Monday, September 20, 2010

911 Truth, Explosive Demolition and Occam's Razor

One of the definitions of a Conspiracy Theory is the non-belief of the official account of an incident and the belief of an incredibly complicated series of events rather than the simpler official account; this is especially true of “911Truth.” Every aspect of “911Truth” is immensely complicated with no cohesive chain of events to tie it together. I’m writing this article is bring up what I believe are some near insurmountable issues with the corner stone of the 911Truth movement, that of explosive demolition of the Twin Towers and Building 7. I do not claim to be an expert in explosive demolition, but as a career police officer I have dealt with bomb experts and military ordinance experts. I have also been present during training exercises involving car bombs and IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices). Further I have researched explosive demolition and researched as much information I could find on CDI, Controlled Demolition Inc. Here is a simple primer of explosive demolition. How Stuff Works

On May 8, 2010, there was Firefighters for 9/11Truth and Architects and Engineers for 9/11Truth conference in the San Francisco area to discuss their work. One of the guest speakers was a gentleman by the name of Tom Sullivan who had previously worked for Controlled Demolition, Inc. Norcaltruth. Here is a transcript of the beginning of his presentation and explanation of how a controlled demolition is done.

“First you have to weaken the building and that’s after studies are done by structural engineers; to explain exactly how the building was built in the first place. At that point staircases are cut at intervals, firewalls are removed, elevator shafts are cut, including the rails and the elevator cars removed. Then all of the support columns on the load floors are cut with a torch and that essentially removes 20% of their strength. And even with all that compromising and weakening the building is still safe to enter; we keep working in it…. the story that just a few column failures can cause synchronized global collapse, well I gotta tell you that’s just nonsense. The final step at this point is you would load the building with RDX charges and they have individual delays and some times two to three different delays on a given floor. So the work is very complex and precise, requiring years of experience;” “Wireless detonators have been around for years. You look at any action movie you see these things going off all the time. And then of course the military has them. Contractors don’t use them; why? Because they’re just too expensive.” On the referenced web site there are also some bullet points about Sullivan’s presentation including.

2.) Another myth is that miles of detcord would be found in the debris pile. On this point, Sullivan mentioned the remote-controlled detonators that have been in use for many years. CDI has on their own website a section that talks about their own remote-controlled demolition capabilities called DREXS (Directional Remote Explosive Severance).

Okay lets take this a part. First lets start out with the purpose of explosive demolition. The purpose is to create a controlled environment so a building can demolished without all the trouble of banging it with a big steel ball or the dangerous job of many workers with torches cutting up the building. The explosions are designed to cause the building to fall into it’s own footprint with as little mess as possible (we’ll come back to this).

“First you have to weaken the building and that’s after studies are done by structural engineers; to explain exactly how the building was built in the first place. At that point staircases are cut at intervals, firewalls are removed, elevator shafts are cut, including the rails and the elevator cars removed. Then all of the support columns on the load floors are cut with a torch.” One can assume that all these steps are necessary for a successful controlled demolition. What Sullivan did not mention is that after the firewalls are removed and the stairs and elevators cut, the building is defacto gutted. This is not something that could have been done in a weekend. Sullivan also mentioned that after this weakening process the building is still safe to walk into. Sure it might be safe to walk into, but the building would no longer be functional for the purposes of doing any business and of course it would be instantly obvious that the inside of the building had been significantly modified. One can not use the logic that all this pre-weakening is a prerequisite for implosion "the story that just a few column failures can cause synchronized global collapse", but then say it was not necessary in this case.

So if we are talking about Building 7, the building that seemed to drop right down into it’s own footprint as in a classic controlled demolition, we are left with a conundrum. How could Building 7 be imploded using controlled demolition, if none of the pre-weakening was done? There appears to be no known technology to implode an intact occupied building in this manner and it surely would have required more explosives without the weakening, making the explosions much more violent. The next obvious issue is more speculative but just as germane. Who would you get to do such a thing? As Sullivan said, it would require a crew with years of experience, so it would require a team of psychotic murdering controlled demolition experts. Where would one even look for such a team?

But lets move on. Let’s suppose that the technology does exist to secretly use controlled demolition on an occupied building without the weakening process. The next issue, after setting all the charges would be how to set them off. As Sullivan said, “The final step at this point is you would load the building with RDX charges and they have individual delays and some times two to three different delays on a given floor.” The conventional wisdom or most commonly stated conspiracy theory is the charges were set off with wireless charges; as Sullivan said, “Wireless detonators have been around for years. You look at any action movie you see these things going off all the time. And then of course the military has them. Contractors don’t use them; why? Because they’re just too expensive.” After talking with explosive experts and a lot of research, I am certain that Sullivan errored here, probably due to inexperience. Sullivan first said contractors do not use wireless detonators, since he has not made any claims of working for moviemakers or the military, than it is probable, that he does not know their limitations. Therefore he might believe the reason is cost, when actually it is some quite different.

There are two related reasons why wireless detonators are not used by contractors involved with explosive demolition. The first is wireless detonators are not positive or accurate enough. Wireless detonators use radio frequencies (RF) that do not always reach their intended target at the intended time. When used for special effects or by the military, wireless detonators are usually line of sight and not used for anything even approaching the complexity of taking down a building with explosive demolition. The same can be said for microwave technology, such as cellphone triggers used with IEDs. How often does a radio fade out or cellphone lose it’s signal? This can especially be problematic with buildings. I remember when the City of Santa Cruz built their new Police Station; they had to install a Nextel microwave booster because our phones would not work inside the building. The second reason wireless detonators are not used for explosive demolition is safety. Once a wireless detonators is set, there is no way to insulate it from stray RF signals. If you are in a remote area, then the possibility is very slight. But if you are in a large city, there are a large amount of RF and microwaves swirling all around, the odds of an accidental triggering is high, and certainly too high to risk your life.

