May 18, 2011

Protesting the Federal Reserve: Yet another good reason to buy gold (and silver)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Jane Stillwater @ 12:37 am

The inspirational message from my Franklin Planner today was a quote from Frank Garbutt. “The man who questions opinion is wise; the man who quarrels with fact is a fool.” Right on!

And today I also went off to a local college commencement exercise which was very deeply moving and inspiring. One of the main speakers brought tears to my eyes as she talked about some of the things that her great-grandmother, an ex-slave, had taught her. “My great-grandmother was a midwife in her community and every few months when the circuit-riding doctor was due for a visit, she would hang a white towel in front of the homes where sick people were in need of the doctor’s attention. And I also have always tried to do this — to attempt to point out where help is needed.”

Well, obviously somebody needs to hang a white towel in front of the capitol building in Washington DC as well — because, right now, America needs all the help it can get!

A friend of mine who serves in Afghanistan recently came home on leave and he told me about the difference between corruption over in Afghanistan versus corruption here in America. “In Afghanistan everyone makes payments under the table — but here in America, if anyone wants do do something corrupt, they just pass a law to make it legal.” Oh yeah.

And I bet that you know what he’s talking about too — so-called “campaign contributions” from mega-corporations that coincidentally result in IRS loopholes and ERA pollution waivers in their favor; “legal” gifts from lobbyists to our congressional representatives; all-too-common stories about developers who have been granted eminent domain after greasing the skids just a bit, zoning laws that favor the upper classes; expensive parking tickets for not bribing your meter maid in a timely-enough fashion; massive bank bailouts; war-profiteer contracts for out-dated weapons we don’t need; gross subsidies to nuclear power plant owners because no one else in their right mind would insure these walking death-traps; prisons and schools run for profit at the expense of the community that pays for them; the Federal Reserve’s love affair with Big Banks at the expense of us little guys; our brave military sold down the river and forced to become corporatists’ hired guns — the list is endless. Yes, baksheesh is alive and well here in America. Ours is possibly the most corrupt country in the world.

Anyway, while I was driving to the commencement ceremony today, I passed a sign in somebody’s window that read, “Get rid of the Federal Reserve. Bring back the Greenback.” Believe it or not, that’s easy to do.

The old greenbacks were the paper dollars that had their value backed up by either gold bullion or silver certificates — not like this post-modern play-money crap that the Fed keeps telling us is real. But we don’t have to wait around for no stinking Fed to bring back the greenback. We can bring it back ourselves. All we gotta do is go out and buy our own gold and silver.

The Fed might not be backing up our dollars. But we can do it ourselves.

Not only that, but silver is now selling at almost $36 an ounce. Remember back when GOLD was just $36 an ounce? Gold is now $1,500 an ounce. So. Buy it. Use it. Love it! Screw the Fed.

PS: The commencement ceremony today was totally lovely. There were hundreds of hopeful graduates, their faces all lit up with pride and hope. And it broke my heart to even think about what their future will be like — with approximately a hundred thousand dollars worth of student loan payments hanging over each of their heads and no jobs in sight.

Maybe the graduation present that these wonderful and hopeful students need most is to have Washington give them a bailout on their loans. America’s students obviously need a bailout far more than Big Banks and Big Oil. Plus America definitely needs lots of smart and hopeful young college graduates — far more than we need another handful of greedy rich bankers and a few more slick oil-baron billionaires. That’s a fact!

But then, like it said in my Franklin Planner today, “The man who quarrels with fact is a fool.” And America certainly has more people in our government, our media and our financial institutions quarreling with fact than ever before.

PPS: Every day I try to meditate for nine minutes. For the first three of those minutes I cogitate on the Past — everything from early childhood triumphs and disasters to George W, Bush and Attila the Hun. Then for the next three minutes, I think about the Present — which is usually rather boring.

And for the last three minutes I try to imagine the Future. At first I just dreamed up easy stuff — like trying to win the lottery or that my car would actually make it to Camp Tuolumne over Memorial Day. But now I’m getting really good at imagining a bunch of even better versions of the Future: World peace, happy children, honest government, free university education and single-payer healthcare, an end to pollution, socialism for everyone and not just the rich, and everyone following the Golden Rule.

And I am also starting to wonder why all these things must be simply a figment of my imagination. Why can’t our future actually look like this? And, further, why aren’t we all raucously demanding a future like this instead of demanding the hellish nightmares currently being peddled to us by America’s oligarchs, Wall Street and Fox News?

Years ago I wrote a yet-unpublished book entitled, “Pictures of a Future World,” wherein, after centuries of self-abuse, the human race finally wises up and behaves itself. That’s the kind of Future I want!


March 17, 2008

Paul Krugman: The B Word

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , , , , , — Volt @ 6:53 am

Paul Krugman, The New York Times, March 17, 2008

Last week, Robert Rubin, the former Treasury secretary, and John Lipsky, a top official at the International Monetary Fund, both suggested that public funds might be needed to rescue the U.S. financial system. Mr. Lipsky insisted that he wasn’t talking about a bailout. But he was.

It’s true that Henry Paulson, the current Treasury secretary, still says that any proposal to use taxpayers’ money to help resolve the crisis is a “non-starter.” But that’s about as credible as all of his previous pronouncements on the financial situation.

So here’s the question we really should be asking: When the feds do bail out the financial system, what will they do to ensure that they aren’t also bailing out the people who got us into this mess?

Let’s talk about why a bailout is inevitable.

Between 2002 and 2007, false beliefs in the private sector — the belief that home prices only go up, that financial innovation had made risk go away, that a triple-A rating really meant that an investment was safe — led to an epidemic of bad lending. Meanwhile, false beliefs in the political arena — the belief of Alan Greenspan and his friends in the Bush administration that the market is always right and regulation always a bad thing — led Washington to ignore the warning signs.

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