Posted by: graemebird | February 23, 2010

Monetary Methodone

From One Of Professor Keen’s blogs:

Bernanke has everything entirely wrong. When he says “final” goods and services what he means is consumer goods. Consumption is where wealth is destroyed not created. As necessary as consumption is, the consuming of extra goods, through public policy, is no way to increase productive power. Likewise he has matters totally wrong on interest. He is seeking to get the public into yet more debt, through what is effectively a subsidy to the banks. But it was debt and bank parasitism (as well as government deficits) which brought on this problem.

There is much confusion in Bernanke’s thinking. And the confusion arises from CALLING BANK SUBSIDIES “MONETARY POLICY”.

Think about it? Why have a low interest rate policy for banks? Why not have a low interest rate policy for economists? How about a low interest rate policy for me? How about a low interest rate policy for me and a dozen females, specifically of my choosing?

It becomes obvious that low interest rate policy means more subsidy for the banks. Such a policy goes counter to what is needed for recovery. Since there is less incentive to save. It also means a forestalling of the necessary starvation of the banking and finance sector. To bring that sector down to a small part of the economy, so that former bankers may be more productively employed.

The idea is to stop calling bank subsidies “monetary policy”. Once we do that we see that monetary policy for expansion consists of new cash creation via debt retirement. Monetary policy to prevent overheating consists of raising the reserve asset ratio up a percentage point or two.

Now that we know what monetary policy is we see that as more and more of the money supply is in the form of cash, rather than bank-ponzi-money, it gets easier and easier for the central bank to hit what it is aiming at in terms of business spending.

The other source of confusion is the reliance on GDP as the relevant measure. I work in a company that only buys from other businesses and only sells to other businesses. Our activity is not included in GDP. GDP doesn’t measure economic activity very well. We want to add back business-to-business spending. We wind up with the measure of Gross Domestic Revenue (see Reisman).

” I think the US should have printed a lot of money and directed it toward the real economy–manufacturers, the unemployed, alternative energy, whatever, just not the banks and not a homebuyers credit.”

Of course you have matters entirely right. But you must not forget the critical factor of the reserve asset ratio. For if you add all this cash without a reserve asset ratio the banks will pyramid on top of that new cash. Which is what they are doing right about now in this country.

Low interest rate policy brings extra spending through more debt and subsidised bankers. New cash creation/reserve asset ratio policy brings more spending through less debt, and less bank subsidy.

We want to focus on gross domestic revenue, and business to business spending. The motto is “bounce and flatten”. That is to say we want to bounce business spending at least to its formerly highest level, before the monetary crunch hit. Then we want to flatten this spending out.

Possibly a better option might be to bounce to ten per cent higher then the previous high. But warn business that the spending levels will from there on in, be flattening out. Warn business that after the bounce spending isn’t going to grow at all for a very long time. At least until they are on a pathway to wringing out most of the debt from the economy.

They must be warned. The extra revenue is their opportunity to get their debt levels down.



  1. From elsewhere:

    It is the case that restricting banks borrowing from foreign banks could be helpful smiths. It is not to be assumed that conclusions based on the free market have validity when applied to a cartelised banking system, that debauches the price system by way of the trading of phantom money, based on pyramided money, based on cash, based on nothing. This sort of trading has some ways to go as a method for distributing information via a valid price mechanism.

    But they surely have it wrong with advocating more inflation. One doesn’t want to be putting the economy through excessive pain or sado-monetarism. But having said that you don’t want any more monetary growth then what you really need to avoid too much pain.

    Since banks without a reserve asset ratio borrow as an afterthought for purposes of liquidity, and not with forethought for purposes of long-range investment, then it follows that stopping them from borrowing off foreign banks would indeed be a buffer. It would prevent the sort of prosperity delusion which comes from having a needlessly overvalued currency.

  2. Have a look at this chart I made re debasing the $AUD

    They print about 7% more cash per person per year and then the banks seem to grow broad money at about 9% per year per person.

  3. Bird, where is your response to barnaby’s latest economic idiocy? You’ve been caught sleeping, fella.

  4. What economic idiocy? Thats just you being full of shit. But lets have it then Carlos. What are you talking about?

    Are you talking about that mildly ironic statement that Sinclair has Barnaby quoting?

  5. Thanks Tony. I always find it hard to locate these figures for some reason.

  6. You didn’t have an example of Barnaby expressing economic idiocy did you Carlos? No you didn’t. You are just full of shit mate.

  7. “I find the complaint that Josey Wales ‘glosses over the racism’ of the author of the book a little strange. Would he rather that eastwood created a racist hero?”

    Hey Jason. What is this about Eastwood being fooled? They knew that this fellow was obnoxious and a racist. But they just liked his book “Gone To Texas.”

    There is no reason to believe he fooled them in any way. The way I remember reading about this fellow, he was drunk and really obnoxious in their presence. But they thought the book was great.

  8. “There is no reason to believe he fooled them in any way. The way I remember reading about this fellow, he was drunk and really obnoxious in their presence. But they thought the book was great.”

    Excellent point, Graeme, but lost on dullard, earth-bound conformist one-eyed literalists.

    To return to the ethereal: Ravi’s daughter –

  9. Nice. She must be a sister of Norah Jones right?

  10. Here is something I could never get Sinclair, Jason Soon, Cambria and the others to come clean about.

    Stimulus spending ALWAYS causes unemployment. This is because it redirects spending from business spending to consumer or government spending.

    But wages and salaries are a business expense. So this must and does cause unemployment.

    Fisk has come up with the empirical side of this necessarily true argument.

  11. Here is Sinclair advocating that economists testifying before the Senate ought to be evasive. Its truly sickening how our neoclassicals suck up to the Keynesians, and the two of them tend to work against the interest of the public. Notice that Sinclair has never had a bad thing to say about banks or private debt.

    “Barnaby Joyce’s next question is also exactly correct, but it’s not Gruen’s place to answer such questions and he side-stepped it.”

    As well no amount of effort to get Sinclair to admit that the Keynesian multiplier is idiotic rubbish has borne fruit. He will not bring evidence for it. Nor will he retract his implication of the testimony before the senate that this is a real thing.

    So these people are gutless.

  12. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    “think they should be bailed out.
    Bankers, though, are like the rest of us – imperfect, prone to greed, fear and other errors. They make mistakes in resource allocation.”
    They are involved in cold evil. They are the worm in the apple of capitalism. They generate the anomalies that turn people off the idea of a more voluntary society. Capitalism in a financialised economy, far from being trickle-down, is funnel-up. The already rich get a free ride in such a system.
    But in the past what we saw is the banking and finance industries perpetrating a less fair society. Now we are seeing gross incompetence and the willingness to steal openly through the treasury, rather than clandestinely through the creation of new money, and through interest rate subsidies.
    But I can certainly see what you are saying about people who work in banks being ordinary humans. I’m not asking that they be exterminated Andrew. Only that the money creation function be taken from them. I don’t think thats too much to ask. Why do you imagine this is too much to ask? Obviously I don’t think that everyone that works in a bank is evil. I was in banking myself. I was in banking before you were.
    But then again I got out. And I’m not getting around the blogs, misleading people about monetary theory, and softpedaling the astonishing magnitude of banker wrongdoing and failure around the world. You are. And you ought to stop. Just because you work in the industry doesn’t mean you ought not be able to give an honest assessment of that industry.

  13. Graeme Bird :
    26 Feb 2010 7:48:29am
    I’d be all for what you are saying, just so long as it didn’t come at the expense of their core capabilities.

    That is to say expelling an armed invasion of this country, destroying enemy weapons systems, and surgically decapitating regime leadership of the enemy country. Which of course involves hunting top leadership down like pigs in the streets.

    If you are going to turn these people into firefighters that will detract from these core capabilities. But on the other hand if they are to be supervised by the firemen, and so act as force multipliers too the trained firemen… then thats not a bad thing.

    Because what we want is a defense force that can MOBILISE with an astonishing acceleration from a standing start. And we might want to send a message to foreign regimes just how fast and effectively these guys can kick into action. We want to expand the reserve component of our defense forces for the purpose of the ability of explosive mobilisation.

    Foreign regimes ought to be able to witness a miracle of directed smooth action, coming from a standing start. These foreign regimes, may then assess the situation, and decide that its best not to test Australia’s forbearance and generosity.

    Even if designs are held on this nation, manifest and extremely impressive abilities on show, may always put the potential aggressor, in a mood to procrastinate indefinitely. Let us attack Australia next month, they might say. But next month stretches to the one after. And in the end next month never comes.

    Reply Alert moderator

  14. Cambria. Blockhead. Links to an argument-free article against Ron Paul.

    Dumb wop.


  16. Well obviously. Old news. These people are morons.

  17. it’s an ergas article Graeme

  18. Graeme, as always this blog has interesting useful posts with great well-informed commentary.

  19. Yeah its a pretty interesting site. And this is an issue that we ought to be bipartisan on. The banking system steals off leftists and rightists alike.

  20. I commend you on your comments on this issue on Professor Quiggin’s blog, Mr Bird. That is a very good economics/political site too. Very high level of commentary and a good mix of social democrats and others.

  21. Yes I think you are right Sal. But it is skewed. That has to be remembered. Like I accept that I’m not getting any virulent anti-Keynesian, anti-global warming stuff through on that site.

    On the other hand, though the site is skewed, it is clearly high quality. And thats what we ought to aim for. If we have high-quality skewed right and high quality skewed in other directions there is more chance for some common ground. Its not up to Quiggin to provide balance.

  22. Currently I’m trying to lend a bit of support for Bob Ellis over at ABC Unleashed. He tends to get pilloried by Heathens and Philistines of all shades.

  23. Bob Ellis is a blast. A witty, erudite, political contrarian with the soul of a poet and the literary flair of a Mark Twain.

    Much like you, Mr Bird.

  24. Bird
    I said over on the Open Forum that you are the right’s Bob Ellis.

    You two need to get together,

  25. Powerful flattery indeed Mr Soon.

  26. Well don’t stop there. Who else you going to compare me to. And invite around for hypothetical drinks.

    V. S. NAIPAUL perhaps? Keep it coming. It makes a change from the usual put-downs.

    But it doesn’t mean you aren’t obligated to sort your act out on the multiplier and other garbage.

  27. Thank you sal. For those kind words here is a song:

  28. The fact there are NO high quality right-wing blogs is telling though, isn’t it.

  29. I guess you must mean out of the busy blogs or something right? There are good blogs that are rightist and just have a few contributers. Jennifer Marohasy’s blog hit a really high level of quality in 2008.

    I guess right at the moment you have a bit of a point. But the left-wing handicap is no small thing.

    Here are a couple of posts that I’m trying to get through at Quiggins. Unfortunately I don’t have the full stats to back what I’m saying up. This may be the nature of what is going on in derivatives at the moment. It all seems a bit secretive and hard to fathom:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    ” Country B also get a credit line it may not have otherwise received.
    Good all round”

    You mean the government of country B or the banks of country B right? Why is that necessarily a good thing?

    Graeme Bird

    February 26th, 2010 at 16:37 | #45 Reply | Quote
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Let me clarify what I’m getting at here.

    Imagine you have a government. And if you take out infrastructure spending from its budget its massively in surplus. But the infrastructure projects put it into a modest deficit. Well one could see how a line of credit could be helpful for such a government, but a curse to the people in countries, whose governments aren’t so prudent.

    In practice an option is useless in the example given. They would just denominate the loan in USD or Euros. Or if it was us they might use AUD one supposes. Or in the future they may use silver and later gold again. They could use these two once they felt their price had peaked.

    But options are useless in the case of legitimate long-term investment, for a government with powerfully choosy budgetary criteria. Or at least only marginally useful. Since options, either put or call, only have for themselves a small time window. Whereas the life of the debt could run for many years.

    The example you described cannot be the real reason that derivatives pile up to the stratosphere. The real reason is to do with what I would call “fractional reserve everything”.

    You see if you are selling gold paper claims but don’t have much gold, then you can buy call options on gold. Because after all its cheaper to sell paper than real gold. And if you are selling claims to oil you can just sell all this paper and buy for yourself call options on oil.
    In this way the reality is that the derivatives are, to a substantial degree, the flipside of this fractional reserve everything. An incredible attack on the price system. Not the options themselves but the practices that create the demand for a lot of the options.

