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  • in reply to: Debt Rattle February 16 2020 #54011


    More importantly, let’s talk about the benefits of demonic possession!!

    Sorry illargi, for some reason that really got me smiling…maybe ‘cuz I’m just down the road from Mr. Falwell and his University of Hypocrisy (HOW much Federal money flows into your pockets sir?!?)

    Okay, back to Covid19…

    I’m actually a little surprised that we haven’t seen more viral hotspots at the big universities…I’ve heard there are cases in Dane County, WI (Madison), but that’s it.

    A recent newspaper article regarding the universities referred to a “looming cliff” in enrollment due to demographics. C-19 could potentially accelerate that? Those institutions are sure great at scaling up, but not at scaling down!

    in reply to: Debt Rattle February 9 2020 #53720


    While out with friends enjoying some music last evening, someone said, “We shouldn’t be worried about Coronavirus because the flu kills many, many more!”

    I didn’t have a good response, so I didn’t reply. In hindsight – and I’m asking here – is “guess” that the 2019nCoV has both a higher mortality rate and possibly affects the body differently. ? Thoughts??

    (But if we were to name it the Blue Sky & Clean Water Virus and create a derivative the financial markets could trade, all would be good)

    With regard to “children playing”. Living in Racine, WI years ago I remember a nearby church playground, wonderful “jungle gyms” and manicured lawns. Fenced. And a sign prominently posted saying, “In honor of the Lord’s day, please refrain from using this playground on Sundays”.

    A twisted, sick mentality in my opinion. Wish I had a picture of that sign…

    in reply to: Debt Rattle January 27 2020 #53059


    It’s all like “reality” television, a format Mr. Trump seems to love, but only when he’s the only writer, or has final edit powers. We await his Midwest peace proposal where, again, he seems to think he has final editing power (over his ghost writers).

    Sadly, he’s clearly incapable of learning the fact that others have agency, no matter how limited.

    On the issue of rising interest rates, I couldn’t help but make a comparison between the apparent “prairie fire” growth of coronavirus and a coming worldwide debt contagion.

    Add locusts and it just gets really depressing (if it’s possible to get more depressing).

    in reply to: Debt Rattle January 25 2020 #52999


    I wear ear protection with a radio as I labor, and normally listen to classical music. But I have listened to 95% of the presentation thus far, and will again when I get back from the feed mill this morning.

    In my mind Shiff & Co. have done an admirable job in making a case against the president and his abuse of power. Prior to listening I thought the charges were all made up and partisan.

    But I voted against Trump because of his character, and I voted against Hillary because of her neo-conservative foreign policy (thinking she’d quickly lead us to war against Russia).

    Sadly, I think we are now witnessing “prosecutorial over-reach” as Congressman Shiff reaches to connect all this to a “bad, bad” Putin. Conveniently left out are our walking away from treaties, including the promise not to expand NATO.

    I went into this believing that neither side wore the proverbial “white hat”, and Congressman Shiff proved me correct. The whole “Russia-gate” is an unsettled affair and it should have been left alone in this case, IMHO.

    A strategy I would have preferred would have been an open discussion of the hyper-partisanship, a search to mend that at the highest level. This same “use of presidential power” would be used to attack members of the president’s own party who “stepped out of line”, and the clearer minds of the world’s greatest deliberative body needed to stitch this country back together through compromise. Real leadership.

    But no…

    Instead, Shiff & Company opened up a huge, huge ‘nother, unsettled, partisan can of worms. It’s like listening to a person discuss a theory, and you slowly find yourself agreeing…and then next thing you know this seemingly rational person is talking about the “lizard people at the earth’s core in power” and NOW you need to dismiss their entire previous argument.

    So close, representative Shiff, so close…

    in reply to: Debt Rattle January 21 2020 #52872


    Listening to this back-and-forth all afternoon, (a back-and-forth that will sway no one) it seems to me that the president is guilty as heck, but the prosecutors screwed up the process in so many ways they can’t possibly win at this point.

    Trying to argue facts that they didn’t seem to chase down (why?) hard enough, they’re constantly undercut on process. An impulsive man will get tripped up in a patient, dogged, detailed process, he can’t handle that! A 33 day delay is not the same thing.

    Hindsight would say that a patient, stand-offish approach to the president over the years would have simply reinforced his belief in his own “perfectness”… and given him plenty of rope to hang himself. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle December 22 2019 #52285


    Frank Kilgore, a SW Virginia lawyer by vocation, and historian by avocation, wrote a recent Roanoke Times editorial that seems to speak (in my mind) to the photograph and Dr. D’s comment.

    In a nutshell, an integrated Little League team from the coalfields of Appalachia kicked the snot out of a segregated Little League team from oh-so-pc-proper Charlottesville back in 1951.

    He goes on to talk about other examples of not-sexism and not-racism of the working class, possibly ahead of the curve, folks in Appalachia.

    in reply to: The Fed Detests Free Markets #51821


    @ John Day – in the event of another 2008,
    How many millions would be foreclosed on (by a system we bailed out)?
    Has the mindset changed and a peaceful “moving on” is a thing of the past?
    The folks I know and work for who have been piling out of the market, buying real assets and then trying to raise the debt don’t even seem capable of entertaining such thoughts (I probe gently).

    in reply to: The Fed Detests Free Markets #51820


    Yes, the folks who have been reading you, some since The Oil Drum, understand and appreciate your take on the issues, Illargi.

