Tao Jonesing

 
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  • in reply to: They Were All Lying #46840

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    Ilargi,

    It has become clear that I have read far more of the straight journalism than you have, so not only can I read, I actually engage in that activity even when inconvenient..

    The fact that you accept the Glenn Greenwald’s fact-averse assertion that the media’s alleged accusations of Trump-Russia collusion is what started an investigation (an assertion that he made yet again this week) that Mueller only continued months later seems to be a testament to an inability to distinguish between straight journalism and news entertainment (aka op-ed pieces). We first learned from the Nunes Memo (did you read it?) over a year ago that news of Russian hacking of DNC servers led to an Australian diplomat coming forward to inform the U.S. that a Trump campaign official was bragging months prior about help they were receiving (or about to receive) from Russia. This was months before the Steele Dossier was given to the FBI and more months before the Steele Dossier was reported by mainstream media. Would any law enforcement officer nor want to investigate that lead, under the circumstances? And how can you be so ignorant of a fact that was confirmed for at least the third time in the Mueller Report?

    To be fair, you are not the only person who seems unable to distinguish between straight reporting, on the one hand, and opinion pieces, on the other, in part because the cable news networks more and more rely on “panels” that opine on the straight news. Bad on them.

    But for you, a person who is pushing a theory that was debunked over a year ago, to claim that I can’t read is extremely rich for two reasons. First, it seems clear that you don’t read the straight news for yourself, that you instead rely on opinion-based filters of it. If that were not the case (as it is for Glenn), you would realize the Mueller report validates that the “fake news” was nearly 100% right on the straight news facts it reported. Second, being able to read is less important than comprehending what you read, and Glenn’s fact-free (“lying”) assertions that the “Deep State” was behind the Mueller investigation should have alerted you to the fact that you needed to dig further. But you clearly didn’t. Glenn lives in Brazil. He is no longer a journalist but an op-ed guy. He has no contacts and no ability to develop the kind of evidence-based factual bases journalists must develop to get a story published because of liability concerns.

    All that said, I am willing to reconsider my position if you publish a detailed list of documented “lies”(with URLs) told by straight journalists from mainstream outlets like the NY Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, the WSJ, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, AP, Reuters, McClatchy, the New Yorker and The Atlantic. Remember, there is a huge difference between journalism (which attempts to publish facts) and opinion (kind of like this blog, but usually worse).

    I will give you a month for this task because I want you to do your homework and make sure you think you have an airtight case. That’s because I have no desire to insult or embarrass you, only to make you reconsider what you think you know. If you manage to turn the tables on me, so be it. I am not invested in what I think I know, only what the facts, fairly considered, show. And Greenwald is not a reliable guide as to that.

    Best regards.

    in reply to: They Were All Lying #46819

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    “What I noticed, and have written a lot about, during and since the 2016 US presidential campaign, is that the media, both in the US and abroad, started making up accusations against Trump from scratch.”

    Actually, the media weren’t making up accusations, they were reporting alleged facts regarding contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign and the Trump organization more broadly. Essentially, the media were conducting their own investigation into whether Trump was somehow in bed with Russia, and the Mueller Report actually confirms that what was reported by mainstream news outlets like the NY Times, the Washington Post, the WSJ, NBC News, the AP, etc. was correct. This suggests that the mainstream media, at least, had real sources and weren’t just making things up.

    “This included the collusion with Russia accusation that led to the Mueller probe.”

    The Mueller probe was not prompted by media accusations. It began as a counterintelligence probe prompted by George Papadopoulos boasting to an Australian diplomat that Russia had Clinton’s emails and was going to help Trump win the election. Mueller would never have been appointed but for Trump’s decision to fire Comey.

    “There was never any proof of the accusation, which is why the conclusion of the probe was No Collusion.”

    With the exception of Buzzfeed’s claim that Michael Cohen actually went to Prague, which they never retracted, the Mueller report confirmed all of the contacts between the Trump campaign and foreign actors (not just Russia) reported by the mainstream media, and then disclosed even more.

    The conclusion of the probe was not “no collusion,” which was Bill Barr’s spin, it was that there was insufficient evidence to establish there was an agreement directly between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to coordinate Russia’s disinformation efforts. Mueller did not investigate beyond that very narrow form of “collusion,” e.g., he did not look into Trump’s finances to determine whether he might be beholden to or compromised by Russia in some manner.

