Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Roll Call at New Ruskin College


Lecture Notes: 06-21-05

We really do not have remedial classes here at New Ruskin.

Counselor: I thought the whole school was remedial.

. . . Well, yes, I suppose. We really do need to start over at the beginning with most of our students, Mr. Limbaugh . . . Mr. Bush . . . I recall that his father was a bit slow too . . . Mr. Beck . . . What happened to Mr. Beck.

Counselor: You sent him down last term.

Ah, yes. Perhaps it will be a good experience for him. One never knows.

However this time we shall make an exception for College Visitors.

Yesterday when Mr. Franken said “sparks fly”, this was a reference to our posting about Bill O’Reilly some . . . some . . . months ago. When was that?

Counselor: April. April 30.

Ah, (photographic memory, very smart), (http://www.newruskincollege.com/id17.html ) thank you Yvonne.

Counselor: You are welcome.

And this proves again that Mr. Franken is a detail sort of person. Imagine remembering the reference. . . . though I suppose . . . because about O’Reilly . . . Mr. O’Reilly too bull headed to be a good student . . . a bit of a numskull what?


Monday, June 27, 2005

Oligarchy Watch II at New Ruskin College


Lecture Notes: 06-21-05 Oligarchy Watch II

What has been missing in the coverage of the housing bubble is its relationship to humanity.

The economist will cite the figures, but what they are missing is the understanding. How to relate those abstractions, the numbers, to people. To show people how they have caused the bubble.

This was the direction Max Weber and Ludwig von Mises were taking Economics and Sociology. (see Weber and Ludwig von Mises at the Max Weber Institute(
http://www.newruskincollege.com/maxweber/id18.html)) But their methods fell out of fashion with the professional academics.

In Sociology and particularly Economics “the numbers”, numerical analysis has been favored for its perceived “objectivity” and “rigor.” (“Rigor” in the sense of the Natural Sciences.)

The problem is that most people do not read the footnotes of scholarly economic reports. So there is this disconnect. The scientists know but do not know how to communicate what they know. (In the Humanities people like Derrida have actually taken this problem as their starting point. When conservatives complain that the Structuralist’s and Poststucturalist’s “works” are incomprehensible they respond, ‘But of course, do you not also find Modern Physics incomprehensible, Messieur?’ (‘But . . . but . . . you are writing about Tom Sawyer!’ ‘Yes, but Tom Sawyer as understood by the alternative interpretations of the oppressed, the very people that ---- but how can you hope to understand these matters, they are so . . . how do you say . . . complex . . .’ etc. etc.))

So when I have talked about the housing bubble I have tried to place it in the context of a general theory of Economics and Politics: Conservatism.

It is an ideological interpretation. But we know from the developments in Western Philosophy as it has merged with Eastern Philosophy that there is no “objective” “The Truth.” There are only our contextualizations, our theories. (Many Conservatives regard this as a capitulation to the relativism of the Left. However, as we have explained elsewhere, (see Wrong at the Max Weber Institute) our simple minded conservative friends are mistaken.)

And as has been reported before this misunderstanding is ironic as Conservatives see themselves as defenders of the “free market”. Ironic because the free market stands as the evidence and proof of the ever changing, multi dimensional, relativistic floating world, in which all relationships are in continual movement, and the change in any one alters all the others. A complex system not unlike our Earth itself. Indeed it is this close similarity between the natural systems and this human construct, the market, which accounts for its superior performance.

Where the market has failed, pollution for example, the cause of the failure can be traced to the absence of the necessary feedback loops. For example, Ludwig von Mises contended that pollution would have been controlled far more easily by an extension of the law of property than with bureaucratic regulation. A polluter is not engaged in voluntary associations of mutual assent. He is a trespasser. But owing to historical peculiarities, (the oligarchy controlled the courts and the government, (as all polluters are rich men, and therefore)) the necessary developments in tort law to prevent pollution were blocked.

It is worth noting that the greatest improvements in environmental law have come from the application of market principals to pollution control. The market being far more effective in identifying the most cost effective way of eliminating pollution.

And note too that the Leftists, the socialist environmentalists, are the most opposed to these developments not withstanding the superior results achieved. But what is this but another example of the supremacy of subjective judgments over objective results. This is why Ludwig von Mises said that you have learned everything you can learn by eighth grade: everything else is just ideology. You might think that market principles are more effective but at our great universities you will be given low marks.

Now this is somewhat overly harsh. For example the work of Iris Murdoch has been to attempt to restore meaning, reason, to our lives. For reason is the compact, the peace treaty between us. If reason is destroyed then how shall we live but in bloody violence? This reason is a lowercase reason, not the “Reason” of a bygone era. For we no longer believe, can sustain the illusion, of a permanent order or absolute “The Truth.”

And it is this lowercase reason, contingent, relativistic, temporary, that Max Weber and Ludwig von Mises sought, and attempted to communicate. But instead Economics, (among the professional academics) reverted to numerical analysis in attempt to find its footing on the “rationalistic” “objective” metaphysics which sustained Newton and the Nineteenth Century thinkers including Marx. (For Marx also believed in an objective “one best way.)

In discussing the housing bubble, for example, I have emphasized the anti growth, even no growth, policies of the last thirty years as an important cause of the housing bubble. By restricting supply, (in San Francisco at one point the shortfall was 70,000 housing units (compared to new jobs created)), consumer choice has been limited and the prices are a consequence of the market finding its level in and among the deteriorated housing stock which has survived to be resold; new units being artificially kept to a minimum.

Obviously, I do not mean to contradict Bob Brinker’s point that the recent run up since the late 1990’s is in part due to the increased value of housing as a source of tax free capital gains. The increase in the capital gains tax exemption to the current $500,000 level increases the value of housing relative to other sources of capital gains. This being another example of how taxes are simply another cost like any other, and therefore by lowering this cost, (taxes), the relative value has been increased. Or as the economist would say made more “efficient.” (As if efficient were an “objective” quality. The contingent nature of this term, efficient, can be seen here in this case because it is easy to see that the tax is an artificial cost, wholly imposed by the state and not resulting from any obvious requirement of Nature.)

But Mr. Brinker leaves his analysis here: there was a tax break, and prices responded to the increase efficiency of ‘housing’ as a source of capital gains.


But see how this Congressional action is not unlike the interest payment tax deduction on mortgages up to $1,000,000. And what was the creation of this tax loophole but another example of increasing the “efficiency” of the purchase of a home?

And again efficiency in quotes because this term does not relate to some physical fact of existence, no Natural Law is being observed here. Unlike the bow of a ship or the aerodynamics of an airframe this efficiency results from an accounting gimmick, a change in the tax laws.

Why do I make the distinction? Because Mr. Brinker and the economists who have been writing on this subject have failed to communicate to people the causes of the housing bubble and the coming catastrophe.

The people will suffer and they do not know why.

For example . . . . why in the ---- do you think we have these tax loopholes? They did not come from Heaven. They do not make housing more efficient the same way factory building methods or the market makes housing more efficient. But the difference is contingent upon your values judgment.

Just looking at the numbers housing has been made more efficient if the tax is reduced or the labor and material to produce a unit of housing is reduced. In either case the housing efficiency has been improved. Yet applying our human conscience to the problem, values, we can see the difference. We can no longer say that one is “real” efficiency and the other artificial, only that by application of moral reason we can distinguish them subjectively.

If you fail to ask these questions, (e.g. how come the tax loophole?), you are not being honest.

Note too that the reader who says, ‘Well I am a liberal and this is as you said just a Conservative perspective . . .’ has not understood either. Of course every commentary is going to be subjective. Human. Therefore limited. This is inescapable. There is no pure science of human reason.

Contingent? Yes. However for this time in this universe market principles explain what we are seeing. Tautology they may be but still many useful points can be developed even from a tautology.

For example, when I said that the economists who fail to discuss the underlying causes of the housing bubble are dishonest; that was not an objective statement. What is honesty? It is a subjective statement.

You must decide if it makes sense too look beyond the mere statement that a tax break on the first $500,000 in capital gains helped cause the bubble.

