, space wouldn't make a difference.  The center of this dilemma is that people have desire, and the only way to check (stop) desire is to use force.  Worse, some people have no moral compulsion, and therefore find it acceptable to slowly cut you into little pieces just to get that 326th condo.  If you stop and think about it, there is no way to keep these people from destroying the entire system without having force available and actively used in a system.

What happens when one of these people is born into your "free market" space ships?  Do you throw them out of the air lock?  How is that not tyranny?

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 01:56 | 3531434 honestann
honestann's picture

If you're asking for utopia, you won't find it in space any more than on earth.  And you won't find some magic radiation that prevents humans from becoming individual predators.  They will need to be dealt with as a predator of any other species is dealt with.  An airlock is indeed much better in a spaceship than a bullet.  Furthermore, to defend oneself against a predator is not tyranny!

What you won't have is any predator establishment that can tax or control individuals all over the solar system (like a government).  The reason is, it is incredibly easy to become virtually impossible to find in the solar system, and any attempt to find or force anyone would cost vastly more than the predators could hope to collect from them.  Thus the modus-operandi that works on earth, doesn't work in outer space.

Look at this another way, analogous to earth in past times when frontiers existed, and the most brave, confident, indepenent humans could (and did) just leave and live life on their own.  This no longer works, because the frontiers on earth are consumed.

But this does work in outer space, and vastly better than it did on earth.  This does presume inexpensive FTL cannot be invented, but that seems quite likely.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 04:04 | 3531537 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

Just remember "Silent Running". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067756/

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 00:23 | 3531293 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

The "Free Market" you define could also include a Wild West, or Frontier Market.  While "free" and "voluntary", a person would be nuts to participate -- without additional Rules of the Road, to protect the honest players from the parasitic and crooked players. 

Ideally, for TRUE/ACCURATE price discovery to occur, the buyers would have (a) Accurate and (b) Complete information for an INFORMED decision.  Otherwise you're back at the Poker table at the Saloon.  :-)

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 01:33 | 3531404 honestann
honestann's picture

That's pretty much true, but perhaps "honesty" is that "rule of the road" that you're looking for and need to feel secure.  After all, humans can't have any voluntary interactions if they don't know what those interactions are.

So if you exchange "good #1" for "good #2", both of you need to state what are those "good #1" and "good #2"?  Are those "chicken eggs" or "rocks from the creek near your house"?

So I don't really see a difference here.  A voluntary interaction is voluntary (and means those involved know what the interaction is), and more to the point today, no extraneous parties are involved (collecting "sales tax" in order to protect you from unspecified potential terrorists, for example).

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 03:18 | 3531507 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

Pardon me for saying so but how is capitalism or free markets not predatory?

Monopoly is inevitible without regulation, look at the USA.

Buffet owns all the trains so cock bros build a pipeline.

Enron get power stations shut down to increase profits.

Judges are paid retainers by prison complexes to send kids to jail.

Lobbyists bribe elected officials to pervert/corrupt legislation.

Arms companies spread production over as many states as possible to ensure no one state can defy them.

I'm all for free markets without corruption, is that ever possible?

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 06:31 | 3531615 noless
noless's picture

Bro, do you even rta?

How is the system we live under capitalism? Especially with that whole unbacked fiat currency thing?

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 22:07 | 3533273 honestann
honestann's picture

As I have said recently, free markets cannot co-exist with authority.  It just can't happen, as a first order necessity.  If any individual has authority over you, or you have authority over any other individual, that is the exact opposite of "free" or "free market" or "voluntary" or "non-coersive".

All those power structures you refer-to are opposite of free-market.  I have to admit that I have always disliked the term "capitalism", but only because the term isn't self-explanatory (for me), so let's just discuss "free markets".

Let me answer your final question in a very serious way.  You will find the following comment similar to several of my recent messages in ZH over the past week or so.

There is no way large quantities of human interactions will exist without corruption and without predatory behavior by individual humans.  To even imagine the situation you pose would require that someone literally remove the capacity for choice and volition from all human beings.  So let's be adult and not even discuss such fantasy, okay?

What has to happen, if mankind is to ever have a chance, is for humans to understand that no individual has authority over any other individual.  Period.  No exceptions.  None whatsoever.  Then humans need to start acting on the basis of this understanding.

Once this background exists (which is what a "free market" is), two kinds of human interactions exist:

#1:  voluntary, non-coersive, free-market
#2:  involuntary, coersive, predatory

So, what should people do about the fact that some people continue to act as predators even after humans finally understand that no authority exists in this universe, and that these two choices exist?

Simple.  Treat humans who act as predators as you would treat predators of any species... with a bullet, perhaps.  Treat humans who act as non-predators as friends, neighbors, collaborators or anything else you can agree upon with them.

That's it.  That's all there is.  No authorities, just humans.  Humans acting as predators, who get eliminated sooner or later, and humans acting as producers, who everyone benefits from in some tiny way, or at least is not directly harmed by.  That's it.  That's all there is.