    “Even if some proof were found though other means going forward, it would still make no difference: US media published over half a million articles on the topic, and not one of them was based on any proof. If that proof had existed, Mueller would have found and used it.”

    As I said above, the proof existed, and Mueller found it and used it in his report. (I note that you are using the word “proof,” but I think you mean “evidence.”

    “If Trump is guilty of criminal acts, he should be investigated for that, not for some made-up narrative.”

    There’s no need for an investigation if you know a crime has been committed and the person who committed it. The purpose of an investigation is to determine whether a crime has been committed in the first place, and Mueller was only empowered to investigate a very narrow and specific form of conspiracy requiring a high level of proof due to its specificity. While the evidence Mueller lays out in his report is insufficient to prove that particular conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt, it more than suggests that Trump is corrupt and may well be compromised.

    In closing, it has been awhile since I’ve visited this blog, and I am sure I have missed other things you have written about the media’s coverage of Trump’s relationship with Russia, but my impression from this post is that you didn’t read much of the primary reporting (or maybe you did originally and then gave up). I agree that the coverage was often breathless and sometimes over the top (Maddow), but if Trump hadn’t spent so much time and effort trying to cover up his campaign’s contacts with Russia and then lying about it (Trump Tower meeting), the media wouldn’t have been so relentless. They smelled his fear and attacked.

    The bad news for you is that the “collusion” narrative is far from over precisely because Mueller did not investigate or determine whether there was some other basis for cooperation.

    in reply to: Any of this Sound Familiar? #33541

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    This post is what you get when you go off the rails of healthy skepticism and crash into a fever swamp of paranoia.

    Is it really so hard to imagine that the MSM might all report the same thing because, objectively, that is the fact of the matter? Indeed, isn’t the more logical conclusion that, if all of the MSM is reporting the same thing, it probably is true? And if an outsider (e.g., Ron Paul or Alex Jones) provides a counter narrative, isn’t it logical to question whether what they are offering is opinion, not facts?

    It is nonsense to question the “logic” of a vulgar display of power. Power is not fettered by logic, and Assad’s power does not come from how the world views him but from his control of Syria and his alliance with Russia. Fuck the rest of the world. What are they going to do about it? Start a war with Russia? Yeah, right. (There’s your logic, Ron Paul. The world has seen that Trump speaks loudly and carries a wet noodle. This Republican Congress will not give Trump the sanction to attack Syria that they refused Obama, so don’t sweat it.)

    It is also ridiculous that you insist on judging the likelihood of Assad being behind the Syrian gas attack by applying logic while ignoring the utter lack of logic behind the accusation that Susan Rice had members of the Trump transition team unmasked for political reasons. If Susan Rice knew the individuals she was asking to be unmasked were members of the Trump transition team and wanted to use that information for political reasons, she would not have asked for them to be unmasked because doing so would leave an audit trail that could completely undermine her nefarious political machinations. The more logical explanation for her request that certain individuals be unmasked is that she did not know who they were. Pretty simple, and sometimes the simple explanation is the best one.

    Whether or not Susan Rice leaked classified information is a different question that should be answered. I just think the unmasking accusation is plain silly because it assumes she knew who she was asking to be unmasked, which completely obviates any need to request unmasking. Right?

    Logic.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle Sep 26 2014: Can Money Save The Climate? #15376

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    “I don’t think you can argue that capitalism itself is the issue. This is about the erosion of checks and balances, laws and regulations, the erosion of a society’s ability to hold people responsible for what they do, whether they operate in the political field or in private business.”

    Under our Neoliberal system, there is no such thing as “society,” there is only a collection of individuals. What you are bemoaning was the primary objective of Neoliberalism: destroy the communistic fiction of classical liberalism that made the individual beholden to the collective and inevitably led to socialism as the excesses of the elites proved the promise of laissez faire capitalism to be a lie. So, actually, capitalism is to blame as this is what capitalism looks like when left unchecked, and it was the capitalists who funded the Neoliberal movement for just that purpose.


    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    The discussion was very cogent. If I were to boil things down further, what you said in the post responding to Holmgren, and more succinctly in the interview, is that how you frame the problem frames the possible solutions, and that every member of the suggested solution set when you frame the problem as “climate change” would actually make climate change worse. I suppose another, equally valid point you make implicitly is that climate change is a symptom, not the disease; that it is how we consume energy and debt that is consuming us: reducing our (over)consumption of energy and debt will more effectively address climate change than anything we might try to do to address climate change directly. Did I get that right?