    We now have two types of speculator. The positive inventories speculator, who has real goods warehoused, or has ownership of a pool of authentic shares. This sort of speculation makes the demand and supply curves, for inelastic goods, more elastic. So this type of speculation is a truly excellent and helpful thing.

    Then we have the negative inventories speculator. Who owes inventory and buys options to cover his behind. These people create great instability in the market, and generate phantom supplies that damage the integrity of the price system.

    If it wasn’t for this sort of thing it would be hard to explain the sheer magnitude of derivatives. This phenomenon is greatly damaging to the free market, and the free market pushed back hard. Which is why Goldman Sachs infiltrators in government, went out of their way to save the big derivatives providers. Not one of the derivatives hounds were allowed to fail.

    Derivatives ought to be put under the gaming laws. And maybe we need to free up some of the gaming laws. But whether we free them up or not thats where derivatives belong. Better still withdraw support for the providers. And let them die the death they ought to have died two years ago.

  30. I guess I did mean the busy blogs. The ABC, Crikey, LP, Quiggin sites are really an embarrassment of riches in terms of the quality and breadth of writers/commenters.

    And on the right you’ve got what? Bolt? Blair? Sinclair Davidson and his paltry crew? And the calibre of the commenters therein?!

    Sorry, absolutely no contest.

  31. You can be really smart and still fail to take on board critical realities though. Take Peter Singer. Authentic philosopher. But big holes in his thinking. A Misean free zone.

    Anyway here is a good girl showing the appropriate love for Ron Paul.

  32. Here is Ron coming out against assassinations of US citizens and other techniques that have with them the risk of running amok.

  33. Here is a picture and just a few words. And yet it the thesis behind it ought not be ruled out. There is actual evidence that this is not our first time around in high-technology. Yes the evidence is thin. But it is there nonetheless.

  34. Bird, did you hear about Gaddafi’s declaration of holy war against Switzerland? I say the Swiss ought to give that uppity little c*** a good thumping.

  35. Right. Whatever did the Swiss do to upset the colonel?

  36. How are the Swiss off militarily these days? They had the reputation of being basically unassailable on their own turf, in conventional warfare. But how would they go projecting power?

    The colonel has had access to a lot of high-tech gear since he handed over all his WMD. In any case his bark is worse then his bit these days hopefully. I wonder what its all about. I haven’t been reading the papers.

  37. Look at this Graeme.

    The stupid Milky Bar kid is worried about *Israeli* spies when there are far more sinister types out there

  38. “Liberal MP Julian McGauran split with his leader’s stance and criticised Foreign Minister Stephen Smith for ”publicly pointing the finger at Israel'”

    This would seem to be the better approach. But we do have to stand up for the integrity of our own passports. Just not in such a high profile way. This is pretty strange that our papers are carrying photos of the people involved in the hit. To me our high profile approach is a bit more of an offense then the passport theft. Even though I agree we have to find a way to stop this happening again.

    What do you think is going on here? With our papers endangering agents in this way? I’ve not seen anything quite like it before.

    I mean it was a good clean hit. No schoolgirls got killed in its commission. A few operations like this would probably be far more effective then an invasion that got all sorts of bystanders limbs blown off.

  39. excellent article by Kirchner on the need for a monthly CPI

  40. Kirchner doesn’t write excellent essays SOON. We could do with a monthly CPI, but there is no great need for it.

    Probably when I get around to reading it, the perceived need will come from Kirchners non-understanding of monetary-economics.

    What would be better is monthy GDR. Monthly business-to-business spending, monthly bank balance sheets, monthly money supply figures.

    These figures have some bearing on decision-making. Whereas consumer price movements have no bearing on sound monetary policy.

  41. From elsewhere:

    Graeme Bird :
    02 Mar 2010 8:25:34am
    Applying Stefann-Boltzmanns law to this controversy.

    The global warming frauds model is a model of aggregation. It aggregates all the weather and the climate out of itself. Since their model is based on watts-per-square metre it tends to ethnically cleanse changes that take a lot of time. It cleanses their ability to think of accumulating and decumulating joules for example. They are obsessed with what they call the ‘radiative heat balance.

    In effect it is a model appropriate to a flat ‘black body’ planet, twice as far from the sun, and where its always noon. Where the ground is undifferentiated. Where the water vapour levels are homogenised.

    To get some reality back into the picture we need to apply marginal analysis. Combining marginal analysis with Stefan Boltzmanns law we find two unassailable conclusions.

    1. Changes to the resistance to oceanic circulation will affect in a pretty dramatic way the temperature of the entire planet. Greater resistance to circulation means a colder planet.If we blocked the gulf stream this would not merely freeze up parts of Northern Europe and North America. It would cool down the planet entire.

    2. If extra CO2 were to have a warming effect, then the application of marginal analysis and Stefan Boltzmanns law tells us directly that the global warmers model will overstate that warming effect.

    Further to this, if we bring in the factor of water viscosity, we find that colder water is more viscous. Thus giving us more resistance to circulation. Here we have a positive feedback and a dramatic reason (amongst one or two others) why the climate drops down and comes up again in step fashion. Two or three week solar cycles in a row, can thus throw us into a little ice age, from which it is very hard to climb out. The warmers assume always that the positive feedback is to do with CO2. Though they have no convincing evidence for this, besides using CO2 as a sort of “god of gaps.”

    As far as I know these insights are original to me.

  42. I may feature the post-folk word-wizard Bob Ellis quite a lot here when I can:

  43. From ABC Unleashed

    Graeme Bird :
    02 Mar 2010 1:09:43pm
    We have an absolute advantage in manufacturing over China. Economic theory, properly considered, mandates that both countries will always have a comparative advantage for many products, making trade in manufactured goods mutually beneficial.

    This swill you have swallowed, from our neoclassical know-nothings, is a debauch and non-understanding of the theory of comparative advantage.

    What is worse is this nonsense about the information economy, also in parallel with this nonsense predicated on the service sector economy.

    For starters these foreigners do not want our haircuts or our fast-food products. They are not interested in, and will not buy, our landscape gardening services. Despite dumb-neclassical-gas, they will not be part of some fantasy where we are all taking in each-others washing.

    We have deindistrialised, not because of comparative advantage, not even because of tariff reduction, but because of flaws in our monetary policy, banking industry, and other aspects of our policy mix.

    The good news is we can change. The good news is that we can REINDUSTRIALISE.

    Heavy industry.

    Heavy metal.

    Heavy metal don’t mean rock and roll to me.

    I assure you that the neoclassical consensus have got Riccardo’s comparative advantage exactly wrong. 180 degrees wrong. And we want heavy metal. We want our boys to grow up to be real men and to make big things. Ships, Jets, Maglev tracks, Synthetic diesel furnaces, pipelines, canals, nuclear reactors, and monstrostities big and hard and forged in iron and steel and superhard carbon-fibre materials.

    Its time we stopped being a bunch of pussies.

  44. “Since this whole thing is about the energy balance of incoming and outgoing radiation, the oceanic currents and the viscosity of water may change the temperature distribution of the planet but it has no impact on the overall energy flux between the Earth and space and thus on the average temperature of the Earth.”

    No thats entirely wrong. Totally wrong. It could not be more wrong. And it shows that you haven’t understood the argument I’ve made, nor the unassailable nature of it.

    You are still thinking in terms of aggregating and averaging the entire planet. But Stefan-Boltzmanns law shows us that when the temperature is warmer the amount of joules radiated upward is DISPROPORTIONATE.

    Actually its disproportionate since it is TO THE FOURTH POWER as measured in Kelvins. That is why marginal analysis is so important.

    Here is some marginal analysis baby-talk. Thank you for confirming to a wider audience that this insight that I had was not obvious to climate science sophisticates such as yourself.

    It was not obvious though it seems so in retrospect. Lubos took it up a bit later. I had been all over the place advocating it on every blog that didn’t ban me. But fundamentally it does seem original to me. Here is the baby-talk version. Hopefully this time you will understand.

  45. hey graeme
    be a nice guy and let jc comment on your site

  46. What is this deal where you and JC have done a reversal between capitalism and communism.

    Here was I thinking that capitalism was about capital goods. Heavy metal. Carbon fibres. The output of massive capital goods like jumbo jets, container ships, canals, and all that good stuff.

    North Korea can put out none of that stuff. They do not have the capital accumulation.

    You might think that calling black white, and yellow green, to be a powerfully effective strategy rhetorically. But have a bit more pride and don’t make a prick of yourself.

    Cambria never even attempted quality on this site. And he and his shadow gave Philomena too much of a hard time and you know such a policy has short legs around here.

    In the end Philomena prevailed upon me to chuck them off. A good decision I would have thought. And I’m not putting this jerk on here if he isn’t fully cured of his two year vapidity, and if it runs the risk that he will be nasty to Philomena.

    I’ll put up with a lot from you guys, but I’m not providing a forum for you to be as unkind to her here, as you were to her there.

  47. How many times have you pushed this

    capital-accumulation=communism idiocy Jason?

    You are supposed to be a fucking economist mate. Communism sends countries back to a primitive technology. It leads to famine.

    Where is it that you and that stupid fucking Italian cunt have figured it out that capitalism is communism, and hosing down the banks with stolen money is free enterprise.

    You guys are fucking morons mate.

  48. maybe you were right about Hoover, Graeme

    • Good comeback. I was about to lose faith in your for the 1000th time.

  49. Right. This is a pattern on the left. He was valuable in the fight against communists. He was single. So they made him out to be a sexual deviant.

    I think that in that day and age if you came from a background that frowned upon you getting about with heaps of women, and supposing you were a workaholic in your twenties. Then it may have been an uncomfortable thing to start getting with girls at that late age. One wonders about their confidence if they weren’t putting it about at a younger age. Perhaps people like that would marry now that there is viagra and stuff like that around. One can only speculate. Or perhaps a lot of naturally gay men stayed in the closet.

    However what we can say is that these reports of anti-communist single men being homos, are always ubiquitous, and they almost always have to be considered lies.

  50. However what we can say is that these reports of anti-communist single men being homos, are always ubiquitous, and they almost always have to be considered lies.

    Much like your statements on this topic regarding Obama.

    • No I’m afraid Hoover was not a good-looking Black basketballer, well over six foot, after the sexual revolution. You are just an idiot THR.

      People like Barry would have had women fair hanging off him, if he had even the slightest inclination in that direction. Grow up. Attempt not to be irrational. Yes I agree that there is a chance he may not be a homo. A very slim chance. He could have been impotent for example. He could have had immense psychological conflicts on the issue of pre-marital sex due to his staunch Islamic beliefs. So there are other options. They are just not as likely as the fact of him being a homo.

      Plus we have testimony from someone who gave him a blowjob. Live testimony. In front of the national press club. So there is a slim chance of him not being a homo. A very slim chance. He was no a workaholic like Hoover and McCarthy. Matter of fact he was a bit of a druggie. There just isn’t the same profile. It wasn’t the same time period with the same social norms. His life wasn’t interrupted at a critical marrying age by the advent of World War II or the stresses of heading up a new government department on a crusading mission.

      Just stop being a fuckwit mate. I know “truth” to you means something entirely different then what it means to me. To you “Truth” is anything that serves ideological goals. But to me truth is the actual state of affairs as it is. Totally different definitions of a basic concept like that.

  51. “They print about 7% more cash per person per year and then the banks seem to grow broad money at about 9% per year per person.”

    Right. So are you Wulgar on another site? I didn’t fully believe you are first. It would have been so much better if it had been the other way around. More cash but slower monetary growth. After a few years at 7% you could knock it down to 4%.

  52. know “truth” to you means something entirely different then what it means to me.

    Yes. To you ‘truth’ is whatever an idiotic crank is polluting cyberspace with. Like your pal, Larry Sinclair:

    Obama’s team spent most of the day apologising and assuring everyone this was not official campaign policy, while at the same time keeping an eye on another circus unfolding in Washington. There, Larry Sinclair, a gay man from Minnesota who alleges he snorted cocaine and had sex with the Democratic nominee, held a news conference.

    His allegations have been sloshing around on the internet for six months, ever since he posted a YouTube video. But after he took a polygraph test and failed, he has struggled to get mainstream media interest in a story he said began in the back of a limousine in Chicago in 1999.