Another myth is that miles of detcord would be found in the debris pile. On this point, Sullivan mentioned the remote-controlled detonators that have been in use for many years. CDI has on their own website a section that talks about their own remote-controlled demolition capabilities called DREXS (Directional Remote Explosive Severance). Here is a point of either confusion or ignorance. The 911Truth conference web site brings up the issue of some proprietary explosive system used by CDI called DREXS (Directional Remote Explosive Severance). Due to the fact the name includes “Remote” it was assumed by the writer that it is some form of wireless remote explosive. But since Sullivan has already told us that contractors do not use wireless detonators, then it should be obvious the DREXS is not wirelessly detonated and most likely “Remote” takes on the meaning of something being done either at a distance and/or automatically. The CDI site tells us “DREXS (Directional Remote Explosive Severance) System facilitate the demolition or dismantling of all types of steel and concrete facilities to provide the safe, expeditious and cost-effective removal of industrial structures.” Another 911Truth site gave this quote from CDI “Our DREXSTM systems . . . segment steel components into pieces matching the lifting capacity of the available equipment.” From these two quotes we can surmise that CDI is not touting a remote controlled system, but a system that cuts the building up in segmented pieces of a predetermined size so it is easier to cart away. The most common means of detonating explosives is with “primacord” or detonating (det) cord. As mentioned by many debunkers of 911Truth, there would have been miles of these cords reaching from a detonation center to every charge and they would have been obvious to everyone.

Finally, I told you I’d get back to the primary purpose of explosive demolition. Since there is no evidence that the weakening process was done on these buildings, then we are in un-chartered waters in knowing if the technology exists to implode an occupied building the size of the twin towers or Building 7. But the question must be asked, Why go to all the trouble to implode the buildings? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just take out the main supports and let them collapse in some less structured way? The purpose of explosive demolition is for safety and to leave as little mess as possible; something that was obviously not in the mind of a person who would want to destroy an occupied building. In order to implode a building one needs expertise that has been defined as an art form. There is probably less than half a dozen demolition companies in the world that could take on a project like this; but certainly no reputable company would,  but it's feasible one could set off some cutting charges on some main supports that could cause the building to come down in all sort of ways that wouldn’t have to be an implosion.

As I said before, the purpose of this article is not to debunk 911Truth, but to raise doubts about the theory of explosive demolition. Beyond the way the towers and especially building 7 looked as they fell, there is really no evidence of an explosive demolition. The only other observance was the puffs that blew out the windows of the twin towers as the pancaked down. To even a casual observer it is obvious that air pressure would be blowing out the windows for several stories below, as the air trapped between the floors needed someplace to go. There are also a lot of people that heard what they thought were explosions, which I’m sure they did. When a 110 story building is collapsing, or just about to collapse, there is no telling what is going on inside and the violence of the collapse can certainly sound like explosions. In my mind there are a lot of questions about why 911 happened, but I have no doubt how it didn't happened; it’s a matter of Occam's razor.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Part 2 How the Government Lies About GDP; Imputations and More Hedonics

This is part 2 of, "How the Government Lies About Inflation and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)." Again, for this article I am borrowing heavily from; I highly recommend you check out his site, but as always be open minded and skeptical. In Part 1, How the Government Lies About Inflation; Substitution, Weighting and Hedonics I discussed how inflation numbers are manipulated. This article will explore the manipulation of GDP numbers. The GDP tells us how much stuff we have acquired by calculating economic value added transactions; every time you buy a car, food, a new bicycle, a computer that is added to the GDP. It is very common to compare debt or income taxes to show we have never had it so good.

I’m sure no one will be surprised that these numbers have also been cooked. GDP numbers are manipulated using what is called “imputations”, or when it (is) assumed that economic value had been created but no actual transactions took place. The big imputations are free checking and home ownership. The government figures that a checking account has value and the fact that it is offered for free means it is value added and is included in the GNP. Probably the most fraudulent imputation is when a home is owed out right, so there are no mortgage payments. The government believes that everybody or family either pays rent or makes house payments, if this is not the case they add the amount one would be expected to pay for rent to the GDP. That’s right, the fact that you own your house, means your house has added value because you don’t pay rent. Add just these two imputations and you increase GNP by over $1 trillion in 2003 dollars.

Next we have "hedonics", described in Part1 as “the absurd concept that if something costs the same year to year, but has added features or improvements, then you are paying less than its actual worth.” In this description Matenson used computers as a example. The price of computers has stayed pretty much the same for years, yet they are faster and have more and more bells and whistles. The government creates a value for the additional speed, bells and whistles and adds it to the GDP. Further the difference between GDP hedonics and inflation hedonics is with GDP it is added, but with inflation it is subtracted. So a hedonics value that had been subtracted from inflation is added to GDP; the amount in 2003 dollars is an unbelievable $2.3 trillion! “Taken together (imputations and hedonics), these mean that $3.9 trillion, or fully 35% of our reported (2003) GDP ($11 trillion), was NOT BASED on transactions that you could witness, record, or touch. They were guessed at, modeled, or imputed, but they did not show up in any bank accounts, because no cash ever changed hands.”

Finally all GDP numbers are supposedly always inflation-adjusted, but that is not necessary the case. Oh yes, inflation is subtracted from the GDP, but “for the past fifteen quarters the Bureau of Economic Analysis has been serenely and systematically subtracting lower and lower amounts of inflation, which simply flies in the face of both real-world inflation data and common sense.”

Matenson ends this portion by saying, “Suddenly a lot of things that were difficult to understand make perfect sense. Contracting businesses, rising foreclosures, job losses, rising budget deficits, falling tax revenues, declining auto sales; all of these are consistent with recession and not expansion.”