    Anyway, thanks for the informative, thoughtful posts.

    in reply to: Mac died #10458

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    My bet is that your hard drive has died, and replacing that is a simple, inexpensive fix. I would look into that possibility before investing in a completely new machine.

    in reply to: How to Rendition An Inconvenient Economist #6497

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    While I am a fan and supporter of Steve Keen, his solutions will ultimately perpetuate the problems he seeks to solve.

    Here’s the reality: economics is not a science but a rationalization for the current distribution of power. Note: I said “power” not “wealth” or “income.” Power within the collective is all that matters.

    Keen’s problem is that he does not understand that money and credit as they exist today function to (1) secure the current power of the elites and (2) consolidate ever more power in their hands. Our economy is based on diverting the value created by the division of labor into the elites’ hands, and money and credit are the primary basis for accomplishing this. Unless you fundamentally change the nature of money and credit, nothing will change in the long run. Sad to say, Steve does not propose such fundamental change.

    At the end of the day, he is just another good guy trapped in the cage imagined for him by the bad guys. It is not enough to “debunk economics,” you have to ignore them altogether.

    in reply to: Will The Collapse Of Spain Put Romney In The White House? #5853

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    @backwardsevolution,

    The language you refer to is found in Section 2A of the Federal Reserve Act. Section 2A did not go into effect as law until 1978.

    The language does not mandate price stability or maximumum employment, but maintaining the long term growth of monetary and credit aggregates to do so.

    The language found in Section 2A first went into effect in 1975 as a joint resolution of Congress at the urging of Chicago School monetarists like Milton Friedman who argued that the Fed’s tinkering with the Fed Funds Rate was simply not good enough, that targeting the size of monetary and credit aggregates was required. Well, the law was put in place, Volcker tried it, and Volcker failed. The Fed stopped trying to target monetary and credit aggregates in 1984.

    Be careful what you wish for: targeting monetary and credit aggregates was a stupendous failure and proved the quantity theory of money wrong. No need to go back there.

    Make sure to read the entire section:

    https://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/section2a.htm

    in reply to: Will The Collapse Of Spain Put Romney In The White House? #5839

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    There is no “Republican team” and no “Democratic team.” There is only an oligarchy served by two political parties, each designed to serve up its popular base to the oligarchy. The only way to privatize Social Security is through a Democratic president. The only way to get more gun control is through a Republican president. The oligarchy isn’t particularly worried about an armed uprising by Americans any time soon, but they sure would like all that dumb Social Security liquidity flowing through their Ponzi machinery on Wall Street.

    The oligarchy needs an Obama win, and the “Republican team” will make sure that is what the oligarchy gets.

    in reply to: Everything Won't Be Alright #5424

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    ashvin post=5063 wrote: [quote=Tao Jonesing post=5056]I guess where things break down for me is the assumption that everybody actually wants to meet his or her “maximum human potential.” I once was driven by the same assumption, but I came to realize that some people just want to BE. They are content in who they are and what they have. And that should be okay. It also should be okay to accept the fact that, at some point, not everybody actually has the same potential, and that some people have actually achieved their maximum potentials at a point that you find personally unacceptable for yourself.

    Some people are sheep. Fewer people are wolves. Fewer still are shepherds. Each “species” of people has its own role and its own maximum potential.

    Why should that be okay? It might be okay with them, but it doesn’t have to be okay with me. This is what I’m talking about when I say “tolerance” for other people’s beliefs or lifestyles is overrated. We can explain to others why we think they need to reconsider those things without being rude or hateful. Many people will react negatively when confronted in such a personal way, at least initially, but that’s really the only way to get the truth out. We can’t find the truth if our beliefs are never challenged boldly, and others can’t find the truth if we don’t challenge their beliefs boldly.

    As far as “potential” goes, I agree not everyone has the same potential, and that’s fine. I never judge anyone else’s beliefs or behavior by what I find suitable for myself. We all have different circumstances and gifts and strengths/weaknesses, and therefore our approaches to the cause of truth will necessarily vary. And obviously I would like to persuade others of my beliefs, as they would of me, but it’s the mentality they use when approaching these issues that I’m most concerned with here. Everyone is capable of being honest, rational, logical and critical while also being respectful, so that’s what I expect from myself and from others.

