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Monday, June 29, 2009

Bernanke, Geithner, and Summers are going to fix the problems they never saw?

[N]ow, there’s a new Committee to Save the World. Summers is back. And he’s joined by Bernanke and Geithner. What a great committee! Innocents and insiders… who neither saw any evil, heard none, nor spoke none. The three were deaf, dumb, and blind to the biggest bubble in all time.

But now they are taking the lead in fixing the problems they never saw. How?

With stimulus! A $100 billion here. A $100 billion there. They’ve put at risk an amount of money nearly three times as great as America’s expenses in World War II.

They bail out a bank in North Carolina. They take over an auto company in Detroit.

Hey, what about the casinos? Aren’t you going to bail them out too?

What makes these three fellows think that this will make Americans richer? More prosperous? Or more secure? Has this sort of meddling ever actually made people better off? They should follow Ray Dalio’s advice and read about similar crises in history. Can you make those crises go away by spending trillions? If so, there’s no evidence of it in the histories we read. Not in the Great Depression. Not in the Latin debt crisis. Not in the Japanese experience.

And what about this time? The evidence we see tells us that the underlying economy is getting worse, not better. In addition to the figures cited above, there are the inflation rates. Inflation in America and Britain is coming down…to around 2%. In Europe it has already fallen into negative territory…with rates heading to minus 1%.

Meanwhile, oil is over $70 this morning – 7 times higher than it was when Larry Summers, et al, saved the world the first time. Gold is nearly 4 times higher.

In other words, the feds’ easy money is not reaching the consumer and not stimulating the consumer economy. Consumption is down…and with it, business earnings are down too.

“Dow 1 million,” says our old friend Jim Rogers. The feds’ phony money can stimulate speculation, he points out. But it can’t stimulate real growth.

This second ‘Committee to Save the World’ is destined to end like the first one – in disgrace and disaster. It will try to cure one disaster by creating a worse one.
-- from "Curing One Financial Disaster With a Worse One" by Bill Bonner

No bull market until the market sorts things out (II)

The D-process is a long process. It takes time to sort things. Just imagine how long it takes to pay off debt…or it takes for GM to become a profitable business again…or how long it takes Six Flags to find a new business model. These things don’t happen overnight.

And while they are happening, people – who have no experience with the D-Process – think they see ‘green shoots’…or think another bull market is beginning…or think the feds have fixed the problems. Time after time, they come back into the investment market…time after time they lose money. And then, eventually, they make peace with the D-Process and put their affairs in order. Then, and only then, can a new cycle begin.
-- from "Curing One Financial Disaster With a Worse One" by Bill Bonner

No bull market until the market sorts things out

[O]nce a bubble has exploded, it can’t be reflated. The feds can put out new money and credit – but it goes somewhere else.

What blew up in ’07-’08 was the bubble machine itself…the compressor that the Committee to Save the World built. It pumped up property prices. With rising property prices, consumers had so much credit that almost every investment seemed like a good one. In China, they built factories to make geegaws… In the US they built malls to sell them. Americans would buy anything!

Naturally, many of the financial decisions from this period proved to be bad ones. And now they’re being sorted out. Investments are being written down, written off…and good riddance! Consumers are sorting out their own balance sheets too – cutting spending and paying down debt.

Until these things are sorted out, there will be no real boom on Wall Street.
--from "Curing One Financial Disaster With a Worse One" by Bill Bonner

Friday, June 26, 2009

Will we become Zimbabwe or Japan?

Stocks should be going down, but they're not!

Stocks should be going down; but they’re not. And the more they don’t, the more people think they never will. Feelings change. The naked fear of the crash period yields to a calmer, more ‘reasonable’ outlook…where people think ‘this isn’t so bad’… ‘we can live with this’… ‘we’ll muddle through; we’ll be all right.’

Thus does a dangerous complacency take over. Like the Donner Party, when the first snow flakes fell:

“The mountains are so pretty when it snows,” they said to each other. And while they were admiring the view, the passes filled with drifts.
--from "Curing One Financial Disaster With a Worse One" by Bill Bonner (6/15/2009)

Obama: Bush on steroids!

Fortune continues: “Under George W. Bush, the U.S. experienced a prelude to the crisis before us: Spending rose rapidly, while revenues remained reasonably flat. Bush created an expensive new entitlement, the Medicare drug benefit (cost this year: $63 billion), and let spending on domestic programs from education to veterans’ benefits run wild. Over seven years the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq added a total of some $900 billion to the budget. All told, Bush raised spending from 18.5% to 21% of GDP, setting in motion a chronic budget gap by piling on new spending without paying for it.

