Mr. X

By Carl Sagan and courtesy of Hermiene.net

It all began about ten years ago. I had reached a considerably more relaxed period in my life – a time when I had come to feel that there was more to living than science, a time of awakening of my social consciousness and amiability, a time when I was open to new experiences. I had become friendly with a group of people who occasionally smoked cannabis, irregularly, but with evident pleasure. Initially I was unwilling to partake, but the apparent euphoria that cannabis produced and the fact that there was no physiological addiction to the plant eventually persuaded me to try. My initial experiences were entirely disappointing; there was no effect at all, and I began to entertain a variety of hypotheses about cannabis being a placebo which worked by expectation and hyperventilation rather than by chemistry. After about five or six unsuccessful attempts, however, it happened. I was lying on my back in a friend’s living room idly examining the pattern of shadows on the ceiling cast by a potted plant (not cannabis!). I suddenly realized that I was examining an intricately detailed miniature Volkswagen, distinctly outlined by the shadows. I was very skeptical at this perception, and tried to find inconsistencies between Volkswagens and what I viewed on the ceiling. But it was all there, down to hubcaps, license plate, chrome, and even the small handle used for opening the trunk. When I closed my eyes, I was stunned to find that there was a movie going on the inside of my eyelids. Flash… a simple country scene with red farmhouse, a blue sky, white clouds, yellow path meandering over green hills to the horizon… Flash… same scene, orange house, brown sky, red clouds, yellow path, violet fields… Flash… Flash… Flash. The flashes came about once a heartbeat. Each flash brought the same simple scene into view, but each time with a different set of colors… exquisitely deep hues, and astonishingly harmonious in their juxtaposition. Since then I have smoked occasionally and enjoyed it thoroughly. It amplifies torpid sensibilities and produces what to me are even more interesting effects, as I will explain shortly.

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I can remember another early visual experience with cannabis, in which I viewed a candle flame and discovered in the heart of the flame, standing with magnificent indifference, the black-hatted and -cloaked Spanish gentleman who appears on the label of the Sandeman sherry bottle. Looking at fires when high, by the way, especially through one of those prism kaleidoscopes which image their surroundings, is an extraordinarily moving and beautiful experience. Continue reading

The US is the New Falling Roman Empire (Exclusive Interview with Antal E Fekete)

Courtesy of Guillermo Barba @ Inteligencia Financiera Global:

The Inteligencia Financiera Global blog (Global Financial Intelligence Blog) is pleased to present this exclusive interview with Prof. Antal E. Fekete, founder of the New Austrian School of Economics, monetary scientist, proponent of the gold standard and a critic of the monetary system based on irredeemable currency (fiat money).

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Thanks for accepting this interview.

– Prof. Fekete, why did you decide to found the “New” Austrian School of Economics (NASOE)? Did you find something wrong within the “old school”? What about Carl Menger and Mises?

– What I have found was that post-Mises Austrian economists, but already Ludwig von Mises himself, had substantially deviated from Carl Menger’s teachings for the worse. Thus in my view a rather large portion of the post-Mises Austrian economists’ research is in error. I took it upon myself to criticize the deviation from Menger and correct it. The list includes their dismissal of Adam Smith’s Gold Bills Doctrine, the theory of interest as distinct from the theory of discount, to name but a few. The New Austrian School of Economics (NASOE) was launched under the slogan: “Back to Menger!”

– We know you don’t support both the Keynesian and Monetarist theories. What’s wrong with them? What’s their biggest mistake, if any?

– The biggest mistake of Keynesianism and Friedman-style monetarism is that they favor the destabilization of the interest rate structure that was stable before, but had started gyrating and, more recently, plunging into the black hole of zero interest. All this was in consequence of Keynes’ and Friedman’ success in undermining and ultimately overthrowing the gold standard.

– If these two theories are wrong, why do you think they have become the mainstream all around the world? Were they imposed by somebody?