The current state of the world is so totally confused that virtually nobody can untangle the simple facts that I present above.  Just start by realizing the obvious fact that no authority exists in this universe, and that no authority can exist in this universe.  Sure, humans claim all sorts of things that don't exist, from SantaClaus to ToothFairy to hundreds of so-called "governments" and so forth.  But false claims aren't reality, they are lies.  SantaClaus does not exist, and all the wishing and all the belief of billions of kids (and adults) does not change that fact.  Likewise, no authority exists in this universe or on this planet, and all the wishing and all the belief of 7 billion sheeple-chimps does not change that fact.

That's all there is to it.  Not kidding.

PS:  Drop all the fancy words and abstract fictions.  Just about all they do is confuse people, which is indeed their primary application these days.  All that exists is the real, physical universe, which includes real physical plants and animals, which includes individual human beings.  That's all there is.  All abstractions are simply [potentially useful in sane brains] thinking tools to help a consciousness formulate and retain similarities we encounter in reality.  But an abstraction is only a mental unit, not an existent outside your brain.  So, until you learn to think only about real existents, and fully abandon confusing abstractions, stick to reality.  After a few years of practice, and with lots of care, the human mind can begin to cope with abstractions effectively... though only as long as they understand what is real, what is fiction, what is abstraction, and what is the nature of each existent [and abstraction] they encounter.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:08 | 3530829 Sparkey
Sparkey's picture

The worship of `Capitalism and ~Freemarkets~, is cultish idolitary, it is also a sop for the Masses to be distracted by,, the real power rests with the Mammonists, unlike many other disciplines, Mammon rewards it's true Priests with the very money they Worship, good or bad, it works for them and they opitimize the Golden Rule (They with the Gold make the Rules).

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 06:33 | 3531618 noless
noless's picture

Free markets are the absence of abuse and coercion, not the worship of money and greed..

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:21 | 3530862 A. Magnus
A. Magnus's picture

The only free market is the black market, and even that one has inherent costs. You sir, are a trivial blowhard, most likely one sent here on a Cass Sunstein memorial 'Dissident Cognitive Infiltration' contract to waste everybody's time with this inane banter. Who the fuck cares what your beef with the supposed free market is? How does that enrich ANYBODY's life, including your own?

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 03:02 | 3531492 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

If people are no longer motivated by fear and greed then free markets will disappear.

Remember free markets for americans are sacrosanct, for everyone else in the world 'free markets' are what you get once america has bombed your country and installed a puppet regime.

Like the free market that haliburton installed in iraq where they washed your smalls for 17$ per pair and where ignorant fat-assed truck drivers were paid four times what the american troops guarding them were paid, those are free markets.

So different people see it as different things.

To you its syonymous with capitalism, to most it means corruption.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 20:36 | 3533085 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

in countries where governments and legal systems exist..free markets exist where crime goes unpunished ...or...you don't get caught

have you been to jail?

 

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:15 | 3530745 Bugsquasher
Bugsquasher's picture

No that's you being a completely cluless idiot.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 08:51 | 3531738 Oldballplayer
Oldballplayer's picture

The free market works pretty well if you have something to offer the other person.

I guess that's why you think it sucks.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:02 | 3530634 pocomotion
pocomotion's picture

You guys were always true to your course.  Sail-on sailor...  Well done in this short-lived life.

 

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:10 | 3530642 Rustysilver
Rustysilver's picture

Newspapers have been writing at the 8th grade comprehension level for the last 25 years if not more. Otherwise what would be the  point of me buying them.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:11 | 3530647 The Second Rule
The Second Rule's picture

Wow. That's being uber-generous. Here's an 8th grade final exam from 1895. How much do you comprehend?

http://www.salina.com/1895test/

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:45 | 3530696 Rustysilver
Rustysilver's picture

I worked in a hospital (cancer center). I ran across some document showing the knowledge and skills of doctors prior to WW I, very scary.

In fact, if you go back and look at the technology(i.e., imaging) 10 years or older it looks very primitive.

Contrast that with the space program, using slide rules to compute orbital dynamics, very impressive.

 

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:58 | 3530714 The Second Rule
The Second Rule's picture

I genuinely believe society is in retrograde. Yes, we all have iPhones and can look up shit whenever we want, but that in and of itself is part of the problem. Memory is no longer cultivated, and without memory you cannot have intelligence.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:17 | 3530737 Eireann go Brach
Eireann go Brach's picture

The Second Rule is a little upset because Barney Frank stuck a gerbil up his arse last night, and now the gerbil is talking shit out his mouth!

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:21 | 3530752 The Second Rule
The Second Rule's picture

Whatever. Make all the gerbil jokes you want. NONE of you have provided even one significant and/or substantial counterargument in support of FREE MARKETS. And you know what that leads me to believe?

YOU DON"T HAVE ONE. QED.

So fuck off you intellectual pigmies

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:05 | 3530822 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

How's this?