    President Trump seems to have recognized the existence of the forgotten members of our society, who were not only left out but actively hurt by such policies.

    To listen to people talk, the radio, the television, we seem to think Trump is this “out there” candidate. Will the next populist presidential candidate figure out a way to communicate this fairly complex idea (the crux of your above writing) to the masses, and out-Trump even Mr. Trump?

    Maybe we’ll be seeing “Miss me yet?” bumper-stickers of The Donald in 2025…

    in reply to: The Godfather in US Politics #51552


    Sadly, when trying to discuss issues, whether Skripal or Assange or just about anything, I always seem to have to preface my comments with: “I’m not a Trump fan”. I get it, Raul, It gets really old.

    I just wrote a wide-ranging letter to family back in the Midwest and felt compelled to call them before it arrived and say, “I’m NOT a Trump fan. I’m just trying to look at the issues”.

    NPR is on in the background and the woman who testified today is heard saying: “It wasn’t Ukraine, it was Russia!” Really? Still haven’t seen evidence of election meddling… (8 programmers trolling on Facebook wouldn’t make a dent against K Street).

    And then there’s Giuliani throwing out HIS bogeyman: “It’s George Soros!”

    Keep it up, Raul (as long as you’re able and willing)

    in reply to: The Godfather in US Politics #51550


    I also greatly appreciated the words from North of my border.

    If your 737 Max is flying upside down I think you’d be headed for a power-on stall (if MCAS kicks in). In a similar manner, if one’s reading was NOT tempered by sites such as TAE, you’d also be getting positive feedback and getting farther away from stability.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle November 18 2019 #51392


    Just down the road here in central Appalachia the administration at Radford University (Virginia) has taught thousands of students that feeling can, indeed, overrule law, with no consequences to those with the Ph.D’s and tenure.

    All student newspaper racks “just happened” to be completely emptied before Katie Couric came to town on Sept. 18th. A police investigation determined it was a low-level employee acting “on his own” with absolutely NO direction from a superior. The low-level hourly wage employee has been subsequently disciplined. First Amendment to the constitution meet “feelings”, and be damned! The articles in that newspaper just “felt” wrong!

    So now we are back to our regular buffet of criticizing the president for breaking the law and acting impulsively…

    Up the road we have Jerry “If it’s Republican it must be moral” Falwell further joining evangelicals with the Republican party. Liberty University’s very own Caesar doesn’t want to talk about the FEDERAL AID flowing to his tens of thousands of “online” students, though!

    Thanks for that recent post, Illargi!

    in reply to: Hearsay, Your Honor! #51319


    One more thing, it seems John Michael Greer is also accused of being “right leaning”, when he’s simply applying (what I believe to be) critical thinking.

    in reply to: Hearsay, Your Honor! #51318


    I, too, am not right-leaning, but am often accused as such for simply raising an objection or questioning some detail. More and more I simply nod in silence.

    Still pondering your piece the other day regarding a tendency to confuse the subjective with the objective. “Hearsay” would fall into the subjective camp. Evidence only in the court of public opinion, as Limbaugh and Hannity know and manipulate so well, those few times I try to listen.

    Sadly, I hear what I find to be biased presuppositions and assumptions in the analysis and reporting of my old “go to”, NPR as well. Much more subtle.

    Appreciate your take, and your questioning.

    in reply to: Vindman, the Expert #51259


    To my way of thinking, wonderfully succinct Vindman piece. Four main points, well supported.

    There are few places where one can question this ongoing process, or similar processes or events, and not be immediately crammed into one side of the “argument” or the other.

    Living here in central Appalachia, your posts are a lifeline to sanity. Like you, I’m not a Trump fan, nor am I a “never Trumper” (or whatever it’s called nowadays). It makes me “insane” to see the frothing at the mouth with regard to the President and his behavior, and then pick up the local paper and read how the administration at Radford University “stole” all the student newspapers from the racks when a photo angered them. Really?!?! Anybody familiar with the term “irony”?

    Your work helps keep my basic critical thinking sharp – thank you.


    To R Rapier’s point, I just got done watching theGerman interview on LiveLeak with Snowden and in some ways he seems like a man looking back over his shoulder while leading a charge and seeing… nothing!

    To anyone with the patience to answer a very simple question… While talking with a friend the other day regarding the “World of Change” type issues, he simply said, “Fiat currencies are all faith-based anyway, so why don’t we just keep the faith and it all moves along fine?”

    He doesn’t really believe it will, nor do I (history does have something to teach us), but I was not able to give a clear answer. Do financial players “attack” a country or position eventually (never quite understood how they “attack” a currency, country…). Do the markets eventually take over bond/interest rates?