The issue here is even if the government started to show some maturity and faced this country’s economic problems we would have no place to start. The President would have to lower the GDP and raise the inflation levels, which when you think about it might be a positive thing; how could one imagine a more disillusioned public then we have today. Since everyone’s economic status would remain the same, only redefined in more plausible terms, it might even build confidence that someone is actually being honest and doing something. This is of course is what the citizens of the United Sates have been screaming for. Obama tapped into this need with his "Hope and Change", but failed to deliver what many view as a dishonest ends justifying means fashion. It’s the economy stupid. Please, please, it’s the economy. Our free market economy and the liberty we enjoy are two sides of the same coin, lose one and we lose the other.

How The Government Lies About Inflation; Substitution, Weighting, and Hedonics

The article borrows liberally from the web site Much of the site is dedicated to what he calls a “Crash Course” on why our economy will soon implode into it’s own footprint. The Crash Course is divided into about 20 sections; the first sections on money is right out of the Ron Paul playbook. He also is an advocate of the controversial Peak Oil theory. But the section on “Fuzzy Numbers” does a better than average job of explaining how GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and Inflation numbers are manipulated by the government. It is not uncommon for someone to remark that these are the cooked numbers, and Matenson explains how this is done.

Inflation is determined in a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) called the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The BLS tracks the price of a certain "basket" of goods and services and documents the rise of fall of the prices of the "basket" to determine the inflation rate. But during the Clinton Administration this was changed by something called the Boskin Commission and three additional formulas were added to the mix; substitution, weighting, and hedonics. The effect of these formulas was to reduce the official rate by almost two-thirds. As an example, lets say the BLS using the pre-Clinton method, reported an inflation rate for 2007-2008 at 11.3 %.

Matenson explains, “...we no longer simply measure the cost of goods and services from one year to the next, because of something called the "substitution effect." Thanks to the Boskin Commission, it is now assumed that when the price of something rises, people will switch to something cheaper. So any time, say, that the price of salmon goes up too much, it is removed from the basket of goods and substituted with something cheaper, like hot dogs. By this methodology, the BLS says that food costs rose 4.1% from 2007 to 2008”.

Next there is “weighing.” This uses the argument that if some item or service price increases too fast, than people will either buy less or find a cheaper alternative. Therefore you’ll be happy to know that when your healthcare or gasoline prices go up and start eating more of your paycheck that will not be counted as inflation. The last item is hedonics, which is the absurd concept that if something costs the same year to year, but has added features or improvements, then you are paying less than its actual worth. Here’s an example;

“a 27-inch television selling for $329.99 was selling for the same price as last year, but was now equipped with a better screen. After taking this subjective improvement into account, the price of the TV is adjusted downwards by $135, concluding that the screen improvement was the same as if the price of the TV had fallen by 29%. The price reflected in the CPI was not the actual retail store cost of $329.99, which is what it would cost you to buy, but $195.”

Matenson says that hedonics are now used to adjust as much as 46% of inflation. More over, this fraudulent reduction of the inflation numbers have cheated any person who receives an entitlement or pension with a COLA (Cost Of Living Allowance) tied to the inflation rate, such as Social Security or Medicare. “Social Security payments, whose increases are based on the CPI, would be 70% higher today than they actually are.”

So indeed the government is cooking the books and the result is people all over the country are struggling, but the government citing these manipulated inflation rates tells us everything is just fine. My next article will discuss how the same misdirection is used on the GDP to try and convince the public they’ve never had it so good.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

AP Attacks Meg Whitman with Op-Ed "News" Article

Today, my local paper printed the second of two hit piece in 4 days on Republican candidates; the first (9/11) by the NYT “A G.O.P. Leader Tightly Bound to Lobbyists” and the second (9/14) by AP "Whitman exaggerates Brown’s spending". I wouldn’t mind the articles so much if they were printed on the opinions page, but placing theses editorials next to supposed real news is purposely misleading. What the AP article said was Meg Whitman used dumbed down accounting techniques to show the extent of Jerry Brown's tax and spending while he was Governor of California.

When Brown took over the Governorship from Ronald Regan in 1975, he inherited a $500 million surplus. Brown allowed this to balloon to nearly $5 billion in three years. This huge surplus was not result of anything done by Brown, but the result of taxes on California’s skyrocketing property values and inflation in the late 1970’s. Brown refused to re-distribute the surplus back to the voters, so a taxpayer’s revolt voted in Proposition 13, which drastically cut property taxes. Brown’s response, rather than reduce the size of the Government was to rely almost solely the the surplus, resulting in a $1 billion deficit by the time he left office. The AP article presented the fact that Brown held the growth of government to 10% a year after Proposition 13 as a positive, but if you do the math 10% a year will double the size of government spending every 9 years. Further the so-called budget cuts by Jerry Brown were not reductions in current spending, but reductions in the amount of future government increases. The AP article also compared Jerry Browns 120% increase in government spending to Ronald Reagan’s 105% increase. This is presented as if there was some consensus that Regan's spending increases were viewed a something positive by conservatives, where the opposite was true, as conservatives were highly critical of Regan’s increased spending as Governor. It is also not lost on the reader, that this AP article is not showing Brown in the light of a fiscal conservative, but rather placing him in the same category as a big spending Republican governor.

Brown did cut State income taxes by about $4 billion before Proposition 13, hoping to placate angry voters who saw the state budget surplus increasing while they could barely afford their property taxes. After Proposition 13, Brown raised gasoline and sales tax, which increased Californian’s tax burden by $2.5 billion and $4.5 -$5 billion respectively. While these taxes may have been necessary to offset Proposition 13, they most certainly were tax increase. Finally the article throws out a figure of $4.4 billion dollars being returned to local government during the 1978-1979 fiscal year. What it failed to say was as a result of Proposition 13, property tax revenues no longer went directly to local governments, but was paid through the state and then returned to local government, so it would follow that the amount of money returned to local government would substantially increase under Proposition 13.