– They became mainstream for reasons of their demagoguery. They are designed to appeal to one’s sense of justice: antidote against misery amongst plenty. They take advantage of the appallingly low level of education based, as it is, on envy. It is characterized by an almost complete neglect of the aprioristic branches of science: logic, mathematics and economics. And I say this as a professional mathematician. Keynes ensnared F.D. Roosevelt; Friedman ensnared Nixon. These two presidents were happy to trample upon the United States Constitution at their bidding. As a consequence the gold standard was destroyed and irredeemable currency was foisted upon American citizens in 1933 and, on every inhabitant of the Earth in 1971. At the same time the gold of the people was looted by the government. Continue reading

How the EU is making NHS privatisation permanent

The NHS is being privatised under the illusion that competition breeds efficiency. What many fail to understand is that the NHS is a monopsony. A monopsony, through its large size passes on savings and cost efficiencies to the patients. Under the guise and instruction of corporations, from Serco, Virgin and private American health care corps they will gut the NHS. Quality of service will go down, jobs will be lost, costs go up and all in aid of private profit which will go up, up and up.

Regardless of what the propaganda in the media betrays, (shame on the BBC for selling us out) the NHS, although not perfect, is one of the best health care systems in the world with many outstanding, dedicated and unsung staff. What our grandparents and parents paid for through their taxes, is being sold off. By an extension of this government action we are all being sold off, welcome to corporate fascism.

What is even more pernicious is TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership which harmonises the EU, UK and US. This agreement will allow corporations to sue governments for loss of future earnings, regardless if they kill 10,000 patients through neglect or incompetence. It will put corporations above governments. That’s right, corporations will have more power than governments and the NHS will be privatised for good.

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We are sliding into a society where corporations rule, who do you think are pushing these rules through? Corporations are and for who’s benefit? Ours? Nope, for theirs and at who’s expense? Ours. Does not make sense.

All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing (Edmond Burke)

Cognitive dissonance and apathy are no excuse. Do we not all not have a responsibility to hand over an earth/country/economy in better shape than what we received? Through our very own inaction, we are selling our children and their children and their children into corporate slavery.

Next time you look at your child, niece or nephew, ask yourself this one question; could I willingly and knowingly sell another human into slavery. If the answer is no, make your stand. If you answer yes, you should immediately go and boil your head, post-haste.

Do not think that it would be different under labour or Lib Dem, it won’t because whoever is in charge still takes their orders from the Square Mile. The system is the problem and it is this we need to change! We have political parties to give the illusion of choice. There is no choice. It is easy to blame the EU but it’s our supposed elected leaders who are complicit in all this. Yes our MEP’s are not doing their job but we are consistently and indiscriminately let down by those we put our trust in, MPs, media, corporations, education, councillors et al. Shocking is one word to use.

Those that make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable (JFK)

Courtesy of Benedict Cooper @ The New Statesman:

No doubt the launch of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in June was cause for much celebration in Brussels. The European Parliament is in the process of enabling a historic shift in world economics with countless, far-reaching consequences.

A key part of the TTIP is ‘harmonisation’ between EU and US regulation, especially for regulation in the process of being formulated. In Britain, the coalition government’s Health and Social Care Act has been prepared in the same vein – to ‘harmonise’ the UK with the US health system.

This will open the floodgates for private healthcare providers that have made dizzying levels of profits from healthcare in the United States, while lobbying furiously against any attempts by President Obama to provide free care for people living in poverty. With the help of the Conservative government and soon the EU, these companies will soon be let loose, freed to do the same in Britain. Continue reading

Dwarf planet discovery hints at a hidden Super Earth in solar system

Courtesy of The Guardian:

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The orbits of Sedna (orange) and dwarf planet 2012 VP113 (red). Also shown are the orbits of the giant planets (purple). The Kuiper belt is the dotted light blue region. Illustration: Scott S Sheppard/Carnegie Institution for Science

Astronomers have increased the size of the observable solar system after spotting a 450-km wide object orbiting the sun.

The lump of ice and rock circles the sun at a greater distance than any known object, and never gets closer than 12bn kilometres – 80 times the distance from Earth to the sun.

If its size is confirmed it could qualify as a dwarf planet in the same category as Pluto. Researchers said the discovery proves the existence of the inner Oort cloud, a region of icy bodies that lies far beyond the orbit of Neptune – which at 4.5bn kilometres from the sun is the most remote planet in the solar system.

Until a proper name is decided upon, the body is known only as 2012 VP113. According to the science journal Nature, the team that discovered it call it VP for short, or “Biden”, after US vice president Joe Biden.

Its pink tinge comes from radiation damage that alters the make-up of frozen water, methane and carbon dioxide on the surface.