Looking at how these tax breaks work, seeing which classes benefit from these tax breaks, considering if there has been undemocratic influence on the Legislature of the USA, and on the several states, and on the boards of supervisors, and city councils, considering if the entire system: the exclusionary zoning codes that reduce the opportunities for consumers to exercise choice, forcing the consumers to the periphery and extending their commutes, increasing the consumption of fossil fuels, being away from their families, and the civic institutions of their forefathers, being house bound to a mortgage that takes an ever greater percentage of their income; then considering the building codes which restrict the application of more efficient building methods, (and here efficient is not merely an abstract economic term but we can point to real energy and material and labor savings not just bookkeeping entries), which would have given consumers more choice; and then expanding our analysis to the manipulation of the tax codes by rich powerful people who have worked at all these levels of government, (Marin Senator Feinstein being a convenient example of a Tiburon oligarch who used her influence at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to restrict supply locally and now exerts her malevolent influence at the national level); would such an analysis not add to our understanding of the housing bubble?

And please do not tell me ‘this sounds like a lot of value judgments’ for as we have already explained there is no “objective” interpretation. Without value there can be no analysis.

It is the Economist’s very attempt at objectivity which makes them useless to us. We need meaning. We need to look beyond the numbers.

For example consider how the capital gains exemption works with the mortgage interest deduction:

“ For many higher-income taxpayers, the deduction is indeed a tax shelter. So are the deduction for property taxes, the break on capital gains and the untaxed income -- in the form of housing services -- that a homeowner receives on his equity investment. A landlord, with a similar investment, has to pay tax on rental income minus expenses.

“ Altogether, the benefits from those tax breaks are wildly skewed according to income levels and where taxpayers live. In general, higher-income households that can easily afford to own a house without such subsidies get the bulk of the benefits.

“ Last year the National Bureau of Economic Research published a paper by two Wharton School economists, Todd Sinai and Joseph Gyourko, who used data for the U.S. 2000 Census and other sources to compute the subsidy per owner-occupied unit in each state in 1999.

Unevenness Soars

“ That subsidy ranged from a low of $2,240 in North Dakota to $12,759 in Hawaii. Among metropolitan areas the disparity was much greater: $26,385 in San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California, and a scant $1,541 in McAllen-Edinburg-Pharr along Texas's Mexican border. Some East Coast areas also had huge subsidies and many in states such as Tennessee, Ohio and Louisiana got little benefit.

“ Given what has happened to home prices on the two coasts since 1999, the unevenness of the value of the combined tax breaks has soared.

“ It's clear from the Wharton economists' study that the extremely rapid rise in home prices in some high-income markets and the subsidies, including the mortgage-interest deduction, feed on one another. Certainly the existence of the deduction encourages purchase of larger, more expensive homes.” --- It's Time to Drop the Home Mortgage Deduction: John M. Berry May 19 (Bloomberg) (
http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000039&refer=columnist_berry&sid=a8Gu53fSyGLw )

Did you note the sentence: “In general, higher-income households that can easily afford to own a house without such subsidies get the bulk of the benefits.” See how the Left’s rhetoric of helping the “poor” and “middle income” to buy their “home” is used here by the oligarchy in the same way we saw earlier that the poor and middle class must now pay the Social Security of the top 20% who control 50% of the national income and 60% of the financial wealth not withstanding that now the ratio of workers to retirees is 3 to 1 and soon will be 2 to 1.

Recall too the Carter increase in the “insurance” on savings and loan deposits to $100,000. Not per person but per account! See how the Left’s rhetoric is used to plunder the treasury for pensions which pay 100% in retirement for public employees who now comprise half of all union members. (Business Week:
Public Pension Sink Hole) And the other half, the back bone of the Democrat party. Their pension and medical “insurance” deals are bankrupting their companies.

Time and again we find the Left in the service of the rich oligarchs. Why? Or for example, why must we pay 50% of the cost of the photo voltaic panels on the roofs of the rich? Why? Or why is CalTrans spending $200 million for a tunnel on the scenic highway out on the coast where development is strictly limited, in a county, San Mateo, where the median home value is $1,000,000, while millions of commuters are daily waiting in line to travel through the Caldecott Tunnels where CalTrans has already estimated that a tunnel there would also cost $200 million? Why? Do not ask the Democrat for an explanation.

And notice that the Marin Senators Boxer and Feinstein will not discuss this deeper analysis of the class structure of American tax law, and zoning law, and building codes, etc. etc. This is because they are supporters of the status quo. Oh, sure, another hundred million for government ‘affordable housing’ but nothing more. Of course they will control who will benefit from these ‘affordable homes.’ And yet they are still called liberals! They are so Post Liberal.

Mr. Berry points out that only 30% of American tax payers claim the interest deduction not withstanding the fact that 70% own their own homes. And yet this loophole still costs the public $62 billion a year. Simply changing the maximum mortgage from the current $1 million to $500,000 would save $48 billion over the next 10 years.

Who are the primary beneficiaries of these tax windfalls? Texas or Marin? Red or Blue?

Without a values analysis, without values the economists are just talking numbers.

“Just numbers on paper.” (Peter Peterson,
Running on Empty, Foreign Affairs) That is what the great thinker in the Oval Office said of the National Debt. There is your objective analysis by the simple minded conservative. Yet those numbers will mean real hardships for your grandchildren. A real diminishment in their opportunities, their freedom. Their world will have $ 8 trillion dollars in capital taken out of it. Sitting in Treasury Bonds that capital will not be searching out new ways, for example, to build houses faster, better, cheaper. Those capitalists will not be staying up late nights thinking of ways to meet the consumer’s needs.

Those capitalists will be sitting back letting the IRS force the money from your grandchildren.

Not voluntary associations of mutual assent but coercion.

But the great thinker in the Oval Office says it is “Just numbers on paper.”

And that is what the housing bubble is as it has been reported by the economists: just numbers on paper.

And so the simple minded conservatives think they understand the system by which they play. They are utterly blind to the heavy thumb pushed down on the scales. They fail to perceive the dangers that have been created by the oligarchy’s control and manipulation of the housing market because they are only told about the numbers not shown the values which are at issue. They do not yet understand that the blue state party machines, under the oligarchy’s control, have so distorted the housing market that the entire nation will suffer.

“ New federal housing data show that the nation's most overheated local housing markets now make up such a large share of the total U.S. market that a sharp fall in their values could stall or slow national economic growth.
“ ..."It's a widespread boom and has macro implications," says Richard Brown, chief economist of the FDIC. "A slowdown would not only hurt these markets, but the U.S. as a whole."
“ ... Unlike stocks, the housing market "would be more likely flat with 10% to 20% declines in some regions, or down slightly nationally with some regions looking ugly," says Ethan Harris, chief U.S. economist at Lehman Brothers. Even local housing crashes take years to unfold, he says.”--- (
http://angrybear.blogspot.com/2005/06/housing-bubble-talk.html )

And do you suppose that we will all equally suffer? Do you suppose that the rich who have caused these distortions in the tax code, the zoning code, the building code, the allocation of the roads, the “insurance” which protects every aspect of their lives, will suffer equally with the poor and middle class? Are you being “objective” or are you being a fool?

For if you look deeper into these numbers you will see how the rich exercising their monopoly over government, federal, state and local, to distort the market and exempt themselves from taxes yes, but more importantly exempt themselves from the forces of the market, they have thus freed themselves from market constraints and need no longer concern themselves with anyone but themselves.

Sounds like Marin. The revenge of the blue state is coming:

“ Throughout history, financial bubbles—whether in houses, equities or tulip bulbs—have continued to inflate for longer than rational folk believed possible. In many countries around the globe, house prices are already at record levels in relation to rents and incomes. But, as demonstrated by dotcom shares at the end of the 1990s, some prices could yet rise even higher. It is impossible to predict when prices will turn. Yet turn they will. Prices are already sliding in Australia and Britain. America's housing market may be a year or so behind.” ---- The Economist, (

(see paper no. 1948. Edward L. Glaeser and Joseph Gyourko The Impact of Zoning on Housing Affordability next link )
http://post.economics.harvard.edu/hier/2002papers/2002list.html )))



Sunday, June 26, 2005

Al Franken, oi ve, Part II, at New Ruskin College


3) Just prior to leaving for the U.S., Atta made 2 trips to the Czech Republic in 2000. The first was on May 30, where he went without a visa to the transit lounge of Prague International Airport; the second was by bus to Prague on June 2 with visa BONN200005260024. 4) On April 4, 2001, Atta checked out of the Diplomat Inn in Virginia Beach and cashed a check for $8,000 from a SunTrust account, according to the FBI. Atta was not seen again in America by any witness before April 11, 2001. 5) Al-Ani scheduled a meeting in April with a "Hamburg student" according to an appointment calendar subsequently turned up by Czech intelligence in a surreptitious search of the Iraq Embassy (presumably after the defeat of Iraq in April 2003.) 6) Al-Ani was observed meeting a young Arab-speaking man on the outskirts of Prague at about 11 am on April 9th by a watcher for Czech counterintelligence.

