“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, April 15, 2013

Watch out below!

Don’t get caught with worthless dollars, silver, gold, Swiss Francs or Ballpark Franks:


  1. Gold freefall: Down $110 an ounce as selloff intensifies
    Gold and other precious and base metals are seeing an onslaught of selling, which continues from Friday's tough sessions.

    China downbeat growth doesn't help.

    Oil tumbles below $89.

  2. Replies
    1. Well then ... it seems ... we have ...

      Whipped Inflation Now!

      President Ford, finally vindicated!

    2. Perhaps the market makers have taken the data sets that rufus has provided, concerning falling deficits and slower Federal growth, under the Obama2.0 and factored that into their economic models.

      Maybe these market makers have come to the conclusion that civilization is not doomed.

  3. I suppose that if you believe things are getting better, why own so much gold?

  4. Maybe things are getting so bad people don't have money to buy anything but Cheerios and tap water. Maybe people are putting all their money in bullets. Maybe they are paying taxes and are broke. Many possibilities, not mutually exclusive.

    1. Arby's is giving away Curly Fries and Potato Cakes on this tax day, for your relief.

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  6. Gold?

    Cannot eat it, drink it, drive it, fuel a vehicle with it.
    It has no intrinsic value, but for use in electronic devices and bling.

    Federal Reserve notes have more value, in that they are redeemable for real stuff, everywhere!

    What are those gold bugs getting when they sell their bullion...
    Federal Reserve Notes.

    Ain't life grand.


  7. US Defense Cuts Lead to First Drop in Global Arms Spending in 15 Years


    Now that is REALLY Nobel Peace Prize material!

    oh ...
    ... wait ....

    he already got it ...

    ... preemptively.

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  9. It's hard to make a case for Inflation (and, thus, Gold) when Unemployment is close to 8%, and Median Income is Stagnant, or Falling.

  10. About the only honest-to-God growth industry we have left is Renewable Energy.

    Obama's team sees this, but the Republicans are too heavily invested in fossil fuels to accept the reality of the situation.

  11. I've been saying since 2007 that we were in for 10 years of up and down misery. I'm now thinking that it will be closer to 20 years.

    We're on the front end of an extreme "paradigm shift." God help us if the Republicans get back in control.

  12. The coal miners might be worth taking a look at along about here.

  13. Spoken like an indoctrinated zombie.

  14. Kansas, I love your sense of humor.

    It seems like every time the Sunflower State pops up in my news feed, it’s for something like this: House Bill No. 2366, a proposed law that would make it illegal to use “public funds to promote or implement sustainable development.”

    Kansas, the place where I spent my formative years skipping school to go fishing in farm ponds, is populated with thoughtful stewards of the nation’s breadbasket. It also has a habit of turning reason on its head. The state famously dropped evolution from its educational curriculum in 1999, along with the age of the Earth and the history of the universe, for good measure.

    Now the state’s “Committee on Energy and Environment” is proposing a law that would prohibit spending on anything that won’t set Kansas on a course to self-destruction. House Bill No. 2366 would ban all state and municipal funds for anything related to “sustainable development,” which it defines as: “development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come."


    1. But, I'm just an "indoctrinated zombie."

    2. That is funny about Kansas. Takes all kinds to make a world.

    3. Maybe they are just reacting to a heavy handed EPA, and want to be left alone to grow corn for ethanol in their own way.

    4. Maybe they're just led by bible-thumping, reactionary idiots like Sam Brownback.

    5. It's Kansas. Part of the breadbasketcase of America.

  15. The places where the economy is doing best - the Dakotas, and Texas, a Republican state. California is a basket case, all the housing in Nevada is under water, Ohio limps along.

  16. "What is going on?"



    And, Oil.

    1. falling wages, and rising unemployment

    2. The Obama economy. You folks own it now. Pride in ownership, and all that.

    3. And, you own the Bush Wars, and the Recession that followed.

    4. All of Congress owns 'the Bush Wars', they voted for them.

      Bush warned against Fannie and Freddie eight times, to no avail.

      The Democrats mostly own the recession.

      I just sent in my taxes myself.

      Arby's (participating ones) is said to be giving away free Curly Fries as a tax relief today. So said the national news.

    5. I get it; What's yours is yours, and what's Mine is Yours.

      Quite a deal.

    6. And Congress owns Libya, Yemen, Syria, etc.
      They voted for them, too.

      Congress owns ALL the wars.

      They authorized them and finance them.

      Congress owns the economy, too.
      They set the tax and spending policies, tax rates, off shore hide-a ways and accelerated depreciation.

