Saturday, August 22, 2015

Symbolism and the Left's Success

Critical Weary was bitterly complaining about the left's indifference to, even support for, Communism when it is responsible for far more deaths worldwide than their favorite bogeyman, Nazism.  Scotty chimed in, describing the situation in his country of Scotland and wondering why people were so irrational.  Now that you have a little background, here's my contribution to the discussion:

Good commentary. The left IS irrational, that can’t be denied. How to explain the strength of the movement? They are very, very good with SYMBOLISM. I read a piece yesterday about how symbols are much more powerful than words, and a light went on. I suddenly realized why the left is so successful with their weak, pathetic arguments. They’ve mastered symbolism. Symbolism communicates at a deeper level and bypasses the logical functions. Trying to bring a cogent argument to such a person convinced by symbols is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.
“Remember the saying of the Chinese sage Lao-Tzu, who said that “symbols rule the world, not rules or laws”? Symbols communicate at a deeper level than words, because they are decoded by the right, intuitive brain, whereas words are decoded by the left, logical brain. Symbols are able to penetrate more deeply into our subconscious”
“Words attempt to rule the world, but they can never be as powerful as symbols.”
You can go ahead a read the article–you may think it’s a little off-the-wall, but the writer makes very insightful comments about the nature of symbolism.
Rush Limbaugh, a spokesman for the right (with which/whom I’m not in total agreement) likes to characterize the left as “symbolism over substance”. Very true, and insightful.
We who would oppose the left’s lunacy need some of their fluency with symbols.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

McDonald's struggling, Starbucks prospering. Comment on "Fast Coffee and the Internet" (Daily Bell)

The big difference between Mickey D's and Starbucks? McD's is fast food (and decent coffee) for the unwashed masses, while Starbucks is clearly aimed at the upscale techie. I wonder if Starbucks' business model would have flown in the '50s? You know, the era of 850-square-foot postwar boxes cleverly disguised as housing for the proletariat? Containing one bathroom, one TV, and one car in the driveway? The occupants of which were reveling in their new-found prosperity? Somehow, I doubt it. I doubt if Ralph Kramden would have patronized Starbucks. Our current ridiculous level of wealth makes the Starbucks phenomenon possible.

Monday, August 10, 2015

On Money

Part of a conversation with Max Hernandez, author of an interesting book entitled "Thieves (sic) Emporium"

"Smart boy. Money is what people say it is. And sometimes, people change their minds. So money is not always the same thing. Today, the answer to your question is dollars. But, tomorrow, it might be gold."
Sam, you forgot a key factor in your "subtle" definition: the reason people "say" the dollar is money is because the FedGov has a gun held to their heads demanding that they accept it in transactions. That's all. If those (legal tender) laws were revoked, OR if it became obvious to a critical mass that the gov is running a scam, people would "change their minds" in a heartbeat. Except for the cows, of which there are many. But even they'd learn soon.
What's the scam? I'm glad you asked. It's substituting that which is NOT money for that which IS.
NOW we need a definition, don't we?
Your definition excludes the free market, which is what Parker fears above all else. In order to arrive at a proper definition of money, you must include a free market IN MONEY, which we haven't had in a long time.

If I may jump in here for Sam, please explain something to me. Is it your contention that the entire world economy has been, since 1971 (or 1933, or 1913, or 1694, take your pick) operating without money? And, as nearly as I can tell, also mostly without barter, right? So what do you call the type of economy that has been in existence since then, this strange beast that uses neither barter nor money?
Humanity needs something to facilitate three-party transactions. Without that 'thing', we would all be condemned to a tribal existence because specialization of labour would be practically impossible. You can play whatever games you want with definitions, but, for my 'money', that 'magic' substance, the one that allows civilization to exist, is always best called 'money'.
Are we using the U.S.Dollar for that 'magic substance' right now because we are forced to? Maybe. But the point is irrelevant as far as its definition is concerned. Whether pushed into using a particular candidate for it by force or not, money is what the marketplace chooses it to be.

