Looking carefully at that which is unseen.

Monthly Archives: March 2012

Thinking about: The death of the dollar

Future cellmate Jim Bovard writes a bit about the decline of the dollar here. Which presents a good opportunity to get into print, for future reference with a date stamp for an “I Told You So” moment down the road, a question that has been nagging at me for some time now. Years, actually.

The Treasury keeps spending tons of additional money on developing “new” banknotes, each generation with improved features to, in theory, reduce counterfeiting. Great. Fine. Wonderful. But…

The old notes are still in circulation. So what has the introduction of the new notes done except spend a boatload of money on money to prevent something that might well happen anyway.


At some point we’ll wake up and find that the Masters of Empire have declared, literally overnight (albeit with quiet advance notice to friends) that the “old” bills are no longer legal tender. Suddenly a lot of money stored here – and overseas – becomes even more worthless paper than fiat currency actually is.

Tinfoil? Could be. But still, worth thinking about.

Got popcorn?

They Really Said That? General Allen

Our Man In Afghanistan is supposedly insisting that for every Afghan soldier who defects or kills a NATO soldier there are a large number of Afghan soldiers who didn’t.

Yet, anyway.

But my, isn’t that reassuring and the best of grounds to keep American kids in that particular shooting gallery?

More here.

Quoted for thought: The Uninformed

“The uninformed scare easily.” Brian Wilson, talk show host and bassgrabber extraordinaire

“Uninformed” is just a polite word for “ignorant.” To be fair, “ignorant” is not, in and of itself, a perjorative – it simply refers to a lack of knowledge. I am utterly ignorant, for instance, of the feeling of a brain aneurysm, and would be glad to remain so for the remainder of my days. So there is no shame in ignorance, only in either continuing the ignorance or – worse – basing your decisions on your ignorance. A subspecies there are the aggressively ignorant – people who don’t know, and will be vociferous and argumentative in demonstrating that lack of knowledge when they express their feelings, frequently to those who DO know.

Remember – ignorance is only skin deep and can be fixed. Stupid, however goes clear to the bone and is irremediable.

Thinking about: Irony

As a politician you have to be immune to irony and hypocrisy, or else you would drive yourself crazy. Still, there is something to be said for the legal principle of stare decisis – “that which has gone before” or something like that – and let me make sure I understand the scenario here:

SSG Robert Bales plotted an attack that killed innocent Afghan civilians.

SSG Robert Bales is being sheltered in another nation.

Afghan authorities have demanded he be given to them.

The sheltering nation has refused.

Seems to me that Afghanistan is now justified, based on precedent established in international law, in bombing the living crap out of Washington DC and the entire East Coast and then landing troops to shoot the snot out of whatever’s left.

I wonder if they can assemble a Coalition Of The Willing to make it happen.

Thinking about: Dual standards

Americans have been raised on Hollywood movies and TV. Police and action movies, in particular, which never seem to show any consequences for the hero who’s Doing The Right Thing. Car chases, shootings, extrajudicial killings, all go unpunished so long as it’s for A Good Cause. If most police acted the way you see on TV, there’d never be a second show in the series other than showing the guy filling out a metric ton of paperwork and spending years in court.

But movies and TV are, unfortunately, part of the acculturation process and we have long since passed the point where boobus americanus believes that’s really the world works. That there aren’t – and shouldn’t be – any consequences for Americans because Doing The Right Thing doesn’t have actual consequences.

With that in mind, though, take a quick read of this article which covers in far better detail what the allegedly “right” reaction is to terrorist murders.

I doubt, however, that the soldier’s home town will be attacked with drones, house-to-house sweeps done looking for co-conspirators, or even anything as mundane as the perp being given over to the local justice system.

Seems pretty simple – murder is wrong. Unless, of course, you’re an American and your victim isn’t. Then it’s just business as usual for a Hollywood-trained Morlock.

And don’t ever forget. The Morlocks will be coming back here someday.

Got popcorn?

QFT: Claire puts one out of the park

Rather than the usual QFT paragraph or sentence, here is a whole article by the magnificent Claire Wolfe in regard to just what can happen when the fearmongers get their way. Too many people think “It can’t happen to me,” and those folks are directed to google “police raid house by mistake” and spend several productive hours reading exactly what can happen to people who had no reason to believe that it couldn’t happen to them.

And if you think your innocence will eventually get you out of hock, you haven’t been paying much attention to Guantanamo, have you?

Got popcorn?

Thinking about: Libertarians in politics

Two sets of thoughts on libertarians in politics:


And here.

And as a libertarian in office, I’d pretty much agree that they’ve called it. It takes a lot of determination to do the right thing to work through all the negative (not bad, just negative) personality characteristics your typical libertarian has in order to gain elective office.

Asking people for stuff sucks. Putting yourself out there sucks. Asking for money sucks almost as much as spending your own does. Hoop jumping is almost as bad.

That said …

There’s something vaguely satisfying about crushing your opponents, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentations of their women – particularly if you end up in a satisfying job where you can make a libertarian difference in things…. 😀