“Under Obama the Bush trend keeps going, but this time on steroids…”
--from "The Curious Case of the 'Normal Recession'" by Bill Bonner (6/12/2009)

How is Barack Obama like Willie Sutton?

When bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, legend has it that he replied, "because that's where the money is."
Fortune says that over the next 10 years federal deficits will add $90,000 in debt to the average tax-paying household’s burdens, bringing the total to about $155,000 per household. Fortune is underestimating.

Obama may talk about taxing the rich. In fact, there aren’t enough rich people to pay the tab for US spending; the middle class will have to put on the yoke.

“The revenues needed are far too big to raise from high earners,” says Alan Auerbach, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley. “The government will have to go where the money is, to the middle class.” The most likely levy, says Fortune: “a European-style value-added tax (VAT) that would substantially raise the price of everything from autos to restaurant meals.”

But wait, there’s more…

The American middle class can’t really pay these debts.

They were living hand to mouth even in the Bubble Epoch. Now, jobs are disappearing and incomes are going down. How would they possibly keep up with the interest, let alone pay down the principal, on an additional $90,000?

We quoted estimates that taxes would have to go up by 60% to balance the budget by 2019. As we said then; that ain’t gonna happen.

Instead, the US is headed for bankruptcy. And that begins with higher interest rates, as lenders try to protect themselves from the risks of default and/or inflation.
-- from "The Curious Case of the 'Normal Recession'" by Bill Bonner (6/12/2009)

Mind the gap!

(HT: Wolfi's View from London.)

[I]n addition to the fed’s ‘official’ debt, there’s some $100 trillion more of unfunded liabilities, commitments and obligations. Those are mostly things such as Social Security and health care commitments that the government has sworn to honor. If all those “debts” are put together…well, it comes to one helluva number – about $157 trillion of debt in America, or more than 10 times total annual GDP.
--from "The Triple Crown of Financial Catastrophes" by Bill Bonner (6/10/2009)
[P]oliticians in modern, developed democracies are now bribing voters on a breathtaking scale – protecting their bank accounts, shoring up their houses, giving them jobs and health care. In the US alone total US government debts, obligations and commitments now come to $112 trillion. Congressmen risk neither jail nor insurrection. Cometh the old question; how do they get away with it?
--from "Kleptocracy in America" by Bill Bonner (6/12/2009)

Makes one wonder: where will that single payer--whoever she may be--get the money to pay for single-payer healthcare?

Bill Bonner's two reasons to hold some stocks today

[W]e believe stocks are getting ready for another big fall. As we wrote yesterday, the smart money is short the stock market.

“If you think that, how come you’re not 100% short the stock market?” asked a friend.

In fact, we’ve still got about a quarter of our family wealth in stocks. Why?

Well, the simple answer is: we may be opinionated, but we’re not crazy. It’s one thing to have an idea about what will happen. It’s another thing to stake your whole financial future on it. Also, we treat our family money differently from our own, personal money.

Why do we own stocks, even though we think the stock market will probably go down?

1) We know someone who is at least as smart as we are who believes that buying stocks – at bargain prices – is the safest, surest way to wealth over the long term. He and his team spend all day, every day looking for extremely undervalued companies. He operates a private, family office…not available to the public…and only buys when they’re priced so cheap that even if they had to be broken up and sold off in parts the shareholders would still come out ahead. We figure our children’s money is at least as safe with him as it is with us.

2) While we expect a downturn in stocks, we’re not sure how this downturn will be expressed. A big increase in inflation could send stocks’ nominal prices up.

As we explained yesterday, you can deleverage in one of two ways…the old-fashioned honest way…by repaying your debts. Or, you can inflate your debts away. If the feds succeed in causing substantially higher rates of inflation, stocks could go up as investors buy them in order to escape inflation.

Of course, the best defense against inflation is gold. But gold doesn’t pay dividends. And gold has no earnings. And gold doesn’t send you quarterly reports that you can use to light a fire.