So, to no ones surprise, the AP article is a partisan response to Meg Whitman’s political ads. One could almost justify these articles if they were more balanced, but there is also a total lack of opposing articles pointing out the obvious mis-information from the Jerry Brown attack ads. The most obvious is the ad that points out in a very accusatory manner that ebay’s overhead increased 2000% when Meg Whitman took control; the fact that she increased the number ebay employees from 40 to 15,000 may have had something to do with that increase. It’s as if Meg Whitman is being attack for creating jobs. So no, there is no reciprocity here, these AP and NYT’s articles should be clearly labeled as OP-Ed pieces. The fact that they are not, is indicative of the NYT being in near receivership and the Whitehouse’s stated desire to subsidize these partisan news media, as not to lose an outlet for their Progressive propaganda.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rascism from Marxism; the New Struggle

This is the most unabashedly one sided article I have ever written; for which I am unapologetic. The reason is to present a contrast to the black victimization and Marxists theology that has permeated our society for the last 30 years. Progressives and most black activists have done whatever they can to stifle any meaningful dialog on race in order to maintain this theology. The narrative is all whites are racists and only whites can be racists. This self serving contention preaches that racism can only exists if the racist has some avenue of control over the victim of the racism. This has been used to excuse a tremendous amount of black racism. The obvious hypocrisy and double standard of this belief not only ceases any dialog on race, but has resulted in the quasi-Christian Black Liberation theology, that espouses a Marxist and race based dogma called collective salvation.

There can be little doubt that the current Progressive left, an outgrowth of the Progressive movement of the early 1900’s, is a product of Marxism. The premise they embraced was government by “intellect” or the Intelligentsia. When Marx wrote his manifesto, he was not preaching a theory or purposing a way of government. Marxism was considered one of the highest forms of scientific enlightenment and was not viewed as revolutionary but inevitable evolution. What truly excited the educated left was the idea that the control of the world would be taken from the rich industrialist factory owners and given to them. This has been the reason why such a failed socio-economic theory as Marxism has maintained such legs. Marxism foresaw a time not to far in the future where the workers would unite and overtake their oppressors. Of course the workers could never be allowed to make their own decisions about their lives, so necessarily the Intelligentsia would need to go beyond just taking the place of the previous owners of production. The Intelligentsia would extend their control of the hopelessly uneducated workers through a process of re-education; a re-education that would destroy individualism and replace it with a state worshiping collective. Again you see over and over, a Progressive class seeing themselves intellectually superior to both the factory owners and workers, believing it is their destiny to take control and assume power over both. It is the tyrannical belief that the world is in need of a totalitarian ruling class and due to their intellectual superiority, science had destined that they will rule. Question this destiny and one is met with the condescension, typical of all Marxist when one suggests a cause for the worker's struggle other than capitalism.

As the Second World War came to a close, the fledgling pre-Great Depression middle class exploded, dashing the hopes of the Progressives quickly attaining power. The only weapon they had left, which was class warfare tended to ebb and flow without any real coalescing results. The Progressives continued their domination of the Democratic Party, with the possible exception of John Kennedy. In the 56 years from President Eisenhower 1953 to Bush 43 ending 2008, Democratic Presidents accounted for only 20 of those years. During those years the Democrats had two one-term presidents, Johnson and Carter and a case can be made that the only truly successful presidency was that of Bill Clinton (and it appears the Democrats are well on their way to another failed one-term Presidency with Presidency with Obama). It is also common knowledge that Bill Clinton’s progressive policies were so despised that it resulted in the biggest reversal of party majorities in congress during a single mid-term election cycle. Termed the Republican Revolution, the Democrat’s lost 54 seats in the House and 8 seats in the Senate, gaining the majority in both the House and Senate. These losses caused Clinton to drop the majority of his progressive agenda and move decided to the right; so far to the right that Republicans complained he was co-opting the Republican platform.

One reason was Marxism has never able to get a foothold in the United States is the individualism that is built in to our founder’s documents. With Marxism espousing collectivism and end of individual liberty, even during the Great Depression, American workers preferred to ride it out in misery rather the relinquish their freedom to a questionable theory of promise of security. By the end of the 1960’s Progressives had started to change their argument from one of class warfare to one of race. This concept emerged as the dominant Progressive mantra and tactic by the end of the turbulent 1960’s. During this time America woke up to the institutional racism that was oppressing blacks in the country resulting in the paradigm shift Martin Luther King Jr had faith would occur; racism did not disappear, but to the vast majority that were not racists, they realized a portion of King’s dream, by acknowledging racism we they saw it and voicing their disapproval. Further America also came into its own as they protested in increasingly large numbers against an increasingly unpopular war. Also during this time the young college Progressives tore off their outward trappings showed them selves as the Marxist radicals they are. Misinterpreting the anti-war sentiment as a call for revolution, they violently tore at the America values offering nothing but serfdom to another form of their self described tyranny. With the end of the Vietnam War also came the end of the failed Marxist revolution in America, which was really nothing more than a Progressives fleeting fantasy.

What did emerge, as I previously stated was a new rhetoric of racial economic disparity. Louis Loflin (an original but edgy thinker in the vein of Camille Paglia) describes Marxism, as a pseudo-religion applying race are their new dogma and here describes the Progressives’ new race narrative, “Paul Baran is the author of The Political Economy of Growth (Monthly Review Press, 1957). For the first time in Marxist literature, Baran propounded a causal connection between the prosperity of the advanced capitalist countries (white for the most part) and the impoverishment of the Third World. (non-white) Prior to Baran, no Marxist had ever suspected that capitalism was the cause of the poverty or poverty based on race. (Or in the case of America, it went along racial lines.) So they went from class to race.How Marxism Became Racism The real irony of course is the history of both Marxists and the Democratic party has always been on the wrong side of history when it comes to race. During the civil war it was the Democrats that fought to retain slavery, after the war they instituted the Jim Crow laws and fought long and hard to maintain segregation, and later you have Woodrow Wilson re-segregating the army, setting civil rights back 50 years . Even Lyndon Johnson, so praised by the Progressive left for passing the civil rights legislation in the 1964, was the Democratic senate leader who crushed a similar bill in 1957. Further the 1964 bill had to overcome a block of 18 Southern Democrats and a 14-hour filibuster by Robert Byrd (D). As far as Marx went, his pro-white rhetoric and a strong belief in Eugenics is legendary and considered by some the epitome of racism. As with everything else, Marx's racism was accepted by the Progressive Intelligentsia as having it’s basis in science and not bigotry; almost by definition to be a Marxist is to be a racist. As a result the Progressives have tried to re-write history to try and hide their atrocious legacy of bigotry and racism.