    Simply BEING is not a belief system to be tolerated. The choice to be content with who you are and what you have (and have not) achieved is a personal one faced by every single person regardless of his or her belief system. No, this is not about belief systems or lifestyles, but about being human. Who am I- and who are you- to demand that others strive for something they don’t want or need? The fact of the matter is that those who call for the perfecting of humanity really want to make everybody else be more like them.

    in reply to: Everything Won't Be Alright #5365

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    Ashvin,

    Your sincerity and earnestness are unquestionable.

    I guess where things break down for me is the assumption that everybody actually wants to meet his or her “maximum human potential.” I once was driven by the same assumption, but I came to realize that some people just want to BE. They are content in who they are and what they have. And that should be okay. It also should be okay to accept the fact that, at some point, not everybody actually has the same potential, and that some people have actually achieved their maximum potentials at a point that you find personally unacceptable for yourself.

    Some people are sheep. Fewer people are wolves. Fewer still are shepherds. Each “species” of people has its own role and its own maximum potential.

    in reply to: The Chinese Data Speaks For Itself #5213

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    The Chinese “economy” is a truly scary thing. The whole edifice seems patterned on the type of control fraud that the S&Ls of the 1980s made famous in Bill Black’s Book “The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One.”

    The sad fact is that the power that be are fully aware of the farce that is China’s economy, but all the world is a game of musical chairs where there are no chairs. What the markets need is music– sweet, sweet music– and as long as the music is playing, nobody that matters is gonna sit down (and as individual investors exit stage right, algo bots fill the void). China is the only musician left, the W. Axl Rose of the neoliberal globalist paradigm. Welcome to the Jungle, you won’t find Paradise City or your Sweet Child here.

    in reply to: Rage Against the American Dream #4763

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    “I wasn’t suggesting the pop culture imagery is the cause of senseless violent actions… it is just a reflection of a senselessly violent culture. Why else are these industries and themes so profitable?”

    They’re so profitable because violence is part of the human condition and always has been. It’s deeper than the present instantiation of “culture” and may be found in ancient “cultures”, as well.

    “And premeditation doesn’t make the violence any less borne out of rage/anger. In fact, it means the person was acting less on “heat of the moment” emotions and more on calculated desires that have festered for quite some time. “

    You’re on the scent here, but you don’t quite have it yet. The premeditation required a complete inversion of the norms this kid based his life on. Until this action, Holmes appears to have played by the rules to a fault. I view his actions as BOTH embracing the true societal values (i.e., screw everybody but me) and a rejection of them (i.e., screw you).

    “But I don’t think we should just write it off as something that has always existed, and something that won’t continue to get worse as societal conditions make the self-absorbed desires of individuals, borne out of fear and anger, even worse.”

    That’s not what I’m suggesting. Let me try to spell it out because I clearly have been too cryptic.

    A central premise of Judaism, Christianity (Catholicism, really) and Classical Liberalism is the importance of the collective to the individual’s identity. Where Judaism and Christianity explicitly have forms of excommunication from the collective, secular Classical Liberalism had a de facto analog (reputation). Neoliberalism seeks to extinguish the “communistic fiction” that underlies Judaism, Christianity and their first secular analog Classical Liberalism, and excommunication is a purely economic (and automatic) phenomenon: once you’re hopelessly in debt, you’re no longer part of the polis. Under the rules of Judaism, Christianity and Classical Liberalism, it is impossible to play by those rules and still get excommunicated. The rules of neoliberalism are designed to use up and excommunicate anybody who plays by them. When true believers get abused this way, they can face an existential crisis that leads to the kind of thing we saw this morning. Holmes is indeed a product of the neoliberal culture, which became embedded in the American psyche in the 1970s.

    in reply to: Rage Against the American Dream #4758

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    Ashvin,

    You’re right to inquire as to whether the values espoused by our societal institutions are somehow driving this kind of deviant behavior, but I think you’re way off in suggesting that the violent imagery of popular “culture” is somehow at work here.

    Humanity is a violent species. By some measures, we are far less violent today than any other time in history.

    Holmes and others like him are not “rage killers.” The man planned this, and then executed his plan.

    There is, indeed, a deeper problem here. And that problem clearly arises from our societal values. But I lay the blame at the feet of the neoliberal meme that “there is no society, only a collection of individuals.” The methodical atomization of society has killed empathy, resulting in a nation of sociopaths and narcissists that are incapable of understanding the pain they inflict on others because they are so busy nursing their own.

    in reply to: How the 'Hedge' Has Shifted on QE #4746

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    The game afoot is what I call “managed deflation.” There will be a QE3, but the air needs to be let out first.