    On Wednesday Sinclair booked a room at the National Press Club to produce the evidence and try to capture the national spotlight for his claims. But he spent much of the time answering questions about himself. He has what is called a colourful background: a 27-year criminal career which includes convictions for fraud, forging cheques, and stealing credit card numbers.

    Sinclair was accompanied by his kilt-clad lawyer, Montgomery Blair Sibley. Sibley has had his own problems: a Florida court struck him off for vexatious litigation, most of it directed against his former wife.

    You continually get sucked into believing dud sources who agree with your worldview. Then you have the audacity to accuse others of subordinating truth to ideology.

  53. He didn’t fail the polygraph. Thats just the normal ass-covering from the Obama camp.

    Where is your commie heroes girlfriends.

    He’s a homo alright. Or else all these women would have sold their story.

  54. “Birdy’s argument is that any “good-looking Black basketballer, well over six foot” who didn’t score as many women as Wilt Chamberlain or Magic Johnson must be a ‘homo’.”

    No no. Just get the argument right. They don’t have to be like Wilt Chamberlain. But if they don’t have ANY girlfriends, that needs some explaining.

    Where are his girlfriends? What is the explanation? You guys just cannot get with reality can you. Doesn’t matter what the topic is. Obviously the homo explanation has to be up there.

  55. Oops, intellectual lightweight extraordinaire Sinclair Davidson humiliated by 100% of responding letter writers in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. And so *effortlessly* trounced, begorra.

    Throwing money at the problem worked a treat

    Like so many economists, Sinclair Davidson (Letters, March 2) seems determined not to pollute his non-interventionist ideology with information from the real world.

    He warned a Senate committee and an OECD delegation that the stimulus spending was wasteful. Consider this: the government provided money to individuals and organisations to spend to stimulate the economy. They either spent the money, saved it or paid off debt.

    Since excessive debt and low bank cash holdings were at the heart of the financial crisis, the two latter options both worked to alleviate the crisis. If this money saved individuals or organisations from going broke, there was a massive cost saving to the government, the public and the banking system.

    But what happened to the money that was spent? Every dollar that helped keep a person in a job saved the government the cost of providing the dole, and gave that person money to spend to help save other jobs. Part of this money then comes back to the government as income tax. And every time the rest is spent, and spent over and over again, 10 per cent comes back as GST.

    Not only was it not ”wasteful”, it worked a treat. It probably helped keep a lot of economists employed.

    Chris Moon Katoomba

    Sinclair Davidson fails to address the ”hard case” that Ross Gittins describes. It is easy to criticise the government; indeed, the real challenge is to do a better job of it than Kevin Rudd. But to properly criticise the home insulation scheme, one cannot absolve home owners or the private enterprises involved of all responsibility.

    By focusing on when he began asserting that the economic stimulus package would not be effective, Professor Davidson supports Gittins’s argument that libertarians are uncomfortable discussing how to deal with shoddy work performed by cowboy businessmen.

    Michael Cahill Summer Hill

    It was refreshing to read that Sinclair Davidson testified twice to Senate inquiries that the government’s stimulation package was ineffectual. It is a rare thing indeed that an academic admits publicly – nay, draws attention to the fact – that his prognostications were demonstrably wrong. Well done, Professor Davidson.

    Andrew Lewis South Coogee

  56. Graeme I don’t think you’ve by any means canvassed all the possible reasons why no female sexual partners have come forward from Obama’s past.

    He met Michelle when he was 28 married her when he was 31. He’s now almost 50. Right?

    A couple of points:

    Any pre-nuptial dalliances were a very long time ago.

    Women don’t tend to want to spill the beans (to the entire nation if not the world’s populace and for all posterity) about such matters way down the track one, because they really don’t remember details that would be of salacious interest to a prurient public or punitive media and two because unless they were unhappy with the encounter/s they’ve no reason to air it and every retrospectively at least companionate and probably political reason not to.

    The man might not be very highly sexed. Some people, even very conventionally physically and otherwise attractive people, simply just aren’t that interested in sex except what is catered for and acceptable within conventional boundaries, such as monogamous marriage.

    Sad, but true.

  57. I meant to include that vast number of gorgeous people of all ages who I have observed and know who never have sex, or rarely, for probably a multitude of complicated intersecting physical, spiritual, and psychological reasons of which they themselves are not fully or at all aware.

    These people are not to be pitied, btw, or I certainly don’t think so and everyone of them who I can think of live their lives to the full and always have, despite this aversion to, caution about or simple indifference or disinterest in sex.

  58. Nice to see you Philomena. I’ve still been too lazy to get my email fixed.

    Yes these are possibilities. I just think him being a homo is a bigger possibility. Since we have testimony to that effect. Consider the cult status that he had a while back it would have been a great status symbol and a big money-spinner to at least say something about going out with the fellow.

    But he didn’t go out with women it seems.

    The murder of Donald Young has yet to be solved. And three other murders of homosexuals in Obama’s church.

    Thats one area where I agree with Sinclair but he doesn’t go far enough. By refusing to come down on the Keynesian multiplier, he leaves himself wide open to lose the argument. So if he’s being pummeled in that argument, and no doubt he was, he has only himself to blame.

    Neoclassicals have been invented to make the Keynesians appear plausible.


    Here is a comment I’m trying to get through at the ABC. But its likely to be a bridge too far:

    The above is all true. But I would add that on the right anti-Obama sentiment developed when it was found out that he had a marxist and muslim background, that his friends were terrorists and gangsters. That he appeared to have foreign backing of some sort. That no-one knew anything about his background. That he had used extra-electoral means to “win” elections. That he had used illegal financing in this election. That no-one could prove where he was born. That no evidence surfaced that he was eligible to run. That he had faked two documents. That he had helped instigate violence in Kenya. And that four homosexuals in his Church had been murdered in quick succession.

  59. The really weird and very revealing thing about libertarians of the late 20th century variety/incarnation, i.e. rightwing monetarists/neoliberals, etc is that they’re obsessed indeed blinded by even the inconsequential ( in this case sexual) doings of politicians, of individuals. Guess it goes with the territory. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees and being led down the garden path.

    Sorry for the cliches, but they are often apt and easy.

  60. Actually, in reflection, it is not weird, but perfectly consistent.

    If you abhor and reject or are blind to the reality of class, even as an abstracted framing tool for identifying and understanding social and political outcomes, then of course you’ve no option but to descend into the fetid swamp and idiocy of individualism and from that impotent point fool yourself you can make sense of reality by focusing on singular behaviour and motivation.

    As if there were such a thing.

    What a dead end.

  61. Speaking of gorgeous

    • Yeah its really nice Philomena. But are you not also saying “speaking of gorgeous” on the basis of the girl being gorgeous and with an appearance somewhat akin to yourself in younger days? (Fair enough too I sez.) Actually its when the piano echoes at the end that the sweetness seems to go into overload.

      • It is a touch sentimental. But remember it was composed by a man in love, not by a woman who are usually accused of sentimentalism.

        The violinist is very cute – apart from her sublime playing – but twould be the height of vanity to acknowledge I say that because she may look like a younger version of me. So I won’t. And I guess there are some beautiful women who genuinely believe they are beautiful but in my experience – and reading – many/most don’t think they are at all – far from it – despite being told over and over they are.

        I blame the patriarchy. Or something.

  62. The focus on him being homosexual came partly because of the murder of one of his alleged gay lovers Donald Young. Also you don’t want to have someone affecting to be President who can be blackmailed with stuff like that. Particularly as his homosexuality is unlikely to simply disappear when he moves into the White House.

    If he could do the job, and wasn’t such a malign figure, I wouldn’t give two hoots whether he was gay. But Donald Young hasn’t seen any justice yet.

  63. Justice is a rare commodity or experience.

    I’ve never heard of Donald Young and if in fact he was literally knocked off so Obama could look clean in the presidency, sorry, but in the greater scheme of things this means zilch.

    Prioritising things, the important things, good, bad or indifferent to individuals with their eyes not solely trained on the surface and the peripheral is the beginning of wisdom, methinks.

  64. It means a great deal. It means his usurper-Presidency is highly tainted.

    Even if he were eligible and capable of being a fine President, ignoring the murder of Donald Young could never be acceptable. Since no good President would do such a thing. As it was, when Donald Young was murdered, Obama had already been over in Kenya, helping another lunatic usurp power. They did this with an election campaign a carbon copy of Obama’s later campaign. Senator Obama helped stir up sectarian violence. When his marxist buddy lost the election the violence kicked off with a veangeance. Then Odinga was able to achieve office without being elected as a compromise between the agressors and their victims.

    That a Senator would take time out to do this stuff in the middle of his own campaign shows who he was really depending on to get him elected. His overseas financiers. Not the American people.

  65. Here is a story on Donald Young.

  66. If you have to hang your rejection of the Obama presidency on circumstantial evidence and hysterical right-wing religious goss, then you’re clutching at straws and Missing The Point.

    If you’re reduced to critiquing an elected official, president or what, with this unsubstantiated, gossamer thin guff, then you’re only demonstrating you’re devoid of class politics, political persuasiveness or anything resembling historical materialist analytic capability.

  67. You don’t have to hang it on that. He’s a lunatic. He’s basically opened the door to the bankers looting the treasury. And he’s running deficits in the two trillion dollar region. Plus he’s always trying to get more spending off the ground. One has to assume that he’s actively trying to wreck the US from the inside. When he first proposed his health care policy it looked like a transparent totalitarian attempted takeover. Had it passed in its original form it would have given Washington monopoly control over life and death. A highly creative way to bring back totalitarianism in the age of the internet. You’d have to say that it was inspired. What possible other way could such a takeover be effected?

  68. Graeme, Barack Obama is a dutiful servant of crony capitalism or whatever you want to call it. He is delivering exactly what was intended. And no use blaming the banks as if they were discrete entities outside of and separate to the system within which they operate and which allows them to operate exactly thus.

    For a conspiracy theorist, don’t you find it odd, in the end, that you don’t see this vast network – or uncontrolled symbiotic forces – doing its necessary work?

  69. You are right. He’s a servant of crony-capitalism OK. And what do you call a socialist who marries the corporate bigshots with the state. Thats fascism. He’s a fascist. Why do you think I hate him so much. I could be happy for a decent partial socialist like Kucinich. Or an anti-corporate honest lefty like Ralph Nader.

    But Barry Soetoro will never be acceptable to me. And I would want him answering questions about his foreign connections and about the death of Donald Young and others.

    Particularly the mass murder in Kenya, which had been one of the few peaceful African states before this poisonous man visited it as Senator.

  70. No fascists were anti-socialists. The fascist states locked up, tortured and killed socialists. That is the purpose of fascism. It is corporate capitalism gone feral. The enemies are trade unions, homosexuals, independent women, sexual freedom, liberty and social justice in defence of big business and private profit.

    Fascism is crony capitalism in extremis.

  71. Right. The Bolsheviks murder the Mensheviks. The Vietnamese socialists fight the Cambodian ones. The German national socialists murder the Soviet aligned communists. The Russian and German socialists collude with eachother as allies but make plans to wage war against eachother. All normal and according to Hoyles.

    • I just read the other day some stuff I didn’t know which relate to the points I was making about historical specificity and its continuity over long periods of time and your response above, Graeme.

      The Mensheviks in Russia, the social democratic or centrist faction as opposed to the “far left” Bolsheviks, were primarily Jewish in composition and leadership (and petty bourgeois). The Bolsheviks tended to be more proletarian and ethnic Russians from Orthodox backgrounds. Stalin was a Caucasian and his anti-semitism grew parallel with his elimination of the Jewish Bolshevik oppositionists in the 20s and 30s and reached a peak with the establishment of Israel which he saw as a cat’s paw of western imperialism aimed at undermining the USSR.

      Also this. The Tsarist regime from the 19th century had a vast secret police establishment, or arm of gov’t called the Okhranka. A major part of its work was to infiltrate the vast underground revolutionary movement. It even set up its own trade unions and other front revolutionary organisations as well as running/placing key leaders in the Bolshevik party itself. Even Stalin himself was accused in the early 1900s to have been a Tsarist spy in Baku and environs where he was politically active.

      So conspiracy and spying were long-term fundamental elements of Russian society well before the flowering of state police and “security” surveillance and intimidation, forced confessions etc, at the height of the Stalin era in the mid-20th century.

  72. You can’t understand any of those peoples in their C20 incarnations – nor blame or caricature or pigeon hole or demonise them – unless you know and take into full account centuries of their respective preceding histories.