Interestingly, it was not until the Obama Presidency that racism was brought out of its socio-economic shell, and used to discourage opposition to the Presidents Progressive policies. Prior to that, more specifically starting with the Reagan Administration, it presented itself by condemning tax cuts for the rich. Regardless of the fact that economic stimulus are far more effective when given to the upper 2% that control most of the wealth in this country, tax cuts to the rich has continually been vilified by Progressives, often caricaturized as rich white CEOs sitting on an continually growing stack of money. The absurdity of this narrative is the fact that the rich do not view money as a means to consumption like the majority of Americans, but a means to an end; money is to be re-invested to make more money. During the Clinton Presidency this rhetoric waned and then reappeared with the Bush 43 Presidency and his tax cuts of 2001 and 2003.

When President Obama came into office, the Progressive were finally able to extend their racism narrative into all aspects of Progressive policy. Although there has never been a time in American history where Marxist philosophy, re-distribution of wealth and re-education has been discussed in such positive terms by a standing President or Administration, the Progressive narrative remained the same; all opposition to the policies of our first black president is the result of racism. There was never an acknowledgement of the disingenuousness of the President and the chasm that developed between what he promised and eventually delivered. Instead, the Progressives, showed their long suppressed distain for the American people and their (as George Soros coined) "excessive individualism.” But once again the Progressive overreached with their continued race baiting, resulting in an extremely disillusioned populace. What was touted as hope and change has resulted in a war of pejoratives by the intelligentsia and progressive media against the American people. The Progressives had hoped they could use the America’s sensitivity to race to silence dissention to their agenda. What they discovered however is the American people where much more comfortable in their skin then the Progressives thought. The American people have already had the race dialog outside the Progressive purview and have deemed themselves not racists, so they were not about let the Intelligentsia, who by all accounts are barely able to suppressed their own racism, define the narrative.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Bloom is Off the Rose of Keynesian Economics

Sometimes Paul Krugman manipulates the truth to try and make his neo- Keynesian theory work and other times he just ignores reality and lies. In his ‘The Real Story” article, he makes the ludicrous statement “ inflation always falls during sustained periods of high unemployment and this time should be no different.” Apparently he forgot the Carter Administration where high unemployment and inflation was so rampant that they had to make up a new word for it (Stagflation). You may also remember that I said (Germany Proves Keynesians and Obama Wrong) Krugman would try and spin Germany’s rebound that resulted from its austerity measures; 9% raise in GDP and a drop in unemployment in a single quarter. This was after this remark in his Op-Ed piece “That 30’s Feeling;
"Many economists, myself included, regard this turn to austerity (Germany’s) as a huge mistake. It raises memories of 1937, when F.D.R.’s premature attempt to balance the budget helped plunge a recovering economy back into severe recession. And here in Germany, a few scholars see parallels to the policies of Heinrich BrĂ¼ning, the chancellor from 1930 to 1932, whose devotion to financial orthodoxy ended up sealing the doom of the Weimar Republic. But despite these warnings, the deficit hawks are prevailing in most places — and nowhere more than here, where the government has pledged 80 billion euros, almost $100 billion, in tax increases and spending cuts even though the economy continues to operate far below capacity.

Well this was his statement in his Sept 5 Op-Ed, “The Real Story;”
Oh, and don’t tell me that Germany proves that austerity, not stimulus, is the way to go. Germany actually did quite a lot of stimulus — the austerity is all in the future. Also, it never had a housing bubble that burst. And with all that, German G.D.P. is still further below its pre-crisis peak than American G.D.P. True, Germany has done better in terms of employment — but that’s because strong unions and government policy have prevented American-style mass layoffs.

There is simply no way to reconcile his forecast and the180 deg spin. Paul Krugman is running scared.

What Krugman continues to harp on however is a lack of inflation as the US borrowed itself into an additional $12 trillion hole over the last 10 years; $4 trillion in last two years alone. Krugman is so sure of his neo-Keynesian belief that inflation cannot occur with sustained unemployment, that he is willing to bet the farm (aka the US and world economy) on it. The reason however, that the US economy has not experienced any inflation is mainly due to reasons that have nothing to do with unemployment, but are nonetheless very well known by real economists; the first being the cause of the Carter years of stagflation. Here was a classic example of a Neo-Keynesian refusal to do as John Maynard Keynes said to do when situations change, “I change my mind; what do you do?” The reason is centered on the price oil and how its sold. During the Carter years the US was mired in a recession and suddenly oil prices increased, resulting in inflation. The reason is simple and obvious and still very true today. The world buys and sells oil in US dollars. This leads in many ways to the tail wagging the dog; resulting in the price of oil determining the value of the dollar. As long as oil prices are stable and low, the US will dollar will tend to stay stable with low inflation. But if oil starts to spike, then inflation will set in. In the summer of 2008 the US suffered from oil prices spiking to over $4 @ gal. The result was an immediate increase in inflation from 3% to 5.6%, which fell off as soon as oil went down to its previous prices.