We think there will be no recovery…that the feds WON’T succeed in causing inflation soon…and that stock prices will fall. Still…we hedge our bets in some very cheap stocks…just in case.
--from "The Triple Crown of Financial Catastrophes" by Bill Bonner (6/10/2009)

The very smart money is betting on inflation

[B]etting against deleveraging is probably not a smart thing to do. Not until it’s over…which is not until the leverage built up in the bubble era has been removed. And with total debt levels at 370% of GDP…and the government adding even more debt…we’re a long way from there.

But what do you do, dear reader? Buy Treasuries in anticipation of another crash in stocks? Or mortgage your house, long-term fixed-rate, in anticipation of fed-caused inflation?

Ah, there’s the tough question. We know where the dumb money is…but where’s the smart money? Jeff Clark says it’s short stocks. But there’s some very smart money that is betting that the government will turn this around. They’re putting their money on inflation…or even hyperinflation. Our old friend, Marc Faber, for example, says he is sure the United States is headed for hyperinflation. If so, shorting stocks may not be such a shrewd move. Stocks could soar too – as investors try to buy anything and everything that didn’t have dollar signs on it.

You see, there are two ways to deleverage an economy.

The obvious way is the traditional, honest way – in which people actually try to pay their debts. This causes the problems we see as falling asset prices, bankruptcies, joblessness and the other hallmarks of a Great Depression.

But the feds have their hearts set on preventing a depression. And they’re doing it the only way they can…by the old ‘hair of the dog’ technique. The economy suffers from too much debt – so they’re going to give it more! Much more. The whole pooch! The whole kennel! Then, they round up every stray mongrel in town. What happens when they run out of dogs? Well…that’s a discussion for another day.

We have had many laughs following the feds and their war against capitalism. They’re gambling an amount nearly equal to the entire U.S. GDP to try to prevent people from getting what they have coming. In the process, they’re almost certain to make a mess of things.

The smart money is betting that they fail to stop deleveraging. But the very smart money is betting that they create a new, worse problem – inflation, maybe hyper-inflation. Inflation reduces the real value of debt…but in a perverse and unpredictable way. Debtors don’t pay their bills; savers pay them. Inflation – like bailouts – rewards the least responsible players…those who have gotten themselves heavily in debt…and punishes those who have done the ‘right’ thing. As Germany saw in the ’20s, it de-stabilizes the whole society…leading to extremely unwelcome outcomes.
--from "Two Ways to Deleverage an Economy" by Bill Bonner (6/10/2009)

Is it time to short the stock market?

People whose houses are going down in price…and whose incomes are falling…do not buy more stuff. Sales go down…profits go down…and dividends go down. Why would investors buy stocks when earnings and dividends are falling? . . .

Obvious conclusion:

“Every smart trader I know is massively short the stock market,” says Jeff Clark.
--from "Two Ways to Deleverage an Economy
by Bill Bonner (6/9/2009)

Dumb money is easy to spot

The dumb money is fairly easy to spot. It’s the money that always shows up late to the party, wearing yesterday’s fashions. It watches TV and thinks the reality shows show reality…it thinks Ben Bernanke is a great economist…that the SEC protects investors from fraud and misrepresentation…and that Tim Geithner makes sure the economy keeps running smoothly.

It’s the dumb money that thinks you can correct a generation-long period of credit growth in 24 months…with less than 10% unemployment…

Stocks have now been in a rally for three months. The longer this goes on, of course, the dumber money gets. People come to think the bounce is a permanent bull market. . . .

But while the dumb money has its eyes on the stock market, the smart money is watching the economy.
--from "Two Ways to Deleverage an Economy" by Bill Bonner (6/9/2009)

The best Bill Bonner quote of all time?

If Ben Bernanke were a teenaged girl, his name would be written on every public bathroom wall in town.

--from "What’s the Purpose of a Correction?" by Bill Bonner (6/25/2009)

The dumb money vs. the very smart money

[T]he dumb money is probably betting that the feds can make this work. That’s what all this talk of “green shoots” is about. A huge part of the public believes that the ‘worst is over’…and that the feds’ policies are working. They’re buying stocks in the belief that this is a recession just like any recession of the post-war period. Ben Bernanke says it will be over by Christmas; they believe him.

Meanwhile, there are some very smart people who think the feds’ efforts not only won’t work…but will create an even bigger disaster. Those people are buying gold…and commodities.

David Einhorn, the hedge fund manager who foresaw Lehman Bros. going broke, is now buying gold. John Paulson, who made billions by being right about the credit crisis, is also buying gold. The Chinese are buying gold. So many smart people are buying gold coins that they have become hard to get.