Though exciting in its own right, the discovery raises a more tantalising prospect for many astronomers: that a “Super Earth” up to 10 times the mass of our planet orbits the sun at such a great distance that it has never been seen. Continue reading

A First Look At New Report On Crony Capitalism – Trillions In Corporate Welfare

The world we live in is not what is taught in schools and universities or shown in the paper or on TV. It is really topsy turvy, upside down and inside out. Austerity is a lie, it is an ideology used to repress and control the population, much like the monetary, legal and political systems. Government, regardless of colour or flavour has encouraged a dependency on the state but its not the work shy or lazy who receive favourable tax breaks, regulation or subsidies, it’s the corporations and they don’t want you to know. Straight from Wiki:

Fascism’s theory of economic corporatism involved management of sectors of the economy by government or privately controlled organizations (corporations). Each trade union or employer corporation would, theoretically, represent its professional concerns, especially by negotiation of labour contracts and the like. This method, it was theorized, could result in harmony amongst social classes. Authors have noted, however, that de facto economic corporatism was also used to reduce opposition and reward political loyalty.

Courtesy of Liberty Blitzkreig:

One of the primary topics on this website since it was launched has been the extremely destructive and explosive rise of crony capitalism throughout the USA. It is crony capitalism, as opposed to free markets, that has led to the gross inequality in American society we have today. Cronyism for the super wealthy starts at the very top with the Federal Reserve System, which consists of topdown economic central planners who manipulate the money supply and hence interest rates for the benefit of the financial oligarch class. It then trickles down through lobbyist money into the halls of Washington D.C., and ultimately filters down to local governments and then the average person on the street gaming welfare or disability.

As such, we now live in a culture of corruption and theft that is pervasive throughout society. One thing that bothers me to no end is when fake Republicans focus their criticism on struggling people who need welfare or food stamps to survive. They have this absurd notion that the whole welfare system doesn’t start with the multinational corporations and Central Banks at the top. In reality, it is at the top where the cancer starts, and that’s where we should focus in order to achieve real change. Continue reading

The Real Inflation Fear – US Food Prices Are Up 19% In 2014

Courtesy of Zerohedge:

We are sure the weather is to blame but what happens when pent-up demand (from a frosty east coast emerging from its hibernation) bumps up against a drought-stricken west coast unable to plant to meet that demand? The spot price (not futures speculation-driven) of US Foodstuffs is the best performing asset in 2014 – up a staggering 19%…

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h/t Bloomberg’s Chase van der Rhoer

George Osborne is preparing to kill off Britain’s renewable energy revolution

Courtesy of The Guardian:

George Osborne quietly moved to kill off Britain’s renewable revolution in Wednesday’s budget as he stealthily enacted David Cameron’s rumoured call to his cabinet to kill off the “green crap”.

With such stealth that it went almost entirely unspotted by environmentalists and journalists, who were busy focusing on his move to reduce fossil-fuel energy costs for big business, Osborne at a stroke abolished a key tax break that has attracted hundreds of millions of pounds of private money to help build Britain’s green energy future.

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Tucked away in the budget’s red book is an innocuous-looking line that Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax breaks will no longer be available for companies benefiting from the renewables obligation certificate (ROC) scheme or the renewable heat incentive (RHI).

Of these, the ROC scheme is the big one. It underlies all the big wind, solar and other renewable technologies in the UK. The EIS tax breaks are available to investors who put money into all sorts of start-up companies. Until now that has also included firms building wind and solar farms. Now, after royal assent to the legislation in July, it will not be. Continue reading

Petrodollar Alert: Putin Prepares To Announce “Holy Grail” Gas Deal With China

Courtesy of The Hedge:

If it was the intent of the West to bring Russia and China together – one a natural resource (if “somewhat” corrupt) superpower and the other a fixed capital / labor output (if “somewhat” capital misallocating and credit bubbleicious) powerhouse – in the process marginalizing the dollar and encouraging Ruble and Renminbi bilateral trade, then things are surely “going according to plan.”

For now there have been no major developments as a result of the shift in the geopolitical axis that has seen global US influence, away from the Group of 7 (most insolvent nations) of course, decline precipitously in the aftermath of the bungled Syrian intervention attempt and the bloodless Russian annexation of Crimea, but that will soon change. Because while the west is focused on day to day developments in Ukraine, and how to halt Russian expansion through appeasement (hardly a winning tactic as events in the 1930s demonstrated), Russia is once again thinking 3 steps ahead… and quite a few steps east.