Your a rude idiot trying to sell a bucket of SHIT.

And nobodies buying.

Free & fair trade. No deal.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:10 | 3530834 fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture

12 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

Proverbs 26
King James Bible

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 05:21 | 3531574 Think for yourself
Think for yourself's picture

You did not get down-rated because we disagree with you. Masses of people around here love to hang around such discussions.

But the way you talk about it is wrong. We can see you don't live the truth you preach. We are judging you by your fruits, and I don't see any healthy one rooted in any of your sub-threads (except those of people rebutting your mindset, and I am grateful for that opportunity). 

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 06:41 | 3531623 noless
noless's picture

I generally use the home pc model when i explain intelligence. Cpu, ram, and hard disk, it's possible to have very useful configurations that are lacking in one of those aspects, better to have them about in line with each other, and useless to have one component that is extremely over powered in comparison to the others. I'm not going to go into this in any real depth at this particular moment however...

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 06:43 | 3531626 noless
noless's picture

How does someone go about having their iq tested? Do i contact Mensa? Can i be drunk?

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:12 | 3530648 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

I never knew ye, but am glad that you've explained what money is and isn't. Regrettably, this won't stop the dim-witted and chronically stubborn from sticking to their understanding of money. [sigh]

For those who simply refuse to learn and evolve, well, I hope that Darwinism takes a real liking to your assets.

To the Cap'n... Sail thee swell, and fare thee well. May the sun shine on your face and the breeze blow on your back.

Kirk out.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:12 | 3530649 Maestro Maestro
Maestro Maestro's picture

The only writer who was never wrong about anything, to the best of my knowledge. We're on our own now.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:14 | 3530653 LoneStarHog
LoneStarHog's picture

Oh Great!...Now the asylum is totally left to the criminally insane...Just Great!

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:26 | 3530667 Carpathia
Carpathia's picture

Thank you Bill and Cathy.  Our society lionizes freedom of expression.  But God help anyone who exposes our emporor is being buck naked.  Gold and silver represent wealth that is independent of the powers that be.  It's no wonder that they need to control precious metals and will even resort to outlawing their possession.  I choose to not be a debt slave and to possess wealth outside of their control.  I still want to be free.

 

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:35 | 3530680 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

San Jose Mercury Herald in October 1916 reported on a speech by Charles F Aked (relating to liquor laws)

That is all that the criminal wants of the law—to be let alone. The sin of doing nothing is the deadliest of all the seven sins. It has been said that for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing.”

best to remain optimistic that 30 years of common sense has not resulted in the re-embracing of the constitution..but anyway..good bye and thanks for all the fish..

:>)

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 23:51 | 3531212 EvlTheCat
EvlTheCat's picture

+42 for the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy reference! :)

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 05:23 | 3531576 Think for yourself
Think for yourself's picture

"Hey, look, I feel validated because I've read HHGTTG too!" 

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 05:30 | 3531584 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

So, here's to stinkin' rich! Pangalactic Gargleblaster:

http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Pan_Galactic_Gargle_Blaster

 

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 04:20 | 3533568 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

i was more along these lines, just prior to the earth being blown up to make way for a space highway..(a bit like the earth being impoverished by central banks!)

http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Dolphins

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 08:58 | 3531694 EvlTheCat
EvlTheCat's picture

Hey, look, another emasculated, opinionated, asshole trolling on the Internet.  Go figure.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 10:34 | 3531913 Think for yourself
Think for yourself's picture

http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Boy-That-Escalated-Quickly-Anchorman.gif

 

Sorry if the comment I made was bitchy. It had to be in order to underline what I was showing.

Which is, your comment brought nothing to the table except that anonymous quest for validation. I only intended to help you notice, and it's nothing personal, so put the insults down before somebody gets hurt.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 14:02 | 3532154 EvlTheCat
EvlTheCat's picture

I bring nothing to the table???  Your silly need to point out my "quest for validation" is a complete and utter waste.  Especially since the reply was not directed at you.  What I find funny about this exchange is, people use to have discussions about any type of literature.  Benjamin Franklin was know for his discussion circles around the literature of his day.  The quote in the above article made me think of his autobiography, and so I figure what would it hurt to try and strike up a conversation with the only person who quoted a book in their comment.  At least, the only one I saw at the time.  Striking up a conversation, with another human being, is sometimes as easy as making a simple comment of acknowledgement.  I have had a couple of nice conversations with other individuals at ZH, about literature, because I specifically took the time to make a comment.  I was fishing for a an interesting conversation, but instead, all I ended up with is you.

If you can't take the insults, don't interrupt a comment, which was directed elsewhere.  When you waste a persons time, expect a berating..

Now, go away.

Tue, 05/07/2013 - 11:36 | 3537665 Think for yourself
Think for yourself's picture

If you ever read this, thank you. I guess I had taken on a role earlier upthread - something like "fruitful dialectics nazi" - and got identified with it. You are completely right and thanks for bringing me back from it.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:50 | 3530704 breezer1
breezer1's picture

Missed for now.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 19:54 | 3530711 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

May there be fair winds for your next adventure Captains.