    Finance makes it money when things go up AND when they go down. Finance does not fear deflation, it thrives on it. There’s nothing like a bargain.

    Something I wrote back in November 2010:

    The Deeper Game: Managed Deflation

    On the heels of the Fed’s announcement of QE2, the Fed today announced the results of it “Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices,” which Calculated Risk summarizes, stating “in general banks have stopped tightening standards (they are alredy very tight) and demand has stopped falling (there is little demand for loans).”

    A couple of things to note. First, this report only discusses lending to households and non-financial businesses. I don’t know whether there is a similar report for lending to financial institutions, but the banks are very secretive (and the Fed protects that secrecy), so I doubt it. Second, the FOMC must have known the results of this report, but they went ahead and announced QE2 anyway.

    Got that? The Fed knew last week that adding more liquidity to the system would have no direct effect on households and non-financial businesses, but they went ahead and announced QE2 anyway.

    What does this mean? It confirms that the Fed is not even pretending to follow its dual mandate of price stability and maximum employment. Yes, Bernanke says he’s trying to combat disinflation/deflation by creating inflation (you know, an increase in the money supply), but he knew last week that none of the QE2 “money” can or would find its way into the real economy through lending, increased employment, or higher wages. In other words, he knew that QE2 would have no impact on M0 or M1 (and perhaps M2).

    He also knew last week that a lot of the QE2 money had already found its way into speculation in the commodity markets, as he acknowledged that the prices of staple commodities were rising. All this will do is shift spending away from discretionary goods into necessities, to the detriment of non-financial businesses and to the benefit of financial speculators (aka the banks).

    The screwflation will continue until the next round of layoffs, which will cause a tumble in the commodity markets, which the banks will have shorted by then as many from the “lower rungs of the rich” will have piled into the trade, just in time to get fleeced.

    in reply to: Something's Gotta Give #4501

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    @thetrivium4tw

    “Rockefeller brought Mises to America and funded his work. The same crowd that set up Debt Money Tyranny to systematically rob society blind.”

    Nice catch. Very few people realize this fact. I wrote about it a couple of years ago:

    How is it that the founders of two seemingly diametrically opposed schools of economic thought co-founded the neoliberal movement? Economics, more properly political economy, is really a political science, after all, so if their economics reflect their politics, doesn’t that mean that their politics are diametrically opposed?

    Only if you believe that each school’s economics reflect its true politics. In the case of the founders of the Chicago School, that isn’t the case.

    Neoliberalism was founded by Hayek, Mises, Friedman and others as a multi-generational strategy to effectively eliminate public control of democratic governments in order to ensure governments would not interfere with the banks’ creation and manipulation of boom bust cycles to their advantage. The end game is and always was to have a return of laissez-faire boom-bust cycle without governments stepping in to help their citizens during busts. As discussed previously, the neoliberals believed that classical liberalism had failed because it framed the goal of good governments and good economics as to promote the common good. Neoliberals removed the concept of the common good from their reforumulation of liberalism, recasting the concept of the market itself as an all-knowing, all-seeing god that could not be interfered without dire consequences.

    Given that socialism and Keynesianism were responses to the great damage produced by laissez-faire economics had produced, there was no way to return directly to it in the form of the Austrian School of ecnomics. The Chicago School of economics was therefore created to provide an incremental move away from Keynesianism economically and an incremental move towards neoliberalism politically. The Chicago School exists to prove once and for all that government intervention into the money supply and the economy can never work and will always lead to disaster (but not until after eliminating the gains the common people reaped due to government intervention). Once the Chicago School’s economics do their work and flame out spectaculary into a truly Great Depression, the answer will be and must be the Austrian School’s economics. After all, we know from Milton Friedman’s revisionist history that the Great Depression was caused by the “government” interference of the Federal Reserve, so what’s left but to bend over for the all-knowing god of the market and hold your ankles (and never mind that man behind the curtain).

    And the neoliberals will label Chicago School economics as “Keynesian.” In fact, they already are.

    That’s my theory at least.

    in reply to: Something's Gotta Give #4483

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    It’s not that something’s gotta give so much as it is that somebody’s gotta be had. Enough real wealth remains to be stolen that there are many reasons to create a crisis to justify the theft, and I think the powers that be have demonstrated enough control over the situation that they can delay that crisis until after the US presidential election.