  73. Evidence.

    Alexander Blok

    “The Scythians” – 1918

    “Panmongolism–a wild, wild word;
    But sweet it falls upon mine ear.”
    Vladimir Solovyov

    You are but millions. Our unnumbered nations
    Are as the sands upon the sounding shore.
    We are the Scythians! We are the slit-eyed Asians!
    Try to wage war with us–you’ll try no more!

    You’ve had whole centuries. We–a single hour.
    Like serfs obedient to their feudal lord,
    We’ve held the shield between two hostile powers–
    Old Europe and the barbarous Mongol horde.

    Your ancient forge has hammered down the ages,
    Drowning the distant avalanche’s roar.
    Messina, Lisbon–these, you thought, were pages
    In some strange book of legendary lore.

    Full centuries long you’ve watched our Eastern lands,
    Fished for our pearls and bartered them for grain;
    Made mockery of us, while you laid your plans
    And oiled your cannon for the great campaign.

    The hour has come. Doom wheels on beating wing.
    Each day augments the old outrageous score.
    Soon not a trace of dead nor living thing
    Shall stand where once your Paestums flowered before.

    O Ancient World, before your culture dies,
    Whilst failing life within you breathes and sinks,
    Pause and be wise, as Oedipus was wise,
    And solve the age-old riddle of the Sphinx.

    That Sphinx is Russia. Grieving and exulting,
    And weeping black and bloody tears enough,
    She stares at you, adoring and insulting,
    With love that turns to hate, and hate–to love.

    Yes, love! For you of Western lands and birth
    No longer know the love our blood enjoys.
    You have forgotten there’s a love on Earth
    That burns like fire and, like all fire, destroys.

    We love cold Science passionately pursued;
    The visionary fire of inspiration;
    The salt of Gallic wit, so subtly shrewd,
    And the grim genius of the German nation.

    We know the hell of a Parisian street,
    And Venice, cool in water and in stone;
    The scent of lemons in the southern heat;
    The fuming piles of soot-begrimed Cologne.

    We love raw flesh, its color and its stench.
    We love to taste it in our hungry maws.
    Are we to blame then, if your ribs should crunch,
    Fragile between our massive, gentle paws?

    We know just how to play the cruel game
    Of breaking in the most rebellious steeds;
    And stubborn captive maids we also tame
    And subjugate, to gratify our needs.

    Come join us, then! Leave war and war’s alarms,
    And grasp the hand of peace and amity.
    While still there’s time, Comrades, lay down your
    Let us unite in true fraternity!

    But if you spurn us, then we shall not mourn.
    We too can reckon perfidy no crime,
    And countless generations yet unborn
    Shall curse your memory till the end of time.

    We shall abandon Europe and her charm.
    We shall resort to Scythian craft and guile.
    Swift to the woods and forests we shall swarm,
    And then look back, and smile our slit-eyed smile.

    Away to the Urals, all! Quick, leave the land,
    And clear the field for trial by blood and sword,
    Where steel machines that have no soul must stand
    And face the fury of the Mongol horde.

    But we ourselves, henceforth, we shall not serve
    As henchmen holding up the trusty shield.
    We’ll keep our distance and, slit-eyed, observe
    The deadly conflict raging on the field.

    We shall not stir, even though the frenzied Huns
    Plunder the corpses of the slain in battle, drive
    Their cattle into shrines, burn cities down,
    And roast their white-skinned fellow men alive.

    O ancient World, arise! For the last time
    We call you to the ritual feast and fire
    Of peace and brotherhood! For the last time
    O hear the summons of the barbarian lyre!

  74. My God thats good Philomena. I don’t know if this fellow is a racist or not. But whether he has the gift or prophecy or not, it FEELS like he does.

    Could he perhaps see that Europe had depleted itself so badly in 1918 that something had to give?

    I know its a bit bad to say this. But one people I kind of admire are the Vietnamese. Tough guys. I cannot remember who I was reading who had the following thought. The fellow quoted Field Marshall Montgomery’s law of war. To whit: DON’T ATTACK RUSSIA.

    But then the author noted that perhaps there was an equivalent law of war which said DON’T ATTACK THE VIETNAMESE. And he pointed out how costly it had been for all these folks who had tried to get in a dust-up with the Vietnamese. Then you see these Vietnamese girls in this country. So gentle and hardworking. Impressive people in my view.

    • The Vietnamese people will always remain a magnificent symbol of not only the strength of national liberation movements but also the potential and strength of subjugated women everywhere. Vietnamese history is amazing including that of all those Vietnamese women throughout the centuries who not only would not bow their heads in the face of foreign domination but who took up arms. Women such as Trung Trac and her sister Trung Nhi who with 36 other women leaders built and led a grassroots people’s army of 80,000 that successfully drove the Chinese out of Vietnam in 40AD much like the women military and political leaders in the 19-20th century wars against France, Japan, China and the US.

      There are many legends and folktales that suggest the existence of a matriarchal society in early Vietnam and which credit women with advancing civilisation in that region by e.g. developing agriculture. Ancient Vietnamese temples honoured the role of women and of female divinities and early art such as sculpture show that this society worshipped women’s strength, knowledge and fertility. In many popular songs from the earliest recorded times women freely chose their partners and were the ones who proposed marriage and so on.

  75. Don’t see how that’s racist. The dude is talking about his own people whom he thinks are part Mongol. Most probably. Russia, China, central Asia, Japs, Koreans, lots of mixing has been going on there. There’s even a theory my dialect group the Hakka are originally Huns (not Han).

  76. Right. Pretty effective don’t you think SOON?

    Although it might have to hit one with the force of near-prophecy to get the effect that I’m relating too.

    Hey you think this one will get through the ABC filter?

    “Right. Well. You are really pummeling me with them home truthzzzz brother.

    When it comes to dumb leftists its hard to look at them any way but DOWN.

    But for the most part I’m just a very humble fellow. I shuffle about like Clive, looking at the ground as I walk, wearing only sack-clothe, in my humility.

    If there is one thing that really gets under my bone, its people like you saying all these nice things about me, and forgetting to remember to mention my humility.

    Don’t do it again.

    Jerk. “

  77. Or this one:

    Thats just a fact.

    And prior to the last election the Democrats had a campaign advertisement out. They had a song playing.

    You know the tune “The old gray mare”?

    The old gray mare she aint what she used to be?

    Well the Democrats had this campaign song out with all these fine young men and women singing

    The old red scare it aint what it use to be….

    The communists attempting to undermine the manliness of anyone who objected to their conspiracies was old news even then. Well before McCarthy. But the point is that song was part of the election campaign.

    Within a few months Roosevelt, surrounded as he was by communists, and this is an historical fact ….. within a few months Roosevelt, surrounded by communists, had betrayed Eastern Europe to slavery under the greatest mass-murderer the world had yet seen.

    This smug affliction against any possibility of conspiracy is simply moronic. Don’t let yourself be caught being a part of it Julia.

  78. I ain’t a climate sceptic but that Joanne Nova is pretty smokin’ hot

  79. Is this true, Graeme?

  80. 1. Wow that is really neat Sal. Wish I knew more about their history.

    2. Nova is married to a bigshot scientist. They don’t share the same surname. Yes thats a good picture of her. Makes her look more swarthy then she normally appears. She has submitted a very sultry-looking shot of herself.

    3. I cannot find the post you are referring too. Did Birdlab make a comment that was wiped or something?

  81. it’s still there Graeme. it was Anna talking about you

    Also, Bird likes me most of the time, which makes him smarter than you CL.
    Anna Winter

    4 Mar 10 at 1:18 pm

  82. Oh right that. CL is very smart of course. But I barely noticed that. I would have thought that was rather old news. CL is the smartest fellow LEFT on your blog. I think Anna has her rankings right in this case.

    But there was some sort of post that was wiped up-thread right? She must be responding to something?

    On the other hand it could have been entirely spontaneous on her part. Which would be rather gratifying.

  83. Graeme, CL may be smart in that his hatred gives him verbal facility but he is a heartless, cynical and very nasty individual. He loathes the left and can barely restrain himself from metaphorically puking over us on blogs whenever he gets the chance. He seems to save his worst bilious attacks for women and apart from JC/Birdlab his attacks on me for my legitimate if contrary and representative views on many matters were the worst I’ve ever experienced anywhere, ever.

  84. You didn’t seem to bring out the best in him.

  85. Nor you in he.

    Guess that’s our fault, eh.

  86. He was usually pretty reasonable to me. I wonder why he didn’t clamp down on the idiot Cambria a little more though.

  87. You didn’t get my email?

  88. Did you send it to the email? I’ll check.

  89. Can you send it to the other one?

  90. I did.

  91. No it must not have taken.


    “The Queen upbraided him in person when next they met, and his drinking thereafter increased. ”

    If people have a different theory, or historical interpretation, might they not put it forth such that we can judge three or more theories in parallel?

    It wouldn’t take much for Bobs view of things to be the lead paradigm, so long as we have competing paradigms to compare against. Since consider if the above quote is true and can be confirmed. Why would Kerr rock the boat all of a sudden? Boat-rockers don’t make it up to Governor General.

    Governor Generals aren’t people who have decades of impulsive action and enemy-making to their name. Its a pretty cushy job. Why not just do it, in a non-creative and non-heavy-handed way, and retire rich and happy? Those who would brandish the literal power of it, would not have been given the job in the first place.

    If he wasn’t being blackmailed about being twice as lucky on a Saturday Night, then what is your competing historical theory? Another reason to find this out for sure is that while we might want to actively seek out gay men and women, who are talented, for promotion, on the basis that perhaps they may have been overlooked due to their strange ways …. what we don’t want to do is put people who are open to blackmail, into positions of great power. Or into sensitive positions. Positions with a national security component to them.

    Well possibly we don’t want to do this? How important is this principle? The public will judge these things better if they know their history.

    The Ellis version will have to be my default position BY DEFAULT if no-one can come good with a better explanation. If the Queen wasn’t happy about it then what is the motive? Why didn’t he place a call to the Queen?

    If Kerr had some ideological or patriotic reason for sacking the Prime Minister, rather than the decision being at least partly out of fear of being shamed, then why be conflicted about it? Why not just say afterwards “I had the power to do this. I thought it was the right thing. Maybe I was right, maybe I was wrong. It was my perogative, and I thought I was right at the time.”

    Why drink yourself to an early grave and not so much as talk about why you did what you did?

    If it was the CIA who nudged this thing in this direction, well all its done is spread anti-Americanism and mistrust into the alliance. We need to know that also. We need to know that this sort of thing is usually counterproductive.

    Spooktown everywhere could do with reform. Could do with improvement. How can we, or the Americans, get the momentum for reform in spooktown if the reality of counterproductive meddling is unknown to the rest of us?

    Here is a fellow who wants to reform the way the spooks operate. Where is the wind for his sails if we cannot get the history right?

  93. here is of course “agency” in how our top executives are rewarded, and also in how board members are chosen. Clearly its a money spigot for the well-connected and it has something to do with supply and demand, and economic effectiveness. But rather less to do with these things than any proponent of natural law theory would be happy about.

    In big organisations it is advisable to only be loyal to three levels of the hierarchy. The one below you. The one above you, and your own level. You will do better and be more successful if you couldn’t give a toss for anyone else. But the situation with banking is much much worse.

    The situation with banking is far worse than the “agency” of a normal big corporation. Because modern banking is rent-seeking behaviour. Whereas banks SHOULD make their money from a cut of the interest, in reality most of their winnings are from new money creation, and dealing with the problems that fractional reserve and inflation cause.

    In other words the banks are a protected counterfeiting racket that benefits from the counterfeiting as well as mitigation of the damage done by same.

    So we will see that behaviour at the top of the banking world, is likely to steadily grow more venal, greed-oriented, and predatory then anything in the normal corporate world.

    We face three major sources of parasitism. Rigged labour market parasitism. That is to say credentialism that cuts people out from certain jobs. Then there is government parasitism. Then there is bank parasitism. We cannot afford much of any of these. But it will take many years to reduce government parasitism in a decent and humane way.

    No such restriction holds for bank parasitism. We can phase away from fractional reserve in maybe two years max. Bank parasitism is completely unnecessary, and therefore entirely unacceptable.