Lecture Notes: June 20, 2005

Developing . . .

Sounding more like O’Reilly every day, today Franken tells Vice President Cheney to “shut up!”

“He should just shut up!” Shouted the little liar on the air.

Franken then repeated the claim of the now discredited “anonymous sources” who originally started the rumor that the FBI “had rental receipts” for a Mohammad Atta in Florida:

“All these reports attributed to the FBI were, as it turns out, erroneous. There were no car rental records in Virginia, Florida, or anywhere else in April 2001 for Mohamed Atta, since he had not yet obtained his Florida license. His international license was at his father's home in Cairo, Egypt (where his roommate Marwan al-Shehhi picked it up in late April). Nor were there other recordsin the hands of the FBI that put Atta in the United States at the time. Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet testified to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in June 2002, "It is possible that Atta traveled under an unknown alias" to "meet with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague." Clearly, it was not beyond the capabilities of the 9/11 hijackers to use aliases.” Slate(

But isn’t this very much like his: “they claim Kerry shot himself” ?

Or is this not exactly like his: “they have the bonds” to pay Social Security?

When I first heard him talk about Social Security I did not take him seriously. But now I know that he is not ignorant, he claims to be a graduate of Harvard.

Can that be. O’Reilly and Franken both Harvard graduates?

Franken will spend whole hours going over some bit of trivia, in fine detail. He knows his facts when he wants to.

So his “they claim Kerry shot himself” is a lie. Proof of his bad faith. He knows the truth but deliberately chooses to lie.

He knows the “bonds” must be paid off by tax payers who will already be supporting Social Security recipients at a 2 to 1 ratio. Paying interest on $8 trillion in national debt. Paying 50% of the cost of a photo voltaic array on a rich man’s home. Paying for highways to that rich man’s home. Paying , and paying, in an economy starved of energy, (no nuclear power plants in the last 30 years), increasingly confronted with competition from the rest of the world, forced to pay the cost of housing that has been rigged by the oligarchy, . . . the whole economy rigged for the benefit of the rich and powerful, the unions, the Harvard educated comedians on the radio . . .

Oh, Franken knows all of this. He is no fool, he just sounds like one, it is part of his act; so that he will not be required to meet any standards, ‘what can you expect, he is a fool’ people will say.


Saturday, June 25, 2005

New News at New Ruskin College


Lecture Notes: 06-18-05

Breaking News!!!!

Item One: War in Iraq!

Item Two:

New Ruskin College has obtained confidential documents which show that in the months leading up to war in Iraq then President Bush---

Counselor: But isn’t he still President Bush?

. . . ah . . . well . . . yes . . . but this is how news reporters talk . . . I don’t know why . . .

Counselor: Why are you out of breath?

Oh, in the news business, you must always be breathless when reporting the big story.

President Bush did not really want to go to the United Nations and find some other way besides invading Iraq, overthrowing Saddam Hussein, trying him and executing him, for crimes against humanity, causing wars of aggression, despicable crimes, sponsorship of terror, the murder of whole towns with chemical weapons, rape . . .

Item Three: This JUST in!!

New Ruskin College has obtained official government documents from anonymous confidential sources which show that then Assistant Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, said that the Administration emphasized weapons of mass destruction because it was an issue that “everyone could agree on.”

We have learned that Dr. Wolfowitz said that there were other reasons for War, saying, “The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason. ”

New Ruskin College EXCLUSIVE: They “FIXED” on WMD!! Or “settled” on the one issue: "For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on." (
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-05-30-wolfowitz-iraq_x.htm )

World Exclusive:

New Ruskin College has learned that the Bush Administration concentrated on the WMD issue to the exclusion of other important reasons for the war!

" “This is what is killing us on Iraq,” one aide says. “We lost focus. The President got hung up on the weapons of mass destruction and an unproven link to al Qaeda. We could have found other justifiable reasons for the war but the President insisted the focus stay on those two, tenuous items.”

{Now this “White House Aid” is not quite right is he? No one any longer maintains that there was no “connection” between Hussein and al Qaeda. This is why the 911 Commission changed the terms of the discussion to “collaborative relationship,” the link and connection having been indisputably proven.

Mr. Bush has, (and in my opinion wrongly), consistently refused to “link” or “connect” Saddam Hussein with al Qaeda’s specific attack on 9-11. Why? Too controversial. See? The President is smart. Even though his own government has proven the connection between Hussein and WTC attacks, (both 1993 and 2001), the Bush Administration continues to avoid speaking about this evidence. (Nor has the White House Press Corps. distinguished itself by forcing the President to address the evidence.)}

" Aides say the President gets “hung up on minor details,” micromanaging to the extreme while ignoring the bigger picture. He will spend hours personally reviewing and approving every attack ad against his Democratic opponent and then kiss off a meeting on economic issues. " (Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides By DOUG THOMPSON,Publisher, Capitol Hill Blue, Jun 4, 2004, 06:15)

Counselor: How can you call this a world exclusive if you are just getting this from Capitol Hill Blue?

Because I had it in Lecture Notes at the beginning of June, 2004! (
http://www.newruskincollege.com/id19.html )

Counselor: But-----

Oh, I bet you would think it was news if the British said so, Miss smarty pants.

World Exclusive !!! Tic, tic, tack, tic, tack ---

Counselor: What is that?

Telegraph. Or teletype. Item Four:

New Ruskin College can now report that the Bush Administration did not prepare for the rebuilding of Iraq !!

No where else will you learn the truth!!

World Exclusive: Item Five:

New Ruskin College has learned that the Bush Administration concentrated on the WMD issue to the exclusion of other important reasons for the war!

“This is what is killing us on Iraq,” one aide says.

I bet you did not see that one coming.

Counselor: But you can not just repeat something and call it news. It has to be new doesn’t it?

She can be so old fashion sometimes.

Joe Conason criticized his former editor, Michael Kinsley, because Kinsley did not agree that the British Cabinet leaks were “news.”

To justify his criticism Conason quoted Kinsley’s column of July 2002 in which Kinsley speculated that perhaps Bush is only “bluffing” about his intention of going to war. In other words everyone assumed that Mr. Bush was preparing for war, and only at the insistence of the British did he agree to pause for a UN vote on the question.

And Michael Kinsley says, well, everyone thinks we are going to war, but who knows, maybe everyone is wrong, maybe Bush is only “bluffing.” It is a contrarian piece. You know. Some times people take up contrarian positions to try and attract att—

Counselor: . . .

. . . attention to themselves . . .

Counselor: . . .

. . . you know?

Kinsley’s point was that everyone thinks we are going to war. Conason is too dim witted to see that his “evidence” exactly makes Kinsley’s point. The British Cabinet leaks are not news. And Franken accepts Conason’s foolish point because he is so grateful to have Conason on his show that he does not dare embarrass him. But this is just typical of the Al Franken show. Weak.

And by design. Because he wants to run for office everything he says has to be vetted. Calculated. Boring.

“I never said I was . . .” ---- Al Franken

Franken said this the day after my post here at this site showing how he had completely changed his position on means testing of the rate of increase of Social Security.

Recall that Franken had agreed that we should not have to “bribe” the rich in order to provide an old age pension for the elderly poor, i.e. the bottom 60% who would be in poverty without assistance ---- one week.

Then the next week he completely reversed himself and even accused anyone who would suggest means testing the “rate of increase”, ( not means testing the program itself, just the rate of increase), of being “pernicious.” And I accused him of dishonesty, of being a liar, of bad faith.