    After what we’ve seen unfolding over the last nine months or so, I can’t imagine that the CBs will lose control over when the next crisis hits.

    in reply to: The Orkin Man: Which Side Are You On? #4158

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    @RE,

    There’s no need for you to be defensive. You make good points within the context you make them. Make the context clear, and demand others recognize the context when describing what you say. I’ve only encountered your writing recently, and I prefer to read your personal honesty any day to watching others hide behind somebody else’s falsehood (i.e., organized religion). You’re good folk (as much as I disagree with you).

    There is no such thing as “revealed” truth, only Plato’s Noble Lie.

    in reply to: The Orkin Man: Which Side Are You On? #4098

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    @English Memorial,

    “The proposition is immoral because it violates the Non-Aggression Principle. Less important is that it is, of course, a plan doomed to failure, as violence ALWAYS begets further violence.”

    I have to defend RE here. If you believe that the OMMP is inevitable, which RE does, morality does not factor into the equation. The only issue is whether you should do unto others before they do unto you. I don’t believe we’ve yet reached the stage where purges/genocide are inevitable, but I do think we are heading in that direction because the current immoral system is killing people every day.

    Clearly, the current system’s mantra is “People Must Die So Our Fictions May Live.” Screwflation, “austerity,” bailouts — they are all about protecting the integrity of balance sheets that reflect accumulated “wealth” that does not exist in the real world and which depends entirely on perpetual exponential economic growth in a finite world. Unfortunately, this fictitious wealth is real to those who claim to own it, and they refuse to lose any of it. So, people in the real world must die so the wealthiest 0.5% of the world’s population don’t lose any points off their score.

    Because that is what “wealth” becomes when you have so much of it that you can’t possibly spend it all: nothing more than a score in a video game.

    The longer the current system continues, the more likely that purges/genocide become inevitable, but I think we’re years, maybe decades, away from that point. Until then, there’s no choice to make and no sense talking about the OMMP.

    in reply to: Ruminations: Faith and Humanity #4063

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    @degringolade,

    “Wow, where do I start? Just another go at having a particular, parochial set of thoughts shoved down the throats of others in a sincere, open-hearted attempt to “help””

    Excellent start, but you get bogged down.

    “Folks, there is a reason that there are different disciplines for psychology, sociology, and economics. There is also a reason why all must be taken into consideration when anyone who is intellectually honest makes any call for action in the world of men.”

    This is where you get bogged down. Those three disciplines used to be one and the same. Just put “political” in front of psychology, sociology, and economics, and you have the basic outlines of the reality of our forefathers (who just called all of it “political economy”). The further division of intellectual labor since then has not changed the nature of politics or power.

    “An individual has a chance of figuring out how to rid himself of illogic, to control his baser desires, to use analytical skills to better produce desired outcomes for himself, etc., etc., etc. But that ability is located solely in the individual.”

    Sophistry. Every individual alive today is define primarily by what society teaches him or her. Societal institutions can easily teach everyone how “to rid himself of illogic, to control his baser desires,” but that is not the goal of the modern (or even ancient) state.

    “Economics boils down we all want more than our share. Sociology boils down that when you get us together in large groups, all bets are off. Psychology boils down to the fragile and flawed set of tools that we have developed to understand a world well out of our control. “

    But the economics, sociology and psychology you define are all based on explaining and maintaining the current status quo. That’s a major problem for your worldview.

    @candace,

    I think your assumptions about human nature are fundamentally unsound. We are not all of us greedy and self-destructive. The vast majority of us just want to be left alone to the joy we can eke out of the hand that we’ve been dealt.

    Most adult humans are just like children: innocent. They don’t understand the way of the world in the same manner as the real “grown-ups” do. There is hope, but it lies in sharing the unspoken knowledge that those who rule rely upon to rule. Marx proved that sharing that knowledge quickly undermines the position of the powerful. The problem is that Marx shared that knowledge through the language of the powerful and, thus, was co-opted.

    in reply to: Ruminations: Faith and Humanity #3979

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    This post, the comment that inspired it, and many of the comments to it constitute what has to be among the most disturbing things I have read in a long time.

    “No system will ever be successful”

    It all depends on how you define success, doesn’t it? The present system has been very successful at controlling people for thousands of years, in part because people it has trained people to insist on systems to control them. And when the “old” system breaks down a “new” system arises that is cosmetically different but materially, and for all practical purposes, the same.