Next you have the Fed keeping interest rates artificially low. This can only continue as long as the US Treasury can keep selling low yield Treasury securities. One reason the Treasury securities market continues to stay relatively healthy is that Europe is 10 years closer to the Keynesian “end point” than the US, so even the small yield Treasury securities seem a better investment then those based on the Euro; but that is starting to change. Recently the Fed has announced they are going to buy more Treasury securities themselves, which will increase monetization and eventually lead to increased inflation. Another obvious issue is as the US goes deeper into the debt, the less stable the dollar becomes. Sooner or later, there will be a demand for higher yields from US Treasury securities to cover the increased risk that the added debt will bring upon the economy on which they are based . Once the Federal securities yields go up, you won’t be able to stop inflation with 40% unemployment.

Last, but certainly not least you have China. For years now, China has continually devalued its currency so it can sell its products a lower prices. This has especially helped to pump up the value of the dollar. There has been criticism of this from the other world markets, but China knows on what side it’s toast is buttered on and continues to prop up the currency of it’s biggest trading partner. China has also been one of Washington’s biggest critics for it’s Keynesian deficit spending and has periodically sold off a percentage of its US Treasury securities, of which it holds about $840 billion worth, to goad the US to reduce its debt. A higher valued Yen would certainly lead to inflation.

The world wide opinion of Keynesian economics and it’s debt fueled spending programs has not produced the results it promised, and the realization it has finally reached it’s "end point." As I wrote in another blog article It Wasn't All Bush, Keynesian economics has caused us, particularly since the 1980s, to continually borrow prosperity from our grandchildren and great grandchildren. When Reagan became president in 1981 the debt was $700 billion, when he left 8 years later it was $3 trillion; in today’s money that’s an increase of $5.75 trillion. “Since the 1980s, Americans have consumed more than they produced—and they have made up the difference by borrowing. Two decades of easy money and innovative financial products meant that virtually anyone could borrow any amount of money for any purpose.” ( Like the gangsters after prohibition, the bankers and the Keynesian will try and put the smoke back in the box, but is over. It is time to get back to being responsible again and to go out and make an honest dollar.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

As You See It; Obama, the Constitution, George Bush, Fascism and the Party of "No"

Well it was a rousing couple of days responding to the Santa Cruz Sentential "As You See It" response forum. It starts with an printed article of mine (September 2) pared down from a longer blog article titled "Not Quite the Truth"; following are some responses and my follow-up responses. Next on September 4, starts with my responding to a Party of "No" criticism of the Republicans, then bounced around from George Bush, to Constitutional Rights and fascism. This ends with another pared down letter I sent to the Sentential which may or may not be published.

September 2, 2010

Not quite the truth

The red herring being thrown out by the progressive left about the ground zero mosque is that this is all about the First Amendment and religious freedom; this could not be further from the truth. The reason is the Bill of Rights protects the citizenry from government, but does not restrain the citizenry. If we all agree that government has no say about building the mosque, then whatever the citizens say or demonstrate about has no attachment to the Constitution's protection against government intrusion. The citizenry is therefore protected by the First Amendment to protest the mosque; you can't claim one right to the exclusion of another. Thomas Jefferson said, "As long as you don't pick my pocket or kick me in the leg, I don't care what else you do."
Brad *******, Santa Cruz

Bradish wrote:
There is no link to progressives with any of mosque rights or appropriateness. Well, not until Brad admits the sin of professing WMDs resulted in the death and wounding of United States soldiers, as well as many thousands of innocent people. Thanks for personally bankrupting the USA, Brad.

brad responded;
Here again is the Progressive left trying to re-frame the argument. Like all progressives, you try to re-write history to fit your world view. Even without WMD's Iraq had consistently violated UN resolutions for weapons inspections and the decision to go to war was unilateral, including the UN and the vast majority of both sides of Congress. Congress also had all the intelligence information that Bush and Cheney had including Israel, Briton and Egypt. What was later determined was Iraq was in shambles and Saddam Hussein was afraid he was going to be attacked from Iran, which they share a 518k common border (remember they had a little war that lasted 8 years and was fought to a bloody draw). Hussein did not even consider the US would invade, as they did not with Bush41, but that was not the case with Iran. The false information of WMD's in Iraq, was an intelligence operation by Iraq to the purpose of which was to convince Iran not to invade. This is not to say that Cheney and the other Hawks in Washington were not looking for a reason to invade and did not question the universally consistent intelligence which should have been suspect, but it was hardly "Bush lied and people died". If this was true, why did not Cheney and Halleburton go bury some WMD's in the Iraqi desert for the military to find? This would have made Bush the hero. Your progressive narrative just doesn't make sense.

Give me a break responded:
Brad, The constitution binds us all, not just the government. It DOES empower the people to change the constitution, but not to ignore it.
On purpose, it's not easy to change ... otherwise passions of the moment would result in chaos ... the chaos that you are proposing.
I thank the forefathers for having the presence of mind to protect the country from the likes of you. I love America and will defend it from the radicals on either side!

brad responded;
It is a shame you are so ignorant of your own freedoms. The people are constrained by the rule of law, not the Constitutional restrictions from government intrusion. The first Amendment starts with, "Congress will make no law," there is no reference to the restricting the rights of the people. If you believe you have been wronged by the tyranny of the majority, an individual or corporation (if the violation does not raise to the level of a criminal statue), your redress is in Civil court, not the Constitutional constraints of the Federal Government. Please read the Federalist papers written by our founding fathers before you spout out on what the intent of our founding fathers were. Madison imagined a collection of self-governing states held together loosely by Federalism. The Constitution defined the powers and restrictions of this Federal government and it's interaction with the states. It was not until the 14th Amendment that these federal restrictions were transferred to the states (it's still an ongoing process) and Constitutional rights were applied to the citizenry. Regardless, our Constitutional rights protect the citizenry from a tyrannical government and these restrictions were never and have never been applied to the citizenry. The 1st Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." How do you read that the citizenry's right to free speech and peaceably assemble is constrained by freedom of religion? Like I said before, you can't claim one right to the exclusion of the other.