So he started to say, “I never said I was . . .” but he did not finish the sentence. How could he? It is impossible to finish that sentence.

Try it.

“I never said I was . . . consistent? . . . I never said I was . . . telling the truth? Honest? Acting in good faith? I never said I was . . . serious.”

This concludes this exclusive report from confidential anonymous government sources.

Oligarchy Watch
Factory built homes are in the high end of the market because of governmental zoning and building code restrictions which have blocked the economies of scale, further driving up the cost of housing.(
http://www.thetyee.ca/News/2005/05/31/PrefabHome/ )

Who Doesn't Belong and Why?

“Duke Cunningham is a hero,” DeLay said during a press briefing Tuesday. “He is an honorable man of high integrity.” --- Tom Delay, 6-21-05

North County Times
Cunningham, defense contractor have more ties(

The web of connections between Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham and a defense contractor continued to grow Friday, as did questions about the relationship between the contractor and the congressman.Newly discovered information Friday showed that a subcommittee on which the North County Republican served last year authorized a $100,000 federal grant to a foundation controlled by the contractor, a foundation for which Cunningham's wife and one of his daughters serve on an advisory council.

The disclosures about the foundation's connection to Cunningham are the latest in a series of revelations about the relationship between Cunningham and the contractor, whose company has received millions in defense contracts. Cunningham serves on a House subcommittee that controls military expenditures.

This week, Democrats and watchdog groups called for an investigation into whether the contractor, Mitchell J. Wade of the defense firm MZM Inc., overpaid Cunningham ---- possibly by as much as $700,000 ---- when he purchased the congressman's Del Mar home.Critics have also called for an investigation into Cunningham's living arrangements on Wade's 42-foot yacht in a Washington Marina.Cunningham is a member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, which oversees military expenditures and influences the awarding of defense contracts to firms such as MZM.Supporters of an investigation allege that the connections between Wade and Cunningham led to more support for contracts for Wade's company, which they say would be an ethical violation.In the 2004 fiscal year, MZM received more than $65 million in defense contracts, cracking the list of the top 100 U.S. defense contractors nationwide.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Bush at New Ruskin College II


There is a sort of arrogance in the liberal West the handmaiden to our own guilt and self-loathing that strangely believes we are both to blame for the ills abroad and alone can solve them through handing out money. Almost all of the pathetic rhetoric of al Qaeda "colonial exploitation," "American hegemony," or "blood for oil" was as imported from the West as were the terrorists' bombs and communications.

Lecture Notes: 06-14-05

Oh! I see, Mr. Bush!

We will just raise the number of foreign nationals in the Army. Ah, the American Foreign Legion.

Sure. Of course, now the ‘Bush open borders’ makes sense.

If the Army can only raise 60% of the needed recruits, (from America), we will simply increase the allowed number of foreign nationals to fill the ranks.

We will still have American officers, ( in the French Foreign Legion all the officers are French, the language is French, the flag is French), but the troops will increasingly be drawn from around the world. The ultimate out sourcing.

So that is why our President feels no obligation to speak to the nation. We are just the subjects, the tax payers, the governed.

When our rulers think we need to know something they will let us know.

Mr. Bush does not have to rally the troops, give speeches, persuade. The election is over. Get a life. Mr. Bush controls the oval room, end of story.

He really does believe in open borders. What is a nation? What is sovereignty?

Indeed what is your democracy? You see a lot of reasoning being applied to the political discussion do you? Your fellow citizens deeply immersed in the facts are they? Is that what you see? A rich healthy public discussion? Far reaching? Impartial? Profound?

How many competitive elections did we have in the last election cycle?

Mr. Yasin and Mr. Yosef come from Iraq and return to Iraq after the first World Trade Center bombing (an act of war) and yet we are told that there is “no connection” between Saddam Hussein and the World Trade Center and al Qaeda, (see McGurk Tutorial).

(Mr. Solomon of the AP has reported that the first WTC bombing was an al Qaeda operation, and no one objected.( see Who Killed Duane Garrett Part II (http://www.newruskincollege.com/id12.html))) Yet we are assured that Hussein and al Qaeda had no “collaborative operational relationship.’’ A lie.

And one could go on, item by item, fact after fact, but what is the use? Reason and facts no longer count. Did they ever?

Hussein’s own generals when interviewed after the war said they had thought that there were WMD and that they would be used once the Americans crossed the “red line.”

So now we know that if we had had better human intelligence we would have only collected more evidence that Hussein had and intended to use WMD. But again this is a logic, a series of facts that is irrelevant.

That Hussein attempted the assassination of Mr. Bush (41), (an act of war), is irrelevant.

That Hussein supported world terrorism (an act of war) irrelevant.

That Hussein violated the armistice (an act of war) irrelevant.

In part irrelevant because Clinton did not take action at the time on any of these facts. (Hussein admitted to having WMD (an act of war) during the Clinton administration.)

And because Clinton did nothing, and because you, the great mass made no objection, for you to admit now that more should have been done would be to engage in self criticism.

And you are too egotistical to make such an admission.

So you revert into the lies: “no connection,” “no collaborative relationship,” “no cause for war,” . . . etc. Go ahead keep repeating “no connection”.

And foreign affairs is only one aspect. Your party has blocked nuclear power for 30 years. Advanced “no growth” policies and then complained of the hardships your very policies have imposed. Have plundered the public treasury, and have helped the unions to plunder and loot, both private and public treasuries, pensions beyond belief, public employees retiring on 95% of their income, no, 100% pensions and then complaining that that was not enough, and filing workers comp claims for full disability while working a second job in retirement.

And even as your policies bring on an energy crisis and a housing crisis, so too the pension system collapses into insolvency, just as the Social Security system which the Democrat refuses to reform spirals into debt larger than the national debt of $8 trillion.

Egotism, plunder, gerrymandering, lies, bad faith, the utter debasement of our national discourse. “No connection” , “no connection,” . . .

‘Our president is not a rapist.’ Can you say denial? Did you even once, just one time, object to the Clinton acquiescence to the slaughtered of the million in Rwanda? One f----- word? This is denial. Did you say anything even to yourself? This is debasement. Even in private? This is political corruption. Or are you dead already? (But you would have done something about Hitler, . . . right? (Don’t you lie to yourself about that? More than once? ( So many pleasing lies.)) What if you are just a big bag of shit? )

Counselor: And you are not?

Ah! Yvonne! How good of you to join us my dear. Thank you.

Counselor: You are welcome.

And see how Mr. Bush is no reformer. He will not challenge your egotistical defenses. He will not attempt to persuade. He leaves you to yourselves.

May be if you were a sovereign people, if you mattered. But you do not matter. So you can be left to your tangle of pathologies and defensive lies. Go on lying until you die.

You can be replaced. It is easier to replace you than to try and reason with you; or to try to persuade you.

Why bother. Fill the ranks with the foreign nationals. Out source. Open the borders. Enslave the people.

The Republic is lost.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Bush at New Ruskin College


Lecture Notes: 06-10-05

He sends our soldiers off to war, and then he can not be bothered to make the case. No speeches. No report to the nation. No explanation. No leadership.


I told you on election day. He does not need us anymore.

“Never before in this country’s history has a president ordered American soldiers into battle, without fully explaining why they are asked to risk life and limb. One would never know from the administration’s public stance that senior officials, including the President, believe that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks.

Iraq was indeed involved in those assaults. There is considerable information to that effect, described in this piece and elsewhere. They include Iraqi documents discovered by U.S. forces in Baghdad that U.S. officials have not made public.

We are now engaged in the most difficult military conflict this country has fought in thirty years. Even before the fiasco at Abu Ghraib became widely known, both the American public and international opinion were increasingly skeptical of U.S. war aims.

In taking on and eliminating the Iraqi regime, Bush corrected a policy blunder of historic proportions. His decision for war was both courageous and necessary. Now, he needs to make it clear just why that decision was made.” (
http://www.mail-archive.com/sam11@erols.com/msg00295.html )

----- Laurie Mylroie was adviser on Iraq to the 1992 campaign of Bill Clinton and is the author of Bush vs. the Beltway: How the CIA and the State Department tried to Stop the War on Terror. (HarperCollins) She can be reached through www.benadorassociates.com.

