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>On Politics, Activism And Blog Content

2 Jun

>I’ve been mostly talkin’ about small, personal things of late and there’s a reason for it. No, I haven’t given up, quite the reverse.

I think there’s a tsunami coming. While Claire is talking hyperinflation in the linked post, I wouldn’t bet against a long, slow downhill slide instead of an abrupt change of slope. I don’t see much recognition of the problem from the fed.gov or the leading and lesser lights of either party (except, perhaps, R0n P4u1) and no grasp whatsoever of the magnitude of the current and likely future problem.

There’s not much I can do about it. Help keep Roseholme stocked with long-term storable foods and drygoods, assist in gardening as much as I can (we are woefully behind; though Tam claims to not have much of a green thumb, she’s a veritable Mother Nature compared to me: I’ve got more of a brass thumb).

I don’t think sign-waving or writing to Congresscritters will help. Nor is it the kind of issue that could be fixed by a few strategic “rooftop vetoes.” Can’t fix it at the ballot box, either; while I’d like to think a healthy outcome of Bad Times would be a greater diversity of choices for voters, that won’t happen until (unless) things have already gone bad — at which point any Huey Long promising a new car in every pot plus two chickens in the garage is liable to drown out opponents with notions for a long-term solution.

So I’m keeping the knives sharp, the pantry stocked and ammunition on hand; I’ve got my sewing machine and leatherworking kit, electronics workshop and vehicle repair tools (I’m stocking scooter parts as I can. With gas over $4.00 a gallon again, it’s a better choice than any car). I hope to get by. I stopped thinking about retirement a long time ago; the dirty, class-war commies of AARP have started sending me their nasty little invites (pathetically early: “Give me the middle-aged adult and I’ll own the senior citizen,” perhaps?) but for my generation there is unlikely to be any easy dozing on the porch; Social Security will be bankrupt or its dollars valueless, other retirement funds eaten away by inflation; marketable skills are the only thing I know to hold real value — and many of those become less relevant as technology shifts (when was the last time you saw a TV repair shop?) .

Thus I talk about things closer to home, down to earth. Simple joys like the antics of a cat. When the politicians are on something of interest, like firearm laws or other Constitutionally-protected activities, I comment. I’m not going to try to tell you how to get out of this mess, ‘cos I have no idea.

Water runs downhill and the two big parties sweat over diverting it a few degrees to the left or right, both hotly denying it’ll ever reach bottom. They’re dreaming but the nightmare will be ours. No Congressman will miss a meal, no bureaucrat, nobody in the Executive or Judicial branches is gonna have to choose between the gas bill and the electric bill. I strongly suspect for the rest of us, if that’s as bad as it ever gets, that’ll be a good outcome.

>Buy A Wheelbarrow: Hyperinflation Forecast

26 May

>Unhappy thoughts:

“The […] crises of the last four years only have been precursors to the coming Great Collapse: a hyperinflationary great depression. Such will encompass a complete collapse in the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar; a collapse in the normal stream of U.S. commercial and economic activity […].”

Read Claire Wolf’s quick take or the whole article from Shadow Statistics. The indicators do not look good; anyone who’s been buying groceries this Spring knows the prices are higher every week, while the Feds and The Fed keep claimin’ prosperity is right around the corner.

Yeah, it is, holding a rusty .32 revolver and gettin’ ready to ask for whatever’s in your pockets.

I’m pretty sure there’s no hidin’ in the basement until this one’s blown over.

>Brazen Burglary?

23 Apr

>More like ferrous! The headline says it all: Indiana police investigate theft of railroad tracks.

Times are indeed tough — even if you have enough heavy machinery and sheer effrontery steal railroad tracks.

>"…but it’s a good day…."

19 Jan

>Gasoline prices took a big jump yesterday, $3.15/gallon up from $2.79[1] — for once, the day after I filled up my tank — and this morning, the Local News had to explain to us proles What It All Meant:
Higher prices at the pump, the man with the microphone said, are the price we pay for a recovering global economy. [2]

Huh.

So, I found myself wondering, they’re not the result of pumping zillions of fresh-printed dollars into the “recovering economy” and thereby making each and every one of them worth a bit less? Oooookay.

Bonus point: “Hoosiers will keep on paying for higher fuel prices even away from the pump. More on that ‘trickle-down’ effect coming up.” See, they tolja “trickle-down economics” was baaaad! (And, natch, rubes like us could not possibly grasp that it takes fuel to move, well, everything tangible from point A to point B and we pay for the gas as a part of the price we pay for the tangible item).