Much thanks Bill and Cathy.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:05 | 3530726 Tinky
Tinky's picture

I was late to The Privateer party, but benefitted nevertheless. Best of luck, Bill and Cathy.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:15 | 3530733 honestann
honestann's picture

Not bad, but perhaps we should add a few corrections or clarifications where most important.

#1:  The USA was established as a republic.

Established by whom?  And how can 10, 20, 50, 1000 individuals ethically, rationally, reasonably claim to establish any structure over hundreds of millions (and ultimately billions) of people across centuries (and the whole planet)?  Any barely sane individual should be able to see very clearly that all assertions made by 10, 20, 50, 1000 individuals can only apply to 10, 20, 50, 1000 individuals... at most.  ALL ancient and modern delusions of "government" are complete nonsense, on the face of it, to every sane human being on planet earth.  All 1000 of them (estimate circa 2013).

#2:  There is a time in our lives when we do need someone “to exercise control, dominion or direction” over us. That time should end when we assume the mantle of being ADULT human beings.

Not quite.  All children are in a huge bind.  They literally don't have the ability to survive on their own for at least a few years.  However, most parents, because they accept the notion they "own" or have some right to "control" their children, set up a lifestyle that is very dangerous to their children (largely by filling their brains with lies, fairy-tales, notions that various forms of authoritarianism are the only alternatives for human life), submitting them to endless abuse by so-called authorities (teachers, preachers, government-agents, etc).  So the correct observation is that children are just as free [to leave and run their own lives] as adults, but clearly don't have sufficient skills to cope very well.  If a child finds someone else willing to take care of their basic needs, and willing to let them grow intellectually on their own (or provide rational assistance), that child should leave, and should be able to leave, because they are not under the control of their parents, but merely in a very nasty tradeoff situation.  Ownership and slavery are never acceptable, in any circumstances.  This also applies in reverse - children don't own their parents or their parent's property.  Sorry kids.

#3:  Children may not like it, but they expect to be “governed”.

No they don't.  See #2.  Of course, if you never explain #2 to children, and just spew the typical nonsense and authoritarian soundbites, maybe they'll never quite figure out anything about being an independent individual coherently.

#4:  That is why any nation actually does end up with the government its people WANT - and deserve.

Gross overgeneralizations like this need to be labeled as such.  Clearly this author knows that "society" and "nation" are pure fiction, and all that actually exists is the physical universe and individual human beings.  Therefore, to formulate as above implies the most obscene and gross notion that even the most honest, ethical, productive, benevolent individuals deserve to be royally screwed over for their entire lives, just because the majority of fools in his neck of the woods (earth) are morons, and/or sheeple-chimps, and/or self-destructive lemmings.  These sentences read like a total inversion of honesty and ethics, which is not what he intends I am sure, and thus he needs to avoid these predator-authoritarian serving soundbites, or state what he means.

Furthermore, would the percentage of individuals on planet earth (or in fictional jurisdiction x, y, z) make the same choices if they fully understood the full dynamics and consequences of individualism (non-coersion) versus authoritarianism (coersion)?  I'm not sure, and it is possible I would not like the answer, but is this author so certain?  If so, why do the predators feel the need to take such extreme measures to control education, capture media, brainwash populations?

-----

Nonetheless, sounds like I might have enjoyed reading a few issues over the years, if I had known that newsletter existed.  Better, I'm sure, if we all figure out everything entirely by means of our own observations and reflections.  True, nothing wrong with reading a few insightful thoughts to ponder along the way.  The main problem is, as the author did note, that the level of conversation today is so dishonest, and so pressure-loaded with diabolical false premises, that reading nothing is almost certainly more reliable, coherent and trustworthy.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:35 | 3530888 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

With all due respect, honestann (please see my reply above), it sounds like you have never raised any children.  In almost all of history, children raised in two parent households have worked out better than those raised "in a village".  I have heard of some Pacific island society that did allow their children to pretty much be "little adults", but I do not think that would work out well in most of the world...  Nor do I think that a "Hillary Clinton / It Takes a Village" system would work any better.

Children, bless their little hearts, often make bad choices if left to themselves.  Exhibit One would be me, some of my worst decisions (with consequences) were made while unsupervised.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 23:15 | 3531037 honestann
honestann's picture

I hope that nothing I said implied I promote children being raised by any form of collective!  If nothing else, my endless promotion of individualism should clarify that.  True, I never had kids, on purpose, by choice.  I have too much other work to do, and much more productive and enjoyable work at that.

You apparently didn't notice where I said that if kids decide to leave their parents (which they'd never do unless they thought their life was pretty damn crappy given their limited abilities), that they'd find more benevolent, non-authoritarian substitutes.  Now, hopefully you understand that "non-authoritarian" does not mean those parents or substitutes don't own their property, and kids can just steal, abuse and destroy anything they want!  I do not endorse anything like that either.