September 4, 2010

Anne Marie Sorcenelli wrote:
The fact that our government is paralyzed by the tea party and the Party of No is unbelievable and unacceptable. The media is monopolized with lies, innuendo and bigoted spiels. I'm tired of being squeezed as a middle-class citizen. Health-care reform doesn't translate to any real protection from predatory practices. My health insurance was increased 40 percent September 2009 and it was increased another 13 percent yesterday. I, and many other self-employed citizens, am having trouble believing that we'll survive this mess. Our state and federal representatives have compensation and medical benefits for life. There's no real incentive to help the middle class except to benefit from their endorsements, campaign contributions and hence, their re-election. We keep hoping for change. Since industry sponsors write bills and our representatives shill them into law, our government has become a servant of industry. Most have lost faith. How do we change this system?

brad responded;
If the President were governing according to the will of the people than any party of "no" would be in the minority. The fact the Republicans popularity numbers are so high, even amongst those that are not aware of the Republicans bills that have been brought forth, can only be explained by the fact that the majority of the citizenry want to stop the Obama Juggernaut at all costs. Nancy Pelosi’s, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” And now Health and Human Services Secretary, Nancy Sebelius saying ,“So, we have a lot of reeducation to do,”(As the citizenry discovers the truth and lies of healthcare reform) has made the American people wondering who is actually writing these bills. The President told us what his healthcare plan would look like and later we find out it looks nothing like he said it would, which seems consistent with most his policies and promises and proving the Democrat’s are voting on bills they know nothing about. When at anytime has re-education and re-distribution of wealth became common subjects in the American lexicon and freely discussed using positive rhetoric by the President of the United States? And yes, “The media is monopolized with lies, innuendo and bigoted spiels,” but primarily from the partisan left, which continually tells us to disagree with any left leaning policy is racism. It has become so partisan the many have started to look back at Bush 43 for guidance on how he managed a war against Islamic Terrorism, while using both terms so the world understood where our fight was and still defend the Muslin religion as peaceful and accepting. Before we can reform Washington we need to stop the bleeding, for now that means saying “no” until we can throw the bums out.

Doug Urbanus wrote:
Regarding Bill McCoy's letter, our federal Constitution is a mix of precise rules and abstract moral principles. The minimum age of our representatives is an example of a rule. The equal protection clause of the 14th amendment is an expression of abstract moral principle. Justice Elena Kagan in her Senate confirmation testimony considering the authors' intention said, "They didn't mean to constitutionalize all of their practices in 1868. They meant to set forth a principle of equality that would be applied over time." No matter one's politics, how the abstract moral clauses should be applied is a matter of interpretation. To complain that enacting a law to establish health insurance or indeed any law is constitutionally impermissible because it is not explicitly etched in the Constitution, reduces the Constitution to a document of dos and don'ts. Fortunately, even textualists, such as Justice Scalia, reject such a view.

brad responded;
What a bunch of Progressive pulp. Read the 10th Amendment carefully. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." As much as you want to talk about the Constitution as a living, breathing document, it is nothing of the kind. It is a legal document whose precepts are to be used to weigh the formulation of new laws. The concept that Congress can force the citizenry, for the “privilege,” of living in the United States, to buy a private service is by definition fascist. The overreaching of an activist court’s use of Commerce clause, has allowed the federal government to influence practically every aspect of our lives, which is consistent with Hilaire Belloc, “The control of the production of wealth is the control of human life itself.” The Healthcare reform bill has now been declared a tax in the federal court cases now being heard in the various states that oppose it, because it would have been unconstitutional otherwise; but what tax demands that the citizenry again buy a private service (and note here that auto insurance is an aspect of the privilege to drive, not the right of federal residency). The Constitutional is not a document of Do’s and Don’ts; it is a document of the rights of the individual and restrictions on the Federal Government. The 9th Amendment says, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people;” or the people have more rights than have been expressed in the Constitution, while the 10th Amendment says the only powers the Federal Government has are those specifically given by the Constitution and all other rights and powers are with the people. Nothing could be clearer.

rebel wrote:
Two years! That should have been plenty of time to fix all the problems generated by the abuse of the last eight! Those lazy democrats!

brad responded;
I'm still waiting to hear what we need to change that occurred during the 8 years of Bush. Is it deficits and debt? No way. Is it more regulation for Fannie and Freddie, nope, not in the Frank/ Dodd financial reform bill. Oh I know, it's the sub prime mortgages derivatives; nope still there. Is it ending a politically controlled war? Certainly not. Hey what about that nasty Patriot Act? no, still there. Oh, Oh, is it political corruption? Yeah, right.. How about the government right to assassinate American citizens any where in the world without a trail? Actually that is an Obama policy, even Bush didn't go that far. Maybe it's the sky high CEO wages and bonuses? no, pretty much the same . How about transparency and honesty in government, that's really all we want; no, still wanting. I've got it! It's 7% unemployment; that nasty President Bush just didn't care about the little guy. The truth is Presidents come and go but the entrenched policies of greed and corruption rarely change, and certainly not with Obama.