Egad.

(Homework for the curious: compare oil prices to gold prices in various currencies. Betcha they track, with gold generally leading).
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1. Yes, you pay more. Unless you pay less.
2. Corrected mispelling “prince” to”price”.

>We’re Doomed! Doomed!

12 Dec

>…Hell of it is, we probably are. Stansberry and Associates are creating controversy and turning a tidy profit by telling you about it as a way of selling subscriptions to their service; and since it’s prognostication, who’s to say he’s wrong? Trouble is, they have a mildly mixed reputation; when the first Google return for your name that isn’t you contains fighting words like “scam,” I gotta suggest the ol’ emptor might wanna grain of caveat or two.

On the other hand — the U. S. Dollar is in sad straits and fixing to become sadder, even with tough ol’ Ron Paul on course to be chairing the committee that has oversight on the bureaucrats who advise the Fed on– aw, we’re doomed: onions have fewer layers.

You do need to have half a year’s food set back (we’re three months shy at Roseholme) and water, too (OMG, we have maybe a month); and though it is flat over the long term, gold has the advantage of holding purchasing power while the value of cash money plummets. (There’s people swear by silver, which is way below the famous 16:1 ratio. Spin the wheel if you can afford it, I guess). And do those things not because doom is imminently imminent but because it is never all that far away; one winter storm, one tornado, one major illness or accident, one layoff can have you digging into your reserves and getting through — if you have them.

Interestingly, as talk of a Coming Collapse or Greater Depression-Like-Thingie (GDLT, you read it here first, folks) is bandied about, I’ve been reading a very apt “seminal book of libertarian thought” that few folks seem to have read: Rose Wilder Lane’s The Discovery of Freedom. (Go to Tam’s Amazon link, buy a copy. You won’t be sorry).

Ms. Lane’s thesis, at least in the early going, is that while Government may be inevitable, it is invariably self-destructive as well; for every “service” a government renders past the bare minimum takes away energy that could be put to productive use; Government must inevitably grow to survive (since it accrues layer upon layer); and although “…there is a natural limit to the amount of human energy that Government can waste…,” but “because men in Government are using…force, they have no means of knowing what this natural limit is.” [Lane, op. cit. p 54, italics in the original].

She opines that societies only grow and prosper when Government is kept small enough that productive effort is not hampered; once Government has got big enough to meddle in economic activity, real progress comes to an end and they coast on past glories, eating up more and more productive capacity in parasitic routine until things fall apart. Government is simply a very complex self-unpowering machine that happens to provide police and courts.

Like that. Only with a lot more steps between “go” and “stopped.”

>Overheard In VFTP Command Central

10 Sep

>Tam: “If I was minded to believe in conspiracies, I’d wonder at all the attention given to the off-again, on-again Koran-burning in Florida and the Ground Zero Mosque. It’s almost like they want a global war to get the economy moving.”

Your lips to FDR’s ears….

Elsewhere: there was an animated cartoon version of Animal Farm? And it’s on YouTube? H’mmm.

>Things Are Never So Bad

8 Aug

>Never so bad that a government program to “fix” them won’t make it worse: [President]* Obama’s “August Surprise” has yet to be revealed, but some speculation leans strongly to another massive government bailout, likely an attempted vote-buying “Main Street bailout” in the form of forgiving or hugely reducing the amount owed on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans (issuers of the bad loans that stated the whole housing boom rolling).

Can his Administration be that foolish? Will they? I dunno — but I’m startin’ to wish we’d put in a little vegetable garden at Roseholme this year. That’s the sort of thing that jump-starts inflation, not the economy; and the current Congress and the present Administration already have a history of pulling the pin on things they haven’t any clue about.

Aw, rats. I just realized we haven’t got a wheelbarrow, either.
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* I continue to object to invoking Presidents and other politicians by naked patronymic. Sure, I believe 95% of them — at least — are snakes-in-the-grass who should be kept away from the good silver and the keys to the liquor cabinet and, ideally, never be invited in. It still looks bad to bark out their names. Please, not where Canadians and Europeans can see — the poor innocents still have a few illusions left about gravitas and dignitas and if we can keep them from seeing any real close photos (Representative Frank, Madame Speaker Pelosi, I’m lookin’ at you) and use proper titles, we might be able to avoid shatterin’ ’em.