  94. Did somebody say “climate sensitivity”?

    There are certain phrases that these people use that tend to give them away as being under the CURSE OF THE LONE PARADIGM. You read these people talking about “forcing” or “climate sensitivity” and they talk about these things without caveats. They talk about these things as if they were REAL THINGS. Like the furniture in front of them.

    Some go even chummier with their failed model. Instead of talking about “climate sensitivity” they just say “lambda”. Like it was a member of their family that had gone missing and that we all needed to find.

    They want you to believe, they want you to agree, they want to drag you into, this idea, that the sum total of this controversy is WHAT IS LAMBDA?

    But the controversy is nothing to do with Lambda. Because Lambda is no real thing. Lambda is a concept. A concept within a failed model. Its not real. And its not relevant.

    It may be useful to keep this model around just to compare it with how the real world differs from it, and what broad principles we might assume, based on these differences.

    Elsewhere I’ve proven that on this planet at least, marginalist analysis shows, in a greatly convincing way, that whatever the alarmist model implies, the reality will be much less severe.

    The economists started thinking marginally in the 1870’s. Knowing that I simply transferred this type of thinking to the problem of climate science, because I could see that all this aggregation and averaging was ethnically cleansing out the weather from the alarmist world-view.

    I think this sort of cross-fertilisation is useful. But I wouldn’t have so much as got started with it were the science grant whores not doing such a frightful job.

  95. I was explaining elsewhere why air pressure is the key to allowing these “greenhouse gases” to convert “light” to thermal energy, and not merely scatter that light.

    We have three great barriers to a Venus scenario. 1. The circumpolar current around Antarctica. 2. Our feeble air pressure. 3. Our oceans.

    Should one and two change to any great degree the existence of our oceans would still let a high-tech society deal with any overheating. We would merely ionise the dust particles in the mid-troposphere to cause as much rain as possible in the middle of the day everywhere, since the process of rain-making is a wonderful refrigerant.

    When we have high air pressure and have lost our oceans, or our high-tech civilisation, it is only then may we face some sort of danger.

  96. wonderful old piece by Ellis on Abbott

    man he can write

  97. Yeah he’s a terrific writer isn’t he. Thanks.

    Hey I read the paper later than everyone else. I caught Sinclairs article.

    Very good. What a nightmare. What is Rudd doing? My God that man lives in a bubble. What is the rationale for his hospital shake-up SOON?

    Where is the gains to be made from this alternative he is making? And who are the ratbag economists advising him?

  98. wish I knew Graeme


    People’s power. So sexy.

  100. Free-market libertarianism likened to “neo-feudalism”.

    The Power of Private Monopolies
    Who Runs America?


    Although some Americans worry about the growing power of the government, few understand the real power that controls their
    everyday lives.

    Private monopolies determine the brand of breakfast cereal we eat, the type of car we drive, where we bank, the medical treatment we
    receive, the fashion of our clothes, and the kind of toothbrush we use, in addition to the beer we drink, the health insurance we buy, and what we feed our pets.

    Under the guise of “the free market,” conglomerates merged and bought up smaller companies, until, today, they dominate their
    respective markets in every commodity offered for sale in the U.S.

    In this race to consolidate, companies “rationalized” their offerings, in many cases dropping up to 40 percent of what they
    formerly produced. They buy from the same suppliers, use interchangeable parts and common ingredients, and re-name similar brands, essentially placing the same product in different
    packages. For example, one company produces all of the pet food under 150 different brands.

    “People say we have an uncontrolled free market but we have the opposite,” says Barry C. Lynn, senior fellow at the New American Foundation. “What we have today is a laissez faire American version of feudalism; a private government in the form of private
    corporations run by private individuals who consolidated power to govern entire activities within our political economy.”

    In a new book, “Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and The Economics of Destruction,” Lynn describes the many past struggles
    in America between small elite oligarchies and democratic government. Throughout our history, Americans have beaten back the attempts of monopolies to control various industries.

    The Boston Tea Party fought to overturn monopolization of commerce by the private British East India Company. Alexander Hamilton’s attempt to help his friends out with the whiskey tax, led to the Whiskey Rebellion. People acting through government prevented a small elite from controlling our railroads, steel mills, the oil industry and other concentrations of power.

    “In the case of railroads, people realized they could consolidate power discriminating against some companies by charging them higher rates and stripping them of cash,” says Lynn. “The American people then decided that if you had a monopoly hauling goods, you have to charge everyone the same rate. We used our government to keep them from consolidating political and economic power.”

    According to Lynn’s research, early Americans made decisions to balance power between farmers, consumers and the market itself.
    This is why we created “open and public markets.” Labor, managers, engineers, shareholders, and local communities ran our
    corporations, which are social institutions.

    The ultimate function of a well-regulated open-market system is not to ensure an ‘efficient’ distribution of resources, but “to reveal, harness, and direct power within a society in order to
    ensure the widest possible distribution of political freedom and the greatest possible degree of political and economic stability,” says Lynn.

    With the election of Ronald Reagan, onservatives redefined “free enterprise” to mean the unfettered power of an individual to amass
    as much wealth as possible, while liberals sought to use planning and efficiency to lower costs, even if it resulted in the loss of some economic freedom. Using theories developed by Chicago School of Economics leaders such as Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan, Reagan directed the Justice Department to base anti-trust
    decisions on a vision of efficiency as measured solely by lowered costs.

    “Before Ronald Reagan we accepted inefficiencies to protect a free political system,” says Lynn. “In 1981, we changed laws to a consumer welfare test, measured by price and economies of scale;
    hence, any consolidation can appear to promote the welfare of the consumer. Unlimited growth was made acceptable. This was a revolutionary overthrow of our antimonopoly laws.”

    Today libertarian think tanks such as the CATO Institute, serve as “the vanguard of a neofeudalist movement” to attack democratic
    government. They and other conservative propagandists have spent $30 billion in the past 30 years to promote their agenda and
    convince people that massive layoffs, foreign competition, and higher prices are the result of “natural free-market forces.”

    Squeezed from all sides, some Americans react by becoming corporate shock troops attacking their own government.

    “Those who control our corporations managed an Orwellian achievement to redefine the use of brute corporate force as ‘market forces,'” says Lynn. “We still believe in a consumer
    utopia, but we have an illusion of choice. Corporate powers manipulate our decision-making and direct us to buy certain goods
    at certain prices.”

    Institutional power shifted to Wall Street and large financial institutions. Today a small elite runs corporations to serve themselves as they concentrate their power. Some Americans are
    waking up to the reality of their situation, but Congress lacks the will to regulate corporate power.

    “If we choose to protect our republican way of government, which depends on the separation of powers within our economy and our political system-then we have only one choice, says Lynn. “We must restore antitrust law to its central role in protecting our economic rights and breaking up dangerous concentrations of power.”

  101. Its a tragedy that free market thinking during the Reagan Era was used to free banks from the reserve asset ratio. The monetary tightening had led to bank bailouts under Volcker, and the reserve asset ratio gone, there was the savings and loan crisis in short order. And then without an RAR you will get certain tendencies that push matters in the direction of what that fellow is talking about. He may be exaggerating somewhat. I think its a bit of a distraction though. The main thing is to break up the banks by taking away their many subsidies, and their ability to create new money, and then make it easy for other entrants.

    Presumably as the rotten old banks crumble they will have to sell branch after branch to get hold of the extra cash that will be being injected into the economy. But also if limited liability means no use of debt this would hobble the banks and make them small and local. And it would likely undo a lot of this conglomeration that this fellow is talking about.

  102. Those workers should be, for their own sakes, supporting austerity in the public service. Supporting the idea that the budgets must be placed in surplus, and thereafter demanding the debts be reneged.

  103. This health plan is a real mystery to me. Does Rudd think he will get efficiencies by forcing people to fill in a lot of paperwork? This is going to be a gaudy disaster like the insulation plan but on a much bigger level. Its reckless. Because if they mess it up a lot of people will get killed.

    And surely Sinclair is right. In that it will break down the admirable barriers to keeping the GST at its very functionally sound rate of only 10%. You would not think that Rudd himself has it in his mind to wreck the GST. But most likely some of his advisors will want that. “Wreck” in the sense of allowing the Feds to start increasing it.

  104. The idiocy of THR is just oppressive

    “Gillard isn’t very ‘left’ these days, jc. She’s played a long, factional game. She won’t be the next leader because of her social policies, but her political maneuvering. Tanner would be a good treasurer, though. And I don’t think Lurch has any input into policy.”

    Tanner would be a good treasurer? Tanner ought to be taken out of finance and kept away from anything to do with policy and especially finance. He is a proven crank and failure.

  105. Oh well done brothers and sisters.

    Amazing Grace Take2

    Amazing Grace no longer flows,
    Dammed up by greed so crude.
    I once could eat, but now I find
    I cant afford the food.

    The bright young minds of our country
    Now wake to meet their doom;
    So why should we apply to school,
    When close ahead lies gloom?

    What will we say in years ahead
    When strewn across the land
    Are wretches poor in heart and soul,
    By greedy robbers damned?

    Remember, Aristocracy
    Made bank from others toil.
    I say we have the right to fruits
    Weve grown on Natures soil.

    Aloud, lament all ye who hope
    To have a better life;
    If our priorities dont change
    We all will end in strife.

    Awaken Creativity,
    and doom we may waylay!
    Lets make a plan while we still can
    And birth a better day!

    lyrics by Victoria Larkin

  106. From elsewhere on moderation:

    What causes the costs in some industries to keep going down? What causes the costs in other industries to keep going up?

    One of the better Bush treasury secretaries was John Snow. Totally unlike the lunatic Paulson. But of course he had to deal with the Presidents fiscal incontinence and still be loyal. People were asking what ought to be done with these deficits as far as the eye could see and the projected explosion of unfunded commitments. Snow nailed it down that the social security was a big problem. But that even the social security unfunded liabilities paled before the looming disaster that was Medicare.

    Now what Snow pointed out was that health care costs were rising at about nominal GDP plus 2%. If they kept rising like that there was a disaster in the making and simply no solution to it no matter what else could happen.

    But Snow pointed out that if they could get it together to deal with these health care costs such that they would grow at nominal GDP – 1% or nominal GDP -2% then suddenly all these forward projections started looking a great deal better.

    This was before the disastrous Bush plan that was supposed to solve the problem but made it worse. But as originally conceived that same Bush plan. had the kernel of an idea that could have indeed been part of the solution to solving the problem. There were these “health savings accounts” Tax preferred savings that you could use for your medical expenses.

    We already have the superannuation in place. We can beef it up and take away the 15% stipend. We can reduce how much can be borrowed for anything but high-rise real estate using these funds.

    Then we can do a bunch of other things to make this the preferred savings vehicle. Then we can cut off the funding for most normal medical services of working-age people who aren’t chronically long-term sick. and allow people to pay for medical treatment and prevention out of their superannuation.

    But this suggestion is only scratching the surface. I’m only putting in forward on the basis that we know that the prices come down if you pay for these things out of savings and not insurance.

    Cosmetic surgery gets cheaper while the insurance-paid stuff gets more expensive.

    But getting away from savings for a moment. We need to take such an holistic approach such that we get better cost effectiveness every quarter.

    I would come up with a plan to get nominal GDP-2% every quarter. We can do it and when we do it we can then afford the lush funding to help our brothers and sisters who have no chance of saving up for their medical needs. We can reach down and pull them up and take them to a place beyond all these technical considerations.

  107. A cozzie bro, Graeme? Looks like he’s implementing your jihad against the financial sector

  108. Right. I’ll check him out just after I log this moderated post. I remember you used to like my concept of warning people about the grave dangers of ontological-conjuring:

    “CO2 is not a greenhouse gas?”

    In philosophy we call what you are doing here: “Attempting to ontologically conjure the Sasquatch.” More about that later.

    Yes of course I dispute the warming trend. To show a warming trend you need to give me a start date and an end date. Thats always the case on a planet where temperatures are in constant oscillation. We have a 55 million years cooling trend. You have to be specific what time period you are talking about.

    Now this business about CO2 being a greenhouse gas. This is a pointless question. It amounts to you trying to ontologically conjure the Sasquatch.

    But you cannot jibber-jabber the Sasquatch or the Yeti into existence. Take the Yeti for example. What we are after is evidence. We need discarded banana peels, huge footprints, and a steaming hot poop in the snow. This sort of thing. We cannot follow Saint Anselms ontological proof of God and try and verbalize the Yeti into existence.