While Europe is furiously scrambling to find alternative sources of energy should Gazprom pull the plug on natgas exports to Germany and Europe (the imminent surge in Ukraine gas prices by 40% is probably the best indication of what the outcome would be), Russia is preparing the announcement of the “Holy Grail” energy deal with none other than China, a move which would send geopolitical shockwaves around the world and bind the two nations in a commodity-backed axis. One which, as some especially on these pages, have suggested would lay the groundwork for a new joint, commodity-backed reserve currency that bypasses the dollar, something which Russia implied moments ago when its finance minister Siluanov said that Russia may refrain from foreign borrowing this year. Translated: bypass western purchases of Russian debt, funded by Chinese purchases of US Treasurys, and go straight to the source. Continue reading

British tax authorities just out-mafia’d the IRS

Courtesy of Simin Black @ Sovereign Man:

A few months ago, I told you about a bold report published within the IRS that absolutely blasted the agency’s mafia tactics.

In its 2013 annual report to Congress, the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate wrote that the IRS shows “disrespect for the law and a disregard for taxpayer rights.”

Further, the report says that the current system “disproportionately burdens those who [make] honest mistakes,” and that “tax requirements have become so confusing and the compliance burden so great that taxpayers are giving up their U.S. citizenship in record numbers.”

We all know the stories. The IRS has nearly infinite power to do whatever it wants, including freezing you out of your own bank account without so much as a phone call, let alone due process.

In the Land of the Free, people think they’re innocent until proven guilty. This is total BS. If you are only suspected of wrongdoing, you can be locked out of your entire savings.

This is an incredible amount of authority to wield.

But the British government has just gone even further.

Buried in its most recent budget package is a curt little paragraph that reads “The Government will modernise and strengthen [the tax agency’s] debt collection powers to recover financial assets from the bank accounts of debtors who owe over £1,000 of tax.”

Read that one more time just to let it sink in.

The British government is setting an absurdly low threshold at £1,000… about $1,650 in back taxes. Continue reading

What is the Hegelian Dialectic?

Courtesy of Crossroad:

In 1847 the London Communist League (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels) used Hegel’s theory of the dialectic to back up their economic theory of communism. Now, in the 21st century, Hegelian-Marxist thinking affects our entire social and political structure. The Hegelian dialectic is the framework for guiding our thoughts and actions into conflicts that lead us to a predetermined solution. If we do not understand how the Hegelian dialectic shapes our perceptions of the world, then we do not know how we are helping to implement the vision. When we remain locked into dialectical thinking, we cannot see out of the box.

Hegel’s dialectic is the tool which manipulates us into a frenzied circular pattern of thought and action. Every time we fight for or defend against an ideology we are playing a necessary role in Marx and Engels’ grand design to advance humanity into a dictatorship of the proletariat. The synthetic Hegelian solution to all these conflicts can’t be introduced unless we all take a side that will advance the agenda. The Marxist’s global agenda is moving along at breakneck speed. The only way to completely stop the privacy invasions, expanding domestic police powers, land grabs, insane wars against inanimate objects (and transient verbs), covert actions, and outright assaults on individual liberty, is to step outside the dialectic. This releases us from the limitations of controlled and guided thought.

When we understand what motivated Hegel, we can see his influence on all of our destinies. … Hegelian conflicts steer every political arena on the planet, from the United Nations to the major American political parties, all the way down to local school boards and community councils. Dialogues and consensus-building are primary tools of the dialectic, and terror and intimidation are also acceptable formats for obtaining the goal. The ultimate Third Way agenda is world government. Once we get what’s really going on, we can cut the strings and move our lives in original directions outside the confines of the dialectical madness. Focusing on Hegel’s and Engel’s ultimate agenda, and avoiding getting caught up in their impenetrable theories of social evolution, gives us the opportunity to think and act our way toward freedom, justice, and genuine liberty for all.

Today the dialectic is active in every political issue that encourages taking sides. We can see it in environmentalists instigating conflicts against private property owners, in democrats against republicans, in greens against libertarians, in communists against socialists, in neo-cons against traditional conservatives, in community activists against individuals, in pro-choice versus pro-life, in Christians against Muslims, in isolationists versus interventionists, in peace activists against war hawks. No matter what the issue, the invisible dialectic aims to control both the conflict and the resolution of differences, and leads everyone involved into a new cycle of conflicts. Continue reading