Middle East NewsYemen: Three former Iraqi intelligence face trialMay 29, 2005, 10:59 GMT
http://news.monstersandcritics.com/middleeast/article_1003043.php/Yemen_Three_former_Iraqi_intelligence_face_trial )

SANAA, Yemen (UPI) -- Yemeni judicial sources said Sunday three Iraqi intelligence officers from the former Saddam Hussein regime are to be tried in a terrorism court.
A court official said the three men will be tried next week on charges of involvement in plotting to blow up the American and British embassies in Sanaa.

On condition of anonymity, he said the former intelligence officers were accused of forming "an armed gang aimed at destabilizing the security of the country and planning terrorism acts against foreign targets."

The source said Yemeni authorities arrested the three Iraqis two years ago and found plans for their attacks, official documents issued by the former Iraqi regime and explosives.

The official did not say why the suspects had been held without trial for the past two years.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Edward J. Epstein

CNSNews.com Publishes Iraqi Intelligence Docs By David Thibault CNSNews.com Managing Editor October 11, 2004 . . . But in light of other assertions on Wednesday, widely reported by the mainstream media, that Saddam did not pose any significant threat prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, we felt it was time to publish as many of the Iraqi intelligence documents as possible. What follows are copies of 30 of the 42 pages that are in our possession. Pages 29 through 40 were excluded because they replicate, though in a different person's handwriting, earlier documents. Upon clicking on the individual pages of Arabic documents, readers will have an opportunity to click on the unedited English translation of those documents. We hope this serves to further illuminate a very important element of the ongoing debate.

Muhammad Atta, 33, an Egyptian, the leader of a 20-member group that committed the attack against the United States in September 2001 that left nearly 3,000 dead in its wake, flew to Prague for the first time on May 30, 2000. He had applied for a visa four days earlier and sat on a plane in Hamburg, although his application had not yet been acted on, and he must have known that Czech officials would not admit him to Czech territory. And, indeed, they didnt: Atta spent six hours in the duty-free zone of the Prague airport and then flew back to Germany.

Saddam Hussein's spies planned a wide-ranging scheme to bribe members of the French political elite in the run-up to the Anglo-American invasion, including an offer to help fund President Jacques Chirac's 2002 re-election campaign.

Beheading suspects 'led by Saddam's nephew' Luke Harding in Baghdad Saturday May 22, 2004 The Guardian The mystery of who killed Nick Berg, the freelance contractor beheaded on video, took a new twist last night when Iraqi police claimed they had arrested four suspects with links to Saddam Hussein's family. Iraqi security officials said Berg's alleged killers were part of a group led by a close relative of Saddam - his nephew Yasser al-Sabawi. The men were seized a week ago after a tip-off, they said. All were former members of the Fedayeen Saddam, the para military group notorious for its loyalty to Iraq's ex-president.

Wall Street Journal February 7, 2005 REVIEW & OUTLOOK Warning to Damascus Among the notable parts of President Bush's State of the Union speech last week was its blunt warning to Syria, next door enemy of free Iraq. "Syria still allows its territory, and parts of Lebanon, to be used by terrorists who seek to destroy every chance of peace in the region," Mr. Bush said. "We expect the Syrian government to end all support for terror and open the door to freedom." Let's hope the President finally means it, because this is only the latest U.S. warning to Damascus since the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003. Colin Powell visited Bashar Assad soon thereafter -- despite Pentagon objections that the Syrian dictator would consider it a sign of U.S. weakness. And sure enough, Syria has been adding to our troubles in Iraq ever since.

<<>> New York Times June 5, 2005 U.S. Uncovers Vast Hide-Out of Iraqi Rebels By EDWARD WONG BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 4 - American marines have discovered an elaborate series of underground bunkers used recently by insurgents in central Iraq, with heavy weapons, a kitchen and fresh food, furnished living quarters, showers and even a working air-conditioner, the military said Saturday.

Sure you have screwed me. But look: you are screwing over our troops too!

You are going to let the Syrian kill our young people in Iraq because the President is incapable of rallying the nation. Incapable? Or he just can not be bothered?

With me I have heard one excuse after another. I am “unimportant.” I should not have kept a journal. I am too “controversial,” that must be why these rich powerful people decided to interfere with my employment, spy on me, harasse me, torment, oppressed for the last fifteen years. I should have expected all this when I wrote those letters to the Senate. “Words have consequences.”


So what did those young soldiers whom you sent to Iraq do to deserve this treatment? Why are you ignoring them? Why will Mr. Bush not restate the case for Iraq? Why will he not speak?

The Army can not meet the enlistment quota, and yet the President, the Commander in Chief, can not be bothered to speak to the nation. The Syrian are killing them and he can not . . .

But see how this is only one case.

Have you ever heard the Republican speak out against the exclusionary zoning? Building codes designed to drive up the cost of housing? Any criticism? Ever just one thing to expand opportunity? Have they ever questioned the corruption around the public highway billion dollar bureaucracy? They say they support vouchers in education but now with the House, and Senate, and the White House (sort of), even now they do not even mention vouchers. No Open University of the US.

This President supports racial quotas, supports “open borders,” failed to establish a new Iraqi government because he did not want to “impose” a government, refused to accept the surrender of the old Iraqi army, then disbanded it but failed to provide any alternative, no civil conservation corps. or do anything, anything at all, will not even now speak out . . . review the evidence . . . Oh, but he does think the Patriot Act should be made permanent . . . God! What folly . . . he opposes stem cell research because some nucleuses when taken from their cells might be “destroyed.”


When I blow my brains out in front of the KQED building three trillion cellular nucleuses will be destroyed.

But then I think: I am not alone.

You have betrayed our young people in Iraq too.

I am in good company.

“Death is perfectly safe.”
---- Stephen Levine, A Year To Live

From: The Age
Feb 1 2003

Ramzi Yousef is serving 240 years in a US prison for masterminding the 1993 attacks. Raised in Kuwait, he is known to have collaborated with Iraq during the occupation of Kuwait.

Yousef - known as "the chemist" - became crucial to al Qaeda's spread into Asia, setting up links as early as 1989 with Abu Sayyaf extremists in the Philippines.
When police in the Philippines arrested nine members of Abu Sayyaf in 1995, they identified six of the nine as Iraqi agents. They believed this cell had operated under instructions from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, one of bin Laden's senior lieutenants.

In September, 1992, Yousef travelled to the US on an Iraqi visa, and under a false identity. He was granted asylum after claiming to have been beaten by Iraqi soldiers.

Six months later, he fled, having constructed the truck bomb that fellow Islamic extremists drove into the basement of the trade centre. While in hiding in Manila, he then drew up plans to bomb 11 American passenger airliners over the Pacific.

The plot misfired, and in 1995 he was arrested in Islamabad, near the Iraqi embassy, and handed over to the US.

An accomplice of Yousef in the World Trade Centre bombing was Mohammed Salameh, a Palestinian. His maternal uncle, Kadri Abu Bakr, was jailed for 18 years in Israel for terrorism, before being deported.
Kadri took up residence in Baghdad, becoming second-in-charge of the so-called "Western Sector", a PLO offshoot operating under Iraq's direct influence.
Western intelligence sources have claimed Kadri took calls from a dull-witted nephew in the lead-up to the WTC bombing. [Calls which are monitored by Iraq’s police state security.]

A third co-conspirator in 1993 was Ahmed Rahman Yasin. After the bombing, he fled the US to Jordan. He now works in Iraq for the Saddam Government.
Then, there is Hikmat Shakir, linked to a host of terrorist plots, including the first WTC bombing, and the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen. He is being sought by US authorities as one of the planners of September 11.

Shakir is an Iraqi, aged in his late 30s. He, too, has spent time in this region, attending the al Qaeda summit in Kuala Lumpur in January, 2000. Today, he is believed to be in Baghdad, out of reach of international police.

Another prominent name is Omar al-Faruq, arrested last year in Indonesia and now in US custody. An Iraqi, born Mahmoud Ahmad Mohammed Ahmad, he, too, has travelled on false Kuwaiti passports.


Hambali (Riduan Isamuddin)Al Qaeda's success in fostering terrorism in Southeast Asia stems largely from its close relationship with Jemaah Islamiah (JI). In that relationship, Hambali became the key coordinator.