    You ought not try to ontologically conjure the Sasquatch. Its bad philosophy, but have you considered what a disaster it would be if you actually succeeded?

  109. Thats just a nickname. It was either that or call him Spider or something.

  110. well Paul Norton has dedicated a post to you based on this

  111. Thats good. People will soon realise that the idiot Paul has buggered it up and that this fellows real name is something different. Plus he’s referring people to the best thread on Prodeo ever.

    The most ironic thread in the world has just been written. Professor Quiggin has this piece claiming there is something wrong with the Austrian schools focus on methodology. Then the criminally destructive Nick Gruen shows up and says “sad”. Just prior to that some clown describes some rubbish that Brad Delong wrote, quoting Joan Robinson, as a takedown. Its wasn’t a takedown. Wasn’t even an argument and Hayek was quite correct.

    The thread serves to explain the fundamental right ness of the Austrian approach. But the appearance of Nick is offensive. Given the damage he has done. They’ve killed people, thrown heaps of people out of work, and put us in massive debt to the communists. All this would have been unnecessary had they been committed to sound epistemology and methodology.

    I don’t get the point about this raincoat business. It remains a fact that diverting resources to consumption detracts from employment. Particularly under a fiat system where you can create as much nominal demand as you want and very easily.

  112. Here is what I wrote. The fist post has a small chance of getting through. The second post has no chance at all.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    But thats what is good about this school of thought. The problem with the other schools of thought are that they don’t see knowledge as holistic and methodology as important. Without getting the methodology right its just prejudice and flying blind.
    Zardoz. Thats not a takedown. Its not even an argument. What do you possibly imagine Brads argument to be?

    Graeme Bird
    March 8th, 2010 at 14:52 | #6 Reply | Quote
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Here we have proof of the basic rightness of the Austrian approach.
    Given who said this, and given recent history, I could not find better evodence that the Austrians are right, in their fundamental approach, than this one word response. Nick has been part of the most bizare and destructive job-destroying splurges in this country’s history. He still believes that blowing money creates employment. He still believes in the Keynesian multiplier and the IS-LM curves.
    Sad is right. Not so sad for Nick. Sad for the rest of us. Sad for this country. It remains a fact that diverting resources to consumption creates unemployment. A sounder grasp of epistemology and methodology would have given Nick a chance to get that right.

  113. your views Graeme?

  114. Birdy, on International Women’s Day 2010, to all the women in your life, who show you the meaning of success.

  115. How scrumptious is Yoko Ono smoking her cigar with such disdain and sorrow, her legs spread like a man’s, her face making no concession to glamour.

    No wonder John Lennon loved her.

  116. Jason I think its a stupid verbal mistake. I hope he doesn’t get completely skewered for it.

  117. I’ll have to check Yoko out on another day. This computer has gotten so bad it can no longer play youtubes. I don’t know about this UN thing. Its always womens day around here. Just so long as they are in a good mood. Otherwise its a day for hiding.

  118. Moderated post:

    “A dogmatic application of your ideology means you can’t accept climate science …”

    You are lying. I accept climate science. I even seem to have made innovations in this regard. I accept climate science, the scientific method, the whole lot. The global warming hustlers are the ones who refuse point blank to accept climate science. They don’t seem to know what evidence is. Their computer models don’t work. Their core Arrenhius model gets a conceptual audit fail, though it passes peer review. Their peers are dropkicks. The global warming hustlers are not concerned to fix their computer models and their interest in epistemology is non-existent.

    Plus these people really aren’t very bright when all is said and done.

  119. World Net Daily has good JOURNALISTIC values. Thats all you need to know about them when quoting them. They do a lot of speculative stuff but they make it clear when they are speculating.

    This is the same situation I face with journalists like Seymour Hersch or Robert Fisk. Or Chris Hitchens when I considered him a socialist. They have good journalistic values, even if their other values are questionable. So I have to take their statements of fact seriously. Whereas with John Pilger I expect some exaggeration here and there. I cannot always take his statements of facts seriously. Perhaps he is an Okay journalist. Certainly a gifted writer. But there is a difference when it comes to getting the facts straight.

    So no you are getting nowhere with your ongoing denial of reality. WorldNetDaily is a fine source of information. And I just happen to know that where the forests are not being actively burned or bulldozed the tendency is for them to have been growing in leaps and bounds. The gross weight of landed biota has been increasing. This is what the gift of high CO2 levels produces. Its also why we have to be very careful of fuel buildup in this country.

    “Even horticulturalists only advise 400ppm to 1000ppm of CO2 in vegetable greenhouses and 400ppm is what you would have in a typical office building. Even plants that require CO2 don’t need much of it.”

    This statement lacks all context. Of course horticulturalists would like higher levels. 1500ppm is the most quoted ideal level. 400-1000 is an ECONOMIC DECISION get it? Not an idealised growing decision. They have to pay for that propane that they put in the burner to elevate CO2 levels. This is expensive stuff and in no case would you use as much propane as what would be optimal for growing if money was no object.

  120. I’m doing my best to repress my spitting anger at Nick Gruen in this post:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Goodness those are great posts Gerard. I disagree entirely. But there is no denying your posting quality.

    Where do I disagree? Well I don’t know if there is anyone championing “natural liberty”. I think you would be after “natural law” and “natural justice”. Both of which I think are valid pre-occupations.

    In order to undermine them one has to throw a Hume-nuke at them. That is to say, lift the proof-bar beyond what anyone could plausibly jump over.

    The problem with being flippant about epistemology and methodology is that what happens if there is a disagreement?

    Me and Nick disagree on just about everything? How do we sort it out what is right and what is wrong? I’m right and Nick is wrong, and I know why. But what about Nick? How does he sort it out?

    Well it all comes down to epistemology/methodology.

    One cannot rely on resumes, qualifications, high-IQ and personal sharpness alone. Because when it comes down to it, without good methodology the smarter man is also smarter at stooging himself.

  121. Note to others: Nova’s article in my opinion shows dishonesty and intent to deceive.”

    No no Matt. You are just lying mate. You are a liar. This is not your opinion at all.

    You know full well that YOU don’t have the evidence and by extension neither do the other hustlers that you are aware of.

    Knowing this you ought to be able to, and can in fact see, that what Mrs Nova is doing is explaining why this particular T-1000 just won’t die. Or when dead refuses to stay down.

    So no fella lies don’t count.

    “Note to others: Nova’s article IN MY OPINION shows dishonesty and intent to deceive.”

    In your opinion? You used this qualifier, thinking that it would be a logical contradiction for anyone to gainsay you?

    Well I do gainsay you. Because you show up here anonymously and say that. This is just leftists running interference.

    If you had of showed up as yourself and been willing to talk openly about your suspicions we could give you the benefit of the doubt.

    This is not your opinion. You are just a liar. Typical leftist projection. You are accusing your victim of lying when its really just you lying instead.

  122. Jason Soon is an intellectual lightweight ain’t he.

    And judging by the photos around the traps he’s a fatso too.

  123. There’s heaps of contradictions with right-wing free market economics which everyone but hog-tied bought, owned and sold one-eyed ideologues can clearly see: the tendency towards centralisation and monopoly contra the supposed liberating, seeding, spontaneous democratic tendencies of the market; the advocacy of GST’s and the vast state expenditure on the military and institutionalised war and aggression; and the fact that people everywhere, always have and always will, regardless of their own personal needs and self-interest, worry about, question, advocate and fight on behalf of the poor, the disadvantaged, who by transparent means of measure are demonstrably thus and the majority of the world’s population.

    This latter fact, their relative numbers, hasn’t changed in centuries.

  124. Re the climate science stuff. It’s telling isn’t it that increasingly the most important political and economic debates of the current period are being couched in and driven by science more than any other discipline (categorised as such for purely taxonomic purposes). Science is really coming into its own today and while it probably can never be value- or ideologically-free, or supra, it’s clear that it is going to be the touchstone of future debates about just about everything.

    Having said that it still may be true as some say that we may have or will soon reach the limits of what the science we are capable of producing can tell us about many of the things we seek to understand and do something about. And also that some, most even of the greatest truths about ourselves and consciousness, e.g. may never be surpassed by what literature and the classics from ancient Greece onwards have already told us.

  125. Evidence that Jason Soon is a pork chop.

  126. No thats not me. That will be Fyodor inspired by Norton’s latest thread. Or Birdlab. Or Cambria. I really wish Leyonhelm hadn’t left that swollen-faced photo around. Occasionally I look that bad. Not often. Makes me think that I ought to have let those pictures be taken at the Clock after all.

    Don’t talk to Philomena like that SOON. I’ll wipe it when I wake up.

  127. Wow. How desperate would you have to be to create this fake Twitter account and run it for a month already and then sic the usual frontman on to drawing it to your attention.

    It reeks of Adrien who was always the second choice after Joe Cambria of being behind the puerile and vicious BirdLab persona.

    There’s one major giveaway within this morass that strongly suggests it’s from Adrien’s hand, though the consistently failed, lame attempts at humour, with their underlay of genuine malice, are all indicative of Adrien too, as is the obsessive stalking.

    How low can this man go is a question to ask.

  128. Yeah you might be right there Philomena. It does sort of smell of Adrien doesn’t it.

    People will get sick of it. Why go for the fake tweet when you can go to ABC Unleashed and get the real thing.

    I sure don’t like that puffy-face picture though. I was not all that healthy at the time. Oh well. Too bad.

  129. There’s nothing wrong with the picture Graeme. And a single undoctored and ineptly taken photograph is hardly representative of the actual physical likeness of anyone.

    The sniggering Lord-of-the-Flies Gang at Cataleprosy can’t escape the knowledge of their own inner and no doubt outer unattractiveness and take it out on people like you whom they desperately envy. Quite amusing in that regard, if still despicable.

    It’s good you have high self-esteem and the fortitude to shrug off their pulling wings off flies antics. They’re to be pitied. And you, admired for your equilibrium and grace and genuine humour under pressure.

    Unleashed is great isn’t it.

  130. hey graeme
    it’s your favourite writer on Unleashed

  131. another pic of the ‘oh no i’m really svelte it’s him over there who’s the lardarse’ Jason Soon.


  132. Jason in your excitement you seemed confused about whom you are addressing! If you want to learn about the predilections of trannies, whom I imagine have the full range of sexual tastes that human beings have consistently shown themselves capable of, I suggest you talk to your homo-erotic friend, BirdLab/JC.

    Now it is true that in both pictures posted thus far of you own self you could arguably be said to be not “obese”. But your face reveals the tell-tale signs of a lack of discernible cheek bones or a clearly defined jaw which indicates a tendency towards flabbiness and excess fat in the rest of the body.

    I’d agree that there are more important criteria than mere appearances in a man and it would be churlish of anyone to hold an individual’s let us say deficit of bodily charms against them.

    But when a person demonstrates such a deficit clearly and repeatedly in photographs freely and easily available on the internet, then one must question the motivation and mental state of same person mocking the face – for that is all we have to go on – of a man who in fact from the single picture available appears to have a visage comparatively less fleshy, soft or with the incipient jowls you clearly display.

  133. Pull? That’s what you do with it? Lordy, no wonder you’re frustrated lol.

  134. Look SOON. You made me have to track down my login. I don’t want to ban you from this site but there is some things you don’t do around here. And one of them is reinforce that sort of ugly nastiness that Philomena got slimed with at Catallaxy.

  135. “The sniggering Lord-of-the-Flies Gang at Cataleprosy ”

    You know this is a pretty fair indictment Jason. The blog falls so far short of what the individual capacities of the Catallaxians could produce if they took their analysis seriously and acted like true scientists. Scientists in the old-fashioned sense.

    Its not that the blog is useless. It just that it ought to be so much better with the skills of the individuals involved. So many times, when given the choice, regular contributers have reserved the right of the luxury of irrationality in whatever subject took their fancy to do so.

  136. Of course Philomena, I’m scandalised by CL and Fisk being too nasty to you. I would have thought that they would even just humour me on that matter. Its a double injury, since by being nasty to you, bad for its own sakes, they are telling me they are not willing to cut me some slack. Its like Tom Reagan said “I don’t ask much and I don’t ask often.”

    But there is no question that I think of the two of them as both seriously smart fellows.

    Here is the comeback of the day.