    7. As for Mr GW ush and his warnings, nothing but rhetoric.
      In action Mr GW failed to veto a single piece of legislation for the first seven years he held the power to do so.

      He approved every dime of subsidy Fannie and Fraudie received.
      He had direct control of VA, FHA, and HUD.

      He was not absent from the debate or the final outcomes.
      The Federals, across the board, fucked up.

  17. I've gotta quit stalling, and go finish my taxes. Dammit.

    One more cup of coffee. :)

  18. In 2011, CNN asked Americans what they thought the federal government spent on various programs. The results were astonishing: Respondents thought 10 percent of the budget went towards foreign aid. The real answer (using 2010 numbers) was half of one percent. They thought 10 percent went to food assistance. The real answer was 2.8 percent. They thought five percent of the budget went towards PBS. The real answer one-hundredth of one percent. And so on.

    The truth is that the federal government, as seen through the budget, is a massive insurance conglomerate with a large standing army. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid make up almost half of federal spending. Defense is a bit less than as fifth. That’s not to say we’re spending the right amount on those programs. It’s just to sat your money isn’t going to “waste and fraud,” or to a bloated foreign aid budget. It’s going to big, visible and broadly popular programs. That’s why deficit reduction is so hard.

    5 Charts That Will Make You Feel Better About Paying Your Taxes (or not)

  19. A Compromised President --

    Among all the foreign intelligence agencies, Russian intelligence (SVR) has a long history and has made a science of studying the backgrounds of American presidents. Therefore, we must assume that since Russian intelligence is particularly skilled and a persistent practitioner of this art, it is possible to the point of certainty that, using all their resources and "black-bag" tactics, they have long had the biographical background data that President Obama and his team of lawyers have been so diligent in concealing from the American public.

    1. ... and ...

      Obama has a "murky" past.

      So the fuck what?

      He is still the President, and will remain the President.
      Despite the America Stinker.

      The electorate does not care about the past.

      Does not care that GW Bush's grandpa help to fund Hitler's war military expansion.
      Does not care who Obama's daddy was, either.

    2. The majority of the electorate does not care about Obama's pastor, his schooling or his pot smoking.
      Couldn't give a hoot in hell if he snorted cocaine.

      The vast majority of the electorate wants its' Social Security check and Medicare Part D, left intact.
      Romney was correct, more so than he thought.

    3. The point is he might be open to blackmail by a foreign power.

    4. The public's right to know is but a minor consideration. Our overriding concern should be what unfriendly foreign intelligence adversaries, particularly Russian, may have obtained on our president's background.

    5. But, I thought he was on their side, as it was?

      Now, I'm really confused.

    6. :)

      Well, don't let it bother you, especially not on this glorious tax day.

      Bombs explode at Boston Marathon.

    7. Folks wouldn't believe doug, about Obama, why would they believe the Russians?

      And who'd care is he's snorted lines or banged the bad girls?
      No one cares that he was in Indonesia or Malaysia or where ever the hell it was, as a young impressionable child...

      Scenes that we've all seen before

  20. Cascade!

    April 15, 2013
    Gold. Collateral Damage
    Bruce Johnson

    In reference to the bottom dropping out of the "greater fool" market known as precious metals, let us consider the behind the scenes ramifications of Gold's sudden plummet.

    Yes, Gold is used as collateral. It was considered a bullet proof good faith backing for market risks. A speculator or trader could even use Gold to back up his purchases of more Gold. Some exchanges even allow the posting of Gold to serve as margin, or good faith money.

    So what happens when Gold drops? If Gold is placed to back other Gold purchases, the drop in the market creates a domino effect. The Gold owned in the position loses value, and the Gold placed as good faith money also loses value. So there is less "good faith" margin or collateral behind the falling value of the commodity owned. A liquidity problem develops for the financial guarantor of the customer.

    Back in the ancient history of commodity trading (1930s), there was an extremely bullish Wheat scenario. It became vogue to buy Wheat futures, and sell Wheat put options. As the market became top heavy and rolled over, the Wheat futures lost money, and the Put options gained value. A double dip of sorts for the owners of Wheat. The owners of Wheat were having their position in a falling market increased as prices declined. Debacle. Option trading on commodities would take several decades to reemerge.

    As Gold drops, the collateral behind many trades vanishes. The margin or good faith money that backs the financial risk of trades actually could, in certain circumstances, create cascading financial conditions for those who accepted Gold and Silver as solid backing for financial risk.

    There are those who shook their heads when exchanges accepted Gold as margin.

    They are shaking their heads again.

    Bruce Johnson

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