Government responded:
Brad said "The concept that Congress can force the citizenry, for the “privilege,” of living in the United States, to buy a private service is the definition of fascism. "
I don't think Brad has studied fascist governments, let alone ever lived under one. In my view, in the 20th century fascism rose in countries where the empowered few felt truly threatened by a coming revolutionary change in the power structure of their countries; and to turn back this change (socialism) they harnessed and promoted popular discontent and channeled it into powerful government/corporate alliance that, once entrenched, completely disempowered the individuals that they had harnessed to support it.
One can certainly dislike the idea that one might be required to buy private insurance - one can argue its propriety (or even its constitutionality) but tying it to "fascism" is so out of the blue!!!!!

brad responded;
If this is truly your understanding of fascism, then this forum does not allow enough room to explain what little you know about it (sorry, but your progressive revisionist history about the rise of fascism is frustrating. In Italy the Socialist refused to take power after 1920 "occupation of the factories" by the workers, for fear they would not be able to fulfill their Utopian promises in the post war chaos; this left the door open for Mussolini's Fascist party to take control two years later); 20th Century fascism was the revolutionary change, supposedly resulting from failed lassie fare Capitalism and a refusal of the Socialist to take power. Mussolini described his form of fascism as corporate government;it is a form of government that swallows up labor unions and any other impediments to production and creates state sponsored industries. Fascism is government run like a corporation where the economy is planned and truth is relative to the State’s perceived needs of the collective. Ron Paul has rightly described Obama as a corporatist. FDR had a fascination with fascism and particularly an admiration for Mussolini. “Comparisons are drawn between the cartelisation of Italian industry by Mussolini and the 'cartelisation' of American industry by Roosevelt under the National Recovery Act. Most fascist governments adopted economic policies favorable to big business”(Wiki); tell me how this is not the same as Obama's taking control of 2/3 of the American auto industry. There is also his back room deals with Big Pharma, Healthcare insurance companies and Medicare providers. In no other form of government besides fascism do you have forced consumption from a private entity; in socialism these entities are the government (they only exception to this was a short period of time under Lenin when he embraced a more corporate view until all industry was eventually nationalized; this blending of Marxism and fascism is sometimes referred to as neo-Leninism). The Healthcare reform system creates a defacto collective, under the guise of equal care and the elimination of competitiveness. In regards to your original concept that fascism was a reaction to socialism and not a form of socialism, I’ll leave you with the words of F. A. Hayek, “There is a great deal of truth that in the often heard statement that fascism and National Socialism are a sort of middle-class socialism- only that in Italy and Germany the supporters of these new movements were hardly in the middle class any longer. It was to a large extent a revolt of the new underprivileged class against the labor aristocracy, which the industrial labor movement had created.”

brad wrote:
If the President were governing according to the will of the people than any party of "no" would be in the minority.

uh Clem responded
Exactly. The "Party of No" will be the Party of November

You belcha responded:
right after you produce them WMDs.

brad responded;
We found the WMDs, apparently they were hiding in Obama's stimulus plan.

Letter to the Editor

Where are the Bridges and Dams?

What ever happened to the Presidents stimulus plan? You know the plan that was going to fund those shovel ready projects. Well, it turned out the stimulus wasn’t really a stimulus at all. Rather the stimulus was written by the ultra-left Apollo Alliance (a project of George Soros’ Tides Center, with Van Jones on the steering committee) to fund those areas of the economy that met with their political agenda. Even Paul Krugman had to agree, “..for all the talk of a failed stimulus, if you look at government spending as a whole you see hardly any stimulus at all.” No bridges, no dams, no highways and no jobs; apparently it was more important for the Apollo Alliance to fund its progressive agenda, than to create jobs and improve the economy, which makes this the coming attraction for Cap and Trade.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Idealism vs Economic Theory

At some point, no matter what your opinion, you have to ask yourself three questions. #1 What exactly did Bush do to screw up the economy that we need to reverse? I mean, we blame Bush for the economy, so there must be something he was doing that he alone (or with the Republicans) was doing; some of which I covered this in my recent article, It Wasn't All Bush You can still “blame Bush,” but a more important question is(#2) , What are we going to do about it? And the #3 question is, after 20 months of Obama’s economic recovery plan, with no evidence that the economy has recovered at all, is it reasonable to ask, is Obama’s plan a failure? Should we be looking to do something else? Certainly, if you interject $500 billion into the economy and loan $800 billion to the banks, it is going to have a temporary and positive effect on the economy; and it did. But the economy is slipping back into what some are falsely calling a double dip economy. But this double dip recession appears to be the same recession less the temporary affects of the stimulus; as Ron Paul said, “You can’t have a double dip recession if the first recession never came to an end.”

Presidents like to posture that they are following some economic strategy; Reagan had “supply side”economics and Obama has Keynesian theory. But what usually happens, due to perceived political necessity like Reagan or a re-distributive ideology as with Obama, these strategies become political road kill. When Reagan compromised with the Democrats and allowed high deficits along with his tax cuts, he simply redistributed taxes as debt (and his key economic adviser David Stockman resigned). This is not to condemn what occurred, it just wasn’t supply side economics. The same with President Obama, the key to his economic reform is a Keynesian stimulus to prime the economic pump. But the President’s stimulus was not injected into areas of the economy that would result in any jobs. Rather the stimulus was written by the ultra-left Apollo Alliance to fund those areas of the economy that met with their political agenda. Even Paul Krugman had to agree, “..for all the talk of a failed stimulus, if you look at government spending as a whole you see hardly any stimulus at all.” While FDR also ran up the debt and may have extended the Great Depression, at least he had something to show for it. Where are all the work projects? Where are the dams and bridges and highways? Where are all those “shovel ready “jobs?

The Whitehouse said they saved 3 million jobs, but there are still 8 million jobs lost! Because a Keynesian stimulus is not designed specifically to create jobs, the stimulus simply disappeared in the $34 trillion of private dept. What Keynesian theory has never dealt with before are such large amounts of private debt. People are willing to maintain a rather high debt levels if they are employed, but these safety-net programs like unemployment insurance, are recognized by the unemployed as temporary. So rather than breaking us loose from the "liquidity trap," people are paying off debt and increasing their savings, hoping for the best but preparing for the worst; contrary to Nancy Pelosi saying that unemployment insurance will stimulate the economy and create jobs. This is the fatal flaw that eventually shows itself with Keynesian theory; the inability to factor in unanticipated human behavior. But even with this, the President never gave the stimulus a chance; it was more important for the Apollo Alliance to fund its progressive agenda, than to create jobs or improve the economy, which makes this the coming attraction for Cap and Trade.