    Rog sez:

    Except that Macchiavelli is dead.

    So Fisk sez:

    I simply cannot believe that someone with your IQ was able to run their own business for a significant period of time.

    I mean seriously. If one is not bright enough to read Machiavelli’s thoughts many times over and take into consideration what he is saying …….

    Well Okay maybe thats bloke stuff. Maybe Machiavelli repulses our girly girly girl type girls.

    But my goodness. How can one consider Machiavelli to be “dead”. He’s more alive then ever.

    If I was back in University I’d attend those Christian reading groups. I’d do a lot of things differently. But I’d also probably want to set up other reading groups. Ones where Machiavelli might make an appearance with some regularity.

    • Machiavelli’s thought was a rich lode. He was pretty pessimistic though about human nature but then so were Hobbes and Freud and so are conservatives and authoritarians historically. And he was a strong advocate of the necessity of the coercive power and role of the state.

      And what can one say about a dude who also wrote:

      “For my part I consider that it is better to be adventurous than cautious, because fortune is a woman, and if you wish to keep her under it is necessary to beat and ill-use her; and it is seen that she allows herself to be mastered by the adventurous rather than by those who go to work more coldly.”

      Why the retrospective interest in Christian reading groups?

      • Its very hard to know what Machiavelli’s ethics were. Its hard to know whether Lorenzo would consider that nasty talk about the mistreatment of women to be a wicked joke or a statement of how Machiavelli thought about women. Probably a bit of both. The statement could be a joke, but a joke not without some disturbingly half-true psychological implications.

        It must be remembered that the Prince was actually essentially a job application. Whether young Lorenzo learnt from it or not is hard to say. But he would seem to be an ideal practitioner of the lessons involved. Because one might see him as a younger version of Vito Corleone.

        One reading of The Prince would suggest that Machiavelli was by no means particularly authoritarian or cruel. But that he was merely giving advice in a situation of plots and intrigue. He was willing, in this job application, to state openly in which situations ruthlessness actually worked, whether or not that says lamentable things about the human species.

        But in the end his ideal seemed to be these well-armed German micro-states of the time. Now the technology is a little bit different and getting around in 4 million person cities with handguns you bought at the corner store, is a little bit different then having access to swords, spears armour and so forth, in towns of just a few thousand typically ………… and no more then say 40 000 for the larger cities.

        So the people of the German micro-states would have seen themselves as free men. They would not have seen their rulers as oppressive. And if they did they could probably move their act to another micro-state just a days horse-ride away.

        This sort of setup may have been where Machiavellis head was really at. Everyone well-armed. The Prince knowing how to have the respect of his people. Having considered all the bad ways he might gain respect, hopefully choosing a better path, without being softheaded.

        Machiavelli from memory seems to indicate that the leadership of these states of fully-armed citizenry were pretty much autonomous in their decision-making vis a vis the Holy Roman Emperor. They probably worried more about what their subjects thought, then what the emperor did. He said that they only needed to obey the emperor when they felt like it. Ha Ha.

        Well you know you have to be diplomatic. So if the emperor’s request is not too evil or onerous you sort of go along with it. But if he’s getting on your nerves you can pretend not to listen to him, and then maybe bend a little bit if he gets too irate.

        So if we took Machiavelli aside and appealed to the angels of his better nature it is not really possible to know where his ethical sense lay. He never seemed to advocate open cruelty to ones own non-nobility as any sort of ongoing policy. Its more about making solid moves against other aristocrats and Princes, but in the end its really about having the loyalty of a well-armed free citizenry, if thats what you can achieve.

        So I could extrapolate secessionist and near-libertarian values onto him, and others might project their own personalities onto him also. But the point is any statesmen ought to read him and never stop reading him, hopefully aspiring to more ethical and less ruthless behaviour then what was almost normal in those days.

        Those days when the Medici and the Pazzi were in that repressed-volcanic “peace”, the likes of which we may imagine between the Corleone’s and the Tatalias, or the Montagues and the Capulets.

      • Great comment.

        I don’t think Lorenzo ever got to read The Prince or that it was even published in M’s lifetime, much like Lampedusa’s The Leopard, never out of print but published posthumously.

        Everyone can get important strategic info from Machiavelli. Hell I think I first read it seriously when embroiled in a huge fight with management at work. Others read it on how to manage difficult rels. It’s a military text and a corporate text.

        Heh, you’ve inspired me to go and re-read it, Mr Muse.

  137. Ha Ha.

    Philomena I have the culprit. Its definitely Jason the sly devil. Because the page he linked is pretty lame. But he’s been doing quick tweets for a couple of months and if you go back to the start its pretty funny and not particularly malicious at all.

    Its pretty good work. I’ve been laughing about it, whereas just going on one page I thought it was a nasty low blow.

  138. No Graeme. it’s not me,

  139. It was started by Adrien. Birlab/JC now posting on it too.

  140. Oh right. Some of the early stuff was actually pretty funny and varied. So its three stupid people and not one alright bloke. It gives the illusion of variety.

  141. Yeah you seem to have quite a libertarian fanclub. Obviously it doesn’t provide nearly enough intellectual stimulation. Poor fellas are obviously bored to tears!

  142. “The housing shortage fixed with the ol’ Bird two-step: 1. Ban fractional reserve banks from cash-pyramiding. 2. Build pyramids.
    1:57 AM Mar 10th via web”

    Its true of course. But the first has to be government action, the second private action. And where my tweet says build pyramids, I would say more build buildings of a “pyramidal” nature. Clumsy I know.

    Just having straight pyramids everywhere would be frightully boring. Like those rectangular boxes they have now even if a little bit more sane.

    Creativity must be part of this. But the general pyramidal structure is more robust. And has more chance of ending housing shortages sure thing. Plus we have to get used to building ROAD-STRADDLING buildings of a squashed-cone or pyramidal nature.

    My geometry is not that good so I may not be expressing myself clearly. The cone-shaped building is as sound as the pyramid one would think.

  143. You quote me Jason. But you don’t point out I was responding to a joke-tweet. I was pointing out there is a measure of truth about it.

    Getting rid of fractional reserve might cause a real-estate crash for awhile for sure. You would have to work around that if you wanted the building to keep going without a hitch. But in the longer run it would end this boom-bust in real estate, and make buying housing more affordable permanently, and making high-rise spacious apartments progressively cheaper over time. Because the real estate market would not have these periodic crashes where most of the property developers are bankrupted.

    And it remains obvious that the more pyramidal/conical forms are stronger given any materials involved, and therefore more capable of ending the undersupply of housing. So as ridiculous as the tweet was, there was a lot of truth to it.

    You would think it was Tillman. Since Tillman is a jerk as himself. But he’s pretty funny when he attempts to act Tory.

  144. Of course Philomena, I’m scandalised by CL and Fisk being too nasty to you. I would have thought that they would even just humour me on that matter. Its a double injury, since by being nasty to you, bad for its own sakes, they are telling me they are not willing to cut me some slack

    Bird, neither of us hold your Philomena fetish against you. We knew you were basically joking or at least not acting out of malice when you put up those Jew-baiting posts. But there shall be no let up in the campaign against Philomena. She is a sincere totalitarian and advocate of mass murder, particularly of ordinary women against whom she obviously harbours great resentment and jealousy. I can’t imagine how many times she must have endured the humiliation of being passed over by eligible men to have nurtured such a burning, genocidal hatred inside her.

  145. oooh, Michael Fisk really knows how to hurt a woman.

    “Eligible men”? What on earth would one do with them all? LOL. There are as numerous as the stars and the sands but like them never to be possessed.

    And one does meet few “eligible” men even in a lifetime I suspect with the varied charms and seductive powers of the estimable Graeme Bird.

    “All of humanity is but wind racing over the plain of life, never to return.” Catullus

  146. Fisk, I asked her about this matter in an environment free from antagonism. And in these cases she tends to not sound nearly so strident.

    You must realise I couched this matter in great praise for you and CL. And I say one negative thing and thats all Birdlab quotes.

    When you maintain an antagonistic approach to Philomena she will stick to her guns and come across as an extremist. And what lady do you know backs down lightly?

    Probably if a lady backs down too lightly she is not as much of a lady as all that. Though one does not wish to speak in too bigoted a fashion.

    If you are talking about the Muslim killing all those soliders at the barracks, I got a far more sensible middle ground interpretation from her, because I was making enquiries, from a position of perhaps being a little bit exacerbated, but nonetheless in a situation free from antagonism and attempts at personal degradation.

    She is after all coming from the hard left. Some sort of patience is required to tease out what can and cannot be agreed upon.

    The tendency to at first jump to the extremist position appears more a lingering habit of hers, rather than a thing hardwired.

    And slowing down and just working the various angles of an issue with her, will get a lot more results then you could hope to get from Bahnisch for example. Who keeps a moderate exterior on the surface, but who in sober reality really cannot be reasoned with.

  147. I think you are wasting your time, to be honest. If she were genuinely attractive, I could almost understand your indulgence. But in reality she’s a horrible old slapper and quite possibly a man.

  148. Don’t try and bait me Fisk. You ought not be so interested as to try and bail me like this. Remember the strategic argument I made? I still think its unassailable. And I note that you didn’t so much as try to best it. You are fundamentally a scientist. So why are you letting yourself down by not applying good methodology here?

    Look alive Fisk. A new thread coming up. You’ll love this one.

  149. Totally idiotic musical appreciation from THR. THR evidentally feels that he’s “pretty fly for a white guy” and is buggering his musical appreciation skills, by trying to project his aesthetic choices as an attempt at projecting a self-image.

    You see its possible to say that “The Sound Of Music” is probably one of the best movies ever made, without it saying anything about ones self-image, real or otherwise.

    Were I to say that “The Hobbit” was probably a little bit more coherent and better than “The Lord Of The Rings” this ought not suggest that I’m addicted to childrens books. The Hobbit has been critically overlooked because of the shadow of The Lord Of The Rings. But to me the Hobbit is probably at least as good as Huckleberry Finn. Whereas the Lord Of The Rings is magnificent in some ways, but not quite perfect in and of itself.

    Expressing this sort of opinion, and its not a hardwired one, ought not suggest I have a bias for the kids stuff.

    But lets have a look at THR. Pretty fly for a white guy or so he would have it:

    The Pixies are the best band on this thread.

    “The Gunners lost the plot not because of women and drugs, but because somebody thought it a good idea to bring a piano into the band.

    As a consequence, the Use Your Illusion albums are filled with bloated ballads, instead of the cock rock which they’d done pretty well previously. To the extent that there are any decent rock songs, they’re ruined with cheesy piano lines.”

    I first experienced this “cock rock” as a rather annoying part of the least plausible of the Dirty Harry series of movies.

    “Welcome to the jungle
    We got fun ‘n’ games
    We got everything you want
    Honey we know the names
    We are the people that can find
    Whatever you may need
    If you got the money honey
    We got your disease”

    Actually very feeble stuff. Buttressed by overly loud guitar, which to others might seem to be excellent playing and probably was. But a friend of mine had me listening to all this

    Steve Morse

    Jeff Beck

    and I myself had latched onto Joe Satriani. Slash could slash, and Slash could play, but at first, during the time that THR was talking about, Slash could not cut it with my spoiled ears.

    But then a bit later Slash did seem to cut it. And his guitar playing started sounding truly excellent to me. Right about the time when they brought the piano into it.

    My God they were good. Whatever happened to their genius leader Axel Rose? He was a sensation. What a lyricist. Sweet Child O’ Mine was almost a latter-day Bohemian Rhapsody.

    And Slash won me back to his guitar playing. It may have had something to do with his part in what is below. Surely the best music video to come out that year.

    Since THR made the claim that the “Gunners” DIDN’T fall and fail, due to drugs and white women, we surely must assume that this was INDEED their downfall.

    Because any crowd that could have come up with the number below, ought to be putting out endlessly good stuff to this day. Where is Axel? Where is Slash? Working a piano bar somewhere?

    Even on THR’s phoney attempt to portray a tough-guy image he fails. “Cock Rock” sounds pretty gay to me. And all the specifics of what he claimed appear to be wrong.

  150. I don’t know about the Pixies, but they sounded pretty mid-range, where linked by Steve Edney. And to my mind CL had the better taste.

    This one appears to be about early-teen or pre-teen angst. To say I think it is an under-recognised Australian classic, does not mean I am in my early teens, or pre-teens. Or suffering a great deal from this sort of angst.