What’s our view? Who’s right? The dumb money; the smart money; or the very smart money?

They may be all right…but at different times. This rally could last a while longer. Then, prices will probably resume their downward path…and then, eventually, inflation fears will send gold soaring. . . .

[T]he feds must fully express themselves too. They’re bound and determined to cause inflation. They believe the country’s financial future depends on it. It may take them a long time to get the upper hand in their war against capitalism…but eventually, they will do it. And eventually, the very smart money will be proven right – when the dollar collapses…and gold goes up.
--from "The Deflationary Downturn" by Bill Bonner (6/8/2009)

The Grand Illusion

The meddlers claim that their central planning will do a better job of directing the economy than free people will do on their own. Instead of letting honest lenders and borrowers set interest rates, for example, the interveners set them – much lower than they would otherwise probably be (we don’t really know…we never get a chance to find out)… Rather than let companies fail in the open market, the feds prop them up. “They’re too big to fail,” they say. And rather than let people spend their own money according to their own preferences, the feds borrow trillions of it – on the pretext that only Treasury bonds are safe – while simultaneously undermining the value of the dollar through excess debt and excess currency creation.

The illusion is so big we scarcely see it – that an economy…even one involving more than a billion participants, speaking hundreds of different languages in more than a hundred different countries and 24 different time zones…can be successfully ‘managed’ by a group of mountebanks who missed the biggest financial event in history.
--from "What’s the Purpose of a Correction?" by Bill Bonner (6/25/2009)

Byron King is bullish on gold and silver

Long term, gold and silver prices are going higher. Really, where else can they go? Lower? With the current monetary madness that’s infecting the world’s central bankers?

“Precious metals prices won’t fall very far unless governments worldwide stop spending funds they don’t have. (OK, China is spending money it DOES have. Everybody else? No way.) Will governments stop spending? Doubtful. So with excess spending, we’ll see the accompanying monetary expansion from the central banks. That’ll give us more inflation.

“And the only effective defense against inflation is gold and silver.”
--Byron King, as quoted by Bill Bonner in "What’s the Purpose of a Correction?" (6/25/2009)

How to spot a real bottom

Many people still look for the bottom of the property bear market. They think the bottom will come soon…and that they will be able to profit from another big move up. This is not the sort of thinking you get at the real bottom. It’s the sort of thinking you get at false bottoms on the way down. It’s the sort of illusion that needs to beaten out of people by successive waves of disappointment.

Here’s what will happen. Prices will seem to stabilize. Hopeful speculators will begin to buy property again, counting on capital gains. Then, either property prices will fall again…or go nowhere. Eventually, the illusion will disappear. People will cease looking at houses as anything more than very durable consumer items, which cost money to maintain and never reward their owners with anything more than a roof over their heads . . . .

[S]tock market investors know there is some risk. But they still believe that you can make money by buying the dips…even the big dips. This strategy works in a bull market. It is murder in a bear market. In a major bear market, the investor comes back into the market after a dip…only to find himself in a bigger dip later on. He does this a few times and finally realizes that he is the biggest dip of all. Then, when stocks have gotten down to their major lows – at price to earnings ratios of about 5 or 8 – he is fed up. His illusions have all died in the bear traps. He’s ready to give up on stocks altogether.

Of course, that was the infamous message of the BusinessWeek cover of August 1982, which proclaimed “The Death of Equities.” BW, speaking for the great mass of disillusioned investors, had thrown in the towel.

We are far from there now. No major journal has run an obituary of the stock market. Instead, the question is ‘how much further will this rally last?’ Some think it is already exhausted. Others think it will last forever. But everyone’s thinking about it – and it’s not the sort of thinking that happens at a real bottom. At a real bottom, people have given up thinking about stocks. The illusion that stocks always go up over the long term is replaced by a new illusion – that they never go up at all!
-- from "What’s the Purpose of a Correction?" by Bill Bonner (6/25/2009)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Worth reading

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Congressman Ron Paul on Healthcare

Friday, June 19, 2009

The long view of the Dow (adjusted for inflation)

[W]hen adjusted for inflation, the bear market that concluded in the early 1980s was almost as severe as the one that concluded in the early 1930s. Also, the inflation-adjusted Dow is now less than double where it was at its 1929 peak and trades a mere 30% above its 1966 peak – not that spectacular of a performance considering the time frames involved. It is also interesting to note that the Dow is up 30.7% from its March 9, 2009 low which is actually slightly more than what the inflation-adjusted Dow gained from its 1966 peak to today.
-- from "Chart of the Day" (19 June 2009).