I know about money's solving the problem of coincidence of wants, so you needn't start from square one. You're using two terms that should be called something else: Money, and the US Dollar. What passes for "money" these days is really "currency". "Money" has the attribute of being a store of value. The so-called "US Dollar" doesn't have that attribute. As far as "US Dollar" is concerned, it should be called the Federal Reserve Note, or FRN. The term "US Dollar" has a definition. The use of that term by the authorities (not necessarily by yourself) in referring to the FRN is fraudulent.
" is what the marketplace chooses it to be." I agree. But in the case of the FRN, the marketplace didn't do the choosing. The choosing was done for us by our betters.
As an aside, people speak of substituting "paper" for metal. "Paper" is not what's being offered. The government printing press doesn't print paper per se, it prints documents. This is the scam. A document's value is not in itself, but in what it refers to, in the information contained. The dollar "bills" or Federal Reserve "notes" (both of which terms indicate debt) make a promise to pay. In the case of the dollar bill, it's 371.25 grains of silver or 1/20.67 ounce of gold. In the case of the FRN, it's...nothing.
Whether paper, base metal (in the case of coins), or computer entries, the FRN is a document which promises to pay nothing. To quote Ben Bernanke, FRNs can be created in unlimited quantities "at essentially zero cost". This is not a characteristic of an item of value. That is, it doesn't fit the definition of a scarce resource. The marketplace only assigns values to items which have this attribute of scarcity. This is why, in your (excellent) story, the FedGov was willing to summarily execute those attempting to cut in on its monopoly. They wouldn't do this to gold miners. On the contrary, they'd stand ready to buy their product.
BTW...JFK, like your fictitious characters, found out how serious the FedGov is about protecting its monopoly.

Friday, August 7, 2015

On the Holocaust

An email I sent my Uncle Frank (aka Fwank) in response to a forwarded editorial re Planned Parenthood's PR firm (in it, the writer recommended a mandatory tour of Auschwitz for the PR firm's members):

Uncle Fwank,
Thanks for forwarding this.  I took the tour in the summer of '89 during my stay in Krakow, just an hour away.  It's very sobering.  Followed up by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem in '93.  Double whammy.
But you know, I don't think we've got a generation here that would react in a human manner to such atrocity.  Frankly, I think if these folks were to take the mandatory tour, they'd be looking for the nearest McDonald's afterwards, having worked up an appetite:  "It's quite a long tour, y'know.  Looking at musty old relics and such.  Interesting for history buffs, but..."
Which is precisely why they're going to win the day on this one.  Because the whole society has caught their disease.  They really don't have to do much.  Just let Americans' short attention spans and tolerance for the grotesque and horrible do their work for them.  Sure, there are some RADICALS with POLITICAL AGENDAS out there who're trying to make a big deal out of this, but y'know, they don't care EVEN ONE LITTLE BIT about women's health.  They've LOST THEIR MORAL COMPASS (Harry Reid).

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I don't see any other ethnic group besides Anglo-Saxons who freed another ethnic group on moral grounds at the cost of 630,000 men in all of history. And it looks like that was just the down payment. The Civil War, insofar as it was about slavery (there were other factors), was about the only disinterested war I can think of--where the motivation was not survival or economic gain, but rather, moral principle. What an amazing thing! What a testimony to the greatness of our nation and the Judeo-Christian values it was founded upon! No one else, no other nation that I can think of, would have even considered it. I guarantee that our present society, departed as it is from those values and given over to pragmatism and self-indulgence, would never make that sacrifice. Today we face another moral watershed--the killing of unborn children. Will we pass this test? There is a difference between the two, however: One, the enslavement of Africans didn't automatically involve their wholesale slaughter, and two, it's unlikely that those seeking to abolish state-sanctioned killing of the unborn will be asked to give their lives for their convictions. So in the present case, the compelling issue is even greater, while the sacrifice required is less. And even so, we can't seem to bring ourselves to deal with it. Woe to us.