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