I find your last comment very interesting, because pretty much ALL my best choices were made when unsupervised, when in fact I went to great efforts to make sure I was unsupervised.  Maybe you had better parents.  I have no idea.  Mine certainly wouldn't be considered worse than average though, probably.

Maybe a dimwit kid would have gotten eaten by predators if they behaved like me as a kid.  To be sure, I did quite a lot of things that were very much on... or slightly over... the edge of being "safe" when I was a kid.  I got hooked on astronomy at a very young age, and spent entire nights outdoors with my small (then increasingly larger) telescopes, observing the skies.  At first in front of the house, then in the [darker, partially wooded] park several houses in our semi-rural neighborhood.  At that time, there were plenty of extremely mean dogs about, and sometimes even more dangerous animals.  I armed myself as I considered necessary for the place I observed... with rocks (outside my house), with a crappy but fairly long, sharp sword (in the park), etc.  When I gained access to a nearby observatory a few years later (age 12), I had to walk 5 miles through dense forest (often after dark) to get there.  That was dangerous territory in those days, with critters like bears, wolves and mountain lions being real possibilities.  For those trips through the forest I created what I hoped were better weapons.  For example, rocks tied to the end of thin nylon ropes, which I could swing around and create a zone of serious danger for any nasty critter.  But I also devised increasingly better strategies for what to do if I encountered various creatures or situations.  And I learned enough chemistry to make some very cool defensive explosives.

That's just one tiny aspect of my life, one aspect that got much safer when I turned 16 and got a drivers license, and blew $200 of my hard earned savings for an old piece of junk car so I could drive to the observatory (and other even more extremely crazy places).  But I did a great deal of other things in my life that everyone said were stark raving crazy wacko kookoo insane.  But almost invariably parents eventually ended up being somehow "proud" (in a disapproving way) their wacko daughter achieved all these crazy-amazing things against their wishes and demands, often without their knowledge until many years later.  They're dead now, and never learned half the crazy wonderful things I've done.

For me, all this started at age 4, but might start a tad earlier for others, and somewhat later for most individualists, I suppose.  But I can tell you one thing very clearly - I would not be anything like the human being I am now, and have been for many years, if I did not take the reigns of my existence and control them myself when I was very young.

I'll admit to not having a specific position on this issue that we disagee about, except to say that it was my choice to risk my butt as a kid.  I was so uncontrollable that they never had a chance anyway.  But somehow, I was more adult than they were, even from the beginning.  I was an extreme realist, massively aware and yes terrified of the dangers I faced, but with motivation to find ways I could achieve my goals without going too far over the boundary of excessively dangerous.  Yet I know absolutely that most kids at age 4, or 6, or 8, or 12 were not capable of making the decisions I was making at those ages [and surviving].  But you know what?  Something inside of those kids knew they weren't capable, and took it seriously enough to stay under the wings of their parents to the degrees necessary (in their opinions).  Which gets down to my point.  Even as a young kid, I considered myself an adult.  No, not in those words, but in the sense that I was making my own decisions, taking my own actions, and I would suffer or bare or enjoy the consequences of those actions.  There was zero question about that in my mind... that somehow an adult would drop out of a tree and save me from a bad decision.  There were none, in the trees, or elsewhere, and I knew so.

Not to evade your next question, I'll answer it.  Did I make "bad decisions"?  Yes!  And that's based on my own assessment, not theirs.  But "bad" doesn't always mean fatal, and most bad decisions are only "wrong enough" to cause inconvenience or suffering or non-permanent injury.

But what did I gain?  From my perspective, everything that I am that matters.  I wouldn't be anything even remotely like who I am had I not firmly decided to be radically independent from such an early age.  I can't even imagine how different I would be today.  To even estimate the consequences of making different decisions at very early ages remains a question that I toy with from time to time, and never fully answer.  But I can say, it makes a huge difference, and I am glad I'm not a sheeple-chimp or lemming or clueless fool or worst-of-all, a model citizen!  Maybe you could avoid such a fate while being less independent as a kid.  Maybe I could have too, but looking back, I can't be certain, and I certainly wouldn't take the risk.  Even with all the very tough times I had as a young kid, and an older kid, and throughout my very independent life, I've never had even the inkling of regret, or thought I would have been better off otherwise.

Of course, you could argue, I can only say this because I somehow "beat the odds" and didn't get eaten by some creature in the forest, or break my neck diving off 80 meter cliffs, or exploring super-remote places on this planet all by myself, or living like I do today, alone and 120km from the nearest micro-town with only 20 people within 120km of here.  Maybe the odds are that 50% would not survive such a crazy path as me.  Maybe the odds are that 10% would not survive such a crazy path as me.  Maybe the odds are that 1% would not survive such a crazy path as me.  But maybe the odds aren't what matter.  Maybe who gets to decide is what matters.