    My way of understanding (part of) the current situation is that we ARE in a depression/deflation, but the money is going to buy all this bad paper… just reading the numbers on DB’s derivatives tells you that that is a bottomless pit… that paper will never be paid off and then hyperinflation start.

    Guess I’ll just go back to work, strive to be worth more than I’m paid, stay out of debt, learn skills, take care of the garden and the chickens, continue building a small community of semi-like-minded folk… (but I am curious about this “higher-level” financial thinking stuff…)

    in reply to: Debt Rattle Jan 28 2014: Squandered Blood and Angry Birds #10881


    Apropos of nothing, but also maybe everything… I swing a hammer for work, and usually have a radio on, and the unrelenting talk about “cutting spending”, and “welfare” and all that makes me sick because these talking heads can’t seem to turn around and see the $ (fill in the blank) billion PER MONTH that the Fed is spending as more of the same.

    Talking with a co-worker yesterday and we realized that if your industry is so overwhelmingly vital to the everyday life of the United States of A, that you can’t possibly fail or everyone goes down with you… then you are not a “free market industry”… you are a UTILITY. And like water, electricity, transportation, you should be GOVERNED like a utility. And that includes appropriation for your (much less than imagined) personal risk.

    We also realized that this is the perennial system, it’s not gonna change. But it sure makes for interesting conversation.

    Banking is a Utility now…

    in reply to: Why We Can Not Purchase Our Way Out Of Debt #10499


    Good evening Ilargi,

    I, for one, enjoyed that thread. Speaking for myself, different parts of this whole complex mess become “clear” (if that’s possible) at different times… the whole “energy needed to support this level of complexity” is one I’m still trying to wrap my brain around.

    With regard to the debt, it’s a tough one to even begin to grasp for a lot of reasons, and I’ll name two: (a) the CONSTANT message – brainwashing? – coming from the powers-that-be (and their shills) that everything is good, and (b) the sheer ENORMITY of the numbers. It’s like trying to think in geological time or something… incomprehensible.

    I appreciate you and Nicole and others reaching out to give a mental “hand-up” to me when I’m stuck on aspect that may be clear-as-day to you/them, but a new and/or confusing concept to me. Back in the late 80’s, fresh out of college, I was working for a Fortune 500 company and I remember the plant manager of our flagship plant telling me that government debt didn’t matter… (sure would be interesting to run into HIM today!)

    Thanks for more clarity. The folks you have commenting on your blog are unsurpassed, in my book.

    in reply to: Mac died #10449


    Ilargi, we need to get you back up to speed (for OUR sanity), so I just dropped some coin in the hat… Hope we can keep this ball rolling.

    in reply to: Crash on Demand? A Response to David Holmgren #10392


    This might be obvious to many others, but I’m new to this thinking… I have really been spending a lot of time thinking about the whole idea of “economical” energy entering into a system at the bottom, and the amount of energy relative to the level of complexity that a system can support (lion-eating tuna fish, what an image!).

    I hear all these “ads” from the local university lauding their work in “nano-technology”, and “genomic medicine”. I was always suspicious, but this “energy” thinking kind of gives me some structure to apply.

    However, I’m hoping that someone can take a moment to give me some direction on why financialization of a society is one of the highest forms of complexity. I actually buy that idea on faith, but can’t seem to get from a-to-f… anyone?

    (If finance is a leading indicator, and also supplies the lifeblood of our systems, it would seem to be a brilliant thought to add fast/slow financial crack-up as a parameter).

    Thanks in advance.

    in reply to: Crash on Demand? A Response to David Holmgren #10358


    Writings like this are why I have been reading S/I (Stoneleigh/Ilargi) since The Oil Drum. I don’t seem to have the mental horsepower to pull such a wide variety of “learnings” together so cohesively, but think I have enough to appreciate those who can…

    Living down here where we go “Deerhunting With Jesus” (RIP Mr. Bageant), the beneficiaries of the system are living in very close proximity to those at the bottom. My work allows me to interact with both sides at length, see into both worlds, as it were. From what I see/hear, the folks on the bottom are much more in “tune” with the prevailing winds than the folks on the top.

    In thinking about the previous thread of conversation, especially that “triggered” by Cory, I do like the way that S/I articulate their big picture, including surmises at steps and phases. I try to approach it like the scientific method: make a hypothesis and then look at the data. (It’s that “picking and choosing” of data that really gets tough). Reading the various news sources, watching for clues in the world around me (while monitoring my personal filter)… are they reinforcing the hypothesis? Contradicting? Making modification necessary? I have yet to find another hypothesis so clearly articulated, and still so solid five years on.

    Any other readers out there comparing “facts” to the hypothesis?

    I like James’ last line… “If people are encouraged to think in systemic terms, they can’t be baffled by [the bafflers].”

    in reply to: Smart Choices for the Coming Bust – Part 2 #10290


    Once again, the “timing” issue. It has cost me, as well. No one expected the lengths to which they have gone (e.g. QE), but now it’s pretty clear that there are no limits. I have switched to viewing it like a melting polar ice cap – we’ll see steady melting, occasionally a big berg will calve off, and then back to the steady melt. Everyday a struggle to find balance between that inevitability/eventuality, and “today”.

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