In addition to staging actual terrorist attacks in partnership with al Qaeda, Hambali and JI assisted al Qaeda operatives passing through Kuala Lumpur. One important occasion was in December 1999-January 2000. Hambali accommodated KSM's requests to help several veterans whom KSM had just finished training in Karachi. They included Tawfiq bin Attash, also known as Khallad, who later would help bomb the USS Cole, and future 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar. Hambali arranged lodging for them and helped them purchase airline tickets for their onward travel. Later that year, Hambali and his crew would provide accommodations and other assistance (including information on flight schools and help in acquiring ammonium nitrate) for Zacarias Moussaoui, an al Qaeda operative sent to Malaysia by Atef and KSM.

Volcker: U.S. Economic Crisis Imminent NewsMax.com Wires Friday, June 10, 2005 Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker said he doesn't see how the U.S. can keep borrowing and consuming while letting foreign countries do all the producing. It's a recipe for American economic disaster. On Thursday the Wall Street Journal reported bluntly that "Mr. Volcker thinks a crisis is likely." Volcker believes that investor confidence could fade "at some point," he said, with "damaging volatility in both exchange markets and interest rates."

After Britain reforms its roads will the USA or Britain be more Market oriented?: Official research suggests national road pricing could increase the capacity of Britain's network by as much as 40 per cent at a stroke. (Drudge)


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Air America Boobs at New Ruskin College


How you know the terrorists are losing the war:
Dog Bombs:

The dog barks, the caravan moves on . . . “In one of the insurgency's most bizarre attacks to date, someone tied a crude homemade bomb to a dog, which exploded near an Iraqi army patrol south of Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad, police said. None of the soldiers was harmed in the blast.” (Boston Globe)

Lecture Notes: 05-26-05

"So, although I might have seen able to depart life without much fuss, I still would have been leaving some unfinished business behind. (It must be said that even those who die in great peace may still have remnants yet incomplete, but the heart carries them over these obstacles nonetheless. Such largesse, however, is not something I would bet my life on.) I would have been dying perhaps without drawing all the healing and insight from the teachings life had provided. . . . But when the heart at last acknowledges how much pain there is in the mind, it turns like a mother toward a frightened child. All that remains incomplete seems somehow workable and unmistakable joy arises at the possibility of becoming whole at last.” --- A Year to Live, Stephen Levine

The boobs on Air America will continue to claim, “there was no connection,” (Randi Rhodes’ promo actually says, “with her boobs a bouncing,”) but I have to let go of life, I am not responsible for their lies. The number of lies are numberless. The world is a tangle of lies, vanity, greed, ignorance . . .

Iraqi intelligence facilitated a meeting in Kuala Lumpur for your murderers. You do not care. Your Senator Feinstein used her position to restrict supply while she bought up as many existing buildings as she could and you do not care. Her husband uses his position with the University of California to double deal contracts for his businesses and you do not care. (

The “Lion of the Left” actually says he supports Feinstein’s down zoning, driving home prices out of the reach of the people, and he too is on the “Left.” (And of course, he never even suspects that he is has caused the harm he sees. His party has been in control for decades, in San Francisco and in the Bay Area and in California, but he is never accepts even the possibility that his party has done the harm. It is always someone else to blame.)

Yes, there will be much left undone. But just think, Bernie Ward, Randi Rhodes, Al Franken, the whole Air America is actually covering up for the murderers of 9-11 and the U. S. S. Cole. They are lying to protect their murderers . . . their egos will not allow them to admit the facts.

Yes . . . much left undone. I am free of all that . . .


The FBI did not search credit card databases, bank account databases, or car registration, all of which would had positive results. Al-Hazmi was even listed in the 2000-2001 San Diego phone book, but this too was not seached until after the attacks. . . . On October 12, 2000, The USS Cole was bombed by al-Qaeda terrorists. The Prime Minister of Yemen stated "Khalid al-Mihdhar was one of the Cole perpetrators, involved in preparations. He was in Yemen at the time and stayed after the Cole bombing for a while, then he left." This has not been confirmed by U.S. authorities. Al-Mihdhar returned to the U.S. on July 4, 2001. He used the Visa Express program to gain entry into the country. . . . The FBI and the 9/11 Commission report say that al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar first entered the United States in 2000, but the Washington Post and the LA Times report that the two first came in 1999. Either way, the two definitely attended the 2000 Al Qaeda Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was there that the details of the 9/11 attacks were decided upon. He was secretly videotaped at this meeting by Malaysian authorities.

" In late February 2004, Christopher Carney made an astonishing discovery. Carney, a political science professor from Pennsylvania on leave to work at the Pentagon, was poring over a list of officers in Saddam Hussein's much-feared security force, the Fedayeen Saddam. One name stood out: Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. The name was not spelled exactly as Carney had seen it before, but such discrepancies are common. Having studied the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda for 18 months, he immediately recognized the potential significance of his find. According to a report last week in the Wall Street Journal, Shakir appears on three different lists of Fedayeen officers.

" An Iraqi of that name, Carney knew, had been present at an al Qaeda summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on January 5-8, 2000. U.S. intelligence officials believe this was a chief planning meeting for the September 11 attacks. Shakir had been nominally employed as a "greeter" by Malaysian Airlines, a job he told associates he had gotten through a contact at the Iraqi embassy. More curious, Shakir's Iraqi embassy contact controlled his schedule, telling him when to show up for work and when to take a day off.

" A greeter typically meets VIPs upon arrival and accompanies them through the sometimes onerous procedures of foreign travel. Shakir was instructed to work on January 5, 2000, and on that day, he escorted one Khalid al Mihdhar from his plane to a waiting car. Rather than bid his guest farewell at that point, as a greeter typically would have, Shakir climbed into the car with al Mihdhar and accompanied him to the Kuala Lumpur condominium of Yazid Sufaat, the American-born al Qaeda terrorist who hosted the planning meeting.

" The meeting lasted for three days. Khalid al Mihdhar departed Kuala Lumpur for Bangkok and eventually Los Angeles. Twenty months later, he was aboard American Airlines Flight 77 when it plunged into the Pentagon at 9:38 A.M. on September 11. So were Nawaf al Hazmi and his younger brother, Salem, both of whom were also present at the Kuala Lumpur meeting." (
Hayes, Weekly Standard)

Life on Ice
Solution: After the nucleus is removed from the cell, it can be refrozen. (In theory the nucleus can then be re-implanted in another cell and allowed to develop normally.) Thus no one can say we have “destroyed life.”

What are cities for? Pelosiville is not for people. The Economist calls it an amusement park. It is not for children . . . "When we get to know people through our kids, we think to ourselves, `Are they renters or owners? Where do they work?' You have to figure out how much time to invest in people," Bakstad said. "It makes you feel like, `Where is everyone going? Stay with us!'" (Drudge)

U.S. Federal Reserve policy-makers noted "a discernible upcreep" in measures of inflation recently, raising worry that risks from accelerating prices were growing, minutes from their May 3 meeting showed. "Core measures of price inflation had moved up over recent quarters and particularly so over the last few months," said the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which were issued on Tuesday. (Drudge)


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Elephant at New Ruskin College



from Safe Haven . com
The Elephant in the Living Room


It is becoming increasingly obvious that there are fundamental economic challenges facing the global economy and especially the economies of the western world. These include unprecedented US trade and current account deficits, record debt levels, rising oil prices, the prospect of rising interest interest rates and an increasingly vulnerable global reserve currency.

The possibility of a burgeoning financial crisis has been spoken and written about by a litany of the most respected economic figures and institutions in the world today.

Alan Greenspan, his predecessor Paul Volker, Robert Rubin, Sir Tony O'Reilly, George Soros, Stephen Roach (chief economist of Morgan Stanley), Bill Gross (manager of the largest bond fund in the world), US Comptroller General David Walker, Warren Buffet, Martin Wolf (Associate Editor and Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times) the editors of the Washington Post and New York Times and institutions such as the Bank of England, IMF, World Bank and OECD have all warned of the serious macroeconomic challenges we all face. The reaction of many economic commentators has been to ignore the warnings and the substantive points being made about the risk posed by the significant macroeconomic risks.