About your bad decisions with consequences.  Didn't you learn anything from them?  How many times do you need to feel extreme pain (or extreme fear) before you would "get serious"?  I only ask because I don't understand other people, and what they went through.  But from my perspective, I was terrified of a great many things, but slowly figured out ways to deal with the dangers and thus worked past my fears.  Why doesn't that work for others?  Why didn't that work for you?

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 23:23 | 3531118 Manipuflation
Manipuflation's picture

Wait a minute, I see no reason to go any further than this before commenting:

"True, I never had kids, on purpose, by choice.  I have too much other work to do, and much more productive and enjoyable work at that."

That's a hell of a statement.  How would you know if the work of raising children was productive or enjoyable or not?  What are you comparing parenting with and how does that relate to the Privateer? 

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 23:56 | 3531184 honestann
honestann's picture

Read and comment upon what I said, not on what you imagine I said.

I never said that raising kids would not have been productive or enjoyable, I said my work is "much more productive" than raising kids.  Without knowing my work, how could you possibly know the answer.  And without knowing the specific kids I had, how on earth would I know how productive or enjoyable that experience would be?  Do you imagine the individual (kid) doesn't matter, that somehow all kids and all parents are equivalent?

I also never said that raising kids isn't more productive or enjoyable for you, or for some other specific individual.  Why would you construe my comment that way?  Because you believe the same life is best for every individual on planet earth?  If so, that's quite a statement on your part, a very, very authoritarian statement.

It should also be obvious that my original post was about the comments in the article, but all subsequent messages in threads are mostly replies to other comments, not the original article.  As you can read for yourself, the comments about kids was part of a conversation about authority, and its [appropriate] bounds.

Oh, and by the way.  I was a kid, and I had to make choices as a kid, and take actions as a kid, and enjoy/bare/suffer the consequences of my decisions and actions as a kid, and now look back and assess my decisions and choices and actions and consequences, and simply make my own comments about these in retrospect.

So you can say anything you want about me not being a parent, but you sure can't say I was never a kid, or that I have never thought about my decisions, choices, actions and consequences.  In fact, I laid out quite a bit of personal information about myself for others to consider as I have, hopefully for your or others to benefit from if they can and wish.  I don't prescribe how you must live, or your kids.  That's the approach others take, not me.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 00:16 | 3531247 Manipuflation
Manipuflation's picture

Actually, this is what you said that I replied to.

"True, I never had kids, on purpose, by choice.  I have too much other work to do, and much more productive and enjoyable work at that."

Now I have read the rest of your post.  Your post is all about you.  I hate to break it to you but my parents are gone now too.  Lots of our parents are gone now.  Big deal.  That's life and that fact forces responsibilty to be taken because only you can be your own Savior.  Then you write that you lived in a semi-rural area.  Come on, you mean the suburbs?  Bears were going to get you?  Come off it.

The reason you are getting some frags is because you are fragging a very longstanding newsletter that the PM bunch liked, myself included.  I have read the Privateer before and it was very good.  You seem to like astronomy, I like monetary history.  You picked apart the farewell letter and turned your post into a diatribe.  Why?

"If so, that's quite a statement on your part, a very, very authoritarian statement."

Yeah, Manipuflation is a known fascist and advocate for moar state power around the interwebs.LOL

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 00:45 | 3531328 honestann
honestann's picture

I have always been a loner.  That is probably rather obvious.  And I do tend to laser focus on what I consider fundamental and important points, and try very much to correct false formulations.  That applies just as much to my own ideas and formulations as to those presented by others.

And I am enough of a loner that I definitely am not aware of some commonly known practices, like "be extra gentle on fairwells".  Okay, I see that now, especially since the kickback against me came even though my response was overall rather positive, and mostly an attempt to clarify ideas, not to trash anyone.

Only now do I see this article is taken as analogous to a funeral, when everyone lies about how this guy or gal was the greatest, most wonderful human being ever born on the planet.  That's standard practice for funerals, but I honestly didn't realize the parallel with "final issue" existed, or that the analogy was so strong.  I admit to ignorance on this matter.

I don't doubt the newsletter was good, the article made it seem so, and I thought that was my conclusion too.  But I guess my gentle comments were "over the line" in the context of this "funeral of a newsletter", an entirely new category for me.

In the end, his article stands on its own.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 01:18 | 3531385 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Might want to cut back on the caffeine a little. You're all over the dial!

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 02:23 | 3531460 Manipuflation
Manipuflation's picture

honestann, at this point, I am not entirely sure you can take a compliment without a issuing negative retort.  I shall try to compliment you anyway so bear with me.  You are a very good writer.  I don't know that I agree with everything you say but the way you say it makes me stop and think.  You seem to be very prolific in your writing endeavors.  I have a question for you; would you like to blog?  It sure seems like you would want to do so.  If so, let's start a dialog and get to know one another a little better.