    I just think this is a very well put together hit record.

    Actually I was staying at a friends place when I was 16. Just before going to Uni. And this crowd came to town. Came to Whangerei. And I had this idea that we would go and see this band. From memory she must have said no. I kinda wonder why. Maybe I better ring her up and grill her. Not magnificently sophisticated. But I would have thought it deserves to be considered an Australian Classic.

  151. The different versions of “The Unguarded Moment” are really interesting. This one shows the prioritise of the band and especially the lead singer. You may have noted that the icing on the cake to the whole production was the “second singer” whose incredible vocals give it that quality of being able to play the song over and over and never quite sick of it. And even when you do be ready to hear it again by next Wednesday.

    Well in this live version the second singer is absent. Not only that the lead singer hasn’t been doing his voicework. He cannot get the register of his voice right.

    But my god the passion is still there. And his guitar playing, and the musicianship appears to be even better, IN WHAT AFTER ALL IS BASICALLY A LIVE BUSK, then what they managed to do in the studio.

    Worth listening to this genius-vocalist-deprived version, just to get that contrast. These kids are so tight. So solid. Guitar player and drummer et al. But the main fellow hadn’t kept up with his vocal exercises. Excellent version anyway.

  152. Graeme, vulgar, hamfisted neo-conservative types like Fisk are incapable of effectively engaging with women – or political adversaries – because they lack the requisite level of emotional intelligence consumed as they are with fear and a sense of personal and political siege and inadequacy.

    I always see such types as unworthy opponents or interlocutors suffering from a crippling form of arrested development, doomed to be loveless and ineffectual in life and politics. And very bitter, unhappy and frustrated for that.

    There’s a great take on the [new] neo-conservatism in the latest Quarterly Essay by Waleed Aly. Explains a lot about how neo-liberalism snookered conservatism.

  153. Phil’s idea of “engaging” with women consists of blowing their brains out when they are unarmed. What a hideous old sow she is.

  154. Run along Michael you pathetic fool. What’s the matter lil boy. THR whip your sorry arse again. LOL. And so effortlessly, I bet.

  155. You’re right Graeme. Fisk is insanely jealous and overly interested in matters personal and private to you and to me. But then he is neo-con and thus cares nothing for individual rights.

  156. John Gray – a vociferous anti-Marxist – is a consistently challenging, deep and interesting thinker.

    He dubbed neo-liberalism a “Maoism of the Right” which is quite a brilliant observation for reasons beyond what he intended in that descriptor.

    Australian Maoists in the period of the New Left the record shows were among the most sexist men alive. Not just sexist, but deeply, crudely, atavistically misogynist. Indeed very much in this regard – as well as in Gray’s meaning – like the neo-liberal-trumped neo-conservative CL’s and Michael Fisk’s of this world: exemplars of the Maoists of the conservative Right in the 21st century.

    What a sad and ironic fate!

  157. I wish you two wouldn’t argue. Hey do either of you know anything about Ben Eltham? Whether he has any connection to Clive Hamilton?

  158. Australian Maoists in the period of the New Left the record shows were among the most sexist men alive. Not just sexist, but deeply, crudely, atavistically misogynist.

    That doesn’t surprise me. They worshipped a man who was probably the worst rapist on the entire Asian landmass since Genghis Khan. Oh wait a minute, this is the same Mao Tse Tung who YOU carried water for in one of your first pseudonymous incarnations on Catallaxy, later writing with admiration about Mao having a “voracious” sexual appetite (rapists often do). You then defended the actions of a war criminal who murdered a group of defenseless women. What exactly is your objection to misogyny?

  159. You’re in fantasy land Michael Fisk. I have no idea what you are referring to.

    Your last sentence and question is ridiculous and counter intuitive to most thinking beings, but penned by an autistic male psycho all that can be expected, I guess.

    People do rise to the level of the expectations others have of them I do think.

    Question is: why do people expect so little of you Michael?

  160. Rapists don’t have a “voracious sexual appetite”. They are borderline impotent and raging against the dying of the light.

    And peeping toms – which you are Michael Fisk – are even less threatening in actuality to their female targets because they are typically functionally impotent.

    But then there’s always viagra for the likes of you, eh Fisty.

    Where there’s life there’s hope as the poets say.

  161. Yes you do Phil what I am referring to Phil, and it is in this context that I must repeat the question: as somebody who advocates the murder of women and defends notorious rapists, on the basis of what principle do you oppose or object to misogyny?

  162. (sorry, editing error – here’s a repost)

    Yes you do know what I am referring to Phil, and it is in this context that I must repeat the question: as somebody who advocates the murder of women and defends notorious rapists, on the basis of what principle do you oppose or object to misogyny?

  163. Rapists don’t have a “voracious sexual appetite”.

    Funny, we were led by you to believe otherwise. You explicitly stated that a man who used to have young girls delivered to his Court against their will, so that he could have his way with them (this is called “rape” for those who require further elucidation), had a “voracious sexual appetite”. Those of us who know a little about the history of East and South East Asia recoiled in disgust when you wrote that. But it wasn’t the most disgusting thing you’ve ever written, not by a long shot.

  164. Your question is stupid Michael and without foundation. You really are a sicko aren’t you. Driven by nothing but hatred and sadistic fantasy. All of which explains why you lack empathy for most human beings but in particular for women and have not the the slightest understanding of what we think and feel. Or why.

    Massive fail.

  165. Powerful men do have a voracious sexual appetite whether they are functionally impotent or not. It is part of their expectation of entitlement. All this is ABC. If you don’t understand that, that’s your deficiency and problem.

  166. I’m a pretty sick guy, I have to admit. You could just imagine me saying something really horrendous that would frighten and horrify all decent people, such as that non-combatant women in uniform are fit for slaughter at the hands of Islamic mysogynists. Oh, wait…

  167. Powerful men do have a voracious sexual appetite whether they are functionally impotent or not. It is part of their expectation of entitlement. All this is ABC.

    Except you contradicted yourself when you said that “Rapists don’t have a “voracious sexual appetite”. They are borderline impotent and raging against the dying of the light.

    So the man with possibly the greatest number of living descendants, Genghis Khan (who was also a mass rapist), was not actually a rapist according to you.

  168. There is no contradiction in reality. I was referencing psychoanalytic theory. Eros can be exhibited in many ways and when under threat resemble Thanatos. Eros is not reducible to an erection or an orgasm.

    What you conveniently elide is that you habitually post sicko extremist comments and then wonder why someone appears who represents your alleged greatest fears and horror. Life is a mirror. What goes around goes around. This too is known to adults, but not juveniles.

  169. comes around

  170. There is no contradiction in reality. I was referencing psychoanalytic theory. Eros can be exhibited in many ways and when under threat resemble Thanatos. Eros is not reducible to an erection or an orgasm.

    Phil, you have stated plainly and exclusively that a man who forces a woman to have sex against her will cannot have a voracious sexual appetite. Both Mao and Genghis Khan forced young women to have sex against their will. You cannot wiggle out of this position, which would explain why you have resorted to obfuscation.

    What you conveniently elide is that you habitually post sicko extremist comments and then wonder why someone appears who represents your alleged greatest fears and horror. Life is a mirror.

    Actually, this says a lot more about YOU vis-a-vis the Catallaxy commenters than anything else. But you were too sick and too extreme even for that forum. That’s why you are now in self-exile, having been chased off.

  171. If anyone asks you
    how the perfect satisfaction
    of all sexual wanting
    will look, lift your face
    and say,
    Like this.

    When someone mentions the gracefulness
    of the nightsky, climb up on the roof
    and dance and say,
    Like this?

    If anyone wants to know what “spirit” is,
    or what “God’s fragrance” means,
    lean your head toward him or her.
    Keep your face there close.
    Like this.

    When someone quotes the old poetic image
    about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
    slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
    of your robe.
    Like this.

    If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
    don’t try to explain the miracle.
    Kiss me on the lips.
    Like this. Like this.

    When someone asks what it means
    to “die for love,” point here.

    If someone asks how tall I am, frown
    and measure with your fingers the space
    between the creases on your forehead.
    This tall.

    The soul sometimes leaves the body, then returns.
    When someone doesn’t believe that,
    walk back into my house.
    Like this.

    When lovers moan,
    they’re telling our story.
    Like this.

    I am a sky where spirits live.
    Stare into this deepening blue,
    while the breeze says a secret.
    Like this.

    When someone asks what there is to do,
    light the candle in his hand.
    Like this.

    How did Joseph’s scent come to Jacob?

    How did Jacob’s sight return?

    A little wind cleans the eyes.
    Like this.

    When Shams comes back from Tabriz,
    he’ll put just his head around the edge
    of the door to surprise us.
    Like this.

    Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī
    1207 – 1273 Persia

  172. No I left Catallaxy. It bored me stupid. I don’t read it now.

  173. Oh that’s right! There was that other legendary comment of yours, which I will have to file under “projection”, claiming that all white women secretly have the hots for Bin Laden and Nidal. A spectacular case of projection, I must say. What are you, a sado-masochist?

  174. What can I say. I once worked in a public health institution where the female employees put up a poster of Bin Laden on which someone had to universal acclaim written “Handsone Devil”.

    Women love edgy bad men.

    Deal with it.

  175. I agree I was too idiosyncratic, edgy, unconventional and female for Catallaxy. But then that was obviously the case from the beginning. I left at a time of my choosing after vanquishing all commenters there to the point of tedium (mine).

    Mission accomplished.

  176. Phil, the fact that you were in the company of a group of pampered, left-leaning public sector wimmin proves nothing about what all women, let alone white women, think. Most are utterly appalled that a neanderthal thug such as Bin Laden, whom you have a bizarre sexual attraction towards, would be in bed with a regime that shoots women in the back of the head at soccer stadiums for “crimes” such as adultery. You seem to endorse this kind of behaviour, empty rhetoric about “solidarity” with your brown-skinned “sisters”, whom you are quite happy to see enslaved, notwithstanding. Repugnant behaviour, truly.

  177. No most of the women in the hospital were apolitical, lower working class and immersed in family and work. And yet they admired Osama and thought him sexy and admirable. Go figure.

    And on 9/11 at the local train stations (suburban Sydney) sizeable groups of demure teenage girls danced and cheered in glee at the news. That said a lot about the depth of opposition in Australia from the non-political class to US foreign policy.

  178. Michael, I don’t know why you are clutching your pearls at the nastiness of Osama bin Laden since as everyone knows he and his army of Islamic fundamentalists were recruited, organised, trained, funded, armed and in al important ways aided and abetted by the US government itself under the neo-liberal Reagan administration.

    What goes around comes around. As I said.

  179. …”Bin Laden, whom you have a bizarre sexual attraction towards,”

    No, having sex with Osama bin Laden would be about as appealing as having sex with oh a range of men cross-culturally who like to wear robes and are religious fundamentalists or who demonstrably have archaic, retrograde views not least about women.

    Funny though that so many of those robed men even from the Catholic tradition as we know still today have no compunction in thinking that women or children would like to have sex with them. And act on that, coercively if necessary.

    The story about the poster is true though and while perhaps gobsmacking to naive male souls, given the cultural/national backgrounds of the women concerned, actually quite understandable. It was a defiant workplace statement by angry women with nothing to lose and came straight from the heart – a reliable source or fount of emotions, however “inappropriate”, irrational, contradictory or even self-defeating.

  180. No, having sex with Osama bin Laden would be about as appealing as having sex with oh a range of men cross-culturally who like to wear robes and are religious fundamentalists or who demonstrably have archaic, retrograde views not least about women.

    Does that include the mass murderer and misogynist Nidal Hassan, for whom you are an enthusiastic cheerleader?

  181. Cause and effect. We’ve already established that the US military and its foreign policy creates damaged people and killers – and that’s just the ones on its payroll. And it exacerbates religious fundamentalism, Christian and Islamic.

    Nidal Hassan was a US military officer. Look there for your answers about his military actions against perceived enemy military targets.

  182. Thats the best argument you’ve made so far in this matter Philomena. Except in private to me of course.

    Now can you two stop insulting eachother? Its just a favour I’m asking. Thats all it is.

    I don’t want to offend anyone by wiping posts and I of course want both of you to post here as much as possible.

    You are supposed to be able to ask people favours.

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