Searching for Truth while debunking Establishment point men.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Deathbed of Keynesian Economics Will Be in U.K.

By Matthew Lynn

Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. has produced notable economists over the years, but John Maynard Keynes, the guru of government intervention, was one of truly global significance.

So it may be fitting that the U.K. will also become the deathbed of Keynesian economics.

Britain has been following the mainstream prescriptions of his followers more than any developed nation. It has cut interest rates, pumped up government spending, printed money like crazy, and nationalized almost half the banking industry.

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Comment: This article makes a good point, Keynesianism is on its deathbed - much like global warming - but the much like that issue the troops will circle the wagon and toss out red herring after red herring to save the Orthodoxy.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Forgotten (and Dangerous) Ghost of Hegelianism (ORIGINAL)

The Forgotten Ghost of Hegeliansim

...a commonplace, inane, loathsome, repulsive and ignorant charlatan, who with unparalleled effrontery compiled a system of crazy nonsense that was trumpeted abroad as immortal wisdom by his mercenary followers... Arthur Schopenhauer on Hegel

Duty - Community - Desire. These words frequently appear in political and philosophical writings. They are seen in the words of Mussolini and in the words of Lenin. They explain Five Year Plans and Fractional Reserve Banking. They imply Cults of Personality and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. They have justified the utter failures of the twentieth century and all modern atrocities.

Duty - Community - Desire. To understand these words and their horrific application to our world one should look no further than the philosophy of George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

Influenced heavily by Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, Hegel rejected Individualism on the grounds that reason is not to be determined by an individual, but rather by History. History, says Hegel, has set up the circumstances in which we desire, and so our individual choices are subject to these authoritarian, unavoidable, and completely arbitrary circumstances.

As a result, Hegel vaguely advocates in freedom through community. Though paradoxical, he claims that an individual is no less free in a community than an arm is to a body. He claims that true freedom comes through organic organisations of people who live with their inner voice that subjects them to the true compass of History.

This irrationalism was taken up by fascists and communists in the twentieth century, and even today, though it is rarely named, can be seen in the authoritarian impulses of corporatism. Furthermore, though oppressive in theory, Hegelianism has a particularly notorious history for being bastardized by the Elite to enslave masses of individuals.

Hegelian thought has always been used as a haven for attacks on individualist and libertarian movements. They claim that people are at the whims and will of History, and so the pursuit of their individual desires are temporary and unfounded, and must be suppressed. And perhaps, in view of the sick commercialism of today there is some truth to the shallowness of people's desires.

Though anyone in my opinion is free to choose what they want for themselves despite its commercial basis, at best I further reject this attack on individualism by evoking the advice Nietzsche who claimed that one could overcome unimportant trivialties to better themselves. It is not often that I turn to Nietzsche, but think, if we are really unduly influenced by circumstance, what better way to better ourselves than to recognize the hype of our episteme and truly push ourselves, through reason, to achieve our desires.

Of course, it is the method in man which we find admirable, not his will. That is not my point. Still there is an important lesson to be learned. The minds of the Romantics in the nineteenth century were brilliant and they pushed the possibilities of the mind. Now we are stagnated by a bombardment of suppression via technology, etc. Hegel may have been correct in his analysis, but his prescription was flat-out ill-founded and wrong. Popular distractions warrant not a destruction of individual desire, but rather a call for that individual to find in themselves the clarity to seperate the distractions from their desires.

Perhaps one of the most courageous books written in the twentieth century was Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler. He specifically and methodically targets Hegelianism as the basis of all totalitarian regimes, and much of his book is a deeply calculated attack on the conciousness of such a philosophy. He, as a former Communist himself, gives great insight into the question of how even a sincere revolutionary may be corrupted or compromised by Hegel's reasoning.

In the book you see the words duty, community, and desire, but you see them in their true context of a failed and tyrannical world view. Koestler best attacks Hegel by pointing out a circle in his argument: An individual is truly free only if he knows and understands the movement of History, but he can only know History when he is truly free. This fallacy, not alone in Hegel's writings, should stand as red flag to people everywhere that those who champion Hegel's philosophy will also champion the slavery of those they rule.