 

manipuflation@boatingaccidentnews.com 

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 23:06 | 3533369 honestann
honestann's picture

Thanks for the compliment.  Really.  Actually, I do know some folks appreciate my posts (sometimes), and am not bothered when people disagree with me.  However, I do regret accidentally stepping on toes by posting my answer to this article, and would be happy if Tyler deleted this whole shebang (my original comment and all subcomments).

I type (and typo) incredibly fast, so my messages don't take as long as you may imagine.  And I hate to disagree, but I don't consider myself a good writer, just a fairly effective thinker with an ability to zero in on fundamentals.

I have nothing to sell, and I'm not trying to convert anyone to anything.  I only post to point out what I consider important, fundamental facts and observations that might help a few folks who happen to be at just the right point in intellectual development to benefit, and maybe even do something spectacular someday.  So I'm not sure what the point of me writing a blog would be.

Sorry I don't take compliments well.  In my mind, I'm trading observations, not compliments and/or jabs.  Thus I'm generally not even aware of the "compliment/jab" dimension, and thus I am indeed tone deaf to them as you infer.  But I'm not trying to be negative about them.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 00:00 | 3531200 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Nice answer honestann.  Extra cool for liking astronomy and doing stuff on your own as a kid.  It looks like you were pretty independent and resourceful as a kid, more so than just about any other kid I can think of at the moment.

In some ways, but to a lesser extent, my childhood at times was similar.  We moved around, but in some of our locales, my folks gave us a wide leash.

But:

I however, almost started a forest fire with my brother and best friend (they called the fire department in the nick of time)!  I threw rocks one day at the local bully and broke a neighbor's windshield (oops).  My mother told me NOT to put my damn hand on the stove when she was cooking, so once I did, oh dear, 2nd degree burns...  My brother and I fought a lot (of course, it was mostly his fault).

Yet, I was without doubt less of a "JD" (juvenile delinquent) than many other fellas about my age.  Friggin' little angel says my cousin Sandy...

Uhm, also, OUR kid (daughter) was not a resourceful independent lil tiger-ette like you.  She craved attention from Day One (the nurse bringing her for the first time to my wife after she was born had the nerve to call her "a little stinker"...).  She is grown now, but there was a time when she was in HS when it looked like she was going to veer off into theater (she came to her senses all in a flash one evening <--- that alone is some evidence that God exists, smile,,,,).

***

Based on your various comments, I would speculate that you are much further down the "leave me the hell alone" trail than anyone else I know.  Your experiences are way different than most other peoples'.  I would not even know how to refuel a plane, or fix it if something went wrong.  Maybe only 2% of men can do that.

EDIT:

Upon a little tought, you do remind me of someone.  Look for "DCFusor" here at ZH.  I respect the guy, he has chosen an interesting path as well, though a little less solitary than your own.  I like the guy, he is a "virtual friend".  He is not popular among some here because he sticks up for his Chevy Volt...

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 00:16 | 3531275 Manipuflation
Manipuflation's picture

Well stated DoChen.  I too like honestann's writing style.  Clearly an intelligent individual but hard of hearing.  

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 01:21 | 3531388 honestann
honestann's picture

Maybe I don't understand you (and most others) as much as you don't understand me.  From my standpoint, that's okay.  But if we can learn anything useful from each other, that's great too.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 09:24 | 3531787 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

You are bursting to write your own philosophy, and I encourage that.  Using the forum of saying farewell to a newsletter that has been of tremendous value to many is not the place.   The thoughts you have on the perceived inadequacies of the article are valid, but misplaced.

I'd urge you to become a contributor and submit your thoughts and ideas.   Hey, if Chumba can take the plunge, why not you?

The Privateer has been invaluable over the years for me.  I've been a subscriber since the late 1990s and it has only been with the Buckler fortitude that I've held on to positions in gold and silver in the face of opposition both real and imagined.

I bid you farewell, Bill Buckler, and my best wishes.

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 22:31 | 3533322 honestann
honestann's picture

I apologize for not being aware of the practice of treating a fairwell issues in a similar manner as a funeral.  I "get it" now, and so I can and do apologize sincerely.

Actually, I'm not bursting to write my philosophy.  Just throwing ideas out that I imagine might stimulate an honest brain or two towards understanding important issues.  I suspect my efforts in ZH are analogous to a moth repeatedly smashing itself into a lightbulb over and over again for no benefit.  The only difference between me and the moth is, I am aware this phenomenon is happening, and aware a slight possibility exists that someone will benefit someday, and do something spectacular with their new insight... eventually, possibly, maybe, but probably not.

I'm not sure what you mean by "a contributor".  I don't have a blog, and I have nothing to sell to anyone, so I inherently don't qualify.  Yes, I do wonder whether humans can ever understand some of the very simple, fundamental observations I make here.  Like my observation that no authority has, does or can possibly exist in the universe (and possible consequences of a widespread understanding of this).  But like I said, I have nothing to sell, no blog, and I am not on a mission to convert anyone.  I just pose helpful observations in case someone happens to be in a position to gain from them at the moment.