Economic wishful thinking is fine and of course we all hope there is a gradual readjustment in the large financial imbalances in the global economic system and the recent economic paradigm of low inflation and high growth continues. However, it is highly irresponsible not to acknowledge these fundamental economic realities. Ignoring the 800 pound gorilla or the elephant in the living room and putting a false benign spin on economic reality helps to lull people into a false sense of economic security. These people become non rational economic agents resulting in a non rational market place. This distorted marketplace results in misallocations of capital and increasing bubbles in various asset classes.

Occasionally lesser mortals than the illustrious men listed above who have voiced similar economic warnings advising financial caution and prudence have been dismissed as 'Cassandras or being 'gloomy'. This is a way of 'attacking the man and not the ball' in order to detract from and avoid the substantive economic issues at stake and shows a level of irresponsiblity.

It is worth noting that Cassandra herself did have the gift of prophecy and was right in her predictions and her terrible affliction was that despite knowing what would befall her countrymen no one would listen to her. Cassandra correctly warned not to allow the 'Trojan Horse' into the city and prophesised the fall of her native Troy and no one listened to her. The irony is that had her prophecies and explicit warnings been listened to and cautious and prudent measures taken in advance her warnings and prophecies might not have come true.

It is also worth noting that the first sellers of comprehensive health insurance in the US - Massachusetts Health Insurance of Boston in 1847, were also called 'cassandras' who focussed on the 'negative' possibility that one could get seriously ill in order to garner profit. Modern sellers of car, health and other forms of insurance no longer have to spell out the blindingly obvious reality that there are unforeseen, non linear events that occasionally happen such as September 11th, the Boxing Day Tsunami and the Stock Market Crash of 1987. And that one should take precautions against such possible eventualities.

It is now taken for granted that one should be cautious and prudent and always have insurance 'just in case'.

Many economic commentators are reluctant to discuss these challenges. Some are naive and ill informed while with the majority there is a forlorn hope that these economic realities will gradually correct themselves and we can all return to the massive levels of economic growth and prosperity experienced by the First World in the 1990's.
Hoping for a continuance of this economic status quo is understandable. Ignoring economic realities is not.

Whether those dismissed as modern day economic pessimists are proved right or wrong is irrelevant. What is relevant is how we react to these economic realities in order to protect ourselves materially 'just in case' those issuing warnings are proved correct.

Oriental Hands

Oh, yes let us leave it in “oriental hands” that will be much better. Yes, thank God we have such a genius in the Oval Office. Thank God! . . . "I worry about a world in which cloning becomes acceptable," Bush said. (You see? This deep thinker knows more than you or I. He worries about “cloning.” I expect that is what he ruminates on. He bicycles around and around, hours on end, having ruined his knees with his obsessive compulsive jogging, so now he bikes, hour after hour worrying about CLONES!) . . . The President has made it clear to Congress that he opposes the use of federal money "to promote science which destroys life in order to save life. And therefore, if the bill does that, I will veto it." . . . (If only we could think as deeply as that great man! His “destroys life” is so , so, deep. See? He knows that there is that littl’ thingy in there, in them cells, see, that littl’ bitty thing, there, that is you know, . . . life. And see how persuasive and eloquent he is. Clearly he has thought deeply about this issue. So deep!) --- “Typically, scientists suck out the nucleus using a hollow needle, but the Korean team instead made a small tear in the egg and gently squeezed out the nucleus. They then inserted a skin cell through the tear. A jolt of electricity fused the skin cell with the egg, and began cell division. Apparently, the process takes a steady hand. "This work can be done much better in Oriental hands," Hwang told
Nature Medicine. "We can pick up very slippery corn or rice with the steel chopsticks." Hwang also told the journal that his lab works seven days a week.” (Wired)

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Friday that some regional housing markets were showing signs of unsustainable speculation and "froth" and that there were "a lot" of local housing bubbles. The comments were Greenspan's most detailed description yet of risks in the booming real estate market, and reflected the Fed's growing concern about the need to tighten mortgage lending standards. . . . But Greenspan's remarks may be "too little, too late," said Christopher Thornberg, a senior economist at the UCLA Anderson Forecast who has been among the few economists to emphatically describe California's housing market as a bubble.


Monday, June 06, 2005

Number One !

Who is number one for : " "artificial clouds" "global warming" "
Yahoo! Says . . . Yahoo! Says:

1 The Gorbachev-Bush Artificial Clouds Letters
... The Gorbachev-Bush Artificial Clouds Letters ... are of such great significance, particularly to the global warming debate that currently rages over the climate model ...newruskincollege.com/moynihanmemoriallibrarynewruskincollegecom/id4... - 359k - Cached - More from this site

at www.NewRuskinCollege.com

Oligarchy Watch at New Ruskin College


Lecture Notes: 5-20-05

Oligarchy Watch

The American system has built into it a fundamental unfairness because the immigrant groups that were organized into a nation state did not trust one another. All state organization was therefore done ad hoc as the contending factions divided up the spoils. The big urban political machines created only alliances between Irish and Italian, Black and Pole, Catholic and Protestant, etc., not building a national social consensus on governance, only giving the Irish the police department, the Italians the fire department, etc..

So today we have Viagra for retired millionaires paid for by workers whose children must go to lousy public schools that do not even have text books. We have billions in subsidies for millionaire farmers not to grow anything, but 85% of the residents of the Bay Area can not afford the homes in which they live. Workers earning less than $16 an hour must pay the “guaranteed” pensions of workers who earn $250,000 a year flying to London twice a week. (And this, the fact that United pilots will receive “only” $35,000 in pension payments a year, not the $90,000 they had “contracted” for in their union agreement, is considered a grave moral outrage. Those corporations!)

These are “imbalances,” as economists call them. We never stand back an evaluate the true moral situation because the American political discussion is not really an intellectual discussion. The words are only “theory” for everyone knows that really we are engaged in a civil war of contending groups each trying to beggar their neighbors. The words are only “cover,” a mere pretense at civility and reason. Violence is always at hand. Mendacity has become a kind of art.

For example Marin Senators Boxer and Feinstein, and now even Mrs. Billy Clinton know that they can “talk tough” about illegals because no one takes their words seriously. Or, for example, many leftist continue to assert that “there was no connection” between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the attacks on the World Trade Center, and even, insanely, with terrorism. This despite all evidence to the contrary. (“Indeed, . . . in . . . 1994, a Jordanian-based stringer working for ABC News spotted Abdul Rahman Yasin outside his father’s house in Baghdad and learned . . . (he) worked for the Iraqi government. (112)” see McGurk Tutorial ( Nor wasRahman the only terrorist protected by Mr. Hussein:(
http://www.mail-archive.com/sam11@erols.com/msg00490.html) ))

This alienated political discourse is possible because of the social stratification of the Post Liberal elite in their privileged bastions, where they are isolated by not just by their gates, but they are cocooned in whole regions where exclusionary zoning guarantees their isolation. (“I recently realized that I have not known anyone who had a SAT score under 1400 since I was in high school.” (10 extra credit points if you can name the person who said this.))

Without a commitment to social equity and fairness there can be no trust between the competing groups, and the peace can be bought only with the delivery of the spoils, the “bacon.” Racial and gender quotas are another, more recent example of the moral corruption of American public policy. The quota is necessitated by the lack of trust. Oh, sure the university president claims he is attempting to recruit qualified students but how do we know? (That university presidents are themselves the most obsequious genuflecting liberals merely adds irony to the hostage negotiations. (No organizations have been more ruthless in the application of quotas than insurance companies. CENCAL insurance, (which worked with Mrs. Jack Swanson to harass me), recently left an insured of theirs with a $1.5 million judgment because the inexperienced female supervisor, hired to fill a quota, refused to settle the claim for policy limits. (The policy limit was $15,000.) And as another example of the futility of public discourse consider how little difference it makes to you that my enemies are shown to be incompetent. You may recognize that Mrs. Jack Swanson is every bit as horrible as I have said, yet, who cares? (This cynicism now characterizes American society. The rich and powerful are permitted to use their power to destroy another because no one expects that they should obey the same rules of conduct as everyone else. We are actually shocked at the suggestion that Don Imus, or Michael Weiner, or Ron Lowenstein, or Michael Krasney, or either Jack or Mrs. Jack Swanson, should even be expected to conform to any social standard. ‘They are rich and you are not. What do you expect?’)))