It seems that A=A, logic itself, is a sufficient refutation of Hegel's philosophies. After all, non-contradiction does not care what History says to us or what circumstances influence our thought. It is always true.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Even "green" technologies depend on dirty, destructive mining operations for rare metals

The advent of new "green" technologies may seem like a perfect remedy to many former methods that caused heavy pollution and environmental destruction. The only problem is that many of these new technologies require the mining of rare earth metals which often leads to the destruction of land, farms, and water supplies.

More than 1,000 get mumps in New York, New Jersey since August

"He was completely vaccinated," Pirutinsky said. "So it was a surprise to us he came down with mumps."

Anyone fully vaccinated from mumps receives two doses of the vaccine, according to the CDC. Of the New Jersey cases, 77 percent were vaccinated, Terjesen said.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Students brains 'rewired' by the internet

Experts say the internet encourages users to dart between pages instead of concentrating on one source such as a book, the traditional staple of student research.

This new 'associative' thinking leaves the majority incapable of 'linear' disciplines like reading and writing at length because their minds have been remoulded to function differently.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mark Faber: Social obligations will lead Western states to default

The United States’ top credit rating is at risk, with its triple 'A' status warned it may be downgraded if the economy grows at a slower pace than expected, says ratings agency Moody's.

“Maximum within 10 years time more than 35% of tax revenues will have to be used to pay the interest on the government debt and then you are in trouble – because then there will be not enough money out of the budget to pay for other stuff,” Faber warns. “I’m convinced the US government will go bankrupt, but not tomorrow. And before they go bankrupt, they’ll print money, and then you get high inflation rates, you have a depression and eventually they’ll go to war.”

The investment guru also says the cracks in the system are starting to spread, naming other countries that could follow suit. “Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain… I think, eventually, they will all default – because if one defaults, then the next would say why should we pay and will also default. The obligations of Western governments are far too high; they won’t be able to pay.” Faber suggests that governments raise the retirement age to 70 years old and cut on social spending, but he believes even that won't be enough.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Fateful Geological Prize Called Haiti

Behind the smoke, rubble and unending drama of human tragedy in the hapless Caribbean country, a drama is in full play for control of what geophysicists believe may be one of the world’s richest zones for hydrocarbons-oil and gas outside the Middle East, possibly orders of magnitude greater than that of nearby Venezuela.

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Pentagon’s Black Budget Tops $56 Billion

The Defense Department just released its king-sized, $708 billion budget for the next fiscal year. Much of the proposed spending is fairly detailed — noting exactly how many helicopters the Pentagon plans to buy and how many troops it plans on playing. But about $56 billion goes simply to “classified programs,” or to projects known only by their code names, like “Chalk Eagle” and “Link Plumeria.” That’s the Pentagon’s black budget.

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The Next Leg Of The Housing Crisis In Five Simple Charts

Everything that the government has done so far, with a few minor detours, has been almost exclusively focused on maintaining home prices high, by tweaking either the supply or the demand side of the housing equation. As the bulk of consumer net wealth is concentrated in the housing sector, and a wealthy and confident consumer, much more so than the banking system, is critical to the recovery of America's economy, the Administration will do everything in its power to achieve its goal of artificially manipulating the housing market, thereby not causing an incremental loss of wealth to those still stuck with overpriced houses, while the real intersection of actual supply and demand curves would indicate a materially lower equilibrium price. This is ironic, as proper price discovery is critical for a true recovery, since Americans realize all too well that buying a house at prevailing levels in advance of the second down-leg in housing is senseless, the continued pursuit of such flawed policies by the Fed and President Obama merely pulls the market ever further away from its equilibrium, thereby making the anticipated second dip so much more likely and not that far off in the distant future. Below are 5 simple charts the highlight just how precarious the housing situation in the U.S. is, and how likely the second, and probably much more fierce, leg down in the markets is going to be.

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JPMorgan vs. Goldman Sachs: Why the Market Was Down 7 Days in a Row

We are witnessing an epic battle between two banking giants, JPMorgan Chase (Paul Volcker) and Goldman Sachs (Rubin/Geithner). The bodies left strewn on the battleground could include your pension fund and 401K.

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Genetically Modified Forest Planned for U.S. Southeast

Genetic engineering is coming to the forests.