Thanks for your understanding.  And sorry to Bill Buckler.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:37 | 3530900 exartizo
exartizo's picture

Dear Ms. honestann:

You are quite clearly a bloviating pontificating clueless idiot.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:47 | 3530921 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Good thing there are no sweeping generalizations in your post, huh?

Sheesh.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 23:14 | 3531089 Manipuflation
Manipuflation's picture

honestann, just because you can write doesn't necessarily mean that you should do so.  The Privateer was a blog well before blogs ever existed and it was a very good one.  I am not sure why you would attack the author in his farewell piece.  I would have to agree with DoChen in his assertion that it sounds like you have not had any children.  Children DO need guidance and look to their parents to provide it.  I am as libertarian as they come but I can tell you from personal experience that there DO need to be rules and consequences for our children lest we raise another generation of self-serving, narcissistic idiots to unleash upon the world.  Assholes, yes.  Fools, no.  

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 00:29 | 3531302 honestann
honestann's picture

I did not mean to criticize, and thought my response was essentially positive, just providing what I thought were important clarifications on his wording.  Yes, I am probably ignorant and thus insensitive to the norms of responding to "final fairwells" or whatever this was.

You are quite correct about the "children issue", but I already responsed to that in excessive and personal length elsewhere, so I'll just let that reply stand as it is.  I will just say, that boy do I ever agree that choices and actions have consequences.  The question is, who chooses actions.  Do (or should) children learn that consequences follow from disobedience of authority (parent), or learn that consequences follow from their own choices and actions?  I don't have completely universal answers, but I do have the experiences of my own childhood.

Are my observations and experiences necessarily useless, while pure assertions of others some kind of gold standard?

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:11 | 3530738 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

thank you for posting this; i read every word.   bless his heart, i shed a tear when i read it.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 22:16 | 3530966 MilleniumJane
MilleniumJane's picture

lynnybee, I remember reading your first post on ZH.  You and I are among a few women who understand this.  I salute you and the others who choose not to post here.  I, too, shed a tear when I read this.  An era has passed, now it is up to us...

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 23:13 | 3531086 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

WOW !  i don't even remember my first post.   i do remember being so dumb that i couldn't even fill out a check to pay a bill.   i'm proud of myself now, i know so much thanks to internet education & ZEROHEDGE & all the commenters who educated me.   finally, i am old and smart !   

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 22:13 | 3530969 MilleniumJane
MilleniumJane's picture

God willing, our children will know better than we.  May this evil end with our generations, not theirs.

 

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:39 | 3530773 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

The disturbing conondrum, while wishing an honest man well...

"But most of the time, it really is screamingly funny and really should be treated as such."

No, it is not screamingly funny.  Rarely is it so.

"Now - let’s all of us sit back and watch what happens."

And your Rx, Mr. Buckler, I find quite sad.
It exposes things about you.

What a shame, in many ways.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 22:29 | 3530998 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

To be clear...

No matter how Buckler pulled your heartstrings...

"Now - let’s all of us sit back and watch what happens."

That's how we got here.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:49 | 3530785 Harry Dong
Harry Dong's picture

I blame Bill and Cathy for getting me started buying silver (when it was $4.25) and gold (when it was $350).

THREE CHEERS! and may the beer latitudes run deep.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:51 | 3530788 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Rare to read an article with such clarity and concentrated truthfulness as this. A truly wise man.

 

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:52 | 3530789 johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

A great voice of reason that will be sorely missed.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:00 | 3530790 Haole
Haole's picture

Israeli jets have just attacked Demascus and Israeli troops are across the border into Lebanon.  One Israeli F-15 shot down.  Syria to make a declaration any time now...

Edit:  Allegedly Assad has declared war on Israel.

 

Sun, 05/05/2013 - 00:27 | 3531303 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Takeaway:  Long MIC stock.  Alas.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 20:59 | 3530805 RumbleGuts
RumbleGuts's picture

May your sails be full of wind, and you ride the seas with abandon!

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:17 | 3530852 Blano
Blano's picture

Ashamed to admit this is the first one I've read.  Might have to go back and read the other 726.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:26 | 3530872 Rastadamus
Rastadamus's picture

My heart is broken. I LOVED The Privateer. Speak the truth. You spoke it and God is going to bless you a thousand fold.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 21:33 | 3530884 exartizo
exartizo's picture

Well written. Deeply thought provoking.

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 22:47 | 3531024 Milestones
Milestones's picture

Very thoughtful, intelligent post. Farewell sir and enjoy your your time to see the sun.         Milestones

Sat, 05/04/2013 - 23:38 | 3531174 essence
essence's picture

Imagine for an instance that you had to do business with someone on a handshake.
There were three choices: Bill Buckler, Jamie Dimon,  Lloyd Blankfein.

I know who I would choose.

Farewell fine writer.

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