Very sobering!

He was right on the wars and right on the economy

Perhaps Ron Paul is right on healthcare, too?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Obama "will be delivering the world once again from evil"?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Live free or move--to Iran?

[T]he hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iranians who have taken to the streets, risking -- and in some cases, losing -- life and limb to demand their rights shame the bloated, bored, distracted masses of the American empire (and its British satrapy), who have watched numbly and dumbly as their liberties have been systematically dismantled, their public treasuries looted by plutocrats and war profiteers, and their own children thrown into murderous wars of aggression and occupation.
-- from "Hypocrisy and Hope: Western Coverage, Iranian Courage" by Chris Floyd.

Sheldon Richman's Economics 101

[Spontaneous market] order grows from market forces. But where do impersonal market forces come from? These are the result of the nature of human action. Individuals select ends and act to achieve them by adopting suitable means. Since means are scarce and ends are abundant, individuals economize in order to accomplish more rather than less. And they always seek to exchange lower values for higher values (as they see them) and never the other way around. In a world of scarcity tradeoffs are unavoidable, so one aims to trade up rather than down. The result of this and other features of human action and the world at large is what we call market forces. But really, it is just men and women acting rationally in the world. . . .

Most people value order. Chaos is inimical to human flourishing. Thus those who fail to grasp that . . . liberty is not the daughter but the mother of order will be tempted to favor state-imposed order. How ironic, since the state is the greatest creator of disorder of all.
-- from " Regulation Red Herring
/ Why There's No Such Thing as an Unregulated Market"
by Sheldon Richman.

You want to put Dick Cheney in control of your health care?

Socialized health care means that your life is now in the hands of the government. I don’t how it could be any clearer. When the government foots the bill, it controls the care. That means that the same organization that tortures prisoners Gitmo, that imprisons people for private lifestyle decisions, that puts innocent men and women to death for murders they did not commit, that is the least compassionate, least responsive, least transparent, and most corrupt form of human organization known to man, will be making decision about whether you live or die. Think about it.
-- from "Karl Rove on Health Care Reform and the Public Option" by Mike Van Winkle.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Is the Left anti-war?

[T]he Left is not anti-war. Instead, the Left is against war when leftists believe that wars consume too many resources that could be used in the government’s war against peaceful, private exachange.
--from "Question on Keith Olbermann" by Bill Anderson.

While the Left is (sometimes) opposed to using military force abroad, it has no qualms about using police force at home to--as Robert Nozick put it--"forbid capitalist acts between consenting adults."

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Peter Schiff on Team Obama's charm offensive

Actions speak louder than words, and the actions of the current Administration are deafening. Multi-trillion dollar deficits, bailouts, nationalizations, quantitative easing, and grandiose plans for government-provided healthcare, education, and alternative energy, render all their claims of future prudence meaningless. If our leaders will not make tough choices now, why should anyone believe they will do so later when those choices will be even harder to make?
-- from The Charm Offensive by Peter Schiff.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Excellent bumper sticker!

-- Click here.

The National Debt Road Trip

From Good War to Unnecessary War

Revised 2009-06-04

Laurence M. Vance disagrees with Pat Buchanan on just about everything--religion, politics, economics, trade, etc. Nevertheless, according to Vance, Buchanan's "Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World" (2008) "is one of the best and most important books ever written." You should read the entire article; here are some excerpts to entice you to do just that:
This book is so important, so crucial to the cause of peace, because World War II, more than any other war in the history of the world, is considered to be, not only necessary, but just, right, and good. Indeed, World War II is known as the "Good War."

But if this is true then we have a problem, for, as Buchanan writes in his introduction: "It was the war begun in September 1939 that led to the slaughter of the Jews and tens of millions of Christians, the devastation of Europe, Stalinization of half the continent, the fall of China to Maoist madness, and half a century of Cold War." How can a war that resulted in the deaths of 50 to 70 million people be termed a good war? How can a war in which two-thirds of those who died were civilians be termed a good war? . . .

Buchanan points out in his introduction the two great myths about these wars: "The first is that World War I was fought ‘to make the world safe for Democracy.’ The second is that World War II was the ‘Good War,’ a glorious crusade to rid the world of Fascism that turned out wonderfully well." That first statement is now generally recognized for the myth that it is. The second; however, is still a widely-held opinion – hence the need for this book. . . .