The women PhDs of Harvard recently accused the president of Harvard of possibly holding some secret malice for their sex, and the demand that Harvard resort to quotas for the hiring of female scientist seems to have been averted only by the promise to pay a $50 million ransom to the ---

Counselor: . . .

. . . for the recruitment of more female scientists.

True the struggling masses are no longer impoverished illiterate immigrants in cold water walk ups, so their strident rhetoric now rings false, (I am thinking of Senator Kennedy’s wild rhetoric and angry shouting, he apparently being unaware that he is widely regarded as simply a joke and his words humbug), but the goal continues to be the same: Plunder. Buy the public peace by sacking the public treasury. Thus the preposterous cries of moral outrage when the mere suggestion is made to slow the rate of increase of Social Security for those whose retirement incomes are above the median, (by using a different formula, one based on the price increases of goods and services instead of the current formula which is based on the increase of wages. (It is in no way certain that wages will keep up with inflation in the future, (indeed there is every reason to believe that they will not, as America’s standard of living sinks ever deeper due to our mismanagement of the economy. ))) Or when someone humbly suggests that millionaire retirees might be asked to pay for their own Viagra; wailing against the unfairness.(

In such a system only the politically powerful are able to manipulate the state to direct benefits away from others and to themselves. The American experience with the corruption of the big city machines, i.e. Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco has shaped our political discourse, I mean betrayed it, made it false, reduced it to base hypocrisy. When all we really want is: The MONEY. (Not so much social policy as simple greed, which leads to predictable results.(
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05133/504149.stm) In the absence of a coherent social policy our wealth itself acts as a social lubricant reducing the friction between the contending groups. This utter debasement of public discourse is a kind of achievement in its own way, and this baseness in political discourse alone has allowed commerce to develop and heap up America’s great wealth, the capitalists resorting to the expedient of simply buying off the politicians just as the politicians themselves purchase their “constituent’s” loyalty. (What bacon does not buy the gerrymandered districts secure. (Thus “the world’s greatest democracy” has only a few “competitive” i.e. real elections every now and then.(http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20040523/news_lz1e23hill.html))) An economy of corruption. (http://reforminstitute.org/cgi-data/news/files/27.shtml)

One reason for Germany’s unhappy experience with its first attempt at democracy was that the society was divided into social, class, and trade groups that failed to develop social cohesion. The university professors formed one political group. Shop girls another. Artisans organized around a political persuasion different from factory workers which saw themselves different from tradesmen and all three groups saw themselves entirely different from the office workers, and so on to the Republic’s bitter end. If you had tried to explain that their political aims were narrow, or selfish, they simply would not have understood. ‘Are you an idealist?’

Isolated behind its great oceans America has enjoyed a kind of innocence. And the politics that has served the nation has been able to continue in this daft way only because its contact with reality has been so limited. For it is only when the political class has actually come into contact with reality that its insincerity, cynicism, selfishness, base vanity has been shown for what it is.

Vietnam was for years “managed” by the Washington elite before the reality could no longer be denied. Their policies were self contradictory, delusional, a lie. War has a way of cutting through false rhetoric. This is why military men are laconic. (“There was no need to say ‘This bag is’, all you needed to say was ‘empty.’”)

As in war, so too with commerce. The truth will out. William F. Buckley, Jr., was talking about the savings and loan problem in the mid 1960s. Yet the defaults and government bailouts came in the 1980s. Prescience? Or genius? No. Economics!

This selfish, duplicitous elite, set rules, “insurance”, for the accounts which distorted the market. The next generation paid the price just as their rules in Vietnam cost millions their lives. Reality knocks.

Now see how the “insured” deposits allowed the savings and loans to push off losses onto the government, just as today, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., (PBGC), allows companies to cast off their pensions onto the tax payers. And just as Mr. Buckley used to point out the lack of oversight of the deposit insurance there have now been four separate reports from four separate groups of actuaries who have reported that the PBGC has failed to properly underwrite its “portfolio.” And guess what? Who do you think is going to end up paying the $400 billion in unfunded liabilities? (
http://www.actuary.org/pdf/pension/funding_single.pdf • 1134.1k) (http://www.davidlanger.com/article_c38.html )

The insurance!

Just as those ‘bonds’ in the Social Security filing cabinet in West Virginia are said to pay for Social Security in 2017.

But the important point is to see why the political discussion is so false. These are not really arguments. The people making these points do not even themselves take these arguments seriously. They do not have to. They are part of the Post Liberal elite.

They are safe and secure in their “group” or party. All these problems are to them only “theory” or speculation. The truth is of no interest to them. Their party reality is the true reality because it will be their party which will secure them, reward them.

Or take the housing bubble. The tax law has for decades been used to distort the market. Then the zoning and building codes have been used to exclude the poor and middle class. Blocking development has been elevated to a high social and moral purpose. (The Marin Senators Boxer and Feinstein used their offices to restrict supply when they were Supervisors in Marin and San Francisco. (Supervisor Feinstein purchased a sizable real estate portfolio of multi story buildings which appreciated in value as her ordinances restricted the supply. (see paper no. 1948. Edward L. Glaeser and Joseph Gyourko The Impact of Zoning on Housing Affordability next link )
http://post.economics.harvard.edu/hier/2002papers/2002list.html )))

But our elite is not content with tax law manipulation of the market and the more direct zoning and building code distortions of the market; they have also created huge government monopolies to trade in the mortgage market in ways private companies would not dare. Dr. Greenspan, observing the growing risk of the government monopolies’ portfolios has said he can find no reason for why these monopolies would want to take on such risks except to profit from these activities knowing full well that once again, (who?), that is right, the taxpayer will be there to pay.

But long before that catastrophe strikes the people will have already paid an enormous price. And if you are thinking of the price of the homes you are missing the point completely. Yes, these distortions of the housing market have created a “Tulip Economy” but the real price is paid in society. (Tulip:

Your disconnect from reality has distorted the market, yes, but just look at your cities. In the cityscape you can see your greed, and selfishness, and base vanity. In the ruin of whole lives. . . in the miles of headlights on the “free” ways, as your fellow citizens commute in, from where your selfishness banished them.

And there is no way to talk to you about these things. Not about Vietnam. Not about Saddam Hussein’s terror regime. Not about the ever growing danger of bio-war. Not about the savings and loan deposit “insurance.” Not about the pension “guarantees”. Not about Social Security, or Medicare. Not about the $8 trillion you leave to your grandchildren’s generation. Not about the housing bubble your policies have created.

Words do not matter.

I will blow my brains out onto the walls of the KQED building.

And my blood will not move you.

Neither words nor blood . . . you are beyond reach. You are completely lost.

You will go on and on repeating the same mistakes, lost in your vanity and egotism.

What an empty barren universe.

Dr. Greenspan, observing the growing risk of the government monopolies portfolios . . . He said those holdings, which total about $1.5 trillion, do not support homeownership, increase the availability of long-term fixed-rate mortgages or lower borrowing rates for homebuyers. "The Federal Reserve Board has been unable to find any credible purpose for the huge balance sheets built by Fannie and Freddie other than the creation of profit through the exploitation of the market-granted subsidy," Greenspan said. Fannie and Freddie are shareholder-owned companies charged by Congress with supporting homeownership by ensuring a liquid mortgage market. To do this, they buy home loans from originators and repackage them as securities for sale to investors. They also hold some mortgages and securities in their portfolios, which the companies say helps them fulfill their mission. But Greenspan and others have argued that those portfolios pose a risk to the financial system by aggregating so much interest rate and prepayment risk within two companies.

Over the past four years, housing prices have increased 50 percent faster than consumer disposable incomes, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s latest Risk-Based Assessment System report. Add in the National Association of Realtors' observation that nearly one in four homes sold last year were purchased by investors -- people who did not plan to live in the homes, but intended to resell them in the near future at a profit -- and it is little wonder that some economists continue to warn about the potential for the bursting of the "housing bubble."

Last month, more than 28,000 American houses - 57% more than in March 2004 - re-entered the housing market as foreclosed properties- the economic fallout from rising interest rates and slowing house appreciation, property-listing service Foreclosure.com reported Wednesday.