    Let’s expand the quote to its full glory:

    “No system will ever be successful until the human mind, and the spiritual being that utilized it, have been isolated and fully understood. Psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis, et al. have failed in this area as well. Very too bad because THIS is the key to man’s future survival.”

    The human mind has been well understood for thousands of years. Plato and Aristotle clearly understood the human mind, as did the author of the Tao Te Ching. The problem is that this knowledge is not generally shared but is, instead, used to exploit the masses through the very type of “system” you insist upon like a slave pleading to be shackled.

    In very simple terms, all modern states are based on four things: myths, laws, ethics and hidden truths. The first three are for the masses, who are conditioned to them through our social institutions. The hidden truths, the esoterica that Aristotle insisted to Alexander could not be found in his public writings, are what transform the first three things into a lie that allows the masses to be controlled. From the Roman Empire to the Roman Catholic Church to Classical Liberalism to Neoliberalism, in each case there has been the realization by the masses that their myths, laws and ethics are being used to chain them, but they are so conditioned to being chained that they insist on a new set instead of questioning why they are chained.

    “Find the source of evil and destructive intentions; the need to dominate; the need to destroy what another creates; man’s inhumanity to man; man’s illogic; man’s low level of morality; man’s “animalistic” tendencies; man’s inability to predict consequences; etc. and you will save mankind.”

    False certainty is the source of evil, and it is precisely what you seem to want. Human beings are very simple creatures: they compare what they observe to what they expect and react based on the magnitude and direction of the perceived difference between what they just saw and what they expected. If you define “rational” to encompass how human beings actually reason, then human beings are clearly rational, and what is irrational is to insist that human beings reason like mathematical machines.

    The only thing that is certain in this world is uncertainty. Unfortunately, we have been trained to insist on false certainty which leads us to engage in acts– often evil– to force our world to conform to our expected “true” vision of the world. Anybody who insists on false certainty will construct their “truth” and tyrannize those around them to make that truth reality, and damn the consequences.

    The new boss will be the same as the old boss. In the meantime, people will suffer and lament at their lost innocence. If they’d only embrace that lost innocence and accept the uncertainty of the world and what it means to us as a species, you might have the beginnings of a system that does not exploit the masses because it cannot be created or controlled by sociopaths, con men and women who sell us false dreams.

    in reply to: FPC: The Hard Money – Soft Money Synthesis #3461

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    “They have taken a very well thought-out philosophy of the Ideal and forced it to become an actual economic/political denouement that human civilization will occupy.”

    Of course. The term “philosophy” is merely shorthand for “political philosophy,” and it is always an engine and never a camera.

    FOFOA is obviously influenced by the Austrian school and, therefore, has massive blinders induced by his dogma. The problem is that his “debt-hungry collective” was trained to be debt-hungry for a reason, as it is through debt that the individuals of the collective lose their liberty and are controlled by a very few. Gold as money will free nobody because the value of gold itself is a fiction, but its scarcity is a fact. Control the gold, control the collective through constrained liquidity. Where’s the freedom?

    in reply to: Deterrence is Dead #3386

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    Corporations are allowed to declare bankruptcy and thus avoid servicing their debts, but we will punish a country and its innocent citizens if their government does the same thing. It’s interesting that the “efficiency” of corporations is touted as the reason why corporations are superior to governments, and yet we won’t allow bankrupt governments to be efficient in the same way that bankrupt corporations can be.

    in reply to: Why? Even the Weekly World News Didn't Have the Answers #1239

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    The Fed and the US Treasury go beserk trying to stop it (since it is imprinted into their DNA to never allow deflation, never allow reality to take its toll) and print money until its coming out of every orifice of every person.

    First, the Fed and the Treasury don’t only have one speed, and they don’t only go in one direction. They are “managing” the deflation by creating mini boom-bust cycles, the mid-points of which are defining a new, downward sloping mean.

    Second, if the velocity of money is zero, you can print an infinite amount of it without causing inflation in the monetary sense. The money that has been printed by the Fed has zero velocity and does not affect money aggregates such as M1 and M2 because it is held in bank reserves which are not considered by those aggregates.

    Of course, people have conditioned to believe that money-printing equals inflation, so they go and speculate in the secondary markets seeking yields that are greater than inflation they think will happen, even if won’t happen.

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