The book is also a history and geography lesson: Bohemia, the Sudetenland, Alsace, Lorraine, Danzig, Transylvania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Abyssinia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Moravia, Sarajevo, Trianon, Trieste, the Polish Corridor, Galicia, Tyrol, Ruthenia, Silesia, and the Treaties of Versailles, Trianon, Brest-Litovsk, and St. Germain. And aside from the usual relevant pictures in the center of the book like we see in most books on the world wars, Buchanan’s book includes very detailed maps that wonderfully supplement the text.

There are no battle accounts in Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. No details on troop movements. No information on fighting techniques. No theories about military strategy. No particulars about weapons. The crucial question for Buchanan is: "Were these two devastating wars Britain declared on Germany wars of necessity, or wars of choice?"

Britain? Yes, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, the empire on which the sun never set. You mean you thought both world wars were all the fault of Germany?

Now, we know all about the evils of Hitler and Nazism: the fascism, the murder, the mayhem, the destruction, the aggression, the militarism, the racism, the anti-Semitism, the death camps. Buchanan doesn’t excuse Germany in the least: "None of this is to minimize the evil of Nazi ideology, or the capabilities of the Nazi war machine, or the despicable crimes of Hitler’s regime, or the potential threat of Nazi Germany to Great Britain once war was declared." And neither does he slight the heroism of the British: "The question this book addresses is not whether the British were heroic. That is settled for all time. But were their statesmen wise?"

When it came to World War I, British statesmen were anything but wise: . . . .

Buchanan’s conclusion will be a tough one for some to swallow: "It was Britain that turned both European wars into world wars."

"Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War" is a necessary book.

. . . because it tells the real story of British prime minister Neville Chamberlain’s "appeasement" of Hitler at Munich.

.. . because it shows that the greatest blunder in British history was not Munich, but the Polish war guarantee that committed Britain to fight for a Polish dictatorship that had considered making a preemptive strike against Germany, signed, like Stalin, a nonaggression pact with Hitler, and joined in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia after the Munich Agreement.

. . . because it demolishes the cult of Churchill. Winston Churchill, rather than being the indispensable man of the century, was "the most bellicose champion of British entry into the European war of 1914 and the German-Polish war of 1939."

. . . because it explains how Hitler never wanted war with Britain.

. . . because it confirms that Hitler was not a threat to the United States. . . .

Was it necessary that tens of millions were slaughtered to prevent Hitler from slaughtering millions?

Certainly not.

But don’t take Pat Buchanan’s word for it when we have the word of Churchill himself:
One day President Roosevelt told me that he was asking publicly for suggestions about what the war should be called. I said at once, "The Unnecessary War." There never was a war more easy to stop than that which has just wrecked what was left of the world from the previous struggle.
And if World War II was unnecessary, then how much more unnecessary are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

. . . the next time someone tries to justify some U.S. military intervention by appealing to the "Good War," ask him what was so good about it.
-- from "Buchanan’s Necessary Book" by Laurence M. Vance.

If World War II was actually the Unnecessary War, not the Good War, what are the chances that AfPak is the Good War?

Our unhinged foreign policy

A person who is ill-informed or whose beliefs do not conform with a known reality, who is a bully, and who constantly lie to get their way…why, we would probably institutionalize such a person! People who live their lives like that are unhinged, obnoxious and unproductive, and sometimes dangerous.

But when such a personality belongs to something called the state, we stand proudly, our hearts beat reverently, we wave the flag assiduously and we pledge our undying allegiance.
-- from "What’s Wrong With Our Foreign Policy and What the Libertarian Party Can Do About It" by Karen Kwiatkowski.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Who's really the boss on the Korean Peninsula?

The Obama administration is playing with fire by threatening an act of war against North Korea which has so many American troops in its gun sights. . . .

Kim Jong-il has picked his time well. Iraq is heating up again. At least fifty thousand US troops are slated to remain there at least until 2011. The war in Afghanistan and now Pakistan – or Afpak – is going very badly for the US, which is rushing more troops there. Washington has provoked a volcanic upheaval in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province. The US is bankrupt and living on borrowed money. What better time to show who is really boss on the Korean Peninsula.
-- from "OK Mr. Gates. What Now?" by Eric Margolis.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Peter Schiff: libertarians should abandon the LP and take over the Republican Party!