While the practice of splicing foreign DNA into food crops has become common in corn and soy, few companies or researchers have dared to apply genetic engineering to plants that provide an essential strut of the U.S. economy, trees.

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Teenagers 'think oats grow on trees'

The survey showed 26% of children thought bacon came from sheep, 29% thought oats grow on trees, while 17% of both children and adults under the age of 30 believed eggs were a core ingredient in bread.

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Organic Transistor Paves Way for New Generations of Neuro-Inspired Computers

For the first time, CNRS(1) and CEA(2) researchers have developed a transistor that can mimic the main functionalities of a synapse(3). This organic transistor, based on pentacene(4) and gold nanoparticles and known as a NOMFET (Nanoparticle Organic Memory Field-Effect Transistor), has opened the way to new generations of neuro-inspired computers, capable of responding in a manner similar to the nervous system.

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Running out of juice

One thing the new plug-ins and pure electrics have in common is a beefy lithium-ion battery pack that needs a lot of heavy charging. At the very least, that involves installing 220-volt wiring in the home. Trying to recharge a modern electric car with a standard American 110-volt supply takes too long to be practical (up to 18 hours in the case of the Leaf).

Of course, if not fully charged at night it may have to be recharged during the day—when electricity rates can be up to five times more expensive. Average peak rates in America are 33 cents a kilowatt-hour compared with seven cents off-peak. Charging at the peak rate is equivalent to buying petrol at $3.63 a gallon (80 cents a litre), instead of 77 cents a gallon off-peak, reckons Southern California Edison, a utility based in the Los Angeles area. In America, peak-rate charging totally destroys any economic advantage an electric car may have.

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Obama grows the drug war, with enforcement a clear priority

According to 2011 funding "highlights" released by the ONDCP (PDF link), the Obama administration is growing the drug war and tilting its funds heavily toward law enforcement over treatment.

The president's National Drug Control Budget also continues the Bush administration's public relations tactic of obscuring the costs of prosecuting and imprisoning drug offenders. "Enron style accounting," is how drug policy reform advocate Kevin Zeese described it, writing for Alternet in 2002.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

NC Schools May Cut Early American History and Require "Global Studies"

Under a new curriculum proposal for North Carolina high schools, the study of U.S. history would begin with the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes in 1877, and a new course called "Global Studies" would be required for all ninth-grade students. The new "Global Studies" course will focus, in part, on issues such as the environment.

Critics say the state's decade-old high school curriculum may need an update — but not like this.

"The answer isn't to throw out fundamental portions of U.S. history," said Mike Belter, a U.S. history teacher and social studies director. "This is not preparing our kids to have a deep historical perspective that can be used to analyze modern events for themselves."

Educational policy analyst Terry Stoops agrees.

"I'm all for a global outlook, but it should not be at the expense of American history and learning about American institutions and ideas," he told Fox News.

But those considering the proposal say kids will still learn the basics.

"The students are in school for 13 years," said Garland. "They certainly are taught U.S. and North Carolina history in middle school."

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Computers that understand how you feel

Robots can now pick up the mood of their users, and can even tell if they're drunk.

Now computers can sense the mood of their users. Already they can identify smiles, frowns and blushes. Many people have commented on the contrast between Tony Blair's urbane comments to last week's Chilcott Enquiry and his physical unease in its first minutes as manifest in blinks, foot-tapping, crossed legs, and soon. Body language – non-verbal communication – is a valuable clue to innerfeelings (a truth, or half-truth, that men's magazines often use when advising their readers how to tell whether a young lady might be interested in body language of another kind).

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Soaring Deficits Projected Under Obama's New Budget

President Obama sent Congress a $3.8 trillion budget Monday for fiscal year 2011, pushing a plan that includes new jobs-creation programs but is projected to add nearly $1.3 trillion in deficit spending on top of the current year's projected $1.6 trillion deficit.

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"No Scan, No Flight" at British airports

It is now compulsory for people selected for a scan to take part, or they will not be allowed to fly.

Some passengers at Heathrow and Manchester airports will have to go through full body scanners before boarding their flights under new rules.

Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said in the immediate future only a small proportion of airline passengers would be selected for scanning.

In a written statement to the House of Commons, he said: "If a passenger is selected for scanning, and declines, they will not be permitted to fly."

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